Spiritual Leadership Protecting Our Spiritual Community
I have recently noticed a disquieting attitude among some in the spiritual community that downplays the Coronavirus Pandemic. Mirroring some of our conservative Christian Evangelical brothers and sisters, there seems to be an outlook that Great Spirit or their personal spiritual practices will prevent them from contracting the virus. Others seem mired in conspiracy theories. I prefer to stick with the facts.
Through my networking, counseling, and teaching work I have come across a number of people (some highly spiritual) who have contracted the virus, young and old, and personally know of two people in my friendship orbit who have died from it. My counseling and other contacts have reported more deaths among their families and friends. Current estimates from the best universities estimate that 200,000 Americans will die from Covid-19 by September 30th. It is beginning to outstrip heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death by disease.
As far as conspiracy theories go, I generally try not to waste my time on them. It hardly matters if it came from a bat or an anteater, or if a Chinese lab accidentally or purposely created the virus. It doesn’t make it go away or take away its virulence. As far as Bill Gates promoting coronavirus testing to place microchips in all of us as a mind control device…. Really?
So, back to the facts. I am not some conservative, old fart, worry wart who views life as a cup half empty. I come from a medical family. My Mom was a head nurse. My brother-in-law is an internist, and my brother and sister-in-law are nurses at Johns Hopkins University. I was a biology, pre-med major, so we understand the biology and epidemiology of the virus. It is no joke. All you have to do is go to the one of the hospitals in a city or town where the virus is raging, and you will see the toll it is taking on families who cannot even visit their sick loved ones or on the staff who are overwhelmed with cases and too many deaths. Florida, along with a number of other states is currently seeing a surge in cases. There is no second wave yet, because the experts state we are not done with the first wave. The United States has the highest number of Covid-19 cases and the highest death rate of any country in the world, even though our population should not warrant that distinction. We just are not that big. Yet, it is out of control here, whereas in most other countries that carried out the proper social distancing precautions, the cases are headed downward and flattening out.
Many of the spiritual people we have known over the years through Medicine Signs and elsewhere have become spiritual leaders themselves. It has been amazing and heart-warming to see the expansion of the work we have all been involved in for so many years. However, it is also essential to recognize some of the responsibilities that come with leadership. First and foremost, we are here to protect our community—even from diseases. As spiritual leaders, part of our leadership is to lead the next generation into the future. And to make sure they get that chance.
Thus, I became concerned when we became aware of recent spiritual gatherings where no social distancing or masking was practiced. I wondered what they were thinking when the facts and statistics are so clear. Masking alone is 95% effective in protecting from infection. Superspreader events have occurred in attending church choir practices, funerals, graduation parties, bars, and so on. It takes just one person at the event to spread this virus. Remember, some 30% of people with the virus are asymptomatic. They will not know they have the disease, nor will the people around them. I know all of you would feel terrible if someone contracted Covid-19 at one of these events. As an elder, people in my age group are particularly vulnerable, as are communities of color, but there are plenty of younger people and children who are susceptible as well. People with underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes, COPD, cancer, and high blood pressure are especially vulnerable.
So, we make this plea to our spiritual family and spiritual leaders. Many of us our healers, so it is time to practice some basics. We recommend the Four Directions 2020 healing techniques: washing hands and hand sanitizers, wearing facemasks, social distancing, and don’t touch your face. We would add, get tested. Your life or the life of your loved ones could depend upon it. Please protect your spiritual community and our larger community of the world.