OUR DIVISIONS DEEPEN OVER
UNANSWERED COVID QUESTIONS
Businesses are reopening, people are moving about more freely, and that great spirit of “We’re all in this together!” has morphed into “What the hell’s the matter with you?!”
It goes without saying that Democrats and their media enablers are scratching around for every possible way to pin blame on Donald Trump. From the beginning, they’ve hoped for the nation to endure maximum suffering so that the Trumpian Miracle might be undone.
The face mask is one of the key lines of division. It isn’t just that some people choose to stand by this small precaution while others doubt its effectiveness. Rather it’s become an emotion-laden symbol.
For the determined pro-mask crowd, covering your face is a statement of civic righteousness…
I take the trouble to protect my family, friends and neighbors. And if you don’t, you’re nowhere near as virtuous as I am.
This was demonstrated all too clearly in the Staten Island section of New York City, where enraged shoppers drove an unmasked woman from a grocery store.
For the anti-mask faction, going clear-faced is a sign of resistance to government oppression…
This attitude is on display at every anti-lockdown protest across the country (which, naturally, has provided an opening for the media to portray mask resisters as potential domestic terrorists — but that’s for another blog post).
Even some sources on which I normally rely for clear thinking are taking things to extremes.
For instance, Frontpage Magazine, David Horowitz’s staunchly anti-leftist online journal, recently posted an article that compared people’s willingness to participate in mask wearing, social distancing, and the general lockdown with philosopher Hannah Arendt’s description of Adolph Eichmann’s conduct of the Holocaust.
After witnessing his trial, Arendt observed that Eichmann hadn’t struck her as someone who was monstrous, demonic, or even special. She wrote that his crimes could best be attributed merely to “a curious, quite authentic inability to think.”
The author of that Frontpage piece, philosophy professor Jack Kerwick, saw public acceptance of the lockdown as analogous to Eichmann’s mindset…
“As we reflect upon the readiness with which most of America … acquiesced in what amounts to a sort of internment that has been imposed by their governments upon them in the name of keeping them safe from getting sick, it is imperative that we familiarize ourselves with Arendt’s insights, for there can be no question that ‘the curious, but quite authentic, inability to think’ … is as ubiquitous and glaring today, in our midst, as it has ever been.”
Eichmann? Really? Doesn’t that overstate the case just a little?
It seems to me that people’s acceptance of the virus suppression measures (which virtually all nations have taken) hardly reflects an “inability to think.”
Rather, people have acted out of reasonable fear over a contagion that appeared suddenly and was unexplainable, in both its origins and its virulence. This fear has been exacerbated by a flood of confusing and often contradictory information and advice. Indeed, some basic questions still remain contested…
How is this contagion actually spread — can it be transmitted by surface contact or only by breathing?
What are its real infection and death rates — and how do these compare with more familiar diseases?
Are the proposed anti-viral medications effective — and even if they are, what are the risks involved in taking them?
Is there a realistic hope for a COVID vaccine, when viruses mutate and the usefulness of even the flu vaccine is limited?
Has the lockdown really helped, or could we have flattened the infection curve without all the economic damage and related social fallout?
…and many more, to which we still lack definitive answers.
We have just passed the 100,000-death mark. Or have we?
The New York Times and other major outlets tell us this is true (per the list of victims above). Some suggest things may be even worse than they appear.
On the other hand, there are indications that the numbers are inflated.
How can we know which is really true?
We’ve been groping in darkness all along, and the result is an elevated sense of suspicion and defensiveness. Our “fight-or-flight” setting is stuck on high.
Some people have seen in this contagion proof for the pointlessness of faith, while others have called the virus a sign of God’s wrath over human sinfulness. Apocalyptic fears have emerged, while divisions over liturgical practices have been deepened.
Church leaders have come under criticism either for their resistance to civil authority, or their complicity in government abuse of the First Amendment. And their motives have been questioned in numerous ways.
“that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me” (John 17).
The dozen or so people permitted to attend all wore masks, and sat no closer than 10 feet distance. It was a kind of metaphor for the country we’re living in just now: together, apart.
A study being undertaken here in Michigan is aimed at answering one of the most hotly disputed questions: whether the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, is a safe and effective treatment against COVID-19. The major media keep telling us it’s dangerous, but of course, that could just be because The Donald has promoted it (even taken it, himself, as a preventative), and if Trump’s for it, it can’t be any good. Check out the report by Fox 2, Detroit…
In two articles for Townhall, retired physician and freelance writer Ted Noel tries to sum up what’s known about Coronavirus at this point…
“In crass medical slang, an ‘expert’ is just some ‘S.O.B. from out of town with slides.’ In short, an expert is someone who has taken the time to organize his presentation, but the audience has no up-front way to assess the value of what the ‘expert’ has to say unless it possesses a degree of expertise as well.”
…which most of us don’t…
If there’s an upside to the economic blows of the lockdown, conservative policy scholar Steven Hayward believes that it’s the forced postponing, altering, or even complete abandoning of questionable “corporate responsibility” programs that are often sources of controversy themselves. Hayward observes that…
“corporate America and corporatist Europe are relearning Milton Friedman’s understanding of ‘corporate social responsibility’: ‘There is one and only one social responsibility of business — to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.’ Because if you don’t have profits, you can’t hire back a lot of the 30 million Americans who have lost their jobs.”…