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There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat

A mighty lesson for 2020 contained in a classic children’s song.

In the song There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly we follow the actions of a woman who is unable to accept what has happened to her. She decides to fight back against an accidental insect ingestion, which eventually leads to a series of greater catastrophes, and eventually her death. The moral of that story is acceptance and honoring the limitations of our control.

The Orwellian Flu (Covid1984) has caused all sorts of questionable things to be swallowed. We have enacted strict measures intended to save people from the illness, but which may subject them to far worse consequences long term. Our mental and physical health may take more damage from the response than the illness itself in the long run. And the socioeconomic consequences promise to widen the gaps of inequality of wealth and power. Worst of all we have normalized over-reactions based on fear, and manufactured consent for the ruling elite to appeal to our safety while deepening the tools of oppression.

We’re approaching horse-swallowing territory here, and far too many people have their mouths propped wide open. Worse yet, they have become insanely intolerant and judgmental of anyone not doing so.

If you voice any criticism to the patriarchy’s response to the illness, the true believers will instantly reduce you to a caricature of a science-denying, conspiracy theorist. This is quite simply a false dichotomy. There are numerous perspectives between, and outside of, the typical left/right narrative. So let me explain mine to you.

The fly (Coronavirus) is real, however its danger has been over-exaggerated. Sure, there are people who died of swallowing that fly, but more people will suffer is we continue to feast from a buffet of fearful responses. In the end the danger is not what matters. What matters is that we accept what the world throws at us, and try to live quality lives despite of it. We do not let fear send us down a path of response/counter-response until things become so convoluted we choke to death on life-saving.

People will die. That has always been so. Human interactions can create that death, that has also always been so, and always will be. Life is risk. Civilization is risk. But fellowship and cooperation are the greatest strength of our species, and if we throw those under the bus out of fear, we are going to create far bigger problems.

Too many of you have become self-righteous fanatics who believe that the escalating swallowing is a sacred act. It is not. Accept what you cannot control, which is just about everything. Enjoy the life you have while you have it, instead of preserving it for a future that may never come, or if it does — has been made a dystopic hellscape by the insane ‘anything to survive’ attitude generally reserved for antagonists in apocalyptic film and fiction.

And definitely stop using science like a religion to justify your extremism.

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