Spring has sprung again. We just finished two straight days with high temperatures above 70-degrees, but no Indian Spring conditions yet. As I write this post, the temperature outside our dining room windows is 40 degrees with a bracing north breeze. The approach of spring also brought West Virginia its first confirmed Coronavirus case, however it occurred a full four days after every other state in the nation recorded one. Now Coronavirus hysteria has gripped the nation, and our economy is being shut down for the duration. They suggest it will last “at least” two weeks, but in the spirit of the 1986 movie, “The Money Pit,” I’m sure the economic furlough will last far longer, perhaps causing a global depression. I find myself wishing that the fear spawned by this pandemic would motivate people to recognize a need to strengthen our human immune systems by consuming more natural (rather than processed) foods, but I guess that is asking too much. Such a philosophical movement in that direction would be of great service to our initiative to remove West Virginia’s standing prohibition on direct farm-to-consumer raw milk sales.
Now that the 2020 Legislative Session has ended in West Virginia, it is my sad duty to report that our second attempt to adopt the WV Farm Fresh Dairy Act has failed. At least I can feel somewhat consoled by the knowledge that we gained legislative support for the bill this year. Where we had only one Senate sponsor and six House sponsors for the bill last year, we gained sponsorship support from an additional six Senators this year. Although I was told the bill did not make it out of Committee, I am still waiting to learn if a study resolution was approved that would allow it to remain active during the summer for further discussion and assessment. I realize that it is not likely that will occur (even if a study resolution was approved) because virtually all social gatherings are being cancelled in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Given those delays, it is more likely that we will need to start from scratch again in 2021—assuming the virus will not intervene again then.
I managed to publish my latest book, Country Life at Peeper Pond Farm, which chronicles our retirement homestead farming adventures and our efforts to change West Virginia law. The book is available in Kindle format through Amazon.com, which I’m sure many of you will be using regularly for your routine purchases during the economic shutdown. I hope you’ll want to peruse it and learn why we advocate so strongly for open consumer sales of unprocessed milk.
I encourage you—in fact, I beg you—to think carefully and critically about our growing dependency on drugs, penicillin, and sanitizers to combat all the harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses we fear. Our human immune systems were designed to help us develop long-term immunities to them and survive. I understand that many people may die from the Coronavirus that might have lived had it not occurred. However, the Coronavirus and other harmful germs and bacteria have an effective defense system to fight our ongoing efforts to eradicate them by developing stronger and stronger antibiotics and sanitizers. They multiply over such short periods of time that they create many new generations each day, which allows them to mutate quickly into far more drug-resistant and deadly forms. That’s why so many so-called “super-bugs” have emerged. At the same time, we overuse our antibiotics and sanitizers in a way that shields our human immune systems from effectively developing the immunity we need to protect us. In the final analysis, we are creating stronger, more virulent germs, bacteria, and viruses at the same time we send signals to our immune systems that they are no longer necessary. That is why we believe that unprocessed milk is far better for us (over the long run) than processed milk.
This is a pattern of behavior that could result in more deaths over time than we will ever see from the Coronavirus. I firmly believe our lives are better served by working within the natural system that surrounds us rather than fighting against it. People will always die; they’ve been doing so throughout recorded time and will continue to do in the future. I will even die of something, whether it is the Coronavirus, a car accident, cancer or just old age. However, I feel our lives will be better served by living the way nature intends for us to live. None of our individual lives are more important or critical to the future of life on this planet for us to stand defiantly in nature’s way. I’m sorry if that’s not a comforting thought for you at this time. However, as I have stated repeatedly in my farm website posts, I am a farmer, and I will deal with reality on its own terms. I hope you can find the strength and integrity of character to do the same.