Chronicle of the announced death of a virus
A reflection on how fear can affect us in the COVID-19 crisis.
We are currently witnessing one of the most stressful contexts in history caused by disease, along with others such as the MERS, EBOLA and SARS epidemics: the global pandemic and, with it, the virus of fear..
Although the aggressiveness with which this COVID-19 has affected us is true, it is also true that the reality of the virus has not affected a very high percentage of deaths in patients without previous pathology.
However, we already know thanks to the team of scientists and health professionals that the virus can correlate with five other pathologies, since patients with associated comorbidities had much higher rates (cardiovascular diseases, Respiratory diseases, hypertension, cancer, diabetes). The fundamental problem is the rapidity of its spread through contagion.
The contagion of fear
In the face of such a situation, the world lives in fear and even panic.. Almost in the blink of an eye, we have become aware of our fragility. The uncertainty of our future worries us intensely. All our grandeur and strength become smallness and weakness. We seek peace and serenity at all costs, without knowing where to find them. We are accompanied by the symptoms of fear, anguish, dread, panic...
Tachycardia, palpitations, chest tightness, shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, digestive discomfort, nausea, vomiting, knots in the stomach, insomnia, irritability, muscular tension and stiffness, tiredness, dizziness... symptoms, on the other hand, absolutely logical considering the seriousness of the historical crisis we are suffering. This has nothing to do with weakness of character.The virus has taken just over a week to bring the economy to a halt and break the supply of thousands of families. It has taken little more than a week for the virus to bring the economy to a halt and break the supply of thousands of families.
Nevertheless, most of the situations that provoke fear in us are learned because, in the past, they have caused us physical but also emotional damage, so but also emotional, in such a way that we can become automatic in our response.
In that sense, I believe that we have been well trained through leisure, and with it, through fear and suffering.
The brain process of distress generation
In our brain we have two small structures, the cerebral amygdalae, which constitute the main control nucleus of emotions and feelings and which also manage the responses of satisfaction or fear. They, on many occasions, have "kidnapped" us emotionally. We have been made to say things we did not mean and later regretted, or we have been dragged into an emotion without being able to direct our thinking in a rational way to control the emotion.
It is at that moment when our organism generates adrenaline and cortisol, which can keep us for up to four hours "on the edge". and can keep us up to four hours "kidnapped". This is what we colloquially call "bad blood". These hormones, coming from the hypothalamus, pass into the bloodstream "dirtying" the blood, making the discomfort last longer.
A good strategy for this type of situation is conscious deep breathingIt allows us to connect with our body and focus our attention on it, limiting this emotional abduction, activating our parasympathetic system and inhibiting the sympathetic system, which causes the lack of self-control.
The need to adapt to a new reality
What to do in a moment like the one we are living after almost two months totally confined? And with confinement extended a few times, and without knowing for how much longer in the city of Barcelona, after the last outbreaks in the province of Lleida.
We are forced to a social distance of two meters, the obligatory use of masks, some schedules that we must comply with to avoid overcrowding and the coincidence with those of different ages, whether they are the elderly or children...
To this situation we must add the sanitary collapse that we have witnessed in recent months and that seems to have a tendency to disappear, but.... But for how long?
There is talk that 80% of the health corps is suffering the symptoms of post-traumatic stress. They have been subjected to an infinite number of hours, giving 300% of their capacity in the face of a war to which they came unarmed. A situation that we could describe as "burnout", the best way to burn people out, increasing the work without offering the means to do it. The flashbacks they experience today have to do with rooms full of dying people without adequate means to offer to others and not even for themselves.
For the rest of us mortals, the pandemic has not left them unscathed either. Adults and elderly people who have not yet fallen ill have been reluctant to leave their homes for fear of being infected.. Endless rituals to protect our health and protect us from others. Media that serve as modulation for our brain. Continuous washing. Mouths plugged. Subjugation. Helplessness. Impotence. Choking.
What to do?
It is necessary to understand that, from now on, we will live in a different context of life. Technology imposes itself on us, forcing us to move forward and include us in the social stream of digital communication.. The 5G is knocking at our door, paradoxically offering us its best face.
We cannot ignore that the stressful situation we are living has generated a lowering of the immune system and the consequent disease if we are not able to intelligently take control over this circumstance. We can experience responses related to the "amygdala hijacking" in our fear of becoming infected..
We begin to realize that although the virus is harmful, the distress it is causing is much more so. We breathe in a psychological bubble created by the alarmism (no importance given to the danger of the virus) conditioned by the high impact, the high alarm capacity and the low reliability, together with the way in which the government authorities are being questioned.
Sometimes I have the feeling that our mind is being violated in order to prepare it for later events. Everything remains in our subconscious so that, later, even if we do not remember exactly what we have already lived, we know how to react by accepting the event without so much rebelliousness. by accepting the event without so much rebelliousness. Now we are more capable of submitting.
I believe that the worst lie they are instilling in us is that this will soon pass... and the solution they offer is confinement. We cannot ignore the fact that fear ends up killing society. We hide from the virus, like the ostrich hides its head in the face of danger, thinking that this way we will make it go away. We run out of social strength.
Fear always binds us to death, and the only way to confront it is not to avoid it.. In other words: by avoiding it. Anxiety is the platform of most of the diseases we have.
It is therefore necessary, in all circumstances, to take risks, even if they could lead to death in some cases. What is the point of living with a mentality of fear?
People are torn between those who decide to be the protagonists of their lives and those who decide to let life decide for them. In short, either we have the mentality of a master or we have the mentality of a slave, of free or imprisoned.
It is necessary for us to develop a mentality of courage.. It is therefore necessary for us to learn to live with the situation that concerns us, with astuteness, intelligence and understanding, without mortgaging our future.
Let us kill the virus of fear in us. Let us resurrect courage in spite of uncertainty. And let us remember, as Kant already told us, that the intelligence of the individual is measured by the amount of uncertainty he is able to bear. Only in this way can we live.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)