A strange thought occurred to me. Imagine your home is a black box and you are inside it with nothing else around you. Every resource that you would need – every bit of food that you eat, every watt of power that you burn, every drop of water that you drink, every bit of furniture on which you rest - is coming to you from outside this Black Box.
Now, extend the confines of this Black Box, to encompass your neighboring homes, maybe till the end of your street. Is your Black box big enough now to provide you with any of the resources mentioned above? How about if I extend to encompass your whole colony?
We are heavily dependent on resources from outside our communities for our survival. While this is a good thing, it also means that our resource-security is heavily dependent on something that is beyond our control. Overdependence on resources from outside is not a good thing, especially during a pandemic.
As an example, imagine the distance your food travels – from the farm to the transport facility, from the transport facility to the storage facility, from the storage facility to the distributor, from the distributor to local Kirana stores or supermarkets, from there to your homes, if you are lucky. Now, imagine the number of surfaces that it has touched and the number of hands it has changed.
Eco-Habitats or Rurban Communities are, effectively, resource-efficient neighbourhoods where this might be possible. Farmlands and Goshalas are an integral part of the design of Rurban communities. With high dependence on rainwater harvesting and power generation within the community, there is relatively high self-reliance and self-sufficiency, i.e. such communities show resilience during times of pandemics.
This resilience can mean a great deal when all it takes is for you to touch or breathe at the wrong place and at the wrong time to catch the flu.