32. COVID: Still Flying on One Wing

October 30, 2020 Minding Corona No Comments

Mad man

We’re at the end of October, in full autumn by now. As written (by me) months ago, we’re in full autumn-COVID, which comes before winter-COVID  in Europe and the US.

I was going to be (somewhat) angry, and that’s what I am, looking at the curves of worldwide cases and deaths from Worldometer. Total cases go up with testing capacity as well as with the number of infections. The testing capacity has increased very much since springtime. Thus, by itself, ‘total cases’ is a controversial metric, as are others, but they all point in one direction.

Total deaths

Deaths can hardly be faked. Are they all COVID-caused? That’s difficult to say. There is no uni-causality in many deaths, generally. Does someone with a precondition + COVID die from COVID or his precondition? Without the precondition, he would not have died. So?

An indicator can be found in excess deaths within a period in 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. Quoting CDC: “Overall, an estimated 299,028 excess deaths occurred from late January through October 3, 2020, with 198,081 (66%) excess deaths attributed to COVID-19.” [https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6942e2.htm]

Compare this with what you may. To me, every preventable death is, well, preventable, therefore relevant. Moreover, what is not incorporated in the graphic is the ongoing and pending amount of deaths through indirect causes: famine, violence, lack of medical support in developing countries, among other things a diminishing degree of vaccinations for other diseases. Most COVID-related deaths will be indirect this way.

One wing

As you know by now, I mean with this that only the conceptually graspable is taken into account. Meanwhile, of course, reality doesn’t care about what is or is not conceptually graspable. It is fully our responsibility to see through this. Flying on two wings can make it a very different story.

It is an immense responsibility. On the other hand, it is also an immensely difficult undertaking, mainly because it is counter-cultural and leads to essential changes in mind-related domains. Interestingly, every human field is mind-related. This shows the need to reconsider many givens and preconceptions, some of which are millennia-old. That looks daunting, and it is.

It’s daunting and unrealized, also in COVID’s fields.

The consequence is our flying on merely the conceptual wing. The other wing is what I call ‘subconceptual.’ It is the subject of my Ph.D. and a lot of further research and development. The relevance is diverse: a direct mind-body influence on COVID progression (as there is on other viral diseases), a more specifically COVID-related ‘staying out of the whirlpool’ [see: “COVID-Whirlpool“] other psychological and psycho-somatic consequences, human motivation (to wear a mask, to get vaccinated).

As to motivation, indeed, note that this has also traditionally been regarded from a conceptual viewpoint. But can you in conscious awareness decide to be motivated for anything? Amazingly not. [see: “Non-Conscious Processing is Meaningful“] Motivation is basically non-conscious and subconceptual, which is, of course, why it’s also such a conundrum to many leaders, teachers, and physicians. That is difficult to grasp for many, but, again, reality doesn’t care for this difficulty.

Deeper self

The ‘deeper self’ may be an eyebrow-lifting term to some, as it is to myself. By lack of a better term, I use it to denote the scientifically evidenced way that our brain works. Through this, one can best comprehend mind-body-unity. It is, shortly put, the mental/neuronal pattern level. [see: “Human Brain: Giant Pattern Recognizer“] Scientific progress in this field is evolving rapidly and is extremely promising in that it gradually shows what is, for instance, the meaning of ‘meaning’ at the brain level.

Through this, the ‘deeper self’ is becoming visible from the neuronal side. We also get a better view of the huge implications of non-conscious processing. This has been hinted on for centuries before S. Freud, who wrote about the ‘subconscious’ in an unfortunately quite conceptual way at the start of the 20th century. We know much more about subconceptual processing at present, in many ways.

We lack robust experimental science about the mental perspective on the same. The psychological research is still flawed, leading to a crisis in the reproducibility of prior high-level scientific experiments. This is not surprising since our scientific instruments are made to investigate the conceptual, not the subconceptual. This is relevant mainly in view of the complexity of the latter. [see: “Complex is not Complicated“]

When will this change?

I guess, in a few years from now. Technology, mainly A.I.-driven, will help. [see: “Dawn of Opening Up“] One way or another, this technology will result in real-world evidence.

Sadly, it will be too late to prevent the present disaster. But this is not the end of the world, nor the human species. Challenges abound, to which this dawn is the beginning. Let’s hope it will all proceed well. Compassion will be central to the direction of humanity, and even of intelligence on this planet and more.

Wow. The future is a long time. Meanwhile, in a few years already, on condition that the right choices are made, we will investigate and understand much better the influence of our mind (deeper self) on something like COVID progression.

Dear reader, if you read this in the future, please take a minute to think about 2020 in this vein.

Thanks.

On one wing, the second wing is rather a nuisance.

In the case of COVID, it shows as nocebo in being a primary cause of the COVID-whirlpool, individually and as a society. [see: “Is Social Nocebo Real?“] We know nocebo can be substantial in other domains. The subconceptual is powerful in a positive and negative direction.

It also shows in the whole field of psycho-somatics, in the present-day mind-negating stance called ‘MUS.’ [see: “Medically Unexplained Syndromes (MUS)“] Even with the blunt instruments of now, we see a considerable influence of ‘distress’ on many health issues. We see – already – the relevance of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and chronic aggression on physical symptoms and disease. All of them are relevant in COVID-times.

Mad men

Understandably, many caregivers are cross. They have to work in trying circumstances and even at the peril of their own lives. Many have post-traumatic stress or even burnout, visible especially if one cares to see through the veil. They, too, should know and mind about nocebo. Also, there are many socio-relational problems for caregivers, personally. The continuous idea that this situation could have been largely prevented is, understandably, hard to take.

This will not evolve positively throughout the winter.

Personally,

with insight into my own research, I see even more how it could have been prevented. Sadly, this is still going on in full glory. I don’t get my ideas inside the heads of many. There is too much streaming underneath. [see: “Streaming Underneath“]

So I’m finishing up a few things in November, such as a hands-on concrete corpus and groundwork for Lisa [see: “Lisa“]. The COVID situation will be a lot worse in December than it is now, especially through not recognizing the second wing. Many medical colleagues will be on the brink. That’s the time for me also to take my responsibility as a physician.

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