Mehmet Murat ildan
Whenever the concept of enemy is brought we always pre-judge it in the form of the human face. And for this reason, the world has so far witnessed a lot of war where it is even justified to be ugly. War is violent. It is deadly, expensive, destructive and wasteful. We have super-advanced high-fi technologies to fight against each other but are we prepared to fight against a novel coronavirus disease?
Present times also implies a war against the enemy but unseen. Humanity is locked in battle against something which we can’t see with our naked eyes.
The deadly enemy emerged from Wuhan in China and is on a worldwide tour in a matter of months. And as it continues to spread it is bringing more panic among people.
At least 11,000 people globally have died from COVID-19, as the illness is officially known, while an estimated 235,000 infections have been confirmed in at least 176 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization.
China after facing an uncontrolled outbreak has now taken extraordinary measures to contain the spread of the virus, including restricting the movement of some 760 million people. These measures are seen to help and stabilize the situation of china, but it is taking more time for other countries to prepare and handle the outbreak. They came too late to overcome the earlier missteps by the Chinese government that contributed to the spread of the virus worldwide.
Despite all this how much have nations contributed to improving the global health system?
We have seen countries waging wars against each other for multiple reasons. Be it the demand for more power or intention to occupy more natural resources. Be it taking revenge to an endless chain of retaliatory wars being set in motion and would be difficult to stop. Wars is infamous for its own reasons. Looking at the financial aspect then the money invested is quite huge.
Through Fiscal Year 2020, the United States federal government has spent or obligated $6.4 trillion dollars on the wars. This figure includes direct Congressional war appropriations; war-related increases to the Pentagon base budget; veterans care and disability; increases in the homeland security budget; interest payments on direct war borrowing; foreign assistance spending; and estimated future obligations for veterans’ care.
But let us know the fact that when any epidemic or pandemic infectious diseases arrive it neither sees national borders nor social bounds. It has no influence either of political parties or of influence of social customs. When it hits, it bounces even harder. So how much have we prepared in these recent times?
In a report Who’s investing in health care R&D? , a total of $159.9 billion is spent on overall health R&D, including $156.7 billion from pharmaceutical companies and $3.2 billion from venture capital. But is it enough and is it being spent in the places that need it most?
From the past few years, we have seen a variety of disease outbreaks harming human lives. Cholera, bubonic plague, smallpox, and influenza are some of the most brutal killers in human history. And outbreaks of these diseases across international borders, are properly defined as a pandemic, especially smallpox, which throughout history, has killed between 300-500 million people in its 12,000-year existence.
The most recent outbreak was the Ebola virus, which has killed thousands of people, is still confined to West Africa. It may someday be pandemic, but for now, is considered an epidemic.
And now the recent one is the coronavirus which is seen affecting human lives worldwide. So far very less is known about the virus and the drug for it is yet to be found. Scientists and medical researchers have for years contributed in fighting illnesses around the world. But investments in research and development (R&D) by the public, private, and non-profit sectors have been crucial to the health gains made to date. Public sector investment clearly remains important, but maximizing the impact of global health R&D will require a sustained effort on the part of the private sector as well.
Forgetting about the true cost of war, we must know that it is a true sin. War isn’t about building civilizations but destroying them. All wars are tragic, and it’s no joke. Instead of killing each other the name power or position or anything let us unite as a sensible human being and fight against these kinds of a deadly disease. Hence in this way, the earth would be a better place to live.