by Amy Jones
Friday, 6
August 2021
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Will the alarmist media coverage of Covid ever end?

Certain media outlets are fear-mongering to generate clicks
by Amy Jones
A measured Covid headline

If there’s one thing media reporting over the last 18 months has taught us, it’s that when it comes to Covid, no headline is too sensational, and no prediction too dire. Glance over the Twitter feeds or websites of most newspapers, and it is hard not to sometimes wonder if the Armageddon is upon us.

This sort of medical alarmism is, of course, not new. Most remember the Daily Mail’s countless articles containing a seemingly endless list of things which may, possibly, cause cancer (some highlights:  flip flops, crisps, Facebook, being left- handed, shaving your armpits, soup, being a woman, being a man, grapefruit, and lipstick). Covid, however, has taken the fear-mongering to new heights, with a constant parade of terrifying new variants and “harrowing questions” about the effects of such mutations, intermingled with misplaced fears about vaccine resistance.

Just last week, the White House had to correct a NYT journalist on Twitter over misleading claims about the rates of infectiousness among vaccinated people. But more worrying still is that this kind of relentless alarmism in the media is going unchecked. Earlier this week, for example, The Guardian mysteriously corrected a positive story about Long Covid in children in order to add a more negative slant after it published the story.

Why is this happening? Most obviously, fear-mongering is good for traffic. But this kind of coverage may also be a reflection of many reporters’ own anxieties surrounding the pandemic. Many of those working in the media have been working from home, shielded from the worst of Covid, and fear a lifting of restrictions. Writing primarily for liberal, knowledge worker audiences cocooned in their homes, readers probably share similar anxieties too.

In turn, this media-instilled pessimism is spreading throughout the population. According to one survey, 54% of Americans said that, for the first time since February, they believed the worst of the pandemic was yet to come. Now, a majority of Americans are pessimistic about the future of the pandemic.

Despite the proven efficacy of vaccines, which significantly reduce the risk of severe illness and death against all current variants (yes, including the new variant of the week, lambda, for which there is early promising data), fear is growing. The danger is that this will turn into fatalism, leading to more vaccine hesitancy. What’s more, if we keep crying wolf about the next dangerous variant, it will deaden the public response should a significant crisis actually emerge.

We risk being caught in a feedback loop where more and more pessimism results in gloomier and gloomier reporting, which in turn dampens public morale. The media has a responsibility to report on Covid honestly and fairly, without the sensationalism and alarmism, even if it means fewer page clicks.

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David Slade
David Slade
1 year ago

Timely article – and very true about the reporting being a reflection of the personal anxieties of a certain class from which journalists are drawn.

A lot of this is a upper middle class indulgence in nihilism with no attempt at nuance (which too many journalists seem to consider to be something that gets in the way of a good horror story).

The problem is, they write the narrative and will never experience the negative consequences of that narrative – no journalist will lose their livelihood because of lockdown.

We need to amplify the voices of those journalists and contributors to the narrative (like the author) that realise this.

Trouble is, it’s been eighteen months, and I still don’t see any sign of a critical mass of people being any closer to an epiphany.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  David Slade

OK, is this where we line up for the covid panicking? Because I tend to do it differently from most. Has anyone bought their horse Ivermectin yet? (No prescription for animal ivermectin) I got my 4 tubes, which at $7 a tube is pretty cheap. As they assume a 1200 pound horse, and I weigh 210 pounds ( as it is for animals only I could use it on my 210 pound llama) and so 6 doses each, not bad, and who knows what is coming. Check out Bret Weinstein and dr Campbell for the two youtube scientists who are totally behind Ivermectin for covid. (And a British guy does a funny video on it, if you search human horse ivermectin)

Naturally I got my 20 pound sack of low grade rice for $13, and 5 pounds of dried black eyed peas for $5, a 5 gallon food grade bucket with air tight lid from Amazon for $10 (This is what a 5 gal bucket holds – I had to by pack of 6 for $57, but still), a couple dollars for Walmart dry ice to purge the bucket of oxygen (on youtube), once the lid is hammered on it is supposed to last 30 years. As I spend $10,000 on various insurance a year this $40 for 25 pounds of food, to last 30 years, is the cheapest insurance known. And as Bret wrote here, if the covid does not get us the solar flair EMP will. As I care for a few people I am doing 2.

And along this vein – here in USA you can buy fish and bird antibiotics without a prescription (although antibiotics for mammal animals require a vet prescription.) Remember the Hydroxychloroquine/Azithromycin thing from Trump? Well azithromycin was found to not help with covid (it is available at 12 tablets for $27 for birds) but is good for pneumonia from bacteria – and naturally all the regular antibiotics are available, in the same tablets and mg as from the pharmacy, but say – ‘for fish only’ on the bottle. This stuff disappears fast if things get like 2020, when the shelves and online sellers were hit hard.

So, I have never been a ‘Prepper’, but am doing the above simple things, say $200 and a lot of bases covered….. The fear has been drummed into us….. But then I have always taken care of myself rather than expecting others to, for things I could manage.

And I have my 80 cu ft oxygen bottle, a welding Bottle, weighs about 70 pounds – and a couple cannulas and a medical O2 regulator which fits the bottle ($20 for regulator, $10 for the hose/nose cannula). Bottles are about $200 full, from the welding supply. I have the O2 bottle, and Jan 2020 got the regulator and cannula, and zinc, vitamin D, C, Querctin, the Pulse Oximeter is vital and $20, and a new oral thermometer, $6.

Anyway – it is not crazy if it really could happen. If I feel like being alarmist I usually act on it.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

Some of the MSM hacks are scared of Covid and / or can’t be arsed going into the office any more. Many of them are scared of their editors if they don’t hold the line on the narrative, and more of them still are scared of a collectively psychotic puritanical mob, which they helped to create and whose righteousness knows no reason or admits any morality other than its delusional, impossible demands for zero-Covid and absolute safety.
The more aware and intelligent of the MSM hacks must, however, now be scared about what is going to happen to them when enough of the public realise that they have been systematically abused, manipulated, and lied to by a wannabe-tyrannical government hellbent on imposing an intolerant authoritarianism via the old-fashioned means of creating a state of fear, isolation and confusion, fused with newfangled digital technology. Those in the media – especially the liberal side of it – who have been too weak, cowardly, compromised, or lazy to dig into the truth of the matter, but have now been able to at least glimpse the full horror of what they have wittingly or not been part of, know that they are complicit. They know that they will be held accountable if and when the hypnotic spell breaks. They feel trapped. They think there is no way back for them and so they just double down on the fear, exaggerations, and downright lies, with their fingers in their ears, their eyes tightly shut, and their heads buried in the sand.
We can only hope that just a handful good people in the MSM – and there many, many of them – decide to lead the way and find the courage and humility to come to their senses, come out of the unreality they have helped to create, and come clean. I suspect that the the public, and the truth and reconciliation commission that surely is coming in all but the most dystopian future scenarios, will treat them more kindly for it in the long run.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Horsman
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

I agree with much of the article, but why do so many people on here have to massively overstate their case? Of course polarisation is the name of the game, difficult to escape from but we should try. There is plenty of mainstream commentary about the impossibility of zero covid for example. The self-confirmatory fanatics who think this is a plot to bring about a world government or some some rubbish are part of the problem, not the solution. Is it a scandemic, or attempted biological warfare from China?
Why would the UK government, entirely against their whole philosophy, be involved in such a plot? In addition, some of the lockdown critics, such as Sunetra Gupta, have simply been proved wrong by events (her view was that the pandemic would be over last year). She of course should not be demonised for her views, but the nasty ad-hominem attacks on Sage members which led to a physical attack on Chris Whitty are not very salubrious either.
It is not that difficult to understand why governments, seeing the scenes in Italy, yes may well have panicked and avoidance of that became their absolutely top priority. This is almost entirely because that is where public pressure came from.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
1 year ago

At the supermarket even now 90%of the supine population was in masks. But it’s not their fault . It’s the fault of the worst kind fear mongering of journalism & government combined. Being born and brought up in a third world developing country one can see why the soft population of UK and its journalists are so out of touch with the masses in the world who scrape a living , existing in overcrowded homes, who have no time for the self indulgent fears of the western society. We have also become hypochondriacs& junkies on medical aid (nhs).Our young have now been conditioned into not taking risks and the phobias they will experience due to this conditioning will come to be a massive problem in the future.
Shame on the media for perpetrating in this irresponsible charade and now we have been left with the unwanted consequences of their action – the ripple effect on our young & the future generations.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alka Hughes-Hallett
Jonathan Bagley
Jonathan Bagley
1 year ago

I wear a mask in the supermarket purel to make others feel more comfortable.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

Because if you look at the Zoe covid site, evidence based, masks have a beneficial effect on transmission in indoor spaces. This is based on their data, submitted by millions of ordinary people. As far as I can see most of the British public have quite a sensible approach, many taking precautions as is their right but carrying on their lives. Living with covid is not the same as doing absolutely nothing to prevent it.
I am not sure whether you seem to advocating a hand to mouth day labourer existence as morally preferable. And if we are to be consistent, why do so many sceptics bang the effect the restrictions on cancer treatments, mental health (which they previously derided as nanny-statism) and other diseases?

Philip L
Philip L
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service survey results of last week revealed an entire third of white-tail deer have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
These free ranging animals did not attend night clubs and they were not stood in packed train carriages. Nor did they hook up with each other on Tinder or attend Obama’s birthday party.
None of the animals in any of the states in the survey showed signs of clinical illness. What causes the infections? How does transmission occur across such vast distances outside? Is it in the water? In the water in Michigan and Illinois and New York and Pennsylvania and..? As usual there are no answers.
My point is that the animal reservoirs for this thing run into many billions. The idea that individual humans visiting Waitrose can avoid becoming part of something that has v. clearly transitioned to endemicity by putting on a mask conforming to no published standard and supplied in a box with “not for use in pandemic” written on the side makes no sense. For how long should they do this?
And the whole Zoe thing comes undone anyway when you look at how their data is boiled down to soundbites (i.e. self reported and confounded by other distancing measures).
Long story short. A lot of people are going to be buying a lot of masks.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

Lose the comfy bank balance or monthly income or welfare cheque – and the attitude to the fear of Covid will change overnight.

GA Woolley
GA Woolley
1 year ago

Of all the governments, institutions, and organisations over the course of the pandemic, the worst must be the media. With barely a single MSM journalist with any medical, health, science, emergency planning, high level decision-making, or disaster management knowledge, experience, or expertise, they have postured and preened, claiming to ‘hold the government to account’, when all they have done, either to sell copy or to get back at the PM and the government because of Brexit, is spread alarm, confusion, cynicism, and distrust. As with MMR, they really do have blood on their hands, but since they control the media megaphone, you can be certain that they’ll never be held to account.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

Great article, EXCEPT is completely misses the entire point of everything covid. But then this is MSM, and so the point is always missed, as it is in politics, and Social Media,

If every single thing on covid is wrong, crazy, destructively handled, is set to bring on the greatest depression the world has seen (which it may be), has caused all laws of freedom and democratic society to be utterly curtailed and a curtain of tyranny has descended on humanity; dozens of Trillions of $ have been created by national debt and given to the global Elites wile regular people have had their savings plundered and their jobs and business wrecked, seemingly with their consent – then it can only mean one thing….

Conspiracy. The New World Order is using this plandemic to return the world to a form of Feudalism. The economy is being totally destroyed so all will be on UBI, a CBDC (central bank digital currency, on your phone ‘wallet’ an account not with a bank, they are done, but right with the Big Brother Government) and everyone is conditioned to tolerate being imprisoned, carry documents, get mysterious medicines, against their will, have the offices closed so work from home and stay home, and everyone is about to get very poor (but the super rich, they become Kings)

See, that is my, and David Ike’s, theory – and I bet not one of you, or one writer here, can give argument why this is not true. (other than ‘just because it is not’ )(no one expected the Spanish Inquisition, WWII, the 1929 crash, the Barbarians sacking Rome and Constantinople, and every other great city in history, The Russian Revolution, the French Revolution, Franco in Spain, the Conquistadors, and Attila the Hun))

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

David Ike is a total nutcase; but he has the laws of probability on his side, in that one of his whacko theories must eventually coincide with an actual plausible conspiracy.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

You sound like one of the lizards tying to discredit him.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“The idea of reptilians was popularised by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who claims shapeshifting reptilian aliens control Earth by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate human societies. Icke has stated on multiple occasions that many world leaders are, or are possessed by, so-called reptilians.”

4 down votes – more Lizards out there than I had suspected.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I think that perhaps the reality is that a situation/conspiracy does not require that the participants are fully mindful of the connectedness of their self serving activities (CCP and Russia etc excepted) – but that , in effect, a conspiracy of the greedy and the bullying is alive and well and ‘could’ be said to ,in effect, be operating as a mindful entity. i think it is more useful to figure out the relationships of these entities(politicians, corporations,banks, wokesters , MSM ,naive neo liberals etc etc) to enable a clearer picture of how they are combining to wittingly or unwittingly create what looks like a vast conspiracy against sanity and human well-being …….

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Back in the days of Henry VIII his ability to have war was totally dependent on his ability to borrow vast debt from the money bankers, who have been the power behind the throne sense the dawn of time. This is how it always has been, the people who loan and control money are the ones with actual power.

These same families exist out there, pulling the strings. Take Soros – he ‘Broke the Bank of England’, forcing a 25% devaluation on the Pound and made a Billion, and also devaluing every single Brit of 25% of their savings! This is what he does, worth a read, he has attacked about 14 nations money, and gotten exceedingly rich wile making hundreds of millions less wealthy.

Soros pays the campaign funds of every hard left District Attorney, Judge (USA Judges but at the Fed level are elected) to break the ‘Justice System’. He is what are called ‘The Donor Class’, and they have unbelievable power as they fund the election campaigns on each party – from the first election someone tries, to their last time in the Senate – it can cost $100,000,000 to run for such offices, and the Donor Class own all the Politicos….You play their game or you do not get in office.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Indeed: the covid story has been hijacked by the drug industry which is now counting the dollars and paying for swimming pools for all their experts who have been seen on ‘telle’ spreading their opinions based on usually flawed research published in magazines controlled by the same people who own the drug companies.
Spreading fear was the way to achieve their wishes.
From the pharma industry point of view it is all logic and business wise justified: I cannot blame them….. but what about the scientific and medical community which relies so much on their support and loves the stories of treatments and support the drug industry proposes….
The real covid data is a completely different story but the ‘preferred story’ vaccinate or you die is the oen that has been repeated so many times that we all believe it : it feels good and safe…
(see https://www.questioneverything.io/)

Jim Richards
Jim Richards
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I think it was Gore Vidal who said that ruling classes don’t need to conspire, they all think the same anyway

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Richards

Good point, they look at us through their wolf like eyes, and us all fluffy and mindless, and they think what a great many sheep we are, and how useful we are for serving them so.

But the thing of the Davos, the WEF, Bilderberg, Sun Valley, and other meetings of the Global Elite is in the pictures are all these annonomious looking guys in the background, and they are the real power. The ones we know by name merely serve them.

Ailsa Roddie
Ailsa Roddie
1 year ago

Great article Amy. Miss you on the hell site.

Susan
Susan
1 year ago

“proven efficacy of vaccines” – really? Where did you hear that? What about the proven toll of adverse effects, often serious or fatal? What planet are you living on, Amy?

Last edited 1 year ago by Susan