Brown University, one of the Ivies in case you forgot, enacted further restrictions in response to what it described  as “82 confirmed positive COVID-19 asymptomatic tests in the past seven days.” Brown has over 7,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduates. 82 asymptomatic test results, or just over 1% of undergraduates or less than that of all students, induced further restrictions. What are those restrictions?
There are effectively no dining halls at Brown anymore. All their dining services are take-out and students are strongly discouraged from going to restaurants off campus. What’s more, they have been instructed to restrict their social encounters. Under the heading of “Refrain from Small-Group ‘Hopping,’” they have been given the following instruction: “Students are expected to consistently engage with the same small social group, rather than attending or “hopping” among multiple small-group gatherings over the course of a day or short period of time.” Are these young adults or little children?
I pick on Brown only because they are so honest. Their rules are openly posted online and, what’s more, they admit in those very rules that, “there is no evidence of spread in classrooms.” Such evidence has not stopped other institutions, my own included, from requiring vaccines, masks inside and out, multiple PCR tests per week, and all sorts of other restrictions. Brown is not an outlier, by any means. Some colleges and universities are now more restrictive than nursing homes.
Scott Atlas defends himself against Deborah Birx’s tale . A slice:
“It is an Orwellian attempt to rewrite history to blame those who criticized the lockdowns that were widely implemented for the failure of the lockdowns that were widely implemented,” he said, adding that Birx’s recommendations “were implemented by governors throughout nearly the entire nation during 2020.”
“Those policies failed to stop the dying, failed to stop the infection from spreading, and inflicted massive health damage and destruction, particularly on working class and lower-income families and on our children,” Atlas told Fox News. “History’s biggest failure of public health policy lies directly at the hands of those who recommended the lockdowns and those who implemented them, not on those who advised otherwise. Period.”
One explanation — the one I like best — is that we made the mistake of trying to appeal to reason. This was a point made by David McGrogan, a professor at Northumbria law school, in a piece for my sceptical website. ‘I am somebody who encourages students to investigate and debate facts for a living. So this has been a very bitter pill for me to swallow indeed, but the reality is that most people are just not actually interested in finding out the truth for themselves. They are much more interested in conforming with what they perceive to be the “moral truth” — the prevailing moral norm.’ The reason the vast majority of the public supported lockdowns is because they believed they were the ‘right’ thing to do.
Of course, the lockdown enthusiasts wouldn’t have been so quick to conform to that ‘moral truth’ without believing that lockdowns actually did what they said on the tin. But I was astonished by how many intelligent people just swallowed the government line without subjecting it to proper scrutiny — particularly as lockdowns meant the surrender of our liberty on an unprecedented scale, as Lord Sumption has pointed out ad infinitum. It was as if such people were yearning for the social solidarity usually available only during wartime. And the flipside of that — denouncing anyone who refused the accept the restrictions — also had wide appeal. No doubt the [British] government helped this process along by spending hundreds of millions bombarding us with propaganda, much of it designed by behavioural psychologists to penetrate our reptile brains.
While it is true that citizens were issued with stay-at-home orders for 262 days, they were not literally locked down. Andrews needs the power to physically barricade people in their homes, welding shut front doors if necessary. It’s the very least a tyrant could be expected to do.
Still other Covid-loving human rights worriers will point to government-mandated curfews as evidence the Victorian strongman already has too much authority.
And yes, Andrews did order people off the streets between 9pm and 5am earlier this year. But what sort of mickey-mouse curfew is it when police enforcing that curfew don’t have the power to shoot citizens on sight?
During the past two years Victorian police — under [Dan] Andrews’ watchful eye — have been able to pepper spray, beat and kick citizens for not wearing masks. And yet, after all these things that Dear Leader has done for them, people still want to stroll in the open air, feeling the warmth of the sun on their uncovered faces.
The Eternal Lord of all the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea has tried coaxing recalcitrant Victorians with carrots. Now, reluctantly, he must wield his statist stick.
Authorities have closed children’s playgrounds, cordoning them off with police tape, and yet small children still ride their bikes through parks, laughing playfully, as if it is their God-given right. Covid-denying, anti-vax, Murdoch press reading, far-right conspiracy theorists. All of them.
And their parents too.
They do not understand that only when Despot Dan can decide to shut down the entire state on a whim will he have the power required to keep Victorians drained and dispirited so that he can tweet that he’s their daddy and that he’s bloody proud of them.
We are safe because Dan is strong. This legislation makes him stronger than ever, which means Victorians are safter than ever.
I urge the Victorian Parliament to pass the Public Health and Wellbeing bill without delay. Long may Dan stand over us.