A Big Storm
When we have a big snow storm in these parts of the North East, the weather geeks are in their glory.
“A big snow storm is coming, everyone should hunker down, do not venture outside unless it is absolutely necessary, fill your bathtubs, buy all the toilet paper, milk, and bread you can. This is a life-threatening storm!”
When the storm hits there is no shortage of reporters standing against the wind and the snow, measuring the depth, pointing out stuck cars and warning everyone to stay at home. Apparently, their job is absolutely necessary.
When the storm finally begins to recede, we are warned that it has not stopped yet, some roads in local streets are still unplowed, and it is still not safe to leave your home.
When the snow stops and the sun comes out, we are warned of the danger of melting snow that freezes at night when the temperature drops.
“Watch your step, it is dangerous out there, and drivers need to be warned about black ice!”
Finally, the sun is out all day, night temperatures are above freezing and the new danger is,
“Melting snow is causing dangerous floods, do not drive unless it is absolutely necessary. Further, there is a danger of icicles breaking off of buildings creating a danger to pedestrians!”
All during the storm the news brings us examples of the storm’s destruction. There is always at least one tree that falls through a house, a car stuck in the middle of a flooded street, a baby born in a car stuck in traffic.
In the media, fear sells. Good news is bad news. Bad news is magnified, and when bad news goes away there is always a “but”, always a danger, always a not-so-fast warning.
In our current pandemic storm, numbers are falling, vaccine supplies are rising, warm weather is coming, things might just be improving, the light at the end of the tunnel may be in sight.
Not so fast!
New virus mutations are discovered every day. They may be more virulent, they may be more deadly, they may be resistant to the vaccines, there may not be enough people willing to take the vaccine to reach herd immunity and no one knows how long vaccines will provide protection. A new pandemic may be developing soon.
When a big snow storm is coming the media gets excited and spreads fear. When it hits, they make sure to only show destruction, when the storm goes away, we are told of after-the-storm related consequences, and there is always a claim that a new storm might be forming and on the way.
Eventually summer arrives and news shifts to dangers of rip tides, sunburn, skin cancer, and insect-spreading disease.
“Be careful driving into the sun, grab those shades, lather up with sunscreen and wear light loose fitting clothes. The ocean is full of sharks, air pollution is high, pollen is at record levels and hurricane season is upon us. Be careful…better yet, stay at home and stay tuned. We’ll tell you when it is safe to go outside!”