Having shifted the shutdown goalposts, Democrats are gutting our rights
Cast your mind back to March, when Wuhan virus hysteria seemed to be at its apex. Back then, computer models assured us that unless we locked down America, the Wuhan virus would infect everyone with such speed that the demands on our health system would cause the system to collapse. We'd end up with millions of Americans dead; a broken health care system; and, by extension, a broken America.
The only way to alter this apocalyptic outcome was to "flatten the curve." Flattening the curve was premised on the belief that until a vaccine is created, nothing will stop the Wuhan virus from infecting people. However, if we slowed the disease's spread, the health care system wouldn't be hit all at once with hundreds of thousands of patients. Instead, it would be able to handle a steady flow of patients. Slowing the disease's spread would give the medical world a chance to find treatments, lessening the virus's effect.
Flattening the curve seems to have worked. In the six weeks of advanced panic, not only have the numbers of sick and dead been minuscule compared to the projections, but we've learned
- that the virus has been around for months, with hundreds of thousands of people infected and, probably, immunized;
- that the mortality rate is dramatically lower than predicted;
- that there are medicines to treat the virus, with the hydroxychloroquine cocktail proving useful early in the virus's progress and Remdesivir seemingly helpful in the later stages;
- that most people weather the disease well, with only the elderly and the immune-compromised at serious statistical risk;
- that the Swedish model of creating natural herd immunity seems to work, although the elderly need more protection; and
- that shutting the economy creates an economic disaster of greater proportions than the virus could ever be.
Armed with these data, are Democrats joining with conservatives clamoring to be released from their unconstitutional prisons? No, they're not. Instead, they've moved the goalposts. What's sweeping through Democrat-land is a poster explaining that it would be suicide to let up on lockdowns:
Do you see what's wrong with the analogy? It took me a minute, and then I suddenly realized where the logical error is.
An accurate analogy would say that, before the shutdown, the parachute (i.e., the virus) was plummeting into a vat of boiling water (i.e., overwhelming the health care system). The purpose of the shutdown was to cool that water so that the parachute landed in an America prepared to receive it.
We've achieved that goal. Indeed, as of now, we're over-prepared for the virus's/parachute's eventual landing. We have too many ventilators, our hospitals are empty and going broke, and the emergency hospitals constructed in convention centers or on Navy ships stand unused. It's time to let the parachute touch ground so we can get on with our lives.
Leftists are thinking along different lines because they now treat the phrase "the curve is flattening" to mean "we will stop the virus entirely." That's the only way to make sense of their stupid analogy. In their world, the parachute must remain forever suspended in the air because it cannot land until the virus is completely gone.
With a new goalpost in place, those governments that are all in on lockdowns are tightening their hold on Americans rather than loosening them. Moreover, the drive-by media are working overtime to recreate the panic that swept America in March. Tucker Carlson has one of his best analyses ever regarding what he calls, accurately, a "flu d'état."
(If you can't watch the video, you can read a transcript here.)
When fear strikes, people feel helpless and look to someone who seems capable of defeating the source of that fear. Leftists are promising that a tyrannical government can achieve that goal.
The more sophisticated leftists almost certainly imagine a collapse of the American economy. They don't fear this, they embrace it, à la the Cloward-Piven strategy: destroy the social welfare system to force America into a socialized mode. Having the economy collapse, with the governing remaining as the only source of funds and food, will only speed that outcome.
It's time to stop the insanity. America's approach to smallpox in the late 18th century, including during the Revolutionary War, is a better model. By 1760, America had discovered variolation, which introduced a small viral load into a person's bloodstream. Most people took a mild case of smallpox and were immunized for life. A few got terribly ill and died. It was an imperfect outcome, but better than having the disease run rampant, killing thousands of people and, along the way, killing a liberty-based revolution.
In other words, end the shutdown and start doing what Sweden is doing, which is to live a normal life, with respectful distances and masks. Life has risks. The small risk of a bad disease is infinitely better than seeing America turned into a tyranny.
(The image is an 1802 satirical cartoon by James Gillray depicting the controversy about a smallpox vaccination using cowpox.)