On June 16, President Biden spoke out on the sources of our national malaise. Of the American people he said, “They´re really down. The need for mental health in America, it has skyrocketed, because people have seen everything upset. Everything they´ve counted on upset. But most of it’s the consequence of what’s happened, what happened as a consequence of the COVID crisis.”
This was his way of blaming the virus, not the government, for everything that has so “upset” us. But let’s do a little thought experiment.
Imagine that you live on a street where traffic accidents are unusually frequent, perhaps because there is a large clinic in the next block that cares for patients suffering from the ailments of old age: impaired sight and hearing, occasional dementia. Your response to the problem is to quit your job, take your children out of school, and retire behind locked doors, refusing to see family or friends. You also demand that your neighbors take similar precautions, and when they refuse, you have them arrested. In this way, you believe you can flatten the curve of traffic accidents and Keep Your Community Safe.
Do you think that after doing those things, you’d be feeling kind of poorly? Feeling “really down”? I would be.
But suppose you reacted in another way. Suppose you drove a little more carefully, you kept your children a little farther from the street, and otherwise you behaved as usual.
Now what? Any “mental health” problems now?
So much for the experiment. Let’s look at the reality.
In 2020 a virus appeared in America. It was soon obvious that it behaved like all other airborne viruses, except that its victims were found almost entirely among the elderly and the immune-suppressed. The obvious response to this threat would have been commonsense cautions about hygiene, especially that of the old and vulnerable, and clear and factual reporting by health authorities about the nature and location of the dangers.
Somehow, the obvious response was not taken. Instead. the government closed down a huge portion of the economy, restricted the rest, threw children out of school, confined families to their homes, and demonized all information and expression of opinion that might bring some perspective to the situation. The result was that there were many deaths, but no more than in places that had not done these things, and that millions of jobs were lost, millions of lives ruined, trillions of dollars of wealth extracted from the people and uselessly spent by governments, and more trillions of fiat dollars unloosed on the populace, creating an enormous inflation, which will ruin many millions of lives more.
That is why, in Biden’s words, we’re feeling really down.