You Cannot Instill Fear Forever!

We have mentioned, many times before, how the COVID-19 panicdemic — and no, that’s not a typographical error; ‘panic’ is exactly what this has all been about — has promoted fear far more than combatting the virus. Though he was talking about national security rather than the virus, Glenn Greenwald got it absolutely right when he noted the importance of fear to government power:

Fear is crucial for state authority. When the population is filled with it, they will acquiesce to virtually any power the government seeks to acquire in the name of keeping them safe. But when fear is lacking, citizens will crave liberty more than control, and that is when they question official claims and actions. When that starts to happen, when the public feels too secure, institutions of authority will reflexively find new ways to ensure they stay engulfed by fear and thus quiescent.

Even with the panicdemic 2½ years old now, and most people having learned to live with the possibility of COVID-19, we keep seeing the articles stoking fear among the populace. This one is from The Guardian, the left-wing British newspaper:

‘Most have thrown their hands up’: has the US forgotten about Covid?

As Americans go about their daily lives, severely affected Covid patients are wondering if others are moving too quickly from the worst days of the pandemic

by Maya Yang | Friday, August 19, 2022 | 6:00 AM EDT

Despite signs that indicate the latest Covid-19 surge is slowing down, an average of 400 deaths in the US is still reported on a daily basis.

Various mask and social distancing mandates across the country are becoming anything but strictly enforced.

Actually, it’s not that “various mask and social distancing mandates” are not being “strictly enforced,” but that most have been eliminated.

But as Americans and many of their elected officials go about their daily lives, many healthcare professionals still on the frontlines of the pandemic and severely affected Covid-19 patients are left wondering whether the rest of us are moving too quickly from the worst days of the pandemic.

Have we simply forgotten about Covid-19?

At this point, I am reminded of the original pilot episode of Star Trek,The Cage.” Captain Christopher Pike has become the captive of the Talosians, who have the ability to project extremely lifelike illusions into their captives minds, when he discovers that the Talosians cannot read his mind when it is consumed by extreme rage and hatred. Vina, a human who has been a captive of the Talosians for 18 years, confirms what the Captain has discovered but points out that it really doesn’t matter, because people cannot just keep that up for long.

And thus we have discovered about fear: the human mind gets used to the constant inputs, and people have become so used to the overblown fears pushed by government officials and others that those fears simply don’t take hold any longer.

My wife is a registered nurse, working in a hospital, and yes, she has taken care of COVID patients. Yes, she is vaccinated and boosted, but I have also seen the changes in her behavior. When COVID-19 first arose, and she had a COVID patient, she’d come home, head immediately to the shower, and wouldn’t allow me to pick up her doffed clothes; she would put them in the washing machine herself. Even before the vaccines became available, that behavior slowly lessened, and now it’s entirely gone. She is directly exposed to COVID-positive patients, and then comes home, taking no special precautions with me, or the rest of our family. When our older daughter tested positive for the virus while at Fort Bliss, before being shipped out to the sandbox, she had to isolate for a few days, but none of us bothered with getting tested or anything, nor did any of us feel ill, even though my wife and I had been traveling with her, in a car with the windows rolled up, to take her to Knightdale Army Reserve Center, a ten-hour drive, from which she departed.

Data obtained earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the rate of new infections has been decreasing, with the country reporting an average of 107,000 new cases a day. This marks a 12% decrease compared to infection rates two weeks ago.

Even though hospital admission rates have been increasing across the US this summer as a result of highly infectious variants, the amount of patients currently hospitalized with Covid-19 has plateaued at 43,000 patients, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

By contrast, more than 160,000 virus-positive patients were hospitalized during last winter’s surge. Nevertheless, the daily average of 400 deaths across the country since spring remain a concerning figure for healthcare officials.

Translation: while cases rose again, they’ve started to fall.

As the pandemic stretches on and vaccines roll out, numerous restrictions are being eased. States have been lifting strict capacity limits and large-scale mask orders while many others are no longer requiring proof of vaccination to travel or to enter dining facilities.

This was happening months ago. Here in the Bluegrass State, the voters of the Commonwealth gave huge majorities to Republicans running against Governor Andy Beshear (D-KY) and his draconian orders. One of the first things they did when the legislature returned to session in January of 2021 was to pass laws greatly restricting the Governor’s ’emergency’ authority. Mr Beshear vetoed those bills, and the legislature just as quickly overrode his vetoes. Through various legal maneuvers, the Governor obtained a court order from a highly partisan state judge, holding the new laws in abeyance, but finally, on August 21, 2021, the state Supreme Court finally, finally! put an end to the Governor’s shenanigans.

That was a year ago tomorrow.

Last week, the CDC issued new guidelines that loosened its recommendations on social distancing and quarantining. Individuals who were exposed to Covid-19 no longer have to quarantine unless they develop symptoms or test positive.

Unvaccinated people who have been exposed should test on the fifth day of exposure and wear a “high-quality mask”. Additionally, the CDC no longer recommends screening asymptomatic individuals who have not had a known exposure to the virus.

“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where Covid-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” CDC epidemiologist Greta Massetti said in a statement.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what the nattering nabobs of negativism say about the virus, the American people are (mostly) done with fear. Oh, there are a few whiners, like The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz, telling us that she is immunocompromised, and that:

Disabled/medically vulnerable people also live in society. We have to go to work, to the doctor, we have to grocery shop and go to school, we ride the same trains and busses as everyone else. It’s terrifying how many ppl want sick & vulnerable people to die or be locked away

Miss Lorenz’s attempted guilt trip didn’t work, because the American people are done with fear over this. They have seen the economic devastation the lockdowns imposed, they have seen the social consequences of forced separation and masking, and they have seen that, in the end, while the vaccines seem to have the effect of making the disease caused by the virus less severe, neither the vaccines nor masks prevent either the contraction or transmission of the virus.
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2 thoughts on “You Cannot Instill Fear Forever!”

  1. Fear not people and do not cave-in to tyranny – EVER

    Even with early reports of thousands dying in Italy and then in NY, did I worry at all.
    Lockdowns just made it easier to get around and do stuff – less traffic.
    One of the stupidest changes locally was turning the grocery store from a 24 hour operation to a 16 hour one. Yes, let’s just concentrate shoppers and then keep them apart at the same time.
    Masks ? Only when absolutely demanded.
    No vax – No sickness

  2. I finally gave up looking for those “Border Guards” that your governor said was all along the Kentucky state lines. Do you remember Beshear saying that about his borders being guarded by the Kentucky State Troopers? He never once stopped my excursions out into the farmland of Kentucky.
    My awakening was very early on, at Kroger’s, when I took that stupid mask off and just continued on shopping. I’m guessing April, 2020.
    If I have a doctor’s appointment in Nashville, I tell the receptionist I quit carrying masks, and if they require me to wear one, they can provide it.
    You know the government will never give up on the time tested use of fear. But, we both know that it is not going to work on us. Fear is as bad a disease as the disease, itself.


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