The COVID-19 Virus that is rattling the world with an unsettling cough, economic chills, and spiking fever of fear will soon be contained — maybe.
On a new path with pathogens
Experts warn, however, that this is possibly the first wave. Recalling the 1918 world pandemic, with both season change and human movement, we should well prepare for winter 2020/21.
These changes, and other unseen effects to come, are not the main reason why our world will never be the same.
The world may try to “go back to work”, but our human impact on nature, biodiversity, our infecting interactions with other animals (not limited to Asia, by any means) and our regard in how we view all organisms, our entire inter-dependency — is rapidly changing. The forests, fisheries, and fauna sustain us. Our industries must sustain them.
New Technology has already begun to address this, but now the need is far more recognized. This is not the 60’s. Forget “Plastics.” Lab grown food is the future.
Empty roads, more clean air and water, less disturbed habitat may be only temporary. But what people notice about all of these things, and how they react to the actual reality of shortages, savings security, interrupted supply lines, unemployment, the new possibility of more working for home options, and much more, will forever change how we view our relationships to the natural world. More pathogens lurk out there, we need to clean up our interactions with them.
Now that the world is also aware that wildlife markets, and spillover pathogens come from misuse of animals, all food related industry will be affected. This is not because we all routinely feast on bats. It is because our treatment of livestock, deforestation, depleted fisheries, and habitats of all kinds are known to cause human problems including everything from over- use of antibiotics to improper disposal of plastic and trash.
Every industry that centers on technology for efficiency without waste, such as sustainable food and goods production, or trash reduction, will fare better than others.
Scared to our senses
Nothing centers focus better than a good scare. And world experts from the UN, Universities, zoological societies, and sustainability managers are attentive to all impacts. And so are regular citizens. It is regular citizens, everyday workers and consumers, who will change everything.
Habitat loss, our separation from our food sources, and our attitude that imagines “managing” all animal, plant, and agriculture, will be left with a strong impression. Then there is our growing, and demanding population. Experts looking at the intersection of industry, extraction, agriculture, accessibility to healthcare, medicine itself, and crowding, to say nothing of civil unrest, are taking notes on how the world is best able to cope with everything thrown at them at once.
We run the world, presently, primarily with fossil fuels. The need to switch over to clean energy is well known. The resistance to do so comes from top down power brokers, and our, new, braver world is going to be eyeing them with more suspicion that ever before.
People are not only awake. They are sitting up and demanding answers.
It would not be surprising, for example, if people now awake to their own personal danger, demand better representation in political and corporate decisions that can either heal, or further endanger, our world. They will call for jobs and roles that recognize pathogen containment, and general prevention of poor policy and socialized cost measures.
These highly entangled elements of our food web, environments, and our business are here to stay.
The end of short term profit mentality
Short term profit, as oil extraction has shown, can be enormously profitable. But in this new world, with human awareness of the long term cost, such industry will fall. Or they will retool.
There are still who are calling to a return to normal. It is evident to those who understand where we are in history, that the new normal will not be like anything society, industry, or even our larger numbers of people have ever experienced in the history of the world.
Returning to “business as usual” can be temporarily propped up, propagandized, or heavily politicized. But the bottom line is that either the hard way, or the easy way, Nature has the final call.
What is being called a “clear warning shot” from Earth about the state of her resource production and availability, means that we will all be reconsidering everything from our work place, our food source, our values, our need to be empowered for positivity, and our psychological need for better reassurance that we are working for a cleaner world that respects all life.
Ultimately, people need to feel they have power.
The related needs for social justice and safety nets for health and income will likely be at the forefront.
If you do not yet know your “new” working niche, look for a business that builds a world supportive of biodiversity, health, more work and income equity, less rigid hierarchy, and more equal representation for people and all that sustains them.