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Arnold Ahlert / Mar. 23, 2020

Pandemics Reorder Priorities

There's nothing quite like a pandemic to expose the folly of certain agendas.

“The eight states where lawmakers have imposed plastic bag prohibitions are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont, according the National Conference of State Legislatures,” columnist Patrick Gleason writes. “Six of those statewide bag bans were enacted as recently as 2019. Hundreds of cities, towns, and counties have also imposed a bag ban or tax. All of these laws seek to force or encourage the use of reusable shopping bags, which pose a public health risk at any time and especially during the current pandemic.”

Not just during a pandemic. A 2011 study was undertaken by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University. They collected reusable bags at random from grocery shoppers in California and Arizona, after which they conducted interviews with their owners.

What they discovered was problematic, to say the least. First, most owners seldom, if ever, washed their reusable bags. Second, many used them for multiple purposes.

The result of such practices? “Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half,” the research stated. “Escherichia coli were identified in 8% of the bags, as well as a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria increased 10-fold, indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags.”

It gets worse. A 2012 study revealed that nine members of a soccer team contracted the norovirus, described by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a “very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea” simply by touching a reusable bag, or eating the food contained in it. In what might be seen as the essence of unthinking behavior, the bag had been stored in a bathroom. “That might seem like an outlier,” columnist Angela Logomasini explains, “but people cart these bags all over the place, touching surfaces on public transportation, taking them into public bathrooms, and other places, creating lots of opportunities for the bags to pick up bacteria and viruses.”

Such opportunities were not limited to picking up bacteria and viruses. A 2018 study published by the National Environmental Health Association used a non-infectious proxy virus to assess the probability of norovirus transmission related to reusable bags. It revealed that shoppers with such bags transmitted that virus all over the store, including high concentrations of it on the hands of the shoppers themselves, as well a grocery checkout clerks.

According to the 2011 study, washing such bags would remove more than 99.9% of the bacteria on them. A survey conducted at the University of Arizona, however, revealed that only 3% of bag owners ever wash them.

Now add coronavirus to the mix. Any questions?

New York has seen the light — sort of. The ban the state enacted has been pushed back from the initial enforcement date of April 1 to May 15. Yet almost unbelievably, there is resistance to the idea from the state’s Department of Conservation commissioner Basil Seggos. “DEC continues to encourage New Yorkers to transition to reusable bags whenever and wherever they shop and to use common-sense precautions to keep their reusable bags clean,” Seggos said. “We have consistently said since the beginning of our outreach campaign that we will focus on education rather than enforcement.”

Such zealotry is unsurprising. The entire environmentalist movement has a cultish aspect to it, which brings us to the central aspect of that cult, namely global warming. For decades, a transnational movement promoted by elites as “settled science” and aimed at supplanting national governance has morphed into a full-blown campaign replete with the hysterical prediction that the world has less than a dozen years left between now and planetary armageddon.

Whether that brand of hysteria will take a back seat to the current pandemic remains to be seen. Yet all along, the underlying assumption of this movement is that higher global temperatures will be catastrophic. That many of the movement’s predications have yet to materialize is largely irrelevant. Yet perhaps even more inconvenient, it is quite possible that it might be our best hope for containing coronavirus.

A study posted on March 10 and revised on March 20 asserts that “high temperature and high relative humidity significantly reduce the transmission of COVID-19, respectively, even after controlling for population density and GDP per capita of cities.”

It’s only one study, and pushback will be inevitable as such assessments are antithetical to the globalist agenda. Thus, entities like the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that climate change will cause about 250,000 additional deaths per year by the 2030s. That would be the same WHO whose dubious relationship with China likely exacerbated the spread of coronavirus. Instead of holding the ChiComs accountable for their pathetic and secretive response, the organization’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “political commitment” and “political leadership.”

That would be the same Dr. Tedros who tried to appoint former Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe as one of the organization’s … goodwill ambassadors.

The real tell regarding this seemingly corrupt group of bureaucrats? As reported by NBC News, WHO spends more money on travel, including first class and business flying, than the combined budgets for tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria. “This may just speak to how misplaced international priorities are, that WHO is getting so little for these disease programs,” stated Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota.

Moreover, here’s a question few ever ask: How many lives will be saved by global warming? Studies conducted in the UK in 2009 under the aegis of Professor William Keatinge of the University of London revealed more people die from excess cold than excess heat, yet such studies are rarely, if ever, part of any debate about global warming. Moreover one rarely hears about studies that show global warming could increase the amount of arable land for farming.

Proof positive? Certainly not, but one should be quite suspect of any agenda aimed at concentrating power beyond national borders to organizations accountable to no one but themselves.

Speaking of borders, an agreement between the United States and Mexico on banning all nonessential travel between the nations was implemented last Friday. Illegals attempting to cross the border will be returned — even those asking for asylum. Apparently both nations now recognize the necessity of border enforcement. So does the European Union, which not only has closed national borders, but erected barriers in an effort to contain the virus.

However the latest crisis plays out one thing is certain: We will never be the same nation again, and all agendas will be reassessed. Here’s hoping those which elevate politics — especially transnational politics — above all other considerations will be the first casualties.

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