By Dave Evans
We live in a time when a pandemic of fear is threatening to wreck the fabric of society and degrade the enterprise of civilization. Fear and anxiety can do more damage to the human immune system than almost any other factor
Fear is the biggest enemy of mankind. It drives us apart. It causes us to misunderstand one another and it leads to war and more death and destruction than any other factor in our psychological make up. It paralyzes our very being and stifles our creativity and imagination.
With the advent of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have the chance to change our entire outlook and approach to human health. It is a mutated strain of the flu. Each flu season we have a different mutated strain of the flu, which is one reason that the seasonal flu vaccine is not particularly effective. This year’s flu vaccine is usually for prior strains as in the year before.
But it is also a time of great opportunity, the opportunity to change things for the better turning the demons of fear into the “better angels of our nature.”
COVID-19 likely is not airborne, but if it is, then that would mark a significant difference with other flu strains in the past and would explain why it is spreading so widely and rapidly (if we can believe the numbers that the authorities are pumping out). Is COVID-19 a hoax? Well, yes and no. The most disturbing aspect of this panic has been the media’s continually doing stories that are frankly quite frightening, while the actual statistics don’t support the level of fear that is being engendered within the population.
This is not the bubonic plague. Far from it. COVID-19 is a treatable manageable disease that can teach us much about human health. In the colloquial lingo of the times this is a great teaching moment for humanity.
With this crisis we finally have the chance to take control of our personal health care. This is the best weapon we have against COVID-19 and any future epidemics or pandemics that may arise. We can begin to understand the central importance of our immune systems, how they operate and how we can boost their function to protect us from dangerous pathogens.
We have recently learned more about our Microbiome, comprised of trillions of microbes and good bacteria that plays such a vital role in the strength of our immune system. We can learn how to feed those friendly critters that are in a symbiotic relationship with us.
Finally, with the new and rising science of Epigenetics, we can learn how to change our genetic expression to help bolster all aspects of our health and well-being. We can take back our healthcare. So, this could be a real silver lining of the COVID-19 scare if we but make it so, as Captain Picard is famous for saying.
What we must learn is that our health is really determined by our lifestyle choices. It has been demonstrated that in various ‘blue zones’ across the globe people are much healthier than they are in the United States. They do not have problems with obesity, heart disease and cancer the way we do in this country. What is different about these folks? Often it is their way of living that makes all the difference. In most cases they work to live not live to work. They have a slower pace of life and they eat whole nourishing foods while spending time with families and neighbors. These relationships are an important thread in the health and well-being of their societies.
It has recently been proven that many of our diseases in the western world are products of our hyper anxious lifestyle and our focus on material things. This needs to change. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was right when he said let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. We need to live by this credo among many other great ideas that mankind has articulated. We have a great soul as a species now we need to rise to the occasion and live by it and through it. We need to live with soul.
It is also an opportunity to take a critical look at globalism and see if it is really the best living arrangement. What are the implications of having a globally connected world with interlocked economies and supply lines that are vital to people and that bring them medicine and food.
The advent of “authorities” taking control of our daily lives is more than a little disturbing. Are we going to suspend all the boons of a free society just so that we can be “safe”? Is that really any way to live? Do you want that trade off? I would rather live one day in a free society than for a thousand years in a dictatorship of the elite. What exactly are world leaders, officials and authorities trying to achieve? Do we really want them rooting around in our daily lives? Do we want them making big decisions that affect us and determine the quality of our lives? Would we not be better off living in a manner where power is decentralized and the people self-reliant? Where each region or locality has more control over its own life.
The current crisis reminds us how we are really equal: we are equally mortal. We have written so many bloody pages of history that we have come to believe in our own downfall when we are really rising angels with a more noble destiny than we have been led to believe. We need to stop listening to the doom and gloom of the madding crowd. We need to believe in ourselves again or maybe for the very first time.
I know what we have done. We have created a prison where we are both the inmates and guards. We are the wardens of our own insanity. The great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that the Earth was the insane asylum of the universe. He then went on to live an exemplary creative life that, in a sense, proved him wrong. Our freedom is really in our own hands if we want it… if we demand it! Goethe also said, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” The advent of this new more novel strain of the flu has given us the opportunity to reflect and change the way we live. We better take heed of the possibility of change for if we do not, we will sign our own death warrants.