My personal view for most of the past year has been that the best analogy to the typical Church of Shutdown state’s War on COVID-19 is the American side of the Vietnam War. Our best and brightest (e.g., Dr. Fauci, state governors flanked by their public health officials) present charts and statistics showing that, in any given month, the war against coronavirus is being won. The population is assured that just a little more sacrifice will yield massive dividends. Sometimes the Priests of Shutdown will draw on mathematical models from Whiz Kids. Month after month of winning battles leads to… a lost war (e.g., Maskachusetts having 3X the death rate of Florida, adjusted for population over 65, but the population still has faith in Robert S. McNamara (Governor Charlie Baker)).
and in January 2021, Lockdown is our Vietnam War so it will end gradually? (quoting a Facebook user)
Of course, we can’t actually do this reassessment because doing so would admit that the last year was madness. The lockdowns are like Vietnam, the political and media establishment have so much invested in them, only a gradual drawdown will be permitted, regardless of the “science.”
The July 30, 2021 CNN front page:
As with the Vietnam War, being on a “wartime footing” means different things to people of different ages. In 1968, the 18-year-olds went to sweat and die in the jungle (not yet upgraded to “rainforest”) while 40-year-olds could sip cocktails and play golf. In 2021, K-12 students and Latinx essential workers wear masks 8+ hours per day while the upper-middle-class white people don the hijab for 15 minutes as they go into the “declared-essential” marijuana and alcohol stores. Schools in major cities, e.g., Boston, were closed for a year while adults could party in restaurants (reopened in Maskachusetts in June 2020), meet on Tinder, etc.
Since we are, in fact, losing this war (“life finds a way,” as Dr. Jeff Goldblum, M.D., Ph.D., noted), we also need someone to blame. During Vietnam we blamed the 30-40 percent of Americans who did not support the war. Absent these domestic enemies, our military could have mopped up the rifle-toting peasant resistance using advanced tech. Today we obsess over the people who haven’t taken the time/trouble/risk to get vaccinated. Absent these domestic science-denying Republican-voting enemies, our scientists armed with advanced mRNA tech could have mopped up the remaining pockets of SARS-CoV-2. From CNN, July 31, 2021:
The latest “science” seems inconsistent with blaming the unvaccinated, however. The virus is having no trouble spreading among the vaccinated (CDC; Israel) and it is have no trouble killing the vaccinated in the U.K., where they are good at tracking deaths, COVID-19 status, and vaccination status. Why do we imagine that all of our dreams would come true if the Deplorables got all of their shots?
(The Deplorables might want to consider getting their shots soon, actually, if they read about Marek’s Disease:
Because vaccination does not prevent infection with the virus, Marek’s is still transmissible from vaccinated flocks to other birds, including the wild bird population. The first Marek’s disease vaccine was introduced in 1970. The disease would cause mild paralysis, with the only identifiable lesions being in neural tissue. Mortality of chickens infected with Marek’s disease was quite low. Current strains of Marek virus, decades after the first vaccine was introduced, cause lymphoma formation throughout the chicken’s body and mortality rates have reached 100% in unvaccinated chickens. The Marek’s disease vaccine is a “leaky vaccine”, which means that only the symptoms of the disease are prevented. Infection of the host and the transmission of the virus are not inhibited by the vaccine. This contrasts with most other vaccines, where infection of the host is prevented. Under normal conditions, highly virulent strains of the virus are not selected. A highly virulent strain would kill the host before the virus would have an opportunity to transmit to other potential hosts and replicate. Thus, less virulent strains are selected. These strains are virulent enough to induce symptoms but not enough to kill the host, allowing further transmission. However, the leaky vaccine changes this evolutionary pressure and permits the evolution of highly virulent strains. The vaccine’s inability to prevent infection and transmission allows the spread of highly virulent strains among vaccinated chickens. The fitness of the more virulent strains is increased by the vaccine.
The evolution of Marek’s disease due to vaccination has had a profound effect on the poultry industry. All chickens across the globe are now vaccinated against Marek’s disease (birds hatched in private flocks for laying or exhibition are rarely vaccinated). Highly virulent strains have been selected to the point that any chicken that is unvaccinated will die if infected. Other leaky vaccines are commonly used in agriculture. One vaccine in particular is the vaccine for avian influenza. Leaky vaccine use for avian influenza can select for virulent strains.
The CDC tells us that the COVID-19 vaccines are proving to be “leaky”. Vaccinated Americans are infected and transmitting the virus even in the most virtuous of settings (Provincetown, Massachusetts, for example). So we are very likely breeding a Super COVID-21 that will live up to the doomsday scenarios that were forecast for Sweden and other mask and shutdown scoffers. (The greedy might want to buy some stock in the vaccine companies. Marek’s Disease shows us that selling Batch 1 of a leaky vaccine can lead to 50+ years of sales for additional vaccine doses, required for staying alive in the face of the deadly mutants supported by Batch 1.))
- “‘Overwhelm the problem’: Inside Biden’s war on COVID-19” (AP, February 11, 2021)