COVID-19 is a virus that kills many people around the entire world we call Earth. It’s been said the human race itself is a virus of the entire solar system.

If you review the history of humankind for thousands of years, you might understand and consider this statement has a point. All the wars, the killing of people, the destruction of other cultures, destruction of complete communities — why is our humanity the way it is?

If we are not a virus, what are we?

Is the COVID-19 virus giving us as a global society the opportunity to fully understand what is at stake for us? Global issues such as climate change, social injustice, health care, religious intolerance, terrorists, hate crimes, poverty, racism and many others need to be solved by all peoples of all nations.

Just how do we go forward and with what urgency?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the U.S. in a 1941 State of the Union address summarized his views of values of democracy and economic opportunity. They were called the “Four Freedoms.” They are as follows: freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear and freedom of speech.

If we believe as a global community that these four freedoms are necessary for the human race to exist in the future, then it will be up to the global community to make it happen and for it to continue as such.

A vaccine will now be available in the near future and, hopefully, it will eradicate this deadly virus.

But as a global community, are we willing to prepare with all the necessary supplies and procedures for the next pandemic? If we do not, many more people will die when we had the means to prevent any unnecessary deaths.

If we do not prepare, which people should be held accountable?

Let us remember those who are no longer with us because of this deadly virus. We still have a long way to go to prevent the continued suffering of the virus to all the people around the world.

The religious communities around the world may consider that the COVID-19 virus is a wake-up call to all the people on Earth as a message from God. If you believe that it could be, then perhaps we better listen to our inner self and consider thinking and/or praying for two things: wisdom and guidance.

When this pandemic is no longer a threat, we must look back and review what we did right and what we did wrong. Let us make sure going forward we will do the right things from now on.

As for looking at this pandemic as a wake-up call, that will be up to each and every person on Earth that survived the COVID-19 virus. Please understand there will be some who may say, “I do believe God is sending us a message.” Others who do not believe in a god will possibly say nothing at all or, “It is what it is.”

Thomas E. Carter

Rio Rancho