Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Are the Fearmongers Themselves

Must I fear what others fear?
What nonsense!
~Lao-tzu, Tao Te Ching, about 2,500 years ago
(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)

Over the past four years, Donald Trump has been his own worst enemy. When he could have made an uplifting comment about the nation or its people, he all too often chose to go low, engaging in blustery insults and self-congratulatory hyperbole. He's a bully, he's fairly inarticulate, and he's just not an easy man to warm up to.

Maybe that's why two little sentences in one of his recent tweets were so utterly refreshing.

After being released from the hospital following his C-19 diagnosis, Trump had this to say:

Don't be afraid of COVID. Don't let it dominate your life.

Those two sentences may be the most presidential words he has uttered throughout his entire term. In a time when the world is gripped with fear, and when that fear is leading to increasingly more draconian actions by our governments, along comes our president to remind us that there is no need to act like this. We have allowed our logical, rational minds to be overtaken by our fears — fears fanned by those in power who have a vested interest in keeping the public terrified.

Predictably, the establishment media and the usual alarmist voices on the left melted down, essentially telling the president, “How dare you tell people not to be afraid!” Yet their scolding reveals far more about them than it does about the president. Because the plain truth is that we've never overreacted like this to a virus. Precautions may have been sensible early on, when we didn't have a full picture of what we were dealing with. But now that we know the survival rate is over 99% for anyone under age 70 (and even a solid 94.6% for Trump's age bracket), and that the virus is little more than a bad cold for the vast majority of those who contract it, Trump's perspective is timely, much needed, and very welcome.

The usual Trump Derangement Syndrome surely accounts for some of the reaction to his words. But much of it also points to the establishment's anxiety that it will lose its fear- and propaganda-laden grip on the public. Because if we treated the virus in a more rational and measured way, the foundation for every state of emergency, every lockdown, every mask mandate would wither away. All the talk of forced vaccines, health passports, and 24/7 contact-tracing surveillance would end. Businesses wouldn't be dying. Kids, the lowest-risk group of all, wouldn't be sent to school all day in oxygen-depriving masks. The COVID police states around the world would be no more.

There would be no “new normal.” There would only be normal.

But we can't do that, because too many powerful people have a vested interest in keeping the current narrative afloat. That's why, after we flattened the curve, the media switched from talking incessantly about number of deaths to talking incessantly about number of cases — and why, now that we're heading into cooler weather, it's focusing on an alleged “second wave” that so far doesn't exist.

It's also why social media will censor anyone — even doctors — who report success in treating patients with hyrdoxychloroquine. The media dutifully characterized that drug as “dangerous” and “untested,” for no other apparent reason than that finding a potential cure from a decades-old generic would mean that big pharmaceutical companies couldn't make massive profits off a new vaccine. And if you doubt whether Big Pharma plays a role in what treatments we can find acceptable, turn on your TV and see how many pharma commercials you see. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

And this is also why the media has censored those who point out that only 6% of U.S. C-19 deaths have been from C-19 alone, the rest of the victims having had other underlying illnesses. It's why you won't hear about the financial incentive hospitals have for declaring C-19 as the cause of death, conflating those who died with C-19 with those who died of C-19.

It's why you won't hear about case numbers being inflated, how masks have never been shown to be effective against viral transmission, how the lockdowns didn't really help, or how data is suppressed if it shows the infection numbers aren't as bad as power-tripping bureaucrats want them to be.

If you heard those things from the media, instead of the constant drumbeat of fear, you might just see that the lockdown emperors have no clothes.

That's why Trump's statement freaked them out.

It's also why Twitter felt the need yesterday to cover another Trump statement with a warning about “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” What was the dangerous information that Twitter didn't want you to see? The fact that the virus is not lethal to most people, and that just as with every other pathogen, we're learning to learn live with it.

There's not a single word in his tweet that's untrue or irresponsible. He's right: We have no choice but to live with C-19. Like the flu, it's never going to go completely away. Either we find a way out of our fear and start living our lives again, or else we all live in antiseptic bubbles for the rest of our days, distanced from friends and family, and told what to wear and where we can go. That's no kind of life. It may be safer, but it erases everything of what it means to be human, and it subordinates quality of life to a paralyzing fear of death.

It shows you how far we've fallen when it was a leftist icon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who once told us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Those were wise words that resonate across the ages. FDR wouldn't recognize the fear that animates the people on his side of the aisle today.

Those of us who never lost our minds over this virus understand that life is about risk. We can put the virus in perspective. We know that we live among pathogens and other dangers every day of our lives. And we understand that C-19 is not the black plague and never was.

We saw how Sweden took a sensible approach, protecting the vulnerable but letting the rest of the population go on with their lives. We know that that is how you build herd immunity and make a virus essentially burn itself out — not by quarantining healthy people or putting a mask on your face, but by letting your immune system do what it was designed to do.

We understand that there's plenty in this world to worry about. We also understand when people in power manufacture fear to control the masses. The hysteria over the virus, sadly, has been the latter.

As with any illness making the rounds, we all ought to take sensible precautions. But we also should be able to weigh the data and see that none of the restrictions that have been placed on our lives are in the least bit justified.

In short: We shouldn't be afraid of COVID. We shouldn't let it dominate our lives.

I'm not always on Trump's side. But on this, he's 100% right.

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