I know it seems like a lifetime ago, but if you’ll think back to the beginning of this pandemic you might recall that we were originally told we needed to “flatten the curve” so that hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Ah, the good old days. Remember? The understanding was that this was a highly-contagious, fast-spreading virus that would have to run its course, but if it ran its course at current speeds hospitals would crash, thus causing anyone in need of their services to suffer as well. It seemed like most people understood that. Unless they isolated completely, most anyone who was susceptible to getting the virus was going to get it eventually. Since it was here and already spreading, there was no actual stopping it, not forever, so let’s just manage it and protect those most vulnerable to the best of our ability.
While I’ve never been for the lockdowns and in fact spoke out against them at the time, part of me could at least understand the logic of some measures to slow things down, especially given the fear of the unknown that existed at the beginning. There was some common sense in measures intended to “slow the spread,” even though in reality they didn’t actually work all that well. We had “15 days to slow the spread,” then 30 more. Then, seemingly overnight, the narrative changed. The expectation went from “slow the spread” and “flatten the curve” to, oddly enough, “no cases at all.”
As we began to find out just how large the infection denominator was, as death rates plummeted infinitely lower than the two to five percent many were fearing at first, as actual deaths declined and flattened to less than 1,000 a day (even using their cooked-up numbers where someone who dies of a car accident or heart disease and had COVID is lumped in as a COVID death), the media-induced panic was only getting started. California is shut down again with calls for other states to do the same, and leftists seemingly won’t be happy until masks are legally required at all times on every man, woman, and child from the wilderness of Alaska to the streets of New York City from now until the end of time.
From the virus being deadly to lockdown protesters but benign for George Floyd demonstrators to health officials making mistakes like literally counting a 21-year-old who died of a motorcycle accident in the COVID death count to everything in between, our would-be masters have literally zero credibility. And at this point, there’s no more understanding or sympathizing with any aspect of their “logic.” Not anymore.
Sure, cases are spiking in some areas, but hospitals are thus far managing. We see Chicken Little stories about full hospitals and ICU capacity, but have to look to other reporting to realize that hospitals USUALLY operate at a close-to-full capacity and at least three-fourths of those in most of the “surging” hospitals aren’t even COVID patients. Why don’t they tell us that in the original stories? Why did they allow the public to think that 85 infants in one Texas county tested positive for COVID in a week when the actual time period was from now until the pandemic began in March? And speaking of babies and shock ‘rona headlines, why isn’t the fact that only one of those babies died after being brought to the hospital for “unrelated symptoms” on the front page right under that headline, or at least in the first couple of paragraphs? Why? To keep the panic alive, of course. Everything, it seems, is related to keeping the panic alive. It’s no wonder that fully 52 percent of Americans actually fear dying from a disease that now has at least a 99.8 percent survival rate.
None of it makes any sense. We are now told the area-specific lockdowns, forced-masking, and social distancing measures will remain in place until there is a vaccine, despite the fact that there has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus strain. In other words, area-specific lockdowns, masking, and social distancing measures will remain in place forever ... for a disease that 99.8 percent of people who contract survive and that mostly kills people who have lived beyond the average human lifespan already (those lives are important too and should be protected, obviously, but there are ways to do that without society-killing measures like we’ve done).
One of the seemingly illogical aspects of “hiding” from this virus, and perhaps the thing that bothers those of us who like to use logic and common sense along with data and analytics to analyze our predicament, is the panic-stricken approach the media and our leaders are taking. There’s an obvious reason the virus is in places like Houston and Phoenix now and not in New York City: it’s simply their turn. In other words, would it not stand to reason that every major metropolitan area is likely going to “take a turn” with this virus, no matter what they do? Sure, Governor Cuomo could have saved half the deaths by not sending infected patients into nursing homes, but regardless, the virus hit New York City first because it is a highly traveled international destination. America is a big country that spans across several time zones. It’s ridiculous to compare us to Italy, Denmark, Japan, or the U.K., except that New York City alone might be compared to Italy in the sense that both places are winding down in infections after losing more than 30,000 of their people.
Why are they winding down, and what’s to stop them from picking up again? The media doesn’t believe in herd immunity, apparently, but it’s the only thing that makes sense. Without it, any little outbreak is bound to spread exponentially. The pattern, established time and again, seems to be six to eight weeks of spread in a specific area, then a winding down. Not because of masks, not because of lockdowns, but because herd and T cell immunity eventually do their thing. In New York City, for example, Dr. Scott Gottlieb estimated in late June that 25 percent of residents likely have had the disease. That, combined with T cells currently existing in many in response to fighting common colds, could be more than enough to do the trick.
In other words, we can hide, but not forever. And when we do come out, especially in any densely populated area, coronavirus will be there, waiting for us. This fact, of course, belies any of the government’s efforts to “stop the spread.” It belies the hysteria about “cases! cases! cases!” Suppose we do magically lockdown again in all 50 states, then emerge a month later, after untold suffering and a ravaged economy. When we do emerge, is anyone naive enough to think the virus will just be gone? Inevitably someone will have it, somewhere, and they’ll spread it again. Maybe it’ll take a few weeks to get going, but get going it will. Viruses virus. It’s what they do.
Given that, what is the point of locking down, as long as hospitals can manage the flow? What is the point of masks, even if they worked? Sometimes, the best way out of a dire predicament is to power right through it. Thankfully, our treatments have improved as has our capability to protect the vulnerable and those in nursing homes. That, combined with some form of herd immunity, is the only way out, as anyone with some intellectual honesty and a lick of common sense can surmise. No matter what we do, that’s how coronavirus will end. The question is, how long will it take, and how much pain will we do to ourselves in the process?
Follow Scott on Twitter @SKMorefield