Saturday is World Mental Health Day, and decades of research show hope is a robust predictor of mental health. Not only does it make life more enjoyable, experts say, but hope also provides resilience against things like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. Hope offers chemical benefits too, in the form of endorphins and lowered stress levels, things, experts say, make people more productive.
Public health has, in general, not offered messages of hope. Instead the focus, together with a cooperative, non-skeptical media, has been fear, doom and gloom, with no end in sight. Their own actions are destroying the mental health of millions.
Actual public health leadership would have educated the public early on about pandemic responses and set realistic public expectations. They failed to do so then and continue to fail to do so.
In late winter/early spring we were sold a bill of goods about the need for lock ups (the proper term for “lock downs”) to “flatten the curve” for a few weeks to prevent overloading the health care system. Except for a few areas (NYC for example, other NE communities, FL, TX), there never was overwhelming demand for health care services in most of the country. (Update: In Dec/Jan 2020/2021, Los Angeles and parts of California became severely impacted. No one knows why. California has had the strictest and longest running restrictions and mitigations in place – but for no explained reasons, they did not work.)
The message of “a few weeks” became “a few months” and for some, now no end in sight. That destroys hope.
By Fall, we receive our daily body count updates, which are meaningless on multiple levels. Most of the deaths reported in my state, right now (October), occurred in August and September and are not contemporary. But that is not what the public is led to believe by the worthless body counts. Instead, we are getting old news that further erodes any sense of hope.
News media now focuses on positive test results rising, rather than dropping body counts. Because fear sells and good news does not.
“Officials” tell us we are going to be swamped with a “second wave’. More fear, more doom and gloom. We’ve been following their “Expert orders” for six months – and we have learned their pandemic response measures did not work and do not work. So what happens next? We are being threatened with more of the same – more lockdowns – a method that the World Health Organization now says should not be done except in very limited situations.
But there they are: we must double down on the public health measures that have failed. There is no hope.
Public health experts and politicians tell us if the numbers don’t improve will be sent to our bedrooms, again. Treating us like little children.
They fail to acknowledge that experts in their own field have documented that most measures do not work or work well, or we have no idea if they work -and those that do work, like lockdowns, are not sustainable. People eventually need to get on with their lives and they do. What works in a computer model does not work in the real world with real people. Indeed, some of the experts now suggest all we’ve done is convert what would have been a six month pandemic into a two year long, economically and physical and mental health destroying two year long pandemic. With the same eventual body count but at least we destroyed our economy and our children’s education.
What should have been done:
- Explain what a pandemic is
- Explain that all pandemics eventually ended, and why they ended (herd effects, virus mutates to less virulent form over time, vaccines, or people get on with their lives)
- Explain likely timelines and outcomes – and NOT the continuous focus on worst case and implausible scenarios. We’ve been told at various times that we may never have immunity (extremely unlikely), vaccines may not work (extremely unlikely), we may never return to a normal life (just like in all the other pandemics, huh?), we may have to wear face masks forever and so on. All bull shit, crappy public communications intended to make us fearful and more likely to comply with orders that they know make little sense.
- Real leadership would have explained how pandemics end – and on typical timelines – usually 1-2 years.
- Explain that life will eventually return to normal and explain likely scenarios about that.
- Lay out publicly and clearly our vaccination plan scenarios. As I have explained elsewhere on this blog, to vaccinate half the U.S. population in 6 months will require administering 1-2 million vaccine doses every day, 7-days a week, for six months. What is the plan for this? Lacking a workable plan, there can be no hope for resolution to his pandemic until late 2021 or early 2022. Why are their no public vaccination plans as of October 2020? This is inexcusable.
- Give people an opportunity to have hope for the future – instead of this bull shit non-stop doom and gloom – a life without hope.
They should have recognized that taking action X would likely result in numerous side effects. But they did not and ignored the costs of the side effects of their plans. Some health experts and economists think the effects of the pandemic response policies may ultimately kill more people than were possibly saved by those policies.
History will not look kindly on this era, nor on the lack of planning and ineffective responses to a pandemic that had been predicted for years. Nor the incompetent messaging that has – from one day to the next – delivered inconsistent, contradictory and frequently incoherent public messaging.
What we need is hope. Not more nonsense and threats from public health experts whose plans, so far, have mostly failed, as new tests skyrocket daily.
From the CDC’s failed tests in February, to the CDC’s monopolization of testing from March onwards – with a whopping 7-10 day turn around. To the fraudulent disease models of the Imperial College London and the University of Washington. And then on to the inconsistent, contradictory, inept and incoherent messaging.
It’s time for public health to communicate clearly, consistently, coherently and based on evidence (not models). And to deliver a message of hope.
 In mid-March I needed to see a doctor for the chronic pain that had started in my foot 2-3 weeks earlier. It was not getting better but getting worse. Just as I was about to seek medical advice, my state shut down all non-emergency health care to prepare for a non-existent tsunami that never happened. I had to wait 2 months – to May 13th – before I could see a doctor. I had a stress fracture and a partially torn tendon. During preceding weeks there were a few times that the pain caused me to break down and cry. The public health idiots did not give a moment’s thought to the consequences of their orders – where human health care was shut down but car repair was all okay.