Oh COVID, What Have We Done? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Oh COVID, What Have We Done?
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“Everyone’s gone crazy,” said the mom standing next to me taking homecoming pictures of our kids. “I don’t know of it’s COVID, or anger at their home situation…”

“Maybe it’s their time of social isolation,” I put in.

“Maybe,” she said. “Whatever the reason, these kids need Jesus.”

We were discussing how in the first nine weeks of the school year, there had been 11 fights by freshmen at the high school. This came up because I had seen various news reports saying that violence in schools had escalated exponentially. Surely, that couldn’t be happening at our high school. Surely, it could be and has been. In a normal school year, there are three fights all year. This year, they’re breaking out more than once a week.

What have we done? What tear in the soul was created by pulling on this COVID thread and yanking? In the fear fever, I don’t think anyone quite knows what the long-term social outcomes will be from the aggressive reactions by states to this virus. There are so many small ways humans knit together physically, spiritually, and emotionally. And there are just as many subtle ways for a person to become undone. Many people have become undone in the last two years.

For the adults, their reaction to an Act of Satan type of event has been to attempt to control everything within their purview. I’m reminded of a college friend who sat in frozen stupor after an earthquake. He was one of those in-control guys and we had to guide him like a child to sit because he stood, unmoving, mouth agape, in shock. Another friend continued to work, vacuuming under a chandelier, acting as though nothing was happening. “We have to move. It’s not safe.” In the aftermath of the Great Freeze here in Texas, a friend was nearly reduced to tears at the memory of being helpless. He is a prepper and couldn’t start his generator. The ignition was frozen. (There was a simple solution, as it turned out, but the internet was down and he didn’t know it.)

How do people react to these stressors? Shock. Then, fear. Then, anger. Then, control what can be controlled. With the pandemic, a sensible two weeks to take stock turned into a nightmare of years of arcane and worthless rules. Masking didn’t work. It doesn’t work. And no one wants to let it go because now the vaccines aren’t working or aren’t working as well as billed. So masks stay because it’s something — like the TSA is something after a terrorist attack. Pretty much worthless but it’s something to make people feel secure.

People don’t understand the data or how to calculate risk. A man is losing his right to visit his 3-year-old because he won’t get vaccinated. Never mind that no healthy 3-year-old child in America has died of COVID. That’s right, zero. Never mind that the man had COVID and has more robust immunity than from the vaccine.

This isn’t an argument against the vaccine, by the way. For a certain age group, it’s vital, especially for those at risk because of a concomitant condition. But this sort of nuance is lost in the terror. People have forgotten rationality and that has lead to the shutdowns and vaccine mandates and more job losses and more fear which produces anger. And then there is the glee when an ideological enemy dies or gets sick or loses his job.

We are in a vulgar and bleak place. We’re seeing the ugliness of Salem Witch Trials and Maoistic vengeance against perceived enemies. After these two years, it’s not unimaginable how Hutus and Tutsis butchered one another. Men are inhumane to one another. Keeping people away from church and apart from God has had predictable consequences.

***

On Thursday of last week, I was out in D.C. for The American Spectator‘s annual Bartley Gala. It was a homecoming all its own. Wlady Pleszczynski‘s grandbaby Bobo was there! I had the pleasure of rubbing his furry little noggin. There were hugs from old friends and hugs from new friends. It was a pleasure to talk and laugh and be together. The band played and young people danced. The bartenders were friendly. The staff seemed eager to serve and thrilled to have people around. It’s been a bleak couple of years.

Back at my son’s homecoming, kids stayed to the end. This is new. Five years ago, the trend was for high schoolers to get dolled up, drop by the dance, and then go be cool at someone’s house. Juniors and seniors might not even show up to the homecoming ball. The dance was for the youngsters, not the jaded high school veterans. This year was different. Nearly every kid was there and the firsthand reports are that even the nerds danced. The DJ stayed late and the kids boogied. “It was like a club!” The teens had been cooped up and alone, but no more. They were filled with effervescent joy and wanted to be together. My son came home sweaty, tired, and jabbered into the wee hours about this or that piece of gossip and the various songs played. “Even Footloose!”

God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God, please meet Anthony Fauci. He has better ideas.

The absurdities of this world Fauci has made are endless. In the D.C. hotel where we hosted the gala, one was supposed to wear a mask from hither to thither but the breakfast area and bar are in the lobby and it’s pointless attempting to impose the rules. Is someone about to eat a muffin? Take a drink? And yet, two feet away a person sans glass or morsel must mask? And who is going to police this nonsense?

This weekend, the president and his teacher wife walked to their dining table without a mask. That’s against the rules in the city. The mayor has decreed it. President Biden has made his reputation as being Sir COVID, High Commander of Inane and Arbitrary Orders, and here he was not following them. It’s good to be the king.

Also, Biden doesn’t believe his own bullshit. This is true of all the Democrat leaders going maskless to get their hair died or to fundraise or to hob-knob with the hoi oligoi. Being part of the ruling class is meaningless if it doesn’t translate into being able to remove one’s mask at will. Dinner with Gov. Newsom or Barack Obama’s birthday bash? Privilege comes with power. One privilege: being magically immune to COVID-19 and not needing a mask.

This obscene rules for thee has had devastating consequences for society at large. The most vulnerable children, for example, who come from stressed homes must feel betrayed by those who kept them trapped, abandoned, and left to rot. They come back to school with pent-up rage and two years fewer of social skill development and educational knowledge. It has been toxic.

In society writ large, crime increased. But this is not a general increase. It seems that senseless barbarity has spiked. People are being pushed into oncoming subways. People are lighting Jewish schools on fire. People locking their children in closets and letting them starve. The lack of interaction and accountability and the lack of jobs and school and meaningful daily tasks made for insanity.

Now, people are being fired for not getting vaccinated. Add forced joblessness which will stress the few remaining in jobs and exacerbate the worker shortage and harm those who want to work. As Dave Chappelle says in his latest special, to deprive someone of his job is to deprive him of his life.

Deprivation, division, and destruction seem to be the goal of America’s leaders.

If humans want babies to die, they leave them alone. If humans want to torture a prisoner, they leave them alone. Solitude with no known end makes people crazy. That is what our malevolent elite have done to our country while they enjoyed a long vacation. Then, on the down-low, they went back to their normal lives a year ago.

Like taxes and business regulations, the rich and powerful found ways around COVID restrictions. They’d manage to obtain rapid tests for everyone at their parties. They’d go to islands or yachts where no one could see them and no one could tell them what to do. They’d put their children in private schools that continued or paid for tutors. For the ruling class, COVID was a net positive. They got richer. They relaxed more. They traveled less.

The elite in government have tormented the poor, working, and middle classes with regulations they know don’t work and they themselves don’t follow. They’ve used the pandemic for their personal gain and created an environment of fear and division and loathing of our fellow man.

This weekend, there were two homecomings and two events filled with joy and human connection. Interaction is a necessary part of being human. The whole country must open up with no mandates and no restrictions now. This cannot continue. It’s killing America and we don’t even know a fraction of the damage yet.

After World War II, the Brits did a study on the forced separation of children from parents. The results were clear: children who were sent away suffered terrible stress and experienced long-term psychological damage. It was better for children to be in bomb shelters with their parents in London than physically safe in the countryside. I suspect that we’ll find out some day that these shutdowns have done irreparable damage to children and that we’ll look back and realize that we sacrificed the most vulnerable to protect those who have lived full lives and find out that we protected no one.

What have we done? I say “we” because the average American has put up with an astonishing amount of insanity, and helped it along. Lead by fear-consumed Boomers and women from the suburbs seeking an absolute safety that doesn’t exist, Americans have tolerated and submitted. They’ve scorned their freedom to such an extent they’ve forgotten what freedom feels like. In fact, too many have enjoyed seeing their fellow man suffer. Their sadism extends now to forcing people to get a medical procedure they don’t want. The number of people exulting over their fellow citizens being financially ruined because they won’t get a vaccine is disgusting. The callous disregard for the misery of others is, well, at this point, expected.

Biden said on Friday that we can’t go back to the way we were before COVID. Few challenged that statement. Why can’t we go back to the way it was before? You mean that we can’t go back to the social, interactive, and thriving position America was in? Why not?

We know why not. America is at a bizarre tipping point. There are places and pockets of freedom. Even ballrooms in Washington, D.C., can be joy-filled and free. But not that free. Certain businesses are requiring vaccines. The government’s rules change daily. The point is to keep citizens unsure and upset. The confusion works. It creates anxiety and stress. It contributes to the crazy.

Hopefully, America will have a political revolution and vote out the tyrants, but that’s a full year away. Can the country survive another year of this? Or will most people move on and the elected officials will be dragged by voters back to sanity? Or worse yet, will the sniveling fear-fueled ninnies rule the day? We still have the TSA these long years later. Who knows what worthless things COVID will leave behind.

Melissa Mackenzie
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Melissa Mackenzie is Publisher of The American Spectator. Melissa commentates for the BBC and has appeared on Fox. Her work has been featured at The Guardian, PJ Media, and was a front page contributor to RedState. Melissa commutes from Houston, Texas to Alexandria, VA. She lives in Houston with her two sons, one daughter, and two diva rescue cats. You can follow Ms. Mackenzie on Twitter: @MelissaTweets.
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