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Some Covid Links

Stacey Rudin continues to write insightfully about Covid, Covid hysteria, and the tyrannical Covidocracy. A slice:

They are trying to save grandma, but grandma’s fate is sealed. What is actually happening is they are paving the way to routine universal mandatory vaccination. The political establishment intends to make “the unvaccinated” second-class citizens, to dehumanize them and deny them basic rights many generations have taken for granted. This conditions the population to movement restrictions based on behavior. Compliance gets you rights, like a dog earning treats.

Reason has been stalwart over the past year in combating Covid Derangement Syndrome.

Noah Carl reports on a new study (although one not yet peer-reviewed) that finds evidence that vaccine (and prior-immunity) passports reduce the public’s trust in public-health authorities.

el gato malo reminds us that “health agencies were not always deranged.” A slice:

never forget this.

they knew before 2020 than none of these interventions worked, that their prices were insanely high, and that they should never be undertaken.

they knew the dangers of vilification and polarization.

standing pandemic guidelines vehemently warned against any of this and especially against making pariahs of the infected and cultivating exaggerated fear to drive compliance.

this has NOT been “following the science” is has been the abrogation of a century of evidence based epidemiology and social mores in order to take a devastating and self-serving joy ride with the world’s populace like it was some sort of video game.

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

Edward Hadas digs deeply to uncover the cause(s) of lockdowns. Four slices:

There are two possible families of explanations for this litany of fearful failure, which has continued for almost two years.

i) It was justified. The threat to public health from Covid-19 was in fact so great and continues to be so great that it is worth sacrificing everything else for the effort to fight it.

ii) Neither the system nor the social values were as strong as previously believed.

The first type of explanation is completely unpersuasive. In March 2020, there was no good reason to ignore the established procedures of dealing with pandemics. The disease was undoubtedly frightening, but those procedures were created exactly to help the responsible officials respond calmly and realistically to frightening diseases.

Even if the panicked emulation of Chinese repression could initially have been justified, it was clear by June 2020 that such measures were disproportionate to the danger posed by Covid-19. By then, deaths in the first wave had peaked and were declining in most countries. Calmer scientists were persuasively arguing that Covid-19 would settle into the typical pattern of infectious viruses – becoming less dangerous as the population’s immunity increased and evolution led to more contagious but less severe variants.

In addition, treatments for all sufferers improved significantly and estimates of the case fatality rate steadily fell. Initial panic cannot explain the continued copying of formerly unthinkable policies. Something more was going on.


Among non-traditional liberals (non-libertarians in the American vocabulary, non-neoliberals in the European discourse), enlightened despotism has often been considered the most appropriate form of rule for the development of positive freedom. The imposition of oppressive public health rules for the good of the people whose lives are being disrupted can be described as supposedly enlightened despotism.

The “supposedly” is needed, because the enlightenment is imaginary. Indeed, the fervent commitment to anti-Covid lockdowns suggests an all too typical authoritarian inability to use available knowledge wisely and an equally typical tendency to exercise more force than any outside observer would consider enlightened.

There is the second political explanation. Rather than thinking of intrusive restrictions as manifestations of the desire for authoritarian rule and rulers, the anti-pandemic expansion of government bureaucracies into everyday private life can be explained as the latest step in the expansion of what can be called the Intrusive State.

States have increasingly subsumed and tamed rival authorities (churches, families, businesses), while encouraging subjects/citizens to consider the State to be the ultimate judge of the people’s good. They exercise their power primarily through rational, extensive, and basically competent bureaucracies, in which moral standards are optional. (For people interested in social philosophy, the idea of the State’s seemingly expansion is Hegelian, the preeminence of bureaucracy is Weberian.)

The Intrusive State is generally quite popular with the people whose lives it increasingly controls. Most people seem to crave the State’s protection, especially when they feel threatened. Indeed, their respect for their governments is so extreme that they readily believe that the State should and can control natural phenomena, including highly contagious viral respiratory infections. The intrusively ruled people are very happy to participate in the processes of control, so they willingly obey the State’s commands to suspend their normal economic and social lives.


The mastery of nature: Hubristic modern cultures are to some extent based on the premise and promise of achieving every greater human control over nature. From that perspective, it is easy to believe that the inability to keep people from dying in a viral pandemic is a sign of scientific and governmental failure. Because “saving” lives carries so much cultural weight, it appears reasonable to destroy the quality of many lives in order to delay the deaths of even a relatively few people.

The campaign for Zero-Covid is bad science, but it fits well the desire to treat the virus as a military-style enemy that is expected to surrender unconditionally to human willpower. Lost years of school, deaths of despair, emotional distress, and even deaths from untreated conditions are mere collateral damage in the battle to ward off this natural disorder.


Perhaps the worst aspect of the response to Covid-19 is the precedent it sets. Barring a revulsion of the scale that produced Germany’s multi-decade reeducation programme after the fall of the Nazi regime, most people in the Western world will accept that the authoritarian-biopower-purification responses were reasonable in 2020-2021 and will remain reasonable in the future.

Such a grand revulsion is improbable, as there seem to be no brakes on any of the deep historical, cultural, and spiritual forces that lead to authoritarian governments, random exercises in bio-power, and anti-scientific purity cults.

Vinay Prasad writes about a new study that casts further doubt on the wisdom of vaccinating children against Covid-19.

Writing in the Times of London, David Quinn argues that “[n]ew public health totalitarianism gives government and officials endless chances for moral blackmail to enforce restrictions.”

Let’s hope that Liam Halligan is correct when he argues that “[t]he public has turned against the excesses of the lockdown fanatics.” Two slices:

This time last year, Professor Neil Ferguson observed how China’s draconian anti-Covid restrictions had influenced the response to the virus across the Western world – not least the UK. “We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought,” said the epidemiologist, dubbed Professor Lockdown. But after Italy shut down “we realised we could”.

When Covid-19 first emerged as a global pandemic in early 2020, Prof Ferguson had assumed, like the vast majority of government advisers, that severely restricting freedoms would be deemed unacceptable by the British public. Controlling where people go and who they meet was seen as a non-starter in a liberal democracy. How wrong that turned out to be. Not only did people accept the lockdowns, but there was a level of enthusiasm for them – and a level of derision for those who questioned them – that astonished those of us who had thought that the UK was a nation committed to liberty.

Meanwhile, the costs of lockdowns have become far harder to ignore. The fact that GPs made hundreds of thousands fewer suspected cancer referrals during the pandemic, in part due to fewer face-to-face consultations, was last week highlighted in a National Audit Office report. The impact has been “devastating”, says Macmillan Cancer Support, given related delays in the treatment of life-threatening conditions, including among the young. The relentless focus on Covid, the NAO concluded, means that by March 2025, some 12 million people – around a fifth of the UK population – could be on an NHS waiting list, caught in the lockdown-related treatment backlog.

The “lives versus livelihoods” debate which characterised previous lockdowns – in which those who opposed restrictions were damned as selfishly concerned solely with the health of the economy – is therefore being exposed as the nonsense it always was. The damage done to children’s mental health and education when schools close is now undeniable – which is why Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza yesterday pleaded with ministers to keep schools open. The tragedy of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, murdered by his stepmother, has also highlighted the pressure lockdown puts on vulnerable households.