Everyone Got It Anyway

As the year 2020 arrived, we were living and thinking as we had been in 2019, 2018 and 2017. There was plenty of fear and outrage in the world, but the levels were fairly smooth. And then, unexpectedly, a long and nightmarish storm battered us.

We all lived through three years of intimidation and fear. It has subsided now, but most people haven’t processed what has happened… they haven’t sorted and settled things inside themselves.

This type of delay is not unusual, and a great example of it was the Nazi holocaust. Everyone knows about it now, but in the aftermath of World War II, it simply wasn’t talked about. After millions of Jews were murdered as an industrial process, the remaining Jews spoke fairly little of it. “We didn’t talk about it until about 1960,” I was told by those who lived through it as adults, and the records bear that up.


Storms such as we’ve just been through distort human character. First of all, fear of invisible death seized millions of minds. Added to that was fear of authority, repeated stoking of the initial fear, off-the-charts pressures for compliance, and a hundred clever justifications for all of the above. Even across-the-board values like tolerance for different opinions, bodily autonomy and free speech were trampled and discarded. Books were written (and broadly promoted!) on why free speech was now bad.

And so we have a lot to unwind. We need to re-balance ourselves… to recalibrate ourselves. And we can do that in either of two ways: We can recalibrate to reality, or we can recalibrate to fantasy.

For obvious reasons I think we need to choose reality above fantasy, but this is the more challenging choice: reality is stark and doesn’t cater to human feelings. Fantasy, on the other hand, is fitted directly to emotional desires: it succeeds by painting pictures of whatever the hearers would like to be true.

In the past, centering on reality couldn’t be done as easily as it can now, and so people recovered slowly. For emotional reasons it may not be terribly fast even now, but we can move ourselves ahead rather faster than slower by centering on facts.

So, I think we should begin by facing the one, essential conclusion from the entire covid business:

Everyone got it anyway.

However the disease entered the world, the mayhem that followed was sold with “We have to prevent people from getting it.” And so we have to begin by facing the fact that everyone got it anyway… that the threats and enforcements and orders… the actions of authority and the authorized… simply failed.

Appeals to ignorance have been made (“We did the best we could”), but the pronouncements of authority were not nuanced, they were absolutes backed by force, shame and threat… and they were flatly wrong. We need to grasp that rather than evading it.

The Second Point

Once we can accept that the measures taken by authority failed (which will be repellent to many people), there is a second point to hold in mind:

Excuses for that which failed serve fantasy rather than reality. 

Accepting reality can be hard, and one of the best tools for helping us through the process is logic: clear and almost mathematical thinking. Logic may not help a great deal with emotions, but it gives us solid ground on which to stand and sort ourselves.

So, if everyone got it anyway, the edicts for “stopping the spread” were wrong, and the impulse to protect that which failed serves fantasy rather than reality.

Or, to say it a bit more directly, the entire, interlocking system of authority got it wrong, and all attempts to evade that recognition are dishonest. 

Last Words

Jesus was ever so right when he advised people to clean the inside first, and that’s precisely what we need to do. We need to fix ourselves.

Whether we feel like it or not, we must begin by recalibrating to reality. And the plain reality is that all the pompous pronouncements, all the authority, all the censorship and all the intimidation… all of it crashed and burned in a flaming heap. 

Everyone got it anyway. 


Paul Rosenberg