In response to Biden saying that he believes, but doesn’t guarantee, that we’ll be approaching “normalcy” by the end of the year, Phil Magness correctly writes on his Facebook page that: Your best bet is to ignore him and everyone else who adheres to his position on this issue, including Fauci. You know your own risk better than anyone else. Use that to make informed assessments of what risk-mitigation measures you need to take, and go about your life accordingly while allowing others with different risk assessments to do the same. The biggest mistake of the entire pandemic was the assumption that it could somehow be “solved” through the instruments of state-coordinated collective action. Also from Phil Magness at Facebook: As of 2/19, Sweden has 1,224 deaths per million without
Don Boudreaux considers the following as important: Country Problems, Current Affairs, Philosophy of Freedom, Risk and Safety
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Don Boudreaux writes Lord Sumption on Covid Derangement Syndrome
Don Boudreaux writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Joe Rogan on the Derangement of Lockdowns
Don Boudreaux writes Some Covid Links
Don Boudreaux writes Quotation of the Day…
In response to Biden saying that he believes, but doesn’t guarantee, that we’ll be approaching “normalcy” by the end of the year, Phil Magness correctly writes on his Facebook page that:
Your best bet is to ignore him and everyone else who adheres to his position on this issue, including Fauci.
You know your own risk better than anyone else. Use that to make informed assessments of what risk-mitigation measures you need to take, and go about your life accordingly while allowing others with different risk assessments to do the same.
The biggest mistake of the entire pandemic was the assumption that it could somehow be “solved” through the instruments of state-coordinated collective action.
As of 2/19, Sweden has 1,224 deaths per million without lockdowns.
The UK has 1,798 deaths per million after 3 harsh lockdowns.
The number of Covid-19 deaths should be adjusted to distinguish, as well as possible, those persons who died with Covid-19 from those persons who died of Covid-19. Likewise, the number of non-Covid-19 deaths should be adjusted to distinguish, as well as possible, those persons who died during lockdowns from those persons – such as these two unfortunate young women – who died because of lockdowns. (DBx: One doesn’t have to have Covid in order to have a life that’s meaningful and to suffer a death that’s mournful. Yet most of the public, media, and governments have reacted to Covid as if the only deaths that matter are Covid deaths – as if the only lives that matter are the lives of people with Covid – as if the only risk that matters and, hence, the only risk worth reducing is the risk of suffering from Covid. This utter lack of proportion – this sudden ignorance that our lives are unavoidably filled with many different risks that must be traded-off against each other – this treatment of Covid deaths as being categorically worse than are non-Covid deaths – all combined with a blind faith in politicians and bureaucrats to use vast powers wisely, prudently, and effectively – is what I call Covid Derangement Syndrome.)
It’s not just political careers that are dropping like stones. The same is happening to Covid cases in the U.S.. The trend seems to defy prediction from January 20, 2021: the new US president said this about Covid-19: “things would get worse before they get better.” Then something very interesting happened. The number of cases of recorded infections of SARS-CoV-2 took a startling dive, falling fully 80% from the daily high on January 8th.
One of the links in the Jeffrey Tucker essay mentioned just above deserves its own separate link here. From Jennifer Cabrera at Rational Ground – and featured in a recent video by Ivor Cummins – it offers comparisons of relatively free Florida to the tyrannical states of California and New York.
When I describe freedom, I’m not thinking of the group rights for protected categories that are now widely seen as the only freedoms that matter. I’m thinking of a general feeling that we were free to do, say and think as we liked within the boundaries of a clearly understood law and of good manners.
I’m also thinking of the independence of strong families, through which tradition and faith were passed on, along with manners and the habits of unselfishness. And I am thinking of schools in which teachers with authority passed on hard knowledge.
It was not paradise – though by comparison with now, the liberty of children to live free-range lives was so astonishing that many find it difficult to believe it happened at all.
It had many things wrong with it that could have been put right without the snooping and surveillance, and the heavy hand of politically correct conformism which we now endure.
Millions have been vaccinated against Covid – mainly the most vulnerable. Millions more will be soon. But do not be surprised if this does not in fact lead to liberation from the strangling of the country which began almost 11 months ago.
This is what always happens when you give up real freedom for what is usually fanciful safety. Officials and politicians dare not relax the measures they took in a panic, in case they are blamed if anything ever goes wrong afterwards. And millions genuinely believe they are safer as a result.
How on earth have we got to the point where a government of any complexion in a liberal democracy is about to give us permission (or maybe not) to embrace our loved ones, meet a friend for lunch or emerge from home for something other than a purpose it deems to be essential? That is the big one but there are some smaller questions too about the unprecedented experiences of this astonishing period.
When did it become acceptable, indeed a routine expectation, that experts serving on government bodies as official advisers during a national emergency, should feel free to appear regularly on the media expressing their personal opinions on contentious matters of public policy? Surely this should be regarded as quite irregular – if not improper. And yet, neither government ministers nor their Opposition shadows (who may find the resulting confusion helpful), appear to have made any adverse comment about this.
So maybe, all things considered, letting scientists blurt things out when they feel like it, is quite a brilliant news management strategy. The trouble is that it has been messing with people’s minds in a dangerous way. Those at home who are praying for release, and even those others who are now so gripped by terror that they no longer crave freedom, do not know who to believe. The state of confusion and open disagreement among those who are supposed to be in charge – in which the world-beating vaccine programme is being celebrated one day only to be downplayed as a harbinger of a return to normal life, the next – is genuinely driving the country crazy.