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Some Covid Links

Vinay Prasad exposes the madness – and the inevitable results – of what colleges are doing to their students in the name of fighting Covid-19. Two slices:

Category 3 (useless, virtue signaling theater) is the most common. Wearing your mask when you enter a restaurant and walk to your table, but not when you sit there for two hours laughing and drinking is one example. The fact this policy exists reflects serious impairment in thinking and total failure of policy makers.

Making a 2-4 year old wear a cloth mask in day care (which the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against the advice of the World Health Organization), but, of course, kids take the cloth mask off to nap next to each other for 4 hours in the same room! Theater.

Closing beaches and other outdoor activities. Wearing a mask outside. The list goes on and on, and most things we did fit in this category. On a side note: Here we review all data on masking.
Truly, I can’t even understand how anyone thinks these policies are justified. I am also surprised college students have accepted them with scant protest. I can only surmise that many have been mislead into thinking this sacrifice serves a broader interest (i.e. believe they are being altruistic), or that the incentives on their lives and career for conformity are so great they are afraid to speak up.

I suspect the strong link between restrictions and political party may also affect them. After all, the youth most strongly leans left (full disclosure: as do it!), and thus adheres to the identify badges of the left (but in my case, sadly, I spent too many years studying & publishing on scientific evidence to turn my brain off).

In short, draconian restrictions on vaccinated young people or those with natural immunity living in tiny pockets of college campus makes no sense, and is a policy that contributes to a harm in societal well-being. The policy is unethical and illogical.

To young people: I am personally sorry that those of us who recognized the futility and harm of these policies could not have done more to shield you from the anxieties and risk aversion of the irrational.

David Marcus, writing in the New York Post, decries the continuing Covid hysteria. Two slices:

Five hundred and eighty one days ago, I wrote a column that appeared in these pages with a headline on the cover that read “It Needs To End. NOW.” In May 2020 there were no COVID vaccines, and limited treatments, and yet already, many voices had begun to call out the excessive illiberal measures enacted by gubernatorial despots in our bluest states. A year and a half later, the results are in. The critics of lockdowns were right.

Take a look at Sweden. Remember when it refused to lock down and liberal news anchors gravely warned that half the country would be dead by next Tuesday? You don’t hear much about Sweden these days because, in fact, the Scandinavian naysayers had the lowest excess mortality of any European country this year — approximately 785 per 1million people. By comparison, the United Kingdom had 1,657 per million in excess deaths.

Sweden decided to do what other countries refused to: focus on protecting the most vulnerable while letting the vast majority who were not in mortal danger live as normal a life as possible and trust their sense of personal responsibility.
The hard truth is that a sprawling bureaucracy has attempted to minutely control the lives of everyone, yet dropped the ball on properly protecting the minority most at risk. An army of officials tasked with drawing up myriad rules for justifying masking children could have spent time more constructively studying how to keep nursing-home patients free from infection.

At least some hospital overcrowding is being caused, not by the need for medical treatment of Covid, but by Covid hysteria. (HT Phil Magness) A slice:

Some Vermonters who are able to find antigen tests and then test positive are clogging up emergency rooms.

The emergency department at the Rutland Regional Medical Center has been overwhelmed with asymptomatic folks.

Dr. Rick Hildebrant is RRMC’s medical director. He says some people who test positive with a rapid test go to the emergency room looking for a PCR test.

The Vermont Hospital Association says it’s hearing similar stories from other parts of the state.

el gato malo observes about the omicron variant:

“a pandemic so deadly you need a test to be sure you don’t just have a cold instead” seems a little histrionic, no?

Phil Magness:

China gets another outbreak prompting a strawman, despite being touted now as the last remaining example of a ZeroCovid “success story”

Harry Hodges observes wisely that “[f]or those of us lucky enough to be free this Christmas, it is a timely reminder that there is far more to life than simply avoiding death.” A slice:

There is at last some semblance of acknowledgment not only of the suffering of those who have fared worst from lockdown measures – children, the isolated, those struggling with mental health conditions – but of the fact that it is bad for us all to live in a state of semi-permanent paranoia and social restriction. At times, scientists gave every impression of believing that human interaction was something troublesome and irritating, that could and should be manipulated in the pursuit of public health.

Such an outlook comes with the territory, but the reality is that social mixing is not something we can take or leave, it is what makes life worth living. It puts bread on our tables, smiles on our faces and presents under our trees. Without it, our economy withers, but so do our souls. There was a time when such a view seemed heretical, or at least some mix of callous and unpatriotic. This Christmas, it is on its way to becoming the orthodoxy.

Linking to this Wall Street Journal op-ed, from a few months ago, on the insanity of pursuing a policy of zero Covid, Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

The zero covid ideology and the lockdowns it pushed have joined the sad list of the most destructive utopian ideologies in history.

The late Vermont Royster’s In Hoc Anno Domini – run every year at Christmastime since 1949 in the Wall Street Journal – is especially appropriate in 2021. A slice:

There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?