The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020


As the country finally begins to re-open, catastrophists accelerate the drumbeat to keep it all shut down. They continually change the criteria that they believe should be used to justify re-opening, and when governors wisely disregard their hysteria, they accuse local, state and federal leadership of "playing with peoples lives." Of course that's what they've been doing for the past month, but never mind.

Catastrophists also become apoplectic when anyone compares COVID-19 statistically to other serious flu pandemics. After all, they want us all to believe that COVID-19 is somehow unique ... and different ... and particularly deadly, and any suggestion that it's really not very different than other serious flu pandemics is ... well .. "anti-science propaganda offered by people who don't respect human life" ... or something.

Those of us of a certain age vividly recall the rock music festival that became known as "Woodstock." There were dozens of books written about it, at least one feature length documentary film and dozens of smaller efforts, and literally thousands of contemporaneous news stories. Few if any mention that Woodstock (along with the half a million young people who attended it) occurred in the middle of the H3N2 virus (a.k.a, Hong Kong flu) pandemic of 1968-1969.

Jeffrey A. Tucker reports:
In my lifetime, there was another deadly flu epidemic in the United States. The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.

Lifespan in the US in those days was 70 whereas it is 78 today. Population was 200 million as compared with 328 million today. It was also a healthier population with low obesity. If it would be possible to extrapolate the death data based on population and demographics, we might be looking at a quarter million deaths today from this virus. So in terms of lethality, it was as deadly and scary as COVID-19 if not more so, though we shall have to wait to see ...

I was 5 years old and have no memory of this at all. My mother vaguely remembers being careful and washing surfaces, and encouraging her mom and dad to be careful. Otherwise, it’s mostly forgotten today. Why is that?

Nothing closed. Schools stayed open. All businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants ... In fact, people have no memory or awareness that the famous Woodstock concert of August 1969 – planned in January during the worse period of death – actually occurred during a deadly American flu pandemic that only peaked globally six months later. There was no thought given to the virus which, like ours today, was dangerous mainly for a non-concert-going demographic.

Stock markets didn’t crash. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses.

Media covered the pandemic but it never became a big issue.
Reread Tucker's last three paragraphs. Then consider this: We've shut down our economy and put the livelihoods of tens of millions at risk, banned elective surgery and broad-based medical care putting the health of millions at risk, spent trillions of dollars to prop up the economy we purposely shut down — and in the end, it's likely (although not certain) that ~100,000 people (almost all elderly and infirm) in the U.S. will die. This tragic result is about the same as the result we saw for the H3N2 pandemic of 1969. The only difference is the catastrophic collateral damage that we've created today, where none was created in 1969. Today, Team Apocalypse hyperventilates when 10 people congregate in a park or on a beach. In '69, 500,000 smoked dope shoulder to shoulder and shared bottles of Jack Daniels in the mud in Woodstock, NY in the middle of a pandemic. Not a peep from the media, from politicians, from just about anyone.

Maybe it was all a hallucinatory LSD dream.


One of the attributes of far too many catastrophists is that they have become hysterical—deathly afraid of dying from COVID-19, even though the mortality rate in the U.S. is 0.1 percent of those that contract the virus. How often have you heard a person say that they won't "risk their life" by going into a newly re-opened business establishment, or suggest that a (usually G.O.P.) governor who has re-opened his/her state is "risking the lives" of the residents of that state. Actually, very, very, very few lives are at risk, but whatever.

Bill Maher has been courageous in debunking COVID-19 hysteria. Here's his latest riff: