Everything is horrible and nothing is goIn 2009, my daughter became ill with H1N1. It was a scary virus, because unlike the usual seasonal influenza, this bad boy was taking out people under the age of 65. (It’s normally not the flu, but the resulting pneumonia that results in deaths of the elderly, the young and those with immune suppressed systems.)
Between 2009-2010, over 60 million in the United States alone were affected with H1N1 and a lowball estimate of over 12,000 deaths. Again, this was just in the US. Worldwide, the CDC estimated over 300,000 deaths. Again, conservative estimates.
We came out the other side, but It was a wicked virus affecting millions and yet it still did not result in the media panic that this current Cornovirus is generating.
Toilet paper shelves empty.
Lysol and bleach wiped out.
State of emergency.
PANIC. And if you aren’t panicking, you’re stupid and naive.
To date, 11 people have died, with all but one of them in Washington state and most of them from a single nursing home in the Seattle area. The virus has slowed big time in China now.
And yet…our media simply delights in spreading fear all over the public like thick panic frosting on a cake of worry. I watched my local news last night and, my hand to God, there were 5, FIVE, Coronavirus stories. It got so bad, we turned it off. I turned to the DH and asked, “Do you remember ANY of this during the H1N1 Pandemic?” Nope.
I don’t know about you, but, people, I am simply worn out. I am. I’m exhausted from this notion promoted by the 24 hour news cycle and people in my television screen, people with serious faces who tell me that EVERYTHING is horrible and nothing is good; that there is zero good news anywhere; that absolutely nothing positive is happening.
Folks, the sky simply can’t be falling every damn day.
To a degree, journalists have always had the power to “tilt a story to achieve a desired outcome,” and, to a degree, they always have. But, not like this. Heck, I remember the days when the media was responsible for reporting the news and creating awareness, not continually shaping the narrative to fit their or others’ needs and desires. I also remember bicycles with banana seats and flags on the back, so I’m firmly putting myself in the “old” category. I’m good with that.
Now, I get it. Media is a business and scary headlines sell papers. Many are run by people with agendas that have nothing to do with fairness and integrity. They get the “clicks.” They earn the rapt attention of viewers.
But not this viewer. I’m opting out of that and calling BS when I see it.
It’s not that I don’t feel for those affected by illness or the devastation of loss, because both are worthy of compassion. I’m just weary from the media mistruth that everything is awful. The soundbite that becomes a headline. The stuff they choose to report on while the other stuff goes by quietly. Throw in an election year, and they turn the volume way up.
And who is choosing all this stuff, anyway?
And more importantly, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?
I can’t change any of it, of course. But I can choose not to BUY into it. Your attention and opinions and perspective and the headlines you share on social media are part of your intellectual currency.
Spend it wisely, my friends.
And I hope you find toilet paper.
(PS. And if you are only “washing your hands” regularly now as a result of the Coronovirus, meaning, you didn’t before, you might need to re-examine every other part of your life, just to be sure.)