Friday, August 7, 2020

COVID-19 is the New "Climate Change"

Hands up if you suspect the Venn Diagram of people who demand you wear a mask and people who won’t let you use a plastic straw is a single circle.

You have seen this before: Some scarcity or crisis arises, and with it come people who insist the only intelligent, humane response is to do exactly as they say.

Anyone who disagrees or hesitates to comply is, ipso facto, an idiot who hates planet Earth.

I rise on behalf of the idiots to propose that we take the condemnations as read and consider the pattern.

For a time, we had a name for those who, with impressive confidence and a dearth of humility, suppose every issue requires their intervention and authority.

It is unfortunate to see people who know better feign identity politics outrage at the term “Karen” and attempt to place it beyond the pale as a sexist and racist slur (the “K-word”?).

To be a Karen has nothing to do with race, and indeed Karens need not be female.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, for example, is a straight-up Karen, as is New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Likewise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore are Climate Karens.

Perhaps the mightiest Karen of all is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spent three terms going about the five boroughs minding everyone else’s business.

Karens are those for whom nothing can simply be permitted; everything must be mandatory or forbidden.

They are the wokescolds, the tone police, and, in their latest incarnation, they are the “wear the damn mask” bandits.

For such people, the stakes are low but the dudgeon is always high.

Caldwell’s Law, which I believe I just invented, states that the more politicized a crisis becomes, the less dangerous the crisis truly is.

This is why you see celebrities taking private jets to climate conferences so they can debate whether you and your family should be allowed to fly to Disney World.

None of them truly believes we are one SUV away from seeing birds burst into flames in midair. If they did, they would behave accordingly.

Similarly, this is why you see Dr. Anthony Fauci, who avers we must all wear masks and never shake hands again, peel off his own mask whilst sitting directly beside people at a Major League Baseball game.

For these people, the threat that defines them is not real. The only real thing is power.

I care deeply about our planet, and so do you. Pollution and waste trouble us. And yet you and I both know we are many years past when we were told there would be no more glaciers, polar bears, or Klondike Bars.

Moreover, we have lived long enough to see that the vaunted models of what would happen to the Earth’s temperature never came close to the truth. We don’t want to fight about it, but we have eyes.

By the same token, we don’t want to see anyone get sick and die, particularly if there is something we can do to prevent it.

And yet, we see that our initial fears about the mortality rate of COVID-19 were exaggerated and, as with climate models, predictions of death totals were wildly overstated.

We have also achieved a solid understanding of who is most at risk: the elderly, and those confined to hospitals and nursing homes. Younger people and those outdoors, with a witheringly small number of exceptions, risk no worse than a passing, flu-like illness.

But even as these facts range further from dispute, calls for control of the population, closing schools indefinitely, and shuttering society become more forceful and shrill.

Caldwell’s Law strikes again. As an intensely politicized issue of which no one maintains a genuine fear, the COVID-19 hysteria is climate change redux, only now it is literally on your face.

By the time something occurs to me, I find millions of people already thought of it. Much has been said of that moment when regular people – defined here as those who simply want to go about their lives, with no agenda to control the lives of others – have had enough. It strikes me that such a moment may have arrived.

Having grown tired of being insulted, threatened, and bossed around, I wonder if we are done. We were good sports for awhile, but have we missed enough weddings and funerals, birthdays and graduations, that we are ready to take back our lives?

Theo Caldwell wanted to be left alone. Contact him at