Year 2020 was a star-crossed year for the world community. It was the year when human beings were caged by nature and whole world population was imprisoned in their houses because of the fear of death. Many unseen and unexpected events were observed during this year. It was never expected by anybody that there would be a a disruption in our livelihood and we would have to stay indoors. Man was compelled by nature to close all the offices, industries, markets, transport facilities and everyone was petrified with the fear of death. Everybody was living a scared state of mind as there was chaos everywhere. Every sector of human life experienced a great loss and nobody could escape from this dreadful virus. Man, who was bragging of conquering the nature by science and technology, was compelled to bend the knees.
It took hundreds of years for man to understand the nature and to take control over it. He came out of forests in search of food. He started cultivating crops near rivers besides hunting and learnt to cook his food on fire. Then he made his settlements and in this way human civilizations came into existence. Slowly man came to know that nature can provide him best wealth for a luxurious life and he can progress only if he can understand the secrets of nature. This understanding of principles of nature was given the name of science. With this knowledge man progressed by leaps and bounds and revolutionized the world with industries which was known as industrial revolution resulting into industrial civilizations. In this race of revolution, man forgot that all his progress is based on the principles of nature. He even forgot the nature and started altering the principles of nature. He polluted the mother earth with his thirst for wealth. He forgot that he is a finally helpless before nature and his wellbeing is in following the principles of nature.
This virus paralyzed the human progress and pulverized world economies. After working hard for one long year, there was a sigh of relief as man was able to prepare vaccine for it but there is another twist in the story and the dream of controlling the virus seems little disturbed. Now man is once again afraid of the same menace in 2021 which he has faced during the whole year of 2020. He has again hundreds of unanswerable questions before him.
But man has never accepted the defeat. He needs to come out of this trouble and its secret lies in nature. He has to understand the laws of nature once again to find the solution. Man has already controlled the worst epidemics of cholera, tuberculosis and AIDS in the past and one day he will control this pandemic too. But this time nature has given a warning to human beings and we need to understand it and learn lesson from it.
Coronavirus pandemic is a serious warning for all of us. Nature is giving us a message through this pandemic to stop altering with laws of nature for our avaricious means. It reminds us that we have become nature’s enemies. We are cutting forests ruthlessly. We are digging mountains which have given us beautiful rivers. We are polluting air that is essential for our survival. We are making our soil poisonous which is giving us food. Man has progressed and reached to current level of modernization, by understanding the principles of nature, but he is now playing with these principles which is going to create havoc. If we will continue in this way and will not stop polluting and harming our planet then our devastation is very near. Our planet is ready to fulfill our need but it will kick us away for our greed. Nature is signaling us through this pandemic to desist from our wrong actions, or be ready for destruction.
Millions of people during this year were affected by this virus. But this is not the end, it is just a warning. If we will continue to fiddle with the nature, then surely our doomsday is near. Learning from 2020, we should try to find solutions to this pandemic in the new year and limit our ruthless activities. We have to slow down the race of industrial and technological revolution. The unlimited and unfair use of natural blessings need to be checked. It is true that man can’t live without science and technology in modern days but it is also true that there is a limit in nature which man should never try to cross. So there is a need to balance.
(The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam.)