Don’t worry about today’s headline, it’ll change tomorrow …

Craig Hall

And chances are, the change will be to the advantage of both the writer of said headline and the source. There is no better PR example to relate this to than all the COVID-19 stories we read every day. 

The one consistent COVID thread I keep hearing is “COVID did this to you” or “COVID did that to your business” or “COVID took away our normal.” Of course, those are always followed by, “And here’s the only way you get those things back.” 

That, my friend, is the new PR. And it’s a load of crap. 

Why? The premise. To put it bluntly, COVID took nothing from any of us. Our government and leaders did. And they used COVID to take away every decision-making thought we have. And after they did that, they allowed but one choice to get the crumbs of freedom back they stole. And here comes the PR freight train once again because, “It’s our shot.” Get it? Oh, I get it. 

 If COVID is doing all that, it must be the magic virus. But the real danger of COVID is right before our eyes and most can’t and won’t see it. It’s called arbitrary government rule. 

Before I go into that, let me do my disclaimer only to be overlooked: COVID is real. I’d love to know where it actually came from — although I kinda know. We should treat the sick, protect the vulnerable and help the public go on with its business and lives. And yes, there’s a vaccine ad from Mesa County Public Health in the paper. 

Allow me to give two headlines that came out this week: 99 percent of all new COVID infections with the Delta variant in the U.S. are in unvaccinated people. Nearly 60 percent of new, Delta variant cases in Israel are in vaccinated people. Logic dictates only one thing: It’s a statistical impossibility. OK, two things. Someone isn’t getting the whole truth. And doesn’t that describe the entire past year and a half? 

Every day with COVID headline after COVID headline, within 24 hours or so there’d be another COVID headline with a 180-degree opposite take. It’s really not hard to find. All one needs is a computer, Internet access and the ability to power one’s way through both the Google fill-in for your search and 20 pages of agenda-driven, algorithm-based results to find them. 

There’s the other problem. For most of the past year and a half, people are only seeing one side of the COVID PR coin. The next problem comes when trying to get the other side of the coin to the people, there’s “fact checking” on the Internet to stop any differing opinion or information from seeing the light of day. Does that sound healthy to you? And even here in River City, there’s only one source and one media outlet driving the narrative. And if you question it (well, them, cause there’s really three people running the county) no RFP winning bids for you. 

Need more? We had 15 days to slow the spread, and it’s only taken a year and a half to show some folks that lie. Masks aren’t needed. Oh wait, masks work. Oh wait again, wear two masks. HCQ causes heart problems in spite of being used in patients for over half a century. Worse, HCQ didn’t work in a study in Europe — only that study was withdrawn in less than a month. All while several studies proclaimed how great HCQ works on folks who tested COVID positive early on. We need to start vaccinating kids. Well, no, kids don’t need to be — from the World Health Organization. And speaking of the WHO and its partner in crime, the Centers for Disease Control, the examples of diametrically opposed storylines are myriad and daily. And my favorite: There’s really nothing for America to fear about COVID. Dr. Anthony Frauci told that whopper. 

Well, Craig, the science changed. Yes. It always does. But with a virus, it really doesn’t. Viruses arrive, viruses infect, viruses peak and viruses mutate while declining. They’ll always be here in some form or another. Except with COVID. Arbitrary science is now in the hands of people exercising arbitrary power. Soon enough, COVID will be used again to shut us down. And watch our local leaders cave, only to come back with more arbitrary rules for us to be allowed entry into their members-only clubs. 

Listen. I’m not against the local news unless it’s agendized. I’m not against local business groups unless they make arbitrary rules to benefit one business over another. And I’m not against local health, unless it’s being used to deny life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

I was in discussing COVID the other day with someone in the health field. One thing stood out. He said Country Jam was going to be a super spreader event according to local health and civic leaders. Yet, the three entities mentioned above promoted, reported on and allowed Country Jam to go on as planned. Not one PR release as to the danger. Ask yourself: “Why?” 

He then said I didn’t understand. No. I understand just fine. As I’m sure you do. We see both sides of every government-issued coin. Like seeing the irony of needing an ID for a vaccine, yet not to vote. Arbitrary indeed.