On the subject of pandemics and what we can do about preventing them, Dr. Michael Greger gave this important, amazingly prophetic talk back in 2013 where he mentions what our own public health agencies were saying 7 years ago about coming pandemics that would require people to stay home for up to 90 days and practice "social distancing" if we didn't take preventive action to eliminate the root causes for these pandemics. It's time to have a national conversation, a global conversation really, on the root cause and how we can turn away from the current situation becoming the "new normal."
A few days ago I asked on Facebook the question of what if we are the virus and Covad-19 was the medicine. The question was in recognition of our place in the cycle of life within the natural world. I think that we can and are both the victim and the virus, much like Robert Frost's poem of two equal paths converging in the woods. And which one we see ourselves as being shapes our perspective just as looking back on which of the equal paths were taken shapes a person's perspective later in life.
Nature accepts these cycles, but mankind wants to pass judgment on them. Just as ancient civilizations would look at tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and even dark moody clouds as the gods being angry with them for their sins, we today can also fall into the trap of saying that existing calamities are the result of nature rebelling against our evil doings.
It's believed this virus came from killing a bat to eat, and there's lessons to be drawn from that. And we should expect that pandemics will occur the more densely populated we become. Killing and eating animals increases the likelihood of pandemics occurring. Because of differing standards of hygiene and public health in other countries, globalization will play a part in pandemics happening. Putting all of these together increases the likelihood that pandemics will occur now and in the future, possibly with greater frequency.
We can learn from all of that.
But we can also find time to be in the moment. We can seek for and advocate solutions. We can be part of the solution. But I don't think we should be like ancient civilizations and see it as being some kind of judgment of nature against our evildoing. To me, this is just where we are at in this moment in time. We are ahead of the ancient civilizations that blamed adverse events on the gods. But by the same token we are way behind future generations and what they will know and understand about these things.
We need to stay humble. And when we understand that we are not just the victim, but we are also the virus, then we can start to make progress and create the antibodies within our own civilization that are necessary for a functioning society. We can start to understand more of what future generations will understand. And perhaps, just maybe, we might reduce the frequency and severity of future pandemics.
I think we know what we need to do. Let's all start to do it.