Apr 13, 2020
Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy
Location : Nong Khai, Thailand
Covid 19 As Benefactor?
Izak, a guy I met in Dumaguete many years back, recently posted on Facebook about Covid 19 being our benefactor in keeping us healthy. It's controversial and provocative, but it resonated with me. I couldn't get it out of my head. Let me paste his post, below:
Izak Raphael Greywolf's FB post
"Don't fear the virus!!! Inside of every human there are TRILLIONS of viruses, they are necessary for our bodies to function. Inside every litre of seawater there are 100 BILLION viruses, happily coexisting in harmony. Countless trillions are ceaselessly floating to earth from outer space, and entering our bodies on a regular basis. We've lived in symbiosis with viruses for millions of years, and we've developed an incredible immune system to deal with them.
But today, we have higher rates of auto-immune disorders than ever before in history. Today peoples' immune systems are WEAK because we eat shit food, breathe polluted air, drink chlorinated water, and trust pharmaceutical companies.
Viruses are not the problem, they HELP us grow stronger. Coronavirus has helped us by revealing our frailty, showing us the danger of our unhealthy lifestyles and the consequences of carrying around chronic auto-immune disorders.
The solution is to get stronger, eat better, breathe deeper, reconnect with nature, respect our bodies, and look after our elders. Face the virus, beat it, and gain immunity to it naturally.
The solution is NOT isolation inside a house, limited access to good food, self-sterilization with chemical handwash, mandatory vaccinations, economic upheaval, and more and more medications. These things just damage our immunity even more.
And then, what happens when the next big virus comes? Are we all really going to hide in our houses again?! After losing trillions of dollars this time and having compromised our immune defenses even more?
Sorry, but I think the whole world has the wrong angle on this thing. So God bless Corona and all the creatures of this beautiful Planet, big and small."
Buffalo - Lion Analogy
The Covid 19 situation is widely viewed as the 'glass being half empty' - of course! However, given fresh perspective, it can also be viewed as 'half full'. This can come across as insensitive given the casualties and the frantic efforts to curb the pandemic - so my apologies to goes who might be offended. I can't help but be reminded of the National Geographic feature about the intertwined existence of the Cape Buffaloes and a pride of Lions in an isolated part of the great savannah. While that relationship is clearly adversarial, Nat Geo took a bold step by saying the buffaloes needed the lions as much as the lions needed the buffaloes. Huh? It took a while to sink in. That was so powerful it stayed with me. Their plight seems a good analogy of the current pandemic. We are the cape buffaloes and the Covid 19 are the lions.
The buffaloes run from the lions and the lions eat the buffaloes they catch. Similarly, Covid 19 has already killed 114,280 (to date) and we as humans are 'running away' from the virus by quarantining ourselves, shutting down business, and closing our borders. This is a simplified scenario. At the apparent level, the lions/Covid 19 are the bad guys. Clearly, the odds are stacked in their favor.
Why Are We Being Decimated by this Virus?
As Izak wisely pointed out, we have become weak as a species - we drink chlorinated water, breathe polluted air, live in an environment where we are under stress 24/7, eat junk and processed food, think negatively about the current world situation, medicate our bodies as a first resort without even letting our immune system deal with the disorder, and simply become disconnected with others and our environment. Most 50 year olds now are hooked on maintenance pills for life! - for the heart, high blood pressure, nervous tension, anxiety, etc. They find it normal because everyone else is on it. We have become easy prey for this virus.
For healthy humans, the virus cannot affect them. This is why healthy people who were tested positive showed no symptoms - they were so healthy the virus just bounced off them - and develop immunity in the process.
What's in it for the Buffaloes?
Yes, how does being chased and eaten by lions benefit the buffaloes? How could the buffaloes be needing the lions? According to Nat Geo, only the healthy and the strong buffaloes survive to continue the species. As a species, they have to remain strong or they lose numbers when the lions attack. There are even rare moments when super healthy buffaloes charge and gorge the lions. If the buffaloes become too formidable for the lions, the lions may simply look for a different prey.
Nature Doesn't Care
This is the seemingly harsh but impartial law of nature. It applies to buffaloes and lions and it applies equally to us and the virus. Nature doesn't discriminate and it doesn't care. You can't use your charm. You just need to be strong and healthy to improve the odds
You don't even have to go to the gym to be healthy. Eat right, sleep right and think right. You are what you eat. Rest allows the body to recover and heal - it shifts into para-sympathetic mode, so sleep right. By thinking right, you stay aware, non-reactive and mindful.
But if you want to get more out of life, to live life with vigor and vitality, then workout. Go to the gym, do calisthenics, cardio or weights. Your body will allow you to do things regular people struggle with - climb a hill, explore a cave, trek a mountain trail, etc.
If you really want to be impregnable, do yoga, pranayama and meditation. A whole new dimension opens up.
The Old, Vulnerable and the Very Young
No matter how strong and healthy the tribe is, the old, vulnerable and the very young will remain at risk. Let's all collectively round-up the wagons and give them all the protection they need when danger is imminent. This is how the buffaloes protect their young
We just need to keep healthy and protect the vulnerable. There is no need to close borders, force quarantine, impose curfew, shut down schools and business establishments and conform to social distancing. No need to live in fear or panic. No need to put our lives on hold.
Looking at the pandemic from an evolutionary perspective, Covid 19 is a wake-up call! With the quarantine, people are given time to reflect. How can we be so smart and yet be so ignorant? With global commerce screeching to a halt, rivers have become cleaner and skies have become clearer. We are given a rare glimpse of what we used to have. The world as we know it will not be the same when the dust settles down. For starters, we can brave this new frontier by making an honest effort to fortify our health. It's an old cliché, but HEATH IS WEALTH.
Thank you Izak for your thought-provoking post.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
(Apr 17, 2020) Nice, thank you for these words 🙏
(Apr 17, 2020) Thank you Gigit for this read! I hope you are fine 🙂
(Apr 15, 2020) Thanks for posting Gigit. I read the very interesting Izak post. I totally agree with the evidence that we have became weaker and weaker, and it will remain the same as long as we don't change our way of life and our way of thinking. Indeed, it seems that most of the people who died by Covid 19 were already weak: overweight, diabetes, etc. So we could say that death by Covid are mainly related to comorbidities.
But, on the other hand, it's a fact that human being is also a rational being (and a political being). Could we blame people who decide to protect themselves and their family from this virus, in a pragmatic and rational way? Is the enclosement the worst solution? We could argue that, in a long-term efficiency, it will be irrational, because we are still promoting a weaker species. But, in a short-term view, I can't blame myself for protecting my family and my friends, probably weakened. Darwinist theories can't be a foundation for social theories (Darwin himself clearly argued that). It's an epistemological mistake, because there are two kinds of theories with their own and different objects: on the one hand, biology and aimless (?); on the other hand, psychology, sociology, politics, and conflicts of human interests. We are made of matter and biological mechanisms, of course, but we are also more than Buffalos, more than biological tendancies toward the species preservation.
(Apr 15, 2020) I hear you, Pupa and I completely agree with what you pointed out, "But, in a short-term view, I can't blame myself for protecting my family and my friends, probably weakened."
As I have underscored in the article, "No matter how strong and healthy the tribe is, the old, vulnerable and the very young will remain at risk. Let's all collectively round-up the wagons and give them all the protection they need when danger is imminent."
(Apr 21, 2020) I also agree, and I understand that the immune systems of most people in the world are indeed jeopardized. Because we have left it so long without taking immunity and health seriously. Maybe now, considering our weakness, lockdown may be the right solution.
But, what is vitally important is that we don't repeat this mistake in the future! This pandemic should be taken as a lesson. It has shown us just how weak we are, how unprepared. We may not have an effective vaccine for years to come, and when we finally do have one, it won't be effective against the next viral threat that will undoubtedly come in the future! Vaccines are not a viable solution, as the number of variations of viruses that could occur are massive, and we can't prepare vaccines for them all. So it's clear that there's only one long-term solution, which is to get healthy.
We're now spending trillions of dollars and losing far more by damaging the economy.... just imagine if we had invested that money years ago into proper public health support and education!? Many people still don't realize what it requires to be physically prime, because our institutions lie to them. Diet is not even a subject in modern medicine. We can improve public health through education, subsidies on organic foods, and by implementing laws that ban activities which cause serious damage to the immune system. Before forcing mass quarantine, we should instead be forcing mothers to breastfeed their babies, banning voluntary c-sections, banning soft-drinks, and creating mandatory public herb-gardens etc. Over 9 million people die every year from starvation. If we had spent trillions in creating local food production to support communities worldwide, we would save many many more lives than corona will kill. AND, we would be investing in the future health and immunity of the world's population.
(Apr 22, 2020) I totally agree with you Izak. As a physical education teacher (in public school), I recognize that all facts you are describing are linked to a systemic crisis. Local food, physical and spiritual activities, education, knowledge, should be considered as priorities. Capitalism have ruled our lives in a deadly way.
Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe
(Apr 15, 2020) Finding a vaccine against covid may take years and it may not even be the magic bullet that many of us are hoping for. No doubt we're all going to die but it's sad if we just cower in fear of dying from this virus. I reckon our best bet is to take on a can-do fighting spirit - turbo charge our immune system with proper nutrition and live healthy. So if ever we come face to face with the ravenous lion we may stand a chance. It's a formidable "beast" but it can be beat.
(Apr 15, 2020) Herd mentality mate
(Apr 15, 2020) We use glossed-up words, but at the root of it, we are a human herd, subject to the same natural laws in the animal kingdom.
(Apr 15, 2020) Thanks, Gigit, for the timely reminder.
(Apr 15, 2020) May I share, Git? Thanks for the insight. Stay safe.
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Covid 19 Blogs
- Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
- Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
- Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
Next stop: Fitness in Quarantine Times
Nong Khai Travel Information / Tips
Vientiane to Nong Khai by bus
At the Khua Din Bus Terminal, you can board the #14 bus bound for Buddha Park. It will make a stop on the Friendship Bridge border - 15 mins, B8000. Go to Laos Immigration to exit. Board the special bus to cross the Friendship Bridge, Kip 4,000 or Baht 20. It will stop at Thai Immigration. Get processed. From there, board a tuk-tuk for Nong Khai, 5kms.
Nong Khai Attractions
- Nong Khai Aquarium -
- Salakaewkoo (Wat Khaek) -
- Issan Rum Distillery -
- Wat Pho Chai -
- Lan Phaya Nak -
- Tha Sadet Market -
- Nong Khai Muay Thai Gym -
- Phrathat Bang Phuan -
Nong Khai Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Nong Khai - Chiang Khan Roadtrip June 18, 2020
- Life in Nong Khai Mar 13 - June 18, 2020
- Peoplescape of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020
- Exploring Nong Khai's Cafe Culture Jun 10, 2020
- Nong Khai Street Art June 4, 2020
- Sirsasana A & B May 20, 2020
- Structured Water, Water Therapy and Nauli May 1, 2020
- Visiting the Salakaewkoo (Buddha Park) in Nong Khai, Thailand Apr 23, 2020
- Fitness in Quarantine Times Apr 20, 2020
- Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
- Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
- Nong Khai with Cheng Mar 18 - Apr ???, 2020
- Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
- Giant Mekong Catfish at the Nong Khai Aquarium Mar 19, 2020
- Drawn to Nong Khai, Thailand Mar 12, 2020
Travel Tips for Thailand
How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days
- Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
b) flight booking to Thailand
c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
d) filled-in tourist visa form
e) 2 passport pictures
f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
g) passport with at least 6 months validity
- After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
- NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.
60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.
- bring the following to the Immigration Office:
a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
b) Baht 1900
c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
- submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
- when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
- when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
- when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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