We cannot allow financial and economic pursuits alone to dictate the national agenda, writes JD Lovrenciear.
The novel coronavirus, which has virtually crippled human movement by the millions the world over and is costing governments both money and social duress, is most regrettable.
Concerned people the world over will readily sympathise with the Chinese leadership as they combat this scourge that hit their citizens.
Putting aside emotions and political correctness in this time of global concern, we should learn from this global epidemic.
Reading reports about its causes and how the virus is being spread in a ‘borderless’ world, we cannot fail to see that humanity has have failed to put hygiene and health standards on par with its economic, financial and material pursuits.
- Sign up for Aliran's free daily email updates or weekly newsletters or both
- Make a one-off donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB a/c 8004240948
- Make a pledge or schedule an auto donation to Aliran every month or every quarter
- Become an Aliran member
Today, in many countries, many people – even those who have been to university or are economically better off – are lacking in health and hygiene standards. Either they are ignorant or they could not care less about personal hygiene and nutrition. Or they have left it to others to worry about. We have succumbed to the materialistic dream or have gone astray in religious extremism, throwing essential hygiene and cleanliness standards to the wind.
Just look at how many nations like China prepare and consume food. Observe how many citizens in many countries treat and maintain their public toilets. Just ask those around you how much they know about nutrition.
As China, like several other nations, kept chasing economic global supremacy, many of its people did not grow in terms of hygiene and health awareness commensurate with endlessly rising structures and gleaming cities.
Humanity may be losing the sacred, age-old knowledge of balance and right living. We have abandoned health science, nutrition and hygiene while we chased the next dollar to be made and enjoyed.
Perhaps it is time that governments and leaders of third world and developing nations deliberated on how to recalibrate this chase for power and wealth and put hygiene, personal cleanliness, social wellbeing and healthy living as core measures of political success in their respective nations.
They also need to undertake a serious review of the post-industrialised world, which is now racing towards the fifth industrial revolution. Those who indulge in profiteering and making the most money out of economic enterprise must be forced to exercise more responsibility. Awareness of hygiene and nutritional knowledge must be promoted more aggressively among consumers.
The world can be a better place for all of humanity and nature if we put hygiene, health and nutrition as key benchmarks instead of allowing financial and economic pursuits alone to dictate politics and economics.
A healthier, cleaner and more hygienic humanity will ensure the preservation of civilisation. We badly need a global culture that promotes greater hygiene, care for cleanliness and nutritional awareness.
We can save the planet by saving ourselves.