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Some Covid Links

Tweet [1]

Reason‘s Scott Shackford reports on the Los Angeles City Council’s unwarranted Covid tyranny [2].

Mikko Packalen, rebuking Justin Wolfers, tweets [3]:

If you want to kickstart economic recovery:

1) Rebuke lockdowns, vaccine mandates
-> Important signal for businesses

2) Stop shaming, coercion
-> Trust in elites doesn’t recede further

3) Admit we have no technology to stop Covid spread
-> Strong incentive to get vaccinated

“When It Comes to the Delta Variant, the Kids Are All Right” – so report Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer [4]. (HT Jay Bhattacharya) A slice:

Even older variants are not particularly dangerous for children. According to the CDC, of the 633,786 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began in February 2020, 470 [5] were children under 18.

Any child’s death is tragic, but this number needs to be put into perspective. COVID-19 deaths among children last year are comparable to the number of children who die annually in automobile accidents (636 in 2018) and the estimated 480 deaths [6] from flu among the same age group during the 2018–19 flu season. As Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, put it, “We don’t shut down schools in flu season.”

We also don’t shut down schools or keep kids home for the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, another virus that most kids have had by the age of two—and that kills anywhere from 100 to 500 children under the age of five every year.

Hooray for Elon Musk who, as reported by the Telegraph, “moves Tesla to Texas after ‘fascist’ California lockdown.” [7] A slice:

The Tesla billionaire has been an outspoken critic of some of California’s coronavirus policies, at one stage calling them “fascist” [8], after they forced the car company to close its plant in Fremont due to lockdowns.

In May last year, Mr Musk sued state officials, claimed Tesla would move its headquarters and threatened to shut down manufacturing in California. Mr Musk moved his home to Texas last December.

Philip Cowley decries Hong Kong’s deranged pursuit of zero Covid [9]. A slice:

She was trying to argue that however grim the quarantine rules might be, life once here is fine and dandy. This might strike you as a bit “apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”, but you can at least see her point: if they allow normal life to continue, maybe it’s possible to justify very strict travel restrictions.

Yet life is clearly not normal in Hong Kong, even if we just confine ourselves to the restrictions brought about by Covid. Rather, [Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health Prof. Sophia] Chan’s claim is one of the best examples of the ratchet effect in public policy I’ve seen for ages.

Let’s just take just the things that affect me on an almost daily basis. Mask wearing is compulsory in public, for everyone, even when outdoors. There are limits on group gatherings, with still no more than four people allowed to gather outdoors (although unlike in the UK, say, there has never been any limits on private gatherings). Table sittings in restaurants are also restricted, usually to four, although some places are allowed to go really wild up to six, depending on the extent of staff vaccinations. Tracking entry and exit via an app into any public building or restaurant is compulsory.

Most schools are still not back to full-day provision, even though pupils are now in their sixth term of disrupted schooling, and even when at school there are innumerable restrictions on what they can do. Meanwhile, at home, there is routine compulsory testing of areas or groups. These can involve locking down whole blocks with no warning — so-called “ambushes [10]” — even with the possibility of breaking into your home if you don’t answer the door.

And hovering above it all is the ever-present threat of being carted off to a government quarantine centre. Should one of your close contacts tests positive, there’s none of the would-you-mind-awfully-staying-at-home-please attitude here. Instead, you get picked up, with almost no notice, and chucked in a room in a quarantine centre for up to three weeks, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A full year after we were assured that, in calling for an end to lockdowns, the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration were attacking a straw man, the straw man now haunts New Brunswick, Canada [11]:

In response to a rapid rise of cases over the previous month in the Canadian province, the New Brunswick government declared that in certain health zones of the province — including two that are located along the border with Maine — people must limit their private contact to their own households for two weeks beginning Friday.

The report on the New Brunswick straw man continues:

The number of active cases in New Brunswick was 775 as of Wednesday, including 71 cases reported that day. After having some of the lowest case counts in North America, the province has seen a large increase in cases over the past month. The province also announced another death from the virus in the province on Wednesday, a person in their 90s, who died in the Moncton area.

“Hearing of another death in our province from this virus is heartbreaking, and my sympathies are extended to the family,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for New Brunswick. “The measures we have put in place are aimed at reducing the spread, and we need every person in New Brunswick to follow them to combat the virus. Please do your part, get vaccinated and follow the Public Health measures.”

DBx: Note that the population of New Brunswick is just shy of 800,000 [12], while the total number of deaths in this Canadian province attributed to Covid-19 is 72 [13] – 0.0093 percent of the New Brunswick population.

A sure symptom of Covid Derangement Syndrome is using the death from Covid of someone in his or her 90s as part of the justification for tyrannical restrictions on people’s ordinary affairs.