Every day I check a lot of websites that usually have stories and columns I don’t agree with. I look at the opinion section of the Wall Street Journal, plus the headlines on FoxNews, RedState, Drudgereport, Breitbart and the Daily Caller. On the one hand, this is me indulging in some flagrant “both sides-ism,” but I want to see what’s happening outside my elite, liberal echo chamber. Today, I can tell you what’s NOT happening: COVID-19.
Right wing media outlets have got a new shiny object to focus on – CULTURE WAR – and they are only making room for a few other stories, like Trump getting back on the campaign trail for BIG rallies, and the Attorney General’s ongoing effort to find those criminals that started the Mueller investigation.
The news media was always a profit-driven industry, but there was a time when truth enjoyed a higher priority. I don’t even know if the inability to provide reliable and/or useful information equates to higher profits, but there must be SOME reason not to talk about the next wave of America’s ongoing public health crisis. I’m seriously asking.
As of today, there is a steady rise in the number of cases, there is still no reliable or coherent testing protocol, and (by the way) social distancing has been pretty much thrown out the window. Protestors are marching in the streets at close range while others begin to enjoy restaurants, beaches and, in Georgia, extremely long voting lines. How could there not be a mammoth surge in cases?
Actually, Arizona has already sent out the bat signal that its healthcare resources are about to be overtopped. Maybe the state shouldn’t have opened before meeting CDC and Federal guidelines, but what do I know?
In fact, most states that have begun the reopening process have also just ignored the guidelines, because “states rights,” I guess. Ain’t Federalism grand? And, despite the Federal government being run by a narcissistic sociopath (sorry about the name calling) who seeks to punish “blue” states, it is overwhelmingly those same blue states that have actually adhered to the Federal reopening procedure.
I get that people are sick of being trapped inside and I also realize the economy has suffered a terrible blow from shutdowns and social distancing. But that does not explain the lack of interest by right wing media in covering this story. Ignoring bad news is something a child does. Magical thinking dictates that if I ignore my problem, it will simply go away. In reality, however, it is almost always the opposite that happens. Problems unattended to have a tendency to get worse, not better. Just look at the state of race relations in this country.
When the first wave of COVID-19 occurred in the USA, we were not ready. We couldn’t picture what had to be done (though some tried to tell us), and we were slow to respond. In fairness, this was a global phenomenon not witnessed before in most peoples’ lifetimes. But at this stage, we DO know what to expect. We DO understand how quickly and easily the disease can be transmitted, including by asymptomatic people. And with that knowledge and the inescapable indications that more and more will become infected in the weeks and months to come, it looks like we will still be unprepared.