An Open Letter To Corona
Opening A Channel For Communication
Of the names we have given you, i like ‘Karuna’ the best, but its the least used. And, for your information, we have named all your type of beings — virus. I do wonder what you call yourself.
We are a species that like to name everything. We call ourselves many things, you can refer to us as humans. We live almost all over the planet, almost like you do. We think we are many, well over 7 billion, but if you count yourself, you will see that we are in insignificant numbers. Though if we weigh ourselves, we are way heavier than all of you put together.
The Human Body
We are special in that we have two powerful personas. One is our body and the other is out mind. I know you are familiar with our body, but i want to describe it in the way we see it because you may see our body very differently.
Since you are a single-celled being, it may be better to describe it by its cellular structure. Our body has about 37.2 trillion cells. These cells are enormous in size and weight, compared to you. Despite their size they are not able to live alone like you do, they need each other. There are about 200 types, with each type doing something special and together they make the body work.
You must be good at recognizing DNA, and i am sure you must see that all of these very, very different cells still have the same DNA. Its amazing and i can tell you that we don’t really understand our own bodies.
For example, we have many strains of human bodies, with different colors, sizes. And one thing you may not know about us, that while our cells live for short times, we like to think our bodies live for about 80 years and we would all like to live till around that age, or more. And even though our cells remain young by regular reproduction, our bodies grow old. It is not a problem you seem to experience.
The Human Being
The human being is far more than the human body. What most of us do not know or like to ignore is that there more bacteria in a human being than its own cells. These bacteria live on all the inner and outer surfaces. There are millions of types, each with their own DNA, so i would not be surprised to know that you never even regarded the human as having one type of DNA.
We know that we cannot live without all the bacteria and so lets call the combination of the body and bacteria as the human being.
We are trying to find out more about how many virus are in the human being and i believe we will surprise ourselves in the future as to your types, numbers, and role you play.
The Human Mind
We are different from other life on the planet in that we have a powerful, independent mind. Its bigger than our brain and has consciousness and decision-making powers that you would not believe.
It also runs on its own, and is able to leave behind all physical reality. So it can not only dream of many unbelievable things but also worry about unknown things. We are programmable in that we can be trained to think in any one of thousands of ways.
Do you have goals for yourself? If we are convinced of a goal, then we are ready to kill ourselves to achieve it. And my species has created the most fantastic things on this planet. The problem today is that we have no goals. So another way we motivate ourselves is to destroy enemies, some whom we ourselves create.
Offense and Defense (Health and Sickness)
Now, we are taught that our bodies have cells that protect us and fight invaders. But i want to know that if there are more non-human-body cells with different DNA in my being, how do my defender cells know which of the foreigners are friends and which are not so friendly. There is a lot we don’t know and there is a chance you might know because you seem to slip in and out of our bodies at will.
How many states you can feel yourself in (we think you have 2 or 3)? Which do you prefer? We can be in many states mentally and physically. We have defined a few good states of physical well-being. We also have bad states where we feel bad or pain or things do not work as they are supposed to.
Surprisingly, our mental state often has nothing to do with our physical state. Many humans have mental states that are amazing despite (or because of) having some problems physically. And physically optimum humans may have very fragile mental states.
So we are confused as what is healthy, because only considering physical health is very narrow. But still we make the mistake of narrowing our thinking (or allowing our thinking to be narrowed).
We Have Already Met
There are many rumors about how you came about, whether you were made by some men or mutated on your own. But now you appear in thousands of human bodies.
Most of the time we have no idea that all of you viruses and bacteria are in our bodies. Just like we have no idea of the trillions of other bacteria and viruses in our body. Sometimes our bodies react badly to some bacteria or virus and we bomb our bodies with chemicals that often do more harm than good. You must know, even though you do not seem to get affected, when we send, what must appear to be tons, of antibiotics or other chemicals down our being.
Now We Need To Talk
I realize that there is no need for you to talk to us, but we need to hear from you. You see, you are very special. We have seen many of your type: SARS, MERS, flu, … But now we are in some fog as to what you and your intentions are. There are stories about you getting into 70% of human beings. And causing about 10% of them to die.
This is causing our minds to panic all around the world. Interesting don’t you think? One of your strains, the flu virus is present everywhere and killed more of us this year, but we are not worried about it.
You have been given a story, that you are out to kill us. Is that true? I am learning to be okay knowing that there are more of you in my being than my own cells. Its totally confusing to me as to why you would want us to die, considering what we do daily to feed you and how we keep you at a comfortable warm temperature all the time.
So i would love to learn about you. If my skin and inner surface has so many colonies of bacteria and virus, how do you find a space to come in and establish a community? Is it because in recent times we have started living in such sterile conditions and with so many chemicals that our being has rather few colonies and you can find much desolate space to park yourself in? Or because we eat, what we ourselves call ‘junk food’? Or is it because we have actually destroyed more than half the life on the planet, so you have less things that eat you and you can multiply and spread more easily.
But most of all i would like to hear your intent. If you want to thrive and also want me to thrive, we should be able to strike up a friendship easily. Just like we have done with trillions of your species.
What’s freaking most of us right now is that we have imagined that you are out to kill us all — we have made an enemy out of you. We are trying to find a way to kill you and in doing that we are killing so many of your types and even bacteria, which are so vital to our existence. And we are killing the human spirit. So, for both our sakes, we need to talk. And if it helps, let me tell you that, even though you can’t see it, i am waving a white handkerchief.