ZB

Mike's Minute: The campaign of fear has to come to an end

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Feb 2022, 9:47am

Mike's Minute: The campaign of fear has to come to an end

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 25 Feb 2022, 9:47am

The media appear on some sort of crusade to invoke yet more fear into the community around Omicron. There has been a distinct spike in the past week or so involving individuals who have dreadful stories to tell over their Covid experience. 

There was a young lady on the telly who was explaining how horrible her Omicron was. She did look a bit shiny in the face, although it's always hard to tell given cameras and lights do dreadful things to your complexion, that's why they use make up. 

She might have looked a bit peaky, although clearly not ill enough not to give us a tour of her house and circumstances via Zoom. 

Then Stuff had the professor who ended up in hospital. He had a warning to take this all seriously. He was double not triple jabbed but otherwise claimed to be healthy.   

The Rotorua mayor got splashed across the Herald with the headline "it's real." I'm not sure there are too many left that don't think it's real, so Steve Chadwick telling us it is real wasn't really news. And once again she was clearly well enough to tell us it was real. 

Then we have yet another Herald story this one of Hannah Mettner, 36, fit, and healthy. Until, of course, she got Omicron she lost her smell, which might mean it's Delta, we don't know because they gave up on that stuff ages ago. Anyway, she also had heartburn, full body aches, and a gungky plug in her throat. Upshot, she was really ill. 

Now I don't doubt this is all true. But there seems, in a country already gripped by fear, hence all the businesses falling over, to be some sort of some strange campaign to further freak us out. 

Why? Does a singular example make a case? No. So why do it? Does a singular example represent a majority, the norm, the standard, or anywhere close? No. What's with the determination to overstate the negative? 

It reminds of that poor doctor in South Africa who first alerted the world to Omicron and said it was a milder form than Delta. She got any number of calls from health authorities and politicians telling her to not say such things. 

Are we interested in the truth or not? 

Finding trouble is never hard, finding a bad experience is never hard, it's clickbait, and it's cheap. 

The overall sense based on the stats, results, history, experience, and proof we have, is that for the vast majority of people Omicron will not make you sicker than you have ever been, it will not land you in hospital, and it will not kill you. 

In the interest of balance, how about for every alarmist story you want to find, tell the one about the person who wasn't bothered by it, or would that truth be a bit boring?