I was sitting in the green room in a Manhattan television studio on the day that the storm seemed to hit. It was Thursday, March 12, 2020, and I was waiting anxiously for a TV appearance, hoping that the trains wouldn’t shut down before I could leave the city. The trains never did shut but … Read more When Will the Madness End?
A platitude, widely circulated in my youth, held that “ideas have consequences.” It is true, after a fashion. It is especially true of stupid ideas. Already, half a century ago, in the universities I was determined to avoid (except their libraries, and interesting professors), it seemed to me that “Dullness” reigned. This is the goddess … Read more The triumph of Dullness
As an old Cold Warrior, and once “science kid,” whose childhood developed through the 1960s, there is nothing that ought to surprise me. We have Antifa today; we had the Weather Underground then. We have parallels to every event I witnessed through the idiot box of adolescence, and vice versa. Even the destruction of American … Read more Chronicles of scientism
“Coronavirus hasn’t been a thing since Friday,” said a friend. “The new story is racism.” Following American media culture can make one’s head spin. For three months, all we heard was the danger to life and civilization presented by a novel virus. Millions will die! Few will be spared! There will be unprecedented suffering unless … Read more Looters, Lockdowners, and the Law
Despite what many people hoped, COVID-19 is clearly worse than the seasonal flu. But despite what other people feared, it does not seem to be nearly as lethal as the “Spanish flu” of 1918, which killed about 0.7 percent of the total U.S. population—equivalent to more than 2 million people today. As we move from … Read more A Middle Course Between COVID-19 Hopes and Fears
More than half of all U.S. counties have reported no coronavirus-related deaths, an analysis by the Heritage Foundation shows. In light of the data, the Heritage Foundation created a National Coronavirus Recovery Commission to offer policy solutions to lawmakers to avert an economic depression “regardless of whether COVID-19 is suppressed in the next several months … Read more Heritage Foundation: More than half of all U.S. counties report zero COVID-19 deaths
I worry about our ever-expanding cult of safety and nod in agreement with so much of sociologist Frank Furedi’s description of the “Paradox of our Safety Addiction.” He argues that “the zero risk mentality breeds a culture of anxiety and a hunger for authority.” . . . Close to 20 years experience in campus ministry, … Read more Safety Addiction – Hygienic Fascism
One of my bored-in-quarantine activities is mocking Facebook friends for their faith in various Utopian government-run schemes for winning the war against the evil coronavirus. Most of these schemes require a perfectly efficient government, the elimination of the Constitutional rights of healthy young people, and a perfectly compliant population (including the 22 million undocumented). Usually … Read more Plague-proof the U.S. with nursing home and hotel pairings?
I’m kind of curious as to why Americans have placed such faith in the prophecies offered by epidemiologists given that epidemiology is primarily a retrospective activity and there is no historical data on how virus transmission is affected by a Western-style “porous lockdown”. It is as though people in the 1980s had decided that the … Read more The Swedes actually did have Covid-19 models
So what might learning to live with COVID-19 look like? Keeping firmly in mind that all models are imperfect, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) model recently raised its projection of U.S. COVID-19 deaths to 137,000 by the beginning of August. In comparison, the model developed by Youyang Gu and … Read more Quarantine Fatigue and the Social End to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Author Aldous Huxley once said, “A thoroughly scientific dictatorship will never be overthrown.” Even as we try to battle the COVID-19 pestilence, we may be contracting a more dangerous virus — hygienic fascism. This involves a process when our political leaders defer to a handful of “experts,” amid what Dr. Joseph Ladopo, an associate professor … Read more Hygienic fascism: Turning the world into a ‘safe space’ — but at what cost?
Sometimes the truth is like mythical kryptonite. It radiates power and yet promises great destruction. And so reality is to be left alone, encased in lead, and kept at bay. Take the Chinese genesis of the COVID-19 epidemic. We started in February with the usual Chinese deceptions about their role in the birth, transmission, and … Read more Unbearable Truths About Our Current Political Moment – “hygienic fascism”