With reference to Covid-19, everything has focused on the virus and what has to be done with it, even the wildly sought vaccine. All this has its value and must be done, but not with a reductionist vision, as the one that prevails.
The virus itself is considered, isolated, out of any context. This does not exist in science or in the new paradigm, whose essential claim is that everything is related to everything and nothing exists outside of the relationship, nor does the Coronavirus.
Very few analysts and epidemiologists refer to nature. And yet, using the words of the quantum physicist and one of the world’s most respected environmentalists, Fritjof Capra:
“The pandemic is the biological response of the planet: the Coronavirus must be seen as a biological response from Gaia, our living planet, to the social and ecological emergency that humanity has created for itself. The pandemic arose from an ecological imbalance and has dramatic consequences due to social and economic inequalities; social justice becomes a matter of life and death during a pandemic like Covid-19; it can only be overcome through collective and cooperative actions”.
Let’s say it directly with our words: Covid-19 is a consequence of the type of society that we have created in recent centuries and that has acquired world hegemony under the name of capitalist production system with its political version, neoliberalism and the culture of the capital.
The obsession of this system (in China they call it, erroneously, “socialism in the Chinese way”, but in reality it is a fierce and dictatorial capitalism of the State) is to place profit above everything, of life, of nature, of any other consideration.
Its ideal is an unlimited growth of material goods on the assumption that there are also unlimited goods and services on Earth. The Pope, in his encyclical “on the care of the Common Home”, calls this assumption a “lie” (No. 106): a finite planet cannot support a project of infinite growth.
To achieve this false and deceitful objective, this system advances on nature, deforests, pollutes soils and air, devastates entire ecosystems to expand agribusiness, extract natural wealth to have more animal proteins, more grains such as soybeans and corn and thus increase personal or corporate profit.
This systematic aggression has received retaliation from Earth-Gaia: the rise of global warming, extreme events, and primarily a diversified array of deadly viruses. These viruses were quiet in nature, on an animal, or in trees. The war against nature destroyed their habitat. To survive, these viruses passed to other animals or directly to humans.
They are bringing to its knees the infinite accumulation system and especially the murderous machine that it created with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, which are useless to attack the virus.
It is minimal, almost invisible, the size of 125 nanometers. The virus comes from nature (it is debatable whether it comes through the bat, the pangolin mammal or the bamboo rat, it does not matter, they are all beings of nature). This is the true context of Covid-19: the world and Chinese capitalist production system, of which few speak, much less on social networks and television that follow the development of the humanitarian tragedy that is destroying 24 hours a day thousands of lives.
If we get a vaccine that nullifies its malignant effects and eliminates the Coronavirus, can we be sure that we have eliminated the major virus, namely the system, which produces the devastation of nature and, consequently, the release of more viruses? This is a central question, lest we simply go back to “what was before”, horrible for the vast majority of the population and for the balance of the Earth.
We are about to surpass the nine planetary borders, without which life will not perpetuate itself on the planet. Four of them have been overcome: soil abuse, climate change, the destruction of biodiversity and the alteration of nitrogen. If we exceed the others (solidification of the oceans, change in the use of water, degradation of the ozone layer, global warming and chemical pollution), the life system will collapse and with it our civilization.
I add a fact that must be taken into account: on August 22, 2020, the Earth Overshoot Day occurred. This means that the natural resource stock of the Earth where all the renewable inputs for the reproduction of life are stored, has been emptied for this year. We will have less fertile soils, fewer crops, less suitable climates, less water, less nutrients, less clean air, more soils with fertilizers etc.
Due to the capitalist culture of “Unlimited consumption”, we have already consumed an entire planet and a little more than half of another that does not exist (1,6). The Earth is like a bad check and all the signals have closed in red. As we do not want to reduce consumption (for many, sumptuous) but to make it grow even more (consumerism), we rip off what the Earth no longer has. The consequence is that more people will get rich from scarcity, a large part of the population will go hungry, they will not have access to the bare minimum of life.
Mother Earth Speaks to All of Us
The Earth does not remain indifferent, feels the blow and defends itself, sending us typhoons, storms, tsunamis and its weapons: the range of lethal viruses. Covid-19 is the response of the living Earth, a signal that she is giving us; That is why, this time, it has attacked the entire planet and not just parts of it, as Ebola, SARS and others used to do. We have to read the Covid-19 with one of the last signals that Mother Earth sends us.
She tells us: “Either you decide to stop violently overexploiting me, or I can send you more viruses, even the one that your biologists fear the most, the “big guy”, that terrible and impregnable virus against any vaccine or other means; It will decimate you as a human species. I consider such a gesture, which makes me suffer a lot, as a just punishment you deserve for having waged a war against the life of nature for centuries without interruption and never having loved and cared for me, your Mother, who always gave you in abundance everything you needed to live”.
“There is no use sharpening the teeth of the wolf, which is the devastating system you have created; It does not lose the ferocity of its nature and will continue its work of death, what you yourselves have called the Anthropocene and Necrocene. You have to do, as my envoy and prophet Pope Francis said, “a radical ecological conversion”: take from me what you need and no more, make sure everyone has enough and decent to live with a minimum of dignity and give me time to self-regenerate and be able to continue as a Mother to feed you and that still remains for your descendants”.
“For that you have to reduce consumption, reuse what has already been used, recycle what no longer serves you, because it can be useful for something else, and above all reforest the entire planet, because my dear children, trees, are the ones that capture the carbon that you have released into the atmosphere, and, through photosynthesis, produce oxygen to breathe, always keep water in the ground, a vital, common and irreplaceable good and not a commodity, and establish cooperative relationships between you and not of competition, of empathy and not of insensitivity, and to overcome the deep social inequalities that you have created in the desire to accumulate in a few people and leave your brothers and sisters starving and with all kinds of needs until they die before their time”.
“So you and I will have renewed the natural contract that you broke, a contract of mutual care and collaboration, and together we can make a happy trajectory, under the blessed light of the great son, the Sun. Create judgment and wisdom, because without that you will swell the procession towards the grave that you yourself have dug for yourself”.
“Remember that there is not only the natural and material capital that you have exploited until it is almost exhausted; There is mainly human-spiritual capital, made of unconditional love, solidarity, compassion and openness to others without discrimination, and openness to all things even to the Infinite of a thousand names, God who created everything with love, who does not hate any being who has created and is the passionate lover of life. Open yourselves to Him to be more human, sensitive, caretakers of nature and myself and you will savor a greater meaning for your lives. By doing this, we will have a blessed common destiny and an open world for a better future”.
Either we listen to these warnings from Mother Earth and the nature of which we are a part, and create the basis of a civilization focused not on profit but on life – a BIOcivilization – and an ECOnomy that aligns with ECOlogy or, if no, let’s prepare for the worst.
Human beings are said to learn from history that they learn nothing from history but learn everything from suffering. We are all suffering under social isolation and distancing from our groups. May this suffering not be in vain. That it is not the suffering of a dying person, but the suffering of the birth of an Earth, loved and cared for as a good and generous Mother, which is in fact the only Common House that we have, in which all can and should fit, nature included.