Since the serum against swine infection is available, the producers of same have made a strange discovery: people have lost the desire to fear the virus. It goes without saying that this makes the parties concerned a little nervous. They fear they might end up not selling any of the serum, because the Germans refuse to take the vaccination. The political institutions, too, see themselves challenged. After all, it was they who were supposed to boost the production by creating the fear that perhaps the serum might not be available in large enough quantities.
Now we get the opportunity to study the patterns of how fear is created. Almost all of us know the swine infection exclusively from the media. If there had not been reports by the media about it, swine infection would never have become an anxiety factor.
Regardless, there is nothing more suitable for causing a human reaction created by emotions that have been built up through patterns of fear shown on television. In the media, the selective perception of the victims is influential:
- When nurturing our desire for fear, we always only consider the latest reports.
- In the meantime, we have totally forgotten that it was only yesterday that completely different ingredients were used for nurturing our fear.
- The death toll works wonders. Firstly, in some of the fatal cases, it is not even clear how the swine infection is related to the death, and secondly this number all of a sudden seems so much more of a threat than the 5,000 fatalities that will again be counted due to traffic accidents this year.
Moreover, the example of news reporters goes to show us that maybe the handful of Germans who died from swine infection may not be good enough to infect us with fear. In order to make it look more threatening, news from Russia must be added to the report, where, allegedly, the number of fatalities due to this virus is dramatic. Oh what a brave new world!
How easy it is to transfer the fear of failing to sell all the serum to the fear of fear! I wish for all Germans to continue keeping cool and not start worrying about swine infection unless their desire to protect themselves against it springs from other sources than the media. After all, for the media, only bad news is good news.
Personally, I mostly agree with Paracelsus who said that fear of malady is far worse than the malady itself. If you want to live a less fearful life altogether, what I would recommend is reading the book now available from Aufbau-Verlag: “Angst – Vom Nutzen eines gefürchteten Gefühls”.
(Translated by EG)