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It is all our fault for not listening to the wise people or to history

In the context of the pandemic, health professionals repeatedly expressed their advice about how to avoid new infections and stay healthy both mentally and physically in the middle of a quarantine and an uncertainty future that affects us all, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Among those professionals is an Italian doctor who proposed a "broad and comprehensive" approach to face the pandemic, not only because of its impact as a disease, but also because of its impact on society and the economy. And, in that context, this doctor said, we should look for a cure until we find it.

Some of the tips this Italian doctor shared include eating clean and healthy food, cleaning your hands and things you touch, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.

In addition, the doctor said, it’s necessary to recognize that the pandemic fills our minds with emotions and tensions. And that stress is "where diseases are housed." In other words, it is not just a matter of combating the pandemic itself, although that must be done, but also “the social ills” that aggravate the pandemic must also be fought.

The example provided by this Italian doctor is simple and direct: in order not to get infected, you have to keep yourself clean, but if someone lacks the necessary resources (access to medical care, money to meet the basic needs of life), then contagion cannot be avoided.

The doctor in question, and it is time to say it, is Marsilio Ficino, who lived in the 15th century (1433-1499) and who provided that advice, still valid, more than 500 years ago after plagues and epidemics affected Italy four times during his life. Some of those plagues killed millions and lasted years. 

Let's be clear: half a millennium ago an Italian doctor offered advice against the pandemic that we still use today. However, later it is heard in the media and said by the authorities that "no one could anticipate the pandemic" and that "it took us by surprise, and we did not know what to do."

That is simply a big lie.

It would be better to say that "We have decided to ignore history, recent and remote, and, therefore, we believe that we are the first to live what we now live." Even better, it would be a great moment of honesty to acknowledge that "We prefer to be ignorant and keep others ignorant so we can control them."

Why do we remain ignorant? Because we thought it would never happen to us. We hide behind science and technology and we proclaim ourselves "smart" or, even worse, "smarter" than our ancestors. But then a virus arrives and puts the planet in danger.

Ultimately, we do not listen to the wise or to history because we think we know everything. And that is the greatest sin and the worst miscalculation in which humanity today has fallen: hubris, that excess of which the Greeks already spoke, warning about the destructive narcissism on which it is based.


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