The Washington Post recently published this summary of one of its articles.

The novel coronavirus may be mutating — learning, in a sense — to defeat human protective measures such as masks, soap and perhaps even vaccines, according to the largest genetic study of the virus conducted in the United States.

The study, led by scientists in Houston and released Wednesday before being peer-reviewed, found that the constantly evolving virus has produced a rapidly spreading mutant strain that appears to be especially contagious. “It is well within the realm of possibility that … when our population-level immunity gets high enough, this coronavirus will find a way to get around our immunity,”  a virologist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told The Washington Post. “If that happened, we’d be in the same situation as with flu. We’ll have to chase the virus and, as it mutates, we’ll have to tinker with our vaccine.”

What they did not discuss, because mankind has not yet realized this fact, is that the disease that must be managed is not COVID-19. It is the human ego.

Ego is that force within us that demands that we act for our own self-interest. In order to constantly get what we want when we want it we exploit and harm others. The ego repeatedly mutates itself in order to convince us that this is perfectly acceptable.

We have developed herd immunity to ego’s greed, lust for wealth and power, and the expanding separation among us on all levels—personal and family to international relations. The basic virus that invades our societies is the shattering of our relationships with each other.

The positive news is that the vaccine for the real disease of mankind already exists, it just hasn’t yet been packaged and distributed among the people. It’s a vaccine guaranteed to be safe and effective and each of us can administer it to one other. It is the most basic law of nature and of all great religions. Love one another.

The inner life of so many of us in the 21st century is full of fear, frustration, petty hates and disagreements, anger, and the horrible phenomenon we are witnessing of turning family and friends against each other based on polarized opinions. These attitudes attach to the egoistic receptors inside our very being and spread there.

In the same way that we haven’t been able to kill COVID-19, we cannot kill the ego. But like “the flu,” we can manage it. The flu we all carry within us is separation from one another. The presence of the coronavirus is giving us a time of rest during which we can discern the nature of the real problem and prepare to manage it.

We have to chase ego, so to speak, so that we may tame it. When we encounter ego at work—hating another, arguing our point of view, posting derogatory memes, harming another’s reputation, marching against something, choosing sides—the first step is to see it for what it is. It is the force that seeks self-benefit and satisfaction regardless of the cost to others. As soon as we decide not to follow it, it will mutate to a stronger strain of itself. It seems to have a greater will to survive that we do.

We have to create an inner attitude that gradually grows until it has more power than the egoistic mindset. Ego will not go away, but we can create an opposite force that keeps it at bay, a vaccine of loving kindness. It is the development of the conviction that only the opposite of separation will help us, then a habit of visualizing how we can connect together. We tinker with this vaccine until it becomes one that is strong and safe and effective against the debilitating disease of separation from one another. We call the vaccine CONNECTION.

If our future holds adapting to living with COVID-19 in our midst, we are then armed with the antidote to the disease of mankind that underlies even that virulent little scrap of genetic material. Our actions of kindness, helpfulness, cooperation, collaboration, and all others that are meant to connect us will flow out of us. It is being for something—love and connection—and against nothing. We will know what the disease is and vaccinate each other against it.