The current pandemic has undoubtedly been entirely the fault of humans, and for more reasons than one: First, our increasing encroachment into wildlife habitats brought us into contact with new viruses. Second, the disruption of ecosystems through climate change and the ecological apocalypse shifted the dynamics between viruses and hosts. And last, but not least, our sheer population size. The more, and the longer humans live on Earth, the more chances there are that a virus can arise. This is Nature’s cruel math. Statistically speaking, we are the number one target species for culling, topping Nature’s hit list by a far cry.
All of the above of course, are the result of greed. So the question is: what is the antidote to greed? How can we bring down the R number of the greed pandemic that preceded Covid and still hides in our blood? I think we already have some of the answers, courtesy of Covid. When coronavirus attacked the human virus, it was a sudden look in the mirror for all of us. We realised how wasteful, destructive, self-destructive and uncontrollable we had all been, all of these of course being attributes that viruses possess. Covid was the virus that dared to stand up to capitalism, to question our unchecked, predatory, unstoppable economic growth.
Well, not entirely unstoppable. What we have witnessed is a virus attacking another virus. Nature always works in mysterious ways. Unless we change, infectious diseases experts tell us that there is an army of viruses waiting for us in the future.
But becoming immune to greed is not an easy feat. It takes courage. It takes restraint, generosity, gratitude, compassion. These are big words, that are difficult to package and fit onto the active site of an antibody. Moreover, greed is not like any other virus: people can easily become re-infected. Many of them don’t even know that they carry the virus. And the few that are virus-free, have resigned themselves to eventually becoming infected. Our situation is desperate.
But like all viruses, greed has a weak point. The weakness of the greed virus is in its own spike protein, the part of the virus that first comes into contact with a human cell. It is full of fake promises of wealth, power and eternal happiness beyond belief. Completely mesmerised, the cell opens up its doors to accept the virus trojan horse. It soon becomes a zombie, breeding more greed, infecting neighbouring cells.
The antidote to greed is our very definition of happiness. We need to recognise what real happiness is, not the fake happiness that the greed virus is trying to sell us. Enough said.
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books
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