The National Sickness

It would seem like every measure of societal well-being has gotten worse since 2020:

Increased healthcare costs
Increased chronic illness
Increased mental illness
Increased crime
Increased national unrest
Worker shortages
Stunted learning/development
Supply shortages
Global global unrest (Ukraine vs. Russia)

None of these these things are going to get better. The healthcare burden and other consequences of Covid (and long/chronic Covid) are going to linger for decades, like Gulf War syndrome but magnified by a factor of 100-1000. Same for labor shortages. Covid has given an excuse for millions of people to never work again. This is a huge windfall for health insurance companies and healthcare providers, who pass these costs on to employers. Employers pass it on to consumers. The result is more inflation and higher healthcare costs and premiums for everyone. The mental health consequences of Covid and lockdowns will linger, too.

Hospitals are full of sick people who are otherwise of working age, not just the elderly. The streets are full of people who are not working. It’s as if since 2020 the share of people who are unable or unwilling to work has surged. These people are at the bottom rungs of society, so the cost of caring for them is passed on to taxpayers. These problems were already bad before Covid, such as the Opioid epidemic and surge in disability claims. It’s remarkable that society isn’t more dysfunctional given how many people are not contributing.

The loss of trust of leadership is likely permanent as well. America was already very divided even before Trump won, and then the combination of Biden, the mask and vaccine mandates, and the Covid lockdowns made this worse. Had Trump won probably things would be more civil now. There is the perception that lawmakers are siding with the law breakers, such as the epidemic of shoplifting in San Francisco and the refusal to prosecute thefts. BLM and the fear of legal retaliation have made police more risk averse. Businesses and home owners are at the mercy of the mobs. The people who have been entrusted to maintain order are unable or unwilling to do their jobs. Society has become inverted in that people who follow the rules are punished, and those who break them are rewarded or act with impunity.

Crime has surged since Covid:

The authors of the report also reviewed property crimes, violent crimes and drug offenses in 29 large cities. Aggravated assaults and robberies both increased by 4% and 19% respectively. Property crimes also increased by 6% while larceny went up by 20%, residential burglaries rose by 6% and motor vehicle thefts jumped up by 15%.

However, the spike in homicides seems to have been short lived, quickly returning to its long-run average by 2021:

On the positive side, the reason why the civil unrest situation is not worse is because it tends to be self-limited and contained. BLM and Antifa protests get a lot of media coverage, but they don’t last that long and are limited to a handful of areas. Also, as I said before and is obvious, these events are astroturfed beyond belief. It’s not like the situation in Iran, which is far more widespread and destabilizing. Although I think there is some astroturfing in Iran too. If you’re wondering how something suddenly dominates the headlines, it’s because the Western media decides to give it attention. How do you get millions of Americans voluntarily sending money to one the most corrupt leaderships and governments in the world? Again, thank the media.

The national sickness is literal and figurative. How long can this last? It will be interesting to see what happens.