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Cheering And Dancing Their Way To Lockdown

The “fascist” may be gone but now we’re primed to get a taste of what authoritarianism really is.

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ASTORIA, NYC- I watched them dancing in the streets the weekend before last. They were whooping, cheering, banging on pots and pans, and high fiving each other. The media said their guy won, and they believe the media. They would make eye contact with me as I walked by, seemingly expecting me to reciprocate their hoots of joy and give them a Covid-proof elbow bump. But I just stared straight ahead. I am not one of them. And I can’t believe news networks that have reduced themselves to little more than mouthpieces for a particular political party, China style, communist style.

My disposition changed when I reminded myself that these will be the same people who come January will be whining about how they don’t have a job and can’t afford their rent, begging for handouts from the government as retribution for the problems they wantonly voted for.

One candidate said no to lockdowns, the other said yes. They voted to be locked down, to have their rights stripped from them, to have the constitution crumpled up and cancelled like someone who doesn’t believe there are 237 different genders. Their economy will be decimated. They will whine about it. They will riot just to have something to do. They will keep blaming it all on the Orange Man.

Biden selected Michael Osterholm as his special C19 advisor. You may remember him as being one of the earliest fearmongers to jump on the scene when the pandemic first broke out. His business is epidemics. Hardly three days after the media presumptuously gave Biden the victory Osterholm began calling for a nationwide lockdown:

“We have a big pool of money out there that we could borrow — the historic low interest rates by the federal government — we could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies or city, states, county governments … If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks…”

Economics apparently isn’t his strong suit.

The first question to ask is: do you believe when they say when the lockdown will end? New York City’s lockdown was touted as being two weeks to “flatten the curve” and ended up lasting for nearly three months. We have still have not fully reopened, and now it’s looking as if we’re heading for lockdown once again.

New York City recently required bars and restaurants to close at 10pm (apparently C19 spreads more between the hours of 10 and midnight), closed public schools (even though it’s been proven that schools are not a primary vector for the spread of the virus), and limited private gatherings to 10 people, ostensibly canceling Thanksgiving for many families.

Chicago took things one step further and did cancel the holiday (a day after the mayor was dancing around in the streets with hundreds of people without wearing a mask celebrating the presumptive Biden victory). California announced new Covid restrictions which only took the governor mere hours to go out and violate. Pennsylvania is aiming to force people to wear masks in their own homes.

Speaking of Pennsylvania, courts have in no uncertain terms declared lockdowns to be unconstitutional. The same goes for Michigan. However in Michigan the governor refused to respect the decision, imposed new lockdown measures, and is now potentially being brought up for impeachment.

In Europe, everything seems to be tearing apart at the seams. In France, people can’t leave their homes without papers documenting the purpose of their trip. In Greece, people have to text the authorities each time they step outside. In Denmark, a proposed law is paving the way for the government to force vaccinate people, Nazi style. France, the Czech Republic, and Spain are rioting over the new lockdowns. In the UK, people are not only locked down but are being prohibited from LEAVING the country.

We are experiencing authoritarianism in its purest form to an extent that we have not witnessed in generations — perhaps centuries. Now, you can say that there is a deadly virus and the governments are just trying to keep people safe, but authoritarianism always has an excuse. Look at history. Each totalitarian movement is justified by the premise that society is going to be made stronger and that people will be kept safer. There needs to be some carrot at the end of the stick to get you to willfully sacrifice your liberties.

Don’t fall for it.

While it seems as if the entire planet locked down because that’s what we’ve mostly been shown in the news, that wasn’t the case. Images of China from last winter show people locked up in their homes and businesses shuttered, but these mostly came from a select few cities, such as Wuhan. Most places in China never fully locked down for C19 for significant amounts of time. South Korea never had a universal lockdown. Neither did Japan. Neither did Taiwan. Neither did Sweden. Plenty of countries didn’t impose lockdowns, saved their economies, preserved their citizen’s rights, and are no worse off than those that did.

During the first lockdown I ran the numbers, read the words of contrarian epidemiologist, statisticians, and doctors and came the the conclusion that imprisoning people in their homes wouldn’t only lead to more deaths from other causes (suicide, drug overdose, heart attacks, domestic abuse) and would do little to stem the flow of C19. But my conclusions were mere assumptions — the mass quarantining of healthy individuals was a sick new experiment then. But now we’re able to look at the results of such lockdowns and we know how effective they are:

In almost every case, not at all.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in cooperation with the Naval Medical Research Center to determine the benefit of quarantine in the military environment. They had one group of Marines kept in strict quarantine while the other group were permitted to live like it was 2019. In the end, 2.8% of those in the quarantine group contracted C19. Meanwhile, the control group, which did not quarantine, contracted C19 at a 1.7% clip. Yes, those who quarantined had a worse Covid rate.

Now, this is just one study in one environment, and, in and of itself, does not mean that quarantine makes Covid transmit at a higher rate. But it is another drop in a stream that’s quickly running towards a conclusion that quarantines do not effectively inhibit the transmission of Covid-19.

Remember, 66% of the people hospitalized with Covid in the later stage of the first wave in New York had been quarantining.

There is simply no connection between lockdowns and lives saved.

When we compare the results of places that locked down against places that didn’t, the results are surprising: at best, they’re random.

The below chart compares the US states with few restrictions vs. those that locked down. If lockdowns had an impact, we’d expect a rapid drop off going to the right.

Source: WalletHub

The below chart that was compiled from Oxford University data and shows that the European countries that had the harshest lockdowns tended to also have some of the worst Covid outcomes:

While this chart shows Covid mortality rates vs harshness of intervention methods from 24 European countries:

Again, it shows that places with more stringent lockdowns had worse Covid outcomes.

While we can argue about the nuances of all of these studies I believe we can agree on one thing: there is no evidence that conclusively shows that lockdowns present a significant benefit in the fight against Covid. Lockdowns seem as if they should work but they are the stuff of pseudoscience.

Meanwhile, our countries are being decimated, millions have lost their livelihoods, and the arts and culture that made places like NYC great has been extinguished. Bars and restaurants are closing in torrents and once busy commercial strips are now gauntlets of empty shops decked out in for rent signs. Midtown Manhattan looks like a refugee camp — the homeless are laying all over the streets, huddled beneath blanket forts. And the rest of the lockdown-loving Democratic states and cities is the US aren’t faring much better.

Even the WHO is saying no more lockdowns.

Yet governments around the world are still pushing for them. Our only question has to be why?

Certainly, they have the data, they have access to the experts, they know how bad the mass quarantining of the healthy individuals is for the society, and they must know by now that they don’t work. So why are they still doing them?

To absolve themselves from responsibility?

To bask in the intoxication of absolute power?

To bring forth a Great Reset?

As I walked through that crowd of revelers I had to laugh at the irony: they were cheering because they think “the fascist” is gone while setting themselves for a taste of what fascism really is.

In the words of Stanford University doctor Scott Atlas: You get what you accept.

The only way this stops is if people rise up.

Filed under: Epidemics, New York, New York City

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3632 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

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  • Bill November 19, 2020, 12:43 am

    The data looks interesting at first, but it has the causality reversed: places with harsh lockdowns generally did so BECAUSE they had high rates of infection. And the reason they did the lockdowns in a state of high infection wasn’t to save a vast number of lives per se, rather it was to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed. Public health measures in the west have never been about eradicating the virus (though China attempted to do so in a very draconian way, and may have succeeded to an extent). Instead, they have been about slowing spread until a vaccine arrives. I think you make your points well, but what would you actually propose we as a society do? It’s easy to cast stones, and the economic impact you describe is real, but in the end a decision actually has to be made, and it’s not clear how you think our society is supposed to deal with the health impact of this crisis.

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  • Randell Fryman November 19, 2020, 10:20 am

    I have followed your writings for a long time, enjoyed them, took note of your experience and wisdom as an intelligent and reasonable person who has actually SEEN the world. Not from a Four Seasons hotel room and the airport Admiral’s Club, but from an authentic perspective. You are a DOER. A boots-on-the-ground guy. And that is why your viewpoint and opinion matter A LOT to me, as it should to other people, too.

    I fled NYC in August from the UWS because it was intolerable and disturbing. Primarily because of the “things” masquerading as people in the neighborhood. Mask nazis. Angry, red-eyed communists (the most apt word I can come up with) who are weak-minded, failures (even if they have money, go figure) and violently militant about controlling everyone around them. I imagine the full-court-press propaganda from the media has a lot to do with it…but there’s something else. Something more insidious and deep. These people have had their minds and souls emptied of the basic DNA that is needed to be a reasonable, thinking, empathic human beings. A HUMAN. So it is no wonder that this attempted technocratic coup into transhumanism appeals to them so strongly. Robots. Happy to relinquish every freedom and responsibility in return for some styrofoam to fill their minds and souls with.

    I pray for you and your family, and I hope one day to run into you on a street in NYC (if I ever return there). Please keep writing about your experiences, they are appreciated more than you know.

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  • Trevor Warman November 19, 2020, 10:22 am

    The imed future looks shit and saddening.
    Partial curfew coming here in Turkey.. which seams ill thought out..

    Would you take the vaccine? @Wade @Jack @MRP

    I would. I got immunised for YellowFever, what is different about this one?
    I used to get flu jabs as a mailman…
    Hell i’d even pay to have it earlier than i could get on NHS, if i could.. even more so if it was a requirement to go some place.

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    • Jack November 20, 2020, 4:16 pm

      I’ll probably take it but I probably won’t be one of the first. I’ve kept my thoughts pretty much the same since the start of this pandemic and my focus is on prevention or more importantly risk reduction.

      1) Take adequate amounts of Vitamin D every day.
      2) Take a good multivitamin every day
      3) Keep Quercetin and Zinc handy
      4) Take a small amount of Vitamin C every day (250 to 500 mg)
      5) Where a mask when appropriate

      Don’t need to go crazy on anything.

      We don’t need to argue about a lot of things because it’s worthwhile. I would hope that we all agree with the importance of making sure we stay healthy by ensuring a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

      I also think that masks are worthwhile and every study has shown them to be. It just depends on how pedantic you want to be about effectiveness. I remember a comment I read on the internet somewhere and someone gave wearing a mask to a getting a bonus item in a video game. How many of you playing a video game would pass up an in game item that gave you 10% more hit points? Lost in all of the conversation is something I’ve been talking about since February and that is that initial viral load is directly related to disease severity. Masks reduce your initial viral load. They may not prevent you from getting it, but they reduce the severity and that is what I want to do.

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  • Randell Fryman November 19, 2020, 10:27 am

    Wade: I tried to post a comment a little bit ago and it didn’t go through. I hope you are not being censored. I will recreate it and try again.

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  • Randell Fryman November 19, 2020, 10:38 am

    I’ve followed your writings for a few years, have enjoyed them and learned from them. As someone who has experienced first-hand, boots-on-the-ground, a huge portion of the world — and not from a Four Seasons hotel room or the airport Admiral’s Clubs — your perspective is very important to me. I fled the UWS of Manhattan for the midwest in August. Mostly because of the “things” masquerading as people who live there (not all the people, but a lot). Mask nazis; angry, red-eyed communists with the thumbs on their phones ready to tape you/dox you doing something they consider “wrong.” My neighbors nastily commenting on a piece of mail I received from JUDICIAL WATCH that wouldn’t fit into my mailbox. The psyops of this attempted coup/”reset” has been successful for the most part. Weak-minded people will naturally fall for it, they live their lives through the matrix of their screens. But I believe there is something deeper, more insidious going on. These people seem to have lost the DNA in their minds and souls that make them human. And begging for the transhumanistic plan that the technocrats have waiting for them. Pieces of styrofoam to occupy their attention while they are enslaved. It’s here in the midwest, too, but not as much. I think people are waking up a bit. But not enough. I pray for you and your family. Please keep writing, it is important.

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  • Sarah BB November 19, 2020, 8:48 pm

    I’ve been to maybe 10 different countries during this pandemic so far and seen so many different approaches to containing/fighting/living through this virus.

    I’m kinda of baffled though to see some of the same policies that have been proven to fail and have an unintentional adverse affect be rolled out to different cities around the world like it is suddenly going to work and be the answer to their prayers – curfews being one such example, they create crowds as everyone leaves at the same time to pack transport systems, encourage people to party indoors in less secure/ventilated spaces and end up increasing transmission not reducing it. The overnight curfew in Spain has seen metro usage peak between 6-7am, and that’s not for commuting, just for getting home after an allnighter!

    I get govts feel the need to be seen to do something, but jeez do something that actually works.

    I wish they would level with people up front about what the plan is, rather than drip feeding restrictions by stealth which is fucking with businesses trying to adapt to the ever moving goalposts. Every government seems to introduce something just for a short period of time, if you moan, you’re bombarded with ‘it’s only two weeks, a month’ or whatever and before you know it – the government has extended for another month, is allowing you out for good behaviour for five days over Christmas before locking you back down again for a further month.

    Surprised the UK hasn’t revolted yet, but word on the street is we’re just going to quietly and very politely stop doing what we’re told.

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    • Trevor Warman November 20, 2020, 12:06 am

      Yeah i recall when it all began and they reduced the number of trains on the tube so the forever packed trains were even more packed than normal… everyone is clutching at straws, hoping their way is THE way.. where is that vaccine….. ???

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      • Sarah BB November 20, 2020, 12:11 am

        Yeah, that was a dumb move. Now those scenes have scared/shamed people off coming into Central London at all and now the place is a ghost town causing Transport for London to be on the verge of bankruptcy. Think local council tax hikes were needed to make up the rescue package so Londoners pay even more afterwards. Can’t wait for this mess to be over!

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  • Jack November 20, 2020, 4:25 pm

    I don’t care about lockdowns or anything else. It’s gonna be what it’s going to be and we don’t have any say about it and we haven’t really had any say about it for years.

    I don’t think science is running anything here. I’ll say what I said last Spring, the leaders blew their load too early. They shouldn’t have locked down last Spring. That was stupid because I knew there would be a surge in the fall. Right now is when we probably need to be taking mitgation strategies for the first time. If we hadn’t locked down in the Spring, we could locked down now for 4 to 6 weeks and have the vaccines rolled out by then. Boom, no problem and we succeed, but they blew their load too early.

    And yeah I like Osterholm, but you pegged him right. He has a book to sell and that book is based on fear. He did his undergrad just up the road from me. I don’t think he is a bad guy but if you like conspiracies, he is a member of the CFR. Remember it was Osterholm who was telling anyone that would listen that this was airborne. He wasn’t particularly clairvoyant because anyone studying the Diamond Princess and what happened in China knew it was airborne. But he is selling a book and you pegged that right about him.

    Anyways, I don’t think we have any choice in the matter anyways. That’s life. Maybe it’s time to hit the road and find a homebase outside of the US. That’s what I plan on doing.

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  • Jeffrey November 23, 2020, 6:26 am

    Wade is right. The truth about the lockdowns here in China is not what you were shown by American media. Yeah, everyone saw those selected images of people in Wuhan being locked into their own apartments, but the reality on the ground here was very different.

    I’ve been here in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, since the summer of 2019. Right now I am one of a small group of foreigners still left in the city. After reading Wade’s blog entry, I looked at my memo books and found the day I was looking for — Saturday, March 7, 2020.

    During the month of February, each morning I had to send my temperature via smartphone to the director of the Chinese-language program here in Zhejiang Wanli Xueyuan. For that month, only essential businesses were allowed to be open, which included fast-food restaurants (like KFC and McDonalds) and all the major supermarkets (like San Jiang). Starbucks stayed open, too, so I was able to buy coffee beans. But as soon as March rolled around, the city authorities quickly began allowing other businesses to open.

    On Saturday, March 7, I met a Chinese friend and a co-worker and we went to a huge new mall that had just opened, Treasure Dragon Mall (Baolong) and we had a great Italian dinner in a restaurant there. There weren’t many other diners, but I remember talking to my friend and her co-worker and the three of us saying that it looked like the worst was over. China was getting back to normal.

    Note again: That was on March 7, 2020! NINE MONTHS AGO!

    After that night, each week more businesses opened up and people were soon packing into the restaurants and malls, just like before the pandemic.

    No one here even thinks about the coronavirus. There’s no social distancing, people only wear a mask if they have a cold, and Chinese guys still spit all the time. Everything is open for business and has been for at least seven or eight months.

    So when I look at news from outside China, I don’t even know what to say. It’s an unmitigated horror show.

    Let me give you some context. The population of Zhejiang Province is around 60 million. My home state of Iowa has 3 million. The geographical size of Zhejiang Province is about two-thirds the size of Iowa. That’s means 57 million more people would have to be jammed into the Iowa counties from along the Mississippi to just west of Des Moines, the state capital. And right now Iowa is struggling with the coronavirus and here in Ningbo it’s like there never was a virus and businesses have been humming along since March.

    Does this make any sense to you?

    Not to me. I’d entertain any theory you have. Mutated virus? Dumbass American politicians? Whatever you got.

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    • Jack November 24, 2020, 12:02 am

      I’m in Iowa. It’s like apples and oranges to compare what happened in Iowa vs what happened in China.

      1) China locked down when the virus hit for 6 weeks. Iowa never locked down. 85% of the workers were called essential workers. Many other states didn’t lock down either.

      2) China has a strong immigration control, the US never closed up its borders. There is no
      real quarantining of people coming into the US even now.

      3) China tightly controlled the internal movement of people and did health checks on them during their lockdown phase. They kept the virus from rapidly spreading. There are ZERO internal controls on the movement of people. Here’s an example in Iowa: Postville got hit in March and April. In fact, if I had it, I got it from that outbreak. I was in Walmart and took a wrong turn down an aisle where a Orthodox Jewish man was sneezing. How did that outbreak happen? Some Orthodox Jews had visited New York for some holiday/meetup and brought it back.

      If you are going to control a virus, you need to do a lockdown to control it with no one coming in unless they are tested and quarantine and likewise doing a complete lockdown of cities and states with no moving unless they undergo testing and real quarantining. Ha! Good luck with that in the US.

      I have a friend who is in Arizona and needed to pick up his son in New Mexico in college for thanksgiving holiday. New Mexico requires everyone coming in to quarantine for 2 weeks or their entire stay, whichever is less. I got to see his FB posts where he showed pictures of all the places he was visiting on the way and how much better the grocery stores were in New Mexico. And that’s a state with a quarantine order for Out of State Residents. Yeah right, it’s totally nothing.

      So we know there are no internal controls at all and there haven’t been. We know that the borders are open more or less to Covid. No crazy conspiracy theory there, that’s just what is happening. It’s not surprising at all.

      But let’s go to #4
      4) Vitamin D and BCG. Americans aren’t vaccinated against BCG, but Chinese people are and so are many others countries. BCG vaccination rates are associated with reduced mortality and prevalence. Next, Vitamin D. Iowa people love to be out in the Spring and Summer, but now that it’s getting cold, they are bundled up when they go outside. Vitamin D levels are associated with mortality, prevalence, and even showing symptoms. When I lived in Chinese occupied East Turkestan, people were out walking even -15F weather. People were active and healthy plus I’m sure their Vitamin D levels were higher.

      Take your pick as to the reason. We aren’t going to control this short of a huge lockdown that I don’t want anything to do with. At this stage, it just needs to run its course. I’d like to think there is some massive conspiracy around this, and maybe there is, but I’m going with the idea that a lot of people don’t know what the f they are doing. That’s the simplest explanation.

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      • Jeffrey November 24, 2020, 8:07 am


        I had never heard of BCG before, so I looked it up. So it’s a vaccine against TB or leprosy. Yeah, I don’t remember getting that shot as a kid.

        I decided to check out the current statistics for Deaths by Age Group in Iowa. Here they are:

        Deaths: 2,222

        Above 80 years: 52%
        70-79: 24%
        60-29: 16%
        50-59: 5%
        40-49: 2%
        30-39: 1%
        18-29: 0%
        0-17: 0%

        Outcome Analysis – Deaths

        These numbers, to me, are worth looking at closely. In all these months in Iowa, no one from a month old to 29 years old has died from the coronavirus. The vast majority of deaths are from the 60 to 80+ groups, at 92%!

        Elsewhere on that official website you can factor in the co-morbidities with the age groups.

        Are the numbers posted here for Iowa an outlier? Or are these numbers the same around the US?

        I know you and Wade view the issue of lockdowns differently. I would have to say these statistics from Iowa argue for protecting nursing homes and letting schools and businesses open up. I could be wrong about all of this, of course.

        Judging by the jitteriness of the officials confronted by a mass panic in Shanghai Pudong a couple days ago, it looks like the CCP is very worried about a possibly mutated virus returning to China before everyone gets a vaccine shot.

        Chaos at Shanghai airport as thousands are tested for Covid-19 – News 360 Tv

        Now that mob is the China I recognize.

        I absolutely agree with your major point that what you can expect Chinese to do is not the same as what you can expect Americans to do.

        Maybe it’s more like comparing apples with baozi. Heh.

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        • Jack November 24, 2020, 10:02 pm

          For the record, there is no lockdown in Iowa. Schools are open and so are businesses. There is now a statewide mask mandate for the first time, but it has so many exceptions that it is really just you should wear a mask suggestion.

          The high deaths over 80 is because the first wave hit nursing homes very hard.

          Anyways, I know several things the virus locally where I am but I can’t talk about it publicly.

          BCG is for tuberculosis and is given in many countries at birth. Of my 5 kids, 4 of them had it. Only my son born in the US didn’t have it. I never had it, but my wife did. The countries where it is given usually have high rates of tuberculosis. Scientific studies show a correlation between BCG vaccination policies and incidence and severity of the Covid-19. I don’t know how it will all shake up when more is known, but there is a lot we don’t know about different factors.

          I think we will will all be able to hash this out April and see where it all stands.

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          • Jeffrey November 25, 2020, 7:54 am


            I didn’t know that businesses haven’t locked down. So even restaurants have stayed open the whole time?

            I have two sisters (of five) still in Iowa. The one sister is a dental hygienist living in Dyersville, but working in Guttenburg. The dental office closed for a bit in the spring, but she’s working again (in full PPE). The other sister is retired, but her husband is still working as as a anesthesist in Dubuque and two of their kids are doctors in Iowa, one in Dubuque and one in Cedar Rapids. All three of them, her husband and two of her children, have been working straight through, of course.

            That BCG angle is very interesting. I wonder if that will shot will be introduced to Americans. I remember reading that TB has been making its way back into the US.

            You’re in Postville?

            Postville is a very unusual town in Iowa. Even though it has a population of a little over two thousand, it has two books written about it, Stephen Bloom’s Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America (2001) and Grey, Devlin, and Goldsmith’s Postville USA: Surviving Diversity in Small-Town America (2009).

            Both are about what happens when a section of Brooklyn comes to Main Street, Iowa.

            I think we will will all be able to hash this out April and see where it all stands.


            It looks like we already have a stack of Rumsfeld’s known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

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            • Jack November 25, 2020, 2:44 pm

              No I am not in Postville. 🙂 Near Postville but not in Postville.

              And no, restaurants aren’t closed up, many things were closed down in the Spring, but they were all opened by the end of May and haven’t closed down at all in the fall.

              I’ve got a longer comment that I won’t put here and rather put it under the main post.

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    • VBJ November 25, 2020, 8:55 am

      Yes, this is very strange. The only places in the world that’s still dealing with the virus with lockdowns are all western countries — the US, Canada, Europe, Australia. As we can readily see in the USA, the virus has become a political tool … and both sides of the divide have employed very different strategies to virtually identical results. Nothing makes sense when looking at the numbers. This has all been money in the bank for many multinational corporations and the stock market in general. We’re watching an insane transfer of wealth from small business to big companies … and what’s most funny to be is that it’s the very same people who go around bitching about the 1% that are supporting policy that benefits the 1%. It’s like they figured out a way to mindfuck their biggest critics into supporting them. As you shared in another comment, we have anarchists going out defending government policy in places like Germany. The very people who seem to identify themselves with being on the side of freedom and small business are those that are stomping on both. What a show!

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  • Jeffrey November 23, 2020, 6:56 am


    Great punchy blog entry. I love to bite to your sentences. All justified, in my view.

    Before I begin, let me state clearly that I hate politics.

    Listen, yeah, in most human groups we need leaders to make final decisions. Good managers are highly valued. Agreed. In the old days, when quarterbacks called their own plays, that was some major value. Hard to replace. A good director, yep, necessary.

    But the career politician is not necessarily a leader. They have their own incentives and ones that often have nothing to do with the well being of the group. They live to expand their power and wealth whenever the situation arises. Like Biden and his son Hunter. Never let a good opportunity to cash in go to waste.

    For politicians in the US, the coronavirus is a wonderful time. Only a fool would let it pass without empowering or enriching oneself.

    Think about it. Guys like Cuomo and DeBlasio reach into the store owner’s pocket, grabs his store keys, and says, “Hey man, I’ll have to hold on to these for a while.”

    What the effing hell!

    Hey, if the store owner objects, they may have to send him to a re-education camp in Oregon to unlearn his capitalist selfishness.

    Maybe one day we’ll all be making license plates for the state.

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  • Jeffrey November 23, 2020, 7:03 am


    Great punchy blog entry. I love the bite to your sentences. All justified, in my view.

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  • Jeffrey November 23, 2020, 8:24 am

    And here’s what’s going on in Germany.

    Protesters in Germany demand revocation of all coronavirus restrictions | DW News.

    And here’s Antifa trying to stop a march by coronavirus skeptics.

    Germany: Police scuffle with Antifa counter-protesters blocking COVID-sceptic march.

    Man, we could have used a few of those German Polizei in Portland this summer.

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    • VBJ November 25, 2020, 8:34 am

      What kind of weird world is this when the “anarchists” are taking to the streets in defense of the government?

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  • Jack November 25, 2020, 3:22 pm

    Jeffrey made a comment:
    “I know you and Wade view the issue of lockdowns differently.”

    I decided to comment about that one under the post directly because there is a nuance to it and it’s something easily confused thanks to the media.

    I am against forced lockdowns. I am totally for voluntary lockdowns. I think that people should be encouraged to stay home but to force them to is to take away their rights.

    The real issue and I see it time and again is that there are two conflicting arguments going on. On one side, you have the people saying this is a terrible and deadly disease and we need to a forced lockdown to save us all. The other side is people saying, oh this is nothing, it’s no worse than the flu, we don’t need to lockdown. I think that both sides are wrong and it’s a media created false dichotomy to divide us and create division. Why they might be trying to create this division is for another comment on another post on another day.

    For the side who downplays the virus, it’s as if they would be for a forced lockdown if it was more serious. Like maybe if 5% or 10% or 30% or 90% of the people were dying from it, they would approve of a forced lockdown. In other words, at some time they would be in favor of taking away rights. That’s scary.

    I see the seriousness of this illness and forced lockdowns to be completely separate issues that shouldn’t be conflated. Why? Forced lockdowns should never be allowed. It’s really that simple. I don’t care how deadly or mild the disease is.

    That said, I think in this instance the anti-lockdown crowd(who believes that this disease is nothing) are wrong. I remember one popular Youtube personality made the claim that the death rate is only 0.1% and tried to quote science to support him. I think we all know by now that it’s bullshit because otherwise we’d have herd immunity.

    Herd immunity starts at 60%. We are sitting at roughly 267,000 verified Covid deaths right now with roughly 350,000 excess deaths. I’m not going to argue how many of those excess deaths are Covid deaths. I’ll just use 267,000. US population is roughly 328 million. If we figure that herd immunity starts at 60% and that means about 198 million people need to have it before that can happen.

    If we look at the case totals, we are not at the point of her immunity yet, but if we figured that right now we have finally reached 60% herd immunity(we haven’t) and we had 267,000 deaths to get to this point…..the death rate would be 0.14%. That’s fatality rate if we had already reached herd immunity.

    Have we reached herd immunity? Nope! Cases counts are through the roof. Deaths continue to rise every day. Even if death hold steady over the next 30 days, we will have about 340,000 deaths by Christmas. Deaths lag by 20 to 30 days behind cases so looking right now, it looks like we will have at least 340,000 by Christmas. And we are not yet at herd immunity.

    See where I am going? Being anti-lockdown just because this thing is no more deadly than the flu is an untenable position. But it’s not a necessary condition to be anti-lockdown.

    I hate to speak for Wade, but I think we are on the same page as being against forced lockdowns. Where we differ is that I think this thing is more deadly than he thinks it is. I put the death rate as probably between 0.5% and 1%. I’d happily be wrong about this, but I’ve been using that number since February and nothing has come along to change it.

    And that death rate is completely unrelated to the need for forced lockdowns. Even if the death rate was 100%, I’d still be against forced lockdowns…….but just as I am now, I would encourage people to voluntary lockdown themselves by staying home, wearing a mask, and taking their damn vitamins.

    Oh yeah, F&ck Dave Champion

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    • Sarah BB November 25, 2020, 4:14 pm

      I agree there only seems to be two polarising views depicted on this, you either don’t think it’s real and are anti-masks/lockdowns whatever or you care about human life and think everyone should stay home until 2021 and vaccinate everyone regardless of medical risk/justification.

      I’d really love to see more centre thinking from people who believe it’s real and don’t want to get it, but are also massively concerned about government over-reaching into our lives and the unintended fall out of some of these restrictions.

      I find it pretty heartbreaking that parents have not been able to attend their kids funerals, kids not be able to spend precious time with relatives before they pass, people may spend the last year of their life entirely alone. These aren’t decisions in my mind a government should ever make for its citizens, people should be free to make the right decisions for them, taking into account their situation and risk levels. Some decisions just can’t be taken back.

      I’m also pretty concerned about a ‘if you come home you’re killing your grandparents’ message. We’re inflicted a bunch of emotional trauma on young people, some who aren’t supposed to be the target of that comms. My 10 year old niece spent the first few months of COVID-19 paranoid she might kill her mum, who was high risk. That is a lot of pressure for any kid, and wholly unnecessary. And having watching my little brother, now grown, deal with a feeling of responsibility for not saving his Dad and can tell you that emotional pressure is just not great and long lasting.

      I find find it pretty crazy the PM can tell me if I can meet with my siblings or nieces and nephews or not, whether I’m allowed to leave the country, when I don’t even live there, force my friend’s businesses to shut without medical evidence it is going to do anything to stop the spread, and make whole industries unviable overnight and then not provide anything like the right support.

      I understood an initial lockdown to buy some time to understand what the hell was going on, but it was always sold as a pause while they figure out a plan of attack, there just is no plan, not one that is working anyway.

      Targeted measures, better comms, more transparency and more protection for those most at risk is needed to get through this without totally emotionally and financially destroying a generation.

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  • Alex Moto November 28, 2020, 4:46 am

    Long time reader here Wade. Even read Vagabond Journey Around the World because of this blog. Been traveling and living in Southeast Asia for 7+ years now.

    From American traveler to American traveler, you need to get back out on the road Wade. The world keeps spinning no matter who we vote or don’t vote for. Putting yourself and your options in life at the mercy of bs politicians is something the traveler used to be able to opt out of. Hopefully you can reach that balance between personal freedom and the responsibility of having a family that depends on you. You won’t ever find that in America where “freedom” just means everyone gets a bullhorn to force their views on others and fight about it.

    Indonesia is now providing business visas extendable up to 6 months total for any of your readers that want to escape the West and its unnecessary restrictions.

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  • Michael Robert Powell November 29, 2020, 9:17 am

    Well Wade, this is another interesting insight about America’s / the Western world’s apparent crawl towards the abyss (I hope not… but history loves to repeat and much of humanity shows a total disdain and disinterest for studying the past).

    Anyway for me, 2020 has been an excellent year ( sorry other VJ fans to gloat, but traveling in China there’s been no Covid nonsense since March).

    Yet it sounds like urban hell for those in Oz – Melbourne, much of Western Europe and parts of USA.

    @ Trevor, yeah, sure would take a pill or jab like any other travel vaccine before. Except that our demographic will be one of the last to get the dose since there’s nearly 8 billion with their hands out.

    Stay happy everyone – the new year is nearly here and surely 2021 can’t be as twisted – MRP 😀

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