One day, plague and fear were planning on attacking a certain village. In the meeting, they discussed how they’d kill the people of the village but whilst the meeting went on, an argument arose because they all wanted to kill more people. After hours of bouts of back and forth, they realized that they’d have to work together to kill as many people as they wished. So they finally agreed on a strategy; plague would enter the village to kill a few people and fear would enter later and complete the task. The day came and they had to attack the village, the plague attacked the village and killed a few people. Later, fear entered the village and caused great havoc. In the end, fear killed significantly more people than the plague itself. So how on earth did fear kill significantly more people than the plague itself?

In 1942, physiologist and Harvard Medical School researcher Walter Cannon published an academic paper on “Voodoo Death.” He argued that what was assumed as supernatural death was non-existent and that the people scared themselves to death. Dr Cannon’s argument was a topic of ridicule for decades until scientists found a heart disease that killed healthy people. Scientists found that death from fear depends on the intensity of the fright and the length of time your heart spends in distress and the amount of blood that gets restricted from the brain and organs

A story is told of a gentleman who led a chaste life until he met his wife. His wife who was his girlfriend at the time was the only girl he had slept with. As part of the preparations for the wedding, they had to do a blood test for compatibility and other reasons. The test results came and it revealed that the gentleman tested positive for HIV. When the news got to him, he could not believe it and blamed himself for his acquiring of the virus. He attempted suicide but was unsuccessful. He attempted for the second and almost died but for the help of his relatives. When he arrived at the hospital, he was referred to a psychologist for counselling. Upon review by the psychologist, it was realized that the gentleman tried suicide because he didn’t understand the condition and thought it was a death sentence. The fear of dying very soon dreaded him so he wanted to spare himself from the pain ahead.

As the world tries to combat coronavirus, I think it’s important to deal with the fear that is being peddled over the globe. I do not dispute the fact that coronavirus is a deadly disease. However, I think the facts about the condition are being exaggerated by some people. Can you imagine, someone came to my clinic and refused to touch anything because she was scared of getting infected with the virus. I couldn’t think far. Some people have refused to go out because they are scared.

The truth is a lot of people would die from knowing that they have the virus because of the rumours. For most of the news circulating, they are based on emotions and not facts. Let’s consider a fact about the virus: One hundred and seventy thousand two hundred and seven people have been infected globally and six thousand five hundred and twenty-six have died whilst seventy-seven thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine people have recovered. This means that not everyone who gets infected dies right? Unfortunately, people talk less about this fact.

I think the virus is spreading fast on the wings of fear. Could it be that at some point in time we were infected by this virus, went to the hospital and got treated? There was no panic because we didn’t have a name for it. Fear would more often than not have you neglecting the very thing you have to do to keep yourself safe at least because when fear takes over, you more or less accept defeat even when the battle has not begun.

We can’t prevent ourselves from catching the infection however, we can reduce our risk of infection by controlling the controllable things such as thoroughly washing our hands regularly, using sanitizers and avoiding crowded places, to say the least. When we focus on controlling the things we can control, the uncontrollable becomes controllable in the process.

#This pandemic too shall pass.



Isn’t it amazing how time flies? Do you remember that a few years ago you wanted to finish schoolwork and start working?  How long ago was that? So it’s been almost a decade since Suarez and Asamoah Gyan broke the heart of Ghanaians?

So when exactly is life?  Yesterday is memory. Tomorrow is just but a delusion. It is said that nobody knows tomorrow. This is a true saying. Tomorrow is also just but a mere wish. The security of wealth guarantees a better tomorrow but not tomorrow. One of the things we don’t have control over is tomorrow.

So when at all is life? Life is not yesterday. Unfortunately, life is even not today. There lived a young man in a certain village. This young man had grown to be very rude and a bully because he had joined himself to a group which was noted for doing notorious things. One day, he had a quarrel with a neighbour and decided to deal with him on his return from town that same day. Later in the day, whilst he was walking in town, a driver lost his break and knocked him down. He died on the spot. When the news broke, the whole village was in shock because they knew him and he looked too energetic and full of life to die. He had told his neighbour that he’d deal with him on his return which didn’t happen. Today is not guaranteed. Today has a future. There are 24 hours in a day which is full of uncertainties. Life is not tomorrow. Neither does life begin at 40.

Most of us are either living in yesterday or tomorrow.          For example, one person says, “I will never forgive him for what he did to me.” Another person says, “I am a failure because I couldn’t meet the deadline.”  These are examples of people living in yesterday. Another person also says, “When I buy a car, my life will be good.”  This person is clearly living in the future. The principle of presence is at play here. The principle states that you are present where your mind is. So if you’re thinking of yesterday or tomorrow, that’s where you are present.

When is life? A lot of people are reacting and not living. Being sad is not living but reacting. Our feelings are mere reactions to our thoughts. The next time you feel sad, pay attention to what you were thinking and you’d realize that you’re only reacting.

When is life? Life is when there is breath. So when is life? Life is now…  When someone is no longer breathing, we say the person is not alive. You’re not alive yesterday. You’re not alive tomorrow. Life begins at breath and not at birth. Think about it! You are not breathing yesterday, you’re not breathing tomorrow. You’re not even breathing today. The only time you breathe is now.

You can’t do anything about what has already happened.  If you were disappointed by a loved one, there’s nothing you can do about it. If you were maltreated by someone, there is nothing you can do about it. The good news is that there is something you can do to it. Don’t live the bad experiences in the now.  We are endowed with so rich a reservoir of memories that we can harm ourselves at any time if we decide to do so. If you choose to bring unpleasant memories of the past to the present, you have the right to do so.  Unfortunately, doing that will only make you sad, frustrated etc. You can decide to also use your memories to your advantage. When you feel defeated and sad, you can fetch memories of when you felt the same but bounced back stronger. You are only permitted to ruminate on good memories. This is because it is a more healthy option.

You have control over only the now. Life is now and not tomorrow. Life is now so live it now and well. When is life? George Harrison, the lead guitarist of the Beatles band answered it by saying, “It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it, and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” Let us live now! Let us live now!

Author: Julius Ziorkuli, Psychology Department.