The past year of our lives has been completely unprecedented and incomprehensible even to those with the wildest of imaginations. Yes, the world was hit with a novel virus that has wreaked havoc, contributing to over 2 million deaths and counting worldwide, according to official sources. However, COVID-19 is not what has made this year unprecedented. The world has lived through many pandemics, including the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed an estimated 50 million. What has been unprecedented is the response to the virus from governments around the world. Governments have used Covid to strip their citizens of their most basic liberties, to the point where literally every aspect of our lives is considered fair game to be restricted, regulated, and controlled by the state in the name of fighting a virus. To make matters worse, none of these authoritarian measures seem to have had any positive impact on the trajectory of the virus, as the data consistently show no significant difference in Covid performance between states that have cracked down versus those that have been more restrained in implementing lockdown measures. The atrocities and assaults on liberty are countless, but I’ll rank what I believe to be the top five most egregious crimes committed by the state in the era of Covid.
- Stimulus Bills
In response to the utter economic devastation set into motion by the Covid lockdowns, the U.S. government passed the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill in March 2020, and just recently another $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in March 2021. Both included some form of direct payment to U.S. citizens, with a maximum of $1200 and $1400 checks being distributed by the two bills, respectively, dependent on the size of an individual or family’s income. These checks were supposed to make up for the complete devastation unleashed on middle and lower class Americans, many of whom lost their jobs, and small business owners, who in some cases still haven’t been able to re-open. While many are happy to have a few bucks in their pocket, it is mere crumbs compared to the losses suffered by someone who was laid off or someone who lost a business they worked their entire life to build.
But where did the rest of the money go? Looking at the initial stimulus bill, if you divide 2.2 trillion by the population size of about 330 million, you get $6667 per person, yet the people only got $1200 each. That’s about 18% of the money going to help those in need, and it’s actually far less than that, considering children and higher income earners didn’t get the $1200. So while everyone thinks the government is paying them $1200, in reality each of us is paying more than 5 times that amount to fund the bill.
What should be of no surprise to those who are familiar with our federal government is that the bill is filled with pork, with much of the remaining 82+% of the money being directed to causes completely unrelated to those affected by Covid or the lockdowns. Large portions of the remainder of the bill were used to help bailout big corporations or provide funds to quasi-government institutions like the Kennedy Center.
The stimulus bills may provide temporary relief to some, but in the long run will cause far greater damage. As the national debt continues to skyrocket, the average American will feel a pain from the resulting inflation, increase in tax burden, and economic distortions that will dwarf the benefits they get from a $1200 or $1400 check.
- Business Lockdowns
As lockdowns began to go into effect in March 2020, many businesses were told they would have to shut down, just for a week or two, to “flatten the curve”. As two weeks turned into months, which turned into a year and counting, some of these businesses that originally thought they would have to deal with a minor annoyance, have still not been allowed to open up. Many owners have already given up on their businesses, unable to keep up with ongoing costs while not earning revenue.
Those that have been allowed to open have in most cases been subjected to insane, burdensome, unscientific, and completely arbitrary regulations to supposedly keep people safe. Unlike our federal government, these businesses cannot simply print money to accommodate these new requirements. In many cases, they are operating on razor thin margins to begin with, where the slightest additional cost puts them in the red.
Ongoing lockdowns, despite current public perception, are not a standard response to viral pandemics. This is a policy that has no scientific basis, has never been advised by health institutions like the CDC or WHO, and which have never been implemented on a scale anywhere near the lockdowns of 2020 during past pandemics. Lockdowns are in no way a manifestation of sober policy makers simply “following the science.” They are an authoritarian experiment in power and control carried out at the expense of average people, justified by the unsubstantiated imaginations of “public health experts” like Anthony Fauci.
When politicians tell you they are interested in promoting small business, the first question they should be asked is, did you support the lockdowns? Of all the government policies in the history of this country, there may not be one that exaggerated the gap between large, well-connected corporations, who were generally allowed to stay open or had the ability to move online, and small businesses which were absolutely devastated. Any politician who supports lockdowns does not care about small business or the entrepreneurs that own and work for them. It’s that simple.
- Forced Isolation
Lockdowns did not only affect businesses and their ability to stay open. They also impacted individuals, who have been told for over a year to isolate themselves in their homes, not see their friends and family, and basically, as Tom Woods would say, live like a vegetable. Early in the lockdown, many people were not even allowed to leave their homes to be socially distant outdoors, as beaches, parks, and golf courses were closed.
The emotional harm of not being able to interact with loved ones and have normal social interaction is incalculable. Additionally, there is the impossible-to-know cost of what new experiences we all missed out on by not being able to live our lives. There is no telling the amount of new friends, communities, and activities we never had the opportunity to discover because we were told to stay home.
Again, there is no scientific basis for locking people in their homes for months on end. In fact, many experts like Harvard epidemiologist Martin Kulldorf, one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration which has been ignored or dismissed by the mainstream, have argued that isolating young people and trying to hide them from the virus, instead of pursuing a more targeted approach of protecting the old and vulnerable while letting the young and healthy live their lives and gain natural immunity, actually exacerbates the long-term risks posed by Covid, in addition to the vast collateral damage.
The impact that this social isolation has had on the public is hard to quantify, but it is clear that mental health is suffering dramatically. Children and young people in particular have incurred the psychological harms of lockdowns for a virus that is of relatively little threat to them. Old people are more susceptible to the virus, but in many cases still would prefer to take advantage of the little time they have left with their loved ones, rather than being cooped up in a home just trying not to die.
- School Closures
As if the public school system wasn’t bad enough already, many states have now kept schools closed for over a year. This means kids, who are at virtually no risk from the virus, have been confined to their houses, required to sit in front of a computer all day, and unable to see their friends and interact with teachers face to face. The damage being done to the development of children, forced into confinement during the most important formative years of their lives, is incomprehensible.
Public teachers unions have been a driving force behind the push to keep schools closed, as the supposed safety risks to teachers has in many states outweighed the harm being inflicted upon the children in the minds of policy makers. Meanwhile, the elites in charge of implementing the lockdowns have the wealth and resources to send their children to an in person private school or home school them. California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has been arguably the most tyrannical lockdown governor in the country, sent his children back to school in the fall, while keeping public schools almost entirely closed throughout the state.
School lockdowns are another Covid era policy that has disproportionately hurt the poor. While rich elites like Newsom can send their kids to private school, poor parents dependent on the government school system are held hostage to governors like Newsom to allow them to send their kids back to school. And once again, there simply is no scientific proof backing the continued school closures and even generally pro lockdown sources are consistently reporting that there is no evidence of schools being a hotbed for Covid spread.
- Train the public to conform
As devastating as so many of the authoritarian Covid response policies have been, the most disconcerting aspect of the past year is how thoroughly the American people have been brainwashed and conditioned into going along with all of it. You would think that after a full year of “15 days to slow the spread”, people would be questioning things just a little bit, and maybe even thinking, we’ve been lied to. Instead, they sit on bated breath for the next Anthony Fauci interview, waiting for the public health experts to tell them when they’re allowed to see their family again and how many people are allowed in their home.
Americans have allowed themselves to be ruled in ways that anyone would have considered inconceivable in February 2020. Not only have most Americans gone along with the tyrannical policies dictated by the so-called experts, but many enthusiastically cheer them and creepily denounce anyone who so much as asks questions. With most con jobs the elites have gotten away with in the past, like getting us into the Iraq War or crashing the economy by blowing up a housing bubble and then bailing out Wall Street, they at least had to work a little bit to propagandize the people and fight off substantial resistance. With Covid, they barely even had to try. All it took was some basic fear mongering and calling everyone who didn’t agree with the lockdowns a science-denying Trump supporter and the people were putty in the hands of Dr. Fauci and his ilk.
Hopefully, as more information comes out about the fraudulence of the “experts” and the total lack of scientific basis behind any of their policies, the American people will begin to realize just how much they’ve been bamboozled. They will realize that their lives have been decimated for well over a year and it had nothing to do with keeping them safe. Instead, it had everything to do with those in charge increasing their own power and trying to score political points. We must realize that the Faucis of the world will try this again in the future when the next crisis hits and we must do everything we can to prevent it.
Honorable Mention: Mask Mandates