Covid is deadly we are told, and in a very real sense it is. However, it's deadly in the way that getting a bee sting or eating peanuts can be for those with allergies, not deadly in the way that contracting smallpox or Ebola can be for pretty much everyone. We knew that from nearly the beginning. This is from the World Health Organization on April 20, 2020.
We know that over 95% of these deaths occurred in those older than 60 years. More than 50% of all deaths were people aged 80 years or older. We also know from reports that 8 out of 10 deaths are occurring in individuals with at least one underlying co-morbidity, in particular those with cardiovascular diseases/hypertension and diabetes, but also with a range of other chronic underlying conditions.
Those that are least vulnerable are children. We've known that pretty much from the beginning as well. The chart below is from a study across a number of countries published in May of 2020.
In fact, depending on how you break out the ages, it's all but a straight line, from young to old, regarding how much danger this virus poses. This is from The Heritage Foundation using CDC data and published in February of this year.
And here is the latest from the CDC.
Twice as many school-age children are dying from pneumonia than are dying from Covid (or "involving" Covid), and yet we are using Covid as some kind of historic juvenile plague to justify strapping our kids in dehumanizing and unhealthy masks all day long and keeping them distanced from friends, despite the fact that they are the least vulnerable demographic spending their day within the confines of an institution with likely the highest vaccination rate of any group save for liberal urban dwellers who still wear masks while walking their dogs.
They know this. They have to know this.
Which brings me to my tale of just how unserious those in charge are about something that is allegedly so dangerous.
It began on a Friday. My wife received a call from my son's middle school informing her that he had been identified as having been in close proximity to someone who had just tested positive for Covid and she needed to come and pick him up right away. She told them it would be at least an hour which they took some issue with, but that was just the reality. I was at work and she was on a conference call.
Naturally, given the gravity of the situation and grave threat his mere presence posed to everyone in the school he was immediately whisked from class and placed in quarantine in some remote area of the school.
The reality was he had no idea any of this was happening. In fact, this newly designated typhoid Mary, a child so dangerous to his peers that HE MUST BE SENT HOME IMMEDIATELY went about his regular classes for over an hour before my wife arrived to pick him up. It was only then that they pulled him from class.
My wife was told when she picked him up that she had to get him a Covid test so she did as instructed and took him to our local testing center, conveniently housed in a kiosk located in the parking lot of a nearby park.
We received the results Sunday. They were negative, so yay, he could return to school!
When my wife called the school Monday with the good news, she was told,
Oh, you have to wait three days before you have him tested.
She noted, in far more polite terms than I could have mustered, that that would have been useful to know three days ago. She was told they were working on a "paper" to hand out.
Keep in mind, this is over a month into the school year and a year and a half into the pandemic and they are still working on a paper that would provide the most basic information to handle situations they knew would occur and were planning for.
Who is working on this anyway?
So, back to the testing center. (This is from the back side.)
I took him this time. It's a contracted outfit and I have to say, staffed by the nicest people you can imagine.
Yep, I was surprised, too, but genuinely nice upbeat people, and efficient to boot.
Fortunately, we got the test back the very next day. It was negative again. My wife called Wednesday morning to once again inform the school. They had a question for her.
"Did you get the correct test?"
If you're wondering whether or not we were informed that we had to get a specific test, you already know the answer.
I imagine they'll be adding that to the informational paper they are not working on and that no one will ever see.
As it turned out, we got the right test!
Why my son was chosen, along with some others, is not clear. My son told me they take a picture of each classroom before instruction starts so they know who is sitting near whom. This does not account for the fact they all eat lunch together without masks, and wander crammed hallways between classes because no one really thinks any of this matters.
Regardless, my son was back at school and that is where our story ends.
Yep, it gets better.
A week later a letter arrived in the mail from the county's Public Health Division.
The envelope was innocuous enough so I assumed it was just some formality related to the Covid incident or perhaps another matter entirely.
I was wrong in a way that makes me wonder if it is ever possible to be cynical enough, because really, every time I think I've reached peak cynicism, life proves me wrong.
Here's the letter (redactions and highlighting are my own).
That's right, this letter they composed two days after his return to school, two weeks after the first kid was sent home, which itself was (as we later figured out) two days after he first exhibited symptoms, that then took a day to get in the mail and two days to arrive, was actually an urgent public health issue and I had to contact them immediately.
Why not just save a few bucks and wait until you have enough of these "urgent public health issues" so you can send them all at the bulk rate?
In fact, this experience makes me think I should probe my son some more on the active shooter drills they run. Do they all lock the doors to their classrooms, get on the floor, and send someone out to the mailbox to solicit help?
My curiosity was piqued now. I had to know what this was about, although I had my suspicions, what with my cynicism meter now pegged at 11.
So I called the number.
I got someone right away which should not be surprising given the urgency of the issue.
Unfortunately that person's job was only to take messages. I guess when lives are on the line and every second counts, you're going to want to make sure someone is at the ready, While-You-Were-Out Post-It Notes near at hand should they become necessary.
I did ask the message-taker what it was about. She said it usually had to do with a recent Covid situation, typically a school child, and that they would want to do contact tracing.
Two weeks after the event, and a week after my son was already back in school, they want me to start recounting his contacts.
Still, this crack team of contact tracers, intent on documenting my son's interactions , urgently got back to me… the next day.
They called twice, in fact, once in the morning and again in the afternoon, leaving messages both of which stressed that his was about "an urgent public health issue" and that I needed to contact them "immediately."
I did not return the calls. Since I didn't want my wife to be surprised when CNN showed up while a nearby FBI SWAT team patiently waited for them to get the lighting right, I told her she was free to call them back, but that I was not going to. She would have, too, but she's busy (truly) and I did not feel particularly compelled to remind her.
I haven't heard from them in five days.
It's episodes like these that absent knowing anything else, betrays the performative theater this has all become. I don't blame the county employees or the teachers (although I'd like to think they had something to say about all this internally) but it's a clown show, a farce, and an example of how unserious the powers that be are about this. It's the gaslighting of a nation.
I'd like to bypass the obvious Orwellian implications of it all and go old school, back to Shakespeare, who wrote in "As You Like It," Act II, Scene VII, that:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances.
There have been a number of takes on this. Oscar Wilde wrote,
The world is a stage, and the play is badly cast.
Allan Moore, in the novel, "V is for Vendetta, wrote,
All the world's a stage, and everything else is vaudeville.
To stick with the Shakespeare theme (because Shakespeare), I am also reminded of this passage from Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.
It is a tale,
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
I'm starting to think Shakespeare was badly in need of a hug.
In any case, Shakespeare may have captured modern life better than anyone.
I was at a ballgame recently. The man in front of me set off the metal detector. He told security that he had some metal implants in his leg and said it was fine if they wanted to wand him.
He was waived right on through.
We dutifully take our shoes off at airports, but can get exemptions using Pre-Check which is easily secured for a few bucks.
We make believe that loosely worn cloth masks protect us from a virus that can pass through them like a mosquito through a chain-link fence.
And we jump through a series of comically useless hoops that no one can possibly think accomplishes anything including those tasked with the job, every time a kid tests positive for an affliction that is less deadly to him than just about every other malady they encounter daily.
We are living Shakespeare's dystopian past in the present day.
All the world's a stage,
And we are the players,
Following a script written by idiots,
Full of sound and fury,
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