Amy Lansky
Published: 02/17/2022
Let us be lovers 
We'll marry our fortunes together..  
And (we) walked off 
To look for America 
-- from "America" - Paul Simon

On September 18, 2021, my husband Steve and I loaded up our Prius and its new roof box with three suitcases, two backpacks, three shopping bags, two duffel bags, a laundry basket, and a tent and sleeping bags (just in case), and embarked on a two and a half month driving trip around America.  Unvaccinated and in our late 60s, we drove 10,000 miles, visited 20 states, and stayed in 33 hotels, motels, and Airbnbs. Our friends and family were shocked that we decided to do this at the height of the Delta variant wave. But we had begun taking Ivermectin as well as a host of vitamins as part of a recommended regimen for staying healthy. And we were also armed with COVID testing kits, over 100 homeopathic remedies in two potencies, my homeopathic repertory and materia medica, and a nebulizer for hydrogen peroxide. We were a bit nervous but felt ready.  And we believed it was critical that we take this trip — now.

Why? First let me give a little background.

Steve and I are retired computer scientists and writers who have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years. In fact, we have lived in our beautiful home in the foothills behind Stanford University (where I got my PhD) for over 37 years. During that same period, however, our life took several twists and turns that led us to alternative views about health and life in general. You can learn all about this by reading my books Impossible Cure and Active Consciousness.

Perhaps most important, however, was that a series of unusual circumstances led Steve to create and maintain — for over 20 years — the most popular search engine for the CDC’s vaccine injury data (VAERS). You can check it out here:  Over the years, Steve’s site has been used heavily by both pro-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers alike. And over the course of just 2021, vaccine injuries, hospitalizations, and deaths from the COVID vaccines grew to outnumber those from all other vaccines combined cumulatively for over 30 years. Because of this, Steve and I found ourselves in the unlikely position of knowing more about the US vaccine injury data than almost anyone in the world — and definitely more than the mainstream media has publicized to the general public. As a result, we became increasingly convinced that the COVID vaccines were the most dangerous in the history of vaccination and we grew more and more resolute not to partake in them. Thus, our decision is based on almost too much understanding and knowledge. It is mostly medical, but it is philosophical and religious as well. It is also a decision that we believe we should have the right to make.

Unfortunately, since we live in California and especially since we live at the epicenter of tech-pharma power and preeminence — Stanford University and the surrounding Bay Area — our personal choices have rendered us pariahs and untouchables among most of the people we know, despite the fact that we have remained perfectly healthy. Almost all of our friends will no longer come into our home or allow us to enter theirs. Some won’t even meet with us outside — at a distance. And ironically, their fear has increased since they were vaccinated; they were much less fearful throughout 2020.

In addition, we have increasingly been barred from entering or attending a variety of gatherings and venues. For instance, I recently found out that I could no longer enter two art institutes at which I used to take painting classes. Steve and I are beginning to wonder if we may soon not be able to see our doctors as well. Even back in September we saw all of this coming down the pike at alarming speed. So before winter set in, we decided that we needed to find out if there was another place in America where we could belong, live in peace in a relatively normal way, and find new friends and community who would accept and welcome us.

Believe me, at ages 66 and 69, retired and living in our dream home and two-acre property that we have developed for almost 40 years, embarking on this journey was tinged with disbelief, sadness, and loss. We felt like COVID-vaccine refugees. But it was also exciting. Over the course of our voyage, we slowly grew accustomed to living in an almost complete state of unknowing. What would we discover?  Would we survive or find ourselves sick with COVID in a random motel room? (We didn’t. No COVID.) Would we find our new homeland, or come back relieved to return to our old home? (We found some candidate places to check out more deeply in 2022, and discovered that once we did return to California, the situation had escalated further and become more intolerable.) How would the people we met along the way, including some friends and family members, react to us? (The results were mixed. However, in general, only the unvaxxed welcomed us with hugs and parties.)

Now we’ve begun to talk to real estate agents to better understand our options. I’m still not fully accommodated to the idea that 2022 may bring huge changes and shifts for Steve and me — where we live and who our friends will become. But just “waiting until things get better” — as advised by some of our Bay Area friends — no longer seems like an option. Besides, even if things do get better, our experiences over the past couple of years and the changes that have taken hold of the entire Bay Area over the past decade (changes that I’ll admit we had been ignoring) have made it a less attractive place to live, despite its beauty.

I have many thoughts and theories about what we saw driving around the USA. It is too much to put into one article.  So let me begin by briefly describing eight key discoveries. Note: I will tend to use the terms “open” and “closed” to indicate the level at which things have returned to the old norm of human behavior (open), versus the new norm characterizing places like the Bay Area (closed).

1. There is still freedom in the USA.

Once we left the Bay Area and especially California, a change in energy and spirit was immediately palpable and visible. Thank God for the innate spirit of freedom cherished by so many American citizens, who refuse to let their lives be controlled by fear. I have a vivid memory of being at a gas station/mini-mart in Nevada on the first day of our trip. No one was wearing a mask. And when we checked into our first stop at a little motel in Winnemucca, NV, I was amazed that the clerk was not wearing a mask either. At the gas station, however, I saw people get out of a car with California plates. With their masks fully in place, they seemed to be looking around in abject fear, as if they had entered a plague zone. It was the first hint that what I had considered normal and “protective” over the past 1.5 years may actually have been based on misguided and excessive fear.

Over time, as we traveled the country, we saw the use of masks became rarer. We even began to forget to keep a mask in our pocket. Not that I’m a rabid anti-masker; I’ll put one on if most people are wearing them. But we soon realized that the dwindling use of masks in “open” areas was accompanied by greater ease and less fear.  When they completely disappeared from use, everyone acted like the old normal. In other words, the prevalence of mask wearing became symbolic of the state of mind of a place and its level of fear and separation between fellow human beings. I also found that the process of unmasking is a bit like taking your clothes off or at least getting down to your skivvies. You feel a bit weird at first and rather naughty and reckless.  Soon, however, you forget all about it and feel freer and more connected to other people and your surroundings.

2. Once you are outside of the big cities, things tend to be more open. The more “blue” the city, the more closed.

I say this with sadness as a life-long Democrat who has always leaned far left of the Dems. Cities that I once would have chosen as ideal liberal spots to live in — for example, Madison, WI or Asheville, NC — are now the most closed cities. Once you are out in the rural areas, you begin to see more resistance to masking, restaurants with unmasked waiters, motels with unmasked workers, and the disappearance of plexiglass shields. Along with this, of course, is an increase in pro-Trump and other signs that protest vaccine mandates or discrimination against the unvaccinated.

3. The more vaxxed up a person is, the more fearful they tend to be.

We saw this time and again with friends and family we met. Among our vaccinated friends, there was not a single one who was willing to meet with us inside. The only exceptions were my brother, some family members who had lunch with us indoors after a belated funeral for Steve’s mom (though some relatives wouldn’t enter the restaurant or even bump elbows with us outside), and a few family members at a wedding (which we attended after promising to be tested first). We could also tell that some friends were still extremely nervous when they ate outside with us at a restaurant. One of my oldest friends (triple jabbed) would not meet with us at an outdoor restaurant in the DC area, even though we had driven all the way across the country and I had been Zooming with her regularly during 2020. I’ll admit, her refusal to see me was extremely hurtful.

In contrast, every person we met who was unvaccinated hugged us immediately, invited us into their homes, or were happy to meet with us inside. Many of these people were complete strangers — people we had connected with as part of an online community of people who are inspired by the writing and speaking of philosopher Charles Eisenstein. Although we had never met them in the flesh before, these folks felt more like true friends to us than our fearful long-term friends. Over the course of 2021, the meaning, importance, and sadly fleeting nature of friendship — even very long term friendship — has become a profound and often painful teaching for us.

4. Fear is contagious.

I am a pretty psychically sensitive person.  I can really pick up on the vibes of a place. As we traveled the country, in and out of more open or more closed places, I felt my own level of fear and anxiety about COVID ebbing and flowing. You’d think that when we were in the super open and reckless red states, I’d feel more fear. Completely the opposite. The more closed a place was, adhering to all the rules of “protection”, the more fearful and worried I became about getting COVID. The more open a locale was, the less fearful and free I felt. I’ll make one admission though. I never got “open” enough to be willing to mingle in densely crowded bars, like the wild 24/7 party scenes in Nashville. But other than that, Steve and I just did what others were doing.

The fact that fear breeds more fear also explains the toxicity of places like the Bay Area that have embraced the closed attitude with relish. As soon as we got back home (a wealthy area that has one of the highest rates of vaccination and lowest incidences of COVID in the country), I slowly became not only depressed but also more worried about getting COVID myself. It took a week or two, but the creeping fear and anxiety sank back in again. It is no wonder that people who haven’t left this area since March 2020 simply can’t believe what the rest of the country is like. I have more than one friend who has not left self-imposed complete lockdown in almost two years. When we tell our friends here about our voyage across America, most of them simply ignore us. I now believe that most of the people living in the Bay Area are in a psychotic delusional state of fear. They truly believe that the emperor is wearing regal robes. In contrast, most of the country can see that he is naked or at least has hardly anything on.

5. America has become homogenized and corporatized. Local charm has become harder and harder to find.

Unfortunately, almost every city in the United States has become more or less the same as any other — the same big box stores, the same restaurant, motel, and hotel chains, the same everything. The gas station chains may change names (some very humorous — e.g., “Kum and Go” gas in Wyoming!) but the ubiquitous mini-marts are the same everywhere. Interestingly, each state does seem to have its own variety of rest stop. Some states take pride in theirs (Iowa and Tennessee stand out), whereas others have had their rest stops sponsored by Geico, complete with annoying audio ads that blare 24/7 (N. Carolina).

In each city and town we visited, we searched for “local color” — the mom and pop shops and recommended local restaurants. Small towns and cities were most likely to have retained some local charm. Decorah, Iowa was a standout. And I’ll never forget visiting a famous candy store in teensy tiny Wilton, Iowa.  On the door hung a sign that read: “You can wear a mask if you like, but we’d prefer to see your smile!” Wow, you’d never see anything like that in California. One person in Texas remarked to us, “All small towns in America are the same.” Well, they are the same in that they are more open and friendly and more likely to have their own unique quirkiness. The small towns tend to epitomize what is best about America.

But the truth is, the large cities also tend to be the same as any other too, with many suffering from a languishing inner city with homeless and disenfranchised people roaming the streets. In many you can see an attempt to build downtown luxury lofts accompanied by a fleet of outdoor scooters (probably in order to attract the younger crowd). Sadly, in almost all cases, these lofts and scooters remain empty and abandoned, perhaps victims of COVID. Nashville was the only city where we saw one person actually using a scooter.

All in all, our observations made a strong argument for moving to one of the smaller towns and cities, which we now aim to do.  Apparently, many other Americans are now making that choice as well.

6. Drop your stereotypes! They are generally false.

If you told me even one year ago that I would be considering moving to Texas or South Carolina, I’d think you were joking. Like most coastal liberals living in places like California, I stereotyped these places as backwaters of ignorant, racist, gun-toting Trumpers. But the truth is, the United States is full of good and kind people living everywhere. As one person said to us, “Texas will surprise you.”  It’s true. Sure, Steve and I are an older white heterosexual couple, so on the surface, we would be welcome anywhere. On the other hand, we are also identifiable as long-grey-haired “hippies” driving a Prius with California plates. We are also of Jewish background. So we still do have some hesitancy about some of the red states.

In general, however, we discovered that there is friendliness everywhere. If we were open, people were open — and in fact, more friendly than people tend to be in California, especially now. We told a great number of people we met along the way about the nature and purpose of our voyage and were usually met with enthusiasm and an encouragement to “move here!”  This was true in Texas and South Carolina and Tennessee and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Iowa and almost everywhere we went, especially the smaller towns and cities. It’s true that many areas do not have as good restaurants and health food options as California. But there is often a surprisingly good gourmet or Asian restaurant (especially Thai, Japanese, or Vietnamese) and some form of health-food store to be found in even the most obscure places.

7. The great migration.

Before 2020, if you drove almost anywhere around America and told people you lived in Northern California, they’d be a jealous. “Oh! So beautiful! I wish I could live there.”  Not true anymore. Everyone we met and told about our trip said, “Oh yeah! Get out of California! All the the Californians are moving here now.” People are calling it the great migration. Apparently, it’s now quite expensive to get a moving van to move you from the West to the East because the truckers have to drive empty on the way back. Between the fires and drought and severely restrictive COVID policies, California is beset by malaise and a feeling of decline. And it’s not just California. I know people who have run screaming from Oregon as well. It’s sad to see.

In contrast, in many red states, things are booming and home prices are rising as a result. In 2021 alone, a million Americans left the blue states and moved to the red states. My prediction is that not only will the Republicans retake the White House in 2024 (especially if they find someone more palatable than Trump), but the red states will increase in predominance and power. I don’t agree with many policies of the right, but with a huge infusion of people from the blue states, the COVID era might be the turning point that yields a more purple and less-divided future for America. I wrote about this in August 2020.  As far as I’m concerned, this migration could end up being a wonderful thing for the future of this country. 

8. A theory: Fear of COVID is, in general, inversely related to sincere spiritual belief and a deep relationship with the land.

All through our trip, I kept searching for some unifying explanation for what determined the openness or closedness of a particular locale. Sure, there is the political divide — Republicans vs. Democrats. But that doesn’t explain, for example, the fact that most blacks are not vaccinated and are more tolerant of the unvaccinated in their communities. And what about the Latin communities who, by and large, want no part of the new COVID “narrative”, as people are calling it? I remember that in the summer of 2020, we had our house reroofed by a Latino operation on July 4 weekend. The whole extended family had a party on our property, no masks, good food, good times as they did a beautiful job on our new roof. What a contrast to our fearful neighbors cowering in their homes. Truthfully, at that point we were cowering in our home as well. In any case, my current theory is this:

If people have a sincere spiritual belief of some kind and/or a true feeling of connectedness to the Earth, they are less afraid of COVID.

How so?

If you have faith that there is life after death, if you are willing to put your life and spirit into the hands of some greater spiritual power, if you accept that your body is mortal just like any other living thing on this planet, then you will more deeply accept that, yes, you will ultimately get sick and die. And you will also more deeply value and maintain your connection to friends and family while you are alive. You will not accept that you must be separated from your loved ones if they are dying. You will not accept that you have to live forever behind a mask that blocks interaction and connection between people. You will not accept that you can no longer gather with others you love and must instead sit fearfully in your home in front of a computer screen. And certainly after months and years of this existence, you will believe that it’s no longer worth it, no matter the consequences. You will insist on being free again.

However, there is a different impulse that has grown up around us. It is the same impulse that keeps us glued to our cell phones and computer screens. It is the impulse that values virtual over direct human connections. Unfortunately, the younger people are, the more they are cajoled and hypnotized into this impulse. And I’m sad to say, this impulse has been bred and spread by my former peers in Silicon Valley who value being “safe” more than anything else. Never mind that living in a chronic state of fear indoors is anything but safe for their immune systems and health.

About 15 years ago, Steve and I attended a birthday party in San Francisco that was filled with young computer entrepreneurs. We were probably the oldest people there. Throughout the evening, these folks told us that they believed they could live to be 1000 years old, that they were freezing their eggs and sperm, etc. They were aghast when we told them that we didn’t mind getting older and dying — that there was beauty in living the full arc of life. These people called themselves transhumanists — a term that was new to us at the time. 

Steve and I left the party thinking, “That was weird!” and believed these people were anomalous nerds. Now we realize that it is people like them that are running Silicon Valley and increasingly the world. Transhumanists look forward to a future where humans and machines merge. They do not believe in a spiritual reality. Instead, they believe that the physical body is all there is and that once they die, that’s it. Given this belief system, it’s no wonder that they will do anything — take any drug or insert any gadget into their bodies — in order to extend their lives. They will also happily attach or insert monitoring devices that alert them to any deviations from the norm, and welcome any new discovery that promises to let them live forever. Unfortunately, human history is filled with unexpected disasters that befall this kind of hubris — the belief that you can outsmart Mother Nature.

Ultimately, I see two futures lying ahead of humanity, and that human civilization might bifurcate as a result. One is based on a fully controlled and mechanized society, where humans essentially merge with computers and, yes, feel safe and secure within high-tech bubbles. The other is guided by the goal of becoming more fully and deeply human — with a deep spiritual connection to the land, to each other, and to our higher selves living in unseen dimensions. 

To summarize, the observations and experiences that Steve and I had on the road made us realize that the Bay Area is increasingly out of alignment with who we are now and what we believe and value. Uprooting our entire lives and starting over in a new locale is a difficult thing to contemplate at our age.  And what if we make a mistake, move, and don’t find what we’re looking for? Given the cost of living in the Bay Area, we could never afford to move back and recreate what we  have. But we also realize that it’s now or never. If we don’t make a leap now, we will be too old to do so in ten or even five years. The bottom line is: Steve and I know what kind of future we want to be a part of.  And unfortunately, it’s becoming obvious that the Bay Area, once a beacon of openness and “groovy” spirituality and creativity, has abandoned that future. 

My question for you, the reader, is: which future do you want to join?

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  1. Melissa Burch


    Thank you so much for your article… My husband and I moved to Tinos, a Cycladic island in Greece before Covid, for many of the values that you wrote about… close to the land, people who share a deep spiritual connection to something bigger than themselves…

    Greece is like California in its propaganda and rules… but somehow on the island there is flexibility… we’ve only had to wear the mask (sort of hanging from our chins lol) in the grocery store… restaurants have been open even though they are not suppose to be… same with shop keepers… but the best part has been the tiny community that will not get V and seems to understand a deeper truth about freedom and how instituting V passports is a totalitarian governmental move.

    I hope you find your new home…

    If you ever want to visit Tinos, let me know:)


  2. Marion Morgan

    Amy, so grateful for the post and the perspectives you share. I find this extremely helpful as I try to discern my own next chapter (I also live in the Bay Area). Thank you.

  3. Shelley Keneipp

    Beautifully written and right on.
    We have also questioned staying in California. We are coming to the conclusion that it might be better to stay. I am corroborating with other homeopaths to get an acute study guide written, so families can take back some of their health choices, in a safe and effective way. My husband, who has worked most of his life to come up with solutions to climate change, is now working with farmers to regenerate the soil which will help with climate change. We are in our seventies and feel a real call to stay here, muster up all the courage we can find, and help to turn this disconnectedness around. We need brave Souls right now.
    It is sooooo difficult. We too have been shunned, branded as nuts, accused of being far right-wingers, and lost life long friends and some family. But, we are slowly banding together with like minded people who are standing strong and supporting each other’s strong spirits.
    Wherever you go, please keep writing and sharing, as you have. You are a blessing and valued Spirit in our community. Wherever you decide to go, that community will be blessed by your presence. Best to you.

  4. Rina Amir

    Thank you so much for the post Amy. I had similar experience and eventually our family moved to Florida in December.
    The difference between Bay Area, CA and the rest of CA and US is quite astonishing! If at least there would be results to speak for it would be at least somewhat logical, but in terms of health it is really not significant and in terms of mental health, no one talks but in my close environment I can tell that it has been devastating.
    I visited Reno, NV in June 2020 and was happy to be in freedom, every time I left the Bay Area during these 2 years I started to feel alive and every time I went back something in me died. I was feeling opressed.
    Seems like life is changing and we need to listen to our hearts.
    If you are looking into Florida please do contact me.

  5. Gina tyler

    Great article Amy
    Your such an amazing writer
    I love that we stayed in contact via emails throughout the years
    Both you and your husband have brilliant minds
    Thank you for sharing your story

  6. Avanna David

    Thank you Amy,
    A friend forwarded this to me. I live in Santa Cruz and need to continually find balance in all this insanity by immersing myself in nature.
    I have tears of gratitude welling up from my heart as I stretch open into the truth of where my freedom and security live. This is in the being of human being, this presence within my self and others. Reading your words of your journey of discovery brings me hope and connection. Naming the fear brings me clarity to choose. I am curious
    to hear more of your discoveries.
    In admiration,

  7. Allie

    Thank you, Amy, for such an insightful article. I feel exactly as you do. I am currently readying my house in the Bay Area for sale. I am moving to Texas for exactly the same reasons you mention in this article. My fear and the fear of everyone living in red states is that the Californians moving in will continue to vote Democrat because they are so violently opposed to Republicans. Red states don’t want to be turned purple or blue. If you want to change a red state, you should stay in California.

  8. Erin Fahrenkopf

    H Amy,

    Thanks for these words.

    I was living in Palo Alto at the start of COVID but moved to the Treasure Valley in ID in the beginning of 2021. My family first drove from the Bay Area to ID in Dec 2020 to look at houses. Our first stop outside CA was in Sparks NV at a park on a lake. My two little boys ran to play with the birds on the lake beach and another boy came up to play with them. The other mom smiled at me and it was the first time in months that other humans approached us normally with smiles and happiness to interact. I almost started to cry and realized life was still going on as I remembered it had been pre-plandemic.

    I grew up in Palo Alto. The smell of the trees there and the way the sun feels reminds me of my childhood. My family and friends are there and beginning to raise my own family there felt so special and reassuring. However, I think about the history of civilization and there are time and time again, places you do not want to be. And my life unfolded that the special place in heart is not a good place to be at this time.

  9. Melissa Phillips

    Amy this resonated so strongly with me. I am originally from Midwest and moved to CA fresh out of college 35 years ago. I had wanted to live here my entire life and I fell in love with it. First in SoCal living on the beach, taking off to Mexico for beach camping, day trips to Catalina, hiking at Joshua Tree, too many to name. And now 25 years living here in Bay Area (I’m close to you, in Mountain View) enjoying our hiking, camping and quick access to both beaches/surfing and mountain/skiing. CA native friends tell me i appreciate and experience more than they have their entire lives here! I have also loved the diversity of our communities and one of the reasons I always thought I’d never return to Midwest as Id very much miss that part.

    Covid came and I was astonished at the reaction by my social circle. I understood the concerns and fears (I had them too until I actually got a Covid Nov2020 and it was basically a mild flu for me) but the overreaction was shocking. People were sheltering, no one would get together even outside, my teenagers (had my kids late!) friends wouldn’t hang out. So I took to the road, from April 2020 thru Aug 2021 I drove with my kids to family in Midwest 3 times….Oklahoma, Missouri and Colorado every trip. Most recent trip last summer we did 6000 miles, 14 states (college hunting for daughter). It was AMAZING, like going to an entirely different country! My 80-yr old parents always welcomed us (we’re all unvaxxed) as did thankfully all our family.

    EACH and EVERY trip the moment we crossed state line was liberating and refreshing, like a load off my shoulders. And each and every trip back the minute we crossed back in to CA was like a cloud coming over me. It was impalpable yet heavy.

    My daughter is a Senior and we are making sure she attends a college out of state and in a “free” land with no vax or mask mandates. My son will start HS and we will be moving him out too if they require vax/mask. I will not let his life be so restricted ever again. He lost his DC trip, Shakespeare festival in OR, countless sports, school events and social activities. I need to get him somewhere normal. And it’s definitely out here, it’s just not in CA. Can you believe that? This progressive state that was always a leader, what truly has happened here, it’s insane!

    Now, all the travel I’ve done and places I’ve lived, the difficulty still is where to land!

    I’m going back thru your posts and very much enjoying your writings. Thank you for sharing with such grace and humility, it’s refreshing!

  10. Anasuya Basil

    Dear Amy, I enjoyed the story of your travels and your reflections in the time of this strange covid narrative. I live in a rural part of Northern California and while it’s not as restrictive as the Bay Area, I too have been shocked by the shunning of friends, book clubs, and favorite theaters and even an outdoor hiking group. However, I have come to love the growing community of unvaccinated people who are caring, thoughtful and connective. We meet regularly for potlucks and ceremonial speaking (listening) circles and find tremendous strength and courage together. I used to live in Berkeley and was able to study many holistic health modalities. I most likely will stay where I am and continue to offer natural healing in my community. It seems like it’s needed now more than ever. There is also a sense that we were made for these times, to have gathered skills and wisdom to help each other during what feels like a strange kind of wartime.

  11. Patricia Meyer

    Dear Amy,
    Thank you for your warm and wonderful article. Dear friends and homeopath Myra Nissen sent it to me and had mentioned you in the past! Learrned in SA from local homeopaths that anti vax was a better path! Moved with 1st husband to CA in 1989. I have been antivax since I can remember and felt strongly mainly because I was born on July 4th, that I was destined to come and help here with my children [adults now]. The Covid didn;t touch me,even though I was often maskless.
    I became a deeply invested Flower Essence therapist and teacher, as well as being an artist, as are my children and grandchildren. I had a pretty effective Art Critique group from 1995 until the pandemic shut me down.

    With Covid onset here I reluctantly followed the rules, but decided no vax for anyone I could persuade otherwise…My first husband and his wife were vaxxed. My 2nd husband, a psychiatrist [medical]I could not persuaded and he took both Pfizer shots and boosters – and I stopped speaking about not being vaxxed, 1

    18 women from my Art discussion group [a couple of them clients of mine, rushed off to all get Vaxxed and I was told I needed to be also, if I wanted to continue showing my artwork with the group!! Have not seen them since then!

    Also most friends realized I was proTrump as my daughter opened me up to that direction, and I have lost the loving friendships I had made and enjoyed for about 30 years.

    My essence practice closed down – only connected with a couple of old friends – even a best friend in South Africa said I had become taken in by “fake controversy theories” and I could feel the chill in her attitude towards me even after I lost a my dear brother in January. Husband’s family was [all vaxxed],stay away, I am learning more about my other physical issues and working with a Sangoma in Cape Town – who was suggested by a homeopath I know there.

    I am now 80, and my health is improving. I am stronger, but tire easily. I am still hoping to update my web site and continue with my essence healing, as well as my artwork. My artwork is on my website too! Thanks for reading all this! God Bless you and your husband!

  12. Rebekah

    What a fascinating road trip you had, and it echoes some of our observations when we have travelled. How lucky we are to have you, as always, to express the same feelings so many of us face! I have lived near Austin Texas for decades and can verify there is less fear in our area. My husband thinks the fear factor is directly connected to how much TV people watch..(when our daughter went to Waldorf 1st grade in 1989 we got rid of television and I am certain it has contributed to our good mental health, lol.) I am also faced with disappointment in the liberal democrat mindset that I held dear for decades. I never ever thought I would have to watch Tucker Carlson (online) to hear Robert Malone be interviewed. Texas is still full of fiercely independent thinkers and mandates will not pass here without tremendous resistance. I will wait to hear where you settle and if you come to Texas will be one of the huggers to greet you! I feel certain you will find happiness in your new choice of home.

  13. Teresa Marchese

    Great article, Amy. Such a parallel to Jay’s and my journey. I’m excited to talk to you!

  14. Dale Moss

    Hello, Amy
    Your post reminded me of the book “Driving Miss Norma,” about another road trip involving an elderly woman, dying of cancer, who was able to experience adventure (and joy) for perhaps the first time in her life. Strangers were welcoming and compassionate, as I believe most people are, given the opportunity.
    My husband and I, who are 10 years senior to you, live on a farm in rural western Massachusetts, a very Blue area but not into paranoia. We were able to continue working out throughout the pandemic, something that I think saved our sanity. Our trainer’s other clients were too scared to show up, so we had the gym and the trainer to ourselves.
    I’m also a homeopath and unvaccinated, being well aware of the general problems with vaccination and particularly spooked by our inability to develop a safe vaccine for other corona virus infections, notably SARS and MERS. I treated (and still treat) Covid cases remotely but resumed seeing clients in person in the summer of 2020 — just needed that human contact — and have been doing so since.
    My husband and I both had the Omicron variant a couple of months ago. Homeopathy made short work of it. It’s easy not to live in fear if you have confidence in your body’s ability to rebalance itself. And take a few precautions. We do wear masks in public here, but it doesn’t feel onerous (at least not to us) if you view it as a courtesy to others.
    I’m sorry — but not surprised — that Bay Area culture has become so bizarre. California, my birth state, has been unrecognizable to me for many years. For almost that long I’ve been urging my son and his family to move out; but that has more to do with the precariousness of living in the western Sierras than with the alien nature of the culture. I think you’re right about the spiritual element (or lack of it): in California trendiness has substituted for belief systems.

  15. Lisa Herndon

    Hi Amy,

    What a great thoughtful post – I felt an immediate bond to your journey and experiences here and when traveling. I have traveled several times during the past two years to Tennessee and Texas to visit family and help my first born settle into her freshman year in San Antonio – now I am primarily motivated to get a reprieve from the bay area and look into properties to buy. I have always lived in CA and thought that the only place I would leave it for would be Hawaii – it’s crazy to now seriously see myself in Texas or Tennessee….but like you – the open arms and warm welcome and freedoms offered are becoming too compelling. I do hope we can meet while you are still here in the area – I am in Palo Alto -a couple of miles from you. Blessings to you and your husband Steve!

  16. AVC

    This is just beautiful and exactly what I have been feeling and thinking. And the higher power spiritual part – you are spot on. Traveling the country as well we have the same experience and are going to leave the Bay Area. fear is no way to live. I almost cried reading this – to actually find another NorCal resident with the same thoughts and experiences is refreshing.

  17. Marina

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for this enlightening and encouraging article. I am amazed by your coherent nature. Congratulations!

    We live in California but North of the Bay Area where locally is not as harsh as in other areas. But some times we talk about leaving to a different state. Because of covid regulations but also of vaccine regulations in general.

    I am curious about your findings and the places that you are going to explore further to get started on a new life. I understand that this is a very personal choice but if you were willing to share about it, I would be willing and grateful to listen.

    In any case, thank you and the best for your journey ahead,


  18. Marina

    Hi again,

    I am reading “The more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” and I am curious about the online community related to Charles Eisenstein books. Could you tell me where to find them?

    Thanks again and blessings,


  19. Amy Altshuld

    Thank you Amy. I wondered how your journey was. I so relate to so much of what you say. I know there are beautiful kind open souls out there all over our country. The challenging part for me are those in the “red states” for whom the only thing we have in common are the issues with the mandates and government control over our decisions. Problem is, it seems those in the more unvaxx friendly acceptance do not share that attitude when it comes to their religious beliefs (I am gay and Jewish and like yourself a left of the Dems who no longer feel at home in a party that has drunk some sort of authoritarian elixir of a different kind). It is a strange world I find myself in not feeling comfortable with those people I have spent my whole life with but also not comfortable with those who see the world from the same extreme on the other side. I heard Dr Mukary refer to himself as the Alt Middle. I think that moniker felt accurate for me. I will never ascribe to the beliefs of the angry hate filled right or left. It is in that Alternative Middle that I feel most comfortable. I don’t think those communities yet exist in the way we would like them to. The ideas of Charles and Zach Bush are not yet a reality that I know of and so I find myself trying to create more love in the community as I find myself in at the moment. I feel the anger subsiding her in California. With a war happening as I write it seems the anti vaxx haters are distracted. There will be those who have turned to fear as their comfort zone, but it feels like the world itself is changing and I’m not sure going somewhere else will make my life any richer. I still need to work for a few more years before retirement, but I am trying to bring more creativity and joy to my life in the meantime. It would be so nice for our “tribe” to increase to critical mass, but until then I hold the vision of the more beautiful world as a touchstone to live it in my own life. Peace and blessings

  20. Cynthia Larson

    We are truly living in ‘interesting times.’ I’m still living in California, and experiencing the joys of recovering from longhaul covid caught in late January 2020, here in the SF bay area. I’ve found most people don’t relate to longcovid unless they had it–and as I’m sure you can appreciate, I’ve found recuperation to respond best to natural healing protocols. I’m now relapse free, and working on slowly reconditioning. I know many people who moved either just before or during the current situation, mostly due to feeling fearful. It’s interesting to see your thoughts and feelings with regard to your travel experiences–and I hope we can return to living more courageously here in California. Interesting to see your thoughts on Transhumanism; I wrote an article on it’s alternative, which I call Revhumanism:

    Choosing Revhumanism in Apocalyptic Times:

  21. Barbara

    Hi Amy and Steve and family!
    I read all of this, and loved it….When you really listen to your inner self, or your ‘gut’ instincts…I personally find that everything works out well for me….and when I do not ‘listen’ well, it does NOT go so smoothly! Here in Oz it has been very much Medical Tyranny and I have not bought into it at all. I laugh every day, and post things on FBook like ‘Your giggle for today!’, just to help others keep themselves raised up. I applaud your moving, and I know you’re not sure because of your age, but I remember watching a movie once, and the older people there moved to a new country! She was not sure, and he said, ‘Let’s pretend we’re starting out…instead of ending up.’..and I remember thinking that this was great advice. I wish you well in all you do! Many hugs, and blessings, Barbara from South of Sydney in Oz xoxoxo (A Homeopath for over 35 years, and avid learner!)

  22. Diana Adams

    As the country noticed, Virginia (where I live) voted in a right-wing governor recently. Never would I have dreamed I would be pleased that such a guy would be in leadership, yet my daughter and I breathed a deep sigh of relief, as he has a relaxed and open attitude about vaccination and masking. I believe he is vaccinated, and recommends it, but is not pushing new laws to be enacted based on a reign of terror.
    Like you, I have been most shocked by the rage and hatred fellow Democrats express toward the unvaxxed, including my friends. They have felt comfortable wishing that all the unvaxxed “hurry up and die” etc…I have been given leeway by my dearest friends because I have some autoimmune conditions and explained I might have terrible flareups if I were to get vaccinated. They seem to forgive me but always say, “I am so worried about you. I don’t want you to die.” They are completely convinced, even now, with omicron, that covid is a death sentence. Between homeopathy and supplements, I feel fairly well protected agains serious illness. My immune system has mostly worked pretty well for 74 years now, and I trust it more than Big Pharma.
    The extreme piety, the constant virtue-signaling and the hatred all remind me of the Puritan forefathers and mothers of this country, and I suspect that is where the roots of some of these attitudes lie. I am only a first-generation American, and grew up as a teenager in Morocco during a very open-minded period in that country’s long history. I am grateful that I don’t have generations of Puritan ancestors speaking through me. I think most of New England falls into this camp, and exert a powerful influence in the Eastern seaboard. I cannot visit NYC and go in anywhere, as far as I can tell.
    I plan to forward your article to some of my unvaxxed friends who will thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently and vulnerabiy.

  23. Mary Jo Aloi

    Thanks for sharing your journey Amy and Steve! I so hope you will find the place that is truly home for you. Thank you for being unabashedly authentically yourselves – always refreshing!

  24. George T

    Thanks for your insight. Red states offer freedom and liberty and the opportunity to live your life without the perpetual “nanny oversight.” Compare and contrast CA with TX, SD, IN or any other red state and it quite apparent and obvious. I see no attraction to what the Democratic Party (blue states) offers in policy. Just look at the state of affairs right now. Much of their thinking is irrational and illogical. I am a firm believer in “leave people alone” and stop interfering in peoples lives. I trust people to guide their own lives and decide what is best for them and their family. Coercion and tyranny are consistent with freedom and liberty.

  25. Erica

    Hi Amy,
    Angelika’s podcast led me here and I enjoyed reading about your journey. We moved to the Nashville area last year as my husband had been commuting here from FL for the past five years. When we moved here, it was still a relatively small town and the TN people were so welcoming and friendly. It has been inundated with Californians (our entire neighborhood of new houses is almost entirely people from CA). The traffic has become ridiculous and this once happy town has experienced such growing pains in two short years it has changed dramatically – and sadly not for the better. I doubt we will stay for the long haul. But – our house value has doubled in one year which means moving will be impossible (no where to go or afford). Our neighbor, who works one town over, has been trying to move because it takes him an hour and a half to go 15 miles. He put in 3 offers $200k over asking and lost all three times.
    Anyhow, I hope you find what you are looking for! I might be regretting leaving FL a tiny bit. We left a red state for a red state. But sad to say we are already seeing the purple bringing discord and disharmony.

  26. Courtney Sullivan

    Dear Amy,
    I’m a first year homeopathy student who escaped the Cornell dominated fear landscape of central NY and is now living in Florida with my folks as I begin my studies.

    I left my lovely organic farm and pure water, our home of 25 years to come down here so my youngest 3 children can have a break and resume an active life with more options & less fear and paranoia.

    Being here is a bit strange because my parents know many people and all of them are for the narrative but my parents accept our personal decisions. There is a high number of “early” and “unexplained” deaths in their friend group that grow by the week.

    My children are aware of the elephant in the room.

    In NY our always healthy children have been excluded from schooling since June of 2019. It’s been fascinating to observe how that all unfolded + what happened next in 2020.

    I deeply enjoyed reading what you wrote here, thank you for taking the time to write it.

    Your book Impossible Cure is on our book list.

    While reading your bio late the other night I learned about your other book and was very interested in the topic which led me here.

    I’m not someone who keeps up with pop culture, but since I’m staying with my parents at the moment, there is cable.

    The next morning as I was busily making tea and seeking to retreat back to my stack of books to escape the unwelcome noise of the TV, when I heard a long interview about a new movie that reminded me of a tidbit of Active Consciousness.

    No one in the room was as excited about the connection of my late night introduction to your work …and …the timing of hearing about a useful pop culture reference/ example as I was.

    But it lit me up!

    So I am writing to share it with you as it might serve as a teaching/talking/marketing point for you since it’s just been released.

    The Greatest Beer Run Ever
    “In 1967, John Donohue was a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran working as a merchant seaman when he was challenged one night in a New York City bar. The men gathered had lost family and friends in the ongoing war in Vietnam. One friend proposed an idea many might deem preposterous: one of them should sneak into Vietnam, track down their buddies in combat, and give each of them messages of support from back home, maybe some laughs, and beer.”

    What’s so fascinating is he decided to do the impossible and accomplished this task.

    He is able to find the men he is looking for.

    Needle in a haystack in a warzone type thing.

    With little to no intel, in total chaos.

    It doesn’t take him forever, they appeared to him at exactly the moments he most needed to find them and fast.

    He gets out again and lives to tell about it.

    And he’s still alive today to help make this movie.

    Anyway, that’s it.

    Looking forward to reading your books and learning more!

    All the best,
    Courtney Sullivan

    P.S. We weren’t in Ian’s path, but it has me longing for the green rolling hills, pure water, gardens and thinking I need a much better long term plan.

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