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The coming deemphasis of COVID-19

Eric Trump raised eyebrows recently when he alleged COVID-19 would ‘disappear after the election’. His argument was ‘˜they’ have used the virus to put a stop to his father’s huge campaign rallies. That idea is a little far-fetched. Trump still draws huge crowds to his rallies and his supporters stage gigantic boat parades to show their allegiance. But, Eric Trump’s instinct is correct in that COVID-19 is just as much a political issue as it is a medical one. The first breathless predictions back in March were coronavirus would kill 2.2 million Americans. We are at 210,000. Every life is precious and all deaths should be mourned but many of those were sick to start with. Though the original predictions were way off, you still read headlines like ‘˜America reaches another grim milestone’, etc. As of this writing, Lamar has recorded 19 deaths. Only nine of those were of people under age 80 while only two were of people under 60. Pike County has recorded 11 deaths with more younger victims. Still, only three of those were under age 60. Both Lamar and Pike opened schools in August while giving parents and students the option of using remote learning. Students and faculty have been exposed and some have gotten sick. There has not been one single report, however, of a student or faculty member taking COVID home and killing a parent, grandparent or other relative as we were told would happen if schools dared to open their doors. Then there is the whole issue of masks or ‘˜compliance indicators’ as detractors call them. There remain differing medical opinions on whether or not they work. If you are going to be among a large group of people in a restricted space, wearing a mask, like getting a flu shot, is probably a good idea. Wearing a mask while you are out walking the dog or riding alone in your car is simply a futile gesture. The thought here is all Americans are wary of COVID-19 to some degree. Some go carefully about their business. Others are paralyzed with fear and cower down. That is human nature, plain and simple. Fear is a powerful emotion. It is also a powerful political tool when directed at those who are easily swayed and politicians on both sides have shown no restraint in using that tool. In the final analysis, Eric Trump is partially correct. COVID-19 will not disappear after the election but it will lose its political usefulness and be deemphasized as a result.

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