“The Cult of Coronavirus. Like all religions, it has its own sacraments, its own sacred texts…” These are some of the words influential US right-wing figure Tucker Carlson used in his opening segment of Sept. 27, 2021.
With these words he steps firmly into calling the Corona phenomenon a religion, or “cult,” in essentially literal terms.
Video (8m 30s) and transcript below.
Tucker is now catching up with this website (Hail to You)’s position of sixteen months ago. We argued, back then, that “Covid” was a literal religious cult (investigative-essay published May 18, 2020).
Following this is some further introductory commentary by me (900 words) and then the Tucker transcript (1100 words). (Or, jump to Tucker Carlson transcript and video.)
In my May 2020 essay, I approached the question — of whether “Corona” was classifiable as a religion — academically and not polemically. I found that the social-phenomenon that was “Corona,” involving fear of the flu-virus and the major disruptions to life associated with it and major social mobilization and intense emotions and more, it all qualified under anthropology as a religion.
The “Corona as Religion” idea had first come to me in early April 2020. I wrote the “Is Corona a Religious Cult?” essay-investigation in mid-May 2020, the fullest-form and most-seriously-approached investigation I had seen anywhere on the topic then-to-date. Few others at the time were talking in those terms, but in the subsequent sixteen months, many more have. It feels to me like autumn 2020 was a turning-point towards many more people calling Covid a “religion” or some variant.
Tucker(‘s writing team) now uses some of the same phrasing and imagery used here in May 2020, including some exact-same phrasing, including “the Corona Cult,” undoubtedly independently coined many times, but among the first-ever appearances was on the pages of Hail To You.
Google Trends thinks the first appearance of the phrase “Corona Cult” was on or about Feb. 13, 2020, at which time the Anti-Panic side was still very much in control, overlooking events from a position of confidence and strength, but also in retrospect entirely too confident and sluggish. A virus-centered apocalypse cult had made major strides in the past five or so weeks by mid-February 2020. It had started on the extreme conspiracy fringes and by mid-February began threatening to broach into the mainstream, which it did in March 2020, the blackest month in Western history in living memory.
Google Trends then suggests steady appearances of the phrase “Corona Cult” up until March 17, 2020, after which it faded to undetectable levels, aligned with the full retreat of Anti-Panic forces at the time. “Corona Cult” mostly stayed at zero (undetectable levels) until May 18/19, coincidentally the two-days on which “Is Corona a Religious Cult” appeared here at Hail To You. From this I take it that my essay on Corona treated as an anthropological-cultural phenomenon worth study as a New Religion, was among the first in the post-CoronaPanic-breakthrough era to push the idea. That it is now common among the Anti-Panic side is refreshing vindication. A variant phrase, “the Covidian Cult,” enters Google Trends in a strong way after C. J. Hopkins published an influential essay with that title (Oct. 2020; two follow-ups, most recently with The Covidian Cult, Part III, Sept. 2021.)
In the three-way split on the Corona-Panic issue, namely between the Pro-Panic side, the Neutrals, and the Anti-Panic side, the Pro-Panic side formed the core of the religion. They held sway over the Neutrals, who acquiesced to the new religion (and some degree of “trusting their betters” was in effect). As for us of the Anti-Panic side, we were shoved into the role of heretics, blasphemers, or pagans. How dare you question the Panic? You must be wicked, bamboozled, or deranged, or all three.
This all might seem to straddle the line between metaphor and literal, especially as interpreted by a reader not reading closely. To be clear, I do think “Covid” ended up a literal (non-metaphorical) religion, so-classifiable according to established practice on such things within the fields of anthropology of archaeology, as explained in the “Is Corona a Religious Cult?” essay.
Before moving into the transcription of the Tucker monologue, I should add here that Tucker Carlson himself was an early promoter of the Corona Religion, when it mattered most — March, April, and even drifting into May 2020, and though he eventually defected, he was not the relatively hardline Anti-Panicker he is now until much later. At some point, he became not just a skeptic but one of the leading Anti-Panic voices with a national, semi-mainstream audience. I am not sure when or why or how he flipped.
Tucker is the most-watched cable-news commentary show and in our globalized Internet era, he even has something of a modest global reach. That Tucker and his writing staff have come out firing on all cylinders for the Anti-Panic side is worth attention.
It’s worth it to revisit to the thesis (“Covid” as primarily religious phenomenon) now, late September 2021, at the +18-month mark after the breakthrough of the Covid Cult (March 2020). Weather is still fair in the agenda-setting regions of the West, but with winter fast approaching now, the Cult might well get another six months of life at least, and having committed so much to the Corona Cult, there doesn’t seem to be any easy exit, like anyone caught in a possessive cult that seeks to control your actions.
On the Tucker writers. Tucker’s is a team of highbrow right-wingers, with whom he works on these monologues. They present us with an 1500-or-so word essay interspliced with some video, presented on TV/video over a ten-minute period. I’ve cut some tangential parts and present here an 1100-word version, consumable to a strong reader in four minutes flat, with no need for any videohosting, sound, or computing power. (These monologues, in any case, are 80% just spoken words of political- or cultural-commentary essays.)
And now here is my transcription of the Tucker Carlson Tonight opening monologue, leading the 8pm hour US Eastern Time, Sept 27, 2021:
TUCKER CARLSON ON THE “CORONA CULT”
[Tucker Carlson:] Politicians used the pandemic across the country to close thousands of churches and throw Christians in prison for practicing their faith. Here was the scene, for example, last fall in Idaho. Police arrested a congregation for singing hymns outdoors.
[A video shows several dozen people singing hymns in what appears to be a church parking lot. One by one they are arrested by teams of masked police. It becomes clear the arrestees expect to be arrested; they offer no physical resistance. A tall young man is silently escorted off, handcuffed, as the hymn continues.]
[Tucker Carlson continues:] That tape will be studied by future generations of historians to try and figure out what was going on.
What did these people do wrong?
They publicly affirmed their belief in a power higher than government. That’s not allowed.
Fewer and fewer Americans do that, or even think to. But that does not mean — and this is the critical point — that does NOT mean that this has become a secular country.
There are no “secular countries.” Just as there are no “secular people.” Everybody believes in something. All of us are born with a need to worship. The question is worship what.
So, no America has not lost its religion. It has just replaced its religion. What’s dying is the faith that created Western civilization, Christianity. In its place is a new creed. And like all religions, it has its own sacraments, its own sacred texts. It’s the Cult of Coronavirus.
Kathy Hochul is one of the high-priestesses of this new faith. She’s the governor of New York. No one voted for her as governor and that seems odd for a politician. But it’s typical for a faith leader. No one voted for Jim Jones, either.
Yesterday, Kathy Hochul held her first service as the leader of the New York diocese of the Corona Cult. Around her she wore, not a cross — that’s yesterday‘s symbol — but instead a vaccination necklace. That necklace signified to the faithful gathered that Hochul has ascended to the select priesthood of those who have taken full intravenous communion.
Listen to Bishop Hochul preach:
[Video of interim governor Kathy Hochul]: “And I wear my vaccination necklace all the time to say ‘I’m vaccinated.’ All of you: Yes, I know you’re vaccinated. You’re the smart ones, but you know there’s people out there who aren’t listening to God, aren’t listening to what God wants. You know this. You know who they are.
I need YOU to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it, and say, ‘We owe this to each other, we love each other! Jesus taught us to love one another! And how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, Please get vaccinated because I love you. I want you to live.” [End video from interim governor Kathy Hochul].
[Tucker Carlson:] “How do you show your love to one another? The old way was to visit people, say, in the hospital, as they died. That’s no longer allowed. The new way is to get The Vaxx.
God Himself wants you to take the vaccine. ‘I need you to be my apostles!’, Hochul thundered. No one comes to the Father except through The Shot. Sinners in the hands of an angry healthcare worker.
At the pulpit, Kaythy Hochul […] seemed suddenly transformed. A ‘transfiguration,’ if you will. Standing there, she wasn’t merely a mediocre and unelected governor of a dying state with bad weather, no. [Laughs.] Hochul was the Vaccine Messiah, preaching the undying word of Saint Anthony Fauci. Can I get an ‘Amen!’ ladies and gentlemen?
It may seem unlikely to those of you used to the older faiths, but many are joining this new Church. And for $39 right now on Amazon, you too can join a sterling silver necklace that declares that YOU have been vaccinated. Literally declares it! Just spells out in cursive: VACCINATED. There’s no mistaking what an incredibly good person you are. Everyone will see it.
You can also buy vaccination bracelets, and vaccination pins, and vaccination earrings; vaccination shirts, vaccination socks — It’s all at Kathy Hochul’s church giftshop.
And while you’re shopping, be certain to pick up a Tony Fauci Prayer Candle. In fact, get TWO. All good, decent people have more than one. For just fifteen bucks at Etsy, you can buy a “Patron Saint of Staying Home” prayer candle. That’s a real thing. We read the reviews today. Here’s one of them. ‘LOVE IT! I think I may have to set up a little altar to place it on!’ There’s a new convert.
Here’s another review from a woman called Kelly Hannon: ‘I put this in my office — I work in public health and this makes me smile every time I look at it.’ Of course it makes you smile, Kathy Hannon. Virtue is its own reward.
For those still making the tough transition from a traditional Western religion […] to this new religion […] You can pick up this ‘masked nativity scene’ online. It looks conventional, but look closely. It features Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus, all with their faces covered. As they should be, even in a manger! They’re masked. Just like you are.
In this religion of narcissism, the holiest figures look exactly like you do. That’s the point. We’ll reach back two thousand years and change the appearance of historical figures to look exactly like the people in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That’s what this religion is about.
And speaking of babies, you’ll want to celebrate your children’s baptism-by-Vaxx by purchasing a sacred text to memorialize this moment. […]
Of course there’s always an apostate, the kind of person burning stakes were created for. […]
For the rest of us, though, there are Tony Fauci pins, Tony Fauci mugs, Tony Fauci Christmas ornaments. There’s a cornucopia of ‘Fauciana.’ It’s all part of the practice of this young, but growing, faith.
Soon, the especially devout will set out on pilgrimages to Wuhan, China, where the very first miracle of pangolin-to-human transmission occurred. Some believe a visit to the wet-market will heal them. And who are we to say that it won’t?
You’re not going to hear Joe Biden doubting this new religion. Joe Biden is its chief apostle. He knows that the Kingdom of Corona can exist right here on Earth, and that it will endure forever. But first—everyone must convert. Every last person. This is an evangelical faith. It will be spread by the sword if necessary.
[Video of Biden getting a ‘booster shot’ with a reporters in room; question from off-screen female reporter:]
[Q.] “How many Americans need to get vaccinated for us to get back to normal. What is the percentage total vaccinations that need to happen?”
[Biden:] “Well, I think…Look. [Pause.] I think we get the vast majority […] 97%, 98%. I think we’ll get awful close. But I’m not a scientist. I think…But one thing for sure. A quarter of the country can’t go unvaccinated. We have a problem.”
[Tucker Carlson:] “There he is, getting another shot. Another! Why not? It’s not just once a year. Nooo. Not for the devout. Some people take communion every day.
Joe Biden would like to see everybody on board with this program. Everyone believing wholeheartedly in this new faith. He has called for 98% of the United States of America to convert, to get those shots. One, two, three. Maybe every Sunday? [End quote].
[End of transcript of Tucker Carlson Tonight opening-monologue on “Corona Cult.”]
Comment: The Flu-Virus Religion (or Covid Religion, or Corona Cult) has taken on different imagery in 2021 than it had in 2020. But the core of the thesis remains strong and consistent back to that time. The Pro-Panic side erected a giant, literal religion with many characteristics of the typical apocalypse cult, around a moderate flu virus, and through a combination of factors took over the entire West, and spilled over to much of the upwardly aspirant non-West. Sometimes the
The biggest difference: Back during the weeks-long spring 2020 Flu-Virus New Religion Breakthrough period, there was no vaccine (or no product being called a vaccine), and in 2021 “The Vaxx” (as Tucker puts it) emerged as a key to the whole thing.
I think this position is defensible, then and still now, in the literal and not the metaphorical.
And it does seem that the 21 months since the first sighting of a foretelling of the apocalypse (Dec. 31, 2019), the Corona as Religious Cult theory best fits the facts.
Added video of the Tucker Carlson segment on the “Corona Cult”:
Whoever reads this:
Please let me know if you can view the video above. It is my first time trying to embed a video via Bitchute.
It works for me.
HAIL, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
I kept checking your blog and there has been nothing for months. I was worried.
Thanks, Federalist. Good to see you.
I am very well but was busy with other projects.
For a while I also believed Covid/Corona-Panic was rapidly winding down (approx. mid-April to mid-July), but here we are, still in artificial war-mobilization-like conditions, with “Covid” dominating the news.
We’re in Season 3 now, Mr. Hail. I had also thought this Infotainment series was over due to fading ratings, but Season 3 was started in mid-summer – ~ end of July.
BTW, since you’ve been writing in on Peak Stupidity recently, I wasn’t worried about what happened to you anymore, but I was really wondering for a long while, like Federalist.
Oops, forgot to fill in the form.
See here for a list of links to some of my recent Corona-Commentary in Peak Stupidity‘s comment sections.
(Let me be among those to commend Peak Stupidity for being so stalwartly Anti-Panic.)
Somewhere in the comments, I saw where you wrote about traffic-related deaths counterintuitively increasing during the lockdown when people were driving less. Is there a theory for why this was?
Thank you very much for this, Mr. Hail. I apologize for not linking to this right up top, or as its own post, but I came upon this just as I was finishing the post you linked to above.
I just read Mr. Anderson’s comment here, the report from western Mass. I cannot believe that they would force people to play hockey with face masks on! The thing is, I see the mask mandates as # 3 in the list of the worst Totalitarianism to come out of, no, be taken advantage of, during this PanicFest. #1 would be business and city LOCKDOWNs and #2 would be forced vaccinations. These two set an even more dangerous precedent than the masking.
However, forced masking is a way of taking away people’s dignity. Almost all of us, even those who wear them (ahem) religiously, aren’t really, seriously scared s__tless of COVID one-niner germs. Otherwise the population wouldn’t be treating these masks as just another fashion accessory or as a new trendy form of condom, leaving them on tables, picking others up off the floor and ground, So, I see this forced compliance to what most know is a useless effort as more of that humiliation that was described by (some guy with some famous quote) as the REAL. purpose of many Totalitarian policies. It is not a wrong-headed effort to do some good – it is an effort to show us we must comply and be humiliated upon command.
RE: Federalist’s question on what caused traffic-death spike during the Corona-Panic.
Full reply below in a fresh thread.
Mr. Hai l- thanks for the transcript and your analysis. I have a little caveat though: This CO-19 virus is no regular flu virus. As you did show in detail, CO-19 in Sweden did cause as much harm as a severe flu wave – even though the Swedes did protect themselves much more than they did protect themselves from the flu. Plus CO-19 is new – and new illnesses are scarier than old ones.
Dr. Pierre Kory of worldwide Ivermectin-fame, said, that he thinks that Covid is a severe illness and people should not take it lightly. Dr. Martin Kulldorff (Great Barrington Declaration) spoke in the same way. And Dr. Ioannidis too.
It is true that Wuhan-Corona is in the historical moderate-severe or severe range.
Context is needed. Evidence suggests Wuhan-Corona is equal to flu waves occurring around 2x/decade, long-run average. People do indeed die in flu waves, sometimes more than others.
But I also believe most of us would not really have noticed Wuhan-Corona “on its own” without the social phenomenon I call the “Corona-Panic,” which is where the New Religion part comes in. That is sociology and not virology — and is, in many ways, more interesting than other Corona-related topics.
This “Corona Cult” discussion from the Tucker Carlson writers is only loosely tied to the discussions of how dangerous Wuhan-Corona is over “regular” flu viruses.
“It is true that Wuhan-Corona is in the historical moderate-severe or severe range.”
True, but there’s a huge difference. In that Corona dramatically impacts old people, mostly very old people. Whereas Spanish Flu, for example, was devastating to the young and mostly passed old people by. However much you may love your granny, from a societal perspective most of those who have died from Corona had lived their lives and contributed whatever they were going to contribute. Their children, if any, are self-sustaining. Imagine if it were flipped around, and 85% or so of the deaths were in people under 25. That would have been far more devastating, leaving behind scores of widows and orphans and parents and siblings devastated at the loss of children. Face it: losing your five year old child is a lot worse than losing your 90 year old parent.
This is why you say — as I’ve been saying — that take away the panic and most of us would not have any idea that something “unusual” was going on. Especially since zero lockdowns/masks wouldn’t have made any difference in the scope of the virus impact. While we know for sure it has rather dramatically increased non-virus deaths in many ways: suicides, overdoses, automotive deaths, missed health care screenings/treatments, etc. We won’t know the scope of the lockdown impact for years.
Well – the old and those with preconditions like high blood pressure, the overweight/obese (especially if they don’t move much), etc. – these are quite some people… And I want to add: This illness is new – new illnesses scare people.
The increase in non-virus deaths is an interesting question but seems to be hard to quantify.
Hardly anybody outside of Mr. Hail’s blog (and very few others) talks about the CO-19 related decrease in the birth rates. Interesting question, ethically too. It looks as if such a decrease would not be too easily perceived as a loss. – I think this is one reason for not debating it.
I agree. Useful concepts in the Corona-Panic debate:
– “Quality-Life-Years,” i.e., health-condition adjusted (a life-year in a vegetative state or with severe alzheimer’s is not the same as that of a vigorous youth in perfect health),
– one which I call “Quality-Life-Year-Equivalents.” This one could also be good life-experience. The amount of “normal life” one could live, in good health and compos mentis (a “quality-life-year”) with fulfillment and social contribution, BUT in fact lost to, or greatly worsened by, the disruptions. Instead one is mired in unemployment/isolation/depression/etc., and may turn to drug or drink. Also encompassed here is disrupted childhood development to Corona-Panic effects.
(See also: “All Life-Years Matter.”)
The Pro-Panic side seems to treat this kind of talk as some kind of trickery of the Devil.
From Milo, commenting at the Daily Sceptic [UK] (formerly known as “Lockdown Sceptics”):
The Pro-Panic side’s new ad against Ron “Death-Santis” DeSantis is being widely mocked.
The ad calls DeSantis “terrifyingly evil” for opposing lockdowns and mandates. The overall tone is surreal.
Without understanding “Corona” as a New Religion — as an enormous, quasi-state-backed apocalypse cult with the Pro-Panic side vs. Anti-Panic side respectively as loyal-believers vs. villainous-heretics — the ad is puzzling.
Some have called it a Covid Rorschach Test; committed Anti-Panickers see it as effectively a pro-DeSantis ad.
The ad comes from a local Pro-Panic fanatic Daniel Uhlfelder (Stanford, BA, 1993; Univ. of Florida, JD, 1996; ties to Democratic Party), a man who gained attention in 2020 for parading around Florida beaches dressed as the grim reaper, to warn the sinners of the Wuhan Virus Apocalypse and to preach upon whence salvation comes per the Corona Gospel.
“Some have called it a Covid Rorschach Test; committed Anti-Panickers see it as effectively a pro-DeSantis ad.”
No kidding! I don’t think you even need to be specifically anti-panic to see this as an inadvertent ad FOR the Florida Governor. I would go as far as to say that this ad is a pro-Rick DeSantis ad for anyone who is sees the book 1984 as anything other than an instruction manual.
BTW, I only realized you had gotten to posting again, with this one, near the middle of writing my latest one, featuring the video of the maniacal new Governor of New York.
If you check the Twitter feed of the man behind the ad, Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw), you can confirm that he is serious about it, and that the ad is intended to be anti-DeSantis. He even brags about the ad and slams “bots” mocking it.
Mr. Uhlfelder is — was — an obscure Jewish lawyer in Florida. He had a few hundred Twitter followers on Dec. 1, 2019. His follower-count jumped to 50,000 in a 48-hour period, about Dec. 6-8, 2019. At that time he got attention over some kind of lawsuit against Mike Huckabee. A forgettable affair but he briefly became a social-media star in 2019.
Uhlfelder’s big jump into fame was yet to come, in 2020 with the Corona-Panic. It paid great dividends. As of today, Uhlfelder has over 200,000 followers. All these new followers are from attention he scooped up during his media-promoted “Covid Grim Reaper” and “DeathSantis” campaigns,aiming to righteously remove Ron DeSantis for crimes against humanity, refusing Lockdowns, rejecting masks, and mocking other tenets of Corona.
Daniel Uhlfelder is probably many things to many people, but for these purposes he was a social-media star freshly minted in Dec. 2019 just weeks before the Corona movement’s breakthrough. He transitioned from humble beginnings to become a major Pro-Panic partisan, and Corona-Panic Enforcer, in 2020-21.
Peak Stupidity replied here on Daniel Uhlfelder:
High Priestess of the Branch Covidian Social Justice Climate Cult (Peak Stupidity, Sept. 30, 2021)
On the NY interim-governor (Kathy Hochul)’s “God DEMANDS you be vaccinated!” sermon from earlier this week and which forms part of the core of this post and Tucker Carlson’s “Corona Cult” monologue.
High-profile Corona-Anti-Panicker Alex Berenson, now life-banned from Twitter, said this yesterday (on the Substack quasi-blogging platform), apropos of some of the content the Tucker “Corona Cult” segment:
Corona Chan news from Western Massachusetts:
1. More and more towns are re-instituting indoor mask mandates. The latest was Montague on Wednesday.
2. Amherst College has graciously allowed fans at football games, but all spectators must be masked. Outside. No tailgating allowed. No outsiders allowed to indoor sports, which presumably means no spectators at upcoming M and W hockey and hoops.
As the college is now allowing outsiders onto the campus, but not into any buildings, I have been walking my dog there again. They have set up many outdoor classrooms, but some require masks because the seats are too close together. I’m guessing that close to 100% of the students and staff are vaxxed, yet about 1/3 of the people I see on my daily walks are masked. Mostly women, but virtually all the Asians I encounter (and there are lots of Asians) are face diapered up.
3. The town public school system has announced that they wish to have all students vaccinated by November 1. Dunno if that includes grade school kids, but I presume it does. Indoor sports (mainly volleyball) must be masked WHILE PLAYING.
4. As of today spectators will be allowed at this weekend’s UMASS hockey games vs Mankato. The game is sold out, as they’re going to raise the NCAA Championship banner Saturday. Spectators must present proof of vaccination and be masked.
5. My Wednesday night hockey group has resumed play, masks required at all times within the rink, even while playing. I won’t play until the mask requirement is lifted. This could be the end of a long and very undistinguished hockey career.
One of my sons lives in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, and he has more freedom than I do. Certainly more that any Aussie.
Have the Massachusetts restrictions fallen neatly into the usual Blue-Red model? Places or institutions with harsher restrictions likelier to be more Blue?
Who made the decision on the hockey league to demand masks?
An optimistic(?) view on US politics’ intersection with the Corona-Panic:
“Thank God For Rednecks — Who else could keep us from turning into Australia?” (by Michael Warren Davis, Sept. 21, 2021, American Conservative)
Article premise: “What force is keeping / could keep the USA from turning into Australia?”
(by which is meant under Permanent-Extreme-Paranoiac-CoronaPanic conditions, a dystopian nightmare regime of nationwide televised manhunts for some guy who sneezes on an elevator, children are arrested for assembling to play basketball, police bash skulls of dissidents in the name of public health…)
I’ll say there are multiple reasons why MAGA-Americans have been designated a suspect-class within the Corona Cult (suspected of being disbelievers and blasphemers against the Corona-god), and they are not entirely reducible to this cartoon-like (but effective) portrait.
That would be worth a well-thought-through essay. Has anyone done it?
Driving became much more dangerous, starting immediately in March 2020; and 2020 vs. 2019 is, without comparison, the largest one-year jump in automobile-driving risk ever recorded.
In the original comment I calculated this standardized measure:
Given that the 2019-baseline held for the first 2.5 months of the year 2020 (pre-CoronaPanic), the actual Corona-Panic effect on road deaths was even higher.
The general explanation is this:
When you introduce wild social changes, behavior tends to change in unforeseen ways.
I think it works like this:
(1) Fewer cars on roads
(2) The same road/highway infrastructure
More space for speeding –> more deadly accidents.
You’ll probably recall Corona Pro-Panic partisans who celebrated the drop in road traffic in spring 2020 as one of the blessings of the Corona regime and the New Normal. Like much of the Corona-Panic, they didn’t foresee consequences. There have been, and will be for years to come, lots of CoronaPanic-induced early deaths. This is a surprising but at least a firmly measurable one.
To Federalist and Hail
You should know, Steve Sailer put up a thread on higher traffic fatalities. It’s a mystery. He neglects possible COVID tie. No commenters mention it, either. One guy thinks loosening of marijuana law caused it.
I see that The Alarmist, who has also commented here at Hail To You, wrote this, the only reference to the Corona social-phenomenon which anyone made:
Traffic deaths went up due to lack of traffic enforcement. Not really surprising.
Canada also had a big jump in road deaths, +50% or more risk-of-death-per-mile-driven, March to Dec. 2020 (CoronaPanic First Nine Months) vs. 2019.
Whatever the cause(s), the same must hold for Canada.
James Howard Kunstler (who in early-mid 2021 or so became fully Anti-Panic after occupying a space between Neutral and Anti-Panic in 2020) today wonders why the White House built a a fake “set” for the Biden Covid ‘booster’ injection:
My response to the general question:
Interesting theory on Andrew Cuomo‘s sudden (Aug. 2021) removal:
thirdcoastlegend wrote at the Kunstler blog:
Hail, I know you’d like to see a rapprochement between the pro panic and anti panic groups
Click to access FL_Senate_9_21_VCreekMemo.pdf
However, I see that even in FLORIDA, around 43% believe that the Biden administration should threaten people’s livelihoods (ie their ability to hold a job) if they refuse to get the Vax (57% are against).
Let me be blunt. Those 43% are my enemies. They are every much an enemy of me as someone that attempts to forcibly inject me against my will. They ARE NOT my countrymen. In many states they may be a majority. But I don’t feel any connection to them or sympathy for them. I want them made irrelevant to any decision making, by whatever means necessary.
I sympathize entirely with you on this, Jehu.
I first noticed the Pro-Panic vs. Anti-Panic split in spring 2020. The ascendant Pro-Panic side’s framing then had become “people who take this apocalyptic flu threat seriously” vs. “the deranged deniers”; in fact it was a Pro-Panic vs. Anti-Panic split, both basically well-intentioned.
Novel political coalitions formed around the Corona-Panic. The Pro-Panic coalition won huge victories, equivalent to the empowerment one political side gets from winning a civil war.
Now, the Corona opinion split was not at first, nor is it now, an exact analogue to the Blue-Red US political split. But the Blue-Red stuff does exert an influence, and ordinary middle-bell-curve people often give pavlov answers to things based on what their side is supposed to say. Committed ‘Blue’ people will tend to give the Pro-Panic party line. (Notice the Covid opinion split in that poll is very close to the 2020 election result [51-48 Trump-Biden]…)
Another way of looking at it: The actual split we have been dealing with since early 2020 is not Pro-Panic/Anti-Panic, but rather Pro-Panic/Neutral/Anti-Panic. Neutrals tend to shift strongly towards Perceived Consensus, which means that when the media is pushing Panic hard, Neutrals will really inflate the polled Pro-Panic position. It’s harder to tease out the true Pro-Panic hardliners vs. Neutrals simply going along.
Makes me wonder. The probabilities of death for members of the Pro-Panic coalition are VASTLY greater than anything from Covid should they push this escalation hot. But naturally, they’ll be bold about that possibility. A very large fraction of the normally very law abiding population has basically totally lost all respect for the notion of Law over this. I don’t even feel bad when I break the law or lie about it anymore than Gideon felt bad about hiding his crops from the Philistines (threshing grain in a winepress). Basically I don’t consider the law to be the magistrate spoken of in Romans.
In some ways, having this go hot would almost be a relief.
It may now be forgotten within the annals of Corona-Panic history, but a group of Germans stormed their parliament building last Aug 29, 2020, protesting the Bundestag’s then-recent suspension of their own Constitution to continue to rule by decree.
Pro-Panic media reported it something like this:
“Senior German officials have condemned attempts by far-right protesters and others to storm the parliament building following a protest against the country’s pandemic restrictions.”
This was one of the first successful radical protest actions against Corona-Tyranny (public-health tyranny) in Europe, which continue today, but only in Europe and not much in the USA. Why?
A Kunstler commenter (Amman) says this on NY’s Corona Pro-Panic, Vaxxed-necklace-wearing, Corona-evangelist interim-governor, Kathy Hochul:
Here’s an anecdote that I’ve posted a couple of times on iSteve (Steve Sailer’s blog) and something for a quick post in an upcoming Peak Stupidity post (it does relate, so bear with me):
A family member has worked for a long while at a medium-sized company still nominally run by the founder, who is no MBA type, but an intelligent guy in his field. This CEO has gone all out recently on the Kung Flu PanicFest, whether truly his feeling or just sucking up to woke Big Biz and the Feral Gov’t. He wants everyone working there vaxxed, even, get this, if the employee works solely from home! (My family member does this, starting from when they made him.)
Well, my family member was going to retire instead. (There’s another benefit from being a reasonably frugal, rather than paycheck-to-paycheck-living person.) His immediate boss got him a religious waiver based on that he really didn’t want him to leave and this future work be done by an incompetent •Indian.
OK, finally to the related point. The CEO wrote that anyone not vaxxed by the deadline would not only get fired, but he would not receive any severance pay. Now, it’s one thing if the guy is a true Panic-believer and just wants everyone not vaxxed out of here “FOR THE CHILDREN!” or whatever … notwithstanding that nobody their will breath their breath and touch their germies over the internet. No, but this guy is being downright mean and nasty about it, as is this POS Hotchul.
Where did the person you are referring to stand on the Corona-Panic at its different stages of existence?
Jan./Feb. 2020 (birth stages of the Corona-Panic social phenomenon)? In the critical period mid-March into early April 2020 (the Pro-Panic side’s major victories)? By summer 2020? By winter 2020-21? By spring 2021?
In other words, he is now clearly on the Anti-Panic side. Was he ever at any time Pro-Panic? If so, what do you think impelled his defection to the Anti-Panic side? The vaccine mandates? Or was Anti-Panic basically all along? Neutral turned Anti-Panic?
Sorry, Mr. Hail, but I didn’t get a chance to answer your question yesterday. The family member in question was always on the anti-panic side, at least from the first time we talked about it, which had to be at the latest, late March of ’20. He was never as gung ho as your PS blogger here, but he agreed with pretty much every thing I’d have to say about it.
What’s funny is that the working-from-home deal was weird for him. He didn’t start off like it, but he got used to it quickly. Now, that’s wasn’t good enough for the CEO. Still too … something… can’t put my finger on it …. too unhysterical?
Everybody should check out the JJ Couey videos on Covid. Eye opening and amazing actual science, not Science! Trying to spread the word.
It seems that Dr. J. J. “Gigaohm” Couey is firmly Anti-Panic, and from a data-based, professional-virologist-epidemiologist perspective — considerably less from any kind of ideological perspective per se.
It sounds like Gigaohm believes that the vaccines might cause higher Corona death rates overall. A lot of serious people have been saying this since about August. If true we are in the middle of the makings of the mega-scandal of the decade. (Though the Corona-Panic writ large, and the erection of a bizarre virus-centric state religion, is the scandal of the century so far.)
Is Gigaohm Biological’s material entirely video-based?
I clicked on one of his videos at random. He has a great overview of the possible origins of the Corona-Panic as social-phenomenon, via methods of news consumption (or what we call The News today) and the lack of any common narratives anymore:
See 24:10-30:00 here:
and more at 18:30-20:30 here:
A lot of people grumbled throughout the 2010s complained about the lack of common narrative. IOW, the Corona-Panic itself, or the “Corona Cult,” was able to break through in part because people want common narratives
Couey is the process of gathering materials. He does have a good 8-page summary paper on his website, here:
Right now the site is still a bit of a mess, but he only just started doing this work.
And yes, he does posit that the vax will make you more susceptible to Rona strains (as well as all other corona viruses, ie you will get more colds post-vaccine) because it modifies your body’s immune response to look only at one aspect of the virus. Whereas a natural immune response looks at many aspects. So in effect, your body’s lifelong work at developing immunities to corona viruses is getting hijacked. He uses a great analogy: it’s like you had a library with thousands of different books (your range of memory immune responses) and you threw them out and replaced them with thousands of the same book (the vax enforced response).
It’s really way, way more dastardly than I thought.
I wonder if Dr Couey has addressed the hypothesis that some of the so-called “new strains” (many have made the news but then were seldom heard about again) are just identification of long-endemic coronas which we have never bothered with before.
We’ll recall that there was so little concern about coronaviruses that none but some specialists had ever even heard the word (“coronavirus”) as of Jan. 1, 2020.
(Only a few corona strains had been confirmed in the lab, but we had every reason to believe there could be more active at any time than the handful known endemic in humans. But given that they were just one virus family among many spreading flu [“flu-like illness,” officially], there was no big push.)
It sounds like Dr Couey might believe the suppression of Wuhan-Corona could make the other, minor coronas ironically more dangerous, and given the way we do testing, some of those non-Wuhan-descended coronas could still well be picked up as coronas and thus as “COVID-19″…
Peak Stupidity published a light post today which concludes:
“We are glad Mr. Hail is back! You are a real asset to the Anti-Panic forces of America.”
An interesting Pro-Panic article here, the most-read article on The Atlantic the past two days:
“Why Are Americans Still—Still!—Wearing Cloth Masks? It’s long past time for an upgrade,” By Yasmin Tayag (born ca.1986; science journalist; Philippine origin, Canada-raised; former lead editor of the “Medium Coronavirus Blog”), in The Atlantic, Oct. 4, 2021.
The article starts out shallow but soon goes in interesting directions even broaching into Anti-Panic territory:
The above are her opening words, by which she declares herself loyal to the Pro-Panic cause and not one of those evil Covid Deniers or Anti-Vaxxers or Anti-Maskers. But towards the middle of the article she weaves in and out of an Anti-Panic analysis of masking:
As for the question, “Why Are Americans Still—Still!—Wearing Cloth Masks?” proposed by Yasmin Tayag, we of the thinking Anti-Panic side have some better answers, and I think she knows it, but she and people like her are still ideologically hemmed in.
FWIW, Ms. Tayag was published in the elite-regime-media New York Times earlier in 2021 for an article on “Asian Americans learning self defense to fight racists and build confidence!” in her words. Recall that in early 2021 there was a brief moral panic over a supposed wave of anti-Asian violence. (Have not heard anything of that in a while…)
Ron Unz is back pushing his idée fixe about “Covid as a biological-weapon against China.” He has received great pushback from his commenters for this.
Ron Unz is also back pushing the long-discredited idea that the Wuhan-Corona “fatality rate is greater than 0.5%.”
This is wrong. Unz’s pushing of it frustrating. And puzzling. Does he really not care about good data? I don’t get it.
We have long known the following, in outline: In a world in which we put the breakout influenza strain in a given year at (usually) 0.05%-0.15% fatality rate (with up to 1 in 10 outlier-years which break above that range), “Covid” is about 0.10%-0.25%. This is “apples to apples.” (The reason for ranges is that there is always some uncertainty in datasets; and every country /region is different, i.e., local conditions matter.)
This is a robust finding which holds across all countries. It is also a finding (data) which the Pro-Panic side either disbelieves or of which they are (much more often) totally unaware.
In simple terms: “Covid” — aren’t all coronavirus-based flus “covids”? Let’s say Wuhan-Corona to be specific — is at the top-range of usual flu activity, though in some cases below it. But the weight of evidence we have suggests Wuhan-Corona matches age-and-condition-adjusted flu waves which we see 2x/decade. And we were due for one. It was a mundane and expected occurrence which would have passed in winter and been forgotten about if not for the social phenomenon I refer to as the Corona-Panic.
And that 0.10% to 0.25% “fatality rate” is also, we should recall, in a world in which usual all-cause-death rate is often 0.90%/year in the West.
If 60% of your population “gets” Wuhan-Corona, it implies 0.05% to 0.15% of the total population will die from/with it (around 1 in 1000). The venn-diagrams of the two — deaths of all causes (9 in 1000) and these Wuhan-Corona-associated deaths (1 in 1000) — overlap to some extent, as we of the Anti-Panic side have been saying all along. So even here it’s not as simple as “normal rate” @ 9-in-1000 + “Wuhan-Corona rate” @ 1-in-1000 = 10-in-1000. It’s less than that to some degree.
It all adds up to being a minor affair in medical terms. (The introduction of mass injections being called vaccines, helpful to some but totally unnecessary to the great majority who have received them, may change the game.)
Peak Stupidity is right that “Mr. Unz is missing the real story, the use of this ‘crisis’, or really, PanicFest, to introduce precedents in further Totalitarianism.”
We are left to ask: Why? Why do people like this continue to push the Panic, push whatever chosen variation on the Corona Pro-Panic theme they like? It’s an enduring question. A commenter named Kali suggests the following:
Öhh, may I say this: Emotions is not quite what Ron Unz excels in.
That’s all that there is – the rest follows from that – fact. (A solid fact. As solid as facts get. Just not quantifiable. – You have to somehow “git it” (Mick Jagger); since there are quite a few people on the Unz Review that don’t “git” such – öh – vibes, see – – – Ron Unz is in good company there. – This is (to an extent, that only the happy few can really agree upon) the Pre-Stabilized Universal-Harmony Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz had been talking (and constantly writing) about all his life. Old Leibniz pretty much liked it that way. Ron Unz and old Gottfried would have made an interesting team at the Hannover court, some three hundred years ago.
As I’ve said to Achmed E. Newman before: Ron Unz is not as important as you think. He does good things, I agree. But not as many as people like Peak Stupidity’s great Mod. obviously believes. He ain’t no Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz of the 21st century and never was one of the 20th century either.
Ron Unz says: “ZeroHedge began promoting the Wuhan lab-leak theory…because the website is under the heavy influence or outright control of the Deep State Neocons who probably launched the biowarfare attack in the first place.”
Some big jumps along the chain logical causality there. The jumps leave me dizzy. What would Herr Leibniz say?
I also interpret your comment to mean dealing with Ron Unz’s pet theories may be a waste of time; to that I cannot disagree.
Dieter, and Mr. Hail: I think it’s important Ron Unz keeps that site up. He really is very good about not banning not just commenters like yours truly, but his writers that put out some great anti-panic or even pro-Americans (Ron Paul) stuff. I don’t know if you all remember, but Ron Unz started off with Michelle Malkin’ (syndicated?) column just when she was full-on balls-to-the-wall anti-Panic. I thought he might yank her off there, based on “not enough readership” or some excuse. Nope, he’s very fair.
He’s a fair guy, but he can be really oblivious to what’s going on in the here and now. No, Mr. Hail, Mr. Unz only concentrates his mind on the facts that may support his narrative of the year, and I am pretty sure he just skims the rest. I gave him some links to my posts on the problem I saw with the “normal death” part of the excess death calculations. There’s some numbers for them too. He doesn’t care about that right now. He’s got to nail the Americans for spreading the Kung Flu. Criminey! It’s not even that important if it were the truth. The BIG STORY is the use of this PanicFest to increase Totalitarianism.
Ron Unz, get out of your house and see WTF is going on!
BTW, to finally answer your post, Dieter, I agree that he’s no big fish. As much as he derides me on the site, and I’m no masochist, I still hope his site gets bigger in readership.
I am in this argument with him on that thread, and I saved a long rebuttal (mostly blockquoted excerpts from his “supporting” articles, haha! I am not 100% sure it will appear, but as I just wrote, he is very good about this. (If not, my rebuttal(s) – yeah, they’ll be a 2nd – will appear on my site.
You all have a good morning!
A brief reply below (at the risk of falling into the time-wasting trap per Mr Kief’s warning).
Karl Denninger has this yesterday on The Big V:
In early 2021, knowing nothing yet about the vaccines, people were already saying no on healthy below age 50, 60, or maybe even 75 should get the injection, all based on likely scenarios for relative risk. If they had listened to the Anti-Panic side, this could all have been avoided.
If the vaccine skeptics are close to right — and I note they do generally have the good early data on this — it has the makings of a major scandal.
But the energies whipped up by the Corona-Panic may simply bury it all. It’s hard to tell. People cling to the Panic and its demands to the bitter-end, led by a core carrying a religious fervor (or, as I argue, a literal Corona-Religion).
What old Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz as somebody who – quite like Ron Unz – knew very little about the emotional side of our existence would have .s.a.i.d, I don’t know, Mr Hail.
But I know, what he .d.i.d. : – He tried to be pleasant when he actually met humans (what he was not too inclined to do (just like the Unz man – one more – öh – – parallel).
And he even soothed people by explaining to them that whatever horrors they might experience, they need not be afraid! Because – as he was just about to reveal – God had made – not only the world, but the universe too – in a thoroughly nice way!
Bottom line: If you don’t know much about people, steer clear from making them panic (especially if you know lots&lots&lots – – of ways to do so).
HM Enzensberger wrote a manual (in the vein of Baltasar Gracian’s pocket oracle) – a manual I said – a little pocket manual (122 p) for our times and called it Mausoleum. It contains a portrait of Leibniz (among others: Turing, Brahe, Malthus, Vauconson, Taylor (Frederic Winslow T), O. E. Evans, Darwin….).
In his pocket-manual for our modern times, Enzensberger writes about Leibniz: “We do not know his feelings.” This is actually a quote, with which Enzensberger begins his “Ballad” about Leibniz.
Enzensberger quotes a memo from the catholic church of the seventeenth century about Leibniz: They declare (or – explain), that the church is not worried about Leibniz, “because he is simply a machine, and produces what higher beings (the angels on earth) want him to produce.”
At times he had been working on a “Characteristica Universalis” – a theory of everything (my rocky translation).
As so often – I do it again: I recommend Hans Magnus Enzensbergers “Mausoleum – Thirty-seven Ballads from the History of Progress” – it has been translated into English.
Skip RU’s “pet theories” (Mr. Hail) – read Enzensberger’s Ballads instead: This will cheer you up, contemporaries – in the decades ahead!
So there’s a new pill in town, from those concerned philanthropists at Merck. And hey, they’re only charging $712 for treatment and expect to make $7 billion by the end of THIS YEAR alone. So let’s not assume they’re just greedy fear exploiters or anything. And all this for a pill that’s not as effective as Ivermectin and at many multiples of the cost.
But you know what? I don’t care. If this Merck Magic Rona Buster Pill lets us get off the panic train, then I’m in favor of it. I don’t care if it’s a sugar pill, since most people who’ll end up taking it probably won’t need it anyway. If it works, or sorta works, fine. I don’t care, I’ve got my tube of horsepaste and I’m ready. I just want the panic train to stop.
As the great blogger/tweeter Eugyppius has said many times, we’ve have multiple opportunities to take the off-ramp from Corona panic, but we’ve passed up every chance. Maybe the Merck Magic Pill will finally give the powers-that-be the excuse they need. I thought vaccines would do it — that’s what they promised, after all. But they let the vaccine moment go by, and now it’s obvious the vaccines are shit, though the mania for 100% vaxed is still heavy upon us.
We have to climb down from this insanity eventually, don’t we? I don’t care if the soulless blood-sucking monsters at Merck make a trillion pieces of silver from their bullshit pill. I just want the regular world back.
This comment got stuck in moderation but is now up.
We of the Anti-Panic side have all been saying this, or some variation of it, nearly from the very start.
Once someone snaps out of Panic Mode, it all seems clearly crazy, irrational, unnecessarily harmful.
So the question is WHY they pass up every chance.
Many never did quite “snap out of the Panic,” of course, as we optimistically hoped they would.
Understanding WHY a certain type of person clings to the Panic is perhaps the key to it all, more than some avenues the Anti-Panic side goes down. This was a theme of this early-2021 essay: “All Life-Years Matter,”
…but especially the section “Does the Pro-Panic Side Agree that ‘All Life-Years Matter’?“, or “Corona Panicker-Types.”
I don’t think much has changed despite shifting battle-lines on rhetoric with The Big V and more.
Endless posting of charts of cases in Lockdown vs. Non-Lockdown states reaches a limit of usefulness (outside Anti-Panic propaganda); why do Pro-Panic extremists do what they do?
Politics became stuck, Pro-Panic ideologues and fanatics holding politicians hostage backed by million of low-info Corona-dupes, to be a little mean about it. (It’s not the dupes’ fault.)
Politicians could have declared victory and dismantled the Panic with some will. But this never happened. People see lots of explanations. I see evidence for the the Corona-as-Religion hypothesis.
No one can keep a cheap con job running so long without it (religion), or keep a one-off mass delusion running when it is thoroughly disproved by evidence.
(This was my mistake in April, May and even June 2020. I believed the Sweden evidence especially would end the whole Panic, if it proved Wuhan-Corona was not the apocalyptic threat–millions of deaths!–they pushed it is. Sweden did prove that. And yet it had little effect. In ordinary conversation hear just as many people say Sweden is an example of what NOT to do [“more deaths than Norway!”] than Sweden as disproving the entire Corona-Panic meta-narrative.)
The answer to this puzzle is the sociological explanation. Corona as primarily social or cultural phenomenon, not a medical or even a political phenomenon, both of which are secondary.
(Reply to Peak Stupidity above)
In part of his 300-word tirade against you (incl. “you’re just a loud and lazy idiot”), Ron Unz writes:
Does he really believe this, or is he just being provocative?
Does he really believe the entire Anti-Panic side just consists of wackos and cheap hustlers out to bamboozle people into buying Anti-Corona water filters or snake-oil pills, or just angry nihilists who want Millions To Die, or something on one of those tiers of activity?
What’s funny is how so many leading epidemiologists were Anti-Panic from the start. I guess they are all snake-oil-salesmen dupes, too.
I decided to be a little “less lazy” and read Mr. Unz’s recent source to supposedly bolster his case, the Bloomberg article about the Australian virologist Danielle Anderson, who worked for spell, and last time only up through “late ’19” at the Wuhan Labs (NOT, BTW, with the people, such as Shi ZhengLi, who were doing this actual research on the Corona viruses!)
Let me tell you what. The damn article didn’t bolster Mr. Unz case very well. I compared it to the Nicholas Wade article that Ron Unz himself touted last summer or so as bolstering his case that “the Americans did it!” Here‘s my rebuttal – let me tell you, Ron was civil in his reply. He didn’t have much argument after that other than, to paraphrase, yeah, no proof it wasn’t a lab leak, but I’ve got evidence it was the American Deep State. I’ve read SOME of his stuff. I see only speculation, no evidence.
Not only that, but the proposed motive is worthless. Someone wanted to kill the Chinese, but not very hard, I guess, and they didn’t care if it would spread back here. Oh, and then, Americans would HATE HATE HATE the Chinese people for spreading the Flu Manchu too us. Really, I don’t think about it much, because this thing has become a freakin’ joke, but as to that last aspect of his theory, I replied more here and here.
That’s a long run-down of what one can read on that thread. Feels good, man!
Ron Unz writing today:
This may be key to understanding his motivation.
He views his role, in part, as the Gadfly.
I think there are larger lessons here, in that it was with t his type of person (the gadfly, the instigator, the rabble-rouser, the agitator) who formed the early Pro-Panic coalition in its critical phase of life, early 2020.
(Oh, and shortly after that he returned again to attacking you directly in another comment: “You’re just a rightwing dimwit.”)
Well, I didn’t address your comment very well. I’d meant to write to Ron Unz (and you now) on that part in which he derided me about the non-use or use of his list of 3 types of sources.
#1 was his articles, which have used information from the 2 articles that I just told you about and excerpted in my long reply to him.
#2 was “the mainstream media”. Uhhh, OK, Ron, so now they are top notch sources. Got it!
#3 was “the sources of your own information are just worthless propagandists, who deliberately keep you ignorant of all the important new developments in the story.” Just who might that be, my own searching on the internet? Mr. Hail, I had no idea you were a propagandist! Also, does he or doesn’t he want me to read stuff like his “American Pravda” articles? He disparages all sources that don’t fit his narrative in all those.
Ron Unz is losing his conspiracy theory mojo. He picked one: a) that is built on really shaky motives, b) that has no concrete evidence in its favor, c) for which the widely believed story makes perfect common sense and has no evidence against it, and d) that just IS NOT THAT IMPORTANT compared to the PanicFest’s being used to greatly increase Totalitarianism!
On that latter, (d), I wrote 2 or 3 comments in that thread that point that out to him. I’m guessing his skim-job didn’t catch my drift.
(See some continued discussion of this matter in the Peak Stupidity comment section for this post.)
I give up! I tried 3 times to figure out what WordPress didn’t like about my comment. Is 4 links too many? I will put it into the PS latest post (on Greta) comments, but the links won’t work.
The comment has been liberated and is now up.
(WP flags comments with multiple links, the hallmark of the spammer. I just checked and the threshold to get ‘flagged’ and held in auto-moderation here is actually 4 links in one comment. Up to three you should sail through. Sorry about that. But nothing lost, just temporarily blocked.)
Thank you so much, Mr. Hail! (That looks like my first attempt too.)
I had thought that these all went into a digital abyss.
I will keep in mind the stipulation of no more than 3 links.
CoronaPanic-pusher Ron Unz writing today:
I highlight this line not because I intend to engage him, but as an example of how people-who-should-know-better tend to approach the Corona-Panic Question.
Ron Unz created a vast mental category of “Crazy Flu Hoaxers,” and clung to it throughout 2020.
An ostentatiously extreme skeptic (even highbrow ‘troll’) in many fields, Unz accepts the official ‘narrative’ on the Corona-Panic.
Now towards late 2021 at least he upgrades it to “Flu Minimizers”!
One thing about this type of person though is I am not sure how Ron Unz fits into the Corona Cult theory. He is not necessarily a religious Corona Believer, but he does provide soft attack-power on behalf of the cult for other reasons. Kind of like the supposed situation in which conquered people would refrain from criticizing Islam in exchange for lower tax rates.
Just to mention it: Ron Unz is proud of the number of clicks (and time of readers, that too) the Unz Review gets.
In this regard, he puts quantity above quality. No good strategy for little mags. Their niche and strength lie in the exact opposite: To put quality over quantity.
This is a good point.
I wonder how many views a “Ron Unz Only” blog would get?
Before he created the Unz Review, I occasionally saw his writings. But he raised his own profile considerably with the creation of the Unz Review which became a big thing when he brought over Steve Sailer in mid-2014.
Of interest generally:
Swiss Policy Research (“ein unabhängiges Forschungs- und Informationsprojekt zu geopolitischer Propaganda in Schweizer und internationalen Medien”) has an analysis of major English-language media along two axes: Left vs. Right politically and Distance to Power. It lists Unz Review in its “most distant from power” and “most conservative” quadrant (English-language Media Navigator, 2020 edition).
This is a nice idea but may have little meaning given how all-over-the-place UR is. But the “distance from power” part is correct, at least. That itself seems to be the entire (stated, openly stated) purpose of UR.
Some of the others in UR’s quadrant include: Zero Hedge, AntiWar.com (right-libertarian, focused on foreign policy), Lew Rockwell (right-libertarian), and American Free Press (dissident Right, something like paleoconservative nearing Hard Right).
A full review of SPR’s media navigator shows media most likely to be Corona Anti-Panic are those MOST “distant from power” axis (right side on the chart), regardless of their Left or Right in nominal politics.
Thanks, Mr. Hail – I like SPR and link often-times to it – I will look into this article – this analysis is very intresting. – That they include the Unz Review is a very pleasant surprise, given how it is treated in Germany.
Distance has its pros and cons. This is a structural thing. Go away from the center and you will attract everybody that is – for whatever reason – not pleased by the government, etc. – not pleased by just about everything. – A potentially huge audience.
The unfortunate part of this strategy is, that you can paint yourself quite easily into a rather narrow corner by following the sirens of discontent.
In the end, the disaster is complete if – following the sirens, – you trade in rationality/reason for resonance. – It’s the inverse version of Hegel’s master and servant dialectic.
In 2019, the Unz Review is said to have had this readership per month: (I retrieve this from notes I made at the time):
– 35,000 to 80,000 “regulars” in any given week, people reading at least some content several times per week and making the website or some part of it (e.g. the Sailer blog) as a regular part of their news-commentary-analysis habit;
– 80,000 to 160,000 “occasionals” who would visit sometimes but not regularly; and
– up to 300,000 “one-timers,” who come in via a search or a link and may read one article but otherwise do not know about the site.
The powers of Big Tech have technical ways of reducing this third category (delisting the site or links to it), but not the first two, who deliberately click onto “Unz dot com.”
The total monthly readership was “up to 500,000 individuals” in the broadest measure (unique visitors), but the actual readership in a meaningful sense much less, and the “commentariat” (regular commenters) of the site were in the low thousands. This is a lower active participation rate than usual, being <1%; a large share of the quality commentariat came in with Sailer and mostly stays with him.
The funny thing about UR is: deciding to partially turn UR into a vehicle to promote the Corona-Panic is his own core readers–that group of "regulars" up to 70,000 people (as of 2019) and probably also the "occasionals," both emerged as Anti-Panic, a "revolt of the comment sections" against Editor-in-Chief Unz.
I’ve just become aware that the brand-new Corona Anti-Panic political party called “Basis” got a respectable 1.6% of votes in the Germany election. One of their candidates was none other than early Anti-Panic figure Dr. Wodarg.
Dr. Wodarg, unfortunately, does not know when to stop a chain of reasoning. This is a rather basic skill in public discourse. If you neglect it, you end up expressing and/or going along with ideas that are completely bogus, what Wolfgang Wodrag did in Die Basis. For example, prominent party members state, that the vaccine is .d.e.s.i.g.n.e.d. to diminish the world population. – The anti-panickers as the utmost panickers of all! – – The public sphere is a good – that has to be cultivated and Wodarg and his companions in Die Basis don’t get this essential rule in modern societies. So they linger on… Never mind: Humans learn through mistakes (it is a big mistake to underestimate the fact that the public sphere in modern societies is a veery mighty and very special beast that lives from a special diet …when ignored, you lose control about societal reason and reasonability (mental sanity). One of the hardest aspects of this soft science of the well-being of the public sphere – and widely overlooked. –
– Hans Magnus Enzensberger checked that and wrote about it – – – – on his way back from the outer reach of the radical ingroup frenzy – to – – – normalcy (see his essays in “Political Crumbs”, “Mediocrity and Delusion” (Mittelmaß und Wahn) and “ZickZack” – and also in Versuche über den Unfrieden (Essays about the Discord (=peacelessness)).
5Stelle in Italy rose to some influence (15%+) with this strategy (embracing the lunatics, as long as they are on our side) – but it looks as if the original enthusiasm would peter out (they lost Rome last week – and their mayor, a young woman (born 78), and lawyer, Virginia Raggi, achieved nothing at all in the four years she reigned the Eternal City.
Rome is a tough place to be a major though. The Mafia is active and a threat to the juridical system and the police – and even the health-care system and undertaking and – – – you name it.
Public services are widely corrupted. For example, the public bus service can’t tell, how many buses they have. – Lots (!) of reasons for this mishap. – New buses are ordered and disappear, old ones show up and are being registered as new ones. New tires are ordered for the 1000 or so buses. Only some of them end up on a bus in public transport – lots are being sold under the table – – – doesn’t matter ´much, because the buses more or less roll on anyway, as it turns out. And if they don’t, they don’t. – And things like that are on constant replay in other sectors of society… Virginia Raggi said she’d change that, but, as it turned out – to no effect at all. So – she had to go…A pseudo-revolutionary (and pseudo-political) episode. – Politics, Max Weber said, is the drilling of thick boards.
What Ron Unz is concerned, I tend to leave him and his pet-theories and pet-theorists alone.
If the most important aspect of the Unz Review is that it is a place of free speech, that encompasses that there are mistakes being made. And to paraphrase Goethe: Don’t expect big men to make small mistakes. So… All Right Now! (Free).
I appreciate your comment and insight on this matter.
Was not Dr Wodarg (b.1947) a lifelong Social Democrat?
If he wanted to influence the conversation towards the Corona Anti-Panic direction (his website, Wodarg.com, says in large letters at the top: “CORONA-PANIK BEENDEN!”), what option did he have?
You have said that even the AfD is not a pure Anti-Panic party, and in any case he never join that party for many reasons. All the other parties have failed to challenge the Corona Pro-Panic consensus. (As usual in German politics, it just seems no option is good.)
A new party based heavily around an Corona Anti-Panic message was risky. And of course it would attract a fringe element. But for such a party to get 1.6% seems remarkable, worthy of notice.
News item: “China PCR test orders soared before first confirmed COVID case,” Nikkei Asia, Oct. 5, 2021.
“Report on government contracts show surges in Wuhan-area purchases from May 2019.”
Institutions in Hubei Province bought a certain level of PCR tests in 2018, and this level held through April 2019. Then, in May 2019, it suddenly surged. The province-wide, year-end 2019 total was $10.5 million spent on PCR tests.
If there is no plausible alternative explanation for why there was sudden interest in PCR tests in Hubei Province (home of Wuhan), this does look like good evidence for…something.
It AT LEAST provides a good background for the PCR craze to come, beginning in spring 2020, another dumb-dumb-dumb policy imported from China, and which we are still shackled with.
The more ambitious might seek to link this to that curious spring 2019 outlier Wuhan-Corona sample from Spain in March 2019, a crazy outlier at the time.
And given heavy ties to China, it could also explain Australia’s historically bad 2019 southern-hemisphere winter flu season.
A ten-step Wuhan-Corona meta-narrative hypothesis to fit the above facts:
(1) Wuhan-Corona was active as of early 2019, but only noticed by a handful of Chinese specialists who raise no alarm. But they do ask for, and get, more supplies to study the new strain (a mundane request; there are always new strains of flu viruses), and just in case a Flu Apocalypse does come down.
(2) Wuhan-Corona had begun slowly seeding itself in early 2019, even traveling great distances (as the one sample in Spain in March 2019), but was not even close to well-enough-seeded to trigger a northern-hemisphere flu wave yet. It was far too late influ season 2018-19. Wuhan-Corona faded from the scene with onset of spring 2019.
(3) Flu virus activity was at usual lows between northern-hemisphere mid-spring to mid-autumn, but Wuhan-Corona was now well seeded in its origin area, Wuhan/Hubei, China.
(4) Australia-PRC ties lead Wuhan-Corona to enter Australia early and pass through Australia in its winter flu season (mid-2019). (If so, Australia’s entire lockdown nightmare was rather pointless.)
(5) Wuhan-Corona begins passing through northern-hemisphere countries in our flu season (winter 2019-20).
(6) All, up to this point, has been unnoticed, because no one is looking — though there is talk about a a “bad flu season.” Such talk WAS ongoing in US schoolmarm-tier media in Nov 2019; I remember it distinctly.
(7) Wuhan-Corona was best seeded in its origin place, Wuhan/Hubei. Locally, specialists had already noticed it starting in May 2019, hence the PCR-test spending spikes, but saw no need for ssome kind of global alarm.
(8) The local winter wave in Wuhan-Corona’s origin-place crested in Wuhan/Hubei in Dec 2019 and Jan 2020, and as flu waves go it was rather bad. It had already crested by mid-January 2020.
(9) China pulled a stupid “lockdown” stunt (Jan. 20, 2020) — after the local wave already crested in Hubei.
(10) A global religion was born (see “Corona Cult”).
From the excellent William Briggs blog (a longstanding Corona Anti-Panicker):
“Why Much of Science is Fake,” Oct. 5, 2021.
An anecdotal account of mass fraud in scientific academic publishing.
As for the fraud and multi-layered deceptions and tricks and corner-cutting and dishonesty and get-ahead-ism-screw-the-scientific-method-ism used (allegedly) in the at least this one milieu described by the sciences PhD student:
I have a comment there suggesting that context clues in the writeup (originally on Reddit) suggest he was working with East Asians. William Briggs suggests the same, but I expand on the thought a lot more in the comment, and how it relates to the embrace of mass delusion in the West during the initial Corona-Panic of 2020.
A lot of us were shocked that Western people could fall for such an anti-scientific, bad-data, scare-talk-based, facts-last emotionalized delusion. We have looked for answers. And this “culture gap” aspect must be one. We misunderstood China was not telling the truth — not about “lab leak” stuff but the entire root-and-branch premise of a shockingly dangerous virus. A healthy skepticism would have saved us all a lot.
The great question is: China, not being dummies and rather being aware of this civilizational weakness of ours, may have made a conscious power-gambit here. Asymmetric warfare by deception. Which they hoped the West would fall for and do devastatingly stupid flu-virus-mania lockdowns. And “we” did.
John B. comments on the “Vaxxed” necklace and other Corona-Cult merchandise as discussed in the original post:
John Michael Greer in his weekly blog this week:
In his usual style, JMG gracefully weaves his way through an explanation of exactly what he means by this, which is a slightly different take than usual.
“The Cult of the Vaccine… ‘The jab’ is just the latest story to be reported as mantra,” by Matt Taibbi, Oct. 7, 2021.
(Taibbi is a US left-wing journalist, lately skeptical of the main line of the Left on The Virus and other topics.)
CoronaPanic-related US airline strike.
Anti-Panic unions opposed to forcible injections demand the Pro-Panic (pro-Vaccine) company CEO stand down the Vaxx mandate. In effect, rescind the mandates or your flights are grounded for a while.
Now the pilots’ union has signaled it sides with Anti-Mandate protestors.
To defeat the Panic-pushers and Corona-fanatics, the power is in our hands…and always was.
Southwest pilots are standing up on this one. The latest ting that I ran into, Mr. Hail, was on Friday. Flights on certain departure routes (RNAV SIDS) leaving Atlanta Hartsfield for points south were being stopped on the ground on Friday evening. No weather was involved. The flights could get out on different routes, but there was no explanation given on one vs. the other. Even the Atlanta Center (one of 20-odd “Air Route Traffic Control Centers”) did not have a solid explanation – whether due their being careful or really not knowing.
I turns out that the Jacksonville Center – they cover central Florida up through mid-S. Carolina – had controllers that walks out.
BTW, I have asked twice about the masks and been told that “yes, I am wearing one” both times – not the best policy when the biggest part of one’s job is communication, and the two controllers did not sound very chipper about it.
I know you do a lot of air travel, and I interpret your comment to mean you were affected. But all for a good cause!
Heroes emerge from unexpected places in the hour of need. The hour of destiny.
Pingback: The ancestry of Ron DeSantis: son of Florida, grandson of industrial Ohio, great-grandson of Italy | Hail to You
Thematically relevant to the original post here:
Russia Today on the Ayatollah Fauci: The Anarcho-Tyranny (Peak Stupidity, Oct. 11, 2021).
Pingback: On Daniel Uhlfelder, major Corona-activist and Panic-pusher; an exploration of ‘Why’ some embraced the Panic | Hail to You
You believed it was going away? Do you even Daily Stormer?
Glad you’re back though. Really.
It feels like remembering a mirage now, the time in spring and into summer 2021, when it looked like it might all be over.
There was, what, a three-month lull.
First the evil beast that was/is the Corona-Panic faded iirc in April, then the fading sustained and even regime media was saying “Masks are stupid, it was all a big mistake, let’s end this now” kind of talking-points, cautiously. It seemed it might be gone. There were many weeks of that, and a full-on quasi-suspension of the Panic iirc lasted about mid-May and June and to mid-July. The re-Panic ramp-up began again in US regime-discourse in late July 2021 and showed itself, by not lifting in August (though fading with Afghanistan news for about two weeks), to have been a full-backward-turn.
Anyone could be forgiven for thinking the Corona-Panic was over in May and June 2021. But the pessimists and “conspiracy theorists” were right.
It turned out the social phenomenon that was (and still is) the Corona-Panic was too happy with its own power to give it up, and too strong to be dislodged by the warm breezes of northern-hemisphere spring.
So it stayed with us, except where leaders made major, concerted counter-Panic efforts. I am thinking of Floridaand several specific European countries. Norway quietly joined the ranks of Anti-Panic regimes starting just days after its Sept 2021 elections, dismantling almost its entire Panic regime as soon as voting was over and results tallied, which itself is telling.
The Corona cult is losing its binding power. By far the most read German anti-panic Twitterer economist Professor Stefan Homburg has looked at mobility data and found that people don’t buy the Omicron-scaremongering at all. Big difference in mobility-intensity compared to the arrival of the Alpha and Delta variants: Alpha and Delta made mobility numbers small, whereas Omicron does not much at all:
Even if few are scared enough to majorly change behavior, important elements of the Corona-Panic remain.
The vaccine mandate fights go beyond the vaccines. They are a proxy for stance on the entire Corona-Panic, and on the Corona-regime(s) we now have, which the triumphant Pro-Panic side created in 2020 (and maintains as we head into 2022).
Let me expand a three-way framework I have suggested before to make my point clearer.
All of us fit into one of these categories:
Within Germany, maybe we see evidence of a considerable move of people from [a] to [b] (Pro-Panic to Neutrals), and an internal shift on the Pro-Panic side from [a1]–>[a2]. But not enough have moved to [c], the Anti-Panic side, to stop the government’s moves to make a permanent Virus-Panic regime.
There is a lot of passion on the Anti-Panic side, especially in the activist [c1] sub-group who are willing to risk “life and limb” protesting the government, such as those Anti-lockdown protestors shot by Dutch police two weeks ago.
As you (Dieter Kief) have suggested before, some of these hardliners are even no longer properly called Anti-Panic but are themselves like Vaccine-Panickers, with a few believing the injections are an evil genocidal plan. But within the overall Corona framework, they still fit in the Anti-Panic side.
The Corona-regimes now in place in Europe have been trying hard, with mixed success?, to do the same thing they have long used to marginalize right-wing political parties, what was called in political science the “cordon sanitaire” (ironically now applied to public health politics), calling them dangerous, extremists, or whatever. But definitely they are using the force of the state to keep [b] people away from [c] (trying to block Neutrals from drifting to the Anti-Panic side), and trying maybe equally hard or harder to prevent [c2] people away from [c1] (moderate Anti-Panickers from becoming hardliners).
Bateau Ivre (The Drunken Boat) Rimbaud (The Piano has been drinkin’ – Tom Waits)) / Ship of Fools (Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam)
People are slippin’ ‘n’ slidin’ along. In Germany too. But – here I oppose lots of German posts/commenters regularly, not more so than people elsewhere in Europe, with the exceptions of Sweden (Norway) and Switzerland.
In Switzerland, it is perfectly normal to take a stand against the government. So, the left right-divide in the Covid case is small. The debate is richer in heterodoxy. – I think, that this would be a good measure for public mental health: The amount of contradicting arguments that is brought forward in the public sphere.
Let me look at my local paper (circulation ca 90 000/6 days a week) in southern Germany. – Very little can be read here about reasonable arguments against the Corona panic. – Maybe one to two percent of theCorona news they print could be read as going against the panic perspective. I know some of the staff – they are no bad people, just nice regulars. But they are too stressed, too nervous, too much under a permanent constraint to get the whole picture.
The commentariat of the Achse des Guten, one of the internet-magazines, that go against the panic, is producing anti-panic panic by permanently going way over the top. Paranoia is creeping in. Poor old Klaus Schwab from nearby Sankt Gallen University and the WEF is being looked upon as the devil in disguise. Bill Gates dito. And a permanent alarm is sounded that the resurrection of Adolf Hitle is happening right in front of our eyes – just in a different gestalt, nedwahr, this time in that of – you guessed it already, in the impersonation Schwab and Gates etc. assisted by Ursula von der Leyen and big pharma and whatnot (Anthony Fauci…).
The anti-panic Corona-Ausschuss, working tirelessly putting hundreds of hours of investigations in the internet, is – I can’t spare you this info – dominated by people who – to make this very short – are paranoid and most of the time way (!) over the top.
What they don’t properly master is the moment, when their reasoning is making the transgression from description to prediction. – This is crucial whenever new things worry a greater public (it is one of the many pitfalls of thinking/reasoning itself, that Steve Sailer is aware of/ capable of to deal with – that’s part of what makes him a great essayist).
That the anti-panic side accepted people who do not master this analytical task like Rainer Füllmich and Bodo Schiffman as leaders of this movement (Schiffmann in the beginning, Füllmich later on – and still) is no good sign. But that’s how it is.
Apropos essayists – in the aftermath of ’68 two of the more important intellectuals of the 68 movement look back on it in two interesting books. Peter Schneider, whom I spoke with / exchanged mails a bit and who was – for a short while, read to concede, that the anit-immigration politiciany on the right do have a point, and Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Schneider looked back on 68 in “Rebellion und Wahn”, and Hans Magnus Enzensberger in a cascade of books – the best part of his work. Lots of these reflections took place in poems. I love these, because they are very precise and very dense. – He loses no time explaining his points, but just – drops / sketches / very casually and precisely/elegantly makes them. Perfect! – Nobody else does that like he does it – in the world. Ok – there are poems and essays of Enzensberger too. One collection that is mostly a reflection on 68 ff. is called Middle Ground and Folly – “Mittelmaß und Wahn”.
See: Schneider writes explicitly about 68 and follies/ crazinesses and madness and Enzensberger does so too.
I think that this is no coincidence, but rather a – bespectacled, so to speak, sharp-sightedness of those two – ex leftist radicals.
I make a last point, rather sketchy too: Jordan B. Peterson states (as Erich fromm did), that it is an utterly underestimated task, to stay (mentally) sane – in modern times too. – Not least when the tides of the time rise high, as they do now undoubtedly (and as they did in the sixties).
My bottom line is this: I look for sanity at least as much as I look for political success / effort.
And I am convinced that people have to understand that politics is no realm of purity, but the classical realm of the botched outcome. The frustrating delay. The dirty compromise. As Enzensberger put it in his post-68 soberness: Politics is about real life and thus at its core – about muddling through.
In the village I grew up in, people used to (loudly – this was Rhineland Palatinate and Badenia mixed up) sighed – almost sang day in day out: Yooo, de Ooonä sescht sou, de annere sou! – Yeah right, this one says it’s like this and the other one has it the other way round. – And another proverb – often heard as reply went: Yep! YEP!! (getting louder from yep one to yep too, but also more ironic: Go over there and make it back here again! (Ja, JAA! – geh’ Hie mach HER (pronounced H.-Ä.-A!.!! – a lighthearted song almost about how everyday life means being torn from one side to the other – and tossed back again).
Ok a last one: If secularization means to find substitutes for everything that is of substantial meaning in religion, then the secular do owe me the answer to what they put in place for God’s Will. – Heidegger – I think for that reason – pointed out again and again, that to exist means that you not only do things, but that things also (unanvoidably!) happen to you.
This is not least the suffering bit in the Christian tradition too.
Coda: Enzensberger, considering quite a bit of the stuff I brought in line here, says, while contemplating Civil War, that in times of crises and emergency, we all tend to think in idiosyncratic ways. I think that this is true. And to understand this means not (means NOT) that you’ve managed to overcome this problem. (Insights and solutions are related, but not the same thing.))
Pingback: Review of PANDEMIA by Alex Berenson | Hail to You
Pingback: Scenes from “Defeat the Mandates” rally (Washington D.C., Jan. 23, 2022) and thoughts on its place in Corona-Panic history | Hail to You
Pingback: The Covid-activist Daniel Uhlfelder loses to the BLM-Soros candidate Aramis Ayala: an appraisal of the Florida attorney general election race of 2022 | Hail to You