MICHAEL WALSH: Time to Fire the Decepticons and Get Over COVID.

Here we are, coming up on the second anniversary of “two weeks to slow the spread” of a flu-like virus most likely hatched in a Chinese Communist laboratory in Wuhan, with a little help from Dr. Anthony Fauci and the American taxpayer, and the dreaded COVID-19 chest cold has conquered the planet, instilling fear and loathing in weak minds whenever and wherever it appears in any of its Transformers-like, constantly mutating configurations.

In the Transformers film series, ordinary household machines like cars can suddenly reshape themselves into terrifying robots; the evil ones were known as Decepticons and had scary names like Megatron and Bonecrusher. In the world of socialized medicine, this viral beast has been dubbed by the government the Omicron variant (what a title for a Robert Ludlum thriller), which of course has arrived, right on schedule, to attack the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations around the world.

The irony is, had the novel coronavirus been treated the same way as its immediate predecessors, including SARS, the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, and the Hong Kong flu of 1968, no one would be talking about it, there would have been no lockdowns, no masks, no ruination of the economy, no destruction of the travel industry, no stealth takeover of private medicine and, most important, no unconstitutional loss of personal liberty.

Indeed — Woodstock, Altamont, and Apollo 11 all took place during the Hong Kong flu outbreak. In January of 1969, Paul McCartney even fretted that he might have it, one of many moments in Peter Jackson’s newly edited Get Back miniseries that resonates in 2021.