From late 2020 and into 2021, many politicians and experts claimed that the introduction of COVID vaccines would mean an “end to the pandemic.”
The vaccines became something of a panacea for politicians who had trapped themselves into a cycle of lockdowns, business closures, capacity restrictions and masking. It was based on poorly reasoned assumptions of where the virus was spreading.
The initial vaccine rollout appeared to be a success, with extremely high vaccination rates among the elderly. But the advent of the Delta variant and the seasonal summer surge in the South created a new substantial surge of infections.
That seemed to spook already terrified politicians, who were scared to roll back many pandemic-related restrictions.
For example, Los Angeles County ended their mask mandate with the state of California on June 15, 2021, only to reinstate it a month later on July 17.
Once it became abundantly clear through surges in highly vaccinated countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore that the vaccines did not reduce the spread of infections or transmission, politicians doubled down by enacting “vaccine passports,” or forced discrimination against the “unvaccinated.”
Gavin Newsom in California enacted “first in the nation” policies designed to punish healthcare workers or state employees who remained unvaccinated. New York City moved to enact the “Key to the City,” which tied the ability to attend sporting events or dine indoors to vaccination status.
This was based mostly on misinformation from Pfizer, from Dr. Fauci and the CDC. They claimed that the vaccines were essentially 100 percent effective in preventing COVID.
That’s not an exaggeration; an article from Business Insider from March 2021 quoted CDC Director Rochelle Walensky saying that data “suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus.”
Another article in the Independent, a British news site, quoted Fauci saying that there were “no hospitalizations and no deaths.”
He’s even on video saying that people who were vaccinated could feel safe that they would not be infected:
Pfizer’s CEO had also tweeted out that his vaccine was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID cases in South Africa:
And so world-altering vaccine-related policy was unleashed, with global governments lining up one after another to discriminate against the “unvaccinated” by denying them entry to businesses, to schools, or to the country itself.
Much of what the world is experiencing today with seemingly endless restrictions can be traced back to the incompetence and unchecked egos of experts and executives who have staunchly refused to revisit their past assumptions.
More importantly, they’ve failed to acknowledge why they were wrong.
Poorly designed studies, lack of awareness with regards to variants and the speed in which they would emerge, misleading conclusions drawn from below average data. The list of mistakes is endless.
While intelligent, data driven, forward thinking politicians like Ron DeSantis realized fairly quickly that many experts were hopelessly incapable of “ending the pandemic,” many in other institutions have held firm to rules derived from a different period of the pandemic.
Rules that have also been repeatedly disproven over time.
Just recently, Georgetown University announced that they would be continuing a mask mandate nearly everywhere on campus.
This came despite a study done at Cornell University that showed masking and other mitigations were essentially completely ineffective against the spread of the Omicron variant.
The CDC finally did update its guidance to acknowledge the reality that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals were equally likely to spread the virus, only to continue enforcing a travel ban on unvaccinated foreigners.
Colleges are still enforcing vaccine and booster mandates on healthy 18-22 year olds at virtually no risk from serious complications.
School districts from San Diego to Kentucky have maintained mask mandates, leading to one California principal calling the police on a 4-year old boy for not wearing a mask:
Masks are still required in healthcare settings for tens of millions of Americans.
Masking also continues to be mandatory on public transit in numerous major cities across the country.
Los Angeles County with its transit based requirement, has reported higher numbers than Orange County where masks are not mandated or worn widely:
Yet none of this seems to matter to anyone in charge, or the larger mainstream media.
Everyone seems content to allow the theater of COVID policy to continue, even after prominent politicians like Joe Biden or Dr. Fauci test positive repeatedly despite four vaccine shots and incessant masking.
What will it take for them to finally give up on COVID restrictions? When will they ever actually fulfill their promises that the vaccines signaled the “end of the pandemic?”
At this point, there are no good answers to this question.
If two and a half years of pandemic restrictions proving to be completely ineffective hasn’t been enough to convince them, it seems likely they’ll always be willing to return to more mandates.
LA County just narrowly avoided another universal indoor mask mandate in July.
There doesn’t appear to be much hope that restrictions in blue areas will soon become an unpleasant memory of a distant past.
A commitment to The Science™ is now part of their DNA. It’s an unshakable, unwavering belief in the infallibility of Dr. Fauci and his allies in local public health departments.
Even when it’s acknowledged that The Science™ has changed, it’s simply not enough for many administrators.
That California principal who called the police on a maskless 4-year old? Her Superintendent wasn’t upset with her, but was instead upset at the parent for recording the incident and ensuring that the broader population would be horrified with their monumental stupidity.
Parents in much of the country will be forced to wonder if their school district will return to masking at the next opportunity, or if “exposure” will mean their child has to live through 10 days of forced masking.
Residents in cities like New York will have to live month by month wondering if the rules will change, and popular entertainment options will return to mask mandates or say, booster passports, on a whim.
There’s no excuse for the endless slog of indefinite pandemic theater, but intelligence and critical thinking have not been particular strong suits of decision makers the past few years.
What must be done in order for COVID to fully move to the rear view mirror, is for those who influenced the creation of these policies to apologize and admit their mistakes.
It’s not enough to simply end restrictions or change guidance, apologies must be issued and acknowledgements made.
Fauci and Walensky saying they were wrong might be the only hope many cities have for a permanent return to actual normalcy.
But based on Fauci’s misdirections, outright lies and continued denial of wrongdoing, that’s almost certainly never going to happen:
And we haven’t even gotten to the inevitable winter surge this year yet either. Get ready for more COVID fun in 2023.