Creating Inner Calm Amidst This New Coronavirus:

An Invitation to Some Sense of Peace Within.

April 4th, 2020.



Creating Inner Calm Amidst This New Coronavirus:
I’m starting to realize that the global headline I keep looking may not come. I keep going to my favorite news sources via my mobile, possibly an unhealthy number of times a day. It started about March 10th 2020. As an American that seems to be when the reality for me personally settled in. It’s today, March 25, 2020, that I’m yearning for the big headline. Something like “We’ve got it!” or “Crisis Over” or even less likely “False Alarm” like some sort of Orwellian end of the world farce made real.
We are interacting with a force of energy all its own. A virus can act like a fire; untame-able, unpredictable and very much a force of its own.
Experts are trying to build their models, desperately seeking the answers to the questions we all have. What is it? How can we control it? What has it actually done so far? What will it do next? What can we do? What is the full profile of everyone who has died from it? What is the full profile of everyone who has so far survived it? What are the resulting health effects for survivors? Is there permanent respiratory damage from the more severe cases? What are my and my loved ones chances of getting it? What are my and my loved ones chances of surviving it, and likewise, being killed by it?
You may think all of these questions have been answered. When listening to the experts in longer form conversational interviews, beyond the headlines, you’ll notice that the answers are more like guesses, estimates and predictions, not real answers. The news is covering, 24/7, the latest answers from the developing models of what this is. Models filled with possible variables that affect the outcome, patient data, population data and rapidly increasing amounts of cases happening worldwide, in real time.
Can you imagine such a model? Modeling real world, complex problems is a daunting, technical process I recall from my undergraduate experience. It is incredibly impressive when one can produce a successful model of complex circumstances, to improve understanding, inform decisions and ideally lead to upgraded outcomes in the real world.
Models are useful and deployed throughout modern society to better inform financial decisions, infrastructure planning in a city, medical diagnosis, business strategy, health of a population, etc. Our world is very much alive and unpredictable but decisions must be made even amidst this uncertainty and unpredictability. Models support informed decision making. Professionals and experts regularly rely on models although they may not refer to them, instead focusing on the conclusions they have drawn and the resulting advice and recommendations. Models play a critical role in the expert’s process.
Models also are flawed. Always. The data going into the models are flawed. Always. The flaws on all ends of modeling can be minimized but will always be present. To what degree are the conclusions from modeling then even useful, especially when it comes to the case of Covid-19, at the present (early) stage of this new virus? The answers reflect the best the experts know at the present time. The experts in these longer form interviews discuss the high degree of uncertainty they are facing. They doesn’t stop us, or them, from having all the right questions.
The answers aren’t as accurate as we want them to be. The accuracy of conclusions, advice (answers) will surely increase as we have more time, data, experience with this living, moving, adaptable virus that isn’t acting like other viruses.
The world looks to experts for answers. Only the experts and their peers know the fallibility of the models and the data they are relying upon. I sense we are mature enough as adults to appreciate this fallibility as a normal part of life’s uncertainty. Even when we have questions. Even when lives are at stake.
Are we at the beginning of this virus or the tail end? We (as humanity) don’t know yet. Cases are still growing, even in China where it started. But China’s case growth seems to be slowing. Please notice the nuance in that statement: slowing growth… still more cases but less new cases than before. China was the first country to live this and it appears, but no one can be certain, that it started there around November 2019. So four months in and their cases are still growing but less so than before. When they have no new cases, their country’s experience can feel more stable. And then we (as humanity, relying on these experts who gather and analyze such data) will see whether the virus acts seasonally, whether someone that had been verifiably infect can get re-infected, whether certain remedies can help, whether their body built up any immunity to lessen its severity, whether the virus changed that much from its previous cycle.
That will then be a model for China’s experience. One could then easily conclude that other countries in the thick of the virus, with dramatically increasing cases, could also be on that similar timeline, with that life cycle for round one of that illness. But, no. China’s political system offers a very different level of authority and control over its citizenry, which allowed them to battle the virus in a very different way than most Western countries will have available. Quarantines are sort of like of hiding the virus hosts from the virus so that it can’t get to them. But the virus is alive, can change, can adapt. Anything alive wants to live. It’s part of its structure, which makes it a force of nature that is unique to it. Playing hide and seek from a virus that is alive in the nearby population can only last so long. And how long can we hide?
I’ve noticed more questioning of the quarantine approach in recent days. And questioning, in my view, is good. When we are afraid to question or when we want to suppress those who question it appears to further dampen and delay what may end up being the potentially best solutions for the community as a whole (which in this case is global).
Going back to the China experience and whether their timeline with this is applicable to Western societies. It seems logical (without any model in use here with my speculation) that Western societies will have a timeline from outbreak to identifiable slowing of new cases (to the point that new cases are only from imported cases and not from within community spreading), of at least 1.5 times China’s. If China’s data being reported on this week is accurate, their only new cases are of the imported variety (someone got sick elsewhere and they brought it in).
However, we already know with this novel coronavirus that people can be infected with it with no symptoms, and such individuals can pass the virus onto others who then do show symptoms, would be more likely to get tested and would then be monitored. This means that the number of actual cases of virus in a host is under-reported.
It appears South Korea has been the most aggressive about testing, even testing those with no symptoms. Hence, their wider data set among the full population will likely end up being the most useful for other countries newer in the outbreak time span in terms of how many cases they have relative to the entire population, how many never had symptoms, how many have symptoms, duration of symptoms by age and by health risk, how many with the virus recovered and how many died, duration of infectiousness. Gathering, analyzing, sharing such data takes time. Using such shared data to then make public policy decisions takes time.
Bringing us back to anyone like me waiting for the conclusive headline to indicate we know what we are dealing with here with this new life force called COVID-19 and whatever other medical terms its being called.
We. Don’t. Know. Time will tell if the quarantines are working. Time will tell if the death rate actually goes down from what can feel like the aggressive measures of full lock down. It is clear that what the health experts and those they are advising are wanting most to avoid is overwhelming the hospitals with patients they cannot care for. That is what slowing the curve is all about. The policy makers deploying quarantine efforts are trying to hide the hosts from the virus as much as possible; not with the expectation that the virus will die during this hide and seek experience, rather with the hopes that they can try to manage the flow of those with hospital-worthy symptoms flooding into the health care system. No one wants to see seriously ill patients on gurneys in tents in parking lots and/or without ventilators and/or without nurses and doctors and everything else we ideally see in treating someone who is suffering, possibly fighting for air, and possibly fighting for their lives.
If the March 24 news reports in Reuters are correct, Sweden is taking a different approach so far, not rushing to quarantine, noticing the devastating economic effects that quarantines are having in other countries.
I’m a problem solver and you may be as well. We can sort of arm chair quarterback this thing all day long. But at what cost, to our own inner peace and even sanity. This thing will take time. I am pleased to see efforts to increase the medical supplies that may be needed, the proposals for creating make shift hospital beds and temporary ICU units, the exploration of medical personnel being brought back into the care system for this emergency. The worst case scenarios offered by the models and the experts are terrifying. And that is what the public policy makers, leaders, have to take into account.
On top of all of this we have a communication network that thrives on crisis. The news agencies including conspiracy theorists and even conspiracy experts are deployed to be the ones who feed the rest of us what want, which is answers. As general citizens we want to know what is going on and we want answers to our questions.
I sit here today, recalling my own little undergraduate model and reflecting on all the crises I have been on the edge of my seat for, devotedly following the headlines and even some conspiracy sources to try to figure out the answers to my questions. I was born in 1970. My parents followed the news during the oil embargo when I was maybe 7. I remember the news showing people in long lines, waiting for hours to put gas in their cars. In my town then of Austin, Minnesota, I don’t think we had any lines like that.
There have been so many crises that one can go through in 50 years of life and I have, mostly as an observer. A personal crisis or even triumph is often not a headline. Headlines are made… decided upon, by those who want to get your attention and those who can choose what is worthy of your attention. It is the news agencies business and they are masters at it. That doesn’t make me feel manipulated but it does remind me to be aware that there are many, many others things also going on in the world and in my personal sense of world.
I’m not denying the reality of this virus and its unique, life threatening characteristics. Relative to the flu, this new corona virus is much more deadly based on the most recent data and the present models. And it should be taken seriously and clearly is being taken seriously. These headlines, this virus, the developing (and always imperfect) models’ worst case scenarios have now captured the whole world into its own realm. We may find we didn’t take it seriously enough. We may find out we took it too seriously. Time will tell.
I am also cognizant that the presently known death rate from the virus, for the population as a whole, is very low, especially when compared to a slew of other risks we or I as humans face in life. Each of us can easily ponder the other more likely things that will end our own lives, that may never make a headline or if so only occasionally.
I value my life so I will not ignore this new virus; that would be unwise. I value my quality of life so I will make an effort to not look at the headlines nor the many conspiracy angles to this pandemic. I will keep tabs on when my teenagers are or aren’t returning to school. I will keep tabs on my loved ones’ health, including emotional health, as well as that of myself. I will remind myself that I am still in a small community, now in Idaho, and that our experience may not be like those depicted in headlines on my mobile news apps. My head isn’t in the proverbial sand but it isn’t spinning off my body in panic, either.
And I’m still here and most of us (the vast, vast majority of us) are still here. And even with this pandemic, the vast, vast majority of us will still be here this June, and next June and even then June after that. We lose loved ones. We die. Acting like that all could happen tomorrow, from anything, in my view, is not a great model for living. And its error rate is ridiculous.
If you experienced all of these words and ideas, maybe you notice the difference in the pace you now feel within yourself. I hope this pulls you back into your chair, into yourself, like a deep sigh amidst a restored inner calm. Headlines and news on our mobiles and screens and papers don’t do that. They do the opposite of that, by design. That doesn’t make headlines or news bad nor nefarious. It’s just a reminder of what counter force is called for to feel and claim one’s self, to ideally even enjoy one’s life, to best face a pandemic or any other more personal challenge you may be facing.
I hope you feel more “inside” yourself. I’d like that you feel more of you after having now experienced this. This was long; longer than I intended. And slow. I took my time. I set my pace. And I hope it feels better than the rhythm you had before you started, similar to when your heart beat recovers after a scare or after a good, healthy cardiovascular challenge. A rapid heart rate from panic, from fear, from headlines can easily become one’s norm and it can make us feel alive and more connected. Connected to what? And Feeling alive from what, fear, panic, heart racing patterns? These are good questions to ponder, ideally at your own pace, taking your time ~ making a life, your life, your own personal model in the process.
Hoping for a long, happy life, for all of humanity,


A visionary in cosmology, consciousness and spirituality, Jill’s game changing lectures shatter outdated paradigms, with wisdom, humor, compassion and courage.  Website at

This post was originally shared with JRF membership on March 27 during a special topic COVID-19 event. Now sharing with public, hoping it offers information, calm and centered sense of self to those who read it. Thank you for sharing if you feel it will help others.

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publicado por achama às 01:39