|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 78-79
COVID-19 - Nature's Repeating calls to awaken human beings
Prasan Kumar Panda, Yogesh Arvind Bahurupi
Department of Medicine (ID Division) and Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
|Date of Submission||04-Jul-2020|
|Date of Decision||21-Jul-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||08-Sep-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||15-Dec-2020|
Dr. Prasan Kumar Panda
Department of Medicine, 6th Floor, College Block, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Panda PK, Bahurupi YA. COVID-19 - Nature's Repeating calls to awaken human beings. J Med Evid 2020;1:78-9
In the evolution of nature, both human beings and microbes move forward, sometimes former ahead with disturbances in the microbiome, invention/discovery of medicines and their stewardships and establishment of containment as trying in the current COVID-19 pandemics. On the other hand, latter moves ahead with the beginning of new diseases and sometimes modulation of old problems, the creation of antimicrobial resistances and changing the nature of transmission as seen in zoonotic diseases. It is suggested that 12 pandemics occurred in the past four centuries. These pandemics are often caused by various agents that modify their antigenic makeup, as in case of influenza, and termed with various names such as Spanish flu, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu and Swine flu. Human history and changes in human civilisation are often attributed to pandemics. Plague pandemics have impacted human civilisation since centuries.
In the last few decades, there have been HIV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Bird Flu, Middle East Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Ebola, West Nile virus and Zika virus all cross from animals to humans. A review from the last SARS outbreak (2003) concluded, “The presence of a large reservoir of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in Southern China, is a time bomb” . Moreover, now, another review concluded, “The present outbreak caused by SARS-CoV-2 was, indeed, expected…. However, the real question is, how are we planning to counter the next zoonotic CoV epidemic that is likely to occur within the next 5–10 years or perhaps sooner”  Whether human beings or microbe wins, it is always a win–win situation for nature since both are part of it. However, both could not live happily forever, and as a conscious mental being of the nature, human being has to think ahead. As stated by the UN Environment Chief, Inger Anderson, “If we don't take care of nature, we can't take care of ourselves” (The Guardian Newspaper). Human beings are getting defeated continuously in his/her body with sufferings, in his/her desires by various restrictions in the lockdowns and in his/her mind by fears, anxiety and depressions. Further, at the end, nature sometimes tries to annihilate the sufferings by controlling the microbe. In this process, do human beings learn something about the reason for the call?
With COVID-19, nature is repeating her calls to recognise the trans-disciplinary One-Health approach (for humans, animals and plants) in reducing the threat of emerging viruses. A key consideration for One-Health is to regulate human contact with wildlife. It is crucial to understand the transmission cycles and to look for the mechanisms of prevention and mitigation of transmission that may be useful for future risk conditions in the context of emerging zoonotic diseases including COVID-19. During the Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia in 1998–1999, instead of a knee-jerk response of culling bats, One-Health style policy focussed on keeping pigs away from fruit trees where bats ate resulting containment of Nipah outbreaks. Recently, in India (Kerala), same approach was used in the Nipah outbreak. Similarly, Tamil Nadu has set up a committee to adopt this approach for rabies. Till now, this approach has been used mainly for zoonotic diseases with some sort of success and may be helpful for COVID-19 if considered as zoonotic disease once bats and penguins are proved as reservoirs.
Another strategy may be adopted for COVID-19 control when transmission dynamics are identified. The case definition, finding out cases and first case clusters, proper treatment, sufficient stockpiles of medicine and population cooperation with the containment strategy may be considered for the reduction of a pandemic. Or by maximising the benefits to all equally, prioritising health workers, not allocating on a first-come-first-served basis, becoming responsive to pieces of evidence, recognising research participations and applying the same principles to all COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, one may overcome on-going pandemic. However, still, the question remains: Is nature call answered or understood?
Since ages past, infectious diseases take their call and destroy human beings. A century before millions died after Spanish flu (1918) and similar pandemic SARS-CoV-2 (2019) now marches ahead to kill many of us. In this centenarian journey, we establish ourselves in another era by creating artificial intelligence and tries to ease our life, but true happiness has lost due to constant fighting with microbes. The appearance of any new virus has a massive impact on the 'omnipresent prevention' in replace of 'patient perseverance'. With time, we are just repeating the same phrase “prevention is better than cure” but probably never achieved. One after another, pandemic outbreaks are getting repeated as if nature rings her call. Moreover, nature perhaps repeatedly answers the reason for her call too, but we could not understand or do not want. Partially, we may debate over nature's answers in a way such as protections of the environment, practicing personal hygiene or standard or transmission-based precautions, increasing the right education about various prevention methods and respecting others in our surroundings. Further, with a repeated pandemic, we may say we are better than past pandemics in the evolution of nature since we are thinking about animals. Just in front of nature, we are adapting a new time.
However, we will not get the right answers to why another pandemic unless we understand the nature which is working through us and microbe simultaneously. Although the human microbiome is known since centuries past, we could not establish a harmonious relationship with them and suffer the diseases. Since medical science is unable to find the answer of nature's repeating calls through pandemics, let's see what spiritual/philosophical science is saying. The Indian spiritual masterpiece “Bhagwat Geeta” says nature works in the principle of 'sacrifice', which is based on their own 'Svabhava'. Each act of nature leads to another either in good or bad direction but all in a continuous motion and culminate in Brahman (self-becoming). In another way, whatever we do, we get the results accordingly. For example, once we as nature do not practice hygiene (bad Svabhava as act of sacrifice) in the city of the Wuhan seafood market, we acquire a massive spread of the virus. Once spread starts, we suffer from morbidities, mortalities, destruction of human values and the vicious cycle of cause and effects of sacrificed works. Later on, with consciousness (good Svabhava – both individual and mass), we do practice (sacrificing bad nurtures) hand hygiene, cough etiquette, proper use of face masks, environment cleaning and so on and get new ways of lives without any infections. As a conscious being in nature's orchestra, we should understand this sacrifice path of nature and no one escapes this cycle. Hence, if we cannot get out of these sacrifices, the only thing we can do to listen to the calls on time consciously and protect ourselves and our surroundings. Nature is repeatedly trying to awaken our mass consciousness (or Svabhava) through repeated pandemic as a call.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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