Opinion

Covidstan Strikes Back

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Posted: Aug 02, 2021 12:01 AM
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Covidstan Strikes Back

Source: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

It’s the inevitable sequel none of us wanted to see, but we’re being forced to watch anyway. After an epic Spring 2021 defeat that saw their entire COVID-19 narrative demolished in a massive, Death Star-sized explosion, our Branch Covidian overlords are back and stronger than ever (if not in reality, at least in their own minds), using the rise of the more contagious - but so far seemingly less lethal - Delta variant to again sow panic and impose their will on a frightened populace.

Except, this version is far less entertaining and much more poorly made than their original fear-mongering theatrics, much less the sequel to Star Wars, and I have a feeling this time that the ending isn’t going to be one our COVID overlords will want to watch again and again.

When the final mask mandates fell across the country in May and June, even in many Democratic-controlled areas, I speculated that perhaps the powers-that-be were taking advantage of the prevalence of vaccines to ‘save face’ on forced masking, which had already been widely rebelled against in many ‘red’ areas, to zero negative effect. Instead of admitting that the mask mandates didn’t accomplish anything and promising to never impose such insanity again, our overlords copped out and imposed an ‘honor system’ of sorts whereby the unvaccinated - including those with natural immunity (LOL) - were ‘expected’ to continue masking in indoor settings while the vaccinated could remove them entirely and live their lives as ‘normal.’

Of course, nobody with any sense whatsoever felt that anyone but the frightened stooges already wearing four masks, eye goggles, and a face shield despite being fully vaccinated would continue to voluntarily place a damp, bacteria-laden piece of cloth over their mouths and noses while living their lives, and that’s exactly what happened with most people in all but the bluest of blue places.

Assuming the powers-that-be truly meant well (I know, that’s a BIG assumption), perhaps they felt that the vaccines would bring us the rest of the way to full herd immunity without having to admit their folly. But it was not to be, at least where cases are concerned. As we’ve seen the entirety of the pandemic, this virus tends to follow a bell-shaped curve (Farr’s law), hitting an area for 6-8 weeks before moving on for a few months, then resurging again often to a lesser extent depending on how severe the other outbreaks were. 

And true to form, after several weeks of declining case counts, this virus has indeed made a bit of a resurgence, thanks to the ultra-contagious Delta variant. However, since several states either relaxed their restrictions in March or had minimal ones in the first place, this spike has nothing whatsoever to do with the lack or prevalence of restrictions. Highly contagious respiratory viruses are gonna do what highly contagious respiratory viruses do, and short of complete isolation (which is always temporary), there’s not much that can be done to stop them. Yet, our overlords continue to trick a trusting populace into believing in the same tired old ‘interventions.’

So we’re back to masking again, even for the vaccinated, or at least the powers-that-be insisting upon it in as many places as they can wield enough influence. But this time, I predict (hope?) that Republican controlled areas aren’t going to be nearly as compliant as they were in 2020, giving Team Reality an even larger control group than we had before to use the coming data to again prove their folly for all to see.

Sadly, that ‘folly’ also includes the insistence that every man, woman, child, and zir in the U.S. receive both doses of a vaccine they’ve already admitted isn’t stopping cases or case transmission. They aren’t backing off on this, not at all, and the gloves have come off. No longer can they promise us a maskless ‘normal life’ (lol), so now they’re resorting to bullying and coercion, as if somehow not taking the vaccine is an assault on others. Except, they can’t have it both ways. If vaccines worked as we were told initially, why are we going back to masks? If - as we’re being told now - the vaccine only helps prevent deaths and hospitalizations and doesn’t stop the vaccinated from contracting or spreading the virus, isn’t the risk on the unvaccinated alone to take?

We’re at a point in COVID history where it’s becoming obvious to anyone with half a brain that this virus is endemic. It will always be with us in some capacity, and those who believe we can somehow reach ‘zero-COVID’ are literally in a cult. Thankfully, one silver lining for all concerned is that deaths seem to have been decoupled with cases. Whereas the case fatality rate approached 2% during the height of the pandemic, it’s hovering just above 1% now. (This is, of course, different from the infection fatality rate, which continues to be miniscule and is even smaller than ever.) It remains to be seen how much of this can be attributed to vaccines, but it would be unfair to not credit them to some degree. And Delta is already on the decline in India and the U.K., despite the relaxation of nearly all restrictions in the latter. As much as the fear-mongers bleat, the scarients just aren’t all that scary.

If the Branch Covidians would simply be intellectually honest with themselves, honest with us, and try to reverse the fear-mongering they’ve been engaged in for the last year and a half, perhaps society could learn to live with this virus as endemic without constantly destroying ourselves trying to beat back the inevitable. They never will, of course, because self-reflection is hardly a trait of empires, even and especially those on their way to ignoble defeat.

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