One of the most astonishing things about the past two-plus years and counting has been how asking certain questions gets one branded as “crazy,” “stupid,” “conspiracy theorist,” etc. Questions that, had you asked “Before COVID,” would have been … normal.
So let’s dig into our closets and put on our now-sort-of-out-of-fashion clothes, get into a time machine and travel back to, say, 2014. (I pick 2014 to “control” for the Trump Derangement Syndrome that gripped about half the country and most media the next year.)
Government officials and media breathlessly tell us that a deadly virus is rampant, and that we must take particular measures, including vaccinating everyone. Before rolling up your sleeve for an injection, you would questions.
Regarding the illness, you would ask:
What is the severity of the illness?
What is my risk of being infected?
If I’m infected, what is my risk of hospitalization?
If I’m infected, what is my risk of death?
What is the actual risk of other people, and if anyone is at significant risk, what can I do to reduce such risk (“protect others”)?
If people have been reported to have died from the virus or become severely ill from it, how was causation determined? Are we sure the illness was the cause?
Do the people reporting the deaths/severe illness have any incentive to report them as deaths/severe illness from the virus as opposed to from another cause?
Regarding Proposed Non-Medical Interventions (lockdowns, social distancing, masking, etc.) you would ask:
What is the purpose of each proposed intervention?
What is the likelihood that any particular intervention will achieve such purpose?
What are the possible harms and costs of each intervention?
Can the purpose be achieved without the intervention?
If not, can the harms and costs be reduced?
What data are being relied on in support of such interventions, especially unprecedented ones?
Regarding any proposed medical intervention (such as a “vaccine”), you would ask:
Are there tried and true safe drugs that can be repurposed to treat people infected with the illness?
Who are the manufacturers of this new vaccine, what is their track record, and what are their incentives to make drug?
What are the ingredients?
How does it work?
If the drug has novel biotech, how does it work?
What does the drug purport to do?
Does the drug purport to prevent infection?
Does the drug purport to prevent transmission?
Does the drug purport to reduce symptoms?
What testing has been done, and what things were tested? The drug’s ability to prevent infection or transmission? Reduce symptoms? Safety and side effects?
What were the test results?
How was the testing done? On whom? How long? Etc.
What incentives do those who did the testing and who reported results have to say the testing was done properly and thoroughly and that the tests were passed?
Are all the data from the tests available for independent review? If not, why not?
If data and answers to these questions aren’t forthcoming, why shouldn’t we assume that there is a cover up of “bad” information?
If there are long term risks we don’t know about, why not take a toe-in-the water approach instead of diving into murky waters headfirst? That is, why not use the drug only on those most in danger from the illness?
Do the people proposing such interventions have legal authority to do so?
Is there democratic buy-in/support for these interventions?
Has buy-in been achieved without lies, censorship, double-talk, and coercion?
How are people who ask questions being treated?
Finally, we would ask, Have any of the authorities been caught lying about any of this? If so, what are the lies? Why should we believe anything else they say?
At least two things are mighty clear.
First, the COVID-19 debacle — meaning not only the deaths from the illness but the collateral damage from the response — would not have occurred had these questions been asked prominently and often by a critical mass of citizens and in “mainstream” media. We would have stopped after the first set of questions regarding the severity of the illness! There was no need to do anything beyond staying home when sick and washing one’s hands regularly and taking extra care around unhealthy people.
Second, not only did a critical mass of people fail to ask basic questions, but many people, perhaps most prominently the “educated,” denounced, bullied, and harassed anyone who did. These “educated” bullies even proposed and supported grotesque coercions, including shunning, barring the “unvaccinated” from going into stores and restaurants — and earning a living.
The official response to COVID-19 was a 180-degree flipping of traditional rational thinking. We do know that government and media (paid by governments) made unprecedented efforts to get people to invert their own common sense and not ask very basic questions. We should ask how and why that happened.