Some Covid Links

by Don Boudreaux on April 4, 2021

in Country Problems, Current Affairs, Philosophy of Freedom, Risk and Safety

Covid-19 tyranny is real. A slice:

It looks like something out of a tinpot tyranny. The church service was being livestreamed online. Halfway through, two cops appear and arrogantly walk to the sanctuary itself, the area around the altar. They then take over the lectern from the priest and issue a dire warning to the people who had gathered to commemorate the darkest day in the Christian faith – the trial and execution of Christ. ‘You need to go home’, an officer says. ‘Failure to comply with this direction to leave… could lead you to be fined £200 or, if you fail to give your details, to you being arrested.’

It feels chilling to hear such a bureaucratic threat being issued to people who are exercising their freedom of religion. There are so many disturbing things about this assault on a religious gathering. First, it is being reported that the church had taken the necessary measures to make itself Covid-secure. But even if it hadn’t, couldn’t the police have waited until the service was over before having a word with the priest, perhaps? Secondly, who grassed on these Catholics? Who phoned the police to tell them a group of people was marking the death of Christ? What kind of curtain-twitching, ratting-out country have we become?

Janet Daley asks: “How did a free people become so relaxed about losing their liberty?” Here’s her conclusion:

Then suddenly the questions became, should families be allowed to gather together, and, is it legal to have a sexual relationship with someone outside your own household? There must be very few (perhaps not any) tyrannies in modern history which have dictated such intimate things – at least not that survived long enough to be recorded. That, of course, might be part of the answer. These measures were always presented as temporary. Maybe all those generations of democracy have produced sufficient trust in government for populations to believe their assurances.

But there is a darker possibility. The conceit of enlightenment and its sacred values of individual freedom which modern democracies now believe can never be vanquished, which even saw off the communist dictatorships, can collapse into compliant terror – without a shot being fired.

Jeffrey Tucker writes that disease is the latest excuse for segregation. A slice:

Staying separate as a slogan has gradually mutated into a whole philosophy of life, one with a pernicious history and deeply troubling implications for social life. The idea that we can separate in order to stay clean has found its way into some of the more grim policies of our history, including eugenics, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and much more.

The vaccine passport adds to the idea that we – the rich, the privileged, the medically certified as clean – can gather with each other, while excluding the unclean, the poor, the uncertified, the unvaccinated. If we do this, we can live better healthier lives. Keep people apart, they say, and the pathogens can’t get to us.

If you think this is a caricature or an exaggeration, consider the recent writings of a person whom I would argue is the nation’s most influential lockdowner, Donald J. McNeil, Jr. He was the New York Times reporter most responsible for ginning up disease panic back in late February 2020. He has an authoritative-sounding voice. He has journalistic experience but no medical training. Still he seems to know what he is talking about, so when he predicted 4-plus million deaths in the US from SARS-CoV-2, people got very scared.

The Times gave him the platform he needed. He has since been fired from the Times, not for his preposterously irresponsible “journalism” but for saying an inappropriate word while on a Times-sponsored student trip to Peru in 2019. Since then, he has started his own Medium account. I’m glad for that because he can thereby reveal all.

As it turns out, the Times was restraining him. I wish there were more polite terms but now we can discover the real truth: what he favors would wreck life as we know it.

Sean Collins reports from Texas. A slice:

Well, it appears the Neanderthals in Texas got it right, and Biden is the one whose thinking is caveman-like. Now, three weeks after Abbott’s order to lift the mask mandate went into effect, the Covid situation has improved in Texas. New cases are down, to their lowest level since June. Hospitalisations have fallen to their lowest level since autumn. Death rates have plummeted. Furthermore, the outlook for vaccinations in the state appears bright, with a record daily number of people receiving shots. Adults of all ages are now eligible for a vaccine jab, a faster pace than many other states.

Have Biden and the media apologised for slandering Texas? And have they learned that lifting mandates on mask-wearing and removing other restrictions does not lead to Covid-spreading? Of course not.

Instead, Biden cited an uptick in new cases nationally to bang on again about masks. ‘I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor, and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate’, he said earlier this week. ‘Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.’ Biden’s plea came on the same day that CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned of ‘impending doom’. Holding back tears, she said: ‘Right now, I am scared.’

Overwrought emotionalism from the head of the CDC is not helpful, to put it mildly. Nor is a president insisting on state-mandated mask-wearing. Biden’s message implied that the latest increase in cases was down to states like Texas that have loosened restrictions on activity, but that is not true. In fact, the national increase was driven mainly by New York, New Jersey and Michigan – states that have imposed the most onerous of restrictions.

(DBx: In case you’re thinking that Collins published his piece way back on April 1st, and I’m publishing this post on the morning of April 4th, perhaps what he says about Covid cases in Texas is no longer true. Surprise! According to none other than the New York Times, daily Covid case counts in Texas continue to fall. The seven-day-average daily count on April 3rd is 3,224, which is 204 cases fewer than was this count on April 2nd, 443 cases fewer than was this count on April 1st, and 453 cases fewer than was this count on March 31st. This April 3rd count is a mere 44 percent of the seven-day-average daily Covid case count [7,259] in Texas on March 2nd, the day Gov. Abbott is accused of revealing his Neanderthalness by lifting state-wide restrictions. Deaths and hospitalizations have also fallen significantly in Texas over the past month. Collins is also correct to note that trends opposite those in Texas are evident in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan.)

Is this what life will be like in 2030? Given humanity’s current course, and the speed at which we’re traveling along this route, this short piece of fiction by TE Creus is quite plausible.

Jordan Schachtel explains how “How COVID-19 became a disinformation operation wrapped in a virus.”

Three – yes, three! – cheers for Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Phil Magness at Facebook:

Left-libertarians: “How dare you compare vaccine passports to the history of eugenics, segregation, and similar atrocities! That’s an outrageous and offensive hyperbole, and they are nothing alike!”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Buck v. Bell (1927): “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

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