April 13th, 2020

planet

what people think of the virus

Sometimes I think my livejournal should be about my life only, because anything else I write about will be redundant. Kind of like people who take photos of sunsets over the beach. There are 80 million photos of sunsets over the beach, why are you taking up time making one more?

But when I print out my journals I do sometimes like a 10,000 ft view of what was happening at the time. So here's this.

Kansas has had 1300 cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths, almost all in the KC area. Where I live our county has had a few hundred cases maybe, and two deaths. We did a good job of early social isolation.

The painful thing is that on facebook and social media I keep reading people saying it's not worth it and this is all either stupid or fake or a giant plot to take away our "civil liberties". Our governor issued an order to shut down all gatherings over 10 people including churches. The conservative legislature tried to overule her, saying it's people's religious freedom to get together, praise Jesus and keep spreading the virus.

My church, like most logical ones, has been hosting services online for weeks - it's not that hard. And luckily my county has an order restricting them. But omg the whining and complaining about "our freedom".

The conspiracy theory is that this was the plan all along by democracy haters, that the pandemic isn't real and that "they" are attributing every cancer death and heart attack to COVID-19 just to scare us into surrendering to big government taking control. This is all made up.

It's so weird to read! I've heard "don't read the comments section" as life advice on news stories but I just can't help it because it's so bizarre. You can read plenty of personal stories of how this virus is taking out perfectly healthy people. The infected, the hospitalized, the dying, the dead. And YET there's a tiny contingent who thinks all those stories are just people who are in on the conspiracy, or sheep who believe the government that there's a new disease when really they just have the flu. And the whole point is to kill democracy. Or big pharma is going to push mandatory vaccines, or cell phone companies are spreading it with 5G, or whatever.

A coworker who I used to think was smart just ranted about how scary it was that we all "accepted these orders eroding our freedom". He started with that Benjamin Franklin quote about how "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Yes, I too have used that quote before in other instances. It basically says that there's nothing you can do to make the world totally safe, and that's true. But here we are fighting a disease that really could go away, if we're not dumbasses about it. So what we're actually doing is giving up a little *temporary* liberty to purchase PERMANENT safety. And we're not even giving up that much! You're STILL allowed to post mindless conspiracy theory drivel on social media, still allowed to pray outside or paint your house with crosses and be a Christian. You're just not allowed to HELP a deadly contagious virus find 1000 new spreaders today.

The better quote I heard this week was this: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Well, and stupid. We should be scared shitless of stupid."