Corona: How Did We Get Here?Thoughts on reconnecting to nature and the natural order of the universe
For hundreds of years, since before the agricultural revolution began, human kind has been using nature’s resources with reckless abandon. Before science bloomed we thought the world an infinite source. It was fantastic. Farmers could learn how to measure the seasons and toil the soil to grow more crops which means they could feed their families in abundance. So they began to have larger families, more children because there was plenty of food to sustain them. So much food in fact that they began to trade it with others for goods they could not grow. And so the chain began.
The scientific and industrial revolutions really kicked consumption up a notch. In our quest for knowledge we soon began devouring fossil fuels and other resources that lie not on the very surface level of the earth but much deeper within. We began to plunder the depths, and again the bounty was plentiful. Well, that opened the door to seemingly limitless possibilities and certainly accelerated the beginnings of the truly global community we have today by allowing us to travel further and faster than ever before. This is where we began to become distracted from the truth that these resources originated in the earth.
The technological revolution was soon birthed from the industrial. Now we deal in information and are citizens of theories and human constructs. It’s hard to believe that the origin of all of our commodities and resources is the planet we live on. We spend all day in front of screens, made of cold hard metal, material which is certainly not ‘living’, exchanging data that we cannot see through waves we cannot consciously feel to maintain structures we made up. It begins to become clear why we are all so disconnected in a time where we can talk to someone on the other side of the world in real time with just the tap of our finger.
If we treated the earth like we treat our bodies what would that look like? Science tell us that a body fulled by fast food, grease, oil and processed goods creates problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart failure. In these conditions our bodies are fighting to live despite the toxic fuel we are shove into it. It starts to send subtle signals like fatigue, a low mood, and lack of vitality. But we can’t really notice these because we aren’t properly tuned into the language of our body. PING *instagram notification*, Holly likes my new hair cut, I really should exercise more, I’m just not built for exercise, I can’t run, I’m always tired.
The body begins to ramp up its rebellion of our quick – fix habits. We start getting joint issues, shallower breathing, depression and anxiety. Well, there’re pills for those things so we start taking the pills. Now we’ve got a beautifully noxious mix of chemicals partying in our blood stream and in our tissues. Is the body getting better? Is the problem being fixed by those pills?
As the body continues to struggle it increases the distress signal, now we suffer from heart disease and have developed type two diabetes. There are drugs for that. Chemical party gets out of control. Finally, with a last ditch attempt to get you to notice, the body begins to shut down. If you’re lucky, you survive. After a week in hospital, having recovered from a heart attack and serious damage to your organs, would you head straight to KFC on your way home?
So let’s imagine now that the earth is humankind’s collective body. We begin to farm the land, cutting swathes of trees, breaking apart forests and depleting nutrients in the soil from continually planting and harvesting crops. The earth sends out some small signals, soil is dry and lifeless and temperatures begin to rise. We comment at the temperature and create chemical fertiliser. Have we fixed the problem? Well the crops grow well without the bugs to contaminate them and with all the ‘food’ they need. So well, actually, that we start cutting down more forests for more space. We make more chemical fertiliser for all this new farmland. These chemicals leech into the rivers and get dispersed all over the planet, poisoning aquatic life and contaminating our drinking water. But we don’t know that yet and are surprised that cancer rates are rising.
With all this plentiful harvesting of the earth, human life is good! We are prospering, we are making more money and more food and having more babies and quickly inhabiting all the corners of the earth. We are multiplying uncontrollably. The earth begins to sweat and fiddle, it sends out a plague and another, and another hoping that we will hear her cry for help, but voila! We find a cure for that, thank goodness, we can carry on.
It is now crucial that we change our ways, if the solar system had a hospital, earth would be in the outer-space ambulance. Savage wildfires rip our planet apart, floods decimate our low lying cities, earthquakes rattle and shake our structures to rubble crushing hundreds of thousands. Ice melts and sea levels rise, temperatures soar and lush forests become barren wastelands. Life is being extinguished everywhere. Our water is toxic, our food poisoned, cancer rates rocket, heart attacks are commonplace, yet still we don’t stop. Maybe we just can’t stop.
Imagine that finally, finally the earth sends out one last hope, an invisible, deadly and catastrophically contagious unknown enemy. This enemy ingeniously does the only thing that might stop us and turns ourselves upon ourselves. It manipulates the most effectively destructive weapon in its arsenal, the human mind. Coronavirus is the agent, but the pandemic is fear. Like the plastic and chemicals we polluted her waters with, earth radiates fear contagion. We are forced to retreat indoors, reduce our consumption of goods, limit our contact with our loved ones and face our own minds. We are forced to confront ourselves, our choices, our emotions, our trauma. We are being coerced into questioning our morals, our actions, our beliefs. We are being forced to reconnect.
This is not imaginary and it is not conceptual. It is real, relevant and revolutionary. It is, ultimately, a reminder that we are not citizens of human constructs. We are souls that rely on bodies that rely on nature. The way back to true harmony is within. Nothing we consume in the material world, be it sugar, makeup, money, Instagram followers or reality TV shows will make us whole and happy. The only way to move forward as a human race is to embrace our beautiful, complex, powerful selves and return to love and kindness. Like a notched arrow in a bow, we can travel farther, with more speed and accuracy towards our target if we pull back first.
We are in a pull back phase. The planet is in ICU, she is being healed by examinations and reconstructions of our own lives. When we are free to return to our daily lives, when she has recovered enough to go home, will we send her straight to KFC? That fragile hatchling of a decision is resting in our hands, your parents hands, your siblings hands, your coworkers hands, your teammates hands, your best friends’ aunties’ neighbours’ hands. All of us, together.
I believe that enough of us will align, breathe deep and tune in, so that when the arrow is released, it flies true.