New COVID-19 Strain Devastating England is Ignored In the US — WTF??

New Covid-19 strain ‘out of control’ and people in Tier 4 ‘should behave like they have it’

Citizens of the US have no idea how little they know about what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Two recent examples — one of (more or less) passing interest, the other of way more importance.

First, France’s new not-yet-finalized security law: It would make it more difficult for journalists and others to document activities during ‘troubles’ by banning the capturing of images of individuals acting in an official police capacity. The proposed law, already passed by the lower house of parliament, also allows body cam footage to be beamed back to headquarters to be used for… what? Identification of protestors? Something else? The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Even without fully knowing the details, hundreds of thousands of Parisians have taken to the streets on recent weekends to protest the law. The protests have been regularly reported on RT and RT.com, both arms of the government of Russia. But so far as I’ve been able to determine, no major US media outlet has given the protestors’ activities a moment of time. Amazing!

Of greater immediate importance to Americans is the very real threat the new strain of COVID-19 that’s now ravaging England.

Until today (12/21), I have, in my regular reading of the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the AP daily headline service, seen no mention of that new COVID-19 strain in the US (print) media, nor have I heard it mentioned on CNBC, CNN, or Fox.

WTF?

Suddenly, though, as Britons are forbidden to travel to at least 30 countries because they don’t want the new COVIS strain brought across their borders, the US media began waking up to something they had, somehow, been ignoring.

How great a risk is the new strain? Here are links to a few press reports in the UK and elsewhere:

The Daily Mirror (12/20): New Covid-19 strain ‘out of control’ and people in Tier 4 ‘should behave like they have it’

The Guardian (12/20): What do we know about the fast-spreading Covid variant in UK?

The Indian Express (12/21): UK hit by new coronavirus strain: All your questions answered

The New York Times (12/21): More nations close their doors to Britain; Calls increase for the United States to follow suit.

NPR (12/20): ‘We Cannot Continue With Christmas’: U.K. Tightens Rules As Virus Variant Spreads

AP News (12/20): EXPLAINER: Are new coronavirus strains cause for concern? (apnews.com)

Note that the AP report says the new COVID strain has also been detected in South Africa; And NPR’s ‘We cannot continue with Christmas’ line reflected full-page headlines in at least one of the major British daily papers.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the US media to ignore much of what’s happening elsewhere in the world. The nearest thing to a reason for this is that US citizens — and the media serving them — are rather insular in attitude: They simply don’t care what’s happening elsewhere. Sometimes, though, overseas activities are reflective of American policies/attitudes, and some of the protests, etc. those attitudes generate can come back to bite us on the backside: Closing the circle, Americans may mimic activities in, say, London or Paris, and protest the likes of the likes of military materiel (tanks, armored cars, assault weapons, etc.) in the hands of local police departments.

Now, more than ever, it is important that we in the US keep ourselves at least a little bit aware of what’s happening elsewhere. We may, as the popular saying goes, all be “in this together” as a global community, but the US media doesn’t act like that’s the case.

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Doug Harris

Doug Harris

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50+ years a writer, 80+ unique bylines. Two blogs have reached 60+ countries.