gallery 2020 Pandemic: How Did We Get Here?

Coronavirus may seem like it came out of the blue, but did it really? Or is it the culmination of many factors? While the true source of its origin is in question– leaping from wildlife sold at wetmarkets, natural evolution, or biotech experimentation without adequate protection- the pandemic comes at a time when humanity has been guilty of pushing the planet out of balance. Let this be our awakening, our time to regroup and do better.

Earth Day is approaching, what better time is there for us to wake up and come to our senses? Of course there’s concern the virus may be seasonal and cyclical. Whether or not that comes to pass, we can use this time to carefully plan, prepare and get our shit together. Pardon my French, but this is serious and we have no time to lose. We have health concerns stemming from this, but also and perhaps more harmful, we have economic concerns. Will the world ever recover and be the way it was? What can we do to fortify ourselves, strengthen our defenses and protect our way of life? We’re smack in the middle of this-is-what-happens-when-the-world-implodes. What can we learn from this? What do we do now to get the world back together and people back to work safely? Let’s take a look at a few of the critical factors that brought us here and how it’s all connected.

Cause and effect never fails, where there’s an irritation there’s a reaction. Many folks are quite aware of the disrepair and harm humanity has been causing our dear Planet, and perhaps this is the earth’s way of letting us know we’ve been served. Stay at home, don’t go out, give nature a break. Think about it, after years of disrespect coming in such wily forms as: pollution, deforestation, excessive use of toxic chemicals, disregard for wildlife and animal welfare, disregard for land and ecosystems, disregard for our natural resources; we have been officially grounded by nature and governments alike.

What is a virus? Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are some of the smallest of life forms, yet they coexist with us, they live in our bodies, in our stomach, in our mouths, in the soil, all around us. In many ways their health determines our health. When in balance these little invisible creatures help us survive and thrive and pretty much leave us alone. When not in balance everything can go haywire.

Not too long ago, for instance, before Coronavirus was a household name, scientists and doctors were witnessing the rise of fungus resistance diseases affecting and killing people. This it turns out just so happens to be a direct result of the misuse and overuse of fungicides in the environment, particularly in growing food. In simplistic terms, the fungicides kill all fungi whether they’re good fungi or bad, thus through survival of the fittest a surge of bad fungi is left to rule without opposition. This is imbalance. Like fungi, viruses, bacteria and all life forms can find themselves in imbalanced environments when the beneficial fellas are killed off leaving the more aggressive fungi unchecked, without predators, left to multiply ruthlessly. This is found throughout nature, for example when pesticides are overused in forests, fungal rust diseases tend to invade and kill off large swaths of forest. This same mechanism I feel has something to do with the current pandemic, for a virus like these are normally carried/hosted by animals but pose no risk to humans– until now. When disease pathogens cross over from animals to humans- that is known as zoonoses– a phenomenon that seems to be increasing in frequency. 

That takes me to the bats, which I pray will not be vilified for their potential role in innocently carrying the virus. Many animals and plants are place holders for viruses and parasites. This is nothing new, for instance did you know watercress tends to be a host for tape worm larvae? I digress.

You may not know this but bats are the worlds most important form of insect control, and they’re pollinators! Over 500 plants including mangoes, bananas, and agave are pollinated by bats. You may not personally consider bats very important, but perhaps you will when you realize that without them you would never have a shot of tequila or  taste a real margarita ever again, for bats pollinate the agave plants from which tequila is made. Aside from their pollinating skills, bats are known for their insect-keeping skills. If we lose bats, the United States alone would suffer millions in crop losses.  Because of our ridiculous dependence on toxic agricultural chemicals, however, thousands of vital insects, pollinators, and bats are in critical danger of extinction. This is not good. Bats are in a critical state due to white nose syndrome–a fungal infection. This is eerily similar to what is happening to the bees, who are also dying from fungal infections. These fungal diseases wouldn’t normally be hurting bees or bats, however scientific research sadly shows these vitally important creatures are succumbing to these minor infections because their immune systems have been so wrongfully weakened. 

This is not normal. Bees and bats thrive in a healthy world, keeping ecosystems in balance. That is no longer the case. Bees and bats and countless other beneficial insects and animals are dying off due to conditions in our environment, conditions that directly impair their health. Conditions that we have caused by our insane use of toxic substances! It truly is a matter of life and death. Do you not think this impairs humans as well? Just like bees and bats our own health is compromised daily because of human-caused conditions in our environment. No question, the primary factors harming bees and bats is the overuse of toxic agricultural chemicals–fungicides, pesticides and indirectly, synthetic fertilizer. This is your Paul Revere wake up call to not just consider, but start immediately using nontoxic products on your lawns and gardens, on your farms. Truth be told, if we move away from using synthetic fertilizer, eventually no other chemicals would be needed. You see, back in Eva Balfour and Sir Albert Howard’s time many studies were undertaken proving that life in soil, particularly the microorganisms in soil, are most healthy when no toxic chemicals are applied. This results in healthy plants and thus, healthy people, healthy animals. It really can be that simple afterall. Without toxic synthetic fertilizer, soil rebounds, comes back to life on its own!  Plant health shoots upward and natural defenses return making use of pesticides completely unnecessary because the plants defend themselves naturally from invasion. Think about it–by not using any of these substances you’ll save money, save your health, save the pollinators, and prevent unnecessary human diseases. Start by throwing away the synthetic fertilizer, magic will follow I promise.

On top of this chemical calamity, in many parts of the world people and corporations are responsible for destroying ecosystems the world over through deforestation, palm oil farming, and reckless forest burning and such to make way for cropland. Trading exotic animals, poaching and hunting endangered species is furthering the imbalance. Wildlife, pollinators and the insect world are all affected by such actions. This is a call to stop supporting corporations that endorse or use ingredients in their products from these affected areas. The earth, life as we knew it, cannot tolerate any further disrespect and ecosystem destruction.

We have to get not just our earth, but our bodies in shape to defend against any and all enemies. Do you see how by avoiding these chemicals we strengthen not just our planet and soil but also ourselves, our own immune system? 

This is all for now.  If you care to dig into these issues, pick up your copy of The Green Handbook. Soon we’ll have both an ebook and audio book available. In the meantime I’m working on the next book.

“There’s nothing to Fear but Fear itself.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

While you’re grounded, Keep yourself safe and healthy, stay connected, bee friendly, and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you have time take a moment or two to think about all the ways we can help the planet recover, so that just maybe, we can recover. We’re in this together for real.

To protect yourself from the coronavirus: take your supplements, especially Vitamin D and Vitamin C, and drink herbal organic teas made with good pure water. 


This land is your land.


Woody Guthrie on the train. “This machine kills fascists.” courtesy of NPR