The Unseen Costs of the COVID-19 Pandemic

We must not ignore the suffering that this pandemic and our collective response to it have inflicted on millions of fellow citizens.


Americans are well versed in the consequences for physical health from COVID-19. Newspapers brim daily with scary headlines alarming us of any risk that it might pose, no matter how minor or remote. But there are other nasty and less often discussed consequences brought on by this pandemic and by our collective reaction to it—whether that's due to people locking themselves up at home out of fear of encountering others or government-ordered lockdowns.

These consequences deserve our attention. They are real and poignant, and they disproportionately affect society's least powerful. Victims of the current pandemic response have little political or economic voice. So, let me speak for them:

They are the small-business owners who have seen their businesses destroyed by the lockdowns. They are the owners of restaurants and small shops that never reopened, even when the lockdowns were partially lifted.

They are the small-business owners who don't know how long they can survive with so few customers, but they know that they won't survive another lockdown.

They are essential workers who have continued to labor hard to provide our health care and our groceries, even when their children were stranded at home in spite of overwhelming evidence that schools are not a locus of COVID-19 infection.

They are the countless children who have been dramatically falling behind in school. They are the children whose math skills are plummeting. They are the kids with disabilities and the English-language learners whose academic performances are collapsing. They are the kids who've dropped out of school entirely. They are the kindergarteners who sit in front of a screen for hours and have not experienced the joy of playing with other kids during recess, ever.

They are the college students who are locked in their dorms and "learning" online with little contact with peers or professors. They are all the other college kids who simply drop out of school to take care of their families.

They are all the children whose anxiety levels have dramatically soared. They have lost hope; they are depressed. Many are thinking of suicide. Some even commit it.

They are the elderly—our parents and grandparents—who haven't seen their children and grandchildren in almost a year.

My own two children and I have not been able—for the past eight months—to visit their grandparents in France, or even those in California. Some of these grandparents live alone. The isolation from family and friends has been particularly brutal.

They are the medical patients dying alone. They are the patients receiving treatments, or bad news, from their doctors with no family support.

They are the people whose routine health screenings have been suspended—many of whom, as a result, will prematurely die. They are the people who don't get their vaccines, medications, allergy shots, or root canals.

They are the people who "celebrate" birthdays, holidays, and other important milestones alone. They are people who cannot attend loved ones' funerals. They are the young couples who have to postpone their weddings or their children's baptisms.

They are the ones suffering from anxiety whose therapies are suspended. They are the people of all ages who, as a result, tragically decide to end their lives. They are the people who numb the pain of isolation with drugs or alcohol abuse. They are the people with addictions whose rehab centers are closed. There are the women and children locked in with their abusers.

They are the ones who have lost jobs and who wait forlornly in long unemployment lines. They have no idea whether they'll be employable at the end of this ordeal. They are the workers who will give up on joining the labor force.

They are today's young people, who will shoulder the burden of an irresponsible fiscal response to this pandemic, and the unfathomable debt it created.

These victims deserve a voice. They should be heard. But sadly, sounds of their plight fall on the deaf ears of some affluent and influential policymakers, many of whom are much less affected.

Avoiding COVID-19 at all costs is a valid path for some, but we cannot ignore the suffering that this pandemic and our collective response to it inflict on millions of fellow citizens. Throwing money at them won't change the reality of their current lives.


NEXT: 'I Just Do My Own Thing': Walter Williams, RIP

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  1. The only way the USA solves this is for the voters to show incumbents that they are “non-essential”.

    1. Already working on the window stickers for 2022:

      “Anybody but Newsom”

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      2. The problem with “Anybody but Newsom” is that the partisan sheep of California will just replace him with a pod-Dem who has more or less the exact same brain, just with a different face attached to it, or worse a “party-approved” authoritarian zealot like London Breed or barely functioning half-wit like Eric Garcetti.

        Newsom and his ideological equivalents are a symptom of an electorate that’s to largely willing to accept (or exuberant about having created) a one-party system in which even the term limits we have don’t actually bring any change because the career pols play musical-chairs between offices. At least the voters of CA are smart enough to start pushing back on some of the policy excesses that have resulted from the system they’ve built themselves; I just don’t know that it’s possible (or that anyone with the capability would be willing to) shine a light on the fact that the policy agenda the voters rejected in the 2020 slate of ballot propositions (in some cases after having rejected them in 2016 or 2018 as well) is exactly the chosen policy agenda of so many of the city councilors, county commissioners, state/federal legislators, mayors, and governors those same people continue to elect to be in a position to impose those policies without their consent (and in some cases, knowledge with so much of the media shot-callers also having bough in to that agenda).

        1. I’m hoping Trump goes away. I think many CA voters have been willing to vote for extremist nuts like Newsom just to make a statement about Trump.

          I’m hoping San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer has a chance.

        2. I’m afraid that we’re at the point where no matter which party or candidate whom we put in office, they’re going to be next verse same as the first. Those who run for public office in either party could give a crap less about us working stiffs who bear the brunt of taxes and losses of freedom so long as they and their cronies garner more wealth and power/influence.

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    2. Sure, voting is totes the solution to totalitarianism

      1. Finding out that your vote is meaningless is all part of the process.

        “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

        1. Well and truly said! But! Get a serious movement of citizens who are ready to start the process of starting our Democratic Republic anew by throwing every last worthless soul in office out, along with their cronies and you’ll find yourselves on the wrong end of a treason/sedition charge. Unless every last American from least to greatest stood together INDIVISIBLY as one united front to where “we” outnumber “them” 1,000 to 1 or more, the movement wouldn’t stand a chance. Small groups are easy to eliminate. The whole U.S. with one voice marching under one banner to get back to what our founding fathers laid out in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence would be the horse of another color. That’s why the powers that be throw out the race card. They know people are just stupid enough on both sides to fall for it over, and over, and over, and over again!! If we all ever unite as one and stick together like glue, the powers that be will know they’ve had it. Until we Americans are mature, smart, and selfless enough to set our on little agendas aside and stand for the common good of all, NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE and we’ll still be here 100 years from now griping about it in comment sections like this.

      2. Voting worked to keep Chavez and hussein out of power.

        1. LOL, yep NO EVIDENCE I tell you!!

          Accept the midnight vote dumps in the “5 cities” were 99.4-.6% Biden. Very Hugo Saddam like. But, nothing to see here.

      3. Hitler was enthusiastically voted into office.


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    4. That will only help if the challenger is better at cheating than the incumbent.

    5. This is pretty much it.

      If they are an incumbent, vote them the fuck out.*

      *Unless one of the very few who’ve shown genuine pushback.

    6. And to specifically dismantle the democrat machine. Then we can go after the RINOs.

  2. There is a tremendous unseen cost. So much attention is being paid to the numbers of the virus infected, hospitalized, and perished. So little is being paid to those who have taken their lives from bouts of depression. To those who have foregone medical testing and procedures for fear of infection. To those who have suffered the loss of their families, livelihoods, and businesses.

    It will be months and years before the true cost of this virus and the regulatory and cultural responses to it will be sussed out. And I will not be surprised at all if more damage is caused by the effects of panic than the effects of the virus.

    I am a college instructor, and I see my students desperately lonely. I’m a business owner, and I feel my business shrinking away, and my employees earning fewer tips due to dwindling customers. I’m a parent, and I see my children’s academic and interpersonal development being stunted by isolation and fear. And as Stoic as I aim to be, it makes me weary. I think we’re all weary.


      SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. —
      A student has died after a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a Zoom distance learning class Wednesday, officials said.

      The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announced the student was an 11-year-old. Shortly after 11 a.m., the sheriff’s office said it received several calls reporting that someone had been shot.

      Deputies went to the 300 block of Sterling Street in Woodbridge and said they found a juvenile with a head injury. He was rushed to an area hospital where he later died of his injuries.

      “Our thoughts are with the family and all those affected by this tragic event,” the sheriff’s office said.

      The student attends Woodbridge Elementary School, a spokesperson with Lodi Unified School District confirmed. The shooting happened during a sixth-grade Zoom class.

      In a letter to families attending Lodi Unified obtained by KCRA 3, Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer said counseling and bereavement support services are available to students and staff.

      “Our thoughts are with the family affected by this terrible tragedy,” the letter read. “We also offer our condolences to the Woodbridge Elementary community.”

      The sheriff’s office said deputies are still investigating details of the shooting.

      Neighbors said they heard the young boy’s sister running out of the house and screaming for help this morning.

      “The sister come here, banging on the door.” said one man who did not wish to be identified but who called for emergency response. “That little boy was one the nicest little boys you’ll ever want to know. He was special. Easygoing. He was the type of person who would never hurt anybody. Soft-spoken, with a beautiful smile.”

      David Bain, Sacramento executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said when talking with your children about mental health, it is important to educate yourself as much as possible on how to have that conversation. Parents should watch for any signs of sadness or any other extreme behaviors.

      “Avoid saying things like, ‘You will get over it,’ or ‘toughen up.’ Be empathetic and understanding of how they feel. Tell them whatever is going on won’t change how you feel about them, that you still love them and care for them,” Bain said.

      1. Another casualty of the COVID lockdowns.

        1. the parents will be blamed for having a un stored gun, Lockdowns and desperation will not be blamed.

          BTW just yesterday a person committed suicide by car in my town by driving into oncoming traffic unfortunately that method hurts innocent people. don’t know if that is depression from lockdowns but it sure doesn’t help

    2. I have Nephews who are at the age where they would start to date but all the place they would usually introduced to potential partners are locked down. maybe people will have to go back to match making

      1. There’s a little something called the Internet
        It’s useful for people meeting each other who would never meet “in real life “

  3. You misspelled “Panic” in the headline.

  4. LA just went into total lockdown, as Garcetti wants to take the title for biggest tyrant away from Whitmer or Newsom.

    1. I’m really starting to think that the only thing stopping the “leaders” of California from going all-out “12 Monkeys” and declaring that we all need to live underground and surrender the surface world to the virus (which ironically is killed by sunlight that only happens on the surface) is that they couldn’t possibly get even a handful of bunkers dug within the next 10 years, and that abandoning the surface would mean diverting some funding from the crazy train.

  5. In steed of fawning all over communist china by covering for them after learning the that they created it. Just because communist democraps want to play kissie face with them, and refuse to hold them libel. Get the money from them, and any liberal who doesn’t agree their a desert around Vegas where body stay hidden.


    “Responses involving culturally conditioned ideas of what is “natural” may be modified over time,” states the piece, before asking why there is a revulsion against “insect-based foods” and “drinks with ingredients reclaimed from sewage.”

    The author concludes that “desensitisation (repeated exposures)” may be effective in “reducing disgust (versus fear)” among the “general population.”

    Maybe the WEF will be satisfied when we’re all forced to eat tree bark and roots, food sources that starving peasants in Stalinist Ukraine were reduced to consuming during the Holodomor.

    And that’s the point.

    The ‘Great Reset’ is about enacting a drastic reduction in living standards for the plebs which will force them to put bugs, weeds and sewage on the menu while the Davos elites continue to feast on the finest cuisine in their ivory towers.

    1. Let them eat French Laundry.

  7. Interesting thoughts

    …In fact, Facebook and the Department of Defense are working to manipulate our behavior. In a 2012 study, Facebook tracked the emotional states of over 600,000 of its users. The goal of the study was to see if the emotions of users could be manipulated based upon whether they were fed positive or negative information in their news feeds. The conclusion of the study was that “emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.”…

  8. Small price to pay to get rid of Trump.

    1. Ah, here we have yet more evidence suggesting that Trump Derangement Syndrome is real. The price I and my family are paying is not small. You are also basically admitting that all of this mess was designed to take Trump out of office and has very little to do with what this Science guy has to say.

      You make the world a shittier place. Summon the courage to look beyond Trump, or get some damn therapy.

      1. Pretty sure that was sarc…

        1. Oh – if so, apologies.

      2. Science. Just use the word science and you are smarter than others.

        1. Add the word “data” to “science” and you are even smarter.

      3. Trump Derangement Syndrome; Obama Derangement Syndrome; Bush Derangement Syndrome; Clinton Derangement Syndrome; they are all the same thing. Everyone is convinced the representatives of the other party are evil. Biden Derangement Syndrome has probably already started. Almost makes you wish the Commies were still around in Russia so that the US would have something to be united against.

    2. Trump did a poor job with the COVID crisis with his initial denials and failures to coordinate delivery of sufficient PPE’s and test kits.

      But the damage Trump did to the country is tiny compared to the systematic destruction of liberty, businesses, education, mental health, and physical health inflected by dictators like Newsom and Whitmer.

      1. Trump did a poor job indeed, but a lot of the federal government’s failings on this were systemic and will happen under any president. We can’t rely on it for anything but heavy handed grief.

  9. One of the main ones is the creation of financial assistance packages for water and sewerage service providers to implement contingency and recovery plans based on clear performance objectives.

  10. It’s what the left wants! This is a communist revolution! They’re trying to destroy the country so they can Build Back Better i.e. everyone dependent on government.

    1. At me to initiate force against them.

  11. I’m pretty sure these aren’t unseen costs except to the willfully blind or those stupid enough to believe in free lunches, which includes most of the political class. There’s always trade-offs, there’s always costs.

    1. Only capitalist hegemonic pigs think good intentions have costs. There are only benefits. Costs only exists in capitalist racist systems. The very act of toting up costs as if they were mere numbers is a symbol of white capitalist racist thinking. Socialist systems do away with costs! Communism forever!

    2. The political class has exempted itself from the rules they impose on the hoi polloi. I just think they don’t give any fucks at all about the suffering of their constituents.

      Nancy Pelosi either had a dramatic memory lapse about the rules she expects us to follow so she could get her hair did, or she is so stupid and gullible that a hair salon could catch her with a “set up.” Nonetheless, she will retain her speakership and her seat in the house. That’s on voters in San Francisco.

      Newsom attends posh dinners with members of the California Medical Association – indoors and without masks – but if you have too many people over for dinner you will get a ticket and/or jail time.

      The most glaring sign of a totalitarian regime is the people in power flouting the rules that are apparently only for the little people. And if not wearing a mask were so dangerous, why would they engage in this conduct? They undermine their own arguments. And for some reason, they don’t lose power.

      1. By the way London Breed also attend a birthday party of 8 at the French Laundry. Only our leaders and rich enablers get to enjoy $1000 (or more) per person dinners.

  12. This a good article. We will eventually get beyond this pandemic and then the question will be “do we prepare for the next pandemic”. Do we take the lessons included the economic and social impacts and plan on how to address them?

    The Trump Administration has handled the pandemic in the most incompetent way. Their basic strategy was we hope this will go away. Operation WARP speed on the vaccines was a success. Let not for get that while technology allowed vaccines to be fabricated in record time, that technology was based on years of research. And much of the basic research would have been government finance.

    Much of the economic burden of this pandemic will fall on a small segment of the economy. Let us also remember that a much of the burden of caring for the sick also falls on small segment of the population in the health care profession.

    The lesson here is that pandemics need to be taken seriously and they need to be addressed on a variety of levels including health, economics, and social impacts. Our showing this time is medium to poor, hopefully better when this happens again.

    1. Youre such a totalitarian shit.

      1. Yea, but I still think I am right about this.

        1. That is because you are a moron.

        2. Let me correct you. You’re wrong. More government does no good.

    2. for me, a key learning should be the social impact of government mandates…… the nature of reality became a political question as people reflexively opposed whatever the government required…. wearing masks, avoiding large groups, social distance….. these are all common sense things that suddenly become political the second anyone mentioned the idea of a mandate. add this to trump’s failures that he jumped on that political bandwagon rather than lead. he would not say masks work, he would not require following good practices in the white house, he actively encouraged people to vote in person instead of by mail…… he played to the denial of reality for political gain, and now we have a large portion of the population actively refusing to take common sense precautions as a result.

      1. This is a decent point. Mandating these things makes them political. There is certainly some reflexive contrarianness in there, but I think it also comes down to picking your priorities. My priorities tell me that maintaining essential rights, like the right to go out into the world and make a living however you can (which I would say is the most important and fundamental right) are more important than making sure everyone toes the line. And I think there is good reason to question the effectiveness of the broad measures like stay at home and masks. If these things are effective enough to justify the costs, it seems to me that there should be some clear signal in the data from different countries and states that shows some effect.
        But we shouldn’t have to be learning this now. A year ago, all of the major public health agencies recommended strongly against lockdowns and quarantines because the negative effects were too bad and the positive effects uncertain. All this year did was to prove that that was the correct way to look at it.

      2. “…he played to the denial of reality for political gain, and now we have a large portion of the population actively refusing to take common sense precautions as a result.”

        Of course! I oppose being told what to do because Trump, right? Can’t have anything to do with my rights, freedoms and my demand for them.

      3. So he didn’t jump on the new science of political expediency and instead relied in the 40+ years of previous studies and he didn’t gleefully jump in the gaping pit of potential fraud that is hastily implemented poorly thought out uncontrolled mass mailing of ballots to anyone on the poorly maintained roles? Gee, I wonder why.

        I get you authoritarian cunts see commonsense in a controlled and cowed populace as a solution to everything, even risks in the .001% range but not everyone sips estrogen lattes.

        1. ???? dude…. do you even know what thread you are on?

    3. why were we not doing this before with the bird flu, swine flu, ebola, and every other virus/disease that creeps its head up?? maybe Trump blew it off because….well because it is not that serious. The death rates are low and even questionable, it is no different from many other viruses out there, maybe the Rona was hyped up to rid us of Trump and/or for this great reset, if so I assume you’d be happy…you know cause orange man bad.

      1. You need to go back and reread the information because you have a lot wrong. The Corona19 virus is significantly more damaging than the flu. It causes deaths and for some long term health effects. Many will get the disease and have little or no problem. But others will have problems and so it needs to be addressed. Diseases like Eboli are significantly more deadly, but are also far less contagious.

        As for President Trump, the problem is a totally inconsistent approach. I don’t know if a Swedish model would work here, but that is irrelevant because there is no indication it was seriously looked at as a model. As I noted, Trump’s approach to the virus was to hope it would go away.

    4. Pfizer and its German based partner BioNTech did not take development money from the government. They do have an advance order from the government which offsets development costs.

      Moderna did take development money and advance order from the government. As pointed out the technology has been underway for years.

      As always the limiting factor is people. There are very few such people. The government does play some role in research grants to universities as do non profits. You can pour a lot of money there in hopes that somewhere down the line someone will build on all of that and have the ‘aha’ moment.

      What are we really short on? Nurses. We did not have enough nurses before this and it is worse now. You can bring in foreign trained nurses but it is a difficult path. Doctors we already bring in foreign grads but it takes years for them to go through a residency and meet licensing requirements. State regulations create bottlenecks.

      States can issue temporary emergency licenses if you can get through that red tape. Telemedicine can help relieve shortages but you still need a license in any state you are practicing in which can take up to a year.

    5. “…The Trump Administration has handled the pandemic in the most incompetent way…”


    6. You are such a big government ass eater. On what planet can you say their basic strategy was to hope it will go away???

      Trump was sailing fucking military medical ships into NY harbor, they had whole fucking field hospitals setup that were never needed. Manufacturing ventilators and PPE like crazy, and MULTIPLE vaccine choices in record speed.

      The only thing Trump did wrong was political messaging, but it was very hard to get his message out anyway due to censorship.

    7. Trump was a tool, but he wasn’t the only tool in the toolbox. Most governors, from both parties, were tools as well. Ditto for county and city officials, both elected and unelected. The whole system fucked up.

      The core problem is the zero-tolerance attitude we have. 0.000% risk is the only acceptable risk. This attitude gets reinforced with the media continually pushes scaremongering stories.

      That doesn’t mean the risk is not real. But common sense approaches are sufficient to push the risk down to acceptable levels. Wear your mask and keep a social distance when outside of your home and household. Wash your hands and cough into your elbow. Don’t be doing raves and going to bars and stuff like that. NO NEED for curfews and quarantining counties and states. No need to shut down businesses that have safe practices. No need to segregate people into “essential” and “unworthy” categories.

      What is needed is an acceptance that this pandemic needs to run it’s course. People WILL get sick and some WILL die. But the costs of ZERO deaths is too high. People don’t understand this. They think the price of a life is infinite. It is not. If it was we would all be in plastic bubbles. If it were none of us would drive cars.

      We have the largest wave of infections right now. Why? Because it’s winter and it’s respiratory virus season. My brother caught a cold and he never leaves his house but to go grocery shopping. An acquaintance died of COVID-19 and she never left her house and even quarantined Amazon deliveries and picked them up with latex gloves. She still got it. And it killed her. Age 35.

      Back to topic. The economy would suck and tank even without the government. The lockdowns started VOLUNTARILY a few days before the government issued their rules. Allow restaurants to open fully, and they still would not have the clientele they need to stay open.

      So we were going to get shit out of the turd sandwich no matter what. But still no reason for the government to make it all worse, no reason for them to drench the turd sandwich with douche water. Stupid governor panics, issues crazy rules, then gets caught dining indoors with a large group without masks. Fucking Newsome. But the red governors can be just as bad. Issuing tickets for attendees of a drive-up church sitting in their cars.

      They get away with this by inciting panic. Fuck them. The situation is bad enough without tossing gas on the fire.

      1. Don’t be doing raves and going to bars and stuff like that.

        I’m going to repeat this again, because it’s important to remind people that the narrative that bars and restaurants have been major sources of outbreaks is complete bullshit.

        In every single instance where the data has been tracked, the vast majority of all outbreaks has come from nursing homes and prisons. In the last 2.5 months, colleges were added to the list of major outbreak centers.

        Restaurants, bars, entertainment, churches, barber shops, grocery stores, shopping centers, etc. have NEVER been shown to be major sources of outbreaks. They all lag FAR behind those three sources in this current spike, and prisons/nursing homes in the months leading up to it.

        Small gatherings in particular, as the data shows, are also insignificant contributors, despite the media’s deliberate and insidious deception in this regard by highlighting cases on the margins (interestingly enough, the people highlighted in these gatherings all end up being either well over 60 years old and/or extremely obese, which is basically two of the most common data points with COVID-related deaths).

        1. Ironically, what all this data shows is what the New England Journal of Medicine said way back in April–that viral spread is achieved through sustained, close contact, not through passing by someone on the street. More to the point, it spreads primarily through large clusters of people who are housed together for days at a time, particularly the old and infirm.

        2. I had to go onto this comment thread to find some sanity in the COVID discussions, since most of my friends are terrified (still, after nine months) that they are going to DIE if they get anywhere near anyone. Red Rocks, I am enjoying your sensible and informed comments. Will you marry me?

      2. We have the largest wave of infections right now. Why? Because it’s winter and it’s respiratory virus season. My brother caught a cold and he never leaves his house but to go grocery shopping. An acquaintance died of COVID-19 and she never left her house and even quarantined Amazon deliveries and picked them up with latex gloves. She still got it. And it killed her. Age 35.

        This is another issue I want to address. People need to get out of the fucking house to exercise, and get fresh air and sunshine in a situation like this. The very reason people are more susceptible to catching respiratory illnesses in the winter is because they’re staying indoors all the time. Vitamin D and exercise will bolster a person’s immune system and make it easier for the body to fight off infections. Sitting on the couch and ordering shit from UberEats all day will not do that.

        If masks really do help prevent the spread, then the chances of catching this through casual contact while strolling the trails of a state park or the zoo is almost non-existent. Same with going through a museum, where social distancing tends to happen naturally as people don’t like being crowded while they’re visiting exhibits. Get these places opened back up and get people moving.

    8. One lesson is that pandemics need to be taken seriously. That’s pretty obvious to everyone now.

      The other lesson is that the harm caused by measures to prevent pandemics can be very substantial and needs to be carefully weighed against the harm caused by the pandemic. You don’t seem to understand that point – perhaps you should read this article.

  13. All countries are facing huge economic loss due to lockdown and the pandemic. The best way to save our lives is to maintain proper social distancing until any vaccine comes out.

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  14. this year has been awful, and the government use of force has been appalling.

    what strikes me is that many of the people who acknowledge and promote awareness of those suffering seem intent to prolong and amplify the problem. if you are ranting about wearing a mask, pushing for uncontrolled spread to reach herd immunity, or demanding everything operate like nothing is wrong……. you are actively hurting those people. you are the ones keeping infection rates higher, you are the ones causing schools to close in response, you are the ones creating a situation that keeps half the population cautiously at home and away from small businesses. you are the ones dragging the worst of this all out as we are on the cusp of having a vaccine and being able to protect those most at risk.

    nobody likes wearing the masks, nobody likes the social distance, nobody likes having smaller thanksgivings, nobody likes any of this……. and if that is what you want to talk about, STFU about the people suffering during this pandemic, because you have made it clear that you do not give two fucks about them…… all you care about is yourselves and the shit you don’t want to do.

    1. Foo – I can see your point but isn’t that a lot of people with everything? But I’d say it’s just as true for a lot of the folks not coming out you don’t care for anything but your own immediate health. There’s no long term vision from those folks who are sequestered away. They are living in the now terrified and also only care about themselves and what you do or don’t do that affects their immediate well being. There’s no community or world vision from them let’s be real they’re just throwing a blanket of virtuosity over their fear so it’s all well and good

      1. and foo I don’t mean this as an attack at your point just my viewpoint of what I also see.

      2. there is that too. those hiding away are acting only out of self interest. and anyone demanding government force to satiate their fear is wrong. but a key difference is that if those people cower away and go overboard with the isolation and precautions….. they are not putting anyone else at risk through their version of selfishness.

        1. I don’t think it’s great for the children of those people. Particularly if they are not wealthy. A year of social isolation, screwed up and inconsistent schooling and largely irrational fear can have long lasting effects on children.
          I think you make some reasonable points, but I think you miss the target when you say it is selfishness motivating people to oppose these things. The psychological and developmental effects are real and long lasting.
          Of course, I think people can make their own decisions and isolate if they want. In some cases it is wise to do so. But we really need to think of all effects, especially the long term ones, of both voluntary and mandated measures and not just whether or not it increases illness or mortality from just one cause.

          1. i am totally against shutdowns and lock downs and any government edict to try and keep people at home, because there are legitimate harms to that. where i get raw with people is the simple things that are not really major disruptions or changes to what it takes to live life. with very few exceptions, there is no big disruption to your life to wear a mask and practice more conscious social distancing. that isn’t the only example, but it is the most clear….. people are using the “other damage” argument as a prop to justify refusal to do things that do not really have anything to do with concern for other factors…… they just don’t want to do it and are using it as an excuse.

            also, weighing the risks is recognizing the societal problem and risks and weighing that against how much external activity you need to address the other concerns. it does not mean pretending nothing is wrong at all. you cannot honestly call it weighing he risks if you are ignoring such a big one….. and there are many people who are trying to twist this logic to do just that. full lock down is not reasonable, but neither is life completely as normal.

            1. Wearing a mask actually is a big disruption to my life. It makes me feel sick and anxious. Anxiety and constant irritations of my throat and skin are not healthy and not “no big deal”. It’s probably shortening my life expectancy. As I say below, I think people are being way too cavalier about telling everyone to wear masks a lot.

              1. first….. i did say with very few exceptions…. if you have a LEGITIMATE problem wearing a mask, you are not the people i am describing.

                second, if you truly are having such adverse reactions to wearing a mask, you probably should be in the super hyper vigilant anything you can possibly do group…… because if a mask is doing that to you, covid probably will kill you….. it means you have exactly the kind of underlying conditions that do not mix well with this thing. you should be the most angered at those who can wear a mask and don’t, because you are the one they are putting at risk. i would recommend maybe using a face-shied instead and REALLY paying mind to all the other precautions.

                1. The respiratory issues are mostly down to allergies, I think. I have year round respiratory allergies to something or other. I pretty much never get sick. Haven’t had a cold for years and have never had the flu as far as I know. I’m going to take my chances.

                  1. I’m not sure if you have something worse than you think, or you are just being melodramatic. what are you allergic to? if it is common allergies, the mask would block some of the pollen and it would make things better not worse. if it is the mask material, maybe find a different material. it really makes zero sense that all you have is allergies, and wearing a mask convinces you you are shortening your lifespan. if wearing a mask significantly impacts your ability to breath, you have serious respiratory conditions…. not just allergies.

                    1. It’s not that unusual for people to experience increased anxiety from a slight restriction of breathing. I know plenty of fit people who have the same complaint.
                      Anyway, I’m not convinced at all that masks are a good general recommendation. For some specific cases, fine. If you are in close quarters with a bunch of strangers or people likely to have been exposed or elderly people, it probably makes sense. For going to the store or walking past someone in the hallway, I don’t think so.

                    2. ok….. so now it is just anxiety…. so you are being melodramatic, and it is not shortening your life span. it isn’t actually causing you health issues to wear a mask, it is more psychological. here is a page with some tips….. you can get over it.


                2. Find the inflection points where mask *mandates* had any effect on outcomes (cases or deaths or hospitalizations). I’ll wait.

                  1. find me the point where i ever said i think there should be a mandate.

      3. I’d say the narrow focus on stopping deaths from one particular cause is much more harmful to many more people than cavalier attitudes taken by some (myself included) about the virus.

    2. Fuck off and die, slaver.

      1. selfish bastard who wants other people to die because he does not like wearing a mask……. kind of proving my point there, chump.

        1. I guess slavers have a hard time reading
          Fuck off and die, slaver. As a result of a running rusty chain saw up your ass.
          Your health is YOUR concern, not mine, and in your case, I’d be happy if you contracted a fatal disease.
          The world would be a better place

          1. i guess dumb fucks are…. well, dumb fucks. you just keep proving my point.

            1. I guess slavers are, well, slavers. My point is adequately proven

        2. What do you think is the best evidence for masks being effective?

          I think people are also ignoring the downsides of masks to a large degree. Wearing masks in certain close contact situations may make sense. But telling people to wear them all the time seems like a terrible idea. Wearing the same mask all day (or for multiple days) is just disgusting, and that seems to be what most people do. I just don’t think that the evidence for their usefulness is strong enough to justify mandating or even strongly recommending full-time mask use. You need to be damn sure that the risks are outweighed by the benefits in the real world before recommending something like that broadly.

          1. reusing a mask for too long does create potential problems….. so wash it, or get a fresh one. (many businesses and places of work make them available for free.)

            as for effectiveness, we can start with common sense. if you have a disease primarily carried and caught through respiration, and barrier over the mouth and nose is going to slow that transmission. second, we can go to the multiple studies that have done vapor testing to test the impact of different masks on the spread of exhaled water droplets. and third, while fairly limited, there were several observational studies done during the 2009 H1N1 outbreaks….. those studies found that a group with 10% of people wearing masks had 20% less transmission than a group with no mask wearing. even the recent highly flawed study people have been trying to push as saying masks don’t help showed a 40% decrease in risk of catching covid. i would call reducing your risk by anything close to half significant.

            masks make a difference. they are not a catch all, they do not completely stop transmission, and they are not perfect…… but they do make a difference.

            1. There are many other studies that show no to minimal effect as well. Almost anything written before March 2020 is in the no to minimal camp.

              1. we have been over this already….. you know you are wrong.

                1. Yes, we have and you know you’re a self-righteous piece of shit.

        3. Selfish bastard who wants to infringe on the freedoms of others because he expects to control other people for his convenience so he doesn’t have to stay home to feed his paranoia.

    3. nobody likes wearing the masks, nobody likes the social distance, nobody likes having smaller thanksgivings, nobody likes any of this
      So if no one likes these things, why do they do them? Because they are compelled by force? Because they mistakenly believe it will stop the virus? If lockdowns worked, wouldn’t we be done with this by now? If masks worked, shouldn’t coronavirus be history by this point? This is quickly becoming like communism: “Blame the wreckers!” “Real lockdowns have never been tried!”

      “if you are ranting about wearing a mask”
      Masks are completely ineffective. I object in the strongest possible terms to their use as a tool of fear and badge of compliance. They exist only to make people feel safer and as if they have some control over a situation which they do not. Forcing people to wear them is getting close to the definition of a state mandated religion. It has no scientific basis whatsoever. It is Fan Death levels of pseudoscientific bullshit.

      demanding everything operate like nothing is wrong
      Who is to say how things should operate? I demand that people be allowed to decide how they want to operate. If they wish to operate like nothing is wrong that is their choice, not yours, not the choice of top men, not the choice of their “betters”. I love the implication of this statement, as if there was some lever that controls (or should control) “how things operate” and it is merely a question of who is in charge of the lever.

      and if that is what you want to talk about, STFU about the people suffering during this pandemic
      Ah, there it is. The “I care more than you!” assertion of moral dominance. Silence, heathens! Only people who CARE at least this much are allowed to speak! Convenient how the minimum bar for these sorts of things always just so happens to include the speaker.

      you are actively hurting those people
      But we should have seen this coming. This is the exact spot where you start the virtue signalling, because this is a totally baseless claim. It’s not “you could be hurting people.” No, you have chosen to accuse people sans evidence. So let’s split the difference shall we? How about we go with the phrase “you might be hurting people”, but this invites another question: how likely is it that you are hurting someone? Because every statistic says that even with soaring infection numbers only a very small percentage of the population is infected. Are you ready to accuse >99% of these so-called assholes of hurting people when they are totally virus free? What about the good compliant proles who dutifully wear their masks and still infect others? How come they are not held accountable? This is where your argument falls apart, because it’s quite clear that your actual problem isn’t with sick people infecting others. It’s with people who aren’t bowing at the altar like you are. So do go on about preaching about how they “don’t care”, it reveals you for the hypocrite that you are.

      1. “So if no one likes these things, why do they do them? Because they are compelled by force? ”

        considering that i VERY explicitly stated that the government use of force was appalling, you might need to work on your reading comprehension…… and pretty much shove your entire train of thought right up your ass. why do you feed your dog, tell your kids you love them, hold the door open for someone with full hands, say please and thank you, ever do anything decent? are you forced to do these things? no….. you do it because it is the right fucking thing to do… because that is what you do when you are not a self absorbed asshole with your head stuck up your ass.

        1. “… because that is what you do when you are not a self absorbed asshole with your head stuck up your ass.”

          Because a self-righteous slaver with his head up his ass says we should!

          1. so… we have established that you are the kind of self absorbed asshole who sees someone with their hands full and makes it a point to close the door.

            1. No, we have established that YOU have appointed yourself arbiter of the activities of the population in general, and as part of that population, and that I’m more than willing to tell you to go fuck yourself, slaver.

              1. We go about our lives, wearing a mask at the grocery store, holding doors open and not telling every passerby to go fuck themselves.

                The slavers never understand that it is only them we are telling to fuck off, it is only them that we let go of the door in front of, and it is only them we hope gets the fucking virus. Why? Because we are not stupid. We can see them acting like a slaver and want nothing to do with them. But they are so utterly self-absorbed they can’t imagine that we are not rebuking all of society when we ignore or chastise them.

                Fuck them all. I hope they die gasping for air.

                1. if you are wearing your mask, what are you telling me to fuck off about? me saying that people should (voluntarily) wear a mask is what this chuckle-head is calling me a slaver for. t

                  and how can you hope for ANYONE to catch the virus and even pretend you resemble a decent human being?

                  1. Just you, buddy. Just you and your cat.

                    1. well, as long as you are wearing the mask…… i guess i don’t care if you are too stupid to understand that was what i was talking about.

                    2. As if anyone here was confused by your bullshit.
                      Fuck off, slaver.

      2. Yes, we should have seen this coming, if we read 1984, Brave New World, and all the rest of them. But we didn’t, and really, how could we have imagined that the powers that be would so quickly and deftly manipulate us into doing exactly what they wanted for NINE MONTHS? But we the aware need to not just talk about it; we need to DO something about it. We need to, in large numbers, not allow the petty dictators running America now, led by but by no means restricted to, Newsome, Whitmer, and Cuomo, to keep throwing edicts about as if they are confetti. We need to band together and get out of our houses (and off our computers) and protest the lockdowns. I am surprised no one in this thread is even suggesting that, since most of us think alike on this issue.

    4. I rarely leave a vulgar comment, but dude, fuck you.

      1. not much meat there, but i presume the feeling is mutual.

    5. and if that is what you want to talk about, STFU about the people suffering during this pandemic, because you have made it clear that you do not give two fucks about them…

      Fuck you, you emotionally manipulative piece of shit. The vast majority of outbreaks have been coming from prisons and nursing homes this whole time, NOT through the places that these governors are actively shutting down. You want us to sit down and shut up due because your own hyper-risk averse nature demands that people do what they’re told, in spite of the very fact that the data shows the places being punished are not the source of these outbreaks.

      This suffering is on people like you who are constantly shrieking about killing grandma, as if grandma has no agency whatsoever and doesn’t know the risk of seeing her grandkids. People in nursing homes dying of depression because they think their relatives have abandoned them. Not holding obese fatasses responsible for their own decades-long behavior of stuffing their face and now having to deal with the health-related consequences of that, just so the rest of us can suffer and lose their livelihood to your fear of mortality.

      Don’t even try and pawn this off on everyone else. This shit’s on you, too.

      1. what part of this is so difficult for you stupid fucks? i am not supporting shut downs or any other government actions…. i never have, and i never will….. i am talking about the stupid mother fuckers who will wail about grandma not being able to see the grand kids to justify being too fucking selfish to wear a fucking mask at the store….. and they somehow don’t see the utter hypocrisy of that position……. “oh, poor grandma……. I”M NOT GOING TO DO FUCKING ANYTHING, NO MATER HOW SIMPLE OR EASY!!!!”

        1. If you don’t think the mask mandates and business shutdowns are linked, you’re even dumber than I thought.

          And I’ll bring it up again–does Grandma not have any agency here? Should it not be HER choice as to whether she’d like to see her grandkids or not, irrespective of the risk?

          And since stores are NOT a major source of outbreaks after nine fucking MONTHS of gathering data on this, they never will be, irrespective of the masks.

          1. i guess if “i oppose government shutdowns and mandates” is just too complex for you to understand…… how could i possibly expect you to understand how letting the pandemic spread unchecked hurts grandma’s ability and willingness to have the grand kids over.

            1. If you really think nothing’s been done to keep a pandemic from “being spread unchecked,” and continue to believe that Grandma has no agency, you continue demonstrating that you’re dumber than I thought.

            2. The most hilarious part of your protestations is how disingenuous they are. You screech that a pandemic is “being spread unchecked,” while in the same breath argue that you oppose the mandates and restrictions that were implemented to nominally keep the pandemic from being spread, and then blame people not wearing masks for spreading it, despite a complete lack of data that even this current spike is their fault.

              1. i think people should do the right thing, but i do not think the government should force them to. if you don’t do the right thing, you are an asshole, and i will call you an asshole….. this isn’t that hard….

                1. You keep demonstrating that you’re dumber than I thought.

                2. Since you seem so comfy with deciding other people are assholes it is surprising to me that you seem so distinctly uncomfortable when other people call you an asshole for calling them assholes.

                  1. “Since you seem so comfy with deciding other people are assholes it is surprising to me that you seem so distinctly uncomfortable when other people call you an asshole for calling them assholes.”

                    Further, not a single one who correctly identified Foo-dd as a self-righteous, scummy piece of shit has bothered to tell that self-righteous, scummy piece of shit what to do. Unlike Foo-dd, the self-righteous, scummy piece of shit, who has told everyone.
                    But we, as the ones correctly identifying Foo-dd as a self-righteous, scummy piece of shit are the assholes.
                    Foo-dd may claim to be other than a statist lefty piece of shit, but, quacks, waddles and looks like…

                  2. You seem pretty comfortable trying to use government force to make other people live according to your ignorant whims.

        2. Wearing a mask at the grocery store is the easy thing to do. Refusing to wear a mask in order to take a stand against tyranny is the hard thing to do.

    6. You have to be stupid to have written this sincerely. Pushing toward herd immunity reduces the time and impact of this, not increases. Cowering at home one every reported case of death with COVID increases the damage and extends the time frame.

      The appalling use of force are the lockdowns YOU cheer for. The people thrown in jail for daring to provide for others or live normal life. YOU are the selfish bastard demanding others sacrifice their lives and livelihoods so you can feel safe from a boogeyman that poses very little actual risk to you unless you are one of the very few where everything is a risk.

      1. not with a vaccine already being produced, dipstick….. herd immunity does not need to happen through everyone getting sick.

        and, considering i have never and will never support, and have explicitly denounced the lockdowns, you can shove the rest of your nonsense.

        1. Ever gotten the flu after getting a flu shot? Millions of people do every year. You really are stupid.

          COVID is not even an organism. It is a fucking virus. It multiplies through trillions of replications as it spreads through millions of different hosts with the possibility of mutation in every host and every iteration.

          If we are lucky this vaccine will be more effective than flu vaccines. If we are not, it could be as effective as vaccines against colds, which are also a coronavirus.

          Masks and lockdowns ad infinitum or get a virus with a 99+% survival rate? I will take my chances.

            1. LOL. You have not demonstrated even a basic understanding of biology or fluid dynamics, but I am the moron?

    7. Foo_dd sanctimonious holier-than-thou assholes like you who shame people for expressing their opinions and concerns are a big reason tyranny gets enabled.

      1. you do realize, that your response to me is an attempt to use shame…. for expressing my opinions and concerns…. don’t you? your attempt to rebuke me is hypocritical in its nature.

        1. And we hope you realize, that as a self-appointed, self-righteous piece of shit, we don’t care.
          Fuck off, slaver.

  15. I thought this was a well written article. I agree with it, but you’ll have folks like Tony who say all that doesn’t matter we have a virus and tell you you’re evil or your worries and fears aren’t valid or grown up enough. I can understand other folks have different ways they believe to get through this and that’s good even if I don’t believe in them but there’s so many folks like him who believe their artistry with the written and spoken word makes the rest of us invalid.

  16. Thanks, more of this please.

  17. to the writer of this article I don’t know where your info is coming from but if you live in the U.S. you can visit your relatives in California. freedom of movement has not been stopped anywhere or are you a sheep even when your Shepards leave the flock to visit their relatives.

    1. You’re an asshole, and it is time to face the fact that if there is a “sheep” in this situation, it’s you. You’re letting the government herd you where they want you and you just BAAAAAH along the way, ignoring the suffering around you.

      As if going to California to see a relative is the only thing that has been restricted.

    2. So the curfews aren’t restricting movement?

  18. This is almost enough to get me to forgive the author for her barf-worthy article about how awesome her birthday was in the middle of the pandemic.

    I live alone, and I am honestly starting to go a little nuts. I seriously think I’m slightly nuts. My mental health has suffered. I smoke cigarettes again after having quit. I drink too much. I’m trapped in a small apartment all day every day with a puppy. I haven’t so much as shared a meal with a friend since February. I spent Thanksgiving on my couch.

    Thank you to reason for FINALLY publishing something about the negative effects caused by our response to the virus. I’ve been disappointed numerous times by reason articles joining in the panic and ignoring or dismissing the cost to society.

    When a decade or more has passed and the human suffering resulting from the measures against the pandemic (PLEASE for the love of all that is holy stop saying the pandemic has caused this shit, because a virus is an organism less complex than even a bacterium and has no conscience or political opinion) becomes clear, I think we will see that the mitigation measures did more harm than good. NYC is back to the 70’s. I don’t know yet if I’ll be heading to AA when the pandemic restrictions are lifted (if in fact they ever ARE lifted), but this is a dangerous trend.

    Most of the time, if you mention the human cost – even if you include the serious damage done to children in the poor and minority communities – someone calls you a Trumptard. I am suffering. I expect it will take years to recover personally. I have suicidal thoughts – I’m over any taboo so I’m saying it out loud.

    Yo government!! People are hurting, and it isn’t just Trump supporters. My wealthy half-sister (and I mean wealthy – she and her husband are worth tens of millions) condemns all the ignorant rubes who are over the restrictions. Magically, she can go to Cape May for her birthday though, and take piano lessons on her baby grand to pass the time.

    So finally a non-fringe publication is acknowledging the human suffering associated with OUR RESPONSE to the virus. I am grateful for that, at least.

    1. i think an important thing to understand is balance. your response to me above leads me to think you don’t think i understand that, based on this. many of us feel this way. everyone is sick of this situation, and mental health may require something less than obsessively strict isolation. everyone should establish some kind of support bubble. there needs to be someone you can see. for me it is my daughter and son in law. for my son in law’s parents it is his sister and kids. we are not seeing all the people we normally would, but we are still seeing people we care about. and there needs to be something you can do. this is why sports returning was such a big deal to people. even if you can’t pack the stadium, people need that kind of distraction.

      what i was talking about above was the people who want to do absolutely nothing. the people who wear a mask to walk into the store and then take it off. the people who’s gripe is not being able to pack a thousand people into a church. the people who had 50 people over for thanksgiving. the people who refuse to do ANYTHING. the flip side of that is that someone in your situation might actually need to ease up a bit. pick a friend or two and have them over for dinner. you should not cram 20 people into your small apartment, but you can have 2 or 3 that are also otherwise being safe. you can do things to stay sane….. you can see other people. you can have some social life. you just can’t pretend nothing is happening and not take any precautions ever.

      it sounds like you are not who i am describing in my rant. you are being careful to the point it is hurting you. and i am sorry that there are so many who want to be reckless that will use your pain as an excuse to belittle the effort you have put into doing the right thing. have a friend over. too many people get locked in the all or nothing state of mind.

      1. i am sorry

        What you are is an asshole. It is glaringly apparent from your gross exaggerations of what people are and are not doing that you are not sorry at all.

        1. fuck off, troll.

          1. A troll is someone who posts to elicit a response in a bid for attention. I don’t care in the least if you respond and legitimately want you to know how vehemently I disagree with you. Considering my response is thoughtful, on topic, and is a specific criticism of the previous post, it meets no definition of trolling.

            Get it right, dumbass.

          2. Fuck off, slaver.

      2. First of all, allow me to quote you:

        “nobody likes wearing the masks, nobody likes the social distance, nobody likes having smaller thanksgivings, nobody likes any of this……. and if that is what you want to talk about, STFU about the people suffering during this pandemic, because you have made it clear that you do not give two fucks about them…… all you care about is yourselves and the shit you don’t want to do.”

        That is what elicited the “fuck you.” I and others are suffering, and you are suggesting we are simply selfish. This isn’t about shit I don’t want to do.

        I moved to a small, isolated city out west in March for a new job. I don’t have any friends here. I got a small apartment because I did not expect to work from home for 9 months. Even if I go to the office nobody else is there. Because of these restrictions, I cannot meet new people. I am a lawyer, and before that I was a professional actor, so all my “friends” are super-liberal in a political climate when anything that even smells lightly of conservatism is met with intense hate and vitriol. My family is well over 1,000 miles away – it takes two days to drive there to see them.

        What I think we have lost is empathy. This is not a matter if simple minor inconveniences. This is not a life. And we are doing this for a virus that you have a 99% chance of beating unless you are elderly with underlying conditions. We are trying to kill a spider with a sledgehammer. We’ve destroyed cities. Lives have been ruined. Not everyone has the same opportunities that you do. As for the long-term effects of Covid, I have almost all of them without having had Covid. 9 months of severe restrictions on social interaction will lead to fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, difficulty concentrating, etc.

        It’s a virus. It’s not even as deadly as some severe strains of the flu. It will spread. If masks are working so well, why are we still seeing cases spike? Pretty soon we will all be required to wear two masks.

        Quality of life must be part of the conversation. It has disappeared, and if you voice your objection to that, people attack you. I would rather have Covid than keep living this way. I have no illusions about my mortality. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. These mitigation measures are expensive as fuck in terms of transaction costs. Statistically speaking, it isn’t even particularly deadly. Raw numbers provoke emotion, but numerators are useless without denominators. I wear a mask because people expect me to, and I prefer to be kind and respectful of personal choice. I also wear a mask because I will get a ticket if I don’t. But I do NOT wear a mask to avoid Covid.

        So your comment above came off as rather unsympathetic and dismissive of those who complain that these mitigation measures are damaging. I have limited financial resources, so I can’t self-help much. I have a wonderful therapist, but there is fuck all he can do about the situation we are in. Things that we might rely on to lift our spirits in normal times are not available.

        This is really hard for a lot of people. I know I am not alone. But it is frightening to say how you feel because you’ll be attacked.

        1. again, i must say that i a sorry for the misunderstanding. i at no point meant to undermine the suffering of those who are taking this whole situation seriously and are suffering. i have frequently stated that i do not agree with government dictates or mandates on any of this, because there are real costs. even the voluntary actions are not without cost. having recently moved and not having a social bubble to allow you some social interaction is an exceptionally difficult situation for someone to be in at this time. we do all need some social interaction, even if it is reduced right now. i don’t have an easy answer for your situation, and i really wish that i did….

          my ire was not meant for those such as you…. it was meant for those who refuse to take any personal responsibility. you are someone following all the rules and recommendations…. i might not like that only the threat of a ticket has you doing some of them, but my beef is with the people who flat out ignore them and spread false information trying to convince others to ignore them…… those people are compounding the problem and compounding your suffering. they might sound like they are with you, because they echo your frustration….. but they are not helping alleviate the situation. they are actively making things worse. those people who had large thanksgivings while you sat alone, those people refusing to wear masks as you begrudgingly do, those people who spit in the face of every reasonable precaution…… they are the reason our hospitals are approaching capacity right now, and they are the reason that there is less room for bending the rules to account for other concerns, such as yours.

    2. What kind of dog?

      We are dog people. Two dogs two cats. The dogs are a big English yellow Labrador and a rescue mix part lab. Then there are an orange tabby and a gray tabby roaming about here somewhere.

      Hard to raise a puppy in an apartment I imagine.

      My family we are circling the wagons. Moving to where my daughter and the g-kids are.

      1. She’s a chihuahua/dauchsund mix we think. She’s a rescue who was in several foster homes before she came to me. It is hard to raise a puppy in an apartment, but the problem is mostly that I am always here and she doesn’t get why I can’t play with her all day. She’s anxious because of her background, so she’s clingy.

        I’ve thought about moving back closer to family, but I need this job.

        1. Those are brave and loyal dogs. A chihuahua or dachshund or mix has no fear. They are also great guard dogs. Anything going on they will alert you. Even if it is just a squirrel on the roof.

          Imagine 90lbs of Labrador jumping on you with that “play with me” look.

          So dogs have no idea about human politics. Nor should they.

          1. My brother has a Norwegian Elkhound and she is DEFINITELY in the heavy dog “play with me!” look category. She’s a big fluffy doofus. I adore her.

            My puppy is loyal and protective of me. She doesn’t bark much, but if there’s a knock at a door she’ll bark once to bring attention to it, which is perfect for a woman who lives alone. She’s not very fond of other people or other dogs – it’s been hard to socialize her in the pandemic.

    3. I really appreciate your post here and have enjoyed reading your posts elsewhere in the comments. I hope you can find some piece of mind in knowing that you are having a positive effect on other people in the same situation.

      Like yourself, I find myself less and less tolerant of the apologetics the Science! crowd keeps throwing out for turning what is by all means a serious situation into a perpetual state of emergency with no end in sight.

      1. Thank you for the compliment. I come to these comment threads to find people who might see the world the way I do, or find a way to push me to see things differently.

        I feel like I am screaming into a void, but I know that I feel really lonely in my opposition to the mitigation measures. I also know that I can’t possibly be the only one. If even one person reads a comment and it helps them to know they aren’t alone, it’s worth it. And in all the noise, there are always thoughtful posts on this site.

  19. You’re an asshole, and it is time to face the fact that if there is a “sheep” in this situation, it’s you. You’re letting the government herd you where they want you and you just BAAAAAH along the way, ignoring the suffering around you.

    As if going to California to see a relative is the only thing that has been restricted.

    1. Woops, posted this twice. See above.

    2. I call my mother every day now. She lives in another city where my sister is. She always went to my sisters house for Shabbat. They are orthodox. Anyway she has not gone lately. I encouraged her to go. It would only be the three of them.

      1. I talk to my parents often as well. They are in their 70’s, and my father lost his job in March, so they’re struggling but they don’t have Covid. I am so grateful that they have each other.

    3. yes you did and it made no sense there either but based on your other comments i think maybe you are going nuts

      1. Honey, it makes plenty of sense up there. I’ll quote you:

        “to the writer of this article I don’t know where your info is coming from but if you live in the U.S. you can visit your relatives in California. freedom of movement has not been stopped anywhere or are you a sheep even when your Shepards leave the flock to visit their relatives.”

        Freedom of movement has been stopped in some states. And what if you cannot afford to travel? Your comment focuses on one thread in a thick rope. You insult people by calling them sheep. Most offensive, though, is the fact that you cannot spell shepherd.

        I stand by original statement.

  20. It’s a pandemic, de Rugy, it’s not a cold. The head of Trumps CDC just said it will be the worst health crisis this country has faced in its history. History. And you think there was an overreaction. No one is ignoring the plight of business owners and others. There has been $2.2 trillion dollars spent on it through legislative action alone. That’s ignoring it? We’ve all felt the impact of it, not some hidden group. There are plenty of countries out there that took it seriously from the beginning, implemented restrictions, had much less of a mortality rate, and less impact on their economy.

    I know Reasons libertarian stance on all this is to do nothing…masks are an infringement of liberty, don’t spend any money on fighting it, let hospitals figure it out without any assistance, and science…who can trust it? And of course in the summer, follow Sweden’s lead toward herd immunity. Funny how no one here brings up Sweden anymore since they’ve recognized the failure of the herd immunity approach and implemented their own restrictions and relegated the architect of that failed approach to the back.

    Hospitals are being overrun, and it’s like you can’t even see it. Some of us here warned y’all in October this is where we’d be. And everyone here said it was an overreaction, bed space was available, ignoring of course that hospitalizations and deaths were a lagging indicator.

    But this is typical of Reason, particularly when it comes to science and it’s approach to problems, like pandemics and climate change. Because the free market doesn’t offer a clear solution, ignore the problem, criticize the science, and sit back and watch. Now that’s a religion for you.

    1. Shut the fuck up. Those PPP loans went to huge businesses, and a large percentage of the money allocated for relief was lost in the transaction costs of allocating the money. No additional relief is on the horizon because the Dems refuse to accept a Republican proposal.

      Also, you clearly haven’t been reading reason consistently. There are TONS of articles that extoll the virtues of masks and the necessity of social distancing.

      Factually you get a few things wrong, but I am not going to engage in an argument with you about alternative facts. And when there is so much suffering, your little “I told you so” is nasty and inhumane.

      1. He also doesn’t know shit about why the PPP funding was necessary. The act that authorized them also made it law that employers had to pay employees who did not show up for work if they thought they needed to quarantine or had kids home from school. For that we were allowed to borrow 8 weeks of payroll. It has been 6 months.

        And the forgiveness is probably a taxable event (they will get around to telling us eventually), so 25% of it will go right back to the governments along with the payroll taxes which are another 10-15%.

        1. Kind of like student loan “forgiveness.” I went to a top school and graduated when the market bottomed. Interest has been accruing for years and the total now owed is close to half a million. I make just over $60k. One day that balance will be “forgiven” and treated as income. So even though I might be making only $80k by then, I will be taxed as if I made well over a million dollars, effectively making my net income a negative number. I’m sure the PPP plan will be no different.

    2. We’ve all felt the impact of it

      The fuck you have, or you wouldn’t be screeching for more lockdowns.

      1. The fat, bourgeois assholes need to be made to feel the pain they’ve inflicted on the working class.

    3. Annnndd, here’s jackass once again to prove how stupid lefty shits can be:
      “…No one is ignoring the plight of business owners and others. There has been $2.2 trillion dollars spent on it through legislative action alone. That’s ignoring it?…”

      Drop in the bucket:
      “Key Hospitality Industry Statistics
      In 2017, the travel and tourism industry in the US generated more than $1.6 trillion in economic output. This output represented 2.8% of the total gross domestic product. [1]”

      That’s the hospitality industry alone, which has been pretty much flat-lined by Newsom and other lefty shits.
      Oh, and we’re still waiting for cites to back your bullshit regarding Sweden’s covid death rate.

    4. Here are some costs that aren’t “unseen,” they’re in fact clearly seen by all, other than libertarians at Reason, evidently.

      2800 deaths in one day, a record. 100,000 hospitalized with COVID, a record. 2.1M new cases in two weeks, no other country close. 21,000 deaths from COVID in last two weeks, no other country close. Trumps own CDC head says by February there may be 450,000 deaths from COVID. Hospitals starting to reach capacity in different parts of the country, with more clearly coming. And with such a rise in new cases, more hospitalizations and then deaths sure to follow.

      You know, de Rugy, your concern about the unseen costs, which are real and not ignored, would have more credence if you and anyone at Reason mentioned and took the SEEN costs seriously. They’ve been ignored here with false beliefs in herd immunity and as usual denigration of science that doesn’t fir a free market. But then, to Reason libertarians, maybe they aren’t costs at all.

      Those numbers not reflecting the impact two major holidays and more months of colder weather.

      1. If you were interested in being honest or fair you’d start this conversation with per capita figures, but we know that’s not a concern of yours. Sweden and the US saw significantly shallower daily growth in reported new cases and deaths in the autumn wave than Spain, Italy, France, or the UK and have had lower peaks and lower CFR’s (aside from Sweden v. France) to boot. It’s almost like letting nature take its course during the summer months has had a positive effect.

        And with such a rise in new cases, more hospitalizations and then deaths sure to follow.

        In my state hospitalizations have almost completely decoupled from the reported new case counts. It’s barely directionally correct at this point.

        1. Those records I mentioned were US records. The US is 11th worst in the world in COVID deaths per capital, with countries like Belgium and Italy much worse…so far. They experienced the fall surge earlier than us, and our death rate is just now starting to increase precipitously.

          Now surely you aren’t suggesting 11th worst in the world…currently and with all numbers getting worse everyday…as some sort of claim to fame, no?

          You’re in what state?

          1. I’m in NJ. “RECORD CASES!!!!!” have been going on for a month. Hospitalizations have been creeping, ever so slowly, tracking not the PCR-based number that gets shouted by the media but the lab-confirmed figure whose CDGR is about 30% lower.

            Deaths this cycle have also been minimal and dragging far behind growth in case counts and M/S & ICU census (even after adjusting for lag), likely thanks to the mismanagement of the spring killing off the majority of the truly vulnerable. The story in NYC is similar: the “death wave” has passed and the impact of the disease’s spread is now similar to the flu (pardon the loaded comparison) in that it’s a manageable problem rather than a pending catastrophe, culling some combination of the newly vulnerable and the leftovers from the last outbreak.

            Now surely you aren’t suggesting 11th worst in the world…currently and with all numbers getting worse everyday…as some sort of claim to fame, no?

            I’m saying that such comparisons are often meaningless at best, and seldom made in good faith. The experiences between the US and Western Europe amount to distinctions without difference. The net result seems to be that once you reach some critical mass in cases (which we likely passed in February, back when DeBlasio was imploring us to find a Chinaman to hug) that trying to limit cases among the general population is a fool’s errand.

            1. Well, NJ today recorded its highest number of COVID cases ever, even in the Spring. And the number hospitalized equals the Spring. And we are only in first week in December.

              But I’m in NY, neighbor, and here too it’s not as bad as it was, although “was” was a catastrophe here. And we aren’t near it’s peak yet either.

              We’ve learned a lot on COVID treatment. And it’s improved. That doesn’t mean we aren’t headed to tough times. But you don’t think so. Let’s hope you’re right.

              1. Jackand Ace
                December.3.2020 at 7:04 pm
                “Well, NJ today recorded its highest number of COVID cases ever, even in the Spring. And the number hospitalized equals the Spring. And we are only in first week in December…”
                Yeah, cumulative counts hardly ever fall, and lefty cherry-picking shits like you will grab any number handy, right, jackass?

                “…But I’m in NY, neighbor, and here too it’s not as bad as it was, although “was” was a catastrophe here. And we aren’t near it’s peak yet either…”
                Assertions from lefty shits =/= argument or evidence, jackass.

                “…We’ve learned a lot on COVID treatment. And it’s improved. That doesn’t mean we aren’t headed to tough times. But you don’t think so. Let’s hope you’re right…”
                And you certainly wish otherwise, right, jackass?
                Still waiting for the cite showing the magic words end wildfires and the cite showing Sweden’s covid death rate at TEN TIMES some other country.
                Or maybe you’re just a lying piece of lefty shit, jackass.

        2. By the way, as far as cases per capital, in November we were the 6th worst in the world, and getting worse every day.

          1. So all the lockdowns were for nothing, jackass?

          2. Cases per capital?

      2. Hey dumbfuck, since the vast majority of cases are still coming from nursing homes and prisons, you can sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up about what you “warned.”

      3. Oh, goodie! A Guardian link that says, ‘gee Sweden might do one or two things!!!!’
        There are mendacious lefty shits here, but few as dishonest as jackass.

    5. “It’s a pandemic, de Rugy, it’s not a cold.”

      Except that many cold viruses also become pandemic.

    6. Hospitals are being overrun, and it’s like you can’t even see it.
      That’s because it’s not happening.

      1. Enjoy your day!


        1. Stuff it up your ass, liar.

      2. That’s because it’s not happening.

        The news agencies want to scare us with all the reports of the refrigerated trailers that were sent to El Paso to serve as temporary morgues. What never hits the headlines is that some of the bodies they have yet to autopsy have been there for over 6 months since the beginning. It is not a tragedy, it is a fucking backlog.

    7. The head of Trumps CDC just said it will be the worst health crisis this country has faced in its history. History.

      Or, just maybe, Redfield is a fucking political appointee who is grossly exaggerating to cover his ass. If it were true, he should be fired immediately for his utter failure.

      1. Stating that this is the worst health crisis in the country’s history shows just how deliberately ignorant he is.

        Redfield is the same dumbfuck who said a piece of paper will protect someone from a virus better than a vaccine, and that small gatherings were the source of this recent spike without providing a shred of proof.

        1. Just dogpiling here but if coronavirus can’t even kill more Americans than cancer, let alone heart disease, in a single year then no, it’s not even in the race for worst health crisis. The best part is that coronavirus is killing more Americans via cancer and heart disease due to indefinitely delaying various screenings that would detect those things.

          1. Also suicides are up.

          2. No we are doing those things. It might be a bit more delay to get the appointment for your follow up MRI because of workforce issues.

            You can build equipment or hospital beds. People you cannot. It takes many years to train and build an invasive cardiology team. You can’t do that by executive order.

            We have been fighting cancer and heart disease for a very long time and those efforts have not gone away.

  21. Hospitals are being overrun, and it’s like you can’t even see it. Some of us here warned y’all in October this is where we’d be.

    Hey dumbfuck, since the vast majority of cases are still coming from nursing homes and prisons, you can sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up about what you “warned.”


  22. “They are the ones who have lost jobs and who wait forlornly in long unemployment lines. ”

    Where does this happen that people wait in unemployment lines? I thought it’s all online now. Or is she just using artistic writing to make a point?

    1. From what I’ve heard from my recently unemployed friends, removing the psychical queue didn’t remove the waiting line. Most of the time the site (WA state) won’t load because too many people are trying to access it at once.

      1. wait forlornly in long unemployment lines

        “Wait forlornly clicking ‘refresh’ at the unemployment website on their laptop while watching reruns of Monk,” just doesn’t evoke the same visual appeal. But personally, I find it the more depressing of the two.

  23. After a Johns Hopkins researcher revealed that covid has not increased overall mortality in the US, her article was removed by Johns Hopkins (because it contradicted Bloomberg financed Hopkins’ gloom and doom claims that covid is more infectious and deadlier than the plague). But you can read it at

  24. Thank you for speaking out on this crucial issue.

  25. I get paid more than $120 to $130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $15k from this without having online working skills. This is what I do… Here is More information.

  26. In Japan, all the measures were voluntary; no mandatory stuff at all

    Much lower death rate than here. Their response was intelligent and measured, not authoritarian and capricious like ours.

  27. Excellent article, but I’m tired of hearing how everything disproportionately impact the “least” among us. People from all walks of life are impacted.

    1. No, the fact is if you have a white collar job that you can do from home you are less affected. I miss going to restaurants but I have my income and I don’t have to home school kids, so I am in fact less affected.

  28. While our own systems and officialdom, might “officialdumb” be a better description have provided a less than sterling performance, might one make so bold as to say that in reasonably polite English, The Original Sin Lay In And With China, correct me should I be in error. Pardon me for asking, but I do wonder as to what, if anything the world is prepared to do in the face of the above fact.

  29. And as sad as this commentary is, you can put 100% of the blame on government for acting as if there is a pandemic. The numbers after nearly a year do not support anything much more than some kind of severe flu that can spread quite easily…maybe. How can there be no additional deaths for the year 2020 in the US (and even the entire world) if such a sweeping pandemic is supposedly taking hundreds of thousands of lives? Most deaths in other areas are down like for cancer and heart disease. Something is not right and it’s government that is playing a treacherous game of deception on us. The fake testing, hospitalizations, useless masking and distancing, lockdowns and the whole shebang have not changed anything. Where is the regular flu that we have heard about every year since the 1950’s? Oh, it isn’t making an appearance this year or in 2021…imagine that. Government is the blame but our leaders are totally without shame. And forget the media…they are totally useless when it come to facts and truth. After more than 10 months of non-stop Covid BS, there are still very few factual answers as to what the heck is really happening. And dear state governor…no matter how much you beg, I am NOT cancelling my Christmas nor is anyone in my family.

    1. So Trump was right to downplay this disease.

      1. No

    2. Death counts lag. Early on in the pandemic, I looked at the CDC’s total death numbers, and thought, “WTF, numbers are WAY down!” But then quickly realized that death counts take weeks or months to get updated (why this is the case is another story–seems like it should be more accurate more quickly in the Information Age). NYTimes did an analysis, accounting for the lag of reporting, that shows 300k+ excess deaths this year.

  30. The problem with the “follow the science” argument is that it is far too narrow, it ignores the enormous economic and human costs of the lockdowns.

    1. Correct.
      This stopped being a purely medical issue along about 3/1/20, when there should have been rioting in the streets against the lockdowns.
      Instead we got the claim of ‘science’, as if that were a set of facts rather than a method of arriving at the best approximation of the truth.

    2. No. Follow the science is part of the equation as are economic and human social impacts. Part of the problem is resistance to follow the science leads people to do unhealthy things that then impact economics and people. This site has repeatedly talked about testing. Some thing that was resisted because the Administration because they did not want to show the numbers. But a good testing program with follow-up tracing could have reduced the number of lock downs.

      Science is not at odds with the economy or people, it is there to help them.

      1. Well said.

      2. “Follow the science is part of the equation”

        Exactly. It is PART of the equation. It is ONLY part of the equation. It’s NOT the whole equation. That’s the point I was making.

        I don’t trust the numbers. I think the numbers are exaggerated. And the numbers are important: the higher the numbers, the more stringent the restrictions, the more extreme the measures. But the numbers, suspect though they may be, show that this is NOT the 1918/19 pandemic. The cure must not be worse than the disease.

  31. With all due respect, Veronique, you didn’t give voice to the estimated 4-5 million additional human beings, most with dark skin tone, that will die every year around the world because of the extreme poverty we have stupidly caused by our overreaction to this marginally dangerous virus. Are not their lives just as valuable as any other human?

  32. What’s so frustrating about this is our so called ‘leaders’ are so obtuse. They routinely ignore their own restrictions to go on vacation in Mexico, dine in fancy restaurants, or attend family gatherings denied to others and then say, “Buck up, it ain’t so bad.” If these restrictions are so vital and necessary to stop the virus, wouldn’t these enlightened leaders be more dedicated to following them if for no other reason than to safeguard their own lives? Americans need to elect themselves the governors of their own lives, issue their own edicts and follow them or ignore them as they chose. If half the country stood up and said, “No, I’m not going to do that,” what could they do about it? Answer: nothing. Time for a little civil disobedience.

  33. I agree mostly with what the article is saying. Why did corporations (including Trump’s!) receive billions in loans while those who suffer the most continue to suffer? I also believe that everyone should SACK UP AND MASK UP so that these people–especially children who are not getting a proper education–don’t have to suffer due to the keyboard warriors thinking they’re fighting some revolution against tyranny by ignoring facts.

    1. Agreed.

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