Life in the Time of COVID-19: Why Are People Still Saying Coronavirus is ‘No Worse Than the Flu’?

Image Credit:COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)





Hello, there. It’s early afternoon here on Sunday, November 22, 2020, and it looks like the rest of the day is going to be gray and somewhat cool. Here in New Hometown, Florida the temperature is 74˚F (24˚C) under cloudy skies. With humidity at 83% and the wind blowing from the northeast at 6 MPH (10 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 74˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 79˚F (26˚C).  At night, we can expect partly cloudy skies and a low of 66˚F (19˚C).

I am still not feeling the “holiday spirit” this year. Not one bit. The double-whammy of the global COVID-19 pandemic and President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 Presidential election has definitely affected many Americans in a negative way, and it just seems so difficult to carry on as usual when millions of people are infected by the  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and over a quarter-million Americans have died from the effects of the virus on the body.

As of 11:27 AM Eastern, this is how things looked in both the global and U.S. COVID fronts:

Global Cases: 58,295,905

U.S. Cases: 12,102,101

Global Deaths: 1,383,788

U.S. Deaths: 255,959

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

10 months into the pandemic, you’d think that with the passage of time and with the death toll climbing, common sense would finally kick in in the minds of even the most resolute “coronavirus deniers” and the idiots who still – still! – claim that the wearing of masks in public spaces and the practice of social distancing are a product of “fear-mongering” Democrats and the “evil left and the media” and part of a vast conspiracy to destroy President Trump’s “perfect” economy and “steal the Presidential election” for “Sleepy Joe Biden.”

But judging from many of the comments that I still – still! – see on Facebook, I’m afraid that many of my fellow Americans seem to have gotten a nasty divorce from common sense and empathy, especially among the Trump-supporting, red-cap wearing MAGA Brigade members.

For instance, in a story posted by a Florida ABC News affiliate about a young doctor who is recovering from COVID, a woman I’ll call Triple Jay wrote this comment:

What else can we do??!! .

Its acting like a virus. This is what they do. They go around until everyone gets it. Whether you actually feel sick or not, it needs to go thru everyone. Again, no one cared about getting the flu or shutting down and it kills people every year.

In other words, Triple Jay is trotting out the typical right-wing tropes of:

  • We all need to get infected so we can develop “herd immunity.”
  • COVID-19 is not as lethal as “advertised” and can be compared – favorably – to annual flu outbreaks

And here is a comment from a woman who claims to be a retired nurse:

Retired “Nurse”:

Triple Jay absolutely I’m retired nurse never have we quarantined the healthy this was part of the election fraud and socialism

And here’s COVID-19 Skeptic chiming in:

 Triple Jay someone that understands and doesn’t listen to the media.. thank you!!

Thankfully, not everyone on this comment thread is on board with Triple Jay and her like-minded confederates. Here are some comments from folks I call Voices of Reason:

Voice of Reason #1

Triple Jay, people are going to bars and crowding restaurants like there is not a pandemic. We can start there. Our leaders setting good examples would be another great start. Trump has hosted multiple super spreader events. Lots of people care about the flu, but in a full year, it usually kills maybe 30,000 in the US. COVID has killed 250,000 in about 8 months. The worst is yet to come. The next month will be brutal.

Voice of Reason #2

Triple Jay this is not the same as the flu at all! We need to do everything we can to slow the spread so that the hospitals do not get overwhelmed. Currently many hospitals were at capacity with Non COVID patients and now the surge of high numbers of COVID patients will cause more deaths because there is nowhere to treat them. Anyone that has had family or friends with serious COVID issues will understand. Everyone needs to take precautions to avoid excessive unnecessary deaths. Wear your masks and keep socially distant so the hospitals can treat the patients.

Voice of Reason #3

Triple Jay you sound very unsympathetic unbelievable the freaking cold words coming out of your mouth SHAME ON YOU.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

And here’s my reply to Triple Jay:

Triple Jay,  what else can we do, you ask? Several things, actually. One: Take COVID-19 a bit more seriously than you obviously are doing. Two: Stop saying that COVID-19 is “not as bad as” or “comparable to the flu.” This virus has already killed a quarter-million Americans (I don’t mention the rest of the world cos you obviously don’t care about any other country) in less than a year. Three: Stop behaving irresponsibly, including writing inane (and insane) comments on social media. Four: Do everything you personally can to avoid catching COVID and/or infecting others. THAT’s what you, Triple Jay or whatever your name is, can do.

I still find it annoying and disheartening that almost a year into the COVID pandemic, there are still people who don’t take the risks – and consequences – of an infectious airborne viral disease seriously.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

4 thoughts on “Life in the Time of COVID-19: Why Are People Still Saying Coronavirus is ‘No Worse Than the Flu’?

  1. They are in such denial. We can’t shutdown again, not without an economic plan to help people, and I don’t see that coming. But wearing a mask and more testing and contact tracing would do wonders. Florida is insane. Disney is a bubble inside that insanity, thank God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Americans, I fear, are far too invested in the notion that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, no matter what the circumstances might be, that even if a divided Congress and the Biden Administration came up with a plan that combined a second lockdown WITH a common-sense economic relief plan, there still would be die-hard rugged individualists who, taking their cues from OANN, Breitbart, and Parler, would STILL say COVID-19 was a “hoax” and no worse than the flu.

      Sometimes I can’t stand people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Early on, I had some informal agreements with several different friends to check in with them every now and then for as long as this pandemic lasts. One friend in particular started off pretty well, but somewhere along the line, I think she either got overwhelmingly bored of it, or it was just too much for her to keep seeing pictures of some of our mutual friends going out maskless and socializing without keeping physically distant from each other. She’s been joining them regularly for the past four or five months, and she has proven to be, well, not the best person to help with accountability. She’s not political at all – she doesn’t even vote – and I think she finds my liberal rants amusing sometimes. Anyway, I checked in with her on Friday, and she had plans to go out that night to a local Thai restaurant with about 15 other people, and I couldn’t talk her out of it. She’s been going out with groups on a weekly basis for months, which sort of reinforces to her that it’s “not such a big deal”.

    Oof.

    I think the length of the incubation period of COVID is one factor that makes it too easy for a lot of people to dismiss it. A healthcare worker friend was telling me this morning that you can be exposed to it, and be spreading it while you’re still asymptomatic and still not test positive for it for something like four or five days. And I recently saw an article that now, most of the spread is happening in smaller gatherings that include a carrier who is asymptomatic.

    The holidays are going to HELLISH this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks like your friend – sadly – is playing “Russian Roulette” with this virus. I just hope she doesn’t end up in a hospital…or in a morgue…because that’s where a lot of our fellow human beings have already ended up.

      Like

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