Every week, New York City’s own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.
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I’m shitting my pants about this Ebola virus. Just hearing the word “Ebola” makes me literally sick to my stomach. I’m sick of hearing about this disease and I’m sick of feeling terrified about it. Every morning I wake up for work, I scramble to watch the news and read the latest horror stories, and then I spend the rest of the day irritable and panicked about this growing epidemic. And it seems like every day a new fear of mine has come true: more people getting sick, no one doing anything real to stop it, and more and more people chiming in about what should be done, without any real organization or plan of action. But what can be done? I feel like we’re all going to die! How do I stop freaking out about this?
Dear Scared Sick,
We are all going to die. And there’s nothing that can be done about it. Whether we die of disease, old age, violence, or some freak accident, the fact is that life, and everything about it, is temporary. And this current disease, and the wave of stress and panic it’s rightfully causing, is also a temporary situation. Nothing lasts forever, whether it be good or bad, except death. That is the best reason to stop freaking out about this and dying in general. It will happen someday whether we like it or not. But is that really a reason to be constantly depressed? Or is the fact that we’re going to die what actually gives our life value?
Disease, disasters, and random fatal accidents constantly remind us of our own inescapable mortality. They remind us how much our very existence hangs precariously in the balance at all times. They remind us that the people we think are in control don’t really have an idea what’s going on and don’t really know how to save us or run the world. We’re all powerless in one way or another — some more, some less — but our mortality is one thing we all have in common.