by Scott Mckay
To our betters in the American ruling class:
Just a note to say thanks for giving us a much-needed lesson in the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who were not shy at all in admonishing us to be wary of surrendering the kind of government power you people have wielded, supposedly for our benefit, since the Chinese Communist virus hit our shores at some indeterminate point in the recent, or maybe not-so-recent, past.
You told us that Patient Zero in America for the Wuhan ChiCom virus came to Seattle and first landed in a hospital on January 19. You built an entire response to the virus based on that, and three months later more than 26 million Americans are out of work, and the projections are that some 24 percent of our economy will have evaporated in the second quarter of this year thanks to that response.
In the meantime we’ve watched, on our TVs and computer screens, as moms and dads have been arrested for taking their kids to the park, as some of you have issued edicts preventing us from traveling from one property we own to another, as some of you are attempting to mandate that we wear masks in public, and as some of you are shutting down events and gatherings even eight months from now, as though you have crystal balls to see what the future so far out will hold.
What you’ve done has made an abject mockery of the idea we have God-given, unassailable rights. Instead what we have are permissions from our political betters. Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams would be busy decorating trees with your hides for less than we’ve tolerated from you in the past three months.
And why? Because they knew what we’ve apparently forgotten — as another of the titans of our past once said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Ben Franklin wouldn’t have a particularly fond judgment of what we’ve let you do lately.
Because what he knew, and what Jefferson and the rest knew, was that a government to which you surrender your natural rights will shortly abuse and debase them, and the power to whom it’s been ceded won’t easily be reclaimed by the people.
Some of us are beginning to remember this. More of us will recognize it as evidence of your perfidy and incompetence mounts.
After all, several things are true.
First, most of you spent several decades essentially rewarding Red China for the Tiananmen Square massacre by throwing open trade and granting the most murderous political apparatus in human history Most Favored Nation trade status. The result of that has been to help build a hostile world superpower rival we didn’t have after the fall of the Soviet Union, at the expense of our manufacturing base. You thought that was a good idea, partially because you’re naive and stupid and partially because you were bought off, but what we ended up with is a rogue regime that cooks up infectious diseases in laboratories, incompetently lets them out into the open and proceeds to lie about them for months while the World Health Organization, which you put us on the hook to fund with hundreds of millions of dollars of our money, covers up for China despite their providing barely a tenth of what we do.
Then, while you tell us this virus is nothing to worry about, you build a response based on the numbers and data coming from that lying rogue regime and the incompetent government of Italy, which it turns out presides over a perfect storm of an atrocious socialized medicine regime and a teeming cesspool of sweatshop Chinese labor, coupled with an innovative method of counting every conceivable death related to the virus whether actual or not, as a virus death. You throw all of that garbage into data models built and funded by apocalyptic leftists with extensive dealings with the Chinese, and proceed to govern by them.
It doesn’t occur to you until weeks later, when those models utterly fail to predict anything like the real impact of the virus, that what they reflect is garbage in, garbage out. And one main reason your models fail so completely is the public health bureaucrats you put all your faith in never even bothered to wonder what it would mean if the Chinese communists were lying to us about the virus.
Namely, that if they denied its existence for two months, the virus was probably everywhere long before your response kicked in, and shutting down the American economy was a tragic waste of lives, livelihoods, and capital. We now know this was the case, because at long last somebody is finally doing antibody testing — and as they conduct studies in places like California, where the virus would have spread earliest, they’re finding out what was obvious to lots of people. It turns out Patient Zero wasn’t Zero at all — at least two people had died of the virus well before the “outbreak” supposedly started.
What that means is we were a lot further along this curve you told us putting us under house arrest was going to flatten than you knew. And because we were further along that curve, the potential impact of the virus on our health-care system was never even remotely close to what your awful data models said it would be.
That’s OK, though. Lives are more important than money, right? Except you’ve spent decades pushing government programs aimed at redistributing wealth on us based on the premise, which we’ve been promised is true (and might well be), that poverty, unemployment, and social isolation create catastrophic health outcomes. So making the whole country broke, unemployed, and unable to interact in person with their friends is now a good idea … because of this virus?
Well, how dangerous is the virus? Well, it could kill more than two million of us, and everybody is at risk. Or maybe more like 250,000 of us, most of whom are old. Or, perhaps it’s more like 100,000 of us, and the vast majority have serious health issues like morbid obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or are immunocompromised. Or maybe it’s 60,000.
Which is a number more like a bad flu season. But we don’t dare call this the flu! It’s 10 times more dangerous than the flu.
Well, not unless you’re over 60 and have those comorbidities. If you’re 45 or younger and you’re healthy, the flu is probably more likely to kill you than the Chinese coronavirus.
And then those studies come out and — guess what! — this virus has about the same fatality rate, once you project all the people who’ve actually had it, as the flu. Wonder what the numbers would have looked like if you hadn’t copied the Italians’ model of chalking up everybody who even thought of having the virus as a virus death. Sometimes you’re not even testing people before assigning their deaths to the virus. Hey, running up the score is good for getting federal disaster funding, right? Better make sure the public stays scared!
But the medical system was going to be overwhelmed, and so we had to “flatten the curve” and keep everybody home and socially distanced. Because that would keep us from getting the virus. Or actually, no, it wouldn’t, because everybody ultimately gets the virus. We just needed to make sure we didn’t all get it at the same time, because the hospitals would fill up.
And it’s a good thing we shut the economy down, because the hospitals didn’t fill up. In fact, the hospitals are empty, and they’re laying off doctors and nurses. Y’know, the doctors and nurses who are such heroes that nobody is supposed to get mad when they harangue people who question whether or not this is as serious as they make it out to be on the six o’clock news. Those doctors and nurses — they’re swamped with patients, you know. When they’re not laid off because there are no patients to see.
By the way, thanks for designing such a precise, well-thought-out shutdown. After all, it makes perfect sense that you can get an abortion but not a colonoscopy. No need to explain why Walmart is selling shirts while Macy’s is shuttered. Or why surfing or golfing alone are prohibited, because “social distancing,” but buying lottery tickets is cool. Or why you can’t get a haircut unless you’re a mayor or governor who “has” to go on TV to preen at a press conference daily. Or why buying booze is OK but going to the gym is dangerous. That has all made perfect sense. Good job on thinking all that through.
Just imagine how bad it would have been if you hadn’t shut the economy down. Look at what those data models showed! You guys are real heroes. We shouldn’t be upset at all about losing our jobs. We should be thanking you for free government swag and unemployment checks … which in some cases are more than our jobs were paying, and so those businesses you shuttered can’t reopen because they can’t bring back their employees who have no motivation to get back to work.
But now that you saved the health-care system from being overloaded (not from being shut down like all the other businesses, though, which means you’ve damaged it in other ways with stupid public policy), it’s time to go back to work, right? Well, no.
No, you tell us, you have to be careful about how you do that. Too much freedom is a bad thing, right? We have to embrace the “new normal.”
The “new normal” means we can go back to work when you tell us, and we can live our lives how you dictate we can. And why?
Because we don’t want a “second wave” of the outbreak.
Wait, why would we have a second wave? Because not everybody got the virus in the first wave. And until everybody has more or less had it you can’t get to “herd immunity,” which is how these viruses are defeated.
But the virus ultimately spreads everywhere. We know this because there have been viruses spreading since there have been people for them to spread to, and that’s how a coronavirus works.
So why wouldn’t we want to just get this over with and protect the people most vulnerable to the virus? Because that would be irresponsible, right? You have to — how does it go? — “test, trace, isolate” before you can let people do what they want. You might even need to give people “immunity papers” proving they’re safe to be around before you’ll let them go to work at their “non-essential” jobs or eat at a restaurant.
We promise we won’t notice none of that was in the initial justification for forcing us to stay home. We wouldn’t suspect you guys of bad faith for having bait-and-switched us like that. Because we know that if we did notice, and we did express dissatisfaction, we would be descended upon by our betters at the Big Tech companies, who are doing us a big favor by censoring “misinformation” about the virus like for example people questioning the WHO or noting the virus likely came out of a Chinese bioweapons lab. Or we’ll get arrested because protesting is “non-essential.” Or maybe we’ll just be griped at by the hordes of busybody Karens across the country who call us “selfish” for wondering whether this wasn’t all just a too-costly overreaction.
No, we won’t do any of that. We’ll just say thanks, and that you’re really doing a hell of a job.
Seriously. Literally. You’re doing a hell of a job.
The irritated, unwashed, and involuntarily broke American people
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a novelist — check out his first book “Animus: A Tale of Ardenia,” available in Kindle and paperback.
Photo “Screening Station” by The National Guard. CC BY 2.0.