We’re at war.
We’re under attack in a way that we’ve never seen before, not in our lifetime.
And like any war, we don’t know when it’s going to end.
Unlike any other war though, we don’t know who our enemy is.
Scientists don’t know whether this virus will mutate further, whether it will “reconfigure” to adapt to changed conditions, they don’t know whether it will become less potent as the northern hemisphere comes on summer, they don’t know how long it remains active in a person’s body after that person is “cured.” We don’t know whether there will be a second wave or a third wave…
Let’s face it, we don’t know shit.
All we know is that people are getting sick, people are dying in the most horrendous ways, we know that it’s spreading exponentially, and we know we don’t yet have a cure.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be using a war analogy though because in wartime, we have generals and admirals and commanders that have battle plans and, right or wrong, they put those plans into action decisively and immediately.
Our governments have denied and dithered and they have let us down. Where are the Churchills or the MacArthurs or the Eisenhowers of old? These are the kind of leaders we need in a time of war. Our leaders have revealed themselves to be woefully inadequate to the monumental task of winning this battle. History will judge them accordingly.
These are historic times. And we are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for our survival. If not physically, then financially, and spiritually. Many in this time of crisis are questioning their faith. They’re asking: How can an all-loving, all-compassionate God do this to us That’s a bloody good question, and a valid one to ask. This little bug is bringing us to our knees in every way imaginable.
When our leaders let us down, what can we do? In times of war, the first thing you need is to find out what the fuck is going on. You need to find out as much as you can about your enemy, how it operates, what are its means of attack, what are its likely movements.
- You need to be informed. But not by hearsay or social media panic – you need to be properly informed. By experts who know what they’re talking about. In battle parlance you need intel. Only with solid reliable intel can you then make plans.
- You need to make plans. The plans you make will be different to the plans someone else makes. Should you quit or take leave of your job and hunker down? Should you prepare yourself for a siege? Should you go join your elderly parents in the country? Having plans in place will help you remain calm. You need to prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
- You need to remain calm. You can’t fire a rifle if you’re shaking with fear. Read my previous post on fear. Facing Fear in fearful times ~ Remaining calm is critical to maximising your chances of survival in a time of war. Another critical factor is finding allies. You can’t fight a battle of this magnitude by yourself.
- You need allies. Allies are your family, your friends, your loved ones. Allies could be your employer, your boss, your neighbour. We will each need to support and help one another if we’re to get through this. The governments talk about social distancing and separation, and that’s one of the insidious things this little bug is trying to do, it’s trying to conquer us through separation and division. And yes we do need to keep ourselves separated physically, and nations do need to separate from other nations for a while, but spiritually we need to come together and unite in our efforts to combat this invasive threat.
- You need to defend yourself, and those you love. While the scientists are working on a means of attack through the creation of a vaccine, we need to defend ourselves, and those we love. This little bug is attacking us physically and financially. It’s putting us under siege. We need to prepare for a long siege, probably longer than our insipid leaders are telling us right now. This little bug ain’t going away easily. And while ever we lack the means to attack, we must defend – and that means retreating to a safe place and staying behind our battlements.
- You need to help others. In Australia there’s an iconic World War Two photo of a “digger” – a soldier in Papua New Guinea – helping another injured soldier over a creek. This is what we do in times of war. We help others. The heroes amongst us help others at the risk of their own lives or livelihoods. And already we’ve seen heroes – everyday heroes, such as the doctors and nurses and hospital workers. But also everyday heroes like those that are serving us at the checkouts in supermarkets. The transport workers. Those that are putting themselves at risk every day to keep essential services running.
- You need to be heroic. Heroic might mean being generous. Giving a neighbour food when they run out. Heroic might mean being compassionate. Looking after someone when they’re dying because they can’t get a bed in a hospital. Heroic might mean taking a financial loss so that your staff have money to pay their rent. You can be a hero in the most unobvious of ways. And true heroes are often invisible. They do their heroic deeds and ask for nothing in return. They are selfless. You can be that hero.
These are extraordinary times. Everything we thought we knew is being reconfigured, rewritten, broken down and will be re-formed anew. This is not a time to be frightened. This is a time to be calm, cool-headed, generous in spirit, and it’s a time to be intuitive. Because faced with a choice, your intuition will guide you towards the best outcome.
Personally, I watch in awe at a world undergoing tectonic change. This little bug, this noxious piece of malignant genetic coding, is forcing us to ask ourselves: What’s really important?
For me, what’s really important is love.
I know that photo from WWII. Allies one and all.
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Great and uplifting analysis Bill. Thanks. God bless you. Big kisses to Jenn.
Thanks Marie – I’ll pass that on to Jennifer too. Stay safe, please!!
And BTW, we are at war, it is exactly what our french prez Macron said to us 5 times before announcing lock down tonight.
It is a fantastic opportunity for self reflection, a pause in the craziness of our life, a return to the main road. I am on my way to changing my life, out of the routine. A fresh new start for enjoying at the most the last part of my stay on this earth. Love, to all my Camino friends for ever.
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So true Marie! A great way to look at it!
These comments are supposed to be short in response but I am soooo angry about this virus, well not the virus but the way it has been handled. Yes, I have canceled my trip to Oz for this year and that angers me but that was just a pleasurable thing and like you say what really matters is Love. I would like to be around a little longer to experience that. At my and Dales age if we get the virus it is likely to be horrendous if not deadly.
A few days before you were here in Seattle, the first USA case was just 45 minutes north of us and a few days after you left, the first death was just 30 minutes from us. After seeing what was happening in China, drastic measures should have been taken at that time. You called the head of our countries “leaders” but they are far from that. Not all of the 150 or so workers at the LifeCare facility still have not been tested and were using the wrong kind of respirator so were just spreading it around. Other countries affecting AFTER us do 1000’s of tests a day. Where was our government? Answer: On tv saying keep America Great, we are great, everything is good, not a problem, all is well. Right! Finally told our governor (whom he had called a snake ) that all you governors should try to procure (oops, that wasn’t the word as it is too big a word for him) your own respirators for your state. He said not to wait for the government to help. Our country is desperately short on respirators.
Sorry for ranting but buffoons and asses shouldn’t be allowed to be President.
On a lighter more loving note I love what Italy and Spain are doing at night. Have read on the camino blog that Italians are sitting on their balconies playing uplifting music at night and the Spanish at a certain hour of the night all open windows and clap to show appreciation for the doctors, nurses and health workers.
Aren’t the Italians and the Spanish wonderful in the face of such a dire situation? Thanks for this comment Lynda.