portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

community building | health

the power of "VIRUS!!!11!!1!!" panic to completely suspend rational thought.

1. toilet paper, hand sanitizer shortages at grocery stores
2. online debates by otherwise skilled, intelligent persons about "how many will die", "the numbers show XX__ infected", "much worse/more than reported"
3. Persons in public visibly-physically fearful of proximity of others
4. Government crackdowns adhered to willingly "in the name of safety" (when in fact common sense adherence to individual personal hygiene is more than half the battle and perhaps the ENTIRE battle)
you have seen it (on Fa_ebook, social media): people having 'arguments' about infection rates, death rates, playing amateur epidemiologist online.

I am currently viewing on other forums, persons online some of whom bring demonstrated / documented / considerable mathematical, scientific, statistical, and-or medical expertise participate extended petulant tit-for-tat debates about "how many will die", "how many infected", "what the numbers don't tell us", "Italy's numbers", etc.

Truth is: at this chronological point in the United States, we haven't even done enough testing to get a representative cross-population (remember U.S. has more than 200 million adults) sample of who is infected.

We won't have this data at a reliable scale or magnitude until mid-April or later, when several hundred thousand test results have been processed and analyzed.

yet, the mathematics-debaters want to justify their numerical doom scenarios based on emotional prognostications along with conspiratorial mistrust (of frenzy-inducing corporate media, government etc. which is understandably justifiable).


stop freaking out, people. Quit cleaning out the toilet paper at the store (boy are those hoarders going to have to be happy with their garage-full after this panic subsides; also hopefully they grabbed enough hand sanitizer to use for the rest of their lives). Wait until a few hundred thousand actual test results for COVID-19 positive are in (as well as some mortality and recovery case statistics) before we decide the impact of this pandemic, prematurely and panick-y. Don't trust media reports or government pronouncements offhand.