|Pillar Artist, 2019, Florin Flueras, Ion Dumitrescu, Alina Popa. |
Before self-isolation was a thing.
How we live collectively should be a continuous political debate, especially in challenging times. Yet the politics stopped, the experts should rule us, they say. But which experts? Science is not monolithic, why don't we have at least some scientific debates? New scientific paradigms, like systems biology, are contesting the entire germ theory and the reductionist approaches of disease in general. The old paradigm survives and it's central now, just because it's profitable for pharmaceutical companies. Even in this paradigm there are many prestigious scientists that point out huge problems with the tests, treatments, statistics, and the entire Covid19 narrative. There are many renowned epidemiologists that say that "social distancing and lockdown is the absolutely worst way to deal with an airborne respiratory virus".* Why are they censored, and attacked or ridiculously labeled "conspiracist"? On the other hand, many of the official "experts" that are imposing the current measures, have a history of corruption, mediocrity or of being repetitively wrong.*
They push their perspective on the body, health, reality in every medical school, every medical protocol, every research design, every health related Google search – in every corner of the world, in every corner of the mind – constantly fortifying the medical religion. Life becomes a war on germs and the world a huge hospital for human livestock. Sensitive fears are being played and a techno-medical-tyranny is smoothly becoming normality. The world is caught in a narrative that produces a nightmare. And there is no way of escaping it because it's "for the good of society", for totality – totalitarianism. The tacit contract used to be that we have a degree of personal freedom, autonomy and agency at least over our own bodies in exchange for our acceptance of inhabiting the capitalism realism perspective. Now this last old normal's freedom is taken away. The old normal was already sick but the "new normal" is completely insane.
Covid19 doesn't deserve more than 0.1% attention, as its death rates. I don't want that every aspect of my life to be infused with a fear of a mild virus that was artificially raised at the status of the biggest superstar. I don't want to live in a body shaped by medical fears and fictions. I want out of the antibiotic society. I want the possibility to disagree, the space to move in a different way, in a different direction than what they consider normal and desirable. Freedom is the possibility of deviating from what power wants. I hope for a space, a country, an island, a parallel world where we will have the right to have our own perspectives on health, bodies, realities. Because it's obvious – the new normal is dystopia.
It's not so much to say, we all know what is happening. There is this dangerous pandemic, there is no treatment or vaccine, so we have to protect ourselves, especially the vulnerable. Lockdown and social distancing for flattening the curve, it's as simple as that. Any other opinion is immoral, because it is clear that vulnerable people will die otherwise. Sure, there are many weird perspectives, crazy conspiracies around, but it's really not the moment. I'm usually not at all for censorship, but it's understandable why free speech was suspended in some countries and on social media. Fake news and conspiracy theories can be very dangerous in this emergency situation. It's nothing to debate, if you want to save lives stay home and follow the official recommendations.
These days I'm scared, not of Covid19 but of the reactions to it. It's clear that very few look into data and make their own opinions. It's mainly a fear pandemic, based on data out of context and manipulation of facts. Errors were pointed out by researchers but nobody cares. As an angry MD was saying on Twitter: "The test is the disease, not the virus!", before they didn't test for different respiratory viruses, they were all treated as flu. Now one of those viruses is tested and we have a new disease. The test is very unreliable, it can give up to 80% false positives. Papayas, goats, and even the tests themselves tested positive.* CDC admitted that some of their tests were already contaminated with Covid19. All the people found positive with these ridiculous tests are considered "sick" or "infected", although they are up to 80% asymptomatic (not sick), and almost all the remaining 20% have mild symptoms.
They count as Covid19 deaths all people dying with the virus. The terminally ill cancer patients that die with pneumonia and get tested positive for flu are counted as cancer deaths. If they get tested positive for coronavirus, they are counted as Covid19 deaths. There is no coherence in counting respiratory viruses deaths, the statistics are meaningless. People are already making fun saying that Covid19 is the cure for pneumonia, cancer, heart diseases because these causes of death are disappearing from statistics. Italy Health Ministry admitted that covid deaths are at around 12% of what is announced but it doesn't matter, they keep doing the same everywhere. This big malpraxis is pointed out by many world renowned researchers but they are censored. As studies are getting better, mortality of Covid19 appears to be similar to that of flu. Studies are showing that Italy, Spain and NY's deaths are mainly due to aggressive and wrong treatments on people with other serious diseases. Still the excess mortality is under some flu seasons in most countries. Many researchers say that millions will die because of the measures – stress, isolation, loneliness, fear, lack of liberty are proven to be more unhealthy and dangerous than the virus. Famine, depression and suicides because of job losses and poverty will add to that numbers.*
There are no studies to justify lockdowns but there are many against. There is even a WHO 2019 study that shows that lockdown doesn't work for respiratory diseases.* Because of the novelty, in China they introduced the measures late, two weeks after the peak of disease so they already achieved herd immunity. Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden, Georgia, Belarus, Iceland, Mexico have no lockdown, no panic, everything goes on like before, with more care, and the situation is better than in the lockdown countries. Sick people stay at home and only the very sick are taken to the hospital. The hospitals are the most dangerous places for contamination of doctors and patients. Lockdown creates panic and stress and it's known that isolation reduces immunity, especially for vulnerable people. Many researchers pointed out that going outdoors is what stops every respiratory disease, vitamine D diminishes until 20 times the severity of the disease.* And, as I read in an article today: "in a liberal democracy you have to convince and not command people into action. If you lose that principle, you will lose your soul."*
Our governments are not doing enough to flatten the curve. Most of our tax money goes into defense and secret agencies. Now it's time to really prove their worth. A big problem is that some people still hug, touch each other, have sex in their homes. The measures should be imposed there too. Authorities should have even more access to people's devices. Using data from cameras, microphones and other sensors, AI technology will be able to identify those who don't respect the measures, and they can be removed from their homes. Also the citizens should be instructed to inform authorities if they suspect their neighbors for not respecting the measures.
Finally the right and the left are united in supporting authorities in their actions as never before. I'm glad that all that critical thinking and suspicion towards authorities and official narratives are gone. But not completely, and here the agencies can have a bigger role in collaborating with media and social media to marginalize or even eliminate critical voices. In our era of algorithm based news feeds this is a banal task, already done, but it can be radicalized, because now is the moment to be united in the face of this horrible danger, otherwise we will die.
They say that we're at war with the virus. So let's really be, we can call this operation "war on death". And who else if not the army should be in the first line. I saw that they're using drones to control and impose the measures to isolated people and communities. But they can also use the aviation to drop disinfectant on buildings and populations in the cities. Tanks should be on the streets to boost morale, to show our strength and willingness to fight, and also to show that this is very serious and we better stay home. They should also fire their weapons in the air from time to time, even their tanks in unpopulated areas near the cities, this will further prove the lengths we're willing to go to protect ourselves. And they may even kill some viruses.
Conspiracy theories are among the first that I check in crises, especially the ones most hated by the officials. Usually the first criticism about future problems, forms of control and oppression, appears as "conspiracy theory", so we should pay more attention to them. Of course many of them are stupid, but you can always find descriptions of the present and glimpses of the future that make sense, or at least make you think. Some are very realistic others seem more like contemporary mythologies that capture the collective imagination explaining metaphorically what's going on.
There are many conspiracy theories that have proven true. Considering smoking unhealthy was a long time "conspiracy theory", doctors were recommending smoking for respiratory issues, although there were studies against it. Secret agencies being able to follow our every step through technology we use, was "conspiracy theory". The chip implants idea was "conspiracy theory" already in the 70s. Some of them described long ago the verticalization of power, the pyramidal dominance of the world and of our lives by supra-democratic structures of big corporations and oligarchs. Some of them prefigured what is now common sense, the fact that economy is centered on the production and exploitation of subjectivity.
The new epidemiologic society of medical control, that seems to be on its way now, was prefigured in "conspiracy theories" too. The 201 Event, in which Bill Gates and other oligarchs were simulating a coronavirus pandemic in October 2019 and the plans for suppressing the unofficial perspectives, sounds like a conspiracy theory but it's real. The digital imunologic IDs plans and mandatory vaccinations too.
These days "conspiracy theory" is any critique or suspicion for the official perspective. And there is a lot of trust in mass-media, I wonder why. New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, CNN…, were always doing official propaganda for justifying the Iraq wars, war on terror, while platforms that dismantled propaganda then and now are labeled conspiracist. It is known that the "conspiracy theory" label was historically introduced to stop the discussion on certain topics. But it is just stupid to call studies at prestigious universities and opinions of some of the most renowned researchers "conspiracy theories".
Friends told me that they have a bad feeling about what's going on, but they are afraid to express it. We should embrace being labeled "conspiracists", if this is what it takes to be able to think and speak. This will probably dilute the fear and conformity and open us towards suspicion, critical thinking, speculation, courage, alternative possibilities, all that is now suppressed. And don't forget – reality is conspiracy.
Quarantine forever! When this ends there will be other dangerous viruses out there, even the flu is killing many more people than covid. And in general mortality for going out is bigger than for staying home. And most importantly we have to protect others, we're hosts for trillions of viruses, we're biological bombs. Stay home, self-isolate, be safe! We're collectively obsessed with this alien agent that could end everything at any moment. But there are other agents that can do that at all times. The probability of dying in a car crash is bigger than that of dying of Covid19. So the banning of the cars should be added to the current measures. And there are many other factors that should be fought and banned. And after you ban and fight every cause of death you probably end so isolated, cautious and locked that you will be already dead, or you will most likely die of boredom, anxiety and hunger. Paradoxically, fear of death makes us not live. Big fears also produce mental freezing, like our collective one.
Usually the fear of death stays in the background, but now it's central stage. Fears are irrational often, but not necessarily the fear of death. We're not deluded, we will die, even if we ban and fight all the death causes. Maybe you can escape this fear by not having anything to lose anymore, by considering yourself already dead. Or by believing that death is just a transition to a better life. But even for religious people the assault of scientism and physicalism is too powerful. To believe in life after death seems very unscientific and naive. Meanwhile the real science is not so sure anymore, there are plenty of well studied phenomena that cast big doubts on the physicalist paradigm. There are records of thousands of very mysterious phenomena around death, like dead bed apparitions that are visible for more people in the room. Or near death experiences after which subjects accurately describe far away events which they attended out of their bodies while objectively brain dead and gone. But probably the only thing that can alter your perspective on death are very strong personal experiences that can pull you out of the implicit physicalism. When death ceases to be the ultimate tragedy, life ceases to be fear.
What matters is perception. Apparently in Italy and elsewhere they diagnosed Covid as flu for some weeks in the beginning. Some researchers say that in previous years that was probably the case too, the virus existed undetected because there was no test. Imagine if everyone everywhere would have continued that, we would have thought that it is just one of the bad flu seasons that we have once in a while, minor news. Same data, completely different results in terms of perception. Perception management is all that matters, and it's done through spectacle, not facts and reason. Media's images of people on SciFi stretchers surrounded by astronaut doctors are a much stronger statement than some Nobel prize virologist that explains softly why current fear and measures are craziness.
Imagine a similar scenario for influenza viruses. In Italy and Germany 25000 flu deaths are in some flu seasons, and this without counting the cancer, myocardial infarction patients…, that die with the virus. Imagine what spectacle you can make out of it. Exponential graphs, overwhelmed health systems (in North Italy and Spain the health systems were overwhelmed in the past flu seasons). You can even show some children dying, because yes, the flu is killing children unlike Covid19. Stats will show that old people and immunity compromised people are vulnerable, and here we are, lockdown again. The show will produce fear, and reason is nothing in face of fear. There are many psychological experiments that show how fear and uncertainty makes us abandon reason and follow the authority's perspective. We're infected with the official perspective.
"Yes but people are dying!" Seriously? Since when, since yesterday? With all this perception management, we suddenly become mortals.
Yes, there is evidence that the tests are problematic, there is evidence that they try to count every death as a Covid death. That intubation and other aggressive treatments are killing the vulnerable patients. And the measures too. There are all the countries without lockdown that are quite ok, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Georgia, Sweden, Belarus, Iceland, Mexico…, There is also evidence that going out in the sun greatly reduces the severity of Covid19. You keep throwing these facts in our face. But we are not interested in your evidence. Nobody cares about your facts. You think we're stupid but we're not, we feel that the real danger is not the virus but leaving the official narrative. You can lose your place in community, your status, your work, even your life, with the new laws they can quarantine you somewhere and force medical treatments on you, and who knows what happens. Reality is relative, fear and affects are generating more reality than your reason and facts. You should respect the fear of people. For us, intellectuals, academics, artists, our jobs, our security, our future are more and more dependent on being attuned with the "correct stances", providing justifications and conceptual backgrounds for them. Collaborators are rewarded, critics punished, this is reality.
It is easier and more mature to just get along with the consensual reality. Yes, reality is consensual, it is implicit agreement under the influence of power and media. For now your facts are in alt-media, and this speaks about how much you're living in an alternative reality, only when they will be in mass media it will be ok to be critical again. The guy in front of the tanks in China and the skeptical guy not performing the Nazi salute in a middle of that mesmerized crowd, were naive idealists, very annoying, destabilizing, provoking disturbances and confusion with their immature takes on reality. If you have a drop of common sense, and a trace of preservation instinct you see your place in the scheme of things and get along. Freedom, truth are not supreme. You're not called to illuminate and change the world, mind your business.
Be sensitive to others, respect the common sense, the codes and tacit agreements and play the game – when they pretend to want your best, you pretend not to see them doing the opposite. Why producing dissonance when what we need is unity, a common sense and a common view of the problem. It's time to understand the new normal, the shift towards the epidemiologic society. You and your precious freedoms are secondary, your importance is only in regard to your contribution to the general safety, your responsibility and service is towards the health of the collective. Despite his errors, he was right here: "My Movement encompasses every aspect of the entire Volk. It conceives of Germany as a corporate body, as a single organism. There is no such thing as non-responsibility in this organic being, not a single cell which is not responsible, by its very existence, for the welfare and well-being of the whole." Adolf Hitler
The usual political discussions are like fights for the first class seats in an airplane that's crushing, or like debates for where we should stay, on the left or on the right in our fall. Many more lives are taken by the climate crisis, right now not in the future. Why don't we have this generalized panic and radical measures for that? And even this crisis is an ecological one. Wuhan and North Italy are some of the most polluted places on earth and this is a huge factor in the situations there. Destruction of land, extinction of animals made the viruses from other species search new hosts. The tendency is for more and more pandemics. This one and the previous ones were all based on animal exploitation. Animal exploitation is also the worst thing that you can do for the environment, eating a burger is much worse than a trip on an airplane in terms of climate damage.
We know or we feel that we are in the middle of an extinction, and this planetary catastrophe affects our modes of perceiving, thinking and feeling. We somehow register these changes and we are affected even (or especially) if we are not aware or in denial. We realize that our ways of seeing, feeling, thinking and behaving may be equivalent with the extinction of life and we are scared, but a naturalized panic maintains the parameters of thinking unchanged. We usually bury our bad feelings in a hedonist, narcissistic blockage of the future. And when something like this happens all this accumulated and suppressed panic and anxiety is getting out.
At the base of the climate crisis and of the current pandemic atmosphere, is an instrumental, use-oriented thinking based on an attack upon the environment, on the assumption that our life should be at the expense of others. And the same anti ecological paradigm is at the base of medicine. Excessive hand-washing, overuse of antibiotics, aseptic cleanliness, vaccines, antivirals, other medicines and lack of human contact destroys our body ecology, our immunity. The resulting allergies, autoimmune disorders and chronic diseases can be much worse than the infectious disease that we're fighting. When we are at war with bacteria and viruses, we are at war with our own bodies. From too much eagerness to fight the microbial life we end up fighting ourselves.
Instead we can go for coexistence. Even now we can choose to trust each other and the power of our community, that we each have a role in building antibodies and immunity together. This would be an ecological mentality, that we're together in an ecosystem and viruses and bacteria are very much part of it, are very much part of our bodies for that matter. In general the microbial lifeforms are not our enemies. We cannot survive without them. We are viruses and bacteria, more than human cells. We should trust the power and intelligence of these ecosystems to regulate themselves, because, like studies are showing it, if we trust them more, they work better.
All is well as long as we don't disturb the transcendental structures, the implicit frames. And we're mostly safe because reason, logic are just to navigate inside our default perspective, to rationalize it and defend it. Thinking is always caged. In one of his days among the Amazonian Pirahãs, Daniel Everett noticed that they were talking excitedly about what was happening just across the river. Daniel and his daughter couldn't understand why, they only saw an empty beach. All the village was watching a spirit there. “I could never have proved to the Pirahãs that the beach was empty. Nor could they have convinced me that there was anything, much less a spirit, on it." The two perceptions were irreconcilable, a radical disagreement persisted about what the reality across the river was. They looked into two different worlds. For Daniel Everett the explanation is that a radically different culture produces a radically different way in which language functions, and this allows different perceptual possibilities. But for some Amazonian tribes, there is no objective reality with different perspectives on it, but the perspectives are creating the realities (Viveiros de Castro). In this “multinaturalism”, the question would be not how Daniel or the Pirahãs see the world, but what kind of worlds their perspectives access or create.
A similar question would be now, what is the perspective that makes us react in this way and produce this situation? One of the most pervasive contemporary perspectives is physicalism – all is matter, particles that somehow at some point produce life and consciousness. There are physical laws and everything is physically explainable, at least in principle, but overall the universe and our lives are meaningless. Another main influence is the biomedicine perspective, we are just biochemical machines, constantly under attack, and we should be repaired and protected through surgeries, vaccinations and drugs. And the atmosphere of scientism, a naive, conservative and obsolete image of science, while the actual science is getting weirder by the day. These are the background for most perceptions, thoughts and feelings, creating reality. Being aware of this creates suspicion for everything "obvious", "normal", "real".
As always, to understand what happens we should see who profits. We already know how these things work – create, inflate or frame a problem to bring the long before prepared solutions. I don't say that somebody orchestrated all this (although it's not excluded), but as always some entities could have an interest in maintaining and amplifying the situation. Maybe Big Pharma is an example, there are huge amounts of money in selling vaccines to governments. Also the people that know in advance how perception and fear will be managed, like the billionaires who were told in advance when to exit the market and probably they will know when to reenter and buy everything cheap. And there are agencies that like to test or implement their "security" and surveillance ideas, the techno-tyranny. Huge amounts of money are "printed" by "national" banks, money that go in private hands and register as debt for the rest of us. It is also a good moment for testing some perception management techniques for the more dystopian future that will follow.
New ways of monitoring and controlling human life are conceived, based on mandatory testings and vaccinations that appear on some global digital IDs. Free speech, liberty of movement and other rights are disposable because "fake news" and the contamination capacity of the body should be contained, our own existence is at stake. Humans should be constantly processed and managed under the imperative of general health. This seems to be the new way of governing, WHO (Big Pharma financed) becomes a global government. Mild contagious viruses are always around, so this type of situation is always at disposal for new biopolitics in the name of supreme value of health. The dictatorship of health.
It is a new mentality that is built, a new fear. First the enemy was outside, other countries, then it came closer, terrorists, migrants, and now we're the enemy, we're walking biohazard that should be monitored and contained. We're a danger for others and for ourselves, because we are guests to trillions of viruses and bacteria, and we have the power to contaminate. A hygienist, antibiotic approach permeates everything. We isolate, separate and protect ourselves from everything around. The first thing that we see in others is danger. The others were low probability terrorists, now they are high probability contaminated, they (we) become more and more dangerous. The epidemiologic perspective becomes the new form of governance and the core of the new subjectivity and society. The human completely identifies as biochemistry and becomes the lowest form of life in its entire history. Never before we were so afraid of death to quarantine the healthy people. This biomanagement and war on death reduces us to mere biological life with few animalic pleasures and mostly fears. Human subjectivity becomes extinct.
Medicine and health care should evolve with this crisis, because Covid19 is here to stay and other dangerous viruses too. Special sensors should be placed in all the public areas to take people's temperature. Testing, testing, testing! Records on people should be kept for AI technology to identify symptoms, to diagnose based on subtle changes in skin color, walking, posture, gaze. In this way dangerous people can be quickly removed, together with people they contacted and be quarantined before infecting more people and putting vulnerable lives in danger. Medical digital IDs should keep the records of vaccinations and show who is immunized and who's not. The non immunized people should not have access in high contamination risk public spaces. And countries should have the right to ban their entries. People should be ranked on their level of danger, risk and vulnerability. Algorithms will be able to analyze in real time the composition of crowds based on this data, and authorities will be able to quickly intervene to disperse the crowds and ban meetings when the risk level rises. Citizens should be also instructed to keep an eye on others, to be able to identify some basic symptoms and report to authorities possible suspects, people with signs of disease. Technology can bring a lot of smaller improvements too, like sensors that beep if hands get too close to face, etc. And of course there should be periodic mandatory vaccinations. And special budgets should be globally allocated for all of this.
Tribal thought control and conformity, so viral lately, are more likely explanations for what's going on. In my bubble they just adapt the woke culture with its identity politics games to the situation. It's a cop mentality that identifies and excludes the "problematic" takes – any other take than the "correct moral stance" of your bubble. Now the same cops are policing the irresponsible people that think differently about what's happening or are unconscious enough to go out in the sun. In Romania, in the main online group that discusses Covid19, if you bring data against the official perspective you're kicked out. People are telling me that I'm brave, just because I'm suspicious with what's going on.
Mimetic thinking is everywhere. In art the majority of "deciders" don't have the courage to really take an individual stance, to really discern for themselves, they just look around and go for what the trendy institutions and curators are doing. It's risky to think and decide because you can be wrong, it's safer and easier to develop a sense for what's "in", ride the trend, have the right opinions, align with the influencers in your bubble. The same in politics, for sure there is a lot of just going with the flow. It's a sort of a competition for who takes the "strongest measures". The politicians capitalize on that, and they're afraid that if they go milder, others will come and say it's not enough and they will lose political capital, and be excluded from their tribe.
In the past it was easier to have distance or suspicion about the main perspective because it came from politicians, journalists that you most likely didn't know personally. Now it comes from social media, from your social medium. It is easier and safer to go with the "stances" of the main voices in your bubble, you don't want to lose your friends and turn the mob on your case. The disagreement could be very costly, exclusion, canceling, losing status and work. Acceptance and belonging have greater value than truth and honesty. You just sense what is expected from you and conform, mostly unconsciously. You can have free speech and discussion inside the terrain of accepted assumptions. Any opinion that exits the perspective's invisible boundaries is extreme. The mimetic bubble has its antibodies. Moral cops shot you down with a label as "fash" or something and you're done, canceled (now it's "eugenist," "truther," "conspirationist"). You better conform, or even better, you can be one of the cops proving your moral stance, your importance in the tribe, winning wokeness points by policing, sanitizing the bubble, canceling the non-mimetics.
There was a lot of agitation against Orthodox Church, because of some viral videos in which priests were doing the sacrament of communion, sharing the bread and wine with all the community using the same spoon. Everybody rallied to ban the religious services and they succeeded. They made fun of the "primitive" religious activities. But, paradoxically, exactly for the vulnerable population that they so proudly save through quarantine, religion could be the only consolation, community and reason to live.
The communion is an act of faith in God but also in our community, the faith that we are capable of building herd immunity together and that our bodies have the power to fight disease, with some transcendent help. Immunity is built together through community and faith, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. Life dies in isolation, socially and biologically, without community there is no health. Who are you to tell me that my experience of communion is not what I need, maybe the right experience for my immunity and for saving my life? Nobody forces you to attend the communion, and nobody should force us to attend the quarantine rituals of your antibiotic religion.
Psychoneuroimmunology and epigenetics are confirming more and more the importance of our emotions, thinking patterns, perspectives, faith and spirituality to health. And there are many studies that show the power of spiritual practices. Probably they cannot make sense to your narrow frame of mind but that's your problem. For example they proved that, mysteriously and scientifically unexplainable, prayer raises immunity even for the people that you pray for.
You run on your scientist/physicalist/atheist/antibiotic religion, and have the impression that you are covered by science and the religions are just a bunch of naive anachronisms. But actual science disagrees, and it cuts your atheist religion at its physicalist roots. The impossibility of understanding how any physical system could ever produce or give rise to any subjective, qualitative experiences is the “hard problem of consciousness”. The existence of subjective experience cannot be explained in physical, chemical or functional terms. It is an insurmountable problem for the physicalist science. Materialist assumptions are also contradicted by quantum mechanics. Consciousness determines the way in which energy and information appear as matter. Consciousness is fundamental and primordial, and it is more and more so in disease and healing as well.
And there are models like that of the holographic universe or the conscious agents theory that got traction recently. According to the later, conscious agents is all that is, but they appear in our consciousness as elements of a material world. In this theory it would be more accurate to speak of Covid19 disease as the action of a "devil" or "demon" because they are closer to conscious agents than viruses. The viruses are just symbols, in the same relationship with the actual conscious agents (demons) as the icons on your phone are to the actual information processes inside the phone.
They also make fun that we say that covid is a punishment for our sins. But look, epidemics have a strange ethical component, they always seem to punish us for doing horrible things, to the environment, animals… Anyway, to assign meaning to what happens is psychologically healthier and good for immunity.
There is a dictatorship of perception. The majority being loud and aggressive against a set of beliefs, based on another set of beliefs (atheist/medical religion). This high degree of intolerance is fundamentalism. At least my religion is explicit and I'm aware of it being a religion, yours is running in the background disguised as an objective, scientific view on the world, but it is just a perspective, a set of beliefs like any other, more and more dismissed by actual science. And look what sort of ridiculous reality your religion is producing. I agree with Agamben and I'm not identifying with my bare biological life that this dictatorship of health is obsessed with. I'm interested in the spirit.
The problem is our perception of body, health and sickness. Imagine that instead of being bombarded with the repetitive messages that basically say you should be suspicious, you should be afraid, the others are danger, obey the official perspective, and wash your hands obsessively, we will get something like: "there is a treatment for coronavirus – the immune system, it works in 99.8% of cases (good percentage for a treatment). We are always "contaminated" with viruses, and the immune system usually does its work quietly in the background. Fruits, plant based foods, meditation, lowering stress, walks in nature, time out in the sun, positive social encounters, art events are all proven ways to raise immunity. And if you have the virus you are not ill, the majority of people are asymptomatic."
The atmosphere would be quite different. We would be empowered, we would feel that we can do something positive, better diet, better lifestyle choices, not only negative – increasing distance, sanitizing obsession and paranoia. And we wouldn't renounce our power of healing. We wouldn't be anymore completely at the hands of medical corporations and governments which are increasingly overlapping.
There was a researcher, I don't remember his name, that wanted to prove that the war approach on viruses is nonsense, after he boosted his immunity he drank a glass of a liquid contaminated with dangerous viruses to prove that what matters is the immune system, the terrain not the germs. That would be an interesting reenactment now, and I could eventually volunteer for that. I would be much more afraid of the reaction of the officials, of their procedures and "treatments". There are already studies that point out that the Covid19 treatments are worse than the disease.*
Even for the worst chronic illnesses like cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, the immune system based approaches gain more and more traction. Covid19 is nothing for a not completely damaged immune system. An imunitar approach in this pandemic is very likely to save many more lives, not only from Covid19 but from many other diseases. It's estimated that one million people die every year in US because of their diets.
The most inconvenient truth for medical corporations is that bodies have the capacity to self-heal. That's why this type of message is not possible, the health policies are made by medical corporations, like the national dietary directives are very much made by the meat and dairy industries. Their approach is war – attack of symptoms with heavy artillery which produces collateral damage, other symptoms, which in the end is not that bad because it means more drugs, more money. There are pharmaceutical corporations that at different stages or in parallel, developed chemical weapons, pesticides and medical drugs – it makes sense, the same military, antibiotic approach. Medical corporations globally shape the perception of diseases, treatments, health and bodies. This is the main reason for the current fear, we are completely disempowered, the implicit assumption is that only authorities can save us. Without vaccines and drug treatment we're lost. Locking ourselves and hoping for good news from authorities is the only thing to do. Meanwhile the authoritarian measures are the replacement, the proof that something is done.
A couple of days before her death, Alina Popa summarized her experience with disease and medical perspective: "I have never trusted my body and its responses. We are taught so by education. Fever needs to be kept at bay, symptoms have to be read by specialists, you don't own your body, it is like a foreign coat you have to take care of and beware of it, look for signs, gather evidence. You are outside of your body, you analyse it scientifically but what does this mean. It means that you are placing it in the scripts written by strangers who are afraid of the wonder of reality and want to restrict its vastness to a few predictable scenarios.
The body is real but what we think about it is fiction. Medical views are the fiction imposed on us by modernity and capitalism. This is a consensus fiction. How you regard the body, how you name, determines how you act upon it and also how it acts back. We are free, and the body actually calls for individual fictions, or for fictions that give it trust and freedom. Perspective creates reality. To change the standard perspective is almost impossible. It cannot be done mentally, it needs different practices - to practice ways to interact with the world that give back reality its multiplicity. We actually don't truly interact with the world anymore. That is because we know too well the practices that are possible, and so they will give back the same outcomes. The body is as alien as the world. And we have to embrace its strangeness."
There are many more chances to die of suicide than of covid, and this bio-war will raise this collateral damage. Luckily, risks could be reduced in our new epidemiologic society. Until chips arrive, mandatory AI apps can track us, our conversations, analyze our online activities, measure our brain waves and give us mood scores. Through feedback and suggestions AI will teach us how to think and behave to avoid suicides or to trigger others.
Depression is contagious. If you have bad moods you should be banned from certain public places and from traveling. When depressed the AI will signal to you and your friends that you should self-isolate. When severely depressed, the AI will automatically notify the police-doctors and they will remove you from home and enforce adequate treatments. To help the AI, citizens should report if someone is suspect of sadness. AI will have the necessary data to see what was the trigger for eventual suicides. Maybe someone said something challenging, upsetting, disturbing. They will be removed from society for a while, and their minds and behaviors will be corrected. Results of mandatory mood tests will appear on our digital IDs, together with vaccines and immunity statuses. The measures will be in place until anti-suicide vaccines arrive.
Apps that infer our states of mind can reduce many other risks too. For instance there are more swimming pool deaths than covid deaths. If we're troubled we will not be allowed to swim. The drowning risks, based on our swimming levels and other parameters, will be on our digital IDs as deciding factors for our access to swimming pools, rivers, lakes, oceans. This could and should be done with all the death risks. It would be difficult, more police will be necessary, but totally worth it, lives will be saved. Until then, fear is our ally. By adding our fears to the general panic, the atmosphere will be much safer – fear makes us conform – official measures are respected, safety and silence reign.
We're trapped in the official perspective. Only by operating on our perspectives we can change what is possible to think, perceive and feel, the form of our life. Perspectives are usually transparent, you may feel that you are directly accessing an objective reality but you're inside a perspective. And, if certain indigenous tribes (and new scientific theories) are right, the reality is not just accessed through perspectives but it is produced by them. You cannot just change your perspectives, it doesn't work as easy as mentally deciding what you want to believe in. The Pirahãs tribe seeing the spirits across the river cannot just voluntarily unsee them, and Daniel and his daughter cannot just voluntarily see them. You need special practices to become aware of your perspectives and change them. Traditionally this was done through technologies of the self, forms of life experiments that were the domain of religion and spirituality. But discipline, fixed dogmas and rigid practices often transform religions into perspectival traps.
Without working with beliefs you cannot operate at the levels of perspectives. But it's hard nowadays to argue that a specific religion is the truth against all others, so it's hard to believe. But we can have a meta belief in the phenomenon of belief, in the fact that building beliefs we build perspectives that shape life and reality. To generate our own beliefs, perspectives, religions we need to create our own practices, our own forms of life. This is more an artistic perspective than a religious or spiritual one. Nietzsche saw the potential in approaching life through art but he noticed that sadly, the artists are not applying their craft to it. New forms of thinking, perception, sensibility and living are emerging in art and slowly are permeating society. Artworks can be the first steps in affecting perspectives. They can produce mini-crises in perception and sensibility, interruptions, cognitive dissonances, perturbations in our minds, bodies and in our worlds, opening the terrain for new reflections, sensibilities, possibilities. Important artworks are redefining what art means. They escape their frames, redefine their own conditions, the art perspective. Art is maybe the only perspective that aims for surpassing itself. A transcendent function is embedded at the core of it. This meta function makes art the contemporary available way to access, affect or even create perspectives. Unfortunately the artworld chokes this function, more and more.
Any collective action has to take in account multiple perspectives, otherwise it is authoritarian. Now we're running only on the oficial perspective which means dictatorship. We need a democracy of perspectives. And we have to take care of the minor, minoritarian ones because new questions, solutions and progress are always coming from there. If you live in the oficial perspective you can very well take the measures that you need, self-isolate, wash your hands obsessively…, but it's no need to impose your fear and measures on the entire society on the premise that your truth and actions are the only ones reasonable, adequate, responsible. Even if this is the case, we the others have the right to be wrong. And don't tell me that vulnerable lives are at stake, because this is always the case, by driving your car you put many more people at risk than enjoying the sun in a park (currently banned in Bucharest). An argument can be made for mandatory imposing outdoor activities in the sun, attending spiritual practices, going to art events, eating plant based…, because all these are proven ways of promoting health and raising immunity, and many vulnerable lives will be lost otherwise because of impaired immunity. This will also save lives from heart disease and other chronic diseases that are killing many more than covid. But the "vulnerable lives" should have a saying and a right in protecting their lives as they consider, based on their perspectives on life, health and reality. I hope that humanity is not irreversible transformed into battery farms where mere biological life and a very narrow vision of health dictates the policies. We should have the right to a different perspective, no matter how "dangerous" it seems to be. And a different perspective is always dangerous because it attacks your identity.
For avoiding totalitarianism we should try to go meta from time to time, to become aware that we're always inside a perspective from which others appear wrong and dangerous. And we should be aware that we feel the need to protect ours and ourselves by attacking and destroying other perspectives. Holding multiple contradictory perspectives at the same time is a shamanic capacity. It is the way in which they travel between worlds – different perspectives are shaping different worlds. But unless we're shamans we cannot live in multiple worlds at the same time. So we hold to our perspective for our dear life, we don't want to go insane, to disintegrate. But we should still make an effort to reach out to other points of view if we don't want to descend into total closure of the minds and realities. Maybe art can help us in this exploration, or a form of spirituality or even more universally, love. Love, not in the sense of narcissistic self absorbed hedonism that it often means nowadays, pushes you out of yourself and opens you up for other perspectives. It is a form of shamanism in a way, it forces you to live in at least two perspectives at the same time. That's why sometimes love can be felt as a crisis. But crises can be good, things are moving, changing, perspectives have a chance to realign.
The current crisis can also be an occasion to alter our curse, collectively. If we look into history, usually the bad powerful entities are the ones that know how to use a good crisis. Maybe if we give less love to their official perspective, and a little more love to some less viral perspectives, we can prevent them this time. On the positive side, Covid19 seems to give a common body to the world. Suddenly race, gender, sexual orientation are irrelevant (not even age but immunity). Probably this stops for a while identity politics that were the norm everywhere and we can start to see identities as what they often are, perspectival traps that should be overcome. And we can start to compose ourselves less based on securing and protecting perspectives and identities against everyone else, and more on the capacity of accessing, exploring and creating multiple perspectives.
Covid19's presence in my life is as changes in the affective atmosphere that surrounds me. As limitations of rights. As people wearing masks, gloves, being suspicious, paranoid with each other. As stories of a few friends' distant relatives that were paid to accept Covid19 as cause of death for members of their families dying of cancer, heart diseases… I would take measures too if I would see people around getting sick and die, but this is not at all the case. My actual experience is of seeing people behaving weird because they replaced their experiential reality with a sinister media constructed fiction.
Even if I would have the symptoms, I wouldn't want to know "what germs caused them". As far as my embodied experience goes, germs, viruses don't really exist. I would have a fever, I would cough, that's the experience, not a virus. Sure, I can abstract and name the experience "flu" or something, but it's not necessary. I know from experience that I get those symptoms when I eat badly or I'm stressed, anxious, exhausted. And I know that healing means eating healthier, fruits, relaxing, somatic/spiritual/artistic practices, time spent in nature… And I also know that I have to be careful with vulnerable people, because it can be contagious.
Covid19 danger is spread by people infected with sick narratives. I don't trust the main spreaders. They see life as dangers, restrictions, struggles, control, not at all as joy, expansion, playfulness, love. They transform reality in germs, and life into idiotic fears. I don't like how they are in their bodies. I see through their fear production spectacle. I don't trust them for protecting lives, they feel dead, they give me the chills.
I don't even want to know that this virus exists. I'm not interested in being aware of all the germs and dangers that are hidden in the simplest human interactions. I'm not into hygienic madness. It's like being constantly obsessed about the risk of being hit by a car, and structuring all the aspects of life, culture, art, religion, society around that. We're infected with an insane herd mentality. We cannot embrace each other anymore, or if we do it, we feel it more like an act of courage or resistance than as connection.
If we collectively renounce the pathological perspective, Covid19 will disappear. But people seem to prefer staying afraid and isolated, waiting for the savior, the rushed up vaccine. It's their choice, the problem is that they impose their perspective. I don't like impositions on my fundamental experience of health, body and reality. I dislike tyranny. Not even Ceaușescu invaded the intimate level of body and health perspectives. But I don't know why I'm even fighting this religion, it already took everything from me, it may as well finish its process.
*Data and references on Covid perception management