Misdirected Fears

In the past two months, COVID-19 has sickened and killed millions. It has devastated countless families. Night after night it’s the lead story on the news. You’d have to be in a vegetative state not to know this. But as big an issue as it is, our anxieties over the matter are an even bigger problem.

Latest updates put the death rate among those who contract the disease at roughly .1 percent. That’s one in a thousand of those infected. A similarly small percentage of Americans even have the disease. Stop, for a moment and count the people you know who’ve gotten it. If you’re like many, who don’t live in a hot spot like New York or the West Coast, you’ll still have unused fingers when you stop counting.

This pandemic is tailor-made for news moguls anxious to sell pharmaceutical ads. It has become the chief worry among viewers worldwide, a worry fed by an overdose of information, misinformation, and disinformation.

Of bigger impact is the psychological and economic damage wrought by our reaction to the pandemic. More Americans are unemployed than at any point in our history. The rate is fast approaching that of the Great Depression. People huddle at home with their families afraid to go out, afraid that the next person they see might be a carrier. Masks and gloves have become our latest must-have fashion accessories. Retirees watch as their life savings evaporate, while politicians and bureaucrats salivate over new opportunities to appropriate our civil liberties.

The leading experts clearly don’t have an answer. They can’t even agree among themselves. Daily briefings show them dithering and shifting from one recommendation to another. We’ve even heard from our expert-in-chief that we should drink disinfectant.

Maybe there is no one answer, no single cure-all. Of one thing I’m certain, government control is not a solution. Lest we forget, this virus originated in a police state with the most stringent centralized planning in the world.

Perhaps the answer lies within each of us, making our own informed decisions. Already, brave Americans from California to Florida are pushing back, as are many of our brothers and sisters around the world. They’re taking to the beaches and taking to the streets. We’re refusing to become victims of policy, just as we refuse to become victims of contagion.

Above all else, remember to pray for a speedy recovery.