COVID-19 misinformation continues to flow everywhere

So, I’ve been thinking lately about things people say that, quite honestly, are not true. Or, they might not even be possible.

For example, when a coach tells a player to give 110 percent, that’s simply not attainable. We can only achieve that which we are capable. I would hope athletes commit 100 percent to their teams. Most fall considerably short of that. I get amused by the official tennis rules that state a player must give a full effort in a match. Or what? He or she will lose? That apparently was the goal in the first place. Nobody can force anyone to try to win.

People cannot be coerced into doing the right thing. On the first day of the new state mandate that required Kansans to wear masks in public, it was not difficult to find people in our local variety store shopping without face coverings, despite a sign on the door declaring masks were required. Again, I realize that such a rule is likely not enforceable, but our county leaders didn’t help when they threw up their hands and declared they would not go along with the governor’s mandate.

In the category of untrue statements, our national government excels. For example, declaring that the numbers of cases of COVID-19 would go down if medical officials would just stop all that pesky testing is absurd. While it may be that there would be fewer cases reported, the number of hospitalizations and deaths would continue to accelerate. The stated belief that soon the coronavirus will simply “fade away” is just as ludicrous. Without a vaccine, this pandemic will continue for many months to come.

Additionally, some in authority continue to argue that, despite spikes in coronavirus illness in pockets of the country, the number of deaths are declining, and that’s a good trend. But, thanks to something called Simpson’s paradox (which I don’t claim to fully understand), the same piece of statistical data can be used to make opposite claims. Bottom line: people will continue to die from this disease until a cure or vaccine is found, and each death is a tragedy.

Every newscast does not have to begin with these two words: “Breaking News.” Sometimes news is just news. Here’s an example: “A mob in Boston has torn down two statues from the Old State House and set them on fire.” This occurred on July 18, 1776, upon the first public proclamation of the Declaration of Independence in Massachusetts.

The Confederate flag is not a part of our national history and does not deserve to be preserved. I’ve seen one hanging in the window of a local business, and I observed an old pickup truck driving around town on July 4 with both Confederate and American flags flying proudly behind it. Oh, the irony. By definition, those who fought against the Union were traitors. I don’t believe any Hillsboro residents took up arms in that 1860s melee, so what history are we allegedly preserving? Nearly all of those statues that are in contention these days around the country were not erected before or during the Civil War. They were put up afterward to intimidate those who dared to seek civil and equal rights. As such, the likenesses of these figures have no appropriate historical value. Should we continue to honor Columbus and Coronado, knowing about the damage they did to the original Americans? And, naming Southern military bases after traitors to the United States was also a poorly-thought-out plan. I’ve been to Germany. I don’t recall hearing of any facilities named after Goebbels or Göring or Himmler or Rommel. I didn’t see any statues of them either.

I’ve heard it said that a person is only as old as he or she feels. Nope. I am still having birthdays once a year whether I want them or not. It is fun watching my grandchildren grow, but every advance in age they make reminds me that my days on this earth are receding at the same rate. By the time they graduate from high school, I will be in my upper 70s. It won’t matter how old I actually feel.

Democrats are fascists, looters and America haters, according to some. In truth, most of the advances that have improved society were made during the administrations of progressive thinkers. Social security, civil rights, Medicare and Medicaid are but a few examples. And, contrary to the commercials that have taken over TV lately, where Republican candidates clamber over each other to show they are card-carrying conservatives and attempt to claim the closest ties to Donald Trump, there may soon be a time where those assertions and connections may prove to be more detrimental than helpful. Eventually, only one plumber or doctor will remain standing. Then, Kansas Republicans will be asked to forget what the candidates said about each other and blindly unite in support of the winner in a general election battle on Nov. 3.