The extremes seem to be driving the COVID response

by | Dec 13, 2021 | coronavirus, Editor's Blog | 12 comments

The pandemic debate mirrors our overall broken political dialogue. On one side, misinformed, and largely uneducated, people have thwarted every effort to stem the spread of COVID. On the other, hysterics and hyperbole threaten to do more harm than good, alienating people in the middle who just want to survive the pandemic and begin a return to normalcy. One side is so radical that they are literally killing themselves and the other is so irrationally frightened that they’re driving people away from an otherwise important cause. 

Right now, the anti-tax people have more responsibility for the spread of the disease and threats to hospitals than anybody. Before they were anti-vaxxers, they were anti-maskers. To hear them tell it, the government and public health officials are trying to kill them despite all evidence to the contrary. They are easily misled by facts and figures that get distorted by the likes of Fox News and conservative media. 

One method of deceiving people is to treat the pandemic as if vaccines never happened. Conservatives point to case and death rates in places like New York and Massachusetts where COVID arrived early before we had any mitigation practices and where large populations live in close quarters. For instance, comparing Mississippi to Massachusetts from February, 2020 until today, the states have similar death rates, with Massachusetts slightly higher. Compare them from February 2021, when vaccines became widely available, till today and Mississippi’s death rate is 80% higher than Massachusetts.

Other misleading numbers are current hospitalizations. In places like Minnesota where cases have been rising since cold weather set in a couple of months ago, hospitals are getting overwhelmed. About a third of those cases are vaccinated people, leaving anti-vaxxers pointing at the numbers as proof that vaccines don’t work. However, more than 60% of the population is vaccinated, so 40% of the population is making up two-thirds of the hospitalizations.

The conservative press is helping spread the disinformation about vaccines and few Republican elected officials are willing to push back. The anti-vaxxers are so dug in, they are dying to protect their cause. It’s like the election fraud. They’ve convinced themselves that they’re right and have a continuous flow of disinformation to back them up. 

On the left, hysteria is preventing the return to normal that we so desperately need. Progressives are demanding we keep regulations that are no longer needed and promoting government interference that people don’t want. They are driving a wedge between too many middle-class Americans who need to have kids in schools and not worry about getting laid off because of the virus.

Vaccines have worked, protecting all but the most vulnerable Americans from serious disease. Children, in particular, have almost nothing to worry about. More kids under 17 years die of pneumonia than COVID and yet, at school, we’re making them eat outside in freezing weather. To protect whom? Certainly not the children. Teachers who are vaccinated and in good health have little to fear. Those who are immunocompromised should probably not be in any setting that includes working with groups of people. 

And then there’s the fear of long COVID. While it’s a real thing, it’s also a vague thing. The symptoms include everything from sore throats to cognitive disorders with the most common seeming to be a general malaise. Studies show a little more than a third of people who have COVID suffer long-term consequences and almost 60% of those suffer them for more than three months after the initial infection, so it’s not insignificant. However, while more common among COVID patients, long-term symptom follow other virus infections such as influenza. Long COVID needs to be studied and addressed, but a study in England indicates only 1.7% of the population living in private homes self-reports as having long COVID symptoms. That’s a significant but small proportion of the population and not enough shut everything down.

Vaccines are the best defense against COVID and they are doing their job, even if we need boosters. Elderly people and people with compromised immune systems should probably take additional precautions, avoiding crowded areas and wearing masks indoors, especially when incidents of COVID are increasing like they are in a lot of places right now. 

But it’s not time for more regulations, especially on healthy people. We should allow local governments to take the lead. They are best equipped to deal with rapid spread. We need to keep the public informed and let people and businesses make their own choices. If they want to insist on masks, fine. If people want to avoid crowds, that’s fine, too. Let’s start moving toward a new normal instead running back into mass quarantine or lockdowns. We are going to be living with COVID just like we’ve lived with other diseases. Let’s figure out how to do it now.


  1. cocodog

    The other day, I went to my physician for the free yearly checkup, provided for under my health insurance. Before I was able to make it to the station where I provided all information about my insurance, which has not changed in years, but it gives somebody a job, I had to answer at least 50 questions relative to COVID. Suggestion, think twice about answering the question about have you “ever” traveled in another country. A yes answer, set off an early warning system, that requires a supervisor to override. I’m fully vaccinated (two and a booster) and wearing a mask, but everybody is a suspected carrier. I can comprehend their position, with all this misinformation being disseminated by politicians, and some of their mentally challenged followers, caution is the word of the day. I mentioned my concerns to the physician, I have been seeing for the past 10 years, he advised me not everybody takes this highly contagious disease seriously, so their insurance carrier has enforced rules to protect their employees and patients. Moreover, sick employees are costly to a business. This made sense!

  2. Scot

    Unvaccinated does NOT mean infected. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

    It amazes me that people think that a person who’s not vaccinated is somehow infected with Covid.

  3. Jim Sander

    You mention that those people you call “anti-vaxxers” spread disinformation. They also spread facts and real information, and the science that the MSM doesn’t show you. There are many many brilliant scientists, doctors and researchers who don’t recommend the jab. They’re not fanatics, and if you take the time to listen to them, you can learn a lot…people like Dr. Bridle, Dr. Kory, Dr. McCullough, Dr. Northrup, Dr. Marik, Dr. Martenson, Dr. VandenBosch…the list goes on. Why not be one minded and listen to some of them? I can send you links if you’d like.
    Additionally, they are the ones recommending the best thing that all of us can do, which is to have a home treatment plan in order, as early treatment is the best thing anyone can have, and there are plenty of studies to back up the use of Vitamin D, zinc, quercetin, Nac, vitamin C, ivermectin, hydroxychloquine etc. Countries like El Salvador provide them to their citizens for free. Dr. McCullough estimates that 85% of covid deaths could have been prevented with proper early treatment using existing repurposed drugs that are safe, cheap and effective.

      • cocodog

        Thanks, for doing the research Tom. This commentator sounds familiar, to another who posts this type of nonsense. Same word choice, same spelling errors and syntax. Although, I do find some of the names amusing, Like Dr. Bridle a great name for a vet.

      • jim

        Like I said, if you would take the time to listen to other viewpoints, maybe you wouldn’t have such a knee jerk reaction. It’s really a shame, because we’re talking about people’s health here, and early treatment is the best thing that can be done for everyone. I can call people and corporations names too, but I’ll refrain except to say that if you check on the criminal records and fines paid out by big Pharma corps, you might not trust them so much. Fauci’s behavior is well documented in RFK Jr’s new book about him, but you have to have an open mind to understand to read these things. If you want to call people names, fine, but understand that you’ll only get the full story by listening to all sides of the story, not just the one you want to hear.

        • Thomas Mills

          I read plenty of sides. It’s not about listening to both sides. It’s having the critical thinking skills to figure out who is bullshitting and who is not, who’s a quack and who is a serious researcher. You listed a bunch of people who have been exposed as frauds.

          • cocodog

            Well put!

  4. phoenix

    Oh here is a song that is funny. I present it for entertainment only I’ve no position on the shots other than if you think you need it. Then go get it.

  5. Phoenix

    All I can say is the entire thing is a mess, and I do my best to steer clear of all of it. So far so good. I will give credit to Cooper in that he hasn’t gone full retard like some other Governors have. I don’t know if he wants to and knows the legislature will blow him up for it, or he actually does not want to. Frankly I don’t care, As long as the State governemnt is somewhere else on the issue I’m good.

    I can decide for, and take care of myself thank you.

    As for the Media I’ve long ago written them off for everything including the weather. They literally have absolutely no impact in my life whatsoever. I hear bits a pieces from them but NEVER read or watch ar see them out for anything other than what is the OPPOSITE of truth logic and reason. They have squandered all their credibility with me, it tool a long time I gave the years of the benefit of the doubt but its over, and I’ll never be back.

    As for Covid I read as many per reviewed studies as I can on every topic and interface with a cadre of scientists and doctors known to me who are exceptional If there is something I need fleshed out. Using real Science and real data not whatever they claim science is today. We follow the data.

    So far so good. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Because we have absolutely no control of this thing and its abject stupidity to think we do.

    One thing though. Fauci is a clown. Really I am going to guess that is anyone here has been wrong on as many SIMPLE things he has been wrong on, you’d be fired from your job, I know I would. Since he is a government employee and I guess SES he is untouchable so we get to continue to pay for his incompetence. I wish the media would stop talking to him. He is doing far more harm than good.

    Good luck to all.

    • cocodog

      Can anybody make any sense out of what phoenix just posted? He just rambles, calling names, hurdling insults and drawing unsupported conclusions. A perfect example is his comment about Dr. Anthony Fauci being a clown. This commentator sounds like Trump! Perhaps, after being tossed off almost every social media, Trump has changed his name and found his way to Politics NC.

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