Tag Archives: pandemic

April 1 cartoon

A Modest Proposal: Rename April 1 Useful Fools Day

Today is April 1, celebrated for centuries as April Fools Day. It’s a day to play pranks on the unsuspecting gullible. Given the current penchant for updating history and renaming symbols, the Just Vote No Blog proposes that April Fools Day be renamed Useful Fools Day. The new name would be more inclusive, and therefore more equitable.

Why the proposal?

Historians disagree on the origins of April Fools Day, but have some likely suggestions, all relating to events in the distant past: celebrations of the cult of Cybele, change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, start of the Vernal Equinox – all old stuff. We need to add to the list a newer event that, as the ones before, produced sufficient confusion to create a large pool of unsuspecting gullible people. Also, we need to update the title of the celebration, since these days simple fools are not anywhere near as visible and important as useful fools.

Event of the 21st Century: Covid-19 Response

The Just Vote No Blog proposes that the outsized response to the Covid-19 pandemic be the 21st Century’s contribution to April 1, and that useful fools be celebrated on that day. The Blog further proposes that celebrations include not only ordinary individuals, but also a lot of Wall Street darlings, public servants, and respected professionals.

A comprehensive list of prominent useful fools would take up several volumes, so here is just a sample of possible candidates for inclusion in the updated April Useful Fools Day.

*Our fearful brethren that support a slash and burn approach to the pandemic in an effort to receive protection and safety. The establishment has been more than happy to grow by leaps and bounds by providing such protection and safety. Problem is, as is usually the case, there is a lot of collateral damage.

Discarded surgical masks strewn along the sidewalk aptly represent COVID-19’s lasting legacy. The federal medical bureaucracy’s response to the pandemic has resulted in a wasteland of lost economic and educational opportunities, psychologically damaged children, terminally lonely nursing home residents, and lives lost to suicide, illicit drug overdoses, and missed diagnoses…

Shameless non-clinician bureaucrats have stolen our lives, stolen the smiles from children’s faces, and bullied a segment of the population into paralyzing fear. Those hiding behind masks (including our precious children) no longer see people as people, but as 170-pound nests of germs and certain death.

Dr. Marilyn Singleton, MD, JD. The New Wasteland: COVID-19’s Shameful Legacy. March 31, 2021.

* Our crony capitalists in technology that turned collaborators in the war against Covid-19. Whether collaboration will protect them against anti-trust intervention and onerous regulation remains to be seen.

A decades-old law shields companies such as Facebook and Twitter from lawsuits over content their users post on their platforms. Now that legislation is under attack as lawmakers look to hold social media firms accountable.

Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill generally agree that changes need to be made to Section 230, a provision in the Communications Decency Act that gives legal protections to social media companies.

What’s Section 230? The Social Media Law in the Crosshairs of Congress. March 26, 2021.

The government has flailed in its response to the pandemic, and Big Tech has presented itself as a beneficent friend, willing to lend a competent hand. As Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, wrote in April, “The challenges we face demand an unprecedented alliance between business and government.”

What Big Tech Wants Out of the Pandemic. The Atlantic. July-August 2020 issue.

*Our leaders in Washington forge on

Back in January 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on domestic and international travel. A clause that stands out mandates that U.S. agencies study the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination. On March 12, the White House issued a press briefing noting that the private sector and non-profits are taking care of these vaccine certificates with guidance from federal agencies.

We are to rejoice that at present government will not be keeping a central database on who has been vaccinated and who has not. We are also to rejoice Joe Biden is reviving our lives, our businesses and our economy.

Once again we seem to be blind to the collateral damage – the vaccine apps will be the equivalent of the ancient “Quo Vadis?” and the modern equivalent of “show me your papers.”

Old Saying: Nobody is useless; they can always serve as a horrible example

Useful fools are an extremely valuable commodity. They come in all forms – a concerned individual, a greedy corporation, a government on a tyranny dry run. Each hopes for protection, security or power that may or may not materialize. Each deserves a day of celebration dedicated to them.

Pictured Above

Interesting picture on Realm of History website’s article Ancient Romans and Medieval Church: The usual suspects in the origins of April Fools’ Day. From the article,

In any case, historically, April Fools’ Day possibly became a standardized affair by 18th century in Britain. The jests and pranks were especially popular in many parts of Scotland, with people actively participating in concocting fake errands and even inventing the ‘art’ of putting signs on the unsuspecting person’s back.

Recommended: The Barrington Declaration

None of us wants to see our Grannies succumb to COVID-19, or G-d forbid, any of our children. However, our precautions need to be balanced against the “irreparable damage” lockdowns and other extreme measures are causing.

“Irreparable damage” is the correct description to what lockdowns are doing to mental health and physical well being as a result of isolation and postponement of routine treatment.

It’s like kicking the can of illness and mortality down the road.

“Irreparable damage” is the description The Great Barrington Declaration uses. The Just Vote No Blog recommends consideration of the thoughts expressed on the Barrington Declaration website. The Declaration was signed by numerous health practitioners from around the world on October 4, 2020, in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The Declaration simply recommends: focus on protecting the most vulnerable and let the rest resume their normal lives.

Here is an excerpt:

As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.
Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

The Barrington Declaration mostly addresses the destructive effects of lockdowns on health. We also need to keep in mind the devastation lockdowns have wrought upon our individual liberties and our economic prosperity.

As an aside, perhaps predictably, the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, has declared its objection to the Declaration’s title.

Pandemics in Pictures

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  These days we have thousands of words — often contradictory — about The Pandemic.  A few pictures might help. Pictured above is Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock Music Festival August 1969.  The Hong Kong Flu 1968 – 1969 raged on as life went on.

Unprecedented Pandemic?

The Coronavirus Disease 2019, commonly known as COVID-19, was first noted December 2019.  As of September 2, 2020, estimates indicate 25.7 million inflections and 857,000 deaths worldwide.  The virus responsible for COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2), the newest in a large family of coronaviruses. 

COVID-19 is indeed a pandemic. Pandemics, regardless of severity, spread quickly worldwide, as opposed to epidemics which are more local (think Ebola). But is COVID-19 “unprecedented?”

Here is a picture of some of the worst worldwide influenza pandemics. The Asian Flu lasted about one year (February 1957 to around March 1958), and killed 1.5 to 2 million people. The Hong Kong Flu also lasted around one year, and killed 1 million people.

The next picture includes characteristics like how fast a virus spreads and severity of symptoms. COVID-19 spreads easier than other similar viruses, but proportion with mild illness is high.

Or Unprecedented Overreaction With Devastating Results?

Past pandemics did not see the widespread lockdown we are experiencing with COVID-19. Therefore, past pandemics did not see the unprecedented economic meltdown we are experiencing today. Measured by GDP, the 2008 U.S. Great Recession pales in comparison. Here is a picture from Tradingeconomics.com

As of August 2020, numerous U.S. companies filed for bankruptcy protection amid lockdowns, including big brands such as Brooks Brothers, Cirque du Soleil, and Neiman Marcus. How many Mom & Pop stores that tend to hire lower-income folks have closed is hard to say.

Woodstock Anyone?

An event that characterized the 1960s was the Woodstock Music Festival. An audience of about 400,000 gathered on a dairy farm in New York state August 15-18, 1969, to watch music notables of the time like Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix.

Although “fact checkers” like Reuters went out of their way to explain why it is “misleading” to say Woodstock took place in the middle of the Hong Kong Flu pandemic — the event was between waves of the flu — the fact remains that Woodstock was in 1969, and the Hong Kong Flu pandemic was in 1968-1969.

Life is Making Choices

The 1960s were the days of fighting the establishment. Those were the days when young people demanded withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and troops were withdrawn. They were the days when women burned their bras in public, and rights were won. Individualism — otherwise known as “do your own thing” — reigned. In retrospect, Woodstock belonged in 1969.

Today we tow the line. We wear masks. We make our children wear masks. We are OK with going without medical checkups and teeth cleanings. We are OK with lockdowns that put our employers out of business and our families on public assistance. We do not fight back as the establishment dooms our children to sub-par education.

Life means choices.