Guest Post: Ken Green on Covid Policy Idiocy and the “Nobody Knew/Fog of War” Excuse

Ken Green returns with another patented Ken Green rant about COVIDidiocy.

Prescript About Meeeeee: Unlike my Fellow Fill-in Flunky Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov (Really? This is subtle?), I’m an open book. You can read most of that catalog here, and find my personal web page here. In a nutshell, I’m a risk and regulation guy, bio/env science background (got the Dorktorate from Ookla to prove it), and, I believe that the regulatory state is basically evil, illegitimate, and its regulations are almost 100% corrupt instruments of coercion to serve the elites and their power-mad regulatory minions. (And how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?). I’ve drafted a lovely manuscript about how the incorporation of quantitative (probabilistic) risk model outputs into the EHS regulatory process has corrupted 75 years of risk-regulatory policy in the United States (and the foolish countries that tend to follow our regulatory agency examples). I’m calling it “A Plague of Models.” If you’re a publisher…


First, my thanks to Steve Hayward for plugging me into his Roster of Remote Reprobates, his File of Fill-in Flunkies, his Binder of Bloggish Bloviators… while he’s out gallivanting around the world swilling scotch, sucking on stogies, auditioning gun-toting/chalkboard posing science-babes for his photo-dumps, and posting “Nyah Nyah, I’m here and you’re not” travel-porn pics on Twitter. It hasn’t been a week, and I’m already going through withdrawal for his Juul-addictive-power, Mentholated MemeStreams of Joy. Damn you, Hayward!

Anyway, out there on the internet, I’ve been coming across a regular parade of excuses for the imbecilic public policies pumped out at warp speed by our (ahem) respected authorities in their desperate responses to the emergence of COVID-19. (And don’t get me started on the Fauch…) The dominant storyline of all these excuse-festivals seems to be:

Look, nobody knew what would work or not, so we were just playing it safe

Well…with respect for PL’s Profanity Police, I am going to call Bovine Excrement on all that Verbal Fecal Matter!

When it comes to things like basic physics, biology, and chemistry, we knew – or anyone claiming to have enough education to hold a position of authority should have known – that one hell of a lot of that crap would not only not work, it would make things worse.

 The Catalog of Covidiocies is a long one: Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay-home-stay-safe, keep your social distancing, don’t assemble in groups of whatever, shut down the beaches/playgrounds/schools/bars/gambling halls (WTF?)…but I’ll start with…The Mask.

No, not the movie, that was okay despite Carrey’s later devolution into a political chimpanzee, but the fabric, paper, polypropylene, and other diaper-like materials that leftist sheeple and authoritehs have been so enamored of from CovidDayOne.

The Mask was not the worst of the Covidiocies that people have had to endure, but it was one of the earliest, is still persistent, and probably lost me more close friends and closeness with family than any of the other Covidiocies, because I was throwing out the “you might as well use a chain-link fence to keep out mosquitoes, you doofus” meme on my then-Twitter and Facebook accounts.

So let’s make this one brutally simple. COVID-19’s mean particle diameter is about 50 to 140 nanometers – that’s billionths of a meter – that was known as soon as it was detected, and is the same size as other coronaviruses humans have dealt with since time immemorial.

And yet this was published (regarding cloth masks) to the National Library of Medicine in June of 2019:

The pore size of masks ranged from 80 to 500 μm, which was much bigger than particular matter having diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) and 10 μm or less (PM10) size. The PM10 filtering efficiency of four of the selected masks ranged from 63% to 84%. The poor filtering efficiency may have arisen from larger and open pores present in the masks. Interestingly, we found that efficiency dropped by 20% after the 4th washing and drying cycle. 


As if anyone washed the damn things. Tell me you wash those cloth grocery bags, right? Please. Pull the other leg… And don’t give me the “we assumed that COVID-19 only travelled in droplets,” garbage. There was never any reason to assume that would be true, and every reason to assume, as a conservative first guess, that COVID-19 would be capable of airborne transmission independently, as a zillion microbial agents and particles are. Does NOBODY study Pasteur anymore? You know, yeast, wine, vinegar, BEER, all that “spontaneous origin of life” stuff? Microbes can float all by their lonesomes in the air – this has been known since the discovery of microbes, for God’s sake!

Oh, but, but Surgical Masks! N95! That’ll save us!

This was from 1993:

So, not to be judgmental about this, but…Yes, wearing a mask can help…it can help show the person wearing it has absolutely no grip on physical reality, nor any comprehension of the scale of things necessary to even begin to talk sensibly about controlling one’s exposure to something as small as a virus. And one should pre-suppose that the mask-wearer is probably fundamentally irrational and might be prone to outbursts of screaming insanity and violence at any moment, like any other stupid beast of the field, and…

Yes, we bloody well should have known this in 2020!

So take off the G-d-D—ed Masks!

Ahem. I feel better now. Thanks again, Steve. Next time, perhaps we can talk about the idea that humans exist in completely dry, still-air environments where droplets that spew from your face are expected to hit the ground only a meter or so in front of you, which is where the “two-meter” social distancing idiocy came from…

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