Matt Ridley explains that “We no longer need to fear Covid.” A slice: Yet the Government’s caution remains popular. Why is this? Because of the pessimism of officialdom – it is a circular argument. People readily believe in hobgoblins, and they rightly took fright at this horrible virus last year, so when Professors Whitty and Vallance tell them it’s still scary out there without a mask on, of course they believe it and resent their neighbours who do not comply. Yet to take that one example, the evidence that mask wearing has contributed to the decline in the virus is surprisingly thin, and especially among children in school mask wearing has been a grisly price to pay. To say so is to risk a furious response because mask wearing is no longer so much about preventing infection as
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Yet the Government’s caution remains popular. Why is this? Because of the pessimism of officialdom – it is a circular argument. People readily believe in hobgoblins, and they rightly took fright at this horrible virus last year, so when Professors Whitty and Vallance tell them it’s still scary out there without a mask on, of course they believe it and resent their neighbours who do not comply. Yet to take that one example, the evidence that mask wearing has contributed to the decline in the virus is surprisingly thin, and especially among children in school mask wearing has been a grisly price to pay. To say so is to risk a furious response because mask wearing is no longer so much about preventing infection as about signalling that you are being careful.
At least some Brits are protesting the Covidocracy. And here (although I disagree with a few points, most notably the demand that private businesses not be allowed to discriminate).
I believe that the images from China, with people apparently dropping dead in the streets, spooked almost everyone. Then, when Italy was first hit, there were the images of overwhelmed hospitals filling our television screens. At which point the glass was smashed and we hit the ‘we’re all going to die’ red button. Fear was unleashed.
It certainly all happened very suddenly. On March the 26th Anthony Fauci stated the following in the New England Journal of Medicine:
” If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”
However, the doomsters had already managed to grab the narrative, and all attempts at scientific discussion were blown away. Fauci rapidly and completely changed his mind. COVID19 was, in fact, absolutely deadly and we must do absolutely everything possible to control it. At which point no-one else dared say anything else. Within a week the UK began, what is now called, Lockdown. An enormous, world altering decision had been made.
Yes, we have realpolitik in place. Maybe we should call it realscientik. Neil Ferguson, and his ilk, pressed the emergency red button. It is a button they have been itching to press for years, decades. It is the ‘Here is the infection that is going to kill us all’ button. That infection may turn up at some point. COVID19 isn’t it. The button should never have been pressed.
The truth about the actions taken, and the true effectiveness of lockdown, and the damage of lockdown. This will not emerge for many years. By which time, the likes of Boris and Angela and Emmanuel, and Scott and Jacinda will be long gone, and won’t care.
DBx: Now is as good a time as any to make explicit what should be – but what often today is not – understood by reasonable people: Just because I link to some article or video does not mean that I endorse everything said in that article or video. I link to items that I believe make useful contributions to the anti-Covid-hysteria case. In some of these items, I do indeed find nothing disagreeable. Yet in most, I could pick a nit or two and sometimes more. (For example, in the Kendrick piece linked immediately above, I disagree that companies such as Facebook should treat the U.S. president differently than it treats any other of its customers.) And so you can assume that any item to which I link is one whose thrust I endorse but not necessarily one whose every point I will defend.
That being said, a 92% or 93% risk reduction is a huge reduction, not far off the difference in lung cancer rates seen between smokers and non-smokers, so even with unknown confounders pushing the results up or down, it is clear that prior infection provides a high degree of immunity.
Hysterical epidemiological modellers had predicted 100,000 covid deaths in Sweden by June 2020 if it didn’t lockdown. Thumbing its nose at them, Sweden ended the year with around 3,000 excess deaths (as per the analysis of Nobel prize winner Michael Levitt) – around 3-4 per cent beyond the normal. Moreover, the death rate in Sweden in 2020 was equal to the average death rate of the past 10 years. I am willing to wager that virtually no one in the world will be able to correctly identify the 2020 death rate of Sweden from previous years’ death rates if these data are presented with the years scrambled.
A recurring pattern of the covid narrative over the last several months:
1. Lockdown country imposes draconian shelter-in-place style lockdown restrictions.
2. Lockdown country claims victory over covid because of those restrictions, and declines to lift them at anything more than a snail’s pace.
3. Covid returns anyway, precipitating more lockdowns.
4. Lockdown country claims victory again.
5. Covid returns anyway, precipitating more lockdowns.
6. Lockdown supporters in the lockdown country then blame their plight on lack of lockdowns/a failed herd immunity strategy/the Great Barrington Declaration, none of which accurately describe anything remotely like what they did.