Why a pandemic isn't a war:
1. This “enemy” has “declared war” everywhere. In all parts of the world, at the same time. Yet no human has declared it on anyone else. And every human is the victim, not the perpetrator. No ‘us’ and ‘them’. Just us. Ever seen a “war” like that? 
2. You can’t parlay with this “enemy”. You can’t ceasefire. You can’t degrade its morale by propaganda or macho posturing. You can’t reason with it, or intimidate it, or surrender to it, or sanction it, or buy it off. Ever seen a war like that? /2
3. There are no parts of the globe for which this “war” is a distant thing happening to other people. There are no places at all where normal life continues. There is no neutrality or alliance that guarantees safety. Ever seen a war like that? /3
4. Your fists are useless. Your weapons don’t work. Brute strength is futile. Your ships and tanks and submarines are now places where this “enemy” loves to be. Ever seen a war like that? /4
5. This “enemy” has no emotion. No discrimination or rage that governs it.Just the dispassionate logic of its nature. It acts entirely according to design. No more, no less. It neither mourns its own nor harbours any thought for those it kills. Ever seen an “enemy" like that? /5
Humans project story onto their world. We project narrative onto those things we love, and even more so onto those things we fear. We always have. It is our beautiful, passionate illogic. Our design. /6
But it’s also been our hazard since primeval times to mischaracterise those things in our environment which threaten us. A child petting a poisonous snake. A tribe sacrificing lives to appease gods in a crop failure. /7
There are some “enemies” in our world whose dispassion and cold logic demands equal dispassion. Rationality, not emotion. Education, not ignorance. Expertise, not narrative. Data, not spin. Pandemic is one. Climate is another. /8
This needs to be the age where we remember, finally, that not everything is metaphor, story, opinion, belief. That the worst “enemies” are neither human, nor an “enemy”. /9
When we remember this, we'll see that the greatest things that have ever ridden to our rescue as a species are the rational tools our minds have crafted to enlighten us, and the generous, fearless, collective heart to wield those tools for the common good. //
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