As we approach the second year of the two-week flattening of the infection curve, the simple points Cochrane makes should take center stage. As he argues, the pandemic checks all the boxes one would wish to check in order to construct a clear argument for government intervention, and yet the lion’s share of the vaccination discussion has emphasized the distribution of private benefits when reducing the disease’s reproduction rate is the only thing that matters.
Predictably, replacing commercial distribution—Cochrane believes, as I do, that the humane thing to do is to let market prices decide—with political distribution means political interest groups jockeying for priority. Even for all the market failures acknowledged above, combining market forces with vaccine vouchers for the poorest would be far more effective than the mess we are in now.
Here’s yet another Covid-19 pro-lockdown hypocrite: Berkeley Federation of Teachers president Matt Meyer – an opponent of re-opening schools to in-person learning – sends his daughter to an in-person private school.
Below the age of 60, the ACMR [Average Covid-19 Mortality Risk] is close to zero.
Lockdowns kill people, and the people who will suffer most from them are reasonably foreseeable. Those who live alone, and whose mental health is fragile, are clearly suicide risks. So are people who have lost their businesses and livelihoods, or jobs that gave their life meaning. Many others are at risk from untreated conditions less fashionable than COVID-19. To be in favour of lockdown is to say that these people are less valuable than others, the type of people one might as well shove off a bridge to stop a speeding trolley.
To get into a discussion about numbers is to miss the point. Viruses kill some people, and this is very sad. We should try to prevent it from happening as much as we can by shielding the vulnerable and providing the best medical care possible. What we should not do it decide that other people are less valuable and sacrifice their lives. The virus kills, but you don’t have to. Scientists may argue about whether these sacrifices are futile in any case. People like Professor Carl Heneghan and Professor Sunetra Gupta can make that case, and be relentlessly smeared for it by sanctimonious murder enthusiasts. Most of us do not have their expertise, but this does not mean that we cannot make a principled stand against pushing people off bridges.
During the last few months of his life, in 2017, he wrote an excellent book called “Factfulness”, that summed up most of his thinking, and described how many of the things people “know” about the world are completely wrong. Hans Rosling is something of a hero of mine, and if he was still alive, I’m sure he would have contributed to bringing som sanity to the current situation. With his global influence, I think people would have listened.
Two of Hans Rosling’s former colleagues at Karolinska Instituet, professor Anna-Mia Ekström and professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and come to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid directly.
And while almost all the people who have died of covid have died in rich countries and been old, the vast majority of people who have died of lockdown have died in poor countries and been young. This means that the number of years of life lost to lockdown is many times greater than the number of years of life lost to covid-19 (as I’ve written about on this blog previously).
Why don’t governments and their “expert” scientists get straight to the logical conclusion of their diktats and their recommendations by ordering everyone to commit suicide? That policy will then diminish, better than has any yet, the spread of Covid and Covid deaths.
Britain is not now a free country. Here’s the opening:
What do you call a country in which you are banned from seeing loved ones, from going to the pub, from even leaving your house without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and also banned from protesting against this unprecedented state of affairs? Britain in 2021, and much of 2020.
So the prime minister had his chance to thank us for sacrificing our lives and surrendering our souls to the Covid lockdown by saying: ‘Congratulations! We did it! You may now pass go and work off the two trillion pounds of debt I ran up.’ But not a bit of it. Lockdown isn’t lifting. Sex is still illegal. As is holding hands. As is hugging. So we must tell him to go screw himself by refusing to desist from doing these things. We must go out and express as much human love as possible, until the forces of lockdown are defeated so decidedly that it’s lockdowns that are banned, not expressions of human love.
(DBx: I ask again: Why have so few classical liberal and libertarian voices been raised against this tyrannical madness? Why do so many once-stalwart voices for liberty and liberal civilization remain silent in the face of this ruthless assault on all that classical liberals and libertarians hold most dear?)