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Some Covid Links

George Dance ably defends the Great Barrington Declaration against attempts to discredit it. A slice:

This new FAQ may not be the best place to go for scientific advice about the disease; the ‘doctors’ behind it seem to mainly have doctorates in economics and psychology (though I have read that there is an anonymous scientist involved), and some of their claims, such as “Covid still has a high fatality rate among younger people”, seem supported more by semantics than by science. (“Younger” in context turns out to be “younger than 65”).

Jonathan Sumption writes with great insight and wisdom. Two slices:

The “sunk cost fallacy” is a well-known source of distortion in human decision-making. A decision is made which has destructive implications. The limited benefits and immense collateral damage gradually become apparent.

It is next to impossible for those involved in the decision to change their minds. No one wants to admit that it might all have been for nothing, even if that is the truth. They have invested too much in the decision to reverse out of the cul-de-sac. So they press on, more to avoid blame than to serve the public interest. This is what has happened to governments across Europe and to the dug-in body of specialists who advise them. Their recipe is simple: if lockdowns haven’t worked, there is nothing wrong with the concept. We just need more of them.

What we really need is a fresh look at the evidence by people who are not committed to their own past positions. This is what the Health Advisory and Recovery Team (HART), a group of more than 40 highly qualified scientists, psychologists, statisticians and health practitioners have provided in an “Overview of the Evidence” published last week. It is addressed to non-specialists, but is scrupulously referenced to specialist research. It will not change the minds of ministers or their advisers. But it should provoke thought among the rest of us. We cannot contribute to the science, but we can at least understand it. Those who are unwilling to do even that much have no moral right to demand coercive measures against their fellow citizens.


We have been addled by the so-called precautionary principle, which holds that if we have no evidence of something, we should assume the worst. This marks the extreme point of our risk-averse world. The alternative view is that you must have good reasons backed by evidence if you are going to stop people satisfying the basic human need for social contact, destroy their businesses and jobs and wreck their children’s lives. If you don’t know, don’t do it.

Inspired by Phil Magness, Will Jones rightly criticizes the recklessness of Neil Ferguson. A slice:

Whatever the explanation, though, the data are unambiguous, and they do not validate Imperial’s modelling, either in terms of how many would die without restrictions or how few would die with them.

The trouble is that the assumptions behind the modelling – that lockdowns control the virus and without them hundreds of thousands more would die  have become accepted truth, to the point that journalists will just state it in their reporting as though it is undisputed fact, and politicians will instinctively impose or tighten restrictions as soon as positive cases start to rise with little or no opposition.

Covid tyranny continues to darken and enslave a once-free country.

David Paton reports on just how lethal and dangerous Covid Derangement Syndrome often is. A slice:

Roll forward to today and the government has easily exceeded its vaccination targets. Virtually all the most vulnerable groups have been offered a jab, and many have even had their second. Infections and hospitalisations have dropped by over 90 per cent from the peak, while Covid-related deaths in England have tumbled from an average of nearly 1,200 per day in mid-January to under 90 today.

Yet despite this, public protests (even those protesting for the right to protest) remain banned. Hitting a ball with a stick outdoors on a golf course remains a criminal offence for another week. Getting a haircut is illegal for another three weeks. And you have another eight weeks to go before you can legally sit down with a friend in a café over a cup of tea.

At the weekend, the government added more salt to rub in the wound. On the Sunday politics shows, there was no crying freedom to be seen. Instead, we had defence minister Ben Wallace signalling that the government was pretty much set to ban foreign holidays for another year. How devastating that must have been to hear for the many thousands whose jobs depend on the tourism sector. Many had taken at face value the government’s commitment to reopen as soon as the most vulnerable were protected.

And just in case we hadn’t got the message yet, Mary Ramsay from Public Health England announced that, irrespective of how many of us choose to get vaccinated, we can expect restrictions on travel and laws forcing people to wear masks and to practice social distancing to last ‘for years’. In normal times, we might have expected ministers to slap down such overreach from a public-health official. But the lack of response suggests she was representing the government’s view.

The British continue to be misled – and to be frightened out of their minds and into lockdown embrace – by ‘modeling’ issued by the Imperial College and some other outfits. Christopher Snowdon reports.

Jeremy Devine, writing in the Wall Street Journal, explores the “dubious origins of long Covid.” A slice:

But many of the survey respondents who attributed their symptoms to the aftermath of a Covid-19 infection likely never had the virus in the first place. Of those who self-identified as having persistent symptoms attributed to Covid and responded to the first survey, not even a quarter had tested positive for the virus. Nearly half (47.8%) never had testing and 27.5% tested negative for Covid-19. Body Politic publicized the results of a larger, second survey in December 2020. Of the 3,762 respondents, a mere 600, or 15.9%, had tested positive for the virus at any time.

Peter Hitchens decries the terrible turn that Britain took on March 23, 2020. A slice:

All the crudest weapons of despotism, the curfew, the presumption of guilt and the power of arbitrary arrest, are taking shape in the midst of what used to be a free country. And we, who like to boast of how calm we are in a crisis, seem to despise our ancient hard-bought freedom and actually want to rush into the warm, firm arms of Big Brother.

Imagine, police officers forcing you to be screened for a disease, and locking you up for 48 hours if you object. Is this China or Britain? Think how this power could be used against, literally, anybody.

The Bill also gives Ministers the authority to ban mass gatherings. It will enable police and public health workers to place restrictions on a person’s ‘movements and travel’, ‘activities’ and ‘contact with others’.

Many court cases will now take place via video-link, and if a coroner suspects someone has died of coronavirus there will be no inquest. They say this is temporary. They always do.

Well, is it justified? There is a document from a team at Imperial College in London which is being used to justify it. It warns of vast numbers of deaths if the country is not subjected to a medieval curfew.

But this is all speculation. It claims, in my view quite wrongly, that the coronavirus has ‘comparable lethality’ to the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed at least 17 million people and mainly attacked the young.

What can one say to this? In a pungent letter to The Times last week, a leading vet, Dick Sibley, cast doubt on the brilliance of the Imperial College scientists, saying that his heart sank when he learned they were advising the Government. Calling them a ‘team of doom-mongers’, he said their advice on the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak ‘led to what I believe to be the unnecessary slaughter of millions of healthy cattle and sheep’ until they were overruled by the then Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King.

Let’s loudly applaud Matt Strickland, owner of Gourmeltz restaurant in Fredericksburg, VA, for his refusal to obey Gov. Ralph Northam’s diktats. Applause is also warranted for the court that just supported Mr. Strickland. A slice:

On Friday, the judge denied the state’s request for an injunction to immediately close Gourmeltz restaurant in Fredericksburg, the station said, adding that the judge said the state failed to show the injunction was in the public interest or that the public would be harmed without it.

Restaurant owner Matt Strickland started things off in a food truck five years ago and has worked hard to grow his business, WUSA said. Now he refuses to comply with Northam’s mandates on mask-wearing and social distancing, saying they’re unconstitutional, the station reported.

(DBx: Even though Fredericksburg is an hour south of me by car, I think that I’ll drive down later today to Mr. Strickland’s restaurant for a meal.)