The outbreak of Covid-19 has reminded us that pandemics are also natural disasters, although much more threatening. They are universal, affecting all human activities everywhere and individual human behavior plays a decisive role in their spread. The humanitarian and economic crises they cause must make us more aware than ever of the need to invest in their prevention.
Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Covid-19 has worsened their situation and added uncertainty to their future. At the height of the health crisis, those displaced by floods, droughts and pests are added to those fleeing violence and wars that have not diminished during the pandemic. Many of these conflicts seem to have been temporarily forgotten. It is time to remember them.
In order to survive it is better to share. On World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, a text by Jorge Wagensberg tells us how a simple palm tree provides us with a metaphor to face a global threat.
A new project of the Foundation helps the most vulnerable schoolchildren to effectively fight Covid-19. In Nicaragua, where the government is heavily criticized for the way it has dealt with the pandemic, there is a serious lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in many schools. More than five hundred schoolchildren and some 3,200 inhabitants of the municipalities of Yalí and San Lorenzo are being empowered to face infections.
Crisis upon crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has burst into a planet threatened by climate change and environmental degradation. On World Environment Day, mankind must return to action, aware that the fight to save the natural environment from degradation must continue. Effective communication is essential to modify behaviors and take advantage of the perception change of the territory we have had during the confinement.
Covid-19 has led to the closure of educational activities. But the Internet has allowed rich countries to soften the impact. In poorer countries, with a more vulnerable educational system, this has not been possible. Mankind urgently needs to close the digital gap to maintain educational development. This is borne out by the testimony of those who are fighting for access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
The health emergency poses new challenges to urban planning. The criteria of sustainability are broadened with those of health, and the concept of healthy city radically changes if extreme poverty is not taken into account. The awareness that individual health is synonymous with collective health is one of the lessons of Covid-19 that we should not miss.
Beyond human tragedy, COVID-19 poses a reflection on how we relate to each other and to nature. And it leads us to another vision of the problems that beset the human species. The new society that is emerging from the crisis will have to integrate health emergencies into a more global vision with the values of proportionality and cohesion that are characteristic of the culture of the green economy. The path towards the SDGs must be aware of the fact that a pollution-free and ecologically balanced planet is synonymous with health.
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