June 5th

6/5
Greetings Friends!

Have you noticed the unofficial slogan of the Pandemic?

“We are all in this together.”  This definitely has been ubiquitous during the shut down, even though we would acknowledge that people’s experiences have been vastly different.

On one hand  life was simplified by the shut down, the family dinner made a comeback (Norman Rockwell would approve) and introspection was the “in” thing.

Long-term isolators no longer felt guilty that they weren’t participating in society. Heck, they had company now!  Germ-o-phobes were vindicated, and there was even a feeling of protection as strangers masked up and stayed behind plexiglass. Our boundaries were secured.

On the other hand, a lot of people have suffered massive financial strain.  Bills and rents go unpaid. Prospects for meaningful recovery remain uncertain. It doesn’t get more stressful than not being able to make ends meet.  Oh yeah, did I mention thousands of deaths and enough fear to last a lifetime? Anxiety, separation, substance abuse, despair.

If we reflect on the situation, as this past week makes us do, we find the polarities we find are a microcosm for our own lives and society as a whole.

There are two sides, and we are all in it together.

Whether you are healthy or sick, young or old, black or white, rich or poor, — we are in it together. And it’s not that one way is right or the other is wrong. The point is how we orient to each other and ourselves.

Whether you are in pain or free from it, whether you have an asymptomatic case or a cytokine storm, whether you are part of the solution or even part of the problem you are in the one human community. And you belong.

How else would we be able experience the love in giving if there was not those who needed help? And the love in receiving deliverance if we didn’t suffer? Pain isn’t the problem. It’s the mandate. It’s not what you have that matters, it’s what you do with it. Pain transforms with love and recognition.

Yes, we have a long way to go, but all the pieces are here.  It’s not broken, friends. The dysfunction is waking us, and that is the goal.

Bright Future?
The big news from NYC was the report this week of the first day since the outbreak with no new Coronavirus deaths!

Reports out of China and Italy are promising as severe problems aren’t rebounding as time goes on and society loosens restrictions. These countries are the leading edge and could predict what the future holds for us.

  • Officials in central China did a massive 2-week campaign to test asymptomatic citizens. 10 million people were tested with nasal swabs. They only found 300 positives!
  • Italian doctors say the virus they are seeing now does not have the same virulence. They aren’t seeing the same level of mortality and morbidity.

The way I see it there is the front edge to the Pandemic. It meets no resistance and rips through the population. You are never as vulnerable as you are during that initial phase.

We know that with Mindfulness in our day and with time set aside for meditation or prayer or self-reflection stress is not able to stack up as it would otherwise. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programs have made a study of it. I’m hopeful our social distancing programs might be as potent of an intervention. It was like a global meditative pause.

And, it somehow seems to fit that phase one of our recovery is accompanied by protests and demonstrations. Fever detoxifies. It makes whole what has been separated.

I’ve long sensed that to be healthy you have to go against the stream of the standard. That stream is toxic. We are born with a situation that needs to be changed, with steps we have to take. We create our future together .

Sincere Best Wishes on your day,

Dr Cooney and staff