What Risk Is Society Willing to Take to Live?
Do-gooding, selective ignoramuses, are quick to point out where we are failing with COVID, but where is their same concern for human life when it comes to unhealthy food, alcohol, and cigarette consumption? For that matter, where is the concern in deadly flu seasons?
For reasonable people, the hysteria surrounding COVID is as confusing as it is frustrating. Take your pick on facts that are constantly ignored or denied by the self-proclaimed “Party of Science.”
- The CDC’s fatality rate continues declining, and its most recent death rate is down to just .4%
- In other words, 99.6% of people that contract COVID survive
- More than 80% of all COVID deaths are among people aged 65 and older
- More than half of all COVID deaths have come in nursing and assisted-living homes
- Persons younger than 34 have a .005% chance of dying from COVID
- More children die from the flu each year, rarely show symptoms of COVID, and are observably unlikely to transmit the disease
- As recently as March, both the CDC and WHO relied on empirical data suggesting against the use of masks for the general public
- Use of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin might not be a cure-all, but evidence from several countries suggests it is effective at combatting the virus, and studies alleging its ineffectiveness, which were published in the anti-Trump madness, have been quietly retracted in prestigious medical journals like Lancet
Given that the facts are making COVID appear less and less like a deadly global pandemic every day, there are now politicians that have fully weaponized its functionality. Fear, anger, and hysteria are hallmarks of leftwing thought; the more they can drum those emotions up in the general populace, the more likely average Americans when they vote Democrat in November. The timing of and media response to the virus seems, shall we say, convenient.
For example, despite the CDC, various research arms, and the American Pediatric Association, all saying schools should reopen, selfish and frightened teachers’ unions are pushing back, including with completely unrelated virus demands like defunding the police, before they return to school. Then there are Democrats bemoaning the failure of the economy in the second quarter, which saw the single largest drop ever, all the while negotiating for an indefinite cessation of normalcy (and continued checks to build dependence) in public and private spheres.
This isn’t to say we should throw caution to the wind when it comes to COVID. People are dying, and the long-term consequences are as of yet unknown. Those are all real and valid points. We can and should protect the most vulnerable among us. It also raises the question, though: Why are suddenly we so concerned now about human life now? Where did this hyper-sensitivity to lifestyle choices like forgoing masks or wanting to simply go in public come from?
These are fair questions to ask. Factually speaking, we pretty much ignore science and lifestyle choices for every other aspect of freedom-afforded individualism.
Take, for instance, the consumption of fast food and other processed meals. Drive along any major American thoroughfare, in any city, and the irrefutable ubiquity of establishments like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s, and regional specialties like In-and-Out, Steak-and-Shake, Culver’s, Whataburger, Sonic dot the landscape. It is capitalism at its finest.
The same could be said about walking up and down the grocery store aisles. What does the average shopper see? In the typical food mart, most Americans have easy access to frozen, canned, or otherwise preserved meals, as well as a wide range of delicious snacks ranging from salty to sweet. All of these options share a common feature of being devoid of nutritional value, but it doesn’t stop people from buying them.
The result of these myriad meal options indeed represents the hallmark of the free market system and should first be celebrated. Even at the nadir of pandemic paranoia, empty shelves lasted only until the next regular shipment was scheduled. In a few weeks, shelves were bursting with options again. The same cannot be said of command economies.
Still, if the government and the minions of virtue signaling losers are harping on COVID threats and masking up so much, why don’t they protest outside the FDA, drive-thru, or Food and Stuff? Don’t they realize how deadly these eating habits are? Honestly, they probably don’t, and they probably eat there more than the average person.
In 2018, heart disease was the number one killer in the United States. Over 650,000 died from issues related to coronary problems. Obesity alone was the leading factor of death in over 150,000 cases. And, another 150,000 died from stroke (the 5th highest cause of death), and 85,000 died from diabetes (the 7th highest cause of death).
What contributes to such drastic totals? According to medical experts (the left loves its experts), one of the leading factors that contribute to heart disease is “eating an unhealthy diet that’s high in fat proteins, trans fats, sugary foods, and sodium.” That sounds awful, like fast food and processed food.
We rightfully allow people to eat whatever and wherever they. It’s America, and freedom-loving people need to accept that not everyone makes the best decisions. Heck, all of us make bad decisions from time to time. We either eat poorly, drink, smoke, or take unnecessary risks because … we want to. We watch television instead of reading; we probably don’t exercise as we should. All of these are our prerogatives.
Freedom aside, it is fair to ask why we all allow and contribute to a system that is responsible for upwards of 1 million annual deaths. Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes would not be eliminated with the addition of salads to every meal, but there is no question that the numbers could be significantly reduced if we all cut out the delicious #2 at McDonald’s. So why the fuss over 300,000 COVID deaths and not 1 million food-related deaths?
There is also the ability to smoke and drink in the United States. On the same list of medically identified heart disease causes, and right under-eating an unhealthy diet is smoking and excessive drinking. These also contribute to cancers and organ failures, like lungs from smoking and livers from drinking.
Last I checked, liquor stores were even deemed “essential” by every governor and government agency during the mandated lockdowns. Mom and pop stores had to close, but heaven forbid we seal off liquor stores.
How bad is cigarette smoking? Each year, the practice is attributed to nearly 500,000 deaths in the United States, which includes over 40,000 resulting from second-hand smoke exposure. Smoking can be seen as being responsible for upwards of one out of every five deaths in the United States annually.
Worse yet, for every person that dies because of smoking, another thirty are living with serious smoking-related illnesses. Deaths are not the only way to measure harm.
Drinking, too, takes its toll on many Americans every year. It is estimated that 80,000 succumb to drinking-related deaths, only 15% of which are connected to drinking and driving. The vast majority suffer from the aforementioned heart conditions or specific diseases like cirrhosis.
By the way, for all of these reasons, this is also why I oppose single-payer healthcare – why should I foot the bill for people’s unhealthy choices?
Then there is the annual flu season. Some are mild; earlier this same decade, the CDC recorded just 12,000 flu deaths. But then there are flu seasons like the one encountered in 2017-2018. Just two years ago, the CDC estimated (and likely missed many more) 45 million flu cases, which resulted in 900,000 hospitalizations and 80,000 deaths due to the flu and its subsequent complications. Among the dead were 180 young people.
Did society come screeching to a halt? Did schools lockdown, churches get boarded up, and entire industries killed off based on fear? Did anyone even notice it is happening; seriously, is anyone aware of a flu season that kills 12,000 compared to a flu season that kills 80,000? The answer is no because, until the 2020 election cycle, the media didn’t care about infectious disease.
The more conspiratorial among us respond to the question of “why now?” with understandable cynicism. The Steele Dossier, Russian Collusion, Mueller Report, Quid Pro Quo, Impeachment, and none of the racist/xenophobic/homophobic/Islamophobic/sexist charges stuck. The left was empty-handed in an election year with a legitimately unhealthy candidate of their own, all the while the Trump economy was booming, and people were getting fed up with media distortions and lies. Conveniently, a disease of questionable virulence appeared. Italy made the news for a few weeks, then apparently everything was fine. Sweden never locked down at all. Plus, Joe Biden was milquetoast compared to the crazy hopefuls, but they couldn’t dare parade him on stage at a convention against Sanders or let him debate Trump.
Like I said, convenient.