Stolen Childhood

The following is an English version of an article written in German by Stefan W. Hockertz. I would like to thank Mr. Hockertz for allowing me to publish his article here on my blog. We do not personally know each other. I simply came across his article and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to share it in English. I’ve attempted to convey the sarcasm in his ‘voice’ as well as his seriousness. In most cases, I changed “Corona” to “Covid-19” or “Coronavirus.” In a few places where the German words could possibly mean more than one thing in English, I’ve added other English words with a ‘/’ in between them.

Stolen childhood

The prescribed masks have a highly dangerous symbolic effect, especially for children and young people. Exclusive reprint from “Generation Mask.”

by Stefan W. Hockertz

Photo: Dudaeva/

What is the pandemic doing to children and adolescents? Immunologist and toxicologist, Stefan Hockertz, is grappling with a problem which is too often drowned in the flood of information about COVID-19. Hockertz is particularly concerned about the consequences of the incomprehensible government measures and the one-sided media reporting in which facts get manipulated and risks are magnified. To get answers to the central question, he evaluated scientific studies, interviewed parents and teachers, and analyzed children’s drawings and captions. The author’s findings are alarming: The government’s measures and coverage of Covid-19 are destroying the institution of family, which is so important for children. Children are overloaded with death rates, pictures of coffins, and reports of unemployment, which also threatens their parents. In addition, they are – entirely unjustifiably – stigmatized as “super spreaders.” Exclusive reprint from “Generation Mask – How our children are suffering from the Covid-19 measures and what we can do about it.”

And then came the mask, the so-called mouth and nose protection. In the beginning there was still a lot of creativity in terms of shape, color and design. Many also wore masks with their soccer club emblem, a cool saying, animal caricatures, or obscure patterns. It was almost like a competition for the most noticeable face-covering. Mothers stitched in [or attached] a chord. Jokes were made. Coronavirus? Masks, toilet paper, baking yeast.

Face-masks — up to now, they were only known to be worn by Asian tourists and surgeons in the operating room — and they always seemed strange somehow. But everyday masks quickly took their place in everyday life.  They are apparently supposed to protect oneself against viruses, although the manufacturers exclude this on the packaging. “If you don’t wear a mask, you not only endanger yourself, but also others.” So it is postulated again and again like a prayer wheel (or an endless cycle) on the part of the government. In the next chapter I will take a closer look at whether this is actually the case.

Back to school. Wearing mouth and nose protection in class, during breaks, at the bus stop, and on the school bus is a real burden for many children and young people. It is almost impossible to recognize and assess others’ mental condition/sensitivities, mood/countenance, disposition/spirit, intended tidings/greetings, and other facial expressions [while wearing a mask].

Bülent Ceylan, a cabaret artist and comedian, replied in an interview: “In the past you smiled at each other. Today, only the eyes are seen!”

In addition, there are health concerns regarding the long hours people are having to wear a face-covering: susceptibility to infection, bacteria, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, carbon dioxide.

When school-aged children are asked to “report” others who are not wearing a mask, then we are on dangerous ground. It is not the critical questioning, the healthy skepticism, and the justified doubt about the “mask” measures that are offensive, but the demand for denunciation. The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann: “Reporting Covid-19-violations makes sense.”

I plead for a careful consideration of the harms and benefits. What can a mouth and nose covering really achieve? Is the proportionality (or arrangement) of these measures justified? I make the claim based on evidence and scientifically factual consideration and study/investigation, far from lobbying, morally-right, or political party clashes or conflicts.

Distance, masks, ventilation: These are the “three cornerstones” of school measures to contain or rather prevent transmission. At times it takes on almost grotesque features/details when the students sit in the classroom with woolen blankets, hot water bottles, pillows, and teapots because the windows are wide open all morning. Colds are therefore inevitable. Ventilation is important, without question. But staying (and persevering) in cold rooms for hours in winter — how can effective learning be possible? Here, too, it must be stated that the measures born out of fear and insecurity are excessive. In this context, the well-intentioned (though alien) advice from Chancellor Angela Merkel that freezing children should counteract the cold in the classrooms by squatting and clapping their hands is ludicrous.

And this is what everyday school life looks like: green and red arrows on the floor, pre-defined directions (indicating which way to walk), spread out rows of chairs and tables, and standing in the lunch line at a distance of 1.5 meters [about 5 feet]. But then off to the overcrowded buses — where you have a maximum of 15 centimeters [about 6 inches] distance. That’s absurd!

The criticism of the crisis management of education politicians [politicians in the field of education policy] is getting louder. It is no longer just a few “crazy” conspiracy theorists and end-time prophets who see that we’re facing massive problems.

Meanwhile, the number of regulations, measures, commandments, and laws, which are increasing every day, is almost unmanageable. And always the anxious look at the number of infections: How is it in our village, in the city? In addition, each federal state has different regulations: halved classes, quarantine, homeschooling, face-to-face lessons for everyone, masks in class for everyone, masks only for secondary schools, school closures, alternating and shift work, hybrid teaching. Which way is right? In the meantime, it’s become clear that schools are not hotspots and that the risk of infection for children and adolescents is not as serious as initially assumed.

So we are now looking more closely at the collateral damage that the Covid-19 measures threaten to cause in schools. Will the warnings from scientists really be taken seriously? Why risk long-term — perhaps even irreversible — damage?

“There is a threat of a generation that will have to pay for Covid-19!” Said Thomas Krüger, President of the German Children’s Fund. A “mask generation” is developing in our society!

[“It threatens a generation, that Covid-19 has to pay for.” – alternate translation]

In the media it is often portrayed as if the children from “socially weaker” families had to suffer [more than others] from Covid-19 and its consequences. I want to contradict that. There is no classification of “Coronavirus winners” and “Coronavirus losers.”

In the following, I introduce a school girl and a school boy — from different contexts and ages: Anna and Mario.

Anna is 12 years old. She lives in a well-off family home where there are no material worries. Anna is a very creative, sensitive girl and expresses her feelings and mental state (sensitivities) in fine drawings. Anna has suffered from asthma since early childhood. The girl has the condition under control and is under regular medical observation and care. Anna attends a private school with the best equipment and a differentiated educational offer. [Note from translator: I’m unable to determine what kind of “offer” is intended in this case. Perhaps it’s some sort of IEP, Individual Education Plan. But, it may be more closely-related to something that the private school offers.]

As in regular schools, Covid-19 regulations apply to private schools, such as the obligation to wear a mouth and nose covering. Anna has big problems with that. The mask makes her breathing difficult, makes her dizzy, and then quickly causes her to panic. However, Anna does not want any special treatment. All of her classmates wear masks. Concentration is increasingly difficult for her, and she tires easily. To make matters worse, Anna is only allowed to meet privately with one friend. That’s how the current contact rules are. The girl is increasingly withdrawing into her own world.

A medical certificate exempts Anna from the mask requirement, and the school accepts this. In the case of one teacher, however, the girl is required to take a seat in the last row of seats. This measure results from the teacher’s concern about infecting himself. With other teachers, the pupil is allowed to keep her usual place. The child feels stigmatized in the face of this treatment. The mother says that her daughter’s earlier happiness has fallen victim to Covid-19 measures. Will her happiness return soon?

Mario is 14 years old. He lives with his family in an apartment. Mario likes to play soccer in a club or enjoys going out with his friends. Both are currently only possible to a limited extent. Mario is big and strong; he needs exercise outside. The apartment quickly becomes too tight for him. The boy is in the 8th grade of the secondary school. Professional internships [normally] would be pending, but they won’t take place. He got a laptop from the school for homeschooling, because his father needs the family-owned device himself. [Note from translator: It doesn’t make sense that he would be loaned a laptop from the school if the family owns it. I’m not sure if there’s a typo in the article that is causing this discrepancy, or what.] Mario does the school work, but somehow he lacks motivation. If he doesn’t understand something, who should he ask in the family?

Nevertheless, he does [his work] bravely and receives commendable comments from his teacher via Padlet. Mario chats with his classmates via WhatsApp . Two girls from his class suddenly kick him out of the class group — just because, for no reason. This makes Mario incredibly angry, and he sends one of the girls a voice message that tells all. In it, he threatens her and announces that he will kill her — “with tools from my father, he is a butcher.” The girl’s family files a criminal complaint against Mario. He later tells police that he doesn’t really know why he did it himself. “I was just really angry!”

Insights into two student realities at the time of Covid-19. The integration of those who think and learn differently, and indeed the inclusion of school-aged children in need of support, is a declared educational goal and right. 

Implementing this in the best possible way for everyone involved in everyday school life was already difficult before Covid-19.

I already quoted it at the beginning:

Covid-19 does not create anything new; Covid-19 only reveals.

Stefan W. Hockertz is an immunologist, toxicologist and pharmacologist, qualified as a professor at the University of Hamburg and was a professor at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf for many years. As an immunotoxicologist, Hockertz is the managing partner of tpi consult GmbH, one of Europe’s leading consulting firms for toxicological and pharmacological technologies. As a European Registered Toxicologist, he is responsible for the approval of drugs and vaccines. In addition to numerous specialist publications and lectures, Hockertz also devotes himself to literary writing. On the subject of Covid-19, he published numerous articles in the media, always motivated by civic responsibility, especially for children and young people.

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Come Inside My Mind

As I sit here thinking about so many different things at the same time, I’m simultaneously smiling while dealing with a lump in my throat.  I just watched HBO’s 2018 documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.  (I found it somewhere online.)  It has quite a lot of sexual innuendos (and not so innuendos) and includes cussing that, as Pam Dawber alluded to in an interview with TV Guide, would have once been banned on Mork and Mindy.

I continually am amazed at how the human mind works.  Watching and learning more about Robin Williams and his life in a short two hour documentary only makes me even more amazed.  My mind led me to my blog after tweeting a Robin Williams quote just a few minutes ago.  And, I began looking at my blogroll on the sidebar.  I saw Marsha’s blog and wanted to see if she’d added anything in the last few years.  (She hasn’t.)  Her descriptions of grief are eerily similar to my own inner dealings with grief even though we have grieved for two totally different reasons and in two (mostly) totally different ways.

How is it that our minds are so very similar and yet so distinctly different?  Christians would say, “Well, it’s God, of course!”  And, as a believer, I’d agree.  Yet, there is still something compelling about our nature that goes beyond the inexplicable and yet simplistic answer that it all goes back to how we were created by God and in His image.

My own mind feels on the verge of something great… some kind of writing or other creation that would somehow connect all of the pieces together.  And yet, I feel it would be just another form of entertainment, not education or discovery.  So, I find myself backing away from it and not wanting to follow my dream or desire to create something significant.

Perhaps I am similar to how Robin Williams was and therefore do not “operate like normal people,” as Cheri Minns, a makeup and hair artist presumably from One Hour Photo., said of him.  (I relate to the other things that she said about him.)  I’m not trying to say that I could ever come close to the ingenuous comedian that Robin Williams was.  I do, however, see quite a few similarities in how I process thoughts and feelings.  I’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, as he allegedly was for a time in his life.  However, I’ve dealt with other kinds of addiction.  And, there are other similarities that I sensed while watching the documentary but also from having seen and heard some of the other things said about him since his passing.


So, as I ask in nearly every blogpost, what’s my point?  My point is that I think we’re all connected… probably in many more ways than most of us might care to admit.  We all desire to love and be loved, and ultimately, that’s really what makes the world go ’round.

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Popcorn Quotes to Seize the Day

In an attempt to be a better ‘me’ this year, I’ve taken to tweeting with the hashtag, #SeizeTheDay.  (Obviously, tweeting is not going to make me a better me, in and of itself.)  My best friend of all time is celebrating her birthday today.  We’ve not seen each other in nearly 18 years, and yet our friendship is as strong as ever.  For my birthday, she gave me a daily calendar with quotes (and the words “Seize the Day”) for each day of the year (except only one on weekends).  Today’s quote, after a brief search online, appears to be a bit of a misquote.

I’ve not read this blogpost word for word, but Sue Brewton points out that rewording quotes changes the meaning.  Here’s the quote as printed by Sellers Publishing, Inc.:

If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.  

— John D. Rockerfeller, Sr.

According to Wikiquote, Zig Ziglar used this in Steps to the Top in 1985.   However, according to Working in America by Catherine Reef and The Fra: For Philistines and Roycrofters edited by Elbert Hubbard and Felix Shay and Sue Brewton’s blog as already mentioned, the quote should be:

It requires a better type of mind to seek out and to support or to create the new than to follow the worn paths of accepted success.

John D. Rockerfeller, Sr. in Random Reminiscences of Men and Events

For me, the quote exudes even more when one reads the whole paragraph (or better yet, the whole book); but in our society of instantaneous everything, we’ve come to expect ideas to come to us in 140 characters or less.  Even Twitter realized that life can not be crammed into such a small box, as they recently doubled the allotted number of characters to 280.

So, let’s #SeizeTheDay and start seeking out more than the microwaved package of proverbial popcorn.  Dig out the old air popper or pour some kernels in a small amount of hot oil.  (Just be sure to have a lid nearby.)  In other words, read a full paragraph, chapter, or book!

By the way, “Seize the Day” is a quote from approximately 2,041 years ago… long before the microwave, cellphone, Google, or even the printing press was invented.

Satirical Saturday or my poor attempt at inaccurate alliteration

I’ve not blogged in a while… not because I’ve not wanted or needed to, but because I’m afraid of what people will think. Within recent months, I’ve told people (who I actually know) about my blog. And, that’s what has me frightened. I’m afraid I’ll divulge something that heretofore has been somewhat private. I’m afraid of being judged. (I know how people are… myself included. Why are we that way?)

Life is a complicated thing. Daily, all of us are learning how to maneuver and manage in this world… whether we realize it or not. Our world is changing fast. We don’t see it because of the intense speed with which it is changing.

I no longer feel like I’m able to accurately articulate my true feelings and thoughts about things. It’s like my own little corner of the world is spinning around and around and around with no end in sight, and I’m scrambling to try and figure out how to hold on or jump off. With my propensity to over-think things (EVERYthing), this spinning wheel may eventually crash. That being said, I truly am glad that I have a personal relationship with the One who holds it all together. Knowing that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. As James says, I’m verrrry slowly learning to “count it all joy when [I] fall into various trials.”

This song is not really related… or is it?

p.s. I have a different place to live. See my previous post if you don’t understand.

“Mrs. Positive” vs. the Ex-Wife

So, my ex is married to “Ms. Positive of the Universe,” and I find myself wallowing in self-pity.  Obviously, something is not right.  Even to admit this publicly could bring shame upon myself.  However, I need to get over it.  (I’m sure “Ms. Positive” would agree with me.  Oh wait… I should label her properly.  It’s not “Ms.” but “Mrs.”  Only those of us who are divorced and not remarried have the honour and privilege of the “Ms.” title. 🙂 )

Do I have a point to this?  Probably not… except to say that I’m attempting to let off some steam.  I struggle with seeing how she claims to be the number one fan of her daughters and includes my two daughters in the (literal) picture (along with her three daughters).  I know I need to probably ‘address’ this issue with her, but I really do not know how to breach the subject.  Will I be banned from WordPress for writing about it here?  I highly doubt it.  Will she ever see this?  Probably not… unless someone who knows her (and me) points it out to her. Will I be upset if she sees it?  Probably.  Will she be?  I don’t know.  It’s possible.  But, will we all get over it?  Will it one day “pass,” like many people keep telling me, “This too shall pass”?  I sure hope so!  Maybe by me writing about it I’ll somehow feel better.  I don’t know.

The longer I live, I’m finding that there are many things that I do not know. And, there are many things for which I have no answers.  To simply say that Jesus is THE answer sounds great!  I’ve been waiting a long time (and reading a lot of Scripture and excerpts from books written by dead theologians) to try and figure out how that applies to real life.

Seemingly endless frustration

I’m frustrated.

Frustrated with myself for…

being frustrated
thinking I can write as good as the best writer
thinking that I’m really not that good
thinking … period
wishing that life could be different
realizing that it can be different, if I make a change
not knowing how to make a change or even where to start
knowing how to make a change and how to start but being scared to death of it

knowing that God is with me and for me and that I can trust Him, but realizing that I must not be fully trusting Him because of how burdened down I seem

thinking so much that I don’t eat when I need to
being concerned that people who read this will think I’m a terrible writer
being concerned that people who read this will think I actually have something to say
being concerned what others think about me (After all, what difference does it make?)

Frustrated with and yet thankful for those who read my “Real Like the Velveteen Rabbit?” post from yesterday because…

one person commented on the actual post

a couple of people replied via email saying that I don’t need to ask people what to write about (duh, I know that!)

several people replied via text saying…

I follow your blog now; I subscribed
I never knew you wanted to be a writer?!
I knew you had a hidden talent somewhere
I want to go read that again sometime
I wish you the best in your endeavor
I love your picture!

I wasn’t seeking approval! Or, was I? (sigh)  <— Add this to my "frustrated with myself" list (above).

So many clichés about life are true and yet I wish they weren't.  I wish there was a way to 'break the cycle' in a sense.   I don't want to be like the next person.  I don't want to be famous.  I'm tired of taking baby steps like Bob.  I just wish I could express myself and have someone validate me.  And yet, when validation is received, then what?  What do I do with that?  Where do I go from there? What’s really the point of any of this?

Real like the Velveteen Rabbit?

Does a blog that people will read and follow actually exist?  Can I create one, too?

I have a lot of online friends… both in the blogging world and on various chat sites.  The latter perhaps may be a shock to some of my blogging friends and perhaps to some of my “real” friends.  I put “real” in quotes because I believe all friends are real… regardless of whether you’ve ever met them or even ever spoken with them in “real” life (aka ‘in person’).  But in this instance (mentioning “real” friends), I am referring to the friends I actually have met in person.  Confused? Good!  So am I!  ha!

I’m throwing this out there to see what people will think.  I love to write.  I’ve been told by several people that I’m a good writer.  (I could devote a whole blog JUST to that.  No, not a whole blogpost but a whole blog!  In other words, a blog about what a good writer is, does, thinks, etc.)  I would LOVE to be able to write “for profit.”  And no, I’m not interested in being a millionaire or even a thousandaire (if there was such a thing).  But, I am passionate about writing and wish that it indeed could be my sole income source.  Alas, I’m currently “just” a day care teacher.  I have nothing against being a day care teacher, per se.  I just know that it doesn’t stretch or even use all of my intelligence, and therefore, my brain is still telling me, “There’s got to be more!”  (I could devote a whole blog just to how a day care teacher could possibly expand his/her ‘ideals’ simply by studying the children he/she cares for. (I keep caveating in my head about this.  Even ending that sentence with a preposition is something I could caveat about.  Ugh!  There I go again!))

So what’s my point?  I want to write.  I want to be paid to write even if that means that I’m being paid by companies/businesses that would advertise on my blog.  I think my blog should have a creative name beyond Anita’s Antics, though, because my life is certainly about more than just my antics.  I’m considering making it an anonymous blog because I know that I’ll (most likely) be more willing to write about things that some of the people who REALLY know me would consider VERY shocking. And, I’ll probably have a bigger following if I’m able to write about those things because those things even shock me!

If you (the reader of this post) have ANY ideas about what I might call a blog like that, please let me know.  Also, if there’s a topic you’d like me to blog, please let me know.  I’d be willing to blog about just about anything.  No, not “just about”… I will (if given the proper ‘stage’) write about anything.

Oh, and by the way, this is me.  Or at least a picture of what I looked like this past Sunday.  I may never be this “real” again. 😉


Redeem the Time

When and how do we know to move from the time of rest to the time of action?  I posed this question in my previous post.

And then today, I read Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s morning devotion which would seem to indicate we are called to action NOW… not some time down the road in the future.

Do it promptly; do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do to-morrow as if that could recompense for the idleness of to-day.

So, if it’s now, how does that truly play out in actual life?  We (and by saying ‘we’, I suppose I’m referring to most, if not all, humans) are consumed with ourselves.  We think we have got to have the latest, greatest.  Or, we think that just because there’s a sale on something, then we ought to get it … in case it would be of some use ‘down the road.’  But, what about now?  We’re really only given “right now.”  We aren’t promised the future.  Look at the recent tragedy in Chattanooga.  The six children (ages 6 to 10) do not have a future here on earth.  Neither they nor their family ever expected that their lives here on earth would be cut so short.  So, how do we “redeem the time”?

I certainly don’t claim to have the answers.  However, I believe the Bible holds THE answer, which is Jesus Christ.  That is so simplistic, and yet that is somewhat the point.  The gospel… that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin… IS very simple.  So simple, that many do not accept it.

We (myself included) must learn to trust … no matter what.  Also, we must continue  on the road in front of us and not grow weary.   (See Proverbs 3:5-6, Hebrews 12:1-2, Galatians 6:9-10, Philippians 3:13-14, Isaiah 40:31.)

A New Year With MANY Thoughts

What escapes me is how and why a whole year has passed since I created a new blog post.  I have 16 drafts… the most recent one was saved seven months ago according to WordPress.  As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to psychoanalyze myself quite often.

I’ve read and heard several different things just in the past couple of weeks that I feel have been somewhat helpful and insightful, but also somewhat overwhelming.  As a high school friend of mine said, “Being overwhelmed doesn’t mean you get a free pass…” He was referring to discipling our children, but I believe that statement applies to all areas of our lives.

As for an insightful instance, this quote from one of the articles I read recently jumped out at me as I went back to re-read the article to find what I wanted to share with you…

If a doctor uses a treatment with a clinically verified high rate of success but presents it in a negative light, the probability of a negative outcome increases.

That caused my thoughts to jump to an episode of M*A*S*H when they ran out of pain medication and used placebos to tide them over.  One of the doctors was skeptical, and the senior ranking officer ordered him to present it with a positive attitude or it would never work.  After the placebos were administered, most of the patients respond very well, much to the surprise of the one who was skeptical.  So, our attitude toward things (our expectations, as this same article points out), obviously has a great impact on the outcome of events/circumstances.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I’m writing a blogpost now.  I felt the need to post something.  But why?  More self-analysis?  That leads me to something else I recently read, “The Hyper-Examined Life Isn’t Worth Living.”  There are many good things that the author shared.  Here is one (of many) that I found interesting…

An obsessive preoccupation with what others will think and a paralyzing fear of failure go hand in hand, and both are symptoms of a hyper-examined life.

The fear of failure and the obsession of what others will think is not just a trait of Millennials, as he suggests.  I think anyone with a tendency toward introspection could easily be drawn into what he calls a hyper-examined life.  (Just the fact that I’m bringing this up could prove that point.)

So, what is MY point?  Good question.  I know that I am striving to daily re-submit my life over to Jesus.  The past is gone, and there is absolutely NO WAY to change any of it.  The future is not yet here, and ultimately God is the only One who controls it.  We have the joy, privilege, and responsibility to seek out the best way to join God not only in the future, but in the here and now.   Will we trust?

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