OF TWO WORLDS
morning in a restaurant called “the Eatin’ Place” in a small town in southern
Missouri about 15 miles from my new home on the edge of the Ozarks Wilderness.
Waiting for my breakfast, I switch on my iPhone and begin to read Mark Siegmund’s
MENSA Weekly Brainwave: It’s a link to an article from Quanta Magazine about
research being done by a Swiss neuroscientist: “Mitochondria May Hold Keys to
Anxiety and Mental Health”. About half-way through, I wonder aloud: “How do
they assess the level of anxiety and mental health of a laboratory rat?” Some
eyebrows raise. I go back to finish reading. Then, my mind turns to the
mathematics of the interface of discrete quantized physical reality and
continuous consciousness, as it often does.
My hearing is
not as good as it used to be, making it easier to think when there is noisy
chatter going on around me. But a few phrases and sentences leak through and penetrate.
“Nothin’ but politics!” … “Damned Communists trying t’ruin our country!”…”The
rabbits ate my lettuce and chewed on the cabbages!” “A lot more people die from
other things, and nobody cares!”… “The deer ate more of my peaches than I did!”
It is the
breakfast-time rush, and not a single person here has a mask on, and people are
sitting six in a booth, and the chairs around most tables are occupied. Up
until a week or so ago, there were no known cases of COVID-19 in the county, also
zero in all surrounding counties. Tests were shipped in from the state capital
to the local hospitals, and now there are 16 positive tests in the county. Most
of them asymptomatic. The general attitude here is summed up in the following
statement: “People die from the flu every year. What’s the big deal?”
this is an out-of-the-way place; that’s one of the reasons I moved here, but people
who live in Southern Missouri do travel. I know a grandmother of a farm family,
e.g., who goes to Europe, on different cruises, etc., just about every year.
And people from other states and countries do come to visit, or at least pass through.
So one has to
pause and ask: How much is the pandemic fear exaggerated and promoted by the catastrophe-loving
media? How much is the fear and panic being used by those who want to destroy
the peace and prosperity of America?