The price of fiction

“And it’s true we are immune
When fact is fiction and TV reality
And today the millions cry
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die.” — U2

Politicians and other wise men (and women) are fond of saying that you are entitled to your own opinions, but you aren’t entitled to your own facts. The phrase is so often used it has outlived its usefulness. This is particularly true when those uttering it (I’m looking at you Mike Pence) are living in a fact free environment.

We were told that COVID would go away after November 3rd. It would be like magic. I’m guessing it was because it was a Democratic hoax, but who in the hell can keep with their malarkey these days? Maybe the cold would knock it out. Maybe a vaccine is coming out in two weeks. Oh, that’s right, that’s the new health care plan. Maybe it’s his taxes. I just get so confused.

What isn’t confusing are the COVID-19 numbers themselves. Below are the daily changes since they have been tracking COVID-19 according to the New York Times. I have truncated the data to include only November data to save time and space.

74,236 on Nov 1

93,659 on Nov 2

92,612 on Nov 3

107,913 on Nov 4

121,529 on Nov 5

132,847 on Nov 6

125,932 on Nov 7

103,416 on Nov 8

130,340 on Nov 9

139,746 on Nov 10

142,860 on Nov 11

163,405 on Nov 12

These are just new cases nationwide. The death counts and hospitalization rates are also increasing as well. We know there are numerous hot spots where the virus is more prevalent than others. In Texas, the El Paso area has been particularly ravaged. So, they are sending hospital patients to other parts of the state. They can’t fit them all.

Of course, we have talked plenty about the toll on people’s lives that this virus and the handling of the virus has caused. Death tolls are back over 1000 a day. It is estimated by experts that it could reach the 2000 mark again like it did at it’s peak. Of course, those are just experts. Who in the hell wants to listen to those people?

Death, sickness, and economic strife is the tangible cost of fiction. However, there is also an intangible cost. First, we must keep in mind where this fiction comes from. Back in the good ole days, we used to have to go to the card catalog to do research. We’d pull out a few cards, look up the books, and then check them out at the library. It’s crazy when you think about it. We now have information at our fingertips, but there is a cost.

The information in the card catalogs was verified information. It came from reputable sources and had gone through peer reviews, counter studies, and rigorous additional scrutiny. Now, close to half of the country gets its “information” from dubious sources that don’t do any fact checking. Hell, they don’t want to. If it goes against what the mainstream media and traditional sources are saying that actually “proves” it is right. The lamestream media just lies anyway.

Some on Joe Biden’s new taskforce are recommending that the country shut down for four to six weeks to get the virus back under control. It would seem like they would do this in January or February when they take over. That would give us precious time to debate such a proposal with facts and logic from both sides.

We all see the trends. Those are facts. The problem is that we all don’t see the trends. We don’t get our information from the same sources. Some sources simply crap on anything that groups like the CDC produce. It becomes opposite day. When Dr. Fauci says something we just say the opposite. What does he know? He’s only been doing this for more than 40 years.

So, debate doesn’t take place on a level playing field where people are operating with the same facts. It is fair to question whether shutting down again will be worth whatever harm might come to the economy. Would we need another stimulus package to get us through? What kind of damage would that cause long-term? These are all excellent questions and great points of debate except you really can’t have that debate until you fully acknowledge what is actually going on. You can’t do that attending the University of YouTube. You can’t do that if you get your news from Facebook, Instragram, or TikTok.

Without facts there is no debate. You can’t debate someone that lives in their own reality. That reality can change when arguments pierce it. If that reality is malleable then you’re just pissing in the wind. So, if no one can mount a fact-based retort to Biden’s new team then we might have to get used to the idea of experts making decisions for us. We might be shutting down again. More idiots will rage about masks and government oppression. This is where sticking your head in the sand gets you. This is where magical thinking and fact free environments get you. The start of 2021 might be as bad as 2020 was. We only have ourselves to blame.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for thefantatasyfix.com. You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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