“To be of a sound mind means to remain in control of your own destiny. This year may be very difficult but together with those of like-mindedness we will rise victorious.”
Did you ever think of your mind as a battle field? Without a visible enemy or a single shot being fired the world has been brought to its knees by the global fear of the unknown. If I had told you in December 2019 what was about to unfold in 2020, you would have probably thought I was mad —yet it happened all the same. What the world has endured collectively in 2020 was surreal, a Hollywood block buster to say the least.
One thing is certain, the world is divided: there are those that believe the virus came unexpectedly rolled out just as the media reported frame by frame. Then there are those who think that it was planned, being that this is the seventh corona-virus (the other six came and went yet this one was different labelled novel). We had the SARS virus in 2002 and MERS in 2012, big panic at the onset, yet it came and went without too much incidence.
We have had way more deadly viruses in the past:
Spanish Flu 1918–1920 50 million
Asian Flu 1957–1958 1.5 to 2 million
Hong Kong Flu 1968–1969 1 million
Swine Flu – H1N1 2009 -2010 estimated deaths were 575,000 in the first year; 80% of the virus-related deaths were estimated to occur in those < 65 years of age.
Novel corona-virus, COVID-19 had the ability to control every politician (not so in Africa), especially those who ruled countries with the greatest wealth, doing as the World Health Organization gave orders. The message was disseminated to the various national and regional health authorities and reported within the main stream media without question or rebuttal. What group is right: the ones that questioned the ease in which global control was taken or the ones who believed everything that the main stream media reported? Surprisingly, the narrative was unanimously agreed upon from China, to India, to the US and Canada, with the exception of the virus origin—the US called it the Chinese virus. I thought I had seen most things yet I never seen tabulated global deaths and cases reported in real time. Can you image reporting cancer and heart attacks in the same manner?
One thing is certain: the conversation around the water cooler in 2020 was not centered on the weather or sports, everything was Covid-19, or was it? As a diversion Donald Trump was used, the news either started with Trump or Covid yet Time magazine named Biden and Harris as Person of the Year—and what a year it was! The thing that struck me most about 2020 was the unsubstantiated fear and alienation and the victims, our seniors. Those outside our circle or bubble were reported as walking virus spreaders, a single sneeze was equated as if a hand grenade was thrown; absent was ‘god bless you’ or ‘gesundheit’, instead you were viewed as if you had leprosy. I was intrigued and I interviewed both camps: the ardent virus believers and the virus unbelievers. The believers watched the news multiple times throughout the day so they always had the latest information—the O. J. Simpson murder trial paled in comparison. The doubters also watched the news and I asked why when they did not believe what was reported, they answered they needed to know what was coming next. I pondered the position of each camp and I asked myself: what filter do they have in place to protect their mind? Our minds are like a sponge; they absorb everything we see or hear consciously or unconsciously. It is overwhelming to receive disturbing fear based reporting 24/7 as the feeling of helplessness seems out of our control. How on earth can that type of information be stored, disseminated or rationalized? It’s like watching a horror movie for an entire year while sitting on the edge of your seat, when can we return to normal?
The human mind has become the battlefield; our data profile is being gathered constantly our relationships, our religion, our pleasures and our fears. In our social media dominated world fear of the unknown can travel the planet quicker than any virus. But are we equipped to deal with dire thoughts? Where is our minds filter, what is our reality? We can be manipulated without being aware of it. The new documentary titled The Social Dilemma (2020) openly reveals how it is achieved and the picture is scary.
As a distraction, we can learn from our history how easily this is done. Emperor Nero gave the people bread, cheap wine and the circuses. The political propaganda altered the state of reality in an effort to appease the people and create disdain for certain groups. The sedated masses spent half their days attending gladiator games, and today entertainment plays the same role. Nero fiddled and Rome burned, more recently the Jews in Nazi Germany, the Japanese internment camps during WWII are other examples. Many times the victims outnumbered their oppressors 100 to 1 yet they remained obedient thinking if they show no resistance then they will be spared.
Canada, the US and most of the world went into lock-down, surgeries were cancelled, dentists worked in emergencies only, most restaurants and shops closed yet strangely enough selling alcohol was deemed an essential service and remained open. With the average person out of work or out of school, the government appeared to be giving money freely (at the tax payers’ expense) with the completion of a simple online application. As a result, many earned more than when working. Movies on Netfix streaming rose 10 percent the first week adding millions of global subscribers, video games sales skyrocketed 63 percent during the first week of lock-downs. With the populous sedated with free money, abundant liquor and entertainment, Nero would be proud. Politicians had the limelight reporting on the negative news: “we hate to do this but the curve is not flattening, it is time we begin shaming those not wearing a mask; even those with medical conditions” said the British health minister. Christmas has passed the special time of year to be with family and friends, yet children not living at home and grandpa and grandma were not in our bubble: “I know you are healthy but we can’t be together unless we go to Walmart and meet on aisle 5. I will bring the turkey, and Mary Beth, you bring the potatoes and stuffing.”
Our story’s outcome is yet to be determined but what can we do while waiting? The best advice I can offer is from Proverbs 4:13 “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it.” I will add a filter to this: everything that you take in, first exercise critical thinking before making it your own. Our creative power is our deepest region of our mind. When in its full capacity, it can bring strength, power and liberty. To be of a sound mind means to remain in control of your own destiny. This year may be very difficult but together with those of like-mindedness we will rise victorious.
- 2020. COVID-19 deaths compared with “Swine Flu”.
- n.d. Past pandemics.
 WHO. n.d.
 CEBM. 2020.