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The pandemic and the sign of Jonah

14 May

Nínive (present-day Mossum) was one of the largest cities during the Assyrian reign, by the standards of the time it had more than 100,000 inhabitants and was quite extensive since the Bible reveals that Jonas took 3 days to explore it and ask for the change of conduct of its inhabitants.

The date on which the preaching took place in Nineveh is uncertain and the author of the book that bears the name of this prophet is also unknown, but as it refers to the reign of Jeroboam II as king of Israel, the date must be between the years 700 and 742 BC, by writing the text in Aramaic typical of late Hebrew, both in style and in grammar, it is post-exile which means between 722 and 742 BC

From the end of the 17th century BC (when the Neoassirian Empire fell), until the middle of the 7th century, it was a geopolitical entity, ruled by other peoples, the Assyrians were known for their wickedness and violence, where they could even kill for debt, and the biblical narrative said that the prophet Jonah, who was to preach and ask for the change and conversion of the people, was afraid to do his mission.

It is not known for sure what was the plague that could come to the people there, but the people including the king all changed their attitude and converted, and the plague did not happen in that region, the current pandemic already has its sign of changing habits and the demand for solidarity with everyone, but there are still those who think that the pandemic will pass without any change in attitude.

The history books do not record exactly what the change was, but it was during the government of Assurbanipal, son Assaradão, who died in 667 BC, that Assiria lived its most profitable period, including the first Library of history, precisely the Library of Nineveh, which is where thousands of texts are found (chronicles, royal letters, decrees, religion, myths and many others) written on a baked clay tablet.

The change that we need not only to avoid the number of deaths that grows, ranges from personal habits to the concern with food and life maintenance of those who no longer had jobs, those who now do not have and those who must lose with the growth of pandemic.

For those who believe, they must also rethink what they believe and experience what they believe, otherwise it is just a legend or fable told as a beautiful story.

 

 

 

Society in a transient moment

13 May

Life has changed all over the planet, the limitations imposed will certainly not be permanent, but some concerns that were born with health, with the invisible and with new technologies will be permanent as to the importance and transformed when taking them more into account.

The transient also observes the idealistic dichotomies of subjects and objects, or subjectivity seen as a false model of the subject, that he is devoid of materiality or substantiality, the disease is a proof of this error, or of a false objectivity, our certainties about our empirical objects have failed and continue to fail in predictions and models, the old age of uncertainty, old because it has been a “theory” since the last century, now became narrative.

The old idealistic theories, which history made them fundamentalist ideologies, have as their epicenter the idea that we must develop and advance the economic models (in the end it is always the idea of ​​“more production”) until an even greater exhaustion, before the nature and now of life itself on the planet put at pandemic risk.

Sloterdijk warns in an interview in El País “current life does not invite us to think”, and the reason that I have a relative optimism about social distance (I prefer isolation, as society as a whole works in a network), is in the reasoning he does in the same interview: “For Husserl and his phenomenology it was necessary to get out of the impetuous time of life, the most elementary device was to always take a step back. This action allows you to become an observer. ” .

And this is the basic assumption of uncertainty, that the observer is part of the phenomenon, the idea of ​​science that we can repeat the experiment observing the phenomenon, must take into account that the observer is part of the phenomenon, in times of pandemic, if not me prevent pandemic affect.

The whole of this epoch change, since its foreshadowing came from the two great wars, which not by chance came from the worst pandemic that humanity faced was the Spanish flu, which is a good example when there is no social distance, which lasted 2 years (January 1918 to December 1920), infected a quarter of the planet (500 million people) and killed between 20 and 50 million people.

Two untruths exist about this pandemic, first #lockDown is not good (see numbers above) and that has not changed anything, it happened right at the end of the 1st. world war (from 1914 to November 1918) that had deteriorated Europe’s sanitary conditions and economic resources, but that’s when the League of Nations model emerged (installed in January 1919, shortly after the Versailles treaty), even though it insufficient to avoid the 2nd. world war, started the discussion of the basic principles of social rights.

Also the old truths about the invisible hand of the market, laissez faire, began to change, with the provident state, and after the 2nd. world war the UN with important departments like FAO, UNICEF and WHO itself, an organization of great influence now in World Health and that gives guidelines to face the pandemic.

So, after this war that is now a war for everyone, against an invisible enemy and one can still say unpredictable, there will be changes and they must be thought out globally, but we are in a transient where the old ideas still resist seeking the previous normality of a consumerism and a society of inhuman and unequal tiredness.

 

 

 

 

Media, networks and social isolation

12 May

The three factors now combine and unveil the reality that many “theorists” pointed out, while neo-theorists stay in abstract philosophies that barely interpret the pandemic reality. One who foresaw reality, Manuel Castells who wrote “Sociedade em Rede” (Social network), explains why we were unable to foresee the virus, its potency and violence were not biologically possible to know, but the need for a health policy and education for the future did not only he pointed out, as well as Sloterdijk, Edgar Morin and many others.

About the current crisis Castells says it is necessary to understand the applause of the balconies of the buildings to doctors, nurses and health professionals and they take health more seriously, this could have been predicted and we would be in another stage, the defender of technology also blames her idolatry, but is necessary now.

He stated that the overvaluation of technology in the case of health has delayed the system as a whole, and at the same time the devaluation and misunderstanding of its application in education and at work has led to a delay that is now being tried to overcome but with a certain lag.

Social networks, whose media enhance, but are not the same thing, as is the case with tele-medicine as a secondary possibility now, as the patient with covid needs a physical place and to be assisted in person, even though decisions and online conferences are  many useful.

Social isolation has boosted the use of media in the home and has now more deeply influenced the world of work, shopping and online services, and education runs after lost time, the most obvious finding is that online education is not simple and it is not the even if in person.

The global change must be made if we want to fight the virus efficiently, leave warnings on the ground and prohibit people from traveling, it is possible temporarily, and the worst favors the neo-nationalist view that led many countries to the pandemic crisis, it was thought the problem is in China.

Castells said in a recent interview: “An interdependent global system requires global governance, not necessarily global government. But nation-states resist losing their power and each uses supposedly global governance mechanisms to defend their national interests ”, despite the barriers I would say that the virus does not know that there are borders built, even with national“ isolations ”by protective barriers”.

What we need says Sloterdijk is a “global shield”, co-immunity, now with serious investments, like global co-governance and taking health, work and education seriously in a new normality, we can go back to the previous frivolity, but we will be irresponsible with the future that may come, or a new wave of this virus or its mutation, or another that is certain to come.

 

 

Lockdown and frivolity

11 May

As the virus expands and begins to arrive more in the interior of Brazil and in many places life remains “normal”, while Europe is gradually trying to return to a new normality, that is, to return to trade and consumerism and the previous hectic life , which Sloterdijk calls frivolity (see in daily El país).

There are two scenarios, the Brazilian case while some bet that the curve reached the plateau, the new data point to an even greater expansion of the virus, betting that we can contain the serious pandemic situation with little radical measures is proving inefficient.

The reason for the pressure to open trade, more than economic, it is clear that it affects the economy of the whole planet, the real reason in the minds of many people is to return to the day to day of high stress, rush and consumerism to those who have the resources for this.

In Brazil, we have reached the level of 10,000 deaths, both in personal and social life, if we reach a seriousness of a disease or take radical measures or witness the total aggravation of the disease, in the social case, the viral expansion and the worsening of the pandemic.

In the reflection of Sloterdijk, who wrote, in my view, two emblematic books Spheres and Criticism of Cynical Reason, he presents two key concepts that are co-immunity and anthropotechnics.

The first concept of co-community means that we can establish an individual commitment towards mutual protection, which would mark a new worldwide way of facing problems and the concept of anthropotechnics means understanding that the techniques, in this case and is the main concept used by Sloterdijk, the biotechnology, this is genetic manipulation.

When launched, it generated a lot of controversy in Europe, due to the manipulation of genes for example, but now that the main researches in defense of the coronavirus show the importance of the use of antibodies for the production of the vaccine, and the first thing was the genetic sequencing.

The worsening of the Brazilian crisis will require a more serious confinement, or we will see the figures extrapolate and the Health System already practically exhausted.

Confinement is necessary and the return to frivolity must be rethought as a way not only to avoid a major economic crisis, but mainly fairer. 

 

Balance and calm in times of crisis

08 May

Given the worsening of the pandemic crisis in Brazil and some countries in the Americas, the arrival of the cold in this hemisphere and the exhaustion of the Health System, without the preventive #LockOut (in Brazil), we will now have to make an emergency intervention, with the consequences that it brings.
In this situation, we need a discipline that we do not have culturally, an awareness that is not always well understood, there is only awareness of something, and in this case it is public health and the extremely necessary and urgent care for the curve to start a retreat process.
Those people who have some spirituality, who achieve balance in this situation need to help the population as a whole, defend the doctors, nurses and support staff working in health (drivers, secretaries, rescuers, etc.) to have working conditions.
There are several ways to find personal balance, physical and breathing exercises, reading, music and relaxation, but it is the state of the soul that counts most, and in the turbulence of the danger of a pandemic, it is essential to find a form of spirituality, thoughts and to be.
For Christians who believe in the existence of an omnipotent and sovereign God over all the things that govern their lives, he knows that the inner attitude is one of passivity, tolerance and a deep Love for all those around him, and in this pandemic having attitudes of protection for all.
The comfort of their souls, for true Christian spiritualities, is the belief in the Love of God. It is written by the evangelist John (Jn 14,1-2): “Do not let your heart be disturbed. You have faith in God, have faith in me too [Jesus]. In my Father’s house there are many addresses. If not, I would have told you. I will prepare a place for you ”, and his earthly #StayAthome is now a refuge.

 

How to react to fear and the evolution of the pandemic

07 May

Pointing out our weaknesses and anxieties is a way of self-control, but I say what fear is and how we can control it in a pandemic in which we all find ourselves fragile can be thought of in 7 essential aspects.
A reflection of what causes these feelings in us is important and the first attitude, a little meditation and silence and ask us what awareness we have of the dangers and the attitudes towards them is fundamental, so in addition to bodily health attitudes there are mental ones and / or spiritual, without which we are to blame outside ourselves.
The second already pointed out in the first is awareness, remembering that awareness is always, says phenomenology, awareness of something (or the thing) that means what causes us fear, what is its origin, the phobias of the past, lost ones, relationships social, etc.
The third is to understand that there is a “thing” in the relationship between you and the other that is on the frontier of your fear, attributing it to the other is escapism, I study what causes fear and do not anticipate perceptions, it is what is called in epoché´s phenomenology, in this case, put it in parentheses.
Fears and phobias lead to anxieties, and if it is already present as a result of fear, control of emotions and not making them chaotic and irrational is fundamental, take a step back, note if the relationship with others is not going this way.
Share the fear with the other, but with meekness and clarity, this does not give me security or it is not what I think (it is not your conscience about the thing), but respecting the Other’s vision.
Finally, of course, a specialist can help, I do not know how much they are inserted in the health system, but at the peak of the pandemic these sensations can surface and it may be the case to ask for help from specialists.

 

Fear between philosophy and reality

06 May

It is necessary to differentiate between fear, anguish and anxiety, those who blamed the “virtual” world (the virtual comes from virtus which is the root of the virtuous) must realize in the pandemic that they were not correct.

Anguish, another typical feeling in this pandemic, is a feeling linked to not belonging or not understanding the reality we are experiencing, it can be said that it is almost the opposite of fear, since it generates impropriety, that is, we do not face the problem or we postpone it or leave it by positivity, that is, we speed up life, like running from “danger”, being optimistic.

We left anxiety for the end, it is the end of a cycle, we made a post a long time ago to explain that it was not correct to attribute technology to it, there is a book called Information Anxiety (Wurman, 1989) that deals with the topic, however, in psychology it is the end of this cycle: fear, anguish (links to a system of beliefs and systems) that reaches anxiety and can lead to panic and Burnout syndrome, which feeds the cycle with fear. http://marcosmucheroni.pro.br/blog/?p=6199#.XrF_E25FzIU

The first question, therefore, is to treat the fear that is impropriety with ownership, that is, to understand what causes it, to make it conscious and with this the next stage of anguish can be blocked, because we will not escape from reality, the idea of ​​hiding or ignoring facts is what fuels this cycle.

We don’t need to be specialists or in the case of medical pandemics, to understand that some measures are necessary, that without them we get into anguish and this can lead to panic stress, aware that we even face the problem of hospitalization and the social difficulties caused by isolation .

This also explains why people who do only primary reasoning fall into finding fictitious enemies (inappropriate that leads them to the anguish of being unanswered) and in the last stage when the fatalities arrive they lead to panic or the Burnout syndrome, so it makes sense that some cheerleaders who go out on the streets asking for an end to “isolation”, is panic.

As it is the beliefs and systems that take the last step, I treat the religious problem, which has nothing to do with spiritualities that seek balance, and even in suggestions from psychologists you will find do self-analysis and have self-control, good spirituality helps, religious fanaticism harms and accelerates the process.

 

The new normality

05 May

When we have difficulty changing a routine that is essential to escape from dangers, the consequences are worse than those if we accept that a new routine has imposed itself.

Of course this implies a type of culture that for some historical reason or discipline already acquired by years of tradition helps at some point, that even though it is traumatic, it is possible to be socially incorporated as a “new normality”.

It is not by chance that the term appeared in Portuguese-speaking countries, where during the pandemic crisis it was often heard, the news reports and Brazilians traveling through Hispanic countries hear the exclamation “¡No es normal!”, but the translation into Portuguese comes from the English expression (from England and not from America): “new normality”, an expression that attests its incorporation as a new expression in the United Kingdom.

In eastern countries, if we observe in airports and in reports, even before the pandemic, the use of masks and a certain calm behavior in difficult situations show that the oriental discipline is already normal, I don’t know what expression they use, but social behavior is easily observable in the west.

At the height of the pandemic we prefer to say, everything will return to normal, which would be the same as saying we only admit “old normality”, I do not want to justify the irresponsible attitude of leaders and even governments that prefer not to admit the health crisis.

Now what we will have to adopt in some states and cities in Brazil, will be a new normality that admits the exhaustion of the health system and the peak of the pandemic, the good news is that everything indicates that we are close to the upper level and the curve already flattened may fall in number of dead.

We need to react culturally by incorporating a new normality, the philosopher Byung Chul Han calls it an excess of positivity, although it indicated the fact that society is always moving in the direction of acceleration, the expression may now seem more appropriate, because the opposite is not negativity, but the pandemic reality.

Countries that managed to slow the acceleration of daily life are already reaping results, some like New Zealand (which adopted an extreme #lockdown and the president became a national idol) reaped the fruit earlier, now without the pandemic.

 

Peak crisis and do not rush the future

04 May

We are at the peak of the crisis and we are already talking about the post-traumatic situation, there are many doctors and sociologists who want to hurry up an analysis, China emerged from the crisis, Europe begins the new stage in 3 distinct and elongated phases and Brazil and countries from the southern hemisphere winter is approaching.
The analysis of the curve and the peak made by DataScience shows that the social distance was worth it, however, governmental hesitations and the approach of winter may even if the curve flattens, the data indicate that yes, it may be lengthened, that is, the “new normality” will be delayed.
The name “new normality” already excludes all analyzes that indicate any impossibility of returning to the previous stage, that is, an agitated and unprotected life, what Edgar Morin calls everyday “intoxication”, and an accelerated economic development, with its added price.
The moment in Brazil and I believe that most countries in the southern hemisphere is to create even tighter conditions to disadvantage “social relaxation”, in a way even understandable since the quarantine if it were even 40 days, it would be running out, everything indicates not. To further complicate political crises, in the Brazilian case, they deepen and seem to have no end, the problem of governability and political instability accelerates and deepens the health crisis.
Concentrating our efforts and focusing only on the health crisis, the economic and the social exist, however, they should not justify deaths and crisis in health care, we must consider that we are at the upper level of the curve, and the numbers seem to stabilize, they are high, it is true, if if we take #lockDown seriously we could already be seeing a way out, but that’s not the case.
One of the consequences of the pandemic is the so-called Kawasaki Syndrome, in England for example, the Health System (NHS, the acronym in English) has already detected an increase in the number of children with multisystemic inflammation, gastrointestinal problems and physical inflations.
In the middle of spring, but already with signs of summer, Europe will gradually return to activities, and we will be able to see how the social and economic problems will be faced, here is the future.

 

Between the passage and the door

01 May

Every passage is about some danger: a precipice, a narrow path with ferocious animals around, at Easter, death and resurrection, in the current pandemic: deaths and deprivations of liberty, and an uncertain future, but which should open a fusion of “ new horizons ”, but because the dialogue must be between cultures and civilizations with different worldviews and not in closed groups.
The door and the “path” (one can think of science as a method) through which we can and must pass to enter a new reality, which may well be the common home, the harmony between men and these with nature and going further away with the cosmos, which we know has laws even less known to us.
The complexity that this future will involve must have a basic assumption, or we emerge from a sad crisis together, or we deepen it and we will have an even tougher reality in the next worldwide virus (it may be a new crisis or not), the passage must have a door and we opened it together.
We will be poorer at first, this is absolutely true, conspiracy theories that this or that will do better is mere speculation, even for the wealthy, the bags plummet, I saw an owner of a chain of Brazilian stores raging, even the doors of churches then closed, so whoever will pass through the door is the one who learned solidarity.
We will only make the transition after the end of the pandemic if we continue to dream and seek a door. The truth and the complexity of the existence of God are many biblical passages, the prophets before the coming of Jesus had mysterious revelations in dreams, Isaiah predicted the captivity in Babylon, in Babylon Daniel unveiled the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, among several others until Joseph when he heard that Mary was pregnant he fled and in a dream the angel warned him of the truth.
Historical truth (in Gadamer´s sense) precedes mystical truth, John the Baptist was the last and greatest of the prophets, and Jesus repeatedly pronounced “in truth, in truth I tell you” usually when he told a parable, in one of the passages he says he is the “door” and states (Jn 10, 10): “The thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came so that everyone can have life and have it in abundance ”, but is imperative the door truth.
May this time of harsh test of the pandemic serve us to open our souls and recreate a more fraternal world, where life is full for all citizens, but this will have to be built.