A Must Battle for 2024

If you expect a post dealing with the upcoming mid-terms, forget it. With less than a week to go, if people continue to support the most incompetent administration since Buchanan, nothing I can say now will change minds. I’ve given chapter and verse of Biden and his friend’s ability to screw up everything. Either the administration, with the all-out support of its media allies, gets two more years of total government control or common sense prevails. With millions of people already voted, it’s time to move on. 

While not the central issue in this election, one problem is increasingly coming to the forefront, the utter failure of our public K-12 education system. Parents observed the performance of public school systems during the pandemic and didn’t care for what they saw. The lack of in-person learning and perceived indoctrination led Glenn Youngkin’s surprise gubernatorial win in Virginia. 

The N.A.E.P.’s national assessment confirmed the worst fears of parents. Our kid’s lost substantial ground during the pandemic. If not made up, kids not learning to read or do the math properly may never catch up. Of course, this deficit falls hardest among those already in challenging circumstances.

Learning loss is evident in those losing the most in-person schooling. Public schools, both traditional and charter, were more likely to be remote. On the other hand, Catholic and other private schools were mostly open. The latter group lost little, if any, ground: 

The Swedish experience shows school closures were unjustified and keeping them shut unnecessarily. The Swedes, following the data, refused to close their K-12 schools. This courageous stand resulted in no learning loss.

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Not Enough of a Skeptic

As we now know, mRNA Cvid vaccines don’t prevent transmission. Vaccinated people can both spread and get Covid. At a recent E.U. Covid hearing, a Phizer representative admitted the company never tested their vaccine for transmission prevention. Call me naive, but I thought the vaccine, when approved, protected against both.

There was no basis for this delusion. Why was there all the talk about vaccine passports and gatherings of any size demanding proof of vaccination? Mandates became widespread. Remember Pres. Biden’s “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated?” If the vaccines fail to block transmission, How could we be so misled?

Our experience with smallpox and other vaccines is they protect us against getting and spreading disease. It’s why I went to great lengths to get poked ASAP. After all, people over 65 made up three-quarters of Covid deaths. My wife and I being in our 80s are prime targets. When it proved impossible to make an appointment online, I called our County supervisor’s office. Realizing our plight, they found us spots clear across the Valley of the Sun. We were thrilled. We would be safe, and others safe around us.

While some people noticed a lack of test results on vaccine effectiveness against transmission, the government and media establishment labeled them “vaccine skeptics.” Evens though we observed “breakthrough ” infections and spread among the vaccinated, the push to vaccinate everyone, including children, became almost universal.

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Covid’s Past May Dominate the Future

The media theme is that mistakes made at the beginning of the Covid Pandemic resulted from poor information. The Fauci bunch and the Blue States were right about the excessive lockdowns. As we received better data, we made the proper adjustments. It’s better to be safe than sorry. A few cranks opposed these actions, but they ignored the science. Dr. Fauci even stated he represents science. Don’t hold them responsible for out-of-control inflation and a generation of schoolchildren’s lost learning. They were following the science.

Readers of my series on Covid (available here) know this is bull. There was a vast gulf in the scientific and medical communities over the proper Covid response. Just read the Great Barrington Resolution. Almost a million people signed it. These were primarily doctors and scientists. By March 2020, it was well-known that COVID-19’s mortal danger increased with age.

To many, this meant centering efforts on the most vulnerable and going on with life with reasonable precautions. For instance, there was no reason to close K-12 schools. Sweden never closed down. It kept these schools open. Others in Europe soon followed. 

Even though seven states never closed down, Florida’s opening soon after received the most negative attention. Characterizing Governor Ron DeSantis as “The Angel of Death” appeared across the media. He ignorantly ignored the science. 

At the same time, they idealized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom for their enlightened Covid policies. The media drew the line. Those failing to follow these two were out of step with science.

Fast forward to today. California, for the first time in history, is losing its population. Gov. Cuomo is out of a job due to his failings, but not before we discovered his reinserting covid positive patients back in nursing homes.

By any measure, Florida recorded a Covid Era performance superior to California and New York. While many attribute DeSantis’ success to luck, anyone who took the time to look, knows he studied the data and made proper decisions based on what he and his people found. He set up lifesaving infusions centers across Florida before anyone else even thought about their value. 

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Returning To A World Of Woe

On the third try, we finally took an Iceland cruise. The island lies closer to Europe, so we had several fellow passengers from the British Isles and the continent. Brits, especially, always are eager to talk. While we in the U.S. have increasing doubts about our institutions, Brits have similar concerns. The response to the covid pandemic is primarily to blame. The question on both sides of the pond was a complete shutdown necessary.

Readers know where I’ve stood on this issue since the series on Covid started in March of 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially favored an approach akin to Sweden’s; protect the at risk as much as possible but maintain everyday life. The dire predictions by the Imperial College echoed by the government’s medical establishment panicked Johnson into a reversal.

The same thing happened to Donald Trump. The funding of massive disruptions with vast public expenditure undertaken by both governments. Now we are evaluating the lost years due to our institutional actions. Did we follow the data? Were there better alternatives? It’s good to know we aren’t alone in our inquiry.

The astonishing reports on our loss in life expectancy and our children’s education greeted us on our return. No longer can we ignore the poor path our government elites lead us down. Indeed, a soul-searching dive into the many agreeing on courses of action with disastrous results is mandatory.

Instead, we see the same elites claiming we didn’t know what to do. Only later did we realize schools presented little Covid danger, and older vulnerable are more likely to die. Now we know we protect the at risk and go about our business. The latest CDC advisory is the opposite of the lockdown strategy. Has Covid gone away? It’s spreading, but nobody except China wants to repeat the lockdown foolishness. 

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A Little Respect for Older People

It’s nice to know President Biden had lifesaving Paxlovid as soon as he tested positive for Covid. Of course, President Trump got lifesaving infusions when he had Covid symptoms. Good for them. The reality for other people their age or older is quite different. The Trump Infusions became functionally available only after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis set up centers across his state. Observing Florida’s success in saving lives, other states followed. However, almost a year elapsed after Trump’s treatment before these centers opened.

Even though Paxlovid was approved last December, until recently has been challenging to obtain. Horror stories of people traveling great distances to fill a Paxlovid prescription abound. Things are better, but you still have to check around to find it.

For the average person, this may not seem like a significant problem. For octogenarians like my wife and I, it is a matter of life or death. Four out of five covid deaths occur over 65.

Maybe you can understand my dismay when I asked my doctor for Paxlovid to have for an overseas trip where the drug was unavailable and turned down. No prescription until you test positive. The drug may conflict with other medications.

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