New Zealand’s Covidocracy vows to arrest those who peacefully gather to protest its tyranny . (The ‘reasoning’ of pro-lockdowners seems to be that there’s no amount of freedom – no amount, really, of anything else – that isn’t worth sacrificing for the flimsiest prospect of even the slightest reduction in the risk of exposure to the Worst Monster Ever to Threaten Humanity, Covid-19.)
Writing in the New York Post, Karol Markowicz argues, very sensibly, that Covid in America would have been handled much more humanely and effectively had more ‘leaders’ done what Florida governor Ron DeSantis wisely has done . (Note, for the record, that while I loudly applaud most of DeSantis’s handling of Covid, I oppose his use of government power to restrict the abilities of private entities to choose their own Covid policies.) A slice:
It’s a lesson that we need to quickly learn. Encouraging vaccination is important, but ultimately COVID will be something we need to handle with less hysteria going forward, and DeSantis has been a model for that.
Well, at least the New Yorkers who’ll die unnecessarily in fires or because ambulances have no drivers won’t die of Covid-19 – and Covid-19, as we all now know, is the only cause of suffering and death that really counts .
In a newly released paper of mine, together with new data  made available through the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, I quantify the effects of state restrictions on houses of worship on individuals’ subjective well-being. Using data from Gallup between March 2020 and June 2021, I compare measures of well-being among religious adherents and their counterparts before versus after the adoption of restrictions within their states.
I find that pandemic restrictions significantly reduced religious peoples’ well-being. These effects persisted even after controlling for a wide array of demographic features, such as age and education, and other characteristics, such as income and industry. For example, the restrictions led to a 4.1 percentage point rise in self-isolation among the religious, relative to their counterparts. And they reduced life satisfaction by 0.09 standard deviations, an effect nearly twice as large as the male-female difference in the same measure.
The destruction wrought by lockdowns on the poor worldwide is staggering. It was an immoral and heartless policy imposed out of fear without thought of the collateral harms.