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People wearing protective face masks cross a street in Hong Kong on February 9, 2020, as a preventative measure after a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. - The previously unknown virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. (Photo by DALE DE LA REY / AFP)

LETTERS: THE Association for Community and Dialogue (ACID) is deeply saddened by the outbreak of coronavirus that has spread rapidly in city of Wuhan China and in a smaller scale in some countries.

Philippines has reported the first coronavirus death outside China. ACID would like to extend its hand of solidarity with the effected suffering families of Wuhan China and the global family.

In Malaysia, there have been quite a number of preventive measures that has been instituted by the authorities and also in the private realm to combat the coronavirus.

The media has done a good job keeping us informed of the disease and the government’s measures to combat it.

At mosques, churches and temples, the congregation have been reminded on the deadly coronavirus and steps taken to prevent it.

At hospitals, I noticed quite a number of people wearing masks. All this shows that people have taken the disease seriously since the information concerning the deadly virus was disseminated.

While there have been various measures instituted from the policy level right down to individual hygiene behaviors, there is a fundamental truth that with all the hype about technological and security advances in the world, there is still a form of human vulnerability to events that are beyond the comprehension of human finite mind.

Here, there is so much talk about nationalism, race and religion.

How would race and ideological religion help when what is required is common collaboration among all national and global communities to look for solutions effecting humanity such as the cure for diseases?

When there is a virus epidemic every human being is affected due to their common humanity.

In any disease prevention, there should be the means and the ends related to hygiene and its related eco-system.

In the limitations of understanding the right means and ends, calls for spiritual humility.

One does not know everything and there are situations that are beyond human comprehension.

The very belief of God should empower humanity to seek wisdom through ones own being and live in solidarity with one another which is beyond ideological limitations.

It is hoped that this common human vulnerability from this deadly virus should inspire people around the globe to create more medical discoveries for the common good of humanity, instead of channeling national budgets to manufacturing and selling military equipment to war torn countries and having a delusion that human security as whole can be merely protected through national economic, scientific and military advancement.

Wisdom requires focusing on the essential which is the spirituality of life and how to empower life through self and community development that are less materialistic and focuses more on the value human persons than false security.

The coronavirus and other diseases, over decades have shown how vulnerable we are in this planet earth and the need for spiritual humility.

RONALD BENJAMIN

Secretary Association for Community and Dialogue


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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