39. Trial by our social media

Friday June 5 2020

I was considering how I’m sharing the Ohio COVID-19 stats with each post. Thinking this is no longer useful or impactful info as the number of new cases start to plateau, so maybe I’ll just post the graphic on a weekly schedule instead.

Then this headline shows up today on CNN.com.

Over 1,000 coronavirus deaths reported in the past 24 hours. Officials fear protests will drive up numbers

So sure, with the reopening of businesses and manufacturing, we expected a spike in numbers of confirmed cases, but this headline speaks of COVID-related deaths, not cases, suggesting that the last week of protests could be behind the incremental increase.

Realistically, it’s too early to attribute deaths to the protests considering the incubation period plus the duration of the virus before it starts the domino effect of organ shutdown. But, we can certainly expect the numbers of both incremental cases and deaths to rise in the next couple of weeks, even without the collection of people protesting while shoulder to shoulder and without everyone wearing masks.

The prison system was already a hotbed of viral infection by its very design of close quarters and shared common areas. When a protester is arrested, they are held first in a police car, possibly with other people. Then delivered to a holding cell for processing. Not much opportunity to keep everyone six feet apart.

It was disclosed that the catalyst to all the protests, the gentleman who died at the hand of a Minneapolis cop, tested positive to COVID-19 according to his autopsy report. I gotta admit that I don’t know what this means in this whole mess of things. To be honest here, I don’t the finding of this gentleman’s COVID-positive results affects much of anything that we’re dealing with right now.

So many messages out there, all looking for an audience to support them.

“Battling COVID-19 and getting to the other side of this pandemic is top priority. Racism has always been in America. Let’s survive this first, then we’ll look at how to tamp down the racial inequality.”

“We’re finally being heard. We have the floor now and will take this advantage to raise awareness of white privilege and how it oppresses the minority.”

“This is all pre-planned and just one more step taking us closer to a civil war. The officers were paid to kill that man and after a short prison stint, will live their lives as rich men.”

The white communities, people of color, and conspiracy theorists. Everyone has a legal right to state their opinion, as supported by the US Constitution. But even when protected by United States law, we may also find ourselves held to trial by social media.

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