We are living in some challenging and complicated times. Back in the day when I was growing up, you could turn on the news and feel comfortable with the reporting. It could be Cronkite, Jennings, or Brokaw. News shows like 60 minutes were a standard to get to the point with several influential reporters like Lesly Stahl, and Barbra Walters was groundbreaking in TV journalism.
Over the last 25-30 years, we have started to drift further apart with the reporting, and now it is more catered to a political slat. These changes seemed to begin with CNN and MSNBC, which led to the birth of FOX news. Now we are all left with the questions. It is hard to tell what are facts and what is fiction. How much of this is to fit the network’s narrative? There is a link between MSNBC and FOX, and he is Roger Ailes. There is a mini-series called the Loudest Voice on how Mr. Ailes started FOX News, and his mantra started “Fair and Balanced.” He was also known to say, “We will make the news” The goal is not to make the news but to report the news. I will not rely just on a show for these facts and will dig out a few books and do my research. This also does not absolve CNN for taking some liberties either. Watch the show. It is eye-opening.
My point here is our current predicament and this virus. Who do we trust? And the real tragedy here is the underlying tension in the country. Should we wear masks, should we open, what is essential, the list is endless, but here are some observations of mine. First, we played both sides of the fence because our politicians are incapable of making a decision. How is Home Depot essential, but the neighborhood hardware store not? How is a liquor store essential, but a mom and pop variety store not? There are so many instances of this; it boggles the mind. We have heard the virus has a two week period to show signs and needs a host. I have heard from a doctor that said if we just shut everything down, not pick and choose, but everything for two weeks, the virus would be gone. It seems to make sense. I’m willing too bet if that were true, we would not be talking two trillion in bailout money.
President Trump had a plan that made some real sense, and it was based on science, which is what we all hear needs to be done. The idea was two weeks with a downward trend to get into phase one, two more weeks down into phase two, two more weeks down to get into phase three and two weeks more into phase four, which would mainly be back to normal. No sooner was that presented not one state followed it, especially Florida. Had we observed that we would be fully open in the next three weeks with little to no issues. The trend certainly is not showing that.
I follow Florida closely because I live there. Due to my age, 57, and my conditions, high blood pressure, and arthritis that has me on immunosuppressant drugs, I am a three-strike guy. Luckily for me, my job will not ask me to go back anytime soon, and my doctor gave me a note to keep me home indefinitely. Also, my wife and I have made a conscious decision not to venture out anyplace, have visitors, or go anywhere. Do we want to go out and have fun? Yes, we miss our family, we miss the beach, but we want to be safe for them and us so we will bite the bullet as long as it takes. Hopefully, there is treatment this year.
Let me leave you with this thought. If there was a need to shut it down for thirty days and nothing changed with the virus, and you can see that from the data, why is it all of a sudden ok to open everything up? They always say numbers do not lie, and here are some facts to finish this. I scrape the Florida pandemic site for virus numbers every day with a python script. The script stopped working one day about three weeks ago, and I fixed it. Last week the head of that site was fired because she would not change the data downward; at that time, I noticed on my daily run three days was adjusted downward. Coincidence? Here are some numbers, From 5-1 (state starts to open) through 5-21 an increase of 13K cases, the most significant jump yesterday, right in that two-week sweet spot. Numbers don’t lie, you decide. Somebody is full of shit.