… is from Walter Bagehot’s 1856 essay “Percy Bysshe Shelley“:
Before a man can imagine what will seem to be realities, he must be familiar with what are realities.
DBx: How many of the pro-Covid-19 lockdowners or pro-obstructionists seem to be aware not merely that 95 percent of Covid deaths in the U.S. are of people ages 50 and above, but also that fully 41 percent of all Covid deaths in the U.S. are of residents of nursing homes? How many pro-lockdowners or obstructionists appear to know that, according to the CDC, the Covid infection fatality ratio for all Americans ages 50-69 is 0.005, while that for Americans ages 70 and older is 0.054?
When people call for – or even express their approval of – lockdowns and other government-imposed obstructions on economic and social activities, they almost never reveal any awareness of the above facts. Why not? Why do the media so rarely put Covid deaths in perspective? Why are reports of “surging” Covid cases reported with a tone and urgency suggesting that cases are nearly the equivalent of deaths?
What reasonable person believes, in light of the above facts about Covid-19’s lethality and overwhelming disregard for the non-aged, that it is reasonable, prudent, and justified to massively upend economic and social intercourse, as has been done and as governments continue to do? What sensible human being, in light of these facts, agrees to have government dictate the number of persons who are allowed to gather in private homes? To grind to a halt a great deal of productive activity? To shutter schools and have five- and six-year-old children “learn” through Zoom? To trust executive government officials with powers never before exercised in the United States on such a scale and with such utter arbitrariness – that is, to trust executive government officials to be dictators, for that’s what they have become and that’s what they remain as I write these words in fear, sorrow, and anger?
Why are so many Americans, the vast majority of whom are at no real risk of suffering from Covid, treating fellow human beings as lethal monsters?
Why have so many of my fellow human beings lost touch with reality and become deranged?
(I discovered the above quotation from Bagehot on page 223 of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s 1968 volume, Victorian Minds.)