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fear itself : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Fear undermines response, our health

Recently when Keith and I had hair cuts, a third employee entered apologizing for being late. She told us, she’d been in a line at Walmart when some gunk in her throat made her cough. The lady behind her freaked out, grabbing her phone and had her finger on 911. She wanted this woman who coughed out of line and out of the store. Frustrated, the woman turned around and said, “I merely coughed on my spit.” 

What people don’t understand is that summoning emergency personnel for what may turn out to be nothing, means these services may not be available for that car accident or other emergency situation where minutes may make the difference between life and death. Trigger-happy responses stem from fear–not merely caution.

Fear changes how our bodies deal with stress, actually lowering immunity and setting us up for illness. Certain hormones increase. In the article “How Fear Impacts Your Health” Health Prep stated,, “… when these hormone levels are constantly being increased, they can have a very traumatic effect on long-term health.” The article goes on to say fear weakens the immune system. “Another aspect of living in long-term fear is collateral health damage. Individuals suffering from extreme stress or the fear of something may abuse substances to cope.” Fear leads to searching for escapes.

March 4, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of office as our 32nd president. After taking the oath, he delivered a twenty minute speech, a part of which has been repeated many times over the years. With the Corona virus making its way across the globe causing fear and panic, partly due to the drumbeat of some in the national media, it is time to remind ourselves of Roosevelt’s famous speech. For those who might pass it off as something from a conservative side of the aisle, I’ll remind you that Franklin D. Roosevelt was a Democrat.

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.” Roosevelt understood fear is dangerous.

Make no mistake, fear can kill you. Fear increases stress to impossible levels, short-circuiting the protections the body usually has in place to fight off illness or even rational thought in some cases. (Ever been so afraid you freeze in place instead of running away?)

The Bible says the answer to fear starts with God’s comfort and strength as we turn our fear over to Him. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  Isaiah 41:10 NKJV “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

We need to stop allowing the media or our own imagination to freeze rational thinking, replacing it with irrational fear. God is in control, but even if you don’t believe, look at the truth at how many are infected, how many actually die and how many–most–survive. Use basic, sensible precautions, recognizing that with all outbreaks–this, too shall pass. You can get through this. Choose not to pass on either the virus or irrational, paralyzing fear.

© 2020 Carolyn R Scheidies

Published by the Kearney Hub 4/6/2020

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