A Haunting Anniversary

As we approach the third anniversary of “15 Days to Slow the Spread” there remains no accountability and no assurances that it couldn’t happen again.

Three years ago this week, our vibrant, noisy country went silent.

Or, I should say, it was silenced. Businesses didn’t shutter due to a sudden economic crash—although one quickly followed—and highways weren’t empty due to a global fuel shortage. Schools didn’t close because of a nationwide teacher’s strike; parents and children didn’t hunker down in separate rooms of the same house over a nasty family fight.

No, it was a man-made disaster the likes of which can only be compared to war. On March 16, 2020, President Donald Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force announced the infamous “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” For the first time in modern history, the free world, or so it was considered at the time, resorted to medieval methods to stop the unstoppable transmission of a novel contagion. Had there been enough time to farm a massive supply of leeches, the nation’s top government officials probably would have recommended bloodletting, too.

“The new recommendations are simple to follow but will have a resounding impact on public health,” the official White House announcement read. “While the President leads a nationwide response, bringing together government resources and private-sector ingenuity, every American can help slow the virus’ spread and keep our most high-risk populations safe.”

It is a day, and a decision, that will live in infamy. Trump, of course, is not solely responsible; Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx shrewdly won the affection and trust of the American people early on, so any move contrary to their counsel would have created an even bigger crisis in the White House. Prior to the official declaration, Republican governors warned shut downs were imminent. Congressional Republicans with a few exceptions—Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.) comes to mind—grasped the devastating impact on the most vulnerable, especially children, the poor, and the elderly. The national news media amplified the untested “mitigation” approach without a shred of skepticism.

“We’re all in this together,” Hollywood insisted. Health care workers made up dances in between posting vicious condemnations aimed at any American who dared to question the scientific basis of indefinite home confinement. Doctors and nurses, in perhaps the cruelest act of all, forced patients to die alone as their loved ones stood helplessly nearby, but all too far away.

Public health “experts” became international celebrities simply by making up data and forecasting unrealized predictions of doom and death. Local police officers ran joggers off public beaches.

And it wasn’t just the professional class responsible for the dystopian hellscape. Frustrated housewives chased down children who braved hazard-taped neighborhood playgrounds. When mask madness ensued, many of our countrymen built a mask militia of sorts, berating nonusers, or even those wearing their masks “improperly,” in public spaces. Indignant scolds posted their tirades on social media.

The list goes on and on. And as the pseudoscientific underpinnings—from the “natural” origins of the virus, to the official pronouncements on the effectiveness of social distancing,  mask mandates, and vaccine efficacy—unravels under the weight of evidence, the collateral damage is gradually coming to light.

American teens remain trapped in an unprecedented mental health crisis, traumatized by months—and in some states, more than a year—of suffering social isolation, virus panic, and lost rites of passage leaving scars for a lifetime. A major study published in January detailed the global scale of the catastrophe.

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