Alexander: The Buffalo New York grocery shooting raises a serious question which is can COVID lockdowns and face masks be an empowering driver of depraved crime?

by Paul Alexander

Dr. Paul Elias Alexander, PhD

I/we have long written that what we were faced with in January/February/March 2020 was not a public health emergency that justified the lockdown lunatic polices which devastated the US economy and social functioning, causing extensive collateral damage in the form of harms and suicides (especially in our young people and children). The costs (stay-at-home shielding orders, the shuttering of businesses and schools, the restrictions on social gatherings, social distancing, shutting of arts and sports, restrictions on needed medical services, and interventions in the freedom of movement) were catastrophic. Devastating costs on life expectancy, mental health, hunger and poverty, economies, employment, education, and crime. Not one lockdown, school closure, business closure, and mask mandate policy worked to curb transmission and deaths. Not one!

I pleaded along with Gupta, Bhattacharya, Kulldorff (Great Barrington Declaration), Atlas, Jeff Tucker, Risch, Oskoui, McCullough, Kerpen, Naomi Wolf, Horowitz, Tenenbaum, Berenson, Cummins (FatEmperor) etc. and media personalities such as Laura Ingraham (FOX) and Tucker Carlson (FOX), that all we needed was a ‘focused’ age-risk stratified approach with strong protections of the vulnerable high-risk population (elderly in nursing homes etc.) with limited if any interference by government and technocrats of the rest of the low-risk healthy ‘well’ population. We knew that COVID was amenable to risk stratification and your baseline risk was prognostic on severity and mortality. That children and young persons were at near zero risk of severe disease. The data came in heavy and fast but no one listened. We were slandered. We pleaded but the die was cast and lockdown lunacy rued the day.

You know the history for we are left now to pick up the pieces of shattered societies. Nowhere in the entire world for over two years now (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) did any of these lockdown policies work. Nothing these lockdown lunatics in the US, Canada, UK, Australia etc. have done worked. Nothing! In the US, the Fauci, Birx, and Francis Collins lockdown lunatic polices have caused catastrophic consequences to the American population that will take decades to reverse.

We have even called for the ending of all mandates (Brownstone Institute) and the declared pandemic emergency status. This is because despite the tremendous concern we have due to the non-sterilizing mRNA injections that do not stop transmission and are driving infectious variants, the mild omicron infection is running its course and there is no sound justification for maintaining the emergency status. The lockdowns and school closures and job losses and firings have caused extensive damage to the health and welfare of people, even more so than the COVID virus itself. The state of emergency simply cannot be justified now.

The American people have lost persons due to the virus, extensive and even more people due to the lockdowns and restrictions, and mostly our liberties, freedoms, rights, privacy, dignity, respect, and humanity. “Americans sacrificed enough of their human rights and of their livelihoods for two years in the service of protecting the general public health. Omicron is circulating but it is not an emergency. The emergency is over. The current emergency declaration must be canceled. It is time.”

Our greatest fears have now seemed to materialize where the ramifications of the unsound and unscientific lunatic lockdown policies have come to pass. Could the social dislocation, the 2 years of isolation, the lockdown psychosis and the resulting anxiety, depression, and despair drive depraved criminal behavior? Could it take hate that resides already but is not acted upon, psychosis that is present, and then materialize it? Can the severing and deprivation of social contact, socialization, social bonds, and support drive hateful behavior? Did the unscientific and specious prolonged lockdowns and school closures wreak enough emotional damage with a shattering of a sense of tomorrow, a sense of future, of belonging, of ‘mattering’, a sense of loss and hope and dreams of tomorrow, that drove depravity and wickedness (Malum in se, crime that is evil in itself)? That the losses due to the lockdowns can, in the wrong pliable, developing and easily influenced mind, drive a sense of hopelessness into the need to see tomorrow, that there is nothing to live for? Have we damaged society, structurally and systemically, and for a very long time to come? With pliable supple minds especially in youths, can we create or facilitate this damage with extensive social isolation as we did for COVID, and with threats of punitive consequences if breached?

Can the sense of powerlessness we drove in that we were subject only to the dictates of the lockdown lunatics, and that we would be retaliated upon if we breached dictates, and accept all including the extensive crushing material losses, actually then create a societal monster? That COVID lockdowns and the sense of hopelessness for 2 years ‘hollowed’ out the moral core of our youth? That could make one get to the place where ‘nothing really matters anymore’, nothing that is of any importance to you. That could cause cracks and crevices to civilized social order and life.  

It seems so. Several days ago, a deranged 18-year old entered a TOPS grocery in Buffalo New York and shot a reported 14 and killed 10 people. He was white and they, the dead, were black, though there are reports that two or three of those shot who survived (thus far), were white. Let us call it as it is, he shot principally people based on their racial-ethnic makeup, being black. Raw, vicious hate. This act was devastating and Jeffrey Tucker of Brownstone Institute has perhaps done the most justice to this senseless act and helped focused us onto a key implication of the failed COVID lockdowns and what he has shared is staggering and frightening.

Tucker’s treatise is seminal and has focused us on the ravaging societal implications and how much the social isolation of the pandemic’s response can take a prior healthy mind and poison and destroy it, as it seemingly did with this Buffalo shooter, driving depths of racist depravity. Let us be clear, neither Tucker or I are absolving the shooter and excusing his actions for they must be met with maximal punishment as this is not a rehabitable action. We are however, trying to understand the antecedents and driver of this barbarity. This shooter has caused pain to families that will never, ever heal. A primitive, racist depravity that emerged after a sense of loss, social isolation, diminished and weakened hopes and dreams in the future, and the shattering of all that was normal and stable in a person’s life.

That you, the authorities, the lockdown lunatic Czars at the CDC, NIH, government officials and technocrats, could just come along and rip away the very floor from under him, this sense of community that he and millions shared. That you could introduce so much social chaos in an instant. Everything he knew as ‘normal’, is gone in an instant and him and his tribe, his ‘community’, having no say, no recourse. Tucker’s seminal piece in response to the shooting was titled “Lockdowns, Closures, and the Loss of Moral Clarity”. In it, Tucker is focused on the loss of ‘moral center’ for an entire generation and writes his piece more as a warning clarion call to the society, sharing part of the shooter’s manifesto that read

            “Before I begin I will say that I was not born racist nor grew up to be racist. I simply became racist after I learned the truth. I started browsing 4chan in May 2020 after extreme boredom, remember this was during the outbreak of covid…. I never even saw this information until I found these sites, since mostly I would get my news from the front page of Reddit. I didn’t care at the time, but as I learned more and more I realized how serious the situation was. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore, I told myself that eventually I was going to kill myself to escape this fate. My race was doomed and there was nothing I could do about it.”

Tucker shared that the shooter conjured up a sense of belongingness via an “imagined artificial solidarity” with others of his ‘clan’, driven together by a shared commonality, this being crushing lockdown and isolation. That he could belong to a tribe who had much in common with him across 2 years. That in social lockdown isolation, he could stumble upon and find media websites that are vicious and venomous and poisonous, that could take an already sick mind, a vulnerable mind, or a normal mind and psychology and twist it into raw unbridled hate. The next steps are obvious as Tucker wrote: “the demonization of others who are blamed for his plight, the manufacturing of a mission, and the valorization of his own violent longings. The grotesque ideology he adopted was the replacement for what he lost or never had.” Did this shooter have so much hate due to the effects of the lockdowns and social isolation and dislocation, the tearing up of the very foundations of civilization as he (and we all) understood it, that it drove him to such a heinous act? Did the COVID lockdown response breed this monster?

Did the laptop, café latter, zoom class, the ‘elites, the ruling class, operate so much removed from the consequences of their actions and disconnected from experiencing the ill effects of lockdowns directly, shredding as Tucker would say “scared rights and liberties”? Callously and in so doing, decimating societal rules, norms, particulars, moral code, and social morays that took us several hundred years to fashion as part of good governance societies?

Tucker provokes us by taking us places emotionally we did not want to go. He further clarifies this and sheds light by writing that “the disruption of closures and quarantines affected millions of others without the same results but the tendency is there: people are robbed of a moral center and a clarity about life’s meaning. In Freudian terms, the last two years provided every pathway for the id (the primitive instinct) to displace the ego, which consists of social norms, social realities, etiquette, and rules when deciding how to behave.” The key sharing in Tucker’s treatise is that you “Take away community and you take away the thing that instills that Smithian sense of empathy that extends from a conscience trained by socialization. All of this is contingent on a functioning market and social order. Without that, a decline in mental health can lead to violent outbursts and even genocide.” 

I think Jeff Tucker is onto something profound here in his treatise and the hope is that it can inform the urgent debate. I here extend what Tucker wrote for I felt it hit the mark perfectly and has sensitized us to the underpinning of this ravaging racist hatred, yet did not include or expand upon a key ingredient, this being COVID facial masks that we have worn for over two years now as part of the lockdown lunatic COVID responding. I argue that COVID facial masks (blue surgical and white or man-made facial coverings) may have had as much of or even more of a role in the actions of this depraved killer in Buffalo. From a technical point of view as to effectiveness and harms, these masks have never and do not work to curb transmission or deaths and the data has remained stable across two years. This is especially so for children/young persons and the masks are very toxic and poses health risks to the wearer (see here, here, here, here, and here).  The data for over two years has been stable and clear.

But we are talking about here are the larger societal ills from the COVID facial masks and wearing of these masks for over 2 years and what it may well have done to our children and populations socially, emotionally, and psychologically. The mask wearing for 2 years may have broken the mind and severed the human connection, that communication that takes place between human beings at a facial level. Tucker’s role of lockdowns may capture this but I want to flesh it out how I see the role of masks. Not health wise. I am specifically talking about the depth of demoralization and decay that could translate into psychopathy and sociopathy and how the Buffalo shooter may have been impacted by these masks.  How?

We have argued for 2 years that the masks were dangerous but now it is beyond toxicity and ineffectiveness and it is potentially revealing ravaging psychological effects in adults and even in our children. We may be on the cusp of witnessing brutal acts on each other that we did not see before as the mask may have dropped our inhibitions as to what is acceptable human behavior. The COVID face masks may have tuned people into monsters in terms of what they could get away with that they could not before and emboldened them. As an example and to link to this op-ed, the FBI in the US has reported that during the pandemic, capital murders surged across the U.S. and I have prior argued that this can be directly linked to the prolonged use of face masks during the pandemic.

I think face mask use during the professed period of isolation and spiraling downturn by the shooter, may have added to the destructive mind. It may have added to the ravaging effects of the lockdowns. It is not difficult to conjecture that the prolonged use of face masks or coverings of any sort can lead to a false sense of security in that masked persons could put up a barrier between themselves and society, remaining almost faceless. Anonymous. This severs the human-to-human connection that exists and that which allows a type of communication that is unspoken, taking place at a deep psychological level. That binds human beings and allows us to recognize each other as near equals. It allows us to co-exist civilly and especially as to acceptable normative behavior. By the mask dehumanizing the wearer, it becomes easy to objectify the wearer by another person, rather than thinking of the wearer as another human being. This objectification makes it far easier to commit heinous crimes against each other for the controls and strictures that usually exist among human beings as to maladaptive actions on each other, may fall away. I argue, it did for the Buffalo shooter. The damage by the covid lockdowns may have pushed the shooter to not see people as people anymore, masked or unmasked.

I argue the prolonged COVID face masks may have played a contributory role in dehumanizing everyone around him. He lost touch with reality for he could not see anyone around him for he was no longer connected to them. The human-to-human connections and bonds were no longer there. He ceased over time, to be unable to look at persons in their faces and evaluate facial emotions and expressions, even of care and support towards him. So very much communication and emotion and care and tenderness and non-verbal cues can be seen in each other’s faces. Masked, these are lost. It was lost for many of us, I argue for all of us, we lost some level of human connection that we are now working on to regain. By the mask wearers being unable to see each other’s faces, it removes compassion, connection, kindness, tenderness, care, understanding, and empathy. That loss of empathy is profound and the Buffalo shooter lost his.

The lockdowns and masking may have ripped it away. The sense of remorse one likely feels when taking another human being’s life is lost when the human being behind the mask cannot be seen. When the human connection is gone. I have heard that this is the reason that an executioner either is masked or the person to be executed is masked, so that at some level, the human-to-human connection is lost and no verbal communication can take place that would preclude the dispassionate execution from going forward. If this is true, then I can understand this now.

We now must morn and grieve this tragedy and for the lost souls and their families. It is pain that defies any human discourse and it is now we must turn to our Gods for understanding, support, solace, and healing. It is our faiths that will get us through this senseless act and we must support the families of the victims in every way possible. Is this Buffalo shooter the last such shooter? I fear it may not be as we may have well damaged the minds of our peoples irreparably. I see grave consequences due to what the lockdown lunatics did, not only from a weakened immune system in our children and adults as to disease effects and the vast collateral damage, but due to the wrecked psychologies. The masking lunatics have created a disaster. We may have just opened the pandora’s box with these crushing COVID lockdowns and the ramifications are beginning to emerge. God help us for pandora is coming out to play!