I’ve been disgusted by the news lately. Not only in how it’s blindly towing the big government fascism line regarding the coronavirus, but also how it’s targeted the South in particular. We’ve been the first to start to open back up and the bias in utterly astounding. Everything from the Texas salon owner to Georgia’s re-opening.
I’ve been seeing various “media” outlets hurl every insult our way imaginable. Everything from scathing commentary to rigged news stories about how Georgia is suffering MASSIVE coronavirus case rebound. It’s all been characterized as a a selfish money grab that’s costing lives.
Lies from people with guaranteed incomes who only care about creating a police state.
The truth: Openings have been fairly gradual, based on people and businesses displaying common sense with social distancing. Some stores and restaurants are still only open to curbside pickup. Some places are still closed, period. Where places have opened, social distancing guidelines are being followed closely. Here’s an example:
Blaze Pizza here in town. Note most folks are still taking out. That table with the painter’s tape X across it though… off limits. Tables were selectively closed so that the dining room occupancy was limited and everyone sat at .least six feet apart from other groups.
COMMON DAMNED SENSE, and without a government mandate. Imagine that!
Maybe “dumb rednecks” are a good bit smarter than the people involved in protests and other large gatherings in New York City, hmm?
I don’t even know who to believe on death totals anymore. Some places are saying 67,000 US deaths, some are saying 70,000 and I’ve seen totals as high as 77,000. What I can say is I haven’t seen any reports on the news of people being to hospitals in record numbers as we re-open. Nope, all is quiet on the Southern front.
The varying death totals are another example of manipulation however. How can we trust any news / government source if they’re going to arbitrarily put out random numbers or pad them with deaths that may have nothing to do with COVID-19?
Yeah, I know… Trust the WHO, right?
That’s the same organization that tells us the virus was nothing in China and is already gone there, BUT is still out of control here and the biggest threat ever to humanity. Never mind their own stats say there are other things that kill vastly more people:
I’ve put that graph up before. 9 million deaths a year from heart disease. Nearly 6 million from stroke. Nearly 3 million from COPD, etc… all the way down to Tuberculosis rounding out the top 10 with 1.6 million deaths per year.
Any way you slice it, the densely populated Northeastern states still have it worse than the South.
Texas Salon Owners Getting Jailed:
Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther has been the one getting most of the attention here. The way the mainstream media has portrayed her, you’d think her name was actually Lex Luthor.
Almost half a dozen other salon owners have been dealing with unjust imprisonment also however. Governor Greg Abbott finally had to amend his lockdown order and release the jailed women however. Not before the Lieutenant Governor paid Shelley Luther’s fines and got her released, the Texas attorney general called the governor out of control and said the jailings were political stunts, AND the Texas Supreme Court ruled the governor’s order unconstitutional.
Greg Abbott is NO Texan. REAL Texans value both freedom and personal responsibility.
The accounts I heard from more conservative sources say these women each had only 1 to 4 people in their salon at a time (depending upon the salon owner), and were wearing masks. Contrary to the governor’s fascistic statements, all they wanted was to be able to put food on the table for their children.
Read Shelley Luther’s interview with Fox for yourself and decide
This must have absolutely killed them to admit, as they’ve been one of the biggest cheerleaders for the official China / WHO propaganda line.
People were saying months ago that people in California had been exposed last November and that MAYBE California’s death totals were so low due to herd immunity. CNN, MSNBC and various control freak politicians all repeatedly labeled those people as insane conspiracy theorists though.
The article, interestingly enough, talks about how the virus spread like wildfire, racing across the globe because it’s so contagious. Then they backpedal, trying to cover their past mis-reporting, and say that it’s only effected 10% of the population, etc…
This whole story should raise some pretty serious questions in the minds of readers.
For starters, how are we supposed to trust a media that defends a foreign government’s official story at the expense of public safety and the nation it’s reporting to?
How much IS herd immunity a factor in the current spread of this disease?
Clearly the disease can’t have infected every human on the planet, so it’s silly to say it’s THE factor. With the virus roaming the planet for months before quarantines went into effect, we have to admit that herd immunity IS a factor to SOME degree though. Widespread testing is going to be the only way to get answers there.
How much have the sometimes draconian lockdowns actually helped?
Going back to California again, officials there like to point to the lockdowns there as the reason the state’s totals are so low. A) the virus had an apparent 3 month head start on the lockdowns. B) the California restrictions were pretty damned loose anyway. Almost everything has been considered essential, even dry cleaners. You can go out, walk, run, etc… as long as you stuck to small groups. Two being preferred. Concerts, sporting events and other large crowd things were closed. Strip clubs and massage parlors were among the few other things to be declared non-essential.
So again, just how big an impact did said California lockdown have? Some, but probably not as much as power mad politicians would like to admit.
What Else is the Media Lying About in the Name of Globalism and Bashing Trump?
Well, we certainly know they’re bending the truth about the anti-malaria drugs that have shown signs of fighting COVID-19. There were several stories about doctors saying it worked. At first, all CNN could do was say Trump must have investments in it if it’s being promoted. As more locations start using it, “Studies” are starting to turn up saying those meds are worthless. Big pharma needs to provide us with a NEW option that it can patent and profit off of after all.
Again, if the virus was spreading globally, months earlier than initially reported, then China’s whole time table and totals are COMPLETELY in question as well. So, in turn, is the WHO’s backing of those claims all this time.
First, it’s pretty clear the media is guided by social agendas not the truth. That’s bad enough when it comes to general reporting and politics. In the case of this disease, it’s playing games with peoples’ lives. It’s not just physical health that’s impacted either. It’s mental and financial well-being as well.
We need TRUTH! Facts, not BS and games.
The only thing we know for sure helps slow this virus down is social distancing. The worst outbreaks have almost always been in areas with the highest population density. New York City being a textbook example. A huge percentage of US cases come just from that city. 25,000 people per square mile in the least populated areas of NYC, and roughly 65,000 per square mile in Manhattan.
Masks help too, if they’re used properly. Gloves… They only protect the wearer and not the people they’re interacting with. Gloves MAY keep a cashier, etc… from washing hands for extended periods of time.
Government: You definitely have to question it’s actions and motivations. Especially when you have politicians like New Jersey’s governor saying Civil Rights are “above his pay grade”. That statement is as telling as it is juvenile.
By the way, it’s ALSO very telling regarding media corruption and Google’s complicity in covering up for the Far Left when they don’t even include a link to this YouTube video in their search results but have EIGHT links to the Governor’s office website in the first page along with the original FOX web page.
Some of the things I’m reading out there are getting outright scary. I keep a balanced approach here regarding the pandemic. Treating it as a joke gets my scorn, but so does treating it as the end of the world.
Sadly, it seems many people are buying into scare tactics that are COMPLETELY unjustified. Because of that, the coronavirus’s biggest casualty may end up being personal liberty.
I’ve seen a father get arrested for playing catch with his daughter in an empty park. I’ve heard of another old couple being chased out a park for sitting quietly together. I read several blogs where people say anybody outdoors for something “non-essential” should be arrested. Ironically some of them consider running and walking the dog to be “essential”.
People are calling 911 over people coughing. Government agencies here and abroad are setting up tip lines to report neighbors… Yeah, I’m starting to be able to imagine what it must have been like to live under Hitler’s brown shirts or the East German Stasi.
What all of these good little spies are missing is that this virus still hasn’t come close to a bad year of flu deaths, much less the top ten killers worldwide:
TB kills 1.5 million people a year. Diabetes nearly 2 million. Are we going to declare war on cupcakes and call the police on anybody eating cake? Car crashes are another 1.5 million plus per year. Ban anything with wheels?
Where does it end??? Seriously, where?
The trouble with this current pandemic is that it’s an unknown. Is it that weak, OR did the shelter in place stop it? We CAN’T say for sure how much either possibility was a factor. Anybody who tells you otherwise is a liar. Only extensive testing to determine how far and wide this virus spread will give us a real picture.
Treating it as a joke is a bad idea. Italy tried that at first. Throwing away all our civil liberties and turning into a police state though… Even more of a bad idea. The reality is this virus barely impacts the vast majority of a given population.
Let’s look again at Italy. It keeps getting held up as the worst case scenario. As of Saturday the 11th (when I’m actually writing this – early) – there have been 18,849 deaths RELATED TO the Coronavirus. That’s in a country with a total population of 60,300,000 people roughly. That’s a total of .003 percent of the population of Italy.
Hell, there’s 2,879,728 people in Rome alone. The death total for all of Italy isn’t even enough to erase 1% of that single city’s population (6 tenths of 1 percent actually).
Furthermore, out of the entire number of cases in Italy, you have 147,577 cases total (2 tenths of one percent of the population), and of those cases 94,776 are considered MILD, with another 30,455 recovered. Only 3,497 open cases are considered serious or critical in Italy.
Then you look at some place like Northern Ireland where they’ve had 92 deaths out of 1,891,100 people… You’re talking 5 thousandths of 1 percent (.0005%) of the total population.
CLEARLY, the differences in numbers between Italy and Northern Ireland shows that sheltering in place is making SOME difference. Is .003% vs .0005% worth destroying all our civil liberties over though?
Beware the power you give politicians. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even if they set aside their police state powers, rest assured they’ll both keep the ability to access them again, AND do so at the first flimsy excuse.
Do I want people to die? Absolutely not. I’m a realist though. What I *am* saying is that we need to get past the fairy tale delusion that everything bad that can ever happen to a person, including death is absolutely preventable. It never has been, and it never will be. Creating dictators and becoming brown shirts will NOT provide you with security, only chains.
Did you also hear that there’s a theory being investigated at Stanford University that California actually has such low death rates because COVID-19 got here earlier than believed (during flu season) and we all developed a herd immunity to it?
The same simple, common sense middle of the road approach I have been since the beginning. Self Isolate as much as practical, wear a mask if available, etc… But let go of this blind panic and need for the government to protect you at all costs!!!
California, believe it or not, has pretty loose shelter in place laws. Darn near everything is considered “essential”, even nail salons and dry cleaners! With the exception of a handful of municipalities though, we’ve been trusted to use good judgment and act like adults. Many businesses have closed down temporarily, all the others are running shortened hours, 1 in and 1 out entry policies with social distancing at registers and the line to enter, etc… The bigger and more essential stores are also running special seniors only shopping hours to help protect them.
People are allowed to go out running or walk around the park etc… as long as they stay in groups of 2 or 3 only.
You know what? It’s worked too, even with the extreme number of nanny state nutcases we have here.
Keep in mind those fatality numbers are any death where the person also had COVD-19. Occasionally it does kill (formerly) healthy people. Much of the time, they were already somehow sick anyway. Total cases is a true mystery also. I’ve heard speculation that as much as 75% of the population may have contracted it and never even known. If (And that’s a big if) 3 out of every 4 people really have had this thing by now, how silly does a police state look?
Today is SUPPOSED to be Friday Fun Day here at the blog. Things have been crazy though. Trying combat the fear mongering and BS out there is exhausting. Not really good for my hypertension when I see all the manipulative wording. “Coronavirus Related Causes” being a MASSIVE one in reporting on deaths. Most of the time, these poor people were in BAD shape to begin with. The virus just hastened their demise. That doesn’t sell papers or get TV ratings though.
Nobody is telling us truths. We’re getting “could possibly”, “is likely to”, etc… on top of tricky word games like the above. The media and the government need to quit playing games and start giving us accurate, complete disclosure. How else are we supposed to know what to do?
Then there’s the political manipulation and division too. Bloomberg published an article recently about how the South was the epicenter of the outbreak and was so backwards that it was completely unprepared to handle it.
I think they’d better check the NYC death totals. This is a pandemic, not a opportunity to take cheap shots at groups you’re bigoted against, Mr Bloomberg and CO. Division and hate have NO place in the current situation. Doubly so when you’re giving people bad info on the pandemic.
On a personal level, we’re behind on getting packed for our move. We’re also wondering if it’s even going to be possible at this point with travel restrictions in place in some places. You can’t even get good information on how they work due to all the hysteria in reporting. Either way, we have some real catch up work to do and my time here may be limited in the immediate future.
In the mean time, I’ll leave you with a partially Fun Friday:
An almost unbelievable story came out of Los Angeles the last couple of days. I say ALMOST unbelievable because I’ve seen so much utter stupidity and wretched human behavior lately that precious little surprises me anymore.
So what happened? A train engineer who spent all his time reading conspiracy theories went off the deep end, almost literally. He derailed his train in an effort to RAM the US Navy Hospital Ship ‘Mercy’. Yes, you read that correctly. This whackadoo wanted to damage or sink the hospital ship in the harbor to help with the Coronavirus outbreak.
According to the local ABC affiliate down in LA (link to their story to follow), “Federal prosecutors allege train engineer Eduardo Moreno, 44, of San Pedro intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was “suspicious” and did not believe “the ship is what they say it’s for.'”
Yeah… Never mind that the US Navy has had hospital ships since World War 1… *headdesk*
Also quoted from ABC News: “He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included “You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will.”
Side Note: CHP is the California Highway Patrol. State Police in other words.
Do people REALLY know anything new other than this guy is a complete nutjob? Or that he did God knows how much damage to the railroad tracks, docks and the actual train and it’s cargo?
This jackwagon never bothered to think that those rail lines might be… ARE.… needed to move medical supplies from the port and save lives.
The trouble here is that if you read or hear enough of ANYTHING, it eventually starts to sound logical. That’s how conspiracy theories gain traction. It’s also how Nazi ideals took hold in enough of pre-WW2 Germany to scare the rest of the population into silence.
ANY idea can be eventually brainwashed into people, especially if it’s sold creatively. Any good hypnotist can tell you this. The human mind is pliable to a scary degree. Even murder can be sold IF you convince the person that the intended victim is not what they seem and a threat.
That last statement is why I rally so much against the toxic language of modern politics.
It’s also why I preach to read everything with a skeptical and questioning mind. Take nothing at face value. My high school history teacher gave me some of the best related advice I’ve ever heard here:
“Always assume what you read or hear is a lie and then ask yourself why the author / speaker is lying. Then you’ll get close to figuring out the motivation behind the words.”
Conspiracy theories are often put out there by people angry over their life and looking to blame some vast hidden cause for it instead of trying to correct their life. It absolves them of any responsibility to act or change.
That’s not to say the rich and political class don’t try to stack the deck more and more in their favor. They certainly do. Exploiting a situation is a good deal different from manipulating everything that happens in the world though. The former is correctable, the latter isn’t. Chasing whackadoo theories is a great distraction from actually focusing on correcting those former situations though.
Question what you read and hear, and avoid a steady diet of one type of information, it’s as bad for the mind as eating only one type of food is for the body.
Yes, I’m serious, and no this isn’t some bondage post, LOL. It’s Tuesday Trash and I need to vent a little instead of continuing to play cheerleader. There’s numerous stories out there of people rising to the occasion with this virus. There’s also alot of selfishness and stupidity on a level that really makes me wonder if the new world order folks aren’t right about needing to thin the population. I won’t go THAT far, but some people really do need public beatings. Who?
Right at the top of my list. I’m VERY pro-capitalism. When it’s guided by a moral compass and common sense, it’s done more to lift people out of poverty than any other economic system out there. PREDATORY capitalism like buying a store full of toilet paper or hand sanitizer so you can scalp it at three times the price or more to people suffering through a pandemic…
These people need to be tied to a post and be caned in public, then put in stocks while the crowd is allowed to throw garbage at them.
I’d put commodities traders in this group also, since this is essentially how they make money all the time. THAT is another post for Solutions Saturday on fixing capitalism though.
At last report, she was being charged with making terroristic threats and other offenses. That’s the least of what should happen to her. She’s depriving people of food in a time of shortages. Since she’s spreading fear and contributing to destabilizing the community, I’d have outright charged her with domestic terrorism.
I’m throwing in politicians, pundants, special interest groups and the media here. Every time I turn around I see somebody spreading lies, misinformation, twisted statistics in an effort to gain personal power. After the 9/11 attacks, the country set aside political differences and came together to deal with the situation. Any disagreements (at least initially) were stated as “I think this is a better option” instead of “The administration is completely incompetent and has blood on it’s hands”.
Bernie Sanders is now out of the race, but his statements about COIVD-19 will kill more than World War One were completely unsubstantiated by any sort of facts, irresponsible and made solely for the purpose of gaining ground on opponents in the primary and general elections.
I’ve said before I do NOT like defending Trump. I hate his personality. Still when I see the news hammering that he’s done nothing to resolve this crisis, I want to scream.
He did the same with Europe and was met with similar cries of racism and xenophobia. He’s been hammered for things that the government has very limited control over such as the production of masks and ventilators. This is (used to be) a free country where private business controls it’s own means of production. Businesses are stepping up and starting to make supplies in record numbers too. Sometimes for free!
Getting back on point though, if you listen to the news, there’s NOTHING Trump or other foreign leaders can do right at all. Most of this criticism is coming from people who are politically opposed to these leaders and would do ANYTHING to bring them down. They care nothing about the damage they’re doing to their countries, only gaining power.
A special sub-category of the last group. I’m talking about people and agencies that have tried to cover up their own incompetence or cash in on this to grow their own influence. I’m developing a special hate for Anthony Fauci at this point. The man is shamelessly making the rounds on any media outlet that will have him spreading all manner of fear. Everything from this potentially being as bad as the 1918 Spanish Flu to it being a seasonal thing that the world will have to adjust to occurring every year.
Even a basic understanding of diseases shows that last one is complete BS and fear-mongering. The reason that the Spanish Flu and 2010 Swine Flu don’t make the news anymore is that viruses tend to devolve over time. The worst strains of a virus kill off their hosts and thus die out, and the remainder of a virus may survive, but people develop antibodies to it.
Similarly there’s the US Surgeon General going on TV a while back and telling people not to wear masks, they don’t help. That was apparently to cover up the administration knowing there was a shortage of masks and wanting to save them for health care workers. The only real question here was who above and below him was responsible for the idea to promote this misinformation? Probably some of his underlings and peers in the President’s Cabinet. I won’t rule out Trump himself. When the man screws up, I’m more than happy to say so.
Tucker Carlson had it right here: At this point, the government, all of it, has a credibility problem. People know when they’re being lied to. They also see the widely varying predictions and advice. If the government wants it’s response taken seriously, it has to shoot straight with the public.
My first actual “Solutions Saturday” post since reorganizing the blog a few weeks back. I’ve seen several really good blog posts recently with advice on what to do while stuck at home, and keeping a positive mindset.
Sheltering in place has admittedly been less of an issue for me than many people out there. I have a bad back and neck, and while our income allows us to live in modest comfort, it doesn’t allow for many splurges. That means I’ve spent quite a bit of time at home the last handful of years. I’ve adapted.
After reading over those blog posts, I think I can better put into words what’s helped me survive.
Your mindset is going to be the biggest factor in how you deal with sheltering in place. You can look at it as prison, OR an adventure, vacation and / or chance to do new things. The one thing nobody can take away from you without your consent is how you choose to react to things.
Focus on the positive. You hear it from self-improvement gurus all the time, and for good reason.
MAINTAIN YOUR PERSPECTIVE:
Keeping things in perspective helps. Remember that while this outbreak is serious, it’s not as bad as the news is making it out. In just a matter of a few weeks, we should be seeing it dying out also.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN DO, NOT WHAT’S OFF LIMITS:
As an example, I could have focused all this time on not eating out as much as we’d like. Instead, I took the opportunity to become an even better cook. My food blog posts are now one of the most popular parts of my blog. I can out-do most of the local restaurants also, and for less money. Think of the fun of being able to wow friends and family with your cooking. Work? Yes, but anything worth having requires it.
Getting away from my own situation, there are other alternatives. Much like finding writing inspiration, it just requires opening your eyes to the possibilities.
Read a book, or watch that movie that you never got to see in theaters
Spend more quality time with your kids. It’ll help all of you feel better about this mess. They WILL remember it down the road also.
Take up a new hobby like cooking or photography
Pick up a new skill also. There are several free online classes to learn how to code for example. Who knows? It could even lead to a career change or new opportunities
If you have a patio or back yard, spend some time there so you’re getting some sunshine. Work in your garden if you have one.
Take care of any DIY projects you’ve got around the house. Doing something productive IS important psychologically and will give you an emotional boost.
Much like the last option, there’s cleaning also. It’s not fun work BUT you have to admit, it feels good to be in a clean house.
Yes, it’s OK to take some down time to self care or recharge the batteries also, just don’t wallow in it. 🙂
CONTROL THE MESSAGE:
This is one I’ve been pushing in my blog for a long time now. I’m talking about what and where you take in relating to news of the world. The media is all gloom, doom and hysteria. It sells papers as the old cliche goes.
Unlike some people, I don’t advocate a complete shutting down here. I believe that just leads to an uninformed public. Consider the source though, and their motives. Not just the media itself but the people they interview.
Likewise, actively seek out the GOOD stories out there. All around us there are tales of selfless health care workers and first responders, people rising up to help strangers, city wide events to applaud health care workers and show the strength of the human spirit. outpourings of donations to charities, etc…
I freely admit that last one is something I need to do more of. I get so caught up in fighting the BS out there that I sometimes forget to look for the good as well. There IS plenty of it to see if we just look. 🙂
There you have it. Those are just a few ideas also. Use your creativity to find others. Look for ways to entertain and improve yourself, find things to do with your kids like building a fort out of blankets and couch cushions (credit to Sarah Krewis for that specific idea). Focus on what you have and put the rest out of your mind.
Remember, this too shall pass. Sooner than you think also.
Yes, in the midst of all the high drama, there IS good news out there that’s barely being reported. For instance, the stock market had two nearly 100 year record gains in the last three days:
The economy is NOT going to implode, leading to the zombie apocalypse. Recovery speed is still uncertain, but recover we will.
Let me explain to readers what happened with the stock market the last few weeks.
As the virus started to spread, we had a stampede of lemmings start. It was a combination of paranoid whackadoos, automated sell orders set to occur if the trading company’s computers detected a drop, AND yes, a few savvy yet ruthless people who sold high knowing that the panic mongers would be running amok. The vast majority of it was just paranoia and automated trading systems.
When the market hit the low it did a few days ago, rich folks with available money, and those few savvy investors all jumped back into the market. There’s NO vast conspiracy here. All that’s going on here is people following the basic rule of “buy low, sell high”.
Rich people buy when something is a bargain, and sell when the price has risen and may show signs of going down.
Most middle and lower class people simply don’t take the time to learn basic economics. To be fair, it’s not all their fault either. The banks and government count on financial ignorance to get away with the things they do. It’s no accident that financial education disappeared from schools ages ago. Investment companies make everything sound overly complicated so that it’s intimidating to the average person as well.
The end result is that while wealthy people buy real estate and stocks when the prices are low, the average person sits on the sidelines scared. They wait until the price has gone up, feel like they’re missing out and then jump on the band wagon too late. Then they ride the crash all the way down, panic sell and take a loss.
That pattern leads to the uneducated person having less money to invest next time, and the educated ones having more money to apply to the whole buy low sell high pattern next time. Financial literacy is vital.
Also not being mentioned in the fear monger media. As of late Wednesday, over 113,000 people have completely recovered from the coronavirus. With a known infected total of roughly 461,000 at the time of the article, that’s about 25% already recovered completely. That MSN article actually has some other fairly positive stats worth looking at.
The one stat I did extrapolate from the article which was NOT mentioned is that the death rate (20,000 out of 461,000 infected) equates to 4.3% Note the decimal point there also. That percentage is actually UP from when I first started blogging on the outbreak. It was .9% at that point. Most of that spike is occurring in Spain and Italy, as the article shows.
Pray for those folks and people in general.
My point with highlighting that stat is to counter the “it’s all a fake” crowd. This virus is NOT the 1918 Spanish Flu. It may not even turn out to be as serious as the H1N1 outbreak of 10 years ago. It IS serious though.
Saying social distancing is not needed is like the government banning… Let’s take an extreme example here and say hand grenades. THEN critics turn around and scream “See?!? Nobody died from hand grenades! This ban is stupid!”
The steps in place are working if they seem to be complete overkill. Yes, it’s a balancing act with civil rights, but individual rights have to be balanced with social responsibilities. Neither exists in a vacuum.
I’ll be blunt. With all the morbidly obese people, diabetics, people with hypertension, and other secondary conditions that make COVID-19 much more dangerous, I’m surprised we haven’t had more deaths here in the U.S.
That’s NOT a judgment BTW, just a statement of the reality that the U.S. is NOT a healthy nation. I hope people will use this mess as motivation to improve their health.
It’s Tuesday! Time to take out the trash again. LOL
The coronavirus mess has done a lot to highlight media sensationalism and manipulation IF you’re paying attention and looking for facts. I’ve gone over the statistics in recent blog posts. This virus should be taken seriously. Sheltering in place and social distancing is a good idea. Is it the end of the world though? No.
If you paid attention to most media outlets, either we’re all going to die and it’s going to be worse than the Spanish Flu of 1918, OR we should all go out and lick shopping carts because it’s a hoax.
Ironic that the last proponent of “it’s all a fraud” that I heard was Rand Paul. He was on the radio a little under a week ago howling that it was all just an attack on civil liberties. No word on if he’s changed his tune since coming down with the virus.
On the hysteria side, the best example I’ve seen was media sources quoting Emily Landon, MD, Executive Director Infection Prevention and Control, University of Chicago Medical Center in saying this was the Spanish Flu of 1918 all over again.
She (and the media quoting her) completely neglect to mention that the Spanish Flu killed somewhere between 17 and 50 million people. Some say as many as 100 million. She also fails to mention that the Spanish Flu was much more dangerous to younger people with stronger immune systems than COVID-19 is. There were also other secondary factors like areas still physically recovering from World War 1 getting hit extra hard.
As of today, we have 18,605 total deaths worldwide, 2091 just today. That’s enough to merit taking this seriously. It’s a FAR cry from 50 million people in a year though.
Here’s the thing with the shelter in place and other measures we’re all being advised to follow: If they work properly, it’s going to look like they were never needed, or at least were a big overreaction.
Stay calm, realize this will pass, and take anything the media EVER tells you with a grain of salt. Be skeptical. The media thrives on creating fear and anger.
So, let’s look at some of their more common tricks:
The two examples above illustrate that the media will ALWAYS be able to find an “expert” to back up whatever opinion they have. Rand Paul and Emily Langston are both doctors, but have COMPLETELY opposite views on this mess. Why? Personal motivations.
Rand Paul was raised by his father to be a huge civil liberties guy. Normally we could use more of them too. Sometimes, common sense has to balance civil liberties with social good.
Emily Langston runs the Infectious Disease Center at the University of Chicago. A) the more noise she makes about this, the more money her center will get from the government and private donors. B) Given her role, she probably sees every new outbreak in terms of an absolute worst case scenario.
“Experts” almost always run off of motivated self interest before anything else. Another example from this pandemic is that it’s being reported that the CDC was actually downplaying how dangerous this outbreak was at the beginning. They supposedly got blindsided by it and didn’t want to look ignorant. I’ve only heard a few unconfirmed reports here, but if true it explains where the White House and others were getting bad info from.
Just hit a search engine if you want to see how many times the CDC has dropped the ball before. Anybody recall they were all for e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking when that first started?
Keep in mind that no matter how bad any media outlet spins a story, there’s always going to be just enough truth to avoid having to admit they bald faced lied. What do I mean?
OK, let’s say there’s a news story about some EVIL person swooping into the local store and buying up their entire inventory of toilet paper. The story takes on a whole different light if that “entire inventory” was the last package they had, doesn’t it? Technically they reported accurately BUT would they have given a true picture in that scenario? I’ve seen the media go this far in other cases to create ratings. I always ask what I’m NOT being told anymore.
Another favorite tactic of the media. Politicians on both sides either benefit or suffer from the tactic’s use. It all depends on who is doing the reporting on whom. Reagan used to get misquoted by the media all the time regarding his proposed shutting down the Department of Education. They’d report that he wanted children to suffer. They ignored that what he actually proposed was sending the funding directly to the states instead, believing people closer to the issues knew better how to spend the money than bureaucrats in Washington DC.
Leaving Out Key Facts:
There’s no test kits and medical supplies!!! How often have you heard THAT exaggeration in the news? Well, they’re ALL manufactured in CHINA, right down to every antibiotic that’s sold in the US. Anybody see a problem here? Anybody hear that fact reported, or is it all blaming the government and evil corporations?
Manipulative and Misleading Language:
I’ll finish this up with this one last major tactic. The media, politicians, corporations and PR firms, and some of the more manipulative individuals out there all pull this trick. Manipulative language is everywhere
One story on MSN’s home page talked about how the number of deaths from COVID-19 *SOARED* in the US. It sounds so dramatic doesn’t it? Virus spreading everywhere, no one is safe! If you look at the numbers though, we’re at 600 deaths nationwide. In a population of 330 million, that’s a pretty damned small number.
Again, let’s follow the advice out there and keep that number small. Be kind to your fellow bloggers and human beings too. Even when you know the facts, this is still a kind of scary situation.
Be skeptical of anything the media tells you. Displaying personal bias and social engineering are seen as good things in the media today. Strong negative emotions = strong ratings also. No single source is going to get it all correct. It’s not enough to go to a source with a similar outlook also. If you like CNN, you’re only going to get the same info at MSNBC. You have to go to TownHall.com or Fox. The same is true of you flip the coin. Fox and talk radio slant the truth also. I catch them regularly. You have to look at and fact check both sides to find the more complete truth in the middle.
And for the love of humanity, DO NOT get your news from late night comedians or social media! Talk about fountains of misinformation and hysteria…