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Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
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Coronavirus scepticism has cut across the political spectrum, and can be found among those of conservative and progressive political persuasions.
University of Adelaide political expert Carol Johnson said while some left-wing civil libertarians opposed to the lockdowns had questioned the severity of the virus, the strongest opposition has come from the political right.
Professor Johnson said the global response to the pandemic had accorded well with the pre-existing beliefs of some fringe political groups "who see it as an infringement of their individual liberties".
"For example, right-wing groups who believe everything is a conspiracy by government, and big government is trying to intrude into our lives — basically they interpret the coronavirus in terms of that," she said.
Professor Johnson said it was likely that many climate change deniers had now morphed into coronavirus deniers.
"It is often related, in terms of those groups, to the anti-science argument, [and] there could be links to anti-vaxxers as well," she said.
"There's also a general distrust of science and experts who are seen as elitists who are out of touch with the needs of ordinary people."
University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay agreed that those denying the seriousness of the virus had a similar perspective to anti-vaxxers.
"It does seem to be the same kind of mindset that will deny vaccines work, that will embrace treatments that clearly don't work for diseases and that will deny that the earth is round and that the moon landing happened," Associate Professor Mackay said.
"They are the kind of person who isn't happy with [what] they are told by experts and prefer to go and seek their own narrative."
Conspiracy theorists probably only obtain news from sources that reinforce their own beliefs, Professor Mackay said.
He said that, among such individuals, there seemed to be a reluctance bordering on outright refusal to recognise the impact the coronavirus has had at a global level.
"The social media bubbles, the way they gather their news is very specific and comes from certain sources that reinforce their own biases," he said.
"It may be that they are just not seeing the reality. But it's not hard to look at somewhere like Italy or the US or the UK, and see how badly this virus can go."
Professor Johnson agreed, and said the crisis was being exploited by racists and other bigots for their own political ends.
"It can be interpreted as a foreign virus that is coming in from overseas to destroy our way of life," she said.
"In some parts of Europe … [some believe] that the virus has been sent by God as a punishment for support of same-sex rights and for challenging traditional gender roles between men and women."
Professor Johnson said it could be that people are still struggling to deal with a disease that has disrupted their way of life.
"No-one since the beginning of the 20th century in the west has experienced anything like this," she said.
This is something that is totally new, totally unprecedented and I think lots of people are having trouble coming to grips with it.
"It can be comforting to say that 'actually the virus isn't the problem, we just need these silly policies to change and things will be back to normal'."
Professor Mackay said denying the seriousness of the virus was not merely misguided, but potentially dangerous, especially if it encouraged people to disregard social distancing requirements.
"It shows confusion and that can lead to the wrong decision about things," he said.
"There have been people who have, rather than accept the facts, chosen to call it out as something mysterious or magical or bad in some way, but that has put people at risk."
So true . . .
What most freedom-loving Americans would like to do now is to get back to the business of earning a living and shut out all the corrupt media and Democrat hate-mongers to screech at nobody while we go to work.
I have a "blessing and a curse" mental quirk that presents me — at unpredictable moments — with vivid and fully detailed memories from years or decades ago. Recently, this took the form of the last scene from On the Waterfront that sums up the situation right now.
Without further ado, I link the scene on YouTube.
Dare I say it . . . . SCIENCE DENIER!!!!
When I speak of a hoax and The Virus, I don’t mean there isn’t in our population a pathogen identified loosely as COVID-19 or, as the “unwoke” might say, the Wuhan Flu. As with past respiratory diseases, it’s also dangerous to the vulnerable. But as data increasingly show — and as I and some others have been saying all along — this current situation is very different from past pandemics in one significant and deadly way: It’s not being treated as only a medical/health issue.
It’s being treated as a political issue.
And as the Soviet Union’s Lysenkoism demonstrated, politics kills science.
I recently dubbed the Wuhan Flu the “Wizard of Oz Virus” because its reputation greatly exceeds its power. This was evident long ago, too. We only had to look at the early data coming out on Italy and a certain quarantined cruise ship, after all.
While the following might have changed a bit over time, we heard early on that 99-plus percent of the Italian victims had comorbidities and that their average age was 79.5. Italy is also a graying nation, with 23 percent of the population in its most affected area (the north) more than 65 years old.
Additionally, Italy has a wanting health care system, and stories emerged about askew triage-oriented priorities causing certain elderly to be denied care. Italy’s economic ties with Beijing also meant there were direct flights from Wuhan and 100,000 Chinese working in its factories.
There are other differences, too. One I pointed out is that Italy has an “un-social-distancing” culture, with acquaintances engaging in a lot of touching, and personal space between them only two to three feet (vs. four in North America).
Then there was the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was quarantined off Japan’s coast in February and at one time had more than half the Wuhan virus cases outside of China. Of the 3,711 people on board, 712 (19.2 percent) contracted the disease and 13 (1.8 percent) died.
Yet note that this ship was called a disease incubator; the average age of those aboard was 58, with 33 percent over 70; and medical care was sub-par. Note, too, to illustrate the latter group’s (the elderly’s) vulnerability, that they were dying during a four-week stretch in 2018 at “a rate of 169 people a day [in the U.S.], or seven people per hour” of the common flu, reported the AARP.
In other words, there was never a reason to believe the Wuhan virus would transform America into Black Plague-ravaged medieval Europe. The Enemedia pretended to know this at one time, too.Right after President Trump wisely announced his China travel ban (Jan. 31), the Enemedia, busy calling him “racist” for doing so, ran headlines such as this Feb. 1 Washington Post gem: “Get a grippe, America. The flu is a much bigge