In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s an undeclared civil war going on in this country – and indeed many if not most places across the globe – about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The divide cuts across politics, geography, occupation, gender, race, religion, and even families, and yet it’s arguably as deep and as wide as any issue that has ever faced humanity.
It pits the hypochondriacs, the hysterical busybodies intent on using the virus to run everybody’s life, those who favor lockdowns and vaccine & mask mandates while refusing to discuss the science and data that opposes their worldview, against level-headed, freedom-loving individuals who know how to apprise risk and act accordingly.
If you are on Team Reality, advocates of both a sane world and a sane policy when dealing with a highly contagious respiratory virus which over 99.5% of people survive, you likely can recognize your ideological opponents merely by looking at their perpetually masked faces, both in real life (always indoors and often even outside) and almost always on their social media profiles, usually encircled by some sort of badge about being vaccinated or guarding against what they consider ‘disinformation’ (read: anything that disagrees with Dr. Fauci). You also know them by their sanctimonious, mindless repetitions of the mantras common to their cult (“Wear a mask!” “Get vaccinated!” and “Stop the spread!”), their hysterical, dramatic exaggerations of the real risk of COVID (often accompanied by some copied-and-pasted nurses’ tale of woe), their stubborn refusal to consider or even listen to any data-based arguments that go against what they consider ‘settled science,’ their calls for censorship, and yeah, often the dumb pronouns in their social media bios.
Sure, politics play something of a role, but it’s not as black-and-white as you might think. Plenty of self-professed Republicans are mask cult members, and plenty of Democrats and ideological liberals love liberty enough to see what’s going on here. Frankly, at this point, I have more in common and feel more of a sense of brotherhood with a liberal on Team Reality who disagrees with me on almost every social issue than I do with a supposed ‘conservative’ who wants to implement or continue any aspect of Covidstan.
And you should too. Why? Because I have come to firmly believe that how an individual has responded and continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic has become something of a Rorschach test for everything else about life. By all means, guard against misinformation, because there is certainly plenty of it out there on both sides. However, if you have mindlessly taken the establishment position on any of these issues and ignored or dismissed alternative opinions – even ones from highly qualified academics, data analysts, and medical professionals – simply because they aren’t fashionable, you just aren’t a critical thinker. If you’ve come to the inalterable conclusion that the best way to deal with this virus is to control people’s behavior, whether through lockdowns, coerced vaccinations, forced masking, or any other liberty-destroying tactic, you are a petty tyrant and a menace. And finally, if you honestly think, despite the loads of data on our side and the severe lack of data on theirs, that forcibly masking children with a damp, bacteria-laden piece of cloth is the best way to ‘stop the spread’ of a virus that poses almost zero statistical risk to students in schools, you are a monster and I don’t want anything to do with you.
Some of you thought this was going away in May and June. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m here to tell you it’s not, not anytime soon. Even after this current Delta wave falls, there will always be an incoming ‘wave’ of COVID, and as such there will always be hypochondriac control freaks out there hellbent on using this virus to impose their sick, twisted dementia on normal people. Consider Australia, where lockdowns and mask mandates based on handfuls of ‘cases’ here and there have gotten so ridiculously absurd that even its cowed, disarmed populace is finally beginning to rise up. Finally. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, but it’s also a striking example of what happens when people cede their liberties to government.
I’m not talking so much about the average person who’s simply been manipulated by the media and politicians to think the virus is much more dangerous than it is. We should feel sorry for them and try our best to patiently educate. However, the people, especially those in any position of power or influence, trying to forcibly muzzle your children in school, the people trying to impose vaccine mandates at every private company in America and create a society where the unvaccinated cannot participate in any aspect of normal American life, the people fretting about ‘muh cases!’ and every single ‘COVID death’ – no matter how old or sick the person was or whether it was ‘with’ or ‘of’ COVID – while ignoring the infinitely more deaths caused by other reasons: these people don’t deserve to be in my life (or, frankly, yours) in any meaningful capacity.
Am I proposing that you ostracize your Karen family members and your Branch Covidian Facebook friends? That’s entirely up to you, but I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you did. I have made personal decisions I never thought I would make pre-COVID, and my life and that of my family has been all the better for it. The kind of dystopian, totalitarian world these people are trying to create is sick, hellish, and deserves to be fought with every fiber of our being until it’s destroyed completely. It’s pure evil, and not a place I want to raise my children. And I’m sorry if this offends you, but that makes the people trying to create this kind of world sick and evil as well.
So, what are we to do with these Branch Covidian cultists (presuming we can’t ship them off on a one-way ticket to Afghanistan, where they’d miss running water and electricity but would doubtless LOVE the face burkas!)? Can they be cured? It’s certainly possible, but it’s going to take a lot of work. For starters, I would recommend any or all of the following options:
Counter their arguments
Whether it’s social media or real life, don’t let their pathetic arguments go unchallenged. You know the answers, and you have the data, the studies, and the real life experience to prove it. Always, always, ALWAYS counter their arguments. Changing their mind is the goal, sure, but the minds you are really going for are the ones on the fence who may be watching. (Reminder: Be careful not to sink into any of the misinformation on our side. Before you post, check your facts. Then check again. Don’t give them an excuse to discredit you.)
Refuse to be silenced
The goal of the left, on this and every other issue, is to silence their opposition. That’s because they know that ultimately their arguments can’t hold against the light of truth. Don’t be bullied into being cowed or silenced. That’s how they win.
Give our enemies zero quarter, whether at the ballot box, a school board or community meeting, online, or a public demonstration. Any and all policies related to Covidstan should be defeated, their proponents forever discredited, and their ideas plowed under with proverbial salt so they never rise again.
Ignore their emotion-laden bleatings. You know what they are because you’ve heard them a million times by now. If they don’t come at you with facts or at least a semi-logical argument, they don’t deserve a response.
Banish them from your life
Yes, there may come a point where someone becomes so obnoxious, so destructive, such a menace to society that they must be banished from your life. If you stay strong, many of these people will self select anyway. Fine. I’d rather associate with freedom-loving adults who understand data, logic, and risk than a perpetually-masked, hysterical COVID Karen any day. They can pound sand.
I know this is probably a little hard to read, because we all know and love people like this. However, it’s past time we started to acknowledge not just this ongoing civil war, but also the fact that the other side is THE ENEMY. They are actively trying to destroy society, and they are using a virus with a 99.5%+ survival rate – that mainly poses any significant risk to those who are already extremely old and/or extremely sick – to do it. They MUST be stopped, and it’s up to us to do it.