Our year of Wuhan.
We have endured unspeakable hardships and pain. We have seen the very best in people. We have seen the worst in people.
All of our successes — even our very survival — have come from the wise humanity of individuals looking out for one another. Family, neighbors, parents, nurses, roommates, doctors, and complete strangers displaying heroic kindness and compassion in a sea of real agony and crazed hysteria.
The selfless sacrifice of the individual has been the lone beacon of hope throughout even the darkest moments of this storm.
The failures, meanwhile, have been every bit as startling. And they are everywhere.
Our government — and every institution established by our government to protect us — failed at every step of the way.
Federal agencies that exist only to protect Americans from these very public health risks failed to detect the virus before it reached our shores. Then they ignored early signs of just how devastating it could be. And even once they realized how devastating it would be, they were completely helpless over what to do about it.
Don’t wear masks! Wear masks! Wear two masks! Ventilators! No ventilators! Don’t go outside! Go outside!
The only thing all these fraudulent “experts” agreed upon from the beginning was that a vaccine was years away.
And then there was the World Health Organization — a global outfit that you have paid billions of dollars to prevent precisely this kind of crisis. It was not enough for them to just fail miserably.
They also lied and took extravagant measures to help communist China cover up its involvement in springing the pandemic on the world. President Biden has ordered the U.S. to rejoin the WHO — paying the group hundreds of millions more of your hard-earned tax dollars.
It is interesting that — literally — the only thing the federal government did right during the whole pandemic was to step out of the way and allow pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines. At “warp speed,” you might say.
Today, millions of Americans have already taken advantage of a multitude of vaccines — vaccines all the “experts” said would take years to develop.
Sadly, our government institutions are not even the worst villains. Far worse are the elected leaders who run our government.
Perhaps it is entirely fitting that the crucial first weeks that the pandemic stalked our shores, our government had ground to a halt for a hotly partisan “impeachment” trial that everybody knew would end in acquittal. It was, by definition, a partisan exercise in futility — as the worst pandemic in a century took hold.
When these people were finally shaken from their partisan stupor, their very first instinct was to play word games with a pandemic that has now killed 2 1/2 million people around the world. These people were literally more concerned about what to call it than what to do about it.
Don’t call it the “China virus” they screamed. That would be “racist.”
Every decision they have made since then has been to empower themselves. They have used the crisis to give themselves unthinkable new powers. They have used it as an excuse to take even more of your money — to spend on themselves.
You still cannot go to church in many places around America. But they have to build a massive wall around Congress to protect themselves from you.
And now they want another $129 billion to spend on government schools — many of which still have not opened back up.
To be sure, these are distressing times in America.
But at least the problem is clear. And so is the answer: The American individual.
• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com