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Humanity Must 'Tackle Two Crises at Once,' Says Greta Thunberg of Climate and COVID-19 on 50th Earth Day

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/22/humanity-must-tackle-two-crises-once-says-greta-thunberg-climate-and-covid-19-50th

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It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
― Charles Darwin

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"Biodiversity is in steep decline. Climate disruption is approaching a point of no return.

Future headline in 2030? I and many climate, scientists warned when I was 17 years old that climate disruption was approaching the point of no return, but no one listened then and now it is too late, the climate, scientists say we are at the point of no return! Greta.

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In my humble opinion, we accede to too much segmenting of our thoughts into the categories imposed on us, however artificial and ill-fitting. Pandemic soup from the edges of devastation, biodiversity loss, climate chaos… how can we consider all these phenomena separate when their physical manifestations are of a piece? It’s reductionism on steroids.

How long will the worst pandemic in a century dominate human affairs? The pressing issue of the outbreak’s prospective trajectory is the subject of the summary below.

Global COVID-19 stats for 4/22, 8:00 AM
Countries with more than 5,000 cases, ranked by per capita mortality

>      COUNTRY                  MORTALITY     CASES   DEATHS  PER-CASE   COURSE-
>                              PER 100,000                    FATALITY  COMPLETE
>   1. Belgium                    54.031     41,889    6,262   14.949%   37.468%
>   2. Spain                      46.449    208,389   21,717   10.421%   51.650%
>   3. Italy                      40.766    183,957   24,648   13.399%   41.449%
>   4. France                     31.860    158,050   20,796   13.158%   37.948%
>   5. United Kingdom             24.319    124,743   16,509   13.234%   14.772%
>   6. Netherlands                21.891     33,405    3,751   11.229%   21.584%
>   7. Sweden                     19.180     16,004    1,937   12.103%   15.540%
>   8. Switzerland                17.078     28,268    1,478    5.229%   73.857%
>   9. Ireland                    14.784     16,040      730    4.551%   62.113%
>  10. United States              13.703    830,544   45,356    5.461%   15.455%
>  11. Portugal                    7.699     21,982      785    3.571%    8.771%
>  12. Denmark                     6.630      7,912      384    4.853%   69.148%
>  13. Iran                        6.418     85,996    5,391    6.269%   79.660%
>  14. Germany                     6.107    148,925    5,117    3.436%   70.181%
>  15. Austria                     5.663     14,925      510    3.417%   79.317%
>  16. Canada                      5.058     39,415    1,909    4.843%   38.303%
>  17. Norway                      3.376      7,275      183    2.515%    2.955%
>  18. Ecuador                     2.947     10,398      520    5.001%   16.609%
>  19. Turkey                      2.678     95,591    2,259    2.363%   17.969%
>  20. Romania                     2.641      9,710      508    5.232%   30.010%
>  21. Dominican Republic          2.258      5,044      245    4.857%   14.036%
>  22. Israel                      2.160     14,326      187    1.305%   35.935%
>  23. Czechia                     1.905      7,041      204    2.897%   28.462%
>  24. Serbia                      1.534      7,114      134    1.884%   16.292%
>  25. Peru                        1.468     17,837      484    2.713%   41.857%
>  26. Brazil                      1.303     43,592    2,769    6.352%   62.154%
>  27. Poland                      1.067     10,034      404    4.026%   19.105%
>  28. Chile                       0.769     10,832      147    1.357%   47.230%
>  29. Mexico                      0.665      9,501      857    9.020%   36.670%
>  30. Belarus                     0.614      7,281       58    0.797%   11.358%
>  31. United Arab Emirates        0.526      8,238       52    0.631%   19.398%
>  32. South Korea                 0.464     10,694      238    2.226%   79.624%
>  33. Philippines                 0.407      6,710      446    6.647%   16.975%
>  34. Ukraine                     0.398      6,592      174    2.640%    9.072%
>  35. Russia                      0.352     57,999      513    0.884%    8.505%
>  36. Qatar                       0.347      7,141       10    0.140%    9.789%
>  37. Saudi Arabia                0.327     12,772      114    0.893%   15.080%
>  38. China                       0.322     88,437    4,632    5.238%   98.786%
>  39. Australia                   0.290      6,650       74    1.113%   75.098%
>  40. Malaysia                    0.287      5,532       93    1.681%   64.082%
>  41. Indonesia                   0.232      7,418      635    8.560%   20.868%
>  42. Japan                       0.222     11,512      281    2.441%   14.220%
>  43. Singapore                   0.188     10,141       11    0.108%    8.382%
>  44. Pakistan                    0.095      9,749      209    2.144%   24.259%
>  45. India                       0.047     20,471      652    3.185%   22.608%
> 
>      WORLD TOTAL                 2.284  2,582,992  177,998    6.891%   34.153%

All the countries and states report, along with confirmed cases and deaths, a count of active cases. (I’ve found the recoveries count much less dependably maintained.)
Total confirmed cases minus active cases = inactive cases, and…

inactive / cases = course-complete (%)

This simple ratio is a fair approximation to where in the course of its outbreak a region stands. At the beginning almost all cases are active cases. At the end there are no active cases. I visualize this inactive “course-complete” ratio as progress along the sine wave of a swell, with 25% & 75% designating the points of steepest ascent and decline, respectively, while 50% clears the round top (like Spain, above).

By this measure, USA is found, from reported data, to be just past halfway to that point of steepest ascent, or almost one-third of the way to our eventual peak. From here it’s too early to tell how high that peak might scale. At any rate, statistical indicators strongly imply USA’s COVID-19 outbreak is quite far from peaking. Sweden and UK are in the same boat, at the same early point in their outbreaks – also ascending steeply right now.

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complicating any projection is the usual goofistry from these morons who are going to start re-opening biz as usual.

this virus is fixing to get one hell of a gift from the usual suspects. and lots of new host space!

and that’s just the first wave still. wait until Fall. And winter. good lord.

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That’s all part of the virus’s reach, in a way. I’m kind of wondering if that cheek-kissing business has anything to do with the trouble France is in right now, in a hurry to catch up with the other European basket-cases. Everyone everywhere is constantly messing with the data, too. In trying to draw conclusions from stats, I have to hope the bulk of suppressed or ignored data balances itself out in comparisons.

Excellent “new cases” charts shared by Johns Hopkins can be checked to validate (or invalidate) the implicit estimate of position on that sine-wave derived from inactive / cases:

~https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases

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Two is company, three’s a crowd.
We have a number of modern day plagues ongoing. Any more and the religious zealots will move in.
Climate crisis covers a lot of territory in it’s own right.
Encroaching deserts, forestry, mining, making regulations more and more lax, mega meat manufacturing, dumping plastics all over the world, on and on, and on.

Greta, Greta, climate maid, what would we do without you? To the tune of “Lovely Rita.”

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I found this very disturbing:

~https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/22/mystery-bird-illness-investigated-after-german-blue-tit-deaths

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The two crises aren’t that far apart.

The coronavirus often kills seniors. The climate catastrophe is a mortal threat to kids and to future generations. Mass starvation leading to rapid depopulation is possible.

The solutions typically involve engineering. The government is liable to think first of money for its friends, and this could be deadly.

Darwin missed out the fact that we get to decide the change this Is called concious evolution and we have just arrived there .
Evolution is a process we can direct with new guiding principles .The old ones like survival of the fittest and the separation of humans from the rest of life and each other are fallacies/myths that we must now challenge.
Those in power are living and still seeking to use them against the collective consciousness .

You need to figure in time in terms of change.

“Non si e’ mai troppo piccoli per salvare il mondo.”

Very true: none of us are ever too young (small) to save the world. Thank you, grazie,
Greta.

Now, may I add an obvious and deadly existential threat of nuclear winter? Trump, Inc. has a death wish for our world.

On the SARS 2 front:

First known U.S. coronavirus death occurred on Feb. 6 in Santa Clara County

~https://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/First-known-U-S-coronavirus-death-occurred-on-15217316.php

A person who died at home in Santa Clara County on Feb. 6 was infected with the coronavirus at the time of death, a stunning discovery that makes that individual the first recorded COVID-19 fatality in the United States, according to autopsy results released by public health officials late Tuesday.

That death — three weeks before the first fatality was reported in the U.S., in Washington state on Feb. 28 — adds to increasing evidence that the virus was in the country far earlier than once thought.

Santa Clara County on Tuesday announced three previously unidentified deaths from the coronavirus: the Feb. 6 case; one on Feb. 17, which also predates the death that was earlier believed to be the first; and one on March 6. Initially, the first death in the county had been reported March 9.

“What it means is we had coronavirus circulating in the community much earlier than we had documented and much earlier than we had thought,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s public health officer. “Those deaths probably represent many, many more infections. And so there had to be chains of transmission that go back much earlier.”

Cody did not provide details about the people who died in February but said the deaths “tell us we had community transmission - probably significant community transmission - far before we realized it and documented it.”

“From what we understand, neither of the cases had a history of travel,” Cody said. “So we assume that they were acquired locally.”

People typically die of COVID-19 about a month after they are infected with the coronavirus, suggesting that the person who died Feb. 6 likely was infected in early January. At that time, the virus had been reported only in China — the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not yet issued any advisories to Americans about the potential threat.

A very astute observation. And we also need to consider that second existential threat of nuclear winter. This “soup” is veritable stew of ignorance.

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I’m also perplexed that so few have mentioned the “global dimming” connection between SARS2 and the Climate Catastrophe. CO2 from old pollution hangs practically forever in the atmosphere while all the dirty soot floats down and withdraws the “global dimming” effect of emissions, previously masking 31% of the heating from CO2 (still up there – though the sky looks so pretty!)

We’re in for record hot months, month after month, because of this. March was +1.2 C over the 1951-1980 mean. Just getting started on a hell of a Northern Hemisphere heatwave this Sping and Summer.

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Disturbing indeed. That bit about insects as part of their diet…

Zen perspective on the corona virus…Enjoy and remember to breathe
Zen Mind from Esalen

Living with Uncertainty: Reflecting on COVID-19

April 2020

"For those of us who have been practicing awareness, we have been preparing for moments like this. We can be a source of light, clarity and helpful ideas for others, as well as ourselves. For those new to these ideas and practices, it is in your capacity to quickly grow realistic, intelligent, life-giving responses to the uncertainty of life. We are all in this together."

Russell Delman has dedicated his life to the study of human transformation and is deeply indebted to his more than 40 years of both Zen meditation and marriage. He has helped train more than 2,500 Feldenkrais® practitioners, founded The Embodied Life School and leads The Embodied Life™: Meditation, Guided Inquiry and the Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais September 25-27 at Esalen with his wife, Linda. A longtime part of the Esalen faculty, Russell also holds the Esalen community dear to his heart and as the impact of COVID-19 (the coronavirus) affects us globally, Esalen News reached out to Russell for his insights on best practices during times of uncertainty, which he shares below:

We are part of an intricate, complex, fantastically interconnected web of life. We are designed to be in harmony with life. The creative wisdom of our bodies has learned, and continues to learn, to deal with the dangers presented in our environment. This is our collective, adaptive brilliance. While we can celebrate this truly amazing and wise capacity, sometimes the changes in the outer world occur more quickly than our ability to adapt. At times like these, we must individually and collectively do all that we can to bolster the healthy responses of our individual and collective immune systems.

Chronic fear and mass hysteria are damaging to our health. Denial of authentic local and international dangers is not wise. There are actually two, interacting viruses here—COVID-19 and CHRONIC FEAR VIRUS-XX! What to do? How do we deal effectively with long-term uncertainty and how can self-reflective awareness, along with embodied practices, assist us?

I will not review in detail the common, healthy knowledge that you likely know: wash hands often and completely; get good sleep; avoid handshaking and hugging (but don’t distance yourself emotionally from those around you); eat lots of fruits and vegetables; laugh as much as possible, etc. Rather, let’s focus on the less obvious but equally important behaviors.

Helpful Antidotes and Reliable Practices

Pausing

Place pausing at the top of the list. The more recently evolved functions in our brains need a bit of time to come online and counter the faster, older mechanisms. Pausing from fearful thoughts and anxious images is essential. Pausing is the key to returning to the present moment. Only in presence can we question our reaction patterns. The good news is that we do not need to fight the fearful thoughts or eliminate them. Simply interrupting them changes the inner environment. To repeat: pausing gives the needed seconds for the reflective parts of the brain to do their magic. Note several key ways to pause below:

Self-Reflective Awareness: One of the great gifts of human awareness is our capacity to see unhelpful thoughts and choose not to allow them to hijack our brains, our bodies and our minds. This is a big part of human freedom. Practicing this capacity by watering the seeds of life-giving thoughts and questioning the others is a powerful step.
Naming Our Thoughts is Helpful. Sensing the effect of our thoughts on our bodies and breathing gently is key.
Questioning: We don’t need to believe our thoughts. 

Saying “Hello in There”

Awareness creates a gap between the panic pattern and the “aware Self.” In this gap you can say to the fearful place inside, “Hello in there, I am with you.” As odd as this may sound, it is remarkably effective. It is like the parental part of your brain caring for the frightened child. Often it helps to place a hand on the place in your body, often the chest or abdomen, where you feel the fear most strongly. Try it.

Grounding

In The Embodied Life teachings, this is the starting point. To step out of thought/feeling patterns, our brains need a tangible alternative. Few things are more solid in our experience than the weight of our physical body and its contact with the environment. Bringing attention to the contact with your chair while sitting and the ground while standing, as well as your sense of weightedness, will “ground” you in the present moment.

Breathing

All fear patterns affect our breathing, either through breath-holding or accelerated breathing. Both of these patterns support and maintain anxiety. Amongst our various breathing practices, two of the most effective and reliable are: three complete breaths and four phase breathing.

With three complete breaths, you pause and give your whole attention to three breaths, sensing from beginning to end. Simple and powerful. Even if your mind wanders, let the thoughts be in the background. You might count each exhale to keep you focused. Try this now.

With four-phase breathing, you simply create a clear, though brief, pause between breaths. In addition to inhaling and exhaling, you now stay present for a brief gap between them. Again, counting each phase softly can allow your mind to stay focused. Perhaps take a moment to experiment with this option.

Taking A Break From Screens

Through the visual cortex, our eyes have a strong influence on our inner state. Consistently refreshing ourselves by placing the palms over the eyes and gazing softly, with closed eyes, into the darkest parts of the visual field is very helpful. Doing this for one minute each hour is a good amount of time to allow your nervous system to enter a restful state. Calming the visual cortex has far reaching effects.

Nature

Even brief moments of connecting to the natural world are surprisingly beneficial for changing the set point of the nervous system. Looking out a window, gazing at a tree, standing on grass, spending undistracted time with a plant or animal and any other way you have of reviving your connection to the natural world can be restorative. This can literally change your neurochemistry in life-giving ways. Even in cities, there are opportunities for moments of refreshment with nature. We do not need a vacation, a full day off or even an hour to receive these gifts.

Taking Responsibility For Our State

Amazingly, through the power of our attention, we have influence over the state of our nervous systems. We cannot eliminate danger, but we can learn to live with it more effectively. Don’t worry if the difficult states return, continue to use the antidotes and keep bringing your care to the frightened inner places and the unhelpful thoughts.

To me the most important thing is to use our capacity for awareness to notice when our thinking, feeling and bodily patterns have been hijacked by fearful states. Shifting these is within our power and our birthright. This will bolster your immune system, affect both the systems of those around you and the collective field that we share. Undeniably, as individuals and as nations, we are interconnected.

For those of us who have been practicing awareness, we have been preparing for moments like this. We can be a source of light, clarity and helpful ideas for others, as well as ourselves. For those new to these ideas and practices, it is in your capacity to quickly grow realistic, intelligent, life-giving responses to the uncertainty of life. We are all in this together.

May we all be healthy, happy and free from unnecessary difficulty.

We leave you with this inspiring poem:

Pandemic
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love—
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
—Lynn Ungar
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A healthy planet means healthy humans and all other species. So, of course these two issues are tied and the madness of war, especially its gross mutant–nuclear war, point to a deep sickness in the psyche of humankind. A sick psyche will lead to such disregard for Life that it would see everything as a commodity to be bought and sold. There is precious little awareness, except among indigenous peoples, that every bit of ground is sacred ground.

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From the Intercept, a chilling story…human bodies wrapped in garbage bags…

OVERWHELMED MORGUE WORKERS STRUGGLE TO GIVE CORONAVIRUS VICTIMS DEATH WITH DIGNITY

~https://theintercept.com/2020/04/22/coronavirus-morgue-new-york-city/

Its last paragraph:

After leaving a grisly shift, it can seem unimaginable that people are pondering reopening the country without a clear strategy for avoiding a resurgence of deadly coronavirus infections. The idea that people would risk their lives and those of others is “insane,” said Speak. “If they want to work so badly, they should come help me handle a few hundred bodies.”

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There are N crises, where every crisis compounds into multiple levels of stupidity here in USA, metastatic ignorance such as “Controlled Voluntary Infection” (CVI)? OMG!

If you didn’t already know that The Federalist is a right-wing website, you would have after you saw the article’s title: “How ‘Chickenpox Parties’ Could Turn the Tide of the Wuhan Virus.” The author, Dr. Douglas A. Perednia, a retired dermatologist— not a specialist in infectious diseases—makes the standard right-wing talking point that we can’t stay in our homes forever while the US economy crumbles. He adds that we don’t yet have a vaccine that would prevent infection with COVID-19; nor do we have an effective treatment for the virus once contracted. He declares: “It is time to think outside the box and seriously consider a somewhat unconventional approach to COVID-19: controlled voluntary infection.”

We Won’t Stop COVID-19 with “Chickenpox Parties"
by Charles Pierson
~https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/22/we-wont-stop-covid-19-with-chickenpox-parties/

25.3% of the worldwide deaths from Covid-19 have occurred in America. America represents 4.9% of the world population. Seems it is imperative for our future that we find out WHY?