General Question

seawulf575's avatar

Why is the threat of Omicron taken so differently from Fentanyl that is pouring across the southern border?

Asked by seawulf575 (13879points) December 21st, 2021
79 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Everyone has heard of Omicron and what a threat it is. But in reality it has killed very few people. Yet the public is up in arms, rushing to take actions against it. Meanwhile, illegal drugs are pouring across the southern border of the US because of the lax enforcement of the border. Fentanyl killed about 43,000 people all by itself. And that doesn’t include other illegal drugs entering the US. And people aren’t up in arms about that. Why is there such a difference in the reaction?

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Answers

product's avatar

I haven’t received my fentanyl booster yet, so I’m quite scared of catching fentanyl. But I do wear a mask at the market, so I’m hoping I don’t catch fentanyl!

JLeslie's avatar

Um, Fentanyl, Meth, Oxycodone, you name it, it has been talked about in newspapers, magazines, on TV news, on talk shows. I’m guessing they warn against it in schools, educate the kids about the hazards of addiction.

I can’t catch your Fentanyl addiction because you stand next to me.

Edit: About 60,000 overdose deaths per year. Actually, drugs get a lot of attention considering the death rate. How often do you hear about flu deaths? That hits 60,000 some years. Do you know heart disease kills more people than ALL cancers combined per year? Most people don’t.

product's avatar

Personally, I’m looking forward to a cure for NoHealthInsurance – a disease that kills tens of thousands of people per year and bankrupts so many more. Despite rumors that the only reason the disease has hit the US is due to capitalism and the wealth of an unnecessary private insurance industry, I’m fairly certain this disease has entered the country by illegal immigrants and liberals, who tried to inject us with the gay©, which was manufactured in select NYC pizza parlors.

rebbel's avatar

Because it’s not infectious???

jca2's avatar

Illegal drugs have been streaming in across US borders for the past 50 years, so you can’t blame the current President (which I am guessing is one direction this debate might take, even though that’s not how the question is framed).

flutherother's avatar

It is better to take action against threats to our health before huge numbers of people die. I would have thought that was obvious. But it isn’t true that Covid has caused very few deaths, it has killed over 800,000 people in the United States alone. Omicron will kill many more if we don’t take action.

Fentanyl and opioid addiction are a case in point. Addictive pain killers were over prescribed for years which has resulted in the problems we have today. Had this been foreseen, as it should have been, many deaths would have been prevented.

People don’t take fentanyl because of lax security at the border, they take it because they are addicted.

gorillapaws's avatar

Because if you have fentanyl in your system your body doesn’t begin producing and spreading billions of particles of fentanyl to the public, causing them, in turn, to do the same?

zenvelo's avatar

Your geography is off. The biggest source of Fenatnyl isn;t the southern border, it is China.

LuckyGuy's avatar

While we were out of town, my son called to tell us our 5 year old grandson and grand daughter were diagnosed with Covid. Our grandson attended a class birthday party at the neighborhood bowling alley and over half his class are infected. Now my grand daughter and son are too. Before the positive diagnosis my fully vaxed, symptom free, son went to work and now the contact tracers are trying to make sure his coworkers are not infected.
~90% of all hospitalized cases are in unvaxxed individuals. (For a while it was 100%) The two vax-holdouts in his office are petrified.
I’m no doctor but I’m certain fentanyl doesn’t spread that way.

BTW, yhey are all in quarantine now. It is going to be an unusual Christmas.

Zaku's avatar

Man, I hate it when that happens.

I’m just trying to buy some food at the store, and a drug addict injects me with drugs. Nothing I can do about it. If only there were more giant ineffectual wall construction along the border with Mexico.

Zaku (27647points)“Great Answer” (13points)
product's avatar

For the record, this might be one of the best self-own questions I have seen in a long time here.

rebbel's avatar

Seriously wondering how you are going to turn this around…

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy Our bowling alleys here have been the source of lots of covid being passed around the entire pandemic. Multiple stories of all people playing in a group winding up with covid.

Meanwhile, it looks like I’m going to my inlaws for Christmas against my better judgement. Let’s see if I can make it there and back without catching anything.

janbb's avatar

I constantly wonder why people rise to the bait in questions where the OP has already decided their answer.

Zaku's avatar

Because there’s such a tragic level of stupid and misinformation that it feels like it’s called for.

product's avatar

Look – you people may joke, but this is a serious issue, and it definitely has something to do with gender neutral bathrooms as well. I forget the connection, but it’s all backed by science, I’m sure.

JLeslie's avatar

LMAO.

rebbel's avatar

Oh fuck, hadn’t expected that, @product…., is it too late to take my words back?

kritiper's avatar

Fentanyl usually only affects drug users and those addicted to opioids whereas Omicron can affect anyone and everyone.

LuckyGuy's avatar

AND we just found out our granddaughter spent a day at Ma and Pa’s house (the other grandparents, both vaxxed and they’re fine) playing face to face with her 1 year old cousin! Her father is not vaxxed. Let’s see what happens to him. It looks like there’s only one way to cure stupid.
We need a wall – “a big beautiful wall” – and ship unvaxxed people to the other side.

Forever_Free's avatar

This question in itself has opened my eyes and opinions about the OP.

Thank you so much

tinyfaery's avatar

lololol Do you even think over your “questions” before you ask?

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy Please do update us. I know a lot of vaccinated and even boosted people who are sick now, but I have no idea how many people were exposed and didn’t catch it.

When it was still Delta even though I knew people with breakthrough, I also knew a lot of vaccinated people who had close contact and never got sick while unvaccinated in the same room did.

I read Omicron has a faster incubation on average, so most people start getting sick within 3 days if they caught it (I hope they didn’t catch it) but still could be a week to be sure.

Jonsblond's avatar

The media IS warning about fentanyl. Maybe you are just choosing to ignore it?

and what everyone else has said

Caravanfan's avatar

@product wins this thread. Hands down. He punched and destroyed the straw man sending bits of straw to the wind.

Jeruba's avatar

I agree that likening Omicron to fentanyl is a nonsensical comparison in many respects.

And yet @seawulf575 has a point in mentioning them together:

• Both epidemics are raging out of control.
• Both defy efforts to contain them.
• Both are taking lives.
• Both are enormously costly.
• Both get mixed up with politics.
• And both ARE contagious. Not in exactly the same way. People don’t deliberately seek out covid. But look at the ways fentanyl exposure can occur:
“one of five ways: skin contact, inhalation, ingestion, contact with a mucous membrane (eyes, nose, etc), or with a needlestick.”(source)

That can happen to emergency responders, and it can also happen to others in close proximity to the user. And users of other drugs may unwittingly take in fentanyl as well.

Some users of other drugs, especially meth, are increasingly getting exposed to fentanyl unawares:

“There are 42 known illicitly manufactured fentanyl analogs on the market. Fentanyl has been detected in counterfeit pills, powder, blotter paper, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine. Fentanyl can be swallowed, snorted, injected or absorbed in the mouth with a blotter paper. While some users may seek fentanyl products, some users and sellers may not be aware that their substances contain fentanyl.” (same source as above)

Fentanyl is profoundly addictive, with a strength some 100 times that of heroin, gripping you after only a very few doses and unimaginably painful to withdraw from.

@kritiper, with all due respect, you are wrong:
Fentanyl usually only affects drug users and those addicted to opioids whereas Omicron can affect anyone and everyone.

No, fentanyl doesn’t spread the way a contagious virus spreads. But I guarantee you that the effects go well beyond the drug user. The community suffers when significant numbers of its members are incapacitated in some way, when they can’t hold a job, when they rely on community resources for care and support or they do without, when they harm or steal from the community to sustain themselves. Neighborhoods become unsafe, residents become angry, resentful, and suspicious, people feel afraid in their homes.

There is a large homeless encampment near where I live, and my neighborhood has changed drastically in the past ten years, with the rise of crime, mail theft, package theft, trespassing, bicycle theft, car burglaries, break-ins, and much, much more. This is not all about drugs, but drugs play a big part in it.

For the user, if he or she has any family left, the family suffers mightily. If you have not lived with a drug user, or even just been in their orbit if not under the same roof, you probably can’t imagine all the ways in which their lives are affected. Listen in on an Al-Anon meeting if you’d care to know what misery is inflicted on the loved ones of active addicts. I assure you that one addiction has many victims.

And holidays magnify the pain, as they tend to magnify everything.

If there were a vaccine against fentanyl effects, that might stop addicts and incidental victims as well, maybe even deterring use beforehand.

I just read that in Massachusetts, gambling addicts can get themselves barred from gambling establishments. Mightn’t a similar program help with drugs? I wonder if anyone is working on such a thing: “Antabuse” for opioids.

smudges's avatar

In 1971, Naloxone was approved by the FDA. It’s what first responders use. Naloxone blocks the effects of drugs made from opium, or opioids. These include:

heroin
morphine
oxycodone
methadone
fentanyl
hydrocodone
codeine
hydromorphone
buprenorphine

There’s also naltrexone which is used to prevent people who have been addicted to certain drugs (opiates) from taking them again. It blocks the high they might otherwise get.

smudges's avatar

@seawulf575 Why is the threat of Omicron taken so differently from Fentanyl that is pouring across the southern border?

Ummm….apples and oranges?

Forever_Free's avatar

^^ perfect final answer

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Because Omicron Can hit anyone. Like those who have power and wealth. So the powerful and wealthy use their power and wealth to fight it.

janbb's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 But the rich and powerful aren’t immune from drug addiction affecting their families.

kritiper's avatar

@Jeruba I did say “usually.” From what I’ve heard on the national news programs.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@janbb Fentanyl is typically the drug of choice for poor people. While for example, cocaine is a rich persons drug of choice.

I hear about both Fentanyl and Omicron in the news, and rarely cocaine unless they have a big bust.

BeeePollen's avatar

I think there are a few reasons. I’m kind of repeating what others have said, in my own words.

1. Fentanyl mostly affects the poor, and our system is not designed to serve them.
2. How to fight COVID is more obvious and time-sensitive than how to fight fentanyl. To fight COVID, you need things like vaccination, masking, distancing, ventilation, tracing, maybe lockdowns, and we at least had the chance to “nip it in the bud.” I don’t think the fentanyl issue was widely recognized back when it was small enough to fix with simple steps. Now, fighting fentanyl basically involves transforming North American society and tracking teeny-tiny containers across the world. (Maybe the precursors are easier to control; I don’t know. But then we wouldn’t be talking about Mexico anymore.) If COVID really gets to the point where we don’t think our vaccines can keep up, we will probably forget about it and let it kill people just like fentanyl. You can already see it happening.
3. Related to #2: COVID killed a lot of people in a short time. That tends to get more attention.
4. Fighting COVID involves giving money to, e.g., Pfizer. Fighting fentanyl doesn’t obviously benefit any giant companies.
5. Related to #1: A lot of impulse to fight COVID came from individuals and businesses. That level of pressure never came for fentanyl.

I think it’s a good question, and it goes double for things like tropical diseases and malnutrition.

seawulf575's avatar

So from what I am gathering, there are many that view fentanyl (or any of the other drugs pouring across the southern border) as not being anywhere near as bad as Omicron because it doesn’t directly affect them. It isn’t the body count, it’s what might impact them directly. It isn’t even the threat of harm…Omicron has so far been shown to be mostly benign…very mild symptoms. It isn’t even really how it impacts society or the hospitals or anything else like that. Omicron has done none of those (except where the government has jumped in with both feet impacting society) and drugs have been impacting millions of lives for decades. BTW, @Jeruba did the best at understanding the tie between the two. GA to her! For every drug user out there, you can count on many other lives being impacted. For every drug death, you have likely had many months or years of terror by the parents, siblings, friends, and others over that person before the death.

But here is another aspect to consider. Omicron first appeared in Africa. It was noted to be a variant of Covid-19, but was shown to be extremely mild in its impact on the people that got it. Immediately we went into lockdown…travel bans on anyone traveling from Africa in an effort to keep it from getting here. Yet illegal drugs have poured across the southern border for decades and there is always a fight about sealing the border. It is an inconsistent response. A mild variant = travel bans, a known killer = open borders.

As for the other assumptions about this question, no it really has nothing to do with the current administration in Washington DC. They are more of a symptom than a cause. The only thing the current administration has to do with anything in this question is that they initiated the response to Omicron. I’m not even commenting on that response other than that it is inconsistent with the response to illegal drugs. Over time, drugs have killed far more than Covid and a ridiculously greater impact than Omicron.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575: “Over time, drugs have killed far more than Covid.” OK, so you’re comparing stats from decades of deaths from drugs vs 21 months of deaths from Covid. Got it.

jca2 (13322points)“Great Answer” (10points)
smudges's avatar

I think you’re picking an argument with the wrong people. You need to be talking to people who can do something about it. Lots of people care about the drug problem and lots of people have tried and are doing things about it. But it’s too big. I don’t know how old you are, but look up “War on Drugs” and you’ll see that it began in 1971 and what the government has been trying to do. We need to have zero tolerance, like Sweden, but here in the good ole u.s. of a. we don’t want to be told what we can and cannot do. Just look back at most of the posts you yourself have written.

JLeslie's avatar

Your quarrel is with the media. I have a serious problem with how the media picks and chooses also. I have many times complained the media on both sides of the political bias were helping to kill Floridians during covid.

Many years ago the news (real news, balanced journalism) was a loss leader, now there is pressure for it to be a money maker. Money is at the root of all evil.

My MIL often says drugs come to the US, because Americans are big consumers of drugs.

I personally am worried about addiction in America, but I also worry about an overreaction and people who need drugs not being able to get them. I have two friends (not very close friends, but I’ve known them for years in real life) who lost their children to overdose.

There is no reason to compare drugs coming in from Latin America to covid. They both should be reported on, and both are. Covid is harped on by the news because all citizens can do their part to protect others and protect themselves at all times. All citizens can’t make a significant impact on what’s happening at the border or regarding drugs in our country.

SnipSnip's avatar

I think you know why.

Poseidon's avatar

There is a massive difference between the Omicron virus and drugs such as Fentanyl or cocaine etc.

Omicron is a variant of the virus Covid 19 and this virus, like all others, constantly mutate into different strains.

Those who take illegal drugs do it of their own accord and no one forces them to do this so if they overdose and die it is their fault, although once hooked on drugs these people need as much help as they can get in order to hopefully ‘kick the habit’.

Covid 19 is not something that has evolved from people taking illegal drugs it has evolved naturally, or escaped from a laboratory somewhere in the world.

You say that over 43.000 have died from taking the drug Fentanyl drug being smuggled across the southern border. I presume all these people have died because they voluntarily took this opioid drug.

Covid has already killed well over 5 million worldwide from all the variants.and I can assure you that NOT one contracted this virus voluntarily or took any form of drug in order to catch it.

I would be very interested to know where you got the figure of 43.000 deaths from taking Fentanyl. I have read reports of over 100.000 dying in a year of drug overdoses but this was worldwide but I have read no reports of 43.000 dying of taking Fentanyl.

jca2's avatar

I would think that it would be very hard to quantify deaths from Fentanyl since many people who overdose will have a variety of drugs (illegal and legal) in their systems at the time of death.

Also, many overdoses may be classified as overdoses and many others, which may cause heart attack or other possible reasons for the death, will be classified by the other cause of death, especially if the deceased has other comorbidities going on (i.e. heart problems, clogged arteries, etc.).

JLeslie's avatar

The Republican in my Wednesday group just brought up this exact same question. One gentleman responded to him saying indeed there have been in-depth news articles in the New York Times and other media sources have covered the topic of drugs, including fentanyl, where the drugs are coming from, addiction, overdose, and whatever news source that is saying it’s being completely ignored by other media is flat out lying or just ignorant of what has been done on the topic.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 Unfortunately, I don’t think you do “got it” when I am comparing deaths from drugs and Covid. First off I am comparing our responses to OMICRON and illegal drugs. Omicron has killed next to no people. Drugs, on the other hand, have killed thousands.

Secondly, Yes, Covid has only been around for 21 months. Yet the drugs have been around much, much longer, and continue to wreak havoc and death. Yet the deaths due to drugs seem to have no importance. Because the easiest answer is to stop the open borders, tighten up our borders, stop letting people just waltz in and stop fighting against every effort to do these things. It is solid actions that could significantly decrease the flow of drugs into this country.

Here’s something you might want to consider: there is a big push for people to take action against Omicron to protect others in society. Yet there is a big push to fight against actions against closing the borders to the detriment to society. So which is it? Is a death due to Omicron more dreadful than a death due to drugs? Does a death due to drugs mean nothing while a death due to Omicron means everything?

seawulf575's avatar

@smudges I lived through the war on drugs. I’ve been alive since Ike was POTUS. But it isn’t too big. The problem is the solutions go against a viewpoint in this country. Closing borders seems to be the thing that is too big. There is justification why we shouldn’t have borders even. Of course those arguments start by ignoring and downplaying the negative side of open borders. Imagine for a moment if the air time and focus that is being put into Omicron, which basically presents no threat, were put into highlighting the dangers coming across our southern border. Think something could be done then?

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie my quarrel is always with the media. But the response to these two things are not all on the media. It comes from politicians, it comes from social media, it comes from a thousand different avenues. And like many on this thread, if you asked people separately if drugs were bad for us, they would gladly jump on that bandwagon. If you asked them if Covid was bad for us, they would gladly jump on that bandwagon. But because of the focus from the politicians and the media (all outlets), drugs are not viewed as being important to worry about and Covid, including Omicron, are viewed as being the biggest threat to life and limb, even when Omicron has shown none of that.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 Identifying Fentanyl deaths is actually pretty easy. I gave a source that showed the causes of death. But you bring up another aspect of this question. The comorbidities. You are correct that when someone dies from a drug overdose it might be attributed to some pre-existing condition that person had. Yet the reaction to Covid has been the exact opposite. They are NOT attributing any deaths to comorbidities if a person tests positive for Covid at the time of death. So why treat it differently? There were cases where someone died in a car accident and had Covid so they counted it as a Covid death.

But it even goes deeper than silliness like that. Omicron (which I have specifically questioned) has not produced many deaths at all. And I’m not sure if Omicron was the actual cause of death, a contributor, of just another item that was found when the person died. Example: the gentleman in Texas that was the first death due to Omicron had underlying conditions and was a high risk patient, even without Omicron. Yet we call it an Omicron death. But the same guy had Covid-19 once before and survived just fine. So we have a death, the guy had Omicron, so we attribute it to that.

But all this doesn’t actually go into why we react differently. Drugs do horrible damage to lives, society, and they cause death. And while you might hear about them every so often, they are not attacked the same way Omicron is, when Omicron has really presented none of those impacts, or very small amounts of those impacts.

smudges's avatar

What it boils down to is exactly what is going on in fluther, and in this question in particular, and that is a difference of opinion. You’re stating what you think needs to be done, others are stating their opinion. I don’t think a single one of us disagree with you that drugs are deadly, destroying lives and society, and something should be done.

Actually….what the fuck ARE you asking? You’re pissed that people are more up in arms about Omicron/Covid than drug deaths?? There’s 300+/- million opinions in the U.S. Yours is just one of them. What do you want in the way of answers to this question? That we agree with you? Well then, yeah, I do. Drug use and deaths are a huge problem and we’re not doing enough about it. But I fail to see what that has to do with whether or not the media is talking about Omicron/Covid.

Or is your intention just to stir the pot? Is this your latest bandwagon?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

What do you want for an answer Wulfie??
Want us to say gee your right we should stop doing anything about Omicron and focus on fentanyl and the illegal drug trade?
How about total Government funded rehab centres ,so every addict can get clean,I guess you would rather throw an army at combating the drug trade,you know as long as there is a market for those drugs they will keep getting in.

And here is a flash Omicron is getting worse, and it’s putting more and more people in the Hospital, and killing others, sure lots of people so far have had rather mild symptoms, but others have died from it while others get a nice stay in a hospital, but your right we should ignore it and focus on fentanyl.
Because I am worried about catching fentanyl.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@seawulf575 What advantage does the Government have by inflating covid deaths?
That doesn’t seem wise if you want the economy back up and running at full steam,inflating the covid death count seems anti-productive for that cause.

seawulf575's avatar

@smudges EVERYTHING boils down to a difference of opinion. But what my opinion states is that we have two very different threats to life and society and we are jumping all over the one that presents the lesser threat and pretty much ignoring the bigger threat.

What I am asking is the “why” behind that opinion. Why is it that we ignore the threat of the drugs and, in fact as a country, fight against stopping the flood of those drugs into this country when we know that they are killing tens of thousands and ruining the lives of many, many more. Why is the reaction to this threat so far removed from that of the reaction to Omicron when Omicron, by all accounts, presents a far lesser threat?

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 What answer do I want? I don’t have a specific answer I am looking for. I am looking for thoughtful discussion. I’ll be honest, I got many answers already that I expected. Those that tried ridiculing the question or me, those that stated the direct impact on themselves as the answer…those I expected. Those answer don’t lead to thoughtful discussion. They are the opposite…they try to shut down discussion. I’ll let you speculate on why someone would jump on trying to shut down discussion on a topic that is addressing the deaths of many people.

At no time in this discussion have I suggested that we should stop acting on Covid or Omicron. But be honest…Does Omicron kill as many people as illegal drugs? The answer is no. So why do we focus so hard on that and ignore the drugs?

Deaths due to drugs actually jumped up in this country since the pandemic started, largely due to the actions taken against Covid. Again, not saying we shouldn’t take smart actions against Covid, but there are actions that could be taken against drugs that are not a “one or the other” choice. They could be done at the same time and not impact each other. But look at that statistic. 90,000 deaths in one year. That is more than guns and automobile deaths combined. Almost 50% more in fact.

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575: On this and other threads, you ask for opinions from the Collective. On this and other threads, you repeatedly argue with people who state their opinions (even though they’re opinions, so everyone has their own). On this and other threads, you repeatedly state that the answers given do not satisfy you. On this and other threads, you attack Jellies whose opinions differ from your own. The discussions go around and around with Jellies stating their opnion and you arguing. You seem to only want one answer, one that matches with your own opinion. Since that seems to be the case, why do you ask?

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Why would the government inflate Covid numbers? I can think of many reasons. power, control and money all come to mind readily. And don’t even try telling me politicians are not self-serving. I don’t buy it for one second. We saw the 180 degree flip from the Dems on Covid already. When Trump was in office, he wasn’t taking proper actions, he was creating a deadly vaccine that they would never take, etc. And inflating numbers helps support that narrative. Suddenly Biden is in office and the story is now that vaccine is his success, that they are great, safe, and that everyone should get it. No, everyone HAS to get it. And the booster. And the booster booster. And the story is that the unvaccinated are dying in droves and vaccinated are protected. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical companies are raking in record profits and campaign contributions are going up. I saw an article a couple weeks ago where Moderna was in trouble on the stock market. I believe it was because of Omicron and the lack of effectiveness of the vaccines on it. The article stated that something like $4.7B of their $4.8B profits in the last quarter were due to the vaccines. There were confirming stories from Pfizer and J&J that their vaccines weren’t very effective against it. Suddenly the government is coming out stating that the only way to combat Omicron is with boosters. A Booster will protect you! But they just told us that the vaccines are not effective. So injecting more of something that isn’t effective is going to make it more effective? I’m skeptical. But it does help bolster the flagging stocks of the pharmaceutical companies.

Lots of reasons for boosting numbers. And if you really believe that the welfare of the people and the country is the primary goal of most politicians, I will say you are somewhat naïve.

seawulf575's avatar

@jca2 On this and other threads, I ask questions and get attacked for those questions. On this and other threads I debate topics and am accused of arguing. I’m discussing the issues and many Jellies on these pages don’t like hearing any differing opinions. They would rather shut down topics.

I am trying to understand the logic behind focusing on Omicron…a disease that has killed very few and mainly offers mild illness…while entirely ignoring a bigger threat. Again, not saying don’t be worried about Omicron of Covid, but why are we not putting the same focus for action against illegal drugs? So when someone offers an opinion that doesn’t include the facts, I have to question it further. Because the person giving that opinion holds the key to understanding the logic of these two actions. And, despite years of experience, I keep hoping that a couple jellies will start contemplating the picture as a whole.

product's avatar

@seawulf575: “I am trying to understand the logic behind focusing on Omicron…a disease that has killed very few and mainly offers mild illness…while entirely ignoring a bigger threat.”

You’re most definitely not trying to understand anything here. We’ve gone over why a global pandemic is a serious threat to our species – even when a specific variant is more contagious but has overall milder effects. We can’t keep going over this.

And I also know that you realize that you and I and all taxpayers spend $3.5 billion+ per year on the bullshit war on drugs, which is really just a way to guarantee a criminalized populace. You know that there are many of us who would love to see this money (and more) used to treat these health issues like health issues rather than criminal issues, which is proven to simply exacerbate the problem.

So, you’re not really looking at threats to humanity and evaluating relative responses. You’re just not. You’re taking one particular health problem (fentanyl addiction), proposing more fucked-up solutions, and asking all of us to buy into this in hopes that we can pretend that a global pandemic isn’t threatening human species.

What would be a more compelling comparison and question could have been something like this: “Why is the threat of Omicron taken so differently from global climate change that is literally destroying the planet and humanity?” If you had asked this, then maybe we could have entertained the question more seriously. Why? Because in both cases we’re talking about global threats to humanity. And in both cases, you can “catch” this without doing anything. A 5-year-old is at risk for death and suffering from a global virus and global climate change in a way that they are not by fentanyl. Your beloved “economy” is at risk of death and suffering from a global virus and global climate change in way that is not possible from fentanyl.

So stop being silly. Just say what you really mean. When people are exposed to propaganda, express these ideas as their own, and then do verbal gymnastics in order to justify their position, it can be so transparent and embarrassing that it’s difficult to take seriously. At this point, I’m not sure there is anything new you can add to this absurd “question” that would make it any less embarrassing and silly. My suggestion would be to attempt to express your ideas more honestly, so we could discuss them without ridicule, which is the only appropriate response to this “question”.

janbb's avatar

@product Not to put words in wulfie’s mouth, but since these were already there, I felt the operative words in the question were “illegal drugs are pouring across the southern border” and it is actually an anti-immigration question.

But, as @smudges said above and as you so clearly elucidate, it really is an apples and oranges comparison and of course, we’re concerned about fentanyl as well.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@seawulf575 I can see why the big pharma companies would be ok at inflating the covid numbers,but not the Government if you shut down the economy and people are out of work they are not paying taxes,on unemployment,companies are not bringing in huge profits thus not paying taxes there either.
Can’t see it in any Goverments best interest to inflate the numbers that you keep screaming about.

JLeslie's avatar

Covid cases are underreported.

In Florida and some other states we don’t report non-residents. If you’re a tourist testing positive in the state of Florida you don’t exist.

Home tests aren’t recorded unless they specifically are tests that are observed by a medical professional.

People with mild cases often dismiss it as “can’t be covid” and never get tested.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

That’s what I was understanding as well @JLeslie ,but the fright wing has been screaming the numbers are inflated and not nearly as bad as they claim,heck we should pay more attention to the illegal drug trade.

JLeslie's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Ok, yeah, I say it’s ridiculous to say that case numbers are inflated, but also the left wing is driving me crazy with their surprise about cases going up over the holidays and blaming it all on Omicron, and that they act like we always knew the vaccines would only reduce the symptoms and not stop transmission well. I think we all thought it would protect us better than it does against catching covid. I do think it reduces getting sick, but I am plenty disappointed I’m not protected better.

Plus, even if Florida doesn’t report all cases we still can see the trends and positivity rates for what is counted.

seawulf575's avatar

@product Once again, you miss the point either accidentally or on purpose. I have stated repeatedly that I am NOT saying we should ignore Omicron. You go on about how we have seen the issues with Covid and have gone over it again and again. But you also don’t show the facts. Omicron appears to NOT be as dangerous as previous iterations of the disease. You conveniently avoid that comment. And THAT is a key point of the question. Yes, it is contagious. But by all accounts it isn’t particularly dangerous. Yet we focus tons of attention on it.
Meanwhile drugs continue to pour across the border. And even you, in your infinite wisdom, call any battle on it “bullshit”. Why waste money one it, right? It only destroys lives and kills people. Yes, spend that money on “health” issues. Issues like drug addiction maybe? Treat the symptom and not the cause? But wait….you were concerned about spending $3.5B annually on the war on drugs so you wouldn’t want that to go towards the $600B we are already spending annually on treating drug abuse in this country. And once again, you ignore other things that can be done such as taking border security seriously.

So it isn’t lives being lost, it isn’t money being spent, it is that you don’t want to do anything about securing the borders. Does that about sum it up? Or is it just that you don’t understand this country can do several things at once? Or is it that you are just scared to death because of the propaganda being thrown around about Omicron and you are terrified that anything else might take focus away from it?

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb No, it isn’t an anti-immigration question. Crossing the border is how most of the drugs get into this country. But let me ask…are you saying that most of the drugs entering this country are NOT coming across the southern border? Or are you saying that you KNOW drugs (and human trafficking, etc) are pouring across the border and don’t care because it might put a dim light on the open border concept?
You say we are concerned about Fentanyl. But the question isn’t that. The question is why is it the focus is so much different than that of Omicron? Which of those two do you truly believe kills more people every year?

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb and just so you don’t have to do the math, we see about 120 deaths every day due to Fentanyl. How many people have died from Omicron? Let’s see…the first Omicron case (not death) was identified in the US on Dec 4th. As far as I can find, only one person has died from it since then. Meanwhile, during that same time, about 2400 people have died from Fentanyl OD.

JLeslie's avatar

It is an anti-immigration question because we had 5 years of Trumpers chanting Build The Wall. Anything that directs fear of people who come across the southern border feeds the people who are already suspicious of or afraid of or hate anyone who is new to the country from across the southern border. You, @seawulf575, might not have anything against Latin Americans, but the topic is another dog whistle type topic being put out there by Fox News and alike.

If Trump and his groupies hadn’t been chanting Build the Wall then the climate to discuss the problems at the border would be different.

Having said that, we know there is a drug problem in our country and some comes across the border, that’s not in any way new.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

So Wulfie guess you want the media to be screaming about the drug problem as much as they are screaming about Covid19?
I still say government funded rehab so addicts can get clean,if you dry up the customers for the drugs ,the drugs will will dwindle and there won’t be such a problem.
Attacking the drugs only makes them harder to get and drives the price up,because the demand is still there, the addicts turn to bigger and bigger crimes to supply their habit.

jca2's avatar

I feel like this conversation is going around and around, needlessly.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Sounds like it, Wulfie wants us to be all up in arms over the illegal drugs and the deaths they are causing ,while maybe but not totally give Omicron a rest because while it’s infection rate is through the roof,most people can get over it at home .
Maybe it’s a new plug for the great wall between you and Mexico.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Yes, I’d like to hear the media screaming about the drug problem as much as they are about Omicron. I’d be good with Gov’t subsidized rehab, but that is treating a symptom and the cause. And rehab only works if the people want it to work. And it doesn’t help with people that OD first. I keep talking about securing the border not because that will stop 100% of the drugs, but because it will help stop maybe 50% or more.

It’s sort of like treating Omicron….stop travel to keep it out of the country, and then deal with treating it when it gets here.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Making the drugs harder to get only pushes the price of them up on the black market,and addicts are pushed to do more and more crimes for their habit.
Since addicts are already breaking the law by doing illegal drugs you cold mandate them into rehab to get clean.
reduce to customers for the drugs ,and the market dries up,everyone wins. except the drug cartels .

seawulf575's avatar

Except not every addict wants rehab and there are always new users available. It really does need to be at least a two prong approach

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 That’s true, probably a multi-pronged approach.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I will agree with you on that,but at least you could mandate addicts to get clean.
Because if there is a market for those drugs they will keep getting in no matter how tight you seal the country up.
also education has to come into it a bit teach them the evils of drug use, and they hurt more than themselves by using them.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 And that multi-prong approach goes back to the original question. Look at all the actions being taken with Omicron. Travel bans, vaccines, etc, etc, etc. But we can’t even try to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country, much less anything else and certainly not with any great focus.

jca2's avatar

Round and round….....

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie “If Trump and his groupies hadn’t been chanting Build the Wall then the climate to discuss the problems at the border would be different.” Biden is in office and has been for a year. Things at the border ARE different…they are worse. And we STILL can’t discuss the problems.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@seawulf575 Why do you say they are worse now?
Is it because Biden is a democrat?
Did they remove all the border guards ,was an express lane put in for the drug cartels?
Or is it just your blind hate for anything democrat it can’t be the same or better it simply has to be worse.
Maybe the problem is if you paid Americans a decent wage to work on farms, and mandate Junkies get rehab,the flow over your Southern border would go down to a trickle, if not totally dry up.
BUT NO, better to hire thousands of border guards to try and stem the flow over the border .
Much better to wage a war than actually get to the root of the problem.
Drug addicts, and piss poor wages< fix those and the problem slows down if not just stops.
Tell me has the war on drugs ,stopped anything ,just pushed the price of the drugs higher causing junkies to do more and more crime to supply their habit.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@jca2 You are right it’s just round and round,my last post I am out of this thread.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 No, not because Biden is a Democrat. Because he basically opened the borders again. He did away with the “stay in Mexico” plan Trump had in place and just started releasing people into this country again. BTW, that is a decision he is rethinking and is trying to reestablish that policy but can’t seem to get Mexico to go along with it again. Oops. He had hobbled the Border Patrol once again, basically telling them to let people in, in complete disregard for the law. And as these people are entering, some of them are bringing drugs. Some are human traffickers and their prey. Some are criminals. Some are criminals that have been ejected numerous times from our own country. Basically, because he refuses to do anything towards a semblance of law and order when it comes to our southern border.

Now, if you believe that is because he is a Democrat, you are probably right since that is the condition they have fought long an hard for. But I’m trying to keep it to reality and not fear mongering.

But lets look at some of your suggestions. Pay Americans a decent wage to work on Farms. We have a minimum wage in this country. Many are getting paid that minimum wage. We subsidize farmers to not grow crops. Most farmers are now part of corporations which buy and sell politicians. So we are back to idiotic bureaucracy and corruption.

Mandate Junkies get rehab. Maybe you don’t understand how rehab works and why it doesn’t often. To start with we spend $600B each year on rehab for citizens (and probably non-citizens…I don’t have those numbers). But having dealt with a loved one that was hooked on drugs, I can tell you that rehab only works when the junkie wants it to work. The county I live in, as well as surrounding counties, has a policy that when someone is busted with drugs, they are sentenced to rehab,. What we have is a revolving door. Junkies get busted, are sentenced to rehab, rehab doesn’t work, and they are released back onto the street where they go right back to the drugs. VERY few actually come out the other side “healed”. Most ride this merry-go-round until they OD and die. Meanwhile, the flow of drugs continues to go up. Because you are viewing the demand side of supply/demand as a set value. It isn’t. It is new users every day. It is repeat offenders. It is everything under the sun except a stemming of the tide of illegal drugs entering this country.

Yes, Hire more border guards and enable them to enforce the laws and you will see a lessening of the problems. But again, we aren’t putting the focus on this problem like we are on Omicron which has basically presented no real threat to people at all.

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