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

Tuesday, November 01, 2022


Beginning in March of 2020 and for the next 24 months, Democrat leaders, their trained hamsters in the media, and their medical and public health "experts" at the federal, state, and local level reacted to COVID-19 like a 2-year old who believed that a monster lived under their bed. Figuratively shrieking in terror, they refused to look under the bed and understand that their overblown fears were largely unjustified. Instead, they saw a political opportunity that grew out of the fear they encouraged. They instituted authoritarian policies and restrictions that darkened the mood of the country. 

These cynical catastrophists did nothing to calm fears. They chose to present models and data that were often taken out of context and in some cases, incorrect or irrelevant. They silenced true experts who disagreed with their approach. And worst of all, they did little to actually mitigate the spread of the virus among the population cohort that truly was under threat (the very old and infirm). They became petty dictators, whose authoritarian rules ruined lives and livelihoods.

They instituted policies that locked down businesses, shutdown schools, limited Americans' ability to gather, to recreate, even to conduct funerals for those who died from other causes. Their policies resulted in the postponement of critical surgeries and medical treatments. They demanded that masks be worn, even as study after study indicated that such masks were largely ineffective. 

They trumpeted 'death score boards' on a daily basis (notice how that stopped the minute Joe Biden was elevated to the presidency even though more deaths occurred on his watch than on his predecessor's), often attributing deaths with COVID for deaths because of COVID. They became obsessed with vaccines, demanding that everyone get vaccinated, even as early data indicating lack of effectiveness, and worse, non-trivial and serious side effects began to emerge. They demonized and even ridiculed therapeutics that may have had some efficacy in treating the virus and then pushed expensive and largely unproven medications that had their own issues.They instituted travel restrictions long after they were no longer necessary; they recommended vaccine passports in a pathetic attempt to "stop the spread."

And then, there's the truly crazy stuff. They shut down public gatherings, except for protests and riots associated with approved leftist causes. They literally arrested people for allowing their children to use public parks and playgrounds that were padlocked to stop the 'spread.' They enforced 12-foot then 9-foot then 6 foot spacing for seats at public gatherings and then reprimanded those who chose to move closer to a friend or relative. They argued that holiday dinners be cancelled or limited to no more than 10 people, that 1-year olds be forced to mask on airplanes, that plastic barriers be placed between restaurant tables to stop the flow of microscope particles, that a sitting president suggested that we drink bleach (he did not). They got off on the power of coersion, and it showed as "emergency measures" were extended again and again.

And none of it worked. The virus was gonna virus, and it did. It followed a predictable and scientifically verified infection curve, no matter the draconian measures applied to stop it.

And during all of this, they virtue-signaled, suggested that any push back against their covidiocy indicated that those who opposed them just didn't care about the safety of others.

And now?

As time passes, the true nature of the catastrophic damage their policies precipitated can no longer be hidden from public view. Their many, many errors in judgement, in policy, and in tone can no longer be swept under the rug. 


They now tell those of us who have opposed them that they did all of this with the best of intentions and that we must all move on. In a widely referenced article, "Let's Declare a Pandemic Amnesty," in the left-leaning Atlantic, Emily Oster writes:  

"We need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID."

Oster goes on to suggest that both ends ("We") of the political spectrum have equal culpability for the events of the past few years. That is absolute rubbish!

It was the Democrats that pushed censorship (via mainstream and social media) of any commentary that opposed the authoritarian dictates of the Faucis, Nusomes, Cuomos or Whitmers. It was the Dems the closed public parks and beaches, padlocked playgrounds, shut down schools (via their allies in the teachers' unions), instituted mask mandates and unapologetically spread fear across the land. It was the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media that tried to destroy the reputations and life work of epidemiologists and other scientists who argued that there were far better and more effective ways of handling this pandemic.


Not yet.

Those of us who have opposed the catastrophists and their authoritarian policies since the beginning won't forget. Only after the Faucis, Nusomes, Cuomos and Whitmers apologize for the massive damage they have caused—to the economy, to small businesses, to young children, to young adults who are now suffering sometimes severe side effects from vaccine "boosters" they no longer need, to the many, many people who were under no mortal threat from a virus that was serious, but never required the draconian response that was instituted.

After they apologize and promise that they've learned from their mistakes and will NEVER implement them again ... then, and only then, can we forgive their covidiocy.


Emily Burns comments of the politics of all of this:

First, let’s be clear to whom Emily Oster is speaking. She’s speaking to the furious well-educated suburban women who are swinging towards Republicans in this cycle, even in the bluest of states. Because it was the bluest of states that were hit hardest by these policies. It was in blue states that the schools were closed longest, that the economic devastation was worst, that crime spiked the most, where masks were required longest. The damage done by these policies is at its beginning, not its end. Dr. Oster, would like these women to believe that it was all just a mistake, a mis-understanding ...

The problem for Emily is that while the hardcore democrat base of women voters never questioned any of these policies, others did—and they incurred significant personal costs for doing so. 

An embarrassing portion of well-educated women acted as the regime’s stormtroopers. They sicced social media mobs on any who dared to voice a question, much less dissent. The pain of having family, friends and neighbors turn on you for voicing an opinion or asking a legitimate question caused many women to seek out others with similar questions.

In so doing, we found a smart, snarky, data-driven community pushing back hard on the totalizing power of a government trying to re-define reality. In some cases women were the generals, in others we were the infantry, going forward and taking constant fire from above, so that some recently discredited truth might once again retake its rightful place in the sun of acceptable opinion.

Emily Oster would like us to forget that. But we can’t—and I hope we won’t—because we were there bringing the government’s own data to shine a light on the lies it so ceaselessly manufactured. These weren’t lies of omission, they were lies of commission. They were lies that were wrought by smelting the credibility of science and medicine in the fires of politics to create weapons wielded by the powerful against us. They literally called us terrorists for our opposition.

Blue checks are very quick to label anyone who disagrees with their narrative as "racist" or "misogynist" or "terrorist" or any of dozens of epithets. This vaccuous strategy allows them to avoid any substantive debate on the substance of their arguments and policies. It is an obnoxious ploy that works only because (up until now) they have maintained near total control of the media and therefore the narrative. That's changing.

In a small way, if the upcoming election is in fact a GOP wave, it will be due in part to heavy pushback coming from the millions of people—men and women—who need to send a message that authoritarian policies coupled with virtual signaling and censorship are not welcome in our culture.

UPDATE-2 (3 Nov 2022):

Democrats have joined the fray generated by Oster's opinion piece, suggesting that the COVID decisions made in early 2020 may (with hindsight) have been incorrect but that "the situation was complicated," the threat was "unclear," no "solid data" existed for those making decisions, and "policy had to be created" on the fly. All of those arguments are flawed at best, and generally dishonest.

Some of us pushed back in March, 2020 when "15 days to stop the spread" was the policy advocated by Anthony Fauci et al and agreed to (under some degree of coersion) by Donald Trump. We used a combination of common sense, early data coming in from Italy (ground zero for Western cases of COVID), a skeptical assessment of computer models, and a layperson's understanding of the trajectory of pandemic infection to question the wisdom of national lockdowns. We were correct in every regard, but I suppose that's water under the bridge.

And when Fauci et al along with deep blue teacher's unions advocated school closures for a population cohort that even early data indicated was at little or no mortal risk from COVID, our pushback became more pronounced. BTW, that same childrens' cohort was NOT, as claimed at the time, a significant vector for transmission of the virus.

In response, blue leaders opted to censor opposing opinions, to dampen pushback and to become authoritarian. That alone was a clear indication that something was deeply wrong and that our blue state and political and public health leadership was no longer to be trusted.

Joy Pullman writes:

None of this deliberately inflicted mass suffering was necessary, and that was all known early on. It wasn’t, as Oster claims, a matter of “deep uncertainty.” Among others, Dr. Scott Atlas very publicly presented strong evidence that mask mandates and shutdowns were poor policy choices throughout 2020. He was brutalized in the media and his own Ivy League university for pointing out this data. So were the eminent authors of the Great Barrington Declaration that made similar data-based arguments, Drs. Jay Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta, and Martin Kulldorff.

It had also been long-established that lockdowns should never be employed and that forcing people into isolation and medical treatments they don’t want are bright red, flashing human rights violations. Multiple Western governments and nongovernmental organizations including the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered the idea of lockdowns and mass quarantines years before Covid emerged and rejected these policies for both practical and ethical reasons.

Covid wasn’t that “complicated.” The global left simply believed Covid chaos would benefit their forever goal of consolidating power ....

These evil policy choices that could have been avoided cost lives and inflicted immeasurable human suffering. We deserve justice, not to live under a “new normal” in which our constitutional rights can be subject to indefinite suspension at any time based on amplified panic. It’s the height of gaslighting to pretend otherwise. 

Were the COVID catastrophists guilty of "evil policy choices." Let me be generous and suggest that they were not evil, but they were intoxicated by the power that their "emergency" edicts conferred upon them; they were gleeful to be able to censor their opponents,, and they were more than happy to create a national mood that all but guaranteed the hated, then-current president would not get a second term in office. And in the process, they did, in fact, violate the constitution, ruin lives and livelihoods, and destroy the mental health of a small but still significant portion of their own political base.

UPDATE-3 (4 November 2022):

The reaction to Oster's plea for "amnesty" just keeps coming—an indication that people have NOT forgotten the damage that was done and that those same people are angry—very, very angry. And not so much by the bad decisions and policies—and they were very bad indeed. They're angry about the sanctimony exhibited by blue leaders and their trained hamsters in the media, along with their coterie of "experts," who now dissemble, refuse to admit that they were wrong or outright dishonest or even misled, and who still virtue signal when they are backed into a corner.

This comment from "Sgt. Mom" summarizes the memory and the anger nicely:

The comments on various blogs which have discussed the original [Emily Oster] article are so lit that they might as well be one of those tornadoes of fire which sometimes happen when a forest fire gets so large that it creates its’ own weather. Professor Oster, apparently living secure in her pleasant little academic and media bubble, appears to have had no notion of the damage to so many ordinary people outside of it – and damage felt on a painfully personal level. Commentors related stories of friends, spouses, neighbors suffering and dying from conditions that they couldn’t get a diagnosis of and/or treatment for – because they couldn’t get the time of day or an appointment with a doctor or clinic. Elderly parents and kin died alone, baffled and frightened, sequestered in nursing homes or hospitals, they died when their lungs were blown out on respirators, their subsequent funerals being lonely affairs. Vacations, family celebrations, weddings, high school and college graduations, celebrations and community events of every size and degree were put on hold, cancelled, reduced, and isolated. School-aged children lost two years of their schooling and social lives, a situation only alleviated by those active and determined parents who took the situation in hand and began home schooling. The deaf and hard of hearing lost a means of communication, since they couldn’t read the lips of people talking to them – and that was not even the cruelest of what Professor Oster and her friends in the establishment media did. That was to deliberately and willfully collude in scaring the bejesus out of that large portion of the public who believed what they saw on TV, over a virus that essentially was no more a danger to a healthy young person than the ordinary seasonal flu bug. Scared people do not react rationally – a concept proved to us over and over during the last two years. Politicians, employers, public administrators, neighbors and relatives reacted, many of them badly and hysterically. Lockdowns, vaccine mandates, required masking, a wrecked economy, social isolation … a whole farrago of fail, over a virus which wouldn’t have been a hiccup in any other flu season. Ordinary people lost friends, parents, relatives, unborn and barely-born children, jobs and participation in their communities. Small business owners lost their little enterprise as well as their dreams. Employees and members of the military were forced, as a condition of continued employment, to accept vaccination and boosters against Covid with an experimental vaccine which down the line, may prove to have been more dangerous to health than Covid. Many people also lost whatever residual trust they had for so-called experts, the mass media, and the medical establishment.

Covidiots honestly believe that everything noted in this very l-o-n-g paragraph is justified because—the virus!!!!  They suffer from fear-driven irrationality and no amount of thoughtful discussion, no volume of facts, no list of damages will ever change their mind.

But the rest of us will remember, and God help any blue check that advocates the same demented approach when another pandemic or other "emergency" comes down the pike.