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The Real Reason Americans Are Not Listening to Covid Advice

Not long ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he thought the arrival of the vaccine might get Americans to be more serious about following the warnings and precautions.  About the same time, I wrote that I thought the advent of the virus would make Americans less obedient to mask-wearing, social distancing and repeated had washing.  So, who was right?

The Christmas holiday has brought out millions of travelers despite the dire warnings issued from the media on an hourly basis.  Several television doctors literally demanded that America stay home and cancel all holiday plans – just as they did for Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Easter.

As predicted, after each of those holidays Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths have increased – although the death RATE has been declining.  They are likely to increase again in the next four weeks because of Christmas travel and festivities.

I pay less attention to the increase in cases because a significant part of that is due to accelerated testing.  Hospitalizations and deaths are better indicators of an increase in severity.

However, not only are millions of Americans not heeding the more extreme recommendations – and even the not so extreme recommendations — but they are also pushing back at further lockdowns.  They are defying both recommendations and government orders.

One of the favorite narratives against President Trump is the media’s claim that he and his behavior is responsible for Americans not heeding the advice and the constant warnings that have been emanating from the newsrooms on continuous loop for the past several months.

In their zeal to blame Trump, the biased media never reports reality.  The millions upon millions of people defying the advice are not only Trump supporters.  They are a cross section of America – men, women, white, black, Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives.  As one travels about in Democrat Palm Beach County, it is virtually impossible to find anyone in strict compliance to the rules and orders.

Last Friday night, the local sports bar and grille was jammed with people – mostly over 50 — sitting next to each other without masks.  VERY few people in the area wear masks while out in public.  An elderly friend, who is supposed to be confined to her senior residence, occasionally sneaks out for a lunch or dinner at a favorite restaurant – and she does not like to eat outside.  She is a Trump-hating Democrat, by the way.

So why are millions of Americans not heeding the warnings and the advice?

Some analysts attribute it to “pandemic fatigue.”  That is too general of a statement.  There have to be more specific reasons.

One of those reasons may be the historic inconsistency of the advice.  I recall Fauci telling the nation in February that Covid-19 is not likely to have a major impact on the United States.  Later, he was telling the public that there was no need to wear masks unless you had Covid-19 because they are only effective in stopping transmission FROM an infected person – that they do not offer protection from contracting it.

We were first told that kids could go to school … then they cannot go to school … and then they can.  And now the advice on kids going to school is a crosscurrent of yes … no … maybe, if.

Perhaps it is not “pandemic fatigue” as much as it is “panic fatigue.”  It is a bit like all those warning labels on the medicine bottles. There just comes a point when you just stop absorbing and start ignoring.

Part of the problem may be that the media sensationalize almost everything – and especially in order to attack Trump.  For example, we hear over and over that approximately 20 million Americans have contracted Covid-19, but how often have they noted that more than 12 million have already recovered.  The media myopically dwells on those in ICUs and those who died, but the people also know that 80 percent of those who contract Covid-19 will have mild or no symptoms at all.

While the media puts most emphasis on the virus, Americans also care about the economy – and those suffering both economic and physical hardships from the lockdown.  We see all those gyms and restaurants fighting to survive – and millions of people patronize them.

And as far as the holidays go, there are millions of Americans who find celebrating with loved ones is worth the risk.  Yes, they will take extra precautions around grandma with COPD, but that’s about it.

As I predicted in a previous commentary, most Americans did celebrate Christmas even if they have to ignore some or all of the advice.  Those issuing warnings and advice should consider new strategies and new messaging because America has largely tuned out.  Repeating the same old warnings did not work in the past or the present – and will not work in the future.

So, there ‘tis.

Larry Horist
So, there ‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.
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7 COMMENTS

  1. …as a person who taught sanitation all over the world for over two decades, I wonder why idiots like this author keep pushing the idea that masks, plexiglass and little arrows on the floor of buildings or the non-scientific…”social distancing”… is doing anything to stop the airborne virus and it’s exploitation. Yes, the virus exists, but these people have lied about it’s source, it’s ability to transfer, it’s death rate, it’s actual case count, asymptomatic-shedding….and they purposefully killed a bunch of elderly in Democrat run states, just to get the horrific” death count” rolling. A mask with holes in it the relative size of a subway tunnel compared to the tiny virus isn’t stopping anything, and even if it did…without eye covering the virus is just as likely to get in your eyes as your nose or mouth. Humans cross-contaminate 24 / 7, and so almost any item you wear, if contaminated with the virus will eventually end up in your eyes or mouth when you remove the mask. I watched two women get in their car the other day, keeping their masks in place as they sanitized the interior of their car. They wiped down the dash board, the steering wheel, gear selector and any place they thought they would have touched, including sanitizing each individual finger. Then…they reached up and took off their masks, handling the cloth or paper part in the center of the mask, as they gently folded it up and put it in their purse. How dumb can you be? The act of removing the mask, if their was anything on it…just ruined every effort they took to prevent the spread, as they cross-contaminated themselves immediately by touching their own masks. These “rules” are idiotic, unscientific and criminal. Fauci needs to be charged with treason.

  2. I particularly think Fauci needs to listen to his wife and retire.
    Best thing he could do for his wife and the American People.
    God Bless President Trump!
    God Bless America…!

  3. Don’t listen or adhere to Fauci’s advice as he flip flops too much and now proven he’s also a liar!!!!

  4. Hating Republicans must not be the cause of your not following healthy procedures against COVID-19. Use your common senses.

  5. At days away from being 78, I don’t need to be told constantly how to keep healthy and safe on a daily basis. It is insulting. It is nagging my mother would have called it after a few days. I don’t have a hearing aid to turn off. Having spent time in an assisted living community, I am so glad we left before covid so we are free to walk around our neighborhood and nature trails and go where we want rather being locked in our apartment with food delivered “for our safety! They were afraid we might fall before covid was an issue. Old people want to be free to live, not locked down to be safe!

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