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In the Matter of The Pandemic of the Illness of Fear

Updated on April 7, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

I like to come at things from a different angle. Usually if we take some words and apply them to ourselves we can then apply to the world.

Afraid of the Ocean

That is a big old scary place, unless it is not.
That is a big old scary place, unless it is not. | Source

Upside Up

Stuck in Place

Fear of another race or faith is illness caused by ignorance. It is nowadays a pandemic. Fear of economic security is pandemic. Fear of politicians is real and pandemic. They even had a name for it. Fear based actions are pandemic. Fear of others is pandemic. Fear at this level is an illness. Like a mass hysteria. You may even have a sound basis for your fear. Everybody does. And we are not talking about individual fear here. We are speaking of the pandemic of the illness of fear. I have yet to find evidence of fear helping one tiny bit in this Corona Virus pandemic. But I have heard it has caused problems. (more later on that)

I had the normal flu. No question about getting out of my house. Wife and child being there. Bought the gas at the pump with a credit card so no contact for the travel. I simply had no fear. I was headed for a safe place down Mexico way. About 50 miles from there they politely told me that if I went there I could not come back for who knows how long.

So I went to plan C, I never have plan B’s. Five acres of land alone. I will get to the part of fear here. And so here is the list; Wolf, Coyote, Deer, Boars, Otters, Fish, Garter snake, Rattle snake, Black Hawks, Mountain lion – tracks, Bobcat tracks, Squirrels, and so many birds I cannot keep track. Wisteria, Orchids, Apple, Vinca, and a whole bunch of other plants coming into bloom which names escape me. Personally I am a bit fearful of Mountain lions and wolves. OK maybe that is the fear like in the Bible which is respect. And I do respect those animals. That illustrates that the respect type fear is not what we are talking about.

Then just toss in the Redrocks of Sedona the towering Mt. Wilson and stars that we sleep under that are blinding. I just said “we” because my son and his common law wife joined me. They literally quarantined themselves for 14 days prior. But we stay 6 feet away for another few days anyway. No fear just common sense. My son got a 6 foot stick to gauge and hit me with it. We were having a blast.

//An author’s note here. The above is all true. Except the stars do not blind and I left out the beautiful snow I had. Spring time inch of snow is the best! //

My son and his gal are musicians/composers. So I had been treated to concerts. Stories are told and laughter is contagious around the campfire, with favorite beverages all around. But the love fest needs to end. I miss my other son and wife so much. I can get home without another soul getting within that 6 feet. But I will still sequester in a bedroom bathroom and office for some days at home. I am not scared of the deal but do not look forward to it. Just rational behavior.

GC

Red Canyon
Red Canyon | Source

Check Out the Ending

Pandora's Box

Anticipating something without looking forward to it is not fear. But hoarding is fear based. We have to be careful not to mistake stupidity for fear. Nowadays ignorance causing fear is darn near normal. There is a cool term “conclusions prior to investigations are wrong”. Again individuals do not count here. Think of a huge region like the Americas. Then add the word “Pan”. It basically means something of the entire Americas. Pan American. The Pan American Health Organization was formed in 1902. So you have epidemic and then pandemic.

I am being straight up with this word. Fear of this virus is as pandemic as the disease. No forget that, it is 50 times worse. Yes we know that fear is an emotion and to make it an illness it must elevate to irrational. But that is within one person. Is it different when Pan? To me that elevates a healthy fear to an irrational phobia.

About 13 deaths per 100 thousand people occur each year by car accidents. Are we covered in fear about driving or riding in a car? That would be rational, or closer. Just in L.A. about 200 people die a day. 42 thousand deaths a year from breast cancer a year in the US. And we know the common flu takes between 35 thousand to 60 thousand a year.

Where is the pandemic of fear here? There is not any. Women march and run to defeat breast cancer, not because they are afraid of it. Now fear of doing harm to another is a sticky wicket here. But I call that rational. Hoarding is a harm to another. That is based on a totally irrational fear. I like my term pan-irrational.

Ok so let us be done with such logic and get to the point.

Mental illness is basically a mental/emotional problem that rises to the level of interference in a normal life. Oh for sure, Lincoln and Van Gogh had it. So fear is an illness when it interferes with normal life. Therefor we ask; do we have fears that are interfering with our lives. Yes we do. Are some rational, yes they are.

Going Swimming

I am afraid to jump off the cliff when we get there.
I am afraid to jump off the cliff when we get there. | Source

I See a Greaat Sunrise But First It Must Be Dark

Be Care Full of Others

My wife was rationally laid off. My son is rationally out of school. We take every precaution suggested. My wife insists on more precautions which I agree to even though they make no sense. And she is still afraid of the virus. That is just a matter of fact. That is irrational. That is what so many people suffer from. Rational precautions taken to the extreme and still fear. Yet she will text and drive? Now that is the irrational absence of fear. And some folks do that with this virus.

So what do we really mean by a “Pandemic of the Illness of Fear”? It is the absence of love in people’s lives. They turn their back on love and march forward into fear. And they do it mindlessly and on a global scale. If your heart and soul are filled with love then what room for fear?

You say; “fear is in the head and not in the heart”. And I just said in this case it is an illness. How then would love fix a mental illness? That is the really cool part. When I was little I did a lot of camping. I don’t use a tent much these days. But then I had to have a tent to keep me safe, from who knows what and how many. I protected myself by hiding in a fabric thing that in no way would keep me safe, except from weather. I was afraid of the dark instead of loving it.

Perhaps if my big brothers taught me to love it instead of scare me about it things would have been different. Sure they loved me but could have shown it. Kind of like the media scaring us with hype in order to sell. Well I ain’t buying it. 1,000 died over there, should not frighten me. I simply do not fear because in Detroit someone shot someone else. Again precaution of a judicious nature.

Let us wrap this up on what may seem a flip side. Just as the virus is more dangerous when one has an underlying medical condition, so is fear and isolation when one has an underlying mental health condition. Please watch them for signs just like you do the virus. Over 40,000 Americans die by suicide each year in the U.S. Again it is the giving of love that cures I found this site to be the best;

https://alberta.cmha.ca/news/covid-19-outbreak-protecting-your-mental-health/ Give them all your love and you will see it helps them love and cope and you cope hope.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mitara I had a good meditiation Guru and we agreed that loving awareness was both good news and bad news. You feel it!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, I am quite sure you are helping others during this time. God bless you.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      15 months ago from South Africa

      These trying times, are testing ones sanity, spirituality, humility and the list goes on.

      Yet there are many other disasters that you highlight that are also cause for concern, for one "texting and driving", let not tempt faith!

      We need to take cognisance of everything thats happening around the world including the noted additional disasters, saying, how are we going to be doing things differently and how can we make a difference?

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      15 months ago from The Caribbean

      Good idea to watch out for mental as well as the physical setbacks other disease. The virus destroys the body and fear destroys the mind. Both are important for us to live and enjoy life.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela, I did not comment on that. I was afraid all those initials were something that people use like "Lol" ;-)

      I forget to hit the post comment button a lot.

      You know Pamela it is my pleasure to help allay my wife's fear. Sometimes though I must be stern and explain that something is too far.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Eric, I didn't realize the bulk of my comment was cut off. I understand you wife wanting to be extra careful as many people are afraid of this virus.

      I am not particularly fearful. It feels so much better to have a postive outlook for the future.This is a very good article. Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lorna, it is good to get your point of view. I would imagine visits even remotely will begin to take a dive as money gets tighter. For me the opposite from isolation. I was happy isolated now I have to share the house with a boy and his mom ;-)

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      15 months ago

      I am certainly seeing an increase in mental health issues in these trying times, made worse by fear and of course isolating. Many people I treat are already living with their own fears. I try to be positive and am now working from home where I stay connected to my clients. By lessening their fear I lessen my own. We will get through this and hopefully come out the other side intact. I love the idea of you all sitting round the campfire singing songs and I enjoyed reading this enlightening article Eric.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      My bndf an

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      15 months ago from Jamaica

      Fear is a disease itself and many are dying from it in this planned pandemic.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      James, I very much appreciate your comment. Especially in my Sunday Sermons I use biblical precepts without citation. Those readers that are Christian will see them as you do. It gives me pleasure to have a comment as such.

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 

      15 months ago from Joliet, IL

      You touched on a connection between fear and mental stability highlighted in the Bible. It states that God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but of love, a sound mind and self control.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      15 months ago from london

      True. Be yourself ... that is all we can do ... while exercising wisdom as well.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, I find that I have to be careful. I avoid some funerals because I am happy at the celebration of life. Many people find that offensive. Man is funny that way.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I am doing the weeding before planting deal. But I love the smell of dirt first thing in the morning.

      My service was out of range. Really there are still places like that. I try to get there often. It has a healing effect.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      15 months ago from london

      This is true on one level, yet on another level, the intensity of Love permeates all visible and invisible things. Right now, It is secretly pushing so many of us, all over the world to come together!

      She appears in the darkness, while being actually Light.

      She appears as self-effort, while being actually Grace. Peace Bro.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mike that is a great comparison. I am not much on news. So CDC and NIH and Canadian official agencies and the like are my go to's. Our local Health Department leaves a bit to be desired but decent links. WHO seems as worthless as tits on a bull.

      Perhaps our in place precautions are minimizing this. A chicken or egg thought. How come they can deal with 30,000 deaths from flu a year but in this case we are out of supplies?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika I thank you for your very relative comment. I sure am finding a lot of things to do. I actually watched a full movie, which have not done for months.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita you ray of light you. You most certainly touched my heart here. My awareness brings me a bit of anxiety as though there is a current lessening of love in our universe of man.

      Perhaps it is the distance between some love from China to us here and the other way. Less love being poured into the air is palpable - so we pray harder.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Flourish, we are writers. I worry for that group. There is already a normalcy of isolation and a tendency to feel things a lot more intense than others. Not routine hugs stinks.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks John. I do the same with my wife -- what does it hurt, except I am the one with the underlying condition ;-) With the time off, my wife's stress is slowly melting away.

      One thing I have noticed is the lack of "watercooler" BS effecting her to the negative. Much better without.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Vikram thank you for such a nice comment. Novel?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I painted the shed yesterday. Not once was I afraid. I was having too much fun, under the sunshine, to remember to be afraid. I reckon you might be talking about that some in this piece.

      Tried to call you two weeks ago...line out of service...your attempt at humor? lol

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      15 months ago

      Eric,

      Great article. I have faced a lot of things that are far worse than the Corona virus. I have been in some very challenging situations during my time in the military and learned to deal with fear. The key is to always keep things in perspective. I don't give into panic. In these situations, you learn who has a strong mind and who doesn't.

      I don't fear this virus. We dealt with the H1N1 virus and it was much worse. Nothing closed and it wasn't the top news story daily for weeks. We just didn't react to it with fear.

      "CDC estimated that between 34 million and 67 million cases of 2009 H1N1 occurred between April and November 14, 2009.

      The mid-level in this range was about 47 million people infected with 2009 H1N1.

      CDC estimated that between about 154,000 and 303,000 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations occurred between April and November 14, 2009. The mid-level in this range was about 213,000 H1N1-related hospitalizations.

      CDC estimated that between about 7,070 and 13,930 2009 H1N1-related deaths occurred between April and November 14, 2009. The mid-level in this range was about 9,820 2009 H1N1-related deaths."

      https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates/April_March_...

    • profile image

      Devika Primic 

      15 months ago

      Hi Eric I am not afraid of what I hear and enjoy each day not as if it is my last as I should. I see that the cases are increasing and scaring people. However, it looks to me I am calm about it and it is a pity to live in such times. This time of life makes us appreciate what we have and to focus on the positive way of life.

      Keep safe and take care.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      15 months ago from london

      You know I'm an optimist, Bro, but you probably won't write another statement as significant as this one for quite some time:

      "So what do we really mean by a “Pandemic of the Illness of Fear”? It is the absence of love in people’s lives. They turn their back on love and march forward into fear. And they do it mindlessly and on a global scale. If your heart and soul are filled with love then what room for fear?" -Eric Dieker

      I hope we read it again and reflect on its significance in our lives. You have done an awesome job. I'm even considering a poem on The Pandemics of Fear. Even so, knowing me, it is highly likely to be more like your above lofty paragraph, than any of your other beautiful comparisons of Pandemia (I hope it's a word)

      Glad you have recovered and I'm impressed with your knowledge of beasts and flowers. Yes, pay them respect bro. Safe!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      15 months ago from USA

      We should probably anticipate an uptick in mental health concerns with PTSD, depression and anxiety, complicated grief reactions, OCD, etc. in the future given how traumatic this has been for some sectors in particular (but it hasn’t been easy on anyone). Your concern for the emotionally vulnerable is touching.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      15 months ago from Gondwana Land

      A wonderful article, Eric. Yes the media are fuelling the fear of this virus, that is for sure. My wife is concerned and Is taking extra precautions because she does have a n underlying lung condition so I go along with that willingly. But yes we don’t panic about road deaths, breast cancer, bowel cancer statistics etc.

      I like how you ended saying that we should be concerned for those with mental health issues being confined in isolation. That is certainly something that shouldn’t be ignored.

    • talesofvikram profile image

      Vikram Brahma 

      15 months ago from Assam, India

      Hi Eric, I really enjoyed reading your article. You can simply write a novel. The way you describe the events was really interesting to read. Stay safe. Thanks dear.

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