Coronavirus: Disease patterns and the road towards fearlessness –
I am writing this, because I am worried about the consequences of misinformation concerning the coronavirus. If the truth is first victim of war, then compassion seems to be the first victim of the war against a supposedly deadly super virus.
Disease patterns in infected people
The new coronavirus is a PR star. Its chosen name sounds dangerous and with it’s origin in China, it has all the insecurity and doubts on its side that make a good story. The question if the Chinese government will be able to take appropriate measures, and the other question if the Chinese government will openly admit it, if this were not to be the case, may excite the globe for weeks.
In fact, the new coronavirus is not something entirely new. It is just another type of corona virus like SARS and MERS before. Some may remember – the outcry was big, but the consequences not nearly as severe as pictured. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, diarrhoea and pneumonia. Children do not tend to produce severe symptoms as much as (elderly) adults, but it is too early to tell if this is a general rule. (If you want to read more, see: https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-coronavirus.html?action=click&pgtype=Article&state=default&module=styln-coronavirus&variant=show®ion=MID_MAIN_CONTENT&context=storyline_guide.
This means: the disease pattern of the coronavirus, being a normal virus without super hero qualities, can be likened to pneumonia. With all that is different when something is new, it is a normal disease which may be treated with normal medical means. – And just a hint to all Qi masters and Medical Qigong enthusiasts out there: No, even though it comes from China, neither Qi transmission through the air nor distance healing may be of any help, here as well.
Reaction patterns in non-infected people
What does spread faster than any virus? Rumours do. And there is apparently one indicating that everyone who looks a bit Asian may be a carrier of a deadly disease. A popular way of non-infected people to protect themselves seems to be a sort of racial profiling gone mad.
People looking “Asian“ are thrown out of busses and metros: “Maybe you are Korean or French by birth, but: security first.“ Doctors in emergency care looking Asian are rejected by patients, because: „One never knows.“ In Berlin, some students forced their own flatmate – who is from China, but has not been home for a year – to go a hospital to be tested: „Just to be sure.“ I find this outrageous – and I am immediately remembered by others: Yes, but maybe these people are just full of fear. That was maybe said to explain away my uneasiness. But why not make a principle out of it?
Better safe than sorry – Some tips for survival and fearlessness
If you consider buying into on discrimination against Asian people or people who you think might look Asian as a strategy, because your motto is „better safe than sorry“ – you might also consider these tips for a long life.
Don`t look at pictures of koalas, because they may be cute, but they are near extinction – and that will make you depressed. Depression is one of the most common reason’s for suicide. To be sure, you will want to avoid all meaningful connection with nature, because at the time, it does not look too good for our environment either.
Do not associate yourself with the children of refugees. They may be human, but they are in a situation which must fill every fellow human being with sadness: having lost their homes, maybe also their family, sometimes alone in a foreign country without a familiar face at their side to help them through the day. Heart-breaking, isn’t it. And as coronary diseases are one of the most common causes of death, we would not want to stress our little hearts, wouldn’t we. Same goes for children who are hungry, sick or poor. – And to be sure, we should extent this approach also to adults. They may not be as cute as children, but one cannot be cautious enough.
I know, this may sound weird, but a composed mind is the first road to tranquility and a long life.
With some practise, you will be able to adjust this approach according to your personal needs.
And with some more practice and even more luck, sickness and death in any form, though happening before your very eyes, will not affect you any more. You will always be able to judge the case and to dissociate yourself. In a sense, you will be immortal – because death will make no difference to you, as you will already be dead inside long before.
A final request
Yes, I am being cynical. But maybe you are encouraged to stop and pluck up your courage next time, when somebody is harassed and you are standing by, doubting if you should say something. Do not say nothing, merely because of a first tendency to go with the fear of the abusers. Maybe you will be able to listen to your compassion struggling to get you to act and show your support for the victim instead. Then it would be a life worth living, however short it may turn out.
Author: Gabi Kannenberg
Calligraphy by Wang Ning