See all COVID-19 posts.
The good news is that most lockdowns have now been lifted, and the recent riots might do us some good by telling us just how ridiculous or wise the lockdowns were, starting about a week from now in the areas with the riots.
So far we have destroyed the livelihood of 30 million or so people in the USA. Yet COVID-19 remains a viable deadly threat to high-risk groups. We have gained the knowledge that the death rate is a tiny fraction of what was assumed—we knew that a month ago and yet the policies of economic and medical carnage continued.
It is likely that within a year or two more people will die because of misguided policies on COVID-19 than those infected by it.
You heard that right: it is possible that more people may die without ever getting COVID-19 because of public policy: lack of early detection, delays in surgery, spikes in suicide, deaths from mass economic distress, etc. COVID-19 was and is a tiny fraction of total deaths in the population—a statistical blip in California.
We are kicking the can down the road on national and world policy when what we need to start doing is encouraging low risk people to get infected, while implementing considerably more efforts to protect high-risk people. COVID-19 will remain a serious hazard so long as most of the population can be infected semi-randomly according to risk.
Risk assessment calls for tough decisions across multiple disciplines. Medical “experts” are not qualified to decide public policy because they do risk assessment only within their own silo. Total risk includes medical issues and also economic and social issues.
A government-created split of “haves” and “have nots” was created and will be the legacy of public policy on COVID-19: those who have maintained their income (and many have increased their savings!) and those who have been reduced to poverty, with their savings drained and businesses shuttered, with some still facing legal repercussions for daring to want to earn a living.
This is not a “shared sacrifice”, but an immolation of an entire class of citizens while another class is either not affected financially or might even gain from it. Adding insult to injury, the minimally or entirely untouched salaries and benefits in the public sector are paid for by taxes taken from victims forbidden to work at the implicit point of a gun. it is unspeakably regressively vicious.