I have observed four different types of people when it comes to the coronavirus quarantine. Type 1’s are people who are genuinely scared. They think that we need to hide in our houses because otherwise they, or many of their friends and family members are all going to die of coronavirus. I mostly feel bad for these people because, as I discussed before, their fears are completely irrational if you look at the odds. Unfortunately, type 1’s sometimes overlap with the worst group, type 2.
Type 2’s are the people who are spreading the fear. They consist of those overlapping type 1’s, politicians, and the media. The driving force of this whole debacle is, by far, the media. They have a couple of reasons to blow things out of proportion and scare people. The first is attention and power. Bad news equals ratings. When they scare people, those people keep listening to them. Members of the media love to feel important and affect our lives. If the media scares enough people the politicians jump on board because they are scared by scared voters. Plus they also love power over people’s lives. Second, the media sees it as a chance to take down a president that they have been trying unsuccessfully to destroy since before he took office. It very well may work. Every person who dies, every business that closes down, and every person who loses their job is a good thing for Democrats come November.
Some of the many tactics that type 2’s use are:
- They give seemingly large numbers without providing any perspective. The new estimate of 60,000 deaths may seem big, but the media doesn’t tell us that about that many people die every 8 days in the United States.
- They use models to predict future outcomes. Later, when the actual numbers don’t match their predictions they simply update the model to reflect the new data. They expect us to accept their models as truth even though we have seen them be incorrect time and time again.
- They tell us about celebrities who test positive for coronavirus. They have to put a face to the disease and they realize that since almost none of us will personally know anybody who dies of the virus, they have to tell us about Tom Hanks, Kevin Durant and Idris Elba catching it to scare us into compliance. The thing is, celebrities have always gotten sick. It just normally is not reported.
- They lie about the death rate being much higher than the flu. Considering the current reported numbers, combined with the fact that for every reported case there are likely 50 to 85 unreported cases, the death rate for coronavirus is hovering in the 0.066% to 0.1% range. In other words, right around the same as the flu.
Type 2’s are also the people who feel the need to attack and shame anybody who dares to question the wisdom of giving up our liberty or, God forbid, doesn’t socially distance. You see them on social media posting grim stories about how everybody is going to die, or complaining about people who aren’t wearing masks, or are playing tennis in the park, or want to attend church services. They mock people as morons or say they have a death wish if they are seen with other people. Unfortunately, type 2’s are the people you hear the most from.
Type 3’s are the people like me who think that the fear of coronavirus is irrational because the numbers do not justify it. That does not mean that they think it isn’t real. It certainly is, and the sick and elderly should stay at home. Young, healthy people should be allowed to choose for themselves if they want to quarantine or not. It should be up to that individual instead of the government. Type 3’s still value individual liberty. Some ignore social distancing rules, yet stay alive at a massively high rate. The reason has nothing to do with them. It is simply because the survival rate is massively high in general. Type 3’s realize that it is dishonest when people are led to believe that there is a binary choice between quantity and quality of life. The real choice is between a long, lower quality life and a long, higher quality life. They choose the latter. Unfortunately, type 1’s and 2’s are probably lost causes, and they outnumber type 3’s and control public policy right now.
This leads us to our last group, and possibly our last hope. Right now public opinion is solidly in favor of the quarantine. I know I’m in the minority, and the type 1’s and 2’s are not going to change their minds because the odds don’t matter to them and liberty is a disposable value to them. Their numbers are relatively small, though. The reason the polls still favor the quarantine is because of the type 4’s.
Type 4’s are the largest group. At this point, they are in favor of the quarantine. They are simply being cautious. Their motto is, “better safe than sorry.” While they are very averse to risk, they are also logical people who look around and don’t see the scary results that the type 2’s keep touting. I have heard, more times than I can count, things like, “this doesn’t seem that bad, but let’s play it safe and see what happens.” They observantly notice that nobody that they know is dying. They also see that the few people they hear about who do catch coronavirus are surviving. They see the numbers, and the fact that they just don’t match the gloom and doom predictions they heard from the media. Most importantly, they do see the damage that the quarantine is doing. They see a third of the country out of work. They see kids missing out on proms and graduations. They see people becoming depressed because they are lonely and barred from doing the things they love. They will start to miss restaurants, sports, and live music. The reason that they are our last hope is because at a certain point reality will start to become clear and they will begin to feel safe enough to want freedom again. As type 4’s get more courageous, things will get better.
As we move forward we will see that type 3’s were right all along. There will be deaths, but not in the numbers we were warned about. Frustratingly, the type 2’s will claim that it is because the quarantine worked and stopped people from catching coronavirus. In fact, it’s likely that more people actually get it, or already had it, but it’s just much milder than how it was portrayed.
What type are you?