The coronavirus panic buttons are omnipresent. The fighting over toilet rolls in empty supermarkets to the social ostracising of anyone looking Chinese is telling us something about the fragile state of human society.
Where conspiracy theorists and professional deceivers on social media dominate the narrative fear takes hold. Fear triggers stress hormones that switch off rational thought, putting the body into fight or flight mode.
Fear and panic stir the darkest sides of human nature with an “everyone for himself” attitude, nationalism, xenophobia and a fallback to the perilous age of pre-Enlightenment.
Mass panic takes on its own dynamics and its anyone’s guess how long the economic fallout will be in the next few months: Complete breakdown of the cruise ship industry, and factories closing because of supply chain interruptions?
We know from neurological research that when the mind is under stress or in high emotional turmoil that cognitive and level-headed thought is impossible. You will not perceive or hear the voice of reason if you are in panic mode.
Let’s stick with the facts that come directly from the experts quoted by traditional media: The coronavirus is influenza. If we take normal precautions the likelihood of becoming infected is relatively small and of dying from it even smaller. The victims so far have been predominantly among the elderly with a weak immune system. With most people, it is a mild infection.
By early March the global death toll from the virus was just over 3,000 with most of them coming from China. Both China and Italy have a large elderly population.
Humanity is faced by far greater threats than the coronavirus. Climate change has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods as a result of flooding, heatwaves and freak storms. One person dies every 40 seconds from suicide. It is the second leading cause of death in the age group of 15-29-year-olds globally. And lets just look at the death toll of the normal annual flu: At least 12,000 people have died from influenza between Oct. 1, 2019 through Feb. 1, 2020, and the number of deaths may be as high as 30,000 – just in the United States.
We are all going to die at some point. But in a world of spiritual disconnect, the fear of death is profound. Death is not something we like to talk about. We have banished the experience of it to old age homes and hospices.
Fear of death evaporates with spiritual practice. It comes from the realization that the body is merely a vehicle to higher soul elevation that moves into a different dimension when the sojourn on this earth has come to an end. Within a different state of consciousness, the mind quietens amid the din of confusion and panic sirens.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant