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When Appearance Matters More Than Reality

When Appearance Matters More Than Reality. Photo Credit: ChesiireCat

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In fighting the coronavirus, what and who do we put at risk, or sacrifice, when appearance matters more than reality and truth? Do you care about how things look more than what is really going on when it comes to the health and well-being of you and your family?  Do you really care about your leaders looking and sounding tough, when you are losing your job, when businesses are closing and suffering all around you?

Whether we care to consider it or to admit it, it begs the question: What price have we as a nation paid because more emphasis has been placed on creating false appearances? During the last months as the nation has confronted the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen how much pain, damage, illness, death, job loss, business closures, and other bad consequences that have occurred and continue to occur when appearance matters more than reality and truth.

It is one thing to care about appearances. It is quite another to create false appearances. In fact, when appearance matters more than reality, when situations are not portrayed factually and accurately, the consequences can be not only detrimental but downright dangerous. Nowhere has this played out in catastrophic proportions that with the handling of the coronavirus.

Covid-19 has always been a dangerous and deadly virus. But national leadership in the United States has failed to implement a coordinated fight against it, to minimize the number of infections and deaths, job losses and business closures. The leadership of this nation, from the President to Senators, appointed cabinet officials and other Trump supporters have placed more importance on promoting misrepresentation and ill-conceived facts.

when appearance matters more than reality

When Appearance Matters More Than Reality. Photo Credit: Wildpixel

When the impression is created that the virus is not deadly and dangerous, who does it benefit? More importantly, how many people are harmed and put at risk when appearance matters more than reality, especially from the leadership that you trust to tell you the truth?

Within the last six months, more than two hundred thousand Americans have lost their lives. More than seven million Americans are infected, with tens of thousands continuing to become infected daily. Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Millions of businesses have had to shutter their doors. Millions and millions of American cannot see their love ones, whether free of or infected with the virus.

Many of those who have adhered to and promoted false or incomplete information about the coronavirus have now fallen victim themselves. This includes President Trump, some Senators, and many of those around him who support the false appearance that Covid-19 is not a dangerous and deadly virus that is not yet under control.

Perhaps worst of all, when appearance matters more than reality, there is a tremendous erosion of trust, which could have long-term consequences once truth has been revealed. Based upon what you see and experience versus what you hear, what do you believe?

Feature Photo Credit: ChesiireCat

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Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis
Janice S. Ellis, PhD, is an award-winning author. Her book, From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major book sellers. She has written a column for newspapers, radio, and now online, where she analyzes educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. You can see her writings on this website.


  1. Margaret K Greene says:

    Enjoyed your article very much – but wish a darker color typeface was used. The medium grey makes it a big challenge to read.

  2. Willie Anderson says:

    The current covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the existential threat to our democracy. Our system of government is based upon a system that is based upon the presentation of an agreed upon set of facts and for a deliberative process to take place where some consensus is arrived at. Right now facts do not matter. And when facts are decoupled from our discourse then any attempts at maintaining a democratic process implodes. When facts don’t matter then we are expected to rely upon emotions to guide us in reaching a concerted response. Unfortunately emotions devoid of reason are totally unreliable and we are unable to predict or anticipate what the final outcome will be. So we are now faced with a binary choice of rejecting leadership based upon lies and sophistry or returning to accepting and demanding facts and truth as written in this country’s founding documents and precedents. Choosing the former means our form of government ceases to exist.

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