Columnists, Coronavirus, Featured, Jon Caldara, Uncategorized

Caldara: COVID lockdown madness still unjustified

After a year and a month half-heartedly trying to avoid COVID, it finally caught me.

For years I’ve told my daughter not to bring home any stupid boys. So, in classic teen-aged passive aggressive style, she brought home COVID instead.
 
She got it from a teammate and now we’re sharing it as a family. Delightful.

My one-word report from the frontline of my life and death struggle against this existential threat — meh.
 
So far, COVID has been like a mild cold. That’s it.

My biggest health worry over this last year and a month has been my son who has Down syndrome and a heart condition. If he contracted the COVID, it could be really bad.

Well, the entire family contracted it and of course he was the least affected. Yet another reason to dislike the young.

My son and I had the first of our two vaccine shots before we contracted COVID, and I’m sure that lessened the impact greatly. My ex-wife was fully vaccinated, and she still got COVID. Her symptom? Like me she was extra tired. But we have kids. We’re always extra tired.

I concede many people, mostly elderly or vulnerable, who contract this virus aren’t as lucky and have more severe, and less than 2% of the time, fatal complications. These are the people who, from the beginning, should have been isolated.

Now that the end of this silliness is near, it is time to do what good policy makers should have done a year and a month ago — perform a cost/benefit analysis of their lockdown madness.

Public health departments don’t follow the economic science; that’s not their job. They have a singular mission to reduce illness, so endless shutdowns make perfect sense. Just like an electrical engineer who has no responsibility for cost would choose to make power lines out of gold because gold conducts electricity best.

In the real world the engineer’s boss wouldn’t let him use gold. And I foolishly expected our political leaders to not let health departments close an entire economy. Instead, they spent all our gold. Some $5 trillion and counting.

The inflation that is now starting is only one byproduct of our leaders’ cowardice.

Let’s forget the cost/benefit analysis on the aggregate level. Let’s just do it on the individual level. Here’s mine:

On the benefit side to the lockdown insanity, I’ve saved a lot on eating out, canceled vacations and family travel plans and had an excuse to avoid people I don’t enjoy.

Oddly one of the most instructive benefits of a year and month of lockdowns has been listening in to what happens in my kids’ classrooms. My daughter would tell me the tales of the propaganda shoveled to her by teachers, but thanks to online teaching I heard it for myself.

I listened to English classes where the teacher preached Critical Race Theory, econ classes on the evil of capitalism and yoga class, yes yoga, on the environmental sins of man.

On the cost side I have witnessed my son stagnant for lack of a year and a month of in-person learning. Given his disabilities, online learning is no learning at all. I am now taking legal action against the school district in hopes of restoring some of what was stolen from him.

The quality of my daughter’s education has suffered dramatically as online learning for her, and most all kids, is a complete joke. Not to mention school is now four days a week, a 20% cut in education right there. We will watch for generations as the kids who missed a year of school stumble into the future.

The impact on my kids’ social development might be the most expensive cost of all. My son learns almost exclusively through interaction with his typical (the new PC word for “normal”) peers. And what can be more devastating for a teen-aged girl than to be locked away from her peers during this critical social period of life.

And what’s my family’s share of the $5 trillion of crazed money printing and spending to “fight covid”? That’s well over $15,000 per man, woman and child; $60,000 for a family of four that my kids and their kids must pay back.

From my personal accounting, none of this was worth trying to avoid a week at home with a head cold

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.

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