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12 Life Lessons From The Movie ‘The Martian’

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Twelve life lessons taken from Matt Damon’s epic struggle in the recently released movie The Martian.

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The Martian, starring Matt Damon, is a movie that will restore your faith in the human spirit and what it is possible for you to achieve. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. In the meantime though, here’s a brief overview of the movie:

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Matt Damon’s character, Mark Wattney, accidentally gets stranded on Mars during an emergency evacuation of the third manned Mars mission, Ares 3.

With the communications antenna broken, he has no way of letting NASA know that he has survived, and the next manned mission to Mars is planned in four years and will land 3200km away.

His food supplies will only last a third of that time, and he’s on a barren, waterless planet with no atmosphere and no oxygen. He is literally the only man on the planet, and if he doesn’t do it for himself then there’s no help coming.

1. Trials Can Happen At Any Time

Even at the height of your success you can be hit by the worst trial of your life.

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In the movie, Wattney is halfway through a manned mission to Mars when everything goes wrong and he’s stranded. He’s obviously done everything right – he’s an astronaut, a scientist, highly intelligent, and squeaky-clean enough to make the astronaut grade for a manned mission to Mars.

Even when the emergency event happens, it neither the fault of the commander, crew, or Wattney himself – it’s just a stroke of bad luck.

Regardless of where you are, what you’ve achieved, or how far you’ve come in life, stay grounded. Life changes in an instant, for the good and the bad, and often you will have no way to stop or control it.

2. Keep Working No Matter What

Even though his situation looks absolutely hopeless, Wattney doesn’t stop working.

He starts doing what he can and then he starts making plans and finding ways to do things. Yes, all the plans eventually amalgamate to get him home, but more importantly, the activity keeps his mind busy.

So often in life we tend to sit down and feel sorry for ourselves when we’re hit by a situation or tragedy, and this is one of the worst ways we sabotage ourselves.

We sit down and worry about it, thinking about every worst possible outcome and eventuality that we could face, pouring every ounce of our energy into creating a deeper and more complex problem with infinitely more pitfalls.

Keep busy, keep your mind distracted, and keep moving slowly towards where you want to be. Do the most menial tasks if you have to, or exercise intensely to remove your mind from your problems.

Once you’ve stopped endlessly thinking about the issue, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to start seeing positive solutions and hope in the situation.

3. Trials Can Last A Really Long Time

We live in a world of instant gratification, and the universe sees our lifespan as fitting into a timeline of billions and billions of years.

From the universe’s point of view, 3, 4, or 5 years is nothing in the grand scheme of things. In fact, from your eternal soul’s point of view, 3 or 4 years in a reincarnating soul’s lifespan of billions of years is also nothing.

For us though, living on this physical plane, 5 years feels like an eternity of hell. The intensity of that pain is exacerbated by the fact that we tend to live in the moment and so our experiences are felt more strongly.

Add to this our instant gratification culture where a solution doesn’t work unless it shows immediate results, and you have the perfect breeding ground for the universe to give you a beautiful lesson in patience. As someone who’s recently achieved that resonance, I’ll say having patience is well worth it – but the lesson is hard and expensive. Rather transcend this one.

4. Trials Will End Just As Suddenly As They Began

From almost beginning to end, The Martian covers Wattney’s trial time on Mars, and the movie basically ends in a moment when he hugs the other crew members and jokes with them.

That’s it – after nearly two years of survival and hard work, in that one little hug and anticlimactic moment, Wattney’s journey was over.

When you’re in a life trial, you can often remember a moment where it started – where things just started going wrong. If this isn’t your first trial then you’ll also likely remember a moment when the trial turned and everything in your life just changed for the better.

From death to birth, beginnings to ends, life always changes in a single instant. We spend our moments in between preparing for little life moments in which our world will be irrevocably changed.

As hard as your lessons have been, as hard as your trial was, there will come a moment when it’s over – it’s just finished and done. Life always changes in an instant – and your life can too.

5. You’ll Make Progress Then Be Knocked Back

One of the saddest moments in the movie is when Wattney’s botany solution to keep himself fed is destroyed in an act of God.

You’ve felt with this man by this stage of the movie, and if possible, you’re as invested in that little garden as he is. It is soul destroying when he walks back into the habitat and realizes that all his work is gone.

If you think it’s tough to lose something the first time around, imagine losing everything, building up from nothing, and then having that last hope ripped away from you in an instant. That’s what he went through in that moment. I take my hat off to Matt Damon for even portraying that role so well.

Sometimes in life you’re going to pick yourself up by your drawstrings and make something happen and you’re going to be knocked back even harder. As someone who has made it through moments like that, I can only tell you that the strength, fortitude, and peace you will gain from overcoming that kind of trial is beyond awesome, but the lesson hits you like a sucker punch. I can honestly only believe that these kinds of lessons are sent as tests of faith.

6. One Step At A Time

Right at the end of the movie, Wattney gives a class and says something along the lines of: ‘You just keep solving one problem and then the next and then the next. Eventually if you get to solve enough problems you can come home.’

If the challenge is too big to solve in one go then just solve the immediate problem in front of you — and then the next one and then the next.

One step at a time, you just keep going, doing what you can with the resources you have available to you. You cannot try to do more than you can do, or you will end up doing nothing.

7. Don’t Give Up Hope

There’s a moment early in the movie where Wattney has been alone on Mars for three days, with no way to know if anyone knows he’s alive and no way to contact anybody.

As he’s standing and watching the sand storm blustering outside he declares, “I will NOT die.” A little later in the movie as he’s making progress on his survival plan he uses two statements: “In your face Neil Armstrong” and “F**k you Mars!”

Whatever hope you can find to hold onto, hold onto it. Find a reason to fight, to keep going. With hope you can sustain almost anything. It truly is the light of the human soul.

8. Miracles Can Happen

As Terry Pratchett says often in the Discworld series, one-in-a-million chances tend to come around nine-times-out-of-ten, when you’re in a situation where you really need them.

The fact that I don’t have to clarify the word miracle, that the concept is commonly understand, should already tell you that miracles are a lot more commonplace than we give them credit for.

Miracles often appear when there is no other hope, so chances are good if you’re not getting one it’s because the situation is still in your control. But be realistic, believe in miracles, and know that you are loved enough to be entitled to miracles too.

9. You Already Have Everything You Need Around You

Once the shock begins to clear and the situation normalizes for Wattney, he begins to make the most amazing plans to escape and move on.

Amazingly he’s able to create everything he needs with what is around him, including equipment forgotten and left as lost, like the Mars Rover.

Sometimes you will find it in stuff that has been lost and thrown away, but you have everything you need around you. With a little bit of ingenuity and application of your mind, you can find a way to create a solution – you have everything you need. Don’t give up and don’t focus on your limitations and what you don’t have. Only keep looking at what you do have.

10. Sometimes You Really Do Know Better

There are a few funny references in the movie that Wattney makes about stupid instructions NASA is sending him, and a reference to how he keeps telling NASA to ‘go have sex with themselves’ about certain instructions they’re trying to get him to follow.

When you’re on the ground in a situation, you can see better than those outside the situation what is going on. You’re actually in a better position to make judgement calls.

Likewise, all tests of faith involve an element of intuition, and you are learning to trust and listen to your intuition in these trials – often because we turn to God/the Universe and listen when we have no other option left.

Trust what your gut is saying to you. Listen to what others have to say, but make the best decision for you in that moment. No one will ever be able to see as well as you what you need.

11. You Will Find Successes In Your Trials

In life coaching, the little successes you have along the way are commonly referred to as milestones.

Celebrating milestones and little wins is a must if you don’t want to go completely insane through a life trial like this.

Even if it’s something you create in your mind or logic your way into, find and celebrate every small success you can, or you will honestly feel like you are on a never-ending uphill treadmill of doom and gloom.

There are two moments from the movie that really stand out as Wattney celebrating his wins. The first is when he does a video journal entry speaking about the fact that his Alma Mater sent him information saying that you have legally colonized an area if you’ve grown crops on it. Here he wins first person to colonize Mars.

The second instance is towards the end of the movie where Wattney instructs NASA control to call him Captain Blondbeard, because as he explains, he is in international waters and about to commandeer a space ship. Technically therefore, he is a space pirate.

The last two little wins and records Wattney sets are to be the fastest man in space and to fly like Iron Man. Any of these is enough to log him in the history books, but to him they were just what he did to make it, to survive.

Each was a challenge, a problem he had to solve. Yet each was enough to make him a God in the eyes of man.

12. You Realize What Really Matters

When Mark Wattney’s eyes fill with tears when he hears the first human voice in nearly two years, you realise what a huge difference human contact makes for all of us.

When you see his joy and relief at being able to connect with people, have contact and hear voices again, I’d be very surprised to find a dry eye in the house. And then look at his first question when he first makes text messenger contact with NASA control: how are the crew? Immediately he looks for more contact, a connection and reflection to show him that he matters.

Likewise when you consider what he went through to survive, what he was willing to do and the chances he was willing to take, it makes it very difficult to look at your own small challenges and think of them as significant and relevant. So you’ve skipped a few payments, lost a few assets, spent a few nights crying. You’ll be okay. We’ll all be okay.

Go home tonight, put your arms around the people you love and hold them tight. Tell them what they mean to you, and how empty and meaningless your life would be without them.

Life changes in an instant – for the good and the bad. Don’t live a life filled with unsaid words and regret.

———————–

Life Coaches Toolbox

Life Coaches Toolbox offers a range of free and paid for digital life coaching resources for spirituality, sex coaching, forgiveness, lightworkers, light warriors and twin flames. Chemory Gunko is a Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy Practitioner & Energy Resourcing Practitioner and is available for one-on-one life coaching sessions, in person and via Skype. For more information visit www.lifecoachestoolbox.com

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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World’s Ten Richest People See Wealth Increase By Half A Trillion Dollars Since Beginning of COVID

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent report by Oxfam is one of many to explain how the world's wealthiest people have seen their wealth grow substantially since the beginning of the pandemic, while most others have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is money always presented as a problem or a solution? Does humanity have the potential to move beyond such a system and thrive? Do we have solutions to our issues? Is the problem that many solutions threaten government/corporate greed/control?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

A recent report by Oxfam shows that “the world’s ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the pandemic began.” On the other hand, the majority of people have been ushered into “the worst jobs crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or out of work.” The report was titled “The Inequality Virus” and was published on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Davos Agenda.’

The WEF has been both praised and criticized by many academics, politicians and journalists for their “Great Reset” initiative. An initiative that intends to rollout,and currently is rolling out, a number of large changes here on planet Earth as a response to various, according to them, crisis’ we face such as climate change, terrorism, and of course the covid pandemic. The criticism comes from the idea that ‘the powers that be’ are using, and have used global crises’ to put more money, power and control over the human race into hands of the very few, all under the guise of good will and necessity. Measures being proposed include many things like the implementation of 5G, digital ID’s, digital currency, universal income, the abolishment of privately owned property, mandatory vaccination, increased surveillance  measures like tracking,  facial recognition and much more. This comes along with a ‘ministry of truth’ that seems to be “fact-checking” information that pertains to these topics. The censorship of alternative media and scientists who share information that counters what we hear in the mainstream during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

The idea that these are some sort of ‘nefarious’ measures being taken is usually presented as a “conspiracy theory” within the mainstream media. Unfortunately, big media continues to fail at having appropriate conversations around controversial topics. Furthermore, these implementations continue to rollout against the will of many people. That in itself has many people quite disturbed and asking the question, do we really live in a democracy, or is an authoritarian oligarchy type of government operating under the guise of a democracy?

According to Oxfam,

The report shows that COVID-19 has the potential to increase economic inequality in almost every country at once, the first time this has happened since records began over a century ago. Rising inequality means it could take at least 14 times longer for the number of people living in poverty to return to pre-pandemic levels than it took for the fortunes of the top 1,000, mostly White male, billionaires to bounce back. 

A new global survey of 295 economists from 79 countries, commissioned by Oxfam, reveals that 87 percent of respondents, including Jeffrey Sachs, Jayati Ghosh and Gabriel Zucman, expect an ‘increase’ or a ‘major increase’ in income inequality in their country as a result of the pandemic.

Oxfam’s report shows how the rigged economic system is enabling a super-rich elite to amass wealth in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression while billions of people are struggling to make ends meet. It reveals how the pandemic is deepening long-standing economic, racial and gender divides.

A lot of these issues come as a result of the measures taken to combat covid, which have come under fire by many scientists, academics, doctors and journalists. Again,  information, evidence, data and opinions of these people has been completely silenced. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, for example, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid. A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. These are two of many examples.

Lack of access to health care,  economic implications and more have experts suggesting that lockdown measures will kill well over one hundred million people and push even more to the brink of starvation. According to Oxfam, the pandemic has ushered in the worst job crisis in over 90 years with hundreds of millions of people now underemployed or unemployed.

Billionaires fortunes rebounded as stock markets recovered despite continued recession in the real economy. Their total wealth hit $11.95 trillion in December 2020, equivalent to G20 governments’ total COVID-19 recovery spending. The road to recovery will be much longer for people who were already struggling pre-COVID-19. When the virus struck over half of workers in poor countries were living in poverty, and three-quarters of workers globally had no access to social protections like sick pay or unemployment benefits.

The report does mention the benefits of vaccines, and that the covid vaccines are not being fairly distributed. It speaks of the vaccine as a life saving intervention, but does not mention that fact that this is a virus with a 99.95 percent survival rate in people under the age of 70, and that other interventions like vitamin C, Zinc, Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin have shown great success and efficacy. Vaccine hesitancy, especially with regards to the covid vaccines, is on a sharp rise among people, doctors and scientists. Again, the mainstream doesn’t seem to do an adequate job of covering information like this. Big Tech fact checkers censor any type of information that doesn’t paint vaccines in a positive light, and all those who raise concerns, no matter how legitimate, seem to be labelled as “anti-vax conspiracy theorists” and are constantly ridiculed. It would be great if the mainstream actually brought these concerns to light and addressed them in a civil manner.

Early on in the pandemic a report from the Institute for Policy Studies found that, while tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, America’s ultra-wealthy elite have seen their net worth surge by $282 billion in just 23 days. This is despite the fact that the economy is expected to contract by 40 percent this quarter. In turns they were correct.

The Institute for Policy Studies’ report shows something nothing short of a modern day oligarchy, where the super-rich have captured so much power and control, including controlling what laws are passed. These are the “decision-makers” of our world while we all are glued to to the T.V. see what they “command” next, not realizing that we the people have the most “power.” “Their” power comes from our compliance, and our compliance comes from their ability to shape our perception of this issue. The report discusses what it labels a new “wealth defense industry” – where “billionaires are paying millions to dodge billions in taxes,” with teams of accountants, lawyers, lobbyists and asset managers helping them conceal their vast fortunes in tax havens and so-called charitable trusts. The result has been crippled social programs and a decrease in living standards and even sustained drop in life expectancy – something rarely seen in history outside of major wars or famines.

The Takeaway: It can be frustrating observing the human experience knowing that we are nothing but infinite potentiality. The human race has huge potential and we have more than enough solutions and technological developments to start co-existing with mother Earth in a more harmonious way, one that provides abundance to all people. Many of these technologies and solutions “never see the light of day” (Dr. Brian O’Leary, NASA astronaut ex-Princeton physics professor). Why was electric car technology invented decades ago but not put into mass production? My point is, again, that solutions exist, that’s not the problem, the issue seems to be the prevention of solutions from making their way into the public due to corporate and government interests being threatened. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in? Despite all this, we continue to operate under the assumption that “this is the way it is” and the idea of a “utopian” society is unachievable.

This goes to shows that it’s not really the “solutions” that will change our world, it’s the consciousness that humanity operates from. It’s the consciousness behind these “solutions” that determine what direction humanity takes.

When it comes to mandating certain health measures, and other things, do we really want to live in a world where we give so much power to governments to the point where they can dictate our actions, and control our thoughts and perceptions regarding certain global events? Do we want to allow them to restrict access to certain rights and freedoms simply for non-compliance of certain measures, like getting vaccinated, for example? Should freedom of choice not always remain? Should governments and private institutions simply be making recommendations?

What about the “new normal”?

This is an important question at the moment, and we are seeing it in everything from alternative media to mainstream media. As we saw with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, even politicians are warning their citizens that what you see happening now will be the ‘new normal’ to some extent. What do they mean by this? Should we want things to go back to how they were prior to this pandemic? Do we have a future of even more restrictions in sight?

From my perspective, I don’t want things to go back to ‘normal’. Why do I say this? Because I ask myself the question: was life prior to, and even during this pandemic, truly allowing humanity to thrive? Was it anywhere even close to what humanity is capable of? Or is it a society and world designed out of programming that has convinced us to accept basic survival as being how we should live… as normal?

This can be a question for everyone no matter where you live on this planet. Whether the weekly rat race is reality or whether having to worry about whether you will get your next meal is your reality, is this truly how we want to live and what humanity is capable of?

If not, then how can we shift the conversation to begin exploring how we might change the way we live in our society?

Read more here.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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New Lancet Article Suggests 50-75% of “Positive” PCR Tests Are Not Infectious People

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CE Staff Writer 12 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recent article published in The Lancet medical journal explains that PCR tests can be "positive" for up to five times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are certain viewpoints, opinions, studies, scientists and doctors being censored and/or ignored for presenting data that completely contradicts what we are receiving from government health authorities.

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction testing) has come under fire from numerous doctors, scientists, politicians and journalists since the beginning of this pandemic. Not everyone would know this if their only source of information was mainstream media however, as they’ve chosen not to cover the controversy surrounding it. This is not to say that PCR testing hasn’t been praised as a useful tool to determine a covid infection, but again, there are great causes for concern that aren’t really being addressed.

As far back as 2007, Gina Kolata published an article in the New York Times about how declaring pandemics based on PCR testing can end in a disaster. The article was titled Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.  In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, an outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could also be as high as 50%.

The Deputy Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Barbara Yaffe recently stated that COVID-19 testing may yield at least 50 percent false positives. This means that people who test positive for COVID may not actually have it. Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon,  argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false may actually be as high as 90%.

Furthermore, 22 researchers have put out a paper explaining why, according to them, it’s clear that the PCR test is not effective in identifying COVID-19 cases, and that as a result we may be seeing a significant amount of false positives. You can read more about that here.

These are simply a few of many examples from the recent past, and it’s concerning because lockdown measures and more are based on supposed positive “cases.”

Another concern recently raised comes from an article  published in The Lancet medical journal titled “Clarifying the evidence of SARS-CoC-2 antigen rapid tests in public health responses to COVID-19.”

In it, the authors explain that most people infected with COVID are contagious for approximately one week, and that “specimens are generally not found to contain culture-positive (potentially contagious) virus beyond day 9 after the onset of symptoms, with most transmission occurring before day 5.” They go on to explain:

This timing fits with the observed patterns of virus transmission (usually 2 days before to 5 days after symptom onset), which led public health agencies to recommend a 10-day isolation period. The sort window of transmissibility contrasts with a median 22-33 days of PCR positivity (longer with severe infections and someone shorter among asymptomatic individuals). This suggests that 50-75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.

Once SARS-CoV-2 replication has been controlled by the immune system, RNA levels detectable by PCR on respiratory secretions fall to very low levels when individuals are much less likely to infect others. The remaining RNA copies can take weeks, or occasionally months, to clear, during which time PCR remains positive.

They explain:

However, for public health measures, another approach is needed. Testing to help slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 asks not whether someone has RNA in their nose from earlier infection, but whether they are infectious today. It is a net loss to the health, social, and economic wellbeing of communities if post-infectious individuals test positive and isolate for 10 days. In our view, current PCR testing is therefore not the appropriate gold standard for evaluating a SARS-CoV-2 public health test.

An article published in the British Medical Journal explains:

It’s also unclear to what extent people with no symptoms transmit SARS-CoV-2. The only test for live virus is viral culture. PCR and lateral flow tests do not distinguish live virus. No test of infection or infectiousness is currently available for routine use. As things stand, a person who tests positive with any kind of test may or may not have an active infection with live virus, and may or may not be infectious.

The relations between viral load, viral shedding, infection, infectiousness, and duration of infectiousness are not well understood. In a recent systematic review, no study was able to culture live virus from symptomatic participants after the ninth day of illness, despite persistently high viral loads in quantitative PCR diagnostic tests. However, cycle threshold (Ct) values from PCR tests are not direct measures of viral load and are subject to error.

Searching for people who are asymptomatic yet infectious is like searching for needles that appear and reappear transiently in haystacks, particularly when rates are falling. Mass testing risks the harmful diversion of scarce resources. A further concern is the use of inadequately evaluated tests as screening tools in healthy populations.

The UK’s testing strategy needs to be reset in line with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ recommendation that “Prioritizing rapid testing of symptomatic people is likely to have a greater impact on identifying positive cases and reducing transmission than frequent testing of asymptomatic people in an outbreak area.”

The academics who published this paper are one of many explaining how another approach is needed, given the fact that PCR tests are the basis of lockdowns that might have already, and will kill more people than COVID itself, all for a virus with a 99.95% recovery rate for people under the age of 70. Many are in fact calling for the end of testing for asymptomatic people.

Michael Levitt, a medical professor at Stanford University and a Nobel Laureate for chemistry is one of many who has been emphasizing this:

“Getting tested right to avoid making more mistakes going forward [is crucial].” He writes, “very disturbing that PCR test can be positive for up to FIVE times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious. Many implications.”

Rosamond A K Jones, a retired consultant paediatrician, and part of the Health Advisory & Recovery Team (HART) in Slough, UK, writes with regards to testing in UK schools:

If testing 5 million secondary school pupils twice a week, those 10 million tests would be expected to generate 30,000 false positives. These children would presumably all be sent home from school, with their 30 classmates, leading to almost a million children incorrectly out of school each week.

According to an article written by Robert Hagen MD, who recently retired from Lafayette Orthopaedic Clinic in Indiana:

By base rate fallacy/false positive paradox, if the specificity of a test is 95%, when used in a population with a 2% incidence of disease — such as healthy college students and staff — there will be 5 false positives for every 2 true positives. (The actual incidence of active COVID-19 in college age students is not known but estimated to be less than 0.6% by Indiana University/Fairbanks data. Even using a test with 99% specificity with a 1% population incidence generates 10 false positives for every 9 true positives.

Using the same test on patients with COVID-19 symptoms, because their incidence of disease is 50% or greater, the test does not have to be perfect. Even using a test with only 90% specificity, the number of false positives will be much less significant.

Another issue is with PCR testing is the cycle threshold. PCR seeks the genetic code of the virus from nose or throat swabs and amplifies it over 30–40 cycles, doubling each cycle, enabling even minuscule, potentially single, copies to be detected. I first learned about this when Elon Musk revealed he had completed four rounds of COVID-19 testing, tweeting that something “bogus” is going on because two of the tests came back false, and the other two came back positive.

He also mentioned he was “doing tests from several different labs, same time of day, administered by RN & am requesting N1 gene PCR cycle threshold. There is no official standard for PCR testing. Not sure people realize this.”

And therein lies the problem, something that the World Health Organization finally addressed recently. On January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated. This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests. The higher the cycle threshold the greater the chance for false positive rates.

Is this why case rates around the world have started to decline? It seems plausible since the same time cases dropped the WHO told labs to monitor the cycle thresholds which means false positives would reduce.

A Portuguese court has determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus determined that the detainment of four individuals was unlawful and illegal. In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, explaining how a high CT is correlated with low viral loads.

“If someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is  <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.” (source)

The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown. You can read more about that story here.

“Cases” Are The Basis of Lockdowns 

The information above is indeed telling, because PCR tests are being used to justify lockdown measures and yet there is a huge amount of controversy and inaccuracy with them.

Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid.

study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus.

A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. In the essay they present a multitude of studies supporting the same conclusions found in the Stanford study cited above. You can read that here.

Lockdown harms were pondered early on in the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″  has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .

Bhattacharya, MD, PhD wrote an article  for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.” In it he points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures, which also include that fact that:

Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.

Is a Great Reset Really required? Or should we just go back to normal?  Even if we weren’t in a lockdown, should we still be questioning how we feel about our “normal.” You can dive into a deeper discussion about that here.

The Takeaway 

The one thing that has many more people questioning their government with regards to COVID seems to be the fact that countless amounts of scientists, doctors, journalists and more are being heavily censored for sharing their information, data, research and opinions about COVID when they don’t fit within the accepted framework of mainstream culture.

For example, the Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on COVID-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings. (source)  This is one of many examples, you can see more here.

 Dr. Kamran Abbasi, former (recent) executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open recently published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.” I reference this quite a bit in many of my articles so I apologize if you’ve come across it already.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –

I say it in almost every article I write about COVID, should we not have the right to examine information openly and transparently and determine for ourselves what is and what isn’t? Why is it that someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci gets to make an appearance on television with instant virality anytime he desires, while other experts presenting opposing viewpoints are completely ignored? Can the mainstream media make the “consensus” or the majority seem like the minority and the minority seem like the majority?

How are we going to make sense of what is going on and make effective decisions about it all if we are not allowed to talk about certain ideas?

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Alternative News

Texas & Mississippi Both Lift Mask Mandates & Some Business Restrictions

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Texas and Mississippi have both lifted many COVID-19 restrictions, including the removal of mandated face masks. Some restrictions will come off by March 10th, others starting tomorrow.

  • Reflect On:

    Regardless of what we think the causes are for why case numbers rise or drop, why are we seeing only a small handful of people given a chance to speak while other credible individuals are sidelined and ridiculed for having a different perspective?

Before you begin...

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This will feel like good news to many, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just lifted many of the Covid-19 restrictions in his state. Businesses will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity starting March 10th, and citizens will no longer be required to wear face masks.

The news was given during a speech to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on March 2nd, letting small businesses and community leaders know that a path towards rebuilding their livelihood is being paved.

The governor also added these words with regards to still abiding by certain safety practices instilled since COVID began:

Following Texas’ announcement, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he plans to end the state’s mask mandate and end all COVID related business restrictions as well. The Governor feels that improved case and hospitalization numbers are a sign that things are ready to return to normal.

Mississippi Governor Reeves feels his latest order “will be one of my last executive orders regarding Covid-19.” The new order replaced the current restrictions with much milder ones that are considered to now be recommendations starting on march 3. There will still be a rule limiting indoor arenas to 50-percent capacity, as well as restrictions on K-12 schools.

Governor Reeves does still remind people that maintaining proper social distancing and other basic safety guidelines is a good idea.

Are we about to see a wave of more states opening up? Might this spread to other countries around the world? We shall see. But the sort of openness and enthusiasm seen by the Governors of Texas and Mississippi is not shared by all, and other health officials feel now is not the time to consider easing restrictions.

Both governor’s stand in stark contrast to that of President Joe Biden, who believes the idea of masks is crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Biden also expects all Americans will remain obedient and in support of masks until at least 2022 and plans to have enough Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate every citizen the around May of 2021.

Why Have Case Counts Dropped?

Answering this questions is very difficult, and this has been the issue with COVID since the start. If you take an honest look at multiple sources, you will see that no one can agree on why anything is happening the way it is. Further to that, open inquiry and proper scientific dialogue is not allowed nor happening. We’ve seen the greatest crisis in collective sense-making I can recall.

Are cases dropping because the WHO updated their instructions for medical professionals in determine what a ‘positive’ result from a PCR test is? A move that would inevitably remove thousands upon thousands of false positives?

Is it because of masks? Some believe so, while other papers show they have no effect. (Additional resource)

Is it because of the lockdowns? Again, some believe they are effective, while other studies show a completely opposite perspective.

You will hear arguments stated assertively from many different camps, but the truth is, no one really knows all that firmly why cases dropped, and to some extent this is normal in a new and developing scientific story.

But all that aside, one thing we do know is that anyone who disagrees with the way COVID is being handled is not allowed to have a platform to speak. What does that tell us? You decide.

Click here to check out a recent podcast interview with Charles Eisenstein where we spoke about the current sensemaking crisis with COVID as well as how it’s affecting our everyday culture.

Click here for more of our COVID-19 coverage.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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