It’s better to be skeptical than cynical, but we have a problem here.
In the early aughts, a once-respected writer was found out by editors that the writer had introduced information that was not true. The writer bowed out, but then wrote a novel titled The Fabulist.
Forbes ran a review of the book, noting this: “Once, he fictionalized his reporting to improve upon reality. Now he has written a novel that makes his real-life story seem less interesting.” Boy, you can’t win on this one.
The dictionary gurus at Merriam-Webster define the word “fabulist” as this:
- a creator or writer of fables
- LIAR (the use of the upper case is theirs, not mine
(A big shout-out to The New Yorker for the cover — “Under Control” by Brian Stauffer –mailed days ago. So prescient.)
So now, when we have a virus spreading around the world – and into the United States and Colorado – we need to be careful. When a fabulist decides he “has a hunch” about what’s going to happen, and when he announces his knowledge of medicine when making judgments of a new and problematic virus, and says there are enough tests for everyone (calling the test “beautiful”), and when he contradicts people who actually know how to deal with this, what do we do? Even some of the experts at various government levels seem to not be on the same page, but that undoubtedly will be sorted out.
Still, wash your hands with soap and hot water, use sanitizers (though they don’t seem to be found anywhere, and not much on Amazon and tagged “unattainable”), don’t touch your face because that’s one way we can introduce this virus into our bodies.
The links below are sort of a grab bag. First, is a link featuring black humor from last night’s Real Time With Bill Maher, delivered at the beginning of the show. Warning: It contains “adult language,” but it’s funny. Maher has noticed something. He says that now that we shouldn’t touch our face (like eyes, mouth, nose), he realizes how many times a day he touches his face. And he’s right. Time to sit on your hands.
Then, there is a link to a FAQ page from Colorado Public Radio, with basic information about the situation. This is followed by a link to a Washington Post story today covering the president wandering through a lab in Atlanta run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is acting like a medical expert because he has “a natural ability” to deal with medical issues. The next link is a clip on MSNBC about the testing situation during that visit. Finally, NPR has a page devoted to a zine developed by NPR. It explains the coronavirus for kids, and it’s being translated into numerous languages. This page is called Goats and Soda, and it is fascinating. Adults can get into this, too.