Never again.

That should be the unflinching answer to the growing calls in some circles to bring back mask mandates and lockdowns amid the current COVID-19 variant wave.

Don’t think there aren’t some circles that aren’t deeply invested in returning to the medical lockdown state.

President Joe Biden has requested additional funding for a new COVID-19 vaccine, and while the administration has insisted that a new round of lockdowns isn’t coming, taking it at its word would be a bad bet.

Remember, Biden tried to foist an unconstitutional national vaccine mandate on the country not long ago. They’ll do what they think they can get away with politically.

With a spike in new COVID-19 cases, expect these debates to ramp up again.

“The U.S. is seeing a late-summer spike in COVID cases, prompting some schools, hospitals and businesses to encourage—or even require—people to start masking up again,” reported NPR, which listed some of the hospitals, schools, and businesses that have brought back mask mandates.

The list is growing, despite a huge amount of data showing that mask mandates simply don’t work.

I’ve already had COVID-19 during this wave. Thanks, China. Would I have taken drastic measures to stop it from happening besides what I already do? Absolutely not. It’s extremely contagious, and it’s going to burn through the population, vaccines and boosters or not.

It’s fine to take personal precautions. If you are still wearing a mask outdoors, then you are a lifer and probably wouldn’t do anything different anyway. But the idea of going back to mask mandates, vaccine passports, and economically catastrophic lockdowns is totally unacceptable.

My feeling is that this is where most Americans are these days.

Here’s something else: We know a lot more about COVID-19 now. It’s clear that many of the lockdown measures and mask mandates didn’t really do much of anything to stop the spread.

“Follow the science” was really “follow the arbitrary decision of a bureaucrat.”

There were signs at the time that the “cure” for COVID-19 was worse than the disease. Yet, many of the voices calling for a different approach were railroaded into silence.

A few responsible leaders refused to buckle to the misguided “scientific-technological elite” and followed a wiser course, but they were generally outliers. So, we engaged in a vast experiment of societal lockdown. The results were both fruitless and terrible.

A Johns Hopkins University analysis found in early 2022 that “lockdowns across Europe and the U.S. reduced the COVID-19 mortality by 0.2%.” It also found that “shelter-in-place orders were ineffective, reducing mortality by only 2.9%.”

Now, consider the immense individual and societal cost of lockdowns and mandates. Anxiety, depression, and alcohol abuse skyrocketed due to isolation.

Perhaps most damaging of all was the effect of the lockdowns on children. School closures during the lockdowns resulted in generational learning loss. Thanks to teachers unions, bureaucrats, and misguided politicians, many of these children will permanently remain behind academically.

The worst part of all is that—as conservatives warned—many of these measures were arbitrary and used as a tool for censorship. The federal government coordinated with Big Tech to silence anyone who criticized the official line about the vaccines or what was supposed to be done about the pandemic.

In some cases, government officials outright lied to the American people.

That happened while mass civil unrest and riots were taking place across the country. You were told to stay in your home and keep quiet while a mob burned down your business and trashed your community.

The whole thing seemed like a test run for tyranny.

I’m guessing—and I’d certainly hope—that the small rebellions against mandates and lockdowns last time would be much more intense this time around. 

Republican presidential primary candidates have essentially said that they won’t engage in mandates and lockdowns again. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared that mask mandates won’t happen in his state, and I’m sure many other GOP governors will follow suit.

Americans are warier of the consequences of lockdowns and mandates than the last time around. I think the powers that be know that, and they will be more cautious about testing what they can get away with (though they undoubtedly will).

Here’s an important question: What if it’s something else? What if there is another pandemic or health threat, and we are again told to just “trust the science” and fork over our liberties to a new batch of Anthony Faucis?

That will be the real test case for whether we’ve learned our lesson from 2020. If we have, then we must never again allow the arbitrary biomedical state to make wide-scale decisions for our society.

The United States was conceived in liberty with a foundation in self-government. Let’s not further abandon that legacy.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.