People talk about things ‘getting back to normal’ once this is all over. I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope people are forever changed in how they view our families, our friends, our communities and our world.
My experience is not going to be the same as those on the front line that are working far too hard, for too long in dangerous situations. Those people have my absolute respect and thanks. And especially those who were already on the front line taking care of others in frightening conditions – like the dedicated people of MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES (Doctors Without Borders)
If we learn nothing from this, what a slap in the face to those working their asses off to not only save lives but to keep food on our tables etc.
On the other side of things, for those people like me who are not on the front line and are only mildly inconvenienced – there are a lot of things to take away from this.
The go-go-go of life has suddenly paused. Natural rhythms are slowly able to be crafted for the individual. There is time to develop ones skills, pick up forgotten about hobbies, find creative ways to communicate and take a good look at what it is to be yourself.
We have time for reflection – Are addictions kicking in, such as overeating, over-drinking and over social-media-ing to fill in the gaps that we didn’t know were being filled by the busy lives we were living? Are we realizing how much our sense of self depended on mirrored reactions of those around us? Were we just worker bees, so used to the droning buzz that now the silence is frightening?
How much were we actually over-buying in the stores when every shelf was lined with everything we wanted or didn’t know we wanted? How many friendships and relationships did we take for granted because we knew we could just see those people any time, so a ‘like’ or drawn out debate on facebook was good enough?
In learning about Covid-19, which became a lot more ‘in our face’ than SARS or MERS, because it came knocking on the door loud and insistent, there was a search to find out ‘what, where and why’ — what is it? where did it come from? why is it spreading so quickly?
I can only speak to myself when i say that for me it was a huge eye-opener as to how much we exploit the earth and her inhabitants. And it’s funny because on Ash Wednesday our priest gave a great talk about how we are created of the same things that the earth we step on is. Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur. We are earth. We are our fellow creatures – two legged, four legged, finned and scaled. His sermon really clicked with me.
And then in searching out the what, where and why, there was the eye opening look at the wet markets. I was trying to factually find out about the whole zoonotic viral process and then down that rabbit hole I went, learning about other zoonotic diseases.
Who needs a conspiracy theory? Humans are violent shit-heads for the most part. Never mind the SUPER obvious horrifically heartbreaking dog meat markets in China https://youtu.be/Cpsr33bN4oM (warning – a short but tragic walk through the market. )and South Korea , and the live meat markets with animals strung together, but ‘even just’ the good ol’ North American farm that shoves multiple chickens into tiny cages to live out their sad little lives, cows , pigs, and every other animal that we eat or use the byproducts of – caged and hurt for our over consumption. Perfect breeding grounds for super nifty viruses and bacteria to take us out.
All over the earth we pollute, misuse, and abuse.
Is Nature a sentient being that does her best to defend? Seems like it.
Little things I can do :
Continue using cruelty free vanity products:
E.l.f : Hello Hydration moisturizer, moisturizing balm primer, pore putty, BB, foundation, eye shadow, lipstick, lash mascara and brow mascara.
Ordinary: Buffet serum for day and Lactic Acid (instead of retinol) by night
Timeless: Coenzyme q10 for day and Vitamin C serum for night
Naturigin: Hair dye
STICK with my food changes:
I had been doing well with eating only cruelty free animal products but it gets very expensive. Now, being forced into more expensive options to avoid the stores, I realize I can do this a lot easier if I skip the meat entirely or at least start limiting the meat (ethically sourced only) for the family to twice/week.
Due to my blood sugar management I still need to stick to a Low-Carb/Keto lifestyle so I will make the easier transition to ovo lacto vegetarian, instead of full blown vegetarian – WITH the promise that I will do my best to ensure my dairy and eggs come from ethically raised animals.
Part of this will be investigating new recipes that are low-carb but also ovo lacto vegetarian.
There are various belief systems that take into account the trauma of the animal you are eating. It is thought the person eating takes on that trauma as well, and as a result it causes damage to our physical health. An interesting thought.
In the Mahabharata, the great warrior Bhishma explains to Yudhisthira, eldest of the Pandava princes, that the meat of animals is like the flesh of one’s own son. In the Lankavatara Sutras, a central Mahayana scripture said to consist of Buddha’s own words. In support of vegetarianism, the sage states: “For the sake of love and purity, the bodhisattva should refrain from eating flesh, which is born of semen and blood. For fear of causing terror to living beings, let the bodhisattva, who disciplines himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh.
“God did not permit Adam and his wife to kill a creature and to eat its flesh,” said Rashi, a highly respected, 12th-century, Jewish rabbi who wrote the first comprehensive commentaries on the Talmud and Tanakh. Ronald Isaacs states in Animals in Jewish Thought and Tradition that all Talmudic rabbis conclude that “the permission to eat meat [was granted to human kind] as a compromise, a divine concession to human weakness and human need.” The Indian saint and mystic Kabir, a contemporary of Guru Nanak who some believe may have been Nanak’s preceptor, wrote: “If you say that God resides in all, why do you kill a hen? & It is foolish to kill an animal by cruelty and call that dead animal sanctified food. & You keep fasts in order to become acceptable to God, but kill a living animal for your relish.” (https://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1541)
Greek teacher Pythagoras taught that all animals, not just humans, had souls, which were immortal and reincarnated after death. Since a human might become an animal at death, and an animal might become a human, Pythagoras believed that killing and eating non-human animals sullied the soul and prevented union with a higher form of reality. Theophrastus argued that killing animals for food was wasteful and morally wrong. http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2010/08/the-hidden-history-of-greco-roman-vegetarianism/
We are of dirt, and dirt we shall become. We have drawn an invisible line between us and the world we are of, and instead have become predators to that same world.
This time of being forced to stay home is a time also to look inward, to re-imagine how we interact with the world beyond our four walls and within them. From new ways of educating the children, and reordering our lives to work with the available products and services, to discovering our fears, desires and talents – there is much good to come out of this very frightening and difficult time. And if we can’t recognize those things and act on them to cause change for the good -then all the hard work done by those trying to keep us alive and well is wasted. Because we are the worst virus ever – and we are killing our host.