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Coronavirus Media Coverage: Are We Being Manipulated?

male news reporter standing amid crowd with microphone

Media coverage of the coronavirus is unavoidable these days. Everyone I know says they are sick of hearing about it and sick of talking about it. Then we all proceed to talk about it non-stop. But no one is talking about it more than the mainstream media, it seems.

A deluge of coronavirus coverage

The media coverage is constantly telling us about the rising death toll and the overwhelming demand placed on medical centers. There aren’t enough protective masks or ventilators to keep up with the massive need for them. We are shown videos of people in cloth masks, waiting in line just for access to hospitals and testing centers. The footage makes our own hospitals look like war zones. It must be bad out there, right?

Are we being manipulated?

But now, we see a rise in “citizen reporters,” who are individuals that claim the images we see on the news are not the truth. They go around with cameras to capture the ‘massive lines’ and ‘overwhelming surge in patients’ at the hottest spots and largest hospitals in the country. Except…there are no massive lines. There are no people waiting hours for access.

When I first saw this video of regular citizens capturing the lack of pandemonium that I had expected to see, I was shocked. The video prompted me to go to my own local ER, three urgent care facilities, and an outdoor testing tent to see if there was really an overwhelming demand there. Again, I was shocked. There were no people at all in the waiting rooms of the urgent care centers. None. The testing tent was completely empty; no equipment even. The ER parking lot was emptier than I had ever seen it.

Granted, I live in a small town. Maybe it is worse in big cities? So, I contacted family members in Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and Colorado Springs and asked them to check out their area hospitals and urgent care centers. They all reported back the same information. There were no lines and no crowds at any of them.
How can this be?

This all starts to make a person wonder: is the media misrepresenting this situation? If so, why? We all know the media latches onto any sensational story in order to get viewers and ratings. Is that all that’s going on here? Is it possible they are reporting the truth and the situation is just changing too fast for them to keep up with? A lot of people are saying there are no people waiting because there is a shortage of coronavirus tests, so they are just sending people home. But one would expect to see a normal amount of people waiting to be seen in these facilities on any given day. How can they be completely empty now?

Do people really believe what they see on the news?

It seems that most people nowadays question what they see on the news no matter what. But with such a hot topic, it opens the door for speculation about the truth even more. This is a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center to ascertain public reaction to the ongoing pandemic. In one question, 65% of the respondents indicate they believe the news outlets have slightly-to-greatly exaggerated the coronavirus pandemic and its risks. And 47% said they have seen pandemic-related news coverage that seemed made up. (Like the footage we all saw that proved to be taken from Italy, not New York, as the news claimed.) Yet in the same survey, a majority of respondents state they feel the news outlets have covered the pandemic ‘somewhat to very well.’ It seems as though people are so confused by the conflicting information, they truly don’t know what they think.

Is there conflicting information?

It seems there are more and more contradictory statements regarding the pandemic, and all from top experts. Some say we need the quarantine; some say we don’t. Others say the fatality rate of the virus has been exaggerated. We hear about possible treatment and then we hear that same treatment condemned. It’s no wonder everyone feels totally confused!

Why would they exaggerate the pandemic?

I think we should at least be willing to ask the question. If we are being lied to via media coverage, then why might that be? It’s hard to even speculate the answer, but in doing research for this article, I read more and more that led me to believe it may have to do with vaccines.

There is already talk about making an implantable vaccine for this virus, as opposed to a traditional, injectable type. It would have an invisible ink tattoo on the surface of the skin which would easily show under UV light if a person had received the vaccine. This sounds similar to previous talk of using an implanted RFID chip in an individual’s hand on which to keep their digital identity, medical records, and even digital funds. It sounds very Black Mirror-esque, but some countries are already implementing it.

What does this have to do with the pandemic?

It seems to me that if people become so fearful of this virus, they will be clamoring to get the vaccine, not questioning it at all. Moreover, they will want other people to get the vaccine as well, ‘for the good of society.’ It could even be compulsory, meaning we would have no choice but to take it, like it or not. Before you scoff and say that could never happen, you should know that Denmark just rushed through legislation which allows the Covid-19 vaccine to be given forcibly, if necessary, as well as punishment for refusal of testing, including restricted access to supermarkets, hospitals, stores, and other public institutions. You can read about that here. The United Kingdom is also considering such extreme measures. Is it really so far-fetched to think the United States may follow suit?

Mandatory vaccines are a highly controversial topic, as is the implementation of a RFID chip. I doubt people could be swayed to accept either if it wasn’t a matter of urgent public safety. But in the face of a global health crisis such as we have now, people are far more willing to throw aside personal freedom for the purported ‘safety.’ If the powers-that-be can get people fearful of sickness, death, and even each other, they will have no problem getting them to go along with the ‘cure’ and demanding that others go along with it, too.

I personally don’t know if this is truly the hidden agenda of the pandemic and its frenzied media coverage. But I do think it’s worth considering. I will end with this personal observation:

As I go out to stores for various necessities lately, I am noticing a shift in the general attitude and mood. People seem distrustful of each other. No one is friendly anymore. Everyone looks at each other as if there is danger lurking nearby. I don’t feel an air of “we are in this together.” I feel an air of “I don’t trust you.” It is sad and disheartening, and I never wanted to live to see a world where people are truly afraid of their own neighbor.

Maybe there is an agenda here which the media coverage is pushing, and maybe there truly is not. But either way, let’s not let fear become a wedge that drives us all apart. Let’s stand united insofar as we are able, and let’s not throw away all our reason and human compassion in the long run. Especially due to a pandemic that may or may not be worth all that we are giving up.

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