For a while now it’s been clear the primary objective of most pandemic coverage is to scare the socks off mass audiences. Good news, bad news, boring news, interesting news, news that’s more of a wash in the final analysis, news that’s a net plus overall: it’s all presented as terrifying, more signs of the Apocalypse. There’s no better example than the stampede to advertise the “first death from Omicron” in the United States.
Matt Orfalea does a hilarious job of stitching together an homage to the latest moral panic. So many great little details here, from the “Way Too Early” background to one reporter’s premature death report to the “aggressive Covid vice” imagery, the dramatic Biden-cough, and so much more.
It was the world’s loudest record-scratch when the WHO in the first week of December said the ominous “Omicron variant” of Covid-19 had been detected in 38 countries, but without any known deaths.
No deaths? How could that be? In the United States in late November, we’d already skipped past the stunned-curiosity phase and moved straight into active mass panic, with “fallout from the Omicron variant” causing the Dow to fall 652 points in a day when news of the mutant contagion arrived. Right away, we had a travel ban from southern Africa, an address urging calm from President Mumbles, and a declaration of a “Variant of Concern” from the CDC, as “scientists raced” to learn more about this “almost Frankensteinish” new strain of Covid-19.
RTWT AT TK Mashup: “Omicron DEATH!”