Coronavirus forces us to replace chaos and fear with clarity and purpose

Be the pebble, make some ripples

Chaos, as a brand, is dead


Trump’s brand is chaos. And we are easily distracted. As a species, we’re hard-wired to always look out for threats. We now seem to be at peak threat level, with existential crises ubiquitous. Climate change may yet cause the extinction of humanity. Terrorists and dictators threaten massacres and even nuclear war. Economies and stock markets are stalled or collapsing. And now a viral pandemic has the entire world on edge, on pause, or on the front lines against an invisible enemy that sweeps through cities like the angel of death.

So those are 4 significant threats hanging over pretty much everybody right now, kind of like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We are at risk of a malaise falling upon the world. But the good news is that all these problems are made by us, and can be fixed by us. We just need to recognise the origin of chaos and who benefits from it. Then we need to get up, stand up, do something different.

We can offset our carbon dioxide with hemp

Photosynthesis: Water + Carbon Dioxide + Sunshine = Carbohydrate + Oxygen!

It will take years to reimagine an economy that isn’t built around oil. But we must do it. In the meantime, hemp absorbs 10 tons of CO2 per acre. CO2, carbon dioxide, is the main exhaust gas from fossil fuels that causes climate change. Photosynthesis turns the CO2 back into oxygen, and it’s awesome. So we just plant enough hemp to stop climate change in its tracks, buy enough time to cut our dependency on Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and the other oil and gas producers.

We need to cut the arms trade, and stop selling to Saudi Arabia

Trump’s first foreign trip as US President was to bend the knee to the Saudi king.

The Saudis have spent the past decade becoming the world’s largest arms importer. So then they started a war in Yemen, tried to pick a fight with Qatar, meddled in the Syrian War. It’s all ended in tears, of course. Mainly the tears of starving, diseased, bombed Yemeni children. The US and Britain are the biggest arms-dealing beneficiaries of Saudi blood money. Shame on you.

Make weed, not war!

Forget bailing out the markets, bail out humanity!

Stop bailing out the fat cats! Share the wealth!

The Fed just tossed $1.5 trillion at the markets without a second thought. The money disappeared into the bond market, or wherever, and kept the Ponzi scheme going for a little longer. But what would that $1.5 trillion mean for the average American instead? $4,587 for every man, woman and child, that’s what**! Cash handouts for normal, working people will come eventually, probably everywhere. The right-wing British Government is going to pay 80% of wages for everyone who would otherwise lose their job. In Britain, as elsewhere, entire industries have shut down completely, possibly for many months (time of writing: late March 2020). This unprecedented move is actually bringing us closer to Universal Basic Income, UBI.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s caretaker Government is offering 200 measly Euros a week to anyone who’s lost their job*. This from a country that is NUMBER 4 RICHEST IN THE WORLD! Admittedly, much of Ireland’s wealth is nominal, in that it reflects tax avoided by US tech corps, such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. These companies and many more shuffle their EMEA profits through Ireland, which has a corporation tax rate of just 12.5%. But get this: A tax-dodging loophole called the ‘double Irish’ allows companies to dodge even the 12.5% local tax! Still, whichever way you cut it, Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and every Irish worker deserves 100% of wages paid by the State until the coronavirus crisis is averted. And let’s get real: The economy should serve the people, not the other way round. Let’s embrace the potential for a new economic model, with a UBI for all and a new way of measuring what really matters in our societies.

It’s a simple, profound question: What is our purpose, individually and collectively?


Soap and UV rays kill the virus

Wash your hands a lot, practice social distancing and follow guidance from your health authority and the WHO.

Contrary to ‘fake news’, cannabis/weed does not kill the coronavirus. Neither does drinking alcohol. Soap and water, and alcohol hand sanitizer do kill the virus. And so does UV (ultraviolet) radiation in sunshine! Cannabis and hemp, and the chemicals the plants produce, such as CBD and THC, are currently being studied for their antibacterial properties and potential use as a treatment for infections***.

No ‘back to normal’

When the coronavirus crisis is dealt with (bring on the vaccine!), politicians will tell us we must get back to normal. Well, normal sucked for most, and it is no longer acceptable. The majority of people live paycheck to paycheck while 1% of the population enjoys obscene wealth, often accumulated with the destruction of the planet as a byproduct.

Existential threats, like the coronavirus, force us to consider what our existence actually is. And that’s good. No ‘back to normal’.

UPDATE, 24/03/20: *Irish Government has increased payout to coronavirus-laid-off workers to โ‚ฌ350 a week. Government ministers seem thrilled that this is close to regular pay rates for people employed in retail and hospitality sectors. Which shows how clueless they really are.

UPDATE, 27/03/20: **The United States approved a $2 trillion stimulus, the biggest in its history. Individuals will get up to $1,200, and billions go to hard-hit industries like airlines, as well as to hospitals.

UPDATE, 06/04/20: The United Nationsโ€™ biodiversity chief has called for a global ban on wildlife markets โ€“ such as the one in Wuhan, China, believed to be the starting point of the coronavirus outbreak โ€“ to prevent future pandemics. Read more:

UPDATE, 25/04/20: ***Israeli researchers are conducting clinical trials with CBD and THC around their anti-inflammatory properties, and how they might work with steroids to help save critically ill coronavirus patients. See link below for more.

Now learn more

Forbes on Finding Serendipity During The Coronavirus Pandemic:

Read this fab Wikipedia article about viruses. Includes photos!

The human virome is pretty mindblowing:

The scale of the global arms trade, Amnesty:

5 things you can do today to help stop climate change.

Study: CBD helps antibiotics fight resistant bacteria:

Israel Researchers Believe CBD Could Play Crucial Role In COVID-19 Treatment:

Try our awesome carbon offset calculator tools.

Wikipedia, List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita:

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All GIFs sourced from and used under artistic licence.

Gary J Byrnes

By Gary J Byrnes

Gary J Byrnes is a bestselling thriller writer by night and a tech marketing guy by day. Extensive international experience in software startups, SMEs and multinationals. Find on LinkedIn. Has researched hemp, climate change for over twenty years. Writer, blogger, parent, animal lover. 2022 is about building a new business model to enable mass planting of hemp through easy carbon offsetting at

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