Covid-19: When A Disease Immitates Philosophy
Like a thief in the wee hours of the night who would normally take his victims by surprise given that the greatest weapon thieves operate with apart from weapons of mass destruction, is the element of surprise, the World is currently bombarded by the attack of a disease known as CORONAVIRUS which has so far defied all scientific attempts and researches to ascertain the solution.
This emerging health phenomenon has practically wrestled humanity literally to the ground and the members of the human race can be seen panting and fighting to breath.
The World's economy is shut down.
World LEADERS like the British Premier has been in quarantine after testing positive to this new kid in the block.
The next King of England got hit by Coronavirus but he managed to find his steps back to the World of the living- he defeated the new master of the universe- CORONAVIRUS.
The chief medical officer of the United Kingdom is in self isolation. The health minister of Britain is in quarantine. The most powerful man in Nigeria and the head of the Presidential cabal in Nigeria is battling for life after he got tackled from the under belt by CORONAVIRUS which he caught in far away Germany. The daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari came back from United Kingdom and went into isolation. Two state governors in Nigeria have claimed to have tested positive. One of the finest musicians in modern day history of Nigeria Davido is praying for his wife Chioma who got infected by Coronavirus in Britain.
There are a few documented accounts on the etymology and historicity of this strange disease that has seized the World by the neck threatening to squeeze life out of it.
I read one of the few good evidence based accounts of the origin of CORONAVIRUS that emerged from China but has transformed into a pandemic.
The writers states that originally, scientists believed the virus may have developed in bats, and later pangolins.
However, they proceeded to affirm that genomic comparisons suggest that the SARS-Cov-2 virus is the result of a recombination between two different viruses, meaning the exact origin of the virus is still unclear.
Hear them: "In the space of a few weeks, we have all learned a lot about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it: SARS-CoV-2. But there have also been a lot of rumours. And while the number of scientific articles on this virus is increasing, there are still many grey areas as to its origins."
They inquired further into the interrogatory and asserted the following: "In which animal species did it occur? A bat, a pangolin or another wild species? Where does it come from? From a cave or a forest in the Chinese province of Hubei, or elsewhere?"
This is the historical timeline: In December 2019, 27 of the first 41 people hospitalised (66%) passed through a market located in the heart of Wuhan city in Hubei province in China.
"But, according to a study conducted at Wuhan Hospital, the very first human case identified did not frequent this market."
"Instead, a molecular dating estimate based on the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences indicates an origin in November. This raises questions about the link between this COVID-19 epidemic and wildlife". ( www.weforum.org ).
In the media documentations and reportage of the phenomenal health challenge, it is generally accepted that CORONAVIRUS was first noticed in China as aforementioned.
What is not understood yet and still subject to an avalanche of conspiracy theories is if the disease was lab generated and how it jumped from animals to man. A lot of studies on that are going on as i write.
What is not debatabls however is that there have been constant flows of controversial affirmations and claims made so far by World leaders. The emergence of this new health mystery has widened the scope of global political divisions from across board.
Some of these claims by politicians sounds so strange that you would think these claims were been made by habitual drunks with mental challenge.
For instance Iran accused Isreal of building CORONAVIRUS whereas Israel is similarly attacked by this disease.
Then another absurd happening was that the United States of America with one of the highest cases of infections went ahead to tighten the noose around the neck of Iran by imposing further economic sanctions even when Iran has had the misfortune of having some of the most deadly cobsequences of the CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.
Traditional allies of the USA like Germany and a few others bypassed the United States sanctions against iran to deliver the much needed medical facilities to Iran to confront the CORONAVIRUS challenge. The World's powers are not left out in this squabble with China and USA having a childish spat over it.
The United States of America blames China for the outbreak and the eccentric President of the USA the Billionaire Donald Trump even called it WUHAN VIRUS. China then fired its own salvo by blaming US soldiers for importing the CORONAVIRUS into China.
Recently, security reports in the USA indicated that the Chinese government hid the facts of coronavirus from the rest of the World which made it difficult to know how to confront it and stop it from becoming a pandemic.
This piece is not about those controversies.
This reflection is to show how CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has perfectly immitated the theory of anomie propounded long ago by a European Sociologist and Philosopher.
The health emergency has ended up making the WORLD look like an organised chaotic platform.
Everyone is scampering for dear life and not even the scientists are sure anymore how best to avoid the rapid spread of this ailment just as the harvests of deaths in Countries that ordinarily are developed and rich such as Italy and Spain has further pointed to the resemblance of this disease to that iconic sociological research unleashed by that scientist known as the theory of anomie. CORONAVIRUS has delivered a CHILD OF ANOMIE and the World is in a state of confusion.
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has understandably unleashed anomie on the global stage and everybody is running for cover.
Imagine a DISEASE that made toilet papers to become scarce commodities to an extent that Australian house wives freely exchanged punches in Super markets in panic buying sprees. Imagine a monstrous disease that made British families to stock up approximately £1 billion worth of foodstuffs in their houses that they can't possibly consumed before they perished. Nations are not sure what to do with panic buyers and in Nigeria there is widespread profiteering even as security forces in an attempt to enforce a curfew of stay at homes have wantonly violated the human rights of citizens.
So what is this theory that CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has imitated and has brought to real life? In getting to the root of this inquiry we have to seek out the definition of the concept.
What then is the Definition of Anomie? The idea of anomie says study.com means the lack of normal ethical or social standards.
This concept first emerged in 1893, when French sociologist Emile Durkheim published his book entitled, The Division of Labour in Society.
Incidentally, France is an epicentre of the new global health emergency.
In this book, Durkheim indicated that the rules of how individuals interact with one another were disintegrating and therefore people were unable to determine how to act with one another.
As a consequence, Durkheim believed that anomie was a state where the expectations of behaviour are unclear, and the system has broken down. This is known as normlessness.
Durkheim claimed that this normlessness caused deviant behaviours, and later, as claimed in his 1897 work, Suicide, depression and suicide.
Durkheim's theory was based upon the idea that the lack of rules and clarity resulted in psychological status of worthlessness, frustration, lack of purpose, and despair. In addition, since there is no idea of what is considered desirable, to strive for anything would be futile.
Further, study.com gave us a privileged information thus: "In criminology, the idea of anomie is that the person chooses criminal activity because the individual believes that there is no reason not to. In other words, the person is alienated, feels worthless and that their efforts to try and achieve anything else are fruitless. Therefore, with lack of any foreseeable alternative, the person falls into criminal activity".
There is no doubt that CORONAVIRUS has imitated the philosophical theory propounded long ago by Durkheim because it has resulted in a fundamental shift in the attitudinal norms of the majority of the human race who belonged to organised religions to an extent that congregants are told to stay home and not walk into those worship centres.
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has set out a state of organised chaos that questions the validity of the claims made by some religious organisations that they have the esoteric and metaphysical powers to overcome all health adversities. Many faith leaders have died from this affliction and those who are alive are scampering for dear life. Saudi Arabia which houses the two holiest shrines of one of the World's largest religious groups- Islam, is on shutdown. Vatican city where the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth the Holy Father Pope Francis has ordered all the churches locked. Religious Priests and nuns have died. Monks of Christian and other faith based organisations have died. Iranian influential religious scholars have died. Atheists and humanists have died.
To bring out this reality to a better focus and perspective, one just have to realise that this new disease has led to the shutting down of miracle centres and even Atheists are not spared because each and everyone of the human family is in a race against time to save humanity. Doctors who are on the frontlines of battling the virus have died. Musicians and actors have died. Journalists and students are not spared and the elderly are mostly affected and then 70% of the victims of CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC are males.
Scientists have also been exposed as professionals who did not anticipate the impossible possibilities and it looks like Scientists failed to borrow a leaf from PHILOSOPHERS who search constantly for SOLUTIONS EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO EMPIRICAL PROBLEM.
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has understandably unleashed all those negative tendencies that the theoretician of the Theory of anomie predicted are essential elements that defines that human situation.
Will the World's Scientists learn a lesson and start evolving ways of tackling even health issues that may be like 50 years away?
Even the World's superpowers were taken by surprise by this CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC leading to a lot of hidden facts to come out in the open such as the POVERTY OF SPECIFIC MEDICAL FACILITIES TO TACKLE THIS NEW HEALTH EMERGENCY.
Besides, CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has also demonstrated that manufacturers of beers and cars are also strategic in the area of manufacturing or fabricating certain tools like Ventilators by the motor companies and then hand sanitizers by beer brewing companies which are traditional medical equipment.
These facts were unknown before now.
This is a perfect imitation of PHILOSOPHY BY CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.
Humanity should get Philosophers to think for the World so other professionals will remain vigilant to their primary mandates.
All hands must be on deck is the common anthem we should be singing after this lockdown occasioned by the health emergency and the motto of the Boys Scouts comes into focus here which says 'BE PREPARED". But the World was never prepared. It is even worst in Africa and Nigeria whereby perennial lack of good governance has led to the destruction of the health infrastructures.
In Nigeria, what has manifested is that the practice of over 40 years of pillaging of the commonwealth of Nigeria by few politicians and military Generals to the tune of over $400 billion USD (estimated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, years back) has come back to haunt and hunt those thieving political class who failed to build health facilities in Nigeria and preferred health tourism.
With CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC all nations' borders are shut down so these thieving elites of Nigerian species who actually brought in CORONAVIRUS into Nigeria are staying back to be treated in the collapsing health institutions.
Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and [email protected] ; www.emmanuelonwubiko.com; www.thenigerianinsidernews.com ; [email protected] ; www.thenigerianinsidernews.com.