Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Just Safe Stories

Will re-branding Covid help people start acting to protect themselves from it? 

Maybe we need an ad campaign to kick-start public health. Outside of judicial rulings and before marketing, we had religious leaders to remind us to the best ways to survive, and before that we had stories passed down for generations to help keep children safe from harm by altering their behaviour, like this one

"Our parents told us that if we went out without a hat, the northern lights are going to take your head off and use it as a soccer ball. We used to be so scared!"

Unfortunately, those types of stories are unlikely to work on media-savvy kids today. They also seem immune to stories about going out without a mask, and being cautioned that the invisible microbes are going to infect your brain and body until you can't get out of bed anymore. They're not scared at all.

Except that one is true.

We don't need to live in fear, but we do need a healthy wariness of the dangers of frostbite, drowning, cars, and pathogens. We train our kids to be careful near the road and near water. We watch out for them. Unfortunately, we've largely stopped doing that with pathogens, and children are paying the price.

We might think that stories of monsters won't work, yet advertising is still able to convince us to want things we didn't know existed five minutes ago. We need to market the virus differently.

Recently, there was an interesting reaction to an Australian paper's mention of people suffering from "New Covid." Some people were very worried that this nomenclature was a means of skirting responsibility for all the deaths and disabilities from that old virus, and that there wouldn't be justice for the people in charge who ignored the facts and data that we had in early 2020 and instead chose to tell us that this virus isn't airborne and it doesn't affect children and we needn't worry too much about it. They might be right, but I'm not sure it matters.

Those elected officials clearly know not what they do, still, and too much of the word salad they spout appears to be intentionally scrambled to keep people from finding out. Some elites at the WHO still insist kids are getting sicker this year from an "immunity gap" causing a "mystery wave" of a white lung illness despite so many research papers explaining that the immune system doesn't improve by being exposed to pathogens. The more credible explanation is that children's immune systems have been compromised by SARS-CoV-2, leaving them unable to fight off Mycoplasma pneumonia. And some have suggested the quickly spreading disease is not M. pneumonia which doesn't make the lungs as white, but something brand new! The mainstream media is finally reporting that, "We now have evidence that Covid decreases our immune response, making us more susceptible to infections." We've known for a while, but whatever.

It's curious that the WHO recommends masks, distancing, and isolating when sick while also suggesting that these very behaviours caused the rising illness. It would be so much easier to forgive them if they'd stop with the doublespeak.

However, for the sake of possibly provoking a change in how we promote protections around "New Covid," I'd choose forgiveness over vengeance.

Without the hope of forgiveness, these characters might double down forever to insist that we don't need protection from Covid or now increasing cases of measles, scarlet fever, and tuberculosis. It feels like we won't have functioning public health services, the type that reduced childhood mortality dramatically over the past century, without some shift in our thinking.

Let's just let the New Covid rhetoric take over!

We are often unable to forgive people's errors without establishing suitable contrition. We have completely lost sight of a way back from harmful mistakes that is not retributive, vengeful, and often violent. We seem to be at a loss of how to make something right again after harmful actions that range from sharing a spiteful social media post to calling a deadly virus "mild." We need to learn to offer a path of understanding and then cancel the debt. They know what they've done, and they're likely to get away with it no matter what we do, anyway! As we watch preventable atrocities unfolding before our eyes, it feels like we are beginning a period of profound carelessness. We are unmoored, misled into anger, smashing things up in a culture of uncaring.

Some people rally against protections because they're too oppressive. Throughout history, governmental rules have often become oppressive or exploitative, so we're wise to be watchful that they don't cross a line. But currently, I worry that our democracy has led many politicians to aim to please the public for votes, which tends to spiral downwards into increasing people's freedoms at the expense of any sense of security or stability in the lives of citizens, watering down laws as they deregulate corporations and, next thing you know, swastikas are a symbol of free speech! Without some type of overarching moral integrity, our laws become debased. Unfortunately the tale that won the day is Ayn Rand's pseudo-philosophy, Virtue of Selfishness, whose libertarian glorification of selfishness got us to the point that terms like duty and obligation have a decidedly negative connotation as we focus instead on what we deserve.

We need a new story to follow.

It won't change unless we push for change. People need to be led out of the cave with a "new" understanding of this virus. Facts might not be enough to sway them; they'll need a narrative to follow to make their personal sacrifices worthwhile.

The story is that something radical changed to make it all much worse and now we have to take greater care. Now, suddenly, our children's lungs can turn to ground glass, sharpening the edges of each breath until they can't play anymore. Now there really are monsters lurking, invading the bodies of even our closest friends and family members who aren't always careful to keep them at bay, and replicating by making loved ones exhale poisons without even knowing it. Luckily, wearing N95s face plates inside public spaces is all we need to do to fight off this monster that gets easily stuck in the protective layers. We can play together without fear with the magic of inertial impaction, diffusion, interception, and electrostatic attraction all working together to capture the nasties. Then we'll cross our arms, shake our heads, and tap a foot waiting for governments and industry to work on cleaning the air of toxins in our schools and hospitals, and not just in their fancy-pants castles!

For all the many victims of polio, TB, AIDS, SARS-1, and so on, it would be an absolute travesty if we learned from their deaths but failed to implement any of our learning to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 because we're too embarrassed that we've been doing it wrong for so long.

Avoid sharp and stabby gasping
With quality well-fitted masking
Husha, Husha, Let's all protect the kids!

And now with new and improved information on the link between New Covid and heart attacks on MSM in a segments on the Today Show!!!

(Of course many of us have known that Covid damages the heart, blood vessels, brain, etc. for literally years. But shhhh. This is new news. And now we'll have to do something about it, right??)

Cross posted at 3 Quarks Daily (without the Today Show clip - it was too new).

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