As the inner party feverishly tries to create enthusiasm for a second panic over the coronavirus pandemic, it is a good time to take a look at what has actually happened with the virus to this point. It is easy to forget, given the fire hose of nonsense that comes at us every day, but we were all supposed to be dead by now. Maybe not all of us, but a lot of us, a lot more than actually died. Instead, most of us are here, social distancing and wearing humiliation masks to please the rulers.
In fairness to the people who made the initial projections, the only way to get any attention in this age is to make outlandish claims. Everything about the modern media culture has evolved to reward the freaks, the crazy and the outlandishly dishonest, so the model makers probably felt they were doing the right thing. They wanted the rulers to treat the virus as a serious threat, so they were okay with rolling out doomsday predictions that were not grounded in reality.
That has not stopped so-called experts from putting out nonsense studies to feed the demands of alarmists. The under-counted fallacy will probably be with us through the election, as that promotes second wave fantasies. In realty, the death toll from the virus is probably overstated, but it is going down quickly nonetheless. That’s because of two things that we see with all pandemics. One is the most vulnerable die first and the other is herd immunity. Covid is following the same course.
A good example of the power of mass media to warp the truth is how the phrase “herd immunity” was quickly turned into an epithet. Even now, alarmist sneer about herd immunity as if it is voodoo. The fact is, the way forward for this thing was always going to be reaching an infection level that slowed the spread of the disease. The only question was how quickly it could happen, without creating problems in the health care system like shortages and overcrowding.
That was the whole point of the lock downs. There’s never going to be a vaccine and there was never going to be an eradication of the virus. We’ve been trying to come up with a vaccine for a coronavirus for a long time. Nothing has come close to working, so planning for one is foolish. Instead, the best approach is to get the young and healthy out there infecting one another and building up their immunity. By young and healthy, it means under 60 and free of serious diseases.
In other words, the lock downs were a dumb idea. Perhaps they were understandable in a panic, as politicians are stupid and like mischief. Now they make no sense at all, at least in terms of dealing with the virus. If there is going to be a second wave, it will be an economic wave. The inevitable Covid flare ups in pockets of the country this fall will simply be the result of slowing the natural spread of the virus and delaying the progress toward the Herd Immunity Threshold.
As an aside, herd immunity does not mean the entire herd must be exposed and develop antibodies. It can mean that, but it can also mean that everyone who could get sick and die from a disease, gets sick and dies. In this case, however, it simply means an infection level where the odds of an infected person contacting a non-infected person falls below a certain threshold. The virus, not having a ready supply of new hosts dies out before infecting the whole population.
For those interested, the panic over Covid is a useful primer on why mass democracy coupled with mass media is a suicide pact. If America was run by a dictator or even a junta, the first step in fighting the disease would be controlling the flow of information about the disease. The media would be tightly controlled and prevented from spreading fake stories about overrun hospitals and people dying in the streets. In fact, we may not even know there was a pandemic at all.
Second, and probably more important, attention whores with outlandish claims would have no platform to spread their nonsense. Instead, the people who know about these things would give their advice to the rulers, who would then make policy. The loons and cranks would be sent to a camp if they got out of line. No one making policy or advising on policy would have an incentive to get attention from the mobs. There would be no market for crazy talk and fear mongering.
That’s what we have seen with Covid. The sober minded virologist advising caution in public policy gets pushed aside in favor of TV clown with dubious credentials. Millions of innumerate people are on social media chattering with one another about facts that they don’t understand. The result of America’s Covid response has been an increase in the levels of stupidity in the public. Everyone is now dumber for having had to put up with months of ridiculous claims about the virus.
The fact is, this brilliant post from March was right all along. Months ago, it was clear that the lock down strategy would not do what was claimed. Even if it did slow the spread of the disease, that was not a good thing. The cost of locking down a country would be prohibitively high. If we lived in a just country, the curve benders would be rounded up by the ruler and executed. The right answer was to prepare the public and the hospitals to tough out what would be a very bad flu season.
That is the one bit of good news in all of this. The public is increasingly cynical about everything they hear from the ruling class. The lies and sadistic punishments in the virus panic moved a lot of people from partisan to hostile. The effort to gin up a phony second wave panic to help Joe Biden in the election will probably be met with a second wave of hostility, much bigger than the first. The ruling class spent what was left of its legitimacy on this virus panic.
In the end, what we have is a very expensive lesson in the folly of mass democracy and mass media. Both are based on the premise that the more stupid people you add to the mix, the greater the collective intelligence of the whole. It’s as if group intelligence works in series, rather than parallel. In reality, the more people participating in politics, the faster dumb ideas are created and allowed to zoom around the system. We’ve reached a point where our society is no longer able to perform the basics.
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