by Silviu “Silview” Costinescu_ Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Empathy and social intelligence may have played a more important role in human evolution than any other type of intelligence or instincts. Much of what we’ve achieved in millennia has been eroded over the span of the past 2-3 decades, and especially in Covidiocracy.

Chapter One: “WE ARE HARDWIRED TO BE KIND”

“Human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry, but research by Dacher Keltner finds that we are hard-wired to be kind.” – University of California

Chapter Two: “the neurons that shaped civilisation”

A neuroscientist from UC San Deigo, V.S. Ramachandran, recently spoke with the Greater Good Science Center about the relationship between empathy and mirror neurons. “the neurons that shaped civilisation”:

“For example, pretend somebody pokes my left thumb with a needle. We know that the insular cortex fires cells and we experience a painful sensation. The agony of pain is probably experienced in a region called the anterior cingulate, where there are cells that respond to pain. The next stage in pain processing, we experience the agony, the painfulness, the affective quality of pain.

It turns out these anterior cingulate neurons that respond to my thumb being poked will also fire when I watch you being poked—but only a subset of them. There are non-mirror neuron pain neurons and there are mirror neuron pain neurons.

So these [mirror] neurons are probably involved in empathy for pain. If I really and truly empathize with your pain, I need to experience it myself. That’s what the mirror neurons are doing, allowing me to empathize with your pain—saying, in effect, that person is experiencing the same agony and excruciating pain as you would if somebody were to poke you with a needle directly. That’s the basis of all empathy.”

V.S. Ramachandran, UC San Deigo neuroscientist

In an interview for a Berkeley University magazine, the scientist makes an interesting note that we must remember for further reference:

Mirror neurons enable me to see you as an intentional being, with purpose and intention. In fact, we suggested nearly a decade ago that mirror neuron dysfunction may be involved in autism. People with autism, ironically sometimes they mimic constantly what you’re doing, but it’s also true that they’re bad at imitation and they don’t have empathy, they don’t have a theory of mind, they can’t infer your intentions, they don’t engage in pretend play. In pretend play, what I do is temporarily say, “I’m going to be this superhero,” so you do role play. That requires a theory of mind. 
So take all the properties of mirror neurons, make a list of them, and list all the things that are going wrong in autism—there’s a very good match. Not every symptom, but many of the symptoms match beautifully. And it’s controversial: There are about seven papers claiming that it’s true, using brain imaging, and maybe one or two claiming that there’s no correlation [between mirror neurons and autism].

Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran

Chapter Three: “EMPATHY NEEDS A FACE”

What connect the first two chapters into a “holy trinity” for neuroscience are faces.
In a study published by Journal of Consciousness Studies and titled “Empathy Needs a Face”, Jonathan Cole, psychologist at Bournemouth University, notes:

“The importance of the face is best understood, it is suggested, from the effects of visible facial difference in people. Their experience reflects the ways in which the face may be necessary for the interpersonal relatedness underlying such ‘sharing’ mind states as empathy. It is proposed that the face evolved as a result of several evolutionary pressures but that it is well placed to assume the role of an embodied representation of the increasingly refined inner states of mind that developed as primates became more social, and required more complex social intelligence. The consequences of various forms of facial disfigurement on interpersonal relatedness and intersubjectivity are then discussed. These narratives reveal the importance of the face in the development of the self-esteem that seems a prerequisite of being able to initiate, and enter, relationships between people. Such experiences are beyond normal experience and, as such, require an extended understanding of the other: to understand facial difference requires empathy. But, in addition, it is also suggested that empathy itself is supported by, and requires, the embodied expression and communication of emotion that the face provides.”

Another study, this time coming from Italian universities, cites:

“Prefrontal virtual perturbation may have induced a less empathic responsiveness toward the emotional faces, with significant effect on the attributional functions. The suggested interpretation of these results is supported by the fact that prefrontal area includes specific processing modules for emotional information processing, and it is able to integrate input from various sources, including motivation and representations from cognitive (such as ToM) and emotional (such as emotional expressions) networks. Thus, the role of dMPFC to empathy-related response was elucidated, with possible circular effect on both monitoring ability (cue detection) and empathy responsiveness (trait empathy).”

Now imagine being unable to recognize your own mother’s face. You may know your mother’ voice, her smell, her size, and shape, but her face means nothing to you.
This is face blindness, or prosopagnosia, a disorder that may be congenital or caused by brain injury. While it can occur in many people who are not autistic, it is quite common among people with autism.

Whether you call it prosopagnosia, facial agnosia, or face blindness, the disorder may be mild (inability to remember familiar faces) or severe (inability to recognize a face as being different from an object).

According to the National Institutes for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Prosopagnosia is not related to memory dysfunction, memory loss, impaired vision, or learning disabilities. Prosopagnosia is thought to be the result of abnormalities, damage, or impairment in the right fusiform gyrus, a fold in the brain that appears to coordinate the neural systems that control facial perception and memory. Congenital prosopagnosia appears to run in families, which makes it likely to be the result of a genetic mutation or deletion.” (Source)

While face blindness is not a “core symptom” of autism, it is not uncommon for autistic people. In some cases, face blindness may be at the root of the apparent lack of empathy or very real difficulties with non-verbal communication. How can you read a face when you can’t distinguish a face from an object, or recognize the person speaking to you?

While face blindness may be an issue for your loved one with autism, it is easy to confuse face blindness with typical autistic symptoms. For example, many children with autism fail to respond to non-verbal cues such as smiles, frowns, or other facial “language” – even though they are able to recognize the face they are looking at. Their lack of response may relate to social communication deficits rather than to prosopagnosia.

Can they recognize the face of a favorite character on television or a photograph of a relative with no auditory clues? If so, they are recognizing a face – and most likely are not suffering from face blindness.

There is no cure for face blindness. Children with face blindness can be taught some compensatory techniques such as listening for emotional meaning or using mnemonic devices to remember names without necessarily recognizing faces. Before beginning such training, however, it’s important to distinguish face-blindness from other autistic symptoms that can have similar appearances, such as difficulties with eye contact.

Other specialists argue that autists can be empathic, and by doing so they further accentuate the strong interdependence between empathy and facial recognition:

“Autism is associated with other emotional difficulties, such as recognizing another person’s emotions. Although this trait is almost universally accepted as being part of autism, there’s little scientific evidence to back up this notion.

In 2013, we tested the ability of people with alexithymia, autism, both conditions or neither to recognize emotions from facial expressions. Again, we found that alexithymia is associated with problems in emotion recognition, but autism is not5. In a 2012 study, researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London found exactly the same results when they tested emotion recognition using voices rather than faces6.

Recognizing an emotion in a face depends in part on information from the eyes and mouth. People with autism often avoid looking into other people’s eyes, which could contribute to their difficulty detecting emotions.

But again, we wanted to know: Which is driving gaze avoidance — autism or alexithymia? We showed movies to the same four groups described above and used eye-tracking technology to determine what each person was looking at in the movie.

We found that people with autism, whether with or without alexithymia, spend less time looking at faces than do people without autism. But when individuals who have autism but not alexithymia look at faces, they scan the eyes and mouth in a pattern similar to those without autism.

By contrast, people with alexithymia, regardless of their autism status, look at faces for a typical amount of time, but show altered patterns of scanning the eyes and mouth. This altered pattern might underlie their difficulties with emotion recognition” – Scientific American

Face recognition differences may reflect processing or structural differences in the brain. For example, people with prosopagnosia may have reduced connectivity between brain regions in the face processing network.

Another idea is that face recognition ability is related to other more general cognitive abilities, like memory or visual processing. Here, though, findings are mixed. Some research supports a link between face recognition and specific abilities like visual processing. But other research has discounted this idea.

Yet another possibility is that individual differences in face recognition reflect a person’s personality or their social and emotional functioning. Interestingly, face recognition ability has been linked to measures of empathy and anxiety.

Empathy reflects a person’s ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. In 2010, researchers asked volunteers to try and remember the identity of a number of faces presented one at a time. They were later presented with the same faces mixed together with new faces and were asked to state whether each face was “old” (learnt) or “new”. The performance was measured by the number of learnt faces correctly identified as being familiar. The researchers found that those who rated themselves as high in empathy performed significantly better at a face recognition memory task than those with low empathy skills.

Research has also found that people who report significantly lower levels of general anxiety have better face recognition skills than those who are have higher anxiety.

Interestingly, more recent research has suggested the link between anxiety and face recognition ability may be more prominent for women, and may be particularly related to anxiety in social situations (social anxiety).

Situational anxiety may also play a role. For example, face recognition may be impaired when an eyewitness is asked to try and identify the face of a suspect viewed in a stressful situation.
Read more on hoe facial recognition impacts personality from Karen Lander, Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, University of Manchester, who published a very interesting article on the topic in The Conversation.

Everything above proves how much masks are robbing from us individually, but also from the very fabric of societal cohesion. This information is not new and not fringe, actually the attack on about empathy has been going on for ages and noted by many specialists and scholars, such as Psychology Today, eg.

Shocker: what we’re living today is the culmination of a decades-long process


So the science we’ve presented here can’t be unknown to our decision-makers, it can only be wilfully ignored.

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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

by Silviu “Silview” Costinescu

The general public is in the unknown about this, but specialists have been knowing for a long time: the Placebo effect works both ways, and perception can heal as much as it can make you sick, depending on what your expectations are.
The reverse placebo even has a fancy name: Nocebo.
Yet no one has asked yet how this plays out when over 1 billion people are home-detained because of a virus.


A study published in the Feb. 16, 2011, issue of Science Translational Medicine shows dramatic differences between the test group and the Nocebo group: “Bingel’s researchers studied the “nocebo” effect—when patients believe they are not receiving medication by are—by lying and telling the volunteers that they were going to stop receiving the drug and that they might start to feel more pain once more. Immediately, the pain levels the volunteers reported feeling rose rapidly again to an average of 64 points, despite the fact that the researchers continued to administer the same level of the painkiller.”

One year later, here comes crushing evidence that scientists know of Nocebo, but criminally overlook it. The Smithonian Mag reports:
“Researchers from the Technical University of Munich in Germany published one of the most thorough reviews to date on the nocebo effect. Breaking down 31 empirical studies that involved the phenomenon, they examined the underlying biological mechanisms and the problems it causes for doctors and researchers in clinical practice. Their conclusion: although perplexing, the nocebo effect is surprisingly common and ought to be taken into consideration by medical professionals on an everyday basis.”

Many people call it “reverse Placebo”, but that’s not entirely accurate. Nocebo is not related to medical treatments only, anything can trigger it, even superstitions. That’s how spells and witchcraft appear to work sometimes.
<<It’s not exactly a reverse placebo effect. A placebo effect is a real improvement in the condition of a patient, which the doctor does not believe was caused by the treatment. Webster’s “improvement in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment used”.
A nocebo effect is a negative effect on the condition of the patient, which the doctor does not believe was caused by “what the patient sees as the cause”. Webster’s “the development of adverse side effects or worsening in the condition of a patient that occurs in response to medical treatment but cannot be considered due to the specific treatment used”.
In historical discussions of nocebo effect are often cases of voodoo or witchcraft. No medical treatment is required. Eg. A witch doctor puts a spell on a person, who then falls ill and might even die – even though the doctor does not believe the spell could have any real effect>>, in the words of Tracy Kolenchuk, Author of “The Elements of Cure”

#FlattenTheLies Face Mask by Silview
#FlattenTheLies Face Mask by Silview
MASKS ARE BAD FOR YOU, USE THEM ONLY IF YOU HAVE NO BETTER ALTERNATIVE! OR AT PROTESTS. AND IF YOU DO, USE ONE THAT SENDS OUT THE RIGHT MESSAGE.

Scientists, but more so media and politicians, need to start assessing the price and consequences of the total life-disruption they’ve caused lately, and, among many other things, they have to consider what toll will Nocebo take from public health. Because the expectations they’ve created are the closest thing to the end of the world. They made it impossible to realistically expect better things than what we had before Coronavirus. And many people had it hard even back then. I can’t imagine a scenario favoring poverty, nocebo and a trove of avoidable diseases more than the global Covid-19 hysteria. No disease can compete to what our ignorance is doing to us.

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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

by Silviu “Silview” Costinescu

Social isolation, with or without loneliness, can have as large effect on mortality risk as smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure

Clifford Singer, MD
Photo: Silviu Costinescu

The causal relation between isolation, depression, stress and diseases falls into the “settled science” category, there may only be a debate on how much is too much. On the quantitative matter, the agreement seems to be that we’re all different, to a point. So for this article I’m just going to investigate some reputable sources on this topic, with minimal inputs from myself.

Health effects of social isolation, loneliness

Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death”, reports the US Governement on the National Institute on Aging website.

“Conversely, people who engage in meaningful, productive activities with others tend to live longer, boost their mood, and have a sense of purpose. These activities seem to help maintain their well-being and may improve their cognitive function, studies show”, the report follows.
The article deals mainly with long term and chronic isolation and loneliness, but that’s not “as opposed to a short term quarantine”, it’s just a subjective quantitative difference. And if the situation is pre-existent, quarantining everyone seriously exacerbates it. Isolation in any quantity can trigger or aggravate a bad situation for a set of people, especially if there are other factors to promote it, such as uncertainty or fear. Everyone knows someone who goes crazy over a single day of loneliness, as well as “anti-social” people who can hardly be pulled out from self-isolation. There’s a full spectrum of personalities and a full spectrum of threats for them from mass-quarantines.
Remember: isolation is worse when everyone around is in isolation too.

Human beings are social creatures. Our connection to others enables us to survive and thrive. Yet, as we age, many of us are alone more often than when we were younger, leaving us vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness—and related health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease. Fortunately, there are ways to counteract these negative effects.

US Government-supported research

Isolation is one of the factors that predisposes the elders to harm from viruses, instead of protecting them

Older adults are reporting social isolation or loneliness show poorer cognitive function 4 years later, claims a recent British study. “Interventions to foster social connections may be particularly beneficial for individuals with low levels of education.”
Which is precisely why the US National Institute on Aging is so concerned about it too.

“Efforts to address social isolation in older adults, including those relying on remote technologies, are likely to be cost-effective for health care systems, and are, at the very least, humane approaches to a very common form of distress in older adults.” notes Clifford Singer, MD, University of Maine Chief and reputed Geriatric specialist.

The elders are also the age category where loneliness was the most wide-spread before quarantines. About 28 percent of older adults — that’s 14 million people,  in the United States live alone, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (HHS). While many of them are not lonely or socially isolated — some seniors feel isolate despite living among family and friends.

Loneliness May Warp Our Genes, And Our Immune Systems

If anyone likes to make distinctions between loneliness, social isolation and forced social isolation, I’m just going to say that quarantine (even voluntary self-isolation) ads a great deal to all of those.
“The assumption is that social disconnectedness without perceived isolation (i.e. isolation without loneliness) would be more “ego syntonic” and less stressful than states of loneliness and depression, therefore having less impact on health. Research has not always supported this assumption (Cornwell & Waite, 2009). Social isolation, with or without loneliness, can have as large effect on mortality risk as smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure“, notes reputed geriatrics specialist Clifford Singer, MD

Therefore a huge amount of scientific literature about loneliness becomes relevant to quarantine times.

NPR reports:
“Loneliness has been linked to everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease. Depression is common among the lonely. Cancers tear through their bodies more rapidly, and viruses hit them harder and more frequently. In the short term, it feels like the loneliness will kill you. A study suggests that’s because the pain of loneliness activates the immune pattern of a primordial response commonly known as fight or flight.
For decades, researchers have been seeing signs that the immune systems of lonely people are working differently. Lonely people’s white blood cells seem to be more active in a way that increases inflammation, a natural immune response to wounding and bacterial infection. On top of that, they seem to have lower levels of antiviral compounds known as interferons.”


#FlattenTheLies Face Mask by Silview
#FlattenTheLies Face Mask by Silview
MASKS ARE BAD FOR YOU, USE THEM ONLY IF YOU HAVE NO BETTER ALTERNATIVE! OR AT PROTESTS. AND IF YOU DO, USE ONE THAT SENDS OUT THE RIGHT MESSAGE.

Understanding the biology of loneliness

Losing a sense of connection and community changes a person’s perception of the world. Someone experiencing chronic loneliness feels threatened and mistrustful of others, which activates a biological defense mechanism, according to Steve Cole, Ph.D., director of the Social Genomics Core Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. His NIA-funded research focuses on understanding the physiological pathways of loneliness (the different ways that loneliness affects how your mind and body function) and developing social and psychological interventions to combat it.

For example, loneliness may alter the tendency of cells in the immune system to promote inflammation, which is necessary to help our bodies heal from injury, Dr. Cole said. But inflammation that lasts too long increases the risk of chronic diseases.

Loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases,” Dr. Cole said. “The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Loneliness promotes several different types of wear and tear on the body.

People who feel lonely may also have weakened immune cells that have trouble fighting off viruses, which makes them more vulnerable to some infectious diseases, he added.

Psychologially, physical isolation is the worst form of social isolation

The impacts of social isolation become worse when people are placed in physically isolating environments. For example, solitary confinement can have negative psychological effects on prisoners – including significant increases in anxiety and panic attacks, increased levels of paranoia, and being less able to think clearly.

Many prisoners also report long-term mental health problems after being held in isolation.
“Some people who have been held in social isolation against their will may develop long-term mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)”, writes Science Alert

Photo: Silviu Costinescu

Are pandemics stressful and depressive? Count on quarantines to add more stress and depression and reduce the ability to fight them

The social experiment known as “the CV pandemic” (due to online censorship, I’m afraid to type its full name” is promoting the idea that everyone around is a potential walking biological bomb. I can’t think of a more stressful social situation, beats by far a war in which the enemy is clearly defined and usually distant. Unless you add a medical martial law to it.
Isolation promotes stress and depression, also depletes our abilities to fight stress and depression. Which is precisely the downward spiral you need in a stressful and depressive situation such as a deadly global pandemic.
Socially isolated people are less able to deal with stressful situations. They’re also more likely to feel depressed and may have problems processing information. This in turn can lead to difficulties with decision-making and memory storage and recall.
In fact, social therapies are highly rated as stress-deterring methods, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic Staff:
“A strong social support network can be critical to help you through the stress of tough times, whether you’ve had a bad day at work or a year filled with loss or chronic illness. And the lack of social support can lead to isolation and loneliness. Since supportive family, friends and co-workers are such an important part of your life, it’s never too soon to cultivate these important relationships.
A social support network is made up of friends, family and peers. Social support is different from a support group, which is generally a structured meeting run by a lay leader or mental health professional.”

Also read: “Social Isolation Stress Induces Anxious-Depressive-Like Behavior and Alterations of Neuroplasticity-Related Genes in Adult Male Mice”

Later update:

Source

In New York City, a desperate coronavirus-stricken Bronx man tried to commit suicide-by-cop after calling 911 on himself, according to cops.

Health officials in other areas, including Portland, Oregon, saw the number of suicide-related 911 calls soar after the city’s coronavirus “state of emergency” declaration, with self-harm calls spiking 41 percent.

Isolation promotes inflammation, which promotes more isolation

The shock of social isolation could fuel inflammation in the body. And the immune system may affect a region of the brain processing fear and anxiety. “Inflammation can change people’s experiences of the social world and what they’re thinking,” says Naomi Eisenberger, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. That could make us more apprehensive about social interaction and lead to more isolation.

If the cycle continues, that could explain chronic isolation and the subsequent depression and illnesses plaguing the lonely. “There are things we can do to get out of a depressed or lonely state, but they’re not easy,” dr. Steve Cole says. “Part of the reason is because these negative psychological states develop some kind of molecular momentum.”

Past research has shown norepinephrine can increase production of immature monocytes – a type of white blood cell – in bone marrow. These monocytes demonstrate high inflammatory gene expression and low antiviral gene expression.

Researchers quoted by Medical News Today found that both lonely monkeys and humans had higher levels of monocytes in their blood. Further investigation found this is due to an increase in production of immature monocytes; monkeys repeatedly exposed to mild social stress experienced a rise in levels of these cells.

“Overall, the researchers say their findings suggest loneliness disrupts fight-or-fight signaling, which leads to increased production of immature monocytes, causing lower antiviral responses and increased inflammation. In turn, this may impair the production of white blood cells, partly explaining why lonely individuals are at greater risk for chronic illness.” – MNT

Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke

“Deficiencies in social relationships are associated with an increased risk of developing CHD and stroke” claims a study published by the British Medica Journal. And they’re heavily supported by other scientific works.
Sixteen electronic databases were systematically searched for longitudinal studies set in high-income countries and published up until May 2015. 23 papers met inclusion criteria for the narrative review. They reported data from 16 longitudinal datasets, for a total of 4628 CHD and 3002 stroke events recorded over follow-up periods ranging from 3 to 21 years. Reports of 11 CHD studies and 8 stroke studies provided data suitable for meta-analysis. Poor social relationships were associated with a 29% increase in risk of incident CHD (pooled relative risk: 1.29, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.59) and a 32% increase in risk of stroke (pooled relative risk: 1.32, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.68). Subgroup analyses did not identify any differences by gender.

First-year College Students Who Feel Lonely Have A Weaker Immune Response To The Flu Shot

A 2005 study at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh confirms how college challenges both mind and body, by demonstrating that lonely first-year students mounted a weaker immune response to the flu shot than did other students. The study appears in Health Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
<<Sparse social ties were associated at a level of statistical significance with poorer immune response to one component of the vaccine, A/Caledonia, independent of feelings of loneliness. Loneliness was also associated with a poorer immune response to the same strain as late as four months after the shot. This supports the argument that chronic loneliness can help to predict health and well-being.
The independence of social-network size and loneliness as factors in immunity is supported by the observation that, says Pressman, “You can have very few friends but still not feel lonely. Alternatively, you can have many friends yet feel lonely.”
The finding could also help to explain why first-year students tend to visit student health centers more than older classmates; they can be unmoored socially as they adjust to their new circumstances>>, reports Science Daily.

Does grief help? Because we’re already grieving for the world we’ve just lost

“Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air” – David Kessler, one of world’s foremost expert on grief, in an interview for Harvard’s Business Review.
Kessler co-wrote with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss. His new book adds another stage to the process, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. Kessler also has worked for a decade in a three-hospital system in Los Angeles. He served on their biohazard’s team. His volunteer work includes being an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team. He is the founder of www.grief.com which has over 5 million visits yearly from 167 countries.
He goes on saying: “We’re also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain. Usually it centers on death. We feel it when someone gets a dire diagnosis or when we have the normal thought that we’ll lose a parent someday. Anticipatory grief is also more broadly imagined futures. There is a storm coming. There’s something bad out there. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety. I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.”

Later Update: As I predicted, calls to US helpline jump 891%, as White House is warned of mental health crisis

“Some federal officials worry the U.S. isn’t prepared to meet nation’s needs”. – ABC
“Mental health – major factor”, said Donald Trump in a briefing on 9th of April announcing he summoned country’s specialists to tackle the side-effects of the lock-ups.
This comes after March 29’s statements in which President Donald Trump suggested it is “common sense” to expect a “massive” jump in mental health issues. Apparently it’s not common at all, the topic is absent from the public agenda. “You’re going to have massive depression,” he said. “You’re going to have depression in the economy also. … [Expect] massive drug use, massive depression, mental depression, massive numbers of suicide.” – Source

Bonus: Isolation promotes heavy social media use, which promotes depression, which promotes more isolation and disease

Missouri University reports: “Browsing Facebook has become a daily activity for hundreds of millions of people. Because so many people engage with the website daily, researchers are interested in how emotionally involved Facebook users can be with the social networking site and how regular use can affect their mental health. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that Facebook use can lead to symptoms of depression if the social networking site triggers feelings of envy among its users. Margaret Duffy, a professor and chair of strategic communication at the MU School of Journalism, says that how Facebook users use the site makes a difference in how they respond to it.

“Facebook can be a fun and healthy activity if users take advantage of the site to stay connected with family and old friends and to share interesting and important aspects of their lives,” Duffy said. “However, if Facebook is used to see how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old friend is in his relationship—things that cause envy among users—use of the site can lead to feelings of depression.”

I can go on forever with quotes from the most reputed specialists, and probably I will update this article as sources are abundant. I think we even have a case of “scientific consensus” (not that it matters, bandwagonning is a fallacy).
Mass isolation is a disaster for public health, and the subjective “short term argument” is compensated by the huge number of people affected, plus a trove of aggravating factors. And one factor is the worst.

I saved the worst for last:
This will be a recurrent event, as I’ve shown in my previous article. We’re never going back to the pre-pandemic way of life, these shocks will become the new normal in a few years.
“We’re not going back to normal. Social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever. As long as someone in the world has the virus, breakouts can and will keep recurring without stringent controls to contain them”, writes Technology Review.
And when we’ll run out of viruses, someone will make more to keep the machine running, I’d add.
In a report  (pdf), researchers at Imperial College London proposed a way of doing this: impose more extreme social distancing measures every time admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) start to spike, and relax them each time admissions fall. Here’s how that looks in a graph.

You’re looking at a visual rendition of our social life, amplitudes ad frequencies being controlled by government, like a DJ.
Enter the era of social DJ-ing, the most modern branch of social engineering.

UPDATE JUNE 15 2020
A ton of scientific literature and media reports have come to support the findings of this article since its publication, I want to highlight just one item for now, for its incisive conclusions.
It’s a very recent work by French expert M ZELMAT of Laboratory of Clinical Biology, Hospital Center, France, titled “Facing COVID-19 by the Confinement : EBM, ‘MBM’ or ‘SBM’?”. It’s in prepublication on SSRN and it’s just been submitted to the British Medical Journal, so not yet approved. Download in .PDF

I’ll just copy/paste the conclusion:

“In medicine, there is only isolation and quarantine and the confinement of the general
population is not only a heresy (because it does not exist in medicine nor in epidemiology nor in infectiology nor in public health) but it is based on no scientific evidence. In medicine, we can’t and we have no right to set up a treatment or a preventive measure if it is not based on evidence (Evidence Based-Medicine). The confinement is, also, very dangerous for health, economy, education and peace. The governments must listen to real experts (who put public health before private interests), stop immediately all the lockdown measures and re-open everything (economy, hospital medical services, education, etc) because nothing in this virus justifies them ; this virus is, in the general population, mild and not very dangerous as we are told because it it causes 85% of mild forms, 99 % of infected people recover, it is not a danger for pregnant women and children (unlike the flu), it spreads less faster than influenza
viruses48 , children are not important drivers (unlike the flu), its mortality rate is similar to the flu or even lower and much lower than the coronaviruses that appeared in 2003 (10%) and 2012 (30%). Each year : flu virus infects worldwide 1 billion persons and kills 650,000 and tuberculosis, which is in the top 10 of death causes in the world and much more contagious (an untreated patient can infect 10 to 15 people) causes 10,4 million cases and kills 1,8 million people. Yet, we never talk about any health crisis. The entire hospital system of countries is absolutely not overwhelmed because saturation only concerns very few hospitals and this can be avoided by taking reasonable measures to manage this epidemic as we indicated and as Sweden did. The WHO must undergo a radical reform.
The confinement is truly the health scam of the 21st century, an enquiry must be done about it and those responsible in the WHO and Imperial College London must be questionned and if necessary tried.

Declaration of interests : no competing interests.
Funding information : no funding by external sources.
Ethical approval statement : not applicable beacuse no human subjects were invloved and
no case reports/case series were included in this article.


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