Friday, March 13, 2020

Plagues Are Part Of Life

No one needs to explain to anyone reading what the coronavirus is at this point. It's been blasted all over television and the internet as the latest of serious viruses to enter the United States. Some even argue that it's also been hyperboled into more than what it is, but a debate over its seriousness is not the point of this post. 

When people, especially in today's First World, hear of a new virus, or anything that disrupts daily life, it tends to send them into a panic, not realizing that our ancestors often dealt with far worse. Humans certainly didn't invent sickness. From the earliest writings of Homer, plagues and epidemics have been a part of human life. In The Iliad, Apollon (whom some may believe is a God who heals as well as sends plagues for whatever reasons), comes down from Olympos and strikes many of the Greeks with illness. In later history, the infamous Plague of Athens that took place during the Peloponnesian War and likely contributed to the loss of the city, killed anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 people. As Sparta razed the crops and fields of the Athenians, they had to rely on foreign food imports from other areas, some of which came with bacteria that their bodies were not used to, and this is probably a most likely cause of the illness.

Things have certainly changed in our own time, especially concerning our mentalities toward plagues and epidemics. For instance, the American coronavirus has only killed a handful of people at this point. It's still a tragedy, of course, but compared to the plagues of old, it's merely a case of bad gas on society. It's not going to be something that is an easy fix, but it's not the end of civilization either. 

We have lived our entire lives, in fact, dealing with many other plagues, such as the flu which comes every year and has so far killed 14,000 and hospitalized a quarter of a million from 2019 to 2020. So with all this in mind, and the fact that over 90% of people will survive corona, why does it still send us into such a frenzy? I think mainly because it's new and unknown, the two chemicals that when mixed together will turn humans into a mob. However, of course, there is a new illness among us no matter how you slice it, and we should always be on guard to never let any kind of sickness into our bodies. Not only so that we will stay healthy, but so that we don't transmit it to people with compromised immune systems, because for them, the virus is deadly like any other would be.

But the truth of the matter is that we humans have always lived with plagues and illnesses among us. We work through them and move on. So what can we today do productively about the latest coronavirus? Well, we have one big advantage and understanding that many of the ancients did not, and that is daily sanitation and medical care, which is probably why our survival rates have dramatically improved. There are many things we can do that will help and keep us safe, and also many things that will do nothing but create more problems.

Things To Do
1- Get regular checkups with your doctor.
2- Take a good bath or shower every day.
3- Wear clean clothes every day.
4- Eat and drink foods and drinks that boost your immune system.
5- Wash your hands thoroughly and routinely through the day, and every time before you eat, with warm water and antibacterial soap.
6- Use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
7- Stay away from people who you know have weak immune systems if you're sick.
8- Stay home when you're sick with any illness that is contagious. 
9- Don't go into large crowds where there have been cases of the virus.
10- Wash and sanitize your foods, house and vehicle(s).
11- Of course, don't interact with someone who may be ill.

Things Not To Do
1- Panic.
2- Hoard health products from retailers so others can't be healthy.
3- Spread fear and alarm.
4- Be constantly negative (pessimistic people die sooner than optimistic).
5- Make enemies out of other human beings.

We need to realize that being negative isn't going to change anything, but being positive and productive will strengthen us.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.