In March 2020, I spent three nice days at Legoland with my family, blissfully unaware that the entire industrialized world was turning upside down with fear about a novel and seemingly virulent coronavirus.
The day after our return, I went for a walk with a close friend. I was so out of sync with the global fearmongering that when she confessed to being out of her mind with worry, I asked stupidly if she was having trouble at work or with her spouse.
After that hike, I did what any good science writer or researcher would do: I looked up the state statistics.
In a county of approximately 225,000 people in rural southern Oregon, there was one suspected case of COVID-19 and no reported deaths at that time. In other words, despite a 24-hour news cycle urging Americans to be on high alert and a governor who would implement draconian lockdowns with enthusiasm, at that time and place, there was no pandemic.
Given that reality, I found it strange when the parents of my youngest daughter’s friends quickly forbade them from playing together, when I overheard two neighbors described being “absolutely terrified” to go food shopping because they didn’t want to touch anything that anyone else might have touched, when my massage therapist was wiping every item she and her mom purchased at the grocery store down with bleach water, and when a neighbor came over to take photographs with her two children and refused to come as close as the front steps, let alone into our house.
Common sense flew out the window. Hand sanitizer (which we’ve known for a long time is filled with toxic chemicals) flew in. Our local food co-operative hung vinyl plastic shower curtains to divide the check-out lanes. They did not clean them and the vinyl soon became flecked with dust, dirt, and human spittle.
In light of the fact that there was so little chance of catching SARS-CoV-2 in southern Oregon at that time, all these “precautions” were little more than obsessive-compulsive, ritualistic behaviors. None were effective or medically indicated.
But when I tried to say as much, however gently, I was dismissed by friends and family as a “COVID denier” and a “Trump supporter” who did not care if people lived or died.
A Request for Pandemic Amnesty
Brown University economist Emily Oster, Ph.D., who wrote a piece in The Atlantic at the end of October (“Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty”), asserted that we knew basically nothing about SARS-CoV-2.
She described how her 4-year-old screamed at another child who got too close to him: “SOCIAL DISTANCING.”
How her family hiked outside, by themselves in the wilderness, wearing cloth masks that she sewed for them out of old bandanas.
How the school closures caused students to suffer both academically and mentally.
Given that “we didn’t know” (a phrase she emphasized in her article), Oster argued that the unethical, unkind, and dehumanizing things done to us and to our children, suggested by federal public health authorities and then eagerly implemented by state health officials and citizens (like her) in lockstep with the official narrative, should be forgiven.
It is clear now that the pandemic narrative, followed so eagerly by so many, failed. If we believe the official statistics, over one million people died from COVID-19 in America.
Though the data is still being tallied, deaths of despair—including from drug overdoses, self-harm, economic hardship, and domestic violence—also skyrocketed.
We Weren’t in the Dark
But Oster is wrong. The implemented policies, “the result of uncertainty,” as she asserted in her article, were never going to be effective. Anyone with a broad understanding of human psychology, child development, best health practices, and the human immune system who was not blinded by political alignment, not suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, or not in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry, knew better right from the beginning, or should have.
Pandemic or no pandemic, we were not in the dark about best practices for human health and human beings.
Isolation Causes Harm
When we want to punish prisoners, we put them in social isolation.
Researchers have confirmed that solitary confinement causes severe and permanent damage, including a shorter life span and a higher risk of suicide after release.
Masks Impede Facial Recognition, Emotional Intelligence
When we want to dehumanize people, we cover their faces with masks.
“Face perception and recognition are essential elements of social interaction, and represent critical skills acquired early in human life,” explained a team of scientists writing in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience in 2018. “…alterations in face perception can lead to prominent changes in sociability…”
Humans Are Social Beings
Humans are social creatures. We, like other mammals, live in groups. It is likely because we are cooperative by nature that we have managed to survive and thrive.
To tell human beings they must be scared of one another and that they “might kill Grandma” by going out in public is also profoundly anti-human messaging.
Health Doesn’t Come From a Bottle or Jab
Pharmaceutical companies that gross billions of dollars a year, so much so that their executives vie with each other for higher-floor luxury condominiums in the same building, are not the deliverers of human immunity.
The human immune system is almost a perfect defense system against any pathogens. That did not end the moment the concerns about COVID-19 began.
Too Frightened to Leave Home
Many older adults we knew were so frightened that they were afraid to leave their homes, even to go for a walk around the block. Many adult children we knew encouraged their loved ones to “stay home to stay safe.”
Children and young adults, forced into e-learning, spent more than six hours a day staring at computer screens, toggling back and forth between their “classes” and their video games.
Families who sent their children outside to play instead of participating in the farce of online school had truancy officers show up at their front doors.
Healthy Immunity Involves Outside Time, Exercise, and Socializing
But all of this flew in the face of the best science about how to be and stay healthy. Indeed, the best way to ensure a robust immune system—and enjoy a long, healthy life span—is to be born vaginally and be exclusively breastfed; to eat real, wholesome nutritious food (but not too much); to have adequate levels of vitamin D, preferably through sun exposure; to avoid being over-exposed to toxins; to avoid getting several illnesses at once; to get enough exercise and good quality sleep; and to belong to a community, whether that be faith-based or purpose-driven. Check out what the Blue Zone researchers call “The Power 9.”
We’ve known this all along.
Some of these variables are controllable. Others (like whether you were born vaginally or via Cesarean section) are not. Human ingenuity, in the form of potentially life-saving operations, medications, or vaccines, can step in to help support humanity when and as needed.
Gathering with family, learning together, worshipping God, being at the bedside of a dying loved one, being present for the birth of a baby, and hugging each other is what make us all human. The idea that taking these fundamental interactions away, sequestering in place with coverings on our faces and fear in our hearts, would somehow keep us “safe” was always wrong.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Epoch Health welcomes professional discussion and friendly debate. To submit an opinion piece, please follow these guidelines and submit through our form here.