"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." -Douglas Adams
I'll leave the question open, but in case you'd like to see a smattering (just a small sample) of such absurdities---maybe to email to your friends who seem to think that the media and public health authorities are doing an ahistorically bang-up job---here we go…
Note: All absurdity scores assigned are computed using Fisher's Exact Absurdity test, verified and approved by a thorough team of Marxist revolutionaries---curated by Kunlangeta---at the Intergalactic Health Organization (IHO).
By Speaking English, You Killed Your Grandmother (Absurdity Score: 8.2/10)
With all the important things going on in the world that people might really want or should be informed about, Forbes felt it within their priorities to publish an article explaining that English (a Germanic language) may result in greater disease spread because it's more "spitty". This one did not achieve a higher score because I didn't bother to read the underlying research [because I do have all kinds of better things to do with my time]. It's plausible that there is a small positive correlation between language spoken and viral transmission, making it perhaps the 483,733rd most important variable in the grand facade of public health---somewhere between how frozen fish sticks are handled and exactly how much time gets spent on ideology, trading off with statistics, in pursuit of the median public health degree.
The Fish Sticks Origins Hypothesis (Absurdity Score: 7.4/10)
The Fish Sticks Origins Hypothesis achieved a 9.8/10 absurdity score for prima facie absurdity, but fell down lower due to lack of substantive impact.
I still haven't made up my mind fully on the true origin of SARS-CoV-2. I keep "probabilities with error bars" in mind, but the higher probabilities include (these can be overlapping) lab leak or intentional release of an engineered strain for study or vaccine production or biowarfare. I'll give zoonotic origins a tiny probability, still, Alina Chan aptly demonstrated the absurdity of the pangolin origins theory that got paraded in [very] serious ("serious") scientific journals.
What I'm less inclined to believe [than even the thinly-veiled zoonotic origins propaganda] is the CCP's claim that SARS-CoV-2 was passed into China through shipments of frozen foods, which I've dubbed the Fish Sticks Origins Hypothesis. The WHO team sent to investigate (or "investigated") the origins of SARS-CoV-2 actually spent time examining this hypothesis, which may be one reason you feel like you might be living the Truman Show.
Mask Research and It's Portrayal (Absurdity Score: 9.8/10)
Despite surgeons routinely pointing out that they don't wear masks to stop the spread of viruses, masks were not simply encouraged, but often mandated by laws and institutions during the pandemic. Amazingly, all this happened during a time when health authorities weren't certain (so far as we know) how aerosolized the SARS-CoV-2 virus is---and didn't seem particularly interested in finding out.
Meanwhile, 99.9% or so of transmission took place indoors, but there was little effort to encourage the kids (and everyone) to spend their time doing healthy things outdoors. To fight indoor spread, UV light could quite easily (and obviously) be employed. However, UV light falls into a treatment category known as "disinfectants", which were bizarrely chucked into the pyre of association with Donald Trump. Still, affluent people I know whose actions are decoupled from Reality TV Politics did in fact install UV light decontamination into their household air filtration systems.
Meanwhile, despite the prior lack of research indicating efficacy of mask usage against viruses, and substantial indications of its specific harm to children, research was quickly churned out suggesting that masks and their mandates...work?
Lyu and Wehby's widely read (and rarely understood) paper did not achieve the conditions of an intention to treat study, but bizarrely measured the second derivative of the infection curves among geographies to suggest that mask mandates work. Somehow, nobody in medical science seemed to notice that such a measurement made absolutely no sense at all.
By the time Van Dyke et al's paper on Kansas county-level mask mandates was published, the data trend had in fact reversed itself. Yet publishers went ahead and pushed it, including on the CDC's own website. Who reads retraction notices, anyhow?
The WHO published an 80-citation paper called Mask use in the Context of COVID-19 which is noteworthy in that it did not cite a single study specific to mask use in the context of COVID-19. No, I'm not kidding---I spent basically a whole day last year reading nearly every word of documentation.
Whoops, the RCT fundamentalists forgot that observing a group, however large, without a control doesn't give efficacy indications even if the observers are from Duke University and the publisher is the New York Times.
In a bizarre test of just how much bullshit the public is willing to eat while smiling, Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested wearing multiple masks. Induction-to-infinity masks aside, not one public health expert (who was given air time) pointed out that were this true, those two masks could then simply be fused into one, meaning that the critique would be logically about mask design and not numeracy.
There are 717 more bullet-points in this presentation, the remainder of which can be viewed at the IHO's Museum of Absurdities located, according to a consensus of experts, near Frostilius in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way.
Everything is Scary and Should Make You Anxious! (Absurdity Score: 9.9/10)
Does this need any explanation? No matter your beliefs on contentious pandemic topics, you've felt the high levels of anxiety throughout a pandemic during which the world population grew [substantially], and almost nobody healthy under the age of 50 ever died.
Okay, let's just toss a log on that fire: house flies might give you COVID-19. Just so that you understand clearly:
"YOU'RE SCREWED AND YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM THIS." -Authorities
No Autopsies! (Absurdity Score: 10/10)
The IHO has collaborated with the Interdimensional Health Organization (IDHO) to in the examination of all data that has existed or will ever exist to construct the following tautological identity:
There is no possible universe in which authorities capable of obtaining autopsies for research to understand a deadly disease would not want that information and data.
Yet, for some strange reason, almost no autopsies have been performed (to the knowledge of the public) on the millions of bodies available during this pandemic.
The early rationale, excused into the ether of over-hyped anxiety, is that examining the bodies was just too dangerous (but intubing them in an ICU isn't?). This explanation doesn't pass the sniff test once you understand that there is a two-decade old robotic autopsy industry. It is large enough to have an industry website. Even as of 2010, these robots performed "virtopsies" that included additional activities normally difficult in the usual autopsies. They can inject implants and other agents into the bloodstream to get a high resolution picture of what has actually gone on in the body.
However, a well-respected German pathologist who has performed a few dozen autopsies spoke out saying that he believed 30% to 40% of COVID-19 deaths were in fact vaccine-induced. There is also this case of an Italian surgeon trying to sound the alarm of vaccine-induced damage. There is a degree to which surgical data is a substantial subset of an autopsy.
The only reasons not to perform autopsies are to keep the public from understanding the nature of COVID-19, including the effects of vaccination.
It's the Economy, Stupid (Absurdity Score: 9.7/10)
The stories here lack quite so much funny, but very official authorities, with titles you cannot comprehend, have confirmed the high absurdity score of wrecking millions of businesses globally in the name of Public Health (Theater). These actions condemned 118 million people to food insecurity that will almost surely result in several times as many deaths due to starvation (and to younger populations) as did COVID-19 (even if you assume official numbers are not only actually fully all real, but perhaps even underestimated).
The story gets worse with inflation. Printing trillions and then more trillions of dollars to cover the costs of these deadly...public health wars on poor people...is itself monetary inflation. And unless monetary inflation magically matches the increase in value of goods and services consumed (not likely during lockdowns!), that turns into price inflation (and more people feeling food insecurity). Some of that happened chaotically in commodities markets, though prices retreated from their tops recently:
How much of that is real, and how much is manipulation? With housing prices soaring and hedge funds buying, lumber shortages exacerbated the squeeze. But how much of that was profiteering from the crisis? Numerous videos emerged showing supply held back.
Meanwhile, international shipping took a hit. We're told that dock workers were often sick, but no metrics explain the months-long port delays. Perhaps they were deliberate as well. However, we do know that 200,000 sailors wound up stranded at sea---some for more than a year. And we can't rescue those people? Whoever assigns priorities for humanitarian aid should be sacked and flogged immediately.
But what really puts this absurdity over the top is the Ever Given somehow got stuck in the Suez Canal at the worst possible moment since the Bretton Woods Accord.
Chinese Economic Dominance and Superior Anal Swab Technology (Absurdity Score: 9.1/10)
Okay, look...as a former trader of a large Asian bond account, and also an education entrepreneur with experience working with hundreds of Chinese clients both in China and the U.S., I get to have my own opinion here. Let me put it simply:
The notion that China is a rising technological marvel and economic powerhouse that will soon put the West to shame is its own absurdity.
China is still primarily a low value-added port of manufacture with highly limited expertise in cutting edge technologies outside of a handful of fields. There are still more well published experts in infectious diseases in the Southern U.S. state of Georgia than in all of mainland China, for instance.
However, we are led to believe that on the basis of a paper claiming a "potentially optimal specimen" for already controversial PCR testing comes from anal swabs, Chinese medical authorities forcibly sodomized American ambassadors, and the Biden administration basically just shrugged it off?! Because...the important aspect of Sino-U.S. relations is still climate change?
Germ Theory vs. Terrain Theory (Absurdity Score: 7.7/10)
I'm not fan of false dichotomies---particularly when they're codified as principles or even laws---but when I hear that 99.9999999% (give or take) of people who died from an illness were either (1) very old, (2) suffered autoimmune conditions, or (3) were otherwise unhealthy (comorbidities) that include obesity and diabetes, my primary thought is,
"Okay, my terrain (body/sack of water, carbon, hair and stuff) is pretty much impervious [to COVID-19] if I exercise at least three hours a week and maintain a healthy diet. Okay, I'll take vitamins and zinc and supplemental helpers too because I'm not an absolute moron."
Absurd Scientific Research (Absurdity Score: 9.8/10)
Or "scientific research". It's hard to know exactly when all the scientific publication shenanigans began, but the follow list of absurdities should be taken as a highly abridged summary:
The hastily-assembled Surgisphere corporation of around six employees (including a science fiction author and an adult model) produced three manuscripts in 2020, but the most important was their paper claiming the hydroxychloroquine was not simply unhelpful, but was killing people stricken with COVID-19. While it is hard to believe that anyone following the evidence and research at the time---or who has a good sense of what the real data actually looks like---could have possibly believed the paper to be real, the result was major policy changes around the world, despite being retracted after only around two weeks.
To date, no legal authorities have spent one moment investigating the Surgisphere team, to any public knowledge. The paper continues to be cited in journals even though essentially nobody left in the scientific community who has bothered to read it doesn't believe it to be a fraud in its entirety.
While frontline physicians like Italian doctor Luigi Cavanna or American doctors Brian Tyson and George Fareed were busy saving all of their COVID-19 patients treated early in disease progression outside of the hospital with early treatment regimens using antivirals, these results were called "anecdotal" and health authorities spent no resources at all tracking them down for documentation and publication. Instead, research on antivirals for patients with progressive COVID-19 illness were poorly documented and considered definitive due to being acknowledged in peer review.
Much of the mask research was entirely absurd, as has been discussed.
This extremely shoddy meta-analysis once again targets an antiviral agent.
Numerous research papers were entered into preprint or published in what very well could be attempts at misdirection of public understanding of medicine during the pandemic. These papers were barely checked for veracity by anyone (clearly), were cited often in new research, and live on through chains of citations in hundreds or thousands of papers to date, poisoning all of their results. We might call this Science Virus Disease of 2020, or Sci-Vid-20.
Star Trek-theme research gets outed after years of publication in a vanity journal.
This does not change the fact that Captain Picard is still the grandfather you want fixing &#!t that federal authorities break when it all crumbles under the weight of endemic corruption.
Of course, the absurdity is not just about the research itself, but also how it's interpreted: