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COVID-19

And After the Virus?

Survival is essential to life, but it’s not all there is to it. It is necessary but not sufficient.

It is simple enough to speak of survival; we can define it with medical terminology. To speak about life, on the other hand, is inherently partisan…If we only haggle with our rulers over the jobs, wages, and healthcare essential to our survival, at the very best, we will come out of this with guaranteed housing in identical quarantine units, digital identity bracelets coded with biological data, and lifetime Netflix subscriptions to dull our senses and distract us from lives that will make Brave New World look like On the Road by comparison. That’s the most the technocrats have to offer. We have to dream bigger…

CrimethInc, ‘The Perils Ahead’

Disaster Altruism

The Coronation

The virus we face here is fear, whether it is fear of Covid-19, or fear of the totalitarian response to it, and this virus too has its terrain. Fear, along with addiction, depression, and a host of physical ills, flourishes in a terrain of separation and trauma: inherited trauma, childhood trauma, violence, war, abuse, neglect, shame, punishment, poverty, and the muted, normalized trauma that affects nearly everyone who lives in a monetized economy, undergoes modern schooling, or lives without community or connection to place. This terrain can be changed, by trauma healing on a personal level, by systemic change toward a more compassionate society, and by transforming the basic narrative of separation: the separate self in a world of other, me separate from you, humanity separate from nature. To be alone is a primal fear, and modern society has rendered us more and more alone. But the time of Reunion is here. Every act of compassion, kindness, courage, or generosity heals us from the story of separation, because it assures both actor and witness that we are in this together.

Charles Eisenstein, ‘The Coronation’

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