Shameless is the only word I can think of to describe it, though I know there have to be better ones out there. After months of scaring the American public with a constant drumbeat of fear porn regarding COVID-19, the media found in the economic re-openings of various states a new boogeyman to focus on.
With a few exceptions, which were unsurprisingly ignored, the states most aggressive in loosening lockdown restrictions were Republican led. It was the perfect situation for a mainstream media desperate to renew the Republicans-bad, Democrats-good template before the November elections.
The fact that there would be a spike in new infections was a given. No one with a brain ever thought that “flattening the curve” would prevent future infections – the medical strategy was to prevent hospital resources from being overrun, which would have turned a bad situation into a medical catastrophe. But the media was geared up and more than ready to crank the panic-generator up to full strength, eagerly anticipating a spiked graph they could plaster on the evening newscasts.
Then the riots happened. Black Lives Matter protests hit the streets, and the eager anticipation of detailing the foolishness associated with increased social interaction instantly vanished. The hypocrisy has been noted before, but it’s more sinister than that. It’s a clear indication that the mainstream media lives – literally exists, it seems – to incite panic, inflame situations, and foster fear.
The latest example can be seen as the protests are drying up. No more race-war to stoke, guess where the media is going – right back to coronavirus.
“Arizona’s COVID-19 spread is ‘alarming’ and action is needed, experts warn,” read the title of an Arizona Republic article on Wednesday. Yahoo News breathlessly warned about a “spike” in all the southwestern states.
Headline-only readers, who represent the vast majority of those who consume media (and share it on social media), began feverishly sharing the news. Even some more conservative voices, trained to be skeptical of media narratives, fell for it. But the truth is available for those who dig even just a little bit below the surface.
- Due to the COVID pandemic in the spring, there is now a back-log of so-called “elective surgeries. Those people are now coming to hospitals, thus taking up many beds. Not COVID related.
- All patients who come to the hospital for any reason are tested for COVID. It is logical that some, or even many, may test positive for the virus even without symptoms. They automatically then get labeled a hospitalized COVID case even if that’s not what they are there for.
In Arizona specifically:
Last Wednesday, in the middle of the dangerous “spike” the media was frantic about, there was one new COVID hospitalization in Arizona. One. The media patently refuses to focus on COVID deaths – a number that would actually reveal if some dangerous “second wave” was coming to America. Instead they focus on a number they know will never go down – total cases reported – and a number they see as exploitable – total hospitalization.
The truth is that what is happening in Arizona and the Southwest is actually good news for us all. People who are coming to the hospital FOR coronavirus is drastically low, but the number of coronavirus-positive patients in the hospital is high. That means the virus is far more widespread, but is largely asymptomatic and less deadly than believed.
Just don’t expect that truth to be gracing the evening newscast any time soon.