We walk the Earth’s crust, we erect vast cities, we boast of our achievements. We see ourselves as the mistresses and masters of our fate. Yet as John Lennon and other writers before him bluntly warned, life is what happens while we’re busy making plans.
The little living form that now roils humanity is a virus, one among millions of infectious agents that roam this planet. As the coronavirus claims rising numbers of lives, we humans see ourselves as under siege: Like its kin, this virus is without discrimination in selecting its victims; great wealth has its privileges, but immunity from epidemics isn’t one of them.
Thus does nature once again remind us who’s boss. And thus must today’s only human species, homo sapiens, live up to its name: in Latin, “wise man.” Wisdom should dictate that we best survive nature’s anomalous moments when we look out for one another — when our actions and precautions protect the common good. More succinctly, either we humans hang together or we’ll hang alone.