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Some Covid Links

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When governments and the media mislead people in order to scare the hell out of them – whenever governments and the media deceivingly insist that strangers going about ordinary affairs of life are likely to kill you and your loved ones – whenever governments and the media massively obstruct people’s ability to earn livings, to socialize, and to do all the things that people are accustomed to doing – whenever these obstructions and other panicked interventions empty store shelves, inflate inflation, and generally make life much less pleasant and much more uncertain, this outcome is predictable [2].

Writing at National Review, Carine Hajjar applauds MIT’s sensible approach to masks [3].

Dorothy Chan decries Hong Kong’s deranged pursuit of zero Covid [4]. A slice:

The ‘Zero-COVID’ plan attempts to stop the spread [5] of COVID-19 through strict border restrictions [6], social distancing rules, mandatory testing and vaccination, and lengthy quarantine times [7]. Chief Executive Lam asserted [8] that “existing laws would not stand in the way” of their pandemic strategy, but this relentless pursuit to eliminate COVID hinders basic freedom of movement and disrupts business operations. Meanwhile, corporate leaders and staff question [9] if Hong Kong is still an attractive city in which to do business.

The New York Post‘s Editorial Board calls for a permanent end to all Covid restrictions [10]. A slice:

The test going forward: As case numbers climb, the city and state should do . . . nothing.

But Adams and Hochul — taking their cue from federal health bureaucrats, despite their dismal record these last two years — still say the loosening of restrictions is conditional on future case numbers staying low. That’s precisely the wrong attitude.

Case numbers are not going to stay low. But bringing back restrictions won’t do anything.

We’re now more than two years into COVID. Over that period, New York tried every restrictive measure short of China-style “don’t leave your home” tactics to “slow the spread.” And not a one had a notable effect on our COVID outcomes.

TANSTAFPFC (There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Protection From Covid.) [11]

Debbie Lerman calls on Philadelphia’s art institutions to drop their Covid mandates [12].

The Daily Mail continues its clear-headed investigation of Covid measures [13]. Two slices:

Today, in the final part, we talk to the growing number of experts who say that lockdowns had little benefit – a cure that was worse than the disease.

One of them is Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, who has recently published a book, The Year The World Went Mad, about the UK’s pandemic policy failures.

Speaking this week on The Mail on Sunday’s Medical Minefield podcast, Prof Woolhouse said: ‘I think that lockdown will be viewed by history as a monumental mistake on a global scale, for a number of reasons.

‘The obvious one is the immense harm the lockdown, more than any other measure, did in terms of the economy, mental health and on the wellbeing of society.

‘Clearly things needed to be done to bring waves of infection under control.

‘But many analyses suggest that lockdown itself didn’t have a huge impact on reducing the health burden. That was achieved in other ways.’

…..

A recent inquiry by officials in Sweden into the handling of its pandemic – where there was no lockdown and the population was expected to voluntarily follow ‘advice and recommendations’ – found this reliance on people’s behaviour was ‘fundamentally correct’.

Lockdowns across Europe were also neither necessary nor defensible, the report added.

Will Lloyd, writing at UnHerd, looks back on Britain’s experience (so far) with Covid and Covidocrats [14]. Three slices:

Loo paper soon begins to disappear nationwide. [Matt] Hancock is rolled out — he was always being rolled out, like a new carpet to be trodden on — into a breakfast TV studio to deny [15] that the Government wanted to massacre the Grannys. “Our goal is to protect life and our policy is to fight the virus.”

Then Neil Ferguson releases his controversial paper [16]. It claims hundreds of thousands will die if Britain is left to take the virus on the chin. Sage advises the Government to embark on a full lockdown that day.

It arrives on 26 March 2020, as Covid cases double every 72- hours. Between 89% [17] and 94% [18]of the public support lockdown. And the Grannys? Care home deaths accounted for 40% of Covid-19 deaths [19] in England and Wales during the pandemic.

Like other ministers, after the passage of the Coronavirus Act [20], Hancock develops war fever. “Our generation has never been tested like this”, he writes [21] to a nation frantically, pointlessly washing its hands. “Our grandparents were, during the Second World War, when our cities were bombed during the Blitz… they pulled together in one gigantic national effort.” The allegory is both ugly and lazy, but Britain is a country where poppies are made to wear poppies. [22]

Prince Charles opens the first Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre in London. He says the Nightingale “will be a shining light”. The hospital is constructed in nine days, and holds 500 extra intensive care unit beds. (For every hundred thousand members of the population the UK has 7.3 intensive care beds — less than Spain, Greece, and Estonia. This lack of provision will mean more deaths.)

More Nightingales open across the country. They cost the taxpayer 500 million pounds. Only three of the seven [23] hospitals end up treating patients. They are described by one MP as a “massive white elephant conjured up by Matt Hancock to create a good headline”.

…..

Hancock always looks caught between a giggle and a sob. A new round of Covid restrictions makes casual sex illegal. Or at least that’s how Sky News’ Kay Burley interprets the guidance when she interviews him about it. “You are saying that no social distancing is needed in established relationships,” she notes. “But what about people who are not in an established relationship?”

The Health Secretary, embracing his role as national sex cop, confirms that Government rules do ban shagging someone who is not your normal partner. Apropos of nothing, he adds that, fortunately “I’m in an established relationship”.

…..

The number of children referred [24] for specialist mental health help rises above one million for the first time in 2021. Cases involving those 18 and under increase by 26% during the pandemic. The Royal College of Psychiatrists warns it is “becoming an impossible situation to manage”.

People, including Hancock, like to talk about learning the lessons of the pandemic. So we can prepare better for the next one. They don’t realise that between the million mentally hamstrung teenagers, the NHS waiting list hitting 9.2 million [25]within two years, an endless backlog of cases in criminal courts, and inflation, that the pandemic hasn’t ended yet. It’s barely started.