Instead of uniting us, in my opinion our elected leaders have continually been devising new ways to divide us. Some of you may be wondering what I mean by that provocative statement. Read on, and I will explain.
Historically, leaders, and not just those currently in the US, have always realized that the way to maintain their power and control over the masses is to divide the people. Thus, at various times the ruling class has successfully pitted, for example, the haves against the have nots, Protestants against Catholics, both of them against Jews, liberals against conservatives, and the latest, “red” states vs “blue” states. The theory is that if different groups are in conflict with each other they are less likely to question who is to blame for the current calamities, whatever they may be. They are less likely to unite against the ruling class. This has been true whether the rulers were kings, despots, or elected leaders. Very often, the vast majority are so busy dealing with their daily lives they fail to notice what is occurring. History is full of such examples, from the European royalty of the Middle Ages through the 19th century, to the 20th century despots in Russia and Germany, to the current crop of incompetents in the USA. If you doubt me, feel free to research the history yourself.
In my view, the COVID pandemic has provided the perfect opportunity for the ruling class to exert and consolidate its power and control over our daily lives. Yes, COVID is a deadly disease. Yes, its has killed millions worldwide. I get that. Everyone gets that. But, the question is what freedoms and rights have we and will we continue to give up to combat it, and is it necessary to do so? How many of you stayed in your homes, avoided social contacts, made financial sacrifices, or not seen your kids or grandkids because you were scared to do so? Was it worth it? Was it necessary, or was it overkill? Everyone has to decide the answer to that for himself. Personally, I think not. I believe one cannot live one’s life in fear.
There are many examples that illustrate my contention, but for the sake of brevity I will cite only two.
Mask mandate –
For some 20 months I have sat back and watched and listened to the “experts” bloviate with respect to the positives and negatives of wearing masks. Everyone intones “follow the science,” and yet many of our political leaders and medical spokespersons do not. Instead, they choose to follow the politics. Politicians have been imposing draconian policies on the general public, which are not always based on science and which they don’t always follow personally. Their motto is “rules for thee but not for me.” Examples abound. Earlier this year during the lockdown CA Governor Gavin Newsome and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot were photographed eating in restaurants without a mask in violation of their own mask mandates. Nancy Pelosi and Lightfoot had their hair done when the rest of us could not do so. Pelosi has actually threatened to have any congressman who does not wear a mask in the House chamber arrested. More recently, San Francisco Mayor London Breed was caught dancing and singing in a club without a mask. Was she apologetic? No. Was she contrite”? No. Instead, she defended her actions, saying she was “feeling the spirit,” whatever that means. Then, she doubled down by criticizing the “fun police” for reporting on her.
According to WHO contrary to popular belief a mask alone does not provide sufficient protection against the virus, particularly the Delta variant. Therefore, those who assume it does are operating under a false sense of security. Furthermore, not all masks are equal. For example, how many people have you seen wearing a bandanna as their “mask?” How many people fail to clean and disinfect their mask regularly? How many people have you observed wearing a mask over their mouth but not their nose. How does that help? How about people who wear a mask while driving? Alone? What’s that all about? How many people have you observed wearing a mask while exercising? WHO advises not to do so as it impairs one’s ability to breath properly.
Vaccines – [Full disclosure: I have had two vaccines plus the booster, but I have put aside my personal opinions regarding the vaccine for purposes of this blog.]
Before the 2020 presidential election both Biden and Harris cautioned the public that the “Trump vaccine” was dangerous, unproven, and not to be trusted. Forget the fact that the vaccines were being developed by pharmaceutical companies that did this for a living, who clearly knew what they were doing and were taking every precaution. They made it seem as if Trump were concocting a witches’ brew in a cauldron in secret in his basement. It was Trump, and all things Trump were bad and not to be trusted. Once they got elected, however, the mantra changed. Now, vaccines are good, everyone eligible must take them. Those who don’t for whatever reason are “unpatriotic,” “selfish,” and endangering the rest of us. They should be banned from working, going out, traveling, and breathing the air.
Naturally, the media has “eaten this up.” The media loves a controversy. We now have a new division in this country – the vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated, and the media has seized every opportunity to exacerbate it. The media blows up every incident without knowing the facts. The latest example is the Carmine’s Restaurant episode of a few days ago. You all know the story. The hostess asked a group pf patrons to show proof of vaccination to eat inside as she is required to do by NYC law. The next thing we know, the group assaulted her. They claim the hostess uttered a racial slur, but as I write this we don’t know if she did or not, and if so what she said. There is no audio. The matter is under investigation. The point is, this is a perfect storm for the media – COVID and race combined. The media is off to the races. Facts don’t seem to matter.
The vaccinated are blaming the unvaccinated for prolonging the pandemic and endangering the vaccinated. Meanwhile, many of the unvaccinated have what they perceive as legitimate concerns and resent being told what they must do. As far as I know, this is still America, or did we all fall asleep and wake up in Soviet Russia circa 1930. Emotion and fallacy have overtaken reason and facts.
Meanwhile, according to the CDC and many other reputable outlets the vaccinated have a much lower risk of infection, even from the much-feared Delta variant. Moreover, according to a recent study published by Forbes the fully vaccinated are only half as likely to catch COVID if they have been exposed to an infected person, and they are less likely to die from it. These are known as “vaccine breakthrough cases.” They have been few and far between, but they have been disproportionally publicized by the media.
On the other hand, the primary concern of the unvaccinated, its affect on fertility, appears to be groundless. The CDC has stated there is “no current evidence” that any vaccine, including COVID would cause fertility problems. Of course, evidence could turn up years from now, so I can understand why a young, healthy woman who wants children would have reservations. Does anyone remember the thalidomide scandal? Briefly, in the 1950s and 1960s the drug, thalidomide, was commonly prescribed for nausea in pregnant women. Later it was determined that the drug caused severe birth defects in many babies.
The medical experts have been wrong continually from the beginning. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical “expert,” has flip-flopped on the mask issue and other aspects of the coronavirus daily (or so it seems). At this point his credibility is “shot.” He isn’t the only one. Most media outlets have repeatedly trotted out “experts” who are not doctors, don’t have the foggiest notion of what they are talking about, but who feel free to give authoritative advice to the rest of us.
The average person is confused and no wonder. The messaging seems to change daily. Wear a mask; don’t wear a mask. You don’t need a mask if you are fully vaccinated. Yes, you do because you might infect those who are not. In fact, wear a double mask. Wear a mask outside. Wear one inside as well, even inside your house. Businesses such as hospitals and restaurants should require all employees to mask up. No, they shouldn’t. Close the schools to in-person classes. No, don’t do that. It is damaging to the kids in various ways. Do all who recover from COVID retain antibodies? Yes/no/maybe. If so, how long do they last? Do we need booster shots periodically? No one really knows, but many act as if they do.
Require your employees to wear a mask. No, you don’t have to do that. Is it even legal? Require everyone to be vaccinated. No, you can’t do that. This is America. We have freedom of choice, and some people have valid reasons for eschewing the vaccines.
The bottom line is this is not a “one size fits all” situation. The best advice is to consult your doctor who is familiar with your medical situation, and follow his or her advice.
Are you thoroughly confused yet? You should be. What should we do? Everyone has an opinion, but no one really knows. Repeat: EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION, BUT NO ONE REALLY KNOWS. Based on my observations people’s opinions are based, in large part, on their news source and political leanings.
As I said above, these aforementioned mask mandates and other restrictions are not about the health of Americans, not even about combatting the virus. Yes, it dangerous. Yes, it kills people, especially the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems and those in generally poor health. Yes, we need to take it seriously. That said, the mask mandate and other safety measures are not about all that. Not really. What are they about? Power and control. That’s P O W E R and C O N T R O L.
Why do I say that? Simple. Despite all the talk about the dangers of the virus and its capacity to spread and kill, our fearless leaders adamantly continue to keep our southern border open to anyone and everyone. That makes absolutely no sense. Migrants have been pouring across every day. Many of them have come from countries with high infection rates and they are NOT tested for COVID. To be clear, the Administration demands Americans wear a mask and be vaccinated, but migrants do not have to be. How does that make any sense. The visuals shown on tv are incomprehensible. It makes me ill just to look at it.
In summary, I have concluded;
1. COVID has provided our elected officials with the opportunity to exert control over how we live, how we earn a living, how we worship, and how we educate our kids, among other things. Think about it. These restrictions would have been unacceptable and unthinkable two years ago.
2. Once again, the media has failed to do its job. Instead of investigating they have been enabling.
3. Fear of COVID has caused us to surrender many of our liberties and freedoms little by little under the guise of protecting us from an existential threat. Some changes have been radical, while others have been so imperceptible as to be barely noticed. None of them will be beneficial to our traditional way of life. We are literally witnessing the remaking of America.
4. In particular, the Administration has frequently gone out of its way to criticize the COVID policies of “Red State” governors, notably Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott. Here is where the politics come in. DeSantis is seen as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2024. The Dems desperately want to discredit Abbott and turn Texas “blue.” At the moment, COVID cases are up in both states likely due to Biden’s open border policy. Recently, Pew Research has reported that there were 200,000 border “encounters” in July, which is a 21 year high. Furthermore, most of us have seen video of the 12,000 or so Haitians living in squalor under a bridge on the border. Eventually, most of these people will have to be absorbed into the US somewhere, maybe in your neighborhood.
5. By pitting the vaccinated against the unvaccinated the ruling class has successfully diverted our attention from the other problems facing us, such as the economy, crime, energy independence, leaving hundreds of American citizens and green card holders behind in Afghanistan to be tortured and murdered, and our deteriorating relationships with our allies.
5. The virus has become a political football. We have been induced to cede much control over our lives to people who don’t have the foggiest notion of what they are doing. In many cases, they are literally making it up as they go.
Remember, politicians have many faults, but they are really, really good at two things: getting elected and getting re-elected.