Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 900-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 30th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

More Hysteria

All of this hysteria about the corona virus is getting on my nerves. At least as much as I let anything get on my nerves.

When people ask me what I'm doing about the virus my response is "probably not much." I don't wash my hands any more than I normally do. I don't scrub my kitchen or bathroom any more than I normally do. I still wash my clothes on a regular schedule, as I normally do.

I haven't done any more grocery shopping than I normally do because I still have a freezer full of food, plus my pantry is three quarters full of beans and rice and other staples. I believe life presents us with enough issues without magnifying the threats that are posed by this virus.

After all, I wonder how many of these people thought about the dangers of our everyday life before this virus thing showed up. I think 70,000 people got killed last year by the flu virus, and I heard little or no hysteria about it. I didn't hear a lot more news about let's wash our hands more often. Let's stay out of crowds. Or let's cancel sporting events. People just went on with their everyday lives.

Nearly 500,000 people people died in the U.S. from smoking cigarettes last year, while another 41,000 died from inhaling secondhand smoke. But for some reason, we didn't hear this wave of hysteria about smoking, probably because a lot of big retailers would be losing major money if cigarettes were totally banned. However, the cartels would probably be happy because they would have a new product to put on the shelves.

Last year about 85 people died from jaywalking in the city of Phoenix; but no one heard much about that either. Opioid overdoses killed over a thousand people last year in Arizona, and at least that many each of the preceding three years; yet there was a little dust up about it and then it died down in the media and people went on to the next disaster.

One of the most ironic things I saw today was a 350 pound guy moving to the side of a market, pulling down a mask that he presumably was wearing to protect him from the corona virus, and lighting up a cigarette. Go figure. I guess he was trying to be kind of selective about what he was dying from.

I guess the point for me – besides an opportunity to vent – is that we can do a lot of things to take care of our health and to protect our families. But if we decide to mix in a large dose of hysteria and panic we do nothing to improve the situation. All hysteria and panic can do is cloud our thinking and prevent us from making the best decisions about how to survive whatever threats we're facing.

The reality is that most of us do not live optimal lives when it comes to taking care of our health. And the panicky worldwide reaction to this perceived threat – which may be a real threat as it has taken several lives – is doing absolutely zero to improve our odds of surviving.

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