It’s been described that we’re at war to fight the corona virus. However, this is a two-virus war and the viruses attack from different fronts — one the body and the other the mindset. The corona virus attacks the body and there’s no cure yet. The other virus attacks the mindset and for that a vaccine is broadly available and it is free. In a previous post, I called this second virus the “oralonea” virus. It attacks by thinking in “Or” alone and prevents access to sustainable solutions and other creative responses to challenges. Typically, symptoms show up as false-choice questions like so many in our current news cycle:

Public Health/Safety Needs OR Economic Needs?

Do We Protect Businesses OR Do We Protect Workers?

Speed of Stimulus Relief OR Accountability/Oversight of Stimulus Relief?

Take Care of Individual Needs OR Take Care of Collective Needs?

Applying the “And” thinking vaccine — the start of creative sustainable solutions:

Public Health/Safety AND Economic Needs (NOTE: Some creative suggestions for High-leverage Action Steps may be found here)

Protect Businesses AND Protect Workers

Speed for Stimulus Relief AND Accountability/Oversight for Stimulus Relief

Self Care AND Care for Others

Care for Parts AND Care for the Collective

Information Accuracy AND Response Implementation

Science Focus AND Social Focus

Physical/Social Distance AND Emotional Connection

In a previous post, I shared how the US Army is touting a book on how to prevent war that discusses the oralonea virus. The authors don’t refer to it exactly as “oralonea” — but pretty close. They called it thinking only in either/or outcomes and their mathematical modeling research shows how using either/or thinking exclusively means another world war would be inevitable. (REMINDER–WE’RE IN A WORLD WAR…) They advocate that by using both/and thinking a dynamic resolution can be achieved. (“Empirical Paradox, Complexity Thinking and Generating New Kinds of Knowledge”).

In another previous post, I referred to  PARADOX & POLARITY: TOOLS FOR MANAGING COMPLEXITYby Tod A. Roy of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Published under the NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY JOINT FORCES STAFF COLLEGE – Advance Warfighting School, the paper is listed on JPME (Joint Professional Military Education) — a source of potentially valuable lessons learned and for military academic research results. In this award-winning paper Roy says, “The US military must change the way it thinks about change and move from linear binary either/or thinking and problem solving to considering the inherent contradictions and complexities in today’s security environment. Using paradox theory and polarity management provides a fresh perspective and demonstrates an adaptive change in viewing and managing complex security conditions.”

As for the Calvary in the here and now, it’s us…doing all we can to supplement “Or” thinking with “And” thinking. Barry Johnson’s new book “And, making a difference by leveraging polarity, paradox, or dilemma” is being printed. It’s not the savior, but it’s another source and the best one in my view to point the way. Knowing it’s on the way gives me hope and comfort in these difficult times. I need to know there’s potential to address our individual and collective failure to leverage our global tensions — failures that have resulted in disproportionate reliance on a few who fight the battles for us on the front lines of this war and others (climate comes to mind). Without hope, I can’t deal with the pain of knowing how the impact of our individual and collective failures to leverage our global polarities falls as it does so often, on those who are least able to bear its burdens.

I confess what most keeps me awake at night right now is the rampant and undiagnosed oralonea virus. For that, the cure is available but it’s not used and complicates our response to preventing and treating viruses like corona, for which we don’t yet have a cure. Both viruses raged yesterday (Tuesday, 3/24) — the deadliest single day in the US with 160 people dying, which raised the total to 704 out of 52,976 reported cases. it was also New York’s deadliest day with 210 deaths 25,665 cases representing 7 percent of the global tally. Congress was in day four debating a 2T stimulus. How we focus on both poles of these polarities is more important that whether to focus on one OR the other. How can we use the best of both thinking competencies — leveraging “And” polarities and solving “Or” problems, at the same time? How can both thinking competencies help us leverage the global tensions and priorities in Public Health/Safety AND The Economy? One thing is for certain. Individual and collective resilience and the capability of nations and united nations to navigate our challenges demands beating both viruses to heal our bodies and minds. Not to mention our our emotions and spirits. For more on the wellbeing multarity of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual–HERE YOU GO>

Public Health/Safety

Health officials continue to call for stricter — not looser — restrictions on public interactions. When asked at the briefing about conservative commentators who have suggested that some human lives could be sacrificed in the service of restarting the economy, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “We’re not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable.” He later tweeted, “My mother is not expendable. Your mother is not expendable. We will not put a dollar figure on human life. We can have a public health strategy that is consistent with an economic one. No one should be talking about social darwinism for the sake of the stock market.”

The Economy

In 3/22 tweet Trump said, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick seemed to agree, repeating his call on 3/24 for the country to soon return to work, despite the potential health risks from the ongoing spread of novel coronavirus. “My message is that let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it,” And those of us who are 70 plus, we’ll take care of ourselves. But don’t sacrifice the country.”