Naw Ruz marks the end of the Fast and the beginning of a new year in the Baha’i calendar. Naw-Ruz is a celebration of a “spiritual springtime” that symbolizes both individual renewal and mankind’s revitalization.
Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.
In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.
With the recent pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading globally, and as the situation continues to unfold, I thought it would be timely to get Dr. Robert Kim-Farley on the Baha’i Blogcast. Dr. Kim-Farley is an epidemiologist and a dear Baha’i friend who currently serves as a Professor in both the Departments of Epidemiology, and the Community Health Sciences at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, and from 2004 to 2018, he served as the Director of the Division of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
In this episode, Dr. Kim-Farley (or Dr. Bob as I like to call him), tells us about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and what we know about it so far. He shares some possible scenarios of what could happen in the coming months and gives examples of how certain countries are fighting it. He tells us how we can help slow down the spread of the virus, and he also shares his personal experience in how they were able to completely eliminate polio from Indonesia.
Skip ahead to the 24-minute mark of the podcast if you don’t want to hear any more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and find out how Dr. Bob got into epidemiology, how he discovered the Baha’i Faith, met his wife, and recently joined a rock band.
I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did, and also find it helpful!
To find out more about some of the things we covered in this episode, check out the following links:
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.
A great and timely topic/interview!
Criselda R. Figuerres (March 3, 2020 at 2:31 PM)
It was such a pleasure to listen to this wonderful podcast. I was full of enjoyment while lusten to the stories of Dr. Kimfaley’life and beliefs. Thanks for this.
Haleh (March 3, 2020 at 8:11 AM)
Thank you so much for your comment and glad to hear you enjoyed it!
Naysan Naraqi (March 3, 2020 at 11:50 AM)
This, along with all of the other Blogcast’s, was a delight to the soul. I have just discovered this podcast and found it to be the most beautiful and reassuring accompaniment to my Fast this year. It is not only greatly enjoyable, but very uplifting during this stressful time, and your sincere and organic questioning seems almost telepathic as you always get to exactly what I was wondering! Haha from dozen’s of listeners to millions soon, I’m sure. With much gratitude, a new devoted fan.
Sahba (March 3, 2020 at 6:43 AM)
As a Baha’i myself, it would be great to hear more Baha’i medical professionals speak about some of Baha’u’llah’s and Abdu’l Baha’s statements on health and healing. Here are just a few:
“Treat disease through diet, by preference, refraining from the use of drugs; and if you find what is required in a single herb, do not resort to a compounded medicament. Abstain from drugs when the health is good, but administer them when necessary.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, cited in J. E. Esslemont, “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, 5th rev. ed. (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1987), p. 106)
“Verily the most necessary thing is contentment under all circumstances; by this one is preserved from morbid conditions and from lassitude. Yield not to grief and sorrow: they cause the greatest misery. Jealousy consumeth the body and anger doth burn the liver: avoid these two as you would a lion.”
(Bahá’u’lláh, cited in “Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era”, p. 108)
“When highly-skilled physicians shall fully examine this matter, thoroughly and perseveringly, it will be clearly seen that the incursion of disease is due to a disturbance in the relative amounts of the body’s component substances, and that treatment consisteth in adjusting these relative amounts, and that this can be apprehended and made possible by means of foods It is certain that in this wonderful new age the development of medical science will lead to the doctors’ healing their patients with foods.” – Abdu’l Baha
(“Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá”, sec. 134, pp. 152-156)
Additionally, it is important for individuals to examine financial conflicts of interest and historical scientific fraud within the World Health Organization, the U.S. Government, and multi-national pharmaceutical companies. A few resources of information, to name just a few, include: 1) “Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines and the Forgotten History” by Suzanne Humphris, M.D.; 2) nvic.org, 3) greenmedinfo.com, among many others available.
I’ve really been enjoying Rainn’s podcasts but wanted to share that there are millions of people around the world, including many medical doctors, with a different perspective on disease, contagion, and vaccines. I have 3 very healthy vaccine-free kids, which we decided upon after a deep dive of thorough research. They’ve had measles and chicken pox with no problems, and have strong natural immune systems. Earlier this year the National Spiritual Assembly issued a letter stating that “We hope that the friends will study the attached guidance with care and will recognize that, at present, a range of opinions on this subject is possible. We trust that the friends will rise to principle in this as in all regards and will not allow this matter to become a cause of contention and disunity within our community.”
It is my hope that opinions such as mine, and of many others that I know, including from thousands of legitimate scientific studies from around the world, will receive a warmer reception on this topic in the future, within the Baha’i community and beyond.
Dave W. (April 4, 2020 at 7:49 PM)