Lockdown Losers!

Seeking Balance in the Age of Extremes

I advocate for a return to "normal"...

...No masks, no tests, no quarantines.  Stay inside if you are sick or desire to do so.  You can flatten a curve, but you can’t “stop” a virus, except with natural herd immunity.  

It has been said to me multiple times, in multiple ways, that such advocacy is a choice to elevate my own rights above those of others-above the rights of the elderly or the vulnerable for example.  Here’s why  I disagree- In all things, balance. How can we balance the rights of all towards the preservation of human life, health, and happiness?

Charles Eisenstein, in his brilliant essay “Numb” states:“I agree that protecting people’s health is important, yet its value must stand alongside other values. To see that it is a relative and not an absolute value, consider a hypothetical extreme in which we could save one life by locking down all society for a year. I don’t think many people would agree to that. On the other extreme, imagine we were faced with a plague with a 90% mortality rate. In that case, few would resist the most stringent lockdown measures. Covid-19 is obviously somewhere in between.”

Consider the basic needs of a human for survival.

Food, water, shelter.  Few, if any, proponents of lock down are close to losing their personal access to those primary needs due to the pandemic protocols or mandates.   They have second homes, deep savings, pensions. 

Should access, or the right to pursue access, to those primary needs not be a primary right?  In other words, a well organized society would place the primary needs (and the rights associated with their pursuit) above secondary or tertiary needs.  This is, essentially, what we call “common sense.”  In the age of liability, common sense is out the window, and the new era of COVID has taken this to a new extreme.

Should access, or the right to pursue access, to those primary needs not be a primary right?  In other words, a well organized society would place the primary needs (and the rights associated with their pursuit) above secondary or tertiary needs.  This is, essentially, what we call “common sense.”  In the age of liability, common sense is out the window, and the new era of COVID has taken this to a new extreme.

My question to you is this:  Should my right to a “covid-safe” world over-ride your right to keep going to work/pay your bills/buy food?  What would you tell the single mother who’s just been evicted because she bought her daughter food instead of paying rent?  Would you stand in her now homeless shoes and still claim a lockdown is a rational response? Could you look into her eyes and say to her that she’s elevating her rights above your own?  

An entitled, fear-centered perspective has blinded many to the realities of low income society.

The roughly 100 billionaires in the world have gained an additional trillion dollars in net worth since the beginning of this “pandemic.”  These are the people who would tell you that the above mother deserves to be homeless- that they deserve their billions.  It is impossible to be that rich without being a pathological exploiter of humanity.  We should not respect these people, but should hold for them pure disdain.  Our nation once exploited many as slaves, and for those exploiters we now hold no respect.  Someday when we look back upon Bill gates, Jeff Bezos, Elan Musk et al, history will show their tyranny and exploitation, revealing them to be the monsters they really are.  

Please, before you curse my resistance to their agenda, donate your second home to someone rendered homeless by irrational pandemic protocols.

Historically, this has been a self solving problem- Each member of society reacts to each threat with a tailored response.  In Eisenstein’s “90% deadly” example listed above, you can be sure that anyone who could would voluntarily “shelter in place.” No mandates would be needed.    However, the risk of death from not eating is, in fact, 100.% The risk of death from not having shelter in Petersburg, or even Chicago, is also pretty much 100.%  These risks are higher than the risk from any illness.   

Imagine a herd of gazelles where there was a speed limit.

No one is allowed to run faster than the slowest gazelle, tired old Bill.  When a lion comes, everyone has to trot along slowly.  This is completely counter to the rules of nature, and is a very good analogy to what we are doing as society.   For another example, we could close our eyes and step back to our history as hunter-gatherers.  In that era of our existence, no one had weeks, let alone years, of resources to fall back on.  All individuals spent all of their free time, every single day, pushing forward- hunting, fishing, foraging.  At night, we sat around sewing clothes or preparing hides. 

Today we arrogantly act like we’re so far removed from that reality- billionaires and the wealthy mostly are.  Unfortunately, the majority of our population still lives hand to mouth, and actually needs to go to work, to live a “normal” life, simply to survive.   If the rich had any empathy at all, we would not be in this mess.  

In Alaska, during all of 2020, there were 46,717 cases, but Covid-19  killed only 208 people (covidusa.net)  That should put it just after suicide as the 7th leading cause of death.  Heart disease will kill about 5 times that many.  Is it really lives we wish to save?  If so, why not outlaw sugar, cigarettes, and alcohol? That trifecta would easily outpace the COVID protocols, saving more lives this year and every year to come.  Plus, personally, I’d rather give up sugar than my right to travel, or go outside, or smile at my friends, or laugh out loud with easy joy!

So who is really stepping on whose rights here?

I suggest that all rights are a give and take.  I suggest that there is an imbalance of control creating an imbalance of decision, grandly favoring the rich and well-to-do.  Is dying really the worst thing you can imagine?  For me, the worst thing I could imagine would be putting my family on the streets or watching my son fade into apathy in a socially bleak(but “COVID-conscious”) landscape. 

I propose that we re-balance our priorities, taking a huge stride back the way we came.  Herd immunity. Including all co morbidities, and all the inflated death statistics, we still have a 99.6% survival rate in Alaska.  Should we really be terrified of those odds? Are you here to live life, or to survive life?  I choose to live it, and I hope you’ll join me. 

Michael Truex

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