(2500 words) (Revised/Expanded: Feb. 20, edited Feb. 21)
(TL;DR Summary, 125 words: Question: Why has Anti-Panic leadership during the ongoing Coronavirus Panic been so lacking, so apparently weak? Discussion: We can first ask, What is ‘Leadership’? There are Original-Ideas leaders and Cheerleader-leaders. Given the constant defeats-on-evidence for the Corona Pro-Panic side, why haven’t more thought-leaders of the influential ‘Cheerleader’ type spoken out, consistently and strongly, against the Corona-Panic? Answer. I don’t know, but there are several families of explanations related to social pressures. Importance of this Inquiry: I believe following this question where it leads allows us to peek into how “discourse control” works in our time, with implications beyond the “Corona-Crisis.” Hypothesis: The obvious answers to the weakness of Anti-Panic/Anti-Lockdown leadership come with censorship and social-opprobrium. I propose another, what I call herein The Cognitive Dissonance of the Corona-Cult-Defector, a condition I hypothesize is suffered from by those who “snap out of” any cult or discover deception related thereto; defectors become disoriented and ineffective.)
Much writing on these pages in 2020 was on the Corona Question. I came to see the Anti-Panic (Anti-Lockdown) side as correct on all the main points, correct on the data, yet even so treated like Flat-Earth-ism when dealt with at all. It was strangely hard to find basic Anti-Panic positions in the news and wider discourse, but eventually much of it seeped through (usually many months after the findings, months after the ideas began to be discussed on the Anti-Panic side). We can postulate some reasons why this may have been so in the initial Panic (I mean, it was a classic mass-hysteria period with all the telltale signs). That might cover Month 1. But I wonder to ask about Month 4, Month 8, and now even reaching Month 12. Where are the major promoters of Anti-Panic material?
The Anti-Panic general position was the better “bet” all along. Of course there was uncertainty. After more data came in, it became a surer bet, and eventually it became as sure as we know anything on questions like this (it was a flu wave at the upper-end of the normal historical range for flu waves, that’s all). In other words, the Anti-Panic side won on the data. I think it had won by May 1st. After May 1st, anyone still on the Pro-Panic side was either willfully ignoring the data, or ignorant of the data and/or what it meant (in fact many were something else, they were in an emotionalized, politicized, religious mega-scale Virus-Cult).
May 1st was something like two or three months into the Panic-cycle (depending on when you choose to start the Panic). Now we are at something like the One Year mark. It’s been a strange ride…
I stopped posting on the matter. I was convinced the argument was over, the Anti-Panic side was right both factually and morally. I am still sure that will be the judgement of history.
There is so much puzzling about the whole thing. How do we account for the comfortable victory of the Anti-Panic side on the facts/data but at the same time a disastrous defeat for the Anti-Panic side in public policy? To appearances, it would seem an at-first-somewhat-shabby coalition of often-shrill Pro-Panic forces, and second-rate demagogues, was able to seize control of an entire civilization and inflict enormous damage. And not just for a few weeks or months but now one year and counting, with many of the Pro-Panic regimes signaling they are going to stay loyal to the Virus-Cult for a long time to come, a Forever War against what is now a moderate flu virus (which is of course delusional). This global fiasco is sure to provoke commentary for years to come. (The best I’ve seen recently is Edward Hadas’ “The War Against Covid-19.“)
Yes, we need answers. The whole thing seems so bizarre, really, in big-picture terms that it is guaranteed to get a large portion of the Anti-Panic side to drift into thinking the entire thing was part of a deliberate coup d’etat, or series of coups d’etat. But we don’t necessarily need such explanations.
We should ask questions like this: Who were the leaders on the Pro-Panic side? Not specific individuals per se, but types of person. When and why did they attach themselves to the Pro-Panic side? Why are there so few major-platform leaders who speak n behalf of the Anti-Panic side?
Actually, I think it would help to back up and ask some really basic questions:
What is a leader?
Let’s say a leader is one who influences others or seeks to influence others (some would-be leaders have very limited success) with some kind of agenda or plan. When speaking at the full-society level of a complex society, these are necessarily thought-leaders. And they come in many forms. There are different varieties of people who come up with their own thoughts, or who boost somebody else’s thoughts, or both.
Someone once wisely said that a true leader is not one who observes where the pack is going and rushes to the front and declares himself the “leader.” The true leader is the one out in front, getting others to follow him.
In the comments section of the Peak Stupidity blog, recently, two categories of thought-leader were proposed: “Original Ideas” thought-leaders and “Cheerleaders.” (Both “Cheerleader Leaders” and “Original-Ideas Leaders” are important and can exist in symbiosis or in opposition. Some of us have clear biases towards one type over the other and would do well to recognize the importance of the other type.)
There are plenty of Original-Ideas Leaders who areAnti-Panic. But Commenter GAnderson asks, at Peak Stupidity, the question that inspires this post: Why do there seem to be so few Corona-Anti-Panic ‘Cheerleader’ thought-leaders?
Getting ideas out (cheerleading, if you will) is important.
Look at the current Corona-mess. If one reads Mr. Hail, Kevin Roche, Briggs (apologies to anyone I’ve left out) listen to the guy from Catholic U whose name escapes me right now, Howie Carr, etc., well, I think it’s obvious that the corona panic couldn’t be anything other than a scam- but who’s saying that nationally, with the kind of megaphone Rush had. […]
Is anyone? Carlson? To my observation none of our representatives in Congress are, yet after a year, and the evidence pointing directly to the notion that this panic is a scam, we are, at least where I live more committed to panicking than ever.
I had written:
The “Original-Ideas Genius” is out in front of the pack, trying to move the pack in a new direction.
The “Cheerleader Genius” is firmly in the middle of the pack, or symbolically near the front when need be, but in any case is carried on a sedan chair, armed with a bullhorn, shouting encouragements to the rest of the pack.
The pack moves in ever-shifting directions, as time flows on, moving in some direction or other following people who are out front, Original Ideas men.
(I’ll go against my better judgement and expand on the idea here: The conceptual-categories “Cheerleader” and “Original-Ideas” are not somehow immutable characteristics of a person, pegged to an individual for life. The same person can fill either role. Or, for the majority of people (the pack) the majority of the time, neither role. Shifting between roles is natural according to circumstances. The same person can be your drinking buddy on the weekend and someone’s boss during the workweek, and an anonymous spectator at the sport stadium — same man, very different roles.)
Since Hail To You has turned into an Anti-Panic Corona-Blog (for now), I want to highlight GAnderson’s question and solicit answers for it: Why do we see so few “Cheerleaders” for the Anti-Panic side?
It’s long been that the Anti-Panic side has won, fairly decisively, on the actual data, at least in a non-goalpost-shifted world. The Anti-Panic side is a coalition and any coalition is always in flux, but among the independent Original-Ideas-type people and people inclined to independent thinking, the Anti-Panic side is far more common. This is a good position for the Anti-Panic side to be in, as far as it being an intellectual movement goes. But of course it would seem to have lost, and lost bad, among the Cheerleader-type thought-leaders, and the real-world results are terrible in many places, just an embarrassing civilizational own-goal.
This question (Where are the Anti-Panic ‘Cheerleader’-type thought-leaders?) is simple to ask but no simple matter. I think it really strikes to the heart of the Corona-Dilemma, the Corona-Panic Trap. It points to the fact that “COVID” is (and always has been) primarily a social-phenomenon and not a medical one.
I don’t claim to have a definite answer here, though some tempting answers present themselves which I’ll quote and add to below. This humble blog is blessed with high-quality comments, so more wisdom will surely come in the comments-section discussion below.
It’s’ tempting to think that the “Corona-Crisis” (as a social phenomenon, which is the only way to understand what’s happened the past year — i.e., as a social phenomenon), is the product of Cheerleader-type thought-leaders, chanting their way into a crisis. That framing still passes the buck, of course, because Cheerleaders do not generate new ideas, so where did the Panic idea come from? Yes, identifying these Pro-Panic Cheerleaders as the culprits is mistaking the lay of the land today to the lay of the land before the deluge.
In the decisive early stages, the Panic was really driven by something else, something removed from the normal dance of Cheerleaders vs. Original-Ideas-ers: Simple mass hysteria.
To return to the metaphor of society, or public-opinion, as a pack of animals slowing moving around the plain, their course slowly and tentatively shifting as some move to follow this or that thought-leader. When a mass hysteria occurs, the pack panics, stampedes, no longer follows any leaders and only the momentum of the stampede, at until the energy of the stampede wears out. Both types of leaders (Original-Ideas and Cheerleaders), positioned somewhere either inside or at the margins of the pack, were confused about what to do. All leadership and previous diving lines broke down to some extent.
(To exit the metaphor,) After a while a new set of Cheerleaders emerged to cheer on the Corona-Panic itself, which had triumphed and turned itself into a religion. The new regime set up a secret police force to keep any Original-Ideas dissidents in line. Some of the same Cheerleader-Thought-Leaders who had mocked Covid early on tin the cycle were now fanatics on its behalf.
The Anti-Panic side has been marginalized and the madness has continued. despite the Anti-Panic side’s considerable (theoretical) asset of being, well, right (at least in spirit) on almost every point all along the way.
Is our marginalization because the Anti-Panic side lacks credible Cheerleaders, people with large platforms willing to consistently take as hard an Anti-Panic line as the Pro-Panic side has pushed its own line?
Where are the Anti-Panic Cheerleaders?
Commenter Adam Smith at Peak Stupidity replied to GAnderson’s implied question:
People who tried to be calm and anti-panic have been flushed down the memoryhole as deniers and potential grandma-killers. Anyone with a decent sized audience who is not a panicker gets canceled. Many people know this and disseminate the party line, weather they believe it or not. Most people on the electronic synagogue have no integrity.
Panicfest is obviously a scam, but common sense abandoned these lands long ago.
This is well said.
Few megaphone-holders are willing to hit hard, or at least consistently hard, on Anti-Panic talking points because of the strong policing of the discourse by the Pro-Panic regime which emerged beginning in April 2020. This includes corporate media, which employs the potential hardliner Anti-Panic ‘Cheerleaders.’ It certainly includes “Big Tech.” Youtube, for one, is willing to brazenly hand out life-bans to credentialed, world-leading, double-PhD’ed, thirty-year experts (like Dr. Wittkowski) for “contradicting CDC guidelines”! Twitter has banned lots of several big name Corona-Skeptics.
Every “Regime Media” article that mentions the Anti-Panic side (“Covid-Deniers” or similar messaging) inevitably asserts, by brute force, that the Anti-Panic side is wrong or evil or deranged or dangerous, or all the above. This unanimity, the bizarre refusal to engage with actual data and expertise and rational thinking, the biased and war-like coverage, the chutzpah of the brutal partly-line shoved at everyone, it’s all something out of Pravda.
The psychology of detaching from entanglement with a ‘cult’ and “Corona Cognitive Dissonance”
I think this “censorship and media pressure campaign” explanation, though, is just too easy. Something is missing. What is it?
I propose a second, more controversial reason for the lack of Anti-Panic-side opinion-leaders (especially of “Cheerleader” type) in high places.
Most people initially believed in “Covid.” Most people were sucked into the narrative at some point in the first three months of 2020, as the emerging pro-Panic coalition ran with its killer-virus horror-movie script.
There always were three sides: Pro-Panic, Neutrals, and Anti-Panic. The size and exact membership of each camp was always fluctuating. The ‘Neutrals’ largely ended up by default on the Pro-Panic side when lines were drawn because of seeming consensus of every expert and leader and the irrefutable evidence of all those anecdotes on TV and the scary pictures of people in hazmat suits.
Anyway, some of these people, whether they ended up on the dismal side of the “line” from an initial Neutral position or fell into the Pro-Panic side more full-on and became activists of the Corona-Gospel, when they finally “snap out of it,” when they finally realize they were deceived, they become disoriented. They become unable, in a real sense, to fight back. I know I am not coining a new term when I call this “Corona Cognitive Dissonance,” but maybe I am using it in a new way. It is the Cognitive Dissonance of the Corona-Cult-Defector.
Let me explain this with an analogy:
You’re young, in a new place, naive by disposition, vulnerable, lonely. One day, in your new place, you meet someone and you hit it off, just seem to click marvelously. Finally, a new friend! Then you meet another person, similar story. It turns out he knows the first! Nice. They invite you to a social gathering of some of their friends, and they have a lot, including some nice-looking single girls your age. Great! You get more invitations out. Before you know it, you’ve got this great group of friends you do things with, among whom there are a few pretty girls and one especially seems to seek out ways to spend time with you.
In due time, you discover proof-positive that these great instant-friends you’ve made, they’re all in a cult and they have been systematically targeting you, to rope you in and get you in the cult. When you find out what’s going on, at first you don’t want to believe it. But the proof seems irrefutable. Okay, maybe it IS a “new religion” group targeting you, but maybe these particular people “like you for you,” you rationalize. Eventually you move away from rationalization and you get angry and your mind becomes clouded, almost dizzy, when you think about it. You are unable to fully enunciate arguments which make sense, and you’re worried if you tell anyone else that a cult is “targeting you,” you’ll sound crazy. You’re more than a little scared. You become timid about confronting your new pseudo-friends about it all.
It’s a tough spot to be in, psychologically. Whatever you’re thinking, you’re not at your best. Your confidence is down. You prefer to focus on the familiar, on things you know better, and you find yourself staying later at work and hoping the cult passes without you having to risk too much on your own.
Here ends the analogy. The Cult is “Covid,” of course. The clandestine cult members ‘targeting’ you are Pro-Panic fanatics (and those who want to push Pro-Panic line for any one or set of their own reasons, a long tangent there). The analogy is not meant to be about the mechanics by which the Virus-Panic-Cult spread from person to person, it is meant to be about what a person emerging from the cult is feeling and thinking.
I think a lot of the people who would otherwise be vocal Anti-Panic hardliners are intimidated not (just) by censorship, but by a real psychological mental-block, Corona Cognitive Dissonance, after they realize they’ve been deceived.
See also: Is Corona a Religious Cult?
I feel what’s missing in your otherwise cogent analysis is the impact of social media and what might be called our Collective Karen. The numbers of people, some otherwise very intelligent, who bought fully into Covid Panic is astonishing. Keep in mind, for many of these people they haven’t been exposed to a single Anti-Panic idea, ever. Or if they have, it’s been in the context of “this crazy person wants to kill you.” At the same time, you have panic promoters like that Feigl-Ding clown, CDC shill Tom Frieden and HUNDREDS of other blue-checks stirring up panic constantly, with massive network effects.
This has resulted in an unending Panic drumbeat that drags millions in its wake. Even now when the nursing home scandal has hit him hard, you can still go to any random Cuomo tweet and the thread is thick with Karens thanking him for “saving New York” and for his “great leadership.” It’s amazing. If you took a national poll on the question, “True or False: Trump personally killed 400,000 Americans,” you’d probably get 40-50% true.
Most people who were pro-Panic in March haven’t budged an inch. If anything, they’ve gotten worse and happily jump on board the “one mask good, two masks better!” propaganda. And it’s all driven by social media and the Collective Karen. The social pressure is enormous. There is NO WAY I could pipe up on a work Zoom call and say “yeah, I don’t think masks really help” without being seriously reprimanded by HR, if not losing my job entirely. And keep in mind, that the tech companies are THICK with Kens and Karens. The censors working the trenches aren’t doing it because Zuck or Jack orders them too. They are true believers, and censorship is a holy cause for them. And they’ve already made sure that 95% of the work force are true believers, and the 5% wouldn’t dare dissent. They know what follows.
If you can separate your emotions from how they’ve wrecked the world, it’s really quite fascinating to watch.
The Karen thing is the emotion thing, PeterIke.
Men make laws, Goethe says, the womenfolk the exceptions. Of the prominent contemporaries, there’d be just Jordan B. Peterson who I’d say is up to Goethe’s reflexive height and willing to talk about such insights: That emotions tend to eat up principles now big style.
(Could well be Steven Pinker checks this stuff too. But if so, he is not willing to speak out).
You may mean this Goethe maxim (what is the original German?):
Does this apply to the Corona-Panic?
It held two centuries ago in Goethe’s time, when men dominated the state.
The answer depends on if we consider Corona-Rules the “laws/rules” or a long “exception” to the rules/laws.
The Goethe thought in Maxims and Reflections, No. 686
“Alle Gesetze sind von Alten und Männern gemacht. Junge und Weiber wollen die Ausnahme, Alte die Regel.”
Weib is closer to wife than to women – but – old English – wifmann = women.
Great: The verb weiben in medieval German: to move back and forth, to wave, float and – rock (that is right where we’re at here – and JB Peterson would wholeheartedly and – courageously, I have to say – agree: women are – by there very nature – less principled and – (everything has its dialectical flip-side (when in doubt about that, ask Hegel)) the womenfolk are less principled I said and: Less stiff than men, more willing to – just go along with whatever there is (= more eager to compromise, to give in to the forces that there are, – to go with the flow).
Yes, and probably an important part of understanding Corona-as-social-phenomenon.
I expect anecdotally most would say more women than men in their surroundings were/are committed to the Pro-Panic side.
But we are in a Chicken-or-Egg trap here: Who, or what, started the “flow” that so many “went with”? (especially women but plenty of men; of the latter, many “went with” to make their women happy)
Dieter Kief responds:
Great comment, PeterIke.
PeterIke makes a good point with regard to the social media, which is so much more of people’s lives than during other “interesting times” (such as after 9/11). I am not a heavy user, as they would call it, so I don’t have much experience with the collective Karens there. However, from hanging out with plenty of parents, I’ve seen a lot of individual Karens. (I kinda hate to use that word just because one of the most sane of the Kung Flu anti-panickers I’ve met was a lady at the park named, you guessed it, Karen, haha! We talked about this BS for 2 to 3 hours and agreed on everything.)
Is it because the crisis is about a disease, so anything one says to reason with them can be argued against with “you’re gonna make people sick, and someone will die!”? For other issues, more ideological ones, things can be argued over calmly or at least with no hard feelings later on. Our society has been so feminized, though that virus going around has everyone in mothering “be on the safe side” mode over important economic and liberty concerns. An anti-panic cheerleader will be shouted down by those who are feminized and those anti-panickers around will be afraid to speak up due to their being afraid of the establishment, which has been feminized completely.
I am one who doesn’t mind being shunned for not wearing my mask or speaking loudly enough about the stupidity of it all. I’ll often be the only one in the store not wearing a mask. I don’t care. I’ve got an anecdote for another comment here, tomorrow, I guess.
Somehow, people are just lacking perspective. Do they not remember that through their lives prior to 2020, we understood that there are viruses that get around and some people will get sick? Do they not remember that older people may worry and get vaccinated, or be extra careful, but the rest of us lived our lives normally? I mean, will it be the case from now on, in which we just refuse to let viruses live among us? Is it wrong for anyone to get sick anymore?
Yeah, too much media bombardment is probably the case. It drowns out one’s thinking for one’s self.
It’s been hard to miss the feminine vs. masculine angle to the whole Corona-Panic phenomenon, but it also feels like it’s not enough (why no shutdowns over previous “flu-like viruses”?)
Early in the Panic, a b.1940s male relative whose opinion I value told me in personal conversation that he saw the emergent Shutdowns as a case of the feminine vs. masculine, and connected it to the Democratic Party’s supposed “take care of everyone” instinct.
This relative himself votes Democrat as a holdover from the mid-20th century. He was also against the shutdowns, against school districts preemptively canceling weeks worth of classes (and then the rest of the school year and more), against libraries closing down indefinitely, against restaurants closing down, the latter at first voluntarily (with signs posted “Closed to April 1st to help slow the spread!” — often the same signs still hung, forlornly, months past the April 1st reopening date). In a word, on the Anti-Panic side. The maternal instinct had gone overboard. He contrasted it with the supposed Republican position of “Everyone’s on their own; Sink or swim!” Even so, he clearly favored the Stay Open side, which was already then in rapid retreat.
There is a prominent Anti-Panic activist named:
Jennifer Haskins-Cabrera (b.1965, two grown children).
Jennifer Haskins-Cabrera is, in the framework of Cheerleader vs. Original-Ideas, of the latter type. But more importantly here, as her name suggests she is indeed a woman. She is, though, a case of the “exception proving the rule” in that she has a science PhD . Meanwhile the fanatical Pro-Panic extremist Eric Fingle-Dingle does indeed have the necessary parts (as far as we know) to qualify as a male.
A response to PeterIke:
I know it’s a point made to death, but if you’d presented someone from the past in with the “Long Covid-Panic” scenario as we’ve observed it, someone in 1925, 1950, 1975, 2000, or, (yes) even on December 31, 2019 (2019 being well into the period in which Internet and computing power helps cause constant waves of moral-panics; cf. the entirety of Trump’s political life, but really much more), they’d laugh at you for coming up with something so implausible. It’s “b-movie” material. But here we are.
Why the laughter from the person-of-the-past (or the not-so-past)? They’d think it’s an interesting attempt at realistic dystopian fiction but ultimately fails because discourse control does not work, or could not work, that way (they think), in an “open society.”
The great tendency in our societies is this one: Emotions over reason (principles). – That echoes throughout – be it free speech or Co-19 analyses or the Greta-panic about climate change or the multitude of cases the sexes are dealt with or – BLM etc. pp (IQ and – God forbid – race).
This ground distortion being heard throughout echoes also in all kinds of media (and is intensified there, that is true). So – what’s building up in the media are feedback loops. That is a thing and has to be considered. I agree here with Mr. Hail and Mr. PeterIke and Mr. Newman.
In medieval times it was still clear that religion has a function for society. It was widely understood and looked upon and – recommended, therefore – as something that works. And the Christian religion was praised for being superior (= working better!) than Islam by the Priest Conrad I now want to pay a short visit. He is the man who wrote the (once, sigh) famous “Konradslied” about the battle against the “muselmans” (= Muslims) in the Pyrennées in the valley of Ronceval. The line that counts here from Konrad is when he talks about grievances that the battle brought with it and Konrad found this: So great was the sorrow and the sighing of the Christian heroes – and so fast (!! – may exclamation marks here) were they able to get over with them. Unlike the Muslims, who were eaten up inside by their feelings! – And thus weakened and – defeated.
(Now I could go on about Greta and – “Our Lady from the Forest” by David Guterson, for example.)
About CO-19 and the grievances that occur, and the role the Christian churches play here (not as institutions that help to get over it, but as amplifiers of the grievances and – most important: Of the panic, that lures in the dark corners of our hearts – all the time – but should be calmed down by the churches – and is not any longer! – (“Big mistake. Big problem here.”)
(I do think, that social psychology (Haidt and Peterson and Fromm) is the science we have to look at to get all this stuff in reasonable order (plus a bit of philosophy and sociology (and a trifle of Molière (The Imaginary Invalid – unsurpassable in Covid-times), Shakespeare and Goethe (and at least two contemporaries: Guterson and Franzen (Freedom & Purity & The Corrections)).
RE: Dieter Kief:
I feel ‘Corona’ is the best example of the 21st century so far that Religion still works, but Religion may not be what one thinks it is.
Is it not true that every religion, of every time and place, is looked upon as superior because it “works” and because is True?
Mr. Hail – My Konradslied example was intended to show that there were times when the Christian Religion was a means to cultivate emotions – whereas now religion is a means to overstretch them – – that’s my complaint. – It does not work as a religion should: As something that helps people overcome the very restraints that come with being an individual, so to speak.
The dysfunctionality of religion in our times springs from the absolute embrace of emotions and individuality and – may I say it: Narcissism and the almost complete absence of all religious aspects that transcend these things.
Since you asked, whether religion can be something else now than it once was? – Yes, of course. But I’d then still want to make the distinction between religion as we know it (the Christian kind in my case) and — those new things that shoot out of the ground like grass in the desert after the long-awaited heavy rain.
Nature, says Erich Fromm somewhere, allows no vacuum. And that is the reason for the blooming of all these new kinds of religion: That people strive for it anyhow and if they don’t get the real stuff that serves all purposes, they take other forms of the same kind of remedy as well; be they misleading and poor and defective throughout: This then does not matter. – It’s just that such a dynamic has conesequences and bring swith it hthe risk that society suffers (noticeably) in this process…
(If I vary a thought of Freud: The process of civilization is no one-directional avenue – or – – – – Kraftwerk – – – – – or – – – – – – – Autobahn…)
Post updated substantially at the beginning, with some expanded thoughts on the question “What is a Leader.”
Added this cartoon:
It uses imagery similar to that which I proposed to describe society, namely: A pack of animals moving around, not knowing where it’s going. The pack is reliant on whichever Original-Ideas Leaders and Cheerleaders who present themselves. They guide the pack to an extent, making the semi-chaotic movement inherent in any pack look more disciplined than it is (results depending partly on political, cultural, economic, and technological[?] conditions and leadership skill, and luck, maybe).
The caption is ironic. A true leader would be at the front of the pack, in this case someone rushing ahead to warn a cliff is ahead.
A few thoughts, some of which I’ve posted elsewhere: (And I’m a cheerleader-last time I had an original thought was 1973 or thereabouts)
1.The irrationallity of much of the corona response is striking. For example, UMASS, which just had its students locked down, all sports cancelled, etc for the past two weeks has announced they are loosening up on Monday- why though? Are the viruses all dead? They’ve announced that sports will resume, but no home games- again no explanation. Does the virus cultivate itself uniquely within the confines of the William T. Mullins Center? This seems stupid even if I bought the Corona virus as Ebola meme.
2. As noted above, a lot of really smart people are on board the panic train. One of my golf buddies, a UMASS professor world renowned in in field, and no, it’s not a subject that ends in “studies”, is fond of pulling out “if we save just one life” and “I knew I guy who wouldn’t get tested, and now his extended family is dead” type arguments- it’s really puzzling that a guy that smart would do that.
3. We do seem to believe that no one should ever get sick for any reason, and that I think accounts for the constant goal post moving. We’ve lost our ability to assess risk.
4. The speed at which all this has happened is astonishing- and how people seem to think all of the idiocy- playing sportsball to empty arenas, (and ridiculous, piped in crowd noise) the masking, outside, alone in the car, etc is normal now. I’m guessing there is a part of the population that if Slow Joe and Frankenfauci were to announce tomorrow that all the corona viruses are dead a lot of people would still be afraid, masked up, etc.
5. The media is a great villain here, they have stoked the panic, and I’m at a loss to determine why. How does CNN benefit from Corona Panic? I agree with those above who’ve pointed at social media platforms. As an aside, I think that Johns Hopkins corona map that everyone was looking at last spring was a big driver of this- it looked so scary; as I said elsewhere, “Oh no the Corona Chan has reaches The Færoe Islands!!”
6. And no one has taken up the anti panic mantle- no one’s gonna listen to me, or any of us, really, and I don’t see much chance of civil disobedience- one small ray of hope- I was chatting with three UMASS kids while on my daily dog walk yesterday- they’d escaped from the dorms- although they were masked, they were out- and the UMASS and Amherst College kids seem to be back at my gym, although an angry harridan (Department of Redundancy Department?) from the Hadley Board of Health was making the rounds to the local businesses (the ones that are open anyway) and my gym to tell the management to send the college kids in their employ home for lockdown violations. No one would mistake this woman for Kate Beckinsale, BTW.
7. I’m extremely pessimistic about the next 9 months- there are no Ron De Santises in Congress, and Cruz has probably damaged himself beyond repair. (not fairly, but there we are) Besides we’ve seen how bold the Republicans are by their response to the stolen election and impeachment- no leadership there. I fear governors, like Noem and De Santis and some of the others should lead the way. I was disappointed to see at big Ronnie’s presser the other day he was flanked by two guys that were masked up. To bad we can’t import Anders Tegnell.
8. One question I have for you all- many of the Anti Panic cheerleaders- Howie Carr, who is a national treasure, BTW, have focussed in on the terrible vaccine rollout. I wonder if that’s a mistake- I pretty much believe that the vaccine, administered widely a year into the pandemic, if in fact this is a pandemic, isn’t going to make much difference- so ultimately whether Charlie Parker Baker and his fellow governors screwed the distribution up or not will not have much effect. Granted I’m just a retired HS teacher, but I’m not completely stupid. I’m 66, with well controlled asthma, and I could stand to use a pound or two, but overall active and in good shape, and I’m having trouble seeing why I should take the vaccine, a vaccine that’s been rushed to market. I guess I will if, as I suspect, you’re gonna need one to get on an airplane. What think you guys?
Why would you take it, it’s not even a vaccine it’s either experimental gene therapy or a genetically modified chimp virus with no long term trials. Not worth the risk when the risk of corvid is so minimal
RE: Bubba Mac
The decision on whether to take the vaccine should be based on age and condition.
I am with you, Bubba Mac, in seeing no reason why any young and healthy people should take it given the risks. But there is going to be a hypothetical “age-condition line” above which people are better taking it, below which they really should NOT, given the unknown risks. If we are drawing simple lines, what is the age line? We don’t know. It may be high.
I’m tempted also to believe a placebo might work well because the vaccine’s value may be more in the psychological.
Some expanded vaccine thoughts below.
RE: Gregg Anderson
The silly Corona-Measure which I have found persuasive to point out: Moves to vastly restrict store hours.
As in closing at 7pm instead of a normal 11pm. What sense does that make, even within a loyal and uncritical Pro-Panic worldview? People still go to the store, so restricted hours just bunch them all up together, right? Shouldn’t it rather be the opposite, expand store hours to spread people out? Did anyone anywhere expanded hours? Instead it was a long series of kneejerk reactions, as I once termed it a “chain reaction of over-reactions,” which often became legally mandated to some degree but which are traceable to before the legal mandates and also exist outside of then.
In some places department stores and places like that have Corona-Closed all the exits except one so they can monitor people entering for fever. This is stupid even within the Pro-Panic worldview, because again you’re causing people to get bunched up. In other places, curfews change time of day depending on how many so-called “cases” there are in the past week, so one week it’s that you can stay out to 9pm and the next week it’s 10pm. What’s the difference? What is the point?
Finally, even if we are as generous as possible to the Pro-Panic side and say there is merit to the idea of these virus-martial-law measures do prevent transmissions, these measures are all still net-negatives because of real social costs, which, fairly accounted for, will probably outweigh the impact of the virus by thousands of times over (but for which it is harder to flash sexy Big Scary Numbers on screen).
(And this is to say nothing of the pesky “what is the end game?” question!, which is the dilemma they’ve faced for now eleven months running, and it appears they had no plan at all except indefinite Forever War against one virus.)
RE: Gregg Anderson
Now that‘s a good and tangible example of how information-saturation is potentially harmful.
Of course similar panics could have been triggered in the past with the same kind of hyper-tracking of any breakout flu virus (to say nothing of the false-positive problem or the long-con of shifting what the word “case” means).
Information-saturation, I am sure, is itself a puzzle piece here. Information-saturation caused a lot of potential Anti-Panic opinion-leaders to keep quiet, either via intimidation or via personally coming to doubt the merits of the anti-Panic position and falling for “play-it-safe-ism.”
As shown in the end-of-year Sweden post, this kind of “flu-like illness” virus could have triggered major social-economic disruptions around ten times in the life of a man who turned seventy in 2020, including at ages 7, 10, 12, 18, 19, 26, 35, 38, 43, 45, 52, and 62, and then age 70 with Wuhan-Corona. Imagine!
Some related thoughts below on Information-Saturation and Science vs. Religion question.
Have you seen the alleged phone conversation between De Santis and Biden of last week? Angry words were exchanged over clashing Corona-Policies. The alleged partial transcript has Biden and Fauci directly threatening to cut off travel and apply economic pressures to Florida over the latter’s supposedly far-too-lax Corona-measures:
This was published originally in Real Raw News, citing a source in the Governor’s office who was in on the call. True or untrue, it would only have been through this kind of resistance that this whole slow-moving disaster could have been averted, minimized, or (now) reversed.
Mr. Hail, that comment of yours, but really, Governor DiSantis just made my freaking week! I had other comments to make regarding your post here and the good comments – maybe later on today, but I had to say this. I was just smiling and overjoyed* after reading that exchange. There are people with some guts left in the world.
I will need to blog on this tomorrow – do you have a quick link? (I’m sure I can look it up, but I wonder about censorship.)
* I’m not exaggerating with the use of that word. This kind of thing is what it takes to start to put down the Feral Beast.
Doh!! You have a link. Sorry. I was so excited about that. Thanks again for posting this.
The alleged conversation, leaked by a DeSantis staffer, circulating in the past ten days now, was originally published at Real Raw News on Feb 11 (the alleged call happening Feb 10).
Myself I first saw it on the Kunstler blog on Feb 15.
Michael Baxter, editor of Real Raw News, has now repeatedly said he believes it is authentic, stands by his source, source has provided him correct info in the past.
One further thought, on the feminine vs masculine thing: I think it makes sense to observe we live in a feminized society, but when I look back at my childhood my life was run by women. Dad was at work, he was the deus ex machina, but it was my mom, and the nuns at school that ran my life- and we had great freedom- I rode the bus downtown by myself as early as fourth grade- on many non school days we’d leave the house in the morning and not return until suppertime. The women of our youth encouraged us to be boys- wonder what happened?
So here we are, day 348 of 15 days to flatten the curve…
Thank you for another thoughtful post about the calamity and social phenomenon known as SARS-CoV-2. You’ve asked many important questions in this post, and like you I have no definitive answers. All I can offer is the thoughts and observations of a dissident non-panicker…
• “Why do we see so few “Cheerleaders” for the Anti-Panic side?”
• “How do we account for the disastrous defeat for the Anti-Panic side?”
• “How were the shrill Pro-Panic forces able to win so totally and inflict such enormous damage (for, really, nothing gained), not just for a few weeks or months, but now one year?”
These are similar questions which, I believe, have the same answer…
I think there are plenty of “Cheerleaders” for the Anti-Panic side, some “Original Ideas” people too. Unfortunately none of them have the institutional power of the agenda setting media and big tech working in collusion with the “governments” of the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This unholy alliance has been censoring anyone who has dared to deviate from the Official Narrative™. Those who remain are lone, isolated voices in a vast sea of regime sponsored, panic inducing misinformation. The Anti-Panickers are truly outgunned in this theater.
“I think a lot of the people who would otherwise be vocal Anti-Panic hardliners are intimidated not (just) by censorship, but by a real psychological mental-block, Corona Cognitive Dissonance, after they realize they’ve been deceived.”
I agree with your “second reason” for the lack of Anti-Panic-side Cheerleaders in high places, though I do not see it as controversial. It is well known that “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled”, a quote often misattributed to Samuel Clemens. This does not only apply to people in “high places”, though people in high places are likely more conformist and more likely to internalize the Official Narrative™. Powerful media organs and “governments” do not hire wrongthinkers.
I wouldn’t discount the other chilling effects the agenda setters have at their disposal. As Peter said in his informative comment, “the 5% wouldn’t dare dissent. They know what follows.” As I do not work in a corporate setting I can only assume he means termination. The threat of lost livelihood is a very powerful motivator for most people.
• “so where did the Panic idea come from?”
What caused the mass hysteria?
I think the mass hysteria was induced by mass hypnosis. Mass hypnosis on a global scale. Tell ’em the Big Lie and repeat it, forever, ad nauseam. That so much of the world could be so thoroughly hypnotized is a testament to the power of Big Media and the power of propaganda. It also shines a light upon some of the more problematic aspects of human society…
• “Something is missing. What is it?”
When observing social phenomena I often view it though what I sometimes call the Milgram/Asch lens. Stanley Milgram’s experiment on obedience taught us that most people will do as they are told when told to do so by someone in a perceived position of “authority”. Solomon Asch’s conformity experiment showed us that most people will not believe their own eyes if their opinion deviates from an apparent consensus of strangers or peers. These two aspects of human interaction within our societies have led to some horrific events and I do not think PanicFest could have happened without them. I feel they are an important piece of the puzzle before us.
Not to say that this is “the” “something that’s missing”. I’m sure there are many “somethings” that I am missing here. The world in it’s present state is a very complex place and I am but a friendly hermit. Like other Gen-Xers, I just sit on the sidelines and watch the world burn.
When PanicFest began, almost a year ago, I never would have thought this experiment would be so enduring. I really thought that this would have blown over by now. I have lost much of the little faith I had in most of our fellow men, though I have made some good semi-anonymous internet friends along the way. It’s good to have some voices of reason in these interesting times.
Thank you Mr. Hail for being a voice of reason in a world gone mad.
Greg above said that there’d be no appropriate risk-management.
Mr. Hail said, there’d be a hen and egg problem as to who or what was it that started the panic.
II – The Sociological and Philosophical Groundwork
Death, gentlemen, is a scary visitor. And it just so seems as if the immunology of the modern societies of the West would have become weak. Douglas Murray said that in his quite good book Strange Death of Europe about the immigration crisis there esp. 2015 ff.
I think this immunological (Peter Sloterdijk) Western weakness is crucial and goes along quite well with the decline of religion.
Max Weber had two things in his focus: The decline (the softening binding powers) of the Christian religion – and the tendency to panic morally. Therefore he emphasized the necessity to differentiate between an individual ethic (=the women’s perspective in my reasoning above) and – the professional rather – and more principle-based and more abstract and more – realistic (and cruel, etc.) Responsibility Ethic – an ethic with a broader focus and fewer emotions and an ethic that refers more to and thus depends more on- reasons (of all three – Kantian – kinds, I am eager to add.)
As JB Peterson points out rather tirelessly, Postmodernism and the postmodernist version of feminism stand in the way of this sound form of modern reasoning.
To make such a sound concept work in rather complex modern societies, you depend on a public sphere, that – is willing to submit its collective judgments to the regime of three kinds of neatly separated reasons: 1) Scientific ones based on – measures (and the resulting technical methods). 2) Normative ones based on ethical reasoning and principles and – aesthetic ones.The best reason to separate these three kinds of reasoning is to make it easier to find the right arguments in the right context. In other words: Don’t moralize 1), and don’t formalize realm 2) and don’t collectivize the (at it’s core individualistic) realm of the aesthetical preferences.
III – The Swiss Example
To make this discursive groundwork of a reasonable debate in any modern society work, you need free speech. And you need a public sphere, that is willing to debate the facts as facts and not as signs and/or fetishes, etc. pp. – Therefore you need media professionals and political actors who by and large understand what a sound scientific argument is and on which basis you can dispute it – and on which you should not do that. Abstract thesis concrete: The Swiss political and journalistic professionals (and lots of laypersons, too – bloggers, writers, debaters) did well in that hindsight what CO-19 is concerned,
The concept of evidence-based medicine played a big role in this phase of the debate. There were a few cheerleaders, who were heard and respected and who could help secure the sound basis of the debate – namely: Number of hospital beds occupied by CO-19 patients and number of people on a ventilator. Excess deaths did play a minor role (and I think that this was ok).
Another thing that happened was, the societal attempt to protect the elderly. One measure was, to reserve a time slot from 9 – 11 in the grocery stores, etc. for the elderly. Another point was to recommend wearing masks for those infected and for those at high risk in public.
I could go on and go through other aspects of the way in which the Swiss handled this situation (measures for the care homes of the elderly, schools, kindergarten, restaurants, skiing…) but the pattern is always the same: 1) A rational public discourse about the factual basis of the decisions and then 2) a (very differentiated) process to find the concrete measures that had to be taken. – That step is one that is mostly decided upon in the 26 Kantons, what means by people (politicians and leaders of institutions such as clinic directors and directors of care homes etc.) that know one another in person and not only do they know those who decide but they also know quite a few of those they decide upon. – This process in Switzerland is piecemeal and very time consuming and looks at times like a task that just does not fit into a modern world because it is slow and asks for an at times incredible amount of patience and – human interaction (communication, disputes, talks, discussions…).
The backbone is the system of direct democracy. A high standard of the media professionals even on the local level. And very good science writers on the higher levels (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Public Broadcasting System…the liberal-conservative weekly Weltwoche, etc.).
The Christian churches did not tout the panic horn and did not side with those who – feared death, so to speak, and played thus a constructive role too.
Just to add one more detail to that aspect (which has an aesthetic side to it as well) – the prominent virologist Beda M. Stadler – talked quite often in a rather playful and ironic way about himself and his fear of death and his shortcomings (he is overweight, for example, he did smoke until recently and he loathes sports…and he is 71 now).
The way how he ironized his shortcomings and his personal risks not least live on TV seemed to make a big difference and melt a lot of the Swiss panic away. Stadler is of catholic background, but now an atheist.
As far as I can see, Stadler was one of those prominent Swiss people, who helped to keep the Swiss debate reasonable. I hesitate to call him a cheerleader, even though he most likely was one in the debate (and not only in this debate). Could I name another popular one? – Roger Köppel, of the right-wing immigration and Islam-critical party SVP, who owns the above-mentioned liberal-conservative weekly Die Weltwoche and does a daily video-blog (5x a week / ca. 40 minutes). And the (partly) Swiss family doctor Gunter Frank, who wrote dozens of anti-panic articles on the blog Achgut.com and appeared in numerous talk shows too. Always down to earth and well informed (evidence-based).
But those would be nothing without the thousands of regular Swiss people who – took an active part in this debate and in the actions that were needed to handle the CO-19 crisis as it is done in Switzerland and I’d say: Not perfect, but – quite well so far (and getting better even).
Bottom line – Sane Societies (Erich Fromm) are more likely to do well in a crisis. (You can turn this sentence upside down and it still works).
A comment from Twitter:
Continuing from Vaccine discussion between GAnderson and Bubba Mac above:
The Anti-Panic journalist Alex Berenson (gotten rid of by the NYT, then ritually condemned by the NYT in its editorials as a scary and possibly evil COVID Denier) has summarized some smart people’s estimates on vaccine risk-benefit from what we learned in the first few weeks.
Berenson’s summary concluded that the cut-off may be age 60 or 70. IOW, above age 60 (or 70, depending on what studies you’re using), you’re generally better off taking the vaccine; for almost all people below age 60, it’s not worth the risk (and would NOT be recommended in normal times).
The cutoff could even be higher, say age 75 or even age 80, if we are just drawing an age-based line in the sand, a necessarily limiting exercise because it ignores health-condition, and the importance of age is in its proxy for health-condition (there’s no magical reason why so many more people die at 85 “of the virus” than at age 45; we need not to year-of-birth-based Corona-Astrology).
But of course “we” have completely given up on cost-benefit and risk-benefit thinking in the all-out effort to wage holy war against one virus.
Why does it fall to dissident independent journalists to make this point?
It took me a while (“Berenson, Berenson, where’ve I heard that?”), but I remember now that this is the guy whom Michelle Malkin referred to in her very reasonable column on the vaccine and pregnant women – here it is on the Unz Review.
Continuing thoughts from above on Information-Saturation and “Covid”:
Information-saturation is also a big (but not the only) reason why I think the best interpretation of the Corona social phenomenon is “digital-age religious cult.”
No new religion arrives on the scene announcing itself as “Hi, new religion here!” — Right? I mean, what kind of marketing would that be? Weak, weak. No, new religions tend to come in announcing a new truth, or a new religious revelation, say a vision of the apocalypse (…but there is a way to salvation; Be afraid, very afraid; but, Come, follow us…)
I think a lot more people by late 2020 and early 2021 have come around to the view of Corona as Religion/Cult. It was out of the mainstream, out on the cutting edge when it first appeared on these pages in May 2020 in the “Corona as Religious Cult” investigative essay and discussion.
Because Fear of Covid seems to be science. But as Edward Hadas puts it so well in his Origins of the Covid-Disaster essay, “Science” (or, as the phrasing goes, “The Science,” as in “We have to follow the science”) is a euphemism for non-science. “Science”/”The Science” in Corona-Discourse means Magic.
The idea of a strong dichotomy of “Science vs. Religion” is deeply embedded in our culture. Historically and across the great sweep of all human cultures back to the Paleolithic, there is a fuzzy distinction between the two, or often none at all. Religion and science were interwoven. If nothing else in our time can show that this fuzzy distinction is still both operative and strong, “Covid” can.
As a professor of myths (mythologies) through human history put it in a phrasing that stuck with me: Myths/religions use the best science available to them at the time. That’s exactly also what we observed with “Covid.” (I wrote a lot about this in the Corona-as-Religious-Cult post/comments last year.)
Mr. Hail, your “Covid as religious cult” explanation always made sense to me.
Ray of hope: walked the dog by a group of UMASS kids playing beer pong, maskless, in their driveway in 20 degree weather yesterday. I would have taken the beer they offered me if I hadn’t given booze up for Lent!
I’m very much leaning towards not vaccin-ing, unless I need the mark of the beast to travel. Even then, perhaps some enterprising member of what’s left of the Patriarcia Family will be producing bogus certificates for sale. Interestingly, last February I got really resperatorrially (sic) ill for about 4 days- I missed two consecutive days of work, which never happens, I didn’t play in my Wednesday night hockey group, ditto, and I, even more amazingly, didn’t go to the UMASS-BC hockey game. I wonder if it was the ‘Rona?
Another thing that many have implied is that our monomania makes us blind to the effects of our attempts to fight the virus- this is pretty common.
For example, in hockey, I believe that the ‘improvements’ in equipment have led to more severe injuries- the old days of no goalie masks and no helmets was certainly stupid- universal use of helmets and masks was probably a good idea. Of course though, and keeping with my “aspirin bottle” theory of public policy * equipment got bigger and bigger, leading to increases in head and spinal cord injuries. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but I think I’m right. I think football has the same problem.
Thanks for this forum Mr. Hail. We may not be accomplishing much, but it feels good to vent
* My “aspirin bottle theory” is that it often seems our public policy is based on the following: You have a headache, and a couple of aspirin makes it go way- so why not take the whole bottle and really feel good!
If you take the whole bottle and feel no relief it might be that you have forgotten to remove the cap.
Old joke of a Franconian/Bavarian comedy man by the name of Albert Hiasl who would often act on stage as if he’d be drunk. But you never knew.
About your ray of hope, Mr. G:
This is more on the topic. We think we can’t affect much. However, I think we should all try to be that ray of hope ourselves too. I am not imploring all of you to eventually get arrested. You don’t even have to push it like I do.* Each act you do of showing your nonchalantness about this crap is seen by others, sometimes many others.
Young ladies at the college, and you know how they are about kids, see me and my boy going around the campus. We’re not only not masked up, like they often are now, but I’m roller-blading with no pads or helmet (always have, gotta know how to fall, Paul Simon says), and we go down ramps and stuff. Guys too, used to smile at my kid, back when he was on the tricycle, hauling a*s at the bottom of the long wheel-chair ramp, up on 2 wheels a couple of times!
We’re doing our own thing, but it’s also showing them that there’s a real world out here, where things CAN be normal, and we are not panicky about every little thing.
Here’s another thing: I will not do this fist or elbow bump thing, even at the job. I’ll just “oh, come on” and offer a hand shake, and 95% of the time, the other guy shakes. Then, depending on what I think of him, I’ll say “ahhh crap, we’re all going to die now.” Even just pulling the mask all balled up out of my pocket shows my disdain for this crap. People notice that. OK, maybe they think I’m a nut. Not all do, though.
I know we think only things on-line can go viral, but dammit, if viruses can go viral, than we can go viral in the real world too. It’s that think globally, act locally thing.
Oh, and thanks for that aspirin bottle theory, Mr. G.
* Example of “pushing it”. At the big box electronic store, I saw the big sign on the glass about face masks, ignored it, and heard this “Sir?, Sir?, Sir!?” as I kept going about 100 ft into the store. I pretended not to hear, but I know what being called “sir” like that means. Finally, another guy caught up to me. I futilely asked him “are you guys really worried about this Corona thing that much?”. Of course, the guy acted like that was the stupidest question in the world, and told me I needed to wear the mask. I pulled the thing out of my pocket (it’s lasted 3 weeks now – nice job – new Chinese factory where Quality is up to Job 3!) and put it on. That was that.
Hello all, this is not so much a specific reply to some of the great comments here, but just another anecdote and some opinions:
A Mom of 2 was at the park a couple of weeks ago who we haven’t seen in a while. They live 2 blocks away, but I haven’t seen them there I think since this PanicFest started. The lady came over and we talked about the kids going to school and all (her boy is friends with my son). It was all fine for a while, as I tried not to get political about this while talking about the arrangements with which days they go to school, the wearing of face masks there, etc.
She asked me whether I had been vaccinated. “Nope” (I didn’t give any opinion.) She then asked about the member of our family she knows who is a nurse. I told her, without thinking about the panic-factor, “nah, she’ll probably not do it until they make her.” That was just what I’ve been hearing, and I just told it like I heard it. Man, the lady walked away to talk to other Moms, didn’t talk to me again, and I’ve not seen her since. I had thought she just wanted to talk to other women, as most of them like that. I realized later that my remark about a nurse not even wanting to get vaccinated just set her into some panic mindset again.
It’s not even that I give a rat’s behind about getting vaccinated or not. More on that in another comment.
About the vaccine: I will go back to mentioning Steve Sailer again, since we all partake, or have partaken, in the commenting section under his blog posts. Nowadays, when he comes out with a post about the Israeli vaccination progress or the new vaccine from whomever, I just skip reading the post/comments. I like the guy, and I do feel it’s too much to keep going on there and stating my opinion.* I have mentioned multiple times that it’s not that I’m too worried about the vaccine being harmful. I just plain don’t give a dang about it, health-wise.
I do care that this vaccine is causing people like iSteve to lighten up on their states of panic quite a bit (he was never unreasonable, but I saw a real lack of perspective). I am somewhat hopeful that, though we can’t really get back to normal economically, and won’t get back to a normal as if the Totalitarianism never happened, this virus will help people’s mindset. However, OTOH, I also think that Big Government and the Lyin’ Press want so badly for this PanicFest to continue that there will be an ongoing series of related panics about the new strains of the ‘Rona, the vaccines not being as good as we’d hoped, etc.
I see no reason to take this vaccine. Some of us (my family) may be forced to take it to keep employed. We’ll hold out, as the nurse is doing, till the last possible time. I guess I’ll shut my mouth about that to people at the park. However, I’ll be danged if I’ll have my kid wear a mask there, as one parent seems to want (determined second-handedly). YOU stay home. We’ll be there!
* Though I was this || close to putting up a music video, twice, as I am wont to do now and then, of a song that would be perfect to show that I just couldn’t care less! It’s by the Ben Folds Five, a 3-man band out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Anyone, anyone … Mr. Anderson??
Ooops, brain fart, meant “…, this VACCINE may help people’s mindset.”
I had a feeling you meant “vaccine” when I read:
Does this count as a Freudian Slip? Not your view, but the true view of others.
Because there are all kinds of piggybackers who think, or say and claim to think, that Lockdown-ism is somehow a great social good (will “help people’s mindset” in ways unrelated to the virus).
RE: Peak Stupidity
I continue to be interested in why specific people fell on the Pro-Panic side.
With Ron Unz himself I think he has a habit of wanting to pump up his opinion-and-commentary webzine and sometimes indulges in “yellow journalism” (the Moon Hoax guy comes to mind). For Anatoly “Sino-Triumphalism” Karlin, I understand why he did it for other reasons.
Steve Sailer, I understand less. Thought Experiment: How would Sailer, confronted with the Corona-Panic social phenomenon, have responded at the following ages: Age 18; Age 28; Age 38; Age 48. (Actually had turned 62 weeks before the Panic began, Jan. 2020.)
That’s a good question regarding Mr. Sailer. We probably all know here that the fear for only those 70 y/o and higher and/or those with serious other conditions is legitimate. Seeing someone like this mask up just says “common sense” and “cautious personality”. However, we may also have all noticed that the “it’s the boomers not wanting to ever die!” meme is bogus, as the Millennials (as you and Mr. Kief mentioned) seem to be more panicky than the older people in general. How does this break out by ages? (There’s another post, Mr. Hail, and I wanna see colored bar graphs as per Audacious Epigone!)
Regarding the strange bird Ron Unz: There’s definitely something to be said for getting lots of page views. I admire him for putting up lots of articles that are completely against his opinion regarding lots of things. This PanicFest is no exception for him on that. I see Ron Unz’s opinions as very open-minded, but most open-minded when the opinion is anti-Americans (note that’s plural) in any way at all. He’ll believe any weird s__t that makes Americans look like the worst people in the world. I don’t get that.
What I find amazing is that with all his highly-researched journalism on all sorts of cover-ups, false narratives, and schemes in American history, Ron Unz does not see the one right in front of his face happening RIGHT NOW. Instead, what does he do? With purely circumstantial evidence, he comes up with the big conspiracy that the American military or Deep State created the Kung Flu, infected the Chinese via a sports team that “just happened” to be in Wuhan. Oh, how weird! I mean, it ain’t like there’s been a lot of back-and-forth travel to China and that Wuhan is a big-a*s city even for China. What also “just happened”‘ to be in Wuhan was one of just a handful of high-level infectious disease labs, finished less than 2 years before the virus.
Mr. Unz’s conspirators were smart enough to create the disease and infect China but not to foresee that the disease could spread around the world, including America, via, I dunno, New York City or somewheres??
PS: Ron Unz doesn’t believe the moon hoax guy (though, hilariously, he’s got a “moon hoax” CATEGORY, cause I guess that one doesn’t fit in too many other categories). He wrote me a friendly reply comment back regarding that stuff, before he realized, from skimming a few of my comments, that I’m a “random rightwing ranter”.**
* Just messing with you here, and no insult to Mr. A.E. either. If you’re gonna do graphs, his examples are good ones, if not the subject matter, or the survey questions (not his fault, but surveys/polls questions can be worthless), at least the formatting and scales.
** I LUV the alliteration, mind you, and don’t feel that insulted. My problem with Mr. Unz having written to me like this, is that he just skims comments and made this determination of my political views as a know-it-all. He can’t possibly read all the comments – they may be in the higher-digit thousands a day. I can’t blame him for not knowing who I am. As you all probably remember, the guy got on an anti-hoaxer kick that was basically dismissing as crazy anyone who DIDN’T worry about MILLIONS of deaths coming.
I don’t know that age is a strong predictor. It’s not hard to find young-adult Corona-Panickers but some of that has ended up mixed inextricably with social-signaling. Ofc, given the risk to young-adults is about the risk of death by lightning strike, it’s all absurd.
Also, a longer comment below reacting to Ron Unz’ seeming embrace(?), or green-lighting of work on, “Covid as bio-weapon against China” a year ago.
Greg Cochran was an early panicker. I’ve stopped going to his website, so I dunno if he still is, but to the extent I flirted with panic-ness it was because of him. He was predicting the apocalypse.
Ron Unz lacks a bit of common sense at times.
Steve Sailer has sprung from the death’s shovel once – and survived because he (courageously and in a rather bright attempt altogether) embraced clinical/pharmaceutical progress of cancer cures. – People like him I can’t blame for panicking as easy as I can others.
And – I’ve mentioned this before: In times like these, it is a rather stressful thing to be personally as exposed as Steve Sailer is while holding his positions. The heck – he is alone in his walk-in cubicle most of the day. I don’t want to think too much about the kind of mail he gets at times too. – In the days of old, some guys like him had a monastery at their command (an dfor their proteection the local knights). Or a guild (the guilds of the craftspeople had tons of weapons – even in smallish towns like (beautiful!) Überlingen at the Lake of Constance, near Constance. – Some of them are now on display in the (utterly beautiful and charming, I tell ya) local museum. A remnant of the revolutionary days of 1848 is the Allgemeine Bildungsverein – with a choir and a house of its own in the city and this and that (occasional speeches about science and history) and: A small shooting range – still intact and in use.
Ben Folds is one of those guys I think I should know something about, but I don’t for some reason.
Corona-Anniversary today (Feb.21), one of the cult’s early major breakthroughs.
In the terms of Corona-as-religion, the first of the Italy shutdowns was a sign from God or the gods that the foretellings of the apocalypse were real after all! “Bow down and repent, ye of little faith!” was the idea, as the general public instinctively Anti-Panic at the time.
I recall now a friend who converted in the second week of March, citing Italy specifically. It was all part of the narrative build-up the agitated hysterics and the Pro-Panic side generally bought and pushed. Soon it became like being a political dissident in the USSR of old to be on the Anti-Panic side at all.
Shall we blame the Italian government?
On one hand, there were specific individuals in the Italian government behind that disastrously wrong decision and, yes, they are to blame (I note, they are to blame a lot more than is the neighborhood busybody who yells at a neighborhood kid for a mask not on properly). These Italian leaders share a heavy share of the guilt and would be prime candidates for a Corona Crimes Against Humanity Tribunal along with the evil Chief-Corona-Priest (and alleged PhD) Neil “Frankensson” Ferguson, Lockdown-Fanatic Spotlight-Lover-in-Chief and US Corona-Junta figure Fauci, and others.
On the other hand, the whole reason why a “Corona Tribunal” (featuring Lockdown-mania ringleaders) seems absurd also points to why the Italians are not necessarily to blame: ‘Corona’ was a social force with a quickly assembling and growing coalition in February 2020, set for its explosive growth and ascension to state-cult in March 2020.
What we can ask, now that we’ve just passed this landmark, is where was the Anti-Panic leadership between specifically between Feb. 21 and March 21, 2020? This is a more specific question than that proposed in the main post and discussion here.
Anti-Panic leadership in the first three or four or more months almost entirely waffled around, vacillated, took cover, its only action in most places was to make concessions to the Pro-Panic Lockdown side. A few were left, the mainstream of a few months earlier now looking like deranged fanatics.
I do see the media (including at first conspiracy-media and then the full weight of the “Regime Media,” a term I may have coined which I am now seeing elsewhere) drumbeat as key, not just to win adherents but to suppress opposition, but that is the obvious general explanation repeated. BUT things should in principle have been different at the cusp. So we are left again with the mystery.
“What we can ask, now that we’ve just passed this landmark, is where was the Anti-Panic leadership between specifically between Feb. 21 and March 21, 2020? This is a more specific question than that proposed in the main post and discussion here.”
I live not far away from Italy. And from Tyrol. Close relatives live in the village Steinbach in Franconia and – their neighbor (i knew him) died of CO-19 (he was 59 years old). A friend suffered badly and after recovery was pretty scared. Steinbahc skiing-club had been skiing in Tyrol – by bus. And they had a big trombone festival of the protestant church, the same week, the skiers came back (some of them playing the trombone too…). That added up. Fifty priests died in italy from CO-19 and quite a few (young not least) doctors. – That had to be sorted out – and it took some time. Beda M. Stadler, the Swiss virologist who in May turned into a strict anti-panicker, says that even though he could have known better (I bite my ass about that, he once remarked) – he fell for the panic for some weeks.
I still did not panic but thought I’d better beware. – Italy did make quite a few mistakes – not least that they did not check the numerous airplanes (test the passengers) coming in from China (Wuhan…) to serve the big Chinese workforce in northern Italy. I still think that that was a mistake, but there were quite a few more – and grave ones. I wrote a list in summer and I think I had 10+ major mistakes (one being the poor hospital management with regard to hospital bugs and widespread antibiotics resistance (Italy is top of europe here – together with Spain…). Another big one being that they put heavily infected old persons back into the care homes for the elderly – instead of isolating them in some safe spaces like – hotels, or some such…
Corona-villain Neil “Millions of Deaths!” Ferguson (candidate for defendant before a Corona-Tribunal for crimes against humanity, in a world of cosmic-justice) has published a screed against the Anti-Panic stalwart UK website LockdownSkeptics, in which he bitterly clings to the enormous virus-cult he helped create.
In brief review (via Scotty87):
Comment from Bill Grates of LockdownSceptics:
Comment from LockdownSceptics’ Bart Simpson on lack of Anti-Panic leadership:
“Plus you have the deluded millenials who have unquestioningly bought into Corbyn and the hard left’s “people before profit” and “lives before the economy” bollocks forgetting that without the economy and profit there would be no NHS and no lives.”
This “people before profit” makes the lockdown a leftist case – in all of Europe. – The radical (and nowadays: mainly feminist driven!) of those leftists in Germany just started a widely acclaimed campagne for – – – – Zero Covid!
The most prominent on this list are Luisa Neubauer (Greta Thunberg sidekick (assistant/friend)) and Margarete Stokowski prominent columnist of the political magazine Der Spiegel – plus: Georg Restle, PBS big man…
Thanks for that, Dieter. Mr. Hail’s contention, and one that I’ve agreed with, is that this Panic/Anti-Panic divide does not fall along normal political or ideological lines. Perhaps this is changing. Your example is with people high up in the political realm. For people on the street, at work or at the school or park, as the case may be, I don’t see the panickers being particularly of the left.
What I do see is that when things do get really ideologically political, such with the BLM-thug/antifa-Commie riots and then the Capitol Gang temporary take-over of the People’s House, all the masks come off.
I didn’t mean to make that a double-meaning phrase till I wrote it. Not only do the people show who they really are ideologically, but the Kung Flu face masks really do come off, showing us that, honestly, the ‘Rona crap is an afterthought and nothing but a show or a tool compared to the ideological battles. I ask you all, did anyone really give much mention on TV to things like “OMG! They infected the whole building. It had to be sprayed down with a fogger … it’s costing us MILLIONS, MILLIONS, I tells ya’!”? I think the “insurrection” narrative was the one the ctrl-left went with, and big time, and they left all the panic stuff behind temporarily, probably just because they can’t keep so many thoughts together in their puny heads…
It’s funny because the case for the basics of the Panic being of the Left are compelling, but so many governments of the Right were hard-Lockdowners.
Orban became a Lockdown-fanatic.
The UK government, supposedly of the Tory party, again went for Lockdowns.
And Am I right that this Herr Soeder out of Bavaria is among the most extreme Lockdown-pushers in Germany, but previously was known as the most right-wing major figure in the CDU/CSU?
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Social Democrat government…!
So there is some real confusion around on “who was supposed to do what.”
When I think about it, it almost reminds me the great tragedy of Summer 1914 in Europe. No one wanted a four-year war, a lot of players reacted quickly to events in ways they shouldn’t have, and it ended in disaster.
Armin Laschet is attacking Markus Söder now in public – and Söder reacts with opening some businesses. – A virtuoso of the public sphere. But he lost lots of his fellow Bavarians in his panic-winter months. Could hurt him in the chancellor race. Advantage Laschet.
I agree that there is a lot of unorderly stuff going on, which makes this whole thing (I admit that) even more interesting.
RE: Peak Stupidity
In retrospect, “the virus was artificially created AND is being used as a weapon” family of theories must be seen as the conspiracy-auxiliary to the Pro-Panic side. (There was a time, early on, that the Pro-Panic side was dominated by that type of person, before its rapid ascent.)
I recall someone writing under the name Metallic-Man, one year ago, whom for some reason Unz published, was sure it was a bio-attack (and he knew because he had worked on a secret US UFO project, or something).
A lot of things weren’t known when these early theories were tossed into the discourse like slime into a swimming pool. For one, the start-dates of spread push ever backward, first in late 2019, then sometimes towards mid-2019 in Europe. In Spain, they found at least one case of the virus dating to March/April 2019. If true, that changes a lot. There was also an unprecedented spike in flu cases in Australia and New Zealand in mid-2019 (their winter). It is really tempting to assign the Southern Hemisphere Flu Spike of mis-2019 partly to Wuhan-Corona, triggering seasonally.
The best narrative to fit the facts we have now looks like low-level global circulation throughout most of calendar-year 2019 but only causing a real hit in some southern-hemisphere spots due to seasonal mechanism. Pretty widely seeded around the world by, say, US Thanksgiving 2019. Some of the elevated flu levels reported in late 2019 were probably Wuhan-Corona. A big breakout in March 2020 (late season), then disappeared almost totally with the good-weather months of mid-2020, then returned seasonally again. This is mundane flu-virus activity; the difference is this time we zoomed in on it and became obsessed with tracking it.
As Dr. Wodarg warned early in the Panic, coronaviruses tend to have late-season peaks. “What you are seeing in Italy is flu season.” Basically that was right. The “sudden breakout,” as it was shown on screens across the globe, seems to have been just plain wrong, a mega-artifact of the war-propaganda-level media “coverage” and of testing, the giant mobilization to “track and fight Covid.” It all amounts to almost a mirage.
With this in mind, there is just no need for “Evil America created the virus to attack Noble China” or vice versa or any kind of related theory.
Mr. Hail: “With this in mind, there is just no need for “Evil America created the virus to attack Noble China” or vice versa or any kind of related theory.” I agree with that. My point about Ron Unz is that his talent and efforts are being wasted on the conspiracy stuff. We have this huge nation-destroying (or accelerant of it, at least) PanicFest going on.
It involves the Lyin’ Press, though not as a conspiracy – they are too stupid for that. It involve government officials at the high Federal level, State level, etc. It involves medical professionals of all sorts, giving all sorts of conflicting important “expert” advice. There’s a load of money involved, with incentives for it to continue and disincentives for people that don’t accept the panic. It involves a great increase in the Police State/Totalitarianism in this country and others.
If ever there were a big story that could rival that of WWI and WWII being instigated by certain people or the people behind the implementation of Communism in Russia, or. any one of Ron’s areas of historical research that many appreciate, woudn’t this Kung Flu PanicFest be it? Yet, Mr. Unz is so into his “who started it?” conspiracy theory instead. I’m just wondering if that’s just an anti-Americans and pro-Chinese attitude coming though. Be that as it may, this is the biggest story of the century, with huge amounts of political implications. Wake up, Ron Unz! This is happening NOW, Ron, Right here, right now (and unfortunately not as bright a happening as the fall of the Commies in Europe, the subject of the song by that name).
While I’m at it with the music reference, for Mr. Ganderson, Ben Folds is/was a real piano man in the style of Billy Joel, though he didn’t get as famous. Their heyday was a little over 20 years back. I’ll put the song in question on my blog this week.
PS: Thanks for the great comments, all of you! It helps we’re on the same side, the right one, as far as keeping things civil, but these are important questions Mr. Hail and you all are asking. This forum, as Mr. Smith noted, is great for keeping us all from wondering if we’re the insane ones in some Twilight Zone episode.
Nigel Sherratt of LockdownSceptics writes:
If only the Trumpian strategy HAD been no compromise No Lockdowns!
“Oy Vey! Redbottom!”
You’d be correct Trump was not full blown panic, but he didn’t do much to stop it. Fauci should have been put out to pasture by April 1, 2020.
Another thought I’ve had. Is there one fact which, if you could convince them of its truth, would sway a Pro-panic person to the anti-panic side? At first I thought maybe proving that masks don’t really help. But no, that would probably make the panic worse: “What? My magic talisman doesn’t really protect me from the devil? What now!!”
What about convincing someone that those under 50 are at close to zero risk of dying? What about that children are at essentially no risk at all: would that sway a Panic-mom to allow her kids to go to the playground mask free? What about convincing someone that the death rate of Covid is actually very low? Or that Covid-style respiratory outbreaks happen all the time?
I don’t really think any of these would work. There is no mental silver bullet when you are fighting not just false information, but hyper-emotion. But if you had one fact to put into a Panic-cheerleader’s head, what would it be? Assuming it can even be done, which is doubtful.
PS: I firmly believe there is an element of the panic brigade that absolutely LOVES Covid. It gives their life meaning. They are so drunk on their own self-regard as Panic-cheerleaders — “I’m SAVING LIVES!!” — that they won’t listen to a thing, and they get a thrill with every new uptick in the death counts. They relish every new milestone. “500K deaths! So exciting!”
I really mean this: I think they’ve never been happier in their lives, and they will be heart broken when the narrative allows Covid panic to shut down. It’s both morbid and maudlin at the same time. And they have zero — absolutely zero — interest in the impact of lockdowns on people’s lives.
I will reply directly to your 2nd paragraph, Peter. Hell no. They can’t be convinced of any of this. The ones of my current experience are mostly white, middle and upper middle class and they ain’t stupid. Yet, I can tell you this: If the elementary school had just ONE hospitalization, not a death mind you (that MIGHT just be FROM the Kung Flu), in-school school would be toast. Not only would the administration cover their asses by shutting it down, but 90% of the parents would yank their kids out like they’re startin’ a mower.
I really think they just don’t want to hear it. They want to wallow in this and think that they are the righteous, best parents for KEEPING SAFE, dammit, economy and liberty be damned.
There was a set of twins that tested poz – the Mom too (Dad’s out of town.) One of the twins got sick, but is at home, as with a flu or anything else. Parents KNOW this stuff happens, or they did. Anyway, the principal notified everyone in that class, maybe even in the whole grade. A Mom I know kept her girl out of that class for the week. When she told me (while bringing the younger kid into school), I just nodded along, not trying to cause any argument. Later, we thought “wait a minute. The twins aren’t coming to class, so …. With the plexiglass, masks on all day besides lunch, and the 6 ft business, what the heck is the problem?! What’s the difference between this week and last week?” Madness.
Now, as to your PS part, Peter. When you wrote that, the people that come to my mind are those that Mr. Anderson asked about in an earlier comment. The Lyin’ Press, especially the up-front talking heads, LUV LUV LUV this whole thing.
They may look worried s__tless on TV. Some maybe even are. To them this is a Crusade. They are up there, giving advice, giving case numbers, grilling those hoaxers. Besides showing off their “expert”ise or bodacious tata’s, as the case may be, they are up there on the TV doing the Lord’s work. The Lord in this case is a guy named Jehovah Fauci, but I’m not sure I’ve got his first name correct.
If it’s religion, which is a very good theory, then these Lyin’ Press people are the High Priests. They ain’t steppin down anytime soon. We need a Martin Luther of our own to nail a used face diaper to the studio wall with 95 thesis, though 5 good ones would do. Don’t need to go all the way to Wittenberg. Washington, FS will do.
Last I heard on the high-profile mask resistance front, Rand Paul (who, recall, got and recovered from the dreaded Apocalypse Terror Virus) “refused” to wear one. He was censured for putting his staffers and Senate clerks in danger. Are they aware he got it and recovered? Are they aware his staffers and Senate clerks are young and healthy?
I believe the fact that Wuhan-Corona is a respiratory-disease (“flu”) wave equivalent to many past flu waves should be convincing. If the person is old enough to have lived through some of those flu-waves, and recalls nothing at all about any panic or anything about flu deaths a t all, it should plant the seed of doubt that maybe the Corona-Cult is wrong.
This is what my investigation into Sweden total-mortality, 1930 to 2020 (“You’ve lived through these, many times“, shows.
As I phrased it recently:
The problem is they’ve been conditioned to believe Anti-Panic arguments are satanic tricks.
I don’t know if the Pro-Panic side still mocks the phrase “It’s Just the Flu,” but that may be a useful example. When the Stanford team announced all the best and most comprehensive data said Wuhan-Corona was within the “ballpark” of influenza waves of recent memory, the conditioning kicked in:
“These evil outsiders are bent on lying, evilly trying to separate us from the One True Religion. Stanford university? World-leading epidemiologist team? Comprehensive data? Must be a hoax. Bah. The devil wears many masks. No time to read more into it.”
PeterIke: “I really mean this: I think they’ve never been happier in their lives, and they will be heart broken when the narrative allows Covid panic to shut down.”
It’s a well-known phenomenon in social psychology that catastrophes have a soothing effect on people’s minds (Hollywood knows this too and – Goethe knew – ok, ok).
Depression went down during WW II.
Maybe that’s why there is always a market for disaster movies.
Actually, while I am no film connoisseur I feel I have seen multiple movies with almost exactly the Corona-Panic’s plot…mystery-virus “never before seen,” jumped to humans from animals, Chinese interior, hazmat suits, uncontrolled spread, terror, border closures, hospitals “overwhelmed,” and more. I commented on this from the beginning, back in March 2020.
Coronapanic is an expression of an underlying mental illness, or complex of illnesses, that has been getting broader and deeper for over a century, see
The connection to atheism and the supposed phenomenon of non-religiosity seems certain.
“You may not be interested in Religion, but Religion is interested in you.” (Alt.:) “You may not THINK you’re interested in Religion, but Religion is interested in you.”
Material from the comment-discussion forms the basis of two posts at Peak Stupidity in the past two days:
When the Masks Comes Off (synthesis of comments)
Federalism Rumble: DeSantis v Bai Dien (on the alleged phone call insult and Florida refusing any more lockdowns)
On the “Corona-as-Religion” front:
Members of the US Congress perform a Corona Ritual on Feb. 23:
Someone says it “looks like a cult in a horror film.”
I must say I’ve seen nothing but the trailers – but these scenes did remind me of the Hunger Games trailers. Spooky (metaphorical) tooths biting in the flesh of my memories…(there are remnants of Dracula too here (and I once visited Vlad III Draculea’s castle).
A distinction I’d like to make here: I’d rather call such events proto-religious. As the movie-parallel suggests already: There are always mythological/cultural remnants floating around – and they tend to be picked up whenever they suit a need.
(Philosopher Ernst Bloch was among the first to remark this with regard to the upcoming Nazi-Movement – in his essay collection “Erbschaft dieser Zeit”. What Bloch mostly overlooked was, the “parallel-movement” (Robert Musil) on the Weimar left (“you can’t always get what you want”).
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Here is a Swedish article that addresses the lack of high profile anti-panic voices:
Thanks, Mr. Kief. I had not seen the Sebastian Rushworth blog before, but I see he is calmly Anti-Panic.
He says that world-leading epidemiologist Hans Rosling (1948-2017) would also have been an Anti-Panic hardliner in 2020-21.
Rushworth writes of how credentialed experts, publishing under real names, have been making basic Anti-Panic points which the Anti-Panic side has been saying all along, or almost all along, including on the concept of “Lockdown Deaths.”
“Lockdown Deaths” already far exceed “Virus Deaths” in life-years terms, which is almost an uncontroversial point by now. How much worse the Lockdowns/Corona-Recession/Panic will be for total health is a story not yet told, because the effects will last for years. I believe this applies in every country subjected to a severe Panic and Lockdown.
In the Pro-Panic vs. Anti-Panic debate, the low-awareness of this uncontroversial fact is also the driving point being the latest post here, “All Life-Years Matter.”
Peter Hitchens on the lack of high-profile opinion-leaders for the Anti-Panic (March 1), one of the highest profile Anti-Panic voices in the UK from the start:
Since he mentions Douglas Murray – the wise man knows his limits. He’s been in an awful lot of conflicts and might have decided that that was enough already. Nothing wrong with that.
An observation of German chancellor Willy Brandt: Themes are picking their heirs, so to speak. – What he said without expressing it: As a party – if you don’t have the right people – forget about campaigning about theme x. You won’t succeed.
A problem here is, that natural leaders of the intellectual pack like economist Stefan Homburg and (to a lesser degree) virologist Sucharit Bhakdi in Germany were censored by Big Tech and – (a big problem in itself) public broadcasting (which is obscenely rich and quite influential in Germany). One quality paper did side at least for some time with anti-lockdowner Stefan Homburg – Die weLT, but that was not enough, not least because papers are not as influential any longer as they once were).
(Putting this comment here as a draft of a future post)
Peter Hitchens identifies (in March 1, 2021 remarks) a turning-point in favor of long-term victory for the Corona-Cult, the Corona-Coup, or the Pro-Panic coalition generally:
This October 2020 proposal by Hitchens is a date I haven’t otherwise much seen proposed, amid other important milestones for both the Pro-Panic and Anti-Panic sides. (On May 15 this year, we hit Corona-Panic Day 500, an incredible milestone in what could have been a simply two-week-toilet-paper panic, bad flu season, and done. This under a start date of early Jan. 2020 for the Corona-Panic as-social-phenomenon tracing back to its earliest form [but with actual spread of the virus possibly ongoing throughout much of 2019].)
Why October 2020? It was at that time that the Great Barrington Declaration was signed by tens of thousands of world-leading experts (current count: 55,000 epidemiologists and experts in related fields [13,700] and medical practitioners [41,500]). “Great Barrington” demanded a full end to all the Pro-Panic policies, saying they were just pigheadedly wrong and disastrous for public health (essentially PhDs under their own names arguing what we of the Anti-Panic side have argued for a long time). It was signed, publicized, in the news and discourse for a few weeks, and could have been an exit-strategy out of the whole Panic, per Hitchens.
That thousands of experts signed what amounted to a demand that political leaders take all steps to dismantle the Panic, that could/should have been the end, per Hitchens. (Curiously, it’s also about this time that one of the Pro-Panic side’s mantras, “Follow the Science,” began to drop out of use…)
Signed Oct. 4, it made waves in the media-ecosystem beginning Oct. 6 and stayed high in US GoogleTrends from Oct. 7 to Oct. 24; peak interest on GoogleTrends Oct. 16 [Oct. 7 to Oct. 19 for the UK, with an earlier peak, Oct. 11, which is also the Worldwide GoogleTrends peak, strangely the US trailed the rest of the world in interest in the Great Barrington Declaration by five days, despite Great Barrington being in the US and the US being key to much of the Panic in some other ways.
The Corona-Panic as social-phenomenon was at about its Day-275 mark by the time Great Barrington was signed (Day 1 being the first report of a “mystery virus rumors in Chinese interior,” the set-up for so many mediocre movies). Great Barrington reached its peak influence between Day-280 and Day-300 or so, before fading, a major counter-offensive which did damage to the enemy but failed to break through and cause a rout.
The breakthrough and initial major victory of the Corona-Panic and the Pro-Panic coalition was between its Day-55 and Day-100 marks (late Feb. to mid-April). By around Day-120 or Day-130 (early May), the initial causes for panic — fog-of-war, misinterpretation of data, wild projections set loose on the world for unknown reasons by a handful of Pro-Panic reckless-but-credentialed government-favored actors — were fully refuted. The fact of a typical strong flu wave was left with us, but the Corona-Panic steamroller of course did not stop.
I’ve generally seen as the Corona-Cult’s victory as being cemented by Day-130 (i.e., when it failed to reverse in May, and the Pro-Panic side began showing real signs of wanting to cling tight to the Panic even if its central tenets were refuted). Then Great Barrington comes along about Day-275. Where was it at Day 90, Day 100 (April 2020)? Oh, right. They were suppressing and banning any experts who were arguing exactly the same points. It was harder to simply suppress by brute force the tens of thousands of top experts who signed Great Barrington, but they could ignore them.
Hitchens makes some related comments on what happens to Anti-Panic experts (which, in fact, is almost all experts, except a few fanatics like Eric Fingle-Dingle or whatever his name is, whatever the qualification he throws onto his CV may be.
Reblogged this on Muunyayo.
I asked in Feb. 2021, “Where are the high-profile opinion-leaders for the Corona Anti-Panic side?”
The question remains valid for “Corona-Panic Studies.” Here is a strong entrant into the field (new post):
TUCKER CARLSON ON THE “CORONA CULT” (Sept. 28, 2021).
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