What Covid-19 and the 'Son of Sam' Teach About Fear

Never underestimate the power of fear, stoked by the media, to cause some humans to behave like morons (usually Leftists). Netflix is showing a documentary series on the Son of Sam killings, which terrified New York City in 1976 and 1977. The series presents a completely unconvincing case that David Berkowitz was not the sole participant in the killings. Yet in watching the first episode, the parallels between the fear generated by the murderers that swept through New York City and the hysteria over Covid-19 are both astonishing and chillingly instructive.

David Berkowitz carried out a series of random shootings over a 13-month period, primarily in Queens with two in the Bronx. Once it became known that the perp was likely a serial killer, who struck randomly at night, targeting women with long brown hair who were either alone or with boyfriends in vehicles, people's behavior started to change.

Women spoke of how terrified they were, to the point that many would not leave their homes without putting their hair up in a bun in broad daylight – as if the killer might see them during the day and become inspired to target them. This behavior made no sense.  It was known that the killings were opportunistic, and with the aforementioned criteria, long before Berkowitz’s arrest.

The dog made him do it.

Nonetheless, fear ruled, and this fear was entirely whipped up by the media. Sure, women and those who love them were concerned, but this was New York City during one of the worst periods in its history -- decrepit, corrupt, literally falling apart, bankrupt, and with incompetent leadership.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that one was far more likely to be mugged walking down Fifth Avenue in broad daylight than being shot by a serial killer.

Thanks to the New York Post and the local media, however, what the Son of Sam shootings did was put enormous pressure on the New York City Police Department.  The department itself couldn't seem to get out of its own way, was plagued by poor management, and all it did was contribute more to the frenzy.

Here we are 35 years later, and exactly the same thing is happening with the coronavirus.

As we've known from the earliest days of the “pandemic,” those who were most vulnerable were over the age of 65 who had an average of three comorbidities. Since then, we've learned that the overall survival rate for people who catch the virus is north of 99 percent. The requisite behavior would have been to quarantine the elderly and other high-risk individuals, and leave everyone else alone.

Barring that, if one is in a high-risk category, and chooses a situation in which one is likely to contract the coronavirus, that person stands a pretty good chance of dying.  But one must go to great lengths in order to accomplish this.

Analogously, the odds of being targeted by David Berkowitz during the day, and then killed by him, which would also require one to be parked on a dark street after midnight, while sporting long brown hair, were minuscule.  Again, one literally had to be foolish enough to put oneself into that high-risk category in order to end up as a victim.  Yet even then, the odds were astronomical that one would choose a street that Berkowitz had himself randomly selected.

In perhaps the strangest ironic twist, we can thank New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for analogously putting thousands of young women with long brown hair into parked cars on dark New York City streets after midnight.  He plowed the elderly who were infected with the virus right into nursing homes, and the thousands who have died are direct results of his incompetence.  Yet nobody calls him a serial killer.

Say it ain't so, Fido.

The point is the power of fear historically overwhelms common sense.  The hysteria in both cases was entirely unjustified given the risk.  This is the area where Americans need to become vigilant, because fear controls, and that only serves Leftists.

Back then, the media was only interested in one thing: eyeballs. Anyone with any sense knows Jimmy Breslin was a gift to journalism, but in the Son of Sam case, all he did was sensationalize the story and whip up the panic.

The situation is more insidious today.  Eyeballs are harder to come by, so the media is more relentless and ruthless than ever.  Yet now the media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, and is bound and determined to carry out Leftist policy in addition to its self-serving mission. That’s why millions upon millions of Americans believe themselves to be the equivalent of young women with long brown hair who are parked in cars on dark New York City streets after midnight. L.A. County and others like it reached the height of absurdity when it instituted curfews, because the coronavirus – like Berkowitz – apparently only went hunting at night.

There are few real journalists left, and those who do exist can’t be bothered to parse the data the way I and others have, so that a true picture of risk can be provided to the public.  We appear to be spitting in the wind, just as other common sense observers of the Son of Sam killings were in 1976-77.

The serial killer David Berkowitz was found using good old-fashioned police work brought on by a stroke of luck -- his presence at the final crime scene was betrayed by a parking ticket. Berkowitz confessed on the scene, pled guilty, and was sent to prison forever.

The analogy is that the media, government, and hysterical leftists should have actually listened to the real science. Rather than throw the entire country into hysteria over a risk on par with being struck by lightning, it would be nice if rational heads had prevailed.  Just as all of New York City went into a one-size-fits-all solution, so did our entire nation.

There's just one difference. New York City was already in the middle of an economic disaster, the killing spree was just the cherry on top. In 2020, the American economy was booming.  By succumbing to irrational and unscientific fear, millions of lives have been devastated. Collateral damage data will come out eventually.  We will discover that far more lives were lost and or irreparably damaged as a result of lockdowns than the virus itself ended.

When Americans should fear the most, however, is that this will not be the last time that fear engulfs reason and destroys liberty. Having seen the unprecedented upside to shaking the American snow-globe, including the apparent theft of a presidential election and instantaneous demonization of those who opposed the official narrative, expect leftists to continue to rely on media-whipped fear.

Enemies of the People: Bill Gates

After Masks and Lockdowns, Here Come the 'Vaccines'

We have been wearing masks for over a year. We have been quarantined in government facilities and in our homes. We have been rigorously locked-down in a futile attempt to control a virus that is clearly unimpressed by our efforts. The latest installment in the Covid frenzy is the love affair with the various vaccines, a mammoth suite of pharmaceutical interventions, that have flooded the market, promising eventual salvation from the ravages of the pandemic. Yet the negative side of these disparate vaccines has gone largely unreported.

While assuring us that pharmaceutical tests have been professionally run on the whole, New York Times reporter Alex Berenson writes in Unreported Truths about COVID-19 that “the companies failed to test the vaccine on the ‘right’ people—the people at high risk of dying from Covid. They failed to prove that it actually reduced deaths, leaving a tragic hole in our medical and scientific knowledge.” Berenson mentions “realistic theories about possible long-run harms from the vaccines, such as the risk that they can lead to a dangerous rebound effect on people who later become infected with COVID.” 

In Berenson’s judgment, “regulators failed at every point in the development of these vaccines—the preclinical work, the major clinical trials, and the approval process”—though he gives them the benefit of the doubt, owing to the pressures they were under and still recommends that people be vaccinated. Nonetheless, all the vaccines accomplished was to “reduce moderate illnesses in people who were at low risk from COVID anyway.”

A little jab'll do ya.

The ramifications of the vaccines are far worse than that. Symptomatic reactogenicity is not uncommon. In just a few months, a spectrum of concerning side-effects have appeared, ranging from blood clots, erythema, cardiovascular ailments and Bell’s Palsy to anaphylactic reactions, swollen lymph nodes, chronic pain and untimely deaths. It should be no surprise that the general population will be constantly assured by a complicit network of authorities and pseudo-authorities that adverse reactions are statistically insignificant and should not be heeded. The incurious will be easily persuaded, especially as countervailing reports will be duly censored.

A typical example of what is really happening comes from British Columbia doctor Charles Hoffe who, in a letter to the Ministry of Health, reports “numerous concerning allergic reactions and neurological side effects from the vaccine,” and observes that “In stark contrast to the deleterious effects of this vaccine in our community, we have not had to give any medical care what-so-ever, to anyone with COVID-19.” He concludes that “this vaccine is quite clearly more dangerous than COVID-19.” 

Equally worrying, mysterious problems of contagion from vaccinated to unvaccinated women have also arisen, causing serious and perhaps lifelong menstrual irregularities and reproductive dysfunctions following Covid vaccines. Dr Christiane Northrup, a leading authority in women’s health, argues that the vaccines do not entail a normal immunization program but create harmful synthetic proteins within the body, whose effects are transmissible. Naturally, she has been accused by the mainstream media of spreading disinformation, but the evidence for this newest pathology is compelling.

The effect on pregnant women is also very much in question. Children’s Health Defense (CHC) refers to Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, “a triple-board certified osteopathic medical doctor and an expert on the potential adverse impact of vaccines on health, who… brings up a most critical point, that we simply have no idea what the potential effects of these warp-speed developed, Emergency Use Authorized, experimental mRNA vaccines might have on a developing fetus.”

What potential effects these injections might have on the population at large is no less moot. The CHC editorial concludes with the rider:

This article contains a growing list of deaths that occurred after the experimental COVID vaccine was administered. The death reports are culled from the media and from social media, as well as from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and reporting systems outside the US.

A Freudian slip by a newscaster reporting on a growing trend of vaccine refusal may have some truth to it. People are unwilling to be “euthanized,” he said, before correcting to “immunized.” The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) considers the vaccines “safe and effective,” yet reports 2,794 dead, 56,869 injured following experimental Covid injections through April 5, 2021. Even CNN uncharacteristically reports that “5,800 fully vaccinated people have caught Covid anyway in US.”

The results from the U.K. are distressing, as they are from Norway and India. The news from Israel is no less disturbing. The mortality rates recorded in many sites are truly alarming. Other sites and fact-checkers downplay or scoff at these numbers as inflated, remarking instead on an infinitesimal percentage of adverse consequences. Sometimes the statistical accounts are so complex as to be difficult to assess. Obviously, the warnings will be contentious and the numbers disputed.

No thanks, I'll take my chances.

The truth is that reliable vaccines require ten or more years to develop and test, moving from the (1) exploratory to the (2) pre-clinical to the (3) trial and (4) post-licensure stages before they can be approved as safe for public distribution. Otherwise, not only their immediate efficacy but their future impact remains uncharted.

This fact is so glaringly obvious, it boggles the mind that it is rarely mentioned and commented on, or that it remains inadmissible in debate and discussion. A vaccine that arrives in just a few months when a decade or more is needed to create a reliable product cannot be trustworthy. They may, quite plausibly, be hazardous. What is known as “Operation Warp Speed” may pertain to the Starship Enterprise but is contraindicated in vaccine production. Slow and careful are the watchwords.

One can see the problems. We know the vaccines are clinically precarious for an undetermined number of recipients, but we do not know, regardless of what we are told, whether the vaccines are, on the whole and for a majority, actually effective, or merely placebos. Plainly, there are no means for ascertaining their effectiveness in the present moment—one takes it on faith.

Because someone may not or does not contract the disease following receipt of the vaccine is no proof of its potency; one may be already immune or resistant, or may suffer from the virus weeks or months later. And in the absence of longitudinal studies several years in duration, future side effects linger in a region of empty speculation and deferred research. People could find themselves suffering from any number of unexpected maladies—anemia, cognitive decline, clinical depression, or physical disorders as yet unspecified. Vaccines released years too early will likely have unpredictable pathogenic effects. Given their all-too-rapid and kluge-like development, the current rush to COVID-preventive jabs and boosters is a fools’ errand.

This fact has not prevented Big Pharma from scaling up its profit margin. Former Pfizer Vice President and Chief Scientist Dr. Michael Yeadon claims that new, top-off dosages designed to fight viral variants will be released without “clinical safety studies” and that these variants are in any case incapable of “immune escape,” that is, they are so similar to the original virus—“samients,” Yeadon calls them—that they are easily recognizable and controllable by a healthy immune system. Moreover, current “vaccines” consist of “superfluous genetic sequence for which there is absolutely no need or justification” while the ultimate purpose of these superfluous top-offs, Yeadon believes, is to surreptitiously give every person “a unique digital ID” in concert with the plans behind the Great Reset for global hegemony.

You'll take it and you'll like it.

Even Merriam-Webster has joined the quasi-medical cult, newly defining the word “vaccine” as “a preparation of genetic material (such as a strand of synthesized messenger RNA) that is used by the cells of the body to produce an antigenic substance (such as a fragment of virus spike protein).” In reality, this is not a vaccine, which introduces antigens into the system to activate antibodies, but an invasion of one’s genomic substance in order to generate an alien protein.  Adding a layer of vexatiousness to the issue is the question involving the Nuremburg Laws. The informed consent principle was defined as a human right and was intended to prevent forced medical interventions in any form, including vaccines. The first principle in the Nuremberg Code reads in part:

The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should…be able to exercise free power of choice, without…any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion, and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.

The code’s application in the current circumstances is debated by many “fact-checking” venues, unconvincingly in my opinion. The fact-checkers need to be checked for their facts; when one considers that accounts critical of the vaccines are regularly suppressed by Big Tech and generally unreported or massaged in “the Marxist Mainstream Media” (the phrase is Dr. Steve Turley’s), one must be skeptical of unrestrained vaccine advocacy. The central fact remains that the efficacy of these drugs comes without proof, as should be obvious considering the conditions under which they have been fabricated: as noted, neither immediate nor long-term confirmation of their outcomes is realistically possible. Ignorance may be bliss, but only temporarily. 

A historic court judgment in Weimar, Germany illuminates the overall dilemma. The vast majority of studies rely on “a purely mathematical estimation or modeling study based on theoretical assumptions without real contact follow-up.” We are proceeding without valid epidemiological knowledge. We do not know the precise extent to which our governments and their salaried health officials and media collaborators are lying to us or are simply incompetent and cowardly. We have no idea what may be coming down the pike. We do not even know if the vaccines work as they are advertised. One does not need statistics, only common sense, to be doubtful and even suspicious of their viability. 

Caveat vaccinator.

The Death of Science, and of Scientific American

The great legacy publication, Scientific American, is dead. It’s still in print, but it is no longer either scientific or American.  In an article described by a friend as, “a hailstorm of impenetrable academic verbiage, dictated by a Ph.D. trying to outpreen the race and climate-change virtue signalers,” the publication has stepped through the woke looking-glass and emerged as self-parody.

How else can one explain “Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon”? The nonsensical article’s apparent points are that “climate anxiety [is] just code for white people wishing to hold onto their way of life or get 'back to normal,' to the comforts of their privilege”, and “Climate anxiety can operate like white fragility, sucking up all the oxygen in the room and devoting resources toward appeasing the dominant group.”

It’s easy to write this off as the ravings of the Woke lunatic fringe, but to paraphrase Hannibal Lecter, the pathology on display here is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying, for it is classic Marshall McLuhan insidiously at play in the service of cultural Marxism:

The medium is the message because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action. The content or uses of such media are as diverse as they are ineffectual in shaping the form of human association. Indeed, it is only too typical that the “content” of any medium blinds us to the character of the medium.

Alas, the medium is indeed the message, and the message is grim for both science and America. The content isn’t the problem nearly as much as where it has been published.  This is Scientific American, a publication of such heft and import that it has been the poster child, for 175 years, for shaping and controlling the scale and form of human association and action in the realm of objective reality and inquiry.

Science is foundational to human existence.  It explains who we are and our place in the universe.  It adheres to the strictest of laws: physics, mathematics, chemistry.  All are disciplines that have but one specific answer to every question.   There is right and there is wrong. Such things, however, cannot be permitted to exist in Marxist society.

Just ask the Marxists about crackpot science.

Scientific American is the publication that offered accessible, and often essential, insight into fundamental elements of science and impact on society.  This is the publication that tried to answer what people were exposed to in the 9/11 collapse of the WTC, analyzed freezing ions in 1988, and how mammals make milk from blood in 1957.  Peruse the archive back to 1875 and be astonished at what the magazine covered in the even the most obscure realms of real science – and why it mattered to human beings.

Gone now.  Swept away.  The virus of wokism has infiltrated one of the great publications. Here’s how it breaks down.

Readers of this website have been provided actual science by real Americans, demonstrating “climate change” to be a richly-funded, dark money hoax with no basis in science.  Therefore, “climate anxiety” is itself fruit of the poisonous tree, a derivative fiction inculcated in the minds of those predisposed to fear. Thus, climate anxiety as supplanter of racial injustice is a fictional derivative of a fictional derivative of a fiction, a concept rivaled only by Goldman Sachs’ collateralized toxic mortgage obligations.

Think carefully about this.  Scientific American – the longest-running scientific publication in the world -- now publishes Marxist fairy tales.   The medium is indeed terrifying now the message.

The same inverted approach is on display in the publication’s COVID-19 articles. The September 25, 2020 article “How to Distribute a COVID-19 Vaccine Ethically” hand-wrings over countless scenarios that “unfairly prioritize rich countries,” and posit that

… a truly ethical proposal would treat all people equally and help countries get vaccines to people when they lack capacity to do so on their own, rather than accepting inequality in access as an unchangeable fact and bypassing the poor to help the rich, the weak to help the strong.

Yet this article and many like it completely bypass what was already known at the time and continues to prove out.  According to the CDC, in the United States, 81 percent of COVID-19 deaths are in people aged 65 and older.  Some 97 percent of deaths are those aged 45 and older.  Fewer than 600 people under age of 25 have died from COVID-19, which comes to under 0.3 percent of the entire U.S. virus mortality volume.  Kids generally don’t get the virus and even if they do, most don’t die from it.  Finally, 93 percent of virus deaths include an average of three co-morbidities.

The science, and therefore the ethical distribution of vaccine, is clear.  Treat those with the highest risk, because the science shows that much of the general population has very little to worry about.

The September 8, 2020 article entitled, “COVID-19’s Disparate Impacts Are Not a Story About Race: They’re A Story About Racism” makes the serious claim that, “in this pandemic, data are taking a back seat to racial prejudice.”   This is apparently true only in Scientific American and other woke-polluted publications, however, because the article incessantly finger-wags at the alleged impact of racism on COVID infection and treatment without a single example of supporting data.

This time, comrades, we'll get it right.

Cultural Marxists haven't stopped with Scientific AmericanPopular Science as well as Popular Mechanics went woke, as well.  The latter thoroughly and brilliantly debunked 9/11 conspiracy theories, including the deservedly-famous piece on Building 7. Yet articles like “How To Topple A Statue Using Science” and “How to Dodge the Sonic Weapon Used by Police” have now become staples of their editorial mix.

The incessant invasion of cultural Marxism through every institution of Western culture – schools, literature, art, film, sexuality, Judeo-Christian values – successfully penetrated the hallowed grounds of real science.  It continues to spread.  Who would have ever believed that there are 153 genders?  Or that certain die-hard feminists are now demonized as TERFs – “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”?

How long before 2+2 = 5?

Scientific American didn’t just step through the looking-glass. It stepped through fifteen of them and emerged from the rear end of a Christopher Nolan film. And it took science with it.

 

 

 

Slouching Toward the End Times

I recently received a note from a friend commenting on a syndrome he calls “Covid retardation,” which manifests literally as “a general across-the-board slowdown in everything—not merely cognitive, but walking slowly, shoulders slumped, looking at the ground, refusing to make eye contact with people, driving slowly (well under the speed limit) or reacting slowly at green lights, as if the person truly has nowhere to go and nothing to do.” The malady entails “dull conversation and lazy thinking, repetition of clichés and government/media-repeated falsehoods, and on and on. People have a choice. They're not yet in camps. They choose to behave that way.”

I know precisely what he’s getting at and have remarked on this distemper many times. I was observing the stance and posture of a procession of masked ghouls again from my balcony this morning. It's scary as hell and reminds me of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Younger people for the most part still enjoy a fund of natal vitality that keeps them reasonably vertical, but middle-aged to older people tend to succumb more readily to a visibly manifest despair. They mumble almost inaudibly through their masks and visors at shop counters or when they stop to chat. They shuffle and stoop, bend their heads and spines as they walk, as if slouching toward the end times. The scapular droop is palpable Bodily comportment is a pretty good sign of general depression and intellectual surrender. This is another consequence of the draconian and utterly misconceived response to the virus, almost never remarked but starkly evident.

Contributing to an atmosphere that does not encourage active coping or even simple curiosity, these people have been gradually but systematically deprived of agency. One wonders if they have not been “cancelled” in their essence. The data about the absurdity and harmfulness of the mask-and-lockdown mandates were always there to be found, even if the Internet is awash with partisan disclaimers and meretricious “fact-checkers”, even if Forbes, in an article plentifully larded with misinformation and false assumptions, has instructed us not to do our own research.

Moreover, the thoughtless rush to vaccines, which are not “vaccines” as we understand them but experimental mRNA strands injected into and systematically altering a person’s genetic code, may severely exacerbate the degree of catalepsy we are seeing. (Interestingly, Italy is presently launching a criminal manslaughter investigation against the BioPharmaceutical Company AstraZeneca, which uses a replicating vector-based vaccine as a delivery system that inserts genetic material into the cells’ nuclei.)

Of course, the slowdown we are witnessing is not only local or age-specific, so to speak, but cultural and national in its sweep. The economy has slowed to the point of near-irrecoverable stagnation. Entrepreneurial activity is sluggish. Small businesses are being decimated. The productive classes are almost paralyzed. Schools are closed. Elderly people are dying in nursing homes and senior residences. Prospects for the future seem positively narcoleptic. “Can do” no longer applies. A general sense of hopelessness has begun to pervade every aspect of common life, every major enterprise and plan for investment in long-term projects. 

Run for your lives!

One sees the signs of demoralization and lethargy everywhere in the little things: the way people avoid each other and isolate in their portable “bubbles”; the way people murmur and mutter behind their face swaddlings; the way some people drive, fully masked, breathing in their own drowsy-making CO2, idling at stoplights, executing unpredictable maneuvers, and oblivious of traffic merges—as I can ruefully attest; and, most emphatically, in the way people walk, especially though not exclusively among the older population, tilting downward, phlegmatic and heavy, like sagging bladders of terminal despondency. This is terrifying to see.

True, there are places that are coming to or have come to their senses. Even The New York Times admits that Florida, for example, an open state with many seniors, outperforms most other regions and jurisdictions in the anti-COVID sweepstakes. Nonetheless, judging from my observations and the reports I receive from other parts of the country, the general impression of something like perithanatic anomie, a kind of corporeal melancholy afflicting a large segment of the population, appears to be valid.

Where is responsibility to be assigned? The arrogance, stupidity and coercive power of the political class on the whole and of the so-called medical “experts” who conform to and abet their masters’ agendas cannot be forgiven. They have been wrong across the board and, along with their Big Tech and media collaborators, have caused vastly more harm than they have prevented, crippling economic and social life as well as generating an “excess” mortality count that is staggering.

A JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) study covering the period from March 1 to May 30, 2020 in the U.S. reveals that “the number of excess all-cause deaths was 28% higher than the official tally of COVID-19–reported deaths during that period,” owing to delayed medical care, economic hardship, substance abuse, emotional distress and “suicides of despair.” In my own country, Statistics Canada has belatedly concluded that “the number of excess deaths has been higher than the number of deaths due to COVID-19, and these deaths are affecting younger populations.” 

With a Great Reset on its way soon.

In fairness, however, it should be acknowledged that the majority of people, young as well as older, have accepted the diktats of government officials and their public CMOHs (chief medical officers of health) as oracles, without questioning the information they dispense or consulting independent, non-governmental-aligned epidemiological authorities, such as The Great Barrington Declaration, the American Institute for Economic Research, JAMA and many others. Public obeisance is at the root of the travesty of voluntary disempowerment, the effects of which are now on popular display. “Those who know the least obey the best,” wrote George Farquhar in The Inconstant

I have seen the identical syndrome my friend mentions at work in the members of my own family, who implicitly believe everything the lying media tell them about masks, lockdowns and vaccines, and treat my warnings as merely conspiratorial. The respect they have, amounting almost to adulation, for health bureaucrats and medical hired guns, who may not “know anything” and who have occasionally violated their own proscriptions, is quite discouraging. My relatives refuse to look up anything for themselves or credit the clear evidence when it is presented to them. The mental disposition of those I care for reproduces the physical deportment they increasingly exhibit, the signs of a profound distress which they cannot disguise. And it seems, despite my best efforts, there is nothing I can do about it.

All one can manage at this point is to bear witness and stay upright. Observing these legions of abulics shambling by, tentatively fumbling with their masks and looking wilted, I find this posture of desuetude truly appalling and ask myself, to adapt a phrase from Henrik Ibsen, whether the dead will ever awaken. For it is an exhaustion of spirit, a reduction of vital energy, a lasting expression of defeat and a morbid depletion of the will that may be among the greatest and most gratuitous harms the Covid panic has produced.

Sometimes, anatomy speaks.

Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Fleeing

I’m not sure what compelled me to do it but I think wanting to return to my very own house after more than a year's absence seemed a small request. I had tried to get back to Los Angeles many times—the worst of which was a month ago when I couldn’t make heads or tails of the new stricter mandate. And for that reason, I called Los Angeles County only to find this clarification…”It will be up to the officer”.

Officer? What officer is involved in my returning to a place where I live and pay taxes? There was a provision for “immediate” medical appointments and when I queried the meaning of “immediate”…they said ask your doctor -- who, I pointed out, is not a lawyer and will not be on speed dial as I face “the officer” at LAX.

A friend told me that a petition to recall the California governor, Gavin Newsom, had forced him to rollback some of the restrictions, but I can tell you the full explanation on the county website was a hodge-podge and I’d have used up two highlighters trying to mark the inconsistencies.

I’d Covid-tested in Dallas stayed in a hotel for three days, and had made my way to LAX where I tested again right at the airport. Negative—obviously (I’d already had the dreaded Covid) but I was still panicked about the very real risk of a false positive. Daddy told me not to go but I’d decided to make a run for it—and I booked a ton of doctor’s appointments so I wouldn’t break any rules!

This means you.

Walking through the terminal I found monitors of a sinister-looking man making very scary threats to all travellers. I don’t know how you can get more panicked when you’re already panicked, but I started to break a sweat though I’d committed no crime. The thought of calling my father loomed large and then I remembered that the last time I’d been at this very terminal -- and sufficiently put off—I’d re-routed to Hawaii without leaving the airport. Somehow I’d forgotten that bit.

To be collected at the airport requires you spend the big money on the big Uber SUV. Otherwise you’re packed like sardines into a bus to God-knows-where. How, I ask, is this good for the environment? Requiring a large vehicle and unnecessary buses? I made my way along the sidewalk and through the cigarette haze to the Covid testing station. My reservation code wouldn’t scan but it was only me, and one other man, shelling out $125 for the much-hyped “free tests”.

Home sweet home and between my housekeeper and groundskeeper, I didn’t know who’d been the biggest flop. Loads of un-forwarded mail and fallen leaves lie just inside my door. A/C not working, refrigerator not working, my car tires flat, and the battery dead.

UCLA Medical was mobbed… with no parking... as I circled round and round and polluted the garage in the process. When finally I made my way to the elevator there was a huddle of people all within inches of one another— so as to comply with the distancing rules that allowed a “maximum of four” per elevator.

All this and Covid too.

I rang up my bestie to meet for lunch and she said Beverly Hills was the only option for avoiding “tent cities” so we met at a place we’d often been—except now there was a handwritten poster of demands:

Do not stand without a mask, be masked when the waiter approaches, lower the mask only when actively eating or drinking… (meaning pull down the mask, take a bite, cover your mouth and chew) and more nonsense. For this we were sitting outside and paying Covid prices.

The next morning it was re-baptism by fire. My ENT converted my appointment to a “tele-health” visit, which is code for video call. I don’t know how he’s supposed to listen to my lungs or take a culture but, hey, Cedars Sinai doctors think they are gods anyway and who am I to argue with God?

So at precisely 7:45 am I opened the video link and… nothing. I tried re-boot, tried killing 5G, but then I remembered…it’s Los Angeles! Home of zero bars. I hopped on my bike (car still dead) and sped down the canyon narrowly avoiding death more than once. You can get killed here taking out the garbage let alone being a moving target around a winding curve. And trust me when I tell you—this is car-town! No one would have any empathy for a green-nik on a bike.

Down, down, down the canyon I pedaled… one bar, two bars… nope it’s zero bars. Bloody hell! I pushed myself up someone’s private driveway and…bingo! My phone is now blowing up with texts and calls that obviously didn’t come in last night so it’s a full two minutes before I can dial. That’s when I realised I’d left the house in a blazer and pajama pants. And I’m not wearing sunscreen.

I’m late, doctor’s pissed, and for some reason the video part isn’t working so I can’t even smile to bring him round. He’s gone full-jerk in the two years since I’ve seen him. WOW! I ring off and all I can think is I’m grateful I didn’t have to do yesterday’s PAP smear by Zoom.

Still in the private drive, I’ve been picked up by surveillance camera and the homeowner now comes to the gate to tell me—it’s a private drive.

Or not, as the case may be.

Two hours and two lattes later I met my friend at a Korean spa and truly I cannot believe my own eyes: it’s miles of homeless people lining a previously respectable boulevard. The Uber drops me across the street and I cannot walk fast enough to the front door. I don’t mean to judge…I’m just scared. Inside—the Covid-panic is so ridiculous I forget my zen-mindset and roll my eyes at their plastic-covered sneakers.

Now sufficiently steamed and scrubbed, we picked up sustainable salmon salads and ate in her car—mask free.

Heading back up the canyon and to my house I wondered if I’d be able to call daddy. He wouldn’t have much empathy but I was at my wits' end. That is until I turned the corner and found a tent village had sprouted up in the course of one day. How—without resource—had they managed such a feat? Of course one feels terrible for them but downwind the smell was already enough to knock one over and a stream of urine had crossed the street and pooled at my driveway. There was also the noise, and the sheer number of them.

And 45 minutes later I was back at LAX in an airport hotel.

I WILL be back Los Angeles, but as of tomorrow morning there’s a business class seat with my name on it.

Covid-19 and the Surrender of the Masses

What is most startling in the present Covid-19 circumstances is the massive public accommodation to the onset of the coronavirus and the draconian measures deployed to combat it. Everywhere we look we see crowds streaming by wearing utterly useless masks, some with equally useless plastic visors over their masks. (Interestingly, domestic masking has yet to be scientifically approved by the FDA.)

Obviously, I am not referring to those who must wear masks under legal compulsion: to shop, to visit the doctor’s office, or simply to keep their jobs. They are the reluctant—and sometimes vocal—minority who know that masks contribute to hypoxia, which leads to immune deficiency; inhibit normal, intelligible conversation; eliminate facial expressions that serve as semantic cues in verbal exchanges; and extinguish basic signs and elements of human personality. Aside from the medical N-95, masks have zero preventive value. 

Masks, however, are only the cutaneous surface of widespread supine compliance with authority. What is no less distressing is that the majority of people are gratefully accepting of the supposed deterrent efficacy of a lockdown strategy that has caused enormous suffering and destroyed the economy of nations. It has also been responsible for a vast number of “excess deaths.” Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grudgingly admits there have been nearly 600,000 excess deaths due to “changed mortality patterns”—i.e., untreated medical conditions, suicides of despair, and “other causes.” Masks and lockdowns caucus together, doing irreparable harm. 

We give up.

Even the president of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, in his COVID-19: The Great Reset described COVID as not an existential threat and “one of the least deadly pandemics the world has experienced in the last 2000 years.” Of course, this is not to say that the situation is not serious; even a papaya can test positive for the virus. (I have heard that said papaya has quickly recovered and is doing well.)

But common sense suggests that all a lockdown does is lead to another lockdown ad perpetuum, since the locked-down do not build up immunity to the virus but continue to harbor it, and open the door for the continued production of mutant strains. In the words of the W.H.O., “As lockdowns become more prevalent, family spread will become more common.” 

There can be littler doubt that something even more sinister is going on here. Lee Smith points out in a brilliant essay titled Thirty Tyrants that lockdowns have never been used before as public health measures because they are actually instruments of political repression. They do not prevent contagion but allow for civic demoralization and political control of fearful populations.  

As Schwab has written in his various books, the “pandemic” furnishes an excellent opportunity for a Great Reset envisioning a pliable and submissive population under the authority of a global techno-oligarchy. It should give us pause that in his recent book, Stakeholder Capitalism, Schwab praises Communist China as a shining example of state-controlled capitalism, which is really another name for fascism.

This serves as a model for the political future. The process is already in operation in the form of United Nations Agenda 2030. It is called “sustainable development,” which it manifestly is not. This should be obvious to any thinking person. Yet the question rarely arises, while masks have now become designer-wear and lockdowns proliferate like The Fast and the Furious film sequels.

Many “ordinary people,” writes former police officer Jack Dunphy, have “for nearly a year…  been conditioned to submit.” But a combination of anecdotal and hard statistical evidence would strongly suggest that voluntary and even enthusiastic compliance is a far more significant factor. A recent IPSOS Reid poll reports that 93 percent of Canadians “say they are doing their best to abide by public health recommendations regarding Covid-19,” and that more Canadians “are wearing a protective mask than was the case just a few months ago.”

Our way or the highway.

Americans seem only marginally less passive and deferential than Canadians. According to the Tampa Bay Times, “two-thirds of American adults support mask mandates [and] just over half support lockdowns of nonessential businesses.”

Such people are unaware of the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by more than 54,000 independent public health scientists and medical practitioners, proposing the proper way of treating the pandemic and balancing “the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity.” This would allow “those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.” It concludes:

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures…should be practiced by everyone…Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume…while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.” Reports from highly respectable sources such as this or the CDC—and innumerable others—are easily found by any inquisitive mind interested in data and evidence.

The Declaration makes many sensible recommendations, which have been piously attacked by “authorities” who are vested in the perpetuation of punitive measures. Such is to be expected of our dictatorial elites, who have their own interests at heart, but one might have hoped for insight and pushback on the part of an exploited public. After all, studies like Great Barrington and indeed many other similar documents are readily accessible on the Net. And a simple perusal or mere scan of any of Schwab’s very affordable books would have given the political game away.

The strategies of manipulation adopted by our Schwabian elites and techno oligopolies can work only among populations that have experienced a watered-down and indoctrination-driven education system, that have been influenced by the postmodern and progressivist campaign—now called “wokeism”—against the usages, traditions and core moral principles of Judeo-Christian civilization, that are no longer accustomed to reading—the army of the unlettered is vast, laments the intellectually formidable Theodore Dalrymple— and that have been materially distracted by a digital culture resulting in dwindling attention spans and intellectual deficits. In this latter regard, Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains tells a distressingly familiar story.

Which is another way of saying that the lockdown from which we are suffering is not only physical, it is also cognitive and cerebral, and antedates the virus by decades, if not longer. It is the prior lockdown of the mind that ensures our passive and obedient assent to the lockdown of the body. It is now well known that IQ scores in the West are in worrisome decline. The decay of IQ was studied systematically in a 2006 landmark paper by Richard Lynn and John Harvey, detailing country by country a period of both declining genotypic (genetic source) and phenotypic (societal metrics) intelligence in the modern world. Innumerable studies have since followed confirming these results, many of which I detailed in this article.

It is no stretch to suggest that the compliance with the dictates of authority regarding Covid is a determining sign that the features we generally tend to associate with intelligence—wide-ranging curiosity about the world, independent judgement, analytical perspicuity, intellectual skepticism, the valorization of and search for objective truth, and the passionate desire to know—are in critical abeyance and likely what the depression in IQ scores is tracking.

This was the great fear of José Ortega y Gasset, who in his landmark The Revolt of the Masses anatomized the tendency of the modern masses “to win for themselves the right to despise intelligence and to avoid paying it any tribute.” Ortega saw intelligence as an obligation—as something to be striven for through autodidact learning and personal integrity and esteemed wherever it may be found—along with courtesy and truthfulness. The absence of these qualities, he felt, rendered us “half ridiculous, half disgraceful.”

The apparent enthusiasm… for the afflicted and for social justice, serves as a mask to facilitate the refusal of all obligation.

Analogously, Australian political theorist Kenneth Minogue in The Liberal Mind, a crucial text for our time, explored the “moral and political evasions” from which modern liberalism suffers, focusing in part on “the successive and rapid enfranchisements of large and inarticulate masses of people” who represent the popular will.

Unfortunately, the popular will is “confused, immoral, inconvenient or otherwise defective.” As such, Minogue argues, people are susceptible to the “propaganda function of needs doctrine”; in the current context, for example, political authority declares that masks and lockdowns are survival needs, and a ductile and frightened electorate accepts the “vise-like grip which nothing will shake” of “needs conceptions.” Intellectual clarity is required to weigh and balance different conceptions of need and to assess which needs are real needs and which are deceptive.

The face of the New Normal.

How the masked and the locked-down can interact with people, hold down jobs, process information and contribute to the preservation of society remains a mystery. The best hope for the approximate revival of a spirit of pragmatic discernment and intellectual clarity lies not in the general public but in the emergence or return of responsible and astute leadership.

Despite the decline in IQ, or common intelligence, there may yet be a course correction to forestall the terminal collapse of everyday life and the total devastation of the economy. As Samuel Beckett famously concluded The Unnamable, “you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” But the future will remain always problematic. For the complicit, the fearful, the virtue-signallers, the shamers, the informers, the submissive, the unwitting, the poorly educated and the credulous—in short, the compliant masses that Ortega and Minogue despaired of—are a significant part of that future.

Did 'Climate Change' Cause Coronavirus?

It's shocking how often the Wuhan Coronavirus seems to confirm the priors of our elite governing class. Or it would be shocking if they weren't the ones who control the Covid narrative.

Take, for instance, this article, which reports that researchers now believe "[c]limate change may have played a 'key role' in the transmission of the novel coronavirus to humans by driving several species of pathogen-carrying bats into closer contact." Which is to say, our newest enemy -- the virus behind the present pandemic -- is, in reality, our old enemy -- climate change. "Always has been," to quote the popular meme.

According to the article, "[r]esearchers... used temperature and rainfall data over the last 100 years to model populations of dozens of bat species based on their habitat requirements." And what did they find? That, in the course of that time, as many as forty species of bat "had relocated to southern China, Laos and Myanmar," where the virus is thought to have originated.

"Our paper is a long way away from saying the pandemic would not have happened without climate change," lead author Robert Meyer... told AFP. "But I find it difficult to see that this climate-driven increase in bats and bat-borne coronaviruses make something like this less likely to happen."

He goes on to claim that "changing climate and habitat destruction in Asia had driven virus-carrying species into ever closer contact with human populations."

That's a pretty big jump. Even the widely accepted “zoonotical" claim, which holds that Covid-19 evolved organically -- i.e. that it wasn't engineered in a lab, but developed in nature to the point that it could jump to humans -- has tended to reject the idea that the virus moved directly from bats. That's because Covid-19, while similar to a variety of bat coronaviruses, differs in several key ways which are the difference between a virus that's dangerous to humans and one that's not. Consequently, the current operational theory is that it passed to humans not via bat but through a pangolin, perhaps one that was sold at one of China's notorious wet markets.

Considered in that light, with bats in the wild infecting pangolins in the wild which are eventually captured and eaten by humans, the Bats-Dispossessed-by-Climate-Change theory seems a lot less plausible. Bat displacement throughout the 20th century, whether or not it had anything to do with climate change, didn't increase contacts between humans and animals, human agency did.

Speaking of human agency, it is funny that New York magazine's extremely persuasive article from the beginning of the year on the possible lab leak origins of Covid-19 never seem to get the same attention as these far-fetched hypotheses.

The argument of that piece is complex, but the basic idea is that we should not discount the possibility that the Wuhan Institute of Virology -- which houses "the most comprehensive inventory of sampled bat viruses in the world" and is quite close to the wet market originally identified as the original source of the outbreak -- had some hand in engineering this virus. Its author, Nicholson Baker, reports in painstaking detail the idiosyncrasies of this virus which make such a possibility more likely, including the famous "spike protein," which doesn't appear in any of the bat coronaviruses, but which is triggered by furin, a protein found in human lungs.

Adding agents like this into animal viruses to make them more contagious for humans is one of the main activities of BSL-4 labs, like the one in Wuhan. But talking about this possibility will get you labeled a crank. Meanwhile, positing that climate change caused Covid-19, that nature is punishing us, that will get you research funding.

Go figure.

Not Healing Nature But Controlling It

Political environmentalism frequently warns about the dangers of meddling with nature,  warning against the encroachment of human settlements on wilderness areas, mining, fishing or drilling for oil. However it neglects the impact on nature by scientists and environmentalists themselves.

Nicholson Baker's article in a recent issue of New York Magazine soberly examines the pros and cons of the proposition: did the coronavirus escape from a lab? The answer of experts? Maybe.

For decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if … there were laboratory accidents. By 1960, hundreds of American scientists and technicians had been hospitalized, victims of the diseases they were trying to weaponize.

In the U.S., “more than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012,” reported USA Today...

And then consider the cautious words of Alina Chan, a scientist who works at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “There is a reasonable chance that what we are dealing with is the result of a lab accident,” Chan told me in July of last year...

Not only that, but they’d figured out how to perform their assembly seamlessly, without any signs of human handiwork. Nobody would know if the virus had been fabricated in a laboratory or grown in nature. Baric called this the “no-see’m method...”

What began as a high-minded effort to heal humanity also became the deadliest endeavor on earth. Scientists wanted to anticipate nature by inventing the pathogens first enabling them to create a vaccine template that could deal with most if not all threats. That effort included American funding for bug hunting and amplification in Wuhan.

It wasn’t only AIDS that changed the way the NIH funded research. The War on Terror also influenced which diseases got the most attention.... Vaccine development had to progress much faster, Fauci believed; he wanted to set up “vaccine systems” and “vaccine platforms,” which could be quickly tailored to defend against a particular emergent strain some terrorist with an advanced biochemistry degree might have thrown together in a laboratory. “Our goal within the next 20 years is ‘bug to drug’ in 24 hours.”

In fact, WHO sent a fact-finding team into the origins of the virus to China is  because nobody knows for sure what the side effects of that effort have been. At least Fauci has his vaccine platform development. "You may be surprised to learn that of the trio of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines, the most promising, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which reported a 94.5 percent efficacy rate... had been designed by January 13 [2020]."

The Moderna vaccine design took all of one weekend. It was completed before China had even acknowledged that the disease could be transmitted from human to human, more than a week before the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States. By the time the first American death was announced a month later, the vaccine had already been manufactured and shipped to the National Institutes of Health for the beginning of its Phase I clinical trial.

The bad news: reliance on the vaccine platforms is likely to become permanent.  Edward Holmes, one of the two scientists to first publish the genome sequence of SARS-Cov-2 said in an interview that vaccination will become a fixture of future life:

My guess is that as immunity [to Covid] rises in the population, hopefully by vaccination, you will start to see immune escape gradually. That will happen. That's an inevitable consequence of natural selection. It's been played out for millennia, and it's going to happen again. We will very likely need to update these vaccines at some point. That may take 2 years or 5 years or 1 year; I don't know.

Round and round we go.

Perhaps the most candid admission that modern environmentalism is about controlling nature rather than leaving it alone comes from discussions around the Paris climate agreement. It is becoming the foundation stone of climate engineering.

Under article 3 of the Paris Agreement, states are required to identify a range of contributions (NDCs) to address climate change. So long as these contributions are consistent with the underlying articles, there is no express restriction on including climate engineering measures as part of an NDC in order to achieve net emissions neutrality (a balance of emissions and removals) by 2050. The definition of “mitigation” includes sinks, which appears to include CDR [carbon dioxide removal] technologies as they are defined broadly under the UNFCCC to include “any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas.”

Two of the most prominent climate engineering proposals are now politically visible and therefore fundable. The Hill writes: "Climate change has been viewed as a national security threat multiplier. To offset its damage, scientists in the United States and other countries are working on technology to manipulate the climate. This is known as geoengineering that is divided into two types, which are carbon dioxide removal to take out carbon from the air and solar radiation management to reflect a small fraction of sunlight away from the earth."  These are gigantic engineering projects. The Oxford Geoengineering Programme has a more detailed description of what "healing nature" involves:

Solar Radiation Management (SRM)

  1. Albedo enhancement. Increasing the reflectiveness of clouds or the land surface so that more of the Sun’s heat is reflected back into space.
  2. Space reflectors. Blocking a small proportion of sunlight before it reaches the Earth.
  3. Stratospheric aerosols. Introducing small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect some sunlight before it reaches the surface of the Earth.

Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR)

  1. Afforestation. Engaging in a global-scale tree planting effort.
  2. Biochar. 'Charring' biomass and burying it so that its carbon is locked up in the soil.
  3. Bio-energy with carbon capture and sequestration. Growing biomass, burning it to create energy and capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide created in the process.
    Ambient Air Capture. Building large machines that can remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air and store it elsewhere.
  4. Ocean Fertilization. Adding nutrients to the ocean in selected locations to increase primary production which draws down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  5. Enhanced Weathering. Exposing large quantities of minerals that will react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and storing the resulting compound in the ocean or soil.
  6. Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement. Grinding up, dispersing, and dissolving rocks such as limestone, silicates, or calcium hydroxide in the ocean to increase its ability to store carbon and directly ameliorate ocean acidification.

These will potentially cost trillions. Twenty-first century environmentalism has already become the province of big pharma and gigantic engineering firms. Climate politics is not about leaving nature alone but subordinating it to the diktat of governments. The Hill glimpses the incipient danger.

If the moral and ethical frame of geoengineering should shift from one of global benevolence where all stakeholders have a voice and international law applies, to one of national security and international law is dismissed, a climate arms race becomes more likely.

At some point the idealists will be shoved aside and the power players will take over. Like the current biosecurity crisis the world is now living through,  a climate arms race is virtually certain.

The Mask of the Red (Covid) Death

Just this morning I was looking out my window at the esplanade that borders the Fraser River when a couple strolled by and paused for a moment beside the guardrail. They were, of course, fully masked, though as a couple they were exempt from the Covid distancing rules. As they turned to leave, they embraced and exchanged a long kiss, mask to mask, which would have made a charming scene were it not so grotesque, two masks glued together in surreal intimacy.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam would have felt vindicated. “Like other activities during Covid-19 that involve physical closeness,” she advised, “there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus.” The safest strategy is to “skip kissing, avoid face-to-face closeness, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.”

Of course, Tam’s counsels were meant for casual encounters, but why stop there? Safety first—and second, third, ad infinitum, the Covid way of life. In fact, you can’t be safe enough. According to this expert, the sexual activity with the lowest risk “involves yourself alone.” Talk about self-isolation! 

Be fruitful and don't multiply.

Similarly, the provincial Center for Disease Control advises people, among the “tips and strategies [and] protective steps” sexual partners should adopt, to “wear a face covering or mask,” which cuts down on “heavy breathing,” or to “use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.”

One should also consider that “video dates, phone chats, sexting, online chat rooms and group cam rooms are ways to engage in sexual activity” without taking risks. Most important, recognize that “you are your safest partner.” Best to go it alone and avoid close contact with others. However, “If you’re feeling fine and have no symptoms of Covid-19, you can still have sex.” Permission has been granted. 

It is obscene that unelected officials in the sublimity of their wisdom can tell us how and when to perform intimacy. The idea is not only hideous, but on a human level fundamentally alienating, an antidote to the normal expression of human passion and romantic feeling—especially when the risk for younger and asymptomatic people is vanishingly low.

As the American Institute for Economic Research reliably reports, cutting through the panic and the hype, there is “a mortality rate of 0.01 percent, assuming a two-week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1 percent.” Sucharit Bkakdi, a leading microbiologist at the University of Mainz and, unlike Tam, a genuine authority on the virus, gives an estimate “of 0.1 percent-0.3 percent, which is the range of moderate flu.”

No matter. When I venture out for my afternoon walk along the esplanade, I feel as if I’m entering a carnival horror arcade or a grade-C zombie flick. Nearly everyone is masked, not only the elderly who may be in the statistical danger zone, but the middle aged, families, bicyclists, joggers, younger people, children and even toddlers, who are effectively immune.

True, very few are kissing or engaging in indecorous activity, but that is no consolation. The sense of the eerie, of something morbid and freakish this way coming, is deeply distressing, no less than the abject compliance with government mandates in the absence of common sense or intelligent reflection.

A recent IPSOS Reid poll finds that 93 percent of Canadians “say they are doing their best to abide by public health recommendations regarding Covid-19.” The poll reports that more Canadians “are wearing a protective mask than was the case just a few months ago,” and that “support for safety measures remains high.” Support for critical scrutiny and independent inquiry into the facts does not.

Home sweet home.

We are living in the Age of Covid, enjoined or compelled to stay in our “bubble,” to practice “social distancing” (six feet is the officially designated distance, the same as the typical grave depth), and to wear those ghastly medical ornaments, multi-ply masks, over half our faces.

Over time, coercion has turned into willing consensus and self-enforced mutilation of the spirit; a fearful and pliable public has surrendered its autonomy of judgment to a statistical reign of terror practiced by ignorant and power-hungry politicians and their self-serving health officials. People have suffered a mental lockdown, a form of cerebral morbidity. As Stephen Kruiser writes:

The lockdowns ruined far more lives than they’ve saved—if they’ve saved any at all. The data on wearing masks has been kind of all over the place too. Those who’ve been spreading the pandemic panic porn for political purposes treat the masks as if they have super powers. We will more than likely find out that wearing them was all just so much useless theater too.

The mask has become the major symbol of a time when human relationships, what we used to call face to face contact, are relics of a receding past. Facebook was bad enough, when personal reciprocity was replaced by digital transmissions and friendship became “friending.” Now Facebook has become Facemask, eliminating the human smile, articulate speech, normal conversation and personal expressions while transforming sexual and romantic intimacy into a lurid caricature of communion, affection, affinity and warmth—the empty husk of human presence.

In a poem delightful for its insouciant humor, Canadian poet Michael Harris wished to be “among the essential kissers of all time.” The volume, New & Selected, appeared in 1998. He would have had another think coming had he written his poem today.