WHO Supremo: These anti-lockdowners have given me PTSD

Funny, this, in that he’s not the only one suffering from PTSD. A lot of naturally sociable people who found themselves cooped up for two years on his recommendation might recognise the symptoms:

“Our health workers are tired and some of them are dealing with the longterm psychological impacts. We don’t need to be planning ahead for 10 year’s time. We might need to be thinking ahead for 10 weeks time and what our healthcare systems will do then.”

Dr Ryan added that he thinks he has PTSD

“We’ve had death threats here, we’ve been shouted at. I’ve worked all over the world in the most extreme situations, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I have never been as scared personally for my own safety as I have been during Covid. That’s an incredible thing to say, living in Geneva, Switzerland, most of the time.”

He also said that the pandemic is not over, despite “people saying it is”.

As an aside, issuing death threats to some civil servant somewhere is not only deeply immoral, but also eminently pointless: If Dr Ryan, or any other senior figure at one of these global institutions were to resign in the morning, well. There’d be another one along in five minutes with the exact same idea. There’s a lot one can say about global institutions, but that they are beacons of ideological diversity is not one of those things.

I’ll confess here to some sympathy for Dr Ryan: There’s an unfortunate and growing tendency to see those who implement policies with which we disagree as sort of conscious tyrants, implementing some Davos-driven global plan to restrict the freedoms of the public. In my limited experience, all of that is nonsense. In fact, it would be much easier and straightforward to oppose the worst ideas of global thought leaders if they were openly and transparently malevolent. No.

The real trouble is that they believe this stuff, very deeply. Dr. Ryan does not see himself as a Dr. Evil character, repressing the plebs as part of a global plan for a better, pleb-free world. He sees himself instead as the hero – saving the plebs from themselves. Sure, you might be angry at those who locked you up for two years. But the way they rationalise it is that your anger is simply an expression of your ignorance. If you knew what they knew, and saw what they saw, then you’d be grateful. Better you are alive and full of hate than dead. That’s how they see it.

And of course the tragic hero always bears the burden. Joan of Arc saved her country, and was burned by a cheering mob. Liz Cheney has sacrificed her political career to save American democracy. Most Irish politicians, it seems, would rather be tossed from office in a landslide than give so much of an inch to the dreaded “far right”. Mike Ryan bears his PTSD as evidence of his noble struggle against the likes of you, and your selfish demands to go to the beach.

All of this displays a feature common to modern progressivism: It is an ideology that is utterly and completely hegemonic, but sees itself as under constant siege from dark forces. For a few years there when the pandemic was on, Mike Ryan was amongst the most powerful and influential people in the world – his every word would be reported in Newspapers in almost every country on earth. And yet, to hear him tell it, he was leading a lonely and heroic fight against a barbarian horde, almost by himself.

You find the same here. Irish NGOs, for example, are funded to the tune of literal billions, and have legions of paid staff. And yet to listen to them, one might be forgiven that they are the last line of defence in Stalingrad in 1942, desperately holding off the nazis with naught but a captured hand grenade and a bayonet.

There’s delusion here, in abundance. I do not know whether Mike Ryan has PTSD – and he does not seem certain of it himself, saying that he “thinks” he has it. I do know though that my reserves of sympathy for him are limited. If you hold high office, then criticism should not only come with the territory, it should be welcomed. You know why? Because sometimes one’s critics are right. Even the ones that, in their desperation, resort to contemptible and stupid tactics like death threats.

But I see no evidence that Mike Ryan has ever listened to his critics. The evidence is in the last line in his quote above – that the “pandemic is not over”.

Because the pandemic is over. Covid may endure, but the panic about it, and the threat from it, has long since passed. If you are still clinging to the idea of masks and lockdowns and vaccine passports and all the other accoutrements of that lost war, then you bear more in common with the Japanese soldier holding out in Java into the 1960s than you do with anyone rational. And that Japanese soldier at least had the excuse that he could not see the world around him, to know that the war had ended.

So no, Dr. Ryan. I do not suspect you have PTSD. But there are a great many who do, thanks to your leadership.

 

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