Fear is contagious. In the grand scheme, with all relevant data taken into account, fear is more contagious than any virus, infection, disease, or germ. Reason, not so much. Logic, critical thought, objective analysis, well, you don’t need me to tell you how well they fair; you just need to open your eyes and look around for a breath.
The reason fear is so contagious is that unlike a virus or an infection, it can be fanned, stimulated, aggravated, and stirred up by external forces, whether well-intentioned or with an underlying nefarious reason. Life itself teaches us that more often than not fear of a thing is worse than the thing itself. I know someone who, for the longest time, would not go to the dentist because he was terrified of what the experience would be like. Eventually, after enough sleepless nights due to unbearable pain, he went in, had the molar extracted within fifteen minutes, came home, and was having breakfast the following morning.
When I asked him if the experience of it lived up to the fear he’d allowed to build upon itself in his mind, he sheepishly responded that the worst part of it was feeling the prick of the needle that numbed his mouth so the doctor could extract the rotted tooth.
Fear is the gateway to panic, it births, it nurtures it, incites it, and panicky people tend to respond in an animalistic fashion, doing things they wouldn’t normally do, and justifying it to themselves in a manner of ways.
Because all we are consuming is fear lately, whether fear of a not so super virus, or an oncoming meteor, or martial law, which was supposed to happen a couple of weeks ago if you believed certain folks, we are secreting it, it’s leaking through our pores, and infecting others as well. You walk into any store, pharmacy, or gas station, and you can tell who’s ready to jump out of their skin. It’s like the guy who ate too much garlic the previous night; even if he keeps his mouth shut, you can smell it through his sweat glands.
Every media outlet is doing everything it can to keep the panic dialed to the maximum, the latest thing being spreading the virus via your gas expulsions. That’s right; if you’re coughing and farting, you’re a double threat and should probably just be locked up in solitary confinement for the rest of your life.
Ask any questions, such as why there have been no recorded influenza deaths of late, or why the governors insisting we must now shower with masks on, sleep with masks on, and drink through a straw we somehow wedge between our masks and our faces are never seen wearing them, and you’ll be met with a blank stare and accused of wanting people to die, or some such dawdle.
It has now become customary for anyone looking at the hard data and pointing out that something doesn’t add up to be labeled a murderer, guilty of patricide and matricide for not falling in line, staying home, curling up in a ball and waiting to be told what they can and cannot do next.
The reason the reaction is so feral is because reason and logic are the antidote to fear. When you apply logic to a situation wherein everyone around you is insisting that you start yanking your hair out by the roots the way they are, the tendency to hyperventilate and be consumed by their fear dissipates and goes away.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things to be apprehensive about, and if not for the hope we have in Christ and the knowledge that He is with us, even downright fearful. This just isn’t one of them!
All told, you should probably be more afraid of tyranny, governmental overreach, the suspension of your civil rights, the fact that your local government is encouraging you to actively turn on your neighbor and call in any suspicious activity, whether it’s coughing, farting, or having someone over for soup, than something that has as much of a chance of killing you as driving into work does.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.