Corona, Darwin and You
Extinction events have, historically, stress-tested life for survivability. The base stats that get stress-tested depend on the extinction event itself. What determines survivability also seems to be arbitrarily chosen. It is said that humans would not have survived the Ice Ages if they hadn't discovered fire, but fire would also have been under-utilized if it hadn't been discovered around an ice age.
COVID-19 seems to be stress-testing humans for their need to be physically present in places to get things done. Humanity's saving grace this time is the existence of virtual spaces. There is no coronavirus on the internet, and life can be comfortably lived out of a room. Our bandwidths (both cognitive and internet-wise) are enough for us to be present in many places at once, and the ability to be in a video conference while transferring funds and filling up an e-cart simultaneously beats the time, space and energy required to go to work, a bank and a market sequentially. Sadly, most humans alive do not have access to this privilege.
A solipsistic, mostly virtual existence is being positively selected for, and just as how body heat conservation was the defining stat for humans of old, travel conservation is the defining stat now. As the death toll rises and cures remain fashionably late, solutions to the virus seem to be aimed at promoting isolation and helping underprivileged people isolate themselves without compromising their livelihood. Once the virus has been neutralized, these solutions will remain and influence the way society rebuilds itself in yet unforeseen ways.
Prior cataclysms killed off entire species and allowed new ones to flourish, but if we pull ourselves together, the only thing that should go extinct and change is a mode of socialization.
Homo Sapiens is dead. Long live Homo Shut-in.
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About the Author:
Waqaas Akmal Butt is a graduate of the Aga Khan University MBBS Class of 2018. He is an amateur philosopher and when not preaching esoterica, can be found pondering esoterica. In his free time, he enjoys composing, reading and gaming.