For the first few months of the pandemic, I was wrong on just about everything regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. I supported the initial two-week lockdown that turned into six months of forced isolation. I encouraged people to wear cloth masks that don’t work. I argued that the threat posed by the pandemic required collective sacrifice. I even defended Dr. Anthony Fauci.

These positions were the biggest failures of my career so far.

It would be easy to chalk these mistakes up to the fact that we didn’t know anything about COVID-19 in early 2020, and that all we were seeing at first were doomsday images from Italy and other countries where healthcare systems were collapsing. Some might not even consider these positions to be mistakes, given the uncertainty of our reality at that time.

But I do.

Even though we knew very little about COVID-19, I knew enough about the government and its desire for control to have understood that “14 days to stop the spread” would turn into an extensive battle for normalcy. I should have known that forcing people to change their behavior in service of a collective cause would lead many to develop a sort of religious zeal for that cause. Most regrettably, I should have seen through the hubris of our public health officials, many of whom I naively trusted, and recognized the political self-interest at the core of so many of their policies.

There were many people who saw all of that right from the beginning. I regret I wasn’t one of them because, looking back, they were right. What began as a well-intentioned effort to slow down the spread of the pandemic became a way for power-hungry officials interested only in serving themselves and their radical base of voters to take control of our lives. First, they shut down businesses, locked people out of churches, and inflicted severe academic, social, and mental damage on children. Now, they are threatening to lock out society and take away the livelihood of anyone who does not comply with their orders.

Where does it end — and when?

I’m not sure. But I hope, moving forward, I’ll be one of the people who gets the answer right.