Signs of the Times

[Detroit (Mich.) News]

Our friends the Christian Scientists must be enjoying the humor of the influenza situation. They find first of all the medical profession in disagreement as to what the infection exactly is, and they find the public health experts in disagreements as to what the treatment exactly should be. But most interesting of all, they find all parties agreed that the very worst epidemic that can occur is an epidemic of fear. Fear killed more than the plague, a romancer first told the world, and modern medicine has confirmed the statement. Fear, which is mental panic, is a pathological condition. Modern medicine measures the effect of anger, fear, anxiety, or any form of mental distress upon the digestion and circulation. Calmness of mind, a reassured mood, a serenely hopeful outlook, these are positively therapeutic, modern medicine proves. The emotions of joy, contentment, assuredness (which is faith), are physically upbuilding in their effects and throw up almost impenetrable barriers against gross physical infection.

All these things—so short a time ago the most hazardous of innovations!—are now blazoned on the front pages of every newspaper and indorsed by the best names in the medical world. The "absent treatment" Detroit is receiving at this moment; the "mind cure" that is being used to prevent panic seizing our thought; the "faith" that is being urged upon us, faith in common sense, in the naturalness of health, in the alliance of physical nature with us in the struggle against disease,—faith in the right trend of nature everywhere, which in its ultimate statement is faith in God—these are really wonderful developments to grow out of an attack of influenza.

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February 1, 1919

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