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Some Covid Links

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Paul Alexander, et al., carefully examine the evidence on Covid-inspired school closures [2]. Here’s part of their conclusion:

Why have these school closures gone on for so long? Why has the public, the parents, the children and the teachers been so badly deceived as to risk? Were decisions made based on evidence or other factors? Who is at fault here? What was the reason for this very flawed policy, as it surely is not based on available research data or even common sense for that matter? This is tantamount to sabotage [3] of our children by government officials, Teachers’ unions, seemingly unskilled medical experts, and public health agencies, the latter charged with the health and well-being of our societies.

Derek Winton methodically exposes the reckless gullibility of those who, in March 2020, swallowed Neil Ferguson’s Imperial Model prediction of Covid deaths [4]. Here’s his conclusion:

When (if!) the dust finally settles on the Coronavirus pandemic it will be difficult for future historians to conclude anything other than the following: We abandoned our carefully planned and rehearsed pandemic preparedness plans in favour of an experimental measure on the basis of non-peer-reviewed, undocumented, obscure, predictively inaccurate modelling, using a design that leaves out one of the most important variables involved, created by an expert with apparently no formal training in computer modelling or epidemiology and a track record of very high over-estimates of disease mortality.

Prediction is an incredibly difficult business. That said I am absolutely confident that, in years to come, those historians will shake their heads and wonder: “What were they thinking?”

Timandra Harkness writes wisely and perceptively about the foolish – and tyranny-pregnant – notion that governments’ responses to risks can and should be determined by ‘the science’ (as opposed to informed by the science) [5]. A slice:

It’s worth noting, however, one caveat provided by epidemiologist Professor Mark Woolhouse, who is also a member of SAGE: “Whatever the answer is, it’s not zero.” That is, he explained, because if you take the view that every Covid death is unacceptable, “you are writing a blank cheque to do any amount of harm by the measures you’ve implemented to try and control it.”

For as long as I can recall I have been an Anglophile. I admired and cherished the love of freedom and the spirit of individualism that seemed to run more deeply in Britain than elsewhere – a love of freedom and spirit of individualism that were rather naturally receptive to bourgeois dignity [6] and that, in turn, sparked and nourished the industrial revolution. The Great Britain of the Levellers and of Locke, Hume, Smith, Wollstonecraft, Macaulay, Martineau, Cobden, Bright, Mill, Gladstone, Spencer, Auberon Herbert, Acton, Dicey, and Edwin Cannan. And don’t forget the countless now-long-forgotten Englishmen and Englishwomen whose attitudes are documented in Alan Macfarlane’s The Origins of English Individualism [7]. Is my admiration now past its due date? Ed West says that the answer, sadly, is yes [8]. A slice:

While Italy and the Netherlands have had serious anti-lockdown disturbances, the British public have accepted it with remarkably little in the way of complaint. They may not have liked it, and some rules may have been bent a little, but compliance has generally been strong [9] — with an inevitable decline during the summer.

Not only that but lockdown is popular as a policy. Wildly popular, you might say. The Prime Minister has been miles behind British public opinion in every restriction he has reluctantly imposed, out of touch with a population who, as a whole, don’t seem to especially love freedom [10].

Glyn Lewis decries “the ever-moving goalposts of lockdown.” [11] A slice:

We were told that with the arrival of the miracle vaccine, we would return to normal once the over-70s were vaccinated. So why are we still in lockdown? It was then changed to the over-60s. Then the idea of booster jabs was announced. Now the government says that all nine ‘vulnerable groups’ must be vaccinated. Even when every man, woman and child is vaccinated, the wearing of face masks and ‘social distancing’ (that most irritating of oxymorons) will very likely remain in place. Not only that, but the idea of ‘vaccine passports’ is now on the cards. According to Boris Johnson, to re-open theatres and nightclubs, passports or tests will be required to ‘crack the toughest nut’. The very idea of this coercion is beyond the pale, but what is worse is the mainstream media’s lack of scrutiny when such an authoritarian policy is touted. It was not that long ago when some in the mainstream media were exposing the Chinese Communist Party’s policy of social credit, i.e. the removal of the most basic of civil liberties if you are deemed to have committed an act detrimental to the State. The parallels are there for all to see, but the truth makes too many people uncomfortable.

The fundamental question ‘Is the government’s response to Covid proportionate?’ needs to be asked repeatedly, but alas, commentators such as Dan Hodges smear it as a slogan. The sneering and contempt of the lockdown zealots is a re-run of how the Remainers conducted themselves during the 2016 referendum. They said Brexit would be economic Armageddon for the country, but shutting down the economy for a year (so far), resulting in the worst economic decline since 1707, is to be embraced.

Here’s a new conversation with Knut Wittkowski [12].

Jordan Schachtel exposes Anthony Fauci’s flip-floppiness and hypocrisy [13]. (HT Phil Magness)  A slice:

In 2014, at the height of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, concerns were rising in America about the possibility of the disease spreading across the country. With a genuinely horrifying 40 percent case fatality rate (which is at least 40 times higher than the CFR of COVID-19), and a several week incubation period for infectees, state governors acted to pursue mandatory quarantines for healthcare workers returning to the U.S. from regions where the virus was spreading.

At the peak of the epidemic, governors in several U.S. states [14] initiated a very targeted quarantine that only applied to healthcare workers who were arriving back into the country from impacted areas.

Dr. Fauci wasn’t happy about the fact that his colleagues were being subject to quarantines. He went on a media blitz and hammered the quarantine policies that had been issued in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia and Florida, declaring them “unscientific” and “draconian.”

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