In the midst of all the controversy and differing opinions on how society is handling our current global health crisis, there is one undeniable truth: the media shapes our reactions. This is the first major pandemic humanity has experienced with social media, smart phones, and the ability to cover real time news around the clock. The potential benefits of this accessibility to information are obvious: up to date reports on regulations, strategies, and statistics. The reality is quite different: extreme exercises on government control, conflicting strategies across nations and states, and skewed information reported to drive various agendas.
Modern media’s click bait algorithms are designed for sensationalism – the more emotionally charged and extreme the content, the more eyes linger and mouses click. This has created a polarizing effect on public opinion. Cherry-picked stories, usually involving death or conspiracy, fuel the cries of both “stay at home” and “open back up”. There are no positives in the fact that people have lost their lives, that their finances have been decimated or their mental health has deteriorated. But what we find troubling is the manipulation of these stories. The use of the heartstrings as a pulley for clicks, fear and agenda. Diseases should be taken seriously. The economy should be taken seriously. But at the end of the day, “staying at home” or “opening up” is a reaction of fear caused by the true roots of this issue, a lack of confidence in our health.
“The only thing to fear is fear itself”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
If Franklin Roosevelt was right and “the only thing to fear is fear itself” then we should be very afraid – because fear is the driving force of all agendas surrounding this pandemic and it is arguably more contagious and prevalent than the virus itself.I would like to offer something different here. No tales of economic devastation or distress over rising infection rates.
I want to focus on solutions, not problems.
I want to highlight reasons we do not need to fear.
The hope that is out there, right in front us, that we all need to be reminded of despite the media trying to draw our attention elsewhere. Here are 5 reasons we do not need to be afraid right now, keeping in mind there are MANY more:
1. Most people, especially healthy people, exposed to COVID-19 recover
Of all past cases of COVID-19 worldwide (excluding active cases) 86% recover. This number in reality is much higher, since the data only shows those that were tested and not those who recovered without being tested which are the LEAST severe cases or even asymptomatic. Additionally, death rates are over reported as CDC statistics on mortality sometimes include deaths from pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19. Furthermore, of all hospitalizations due to COVID-19 73% had underlying conditions. This means less than one third of hospitalized patients were “healthy”.
2. There are safe and preventative strategies and acute treatments – despite what conventional medicine says
Several nutrients and herbs have been proven to be safe and effective, at proper doses and methods of utilization, in combating viral illnesses and improving the natural function of our immune system. Logically, these therapies would be effective against COVID-19. However, since there are no, or very few, studies specifically on COVID-19 due to its novelty, conventional medicine has dismissed many of these therapies as false claims. This is flat out censorship. It should be noted that there are practitioners utilizing these methods with success. There are no claims of a cure. But we need to be allowed to do our best.
3. Aggressive testing has shown to be effective at flattening the curve AND negating the need for strict lockdown
An in depth analysis of why South Korea was able to flatten their curve relatively quickly and avoid severe lockdown measures points to one thing: aggressive and inexpensive testing. Testing was widespread and abundant early on and those that tested positive were then investigated so that all their known contacts could be tested. Although the US has failed to test aggressively and early on, it is hopeful that we could avoid aggressive lockdown in the future by following this strategy.
4. It looks like herd immunity is possible
Studies are showing that once exposed to the virus and development of antibodies, you are unlikely to contract it again. This means herd immunity is possible, where enough of the population is exposed that the disease stops spreading. Epidemiologists argue that at the current infection rate this would not happen until well into 2021 in the U.S. as it is estimated that we need 70% of people to be exposed. How you look at that information is largely a matter of perspective. To many, having collective immunity against a deadly disease even if it takes some time seems like a fair trade off.
5. Humanity has recovered time and again from BOTH pandemics and economic disaster
This is not our first pandemic, or our worst pandemic by FAR. Nor is it our worst economic depression. Humanity has persevered. We have overcome and gone on to thrive over and over again. And we will do it this time too.
Health needs to be prioritized. Build up systems instead of shutting down symptoms. That is how a healthy population is sustained. That is how we live without fear.
-Drs. Ng and Feagan, ND