2021 A Year in Review
2021 was a year that will be talked about for years to come. There were riots, lockdowns, political theater, and COVID-19 mandates in that year.
From the start, the United States has had mythos about how people can rise to the top of the world by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, supposedly on their own merits. This kind of individualism, which emphasizes independence and values personal freedom, doesn’t change with each new administration. It has also slowed down the United States’ ability to respond to pandemics.
Americans were very concerned about preserving their hospital capacity instead of taking steps that would have kept people from even needing to go to the hospital in the first place. It explains why so many Americans didn’t do what was best for the group, even if they hid their faces or isolated themselves. That’s why the CDC, which is the country’s top public health agency, put out guidelines that talked about the freedoms that people who have been vaccinated might have. The move told people who now had immunity that they were free from the pandemic’s collective problem. It also suggested that those who were still at risk were on their own and that their risk was somehow their fault. It is taking charge of your own health if you don’t get vaccinated, says CDC Director Walensky.
Both aren’t true. About half of Americans haven’t had a single dose of a vaccine. Many of them aren’t hesitant because they don’t have the money or the time. However, the pandemic is still just that: a pandemic, which is spreading quickly around much of the world. It still poses a threat even if it’s manufactured, to large parts of vaccinated countries, as well as some of their most vulnerable citizens. As long as the United States doesn’t want to deal with it as a group problem, it’s still a problem for everyone.
In a pandemic, being alone can be very costly. It’s on one end of the cultural spectrum with collectivism on the other. It’s “me first” vs. “we first,” independence vs. interdependence, and so on. These qualities can be measured by surveying people in a certain area, or by looking at things like how many people live, work, or commute alone.
Two studies found that countries that were more individualistic were more likely to have COVID-19 cases and deaths. There was a third study that said people from the US, UK and other countries who were more self-centred were less likely than people from other countries to avoid social distancing. A fourth study found that people who wore masks were more likely to live in collectivist countries, U.S. states, and U.S. counties, even after taking into account factors like political affiliation, wealth, and the severity of the pandemic. These correlative studies all have flaws, but across them, a consistent pattern emerges. This pattern is backed up by a closer look at the U.S. response.
The US also mostly ignored other things that could have kept entire communities safe, like better ventilation, high-filtration masks for important workers, free housing for people who needed to be isolated, and sick-pay policies. A vaccine endgame and Operation Warp Speed were the only things the country cared about. Collective protections were left in the dust. As vaccines were made, the main way to tell if they worked was to see if people didn’t get sick.
Vaccines, of course, cannot be a viable solution to a virus with a mysterious origin. How would it be feasible for anyone to manufacture an effective vaccine for a virus if they don’t know the origin of the said virus? To put it another way… Don’t know how it became a virus?
As soon as the Alpha variant of the new coronavirus (B.1.1.7, which is now the most common in the U.S.) is out, it can spread more quickly than the original virus. The Delta variant (B.1.617.2), which has become more common in the U.K. and India, could be even more likely to spread. A report from the UK says that a single vaccine dose is less protective against Delta than its predecessors, but two doses are still a good idea. For now, vaccines are still failing to do as advertised.
When leaders tell people who have been vaccinated that they don’t have to be part of the whole problem, that problem is moved to a smaller and already neglected part of society. They are so blinded with ambition that the leaders cannot see that they are causing several problems while solving none.
In May, the CDC said that people who had been fully vaccinated didn’t need to wear masks in most indoor places. Almost right away, a lot of states stopped requiring people to wear masks. Retailers like Walmart and Costco use the “honor system.” There was a lot of surprise at how quickly these things changed.
Some public-health experts think the new CDC advice is good for at least four reasons. They say that the CDC did the right thing by following the science, that its new rules are more flexible, that it correctly read the pulse of a tired country, and that it may have encouraged people to get vaccinated (although Walensky has said that this was not the goal of the CDC). They should know that they’re safe, and act as if this is true, as a whole: In contrast, some people think the CDC did not do one of its main jobs: to make sure everyone is safe.
But the fact that group behavior was starting to change against the group’s best interests shows flaws in the CDC’s decisions. The CDC could have explained how its guidelines should be used. It could have linked the lifting of the mask mandates to a certain level of vaccination or the arrival of worker protections, or both. In the absence of that clarity, and with no way for businesses to even check if someone has been vaccinated, a mass demasking is bound to happen. Putting the blame on the people who don’t understand the guidance is “wow”.
America is very attracted to the idea of being your own person. There has been a temptation for everyone in the public-health field to do the same thing for a long time. In the past, people have been trying to figure out what causes disease. This debate is just the most recent step in a long-running game.
A lot of European researchers in the early 19th century were right when they said that disease epidemics were caused by things like poverty, poor sanitation, dirty housing, and dangerous jobs. They knew that these things are why some people get sick and others don’t. Then, as the 19th century came to an end and the 20th began.
During those years, scientists found out that microscopic germs cause infections, that certain chemicals can cause cancer, that vitamin deficiencies can cause scurvy, and that genetic differences can make people look different. When the epidemiologist Anthony J. McMichael wrote “Prisoners of the Proximate,” he talked about a world where disease was caused by germs, carcinogens, vitamin deficiency, and genes, among other things. People became more responsible for their own health in the public health field. They began to think about health mostly in terms of personal traits and exposures. They started looking for “risk factors” that make people more likely to get sick as if the causes of sickness were only inside the boundaries of a person’s skin.
People don’t have to do these studies, but they should, McMichael said. Liver cirrhosis, for example, is caused by alcohol, but a person’s drinking habits are influenced by their culture, job, and exposure to advertising or peer pressure, as well as by their own drinking habits. It’s always a big deal when cultural and historical factors, as well as differences in race and class, play a big role in how individual risk factors are distributed. Even so, McMichael wrote, “Modern epidemiology has mostly not paid attention to these issues in a wider context.”
This is how the CDC works today and is one big joke if not criminal in nature. Ironically, the only “science” that they are interested in happens to be what Big Pharma’s profits are based on.
Noting this thoughtless divide as it pertains to the pandemic, we will take a gander of some other occurrences in 2021.
“Tyranny doesn’t last long because the people who do it are helpless and don’t know what they’re doing. It thrives because people actively identify with people who promote bad things as good”.
Mobs of angry people. Martial law is in place. In some countries, people are under house arrest. As a techno-corporate state, they are using their power to keep a lot of the country from moving at all. A Constitution in pieces.
Here are some of the things that kept us from getting what we wanted in life, liberty, and happiness:
The Deep State took over after riots, martial law, and a lot of people got hurt. People stormed the Capitol in 2021 because the jailer of their choice didn’t get a chance to fight for another four years. Almost right away, the nation’s capital was put under military lockdown, online speech forums were closed, and people with subversive or controversial views were found, investigated, shamed and/or shunned. It took no time at all.
Following the “peaceful” transfer of power from one administration to the next, 25,000 troops took over the nation’s capital as part of the “national security” part of the process. So-called insurgents tried to storm the Capitol on January 6. This was the perfect time for the Deep State, which is also called the Police State, the Military Industrial Complex, the Techno-Corporate State, and the Surveillance State, to come in and take over.
The president of the empire. Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush all had a lot of power. They could kill American citizens without due process, detain suspects indefinitely, strip Americans of their citizenship rights, carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, suspend laws during wartime and disregard laws that he might not agree with, conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, sanction torture, and sidestep the legislatures and courts with a lot of power. This is a list of the powers that each of them had.
An “eyes on” state on any given day, the average American was watched, surveilled, spied on, and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears. When we live in a surveillance ecosystem, we’re all suspects and bits of data that can be tracked and targeted. People involved in the Capitol riots were tracked down and identified by the FBI for days or even hours. We all leave behind a trail of digital footprints and trails when we go online. Imagine how quickly government agents could target and round up any group of people they wanted to based on these things.
Digital tyranny. During the events of January 6, the tech companies did their own version of social justice with digital tyranny and corporate censorship, which is what they called “social justice.” People who had no connection to the Capitol riots started getting locked out, suspended, or even had their social media accounts deleted. This happened even to people who had no connection to the riots. People who want to control how people talk on the internet reached a turning point in their fight. We, as a group, lost.
There is going to be a new war on terror, when the term “domestic terrorism” was first used, it was used to refer to anyone who was “anti-government,” “extremist,” “terrorist,” or anything else that could be seen as “dangerous.” It was used to describe anyone who could be seen as “dangerous.” New York Times reporter Glenn Greenwald called it “a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of ‘terrorism’ that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror, which began nearly twenty years ago.” In his inaugural address, President Biden said he would fight “political extremism.” Every American is now an extremist, in word, deed thought, or by association.
The government is going to kill people. Government-sanctioned murder and mayhem continued unabated, even though the death penalty was abolished in Virginia in 2021. The US government was acting as a judge, jury, and executioner over a population that had already been pre-judged and found guilty, stripped of their rights, and left to suffer at the hands of government agents trained to respond with the most violence. A person in a mental health crisis or with special needs who may not be able to show their disabilities right away was especially at risk from the police.
The culture wars are going on right now. A more dangerous form of groupthink and mob rule, combined with government and corporate censors and a “cancel culture” that didn’t like “certain” views, made it easy to get rid of views that didn’t fit in. It was also at the top of the culture wars. Critical race theory also rose to the top.
Getting into your home. Because of public health and safety, the Fourth Amendment was often broken by government agents at will. There were many ways the government and its corporate partners-in-crime used surveillance technology to get into people’s homes, such as wiretaps, thermal imaging, surveillance cameras, and more. The Supreme Court, however, took a stand in two cases, Caniglia v. Strom and Lange v. California, to stop police from raiding homes without a warrant to get guns that people legally own. They also said that police can’t enter homes without a warrant if they’re “hot on the trail” of someone they think may have committed a crime.
Bodily ethical. In the middle of a showdown between the rights of the individual and the so-called “emergency” state, concerns about COVID-19 mandates and bodily integrity stayed part of a much bigger debate about how citizens and the government fight over our “property interest” in our bodies. In this debate, people talked about everything from abortion and forced vaccinations to biometric surveillance and basic healthcare. forced vaccinations, cavity searches, colonoscopies, blood draws and breathalyzer tests were just a few ways that Americans were reminded that they have no say over what happens to their bodies when they meet with government officials. They were also reminded that we have no say over what happens to our bodies when we meet with government officials.
COVID-19. What started out as an effort to stop a new coronavirus from spreading across the country and the world has become yet another way for governments around the world to expand their powers, abuse their authority, and oppress their people. It’s not yet clear how the rights of the individual will fare under long-term COVID-19 authoritarianism. The government has used a lot of lockdowns, mandates, restrictions, contact tracing programs and more to show off its police state powers.
Tyranny over money. There is now more than $29 trillion in debt that the federal government owes and must pay back, and it’s getting more and more expensive. That works out to about $230,000 for each taxpayer. The amount this country owes is now bigger than its GDP (all the products and services produced in one year by labor and property supplied by the citizens). By 2051, that debt will be twice the size of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the government kept spending money it didn’t have on programs it couldn’t afford, businesses closed because they didn’t have enough customers, resources, or employees, and people kept having to pay more for everything from computer chips and cars to construction materials.
Deep State of the World In part, this was because the US government had a lot of long-term and sometimes top-secret alliances with other countries and global corporations. This made it clear that we had entered into a new world order, one that was made up of international government agencies and corporations. COVID-19, which saw governmental and corporate interests become even more intertwined, pushed this transformation into high gear. We’ve been getting closer to this global world order for the last few decades. Fascism has become a global threat.
20 years of trouble. During every crisis, whether real or made up, the government has used taxpayer money and our freedoms to expand its reach and power while limiting us at every turn. History: This is the Great Depression. During the World Wars. People were killed in the terror attacks on September 11. During COVID-19, a lot of people died. It’s true that the government’s (mis)handling of various states of emergency over the last 20 years, from 9/11 to COVID-19, has led to a huge security industry that has never been seen before.
The state of our country. For the most part, not much has changed. The country was still politically divided, controlled by forces that were out of the reach of most Americans, and quickly moving the country away from its freedom foundation. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year, many Americans have been subjected to egregious civil liberties violations, such as invasive surveillance and martial law. They have also been subjected to strip searches and police shootings of unarmed citizens.
Also in 2021 News
This year, new evidence showed that humans arrived in the Americas more than 15,000 years earlier than previously thought. This backs up last year’s claim that humans first came to North America about 33,000 years ago. May was a good month for news about animal bones found in a cave in Mexico. They were found between 33,000 and 28,000 years ago. Near the bones, sharp-edged stones that may have been used as tools were found. This suggests that humans were in the area at some point. Some 23,000 to 21,000 years ago, someone found fossilized human footprints in what is now New Mexico. People were in North America during the peak of the last ice age if the tracks’ age is confirmed.
Pig Kidneys Implanted in Humans
A pig’s kidney was attached to the body of a human for the first time (SN: 11/20/21, p. 6). The organ worked normally for 54 hours while being watched. This successful surgery is a step toward real animal-to-human transplants, which would make more life-saving organs available to people who want to be part pigs.
Frog cells turned into tiny living robots. Scientists took skin stem cells from frog embryos and watched them form into little blobs called “xenobots.” These xenobots could swim around and even repair themselves, as well as move things in the environment. Scientists say that xenobots could one day be used for good things, like cleaning up waterways and nefarious things like bioweapons.
Clinical trials are underway for vaccines against influenza, HIV, and more.
Tiny molecules became big in 2021, and they kept getting bigger and bigger. As of the end of the year, COVID-19 vaccines made from small pieces of messenger RNA were ineffective at stopping and transmitting COVID-19.
There are mRNA vaccines that tell our bodies how to make a protein that looks like a virus’s spike protein, which is used by the coronavirus to break into cells. The vaccine-made protein then tells the immune system what the real threat looks like, so it knows what to look for when it comes across that threat in the future. In 2021, scientists failed to isolate the COVID-19 virus, it’s questionable where these spike proteins come from.
For a long time, scientists have been trying to make mRNA-based vaccines to fight diseases like rabies. They’ve been on a slow and winding road. Because of the urgency of the pandemic, these efforts were given a new lease of life by the government.
The hopes are big: Making sure that there aren’t any bugs in your body. Aiming at cancer cells. Gene diseases like cystic fibrosis can be treated by restoring certain proteins. The question is: can science, government and corporate interest be trusted?