Some Covid Links

by Don Boudreaux on March 3, 2021

in Country Problems, Current Affairs, Myths and Fallacies

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifts mask mandate and reopens the state 100 percent!

People still living under lockdown are in abusive relationships with their governments. (Some governments, like some spouses, are more abusive than others. But any government that restricts the normal range of activities of healthy people and that stokes their fear of each other and of the outside world is abusive.)

Jeffrey Tucker ponders the effects that lockdowns will have on politics going forward. A slice:

Lockdown vs not: this has the capacity to be a theme that will resonate far into the future. It also unites people on the political “right” again with small business, genuine civil libertarians, and champions of religious liberty. It permits the “left” to again find its voice for human rights and freedoms. For that matter, they do not have to be activists; they only need to be people who do not want their houses of worship padlocked, their business closed and bankrupted, or their speech curtailed.

Noah Carl debunks the myth that opposition to lockdowns was, and is, a “fringe” viewpoint. A slice:

Yet there is evidence that lockdowns represent a departure from conventional forms of pandemic management. And when assessing novel public-policy instruments, the burden of proof generally lies with those who seek to impose them. Lockdown advocates, such as Conservative MP Neil O’Brien, have made much of the fact that prominent lockdown sceptics at various points underestimated the infection fatality rate and overestimated the level of population immunity. And of course, it is absolutely right that such errors should be pointed out and corrected. But lockdown advocates have made errors, too. And since they’ve had more influence on government policy, all else being equal, their errors will have been more consequential.

In April, researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden analysed projections from an epidemiological model that its creators said was “based on work by” Neil Ferguson’s team at Imperial College. This model predicted that “with the current mitigation approach” there would be 96,000 deaths in Sweden by July 1st. In fact, there were only 5,370 deaths by that date. Imperial College has since clarified that Neil Ferguson’s team was not responsible for these predictions. Yet as historian Phil Magness points out, “the Uppsala team’s projections closely matched Imperial’s own UK and US predictions when scaled to reflect their population sizes,” which suggests the two models are based on quite similar assumptions.

For those of you who continue to believe that governments base their lockdown policies on “the science,” you might wish to take a look at this item.

Allison Pearson notes that every bit of good news about Covid-19 sparks news of new variants of the pathogen. Here’s her opening:

Another week, another Covid variant on the loose. Watch out! I refer, of course, to the deeply worrying Whitehall variant.

The Whitehall variant is rapidly transmitted by scientific advisers whenever there is encouraging news. The better the news, the more aggressive the variant.

The Whitehall strain of Covid-19 is highly contagious and is easily caught by politicians in the same room as members of Sage. Symptoms include a flustered, shifty appearance and an ability to speak only in what grammarians call the “Type 2 conditional”. For example: “This new variant may be more resistant to vaccines.” Or: “This new variant could be more lethal.”

Invariably, after 10 days or so, those speculative statements are proven to be groundless. Turns out our two terrific vaccines can cope just fine. But, by then, it’s too late. The Whitehall variant has caused a fresh outbreak of fear in the population just as they were starting to glimpse the end of lockdown.

Richard Ebeling offers to developing countries some post-Covid advice from Ludwig von Mises.

Here are some telling facts about Sweden and other Nordic countries.

You can’t measure the distress of lockdown, so it’s ignored.”

Here’s Phil Magness’s reaction to the news that Donald Trump received the Covid vaccine in January:

Vaccinating people who have already had Covid and recovered encapsulates the sheer idiocy of our government’s entire pandemic response.

Even if natural immunity is later discovered to dissipate (thus far it hasn’t), vaccines are currently extremely scarce and should be prioritized for those who have not been exposed to Covid. If it turns out that natural immunity dissipates, vaccinate the people who had it and then lost it at a later date. If it doesn’t dissipate, then great!

But vaccinating people who recently had the disease and have recovered is akin to flushing scarce doses down the toilet.


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