Out Behind The Barn
As I listen to pandemic program managers spouting COVID-19 bromides and watch their efforts to rush people into getting vaccinated, I’m transported back to the little mixed farm in Alberta, Canada, where I grew up. I saw the COVID-19 playbook in action over sixty years ago in barns and fields, but particularly the corrals, out behind the barn.
In retrospect, it was a proverbial subsistence farm. Dad milked a small herd of dairy cows and sold raw milk in eight-gallon cans to the Dairy Pool. That bought groceries. He raised hogs to market size, generating farm revenue. The three-hundred twenty acres of fields were used to grow hay for cattle feed, barley to be ground into pig “chop” and oats to be rolled (crushed) for dairy cows. Hens laid eggs before graduating to a featured spot on the dinner table.
It took me a lot of years to realize that ours was indeed a “subsistence” farm, and more years to openly accept it. The term “subsistence farm” has a whiff of back-woodsiness to it. Now late in life, I’m proud of the heritage received in that time and place. I wouldn’t trade the priceless life principles I was learned there for a graduate program in the toniest university or college, nor would I trade the gift of having a father with work-thickened fingers, a generous heart, and wisdom far, far beyond his schooling. I’m a fortunate man.
Each fall we brought the cows — thirty-five or so — and their calves from the summer pasture, to the “home place: where they would be fed and wintered. The calves had to be weaned from their mothers, which meant separating them. It was tricky. For one thing, the animals — we called them “range cows” — grew a bit wild over summer and didn’t take kindly to being handled in close quarters. As for the calves, they were even wilder and wanted to stick to momma.
The bawling herd was stopped in the main barnyard corral, then hazed into a smaller enclosure behind the barn. The next step was to ease about a third of the animals into a yet smaller corral. A few animals at a time are manageable; too many at a time aren’t.
We cattlemen slowly ambled around the herd, placing the cows and calves between us and the target opening. We formed a half-moon — as much of a half-moon as three people can form — and began edging closer to the animals. We moved a short step at a time, not making sudden moves. Naturally, they edged away from us. As they moved, we moved … slowly. All well so far.
The herd churned as our pincer movement tightened. We allowed cows and even some calves to squirt out if necessary, as long as the main group could be contained. Better to let a few “squirters” get away than to lose the group.
Tension increased as the animals found themselves in ever-shrinking space. We gaged herd stress by watching the old cows. They were a breath away from stampeding when standing as still as statues, heads down, with noses skimming the ground. When that happened Dad might murmur, “Give them time,” or “Give them room, boys, give them room.” We’d pause until the animals relaxed and lifted their heads even partway.
After more slow steps, when the farthest animals were in or near the open gate, we rushed forward and spooked the group into the corral. The cows could then be cut out, leaving the calves.
It seems to me that COVID-19 pandemic program managers and their minions are following the same playbook. Just over a year ago they murmured that a new virus had been detected in China and was infecting people. Experts and authorities of all stripes — who imagined there were so many sages in our midst? — began edging us toward an objective using the specter of a “pandemic.” The experts were quick to say they didn’t understand much about the virus or how it worked but they were nonetheless sure it had deadly potential. Step one. The public was heads-up.
As if on cue, Imperial College London’s Dr. Neil Ferguson whipped up a model predicting as many as 510,00 deaths in Britain and 2.2 million deaths in America. Surely discerning persons understood the need for drastic measures to stop the virus and protect people. Step two. The drumbeat of crisis was throbbing. People were alarmed.
COVID program managers and a motley assortment of medical experts and authorities began catastrophizing about the likelihood of worldwide calamity. The hounds were off the leash, baying at full throat in calling for all sorts of ineffective prophylactic measures such as facemasks and lockdowns. Step three! The generally undiscerning public was listening and starting to panic. “What can we do?” people cried, ripe for exploitation.
Mainstream media, lapdogs of an even more motley collection of Marxists, leftists, globalists, narcissists, gadflies, and people with more money than any human should have, launched into round-the-clock pandemic coverage. The coverage — brainwashing, actually — ingrained COVID pandemic propaganda as “science” and “truth” in the public mind. The media deliberately underreported or withheld countervailing information, so the fiction stuck. Step four.
Unwitting, the public had been eased, slowly and unthreateningly, to the gate of the COVID-19 corral, then stampeded inside to be exploited. Step five! Objective attained!
Actually, not even close! The apparent ultimate objective of the COVID pandemic program is to acquire global power. COVID-19 appears to be a key element in the power grab, an excuse to impose freedom-stifling restrictions that fall short of common sense.
Consider some of the things that happened in the last year. Or didn’t happen.
The ballyhooed millions of COVID-19 deaths in America and elsewhere mercifully didn’t happen as experts predicted.
Face masks are proven to offer little or no protection against COVID-19, while sometimes causing dental or dermatological problems or problems associated with rebreathing one’s own expelled CO2. Masks may be good for virtue signaling or showing subservience and obeisance to authority, but not for medical protection.
Economy-destroying lockdowns are intensely damaging. Historical lockdowns in medieval Europe and in a U.S. County a century ago, for example, produced local benefits, but the model is impractical on the national basis now attempted, let alone on a continental or global scale.
Social distancing for COVID mitigation is common sense in the same way that avoiding people with the flu and colds makes sense. Do that, but don’t become a pariah about it.
Washing one’s hands as once taught in grade school is the most elemental common sense and should be assumed without mention, not juiced up and marketed as COVID “science.”
Slavishly wiping inanimate surfaces with disinfectant wipes may be emotionally therapeutic but it is useless for COVID control. COVID-19 virus is rarely spread through surface contact.
Perhaps I can be forgiven for fondly recalling lessons learned out behind the barn when common sense actually seemed common, and wise Dads taught sons how things worked.
IMAGE: Cow and Calves. Public Domain.
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