Insights

COVID-19: Nature knows how to take care of itself

There was always a lot of talk about the quality of the snow during breakfast. The Mountain Chalet Hotel in Aspen served breakfast in the basement. The dim lit room had large round tables with seating for eight guests. Every morning you met different hotel guests. An excellent set up to get to know people, just listen or exchange your thoughts on the weather, politics, and other topics. A joy. One of the guests was 80 years old former ski instructor Frank. He gave us free skiing lessons. And all that talk about snow? His answer was simple: “Snow knows how to take care of itself”.

Nature takes care of itself too. In our view upon ourselves we seem to be lured into thinking that we are a superior species with our rapid technological and scientific progress over the past 150 years. Despite global warming, pollution, greed and increasing inequality many of us still think we are in control and ultimately, we will find a solution to just about anything. Yes, we have strong capabilities when it comes to solving problems. That is how we evolved.

And this is how a virus evolves as well. It wants to survive by replicating and spreading. It found us as a host (as all viruses do), it is feeding on us, replicating, and transported by us. Nature in full force.

A sense of control and superiority makes us bold. And with boldness usually comes a blind eye for danger. The question: “What can go wrong?” becomes rhetorical though it never should.

The world is now struggling with corrective maintenance. A lot of effort is put into finding a cure, a vaccine, and measures to stop the spread of the virus by containment are in place. With our cultural evolution came a strong sense that people only should die peacefully in their sleep. All other causes should be preventable.

A larger pattern is emerging as many have observed already. The recent financial crisis and the current climate and Covid-19 crises might hopefully teach us that the way in which we have been developing as a species is not sustainable. To survive we must adapt in a structural way to avoid extinction: a death of ultimately natural causes. Nature knows how to take care of itself.

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