Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.
While the coronavirus pandemic has certainly changed a lot of what people know to be ‘normal,’ other ongoing problems and the ghosts of history are a constant reminder that this is not the worst it’s going to get for us.
The world and its population has been threatened with a great deal of pandemics over the course of history. Most people know of the Black Death: killing up to 200 million people worldwide during the 30 years it was most prevalent in the Middle Ages. It also resurfaced a number of times, making it a pretty horrific occurrence.
While it would be nice to think that this part of history is not likely to repeat itself, based on how many countries and governments have been dealing with the pandemic, it’s quite possible the disease might spike up again even if we think it’s gone completely. And this isn’t just a second wave that would hit during the same year, but a recurrence that could pop up after many clear months. By that point, most things will have returned to a state of normality, so it would be quite effective at quickly wiping out even more of the population.
But this pandemic has presented us with a lot more problems than a life-threatening disease. What it has successfully achieved is elongating the divide between different classes of people, ensuring that the richest are richer still, and that those who live far from luxury are swamped in poverty. While many people have gotten poorer during the pandemic, it has been thought that between them, American billionaires have gained around $500B, which they’re unlikely to share with the less-fortunate. An even smaller amount of people with even more of the global wealth is a huge problem, not just for the people left out of the club, but also the environment that ultimately will suffer at the hands of the elite.
The global disaster of climate change, which before Coronavirus was imminent due to pollution levels warming the entire Earth, has reportedly been lessening during the pandemic. With many people staying indoors and being unable to continue polluting activities including flying, many think that the pandemic will have benefited the environment. However, this is not the case.
The disease itself is disastrous to wildlife, with the potential that Covid mutations could affect similar species to us such as mountain gorillas. The lockdown for countries rich with wildlife has been damaging in the sense that illegal poaching on both land and sea has begun again due to reduced ability to regulate the practice, endangering many species that are already existing only precariously. Similarly, reduced tourism to many poorer countries has meant that government budgets reserved for wildlife protection have had to be spent elsewhere, adding to the destruction of more habitats.
However, it still gets worse. As though premature death and earth destruction isn’t enough to make the future seem scary, societal and political shifts are going to continue for much longer. It’s not glorious to imagine things so pessimistically, but what has become increasingly obvious is that the human race is just no good.
This pandemic is truly the least of our worries, for our lifetime anyway.