Knowing how to protect yourself and others in the time of COVID-19 has been, from the beginning, a matter of following the experts’ best guess, and that hasn’t changed after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surprised us by lifting the mask rules in most settings.

That isn’t to say that scientists don’t know what they are talking about, and we wouldn’t characterize the latest suggestions as a “reversal” of previous guidance. It seems no one has called it such in a while, but this started out as a novel coronavirus for a reason. No one had any experience dealing with this particular menace. Our best virologists had a baseline of good advice that evolved over time because that is the way science works.

In the beginning, more than a year ago, it seemed the most immediate threat came from surfaces — everything from desktops at the workplace to cartons of milk in the grocery store. We weren’t initially told to wear masks, partly because hospitals and first responders needed them desperately, but also because we didn’t think this virus spread that way. Over time, we learned it spread primarily through the very air we breathe rather than via surface transmission.

That guidance was fine-tuned through the long months of 2020. We were asked to mask up and learned the difference between surgical masks, N95 masks, cloth masks and a gaiter, which turned out to be something you could wear around your neck and pull over your nose and not a prehistoric amphibian. We learned to keep our distance and that the proper distance was a bit of a moving target depending on the circumstances. We learned that cavorting outdoors was much safer than the same activity indoors. We quarantined when we had to, formed pods when we could, and we adjusted continually.

The need for flexibility hasn’t changed with the newest CDC recommendations. Some businesses have announced an abrupt end to their mask requirements while others respectfully ask that you cover up before entering. In the weeks ahead, we expect the state of California to throw out the color-coded tier system and to allow more people into restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and everywhere else.

This isn’t some repudiation of the restrictions in place since March 2020. Despite what you hear on some quarters of the internet, the experts weren’t wrong over these long months when they repeatedly changed their recommendations. They were merely responding to new information. Because, again, it’s science.

We have entered a particularly confusing, though thankfully less dangerous, phase of this pandemic. As more of us vaccinate — and as the threat diminishes as a result — more of us will want to throw months of caution to the wind. Others aren’t ready for that and with good reason. The virus is out there. Even those who have been vaccinated can catch it. It is still dangerous to many. For now, the prudent course of action is to remain cautious. Keep your distance in a crowd. Wear a mask when appropriate. Continue to wash your hands.

We’re so close. Keep up the good work.

— Clay Lambert

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(1) comment

Scott McVicker

History as Art

The thinking is that objective beauty exists. That it can be described in terms of symmetry. That there are pleasing forms and proportions which contribute to the elevation of the individual and Society.

The stories we tell ourselves can be beautiful. Some (as in oral history) are used to carry knowledge down through the generations. Others carry meaning in terms of Societal morals. And who does not enjoy an escapist fairy tale?

It would seem that we are presented here with a first draft of what might be repeated about 2020. The word “science” is used much as Cyrano de Bergerac would use the phrase “...and as I end my refrain, thrust home!” Artfully. With emphasis. But there is a problem...

Remember your thinking when They said “Two weeks to flatten the curve”? I was willing to give it a shot. Weren't you? A temporary measure. A trusting gesture. Little did we realize that government goons had poured cement around our feet.

The first experiment: Lockdowns. This wasn't science. It was panic driven by the unknown, exacerbated by the Media who pushed The Narrative which greatly exaggerated the “threat”, and executed by politicians who had no understanding of the consequences of this policy. A one size fits all solution. Brilliant!

The politicians and “essential workers” would still pull paychecks...and for the remainder: The Hindmost. The indifference on display is and was staggering. And despite numerous opportunities to change to a better, less damaging path, no change in strategy. Instead we had moving goalposts and excuses.

The second experiment: The Emergency Use Authorization Injections. The world used to rely on herd immunity to push through pandemics. That changed when the World Health Organization changed their position to one of vaccination. The long term effects of the various injectables is not known. Yes, science, technology and logistics made them available, but questions regarding safety, efficacy and side-effects remain. Those take time to answer. Always has, always will. Ask the family members of those who have died post-injection.

Also: The brain dead policy of lockdowns began with no hope of a “vaccine”. Don't let history be corrupted by those who would excuse the lockdown costs/severities/damages as justified because “leaders” knew a vaccine was coming.

The third experiment: An ongoing disregard for the economic damage done. Inflation. The ballooning National Debt. Wild-eyed spending by politicians. The destruction of lives and livelihoods. Private sector small businesses closed. The resulting loss of employment opportunities. The deficit in tax revenues which allow the government to provide services. All self-inflicted. NOT thinking about the consequences of one's policies is actually anti-scientific. And those consequences will need to be endured for years to come.

A fourth experiment? Yes, the subjugation of free citizens who have had their rights rescinded under the justification of emergency conditions. Seeing how much the populace could be pushed. How many regulations would they tolerate? Project Fear. The excesses employed. The ugly authoritarians. (Own it if this resonates with you.)

No friends, this first draft is written from the perspective of the islander who reclines in his favorite beach hammock...eyes closed...hat over forehead...but does not realize that the ocean has withdrawn to the faint horizon.

An Aside: As I told you months ago, the politicians needed an “out” for their failed policies and disastrous decisions...and that the seasonal dormancy of corona viruses (in the sunny months) would provide such an exit. Oh look, “cases” are declining! Our “path to freedom” has been correct all along. It must be the “vaccines”! Smiling happy face all around. Uh-huh.

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