Last week, I dusted off my Chinese-flu soapbox and said a word or two about (cue the scary music) the Omicron variant. It sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, doesn’t it? A friend told me about a parlor game that the journalist Christopher Hitchens and his pals used to play in which the object was to contrive names for Shakespeare’s plays that sounded like the title of a Ludlum novel. Hamlet was “The Elsinore Conundrum.” I am sorry that Hitch is not still with us to try his hand at the Omicron variant.
So far, I have to say, it’s been pretty much of a dud—unless, that is, you’re the stock market, which has taken a beating this last week or so, in part because of this new kid on the medical block (there is also that much more toxic financial emergency, the Biden Administration, but that’s for another day). The new variant has also been a godsend for scolds, nags, bureaucrats, and meddlesome so-called public health officials nannies who are just itching for another excuse to lock down your world, introduce new travel restrictions, and impose new testing protocols.
The only grocery store in Point Roberts, Washington, will be forced to close if travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada aren’t lifted by July 15, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Point Roberts Marketplace store owner Ali Hayton said the market relies on shoppers who haven’t been able to visit for more than 15 months and that government assistance did little to help the struggling shop, the AP reported. The store received two loans from federal pandemic relief programs, though the funds were used in a week.
“Now that I see that there is absolutely no end in sight, I can’t do it anymore,” Hayton said, according to the AP. “I cannot financially keep subsidizing all of this by myself.”
The last 14 months elevated a global group of intellectuals and bureaucrats about which most people had previously cared very little. Among them, the ones who believe least in freedom entrenched their power, thanks to a big push by the lavishly funded but largely discredited World Health Organization.
The WHO tapped an “independent panel” (the fix was already in: the panel’s head is former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark) to figure out what the world did right and did wrong in response to Covid-19. The final report has all the expected verbiage about the needs for more global coordination and largesse going to public health.
The key conclusion follows:
“Every country should apply non-pharmaceutical measures systematically and rigorously at the scale the epidemiological situation requires, with an explicit evidence-based strategy agreed at the highest level of government…”
Not too long ago, a good friend of mine took umbrage at a Facebook post that compared a proposed “vaccination passport” to the requirement that Jews in Nazi Germany carry papers identifying them as such. As a Jew, my friend argued that such a comparison trivialized the horrors of the Nazi regime that culminated in the Holocaust.
My friend’s objection was justified. But this same individual has not hesitated to join the president of the United States in comparing the recent Georgia voting law to Jim Crow. Anyone who makes such a claim has no idea of what Jim Crow entailed. Second only to slavery, the Jim Crow era represents the darkest period in U.S. racial history, far darker than Reconstruction or the decade that followed.
Indeed, the racial oppression, segregation, and violence that prevailed throughout the South during the era of Jim Crow in many respects exceeded that of the period of slavery. At least during slavery, there were free blacks in the South who, while denied most civil rights, were protected by laws that left them free to go about their business unmolested and did not prevent commercial interactions between the races.
The State Department is expanding the “Do Not Travel” guidelines for U.S. citizens to include nearly 80% of countries because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency announced Monday.
The travel advisories will be updated to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health notices as travelers are at risk because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department said in a statement.
“This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the department said in a statement.