Corona is now ruling the world. Since March 11th we now have a pandemic, as officially announced by the WHO, a worldwide state of emergency. And every day a lot of disquieting and also some nice news flow into my field of attention. In Italy the situation is a nightmare, in China the wave seems to be on the decline… And not only here in Germany people are still struggling to assess the situation properly and act as wisely as seems possible. But what does it actually require?
Already thinking about it is exhausting and makes us strangely helpless. Matthias Horx, the researcher of trends and the future nails it in his article “Corona: An exercise in resilience” on his website. He says: In facing the virus we´re all equal. He also illustrates in an impressive ways how pandemics have catalysed the evolution of humanity.
Currently there are way more confusing questions than clarifying answers. Hardly anything provides reliable orientation. All are confronted with a massive loss of control and in the meantime, public life is “switched off” ever more: events are cancelled, companies demand home office, clubs are closed etc.
Hardly anybody can escape this
The hysteria took me initially completely by surprise. I was quite annoyed with it when I was first confronted with it upon my return flight from Sri Lanka and complete digital absence. I was in three airports – Colombo , Doha and Berlin-Tegel and everywhere I saw about 15% of the people wearing masks. Only those who really coughed and sneezed didn´t.
The next day I went to my local supermarket to fill up my fridge an witnessed myself the emptiness in the shelves with toilet paper, pasta, lentils, rice and flour. It made me laugh out loud. I thought Corona was a coldlike flu?! So if lemons, ginger and honey would have been sold out I would have understood. But flour? And toilet paper? Corona is no stomach bug!
And I must add here that the media are full if not overly so with news on the Corona Virus. What you think the peak of strangeness one day, is easily outdone by something happening the next. Recently I heard i.e. that the administration of the borough Berlin-Mitte told it´s employees not to lick the handlebars in the public transport vehicles… And a father told me in the kindergarden of his children parents had stolen the disinfectant with which the injuries of the children are normally treated… In China the government uses drones to control their citizens and their health situation around the clock. And the internet is full of many videos with horrific pictures from many countries documenting the effect of the virus.
There is no end to the horror stories
With every day since my return a diffuse cloud of fear, despair, aggression and irritation and sheer helplessness seems to spread ever more in Berlin. Only information and clarifying my own feelings can help me in dealing with such currents. So I decide to get involved more deeply with the subject. I did research on- and offline and finally I met with Yesha Z. Karmeli, a close friend and natural health professional in Berlin. We shared our insights and together we created a list of tipps to deal with the situation. You find it later in the text and can also download it as a pdf file.
Furthermore we decided to find more about the virus in a systemic constellation. It is possible after all that there is more to it that might be easily overlooked. For of course the whole thing is more than a health issue. It also has enormous effects on our social and cultural life, on economy and politics and that all over the world.
That makes it all the more worthwhile to look at the underlying dynamics of all of this.
The longing for doomsday
What really flabbergasted me, was, how many people entered such a state of panic that they store tons of toilet paper and when they discover a bottle with disinfectant somewhere they break out in tears overwhelmed with gratitude. Even though you can disinfect your door handles with window cleaner (it contains a certain amount of alcohol) or, if it comes to the worst: with wodka! And the other day on the train a cookie got stuck in my throat and I coughed – some of the looks I received were indescribable!
Also I catch occasional tidbits of conversation, like somebody proudly declaring he had already stored canned food in early February or others who with a delightfully pessimistic thrill declare that the situation will get much worse!
Apparently quite a few people have a real need for catastrophes and the potential collapse of the world. As if it had been anticipated or feared for a long time, for it was already expected in 2000 and in 2012 – but to the disappointment of many – the world happily continued… And surely tons of fears are lurking in our subconscious. They have been fuelled by the “invisible enemies” of the cold war in the 60ies and 70ies. This was followed by the fear of the world wide ecological collapse in the 80ies and 90ies. At that time we hat acid rain, the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl and very gloomy Greenpeace adds in the cinemas. I remember one where a child and his grandmother wearing gasmasks are walking through a glum wasteland. The grandmother recounts how she saw one of the last flowering trees in her youth. And more recent is the fear of terrorists and biological weapons, fed by 9/11 and the Iraq war and now of course, the pandemic.
Novels, movies and series cater to this. Dystopias are highly popular: “The Hunger Games”, “The Giver” and recently the highly successful series “The Handmaid´s Tale”. And since January Netflix offers a six part documentary with the title of “Pandemics”. The series depicts the historical influenzas that got out of hand and the heroic deeds of those who fought for the health of the people. For instance the so-called Spanish flue that killed roughly 50 million people between 1918 and 1920. As honourable as this may be and – according to the Netflix website – it is to have a “educational effect” in showing how to deal with a pandemic constructively (!)… Yet it still fills our heads with horrific scenarios.
We are programmable creatures
I actually believe that positive visions of the future would be just as popular, maybe even more so – but they are hardly available. If I was to offer a writing contest, the subject would be “Positive Science Fiction”. But currently that´s far off and in the meantime the conscious and especially the subconscious fears are stirred.
Ever since the studies on advertising we know: you can influence the viewer, even manipulate him. No matter how often we decide not to be biased by the powerful flood of the current horror scenarios – and currently they are everywhere in the media.
The Power of Fear
The Virus dominates the headlines and this currently more so every day. People talk about it everywhere. Last week I had lunch in a restaurant and all four conversations at the tables around us were about the pandemic – including ours.
That there actually is a massive famine in Eastern Africa, new conflicts on the Greek-Turkish border because of refugees from Syria, where the political situation worsened yet again and that the rainforest in Brazil is continuously shrinking has sunk into the background. Even “Climate Greta” and her “Fridays-for-Future” are hardly mentioned anymore.
The German MD and former politician Wolfgang Wodarg explains in a text on his website (scroll down and you´ll find information in English) and in a clip on youtube, how distorted the presentation of the media is. He explains that people die every year of pneumonia in the flu season – especially if they were prone to it due to previous illnesses or old age. It is absolutely normal that out of a thousand people one dies of the flu. And so far the number of people diagnosed with the Corona Virus is still in normal proportions.
The German Virologist Hendrick Streeck who studied more than 100 people infected with the Corona Virus declares that most people easily survive it and that he does not expect more people to die in Germany this year, than in any other year.
A healthy person can survive it, as he would survive any other intense flu. You are not automatically a case for the hospital or the cemetery. And by now there are already more people who have easily survived their infection than new people who get newly infected. But this is hardly mentioned.
Only few people deal with it in a calm and prudent way. Unfortunately fear is much more contagious than prudence.
Compassion, fairness and humour are vital
However to those who feel fear, it is a real stress. The fear and worry about themselves and probably even more about the people they care for. It devours their sleep and weakens their immune system.
From my point of view you can only meet them with kind compassion. And in turn, we should also generously tolerate those who manage the situation with flippant and cynical remarks. Everybody has the right to handle the situation in the way that serves them most. And to accuse each other of a lack of realism doesn´t serve anybody. Each of us can only decide for themselves what works or not. And we only will know in hindsight who was right.
I believe it is generally important and particularly in times of crisis to meet one another with benevolence, consideration and willingness to cooperate to the wellbeing of all. The already mentioned Matthias Horx calls it “cooperative egotism” – to care for the wellbeing of all in order to feel better yourself. But that is not wrong.
Germans have a mentality anyway where there is extreme carefulness is stronger than carefreeness – and always a big need for protection and safety. Always according to the motto: “Better than safe than sorry.” In this situation is actually a really good feature. Especially if it doesn´t go too far, like in Lithuania where a husband locked his wife in the bathroom after she had had a conversation with a friend who had a cold.
I’m also fundamentally all for giving humour as much room as possible. And it is already happening: social media are full of wonderful cartoons and memes. There is Golum from the Lord of the Rings holding role of toilet paper instead of the ring and whispering: “My treasure!” There are “memorial earrings 2020” in the shape of tiny toilet paper roles made of pearls and quite a few famous paintings where the people in the paining wear masks and many things more I cannot put here because of copyright issues.
It is definitely very relaxing to be able to laugh together. It strengthens our sense of community and furthermore our immune system.
The main factor is stress
In my opinion the entire symptoms around the virus are the expression of a much more complex disease:
The entire world is way too stressed and out of balance. Our environment – the air we breathe, the detergents we use and our food are full of toxins. We filled the oceans with plastic and cigarette buts so that we already ingest fish who contain micro plastic. We …a great part of the rainforests and thereby knocked the climate so far out of balance, that it is too hot and dry in some countries and too wet and cold in others… Furthermore if the food distribution on our planet wasn´t so highly unjust, and there was not only sufficient but sufficient healthy food for all people, the entire collective wouldn´t be so stressed. The same applies to access to medical treatment and education.
I also believe that our very own life style is often not really healthy enough and leads to stress. We often work too hard and don´t sleep enough, because of lack of time and convenience we don´t really eat with awareness and don´t appreciate nature sufficiently. I’m also sure that GMO food makes us more sick, exactly because it is not natural.
Many are driven by the conscious and subconscious fear concerning their existence. They have a great desire for safety and try to control their future. So they work until they collapse (exhaustion) and often neglect their loved ones (feelings of guilt). Then they often feel overwhelmed by the heteronomy and lose sight of their own needs. The stress increases and so do diseases. Every year more people die of heart attacks, cancer and respiratory diseases. Furthermore depression and burn-out are ever increasing and unfortunately, so does suicide. If we truly embraced a more healthy lifestyle and a healthier way to deal with ourselves and our environment, we would all be more resistant concerning viruses that increasingly plague our civilization. We are indeed much more fragile and sensitive than we like to believe.
The general imbalance is growing
The massive orders to quarantine lead to the cancellation of a great number of events. The Leipzig bookfair and other fairs were cancelled where entire industries make must of their money. In Berlin all kinds of concerts and theatre shows were cancelled until the end of the Easter holidays. People cancel their flights – either because they don´t want having to go into quarantine upon arrival, as is the case in Russia and Israel or because they are afraid of an infection. Australia that has already been suffering of the bush fires is now also dealing with a great loss of tourists who cancelled their trips. It is most likely that travel agencies, airlines and a number of artists and many other service companies will go bankrupt now. It is speculated that the economical losses will be immense which can already be seen at the stock exchange. Some people believe it will ultimately lead to a financial collapse. Meanwhile big pharma and life insurances are thriving.
What do we really need now?
In order to get answers to this question I met with Yesha Karmeli, a good friend of mine and a natural health practitioner in Berlin. After having shared our thoughts and observations, we decided to take this a step further and explore the matter with the tool of systemic constellation and find out, what the possible “message” of this virus is.
For we both have experienced that every sickness has a message for the person who falls ill with it. It alludes to the issue that the patient has to deal with in order to find peace in his soul and also to return to sustainable longterm health.
In brief: every sickness is in our service – and to each of us in a specific way. However there are general issues, that are a the base of certain combinations of symptoms. Pneumonia for example – and Corona attacks primarily the lungs – is an expression of unresolved inner emotional conflicts, inner despair and the inability to embrace the abundance of life and really enjoy it (breathing difficulties). To explore this further would lead too far away from the subject at hand. However I can warmly recommend the great books by Louise Hay, Jacques Martel and Rüdiger Dahlke about the connection between symptom and the underlying emotional theme.
Our systemic look at the virus
We used the following vector: the people, the virus, its origin, its meaning for mankind and what helps us. It became clear that it is a not a mutation from the animal kingdom, but “manmade”. But it also became obvious that it is not important for people to know under what circumstances this virus emerged and what motivated the original creators.
The most powerful position was the individual dealing with it. In other word the take and responsible action of every single human being counts. All of us are required to find out for themselves what serves their health most. A vital part is nutrition. This applies to food as well as information in the media.
Furthermore responsible behaviour towards yourself and the people around you, the more effectively the danger of contagion can be reduced. Therefor even though you might not get sick yourself from the virus, you can still transmit it. So it is not only important to watch your own health but that of the people around you too. Statistically every Berliner has contact with 100 people per day… Because you ride on the same bus, go to the same supermarket, stand at the same streetlight. (Ampel) usw. Usf.
Yesha Karmeli und I collected the following tips, that are to make dealing with the situation easier.
PROTECT YOUR HEALTH AND AVOID PANIC
These following recommendations in dealing with the Corona Virus cannot replace a visit to the doctor or the consumption of medication. They merely contain suggestions for prevention and dealing with the pandemic. And they are not only helpful facing Corona but any kind of infectious disease. Feel free to share this text! CoronaTippsEng2020
We wish you resistant health!
Elisabeth Karsten (Elisabeth-karsten.de) & Yesha Z. Karmeli (natura-heilpraxis.de)
The first priority is the strengthening of your immune system. This can be supported by an alkaline diet – eating primarily fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes and rather avoid meat, wheat, dairy products, coffee and alcohol. Also the consumption of horseradish is good for the immune system. It is also important to drink a lot of clean water, possibly with lemon and ginger, about two litres per day. Furthermore supplementing your diet with Vitamin C and D, zinc, selenium and probiotics is wise. A mixture of essential oils should contain rose geranium, tea tree oil, cinnamon and fir, i.e. in an oil bath or in an aroma lamp. Also, black cumin seed oil with juniper is helpful. If you need more, you can go to a doctor or a health practitioner and get a hydrogen infusion with vitamin C and balance your health deficiencies. If you deal with exhaustion Q10 and a vitamin B complex will help. As will walking in the fresh air, moving your body at least 20 minutes per day and sufficient sleep. Furthermore washing your hands regularly with soap is wise. Especially if you´ve been using public transport or been to public spaces, like a railway station etc. If you have a cold – even if it is not Corona – you should always cough and sneeze into your own elbow and keep a polite physical distance to other people. As well as taking a regular bath with Epsom Salt.
Besides the physical hygiene psychological hygiene is also meaningful. If you constantly feed yourself with news and images about the pandemic and don´t leave any space for anything else, you feed your fears and thereby weaken your immune system. It is important to make sure, to not talk about it all the time and possibly intensifying your own fears by listening to those of others. It is also most recommendable to feed your mind with positive content and not forget other events in your life and the world – that will put your own situation more into perspective. And whenever possible, to laugh as heartily as possible. Fortunately the pandemic is a goldmine for comedians and cartoonists. Furthermore we recommend watching definitely more comedies than any kind of doomsday movies or series! For laughing strengthens the immune system! Just as much, as heartfelt hugs, 15 minutes of dancing or singing and anything you enjoy! In general it is worthwhile to ask yourself what serves you most right now and then to focus on that!
To regularly go into inner stillness and focus on your own palpable truth creates inner peace. Some people also are helped by prayer, especially if your thoughts tend to create horror scenarios. There is a popular Buddhist prayer for example that helps to broaden our perspective and your heart. Adapted to our conditions it goes like this: “May I be well and happy and healthy and peaceful. May everybody in my environment be well, and happy and healthy and peaceful, may everybody in my country be well and happy and healthy and peaceful. May everybody in the world be well and happy and healthy and peaceful. May all sentient beings be well, and happy and healthy and peaceful.” Repeating this several times a day calms your mind and helps you to focus on a positive outcome of the entire situation!
How is this going to continue?
Every day the bad news increases – doctors are being called back from retirement, kindergarden, schools, and national borders are being closed and more and more people experience a kind of “cognitive dissonance”: if it was “only” a flu virus, why then such drastic measures in such a short time? It seems of utmost importance to reduce the danger of infection to the minimum, because the symptoms do not any longer match a normal flue, but a difficult pneumonia. People can´t breathe and fill and spill over the intensive care units in hospitals. The hospitals worry that they will not be able to handle the flood of patients and so many die because there aren´t enough beds nor personnel – that partly gets sick too. At least that is the situation in Italy. So the slower the infection spreads, and the lower the number of people infected, the more people stand the chance to survive a possibly challenging sickness.
At the same time interesting information trickles through social media, that are alternatingly confirmed or declared a hoax. There is for instance some health advice by a Japanese doctor, who describes how long the virus survives on different materials: skin, textiles, metal and recommends to inhale deeply once a day and hold the breath in for ten seconds. If you don´t cough or gasp for air, your respiration system is still fine. Another bit of news said, that the university clinic in Vienna, Austria had discovered that there seemed to be connection between the intake of ibuprofen and the faster spreading of Corona. Doctors in Austria are no advised to use other painkillers. Furthermore there is the rumour that Corona is a bio-weapon that due to an accident reached the public at the wrong time.
Then there is the discovery by the American health activist Arthur Firstenberg who researched the relationship between pandemics and the electrification of our environment. Half a year before the infamous Spanish Influenza in 1918-20 radio waves had been introduced all over the world, followed by the installation of the radar system in World War II, the Asian flu emerged in 1957/58 and then satellite technology that was followed by the Honkong flu and finally Wuhan was one of the first cities that is fully using 5G and interestingly enough the Corona symptoms are awfully similar to those of people who cannot tolerate the 5G frequencies.
Also many state, like the German journalist Ken Jebsen that all of this was never about the wellbeing of people, but about the maintenance of economic interests. First the public warnings came too late, so the economy wouldn´t suffer. Then the measures suddenly became massive and extreme – again so that the economy wouldn´t collapse completely due to the spreading sickness.
All of us have to check news like that for ourselves. First, we have to see how well they match our own sense of truth and then research the content in the sources we trust and adapt your own behaviour accordingly. And in general we´re all called to check every day where we position ourselves between fear and trust… And find our own ways, what the healthiest ways are for the maintenance of our personal wellbeing.
It seems to be also about a kind of consciousness test
We experience an hitherto unknown situation and for everybody all of this is new. And every day we have to face the situation at hand and its possible consequences. Each one of us is required, to be aware of where s/he is at with it and communicate it clearly. What sources do we rely on to form our opinion? Which truth do we trust? That which is spread in the various media…or do we also respect our own innate feeling, our intuition or common sense and our intelligence?
Who do we believe? Who and what serves our orientation? Like this odd difference in numbers regarding sick and dying people in Italy and Germany. Do the Italians exaggerate? Do the Germans downplay it? Are the cautionary measures too much or not enough? Are the official figures regarding casualties true or manipulated? The risk of infection is seemingly much higher – but the SARS Virus in 2017 was actually more dangerous…
Fear is omnipresent – how much are we affected by it? How much do we give in to it? Are we scared of the disease itself? Are we worried about shortage of supplies? Do we have existential fears because the economy could collapse? Many service industries especially in entertainment and tourism.
Fear or trust?
Do we feed the distrust in others, who seemingly act without consideration, because they don´t cough into their elbow? Is there perhaps a foggy feeling that there might be some entity out there that seemingly wants to annihilate us? Or is it simply fear of the unknown? Nobody knows how this is going to end – and that the economic damage might be much longer effective than that concerning our health?
China considers the peak of infections as having passed. In China the number of people whose health is restored has by now surpassed the number of people who are infected. Currently there are still more people dying of cancer, heart attacks, car accidents and even suicide – than the flu or even Corona. But does a part of us fear nonetheless hat we are the fatal exception.
Or we follow our trust in the good? Even if others consider us possibly naïve and unrealistic? Does it not suffice, to take good care of your health and that of others? Does one really have to avoid groups of people? Does the possible isolation and loneliness not weaken our immune system more than shared joy in being with another.
Your own attention is more important than ever?
And finally the spiritual principle applies that whatever we put or focus on gets amplified. Michael Roads, the spiritual teacher from Australia, a modern mystic and writer and a friend and mentor to me, always says: “Where you focus energy flows connects and creates.” In other words we ourselves determine the experience of our reality. And we always have a choice what we let into our field of attention. Do we inundate ourselves with horror stories pass them on feverishly or do we occupy our minds with information and people that increase our trust in life and our personal strength? Do we entertain negative visions of the future or do we believe, that life will continue in a positive way and all will be good in the end? It is also highly recommendable, to be most aware of what you want to pay attention to. Besides, there are good aspects to the pandemic.
The positive side effects of Corona
In social media there are tweets from the citizens of Wuhan who by now have been quarantined for over fifty days. They report that everything has become much more quiet, the air is much cleaner – there is no traffic anymore. They spend more time together, read more, can hear the birds singing again and are generally more relaxed….
Furthermore more people have survived the virus in Wuhan than have died of it. And they had time to think and become more aware of their needs. And the initial strategy of the Chinese government at the beginning of the pandemic, to cover up the truth in order to avoid riots has led to a fundamental distrust among the Chinese. It is quite possible that the Chinese will demand a government in the future that serves them, rather than using them.
In Italy the government paused the payment of mortgages, so that people who cannot work currently do not indebt themselves. I some Italian towns people make music on their balconies together – community finds new ways of expression. And finally the dolphins are making their way again into the lagoons of Italy, because there is hardly any water traffic, even in Venice.
In Germany the government is offering support to small companies, so they won´t have to go bankrupt. And people campaign the idea in social media to begin with basic income income – at least for a limited time.
On Facebook a crowdfunding campaign has the aim to support artists. You can find it under the key word Artist Relief Tree (ART) online.
And many artists are contemplating how they can share their comforting and encouraging abilities with others, despite physical isolation. Among others Neil Young will offer his “Fireside Sessions” as a live stream and many comedians comment on the situation in entertaining clips on youtube.
And surely lots more that doesn´t make it into the headlines because it is not dramatic enough and won´t produce lucrative clicks.
Let´s make use of the quarantine
No matter whether ordered or voluntarily – let´s make use of this timeout. To many of us it offers the possibility to calm down, develop new life strategies – especially if the children have to be taken care of at home and the grand parents cannot help because of the health risk. We will find new solutions – for the current situations and the following!
Especially if we take a moment and act wisely – something that many of us often don’t make sufficient time for. We react instead of responding with a conscious decision that is wise in the long run.
This situation where public life is increasingly shut down also contains a potential for a new start – like starting the computer anew after a crash. It is an exceptional situation where most of us are not ill and surely not struggle with death. Now we finally have enough time to really contemplate our health and our lifestyle. What do we really want? For us? For the world?
And while we´re at the spiritual aspects of things: various people, among them the popular Swiss channel medium Nancy Holten pointed out, that Corona means crown or ring of rays and that this is no coincidence. One aspect of the virus seems to be that we reconnect again with our “crown chakra” – about a foot above our head and thereby reconnect with our very own connection to the divine, the consciousness of the spirit being we truly are.
And here too, everybody must check for themselves, who or what they pay attention to. Some people find it helpful to use the spiritual perspective in order to make more sense of the events. Others consider it deluded estorical nonsense. Just like some people like praying and other buy insurance – just to be safe… And then there is the great majority who actually does both but doesn´t like talking about it.
It´s up to us how this will end
In the end it´s up to each one of us how s/he deals with the situation. Whether you consider it a “great misfortune” or a “unique chance” or “unbelievable catalyst” or all three… Maybe the principle of “breakdown in order to break through” applies. A number of great innovations came alongside great difficulties. I do actually believe it offers the chance of a new birth of our civilization – and not only that of children in 9-11 months… Let´s take care that everything will ultimately turn out well for people and nature. Then the lovely image, that Kitty O´Meara drew so beautifully in the social networks can become reality!
Note: concerning the used pictures: All pictures are from pixabay.com, except the one on the bus (my own) and the “miraculous multiplication of the toilet paper” (it came via whatsapp – source unknown) and the text by Kitty O´Meara (via Facebook).
All artists a great thank you for your art and generosity!