Note: Recent relaxation of mask mandates in the U.S. hopefully signals at least a beginning to the end of Covid Derangement Syndrome. Further sense, for me, that we might finally be escaping this madness came when I dined on Thursday evening at a restaurant on the California side of Lake Tahoe and was delighted to discover the place packed with patrons none of whom were “social distancing,” and many of whom were walking around maskless. So I will no longer feature a “Some Covid Links” post daily; such posts will become occasional. But below are today’s links.
Jacob Sullum details reasons for rejecting the naive assumption that the CDC is driven exclusively by science.
For a few hours every Sunday morning, New York City’s Jerry Orbach Theater transforms into a church. When it does, the 199-seat off-Broadway theater can be filled to 50 percent capacity under the state’s current COVID-19 rules.
A few hours later, when the Jerry Orbach welcomes guests to yet another performance of Perfect Crime, the long-running murder mystery show, the 199-seat theater’s capacity must be capped at just 33 percent.
Yes, under New York’s pandemic rules, the exact same physical space that can’t host more than 66 people for a performance is somehow considered safe when up to 99 people gather there to pray and sing together. That’s despite the fact that, based on what we know about how the COVID-19 spreads, church services seem to be, if anything, more dangerous for unvaccinated attendees.
Ms. Weingarten and her union friends who run big city districts have held children and parents hostage to obtain more money from Washington for higher salaries and pensions. The $1.9 trillion spending bill that Democrats passed in March includes $129 billion for K-12 schools, which was on top of the $13.2 billion allocated in last spring’s Cares Act and the $54.3 billion in the December Covid bill.
Schools haven’t had to reopen to receive any of the extra cash. The Congressional Budget Office projected that only $6 billion of the $129 billion would be spent in fiscal year 2021. Most of the booty won’t be spent until 2023 or later, and some not until 2028. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.
Despite the success of the vaccine rollout, and the lack of evidence that new variants override the protection of the jabs, as scientists like Professor Carl Heneghan have pointed out, we are still having to put up with alarmism from “variantists” who want to keep the borders closed, “zeroists” who want the virus to be completely eradicated and “miasmatists” who are keen on keeping masks and social distancing in place forever. We also have “vaccinationists” talking of inoculating children despite the infinitesimal risk to those under 18. It is almost inevitable that we will see an increase in transmission in the non-adult population if they remain unvaccinated (and unmasked in schools from Monday) – but that should not then result in the other three groups jumping up and down demanding a fourth lockdown at the merest hint of an uptick on the graphs. (Even with twice weekly testing, less than 0.4 per cent of pupils have been shown to be positive).
Covid has exposed a number of formerly distinguished scholars as little more than partisan hacks.
“The masks worn by millions were useless as designed and could not prevent influenza. Only preventing exposure to the virus could.” – John M. Barry, The Great Influenza (2004)
“Abandoning masks and social distancing now would be the worst possible move for Americans and their political leaders. The 1918 pandemic teaches us why.” – John M. Barry, Washington Post, March 12, 2021
COVID has exposed a group of “intellectuals” that are simply lazy conformists. We need a good housecleaning. How did that former politician phrase it? Drain the swamp?
Update on Texas: The “Neanderthal thinking” in the Lone Star state that, on March 2nd, conditionally rid Texans of statewide Covid restrictions has not remotely resulted in the calamity that many predicted. As of yesterday (May 14th), the 7-day-average case count in Texas was only 31% of what the that count was on March 2nd. Hospitalization and deaths are also significantly lower.