What to do after the epidemic? What not to do after the epidemic?

Season concluding thoughts about the mercy of renewal
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1. What not to do after the epidemic? What should be avoided in this summer? First we should avoid being very optimistic. As the ancient wise men taught, we have to avoid the other extreme, i.e. fear, too. We managed to build up such a complex system (network) with the help of our worldwide connections that we cannot comprehend any more. Our computers cannot comprehend it either. Moreover, they will not comprehend it either. It is because the complexity of the system grows more quickly than the complexity of the parts able to comprehend the system. We need to come to terms with this emerging permanent uncertainty. There is no padded, safe life any more. In fact, there has never been a safe life – but we managed to create the illusion for a few decades that there was. It’s over. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. What to do after the epidemic? What are the most important take home messages of the pandemic? All extremes should be avoided. We should not rush – but we should not isolate ourselves either. What could be the advantage of South-East-European countries in the pandemic? The local experience (considered “fresh” on a historical scale) that we have to be able to change our lives – could be an important contributory cause. The regime change from socialism to capitalism (and the recession in 2008) made South-East-European countries (and the Greeks) accustomed to the necessity and possibility of society-wise changes. What did this pandemic teach us? We learned behavioral flexibility. It taught us that we have to train ourselves for changes, for that we “switch on” or “switch off” (or rather switch over) our lives according the situation. This knowledge will be much needed in the expected, big cataclysms of the coming decades of the 21st century. Those communities which practice the capacity of behavioral change better now, at the time of this mild “main rehearsal”, will be better survivors later if the real problems (climate change, water scarcity, food shortage, etc.) will strike. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. What is the real solution? The mercy of revival. When the interconnectedness of networks exceeds a certain density, the period of instability together with a series of unexpected situations begins. This is what the world reached in the past decades. We applied the simplest answer to system stabilization during the past months. We disconnected the world network and by this we started to return to the stable regime. But the world is about to “switch on” again and facing to a new uncertainty – just differently. We do not have to look for the real answer OUTSIDE but INSIDE. How do I have to change? The real answer is the mercy of our inner revival and purification – and this we may only ask for from above. A man looking for the real answer opens, reveals and leaves space for God’s presence in him. THIS carries him to the life that will be the real answer in ITS OWN totality – in the midst of any external change. Only this inner revival brings real resilience and survival – anywhere and anyhow. Let’s be converted! There is no other way. I wish all my dear Readers this revival during the summer. (If you would like to know more about this, please read my essay here.)

 


 

1. What not to do after the epidemic?

 

When I am writing these lines (at the end of May, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end. Life is about to get restarted again. What should be avoided in this summer? First we should avoid being very optimistic. "Actually there has been no epidemic. It was just a bad joke of the media. It was a political game. At last we can do what we want. Here we go again!” We have to avoid this extreme: we still have to be careful. The virus is here among us. Herd immunity, i.e. the protective immunity of the majority, has developed almost nowhere. That is, a second (and in autumn/winter a third) infection peak can quite easily evolve. As the ancient wise men taught, we have to avoid the other extreme, i.e. fear, too. "I don’t go out to the street. I don’t let my child go anywhere. They are all insane. They unleash people again because of being afraid of an economic collapse. They will see what happens. But I am smarter.” No, we are not smarter than anyone. We have to realize that we managed to build up such a complex system (network) with the help of our worldwide connections that we cannot comprehend any more. Our computers cannot comprehend it either. Moreover, they will not comprehend it either. It is because the complexity of the system grows more quickly than the complexity of the parts able to comprehend the system. We need to come to terms with this emerging permanent uncertainty. There is no padded, safe life any more. In fact, there has never been a safe life – but we managed to create the illusion for a few decades that there was. It’s over.

 


 

2. What to do after the epidemic? What are the most important take home messages of the pandemic?

 

As I mentioned above: all extremes should be avoided. We should not rush – but we should not isolate ourselves either. However, we have to be more prepared for the extremities. There were a lot of interpretations published regarding why South-East-European countries “could better come out of” the pandemic than the Western world. “They were hit by the virus a little later, when there were already solutions at hand that could be easily adapted. They were more skeptical about their resistance (e.g. their healthcare and social systems’ capacity) than countries of the West. Etc.” All explanations are right. If something is a network phenomenon, the corona virus is very much that, which is influenced by thousands of social and individual factors together. (That is why it is so difficult to anticipate anything about it.) What could be the advantage South-East-European countries in this opacity? The local experience (considered “fresh” on a historical scale) that we have to be able to change our lives – could be an important contributory cause. The regime change from socialism to capitalism (and the recession in 2008) made South-East-European countries (and the Greeks) accustomed to the necessity and possibility of society-wise changes. What did this pandemic teach us? We learned behavioral flexibility. It taught us that we have to train ourselves for changes, for that we “switch on” or “switch off” (or rather switch over) our lives according the situation. This knowledge will be much needed in the expected, big cataclysms of the coming decades of the 21st century. Those communities which practice the capacity of behavioral change better now, at the time of this mild “main rehearsal”, will be better survivors later if the real problems (climate change, water scarcity, food shortage, etc.) will strike.

 


 

3. What is the real solution? The mercy of revival

 

"I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound:
I can do all these things in Jesus Christ, who strengtheneth me."
(Philippians 4:12a,13)

 

As I wrote above: we arrived to a life where a smart answer to the situation became increasingly “unpredictable” due to the growing complexity of our world. When the interconnectedness of networks exceeds a certain density, the period of instability together with a series of unexpected situations begins. This is what the world reached in the past decades. We applied the simplest answer to system stabilization during the past months. We disconnected the world network and by this we started to return to the stable regime. But the world is about to “switch on” again and facing to a new uncertainty – just differently. We do not have to look for the real answer OUTSIDE but INSIDE. How do I have to change? The real answer is the mercy of our inner revival and purification – and this we may only ask for from above. A man looking for the real answer opens, reveals and leaves space for God’s presence in him. THIS carries him to the life that will be the real answer in ITS OWN totality – in the midst of any external change. God is the stability itself “For I am the Lord, and I change not” (Malachias 3:6). Only this inner revival brings real resilience and survival – anywhere and anyhow. Let’s be converted! There is no other way. I wish all my dear Readers this revival during the summer.

 

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