Lawmakers in Texas and at least 19 other states, not to mention municipalities such as San Francisco, are throttling back on the COVID rules that have plagued the country for more than a year.
Plague is the correct term to use, too. According to the Bureau of Economic Research (BRS, just the shock of being out of work — “unemployment shock” — will lead to a three-percent increase in mortality that will ultimately cost, in its estimation, nearly 900,000 lives. That compares to the 570,000 deaths already attributed — though likely inaccurately — to the China virus. (Because of incentives to report any death as COVID-related, that 570,000 figure is likely grossly overstated.)
Keith Jackson, writing at American Thinker, suggested that BRS’ estimate is too conservative:
Scores of health issues that have been undiagnosed, untreated, and made worse by the isolation, depression, obesity, and substance abuse associated with the pandemic will pile up bodies in the next months to years.
As an example, preventable deaths from missed breast and colorectal cancer diagnoses this past year are estimated at 10,000. Deaths of despair, suicide, and drug abuse are predicted by the mental health resource PSYCOM to be increasing by 75,000 this year. This includes a 30% increase in suicide in the military since COVID-19.
There are cultural costs as well, some of which will negatively impact society for years to come. Tyrants and socialists were delighted at how readily the American public was willing to yield to what often passed for pseudo-science calling for masking, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders. As Jackson noted:
The most shocking result of the COVID-19 response is the ease with which United States citizens gave up their freedoms. Americans just said “sure!” when the government arbitrarily took away our ability to run our businesses, attend church and school, and move freely.
Even when the rules and regulations were shown to be more destructive than beneficial, they acquiesced. Even when the media bias was glaringly apparent, Big Tech was found to be using the pandemic to extend their power, and science was nakedly politicized, they bent over and took it. They said “OK” when mainstream media, Big Tech, and college campuses used cancel culture to silence critics.
Once lost, liberty is nearly impossible to regain. A large part of the success of the American republican experiment was the fact that the Founders had a clean slate upon which to write. They didn’t have to overcome a society already beholden to a central government for its subsistence.
Governors in Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, and Louisiana are banking on the hope that the COVID rules didn’t fatally damage the American character. Some, even in totalitarian states such as California and Michigan, are pushing back. California Governor Gavin Newsom and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer are in danger of being recalled over their heavy-handed and unconstitutional restraints upon their citizens’ freedoms using COVID as a cover.
Mike Rowe’s common-sense videos on “Safety Third” have been seen by thousands of people. In one of them, he says:
Safety is never really first. No company, no nation, and no individual exist for the primary purpose of being safe. Sensible people understand that risk is a part of life, and that no amount of compliance will ever eliminate the inherent dangers that come from being alive.
That’s not to say we should behave carelessly or live recklessly. We should always be prudent. But prudence and compliance are not the same thing, and we should look with deep suspicion upon self-proclaimed experts and professionals who tell us that safety is first, or worse, that “our safety is their responsibility.”
Those people are either selling something, or running for office.
If enough citizens agree with Rowe, then perhaps restoration of lost freedoms might be accomplished after all.
One of those who agrees with Rowe is Michael Junge, owner of Lost Boys Barber Company in Branson, Missouri. Said Junge, “I think the whole thing is a joke, honestly. They [politicians and health officials advising them] originally said that this was going to go for a month, and they have pushed it out to indefinitely.… It should have been done long ago.”
Even Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declare, “The governor’s office is getting out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do.”
It’s long past time for citizens to echo those sentiments and join in the fight to put the COVID-inspired shutdown olive back into its constitutional bottle.