Opinion: America has a virus and vaccine truth problem, and it’s killing us

by Peter Heck · Apr 26th, 2021 12:21 pm

Last Updated Apr 29th, 2021 at 8:45 am

There were two primary reactions I had when I read this – one emotional and one logical. If you haven't yet seen it, prepare yourself – this isn't normal, this isn't healthy. It's the publicly-posted testimony of a Canadian reporter who works for the Toronto Star, whose toddler-aged daughter was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

She has not left lockdown, has not invited anyone into her home in over a year, has had groceries delivered, has not seen her parents since February of 2020, and skipped her own brother's wedding.

Fear of this virus has irreparably upended the family's entire existence.

Like I said, I had two primary reactions when reading through that. From an emotional standpoint I felt overwhelming pity. This poor woman is scared out of her mind, and evidently no one – not her boss, not her colleagues, not her husband – is capable of talking her off the ledge. Instead they have quite apparently facilitated it. Her husband is playing along with this unhinged behavior, enabling and perhaps fueling a deranged debilitation over a mathematically miniscule threat to her and her loved ones' health.

I feel a frustrating grief for her poor little girl, sick and crying to be held while an irrational fear, divorced from science and statistic, leaves her double masked and alone.

But beyond the emotive reactions provoked in me, there's a logical reaction I have that produces a more lasting distress about what this type of testimony portends. Remember, individuals like Jennifer Yang are the ones who have been tasked for a year with informing us about the pandemic that surrounds us.

They are the ones writing the headlines.

They are the ones determining what stories are written and how, while also deciding which stories will not be heard.

They are the ones setting the agenda, driving the narrative, shaping public opinion – which includes discrediting, mocking, and humiliating anyone who attempts to counter it or provide a less hysterical analysis.

Let there be no confusion as to why the majority of the world is struggling to return to any sense of normalcy over a year into this scourge of COVID.

No serious person doubts its reality – they know it's more contagious than a normal virus, they know it represents a grave threat for several groups of people with pre-existing conditions, they know those who are most vulnerable.

They also know it is not the Black Death, indiscriminately annihilating anyone and everyone it comes in contact with, and it need not be treated as such. But our media – people like Jennifer Yang – do not seem to know that.

It leads to the phenomenon recently exposed by Bill Maher of all people:

"Researchers at Dartmouth built a database recently monitoring the COVID coverage of the major news outlets across the world and found that while other countries mix the good news in with the bad, the U.S. national media reported almost 90% bad news. Even as things were getting better, the reporting remained negative."

That has real world consequences. First, it needlessly panics the half of the population that shares an ideological agreement with the press (the left). As Maher illuminated:

"In a recent Gallup survey, Democrats did much worse than Republicans in getting the right answer to the fundamental question: what are the chances that someone who gets COVID will need to be hospitalized? The answer is between one and 5%. 41% of Democrats thought it was over 50%, another 28% put the chances at 20 to 49."

Second, the abuse of journalistic integrity reflexively shoves those who have come to understand how hated they are by the press (the right) into dark corners of conspiracy-touting blogs where misinformation abounds but rarely is held up into the light. These voices are equally irresponsible in their approach to science and objective truth, selling their snake oil theories to a sector of the population inclined to accept as fact anything that counters the mainstream, deep state-approved messaging.

A healthy skepticism of institutions is productive and useful. A paralyzing paranoia easily persuaded by even the most outlandish conspiracy theory is not.

Here's how this works. Look at this image:

If I said that the gray boxes represented cases of COVID, and the little highlighted sliver represented those who required hospitalization or serious treatment, a significant sector of our population would blow trumpets and celebrate me telling the truth about how COVID hysteria is overblown.

But when I tell them that the gray boxes represent vaccinated people and the little highlighted sliver represents those who had any serious reaction, it's a completely different response. Ditto that on telling the truth that anaphylaxis rates are two times lower for a COVID vaccine than, say, a Shingles vaccine.

America has a truth problem, and it's being fueled by the fact that the places where we get our information are so opposed to telling it.


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