It’s over. It’s been over.
For the vast majority of people on this green earth, the measures forced upon us by the COVID-19 bureaucrats have faded away. No more lockdowns, no more masking, no more illegal Fauci ouchie mandates.
In the parts where those interventions haven’t gone away, things have gotten ugly. In China — a country whose residents are not known for risking conflict with a government that doesn’t take dissent lightly — we’ve seen mass resistance to “zero-COVID” policies, the most significant uprising on the mainland since Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The disease isn’t gone. The fear is. The willingness to cede power over our lives to unelected public health officials has evaporated. Now, in most of the free world, people are trying to piece back together what fear-mongering bureaucrats have shattered.
Unfortunately, those fear-mongering bureaucrats haven’t gone away. It’s only their powers that have disappeared. And they’d like some of that power back, please.
In America’s two most populous cities, public health officials are recommending or looking into mandating masks in indoor spaces due to increased cases of respiratory diseases — not necessarily COVID-19, either.
What’s more, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging indoor masking again, invoking a term you’re going to hear a lot of this winter: “tridemic.”
In a Friday news release, the New York City Health Department recommended that people wear masks in public indoor settings due to “unusually high concurrent spikes” in “COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses.”
“Vaccination and boosters are critical but so are common sense precautions like masking when indoors or among crowds and staying home if you don’t feel well. Also, get tested before getting together, and get treated quickly if you test positive,” city health commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said.
In Los Angeles, however, health officials might not just be suggesting that you put that KN-95 back on.
According to a Thursday report in the Los Angeles Times, officials are mulling over whether to reinstate a public indoor mask mandate that has been off the books since March.
The Times reported that “with the startling formation of a third straight fall-and-winter wave, officials have said a new order could be implemented shortly after the new year should hospitalizations worsen.”
“We are seeing a rapid acceleration again,” Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer said. “This is the time to put that mask back on.”
The mandate could be triggered if the county hits two CDC criteria: a high hospital admission rate and 10 percent of staffed hospital beds being occupied by COVID-19 patients. The county has already hit the first criterion.
And nationally, we have CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urging Americans to put that face diaper back on.
“We also encourage you to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses,” she told reporters on Monday. “One need not wait on CDC action in order to put a mask on.”
And, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Walensky on Tuesday said masking would be one of the measures needed to mitigate the so-called “tridemic”: flu, RSV and COVID-19.
We’ve learned to live with COVID — with the spikes and valleys and new variants. We’re still coping with the disruption to our lives — economically, socially and educationally. It may well be that the losses in learning and deterioration in mental health will end up being more ruinous than COVID itself ever was. But at least the acute phase is over, right?
No! Not only are we masking back up for the winter COVID spike, but we’re doing so to fight the flu and RSV! See, they’re part of the “tridemic.” Sounds scary, don’t it? Won’t you please listen to these people again? They just want to run your lives for the better.
No. It’s over.
This isn’t to say 2022 will be an easy winter for the U.S. in regard to respiratory illnesses. It won’t be, even if the “that’s so fetch“-like neologism “tridemic” is a pathetically transparent bit of focus-grouped hyperbole the CDC needs to stop trying to make happen.
However, we’ve been through this before — and we know where power vested in public health bureaucrats leads. Short of a new COVID variant that causes symptoms straight out of Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” Americans shouldn’t cede one inch of agency back to a system that’s proved useless at almost everything aside from consolidating power around itself.
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