Pandemic Unmasks the Real Face of the State

Language is a marvelous thing. An individual word, rightly understood, is as distinct as an individual person; it has meaning, boundaries, denotation, connotation. Words taken together - language - is also quite marvelous, a thing to literally marvel at, as it has no central governing authority and is generally widely understood by all adherents. Language simply works through the sum of individual incentives to be understood.

Now to modern progressives (Marxist/Leninists/Maoists in reality) this is impermissible. Central authority, after all, anchors that faith. To them, words, like individual humans, are infinitely malleable; they can be tortured to mean whatever is politically expedient for the moment. They may then shed their old skin and become something else so as to conform to the next expediency. No problem there for progressives, hence the expression, “In war (or leftist agitation) the first casualty is language”. But we know all this. A current glaring example is the term “misinformation”, used to describe anything not strictly conforming to the party line as to any aspect of Covid. Examples abound, but are not the main point here.

When it comes to the Covid pandemic, casualties abound as well - linguistic of course but also human, reason, emotion, social. The latter, particularly is worthy of exploration and understanding. I found myself wondering why, for instance, there was such consternation regarding the wearing of face masks, social distancing, and vaccination. These actions serially represent increasing levels of intrusion of the state upon individual autonomy. They also occur in the context of metastasis of the state’s intrusion into ever more of what were formerly individual prerogatives. Citing ever more tenuous assertions of causation, the state has become accustomed to justifying most any infringement on individual rights for the purported “public good”. We have just about arrived at the point where we can expect a claim that because one exhales carbon dioxide, the state is empowered to regulate food intake (which determines to some extent the amount of CO2 produced) and breathing patterns of every individual. We are nearly there. I can almost hear the state justifying a CO2 tax on exhalation, reminding us we may inhale as much as we please, tax free! But all this is by way of background for the main inquiry. Why is there resistance to actions the state claims are attempts to contain the pandemic?

For starters, it is not clear to me, at least, that Covid is any more a pandemic than a virulent seasonal influenza epidemic. All kinds of official claims in this regard have been made to justify massive increases in state authority and power. The reportage is surely different than for influenza, but is the actual symptomatic case rate truly indicative of a pandemic? Is the actual excess mortality greater? Contrary to a longstanding principle of epidemiology, what is called a Covid “case” now includes not only sick people with symptoms, but those with NO symptoms but having a positive PCR test (whose false positive rate is easily increased, hence easily manipulated, by more amplification cycles); this is a radical departure and dramatically overstates the number of people actually sick with Covid (those pesky words again - a “case” is now equivalent to the result of a lab test on a patient with no symptoms whatsoever). At worst, the fatalities are of the same order of magnitude - the case fatality rates for both Covid and influenza are in the vicinity of 1% or less. So, the answer to the question of whether this is a pandemic or not - is at least arguable; Covid, after all, doesn’t kill 50% like Ebola. It is clear that Covid has unmasked the state’s already growing but previously somewhat stealthy practice of extending its authority on any pretext - and here it is asserting authority to define reality. With Google’s, Twitter’s and Facebook’s aiding and abetting, the state stifles any dissenting view through various subterfuges like demotion of search results, silencing, censoring or shadow banning tweets or simply de-platforming those who dare dissent from the party line. This includes silencing renowned experts in fields of epidemiology, virology, immunology for the slightest deviations from the latest received wisdom.

Let’s consider masks objectively for a moment. Any viral respiratory disease requires a certain inoculum of viral particles to enter the host for an infection to occur. How many particles are required varies tremendously and is a function of the kind of virus and the particular strain or mutation. Thus, successful infection for any viral infection is a phenomenon of dosage. It is not an all or none phenomenon, where the entry of one particle equals infection with with the disease. For example, influenza infection can occur with as few as 10 viral particles, while most viral diseases require thousands of virions to enter the body of the host. Thus, it is rational to employ strategies to reduce the probability of either inhaling virus (prospective hosts) or adding them to the indoor air (by those already infected). Ergo, masks - even if they catch only some proportion of the virions in question - tend to reduce the number of particles shed by those infected and also to limit the number inhaled by potential hosts. In passing, it is worth noting that the majority of viral particles shed by infected individuals are exhaled not as individual virions, but rather attached to airborne mucous droplets of various sizes; these are far more likely to be filtered by masks than are individual viral particles. A third, independent variable is air exchange in volumes of air containing viral particles. High-turnover of indoor air reduces the likely inoculum by dilution compared to low-turnover indoor air. It is therefore objectively substantially likely that mask wearing would reduce spread of disease to some extent. That fact, in the context, again, of this being Covid (< 1% mortality) and not Ebola ( ~50% mortality) for example, says the state’s claim of power to compel masks for the “public good” is tenuous, indeed. The case for compulsion is far too weak to overcome the presumption that the fundamental human value of autonomy ought to leave the question of whether or not to wear a mask in the hands of individuals.

The problem with reason in this case, though, is that we live in a society where the state has so squandered its moral authority by its constant coercions, compulsions, bans, lockdowns, and nit-picking rules, that most citizens have become numb to what state functionaries like to call ‘nudges’ (but are really bludgeons). As if this weren’t enough, when it comes to masks, increasingly-incredible officials have reversed themselves repeatedly. If we aren’t sick with Covid, we are surely all sick of them and their incoherent and unpersuasive commands. Regardless of the propriety of the their commands, then, is it any surprise that many now say, “Hell No! I’ve had enough of your commands”!

How about vaccinations? A similar phenomenon is at work with policy changes, propaganda, and censorship of anything but the party line rubrics. The fact is that mRNA vaccines are a great long-term unknown. It is well understood that RNA, under certain circumstances, can gain access to the cell nucleus and be incorporated into the DNA of the genome of various tissues via reverse transcriptase. How likely this is, I do not know, but when a billion or so people are on the receiving end of such a vaccine, statistically there are bound to be some unintended consequences. Time will tell. And again, authorities regularly deny there are any unintended consequences of any of their oh-so-enlightened and benevolent policies. Any wonder, then, many believe themselves justified in saying under the Constitutional right of privacy as sanctified by Roe v. Wade, that “my person, my body, is as sacrosanct as the womb of a “birthing person””. Surely a Constitutional right cannot depend on the organ or the sex in question. Again, the state’s claim that the “public good” grants power to force vaccination is increasingly tenuous. This fact is daily becoming clearer; growing experience demonstrates the limited effectiveness of the vaccines in actually preventing infection and spread. Duration of whatever limited effectiveness exists is now measured in months, not years and “fully vaccinated” is a moving language goalpost.

The bottom line, as I see it, is that reasonable people of good will could differ as to whether or not to wear masks or receive vaccinations. The assessment of risk vs. benefit might be different were we dealing with a 50% mortality rate, but we are not. The greater danger, without a doubt, is the aggrandizement of the state. The state shows almost daily that it is more than willing to distort words and existing state institutions (like the Dep’t of “justice” (sic), fbi (sic), and the irs (sic), so as to propagandize and terrorize ordinary citizens who speak out on most any topic with unapproved words. In short, the tyrannical, totalitarian face of what was once a decent and limited form of government has been thoroughly unmasked by (what some have called) this “plan-demic”, and can be seen to be the metastatic cancer on society - and citizens in particular - that it has become in the past few decades.

Ben Franklin, asked whether the US was a monarchy or a republic, answered in the contingent - “A republic, IF you can keep it”. It is clear we haven’t kept it. The mask worn by this nation whose promise has been betrayed for the last 100 years or so has surely slipped; for all who care to see, its bare face is revealed and it is ugly, indeed.


One of the interesting features of the CovidScam has been the willingness of Karens (male as well as female) to act as unpaid enforcers. While some of them are the Usual Suspects, most of them seem to be genuinely living in terror of the dreaded virus. They probably watch too much TV news and spend too much time on “social” media – the vectors of the real disease of fear.

The UK invented “Operation Fear”, using the power of willing media to spread what at best could be described as very biased & incomplete information. The first outing was opposition to Scottish independence – narrowly successful. The second was opposition to Brexit – a narrow failure. Now we have the global CovidScam, which would have to be acknowledged as a major success in societal manipulation.

The Powers That Be are improving at using these techniques. They won’t stop. The CovidScam will not be the last Operation Fear. Eventually, reality will intrude and put an end to this – but that won’t be pleasant.


Here is a great essay by Bruce Thornton (who is always excellent). His discussion of degradation of language is broader and more compelling than mine.

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