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.
Confidence in the safety and efficiency of the comprehensive water cycle has been reinforced during the Covid-19 pandemic, among those citizens who are guaranteed it. Most of them now have a better understanding of a key service that ensures their well-being. This knowledge should serve to reflect on the situation of the 2.1 billion people who do not have running water in their homes. The crisis unleashed by the pandemic threatens the plans of many countries with regard to the universal implementation of access to water and sanitation. Humanity cannot afford it.
The coronavirus has caused a global health crisis, which should help us to deal more effectively and efficiently with other serious diseases that plague the world. The fight against pandemics such as malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis must not be stopped, but must lead us to share knowledge and efforts.
Endemic water-borne diseases kill more than 10,000 children in India each year. COVID-19 now threatens a health system that has proved powerless to cover the 1.3 billion inhabitants of the second most populated country on Earth. The lack of sanitation and hydric stress are factors that increase the risks of the pandemic.
Epidemics and pandemics have marked African history. COVID-19 arrives in the continent overlapping with other endemic diseases, serious medical deficiencies and unmet goals in the access to water and sanitation. The African population is well aware of the power of community spirit. It is their most powerful weapon in the fight against the pandemic and we can all learn from it.
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