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Economy and social affairs

The virus disaster

(Published March 2020)

Now what some have feared for decades has come to pass:

A pathogen, the corona virus COVID-19, is racing around the world. From China, the pathogen has long since reached all inhabited continents, most countries and almost all major cities with airports.

Unfortunately, this Corona pandemic hit[i] Germany was also unprepared. The hospitals, under pressure to work profit-oriented, have already been at their performance limits for years, and the necessary precautions for the unexpected seemed too expensive for those responsible, although we were warned by the Sars-CoV-1 (also a corona virus) epidemic in 2002/03.

It is therefore to be feared that not only in Italy old people's homes, hospitals and care services will not be able to meet the demands made on them.

At the moment, the pandemic is forcing drastic measures that are slowing economic growth, creating unemployment, driving up national debt and unsettling the population. It is still too early to predict how the whole thing will develop, even if encouraging signals are already coming from China.

The last comparable epidemic occurred between 1918 and 1920, a century ago. At that time, the "Spanish flu" claimed up to (an estimated) 50 million lives worldwide - far more than twice as many as the First World War - with a world population of 1.65 billion people. Converted to today's population of 8 billion, one would have to reckon with 240 million victims. No wonder virologists are calling for strict measures and politicians are getting nervous.

Fortunately, medicine and virology have evolved over the last century, so that today we can hopefully assess the given situation much better than a century ago. There is even hope that by the end of 2020 a therapy or a vaccine against the corona virus COVID-19 might be available.

So no reason to panic, but reasons enough to act responsibly.

Unfortunately, we still know too little about the virus and its properties, because the existing data are incomplete. Accordingly, expert opinions also vary. They vary between a normal flu wave with the usual deaths of 0.3% of those infected (mainly the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions) and a new, very serious threat. Such expert opinions forced politicians to act, also due to insufficient data. Better too much caution than too little!

Thus, the decreed border closures and curfews (20. 3. 2020), which until recently no one would have thought possible in peacetime, initially seemed appropriate. Even though this severely restricts private life, suspends civil liberties, brings the economy to a considerable standstill, explodes the national debt, and threatens to cause a crash not only in stock prices.

So far, the need for all these measures - which go far beyond what eco-activists dream up - has not been adequately justified and communicated to voters. It is still only a matter of buying time, but a convincing strategy must soon follow[ii] and also to discuss the nature of the return to normality.

As a result, serious, critical voices are increasing, and the initially broad acceptance of the population is crumbling. All the more so when the inadequate preparation, e.g. in respirators, breathing apparatus, disinfectants and protective suits, for which someone has to take political responsibility, begins to have a dangerous effect.

Unfortunately, the political cohesion needed in disasters is also lacking, so that uniform rules are difficult to enforce both throughout the EU and in Germany, and necessary decisions can be delayed by political games. This provokes mistrust and doubts about the leadership ability of those responsible, which is least needed in times of crisis.

Such drastic restrictions can hardly be sustained for longer periods than weeks or a few months anyway. After that, they must be relaxed so that the economy can recover[iii].

We cannot expect an accurate overview for at least a year. Then it will hopefully turn out that flu waves come and go, and in 2020 we have experienced nothing more extraordinary than an influenza wave dramatized by virologists, which has not caused an unusually high increase in the number of deaths. This alleged scaremongering by the experts was gleefully taken up by often uncritical and, across the board, overly pro-government media looking for a new, catchy topic after the "climate gretl" hype.

We are usually too little aware that throughout the history of mankind there have repeatedly been catastrophes that have caused entire civilizations to totter. Not infrequently, cold snaps were the trigger. These let the apocalyptic riders gallop off: War, famine, epidemics. Warmer periods were usually happier times.

Already in the Bronze Age, advanced civilizations collapsed, for reasons that have not yet been precisely explained.

From the Fourth Century onward, the Roman Empire crumbled under barbarian storms, civil wars, epidemics, economic crises[iv].

The population declined significantly in the following "Dark Ages" and it took almost a millennium for Central Europe to regain some of the level of civilization that the Roman Empire had already achieved in the first centuries.

Both the Persian and Eastern Roman Empires became so exhausted by wars, internal strife, epidemics, and the turmoil of migration that they could offer insufficient resistance to the Islamic fighters advancing from the seventh century onward. Both great empires eventually perished[v].

The great plague in the 14th century decimated the population of Europe. Further, mostly smaller plague epidemics followed in Europe and Asia. The Far East also suffered comparable catastrophes.

Then followed a cold spell with crop failures and the Thirty Years' War. Even the French Revolution was triggered by a drop in temperature. Not to speak of further, mostly smaller turbulences[vi].

In any case, the Corona pandemic has drastically demonstrated to us that the current form of globalization may not always be good for everyone involved.

In the past, disasters were usually localized. Today, the global economy is dangerously interconnected, and collapses in one place can quickly throw the entire system into trouble.

It is high time that a hitherto utopian "world society" recognizes that it must switch from competition and confrontation to cooperation in order to remain stable in the long term.

In addition, states, companies and families usually have too few reserves. The "war chests," "Julius towers" or "savings nest eggs" of earlier times are too often missing, and low interest rates tempt people to become overindebted.

The funds required to combat corona can show highly indebted countries such as Greece and Italy their limits and shake the EURO and the EU.

Germany is comparatively, but not really, solidly financed, but it cannot permanently be the paymaster to save "Europe"[vii] play, take in unlimited asylum seekers, cushion unemployment, manage the Corona crisis, digitization and the energy transition.

As you might expect, the question of the causes of the pandemic comes up:

Is COVID-19 a random mutation that has jumped from wild animals to humans? Does it even come from the gene lab? Or is it just being played up by virologists and dramatized by the media "chaos merchants"?

Conspiracy theorists and apocalyptists also speak out, as they always do in such cases. The latter want to recognize a serious warning, a punishment of God, or even the beginning of the end times.

Religious people or esoterics usually see it somewhat differently:

For these, earthly phenomena always have an external and an internal cause, just as every human action is preceded by a thought, an idea. We can follow the outer causes, the inner ones elude our perception.

Unfortunately, we humans do not always vibrate in a noble inner life, but allow ourselves to be seduced - not least by the media - into unsightly thoughts and sensations, which take shape in the subtle environment of our planet and have been poisoning it for a long time. Thus, dark forms surge and undulate in our transcendental environment, which coalesce and condense according to their kind. They can also have an earthly effect, as far as like-kinds offer the bridge to it. Beautiful as well as ugly thoughts and feelings of us humans fall back in this way as "karma" or "interaction" on their originators; on individuals or whole peoples.

For the effects that become visible to us, it is then immaterial whether dark forces could stimulate dangerous mutations or whether they steer human behavior in an unpleasant direction.

Thus developing catastrophes are no "punishment of God", but creation-legal effects of low human will; because only good things come from God!

Of course, it is necessary to act against the external causes: Through science, economics, diplomacy.

But permanently a peaceful and happy world can arise only if also the dark forms in the transcendental space, whose surprising effects are often interpreted as the work of "secret conspiracies", are dried up by light striving thoughts and feelings of many, if possible all people. Thought control is an old religious demand which has largely fallen into oblivion.

Ultimately, it will depend on us - on our actions but especially on our inner will - whether the pandemic can lead to a sharp decline or even to the collapse of the global economy. Or whether it will bring us a time that forces us to reflect: to take a critical look at our entire way of life, not just from an ecological and economic perspective. In this way, a catharsis can emerge from the catastrophe, which will prove beneficial in the long term.

Endnotes:
[i] Pandemic = a spread of a disease across countries and continents.
[ii] Other countries, such as Singapore, do not impose such strict restrictions. It will be exciting to see how the virus spreads there.
[iii] It is very optimistic to expect that everything will go back to normal next year and that the corona virus will go away. Even if the feared, long-lasting recession can be averted and our economic partners recover quickly enough. Many questions will arise and many things will be different after the crisis than before the crisis. Are z. B. Air travel, cruises, travel agencies then flourish again? Or do many consumers lack the money and inclination to do some things that have proven to be unnecessary during the crisis?
[iv] Historians cite at least 2o different causes for the fall of Rome.
[v] Cf. "Short and sweet, curious" page 369 "How 'liquid fire' saved Christendom".
[vi] Cf. under book reviews: "Do we need a second planet?„, „Gaia's revenge„, „Too many people?", „Ten billion", "When the sun went out". Under history: "The fourth rider". Under Strange Stories: "When diseases made history", Under economy and social affairs: "The globalization hoax". In "Short, sweet, curious" on page 110 "How Climate Makes History," on page 332. "How a Volcano Helped the Bicycle Get Going," on page 426, "When a Million Irish Died."
[vii] Europe is significantly larger than the EU and - unlike the usual twist of words - also includes Yugoslavia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc. In addition, the Federal Republic already has over 2 trillion (two thousand billion) debts, including those due to the Corona crisis many more billions are likely to be added; Not to mention the threat of “corona bonds”, which are likely to be at the expense of Germany in particular. As a well-known economist put it: "The EURO is the replacement for the reparations". (See. "Farewell to the (social) market economy?")