Covid is Not the Threat

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

On this weekend after Thanksgiving 2020 we are moderately paranoid about the covid swirling around us. The pandemic response has been a monumental failure chiefly caused by exploitation of the willing. Willful ignorance abounds. Willingness to follow the malicious, untalented man in the White House reveals an existential threat apart from the threat of death by viral infection. Here’s what I mean.

Misinformation has been used as a cudgel by the country’s leadership the last 4 years. It sounds simplistic to say “it’s trump’s fault” but that is largely true because the misinformation only exists to serve his personal ego. An entire political party exists to serve his ego. Roughly 40% of the surveyed population (and 73 million votes in the recent election) threw full weight behind the service of his ego. Around 85% of the church people (whom I thought were my people) live in service to his ego. The same percentage of white southerners (whom I thought were my people) lined up to buy merchandise and drive in parades to support his ego. My confidence in people is shaken.

A normal response to Covid 19 would’ve been discovery, media coverage, and government response with guidelines for the citizenry. We would’ve followed the guidelines more or less and hundreds of thousands of lives would’ve been saved. Instead we got a tsunami of denial, deflection, division of the populace, and enough bullshit-conspiracy-talk to float an ocean liner. Vaccine development has been swift and unhindered only because it served his ego, so that’s good. We’ll get back to normal. But our vulnerability is exposed.

Germs? Sure, those are bad but our willingness to consume and propagate misinformation is the real existential threat to our country. Trump is a gaslighter (constantly prevaricating to create his own desired reality) but he’s not talented in any discernable way. He’s no orator. He’s no intellectual. He’s no thinker. He’s not persuasive — and yet people are persuaded. So when history places blame, I hope we remember Trump only led people who WANTED to be led into darkness. It is the societal death-wish of the horn-honking, flag-waving 40% that is the real existential threat to the U.S.A. Germs are nothing by comparison.

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