Updated: Mar 8, 2020
I love the CDC. I do.
Do you know why? Because their job is to give you the facts. Even the facts about stuff that 90 percent of the population is blathering on about in one form or another - one quick stop at the CDC website and wella-presto, you have a built in bullshitometer.
I love the CDC for the same reason I love working in the school system. The job of a teacher is to teach you the facts.
If you think about it, teachers are probably the first real, honest people you meet as a child.
Parents are notorious liars.
I don't say this as a petulant child, stomping my feet and demanding some truth I'm not yet equip to handle, I say this as a person who has been on and been part of, both sides of the liar coin.
Child: Is Santa real?
Parent: Don't you see this note he wrote you, answering the very questions that you asked him in your letter??!
Child: What about the Easter Bunny?
Parent: See these gnawed on carrots that you left for him...
Child: Tooth Fairy?
Parent: Check out this crisp dollar in exchange for that decaying tooth you lost.
Child: What happened to Petey my pet rabbit?
Parent: Petey got sick, honey. The vet didn't have the right medicine (for the cat that got a hold of Petey.)
Child: Where's Buster? I haven't seen our dog Buster in a couple days.
Parent: Buster ran away. He wanted to go live in a house with a bigger yard...and bunnies to chase. (Or at least that's where we assume he was going when he was hit BY A CAR!)
Child: My friend Trina says that Casey's mom isn't really Casey's mom. Is that true?
Parent: Honey, the person that Casey lives with, feels safe with, looks up to and the person that cares for her the most is the person she calls mom. So if Casey is happy with her mom, what does it matter what Trina thinks? (Fact: Trina's parents should not have let their eight-year old in on the fact that Casey's mom is, in fact, Casey's aunt because Casey's actual mom left her kid with her sister when the kid was a baby and took off with her tattooed-motorcycle-driving boyfriend.)
For the sake of childhood, yes. But still lies.
Then along comes your teachers.
Child: Does Cupid really shoot arrows at people and make them fall in love?
Teacher: I'm so glad you asked that. Cupid is a fictional character. And we are, in fact, going to learn more about the difference between fictional and non-fictional characters TODAY! So on that note, everyone open your Reading text book to page 14.
Child: (Illustrates a picture of a brown, fuzzy looking blob. Titles it: My Poopy)
Teacher: I love your creativity but we need to fix that word. Now what vowel makes the "ugh" sound so we can can spell this correctly and really have a title to be proud of (instead of one that makes Mom's "Facebook Funnies" page.)
Child: (nearing the teen years) Mom there's a wet spot on my sheets.
Parent: (red faced, pushing the AVOID button repeatedly) Did you pee the bed? Dude, bring your sheets down and put them in the washing machine! Let's get them cleaned and that bedroom aired out. How much water did you drink last night anyway??
Teacher: As you get older and your body changes, boys may experience something called a "wet dream." This is a perfectly normal part of growing up and nothing to be ashamed of.
Ahhhhh, the truth comes out, as it always does.
In a way, however, all this being-lied-to and deciphering-whose-telling-the-truth stuff is a good preparation for adult life. Let's face it, some adults do not contain their lies in their home just for the sake of their children. Some adults like to carry that habit through into their professional life and friendship circles.
Boss: sure we can talk about that raise...
Friend: I heard from someone.... I can't say who....
Coworker: Can you cover the last half hour of my shift for me? I have a doctor appointment.... (and by doctor, I mean I'm getting my nails done.)
And we all know, if someone finds it acceptable to lie to another adult in person, they have absolutely zero qualms about doing such on social media. Social media is to the liars as Las Vegas for the "lucky." Come here and give it your best shot. We'll see if anyone figures out your game....
Hell we'll make it even easier - here are some filters that will help you change your appearance so you can look a little different while you're selling your lies. I mean, why stop at one lie when you can compile them? Stack them atop one another and create an almost alter-ego of yourself.... doesn't that seem even more fun?
And so they go. They scour feeds and boards looking for the most shocking of things to share. They add their own comments to justify the words as their own beliefs and then with the push of a button - send it out to their friends and family. All in the name of Oh-my-God-look-what-I-just-read!
Do they fact check and cross reference? Hell no! This isn't about the truth, Missy, this is about how much jaw-dropping can one create to get a post that has a lot of Likes and Shares.
Truth? That's for the nerds who don't really care about Likes, they just want to "inform people."
Inform them of this: my post likes just reached 766!
....So what's with the rant, Jess? Where's all the rage stemming from?
Obviously, the latest and greatest in the let's-blow-this-wildly-out-of-proportion-and-see-who-we-can-get-to-jump-on-board-with-it: the Coronavirus (dunt dun daaaaaaaaah.)
I know, I know, every time you turn around it's, "wear a mask!" "Save the masks." "It's here, it penetrated our borders!" "Stop all travel, ground all the planes!" "Wash hands for 15 minutes each." "Close the schools." "Eat only radishes and turnips for 10 days!" ....Okay I just made that last one up, but seriously - its something new every time I open my eyes or my ears.
When in fact.... the good ol bullshitometer CDC says...
So the fact of the matter is, according the the CDC, to the average person - your risk assessment is: low.
To a small percentage of the population who have both a compromised immune system and relatives returning from recent travels abroad - you might fall into a different category. ...But for the wealth of you; you could really stop all the post sharing. You can stop calling your neighborhood Edward Jones representative and chewing their butt about the sad state of your Mutual Fund as though they, too, aren't probably losing money on their own. You can fact check before you freak the freak out and if all else fails - you can ask a teacher. See what they have to say.
After all, they didn't steer you wrong on how to find "x" and all that stuff about Newton and his laws, did they?