The latest strain is really turning everything we’ve known about handling the pandemic on its head. It is super contagious, generally mild, and no vaccine seems to protect against it. In short, it has taken two years of unprecedented efforts and unmatched investments and made a mockery of them. It is just the slap we needed in order to wake up from our delusional efforts to maintain our previous way of life. Instead of fighting a doomed war, we should put our heads together, and design a safer and calmer way to live.
I don’t regard the virus as an illness; I regard it as a cure. The healing process must begin with rethinking about our lives: what we want to achieve, what will make us happy, what is truly meaningful in our lives, and how to build a society where people do not undermine others’ dreams but support them, so that everyone can realize their dreams instead of only a select few, at the expense of everyone else.
The fact that the virus is disrupting our previous way of life is nature’s gift to humankind. We were drowning in hubris, and now we’re shown our limits. Nothing is healthier than knowing the truth. If you know the truth, you can start building better from it. But if you don’t know who you are and where you live, everything you do will come out crooked and collapse.
In fact, we are witnessing the collapse of our old way of life. The fact that nature is destroying it is proof that it was unsustainable. If we are smart, we will take the hint and not try to go where nature will not let us.
Governments have already spent trillions of dollars on rescue packages and other relief programs. They can continue doing so and take advantage of the fact that people are quitting their jobs by the millions every month to install countrywide, and even worldwide, programs that re-envision human society. On every level—personal, community, national, and international—we should rethink the structure of our society and our relationships with others.
Science will not defeat the virus. It mutates faster than scientists can develop vaccines or medicines. Even if scientists were able to develop new vaccines every few months, what kind of life is it if you have to get a booster shot against a new variant three times a year?
Worse yet, these viruses are our own making. We are basically walking-talking bags of microbes, and there are so many we don’t know yet until they become pathogenic. If you take the multiple cases of cruise ships whose crews and guests are all fully vaccinated, yet repeatedly suffer from outbreaks, and the (absolutely bizarre) case of the polar research station whose crew is fully vaccinated, checked frequently, quarantined, and located in the North Pole, hundreds of miles from other human beings, yet two thirds of them have suddenly come down with Covid, you will realize that the virus is within us, not outside of us, and this is where we need to find the cure.
The element within us that is noxious and generates every noxious element in reality is our attitude. Our abusive and exploitative approach to everything and everyone around us makes everyone sick. It warps every level of reality and turns it from benign to malignant.
If you look at every other part of creation, you will not find that any of them is evil, ill-meaning or malevolent. All parts of nature function just as nature has created them. We are the only element that consciously aspires to take more than we need, to deny others what they need, and not in order to sustain ourselves, but for the joy of making others suffer and the feeling of superiority.
Because we want to show everyone that we are the bosses, nature shows us who is the real boss. For this reason, until we bow our heads and get in line with all other elements of creation, nature will continue to forcefully and painfully “explain” to us the truth.
When we stop being abusive, we will not be abused. When we stop wishing harm to others, we will not suffer nature’s harm. If we seek to live calmly and pleasantly with everyone around us, this is exactly the life we will have. This is nature’s lesson to humanity.