- Oct. 14, 2021
- 2-min read
There are some common-sense principles that should be used to make governmental decisions on major issues of our day. These come quickly to mind as we look at our response to Covid. Time-honored truths have been ignored, and we will be paying the price for years.
Decisions to lockdown the economy, trample on constitutional rights, and issue a series of mandates are possibly the worst in our national history. The pandemic has had an indelible impact on America, and the wounds were mostly unnecessary, unhelpful, and self-inflicted.
First, government should follow strategies that have proven benefits. If we did that, we would have had no mask mandates. There is scant evidence they help. When pushed for proof that masks work, even the Director of the CDC was unable to offer any.
Likewise, lockdowns would not have passed muster. Yet we had a national lockdown, that was essentially global as well. Some restrictions remain from the pause that was billed as “two weeks to stop the spread.”
Second, governmental actions should be considered in light of their impact on our whole nation, not just on a small segment of it. The decision to shut down was both unprecedented and tragic because it damaged our economy, quality of life, and even health, apart from Covid considerations. The decision to shut down was both unprecedented and tragic. We had never previously thought it was worth shutting down the country to battle a form of the flu. In fact, if you had suggested it, you would have been laughed out of the room.
The economy is not like an electric light you can switch on or off with no negative ramifications. The U. S. economy operates in an efficient, interdependent, and marvelous way. Every time we think we can outfox it, control it, we are proven wrong. Price controls, micromanagement, promoting electric vehicles, and myriad other attempts to make the economy bend to our will always fail.
More importantly, there is no evidence the lockdowns saved lives. The best data reveals lockdowns led to an increase in unforeseen deaths, not a decrease. We locked down, to save lives, and it cost lives. Throughout the world we saw more suicides, depression, addiction, health effects from postponed surgeries, less effective education due to school closings and reliance on in home education, and more.
The Rand Corporation and the University of Southern California jointly studied the effects of global lockdowns. They looked at questions of “excess deaths.” Those are the deaths that are unusually high when compared to an historical baseline. Since we can’t predict the future – we can’t know how many people might have died had Covid not come along – all we can do is look at what we expect would have happened based on past experience. You can come up with a number of deaths that probably wouldn’t have happened under normal circumstances. You can also look at their causes and, in the hands of good statisticians and epidemiologists, come up with a good estimate of the effect of various variables (Covid, lockdowns, etc.). This study shows lockdowns cost lives and did not save them.
It is not by chance that Congress and the Administration aren’t leading the charge to learn the cost of the lockdowns. You would assume there are Congressional committees and regulatory entities pursuing detailed revelations on their effect. If you thought that, you would be wrong.
There have been no large, transparent, all-encompassing reviews by Congress to see what policies worked. Our leaders are incurious. Why? Why aren’t they eager to know if their policies worked? There is only one reason: they don’t want to know because they won’t like the answer. Their priority is to keep their options open, so they can expand government, grow their power, and reduce yours, even if it means continuing to promote policies that have not worked.
Another great question: most people socially distanced and wore masks; most people are vaccinated, and more are getting it every day; lockdowns were pervasive and extreme; constitutional rights were violated. Given that, why didn’t it work? Does it really make sense to blame the failure to contain Covid on the 15% or so who didn’t wear masks, while the 85% did?
Why are masks, lockdowns, and vaccines the only two strategies universally endorsed by government? Why are therapies, that may work, trashed by the same authorities who want mandates? Because they don’t fit the narrative. They don’t build government’s power. And they want you to be more dependent on government.
Actions that give you freedom and choice are anathema to the leftists who control Washington. Your health isn’t their concern. Their power is their priority.