We're all suckers! We've spent countless hours watching Covid-19 coverage on TV. We've clicked on countless related stories on-line. The media has covered the Covid-19 pandemic like nothing before. It's simple business...they give us what gets our time & attention, which in turn makes them more & more money. We're in a vicious, viral, money making cycle of media, drug companies and big business all making more money and gaining more control than ever before. Most of us can agree that Covid-19 has been a huge tragedy, but would it even have been noticed without the media coverage and reaction to it? Would we look at things any differently if the media compared it to the 800,000 yearly American deaths from heart disease, or the 600,000 yearly American deaths from cancer? A news story stating that, ”More than 500,000 Americans died last year from Covid-19, but that 450,000 of these people probably would have died from heart disease or cancer last year anyway.” probably wouldn’t get nearly the attention but may be closer to the truth. Almost every story you see on-line is designed by professionals with an algorithm, specifically to get your clicks and time, which generates advertising dollars for them. Truth in journalism seems to be a thing of the past. You certainly don’t see many media members giving a contrary opinion to their major advertisers and if you did, those people would probably disappear from air pretty quickly. Has your community been devastated by the disease or more by the reaction to the disease? If our government, media and healthcare system focused one tenth of the efforts they spent last year on Covid-19, on heart disease (arguably a more controllable issue), they could save countless lives and contribute to the quality of life of millions. If our healthcare system is overwhelmed by anything, many would say that obesity and the many related problems it causes would be it. Many lives could certainly be saved if officials were at fast food restaurants, turning away people who didn’t meet government “mandated” body fat percentages or if obese people were forced to substitute broccoli for fries in restaurants. If the current pandemic is any indicator, seemingly ridiculous situations like this may not be so far off. Without the “viral” media coverage, maybe Covid-19 would have been no different than a bad flu season with a few stories that no one paid much attention to. There probably wouldn’t have been politicians making mandates in reaction to stories in the media, corporations forced to make policies to protect employees or customers for fear of fines & lawsuits or drug companies pressuring government agencies to react in ways that would make them billions. Let’s face it, drug companies have major influence in all levels of government and are the biggest advertisers in media. They are also in business to make money. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. They are just like any other businesses; advertising, pressuring or doing whatever they can to convince us to use their products. A smart business decision was convincing us that testing early and often was necessary to stop the spread. Of course, each one of those “free” tests made the drug companies billions. If I was making money on testing, I'd certainly try to convince you to get tested early and often too. Just like if I was selling masks, I’d hire professionals to write articles and convince the public any way I could that wearing masks was necessary to stop the spread and it was the socially conscientious thing to do. I'd try to get politicians to mandate them and I might even try to get you to wear two of them at a time if I could. The next big con will be about vaccines…how they are miracles and saving so many lives…how you need to get another shot for this variant or that one…then another next year…and then on to children who don’t seem to be affected at all but for whatever reason need to get them…and then a miracle pill that helps too…and so on…generating billions & billions in revenue. The money to be made will probably cause pressure to be applied from every direction, in every country across the globe, with billions of vaccinations over the next several years. There will almost certainly be plenty of “science”, “testing” and “evidence” showing how millions of lives have been saved. Of course, “science for profit”, aka “big business”, isn’t really science at all and there will be no way to disprove the “evidence” of the millions of lives that have been saved. If it’s said enough in the media, it becomes the gospel truth. Trying to make a contrary argument with someone that the highest active case rate of Covid-19 coincided with the highest mask compliancy in the U.S. or that we were close to herd immunity before vaccines were introduced, will probably be met with a blank stare or even ostracization from society. The media narrative, coincidentally the same as the drug companies, will continue to be that it’s just “common sense” to wear masks, get vaccinated and to do whatever government “experts” tell you to do. Many would say that “common sense” is living healthy and allowing our immune systems to work properly instead of trying to hide in our houses from viruses or fill our bodies with pills and shots that are designed to make billions and to fix whatever ails us. If longer lives are the goal, I would bet on the latter to be more effective. You may still be a little hesitant about getting a vaccine but don’t worry…just like masks in the beginning…with a little advertising, a few positive news stories and a little societal, media & governmental pressure, you’ll make the right “choice”. This is America, Land of the Free, Government For & By the People…we would never be forced to stay at home, close our business, wear a mask, get a vaccine or do anything against our will, would we?
Remember…We’re all suckers!
It’s probably too late for this pandemic but hopefully by the next one, we’ll have a system in place that will allow the people to have a say in important decisions that may affect them.