The coronavirus is a worldwide catastrophe, a planetary cataclysm, a universal chaos that surprised us all. A tragedy of proportions still impossible to quantify. In baseball terms, we caught us off base. In terms of soccer, the coronavirus showed us a red card and sent us to sit in our houses, until he leaves. Most of us are suspended for indefinite matches. Others, unfortunately too many, will never be able to play again.

The coronavirus showed that no country was prepared for something like this. It showed how fragile we are. He demonstrated that the world we build is a Babel Tower in which each country, each president, each governor, each mayor acts according to his personal opinion. There are many countries that do not act according to science, specialized agencies or at the discretion of qualified professionals. But, to tell the truth, these were not prepared either, since it was impossible to be.

Smarter were the Romans, who already two and a half millennia ago, four hundred years before the beginning of the Roman Empire, included in their laws the figure of a temporary dictator for six months. This legal dictator was activated by the senate in cases of extreme emergency, almost always by attacks by enemies. Of course, meanwhile, the deputies and senators had to keep their mouths shut! Because the Romans knew that many opinions could delay decisions.

The consul and general Lucio Quincio Cincinato, famous for his courage and political talent, already retired, had to assume the position on several occasions because he was a real fire extinguisher. One day he was watering the roses at his house on the outskirts of Rome, when a messenger arrived with an urgent call. He immediately got dressed, arrived in the capital, assumed command, resolved, and after 180 days, not one more or one less, handed over the power and returned to his house to water the garden. General Cincinato knew what he had to do.

The world after the COVID-19 will no longer be the same.

There are many lessons that the world will have to learn after the virus. I’m not saying that we should have a Roman-style dictatorship, but yes, after defeating the coronavirus there are many things that must be re-evaluated.

The World Health Organization should play a more active work, assume a role of director, not dictator. A master who conducts the orchestra, with “musicians” who know how to interpret their score and play the symphony with masterful harmony. The key, in the next future, will be to build this harmony. I am referring to the highest national health authorities and their coordination with the world health authority. The competence should remain in their hands and not in the hands of the presidents, who, as a general rule, have no competence in health, as has been demonstrated. Everyone must know what to do. As Cincinato, everyone must know what to do.

The population must participate in preventive practices to learn everything that must be done in emergencies. Everything else must be planned in detail. In elementary and middle school, students need to be taught how to deal with a crisis. Each country should have minimal supplies and sanitary facilities for catastrophic events. For example, climate change, the effects of which can occur as unexpectedly and precipitately as the Covid-19 pandemic. These ideas should only be the beginning. Of course, we must start as soon as possible. There are many quarantined brains that could be activated right now.

Sandor A. Gerendas-Kiss