A Matter of Trust

Billy Joel has a song on his album, The Bridge. “A Matter of Trust.” When the Covid-19 fiasco comes to a close, as it will eventually, two lines in that song will sum up what happened to governments, NGOs, government agencies, many large corporations, and thousands of people.

“I’ve lived long enough to have learned

The closer you get to the fire, the more you get burned”

Through the fog now, we can see the outline of the lies, the mistakes, the propaganda, and the outright treachery. We’ll know more before long

In the beginning.

Politicians turned to their health departments instead of to their emergency management departments. Health specialists may have impressive credentials, they may have the best intentions, they may be the hardest working and most caring, but they don’t have training in managing an emergency on a society-wide scale.

Decades ago, Richard Feynman pointed out two aspects of that condition.

  1. A scientist thinking about non-scientific things is just as dumb as the next guy.”
  2. “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t correct those mistakes, you’re doing it really wrong. If you can’t accept that you’re mistaken, you’re not doing it at all.”

Politicians abdicated leadership and turned responsibility over to someone else lest the fallout land on them. They chose the health folks because “It’s a disease, isn’t it?” While superficially true, the initial problem was not the disease but what to do about it. There is a difference. You must notice that medicine is not good at instant solutions, and so, the wrong choice.

Why emergency management is different.

Virology, epidemiology, and immunology are highly skilled specialties but are unsuitable for implementing a crisis response.

What does such a person know about PPE suppliers, equipment suppliers, delivery times, inventories and disposition to where needed?

In the beginning, what should they have learned and applied?

Procedures matter more than knowledge. Stratification of risk. Like triage in the emergency room. A rudimentary examination of events in Italy eight weeks earlier would have told them older people, with co-morbidities, in institutions were immensely at risk and people under sixty seemed unharmed. A competent emergency measures action would have been to deal with the most significant risks first.

Global one-size solutions are academic not real world.

  • Should schools shut down? Not likely. Few octogenarians there.
  • Should most businesses be shuttered? No. Minimal risk there.
  • What was flattening the curve about? Pretty much an indication of inadequate facilities for a problem that was clearly visible beforehand. In the past decade, how many people said we have a problem if we face a pandemic? Did anyone listen? Sure, many went ” tsk, tsk.” and then did nothing.

Nice is not an advantage in an emergency.

  • Should we have shipped PPE to China before we knew if we needed it? I doubt it.

The next step.

We have well-meaning but situationally untrained people making decisions without attention to the way the virus has presented elsewhere. We have politicians running power grabs and alternate agendas. We have citizens doing their part. Maybe okay, we expected mistakes. Were they corrected promptly? No, they were not. You can tell that easily. Was the second shutdown materially different from the first?

By autumn 2020 most people were aware that no one had a clue what to do or why. Did they ask competent logisticians to help? No. They hoped the untried and unproven vaccine would solve everything. It has unquestionably helped, but it is a non-sterilizing vaccine, so it does not prevent illness, but it does minimize the effects of infection. More of a therapeutic than a vaccine.

What happens when the vaccines appear? The solution lives! Great cheering and waving of arms.

That worked for a while, but then they went to a campaign of propaganda and outright lies. People who have already proved themselves unreliable created and maintained fear so people would do as they’re told. Fear sells.

What is the mortality rate? For people under sixty, it is about 5 in 100,000. When they tell you the mortality is much higher than that, they compare deaths to confirmed cases. A foolish metric and easily tested. If you test all the people for antibodies, you will find that there are a great many people who have had the disease and were unaffected. So instead of mortality at 2%, it is more like 0.005%. That is not fearsome enough for the politicians who cannot afford to look stupid. They must promote fantasies that support their agenda.

Sell more fear. Demonize those who disagree. Hope for a miracle that will bail the politicians out.


Twisted logic

“It’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated” is the battle cry. That alone tells you they are trying to manipulate us. How can an unvaccinated person be the cause of the problem? Unvaccinated people are far more at risk from the vaccinated. If I’m vaccinated and the vaccine works, why would I care if you are unvaccinated and presenting no symptoms? The number of people in hospital with Covid is about equally divided between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

Why should you vaccinate people who have already had the disease and have superior antibodies? No vaccine is without risks. Why would they accept that risk for no advantage?

You don’t have to mandate vaccines if vaccines are safe, work, and the information about them is communicated reasonably. Either the entire public health field has communicated the benefits poorly, or the vaccines don’t work. Or maybe they aren’t as safe as they say. The only way to get people to use them then is to order them to do so.

To be charitable, I will assume poorly communicated instead of tyranny. Given the health establishment’s earlier practice with the need for lockdowns and masks, we could expect inept.

The reality we will carry forward.

Have you noticed that if someone tricks you, you don’t trust them again? That means few will trust governments in the future. For at least a generation, maybe two. Governing is a matter of trust. Many actions are both necessary and unpopular. When you have little credibility, you must use power instead of trust. Government power is the opposite of individual freedom. Are you sure you want to have people with little experience in the real world telling you what to do? Easier to accept if they were not smug and arrogant.

What are the consequences? 

  • Amongst people who pay attention, the CDC and FDA have almost no remaining credibility. That will hurt us in the future. People who lie or exaggerate are not believable even when they tell the truth. How helpful will FDA and CDC be in that situation? Properly led, they supply valuable and needed expertise and guidance. As they are now, no one listens.
  • If people mistrust one thing, they question everything similar. Vaccine hesitancy will be a problem. Never mind the new, how do you help people understand proven vaccines are safe and effective? There is a cost to that. Fewer people will use vaccines.
  • Agencies and departments of the government have decided to follow the money. Regardless of how foolish an edict is, have you seen anyone criticizing government rhetoric? No, you have not because the money would stop, or they would get fired.
  • Do you think vaccine providers may have influenced the politicians to promote the need for a mandate, a booster, probably boosters for life, and the vaccine for children who have nearly zero risk? I don’t know if they have, but the providers would have to be stupid not to have tried. There’s huge money to be made.

The biggest mistake and the most unforgivable

How much effort early went into treatment protocols? Nearly none. I don’t know much about medicine, but in sports, the rule is “Stop the bleeding before you try come from behind and win.” If you are down two goals, keeping it from getting to three is step one. Clawing your way back is step two. The pandemic response was to avoid therapeutics, seemingly at any cost. Deny doctors the right to prescribe things that might work based on their experience. Demand compliance to the narrative. How does that inform proper action, or minimize the consequences?

Minimizing innovation and exchange of information in a serious and previously unknown situation is well beyond inept.

What was, and likely still is, the therapeutic protocol if someone presents with Covid. “Go home. If it gets worse, come back, and we’ll put you in the hospital. That’s like saying it’s 2-0 in the hockey game. Keep doing what you are doing until it is 6-0, and then we’ll see what we can do about it. Why is treatment in the early stage a terrible idea?

Will any be held accountable? Probably not. Well, except for the politicians. 2021 would be a good year to retire.

The takeaway.

When captive agencies, like CDC, overlap their skills with politics, nothing good comes of it.

Why did it take so long to approve rapid testing? Eighteen months seems excessive.

Demand an explanation of why they ignored potential therapeutics.

Politicians made irrational decisions. They knew or should have known lockdowns would have immense other costs, and still, they did it. Who did the cost-benefit analysis? If they did one, which I doubt, it was a dishonest one. On an all-in risk and cost consideration, no one could rationally choose lockdowns.

When you rule by fear, you must notice that people eventually stop being afraid. No emotion goes away quietly. Anger supplants fear. Once the facts become known, righteous anger.

Hear John Dryden – “Beware the anger of a patient man.” In this case, a patient citizenry.


I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email don@moneyfyi.com

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