The COVID-19 pandemic broke out all over the world, statistics now showed that there were 17.6 m cases world wide with over 679k deaths reported. The U.S., Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa are the top five infected nations. The death score of this pandemic disease has already surpassed several previous pandemic such as Spanish flu and Swine Flu with death toll at 675K (1918-1920) and 12,469 (2009-2010) respectively.
Human has progressed significantly in science and medicine up to 21 st century. Yet, this COVID-19 has caught humans in surprise exposing human’s shortcomings. Even though China succeeded in applying rapid and harsh ‘city quarantine’ measure to combat her first pandemic outbreak city, Wuhan, and successfully suppressed the spread of the pandemic, this corona virus had sprang out all over the world with different ‘strains’. Because of the reaction speed and control measures applied differently, the pandemic spread was very rapid resulting in the above world statistics. The pandemic is causing severe impact on the world economy and giving a harsh stress test on the healthcare system and their medical facilities in every country. Although China has stopped the pandemic early and gradually returned her industry and commerce to normal, she is still mindful of a second wave to return. There is still possibility of virus entering from abroad, for example through imported seafood and goods as well as foreigners coming from abroad. So China cannot relax on her precaution and prevention measures for another pandemic breakout.
This pandemic spread pretty broad and fast, but the effectiveness of the control measure varied in different time and at different place resulting in quite a different consequences. First, the standards of healthcare systems are different in each country. Second, the quality and quantity of medical facilities vary a lot. Thirdly, people’s attitude towards natural disease and personal freedom are tied with their culture and social custom. Therefore, even though the WOrld Health Organization has suggested measures to deal with the pandemic, the world responded differently, some even showing non-cooperative attitude. Even today, there is still debate on wearing mask, useful versus violating human rights. However, from scientific point of view, when there is no vaccine, everyone may be a carrier without knowing it. The COVID-19 transmission can be via airborne as well physical contact and its life span can be from a few hours to days depending on the environmental hygiene, and weather condition. That is why the COVID-19 pandemic has become so rampant.
Human civilization has come a long way with great progress. Humans have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about nature, even the universe. This Summer Mars is closest to earth from its orbit, thus the U.S., China and United Arab Emirates (UAE) all have scheduled their Mars exploration mission. But on Earth, we still struggle in battling the pandemic. Although humans’ average life expectancy is near eighty, but healthcare is still human’s shortcomings. Sickness, especially for seniors, is still our miseries. Even the richest nation on Earth, cannot meet the challenge of the pandemic. Hospitals were overwhelmed with patients exceeding their capacity, testing for the virus were a little too few and too slow, never mind getting vaccines in time. So this COVID-19 taught us a lesson and gave us a provocation: How will human civilization progress after the pandemic? What will our civilization looks like in the future?
The author would like to use a hypothetical blueprint to answer the above question, calling it ‘the clean space civilization’ (CSC). The clean space civilization may be imagined from the futuristic ‘space civilization’ (space living) but CSC is more down to Earth, realistic and realizable to deal with the challenges facing human race, such as environment, healthcare and pandemic problems. In the following, we will discuss what is ‘Clean Space Civilization’ after a review of the problems facing human race.
Human civilization has made giant progress in many domains; for example on environment, humans have changed their life style, paying attention to recycling their waste, using sustainable energy, and caring about our natural environment and resources. But, we still have global warming and outbreak of pandemic diseases. Human healthcare has come a long way in treating diseases, reproducing human organs and replacing body parts. But, we are still unprepared in preventing pandemic disease. We simply don’t have a comprehensive strategy dealing with pandemic. Thus the human race has ever-increasing demand on healthcare, doctors, hospitals and medicines, a dependency now stronger than food supply. The ever-decreasing human birth rate in current human civilization is very much related to our vulnerability discussed above.
During last six months, the author has witnessed many events and our vulnerability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSC is a hypothetical civilization useful for us to discuss the above question. What is the clean space civilization’? Simply put, it is a civilization where humans will make their living space and air absolutely clean and live in that environment. We can use three pictures to give us an idea what is a clean space. The first picture is the work environment of a semiconductor manufacturing factory, a clean room where workers wear clean suits working there. The second picture is the space station, a vacuum space where astronauts wear space suits working there (the universe).The third picture is the scene of pandemic control, from hospitals, testing stations, to air, ship, train and bus stations where workers wear ‘virus proof clean suits’ from head helmet to special shoes working there. From these three pictures, we can easily imagine, when humans are confronting the pandemic, it is very logical that humans will develop a ‘clean space civilization’ to deal with pandemic virus. Perhaps humans will realize that their clothing (suit) besides fitting and style, the most important consideration should be ‘clean’ that is it has filtering, disinfection, and virus prevention (even health maintenance) functions. When humans live in ‘clean space’, wear ‘clean suits’ to go out and work, then they will be safe from any virus infection. Isn’t this an ideal living without concern of virus (or sickness)?!
Humans’ ‘clean space civilization’ obeys the principles of economics. Clean space is compatible with environmental protection effort. CSC is effective for disease prevention including the pandemic type. When humans don’t get sick, the requirement on healthcare, hospital and medicine is naturally reduced. Humans evolving from Apes to today, from wearing no clothes to today’s various fancy apparel, their clothing design may be practical but certainly more for esthetics than for scientific, economic or disease prevention purposes. The CSC is not an imagination from science fiction, but a conclusion after witnessing how people lived under the pandemic and thinking through human living habits and social custom. During the pandemic, people must keep distance and mostly work at home which caused economic recession. If humans change their attitude, accepting the concept of ‘clean space’, ‘clean room’, and ‘clean suit’ and understand their real meaning and benefits, then humans are adopting CSC. In this civilization, humans can keep close interaction, only their environment is changed. Their clothing will be scientifically designed with esthetics in mind. It is entirely possible smart interior and clothing designers can integrate science, healthcare, practicality and esthetics to design proper living space and apparels for our ‘clean space civilization’.