A very nice round, guys. Good job. Sorry I couldn’t make it … but then it would have been a completely different story, wouldn’t it … group dynamics and all that.
First, some fun factoids: the Hitchcock film John referred to is, I believe, “Shadow of a Doubt”; the nefarious uncle was played by Joseph Cotton. Interesting addition: the screenplay was written by Thorton Wilder, well, the first draft anyway, a mere five years after “Our Town”.
Germany hasn’t locked down yet, but some towns have, and Bavaira closed it’s borders yesterday, so to speak, simply because there are still too many people who just don’t “get it”. What is ironic about it all is the fact that if everyone voluntarily did what was suggested, it wouldn’t be necessary to go “dictatorial”, which apparently no one wants, but everybody’s “asking for”. If we did discipline ourselves voluntarily, it would be much easier later to undo the restrictions because they would have been of ours, not of someone else’s, doing. Sometimes it’s the little things that count.
At the moment, the rate of new infections here is at about the same rate that Italy experienced at the beginning. The USA looks to be slightly ahead of that curve, as is the UK. It is too early to tell whether the measures being taken are achieving or will achieve the desired effects. Italy appears only now to be no longer exponential in new infections; that is, they appear to have gone linear. But they’ve had much stricter measures in place for a longer time. Remember, the initial reactions was “it’s a Chinese problem”, “it’s an Iranian problem”, “it’s an Italian problem”. No one wants bad news to be true. Now we’re realizing – again? – globalization isn’t all Mr. Sloterdijk thinks it’s cracked up to be.
What’s important, I think, is that everyone realize that the virus is real. It’s not fake news, it’s not a plot by the political opponent, it’s not “just the flu”. Given, for example, that the governor of Florida had to close the beaches because of all the kids streaming in for Spring Break doesn’t speak well for at least some millennials. I’m not sure that protesting the virus in the streets, as they were today in Brazil, is going to have much effect. The last I heard from Russia (which is providing no statistics to any of the worldwide collection agencies (WHO, John Hopkins, CDC, ECDC, the Robert-Koch Institute, here in Germany, etc.) was that only Chinese people get the disease. We still have a long way to go, it would seem.
So, is there an up-side? Of course, there is. We just might get it this time around. Oh, I don’t think I see the signs of it yet, but it is a distinct possibility. Part of the trick, though, is turning possibilities into probabilities. Where common sense no longer prevails, you have to take stronger actions to get people’s attention. There are more than enough “leaders” around who would be more than willing (some are even eager) to step in and take charge. There is no guarantee, however, that any of these candidates have any more common sense than the folks they’re stepping in for. If anything is going to change, because of this, it’s going to come from the bottom up.
As the CCafé session demonstrated, there are some individuals who are thinking about all of this in a variety of open, creative, and different ways. Each and every one of those participants have a circle of family, friends and acquaintances whom they can influence – to larger and lesser extents, granted – as well. I don’t think we need to “go meta” or “nth order” or anything like that (even if those are perhaps accurate ways of describing what’s happening), rather we need to actually do what we can whenever we can with whomever we can however we can wherever we happen to find ourselves.
As to the Coronavirus/God question: like TJ, I am not even going to pretend that I presume to know what God (who- or whatever That might be) has in mind. Steiner said that turmoils on earth are the manifestations of conflicts playing out in the “higher worlds”. I believe I heard some of that in the excerpt from “Mother” that were posted. It would seem that, at least, John and Doug are catching some of those vibes as well. It could be. I’m neither smart nor sensitive enough to say one way or the other. So, I’ll simply act as if that’s how it is. It can’t hurt. It could possibly help. It might make a difference cosmically, or maybe not. In any case, at a minimum, it gives me a sense of added strength in my own efforts, however humble they may be.