What next? A review

By Nachrichten

“A lot of people are nervous. A majority of them is even scared.” These are the sentences that I hear from psychotherapists and medical professionals during the last days.
We have dramatic disease rates in Europe. Lockdown in New York. What kind of wave is rolling towards us?

Some experts in virology and epidemiology (i.a. Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor of microbiology and infection epidemiology in Mainz) believe that we are increasingly suffering from draconian government measures. The worldwide reactions to Corona are exaggerated – if not undully.

Mathias Beiglböck, Philipp Grohs, Joachim Hermisson, Magnus Nordborg and Walter Schachermayer, almost all mathematicians at the University of Vienna, share an opposite view. They have recalculated the Covid-19 infection, morbidity and fatality rates and issued a statement on 30.3.2020 via the Austrian government website. The professors came to the following conclusion: If the corona epidemic continues to spread at an exponential rate, i.e. if one infected person infects at least one other person, the collapse of the Austrian health care system with tens of thousands of deaths is most likely to occur. The goal should be to reduce the infection rate significantly. “This will probably require way more stringent measures rather than those that currently in force.” Otherwise a shutdown of the Austrian health care system is to be expected in mid-April. However, the developments in the USA, especially in New York, give rise to the fear that the situation in some places will deteriorate even more rapidly.

How dangerous is Covid-19, the disease caused by an infection with the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 really?

Reliable evidence is provided by epidemiological data from the cruise liner “Diamond Princess“. All of 3,711 passengers on board have ben tested. 697 were tested as corona-positive. 328 of those who were tested positive showed no symptoms. 2,071 passengers were between 0 and 69 years old. About 50 of them were tested positive, but had no symptoms. About 180 had symptoms. No one in this group died from Covid-19. 1,231 passengers were 70 and older. Seven of them died.
A cruise ship is a closed population. You live in a confined space. Stewarts, bartenders and other members of the crew are so-called superspreaders. If they are (unknowingly) infected, they can very quickly infect many other people. Despite the cramped conditions, only about 20% of the passengers were infected. This, however, in a very short time. About a half of the infected passengers showed no symptoms. The average age on the ship was 58 years. 33% were over 70, including the seven who died.

Dr. Timothy Russel, biologist and mathematician at the London School of Hygene & Tropical Medicine, calculated a case fatality ratio of 0.5%.
In contrast, the WHO assumes a case fatality rate of 3.4%.

Prof. Dr. med. Pietro Vernazza, Chief Physician for Infectiology at the Swiss Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen sees the governmental measures in most European countries similarly critical as the already mentioned Prof. Bhakdi from Mainz. The physician refers to a publication in the magazine Science. Epidemiologist Ruiyun Li (University of Beijing, Imperial College London) and colleagues had re-evaluated the medical emergency in China due to corona. The conclusion:
Around 85% (82-90%) of all infections occurred without anyone noticing the infection.
About 55% of those who were unnoticed have infected other people.

Vernazza wonders how this publication could “pass us by almost unnoticed” in the current agitation: “Actually, we have been suspecting this for a long time. Otherwise it would not have been possible to explain why the infection figures in China have dropped to zero after a few weeks. Because this cannot be explained with an immunity rate of less than 1% of the population (less than 100,000 people out of about 10 million have fallen ill in Wuhan). It wouldn’t even be surprising if further researches put the rate of silent infections even higher. This new and not surprising finding must quickly lead to an evidence-based correction of our measures.“
The Swiss expert demands: “Finally inform the population and speak plainly. This infection is mild for young people. Fear is not a good advisor. Most people have the idea of a terribly dangerous disease. Yes, it is true: In Italy, about one person in ten diagnosed dies. But as we now know from this publication in science, that’s more likely one in 1,000 infected people.”

Scientists (on the subject of virology / epidemiology) are divided on questioning the threat of corona. There is no doubt that economic experts are in agreement on the gravity of the matter.
But why do I write about it in my blog?

  1. Because balanced reporting is rare these days.
  2. Because I believe that uncertainty in the evaluation of the danger from Covid-19 should not be an invitation to act carelessly.
  3. And finally, because there is a country that has hardly any problems with new infections by Sars-CoV-2 so far: Japan

Despite certain historical issues, Chinese go on holiday in Japan in large numbers. This year in January 925,000 came to visit. Even in February there were 89,000 visitors from China in Japan. There is no evaluation how many of them were already infected. With an average age of 48.4, Japan’s population has the highest proportion of senior citizens (i.e. the risk group) in the world. Which is important in this context because (as figures from the cruise ship confirm) Covid-19 tends to spare the young and affect the elderly.
Why are the effects of the current pandemic in Japan (at least so far) less serious then?
Sure, Premier Abe has closed schools and cancelled events to slow down the spread. But restaurants and shops remained open. A much gentler response than in Europe.
So why haven’t many more people in Japan contracted a Covid-19-infection? What saved the Japanese health system from collapsing?
One reason is probably that little corona-testing has been done in Japan so far (with hope to save the Olympics – which didn’t work). But an important part of the answer can be seen in the following photo (a screenshot from the internet):

People in Japan wearing masks, DPA, Screenshot

People who wear masks to protect other people from possible infection. An everyday picture during the winter months in the metropolises of Japan. As soon as a wave of influenza threatens, many people leave their homes only wearing a mask. Because they protect others, they protect themselves.

Another photo in this context. Taken at Buckingham Palace on 11.3.2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handshake and bow to the Queen. Her birthday is coming up. She will be 94 years old. Johnson, who in the meantime has contracted Covid-19, now governs from quarantine. The Queen should be fine. She’s weathered worse than this.

Boris Johnson’s handshake and bow to the Queen, 11.3.2020, Screenshot from the BBC-News-page

But all the current ignorance of power is, in my opinion, reflected in this photo. As a reminder: Covid-19 endangers old people more than young ones, especially very old people.
Despite contradictory news on the scale of the corona epidemic and appropriate crisis management: young people are invited to protect all old people as good as they can.

So first of all: Put on a protective mask, dear people, before you step out into the street! If you don’t have a mask, wrap a scarf or cloth around your nose and mouth. Something is still better than nothing!
Don’t run into other people in public places, for example in the supermarket or on the bus or subway! Avoid other people, no matter what age!
Observe the hygiene rules required by health authorities. This cannot be wrong in any case.

Indeed, I believe that the growing mindfulness creates a new way of living together. For now social distancing is necessary. As a result we will be much more ready for a new time of rapprochement and closeness.

Yours – Otmar Jenner

P.S. Dear readers, English is not my mother tongue. If you find serious mistakes in the wording of an article, please let me know (oj@otmarjenner.de).

#otmarjenner #corona #covid 19 #SARS-CoV-2 #energyhealing #healing #happiness #heal #healingvibes #energy #spirituality #meditation #spiritual #chakras  #goodvibes #selflove #psychic #yoga #energybites #instagood #metaphysical #awakening #spiritualhealing #positiveenergy #energyhealer #consciousliving #consciousness #healingprocess #justhealing #compassion #forgiveness #guidance

What is called life?

By Nachrichten

“Dear friend and fellow prisoner,” a friend’s message to me today began, “let’s celebrate…”

What? His birthday. Online, in a chat room, as he explains.

What has changed in my life in recent weeks, I have recently been asked.
Everything. To put it bluntly. I’m now getting emails calling me a fellow prisoner.

I thought I was free.

My friend, to make this clear right away, has not committed any crime, has not been convicted of any crime and is therefore not serving any sentence in a state prison.
Nevertheless, a few sentences later in his mail the term “imprisonment” appears. Again as if I was part of it.

The Aztec goddess “Coatlicue” (“The One with the Snake Skirt”): She embodies, it is said, the ambivalence between intimacy and autonomy. This can also be seen in the context of society as a whole.

It cannot be overlooked now: certain freedoms that were once taken for granted, are suddenly curtailed. Suppose there was a need for me to buy new jeans – difficult these days. The relevant shops are closed. Sure, I would still get some pants if I needed them. Probably none that I like, though. At my favourite café the doors are barricaded. Not even coffee to go. Kreuzberg in an artificial coma. An unfamiliar picture.

Since gatherings of more than two people are prohibited in Berlin, I only meet friends individually. At least that intensifies the conversation. I had to cancel seminars. For a visit to my practice you now need a good reason. Many things must now be solved by telephone.
Hardly anything still works as before. The present seems so new, you’d think it had just been invented.

I then called my friend to speak as a fellow prisoner about his and my imprisonment.
“Been out for a long time today”, he explains and reports on an extended walk. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. he had walked from Kreuzberg to the eastern outskirts of Berlin. “Walked fast, got far. Wonderful in the sun. I saw my city with new eyes.”
I hear joy in his voice and I notice, “On the loose, if I understand you correctly.”

I know people who take social distancing very seriously. For example, a young couple from Spain lives in the house next door. They haven’t left their shared apartment for about three weeks. Letters and parcels as well as food deliveries have to remain outside the apartment door for 24 hours as a quarantine measure. They communicate with neighbours by calling through the closed door. Only when the hallway is empty do they move the deliveries in.
The real prison these days is fear. Am I imprisoned by fear? I would deny it. I think it’s likely that I will be infected with the new virus in the near future. I am not afraid of that. I am more concerned about the loss of individual freedom of movement and the dismantling of democratic rights. We will soon know how justified this concern is.

As uncomfortable as social distancing may seem. I have no serious problem with it. In fact, suddenly people I know only by sight greet me from afar. And as they greet, they smile. In the past, they almost ran over me, stomped past me without a greeting, without looking at me, and they didn’t smile either.
The (almost) standstill in the mechanics of the city creates a whole new, unusual freedom. Sounds probably strange, maybe also not very empathetic, because people suffer from the current viral consequences.
But while things are currently getting tight in some areas, for example in your own home, when the ceiling slowly falls on your head, new rooms are opening up at the same time. Even if they are thought spaces.
What do I want? What do I need? What do I enjoy? What do I love? What frightens me? What gives me courage? What gives me joy? How can I find fulfilment?
The slowing down of the world almost automatically generates a concentration on essential questions. The fog of distraction lifts. Answers become visible.
I too wandered through the city today. Explorations in the new space of silence. In some faces I believed to read findings.
What does life mean to me?, I thought.

Is happiness standing at the foot of a mountain asking, “Shall I come up to you?
The mountain answers: Stay where you are! I’m coming down to you!

Even if nobody can say exactly what life actually is – I feel we have every reason to kneel before it.

Yours – Otmar Jenner

P.S. Dear readers, English is not my mother tongue. If you find serious mistakes in the wording of an article, please let me know (oj@otmarjenner.de).

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An appeal from the new space of thought

By Nachrichten

In the new times of silence a space of thought opens up.

It’s an invitation to enter it. To actually think.

Today (21.3.2020) I have thought about the following photo.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Screenshot from the BBC News page (21.3.2020)

A shot of Bondi Beach in Sydney. Because it is still summer in the southern hemisphere (about 27 degrees), people naturally want to go swimming. But they are not allowed to anymore. Corona has also arrived in Australia. Social Distancing is now the order of the day.
The whole stupidity of the current debate, one might think, is shown in this picture.
Hey folks, it says, stay at home, keep your distance!
As if sitting around at home is healthier than walking on the beach or swimming in the sea.

Wrong. Almost every child knows that sea air helps with respiratory diseases. The same applies, of course, to walks in the woods, visits to the park and, in principle, every walk out the door. That is why some doctors are already warning of the negative consequences of curfews and domestic locked-in. The consequences of lack of exercise will be seen in overcrowded orthopaedic and cardiology practices.

From Sydney, where the summer is slowly fading away, to Berlin, where the winter is just ending. The 10 degrees on the thermometer feel like much more. The sun glistens silvery in the spring air. I put on a protective mask before I enter the hallway, but take it off again outside on the street, taking care to keep a safe distance in case I am unknowingly already a carrier of the infection.
People come towards me. Some of them move past me in sweeping arches, showing that they have understood the commandment of social distancing. Others run straight at me as if on rails. Because of them I jump onto the road several times. Not because I am afraid of these people, but to protect them from possible infection by me.
That’s how I wander the streets, avoiding people. People avoid me. Some give me a nice smile. Others seem to be already by themselves. All alone in a kind of introspective state of mind. Probably arrived in this completely new space of thoughts that has opened up these days.
Except for grocery stores, everything is closed in Berlin Kreuzberg. Cafés as well as fashion boutiques. So there are hardly any possibilities to distract oneself through consumption. A very pure and immediate feeling. What do I need? What do I not need?
Berliners currently need so much toilet paper that it is always sold out by noon. For a moment I toy with the idea of entering a supermarket. It’s still just before noon. Might get lucky. What for? I think then. I think I’ve got enough for another week. But what if I’m unlucky at the end of the week and there isn’t any left?
With these thoughts in my head I wander on and suddenly find myself in front of a barbershop. Astonished, I look in through the window. A small shop. Twelve people are getting their hair done at once. The chairs on which they sit are very narrow. So narrow that when they cut, the hairdressers just fit through the gaps. 
I consider taking a photo with my mobile phone, but immediately discard the idea. But the sight irritates me so much that I decide to write this text.

If Corona were a Buddhist deity, she would certainly be counted among the angry gods. The wrathful goddess Corona obviously wants to show us that we should change our behaviour.

Really? What behaviour is that? And change it how?

It may be that the worldwide reaction to Corona has many questionable aspects (as some doctors say). It is possible that the fear associated with corona is part of the actual disease. However, 800 people have died of Covid-19 during the course of today in Italy alone. The fact that the virologists’ predictions are exaggerated, as larger parts of the German population still believe, thus seems increasingly absurd. Comparisons with the severe flu epidemic of 2017/2018 therefore fall short. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is apparently attacking much harder. Nevertheless, a fundamental mistrust of official figures and announcements may be guiding the steps of some people. But are doubts about the official version according to the virus an invitation to join Corona parties? The anarchist counter-proposal, call it Corona-punk, sounds like this: Forget the virus, let’s have fun!
Weird, but a lot of people think: I don’t care what’s happening right now. As long as I don’t see it, don’t feel it, don’t suffer from it, I don’t care at all. And yes, I would like to have all that behind me. So, where’s the celebration of contagion taking place? Then it will be all over much sooner.

People had very similar thoughts at the time of the great plague epidemic.

A basically understandable escapism. People are impatient. You want to get rid of unpleasant things as quickly as possible. And: Whatever Corona means medically, the fuss about it is already unpleasant. Besides: Who does not know the paradoxical impulse to want to do exactly what is not appropriate, nor helpful, or healthy?

But are impatience and paradoxical impulses helpful in the fight against Corona?

I don’t think so.

Could be that all predictions concerning Corona are still understated.
Because at present no one can accurately predict the exact extent of possible devastation caused by corona (the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease COVID-19), because a pandemic could, in the worst case, result in millions of deaths – because this possibility cannot be ruled out, responsible action is now required of every individual.
Move as attentively and cautiously as you can to protect others (and thus the general public) from possible infection by you – this could be the categorical corona imperative (freely adapted from Kant).

Corona? It’s just hype, created by stupid politicians to spoil our mood, that’s what people in Australia my have thought too. As proof a second photo, shot the day before (i.e. on 20.3.2020). Again the Bondi beach, another perspective:

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Screenshot from the BBC News page – one day before (20.3.2020)

At the time the photo was takenn there were already over 600 corona infected people in Australia and a ban on outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people. You could start counting the people in the photo now. But it is not about the number. It’s more about the personal space that each individual in the photograph occupies.

As beautiful as the casualness in the photo is. It is wrong under the present conditions. Anyone who does not understand this by now will be punished with curfews, cordoned-off beaches and forests that are no longer allowed to be entered. The latter is also wrong. But unfortunately the lesser of the two evils. So that we are spared this, here is an appeal: Let us show our government by acting responsibly that curfews are not necessary!
In this sense: Stay healthy!!

Yours – Otmar Jenner

P.S. Dear readers, English is not my mother tongue. If you find serious mistakes in the wording of an article, please let me know (oj@otmarjenner.de).

#otmarjenner #corona #covid 19 #SARS-CoV-2 #energyhealing #healing #happiness #heal #healingvibes #energy #spirituality #meditation #spiritual #chakras  #goodvibes #selflove #psychic #yoga #energybites #instagood #metaphysical #awakening #spiritualhealing #positiveenergy #energyhealer #consciousliving #consciousness #healingprocess #justhealing #compassion #forgiveness #guidance

The Power of Silence

By Nachrichten

Only few people outside. Hardly any cars on the street. Unusual silence. If it didn’t sound cynical: almost like Christmas Eve in the hours before the distribution of presents – just as it used to be.
Anyone who still moves around the city now walks purposefully, but without any noticeable haste, yet concentrated. Eyes lowered, as if to avoid eye contact. Completely with oneself, arrived in a state of internalization – one could think.

When will the distribution of presents start?

From 1630 the Dutch fell into a collective tulip madness. The bulbs became a collector’s item. Prices rose. Fuelled by commercial trade they skyrocketed. And in 1637 they collapsed completely. Merchants rubbed their eyes in amazement and asked themselves: What were we counting on? Precisely: a hope that turned out to be unfounded. Tulip fever, the first burst of a speculative bubble in world history.
Since then more feverish bubbles burst. The collapse of the Lehmann Brothers was a result of one, as was the exaggerated and bloated swine flu or SARS epidemic.
Living in a world of bubbles – right now something is bloating up again, indeed worldwide, and is taking off in a breathtaking way. Logically in the Twitter society. Everybody is twittering something, everybody wants to be heard. The result of the chirping society is a media tsunami. Now curfew is threatening.

What kind of gift is that?

In times of hardship people are moving closer together, goes the saying. That was yesterday. In the crisis now, people should move apart, experts say. And this doesn’t seem like a very much-needed gift.
“Keep your distance,” warn the virologists and lecture on the mathematics of infection: an exponential increase in infection. Unstoppable, to be mitigated only by slowing it down, so as not to overstrain health care systems. A fight also against numerical curves and negative expectations.

I have no idea how dangerous the SARS-CoV-2 virus really is. That’s what doctors are arguing about. But a great many people have the feeling, that they are in danger. And this feeling is a reality. Even if fear is inappropriate, as long as it is there it is real.

Assuming that the statements of some critical doctors are correct: 10 to 15 percent of all influenza infections are due to corona viruses and some influenza waves of recent years have been much deadlier than Covid-19. According to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute, 25,100 people died in Germany during the flu wave at the turn of the year 2017/2018. If I remember this correctly, not all flu patients rushed into the emergency rooms at the same time. As harsh as that sounds: in 2017/2018, far less fuss was made about the possibility of death from flu. People died more naturally, and therefore more peacefully and naturally.
What can now be observed: a technocratic revolt against death. It could be that those involved in it are just learning how pointless and harmful this really is in the long run. The world in lockdown. A complete lockdown of daily life. In any case, the world economy will chew on the consequences for a long time to come.

Is that really appropriate?

Assuming that the critical doctors are not wrong, what would be the consequence?

Firstly: All those who have oraculated that Corona will be one of the most terrible epidemics of all time, a global pandemic — these people, especially the virologists, cannot say now: „Sorry, a misconception! Our announcements of a looming desaster crushed billions of US dollars and euros, but, we are so sorry, it was a mistake.“
That’s another disadvantage of our well-connected chirping society: When an error has reached a certain size, it is absolutely necessary to stick to it, because otherwise you go down with the truth.
But is all the excitement an error? Closed borders, quarantine and social standstill — for nothing?
That may have been what Iranian politicians initially thought: Corona? A hype of the West, we’d better let the wave rush through, ebbing away all by itself. If I am correctly informed, this has proved to be a misjudgment.

Which brings me to point two: That doubts about the proper assessment of crisis management are not an invitation to irresponsible personal behaviour. In order to protect others, we must now keep our distance and not deliberately continue to shorten resources. The categorical corona imperative.
That, I think, is what anyone can do. Everything else lies in a kind of fog. Stock exchanges and stock exchange products have become so complicated that even insiders are no longer able to fully understand them. The corona wave and its accompanying phenomena are probably so complex that even experts can no longer measure the viral mechanics in terms of social infection and consequences. In order to hide this, they do anything (or at least something) to pretend to be masters of the situation. Could be that the outcome of this megalomania will be a not so nice gift.

The world, it seems, has a growing longing for change. Climate change, rampant capitalism, uninhibited consumption — who hasn’t complained about these things, talked about great concepts for rescuing the world and yet practised ignorance by means of own small escapes.
On the verge of coronary excitement completely new possibilities are opening up in this matter. Uninhibited consumption? Currently inhibited. Capitalism? Currently on a crash course. Climate change? Worldwide cancelled flights are quite helpful in this matter.
I think the desire for change is growing these days. Could be that this longing is soon greater than the hope that everything will stay the same.

“That’s why Corona’s approaching,” a friend of mine recently said.

“Uh”, I replied and pointed out that in this context one should rather speak of “landed” and “arrived”. We might have overslept the start of the epidemic.

“So you became one of the pandemic trumpeters too,” she said, laughing and asked: “Don’t you find it striking? People are getting older all over the world. Statistically speaking, life spans are getting longer and longer. The so-called ageing of society is considered a central problem of welfare states. Who will pay the pensions of the many old people? And then some new virus comes along and hits the elderly. The young, as you can read everywhere, usually have no problem with Corona at all. I know. Sounds cynical. But don’t you find it odd?”

Odd in what sense? I don’t see strange coincidences as an invitation to jump on conspiracy theories. I personally don’t think, anyone has created the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 on purpose. Who would be the beneficiary? It harms most likely the elderly. Meaning: The ones in power.
As an accelerator of necessary change, as cynical as this may sound, it could at least prove helpful.

A silence like Christmas Eve before the distribution of presents. We sit at home waiting for the moment of exchanging the gifts.
What is the real gift in this situation?
Even as a child, I loved the slowdown that could already be observed in the early hours of Christmas Eve. I wandered through the streets of our neighbourhood and absorbed the special atmosphere. Because in those years there was mostly snow, my steps crunched and a joyful expectation rang in my head like Christmas bells. Today, I know that this experience was the real gift.
Suddenly it is spring in Berlin. A beginning of spring like I have never experienced before. To say I’m enthusiastic about it is wrong. But there is a fresh breath of new beginnings in the air. And the thoughtfulness and inwardness I notice in other people is certainly helpful to transform this time of change into a gift. Could be that this is the beginning of a new mindfulness and the birth of a healthier consciousness.

I am writing this in the hope of having found a suitable voice. Aware of the growing plight in hospitals. Full of sympathy for the heroics of nurses, MTAs and doctors. Exhausted by long, often endless shifts, they have to realize that their working hours will be extended through the crisis. But that’s another story.

Yours – Otmar Jenner

P.S. Dear readers, English is not my mother tongue. If you find serious mistakes in the wording of an article, please let me know (oj@otmarjenner.de).

#otmarjenner #corona #covid 19 #SARS-CoV-2 #energyhealing #healing #happiness #heal #healingvibes #energy #spirituality #meditation #spiritual #chakras  #goodvibes #selflove #psychic #yoga #energybites #instagood #metaphysical #awakening #spiritualhealing #positiveenergy #energyhealer #consciousliving #consciousness #healingprocess #justhealing #compassion #forgiveness #guidance

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