read the news, fuck your mental health

by claywessel

The Water tower staff have recently been informed about a situation in which this actually happened, and the outcome was not exactly as pleasant as you might think.

In theory, returning to the ways of our ancient Neanderthal ancestors of the 1980s should be like a day at the spa; Just to exist, blissfully ignorant of the oftentimes panic inducing news stories which are conveyed through a hyper-polarized lens that prioritizes profits over the well-being of society.      

However, our journalists have gathered compelling anecdotal evidence which has proven that “taking a break from the news till this is all over” while living alone in March of 2020 could have fostered potentially disastrous consequences. As a news agency, it would go against our self interest to claim otherwise.

Mike Okhurts is a (very, very real) twenty six year old Winooski resident who believed it would be in their interest to cease the consumption of all forms of modern media. Mike Okhurts has been quarantining as if shelter in place has not been lifted ever since March 30th 2020, right up until October 5th 2021. Mike Okhurts literally just read the news for the first time in years only hours before we contacted them.

samantha stillman

They have been strictly adhering to the CDC’s social distancing/shelter in place guidelines which were in place at that time ever since early 2020.

Mike Okhurts believed that their friends would notify them when it was safe to break quarantine, or if there was a vaccine, Or that there would be parties in the streets to notify Okhurst when quarantine had finally been lifted, but as we all know; its been a bit more of a gradual process.

We wondered if Mike had gotten any essential jobs which would have exposed them to at least some information via their coworkers. 

Mike Okhurts informed us that their self-employment status was not affected by the pandemic, working two jobs, one as a local drug dealer. Okhurst declined to specify what their other job entailed. 

So unlike many, paying rent was not an issue for Okhurts. In fact Okhurst says the profits from their illegal drug business actually exceeded expectations due to increased demand. There was supposedly a similar increase in demand for Mike’s other job as well, but Mike refused to comment further. 

Mike Okhurts tells us that they learned of the vaccine when they ordered McDonald’s delivery, and saw that the seal-stickers mentioned something about keeping people safe with a vaccine. At this time, Okhurst was flooded with a mix of emotions wondering how long it had been since an effective vaccine was released. At first Mike regretted not even occasionally checking in on the news, wondering how much time was wasted by not knowing of this vaccine.

Mike’s family had assumed that many of these historical events were too important for Mike to miss regardless if they checked the news or not.

Mike looked at the McDonald’s delivery again and quickly realized “oh god, wait… why is it telling me to get vaccinated as if some people aren’t? Fuck, is this political too???” 

After trying to quickly catch up on everything that has happened, Mike Okhurts said “honestly I’m glad I did it. After reading up on everything that’s happened, I still believe that keeping myself away from the news kept me happier overall. I’m still trying to process everything that I’ve learned in the last few hours. Apparently someone managed to threaten the life of a defenseless police officer by charging at the officer neck-first, right before peacefully dying of a drug overdose? Then there seems to have been some sort of attempted coup where a peaceful protester was shot and killed while innocently attempting to kidnap and hang the speaker of the house? None of this makes sense. I feel like we’re all living in some satirical dystopia at this point. Honestly I’m gonna keep avoiding the news as much as possible. I spent a year and a half just vibin while ripping bong, dropping tabs on the weekly, writing music, learning how to paint, watching old dvds, and working for my non-nefarious jobs. Ever since I read the news a few hours ago I’ve felt this sort of deep existential dread. Once I get my second dose, the only change to this lifestyle is that I’m going to probably interact with other humans a little more often.”

Truly tragic. In a liberal democracy every citizen has a duty to stay actively informed; Mike Okhurts can no longer make clear well thought-out decisions at the voting booth. Although your mental health is just as important as your physical health, your mental health should never be prioritized over staying informed, because that would put the entire news industry out of business. As a reliable news source, we can say that our democracy relies on your addiction to reliable news. 

Please; for the safety of society, just keep driving yourselves insane, subscribe to OAN or Fox News, because your insane behavior only gives us even more material to create content to drive you even more insane. This cycle ultimately results in more profits, which always helps the economy as a whole. These profits will possibly trickle back down to you. We thank you for keeping the news industry as well as our democracy safe, and remember to JUST READ THE NEWS!

Categories: news, oct. 12, samantha stillman, vol 25

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