Whether you think COVID-19 was a bad cold, a bad flu, or a mini-pandemic, I think it is clear by now that a global lockdown of 3 billion people in response was a huge and costly overreaction to it.
The “pandemic” (which caused detectable excess deaths in no more than a dozen nations) now largely in the rear mirror, was at the very most still no worse than the Influenza pandemics of 1957-1958 and 1969 which we coasted through without even a thought of similar measures.
There was nothing once-in-a-century about the disease, but only about the imagination-driven response to it.
Why is that? Why was the response this time so out of proportion to the threat? There is the influence of Big Pharma and its WHO, but that is not new. Unreported Truths abou... Buy New $5.99 (as of 03:17 EDT - Details)
The difference, in my opinion, is that since the 1990s we have a 24/7 news cycle, that since the 2000s we have instant news from everywhere in the world, and that since the 2010s we have the magnifying effect of the social media.
If the press industry was honest it would cut down on the number of news stories it churns out when there’s less happening in the world (or use the time to move into difficult and not well-rewarded in-depth stuff). But that’s not how it works. The underpaid interns and low-level grinders actually creating the news items are on a quota, and when there’s less real news they will start to latch onto anything to try and satisfy their do-nothing supervisors (who in turn need a good stats sheet to satisfy their execs and keep their cushy do-nothing jobs).
Trying to keep their content slots full, the media has tried to sensationalize an outbreak of every single new disease since 2000. I don’t think there’s even any especially nefarious agenda behind it, merely a consequence of the ever-present pressure on the rank-and-file media workers to keep producing stuff that will grab maximum attention, whether there’s anything super dramatic currently happening in the world or not.
The Culture Of Fear: W... Best Price: $1.92 Buy New $25.00 (as of 04:07 EDT - Details) However, all previous instances of sensationalizing new diseases nonetheless ultimately deflated and fell flat. Usually, because the diseases in question were just too deadly to the individuals they infected and therefore very poor at spreading wide. Quite soon the reality burst the media bubble.
Not this time. This time, unlike with Ebola or SARS, the media had an infection to work with that was not very deadly and correspondingly far better at spreading. Coupled with the self-serving WHO delusion that the infection killed over 2% of those it infected there was much better raw material for media to work with and have the bubble snowball rather than deflate.
As it started to grab the attention of the public, even the news writers who had resisted the temptation to go for the low-hanging but ridiculous plague scare stories would be told by their statistics-conscious supervisors that that was now their job.