So why is it that we continue to get all these new human viruses? What could be so wrong in the world that we get a new one every few years?
Oh, wait! Coronavirus is nothing new. I give my cattle a seven-way vaccination every year and one of the diseases it prevents is called Bovine Coronavirus. In fact, I recently learned that vPED and TGE, which have plagued pig farmers seemingly forever, is caused by the coronavirus. So why then is it such a big deal in our mainstream media? Could it be that 1,100 people dying unfortunately (out of a population of 1.7 billion) is an epidemic? No, guess again.
A quick search of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in the past six months in the United States, over 300,000 people have been hospitalized for, and up to 30,000 have died from influenza. A friend of mine, a veterinarian, asked me why the media is hyping this up so much when these facts are out there for public consumption. To put that into context, there are about 40,000 folks who are killed in automobile accidents each year and 60,000 from influenza. So if you are of these families affected, first my sincere condolences, but then I would ask why does coronavirus get so much attention?
A friend of mine from Nevada is married to a woman from China. She was in China in the past month and had a hard time getting home to Nevada because of the hype. She mentioned to her husband that coronavirus has been making people sick in China for quite some time so why now is it a big deal?
If you will look back at when the media started reporting the situation, it coincides directly with the biggest Trump victory yet: the Phase 1 China trade deal. It is my assessment that the media in both countries could not stand the success so they went to work planting the seeds of danger from China. It has taken a bit of a toll and has disrupted everyday actions including delivering products to and from China.
I spend a fair amount of time in the media world and I can tell you that there is more noise than ever when it comes to trade and facts about food. It is pretty clear that all of rural America is getting more attention than any time I can ever remember. In fact, I don’t believe it is just rural America but rather the working folks that make America great, period. Maybe people are finally starting to see the bigger picture.
2018 again set new records for automobile sales and at the top of the list was light trucks. I think that is relevant because you, me and the average everyday working family in the U.S. drives a pickup or an SUV. I wonder how many folks that report for major media networks, lawmakers, or the DC elite drive a light truck. My point is that the folks reporting the news cannot begin to relate to what really matters in real America or the majority of the people in this country.
We have two choices in this matter; we can sit back and complain about what is happening and continue to take what it brings us or we can actually get louder ourselves and make sure people know who we are and what drives us each and every day. The No. 1 complaint of farmers is that they are forced to take what the market will give and it seems to be the same in regard to legislation, leadership and life in general. It’s time we start driving this vehicle and taking control of the road to our destiny and let the rest take the back seat.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at email@example.com.