Fear Factor

I’m just going to say it: We are witnessing the biggest over-reaction in human history! For the first time since 9/11, the entire nation (or, I suppose, the entire world) has entered a mindset of widespread fear — a fear which is overriding the better judgment of society.

After 9/11, Americans willingly gave up their freedoms in the name of safety when the USA PATRIOT Act was passed by Congress (after which, many of them admitted to not even reading it). But at least then, there was a legitimate terrorist threat.

Today, the governor of my home state of Kansas passed an executive order to close all Kansas schools for the remainder of the school year. And this is after the cancelation and/or closure of all major sports, all college sports, movie theatres, and even my local St. Patrick’s Day 5K (which refused to give refunds).

This has gone too far. This has become Mass Hysteria.

I’m obviously not a medical expert; I’m simply observing the incontrovertible facts and statistics. Instead of listening to the doom-and-gloom newscasts, I’m actually reading the CDC facts and running the numbers.

Perhaps people will hate me (more) for saying this, but the facts and figures of the COVID-19 / Coronavirus simply do not support the drastic reactions being taken by the state and federal governments. Admittedly, countries like Italy are facing a different issue, but here in the United States, it has become a drastic over-reaction.

  • Gun violence killed more Americans today than the Coronavirus. But no one is repealing the Second Amendment.
  • Car accidents killed more Americans today than the Coronavirus. But people don’t have a problem with driving to Wal-Mart and buying out the toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
  • Lung Cancer killed more Americans today than the Coronavirus. But the government is not outlawing cigarettes.

Interesting Fact: According to the CDC, from October 1, 2019, through March 7, 2020, between 22,000 and 55,000 people were killed by the common flu. For comparison, as of the writing of this article, there have only been 106 American Coronavirus deaths.

America is perfectly comfortable living in a state of heightened fear. It almost seems like Americans want their fears, Americans need their fears, Americans love their fears. It’s as if there is a subconscious longing for fear, almost like being afraid of something equates to being protected from something.

Businesses, schools, and major events are closing and canceling for one reason: Liability. Now that the trend has evolved into the implementation of drastic closings and restrictions, no company or business or school district wants to remain open and face the possibility of being sued or held responsible for being the place where maybe someone transmitted the virus, even if the result of the virus was not fatal. This is something we should readily expect in America’s ridiculously litigious society.

But that is merely one aspect of the nation’s irrational fear of this virus.

As of the writing of this article, the CDC has reported approximately 198,000 cases worldwide of the Coronavirus with approximately 7,900 deaths.

CLICK HERE for current numbers

These are the two facts the media seems to dwell on, drawing out the doomsday spirit in those who thrive on paranoia.

But here’s the number they have been ignoring: As of the writing of this article, over 81,000 people worldwide have recovered from the virus and are now perfectly fine! Statistically, COVID-19 only has a 9% mortality rate.

This virus is serious. But it is only a mortal threat to two significant demographics: The elderly and those with compromised and/or weakened immune systems — but this is true of almost every major virus! For the average person, it’s the flu. Granted, it’s a particularly nasty version of the flu, but the flu nonetheless. If you get sick, go to the doctor, get some rest, and get over it. Quit acting like this virus is an automatic death sentence. Quit watching movies like Outbreak or Contagion. This is not the movies! The Coronavirus is not deadly to average healthy people.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson got it; they said they had a fever and chills, but otherwise felt well. Basketball star Kevin Durant got it; he shrugged and said, “I feel fine.”

Read the facts, the numbers, and the reports! Stop basing the entirety of your knowledge on what the local/national news anchors are saying. They want to keep you scared!

But why would the media and corporations want to keep Americans scared?

Is it a right-wing conspiracy? No.
Is it a left-wing conspiracy? No.
Is it the End Times? No.

— It’s just good ‘ole fashion American greed. —

When Americans are scared, they consume. High consumption of goods makes a lot of corporate powers a lot of money. And this is not merely true of the purchasing of goods; it is also true in the world of advertising. Networks running news programs (local and national both) are drawing in mind-blowing numbers of viewers, thirsty for the latest doomsday news of the END-OF-THE-WORLD-19 virus. But they’re not just seeing the news, they’re also seeing the commercials. Television networks with high-rated programs can charge more for their commercial advertising time between segments. So as long as networks can keep people scared, people will keep viewing advertisements from companies willing to pay exorbitant amounts, knowing the viewers will be exposed to their products and/or services.

The Coronavirus is making some very rich people even richer. Don’t you wish you’d bought some stock shares in Charmin last week? The sad fact of the matter is this: Frightened people consume, and the fear factor is showing no signs of slowing anytime soon. All-too-often, fear is the opposite of fact.

It’s all about money.
It’s all about fear.

“Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.”

-Frank Herbert
Dune, 1965

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