SuttaCentral

The Corona Virus, COVID-19

Would they make a study to measure death and suffering caused by overreacting (assuming that they are overreacting)?

Where i live, the government decided to ban all visits to prisons for two weeks. This caused a riot at one prison yesterday of which two prisoners have died.

At the organization i work for, we have a poor 65 year old woman who is responsible for cleaning the offices and other house keeping duties. The management decided to take some measures to keep the employees safe during the coronavirus hysteria. Of course, the whole load of cleaning and using strong detergents was on the poor old unlucky lady. The pungent smell of the detergents would make a healthy person sick. I noticed that she was stressed and began crying, so i tried to comfort her by telling her that probably soon they will ask everyone to work from home so she does not have to deal with this shit at least for a couple of weeks. To my own surprise, she began crying like hell and said that we want to get rid of her because the rest of the staff somehow believe that she is uniquely contagious!

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As Rose said, you’re not alone. It’s scary times, and it’s understandable to be afraid. Don’t worry too much; keep your love in your heart, and remember that whatever happens, life is worth living. Take each day at a time.

Whether or not it is “over”-reacting, certainly the response will itself cause distress and suffering, and in some cases even death. It certainly needs to be balanced out.

Thanks for highlighting the suffering of the cleaners, I had thought of it myself, but to hear a story like that drives it home. I think we can all look out for examples of such suffering around us, and see if there’s anything we can do to help, even as little as a word of appreciation.

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Thak you for your words Bhante. :pray:

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This isn’t the 5 & Dime kind of Woolworths we had in the US, is it? I got really excited for a minute and almost asked you to eat some french fries at the lunch counter on my behalf as soon as it was safe to do so.

:fries: :drooling_face:

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No a different business with the same name, a major Supernarket.

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A special offering from Bhante Sujato and Ven Akaliko at Lokanta Monastery

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/7-1-7-chanting-and-meditation-service-on-dhammanet-with-love-from-lokanta/15337

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Coronavirus cluster in South Korea emerges at church after salt water spray infects dozens: health official

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Ohio has only a few confirmed deaths simply because they haven’t been able to do the tests:

We literally didn’t even have any testing in Ohio until about a week ago. This is a concern. It would be nice if we had faster turnaround time. Our lab at Summa is looking at developing the test within our institution, but that’s going to take several weeks.
~ President of the Infectious Disease Society of America

A worthwhile chart is this one from Tomas Pueyo on the cases in Wuhan:

Notice the lag between actual and confirmed cases. Also notice how the “draconian” shutdown stopped the exponential growth curve early. In Ohio, they have taken much longer to get testing rolled out, and they also haven’t locked down the state. Combining these facts and you can imagine a chart like the above where the blue bars keep going through the roof while the orange bars are dragged to the right, and you get the “confirmed deaths” to “actual cases” ratio mentioned.

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I just learned something new: Muting a thread does not allow it to surface in Latest, even if you have participated. :slight_smile: So helpful for restraint!

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Also it looks like South Korea is on the verge of controlling their outbreak with very aggressive contact tracing, extensive testing (highest per capita in the world) and quarantining (with no lock-down needed). Other countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore have also kept things under control with similar approaches (all have had experience with SARS in the past). One would expect numbers of new cases in Italy with their lock-down to appreciably dip within two weeks because of the lag effect referred to above.

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This quotation from a scientific article by American Museum of Natural History, 2016, will help to illuminate more on this topic:
"Being Healthy Means Having a Balanced Microbiome
Scientists now understand that a diverse and balanced microbiome is important to a person’s health. We need
that diversity and balance for a strong immune system. Some scientists think that babies who do not have
much contact with microbes get more allergies, asthma, eczema, and other health problems. Studies also
suggest that the microbiome plays a role in obesity and depression. In fact, the microbiome is so important
that it is like another organ. It is a part of the body that serves necessary functions, just as the skin and kidneys
do.
Remember, the human body is an ecosystem. We need to preserve ecosystems in nature, and that includes
our own. We need to preserve the human microbiome. "

From what I have observed (being both an ecologist by scientific training, and Dhamma-practitioner ) that most people don’t view their bodies as living ecosystems, and they don’t think holistically, and so go to extremes by destroying microorganisms on their own bodies and in their homes with harsh chemicals. They act like farmers or foresters who spray the crops or forest plantation infested with weeds, and destroy beneficial insects and poison other species too up the food web. Collectively we can now see the ripening of such actions or kammas (actions of mind-speech-body) all over the world - their results over long time. But we can also see ripening of more wholesome actions and results, that need to be supported. That gives energy and inspiration not to just let go and give up, but with compassionate heart direct our actions in the right way to help.

So sad about the poor cleaners. Yes, not using harsh chemicals is best for everyone.


“Australian children’s book author and illustrator May Gibbs (1877-1969) drew this scene featuring a kookaburra and one of her gumnut baby characters - both wearing eucalyptus leaf “surgical masks” - for a poster for a public health campaign in New South Wales during the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic.”
I received that from a friend on Facebook - but surely its message is good for everyone - Forest Dhamma?

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as far as I have understood, it’s not really known to what extent the microbiome is important, but I do like probiotics; in fact right now I am in the process of making a huge casserole of natto. My favourite :yum:

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I am finding that this is an opportunity for me to practice mindfulness outside the period of meditation. For example I have already caught myself twice today touching my nose, when I had resolved not to touch my face with my hands (even though I wash them frequently). It’s going to be a good practice for me just to remember at all times the instructions not to touch my face.

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To put things in perspective, according to the Smithsonian Institute, around half a billion people were infected with influenza during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic and as much as 5% of the world’s population actually died. Presently, Johns Hopkins University estimates that around 0.0024% of the world’s population has contracted Covid-19, and many people do not show symptoms.

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@Metaphor comparing infection rates to those of prior epidemics is of limited value when a large chunk of the concern is over the number of infected individuals vs the number of ICU beds/equipment available for them and others who might need them. It doesn’t matter if the infection rate is low compared to 1918 if we can only adequately treat some of those who need it, or fill up beds needed by people having other medical emergencies.

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Just when I was feeling so heartened about how well most people were handing this crisis, I saw some really disappointing footage on the news :frowning: Along with the queues for food in America, there were queues, of mostly young men, to buy guns… literal queues going down the street. I couldn’t think of a more un-beneficial response :worried:

Wuhan, China, confirms only 1 new coronavirus case for 2nd straight day; Every European country confirms cases

China reports 1 new domestic Covid-19 case, 20 imported cases

:anjal:

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In Italy 475 people died today.
No one had the change to hold a dying loved one’s hand.

May peace be one day with their families & friends.

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America is unfortunately quite a rumor-mill. People hear that there are food shortages because the stores don’t have time to restock, and they get frightened. I think it all started with the news reports of Italy quarantining the entire country and enforcing it with police. People got worried they wouldn’t have supplies, and the snowball started rolling. Hopefully it will die down once the run on supplies abates and the warehouses can catch the stores up again. Everyone has been pretty civil from what I’ve seen and heard.

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