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What I Said at the Start Is Still Pretty True

By January 17, 2022Commentary

Almost two years ago, when I first saw the government response to the epidemic I was so horrified that I spent my own money to run ads in the local newspaper attempting to sound the alarm about the likely consequences of the road we were headed down.  I was of course ignored, as I expected, but not deterred and my blog changed course to attempting to be a source of data and research that would help people be rational about the epidemic and how to respond to it.

Here is some of what I said in the original March 28, 2020 ad.  I called the lockdowns and school closures economic suicide.  I should have focused more on the social and health care consequences of those measures.  You will recall that at this point we were in the “two weeks to flatten the curve” phase of the epidemic.  Here are some quotes from the ad:  “These measures (lockdowns) have been taken in light of a feared worst case effect of the virus and with no balancing of the harms the measures are themselves causing.”  “First, we need to be more realistic about the actual threat of this virus.  We all have coronaviruses present in our daily lives, so they are not some new threat.  While this coronavirus appears more virulent, particularly to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, it is clearly a minimal threat to the vast majority of the population.”

“The average person has basically a zero chance of having a serious illness from the virus, even if they were in heavy contact with it.  So the threat is actually low, consistent with a serious flu year.  Yet we are rushing into relatively severe reactions with the goal of virus suppression, reactions that are wreaking economic havoc.”  I then compared the reaction to how we handled flu epidemics even in the recent past and I detailed the damage already done at that point by the lockdowns.  I went on:

“The real tragedy is that all these efforts to completely suppress the virus are likely futile.  Like the influenza virus, coronaviruses, including this variant, are here to stay.  While it makes sense to attempt to limit the surge in demand on the health system, continuing suppression efforts only spread the economic pain out further and further, without creating any meaningful overall decline in the eventual total number of illnesses and deaths.”  I went on to describe what I thought be a better, more targeted strategy.

“Open the schools.  Let bars and restaurants open.  Encourage stores to be open.  Encourage businesses to keep employees and get them back to work.  Continue to mandate careful hygiene.  Continue testing and enforce quarantine of the infeted.  Close senior residences to visitors, keep their staff infection free, and take other steps to protect vulnerable populations.  And people who have reason to fear becoming infected or are just afraid to go out in public can stay home, that should be their choice.”

I went on to ask people to contact the Governor and legislators and demand a real debate and different course of action, and one decided by the legislature, not one individual.

I was wrong about testing and limiting visitors to senior residences.  Testing has become a monster which makes things worse and we forced many of our elderly at the end of their lives to die in isolation.  But even I had no idea how prolonged this attempt to stop a virus that can’t be stopped would go on.  It continues among some even today.  I firmly believe that what I said then about a balanced approach and being realistic is even more true today, as we can see that two years of actions that were supposedly going to end the epidemic have basically done nothing.  And the toll is likely as bad or worse that if we had just let the original variant run through the population.

Live and don’t learn is the motto of today’s politicians and public health experts.  Just keep making the same dumb mistakes.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Drake Woodard Lorence says:

    Mark Twain once wrote, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Facts. Math. Logic. Kevin, you’re not the first “voice crying in the wilderness.” Frustrating.

  • joe Kosanda says:

    Compare and contrast what I said in March & April 2020 (before any vaccine was even imagined)

    A) I said that the covid pandemic would end when we achieved around 50% immunity in the general population – My thought has evolved such that Inow believe that it will take 80%-90% to acheive sufficient immunity in the general population

    B) The mitigation protocols being promoted/demanded were in essense training the human race to evolve to the point that humanity could only survive in sterile environment. (that may have been a little hyperbole on my part, but the concept was generally true

    C) That such mitigation protocols with Children were going to seriously retard the development of childrens immune system. I think I am spot on with that call.

    I suspect that what I said then and what I now say is along the same lines as kevin

    The other point is that there a thousands of others with vastly more medical / expert knowledge than I, yet that expert knowledge is of no use if basic knowledge/history and common sense/wisdom are ignored.

  • Rob says:

    Once you realize that most public officials act like degenerate gamblers you do your best to ignore them.

    And Covid-19 is only the most recent example of doubling down on policies that haven’t paid off. Government finances are the most obvious example, but then one can add policies like the war on drugs, the war on poverty, and the war on illiteracy that have only made each problem worse but keep on worsening as the dosage increases. I used to think even bad doctors would eventually stop increasing dosages if the problem isn’t getting better, but now far too many doctors operate on auto-pilot and just follow the customer service script they’ve been handed.

    Bureaucracies are incapable of handling fluid situations. By the time they have consensus on a course of action, the problem has already changed and the new policy won’t work. I wish we would stop using terms like big tech and big pharma and use more accurate terms like BureaucraTech, BureaucraPharma, BureaucraNews, BureaucraCollege, and BureaucraCare as these terms reflect the unhealthy codependency between the entities and their government enablers.

  • Colonel Travis says:

    The road goes on forever and the party never ends
    – Robert Earl Keen

  • Don says:

    I love taking your original thoughts and a table with now & then. Those in power can’t do that because it would clearly expose their bad predictions. It all started with 2 million lives to be lost and just 2 weeks to stop the spread and save hospitals.

  • Don says:

    Please keep tracking what was said and what is true

  • Kelstar says:

    I never supported lockdowns, even in March 2020, and instead of vindicated, I feel frustrated and disappointed that the madness continues and people can’t admit they were wrong.

  • Fergie says:

    Very little of current public policy has had to do with actual public health, especially evident this past two years with the Coivid-19 situation. It has to do with three major factors.

    The first is keeping those in local, state and federal government including left leaning organizations like the teacher’s union in power.

    The second is increasing, sustaining and promoting the the profits of large international corporations as recent reports have shown that the pandemic has increased the wealth of the top billionaires in the world by $5T dollars over the past year and one half!

    The third is the desire by groups with revolutionary objectives to take down America and the Western world through economic chaos and social division.

    It seems that they have all found a pretty effective strategy, at least for the immediate future!

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