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Corona – A Virus that Is Also a Vaccine

As nature is interconnected, so we can become, if we set our minds and hearts on it. In that sense, the coronavirus is an unprecedented opportunity for growth.

Biologist Jerome De Marchin talks to a patient while he sits in his car at a drive-in testing site for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Regional Hospital Center in Liege, Belgium March 11, 2020.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Biologist Jerome De Marchin talks to a patient while he sits in his car at a drive-in testing site for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Regional Hospital Center in Liege, Belgium March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

We’re still not getting what’s coming. COVID-19, or Coronavirus Disease, is messing up our lives and we have yet to grasp the consequences. The masks, the quarantine, but mostly, the fear, are telling us that a new phase in our existence is emerging. So the sooner we get a grip on things, the better it will be for everyone.

Imagine this: You’re sitting at home, cannot go to work because your employer went out of business, cannot buy food because the stores have all been emptied and there’s no supply to refill the shelves, and supply shipments have virtually stopped. But you have children to feed; what will you do? You can’t even send them to school where they can get a meal since all schools have been shut down by the virus! What will you do, grow vegetables in the bathtub?

If it sounds mad, it’s because it is. But in a matter of months, this scenario could be the reality of tens of millions of Americans, Europeans, and people in every country in the world. The simple reality is that we cannot exist without provision from the outside, and the coronavirus is decimating that provision. If we don’t find a way to reboot the chains of supply that have been frozen still by fear, we could be facing hunger of a magnitude that will destroy our society and claim the lives of millions of people who aren’t even sick with the virus.

The Key to a Successful Reboot

Why is all this happening? Because we are ignoring one simple, natural law: interconnectedness. Interconnectedness means that everything in nature is connected to, and therefore dependent on everything else. We, on the other hand, live under the assumption that we needn’t recognize anything other than our own needs. Herein lies the problem: While the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels of nature function in harmony and balance, the human level seeks only to exploit: We use nature and abuse each other simply because we can.

Now, in what seems like the first time, but certainly not the last, nature is saying, “Enough!” Reality is demanding that we become responsible, mature, but mainly, considerate of one another and of the environment. Now we are called upon to raise our eyes, acknowledge the world around us, and begin to think more in terms of “we” and less in terms of “me.” This is how all of nature operates, and it demands that we do, too.

Becoming More Like Nature, and Less Like People

In order to start balancing our approach to reality, we should begin to work more like nature, and less like people, or at least less like the people that we used to be until the outbreak of COVID-19. To do that, we should start including other interests in our thoughts. What animals and plants do instinctively, we are required to do consciously. While it is much harder for us to do than it is for animals and plants, it holds a unique reward: an enhanced perception of the whole of nature. The more parts of reality we include in our awareness, the broader our perception of reality becomes. It is an endless process of growth with infinite rewards, bound only by our willingness to exert in it.

As nature is interconnected, so we can become, if we set our minds and hearts on it. In that sense, the coronavirus is an unprecedented opportunity for growth, and it would be a horrible mistake for us to miss it.

By disconnecting our supply chains, the virus has reminded us that we are inseparably connected. By thinking about this interconnectedness and what it requires of us, we can defeat not only COVID-19, but also the “viruses” that sicken our society, pollute our minds, and make us destroy each other and the world around us. In that sense, the coronavirus is a vaccine, not a pathogen, and the sooner we learn what it teaches, the sooner we will all heal.

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