2022 was the year where the Covid hysteria finally made room for some rational analysis. Most people had enough. In many countries, a debate has started of what went wrong. Unfortunately, Malta is not one of those countries. Here, the strategy seems to be to simply bury the topic. It has disappeared from the news. I predict that this is not going to last forever. The damage that was done is simply too large to be ignored. Malta is an Island, but it won’t succeed in shielding herself from a debate about what went wrong.

That debate is taking place in countries like the US and the UK. In the US in particular the public is more and more coming to the realisation that big mistakes were made, and that those mistakes might not have been just mistakes. As we know from the Twitter files, the government systematically suppressed a debate about the subject. And far from suppressing false information, the authorities systematically suppressed the people who were speaking the truth instead. In addition, everyone can see that a lot of healthy young people, in particular athletes, seem to die suddenly and unexpected lately.

The public is waking up to the disaster. But the question remains, why were they ever asleep? Another important question is should people who got it so wrong be forgiven for what they did?

The Covid pandemic has opened my eyes to human nature, unfortunately, not in a good way. Before this disaster, I had quite a good image of humans. I thought that most humans mean well and that everyone is capable of being rational. While humans can be very irrational, ultimately, their rational brain wins out.

The last 3 years, however, have taught me that first and foremost, humans are herd animals. They follow the lead of the herd no matter what. If there is a conflict between their rational brain and what they see everyone else doing, they ultimately conclude that the herd must be right and that their rational brain has made a mistake.

I saw a lot of people – people who I have known for many years and whose intellect I respect – choosing the herd over hard data. They could see that the data suggested that the Covid narrative was wrong, and yet, ultimately, they decided that it was not possible that everyone around them got it so wrong. The warm feeling of being part of the crowd defeated their otherwise well functioning rational brain.

The most painful experience was that among the cheerleaders of lockdowns and vaccine mandates were some libertarians. In order to be a libertarian, one usually has to be a fairly independent thinker. Not even in the US, libertarianism is part of the mainstream. People who are libertarians, therefore, are used to not follow the herd. In addition, the whole libertarian movement is about distrusting and exposing power structures, most importantly those of the state.

States are inherently evil. They might be a necessary evil, but they are nevertheless evil. Power always serves special interests to exploit the less powerful. Furthermore, even if the people in charge have good intentions, they simply cannot solve problems on a large scale. No central planner can possibly have enough information to solve problems effectively, the world is too complex for that. Problem solving require a lot of experimentation, trial and error. Different solutions need to compete with each other so that one can see what works and what does not.

States, on the other hand, are doomed to follow through on their first solution. There is no feedback mechanism to tell them, or motivate them, to change course. If a solution does not work, they normally don’t easily correct the mistake, but double down on it instead. No matter what the intention of politicians, they simply cannot solve problems. The state is an inherently stupid organisation.

Libertarians know all this. And yet, many did not see anything wrong with the government shutting down society over a virus. In particular, most libertarian think tanks did not speak out against this madness. Many professional libertarians even openly supported the government. That is not to say that there were not many libertarians who saw through the madness and did speak out. Some think tanks, like the Mises Institute, did speak out.

Still, that there were libertarians at all who went along with the official narrative was painful to watch. I even got unfriended by some for daring to question the government. I still cannot get over that. I assume, like most people, they acted in good faith. I find it difficult, however, to understand what was going on in their heads.

Knowing the problem of organising anything on a large scale, I had a hard time coming to terms with the reality that the Covid pandemic was not merely a mistake, a bureaucracy going crazy. Yes, it was that too. In fact, that is the main reason why it went as far as it did. However, the hysteria and the wrong solutions were not just an accident. There was a powerful conspiracy to induce the hysteria and seduce governments to attempt the wrong solutions.

It took a while for me to understand how it was possible to organise such a massive plan. Even though I already thought in March 2020 that there was something very wrong with the official Covid narrative, and even though I was fighting the madness of lockdowns from day one, it took me over a year to accept that it was not just a mistake, but a strategy of some powerful players acting in bad faith. But there is no way around it at this point. This pandemic was systematically planned from the beginning.

So, now that the official narrative of the past few years is falling apart, what should we learn from this? The most important take away for me is that the masses really are irrational. They will blindly follow their leaders, even when those leaders will lead them over the edge of a cliff. That is fundamentally human nature and will never change.

It is not a coincidence that some species form herds. Humans would not have been as successful as they are if we were all lone wolfs. It is a good thing that humans are herd animals. It is therefore a good thing that most people follow the herd. But it is not a fool proof strategy. While it helps in many situations, it can go terribly wrong. And that is what we saw in this pandemic and countless other historical events.

Future historians will look back on this pandemic and think how crazy it was. People will feel confident that they would have been in the resistance and would have seen through the madness. And then, the masses will learn nothing and follow their next leader over the edge of the cliff.

If the nature of the masses won’t change, should we even bother to have a debate about what went wrong at all? Should we not just forgive and forget and move on? I think there is value in working though what went wrong. True, it won’t stop the next mass hysteria, but it might postpone it. Having a debate about what really happened will damage the faith of a lot of people in their leaders. And this might make them more sceptical about them for at least a while. It might make them pick better leaders and might prevent them to go over the cliff again too soon.

In addition, we really need to see some leaders being prosecuted in courts. Future leaders will have to be made aware that they are not safe from prosecution if they make bad decisions, or worse, outright commit deliberate crimes. This will make better leadership more likely in the near future.

On the other hand, should we be angry with those people who went along with it? I don’t think so. At least not in general. Sure, there were some people who showed their true colours. They seem to enjoy the authoritarianism of the Covid policies. Those people I will avoid in the future. But most people just trusted the herd and were acting in good faith. They did not mean to harm anyone, they certainly were not in on any conspiracy, they simply were not able to think outside the herd.

Many were simply scared to die. I know a number of very smart people who completely lost their ability to reason during this pandemic. It became very obvious, the reason why they were not able to reason was, because they were truly scared to die. In a state of fear, the rational brain simply cannot function very well.

Still, even though I am not angry at most people, my positive view of the ones who went along with this has suffered. Respect is a bit like trust. Neither is a choice. I either trust someone or I don’t. And if I don’t there is not much I can do about it. I cannot just decide to trust someone. Similarly, I either have respect for someone or I don’t. It is not a choice. And my respect of many people has been greatly diminished. There is not much I can do about that. It is just a life lesson that I have learned throughout the scamdemic. It was a painful lesson to learn, but ultimately valuable. It is how humans are and the world works.