Emily, who forced her kids to mask while hiking OUTSIDE now says we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were "in the dark about COVID". Today, I outline why my answer to her plea is an emphatic "NO".
On today's episode, I'm riding solo once again to talk about a recent article over at The Atlantic by Emily Oster - "Let's Declare a Pandemic Amnesty".
Emily, who forced her kids to mask while hiking OUTSIDE now says we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were "in the dark about COVID".
Today, I outline why my answer to her plea is an emphatic "NO".
Give your thoughts down below in the comments!
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Brian Nichols 0:02
Do we need to declare a pandemic amnesty? Let's talk about that. Focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. No, happy Monday. While you're on the show, and thank you for joining us on of course, another fun episode. I am as always your humble host when you live here in lovely, lovely Eastern Indiana, don't let outdated technology or cyber attacks put your company at risk. Learn more at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Stratus ip and get your free one on one business technology consultation again at Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Stratus ip Stratus ip Business Technology simplified Alright folks. Well, thanks for joining today's episode. Yeah, we're going to answer that question. Do we need to declare a pandemic amnesty? It's a question that was raised in a recent article over at the Atlantic? Well, if you've been listening to the program for the past two and a half years during the COVID Insanity, I think you know my take, but we're gonna go ahead and read that article and also give my perspective. But first, I'm gonna go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor. And this is super important if you are an elected official, if you are a candidate, or if you are a business owner, yes, this sponsor is a great fit for you. And that is right strategies. Now, folks, you know, the challenge, you're out there trying to create some compelling content, either to get voters to pay attention or to get folks in the business world to pay attention. It's tough, being able to make a difference in that digital landscape will look no further to help you out right strategies is going to be the perfect partner to help you not only excel in business, but also to win your elections. They have great tools, such as their SMX testing feature that can go ahead and help you reach 10s of 1000s of voters, helping expand your reach and helping you not only hit crush your numbers in business, but also crush your elections. Want to learn more head the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash Rs, why you're going to go ahead and get a free yes free business snapshot for your marketing report or an election report card as well entirely free. All you have to do of course is let our friend Morgan and her amazing team over at right strategies know that I sent you one more time Brian Nichols show.com forward slash RS amplifying your message where voters and customers spend their time. Alright, folks, so yes, on to today's episode, and I'm gonna go ahead and share my screen. So I wanted to go ahead and talk about this article written over at the Atlantic. And by the way, if you're joining us here, on the audio version of the show, we have a video version of the show as well had the Brian Nichols show.com. And you can check out the audio or the video version that is over on YouTube rumble or on Odyssey So joining us there right now I'm going to start here, let's declare a pandemic and the status is by Emily auster from the Atlantic, her subtitle here, we need to give one another we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we are in the dark about COVID. Now I'm gonna go ahead and read through this on our episode today. So please bear with me as we're going through and I'm definitely gonna give you my feedback. But let's start things off here in April 2020. With nothing else to do. My family took an enormous number of hikes. We all work cloth masks that I had made for myself. We had a family hand signal, which the person in front would use if someone was approaching on the trail and we needed to put on our masks. Once we yelled or once when another child got too close to my then four year old son on a bridge. He yelled at her social distancing. These precautions were totally misguided. In April 2020 No one got the Coronavirus from passing someone else hiking, outdoor transmission was vanishingly rare. Are cloth masks made out of old bandanas? I wouldn't have done anything anyway. But the thing is, we didn't know.
Really, really. So to start and this, this is the part that it just drives me crazy is that folks like Emily here are just pretending that basic immunology basic basic epidemiology didn't exist. Prior to March of 2020. February of 2020. We had Anthony Fauci on camera, saying that cloth masks would do nothing to prevent the spread and transmission of a virus months years before the Coronavirus outbreak in the beginning of 2020. And yet all of a sudden he changes his tune. But Emily says we couldn't have known we couldn't have known that this does this virus was gonna behave unlike any virus and actually attack people when you're outside in fresh air? No, we did know. And I think that's one thing before we move forward this article, it is so important for us to stop the the lie. It is an absolute lie that we didn't know. Yes, you did. You did no. But what you did was you let your fear take over your ability to rationalize to reason to use logic. I'm sorry, no, you did. No. But you chose to act in a different way, and to act on your fear. That's what happened, Emily, let's continue. I've been reflecting on this lack of knowledge. Thanks to a class I'm teaching at Brown University on COVID. Oh, she's smart. We spent several lectures reliving the first year of the pandemic discussing the many important choices we had to make. under the conditions of tremendous uncertainty. Some of these choices turned out better than others. To take an example close to my own work, there was an emerging if not universal consensus that schools in the US were closed for too long. The health risks of school in school spread, were relatively low, whereas the cost of students wellbeing and educational progress were high. The latest figures on learning loss were alarming. But in spring and summer 2020, we had only glimmers of information, reasonable people, people who cared about children and teachers advocated on both sides of the reopening debate seat now this this is where the gaslighting no see. First of all, the the idea now she she mentioned the word consensus, right and that now it's a consensus that is, if not universal, that that schools were closed too long. Well guess what the consensus air quotes that was talked about at the beginning of the pandemic was that we had to shut down schools. So maybe, just maybe, Emily, the idea of judging how we should dictate our society on consensus isn't the best of ideas, especially when that consensus is wrong, and was at the Joe Biden the creepy, it's wrong whisper Sorry, I wasn't gonna do that. But also, she goes into talk about in the spring and summer of 2020. We only had glimmers of information. Well, why is it that that schools in Europe remained open? Why is it that we see schools in in places like Florida reopened and have no issues? It's because you didn't want to pay attention to that data. Actually, it's because we weren't allowed to share this information. If I even tweeted something remotely similar to this, I would have gotten banned, suspended. The very least, Facebook would have put a big check underneath my a fact check underneath my eye post.
Of course, we're upset. And we're not taking these words too seriously, because I don't believe you. I know that you knew that this was insane back in 2020. And that you refuse to acknowledge it because you want to let fear drive away. And also a lot of people liked the fact that they were able to then feel they were doing something virtuous. Look at me, I'm putting a face covering on to make it look like I'm a good person. Please, you don't talk about wearing your politics on your sleeve. Continuing another example, when the vaccines came out, we lacked definitive data on the relative effects of efficacy sorry, of the Johnson and Johnson shot versus the mRNA options and from Pfizer and moderna, the mRNA vaccines have went out to be to determine there. But at that time, many people in public health were either neutral or expressed a j&j preference, this misstep wasn't nefarious, it was the result of uncertainty. Well, I don't know, there was a lot of us were saying maybe it's not a good idea to, you know, just rapidly produce massive mass scale injection across a global scale, and not really have too much definitive testing. Maybe that's not a good idea. It's not a matter of saying that, you know, we weren't uncertain actually, we weren't quite certain that that might not be a good idea. And and to say it wasn't nefarious. I mean, that's look at all the stuff that we are finding now that was hidden behind the scenes things that the drug companies and a lot of our elected officials and non elected bureaucrats they in fact did know. Yeah, that that did happen. So obviously continues Emily, some people intended to mislead and made wildly irresponsible claims. Remember when the public health community had spent a lot of time and resources urging Americans not to inject themselves with bleach? That was bad misinformation was and remains a huge problem, but most errors were made by people who are working in earnest for the good of society. Oh, hold on, Emily. So this is the Nobody said inject yourself with bleach and anybody who actually listened to us. We're According to what Trump said, when he was talking about there were some science scientists that he had met with, I think it was that day or the day earlier, who were talking about a possibility of using something of a substance that was quote, bleach, like, but it wasn't actually bleach. Obviously, he's Trump. He's trying to take what he hears in science talk and speak it to an average person, but also to make it so he understands what it was as well. Obviously, it's not bleach and the fact that people ran with this narrative, just like the horse pace narrative, I hit my table to start the horse pace narrative with Kai say ivermectin, am I going to get strict stricken down for saying that word, the I word. But know that that was also a narrative that was wildly run with but other drugs also, like hydroxychloroquine. Rather, that was also shown that it was semi effective, but also was pushed to the side. But then other drugs like remdesivir was pushed forward and ended up killing more people. Well, how does that happen? Is it nefarious or is it uncertainty? Or is it a combination of both continuing?
Given the amount of uncertainty almost every position was taken on every topic, and on every topic, someone was eventually proved right, and someone else was proved wrong. In some instances, the right people were right for the wrong reasons. Oh, and in other instances, they had a pressing understanding of available information, that people who got it right for whatever reason may want to gloat. Those who got it wrong, for whatever reason, may feel defensive and retrench into a position that does not accord with the facts. All this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to dry the culture wars, especially on the internet. These discussions are heated, unpleasant and untimely and unproductive in the face of so much uncertainty, getting something right and had a hefty element of luck and similarity. Similarly, getting something wrong wasn't a moral failing, treating pandemic choices as a scorecard, on which some people racked up more points than others is preventing us from moving forward. Well, I'm sorry, Emily, some of us were told that you couldn't go to see your family members in the hospital go and grieve when your loved ones passed away. There were those who missed the birth of their children. There are families who were just absolutely crushed when their businesses were shut down, because they were ruled on essential so maybe, Emily, maybe just me, I know that you're superduper smart and brown, professor and such. But maybe there's more to this than scoring points. Maybe it's because your incessant need to take your fear porn, and your hypochondria and put it into policy. And that negatively impacted millions of Americans to the point that many of them are never going to be able to recover. Maybe Emily, that's the problem. Maybe it doesn't have to do with the fact that they're looking to score some one point in the culture wars, but rather that you advocated openly and gleefully the destruction of their livelihoods. Just a thought. We have to put continuing we have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge. Los Angeles County close its beaches in summer 2020. Ex Post Facto this makes no more sense than my family's masked hiking trips. But we need to learn from our mistakes and then let them go. We'll hold that. Will you will you learn from your mistakes, though, Emily, will you because I haven't seen that. I'm still hearing the conversations about the need for us to continue to mask. I'm still hearing teachers in the teacher unions, the government teacher unions, the public sector teacher unions argue that we should have restricted learning. I'm still seeing the idea that we need to be advocating folks have a vaccine or to go to certain restaurants in certain big blue cities. So really, have we move forward? I don't think so. Continuing?
Because I thought schools should reopen and argue that kids as a group were not high risk. I was called a teacher killer. And a general six year I don't know how to speak French. It wasn't pleasant, but feelings were high. And I certainly don't need to dissect and rehash that time for the rest of my days. Moving on is crucial now because the pandemic created many problems that we still need to solve. student test scores have shown historic declines moreso in math and in reading, and more so for students who are disadvantaged at the start surprised someone says some of us said that from the very beginning, Emily, continuing we need to collect data, experiment and invest is high dosage tutoring more or less cost effective. had been extended school years. Why have some states recovered faster than others? We should focus on questions like these, because answering them now will help our children recover. Well, here, here's a thought, Emily, you might not like the answers, you want to go look at Florida. Let's go have a conversation about why Florida is doing so well. As a matter of fact, let's go have a conversation. Why so many red states that either shut down and then immediately opened thereafter, when they started to get more of the data, or didn't shut down at all those states seem to be doing quite hot. As a matter of fact, a lot of those states are seeing an increase in population, because a lot of the blue states and the blue cities that shut down, they are they're hemorrhaging their populace like Pennsylvania, New York, California. I just moved from Philadelphia to a red state like Indiana. Why? Because after that, you think I'm going to allow a Philly mayor and his health department to determine whether or not I'm going to be allowed to go to a business because I haven't taken an experimental vaccine and not cover my face. But diaper, screw you. And guess what? I'm taking my tax dollars with me. And millions of other folks took that route as well. And guess what? That's the reason why we're making the move here. And I asked, Have you learned Do you want to have that conversation, Emily, open inviting the show, by the way, love to have a conversation. And I apologize, I'm a little heated. But this is something I can't take the gaslighting and frankly, I don't believe you, I don't believe you want to learn. I think you want to have the people like me, the folks who have been having to spend the past two and a half years be called science deniers that we don't want to trust the experts, because we will see grandma die. That that rhetoric. Yeah, that maybe got a little a little heated. But I also don't believe you in saying you want to make amends. I believe he wants to shut up. But do you actually want to learn? Do you want to see what worked? Or do you want to hear your experts tell you? Well, if we'd only masked harder, if we had only done things better? If we'd only taken things more seriously, then hey, you know what, if we just all done what we were told, none of this would have happened?
Yeah, that's why Emily, because I don't believe that you actually want to hear what works. I think you want to hear people tell you, you were right. And it's okay that you you didn't have actual success from your ideas. They would have worked, if we'd only done what you had told us to do. If only we had masked when we were hiking with you or your child had screamed louder at that child, probably like you would coach them to because social distancing, continuing, many people have neglected their health care over the past several years. Notably routine vaccination rates for children for measles, pertussis, that's a fun one. I haven't heard of that, etc, are way down, rather than debating the role of messaging about COVID vaccines having this decline. We need to put all our energy in bringing these rates back up. Timeout. Is it that or is it a matter that we've also seen pre screenings and such in health across the board for cancers? For you, I mean, you name the preventative issues that are out there for the preventative measures, those strings plummeted during 2020. Of course, that includes vaccinations of love how she's like, Oh, maybe it's the people who are skeptical of vaccines. That's the reason people aren't aren't getting their kids vaccinated for Measles? No, it's probably because parents were terrified of sending their kids to the hospital to go get their shots or go to the doctor get their shots. When we were we were conditioned by the the media and folks like you, Emily to believe that if you were next to somebody who was a normal breathing person, but they weren't wearing a mask, that they were a threat to you, and that they could give you a disease virus that you can't see. Maybe that's why they didn't go to the hospital, not because they were questioning the vaccine, Emily, but also maybe they should be questioning the vaccine, especially for their kids, Emily. Also, continuing Emily's article pediatricians and public health officials will need to work together on community outreach and politicians will need to consider school mandates our pardon my language, parents earmuffs, the fuck they will you think you're going to mandate putting vaccines for kids that go to schools? The CDC is already trying to do that. And guess what? Thank God, there's Republican governors out there. And yet, by the way, libertarians, this is why it's important for us to get out of our pardon the expression autistic ways and allow ourselves to look at the reality that yeah, having a Republican governor was almost guaranteed a better outcome than if you were in a state with a Democrat governor. And if you were in a state with a Republican governor, I'm sure that's hard to believe. I promise you, it's the reality. So that's why it's so important. But also you think you're gonna go ahead and force kids to get this vaccine every six months in order to continue to be up with their Boosters is that the game we're playing? That's for kids that go to school, and then when they go to college, they have to get to get max and then they're gonna get boosted in order to go to college every single year. When does this end? Well will end. I've said that before, it's not gonna end until we say it ends continuing. And by the way, the end of the article, the standard saying is that for those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop as well. Let's acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty and try to work together to build back and move forward. Well, well, I don't know, Emily, I disagree. Mainly because I don't believe you. Yeah, people who do forget history are condemned to repeat it. But that also means we do have to actually acknowledge the history and you don't want to do that. That's the problem, because it's going to require you to actually sit down and acknowledge what you did what a lot of other folks like you did. And here's the thing, right? We're never going to get Emily and I'm talking to you now. Audience. Hello, I'm done being heated. Brian, we have to talk about how do we how do we move forward in a world with many Emily's out there writing articles for the Atlantic. And the reality is, is that she's not our market. She is our competition, though. She's writing articles like this, because she's trying to be persuasive to a market of people who are trying to figure out what the hell just happened, what the past two and a half years, they have gone from two weeks to slow the spread to I need to get an everlasting booster in order to consider myself safe. That's where we're at. And we've gone from zero to a million, and we're still having a lot of folks playing catch up. So what we have to do is not try to convince Emily that she's wrong and pointing to my screen here. By the way, we have to avoid that mentality of like, yeah, obviously, Emily is wrong. Obviously, Emily is trying to gaslight, her audience, what we have to do and what I'm trying to do here today, and I'm trying to instruct you to do is to take this argument that she's she's promoting, rip it to shreds, and present what actually happened, give the facts give the truth, and do so in the way that we effectively know works, meeting people where they're at, on the issues they care about, you know, somebody who's got a kid, talk to him about the vaccine, midday for kids go to school, you know, somebody who's a small business owner talking about the business is getting shut down and crushed. You know, somebody who's a laborer, tell him about the differences between essential and non essential employees. Let's, let's have this conversation. But also make sure that when we are setting the record straight, that we're never letting folks like Emily tried to set the narrative, when, how much of history I mean, this is the part that this pandemic has really taught me, I don't know about you. How much of history is just BS? Because we're seeing folks like Emily, in real time try to rewrite the narrative trying to gaslight people, what we just all lived through.
How much in history is just that? How much have we read in our textbooks is just that I'm asking genuine? I don't know the answer to that question. I'm sure a lot of us, our brains are gonna get in the middle of trying to really go into those rabbit holes. But when you see it happen in real time, it reaffirms why it's so important for us to do what we're doing. We talked about this months ago with our good buddy, there are Caleb friends who by the way, just got a brand new freaking book deal. Really excited for that. I'm excited to have him on the show in the future, talk about that. But we talked about the importance of us sending the narratives now and telling history, in our words, because if we don't, people like Emily, they're going to, they're gonna say it like this. You want your grandkids reading this Atlantic piece one day in their history class. And say like, there were good people like Emily who are trying to bring things together, but the evil misinformation, Republicans and libertarians, they just wouldn't have it. That's, that's going to be the narrative. If you don't do your part, if we don't go out and effectively sell our ideas to your average person who lives through this BS over the past two and a half years. That's your challenge. And your mission, should you choose to accept it.
All right. That's what I have for you guys today. I think I'm gonna leave it there. So to answer the question, do we need to declare a pandemic amnesty? No, no, as a matter of fact, we're going to double down and we're going to continue to make sure that people like you never have a position of power again, Emily from the Atlantic. Well, the holes are named Emily poster, I think I'm gonna go ahead and give her the dignity of getting her name. But if you might check this article out. I mean, I'm not gonna link to it, but you can go check it out on the Atlantic. Yeah, I want to make sure and I'm sure that you do as well. People like Emily never have the ability to determine what we are allowed to do with our livelihoods based on fear, and I am tired of this. This, you know, this complete rejection of reality and the attempt to gaslight your average person, it's despicable. To quote Hillary Clinton. It's deplorable. And frankly, it's unacceptable. So what are we gonna do about it? 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