If droplets were the main mode of transmission, as public health experts insisted until yesterday, all of the measures they promoted for the past year would have been successful.
They were not successful.
But because of a sigma against questioning the dogma of experts, reinforced by social media bans and algorithmic disclaimers, we had to pretend as if they were, and as if the main problem was lack of compliance.
The official narrative led some people, many people, to eye with suspicion anyone who fell ill, and to blame them for their own misfortune.
Questioning the narrative, even when armed with overwhelming evidence, would have you labeled anti-science, ignorant, uncaring, un-Christian, or all of the above. If you held no degree, you had no basis from which to speak. And if you were credentialed, you were a quack, an outlier, obviously not trustworthy because you did not adhere to the party line.
Meanwhile more people died because the CDC sent them into the world assured that six feet of distance, hand sanitizer and a mask would protect them. When the death toll kept rising, the only answers from public health were to be more compliant with the failed measures, add more layers, and urge new levels of mandates and restrictions.
People saw this happening and decided the answer was to take those same measures to the Nth degree, masking alone on outdoor walks, or while driving solo in cars. If you saw someone out of compliance, you were justified in filming yourself barking at them and calling them murderers.
Instead of a plan to protect the most susceptible populations, we kept the least susceptible ones away from their instructors, peers, and playgrounds.
Rather than allowing people to assess the risks and make their own decisions, we left everything to the CDC, forced people out of work, and borrowed billions from the next generation.
And when a truly miraculous technology arrived, politicians and public health officials decided to undermine public confidence by first saying they wouldn’t trust anything developed under the former president, then by insisting everyone had to keep using all the same methods as before, and finally by pausing the rollout because of literally one-in-a-million adverse reactions.
Antisocial behavior. Learning loss. Destroyed jobs and businesses. Broken faith communities. Lost lives. All so that we could pretend the experts knew what they were talking about when they so clearly did not.
But despite an entire artifice of government being built upon this foundation of sand, the CDC, health officials and politicians can continue to reverse themselves with complete immunity because “everybody knows this is a novel situation and the science is evolving.”
They can never be held to any one position, but we must always be beholden to their latest directives. It’s a wonderful system if you have nothing at stake, you don’t mind the truth being a casualty of censorship and you’re fine with losing your right to representative government.
A wonderful, wonderful system.