COVID: The after times
The COVIDian orthodoxy is beginning to crumble. Some governments have discovered that their approach did not improve anything. On the contrary, at least one study shows that the myriad restrictions on normal life have had the opposite effect. That confirms what many people said 18 months ago when challenging the official dogma was considered an act of heresy.
Now what? There is going to be a clear delineation of human interactions in the aftermath when compared to the before times. It is almost impossible to expect otherwise.
Like many of you, I have learned things about people I thought I knew that were hard to believe. It has been quite the learning curve to find out who would happily serve as an enforcer to push the state's dictates, who would just as happily shut people out of society, celebrate their firing, or deny them health care for the sake of making a political point. Once you have seen the true measure of a person, one who would support steps that harm friends and relatives and justify that support without hesitation or regret, how can you see him in the same light again?
You can't trust them. You can't discuss anything of substance with them. You can't pretend none of this happened. It is impossible to once again respect or like people whose inner tyrant rose to the surface so easily, and that will be among the lasting legacies of this sorry spectacle, one that should sadden us all. The friendships forever tarnished, the family ties that are irreparably broken, the neighbors you no longer recognize — for many people, those will be the most tangible results of their COVID experience.
There is no joy in saying "I told you so" as the narrative starts falling apart. The same people and publications who dismissively, if not derisively, hand-waved warnings of second-order effects from mandates and lockdowns as so much conspiracy babble are now reporting on the second-order effects of mandates and lockdowns. But worse, they are doing so without the faintest hint of humility or self-awareness, without the slightest acknowledgment of their complicity in pushing fear while stifling open, honest discussion. Then again, why would they?
For two years, the global steno pool has dutifully transcribed the words of Pope Fauci and the other high priests of the COVIDian faith as officials routinely projected conjecture as irrefutable scientific fact. Surely, some in the herd noticed the contradictions and the exaggerations of potential harm. They often supported the attacks on and efforts to silence professionals who raised reasonable questions. Anyone watching closely enough would have witnessed the extraordinary step of YouTube taking down U.S. Senate committee hearings in which dissident voices were heard. The same people demanding warning labels for the likes of Joe Rogan steadfastly refused to hold officials to anything resembling a similar standard.
Instead of being rightly skeptical, and trusting their eyes and ears, they chose the narrative over reality. After all, it was all for your own good. Their intentions were purely honorable. We're all in this together, they said. The measures are not just about you; they are also to protect others, they said. Followed to its logical end, the utilitarian approach not only justifies doing horrible things to people, but also allows one to do those things while cloaked in self-righteousness.
Never mind the children who have been damaged; never mind the businesses that will never reopen; never mind the people who succumbed to the threat of losing jobs and suffered ill effects from the jabs. In some nations, people are going on their fourth mRNA shot in the span of a single year. Whatever they are taking, it is not a vaccine. Vaccines are not something that people inject on a quarterly basis. Nor is it normal for otherwise healthy individuals to constantly test themselves for illness.
The path forward is not likely to be pleasant. It is going to be difficult to watch the various divisions of the Karenwaffe pivot and claim that they knew all along that the assaults on freedom would not work. Of all the lies people can tell, the worst are the ones they tell themselves. This is where the truth about character is revealed. The old saying holds that tough times build character. That is not true. Tough times reveal character. What many of us have seen cannot be unseen and it will resonate for some time.