In life we have risks, no matter what we do, where we go or how we live.
In a compelling essay talking about Americans’ fear of COVID-19, a physician with more than 25 yrs in practice explains how fear can kill us, even more so than coronavirus.
From a physical standpoint, fear can manifest as high blood pressure that can provoke other symptoms.
Psychologically, it can present as a number of different emotional states that can lead people to make poor decisions as they worry about how to face the fear.
“Fear is far deadlier and a more contagious disease than COVID-19,” writes Dr. Jeffrey Barke. “Isn’t it time we stopped living our lives and dictating what we can and cannot do based on fear of every new danger? Instead, shouldn’t we let each individual decide what risks he is willing to take?
As examples, Dr. Barke notes the economy was not shut down in Y 1968 when Hong Kong flu killed 4-M people worldwide, in fact, the epic, 3-day-long Woodstock Festival was held in New York during that time.
Likewise, we did not close schools, mask everyone up or shut down the economy in Y 2009, when H1N1 killed 500,000 people worldwide, either.
The US death facts, as follows:
- Every year, 30,000 to 40,000 Americans die in automobile accidents, yet none of us is willing to give up cars to avoid the possibility of dying in a crash.
- Heart disease kills more than 600,000 of our fellow citizens annually, yet we continue to eat fast food and pack on extra pounds.
- Diabetes puts more than 80,000 Americans into their graves each year, yet we do not ban the use of sugar, processed and junk foods.
- Close to 50,000 Americans take their own lives annually, yet we have instituted COVID-19 policies that have increased the incidence of suicide to the highest levels seen since the Great Depression.
- Millions of children are infected with influenza each year, and hundreds die from the disease. But we have never closed our schools or insisted on masking the population to prevent the spread of flu.
- Child abuse and child sex-trafficking are at record levels in this country, and many specialists believe that it is due, in part, to our schools being closed while adults are unable to go their normal daily routines.
We are Americans: the freest, most prosperous society in the history of the world. We fought to end slavery, losing over 600,000 Americans in the Civil War. We fought in 2 world wars and played a dominant role in winning both. Those wars cost the lives of more than 500,00 Americans.
We take risks to enjoy the freedom they gave us or at least we used to. We ride motorcycles, skydive, climb mountains, and drive too fast. We eat the wrong foods, drink too much alcohol, and live in ways that are often not healthy, and we cherish our right to do so.
“Better safe than sorry” has not been elevated to a national motto. It does not appear on any flags; no one is rushing to buy T-Shirts emblazoned with those words. But “Live Free or Die“? That’s a different story. It is the motto of the state of New Hampshire and was a colonial rallying cry. The words “and the home of the brave” end the National Anthem. Do we still believe that it is?
Fear is far deadlier and a more contagious disease than COVID-19. Fear raises our blood pressure to unhealthful levels; fear influences us to make poor decisions. We fear being criticized, we fear exposing our ideas, we fear offending others, and we fear being infected by a virus that is not more deadly than viruses of the past.
You should not fear COVID-19. You should properly prepare and protect the most vulnerable in your homes, your businesses, and society, but you should join everyone else in living your life in maximum liberty with commonsense protections and precautions.
Stop listening to those who want you to stay in a state of chronic fear. Turn off the mainstream media constantly using fear to capture your attention. Do not let those who want power over our lives to gain more of a foothold in Washington.
Turn on friendships and optimism and life, turn on church and community and hope. Live with purpose, and fear fatigue will never become a problem.
In the immortal words Franklin D Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself!“
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively
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