“Respect your elders.”
That’s the bottom line of the current coronavirus crisis sweeping the world.
It is not a banal platitude. Governments are locking down cities in a bid to prevent the elderly from being infected with the COVID-19 disease, which can be fatal for them.
Yet, the virus is relatively harmless for most younger people — little more than a mild respiratory tract infection, apparently.
So, have governments gone about this the wrong way?
Couldn’t they have simply isolated the elderly, and let the rest of society catch the virus, deal with it, and become immune to it while maintaining the status quo in the business world?
One Israeli scientist is saying the virus will not kill millions of people, as some fear. And he reminds us that the flu kills 60,000 people — mostly elderly — in the U.S. every year.
Will we look back on the current crisis — the civilian lockdowns, the economic meltdown, etc. — as hysterical overraction?
Or will we feel it was all justified?
There are silver linings to the crisis:
While panicked investors unload stocks at bargain prices now, people are buying those stocks from them. When the market roars back in a few months, the bargain hunters will make a fortune.
And then there is Mother Earth itself, which is getting a much-needed breather from the pollution of mankind as industry shuts down. Even the canals of Venice have become clear, and people are posting pictures of fish swimming in them.
We will learn many lessons during this crisis, among them that we can have a much cleaner world if we are motivated enough.
This could be the last chance for modern civilization to get its act together.
Will it happen? Or will it go back to its old ways, with huge temporary paper profits before more catastrophic karma finishes us off?