Guido Veloce

How did we get like this?

Coronavirus: The Earth Flexes Its Muscles

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The world is changing. A novel virus succeeds in bringing the human version of the world to an enforced pause while the earth ravishes its destroyers and renews itself.

Meanwhile, change is everywhere. Things we’ve joked about for years we’re re-learning as if our lives depended upon them. The word “exponential” rolls off the tongues of folks who’d long ago given up on higher mathematics as a life necessity. We peruse graphs. We tinker with curves. We hiss at the antisocial louts who party in close quarters at on Florida beaches.

As a person who loathes the idea of being forcibly entombed inside the beehive of “the economy”, I’m hoping that recent events signal a turning point toward sanity, when we begin giving higher praise to living inside a “society” instead of a bent and unfair economic system.

Think about what’s happened. It’s a reversal. Suddenly the person at the till of the supermarket wins our highest praise. Perhaps we’re done tithing to the rich after noticing that the essential people on earth do the simple things for us that the rich and their “investments” (read “gambling”) do not. Today these ordinary people risk their lives so we may eat. More Power—and wealth—to them!

Our confinement has prompted us to begin reading books again.

After laying off more than 300 staff members, Portland’s cherished indie bookstore Powell’s Books has rehired more than 100 of its workers on the strength of online orders, the company’s CEO announced on Facebook Sunday. (read more…)

Meanwhile we read incredible headlines that could not have been written without this novel pause in normal human activity: “With India on Lockdown, Endangered Sea Turtles on Course to Lay SIXTY MILLION Eggs This Year”.

In eastern India, what has not been seen for a long time has happened along the coast of the state of Odisha. Sea turtles, animals notoriously vulnerable and threatened by pollution and human activities, took advantage of the quarantine to take back their spaces without being disturbed.

We are talking about hundreds of thousands of olive tortoises (Olive Ridley, or Lepidochelys olivacea) who managed to reach the shore, on the beach of Rushikulya, to make their nests and lay their eggs in a few days. Everything happened in a safer and more protected way than the normal situation in which man, with his fishing and tourism activities, would certainly have disturbed this fascinating natural process. (read more…)

Have you noticed the pictures from Space? The ugly clouds of fetid and dangerous air have taken their leave of northern Italy and China. Folks are seeing stars for the first time.

Rising with each COVID-19 death is the notion that the Internet has become an intertwined necessity in our lives, and not just a source of ever rising income for non-competitive Internet companies. Perhaps the time is near to treat it as a utility and make it more available to rural populations.

At the same time the US the support for “medicare for all” has ratcheted to a 9-month high. What utility lies in untreated poor people?

Recently Portugal granted its immigrants temporary citizen status so that they can access the health care system free of charge. Like any sensible government, the folks in Portugal know that a successful mitigation of the worst of the spread depends upon caring “for the least of these”, a phrase that has been lost due to the terrible twisting Christianity has taken recently (Why isn’t it called “Leviticustianity?). Untwist, dammit!

Perhaps we’re getting it. If we don’t all “get” it, that is.

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Categories Hope for the future, The Plague