The Physical Impact of the Coronavirus
Allow us to employ the phenomenological methodology to gain insight into the ramifications of the coronavirus on the physical aspect of being. Suddenly, we have been flooded with the phrase “social distancing.” At first, we were told not to gather with any more than 10 people present; now we are to avoid crowds altogether with the strong suggestion to stay home. We can go out for essentials (i.e. food, medication, etc.) but even then, we are to stay at least six feet from others as we wear the required mask. Is this not somewhat reminiscent of the AIDS crisis where we had to become wary of having unprotected sex with strangers? At that time, we were not hit with “social distancing” but with words such as “safe sex.” The AIDS crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic reverberate a similarity: it is not safe to be humans that we really do not know.
So, it is that this “busy-ness” of going out into the public and being with unknown others must cease. And from a healing perspective, the symptom is always the key to the cure as we now understand that our busy-ness has impacted not only our propensity for social gathering but our patronage at “businesses.” Unfortunately, at the end of this pandemic a number of our businesses may not have survived. Indeed, what businesses will the “public” deem so “essential” that they will flock to their premises and restore patronage? And since COVID-19 is prophesized as stemming from a virus that will never completely go away, will we ever feel safe to frequent businesses like hair and nail salons? Massage parlors? Will big music concerts/theatrical events ever be safe to attend again? Will sports activities take place, absent of spectators? Will we ever be able to host large parties at our homes again?
And what about our children? Will they ever be able to return to classrooms or must they settle for online learning exclusively? When our children were attending school, their safety had already been severely compromised as mass shootings were on the rise but now our children are not even permitted to enter the school walls as the coronavirus portends death as children can infect other children. Allow us to say mankind has become unsafe.
Interestingly, we relish in our individual capitalistic society; yet, I question, “Is it really working as the present government now intervenes in an almost socialistic manner to save its citizens during the Age of COVID?” Our individual capitalism has bred competition and a divisive stratum of upper, middle and lower classes. We have the super-rich, the working poor and the very poor. And now unemployment within the nation is higher than it was during the worst period of American economic history, the Depression of 1929. The present Republican (ideally proffer little to no governmental involvement in the public sector) administration within the Age of COVID has had to intervene to save the devastated economic system as businesses are shut down and unemployment rises.
But, of course, the most obvious physical ramification of COVID-19 is that it can viciously attack our bodies. There is the threat of death. Each day awareness grows in terms of its frightening symptoms: fever, dry coughs, body aches, respiratory problems, kidney failure, blood clotting, strokes. And perhaps what is most unsettling is that there is no cure, no vaccine, as it rampantly spreads. They’re even telling us that vitamins don’t work, that it is useless to burn essential oils. How can we physically protect ourselves from this virus which has been called “a beast,” “the invisible enemy?”
The coronavirus is wreaking havoc as children are now being stricken with some unknown disease that causes inflammation in the arteries. The medical doctors are befuddled but they are hypothesizing that it is stemming from the virus.
At the onset we were told that those most at risk were the elderly as well as those individuals with underlying conditions: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer survivors; yet, we have witnessed this unseen foe not only attacking the elderly and those with underlying conditions but the young as well as others, heretofore, deemed “healthy.” What is the thru line for those who have been sacrificed to this COVID-19? Why do some diagnosed with COVID-19 experience mild to no symptoms while others die? Social distancing? Tracing? Testing? These are prescriptions given by the medical experts to keep us safe; even still, here in Los Angeles county, thousands of new cases are reported daily.
We humans, often, think that we are the only living creatures on the planet. Interestingly, the World Health Organization as well as the CDC have continued to pinpoint that infectious diseases that have escalated into pandemics were caused from some interaction with the animal kingdom. The bubonic plague was caused by the fleas on rats and squirrels, malaria was the mosquito, typhus was the tics and fleas, Swine Flu the swine, AIDS the Green Monkey while syphilis came from men having sex with sheep on the boats. And now we have the Coronavirus, which they are tracing to the bat. These animals for the most part, either bit us or we ate them; we became infected and our immune systems could not overcome the pathogen.
Perhaps it is time we come into a more sacred relationship with the animal kingdom? Even now the meat packing industry is slowing down. The supplies of pork, beef, and chicken are being decimated as these plants are closing. Has meat ever given us health? Is pork not a contributing factor to high blood pressure? Beef to heart disease and various cancers? And God knows what chicken does for us — its level of protein is so limited as this imprisoned bird sits in a cage up to the day that its neck is wrung.
There is a rise in vegetarianism and vegan eating —a prophetic sign of the times. Indeed, our teeth are flat like that of the cow. Yes, we do have four canine teeth, but not exclusively canines, like the tiger or the shark. We are to chew more than we are to rip. Within the animal kingdom those that are vegetarian are the cow who is calm, the elephant which lives the longest, the horse which runs fast, the giraffe which is extremely tall and the monkey which is most intelligent. Is the animal kingdom rising in rebellion and saying, “Enough is enough as you herd us in stalls, cage us for our entire lives then ruthlessly kill us for your carnivorous pleasure; we have been killing you all along (heart disease, certain cancers, etc.) and you still did not get it; you have been eating us for years; sometimes we bite one of you and it infects you, then you pass it on to your fellow man; then you suffer as you have made us suffer”? Could this really be true?
There is the Allopathic system of healing to which the American populace prescribes. There is no denial that unbelievable progress has been made as life expectancy has, exponentially, increased. I just wonder if the Allopathic system could be further improved with the Ayurvedic understanding that each person has a different constituency; then it is that the medical field could perhaps advance even further. The Allopathic medical model would incorporate an understanding of difference. After all, some individuals take penicillin and heal while others go into allergic reaction. The Ayurvedic system postulates that every individual differs in their constituency of the five elements: a) fire — circulation, digestion, energy of the eyes; b) earth — the body weight, height, etc.; c) water — kidney function, saliva; d) air — respiratory system; e) ether — energy of the magnetic field, the protective ability of the immune system. After calculating the special proportion of these elements, a decision would be made as to the best treatment. Would blood type, ethnicity, gender, age all become factored into the decision of the treatment?
The real deal is that this COVID-19 is wreaking havoc in the physical realm. We have lost enough lives. Just as bubonic plague has left us completely, just as tuberculous is a disease almost of the past, just as a vaccine came for polio, just as MERS ceases to offer little threat, I pray that COVID- 19 will fall into the abyss of diseases bygone.
The states are opening back up. Former President Obama at a recent commencement ceremony just made a statement of how clear it is that our leaders do not know what they are doing. The number of deaths from this pandemic exceed the number of catastrophes during the Vietnam war, the number of persons killed in 9/11 and more than died from the flu from April of last year to now. This pandemic is something to take seriously. What lies ahead?