How bad is COVID now? A tale of two charts

This is the image the government — and its media maidens — broadcasts: a red-hot map of COVID community spread gone wild.  One look at it, and it rightly evokes panic.  Five-alarm fire.  Run — or at least hide — for your lives.  The sky is falling, again.  Mommy, make it stop!


But insofar as government and media are supposed to be purveyors of Truth — which of course includes context — it is a misleading image.

Instead, if the goal is to reflect reality and priorities — meaning risk — below is the better image.  This image shows that a little statistic called "deaths" is down, way down.  It shows deaths at near the low point of the 18-month pandemic.  It arguably shows a wildly improving situation. 


Yet I had to hunt for this image on the CDC website.  You won't see it on TV, in the newspaper, or online much.

We should ask ourselves, why is that?  Why, in an era with information at our fingertips, are we so manipulated?  Why, when all claim to be singularly focused on "following the science," is one image omnipresent and the other omni-absent?

In this case, the answer is, sadly, political.

After all, remember when this all started — a whole 18 months ago — all the articles and graphs about "flattening the curve"?  But do you remember what the whole point of flattening the curve was?

It was to spread out and hopefully prevent deaths and hospitalizations so our systems would not be overwhelmed.  Death, after all, is the metric we most seek to prevent.  Yet deaths are down, way, way down, nationally

Given that, why is the CDC's red-hot map ubiquitous now, while the death map — which is more relevant and telling — effectively hidden?  If massive community spread is a precursor to massive death, the CDC graphic sure doesn't show it.

To be clear, I am not advocating against the COVID "vaccine," which is more a preventative "shot" and symptom-lessening therapeutic than it is a "vaccine" in the classic sense.  I am all for the shot; got it as soon as I could.  Seems to work well, especially at preventing death. 

But these are not either-or choices.  In fact, no choice needs to be made at all.  You can be "vaccinated" and recognize that the sky is not falling, though it is hard to conclude otherwise with the red-hot map.

Some of the puppeteers pulling the strings — media, industry, and government actors — perhaps do so unconsciously, perhaps themselves unknowing victims as well.  But knowledge and motives aside, the manipulative result is the same: people — on both "sides" — are left panicked and more ill informed (or duped) than informed.

Too many people on the far right are falsely left thinking there is no issue and the "vaccine" untested or unnecessary, while too many on the far left are left falsely thinking the sky is falling.

It demonstrates that George Orwell's 1984 is not just a cautionary novel.  If we open our eyes, we will see that it is a tale we are in the midst of living.  But today — with speech codes, cancel culture, and schools even eliminating honors classes — it emanates more from the left, somewhat the analogue of 1950s McCarthyism.

And just like frogs in a simmering pot being raised one degree at a time, it is hard to notice, let alone do much about, while simmering in it.


A Harvard Law School graduate who clerked for two judges, William Choslovsky is a lawyer in Chicago, where he serves on the local school council of his children's public school.

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