Monday, March 16, 2020

Don't Let the Coronavirus Panic Control You.

This is madness.

With the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic event that currently has a death-grip on the collective consciousness of the United States, it seems like everything is shutting down or being canceled. Schools, private businesses, government offices, movie theaters, restaurants, sporting events, concerts; I could go on and on. On top of that, people are unnecessarily panic shopping. I went into a Kroger on Sunday to pick up some routine things. What did I see? Tons of shoppers in total panic mode, buying up lunch meat, bread, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, eggs, tuna fish, soup, chicken, and potatoes (and ignoring important items like flour, sugar, yeast, and fresh produce). All this fear is over a head and chest cold that, by and large, might make you sick for a week to ten days.

Short of being a person over age 65, or someone with a weak immune system, this is a routine cold like any other that you shouldn’t be terribly afraid of contracting. It’s no worse than the seasonal flu, bronchitis, or a severe sinus infection. Does the flu kill some people? Sure. Does it kill healthy thirty-year old people? Typically, not. How many Americans did influenza kill in the 2018-2019 flu season? 34,200. How many people have died from COVID-19? 70. Of that 70, most were senior citizens or people with already-weakened immune systems. If the Coronavirus hadn’t of killed them, influenza potentially would have.

The panic that we’re now experiencing has become a form of entertainment. With media outlets wielding COVID-19 like a carrot on a stick, they’re enticing and badgering the public into doing drastic and wholly unwarranted things. This behavior is no different than when meteorologists spend hours trying to “prepare” the public for an oncoming hurricane or blizzard. It’s disaster porn, for lack of a better phrase. The Coronavirus has become a purposeful media sensation. Deep down, most people crave danger and excitement. Accordingly, the Coronavirus feeds that primitive internal desire to feel something perilous.

Who is next to hop on the “I’m Closed Because of the Coronavirus” bandwagon? Let’s face it – that’s all this has become … a bandwagon event.

“Oh, we better say we’re closing next so the public believes we’re socially conscious and responsible.”

You want to be a responsible entity? Carry on and do your job. Quit trying to score “woke” points. Winston Churchill is unquestionably rolling in his grave over this nonsense.

I want to make one concept clear before I continue; I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take routine precautions. And yet, employ the same safety measures that you would with any other cold bug. You should already be washing your hands regularly, as well as not coughing or sneezing onto other people. If you’re already minding your hygiene, then great! You don’t need to do anything else.

The erroneously generated panic of COVID-19 is far worse than the virus itself. Because people are clamoring in fear and doing their best impression of Chicken Little, the stock market has taken a massive hit. Three years of solid gains that brought the American economy roaring back to life have been wiped out over some complete knee-jerk rubbish.

In situations like this, I look to Miyamoto Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings for guidance:
“When your opponent is hurrying recklessly, you must act contrarily and keep calm. You must not be influenced by the opponent.”
Stop letting other people influence your decisions. Be calm in your approach. Think with reason. Totally withdrawing from reality is not going to beat this virus. Coronaviruses have existed in previous forms in the past, and they will continue to exist in new forms in the future. So, what’s different this time around? The media told you to be panicked.

You must not be influenced by the opponent.

Do you understand who your opponent is now? Maybe you’re not ready for that answer… but you should be. More importantly, why is the enemy making you panic and what are they covering up?