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  • snitzoid

Once again, that vicious WSJ bitch is going after my friend Anthony.

Just because he locked everyone down, was doing gain-of-function research with some lab in Wuhan, and screwed up everything during the pandemic is no reason to be pithy about it.

Besides, he's 82 years young, and as far as I'm concerned, nobody under the age of 80 should be running anything. Smoking Joe, Pelosi the Magnificent, and Warren Buffett are in the prime of their careers, and we're all the better for it.

The Lockdowns Are Over, but the Damage Goes On

Workforce dropouts and drug overdoses became more common as the world obsessed over the virus.

Allysia Finley, WSJ

May 7, 2023 2:31 pm ET

The World Health Organization on Friday acknowledged that the Covid-19 emergency is over, six days before the Biden administration’s declaration is set to expire. It’s nice of them to concede to reality, however belatedly. How about addressing more pressing public-health problems that have festered as they’ve obsessed about the virus? Don’t hold your breath.

Developing countries are seeing a resurgence of deadlier infectious diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis, measles and polio. In the U.S., young people are experiencing persistent problems that were aggravated by lockdowns including increased deaths, mental illness, drug overdoses and a detachment from the workforce. Call the phenomenon “long Covid lockdowns.”

Officials are trying to absolve themselves of responsibility for the post-Covid malaise by disclaiming the lockdowns. “Show me a school that I shut down and show me a factory that I shut down,” Anthony Fauci told the New York Times Magazine’s David Wallace-Wells last month. “Never. I never did.”

Dr. Fauci added: “Did we say that the elderly were much more vulnerable? Yes. Did we say it over and over and over again? Yes, yes, yes. But somehow or other, the general public didn’t get that feeling that the vulnerable are really, really heavily weighted toward the elderly.”

Is memory loss a long Covid symptom? Dr. Fauci told the American Society for Microbiology in August 2020: “We’d better be careful when we say, ‘Young people who don’t wind up in the hospital are fine, let them get infected, it’s OK.’ No, it’s not OK.” He added that young people “do get sick and symptomatic enough to be in bed for a week or two or three and then get better, they clear the virus—they have residual symptoms for weeks and sometimes months.” He repeated this ad nauseam to justify shutdowns even though he knew young people were at low risk of severe illness.

Dr. Fauci’s attempt to rewrite pandemic history recalls the classic “Seinfeld” episode in which George Costanza overreacts to a kitchen grease fire at a birthday party and mows down guests as he rushes to escape. “I was trying to lead the way. We needed a leader!” George cries in self-defense. “I was not leaving anyone behind!” The rush by Dr. Fauci and other public-health officials to shut down the economy has left hundreds of thousands of young Americans behind.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported that deaths from unintentional injuries—largely drug overdoses—last year exceeded those from Covid. But while the vast majority of Covid deaths have been among older people, drug overdoses even at the peak of the pandemic were the leading cause of death among young adults.

Politicians blame fentanyl pouring over the border, which no doubt has contributed. But notably, drug deaths were flat in the two years preceding the pandemic. They spiked only as government lockdowns took hold, plateauing early last year as life finally returned to normal after the Omicron surge and shutdowns.

In any case, fentanyl isn’t the only culprit. Between 2019 and 2021, methamphetamine-overdose deaths more than doubled and cocaine deaths rose 54%. These figures don’t account for the increase in drug-related deaths that aren’t a result of overdoses. Politicians treat weed as harmless, but it’s been linked to a significantly higher risk of stroke and heart attacks.

So has abuse of prescription stimulants such as Adderall, to which young people increasingly turned during the pandemic. A Trilliant Health analysis of insurance claims found Adderall prescriptions increased 58% between 2018 and 2022 among adults 22 to 44. There’s now a shortage of the drug because manufacturers haven’t been able to keep up with demand.

The Trilliant analysis also found an increase in healthcare visits for anxiety disorders (48%), alcohol and substance use (27%) and depression (24%) between the first three months of 2019 and the same period in 2022. None of this is surprising, but it goes a long way in explaining why deaths among young people remain elevated even as Covid deaths have plunged.

During the first eight weeks of this year, deaths among adults 25 to 44 were running about 25% higher than in 2019, though Covid could account for at most 10% of these “excess deaths.” A Society of Actuaries Research Institute report last November documented similar levels of excess death among young people.

Premature deaths and drug use no doubt are among the reasons for the persistent worker shortage. The White House boasts that labor-force participation among 25- to 54-year-olds has finally returned to pre-pandemic levels. But as it even somewhat concedes, the main reason is a surge in immigration, much of it illegal.

The number of native-born Americans in the workforce has risen a mere 2.8% since January 2021, versus 12.2% for immigrants. Employers are no doubt happy that the immigration crush is making it easier to hire, but what will happen to all of the young Americans who drop out of life?

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