Suddenly, social media has become jam-packed with epidemiologists and virologists. Every other person posting on FB & Twizzler is offering urgent advice on how to avoid getting snuffed out by COVID-19. And half the tips are repudiations of previous posters’ tips.
That’s why I’m staying the hell off those hive mind ghettoes right now.
All I need to know is this: the virus is mainly — almost exclusively — transmitted by droplets. That means stay away from bunches of people who may or may not be sneezing or hacking. That’s why sports leagues, etc. are cancelling tournaments and games and businesses are telling employees to stay home.
Oh, and wash your damned hands. If you haven’t been doing that as a matter of routine before this public health crisis started, what in the hell have you been doing?
And — for chrissakes! — why in heaven’s name would you turn to social media for such vital information as what you should do as this epidemic spreads? Here are the online resources you should consult:
- The World Health Organization
- The Centers for Disease Control — although it would be wise to keep in mind the CDC has been compromised by the president’s politicizing of the crisis
- The Cleveland Clinic
- The Mayo Clinic
- Johns Hopkins University
Qualified experts in fields of disease and public health know things; your Facebook friends do not.
Meet The New Boss
Lots of people — and I’m one of ’em, believe me — are fretting about humanity’s embrace of strongmen these days. The raised voices usually come from my side of the fence — the Left. I mean, take a look at the bossmen of Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Brazil, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, India, China, and, yes, these United States; not a one of them’d be considered a Leftist. Yet, more and more of humanity is embracing the tough talkers because they offer facile, faux-bold platitudes and promises. Effective leaders understand the world is a dizzyingly complex place and answers to problems will only be arrived at through mental and moral gymnastics, hard-won compromise, and an understanding of the sciences of history, psychology, sociology, ecology, games, and public relations, with smatterings of nuclear physics, biology, epidemiology, and human evolution throw in to further confuse those who seek simple, simplistic solutions.
We in this holy land like to position ourselves as some kind of bastion of freedom. Is that true or not? I don’t know the answer but I do know this, every goddamned country in the world advertises itself as the one real home of freedom. Every single one. Hell, even Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR bragged about their freedom.
Anyway, let’s just assume the United States is the world’s paragon of liberty. And one might get the impression that the most freedom-loving among us are those advocating for Bernie Sanders.
Funny thing is, when we get down to cases, many, many, many in the Sanders crowd (and, don’t forget, I voted for him in the 2016 Dem primary and plan to do so again this year) are just as in thrall to the strong man as those who go gaga over Li’l Duce or his wingman, V. Putin. Read enough and listen enough to Sanders backers and you’ll come away convinced they’re certain that as long as their boy gets in the White House, we’ll have Medicare for All; the wealth gap will be narrowed; everybody will have a home and enough to eat; college debt will disappear; our cars and factories will run exclusively on wind and solar power; every working person will earn a living wage; and corporate tax loopholes will disappear.
Just like that. In the snap of Bernie’s fingers.
The president, I might remind them, is not a dictator, not even if s/he’s benevolent. All the above grandiose plans and aims and more must be accomplished with the full cooperation of healthy majorities in the Senate and House as well as the statehouses, the governors, and even local officialdom. We’re talking tens of thousands of elected officials who have to get on board with Bernie’s ideals.
This, by the way, under the putative administration of a man who turns off half or more of the members of his own political party (well…, the political party he sorta plays nice with every four years). What’s he going to do? The man — should he become president — will go to work with a Congress that pretty much despises him. What’s he going to do? Threaten his opponents with expulsion? Keep enemies lists like Dick Nixon did or Presdient Gag is now doing?
Lots of Bernie folks want him in because he stands for all the right things, never mind that there’s a towering variety of wants and needs and philosophies in today’s American electorate. A variety, of course, that must be navigated by a leader who understands even those s/he opposes must be placated.
Bernie and a large swath of his backers imply to hell with them. We’re right and that’s that.
Isn’t that what a strongman and his followers say?