By Steve Houston (Opinion) – Knowledge is power while the absence of knowledge leads to ignorance and complacency. Authoritarians have known this for centuries. As this pandemic drags into its second year, this rule is well-illuminated for all to see – or at least for those who have retained their ability to think critically. Everyone else, I fear, has become sleepy sheep or are hopelessly, politically compliant.
Remember the phrase “flatten the curve”? This was the rallying cry that launched sweeping lock downs and suspensions of our liberties. The curve was quickly flattened however, even in New York City where the USNS Comfort and its 1,000 hospital beds sat mostly empty during the height of the pandemic.
Despite relentless fear mongering, knowledge of the flattened curve was becoming too obvious to conceal. This is when Governor Wolf and other blue state governors moved the goal posts to focus on death rates to justify lock downs. Unfortunately, it was rarely reported that the average COVID death was an 80 year old who had three or more underlying health conditions living in a nation with an average life expectancy of 78 years. I am not minimizing anyone’s death, but CONTEXT people! Every death is a tragedy regardless of how they died – be it from a car accident, cancer, old age or from COVID. But for most people, the survival rate exceeds 99.7 percent. Yet for the first time in human history, we locked up and quarantined hundreds of millions of healthy people, instead of focusing on those who were sick or most vulnerable.
The deception continued as COVID deaths in Pennsylvania were inflated with “presumed” cases and by the negligent co-mingling of elderly residents with COVID patients in nursing homes. Accuracy becomes even more questionable when you realize that under CDC guidelines, a patient who dies after being hit by a truck and testing positive for coronavirus is listed as having presumed to have died from the virus regardless of whatever mortal injuries may have been caused by the truck. People who die “with” COVID, but not “because” of COVID, are rubber stamped as having died from COVID. This explains why COVID has killed so many people while overall deaths from all causes have dropped over the last year. This should make everyone go, “huh?” But few do. It is not entirely the fault of the populace because, in fairness, they are fed a steady diet of fear while context (knowledge) is suppressed, buried or canceled by liberal politicians, the media and big tech algorithms.
Eventually, even inflated death rates began to drop. This should have been good news, but not if you live in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, California or Michigan, which are all under the rule of liberal Governors. While states like Florida and Texas used the most recent data to responsibly relax some restrictions, Governor Wolf doubled down by shifting the goal posts yet again to focus on cases, not hospitalizations or deaths, as the new standard for justifying his lock downs. But an increase in cases combined with fewer hospitalizations and deaths is a good thing, right? Isn’t this how every virus throughout history burned itself out before vaccines were invented and authoritarian lock downs became a thing? Well, not in Pennsylvania because Governor Wolf once again moved the goal posts. It is no longer deaths, or hospitalizations, or cases… it is now the vaccination rate that is used to justify lock downs and other restrictions.
In a brazen rewrite of both history and science, we are now being told that herd immunity can only be accomplished through a vaccine. Again, common sense asks, what about the millions of healthy people who have already recovered from COVID who carry protective antibodies? Nope – no such thing as natural immunity in today’s upside-down liberal utopia. Everyone must get vaccinated, regardless of already having antibodies, and only then can we finally live free of lock downs and restrictions. Right? Um, not exactly, because the Governor moved the goal posts yet again. Now, everyone must get vaccinated to be protected from the virus, even if they already had the virus and have antibodies, and even after being vaccinated with a vaccine that is 95 percent effective, they must continue to submit to lock downs, mask wearing (double mask wearing!) and other restrictions indefinitely. Otherwise, regardless of any vaccine or antibodies, they could still get the virus or spread the virus, which, (stay with me) has a survival rate as high as 99.75 percent.
You can see where this is going, right? What happens when the flu, which typically kills thousands of Pennsylvanians every year – while hitting young children much harder than COVID ever did – makes a comeback?
You can blame Governor Wolf for overreach or fault the media for never holding him accountable. But it is ultimately the fault of those who voted for him. Mercifully, voters can reign in some of his unchecked powers that have devastated so much of Pennsylvania’s economy along with countless families. A referendum will be on the primary ballot in May that limits the Governor’s ability to unilaterally declare a state of emergency beyond 21 days without the advice and consent of the General Assembly. Yes, one year later we are still living under a state of emergency and too many people have gotten too accustomed to too few freedoms. We all want to beat this virus and live our lives responsibly. But we should do it together in a balanced, inclusive and science driven way – not at the whim of a single authoritarian driven by political ideology.