Right now there are many theories about what is behind this pandemic and who caused it. The vegans blame meat businesses and the meat-eaters cause it is said to have started from a human eating animal meat. The racists blame Asians cause it started in China. Some conspiracy theorists blame people like Bill Gates cause he wanted to inject us with a microchip and what better way to do it with a “vaccine”. Other conspiracy theorists blame the government saying that governments want to balance overpopulation. There are those who blame aliens. In my opinion, except for the alien one, all these people are partially right. These people and organisations are to blame. However, the ones pointing fingers are also to blame. Yes, that includes you and me. Let me list who and why. It is common sense really.
Who is to blame for COVID-19?
I am assuming that this mass production in China started because the Chinese government wanted to strengthen the economy. What is a better and fast way to do it than offer the possibility of cheap labour and low taxes in your country to motivate international businesses to manufacture in your country? It is an economic strategy we see happening in also Malta with iGaming companies. The Maltese government offers these international businesses lower tax than the rest of the EU, they come and put their base in Malta.
For many businesses, the idea of mass production in China was a great opportunity to increase profits or to make prices more competitive. I am guessing that there were genuine businesses who resisted this temptation at first as it could damage the reputation of the company. However, when they saw their competitors growing their profits while their profits were declining, they had to either close business or move their manufacturing in China.
I remember a time when “made in Germany” or “made in Japan”, meant quality and people gladly paid for this benefit. However, now many people pay for the cheapest price. Some think it doesn’t matter where it is made, it is the same thing in the end. It is not always true, but that’s another story and shall be told another time.
Now you might think ok, I listed the people who are to blame. I spoke about mass production in China but nothing about the pandemic. That’s because I wanted to build up the story. Let me tell you how, we, the people who supported mass production, created COVID-19.
How we caused COVID-19?
It is similar to a food chain really or in this case, you might call it Karma too.
Mass production problems
Cheap prices are equal to cheap material/ingredients
These last few years I started differentiating between affordable and cheap. Affordable is when the quality is still good but the price I can afford it. Cheap is when the price is cheap because the quality, etc is cheap. So I used the term “cheap” with purpose. Cheap prices for some products made in China is not only due to cheap labour and low taxes. It could also mean that the material or ingredients used are cheap and many times also toxic for the environment, us and the workers. That is why I don’t gladly list businesses that buy white-label cosmetics from China wholesalers as cruelty-free. I feel very bad promoting toxic cosmetics especially when they haven’t been checked by EU authorities.
Cheap labour is equal to poor working conditions for the workers
Cheap labour doesn’t only mean low wages. Workers who work for low wages are exposed to toxic chemicals and have poor working conditions. Low wage is already one bad condition. Exposure to toxic chemicals already can lead to illnesses. Maybe others could be that they have accommodation provided by the factory but more like a crowded dormitory with contaminated water supply due to toxic waste disposal which I will speak next about, etc. This is more of an idea I gained during my 10 years of reading about such issues, can’t really refer to one article. However, if it interests you you can research more and prove me wrong.
Toxic waste disposed of in the environment
As I have learnt in science at school nothing is 100% efficient. So from the materials or ingredients used to produce, there are materials or ingredients that need to be disposed of. Where do you think they dispose of them? It is usually sea, rivers, lakes, underground, land,…
We depend on the environment for our basic needs
Every creature depends on the environment to live, eat, drink and so on. It could be that an animal in China transferred COVID-19 to a human. However, that animal might have lived in, ate or drank some toxic ferment that was disposed of by factories. The factories that businesses produce in. The same businesses that we support when buying cheap products, fakes or the latest novelty to brag about with our friends or social media. As I said, I was building the story to arrive at my point that we are to blame for COVID-19.
Now that I have given you a reason to stop blaming others, you can transfer this blaming energy and use it to make mindful purchases. You might think that you don’t have to cause there is the vaccine now and everything will soon be back to normal. Not completely, there were cases of fully vaccinated people who still died of COVID-19. Some countries like Germany haven’t yet received their full order of vaccine and only a few German residents managed to be vaccinated. Plus we don’t yet know if the vaccines will cover new mutations as scientists are unaware of what COVID-19 will evolve into. There are millions of possible mutations hard to create one vaccine to cover them all at one go.
So don’t depend only on the vaccine, instead, start questioning everything that you buy. Mainly how really ethical is a product or service. Don’t just believe any ethical labels that companies stick to their brand, service or products. Many ethical labels are not protected and companies can use them however they like. Like I have been seeing fast fashion companies using the word “sustainable” on clothes made from recycled plastic. Ok nice, it is recycled and not choking marine wildlife when it is stuck around its neck. However, it is still poisoning wildlife and us. Recycling is still releasing toxic elements. Every time we wash plastic materials, recycled or not, the average of 700,000 microplastics per wash is still released into the ocean, swallowed by fish which you might eventually ingest. So in my opinion, recycled plastic materials are just recycled and not sustainable.
I understand that there are some times when it is not easy to buy ethically. However, there are ways to balance it out until better alternatives are available. If you find yourself stuck in a dilemma, you could contact me to discuss it. We can surely learn from each other.
My hope is that when businesses start seeing consumers being mindful of what they are buying and that consumers don’t buy more than they need, they will start being mindful themselves and hopefully reverse and halt any future pandemics.
DISCLAIMER: This is my observation and opinion, and not a fact post backed with research. I thought of writing how I see it. It can be that you agree with some points and it could be that you don’t agree at all. Nothing wrong with it, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.