Safety theater at Runyon Canyon.

We were already an unhealthy people in March 2020. Fat, sedentary, drug taking and prone to melancholy. In 18 months we have become significantly unhealthier on direct instructions from the government. Stay home. Wear a face diaper. Live in isolation. Here’s some money, order in.  Be alone. Pestilence is all about. You are the vector of pestilence. Hide your murder breath. Don’t gather in one place like the idiots of MAGA country. Are you unhappy? Here’s a pill. Live in your underwear. Keep a pair of door pants at the ready for delivery people.  Don’t go to school.  See your sad reflection in a Zoom grid. Stare at your face for hours every day while pretending to learn. Here’s another six months of checks. Hit the app. Have the little people bring you things. Give Silicon Valley control of your headspace. Stream everything. Pay people to talk to you to fight the sad.

93,331 overdose deaths in 2020.  Three more on the floor in Venice this weekend, plus the wonderful Michael K. Williams in New York.

Since the pestilence from the Wuhan Institute of Virology reached our city, Los Angeles has handed down edicts in the name of our collective safety like a factotum from a Terry Gilliam movie. Masks. Social distancing. Disinfecting surfaces. The utility of these measures in preventing infection are marginal.  Airborne coronaviruses find a way.  They burn through the population in a given area in a two-month conflagration then wither for want of new hosts. New variants come along later and we repeat the process. Sweden is the best real-time experiment we have lockdowns may not significantly alter the ultimate outcome.

What would have helped us? Hardening one’s immune system. Dropping to a healthy weight. Improved lung function. Cardio. Vitamin D.  Among people under 65, obesity is the greatest co-morbidity, 78% of hospitalizations.

Two words:  Runyon Canyon. Get on the trail. Clear your head. Enjoy the eye candy. Stand on the ridge top like a philosopher king and contemplate the city of your youth. Turn and face the Valley of your now. Be anti-fragile. De-mask yourself and smile at your passing brethren.  Give them your face so they may give you theirs and you both may carry each other home and know you are not alone.

What a headf**k  it is to discover this week L.A. is doing all it can -still!- to restrain the public from walking there. Is it closed? Not exactly. The parking lot is closed. Most of the street parking on Mulholland has been taken away.  The main gates are closed. There are two doors, one at the top, the other on Vista, that are left unlocked. So it’s not like you literally can’t enter but the City sure makes you feel its disapproval.

What free people would stand for this? Where did this deference to grasping bureaucrats come from?

Everyone from Fauci to power-tripping LA County Health Director and fake MD Barbara Ferrer should have been pushing vigorous immune health from the beginning. How much would that have cost? Bupkis. For lack of profit it is a solution that dare not speak its name.  What would be the downside risk? There isn’t any. One can still become sick, of course, but the ability of the virus to overwhelm you is greatly diminished.  You can still push vaccines. But first, build the foundation.  Much can be accomplished in 18 months through incremental persistent changes in diet and exercise.

Here’s a data point for you all. Since Wuhan began, I have had over 2000 people in my car in various states of masking: correctly, incorrectly, hanging below the nose, under the chin, discarded altogether, talking, coughing, burping and laughing.  I lower my mask to sip water. I chew gum. I talk to people. The odds I have not come into contact with aerosolized Wuhan particles, that my lungs have not been breached, are remote. Negligible I would argue.

I have not had so much as a sore throat. I am neither superhuman, nor exceptionally lucky.  What I am is healthy (also vaxed, as of May). I spent much of the past year working outside, hiking and biking and on occasion, running.  This was a choice any of us can make. I’ve been the overweight guy, prone to melancholy. That didn’t work for me.

Our solution is not a pill. Nor is it the defenestration of the CEO of Sweetgreen for daring to say the hospitalization rate of Wuhan was driven by the “underlying problem” of obesity, then abase himself in a forced apology. Nor is it wishing Joe Rogan an early death for stating on his podcast he overcame the Delta variant in three days using Ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies.

Coronaviruses are endemic. They are with us now and will be for the rest of the lives. We have flu strains floating around dating back to 1918. The real questions before us are not viral ones. They are matters of social control.

How much liberty are we going to yield to those who would prefer us fat, sedentary and compliant? America was not designed to be a bio-medical security state, but we are building one now.

What are we going to do about it? You will be put to the question, like it or not. It will find you, even when you are out riding your bike.

9 thoughts on “Karenocracy”

  1. How much of the Runyon Canyon and Mulholland Drive closures and parking elimination is purely Covid related vs opportunistic riffraff prevention organized by local residents? The folks who pay extra to live in the hills with views and open space never liked the unwashed masses wandering in and out. Covid provided an excuse to fortify the territory. It’s a form of enclosure of formerly public space into de facto private space.

    I’m reminded of places like Independence Hall in Philly where upscale property owners had long wanted to rid public parks of The Wrong Element. Then 911 came and suddenly everything needed to be fenced off and rigorously policed – selectively. The Taliban was coming for the Liberty Bell. We can’t have people loitering nearby.

    1. You could say the parking/gate closures are the happy intersection of Creative Class NIMBYISM and public health petty tyranny. A 2-for-1, sort of like school systems telling parents they would LOVE to re-open but only after the federal government retrofits the air conditioning and ventilation systems first.

    2. I had a friend visit me in 2018 and it was his first time in the city and I took him to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and I had not been since I was a pre-teen which was pre-9/11 and boy was security intense. The Park rangers previously were always a bit intense about NOT CROSSING the street anywhere but the designated crosswalks (good for non-city dwelling tourists, annoying for people who know how to safely/quickly cross mid-block), but it was on a whole ‘nother level. he enjoyed the actual historical sites, but we were disinclined to enjoy the actual grounds around Independence Hall as a result.

  2. While I think you raise some thoughtful points here, I do have some questions, and I think the tone might not be conducive to mutual discourse with people who have opposing viewpoints.

    My questions:

    First, you said there were 93, 331 overdoses over the past year. To put this in perspective, can you tell me how many there were in previous, non-pandemic years? That would help me gain a sense of perspective over how this extended quarantine impacted so many people’s mental health.

    Second, you make it sound like it’s an accepted fact that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Has this been definitively proven?

    Third, you referred to Barbara Ferrer as a fake MD. Does she have a PhD? If so, then she has earned the title of Dr. I would hope someone in her position has a medical degree; we might assume her Dr implies this, and that might not be the case.

    As for the tone (I’m feeling very teacher-like as I dissect this essay!), if I was of a liberal bent, I would not feel like your essay welcomed an exchange of ideas. By referring to the virus as Wuhan instead of Covid, you alienate people who might actually agree with your focus on the need for access to public spaces.

    Other than these points, I think you raise excellent points regarding the poor health of the American people and the burgeoning obesity rates, combined with the restricted access to public parks (especially in such elite neighborhoods) and the dangers facing our society should we continue on this road. It’s like WALL-E…

    1. Hey teach, MD is not a PhD. Just thought you wanted to know + it seems pretty clear by now it was a lab leak, not bat burgers or whatever. Down with bioweapons research.

    2. 71K overdoes in 2019, so a 31% spike in death.
      The lab leak has not been “definitively proven” in the sense the Chinese government has copped to it. It has been “definitively established” as the most likely point of origin. Meaning, the evidence for wet market origin pales in comparison to the facts in the public domain that place means, funding and opportunity for launch within the Wuhan Institute.
      I feel bad about my tone now. I love the free exchange of ideas. If you are reading this and feel big-footed by my argument, feel free to poke holes.
      Wall-E is a good analogy. Maybe I should have started with that.

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