Today is August 6, 2020, and the United States has become the epicenter of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We now have 4,728, 239 confirmed cases , and 156, 050 deaths. Another damning statistic: China, where the Pandemic began, has had since the beginning, about 8 deaths per million population, while the U.S. has had over 430 deaths per million population. This is not a contest for national superiority, or a test for medical expertise. It is the deadliest world-wide viral disease in a hundred years. The United States is losing the war against this deadly disease which is not only killing hundreds of thousands of us, but is also causing lifetime health problems in the millions who have contracted the disease, and will contract it. We have some 330 million people, and so far, “only” four million plus have been affected. Thus, only one out of a hundred Americans have been affected personally. A few million others have been affected through infections and deaths among family, friends, and fellow workers. But this is over all, a small percentage of Americans. Like the wars our government has been fighting overseas for the past twenty years, only a few million have been affected. So hardly 5 % over all in our entire population have really suffered and mourned.
Thus, up until now most Americans have been in denial about the Covid-Pandemic, AND the wars we are still fighting. But now, after five, six months of shutdown, social distancing, and ¼ of the population unemployed, there are signs of moving into the five steps of Kubler-Ross’s insightful findings on human grief, mourning, depression, and dying. Most of us are still over all in denial of the extreme danger we are facing as a nation. Most of us cannot go about our daily business of living, and fulfilling responsibilities, unless we deny anxiety, fear, and panic over the very real danger in which we find ourselves and our children. But there are increasing signs of anger setting in, as many of us are beginning to suspect that it didn’t have to come to this. We are being told that other countries are opening their schools, and opening up their economies, while we are floundering, not knowing when or how to open up again in the middle of rising positive cases and deaths in many of our states. The more we suspect that our governmental leadership has let us down, the angrier we become. Others have moved beyond the anger and are wondering if we shouldn’t just bite the bullet and let the chips fall where they may. This is a huge euphemism for “some people will have to get sick and/or die.” And they add, “because no matter what we do, people are just going to have to die one way or another, sooner or later. “ I have always called that : Third stage bargaining. If I continue this line of thinking, many of us will become depressed, and stage four is a long, long journey. Let’s not go there. Let’s go back to being angry at our leaders who are obviously responsible for the lethal mess we are in.
Until now, we have been largely lost without strong national leadership. We have lost almost 500 Americans per one million population, while the Chinese, where it started, have only lost about 8 persons per million population. Each and every one of us needs to take this plague/pandemic seriously enough to physically distance and shutdown ourselves and those for whom we are responsible.
This is a time for spirituality rather than activity. We need an interior life now more than we ever needed one before. We need mindfulness and meditation. We need contemplation and the cool comfort of prayer. We need the experience of limitless belonging that I have written about in my books. I especially recommend “The Mystical Experience of Eternal Life” in “Entering Eternity with Ease.”
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Sal, REALLY enjoyed reading your Blog. With only one or two minor differences, I agree wholeheartedly with what you express. Though I do not consider myself a pessimist, on what I am going to comment on, I am pessimistic.
In millennial time man has not mentally kept up with his scientific discoveries since he’s excited Plato’s cave of shadows.
Though only responsible leaders are today in control of such awesome weapons of mass destruction it is only a matter of time before irresponsible leaders get control of them. Also, a factor to consider is the death of mankind through his lack of husbandry. Lack of adequate responsibility for ‘Climate Control’ is just starting to make our planet Earth less inhabitable’ to sustain human life. Add to that overpopulation which, because of the inadequate food supply to feed them and lack of adequate health care, populations are seeking new lands to survive in only to be met with hostility by the inhabitants. Their suffering is immense.
Unless major changes take place I am predicting the end of humanity within one to two, not thousands but hundreds of years.
Harry, Thank you for your very much appreciated comment. I actually agree with most of your assessment, except for the pessimistic view that the planet will be destroyed within the next two centuries by the abuse of power by greedy fools. There are plenty of greedy fools all right, but I am a cockeyed optimist and I believe in this “thing” called “Grace”. Some call it faith, but I don’t. My optimism comes from the experience of limitless belonging which I get from daily meditation and mindfulness. I am a fan of Dag Hammarskjold, the martyred mystic who said : ” I don’t know Who or What put the question, I don’t even remember answering, but at some moment I did answer ‘Yes’ to Someone or Something- and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and therefore my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.” My recovering friends call It ” a higher power”: Paul Tillich calls It the “Ground of Being”. MLK through Reinhold Niebuhr calls it “the arc of the universe that bends toward justice.” I just experience It in my gut as faith in the hope of love. Let it be.