When in panic or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout…
— Children’s ditty
Social distancing. Masks. Shelter in place. “Essential” businesses. Terms and concepts that have become all too familiar and common in our lexicon over the past few weeks.
At every government level from the national to the municipal, those policies have been imposed on the populace by executive fiat, without debate or legislative action, via the invocation of “emergency” powers of dubious nature and justification.
The COVID-19 infestation has been portrayed in the most panic-inducing light possible. “Pandemic” is the term of choice, a word guaranteed to induce apocalyptic fears in the populace. But let’s rationally consider some facts to see if we’re being gaslighted.
I think it’s imperative to first view the current “crisis” in true historical perspective. COVID-19 is, as the name suggests, a coronavirus. It’s not something unprecedented. Coronaviruses are actually fairly common. Some strains of the common cold are caused by coronaviruses, as are SARS and MERS. In fact, the formal name of the current pathogen is SARS-CoV-2, meaning it’s simply a variant of the SARS pathogen, discovered in 2003, that we’ve seen before.
As I write this column COVID-19 deaths in this country just passed the 80,000 mark. Yes, that’s a lot of people and it’s very sad. But during the 2017-2018 common flu season “…more than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died from flu” in this country. (https://www.healthline.com/health/influenza/facts-and-statistics#5)
Where were the panic and hysteria then? I sure don’t remember any “shelter in place” or “safer at home” or “social distancing,” or masks, or businesses closed down by imperial fiat, or any other impingement on our constitutional rights to live our lives normally.
Do you? Why is that?
Per the U.S. Census Bureau, our official population is 331,883,986. Assuming 80,000 people in this country have died from COVID-19, that’s a fatality rate of 0.024104%. That’s less than one-fortieth of 1%. Why are we utterly destroying everything this country stands for over a ginned-up hysteria that’s a danger to a ridiculously minuscule portion of the populace? Wouldn’t it make more sense – a LOT more sense – to simply encourage those at the most risk – the elderly and unhealthy – to take precautions, rather than impose draconian and, frankly, un-American “emergency rules” of questionable legality (at best) on the general population?
Consider masks. Viruses are nano-scale particles, much smaller than bacteria. Unless one is wearing a mask or containment device capable of capturing or filtering such small particles, masks are useless. The viruses can easily pass through the spaces in the mesh or fabric of the mask, or around the edges. So unless one is wearing an N95 or better device, masks – especially pieces of cloth – are really just decorative fashion accessories. And virtue signaling devices, of course.
The biggest and most dangerous problem is how dictator-wannabes – like Commiefornia’s Gavin Newsom, Colorado’s Jared Polis, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, and New York’s Andrew Cuomo – have exploited this situation to grab power and impose their diktats by imperial fiat on every aspect of how people must live their lives. This is very reminiscent of life under the commissars in the old Soviet Union, right down to the bare shelves in grocery stores and neighborhood snitches. I never thought I’d see something like this in this country in my lifetime. It’s the stuff of old dystopian books and movies.
Many of those tinpot tyrants are bleating about how this is a preview of a “new normal” moving forward. Once we cross the finish line at wherever the constantly changing goal posts end up – if they ever actually stop moving at all – they envision a restructured social order in this country. Well, though I had plenty of problems with the “old normal,” mostly having to do with the socialist bent of so much of our governance, I think it’s vastly preferable to whatever nightmare political hacks like these would like to see replace it.
As many times as I’ve read the U.S. Constitution I have yet to come across an Exemption Clause suspending our rights in the event of a public health “crisis.” Yet at this time those rights have been obliterated as if the Constitution doesn’t even exist. It’s time for those hacks to be reminded that they work for us; we don’t “bend the knee” to them.
I think it’s high time for a good dose of civil disobedience. Otherwise this current hysteria will have set a very dangerous precedent. Think “climate change” hoax. You just know those fanatics, many part of the same cast of characters, are eyeing these events as a precursor to what they can do by ginning up a “crisis” on that topic. Think of the damage they can do if they’re successful.
“Give me liberty…”
Brian Baker is a former Saugus resident.