Insanity is famously doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Like writing columns about Covid-19. Or attributing lines to Einstein we have no reason to suppose he really said. In the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet just because there’s a picture with a quote next to it.” Or everything the government tells you including about how well it’s dealing with a pandemic.

My excuse for writing about Covid-19 again is that it is the biggest, or at least most obsessive, news story I’ve seen in a long, long time in this business. And very revealing, too, about how governments think and how we do.

We have yet another variant, called “Omicron” because they didn’t think “Xi” was funny in Beijing, and what isn’t funny in Beijing isn’t funny to the World Health Organization. And funnily enough there’s this thing called evolution which the materialists were so keen on they put “Darwin” fish with legs on their cars until it turned out diseases get to do it too. Nature is ingenious but not squeamish.

We on the other hand are very squeamish. We don’t want to get sick. Illness is medieval. Back then people had bad teeth and died of stuff. Whereas we moderns have philosopher William Barrett’s “illusion of technique” where there’s meant to be a scientific, mathematics-based solution to any and every problem including the human condition.

Thus when a plague comes along the authorities cannot throw up their hands and go “Bummer, a disease, try not to die.” They must fix it. So they threw us all into massive lockdowns with a firmly fatuous “Two weeks to flatten the curve”.

It has since become a rather poorly-kept secret that their real concern wasn’t our health but that of the government medical system. But for all the lurching about and disingenuous rhetoric, there was a shared assumption between the state and citizens that it was their duty and our right to have the disease banished by technique.

So when lockdowns didn’t do it, they said vaccines would. And when some vaccines came along governments had to say they were totally great and there was this huge supporting conformist hysteria to “get the jab” and if you asked questions you were shamed or worse. Including about why the vaccines didn’t work very well or last.

Here I strike an unaccustomed pose of moderation. I got my shots on the prudent grounds that they posed an even lower risk to me than the virus… and the countermeasures. I didn’t buy the extreme position on either side. But I really wanted the nagging and lockdowns to stop. So I did my part. Now I am routinely asked for proof of vaccination, and when I ask “against what?” people laugh nervously.

Don’t think I’m an anti-vaxxer. On the contrary, I’m vaccinated against many diseases you really don’t want to come calling, like smallpox, pertussis and “hib”. (Google it. Yuck.) I got those shots decades ago. And I’m still immune. Yay vaccines.

Now I hear that because of Omicron “It’s time to start aggressively rolling out boosters to Canadians who received their second dose 6 months or more ago.” And “Wear a good mask. Get vaccinated. Don’t be a jerk.” And “Omicron is already everywhere…. Time for widespread boosters.” All tweeted or retweeted by just one friend who’s a keen, nay obsessive, observer of public affairs.

There are thousands just like him. There’s that conformity again. And the twisted logic, because if the vaccines worked properly we wouldn’t need boosters, whereas if they don’t boosters won’t help. It’s an extension of the argument that everyone must get vaccinated because otherwise the unvaccinated will infect the vaccinated and vice versa, whose reliance on vaccines both working and not working violates the “excluded middle” recognized as fundamental to logical thought since Aristotle’s day. But not in our enlightened times.

Since Ximicron is a new variant we don’t even know whether current vaccines would protect us against it with or without boosters. Or if it’s very virulent. But we’re dealing with mumbo-jumbo with social benefits not medicine, just as politicians going we’re totally ready one day and everybody under the bed it’s safe there the next is reassurance not information.

There was a time when new medical treatments had to undergo prolonged, even excessive, testing with none of that “her body her choice” nonsense about experimental options. Now they’re pumping us full of novel spike proteins over and over in a panic and calling us jerks if we worry that it might not be entirely safe or sensible.

Why? Because a technique must work, and this one’s all we have, so it must be the ticket.

Somebody has lost their mind. And it wasn’t Einstein.

John Robson is a documentary film-maker, columnist with the National Post, Executive Director of the Climate Discussion Nexus and a professor at Augustine College. He holds a PhD in American history from...