Episode #11- Narco Mindset Podcast-Coronavirus - Comments

Author: Dr. Jorge L. Valdés | | Categories: health , inspirational , motivational , sick , virus , CARTEL , CORONAVIRUS , drugs , NARCO , PANDEMIC , prison , PRISON REFORM


Episode #11

Coronavirus - Comments

April 8, 2020


Host: Jorge Valdes Ph.D. - An Author, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and You Tuber 

Coronavirus - Comments



Dr. Valdes explained how life will change in the way we do community; how technology will further influence our lives, and businesses will reinvent themselves.  Telemedicine is going to improve our health and the way we look at doctors. Where we used only to think that our military were the true patriots, a new segment of patriotism has arisen; nurses, doctors, healthcare providers, and first responders have joined the ranks. Church will be different; how we worship will be different; the government will never again be small, it will be a significant part of our lives. Dr. Valdes states that a positive aspect of this virus is that we are no longer democrats or republicans; no longer are we white, brown, or black, for once we are one, we are Americans, and we realize that our fates are intertwined with each other. He goes into the state of our prison system during this crisis.  


Narco Mindset is an enlightening, informative, effortlessly entertaining podcast.  It contains compelling RAW storytelling and intellectually honest talk about life.  We will be delving into life challenges, life miracles, life recovery, and life opportunities. It illuminates a new generation on the power and the impact of a positive mindset. 

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For more information on how to join our Community by going to our website and subscribing.  The first 3,000 subscribers will receive a FREE PDF copy of our latest book, Narco Mindset  - Freedom Edition.

Narco Mindset is an enlightening, informative, effortlessly entertaining podcast.  It contains compelling RAW storytelling and intellectually honest talk about life.  We will be delving into life challenges, life miracles, life recovery, and life opportunities. It illuminates a new generation on the power and the impact of a positive mindset.

NarcoMindset is a Seasonal with new episodes every week… Began February 1st, 2020

For more information, Join our Community by going to our website and subscribing.  The first 3,000 subscribers will receive a FREE PDF copy of our latest book, Narco Mindset  - Freedom Edition.




INTRO:              Before we watched TV shows and movies on Narcos, and even before Pablo Escobar’s rise to fame, there was one man who was the ultimate Narco. He lived the Narco life of greed, money and power but found a way to reclaim his life, and use his astonishing experiences to empower others to live a life of hope, meaning and redemption. Welcome to the Narco Mindset podcast where Dr. Jorge Valdes shares his journey through life before and after the Medellín Drug Cartel. From torture and multiple prison sentences to how he refocused his life onto a path of principles learned as a Narco. It’s time to share that raw truth with you, right here on the Narco Mindset podcast with your host, Dr. Jorge Valdes.

Jorge:               Today on the Narco Mindset podcast, we’re dealing with a virus that nobody has ever known. I mean, I struggle with it. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ve got all this figured out. Worry is not going to stop the virus. What is the media asking? Are they asking, “What can we do?” Listen to people that are going to encourage you in life. We are no longer Democrats or Republicans. For once in our lives, we are Americans. We are going to see a return to faith in people. Some of those men and women risk everything to make life better.

Welcome to the Narco Mindset Podcast. I am your host, Dr. Jorge Valdes. On the last podcast that we talked about coronavirus, I gave you how I looked at coronavirus from my point of view, of the experiences that I have lived in my life. We all look at everything in the world through the lenses that have been formed or created as a result of those experiences that we have lived. As I look today at this coronavirus and how it’s going to impact the world, and I start thinking a lot about it, there’s a lot of things that I want to discuss, and today we’re going to briefly touch upon some of them and then we’ll continue with this maybe on the weekly visits or on the next podcast.

As we look at this like we’re going to do today, it’s something that we never ever in history have ever experienced. It has nothing to do with the war where we know that the war will soon end, and we know where the enemy is, and we know that we are the most powerful country in the world, and we can defeat it. Same thing that happened in 9/11. It became a lot of uncertainty but we knew that we would prevail, and we knew that we would find those people that attacked our nation in such a horrific way. Or the crash of ’08 when we knew that the stock market was definitely going to crash sooner or later because it was ridiculous.

I remember my daughter graduating out of college, and was buying her house, and she was a school teacher. I told her, I said, “Look, we should look for a house that’s going to cost around 150,000 because the day you get married, I want to know that you're going to be able to pay for this house with your own salary.” We found a foreclosed home and it was going to take a while. She goes and gets it pre-approved and she comes up to me and she says, “Dad, I can buy a house at $250,000, 300,000 with the same payments.” I looked at her with her college degree and her master’s, and I’m like, “Honey, how do you figure that out? Nobody gives us nothing for nothing. Don’t you realize that sooner or later, everybody is going to have to pay that money back? When they have to pay it, we’re going to find people that are going to be in circumstances that are definitely not going to be able to pay it.”

When mortgages jump from 1,000 to 3,000, all of a sudden, they can’t pay that anymore, and they're going to have to lose their house. If people lose their houses, they're going to lose their jobs, and the world changed in that manner. But we knew that the government would get in there and they would straighten out the financial markets, they would put in regulations, I think they went overboard, and then everything would be all right. It would be back to normal. We knew the market would go way down but then we knew that once things stabilized, the market would go back up again.

Today, we’re dealing with a completely different animal. We’re dealing with a virus that nobody has ever known. We have no idea how many people it’s going to hurt. We have no idea how many people it’s going to kill. We have no idea how many people are going to go out of business. Yeah, the government is going to intervene, and they, God-willing are doing the right thing and give each person a check. When you think about it, even if people get $1,200, a household of 2, $2,400 short of the government saying, “Hey, mortgages are frozen and they cannot be collected.” There’s no way that people can still exist. The basic, you’re going to be able to buy food and some bare necessities. One good thing is, we won’t be able to go outside and spend money in restaurants and movie theaters, but then again, 85% of the wealth of America is consumed in small businesses.

How many of these small businesses are going to go under? Just like it did when I saw it coming, when I saw the Walmarts of the world come in and realized that they were going to ruin every small pa and ma joint that was out there, every little store, every little grocery store, every small hardware store. Then we’re going to be gone because even though we have a sense of loyalty, at the end of the day, people want things that are cheaper. I remember Sam Walton telling me that there would never be anything but American products at a Walmart. Well, today, I’m hard to find any American products.

This is totally different. This is disrupting everything. It’s disrupting our healthcare system, it’s disrupting our small business, it’s disrupting the way that we communicate with each other, the way we go to church, the way that we interact as a community. Technology is going to take a different approach altogether. As we look at this pandemic and this virus that we pray that is soon going to be over with, one of the things that I do that I hope, just a tip that might help you, when I was in prison, I had no idea if I ever would get out. I had just lost $60 million, lost my family and worst of all, lost my freedom. I wrote a little card that had two things in it. Number one, a simple thought; this too will pass. When the days became long, and the nights became unbearable, I realized that this too will pass. It gave me some sort of hope and some sort of ... I calmed down some bit.

Then I wrote a verse, and this is just to me as a Christian, and it said that God would never give me more than I could handle. Wondering if I’m ever going get out of prison. Wondering if I’m ever going to see my children get married. Wondering if I’m ever going to be able to bury my mum and my dad who I adore. Wondering if I ever see my children grow up, go to college, graduate. It’s a pretty tough load. On top of that, my dad gets diagnosed with cancer. I don’t see my children for almost two years, and then I realize that I had to read that verse over and over and over again. I’m not going to lie to you, it brought a lot of anxiety many, many times, but you know, you come to a point where you realize, like today, and you say to yourself, “You know, once I’ve done everything that’s humanly possible that I can do to keep a distance from people, to stay home, to not go outside, to not do the things that we are so used to doing, giving up a lot of freedom that we are so used to enjoying.”

When you do that, and you do the best you can with the finances that you have available to you, then you’ve got to realize, what else can you do? Worry? I mean, I struggle with it. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’ve got all this figured out. I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you. You can’t worry because at the end of the day, what is that going to do? Worry is not going to stop the virus. Worry is not going to stop life from going on. Worry is not going to make the stock market better. Worry is going to do absolutely nothing but one thing, drive me into depression.

For me, I find comfort in reading the Bible. I find comfort in praying with my wife and in believing that the world changes. You know, we are such an amazing creation that you have no idea how capable you are of adapting. Listen, when at the age of 23, I lay on the floor of a Panamanian prison being tortured to death, did I ever think I would survive? If you had told me three months earlier than I would go 28 days of getting beaten, day and night, no food, barely any water, handcuffed feet and hands, that I would survive and that I would be here today, doing a podcast for you, I would have laughed. My greatest hope, my greatest aspiration during that time, that they would kill me because I was so afraid of losing my mind. You know, it goes back to that fear.

I look at the media. Listen, I’m not a fan of any president, past or present. I’m not a fan of a lot of political leaders but I’m going to tell you something. I believe our government is doing everything humanly possible they can. We’ve got to believe in them. We’ve got to trust in them. We’ve got to pray for them. We’ve got to stop listening to the media because all the media has got one agenda; scare the hell out of you and me. I just saw a little clip. I mean, the President is having, every day, he’s briefing, letting people know what’s going on. What is the media asking? Are they asking, “What can we do to help you make things better? What can we tell the American people so they can find comfort in isolation?” No, all they say is, “What are you going to do for the million people that are scared to death?” Well, damn it, you’re the one scaring them to death.

Perhaps, if we as a people stop listening to the media and instead listen to music, listen to what makes you happy, listen to worship songs if you’re a Christian or any worship expression of any faith that you might be. Listen to podcasts that are positive. Listen to people that are going to encourage you in life to tell you that we have all lived through horrible circumstances but we have all come through them, and we will come through them again.

That’s not what the media cares about. All it cares about is putting this president down. I never thought I would say this because I always thought that free media is important. You know what, it comes to a point where they're going to have to answer to this one day because it is really sad. We don’t need to be scared anymore. We are very, very scared, sadly enough. Perhaps, for me, I just have to read the Bible more and read those 385 verses that say fear not because the world will change, my good people, the world will change.

Listen, community, it’s never going to be the same. From now on, instead of asking ... like myself, I used to tell my children, “Don’t text me, don’t Facebook me, don’t email me, come see me.” Instead of asking a lot of people to come to visit you, instead of using technology, we’re going to ask why would we need to visit people whereas we can interact and have a community in a different way. We still have a community. It’s not what I want for a community. None of this new thing that is going to happen is what we ideally want but we have to adapt and we have to make the best of it and do what we are. We are a resilient nation and we’ll come back stronger than ever.

Patriotism has changed. It used to be that only our military was our patriots, and today, our doctors, our nurses, our care providers, our paramedics, even those citizens like you and I that adhere to what the government instructs you to do, to quarantine yourself for 14 days, stay home, find joy in being with yourself and being with your family and being with your children. These are going to be the new patriots. We’re going to look at healthcare providers in a different way. Instead of looking at doctors like thieves trying to steal everything from us and making all this money, which in reality, many of them don’t. We’re going to look at them as people that risked their lives to save so many of our lives.

Patriotism is going to change. One good thing about this thing is the decline in polarization. This decline could not have come any quicker in a more opportune time. Our nation had become very, very ugly. I don’t know about you, but in my 64 years, I had never seen America so ugly. The hatred and division that we had in our nation is unbearable. Think about this. Even among family members, depending on who they liked as a president or not, they hated each other for the first time in their lives. It was no longer that we all have a different opinion, it is no longer that I respect your opinion, you respect mine. No, it was outright hatred. Outright hatred and that made us so ugly. The love that we have for each other had torn our country to pieces. It just became non-existent.

The bad and ugly humanity quickly overtook all the good that we have in us, but you know what, I’m not going to say that God had to intervene. I’m not one of those people but I do look at one of the things that this virus has done well. I apologize for saying there’s any good in this because so many people are suffering, I’m suffering. I miss my children, my grandchildren. We all suffer. I see my finances, my retirement go down to wholly nothing. I choose to not focus on all the bad and look at the good. We are no longer Democrats or Republicans. For once in our life, we are Americans and we are struggling together for our lives. We are one. No longer is our political party the enemy. Well, I don’t know about the media but all the media ... now we all have one common enemy. For once now, instead of our nation be divided, Democrats having Republicans as enemies, Republicans having Democrats as enemies, no longer do we have that anymore.

Right now, this virus has brought one common enemy, and that’s the coronavirus. That’s the one that’s affecting us. That’s the one that’s destroying our families, our businesses, our way of life, our health. The generosity that has made this nation the greatest nation on earth disappeared. Today, when we hear that someone’s sick, we don’t ask him if they’re a Democrat or a Republican. We don’t ask if they're black, white or brown. We don’t ask if they're Jewish, Muslim or Christian. Atheist. We don’t ask if they're gay, transgender or straight. We simply feel for them because they're Americans like you and I. We are no longer a very divided nation.

I pray that when this virus goes away, we don’t go back to the ugly that we were. Right now, we are just one people. Think about how this concept of one America, one people, all being the same, created by the same God with amazing rights, to see this and to imagine that three months ago, we would see our nation change so drastically when we no longer are so divided. I would have bet everything I had that never was going to happen. I had no idea if ever we would go back to see the good in humanity.

You know, we’re going to see a return to faith in people, in government, in experts. We had no faith in the government. We had no faith in anybody. We didn’t trust anybody, we didn’t believe in anybody, and we definitely didn’t have faith in any expert because if we felt, hey, if you want to substantiate something, there’s an expert for that. If you want to think the opposite, there’s an expert for that. But today we have to. We’ve got to believe in people, that we’re doing the best we can, and that we are adhering to the needs of the society and the country as a whole. That it’s okay to be inside your house for two months, three, four months.

Listen, I lived in an 8 by 4 cell for 10 years. 8 by 4 with no ability to see my family. Told when I had to go to the bathroom. Told when I had to eat. Told when I had to wake up. Told when I had to sleep. We’re not there yet people. Thank God. If the government locks down our nation for two weeks, three weeks, praise God. Don’t fight it. At the end of the day, everybody there that the president has put together, every one of those men and women is fighting hard to make this go away and to create a healthier society. No longer is this going to be more about me.

We lived in a world that was all about me. We saw our children care only about themselves. It was never about somebody else. We didn’t care about people suffering at the borders. We looked and said they shouldn’t have broken the law. But look at our suffering today, and then realize that hey, you know what, our suffering is no different than some of those men and women that risk everything to make life better for their family and their children. This virus has made it where the world is no longer about me but now it’s more about us.

When this virus ends, and it will end, we will adjust how we view politics, how we view our investment and we’re going to be more oriented to put our money in schools, health system, public services. Think about this. Schools have to re-invent themselves literally overnight. Our health system has to re-invent itself and figure out, God forbid, worst-case scenario, how do we take care so that we don’t have to get to the point where we have to decide who l lives and who dies.

I can imagine that’s got to be the most horrific decision any doctor that takes that oath has to make. Public services have changed. We’re going to see that our fate, the fate of mine, my neighbor, the fate of a friend in Seattle, in New York, we are all interlinked right now. This is not a hurricane that’s hurting Florida or Texas, and we pray and we send help, and our life goes on. No, this is a virus that’s affecting the entire United States of America. Our fate is interlinked with each other. Somebody else’s success will be ours. Our President’s success will be our success, so don’t criticize him anymore. Pray more, and if you don’t pray, it’s fine, just don’t criticize.  

For example, as we are looking to buy food from a restaurant that pays cheap labor, this is going to change. We know that those restaurants that don’t treat their people well, their sanitation is horrific, we’re going to start thinking about where we’re going to eat. What type of an establishment, how do people look, how clean is the place, are we going to put up with a glass that looks like it hasn’t probably been washed very well. All that’s going to change.

We’re no longer going to just look for the cheap meal, we're going to look for a healthy meal, the quality meal. We’re definitely going to be more conscious of where we spend our money as we look at the actions of those we can give our money to. Do we give our money to companies that don’t give a damn about anybody? Listen, this is an opportunity for a lot of companies to shine. To demonstrate to the world like, you know what, it’s not all about our profits.

Look at Chef José. Look what he does. This is a man that is very wealthy. Everywhere there’s a catastrophe, there he is feeding the most needy of us. Think about that. Think about where we need to put our money. How we need to support those people that are stepping in the gap to help Americans. A lot of people worry about the stock market but you know what, the truth of the matter is, there are people that don’t have to worry about it because they have no stock. They're only worried about how to feed their children, how to provide for their families. I do pray that the government’s going to do something immediately and put money into these people’s hands so that at least they can have the peace of mind that they're going to be able to buy food, they're not going to lose their home. To some people, just putting food on the table and a roof over your head, if you have that, you’re among the wealthiest people in the world.

Young people would not survive if we don’t alleviate their student debt. Their student debt is going to be horrific. There’s no way these people can pay this and we’re going to find universities that they are going to go more towards virtual learning where people can stay at home and not have to travel, where education will be cheaper because we’re not spending tons of money in buildings that mean nothing. At the end of the day, all we care about is impacting the knowledge so technology has made that available where listen, I got an entire bachelor’s degree in theology, extended learning even when there was no online.

When all there was, it was cassettes and a workbook that you filled out, and papers you made, and I had the same class that every student had. I did the same work that they did, and I got graded by the same teacher that they did. I got a bachelor’s. I did half of my master’s from Wheaton College and then I went and finished the other half. I’m going to tell you, I learned no more on the other half. Sure. I didn’t have the community that I had. The people that I met specifically, the greatest gift in my life, I met my lovely wife. I wouldn’t have had that had I not gone in person.

You know, worship is going to look different. I’m just going to highlight some of them and let you know what I feel the world would be totally different. Worship is going to be different. Are we going to be going to churches any more or can we get the same spiritual message online or through some method of technology? Telemedicine is going to replace office visits. Hopefully, the cost of healthcare is going to go down because now a doctor doesn’t have to drive, a doctor doesn’t have to pay this huge building, doesn’t have all these nurses and then clinics will be strictly left to deal with the more emergency cases. That’s going to be a positive change.

Our digital lifestyle is going to change. We’re going to be watching our content through streaming services. How many times are we going to go to the movie theaters? I am one that I love to go every week with my family to see a new movie but our movies now are going to be sent through some type of a system directly to our TV. The theaters have to re-invent themselves. Virtual reality and the glasses will become the new iPhone because virtual reality and the glasses that are being developed right now is going to change everything for us. A lot of these changes that the virus has brought about. The technology was slowly bringing them out. The virus just escalated them. With glasses, we’re going to be able to visit people in their houses as if we were there with augmented reality. We’re going to be able to go to museums, visit places, travel without ever leaving our home.

We better realize that we’re going to say goodbye to small government. We realize now that that boat has sailed. The government’s going to be bigger, the debt’s going to be bigger and then hopefully there’s going to be a lot of savings that technology can bring about for government that will help bring that debt down because the truth of the matter is that we realize that when something like this happens, there’s just no way for people, small business or even public companies to fix.

This depends upon the government. The government must intervene. The government must stimulate. The government must take care of the needs of the people because in reality, if you really think about it, we talk about socialism, it’s a bad thing because it is a bad thing. I lived it. I left Cuba. When the government becomes so big that it takes care of a lot of the needs of the people in the country, is that not socialism? Maybe perhaps a different type of socialism but the government will be big.

We’ve covered a lot of territory today, and I will close by saying what works for me. What works for me and for my family is to stop. For me, it is to listen to my God, hear what He’s got to say to me during these times, and trust me, I’ve been waiting and listening, very, very hard, and then to turn around. I can’t listen unless I stop. I can’t turn around unless I listen. This is a way, for me as a devoted Christian, and I’m not preaching or evangelizing anyone, but for me, the way that I feel like God has stopped me and made me listen. I can turn around from some of the things that perhaps are just not right in my life. The plans that I was making that were just not right. Things that I was thinking. It’s a time to stop and listen.

Most important for me, it’s a time to get closer to my creator. That’s how I made it through the horrific prison sentence. That’s how I made it through the horrors that I went through all those years. Losing everything and not having a dollar to buy a candy bar, and not having the freedom to do anything about it, to be totally dependent that someone was going to give me a meal, a bed to sleep in and a set of clothes. I spent a lot of time on my knees. I spent a lot of time reading the Bible and it brought peace to me.

It started to bring meaning and it took years, but I made it. That’s what’s important. I made it, and I came out of prison a much better man than many of my friends who felt that “Hey, Jorge, you know what, we’re just going to sleep 12-14 hours. If we sleep 12-14 hours, we’re going to sleep half of our sentence away.” I refused to look at it that way. I refused to look at it that I was sleeping half of my sentence away. I looked at it that I was wasting half of my life. I did get up early in the morning at 5 like I always have all my life, and I spent hours and hours reading before all the noise came on, and I came out a better person.

Also, my brother and sister, I want you to think about the many men, women, and children that are in prisons, in jails today, not being able to see their families, no social separation, very little health care going through what we are going through today. When you feel sorry for yourself and when you really see that the world is caving in on you, think about those. Think about the least of us. Think about young men, young women, older men, older women, mothers and fathers, children and daughters, looking at the world with very little hope. Sitting there saying, “The virus is going to take me because no one’s going to do nothing about it.” No matter how much the prison authorities want to do, they just can’t. The amount of people that we’ve put in prisons is horrific. It would be very, very difficult to take care of them, so then what do we do?

I thank God that at least the men at Angola have a church that we built where they can go and find peace and solace. You know, you might think that I’m foolish or stupid but when I sit there and I meditate, I hear God talk to me in many, many different ways. Not audible. I’ve never heard him talk to me audibly but you know what I feel in my heart, and I get conviction about the wrong that I do, and I get encouragement for what I need to do. So, again, I thank you so much for listening to the Narco Mindset podcast.

If this podcast was of any interest to you, I know that today, the least thing sometimes anyone of us is doing is listening to podcasts, was consumed with this media but I tell you, stop looking at the media. Stop listening. They don’t care about you. They just care to instill fear because as the old saying goes, if it bleeds, it leads, and if it’s hard, it will read, it will have listeners, it will have viewers. You know what, there’s nothing we can do about what’s going on besides the precautions we need to take. Take those then rest at peace that this too shall pass and that the God that we serve, whatever that God might be for you, for me, will never give us more than we can handle. You have a blessed weekend. God bless you.

We ask that people who like our podcast share it. This is a movement. Join our community. Right now, whoever joins our community at www.jorgevaldesphd.com will go ahead and get a copy of our latest book, Narco Mindset: The Freedom Edition, and whoever subscribes to our podcast will also get a copy of the book. If you do enjoy it, we do ask that you do more than just be entertained. Help us to make a difference and change this world. God bless you and we’ll see you next week.

OUTRO:            We’ve come to the conclusion of this episode of the Narco Mindset podcast but your path towards hope, meaning and redemption continues. For more information and resources to help you on your path towards finding a life built on integrity, honor and truth, head to jorgevaldesphd.com and join our community. We appreciate you joining us for this episode and look forward to helping you find your turning point right here on the Narco Mindset podcast.