Would You Like A Cup Of Meek Tea With That?
Once we get this virus crisis behind us we maybe ought to stage a national competition. For the best recipe for humble pie.
Here is why I suggest this: Suppose you plaster your walls with news stories of the virus since January. You will have many hundreds of them.
The stories tell us what experts, doctors and politicians predicted. And declared. And assured. And warned. And cautioned. And ordered. And proclaimed. And believed, promised and decided.
As you examine them you will have to see an obvious pattern. That is that many of those birds were wrong. In fact, most of them were. Some by a little. Many by a mile.
We had the early prediction from a world-famous epidemiologist at a fancy university in Britain. His wonderful model had over 2 million Americans croaking. (I think he borrowed the model from Al Gore.) It was his prediction that frightened leaders into shutting down countries.
Other experts wielded other models. Theirs would also bury scary numbers of us here and elsewhere. They were mostly wrong.
Extreme optimists also got it wrong. They assured us only a handful of patients would die.
Meanwhile, experts told us we must close our economies. Must. And lately, keep them closed. While other experts told and tell us we are crazy to do so.
Some insist we open our parks but close our beaches. We should shutter restaurants and hairdressers but open flower shops. We should allow customers in big stores to buy bacon but not frypans.
People in the know told us these drugs might help virus patients. Others told us they would not. Docs promised remedies were on the way. Others scoffed at the idea.
In hospitals, doctors pumped oxygen into infected lungs. Other doctors claimed this killed more than it saved.
Doctors prayed for countless ventilators. So we geared up to make and distribute countless ventilators. But now, it seems, we don’t need so many.
Governor Cuomo claimed he would have thousands of bodies on his hands. He would, if he did not get many truckloads of ventilators. Never happened.
New York absolutely needed the good ship Hope. And desperately required an emergency hospital in the Javits Center. Without them New York would collapse. Ooops. It did not need either. The ship has sailed. The emergency hospital has folded. Both were barely used.
Americans, you don’t, don’t need to wear face masks. Americans, you must, must wear face masks. They are absolutely essential. Both these messages came from the same medical expert. His name is Dr. Fauci.
The virus is NOT a pandemic. NOT. It is only a regional problem. This, from the World Health Organization. The same outfit that needed another two months to see the obvious — that it was a world-wide pandemic.
WHO insisted it was stupid to limit travel. The virus was simply not that big a problem. Right.
WHO and the Chinese medicos told us the virus did not pass from human to human. Got that one woefully wrong too.
The virus travels from animals to humans. Or was it humans to animals? Whatever.
Stay at home! Save lives! Holed up in our homes, we now hear of big jumps in the number of suicides and drug overdoses.
Jail that hair dresser! To stop the spread of the virus. But free the violent criminals! To stop the spread of the virus.
And what about Sweden? It stayed mostly open and had much the same result as countries that closed. No it did not! Yes it did!
Keep schools closed into next year. But wait. Kids mostly shrug off the virus, don’t they? Keep our state sealed or cases will soar. But Georgia re-opened weeks ago and has not seen cases rise.
Dr. Fauci is a guru. All bow to the good doctor. Yeah, but Dr Fauci also made remarks that qualify him as a doofus.
Here is a brilliant idea. Let us force nursing homes to accept patients who are infected with the virus. Several thousand deaths later…
Dr. Fauci says the virus is not a threat and we should not worry about it. Dr. Fauci tells us the virus is a huge deal. And that we should worry, worry, worry.
What is the message in all this? It is that in many instances, experts and leaders don’t know what they are talking about.
I am not criticizing them. They simply lack sufficient data to pronounce, predict and declare. Ahhh, but the public demands they do so.
They are usually doing the best they can with the information they have. They are reluctant to say something that might alarm folks. Something like “How the hell should I know?” Or “We haven’t got a clue.” Or “We are poking around in the dark.”
The reality is that we are learning as we go. Nobody wants to admit that. To make such an admission would take a good dose of humility. A fat slice of humble pie.