Since March of 2020, the United States and much of the rest of the world has turned itself upside-down and inside out over the Corona virus also known as COVID-19. A “Corona Culture” has emerged in the West and its foremost symbol is the mask. People are constantly bickering over the usefulness of the mask, or “the muzzle” as a friend of mine calls it.
For the last year and a half, we have been constantly complaining and whining and crying about masks and vaccines and lockdowns and COVID-19 mandates. We did so even as BLM-Antifa threw Molotov cocktails at cops and looted small, inner-city retail shops.
The truth is that there are three aspects to this nightmare:
- The Medical
- The Social
- And, in the United States, the Constitutional.
The medical has taken priority from the beginning, as well it should. In March of 2020, this was new to all of us. What we did know was that people throughout the world were dying from a recent virus that mysteriously came out of China, either from the delicious bat meat served up in “wet markets” or from the men in the white coats served up in labs. At first, we were told it would take a few weeks to “flatten the curve” so that we would have enough hospital beds. This is part of what justified the lockdowns. Those two-and-a-half weeks have now turned into over a year-and-a-half and counting.
The second aspect, which is almost entirely ignored in favor of the first, is the social aspect. An important question to ask, and one that has been studiously ignored by the press, is how do governmental responses to Covid affect people on the social level?
What we know as a matter of common sense is that the lockdowns, and the forced quarantines of the healthy, have caused increased levels of unemployment and bankruptcy and homelessness and divorce and domestic violence. One need not be a sociologist or statistician to acknowledge the obvious. Crime is on the rise. Homicide is on the rise. And suicide is on the rise. Families are separated. Old people are left alone. And children are kept apart from other children.
Is the “cure worse than the disease”? I honestly could not tell you, and neither, I assure you, could Dr. Fauci.
This, of course, brings us to the question of the mask which is constantly referred by advocates, both in social media and the mainstream media, as a mere inconvenience. What, after all, is such a small annoyance when it means saving people’s lives? It is astonishing that people refuse to understand that these masks, while having virtually no scientifically or statistically verifiable effect on virus transmission, do have terrible social consequences.
Law enforcement is far more difficult for any cop when he or she cannot distinguish the face of a criminal and his buddies who just looted the local Walgreens from the faces of ordinary citizens on the street. It used to be that a mask was associated with bank robbers. Now it is associated with everyone.
The masks represent a terrible problem for the hearing-impaired who depend upon reading lips to communicate with friends and associates. My friend who refers to the masks as “muzzles” is hearing-impaired and naturally resents this governmental intrusion on his ability to function in the world because it is personally hobbling.
Most importantly, however, the masks surely inhibit the socialization of young children who are trying to understand and negotiate the world around them and who need to see facial expressions of adults and peers to do so. This could hardly be more obvious.
As for the Constitutional aspect, I am not an attorney, but I do believe that the First Amendment of the Constitution says that the “right of the people peaceably to assemble” shall not be restricted by the government. Well, as the United States is a liberal Constitutional republic, it is restricted by the government depending upon where you live.
I live in California where the rules and restrictions and masks and lockdowns do not apply to elite politicians like Nancy Pelosi or Gavin Newsom. Nonetheless, the Biden Administration is now pursuing a national mandate regarding the vaccine. What people must understand is that if employment, or the ability to move freely within the country, depends on getting the jab, this raises the question of the Constitutional right of the federal government to impose its will on local authorities and the people, as a whole.
Sometimes extreme measures have been necessary, such as in fending off slavery while maintaining the union of the states during the Civil War or, for a lesser example, when John Kennedy federalized the state national guard to ensure that black students be allowed to attend Ole Miss in 1962.
That people are suffering from COVID-19 is without question.
But among the many questions to be asked concerning this ongoing Covid Regime is to what extent are we willing to forego civil liberties in the name of alleged safety?
I do not have the answer, but I would request that you consider the question.