From the Lake, a Clear View of “Coronavirus Madness”

From the Lake, a Clear View of “Coronavirus Madness”

April 16, 2020

Our house sits on a rise above a quiet cove. Chain sawing through dead wood and underbrush has given us a much clearer view of the water.

Allow me to cut through some brush for you in the matter of Coronavirus Madness.

First, there was and still is an actual illness infecting and killing people. It is not a hoax. It is not a conspiracy. Maybe we didn’t really land on the Moon, but real people we know and know of have been sickened, and killed by, COVID19.

Second, the folk who pander to us saying their Job-One is to “Protect the American People,” didn’t. In the beginning, President Trump minimized the magnitude of the illness and its potential effects. Since, he has insisted, in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, that in handling the pandemic he has done a great job. Other Presidents failed to foresee the effectiveness of this straight-faced gas lighting. Nixon could have simply stuck to insisting there were no tapes, and Bill Clinton could have kept finger-wagging about not having sex with that woman - if they’d known of the Trump Method.

Third, the Media has absolutely been hyped-up in its COVID coverage. Headlines and leads scream of cases and deaths “Jumping,” “Soaring,” and “Skyrocketing.” Far too often, stories include few or no references to context such as percent of the population infected or tested. On TV, continuous scrolls and graphics keep viewers mesmerized and tuned-in. Newspapers have not been immune. There are numerous examples of media choosing hype in my Twitter feed.

Finally, we panicked. While a smart, rapid response was required, we leaped in mere weeks from barely bending our routines to a shutdown of almost the entire country despite less than two-tenths of one-percent of the population (.17% as of this writing) testing positive. This followed years of warnings of pandemic unpreparedness from the likes of George W. Bush, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama.

Cruise cluelessly along at 80 miles-an-hour, see a wreck, slam on the brakes. Ain’t that America?

All the while, we rip each other’s eyes out arguing whether there is an actual viral threat, or just media hype. Whether the President screwed-up, or Haters are just Deranged. The ferocious finger-pointing because the toughest proposition for Americans to comprehend, is And.

There is an actual medical threat, which should have been and still needs to be, dealt with.

And... It wasn’t. Nero Fiddled. Of course, Chinese leaders propagandized. But the Administration and top officials knew well-enough there was a catastrophe coming for certain senators to warn supporters and sell stock.

And... The media has hyped it up. Because hype works. The business of the media is viewers and readers and listeners. Clicks. The media goes after them with all class and comportment of used-car dealers.

And... We are a nation of Pants-Pee-ers. We love singing about “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” with jets soaring overhead in heart-pounding punctuation. Shelves picked clean in the toilet paper aisle prove otherwise.

Okay, I’ll push back from the keyboard now, pick up the chainsaw and head back to the cove. Sometimes we like the view when the brush is cleared.

Sometimes, we don’t.