Last edit: 3/13/20, 12:00p/et
Facts, stats, claims, comedy, fear, hysteria, commentary.
Does anybody know what in hell is truthfully going on with the Coronavirus?
If you clicked to read this, I’m talking DIRECTLY TO YOU — an attraction to the idea that someone talking about this is a “fool”, implies your relevance to what I’m about to say — and you’ll honestly love this piece if you can put your guard down, take a deep breath, and spend 5-7 minutes reading it. If you harshly cough when you take that deep breath, go directly to the hospital.
Of the common-folk (me and you), the one’s who know that they know nothing about viruses, there seems to be two types of us galavanting around the internet.
Which is the Fool?
Person 1 – Cannot stop thinking about it, is horrified, fear mongering everywhere they can, and would desperately like the U.S. to get ahead of this thing at all costs. Forget the market, or how we might suffer if it tanks, forget everything. This is priority #1. Trump (the government) is not to be trusted, what do they know about viruses anyway? “F*** the CDC. We need to take action.” (which sometimes looks, on their end like, ‘we should tweet about it more! This helps, right?!’). The fear, panic, and stress muddies the waters and is dangerous in its own right.
Person 2 – Generally, as they claim, unafraid of the virus. Still, and interestingly, talks or posts about it non-stop. Reposts stat-memes about ‘flu vs. vaccine’ every hour. Won’t give any credence to anything that’s not on the CDC website, and as the CDC increases its precautions, they increase their distrust in the CDC. They use Person 1’s hysteria as the punchline of many jokes to build camaraderie with like-minded virus debunkers. Like most folks that observe other people’s words, and then rather than create effective dialogue (or choose silence), they look to mock it, relentlessly. This is likely rooted in a deep insecurity or fear that they themselves carry. Mocking and unapologetic fun-poking aren’t inherently horrible, if done in good taste and moderation. After a while, it gets old, though, and the joke tellers become the joke, except that nobody in the audience wants to tell them that. Furthermore, if Grandma or Grandpa get ill and die from this virus, they’ll have to carry that shame forever… all for a few cheap laughs and likes.
The Facts about Fools
If Person 1 is RIGHT to be afraid, and this virus does happen to spiral out of control – Person 2 looks like the uneducated, untrustworthy fool, and selfish asshole, just spouting off random stuff they heard online, and it might even cost lives in an unintended way, even though we’ll never be able to measure that.
If Person 2 is RIGHT about the hysteria being an overreaction, (assuming that authorities did need to, and do, get this under control), then it becomes affirmation for Person 2 that they were right all along. “See, I told you it wasn’t that serious.” They now have free reign to call Person 1 a fool, forever… because this is what makes them feel good about themselves, even if the true reason it was contained was due to the drastic precautions taken to prevent its spread.
It’s a lose/lose to participate in this game. We’re a country divided, on just about everything, and when we take sides, someone WILL lose, but both people tend to look like fools.