From Overreaction to Mass Hysteria: The Real Danger of COVID-19


As a culture, we’ve gone mad. Instead of helping people talk thru and understand their heightened anxiety, we have enabled it, by giving people the illusory hope that government, scientists, and other “experts” have the wherewithal to stop a disease that has no conscience, no brain, and no discrimination. We have methodically violated the three grounding principles of a sane, truly humane society:

If You Don’t Take Care Of Yourself, You Have No Chance Of Taking Care Of Others

The “Solution” To A Problem, Without Exception, Creates The Next Problem

The Most Serious Delusion Human Beings Have, Is Their Certainty That They Are In Control Of The World

Cultures, like individuals, have neuroses. Our current neurosis is our obsession with altruism, selflessness, and unbridled “help” for those victims of restrictions and indiscriminate barriers to their abilities to take care of themselves. What we need now, is a massive dose of societal self-interest. If we continue to trash our economy, especially by preventing people from working, we will severely hamper our ability to help those who truly are impacted in a life-threatening manner.

The mad rush to alleviate suffering and pain, by throwing trillions of dollars at individuals and industries will have little or no impact on the number of people who will succumb to the Virus. Crises of this magnitude, by definition, hurt people and cause suffering. They test our ability to draw on our personal resources and very often, teach us valuable lessons, that otherwise would go unresolved. (How many of us were aware of our precarious reliance on China for numerous healthcare components.) In addition, the proliferation of programs and the humongous dispersion of public monies, will inextricably increase statism. This will create, have no doubt, another level of bureaucracy that will be near impossible to unwind.

COVID-19 has made it crystal clear that there are some things (perhaps many) that we have no control over. All our brilliance, technology and affluence doesn’t make a damn bit of difference in dealing with an inscrutable, unpredictable and unfeeling predator. It clearly infuriates most of our leaders, as well as much of our population, that we can’t figure out how to stop this evil force, dead in its tracks. This is not, by far, the first time we’ve had to deal with an uncontrollable adversary; but it may be one of the most impactful experiences. We better learn some cultural humility, since this won’t be the last time.

So, what should we do. We should release people to go back to work, and have a laser-like focus on treating those whose lives are threatened by the Virus. There is no doubt that many more people will contract the Virus. There is also clear evidence that over 80% will weather the effects with self-care and minimal intervention. Approximately 15% will require significant medical treatment; and, unfortunately, 5% will succumb to the Virus. Why don’t we direct our considerable resources toward those most in need, and abandon our fruitless power struggle with a disembodied entity. Lastly, I am surprised that no public health official has raised the issue of the allocation of much of the proposed funds to diseases that we can legitimately control – like Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer. We have lost perspective – 1.6 million children under 18 die each year in the United States from preventable causes – and we desperately need to regain it.

Morrie Shechtman

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