"COVID panic isn’t needed, neither is downplaying disease " by: Mike Reddell

   Part of our job at the Sentinel is monitoring other mediums – mostly to ensure we don’t miss something important.
   There are many jabs at the news media of which I take pride in belonging.
   I’m sure this is inadvertent, but did you know the news media is being blamed for the panic about the pandemic?
   We, of course, share that distinction with the Democratic Party, but the mainstream news media is mostly responsible for inducing the false panic I’m told.
   Maybe the spiking positive cases of COVID-19 in this country, but the Democrats can’t possibly take credit for the rising COVID cases in several other nations.
   But many people can rightfully claim the accolades that surely are coming their way for claiming the pandemic is overblown, the panic is media-stimulated, COVID-19 is more like the common flu or cold and the percentage of actual cases compared to the populations of Matagorda County or the United States is miniscule.
   By ratcheting down to that tiny subset of people, all this dithering about a spike in cases is a present-day example of a tempest in a teapot.
   And I’ve seen the above contentions played out several times by several people in several social media forums.   
   If you’re not following the MNM, you’re probably not hearing that hospitals in Texas – Dallas in particular – are filling up with COVID patients.
   If you’re free of the MNM, you’re not reading of the COVID cases that are worse than the common flu and bring unbearable pain, not to mention add to this country’s 122,000 dead from this disease.
   Monday, the Emergency Operation Center announced 21 new COVID-19 positive cases, and there were five more reported Tuesday – more than 30 cases since last Friday’s report. 
   A joint statement Monday from county and city elected officials and from the county’s health organizations urged people to follow CDC recommendations for wearing masks, washing their hands and practicing safe distances in all settings with other people.
   On the same day, Gov. Greg Abbott noted the spike in cases and doubled down on safe hygiene guidelines. He said he didn’t want to pull back the reopening of Texas, but he would if the cases kept mounting.
   So here’s my take – panic isn’t necessary but people need to study up on the coronavirus effects and reconsider precautionary steps that have been in place since this ordeal started.
   The news media is here to inform not panic – we’re not perfect but we’re not out to panic people – and that’s our mission.
   Ask yourself, what exactly is the mission of those who tell you to disregard masks and other precautions, consider the virus as a glorified cold and try to boil down the numbers to insignificance?


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