The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on humanity and will continue to take many, many more thousands of lives in the coming months and possibly years. We may never have a cure or even an effective vaccine for it as per WHO. But as bad as it has been, there are probably many more and deadlier pandemics lurking around the corner that will be far more dangerous to human life. WHO and other organizations have been sounding the alarm for quite some time now.
Is the day too far away, then, when wearing PPE (Person Protection Equipment) or surgical suits will become ‘normal wear’ outdoors, and maybe indoors too, instead of the clothes we now wear? Maybe our clothes will be designed out of PPE material and adhere to PPE protection standards. But we will of course first ensure that they are cut to the latest fashion trends, sort of designer PPEs!
Is it really out of the realm of possibility, considering that masks, gloves, shields, sanitizers, hand washing, social distancing are all now slowly becoming part and parcel of normal life and will probably continue to remain so for the next several years? Look at it the other way around – just wear your PPE and do away with all these small nuisances! Well, just hope we never have to wear PPE pajamas to bed too!
Or will human beings evolve like Darwin said, will we too morph and mutate, like the virus itself, to meet these existential threats? Will we grow viral immunity mechanisms within our bodies like bats have? Research is already ongoing to find out how bats can harbor so many of these viruses and yet survive and live long lives.
But then, this is assuming that the only pandemics we will ever face will be viral. There are already environmental threats like climate change, pollution, nuclear and biological warfare, hunger and malnutrition that are more immediate and constantly threaten human survival more and more each day.
I guess these are the imponderables of life, and most human beings are inherent and eternal optimists when it comes to these dangers. We think and hope that these are too far into the future. We don’t want to fret about and ruin the acceptably livable present and the immediate future, do we?
Well, neither do I, but I have this nagging feeling that our PPE designer suits may be required sooner rather than later!