Government is responsible for the impending financial implosion
PARIS -- When psychiatric patients are admitted to the hospital in hysteria, they're often placed in solitary confinement -- the proverbial "padded cell." Their exposure to external stimuli is tightly regulated. Supposedly, it gives them a sense of safety and reassurance that no harm can come to them while they're in there. It also minimizes hassle for the facility caused by their dependent.
Many of us are now being treated like psychiatric patients, forcibly locked in our homes. In some jurisdictions of France, drones and big data collection are being used to monitor compliance under threat of criminal sanctions. Neighbors are encouraged to call police to rat out those who take more than one time- and distance-limited walk alone outside per day.
While we're imprisoned indoors, we're bombarded with real-time government statistics chronicling every death attributed to one particular virus, Covid-19. Anyone who has worked with statistics knows how easily they can be manipulated. Testing volume can be ramped up or down. The testing mechanism itself involves a margin of error and can produce false positives or negatives. Mortality can be attributed to one or more factors.
Still, many people take data at face value, and it can even displace their own existential reality. Locked away along with this hysteria, people get the message from government that being "safe" at home is far more important than the financial destitution they face. Governments are using fear to buy themselves time to cover up their own incompetence.
The reason why you're locked at home with your financial survival at risk is because governments have absolutely no idea what they are doing. Until they can convince you otherwise, they figure that you're better off hiding out in terror, banned from gatherings of more than a few people, which conveniently would include any street protests against their rampant ineptitude.
The French government refused to cancel flights from China, the epicenter of the virus, until it was far too late, because government officials didn't want to seem racist. They told people that face masks are useless, even insulting our intelligence by telling us that we wouldn't know how to "properly" put one on because they didn't want to admit that they didn't have enough for everyone. Now, they panic over a shortage of masks and are ordering them by the millions. They told people to get out and mingle, vote, rally -- right up until it was time for nationwide house arrest.
While you're still too scared of illness to broach the topic of the government's exit strategy for allowing you to go back outside and back to work, officials are busy trying to improve their own images. Whether it's taking advantage of photo ops in front of makeshift hospitals, or playing "wartime" commander in chief by posing with troops, or giving speeches that drive totalitarian nails into the lockdown coffin, it's all supposed to convince you that they're confidently in charge. It's just a cover-up for the fact that none of them have a clue.
In a rare moment of candor during a press briefing last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted as much, saying of the lockdown strategy: "I don't even know that that was the best public health policy. Young people then quarantined with older people, [it] was probably not the best public health strategy."
Cuomo also mentioned the strategy of "risk stratification" developed by Dr. David Katz of Yale University: "Isolate people but really isolate the vulnerable people. Don't isolate everyone because some people, most people, are not vulnerable to it."
This approach would mitigate personal, national and global financial destitution for everyone -- not just the lucky few big players government chooses for economic survival. What it doesn't provide, however, is political cover for those in charge to say that they were as "strong" as possible in a crisis. Eventually, the hysteria will subside and people will start demanding reasons for their economic annihilation.
France, Italy, Spain and other nations that have adopted draconian lockdowns have yet to show any proof of effectiveness. One thing that's certain, however, is that a lot of people in these countries are going to be in dire financial straits in both the near term and long term. No one needs a predictive model to ascertain that.
Civil unrest is already brewing in Italy, and it's only a matter of time before it spreads. History shows that's generally what happens when people suffer under totalitarian measures, regardless of the justification for their implementation.
Our governments got us into this mess and continue to perpetuate it. They aren't going to solve it before people go broke. And we must never let them off the hook for their responsibility in the controlled implosion of our livelihoods.
(Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of an independently produced French-language program that airs on Sputnik France. Her website can be found at www.rachelmarsden.com.)