A reader brings up a question on many people’s minds which I think is worth a long answer. Chris asks:
You’ve mentioned on several occasions (along with your readers) about the mental and physical effects of weaponized hypochondria — sleep problems, high blood pressure, etc. I also feel this — I don’t watch any TV news; I just scan the headlines of my local paper online and Yahoo News a couple times a week, just to get a feel for the “mood of the day”. Still, I can’t seem to escape it — face diapers on people everywhere, TV shows that promote WuFlu/face diaper/vaccine propaganda either in the show itself or the ads, the way “The Pandemic” has to be seemingly worked into every conversation about any topic, the constant fearmongering and guilt-tripping . . . it makes me not want to go anywhere or do anything anymore.
Do you have any good “coping strategies” to avoid these effects, especially since your writing and work require you to keep up with what the MSM news is saying? I just feel that while depression and apathy are never good, now is especially a time when we need our wits about us. Any suggestions?
. . .
Orwell addressed this issue in the novel, 1984. Winston Smith, the heretic against the orthodoxies of the Party, questioned his own sanity at times. Could he really be right and everyone else – so it appeared – wrong? He answered this by hanging on to objective reality (2+2=4) and by reminding himself that “sanity is not statistical.”
We are very much in the same position as Winston. Crazy – and fanatical – people surround us. Insane – evil – policies (and people) lord over us. As you say, even when you aren’t being actively harassed, as when shopping without the vestments of the Party (i.e., the Face Diaper) it is nonetheless very depressing to see so many others wearing them. It makes you want to stay home, so as not to see it and not have to deal with it at all.
And of course, that is depressing. The diminution of normal life; the circle getting smaller. The looming dread of what’s next?
This is making us – the sane – sick. First psychologically, in the form of depression. And then, inevitably, physically – as stress ongoing and the loss of interest that attends will manifest physical effects such as those you mention.
Which is why I tell myself, first of all – do not let the bastards get you down! This is what they want. For us to decouple from life, to atomize. To give in – or give up. Which gets me mad – and anger can be useful.
I’ve been working out more – and harder – than I ever have in my life. I’ve put on about 20 pounds of muscle over the past year and this has been useful as well – in terms of standing down the Freaks. They are mostly – almost entirely – physical cowards who are reluctant to accost a large man. Especially a large man radiating leave me alone.
I have found this extremely therapeutic.
Also, just the act of going to my gym, which is an oasis of sanity amid this sea of sickness psychosis. It does not push Diapering and so there are very few active Daiperers. Most of the people there are normal and it is very healthy to be among – just to see – normal people and so I try to do so almost every day.
This applies generally. Whether it’s a gym or a cafe or any other place you can go where there are more normal than abnormal people – go there, often. For yourself and for them. It has a synergistic effect. They see you – and you see them. And you both see that no one is “dying” – a tonic in the face of all the fear-peddling and gas-lighting. We know, intellectually, that the hysteria about “the virus” is just that. But it is sometimes good to see that it is – the sight of people not only behaving normally but not “dying” on account of it.
Some people, of course, are unable to go to the gym – or don’t want to, because of Face Diapering being the condition of entry. In that case, go for a run or a walk outdoors. Running is excellent medicine – psychologically as well as physically. It compounds, too. Being fit improves your physical health and being outside and doing something improves your mental health.
I run and lift. So far, it has helped me maintain my sanity.
Both are acts of productivity – of action toward a goal. This is the fundamental antidote to sickness psychosis, which is at core all about negating living for the putative sake of “saving lives.”
I also have been busy with various projects around the house – more acts of productivity. All of us have things of that nature that need to get done and this is a great time to get them done. Make progress being the point. See things improving – whether your waistline or your yard.
So long as something is getting done.
This includes making plans and provisions for the future – for what may well be coming. We still have a great deal of freedom of action. It is important – and healthy – to use it. Think about how to best assure your family’s future and take concrete steps toward that end.
As Arnold once said – Do it! Do it now!
I also find reading to be very restorative.I always have. But especially now. Especially as regard reading books by writers who’ve dealt with far worse than we’re dealing with, such as Solzhentisyn. But also Leonard Read and Paine and just good writers, like Gore Vidal and Ken Kesey and Vonnegut (to name a few of my favorites).
Also – and this one has admittedly been hard for me – make the effort to see and spend time with like-minded friends and family. Make the effort to make new friends to replace the ones lost due to their loss of their minds.
The bottom line is to not let them win.
We’re better – and stronger – than that. Yes, there are more of them than us. When has that ever not been the case? History – for good and bad – is always made by a minority of committed people who refuse to give in.
Let’s do that. And make some history!
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