OPINION: You can’t handle the truth

Illustration by Cassandra Stewart

by JORDAN SCENNADeputy Editor

The debate over pandemic protocols has widened the gap between states and individuals whose relationships could be described as “civil,” at best. Since the start of the Covid chaos, we’ve argued over vaccines, lockdowns, masks and mandates. But there was one issue that no matter what side of the aisle you fall on; no matter how diverging an opinion you may have; no matter how “against the grain” you may go…everyone agreed…toilet paper is the most important resource in the world.

Forget about food, clothes and medicine. Those are luxuries. Forget about water, even though it has multiple uses including the washing of one’s backside. It’s all about the “tp.” During the first few months of the pandemic I could walk into a grocery store, straighten my mask, and purchase an endless amount of fresh produce. The meat was all gone, but you could have all the fruits and vegetables your little Covid infected heart could desire. Those precious rolls of paper we ball up into wads (or fold neatly into squares if you’re a masochist) to clean our posteriors; they had all but vanished from store shelves.

Covid has many well-known symptoms; headaches, brain-fog, and the dreaded respiratory issues among them; but as far as I know, a gastrointestinal out pour was never mentioned by our good Dr. Fauci. Even so, people made a mad dash to their local stores and cleaned them out of every roll of toilet paper. Even the off brands, the 1-ply’s, the unscented, it didn’t matter. That organic, brown toilet paper that most of us wouldn’t purchase even if they were the last rolls on earth, we bought those, too. One thoughtful citizen could empty an entire CVS. They might not be able to breathe, but at least they’re not a dirty butthole.

We know that former President Trump downplayed the severity of the Covid virus. This is exactly what he told journalist Bob Woodward in an interview in 2020. He knew it was serious, but he acted casually. “If you stay calm, it’ll go away,” Trump said. Today, we know that Dr. Fauci downplayed the importance of masks because he didn’t want a public panic to cause a shortage of PPE masks for healthcare professionals. In July of 2020, director of the Center for Disease Control, Robert Redfield, said we could get the virus under control with mask mandates in about two months.

Yes, the messaging became part of the mess. Our leaders were keeping us from the truth.Coronavirus was a problem, but our government and prominent members of the health community were also saying that “we’ve got this under control.” Even with the information sandbagging we received in the early days of the pandemic, people still panicked. Store shelves were emptied. We were told by our leaders that everything was going to be fine, just wash your hands. We freaked out anyway, and made toilet paper an extinction level event. Can you imagine if the president or the CDC director appeared on television in March 2020 and gave an accurate prediction of what was to come.

OPINION: You can’t handle the truth

“We estimate that 1 million people will die, maybe more. Some of those who survive an infection may face life-long side effects. We don’t know yet. Good luck.”

Holy crap!

Buildings would still be on fire. Your neighborhood would resemble the gnarliest post-apocalyptic environment you’ve ever seen on film and toilet paper would be the least of your problems.

The powers that be don’t trust us with the truth, even if they know it. When a random person can go online and say only former president Trump can stop a cabal of pedophilic cannibals that have infiltrated society, and it spirals into a full-blown movement (I’m looking at you Qanon), how can you blame them?As a group, we’re prone to panic.

What if the claim was more believable? More terrifying? We are now spectators to a Ukraine/Russia conflict that’s causing a drop in stock prices as fear rises. To consider a hypothetical, what if this war spilled over to the United States. Would you want to know, and when? Or what if intelligence experts feared a cyber-attack on financial institutions that might empty your account of all that hard-earned dough?Would you want a warning? The obvious answer is yes, immediately, but a simultaneous bank run might not be the best answer for the country.

We love to point our righteous fingers at the government. We criticize mainstream media for lies and misinformation, all while clamoring for the truth. Well, we might be ill-equipped for it.

So the next time you think all you want from the media and from the government is transparency…have a little self-awareness…

You can’t handle the truth…