Thanks for Publishing Op-Ed

I appreciate Douglas Zork’s opinion article, “Co-op Community Should be Open to Alternate Approaches to COVID,” and acknowledge Weavers Way for allowing it in the October Shuttle. It can feel lonely being out of sync with so many people I’m in communities with, and Doug’s article speaks to a perspective I’ve been grappling with this year. Resources like Charles Eisenstein’s essay “The Coronation” offered language and a bigger picture of the concepts for which I couldn’t quite find the words.

I believe everyone in the Co-op community (at least a significant percentage) wants the best for themselves and others. Health, feeling safe, fairness and goodness are important to most. But there is still such disconnect between ways we see those notions being realized. 

The COVID philosophy/strategy reminds me of policing, cameras and prisons as a solution to “crime.” And similarly, symbols, rhetoric and data help to build unity around those approaches. Both rely on control - and battle-oriented strategies. 

I have to wonder why we aren’t seeing massive campaigns around boosting our immune systems, exercising in fresh air and sunshine, quitting smoking, eating an unprocessed organic diet, reducing stress, tapping into ancestral healing knowledge and other ways of shifting our lifestyles that make us actually healthier and less vulnerable to viruses.

Folks can be quick to label what they don’t understand or agree with, calling it “stupid,” “selfish” and so on. I’d ask those from various perspectives to give each other grace, assume that we all have the best of intentions and are scared for various reasons — sickness/death, loss of meaningful and enjoyable living, uncertainty, lack of control and loss of freedom. I think to be healthy in a sustainable way will require greater flexibility and being gentle with each other. 

— Lindsay Stolkey