Air raids, mines, blasts, alarms, artillery, gunshots, blood, destruction, chaos, carnage. Thoughts our forefathers were all too familiar with when uttering the word ‘war’. Indeed, for a century that was defined by two of the greatest mass killings in history, it comes as no surprise. War as we picture it, has two opposing sides, fighting it out to further their own interests. The tension between the sides is palpable. Traitors and heroes are born, treaties are signed and broken and not even the person next to you can be trusted. Economies take a massive hit, daily lives are severely disturbed, rights are snatched away and people are exploited. However, nationalist pride attains an all-time high.
Every country now knows how to fight a war against each other, which is hardly an achievement, but not one of them knows how to fight a war against the invisible. We are fighting a war against something much smaller than ourselves, but at the same time much bigger than you and me.
Fast forward to March 2020, and one might be forgiven for being assured that World War 3 is well underway. The various symptoms of war cannot go unnoticed: empty streets, sealed borders, curfews, lockdowns, deaths, uncertainty, and most of all, fear. Taking a closer look, however, no bloodshed on the streets, no injured troops, no explosives, no trenches, no tanks, no fronts, no guns, no firing, and no chaos can be seen. Only a microscope can take you to this battlefield. Looking at even one out of nearly four lakh people today is enough to indicate that our enemy knows no national boundaries, religion, class, caste, creed, colour, or sex. It is one that will stop at no ends until it attacks eight billion people; an enemy that will never surrender – ‘DISEASE’. It has brought the world to a standstill and humanity to its knees.
Take the current pandemic, Covid-19, for instance, which has caused a furor on an unprecedented scale. The ease of transmission, the seemingly light symptoms, and worst of all, our unpreparedness, renders this a deadly situation. We are yet to move past the belief that a person living on the other side of the border is a greater threat to our existence than a deadly disease. Cancer alone has killed more than the greatest wars have. While we quarrel amongst ourselves and kill over petty issues, there is a silent killer out there whose importance takes a back seat.
Disease alone can do to civilization, what no war can do. It has the ability to torture and kill, destroy a nation’s spirit, economy, and backbone, single-handedly. As if the current situation isn’t enough, those affected by the Ebola virus epidemic in Africa are a testament to this. All those who are risking their lives to ensure that our lives continue to run smoothly are the soldiers in this war. Special accolades to the brave doctors and nurses. The battlefield isn’t a stinking trench somewhere in the middle of a forest, but a hospital bed. It is inside each and every affected person’s blood. This war ensures that death is not a momentary event like a bullet in the head, but a slow and painful process that wears the person down cell by cell until there are no cells left. The strategy devised to attack this enemy cannot be found in any map but inside laboratories. Engineers are not needed to design weapons of mass destruction but of mass detection. Instead of people within political borders uniting and showing solidarity in fighting the enemy, it is time for the people within one planet to unite and fight off the common enemy together.
The biggest war hasn’t seen a single shot fired.
Banner Image – Novel Coronavirus(COVID-19) Source- CNN