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Some Covid Links

Tweet [1]

Paul Alexander, et al., warn against overreaction to the Delta variant [2]. Here’s their conclusion:

We are hearing discussions now about renewed lockdowns and masking etc. due to the Delta variant which has emerged as one of the weakest in terms of lethality while being very transmissible. This greatly concerns us. We are horrified by this prospect and we have shown you the actual data as it relates to Delta, and not the contrived drivel and unscientific nonsense spouted by the mainstream media and the public health experts. There is absolutely no good reason to reenter lockdowns and school closures or masking in response to the Delta variant. We find no evidence that this variant warrants masks in children. We leave you with the words of Donald Henderson [3]:

“Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted. Strong political and public health leadership to provide reassurance and to ensure that needed medical care services are provided are critical elements. If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.”

Sherelle Jacobs identifies an ominous parallel between the ‘war on terror’ and the ‘war on Covid.’ [4] Here’s her conclusion:

The failure of the war [in Afghanistan] was not just logistical but also intellectual. The neo-conservatism that inspired Bush and Blair was based on decent but vague Enlightenment ideals about human rights and democracy. Though the academic school had spent years advocating America’s unique role in advancing these ideals across the world prior to 9/11, it had made few attempts to interrogate the specific conditions in which they flourish.

Perhaps that is because the neo-con movement was as visceral as it was intellectual – its faith in America’s heroic purpose was partly a revolt against modern liberal society with its vapid nihilism and refusal to take sides. While there was nothing wrong with that impulse, the camp struggled to move beyond a self-confidence that bordered on spiritual. It remains in denial about how catastrophically its lofty theories collided with gritty reality in Afghanistan.

And so it goes that the West shifts from one war to another – or, rather, one simulation to another. The war on terror may be drawing to a close but there is no end in sight to the war on coronavirus. There are differences: this new unfolding epic has a sci-fi flavour and a fresh heroic quest – absolute Safety has relegated absolute Freedom from cause to victim. Still, much is familiar – the Manichean rhetoric, peddled by world leaders and amplified by broadcast media. The open-ended war on a global phenomenon which risks doing more harm than good. An ever-mutating threat that must be not merely minimised, but eliminated.

One can only hope that we are not here again in 20 years once the Covid era has passed, too afraid to ask ourselves what it was all for.

My teacher, friend, and co-author Randy Holcombe – who serves on the economics faculty at Florida State University – reports on the latest at his university regarding mask ‘expectations. [5]‘ A slice:

In a recent post in The Beacon [6], I contemplated whether I should wear a mask to class. Throughout campus, there are signs that say Face Coverings are Expected, but as I noted, not mandated. Classes are now back in session, and that decision was easier than I contemplated.

When I got to campus, few people were wearing masks outside, and many were maskless inside the building. In my classes, only about half of the students wore masks. With half the class unmasked, there seemed to be little point in my wearing one, so I didn’t.

Here’s wisdom shared on Facebook by Phil Magness [7]:

Good reasons to oppose vaccine passports:
– They invite massive government overreach
– They’re likely to be bureaucratic nightmares with TSA levels of effectiveness and incompetence
– They create a medical privacy risk
– Their burdens are inequitable and fall most heavily on poor people and minorities
– They promote and incentivize disease ostracism, which has a long history of atrocities.
– They contain no exceptions for the millions of people who have proven antibody immunity from covid recovery.
Bad reasons to oppose vaccine passports:
– You read somewhere on the internet that vaccines don’t work and/or have high risks of harmful side effects, and therefore don’t want to take the vaccine.

And for more wisdom read this new essay by Karen Harradine [8]. Two slices:

Humans are sociable animals. We are not meant to be locked away in solitary confinement and denied the sight of each other’s faces. To be forcibly separated from our loved ones damages our mental health. Masks dehumanise us and feed fear. Yet lockdowns, social isolation and masks are the weapons of choice for politicians in their lunatic ‘war’ on a virus, despite being detrimental to our health, economy and society.

…..

Politicians have turned Covid-19 into a moral crusade, quasi-religious in nature, creating a doomsday cult. Masks generate fear and help keep the cultish behaviour going. Lockdowns demoralise us, reducing our capacity to resist dangerous authoritarian rule. Defeating the virus is the impossible aim that keeps the cult leaders in business.

Wearing a mask and cheering on lockdowns makes people feel as if they are doing their duty, even if their actions are causing untold damage to themselves and others. All too easily they relinquish their sense of responsibility by saying that they are following government orders. They may not be entirely immune to the gross suffering caused by this but, as cult members are prone to do, they ignore it for the ‘greater good’.

History is littered with the calamitous antics of doomsday cults. Yet we must be the only civilisation in history which thinks we can cheat death on a mass scale, destroying ourselves in the process.

Our political class won’t help us. They are leading this delusion, described by one psychiatrist elsewhere on these pages today as a mass ‘delusional psychosis’. We need, as he also says, to break free from cultish thinking, stop following orders and save ourselves.

TANSTAFPFC (There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Protection From Covid.) [9]

The singular – and, hence, out-of-context – focus on Covid figures creates mistaken impressions [10].

Audrey Unverferth writes about my George Mason University colleague Todd Zywicki’s successful effort to escape, on grounds that he’s already got natural immunity from Covid, GMU’s vaccine mandate [11]. A slice:

“The medical journals are now suppressing and refusing to publish very, very high-quality studies that do not comport with the narrative that they want to push, which is indiscriminate mass vaccinations,” Zywicki argued. “The medical societies and establishment are now threatening [12] to take away the licenses of doctors who they deem to be spreading misinformation about vaccines. … We’re talking about a system of control and censorship that all of these institutions have just fallen in line with.”

The Biden administration is also in on it [13]. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently released [14] a report encouraging Facebook, Twitter, and others to penalize, censor, and surveil COVID dissidents who promote commentary that the establishment deems to be “misinformation.”