Where I live (and probably where you live), if you wandered outside and looked around at restaurants, bars, shopping centers, airplanes, airports, municipal buildings, movie theaters, universities, schools, office buildings, and heck, even medical offices, you'd never know COVID is still a 'thing,' despite the fact that official case counts hover around 100,000 cases in the US per day and deaths are consistently around 500 a day, according to the New York Times.
The situation is even worse in reality, though, as many epidemiologists assert that official cases are vastly undercounted, and state that actual numbers of cases might be up to thirty times higher than officially reported. And maybe you're willing to accept that 500 deaths a day is just "the new normal." Death isn't the only bad outcome, however—experts assert that as many as 1 in 5 people who had COVID develop "long COVID," which can be debilitating for months or years.
If you still care about COVID and wonder why the entire country seems to be being gaslit by the folks running the public health system, here's an interesting analysis that helps explain what happened. Journalist Walker Bragman recently posted a link on Twitter to an "action guide" on "stopping medical mandates," created by the "Action" arm of the Tea Party Patriots. The mission of "Tea Party Patriots Action" is:
to equip Americans with the resources and training they need to be engaged citizens and effective activists. Our vision is for a nation where individual liberty is cherished and maximized, where the Constitution is revered and upheld, and where Americans are free to pursue their American Dream.
They have three main platforms, including "personal freedom," "economic freedom," and "debt free future," as well as a whole host of topics about which they produce action guides, including "National debt, Healthcare, Tax reform, Big government, Immigration, First Amendment rights, and Second Amendment rights." The guide that Walker Bragman is referring to was published in Summer 2021 and is called "I do not consent: Stop UnAmerican Medical Mandates, A How-To Guide for the American People." It includes guidance about how to "Host a Sign-Waving Event," along with sample slogans to put on signs such as:
Tyrants never let a crisis go to waste! They're using Covid to control you!
Let our kids BREATHE! No more mandates!
No more Covid fear mongering! We are FREE AMERICANS!
Don't let the panic porn manipulate you into giving up your rights!
The guide also includes information about how to "Organize Parents & Concerned Citizens," and how to "Make Some Calls" (including scripts) to federal elected officials, governors, state legislators, and more. The guide ends with a request for donations, naturally.
Bragman asserts that this Tea Party activist work helps explains how we got to our current state of affairs regarding COVID. Along with the link to the guide, he tweeted, "Big money has poisoned our national discourse around COVID. This guide was published last summer by the billionaire-funded dark money group Tea Party Patriots Action to help people defeat public health measures like mask requirements." It's probably not the entire reason we've gotten to the point of being told to just 'live with the virus' while cases and deaths rage on, but it's certainly part of the story.