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Some Covid Links

Writing at Spiked, Dave Clements decries the lockdowns’ destruction of human sociability. A slice:

During this seemingly endless pandemic, we now find so many of our freedoms not only under threat, but in some cases already severely curtailed or completely removed. Social-media accounts challenging the government’s illiberal response to the pandemic have been taken down. The police have cracked down hard on protests against lockdown restrictions. And even our freedom to associate with friends and family has been severely curtailed.

Freedoms which, until a few months ago, we had taken for granted, have been taken away. We now have to make do with enforced social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and warnings of Armageddon to come if we do not comply.

Why aren’t many more people – especially in supposedly liberty-loving and liberal America and Britain – protesting lockdown tyranny, which in Britain is becoming downright Stalinist? Take a look at what the British government reportedly is now considering:

One Whitehall source told MailOnline that the changes discussed today even included introducing a ban on people leaving their homes more than once a week. Under current rules, Britons can exercise with one other person or with their household or support bubble.

But a Government source said the rule is ‘being used as an excuse for people to go for a coffee in the park with their friends’ and could be tightened, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Interviewed in the Toronto Sun, Ari Joffe – an infectious diseases and critical-care physician in Alberta – explains why he changed his position from pro-lockdown to anti-lockdown. A slice:

There are a few reasons why I supported lockdowns at first.

First, initial data falsely suggested that the infection fatality rate was up to 2-3%, that over 80% of the population would be infected, and modelling suggested repeated lockdowns would be necessary. But emerging data showed that the median infection fatality rate is 0.23%, that the median infection fatality rate in people under 70 years old is 0.05%, and that the high-risk group is older people especially those with severe co-morbidities. In addition, it is likely that in most situations only 20-40% of the population would be infected before ongoing transmission is limited (i.e., herd-immunity).

Second, I am an infectious diseases and critical care physician, and am not trained to make public policy decisions. I was only considering the direct effects of COVID-19 and my knowledge of how to prevent these direct effects. I was not considering the immense effects of the response to COVID-19 (that is, lockdowns) on public health and wellbeing.

Emerging data has shown a staggering amount of so-called ‘collateral damage’ due to the lockdowns. This can be predicted to adversely affect many millions of people globally with food insecurity [82-132 million more people], severe poverty [70 million more people], maternal and under age-5 mortality from interrupted healthcare [1.7 million more people], infectious diseases deaths from interrupted services [millions of people with Tuberculosis, Malaria, and HIV], school closures for children [affecting children’s future earning potential and lifespan], interrupted vaccination campaigns for millions of children, and intimate partner violence for millions of women. In high-income countries adverse effects also occur from delayed and interrupted healthcare, unemployment, loneliness, deteriorating mental health, increased opioid crisis deaths, and more.

Third, a formal cost-benefit analysis of different responses to the pandemic was not done by government or public health experts. Initially, I simply assumed that lockdowns to suppress the pandemic were the best approach. But policy decisions on public health should require a cost-benefit analysis. Since lockdowns are a public health intervention, aiming to improve the population wellbeing, we must consider both benefits of lockdowns, and costs of lockdowns on the population wellbeing. Once I became more informed, I realized that lockdowns cause far more harm than they prevent.

For those of you who still trust government officials to ‘manage’ a pandemic, Liz Wolfe reports on an incident out of New York that you might wish to consider.

Jenin Younes is correct: those on the so-called ‘liberal’ left have gone fully, frighteningly illiberal. A slice:

At this point, those of us unfortunate enough to live in blue and purple states, as well as in many other parts of the world, have been deprived of our basic liberties for nearly a year. We cannot freely associate with other people, operate our businesses, send our children to school, or travel to many places without having to isolate for two weeks, which often translates into visiting loved ones becoming a practical impossibility. College students are imprisoned in dorm rooms for weeks because they or someone they interacted with tested positive for the virus (I will leave the topic of the unreliability of these tests for another day). They are expelled, harshly punished, and shamed for attending parties and socializing in groups. It is no surprise that, condemned for engaging in the most natural activities for those their age, suicidal ideation, depression, and drug usage have skyrocketed in this demographic. Children are forbidden from playing with one another or forced to do so while muzzled.

These oppressive policies, which at face value constitute grotesque violations of civil rights and liberties, are enacted and enforced primarily by Democratic politicians, not least among them the governors of New York, Michigan and California: Andrew Cuomo, Gretchen Whitmer and Gavin Newsom, respectively. For the most part, these pandemic management strategies are lauded by their constituents and center-left publications alike. To the extent they are criticized from the left, it is usually for failing to enact the measures sooner or enforcing them more stringently.

Phil Magness at Facebook:

The entire Australia/New Zealand pandemic strategy, summarized:
1. Make your island a fortress and lock it down
2. Declare victory over covid
3. Covid returns
4. Lockdown
5. Declare victory over covid
6. Covid returns
7. Lockdown
8. Declare victory over covid
9. Covid returns
10. Lockdown
11. Declare victory over covid
12. Covid returns
13. Lockdown
14. Declare victory over covid
15. Covid returns…