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The High Cost Of Locking Down America: “We’ve Seen A Year’s Worth Of Suicide Attempts In The Last Four Weeks”

Locking down much of the country may have helped to “flatten the curve” a bit, but it has also had some very serious consequences that public health officials did not anticipate.  Humans were created to be social creatures, and forcing us to isolate ourselves from one another for weeks on end has turned out to be quite problematic.  This has especially been true for those that live alone.  Today, the U.S. has a higher percentage of one person households than ever before, and keeping those individuals totally isolated in their own homes is not that different from putting prison inmates in solitary confinement for an extended period of time.  In both cases, it can be just a matter of time before people mentally break.

Even before this pandemic came along, the suicide rate in the United States was already soaring, and now the number of suicides is spiking like we have never seen before.  Just consider what Dr. Mike deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California says is happening in his area

“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” he said. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

And suicide helplines all over America are seeing an enormous increase in the number of people calling in…

Many crisis centers are reporting 30% to 40% increases in the number of people seeking help. The helpline at Provident is experiencing a tenfold increase compared with this time last year, when no national disaster was occurring.

In addition to being isolated in their own homes, Americans have also been bombarded by endless coverage of this pandemic by the mainstream media, and this has definitely helped to fuel a lot of anxiety

In all, 66% are watching and consuming more news than ever before, which is particularly puzzling considering that 68% also admitted that COVID-19 coverage gives them considerable anxiety. It’s not just anxiety either; 65% said they feel overwhelmed by coronavirus news, 56% just get plain angry, 67% feel burnt out, 59% experience fearfulness, and 50% can’t help but feel hopeless after hearing the nightly news.

And of course Americans are not just watching more news than ever before.  According to Comcast, the average U.S. household has actually been watching 66 hours of TV a week during this pandemic…

New research from telecomms firm Comcast has revealed viewing time has soared as a result, with households watching an extra eight-plus hours of TV each week – equivalent to the time spent on a full days’ work shift.

This means the average household now watches 66 hours of TV a week, up from 57 hours a week in early March.

Watching endless hours of television is one of the worst possible things that you can do for your mental health.

If you put garbage into your mind, you are going to get garbage out.

And allowing the corporate media elite to endlessly feed hour after hour of “programming” directly into your mind is incredibly self-destructive.

In addition to binge-watching television, many Americans have also been dealing with this crisis by turning to drugs and alcohol

Findings by The Recovery Village, a Florida-based network of addiction treatment facilities, reflect an “expected” increase in substance use during the pandemic, with Americans reporting a 55% rise in alcohol consumption in the last month. When it came to illicit drugs, 36% of Americans reported increased use of marijuana and prescription opioids, among others.

Needless to say, this is more self-destructive behavior that is just going to fuel even more anxiety, depression and despair.

Yes, this pandemic has been bad.  There have been more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States so far, and about 100,000 Americans have died.

But this isn’t the worst thing that we are going to face.  In fact, it isn’t even close.

So if we can’t handle what is happening right now, how in the world are we going to be able to handle what is coming?

The good news is that this pandemic is causing a lot of people to wake up and reflect on what really matters.

Prior to COVID-19, a lot of Americans were living for their careers.  But this crisis has demonstrated how rapidly those jobs can disappear.  There is absolutely no loyalty in the corporate world today, and most corporations will not hesitate to lay off workers once they start bleeding money.  At this point, more than 38 million Americans have already lost their jobs, and more job losses are coming in the weeks and months ahead.

Other Americans were living for the pleasures of this life before this pandemic came along.  But now bars, clubs and movie theaters all over the country have been shut down, professional sports leagues have been paralyzed, and this virus has even transformed dating into a hazard that many people simply don’t want to deal with.

So many of the things that we once valued so highly have been taken away, and maybe that is precisely what we needed.  Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan created quite an uproar when he made this point very strongly on Instagram…

“Word up, can you handle the truth my brother only love HH,” wrote Hogan, who has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. “In three short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship.

“God said, ‘you want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down Civic Centers. You want to worship actors, I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship Me, I will make it where you can’t go to church.

“‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  I wrote an entire book urging people to start focusing on what really matters, because true hope will not be found in the temporal things that the world is constantly chasing.

And it has definitely been encouraging to hear that many young people have taken this crisis as an opportunity to start thinking about spiritual issues more

A majority of teens and young adults say they are praying more or thinking about spiritual issues more than they were prior to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey.

The poll of 800 high school students and 800 post-secondary students found that 67 percent said they’re either praying more often or thinking about spiritual issues more compared to the time before the virus.

There is hope, but it won’t be found on a television screen, at the bottom of a bottle or at the end of a needle.

So please don’t give up.  Despite all of the craziness in our world today, the best chapters of your life can still be ahead of you.

But if you keep feeding your mind endless hours of media “programming” and you keep chasing the things that they tell you to chase, all that is ahead of you is more pain, more anxiety, more depression and more despair.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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Why Sleep Is VITAL During A Pandemic

With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been many who have suggested a good night’s sleep as a way to boost your immune system to protect you from the infection.  Sleep is vital, and there are several reasons why.

Your body needs an adequate amount of sleep to fight of infections. That included the coronavirus. If you are losing sleep because of fear (and it’s hard not to when the mainstream media is pumping it out right now 24/7) you aren’t doing your body any favors. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold (rhinovirus). Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

Six (More) Reasons to Get Better Quality Sleep

We are still going to get sick once this pandemic is in our past. We cannot live out lives apart and inside our homes for the remainder of humanity’s existence, so at some point, we all need to do our best to keep ourselves healthy.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. –Mayo Clinic

Aim to get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep at night.  More isn’t necessarily better either.  Poor sleep for 10 hours is still not as effective at boosting the immune system as 7 hours of good quality sleep (meaning you stay asleep and don’t toss and turn or wake up frequently at night).

There are some natural solutions to help with your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can do the following:

  1. Minimize Light and Sound.  By using curtains to eliminate light and shutting down anything that makes noise, you’ll be able to sleep better.  Darkness causes your brain to release melatonin for a calming, sleepy effect. That means, don’t expose your eyes to too much light such as that of a smartphone or the TV right before you go to bed.
  2. Stick To A Routine.  Make a schedule and stick to it, even on the weekends. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day to make sure your body gets into a routine that works for you.
  3. Keep Your Stress Levels Low.  Try to not stress out as much during the day.  Use meditation or prayer if it helps you create a sense of calm.  You can also simply turn off the news.  The mainstream media is in a state of panic and fear right now and that’s creating a public that’s emulating those same emotions. Don’t let others dictate how much stress you have. Anxiety and worry are sleep disrupters. 

All of this is easier said than done right now while the globe is battling a pandemic. But it’s important to understand just how vital it is to decrease your fears and worry.  Panicking and consuming fear-mongering media all day can be catastrophic for your immune system, and as preppers, we need to understand how best to protect ourselves, and not just fall victim to our fears.

Simple Prepper Hacks To AVOID Getting The Flu

Hopefully, this will help all of us to get a better night’s sleep and have a better chance when it comes to fighting off all infections.  For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website or talk to your healthcare provider.

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Detect, Deter and Annihilate: How the Police State Will Deal with a Coronavirus Outbreak

This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute.

“Fear is a primitive impulse, brainless as hunger, and because the aim of horror fiction is the production of the deepest kinds of fears, the genre tends to reinforce some remarkably uncivilized ideas about self-protection. In the current crop of zombie stories, the prevailing value for the beleaguered survivors is a sort of siege mentality, a vigilance so constant and unremitting that it’s indistinguishable from the purest paranoia.”— Terrence Rafferty, New York Times

What do zombies have to do with the U.S. government’s plans for dealing with a coronavirus outbreak? Read on, and I’ll tell you.

The zombie narrative was popularized by the hit television series The Walking Dead, in which a small group of Americans attempt to survive in a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world where they’re not only fighting off flesh-eating ghouls but cannibalistic humans.

For a while there, zombies could be found lurking around every corner: wreaking havoc at gun shows, battling corsets in movies such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and running for their lives in 5K charity races.

Understandably, zombie fiction plays to our fears and paranoia, while allowing us to “envision how we and our own would thrive if everything went to hell and we lost all our societal supports.” Yet as journalist Syreeta McFadden points out, while dystopian stories used to reflect our anxieties, now they reflect our reality, mirroring how we as a nation view the world around us, how we as citizens view each other, and most of all how our government views us.

Indeed, the U.S. government has spent a lot of time and energy in recent years using zombies as the models for a variety of crisis scenarios not too dissimilar from what we are currently experiencing.

For instance, back in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put together a zombie apocalypse preparation kit “that details everything you would need to have on hand in the event the living dead showed up at your front door.” The CDC, in conjunction with the Dept. of Defense, even used zombies to put government agents through their paces in mock military drills.

Fear the Walking Dead—AMC’s spinoff of its popular Walking Dead series—drove this point home by dialing back the clock to when the zombie outbreak first appears and setting viewers down in the midst of societal unrest not unlike our own experiences of recent years (“a bunch of weird incidents, police protests, riots, and … rapid social entropy”). Then, as Forbes reports, “the military showed up and we fast-forwarded into an ad hoc police state with no glimpse at what was happening in the world around our main cast of hapless survivors.”

Forbes found Fear’s quick shift into a police state to be far-fetched, but anyone who has been paying attention in recent years knows that the groundwork was laid long ago for the government—i.e., the military—to intervene and lock down the nation in the event of a national disaster.

We’re seeing this play out now as the coronavirus contagion spreads.

What we have yet to experience (although it may only be a matter of time) is that the government through the imposition of martial law could pose a greater threat to our safety (and our freedoms) than any virus.

As the Atlantic noted about Fear the Walking Dead: “The villains aren’t the zombies, who rarely appear, but the U.S. military, who sweep into an L.A. suburb to quarantine the survivors. Zombies are, after all, a recognizable threat—but Fear plumbs drama and horror from the betrayal by institutions designed to keep people safe.”

Indeed, zombie fiction perfectly embodies the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent.

Why else would the government feel the need to monitor our communications, track our movements, criminalize our every action, treat us like suspects, and strip us of any means of defense while equipping its own personnel with an amazing arsenal of weapons?

For years now, the government has been carrying out military training drills with zombies as the enemy. In 2011, the DOD created a 31-page instruction manual for how to protect America from a terrorist attack carried out by zombie forces. In 2012, the CDC released a guide for surviving a zombie plague. That was followed by training drills for members of the military, police officers and first responders.

As journalist Andrea Peyser reports:

Coinciding with Halloween 2012, a five-day national conference was put on by the HALO Corp. in San Diego for more than 1,000 first responders, military personnel and law enforcement types. It included workshops produced by a Hollywood-affiliated firm in…overcoming a zombie invasion. Actors were made up to look like flesh-chomping monsters. The Department of Homeland Security even paid the $1,000 entry fees for an unknown number of participants…

“Zombie disaster” drills were held in October 2012 and ’13 at California’s Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The exercises allowed medical center staff “to test response to a deadly infectious disease, a mass-casualty event, terrorism event and security procedures”…

[In October 2014], REI outdoor-gear stores in Soho and around the country are to hold free classes in zombie preparedness, which the stores have been providing for about three years.

The zombie exercises appeared to be kitschy and fun—government agents running around trying to put down a zombie rebellion—but what if the zombies in the exercises were us, the citizenry, viewed by those in power as mindless, voracious, zombie hordes?

Consider this: the government started playing around with the idea of using zombies as stand-ins for enemy combatants in its training drills right around the time the Army War College issued its 2008 report, warning that an economic crisis in the U.S. could lead to massive civil unrest that would require the military to intervene and restore order.

That same year, it was revealed that the government had amassed more than 8 million names of Americans considered a threat to national security, to be used “by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law.” The program’s name, Main Core, refers to the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”

Also in 2008, the Pentagon launched the Minerva Initiative, a $75 million military-driven research project focused on studying social behavior in order to determine how best to cope with mass civil disobedience or uprisings. The Minerva Initiative has funded projects such as “Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?” which “conflates peaceful activists with ‘supporters of political violence’ who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on ‘armed militancy’ themselves.”

In 2009, the Dept. of Homeland Security issued its reports on Rightwing and Leftwing Extremism, in which the terms “extremist” and “terrorist” were used interchangeably to describe citizens they perceived to be disgruntled or anti-government.

Meanwhile, a government campaign was underway to spy on Americans’ mail, email and cell phone communications. News reports indicate that the U.S. Postal Service has handled more than 150,000 requests by federal and state law enforcement agencies to monitor Americans’ mail, in addition to photographing every piece of mail sent through the postal system.

Fast forward a few years more and local police were being transformed into extensions of the military, taught to view members of their community as suspects, trained to shoot first and ask questions later, and equipped with all of the technology and weaponry of a soldier on a battlefield.

The Obama administration then hired a domestic terrorism czar whose job is to focus on anti-government American “extremists” who have been designated a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda. As part of the government’s so-called war on right-wing extremism, the Obama administration agreed to partner with the United Nations to take part in its Strong Cities Network program, which is training local police agencies across America in how to identify, fight and prevent extremism.

Nothing has changed for the better under the Trump Administration.

Those who believe in and exercise their rights under the Constitution (namely, the right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share their political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), continue to be promoted to the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

“We the people” or, more appropriately, “we the zombies” are the enemy in the eyes of the government. This coronavirus merely ups the ante.

So when presented with the Defense Department’s battle plan for defeating an army of the walking dead, you might find yourself tempted to giggle over the fact that a taxpayer-funded government bureaucrat actually took the time to research and write about vegetarian zombies, evil magic zombies, chicken zombies, space zombies, bio-engineered weaponized zombies, radiation zombies, symbiont-induced zombies, and pathogenic zombies.

However, in an age of extreme government paranoia, this is no laughing matter.

The DOD’s strategy for dealing with a zombie uprising, outlined in “CONOP 8888,” is for all intents and purposes a training manual for the government in how to put down a citizen uprising or at least an uprising of individuals “infected” with a dangerous disease or dangerous ideas about freedom.

Rest assured that the tactics and difficulties outlined in the “fictional training scenario” are all too real, beginning with martial law.

As the DOD training manual states: “zombies [stand-ins for “we the people”] are horribly dangerous to all human life and zombie infections have the potential to seriously undermine national security and economic activities that sustain our way of life. Therefore having a population that is not composed of zombies or at risk from their malign influence is vital to U.S. and Allied national interests.”

So how does the military plan to put down a zombie (a.k.a. citizen) uprising?

The strategy manual outlines five phases necessary for a counter-offensive: shape, deter, seize initiative, dominate, stabilize and restore civil authority. Here are a few details:

Phase 0 (Shape): Conduct general zombie awareness training. Monitor increased threats (i.e., surveillance). Carry out military drills. Synchronize contingency plans between federal and state agencies. Anticipate and prepare for a breakdown in law and order.

Phase 1 (Deter): Recognize that zombies cannot be deterred or reasoned with. Carry out training drills to discourage other countries from developing or deploying attack zombies and publicly reinforce the government’s ability to combat a zombie threat. Initiate intelligence sharing between federal and state agencies. Assist the Dept. of Homeland Security in identifying or discouraging immigrants from areas where zombie-related diseases originate.

Phase 2 (Seize initiative): Recall all military personal to their duty stations. Fortify all military outposts. Deploy air and ground forces for at least 35 days. Carry out confidence-building measures with nuclear-armed peers such as Russia and China to ensure they do not misinterpret the government’s zombie countermeasures as preparations for war. Establish quarantine zones. Distribute explosion-resistant protective equipment. Place the military on red alert. Begin limited scale military operations to combat zombie threats. Carry out combat operations against zombie populations within the United States that were “previously” U.S. citizens.

Phase 3 (Dominate): Lock down all military bases for 30 days. Shelter all essential government personnel for at least 40 days. Equip all government agents with military protective gear. Issue orders for the military to kill all non-human life on sight. Initiate bomber and missile strikes against targeted sources of zombie infection, including the infrastructure. Burn all zombie corpses. Deploy the military to lock down the beaches and waterways.

Phase 4 (Stabilize): Send out recon teams to check for remaining threats and survey the status of basic services (water, power, sewage infrastructure, air, and lines of communication). Execute a counter-zombie ISR plan to ID holdout pockets of zombie resistance. Use all military resources to target any remaining regions of zombie holdouts and influence. Continue all actions from the Dominate phase.

Phase 5 (Restore civil authority): Deploy military personnel to assist any surviving civil authorities in disaster zones. Reconstitute combat capabilities at various military bases. Prepare to redeploy military forces to attack surviving zombie holdouts. Restore basic services in disaster areas.

Notice the similarities?

Surveillance. Military drills. Awareness training. Militarized police forces. Martial law.

As I point out in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if there is any lesson to be learned, it is simply this: whether the threat to national security comes in the form of imaginary zombies, actual terrorists, American citizens infected with the coronavirus, or disgruntled American citizens infected with dangerous ideas about freedom, the government’s response to such threats remains the same: detect, deter and annihilate.

 

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