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Some Covid Links

Alec March interviews Sunetra Gupta. A slice:

‘It’s quite curious how much has been invested in this performance of social distancing and mask wearing,’ she volunteers. ‘A culture has been created of virtue signalling and shaming and this culture is adopted by the academics, clearly. It still continues to completely astonish me when I find on Twitter that a close colleague or friend has essentially resorted to defamation.’

Back in March Gupta did not oppose the first lockdown – partly because there was not evidence to suggest it was harmful.

But the scientist did take a sharply different view from that of Professor Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London, who believed the virus was new and could kill up to half a million people without a lockdown.

She believed the virus had arrived sooner than thought and fewer people were dying from it. ‘And actually that’s very clear now that the infection mortality rate is a lot lower than what was being suggested,’ Gupta says. ‘And what is also becoming very obvious is that the infection fatality rate in people under 50 is practically zero.’

Here’s yet another report, this one from the U.K. and written by a nurse there, on how unwarranted worry and panic can easily be stirred up by context-less reports of the number of patients with Covid-19 who are hospitalized. (Note that the photograph at the top of this report is from December 2017.) A slice:

Patients are tested on admission to determine whether to be put in “green” or “red” areas. I have seen first-hand patients admitted to hospital for completely unrelated conditions, nil Covid symptoms, but have a positive PCR test on admission. These go down as “Covid admissions” but they are actually admitted for conditions completely unrelated to the respiratory system, such as heart failure or kidney disease.

I am sure by now we all have known somebody who has had a positive Covid test result but no symptoms. This is true also for hospitalised patients being admitted for other reasons – massively inflating the “Covid admission” numbers.

I have also had first-hand experience of patients who have been admitted into hospital for an unrelated reason, and caught Covid whilst there (nosocomial infection)  – and then they also go down in the NHS statistics as Covid admissions.

Billy Binion reports on the hypocrisy, arrogance, dishonesty, incompetence, and downright dangerousness of New York State strongman Andrew Cuomo. A slice:

The governor, a self-declared foe of government incompetence, also presented medical providers with the vaccine edition of Sophie’s Choice. Earlier this month, he announced that hospitals that failed to use all of their vaccines would face up to a $100,000 fine; those thatvaccinated anyone out of the state-approved order of operations would face up to a $1 million fine. The kicker: Cuomo created a rigorous hierarchy of who was allowed to receive the vaccine at what point, meaning hospitals had no choice but to throw away expiring doses instead of finding willing vaccine recipients. Better to lose $100,000 than $1 million, I guess.

For more on strongman Cuomo’s administration, here’s Mairead McArdle. (HT Todd Zywicki)

Noah Carl puts the U.K.’s 100,000 Covid deaths in proper perspective. A slice:

Last year may have seen the largest number of excess deaths in England since the 1940s – but it actually wasn’t the deadliest year in terms of mortality rates. In fact, the age-standardised mortality rate (which measures the current level of mortality) was higher in 2008, 2007, 2006 and every year before that. This means that 2020 is the deadliest year since 2008.

As far as I’m aware, nobody claims that excess deaths measures the level of mortality – the BBC has actually reported the age-standardised mortality rates on at least two separate occasions – but headlines like “2020 saw most excess deaths since World War Two” might lead the public to believe that 2020 was the deadliest year since 1940, which isn’t true.

The two following statements are both true, but they give a different sense of Covid-19’s lethality. First: “2020 saw more excess deaths than any year since 1940”. And second: “2020 had a higher age-standardised mortality rate than any year since 2008”.

Emily Hill rightly rips into a prominent McCarthyite prolockdowner.

Here are the first three paragraphs of this report from the Times of London:

Leaving the country without good reason is to become illegal, Priti Patel announced yesterday.

The home secretary criticised social media stars for “showing off in sunny parts of the world” and said travellers would be required to fill out a declaration form explaining why they are flying, which will be checked by airlines.

Only “essential” travel will be allowed, and police will issue fines at borders. The government is reviewing the list of travel exemptions to ensure people are not abusing the system.

DBx: Why aren’t more people – especially more people who, pre-Covid, were prominent among the ranks of defenders of individualism and classical liberalism – fearful of this tyranny and speaking out loudly against it? Is Sars-CoV-2 so very different from other pathogens that we’ve encountered to justify trusting otherwise untrustworthy officials with the power that these officials have exercised over the past eleven months?

I despair, deeply. I simply cannot fathom the extent of the sheepishness – indeed, often the eagerness – with which so many people have embraced, and continue to embrace, the tyranny of lockdowns.