what we expect from major media networks is communicating the truth ( Elie Azar)

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Flipping between TV channels and trying to follow the development of the COVID-19 crisis baffle me as to how different the news is reported. For instance, watching CNN, one would think that the world is coming to an end, especially when listening to the so-called experts who focus on minor issues like people buying guns in one state or predicting the total collapse of the economy; false predictions that transport us to the stone age. On the other hand, watching Fox News makes you believe that the pandemic is just a hiccup. Realistically, the truth lies somewhere else. Consequently, what we expect from major media networks is communicating the truth, being responsible, and staying away from promoting their own political agendas.

Yes, we have a vicious crisis, but the extent of it revolves around the ability to manage and contain it. Yes, it is a vicious virus; in addition to a limited availability of medical supplies and hospital beds, its main danger lies in the fact that it spreads very fast. We need to focus on having the medical facilities ready and equipped to deal with the growing number of infected people. This includes supplies and personnel. We need to stay positive and deal with the situation as such. Panicking and spreading negativity definitely worsen the situation. Furthermore, using this pandemic to advance and score political points aggravates the problem. The vicious attacks from various sides are fragmenting us and diverting our focus from the core issue. In times like this, we must be all united against this common enemy that is affecting every person on this planet. We need to show support and spread hope instead of instilling fear and uncertainty. The latter will cripple our ability to function and to effectively deal with a crisis of such magnitude.

Regarding the medical issues, we know that the mortality rate is less than 2% and the vast majority of infected individuals are successfully recovering at home without needing to stay in a hospital. As we have seen in the last couple of days, the government is working hard to bridge the gap and acquire enough supplies. The right thing to do now is following the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC in order to keep ourselves and others safe. It is going to take a collective effort, but we can definitely overcome it. Let’s stay positive and think of it as a temporary crisis bound to end in the near future.

On the economic side, yes there are a lot of people going through hardships by temporarily losing their jobs, but let’s not forget that this is one sector of the economy. As a matter of fact, we haven’t seen any job loss in big corporations. Everyone is so focused on the high (and temporary) number of unemployment claims last week. Indeed, it is an elevated and scary number, but this spike happened due to the simultaneous shutdown of major cities. Eventually, in few weeks, these businesses will re-open and hire the same people back. Additionally, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package will undoubtedly help these employees and many businesses recover in time. That is why I see no reason to panic.

I appeal to everyone to remain calm and keep the faith. This is just another crisis that we will overcome, as we have done so many times in the past. Remember who we are and the great nation we live in.

Elie Azar

LACD President

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