The Weekly Watch
While it is true viruses are sometimes misread by the host and mutate (like a cold virus for example), this week I want to speculate how the SARS-CoV-2 will and is causing societal evolution. Viruses have always been agents of evolution as they attach and pull away from our DNA and RNA, but this global pandemic is going to fundamentally change societies and the way we interact...especially in the short term. If and when a vaccine is developed, some sense of normality should be re-established, but societies will never be the same...like 9/11 and the 2008 crash. So get out your crystal ball and let's think about what's coming around the bend.
Change is inevitable. Entropy, increasing disorder, is a natural law. The coronavirus is imposing rapid change for people who resist disruption to our everyday lives. But adapt we must and adapt we will. Humans are adaptive creatures. We will survive this pandemic. As COVID-19 spreads around the planet, more and more survivors will be immune, and eventually a vaccine will (probably) be developed.
I want to start by discussing the changes I'm making. I'm taking one trip a week into town for groceries, recycling, tractor gas, garden supplies...whatever we think we might need for the week. I'm being careful not to bring the virus back into our home. I'm wearing gloves, at present no mask, and maintaining distance as best I can in the stores. Upon return, I'm setting out the grocery bags in the sun, as well as the mail and any other new things going into the house. I'm starting to take off my shoes outside. Our bathroom is just inside the door. I'm washing my gloves with soap, and placing them back outdoors in the sun to dry and decontaminate.. Thirty seconds of UV light is supposed to kill the virus. Then I'm taking off my town clothes and putting them in the washer (which is conveniently in the bathroom), and immediately taking a shower. Then I put on clean virus free clothes and a clean pair of gloves.
Then to the groceries and mail. I use an empty beer or La Croix box and sort through the mail recycling 90% without opening, and put them in the box. That gets placed in the car for next week's recycling. Bills and other items of interest are placed in a to do box which I tend to after 3-5 days. Groceries, I'm removing from my reusable cloth bags and wiping down with a clorox solution (3/4 cup Clorox® Regular Bleach in a gallon of water; wash or wipe this solution on the surface; allow to stand for at least 5 minutes; rinse and air dry). I'm using the clorox mixture to wipe the door knobs I used to get in the house and my car handles, steering wheel, and shifter. Then it is back inside to wash this pair of gloves. Finally the groceries can come in and be put away. What an ordeal!
This is pretty much the protocol Dr John Campbell recommends (6 min)...
More self care advice...
But these are small (and inconvenient) changes compared to the larger question of evolution of our society. Last week Naomi suggested this could be an opportunity to restructure our sick society and build a better world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niwNTI9Nqd8 (9 min)
Marc Steiner talks to a social futurist about how progressive governing creates a future for us all in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (video or text)
And this week 'The Nation' paints a best case scenario
Time to change this rotten system!
In thinking of long term changes like hand shaking and public hugs becoming a thing of the past...a quaint old habit, brings to mind an old Sci Fi book by Asimov "The Naked Sun". The story is about a society where it is taboo to be in the presence of another human, yet somehow there was a murder. E. Bailey, a robot detective is sent to the planet and in a fun mystery solves the case. I always wondered how a human culture could evolve to not want human contact. I now have a better understanding of how that condition might arise. When the book was written there was no Facetime, Skype, nor Zoom which might have given him the idea. These digital platforms might provide an avenue to work together during the pandemic so that we can organize.
This is part of an email I received from Nick Branna working to build a peoples party...
History is unfolding before our eyes. For three years we have laid the groundwork and now the progressive movement is turning towards a new party more fiercely than it has in many decades. #DemExit and #NeverBiden have gone trending nationally in the last few days. The most hugely popular videos recently by Krystal Ball, Jimmy Dore, and Kim Iversen have all been about not supporting Biden and/or ditching the Democrats to start a new party. People are signing up and volunteering with our movement faster than ever. The momentum and the movement are with us!
We have to be prepared for the likelihood that Bernie will drop out in the next few days though. He is reportedly in talks with Biden and hasn't raised money for his campaign or purchased ads since Tuesday. Between his presidential runs and Our Revolution, the last five years of progressive strategy have revolved around Bernie and banging our heads against the brick wall that is the Democratic Party. When Bernie leaves the race there will be a huge vacuum of progressive strategy and it's up to us to fill it.
The establishment chorus demanding that progressives to capitulate to Biden will reach a fever pitch. The movement's organic momentum is strongly towards a new and genuinely progressive party, but some of Bernie's surrogates and Bernie himself will likely ask progressives to join Biden, a racist and senile livelong servant of Wall Street who said he would veto Medicare for all if he got the chance.
This is the moment for Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, emergency housing, basic income, a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, an expansion of SNAP and Social Security, and an end to the war budget and corporate welfare. That's what we stand for. And that's why we need a people's party.
Join our national call on Thursday, March 26 at 9:30 pm EDT to talk about the primaries, the pandemic, the People's Convention and how we make positive and permanent transformations in our society in this moment of crisis.
So the intro graphic suggests our success and failure is determined by the choices we make. When people are scared they tend to make poor decisions. However as Naomi suggests this could be an opportunity to re-invent this failed global for-profit system.
The global finacial collapse should cause us all to question this system. Max and Stacy have been doing so for years. They had a couple of excellent commentaries this week.
From Lost Generation to Last Generation
Max and Stacy discuss the ongoing stock market volatility and the emergency rate cuts. They ask whether or not Trump will be forced to introduce an FDR like jobs program if the pandemic continues to force social distancing measures which shut down businesses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9jeGS9nfc8 (1st 15 min)
In this episode of Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the U.S. tradition of transcendentalism and self-reliance. Should the U.S. return to an industrial autarky again whereby it is able to provide for its own needs? Is there any other option after the COVID-19 pandemic is gone?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0gBYXzznQc (1st 15 min)
But the world has turned upside down. As several of you have said it is so odd to see Trump going to the left of the so called liberals... https://caucus99percent.com/content/trump-outflanks-democrats-left
Pelosi Is Blocking Direct Cash Payments To Citizens.WTF?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKtB9f2ezzg (11 min)
Trump Is Doing “Americanism” Not “Socialism” Supporters Say
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB3XMa0rpxU (9 min)
Although he's not really happy about the relief bill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV0H17GNSC8 (10 min)
The corporations are not wasting time trying to shore up their degrading financial situation. They want to protect profits not workers. Dr. William Spriggs, professor and former chair of the Department of Economics at the Howard University, and serves as the chief economist at the AFL-CIO discusses the dilemma (video or text)
More from economist Bill Black (video or text)
Senators and other politicians are at the trough too. (3 min)
And as China and Cuba provide aid around the world, the US continues to sanction countries driving up their death rates... (video or text)
Not to mention the horrid conditions we created with overcrowded prisons (15 min)
Jimmy informs us Montana is releasing prison inmates (4 min)
As we discussed last week this is the perfect example of "The Shock Doctrine". I hope we use this as an opportunity to evolve into a better society and culture...
Let's not be scared. Don't let them infect us with fear of dying. Here's a young George Carlin (wise beyond his years) to explain why...(12 min)
I taught eighth grade Earth Science here in the buckle of the Bible Belt...less than 100 miles from the location of the Scopes trial. I used the word adaptation rather than the charged word "evolution" because my students were more open to learning when presented in this non-threatening way. As I've thought this week of the long term effects and adaptations to this crisis and the possible outcomes, I have hope that we may come out on the other side with a better system. It is going to take a year to hurdle this crisis. In that time let's explore in our minds and on this forum how we might re-emerge a better more humane society despite the corruption of this present collapsing system. Let us be the change!