Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living in Colorado. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker, Fox News and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
In a COVID panic, we told people to stop working. It became not only permissible not to work, it became a mandate. Sitting around the house watching daytime TV in pajamas became the responsible thing to do. With no one working, unsurprisingly, no work got done. It was like a two-year snow day. Or Ferris Bueller’s Two-Years Off. Democrats loved it, of course, because Democrats hate work.
COVID killed nearly a million Americans (though most had what the doctors euphemistically call “comorbidities”). And the lockdowns and mandates for masks, vaccines and social distancing (at least when one wasn’t rioting) were bad. And the lost year or two of learning for an entire generation was tragic (though we could make that up in four months if we improved the schools and tamed the teachers unions).
But the most destructive outcome of COVID was the destruction of the American work ethic. That’s the ethic — now considered a quaint notion — that work is good. It’s good for the pocketbook, good for the soul, and good for society.
Early in the pandemic, Dr. Fauci said, “there’s no reason to be walking around wearing a mask.” He said masks might cause more harm than good.
In the kind of pirouette for which he’s now famous, Fauci later told us all to wear masks indoors and out. Fauci himself starting wearing two at a time. (Why not three?) His baffled boss, Joe Biden, wears them for Zoom calls – even though he’s been fully vaccinated.
As it turned out, Fauci lied about his reason for initially telling us not to wear masks. The real reason was that he wanted to save them for doctors such as himself.
Fine, Fauci didn’t want to spark mask hoarding similar to the toilet paper hoarding we saw early on. (By the way, how’s that closet full of toilet paper working out for you hoarders?) In short, they lied to us to protect us.
But lying is not the way to manage grownups. Fauci should have explained that masks are probably effective to some degree, but that for a few weeks we needed to save them for front-line health workers who were in daily contact with the virus.