The charts are curving up again. Diagnoses are starting to spike; daily hospital admissions are on the rise. This new Delta variant of COVID is going to be nastier than the last one, and vaccines won’t stop it. The time has come to lock down again.
(Short version: The CDC isn’t lying to you — at least, not about this. But the headline is not the whole truth.)
The age of the newspaper is, alas, over. Long gone are the days when, over our morning soft-boiled egg and toast, we could read the entire daily paper from front to back, taking a few moments to complete the crossword or perhaps pencil a short letter to the editor. Today, we simply don’t have the time.
And so it’s only natural for people to attempt to inform themselves by scanning the headlines.
Unfortunately, we sometimes forget something that should be obvious: Headlines don’t tell the whole story.
The entire point of calling this “The Not Fake News” is to address commonly held misconceptions wherever they exist — “commonly held” because there’s no benefit to disproving something nobody believes in anyway, and “misconceptions” because there’s already a huge chorus of media outlets all voicing the same truths, so who needs one more?
In the past, people were obliging enough to present memes that could easily be demonstrated as false. However, now that our social media corporations are taking those down almost as quickly as they go up, it’s difficult to capture one long enough to dissect it, much less to spread the actual truth behind the meme. The danger of this is that rumors are started by that first glimpse, but without permanence there’s no space for discussion or disproof. Even the original poster won’t be sure what it was they started off trying to say.
Politicians, the news, and social media are all full of stories about the Post Office: According to most, the present administration is attempting to gut it for nefarious purposes. To this end, they’ve hired a major party donor and Wall Street crony to run it into the ground. This person’s payment will obviously be through his massive investment in competing companies.
One of the first rules of detecting Fake News is the following question: Is this too good to be true?(more…)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: We are not doctors. At best, we’re debunkers of internet myths and news commentators. If you’re reduced to getting medical advice from an upjumped social media blog like this, you really need a better PCP. And no, that’s not medical advice any more than the rest of this is; it’s just informed opinion.)
Everyone’s got a position on HCQ, but most of you haven’t bothered to review the facts first before choosing which ground to stand. For a disturbing number of people, it’s enough that Donald Trump endorses it. (I blame our national trait for this — a uniquely American optimism. -Editor)
To be clear: It’s bad enough that people who esteem Trump highly will take his medical advice; he’s certainly no doctor. What’s terrifying is that people who believe Trump is (more…)
“Okay, fine. But why is that my fault?” I can hear you thinking this, perhaps a bit angrily, suspecting some sort of bait-and-switch. Don’t worry, it’s still your fault.
Oh, not the virus. That’s nature; that’s what nature does. There’s a reason we invented doors and windows and walls and things; it’s because otherwise nature will kill us. Plagues are just one of the more colorful weapons in its arsenal.
No, what’s your fault is that society has been continuing blithely along (more…)
The natural next step to this reasoning has dawned on some of you — the ones who are still reading, who haven’t moved on in horror and self-loathing, or alternately who aren’t so pissed off at me they’ve dropped their subscription (or would have done if only they’d not been too cheap to pay for one in the first place).
What I’m talking about isn’t a matter of fighting COVID-19 so much as it is sweeping cultural change of a sort that’s not merely necessary but long overdue. The fact that we’re in a crisis right now only makes it more obvious that our society is seriously broken; it’s not like it wasn’t broken before the virus came along.
In China, they halted the spread by shooting people who broke curfew. Doors were locked for months, and if you went hungry, too damn bad. It still got out because there’s a privileged upper class that habitually ignores the laws, and now there’s new outbreaks because it’s a sneaky bastard of a virus, but for a while it worked.
In New Zealand, they beat the epidemic by sealing the borders. Anyone that came in was put up in a hotel room for three weeks and tested repeatedly, and health care workers lived in quarantine. But they did well primarily through stopping it at a few dozen cases at a time.
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