The Headline: Adapting to the virus
The sudden swerve is enough to give the reader whiplash. Until Biden surrendered to Covid, the press (and that includes the Virginian Pilot) were all about eradicating the virus. Now suddenly, our press overlords tell us we have to live with it.
Better communication, guidance, testing, resolve all needed to fight COVID-19.
Wait, are we going to fight it or learn to live with it? Think the common cold or the seasonal flu, both viral infections like Covid; do we constantly test for these?
Just as the start of the new year provides individuals an opportunity for a fresh start, the omicron variant of COVID-19 should encourage public and health officials to rethink how our nation and our communities battle this disease from now on.
The hope for eradicating COVID is gone. We must find ways to manage the disease, to protect the vulnerable and to live with the virus in the safest, most workable way possible.
Biden gives the OK to admit that the virus will be with us and NOW the press decides that we must learn to live with it. Something that got you labeled a conspiracy theorist mere weeks ago is now declared common sense. Many prominent virologists said this a year ago but were branded “fringe” by the CDC , Dr. “I am SCIENCE” Fauci and their allies in the press .
That should begin at the top. One year ago, President Joe Biden rolled out a comprehensive national strategy for battling the virus. It emphasized vaccinations, testing and other mitigation strategies, use of the Defense Production Act, and efforts to open schools and businesses.
The Pilot doesn’t explain how Biden’s “comprehensive national strategy” was any different from the plans developed by the previous administration. Vaccines were developed under the Trump administration who also recommend looking for drugs to treat those who got sick, used the Defense Production Act to build ventilators and personal protective gear and advocated opening schools. But that was in 2021 when the Pilot was blaming Covid on Trump and advocating closing in-person learning in schools.
That strategy worked — until it didn’t.
Forget the fact that more people died under Biden than Trump.
COVID variants — first delta, then omicron — opened new fronts in the war on this virus.
Viruses mutate so the variants were totally expected, except to the Pilot’s editors. In fact, viruses often mutate because of vaccines developed to manage the original variant.
A stubborn reluctance to get the vaccine served as fuel for that fire.
Blaming the unvaccinated is becoming more and more laughable as the vaccinated are getting Covid despite getting the shot plus one, two, many boosters. And it's begging to come out that the vaccinated are MORE likely to get the Omicron variant.
And political differences proved too polarizing for some communities to overcome.
Right! Telling the people with natural immunity or who had medical doubts about the vaccines that they were killing grandma was not polarizing at all. Telling people who have their doubts about vaccinations that they would lose their jobs and could not leave their homes was not polarizing at all.
There are plenty of things the federal government should have done better, especially when it comes to testing. It is also inexcusable that Americans must translate instructions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control about proper testing and quarantine procedures, and Biden’s December announcement that his administration would provide rapid tests to Americans free of charge came months too late.
Having a test to see what’s making you sick is a good idea, but how testing is supposed to be THE key to adapting to the virus is never made clear. If you test positive for Covid but don’t get sick, what does that tell you? One thing it tells you is that Covid is not nearly as deadly as the hysterics in the press pretended.
The strain of those failures is evident in Hampton Roads.
On Friday, Sentara Healthcare announced it would postpone “all hospital-based non-emergent [sic] surgeries, procedures and diagnostic testing” in order to handle the growing influx of patients infected with omicron. A Chesapeake testing event scheduled for Monday was postponed for lack of staff (again, thanks to COVID infections).
A real newspaper would ask Sentara just how busy their facilities are with patients who are there because of the virus or because they are there for other reasons but tested positive. In New Yor City emergency hospital facilities were constructed, and hospital ships were deployed that were never used. That influx of Covid patients never happened even in the nation’s epicenter of Covid. Remember “two weeks to flatten the curve?” Incidentally, how many of the staffing problems were caused by firing staff who refused to get the shot?
It’s not just affecting health care. Schools are returning to virtual learning because teachers or critical support staff — bus drivers, in particular — are infected. Government agencies are shutting their doors temporarily; Virginia Beach Department of Human Services was closed on Monday. More will follow.
It’s simply not true that schools are closing because teachers are infected. Teacher unions are refusing to teach for a number of reasons. Children are simply not in serious danger because of the virus. Teachers are not in serious danger because they can be infected by students. European schools have been operating regularly all through this epidemic. But getting paid for not working seems to be something that teachers like.
Some have called this the “D.I.Y. wave” of COVID because Americans have been left to determine for themselves when to get tested (and how to find a test), when to quarantine (and for how long), when to get a booster (and where), when to wear a mask (and where it’s required), and so on.
This was once called freedom. People decding things for themselves. Evidently, our overlords don’t like this.
Two years into the global pandemic, you might think that we’d be better at this. You’d hope that the self-proclaimed “greatest country in the world” could come together to battle a virus that’s claimed more than 835,000 American lives.
The Virginian Pilot continues to parrot this claim of deaths attributed to Covid. It's a lie and even the CDC is gradually forced to admit that dying of Covid and dying with Covid are not the same thing. Apparently, the Pilot employs hysterics who form their opinions by watching “The View.”
We should be capable of providing clear, straightforward guidance so Americans know what to do when faced with another wave of infections, at providing the tools so people can make smart decisions to limit the spread of disease, and at demonstrating the collective resolve needed to help health care workers and health systems endure yet another wave of illness and death.
Who is the “we” the Pilot talks about? The American people have been willing to go along, or been bullied inbto going along, by institutions that have been revealed as liars. Incompetent liars whose lies have been spread by organs of disinformation like the Virginian Pilot.
The virus has evolved but we have not evolved with it.
At this point, we should be worried about hospitalizations and deaths rather than case numbers, to better focus our concern on the problem.
Again: who is the “we” the Pilot talks about? Look at yourself in the mirror.
We should be making decisions about schools and businesses based on factors such as community infection and vaccination rates, to make every effort to keep them open and operational.
Who is the “we” the Pilot talks about? Is this the Pilot that every day advocates that schools should be closed and people wear masks indoors, outdoors and while driving alone in your car?
We should be focusing efforts on vaccination, testing and mitigation measures (such as masks) but also improving ventilation and rethinking how we use shared public spaces.
All efforts should be made to protect the vulnerable, but our public policies will have to increase our capacity for risk.
We need better communication from elected officials — Biden, yes, but also Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin as he prepares to take office and those in local positions — as well as leaders in public health.
And we will need more from individuals, who shouldn’t need government to tell them to wear a mask indoors, but who do it because it protects themselves and others.
Another call for Covid theater. Masks, especially the masks people buy in the story, don’t work to stop the virus. It’s theater for the uninformed.
Thoughtful adaptation is our only way forward. All have a role to play.
The role of the Virginian Pilot is to shut up and let people make their own decisions about their own health care and stop spreading fear and hysteria with fake data. How about setting up a Truth Commission to force the press to admit the lies they have spread, not just in the last two years but in the 4 years before that. That may be the way for the press to begin the long, slow road to rehabilitation in the eyes of the public. The nation needs a press it can trust, not a press that spreads lies.
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