This article is both, a brief report of our escape trip from Berlin to the Canary Islands by road and ship, and my personal animist take on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Traversing the Underworld
After what had felt like half an eternity of preparations without end in sight, renovating the van, getting rid of clutter, packing needed luggage, preparing our apartment for a sublet, on a Monday afternoon in November we finally found ourselves in the fully packed Ford Transit doomsday escape vehicle hitting the road, weeks behind schedule and full of anxiety considering the rumors of road blocks and checkpoints in fully locked down France and daily changing regional travel restrictions in Spain.
During our preparations we had always imagined our departure as a heroic and relieving moment of excitement, driving through the autumn sun in a cloud of goldy yellow leaves towards freedom. Instead we crawled slowly through the late afternoon rush-hour traffic, it was already getting dark and a few spots of pink dusk sunlight peeked through the otherwise grey November sky. When we finally left the vast metropolitan area of Berlin we found ourselves on a crowded highway full of trucks in complete darkness and it started to rain. We were all unnerved and tired. But also kind of proud that we were actually doing it.
Galloping across the globe like a horseman of the Apocalypse, flanked by locust plagues in Africa and rumours of Armageddon, the virus forced us from our workplaces and shopping malls into our homes. Factories closed down almost overnight. Flights were grounded. City streets are almost deserted. School is cancelled, along with exams. As a psychedelic rabbi put it, referring to the 24-hour Sabbath prohibition on travelling, operating switches or carrying objects — “The whole world is finally getting Shabbos”. 1
It took us one and a half days to drive through Germany past Kassel, and Frankfurt, the Schwarzwald almost all the way down to the corner where Germany, Switzerland and France meet. From there we crossed into France without experiencing any of the feared border controls, drove via the beautiful city of Orange in the Provence and then to St. Girons in the hills of Occitania. Some acquaintances of ours had moved there in 2016 fulfilling their dream. They treated us with good food, wine, great conversations, and plenty of play time for our daughter with their 6 and 8 years old kids. We really enjoyed the hospitality and sleeping in a real bed in a real house and not in our crammed camper.
The next day we drove further westwards towards the Atlantic ocean, the silhouettes of the Pyrenees always to our left. Only the slightly different design of the road signs made us realize that we had entered Spain at some point. Again: No borders, no police, nobody to stop us. After a mind-bending and dizzying drive through the tunnels and viaducts across steep valleys of the Spanish part of the Basque Country the landscape suddenly changed. We were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of blue sky arching across the rolling plains of Castile y Leon. It was the meaning of freedom poured into the shape of landscape. We found ourselves a camp spot on a small hill between the towns of Palencia and Valladolid. The sky was tinted orange and the wind smelled like Pine and Thyme.
The last stretch also went smoothly towards the South into Andalucia and we arrived in Sevilla where we spent the night parked up in the middle of the city. The next morning my wife had a kind of crisis. Our plan was that she and our daughter would take an airplane to the Canary Islands and I would follow a few days later with our van on the ferry. We both knew she was prone to sea-sickness and our plan was to make this final part of the trip as easy as possible. But now she feared being so far away from me for almost a week and risks of me not being able to travel at all during these crazy times of daily changing travel restrictions. We discussed it thoroughly, went through all alternative options and decided to stick with the original plan. After a quick breakfast we drove to the airport and said goodbye. I was very anxious. She was very anxious. Now it really did feel like some crazy escape trip. But we parted ways and they entered the airport.
All Too Human
Since the pandemic had hit us right after our return from Tenerife at the end of last winter I have come full circle about what to think and believe about this biopolitical dystopia we are living through right now. From initial panic to hypochondria, subsequent denial and conspiracy delirium, I have now arrived at a position of detached and sober skepticism mixed with animist awe. The former is not skepticism about the reality of the pandemic, but about the conspiracy hysteria around it. About the latter I will speak more further down the article.
After having dragged myself out of the conspiracy swamp and cut the Kool-Soup I am now actually pretty much on par with Naomi Klein's cynical but on-point assessment:
search for the term “global reset” and you will be bombarded with breathless “exposés” of a secret globalist cabal, headed by [WEF founder Klaus] Schwab and Bill Gates, that is using the state of shock created by the coronavirus (which is probably itself a “hoax”) to turn the world into a high-tech dictatorship that will take away your freedom forever: a green / socialist / Venezuela / Soros / forced vaccine dictatorship if the Reset exposé is coming from the far right, and a Big Pharma / GMO / biometric implants / 5G / robot dog / forced vaccine dictatorship if the exposé hails from the far left. Confused? That’s not on you. Less a conspiracy theory than a conspiracy smoothie, the Great Reset has managed to mash up every freakout happening on the internet — left and right, true-ish, and off-the-wall — into one inchoate meta-scream about the unbearable nature of pandemic life under voracious capitalism.
Back in June, the World Economic Forum, best known for its annual Davos summit, kicked off a lunge for organizational relevance [...]. The effort was called the Great Website — I mean the Great Reset. And through articles, videos, webinars, podcasts, and a book by WEF founder Klaus Schwab, it provided a coronavirus-themed rebranding of all the things Davos does anyway, now hastily repackaged as a blueprint for reviving the global economy post-pandemic by “seeking a better form of capitalism.” [...] the Great Reset encompasses some good stuff that won’t happen and some bad stuff that certainly will and, frankly, nothing out of the ordinary in our era of “green” billionaires readying rockets for Mars. Indeed, anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Davos speak, and the number of times it has attempted to rebrand capitalism as a slightly buggy poverty alleviation and ecological restoration program, will recognize the vintage champagne in this online carafe. 2
So, no I don't think any of the lockdowns, the travel restrictions, or the vaccine race are really that out of the ordinary in Capitalist Realism. When you take a close look it is merely humans trying to pretend they are still under control or alternatively pretending that other hidden human forces must be, because the alternative is too horrifying to bare in the late anthropocene: that the more than human world is real and wild and refuses to be tamed and compartmentalized.
After having dropped T and E off at Sevilla airport I filled up the Transit and drove onto the highway towards Huelva in the morning sun, lots of worries and thoughts in my head. But besides that I was also really looking forward to having a few days break before the ferry ride, just by myself on the beach.
I exited the A-49 onto the A-483 to take a detour along the Andalucian coastline and I don't remember exactly where it was but the next song that played on the radio was David Bowie's epic track Heroes. I had never really been a fan of Bowie's but I sang along, feeling my body relax and my worries faint. At one point into the second or third verse when the reverb in Bowie's vocals kicked in...
...out of the blue I burst out in tears. Not just a bit, but really I hadn't cried like this for years. Streams and streams of tears ran down my face as I now almost yelled the lyrics...
We can beat them, for ever and ever. Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day
It was a profound moment... a real hero's journey moment. I somehow felt physically relieved and at the same time utterly overcome by despair and almost unbearable nostalgia. The song faded out and into the French 80s hit Voyage, Voyage by Desireless. The last time I had heard this song was probably as a child, decades ago. It had no meaning to me, but the nostalgia and synchronicity with this very moment were so overwhelming, my tears kept flowing...
Au dessus des vieux volcans, Glissent des ailes sous les tapis du vent, Voyage, voyage. Éternellement.
De nuages en marécages, De vent d'Espagne en pluie d'équateur. Voyage, voyage.
Vole dans les hauteurs, Au dessus des capitales, Des idées fatales, Regardent l'océan.3
I almost had to stop the car as I could barely see the road ahead, my eyes soaked in tears. I was shaking from head to toes and sobbing like a child. What was happening? I only realized this later but this seemingly endless liminal and timeless moment was an epiphany and a turning point.
I guess I cried out of relief and happiness that we had actually managed to do this wild trip, and had managed to come this far despite alleged travel bans. Happy that we would not have to spend the cold and long winter in locked down Berlin, stuck in a too small apartment with a curious and constantly bored child craving connection with other children while us parents would be overwhelmend and overstimulated, for months.
I also cried out of relief that the last intense months of emotional stress and growing, unexplainable paranoia, was hopefully over now. Relief also about the intense car trip with endless hours of driving we had put ourselves through in the last week having finally ended...but deep down this was not really all...
I recognized an overwhelming feeling of grief and loss and couldn't shake off a heavy, almost crushing nostalgia. It felt like the end of the world. And now thinking back, that was exactly it. A world had in fact ended.
Not only had my 15 years long career in the event business been completely wiped out from one day to another due to the pandemic, also our crypto-bourgeois dream of a worry-free world for our daughter's fundamentally important first couple of years seemed now gone.
Having survived and overcome the past ever-returning economic crises of the last decade had me left a bit proud about my ability to adapt and react, but this was different. It wasn't your run-of-the-mill capitalist crisis...
...it was as if an alien xenomorph agent had forced itself into our lives in the shape of a coronavirus. It had come to infect and disrupt, spread and colonize, not caring about our human civilizatorial constructs and narratives, our hierarchies, our inequality, our achievements, our battles, our complex social orders. No, it came through the microbial, sub-cellular back-door we had obviously overlooked for a century.
What was mostly stunning to me was that besides the threat to our biological integrity the virus had an even more disruptive effect onto our psychological integrity on a mass scale. It was not only a virus that on an individual level specialized in attacking out respiratory systems, but on a macro-level even more devastatingly attacking our collective mind.
The collapse of the planetary body is the consequence of a biological virus that provokes a (not so) lethal affection, but mainly it is the effect of a viral agent whose action is unknown: neither the immune system nor medical science know anything about the agent. The unknown stops the machine, the biological agent turns into an info-virus, and the info-virus unchains a psychotic reaction. 4
Fear, paranoia, despair everywhere. Even more than the fragility of our bodies the virus had revealed the fragility of our health system, our economic system, our civilization as a whole. The capitalist machine reacted with the same knee-jerk panic as the individualized objects within it.
The virus became most of all the great revealer of the reality of our existence underneath the layers and layers of narratives we mistake for the real.
The real is an altogether different matter than the possible, without any possible communication or mediation between the two. What lies outside possibility or beyond the range of possibilities – literally, the im-possible, or the event – is real, because the procedure whereby we fabricate the possible out of the real is always incomplete and deficient and falls short of the real. 5
After a stop by the sheer endless Andalucian beach I eventually arrived in the port city of Huelva in the estuary formed by the confluence of the Odiel and Tinto rivers. The city outskirts are dominated by dystopian and futuristic petrol industrial architecture and when you drive into the city you pass by a giant statue of a hooded figure leaning on a Tau cross looking out onto the sea. Apparently Christoph Columbus. Curious about the history of the city I did some research and was surprised:
The river mouth settlement dates back to 1200 BC when the Phoenicians called it "Un'u Ba'l" - Baal's Fort, due to a large black rock peninsula known since ancient times as "Saturn's Rock", now called "Monte Negro" which apparently served as an altar to their god Baal Melqart. The Romans later had a shrine to Persephone there. A holy site of chthonic deities. In Moorish times the new rulers erected a monastery for Muslim monks there, who were trained for battle. Later the knights Templar and then the Franciscans took over, also training their monks in weaponry. They founded the still existing Friary of La Rábida in the 13th century. And apparently Columbus stayed here before "discovering" the Americas. It was here where he managed to secure the money to pay for his trip. A shrine for a dark colonizing spirit.
From a magical point of view I found it weird but also very exciting that this ancient Saturnian port city is the one that connects the Saturnian island of Tenerife by ship route. Especially after all that happened on the island last year this city felt like a huge puzzle piece falling into place.
The Black God
The Covid-19 pandemic had gained global traction when Saturn had entered his sidereal home-sign of Capricorn last year. What a synchronicity! Wasn't he known to be the revealer of hard truths? Wasn't Saturn also associated with epidemics and diseases, especially respiratory ones? Wait a second...
This synchronicity has haunted me for the last few months and I attempted several tries to write this article about it. I wanted to take a step back and take a comparative look at the astrological significance of Saturn and the disruptions the virus had brought into our world.
Instead of trying to formulate all the thoughts and ideas about this synchronicity I decided that instead I will quote in length from an article on Saturn in Capricorn written the astrologist Austin Coppock in 2017 and alternate his quotes with memorable qoutes from articles I have read and bookmarked throughout the last year.
Take it as some kind of Remix if you will. A remix of other people's published thoughts about the pandemic that deeply resonated with me. Their formulations are better than I could ever write so why not just quote them, right?
Just as Saturn is the limit of the visible solar system, Saturn is concerned with boundaries and borders. A wall both encloses and excludes, separating one space from another and limiting interaction between the two. There is thus a strong architectural element to Saturn which extends to all constructed systems, including human hierarchies and institutions. Saturn’s position in a natal chart yields information about how well a person does with structure, as well as how they react to, and wield, authority. 16
If Covid-19 were spreading across a stable and resilient world, its impact could be abrupt but contained. Leaders would consult together; economies disrupted temporarily; people would make do for a while with changed circumstances—and then, after the shock, look forward to getting back to normal. That’s not, however, the world in which we live. Instead, this coronavirus is revealing the structural faults of a system that have been papered over for decades as they’ve been steadily worsening. Gaping economic inequalities, rampant ecological destruction, and pervasive political corruption are all results of unbalanced systems relying on each other to remain precariously poised. Now, as one system destabilizes, expect others to tumble down in tandem in a cascade known by researchers as “synchronous failure.” 13
Halting the Doomsday Machine:
It has mocked immigration controls, biometrics, digital surveillance and every other kind of data analytics, and struck hardest — thus far — in the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism to a juddering halt. Temporarily perhaps, but at least long enough for us to examine its parts, make an assessment and decide whether we want to help fix it, or look for a better engine. Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. 14
Being so slow, Saturn is also more concerned with time than the other planets. Saturn highlights the way it changes things, and separates the enduring from the fleeting. For living beings, time always leads to death, another fundamental Saturn theme. Relationships with the past and the dead are thus well within the Saturnian sphere. Saturn’s slow progression also illustrates the laws of cause and effect — how actions, over time, create reality. 16
time itself has felt different this year, our relationship with it altered significantly by the pandemic. Whatever comfort we once derived from considering the past is gone. Now it’s a stark reminder of all that we had, all that we took for granted, and what we must still reckon with — that our future is not likely to look like what we’re used to. Meanwhile, our hours and days dissolve together into some nebulous glob of experience. While time may run on a larger scale around us, we still live in our own intimate worlds. That dislocation in time has become a part of our running discourse, inspiring memes and jokes about not knowing what day it is. They drive home the fact that we’re all truly experiencing the same phenomenon — a sort of time melt. 7
The Fact of Death:
our relationship with death also radically changed in the mid-20th century. Until this period, when hospices and convalescence homes became common, people generally died in their homes among family, and children observed the process. Today, we are shielded from the most fundamental fact of life, which is death, and the tragic paradox of this self-deception is that we have been going about business as usual during a mass extinction. 15
Saturn is the Greater Malefic in astrology, as it brings deprivation, fear, excessive cold, brittle-ness, depression, confinement and exclusion. Yet Saturn also teaches the virtues of patience, discipline, endurance and duty, and shows us how to maintain glacial calm in even the worst conditions. 16
Capacity for Interiority:
An extended self-quarantine resembles, in many aspects, any religious-minded circumscribing of the daily round—a meditation retreat, a monastic cloister, a ritual purification. There is the same restraining force, liminal and protean, keeping one within the enclosure—not quite mandatory, not quite voluntary, but a volatile mixture of superego, conformity, altruism, and the anxiety of social sanction. There is the withdrawal from social life, the distillation of most personal interaction to the telegrammatic and unavoidable. There is the ascendance of repetition—the same cycle of meals, the same rooms, the same window, the same orbit of light from that window. [...] And alongside this radical shift in scale, there emerges a deepening capacity for interiority, as if cloud cover had burned off a valley floor, revealing in sharpness each tiny aspect of the scene, diorama-like. It becomes easier and more natural to follow internal trains of thought; the inner monologue grows louder, more assertive; and the inner vision vivifies, leaning asymptotically toward eruption, tangibility. It is a paradoxical state, both heightened and diminished, murky and transparent, 8
Saturn’s time in Capricorn has often coincided with tectonic shifts to the landscape of human reality. While such transitions are necessary and sometimes favorable, they are nonetheless jarring. They make old maps unusable, and deny the comfort of the familiar. When the world a person expects no longer fits the reality they encounter, they are left without a guidance system for action. When a situation calls for action, but there is no framework for it, anxiety results. Anxiety, when sufficiently magnified, becomes panic. [...] Saturn’s time in Capricorn offers us a chance to fortify what we would see endure. Become both the architect and the brick-layer, and build cathedrals to honor and protect what we hold most dear. The cold eye which Saturn points at rickety buildings and unstable systems is also a gift, as it allows us to see what must inevitably collapse and extricate ourselves from it. 16
At present, the rising pandemic of fear is more dangerous than the virus itself. The apocalyptic imagery in the media hides the deepening relationship between the far-right and the capitalist economy. And in the same way that a virus needs a living cell to replicate, so will capitalism adapt to the new biopolitics of the 21st century. Coronavirus has already impacted on the global economy, but it won’t stop the never-ending circulation and accumulation of capital. If anything, we might soon be facing a darker, and even more dangerous form of capitalism, one that relies on the stronger control and purification of populations. 9
The coronavirus has enormous revelatory power. All at once, it has disclosed issues of social justice and biopolitics, biodiversity and violence, scientific research and global economy. This power, however, involves a risk: focusing exclusively on the virus, people (and governments) might end up neglecting other key issues, first of all climate change. This is a risk that we cannot afford: the coronavirus, in fact, is not the ultimate catastrophe but one chapter in a bigger narrative of interconnected phenomena. It’s crucial to find a way to see the current emergency while also minding the future calamities that are incubating in our present. 10
Maladjusted to Normality:
The pandemic broke open public discourse around issues that were either typically sidestepped — mental health struggles, for instance — or accepted with little resistance, like the rigidity of the modern workday. Will returning to normal life mean sweeping these hard conversations back under the rug? Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “There are some things within our social order to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be maladjusted.” The people I heard from expressed the concern that the world would quickly readjust to an unjust normal. Several people told me they feel the pandemic has left them with PTSD, while others said it exacerbated preexisting conditions like depression. But an undercurrent in the responses was the idea that the pandemic was a seismic event that made it socially permissible to foreground mental health and self-care — something that wasn’t necessarily true before Covid-19 came along. If there’s one message that emerged most clearly from the reader responses, it’s this: A lot of people are really, really over being at the office from 9 to 5. The pandemic has proven that remote work is totally feasible for many jobs, validating people’s suspicions that our standard model of office work is arbitrary, unnecessarily taxing, and ultimately exploitative, sometimes forcing people to choose between their well-being and their career. 11
Capricorn is of the Cardinal mode, linking it to initiation and creation — the beginning phase of story-arcs. It is thus the sign where the Earth is reshaped in accord with intention. Mud becomes brick, and bricks become houses. The wet clay, patterned with intention, becomes sculpture. Capricorn’s essential dynamic is thus the imposition of pattern onto substance in conformity with will. [...] In Capricorn, Saturn wears no disguise, but presents himself in an archetypal fashion. He is Father Time, the Grim Reaper, the Grand Architect, and the Old Teacher.16
the coronavirus pandemic offers us an opportunity to reveal the dynamics of exploitation underlying our neoliberal present – as well as a chance to expose its falsehoods and shortcomings. A meaningful pandemic response, our death toll proves, is one that is not subject exclusively to the demands of capital. 12
Covid-19 has blown the Overton window wide open. In just a few weeks, we’ve seen political and economic ideas seriously discussed that had previously been dismissed as fanciful or utterly unacceptable: universal basic income, government intervention to house the homeless, and state surveillance on individual activity, to name just a few. 13
Imagine Another World:
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it. 14
Veils are falling in this apocalyptic moment revealing cracks in the brickwork of the structures of power, revealing grown men and women at computers trading futures that offer us nothing. The suppressed and the marginalised are empowered in such moments. Established dogmas are abandoned. In a few short weeks, C-19 has forced parliament to guarantee universal basic income, find shelter for homeless people and invest generously in public health merely just to maintain a façade of decency — policies that socialists have been energetically failing to achieve for decades. Now is the moment to develop new templates, as a T-cell endlessly recombines lengths of code into configurations ready for any pathogen it might encounter. As with COVID-19, this could be a matter of survival. Shorter supply chains, local solidarity and an economy geared towards resilience rather than profit margins might help us endure whatever the Angel of Death sends next — as there is every chance that COVID-19 is the first of many challenges creeping over the horizon. 15
Saturn in Capricorn also brings the opportunity to become patient and enduring, to learn how to see things in a wider context. It offers us the opportunity to look through the eyes of time. Bad days, even bad years, disappear when set against the backdrop of an entire lifetime. That larger awareness of time puts things in their proper place, keeping high and low points from distorting our perceptions and expectations. The same awareness of time not only grants us greater preserverence and patience on a personal level, it also allows us to watch history unfold without feeling the fight-or-flight adrenal response which social media and the 24-hour news cycle are designed to evoke and exploit, tempting panic. It also grants us the opportunity to recover and digest our own history on a familial, cultural and global level. Those who learn from history have the chance to change the future, and those who commune with their ancestors have the chance to make sure that what is valuable is passed on, and that worn-out patterns are laid to final rest. 16
I have never been through a civilisation-wide transformation before, and neither have you; we are in uncharted waters together. There is a war taking place in heaven concerning the soul of humanity, and it will be fought in each person’s heart, every day, without rest, and into the foreseeable future. I have no choice but to sound metaphysical and religious, because this is where the psyche goes when it enters the liminal. 17
Luminous Beauty in the midst of shuddering terror. Interpersonal solidarity—layer upon tearful layer of empathy for one another—in the midst of enforced solitude and loneliness. The paradoxical, ambiguous nature of this moment is so confounding, so bewildering! I mean, how excellent that our arrogant species receives this collective slap-in-the-face reality check, waking us two-leggeds up to the simple truth that we are not at all in control, have never really been in control, that we live at the behest of powers—of a complex interplay of powers—far beyond our ability to fully fathom, to predict, or to steer. What hubris to have imagined we could do whatever we want with this exquisitely interwoven wonder of a world! And yet how awful that this lesson must come at the expense of so many unsuspecting human lives, so many innocent souls now shivering with fever and fright as they struggle to draw breath. 18
Since March 2019 when the severe respiratory syndrome of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was announced, many radiologic manifestations of COVID-19 have been reported.
We have encountered a unique CT appearance of COVID-19 pneumonitis in a 24-year-old man. This finding is not a halo or reverse halo sign as might be expected in these organizing pneumonias. Figure demonstrates focal core opacity and two ring-like opacities immediately around it as in the “rings of Saturn”. 19
Across the Ocean
Four days later on November 24 I finally embarked the ferry very fittingly named "Hypatia of Alexandria" after a famous neoplatonic pagan philosopher. The trip from the Spanish mainland towards the Canary Islands was very long, and very smooth and very boring. Was it two or three days? I don't remember. I had lost my sense of time in the last year and riding a ship across seemingly endless waters didn't really help grasp any sense of time and place anyway.
At some point it was night and the sea became more and more unsettled. It was windy outside. At a speed of around 15 knots against strong winds the ferry bravely wrested mile by mile from the churning sea. We were delayed by three hours. Finally I could already see the black silhouette of the magical Anaga mountains against the dramatically moonlit sky and behind it the flickering orange city lights of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
After disembarking in pouring rain and driving on the completely empty highway to Puerto de La Cruz I surprisingly ran out of fuel. I mean really. The display dropped from fifty to zero. Stuttering engine and everything. My luck that the highway goes downhill for 15km before my destination. I literally rolled into town and took the wrong way into a roundabout to make it to a random gas station on the final drop. Then off to our new temporary home. Off to bed. Finally.
At the end of this crazy year all that remains is awe. The mighty Saturnian demon we in our secular ignorance simply had named "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2" had brought death, disease and most of all: revelation. Like the grim reaper the alien virus has shown us the brittleness of our human civilization, pointed directly at the exploitative machinery of Capitalism and how it is in fact not what we are to believe it is: an omnipotent, all-encompassing and abstract cybernetic control system that we will never be able to overcome, but a ridiculous scheme of exploitation run by humans with money and power on the backs of humans without money and without power.
We realize that the world is really run by nurses, caregivers, essentially: workers. The ruling classes so often subsummized under the term "Empire" have done everything in their power to keep up an image of being in control, enforced unprecedented means of biopolitical power over the populations and transferred several GDP-worths of money to the medical industrial complex for creating vaccinations to ensure that we will be able to get "back to normal" as quickly as possible, which obviously means to go back to normal speed of accumulating surplus value more than anything else.
The conspiracy theories around the pandemic also all point into this very same direction: someone must be pulling the strings. Coincidence? I doubt it. There is a great fear among "Empire" that now enough people will realize the nakedness of their emperors and choose to live a life on their own terms and under their own sovereignty.
In my opinion the pandemic has been a global event of mass initiation. It came with a gigantic death toll and mid- to long-term effects we are yet to see play out. But I feel confident that the outcome will be a positive transformation if we try to not close the veil again that the virus has lifted for us, but instead pay attention to what is important and necessary. For ouselves and the planet as a whole.
Before these effects will fully unfold let us pay respect to the brave warriors who fought and still fight for the lives of the affected victims of the virus and most of all to the too many of us who have lost their lives.
Rest in Peace
Danny Nemu. And then came the virus (1/3): The Nematode Awakens. March 31, 2020. ↩
Naomi Klein. The Great Reset Conspiracy Smoothie. The Intercept. December 8, 2020. ↩
"Above the ancient volcanoes, Slide your wings under the carpet of the wind, Travel, travel, eternally. Of clouds in swamps, Of wind in Spain in the rain from Ecuador, Travel, travel, Fly to the highest heights, Above the capitals, fatal ideas, Look at the ocean" ↩
Franco 'Bifo' Berardi. Bifo - Diary of the psycho-deflation. Verso Books Blog. 18 March 2020 ↩
Ayache, Elie. The Medium of Contingency: An Inverse View of the Market. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. pg. 20 ↩
Shannon Stirone. 2020 was a time warp. Vox.com. Dec 22, 2020 ↩
Matt Levin. Quarantine Reads: ‘The Waves’. The Paris Review. March 17 2020. ↩
Srecko Horvat. Why the coronavirus presents a global political danger. New Statesman. 19 February 2020. ↩
Serenella Iovino. Hyperobject COVID-19. Cambridge Blog. 14 May 2020. ↩
Sigal Samuel. We shouldn’t go back to “normal.” Normal wasn’t good enough.. Vox.com. 12 May 2021. ↩
Ali Rıza Taşkale. Britain’s ‘Herd Immunity’ Disaster Was Neoliberalism in Action. Tribune Magazine. 27 January 2021. ↩
Jeremy Lent. Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era. What’s Next?. Patterns of Meaning. 2 April 2020. ↩↩
Arundhati Roy. The pandemic is a portal. Financial Times. April 3 2020. ↩↩
Danny Nemu. And then came the virus (2/3): Crisis. Medium. 7 April 2020. ↩↩
Austin Coppock. Saturn in Capricorn. 19 December 2017. ↩↩↩↩↩↩
Zachary Stein. Covid 19: A War Broke Out in Heaven. What is Emerging. 26 March 2020. ↩
David Abram. In the Ground of our Unknowing. Emergence Magazine. 7 April 2020. ↩
“Rings of Saturn” appearance: a unique finding in a case of COVID-19 pneumonitis. Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology. 14 January 2021 ↩