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Some Covid Links

University of Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, writing in the Telegraph, explains that it’s time to end Covid self-isolation. A slice:

In order to move fully into “living with the virus”, it is essential to recognise that trying to limit its spread is not only extremely difficult but also undesirable if we are aiming for the sort of relationship we have established with other endemic coronaviruses.

Acknowledging that any attempt to limit the spread of infection is actually retrograde to society is a difficult step to take, and easily lends itself to being characterised as a “let-it-rip” strategy. Yet the implementation of non-pharmaceutical measures such as self-isolation can actually cause more damage to the vulnerable, both by preventing the build-up of herd immunity and because they may be incompletely protected while the virus nonetheless still spreads and herd immunity inevitably accumulates (the “let-it-drip” scenario).

The option of living with the virus, without submitting to the endless cycle of testing and self-isolation, has been tried and tested with the other seasonal coronaviruses and the good news is it seems to work. The alternative is not only pointless but ultimately unworkable within a society that seeks to look after its children, the elderly, the sick and the poor, and would prefer to prevent a widening of the gulf between those who can afford the luxury of self-isolation and those who simply cannot.

Corey Walker reports, in Reason, on some sanity amidst Covid hysteria: “Starbucks Rescinds Employee COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate.” A slice:

Starbucks will no longer require its employees get a COVID-19 vaccine. Chief Operating Officer John Culver informed employees of the decision in a memo sent on January 18.

The announcement follows the Supreme Court’s January 13 decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. OSHA. Following a sweeping executive order that would have required private companies with 100 or more employees to make their workers get vaccinated or submit to regular testing, the Court ruled that the Department of Labor, absent congressional authorization, lacks the authority to enforce such a rule.

Starbucks had imposed a vaccine mandate on its 228,000 U.S. employees in order to comply with that executive order.

Starbucks is far from the only company to update its vaccination policies in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling. General Electric (GE) axed its vaccine mandate last week. The company had temporarily suspended the policy after a lower court ordered a stay on the Biden administration’s mandate, and it eliminated it entirely after the ruling came down.

Matt Welch calls for “kids liberation day” from Covid hysteria. A slice:

Two-year-old New Yorkers are still wearing masks in congregate settings by diktat of the governor, and in contravention to global standards and scientific understanding. (I get a real kick out of NYC-based journalists expressing outrage at the alleged heavy-handedness in Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin letting parents decide whether they want to mask their own schoolkids, rather than just issuing a blanket ban, as did the governors of 14 states, all of which voted for Joe Biden in 2020.)

Five-year-olds are not allowed inside most indoor businesses unless they can either show proof of full vaccination (immediately excluding three-quarters of New Yorkersbetween the ages of 5 and 11, and virtually all foreign tourists from that demographic), or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Unvaccinated teens in public schools are barred outright from extracurricular activities like sports and band.

Canadian school teacher Stacey Lance decries the fact that her students “were taught to think of themselves as vectors of disease. This has fundamentally altered their understanding of themselves.” Two slices:

I am proud to be a teacher. I’ve worked in the Canadian public school system for the past 15 years, mostly at the high school level, teaching morals and ethics.

I don’t claim to be a doctor or an expert in virology. There is a lot I don’t know. But I spend my days with our youth and they tell me a lot about their lives. And I want to tell you what I’m hearing and what I’m seeing.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, when our school went fully remote, it was evident to me that the loss of human connection would be detrimental to our students’ development. It also became increasingly clear that the response to the pandemic would have immense consequences for students who were already on the path to long-term disengagement, potentially altering their lives permanently.

The data about learning loss and the mental health crisis is devastating. Overlooked has been the deep shame young people feel: Our students were taught to think of their schools as hubs for infection and themselves as vectors of disease. This has fundamentally altered their understanding of themselves.


They are anxious and depressed. Previously outgoing students are now terrified at the prospect of being singled out to stand in front of the class and speak. And many of my students seem to have found comfort behind their masks. They feel exposed when their peers can see their whole face.

A reporter recently asked Science godhead Anthony Fauci a question about vaccines: “[H]ow can we bridge the divide between believers and non-believers?” Science godhead Fauci began his reply thusly: “Because there are some inherent non-believers that, no matter what you say, they’re going to give you a real problem.”

The above exchange prompted the following from el gato malo:

secular technocratic totalitarianism is, in every meaningful way, a religion. it just happens to have as one of its core commandments that the congregation must deny that its religion is, in fact, a religion and endlessly claim to be on the side of the very science it suppresses in favor of whatever flavor of lysenkoism is currently en vogue.

Well, who’d-a thunk that government’s response to Covid hysteria could possibly lead to this sort of fraudulence?

Britain’s Health Secretary admits that, at least in the U.K., high reported Covid death rates are likely skewed by people who died from other causes. A slice:

Daily reported Covid death figures are too high because people are dying from conditions unrelated to the virus after testing positive, Sajid Javid has admitted.

On Wednesday, there were 359 deaths reported in Britain, but the Health Secretary said that “many” people were being included in the count who “would not have necessarily died of Covid”.

His comments came after death data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a large discrepancy in weekly death registrations compared to the figures released on the Government dashboard.

For the week ending Jan 7, the UK Health Security Agency reported 1,282 deaths of people who had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.

However, ONS data show there were just 992 death registrations with Covid mentioned on the death certificate in that week.

For deaths where Covid was the primary cause, the difference is even starker, with just 712 registrations, meaning that 44 per cent of the Government’s daily reported figures in that week may not be true Covid deaths

Writing at City Journal, Joel Zinberg reports on some of the lockdowns’ downsides. A slice:

Despite the media’s insinuation that Republican governors’ lenient policies were akin to murder, red states did not suffer a disproportionate increase in the Covid cases that lockdowns were proposed to prevent. Cases per 100,000 population were within a few percentage points of one another in Utah (23,057), Arizona (22,282), New York (21,806), Michigan (19,866), Texas (19,280), and Idaho (19,074), despite widely divergent public health approaches. Even California’s case rate (17,992), while lower, is within 6 percent to 7 percent of Idaho and Texas.

Some Republican-led states that avoided extended lockdowns still experienced job losses, including Alabama, Alaska, and Kentucky. But in general, high-growth, dynamic red states have resumed their pre-Covid growth—while the likes of California and New York are stuck in reverse.

Unvaccinated Toby Young writes, in the Spectator, about his second bout with Covid.

Prashant Bhushan tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Stopping unvaccinated people from freely moving around is a gross violation of the fundamental rights of citizens. This DM has no idea of rights of citizens. Unfortunately the pandemic has been used by those in power to flex their muscle & throw their weight around

Jay Bhattacharya, although no vaccine skeptic, sensibly wonders why Pfizer is not being more transparent with the data from its vaccine trials.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor Marty Makary tweets: (HT Martin Kulldorff)

The data are now abundantly clear. Natural imm is more effective than vax imm.

Sadly, tens of thousands Americans lost their job & livelihood because the Ab circulating in their blood are Ab the govt does not recognize. Sci group think ruined their careers.