After the United States committed large numbers of troops in Vietnam, each evening the TV news - a major source of information - showed a graphic of numbers of U.S. troops killed and wounded. News moved beyond graphics.
Numbers were made real by journalists, on the air, who ducked gunfire and reported Americans being killed and wounded. They also showed a Vietnamese man, hands bound, shot in the head by a Vietnamese officer with a pistol. A naked child ran, in terror, from a napalm attack.
The premise of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam was more than questionable. As Senator Goldwater said: “If we sent them there to win, we sent too few. If we sent them there to lose, we sent too many.” The Pentagon Papers showed no numbers were sufficient to win.
We left Vietnam. Many were opposed to U.S. military involvement there, but also the American viewing public got tired of seeing killed and wounded on TV. Ratings for Vietnam took a dive. But no one doubted people were killed and wounded.
The Pentagon learned. “News” from later conflicts became managed. Lincoln said: “Let the people know the facts and the public will be safe.” As gruesome as death and suffering from COVID is, we need to see those people as they suffer and die.
Fools who doubt science and embrace Q’Anon idiocy will not be swayed by evidence. A reality of the USA today is that people in a gray area, unless confronted with facts, give these fools’ ravings credence. Video of people hit by COVID needs to be given far more air time.
People in a gray area were swayed one way in 2016. Some were swayed another way in 2020. Survivors of those who have died and those who have survived know the reality of the pandemic. An El Paso nurse on TV described four freezer trucks there for the dead.
We need to see the reality of COVID so that more people do not die. After all, with the current occupant of the Oval Office is playing golf, we need to make a pandemic with a death toll over 250 million more real - so that those numbers are not mere graphics.