A Missouri court deals a just blow to that state’s Covidocracy. (HT Todd Zywicki)
Applying this lesson today, you don’t have to be a physician or epidemiologist to become conversant with basic Covid issues. Official propaganda might claim this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, that natural immunity doesn’t exist, and your 5-year-old child urgently needs a Covid vaccination, but you can look at the evidence for yourself.
Writing in the Telegraph, Sunetra Gupta – a co-author of the great Great Barrington Declaration – explains why vaccination cannot pave a route to the complete elimination of Covid. Here’s her conclusion:
Based on these principles, a shift in focus towards vaccines which prevent death but not necessarily infection is long overdue. Before vaccines, the only viable solution was to protect the vulnerable population through state-sanctioned shielding. The vaccines should have changed that, but instead we find ourselves trapped by the superannuated conviction that vaccines must block infection as well as disease.
The evidence continues to accumulate that, while vaccines are quite effective at preventing serious consequences from Covid, they do little or nothing to prevent the vaccinated from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and spreading it.
Since I have a strong and empirically confirmed antibody response that has shown no sign of waning, I have no intention of getting a booster. If you are thinking of getting one for yourself, spend $10 at labcorp first for an antibody test to see if it is actually needed. Otherwise you are indulging in superstition.
In early 2020, a frightening narrative emerged of a novel coronavirus that appeared to be much more harmful than a typical flu, with significantly larger rates of death, disability and transmission, and for which we had no known treatment. In other words, the world faced the prospect of a serious threat combined with powerlessness—i.e., a global traumatic event.
Very large numbers of the human population developed a threat response, which quickly spread around the world with a degree of contagion that was possibly even greater than the virus itself. And given what we understand about the human threat response (as defined above), what unfolded was not particularly surprising. Collectively, we witnessed runaway polarisation (‘us vs. them,’); scapegoating (‘find the bad guy’); dehumanising and a general loss of empathy for anyone identified as ‘other’; a breakdown in our capacity for critical thinking and sensemaking; and an increase in our tendency to succumb to groupthink (blindly following the consensus of our identified group with little critical thinking).
Whether China’s “really strict” lockdowns can truly be deemed a success largely depends on whether that government’s reported COVID-19 cases and death totals are accurate—an important question, given how much the Chinese Communist Party has already lied about the pandemic—and whether it will ever be possible to relax them. More than a year after Walensky sounded an admiring note, China’s pandemic authoritarianism is still in full-swing; despite sporadic shutdowns of entire cities, the country has not completely stamped out of the coronavirus. Dozens of new cases are reported everyday, and again, it’s difficult to say if those numbers represent undercounts. At every stage of the pandemic, Chinese government officials have misled their own citizens, and indeed, the rest of the planet, about the virus.
But even if China does have COVID-19 under control, harsh pandemic mitigation measures exact a steep price in return. One Chinese town bordering Myanmar was recently locked down by the government, and what followed was brutally repressive:
Residents left starving inside makeshift quarantine centers fashioned out of shipping containers. Businesses forbidden from selling goods – even online. A baby reportedly tested for COVID 74 times.
Earlier this year, his wife went to work one morning, only to be forced to find somewhere else to stay for a 45-day quarantine after the city district was sealed off because of a handful of cases discovered nearby. She was rounded up and told to shelter in place, with no date of release and no regular supply of food. Wang says he was finally able to get her out by asking a well-connected friend to bring her to a hospital on medical grounds, after which she did another two week hotel quarantine before being allowed to return home.
Yet despite the anger in Ruili, most people in China support the country’s strict pandemic prevention policies, despite their huge economic cost and the risk of being suddenly quarantined or tested during frequent contact-tracing investigations. Local governments are under enormous pressure to ensure no infections crop up; officials who fail are often publicly shamed and fired.
People unlucky enough to test positive or — more commonly — cross paths with a close contact can find themselves ensnared in successive and expensive quarantines. Others have found themselves stuck in limbo, unable to leave cities under lockdown, including Ruili, and also banned from returning to their hometowns.
It is odd that public health grandees think supporting vaccines while opposing mandates is paradoxical, though @BallouxFrancois is right that many feel that way. The reason? The COVID era has revealed previously suppressed authoritarian impulses of many in public health.