BillMitchellScreaming.wav pic.twitter.com/ha7aLk3vpl— Mister AntiBully (@MisterAntiBully) March 31, 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in US from coronavirus pandemic if social distancing maintained.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 31, 2020
Here is the chart just shown in the WH briefing… pic.twitter.com/T9PYy6gxwi— COVID19 Perspective (@covidperspectiv) March 31, 2020
Prayers for America pic.twitter.com/3PCMAQGnH8— Jack M. Posobiec, IWO (@JackPosobiec) March 31, 2020
I agree with Tony Martel that “crisis reveals character.”
Just this morning, I was woken up by a weather alert on my phone. A severe thunderstorm was rolling through my area. Tornadoes were touching down on the ground in my county.
I got a call first by my father, then by my mother and finally by my brother who all got the same weather alerts. I turned on The Weather Channel and looked at the Doppler Radar. The tornado was on the other side of the county and was heading away from me toward my hometown of Eufaula, AL.
The tornado struck Eufaula this morning.
It passed within two miles of the grocery store where my mother was shopping at the time. A few minutes ago, I got another call from my brother. The tornado that hit Eufaula had destroyed his best friend’s parents house on the golf course. Fortunately, no one was hurt because they were warned by the National Weather Service on their smartphones and had gotten out in time. I’m currently waiting for my brother to call me back. I might be needed to go over there and help sift through the debris.
A year ago last March, a different tornado struck the other side of Eufaula and destroyed the airport. An even more massive tornado ripped through and flattened Beauregard, AL just outside of Auburn. The tornado devastation in this part of Alabama was so bad that President Trump came to visit:
Nearly a decade ago in April 2011, I will never forget the day that the F5 tornado hit Tuscaloosa, AL and came within a mile of hitting my brother’s apartment:
Nothing out of the ordinary happened this morning.
We are used to dodging tornadoes and hurricanes in Alabama. I will never forget the time that Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, FL in October 2018. I went down there after the storm and participated in the relief effort. It was the worst thing that I had ever seen. I’ve been going to Panama City since my youth and it was surreal to stand there amid the destruction after the big one finally hit and to see the suffering of the people who knew that day would come but had chosen to live their lives there anyway.
I think this sense of fatalism toward destruction is part of the culture of the Gulf South. We’re used to shutting down and ducking for cover in the midst of a disaster which tend to be real and common enough. The same is true of the “Florida Man” fools who act like they are invincible during hurricanes. Everyone here relies on weather forecasts like models and tracks of hurricanes which are not always accurate, but usually accurate enough to provide fair warning of a pending disaster. Sometimes the jet stream will bring a hurricane within miles of Florida’s Atlantic Coast only to push it away and out to sea.
As with tornadoes and hurricanes, diseases are real and common enough too in the American South. It was a smallpox pandemic that nearly wiped out the Indians who lived here before our ancestors. It was also “just the flu” and various other illnesses, but American Indians had no immunity to European diseases like influenza. Southerners have had to deal with smallpox, cholera, measles, the Spanish Flu, malaria, yellow fever and polio over the centuries. We’ve been through and have conquered HIV and SARS. We will survive the coronavirus pandemic too and “liberty” will be fine on the other side of it. The world didn’t end when cities all over the South shut down for a few weeks during the Spanish Flu pandemic.
Such is my attitude toward the coronavirus.
While I generally have a dim view of federal government and the mainstream media, I tend to trust the National Weather Service. I trust The Weather Channel. I also have a positive view of public health officials because smallpox, cholera, measles, polio, malaria, yellow fever and the Spanish Flu have all been eradicated which is precisely what made all of this economic growth possible in the first place. HIV will be cured soon and is now treatable. The threat posed by Ebola and SARS have been dealt with. What’s more, a novel coronavirus outbreak in China that becomes a global pandemic has been predicted by public health experts for over a decade. Hollywood has made movies about it. Bill Gates has warned it would happen for years. The federal government simulated such an outbreak last year. This was a known and highly anticipated threat like a major earthquake striking California. These things are bound to happen on a long enough time scale and we were overdue for a major pandemic.
Do you know what else was bound to happen? The nutters, cranks and paranoid conspiracy theorists who have infested the Right for decades have responded to the coronavirus exactly as we would all expect them to. If I were to turn on unmoderated comments and step away from this website for a few days, as I recently did to spend more time with my family, the comment section would be full of people arguing about how the earth is flat and the moon landing was a hoax. Every time there is a mass shooting these people blame it on “crisis actors” and invent complex conspiracy theories. While the mainstream media is politically biased, the alternative media ecosystem is even worse at times.
I’ve been following the coronavirus since January. Back in late January and early February, the mainstream media was focused squarely on Donald Trump’s impeachment, which was the biggest story in America. Insofar as the media was reporting on the coronavirus, it was to lecture people about how the flu was the real threat to America and that racism and xenophobia were the real virus:
So many packages, so many dogs. pic.twitter.com/iGMBpDUNZ3— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 2, 2020
One particular “Puppy Bowl” athlete seemed destined to be a star. Here’s how comedian and animal advocate Whitney Cummings saw his potential. https://t.co/fYVArhjiPB— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 1, 2020
Anti-Chinese sentiment and xenophobia are adding hatred to the hysteria of coronavirus. https://t.co/7EmiKBuWvi— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 1, 2020
“Taylor Swift: Miss Americana” addresses multiple topics about the star singer, including her feud with Kanye West, her mother’s cancer diagnosis and she also reveals that she’s battling an eating disorder. pic.twitter.com/hAJzPpI8iu— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 1, 2020
If you live in the U.S, your risk of contracting the new coronavirus identified in China is exceedingly low.— NPR (@NPR) February 2, 2020
But the flu is another story — it’s very active, and more than 8,000 people have died from it this season in the U.S. https://t.co/Lq2b77COdE
Get a grippe, America. The flu is a much bigger threat than coronavirus, for now. https://t.co/71OsdttcXT— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 1, 2020
Vox, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic and The Washington Post were all full of smug articles dismissing the coronavirus threat. Mother Jones ran an article attacking Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity. The mainstream media only gradually changed its tune after the virus outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and after it spread to Italy, South Korea and Iran.
I was taking the coronavirus seriously and treating it as the most important story in the world in late January when China locked down Wuhan. I knew then when China took extreme, unprecedented actions to quell the outbreak and slow the spread that it wasn’t “just the flu.” The Chinese Communist Party didn’t lockdown Wuhan and then half their country in February to fight “one little bug.” The Chinese didn’t WELD PEOPLE INSIDE THEIR APARTMENTS for two months in a city that is bigger than New York and nuke their economy unless they were forced to take such extreme actions. These scenes were all on display in China and Italy before the coronavirus arrived in this country.
I don’t have to listen to the media to know how bad the coronavirus really is because it has already arrived in force in my area. I have friends and family members who work in the hospitals around here. Albany, GA has been overwhelmed by the virus and is sending patients to other hospitals in the region. I know people who are personally dealing with the crisis right now. I don’t have time for the conspiracy theorists who say it is all one elaborate global hoax. Their foolishness will be exposed in April.
I will let this crisis reveal my character. I put taking care of my own family first. I provided my readers with accurate information. I debunked the Flu Truthers. I didn’t go out and spread the virus in my community. I wasn’t a burden to my neighbors. I took the threat posed by the virus seriously long before the president of the United States, the conservative movement and the mainstream media. As always, I also let people who fiercely disagree say their piece and in a few weeks we will see who was right. I stand by my opinion that it is foolish to believe everything that the media or public health experts say has to be is a lie and it is more likely that the media was overly dismissive of the threat and was caught off guard.
Note: I’m bracing for all the comments about tornado hoaxes, crisis actors and how I am on the Soros payroll for not supporting Donald Trump.