Stop Using Sick Children to Manipulate Your Neighbor

In a minute, I’m going to share with you an article which is gentle and level-headed. The author recognizes that most of the bad decisions being made right now stem from fear–so she does her best to speak compassionately.  But, before I share her careful words of healing, I’m going to tell you how angry I am.

Right now, I’m utterly pissed off.

I’m feeling rage, because children are being used by their parents and politicians to gain control over the fearful masses–and it needs TO STOP. 

This week, the governor of Connecticut announced that the “youngest victim” of Coronavirus was a 7-week-old baby who succumbed to “complications from COVID-19.”

Turns out, she was actually smothered by accident, in the middle of the night. Her parents brought her to the hospital already deceased. Everyone knew what happened. The hospital tested for COVID-19 as part of a routine procedure, but they knew full-well she wasn’t killed by any virus.

Still, the Governor used the heart-breaking tragedy to gain national attention for having the “youngest victim of COVID-19.”   It sure does tug at the heartstrings when we think of an infant dying, doesn’t it?

When you tell a story like that and imagine the parents’ agonizing pain, you can add a warning that everyone should “wash hands” and “stay home” in order to prevent it from happening again… and you’re much more likely to get compliance!

Everyone with a heart is going to lock themselves in the house and never come out again, out of fear they are time bombs just waiting to go off and kill a newborn.

I have no words for how ANGRY this emotional manipulation makes me…

Then it happened again in Lousiana.  Headlines kept repeating that a 1-day-old baby died from Coronavirus and that the infant was the youngest recorded death “linked to COVID-19.”

In the first article I read (which seems to have been taken down), the report didn’t even mention that the baby was born at 22-weeks gestation because her mother was intubated, which caused early labor. I got that information from a comment under the article, and I had to do more research on my own…

Guys–would this have been considered a “Coronavirus death” if the mother had requested a second trimester abortion, for her own mental health/safety while she fought COVID-19?  NO!

But, because the baby was wanted, and because it makes for juicy news, this tiny girl actually gets to be counted as a real human being who was truly alive, though the media would have emphasized the pregnancy was “unviable” six months ago.

I don’t have words to describe how ANGRY this convenient double-think makes me. 

Not only that, but hundreds (maybe thousands?) of children are being used by their own parents to shame their neighbors into staying home, even when the story being shared has almost nothing to do with this pandemic.

It’s like EVERYONE is using this opportunity to say, “Let me tell you about the time I faced death…and THEN you will listen when I order you to stay home.”

There are paramedics and nurses telling us they are “unable” to hug their children until “god knows when.”  (Here, here, and here are just three examples.)

Some are even sharing selfies of tears streaming down their own faces.

Not only healthcare workers, but also “regular” folks are taking pictures (or sharing their friends’ pictures) of sick/coughing kids, to gain credibility… Even if the child is sick with something other than COVID-19, people cannot pass up the opportunity to talk about That Scary Time They Thought a Child Would Die.

And, then with the bait-and-switch, they make some reference to wearing gloves in public, as if it would have prevented something like this:

4.7.20 I will help you stay home (Edit)


Just because a baby somewhere was on a ventilator at some point, it doesn’t mean we can suggest that our neighbor is responsible for this when they step out of the house without gloves.

We ought to be ashamed of trying to get people to cooperate with us, using triggering pictures that we know are not at all related to COVID-19. 

It works!  It causes people to feel very scary emotions, which makes them easy to manipulate!

But the end result of keeping people in Quarantine doesn’t justify the means of exploiting children with our homemade propaganda…

Now, I promised to share something with a much different tone.

This woman, Dr. Lissa Rankin, is soft-spoken and kind. She recognizes that fear is a big emotion that makes it extremely difficult to make wise decisions. And so she gives a lot of grace to the reader.

That said–thank God–she also knows that humans need to overcome our fear of death, so we can face Reality with eyes-wide-open, rather than getting swept away with emotional stories.

She understands that it doesn’t matter how many precautions we take or how many of our neighbors we successfully scare into staying locked in their homes, every one of us will be taken to death’s door by something, eventually.

We may feel like we’re saving the world when we urge our friends and loved ones to “stay home,” but we’re still avoiding the Big Questions.

God, give us the courage to confess how shameful we’ve acted in our fear…and give us the courage to face Death with a clear mind rather than allowing ourselves to be traumatized by mental images of babies dying.

Give this article a read: Before You or a Loved One Winds Up on a Ventilator

1 thought on “Stop Using Sick Children to Manipulate Your Neighbor

  1. Mama Loo Bear

    So infuriating and sad at the same time. Big bear refers to using illness for personal gain as Munchausen by proxy.



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