So, this post has been brewing in me for months. Since Covid 19 started. And perhaps even prior to that.
As you might know, I am very idealistic type of a person.
So, when pandemic outbreak happened, my hopes went up.
To be honest, part of me felt like I am living in a fantasy or some Dan Brown’s book where the professor did not manage to save the virus from escaping to the world. Everything together seemed surreal. Part of me felt like maybe this is a dream and I am going to wake up. I was also asking myself if the place I am going to wake up is going to be a mental hospital. Maybe I went nuts. This is one of my deepest fears, what if I am crazy. I guess this is what a healthy person living in a crazy society sooner or later asks themselves.
So, quite soon I realised I am still sane, there is something happening in the world that has been happening many times in the history already. But this time we are connected like never before. At least connected on a physical level, with business and economies of most of the countries in the world highly depending on each other, with the amount of the world travellers we have never had before, with almost every person owning 1-3 devices that allows them connection to the world wide web of inter-connected-digital-nets of information and ability to connect all around the world from your home.
So, information spreads fast, so does virus and so does fear and all the conspiracy theories that fear breeds.
But before I go deeper into fear, let us return first to my hopes. Maybe they were your hopes too.
It was incredible to see how fast governments all around the world were going into action to protect the virus from spreading and therefore protect the people. It was like the whole world was working as one, like we forgot for a moment on wars to fight and killing people and put a priority on saving people lives. It was quite incredible to hear that even ISIS warned the followers from plotting attacks in Europe or travelling to Europe, as they could catch the disease. Well done.
So, my hopes went up. If we could as a humanity act as one this time to prevent the disease from spreading, we might even realise that we can take similar action globally for other issues as well.
Maybe we will realise we can do something, if we want (and if we find it threatening enough), around global warming. Maybe we will realise that we can do something around hunger (every year around 9 million people die of hunger). Maybe we will realise we can do something around poverty (more than 700 million people living in extreme poverty).
Around global warming and climate change and effects that our lifestyle has on our planet (and therefore on all other human beings and other beings on the planet): It was amazing to hear the good news about cleaner skies, cleaner waters and carbon emission drops. For me personally it was so nice to feel how much more peaceful walking on the Earth felt thanks to reduction of the traffic noise and all the micro movements that traffic causes. I used to live near highway and roads with a lot of traffic (but most of my life I lived quit quite village, so I might grew up hyper aware of noise) and when you live in places like this, you can feel the vibrations that traffic is causing. You also get used to them, so sometimes when the traffic slows downs and there is silence, you become aware for a moment, how peaceful everything is and you feel like you can breathe, but then buzz starts all over again.
Well, I am living in a village now where there is not so much traffic as in cities or that much vibration as near highways, yet still through the time of public transport shut down and limited movements, I could feel how much more peaceful earth was. And I experienced what I call naturegasm (an orgasm that you experience while connecting with Nature) spontaneously, after years!
It was a nice confirmation for me when I saw seismic movements graphs agreeing with me (thank you all the seismologist for the work you do).
So, I got my hopes up that those who do not believe global warming is real and cannot see the fact that us humans do contribute to it, will finally see the data and change their minds. I hope at least some did.
Before I dive into conspiracy theories (or conspiracy terrorism as I think of it – yes, I do have strong points on it, even though I leave myself a benefit of doubt even for my own theories), I would like to share with you another hope and joy of mine that I experienced during a lock down.
Blessed enough to live in a village and having a dog that takes me for a walk twice a day, it was amazing to see how many new people I spotted walking through the fields during that time. Where I usually meet only other dog owners, farmers working on the fields and a handful of smart people who walk daily because they take care of their health, I saw families and couples I never saw before enjoying the nature. It was so nice to say hello to them. So, I hoped more and more people will see the joy of being outdoors and the benefit it has on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. I hope some became aware of that.
I also hoped that us humans will become aware of no matter how insignificant we might feel at times, what an impact we have on others. If washing my hands and keeping a safe distance can have such an affect to prevent the virus, or better to put it in the terms of, if not washing my hands and not keeping a safe distance can have a disastrous effect on someone who don’t have luck to have a strong immune system, I hoped we will realise how other small actions we do (or don’t do) daily impact us and those around us. Maybe we will become aware how connected we all are and how important it is we take good care of ourselves and others. Maybe we will become aware when we are careless towards others it sooner or later bites us in our own ass.
So, let us touch on conspiracies now.
Despite my idealistic nature or maybe because of my awareness of it and previous experience of my hopes getting up and burning down, I advised myself to think logically this time and remember what history taught us and what was the main thing I remember from sociology lessons in high school (besides strongly remembering professor thinking I probably couldn’t understand the message of George Orwell’s book Animal Farm when I told her I read it in primary school – maybe I did not know anything about historical references in it, but the message of the book was obviously clear to me, despite my disappointment at former revolutionaries turning into what they fought against or even worse).
She was an incredibly good professor, with a clear passion for the subject and a totally disapproving look on her face for anyone who dared to look at the phone during her valuable lessons. Gosh, how much respect I have for this woman!
And the point of that lesson that got stuck in my memory was following: when crisis hits, survival fear in people comes out, and when people are afraid, they look for a scapegoat.
So, what is a scapegoat? Scapegoat is a person or group of persons that people start to blame for their misfortune (official definition: a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others).
In European history, the popular scapegoats were women (“witches”), gypsies and Jews.
In the time of my life, I observed people blaming for their trouble Americans, Russians, immigrants, people from the south, China, and the most popular scapegoat where I live were always “greedy rich people”. And of course those on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
My train of thought went like this:
First, thank god I am not using social media, because fear and conspiracy theories travel fast there, and even smart educated people fall for them and I sometimes fall under influence of smart educated people.
Second, I got to maintain my inner peace. People will become afraid, especially when the financial crisis hits. Afraid people can do scary things. Even if I am not afraid, people around me might get afraid. What I can do, to maintain my calm around afraid people? How can I deescalate the situation if people around me fall under the spell of fear?
My solution? Learn more about fear. How fear works? I searched for books on fear on Scribd (my favourite app for reading e-books) and I found an excellent one, that helped me a lot. It’s from Joseph O’Connor and the title is Free Yourself From Fears with NLP: Overcoming Anxiety and Living Without Worry. It is a book on a whole variety of fears with practical exercises to do to understand your fears and overcome them. I listened to the audio book, so it was amazing to be guided through exercises right on the spot while listening. And the voice of narrator was so calming. I am sure this book helped me a big deal in improving relationships during the #stayathome time.
My man was very afraid of virus, he also had to work the whole time, not having a luxury of staying at home, so he was often anxious. I was so proud of myself for handling his anxiety with calmness and understanding, without becoming afraid or angry myself.
I think I will sooner or later go through that book again. It’s like free coaching sessions that you can take on your own pace (btw, you can join Scribd through my affiliate link and get two months of reading for free and you can cancel before your trial is over, if it does not suit you).
So, I was mostly enjoying myself during that time. It looked like changes in the world I am craving for are possible. I enjoyed spending time with people I live with, walks in even more peaceful nature, talking on the phone with friends and my mother, having skype sessions and I started working on the web page you are now on. Oh, it was nice as well, when people called me, just to check if I am healthy!
But despite not using social media, conspiracy theories found me anyway. I got messages from well-intending friends. At the beginning it was mostly about 5G. Interesting, how now all this 5G talk disappeared. I got messages about some mysterious elites doing shady things to reduce the world population. There were theories that Covid-19 was made in laboratories, to reduce the amount of elderly people in the world. Some said that China spread this around. Some said it was Americans planting the virus in China, to weaken its economic power. That was before virus hit the fan in US.
Some spiritual coaches that I follow seemed to completely forget the message they usually preach, that we create our own reality and started spreading messages about some dark elites that want to control us and take our sovereignty, reduce our freedom. I mean, if you are such a firm believer, that we create our own reality, then ask yourself, how did you create in your own reality people, that want to restrict your freedom? And what is true freedom anyway? We can go deeply philosophical and spiritual as well here. (Hmmm, should I, should I not go there? Not this time, this will be a whole another post about theories I have about human behaviour, what is reality, how much impact on it we have etc.)
For now I will only say that in those cases where people believe they create their own reality and attract into their life what is the energetic match to their vibration, but then completely forget about their own message and start believing someone is controlling them, that there is some dark power working against them… have an unresolved trauma bellow all that.
So, some blame 5G, some blame rich people, some blame greedy people, some blame pharmaceutic companies, some blame Trump (it’s interesting, how some conspiracy theorists see Trump as a bad guy, not even a human anymore and others see him as an angel), some blame spiritual war between light and dark.
But what is common in all of this is blame.
And that when something affects us personally, our reason goes sometimes completely out through the window and we are swallowing in the fear. Of course, fear is not a pretty state to be in. Unless you feel like you have a sense of control over it – many people enjoy horror movies or adrenaline sports, because of addicting and pleasurable rush of adrenaline that seems to awaken all your senses.
But when you feel like you have no control, you start to ask who has it. Who is controlling me?! And you start looking for someone to blame. In that process, your feeling of fear is starting to shift into a feeling of anger. And while fear makes us feel powerless, anger feels much more powerful. And so we are angry. But anger can blind us very quickly. It is very focused and intense emotion and while we are riding its wave, we can loose out of our sight everything that normally matters to us and keep our attention as a hunter watching its prey only on the object of our blame. (Btw, this TED talk on fear, anger and manipulation is deeply enjoyable, however we must become aware how today we co-creating the media).
And it happens to super self aware people as well. Even me, the person writing this, who felt prepared in advance for what is going to happened to fall in that same trap. If the focus of people who are looking for scapegoat and diving into every possible conspiracy theory was on those “bad people who want to control us”, a lot of my focus was on the believers of conspiracy theories. I was asking myself questions like “How can they be like that, why they don’t see that they are contributing to what they think they are fighting against? How they cannot see that they are the ones spreading fear? How they cannot see that every human being on this earth is simply a human being like them, trying to do its best to survive and if the survival is taken care of, to thrive?”
So I fall on the side of those who think the conspiracy theorists are the problem, while conspiracy believers think I am the stupid one for being okay with wearing a mask in closed public spaces and therefore I am the part of the problem.
While the fact is that we are all part of the problem. Yet we might get into a fight even while we try to define what really is the problem. And we must define it, if we want to solve it. It is the same as repairing the washing machine. We have to know first which part is broken, if we want to replace it.
And I personally think, that the part that is broken is, that we forgot that there is no them on the other side. It is us, humans on the globe who are causing ourselves troubles.
Let us return to our reason going out of the window when something affects us personally (or at least so freaking personally, that we cannot any longer ignore it).
I was thinking about a person that I know who has unprotected sexual intercourses with other people. That person told me they were sweating many times in the hospital while waiting for the results of test on HIV.
I know women, who took “morning-after pill” many times. And of course we all heard of or personally know or are a result of sexual intercourse where our parents did not use a protection (and did not intend to make a child).
For whatever reason people do not use protection while having sex with others, I haven’t heard anyone of them complaining, that some elites has caused them to have to sweat while waiting for the results of test. None of my girl-friends ever blamed anyone for having to take a morning-after pill. Those people are all very aware what can happen if you have unprotected sex. You can get pregnant, if you are woman and you can get a sexual disease no matter how you would define your gender.
And speaking of HIV, more than one million people in the world get infected every year. In 2019 approximately 1,7 million new infections globally, approximately 690 000 dying from AIDS related diseases and approximately 38 million of people living with HIV.
Why am I stating all this data now? Because I heard so many people say “I don’t know anyone personally who has covid19 or who died from covid-19.” Like this is a proof that there is no covid-19 and somebody is making fun of us, pardon, wants to control us. Well, I know personally only one person who got tested for HIV and nobody who has it and nobody who died from it. Those that means there is no HIV virus and it is all made up?
I think 38 million of people living with it would not agree.
And most of those people are living in poor countries which are far far away from us, it does not affects us personally (at least not if we ignore it, or so we think), so we don’t make up conspiracy theories about HIV.
So, if you still do not believe covid-19 is real, you perhaps don’t believe HIV is real either.
But would you have unprotected sex with someone who has it?
Probably not. And you would probably encourage your kids to use protection while having sex with strangers, just in case. (When they are old enough to have sex, of course).
So let us have personal space and wear masks in closed public spaces and keep our hands clean just in case the thing is real.
And those who are afraid of their kids being traumatised for having to wear masks in schools, I guess what is more traumatising is having parents who are not present with their kids, because they are busy seeing enemies and people who want to control them everywhere instead of knowing that other people are fellow human beings, who are doing the best they can, the best they know how.
This post got longer than I thought it would be, but still I have more to say on the topic, so I am planning to write another post on what I wish we would learn from Corona and where to look at within, if you are ready to heal some of the traumas that are causing you to focus more on conspiracies then on what brings you joy. Also, I am just a human doing the best I can, the best I know how and I don’t know all the answers and I am not the gatekeeper of any information or eternal truth, that you could not find out on your own. But I do love asking questions.
This post is also not in any way connected with any party or side or paid by anyone. It is written, as my response to things I observe in human society, and because of my own need to put my thoughts into more or less coherent whole. I am also a happy person, when I express myself through writing and therefore much more pleasant human to be around. If you appreciate the hours of writing, thinking, researching, observing of myself and others, that went into this post, you can donate here.