You’re being hysterical.
I’m tired of hearing this charge from conservatives and libertarians.
If you were honest with yourself, you would lay your cards on the table and admit the truth. You would admit to being a liberal. What is the definition of a liberal? A liberal is someone who is ideologically committed to liberty, equality, individualism, rights, selfishness, materialism, etc.
A liberal is someone who believes that our society should be based on liberty. Liberals don’t simply believe that liberty is a great thing. They think it is the only great thing. It isn’t one good in life among others. It is a principle. As a matter of principle, they are dogmatic and inflexible about individual liberty.
Liberals believe that there are no conceivable situations in which other goods like public health during a pandemic might be elevated for a time over individual liberty. It is simply inconceivable to them that liberty should take a backseat to another good in an emergency situation. This is why their minds are clouded by dark conspiracy theories. There must be some kind of wicked plot going on behind the scenes. Those who disagree with them aren’t simply being more practical in their response to the virus.
From the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in China, non-liberals have looked at the virus and concluded that it is a serious threat. The consensus has been that it is something that our leaders should be taking seriously, which is to say, it is not a nothingburger like other recent viruses (SARS, bird flu, H1N1, Ebola, Zika or the ordinary flu) and it is not a DOOMSDAY VIRUS that will bring about the collapse of civilization on the other end of the spectrum. It falls somewhere in the middle.
The ordinary flu kills on average about 37,000 people a year in the United States. It killed 24,000 people during this flu season. The H1N1 swine flu pandemic killed about 12,000 people. The outer boundary of an extremely bad flu season in the United States is the 2017/2018 flu season during which 61,000 died. SARS killed about 8,400 people in the world. Ebola killed about 11,000 people in Africa. COVID-19 is rapidly exiting “just the flu” territory having passed “nothingburger virus” a month ago.
In the 20th century, there were three influenza pandemics in the United States. The Spanish Flu of 1918/1919 killed 675,000 Americans. The Great Influenza killed more Americans in three separate waves than all the wars of the 20th century combined. There were smaller flu pandemics in 1957-1958 and 1968 which each killed 100,000 Americans. Until very recently in American history, infectious disease was the single greatest threat that killed the most people in our country. The scourges of the past like the plague, cholera, smallpox, yellow fever, malaria and polio were overcome and eliminated by previous generations. Unfortunately, the memory of these public health triumphs in the early 20th century has faded and the status quo has been taken for granted for too long by the present generation.
The hysteria has come from the other side of this debate:
Zman was fond of comparing the coronavirus to getting struck by lightning. It is a hysterical take in the other direction.
Bill Mitchell was fond of comparing the coronavirus to people dying from falling off ladders. Only 36,560 people died last year in traffic accidents.
Ramzpaul was adamant that the 2009 swine flu pandemic was a much bigger deal. COVID-19 has now killed 4x as many people as swine flu.
While the flu truthers have been utterly hysterical in minimizing and downplaying the threat posed by the virus, they have been even more hysterical in their exaggerations about the economy. We’re not just going to take an economic hit from COVID-19 like other countries which have had lockdowns like China, Australia and New Zealand. No, this is even worse than the Great Depression. This is DOOMSDAY for the economy even though the Dow has rebounded from 18,591 at its low to 24,596.
How bad is the economy right now?
“U.S. economic growth literally slammed into reverse in the first quarter, registering its first contraction in six years and its sharpest drop since the last recession as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy with unprecedented ferocity.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that first-quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.8% in the first three months of the year. That was almost a full percentage point more than the 4% contraction expected by economists polled by FactSet. …”
So, a 4.8% contraction in Q1 2020? I was told the economy has totally collapsed. This is even worse than the Great Depression.
China locked down Hubei province for two months. 780 million people in China were locked down to bring the epidemic over control and to eradicate the virus.
The Chinese economy took a 6.8% hit to its GDP.
The economic contraction in the United States is going to be much more severe than it was China. It isn’t because of the lockdown though. Most countries in the world like Australia and New Zealand are emerging from their own lockdowns. The problem in this country is that the hysteria coming from virus minimizers and their desire to downplay and ignore the problem in February for purely ideological reasons has led to the largest epidemic in the world. 1 out of every 3 people on the planet who have coronavirus are Americans. 1 out of every 4 people who have died from coronavirus are also Americans.
I wasn’t wrong.
I wasn’t being hysterical either.
I didn’t panic. I assessed a threat and got it right.
The coronavirus WAS a serious threat to public health. It WAS NOT a nothingburger like H1N1 or Ebola. It WAS NOT the ordinary flu. It WAS a serious threat to the economy. It should have been taken seriously from the outset by our leaders, but it wasn’t until it was too late. The threat wasn’t taken seriously because our leaders are incompetent and wedded to liberal ideology which failed them. The mainstream Right or the conservative liberals were afraid of “spooking the markets.” The mainstream Left or progressive liberals were convinced that racism and xenophobia were the real virus.
Note: Doyle finds out the Dissident Right has become a cross between Bill Mitchell and David Icke and has blown a once in a generation chance to discredit liberalism. LOL.
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