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Some Covid Links

My GMU Econ colleague Dan Klein exposes Covidocrats’ fallacy-filled reasoning.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Leslie Bienen decries the Covid theatrics on American college campuses. Three slices:

Colleges these days aspire to inculcate ethics and morals as well as knowledge. Yet many of them have gone all in on deceiving and gaslighting students by violating the bargain—both implied and explicitly stated—agreed to this summer when they mandated vaccination against Covid-19: You get vaccinated to protect the rest of us, and we give you your lives back.

The vast majority of college students are under 25. Adults under 30—the age category the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses in breaking down Covid-19 outcomes—have a very low rate of hospitalization, and an even lower death rate. As of Aug. 21, the middle of the Delta wave, 18- to 29-year-olds were at 4.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. This rate has been falling since, and is now at 3.8. Even at the height of the winter peak in the U.S., before vaccines were widely available, the rate was 6.3 per 100,000.
Amherst College initially said that, because of the Delta surge, it would require students to wear either two masks or an uncomfortable KN-95, even outside, and prohibit them from going to restaurants or bars, or leaving the Amherst area without permission. They also closed school dining halls and made them takeout only. After students pushed back, the college amended the outdoor mask mandate and allowed students to pick up takeout meals at local restaurants, the Boston Globe reported. Students are still forbidden to travel, gather in groups or eat in the dining hall or at a restaurant, even outdoors.

What message does this send to young people? That they must uphold their end of the deal—get vaccinated despite their low risk—but the institutions have no obligation to uphold theirs. There are no data supporting these draconian restrictions in nearly 100% vaccinated and low-risk populations. Yes, the Delta variant is more transmissible. But while hospitalizations in 18- to 29-year-olds are up from their lows in July, they are half of what they were in winter, no doubt thanks to vaccination.
These restrictions are not only ridiculously heavy-handed and unsupported by data; they are corrosive to trust in institutions that hold themselves up as paragons of integrity and ethics. These institutions should stop undermining their own moral authority by backpedaling on the deal they offered: Get vaccinated for others’ benefit, and you can have a normal college experience.

Julia Hartley-Brewer talks with Karol Sikora who criticizes the brainwashing that convinces people that schools are unsafe.

Brendan Patrick Purdy, channeling Thomas Sowell, decries “the COVID-19 tyranny of the anointed.” A slice:

The proclamations of the anointed will be couched in emotional terms such as “I’m sorry” and an expression of empathetic understanding regarding the feelings of the tragic. This is cynical for the following reasons. The anointed do not care about the benighted. Also, note how an objective unalienable right becomes a subjective feeling in Fauci’s description of individual freedom. Once the unalienable is declared alienable, then Fauci slips naturally into the four stages of the unconstrained vision. There is not a tradeoff between freedom and mandates for the anointed Fauci, the mandates are the solution. In Fauci’s COVID calculus, freedom is irrelevant.

Here’s the conclusion of a new research paper by N. Kojima, N.K. Shrestha, and J.D. Klausner: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

The protective effect of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection on re-infection is high and similar to the protective effect of vaccination. More research is needed to characterize the duration of protection and the impact of different SARS-CoV-2 variants.

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

Ramesh Thakur continues to expose the derangement of the lockdowns in the once-free country of Australia. A slice:

Excess deaths testify to the accumulation of both undiagnosed and untreated illnesses. The biggest contributors were jumps of 6% for cancer, 9.2% for diabetes and 17.1% for dementia and Alzheimer. These are among the categories we would predict to be worst hit by the known effects of lockdowns that degrade the capacity of the health system to treat illnesses in a timely manner. The Daily Mail UK recently ran a feature about ending the obsession with Covid figures and refocussing on the really big killers like heart disease, cancer and dementia.

Rasmussen reports: “Conservative News Viewers More Accurately Estimate COVID-19 Death Risk.” (HT Todd Zywicki)

And (even) the BBC reports: “Long Covid in children ‘nowhere near scale feared’.” (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

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