Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Paranoia Virus B

I keep trying to understand the panic and of course the reality behind the Coronation virus.  It is not unlike many many diseases that have plagued the country the last decade,

  • Ebola — 2014. West Africa's Ebola outbreak sparked international concern in 2014, killing more than 11,310 people and infecting more than 28,000. ...
  • Zika virus — 2015-16. ...
  • Acute flaccid myelitis — 2018. ...
  • Measles — 2019.

Add to that the Swine Flu, outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease (in Disneyland no less)  Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis,  an outbreak of Hepatitis and yes even Polio.  Let us not forget the AIDS crisis of 30 years ago that wiped out many but like may of these diseases it was thought of as from and infecting a marginalized group until now suddenly this.  Gosh China seems to be ground zero for most of this and not surprising as they possess the worlds largest population. SARS anyone?

I am exhausted from the endless emails from yoga studios, spas, etc that are advising and asking for people to stay home, that they are taking precautions and the rest.  Sure whatever as again those are places largely populated and attended by the well to do and those with means so they take care or would they be there? It has become exhausting and I joke about it every day as the irony of this happening in one of those places is about a million to one.  I ride Light Rail, Trains, Subways, Ferries and walk the streets where just in passing alone it means I come into contact to all kinds of germs.  

Today I was reprimanded by my yoga studio about joking about the virus as it is a "safe space" so I took that as a way of reminding myself it is not a safe space for me and in turn cancelled my classes for the rest of the month. Let's see how I feel literally and figuratively in April after tax time (as no better time there then to take a temperature of emotions) to return and not ever speak again, as in ever other than a minor exchange of false pleasantries.

If on more person says: "I care about you and I am your friend" I will cough on them. How absurd you are a service personnel whom I pay to provide a service that is the extent of our relationship, a fiduciary one and no we are not friends.  And that is why I laugh when I heard Teachers say I love kids, no you don't. They are your students and some you have fondness for over others but the reality is that you have no relationship beyond the walls of the school. So again when you are in a working environment you can have all kinds of exchanges and they can evolve into more but in all honesty you can only control your behavior not others. (oryyou could be this stupid)  The reality is that the basis of respect is shown by respecting yourself and modeling that as the best way you wish to be treated. Don't understand my humor tell me that and I will never joke again - with you. About you yes but not with you. 

The reality is that I am in the higher risk group. I am over 60 live alone, have no health care insurance and live in a large building with many residents who are from overseas and travel there and have visitors from there.  The building is full of children who are oddly not showing strong symptoms and in turn animals and all the rest of life and living in an urban center.  My pet peeve is the waste/refuse room and the inability to actually recycle and toss garbage away in a sanitary and appropriate manner.  The rent we pay I get that we have personnel who take care of it but let's not expose them to your filth either.  Just like at Yoga I clean the borrowed mat myself, cover anything that touch with kleenex and am careful to not go to a class ill.  I rarely speak and in my joking it is to lighten a mood and have a laugh but the owner has no sense of humor and most Yoga people don't as they take it all seriously in the same vein religious crackpots do and it is utter bullshit and you can see why Alabama made it illegal to teach in the schools. We think being serious lends intellect and commitment and yes it can but you can be who you are and still find benefits that are beyond the mat.  

I have taught in the public schools as one after another a preventable disease outbreak occurred and all of it because of the issues of vaccinations.  The most educated liberal city, Seattle, has a real problem with this issue and once again here it is in America ground zero for the largest most fatal outbreak.   That is why the hysteria as had it been Oklahoma or Memphis people would have said "That figures" as some type of justification or explanation for why it was there - poor, conservative, black or whatever.  But when a virus hits Seattle, a well off white educated, liberal city - GAME ON!

Here is where hysteria becomes more dangerous than the disease.  That said the way the Trump Administration is handling it is utterly absurd but then again what do you expect?  It is serious and we need a strong Governmental response to ensure public safety as well if not this what?  But right now I am sick of hearing about it in ways that someone tells me to not read the paper or watch the news as that is upsetting is again the head in the sand of reality. That is not the answer either. Being aware, being intelligent and being informed is more powerful than any virus and in turn makes a better population in response. But then again the Fox News idiocy not the answer either.  Hey in reference to Yoga find balance.    But hey you are right be ignorant and be complicit.  Paranoia it will destroy ya. 

Psychology Research Explains Panic Over Coronavirus - And How You Can Calm Down

Mark Travers
I write about human potential and the science of reaching it.

By now, we’ve all seen the pictures and read the headlines. Coronavirus is real and its impact is growing.

How concerned should we be about the chance of infection? That’s difficult to say, but one thing is for sure: panic is not the answer.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we tend to do in situations like these. Flawed judgment takes over. We overreact. We suspect that we might already be infected. We prepare for the worst. Irrational impulses drown out level-headed thinking.

In fact, there is a lot of psychological research to explain how and why this happens. Below are three cognitive biases that make us perceive the threat of Coronavirus as worse than it actually is.

#1: Things that are easily imagined are judged as more likely to happen.
Today In: Science

Have you ever worried about being attacked by a shark? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Almost everyone who swims in the ocean has, at some point, imagined the threat of a shark attack. Why? Not because the odds are high, but because we’ve seen the movie Jaws, we watch Shark Week every summer, and we hear about the occasional shark attack on the news. The idea of a shark attack is easy to imagine and we therefore think it could happen to us.

The same is true of Coronavirus. With hundreds of stories being published on Coronavirus every day, we are naturally led to believe that the epidemic is bigger, closer, and more dangerous than it actually is.

How can we combat this type of flawed reasoning? One way is to take a more passive interest in the news rather than being glued to the TV or reading every new Coronavirus headline that is published. This will make Coronavirus less top-of-mind, and therefore less threatening. Another is to engage in the following exercise. Ask yourself if you know anyone, personally, who has contracted the illness. If the answer is no (which it likely is), ask yourself if you know anyone who knows anyone who has been infected. If the answer to both of these questions is no, then rest assured that the threat of Coronavirus is less imminent than top-of-mind thinking might lead you to believe.

#2: Intuition is mostly a blessing. In cases like these, it can be a curse.

Our ability to make snap judgments is one of the wonders of the human mind. It allows us to navigate our complicated social environments with relative ease — akin to an airplane flying on autopilot. However, when it comes to math, probabilities, and rational decision making, our intuition can lead us astray. Consider the following brain teaser, popularized by the Nobel Laureate psychologist, Daniel Kahneman:

A baseball bat and a ball cost $1.10 together. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Your answer? If you relied on intuition, you probably guessed 10 cents. Most people do. It takes a bit of deep thinking, however, to arrive at the correct answer, which is 5 cents.

Taking some time to do the math behind the Coronavirus might help to quell any hysteria you might be experiencing. And, it may be best to start with a simple calculation. There are about 7.5 billion people in the world. According to the New York Times, approximately 100,000 people have been infected as of yesterday. That means the current odds of anyone in the world contracting the virus is approximately 1 in 75,000. Combine that with the fact that few people who contract the virus actually become seriously ill and you can see how irrational the hysteria really is.

3#: Existential threats often receive more attention than they deserve.

Millions of years of evolution has endowed us with a cognitive architecture that is especially attuned to environmental threats. It’s how we were able to survive, and multiply, in dangerous environments such as the African Serengeti. While this phenomenon, known as the “negativity bias,” works wonders to keep us safe in threatening or unknown environments, it can also produce unnecessary worry. Be cognizant of the fact that your mind has this built-in survival mechanism. Be thankful for it, but give your rational mind the green light to turn it off when it is safe to do so.

Conclusion: Take a deep breath. Coronavirus is almost certainly not coming for you. And, even if it were, panic is not the answer. Wash your hands, continue enjoying your life, and leave the rest to chance. In this case, it’s on your side.

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