MY TURN--If we truly wanted to deal with Covid-19 in an effective manner, designed to minimize and ultimately stop its continuing -yet avoidable- murderous effects on our species, we would have to look at all the historical and scientific factors.
Critical information that we have so far ignored, that has made us the prime target for such a pandemic- or other plague- that we clearly have the scientific knowledge to minimize or avoid completely. All we need is for our leaders to listen to the scientists and historians, who clearly know better. And in so doing we might conclude that what is truly astonishing is that it has taken this long for modern humans to be “attacked” by a virus or other avoidable pandemic, given the cavalier way we continue to occupy this planet as if we weren't part of, or dependent on, a healthy earth biosphere.
There are presently 7.8 billion people living on this planet, which optimally should support a population of no more than 1.5 and 2 billion people. To deal with such overpopulation, over the centuries, caused by humans without birth control continuing to encroach on the habitat of other species, nature has created viruses and other plagues to cull the human and other animal herds.
In the 14th century, Europe was hit by the Black Death or Plague, which killed an estimated 75-200 million people in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The silver lining to that tragedy was that it created a surplus of food for a much diminished European human population, which meant that all humans didn't have to farm, hunt, or gather for their food. Some could just think and study, much aided by Guttenberg's bible leading to an abundance of printed books to memorialize what humans were learning for future generations. This led to the Renaissance of the 14th and 15th centuries.
Jumping ahead 500 years in this Plague-Renaissance historical context, given a present day economically reborn modern Chinese population of close to 1.5 billion, it is not surprising that China triggered the present Covid-19 pandemic- or modern day plague- by infringing on the habitat of bats and pangolins in an area of China where previously there had been very little, if any, human habitation.
So what's the solution that hopefully will allow [some] human beings to continue walking softly on the earth? The answer lies in the mixed and contradictory messages that the Plague and Renaissance gave us. For those who suffered the Plague, the message was to sanctify human life in anticipation of the next plague and make it criminal to interfere with this reproductive process. even if the science of the Renaissance and after shows in clearer uncontradicted terms that human survival on this planet in any meaningful way requires us to implement ideas as seemingly unrelated as Roe vs. Wade and finding an alternative to carbon emitting energy.
Those against abortion never talk about the quality of life of the 5 children the poor woman already has that will be completely and negatively impacted for their entire lives by the birth of yet another unwanted child by a woman who is given no choice or alternative. Something as relatively simple as giving all women around the world the rights guaranteed by Roe vs. Wade would be a modern day renaissance that would rival the first Renaissance.
And if we could build an atomic bomb in 3 years with 1940s technology, how long do you think it would really take us with 2020 technology to perfect and implement an alternative non-polluting energy source(s) that would once and for all end the threat of global warming, when paired with real and thoughtful birth control.
(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second- generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.com. Leonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com.)