The US and COVID-19

This post is actually an update on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, now called COVID-19. Here in Italy we have been in lockdown nationwide since March 10, which is the proper way to handle such an outbreak. We will get to why in due course. But, the particular focus here will be on the United States and its handling of this crisis, which will be reflected in the UK, too. It has yet to really affect the US. But it will, and hard, and that will affect the election and policy into the future, like the need for universal healthcare, for instance. We will examine that, too, and why, as I have many friends and all of my blood relatives in the US. What happens there will be particularly relevant to the world at large. COVID-19, as we have gradually found out, is anything but a ‘mild flu’, as many of our American leaders have tried to paint it.

Before we get into the discussion, however, we can put a few things to rest, starting with a supposed prophesy that has been circulating in social media. It goes like this:

“In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments”.

Firstly, the quote is not from the Dean Koontz book, The Eyes of Darkness. Instead, it is from another book by Sylvia Browne, an American author who claimed to be a psychic, titled, End Of Days: Predictions and prophecies about the end of the world.

The Koontz book originally had the virus coming out of Russia as a bioweapon, thereafter changing the location a few years later to Wuhan after the end of the Cold War. But the symptoms of his disease (‘Wuhan-400’) do not match the present virus. What we have with this type of social media post is a conflation of two stories to sensationalize the virus, rank disinformation and an attempt to smear China. Browne never mentions the location of the outbreak, but she does correctly describe the symptoms. She also made a prediction on the same page about a flesh-eating disease that would surface in 2010, but that one has been around for a long time, and surfaced again in 1996. There are deaths from that sort of disease every year. So, not all of her predictions rang true.

Then, there has been all the talk, again in social and alt-media, about COVID-19 being a type of race-specific bioweapon. There is no proof of this, and as to it being race-specific, that is just utter nonsense. Ask the Italians, who are not Oriental. It kills white people as well as Orientals. So, Americans, British and Aussies take note! And of particular interest with Italy, we have the dubious distinction of having the highest number of cases per million people than any other country. There are quite a number of Italian-Americans and Italian-Australians, too. So again, Aussies and Americans take note, not that it matters. But it does not appear to be a bioweapon, nor is it race-specific.

South Korea, Iran and Norway all have high infection rates per capita as well as Italy. China’s number of cases per capita was actually comparatively low – about a quarter of that of Italy – which again puts pay to the notion of this virus being race-specific. Anyone can be infected. We are all in this together. We are Wuhan.

With those points out of the way, we move on to facts on the ground and then to how this is likely to affect nations like the US, who have lagged far behind in taking any sort of reasonable measures against the pandemic.

The virus has an incubation period of between 2 – 14 days, with an average of 5 days. These are for cases where a person is tested and shown to have the virus. This is a particular problem in the US, where testing is inadequate at best, expensive and in most locations, currently non-existent. The virus can be transmitted when a person is asymptomatic, too. The leadership of the US has not prepared the public for this disease in any reasonable way. There is a problem there and it is easily shown in a graph, below (bigger):

The graph is for Italy. The infection rate is exponential past a certain point if proper measures are not taken. From the graph we see that the first cases were reported in Italy on the 1st of February, at two. Those did not double until three weeks later, on the 21st of February. Then a rapid rise in the number of cases began. The US as of this writing (12 March) is at the place in terms of infection rate that Italy was about two weeks ago.

The number of those infected in Italy doubled about every 3 to four days, standing currently at over 12,000 – 10 times the number of cases of almost two weeks ago. The PM of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, locked the nation down on the 10th for at least two weeks. Movement is highly restricted (machine translate) and all non-essential businesses and services are shut down at least until the 25th of March, depending on how things go.

The question arises then, if there is a lockdown, what can reasonably be expected in terms of the course of the epidemic within any nation? China’s experience gives us some good clues. The Chinese instituted their lockdown of Hubei province (Wuhan) on 23 January. The graph below (bigger) is telling.

The lockdown halted the rapid spread of the virus. The Chinese measures were more stringent than we have in Italy. People had to stay indoors and wear masks in public when they did go out. The overall trend was that after the lockdown the number of reported cases per day stabilized and began to recede after a few days. Few Western nations will adopt such measures.

The UK is a case in point, where Boris Johnson had initially stated that the UK would simply ride the virus out and that the British would likely have to accept the deaths of loved ones, only now beginning to implement the delay phase of the disease. The man is only beginning to get a clue. Meanwhile in Italy, authorities are telling the younger generations to stay home on Friday night and the weekend, because they need to look after their parents and grandparents. The difference in tone is startling.

With an exponential rise in the number of cases and a doubling rate of four days, half of the UK will be infected by the end of June with no stringent measures in place, and the NHS will be overwhelmed long before then. It will be similar in the US, and worse because there is nothing approaching the NHS. It is important to understand the mechanism here. What exactly are we dealing with, then?

Firstly, this is not the flu. It is a version of SARS and in severe cases it causes what would otherwise be described as pneumonia. Most people display only mild symptoms. However, for people over 50 the risk rises considerably. That is why Italy is seeing such high infection and death rates. The average age here is just over 45 years. And the elderly who cannot afford family care are concentrated in case di riposi, or what we used to call ‘old folks homes’. People with pre-existing and autoimmune conditions, especially respiratory conditions, are at high risk as well.

What is needed in terms of care, then? The West in general is ill-prepared, due to cuts in universal health care and austerity measures. And the US has no universal health care, along with a large number of people uninsured. There have been cuts in the NHS in the UK as well. That may be changing after this virus sweeps through. A graph (below, bigger) shows what happens with and without measures, from the CDC:

The US and UK are also cursed with a lack of leadership when it comes to this virus, along with a glaring lack of knowledge among that leadership. A little bit of concern is beginning to show through, but it may be too little too late to prevent severe stress on health services.

From China’s experience, what is needed are a large number of beds and ventilators, as in life-support, high-flow oxygen ventilators, with intubation. There are not enough to go around in the US when this really begins to take off. The problem is not the total number of cases. It is the number of cases that require hospitalization, and most especially critical care.

If left unchecked or too late, the situation will come down to doctors doing triage in emergency rooms when the ventilators are all in use – having to decide who will live and who will die from respiratory failure. The elderly are usually the losers. If you think this is a joke or scaremongering, that scenario is already in play in Italy in the hardest-hit areas. And we have universal health care here.

The public needs to be quickly educated and strongly urged to self-isolate if they think they have come into contact with someone who has the virus. It is spread through close contact, through the breath and contact with the face (nose and eyes). Maintaining a yard (meter) between people in any public place is a must. People who have any sort of respiratory symptoms must wear a mask in public. Better yet, they need to self-isolate as much as possible. Masks are small protection for those who do not have the virus, but it stops the spread of droplets and thus the virus from those who do. The virus can enter through the eyes, so while a mask can cut the risk of getting infected, it is no guarantee.

All public gatherings – schools, churches, sporting and social events, auditoriums, etc. – in infection zones must be shut down, including workplaces if necessary. Only essential services can remain open, and even then they are closely monitored. Warmer weather is not going to kill this virus. It lives in a human body at 98.6°. Isolation and time at this point are the only cures for the society at large. There are no vaccines or otherwise proven cures for it.

Washing the hands often with soap is also a must in terms of prevention, as well as avoidance of touching the face with your hands unless you have first washed them thoroughly. Soap cuts the protein layers on the virus. These are all simple, basic yet effective measures to stop the spread of the virus. And people who test positive, if they can get a test, must immediately be isolated, even from family, usually for around two weeks.

We have seen a lot of posts about people making runs on toilet paper in panic buying. This is not the sort of scenario where that sort of thing is necessary. People who do so are worrying about the wrong end of the matter anyway. The immune system and general health must be supported. Zinc and vitamins C, D and E are a good start, along with a good diet in general and getting enough rest. Health care workers are particularly at risk there, as they are stretched and get overworked and over-tired. I can tell you from experience that when I get over-tired, I usually wind up with a cold and in rare cases, the flu. Get enough sleep!

All this being said, what is likely for the US, astrology-wise? It looks to be quite stressful. The chart with the midpoint directions is below (bigger):

The public mood and attitude during the outbreak is of prime importance. That will determine political outcomes into the future as well as the election in November. We see the directed Mars/Pluto midpoint to the US Ascendant: “Daring and temerity, the desire to face danger. – An accident”. Throwing caution to the wind in this case, as Trump and Boris have initially recommended, is not recommended. What we see instead is an accident waiting to happen with such an approach.

The initial response of the White House to warnings from Alex Azar, head of Health and Human Services, was that, “…the president had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential re-election this fall.” The White House has known all along that COVID-19 would be a major threat, and downplayed the numbers and the threat, as well as discouraging major testing. A worst case forecast by disease modelling experts put the number of deaths from the virus in the US at between 200,000 and 1.7 million, that is, without any intervention. Now we are starting to see some intervention. The administration has shown its hand, and it is not in favor of the people.

With regard to the people, that is partly shown by Mars, ruling the 4th house, and we see a direction of the Moon/Uranus midpoint there: “Excessive ambition, the craving for sensation, lack of self-control, the tendency to act rashly. – Acts of violence. – Injury.” That would tend to indicate things like panic buying, rushing to the hospital at the slightest sign of anything, anti-social behavior and the like. There is also a direction of the Sun/Mercury midpoint to Mars:  “The will to fight life’s battles, the tendency to think critically, agitated thinking. – Excitement or upset, argument, quarrel.” In other words, we are going to see a restive period in the US this year, but we will also see people exhibiting exceptional courage as well.

Pluto is in the 2nd house of the US chart – the nation’s finances. The Trump administration’s attitude toward the pandemic is to cut the payroll tax for the year. This is robbery of Social Security by stealth. Payroll taxes pay for Social Security and Medicare, upon which a large number of retirement-age Americans depend, the people most at risk. Tax cuts are also not going to cut it, nor produce any sort of financial stimulus after the virus has run its course. We have seen how that goes. Tax cuts only reward the wealthy and corporations. The message is clear. The administration is more worried about the economy in an election year than the health of its citizens.

Health care institutions are ruled by the 12th house, and by Pluto in the case of the US. They will be under stress throughout the year, with Saturn (restrictions) transiting back and forth across the US Pluto for the rest of this year. That is also a financial loss indicator as well as a political reset, especially occurring in the 2nd house.

The economy in the US is ruled by Saturn. We see a Venus/Neptune midpoint directed to that Saturn that was exact a couple of weeks ago: “the stage of coming down to earth and of becoming sober again”, relative to finances, as well as the virus. Wall Street is calling for yet more deregulation to “fight the virus” (a.k.a. make more money in the face of a disaster). Finances need to be regulated in times of national emergencies, not given free rein.

Speaking of Pluto, which also speaks of subversion in its lower expression, the US was initially sending 20,000 troops to Europe in the height of the crisis for war games against Russia (?) with other NATO members sending an additional 17,000. It would have been great for the arms trade. But then those US soldiers would have returned to some 20 US states that have military bases. Just think – four people in every tank at close quarters for a few weeks, not to mention pilots in planes and infantry in close quarters. What could go wrong? The money spent on those war games would more than pay for testing and care for US citizens through the crisis. This is the height of carelessness. Since the outbreak, though, the Pentagon has at least scaled the exercises back. Cancelling all of them would be better.

Then, there is a direction of the Uranus/Neptune midpoint to Venus, the latter ruling the 10th house (national prestige and the sitting government) and the 11th house (Congress and American allies). That midpoint is great for occult work, but also points to; “The elimination of the waking consciousness.”

The midpoint in general, under the current conditions, indicates, “Lack of stamina and of vitality, confused psychic states, peculiar inclinations, losses”. That pretty well describes the state of denial about COVID-19 we are seeing with the present administration and Congress. But Venus also rules the 6th house – services – and those services have seen big cuts under this administration It’s about to get very interesting in the US.

Then, we have this curious travel ban from the Schengen area of Europe, now that the UK has left the EU. It has backfired. That has all the appearances of being politically motivated. The UK is facing a high infection rate from the virus. Why is the UK excluded from the ban? It is a question worth examining. For their part – and Americans should be wary – the Johnson administration’s attitude is, “…to encourage ‘herd immunity’. Allow enough of those who can survive coronavirus disease to get infected, and the virus won’t have new people to infect.” Right-O. We’ll see how that works out for you, Boris. With an attitude like that of Boris, the US should be placing a strict travel ban from the UK while the infection runs its course.

Other countries excluded from the ban are Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus, which do not have open borders. But those countries have high infection rates as well. Why exclude them? Again, the ban shows either an ignorance of what is happening, or is politically motivated (Trump calls the EU a big foe), or both.

The travel ban is shown by the transit of Pluto across from the US Mercury (the latter ruling the 9th and 7th houses – foreign relations and trade, and open enemies and litigation, resp.) and is on the Antivertex, suggesting ulterior motives for the ban. The move has caused confusion and anger and in the EU, the latter saying cooperation rather than exclusion is what is needed most right now.

Once the infections rise in the US we may be seeing a similar travel ban from the US to the EU, and from the UK to the EU as the EU begins to recover from the virus. We may also see a shift in relations there when transiting Uranus crosses the bending of the US nodal axis at the end of April. The transits for 13 March are below (bigger):

There are other astrological signatures we could cover, but this is perhaps enough to convey the realities that are about to hit in the US. The average American is only beginning to get an idea of what is to come, with sporting events being cancelled or played to empty stadiums in states with higher infection numbers, panic buying in supermarkets and so forth.

Virtually every state in the union has cases of COVID-19 now. The states of Washington, New York and California are the hardest-hit so far, with Washington taking the biggest hit. The measures being taken in those states are not enough. All public gatherings need to be banned for weeks at a time, not limited, with travel restrictions enforced. As it is, the virus will simply spread. The government is trying its best to play the pandemic down as much as possible, but viruses are indiscriminate and affect those who are weakest.

Still, there is no need for panic. Common sense and calm apply now more than ever. Panic only worsens a situation bad enough as it is. Speaking from Italy, there is little if any panic in evidence here, no runs on groceries or anything else for that matter. There was initially, but it has settled. People have accepted the facts and the measures and are cooperating. We know that this, too, shall pass, and in a matter of weeks. We must protect our elderly, our beloved, the storehouse of our shared wisdom. Throughout this, we are responsible for each other. Perhaps that is one of the great lessons of this virus, that we must act and live as a community, as one humanity. In that way, we overcome our difficulties.

Featured pic from Financial Times

One Reply to “The US and COVID-19”

  1. Thank you again, Malvin for this update that I have been waiting for. I do feel that the greatest virus is the darkness of fear that leads to irrationality. You wrote of 2020. “The overall picture for the year is one of dynamic and revolutionary change, which will force decisions on all sides and in every department of life. What those will entail will depend on the mundane and one’s personal charts. The events that result from the indicators below will represent opportunities to shape the future of our international and personal order in a way not seen in recent years. There will be no turning back from the decisions taken, so it is beholden on all of us to choose wisely!” You went on to write ‘There will be a total of six eclipses in 2020, with three in the Gemini/Cancer months and two more at the end of the year – unusual, but not that uncommon. Then, in addition Ceres will be out-of-bounds (OOB) until 19 February. Mars will pass OOB on 12 February, where it will remain until 4 March, a relatively short OOB period for Mars. It will be conjunct Ceres by declination on 16 February. As such, the 2nd half of February next year will be a period to watch, for violence, calamities and for turning points in world affairs.”
    “The chart for the Saturn/Pluto conjunction shows what we might call ‘a geopolitical earthquake of high magnitude’. It is described in the afore-linked article. The conjunction takes place in 12 January. In addition to what is shown on the chart, we also have the Sun, Mars, Saturn and Pluto all in parallel with each other. At the eclipse two days before, the Sun is in parallel with Saturn and Pluto. Mars may as well be.”
    You also wrote in your Aries Ingress report, “The nodal axis is conjunct the dwarf planet Quaoar, which is on the south node. Quaoar is described in a separate article. In this case, it represents the need for imaginative solutions to problems that have arisen from past actions, and which have sown chaos in the present. We can see that in the needed responses to the coronavirus, especially regarding the broken health care system in the US, and with the financial system, with which Quaoar also seems to have a connection through its transits. Being square the Sun, Quaoar also points to the drive for resolution to such problems and the struggle to resolve the social and emotional woes that beset the planet at the moment, as represented in the moon wobble. But all is not gloom and doom.”
    Malvin, Nick Fiorenza in the LunarPlanner, sidereal astrology, wrote about the Mars activation of the earlier Solar Eclipse point. “Mars Solar Eclipse Trigger
    Mars conjoins the Pholus-Quaoar conjunction at the December 26 Jupiter-Solar Eclipse location in Sagittarius on February 22 UT, just before the New Moon. This creates a few-day window that can catalyze a volatile event. This is just a potential. If some event should occur, the conjunction with Pholus indicates that it would serve as an unexpected catalyst to stimulate change that otherwise would not happen through our (humanity’s) own initiative. Mars conjoins Ketu (the South Lunar Node) on February 25, which can extend this window into the start of the following lunar cycle.”
    He goes on to write about the effects of the New Moon we had recently. “This New Moon and lunar cycle bring emphasis to addressing the needs of the human family without petty and immature judgments that segregate not only people within their own countries but also the entire world and all life within it, which keeps humanity in a perpetual state of conflict. It is about healing the human condition spiritually and physically, problem solving, addressing issues underlying surface symptomatology, and it inspires scientific visionary leadership, academically aware teaching, and philosophical and meditative practices. Perhaps the widespread Coronavirus is the current stimulus toward this end—the virus’s gift to humanity. Discordant conditions in the world are but the manifestation of the discordance within human consciousness. This lunar cycle impels us to establish equipoise within ourselves, which subsequently retunes society’s discordant resonance.”
    Maybe Mars on the earlier eclipse point is like a spiritual bomb going off to wake humanity up to the reality that we are all linked together. There is a Maori proverb here in Aotearoa/New Zealand “He waka heke noa.” A waka/vessel that we’re all in together.

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