Virus: The selfish want to be heard

“Stop falsifying the statistics,” read a sign at the Monday protest in Harrisburg.

I have seen similar disbelief in some quarters to any stat I have posted, such as a roundup of infections by country last week. How about the count of the infected and dead from the world renown Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Do you believe it?

The infection rate by country was published on Politico, a right-leaning website, but the stats came from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and other agencies. Politico has no ability to assemble statistics, nor do most journalism outlets. All must depend on numbers from the best available sources, which may not be completely accurate. It’s fine to not believe China, for instance.

Skepticism is fine. God knows I am skeptical about much the government says. I might even be cynical, sometimes. 

Most of the pushback on the COVID-19 facts comes from the right.

Here’s what I say to them:

1- If you don’t accept the stats that have been published, present facts from a legitimate source to contradict them. (Info Wars is not a legitimate source. Ditto Rush Limbaugh.)

2- The numbers from the CDC you are contesting come from the federal government, which is under the control of President Donald J. Trump. If you do not accept the CDC numbers, and Trump says he does, doesn’t that mean he is misleading you?

The Left says that all the time. Do you agree the president is lying?

At his Monday briefing, Trump urged people to observe social distances.

A recent poll (above) says that twice as many people trust the CDC than the president, who finishes a hair above the national media. Governors also are believed far more than the president. Why do you suppose that is? Is it all Trump Derangement Syndrome? Do you have any ability to rationally analyze information?

Meanwhile, thousands of Trump supporters rallied in Harrisburg to protest Pennsylvania’s lockdown order and state social distance guidelines, which replicate the CDC’s own safety guidelines.

Few face masks and safe spacing in Harrisburg

TV images show most of the protestors not observing the six-foot rule when near another person. Do they not believe that the coronavirus is a thing, and that it is catching? I’ll get back to that in a minute.

We can have a serious discussion about how and when states should lift their COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, we are. A recent Pew poll showed two-thirds of Americans feared ending the restrictions too soon, while only one-third feared them being lifted too slowly.

I know many people want and need to get back to work, but there is a common good to consider. It’s not all about you.

The other day I praised the president’s re-opening plan, so I am not a Trump hater. His plan called for states to evaluate their own circumstances and then lead the way. Almost in the next breath he was tweeting “Liberate!” at several states (governed by Democrats).

The protestors are largely conservative Trumpsters, with a religious overlay. One sign in Harrisburg said, “My vaccine is Jesus.” As my grandmother would have said, “Oy Gut” (yiddish for “Oh God.”) I don’t like making fun of religious people, but when the Pope takes a flu shot, you gotta wonder about those who oppose vaccinations.

If you don’t believe coronavirus is real, there is something wrong with you. If you don’t believe it is infectious, there is something wrong with us. If you think you are immune, there is something wrong with you. You can argue the best remedy, but you can’t argue the disease itself.

There is craziness on both sides. At Mayor Jim Kenney’s press conference Monday afternoon, he was asked about the Harrisburg protest, and especially the lack of health cautions.

That was “short-sighted,” that “breathing on each other” was dangerous and they had no right “to infect others.”

Another question asked what the city does in its homeless shelters if a patron refuses to wear a mask. The answer from city Managing Director Brian Abernathy was — nothing. Managers will ask them to comply, but if they don’t — shoulder shrug.

Let’s review: Harrisburg protestors have no right to infect others, while in city shelters someone who wants to infect others can do so. Rather than enforce its rules, punk-ass administrators allow those who refuse to wear a mask to put innocent lives at risk. (I did not ask the city for comment as it does not recognize me as a journalist.)

It’s not rugged individualism when you put other people at risk. It is just selfishness.

21 thoughts on “Virus: The selfish want to be heard”

  1. Another great column Stu. These selfish asses who are clamoring for our country to reopen do not care one iota if others get sick and possibly die. They live in their own narrow world and they couldn’t care less for anyone who disagrees with them.

    The great debate will continue as long as there are two people breathing – but not on each other. Everybody picks there favorite source for information – reliable or not. (do you remember when, way back when, people would ask their bartender everything and anything)
    Me, like you, questions everything. It is a fact that the feds will throw more money at you if you yell corona virus. That means e.g., if your dying from lung damage and somehow you may have contracted the virus, then the virus killed you.
    As for people being themselves . As long as people agree with the rules, then those people willfully follow those rules. Place a barrier in that formula, and out goes the rules.
    Keep in mind that fighting this disease is very fluid. The feds were following what they believed to be accurate models. The models changed and improved as the country came on board with methods to fight the virus. Methods and tests are still being developed each day that should be better than the previous test. Problem is, “ya don’t know till ya
    test it !”
    Most people agree that reopening the country too soon is looking for round two of the virus. What is too soon ? Who knows ? Chester County is in far better shape than Philadelphia County. Neither one is ready for reopening. Patience please, before we all become patients.

  3. Difficult times, “…..times that try men’s souls……” These crazy times filled with fear, like the gathering’s in protest across the country, not good. I thought we were in this together, apparently not. But fear can be a deciever, like the protests. And all the unfounded fear of an Emperor president etc., ad nauseam. Fear can also hurt us in other ways, like fear going to the ER with chest discomfort for example (article in today’s Inq), for fear of catching the virus. Or fear as real as Covid-19, the collapsing economy. Scary times. I don’t pretend to know better than what the ‘experts’ are telling us. They’re getting an education themselves. So many questions, not enough answers. Reluctantly, bored as I am, but at the same time confident in man’s God given genius to defeat this monster, I will follow the rules.
    Good article, Stu. A lot of food for thought.

    1. I agree with what you said Tom, especially the part of following the rules. I prefer on erring on the cautious side.

  4. guys,
    I truly believe – and have for years – that our country has been so mismanaged, that it’s pitiful. The pandemic proves that we were unprepared. The pandemic also proves that in this country, we have the knowledge to overcome any foe.
    It is my hope, that as we come out of this mess, we make the effort to correct all that is wrong.
    The federal government needs to be overhauled. Regulations that are antique and needless must go. Manufacturing most definitely must be brought back home, and as proven, especially medical.
    Like him or not. President Trump wants to run the country as if it were a business. One that is for profit, not for loss.

    1. Considering tRUMP has had to file bankruptcy (business, not personal) 6 times causing a number of small businesses to fail why should anyone trust his judgement when it comes to, among other things, running the U.S.A. as a business? As long as he personally gains he does not give a damn about hurting anyone else.

    2. Tony,
      I totally hold your beliefs. When I read Stu’s topic early this morning I didn’t know where to begin. For a second I thought of your yesterday’s reference to the genius’ Miles Davis. Barely a second!

      I was afraid to go off on different tangents that Stu’s article sparked in my sometimes ‘ mustard seed’ brain.( I was up real early where for me I think I think more clearly?) I’m glad I didn’t. I decided to stick with the six foot distance rule. Thus the protests. I seriously felt you and others would much better than me speak to “lots of food for thought” I signed off with. You, Stu, and Vince, thus far have been an inspiration to me. Along with life experience. Thanks to the four of you!

      1. Tom,
        I appreciate the honors that you bestow on me. I don’t think that I deserve them, but I do value your opinion. Unlike a few from the dark side, you always contribute.
        What we’re missing here is an original Tom poem, sonnet, soliloquy……………

    3. We have a history of being unprepared, losing the first half, playing from behind and winning the second half. But… that string broke with Vietnam.

      1. true that.
        sloppy second at a cost of 75,000 veterans. their side was over 2 mill
        for what ?

  5. Covid Good and Bad Thoughts

    Covid isolation forever it seems,
    We talk with each other, still six feet between.
    Many have died, though well short the predicted
    The models were wrong the scientists insisted

    Our times running short to save the economy, and with millions of jobs gone we keep printing more money, yet we still laugh a little, even though it’s not funny.

    We look to tomorrow and hope all’s not lost, even fully aware of the huge cost.
    Then suddenly a note breaks up dire thoughts…

    It’s June’s email from across the great pond, she says “all will be find my dear couisin Tom.
    “We hid in the cupboard under the stairs, the bombing was dreadful, it had me tears.
    “I was thinking of you to help reassure, like you did in grand England you helped us in war.”

  6. Another great article Stu, focusing on the truly illiterate in our society. Oh, they can read, but they believe it not. They just don’t get shared sacrifice. To your quote above of, “…it’s not all about you,” I add: “You can’t fix stupid.”

  7. It’s high time all of us,regardless of race or social condition, to stop allowing this virus to be politicized. Politicians are not epidemiologists. They need to shut the hell up and listen to the experts. People protesting without masks and practicing social distancing go way beyond stupid!

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