The mysterious universe seems to be built upon cycles. Stars are born out of gas clouds and cosmic dust. As the dust spins and collides, heat begins to build, and a proto-star is born. These proto-stars grow in size to become stars. Over the lifetime of a star it expands as it burns off fuel. Stars burn for eons until the fuel is consumed, at which point, they collapse upon themselves forming either white dwarves or black holes.
In this vast, infinite universe, 8 planets and one other object (sorry Pluto) orbit around one of these stars. Each circling the sun at its own rate according to it’s distance. Several of these planets are circled by rings and moons. We live on the third stone from the sun, and one revolution around the sun is what we humans call a year. Our moon revolves around the earth every twenty eight days.
Here on earth, we witness cycles as the seasons change from winter, to spring, to summer, to autumn, only to begin again, over and over — year after year. Tides come in and tides go out, about every eight hours or so. What we call day and night are the result of the earth spinning on its axis, gradually exposing the land and oceans to the warmth and light of the sun or the chill and the darkness of the universe.
Life itself ebbs and flows.
Only a fool would deny that we are in a crisis at this point. The Coronavirus was a pandemic long before WHO officially pronounced it so. Hundreds of thousands of cases have been documented, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of cases have gone undocumented. Over 14,000 people have died as of 3/22/2020 according to Johns Hopkins University
The stock market is down significantly. Businesses have been ordered to close. Schools are out. In my state, we have been advised not to gather in groups of more than ten. Our grocery stores are under-stocked, not because of a food shortage, but because people are panic buying. Many of us have never experienced anything like this, and for that we are fortunate.
Worldwide, people are worried, and with good reason. Fear seems to be ruling the day. And some of these fears are justified. We don’t know what we don’t know about this virus.
We do know that it can be deadly. We do know that it has spread around the world devastatingly quickly, despite the fact that we don’t truly know how it spreads (as of this posting). It would be disingenuous for me to tell you not to worry.
And yet, we (Homo Sapiens) are miraculous.
To our best knowledge, our world is the only world that sustains life. Conceivably, other life sustaining worlds exist, but we haven’t found them yet. Science tells us that we are the product of millions of years of evolution. We descended from other living organisms that adapted and changed in response to stressors and stimuli in this world. We share DNA with many other species on this earth including, cats, mice, pigs, and other primates. Ninety-six percent of our DNA is shared with Chimpanzees.
Our best genetic research indicates that Homo Sapiens began life in sub-Saharan Africa and gradually migrated to all corners of the globe. We are highly adaptable, having proven that we can not only survive but thrive in many different environments including the Arctic, the deserts of Africa and Asia, as well as more temperate zones in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. We’ve consistently beaten the odds as a species, and for most of our existence we did this without modern medicine, central air conditioning, heat, electricity, public water, and indoor plumbing.
We are the picture of resilience as a species.
Yes, we are going to go through some very difficult times in the near future. There will be losses, tangible and intangible. People are going to suffer. And while this is happening, it will be difficult to watch. We will feel helpless — because we are. We will feel powerless — because we are. We will feel lost, but we can find our way.
This won’t last forever. Yes, people will die, but most will recover from the illness. As more people recover from the virus, more people will develop immunity to the virus. And we may even develop a vaccine for the virus. Our institutions, our economy, and our way of life will recover. Just as the day turns to night, and the tides come in and go out, this will be prove to be another cycle.
Homo Sapiens is not about to be destroyed by the Coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19. This is part of the cycle.
Knowing that we are in a cycle, we can also know that we will recover. And knowing that provides hope in a time when hope is in short supply.