Letters to the Editor: A time for joining hands in a world community
Updated 11:40, 11-Feb-2020
Eddie Tapiero

Editor's note: As China is fighting against the outbreak of 2019-nCoV, many international friends including individuals, entities, groups, institutions, etc, have all expressed their support and blessings to China. This is a letter from  Eddie Tapiero, a professor and economist from the Republic of Panama.

The emergence of the novel coronavirus is a challenge for China and for the world that can only be resolved by cooperating and collaborating as members of the human race. The virus, does not know about political borders, nor does it care for any political ideology. It just knows that to survive, it needs to spread as far as it can, and consequently, to infect as many people as it can.   

Hence, in this time of trouble, we need to see each other as what we really are: members of the same species, and citizens of one planet. Even though we might have local preoccupations, we need to be conscious that we share the same space planet.

With this said, the only way to combat this threat is for mankind to set aside our differences, and to work together under the same umbrella, because this virus takes away other things that work to secure our existence.  

The most important loss from this virus, is that of human life. My condolences to those who have lost a loved one to the virus. Human life is irreplaceable and the pain lasts for the rest of our lives. But this is not the only impact. The virus is also altering the ways by which we ensure our survival as a species in a negative way.

Production, distribution and consumption of goods and services are being disrupted and extending the pain to all members of the planet. It is at these times when we see the kindness of the human spirit emerge.  

I would like to extend my deepest respect to the Chinese people that are working selflessly to contain and eradicate this threat. You have always come victorious when you work under the strong entrepreneurial, nationalist and humanist spirit that has always characterized your culture, and I am sure that this time is no exception.  

Moreover, the victory will be accelerated as the world continues to join hands and to understand that it is not a battle for China alone.

International agencies and governments are gradually moving towards greater collaboration and cooperation with China on the virus. Scientific data and knowledge are being shared, new bridges are being built to cross cultural barriers and we are working together under one spirit.  So, something good is coming amid this harsh calamity at a time when the world seems to be falling apart.  

What this threat reminds us is that we live in an interconnected world where the pain of one is the pain of all, and that we need to continue to open more lines of cooperation and collaboration among countries to be able to resolve not only the problem of the coronavirus, but also other global problems like hunger, climate change and human development.

From Panama, I would like to encourage those brave people who are working selflessly for the help of others to keep up the good work. In this way, the Chinese people are not only working for China, but also for the whole human race.

Know that there are many people sharing your pain and are ready to stretch a helping hand in the battle. We support your spirit and pray for your health and victory. God bless you.

Eddie Tapiero

Republic of Panama

(Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China also contributed to this article.)

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