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Some Covid Links

David Harsanyi rightly applauds Ron DeSantis for “closing the curtain on COVID theater.” Two slices:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently told a group of college students participating in an event at the University of South Florida, “You do not have to wear those masks. Please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything. We’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So, if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”

Another ginned-up cycle of media hyperventilation ensued, as it does. And many of the same pundits who supported state mandates compelling prepubescent kids to strap useless masks over their faces were suddenly aghast at the sight of such egregious harassment.

“If Florida is so ‘free,’” asked Joy Reid, “why does DeSantis think he has the right to bully and give orders to other peoples’ kids?”

“Incredible predictable how conservative ideology goes from ‘hey it should be my choice; dont tell me what to do!’ to ‘we are abolutely gonna tell you what to do once we have the power to do it,’” tweeted Chris Hayes to his 2.4 million followers.

Setting aside the fact that neither Hayes nor Reid seem to understand what the words “if you wanna wear it, fine” mean, there is an extraordinary concession in all these hysterics.

Progressives believe that it’s bullying to ask kids not to wear masks, but it’s not bullying for the state to coerce them to do it. Either they can’t comprehend the distinction between compelling someone and offering them an option — which would explain a lot about their political philosophy — or they dishonestly conflate the two.


Then, of course, there’s the small issue of DeSantis being objectively and morally correct about mask wearing. In January, when Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order that freed parents to choose whether their kids wore masks, the entire left-wing punditsphere accused him of infanticide.

The White House’s favorite columnist, Jennifer Rubin, remarked that Youngkin had “brought DeSantis anti-mask nuttery to VA.” Within a couple of months, the CDC changed its super-scientific mask guidelines just in time for Biden to announce them in the State of the Union speech.

By this time, nearly every state had followed Youngkin’s lead. No explanation yet from Rubin, or any other Democrat, on why Biden has engaged in this nuttery as well.

We still don’t know the full extent of the damage COVID theater has had on children. The state restrictions, interventions and mandates implemented in the second half of 2020 — when we already knew better — were never grounded in rigorous science.

It was more like a rite of leftist COVID theology. DeSantis merely told some kids to stop living in fear. That’s a healthy, patriotic and scientifically sound thing to do.

Joining in the applause for DeSantis’s humanity is the Babylon Bee: “Ron DeSantis Bullies Kids Into Doing Whatever They Want.”

The Editorial Board of the New York Post justly criticizes NYC mayor Eric Adams for inhumanely – and wholly without a speck of scientific justification – keeping even very young schoolchildren masked. A slice:

Pandering to rank ignorance, Mayor Eric Adams is leaving the school-mask mandate in place for children under 5 — who face utterly trivial risk from COVID, and significant risk of learning failure from masking.

In the entire rest of the world, next to no one ever made toddlers mask at all — and the kids were fine.

In the 46 states in the American Academy of Pediatrics database, from zero to 0.01% (that’s one in 10,000) of allchild COVID cases resulted in death, and those few overwhelmingly involved serious complicating factors.

The total US death toll for all under-18s in nearly two full years of the pandemic is below 800.

Yes, the CDC still advises school masking for the un-jabbed, and kids 5 and under can’t get vaxxed. But the CDC is plainly being anti-science here: The World Health Organization was never this hyper-cautious, nor (again) was the rest of the world.

And facial signals are crucial to small children’s development.

More brilliance from the Babylon Bee: “Putin Receives Nobel Prize In Medicine For Ending COVID Pandemic.”

Chris Batemen rejects some economists’ “externalities”-based argument in support of vaccine mandates.

GMU Econ grad student Jon Murphy finds reasons for true liberals to take hope.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

The lockdown policies like school closures were a choice made by powerful people, not an obvious, logical consequence of the virus itself.

In the coming months, we the people can choose whether we want to continue to let those powerful people continue to make choices for us.

The Telegraph‘s Science Editor Sarah Knapton reports some good new from Britain: the error-prone SAGE is standing down. A slice:

Prof Carl Heneghan, the director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said: “The standing down of Sage signifies the end of the pandemic in the UK.

“This is a remarkable turnabout of events given that just before Christmas, Sage advisers were warning infections could hit two million per day and were pushing for further restrictions.

“The Government will need to review whether Sage is fit for purpose when it comes to pandemics, particularly given its lack of clinical input and its overreliance on modelling – which we now know is no more than ‘guesswork’ – and its tendency to fixate on a particular set of assumptions.”

Steve Waterson busts the myth that Australia’s response to Covid-19 was praiseworthy. A slice:

It’s barely two years since the Covid lunacy first infected us, but already its history is being rewritten. In newspaper columns and on television, opinion-laden pundits are patting the enforcers and the obedient on the back, reassuring themselves with this dazzling myth that we managed our pandemic with admirable wisdom and efficiency.

Lacklustre politicians are understandably keen to embrace and promote this view, starting with the Prime Minister’s mantra that we “saved 30,000 lives”. Did we, though? Figures emerging from the few places that didn’t impose life-changing restrictions on their populations suggest they made next to no difference.

At best we tacked an extra couple of months on to the lives of some very old people in nursing homes, then immediately cancelled whatever benefit that afforded them by turning their last weeks into a lonely, bewildering, miserable slide towards the grave when they were forbidden to see family and friends and were attended by carers dressed like astronauts. They’re mostly dead by now, but I trust they slipped away with a message of gratitude on their lips.

Have we forgotten what we went through? Is there a societal equivalent of the mechanism by which we suppress the memory of acute pain?

Before the narrative is embedded too deeply to remove, thereby permitting the same ludicrous weapons to be deployed when the next crisis occurs, perhaps we should remind ourselves of some of the highlights of our exemplary Covid performance.

Oh yes indeed, we got through the pandemic better than anyone else, as long as you’re prepared to ignore the curfews. The house arrest. No visitors. Toilet paper battles. Five-kilometre limits. An hour a day of exercise. Closed borders, internationally and internally. Closed pubs, restaurants, shops, parks, gyms, beaches, golf courses.

What else? No hospital or home visits to dying parents or children. No funerals or weddings. No holidays, reunions, gap years. No school or university. No jobs. Small businesses destroyed. A mental-health crisis. Surgeries and medical screenings suspended.

Then the impositions: carrying ID papers outside your home. QR codes. Contact tracing. Masks. Vaccine passports and mandates. Quarantine. Isolation. Protests forbidden. Monstrous fines. The thin blue line of pepper spray and truncheons.

Thomas P Seager tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

I never realized how much censorship was required to “defend democracy.”

I guess I’ve been naive all this time.

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