The 5th pillar of the Coronavirus is social media. It demanded a uniformity opinion akin to the response I believe everyone saw in the wake of 9/11. There were so many brilliant epidemiologists at Stanford, Oxford, Harvard, and Yale challenging the conventional wisdom of the COVID-19 models that were predicting millions of deaths. People on social media were shutting down the people from Stanford, Oxford, Harvard, and Yale. People on social media insisted if you advocated for anything other than a complete shutdown of the United States of America, honestly, you did not care about people dying. I was part of the group that was challenging the conventional wisdom, and I got so many direct messages just filled with emotion. (we shall look upon this further later on.)
We saw an eerie echo of 9/11 to how the nation responded to the corona virus.
I believe that my generation was still too young when 9/11 happened, so upon research, if anyone who suggested it might not be the smartest decision to go to the Middle East and begin a never-ending war was shutdown as unpatriotic. You would be considered a terrorist and anti-patriotic.
(I would like to take the time to recognize the fallen on this Memorial Day. To my cousins who served in the Iraq war, I thank you! Everyone else that served in any war, I must thank you! )
Social media mobs ran violently rampant online (like they always do) policing anyone who dared question any element of conventional wisdom.
What was the result you may ask?
After 9/11, we stumbled into a trillion-dollar response with remarkably minimal debate. Just like the Corona Virus!
Look now let’s think about this!
Aren’t we all able to acknowledge that no one is pro death!?
Not on social media.
Anytime I shared any positivity about the Coronavirus other than the doom and gloom forecast, I got judged like there was no tomorrow for being a mad man. I would get endless messages saying that I was crazy, and I needed to take things more seriously. The point is that many people were pro-death, and that is a shame.
Let’s make this clear social media’s fuel isn’t reason or logic; it’s emotion. And emotion, especially in times of crisis, is often the worst leader of all.
Social media requires an oversimplified disneyfied sense of right and wrong, good and evil. No one in real life is all good or all evil; on social media, everyone is, all day long, every day. Social media is the worst invention in the times of crisis because it encourages rapid emotional response and discourages deep thinking and reason.
Smart public policy requires a robust and uninhibited public debate on all issues. We saw none of this when it came to the coronavirus. NONE! As a result, our public policy has not been as good as it could have been. Although our knowledge of the virus remains, spartan anyone who challenged conventional wisdom got shut down.
Our fifth pillar is that the network of ideas in how to combat the coronavirus was shutdown and social media’s policing of dissenting thought.