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Friday, February 3, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Don’t make people hysterical and then complain about them

Editor’s Notebook: Don’t make people hysterical and then complain about them

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The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association was out with a press release yesterday pleading with the public not to run to emergency rooms if they are not facing severe COVID symptoms or other major health emergencies.

“Most individuals who contract coronavirus do not need to visit the hospital emergency department and can effectively recover from their illness at home, or by seeking primary-care treatment and/or speaking with their primary care provider,” the trade organization said.

“Individuals should not visit the emergency department if the symptoms of their illness are mild to moderate – including a cough, sore throat, runny nose, or body aches – or simply for the purpose of having a COVID-19 test administered,” the association said. “In those situations, people are encouraged to instead consult an outpatient primary-care provider.”

Good advice, but given the hysteria surrounding omicron (which for most afflicted with it is akin to something between the sniffles and a modest case of the flu), is it any surprise people have been doing stupid stuff, like standing for hours in poor weather waiting for non-necessary tests, or running to the emergency room in panic when symptoms materialize?


Sorry, public-health leaders, politicians and the media: You can’t with one hand whip up the hysteria full blast, and with the other tell people to calm down. Human nature doesn’t work that way, does it?

Now, if omicron has the potency of delta, we’d be in a different ballgame. But it seems to be almost a blessing in disguise, hopefully bringing natural immunity (something our public-health officials by and large seem reluctant to even acknowledge) without too much additional societal carnage.

But one never knows. People do hate to give up their power when they have the public in a choke-hold, don’t they?

GOOD JOB ON REDISTRICTING: There will be winners and losers, but the fact is, the plan put in place by Virginia voters in 2019 to change election-boundary redistricting worked as intended.

Oh, it was ugly in some ways: The Virginia Redistricting Commission, half populated with political partisans, unsurprisingly failed in its duty. But the voters had a plan for that, kicking the whole thing up to the Virginia Supreme Court.

And except for a few political hacks of the left, in and out of office, who insist on perpetuating the fraud that somehow the court is beholden to Republican interests, most everybody else agrees that the maps that came out earlier this week were as fair and reasonable as one might expect.

Speaking of winners and losers, one big winner was U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-10th), whose current district certainly would have put her in some political peril in 2022. But under the new lines, the 10th is much more Democratic-friendly.

In politics as in life, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be talented. Wexton proves the case, time and again.

–Scott McCaffrey

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