In his book The Road to Ruin, James Rickards poses the question of whether or not we are having a total collapse of society.
Because our world today is so networked, just about anything that happens has a global chain reaction. It’s difficult to predict whether or not we can come out of this current crisis in a positive way, because so many people will not immediately revert to pre-covid19 behavior. And the longer this event lasts, the more it negatively influences us. Also the longer it lasts, the more people lose hope, which is one of the most tragic aspects of this situation.
To counter this, we need to push through needed changes and find and utilize new business models. This is definitely an entrepreneurial approach—and the time has never been riper for that spirit to come alive. That kind of spirit is all about creating the future.
Not Repeating Errors
We most definitely need to create the future, because the past has led us into the present scenario. We may never know whose fault it was, but we can say with certainty that it was not handled with a lot of intelligence. We should at least pause and analyze the situation for a moment, and ask, what can we learn from it so that we don’t make the same set of costly mistakes again?
And costly it has been. To start with, there was the cost of people who lost their lives to covid19—but this is a questionable figure. Since we have no autopsies, we don’t know if everyone who died actually died from the coronavirus. Is the virus dangerous? Yes…but not for everyone, and that is a very important point. Therefore the international reaction can be seen to have been grossly overdone. And it has had a trickle effect—once one country took part, another was forced to follow, and shortly everyone was involved. It is ruining us.
No, I don’t think this was the wisest set of actions we could have undertaken to deal with this crisis. I think it points up the fact that, as a culture, we have not yet learned to deal with complexity, and have no clue about the cybernetic principles designed for that purpose. Austrian management scientist Fredmund Malik coined the word syntegration, which means “the most efficient and rapid solution method for complex challenges.” We could certainly have utilized such a method in solving covid19.
I certainly cannot negate the heroic work being put in by front line medical workers and others. But I’m not talking about those who jumped in and risked their lives—I’m speaking about the overall decisions that were made, and if they were the correct ones.
We have taken the entire world down a considerable notch. How long will it take to rebuild? Let’s just take as an example of the supply chains. Perhaps some companies have enough raw materials right now that they can produce products. But since many raw materials weren’t produced over this last 2 month period, that lack of resources—that broken supply chain—may not hit us for another 6 months. An example is Russia; President Putin yesterday announced that his country will not be exporting wheat through the end of summer, as they want to keep it for themselves. This will have a major effect on areas of Europe that count on Russia’s wheat for food production, especially those areas that have not been able to grow their own due to drought.
In addition to learning to deal with complexity, we need to program scenarios with computer analytics that could provide the right protocols and processes to give us some sane options in dealing with crises such as these.
To build such analytics, there comes a third point, and that is data—for we can now see that the data provided in this crisis was not correct. Since I’m in California, I’ll provide California as an example. The statistics provided said that over 60,000 people were afflicted with the virus, and over 2,400 of them died as a result. This data is quite alarming, but it is actually misleading,
First of all, examining the California statistics of death in non-virus times, we see that around 772 people per day die. If we look at the last 80 days, during which the virus occurred, that means an additional 30 people died per day. While it’s certainly true that all lives matter, that certainly isn’t as alarming a figure as 2,400.
Another point is, how do we know how many of these people actually died of the coronavirus, that would not have died in due course? We don’t know, because again we have no autopsies.
We can look at hospitals, too, and see that, despite dire predictions, they are not filled. There is plenty of capacity to take care of those who may be ill.
What we can deduce from the data provided is that while the coronavirus is certainly dangerous, it is not dangerous for everyone. We cannot just shut down and bankrupt the whole world, as this will cause illness and possibly death just because we’re trying to prevent this pandemic which has questionable risk to begin with.
Health from a Holistic View
Let’s take a step back and look at the human being holistically. We know that the Greeks separated the human being into 3 parts: body, soul and spirit. The ancient Hebrew saw the being as a whole, and used a beautiful word, “yada” which means, “I acknowledge you.”
What does that have to do with coronavirus? Quite a lot, because in dealing with the virus we must become healthy in a holistic sense. That means applying “health” to more than just the body.
Of course, keeping the body healthy is very important. If you go to the gas station and fill up your car with the wrong kind of gasoline, the engine won’t work properly. Similarly, if we constantly feed our bodies junk, our bodies won’t run right. Eating a balanced diet with truly nutritious foods is very important, and can help stave off illness.
A body can also be abused with alcohol to excess, nicotine and recreational drugs.
But let us say that you have a fairly healthy body, but you’re always thinking negative thoughts—constantly critical of people, complaining about circumstances, and so on. Everything in the human being is connected, so a healthy mindset is also important to your immune system. Your mindset affects how you care for your body, after all.
In addition to nutrition, you should exercise. Human bodies weren’t designed to sit stagnant in front of the television all day. They were designed for action—our genetic code millions of years back made us hunters. Exercise in some form is important, if not every day, then at least a few times a week.
In addition to the body and the mind, there is also the spirit. Every one of us has an inner voice or higher thinking. Whatever you want to call it, each of us are spiritual beings in some form. How do I know that? Well, simply take a look around the world at the number of religions there are. If we weren’t avidly seeking spirituality, there would not be so many. We seek answers to endless questions, such as the afterlife.
I’m not addressing any of that here, though—I’m only saying that each of us has a spiritual component, which should be in harmony with your body and mind. How do you know when it is? You feel peaceful, with a peace that transcends any understanding. When you have this peace in your heart, you feel you are part of everything.
Can we feel that way every single day? No. But we can go there, through prayer, meditation, or whatever works for you.
At the moment when you are healthy in mind, body and spirit, you are totally ready for something like covid19. And you most likely won’t die from that, because your body, mind and soul are strong. Perhaps this is what we should learn right now in our society. From existing medical data, we have not seen a single instance of a truly healthy person dying from coronavirus. Therefore we shouldn’t fear it—for fear is another negative component of the spirit or mindset. Fear is the opposite of hope, and hope is really what we need right now, to go out, get our jobs back, build businesses, and overcome this crisis.
In going forward, the hard lessons are these: we must learn to adequately deal with complexity, must develop computer analytics that can help lead the way, we must see that our data is reliable and correct—and approach health completely and holistically.