Assessing COVID, 'from both sides of my mouth'

A friend recently commented to me that concerning COVID-19, I sometimes seem to be 'talking out of both sides of my mouth.' That one minute I was seemingly finding fault with government-imposed restrictions and the other calling for personal caution. So I explained to them -- and will do so here as well -- that there is no contradiction, just a broad range of clearer and clearer facts that requires the two seemingly (but only seemingly) contradictory points of view.

When the virus was first upon us, there was little data. But there were reports out of some parts of Italy, and then Spain, dealing with overwhelmed hospitals and a seemingly fearsome number of serious illnesses and deaths.

Responding to the "what ifs?" with strong measures -- especially since health professionals had long feared a repeat of the 1918 flu epidemic which killed millions -- was thus a reasonable response even if the specifics were put together in a hurry.

I'd compare this to the response anyone would be likely to make if they smelled smoke in their home. It'd not be casual. It'd not be slow. Everyone would be awakened. Its source would be sought out with urgency and with the tools in hand to put out any found flames.

And so our nation responded similarly to the reports of this virus.

Where was the smoke emanating from? China. Then Europe. And as in the case of a smoke in a home, doors were shut to limit any fire's potential spread.

That was done by President Trump with typical alacrity. The left and their media voices of course complained. (As they always do with and about anything this president does no matter what.)

Since the perceived threats of and from the virus were quite different in various parts of our largely varying nation the specific local responses varied as well.

Sadly, this was so not only in their intensity -- as they should have been -- but in their wisdom and their effectiveness. And as real data started to flow in -- something beyond mere fear -- again responses varied (and continue to vary) in their wisdom and effectiveness. 'Smart' leadership brought rewards to the people, incapable leaders brought various levels of hurt, confusion and pain.

Now we know, for instance, just who COVID-19 largely threatens: The old and generally infirm plus those with certain pre-existing and quite specific health issues.

This is not to say that no one else can get it -- or even, just possibly, become truly sick -- but that the number of such, as sad as each individual case may be, do not numerically call for a major shutdown of a nation. Indeed, as is usually the case, giving very specific 'aid,' both as to prevention of the disease among such, and focused care to those who actually require it, was as always not just generally wise, but in simple terms simply "good medicine."

And all of the above is, to use my friend's phrase, the "two sides of my mouth."

Side one: Keep the politics out. See what is actually so -- who actually requires care re prevention and a cure -- and then do that with energy and wisdom and conviction -- just as you'd search out the cause of the smell of smoke I mentioned early on, above.

Side two: Act to protect everybody to the degree that they actually require. Care for every American's actual needs -- this, instead of looking to protect and advance the interest of specific groups -- politicians and their media handmaidens in particular.

The "two sides" then, are equally real: The threat to some is real, the threat to others far less -- and indeed the threat of over action to these later far, far greater than the threat of this COVID-19 virus.

Denying the above and spreading B.S. stories about who "created" the virus is -- sorry, but it must be said -- a childish and totally selfish response.

As is trying to frighten people who needn't actually be frightened -- and using this moderately bad (and only that) virus as a tool to take control of their lives while using misrepresentation of the facts -- fear-mongering in fact! -- to do so.

No, I am not speaking out of "two sides of my mouth." But I am speaking honestly and forthrightly about both equally important parts of this important story.

Image credit: Pixabay public domain

 
 

A friend recently commented to me that concerning COVID-19, I sometimes seem to be 'talking out of both sides of my mouth.' That one minute I was seemingly finding fault with government-imposed restrictions and the other calling for personal caution. So I explained to them -- and will do so here as well -- that there is no contradiction, just a broad range of clearer and clearer facts that requires the two seemingly (but only seemingly) contradictory points of view.

When the virus was first upon us, there was little data. But there were reports out of some parts of Italy, and then Spain, dealing with overwhelmed hospitals and a seemingly fearsome number of serious illnesses and deaths.

Responding to the "what ifs?" with strong measures -- especially since health professionals had long feared a repeat of the 1918 flu epidemic which killed millions -- was thus a reasonable response even if the specifics were put together in a hurry.

I'd compare this to the response anyone would be likely to make if they smelled smoke in their home. It'd not be casual. It'd not be slow. Everyone would be awakened. Its source would be sought out with urgency and with the tools in hand to put out any found flames.

And so our nation responded similarly to the reports of this virus.

Where was the smoke emanating from? China. Then Europe. And as in the case of a smoke in a home, doors were shut to limit any fire's potential spread.

That was done by President Trump with typical alacrity. The left and their media voices of course complained. (As they always do with and about anything this president does no matter what.)

Since the perceived threats of and from the virus were quite different in various parts of our largely varying nation the specific local responses varied as well.

Sadly, this was so not only in their intensity -- as they should have been -- but in their wisdom and their effectiveness. And as real data started to flow in -- something beyond mere fear -- again responses varied (and continue to vary) in their wisdom and effectiveness. 'Smart' leadership brought rewards to the people, incapable leaders brought various levels of hurt, confusion and pain.

Now we know, for instance, just who COVID-19 largely threatens: The old and generally infirm plus those with certain pre-existing and quite specific health issues.

This is not to say that no one else can get it -- or even, just possibly, become truly sick -- but that the number of such, as sad as each individual case may be, do not numerically call for a major shutdown of a nation. Indeed, as is usually the case, giving very specific 'aid,' both as to prevention of the disease among such, and focused care to those who actually require it, was as always not just generally wise, but in simple terms simply "good medicine."

And all of the above is, to use my friend's phrase, the "two sides of my mouth."

Side one: Keep the politics out. See what is actually so -- who actually requires care re prevention and a cure -- and then do that with energy and wisdom and conviction -- just as you'd search out the cause of the smell of smoke I mentioned early on, above.

Side two: Act to protect everybody to the degree that they actually require. Care for every American's actual needs -- this, instead of looking to protect and advance the interest of specific groups -- politicians and their media handmaidens in particular.

The "two sides" then, are equally real: The threat to some is real, the threat to others far less -- and indeed the threat of over action to these later far, far greater than the threat of this COVID-19 virus.

Denying the above and spreading B.S. stories about who "created" the virus is -- sorry, but it must be said -- a childish and totally selfish response.

As is trying to frighten people who needn't actually be frightened -- and using this moderately bad (and only that) virus as a tool to take control of their lives while using misrepresentation of the facts -- fear-mongering in fact! -- to do so.

No, I am not speaking out of "two sides of my mouth." But I am speaking honestly and forthrightly about both equally important parts of this important story.

Image credit: Pixabay public domain