‘I Don’t Know Anyone Who Has Covid’

Too often we hear a most inane line uttered by people concerning the pandemic that is ravaging the nation. If the person making the following statement is well known to us there is an awareness that 9 times out of 10 they have conservative views and voting habits.

‘I don’t know anyone who has covid’.

The line is delivered usually with a dismissive and disdainful attitude concerning closing schools, limiting businesses, and challenging politicians who will not do the work required during a public health crisis. Turning a pandemic into a political matter started at the Oval Office and now too many conservatives mimic the behavior. There’s a wealth of scientific evidence to show the virus is clearly very real. And deadly.

Though this home has severely limited since March how we interact with the world–and the world with us– we are still very aware of many people who have had COVID. Two of my blog readers, two of my friends, another who had a job prior to me at the statehouse, a lady in Britain who seven months ago had the disease but still has ‘brain-fog’ and great difficulty concentrating. And the list could sadly continue.

Now comes news this morning about the death of a person we knew only from our frequent meals at a Madison Olive Garden Restaurant. Our conversations were of the chatty kind with Kevin Croak, the type that I readily engage in with most folks. His online obituary speaks to a life well-lived, and ended too early at the age of age 64.

Kevin was a talented actor who contributed a great deal to the theatre community in Madison. He was passionate about acting and instructed and mentored students at the University of Wisconsin. He acted in hundreds of films and received many acting awards. Kevin was known for his ready smile, a quick wit and being an animated storyteller.

I guess what we should assume when we hear the dismissive words from some people about not knowing anyone with Covid means they simply do not have many friends or acquaintances. Meanwhile, there are studies that show conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus among this demographic. It is truly a dangerous ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories, purports fake news and hoaxes, and discourages conservatives from taking concrete and medically-backed steps to protect themselves and others. Their willful ignorance actually helps spread the virus.

When you hear someone say ‘I don’t know anyone who has covid’ you know more about them than they realize. Meanwhile, those of us grounded in science and reality will marshall on by following the medical guidelines from medical professionals.

But it would sure make it easier on society if everyone could land on the page of science.