More lockdowns are on the way, and so too are their deadly side-effects.
Ten months after the successful development of not one, but three highly effective coronavirus vaccines, politicians have begun to embrace a repeat of the same draconian restrictions threatening to become permanent fixtures of American life — at least in leftist-controlled areas.
Washington D.C. now has an indoor mask mandate. Las Vegas now has an indoor mask mandate. The entire state of Louisiana now has an indoor mask mandate. All are universal and apply even to the vaccinated, and all follow Los Angeles inaugurating a forever pandemic by reintroducing an indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status last week.
On Wednesday, Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky repeated the popular lie from the start of the original lockdowns that if we did what we were told just for a few “weeks,” we’d have our normal lives back.
“We can halt the chain of transmission,” Walensky pledged on CBS with new mask recommendations. “We can do something if we unify together, if we get people vaccinated who are not yet vaccinated, if we mask in the interim, we can halt this in just a matter of a couple of weeks.”
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) July 29, 2021
In other words we’re back to “two weeks to slow the spread.” Look what that turned into.
The same promises public leaders are making today have already been broken time, and time again. Remember this tweet from President Joe Biden last fall?
I'm not going to shut down the country.
I'm not going to shut down the economy.
I'm going to shut down the virus.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 30, 2020
Now the same president who’s already flip-flopped on masks, who is approaching day 200 of his 100-day “temporary” masking challenge, and vaccine mandates, of which have now been imposed across federal agencies and encouraged within the private sector, has left the door wide open to national lockdowns.
BREAKING: The Biden administration indicates they are open to returning to lockdowns. pic.twitter.com/lcj66Fggkz
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) July 29, 2021
Can we really trust “two weeks to slow the spread?” The answer is an obvious no. This is an obvious death sentence for another illness that has no vaccine.
A record 93,000 overdoses were recorded in 2020, a sharp 29 percent increase from the 72,000 lives lost from the same disease in 2019. There’s no question the spike in overdose deaths was driven by the stress of experimental lockdowns destroying livelihoods as the self-inflicted wounds of hysteria broke the nation’s psyche.
The death toll from COVID-19 eclipsed 600,000 by June this year, nearly all of which came prior to the arrival of widely available vaccines. Now, however, the game has changed. Even as rare breakthrough infections begin to raise panic, those who die from the virus today and tomorrow are among the unvaccinated. And the vast majority of the population at the highest risk for COVID are vaccinated.
The vaccines have proven 99.99 percent effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Less than 0.004 percent of those fully vaccinated suffered a breakthrough case that led to hospitalization, and less than 0.001 percent who suffered a breakthrough case died, according to a CNN analysis published Monday.
In other words, death from COVID can now be prevented by vaccine, presenting Americans a personal choice. Deaths will likely continue to decline as more people take the miracle medicine.
The same can’t be said for ailments from repeat lockdowns. The re-emergence of these failed measures threaten to wreak havoc on the nation’s psyche. It was once headed back to a normal that now may never return as Americans begin to cope with the lives they lose under lockdown. It’s unclear how much worse overdose rates may rise under the resurgence of new restrictions, but they’re likely to be far higher with no end in sight.
One can call drug use a matter of personal agency. While to a degree it certainly is, those who make the claim were probably never forced down to the food pantry because the government declared their lives non-essential in order to protect others that made their personal health a public responsibility due to a virus with a high survival rate, especially for the young.
“My hope is that the Biden administration would take peoples’ mental health seriously and they would act accordingly based on data and not politics,” East Tennessee therapist Allysen Efferson told me. She called Biden’s rhetoric teeing up more lockdowns “a disheartening and demoralizing thing to say to a nation that’s been locked down for a year.”
When asked whether more restrictions were on the way Friday, Biden told reporters on the South Lawn, “in all probability” as his press secretaries made the case for more in the briefing room. It was “an incredibly thoughtless thing to say,” Efferson said.
Statist lockdowners who demand life with absolute zero risk at the expense of their neighbors will make the case over ever-evolving variants that will eventually circumvent the vaccines. Viruses, however, mutate all the time, and COVID-19 will not stop spreading overseas even if beaten in the United States. Any variant born abroad will eventually make its way to U.S. shores. The Delta variant now raising unchecked hysteria came from India.
While suicide rates fell 5 percent last year from more than 47,500 to less than 45,000, levels of suicidal ideation were driven to frightening levels alongside rates of anxiety, depression, and overdoses. These rates remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to a report from Mental Health America in March.
More than 315,000 people took an anxiety screen, constituting a 93 percent increase from 2019, while more than 530,000 were screened for depression, a 62 percent increase. One can only pray those who survived the mental assault will remain strong through the next brought by circumstances becoming permanent.
I never contemplated suicide at any time during the pandemic, and I never succumbed to a substance addiction with long-term consequences. In fact, in retrospect, I thrived. I can’t say the same, however, of several close friends who confided in me their newfound struggles with depression. Some admitted they were suicidal.
I was formerly able to point to the arrival of vaccines as a means of hope that restrictions’ end was on the horizon while directing my friends to professional resources. Now, however, I’m not sure what to say.
The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255. More resources are here.
I asked Efferson for advice on how to respond when confronted again with someone in crisis.
“I would say, ‘don’t lose hope,'” Efferson told me. “We have much more awareness and much more activity by way of politicians who are interested in advocating for us.”
She has a point. In stark contrast to last year, some in the Republican Party have finally turned on the lockdowns, and their voters would now make their embrace of more at this stage political suicide for any GOP figure with national aspirations.
Those struggling, Efferson said, could also be “proactive in advocating for your own freedom” with political engagement. How far that message will resonate will be dictated by how far leftist politicians go to create a permanent pandemic, and whether anyone will stop them.