Ramblings: A Troublesome Drumbeat of a New Pandemic Narrative Part II

Someone once said to me, “So, you think you’re so smart.” I think it was in a social setting (reception) and I voiced an opinion on a variety of wide topics from medicine to history to geology and space exploration. I quickly corrected the person explaining that I certainly don’t see myself as smart. I see myself as a curious little boy standing in the midst of a universe of wonder and doesn’t know but wants to know the answers. It is in that spirit that I bring up this question once more, “Where, and more concerning, why are Trump supporters believing and passing on misinformation about the COVID-19 virus?” I really don’t understand how the consensus by the experts in infectious disease is not believed by this conservative group. Honestly, how did public health issues, the biological dynamics of viral infection spread, become a political issue?

I do understand why the unbelief in global warming became a political issue. The political right is well known to be pro-big business. This is not a conspiracy theory, but there is strong evidence that the funding for the misinformation about climate change comes form the fossil fuel industry.

So here are some of the messages I’m hearing from the Trumpers, the majority of whom are, sadly, evangelicals:

  1. Mask do not help prevent the spread of the virus but may actually be harmful to the wearer.
  2. The death toil from COVID is exaggerated for political purposes, to hurt Donald Trump.
  3. China created the virus in a lab.
  4. Democratic states had more severe COVID outbreaks because of their liberal ideas.
  5. A good Christian’s trust God to protect them from the virus.
  6. And, the most disturbing, the older people and those who are frail, are expendable and are even willing to die in order to allow the rest of us (them) to return to a normal life. In other words, the person over 70 is very willing to suffer and die from horrendous suffocation from the COVID infection so that I (they) don’t have to wear a mask, because wearing a mask messes up my hair. And they consider that a Christian position?

All of these ideas are clearly false. Yet, I’ve seen a parade of spokes people promoting these ideas, a couple of whom are doctors. But neither of these doctors have spent one second in a research project about mask or infectious disease. They both have a checkered past of making outrageous statements with a political agenda. On the other side, thousands of physicians and PhD level people who have spent their careers in virology, infectious disease and epidemiology refute these claims and do so with an unanimous voice.

So, I still don’t have my head around this phenomenon of misinformation from the right. I can guess but I haven’t seen the evidence so my guessing would only be the level of my own conspiracy theory. There is a narrative that big business has been trying to get out, that COVID is not serious or the death count isn’t that high, or it isn’t that contagious, and they have a clear motive, money. Big business doesn’t give a damn if everyone over age 70 dies from it, as long as their businesses and flow of revenues are not impeded. But is that what this is really about? If, there is a profound repentance due.  

Mike, the Lake Hermit

Published by J. Michael Jones

J. Michael Jones is a writer and PA who lives in Anacortes, Washington. He is the father of five children, who are now grown and out discovering this wonderful world on their own. He has previously focused his writing on non-fiction including medical topics and issues of the philosophy of Christian thought. With the success of his last book, Butterflies in the Belfry, Michael is now moving into fiction with his first novel, The Waters of Bimini.

3 thoughts on “Ramblings: A Troublesome Drumbeat of a New Pandemic Narrative Part II

  1. Hi Mike- mountain hermit here.. I need to set up a consultation sooner or later with someone really smart and up to date. Still in Mexico but someday that will change or virtual will save the day. I haven’t seen anyone since my last consult with you must be4 years ago…Can you recommend anyone who you regard as kindhearted smart and will take a complex chronic retired doc seriously?
    I was hoping you would find your way back but I respect that is unlikely and not in your best interest.
    I Sylvia Lucas still around? I need someone who is not just gonna read the recipe manual but who can think creatively. Kindness required.
    Wishing you wellness, peace and ease.
    gratefully

    Like

    1. I just saw Sylvia via Zoom last week, and unfortunately, she is not seeing headache patients right now. It is really tough finding someone right now, and its a shame as we have several new tools in our tool box. It is a commentary of our times, but everyone that I can think of who meets your description has been forced out of headache medicine by one economic factor or another. I will keep thinking about it.

      Like

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