In the most extraordinary and arcane turn of such events generally, the First World appears to be collapsing in on itself in the face of the most recent ‘Invasion of the Mighty Microbe’. The West is frenziedly battling on all fronts as the developing world watches on in mystified fascination – an extreme reality show played out in real time where the main protagonists are all involuntary apocalyptic funambulists and the viewers can’t wait to switch on their TV sets every morning. Disconcerting and distressing as the now serialised drama is, there is an undisputedly surreal and strangely Delphic feel to the corporeal matinee.
Even more stupefying is the shocked, wholly overcome reactions of the American populace at large. From woefully ill-equipped (both materially and mentally) ER doctors to the mainstream wage earner, there is an almost touching sense of disbelief at the cataclysmic hand the “greatest country on earth” seems to have been dealt in the global playground: for once, being the receiver of fateful punches rather than the bestower. Their traditional role of planetary police, judge and jury subverted by a microscopic Warrior of Destinies. We have virtually overnight stepped into a world where economic might is as tenuous as the last few rays of a tropical sunset.
Samuel Huntington, in his 1993 foreign affairs thesis, “A clash of Civilisations”, forwarded a then very compelling argument on how, post the Cold War, the world was being demarcated, not along geo-political or socio-economic ideologies, but along cultural and religious divides. Thus far, thus true.
Thus begins a new chapter. Could this be the beginning of an intransigent new world order dictated by “The Superior Genome”? Could this be the brave new epoch where advantageous immunogenicity serves as the new First World currency? Could we then, be on the brink of another intra-species evolution? Could this be Nature bidding a laboured adieu to yet another cycle of life, another aeon of being; in preparation for a new age with an altered consciousness and a renewed life force?
We can only introspect and conjecture.
But Time, in the most succinct tones, will tell.
De khudai pe aman