All eyes are on China…
…again after they announced the relaxation of ‘zero COVID’ measures. China has lifted its super strict policies after protests by the people of China, who historically don’t have much of a voice. Human rights violations are an unfortunate way of life in China under CCP rule. This turn of events is clear evidence that we populace shouldn’t underestimate our power. Governments need our consent. Lockdowns in China were so drastically out of place but were corrected through feverish, inflammatory popular mobilizations. (Ahh, fever as a cure for stagnation! More on this below.)
Big questions remain: How will the people of China fare against the ensuing wave of cases? How will the US be impacted?
The variants now circulating in China seem to be the ones that have been most prevalent here, including the omicron subvariants BA.5 and BQ.1. Even though the population there is being described as under-vaccinated it can find consolation in that it faces the less-intense Omicron, which you will remember does not have a strong affinity for the lungs. It will be interesting to see what comes of the situation. I predict and hope for a non-tsunami of severe illness. It will presumably be tough to tell precisely what is happening because of the information wars that exist.
We surely are in a different place in the United States. We are moving on. Year three is coming to its final stretch. We are taking on robust flu and RSV seasons, which have arrived early in their returns after pandemic hiatuses. Good news: Both seemed to have passed their peaks.
What an epic moment in time! It’s true history in the making. Families with young kids have been catching one virus after another, left and right. But they are not alone. It has been an intense period of non-covid illnesses following all that’s come with the last 2+ years.
Future glimpse: I can see the cherubic faces of the young med students now, who have crammed into a lecture hall to hear the old man Dr. Cooney tell the tales (by then wildly embellished) of the Pandemic and the epic autumn of ’22!
My message today is that these inflammations are hard work, but are not without their important positive aspects. They break down old structures in the body and make room for future growth. They are not without risk, but they are truly cleansing. One understanding sees them as the opposite of sclerotic illnesses like cancer. All illnesses in general can be seen as the crack that lets the light come in. They introduce us to the precise forces it takes to meet their challenge.
This is to remind you that waves and peaks come and go, and we eventually find ourselves on the other side of them. It’s already happening with the tripledemic. You’ll notice the news no longer carries reports that pediatric hospitals are full. Moreover, the current reports of rising COVID cases nationally should not forget to mention that we are still at less than 10% of the omicron peak of last January.
Does it surprise you to know that I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist? I think the tripledemic is actually a conspiracy. I think Covid is also a conspiracy. I think illness itself is a conspiracy. I even think being excessively busy is a conspiracy. That is to say, I think all these things conspire to hide the magic contained in each moment. We are deceived to think we have to wait until the cold is gone, until hospital rates drop, until the war stops, until justice is served for us to remember we swim in an ocean of wholeness. Think of the words of a sage who declined to wait for certain conditions to be met:
I have arrived. I am home,
Thich Nath Hahn
In the here, In the now.
I am solid. I am free.
In the ultimate, I do dwell.
The next two weeks in the northern hemisphere are the darkest. Our inner light has the opportunity to be the contrast. These nights are well suited for introspection, for looking forward and picturing / planning the year to come. Do you have a space where you can go every day for some uninterrupted contemplation? to light a candle and slow your breathing and to quiet your mind? Why not commit to it for these nights? A few minutes is all it takes. Connect to your inner monk.
Don’t forget to make it a lasting habit.
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