I could hardly believe my eyes and ears. After months of shaking my head and saying to myself (and others) “this doesn’t make sense. It makes no sense,” others are beginning to do the same and openly declaring some scientific truth in the discussion of Covid-19 and our unprecedented response to it. It strikes me a bit like the story of the emperor’s new clothes where people were hesitant to openly state the emperor had no clothes on for fear of being ostracized by their friends, colleagues, and family for going against the conventional opinions. I would say conventional wisdom but for the fact that true wisdom seems to have been sadly lacking in much of the discussion of the current pandemic and what to do about it.
We have been given basically two choices. One is to lockdown the country, socially distance everyone from children to the elderly, wear masks everywhere, and cower fearfully in this fashion until we are rescued by a vaccine. The second is to open up the country and risk millions of dead. To advocate the second choice was regarded as political suicide by politicians, professional suicide for clinicians, and social suicide for citizens. Those of us who claimed there was a better way were regarded as callous, cruel, even homicidal by some. To even suggest we allow herd immunity to develop was tantamount to saying we wanted to kill off the old and infirm, never mind that the lockdown has likely killed more people than the virus.