Panic Isn't The Cure
It is estimated that approximately twenty percent (20%) of the American adult population suffers from an anxiety disorder. Coronavirus has made that struggle more obvious to the other eighty percent (80%) … and self-aware members of the twenty percent (20%). At its most extreme, anxiety disorders can manifest themselves as panic. Panic is uncontrollable fear or anxiety that causes wildly unthinking behavior … like hoarding toilet paper and skin disintegrating amounts of hand sanitizer. Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with purchasing toilet paper and hand sanitizer in reasonable quantities. But, cornering the market on them is the manifestation of an entirely different and additional psychological problem. But, I digress.
The question for all of us, then, is what is a reasonably measured response to the news of the spread of this virus purportedly unleashed upon mankind by the eaters of raw bats? Is it to immediately sell off your investment portfolio and stock the bomb shelter with canned goods, toilet paper and hand sanitizer? I don’t think so.
We all know that our bodies wage an ongoing battle each and every day with known, unknown, and often unnamed bacteria and viruses. It’s a war that for the most part, each of us wins each and every minute of each and every day. We also know that from time to time, there are virulent strains of these bacteria and viruses that crawl out of the shadows … or the carcasses of dead animals senselessly purchased in open air markets to make soup … that possibly require greater care and attention. There are even some that pay us seasonal visits, and claim tens of thousands of lives every year without serious notice while many of us struggle with the question as to whether we should even get inoculated against it.
How is it that we are able to medically and emotionally manage the flu risk which claims approximately 80,000 American lives every year … and fall apart to the point of hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the face of hearing that eleven Americans have died from a coronavirus mutation, CoVid-19? It is nothing more than FEAR. It isn’t ‘science’. There hasn’t been enough time for scientific conclusions to be drawn. But, we can reason through the analysis to determine whether we have a deadly pandemic on our hands and whether we should panic.
We know that it’s easily spread. It’s a virus. We know that the elderly with underlying conditions are most at risk. This is true for the flu, as well. It makes sense. They are already in an immuno-compromised condition. While we don’t have sufficient testing capability to assess the extent of the infected population ... we do know that it can, does and predominantly manifests itself in a mild, non-life threatening form. It is reasonable to assume that there are many among us who have and/or have had it ... and that have and/or will survive undetected ... significantly lowering the already 'lowish' mortality rate.
Notwithstanding these sensible conclusions, there is panic on Main Street that has disrupted Wall Street and global markets, because we live in a world where people believe that Climati-geddon is imminent, that our President is a Russian spy, and that we should be having serious conversations about aliens from outer-space. Understand, the real contagion is thriving serial hoaxery and it is the poor mental health epidemic that should concern us all. Approximately, twenty percent (20%) of American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. All the toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the world won’t cure that. Perhaps we need to have a serious discussion about the poor mental health pandemic in this country ... before it is too late.
I think we’d be crazy not to …