Thou shall not stand closer than six feet. Thou shall not show thy face. Thou shall not shake hands. Thou shall not gather in groups larger than 10. Thou shall not go to school. Nor church. Thou shall flatten the curve. Thou shall fear the resurgence. Thou shall bow down to graven models. And to experts (who use them to create fear and panic and manipulate the trusting and gullible — as shamans and witch doctors previously did).
Change your mind? Does God do it? The famous deceased economist John Maynard Keynes (sort of an Economic God) famously said: “When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?” Popular blogger Glen Reynolds recently said: “If you speak with the Unchallengeable Voice of God, and then you change your mind and speak again with the Unchallengeable Voice of God, people will notice.”
People are noticing. They see the sort of Mini God presidential adviser Dr. Fauci, who previously said masks are not needed. But now uses his Voice of God to say they are. And who previously said COVID-19 is like the seasonal flu. But now uses his Voice of God to say it may recur like the medieval Black Death if lockdowns are lifted too soon.
People see the sort of Scarf Goddess presidential adviser Dr. Birx, who previously said it was necessary to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm hospitals with hordes of COVID-19 victims. They also see the hordes didn’t materialize. In fact, many hospitals suffered from lack of patients due to deferrals of “non-essential” care. People hear that some patients have died while waiting for “non-essential” care. Others are suffering complications from delayed care.
They read that suicides are increasing. Maybe due to stress and depression from lockdowns, lost jobs, domestic abuse, etc. They see reports that COVID-19 deaths are not statistically correlated with the severity of lockdowns. And that states without lockdowns or with minimal restrictions seem to have fewer deaths per million than those with more severe lockdowns and abusive enforcement. They wonder what good did the lockdowns do?
They know that COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and extended care populations are very high. Disgracefully high. And that some elected officials ordered the release of patients with active COVID-19 infections from hospitals into those vulnerable populations. They hear the Voice of God exhorting and harassing healthy young people to commit economic suicide. But the Voice of God is silent about COVID-19’s horrible euthanasia of the sick and elderly.
They are beginning to see there is little or no science behind the exhortations. Or remorse over or responsibility for mistakes by experts and elected officials. Instead, they see experts and elected officials extending and defending their mistakes — saying there would have been more deaths without the lockdowns. And excusing their violations of individual rights and liberties — saying it was for your own good.
They read that some patients with COVID-19 symptoms were denied early treatment (due to government protocols) with the hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin + zinc suite of drugs reported to be effective when administered “off label” early. And that some patients died later in hospital ICU’s after their conditions worsened when the drugs are not effective. And that those deaths were cited in controlled studies “proving” the drugs don’t work — on the dying.
Some experts and officials are doubling down. Others are retreating from their position. Walking things back. Not because the facts have changed. But because they didn’t have the facts to begin with. They are trying to find a way to get off the tiger. Without losing face. Or elections. It would be easier and might be therapeutic and might work better if they admitted their mistakes. We might even forgive them. But they won’t speak with the Voice of God anymore.
Kelley Williams, a Northsider, is chairman of Bigger Pie, a Jackson-based think tank promoting free markets and government efficiency.