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My reader H E, who is from the United States, commented on one of my Neil Ferguson posts and viewed the coronavirus crisis through the lens of history, specifically the First World War (1914-1918).

His is an excellent essay.

Emphases below are mine:

Your posts from the Spring were prescient concerning a sinister motive behind the government actions in response to the Corona virus.

You wrote that something ominous was afoot in the government-imposed lockdowns and the termination of civil liberties. At the time, I thought these were just over-reactions to the new virus, and that governments were seeking to err on the side of caution. But, you made the point that the actions taken by government officials were out of proportion to the threat, and that once civil liberties are lost, they rarely are returned.

It has become clear to me that the actions taken by governments to terminate civil liberties and lockdown their citizens are part of a internationally coordinated plan. In the US, it appears that the democrat party has successfully stolen the presidential election from Donald Trump. President-elect Biden has spoken about a ‘dark winter’, which I understand is some sort of code-phrase for the imposition of a dictatorship to counter an attack by a biological weapon.

I read a book years ago about the events in Europe in the run up to the First World War. The ethos on the continent among with middle classes was optimism and faith in progress. In the Spring of 1914, the mobilization for war didn’t threaten the optimism of the age because people thought that any war would be short, and it would done by Christmas.

The author noted that in 1919, a mere 5 years later, the genteel life of pre-war Europe had disappeared, replaced by despair. 16 to 20 million civilians and soldiers died in the war, which included trench warfare, poison gas, and aerial attacks on cities. In Russia, the Czar was deposed and Lenin and the Bolsheviks were in power. In Germany, the Kaiser abdicated and was replaced by the Weimar republic. The Austro-Hungarian empire dissolved into its constituent ethnic nationalities. There were communist uprisings in Russia (successful), and in Germany, Hungary, and Italy (unsuccessful).

To someone in the dark days of 1919, the conditions on the continent in the Spring of 1914 must have seemed unreal, like an idyllic dream.

I wonder if we will someday look back to the time prior to March 2020 in a way similar to how the people in 1919 looked back to the Spring of 1914. How it was to walk into a shop and buy goods, speak with other customers and the proprietor, and pay with cash. How it was to walk to the corner tavern and meet and speak with our neighbors there. How it was to go church on Sunday and assemble with other people to pray and sing hymns. How it was to travel by simply purchasing a ticket for a bus, train, or airplane. How it was to assemble to address political grievances, and then vote to elect candidates to represent our interests, and see those candidates implement the policies they promised.

I could not agree more.

I am grateful to H E for remembering my posts from early on in this crisis so many months ago.

I don’t enjoy being right about the handling of the coronavirus in the free world.

Meanwhile, China is laughing.

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