We have already experience the dreaded Covid 19 since the past few months and how the whole world has come to a standstill. It is just a perfect example of how our planet has been subjected to the ever-increasing demand for consumerism that could have been done away with. The dire need for emergency supplies in a pandemic situation is always challenging. But the true fact is, we were not ready.
It is not only the government’s failure but more importantly that of the people and their reckless actions. We have to start taking collective responsibility instead of treating the government like a janitor who will come now and then to clean up the dump we leave behind.
The economy-driven zeitgeist that dominates the culture and influences the lives of millions does eventually catch up to bite you back. The ‘convenience’ based solutions (be it transport, or any industry) is so narrowly constructed that it aims to solve only one problem but give birth to 10 other (in this case the automobile industry).
Here the root cause is shortsightedness – the constant failure to recognize the future impact of current ‘solutions’ and because of which we do not realize that our focus should be on building environmentally sustainable modes of transport – both public and private and incorporating a sense of awareness and responsibility towards implementing a safe and healthy way of life on an individual as well as social level. But obviously, if the latter(holistic sense) was cultivated early on, the former(blind blunders) would not have taken place.
At this moment, we can only protect ourselves individually by using personal health safety measures like pollution masks and alternative modes of transports like cycles etc. This is only a temporary fire fighting reaction and not a proactive community based sustainable measure. But until such macro-level responsibly organized solutions come into using personal health safety measures as stated above are our only resort.
Use of pollution masks in nations where people are aware of the problems is as common as the use of helmets in many of our cities. Again, wearing masks cannot be considered as a real solution. But that step itself creates a sense of urgency and awareness, which might help to point out to the bigger entangled and interlinked mess birthed by such regressive progress.
Call it development, economic prosperity, industrialization or anything fancier, the truth remains, when you fail to consider life and sustenance as the base of all priorities, even a thousand years of technological, economical advancement would not have any substantial worth. That way you are just breaking bones and then applying bandages to heal them. And if we are already selfish, self-serving beings are driven by our survival instinct then we can at least do a better job at that.
Denying, choosing not to think, choosing not to face the reality, does not change the reality. And because no one realizes or is made aware of the real impact of this reality (the present situation) on their own lives, they would not take action, not even on a personal level.
But I guess that is not the only problem, even after being aware people may choose to ignore; that is the bigger problem. Sustained ignorance and prevailing indifference towards social and even personal responsibility.