Today, the only thing that apparently matters to Australia’s political and public health classes are cases. Should the State authorities uncover just a couple dozen odd cases, then boom—your State will be in lockdown. Queensland’s extension of lockdown a few days ago was attributed to three new cases. More than five million people forced to remain in lockdown because of only that! For this native born Canadian it is all madness. Well, madness, wrapped up in the name of “saving lives,” inside a heavy-handed despotism.
Sixteen months later, we are still at it, still addicted to lockdowns, no curve ever having existed to flatten. The ABC (our national broadcaster) and nearly all of the commercial press seem to revel in hourly updates of case numbers and what might be described as “fear porn.” (Only one publication, Spectator Australia, has been skeptical of the heavy-handed lockdowns from the start.) Mask mandates have been myriad, and worse many Australians now wear them whether mandated or not. And still to this day, barring bureaucratic dispensation for which you need to beg, citizens cannot leave. Anyone managing to find a rare flight into the country must hotel quarantine for two weeks at his own expense—without leaving the room. Covid policy has turned Australia into a sort of modern day 17th century Japan.
The next time you hear that Australia has had an exemplary Covid response, try not to bust a gut laughing. If you care even a fig for freedom concerns, well, Australia’s political class has been the worst in the country’s history.
And this report from Australia confirms – unintentionally – the reality of Covid Derangement Syndrome. (DBx: Who can read a report such as this one and fail to see that the response to this one ailment is powerful evidence of a nation gone mad?)
If the pandemic has taught us anything, however, it’s that ‘success’ and self-satisfaction can mutate as quickly as the virus.
In just a few weeks, the nation has gone from the envy of the world for its low number of deaths, quick and effective lockdowns, formidable contact tracing and routine ‘doughnut days’ – where no cases are reported – to a hermit kingdom shut off from the rest of the globe.
We could be isolated for years, according to public health experts and epidemiologists.
Science is a hard mistress, which simply discards beliefs that have been overthrown by experiment. What the zealots have is reverence for individual scientists who happen to agree with them, a very different thing. In fact, it is much like the medieval religious view, that anything spoken from on high must be accepted.
I’ve pointed out on these pages the fascinating presence, among the Covid Commissars, of Professor Susan Michie, a Communist so hardline that her more liberal comrades once searched her baby’s pram for pro-Moscow propaganda.
I’d also note that her zone of expertise is psychology, not medicine or biochemistry, as you might be tempted to think from her frequent appearances in debates on Covid matters.
But I think she is really there because she can see, as many others like her do, that this is an unrivalled chance to turn Britain permanently into a country where people who think they are good and clever can boss the rest of us around.
And here’s Noah Carl on Long Covid. His conclusion:
Overall then, estimates for the prevalence of long Covid range from 0.04% to 1.7% of the population. And estimates of the chance of reporting symptoms after 12 weeks range from less than 1% to almost 12%. Given all the available evidence, I would suggest that those toward the low end are more plausible – especially if we’re talking about something of clinical significance.
I have learned some hard truths about my country these past 15 months. I used to imagine that we would reflexively favour liberty. Sure, we would be open to persuasion, ready to accept proportionate restrictions if they were justified by the evidence. But our default assumption would be that, as freeborn Brits, we should be able to go where we pleased without needing to explain ourselves to anyone.
Boy, did I get that wrong. The epidemic brought out our most petty, priggish and puritan tendencies. True, it also brought out our kindness, compassion and community spirit. But these things are often two sides of the same coin. Psychologists have long known that wars, earthquakes and natural disasters give people a sense of purpose and solidarity that can be extremely pleasurable, but that that brain chemistry also makes them intolerant of any behaviour judged to be eccentric or nonconformist.
With more than half of the population now double-vaccinated – 51.2 per cent of all eligible Britons have now had both jabs – expect the emphasis to shift on to long Covid. It’s all too apparent that Covid doesn’t kill children, so scientifically its “hangover” effects are a grey area that can be leveraged, potentially exploited to encourage, say, the idea of vaccination in children, or the rollout of daily testing in schools.
Can it be coincidence that, in recent days, Prof Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, has warned of a “significant” increase in long Covid among the young?
Similarly, if the Government really wants us to retreat from the state of fear it put us in at the start of the first lockdown last March – when the Prime Minister urged us, “at this moment of national emergency, to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives” – we must get wise to its reporting of data. The current Covid dashboard, to which we are subjected on the news every evening, has floated the big scary numbers to the top – but without context. We are told about deaths and hospital admissions, but never about the recoveries.
If the Government was serious about things returning to normal, the nightly reported figures might be better switched to the amount of antibodies in the population at large, or the reduced lethality of new variants, both of which tell a positive story.
The Biden administration’s announcement that it would go door-to-door pushing vaccines is alarming, to say the least. Vaccine data reveal that more than 90% of those vulnerable to severe outcomes from Covid are already vaccinated. Why not cheer this and move on? Why the unrelenting push for more and younger? How is this consistent with the idea of the common good? It’s mystifying.
The low rates of vaccinations among many might not reflect ignorance. They don’t need to be muscled. They could be uninterested because they can read demographic data about Covid risk. Or maybe they are already immune due to previous infection (natural immunity remains a taboo topic, and scandalously so). Maybe they just don’t want the jab, which is their right (one once supposed).