The Covid Calculus

It has now been two years since the height of the Covid compulsions, and even though some people are clinging to their rhetoric, almost no one is lining up for each new injection. After all, everyone got the disease regardless. The Covid vaccine (“You won’t get or spread Covid”) was, in modern parlance, an epic fail.

And so I’d like to examine what happened to us, then find a way back to living with each other in decency and in peace.

Let’s start by recognizing that our world has always been awash in emotional pressures. After all, scaring people into doing things is far easier than convincing them. The Covid pressures, however, were taken to a new level.

First of all, the entire institutional hierarchy of the West coalesced into a single regime, with singular and pointed demands. More than that, these were enforced demands: in one way or another, more than two million people lost their jobs because of them.

It’s also important to notice that the institutional combine blasted their message to people who were planted in front of televisions and plugged into social media an unnatural number of hours per day. In those positions, they were not only deluged with the aforesaid single message, but witnessed the repeated savaging of anyone who said otherwise.

Bear in mind, please, that the real issue here isn’t the rightness or wrongness of those other viewpoints, it’s that there was a single, enforced orthodoxy, imposing its will on nearly the entire world. That was a very bad thing, and a very, very dangerous thing. 

But even as unprecedented levels of psychological pressures were inflicted on them, and with compliance being the only way of escape, people still involved reason in their choices. Most commonly, the process went something like this:

  1. If I get their shot, I can live like a person. And if I do what everyone else is doing, they can’t criticize me, because they will have done the same thing.
  2. If I don’t, I may lose my job. Every person in my family will degrade me. People won’t let their kids play with mine… it will make my entire family outcasts.
  3. Losing my job would be an instant disaster. We wouldn’t be able to pay our our credit cards, and maybe not our mortgage. We’d be ruined, and it would be my fault.
  4. So, what’s the risk of taking the shot? It’s probably true that some people have been sickened by it, but it’s probably no more than one percent.
  5. Okay, I’ll take the shot.

The calculus here… the trade-off… was between a one percent chance of personal disaster and broad, guaranteed suffering.

And so, most people crossed their fingers and went with the one percent risk.

There is more to be said about the dark passage we’ve come through, but this point needs to be clarified first; I think it’s a pre-requisite for our return to a humane society.


Paul Rosenberg