The Detroit Free Press was criticized Tuesday morning after it published an opinion piece titled, “COVID has turned breathing into a deadly event and all of us into potential serial killers.”
Opinion columnist Michael Stern wrote about how the coronavirus has been quietly spreading across the country, sparking anxiety and the potential for an individual to bring the virus to his or her loved ones.
“COVID-19 has turned every man, woman and child into a potential serial killer,” he wrote.
“With alcoholism, opioid addiction or smoking, we stand a fighting chance. But COVID-19 has turned the most necessary part of living — breathing — into a deadly event.”
Stern said that the fear of getting the coronavirus from a stranger is only part of the problem.
“What’s worse is the brutal reality that the people we love and trust most in this world bring us the same risk,” he wrote.
“More risk, because these are the people with whom we have regular and close contact. Any sustained encounter with those we love — kisses, hugs, laughs, conversations — could bring fever, blood clots, fluid-filled lungs, and death.”
He added that he also fears bringing the virus home to his family.
“It has left me Googling whether holding my breath when I hug my parents will spare me the Greek tragedy of killing my own mother or father,” Stern wrote.
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The Free Press tweeted the article with the caption “COVID has turned breathing into a deadly event and all of us into potential serial killers” and received swift pushback from readers.
COVID has turned breathing into a deadly event and all of us into potential serial killers https://t.co/2Jz6yxwq8S
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) December 1, 2020
“This is called paranoid schizophrenia,” Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh tweeted. “The author of this article should see a counselor.”
This is called paranoid schizophrenia. The author of this article should see a counselor.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) December 1, 2020
A user who goes by the name EmergencyDoc35 said he would “consider telling my patients to stop breathing.”
“Thank you for the ‘wise’ words your ridiculous publication continues to spread,” he tweeted.
Twitter user antihero_kate said the article should be removed, citing rising suicide rates in response to stress or emotions related to COVID-19.
“You should be ashamed for even publishing this and you should remove it immediately,” she tweeted.
You should be ashamed for even publishing this and you should remove it immediately. This is psychological warfare on a society that has skyrocketing suicide rates. I hope you get sued.
— antihero_kate (@antihero_kate) December 1, 2020
“This is psychological warfare on a society that has skyrocketing suicide rates. I hope you get sued.”
Other Michigan publications published articles on Tuesday about the surge in coronavirus cases in the state.
MLive reported that there were 182,269 new coronavirus cases in November “and December could be worse.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.