Some are funny, some are silly, some are offensive, some are poignant, and some are dangerous. The ones that are dangerous are ones that I want to focus on. The dangerous memes are the ones either outright lying or telling a half-truth. Here we will be focusing on COVID related memes.

This meme is true, but it does not tell you the whole story of the numbers. 10 million people did contract TB and 1.5 million people did die, but just not in the US, it was worldwide (WHO). In 2018, a little more than 9000 people contracted TB in the US and 70% of them were non-U.S.-born people (CDC). In 2017, 515 deaths were attributed to TB.

COVID-19 was a novel (new) virus and no one knew what to expect or how the body was going to handle it. I understood flattening the curve because of this. However, the media and politicians are still spreading fear over something we know a lot more of now.

Numbers matter. When they are used properly they will inform, when they are incorrect they are dangerous and disingenuous. For more on this read Pandemic Panic.

Again, there is truth in this meme. From April 2009 to April 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases, 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths in the United States due to the Swine flu (H1N1 virus). CDC also estimates that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from Swine flu during the first year the virus circulated (CDC).

As of the date of publishing this, there have been 5.8 million cases and 179k deaths in the US from COVID (CDC).

I know there are conspiracies about the number of deaths but let’s take them as they are. If we were to look just at the numbers it would seem that the COVID looks less communicable but more deadly than the Swine flu. However, looking at the numbers from official sources show that COVID has a higher infection and mortality rate. Also, the swine flu was categorized as just that, “the flu”. COVID, while it has flu-like symptoms, is not the flu.

The communicableness (not sure that is a word) of diseases is given a number based on its basic reproduction or replication from one person to another. The R0 (pronounced R nought or R zero) is how infectious a pathogen is. The R0 is measured as the expected number of cases directly generated by one case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection ( The R0 value of the Swine flu (H1N1) is 1.5 and COVID-19 is likely to be 5.7 (CDC).

US cigarette deaths last year are estimated at 480,000 deaths per year. Obesity deaths 300,000. Cancer deaths 606,880. Diabetes 1.6 million. Flu 34,200. Starvation deaths are few in the US but 9 million worldwide. War deaths in the US in the last 20 years 5700. Suicide 48,000. Medical errors 250,000. That’s over 3 million dead versus 179k deaths in the US from COVID (CDC). So you can see where this meme came from. I am not making light of death. While death is tragic, it is in some instances preventable, but it is always unavoidable.

The original goal of the government was to flatten the curve to help the medical industry not be overwhelmed. We did that so let us get on with our lives and open up the economy. Flattening the curve was not supposed to decrease the number of infections or death as some seem to think. That number was always going to stay the same. Will there be continuing infections and deaths? Yes. Does that mean we should shut down our livelihoods and who we are as humans? Humans need contact with other humans. We are social creatures who need to have connections. Along with this human need, it does seem that our rights as individuals guaranteed by the Constitution have been infringed, specifically the freedom to peaceably assembly (e.g. work and worship). Others, such as fines or being charged with a crime for not wearing a mask seems a little ridiculous.

I err on the side of freedom, let us get back to something of normality. The one good thing from the shutdown is that it has brought families closer together, but not all people have great families to turn to. Due to the loss of human connection, despair, and anxiety, and the media pushing panic and fear there are reports that there are higher amounts of abuse, drug use, and suicides. It does make me think that the cure might be worse than the disease.


I have been thinking a lot about progressivism since I read a quote a while back and I will get to that later. First, I want to break down the definition of progressivism, outside of politics.

Progressivism is the principles and practices of progressives. (

Progressives are characterized by continuous improvement or progress. (

Progress is growth or development; continuous improvement; the development of an individual or society in a direction considered more beneficial than and superior to the previous level. (

And yes, I did pick and choose the definitions I wanted for the purposes of this exercise, but I did say I would define it outside of politics.

Progressivism, unfortunately, has become synonymous with liberals. Thus, since the liberals are “progressive” it is the unspoken understanding that conservatives are not, which is ridiculous. Thomas Edison said, “Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.” Those who are restless and discontent are striving to make the world a better place, but what is the motivation of their restlessness and discontent? Are they driven by ego, money, power, or more altruistically, to help others live a better life in its various capacities. In this consideration of motives I often think of the Seven Social Evils. Normally attributed to Mohandas Gandhi, however, Frederick Lewis Donaldson gave them in a sermon six months before Mohandas publishing them in his weekly newspaper. Regardless, of this Mohandas’ nephew, Arun Gandhi did give us an eighth social evil (

Frederick Lewis Donaldson and Mohandas Gandhi
Frederick Lewis Donaldson and Mohandas Gandhi

1. Wealth without work.
2. Pleasure without conscience.
3. Knowledge without character.
4. Commerce without morality.
5. Science without humanity.
6. Religion without sacrifice.
7. Politics without principle.
8. Rights without responsibilities.

If you are honest with yourself and society you will know that all of these social evils are true. They were given by both Donaldson and Gandhi in 1925, almost a hundred years ago! (I will discuss these more in another article.) It seems that the Progressives/Left wants to have and legislate all the social sins. You can only have true progress when you have wealth with work, pleasure with conscience, knowledge with character, commerce with morality, science with humanity, religion with sacrifice, politics with principle, and rights with responsibilities.

Below is my view of what has happened in society and politics in the US. I started the graph with the left slightly left of center and the right slightly right of center with guide lines to help see the progression of each scenario. In the left graph is our current state of affairs with Progressives continuing to move to the left and the right moving to the left. If this is progress, then we must ask for whom and to what end? Progressives will always keep moving to the left, in the idea that we have to tear down the old system and build a new one. To them, the solution to the failure of government is more government and looks a lot like socialism. Current Progressivism is a cancer and a decay to freedoms and liberties to America and hope to the world. The middle graph is what it should be the left and the right compromising on things to better America, but staying left or right of center on average. The right graph is what needs to happen. Progress isn’t forging ahead in the wrong direction it is going back and getting on the right path. That brings me to the quote I mentioned earlier.

In Mere Christianity (first published in 1952), C.S. Lewis said, “We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man. …I think if you look at the present state of the world, it is pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.”

Think about it this way, an inventor or a scientist wouldn’t keep continuing down the path of a failed invention or experiment, that’s not very smart or progressive. They would go back to where it went wrong and work on a different path forward until it works. The one who turns back soonest is the most progressive. Those who are the most nimble and understand this principle of progressivism are the most successful in most, if not all, aspects of their lives.

We are off track in society. To list some examples, although not all-inclusive: government welfare programs instead of charities, fatherless homes, sex without conscience, education not teaching our children about life skills, do what feels good mentality, your truth, transgenderism, and the claim of systemic racism. “If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

I think that we all want progress in our nation, in our community, in our families, and most importantly in ourselves. However, not all of us are willing to put in the effort to see a change or progress. To make a change in something bigger than ourselves — family, society, etc — we need to start with ourselves. The individual is the most nimble and able to apply the progressive principle from C.S. Lewis. Strive, work, progress to be a better person and by so doing you will change the things around you. Let us be real progressives and go back and get on the right road when we are off track and continue to move forward in personal and societal growth, development, and improvement.