Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Freedom Needs to Have Limits

We continue to be flooded with news, special video reports, articles, all kinds of media keeping us updated with what is happening here and the rest of the world with Corona 19. The Peace Column of the Peace Weekly gives the readers some thoughts to reflect on during this time.

The articles the writer reads about the corona 19 outbreak, are messages to him coming from the earth to humankind.  He understands them coming from the 'Creator God' and related to global warming.

Updating to [April 12, in the United States, a world's superpower, the number of deaths from corona has exceeded 20,000] so the global village is panicking. In Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom, the death toll could range from thousands to tens of thousands. It is not an exaggeration to say that the corona crisis will result in the largest number of deaths since World War II.

The bigger problem is that we don't know how serious and long-lasting this crisis will be. Even if in June and July with the temperature rising and we see a change, without a vaccine, it can recur at any time. The various effects such as economic, social and political are difficult to measure. It is also predicted that the U.S. unemployment rate will exceed 30%, the highest since the Great Depression.

In Korea, the decrease in demand has led to an increase in the closure of businesses dealing with travel, flights, food, furniture, clothing, and electronics. This leads to unemployment. The service industry is more than 60% of Korea's industrial output. It doesn't sound ridiculous to say that economic paralysis is more frightening than more deaths.

Corona 19 is said to be a common infectious disease such as SARS, swine flu, and MERS. It is caused by pathogens that spread between animals and humans. The habitat of wild animals has been greatly reduced due to the destruction of the human ecosystem and contact with humans has increased. More than 70% of the new infectious diseases that occurred in the last 20 years are common animal/human infections.  They can develop more often in the future.

Ecosystem destruction is known to have the greatest impact on global warming. This is due to greenhouse gases from excessive use of fossil fuels such as oil and coal. Because of this, wetlands are disappearing and dry areas and desertification are increasing. Due to extreme weather conditions, the frequency and intensity of drought, flood, typhoons have also increased.

Human ethical corruption is always present. The neoliberal system is the foundation for unlimited growth and consumer desire. Neo-liberalism promotes free markets, deregulation, and minimization of state intervention in the market because of reduced efficiency.

"Everything that is as vulnerable as the natural environment in front of the interests of the market, which has become an absolute rule, must be defenseless. In the meantime, economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment. Here we see how environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation are closely linked. Many people will deny doing anything wrong because distractions constantly dull our consciousness of just how limited and finite our world really is" (Laudatio Si #56).

Pain is said to be a school of love. The Corona event can be God's way of instructing us that the way we are living needs to be changed. If we demand to be free to do what we want when we want, life in the global village will suffer. We need to respect God's creative order, respect all creatures in the global ecosystem as well as people, and live a life of solidarity.

This period after the Resurrection is to be freed internally to continue to refrain from the unhealthy desires we gave up in Lent. The church, which has postponed offline Mass indefinitely, should be a sign of the times and suggest new standards and new ways of spreading the good news of new life.

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