Donald Trump has termed the Covid-19 ‘Chinese virus’. I don’t mind if he calls it a Nepali virus or a lunar virus. But he will not do that, because his voters are not anti-lunatic, they are just anti-Chinese. I can only pray the Chinese virus will respect international borders and let President Almighty live happily within his shielded and secluded America.
But the virus will disappoint us, for sure. It does not know borders, because it did not create them. It doesn’t have to cast votes and file taxes, and it doesn’t need a passport to travel. So you can give it any name. The virus doesn’t need a nation. It just needs a host to live. Some of its brethren were displaced from their original habitats. And clearly, it doesn't like the new host.
No, Mr. President, it is not a fight between America and China. It is a fight between a virus and humans. And Americans are as human as the Chinese. So are the Italians, Russians, Mexicans, Indians, and Koreans. For the germ, all humans are aliens. It will only be happy if its enemies—the aliens—fight among themselves and become weak.
One option to beat the virus is to send them somewhere else. I prefer to send them to the moon. Let them live there, undisturbed by any human. Or we can send off the humans instead. I reckon President Trump would have liked to transport all those non-Americans to the moon, if science were so developed. But he doesn’t seem to like science either. Neither can he turn to God, for God doesn’t want to see His children live in the moon—He hasn’t made it habitable. Evidently, He wants all Americans and non-Americans to live on earth. Likewise for the virus—they have to live in this planet.
It doesn’t look like a good idea to propagate American-versus-Chinese or Nepali-versus-Nigerian narratives at this hour. Maybe we can come together and start a human-versus-virus fight. I don’t know if President Almighty thinks otherwise.
One thing is for sure—God wants humans and all others to find a way to live harmoniously. We cannot expect the virus or the bats or badgers to take a lead on that. Only we humans can do that, if we have the will and zeal to respect God’s will.
But how do we do that? It calls for having a little sense and thinking better than bats.
There are three ways to do that: two human and one divine. First, trust the scientists and let them find a vaccine to beat the virus. It will take a few months to a few years. Second, don’t disturb the viruses and let them live in their natural homes: bats, for instance. Why do we need to eat bats at all?
Those are the human ways. The third, divine, is the way of compassion. It is the way to have a little love and care for each other, open your eyes and see others as humans, to come together, forge consensus, and build a common strategy for everybody on the planet.
Prime Minister Modi’s Indian government has never liked SAARC, but he thinks unified action is needed to fight the disease. It was wise of him to initiate a regional dialogue to keep the virus at bay. Crises need both long-term and short-term strategies. Social distancing and shutting down of airports are short-term measures. Cooperation guided by human compassion is the long-term solution. Let’s not fail on any of these fronts.