One of the things I do for amusement is post comments on ADN opinion pieces. Rationale is mostly a conservative show the flag mission. At times, it is a conservative DIP (die in place) mission, as the comments section hosts a group of screaming lefties. But you do what you gotta do.
That being said, I have managed to pick up a stalker in those pages.
He calls himself Dan Svatass. He doesn’t like that I pointed out that hydroxy is a possible treatment for the Wuhan Flu last year. Over that time, he’s pointed that out to the point where he has spent far more time talking about hydroxy than I ever did.
This got me thinking, usually a Bad Thing, about how things could have gone better during the last 15 months. With that in mind, a few thoughts, however poorly formed, for your consideration.
First is censorship of all treatment information that fell outside the Official Narrative, whatever that was as the time. Censorship was done by media at all levels, including deleting comments and suspending commenters in the ADN Opinion pages that suggested alternative approaches to the Wuhan Flu. It was also vigorously done by Big Tech which actively took down any video, post, or link to anything that they didn’t agree with. Sometimes the takedown was done within minutes of posting.
It was a great warmup for censorship of President Trump during the campaign and afterwards. It was a skill learned by doing business with the Chinese Communist China (CCP).
I believe that this active censorship has gone a long way toward destroying trust in government responses to COVID (we’ll talk about them being wrong and actively lying later). I also believe that it added months to the pandemic and hundreds of thousands of deaths to the overall death toll.
We Americans are generally a disagreeable lot. We argue. We call names. We are stubborn. We do not behave. But we are also incredibly brave and creative, ready, willing and able to do and try anything to solve a problem. We generally don’t react well initially, but once we figure out what is going on, we solve problems better than anyone else in the world, with the possible current exception of the Israelis. Censorship stops that process cold.
Use hydroxy as an example. What would have happened had the censorship of hydroxy not happened? There would have been a rush on it, panic buying, not unlike what we saw with toilet paper, vitamin D and zinc supplements. We would have quickly discovered that it worked best given prophylactically, before being infected, before symptoms presented, before ventilators were called in. And that information would have made it nationwide within weeks. How many lives could have been saved by the most at risk (elderly and obese) had they chosen to simply start taking a drug that is available over the counter in a lot of the world, dropping their susceptibility to the virus a notch or two?
The second lesson is the abject failure of public health at all levels – federal, state and local. They reversed themselves more times than a shifty running back. They were wrong on everything. They lied (Fauci’s current lie about not funding Corona virus research at the Wuhan bio-lab being the most recent). They caused significant economic destruction via calling for lockdowns.
Now, I don’t mind making mistakes and correcting them, as in the beginning, we didn’t know anything and were making it up as we went. I expect mistakes. But I also expect those to make those mistakes to acknowledge them and get into the suggestion / recommendation business rather than being directive, ie “Do this or you will die.”
Final observation is when did we Americans get so terrified of dying that we cower in terror? Worse, those who assume the fetal position demand their neighbors do the same thing. We saw it in the Karen outbreak, mask shaming, and any number of other forms of virtue signaling. This behavior percolated into elections, with a stark divide being drawn between Trump people who mostly chose to accept risk and the Biden people who still wear their masks while driving alone in a vehicle.
Life is about risk, and those who refuse risk do not have any moral superiority over those who choose to accept some. Nor do they have any right to demand any sort of behaviors of or by their neighbors.
What have we learned? Actually, a lot, and we will be in a significantly better position to respond better now that we have undergone the education (or test) over the last 15 months. And those who choose to use the next crisis to run our lives will find it more difficult to do that the next time around, which I suppose is progress.
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He was a small business owner and Information Technology professional.