“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” Abraham Lincoln. December 1, 1862
Okay. I admit it.
It bothers me when we assign human traits to microscopic bits of RNA wrapped in a lipid envelope, and describe the COVID-SARS2 virus as crafty, vicious, smart and (heaven forbid) invisible. I get the allusions to fighting a war against these tiny invaders, though. Our Founding Fathers, in their infinite wisdom, tried to limit the power of Federal government to (1) fighting wars and (2) regulating commerce (which includes the highly envious task of printing money). Whatever rights were not specifically granted to the Federal government were, by default, to remain with the individual states. As a result, we do hear quite a bit about different kinds of wars being fought on a National level- the war on drugs, the war on cancer, and now, the war against The Virus. We will prevail. But the overall guidance and leadership must come from Washington. It is a war after all.
So today I am going to take exception and invoke the metaphor of war as well, but in a somewhat different perspective- how we all chose to respond to the threat. I will start with a few initial assumptions: (1) Wars are rarely won with a single battle. There are initial skirmishes or major battles and then we fall back, count the dead, reassess strategy, replenish supplies, and begin to plan the next assault. More red lines and arrows to be drawn on that battle map. The skilled commanders who lead our armed forces are well trained on the art and theory of war in our military academies and through their years of dedicated service.
However (2) Although Generals and Supreme Commanders plan these military campaigns on a global scale, it is ultimately the soldiers in the trenches that determine how a battle fares at any one place and time. And at the level of a squadron or platoon, one man’s courage and sacrifice can turn a battle. These “Band of Brothers” make up the backbone of our fighting forces, and the backbone of our individual communities and townships as well. Every man fights his own war.
As it is now for all of us, in our war against the virus. We are coming off the first campaign with 98,000 dead and many more wounded, either physically, emotionally, or economically. We see images of many of our brethren on “shore-leave” as we venture back outside and reopen the economy. But let us not be cavalier or live in denial. The war is not likely over. We need to be reassessing the first campaign, redrawing our battle lines, and preparing for a counteroffensive, whether one materializes or not. We need to be better prepared this time. Our leaders in Washington will continue to orchestrate the development of vaccines and antiviral medications, but at a local level, we all need to be preparing for a possible Second (or Third) Wave. Now is the time to be replenishing and training the troops and rearming the militia. Skirmishes with the virus are ongoing even now. We know more now about becoming more self-sufficient at a local level and assuming responsibility for the care of the wounded and most vulnerable around us. We have a window of opportunity before winter to train the troops: strive to live healthier lifestyles, exercise, eat better, consider adding some additional vitamins and probiotics. Try out the Quick Treat regimen of vitamin C&D and Kefir milk when falling ill and see just how well it works. Have it in your Medic’s bag. Strengthen the bonds between your personal Band of Brothers in your community.
I pray that hopefully we will be surprised (and infinitely blessed) if another battle never comes. But either way, we will either be better prepared if it does, or will have created a more compassionate and sustainable world even if it does not. Not a bad way to wage a war.
Peace and Health to you all.