Corona19 is now the biggest crisis and trial facing humanity. Writing in the Catholic Peace Weekly a college professor tells the readers he feels trials come with gifts. So he is curious. What will humanity gain through this severe Corona trial?
He introduces the readers to an article by Yuval Harari, the author of Sapiens, in the Financial Times, suggesting the gift that humanity will receive through the Corona 19. His message, according to the professor will teach us that we are a world community. Will it be the road of disunity or global solidarity?
We can choose surveillance and control symbolized by 'Big Brother', or a democratic society that respects individual freedom— autonomy, to pursue only national interests or global solidarity for win-win cooperation. What should we choose?
There may be a movement to move toward a more tightly controlled society for the sake of public health. If big data and artificial intelligence are added to information and communication technology, it will be possible to build a surveillance system that routinely looks into people's health. Temptation only for self-interest is great. The United States, which has been proud of its role as a global leader, has long since abandoned its role since Trump. In a crisis like Corona, how many countries are struggling to block their borders and protect their people.
The Republic of Korea is a very rare case. It took a democratic way of respecting citizens' autonomy rather than state control and maintained thorough immigration measures instead of blocking borders. It did not block the borders, even in the areas where the infectious disease was exploding, and there was no hoarding overcome by anxiety and fear.
The world evaluates and follows the remarkable achievements of the nation's disaster response system based on three pillars of openness, transparency, and democracy, with outstanding medical technology, creative ideas, public-private commitment, and public participation.
Corona19 is an on the spot experiment on community. What is a community? Is it like a military force, without freedom, all in perfect order? No. Community respects diversity and the voluntary will of the members, and harmony is found despite conflicting interests. In the face of the crisis, reality is revealed.
If we are able to have trust, unity, solidarity, and openness instead of choosing disbelief, division, and closure in the face of the crisis, it will be a step toward a true community. It's not a faraway dream, but our story since the corona crisis.