Too Stupid for Words category archive
Joan Quiqley fears we are losing the war on stupid. Here’s a bit from her column:
“I’m pretty much fighting two wars: A war against COVID and a war against stupidity,” Dr. Joseph Varon, chief of critical care at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, told NBC News. He said he has more hope of winning the first one than the second.
He added that whether it’s information backed by science or common sense, people throughout the U.S. are not listening.
“The thing that annoys me the most is that we keep on doing our best to save all these people, and then you get another batch of people that are doing exactly the opposite of what you’re telling them to do.”
We are a society of stupid. And selfish.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Sara Gorman and Jack M. Gorman explore the reasons why persons choose to refuse to wear masks in these viral times. Here’s one of the possible reasons they explore; follow the link for the others.
Yet another psychological factor to consider is a sense of control. One thing we can certainly say about COVID-19 is that it makes us feel we are out of control. Although experts rightly tell us there are things we can do to control the pandemic (i.e. social distancing, wearing face masks, frequent handwashing, and getting tested), there is little we can do personally to affect businesses closed all around us, children not able to go to school, and people dying. Refusing to wear a mask may seem, paradoxically, like taking control of the situation. No, it is not a rational step because doing so will only make things worse. But to some, refusing the mask may seem like a major personal statement that re-establishes a sense of control.
The Seattle Times’s Danny Westneat tracks the trail of a Facebook falsehood from a Washington state chiropractor in the Seattle suburbs to Donald Trump and Fox News.
Sam and his crew marvel at the latest Republican nutbag QAnon-believing candidate.
As one who trained as an historian, I must say–well, I don’t know what to say.
Sportswriter extraordinaire Bob Molinaro reflects on the reopening in these viral times (emphasis in the original):
Panic button: With positive COVID-19 tests continuing to rise on its campus, the University of North Carolina’s decision to suspend all athletic activities Wednesday until “at least” the next day is another example of a school chasing its own tail. One day? One week? The virus will be waiting.
Barely afloat: Schools that initially invited students back to campus are quickly discovering what they should have known. When dealing with easily transmissible viruses, dorms are cruise ships without the water.
I was in college a long time ago and certainly did my share of partying. Nevertheless, other than concerts, sports events, large lectures, and some demonstrations against America’s Great and Glorious War for a Lie in Vietnam, I don’t remember participating in the sorts of mob scenes being reported from some colleges.
The AP reports on the rest of the world’s view of the failure of the United States to deal with these viral times. An excerpt (emphasis added):
Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at 35,000.
But after a strict nationwide 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.
“Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions … They need a real lockdown.”
Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units. Yet, more than four months into a sustained outbreak, the U.S. is about to hit an astonishing milestone of 5 million confirmed infections, easily the highest in the world. Health officials believe the actual number is closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all cases are asymptomatic.
“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.”
At Psychology Today Blogs, Alison Escalante explores why persons fall for fake news and misinformation on “social” media. She focuses on (mis)information about COVID-19, but I believe her conclusions can be generalized to larger topics.
The study she discusses suggests that much of the bilge is broadcast because the persons “sharing” it just don’t think before they click. Here’s a bit:
“People often assume that misinformation and fake news is shared online because people are incapable of distinguishing between what is true and what is false,” said lead author Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina, Canada in a press release. “Our research reveals that is not necessarily the case. Instead, we find that people tend to share false information about COVID-19 on social media because they simply fail to think about accuracy when making decisions about what to share with others.”