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COVID Truth In A Post-Truth World: Is It Another Big Lie?

“Biden’s Covid-19 Plan Is Maddeningly Obvious: You can’t help but wonder why the Trump administration left so many of these things undone.” That’s the headline for Ezra Klein’s opinion column in today’s New York Times.

It is a question many have been pondering for months. And although I had a thought as to why it was so, I didn’t want to share because at its heart it was so outrageous and unbelievable: 

Maybe, just maybe, it was all intentional. They planned it this way.

It was—simply put—another “Big Lie.”

Why was this Big Lie also so successful? Just think where the losses have been greatest and you may have the answer: the elderly, the nursing home residents, the chronically ill, the people of color, the impoverished, the people in the cities. It was “them” more than “us.”

Not everyone would die, mind you, but those older, sicker folks, those front line workers who were predominantly people of color, a number of health workers who had to treat infected people in intensive care units, first responders who were (and are) constantly going into unknown situations to try to save a life of a person dying from the virus. Yes, those folks. The unlucky ones. 

But not “us”: “Us” could go to bars and restaurants, rallies, gyms. “Us” were invincible, less likely to get the virus, less likely to get sick, and for sure less likely to die since this was only as bad as the flu. Not to mention many of “us” lived in rural communities where there was plenty of distance, so what did “us” have to fear? “Us” were far away from those big cities where “the others” had to crowd together as part of their daily routines. 

But predictions came true, and now “us” also pay the price. 

Now, with our country in the throes of an incredible moment of disarray because of “The (Original) Big Lie,” I am beginning to wonder whether my “terrible thought” may in fact be true. There is no other explanation as to why so many bad decisions and misleading statements have been made which in turn have led to millions of infections and countless needless deaths. 

You know the litany of lies that were made, such as: we have this under control; it is going to go away; we are turning the corner; we only have “x” number of deaths when the predictions were for millions. The list goes on, however the facts speak for themselves, and the worst part is they knew the facts as has been well documented in Bob Woodward’s book “Rage”.

The reality is that little has happened in this pandemic that was not predictable right from the beginning: from a public health perspective we knew what we had to do immediately when it came to social distancing, washing hands, avoiding groups of people. Eventually masks came into the picture as the science evolved.

We paid a severe price with the early isolation orders, however the data showed we were getting control. The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation predicted dates for each state where they could open up with reasonable probability of controlling the virus’ spread. They called it a “containment date”. A date when public health authorities would be able to test, track, isolate and treat those infected to prevent the spread of the virus.

However that gave way to a cry of liberating the states, opening them up, giving people back their freedoms. The states opened up, the virus spread, and governors touted how they had achieved a good balance between lives and livelihoods. 

Game over: virus won. “Live Free or Die” transformed into “Live Free and Die.

Our leaders at the national level failed us in so many ways. They perpetrated lies, they twisted the science, they modeled bad behavior, and so many of us paid the price either ourselves or through our loved ones and friends. All because of the second “Big Lie.” They even lied about having vaccines in reserve.

Sound familiar?

As some of us kept asking why this was happening, it now comes into focus. Manipulating truth was part of the grand plan. We have seen truth about elections manipulated in such a way over such a long period of time so that the lies become perceived as truth: “Post-truth” is what you believe to be true, as opposed to what is true. Each person determines their own truth, and if enough people hear the lie, repeat the lie, absorb the lie it becomes their focus, their truth. 

The pandemic became a part of the “post-truth” world. It became part of the grand manipulation. It became a hoax. It was a matter of individual rights (never mind asking the question where do your rights end and mine begin). The lie became the truth, people swore (and swear) it is truth, when it is nothing but a lie. 

And today, because of the lie, thousands have died, thousands have had their health and lives severely impacted, thousands go to work every day wondering if this will be “the day”. Thousands of courageous health care workers try to save lives, day after day after day, paying their own personal price if not with their physical health and deaths but certainly with their mental health and impact on their own sense of commitment, duty, and well-being. For them, the corner is not being turned. The light at the end of the tunnel appears to be getting even further away.

We cannot forget that Big Lies don’t alter the truth: The virus is bigger and smarter than the lie. Nature will almost always trump the lie. 

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