AP featured image
Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, science teachers Ann Darby, left, and Rosa Herrera check-in students before a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Wylie, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

 

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.”

St. Antony the Great

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Monday was a milestone in the battle against the media’s despicable, 5-month, unrelenting campaign of COVID-19 gaslighting.

During a White House press conference, President Trump insisted on two crucial facts about which the American public has been gravely misled.

First, he corrected an enormous misconception that’s been disgracefully encouraged by Fauci and his media enablers:

Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future. They just don’t. It comes back, many times it comes back. The purpose of a lockdown is to buy time to build capacity, especially with respect to hospitals, learn more about the disease and develop effective treatments as we did in the United States.

Exactly so.

I’ve been trying for months to get people to understand that lockdowns were never intended to decrease the number of people ultimately infected. The point was always just slowing down the rate of infection to prevent more new cases from occurring on any single day than our hospitals can handle, not preventing anyone from eventually getting sick.

But the misconception is so entrenched that, regardless of how much proof they’re given, many have acquired an unshakeable faith in the magical power of lockdowns.

Hopefully, Trump’s remark will change that.

As I pointed out in my May column on this and other dangerous lockdown-lies:

“If you look closely at all those explanations we were given of what “social distancing” is supposed to accomplish, you’ll see that great care was always taken never to claim that fewer people will contract COVID-19.”

That’s because social distancing can’t decrease the number of infections. Nothing short of developing an effective vaccine can.

Just as the president’s remarks suggest, social distancing, at best, slows down the rate at which the COVID-19 virus spreads without decreasing the number of people who will ultimately get sick.

For the virus to go away, enough of us have to become immune to deprive it of a sufficient number of carriers to reach the rest. Until that threshold for herd immunity is reached, the COVID-19 virus isn’t going away.

And neither lockdowns nor any other measures designed to slow down the rate at which it spreads do anything to lower its threshold for herd immunity.

In far too many cases, those pushing for lockdowns encouraged the false belief that we were going to lower the number of people ultimately contracting COVID-19 by failing to explicitly acknowledge that the point was, instead, only to get “the same large number of patients arriv[ing] at the hospital at a slower rate. [emphasis here and below mine]

That quote is from Dr. Lisa Maragakis, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Other proponents of “flattening the curve” have also backed up Trump’s claim about the purpose of lockdowns:

  • Here’s the Center for Global Development’s resident expert on global outbreak preparedness, Jeremy Konyndyk, in the middle of a long techno-rant urging us to flatten the curve, but, nonetheless, admitting we’ll wind up with the “same number of cases.”
  • Here’s a Washington Post ode to the beneficent wonders of social distancing, informing us with surprising and commendable honesty that “the reason [to engage in social distancing] isn’t that it will stop the virus; it’s likely the same number of people will ultimately still get sick.”
  • Here’s infectious disease specialist Cherise Rohr-Allegrini trying to prepare us for the effort flattening the curve will require, but noting that the point isn’t to lower the number of infections but instead to “spread that same number of cases over a longer period of time.”

President Trump also corrected the false idea the media’s been despicably peddling that COVID-19 is a mortal threat to young and healthy Americans.

The average age of those who succumb to the virus is 78 years old. That’s the average age.

The median age of U.S. fatalities is even slightly higher at 80 years old.

In fact, of the 10 countries where data on COVID-19’s median fatality age is available, there isn’t a single one in which it’s less than 80. In Sweden, whose leaders decided against locking down, the median fatality age is 86.

The relentless state of fear most Americans have been driven into is completely unjustified. We have a ton of data now proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that COVID-19 is no more deadly and, indeed, likely less deadly to the young and healthy than the seasonal flu.

In fact, even COVID-19’s high U.S. death rate among the elderly is largely a result of the inexplicable decision by several Democratic governors to force infected patients into nursing homes.

If you remove just six states with extraordinarily high nursing home deaths from the data, COVID-19 never even reached the CDC’s threshold for an epidemic. [The CDC defines an epidemic in terms of fatalities rather than, as one might expect, cases.]

I have no idea what Andrew Cuomo and other Democrats who forced the virus into nursing homes could have possibly thought they were doing. But what they, in fact, did do is help drive COVID-19 fatalities above the CDC’s threshold for an epidemic and, hence, create the justification necessary for all the draconian measures that were inflicted on us.

Perhaps it’s time that the DOJ investigated what those Democrat governors were thinking when they forced patients infected with a virus that’s only deadly to the old and sick into nursing homes.

Putting that most interesting of questions aside and returning to Trump’s remarks, it must be said that the president did go on to reinforce the very misconceptions he exposed by urging “all Americans to continue to socially distance… [and] wear a mask.”

Lockdowns are just a means to enforce extreme social distancing. The reason Trump is right that they do nothing to decrease the number of people that ultimately wind up getting sick is that social distancing doesn’t.

Slowing down the rate at which the virus spreads has no effect on the number of people it has to infect for us to reach herd immunity. So the president’s remarks about lockdowns apply to the other measures he went on to insist we follow as well.

His caution that we need to “protect the elderly,” on the other hand, is exactly right. But there’s no need for the bizarre spectacle of our supermarket isles full of shoppers wearing surgical masks and people at the registers lining up six feet apart.

Besides only increasing the amount of time we have to deal with COVID-19, keeping our distance from one another and wearing masks – assuming they’re even effective – only sustains the idea that we need to fear COVID-19 any more than the flu, feeds the unjustified state of mass panic that’s caused way more harm than the virus, and delays our return to sane, normal living.

And that’s the most important thing we need to do. Start living a normal human life free of constant fear and panic again.

The president’s dire insistence about social distancing and wearing masks contradict his earlier statements dispelling two of the biggest lies about COVID-19 the media has peddled and only serve to delay finally putting an end to the epidemic of madness that’s infected us these past five months.

The most important task we face is recovering our senses.

 

Michael Thau
Just making sure everyone's awake.
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