What The Media Should Shut Up About

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Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

So, writers who disagree with you about how the Biden administration might play out should just shut up because you have all the answers and you are so much more intelligent than they are. Is that what you are saying?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ari sez: Shut up, Chomsky, you senile old fool.

Aristotleded24

What I'm saying is that I find the idea that progressives have any sway over a Biden administration to be highly naieve, considering how history plays itself out whenever Democrats are elected. Chomsky has laid out what many feel is a convincing argument for why removing Trump is a critical thing to do. I respect that, he is entitled to that view. Some people have differing views on the subject. In particular, I see so many headlines on the CommonDreams website saying things like, "progressives demand no oil executives in Biden Cabinet," "Biden should not have Wall Street people" or things to that effect, however given Biden's history, it seems a done deal that these are the exact people who are going to get those positions.

I just don't think working with any of the 2 main corporatist parties is going to get anywhere. It's the same reason I twice volunteered on a federal NDP campaign in a riding that was a Liberal-Conservative race. A good showing for the NDP in that riding is a vote percentage that cracks double digits.

Aristotleded24

I can't be the only person thinking this, so it needs to be said: I'm sick of hearing about long covid in the media. Yes, it's a thing, and on an individual basis we sympathize with the people affected. But we've known for a whole fucking year that long covid is a thing. In fact, long covid seems to be similar to "long-any-virus." We are constantly bombarded with stories about people suffering from long covid. Why is suffering from long covid any worse than people who suffer from other causes, that don't receive media attention? Is all this media attention really helping long covid sufferers? Or is the media using their suffering to continually instill fear in the population while the suffering goes on?

We know long covid is a thing. Let's direct time and energy to understanding this phenomenon better. Are there certain people more at risk for this? Are there treatment options that reduce the risk of long covid? Should long covid be treated as its own condition, or should people see different specialists depending on symptoms (for example, respiratory therapists)?

Better yet, why not capitalize on the public awareness of long covid to not only help out people with long covid, but to learn more and help people with long-any-virus, who have suffered for so long outside the glare of media attention?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

No COVID means no long (haul) COVID. I have no problem with people being made aware that COVID is not only dangerous as an acute infection but can have long lasting, debilitating consequences. And the more the media reports on this phenomena as well as how more younger people are getting serious COVID illness, the better. Maybe the arrogant attitude at the start of the pandemic that only "old people" had to worry can be dropped for good.

Aristotleded24

laine lowe wrote:
No COVID means no long (haul) COVID. I have no problem with people being made aware that COVID is not only dangerous as an acute infection but can have long lasting, debilitating consequences. And the more the media reports on this phenomena as well as how more younger people are getting serious COVID illness, the better. Maybe the arrogant attitude at the start of the pandemic that only "old people" had to worry can be dropped for good.

Laine, I have to say that I am particularly disappointed in your posts on the issue of the coronavirus, to the point of supporting authoritarian restrictions that reduce my sociality because I live at home by myself while you shrug off any concerns about the negative impacts with a "let-them-eat-cake" attitude whenever they are brought up. We are all aware of long-covid. It has been reported in the media non-stop since 2020. Given the sheer number of people infected with the virus, there are going to be young people, some of them previously healthy, who fall seriously ill. It's not a surprise that the media is going to cherry-pick these very unfortunate cases to whip up fear in the population in order to get people to pay attention, because that is the business the media is in. So yeah, we know that long covid is a thing. These continuous news reports aren't going to make a difference. It will only inflame fear in people who are already afraid of the virus, and those who aren't will simply roll their eyes and move on. And I'm really tired about hearing about covid as if it is the only source of misery in the world that we need to address. So many other things are happening. And we are never going to get to zero covid. Once a virus makes it into the population, it ends up becoming endemic, and covid was likely endemic in the human population before it was reported to the WHO in December 2019. And all the news stories in the world aren't helping anyone in any practical terms. And the shameful bullying and strawmaning of lockdown skeptics who say things like "are we over-reacting to the threat," "these measures are causing more harm than good," and "care home outbreaks have happened even in lockdowns" is disgusting, espeically from people who present themselves as compassionate and caring. It's also particularly disgusting that lockdowners accused skeptics of not caring about old people when they asked if there are better ways to protect them. Which is ironic since their hero Andrew Cuomo is responsible for the deaths of literally thousands of elderly, while Florida did an objectively better job protecting its elderly popluation without lockdowns.

So yeah, long covid is a thing. People have also been suffering with lots of other "things" in silence for decades that nobody has cared about, as per that Vox article. You can't undo what has happened, and all the news stories in the world won't help those who have become ill. When a simple statement like, "I think we should learn more about long covid so we can design effective therapies" is problematic, we are in serious trouble.

kropotkin1951

Once a virus makes it into the population, it ends up becoming endemic, and covid was likely endemic in the human population before it was reported to the WHO in December 2019. And all the news stories in the world aren't helping anyone in any practical terms.

Who needs news stories when we can get insight like this instead.

 

Aristotleded24

Something else I'm tired of hearing about is "the next pandemic." Since they tend to happen a few decades apart, we forget that pandemics are naturally recurring phenomenon. Let's compare with hurricanes, which tend to happen along parts of the East Coast of the United States. They have protocols, warnings, and things they do when hurricanes happen. You know what you don't hear about in the middle of an active hurricane from the authorities? Talk about how "we need to prepare for the next hurricane." They simply deal with the threat at hand, and then move on. That's what we need to do here. Focus on getting us through the current pandemic (although the way the World Health Organization is talking I think there are a lot of people who don't want this pandemic to end), learn what we can, and apply the lessons so that when (not if) the next pandemic hits we can actually survive it without everything shutting down.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Something else I'm tired of hearing about is "the next pandemic." Since they tend to happen a few decades apart, we forget that pandemics are naturally recurring phenomenon. Let's compare with hurricanes, which tend to happen along parts of the East Coast of the United States. They have protocols, warnings, and things they do when hurricanes happen. You know what you don't hear about in the middle of an active hurricane from the authorities? Talk about how "we need to prepare for the next hurricane." They simply deal with the threat at hand, and then move on.

Indeed that is the American way and its fucking sucks for anyone without means. In most countries civil society leaders from all parts of the population support public health measures that ensure that peoples safety is not dependent on their own personal circumstances. Read how many deaths Cuba has had from hurricane's compared to the Eastern Seaboard. In the US they never look at what is wrong with their system because it is designed to give people the right to give their neighbours the finger.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Read how many deaths Cuba has had from hurricane's compared to the Eastern Seaboard. In the US they never look at what is wrong with their system because it is designed to give people the right to give their neighbours the finger.

Even in Cuba, when the hurricane is active, the authorities focus on the threat that is immediately in front of them. They don't talk about "we have to prepare for the next hurricane" right when the disaster is unfolding in front of them.

Same thing on the Prairies when a blizzard moves through. When the threat is active, we deal with it and stay in the present moment. We don't hear news reports about how "we have to prepare for the next blizzard" when the snow is still coming down and the ploughs haven't made it to our street yet.

kropotkin1951

In Cuba they deal with it in the moment by acting as one. You don't get to piss into the wind, you go to a shelter. No one dies for their freedom.

Aristotleded24

Completely missing the point I was trying to make. Moving on.

Aristotleded24

While we have our disagreements about many things here on babble, can we all at least agree that the constant stories in the news about UFOs and aliens is really irritating?

cco

I suspect Daniel Boorstin would find it very familiar. "Breaking news: an hour spent explaining that we don't know what we're looking at." That said, I find it less offensive than war propaganda or celebrity nonsense like the "royals".

Aristotleded24

I know this is a rhetorical question, but why have we heard so much from Bill Gates about what we need to do in response to the pandemic? He's treated like a god in almost every interview he has given, as if he is an expert we should all listen to, when he has no relevant education, training, or vocational experience in medical matters. Even more maddening is that he is considered as a more credible source for information about the coronavirus than actual medical experts who have spoken against the restrictions or against the idea that the only way out is for everyone to be vaccinated.

Aristotleded24

Speaking of the vaccine, what is with all these stories in the news about regular people and celebrities talking about the importance of the vaccine? Yes, we get it, medical authorities have said it's important for us to be vaccinated, you telling your story is nothing new. And as for the experience of getting a vaccine? Basically, when you get a vaccine for anything, you tell the medical professionals you want a particular vaccine, they inject you according to their protocols, and then off you go. We've all had vaccines of some sort, it's not that complicated. Someone diggining in their heels and refusing to get the vaccine would be far more newsorthy in today's context than the many who want to take it.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I haven't heard Bill Gates interviewed or even mentioned in the news lately unless it was about his divorce. (I think he was one of the recent power couple divorces.) I know the conspiracy theorists think that Bill Gates is behind vaccines that put micro chips into people getting the vaccine. Not sure the media by and large is covering that.

Aristotleded24

I guess moreso at the start of the pandemic. See videos here, here, or here.

I haven't gotten into microchip discussion or anything on that. The fact is, his foundation is very actively involved in funding health initiatives, and is also a major contributor to the World Health Organization. This is very well documented. More concerning to me than just how much influence Gates has over global health policy is the seeming lack of interest in investigating potential conflicts of interests. For example, he has invested a great deal in vaccines, so when he says that everybody needs to be vaccinated, is he looking out for the health of the world or the health of his bank account? You don't need to go down the microchip rabbit hole to explore those very basic questions.

JKR

Future generations will hopefully be able to determine why so many people went down the microchip rabbit hole during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
Future generations will hopefully be able to determine why so many people went down the microchip rabbit hole during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Just the fact of Gates promoting vaccines as the only solution to the pandemic when he has heavily invested in vaccine companies is enough of an obvious conflict of interest to go after that you don't even need to go anywhere near the microchip talk.

JKR

Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

Ken Burch

JKR wrote:

Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

Because we know vaccines work...unlike hydrochloroquine or bleach injections or refusing to mask or socially distance.  "Playing it down" means turning your country into an epidemiological hellscape like Bolsonaro's Brazil or Modi's India, or the "red states" in the U.S. where repeated massive infection spikes have occurred every time public health measures were disparaged or banned- All because some people have decided that "individual rights" now include the right to make other people sick.

JKR

Amen brother! :D

lagatta4

I agree with Ken. Fortunately here in Québec we hear more from (comrades) Nima Machouf and Amir Khadir and other medical specialists than from money talks Bill Gates. I am bloody sick of anti-vaxxers. Most people have to get the jab - it is also the only way to protect the life and health of those who have legitimate medical reasons not to.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:

JKR wrote:

Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

Because we know vaccines work...unlike hydrochloroquine or bleach injections or refusing to mask or socially distance.  "Playing it down" means turning your country into an epidemiological hellscape like Bolsonaro's Brazil or Modi's India, or the "red states" in the U.S. where repeated massive infection spikes have occurred every time public health measures were disparaged or banned- All because some people have decided that "individual rights" now include the right to make other people sick.

Bolsonaro is a racist and homophobic psychopath. It is my understanding that people on the left are angry at him for not doing lockdowns. But to you really want someone who expressed the views he expressed to be enacting such authoritarian measures? Do you really want to set the stage for him to blame certain segments of society for spreading the disease as Modi blamed Muslims for the spread of the coronavirus?

"Individual rights" matter at some point. Without them, you can justify any human rights violation or mistreatment of individuals or classes of individuals for the greater good of society, and every authoritarian ruler throughout history has done exactly that.

Aristotleded24

lagatta4 wrote:
Most people have to get the jab - it is also the only way to protect the life and health of those who have legitimate medical reasons not to.

That is a lie put out by Big Pharma. The vaccine can be a tool to help with the pandemic, but it is not the only tool that is necessary. Given how new it is, there should be some caution with it, especially since we're unsure how it impacts people who have already had covid and are protected by natural immunity.

As for people who have legitimate medical reasons to not take the vaccine, do you think the drug companies aren't going to lobby to have as few such exemptions for people as possible?

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

It's one thing to use vaccines as a tool to deal with specific disease. It's another thing for someone with a financial stake in a particular vaccine to say, "everyone needs to take this vaccine in order to be safe," and to accept that claim without mentioning the obvious conflict of interest.

josh

Aristotleded24 wrote:

JKR wrote:
Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

It's one thing to use vaccines as a tool to deal with specific disease. It's another thing for someone with a financial stake in a particular vaccine to say, "everyone needs to take this vaccine in order to be safe," and to accept that claim without mentioning the obvious conflict of interest.

That's always the case.  Do you think that's something that just occurred to people with COVID?  It has nothing to do with whether people should get the shot.

josh

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

JKR wrote:

Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

Because we know vaccines work...unlike hydrochloroquine or bleach injections or refusing to mask or socially distance.  "Playing it down" means turning your country into an epidemiological hellscape like Bolsonaro's Brazil or Modi's India, or the "red states" in the U.S. where repeated massive infection spikes have occurred every time public health measures were disparaged or banned- All because some people have decided that "individual rights" now include the right to make other people sick.

Bolsonaro is a racist and homophobic psychopath. It is my understanding that people on the left are angry at him for not doing lockdowns. But to you really want someone who expressed the views he expressed to be enacting such authoritarian measures? Do you really want to set the stage for him to blame certain segments of society for spreading the disease as Modi blamed Muslims for the spread of the coronavirus?

"Individual rights" matter at some point. Without them, you can justify any human rights violation or mistreatment of individuals or classes of individuals for the greater good of society, and every authoritarian ruler throughout history has done exactly that.

Brazil says that more than 500,000 people in the country are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The nation of 210 million people has been reporting an average of more than 2,000 daily deaths in recent days. Brazil’s reported death toll is second only to that of the US, where the number of lives lost has topped 600,000.

The continued success of the no lockdown policy continues to amaze.

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

JKR wrote:

Using vaccines to deal with viruses is an idea that people have supported long before Bill Gates was born.

Because we know vaccines work...unlike hydrochloroquine or bleach injections or refusing to mask or socially distance.  "Playing it down" means turning your country into an epidemiological hellscape like Bolsonaro's Brazil or Modi's India, or the "red states" in the U.S. where repeated massive infection spikes have occurred every time public health measures were disparaged or banned- All because some people have decided that "individual rights" now include the right to make other people sick.

Bolsonaro is a racist and homophobic psychopath. It is my understanding that people on the left are angry at him for not doing lockdowns. But to you really want someone who expressed the views he expressed to be enacting such authoritarian measures? Do you really want to set the stage for him to blame certain segments of society for spreading the disease as Modi blamed Muslims for the spread of the coronavirus?

"Individual rights" matter at some point. Without them, you can justify any human rights violation or mistreatment of individuals or classes of individuals for the greater good of society, and every authoritarian ruler throughout history has done exactly that.

I'd rather not have Bolsonaro in power at all...but his authoritarianism consisted of refusing to deal with Covid at all and trying to pretend it did exist.

And I never said individual rights DON'T matter- obviously they do and obviously things like the surveillance state must be oppose- where you and I actually disagree is whether individual rights include the right to refuse to cooperate in basic, harmless public health measures, like masking and social distancing-not even lockdowns, but the simple decency of taking innocuous steps to protect our fellow human beings from the risk of infection- out of the reactionary notion- and this is the way the vast majority of anti-maskers/anti-distancers/anti-vaccers see it- that nobody owes anything to anybody else- this Ayn Rand delusion that freedom is the right to be a selfish jerk with no regard to one's fellow human beings.

It's not oppression to wear a piece of cloth on your face and walk a few feet apart from each other to stop a lethal virus, or even to take a vaccine that millions of others, including myself and everyone in my own family have taken.  To me, it's human solidarity.

I'm hard-pressed to see what difference there is between defending people's "rights" to refuse to do those things now, refusing even to mask and socially distance, on the one hand, and defending people's rights to refuse to wear a condom when having sex with a stranger they'd just met at a singles bar during the AIDS era.  How are those refusals not equally selfish, irrensponsible and potentially lethal?

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

It's one thing to use vaccines as a tool to deal with specific disease. It's another thing for someone with a financial stake in a particular vaccine to say, "everyone needs to take this vaccine in order to be safe," and to accept that claim without mentioning the obvious conflict of interest.

If people don't want to take a vaccine linked financially to Bill Gates they are free to take one of the other vaccines produced to mitigate against Covid. The effort against Covid is a communal effort that requires community solidarity. Selfishness should not override the common good.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
And I never said individual rights DON'T matter- obviously they do and obviously things like the surveillance state must be oppose- where you and I actually disagree is whether individual rights include the right to refuse to cooperate in basic, harmless public health measures, like masking and social distancing-not even lockdowns, but the simple decency of taking innocuous steps to protect our fellow human beings from the risk of infection- out of the reactionary notion- and this is the way the vast majority of anti-maskers/anti-distancers/anti-vaccers see it- that nobody owes anything to anybody else- this Ayn Rand delusion that freedom is the right to be a selfish jerk with no regard to one's fellow human beings.

It's not oppression to wear a piece of cloth on your face and walk a few feet apart from each other to stop a lethal virus, or even to take a vaccine that millions of others, including myself and everyone in my own family have taken.  To me, it's human solidarity.

Because I don't think those measures actually work and that they do cause harm. So many people who test positive with covid report that they washed their hands, wore masks, did social distancing, and the like. Furthermore, Winnipeg is now nine months into a mandatory mask mandate for indoors. Manitoba has had by far the worst outcomes for covid 19 of all the Western provinces, and that was even with Bonnie Henry resisting mask mandates well into last Fall in BC. BC also kept libraries and swimming pools open during part of this time, but they have been closed in Winnipeg since November. As for the harms? To see people wearing masks sends a singal that something is wrong and out of place, and that is very emotionally unnerving. Furthermore, you have vulnerable people wearing masks thinking they are protective (they are not) and they don't take other precautions and end up getting sick. Furthermore, the ability of children to see facial expressions is absolutely essential to their development. Face masks have absolutely no place in an environment where young children are present. Also, the particles in many of the paper disposable masks break off and end up in your lungs. This is especially true when you breathe in to speak through your mask, as unlike the nose, there is nothing to stop those particles on their way into your body. They are also piling up fast as garbage. So much for a "harmless" intervention.

Obviously people have to be responsible towards other people when it comes to covid. It is reasonable to expect someome who is ill to stay home until they recover, but that is about it. Even pre-2020 pandemic response plans in the Western world only call for voluntary isolation of ill people.

Ken Burch wrote:
I'm hard-pressed to see what difference there is between defending people's "rights" to refuse to do those things now, refusing even to mask and socially distance, on the one hand, and defending people's rights to refuse to wear a condom when having sex with a stranger they'd just met at a singles bar during the AIDS era.  How are those refusals not equally selfish, irrensponsible and potentially lethal?

For one, the science actually supports the use of condoms during sex, which is not necessarily the case with the interventions enacted in the name of stopping covid. You may be right about it being selfish, but if 2 people are aware of the risks and they decide to not use condoms anyways, is there really a place to try and stop them from doing that? Of course consent is an issue and there are laws in place to deal with it when it's not present (although that is far from perfect) but do you really want to go down the road of regulating individual human behaviour that tightly?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Well thank the heavens you are not against the use of condoms.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Quote:
"So many people who test positive with covid report that they washed their hands, wore masks, did social distancing, and the like."

By the same 'logic' :  In vehicle accidents, if some drivers report that they were driving carefully, it would obviously follow that careful driving does not work - it should be scorned & discouraged.

josh

Or if they were wearing a seat belt and died, there is no point wearing seat belts.

Ken Burch

josh wrote:

Or if they were wearing a seat belt and died, there is no point wearing seat belts.

Indeed.  If your car plummets off a 1,000 foot cliff, your death would DEFINITELY prove seat belts are unnecessary.

Aristotleded24

Edzell wrote:
Quote:
"So many people who test positive with covid report that they washed their hands, wore masks, did social distancing, and the like."

By the same 'logic' :  In vehicle accidents, if some drivers report that they were driving carefully, it would obviously follow that careful driving does not work - it should be scorned & discouraged.

No comment on how of all the Western provinces, Manitoba had by any measure the worst outcomes from covid (Manitoba is near the top in terms of the percentage of people dead from covid), while also having the strictest measures in this region? Our travel restrictions into the province have been the strictest of all. If strict measures worked, I would have expected Manitoba to have among the best covid results in the country.

JKR

Didn't the Atlantic provinces have the strictest measures?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Manitoba probably had the most mismanaged, miscommunicated vaccine roll-out, which is possibly partly to blame.

JKR

Of the prairie provinces Manitoba also had the fewest restrictions until things went downhill.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

True enough, JKR. Our closures were pretty hit and miss and always behind the ball. We were freaking open for business while the rest of the country was dealing with the 3rd wave.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Edzell wrote:
Quote:
"So many people who test positive with covid report that they washed their hands, wore masks, did social distancing, and the like."

By the same 'logic' :  In vehicle accidents, if some drivers report that they were driving carefully, it would obviously follow that careful driving does not work - it should be scorned & discouraged.

No comment on how of all the Western provinces, etc etc etc

Correct. My comment is about the faulty reasoning of connecting the fact that some covid cases claimed to have taken precautions, to the notion that precautions are therefor useless.

lagatta4

(Individual) driving should be discouraged, at least where alternatives are available. Obviously starting with urban areas.

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