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The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest disaster in living memory, by almost any measure. More than 6.5 million people are confirmed to have died in less than three years, and the pandemic’s indirect impact has touched the lives of virtually every community on the planet.
Our World Disasters Report 2022 focuses on the coronavirus pandemic and preparedness: both the ways preparedness ahead of COVID-19 was inadequate, and how the world can prepare more effectively for future public health emergencies.
For the IFRC ( International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) preparedness encompasses preventing, responding to, and recovering from an emergency. Being truly prepared therefore means being ready to respond, to recover, and to learn lessons for next time. In other words, preparedness is an ongoing, continuous process.
We can save lives simply by being prepared. The next pandemic could be just around the corner. If the experience of COVID-19 won’t quicken our steps toward preparedness, what will?
Excerpt, as delivered by Ms. Laetitia Courtois, Permanent Observer to the UN and Head of Delegation, ICRC New York, 2020 has been a year unlike any other in recent memory. States, international and local organizations, the private sector, and communities the world over are dealing with the staggering impact of a pandemic that is still unfolding.
The pandemic has exacerbated humanitarian needs, exposing individual vulnerabilities and pre-existing systemic fragilities – including in health systems weakened by conflict. We already know that the pandemic is impacting important health activities, leading to back-sliding, for example on routine immunization against other diseases. But it has also shown vividly how in places where people already face compounded vulnerabilities, the nature, and impact of a pandemic are immediately multifaceted – with health, social, economic, protection, and political dimensions. The broad destructive trends that existed before COVID – including intensifying conflicts, climate change, rising inequality, and protracted displacement – remain. And this will stay with us, making systemic responses even more essential. What we put off today will be more entrenched tomorrow.
At the heart of this is a question of dignity. The dignity that comes when a parent doesn't have to choose between medical care or food for their children. The dignity in quality education for girls and boys even amid conflict and violence. The dignity in ensuring access to appropriate physical and mental healthcare without discrimination.
Excerpt from DMF Foundation Platform On This Report.
Again, what we put off today can be very detrimental to us, our planet or better yet, the world. Who's report will we believe? Above all, who matters the most to us? Will we be drawn into sensationalism? The mediocrity of our circumstances rage war on our existing lifestyle or did it not? Did the coronavirus show us who we are or did it not? Can all people come together as one? Did the opulent and the destitute face the coronavirus with fear? What will be the next plague? Do we as a people believe it was a plague? Will there be another virus of this magnitude in our lifetime? If this is so, could we be destroyed by our complacency to abort what knowledge we should have learned from our experiences with the virus?
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Hosea 4:1-2 emphasize that Israel’s lack of knowledge was not mere ignorance, but active sin against God: “There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.” The people were only ignorant of the Law because they actively ignored it.
It was the leaders of the nation that were held accountable for this shocking state of spiritual decline, and the priests, in particular, were held responsible by God for this dire state of affairs within His chosen nation. They had pledged allegiance to foreign kings and pagan nations, instead of looking to the God of their salvation for help in times of need.
Reflection on Osmosis
If we choose to live in a microcosmic world, then the possibility exists that we would have failed miserably on account of our own stupidity. Failing to consider how COVID-19 wreaked havoc on this planet, we should ask, could it be the catalyst for worse? Again, the question we must ask ourselves is; How do we prepare humanity for what's to come next? Could humanity be facing an anomaly within itself? Many still don't believe that the coronavirus happened and is still happening. Why?
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