From nothing, as we perceived it, rose suddenly a wave beyond all possible anticipation or control, that surpassed all our safeguards and provisions, putting us into this threshold of uncertainty. And here we are, human mortals walking a path of record extremes and thirsty for answers, come to encounter an overwhelming source of random data and information, that covers the full spectrum of science and speculation, pretty much a “Tower of Babel” of information, where the North Star is difficult to track.
Most of us have heard the saying: “there is nothing new under the sun” and if we look at history, patterns repeat and reinvent themselves; talk of the spread of endemic diseases, history is full of episodes of health disasters triggered by natural causes, such as the plague of Athens, the plague of Justinian and the infamous Black Death; and recently during the 80s we witnessed AIDS and during the 2000s came in order: SARS: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan; EBOLA: Congo; SWINE FLU or H1N1: worldwide spread; several cholera and yellow fever episodes, amongst others, and the record is full of such counts.
Also if we look at mother nature we see natural patterns or cycles of accumulation or expansion of specimens or components of a given cluster, and then follow a sort of cleansing or “unloading” of such cargo or burden from the wave that bears all these organic “passengers”. For example in the oceans we have the so-called red tides of microorganisms, that bloom exponentially due to a stimulus overgrowth, then to fall into a decadence pattern. In the forest, we see the springs blossoms and the opposite during the driest season come the lightning struck fires, that terminate all sort of life and turn it into ashes. So it is a cycle of life, sort of what the rising Phoenix story legend tells us, of an old and sick ridden bird who flocks to a nest upon a cliff, turns itself on fire and then rebirths as an evolved being of superior qualities.
But we have become oblivion, of the fragile and temporary nature of our material organic existence, due to the miracle breakthrough achievements of science and technology, having come to a stance of arrogant and egocentric absolutism, whereby we deemed ourselves the masters of the century and aiming at full control of our very creative process. Yet and despite all of these victories, we left behind many important values and our priorities outside alignment: people starve where food spoils at buffets, children die of curable disease and resources are directed at non-sustainable purposes of destruction.
One such value we dismissed was the standards of sanitation and a robust public health regime: preventive medicine and capable of absorbing a mass wave of disease, as such we have seen in the history of epidemics, named before. And here I want to name the Wall Street greed, whose sacred mission is to maximize shareholders´ equity, at virtually any given expense under the ends justify the means´ philosophy. In this case, all Fortune 500 corporations moved all their eggs to the “Made in China” basket, just since the year 2000 start date when president Clinton signed the Boeing and General Electric deal with the Chinese, and China entered the WTO. Nobody cared for or verified its sanitary standards or rules of transparency or information reliability.
Ok but the fact is here we are now in MARCH 2020, sharing striking similar conditions of the 1916-1918 Spanish Influenza (named Spanish because of the king of Spain got sick, but allegedly it started in either Kansas (US), Brest (France) or China); with the historical singularity that we have an extremely interconnected world with fast means of transportation, thus compressing the time vortex of the virus´ spread, in a parallel race with science and society to develop a solution, meantime human lives will perish to the disease.
What can we do individually and as humans to react with wisdom to this phenomenon: my humble take is that of simple principles and consequent attitudes:
first of all let us manifest what makes us humans: our solidarity capacity, defined as mutual support at all levels: material, mental, moral, cooperative …that has worked miracles during previous world crises; second comes unity or union, it will make us stronger, this is a simple proven concept; third and foremost comes the flexibility of the palm tree that withstands the destructive force of the hurricane, by embracing it instead of resisting it, like the almighty oak tree that gets broken, this last principle stems from the notion of our mental and physical attitude and predisposition to confront a given life challenge: the more open and yielding we react towards the stimulus the more probability of survival we have
I guess the virus must have some mission of its own, perhaps the need for the strong to survive; and if our death is the outcome, let us not face it as the end of all things or an unjust or terrible event, but as an opportunity to test the facts that we hold to be the true core of our essence: be it spiritual, religious or sacred beliefs; for now, comes the time in life we need that light beacon to point us in the right direction.
I wish to finish with the Aristoteles’ phrase: “what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”.
Sending Love, take care and thank you for taking the time to read this sharing of thoughts.