by Ryan McMaken
It is unlikely that pundits, politicians, and the general public have ever been so obsessed with numbers as they are right now. I speak, of course, of the numbers surrounding deaths and illnesses attributed to COVID-19.
For months now, every new day has brought new headlines about total COVID-19 infections, total deaths, and estimates put out by models claiming to predict how many deaths will soon occur.
These numbers have become the focal point of many politicians’ careers. This is especially true for state governors and other politicians in executive positions, who now in this time of “emergency” essentially rule by decree. New edicts are regularly issued by policymakers, allegedly based on an assessment of the all-important numbers. These decrees may unilaterally close businesses, cut people off from important medical procedures, ban religious gatherings, or even attempt to confine people to their homes. Those who refuse to comply may have their livelihoods destroyed.