Sadly, not everyone is moved by the anniversary of 9/11. Plus, some balance on covid reporting.

By Gary Abernathy

‘I haven’t felt it’ is a sentiment among some about 9/11

I have to admit I was surprised at some of the reaction to my latest Washington Post column on how the controversy over our botched withdrawal from Afghanistan could detract from our remembrance of 9/11 on the 20th anniversary of that terrible day.

The surprise wasn’t over any particular criticism of the points I made, but from people saying that the annual remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001 isn’t particularly meaningful to them. People emailed me, and even posted on Twitter, to remark that they don’t feel especially moved or unified with other Americans over the terrorist attacks of 20 years ago.

One person, who I’ll do the favor of not identifying or linking to here, tweeted, “Every time someone suggests some form of unity exists (or did) around 9/11, I wanna know if that person lost someone close to them that day. Because since that day has become a thing, I haven’t felt it.”

I don’t think it is necessary for anyone to have lost someone close to them to feel grief, anger and unity in concert with other Americans over 9/11. Apparently, I’m wrong. It seems like a sad loss of national pride and shared patriotism to feel nothing over an attack on our soil just 20 years ago so horrific that, in fact, it should forever be seared into our collective hearts and minds.

Some media outlets bringing balance to covid coverage

Finally, news organizations are beginning to point out that despite a rise in covid cases, deaths are not trending with that rise. Many of us have argued for a long time now that focusing on cases is not what we should be doing. With the proliferation of vaccines, cases are perhaps more prevalent thanks to the variants, but they are milder for most people even when they are infected.

So it was nice to see this fact highlighted by WCMH NBC4 in Columbus, Ohio, which noted this week that “while cases and hospitalizations have been increasing for the better part of seven weeks, deaths – at worst – have stayed flat.” Usually, an uptick in deaths would have happened by now, the report points out. We need more of this kind of reporting rather than the hysteria over cases.

Abbott & Costello’s ‘Who’s On First,’ covid edition

This has been winding its way around the internet, but I can’t resist posting it here, both because I’m a fan of Abbott & Costello, and because while I’m a believer in getting the covid vaccine, I agree with this parody’s message that the covid messaging from our health “experts” has been confusing.

Bud: ‘You can’t come in here!’
Lou: ‘Why not?’
Bud: ‘Well because you’re unvaccinated.’
Lou: ‘But I’m not sick.’
Bud: ‘It doesn’t matter.’
Lou: ‘Well, why does that guy get to go in?’
Bud: ‘Because he’s vaccinated.’
Lou: ‘But he’s sick!’
Bud: ‘It’s alright. Everyone in here is vaccinated.’
Lou: ‘Wait a minute. Are you saying everyone in there is vaccinated?’
Bud: ‘Yes.’
Lou: ‘So then why can’t I go in there if everyone is vaccinated?’
Bud: ‘Because you’ll make them sick.’
Lou: ‘How will I make them sick if I’m NOT sick and they’re vaccinated.’
Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
Lou: ‘But they’re vaccinated.’
Bud: ‘But they can still get sick.’
Lou: ‘So what the heck does the vaccine do?’
Bud: ‘It vaccinates.’
Lou: ‘So vaccinated people can’t spread covid?’
Bud: ‘Oh no. They can spread covid just as easily as an unvaccinated person.’
Lou: ‘I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Look. I’m not sick.
Bud: ‘Ok.’
Lou: ‘And the guy you let in IS sick.’
Bud: ‘That’s right.’
Lou: ‘And everybody in there can still get sick even though they’re vaccinated.’
Bud: ‘Certainly.’
Lou: ‘So why can’t I go in again?’
Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
Lou: ‘I’m not asking who’s vaccinated or not!’
Bud: ‘I’m just telling you how it is.’
Lou: ‘Nevermind. I’ll just put on my mask.’
Bud: ‘That’s fine.’
Lou: ‘Now I can go in?’
Bud: ‘Absolutely not?’
Lou: ‘But I have a mask!’
Bud: ‘Doesn’t matter.’
Lou: ‘I was able to come in here yesterday with a mask.’
Bud: ‘I know.’
Lou: So why can’t I come in here today with a mask? ….If you say ‘because I’m unvaccinated’ again, I’ll break your arm.’
Bud: ‘Take it easy buddy.’
Lou: ‘So the mask is no good anymore.’
Bud: ‘No, it’s still good.’
Lou: ‘But I can’t come in?’
Bud: ‘Correct.’
Lou: ‘Why not?’
Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
Lou: ‘But the mask prevents the germs from getting out.’
Bud: ‘Yes, but people can still catch your germs.’
Lou: ‘But they’re all vaccinated.’
Bud: ‘Yes, but they can still get sick.’
Lou: ‘But I’m not sick!!’
Bud: ‘You can still get them sick.’
Lou: ‘So then masks don’t work!’
Bud: ‘Masks work quite well.’
Lou: ‘So how in the heck can I get vaccinated people sick if I’m not sick and masks work?’
Bud: ‘Third base.’

Discussing politics of Afghanistan with Hoppy Kercheval

I enjoyed being on with Hoppy Kercheval on “Talkline” today to discuss the politics of the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. You can watch it here.

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