Monkey see, monkey do. Governments locked down for no better reason than because other governments did too.
A mystery for months is how it is that so many governments in so many different places on earth could have adopted the same or very similar preposterous policies, no matter the threat level of the virus, and without firm evidence that interventions had any hope of being effective.
In the course of two weeks, traditional freedoms were zapped away in nearly all developed countries. In a seriously bizarre twist, even the silliest policies replicated themselves like a virus in country after country.
For example, you can’t try on clothing in a store in Texas or in Melbourne, or in London or in Kalamazoo. What’s with that? We know that the COVID bug is least likely to live on fabrics unless I have symptoms of it, sneeze on my handkerchief and then I stuff it in your mouth. The whole thing is a ridiculous mysophobic overreach, like most of the rules under which we live.
Then there was the inside/outside confusion. First everyone was forced indoors and people were arrested for being outdoors. Later, once restaurants started opening, people were not allowed indoors so eating establishments scrambled to make outdoor dining possible. Are we supposed to believe that the virus lived outside for a while but then later moved inside?
Or these curfews. So many places have them despite a complete absence of evidence that COVID spread prefers the night to the day. I guess the real point is to put a stop to revelry that might bring people together in a fun way? It’s like all our governments decided on the same day that COVID spreads through smiles and fun, so we have to banish both.
In Sydney and Los Angeles, and also in Detroit and Miami, you need to wear a mask when you walk in a restaurant but not when you sit. And this 6-foot rule is highly suspect too. It seems to imply that if you get too close to each other, COVID spontaneously appears. At least people seem to believe that.
Australia, in its way, even created a slogan and a jingle to go with it. “Staying Apart Keeps Us Together,” says Orwell, I mean, Victoria.
Socially distance! Don’t be a silent spreader! Even though the largest study yet has shown that “asymptomatic cases were least likely to infect their close contacts.” Which is to say, this is mostly nonsense.
In most places too, you have to quarantine two weeks when you arrive from afar, even though it is rare that the virus incubation period is that long. The mean period is 6 days, perhaps, which is what one would expect from a coronavirus like the common cold.
Oh, and in department stores, you can’t spray perfume to try it out, because surely that spreads COVID – not. Except that there is not one shred of evidence that there is any truth to this. This one seems completely made up, though it is widely imposed.
The list goes on. The bans of gatherings over 50 outdoors and 25 indoors, the closures of gyms at a time when people need to be getting healthy, the shutting of theaters and bowling alleys but the keeping open of big-box stores – these policies are as ubiquitous as they are unsupported by any science. And we’ve known this for many months, ever since the media meltdown over Florida Spring Break ended up in zero fatal cases contracted at the revelry.
The worst case is school closings. They were shut down at the same time all over the world, despite evidence available since at least January that the threat to children is nearly zero. Yes, they do get COVID almost entirely asymptomatically, which is to say they do not get “sick” in the old-fashioned sense of that term. What’s more, they are highly unlikely to spread it to adults precisely because they do not have symptoms. This is widely admitted.