Mind over Covid – 12 Points

March 26, 2020 Minding Corona No Comments

Nothing worse than a false sense of security. Please, take every measure of precaution. Then, read on.

 

The basic ‘Mind over Covid’ hypothesis: In Covid-19 – the disease progression, not the infection – the mind may be more important than the virus in cause as well as proper management.

 

This text is, in 12 points, a ‘summary and implications’ document. In 4 prior articles, I have built an argumentation about the importance of the mind in view of Covid. The trail of articles is:

  1. Covid-19: Pandemia or Global Hysteria?
  2. Mind and Corona
  3. The Message in the Virus
  4. Covid and Attention
  5. What To Do in Times of Covid
  6. Rethinking Covid

 

‘Mind over Covid’ is still a hypothesis. Seeing ‘the virus’ as the sole and single cause of what is happening around and more and more also inside many people is not hypothetical but blatantly wrong. There is always a conglomerate of causes. ‘Mind over Covid’ just puts more weight on the mind than is usually done. Nevertheless, the implication is huge, although we hardly come across the idea in media. So, from what degree of certainty about the ‘Mind over Covid’ hypothesis should we care? In my view:

  • From 10% certainty onwards, it is worth putting huge resources into this (worldwide). Compare a few millions of US dollars to billions, possibly trillions.
  • From 90% onwards, the cure (economic shut-down, people in lock-down) may arguably be getting worse than this terrible disease. What to do, becomes a political decision.
  • I’m at 80%.

Here are the 12 points (of course, in many ways incomplete for the sake of conciseness):

  1. The virus is real. The infection is real. The human immune system is real. A substantial influence of the mind over the immune system is real. Also real is that we do not know how many ‘corona deaths’ would have occurred without the virus at all. Until further notice, let’s agree this is negligible.
  2. Body and mind are not two separate entities. Instead, they are two ways of looking at the same thing (human being). “Can the mind influence the body?” is not even a proper question. Of course!
  3. The nocebo phenomenon is real. This is: the mind can have a negative influence on the body. Given strong expectations and suggestive messages, this influence can be substantial.
  4. The ‘fight against the virus’ continues inside each infected person, related to his immune system, influenced by the mind.
  5. Because of the mass psychological happening, it is also a global issue, a ‘global hysteria.’ The global character heightens the suggestive power.
  6. Several elements together enter into a whirlpool in which a person can get very ill and even drown. Panic/hysteria is a substantial part of this whirlpool. Towards and within this whirlpool, together with other elements, nocebo can be deadly.
  7. With proper means, the help we can personally give to any individual patient can go far. To many, this may be a question of life or death.
  8. We have hardly any idea about the death toll of the Covid-virus on its own, in ‘normal’ circumstances. We should be – ethically – ready for any eventuality.
  9. Panic is never a good advisor. It may be dangerous by itself in two ways at present: 1) collateral damage via economy and lock-down stress (depression, aggression, abandonment), and 2) pushing ill and vulnerable patients over a deadly tipping point.
  10. Media communications are also deeply influential. They should neither lead to carelessness nor panic. Images of doom may not be appropriate.
  11. The only way to near 100% certainty is through lots of formalized real-world evidence and the use of A.I. to gather and manage this.
  12. An answer is the A.I. driven tool ‘Lisa’ [see: ”Lisa”], diagnostically and therapeutically. This can alleviate through coaching. It can diminish panic and heighten motivation. It may also be used in many other domains. It can save economy and many lives.

 

Note that in case of a correct hypothesis, if not taken into account, the danger is no less than at present, irrespective of the final number of deaths. The whirlpool doesn’t miraculously disappear. However, the way to handle it is very different. On top of ‘the fight against the virus,’ we should delve into how we can boost a person’s inner defenses mentally. More future-oriented, we should delve into who we are, where we stand, where we are heading as a human species. This stressful time is also a proper time to start doing this on a global scale.

 

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