The Corona Virus and Life Under Quarantine
Everyone fears what they don't understand, and it certainly isn't easy understanding what is going on in the world today and the changes that are occurring. The unknown is the route cause of all fear. But fear is only the beginning. And when the fear of death brought on by others compounds and manifests, war is certainly a foreseeable possibility. History can attest to this. The powerful have always used fear to motivate masses into doing their bidding. So, now is certainly an important time to be vigilant.
If you don’t know me very well, I must tell you I’m inherently skeptical. I know I have trust issues and I’m working on that… but to be honest, I’m not convinced a widespread and lengthy lock-down - this personal isolation mandate, is the best solution in handling our current situation. You may disagree, but first hear me out, there is a lot to consider…
Think for yourself. Question authority.
If you haven’t heard of the Covid-19 pandemic, then you must literally live under a rock. This virus is sweeping the worlds attention by storm and has many fearing the worst. Education institutions are shut down, businesses are closed, all parties are here-by cancelled, and don’t you dare come within 6 feet of me! Some people are hoarding, and stocking up on ammunition, some are seeing the struggles of neighbors and sharing kind words or groceries and other essentials. And me? I’m left wondering: is all the hype really worth it? Are we blowing this whole thing out of proportion? How afraid should we really be? Does the threat of infection outweigh the economic and sociological complications were enduring, which have only just begun?
In the last couple of months, my friend Shawn Soules and I have been working on a podcast. We’ve known each other for a few years now and have always had thought-provoking conversations with one another. When he approached me with the idea of doing a podcast together, I enthusiastically said “okay, sure”, and this week we are launching ‘The-Meta-Verse.com’. We came up with a list of possible subjects and have hardly made a dent in it. Our second discussion was about Society which hasn’t officially ended. We’re now rolling into our fifth Verse, (which includes our first guest appearance by a friend and classmate, Santina), and still can’t shake the subject. I knew we were biting off more than we could chew, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, our discussion about Society became undoubtedly relevant.
We started talking about society in its current form and how it has progressed over time – changes we have seen and changes that history reveals. Innovation and technology have drastically altered the way society operates at virtually all levels, and rapidly in the last century. Can we even relate to our ancestors?
I’m creating a reading list for our new website, the-meta-verse.com, and my first entry will be ‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy. Finishing it was a major accomplishment for me, and much of its philosophy has lingered for years in my mind. There’s a character in the novel that has always stuck with me, who comes to mind in times like these…
A couple months back Leah and I acquired some pet Rats, and I decided to name one after this character: Lizzaveta, or Lise for short. In Tolstoy’s epic, this young woman is the epitome of a tragic character. The Napoleonic invasion of Europe, leading to the invasion of Russia in the early 1800’s is the setting, and Princess Lise is pregnant, and housed in the countryside with her husband Andrei’s family while he goes off to war. “The little Princess ‘s face expressed a childish fear of the physical suffering that lay before her.” Lizzaveta ended up dying giving birth to her son, a sudden end to this beautiful character. This is an all too real reminder of what humanity once was. Before modern medicine, women not only feared the pain associated with giving birth, but the reality that so many mothers died during delivery. Something our privileged society all too often takes for granted.
I hope I can make it clear, I am in no way disregarding the grief that comes wit death, and the struggle we have with letting go those with which we love… All I am saying is that this is not a new thing - death is an inevitable consequence of life itself; in fact, what’s new is our growing ability to repress death – to fight back using our knowledge and resources to create longer lives with less physical pain.
But for now, it seems necessary to shift my perspective drastically as the world did - The deadly Corona virus hit the globe and continues to spread, causing an influx in death rates. Although the common flu kills people each year at a comparable rate from what we've seen so far, what’s different is that this virus is new; we don’t know a lot about it yet. What we do know is that it survives longer then the regular flu, is more contagious, and will kill a higher percentage of those who become infected. This is certainly deserving of fear, but the political intervention requires us to move past the fear of death, and focus on issues surrounding stability and freedom. There is more in life to fear than death alone.
My father died in his early 50’s. I visited him often in his final years, and I always took note of a banner that hung on the wall near his chair, a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Its not the years in the life but the life in the years.” My father greeted death honorably. He remained optimistic throughout the process, and I remember him saying (before he could no longer speak): “I accomplished all I wanted to. I can go in peace.” Death can and will come to each of us, at a time we cannot choose – no one can control the nature of reality (although, we have made strides). All I can control is how I conduct my own behavior and focus on the well being of myself and those around me. And I’ve found a little risk is good for the soul. We can’t let our fear of death keep us from living a meaningful life.
Think for yourself. Question authority. These are principles I’ve adopted - perhaps attempting to become Nietzsche’s popularized 'Overman.' I can't help but see this quarantine through an increasingly negative light. I have been outspoken with my hesitation toward our technologically growing world, now it seems we have become fully dependent on it to the extreme, if we weren’t already. And what about out kids? We have no Idea the long term affects these devices have on our physical and mental health. Think about it, smartphones have only been popular for the last 10 years, and were already dependent and addicted. What will our children's social life look like a decade from now?
But what else should I expect? Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ says it best: “The further we go back in examining events the less arbitrary do they seem.”
In our podcast thus far, we have spoken a lot about energy, and how we emit and receive energies in a variety of forms. Although we can’t see it, this energy is very real, but can be difficult to understand… and even harder to explain. I think it’s easiest to understand using the term, “Vibe.” We all can relate to this, and have certainly picked up on “vibes”, haven’t we? Whether it be through a conversation - learning more about the heart and nature of another, or even through a smile - Vibes are energy transmitters… Energy moves in vibrations. This speaks to the importance of physical interaction… Can this energy transmit through a screen?
Isolation has its devastation on the human psyche. I’ve never been to prison, but I’ve seen enough movies to know a man can go crazy in total isolation. Now, we’re not living in total isolation, but I think using these pseudo-interactive tools brings us into this realm without really knowing it.
We are privileged enough to continue with our lives, for better or worse, through this pandemic in the virtual world we’ve created. But to be honest, is it really a privilege? It’s hard to say. I don’t have a choice when it comes to my schooling, which seems to be the case for all institutes of education. Nearly all businesses are closing their doors, and workers are being laid off in masses. People are being strongly urged to stay home. And this ‘strong urge’ is potential for much more… The right of assembly has been taken away… History proves Dictatorships arise constantly and consistently, especially during surrounding turmoil – a free smoke-screen, if you will. Diversion is a politician’s best friend, and under the guise of keeping people safe, making it a criminal offense to assemble or gather - an essential means for protest and revolution. What other rights are we willing to give up for our fear of death?
Another major concern: Our already debilitating economy. It's no secret the average Canadian is struggling financially. What will this do for those a paycheck away from losing their home, or going bankrupt? for those who are backed up in debt already? If I cant pay my rent, or feed my family, wouldn't I prefer to take my chances with a disease that has around 96% survival rate? Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t want people to get an infectious virus that has lethal potential… I believe life is precious and should be seen as. My favorite graphic-novel, which will also be featured on the Metaverse reading list, ‘The Watchmen’, says it better than I could, and offers us a good perspective...
A survey from 2017 done by Canadian Payroll Association suggests 47% of Canadians live paycheck to paycheck. In the podcast we already started discussing the difficulties of our growing society, especially when it comes to our generation and the lack of assets we struggle with already. The already vulnerable in our society become that much more through situations like this. And what will happen when the next bill is mailed, and the pay doesn’t roll in? Increase our debt? Steal to survive?
Don't get me wrong, there is room for optimism. The government's contingency fund could keep us afloat...
But I find politicians often don’t consider future issues hard enough; what's most important is the next election, not the issues of tomorrow, that’s the next guys problem. A government bailout is simply a debt passed on to the next generation. But who knows... maybe a catastrophe is a long awaited opportunity for reform to the system so many find deeply broken.
All this is to say that the wall that protects our society is very vulnerable. We are standing on the brink of catastrophe.
"It's only after we've lost everything that were free to do anything." - Tyler Durden.
Maybe this is the kick in the butt our society needs? We already struggle with mental health, anxiety, depression and addiction… How will all this change effect our already fragile minds?
Now is not the time to be afraid, now is the time for courage.
Fear is important... It motivates and protects. But my fear is that our society has a misguided sense in priorities. I feel we have placed more significance upon length of life as opposed to quality. Martin Luther King Jr said it best and lived out his principle: “A man who isn’t willing to die for something isn’t fit to live.”
All life is destined to end. If yours is characterized by fear and control, are you really living at all, or just surviving?
Life involves risk. It always has. Don’t let fear take control of your life.
And I hope you are finding ways to adapt to the times. Mine: More music.
Time to listen to one of my favorite songs, Pushit by Tool...
"There's no love in fear."
*Check out my new podcast! Visit the-meta-verse.com
Much Love my friends! Stay vigilant. Never lose hope.