• Dan Abernathy

Shattered Airwaves

Contributing to the Chaos while

Living – Life – Large

Dan Abernathy

March 16, 2020

On a quiet peaceful Sunday night, October 30, 1938, the airwaves shattered with fear and pandemonium as Orson Welles aired a live Halloween episode via, Mercury Theatre on the Air. Welles’s broadcast of, The War of the Worlds, became famous for deceiving listeners into believing that a Martian invasion was actually taking place. This whole incident was believable due to the "breaking news" style used on the show.

The illusion of realism was furthered ignited because Mercury Theatre on the Air was a radio show without commercial interruptions. There was no break; no time for logical thinking and mass hysteria quickly grabbed the listeners to believing the end was near.

Fast-forward to today, 82 years later. It is painfully obvious that we have learned nothing. Again, mass hysteria has seized us with the powerful grip of a pit bull, which despite the growl, is not releasing. This pandemic of absurdity is becoming the largest scale deception of madness in history. A ruse being fueled by social media, mass media and the comfort we have accepted to wallow in negativity. Plus, we no longer have any leadership, someone that will standup to the people, for the people.

As we are told to stay inside, we are empowering ourselves with more hysteria by overdosing on the addiction of glowing screens with social media and sensationalized news. There are to many media sources now that are trying to be the first and the loudest. In doing so, they flounder in mistruths and inaccurate negative opinions. What is needed more than ever is a news anchor that just reports the news and what is the truth. Someone void of sensationalized opinion, or a flickering to rush to be the first. What we need is, Walter Cronkite, "And that's the way it is."

Cronkite was the most trusted man in America. He refused to allow his personal beliefs to affect his job of reporting accurate news. It was this integrity and commitment to fair reporting, which established him as the news anchor that you could believe.

Just about everyone I’ve talked to on the streets, or among the bare shelved stores agree that the hysteria around this COVID-19 virus is ridiculous. Yet they do so with a full cart of sustainable foods and toilet paper, just in case.

Twice now, I have been elbowed as a form of greeting rather then the traditional handshake or my preference of a heart to heart hug. Knocking elbows in an attempt to be cordial shows fear and in reality is contributing ridiculous fuel to the pandemic fire. In itself, elbowing someone is a rude gesture. The elbow is used to make more space around you, or to push someone out of the way.

I have nothing but empathy and compassion for anyone that has been infected with the COVID-19 virus. I have even more for anyone that has lost family members to this virus. No one can rationalize loss, but look at some numbers, although numbers have no bearing on unawareness. Statistically speaking you are more likely to be killed on the way to the clinic to see if you have the virus, then you are from the virus.

Nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.

Our last pandemic, in 2009 – 2010 was the H1N1, the Swine Flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that swine flu infected nearly 61 million people in the United States and caused 12,469 deaths. Worldwide, up to 575,400 people died from Swine Flu.

As of now, according to estimates from the CDC, in the 2019-2020 common flu season, 14,000 people have died and 250,000 people have been hospitalized.

As I sit alone writing this column, there have been 175,988 cases of the COVID-19 virus worldwide. 6,717 people have died and 77,871 have recovered.

We are stumbling and staggering in this pandemic frenzy. What needs sanitized in an attempt to isolate and eradicate an epidemic, is the worm that is contaminating who we are as intelligent people. There is nothing weak about decontaminating yourself by avoiding certain people and the media. You do not have be the sheep following the flock off a cliff. You can protect your health and your emotional health. This is preventive medicine. This is wisdom.

The most comprehensive and accurate observation of reality that is constantly being force upon us is that most forms of social media and the mass media are intermittently defective, imprecise and unreliable. - dbA

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