Imagine you’re staring at a campfire surrounded by people who claim to be fire experts. As the fire lazily burns, you’re told consistently that this campfire is an out-of-control, rampaging wildfire that will destroy the entire area unless you do exactly as these experts tell you to. You can see that what these people are saying is abject nonsense, and know that if the fire does ever truly start to threaten you or the area, you’ll take the necessary steps to bring it back under control.
But no. These “fire experts” not only tell you your assessment of the fire’s strength is wrong, but that soon your inaction will cause the fire to burn everything down. As they say this, the fire gets a bit lower and less threatening. Naturally, you start to question the validity of these experts and their knowledge, and when you do the people who listen to these experts every word begins calling you a “wildfire denier.”
Those who do listen, including the local government, have begun instituting ridiculous measures to make sure your fire doesn’t burn everything down…including burning everything around the fire first.
But you can see it with your own eyes. There is no wildfire. Sure, fire can be dangerous, but you haven’t seen anything from this campfire to believe it’s truly as dangerous as they say.
After some time of panicking over your fire and demanding everyone slather burn salve over themselves, these experts begin slowly changing their tone. As it turns out, some of the steps they recommended actually weren’t necessary and they may have been overselling the panic about the fire in the first place in order to make people compliant.
While this comes as news to many, you knew all along what there was to be worried about and how to deal with the campfire in front of you. You paid attention to the fire, saw its patterns, and were easily able to map out the best way to avoid getting burned. Even if you did get a little burned, it wasn’t the end of the world. You’ve had worse burns in the past.
Your common sense was the lens through which you viewed the world. You trust your own eyes, your own ears, and your instinctual ability to recognize patterns over the constant braying of authoritarians and “experts.” You were right not to panic the entire time, and because you took a position of calm knowledge, eventually the experts were forced to catch up with you.
My analogy obviously fits what’s going on with the “pandemic.”
Too many people were chasing around the “experts,” who were pushing practices that didn’t help, and may have even caused more damage in the long run. The closure of entire states sent our economy spiraling and it’s an issue we’re still dealing with today. People in states that didn’t rely on authoritarianism to fix everything came out far better than those that did, but by the way many people talk about it, you’d think that these states were literally death traps.
To be sure, the COVID-19 virus had its dangers and for a time it was necessary to take certain precautions, especially in the very beginning when there were constant unknowns. However, as information began coming in by the boat-load and patterns were established, people learned they had much less to fear. The “experts” and their fearmongering were called into question and rightly so.
The point is this: Your common sense makes for a much better world than these “experts” ever could. They can be corrupted, biased, or willing to sell their voices to the highest bidder, but you will always know what’s best for you. Your independence will take you a lot farther than a bureaucrat ever will, and we would all do well to remember that going forward.