2020: a Cautionary Tale

Updated: Jan 1

As we bid good riddance to 2020, we must remember two very important things.


The First Very Important Thing


COVID

This disastrous year was of our own making. No giant meteor struck the earth; no super volcano erupted; no aliens invaded (though I don't think we would have been altogether surprised). The Chinese Communist Party sparked a global disaster when they placed far more importance on suppressing information about the virus than on suppressing the virus itself, and there must be a reckoning for the CCP. But while they planted the seed of a pandemic, the rest of the world gladly watered and nurtured it into a human and economic crisis greater than any in my lifetime.


People all over the globe fanned the flames and promoted paranoia to the extent that some people were required to wear masks while alone at home on Zoom meetings. That seriously happened. Society was whipped into believing we lived in some bizarre variation of Bird Box, where certain death lurked in the very atmosphere, but to survive, we had to cover our nose and mouth rather than our eyes.


How many lives have been saved by the unprecedented, draconian measures we've taken? It's impossible to say, but all we hear is that the virus is nonetheless out of control, and we must grow ever more restrictive.


According to USAfacts.org, as of the end of November, (that's eleven-twelfths of the year for those of you in Rio Linda), over 73,000 more people had already died in 2020 than in ALL of 2019! We lament each and every death, but how many additional deaths is that, you ask? Well, you're not supposed to ask that, because then you're not properly promulgating the fear porn. But I'll tell you anyway: it's 2.6% more deaths than in 2019. By the time you add in December, and the trailing death certificates (there's a lag), call it around 3% more deaths in 2020 than in 2019.


"But how can that be?" you ask. "2.8 million people died in 2018 (the latest year for which the CDC is reporting complete summary data), and as of today, the CDC is reporting that 337,419 have died of COVID in America. That's nearly 12%!”


The answer is obvious: fully 80% of those deaths attributed to COVID are for those age 65 or older. 60% are age 75 or older, and a full third are age 85 or over. Put simply, the overwhelming number of the people who died from COVID this year were going to die this year anyway, statistically speaking. If it wasn't from COVID, it would have been flu, pneumonia, or just plain old age, as has happened every year since the Creation.


Don't get me wrong, I don't want for any of them to have died prematurely. Every life is precious, but death comes for us all in the end, and mere survival is not living. My good friend Carroll Maxwell just died with COVID--he was 94 years old. Nearly 16 months ago he nearly died as well, and we managed to revive him, before the world ever heard of COVID. But at 94, if Carroll never got COVID, the candle of his long life was still nearly spent. My father died at 72 four years ago. The older we get, the more likely we are to not see the next dawn, COVID or no COVID.


I'll tell you that even in my 40s, I'd rather face a slightly increased risk of death for myself than to force my family and friends to endure one more moment of what they've endured in 2020. I suspect almost all people on Earth feel the same way.


Now, before you say "Aha! It would have been far worse if we hadn't shut everything down!" evidence tends to suggest otherwise. The states with the worst outcome per 100,000 population tend to have had far more restrictive measures than states with much better outcomes and less restrictive measures. Which means unless you're willing to weld people inside their homes, like the Communist Chinese were, the lockdowns did very little. But I'll still be generous and suggest that we might have had as many as 5% more deaths than in 2019 if the government hadn't mandated anything, and people simply took reasonable precautions on their own. And that's being very generous indeed.


Now our children have essentially lost a year of their education during their most formative years, millions of Americans have lost their livelihoods, mental illness has exploded, and we’ve gone trillions of dollars more in debt. Was it all worth it?


Fortunately, we don't have to care! There's a brand new variant of the virus, so the vaccine that was announced immediately after the election doesn't count now, and we get to do this all over again, but much more seriouser.


Impeachment and the Election

The virus was the biggest aspect to the human disaster of 2020, but not the only aspect. Remember when the President of the United States was impeached at the beginning of the year, literally for nothing (zero supposed high crimes or misdemeanors cited in the Articles of Impeachment) while his political opponents decried his tough action on China related to the virus as a "distraction" and "xenophobic hysteria." Remember that? That was this year! Good times.


Then nearly the entire media apparatus turned their guns on ensuring that President Trump wasn’t re-elected, and saturating society with the idea that the President was both a racist and a fascist, with no evidence for either. Then Big Tech threw in to the extent that Twitter and Facebook actually suppressed a New York Post story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, in which nothing was refuted, and Twitter even went so far as to ban the New York Post!


Regardless of the numerous irregularities in the election, and the overt abrogation of the constitutions and election laws of several states, If the media had actually so much as even pretended to be objective, Trump would have won in a landslide. The media have lost whatever tatters of credibility they once had, and have exposed themselves as the propaganda machine we’ve known they were for years anyway.


"Systemic Racism"

The death of George Floyd lit the whole powder keg. At worst, Derek Chauvin was guilty of reckless homicide; at best he was guilty of failure to render aid. Apparently Floyd had been complaining about not being able to breath before Chauvin ever got his knee on him, and both autopsies revealed that Floyd had taken a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl. But the moment George Floyd tragically died, facts ceased to matter for the remainder of the year (not that they had meant all that much at the beginning of the year) to the point that there were actually riots and NBA virtue-signaling paraphernalia for Jacob Blake--whom just about anyone of any race would have shot in the same circumstances.


Ever since, we've been continuously fed the lie that now, in 2020, half a century after the Civil Rights Movement, America is deeply and "systemically racist", contrary to all available evidence. Question that, and you're pointed to very isolated instances of racism which, I'm sorry to tell you, will never be fully eradicated from humanity--particularly when certain humans are obsessed with defining people by groups. I heard with my own ears at a vigil for George Floyd that "nothing has changed for black people in this country for 400 years." Really? Nothing? Nothing at all? Martin Luther King Jr. accomplished squat? No change? That's a whole separate article... be on the lookout for it.


If you don't parrot it, you're targeted for doxing, vandalism, being fired, being assaulted, and in some cases, murdered.


And of course, every last bit of 2020 has been politicized. You can't order a burger now without it being politicized. As a result, we are now more deeply divided as a nation than at any point since the American Civil War--you know, the bloodiest war in American history. At least then there was a clean geographical line. Now it's just a lot messier. More good times.


That leads us to...


The Second Very Important Thing

It ain't over. There's nothing magical about the stroke of midnight on December 31st of the Gregorian calendar that makes all of this go away. All of the human failings that caused 2020 are still present, and are far worse now than they were at this time last year. Short of the Rapture, nothing can fix this except us, and it may be too late even for that. We have to change where we can, and stand our ground where we must. Truth, Justice, Liberty, and the Rule of Law are paramount and cannot be compromised for anything--especially not "for your safety." If we don't draw a line in the sand, and fight for everything America was meant to represent, get ready for 2021 to be 2020 Part 2: The Revenge. And we will have asked for it.

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