In order to figure how to respond to a crisis, we first must know what's actually going on. To do this, we must do the following things: #1 Affirm that LOGIC should be our guide - not emotion. The very first thing we must do, before anything else, is to calm down, re-center ourselves, and consciously reaffirm the principle that our responses and strategies should be founded on logic. On Reason. On rationality. Emotional responses are not useful in these situations. In fact, they're dangerous. More dangerous even than the initial crisis itself. In any difficult situation, not least this one, we get into trouble when we base our responses on emotion. Panic always leads to trouble. It doesn't solve the problem. It causes chaos. It may make things even worse. No matter what the crisis is - whether it's economic, geopolitical, or biological - leading with emotions is not helpful. We can (and should) be learning from our past. There have been previous instances, where countries have fallen into emotional panic as a result of a crisis, and the panic causes far more damage than the crisis itself. One example of this is 9/11. Remember that?
#2 Learn from the past. Many people are noticing how similar the current atmosphere is to the days immediately after 9/11. There's fear in the air. A collective psychological chill is running through certain factions of society - especially those who put their faith in corporate news-media. They're glued to their TV's, looking for hope - but every time they pull that slot-machine lever, looking for a jackpot, all they're getting is more fear. They're downright paralyzed with fear, yet they keep going back to the same sources that are pumping all that fear into them in the first place. The fear itself has even become a drug to some people. They play CNN from morning to night, because fear is their stimulant. Like a needle in their arm. Just like in 2001. After 9/11, people thought there were "terrorists" lurking around every corner. Under the bed. In the closet. The news showed us program after program with scary music and scary silhouettes of scary guys in scary turbans. People were afraid to go outside. People in rural Kansas thought their towns of 200 people might be targets, and closed their public libraries.
Such irrational responses seemed reasonable at the time, because of how effective the media fear-porn was. The corporate media's job was to pump us full of adrenaline and anxiety, to get us all emotional about it, so that we could not respond logically. And look where that got us. The result was a fascist power-grab, and a new wave of imperialism. Citizens of America were presented with the Patriot Act, which effectively abolished the 4th Amendment, and allowed the government to build the most intrusive mass-surveillance system in world history, in total violation of the Constitution.
And rather than reject it, the supposed "bastion of freedom" willingly consented to it. And then there were the wars. We were told that those were just "emergency measures", and were only meant to be "temporary."
And then they'd give us our rights back. Once terrorism... had been "defeated."
They told us we'd be in Afghanistan and Iraq for "a few months."
ALL of it was supposed to be ***temporary***. It's now been almost 20 years. Have we gotten those rights back? The Patriot Act is still being renewed every year, and the U.S. military is still occupying three quarters of the globe, and still bombing goat-herders. There's no end to it in sight. And that's because those wars and power grabs were never meant to be temporary. That was always a lie, and they knew they were lying to us.
They built massive military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan immediately upon conquering - proving that they knew from the very start that these would be long-term, permanent military occupations - even as they were simultaneously telling us, it was "just in and out." They were lying through their teeth. Newsflash: Governments have always lied to their people. And the people who tried to point this out were censored. Those who tried to warn their fellow citizens were ignored and intimidated. If YOU were one of those who were skeptical, then YOU remember. You remember trying to break through the emotion, and engage people in logic about the matter, and you remember them blocking you out. If you were in the USA, then you remember being called "un-American" and "unpatriotic", merely for questioning President Bush and his insane response to the attacks. If you tried to get others to see the nonsense in the looming wars, you remember being accused of: "siding with the terrorists" and "helping Bin Laden", and being "a Saddam-lover."
Remember? And the ultimate buzzword - the one that could always be counted on to terminate any conversation, as a last resort - was "safety". "We have to keep people safe!!!" That one word - safety - could always be pulled out as the final trump-card to any conversation that was steering too closely toward logic. "We have to stay safe!!!!!!!!!" "People are gonna die if we don't play it safe!!!!!!!" "We can worry about the wars and Patriot Act later!!!!!! First we have to get SAFE!!!!!" "We have to defeat the terrorists first, and THEN, once we're SAFE, we can clean up those other problems!!!."
But there was no such thing as "defeating the terrorists", because, as we know now, the entire framing was bullshit from the start. You can't "defeat terrorism." The very idea sounds quaint and silly now. Ask yourself: Do you see the parallels between then and now?
If you do, then you must admit: We have to form a response that's founded on logic - not emotion. We don't have to agree yet on what the logic actually is. That's number 2. Before we can do that, first and foremost, we have to agree to the principle that logic is what we should be using in the first place. Can we agree to this? Can you agree to this? That logic is what should drive our response? #3 Listen to others, including those you disagree with. Before we can formulate an exact response, we must be willing to evaluate information from multiple sources, and listen to all sides of a debate. To be logical in our thinking, and to have confidence that the course we've identified as the most logical course is indeed the most logical - then we must be open to communication and discussion, including with people whose ideas are new and different from ours. Including people we think are wrong. There is no harm in listening to those we think are wrong. If they really are wrong, then their ideas can be defeated on grounds of logic. You can actually defeat a bad idea, by exposing the flaws in its reasoning. And if you do that, then it puts the question to rest, and people will no longer be wondering if that bad idea may have had merits to it after all (because you just debunked it with logic, for all to see).
You have nothing to fear from bringing a bad idea out into the open. Exposure is what allows it to be conclusively debunked. Consciousness and rational discourse are like sunlight. They disinfect minds from bad ideas.
And there's yet another reason to entertain "wrong" ideas, too. And it's the fact that they might actually be right - and you might be the one who's been wrong! Your ideas might have flaws, and if they do, don't you want them pointed out?
You have to listen to other people in order to notice the flaws in your ideas. Noticing the flaws in ones ideas is hard to do, and it requires a fairly sophisticated level of mindfulness. And thankfully there's a short cut: other peoples criticism. If someone is telling you that your ideas don't stand up in the light of rational scrutiny, it's fairly possible that they might have a point, and listening to them could do the job of ten years worth of meditation and introspection. You can easily find out what you've been wrong about all this time. This is how intellectually honest people operate. And if there was ever a time for us to be intellectually honest, it's now. Here's an example: Michael Levitt.
Michael is a Nobel laureate (2013) who is saying the pandemic is NOT going to be nearly as devastating as the media says. We're not talking about a random schmuck with a Dunning-Kreuger complex, who thinks he's an expert just because he has a Facebook page! We're talking about a Nobel laureate. This guy predicted the full trajectory of the virus in China. That includes: -the total number of cases -the timeline of those cases' development -the point in time when it would "peak" (i.e. the "flattening of the curve") -the total number of fatalities He predicted all this for China, and he was accurate on that last subject (fatalities) to within 5 persons. That is incredible. And when it comes to the USA, he's predicting far less doom and gloom than other so-called "experts." And he's not the only one questioning the "official" numbers and predictions. Here is Kim Iversen, a radio personality who has compiled lists of statistics that throw cold water on the "doom and gloom" fantasies you're hearing from the TV. She compiles her numbers from scientists (e.g. virologists, epidemiologists) at respected research institutions, from multiple countries (USA, Germany, China, Sweden), who are saying that this "virus" is vastly less deadly than we thought.
That video is from mid-March, and the numbers she cited have turned out to be accurate. Here's one that's more up-to-date (April):
The experts she cites are doctors and scientists at leading institutions. One of them is Dr. John Ioannidis, the co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center and professor of medicine, biomedical data science, statistics, and epidemiology and population health at Stanford University. Not a schmuck with a Facebook page. A STANFORD PROFESSOR.
Stanford Professor: Data Indicates We're Severely Overreacting to Coronavirus. Not only does he say that the mass-media's numbers are wrong, but that they're scandalous. He believes that, months from now, the biggest scandal in the world will be how the world's governments locked us in our houses, shut down the economy, and caused massive social unrest because of an unsupported model with horrible methodology. He calls it an "evidence fiasco." Have a listen:
Once again... Stanford Professor... not Facebook schmuck. Just in case you needed one more reminder. And here's another one. His name is Wolfgang Wodarg:
He's the chair of the Health Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Not a Facebook schmuck. Here's Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Md, PhD, also a professor of medicine at Stanford:
The common thread among all of them is this: The "doom and gloom" being peddled by governments and corporate media is all based on one study - one model - a computer model - conducted by one institution: The Imperial College of London. The "millions of deaths" and the "we're all gonna die" crap is based on one study. It's referred to as the "imperial model" (after the Imperial College). And its methodology is horrendously flawed. We'll get into the how and the why further down this page, in Point #4. And now that other scientists and researchers are putting out other models, the consensus is coalescing around the idea that we really, really, really, REALLY overreacted. This "virus" might be less of a threat than the flu. And now, even the authors of the Imperial model admits he might have made a boo-boo: Imperial College scientist who predicted 500K coronavirus deaths in UK adjusts figure to 20K or fewer
Oops. Looks like the scare-mongers might have gotten it wrong. Do you have to believe us? No. That's the point! Don't just "believe" people. Think about their words, and run them through the lens of rational scrutiny. Don't automatically believe - but do listen. There is nothing that can harm you just be listening, as long as you evaluate their words logically before reaching your own conclusions. Listen. Listen to a wide variety of viewpoints. #4 Do not trust the corporate media. We must be skeptical of sources that are proven liars. Right now, there is a debate going on through society. There are two sides. One side says: "This situation is WAY WORSE than you think it is." The other says: "It's NOT AS BAD as you think it is." Which one to believe? Well, the first one - the FEAR FEAR FEAR side - the corporate media - has been lying to us since we were born. They're the ones who lied about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, and about "Saddam working with Al-Qaeda." And you know they were lying, and not just "making mistakes", because when they were finally found out, what did they do? Did they fire the people who got it wrong? No. They fired the people who got it RIGHT. Phil Donahue was one of the only people in media who questioned the narrative, and MSNBC fired him. Ashley Banfield was another, and she was fired too.
And what about others, outside of the mainstream, who proved their smarts by getting it right? Do corporate news networks ever bring them on? Do they ever invite Medea Benjamin from Code Pink to come on their shows and explain the lies behind imperialism? Do they ever invite on ANYONE from the anti-war side? ANYONE who got it CORRECT? Nope.
Meanwhile, the loudest cheerleaders for war, who lied to us, year after year, faced no accountability whatsoever. Most of them got PROMOTIONS and PAY RAISES. They failed UP. That proves that the corporate news networks not only lie, but they KNOW they lie, and it's the WHOLE POINT. They've also been gaslighting us about Bernie Sanders for the past 5 years, gaslighting us about Medicare-for-All not being "affordable", gaslighting us about progressive political ideas, gaslighting us about Joe Biden not being a rapist (despite CAMERA FOOTAGE of him groping people) and not having dementia (despite CAMERA FOOTAGE of his brain melting mid-sentence), and gaslighting us about the DNC being "neutral" and not rigging the primaries. They have done nothing but gaslight us, for DECADES.
You're watching them gaslight you in real-time.
If you suddenly want to start trusting them now... just because there's a "new scary thing"... well... that's your prerogative. But if you choose that path, you're choosing the path of emotion - not logic. And finally... #5 Examine the "narrative" of COVID19 with a critical eye. There are many ways in which the "official" narrative of what's going on does not make sense. The numbers do not add up, and there are numerous "plot holes" in the story. It does appear that we are being lied to and manipulated in several important ways. We explore these ways in Part 2: The Holes in the Plot.