The historic circumstance raised by COVID-19 and the realization that it’s a circumstance affecting the entire human race puts a lot in perspective about our place in the natural world. We tend to live under the myth that this, the wisest-of-all human civilizations has risen above and transcended nature — only to be reminded that nature ultimately sets the rules on what we can or cannot do. The freedom to infect is no freedom. It is taking license on matters that nature places off bounds. Now to ponder — this crisis is just a small dress rehearsal for the far more radical demands nature will make of us as our failure to avert global warming looms ever larger.
Sometime around the period of human evolution when the species was designated Homo sapiens neaderthalensis we find the first evidence of care of the injured and burial of the dead. There is some evidence that artifacts included in the burials were for the ‘afterlife’. This may have been the invention of ‘fantasy’. Regardless of the exact time of origin, fantasy or stories about the world and death became an aspect of most cultures. Harm was limited in scope. When metabolic energy was supplemented or even replaced with unlimited sources such as fossil fuel humans were able to act of fantasy without limit. This is the per-historic origin of our ecological crisis.