April 7, 2021 Reading Time: 5 minutes

We met many years ago in Brooklyn, so it is not surprising that we both tested positive for the Brooklyn variant of the coronavirus, which causes us to say fuggedaboutit. Since March 2020, infectious disease experts, the media (especially, CNN), and politicians have established a state-run religion, enforced by a public health police state. Covid religion has its own catechisms and papal edicts. These include “Stay home/save lives,” “We are all in this together,” “Stand six feet apart,” and of course, “Wear a face covering.” Covid religion is based on maximal use of unprecedented, deviant, and destructive pseudo-scientific “nonpharmaceutical interventions.” The same country that banned face coverings, France, is now requiring its citizens to wear them in public places.

There are many deviant and unprecedented aspects of the Covid religion, starting with the fact that for the first time in history, healthy, asymptomatic people of all ages were “quarantined” and placed under virtual house arrest for long periods of time. Lockdowns and “reopenings” are also deviant and unprecedented, not to mention the fact that they constitute blatant theft of property, services, and economic, personal, and religious liberty. The infectious disease experts who have imprisoned us are lionized by the media and bedwetting politicians who claim to “follow the science.” From the perspective of an infectious disease expert, you and your family are not individuals with rights and liberties. Instead, you are germ factories, whose movement and social interaction must be severely limited.

In case you think that the use of the term imprisonment is hyperbolic, please note that the official definition of lockdown is “the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure.” A more recent form of deviance in the Covid religion is the edict that those who are fully vaccinated must wear a mask. For the first time in history, we are wearing a mask after being inoculated. For example, no one has ever worn a mask after receiving a measles, flu, or polio vaccine. 

The most deviant aspect of the Covid religion is that like other barbaric religions, it involves child sacrifice. Ancient religions engaged in child sacrifice in order to appease a deity or supernatural beings. Under the Covid religion, the educational development, physical health, and mental health of our children have been sacrificed in order to reduce “cases” and appease the great deity: public health police state officials. These officials and their allies in the media constantly predict “impending doom” if children and their parents do not continue to sacrifice their freedom and social development.

The latest iteration of goalpost shifting by public health police state officials involves pseudo-scientific fear-mongering over “long-Covid.” A recent study in Israel showed that 95% of Covid-positive individuals were completely free of symptoms after six months. The 5% minority that do have continued symptoms may be simply suffering from anxiety, not continued Covid. This anxiety, and other mental illnesses, are just as plausibly caused by publicly-induced panic attacks over Covid, rather than the disease itself.

Furthermore, experts on childhood obesity, such as Professor Punam Ohri-Vachaspati of Arizona State University, have shown that coronavirus restrictions are increasing the risk for childhood obesity. It is well known in the academic literature that limited access to affordable, healthy food, fewer venues or opportunities to be physically active, and uncertain access to healthy school meals, can increase a child’s risk for obesity. Spending six hours a day on the computer also reinforces a sedentary lifestyle.  We know from this research that children need the structure and predictability of school days, access to healthy school meals, physical education, and other support that is delivered on-site. Physically meeting other students also constitutes an incentive for students to be more conscious of their weight. 

The callous disregard for the suffering of our children and the destruction of their childhood was on full display at the well-orchestrated Presidential news conference a few weeks ago. Although our President waxed ineloquently at length about the filibuster and financial matters, he failed to mention school closures and “reopenings” in his address. More astonishingly, there were no questions from intrepid mainstream media reporters on school closures and “reopenings” and the deteriorating mental health of our young people. 

It is astonishing that Americans have allowed this child sacrifice and other public health police state atrocities to occur. The docility of the public and recent unbridled joy about the lifting of some of the restrictions imposed by the public health police state brings to mind the famous example of Stalin and the plucked chicken. 

Legend has it that Joseph Stalin gathered his henchmen and asked for a live chicken, in order to make a point to his commissars. While clutching the chicken, he proceeded to pluck out all of its feathers. At this point, he told his henchmen to watch what happens next. Stalin took out some breadcrumbs, placed the chicken on the floor, and walked away with some breadcrumbs in his hand. The fear-crazed chicken hobbled toward Stalin and clung to his trousers. The dictator threw some breadcrumbs to the bird, who followed him around the room. Stalin turned to his commissars and stated the lesson of his horrific event: “This is the way to rule the people. Did you see how that chicken followed me for food, even though I had caused it such torture? People are like that chicken. If you inflict inordinate pain on them they will follow you for food the rest of their lives.”

For over a year, myopic infectious disease experts, along with their allies in the media and government have successfully promulgated a highly dangerous Marxist principle that has driven this entire debacle: your health is my responsibility. They argue that public health involves externalities and can be considered a “public good.” As economists, we know that there are two tools to deal with externalities and public goods: taxation/subsidy and regulation. Our side is not complaining about either one of these. Our taxes pay for health care of those exposed to the virus and heavily subsidize both testing and vaccines. 

Even brave souls such as Tom Hatten of Mountainside Fitness, who sued the governor when his establishments were shut down in less than five hours on June 29, 2020, were not complaining about Covid regulations imposed by the public health police state. We are, however, complaining about outright closures of businesses and schools and policies that impose this dangerous principle on children and those who have been vaccinated. We cannot function as a normal society if we continue to follow this dangerous Marxist principle.

Infectious disease experts can no longer rule our society. We must stand up to them and dismantle the public health police state. For over a year, the commissars of the public health police state have inflicted enormous pain and suffering on their human subjects, in conducting their ongoing, pseudo-scientific social experiment. It is important to note that the infectious disease experts are benefitting from a prolonged pandemic, in terms of grants, power, and media attention. Thus, asking them for permission to return to normal is like keeping the porch light out for Jimmy Hoffa. It is time for everyone to voluntarily catch the Brooklyn variant of the coronavirus, say fuggedaboutit, and stop acting like a plucked chicken.

Donald Siegel

Donald Siegel

Dr. Donald Siegel is Foundation Professor of Public Policy and Management and Director of the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at Arizona State University.

He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s and doctoral degrees in business economics from Columbia University. He then served as a Sloan Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Robert M. Sauer

Robert M. Sauer

Robert Sauer is Professor of Economics at the University of London, Royal Holloway College, and Editor-in-Chief of the European Economic Review, the European Economic Review Plus and the Journal of Economics, Management and Religion.

Robert’s research focuses on labour force dynamics, volunteerism and entrepreneurship. He has published papers in Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, the Review of Economic Studies, the International Economic Review and the Journal of Labor Economics.

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