By Kent R. Kroeger (June 12, 2020)
I’ll rip my ear hairs out if I read one more article about how islands have been so effective at controlling COVID-19.
New Zealand, Hawaii, Iceland, Singapore and South Korea (which is effectively an island given its infrequently crossed land border with North Korea) did a great job defeating COVID-19.
So, if I understand the lesson, when the next pandemic hits, policy step number one is to live on an island.
For the rest of us, we need real information on how to defend against the coronavirus and its genetic cousins to follow.
Unfortunately, the U.S. mainstream media deals only in canned narratives when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic — its either: (1) the Republicans are a bunch of anti-lockdown, anti-science bumpkins who put their 401ks ahead of human lives, or (2) the Democrats are fear-mongering proglodytes using the pandemic to advance the oppressive power of their postmodern Menshevik state.
What these two narratives miss is reality, even as some aspects within each are true — which is precisely why both are seductive and dangerous.
They can’t tell you the truth because, frankly, it wouldn’t attract an audience in today’s hyper-partisan landscape. The ongoing rampage of the Mean Orange Man is one (perhaps only) reason The New York Times and CNN are profitable in today’s over-crowded, highly-competitive entertainment milieu. On the other side of the dung heap, coverage of the existential threat of leftofascists to our God-endorsed democracy and Jesus’ two-thousand-year reign on Earth has been Fox News’ golden goose for over 20 years now. They aren’t going to change their news chyron because I believe objective, non-partisan journalism has an audience.
Given the narrow motivations of today’s news media, why wouldn’t their news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic be full dramatic but marginally relevant info-twaddle?
At this point, most of the American news audience is too conditioned to accept anything else.
The Great Convergence
But there is one feature of the coronavirus in the U.S. that has received sparse attention…