We should not forget that corona is a natural phenomenum. Our real threats are unjustified measures of control, paranoic fear and lack of transformative adaptiveness for real resilience. All three are present in the current corona timeframe. The biggest challenges today are to end a long era of abuse and to find progress in development of genuin resilience together against illnesses, greed, abuse and misleading communication.
Scenario’s of global disaster
A decade or more ago certain powerful people or foundations decided, or were commissioned, to imagine a number of scenarios of great global humanitarian risk. They started to create scripts on “what to do in case of…..”. It is a logical excersize, one that can fall into the category of wisely “being prepared for the worst”, with action plans that minimize the damage and maximize services working together to prevent and aliviate human pain as much as possible. Cities near airports have such scenarios “in case of an aeroplane crash or terrorist attaque”, other populated areas may have disaster scripts for a tsunami, flooding, gas explosion, invasion of rats, whatever…. preventive under the label of “better safe than sorry”. In the past disasters have occured where such scripts were not present, or badly executed, having civil services so badly coordinated that it on its own was a humanitarian disaster. Global scrips are hence a good additional thought even though such risks are extremely rare, nevertheless always within the scope of possibilities. But who, what, why, when, where, how triggers them? With what proof, objectives and with which consequences? What are the built in security measures against abuse along the ride? And which are the “letting go and learning” mechanisms once the issue is resolved?
Learning, for the benefit of human resilience, is important. In some cases it is necessary to give up a bit of our freedom for the greater good, such as our peace of mind, our safety, our health, our sustainable wellness, especially when in great potential danger of losing it all. This is not new, we do it every day. We, for instance, agreed to drive on a particular side of the road to avoid fatal accidents. We gave up the freedom to use the entire road for our own safety and that of other users.
When freedom is extremely limited, such as during a lockdown, we should be able to blindly trust our authorities to never misuse this trust. Such emergency cases are rare at global level and measures of non-democratic control should only be acceptable in highly justified cases. As soon as the danger or justification disappears, the “special situation” should disappear too. We get back our freedom yet start a reflective learning program in order to take transformative action that is directed at avoidance of repetition. The question arises “what are we trying to protect?”, our sustainable integrity as a species? Or something else? There are indications that “something else” is also at stake.
What could possibly endanger us on a global scale?
The scenarios scripted could be three: a threat from outer space (meteorite, aliens, the moon crashing into Earth,….), a threat from ourselves (world war III, terrorism) or a threat from nature (epidemic, pandemic, massive earthquake, volcano, deadly insects).
Curiously we do not seem to formally consider a threat our current social, political, economic system of pollution, inequality, destruction of our habitat, misuse of human and natural resources, poverty, etc. These are wellknown, caused in a way by the reigning (democratic) hierarchies of control of financial dependence and economic growth, apparently insufficiently serious to start a lockdown and transformation script. This system seems more important than its consequences. These are addressed through remedial measures, not addressing the cause, just the effects. Are we acting the same in case of another global threat? Are protecting ourselves against a lie, a make belief? Or something real? Is it protection or a global attack for absolute control of certain obscure interests?
What makes the other threats different, that justify for instance the enforcement of a lockdown? These are the ones where the reigning hierarchies do not have control. The threat is hence affecting (part of) humankind yet especially the structure of control itself, fearing chaos, system overflow and the loss of grips on the situation, maybe at risk of being blamed of incompetence as the disaster evolves. In case of such threat of the unknown the system of control wants to ensure that it remains in control. The extra danger humankind now faces is a longlasting, unjustified forced or imposed loss of self determination. We are not fighting the threat, we are forced to uphold and accept an imposition.
This virus was first described in 1960’s. It is seen as the virus that causes the majority of flu (influenza) in the world during the seasons. It is a virus that has been around probably as long as humankind itself, mutating in a natural way to find its own natural progress, also among the human species. It is a threat from nature if this virus or any other sickness would cause huge epidemics in our globalised world, in a way that other attaques from nature did before (The Plague, Spanish Flu, Difteria, Smallpoxs, etc). Corona is known to have variations that are more or less lethal, in some rare cases for healthy people but mostly for the most vulnerable members (elderly and already sick) of our communities.
When a Corona version was supposedly causing a large outburst of sickness in China a preprepared machinary decided to define it as a global threat of the natural kind and pulled out the pandemic disaster script. A temporary local lockdown followed in order to enable investigation on the cause.
At that stage noone was quite sure what had caused the sickness or if it had real pandemic potential beyond the Chinese town or territories. The analytic means were not available yet. It is indeed hard to predict something that is yet to happen, if it happens at all. So some precaution is good, but just that, a precaution with a clear ending. Somewhere in the world, someone, decided to trigger the pandemic fear worldwide. And nearly all the governments, who lack the knowledge of self determination in such case, followed the fear by taking the prescribed measures of precaution.
As reality manifested itself it became more and more clear that it was just a virus, maybe a version a bit more aggressive than in other years, but by no means a bigger pandemic potential than the worrying corona outbursts in the past of SARS or MERS, or some aggressive versions of global influenza outbursts in winter or the hot summer casualties due to excessive human exposures to ozon and pollution (especially elderly and people with lung problems already).
At the same time it gradually became equally clear that the aggressive spread of the virus had everything to do with the polluted, dense city environments, the globalised commuting of people, our excessive, abusive unhealthy lifestyle, our greying, weakend elderly populations, largely kept in elderly homes, etc. that has made our species extra weak and vulnerable for virus outbreaks and other illnesses. In fact it started to show that our socio political economic reality was part of the severity of the problem. Then it becomes worrying that it is this same reality that authorizes itself to take the protective measures. Who or what are they protecting now?
Instead of acknowledging this reality, raise the flag of false or reduced alarm while showing genuin transformative leadership of self reflective, awareness driven change, many governments decided to use the situation, and their blind following of the initial alarm, to test their scripts, meanwhile trying to avoid political damage or public loss of face. They started to exagerate or manipulate the statistics, keeping information away from people, putting pressure on selected “experts” while misusing the media and public fear to their benefit. They easily claimed their sole right to inform, moving anyone else into the corner of blasphemy or conspiracy or populism, even using their authority to deploy the policeforce against their own people. The biggest danger is now that such situation is used by politics in charge to introduce laws that enhance those self justified powers while introducing measures that allow them dictatorial impositions on the public whenever they decide to wish to use or maintain them. The biggest problem is that they start believing their own lie and impose it on society.
This should not be allowed. They are protecting themselves, the system, their lie and hence enhance repetition of the real problem by lack of transformative measures. If anything needs to be blocked…its them. They go too far.
Corona has become an unprecedented case of public awareness building, one about a true and genuin threat, which is our current societal system of consumerism, capitalism, power abuse and money dependent governance. Where are we when 4.2 million people die prematurely every year due to exposure to outdoor air pollution? Or the many thousands of unaccompanied minors on the trot worldwide to find a better life somewhere, travelling without their parents? What about poverty, polution, the deaths caused by tuberculoses, cancer, heart diseases, etc directly related to this faulty lifestyle, city gettos of spreading unhealthy food, air and related illnesses? This is the real breading ground of Corona too.
All those global horror stories are not part of our comfort zone, because they tend to happen elsewhere, not to us personally. Corona however is an invisible enemy, one suggested to be a killer that can be carried by our own neighbors, friends, even family or anyone on the streets. It affects us directly, as a person or someone we love. This threat has been amplified through the media and our government as a “responsability we carry towards others”, justifying that they regulate this responsability for us.
- The virus called fear
And we? We start controlling eachother as if “the (any) other” is a potential murderer. It is highly objectionable that fear is used to enforce controls. Any sense of reality and common sense is lost when fear occupies our hearts and minds. But how do we eliminate our fear if this is imposed on us by our surroundings based on lies, suppositions, prejudism, make belief , biased information and miscommunication?
The big issue for humankind is the hierarchy of self interests created through democratic politics and money dependence. And we all play that game. Hence we are all also the key to change by becoming game changers through awareness and providing alternative insights and actions. We act by NOT accepting such political formats anymore, by taking responsability for our own health and lifestyle, demanding from our institutions, even our governments, to become servents for our core human values together with us. Genuin measures are still acceptable but based on real input, cocreation and the awareness based introduction of measurable changes.
We run the risk that certain, even our own, countries will get stuck in their own lies and develop public uprise to get back to freedom and equality. The risk of a global war for freedom is real and no surpression will control that. The only way forward is to look at our genuine vulnerabity and take action, together, to improve our resilience.
Governments will have to let go, learn their lessons and pick up the goodies that the situation has also provided us in terms of awareness, consciousness and measurable effects for further development. Everything will then be forgiven for the better. And an unprecedented lesson learned, new knowledge applied and real wellness being achieved when government and the population partner up to co-create genuin health – together.
On May 8th, 2020, Dr. Ana Berti Suman defended her thesys on “Citizen’s Sensing” online and responded to peer reviewers questions. The day before she organised an online seminar with participation from the entire world. As one of the cases (AiREAS) of her Phd study I was asked to a short background presentation. My argument of citizen’s sensing was context driven, namely from the humanitarian view of one that defends core human values such as health and healthy air. How do existing laws help AiREAS, or stand our processes in the way? Or should there be new regulatory rules to govern citizen’s taking initiative to monitor their own environment using technological aids and confronting government with their insights and results.
A cartoonist made a drawing of my arguments. The blog about the seminar and all the speakers can be read on the Tilburg University’s School of Law site.
It is so gratifying when artists get inspired by the Sustainocracy story. Greek painter Evi Sarantea came up with this expression. The EYE….
The eye is our gateway to the soul. Through all kinds of dogmatic obstacles and life challenges (thorns) we arrive at our source of light, our pool of endless positive energy from which new life sparks (the roses and happy people)
The universe itself is a huge eye, through which we become aware, layer by layer, lifetime after lifetime, while adapting gradually to a harmonic, healthy and sustainable reality. As I once responded to biologists who claimed that life had no purpose at all. I disagreed. The purpose of life is the ability to observe, to see, to become aware….if the universe and its magnificent small and large manifestations could not be sensed they would all cease to exist.
This eye….says it all…❤