Sunday, March 29, 2020

Panic not a good survival strategy

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 26, 2020)

Here comes Coronavirus; the threat of the month. How scared are you? How scared should I be? I'm not scared or even worried.

When Coronavirus hit the news I did some research on it at some reputable, non-sensationalist medical websites and decided it wasn't anything to hyperventilate over. In fact, they classified it not as influenza, but as a cold virus. A virus everyone will come down with at some point during our lives. This variety may be worse than the usual strains, but I'm not going to freak out.

I've been around long enough to see scare after scare come to nothing.

The Y2K thing fizzled, Ebola dropped from the news, and Hillary wasn't elected president. Life on planet Earth goes on pretty much the way it has-- but with more robots, rockets, and batteries.

There are still looming shadows on the horizon: human-caused climate disaster, failure of the power grid, a robot apocalypse, and more. These are all things people can panic over. Then they can make foolish decisions because of the panic. Foolish decisions such as saying "There ought to be a law". Decisions which will have worse consequences for more people than the original threat-- a threat which may be real or may be a figment of the imagination.

Someday a real pandemic or widespread disaster will happen... and be worse than we were warned it would be. Won't I look silly, then? But so far, not allowing myself to be panicked has worked out really well.

Do you really want to spend your life bouncing from one threat of disaster to the next, or are you willing to learn from the past?

Sure, there are occasional school shootings, impaired drivers, disease, and other human tragedies. That's life. But the track record of global doom and gloom scenarios should inspire optimism if you're paying attention.

It can be fun and exciting to prepare for the worst-case scenario. I do it, too-- in ways more fun than frightening. Panic is not a good survival strategy, even if something bad is going to happen. A panicked person doesn't think straight or behave rationally. They are more likely to make fatal mistakes. Don't let anyone cause you to panic... unless panicking is what you want to do.

In that case, I won't try to stop you, but please don't allow your panic to affect my life, liberty, or property, or that of my friends and family.

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My plea

I'm just going to lay this out there: I need more monthly subscribers.

I also need some donations. Very much!

I think I provide a perspective you can't get anywhere else. I know this is a rough time for everyone's finances, but I hope I provide insight and opinions you consider worth supporting, even if you don't always agree with me. If so, would you be willing to help?

I've mentioned that the household income has dropped recently. And, yesterday the refrigerator died.

I did everything I could to get it running again-- watching lots of YouTube videos and reading lots of appliance repair sites, and nothing I was able to do worked. I either need to get it professionally repaired or buy a replacement. And the appliance repair folks are shockingly unwilling to come work on anything at this time. Which meant they were more willing than usual to give advice and suggestions.

Usually, I would see if my parents could squeeze my refrigerated (and frozen) items into their refrigerators, but with the current pandemic, and with them trying to self-quarantine due to their ages, I am not comfortable asking them for space. So, in a matter of hours, even with coolers and ice, I'm going to lose a refrigerator/freezer full of food.

I know everyone has their own problems and that times are hard right now. I don't want the "regulars" to chip in-- you've already done enough; more than I have any right to expect. But if you're a reader and have thought about subscribing or donating and just haven't gotten around to it, please take this opportunity to get around to it. And, share this with anyone you think might be willing and able to help. Please!

And, thank you.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.

Coronapanic and hospital capacity

Supposedly, hospital capacity is being strained by the coronavirus... in a way yearly flus don't do. I suspect if it is happening, it's due more to the coronapanic than to the virus itself.

I'll repeat that:
If hospital capacity is really being stained by coronavirus patients, it's not necessarily due to the virus. It may be mainly due to the panic caused by the media and government ("governmedia"?). The reason-- if it's true-- that this virus is putting more people in the hospital than the regular annual viruses may be largely due to its publicity and the panic this creates.

If you make people afraid of a cough or a sniffle, you're going to have more of them get tested. The more tests that are done, the more cases will be found. Then, some number of those people will end up in a hospital rather than riding it out at home like they would have done under normal circumstances. Plus, making them scared isn't going to help their health even a little.

I'm still seeing "smart people" confusing numbers of deaths with the mortality rate. It's an important distinction, but one which gets glossed over and ignored. And, unless you can find out the total number of people who contracted the virus you can NEVER know the mortality rate. Never. And you'll never know how many people caught this virus because many of them (most of them?) never went to a doctor for it.

Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.