Two years since “two weeks to slow the spread,” life appears to have returned to some kind of normal. With a few indefensible exceptions, most pandemic mandates have been rolled back. The vaccine passes that cropped up across the western world in a wave of faddish illiberalism have largely been abandoned, at least for now, often with little pretext of an apolitical rationale. Lost in the mainstream media’s memory hole, the strict lockdowns that brought the free world to its knees in 2020 seem to many like a distant memory.
All around, artifacts of the psychosis that gripped the global psyche for two years remain. Holdouts of COVID hysteria cling to their N-95 masks, even while alone in their own vehicles, and insist that others do the same. Medical offices demand proof of vaccination and perfunctory COVID checklists upon entry. Airports, ever the bulwarks of security theatre, continue to enforce all the bells and whistles of the biomedical state. Every day, workers and students are forced out of their institutions over noncompliance with vaccine mandates.
A fanatical cult continues to preach the gospel of COVID doom, hoping that some new variant or surge in hospitalizations will again empower them to dictate the lives of their neighbors and silence all who disagree. They peddle the same circular arguments, insisting that more lockdowns and mandates are the key to preventing lockdowns and mandates, bolstered by their faith that although every policy they’ve suggested has failed, this was merely the fickle nature of an ever-changing “science.” Thus, even if they were wrong, it was the right time for them to be wrong, and their opponents, even if right, were right for the wrong reasons.
But to their consternation, despite having silenced nearly all dissent, the political will to cede more power to these apostles of failed containment policies, for the time being, no longer exists. The Zero Covid movement has been lain bare as the intellectual farce that it always was—in Australia and New Zealand, long championed as paragons of biomedical purity—and now, even more spectacularly, in China, where the horrific lockdown of Shanghai provides a glimpse into the Kafkaesque dystopia that could have been our own reality should these Zero Covid reptiles have had their way.
Lockdown proponents can’t hide from the ugly truth that excess deaths have been far higher in younger age groups, despite COVID-19 being hundreds of times deadlier for the elderly. They can’t suppress the fact that the vast majority of COVID cases are false positives, or that most “COVID deaths” are merely those who died of other causes after receiving such tests. They know the lockdowns were not in any western pandemic plan, and that they destroyed countless millions of lives while proving useless in stopping the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Their only choice is to play dumb and hope others do the same.
One way or another, though they may not yet be willing to face it, the vast majority have realized that every COVID policy—from the lockdowns and masks to the tests, death coding, and vaccine passes—has been one, giant fraud.
In the aftermath of that revelation, the free world is stuck tallying the costs of its catastrophic foray into totalitarianism. Most of these costs were predicted well before the policies were ever implemented. Hundreds of millions have gone hungry. An entire generation of children has been abused and traumatized. Young people were robbed of some of their brightest years. Small businesses and those who depended on them lost their livelihoods. Trillions of dollars were transferred from the world’s poorest to its very richest. Honest citizens were degraded and ostracized for refusing an experimental injection that they did not want or need. The principles of the free world were shredded.
These crimes were enabled by a media apparatus that, every step of the way, abused language to hijack human empathy, wrapping tyranny in the sweet-sounding words of communitarianism. “We’re all in this together.” “My mask protects you, your mask protects me.” “Follow the science.” “Just stay home.” But of all the manipulative propaganda to which citizens were subject, none has been more insidious than the attribution of these countless harms to the “pandemic.”
Governments, NGOs, nonprofits, think tanks, even leading journalists and scientists have all indulged the collective fantasy that these policy decisions were inevitable, the harms they caused attributable to natural forces beyond their control. Of course, none are really so vacuous as to believe that global famine and the permanent shuttering of millions of small businesses were caused by a respiratory virus with an infection fatality rate under 0.2%. But that’s the point: The attribution of lockdown harms to the pandemic is not intended as an argument. It’s intended as an order.
The Party told you to reject all evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.
Through two years of COVID mania, a norm has been grafted onto western democracy that the fundamental rights to movement, work, association, bodily autonomy, and free expression can be suddenly and indefinitely suspended, without precedent, analysis, or logic, based on nothing but vague promises that doing so will “save lives.”
Accountability is out of the question. No matter how destructive or even lethal the result, the intent was purely therapeutic. And, even if the intent was destructive, then it was therapeutic for the body politic as a whole, in a way that is beyond the ability of individual citizens to comprehend.
This is the new normal—a new normal enabled, and in some cases encouraged, by the elites who presently comprise our political, academic, and media power structures. Myriad financial and social forces keep each individual from vocalizing the reality of what’s transpired. For journalists and academics, the patrons of their newsrooms and universities strongly discourage the publication of anything too negative about China; this has meant burying the fact that China’s COVID data is fraudulent.
Within political parties, individual politicians are pressured not to stray too far from the line that mandates were good and necessary. Scientists and professionals fear ostracism from their firms and professional organizations. And for all involved, there is the overarching fear of being wrong. These factors jointly contribute to a false reality in which the destruction that’s been wrought over the past two years is neither acknowledged or discussed—a feedback loop of self-censorship. Zersetzung at work.
The majority have generously assumed that their elites don’t understand the enormity of what’s transpired with the response to COVID-19. I believe that, in some cases, the evidence points to a darker possibility: They know, they just don’t feel any social or financial incentive to care. But the particular motivations of individual actors are not especially important, at least for the time being.
The key point is the abominable result: For two years and counting, the world adopted a swathe of unprecedented, sweeping mandates pioneered by the Chinese Communist Party, on overtly fraudulent pretenses, and the vast majority of elites have not acknowledged that it even happened, much less that there was anything unusual about doing so. No one has been implicated in these crimes because, as of yet, no one has even looked. They all let it happen. They’re all implicated.
The popular will to obtain justice for the response to COVID-19 does not yet exist. But that can change. You are under no obligation to care about the media’s Current Thing. You are under no obligation to support any leader who will not investigate what’s taken place. Most of all, you are under no obligation to ever forget the human toll of this ghastly experiment in social engineering.
Truth is the only standard by which power can be held to account; a common acceptance of reality is, therefore, fundamental to democratic governance. Conditioning any and all political, social, and financial support on acknowledgment of the crimes that have occurred in the name of COVID-19 is the only way by which the self-interest of the ruling class can be re-aligned with objective truth. This process will not be quick or easy. But it is not a mere academic matter.
Justice must be done for the response to COVID-19. We won’t have a democracy until it is.