The pandemic has certainly changed our lives this past year. 2020 was a highly disruptive year. We were all affected. Most of us were impacted financially (in one way or another), socially, and even tyrannically (to varying extents).
When it first came to light early 2020, I wrote extensively about it – as news came in. Most of us here were ahead of the curve and were able to supply well before the shortages. As time went on, thankfully, it became evident that it wasn’t going to be “the end of the world” so to speak. As real medical science became evident, I backed off the gloom of this pandemic. Though the mainstream kept the panic going.
We witnessed a sort of political science brush aside medical science (or medical science which challenged or conflicted with their narratives). We saw politicians making broad sweeping decisions and decrees – many of which brought great harm to the people. The pandemic was leveraged by the mainstream media to instill inappropriate or disproportional fear into the minds of the masses, even after it became clear that we were not “all going to die…” This fear was used for maximum political advantage.
All crisis are “used” for political and financial gain. 2020 was no exception. But here we are a year later, 2021. I have been reading many reports and statistics of this thing winding down. And I wonder to myself…What are “they” going to do when the public at large realizes that “this thing” is winding down for real… There’s money and politics at stake here. They’ve got to keep it going, right?
Anyway, I read an article this morning that I would like to re-post for your interest. Permission granted via their Creative Commons license.
(I added sections headings)
There is a sense in the air that the pandemic is winding down
There is a sense in the air that the pandemic is winding down, and the toxic culture of division, fear, and hatred along with it. Cases are down dramatically. Deaths too. Hospitalizations are no longer irregular. Restrictions are being repealed. You can follow all the action daily at the CDC’s new and unusually competent landing page on the virus (it only took them a year to build this).
Despite all the talk of a new normal and infinite mandates, there is hope that it could all unwind quickly, pushed by force of public impatience and frustration with restrictions, and a political scramble to avoid responsibility by running away from all that they did for the last year.
The list of signs and symbols could be made very long.
- The politicians who overreached are suddenly being held accountable, with both Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom on the hotseat. Calls for governors and mayors to resign consume state and local news. There is clearly major political tumult building.
- The Great Barrington Declaration scientists can hardly keep up with the requests for respectful interviews, now that it is becoming clear that they were right all along.
- The experience in open states like Florida, Georgia, South Dakota, and so on, makes it impossible to ignore the grim truth that the lockdowns achieved nothing for public health but did harm health, businesses, liberties, law, and civilized life.
- The push to open economies, by the same people who locked down the economies, such as Boris Johnson in the UK, is an implicit repudiation of the nonsensical ZeroCovid movement. Everyone seems now to agree with what AIER has been saying for a year: humanity must deal intelligently with pathogens and stop pretending that political forces can control them.
- AIER visiting senior fellow Naomi Wolf had a hit just last evening on the Tucker Carlson show, and they spoke as allies in the reopening efforts after years of ideological sparring.
- There is growing weariness of Anthony Fauci’s daily word salads that have massively mixed up the public health messaging for a full year, to the point that Meghan McCain has called for his firing.
- A year ago, Slate was making sense until the virus became political and they joined the lockdown mob. Now the publication is back to making sense again, with this excellent piece.
- British medical journal The Lancet is publishing excellent short pieces on the cost of lockdowns, including this riveting letter from Martin Kulldorff.
- A prestigious European journal of public health has published a blistering attack on the very idea that a power government should ever be trusted with virus mitigation.
The cleanup begins
The people who have committed their careers and lives to this pandemic and the policies surrounding it might soon need to find a new raison d’etre. Then the clean up begins – how did this happen, who did it, how to make sure it never happens again – and does not end perhaps for decades.
It’s been fascinating to see the early drafts on the reasons why. There will be some perfunctory efforts to credit lockdowns, masks, human separation, and closures for somehow making the virus go away. The trouble is that there is no evidence of this. There is evidence for many other explanations having to do with herd immunity and “seasonality” (another way of saying the pathogen comes and then goes) and possibly more precision in testing.
For example, this new article by the very sensible Jennifer Beam Dowd of Oxford names many factors (while downplaying the role of vaccines) but says of masks and so on that it is “challenging to identify their specific effects, and cases are dropping in almost all states even with a wide range of policies.”
The reckoning will be taking place for months if not years.
The reckoning will be taking place for months if not years. In the end people will be left wondering why we took such extreme measures that wrecked so many lives when the endemic equilibrium comes in time regardless of all these measures. We tried a crazy experiment in social and economic control and we are left with scant evidence that it made much difference on the virus but vast evidence that they demoralized and ruined life for billions of people.
What about the opening? There will continue to be those who will cower in fear, still dealing with the deep psychological trauma that comes from watching TV journalists scream panic for the better part of a year. But there will be an emerging majority that will be more than willing to go back to real life.
And so on goes the opening, slowly at first, then quickly, then all at once. The decisive turn is when the public returns to thinking rationally, refuses to be locked up anymore, and decides to trust themselves and the medical profession rather than the powerful elites who only pretend to manage disease. The trauma lasts, of course, but the healing also begins.
Last April, in a more naive time, I truly did imagine that these lockdowns and restrictions could not last. I had underestimated both the public panic and the government’s willingness to double- and triple-down on unworkable policies.
I also overestimated what I had previously imagined to be a widespread commitment to liberty and property that would have inspired some public revolt early on. So here we are a full year later, with the reports of lockdown carnage pouring in by the day and hour. It’s a gigantic mess, to be sure, but the end does seem to be in view, and thank goodness for that. Let the blowback begin.