“The Brooklyn Variant of the Coronavirus: Fuggedaboutit.” A slice: There are many deviant and unprecedented aspects of the Covid religion, starting with the fact that for the first time in history, healthy, asymptomatic people of all ages were “quarantined” and placed under virtual house arrest for long periods of time. Lockdowns and “reopenings” are also deviant and unprecedented, not to mention the fact that they constitute blatant theft of property, services, and economic, personal, and religious liberty. The infectious disease experts who have imprisoned us are lionized by the media and bedwetting politicians who claim to “follow the science.” From the perspective of an infectious disease expert, you and your family are not individuals with rights and liberties. Instead, you are
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There are many deviant and unprecedented aspects of the Covid religion, starting with the fact that for the first time in history, healthy, asymptomatic people of all ages were “quarantined” and placed under virtual house arrest for long periods of time. Lockdowns and “reopenings” are also deviant and unprecedented, not to mention the fact that they constitute blatant theft of property, services, and economic, personal, and religious liberty. The infectious disease experts who have imprisoned us are lionized by the media and bedwetting politicians who claim to “follow the science.” From the perspective of an infectious disease expert, you and your family are not individuals with rights and liberties. Instead, you are germ factories, whose movement and social interaction must be severely limited.
In case you think that the use of the term imprisonment is hyperbolic, please note that the official definition of lockdown is “the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure.” A more recent form of deviance in the Covid religion is the edict that those who are fully vaccinated must wear a mask. For the first time in history, we are wearing a mask after being inoculated. For example, no one has ever worn a mask after receiving a measles, flu, or polio vaccine.
The most deviant aspect of the Covid religion is that like other barbaric religions, it involves child sacrifice. Ancient religions engaged in child sacrifice in order to appease a deity or supernatural beings. Under the Covid religion, the educational development, physical health, and mental health of our children have been sacrificed in order to reduce “cases” and appease the great deity: public health police state officials. These officials and their allies in the media constantly predict “impending doom” if children and their parents do not continue to sacrifice their freedom and social development.
The feedback mechanism of profit and loss signals whether a business is meeting the demands of its customers and workforce. If businesses that don’t use vaccine passports suddenly earn lower profits than competitors that do, customers may be demanding safer environments. The market is a discovery process that will find the most desired vaccine-passport policy.
If private enterprises are denied the liberty to set their own policies, the market can’t fulfill this function. Since the government isn’t omniscient and can’t obtain all the knowledge necessary to determine the right policy for every business, we should avoid illiberal, one-size-fits all policies that restrict economic freedom.
On 1 February, BBC’s India business correspondent Nikhil Inamdar reported: ‘Covid-19 has ravaged the country, shrunk its GDP, sent unemployment soaring and added to the distress of a banking sector that was already in crisis’. Actually, no, Covid-19 doesn’t possess such omnipotent powers. Rather, lockdown measures to combat the disease proved deadlier than the disease itself. Meanwhile on 23 December, Forbes published a list of fifty doctors, scientists and healthcare entrepreneurs who’ve became pandemic billionaires. Covid business has boomed for cabinet cronies in the UK and for consulting firms in Australia. Amazon, Facebook and Google increased their share of US advertising dollars to more than half in 2020. The increased time and money spent on these platforms in turn fattens the consumer data collected by them and increases their market appeal for advertisers. This just might influence their decisions on censoring lockdown-critical commentary.
Yet millions of Covidians are brainwashed enough to believe that opposition to all this is ‘right-wing claptrap’. Sigh.
I am seriously concerned that we may already have fallen too far down the slippery slope. The latest incarnation of this recurring authoritarian nightmare comes in the form of vaccine passports, with government propping this up as the ‘final’ way to ‘get out’ of the pandemic (I am losing count of how many of those have been posited to date). Not only would vaccine passports ignore the fact that coercion is widely regarded as bad practice in public health, it would once again leave behind the most vulnerable in society, branding many as outcasts. Groups who lack trust in authorities are most likely to reject vaccines, and coercing them to take one is unlikely to improve that trust. In 2004, Boris Johnson said that if an ‘arm of the state’ ever asked him to produce an ID card, he would eat it in front of them. But vaccine passports now seem to be a foregone conclusion, and it’s hard to see what the PM actually stands for – his ‘liberal at heart’ platitudes are just not believable. The man seems to simply be a vessel for the opinions and ideas of others. Doubly concerning, one backbench conservative MP told me last week that he has recently come to believe that government’s ‘no return to lockdown’ promise is built upon mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports.
Jonathan Sumption tells Brendan O’Neill that “lockdown is an assault on our humanity.” He, of course, is correct.
What seems to be going on is that every one is covering their backs. Ministers want to pass the buck to the scientists. They want to be able to say “What a triumph for our policies” if things turn out fine; and “We followed the science” if they turn out badly. The scientists don’t like being made to carry the can for what is basically a political judgment. They want to be able to say “These were only scenarios, not predictions” if things turn out fine; and “We told you so” if they turn out badly. Each group is trying to manipulate the other. Balanced assessments based on actual evidence are sadly missing.
There are more important things at stake than the reputation of ministers or their advisers. Human beings are social animals. Interaction with other people is not a luxury. It is a basic human need. It is also the foundation of our mental health, our social organisation, our leisure activities and our economy.
There is a breed of public health officials who are indifferent to these things. They have never reflected, at any rate in public, on what makes life worth living. As far as they are concerned, human beings are just instruments of government health policy. They will be lining up to tell us that it is dangerous to return to normal life because we cannot be absolutely sure that normal life will be risk-free. They will quote the gloomier speculations of modellers as evidence of what “might” happen if the Government stops treating us like caged animals or inert specimens in some ghastly sociological laboratory.
And before you come running into my mentions waving your yellow ‘International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis’ card bragging about how many countries you’ve been in where you needed to show your vaccinations (you didn’t) and how all of us dumb, ignorant rednecks need to leave our bubble — I’m not talking about international travel. What a country demands for entry in is completely up to that country. A digital domestic passport system to partake in society is very different than needing to show physical proof that you got your yellow fever shot before you enter Uganda.
It’s hard to find silver linings in this era of expanding government authority and contracting individual opportunity for free expression. But at least the media establishment can no longer pretend that its abandonment of journalistic standards was necessitated by the unique character of Donald Trump. “Resistance journalism” is now industry standard, judging by a story on Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis by the formerly prestigious television newsmagazine “60 Minutes.”
Resistance journalism is the term coined by media maven Ben Smith, who was also one of the genre’s most successful practitioners. The idea was to create compelling anti-Trump narratives unbound by the traditional obligations of fact-checking.
As for the network’s comment on Mr. Kerner, CBS lawyers may someday regret letting this one become public. Rather than contradicting the substance of his message, CBS simply confirms that they had access to the facts before running their story.
The term resistance journalism is starting to seem a little dated. Perhaps it’s better to just call it propaganda.