CNSNews.com published a May 6 column by Jeffrey Tucker of the right-wing American Institute for Economic Research headlined "Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic," making a quick bend to the conspiratorial by comparing that to the coronavirus pandemic:
Which raises the question: why was this different? We will be trying to figure this one out for decades.
Was the difference that we have mass media invading our lives with endless notifications blowing up in our pockets? Was there some change in philosophy such that we now think politics is responsible for all existing aspects of life? Was there a political element here in that the media blew this wildly out of proportion as revenge against Trump and his deplorables? Or did our excessive adoration of predictive modelling get out of control to the point that we let a physicist with ridiculous models frighten the world’s governments into violating the human rights of billions of people?
Maybe all of these were factors. Or maybe there is something darker and nefarious at work, as the conspiracy theorists would have it.
If we used government lockdowns then like we use them now, Woodstock (which changed music forever and still resonates today) would never have occurred. How much prosperity, culture, tech, etc. are losing in this calamity?
What happened between then and now? Was there some kind of lost knowledge, as happened with scurvy, when we once had sophistication and then the knowledge was lost and had to be re-found? For COVID-19, we reverted to medieval-style understandings and policies, even in the 21st century. It’s all very strange.
The contrast between 1968 and 2020 couldn’t be more striking. They were smart. We are idiots. Or at least our governments are.
CNS, needless to say, did no fact-check. That was left to an actual news organization, Reuters, which pointed out that while there was a flu epidemic in the winters of 1968-69 and 1969-70, there was not one in the summer of '69:
It is true that the Woodstock festival fell between those dates – it took place in August 1969 at a dairy farm in upstate New York. However, a closer look at the timeline of the disease shows why it is misleading to suggest that Woodstock happened “in the middle of a pandemic”. The peak for most U.S. states was December 1968 and January 1969 (Dec 28, 1968 in New York state). See article here . The first season of the pandemic had ended in the U.S. by early March 1969 and it did not flare up again until November of that year, several months after Woodstock, as can be seen in figure 1 here . The diagram shows the pattern of the Hong Kong flu in six countries, of which only Australia was experiencing epidemic activity in August 1969.
In other words, Woodstock happened between the first and second waves in the United States of the H3N2 Hong Kong flu that emerged in 1968, but not during a peak in infections and months after the first season of the flu had ended in the U.S.
Reuters even quoted Woodstock organizers, who pointed out there was no outbreak at the festival.
A bad take getting proven false does not stop it from being repeated; thus, James Hirsen touted Tucker's op-ed in his May 18 Newsmax column, claiming that the media was "triggered" but it and asserted without evidence that "Tucker’s Woodstock article was not received well by the dominant media, likely because its content is at odds with the narrative that is being spun by a majority of the elite." Hirsen then attacked Reuters' factcheck.
Both Tucker and Hirsen ignored the simple observation that coronavirus is not the flu and is, in fact, much worse, in part because we know so little about it.
Hirsen went from there to bizarrely attack the Woodstock generation for trying to stop the coronavirus pandemic:
It's literally shocking that leftists of today who espouse the philosophical global view of the 1960s are the same individuals who are now utilizing authoritarian tactics to strip away freedoms and stifle expression.
Ironically, they have become everything they never wanted to be:
“We are stardust, we are golden. We are caught in the devil’s bargain. And we got to get ourselves back to the garden . . ."
Which has nothing to do with trying to enforce public health measures, but you be you, Jim.