Cortisol Rising

Sounds like a good name for a movie, don’t it?

I had to go out for a routine blood draw this morning. Just a little check on the thyroid, in and out. Workers in any part of the “healthcare” system are more bought in to the current narrative than many others. They have to be. They’ll lose their jobs if they don’t conform.

So I was a little bit nervous this morning, knowing that I might be asked to don a mask, and I might have to have a conversation about why I won’t be doing that, and also why they have to serve me anyway. I’m on firm legal and moral ground. It shouldn’t be a big emotional deal for me, but what can I say? After more than a year of fake mask mandates, I’ve been well-conditioned to expect to have to defend myself every time I go out in public, even though, honestly, I rarely encounter push-back. I and others like me have explained our rights to others enough times that places of public accommodation have, for the most part, figured out that they don’t have any kind of enforcement power.

Mostly, people leave me alone. Some look like they’re on the verge of cussing me out, but they typically resort to snide comments uttered behind my back, just quietly enough that I can easily pretend I didn’t hear it. Some are very squirmy and obviously uncomfortable. Many smile and seem to be going out of their way to be extra kind, as if they really, really want me to feel comfortable. I wonder if that’s what it’s like to have some kind of visible handicap.

When I walk in, the person at the counter looks at my unashamedly naked respiratory holes and looks away quickly. I don’t actually see him push a button, but what am I to deduce from the fact that the music immediately fades, mid-song, and a friendly lady’s voice gives the now-familiar “mask up, wash up, and social distance” reminder that you hear whenever, I assume, the cashier pushes the “leper on premises” button.

When I check in by scanning my driver’s license, it offers to text me when I’m next so that I can wait more “comfortably” in my car. I didn’t bring my phone, so I decline. I leave home without my cell phone frequently because, for one thing, I don’t like the idea that every movement I make will be tracked. For another, it’s nice to know that no one can demand my attention for these few minutes. I can wander around a little bit and feel like I’m getting a little break. It does make me a little bit nervous knowing that I might miss a call or a text, but I spent my late teen years wandering pretty far from home with my friends without even access to a pay-phone if something should go wrong. It’s really not that big of a deal to be without my phone, so once I remind myself of that somehow forgotten fact, my nervousness about the disconnect subsides.

While I’m waiting for the phlebotomist to call my name, the loud-speaker once again nags me to put on my mask. I smile, realizing that this timid effort is the only thing that particular cashier will be willing do to, and turn to watch the screen in the waiting area. I’m a little more relaxed now, in spite of the too-bright florescent lights and the smell of alcohol. Unless the phlebotomist herself is a masKaren, I’m probably not going to have to explain myself much today. Since I genuinely like people, especially when they talk to me, I usually have a disarming enough smile that we’ll get along like old friends even if she was intending to say something. My cortisol levels are surely settling back down now.

The screen in front of me tells me how to check in, and displays the initials of all the people in line. I guess they’re all waiting in comfort in their cars, or I’d be conversing with them instead of staring at that screen. That would be pleasant. Pleasant things are no longer permitted. Then the screen starts to display video of a worker in scrubs, wiping down the phlebotomy chair with alcohol pads. Every face that flashes on the screen is masked.

Look at everything we’re doing to keep you safe from The Germ!

The chyron on the screen scrolls by with incessant “reporting” from who-knows-what-news service. Wars, intrigue, tornados, social strife, political scandals, but above all PESTILENCE. This country doesn’t have a vax yet, and that country has a new strain, and if you haven’t been vaccinated, hurry up and do it, but you’ll still be in grave danger all the time.

Because I read more than just headlines, I know that each and every item that scrolls by is either 100% bullshit, or about 85% true, but the 15% of the truth that they left out is mysteriously also the 15% that would inform you that it’s not actually as bad as all that. Most people would get stressed out reading that stuff because they think it is both true and relevant.

I? I get stressed out because I know that each item is either untrue or irrelevant, and I get very angry not only that I am being lied to, but that I have no way to help anyone else understand it. Cortisol rises again.

I get my venipuncture, and the lady who does it is, as predicted, a friendly and warm person who couldn’t care less if I’m wearing a mask, as long as I’m nice to her. And that, I’ve discovered, is what makes most people wear a mask. They’ll do anything, as long as people will be nice to them.

How many people that I see every day are walking around with masks on, knowing good-and-well that they don’t actually do anything useful against an aerosol-conducted virus? How many of them tamp down any qualms about why they’re being forced to wear masks because they don’t want the stressful encounters with fake authority when they dare to show their faces? How many of them know that nobody has any good reason, let alone a right, to force them to wear a mask or maintain six feet of distance from their fellow man? And how did we get to be so scared of having the tiniest bit of social friction that we will give up our right to and need for normal human interaction?

We are, as a society, so stressed out by everything around us–the harsh lights, the distracting screens, the inescapable smells, the incessant reminders from every television in sight that the world is a dumpster-fire, and you’re not doing your part to make it better if you haven’t yet gone vegan and sacrificed your immune system and offered it to the Covid-god via the “vaccine”–that we simply can’t defend ourselves against the lies anymore. We’re overloaded.

We’re traumatized. 

You’re sick. You’re dying. You’re broke and Biden isn’t sending any more checks. There’s a food shortage coming. Summer gas prices will be the worst since…well, since the last time there was a legitimately elected president in the White House, so around 2016 or something. You noticed that your creepy neighbor bears a striking resemblance to the latest mass-murderer. Could your grocery store be next? Better avoid crowds! So you order online next time instead of shopping for yourself. Don’t let that, “that” being whatever scary thing you just saw on the teevee, happen to you!

No sense in taking any unnecessary risks. After all, your adrenals are already chronically over-worked by all of the unnecessary precautions you’ve been taking.

It could happen to anybody, right? And it appears to be happening all the stinking time. Didn’t millions of people just watch it happen live?

Ah, if millions of people could only understand statistics.

Never mind that you haven’t bumped into a friend in Wal-mart, or even the park, in ages. That’s something that could happen to just anybody, too, if they just end up in the right place at the right time. Never mind that you’re huffing and puffing through your mask so hard that you can’t even converse with the people at church. Not about anything but masks, anyway. Never mind that you can’t get a facial imprint of a new person into your memory so that you can recognize them the next time you meet. Making friends has never been harder. These incessant physical and emotional detriments are self-imposed by our compliance with every niggling instruction coming from your supposedly elected politicians, who are simply following every niggling instruction handed down to them by…well, not you, anyway.

Your stress is so high at this moment, that you don’t have the emotional energy left to do what you know is right, and sensible. If you stop wearing the mask, stop blessing your hands with the holy sanitizer, stop refusing to shake hands or hug people, stop talking about “the news” so intently that there’s no time to talk about anything else with anybody else, what will be left? After this long, I suspect that, for many of us, there’s little else to talk about. It is our identity.

We let that happen.

I have twice put a mask over my face because I didn’t have the emotional energy to speak to anyone that day. I have avoided church services on many Sundays because it’s so hard to worship knowing that the people around me think I’m being disrespectful or careless with other people’s health.

I understand that there’s only so much stress one person can take, and the small stressor of a dehumanizing mask is far preferable to the large one of social shame. Given that covering the mouth and nose can suppress feelings of anxiety, I can see why people are so willing to put on this symbol of our collective dupability.

Are bad things really happening out there somewhere? Maybe even next door? Yes, but here’s what you need to understand: The people who are telling you about those bad things are both passively and actively making them happen. They are then using those occurrences to distract you from the things that you can do in your own life to break free of their programming.

It’s not easy to break free of the programming, even for me. I do nearly everything at home, where I can control who is allowed to speak to me. I don’t have CNN and Fox News to scare me to death all the time. My family and friends are almost all supportive and sensible, and add nothing but peace to my life. I rarely have to worry that someone I care about is going to shun me, even a little bit, for thinking for myself. I’ve been kicked off of Facebook, so I don’t even have the momentary stress of having to scroll past the “fact-checker” posts that flat-out call me a liar every time I contradict the narrative.

I’m not really affected mentally by the matrix, anymore, if you’ll excuse the over-used movie reference. My personal life is reality-based and independent enough that I can see what they’re doing to us. Yet I still shop, travel, go to the doctor, attend church, and all the other normal things. My husband still has to work, so we both have to venture out into the dystopian nightmare that American public life has become. So I see it. It wears on me, too. It’s a constant struggle to continue to see four fingers when the State wants me to see five.

Most people are immersed in the profoundly stressful propaganda for most of the useful hours of their day. I can see why they’re so hard to wake up.

You can’t escape hearing, the ears being a passive organ with no off-switch, what they want you to hear. You can escape feeling the way they want to you feel, and behaving the way they want you to behave. If you’re among the (I suspect) half of the population that do know you’re being lied to, you’ll regain your self-respect only when you stop acquiescing to that lie. Leave your mask off and embrace the small stressor of social non-conformity. You might find that your cortisol levels improve in every other area of your life, even as they go up when you go out in public.

 

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