The long winter of my despair, which is named not COVID-19 but the reaction to it, has likely found its last chapters. The vaccine is here and while the concerns of its hurried development and ultimate efficacy are reasonable, millions of injections are likely to be delivered safely and send this mess to a back burner and hopefully the pages of history. And when that happens, I wonder if the real story of this is ever told.
Will we tell the story of not just the virus, but the reaction to it and what we lost along the way? The overdoses, the suicides, the Non-COVID illnesses gone untreated and diagnosed, the mental illness, the economic harm, the damage to our children’s education, well-being, and opportunities. But ‘ya know, lots of people are dying of COVID. So, was it worth it?
Let’s look at data and facts first
From March 2020 to March 2021, here are 20 Kentucky facts and trends that might help:
Doesn’t the low COVID numbers mean the restrictions worked? For me, no. Emphatically no. Hell no. And to me, they could only be justified if the costs are acceptable to you and COVID prevention is paramount to all other factors of life.
Was it worth it? For me, no. Emphatically no. Hell no. Birth to 65 you are more likely to die in a highway accident. What we’ve surrendered for a relative risk of death lower than many other risks we take every day and have all our lives is more than most seem to care about. The real story has to reach beyond the measures of biostatistical evidence or relative risk and into who we’ve become?
A New America?
Allowing a person to govern themselves and measure their own risk tolerance has yielded to ideological entrenchment born from propaganda and new America brimming with adults seeking protection at the expense of what’s best for their kids, security over achievement and safety over freedom. Is this a new America?
This America gleefully exploited a loophole in a government formed by, of and for the people to allow unchecked power of little regional kings and suspension of liberty without a modest check or balance. This new America was all too eagerly greeted and manipulated by the second-class minds of government and dying traditional media outlets grasping for profitable and polarizing narratives over the truth that comes from responsible journalism and free press.
Maybe we’re all just too afraid of dying ourselves or seeing someone we love die to care about the importance of living—as if death avoidance at all cost is virtue. Of course elderly lives matter, but scaring you into ‘compliance’ and keeping all people from living as a strategy to prevent old people from dying is, to me, the worst strategy ever imagined in all of human history. And while this statement angers people enormously, they are dying. Average stay in the KY Nursing Home pre-COVID was 13 months and that’s not because they’re moving to Florida.
Our little king used fear and the half-truths that lean into our insecurity to scare people into compliance. And despite our heritage of courage in the face of unimaginable obstacles, it worked. Even people opposed to the edicts wouldn’t shout against the throne even when it hurt their kids–exposing another kind of weird societal condition. But other than fear of the Lord, fear is never virtuous and it’s not an attribute of leadership but a tool of petty tyrants.
Can’t we at least all agree that the protection of adults and self-seeking perception of safety gifted by politicians all at the expense of children is severely misaligned?
Hopefully this stands as my epilogue to a series of failed attempts at screaming another perspective into the void. For those few that have seen value in this point of view and fought alongside me, thank you and keep going. And even for those that have raged against my point of view, thanks (though the death threats were a bit much). The largely discredited science I love requires discourse, not compliance to a single narrative. It requires the courage of critical thinking against the consensus of the mob. So does the country I love.
My Epoch of Belief and Spring of Hope
I’ve lived much of my life governed by fear until an adult awakening took me almost too far in the other direction. But faith can do that. It brings wisdom, courage and overcomes weakness, vulnerabilities and injustice. There’s hope in that. Mountains of heroic activities have transpired to help people, correctly address the virus, help kids and save businesses in the face irrational and unimaginable actions. There’s hope in that. There are voices of everyday patriots that will shout at the crimes against humanity gone unrecorded. There’s hope in that too.
In the end, there is nothing one little king can take from you, my King can’t restore. I’ve seen Him do it.
And He’ll do it again.
All data sourced through the State’s COVID website, the COVID Tracking Project, the CDC or the articles linked through the piece.