A War Zone

The sacred Kaaba, empty!

As most people know, we are now in the midst of a major pandemic. I was shopping in a grocery store yesterday, and in my imagination, the scene was what I would expect of a war zone: many shelves empty, signs limiting quantities, services unavailable! This is perhaps a manifestation of one side of our humanity, our tendency to hoarding when threatened. Yet, there is another side wherein people are learning to connect in other ways (via Zoom, for instance), that in our isolation we also need community.

For me, this is the beginning of our adaptation to global warming. It may be (hopefully) that many positives will come out of the current stresses to our society. Thus, the links I am providing this time (after a fairly long absence) relate to both resources for the pandemic and to climate change.

I provide resources for the pandemic because of the vast amount of information circulating, and the need to filter that which is useful (in my opinion, both limited and broad-based).

I don’t intend the climate change links to bring ‘doom and gloom,’ yet I strongly believe we need to come to terms with the profound dysfunction of our culture. As therapist, I believe this can only be done by confronting and working-through the pain — not an easy process. When I myself first recognized the issues, I entered into three years of profound grief and a further four to five years of recovery. I can only quote Dante: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, as the transition for release.

Corona Virus Information

BC Covid-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

This sell-assessment process looks very reasonable, but is specific to the recommendations of British Columbia (which overall are quite appropriate).

New England Journal of Medicine: Corona Virus (free)

The New England Journal Of Medicine is one of the most prestigious medical journals of American medicine. It is offering free access to clinical reports, and is likely one of the most up-to-date resources available on the medical status. As with all medical resources, beware: a little knowledge is sometimes worse than no knowledge.

Coronavirus Sanity Guide (free)

Looks like an interesting site, with many resources.

The Sober Math Everyone Must Understand about the Pandemic (20200316)

I believe this article to be fairly reliable. The author is not a virologist or scientist, but he is a respected journalist who has won a number of major awards. As to the math, his assumptions are sensible, perhaps a bit extreme, but as I say, sensible. Even if he is pushing the numbers a bit, the overall approach is still likely to be quite accurate. As you will note by the social restrictions that are being imposed (closing libraries, community centers, bars, restaurants other than take-out, et etc here), these are all measures to flatten the curve. I suggest the major change will occur when a vaccine becomes available (4-12 months). A long period!

Climate Change Information

After the harvest — learning to leave the planet gracefully (20140614)

One of the best articles I have read on the worst case scenario: thoughtful, compassionate, honest, brilliant.

Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy (20180727)

A pdf document that gives a detailed discussion of the consequences if we as a culture are unable to prevent the massive collapse of our civilization. The original paper was rejected as “not to dishearten readers with the claim of ‘inevitable near-term social collapse,’” a form of censorship that prevents us from coming to grips with the despair that is hopefully a transient part of any grief process

Scientists’ Warning at Foresight Group, EU Commission (20190119)

A good video that looks at the possibility of social collapse.

Jem Bendell – Deep Adaptation (20190127)

A further discussion of the possibility of social collapse.

Miscellaneous Links

Why it’s so hard to find affordable mental health care (20200110)

As a physician-psychotherapist in Ontario, I had the advantage of being able to offer therapy to my ‘patients’ without personal expense. Very quickly my waiting list for individual therapy became such that I would tell patients I would be able to work with them in two years. This was for me a very vivid reminder of how underfunded was the process of emotional health, let alone so-called mental health (that concept would be a long rant in its own right).

This waiting list was unacceptable to me, and was one of the major factors of my switch to group practice. My anger management weekend became the entry point and, if clients then wanted to work with me, I was able to immediately place them in a group.

However it did not work very well. The vast majority of clients want individual therapy. My guess is that this is related to the ongoing shame factor associated with “mental health” — we are supposed to be able to “do it” ourselves without outside help, and we need to hide the fact that we are not able to do so (there are many stories I would be able to tell about these shame issues if space allowed).

It is all part of the craziness of our society, the individualistic model that is part of modern culture, perhaps intrinsic to neo-liberalism.

The Oakland women who took over a vacant lot to house the homeless (20200107)

Amongst other ways to contribute, I spend time each week in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada’s poorest postal code and an incredible ecosystem of poverty, crime, drug addiction, sex trade, and surprising community. Metaphorically I have described is as ‘stepping blind-folded onto a three dimensional game of Snakes and Ladders.’ It is the flip-side of our individualistic model, representing those who for many reasons have not been able to live into the consumerism of our society. This link is one of many that emphasize the profound community that can develop.

Alberta’s “war room” is an attack on democracy (20200212)

One of the major areas of conflict polarization in our present culture, specifically that between British Columbia and Alberta, relates to how to handle the cultural dependence on fossil fuel, and the need for down-grading. This article is David Suzuki’s thoughtful response.

5 thoughts on “A War Zone”

  1. thank you so much for your help, information and CARE…..you are ‘special”

    On Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 5:06 PM The Human Side of Global Warming wrote:

    > davemacq posted: “As most people know, we are now in the midst of a major > pandemic. I was shopping in a grocery store yesterday, and in my > imagination, the scene was what I would expect of a war zone: many shelves > empty, signs limiting quantities, services unavailable! Thi” >


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