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Some Covid Links

Liz Wolfe reports on yet another instance of Covidocratic hypocrisy – this time from Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti – as well as evidence that our ‘leaders’ (so-called) truly think that ordinary men and women are stupid. A slice:

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is the latest California politician to hammer home the point that the state’s pandemic rules are just for the little people. What Gov. Gavin Newsom started, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed continued, Garcetti has perfected. He even developed the ideal face-saving line: When a photo surfaced Wednesday of Garcetti, maskless, with Lakers legend Magic Johnson at a Rams game, the mayor reassured concerned citizens that he held his breath to take the photo. (Los Angeles County has a mask mandate in place both indoors and at crowded outdoor events. SoFi Stadium also requires event attendees to wear masks when not actively imbibing.)

Garcetti’s comically absurd response betrays either a misunderstanding of how COVID is spread or the extent to which the rules he’s imposed, but doesn’t feel the need to follow, are largely hygiene theater.

Also writing on Mayor Garcetti’s hypocrisy is Douglas Murray. A slice:

As it happens I was in Los Angeles last weekend, taking an elderly friend out for dinner. As we threatened to walk the few feet between the reception desk and our table the staff intervened to insist that we mask up for the journey. So we eventually got masks, donned them, walked the short distance to the table and took them off. Had I only known what the mayor knows we could have just promised to hold our breath between the desk and the table. Or I could have waved a mask in front of me to ward off the evil COVID spirits.

But it’s not just the hypocrisy that grates. In California, like New York, it’s the senselessness of it all.

All the evidence shows that cloth masks do nothing to ward off the virus. Yet our officials seem wedded to their outdated narrative. We have now had two years of them telling us to mask, double-mask, triple-mask. And most of the time the people telling us to do this clearly knew that it was making little or no difference. If it did make a difference then all these officials would not keep being caught maskless. They know it is a charade, as do most of the public.

Which would be bad enough, were it not for the people most affected. Which is this nation’s children. In California, as in New York, school children are still mandated to wear masks at school in lessons and even during physical exercise. The superintendent of one small district has promised that if COVID cases keep falling then later this week children might be allowed to do physical exercise outside without their masks on. And this is regarded as some great liberation.

Arnold Kling rightly criticizes “public health midwits.” A slice:

The institutions that have committed the worst offenses against rationality in their COVID policy have been colleges and public schools. We should not be surprised by this, given that Midwits dominate the administrations of these institutions.

Public health officials, college administrators, and teachers’ union leaders are not experts within their narrow field. They are Midwits who exercised way more power than usual the past two years. We should have dismissed them as impostors then, and we need to do so now.

Alexander Stedman applauds Canadians protesting Covidocratic tyranny – and he decries the Covidocracy’s distorted interpretation and portrayal of these protests.

Also applauding the Canadians who are protesting Covidocratic tyranny is Glenn Reynolds. Two slices:

So we’re finally seeing a genuine, bottom-up, working-class revolution. In Canada, and increasingly in the United States, truckers and others are refusing to follow government orders, telling the powerful that, in a popular lefty formulation, if there’s no justice, there’s no peace.

Naturally, the left hates it.

For more than a century, lefties have talked about such a revolt. But if you really paid attention, the actual role of the working class in their working-class revolution was not to call the shots — it was to do what it was told by the “intellectual vanguard” of the left.

A working-class revolution led by the working class is the left’s worst nightmare because the working class doesn’t want what the left wants. The working class wants jobs, a stable economy, safe streets, low inflation, schools that teach things and a conservative, non-adventurous foreign policy that won’t get a lot of working-class people killed. It’s not excited about gender fluidity, critical race theory, “modern monetary theory,” foreign adventures and defunding police.


Now that truckers and other working-class people are pushing back against the laptop class’ nonsensical COVID restrictions, they’re a fringe, a minority, a bunch of white supremacists.

But they’re none of these things.

The “white supremacist” bit we can write right off. If white supremacy were a serious thing, leftists — like hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett — wouldn’t have to invent it.

As for a “fringe minority,” as Trudeau called them, well, as Elon Musk noted in a tweet, if the Canadian government’s positions had substantial support, the truckers would have faced significant numbers of counterprotesters. But they did not. The government itself is the fringe minority, with its only support coming from the loyal sycophants of the media.

Canadian Leah McLaren – living in Britain – is also among those commenting sensibly on the protests in Canada against the Covidocracy. A slice:

In Canada, people have by and large accepted the most recent regulations and mandates willingly — even enthusiastically. On the left — Trudeau’s base — there has been an audible public clamouring for more and stricter rules. I personally know of several small business owners who have enacted their own vaccine mandate programmes without being legally required to do so, and I also have a number of good friends who have kept their children out of school voluntarily post-lockdown because they are frightened for their kids’ safety, in spite of the fact their kids are vaccinated. Even if they weren’t, the health risks would be negligible. But try telling them that.

From where I sit, here in the Crazy land of Britain, the outraged truckers have an obvious point. Canadians have every right to be angry at the current regulations, for the simple reason that they don’t make sense when weighed against the risks. But in Canada, the Kingdom of Reason, stating this obvious fact out loud is tantamount to committing a hate crime. It’s not unlike calling a New Canadian an immigrant or a foreigner, even if technically that’s what they are. Saying the truckers have a point is different from saying anti-vaxxers are rational. They aren’t. But neither are progressives who clamour for more stringent rules when none are needed. Both groups are acting out of baseless fear, refusing to accept the facts. Right-wing extremists don’t have a patent on magical thinking. Wingnut libertarians come in all shapes and sizes. The difference with the progressive kind is that in Canada, they’re Trudeau’s core voters.

As the truckers and their supporters converged on the capitol late last month, Trudeau dismissed them as ‘a small fringe group’ who did not represent the majority of Canadians. He condemned their views as ‘unacceptable’ and refused to meet with them — but by dismissing the truckers as racist nutjobs, the PM is stoking division. By any reasonable measure, Canada’s Covid regulations are now hugely disproportionate to the risk. That’s what many of the truckers are saying — and they’re right. Yet to hear Trudeau talk, you’d think an American-style insurgency was brewing on Parliament Hill.

Fraser Nelson is correct: “The lockdown establishment will never accept that its disastrous policy failed.” A slice:

This matters because there will, soon, be a new Covid variant. Genomic sequencing means we’ll start to detect new pathogens that might have gone unnoticed even a decade ago. If so, we’ll face the same questions: what to do? Can the healthcare system cope? The risk is that, having cried wolf so many times, Sage would not be believed even if its models were right. Track record matters. A recent Swedish book about the country’s refusal to lock down uncovered emails from health officials saying – in effect – that since Imperial’s Professor Neil Ferguson and his team got swine flu so badly wrong, their figures for Sweden’s Covid deaths would probably be incorrect too. (So it was to prove.)

Given Ferguson’s record, it was never clear why so much store was placed on his original suggestion that lockdown could potentially reduce Covid deaths by up to 98 per cent. At the time, even Sir Patrick and Sir Chris Whitty didn’t buy it. Both rejected lockdown – then realised, to their horror, that they risked being accused of causing an extra 20,000 deaths by failing to do so a week earlier. Even this figure came from Ferguson, and has since been debunked.

Reacting to this report in the Guardian, Phil Magness says, on Facebook:

Surprising nobody, the Olympics have become a Faucist nightmare.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board writes about “the twilight of Covid mandates in Europe.” A slice:

United Kingdom Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday scrapped a requirement for employees of the National Health Service (NHS) to be vaccinated by April. Doctors, nurses and other staff would have had to receive their first shots this week to be fully vaccinated in time and it became clear tens of thousands were holding out, amounting to more than 5% of the NHS work force. This amid chronic staff shortages.

A separate mandate for nursing-home staff took effect in November and the havoc it wreaked no doubt contributed to Mr. Javid’s decision to avoid the same chaos in the NHS. Estimates vary, but thousands of staff seem to have left their jobs owing to the mandate as a staffing shortage sets into that industry. A major concern is that those workers will have found other jobs in Britain’s tight labor market and might never return to their old posts.

Denmark’s government Tuesday lifted all remaining Covid-related restrictions, and officials suggested they’ll now focus more on hospitalizations from Covid rather than total cases. Norway and Ireland also have lifted many restrictions.

This enlightenment isn’t universal, but other governments seem to be paying a political price for tougher pandemic measures. Italy recently imposed a vaccine mandate for people over age 50, but the move stirred vigorous opposition within Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s fragile coalition government. Austria has imposed the Continent’s most stringent mandate, applying to all adults, while also lifting lockdown rules that had applied to the unvaccinated. Street protests are becoming a regular occurrence.

Jeffrey Anderson, writing at City Journal, decries “the insanity of masking children.” Two slices:

But, of course, there has been a huge difference in mask policies toward kids—and others—across the several states. Under Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida’s children have lived freely, except in particular localities that have imposed their own mandates. Under Governor Gavin Newsom, by contrast, California’s kids have lived a masked existence, with partial exceptions in counties (such as Orange) where Newsom’s decrees have been only loosely enforced.

Children’s lives have been radically different in these two states. As long as they haven’t ventured into Walt Disney World—which apparently thinks that required mask-wearing is compatible with being the most magical place on earth—kids in Florida have been free to live like kids. In California, however, unless they’ve been raised in a liberty-loving place like Huntington Beach and been home-schooled, children have been forced to live like minimum-security prisoners.

The result? From January 1, 2020, to January 15, 2022, 99.999 percent of kids in California didn’t die of Covid—either because they didn’t get it, or because they recovered from it. Over that same span of time, 99.999 percent of kids in Florida didn’t die of Covid. Both states’ numbers matched the national average. So, where would you rather be growing up?


One has to have an extremely impoverished view of human social interaction not to realize what is lost when people cannot see each other’s faces or facial expressions, or even hear each other’s voices unfiltered through a foreign object. The richness and importance of facial expressions was obvious across the centuries—to poets, scientists, and laymen alike—for generations of people not overly influenced by the narrow perspectives and myopic agendas of public-health officials. William Shakespeare’s Juliet confides to Romeo, “Thou know’st the mask of night is on my face; Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek.” Charles Darwin wrote a whole book called The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Darwin observes that the face is “the chief seat of expression” and that we immediately perceive its importance “when we converse on an important subject with any person whose face is concealed.”