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Some Covid Links

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Frank Furedi eloquently defends freedom of speech and of dissent – freedoms that are under siege today because of Covid Derangement Syndrome [2]. A slice:

Or take the hysterical criticism levelled at the authors of the lockdown-questioning Great Barrington Declaration, and lockdown-sceptical individuals, such as Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford University. They have been personally and professionally maligned, and, more troubling still, their critics want them removed [3] from the public sphere. This has all the characteristics of a modern high-tech witch-hunt.

And as if to supply an ideal reason for heightened skepticism of what our overlords tell us about Covid-19, we get this new report from, of all places, the New York Times [4]. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Reports of a highly contagious new variant in the United States, published on Friday by multiple news outlets, are based on speculative statements made by Dr. Deborah Birx and are inaccurate, according to several government officials.

The erroneous report originated at a recent meeting where Dr. Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, presented graphs of the escalating cases in the country. She suggested to other members of the task force that a new, more transmissible variant originating in the U.S. might explain the surge, as another variant did in Britain.

Emily Hill decries the “totalitarian hell” created by the Covid-19 lockdowns [5]. Here’s her conclusion, in which she rightly reminds us of just how vile is Neil Ferguson:

‘I think people’s sense of what is possible in terms of control changed quite dramatically between January and March’, Professor Neil Ferguson told The Times on Christmas Day. Our role in the response really began on 13 March, the article notes, when ‘[Ferguson], SAGE and Sir Patrick [Vallance] decided that it was past time the public were brought into the debate properly. Over that weekend, he and his colleagues prepared a paper outlining their projections for the pandemic in different scenarios, and organised a press conference. They finished writing the paper an hour before they presented it.’

How exactly does terrifying us out of our wits in mid-March, so we demanded to be locked down later that month, constitute bringing us ‘into the debate properly’? The fact that the government’s New and Emerging Virus Threats Advisory Group committee includes a consultant sociologist and an academic psychologist suggests the government is still trying to shape our thoughts. But while at this point there seems no choice but to let them control everything we do, we cannot let them control what we think. As the Soviets knew, the most efficient totalitarian regimes on this earth have never been able to control what you get up to in the privacy of your own head.

“Once you’ve locked down once – a measure thought unthinkable a year ago – it’s that bit easier the next time” – so reads the intro to Robert Taylor’s “Lockdown supporters must be ready for the same medicine every winter [6].” A slice:

‘Pah!’ people might say. Influenza shinfluenza. But, hold on. Influenza is deadly. Before this year it routinely killed around 20,000 people each winter in the UK [7]– sometimes far more. As I know from ghastly experience, influenza can develop, like Covid, into pneumonia, hospital admission and oxygen up your nose. All too often, it means intensive care, ventilators and, tragically, death. As recently as the year 2000, more than 56,000 people died from influenza or pneumonia in England alone.

Now, surely, no one would classify thousands of deaths from influenza as any less awful than thousands of deaths from Covid. It therefore follows that if we are prepared to lock down to protect the vulnerable from one virus that kills, we must do so to protect them from the other. Every winter. Isn’t that just logical and humane?

And as if to support Robert Taylor’s point that humanity has been broken in, like a stupid mule, for further lockdowns, the chief economist for the OECD says that, to quote her, “We probably have another six to nine or twelve months of this ahead of us.” [8] (What say all of you who, eager to criticize the Great Barrington Declaration [9] when it was released in early October, declared with ridicule and great certitude that lockdowns were a thing of the past – that the authors of the GBD were battling a straw man? Another question: Given all the lies that pro-lockdown government officials and other establishment elites have spewed over the past year, why should we trust that even one year from now the threat of lockdowns will disappear?)

Zach Weissmueller reports that Californians are revolting against the lockdowns [10]. (Let’s hope that he’s correct. Let’s further hope that this resistance will be effective in putting an end to this totalitarian madness. I, alas, am not optimistic.) A slice:

“Making someone wear a mask or close their business has absolutely nothing to do with someone that is overweight, diabetic, unhealthy heart-wise, possibly cancer going through treatments with a weak immune system, then going out into public and putting themselves at risk. That wasn’t my fault and nothing to do with me,” says [Riverside County, CA, sheriff Chad] Bianco. “But no one wants to take personal responsibility. It’s better if you blame someone else.”

There is little evidence that in-person dining, particularly outdoors, is a major source of COVID-19 spread, a fact that state health director Mark Ghaly appeared to admit in a December 8 press briefing [11].

The ban “really has to do with keeping people at home, not a comment on the relative safety of outdoor dining,” said Ghaly.

Research out of New York City found [12] that 74 percent of COVID spread happens in households.

Rose, who once worked as an emergency room nurse, says that the responsibility for stopping the spread of COVID to the vulnerable doesn’t rest with law enforcement or business owners.

“Every individual has to keep and maintain the amount of risk they’re willing to assume. And that’s inherent to the individual,” says [restaurant owner Diego] Rose.

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