COVID-19's Stealth Pandemic

Robert Morton28 Jun, 2021 5 Min Read
The greatest unforced error in human history?

The Covid-19 virus did an exceptional job at killing elderly people with co-morbidities, but wasn’t terribly effective at killing anyone else. The real damage was done by our own government, whose foolish policies have and will continue to result in collateral damage that will vastly exceed the damage done by the virus itself. The lockdowns alone will prove to be the greatest unforced error in modern human history.

Data is still being collected, yet even from last April, there was already evidence that lockdowns were destroying the human psyche and humans along with it. These are real people, just as real as those who died from the virus, yet everyone who shouted that we must lock the world down will not be held accountable. We must make certain that they are, and that means being armed with data.

An April 28, 2020, study showed domestic violence increases of 10 percent in New York City, and 27 percent in Jefferson, Alabama. In February, The National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ) reported an 8.1 percent overall increase in U.S. domestic violence. To put this in stark terms, there were 1,330 more domestic violence calls for service in just March and April of last year alone. 1,330 people calling for help because they were beating beaten, threatened, and God knows what else.

The bug made us do it.

In January, The NCCCJ also reported higher crime in the 34 American cities it examined, including a 30 percent higher homicide rate (that’s 1,268 more dead people), aggravated assault up 6 percent, gun assaults up 8 percent and car theft rose 13 percent. I suppose we can take solace that the lockdowns resulted in declines in burglary and drug offenses.

The maskholes who told everyone to “just stay home” didn’t bother to consider that many of those homes were not refuges, but cauldrons of frustration, depression, anxiety, and violence. They are as culpable as New York governor Andrew Cuomo consigning countless elderly people to death by forcing them into Covid-19 breeding grounds known as nursing homes. It’s not like this wasn’t already known, either.

These same individuals turned their backs on the women they claim to defend, counseling them to stay in their domestic situation, while the world failed to provide them the safety they needed. I guess when gender becomes a construct, that relieves people of obligations to any given gender.

When Leftist ninnies cheered our saviors in government and the media as they wagged their fingers, telling us to “mask up,” “remain socially distant,” and “shelter in place,” they never mentioned resources for those at risk.  Nice job.

The increase in violence comes as no surprise given the correlation with an increase in alcohol consumption. That’s what happens when people, especially men, are thrown out of work. Excessive drinking was already the third largest preventable cause of death in America. During Covid, Mental Health America reported a 14 percent increase in alcohol consumption across all demographics, including a 41 percent increase in women.

A University of Arizona study from April to September found an increase in hazardous alcohol use from 21 percent in April to 41 percent in September. Dependence rose from 8 percent to 29 percent. Increased use was higher among younger people.

Some things never change.

Mental health deteriorated across the board. Depression and anxiety were to be expected from prolonged lockdowns, yet the government didn’t care, nor did the media, nor the maskholes.

The Census Bureau reported an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression from 11 percent of Americans in the first half of 2019, to 42 percent in December of last year.

This CDC reported that “the proportion of mental health–related visits for children aged 5–11 years and adolescents aged 12–17 years increased approximately 24 percent and 31 percent.” In this case, the youth of America is the most vulnerable, particularly if living alone. Their rates were twice those of those over age 65. Those already in poor health were three times more likely to have symptoms compared to those in very good or excellent health.

Our young women are in dire straits. Average weekly visits to emergency rooms for suspected suicide attempts in girls aged 12 to 17 rose 51 percent in February and March compared to the previous year. This is likely under-reported because, thanks again to the media, people were too afraid to even go to the ER for fear of contracting the dreaded Covid.

The list goes on and on, and it will sadly grow and grow. America will deal with the collateral damage of the lockdowns for years. I don’t just refer to the burden on the health care system, but on the real human damage that likely will dog millions of people.

This is why it is critical to understand how misguided the Left is when it comes to actual human experience. The Left never sees things holistically. By relying on the hammer of government, to which everything is a nail, the one-size-fits-all approach can only result in suffering that is far beyond what is meant as a cure.

There is no nuance to how the Left operates, because they lack imagination and true compassion. They saw a virus, didn’t have information, became afraid and reacted instinctively by trying to shut everything down. This doesn’t consider people, but only a problem to be solved without attendant examination. It's their totalitarian way.

Plus ça change...

Rather than rely on the concepts of individual choice, risk, freedom, and responsibility, they submit themselves to the government and choose to believe the media – whose only goal is to generate traffic. That’s all well and good, until they demand that everyone else do the same thing.

Never once do they consider anything beyond the hammering of the nail. Once it’s been struck, that’s all that need be done. Yet as we see, that nail went through metaphorical rotting drywall, and impaled someone on the other side.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, life went on as it always did. No lockdowns, no masks. Kids went to school. People ate in cafes. Their Covid-19 data was virtually identical to that of the United States. In fact, the total death rate was lower, at 0.14 percent compared to 0.18 percent for the U.S. Not only that, Sweden’s death rate in 2020 was lower than it was in 2010.

The next time this happens, things will only get worse. It is vital that Americans call out the maskholes, the Fauci-ists, the media water-carriers, and the politicians for causing this suffering. It is the only way to prevent this from ever happening again.

Robert Morton is a veteran public policy researcher, analyst, and consultant who has worked on a variety of issues across economics, the sciences, and education.

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