In what may be remembered as one of the greatest miracles of all time, it seems that an upcoming American election cycle is set to put an end to the great COVID pandemic in regions that have been clinging to "mitigation" tactics despite them being proven ineffective long ago. What science couldn't do for blue state governors, politics is about to. Meanwhile, much of the rest of the country has already adopted an "endemic" approach to COVID. In my Indiana community, for instance, school systems have been in-person and maskless for well over a year.
A combination of experience and common sense led local officials to recognize that while COVID was a serious virus, and an often-times unpleasant condition to endure, we just weren't experiencing the kind of mortality rates or critical hospitalizations that would require the suspension of normal life. If I was guessing, I would say that there are more counties, cities, and communities in the United States like mine than not.
While mainstream media may be drawn like a moth to the bright lights of urban areas with all the restrictions, mandates, and panic-fueled policies enacted there, most Americans have been "living with" the virus for a long time now.
In fact, if my community is any bellwether for the nation, most Americans are already wondering why anyone is still attempting to take a non-endemic approach at this point. The virus has proven itself to be, like all other viruses, prone to seasonal surges that are largely unaltered by our theatrical mitigation techniques. Not that anyone with their head screwed on straight ever thought there was value in wearing a porous cloth mask while standing up at a restaurant, then taking it off while sitting down, but the comical nonsense of mask histrionics is now widely appreciated as a goofy spectator sport. Behold:
So silly. And so as opinion polls continue showing that an ever-increasing number of Americans are infuriated by this nonsense, and that they are done with all the aggressive pandemic restrictions that proved unnecessary a long time ago, a public pivot of massive proportions is underway amongst the political class.
Whether it's big blue state governors like California's Gavin Newsom hilariously announcing that he will be transitioning his state to the country's first "endemic" virus policy – meaning they're going to start doing some things that Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Indiana, and so many others have been doing for over a year – or whether it's blue city school boards like San Francisco's being recalled by angry voters for their abusive and needless shutdown and masking policies, it's clear where we're headed.
Yet, past practice demands that we acknowledge the predictable next steps. As we've seen for the last two years, the summer months will drive those in warmer climates indoors. Coupled with the emergence of any new COVID variant, there will likely be a new surge of the virus in southern states. Since those states are largely Republican strongholds, the media narrative will be harsh and condemning.
With a scrutiny not applied to northern and coastal Democratic states when they experience the same reality during colder months, major media will use the surge to condemn the supposed flippant and anti-science attitudes of red-state leaders. This will be amplified all the more because of the fall midterm elections looming on the horizon. It will all be exaggerated, misinformed, and politically charged, as more than one commentator has prophetically warned.
Here's one good prognostication (language warning):
After reading through that, here's what I do know. The press will not contain itself, especially not during an election year when the entire Democrat Party's agenda faces imminent collapse. They will be invested as never before, as deceitful as they've ever been, and as militant about peddling misinformation – and crushing anyone who points it out – as we've seen up until now.
The good news is that we know it's coming, we know their strategy, we know the game plan, and after two cycles of this, we know exactly what they're going to say. Let's beat them to it, make a mockery of their choice to put political narrative over ethical journalism, and hop off this merry-go-round once for all.
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