Love in Times of COVID-19

I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen, and sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.


People used to have an immune system. you know.

Dr. Mark Jan Rowe (my erstwhile dentist)

Advice on what to do regarding COVID-19 abounds. In the #WFPB and Lifestyle Medicine community, the focus is naturally on the positive things we can do to support our immune system, which are legion, starting obviously with a #WFPB lifestyle. For anybody who has not yet discovered the benefits of the plant-based lifestyle, begin with dropping dairy. It is mucus-promoting and that provides an ideal incubation environment for COVID-19, so there is no better time than the present, to lose it. Lose all animal protein in general, you don’t need it and you don’t need the fat that it comes with. Your gut will adjust quickly, and within three days already, you stop producing TMAO (Tri-Methyl Amine Oxide), which is a primary driver of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a major cause of chronic illness. But, again, we knew all of this. Dr. T. Colin Campbell just published a piece on the all important role of diet in building your immune system. This is once again all to easily forgotten but currently our growing Whole Foods, Plant-Based and Lifestyle Medicine communities are increasingly active in reminding the world of how powerful this is.

Dr. Dean Ornish recently published an important article about what to do about Corona Virus, which includes the powerful observation that spreading fear is likely to depress the immune system. These are the kinds of things we often overlook.

The simplest style of mask

It is ever so important to catch yourself when you are getting caught up in that vortex of fear, which can be hard to avoid, given what the news is spewing out all day long. We all should have our own practice to help us separate emotions from facts, step one may be to realize that fear tends to feed on itself, if you let it. It forms a vortex in which you go down the emotional drainpipe. The first step on the way out may be to realize that fear is irrational, for it does not help clarity, instead it clouds your vision. Ultimately, you can wear the same face mask on the basis of fear or on the basis of love, to protect yourself, or to simply help all of us be safer and to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. If you focus purely on protecting yourself, you still should not reduce your practice of keeping your distance. Ultimately, you will always keep worrying – it is never enough. The real issue is that you may be an a-symptomatic carrier and the best way to help everybody to stay safe is to practice protection and simply doing the best you can. It is all about the relative reductions of risk, which do add up in amazing ways. Be safe and focus on being helpful to others, more so than protecting yourself. You simply do the best you can and focus on the things you can change – like what’s at the end of your fork.

One of the public voices in our area is that of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who also speaks for the things we can do for ourselves in terms of lifestyle, with an emphasis on a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet.

Brooklyn BP Eric Adams Public Service Announcement
What a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet can do for your Immune System

War starts in the minds of men

We are speaking here of the choice between love and fear in the mind, which is what it ultimately all revolves around. As we demonstrated in the example above, you can do the same action from an attitude of total fear, or from an attitude of love and how you feel will depend entirely on that inner choice. Whatever we experience in the world, the source of the conflict is in the mind and that should be our focus, while we also do whatever we can to take care of ourselves at the physical level. In other words, while we strengthen our physical immune system with the lifestyle choices that are suggested here, starting with a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet, we should not forget that the real source of our experience in the world is the attitudes we bring to it. I include a link to an excerpt from an unpublished workshop by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, the greatest teacher of A Course in Miracles. The workshop was about “Strengthening the Mind’s Immune System” and it provides a powerful reminder that the real work is always inside, not out, right in line with the evidence cited by Dr. Dean Ornish above, to say that our inner attitude determines the health of our immune system.

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