There is this odd article of faith around this COVID-19 pandemic: If you do not fret in the same way, and have the exact same hysteria as the media and your friends, then you are just a lesser person. They worry, which makes them better. You do not panic as much, so you are a bad person. Let's stop that and realize we are all in this together. We all want this over. And every part of the country is not the same.
It scared a lot of us when celebs and politicians got the disease. In Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul quarantined himself with COVID-19, while in New York hypochondriac Woody Allen quarantined himself with Cindy-16.
But let's maintain perspective. The media have not been even-handed with their coverage. Under their Lord and savior, Barack Obama, the swine flu came to the U.S. from Mexico in the spring of 2009. The CDC says 60 million Americans got it, 274,000 were hospitalized and about 12,469 died. Obama did not impose a travel ban, the media did not panic and drive the stock market down, and they did not carp at him at all. You likely do not even remember it.
The other narrative the media advance is that our response would be better under Joe Biden. Maybe so. Like Biden, the disease might come in the room but then forget why it came.
Part of the reason the country is so divided can be traced to how we get our news. If you are in New York or L.A. and only watch CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and the like, you think everything Trump does is awful.
Given the nature of the coronavirus, the vitriol and hatred for Trump have caused fear and economic damage. As much as the leftist media rail on Trump, I have never heard them make a valid point as to what they would have done differently. Ebola and swine flu were not Obama's doing, and COVID-19 was not 45's.
No one in my family has tested positive for coronavirus, but it is slowly killing us. Having to cook at home has thrown off the whole dynamic of my family. But we did find my grandmother's quilts we thought we lost years ago, stored in our oven. Sequestered at home with my family, I have gotten to know my kids better and learned things about them. For example, the oldest one's middle name is Ellen, and she really is not good about cleaning up after herself.
Then there is the $2 trillion-plus coronavirus stimulus bill the Democrats delayed trying to put unrelated pork in it for themselves. The bill was so filled with pork it ran a real risk of contracting swine flu.
Again, I am trying to be more positive. If I am not as hysterical as the group think is, and if I have a slightly different take, they continue to sling arrows at me. It was initially predicted that the COVID-19 death rate would be 3% to 5%. So far in the U.S., it has been 1.6%. That is encouraging.
Instead of sniping and arm-chair quarterbacking this unprecedented calamity, let's try to pull together and reason our way through it. All the pontificating, finger-pointing "experts" like Mayor "Big Bird" DeBlasio are in the hardest hit, leftist, high-tax areas (New York, New Jersey, California, Miami and New Orleans), all run by Democrats. Why are they to be praised and listened to versus the rest of the country? And why must businesses be shut down at the same draconian level in a town with no cases compared to those that are "hot spots"?
Let's be optimistic. If schools stay closed much longer, the parents of teenagers will discover a cure in weeks. And if the business shutdown lasts much longer, we will know the actual hair color of every person in Buckhead.
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.
View other columns by Ron Hart