Late June 2020 saw a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the US, predominantly in states which reopened too quickly, or too recklessly, and where social distancing guidelines had not been strictly adhered to. Too early to be considered the vaunted “second wave” of the pandemic, this surge is still part of the initial infectious outbreak. As of June 26, conditions were so bad in Harris County, Texas, home of Houston, that Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s Chief Executive, raised the threat level locally to red once more, issuing a second “stay-at-home” order when Texas Medical Center reported 100% of its ICU beds were filled. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning elective surgery in the county and three others most at risk.
According to NBC News figures, Texas has seen an 83% increase in COVID-19 cases since the prior week. Other emerging hot spots include Georgia (71% increase), Arizona (61%), Oklahoma (50%) and California (35%). With total reported US infections now exceeding 2.5 million, and more than 127,000 deaths, the US remains the world leader in coronavirus cases, almost six months after the virus was first identified. At less than 5% of the world population, the US accounts for roughly a quarter of its infections and fatalities, largely due to delayed and inadequate response by its government. There is still no national program for testing, contact tracing or quarantine, and the same week alarms were sounding on COVID’s resurgence, the Trump administration announced it was pulling funding for testing in key hot spots.
As the ever-shifting cosmic kaleidoscope turns and reconfigures, we find that June 26 provides a useful marker for how COVID-19 is playing out in the US. Coronavirus is best represented celestially by asteroids Koronis, closest phonetically, and Apollo, named for her lover, the deity who was traditional a bringer of plague in Greek myth, while asteroid Asclepius, named for the god of medicine who was the child of Apollo and Koronis, can be used as indicating where healing is most needed.
As COVID-19 stretches its tentacles deep into Red State America, these three points are interacting in a T-Square, with Koronis at 20 Aries squaring Apollo at 17 Cancer, and opposing Asclepius at 14 Libra. Koronis is also moving to square the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction, exact at 24 Capricorn by June 26, a period when COVID-19’s power (Pluto) will be on the increase (Jupiter). Many of the current hot spots have PNAs representing them, which are interacting with this basic structure.
Asteroid Georgia at 16 Scorpio is trine Apollo and in a Yod with Koronis and asteroid Nemesis at 19 Virgo, that point of downfall and ruin, often self-created, with Georgia and Nemesis inconjunct Koronis at its Apex. Asteroid Arizona at 15 Capricorn fills in the viral T-Square to create a PNA Grand Cross, while asteroid Oklahoma at 13 Taurus is sextile Apollo and inconjunct Asclepius. Asteroid California at 19 Gemini is sextile Koronis and trine Asclepius.
The prominence of Texas in the current crisis, and especially Houston, is plain to see, with asteroid Houston at 15 Cancer conjoined Mercury at 12 and Apollo at 17 Cancer, joining the T-Square, making Texas (Houston) a focus of news (Mercury) coverage. Additionally, asteroid Texas at 4 Cancer has just received a solar conjunction, with the Sun now at 5 Cancer, further highlighting the region, while asteroid Harris, the county most affected, appears at 3 Leo, opposing Saturn at 1 Aquarius, representing the hardship, restrictions and privation caused by the virus. Harris County Chief Executive Lina Hidalgo is also present, in the form of asteroid Hidalgo at 11 Libra, in a conjunction with Asclepius which indicates her role as pivotal in the healing portion of the health crisis. Asteroid Lina at 5 Sagittarius is in a Yod with Saturn, Sun/Texas at its Apex, suggesting a fated part to play for Hidalgo (Lina) as Chief Executive (Saturn) of the most heavily populated county in the Lone Star State (Texas).
Hidalgo, just 29, is undergoing her own personal baptism by fire, enmeshed in her first Saturn Return. Born 19 February 1991, Hidalgo’s natal Saturn is at 1 Aquarius, so the Return is exact on Saturn’s recent station retrograde degree. Born in Bogota, Colombia, Hidalgo’s family moved to Texas when she was 15, where she became a naturalized US citizen; natal asteroid Koronis at 11 Pisces is just out of orb of conjunction with her 0 Pisces Sun, but closely squares her Mars at 9 Gemini, showing her as battling (Mars) the virus (Koronis). Natal asteroid Harris at 5 Aries is exactly trine natal Jupiter at 5 Leo, suggesting Harris County as an area of celebrity or fame for Hidalgo, with the transit Sun at 5 Cancer for her reinstatement of the red alert in exact square to natal Harris, highlighting her jurisdiction’s vulnerability. (Hidalgo has already made a name for herself as the first female and Latina head of Harris County; the current coronavirus emergency will doubtless raise her national profile as well.)
COVID-19 will likely increase its visibility and focus globally as the Sun and Koronis move toward their waxing square, exact on July 17th, with the Sun/Apollo conjunction occurring two days later. Likewise, Houston will remain a prominent hot spot, with a solar conjunction beginning in late June and exact on July 18th; the pressure on medical facilities there may not ease until the conjunction wanes in the second week of August, when both points separate by more than ten degrees.
As the eternally changing cosmic kaleidoscope reshuffles yet again, what new locales will emerge as foci of the pandemic? Stay tuned…