It’s no secret powerful interests have handsomely benefitted from coronavirus lockdowns of the last 14 months, as experimental restrictions implemented under the pledge of “two weeks to slow the spread” morphed into a seemingly endless draconian suspension of life. Now, politicization of the return to normal combined with influential interests invested in lockdown extensions have jeopardized its true return.
Last week, MSNBC’s Joy Reid celebrated wearing two masks while jogging in spite of even the restriction-crazed CDC guidance updated to recommend otherwise.
“I am among the fully vaccinated,” Reid said gleaming in prime time. “I did go jogging today, in the park. This is the mask I wore, with a doctor’s mask under it… There are people who are getting really upset about that.”
Joy Reid says that she went jogging today while wearing two masks even though she is fully vaccinated pic.twitter.com/h7zFE9CzkW
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 28, 2021
Reid can do anything she wants, of course, since engaging in this form of performative theater doesn’t directly hurt anybody but herself. Her on-air grandstanding in contradiction to scientific findings, however, illustrates how masks have become political markers as opposed to effective tools of viral mitigation.
Reid’s self-imposed mask-wearing might be harmless. After all, it’s a personal choice with no consequences to others besides the example of a woman with a large media platform.
Mask-wearing however, a majority of which is compulsive either due to government edict or corporate enforcement, is only the tip of the iceberg in politicized pandemic policies, many of which do infringe on the freedoms of others. Schools remain closed for full in-class instruction at a devastating cost under the orders of the teachers unions, businesses across the nation remain handicapped with capacity limits, beaches in parts of the country will remain closed through the summer, and even playgrounds are off limits despite the low risk to children, let alone outside transmission.
Have plans to send your kids to summer camp? Don’t count on the real experience.
No small part of the population has become comfortable living in a world in lockdown. In fact, many demand it regardless of the cost to their neighbors, motivated by either an act of political expression featuring aggressive virtue signaling or an obsession with living life with zero risk, overestimating danger of the Chinese virus. A survey out last month revealed majorities of Americans across the political spectrum believed the probability of ending up in the hospital if infected by COVID-19 is dramatically higher than the factual reality.
The fact that majorities in each group believe over 20% of people with Covid-19 require hospitalization points to a complete failure in the press and among health officials to accurately inform the public. It’s also why officials have had such a hard time w a balanced response. https://t.co/GjbeVltQ4e
— AG (@AGHamilton29) March 22, 2021
No small part of the corporate and political establishment has capitalized on the public’s overwrought fear of the virus. Democrats have used the pandemic to ram through their central-planning agenda while elite corporatists have enjoyed unimaginable profit margins as small businesses continue to suffocate. There are clear incentives among powerful people to seek a permanent pandemic, and they just might get it.
The New York Times published a report Tuesday sowing doubt about the U.S. ability to reach herd immunity against COVID-19. As daily vaccination rates begin to slip well below the required threshold, wherever that number really lies, the nation must confront the reality that COVID-19 may be here to stay, especially as the virus rages overseas where there is little vaccine progress.
Times data shows fewer than 2 percent of people have been fully vaccinated in India, where the raging virus has reached new heights in transmission and death since the start of the pandemic. The densely populated central Asian nation recorded 357,000 new cases and nearly 3,500 deaths on Tuesday, raising concerns of new variants bred in the world’s second-most populated country as the worst global hotspot.
Any variants that arise overseas will ultimately make their way to the United States. Exactly when is an open question, but absent a miracle, one thing is becoming increasingly certain: COVID-19 is likely here to stay. Vaccines appear to be falling short of that miracle, not because they are ineffective, but because the virus is so widespread beyond our own borders.
Americans ought to be wary of requirements for herd immunity through vaccines as a prerequisite to return to normal regardless, for the dangerous precedent such a doctrine pledges to set, ripe for exploitation by elites hungry to reinstate lockdowns. Any future pandemic now, no matter its severity, will open the door for more lockdowns until a vaccine may be developed, which may take years. The world got lucky producing three within 12 months this time.
Conservatives especially must remain vigilant against demands that normalcy may only return through vaccination rates high enough to register herd immunity. Such a concession would erase all arguments to pursue an open country as were made pre-vaccine last year, and serve as a quasi-mandate to coerce a hesitant population into taking the medicine no one in a free society must be forced to take.
In the unlikely, but possible event a variant does arise to circumvent the vaccine, Americans will be back to lockdowns. Restrictions in place today even post-vaccine have already lasted far, far too long.
Allowing elites to dictate herd immunity must be reached through vaccines before a return to normal affords a lucrative extension of restrictions that continue to breed hysteria and political polarization, especially when herd immunity may not be possible.
Americans should take the vaccines to inoculate themselves from COVID-19. The medicine is a gift of modern science and the benefits far outweigh risks. I’m vaccinated myself. But the decision to vaccinate must remain a personal choice, and a free country must not concede that vaccination from the coronavirus is required to get their lives back.
After all, if one is vaccinated from COVID, why does it matter if his neighbor is or not?