Perspectives on the Future

Welcome to another day at the Carnival!

Your Friday Bulletin has arrived and contains:

  • This Week’s Covid Update
  • More Perspective on Delta
  • Perspectives on the Future

Covid Update 

  • It’s a tense time as this wave establishes itself. The CDC says the level of contagiousness of Delta is on the level of measles and other highly contagious agents.
  • The current 7 day national average has gone to 60K new cases per day from 45K; up from that recent low daily tally of 12-15K/day. Highest peak of the pandemic was 275K/day; A couple days late in the week saw 100K new cases, predicting the average will continue to climb.
  • The good news is immunity from both prior infection and mRNA shots is holding. Breakthroughs are relatively rare in most published studies.
  • Our county has seen a continued uptick. 44 cases last week (up from 20 in the previous week). We had 11 cases reported yesterday alone. The peak last year was 500weekly cases. We are still not in an incidence range where we are recommended to mask again, even if vaccinated, but we should raise our awareness levels and be mindful of exposure risks.

What can we predict?

The Delta spike has peaked in the UK. That has been a relief to see. Experts are watching their experience closely. Cases are dropping by the day and are at 80% of their recent peak. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner and advisor to Pfizer suspects we will likely follow suit and is hopeful our peak could be in as little as 2 weeks.

So what’s with the Carnival theme?

At the carnival things aren’t always as they appear, and if you play their games you are bound to lose.

So goes life on planet earth.

There’s a lot of illusion, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a powerful and fulfilling experience; we just have to be very certain about what it is that we’re hoping to accomplish!

We might as well attach ourselves to the finest mission there is, like helping humanity’s causemore than we hurt it, like doing Good.

The things I have been reading this week makes the case that we have some work to do to preserve our individual rights and freedoms in the new age we have entered. And let’s be clear, COVID is ushering us into a new age.

Covid’s signature move has been to accelerate the move to put our lives onto a digital platform. 

It has launched us into the digital age. Zoom this and zoom that. Tele-everything. Digitalized shopping, digitalized schooling, digitalized medicine, digitalized business and digitalized money. The interface of man with machine, which will be more and more our job to deal with, has kicked into a new gear.

Technology has a relentless drive. There’s no letting up on the gas petal. The new international “arms race” is in the tech labs. It’s truly a matter of national security. There appears to be no room to slow this down and comprehend how we want to do it.

Technologists talk about the promise of connection, but the illusory factor is so high that we have a growing sense of isolation. Studies on social media are clear and show the disturbing trend to increased risks of depression with increased use. COVID and isolation and technology are disturbing dynamic.

What to do?

A question lies in the “isolation, loneliness, materialism, loss of faith in the spiritual world, and above all, uncertainty” (Steiner) that is the signature of our age.

The answer is in the importance of individuals making free decisions, being “true to oneself.” It’s not to be confused with the mistake of egotism, but it is the joy of contributing to the world in the way that only we can.

The answer lies in our own individual initiative, in the impulses to action that arise from the will. Does the new Age support that? Shouldn’t that be the stated goal of any societal structure? Shouldn’t supporting that be the test for all intervention?

We have certain rights and freedoms in a nondigitalized world. The digital reality is so new and the rules haven’t been established yet. Frankly, there doesn’t seem to be the desire for a roadmap to mimic the individual rights and privacy we have established in the non digital world. Aren’t these rights there to guarantee a path to our development, to finding our self to give to the world?

Take the digitalized money, for example. There is a desire to end anonymity in purchasing. Digitalized currency can provide this. Spending can be then be clearly traced. Criminality can be more easily detected. But the level of control that is possible under that system threatens to dampen the freedom of the individual. What if someone decides to define criminality as anything that threatens status quo, regardless of truth and freedom of speech? It’s no wonder a growing movement in local currencies and “Cash Fridays”are seen as a strategy towards resilience.

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guardto protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice (1928)

My understanding of heath and illness puts the individual and their growth at the core. It emphasizes the power of community and the healing power of understanding. It celebrates our joint striving to listen to the quiet, timeless guidance to which we all have access. I think we all should keep our best goals in mind and work to establish our customary and inherent freedoms as the future age arrives and the digital world dawns.