What sweet and tender, the most innocent and divinely encouraging society there is in every natural object, and so in universal nature, even for the poor misanthrope and most melancholy man! There can be no really black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of nature and has still his senses.Henry David Thoreau
It has been an interesting year, thus far, this 2020. I have to admit to feelings of a misanthropic nature. Certainly melancholy. It seems many of my fellow humans have indeed lost their senses.
Far too many of us rely entirely on the perpetual, vilifying and polarizing dialectic, not to mention the circular, predictable societal and global narratives. It certainly is easier to fall in line, so to have an angry mob at your side of willing combatants, equally blinded by fear, misdirection and misunderstanding. The cloud consensus is fairly easy to maintain and manipulate. Our modern technology has us permanently at our wit’s end, and our rationality suppressed alongside our sensemaking.
How many of us truly understand what viruses are? How many of us immediately react in terror and revulsion at the very mention of the word “virus“? How many of us know that viruses predate humanity by geologic timeframes? that viruses are the primary way in which genomic information has always been disseminated throughout our planetary and biological constructs? that without a significant amount of viruses within our bodies at all times — amongst the trillions of microbes and bacteria and fungi — that we would not and could not exist?
What’s true is that most of the directives and operations ongoing in response to the coronavirus event are exactly opposite to the way nature works. In our hubris, we believe ourselves capable of interfering with natural processes and that we can control everything. Masks are both detrimental to your respiratory function, and erode social integrity, negating healthy communication, and enforcing barriers between us psychologically. They do nothing to prevent the spread of contagion. Viruses move around the world through the air, water and dust particulates, to name but a few. They are perfectly designed to reach every living thing, so to effect information exchange and support for life’s continuance.
The complications arise where toxicity, pollution (eg. PM2.5, glyphosate, bacillus thuringiensis) and other pre-existing bodily insult and injury exist. Our world today, as a result of backward, myopic, profit-seeking, ill-conceived medical, agricultural and industrial practices, is toxic. Our bodies and minds and cities and farms have long been compromised. So it’s no surprise that it is exactly in these most toxic of environments that the most concentrated of “outbreaks” have occurred. An otherwise innocuous, harmless catalytic agent (coronavirus, an element of an ancient family of microscopic allies) that should normally adapt and update our physical health and wellbeing, reveals to us that which we most fear: we did this to ourselves.
And now, can someone please save us? Tell us what to do! Tell us how to be safe, and to survive. Help!
Quarantine myself? OK. Self-isolate? OK. Shut down my work, my business, my school, my theater, my church, my travel, my outside world? OK. Put on a mask and pray this will pass? OK. Line up for yet another vaccine? OK. Convince myself and those I care about that Zoom and Skype and 6-feet-apart are the new normal? OK. Attack and snitch on any business who opens without permission, or makes the wearing of masks optional? OK. Wash my hands and sterilize everything obsessively, destroying my body’s immune system and any chance of a functioning microbiome at any cost? OK.
Just tell me what to do. I don’t trust anyone. I don’t trust myself. Give me the blue pill. I need to go back to, or to stay asleep. Wake me up when the microchips and vaccines are ready.
Admittedly, cynicism is a cheap and easy instrument with which to beat someone who is already anxious and worried and confused over the head. I get that. But I hope you see something of a point I’m trying to make in these words. If you want to dive a little deeper, please see this article by Jacob Devaney.
The powers that be don’t necessarily have the capacity to embrace the broader scope of the issues at hand. If they only rely on rigid, ignorant and age-old methodologies, trust only in cronies and paid advisors, we will keep seeing the same results; we will continue to harm our bodies and our fine planet. We will continue down the road toward extinction.
Think for yourself. Speak your truth. Open your eyes. Seriously consider unschooling your children. Examine your irrational fear of death. Get over your racism; labels and segmentation can and will be used against you by those who are masters of manipulation.
Accept who you are and know you’re enough. Look past the headlines and past your initial reactivity, defenses and reflexes. This planet and these viruses aren’t out to get us. Life is powerful, complex, and vastly intelligent.