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Some Covid Links

National Review‘s Charles Cooke says “enough with Covid zealots.” A slice:

The architects of this collective madness remain immovable, and proud of it. Now, as ever, they meet every move toward normality with accusations of “murder” that are invariably proven incorrect, and yet are repeated in precisely the same tone and with precisely the same confidence the next time around. Now, as ever, they greet evidence to the contrary by either dismissing it out of hand, filtering it through a conspiracy theory, or issuing a never-to-be-revisited injunction to “wait a couple of weeks.” And, on the rare occasions that their position becomes untenable, they quickly change the subject, moving the material question from whether there is any evidence that one needs to wear three masks while skydiving to asking impatiently what harm can come from doing so. Every deadline is delayed; every argument is elastic; and nothing but COVID is written in on the ledger’s negative side. They’re zealots, for whom it will always be March 12, 2020. They must be stopped.

I do not believe that the initial panic over the coronavirus was driven primarily by cynicism or by expedience. But I do think that there is something both cynical and expedient about the glacial pace at which this country is being permitted to return to normal. For a certain sort of political progressive, our COVID-led status quo — with its rampant safetyism, its reliance upon experts, and its outsized role for government — is just not that big a deal, especially now that it can be used as an all-encompassing pretext for the Biden administration’s attempt to “remake” the United States. Add in that progressives seem to wildly misjudge how dangerous the virus really is — the chance that somebody with COVID must be hospitalized is between 1 and 5 percent, and yet 69 percent of Democrats believe that the number is more than 20 percent, and 41 percent believe that it is more than 50 percent — and you have a recipe for disaster. In the press, in the blue states, and in the federal government, that recipe is still being followed . . . well, well past the point of being overdone.

Writing in The Atlantic, Emma Green reports on “Progressives” abandoning science in order to continue to embrace Covid hysteria. A slice:

The spring of 2021 is different from the spring of 2020, though. Scientists know a lot more about how COVID-19 spreads—and how it doesn’t. Public-health advice is shifting. But some progressives have not updated their behavior based on the new information. And in their eagerness to protect themselves and others, they may be underestimating other costs. Being extra careful about COVID-19 is (mostly) harmless when it’s limited to wiping down your groceries with Lysol wipes and wearing a mask in places where you’re unlikely to spread the coronavirus, such as on a hiking trail. But vigilance can have unintended consequences when it imposes on other people’s lives. Even as scientific knowledge of COVID-19 has increased, some progressives have continued to embrace policies and behaviors that aren’t supported by evidence, such as banning access to playgrounds, closing beaches, and refusing to reopen schools for in-person learning.

As Phil Magness would say, a straw man is now stomping through the Seychelles.

Sarah Knapton is rightly appalled by the Covid revisionism underway to salvage the reputation of Neil Ferguson. A slice:

As pandemic revisionism goes, it was really quite extraordinary.

Asked on BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme about the latest data showing Britain is enjoying an eight-month low in coronavirus deaths and infections, Professor Neil Ferguson said on Tuesday: “The data is very encouraging, and very much in line with what we expected.”

As it was on the radio it was impossible to tell whether this was said with a straight face, but we must assume it was.

It is a wonder that nobody choked on their morning toast, for if Imperial modelling has stood for anything in this crisis, it is relentless pessimism. Plummeting figures were certainly not predicted by its researchers.

The difference this time is that the Government has pressed ahead with reopening despite the doom-mongering, and so has proven the models wrong.

Now to a Ferguson who makes good sense on Covid: the historian Niall Ferguson – who here talks with Peter Robinson.

Those of you who doubt the reality of Covid Derangement Syndrome might wish to be aware of the latest from the mayor of Washington, D.C.

Julia Hartley-Brewer is awesome.

Ramesh Thakur reports on India.

A letter from Canada: we’re handling COVID worse than you.