The past two months have allowed us time to think, fester, worry, exercise, learn new things, etc. With the onset of Covid-19, a lot of posts, articles, and videos are circulating the news media and social media. I’ve been seeing so many posts and articles that cause fear, separation, anger, sadness. I see fear-based posts, vicious comments, and overall dissent among people.
Of course, many of the posts center around Covid-19. What surprises me is the insinuation in the articles and posts that we as a species were invincible to such diseases because we are not as primitive as those say, in 1918 when a flu took the world by storm. I’ve seen both comment sections and posts saying that we shouldn’t have gotten this because we have soap, we are clean, and we have the technology to avoid this. The fact of the matter is, that is complete ego stating we are better than our ancestors when we are still equal in the matter of being human. Humans have dealt with “plague” since the beginning of our culture. Also, technology and soap will never fully protect us from zoonotic diseases because as long as we engage in animal agriculture, we will be faced with diseases such as Covid (bats), tuberculosis (cows), measles (cows), flu (pigs and chickens), E. Coli (fecal matter of cows, sheep, and pigs), and the list goes on. Even with our study and knowledge of zoonotic diseases, that has not translated to the wisdom of foregoing animal products in the name of health, the environment, and the animals. There are hundreds of posts about how to treat Covid and when there will be a vaccine, but there are none about preventing (other than social distancing). Why not discuss what Irish medical doctors have found? They find a correlation between a vitamin D deficiency and Covid. Therefor, we need to tell people to make sure they are supplementing their diets with a Vitamin D supplement daily. Folate is another vitamin that assists in cellular division and can help protect cells from virus invasion. Another possible prevention and treatment is the intake of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts immunity. The problem in the U.S. is that our healthcare system is a for-profit system and because of this, prevention is often not discussed because it doesn’t create profit for our healthcare system. Many of these “alternative” treatments are being conducted outside of the U.S. where healthcare is socialized. As for the vaccine, it’s frustrating that we engage in animal agriculture, know about zoonotic diseases, still consume animals, then get sick, then create a vaccine because of all of the preceding factors, which has its own host of side-effects. Gah! Why? Stop the circular madness and cut out the one huge facto in all of this–consuming animals! We can change and we can save billions of lives in the process.
Other posts I’m now seeing are those about drought due to the positioning of the sun. Killer hornets looking to kill bees (our pollinators we desperately need). And just yesterday, a plane crash. Again, we are not the first humans to deal with drought and pests that are threatening our food supply. On the contrary, this too has been happening for millennia. And the plane crash, while tragic, reading about those things, even reading or watching the news daily, can contribute to depression and anxiety. If we’re in a state of constant fear, that increases cortisol levels which increases inflammation and lowers immunity making you more susceptible to getting sick.
Herein lies my frustration, we think we’re superior as a species and invincible because of our advances. But after reading the Ishmael series by Daniel Quinn, I’ve come to realize we’re a part of a culture that focuses on separation–the haves and haves-not, the democrats and republicans, the Russians and Europe, North vs. South Korea, black and white. That separation didn’t used to exist, or wouldn’t have lasted long, with our tribal ancestors because it was in the best interest of the tribe to help one another in order to be efficient, harmonious, and human (yes, there would be territorial disputes but they were never on the scale they are now). Now, we’ve lost that because our culture looks at the tribal element of ourselves as primitive; we are to be able to work and be independent individuals. In doing this we’ve had cause for war, slavery, and political disruption because we view ourselves as separate and even superior or inferior to others. It’s such a huge foundation of our culture that we can barely see it; we look at war, violence, drugs, etc. as a normal part of life (even if we disagree with it, it’s still “normal”). We have forgotten who we are and this has led to us being so disconnected from one another as fellow humans. In a time when we need connection, we’d rather fight about whether or not to wear a mask rather than work as a community to prevent future zoonotic diseases, work as a community to take care of our sick, and/or work as a community to help one another through financial crises. As a species, we need to return to our communal foundation and not separate each other anymore. As a species, we need to realize we aren’t invincible from illness, famine, and threats to our food supply. As a species, we need to remember our ancestors went through so much and they survived. We will too.
I write this today as a reminder to hope and persevere. Those before us dealt with awful things. Can you imagine living through WW2? I’m sure many thought that was an apocalypse. Yes, it was horrendous and too many lives were lost, AND the majority of the world made it through. We will make it through this. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in life is permanent. So, instead of living in fear and anger on social media, go and meditate to alleviate anxiety. Meditation helps slow down your brain getting you to a place of calmness. Go do an online yoga class to move energy out of your body. Read a self-help book (Radical Acceptance: How to Embrace Your Life Like a Buddha by Tara Brach is amazing). Read a fiction book. Staying in anger and fear on social media will only cause you suffering. We are going through this pandemic either way, why do it in fear when you could be learning about yourself?