Author Topic: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses  (Read 3757 times)

J. Thomas Shelley

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Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« on: November 23, 2021, 04:19:59 PM »
https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2021/11/23/fear-is-deadlier-than-viruses-n2599517

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The most famous words of Franklin Roosevelt, America's longest-serving president, were, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

One wonders if any world leader would or could say that today. We live in the Age of Fear.

All of my life, I thought love and hate were the two most powerful human emotions.

But owing to recent events, I have changed my mind.

I now understand that for most people, fear is the strongest emotion.

In fact, I've come to realize that it is possible to get people to do anything if you instill enough fear in them. Specifically, irrational fear.

Fear of COVID-19, for example, is rational. But media and governments induced irrational fears. That's why millions of healthy people stayed indoors for a year or more, why a vast number of people wore masks while walking or sitting alone outdoors, and why so many parents did not allow their young children to play with other children for a year or more, even though the COVID-19 mortality rate among children was considerably less than the flu's mortality rate among children.

All of this was caused by irrational fear. It turns out that fear is not only more powerful than love and hate; in most people it is more powerful than reason. And when it is, it is far more destructive -- to the individual and to society -- than rational fear.

What is rational fear? When a soldier fears going into battle, that is rational. Soldiers cannot allow fear to control their behavior, but their fear is not irrational. If a mugger points a gun at you, it is rational to feel fear. If you are diagnosed with cancer, it is rational to experience fear.

Rational fear is not necessarily a bad thing. It is irrational fear that does the most harm -- to yourself, to others and to all of society.

The Salem witch trials of the 17th century exemplified irrational fear leading to evil: the killing of women who were believed to be witches.

You would think that the Enlightenment of the 18th century, with its focus on reason and science, would have led to a great lessening of irrational fear.

It hasn't.

To cite a number of examples, an unknowable (but not small) number of Americans -- usually among the best educated -- prohibited their parents from seeing their grandchildren, either because the grandparents or the grandchildren were not vaccinated. They did this despite the fact that the number of young people infected with COVID-19 was close to zero and despite the fact that there were extremely few cases of children infecting adults. Sweden kept its schools open for all students under the age of 16 throughout the pandemic, and studies have since confirmed that the risk to Swedish teachers of infection by students was extremely low. Such is the power of irrational fear.

To take another contemporary example, many people have decided not to have children because they fear that a warming planet represents an "existential threat" to life. Now, it is rational to be concerned about climate change, but it is irrational not to have children because of it. And it gets even more irrational. Their parents often support this decision, despite their deep yearning to be grandparents.

Irrational fear is also a major source of hatred. People hate what they fear. It was Germans' irrational fear of Jews -- people who made up under 1% of the German population -- that led to the unique evil known as the Holocaust.

Given the awful power of fear, what can you do to be less fearful?

The first thing you must do is determine whether your fears are rational or irrational.

And that can only be accomplished by thoroughly studying the issue -- whatever it happens to be: global warming, a pandemic, racism or any other divisive subject.

For example, black people are told to fear white police because white police are racist and want to do them harm. This is largely an irrational fear. It is well-documented that in any given recent year, the number of unarmed black Americans killed by police is under 20 -- nearly all of whom posed serious threats to the lives of the policemen who killed them.

Another example: Credible scientists and other experts who acknowledge that global warming is taking place, but contend that it is not an existential threat to life, are dismissed as "anti-science" and their views suppressed. Read them, and many of your fears will be allayed. (You might even decide to have children.)

Most fears are stoked by governments and their allies in mass media and in Big Tech, who in turn suppress contrary opinions. Therefore, please understand that when you hear only one opinion, and that opinion is designed to make you afraid, there is a good chance that your fears are irrational.

Determining whether your fears are rational or irrational is one of the most important things you will ever do. The quality of your life and the life of your society depend on your making that distinction.

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Charles Austin

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2021, 05:57:46 PM »
But the virus is a real threat, just as real as the mugger with a gun or the enemy soldier across No Manís Land.
The exact level of the threat may not be known, but the threat is real.
And there is the risk/benefit factor. Or maybe itís the fear/ďbraveĒ factor.
Go ahead. Do not fear when your unvaccinated children who go to school with 800 other children visit their grandparents (when grandma is a cancer survivor) and sit on their laps. Be brave. Maybe they wonít bring the disease to someone for whom it might be fatal.
It is not fear that keeps me from driving 90 miles per hour. (I tried it once.) itís common sense.
Hey, guys! I have never been so afraid of my house being invaded that I bought a gun.  I have never feared, even though at times I have had to wander dicey parts of New York and New Jersey, being attacked to the level that I sought a carry permit.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Dana Lockhart

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 01:43:03 PM »
We are approaching 800,000 deaths in the US alone.

At the present moment, this virus is killing more people every three days than 9/11 did.

It has killed more than the entire opioid crisis.

Soon, every new car will be required to have a backseat monitor as a standard safety feature, because there have been 1,000 instances of babies dying from being left in the backseats of cars in the last 30 years. Where are the editorials decrying this overblown fear?

And at what point do these obtuse editorials stop? When Covid kills more than the combined combat fatalities of all wars fought by the United States? Would it be a real and rational fear then?

I think our response, as a nation, to 9/11 was excessive and ill-considered. But I also remember what those days were like, the real concerns that further attacks were imminent... you can only judge actions based on the information available to leaders at the time.

And given what we know about Covid, and what could have happened, and what might yet still happen, I think our leaders have managed as best they can. And they have done so despite the this persistent denial of the reality and lethality of this virus...  It's just a bad flu year... what's all the fuss about?

800,000 deaths later... a decade's worth of bad flu years in under 2 years... I think we should give this a rest.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 01:50:24 PM by Dana Lockhart »

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 02:48:52 PM »
We are approaching 800,000 deaths in the US alone.

At the present moment, this virus is killing more people every three days than 9/11 did.

It has killed more than the entire opioid crisis.

Soon, every new car will be required to have a backseat monitor as a standard safety feature, because there have been 1,000 instances of babies dying from being left in the backseats of cars in the last 30 years. Where are the editorials decrying this overblown fear?

And at what point do these obtuse editorials stop? When Covid kills more than the combined combat fatalities of all wars fought by the United States? Would it be a real and rational fear then?

I think our response, as a nation, to 9/11 was excessive and ill-considered. But I also remember what those days were like, the real concerns that further attacks were imminent... you can only judge actions based on the information available to leaders at the time.

And given what we know about Covid, and what could have happened, and what might yet still happen, I think our leaders have managed as best they can. And they have done so despite the this persistent denial of the reality and lethality of this virus...  It's just a bad flu year... what's all the fuss about?

800,000 deaths later... a decade's worth of bad flu years in under 2 years... I think we should give this a rest.

But those 800,000 deaths are not deaths from COVID, they are deaths with COVID.  There is a huge difference.  Car accident victims, gun shot victims, heart attack victims, etc. who died from THOSE causes were/are included in the COVID deaths if they had (or even, in some cases, if it was merely suspected that they had) COVID.

James S. Rustad

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2021, 02:52:30 PM »
We are approaching 800,000 deaths in the US alone.

At the present moment, this virus is killing more people every three days than 9/11 did.

It has killed more than the entire opioid crisis.

Soon, every new car will be required to have a backseat monitor as a standard safety feature, because there have been 1,000 instances of babies dying from being left in the backseats of cars in the last 30 years. Where are the editorials decrying this overblown fear?

And at what point do these obtuse editorials stop? When Covid kills more than the combined combat fatalities of all wars fought by the United States? Would it be a real and rational fear then?

I think our response, as a nation, to 9/11 was excessive and ill-considered. But I also remember what those days were like, the real concerns that further attacks were imminent... you can only judge actions based on the information available to leaders at the time.

And given what we know about Covid, and what could have happened, and what might yet still happen, I think our leaders have managed as best they can. And they have done so despite the this persistent denial of the reality and lethality of this virus...  It's just a bad flu year... what's all the fuss about?

800,000 deaths later... a decade's worth of bad flu years in under 2 years... I think we should give this a rest.

The argument in this thread is not whether COVID is dangerous.  The argument is how dangerous it is and what measures are appropriate to take.  While it is clearly appropriate for older people with comorbidities to take precautions, it's less dangerous for younger people.  This is exactly the reason why the former group were prioritized for vaccination while the latter group had to wait.  It simply does not make sense for children to be treated identically with older people with comorbidities.

Your example of backseat monitors is exactly the same sort of overblown fear.  Why doesn't this get the same sort of coverage?  Good question.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2021, 03:07:56 PM »
Probably a fair number of people spoke against the back seat monitor requirement, and probably the inventor of some key bit of technology or manufacturer of suitable monitors greased a fair number of palms to get the government to mandate that carmakers purchase their products. People donít speak out against this kind of overreach because it only affects anyone tangentially. By the time Iím in the market for a car with one of those monitors, Iíll have to pay slightly more for a feature I donít want and I will never use. Okay, bummer. That is years from now and just a hidden cost that Iíll never see singled out of the total. If they mandated every existing car be retrofitted with such a monitor, and they did it not by vote of Congress but by decree, then youíd see people react against it. It would mean they had no real voice in their own government and it would be something that forced them to take action they didnít want to take.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 04:38:07 PM by peter_speckhard »

Charles Austin

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2021, 04:33:14 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
Car accident victims, gun shot victims, heart attack victims, etc. who died from THOSE causes were/are included in the COVID deaths if they had (or even, in some cases, if it was merely suspected that they had) COVID.
Me:
Thatís BS. Itís an urban myth that has been tossed around wildly and debunked in several places, including by the CDC.
I really do not understand your attempts to minimize almost every aspect of this deadly pandemic.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2021, 04:44:33 PM »

I really do not understand your attempts to minimize almost every aspect of this deadly pandemic.
Agreed that you don't understand. What might be some possibilities? Is it just that Pr. Bohler doesn't care about human life? That he can't read? Or might there be completely reasonable dynamics in play that lead to differing responses to the pandemic?

i've read articles today saying people should insist all their Thanksgiving guests be rapid tested before stepping the door. To some people, that is a perfectly reasonable. To me, it isn't. I just don't understand what you understand all too well-- the temptation to live in panic and to demand the world be shut down until danger disappears. If you are vulnerable, stay home. That makes sense. Don't demand that everyone else stay. That doesn't make sense.

James S. Rustad

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2021, 04:49:08 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
Car accident victims, gun shot victims, heart attack victims, etc. who died from THOSE causes were/are included in the COVID deaths if they had (or even, in some cases, if it was merely suspected that they had) COVID.
Me:
Thatís BS. Itís an urban myth that has been tossed around wildly and debunked in several places, including by the CDC.
I really do not understand your attempts to minimize almost every aspect of this deadly pandemic.

Even the CDC uses the term "died with COVID".  Perhaps you could point to the CDC debunking of this?

Characteristics of Persons Who Died with COVID-19 ó United States, February 12ĖMay 18, 2020

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2021, 05:00:18 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
Car accident victims, gun shot victims, heart attack victims, etc. who died from THOSE causes were/are included in the COVID deaths if they had (or even, in some cases, if it was merely suspected that they had) COVID.
Me:
Thatís BS. Itís an urban myth that has been tossed around wildly and debunked in several places, including by the CDC.
I really do not understand your attempts to minimize almost every aspect of this deadly pandemic.

Here's a few:

https://www.foxnews.com/media/physician-blasts-cdc-coronavirus-death-count-guidelines

https://www.skyhinews.com/news/coroner-state-included-a-murder-suicide-in-grands-covid-deaths/

https://www.westernjournal.com/washington-inflates-covid-19-numbers-includes-gunshot-victims-among-deaths/

https://www.kmov.com/news/colorado-coroner-calling-out-how-state-classifies-covid-19-deaths/article_297e3550-4131-11eb-9f01-ffe3e11d0f46.html

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/514915-is-us-covid-19-death-count-inflated

You want more?  Learn how to use Google for yourself.  But note that last one.  Using the CDC's own statistics, 94% of COVID deaths had at least one other co-morbidity.  Only 6% were deaths due strictly to COVID.

Charles Austin

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2021, 05:06:26 PM »
See my comment over on that other thread. Do you not understand that those people with that ďcomorbidityď would not have died from it have they not contracted the virus?
I donít get your purpose. Or, what I do get about it I find obscene
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2021, 05:11:45 PM »
See my comment over on that other thread. Do you not understand that those people with that ďcomorbidityď would not have died from it have they not contracted the virus?
I donít get your purpose. Or, what I do get about it I find obscene

On that other thread, you wrote: "Peter, I understand that you are posing for the sake of your argument. But itís not the least bit convincing. Pastor Bohler, Iím ignoring you again. Life just isnít worth the irritation of dealing with your intentional and overreaching pretenses. I think you may be taking them as wittiness, but youíre wrong about that too. But for the moment, Iíll consider what you posted. Hey people! Guess what! There were not 746,000 deaths from Covid. They were only 735,000 deaths from Covid. The other 11,000 only died with Covid. Isnít that great?"

I respond: "You are not very good at numbers and math, obviously.  The CDC stats are that only 6% of COVID deaths were actually from COVID, while the other 94% had at least one co-morbidity.  So, the numbers would be 48,000 died of COVID and the other 752,000 would have died with other causes in addition to COVID.  And some of those 752,000 clearly were not the result of COVID at all (like the murder-suicide in Colorado)."

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2021, 05:25:56 PM »
Do you not understand that those people with that ďcomorbidityď would not have died from it have they not contracted the virus?

"Car accident victims, gun shot victims, heart attack victims, etc." are those people. How interesting that they all would have survived had it not been for COVID.   ::) Speaking of "BS"!
Don Kirchner

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DeHall1

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2021, 06:01:43 PM »
...Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

                              -- Frank Herbert

Charles Austin

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Re: Fear Is Deadlier Than Viruses
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2021, 06:15:16 PM »
You are trying to tell me that only 6% of those 750,000 people actually died of Covid?
Given the numbers discussed everywhere, including the conservative and wacko conservative media, I donít see how I can believe that.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.