Wednesday, December 30, 2020

I Both Understand AND Am Appalled

 I do not want to whine and say "What the hell has happened to my city", so I will endeavor to understand this nightmarish behavior.

Here is the thing, Los Angeles (home of Beverly Hills where this nincompoopery takes place) and Orange County (same) are home to the bizarre combination of appreciable wealth AND Covid denial. (This happens all over, but we are using this one as an example.) 

Part of the problem is that Donald Trump, who many believe are exposing liberal lies, speaks incoherently and people are choosing the parts they like. For example, he believes it is a hoax (sometimes) and also because of the pandemic people need help and bigger checks. His cultists (they have long past supporter level) choose to believe some of the things he says. In this case it is a hoax.

In a city with zero free ICU beds and cafeterias being turned into COVID wards, how can this be? I have some ideas:

  1. We don't see the dead. Because it is so transmissible, patients are kept in isolation, away from friends and family. So they die alone. This is unlike cancer or AIDS where relatives and friends and friends of friends watch people slowly die. So it easy not to believe it.
  2. Life hasn't really changed. With all respect to the dead, 340,000 Americans have died and very little has changed in our day to day life. Closures of fun things (movies, museums, etc) have been undertaken by the government and no one really blames the disease. So our anger is directed AT the government not the disease. Stores are open, Amazon delivers and life goes sputtering along.
  3. The dying aren't "Made for TV." With cancer and AIDS, many people who were sick and dying made impassioned speeches on television for support and understanding. People dying from Covid cannot do this, and so we don't see the struggle. It is a black box death that is usually quick and hidden from view. Now this by design of the Media and the Administration. Bush, Obama and Trump banned cameras from filming the dead returning from the middle east - which was effective in turning the Americans against the Vietnam War. The Media has followed this same process with Covid. The dead are a number (3,700 yesterday) but not stories of people. Think of the Olympics - until those "athlete beats odds" stories, the Olympics were not nearly as popular.*
  4. Too many dead. Studies have show that 4 people are the most humans can fully empathize with at a time. If you show a story of a sick person, or siblings, people respond You show a story of all Syria getting bombed and it is too big for us to feel effective. So we close off.
  5. This Administration has declared empathy to be laughable and for liberals. President Trump was elected while LITERALLY mocking someone with epilepsy. He called other politicians and enemies names that were derogatory and offensive and his people cheered. He bragged of not caring. His cultist have internalized this and see empathy as a suckers game.
  6. Religious leaders don't care. Now there might be many Pastors or Reverends that feel empathy, but the big ones (including the mega-churchs of Orange County and the SouthWest) downplay Covid. And for 3 reasons. 6a. The have already thrown in with Trump, so they cannot quit him now. They spread false news. 6b. They have told people that ONLY God has the answers for so long, they have effectively vaccinated their believers from following science. 6c. Most of the money is from donations - no services mean no donations. Even the Vatican has noted this.
  7. Republicans since Reagan have argued that Government IS the problem. So less government must be good.
It's easier to be a sheep than a thinking human. I don't think we can change their minds. But we could start throwing them in jail to change their actions.

*Note: I, personally, do not enjoy, one might say loath, the "human interests stories' of the Olympics. But ratings show I am in the minority here.

1 comment:

  1. Or some people are simply selfish assholes. Regardless of what their "reason" is for not wearing a mask and going to super spreaders, what they are really saying is I don't give a F*** about you, I will do what I want to do. We probably can't change their minds but maybe we will outlive them.


Can plants communicate?

 The Atlantic has a fascinating article on plant communication with other plants. More information is being understood as research continues...