Pandemic Reveals the Harsh Realities of Our Society

By Natan Rebelde (March 19, 2020)

Y’all scared? Good. You should be.

I am too. But I have been, for a very long time. I hate that I feel vindicated to some degree. And the reality is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The disruptions and collapse to come will dwarf this by comparison. But they are part of the same phenomenon: our civilization running up against the natural limits of planetary ecology.

Just as massive wildfires have become a regular annual recurrence, I suspect these sorts of epidemics will as well, likely centered around historical “cold and flu season”. It will just be the height of epidemic season, often leading to global pandemics, born of the globalized industrial consumer economy. These are the consequences of our own choices and actions as a culture. These are, in a very real sense, vengeful (and perhaps compassionate) spirits of the Earth, here to teach us difficult lessons that we’ve refused to learn otherwise.

The silver lining is that our current responses, for better or for worse, point towards many of the ways in which we must change our ways of living if we are to survive as a species upon this planet and create cultures that can sustain themselves on an evolutionary timescale (ecologically sustainable, in other words).

Many of the harsh realities of our society appear laid bare for all to see. Both our current successes as well as our failures can, should, and must inform us as to what works, and what does not. It can, should, and must show us what turns towards life, and what turns towards death. Turn towards life. It is not yet time to awaken from the dream of living. Death is inevitable, and can (and eventually should) be embraced as a friend, lover, ally, and accomplice. But life, on the other hand, is not guaranteed, and thus, a most precious gift. Honor it. Defend it. Then meet death with a grin and a hearty laugh.

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