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What I Have Learned from the Epidemic and the Response to It.

By July 27, 2020Commentary

In thinking about what to write for my most recent post on the epidemic big picture, one question I asked myself was what has been learned through this epidemic.  It was kind of a depressing exercise.

  1.  Our political leaders are incompetent, incapable of identifying and gathering pertinent information, talking to a wide variety of “experts” and synthesizing the information in a rational and analytical way to make a decision that benefits the population as a whole.  Oh, wait, we already knew that.  Turns out they are more like a mindless stampede of lemmings, happy to drop off any cliff, as long as other politicians go with them.  Lockdown–sure great idea, let’s all do it and not consider the costs in comparison to any benefits.
  2. Our experts aren’t so expert, apparently incapable of recalling the basics of some of their training.  Modeling was awful and the experts did not adequately warn that the shortcomings meant projections should not be used.  We have heard all kinds of contradictory advice.  It should be a good reminder to all of us, and especially the people in point one above, to take a skeptical perspective even on expert opinions.  Question everything.
  3. A lot of people in this country are way too happy to conform to authority and be well-behaved sheep.  Here we are with powerful computers at our fingertips constantly and most of us seem unable to look for and absorb basic data and research.  It isn’t that hard.  And why at this point would we trust anything from the people listed in points one and two above, without our own independent check on whether it makes sense.  Stay-at-home, sure, no problem.  Keep your kids out of school, ohh fine.  Shut down your business and lose jobs, happy to go along.  Wear a mask, must be a good reason to do it.  And so on.
  4. There are some people, and I hear from you, that do adopt a more skeptical stance and do try to understand the complexities of the epidemic and the response to it.  It is up to you to be leaders, to be heard and to help move the entire country to a more rational approach to these issues.  I am grateful you are out there.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • DuluthGuy says:

    The problem I see is that it’s not incompetence, it’s far worse. While I’d excuse Gov Walz if he were to stop relying on the “Minnesota Model” and other ridiculous things he’s used, he keeps relying on them (at least publicly) after they’ve shown how ridiculous they are. While I don’t agree with Gov Walz, I fully realize that he’s not that stupid. He’s either evil and is trying to inflict as much damage hoping that it’ll affect the election in favor of Democrats or that he’s just incredibly stubborn and will not admit that he was duped by all of the experts and keeps doubling down. I have a feeling it’s probably a combination of both.

    On a side note, I have a lot of friends/family that live both in Greater MN and in the Metro of whom are both Republicans and Democrats (and those who don’t care either way) in both locations. It’s amazing how much happier those who live in Greater MN are than those who live in the Metro (you can throw Duluth in with the metro) during the COVID-19 “crisis”.

  • Joe Kehoskie says:

    The two main takeaways from Corona Madness are that America has the stupidest elites on the planet, and that no one should be allowed to vote or seek elected office unless they have a three-digit IQ.

  • Doug Young says:

    Yes, the ridiculousness is amazing in both the politicians and the citizenry. We all pretty much expect it from the pols, but the way most people seem to be following the bad data is pretty disheartening. I think if it keeps going on like this, the unemployment and stimulus checks won’t be able to keep the sheeple pacified, and there could be some pushback. This terrorism is happening in most of the US, but it’s worse in the states w/the Democrat governors. Which is why we, in California, are pushing back with a recall drive of Gavin Newsom, that is nicely taking off. You guys in Minnesota should try it! Here’s the URL: . You may recognize that some of the complaints on the home page are similar to yours. My recall group here in San Francisco is a mixture of Republicans (a rare species in SF), Democrats, and independents. We feel we’ve been forced into action, especially for the the next generation, who don’t quite understand what’s being done to them.

  • Harley says:

    Outstate people are happier, fewer subscriptions to the StarTribune, poorer reception of the Twin Cities TV stations.

    Walz’s comments about outstate Minnesota in the last election: “Mostly rocks and cows.” From someone who grew up in Nebraska.

  • John Frary says:

    If skepticism should be our guide (as it should b) then we should 1) respect Heinlein’s Razor: “stupidity is the primary source of error.” 2) agree that we really can’t know the motives of people we don’t know and haven’t met. 3) Accept that although we have a pretty good general idea of human motivations, the complexity of our brains produces mixed motives. 4) Make allowances for the libido dominandi in all political decisions. 5) Accept that politicians do no love truth and transparency.

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