Some Covid Links

by Don Boudreaux on December 11, 2021

in Country Problems, Current Affairs, Risk and Safety, Seen and Unseen, Video

David Henderson defends Scott Atlas.

Samantha Godwin tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Pandemic response showed an ideology sanctifying mere biological life as its sole value, degrading the value of that which makes lives worth living, of potential for flourishing.

Those considerations were set outside the bounds of polite discourse. Now they are unintelligible.

Jeffrey Tucker asks: Who will be responsible for the damage done by lockdowns and other Covid diktats? A slice:

It is precisely because so much about life (and science) is uncertain that civilized societies operate on the presumption of the freedom to choose. That’s a policy of humility: no one possesses enough expertise to presume the right to restrict other people’s peaceful actions.

But with lockdowns and the successor policy of vaccine mandates, we’ve seen not humility but astounding arrogance. The people who did this to us and to billions of people around the world were so darn sure of themselves that they would take recourse to police-state tactics to realize their goals, none of which came to be realized at all, despite every promise that this would be good for us.

Fauci – further revealing his inhumanity – actually said this:

[L]et’s take the holiday setting. You’re with your family. You have grandparents and parents and children. When you get vaccinated and you have a vaccinated group and you are in an indoor setting, you can enjoy, as we have traditionally over the years, dinners and gatherings within the home with people who are vaccinated.

And that’s the reason why people should, if they invite people over their home, essentially ask and maybe require that people show evidence that they are vaccinated, or give their honest and good faith word that they have been vaccinated.

and el gato malo is justifiably horrified:

this is how you turn a society against itself and families members against one another.

it’s how you take the reach of the state into every corner of every home.

it is intentional and it is calculated.

they will get you used to this.

they will get you agitated and scared enough to think that this is righteous.

they will vilify and other and seek to describe those who do not submit as unfit, immoral, and unclean.

it has happened before.

it’s happening again.

Lockdowns Produced a New Generation of Child Soldiers.” (HT Phil Magness)

Emilie Dye decries the tightening in Australia of arbitrary Covid restrictions. Two slices:

In Western Australia, life seems to go on as normal in a lovely zero-COVID bubble, but like The Truman Show, no matter how hard they try, Western Australians can never leave. Their premier has refused to even provide a date for when the borders will open.

The health department for Queensland has confirmed that those seeking organ transplants will be denied surgery if they refuse to get the vaccine. The rules do not make exceptions for those who choose not to get the vaccine for legitimate health concerns.

…..

The people of Melbourne, Victoria, spent 262 days combined under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, and they are struggling as a result. The state government recognizes the harm lockdowns have had on people’s mental health, but state leaders refuse to give individuals the certainty they need by ending lockdowns for good. Instead, the government is simply building dedicated mental health hospitals.

And Covid tyranny intensifies also in Austria… as it does in New York state.

The New York Post‘s Editorial Board is understandably unimpressed with NY state strongwoman Hochul’s excuse for tyrannizing New Yorkers. A slice:

Gov. Kathy Hochul seems determined to be every bit the dictator the last guy was, with a new order requiring universal indoor masking in “public places” — including private offices as well as restaurants, theaters etc. — unless everyone’s proven vaccinated.

It’s supposedly a response to the Omicron variant, but it’s clearly more of a pander to Omicron hysteria: The new strain has barely hit these shores and by all accounts is markedly less deadly than prior ones.

Steve Cuozzo decries “omicron paranoia.”

If you live in Britain, say no – please say no – to Plan B. (Remember, your leaders are Covidocrits.)

Freddie Sayers explains that Plan B is, not least because it’s pointless, a mistake. A slice:

Most gravely of all, it sets a precedent that will now take years to roll back. Last winter’s lockdown was justified in order to get us to the first vaccines; vaccines have now been offered to everyone. With this second winter intervention, the principle is being established that lockdowns or lockdowns-light — centralised diktats about the movements of every citizen — are the proper response to new variants or potential pressures on the health service. And we all know there will be new variants that escape vaccines better than Omicron in the future; and new viruses after that.

We had a chance, this winter, to show Europe and the world that the UK could achieve a better outcome by avoiding pointless and divisive vaccine passports and further lockdown-style measures. That chance was squandered yesterday, and this cynical, superficial Government will eventually pay the price.

Here’s a list of some sane members of Parliament who will vote against the latest round of Covid tyranny in Britain… MPs who are aptly described by Julia Hartley-Brewer as “defenders of freedom.”

Sadly, some in Britain are calling for measures more oppressive than Plan B – they’re calling for something very much like the straw man. (Oh, and what a surprise! Among those offering worst-case scenarios is Neil Ferguson.)

Tom Harris asks: If vaccination works, why is the British government “behaving as if it doesn’t”? A slice:

The latest Covid variant is causing politicians and bureaucrats much unease, and yet they and we know that omicron is just the latest in a long and probably inexhaustible sequence of variants that will be released into the world in our lifetimes. That’s how viruses evolve.

So is this now a permanent state of affairs? Is this just how human life developed in the early 21st century? Will memories of the time when we could meet whoever we liked in any social circumstances we favoured, when we could walk anywhere without half-suffocating ourselves with a piece of cloth over the bottom half of our faces, be no more than that – memories, to be recounted to amazed grandchildren who think ol’ grandad’s exaggerating again?

Daniel Hadas, writing at UnHerd, offers the lament of an “anti-lockdown centrist.” Two slices:

There is an agonising sense of bewilderment among the small tribe of educated, anti-lockdown centrists to which I belong. I use “centrists” broadly, to refer to those who lived in a circumspect peace with the existing order. We voted for the big political parties, without particularly liking them. We sent our children to normal schools, even if we worried they were over-tested and under-stimulated. We owned smartphones and bought from Amazon, but were not pining for driverless cars or VR headsets. We could hold a friendly conversation with those on the other side of the Brexit or Trump divides. We saw the necessity of big government, but weren’t in love with it. We thought the liberal, Western project was showing wear and tear, but remained optimists.

We now are well into the second year of Covid’s new and ever-evolving bio-politics. Its measures are intrusive, ineffective and/or nonsensical, and dehumanising. They have been traumatic for almost everyone. But there is an additional trauma for anti-lockdown centrists. The public voices whom we trusted, and the institutions to which we belonged or with whom we identified, have almost uniformly embraced this brave new Covid world. So we suddenly find ourselves in the strange company of libertarians, Marxists, and unaffiliated oddballs. And yet, to us, our anti-lockdown position still seems natural and sensible.

In the Covid response, scientists and science have gained an unprecedented social prominence and authority. We must, we are told, “follow the science”. The result has largely been a case of blind scientists leading equally blind governments and citizens into a ditch.

…..

Clearly the Covid paradigm shift is taking place not just in science, but in this wider world of moral and social norms. The field of public health necessarily takes us into that world: as its name implies, public health is inevitably a political matter. We are changing our society and our morality when we consider viral spread to be a moral failing, and prioritise its prevention over such basic needs as freedom of movement or physical contact.

It is first and foremost these moral and social changes that have horrified us anti-lockdown centrists. Most of us, probably, are not scientists, although many of us have done a great deal of scientific reading since March 2020. But our core position must be that the proposed new normal of indefinite intrusions on our freedom and our flourishing is unacceptable regardless of these policies’ effectiveness against Covid. In our paradigm, the old normative paradigm that we are bewildered to find is not shared by so many of our peers, social distancing in the long run threatens the death of society, to be replaced by a grotesque ballet of the masked and vaxxed, interacting only at the whim of governments and experts.

Although from two months ago, this impassioned speech in Parliament by Desmond Swayne contains much relevant wisdom especially for, but not only for, Brits:

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