Sunday, April 26, 2020

Observations on the Coronapanic

Some observations about the worldwide panic, in no particular order:

- It is a mark of tyrannical regimes that their citizens are atomized, isolated, trained to distrust one another and forbidden to gather in groups for the pursuit of common interests.  This is why the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of the people peaceably to assemble.  For the last six weeks, we have been deprived of a constitutionally guaranteed right.  Not only that: many Americans have enthusiastically thrown away this right, and even busied themselves about shaming and reporting to the authorities their fellow citizens who think, along with the Founding Fathers, that this right is important.

- The right to work and to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor is a basic human right and a requirement of human dignity.  Yet Americans are being forbidden to work.  American businesses have been wiped out.  More than 20 million Americans have lost their jobs because of shutdowns.  Depriving people of the ability to earn a living and support their families also carries dire consequences, up to and including death — and not only for the unemployed.

- No one wants to die, and an aversion to death is hard-wired into us by our Creator.  But many people show, by their words and their conduct, that they believe physical death to be the absolute worst thing that can happen to a person, and that the continuation of earthly life — particularly their own — is the supreme good, to which all other goods come in a distant second.  This is a symptom of godlessness.

- Language shapes ideas, and sways emotions.  Have you noticed how largely the term “coronavirus” has fallen into disuse, in favor of the more sinister-sounding “COVID-19”?

- President Trump never recommended ingesting or injecting oneself with disinfectants like bleach or Drano.  The context in which he used the word “disinfectant” last week makes clear he was talking about the disinfectant properties of ultraviolet radiation.  Ultraviolet radiation is known to kill viruses.  There is actually such a thing as light therapy.  But facts like these make no difference to those whose hatred of Trump outweighs all other priorities.

- We have not seen nearly the death toll from coronavirus we have been told to expect.  The deaths have been so few that the Public Health Gurus have even admitted they are counting as coronavirus deaths persons who were positive for the virus but died of something else, just to bump up the numbers.  Hospital staff have so little to do that they are either being furloughed, traveling to other jurisdictions or making stupid dance videos, allegedly in a bid to “boost morale.” Meanwhile, people with conditions other than coronavirus are going untreated.

- When we consider the low numbers of cases and deaths from coronavirus, we do well also to consider that (a) not every jurisdiction has a lockdown order, and (b) not every jurisdiction that has a lockdown order stringently enforces it.  I happen to live in a place where (b) applies.  I have been through several drive-through restaurants where employees are not wearing gloves or masks, or are not changing gloves between orders.  I have been to stores where social distancing is not observed.  Yet, at this writing, Idaho has had 1,768 cases and 56 deaths statewide.  This can’t be owing to all the urged precautions.

- People do not become “murderers” merely by going about their daily lives and engaging in legitimate pursuits.  How many of the same people who think their neighbors are “murderers” for wanting to reopen their businesses or get a haircut or go to Mass, support abortion, contraceptives and euthanasia?  When did supporters of euthanasia suddenly start caring about the vulnerable elderly?

- If the virtue-signalers who denounce their neighbors for wanting to be productive are so afraid of catching the coronavirus, nobody is forcing them to go out.  Let them stay home while the rest of us get on with our lives.

- How many people in nursing homes are being put out of the way under the guise of coronavirus?

- Is it just possible that the coronavirus is the excuse for our Elders and Betters to slap the restrictions upon us that they have been wanting to slap on us all along?

- It has long been said that cleanliness is next to godliness.  But for many years, sellers of antibacterial soaps and sanitizers have been training us to cultivate more and more an effeminate horror of microbes to rival that of Howard Hughes.  Is it possible that our inordinate germophobia is part of what has left us open to being led, so tamely and so easily, to shut down our economy and abandon our freedom?

- If there is one thing this pandemic and the ensuing panic has done, it is to expose our true priorities, and the true priorities of our leaders, both secular and religious.  It has exposed the frightening number of little gauleiters and commissars among the citizenry, even in an allegedly free society.  It has exposed how illusory is the promise of religious liberty in a relentlessly secularist society.  It has exposed the futility of the centuries-old project of trying to replace the divinely-revealed Deposit of Faith with a man-made secularist ideology.  It has exposed the utter bankruptcy of the modernism that so many of our Catholic priests and bishops have enthusiastically embraced.  It has exposed the fact that nothing we cobble up on our own to try to replace what God has given us will ever work or give us what we need, especially in times of crisis.

- Not every decision our bishops make is right, just because they are bishops, and failing or refusing to come to terms with that fact is not a mark of virtue.  We cannot fix our bishops; we can only extend our charity and pray for them.  But we are not going to do that if we don’t acknowledge problems.  Even while we forgive bishops who have deprived us of Mass and the Sacraments and locked us out of our churches; even while we pray for them; even while we examine within ourselves the reasons why God evidently thought it right to permit us to suffer this; even so, we take note of the fact that these bishops did not even wait for the secular authorities to put the kibosh on religious observance before rushing to do it themselves.  Nor, as far as we can tell, did they lobby the secular authorities for an exception to lockdown orders for the Sacraments, religious services or care of souls. These actions and omissions are the best possible advertisement against the modernism that has been crammed down our throats for years and years and years, and ought to move every Catholic to finally reject it once and for all.

- Ann Barnhardt, with whom I have explicitly and by name taken issue in this space, came up with a term years ago that aptly describes the media coverage of this pandemic: agitporn.  It is designed precisely to whip us up into a perpetual state of fear and agitation, to which we become addicted, and which makes us eager to comply with even the most draconian measures.

It is time to turn off the agitporn, turn on the common sense and start to pick up the pieces of our shattered society before it is damaged beyond repair.

UPDATE: Memo from our Elders and Betters: why we need to sit down, shut up, take our castor oil, smile and say THANK YOU.


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  2. I love how you so eloquently put into words my thoughts on this madness.