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Overcoming Fear and Worry, Faith Over Fear, Anxious for Nothing; these titles are just a few among the thousands of books about stopping fearfulness. All throughout time bravery has been praised. The word courage brings to mind names like Harriot Tubman, Martin Luther, and John Wycliffe. If you were to ask if fearfulness was a vice, it is almost certain that everyone would say yes. If fear is not useful, even dangerous, then why, in recent times, have we let it have complete control over all of life?

It is important to establish the difference between caution and panicked fear. Caution is built into all living things. Many young children are innately cautious around heights, which is beneficial because it keeps them safe and aids in decision making. They will avoid them and thus avoid potentially dangerous situations. Prey animals are innately cautious of any creature with forward facing eyes, a feature of most predators. A deer will obviously stay as far away as possible from a dog. If they didn’t have this innate understanding of danger, they wouldn’t survive. Caution causes us to stop and attempt to discern if a situation is dangerous. If we decide that we are in a dangerous position, caution causes us to take logical action to protect ourselves. Another characteristic of caution is the ability to change our position. If we get more information and realise that we are not in danger, we adjust our actions accordingly. Basically, caution is taking necessary precautions.

Panic and fear are different. I recently saw an example of how hysteria can affect animals. My eighty-pound great pyrenees is quite intimidating when she is in hunting mode and looks a bit like a polar bear. Thus, when she started chasing a deer, I didn’t blame the deer for panicking. But rather than making rational decisions like easily jumping a fence to avoid her, in his hysteria, the deer ran into the fence, tripped, and fell several times, before finally collecting himself enough to jump over the fence. This made the deer extremely vulnerable to the dog; she only stopped her pursuit out of confusion at the deer’s strange behavior. Fear prevents us from thinking clearly and making rational decisions. One of the most important things in any survival situation is to not panic. Fear causes chaos and prevents us from being able to take wise precautions.

In recent times, the Covid-19 Pandemic has caused fear and panic amongst many people. But Dr. Mark McDonald, a children’s psychiatrist, believes that Americans have gone beyond being just fearful of the pandemic. The real danger, according to McDonald, is mass “delusional psychosis” affecting the American population (Tapscott). Fear of infection has evolved into delusional terror. People are unable to comprehend that they will not drop dead if they leave their house or that they don’t always need to wear masks. No matter how many times they are told or how many facts they are shown, they can never accept that what they believe does not line up with what is real. McDonald stated, “[People] are impervious to reason, to logic, to education at this point. They are psychotically managed by their fear”(Tapscott). Think about the implications of this: irrational decisions, useless guidelines, people isolating themselves from their families, etc. Masks have even become a form of virtue signaling, claiming that people who wear masks care more about saving lives than those who don’t. Whether you believe in wearing masks or not, everyone should agree that no one should be claiming moral superiority based on their beliefs about masks.

Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. In a way, this is true about the pandemic. Thanks to misinformation from the media, people are living in fear every day. Will they infect their families? Will they be able to pay the bill during the lockdowns? When can they see their family and friends again? Are they or their loved ones going to die? These worries are leading to rising reports of depression, insomnia, etc (Pattani). Terminally ill patients are dying isolated and alone, without getting to see their families. Depression is skyrocketing. But this doesn’t compare to the effect this fear is having on children.

The thought that you could kill your family just by breathing would scare any adult, but it is a terrifying thought for a child. Very young children may not completely understand what the pandemic means but they do understand how adults have reacted to it. They have isolated themselves from everyone but their immediate families, always worn masks, and worried about financial matters. This anxiety reflects on children. If adults are stressed, then there must be something to stress about, right? This has led to a rise in anxiety and depression in children that has never been seen before. Many schools, even those meeting in person, have become virtual prisons, with hardly any interaction with peers or teachers. What about babies born in 2020? Some may have never interacted with anyone but their immediate family. Most have rarely seen the faces of strangers. How could this affect their futures? Will they be able to properly read social cues?

The pandemic has hurt people, but if we are not careful, fear and hysteria will destroy even more lives. We need to be able to see our families. To work. To shop. To live our lives. We can only live in fear for so long.


Pattani, Aneri. “Pandemic Stress Takes Its Toll.” The Epoch Times, 29 October 2020, Accessed 23 March 2021.

Tapscott, Mark. “Americans Are Suffering ‘Delusional Psychosis’ About CCP Virus, Psychiatrist Claim.” The Epoch Times, 2 December 2020, Accessed 23 March 2021.

Wheale, Justina. “The Impact of the Pandemic on Children, and What it Bodes for Their Future Mental Health.” The Epoch Times, 27 January 2021, Accessed 23 March 2021.

Xiao, Bowen. “Shutdowns Spur Mental Health Crisis in US, Experts Say.” The Epoch Times, 25 August 2020, Accessed 23 March 2021.

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