“Think Positively and Stay the Course” – Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman

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Another weekend brought more unfortunate news on the COVID-19 pandemic.    

I, however, prefer to remain positive while tethered to reality, so I texted and emailed this to some friends Sunday evening: 

“Better weather. More tests. More protective supplies. More ventilators. Discovered effective techniques. Invented medication. Eventual vaccine. This will eventually level off.” 

Yes, the next two weeks will be tough (and nothing will change by Easter despite our best wishes; even President Trump admitted such when tonight he extended social distancing guidelines to April 30), but let’s resist the urge to play tribalist politics. Instead, let’s manage expectations, think logically, and by all means, do not spread misinformation, hysteria, and alarmism. We’ll persevere and likely turn the corner in May. I believe, as do most medical experts, that normal life shall return in early summer. In the meantime, we need to support those hurt most by the economic shutdown, maintain our health care workers, enhance technology, and prepare to thwart future outbreaks.  

As former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a must follow on Twitter, wrote, “We need to remember all the people who are hurt most by the measures we must take: the elderly, lower income Americans, the gig economy, those in services and hospitality sectors, and many others. And most of all, our front line providers who are risking everything to save us.” Can anyone disagree with that? After all, the theme we’ve heard recently is “we’re all in this together.” A bit idealistic considering our media, academia, and politicians, but those who are most worried about health care and/or the economy ought to cooperate and listen to each other.

And it seems they are. When the White House Coronavirus Task Force — established two months ago today — holds a meeting, the economists and health officials don’t bicker or compete; they reportedly acknowledge they are co-dependent and have much at stake. They are thankfully chaired by the steady hand of Vice President Mike Pence, who continues to lead professionally. 

You do learn a lot about people in times of crisis — whether it’s your elected leaders or your friends and family. I know I recently have. So let’s seek facts, peace, and grace, not discouragement, fear, and maudlinism.

And when you have time, read this latest roadmap to recovery: 

A former teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He currently resides with his wife in Minnesota

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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With something as dangerous as COVID-19 running around out there, accurate information is vital. And apparently some sections of the media, including the Mirror Universe version of Fox News known as MSNBC, have decided not to air the daily press conferences President Donald Trump has with his COVID-19 task force because of what these media sources feel are “lies and misinformation.”

It’s easy to pick out how the Left defines a lie (anything factual they can’t spin in their favor), but the term “misinformation” is an interesting one. Or at least it interests me, so I’m going to write about it. And hopefully you’ll want to read further.

misinformation

What the Left thinks it means – dishonest or misleading information presented as fact by the Right

What it really means – information the Left can’t get ahead of and refute

The Left loves to control what is being said and how it’s said because words have power to shape opinions. Just read how “fact checkers” like Snopes and Politifact twist themselves into more knots than a pretzel factory caught in a tornado to make Leftists seem honest when they’re lying. But if you pay close enough attention, you can see when they play semantic games and not get sucked into whatever the Left wants you to think today.

With the latest allegations of “misinformation,” the Left wants you to believe President Trump and his task force aren’t telling you the truth about COVID-19. To be fair, President Trump has given the Left plenty of ammunition to lay their foundation, even as COVID-19 hits America harder than a male porn star with a Viagra addiction. Some of this can be chalked up to wanting to bring hope to the country, which isn’t a bad thing. Some of it can also be chalked up to not understanding the science well enough to phrase responses better. Then again, the press hasn’t been doing itself any favors by asking loaded questions like, “How many people need to die?” At the risk of using whataboutism, these same hard-nosed stenographers for the Left asked the previous President serious questions like, “Do you recognize how great you are?”

Monica didn’t suck Bill as hard as the press did President Barack Obama.

With the Trump Presidency, the media find themselves in the oddest of positions: advocating for self-censorship to avoid giving the President any attention, positive or otherwise. They claim it’s to avoid misinformation and to give their reporters time to fact check, but it’s not. You see, the Left has no problem with misinformation. They practice it daily (watch CNN and MSNBC for evidence…but only in very small doses). What they object to is not being able to take an event and deliver their own brand of misinformation to shape the narrative. Why else would they decide to “fact check” the COVID-19 press conferences instead of covering them live?

Not that it helps them. Even when they “fact check,” the Left gets information wrong. Remember when they claimed the President lied about Google developing a website to help with COVID-19? In a matter of hours after the Left jumped on this claiming it was misinformation, Google came out and confirmed what the President said. And, surprise surprise, the Left still hasn’t admitted they were wrong and engaged in…what is that word…oh, yeah, misinformation!

It’s not hard to understand why they’re doing it. The Left realizes they don’t have many choices when it comes to candidates who can beat Donald Trump. Between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the Left’s outlook on winning the White House this year looks darker than George Hamilton after a tanning session. Since they can’t seem to get better candidates, the Left goes to their Plan B: tearing down the President however they can. That’s where the accusations of misinformation come into play. By creating a seed of doubt in potential voters’ minds, the Left makes Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders look better by comparison.

Or so they think.

Recent polling data show respondents don’t appreciate the media’s attempts to be the DNC’s PR department, mostly because they’ve been caught so many times recently fabricating stories out of deliberate misquotes. And as we all know, that’s not the media’s job. That’s Media Matters’ job! (Although I’m pretty sure David Brock doesn’t mind the help. Gives him more time to score some blow.)

While most of the misinformation can be traced back to the Left, the Right isn’t off the hook here. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and others in the conservative media have downplayed the severity of COVID-19 and pushed unfounded opinions as fact. We cannot ignore that, especially when partial or erroneous information can lead to people taking drastic action (or inaction) with damaging consequences. And with the Left looking for any excuse to blame President Trump for COVID-19 deaths, the Right cannot afford to give them any lifelines.

Between the Left’s fatalism and the Right’s optimism, there is the truth. Aside from insane runs on toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towels, I think we’ve handled the COVID-19 outbreak better than expected, but with plenty of room for improvement. But the Left cannot let us see that. They need us to be afraid and looking for the government to protect us. Of course, these are some of the same bozos who can’t even build a decent website to promote Obamacare, so we can take their fearmongering with a grain of salt. And by a grain, I mean the collective salt composition of the Great Salt Lake.

However, we should listen to the Left on one point. Listen to the doctors, especially the ones the Left don’t want you to hear from because it ruins the narrative. And judging from all the posts I’ve seen from conservatives and Republicans on Facebook and Twitter, the doctors tend to agree with President Trump more than the Left. Kinda hard to present yourself as the “Party of Science” when you deny it at the drop of a tinfoil hat.

To avoid being the victim of misinformation, seek out multiple sources and question everything until you’re confident who you can trust. (Spoiler Alert: any media outlet that is more transparent with their biases than Claude Raines walking Harvey the Rabbit isn’t trustworthy.) And don’t limit your sources of information to one or two sources. Look for information from an opposing viewpoint and see what he or she has to say. At worst, you’ll eliminate bad info (i.e. anything published by Vox), and at best you’ll get information you might not normally have gotten.

And the life you save might be your own.

COVID-19

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It has already been asked. But it is worth asking again and again. Is the cure worse than the disease when it comes to COVID-19. The world’s economy is on the verge of standing still. Locally everything is shutting down.

We have lost sporting events that some communities rely on for their livelihood. Most of their income comes from these events. People are being laid off, fired, or having their hours reduced. Celebrations of all kinds are being cancelled.

Even the Church has closed it’s doors. This didn’t happen even during the Black Death. But this will cause some small churches that need parishioners in order to pay the mortgage to close permanently.

Many events can happen with teleconferencing (audio or visual too). Some can happen via email or other electronic means thanks to modern technology. We can can Facetime our friends we want to see but cannot meet personally due to social distancing.

Schools are closed and all the children are home. Now being taught by their parents. Those who home school already wont have any issues with this facet of the cure. However, those who never thought they would be home with their children have to adapt. Personally, I think it’s a great thing to get all the children out of public schools but that is something for another post.

Life has been turned upside down by COVID-19. The cause of the virus is subject to a multitude of reasons. Mostly false at that. And there are large numbers of conspiracy theories surrounding it as well. The virus isn’t man made in a laboratory. Nor is it the after affects of 5G mobile wireless technology.

The economic impact of this virus is staggering. It could cause another world wide collapse and depression. It would take a few years to recover from it if that happens. Our Liberties are being threatened as well by this virus as governments local and national restrict the inalienable rights of the people.

So how dangerous is this virus? You determine that for yourself. Look at the numbers. We are no were near the last major pandemic of N1H1 in cases of infections or deaths on the global scale. Local numbers may very from this of course. The problem with COVID-19 is there is no vaccine available at this time. There are trials and tests being ran around the world. But that’s what makes this one “scary”.

I think the overall reaction is extreme. Yes by all means practice good hygenie. But we should already be doing that anyway. Don’t sneeze and cough on one another. These are all no brainers really. If you are in public place sneeze/cough into your elbow. Again these are basics people. These practices will lower your changes of getting the cold or flu as well.

I also don’t like going to the ER or Urgent Care. There are too many sick people there and I don’t like the idea of going and catching something there. I like the video doctor idea far better. Talk to someone and determine if you need to take the risk of being seen. I might just do that always from now onward.

This virus wasn’t created as a weapon. But it’s been turned into one. And those that did so should be held liable and accountable.