“Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.”Criss Jami
Coronavirus. COVID-19. Currently affecting roughly 212 countries with over 1.2 million cases in the United States alone. Current numbers project 71,148 deaths in the United States alone. Over 253,000 deaths worldwide from COVID-19. Yes, we certainly live in unbelievable times. Although, I don’t know about you. To me, something seems a bit, off. Strange. Peculiar. Outside the beltway, if you will.
What do I mean by that? Well for one, I question everything. I believe very little of what any mainstream news outlet or medium has to say or report on. The reason is because I have been burned too many times. I am old enough (though I won’t say HOW old) I can remember several media hoaxes that later were exposed for what they were. CNN itself has been outed numerous times staging “news” broadcasts. The amount of news articles I have read that ended up being the furthest thing from the truth, I could not even begin to count.
Duke lacrosse, Treyvon Martin, Syrian invasion, Iraq, Russian Collusion, I could probably go on all day if I wanted to. I was not planning on writing a long piece as I wanted to begin working on a very in-depth subject for the next go around. My point is, the media should have lost the majority of their credibility with us a long time ago. Viewership of the big networks (save Fox News for some reason) is comparatively in the toilet. However, the country still appears as divided as ever. Where are the people getting their news from then? My guess is the majority is social media and Google headlines on their smart phones. I guess it doesn’t really matter.
We are indeed in strange times. I am not going to belabor the details of the virus. There is no need at this point for the purposes of this piece (in my opinion). That said, I have not seen anything shut down like this so quickly, and so coordinated since 9/11.
If you watch or read the news, it is hard to know which way is which with this ordeal. One week you hear someone ate a bat, one week you hear someone ate bat wing soup, one week you hear COVID was grown in a lab in Wuhan. It is all very difficult to keep up with and to keep everything straight.
I personally did not panic at the “unveiling” of the virus, not one iota. The reason is I cannot even begin to recall how many “pandemics” I have lived through. Most notably and recently H1N1 and Ebola virus. I did, however, notice everyone panicking around me. Including people very close and dear to me. No matter the lack of cases around me where I live, or any frequency of infection or contagion for that matter, the level of fear and hysteria just continued to grow exponentially. You could not find many essentials in any store to include milk, bread, butter, and of course TOILET PAPER. The longer this drew on you still saw shortages on the shelves. That in my opinion directly speaks to a practice of hoarding and therefore, panic.
Everyone has their views on the virus or the nature of its origins. I am certainly no different, but I will not offer my analysis. That is not the point of this piece. The title of this piece is “Fear is the virus”. That is what I wish to highlight.
Is the virus real, contagious, and dangerous? I do believe it to be an upper respiratory condition that can severely and adversely affect certain pockets of the population. I believe all people should take certain precautions just as they would during cold and flu season. The reason I am writing this piece today is, having said that, I do wonder just one thing.
It is reported that millions have been infected, tens of thousands dead. We have somewhere in the arena of 22-37 million Americans that have lost their jobs due to the virus (depending where you get your numbers). We have state unemployment unable to keep up with its applications. We have spent nearly 3 trillion taxpayer dollars (again, depending on who generates the numbers) dealing with the virus. Most Americans have been under a stay at home order for the better part of two months. Children have been unable to go to school or engage in any kind of extracurricular activity. The country is in absolute disarray, you have been led to believe. Truthfully, some of it is. Many of these measures are being extended in the absence of any data to support said extension. Even further, certain voting and gun ownership rights are being inhibited in states like Virginia. All of this, we know.
Then, I came across this a couple of days ago.
Yes. You are reading that correctly. From the CDC itself. From our own government itself. Not CNN or MSNBC or even Fox. From a purported to be reputable and trustworthy government agency. Did I just read that the nation’s COVID deaths were revised DOWNWARD by a number resembling, HALF? Did I read that a large portion of those revisions were actually more attributable to the flu and pneumonia? What else needs revising? What other COVID deaths aren’t COVID deaths? Then, I did some math. I got very curious, you see. I did some rough arithmetic on what the death and infection rates are more likely than not to be at the given moment of this writing. Then, I ran some economic numbers. Finally, I came up with what I was sure I was going to come up with, and I ask myself along with all of you, this question.
Did we just kill or destroy our economy, put tens of millions of people out of work, destroy our stock market and treasuries, throw Americans out on the streets, pile on trillions of insurmountable debt that can never be paid back, and trample on literally EVERY SINGLE American liberty and inherent right, because literally .01% of the population has succumbed to COVID?
Do you realize how many deaths there are from car accidents each year in this country?
Listen, I do not wish to sound callous. It isn’t my intention at all. I am a caring and generous person by nature. We have to draw the line somewhere though. I do not wish to speak ill of anyone who has had or who has succumbed to the virus. I do know that at some point, we have to stop with the hype and hysteria. The numbers simply are not there. They do not warrant willingly destroying our own country and our own economy.
My point is, fear is the virus. Fear has been and continues to be far more debilitating than the virus ever thought about being, even still during reopening in some states. Masks, 6 feet, limited capacities, the reopening feels just slightly less than a stay at home order. Fear continues to grip, and fear continues to keep America stifled. No one has been more of a fear and despair merchant (hat tip to my friend Owen Benjamin on that turn of phrase) than the corrupt Big 5 media corporations.
I want to finish this up in the spirit of my original intent to keep it shorter. But, America is not fearful. America charges the beaches of Normandy into certain death. America sails an ocean for 3 months in search of a new life in an unknown land. America is the first in flight. America doesn’t back down or run away from anything, let alone a flu bug. It is high time we remember that, and start acting like it.