Look This is a bit from a recent episode of Reveal podcast. [reveal]@50:00You have to hear it in your mind as coming through tears of sadness and deep frustration, with a great deal of passion. Or go listen to her, in audio.
[Narrator: explains that Paloma was uncomfortable with being called a “hero.” How does she think about this idea of heroism, now?]
Uhh (disgusted sound) This pandemic was a catastrophic failure and there’s almost 400,000 people who are dead (crying) in this country. Because – because we expect that the job of taking care of others might only land on those who are paid to do so, and by calling other people “heroes” we are separating ourselves from that job. Like, what if every single person had seen themselves as a hero, and had said ‘no’ to traveling during the holidays? Or had said ‘no’ to throwing a wedding during a pandemic? Or had said ‘no’ to having a party or to have a get-together? Or to give something up? What if everyone had thought of themselves that way, and had said, “it’s also my job to take care of others” and we’re all doing what we can as physicians, as nurses, as social workers, as custodians, as everyone who works in a hospital? Well, what the fuck is everyone else doing?
I remember a bad joke about a couple who ascended a tall hill on a tandem bicycle. When they got to the top, one of them said, “that was terrifying and intense! I thought my heart was going to burst! I was afraid we were going to roll down backwards!” And the other replied, “Yeah, I hear you. I think if I hadn’t been on the brakes the whole way, we would have!”
If we call healthcare workers, “heroes” we let everyone else off the hook. Imagine if there were arsonists setting fires, and then firefighters were risking their lives to put out the flames. Well, duh, the obvious thing to do is to stop the people who are setting the fires. I despise the media for not taking a firmer stand against the bullshit purveyors, who initially engaged in foolish “both sides-ism” – they should have learned a bit of virology and been able to come down hard on the bullshit purveyors, from a standpoint of someone knowledgeable enough to say “that is wrong and either you are ignorant or lying, which is it?” I’m not a scientific genius, but it only took me reading about the 1918 flu pandemic and listening to a couple episodes of TWIV to be able to dissect any anti-vaxxer who wants to argue with me. Why can’t journalists do that?
Not enough media figures stuck up for Tony Fauci; they should have been shouting at the liars. “Those are bogus studies!” or “” or “I know you made that up.” That would have been heroic. I am so sick of the media members who make a big deal about the dangers that they run – ooh, I heard Artillery in Iraq once – but what about someone like Paloma who saw 6 or 7 patients die every day for months at a time. What kind of PTSD has she got? And what must it have felt like to be working that shift, while a useless mountebank talked about hydroxychloroquine? Why aren’t the people who are pushing anti-vaxx lies being taken to court for the deaths that they are causing? They are practicing medicine without a license, and the entire medical regulatory system was created to keep people from selling nostrums and giving bad advice.
Nobody seems to be asking Tucker Carlson, “have you been vaccinated?” and holding him to an answer. Why not, media heroes?
John Morales says
Quoth the pigeon:
Hm. I suspect many of those who said ‘yes’ to travelling, who said ‘yes’ to throwing a wedding during a pandemic, to having a party or to have a get-together did in fact think of themselves as a hero. Bucking the system, dontchano. Standing up for freedom!
@ ^ John Morales : Yup. Like anti-lockdown fools in Sydney the other day whose protest could well turn out to be a super-spreader event :
. ..and self-defeatingly force lockdown to last even longer – as wellas, we\ll, killing people and runing people’s lives withlong covid for life.
Meanwhile South Australia, where I am, has been in lockdown since Tuesday evening last week and that is working very well in stopping the spread and thus will, hopefully, be lifted this coming Weds – and we haven’t had such anti-lockdown “Fwree-dumb!!1ty!” events.
Typo fix, mea culpa : as well as, well, killing people and ruining people’s lives with long covid for life.
Incidentally, I have no problem with people protesting and standing up toegtehr for what they believe in – indeed I’ve done it myself including recently for refugees (before the lockdown) – but there’s times and places and causes for it and this defiance of science, logic and cold, hard facts is NOT the appropriate time, place or cause.
PS. On the topic here – listening to this podcast now. Thanks.
Marcus Ranum says
I’ve been calling it “toxic individualism” – when the individual asserts personal rights in spite of their being antisocial.
It’s a problem of selfishness intersecting with bad philosophy. Rousseau is probably to blame, here – his assertion that pre-social humans lived lives of happy freedom is nonsensical: humans and civilization co-evolved and there was probably never a time where there weren’t despots. But Rousseau claims there was this period before social constraints were invented – I don’t think Ayn Rand ripped those ideas off from Rousseau; she seems to have just made stuff up from yards of whole cloth. These proponents of individual liberty sketch the outline of libertarianism, which is a heap of wagarbl wrapped around basic selfishness. Rousseau’s idea of the social contract, though, argued that we owe society service out of duty – the libertarians and toxic individualists just assert that they don’t recognize a debt. Meanwhile, they rely on civilization’s support. They’re selfish and they’re ready to shoot you if you interfere with their personal existential becoming.
Andreas Avester says
One of the annoying nonsensical ideas that Latvian journalists love to repeat ad nauseum is that “every person must evaluate the risks and decide for themselves whether they want a COVID-19 vaccine or no.” As if every citizen was a statistician, epidemiologist, and an immunologist capable of evaluating the risks. Thus we get countless people who have “done their own research” and are talking everywhere about how “it is an experimental vaccine,” or “these vaccines were developed unusually quickly, I’d better wait and see,” “well, I am young and healthy, I don’t need a vaccine,” or “well, I am elderly and sick, my health is already terrible and I don’t want the side effects of a vaccine on top of my existing problems” etc.
The result is that only 38% of people have gotten the first shot so far, and the supply of available vaccine doses exceeds the demand. Meanwhile, a bunch of vaccines are expiring at the end of August. Latvia will donate those to some African countries, because here so many people “have done their own research” and decided that they prefer to get sick and risk dying.
I’ve found myself thinking about how Ezra Pound went to jail (in the US) and how William Joyce was hanged (in the UK); both for the crime on going on the radio and trying to convince allied soldiers to not fight the Nazis in WW2 (which was deemed treason). I’m against the death penalty, but a couple of treason trials might quiet the anti-vaxxer down a bit.
I think complaining about not enough people being vaccinated in particular states and countries is missing a larger point. This demon is loose in the world and could evolve into something nastier than it is. The Delta variant people worry so much about emerged in India. I think any poor, crowded country is a likely source for a new, even more serious variant. It would be wise for countries who can afford it, to help others get as many people vaccinated as possible.
Think about how the world beat smallpox but has failed to eradicate polio. This is really a global problem.
Germany actually had several commercials about “Covid heroes” sitting around doing nothing, staying home playing video games etc. I thought the commercials were well done. Turns out pretty much no one wants to be a hero, I guess.
I agree that it seems to be selfishness, a complete lack of caring for others. Saw a meme that said: “Them: I would take a bullet for my country! Me: You won’t even take a needle for your neighbors, sit down, cowboy.”
Marcus Ranum says
here so many people “have done their own research” and decided that they prefer to get sick and risk dying.
The people I’ve talked to who have “done their own research” scooped up some many-times forwarded facebook posting and decided, “yes, that must be true.”
Marcus: I’m not a scientific genius, but it only took me reading about the 1918 flu pandemic and listening to a couple episodes of TWIV to be able to dissect any anti-vaxxer who wants to argue with me. Why can’t journalists do that?
It’s funny how in a post that has “Uncommon Sense” in the title, you overestimate the abundance of common sense.
Pierce R. Butler says
… “that is wrong and either you are ignorant or lying, which is it?”
Neither an ignoramus nor a liar will give a useful answer to such a question.
Well of course! If some story from DipshitNews.com reposted by John L. Nincompoop confirms their biases and what they want to be true… Well then in the mind of the people “who do their own research” they have done exhaustive searching and clearly DipshitNews.com is an exemplar news publication and John L. Nincompoop is its prophet.
This is the kind of stuff that gets us religion in the first place.
Also, lol, this brand of asshole calls the rest of us sheep… talk about projecting!