The Morning After Is Never Pleasant … And It Shouldn’t Be
It’s about 11 a.m. The brain activates but you’re not quite sure you can open your eyes.
You experience what Homer Simpson described as “that sweet couple of seconds before I remember why I’m sleeping on the lawn.”
You feel around and breathe a sigh of relief that you are still indoors, slowly open one eye, see your spouse glaring at you, and it all floods back. You had too much fun last night.
The next few days are rough – you hunt for a can of soup because you know with absolute certainty your spouse is not going to be cooking anytime soon, you gobble Advil, and you wonder which is worse – the hangover or the nearly lethal tension hovering in the house.
After a day or so, you start to work your way back to normal – a bit.
And then – in an effort to get yourself completely off the hook for your bad behavior – you write an article for The Atlantic entitled “Let’s Declare a Drunken Party Amnesty.”
And you have the self-satisfied gall of the recently repentant to think “well, that’s over and we should never discuss it ever again because that would be rude of you.”
That’s not how this works.
The actions taken by Emily Oster – who had the narcissistic temerity to write the “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty” – and her many many over-credentialed, under-educated power-mad brethren over the past 30 months cannot be given a pass.
What happened during the pandemic was obviously more than a one-off drunken party moment. Having tee many martoonis does not compare to the whirlwind of destruction the COVID reaction caused.
Massive educational degradation. Economic devastation, by both the lockdowns and now the continuing fiscal nightmare plaguing the nation caused by continuing federal overreaction.
The critical damage to the development of children’s social skills through hyper-masking and fear-mongering.
The obliteration of the public’s trust in institutions due to their incompetence and deceitfulness during the pandemic.
The massive erosion of civil liberties.
The direct hardships caused by vaccination mandates, etc. under the false claim of helping one’s neighbor.
The explosion of the growth of Wall Street built on the destruction of Main Street. The clear separation of society into two camps – those who could easily prosper during the pandemic and those whose lives were completely upended.
The demonization of anyone daring to ask even basic questions about the efficacy of the response, be it the vaccines themselves, the closure of public schools, the origin of the virus, or the absurdity of the useless public theater that made up much of the response.
The fissures created throughout society and the harm caused by guillotined relationships amongst family and friends.
The slanders and career chaos endured by prominent actual experts (see the Great Barrington Declaration) and just plain reasonable people like Jennifer Sey for daring to offer different approaches, approaches – such as focusing on the most vulnerable – that had been tested and succeeded before.
And still, a million people died.
And now Oster asks if everyone would just please move on and forget about it?
Oster kept her job. Oster got famous. The pandemic was good for Oster.
The pandemic was also good for bureaucrats, multinationals, putative experts, the mindless media, and internet scolds. It was good for woke adults who want to remain children, it was good for the national security-industrial complex, it was good for hiding behind, it was good for expanding societal power.
It was not good for people.
There are other aspects to consider when mulling over the request as well.
First, this amnesty idea was wholly predictable, though when I did so I assumed it would entail at least a modicum of shame – see here: https://thomas699.substack.com/p/addicted-to-covid .
Second, the politics – for the Democrats – of the request are incredibly stupid. Placing the misery of the pandemic front and center a week before the mid-term election is beyond a bad idea and is only made the more amazing – and offensive – that it was done purposefully and in the context of demanding a free pass. The fearlessly narcissistic arrogance of the bubble people knows no bounds – see here: https://thomas699.substack.com/p/the-danger-of-bubble-wrap .
Third, as for the “we really didn’t know but we meant well so we’re all good, right?” aspect of the argument, that is a lie. Oster and her merry band of pandemicists knew full well (at least after the first few months) exactly what was happening, exactly the collateral damage being caused was and still actively decided to continue to push the false and destructive narrative of the response. It strongly appears that the reason for the aggressive ignorance was wholly about power, fame, money, societal purchase, doubling down on mistakes so as not to have to admit error, and buying into (and burnishing) their own image as the nation’s saviors.
It cannot be forgotten that until this moment – except for Anthony Fauci, due to his deadly bungling of the emergence of AIDS – 99% of the people who suddenly, like Oster, became experts and got to be on television and publicly worshipped and given real actual power for the first time in their lives were – outside of their narrow fields – utter nobodies. Being the all-praised, almighty center of attention feels good and that is a feeling you will do anything to keep going.
Just the mind-warping act of asking for amnesty shows that nothing has been learned by Oster and her ilk and they will, if given the chance, do it all again exactly the way they did it this time.
Amnesty is pretending something never happened – this episode in our history must never be forgotten if we are to preserve our nation.
Amnesty will not – it cannot – be given.
And please do not ask again.
Thomas Buckley is the former mayor of Lake Elsinore, Cal. and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more of his work at: https://thomas699.substack.com/