The People Who Destroyed Our Freedom During COVID Want Amnesty.

There is an understandable tendency among those who overestimated and overreacted to the COVID-19 threat to use ignorance as an excuse. How could we have known any better when all that was being directed at us was paranoia and panic? How could we have navigated the situation more rationally when it evolved so rapidly?

That is more or less the argument Dr. Emily Oster made in the Atlantic this week when she asked for “COVID amnesty.”

Oster, who, to her credit, was much more clear-headed about the pandemic than others, pointed out that government leaders’ zero-sum approach to the pandemic was both misguided and unnecessary . It’s easy to say so looking back, she said, but in the thick of the pandemic, it was difficult to know what the best course of action was.

She wrote:

The 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 doesn’t accord with the facts. All of this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to drive the culture wars, especially on the internet. These discussions are heated, unpleasant and, ultimately, unproductive. In the face of so much uncertainty, getting something right had a hefty element of luck. And, 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.


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