There was a time when it took, what seems like forever today, for news to travel from one point on earth to the other. For example, the French invasion of Russia on 24 June 1812 was confirmed by several sources and published in The London Times on 13 July 1812. The Battle of Waterloo fought in Belgium between Napoleon Bonaparte’s army and the allied armies under Wellington and Blücher was fought on 18 June 1815. News of the victory was published in the London Gazette on 22 June 1815. ( https://historyhouse.co.uk/articles/speed_of_news.html ) I remember when I was a boy in rural Cross County, Arkansas back in the 1950s, we didn’t get news of events that happened with our relatives in Chicago until days, sometimes weeks after it happened. Relatives would pass information along by telephone, if someone owned one, or word of mouth, which was the most used method to transport information. For some reason, the immediate dramatic quality of a messages’ content had evaporated to a certain degree when we finally received it.
I’ve been watching, reading and listening to the 24/7 onslaught of information and confusion being effortlessly served up about the Coronavirus. It seems every news outlet, legitimate and otherwise is champing at the bit to be exclusive in efforts to let us know how many have been affected, how many are hospitalized, quarantined, and God forbid died. As our fears grow like fungus on the north side of a tree, we develop a greater thirst for being even more scared to death. The reliability of facts tends to lose their character, as we rush out to purchase every mask, bottle of hand sanitizer and whatever else we can get our hands on to defend ourselves from the untimely Armageddon.
According to the World Health Organization, worldwide approximately 5 million people die yearly from smoking. In the United States the number of smoking-related deaths from 2000 to 2004 was 443,000, of which 49,000 were estimated to be from second-hand smoke. According to Safer America Consumer Information, every year, roughly 1.3 million people die in car accidents worldwide – an average of 3,287 deaths per day. I could go on; however, the point I’m probably failing to make is that there are all kinds of boggy men out there vying to slay us daily. The difference between them and Covid-19 is that they have less marketability in the news cycle. I apologize for what might seem like insensitivity, but I hope you get the point. Can you imagine high fearful we all might be if there was continual bombardment in the 24/7 news cycle of every threat to life and limb of folks on earth from all sources of harm and death? The fact that most of these threats to life on earth are caused by our own hands should, in no way, be minimized.
Which is better to be told that an unusual meteor shower is headed our way, and it suddenly takes a right turn for space beyond our solar system, or to be walking peacefully in your neighborhood and have a piece land in front of you, and you were never told it was coming? In the former scenario, you would have skipped you exercise. In the latter, you got your exercise and you were never armed. I guess it all depends on whether you’ve raided your local Walmart to stock up on toilet paper, or you’ve just returned home from walking the dog.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.