To those of you who believe that humanity’s response to Covid is rational, I put these questions: How do you square your claim with many governments refusing to state clear guidelines about what is an acceptable level of risk at which life can return to normal? How do you explain the fact that not a few people believe that the only acceptable level of risk from Covid is zero? Do you believe this latter level of risk, or even some number close to it, is reasonable? If your answer to this last question is ‘yes,’ you are among the unreasonable. Here’s a slice from the essay that prompted me to write what’s above:
“It’s one of the things we’ve cried out for again and again – could somebody in a position of political power tell us what is an acceptable number of infections?” Dame Angela, a member of the Government’s scientific advisory group SAGE and also co-chairs the SPI-M Sage sub-group, added: “We do need to decide what level is acceptable, and then we can manage our lives with that in mind.”
Mark Woolhouse, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said it would be wrong to attempt to get Covid cases to zero.
“If you take the view that no Covid death is acceptable or something of that order, you are writing a blank cheque to do any amount of harm by the measures you have implemented to try and control it,” he said, but added that the current data was pointing to “earlier unlocking”.
Yet the nation remains under house arrest, the economy stalled, and the lives and hopes of the next generation continue to be offered upon the sacrificial altar. All to save us from a disease with a survival rate in excess of 99%.
Why, then, is the UK Government proving so reluctant to reconsider what is so clearly a failed and destructive policy? To start answering this question, one first has to realise that Covid is as much, if not more, a political problem than it is a medical crisis.
This deus ex machina ending on which the Government has pinned its hopes is going hand-in-hand with sinister and often highly disingenuous attacks on those who question its approach. These attacks are spearheaded by ambitious MPs and Government allies in a media class that is cut from the same cloth as the politicians it has done so little to question over the past year. Lockdown has to be shown to be the only solution lest its advocates attract blame and retribution for the costs so painfully felt by a population subjected to unprecedented nightly lectures by its advocates.
Worship of the NHS, a media-driven urge always to ‘do something,’ and the groupthink of a political class willing to outsource their rational faculties to “The Science” – simultaneously claiming authority for their decisions whilst abrogating them of real responsibility – is only, however, part of the explanation. The fascinating, terrifying, and enlightening 2018 book by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure, identifies three ‘Great Untruths’ and associated cognitive distortions that the authors argue have not only damaged the integrity and purpose of higher academic institutions, but that have also intellectually debilitated an entire generation (‘iGen’ – those born after 1995).
If the Imperial College infection fatality rate of 0.9% is accurate, once around eighty per cent of the world’s population has been infected [at which point population wide immunity would be reached] we should see fifty-four million deaths. We are currently nowhere near that figure, and at the current rate of deaths, per year, it will take twenty-two and a half years to reach the fifty-four million figure.
John Tamny draws some lessons about Covid from Kevin Durant’s injury history. Here’s his conclusion:
And what about the lockdowns? By their very name they were anti-wealth creation. Workers and business owners suddenly saw their ability to create wealth curtailed. With less wealth created, there’s necessarily less progress. Lockdowns instituted with health in mind were logically anti-health precisely because they were anti-wealth. They were anti-resource without which the creative can’t vivify what’s on their minds.
What will it mean for the future? Very simply, this tragic imposition of command-and-control by politicians means progress against career-ending injuries for athletes will likely slow, the discovery of what will eventually render the internet primitive will similarly be rendered a more distant object, and then progress against diseases that still kill us will have been relatively suffocated. All so politicians could “do something.”
The metamorphosis of the narrative from a temporary and regretful measure of collective restriction to a confident assertion of permanent masks, vaccines and health passports has happened without any debate. The message is clear: they want these lockdowns and you will submit.
They don’t like dissent. The ‘operation’ aimed fire at Lord Sumption for challenging policy in much the same way they aimed at esteemed Professor Sunetra Gupta for espousing herd immunity with the shielding of the vulnerable. The Great Barrington Declaration presented a solid case against the chosen policy.
My own sense of the current darkness resides in C S Lewis. That Hideous Strength. The silent takeover of society by scientists, rallied by an infiltrated media system ‘nudging’ the minds of carefully controlled demographics to think that what is happening is in their favour. A dark world where the National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments (NICE) seeks to banish nature from man to ‘perfect’ his evolution.
In my last piece for TCW I mirrored my feelings for lockdowns in the music of Shostakovich. His experience living under Soviet tyranny translated to music. It speaks to all of us who have felt the inevitable pain and despair that comes with living like this. His music says if you are despairing you are not alone. At the premier of the Fifth Symphony (post-official denouncement, it was his apology to ‘power’) the audience sobbed through the Largo. Suddenly someone understood.
I still don’t think many understand the scale of the horror that has been driven through our nation’s soul. This lockdown policy has been like those French nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean. You get a shockwave on the surface which soon calms. The devastation of the life on the reefs below however is enduring.
For those of you who trust that all research that comes out of elite institutions is respectable science – and that reporting by the mainstream media is sufficiently critical – take a look at this report on ‘research’ out of Harvard. It’s not from the Babylon Bee, but it could have been.