Back to The Journey of Health and Well-being for West Virginia and the World


We seek to understand the world around us. Trillions of different inputs are available for us to experience each day - but we don’t process them all.


Encountering new information, we tend to index and organize from previously learned patterns. In other words, we put this new information into a context we can understand.

We create a story or narrative for ourselves.

Unfortunately, relying on these learned patterns limits our ability to keep a world view that includes asymmetric, rare and powerful events – “Black Swan” events - in our model of the world.

This limited world view renders us ill-prepared to deal with the dynamic change that characterizes these Black Swan events. Times of extreme stress on our existing systems.

Like the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are moments of change.

We live in a series of interconnected systems. From the functioning of our DNA, cells, bodies, communities, world and universe, everything is deeply connected to everything else. That is why the butterfly that flaps its wings in South America influences the weather in Europe.

We are interdependent.

Pandemics like COVID-19 impact the foundation of our world and society. They influence and impact these interdependencies. Everything is perturbed at once. Powerfully.

Because of this powerful perturbation, our world and systems begin phase shifting, or changing to a new state of equilibrium.

These events impact us in a myriad of ways. They are the energy for foundational change.

Like Issac Newton said in his first law of thermodynamics, “an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

These Black Swan events are the energy that move objects at rest into motion.

They induce change that is happening right now.

The reality is that we can’t predict the outcomes of these changes, but we can influence them by being either positive or negative attractors.

So, while the recent prediction model from the University of Washington predicts better outcomes than before, do not be fooled to think we can relax into this new future. Don’t be fooled to think we can count on this model as the future.

We are creating the future by our actions. Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.

We are writing our own story, and it is being continuously written.

What we do know is that as we have been inside, our world is healing.  Less pollution, less emissions, cleaner water. 

Photo of a road between two hills of dense trees by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Maybe in these times of great stress, we are able to heal, too.

Like the old saying says, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”

A mindset of abundance. A mindset of possibility. A mindset of hope.

We can remember our foundational gifts.

Health. Freedom. Family. Friends. Wonder. Joy. Gratitude.

While physically separated, we have time to rediscover ourselves. Our connections. Our passions.

To quiet our mind and find our spirit. Our love for ourselves and each other. The abundance of our natural world.

These times of immense change are difficult and we can’t predict the future. But we can enjoy each moment we are graced to experience.

By loving ourselves, each other and our world, we become the positive aggregators that allows us to enter a new world based on love, equality, cooperation, community and abundance.


Stay home. Stay physically separated. Stay strong.

Almost Heaven.