From the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Do we fight Coronavirus using vaccines or by changing our mentality? One of the articles in the last IDI (598) of May 2020 by Neil Mitchell, OP, caught my attention and it has made me to reflect on how we can defeat this wicked pandemic. We already know the world’s reaction -especially in Africa- in relation to the possibilities of developing vaccines against Covid-19.

As Africans, we have lived horrible humiliations about the form in which “this vaccine” would be experimented, which means by abusing of people’s ignorance (this abuse would be like other experiences that have brought serious consequences, especially among poor people). This was absolutely rejected by Africa’s population. There would be no vaccine today or tomorrow. Taking into account this situation as well as other similar topics about this pandemic, the African peoples have questioned WHO’s participation: Why does WHO worry about finding a vaccine in countries where there are only few cases? Why WHO does not take into consideration other scientific medicines, or plant based ones?…Africans are already creating medicines that have scientific proof of recovering. However, they care more about receiving the world’s gratitude in the months to come than in trying other forms of treatment. Beyond this perspective, an analysis made of Neil Mitchell from the papal encyclical Laudate SI -five years after its publishing- proposes something more positive, not only against Covid-19, but also against numerous consequences of our absolute domination of earth. He shows us in a very simple way how we can contribute by changing our mentality, reversing the tendency. I present some of them:

  • To know where everything we eat comes from, such as meat, milk, eggs, fish, cereals, vegetables, fruits…and their derivative products, creating a relationship with our health, so we can choose the healthiest option, whenever possible.
  • To use more renewable sources of energy (solar energy for example) instead of the sources we use more nowadays: Wood, coal (not renewable)
  • To value land work and breeding (small or big scale), so we can enjoy what is really natural, which is luxury for many today.
  • To manage correctly our waste.

We are happy when we see so many supermarkets. They are clean and we can do our shopping in a safe environment. They facilitate our life with things that we can cook in minutes instead of long hours in the kitchen, but what we save in time and money, we pay it with our health, by being easy targets of Covid-19 or worst diseases.

To me, it is not enough to radically oppose vaccines -if we have strength and arguments to do it! – we must also propose something, to change our mentality, to believe that “another world is possible”. As a certainty, we must celebrate Laudato SI’s fifth anniversary: a world in which we say NO to consumption society, NO to wasteful spending and stop denying other creatures their sacredness. What we cannot deny is that there is a life that takes care of our common house.

Truly yours,

Sister Carine Wanko.

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