The Virus that Keeps on Giving: A Plague of Biblical Proportions
Covid was a godsend to the Woke. It provided both the community-forging epic battle and a rich source of ritual. The world at large suffered on the altar of the young faith of Wokeism.
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For the Woke, Covid was a godsend. Or rather, it would have been a godsend had Wokeism conceded the existence of a god. Given that few of the Woke are willing to do so, and that even fewer accept the notion of a sentient god capable of giving things, the arrival of Covid necessitated a somewhat different metaphor. Perhaps it was merely the gift that kept on giving. Either way, Covid provided Wokeism with two things central to the emergence and spread of a young faith: a community-forging epic and a rich source of ritual.
The epic part is clear. To the Woke, Covid was a plague of Biblical proportions. Only through the concerted effort of noble bureaucrats and credentialed experts—the primary fonts of Woke wisdom and morality—were we able to defeat it. The experience did more than demonstrate the inherent virtue and Truth of Wokeism. It forged a community of the Woke. We were all in it together! Those of us who FOLLOWED THE SCIENCE made it through unscathed. The skeptics and deniers fared poorly. Mississippi and Alabama—two of the least Woke states—posted the highest number of Covid deaths per million! The Science is Great!
Of course, not only was Covid not a plague of Biblical proportions, it never threatened to become one. Early worst-case scenarios operating with weak data and unrealistic assumptions—say, the famous Imperial College Model of early 2020—projected that 4% of those infected would die. While that’s a staggering number—particularly if applied to the global population of over eight billion—a bit of perspective is in order. Europe’s last major bubonic plague outbreak wiped out 25% of London in less than six months in 1665. And if you want to get literally Biblical, the tenth plague eliminated every first-born Egyptian male.
Perhaps more to the point, the 4% forecast was an entirely unrealistic, absolute worst-case prediction of what might happen it the world ignored the virus entirely. Anyone with any background in data integrity and statistical modeling—even without specific knowledge of epidemiology—could have poked enormous holes in the model (as many of us did). Marginal improvements to the model and modest mitigation efforts would have brought the projections, and more importantly the actual numbers, far lower; the Great Barrington Declaration pointed the way.
The truth was known early on. There were clear categories of vulnerability for which the infection-fatality rate might have reached 4%. For the population at large the rate was well below 1%. For otherwise healthy children it was statistically indistinguishable from zero. No matter. Wokeism needed a plague of epic proportions, so a plague of epic proportions Covid became. Polls repeatedly show that among the most Woke communities, perceptions of the death rates were orders of magnitude greater than reality. Governments around the world declared emergencies, suspended rights, imposed discriminatory rules, coerced vaccinations, and incarcerated citizens.
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