Lockdowns were never part of conventional public health measures. In 1968, 1-4 million people died in the H2N3 influenza pandemic; businesses and schools never closed, and large events were not cancelled. One thing we never did until 2020 was lockdown entire populations. And we did not do this because it does not work. In 2020 we had no empirical evidence that it would work, only flawed mathematical models whose predications were not just slightly off, but wildly off by several orders of magnitude.
These devastating economic consequences were not the only major societal shifts ushered in by lockdowns. Our ruling class saw in Covid an opportunity to radically revolutionize society: recall how the phrase “the new normal” emerged almost immediately in the first weeks of the pandemic. In the first month Anthony Fauci made the absurd suggestion that perhaps never again would we go back to shaking hands. Never again?
What emerged during lockdowns was not just a novel and untested method of trying to control a pandemic by quarantining healthy people. If we view lockdowns outside of the immediate context in which they supposedly functioned in early 2020, their real meaning comes into focus.
Changes ushered during lockdowns were signs of a broader social and political experiment “in which a new paradigm of governance over people and things is at play,” as described by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. This new paradigm began to emerge in the wake of September 11, 2001.
Even if community risk was rising, there is little evidence that masking students works. Sweden, which kept schools open without mask mandates, found that teachers had no increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection compared to other occupations. Staff-to-staff transmission between adults is far more common than transmission from students.
Mayor Adams has shown courage in ending many pandemic restrictions. He would be well advised to follow the science, not his overcautious health commissioner, and end all school mask mandates.
A new Centers for Disease Control study reveals how badly teens have suffered from COVID policies — that the CDC itself pushed.
Many of us have lamented the terrible damage done to younger children by school closures and mask mandates — years of learning loss that may never be made up. Now we learn that the isolation and anxiety that accompanied school shutdowns have taken a heavy toll on adolescents.
The CDC found that more than a third of US high-school students reported poor mental health during the pandemic. Nearly half — 44% — said they felt sad or hopeless. A horrifying near-20% said they had seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months.
You have to laugh, although this is not really a laughing matter. Not when the new “symptoms” – which sound remarkably like the condition formerly known as “a bit of a cold” – are basically an open invitation to call in sick. Not when the NHS seriously appears to be suggesting that people with a blocked nose or a headache should “stay home and avoid contact”. Most especially not when Covid-related absences are still causing havoc in essential services such as schools, hospitals and airlines.
I can’t be the only one who finds it startling that, on March 31, 120,000 pupils were off school with confirmed cases of Covid, even though nearly all of those kids must have had Covid at least once by now and many will have no symptoms whatsoever. (Perhaps the teenage habit of taking a screenshot of a positive test and reusing it several times is a factor?) On the same date, 46,000 teachers and 53,000 teaching assistants were off sick with the virus. Who knows, maybe adults also make sly use of screenshots of a positive test?
Shanghai sounds hellish. Three slices:
China’s strict zero-Covid strategy has brought chaotic scenes to Shanghai, with patients fighting for food and water after being taken to makeshift quarantine centres as authorities on Tuesday extended a lockdown to cover all 26 million residents.
Shanghai is China’s largest city to be locked down to date and the extension of restrictions amid surging cases presents a major test for the country’s approach to the virus.
Video shared on social media showed dozens scrapping for basic supplies after they were transferred to a quarantine facility in an abandoned school in a southeastern suburb.
The broader lockdown came after testing saw asymptomatic cases surge to more than 13,000. Symptomatic cases fell on Monday to 268, from 425 the previous day.
The city’s normally choked roads were all but empty on Tuesday but authorities showed no sign of wavering.
Some 23 Chinese cities are under total or partial lockdown, affecting an estimated 193 million people.
(DBx: Note that 13,000 is 0.05 percent of Shanghai’s population; 425 is 0.0016 percent. Covid Derangement Syndrome is both real and fuel for terrible authoritarianism.)
The open support for big tech censorship by prominent lockdown supporters is something else. They apparently believe that the definition of misinformation is any idea held by somebody else. They are the most illiberal group of people I’ve ever encountered…