To the Person Who Gave Me the Virus:
I have no idea who you are, but our paths almost surely crossed last month in Las Vegas.
Even now I wouldn’t change a thing about that trip, by the way, which was a blast. The existence of the virus, it’s true, made my life a fraction of one percent more dangerous than it was before. But since I don’t have any mental disorders, I hadn’t calibrated my risk tolerance so precisely that such a tiny change would make me radically alter my life.
Naturally if you knew you were sick, you should have stayed home. Of all the advice they’ve given — mask wearing, social distancing, and all the rest — staying home when you’re sick would do by far the most good, yet we hear it urged upon us the least.
At the same time, The Hill reports that you can easily confuse the symptoms of the virus for allergies, so it’s entirely possible not to be aware that you’re contagious. I see no reason to assume bad will on your part.
Every time I leave my house I am taking a risk. We all are. I don’t blame you for the constraints imposed by reality.
If the chance of being struck by lightning increased tenfold tomorrow, this would not affect my behavior in any way. Not being neurotic, I don’t live my life as if the present rate of lightning strikes is precisely as high as I can tolerate.
It has become almost impossible to have a rational conversation about any of this. For one thing, most people are shockingly misinformed. Ask the average person what the likelihood is of someone in his age cohort needing to be hospitalized for COVID, and his answer will be off by a factor of 10, if not 100. Guaranteed.
For that matter, I cannot believe how many people think masks are accomplishing anything. The laughable “studies” on masks generally assume what they set out to prove, and/or confine themselves to strangely arbitrary timeframes, before explosions in COVID spread.
Dozens of countries have seen their COVID charts go almost vertical after (not necessarily immediately after, but after) introducing large-scale masking, which is what the charts would look like if masks accomplished absolutely nothing. These places are ignored, because nobody is told about them.
Meanwhile, there have been essentially zero COVID deaths in Sweden over the past month, and the rest of Scandinavia is also doing very well despite very little masking or other restrictions.
The world acts as if these countries do not exist. As usual with the “you’re to blame for the virus” people, success stories like these are of no interest, because there’s nobody they can demonize — and demonizing people is their favorite pastime.
The case of Nepal is interesting, too. After a lockdown that ended in July 2020, they decided essentially to proceed as normal. They’re a poor country, and they chose the radical, unheard-of approach of overturning a policy that would have had them starving to death.
And guess what?
They’re doing fine.
“Public health officials” were stumped, but at this point who can be surprised by that? What we laughingly call our “public health” establishment has made fools of themselves during this entire fiasco.
Nepal is at 340 deaths per million. Compare that to locked-down countries like the UK (1909), Spain (1756), Belgium (2170), or Peru (5883).
Back in the United States, the Sun Belt spike of 2020 came down with zero behavioral changes of any kind. The “COVID is your fault” people are too determined to blame someone to show any curiosity about this, even though it absolutely should evoke curiosity.
COVID comes and goes seasonally and regionally, and blows its way past our silly masks and six-foot floor stickers.
With my friend Tim Scott, I created a website where people can test their ability to determine which alleged mitigation measures accomplished what. If they work, it should be easy and obvious to choose which line on a graph represents a state or country that implemented it and which line represents one that did not.
So go ahead. Try your hand at it. If any of the insanity accomplished anything, it’ll be a breeze: CovidChartsQuiz.com. …
Now it’s true: I was definitely laid up in bed for a while. But not a single kid should have missed a single basketball practice to keep me from getting sick. Imagine the selfishness involved in that kind of demand.
And nor should you, mysterious Las Vegas person, feel sorry for me. I don’t want you staying in your house! I don’t want you refusing to live! I’m glad you were out living your life, enjoying things that make life worth living. Merely preserving your biological existence is unworthy of a human being.
This is especially so when we’ve been given no indication of precisely what would constitute an all-clear. It’s all arbitrariness piled upon more anti-scientific arbitrariness.
We should all be inspired by the words of Lord Sumption in the UK:
“What sort of life do we think we are protecting? There is more to life than the avoidance of death. Life is a drink with friends. Life is a crowded football match or a live concert. Life is a family celebration with children and grandchildren. Life is companionship, an arm around one’s back, laughter or tears shared at less than two meters. These things are not just optional extras. They are life itself. They are fundamental to our humanity, to our existence as social beings. Of course death is permanent, whereas joy may be temporarily suspended. But the force of that point depends on how temporary it really is.”
Thank you, Las Vegas person, for refusing to be inhuman, for refusing to be an automaton, and for saying yes to those things that bring us joy and make our lives meaningful.