COVID Context Alert

The heart of statistical propaganda is the calculated citing of ominous-sounding numbers without any clarifying context, which is to say without those numbers being subsumed within an attempt to provide knowledge, but instead isolated so as to provoke hysteria of the sort that cries out for saving action, any action, from anyone who promises to alleviate the panic state, if only you will give your life and mind over to his control right now.

CNN is currently blaring a banner headline gleefully — yes, gleefully — announcing that “Covid-19 now kills more than 1 American every minute. And the rate keeps accelerating as the death toll tops 300,000.” (Yes, that is what headlines look like today in the mainstream media, which only goes to show how fully the propagandists are aware that in an illiterate age of internet speed-surfing, the headline is the story.)

First of all, the money shot, that phrase “more than 1 American every minute,” is only referring to a very brief span of time, not the whole year, nor even a whole month. And the punctuating “rate keeps accelerating” part, although phrased to suggest a future trend, is in fact merely describing what has happened over the past few weeks, i.e., as the U.S. enters that time of year when flu-like virus infections (sorry, but that is what we are talking about) tend to spike.

But here is a little more context for that central shock and awe detail about the COVID death rate at the moment being “more than 1 American every minute.” In 2019, the per-minute death rate in the United States was 5.4144 (based on the CDC total of 2,845,793 deaths in 2019). That’s almost five and a half deaths per minute — and unlike the COVID rate, that 2019 rate is not limited to one extreme week or even one terrible month, but rather merely defines the average minute over the entire year

Context is knowledge — and never more so than in 2020, as the rate of propagandistic distortion keeps accelerating, having now reached hitherto unimaginable levels. Context, like all knowledge, is a leading cause of rational perspective, cooler heads, courage, self-control, and reasonable adult decisions. That, needless to say, is why propagandists do everything in their power to avoid providing context.

Oh, and “incidentally,” according to the CDC, an American dies from heart disease roughly every 36 seconds, and about 1.14 Americans die from cancer every minute — again, not at “peak times,” but on average, year-round, and more or less consistently every year.

And while we are here, we might as well mention that the top U.S. killers in 2019, heart disease and cancer, were topped by the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed 675,000 Americans. In other words, unlike COVID, which needs skewed death certificate rules to run a distant third in the U.S. this year, the “Spanish flu” killed more people than today’s number one cause of death, in spite of hitting an American population that at the time was barely a third the size of today’s, as well as being a hell of a lot hardier than today’s. 

The 1918 flu pandemic death total, by the way, if we could estimate its size relative to today’s U.S. population, would be well over two million — about seven times this year’s coronavirus total — and remember, hundreds of thousands of those deaths would be healthy young people in the prime of life.

Context is knowledge, and in a time of mass enslavement through emotional manipulation and social indoctrination, knowledge is freedom.

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