Saturday, November 21, 2020

Covid Denial Fake News

One of the MANY things I find disconcerting about our time is the tendency to turn every disagreement into a strawman argument. 

Statement: "I think the response to Covid is excessive and damaging". 

Response:  "Oh, you are a crazy Covid DENIER!

As tribalism increases, this sort of strawman is more common, especially for Covid. 

The summary of the linked is that a nurse dealt with many patients gasping for breath and saying "it isn't real", "I thought this was a hoax" sort of things as they die. The MSM has widely spread this as part of the "tragedy" of Covid denial -- even Slate, not "right wing" in any sense, observes that this sort of thing is why media trust becoming non existent. 

I can imagine it is somewhat common for dying patients to say all sorts of things similar to this -- "I never believed this would happen to me", "I was so certain I'd beat this cancer", "I had faith the Lord would cure me", etc, etc, and often not very coherent for reasons I would think all would understand -- drugs, pain, extreme weakness ... I've never died and only have a sample of two that went peacefully under plenty of medication without gasping for breath. 

The best we can hope for is fairly quick with minimal pain and panic -- trying to make it worse than it is has very little benefit. If the news spent half the time on the tragedy of a young person dying in a car accident, maybe their screams as responders tried to cut their broken body from a mangled vehicle, interviewing the bereaved family, etc, hopefully we would just shut off the news, steel our level of denial, etc. No matter how careful you are, it CAN happen to you, just like Covid. 

I doubt there are any lung damaging conditions that make dying from essentially slow asphyxiation much fun -- lung cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, CPD ...

Why can't we get along? One reason is tribalism. It is prevalent in our time and pretty much all of us are guilty because "tit for tat" is a natural tendency. Pro-lifers often say "you must want to kill babies", which is equivalent to saying to a smoker "you must want to get cancer", or someone overweight "you must want to die of a heart attack". All have elements of truth, but such a statement is not going to help anything. 

We are not going to fix human nature, but understanding it and tribalism may help us be a tiny bit more civil. 

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