This unprecedented government intervention isn’t the first piece of bitter fruit of Covid Derangement Syndrome, and it won’t be the last. While we Americans aren’t (yet), as a group, as lunatic as are Australians, during the past 18 months we have (1) allowed ourselves to be deceived into believing that a pathogen that poses unusual dangers only to a relatively small minority of us (namely, the very old or ill) is a categorically monstrous threat to all of us; (2) used this disproportionate – and, hence, unwarranted degree of – fear of Covid to excuse not only the exercise by government of unprecedented powers to restrict ordinary familial, social, and economic affairs, but also the unleashing and enforcement of these powers by executive-branch agencies at all levels of government; and (3) as a result, have freed a terrifying genie from a bottle into which it will not return voluntarily and will likely escape all efforts to be stuffed back in.
I have never denied that Covid-19 poses unusually grave dangers for certain people. But I am more convinced now than ever before that the dangers posed by the reaction to Covid are magnitudes larger – and magnitudes more lethal to person, property, and civilization – than not only is Covid in reality, but than Covid would have been even had the absurd predictions of reckless modelers such as Neil Ferguson proven to be accurate.
I’m very glad that tomorrow I’ll turn 63 – meaning that I fortunately won’t live long enough to witness full extent of the damage that civilization will likely suffer as a result of the awful cultural and institutional transformation that’s occurred over the past 18 months.