GyeongGi Cultural Foundation

I have strength, Homo sapiens

A respiratory infection caused by a new type of COVID-19 virus that has spread worldwide since its first outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It is the dictionary definition of COVID-19, which has infiltrated over 218 countries in just a few months, infecting more than 3 million people, and killing more than 240,000 people. COVID-19 is truly an unprecedented global epidemic that immediately terrified humanity.

The freedom of ordinary life is still limited by COVID-19, which brought fear of a new type of infectious disease that humanity has never experienced. An uneasy situation continues around the world where it is increasingly unknown when the end will be seen and which future awaits humanity. It is fortunate that Korea is progressing back to daily life little by little compared to other countries, although there were great difficulties in the early stages due to the efforts of the quarantine authorities, the dedication of the medical staff, and the cooperation of the whole people.

People who have been to a hospital with COVID-19 outbreak have been in the same workplace for a while and have been directly involved in COVID-19. The first thought that came to mind in the vague anxiety that comes from staying in one space with the people who went to the hospital where the confirmed case occurred was not the fear of what if I was infected with COVID-19. I was worried about what to do. It was only me, but after everyone received a negative test and the situation subsided, listening to other people's stories said that everyone was worried about what to do if other people were infected because of me.

In this case, it seems that humans must be animals with a very strange corner. And this empathy ability called reciprocal altruism, which sometimes puts others before me, is one of the potential forces that our Homo sapiens has been able to survive until now.

COVID-19 didn't cover skin color. Borders were meaningless, and neither politicians nor royalty could escape COVID-19. Both the rich and the poor treated COVID-19 fairly. COVID-19 reminds us that Homo sapiens is a very equal "single species". But at the same time, it made me realize that our Homo sapiens are too unequal. This is because economically weak people were much more likely to suffer direct damage from COVID-19. It may be another paradox brought about by COVID-19 that gave us the opportunity to look back on the inequalities that humans have created themselves.

There are many pessimistic prospects that the post-COVID-19 world will not be able to go back forever before COVID-19. Still, considering the many challenges that Homo sapiens has overcome in the arduous journey of human evolution that has continued for millions of years, I believe that this trial of COVID-19 will also be well overcome. No, I want to believe that all of our Homo sapiens will work together to overcome it. But above all, the reciprocal altruism that puts others before me will be possible only when the survival instinct remains within us to the end.

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