There are many types of believing. You can "believe" in religion but for most people it doesn't really effect their actual behavior. And even if it does at some level it's not like military generals out there are planning for what to do if god intervenes. It's a belief but it isn't held in the same context as other beliefs.
Back in 2005 I learned about the vulnerability of the health care system to viral pandemics. I believed in them and it scared the shit out of me. I was embarrassed later for doing typical "prepper" things like buying a 3 month food supply and rotating it, buying boxes of n95 masks, etc. I believed, but I didn't really anticipate anything concretely out of h5n1 influenza despite my obsession that well crossed the border into mental pathology.
At first I talked to everyone around me about it. There was serious danger. Not saying anything would be like not saying, "There's a bear behind you." But this was obviously not received well and for good reason. I slowly stopped with this negative feedback. I just did things quietly. Then years passed and nothing happened, and nothing happend, and something happened (2009 swine flu) but it was all okay. I eventually, thankfully, became convinced by others and the lack of realization that it wasn't a realistic scenario. That was good. I couldn't really function believing otherwise. I stopped rotating food and gradually forgot about my anxieties.
Now this. The nightmare that I had every night and day for 5 years but painstakingly moved past is real, or at least part of it is. The rest is excruciatingly uncertain. It's surreal and terrifying. I hadn't had an anxiety attack in almost a decade till yesterday at the grocers seeing my fears in everyone else for the first time.
And I don't even get to fucking say "I told you so." because I stopped believing. I never really believed.
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