Back when this was only a health care policy, business and research blog, I would occasionally embarrass myself by making predictions for the coming year. So how do we sum up 2021 and what the heck worse could happen in 2022? At a macro-level, largely due to the most mentally and policy incompetent President ever, the world is a much scarier place as authoritarian regimes are greatly emboldened and the risk of serious conflict very high and we are burdened by a very fragile and damaged economy. In regard to CV-19, strong the obsession is, and if I had to pick one word to describe 2021 and the epidemic, it would be disappointing. We all hoped and expected to be done with this by now. It isn’t the vaccines that are the most disappointing aspect, they actually are performing better than I might have anticipated. It is the persistent stupidity and terrorism of so many political and health leaders. Engaging in the same dumb and futile efforts to suppress a respiratory virus–masking, distancing, closing schools and businesses, telling people to stay home, test incessantly to no real purpose and continuing the same despicable terror tactics to cow the population into submission. You might have thought so many smart people, and they think they are really smart, might actually have learned something over two years.
So will things be any better as we head into the Moronic phase of the epidemic? What will 2022 bring? I really don’t know. The truisms I have known and stated since the start should now be apparent to everyone. You are not, we are not, going to suppress a respiratory virus. It will be here, we will have to adapt to that, and we can’t destroy our society in that adaption effort. A corollary to those truisms is that we need to begin ignoring the epidemic, stop the excessive data collection and hysterical reporting. Out of sight, out of mind. But can the country and its leaders exert the will to do this obvious right thing?
The big underlying current that drives events and reaction to events seem to be the ongoing tension between the portion of the population that is fed up with epidemic restrictions and recognizes that they don’t work and the highly politicized group that are frankly safety-obsessed nuts and reality deniers. Increasingly people seem to be shifting to the former group, both in behavior and in their overt opinions. But the latter group has a strong hold on those who make many of the decisions. I expect this tension to continue through most of the year, but eventually those I consider the realists will prevail, partly because of the political situation described below.
The administration of floundering bozos who currently run the country are desperate to get out of the epidemic. Nothing, literally nothing is going right for them and they can’t really highlight other issues (although what winning issues the whackos fantasize they have is beyond the ken of mortal man, or woman) until they can declare an end to and victory over the epidemic. You can read the tea leaves from Fauci, Walensky, et al, the political stooges of the White House. Backtracking as fast as they can from their former rigid orthodoxy about how the epidemic had to be handled. Suddenly PCR tests aren’t reliable indicators of infectiousness and maybe every hospitalization and death attributed to CV-19 actually wasn’t caused by it. Two Democrat governors have said very clearly that mask mandates are worthless and masks do nothing to stop the spread. I am shocked that they were not instantly struck down with lightening bolts for such heretical apostasy to the mask religion. The mass media, which is slavishly devoted to the interests of the progressive wing of the Dumocrat party, is even publishing articles about the need to move on.
Nothing is going to stop the butt-kicking coming in November, but it will be magnitudes worse if we aren’t out of the epidemic by then, so I predict that sometime in the spring, the Presidementia will declare victory and do everything possible to end all restrictions and return to “normal”, if we even remember what that was. He and his party have to get the CV-19 millstone off their necks. Too late for the generation of children whose mental health and life goal attainment we have so substantially damaged. And just like that, the epidemic will be over and will recede into the background, no matter what new variants arise.
But we can’t let that be the end of this sorry episode. If the opposition party takes Congress in the fall, we need extensive hearings and investigations which fully expose to the public the political machinations behind this Administration’s responses to the epidemic and the lack of data and science to support them. And we need a new set of laws which set clear limits on executive power across the country and on the declaring of emergencies for any period beyond a week. With the available technology, there is no excuse for significant decisions not being made by representative bodies in conjunction with the executive branch. And we must ensure that never again are children held hostage as pawns by teachers’ unions. That process should start in 2022 and if it doesn’t, that will be the most significant disappointment of the upcoming year.
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Over Christmas break I traveled from a free state to a non-free state. OMG it was horrible. I don’t know why there are not revolts. I truly do not understand it, other than lots of people simply love being ruled by idiots. The worst was seeing kids masked up, even in restaurants when you were allowed (oh, thank you, almighty rulers) to remove your mask at the table after strolling by tables in your hazmat suit, and some kids still wouldn’t take them off! It was demoralizing. I refused to wear a mask anywhere. If one was required in a store, I stayed outside. I didn’t wear one properly inside the airport (hanging over my ears in case some federal tyrant approached me, and in the waiting area I took it off completely) and no one said anything to me. On the plane, I left it off most the time. People need to stop putting up with this nonsense.
That is one impressive jeremiad.
I wish I could point out where you are probably wrong in description, judgement or prognostication…but I can’t.
Please keep up the good work in 2022.
About a year and a half ago, I may have posted an excerpt from an H.L. Mencken column regarding public health officials (called “hygienists” during Mencken’s time). During Mencken’s time it seemed that the hygienists- emboldened by their alleged “expertise” regarding Spanish Flu – and the prohibitionists teamed up to form a new puritanism. We know what a disaster that turned out to be, and how long it took to officially kill it.
Today the hygienists aren’t any smarter and they have teamed up with the teacher’s unions and their puppet masters (academia) to form another new puritanism. I shudder to think what a disaster it will turn out to be, and how long it will take to officially kill it.
I would like to be more optimistic, but every time I think people are slowly getting it, I see a brand new “Rapid Covid Testing” center pop up with long lines down the street or a restaurant with a bouncer checking vax cards. The lunacy will continue as long as it pays.
You underestimate Herr Fauci. He is experienced in the art of coverup as in his botched effort to develop an Aids vaccine. Cost many lives.
They are backtracking furiously. Covid got Biden “elected” (though looser voting laws) and covid is going to cause congress and many blue state governors to get rudely tossed out, no matter how much they try and walk it back.
If Phil Murphy won by less than 1% in New Jersey, imagine how ugly is must be in more purplish states:
Definitely in trouble:
Kelly – KS
Mills – ME
Whitmer – MI
Wolf – PA
Evers – WI
Sisolak – NV
Might get lucky:
Polis – CO
Walz – MN (yes or no, Kevin? Is there a chance?)
Grisham – NM
Pritzker (IL) and Hochul (NY) will probably manage to stay alive like Newsom did (and will again in 2022) just by sheer numbers alone, but most democrat governors that spread the panic are in trouble.
The people are pissed off. Even Greg Abbott here in Texas is going to have a tough primary because of what many people see as his caving to the panickers with his shutdowns and mask mandate.
Finally, once again, thank you for this blog. It has been very insightful and useful during the past year. Happy New Year!
Just looked at Sweden and US again. I used OurWorldInData to pull up the deaths per capita charts for the USA and Sweden. Looking at the last 100 deaths per 1 million of population, it took roughly 227 days, right through the Delta wave, for Sweden to see 100 addl deaths per mil. It took the USA about 24 days. Sweden was right.
Hope you’re right, but Wolf is a lame duck and can’t run again.
I’m in PA. Some areas would be as you describe (Philly for certain) and even some of the areas in central PA still have kids in masks in schools.
I’m like you…I don’t wear one anywhere, either, and I am continually amazed at how many folk are okay with wearing one and wear one pretty much everywhere.
Colonel Travis, you clearly don’t understand virology. The Covid 19 virus, in all its iterations is what we call a smart virus- it will attack you while you’re walking to your table, but backs off when your sitting down to eat. Similarly the virus will not attack pro and college athletes while they are playing, (except, apparently, in Canada) but will go after high school and youth players, thus requiring those youths to wear masks.
Similarly the virus will go after you if you’re behind the wheel of your Prius, even if you’re all by yourself, but not if you’re driving a pickup. Follow the Science, damnit!
Thank you Kevin, for being a reasonable balanced voice, and for enduring the torture of reading and analysing all the ridiculous reports and proclamations, so we don’t have too.