The war is not over. It has been 4 months since Covid 19 made its presence felt and began decimating human populations and while some countries are relaxing protectionist measures the virus waits.
When I first heard of this new virus in late December in China, which had never been seen before, with no known antidote, I said quietly that it would become a global pandemic. Unfolding developments have seemed surreal and mythical, but this is not a stage set or a movie. This is real time reality. People die.
In 1941 the BBC broadcast of the HG Wells' classic War of the Worlds, depicting an alien invasion of London, sent the public panicking, thinking it was really happening.
"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one he said. And still they come" are lines from the opening of Jeff Wayne's 1978 musical interpretation of the HG Wells' classic.
In 2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still hit cinemas. This remake of the 1951 film was based on a 1940 story, Farewell To The Master, written by Harry Bates. The film starred Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, and John Cleese as Professor Barnhardt. At one point in the narrative their dialogue was pivotal. "It's only on the brink that people find the will to change….only at the precipice that we evolve."
Fools, at their peril, dismiss prophets, visionaries, storytellers, poets, artists and scientists.
This world has been a rowdy playground full of unruly children running a muck while their parents are elsewhere. It seems to me that the global fabric of finance and food, of economics and ecology is flimsy. Now, as a planetary race, we have been halted in our mad quest for riches. We are being shown the fragility of our presumptions and are being asked to reconsider our values and moral compasses.
I am appalled at the ignorant arrogance of presidents Trump, Bolsonaro, and Lukashenko, and in Libya, Field Marshal Haftar. Covid-19 is a virus, not a human political territorial movement like world wars driven by Hitler, or a reality TV show like The Apprentice or Tipping Point where the participants are actors who can be dismissed or sacked. Covid-19 is a virus, a life form that is attempting to breed, settle and take over every nationality on earth. It can't be dismissed or sacked. It can, however, be controlled and possibly eliminated.
We have been given stewardship of the earth and all it contains. This is far more than finance. It has to do with how we communicate with each other, how we see, how we understand our responsibility and how to wield our power wisely. Do we choose life or death? Can we eat money?
The earth needs to breathe. We've seen that. I'm heartened by the observations. The air is cleaner. The songs of birds and insects are audible in the stillness of the air. I think many people have begun to rediscover time and space.
Viva la revolution I say. Put the guns away boys, or give the warlords a dose of Covid-19. Hard line evangelistic tribulationist bible bangers need redirection to become the salt of the earth and stewards of this globe, not just travellers hunkering down in holy huddles waiting for the second coming of Christ.
Close down the wet markets worldwide. Let the pangolins, polar bears and African wildcats have their lives back. Quit hacking down the Amazon rainforest.
HG Wells' Martians died out because they had no immunity to earth's microbes. Like them, the human race's propensity for rape and pillage is neither good and responsible stewardship, nor educated maintenance for this spaceship Earth.
There is no planet B.
All 7.8 billion of us are here on Earth, in lockdown….Unless, perhaps, we are the Martians after all, and therefore we should go home.
I'm saddened to watch, over recent weeks, as the bitching ugliness of human nature has bubbled to the surface.
I am sure that amongst the sensible intelligent decision makers, decisions were made with the best information available and I, like other commentators, believe we now have an opportunity to rejig our values and lifestyles.
We humans can do that. I see the medical scientific profession collaborating seeking understanding.
I have no doubt that this magnitude of world event will happen again. I hope the human race can learn wisdom. Otherwise, we risk becoming Martians.