Our vision has narrowed like a microscope, focusing on one small thing and with no peripheral vision. Our minds are bent to a singular purpose: preventing death from a single cause. This is understandable to a point. A new and unknown threat holds the imagination hostage. The predator grabs the attention of its prey for a reason, and one can reasonably argue that we must deal with an imminent threat above all other dangers. But the dangers in a complex society are not so stark or simple as the perils of the savannah, where you are hunted only by the lion. Even there, the lion in front of you may be a mere diversion while another creeps up on you from behind. It is hard for us to assess which threat is most pressing, because the things most dangerous to us are often not the things we are paying attention to. There is a mass fixation at the moment on the thing we think we see in front of us, and we are tracking what we believe are its movements. But it is to the dangers outside our vision, that are not being tallied and charted in red before our eyes, and to all the things that we are ignoring, weakening, or destroying because we do not really see the use of them, that I find my attention unavoidably drawn.
This puts me in mind of another angle on liberty worth considering. J.S. Mill would say that my liberty ends only where it causes harm to you. This may not be a bad rule of thumb, but it accounts only for the liberty to ‘do what I like’ (as long as it harms no-one), not, for example, the liberty to participate in public and social life, the liberty to help and nourish one another with presence and contact. Much of the freedom that has been taken away from us as individuals does not benefit only us, and its removal is anything but protective of others. My liberty to visit my mother is part of her protection against loneliness and despair. Your liberty to run a business with minimal interference is protection for your family against destitution, illness and poverty. Removal of personal liberties removes not only the liberties, it removes a delicate canopy of care and protection from an entire population.
For example, they have this category called “very high risk level.” Red is in the text. Scary! But what is it? It means 11 or more people per 100,000 have generated a positive PCR test for the coronavirus.
Not deaths. Not hospitalizations. Not even symptomatically sick. (Yes, I know the term “sick” is old fashioned.)
We are talking about 11 positive PCR tests. This is an infection rate of 0.01%. Consider too that the NYT reports that these tests in the past have generated up to 90% false positives.
Laura Perrins decries Boris Johnson’s cruelty. Two slices:
What Boris Johnson and his henchman are doing now is cruel and wicked. They have been aided and abetted by a propaganda media that rarely asks any tough questions, such as how accurate is the 100,000 Covid death figure, where are all the flu deaths, why did you empty the hospitals of Covid positive patients and put them in care homes, why are schools still closed when Public Heath England said it was safe to open after half term, and how many lives will be lost to lockdown conditions and recession conditions?
Pretty much every question from the media is, why didn’t you lock down earlier, and why didn’t you lock down harder? This is what counts as journalism these days, a false opposition interested only in pushing the government agenda and propaganda. What the media have done is to manufacture consent from the population for what is a needlessly cruel and wicked lockdown that we will never recover from.
As I have always said, lockdowns fail on every test: they are immoral, they are unethical, they are disproportionate and they even fail on utilitarian grounds. They break families, they target the vulnerable, children and children with disabilities the most. Johnson has needlessly kept schools closed and dangled hope for reopening in the future, always the not-too-distant future that never seems to come.
If he and his henchmen followed the science they would see how damaging lockdown was. They would know how cruel and evil it was. But they don’t care. For some reason they are doubling down, probably to save their political lives and the propaganda media, many bought and paid for by the Tories, and their corporations are enforcing this wicked dictatorial regime and manufacturing the public’s consent.