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

Monday, January 24, 2022

Empire of Fear

The inimitable Richard Fernandez writes that throughout the Covid era, government bureaucrats (think: Fauci, Birx, et al) and the politicians who have supported them have constructed an "empire of fear." These bureaucrats and their political enablers have doubled- and tripled-down on catastrophically bad policies—

  • lockdowns that destroyed lives and livelihoods; 
  • school closures that did nothing to stop the spread of the virus and much to harm the education and development of children in their K-12 years; 
  • masking that was ineffective at best and damaging to both health and psyche at worst;
  • unnecessary testing that created "case" counts that were as misleading as they were inaccurate;
  • government data collection that was not only inaccurate but designed to frighten, rather than inform

These same bureaucrats and their enablers told us that 'science' guided their policies when NOTHING could be further from the truth. 

  • They rejected any data that didn't fit into their hysteria-prone narrative;
  • They purposely and dishonestly misinterpreted what little scientific data they did collect, relying on the innumeracy of their followers to stoke hysteria; 
  • They silenced (cancelled) a vast array of eminently qualified public heath experts and medical doctors who raised serious questions about their policies; 
  • They politicized the virus, making it all about defeating their ideological foes, rather than protecting the most vulnerable populations;
  • They used a compliant media (who until this past month) never questioned the irrational and damaging mandates that defied common sense and science. 

In the Empire of Fear that they have constructed, the single most despicable policy is school closures. There is clear, irrefutable, published, and refereed science that indicates the risk to children from COVID is vanishingly small. In addition, transmission from child to teacher is also relatively rare. There are multiple controlled studies that indicate that cloth asks do nothing to stop any spread and that KN95 masks have minimal benefit unless they are worn correctly and replaced often. Kids won't do that. And yet politicians in blue cities and states have not only closed schools out of fear or politics, they condemn those in red states who work to keep schools open and unmask the children who attend them.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that “attending school remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with disproportionate mental health consequences for older and Black and Hispanic children as well as children from families with lower income.” 

Wait ... what?? I thought that "older and Black and Hispanic children as well as children from families with lower income" were a demographic that the politicians in blue states tell us they care soooo much about. I guess that doesn't apply when the effects on those children threaten the viability their empire of fear.

Since January, 2021, the Democrats have controlled the federal government, and have allies in the media, the federal bureaucracy, academia and virtually every other institution that influences American attitudes and behaviors. If they exhibited even a scintilla of leadership, they could have led us out of this mess a year ago. Biden's elevation to the presidency, if handled with wisdom, could have saved us all a year of continuing insanity. 

Instead, we got unnecessary and fear-inducing mandates, messages that were so mixed they were laughable, and the doubling down on failed policies that have done nothing to stop the spread of the virus or protect the most vulnerable among us.


Way, way back on March 19, 2020—just as we began the "15 days to stop the spread"—I wrote:

... it appears that political correctness has pervaded much of the media's treatment of COVID-19. If you have the temerity to ask intelligent questions, or suggest fact-based decision making, or question whether shutting down the economy is the right option given the reality of COVID-19, you're a "DOUBTER" or a "DENIER."

And when PC takes over, common sense and rational decision making goes out the window. We're seeing that on a daily basis. I don't fear COVID-19 half as much as I fear the ramifications of some of the decisions that are currently being made to combat it.

Two years later, little has changed. Sure the media is now nipping at the corners of the COVID narrative, but the virtue signaling regarding masks remains. Vaccines (which didn't exist when I wrote my comment) have become a useful tool for mitigating the severity of COVID—but they've also become a mechanism for the 'othering' of those who choose not to take them. The list of bad decisions and destructive mandates is long and depressing.

Science has provided us with a broad understanding of COVID and yet, those in blue states and their trained hamsters in the media have learned nothing.


Virtue-signalling catastrophists seem wedded to the notion that until "zero COVID" is attained, we have to continue to hide (figuratively) in our basements. This tweet provides a useful counterpoint: