Fear and why you need to understand the WHY not just the HOW

Before we dive down anymore science-based rabbit holes it’s important I address another very real factor you aren’t going to see in a published paper: One of the defining themes of the COVID-19 Panic-demic is uncertainty.

Uncertainty breeds fear and fear triggers the ‘Fight or Flight’ mechanism. This not only shifts our metabolism to burn a lot of sugar it also compromises our immune system. So while the initial panic of COVID has worn down as the projected deaths simply failed to materialize and toilet paper is back on the shelves, the lingering uncertainty is killing us in other ways. 

It’s like we are on a ship adrift in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean with no course and no power. And while the fear is not in our face the fear generated by uncertainty permeates our daily existence. We don’t know what to do but we ‘know’ we need to DO something. . . . 

…...and what do we do?  We jump on social media, argue about masks, the numbers, conspiracies, civil liberties, Dr. Fauci and, of course, Sweden. We create well-intended infographics about how droplets spread, sew masks with designs, unfriend, protest, riot and destroy. . . if anything, COVID has exposed this frailty of fear.

Today’s fear response is natural evolutionary hard-wiring gone awry and in ‘interesting’ ways. 

We tend to project courage, knowledge and certainty to mask our fears and ignorance. We cling to established conventional rules we are familiar with as well as try to impose them on others when we actually need new ones. 

And, this is what has transpired for the most part. People are dying of COVID . . . ergo; we need to ubiquitously wear masks, distance, lockdown and shame others who do not comply. 

It’s time to admit we simply don’t know. This especially applies to our well-intended Political leaders because so many people are looking to them for leadership. Admitting one is mistaken or mis-guided takes more than leadership. It takes those proverbial ‘Brass Balls.’ Professor Timothy Noakes MD/PhD is probably the best example of this. 

Once we can do this we can learn, accumulate knowledge and find a way forward. In Dr. Noake’s case he personally lost over 60 pounds and reversed his Type 2 Diabetes into remission but has been a leader in a health movement yours truly has pioneered years earlier. 

Dr. Noakes forms the template of how each of us can create positive change on a personal and global scale. Start by being the example instead of part of the Herd. 

 In case you haven’t noticed the ‘COVID Cheese’ is moving…..and it’s pretty obvious it’s moving through the population in spite of lockdowns, masks, social distancing and other stock off-the-shelf actions being implemented. 

If you follow me you know I’m strongly advocating  we prioritize optimizing our immune system function over everything else all while isolating those most vulnerable. If this is your introduction to ‘Peter’ and his alternative universe, ‘Karibu’ as my friend Simon Mtuy would say……Fortunately, I’m not alone. There are a lot of great scientists and clinicians collaborating on this and the emerging data points to boosting immune function as the best way for most of us to conquer COVID-19! That is if we are able to stop being fearful and fixated on the death and poor outcome numbers. 

While being a biologist gives me a leg up on the science of COVID, being a biologist who is actually looking into the science shows me how much I don’t know and keeps me saying to myself; ‘The more I learn, the less I know…’ this isn’t a bad thing because it keeps me curious and working hard to learn and understand more rather than be reactive and paralyzed by fear. This is no different for YOU!

So be willing to learn and understand. Develop curiosity. Doing so removes fear replaces it with curiosity and leads to discovery. I absolutely ‘get’ that in our time-poor world so many people just want the ‘How’ as in ‘just tell me how to do it’. But when you only go with the ‘How’ without understanding why you are giving away a bit of your higher individual self.Rise to it!  Knowing the WHY empowers the HOW and YOU!

Now this doesn’t mean you have to go deep down the rabbit holes of understanding COVID, health and Human Performance . . . that’s my job. But it is also my responsibility to communicate WHY as much as the HOW to empower YOU!

COVID & the fear it is fomenting are no different. We should have a healthy fear of COVID, however, we have gone WAY past this; with the initial overarching panic (remember the ‘Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020?) and now with the uncertainty of COVID permeating every aspect of our lives. This has resulted in little intelligent conversation both at the mainstream level to our personal interactions. Stop and think about this in the context of your life because we all can do better.  

On a very bright note I am seeing, a lot of insightful collaboration at the clinical and research levels which I’ll be going to be sharing in an upcoming vlog. In today’s sound-bite world it’s long and would be swiped away into the Instagram Abyss unless someone is truly motivated to be curious, open to learn and from this discover. Hopefully the information I am providing removes a lot of the uncertainty of the direction and action you need to take and provides you with the motivation to begin your journey to optimal health. 

Stay tuned. Be curious. Discover and you will discover yourself.

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