After Covid

Article subtitle: 
Pandemic restrictions stumble on like zombies
Article author: 
Daniel Hadas
Article publisher: 
City Journal
Article date: 
7 August 2022
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

... Covid has always been two things. It is a once-novel coronavirus that has made its predictable journey from pandemic to endemic status. But it is also the unprecedented state of exception that humans created in response to that virus: the planetary epidemic of lockdowns, social distancing, contact-tracing, masks, and vaccinations enforced by soft and hard power....

The Covid state of emergency's harms to physical and mental health, education, economies, and political culture will leave lasting scars, however well we patch up the wounds...

And, in the wider world, rumors of the war on Covid rumble on: Los Angeles flirted with re-mandating indoor masking, including for schoolchildren, before dropping the idea; 1,000 U.S. universities will mandate vaccinations for next year's students...

The measures' aims were variously presented as slowing the spread of Covid, suppressing Covid altogether, and building global herd immunity to Covid through universal vaccination. All these projects have foundered. We now know empirically what reasonable observers predicted inductively: once Covid has a toehold, non-pharmaceutical interventions do vast harm and have little or no effect on the speed at which it spreads; suppressing the virus is impossible; and we do not know how to make vaccines that will prevent infection....

So why are governments and institutions persisting with measures that don't work, fighting further battles in a war already lost? The answer is that the Covid response was never so much a scientific exercise as it was a political, and even spiritual, project....

Political experiments... are carried out on the governed, from whose consent the legitimacy of their governors must always in some sense derive. A political experiment's failure cannot then be acknowledged without threatening to topple that legitimacy....


Compelling Perspectives on Politicization of the China Virus