Battle of the Curves

COVID-19 is a reminder of our place on Earth

COVID-19 is nothing new or unusual. It is a natural phenomenon, which has been taking place again and again over millions of years. As we evolved, viruses evolved with us, and will continue to evolve into the future, in the same way that cybersecurity systems always try to be one step ahead of new computer viruses. Like a lock and key, viruses and humans are co-dependently locked into a perpetual struggle with each other — one where there is never a clear winner or loser.

Although this may seem like a conflict, it is in fact a perfect harmony between two curves: the virus curve, and the human curve. Some may see this as a battle, but it is actually a delicately choreographed, mathematical balance between two forces: a balance which actually forms the basis of all ecosystems: Earth’s complex ecosystems can be seen as nothing but a collection of thousands, millions of bell curves, each one representing a species. The bell curves struggle with each other for survival, fighting over the same resources, and trying to flatten each other out. Out of what may seem like chaos, the end result is balance. The end result is the coexistence of millions of curves, keeping each other in check.

However there is one curve than needs to be flattened: the human curve. Our population curve is out of control. Our CO2 emissions curve as well. Not only are we flattening all the other curves, we are making them extinct. COVID-19 is a reminder that we are still part of an ecosystem and subject to its rules. We can be flattened too, in the same way we have flattened millions of other life forms on this planet. We are just under the impression that we are above the rules of nature.

In fact, we most likely WILL be flattened. In a planet with finite resources, a curve cannot grow forever. Economic growth has its limits. Population growth has its limits. What goes up, must come down. And the curves that go up the fastest, are also the ones that come down the most spectacularly.

No species on this planet, not even a virus, deserves to be flattened. We all balance each other out in this delicate balance, and even viruses have played a positive rolein the evolution of almost all species. Without viruses, we wouldn’t be who we are today, and even our civilisations would look drastically different. COVID-19 is a reminder that everything on this planet is connected. And the planet has eyes everywhere, and can notice when a curve has gone too high, too fast.

to be continued…

George is an author, researcher, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , join his mailing list, or enjoy his books

check out my podcast George reads George:

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