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Some Covid Links

Telegraph Science Editor Sarah Knapton reports on John Ioannidis’s new study that finds that intellectual discussion and debate over Covid-19 lockdowns were skewed, in part, because “because sceptical scientists were shunned on social media.” Two slices:

Anti-lockdown scientists were viewed as having ‘fringe’ ideas because those calling for draconian restrictions had more followers on social media, a study has shown.

Professor John Ioannidis, of Stanford University, an expert in data science and the reliability of research, studied the expertise of authors who signed the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) compared with signatories of the John Snow Memorandum.

The GBD called for vulnerable people to be shielded while allowing immunity to build up in the rest of the public to avoid huge costs to society, education and public health.

In contrast, the John Snow Memorandum (JSM) argued that such a policy of herd immunity was unethical.


“GBD is clearly not a fringe minority report compared with JSM, as many social media and media allude.

“If knowledgeable scientists can have a strong social media presence, massively communicating accurate information to followers, the effect may be highly beneficial.

“Conversely, if scientists themselves are affected by the same problems (misinformation, animosity, loss of decorum and disinhibition, among others) when they communicate in social media, the consequences may be negative.”

Prof Ioannidis also said signatories of the JSM had contributed to the vilification of authors of the GBD through their tweets and op-eds.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Marion Smith bemoans the acquiescence to Covidocratic tyranny of so many people in the Anglosphere – and he applauds the now-rising resistance to this tyranny. A slice:

I saw much of this madness while organizing and running events in the U.K. last summer. I also saw cause for hope. Despite the slew of decrees handed down by Westminster, British citizens largely went about their lives. There was a widespread sense that while the government had the authority to issue such edicts, the people had no compulsion to abide by them. They viewed pandemic restrictions as a house of cards, capable of being toppled at any moment.

Which is exactly what happened. Not even the author of the lockdowns, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, could keep up the charade. His office did what everyone else was doing—holding parties, seeing friends, living life. Now the country has all but ended its pandemic restrictions and scrapped plans for vaccine passports. This sudden transformation surely springs from the widespread recognition that such absurd limits on liberty won’t be followed, from the top of society down to the bottom.

The same hope is now evident on the streets of Canada, in the form of truckers who’ve had enough. When Mr. Trudeau banned people from bringing fuel and other supplies to the truckers, many Canadians disobeyed and braved a police crackdown. For the Canadian people, famed for their niceness, this may be the greatest act of civil disobedience in history. Surely it is justified, given the stakes—which Mr. Trudeau has increased by asserting emergency powers similar to those used in wartime.

Freddie Sayers talks to people in Ottawa, including a protesting trucker.

Judson Berger reviews the awfulness of Covid-19 politics. A slice:

This toxicity has consequences. Caroline Downey reports here on how the masking debate has affected Connecticut students all along, as described by an elementary-school teacher who had to remain anonymous in order to speak freely:

“Kids are being taught to call out their peers. I constantly see kids bullying their classmates, yelling things like ‘Johnny, put your mask above your nose!’,” she said.

While the teacher encourages her children to take “mask breaks” outside to get some air, she says she’s noticed that some are afraid to ask for one because they’re worried that they’ll be ridiculed….

“I had a kid throw up in my room. The mask was covered in vomit, and then the student felt like they had to cover their mouth with their hands.”

None of this is to say the masks can’t offer any protection, or that parents must shun them. But the effort to put that decision in the hands of families, as with so much else during this pandemic, never should have become so politicized. The official guidance has changed often enough, and varies enough from country to country, to justify reasoned debate on the departure from it. Instead, we saw hysterical accusations of running a death cult for kids, of promoting the virus for a “warped idea of personal liberty,” and of being “anti public health.”

Aaron Kheriaty, MD, tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

The state and its three-letter agencies do not have a monopoly on facts.

Nate Hochman, writing at National Review, decries Progressives’ hypocritical attacks on the protesting Canadian truckers. Here’s Hochman’s conclusion:

The Ottawa truckers, on the other hand, aren’t looking for garment-rending statements, crisis lines, or parliamentary flags at half mast. They just want their freedoms back. Apparently, that’s too much to ask for.

A top L.A. Democrat calls for an end to mask mandates. (HT Rich Lowry) A slice:

The Democrat in question is Janice Hahn, a former Democratic House rep who’s been a member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors since 2016. It’s rare that a member of Congress will leave that body to run for a position in local government but the Board of Supervisors isn’t any ol’ municipal board. It’s a panel of five people that sets policy for L.A. County, a jurisdiction of 10 million and the biggest county in the United States.

Hahn couldn’t help noticing that the county’s mask mandate was ignored by, uh, pretty much everyone at the Super Bowl held in L.A. this Sunday. So she’s been thinking.

And where her thoughts have led her is to the thankless position below. The COVID hawks to her left will spaz out and call her the Grim Reaper for “surrendering” to the Trumpist demand to drop precautions while the COVID doves to her right are destined to sneer, “Beginning to lose the trust of the people?”

Laura Rosen Cohen is rightly critical of Covidians’ cruel treatment of children. A slice:

Cruelty to children has been rebranded and normalized by the credentialled “public health” masses in lockstep with an increasingly corrupted medical and educational establishment. Cruelty to children is fashionable and positioned as virtuous. And while adults now dine and conduct their daily business in regular fashion, go to the Super Bowl (70,000 fans), and live the good life, a hard core of despicable humans still insists that children must remain masked, seemingly indefinitely. And the proponents of masking children deliver their imperatives with such stubborn, sneering insistence and such glee, that one can only wonder if this obsession has crossed the rubric into sociopathic fetish territory. Follow the (political) science, they said.

Sadism toward children – there is no other way to describe it, unfortunately – is being expressed in the mandatory masking of their young faces no matter what evidence there is – scientific, anecdotal or personal –that it is harmful to children. The face mask is one of (if not the) the most critical devotional principal pillars of the Cult of Covid and heresy will not be tolerated, your children’s physical and mental health be damned.

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

James Lim, MD tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

When universities have dining policies more restrictive than senior living facilities something is horribly wrong.