You’ve come across them on social media, cable media and the traditional media itself. The hoaxers, the manipulators, the conspiracy theorists, the religious extremists, the Karens and Ians. All claim that Covid-19 doesn’t exist or if it does, there’s no need to fix it.

They’re all manifestations of gaslighters. “Gaslighting” is a psychological term. We can find it in the form of a stratagem, a tool—or indeed a mental illness. Regardless, it’s as contagious as Covid-19.

Yet, whichever form it holds, its net effect is the same. It diverts attention, motivation, morale and energy from the fight to eradicate the world’s newest and most highly contagious biological killer.

Good news is, the cure for gaslighting is simple. Whether from politicians, pundits, anonymous social media lurkers or even people you know—you can simply ignore it. It needs no rhetoric. You can just switch it off.

I don’t blame gaslighting for its 21st Century prevalence in Western society.

It’s the manifestation of corrupt political manipulation that began with 9/11 and the Global War on Terror that sent troops into the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan in search of Weapons of Mass Destruction that didn’t exist but grew a multi-billion-dollar private military industry in its wake.

It resulted in America’s first truly longest and lost war. Unlike Vietnam, the GWOT has birthed an entire generation not knowing peace.

And seeing how this war fathered presidents and prime ministers, and those rich beyond dreams knowing how to steal wealth be it through Global Financial Crises, hedge fund manipulations or outright Ponzi schemes, it’s now the regular person in the street’s turn to sow doubt and confusion just the same—for whom the delight of spreading falsehood is all the reward they need.

It’s just that there’s no bravery in being a gaslighter, a hoaxer, a manipulator, a conspiracy theorist or a religious extremist.

These people are cowards. They possess the same skill it takes to steal from a wheelchair-bound victim. It’s why we call that behaviour not just illegal but immoral.

Covid-19 is a biological virus. It requires a treatment and it needs a cure.

Being immensely contagious, as the months between March and July 2020 have shown—while gaslighters have pushed for the opening of economies only to see them closed again to the logic of skyrocketing infection numbers and blaming others for the outcome—we all have a job to do.

We need to slow the spread of Covid-19 to give our scientists time to win.

So, we stay indoors, wash our hands, wear masks, get tested. And we vote. That’s what bravery looks like in The Covid-19 War.

Yes. Some of these lifestyle changes may scare you. Fear is ok.

It’s defeatism that’s cowardice.

Covid-19 must be eradicated. We’ve won wars over evils before. And with leadership championing the right morale—an esprit de corps—we will win this war too.

So, if you’re not willing to join the fight, please step out of the way.

You’ve no right to call the coming victory yours.

© 2020 Adam Parker.