Article originally published in “Das Goetheanum” , March 13th, 2020.
Translation: Tascha Babitch
For veterinarians, corona viruses are part of daily life, but now the corona virus SARS-CoV 2 has crossed the barrier
to humans. What is a virus, how does it attack the human organism, and how can we respond?
Viruses are closely linked to the organism’s physical body. They originate from the substance of the genome and, like
the genome, can influence the metabolism of cells, thereby making them alien to the organism. If an infection occurs,
viruses penetrate into the organism. The organism recognizes that certain cells are made alien by the viruses, beginning
to do something other than what is best for the whole. It begins to turn against these cells in order to eliminate them.
This is what creates the symptoms of the disease that now breaks out: the organism is trying to get rid of the infected
cells so as to get rid of the viruses that have invaded, by employing, for example, coughing, fever, and phlegm. Anyone
who dies of a viral infection can therefore also be seen as a victim of their own immune defense, whose regulation is an
expression of the individual “I-organization”, the I-presence in the body.
Alienation from the body
The more a person is already in a situation where the physical body is becoming alien to her or him, the more susceptible
she or he is to this viral disease, now called COVID-19. Of course, this is especially true at a higher age, when bones
shrink and muscle mass decreases, or in the case of chronic illnesses.
Coronavirus infections are particularly difficult to treat in people over 80 years of age, and people with type II diabetes
or cardiovascular diseases. The less I am present in my body—the less it is completely permeated by me in this sense—
the more easily the infection can spread in the body and the more serious the consequences can be. Of course, how a
person who has tested positive is treated is important. Sick people are often abruptly removed from their home
environment and were initially treated in China with many other sick people in improvised accommodation. Un-
fortunately, conventional medicine has no helpful medication and no vaccine to offer in this case. Often, fever is reduced
using medication. However, in severe cases, oxygen support and, if necessary, temporary mechanical ventilation can
save lives, which is why it is important that clinical care concentrate on more seriously ill patients.
Based on everything we know here, anxiety and antipyretic treatment make patients sicker rather than healthier. What
helps people overcome the illness is everything that helps them better penetrate and warm their body, and be able to
feel more at home in it. Therefore, it is not surprising that the disease is hardly dangerous for children. This is also true
up to the age of 50, where the course of the disease usually corresponds to that of a normal flu. Coughing, rhinitis and
fatigue are the typical early symptoms. In addition, pneumonia can be a dangerous aspect of the disease, which is
initially recognizable mainly by a higher respiratory frequency.
Relationship to the Sun
This virus has particularly negative characteristics from a medical point of view. It can take a very long time for the
organism to wake up and notice that there is a foreign guest on board, threatening to cause harm. There is a known
case ofthe illness in which the disease only broke out 27 days after infection. On average, however, this period is 5 days,
and 95 percent of all cases manifest after 12.5 days. Therefore, those affected are quarantined for a long period of two
weeks. This virus is also more contagious than a normal flu virus. On average, one person with the normal flu virus
infects 1.3 other people, whereas someone with the corona virus is more likely to infect 3 other people (for a highly
infectious disease such as measles or whooping cough, the figure is 12 to 18). The infection rate is therefore higher than
with influenza, and it also takes longer to manifest. The combination of these characteristics, which favor an epidemic
spread, make physicians worldwide nervous.
Relationship to the animal kingdom
However, one big puzzle arises: Where do these apparently novel viruses come from and why did they develop?
Interestingly enough, many of the viruses come from animals. The corona virus probably comes from the Javanese bat.
So why do viruses from the animal kingdom become dangerous for humans? We are currently inflicting untold suffering
on animals: Mass slaughter and experimentation on laboratory animals causes pain that the animal kingdom is helpless
to bear. Can this suffering lead to consequences that alter viruses that are native to the animal organism? We are used
to only looking at the physical and to seeing it as mostly separate from the mind and emotions. Research on intestinal
flora, on the microbiome, which includes not only bacteria but also viruses, proves the opposite. This raises not only the
microbiological question of the origin of the virus, but also the moral question of how to deal with the animal world.
Rudolf Steiner pointed out these connections more than 100 years ago. Today it is up to us to investigate these
relationships and to ask deeper questions in addition to scientific analysis.
What can we do?
There are a number of measures we can take in our personal lives to help our organism overcome the disease. These
include abstaining from alcohol, moderating sugar consumption, and maintaining a rhythm of life with sufficient sleep
and an active relationship with the sun. What our immune system often suffers from is a lack of sunlight, a deficiency
that is most severe in the month of March. Seen over the year, the highest mortality rate in our latitudes therefore falls
at the end of March. This is related to the lack of sunlight during the winter months and reminds us that it is extremely
worthwhile to go outdoors every day and in winter, if possible, at noon, to connect with the periphery, with the elements
of the cosmos. When founding Anthroposophic Medicine, even before vitamin D was discovered, Rudolf Steiner used
tuberculosis as an example to explain this in detail. It is true that for the immune system, vitamin D tablets can only
replace the absorption of sunlight to a limited extent. Potentized phosphorus and correspondingly potentized meteoritic
iron in the morning can also support the immune system as light substances. For those who are older and may have to
deal with cardiovascular diseases, anthroposophic basic remedies for the cardiovascular system, regular walking and
sufficient sleep are also recommended. Those who sleep less than six hours are much more susceptible to such
A healthy breathing between human beings
If illness occurs, quarantine is currently recommended, although mild cases can now be treated at home. It seems
important to me that Anthroposophic Medicine has decades of experience in treating viral and bacterial pneumonia
without antibiotics, with anthroposophic medicines and external applications which can be extremely effective. The
physicians in the Medical Section have put together a treatment plan and made it available to international medical
What weakens the lungs? Two things: a lack of relationship to the earth and the sun, and social tensions. It is therefore
advisable to protect your own lungs, this respiratory organ, from the inside and outside by trying to balance social
tensions. In my view, those who are in unresolved social conflicts are increasingly at risk here. Medicine has promoted
the belief that vaccinations can protect against all infections. This is a mistake. Even the flu vaccination only offers a
protection rate of 10 to 30 percent; careful hand washing and hygiene for nose-blowing and coughing are just as
effective – without possible vaccination side effects. So, it is an important step to break away from this fearful, defensive
image of the environment and our own body and to ask what we, ourselves, can do to support their vitality and integrity.