The recent news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that some people in certain situations might be able to stop wearing masks seemed to come at just the right moment.
Perhaps it was a little too perfect, in fact.
It broke amid growing public awareness of the evidence that the origins of the coronavirus might not have been what we were sold on.
Even COVID czar Anthony Fauci was forced to admit in Senate testimony last Tuesday that he had no clue “what went on in China.”
That tidbit of deflection, of course, came as he was being grilled by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., about what his own role might have been in funding controversial “gain of function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology—including studies that specifically addressed the transmission of bat coronaviruses to humans.
On top of the unraveling of the COVID narrative, there is, in the current national Zeitgeist, a growing resolve to ignore pseudo-scientific diktats from bureaucratic agencies that long ago cashed in their credibility and moral authority.
The CDC decree also came at a time when the Biden administration desperately needed any sort of a contrived “win” it could get, as comparisons to the disastrous Carter administration sprung up like whack-a-moles.
With his $1,400 stimulus bribes vanishing through inflation faster than you could say “gas hoarding,” Biden’s only salvo was to dial back a regulation that he never had the authority to impose in the first place.
Fast on the heels of the federal reversal—as if some arbitrary goalpost, unbeknownst to us, had finally been reached—Democrat governors appeared poised to follow suit.
Today, Gov. Cooper announced a big step forward in our fight against the pandemic: pic.twitter.com/uuGXcwzXE5
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) May 14, 2021
CARROTS OR CONSTRUCTS?
Some lofty academics have begun to note the neo-Marxist embrace of Foucauldian theories concerning authority and punishment—but that’s another column for another time (and probably not an easy one to write or read).
Yet, this latest ‘gift’ from the CDC would seem to fit the bill: a sort of spiritual control-mechanism to be flipped on and off like a switch now that most have forgotten why they wore the masks in the first place.
On a ranking of the top 10 best reasons (not that there were any good ones) for altering daily behavior in response to the pandemic, compliance with latest CDC guidelines would probably fall somewhere around Absolute Zero.
Sadly, the creepy, over-reaching government attempts to manipulate public sentiment through psy-ops are not even that shocking anymore.
They’ve given up the facade of civil liberty, as if they—like so many during the pandemic—could no longer be bothered to even keep up appearances.
COVID: THE PERFECT DRUG
That insidiously apathetic mindset can be contagious—and addictive.
Even though I pride myself on having resisted Herr Doktor Fauci & Co. in every feasible way, the thought of resuming normal activity sans social-distancing still seems remote and hard to comprehend.
On at least two occasions recently, I found myself no longer wanting to go back:
- Prior to COVID, I had just achieved a significant milestone in running my first 10-mile race. After several sedentary years, I was pleased to be progressing toward some personal fitness goals, and a big motivator was the 5k (~3 mile) races that took place on any given weekend. I had already booked several of them in advance.
Without the competition to keep me honest, while working from home for a few weeks, my running regimen fast eroded. Weight gain ensued and, with it, a vicious cycle that made it harder and harder to restart. Finally, I realized during one recent attempt that not only would 10 miles be out of the question, but even a 5k would be enough to thoroughly wind me.
- My one weekly indulgence in my peak running days was Tuesday trivia night at a local pub. With free buckets of beer to the round-winner and half-price wings, I could usually walk out with a tab under $25.
But statewide restrictions came and went, making it more difficult to know what to expect—whether there would be curfews, capacity caps or social-distancing in effect, or if the bar was even open. Eventually, I gave up altogether on trying to go out, with the guess-work proving to be more trouble than it was worth.
On a recent Tuesday evening, I returned, pleased to see that the usual crowd was still there and the bar operating mostly as normal. Yet, something just didn’t feel the same. I left early, figuring my now-expanding waistline didn’t need the extra calories.
In short, what coronavirus offered was the excuse I needed to let go of things that I enjoyed but that took some effort to do.
For others, it was a reason to limit services and hours of operation; stop socializing; stop going the office, school or church; stop wearing makeup and maintaining oral hygiene; or else to shove aside any number of routine inconveniences.
Whatever the poison, COVID was the antidote.
The restrictions tipped the balance, making it physically and emotionally easier not to live a normal life than to attempt it. The idea of an invisible, deadly menace looming everywhere was but the cherry on top.
Now, with authoritarian mandates spontaneously combusting, the greatest challenge is trying to care about re-engaging in a society that could so quickly abandon its entire livelihood on a whim.
In fact, there is really only one thing I could think of that might thoroughly motivate me to resist the inertia—and that’s the Biden CDC telling me, yet again, that I need to yield to it.