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Some Covid Links

In today’s Wall Street Journal are two letters-to-the-editor by Australians expressing their dismay over the dystopia that now exists down under. Here’s one of the letters:

Sadly, Mr. Morrow is spot on when he refers to Australia turning itself into a nation of prisoners as a result of Covid mania. From our self-imposed cages, it is very strange to watch the rest of the world opening up while our businesses go bust and millions of our kids are kept out of school.

Through my questioning of ministers and bureaucrats in the state parliament of Victoria, I have discovered that very little time is spent weighing the costs of lockdowns. As a result, we have a new division of people—those who can afford to work from home and those who cannot.

Guess which class makes the decisions?

David Limbrick
Melbourne, Australia
Mr. Limbrick is a member of the Parliament of Victoria in Australia.

Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn understandably bemoans the confusion created by the CDC – and further stirred by the media – about the Delta variant. A slice:

Much of the reporting interpreted the findings to mean, as the New York Times tweeted, that “the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated.” CNN’s Oliver Darcy reported the Biden administration is frustrated with what it called “hyperbolic and frankly irresponsible coverage.” And Ben Wakana of the White House Covid-19 Response Team called the Times out, saying “vaccinated people do not transmit the virus at the same rate as unvaccinated people and if you fail to include that context you’re doing it wrong.”

Ditto for stories such as the NBC Newsheadline “Breakthrough Covid cases: At least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive.” Only the subheadline notes that these cases “represent less than 0.08%” of vaccinated people. NBC cites a death count of 1,400—less than 0.001% of vaccinated people—and many of them tested positive before dying of causes other than Covid.

Joakim Book decries “the rise of erudite technocrats.” Two slices:

The beginning of the terrible events of the last seventeen months lay in a computer model. The experts that advised the British government in March 2020 used more extravagant hyperboles than you can find in an average dictionary and urged the government to do what had never before been done, attempted, or suggested: close society. Urgently and briefly, at first, but then longer than anyone could have imagined – as is the tendency for temporary government policies.

The importance of the erudite technocrat, thus, cannot be understated.

Modeling, planning and manipulating society was always tied to the idea of the “expert,” a sage who knew things others didn’t; a boffin capable of uncovering the mysteries of the world and putting these to “good” use. With enough of them, we can push society’s levers, and get the outcomes that the policy-maker desires.


Like the computer model (since torn to shreds) that convinced Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisors of lockdown in March 2020, accuracy or realism don’t much matter to the vision of the expert as capable of achieving outcomes in a system he thinks he controls. It’s the idea, so tempting for those in power and so comforting for those wanting to believe them, that an appointed expert with the right credentials can see through the mystery of the world, and with the help of government power, control it.

Those of you who doubt the reality of Covidocratic tyranny might wish to read this report of what’s going on in Spain.

The Brownstone Institute’s Jeffrey Tucker reviews the new book by lockdown zealot Jeremy Farrar. A slice:

I’m a very polite writer, but I cannot decline to admit my complete alarm at so deeply encountering the mind of a person who did what he did and thinks what he thinks. Once he became completely convinced of lockdownism, he went all in. “Social distancing measures should be mandatory, not optional,” he writes. “A prime minister cannot ask people to lock down if they feel like it….that is not the way these sorts of public health measures work.”

Those little bromides – this casual dismissing of all concerns that might have doubts about a medically informed totalitarian state – are strewn throughout. I personally cannot fathom the psyche of a person who imagines that his profession entitles him to control all human interactions by police force, with gendarmes prohibiting people from behaving completely normally, and using violence against them for daring to engage with each other, opening their schools and businesses, and otherwise going about their lives peacefully – and genuinely believing that this is the best thing for society all told.

Sherelle Jacobs is correct: Britain’s “failure to confront the autocratic implications of Covid rules is a devastating mistake.” A slice:

Yet any hope of a decisive return to normal seems dead. Boris Johnson has missed his moment to rally the country around the cause of freedom, with a turbocharged reopening of Global Britain. Instead, even in a best-case scenario, the coming months are set to be a misery of border restrictions, variant angst and creeping biosurveillance.

Most dispiriting perhaps is that there is no sign of a popular backlash to this dereliction of leadership. The Labour Party is set to back vaccine passports (as long as negative Covid tests are also permissable), and militates for Australia-style closed borders. Liberty is increasingly being derided as a Right-wing fetish, with agitation limited to a few Tory backbenchers, a smattering of civil rights groups and a fringe assortment of conspiracists and anti-vaxxers.