Hi there David,
I wanted to give you the definition of Hysteria, summed up in this account by my uncle, who was born in South Africa and has known people who murdered, carried away and buried the corpses of men they suspected of stealing their penis(s).
In his message, he states that after a few months of living in Melbourne, Australia, he is seeing first hand in his environment, that Hysteria can take hold anywhere. My uncle is a Christian missionary and it is a ‘revelation’, mind the pun, to hear someone on the opposite side of the fence agreeing with your opinions. This is a real eye opener. These are his own words: THIS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND 😉 TRUE STORY.
‘Penis stealing: I’ve always been ashamed to tell this story, but now seems the right time. In 2009, when I was living in Northern Cameroon, Central Africa, there was a period when people were being accused of penis stealing. Just what is that? Well, no one could really explain it exactly. It was a fear, like an hysteria, a bit like the 17th Century Salem witch trials, where people were accused of doing witchcraft, and many were hanged or killed at that time in Massachusetts.
In Cameroon in 2009, it was commonly believed that someone who had a magic potion on their hands, could touch someone else and steal their penis, or their machismo, or their sexuality, and somehow gain from doing that. It was causing widespread fear and panic. One friend of mine was put in jail for 5 months after being accused of stealing another man’s penis. After 5 months, I saw him again, and he told me that they let him out of jail after his accuser had succeeded in getting his wife pregnant.
In the neighbouring town from where I lived, another man was accused of penis stealing out of the blue, in the open market, and was immediately set upon and knifed to death. I know this account is true, as I know the men, some of his friends, who carried away his body and buried him. I’ve always been wary or ashamed to tell this story, as it makes Cameroon, a country that I love, look primitive, ignorant, or backward.
But now after living in Melbourne for the last few months, I see that this type of irrational fear and hysteria can take hold anywhere. In fact, after experiencing the overreaction of Melburnians to this particular ‘pandemic’, I don’t feel nearly so ashamed of Cameroon anymore.
In 2009 in Cameroon, people were afraid to shake each other’s hand. In Melbourne 2020, the paranoia is worse! The police can give you a fine for shaking someone’s hand. Where will this end?
Please, set aside your irrational fears. Don’t give in to the rhetoric of a sensationalist media and opportunistic politicians. By any reasonable comparison with previous years, we’re not in an emergency/catastrophe situation’