The press is pulling their protective masks over their eyes.
Across the country there are reports of states seeing dramatic spikes in Covid-19 cases. The alarm has gone out in the press over this, since they can only see the bad and the negative in things, as we all know. They are also a group of narrative-driven hacks who look to assess the blame for this latest surge, not to find the actual cause. The Los Angeles Times is one of the main culprits driving the narrative; as my colleague Jennifer Van Laar reported in mid-June, they blamed a spike in the state’s coronavirus cases on reopening and flat-out denied that it could be connected to protests. Now they’re seemingly baffled and unable to explain the state’s even sharper spike in Covid cases – a spike that began around Memorial Day by their own admission.
The first challenge being met here is that California has been notably restrictive in its controls on the citizenry regarding the outbreak. The press has been energetically detailing how Florida and Texas are experiencing sharp rises in caseloads following the gradual opening of their standards, but how do we address California’s result?
With delusion, it seems.
California’s slide from coronavirus success to danger zone began Memorial Day https://t.co/ANUFONTR7Y
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 29, 2020
In looking for a cause to point to the LA Times continues to looking away from another likely cause -the weeks of protests – even though the county’s Director of Public Health has admitted publicly the protests at least contributed to the spike. The Times was seemingly grateful when in its opening it could set the table by saying this latest spike appears to have happened after Memorial Day. The paper listed off a number of social activities, from beach-goers, to barbeques, to graduations and Father’s Day celebrants, while giving the protests a passing mention.
In describing the anxiety over a number of businesses opening one health official was quoted as saying that weddings were also a contributing factor. Meanwhile it is fine to all but overlook the weeks where we all witnessed thousands of people congregating in tight groups to protest – and the fact that starting May 27 the majority of LA County was under a curfew for about a week, preventing people from going to bars and restaurants, and people living around protests stayed in their homes.
While many on social media had been noting that the press has changed its position on social distancing from week to week — swinging from condemning beachcombers and church goers, to excusing protestors, to going back to bemoaning opening up public areas — it reached a ridiculous point on Sunday. The press could change its stance in the matter of hours.
That morning a farcical report came out about the state of Arizona, another that has seen an increase in cases with the relaxing of standards. The Karen Crowd in the media had to do an expose on all of the citizens who congregate to float down rivers with rafts and coolers. Those dastardly hateful grandma killers and their innertubes! But then that afternoon there were gay pride marches and events, and curiously, in reporting on these gatherings with a mass of humanity jammed together, we saw none of the hectoring lectures.
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 28, 2020
Give me the choice of where I would be required to stay for a few hours between these two events and I would not hesitate to go rafting with a crowd. The access to beer and other potables is only a mitigating factor in that decision.
But this holds across the media. Some reporters, like NBC’s Katy Tur are detailing that not only are the infection rates rising but that those who have the virus might be severely under-tabulated. She, and many others are saying it is very likely that there could be ten times the amount of those carrying the virus, if not much higher. What they fail to convey is simple — this is actually good news.
It means that for one, the advancement of herd immunity will accelerate and we will get over things that much faster. Also, if the infection rate is actually ten time greater that means that the death rate is ten times lower, meaning that this pandemic is not nearly as fatal as the hysterics have led us to believe.
Yes, during this crisis we are permitted to see good news — we just may need to avoid the news makers in order to find it.