“a pandemic disease is the most predictable catastrophe in the history of the human race, if only because it has happened to the human race so many, many times before.” Ezra Klein , political columnist
The Coronavirus has changed everything. The way we go shopping, the way we socialize, and the way we think. This last one, thinking, is the key to staying on an even keel during this unprecedented event.
The last weeks have become more an more confusing – it’s as if the dice were rolled, now we are all hoping they’ll come up sixes.
You might think you will have to do without socializing for a few weeks, and you may think that you’ll combat your impending boredom with a large stream of films and documentaries about things that will take your mind off the coronavirus situation. But really? How long will that last before you go doo-dally?
Boredom creates frustration, and that frustration turns into outbursts of anger – unless you become aware that it is something you can avoid.
When we lack knowledge we feel helpless, our minds need knowledge about what’s going on in the world so that we can understand what is really happening moment to moment, and therefore get a handle on what might happen next. Just that little bit of knowledge could be helpful. But we don’t know, not right now.
While the best in world are working day and night to find a solution, an effective antidote to the coronavirus/COVID 19 virus, we have to develop trust in the people who are working up on the front-lines, and stop believing and reading fake news, stop reading the same type of articles again and again, and stay clear of talking-head videos that self appointed experts, sitting in their homes have hammered together in order to get channel views. Their opinions and theories don’t help, and we need help.
Politicians are a bane to the people at the best of times, but right now, many of them are not getting things right. They are still playing the markets and trying to balance the wishes of life and death, and profit and loss. One “leader” has clearly chosen profits over life. Others are trying hard to understand how to go forward and keep countries financial buoyant, and save lives.
While many of us spend time at home, working or not, we will encounter new situations that cause unexpected emotions to arise.
A new situation, a world-wide epidemic, that influences every single person on the planet emotionally.
A financial crisis like the 2008 crash is a terrible thing, but it also a general part of our mind map to expect such things to happen. So when it does happen, we are half ready. We are able to acknowledge a financial crisis, and quickly put our thoughts into order that fit the situation. Financial crisis means that there will be less for everybody; less business, less opportunities, less money in flow. There will be heartache and heartbreak.
But this is Different, isn’t it?
A pandemic that directly causes death and sickness, has always been a thing for story tellers to play with, to write and send to Hollywood as a script. But most individuals, like most politicians, spend their lives avoiding thoughts that ask the real question of whether an international pandemic, a virus that kills, a sickness that sweeps across every nation could be a reality.
What would we do if that virus scenario happened? Questions that require answering, but bring no profit in a capitalist society, are questions to be shelved or staved off till the next international summit – where maybe another nation might agree to spend time working on it.
A Spanner in the Works
Well, it has happened. And now we see that in the United States, and what was put in place as an emergency measure, an office with funding to combat exactly this type of pandemic, has been dismantled by Donald Trump. Why? Probably because President barack Obama created it – that’s the only reason.
The Problem of Greed
The Americans are in big trouble right now, as if the pandemic isn’t trouble enough, the person in charge is showing absolute incompetence at handling a major emergency that will kill thousands of Americans. When will Trump voters finally realise that their current “leader” doesn’t care about them either, let alone not caring about Democrat voters’ rights and American lifestyles?
He cares only for himself and his own opinions. Those opinions are based on how to manage enormous sums of money, and make sure that he first, then his close allies, will profit handsomely from every presidential decision he makes.
A Virus pandemic doesn’t change his management style. It would be detrimental to his personal goals in life to adjust according to an emergency – the COVID-19 emergency has to be forced into his own world view of the situation, and then framed so that it meets his own needs.
The UK and Boris Johnson
In the Uk, Boris Johnson started to deal with the pandemic in a very political way, too. Possibly, he saw it as an opportunity to show the world that the brand-spanking-new Post-Brexit Uk can withstand any onslaught and come out smelling like an English country rose. So basically, he stalled, and said things, tried to play it down, keep things going in business and daily life – like Trump is now continuing to do, pretend that nothing’s wrong. Keep calm and keep going.
Then, Boris Johnson realised that this thing is bigger than himself, something that Donald Trump has not realised.
The British Prime Minister has now ordered a “Lockdown” that is clearly following the lead of the Germans. Only two people together in public meetings, or family members only, 1,5 metres spacing between strangers while shopping and fines for idiots who think they know better than the sensible, protective emergency laws.
The Frontline Heroes
When we see soldiers being sent abroad to go into battle, it creates an empty feeling in us, and then that emptiness fills up with fear. Fear brings dread, and helpless feelings that we can’t articulate. We want to panic, but we don’t. We know it won’t help.
When we see and hear about nurses and doctors going to a new front line, we are filled with hope. They know what they are doing, but they are faced with a formidable enemy. An enemy who hasn’t yet been fully identified. They can only work according to their knowledge based on past experience, and hope it leads to a victory over COVID-19 Virus.
We need a scientific answer, an antidote to the Corona / COVID-19 virus. We have to rely on the army of hands.on workers who are working around the clock in hospitals, and in laboratories to find the answer.
Each nurse, doctor, and medical scientist is gathering information which accumulates and slowly but surely develops into a picture that makes sense. Test, test, and test again – until one of the tests shows them that they have hit upon a solution through reiteration. Even a small breakthrough in understanding how to combat the virus can lead to jumps forwards in our understanding. It will happen. It always does, simply because that’s how the human race survives – by never ever giving up.
European Unity – Not
Europe is also showing a problem. It hasn’t been acting like a union, it has been doing what countries always do, looking for country-wide solutions to a pandemic problem.
Germany, France, Spain, and the other European Union countries have gone back into default-mode and are operating as sole-traders who know what’s best for themselves. Chancellor Merkel made this point during her televised speech on Sunday 22rd of March 2020.
We all have the same problem now, but we as a world have gone into a selfish ‘all-about-me’ way of thinking about business and life. It’s causing problems now that the chips are down, and the resources of each individual country are being asked for in terms of people-power, and financial power. But leaders are clearly being very careful about what they commit to before they spend tax-payers money on a non-profit venture to save the world.
President Trump, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders are quite rightly trying to balance two deadly poisons of the world, a virus that is killing hundreds of thousands of people, and the failing financial markets and their selfish benefactors, that are killing businesses all around the globe.