The element of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions that characterizes surrealism among others, in the arts and philosophy invades our everyday experience of life leaving us lost for words to describe how we feel about a world that has turned upside down. My recurrent thought is that we are awakening to living in real/surreal world.
On March 10th, 2020, Italy became the first country to implement a national lock down. On the 11th the World Health Organization - WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic, acknowledging that the infectious disease Covid-19 was affecting people worldwide. Schools and shopping malls were shut down, and some people began working remotely. Life around the world as we knew it came to a halt.
President Trump declared a national emergency.
Workers wearing personal protective equipment bury bodies in a trench on Hart Island, in the Bronx borough of New York. AP Photo/John Minchillo
The number of burials on Hart Island had risen from the typical 25 burials a week to roughly 25 burials a day — a fivefold increase — as the death toll from COVID-19 spiked.
At an outbreak at an overnight camp in Georgia, three-quarters of the campers tested for the coronavirus (most were under 18) wound up with positive results. Children ages 6 to 10 saw the highest rate of infections — 51% — compared to 44% for campers ages 11 to 17 and 33% for those 18 to 21. It's no wonder, then, that 60% of US parents support delaying school reopenings.
Teachers have also expressed concern about their own welfare: The American Federation of Teachers, the country's second-largest teachers' union, has threatened to strike in states that reopen classrooms without proper safety measures.
We are trapped in a never-ending cycle of political discord. And with 2020 being an important election year, politics has become central in almost every major issue, especially Covid-19. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2020/07/17/trumps-shell-game-and-the-politicization-of-the-coronavirus-and-economy/#38df7a1a306e
One direct effect of the politicization of the pandemic is that amid the constant flow of confusing news, fear takes over, and many choose what is easiest and more familiar like taking sides along party lines. In this volatile environment common sense issues like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing are an opportunity to display not kindness and compassion, but hatred to one another. Meanwhile our quality of life is diminished.
Mounting research paints a bleak picture for schools trying to reopen. Most large schools can expect coronavirus cases within one week. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/mounting-research-paints-a-bleak-picture-for-schools-trying-to-reopen-most-large-schools-can-expect-coronavirus-cases-within-1-week/ar-BB17yRBn
Tweet from Donald J. Trump
Cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!
President Trump says 'It is what it is,' about the rising coronavirus death toll as he insists outbreak is 'under control'
Georgia school opens
Students are crammed in a narrow hallway, and at least half of them are walking side by side without face coverings.
Our Quality of Life
And as the days blend together, we continue to adjust to a new way of life in lock-down. Time goes by like a long-lost memory amid a rapidly changing and confusing news cycle. Furthermore, there is another form of silent death taking place among us, one result of the politicization of the pandemic. Now there is a silent death of the spirit of kindness and cooperation that overtook people in communities everywhere as an initial intuitive reaction to the terrible outbreak. Our hearts were touched!
But increasingly, kindness and cooperation are being replaced by unwarranted violence exerted on people who, with no other resource, are taking to the streets to peacefully point out the social inequalities showing through the cracks of the pandemic. But we can’t afford adding more lost memories to an already burdened heart.
Along the way comes the book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump. Ironically it can be an instrument to aid our individual and collective healing. Let me explain.
Dr. Trump says that Donald Trump is a product of a scornful and unaffectionate father: "[Donald's] personality served his father's purpose," She writes. "That's what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance."
By limiting Donald's access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred perverted his son’s perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it, she adds.
These words deeply resonate. In my new book Uprooting Fear – The Heart’s Accidental Journey to the Divine, the writing process obliged me to look at the content of my heart. When I did, the story of my family’s drama came out. I learned that underneath what causes someone to act hurting others is nothing else but the perpetuation of memories of pain that hide deep in the heart —from this life and intergenerational. I also learned that considering what the cause is doesn’t mean that we are justifying or condoning the person’s behavior and attitudes. It means that if we understand about their roots we know we don’t own any of it. This empowers us to disengage and let go of emotional ties of the past that burden our heart and limit our abilities to be fully present in body, mind and spirit.
No one can do this work for Donald Trump, and by the same token, the presidency is not a place for him to do this work. Human history is plagued with similar stories of others, none which has ended well. Today we have the vantage point over a circumstance that is directly impacting our lives. President Trump’s behavior and attitudes corroborate what the story tells. Knowing his story, we have the opportunity to find within ourselves compassion toward him and ourselves. From there we must see and rekindle the truth that, when unburdened by the manipulative rhetoric of politics, the eyes of our soul can see the compassion that we felt toward one another at the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic. Donald Trump has to learn this lesson for and by himself, unfettered by the burden of the White House.
Our major individual response + ability in a real/surreal world is to, in silence, find our inner core and moral compass. Only there will we connect with our divine nature where we find the wisdom, clarity, power and inspiration to choose the best in ourselves to be and do.
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Copyright © Aura Camacho-Maas – July 2020. All rights reserved.