The Covid-19 pandemic has been a bureaucrat's wet dream

Regulations to issue. Guidances to promulgate. Manuals to draft. Conduct to control. Codes to enforce. Forms to sign. Committees to organize. Mandates to decree. Expectations to lower. Businesses to stifle. Jobs to kill. Fear to spread.

Bureaucrats are having a field day, busily molding directives out of piles of nonsense, as never before. Whoever in his right mind a couple of years ago would have thought that Americans would willingly take the advice of bureaucrats who “recommend” that we must show our Covid-19 vaccination “passports” to move around town, attend a sports event or travel domestically?

Or–remember this?–require that Americans must not leave their homes? Ooooh, that must have prompted happy endings in bureaucratic offices around the country.

Bureaucrats are all over, not just in government, but also in corporations, religious and non-profit institutions, athletic organizations and wherever two or more people are gathered. So many share a gawd-awful, smarter-than-thou conviction that they’re corralling us for our own good.

Even though I’m living in a free state called Florida, I was starkly reminded of bureaucratic power last week when we went to the Amateur Athletic Union’s junior girls volleyball national championships in Orlando.

We were required to sign a “waiver and release” to get in. If you read it here, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this was written by a lawyer/bureaucrat straight out of short-story writer Franz Kafka’s descriptive nightmare of “incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers.”

That qualified us (after buying tickets) to wear a wrist band confirming our membership in the herd. Next we had to show a picture ID at a table of inquisitors in order to proceed to the next station at the top of the escalators, where a sign informed us that he had to show the wristband again.

Onto the floor of the gigantic Orlando convention center where girls were competing on more than 60 volleyball courts. Thousands of people sitting, standing and playing next to each other. Of course, some players and spectators were wearing masks, as required by some anonymous but all-knowing bureaucrat. Instead of the competing teams hand-slapping as was the custom, the bureaucrat required that the girls instead wave at each other from opposite sides of the court. Can’t touch hands, you know, because of the (unscientific) fear that the girls will transmit the virus to one another–even though they’ll all touching and slapping the same ball for hours on end.

Social distancing as practiced at the AAU junior girls volleyball championships in Orlando.

What motivates bureaucrats? Here I suggest Barton Swaim’s Wall Street Journal essay, “Why Shutdowns and Masks Suit the Elite.” I’m not sure he’s got the right answer, but it’s worth a read. He writes:

Is the benefit of not contracting Covid-19 worth the cost of going without the bodily presence of, say, one’s children and grandchildren for months on end? Put that way, I suspect most Americans’ answers would range from “probably not” to “hell, no.” But in 2020 public-health experts and their defenders in the media proceeded as though “yes” were the only conceivable answer. That suggests our cultural elites and policy makers haven’t thought deeply, or at all, about what the human person is. 

His explanation is thoughtful and complex, sometimes challenging to follow. But it’s easy to understand what he says are the costs of the failure to involve “what the human person is”:

…the bizarre and at times perverse response of prosperous Western nations to the pandemic: the long discontinuation of economic life, the belief that pixelated screens can facilitate human relationships, the prohibitions on ordinary social interactions, the fetishization of masks. These policies and practices weren’t handed down from the ether by Reason and Science but bore the weight of contemporary assumptions about…what it means to be human.

Precisely said. In setting down their dictates, bureaucrats who have taken over our lives for the past year and a half have either forgotten or ignored what it means to be human.

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Tags: COVID-19

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  • Barton Swaim? Another Right-wing guy who is not an epidemiologist who shares your opinion. Get real.

    Let's see. Dr. Fauci or Barton Who? Which one should we believe?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I believe Fauci when he told us in Jan 2020 that Covid would not be bad and not to worry and not to wear a mask. Then I believe Fauci when he says that Covid is the new Black Death and to wear two masks.

    Then I believe Fauci in 2015 when he said that Hydroxiclorquin works against SARS and then I believe Fauci when he says in 2020 that it does not.

    Fauci has lied about the virus, its origin, and its seriousness since the start. HE is responsible for gain-of-function capability for C-19. He should be tried for crimes against humanity. For the HCQ alone.

  • Richard, to be fair, you should fact check before you unleash an attack against the inestimable Dr. Fauci.

    Early on, Dr. Fauci did underestimate the seriousness of Covid-19 but each time he did he cautioned that things can change as we learn more about how it spreads, etc.

    In 2005, not 2015, Fauci was talking about a different drug, Chloroquin and the possible use of it against Sars, a far less serious virus than Covid-19.

    Fauci has not lied about Covid-19. To accuse him of lying in writing is, to say the least, unjustified, and in a court of law, libelous.

    The rest of your last paragraph is sheer nonsense.

  • Fauci's emails prove that he was lying. Just as he lied about HIV thirty years ago, with his unfounded dire predictions that it would decimate the heterosexual population.

    Further, his department is responsible for allowing grants through a third party organization to study gain of function at the Wuhan labs.

    He is a self-serving, smarmy criminal, whose ties to Big Pharma have led him to huge profits and unconscionable conflicts of interest.

    You would do well, Jerry, to look beyond the Google search for your information, as the same Big Tech colluded with Fauci during this last year.

  • Franz Kafka and wet dream in the same post. Surreal.

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