The 2016 movie Pandemic starring Tiffani Thiessen, tells the story of the spread of a viral infection starting from a beach in Australia all the way to Los Angeles and so forth. A certain character in the movie was so hell bent on following up on a business deal he had come to Los Angeles for that when the rest of the passengers were quarantined, he escaped in a luggage vehicle! Incidentally, he had also caught the virus and ended up spreading it significantly within the city while successfully closing his deal. In the midst of this development, a young female doctor appeared to be trying to raise here profile with the situation having received the first call from the Sydney-Los Angeles flight.
Many movies have been made about extinction level events, global catastrophes, alien invasions and end of age scenarios which force us to think about what really matters when an event threatens the existence of the human race, a major change in the way we understand life or even the end of our own personal lives. Pandemic, 2012, Deep Impact and Jerusalem Countdown may all be works of fiction but most adults have gone through that eerie feeling of evaluating what really matters when we lose a loved one.
When we find ourselves having to decide what to carry when running from a war, what level of makeup is necessary when diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live, how much of the stock market to watch when lying in a hospital bed and so forth. What really matters in the face of death? The recent COVID-19 pandemic has put governments in precarious position where they have had to make decisions as hard as closing borders, closing schools, choosing to let people die, banning large gatherings and so forth. It has also put individuals in awkward social crisis – avoiding close contact, travelling, events etc. It all comes down to the same basic question – What really matters?
The effects of such a global pandemic can be and have been largely negative however there are positive effects. In such situations, we find that we revert from “capitalism to socialism” – we go from selling hand sanitizers to giving them out for free, people volunteer their skills, the rich donate money and so forth. We change our priorities because we are threatened by something we cannot control. Money becomes a tool to solve a problem rather than a means for mere show off, compassion sets in, we cut off excesses and luxury and return to bare necessities.
Our frailty a humans is revealed in the face of an organism so small we can’t even see it. Our priorities are shaped by things we cannot fully comprehend. Our lofty achievement and sky high possessions lose meaning and merely become a part of our history, read out in a eulogy when we face death. What really matters?
Kenneth Igiri is an IT Professional with over 14 years’ experience in Service Management, Applications and Databases currently working in the banking sector. he current works with the Enterprise Architecture Team in his organization helping to build the bank of the future. When not working, he blogs, writes and teaches Sunday School. He is active on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.