Coronavirus

Freedom Becomes a Long-Haul COVID Victim

Emergency measures to deal with the crisis are likely to linger long after COVID-19 is gone.

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We call it "long-haul COVID" when patients recover from a COVID-19 infection but still experience symptoms weeks and months later. But the world at large could suffer lingering effects from the pandemic for years, as "emergency" measures adopted to (supposedly) fight the virus become part of the permanent landscape. Well after health concerns have been forgotten, the ultimate victim of long-haul COVID may turn out to be our freedom.

"The COVID-19 pandemic seriously risks further erosion of constraints on government powers, as leaders with an authoritarian bent amass new powers through emergency measures, and courts, legislatures, and other institutional and citizen checks are hampered in carrying out their constitutional duties and rights," the Brookings Institution's Ted Piccone noted last month in a column that warned of deteriorating conditions under authoritarian regimes and democracies alike. "In sum, the COVID-19 crisis has eroded the rule of law environment around the world," he added.

The erosion of constraints on government power is nothing new to Americans, who have seen governors assume near-monarchical power to close businesses, limit gatherings, curtail the right to travel, and limit personal freedom.

"There may not be a pandemic exception to the bill of rights, but judges are generally willing to give state officials a great deal of deference in these situations," Wake Forest University's Professor John Dinan, an expert on federalism, observed last May.

The federal government, too, has assumed vast power over everyday activity, and politicians have seized the opportunity to spend trillions of dollars to "stimulate" the economy—but mostly to buy public favor and enact wish-lists of policies in the guise of addressing the crisis.

President Joe Biden is "turning COVID-era emergency measures into permanent expansions of federal power, using the virus as an excuse," Reason's Peter Suderman warned last week. "For Biden, the pandemic has become a catchall justification for a wide array of big-government programs that he and the Democratic Party already wanted to pursue."

As Piccone points out, this is a world-wide phenomenon that's accelerating a global erosion of restraints on government power. He's not the only one to notice that officials everywhere have taken advantage of the moment to accelerate troubling pre-pandemic trends.

"As recorded in the Democracy Index in recent years, democracy has not been in robust health for some time," The Economist's Democracy Index 2020 observed earlier this year. "In 2020 its strength was further tested by the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic… Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime). The willing surrender of fundamental freedoms by millions of people was perhaps one of the most remarkable occurrences in an extraordinary year "

"As COVID-19 spread during the year, governments across the democratic spectrum repeatedly resorted to excessive surveillance, discriminatory restrictions on freedoms like movement and assembly, and arbitrary or violent enforcement of such restrictions by police and nonstate actors," agrees Freedom House.

"While the world is still more democratic than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, the global decline of liberal democracy continues in 2020," chimes in the annual report from the University of Gothenburg's V-Dem Institute, based in Sweden. "The direct impact on democracy has been limited so far, but the final toll may turn out to be much higher unless restrictions are eliminated immediately after the pandemic is over," the report adds.

That's a big "unless" and one that can't be assumed after the crisis of the moment has passed. Expanded powers assumed to deal with emergencies have a nasty way of becoming permanent fixtures long after their justifications are consigned to historical footnotes.

"After each major crisis the size of government, though smaller than during the crisis, remained larger than it would have been had the precrisis rate of growth persisted during the interval occupied by the crisis," wrote economic historian Robert Higgs in his 1987 book Crisis and Leviathan. Separately, he has written that the driving force behind permanent "ratchet effect" expansions of power is the public's fear—and politicians' skill at exploiting it.

"All animals experience fear—human beings, perhaps, most of all. Any animal incapable of fear would have been hard pressed to survive," Higgs observed in 2005. "The people who have the effrontery to rule us, who call themselves our government, understand this basic fact of human nature. They exploit it, and they cultivate it."

Some people not only admit their interest in exploiting the crisis—they celebrate it.

"Crises have always granted reformist policymakers powers to bypass legislative gridlock and entrenched interests," exulted Cornell University historian Nicholas Mulder last March. "The coronavirus crisis is already allowing the implementation of ideas that would have been considered very radical just months ago."

Mulder did his happy dance before governments further tightened lockdowns, extended their control, and restricted the speech of those who disagree. Once-radical ideas are, in fact, becoming the norm in even nominally free countries.

The ratchet effect doesn't explain why limits on government, rule of law, and protections for liberty were eroding even before COVID-19 arrived on the scene. The ongoing, years-long decay of liberal democracies is a puzzle with which experts grappled before the pandemic and, no doubt, will debate after it has passed. But the environment in which they continue their discussions is likely to be less free and open as a result of the symptoms of long-haul "emergency" measures that the world just can't shake.

NEXT: D.C. Weddings Only Permitted If No One Stands or Dances

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  1. What is the specific endgame?

    1. Power. Unlimited power.

      1. Emperor Palpatine would approve.

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    3. All the economic ruin blamed on the virus is misdirection based on the assumption that the rulers forced only what the M.D.s advised. But, who allows the initiation of violence, threats thereof, i.e., edicts? The populace. And those who resist, who think for themselves, who ask for clarification that authority cannot give? They are ignored, or worse, cancelled. The consensus is manufactured by authority (MSM), enforced by authority, for authority. Authority loves to use its sovereignty over the populace to see how far the populace can be pushed, how much crap they will submit to before they reach their breaking point, and how that will be expressed. Some do it by riots. Some by suicide. Some by open defiance. Are they finally finding their dignity, their self respect, their confidence, their bravery? Do they realize the pandemic was a Pan-hoax? Do they realize that coercive govt. is not moral or practical? Do they want to reclaim their sovereignty and self-govern? How long will it take to make the American Dream manifest?

  2. The ratchet effect doesn’t explain why limits on government, rule of law, and protections for liberty were eroding even before COVID-19 arrived on the scene.

    No it doesn’t. But the whole covid debate does imo illustrate why the ratcheting has happened.

    Whatever the moves towards liberty over the last couple decades, they were always going to be undermined by some people just waiting for a golden opportunity. The golden opportunity being the proof that that liberty had no apparent purpose other than nihilistic petulance and public deceit. What’s the fucking point of that.

    there are plenty of countries that will get rid of the emergency over-reaction stuff. The US is not one of them.

    1. Courtesy of cowardly lefty shits like you.
      Stuff your PANIC flag up your ass, stick first.

      1. Who cares what you think.

        1. Apparently cowardly pieces of lefty shit do, cowardly piece of lefty shit.
          Stuff your PANIC flag up your ass, stick first, and sit on it.

      2. COVID has certainly exposed how much the left hates freedom and hates America. I’m still shocked at how many people are OK, even happy with all the shutdowns.

        1. I’m not surprised. These are the same people who view the government as a combination Santa Claus/parental substitute, and are genuinely baffled that there isn’t a taxpayer-funded program providing people with free toilet paper and an instruction manual on how to wipe their ass.

    2. Sweeden never implemented the emergency over-reaction stuff to begin with.

      1. From a freedom perspective, how Swede it is.

  3. Sure if you lived in a democrat blue state nightmare, you’ll notice who is not locked down and masked up and doing fine and it’s not democrats and their leaders.

    1. Exactly. I’m sick and tired of every talking head acting like the while country is California and NY. My state never locked down. Our restaurants have been open for a year. We have a low infection rate and days with no deaths.

      1. Same here. Even the schools have been open for a year. The people wearing masks do so voluntarily.

        1. Do you live in southern Idaho?

  4. There were plenty of folks who thought we ought to have had rioting in the streets March a year ago, when Newsom et al told us to go home and stay there, abetted by cowardly lefty shits like JFree, Tony and the lot. Instead we got what we have now.
    These folks are trying to do something about it:
    https://pacificlegal.org/
    But the power grabbers have long and sharp claws.

  5. “All animals experience fear—human beings, perhaps, most of all. Any animal incapable of fear would have been hard pressed to survive,” Higgs observed in 2005. “The people who have the effrontery to rule us, who call themselves our government, understand this basic fact of human nature. They exploit it, and they cultivate it.”

    “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

  6. Vote for fascists, get fascism.

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

    Who is John Galt?

    1. Term limits.

      1. The old crop will usher in the new crop.
        The old crop will become lobbyists and companies will pay them.
        The new crop will sell access/influence to the lobbyists.
        Repeat.

        Term limits are a slogan, not a strategy.

        1. You just described the rise of US military Generals perfectly. What would they do without a war?

      2. The problem isn’t the people in office, it’s the kind of people who seek office. That’s why libertarianism is hopeless. The kind of people who would implement libertarian policies are not the sort of people who seek to have power over others.

        1. I try to be an optimist but hard to argue with what you’re saying. The kind of people who seek power are control freak assholes like Gavin Newsom and Fauci who want to control every part of your day.

        2. It is hopeless because people like you are too intellectually lazy to understand differences in candidates and therefore will do nothing of actual consequence. You ranted for 2 years against a president who actually was mostly libertarian in action while ignoring the leftist ideology. You called this principles. As recent as last week you were still only openly attacking the right woth hyperbolic strawman, essentially ignoring Biden and the left. You call this principles.

          Youre what is wrong with libertarianism. You throw out small victories for phallic overtures. You hated mean tweets because the media told you too. You ignored open authoritarianism because the media told you to.

          Now you retreat to flaccid both sides refusing to acknowledge the consequences of your actions the last few years. Even now you won’t open attack the left despite them having the legislative and executive, still tilting at windmills on the right.

          1. Three paragraphs of personal attacks and strawmanning bullshit without a single word on the topic.

            Trolls gotta troll.

            1. sarcasmic
              May.3.2021 at 12:52 pm
              The problem isn’t the people in office, it’s the kind of people who seek office

              This is a comment about the kind of people that seek office. A comment about the kind of people that vote for them is off topic, if you’re a fucking hypocrite like sarc.

  7. Meanwhile, the TSA is extending the federal mask mandate for planes, trains, and busses, through mid-December.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/01/992703495/tsa-extends-mask-mandate-aboard-flights-through-summer-as-travel-increases

    Why the TSA has anything to do what people are allowed to do or not do once they pass the checkpoints is also somewhat of a mystery to me.

    1. Sorry, Mid-September.

    2. Without evidence that masks do any good against virus transmission.

      1. There is lots of evidence. You just can’t see it because reasons.

        1. Admittedly, he can’t see your trees for the forrest.

        2. You just can’t see it because reasons politics.

          Yep. It’s all politics. If people on the left say something then people on the right must oppose it. If a Democrat remarks that the sky is blue then Sevo will point out a cloud and then call the person a lying leftist fuckstick who needs to die a slow death. Masks, qualified immunity reform, convicting Floyd’s killer, you name it. All of these things must be opposed because of politics.

          1. The left would say the sky is the wrong blue hue and we need to spend trillions to change the tint.

            1. While the right would say it’s not blue and has never been blue, because they must disagree with the left on everything as a matter of principle.

              1. Are you even able to recognize the actions of the left in isolation?

                1. What’s the point of me answering? You’ll just tell me what I really think, no matter what I say. That’s all you ever do. You argue against things I never said while ignoring what I do say.

                  1. “What’s the point of me answering?…”

                    Maybe to recognize that
                    You.
                    Are.
                    Full.
                    Of.
                    Shit.

          2. What a fucking joke you are. The left continues to extend its abuse of freedoms under covid but you find a way to both about the right instead.

            1. Thank you for confirming my post.

          3. I’m not sure many or even any here support maintaining the QI status quo. I think most here are in agreement.

            There was debate regarding the Chauvin trial though the non-left were focusing on reasonable doubt in relation to the actual charges and in the context of Floyd having ingested a controlled substance. There were also charges of Chauvin not having received a fair trial due to jury intimidation. I think most here are in agreement that Chauvin was guilty of at least something.

            Masks? Yeah. That one folks disagree on for sure.

            Removing the first two and adding election fraud and the Capitol “insurrection” would have been more appropriate.

            1. I think most here are in agreement that Chauvin was guilty of at least something.

              Then you haven’t been paying attention. On the comments on articles about him, anyone saying he did something wrong was showered with hatred from the conservatives on this forum. Why? Because the people protesting and rioting were on the political left. That right there is proof to them that Chauvin was innocent.

              1. I didn’t follow every article but the ones that I did had a few outliers claiming full innocence. Maybe half were “guilty of everything” and the remaining 45% or so were “guilty of something.”

                1. We must have been looking at different articles. Because what I saw was conservatives attacking anyone who didn’t profess 100% innocence as being a need-to-die leftist.

                  1. I maintained the need for a fair trial, especially in the context of an angry mob and Waters’ comments, but also indicated that I thought he was guilty of at least one charge. I never got attacked by the right but the left did some hand waving regarding the jury intimidation issue. Maybe we were looking at different articles.

                    1. Also I’ve got a fan club that posts personal attacks on almost every post. I’ve said “Boo” and had a dozen people launch into tirades about how I’m a leftist who should commit suicide.

                      So it makes sense that responses to your posts would be different than responses to mine.

                    2. Don’t read your press, weigh it. Unless you are Tony. 🙂

                    3. “Also I’ve got a fan club that posts personal attacks on almost every post…”

                      Can’t spell “critics”? No great surprise from a bullshitter of your abilities.

              2. “Because the people protesting and rioting were on the political left.”
                Not true. The people protesting were the political left. The people rioting were just creatures of opportunity. They don’t care either way, they know that none of it will benefit them so they may as well get some new shoes and whatever Target has left before it is burned to the ground.

                1. Um, according to the majority of commenters here, there were no protests and there were no protesters. There were only riots and antifa rioters. Well, except for that peaceful demonstration at the Capital.

                  1. You deserve every bit of scorn heaped upon you, steaming pile of lefty shit.
                    And more.

                2. “The people rioting were just creatures of opportunity.”

                  No, that’s the people that were looting. The people rioting were the leftish anarchist morons. Practically speaking, these idiots were also creatures of opportunity using the political left for cover, just as the looters were using both of the political groups.

                  “They don’t care either way, they know that none of it will benefit them so they may as well get ” theirs.

                  This pretty much sums up the entire ghetto mindset.

        3. I believe there’s strong evidence that masks prevent transmission of COVID. But people should be allowed to make their own decisions about whether to wear a mask or get vaccinated.

          1. Where is this evidence? Every state that has rescinded its mask mandate this year has done better, and plenty of cities, states, and countries that mandated masks last year did worse. There is a website, rational ground, that tracks how places have done, and the data show that masks don’t make a difference. The virus is so small that it can penetrate even an N95 mask, so why does anyone think that earloop masks and pieces of cloth can stop transmission of the virus? Because politicians and the CDC said so?

          2. I don’t see the point in requiring vaccinated people to wear masks, potentially months after they’ve taken the shot(s). At the end of May here, it will have been over a month since the vaccines were made available to *everybody*.

            If someone has decided not to avail themselves of the vaccine at that point, they are taking that risk upon themselves. Just as those of us who chose to get the vaccine took that risk upon ourselves. At this point, everyone has had the opportunity to make their choice. The mask mandates need to go.

        4. See? YOU exhib it the fundamental problem – ignorance of reality.

          Over the past 100 years, there have been hundreds of CONTROLLED STUDIES on the effectiveness of masking to prevent-inhibit viral transmission. A few of those studies show a MAXIMUM effectiveness of about a 15% reduction, whereas the large majority find effectiveness to be far less – much nearer, in fact, to ZERO effectiveness.

          Essentially every physician learns this in med school (I did over 40 years ago). Even Fauci, when initially asked about it, stated accurately that there wasn’t much point to masking because he knew the scientific reality. A week or so later, he did a one-eighty – probably due to political pressure.

          But, the folks – YOU – aren’t aware of the science and blindly accept and obey the word of politicians, not realizing that all politicians do is LIE, LIE, LIE.

      2. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/article/PIIS2589-7500(20)30293-4/fulltext

        Favorite part: The widespread reported use of face masks combined with physical distancing increases the odds of SARS-CoV-2 transmission control. Self-reported mask-wearing increased separately from government mask mandates, suggesting that supplemental public health interventions are needed to maximise adoption and help to curb the ongoing epidemic.

        1. Why is the actual forced separation part always the afterthought of these studies and reduced transmission and it has to be the mask first and foremost? Too easy of an answer that people separated by distances don’t spread to each other? I don’t support that unless by self choice too though.

        2. Didn’t seem to stop that massive spike last fall after all those mask mandates had been put in place.

          1. That’s easily explained. It’s seasonal, like the cold and flu.

            1. That’s not an explanation. If the masks and distancing work as claimed, seasonality is irrelevant.

              1. The claim was reduction, not elimination, which can’t be measured because it’s a counterfactual. But saying a seasonal illness acting like a seasonal illness is proof that steps to curb the spread don’t work is asinine.

            2. If the masks don’t stop a seasonal spike in infections, they’re useless.

              1. If seatbelts don’t stop every automobile fatality then they’re useless.

                If sunscreen doesn’t prevent every case of skin cancer then it’s useless.

                If condoms aren’t 100% effective then they’re useless.

                1. Masks are more like St. Christopher medals than seatbelts and sunscreen.

                  1. I wear a mask because the cops around here will arrest you if you don’t.

                    I see the common sense argument in favor of masks. If you’re sick then the mask will prevent infectious saliva droplets from spreading into the air and infecting others. Sure, that makes sense.

                    Then comes the politics. The left likes masks, so the right must oppose them. So they move the goalposts to say masks don’t stop the virus. Well, they’re not supposed to. They’re supposed to stop saliva, so that counterargument isn’t even pretending to be honest. Then they’ll say the masks aren’t 100% effective, which means they’re 0% effective. Again moving the goalposts and being intentionally dishonest.

                    Even the science is political. You can find a study to confirm whatever political bias you might have.

                    There’s so much bullshit flying around that it’s impossible to find the truth, whatever it may be.

                    1. Then comes the politics. The left likes masks, so the right must oppose them.

                      Or, the right doesn’t like masks, so the left must advocate for masks forever.

                      So they move the goalposts to say masks don’t stop the virus. Well, they’re not supposed to. They’re supposed to stop saliva, so that counterargument isn’t even pretending to be honest.

                      The original argument, “The masks protect others from you!” is equally dishonest, then.

                      Then they’ll say the masks aren’t 100% effective, which means they’re 0% effective. Again moving the goalposts and being intentionally dishonest.

                      Except the masks didn’t prevent the fall spike from happening, which the Maskthulians assured us would be the case if “everyone masked up!” It’s also quite telling that you avoided the left’s own goalpost-shifting when they blamed “all those people who didn’t wear masks!” on the fall spike. When the religious talismans fail, the acolytes and high priests simply assume that a lack of faith was the problem, not the failure of their own religious beliefs.

                      If the masks won’t prevent seasonal spikes, then the whole logical framework behind mandating them is useless.

                    2. The original argument, “The masks protect others from you!” is equally dishonest, then.

                      Only if you see it as 100% vs 0%.

                      It’s also quite telling that you avoided the left’s own goalpost-shifting when they blamed “all those people who didn’t wear masks!” on the fall spike.

                      Why should I? I’m not defending that position. Quite the opposite. I’m saying that seasonal sicknesses are seasonal.

                      If the masks won’t prevent seasonal spikes, then the whole logical framework behind mandating them is useless.

                      Condoms aren’t 100% effective. By your logic that means they’re 0% effective.

                    3. Does handwashing prevent seasonal spikes of the cold and flu?
                      No.

                      Does that mean it has absolutely no effect on the transmission of the virus, so nobody needs to wash their hands?
                      According to your logic regarding masks, yes.

                    4. Only if you see it as 100% vs 0%.

                      Since it’s a dishonest framework to begin with, the dichotomy you present is beside the point.

                      Why should I? I’m not defending that position. Quite the opposite. I’m saying that seasonal sicknesses are seasonal.

                      Because you’re only focusing on blaming the right for bad-faith arguments.

                      Condoms aren’t 100% effective. By your logic that means they’re 0% effective.

                      Again with the strawman. The argument of the Maskthulians was that wearing masks would prevent community spread. That failed last fall, so they went to blaming anyone who didn’t wear masks for it.

                      Does that mean it has absolutely no effect on the transmission of the virus, so nobody needs to wash their hands?
                      According to your logic regarding masks, yes.

                      Funny, in the beginning, Fauci was saying that all people needed to do was wash their hands.

                      And pointing out that the masks failed to prevent a massive fall spike in cases, contra to what the Maskthulians were claiming, is empirical proof that their claims were false. That you have to frame it as a “100% vs 0%” dichotomy shows the dishonesty of your own position.

                    5. That you have to frame it as a “100% vs 0%” dichotomy shows the dishonesty of your own position.

                      My position? That seasonal illnesses are seasonal?

                    6. sarcasmic
                      May.3.2021 at 3:32 pm
                      “I wear a mask because the cops around here will arrest you if you don’t…”

                      Stay on your knees, lefty shit.

                    7. My position? That seasonal illnesses are seasonal?

                      No, your field of strawmen, you obtuse moron.

                2. Not useless, but it certainly undermines the argument that the government ought to compel their usage.

                  1. Well I’m not making that argument, so I don’t see why people keep asking me to defend it.

                3. Since the Maskthulians are arguing that vaccinated people need to continue wearing masks, that seems to support my argument more than yours.

                  1. I don’t know who you’re arguing with. It isn’t me. I never said masks are 100% effective, I’ve never said they should be mandatory, and I’ve certainly never said vaccinated people should wear them.

                    Let me know when you’re ready to argue against what I actually said. Though not today. I’m turning off the computer.

                    1. I don’t know who you’re arguing with. It isn’t me. I never said masks are 100% effective, I’ve never said they should be mandatory, and I’ve certainly never said vaccinated people should wear them.

                      Drop the victim complex. Did I ever accuse you of being a Maskthulian? No.

                      Let me know when you’re ready to argue against what I actually said. Though not today. I’m turning off the computer.

                      Get off the cross, because someone needs the wood. Lumber is expensive these days.

              2. Cite needed, moron.

                1. You’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.
                  I assume that’s sufficient for a second opinion, fucking lefty ignoramus.

                2. Pay your mortgage, fuckface.

                3. Just for you though, faggot, I’ll repost this. Maybe try reading something that doesn’t revolve around the adventures of teenage wizards:

                  All these measures failed 100 years ago, too, incidentally. You can read about it in monographs like “Butte and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,” , Kathleen Fargery’s 2019 study for the Army Center for Medical History (money quote: ” Despite
                  quarantines, sanitation efforts, and the isolation of patients, influenza and pneumonia affected hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Some Army installations and hospitals experienced outbreaks of severe influenza in spring of 1918, but the most deadly form of influenza arrived that fall, and was soon accompanied by pneumonia, and generally peaked in October.”), and in larger works like “Robert Speer’s Denver, 1904-1920,” by Phil Goodstein.

          2. More lack of evidence. Outside of bitching about how people freak out about GMOs You there in Team Red are terribly bad at being science-based

            https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext

            Transmission of viruses was lower with physical distancing of 1 m or more, compared with a distance of less than 1 m (n=10 736, pooled adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·18, 95% CI 0·09 to 0·38; risk difference [RD] −10·2%, 95% CI −11·5 to −7·5; moderate certainty); protection was increased as distance was lengthened (change in relative risk [RR] 2·02 per m; pinteraction=0·041; moderate certainty). Face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection (n=2647; aOR 0·15, 95% CI 0·07 to 0·34, RD −14·3%, −15·9 to −10·7; low certainty), with stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators compared with disposable surgical masks or similar (eg, reusable 12–16-layer cotton masks; pinteraction=0·090; posterior probability >95%, low certainty). Eye protection also was associated with less infection (n=3713; aOR 0·22, 95% CI 0·12 to 0·39, RD −10·6%, 95% CI −12·5 to −7·7; low certainty). Unadjusted studies and subgroup and sensitivity analyses showed similar findings.

            1. Doesn’t change the fact your magical mask talismas empirically failed to stop a massive spike in infections last fall.

              Sort of like you failing to pay your mortgage.

              1. Cold and flu cases spike in the fall as well.

                I wonder why…. could they be seasonal?

                1. Could the masks be useless at stopping these things?

                  1. Will QI reform solve every problem with policing? Of course not. Does that mean it shouldn’t even be considered? Again, of course not.

                    Same with masks. Are they 100% effective? Obviously not. Does that mean they’re completely useless? I don’t think so.

                    Should they be mandated by the government? Fuck off slaver.

                    1. If you don’t see how the claims of their efficacy went hand-in-hand with the mask mandates, I don’t know what else to tell you.

                      This was never based on science; if it was, Fauci would have taken a hard line on whether people should go out and get masks, and stuck to it. They based it off of what people did 100 years ago during the Spanish Flu, and learned absolutely jack-shit from that whole experience.

                    2. You’re arguing against a claim that masks are a magic bullet, which I never said.

                      Whatever.

                    3. You’re arguing against a claim that masks are a magic bullet, which I never said.

                      Whatever.

                      No, you moron. I’m pointing out the fallacies of the mask cult. It’s rather telling that you think this was about you. Get over yourself.

                  2. Clarke’s Third law.

                    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

                    Masks are hardly advanced technology. The article published in lancet is.

                    1. Sorry, I don’t take appeals to authority into account.

        3. Serial cross-sectional surveys were administered via a web platform to randomly surveyed US individuals aged 13 years and older, to query self-reports of face mask-wearing. Survey responses were combined with instantaneous reproductive number (Rt) estimates from two publicly available sources, the outcome of interest. Measures of physical distancing, community demographics, and other potential sources of confounding (from publicly available sources) were also assessed. We fitted multivariate logistic regression models to estimate the association between mask-wearing and community transmission control (Rt<1). Additionally, mask-wearing in 12 states was evaluated 2 weeks before and after statewide mandates.

          “Web survey data was correlated with transmission estimates from 12 states around the time of the mandate.” – Science!

        4. We showed that states with higher rates of mask-wearing had estimated instantaneous reproductive numbers that were lower than the crucial threshold needed to maintain disease transmission.

          It’s interesting to read a paper in 2021 claiming that mask mandates in the summer of 2020 worked. It would be interesting to see which 12 states they picked and how they faired after the narrow 2-week window the researchers chose in 2020.

      3. Except for hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals— many of them in the best in class journals— there’s just no evidence! Gravity is a lie! The Earth is flat! What kind of evidence is there for that!

        1. All that matters is politics. Look up the voter registration of the scientists involved. If they’re Democrats (which they most likely are) then the study is shit. If they’re Republicans (which is doubtful because conservatives don’t believe in that leftist bullshit) then the study is worth consideration.

          In the end though, politics is the final determining factor.

        2. Except for hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed journals

          “Except for the dozens of articles that came out after April 2020 when mask-wearing was deemed essential by the powers that be, rather than the 70-plus years prior to that date.”

          All these measures failed 100 years ago, too, incidentally. You can read about it in monographs like “Butte and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic,” , Kathleen Fargery’s 2019 study for the Army Center for Medical History (money quote: ” Despite
          quarantines, sanitation efforts, and the isolation of patients, influenza and pneumonia affected hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Some Army installations and hospitals experienced outbreaks of severe influenza in spring of 1918, but the most deadly form of influenza arrived that fall, and was soon accompanied by pneumonia, and generally peaked in October.”), and in larger works like “Robert Speer’s Denver, 1904-1920,” by Phil Goodstein.

          Of course, our Best and Brightest saw what people did 100 years ago, forget that about 600,000 Americans died from it, and thought, “Hey, we’ll just do what they did, but harder!” Oops, same result!

          1. Part of me thinks the masks (and the culture behind it such as custom masks and folks making them at home for others) was more Hadrian’s Wall and less public health protection.

  8. Just watch TV news or TV series – the constant theme is that if there is a problem, someone should do something. The only agent trusted to do something is government, especially government led by Democrats, who as a whole, can do no wrong.
    Global warming, COVID-19, income inequality, racial equity, MLB, you name it – they are all an example of a solution in search of a problem. That solution is ever more government.

  9. The GOP is scanning ballots in Arizona with UV lights to see if Trump put watermarks on fraudulent ballots and its leading candidate for governor is a man who decided to cut off his duck and grow a vagina. I’m telling you, you guys in the GOP are getting weirder and weirder. I mean, I usually am for letting it all hang out, but come on Team Red pull that shit back a little, ok?

    1. Tony’s gotta Tony.

    2. Jenner hasn’t had transition surgery. You lie like a Democrat.

      1. So she still has the balls to go through with the surgery but doesn’t have the balls to actually do it.

  10. >>”Crises have always granted reformist policymakers powers to bypass legislative gridlock and entrenched interests,” exulted Cornell University historian Nicholas Mulder last March.

    Rahm Emmanuel on line 2 …

  11. Wait a minute – Are you telling me that authoritarian politicians and bureaucrats, hell bent on getting and keeping power, aren’t likely to let this power go?

    When the hell did this happen?

    1. Mmm 12,000 years ago?

    2. “When the hell did this happen?”

      When you were virtually a prisoner in your own house, denied permission to have visitors, had to wear a mask if you dared to go outside to mow your lawn, and subjected to too much CNN?

    3. Phailing Phil Murphy is among the worst of them. We both know that.

      1. Cuomo gave him permission to remove most crowd requirements on May 19th. Seriously. It’s the NY Governor’s decision.

        Fuck Phil Murphy.

        1. More than nearly anything, I’d like to sue that bastard and deprive him of his Italian Villa he likes so much. His utter incompetence killed thousands.

  12. Medicine -2019: cure the sick. Medicine 2020- : punish the healthy

  13. Finished watching Utopia UK.

    Definitely doesn’t make me want the vaccine.

    1. no kidding. and loved the series wish there was a followup

      1. There won’t be. It’s too close to current events.

        1. [because it’s true]

  14. We need to have the threshold for emergency powers clarified BY LAW. Now that the left has seen how easy it is to put temporary and even permanent “emergency” measures in place this will be a big part of their playbook. Wait for a slew of “emergency” measures due to the “climate change” and “social justice” “emergencies”.

    1. We do, it’s called the constitution. It clearly states that every federal covid measure was a violation of the 10th amendment because the federal government has no authority over public health whatsoever. Any limitations on gatherings or curfews are a clear violation of the 1st amendment right to assembly. State and local governments clearly violated the 14th amendment guarantee of liberty on policies such as government closures of “non-essential” businesses. As did the federal government (along with the 5th amendment takings clause) depriving landlords of their property without due process with the eviction moratoriums which are de facto government expropriation of housing units. The problem is the constitution isn’t remotely followed anymore.

      1. Want to know how to get on an FBI watchlist? Say the government should respect limitations put upon it by the Constitution. Say you expect public officials to respect their oath to protect and uphold the document. Do that and you’re now a dangerous extremist who wants to topple the entire government, being that most of what it does is in complete violation of that pesky piece of parchment.

        1. The Constitution has nothing to do with freedom but was an oppressive document implemented by priveldged white men. Thank goodness that now people are woke and they are free to reject the Constitution and bow down to their Democratic masters.

      2. The courts have traditionally given government pretty broad powers during emergencies. The unofficial interpretation seems be that the government (say a state Governor) can declare an emergency whenever he/she wants and make whatever “temporary” rules he/she wants during the “emergency”. Yeah eventually a lot of stuff gets overturned by the courts but that is a very slow process. There should be some checks and balances BY LAW, e.g. no “temporary” emergency rule should last for more than 7 days (or some pretty short limit) without approval from the legislature. In CA Governor Newsom has been acting like a king who can do whatever he wants. Yes eventually the courts are overturning a lot of his rules but that legal process can take years.

  15. “The ratchet effect doesn’t explain why limits on government, rule of law, and protections for liberty were eroding even before COVID-19 arrived on the scene.”

    Sure it does. Real, significant crises like a global pandemic are few and far between, but there are always smaller “crises” to inflate while the powers that be wait for the big one. Smaller crises don’t result is a major clamp down. They do allow gradual tightening of the ratchet, one little click at a time, but the end result is the same: individual liberty eroded. The smaller crises and gradual tightening actually condition people to accept the big clamp down during and after a major crisis. People have already willingly given up freedoms and accepted intrusive government in order to be saved from drugs and child sex trafficking, so they’re more than willing to give up some more to be saved from a pandemic.

    The thing all three have in common, though, is none of them are crises that are likely to have any significant impact on regular, middle class people in general decent health, who have stable jobs and live in the burbs. But, since the government DID SOMETHING and they weren’t killed by drug gangs or sex trafficked or die of the wu flu, obviously the government saved them.

    Then, next time, it’ll be even easier to convince them they need to be saved again.

    1. People have already willingly given up freedoms and accepted intrusive government in order to be saved from drugs and child sex trafficking, so they’re more than willing to give up some more to be saved from a pandemic.

      Hell, it happens every time we go to the airport. Something that was considered highly intrusive and unnecessary by the left when Chimpy McBushitler was in charge, suddenly changed in to “shut up and be scanned” when the Democrats took over.

      Not to mention all the surveillance programs that actually increased on Obama’s watch, which came out after Snowden embarrassed him on a global scale.

      1. There are now entire generations of Americans who don’t remember airports without the TSA. For them, it’s completely normal. They don’t remember schools without cops. We’ve convinced them that life is terrifying and they’re always in danger, and also that they’re always under the watchful eye of the state.

        This is why it’s so easy to get them to comply with the covid bullshit. They’ve grown up with it their entire lives, and would be terrified without it.

        1. It’s also why Gen-Zers in particular think that there’s no problem that can’t be solved by some government program and MOAR FREE SHIT.

  16. It’s over people.
    There never was an emergency, never was justification.
    But you still have pussies saying that everyone should do what the government says, but it shouldn’t be mandated.
    If something is important to you, you’ll have to fight for it.

    1. I am so sick of the bullshit around the manipulation of the news and numbers. The CDC numbers since March 2020 have consistently been the same: 80% of deaths are people 65 and up. And all reports I’ve seen indicate most deaths are people who had bad medical problems or were obese–particularly the young people.

      Today’s numbers per the CDC: 557,486 total deaths “involving” COVID, and 447,310 are people 65+. Almost exactly 80% Up to age 18, a mere 277 deaths. This is not a story the national media ever told, because it didn’t allow them to advance their controlling agenda.

  17. Geez, people, quit whining. Over half a million Americans dead of COVID, other countries having to shut down yet again, our economy just now beginning to recover.
    Wear your masks, get vaccinated, obey the laws and directives, and we will get through this. Acting like spoiled brats, like some people are doing, will just give us the situation that India is in now.
    Grow up.

    1. Blindly obeying laws and directives is a fool’s errand and gets people killed, like those suckers in NY nursing homes who did what they were told.

      There have been plenty of laws & directives issued around COVID that had nothing to do with the science. Even Fauci “changed his mind” about mask wearing. Who to believe? A bunch of lying sack of shit politicians & politically motivated people? Cuomo doesn’t even feel one pinge of remorse for those people he helped kill, and will likely get off scott free for trying to cover it up.

      Get vaccinated, yes. Wear masks? Not if you’ve been vaccinated, and not if you’re outdoors, and not if you’re 3 feet apart.

      You’re wrong otherwise. Speak up. Challenge laws and directives that (a) don’t follow the facts and (b) don’t adapt as the facts change.

      (Models aren’t facts, by the way.)

      1. In fact, by your very willingness to acquiesce to whatever bullshit orders your government issues (backed with the threat of violence), you’re the very problem. People like you, sir, are the ones who need to grow up and accept your responsibility for the death of those NY nursing home residents.

        Voting is violence; democracy is violence. Some of the blame for the deaths is yours.

    2. “Wear your masks, get vaccinated, obey the laws and directives, and we will get through this. Acting like spoiled brats, like some people are doing, will just give us the situation that India is in now….”

      Stay on your knees, lefty shit. Maybe one day they’ll let you get up for a minute or two.
      But why should they? Obedient lefty assholes like you make it easy for them to assume the rest of us don’t have balls either, spineless piece of lefty shit.

  18. “deteriorating conditions under authoritarian regimes and democracies alike”

    These are not mutually exclusive things. A large number of citizens have democratically voted in authoritarianism by choice, and a significant number of those as part of a long-term set of Marxist ideals. (These people hate individualism.) Things like COVID only accelerate the deterioration.

    Democracy as primary interest sucks ass. We have easily hit that “long train of abuses and usurpations,” and the majority are too stupid to care anymore.

  19. Orange Man Bad. Vote for Biden for Open Borders and No Liberty. Success!

  20. What COVID has re-affirmed for me is that I can only control what I do, and try to influence those closest to me. As far as getting anyone in power to listen or care- fuck it!

  21. In other news, the Pope is Catholic and bears defecate in the woods.

  22. The 8 year old G daughter has it now. Confirmed. She will be ok. Just that she will miss yet more school and activities for a few weeks. Her younger brother as well.

    Thankfully the adults here are all vaccinated. We cancelled the planned Mother’s Day celebration brunch in an actual restaurant. Their aunt was planning to travel from Texas to be with the family for the first time. That is on hold by her choice.

    I do not care what the government says. Human cost can be measured by time. Time lost and things that did not happen.

  23. This is really problem ,But why should they? Obedient lefty assholes like you make it easy for them to assume the rest of us don’t have balls either, spineless piece of lefty shit.
    https://wapexclusive.com/jehovah-overdo/

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