How the fear of microorganisms destroys our lives and our health (Part 2)
A little more than 100 years after the disturbing "Kiss Not" campaign, people are falling back into their primal fear of dark demons. Constant disinfection of rooms, frequent hand washing, loudly humming devices for continuous air filtration of bacteria and viruses, and ubiquitous masks in front of people's faces, have brought back memories of the dark ages. Cautionary recommendations such as "sex only with one partner," "sex only with a mask," “no one night stands," or "refrain from kissing" have catapulted Mrs. Rechtin's "Kiss Not" campaign back into our society and our bedrooms as if in a time machine. And just like at the beginning of the 20th century, fear eats the mind, measures are not questioned and nonsense orders are followed without resistance in the style of an obedient soldier. SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus, has made the fear of microorganisms once again suitable for the everyday life.
It is frightening how quickly the fear of the dark demons has returned.
Plastic waste, which until recently was condemned and for the prevention of which numerous resources had been used, is overrunning our planet in the form of rapid tests, syringes and masks. Pointless plexiglass barriers are installed in public spaces, completely forgetting that the air circulation of air-conditioning units is severely disturbed in the process, creating all the more "bacteria and virus nests". Hundreds of millions or even billions of people walk faceless through the streets, pupils with wind instruments are put into plastic bags in the USA and small children breathlessly play soccer with masks at school. It is frightening how quickly the fear of the dark demons has returned.
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A neighbor of a friend said to him that she no longer dared to open the front door because then "Corona would fly in". In Hamburg I sat down in a cab and asked the driver, who was hidden behind a plastic screen, whether I really had to put on a mask. When he said yes, I did an experiment. I put on the mask and bent over so far that my head almost hit the plexiglass window. It was cold in the car.
"Do you really think you are protected from Corona now?", I asked him and exhaled audibly. The air I breathed visibly migrated out of my mask, drifted along the separating plastic windshield, and passed over the ends of the windows to the driver in the front seat. The man watched with a fear-filled expression as the fog mixed with the air he was breathing. He said nothing more, turned around and drove off without saying a word. His hands checked the fit of his mask and pushed it even deeper into his face. The demons had a strong grip on him!
How could it come to this?
I do not want to philosophize at this point about who is interested in the fact that fear is our constant companion now, why, after the knife-wielding Islamic terrorists, viruses and bacteria are today presented as a constant threat. At this point, however, as a microbiologist, I would like to ask: How could it come to this? How could it come this far that fear of viruses and bacteria paralyzes people to such an extent that they allow themselves to be deprived of their basic rights and wait obediently for the next instruction from their elected representatives?
I had shown in the first part how the fear of the invisible has tortured the people since ancient times. In addition, the lack of knowledge comes into play here. Very few people know exactly how bacteria or viruses are structured, how their transmission paths work or how powerful and how unexplored our immune system is. But burned into the collective human memory are the terrible paintings that tell of the great epidemics, of plague sores, exhausted cholera patients or mutilated leprosy patients. The no less intense old black-and-white photographs showing patients exhausted by the Spanish flu in overcrowded camps are also an eternal reminder of the uncontrollability of the demons and their cruelty. But is this really the case?
Germs were spread throughout the cities at lightning speed by rats.
The hygienic conditions in the cities of the Middle Ages, with their non-existent sewage systems and lack of waste disposal, were a breeding ground for pathogens of infections. Germs were spread throughout the cities at lightning speed by rats. Nutrition was not comparable to today's diet and a health care system was virtually non-existent. The same was true of the Spanish flu, which despite its name actually originated in the United States and found easy victims in the starving and demoralized soldiers of the First World War.
Nowadays, it is true that thousands of miles can be travelled in a very short time. But at least in the industrialized countries, which in turn were and are particularly susceptible to the fear of the bacterial demons, hygienic standards are so high that even in the poor parts of the population conditions are completely different and better than they were 100 or more years ago.
This is not to say that viral diseases that can be rapidly spread around the globe cannot occur even today. But the lethality rate of such global pathogens is much lower than in earlier times. Nevertheless, the authorities and the WHO keep warning of a new and mighty future super virus and thus keep the fear high.
Beneficiaries of such a fear campaign are always parts of a new and fast emerging industry. Nowadays, when Pfizer predicts sales of $54 billion for its business with mRNA vaccines and pills against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 2022, it quickly becomes clear who is one of the big economic beneficiaries of the current fear campaign. Just as 120 years ago, when a multitude of new companies popped up in the USA, which not only discovered a new market segment for themselves with the new hygiene, but also created a new image of women, who, clinically clean, ensured sterile cleanliness for themselves and their families.
The syringe as a modern exorcism to drive out the dark demons, as the tool of fanatics who project their own fears on the population.
Nowadays, test centers are springing up like French fry booths at a fair, and containers of plastic waste from China are flooding the leading industrial nations by land and sea. Biotechnology in general is experiencing a new high, and genetic engineering in particular is delighted to see hurdles fall that until recently seemed unattainable. Interestingly, as was the case over 100 years ago, a new image of women is once again being used - especially in the social media and by so-called influencers, in other words, amateur actors who are paid for their acting performances: this time, the woman camouflaged with a mask in accordance with regulations, pointing to her injection site with a strangely determined look. Look here, this image is supposed to tell the viewer, I'll show you the way. The syringe as a modern exorcism to drive out the dark demons, as the tool of fanatics who project their own fears on the population.
However, this alone points the way to a dehumanization of society. It's not enough that true friendships and encounters are replaced by worthless likes and followers; the closeness between people is also reduced to a minimum. But humans are social beings, and the demons are robbing them of the last bits of their humanity. What remains are cold people who lock themselves in their homes out of fear of disease and try to secure their existence without any real social interaction. The home office as the last refuge from a dark world taken over by the demons.
The artificially fueled fear of microorganisms is destroying people's faith in the positive effects of the bacteria
This unprecedented worldwide campaign, driven by a mutually firing alliance of media and politicians, has far-reaching consequences. It not only impairs the necessary neuronal networking of children, who in their first years of life will only see foreign faces in a covered way and will show deficits in the recognition of facial expressions. It also not only further alienates people who are lonely in cities from each other. Above all, the artificially fueled fear of microorganisms is destroying people's faith in the positive effects of the bacteria and viruses that form the essential part of our genetic pool. As 120 years ago, it will again take decades to rebuild trust and exorcise the prevailing image of dark demons from us.
Unfortunately, many people will not have this time. Because instead of placing special emphasis on the groundbreaking findings in microbiome research, recognizing the microbiota as an organ in its own right and promoting the microbial populations that are essential for survival with nutrition, exercise and regeneration, many people will rely on the false promises of healing and seek their refuge in the wrong places.
The fatal restrictions on health sports in the last two years, increased alcohol, drug and sugar consumption due to increased loneliness and depression, lack of regeneration due to nights haunted by nightmares, and the effects of current medical treatments will, at worst, claim more lives than the dark demons ever could.
Further reading and sources:
Seneff, Stephanie & Nigh, Greg & Kyriakopoulos, Anthony & Mccullough, Peter. (2022). Innate Immune Suppression by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccinations: The role of G-quadruplexes, exosomes and microRNAs. 10.22541/au.164276411.10570847/v1.