By now most people in the US are sick and tired of hearing about COVID. We hear the stories about cases spiking, yet death and hospitalization rates remain the same or are sinking in many areas. In short, COVID has just about run its course. It has wreaked its havoc on the low-hanging fruit, killing those with significant comorbidities and those most susceptible to respiratory infections. Now it’s infecting younger, healthier people in whom it doesn’t have the same effect, and as more of them come down with the illness and develop antibodies, we’ll get closer and closer to herd immunity.
The incoming Biden administration doesn’t want to let that happen, as it has to try to claim that it cured COVID, doing what President Trump couldn’t do. To that end, Biden’s coronavirus task force advisors are already floating the idea of a 4-6 week national lockdown, complete with a huge government pay package to pay the salaries everyone put out of work. That would cost hundreds of billions of dollars at a minimum, if not over $1 trillion, money that the federal government doesn’t have and would have to issue new debt for in order to pay.
There’s also no guarantee that a lockdown would even work. The only country that has managed to be somewhat successful is New Zealand, but it’s easy to lock your country down when your people are far-flung, outnumbered by sheep, and your country is a day’s plane ride away from most populated countries. In a country of well over 300 million people, with thousands of miles of borders and coastline, and millions of immigrants trying to enter each year, the mere thought that a lockdown could be successful is laughable.
In fact, if someone hadn’t told you where this idea came from, you might think that it was some random fool on an internet message board, or maybe some guy spitballing ideas with friends at a bar. The obvious retort to such a proposal is that, if a six-week lockdown is the bare minimum, why stop there? Why not lock things down for twelve, sixteen or twenty weeks? If the government can afford to pay people’s salaries for six weeks, why not six months? Or six years? Or six decades?
It’s the same argument made against minimum wage proposals – if $15 an hour is so great, why not set the minimum wage at $100 an hour, so that everyone is well off? Or $1,000 an hour so that we’ll all be filthy rich? That helps to point out the absurdity of the proposal, and the absurdity of listening to doctors when it comes to public policy proposals to combat illness.
Doctors may be incredibly knowledgeable about their particular area of medical expertise, but that doesn’t automatically grant them any insights into political philosophy, economics, or law. But their egos won’t let them acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge and intellect, and so we’re faced with ideas that could have come from the village idiot very possibly making their way into law. God help us under a Biden administration that is already pushing to run roughshod over our rights, because if this is how things start, we don’t want to know what they have in store for us when things really ramp up.