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Lionel Shriver asks: Why didn’t more people resist lockdown? Two slices:

Last week’s Spectator interview with Rishi Sunak conveyed the anti-science ‘science’, the paucity of even fag-packet cost-benefit analysis and the ideological lockdown of Boris Johnson’s cabinet that brought forth calamitously extensive lockdowns of everyone else. Ever since, numerous politicians and institutions implicated in this rash experiment have had a vested interest in maintaining the myth that putting whole societies into standby mode, as if countries are mere flatscreens that can be benignly switched on and off by governmental remote, saved many millions of lives.

As it will take years for culpable parties to retire, I once feared that a full generation would need to elapse before we recognised lockdowns for what they were: the biggest public health debacle in history. Yet everywhere I turn lately, still another journalist is decrying the avoidable social, medical and economic costs of this hysterical over-reaction to a virus, while deriding lockdown zealots for having vilified sceptics of a policy that may well end up killing more people than it protected. The Covid revisionism is welcome – though it’s a good deal easier to publish these opinion pieces now than it was two years ago, and I speak from experience.

I’m all for holding officialdom accountable for mistakes from on high that continue to generate dire consequences, not least today’s soaring inflation. Yet it’s worth pressing more uncomfortably: should the public not also be held accountable? After all, the professional naysayer Neil Ferguson notoriously assumed that democracies would never ‘get away with’ lockdowns in Europe – ‘and then Italy did it. And we realised that we could.’ What facilitated sending entire populations to their room like naughty children? Not merely draconian laws, but widespread public eagerness to obey them. Johnson’s heavy hand was forced in part by British opinion polls.

What was wrong with people – individual people, and in many instances this means you, reader – yes, you – who’d never even heard of a ‘lockdown’ outside a prison or an American school-shooting drill, yet who overnight embraced as inevitable a method of suppressing communicable disease never before tried at scale, never recommended in public health literature and first used to ‘successfully’ quell Covid by lying, authoritarian China? Why didn’t more independent thinkers say: ‘Hold on a minute. Have you thought this through? Might nationwide house arrest be just a tad over the top? And have you pols never heard of unintended consequences?’ Why didn’t more enterprising citizens hit the internet and note: ‘Wow! We’ve had pandemics before’ – and some older folks would have lived through the contagions of 1957 and 1968 themselves – ‘and we didn’t close so much as a betting shop. Why can’t we be trusted to act like grown-ups and behave in our own self-interest?’ Why didn’t more members of the public get angry?


Members of the throng never seem to notice that none of these passing intoxications was their idea, or to wonder what this blowing-in-the-wind suggestibility says about their vulnerability to, er, you know, fascism. So you’ve really got to worry what comes next.

Will Jones describes one of the many instances of the still-ongoing “delusional beliefs of the lockdown fanatics.”

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board rightly criticizes Randi Weingarten for pushing for school closures during the past two years. Two slices:

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for 2022 were released Thursday, and by any standard they are a calamity. An unprecedented decline in reading and math scores is the first national measure of the damage done by school closures to America’s children.

The 2020 NAEP tests were administered shortly before pandemic lockdowns and school closures, so this year’s results provide a snapshot of how students have weathered those two years. It’s not pretty. Average nine-year-old scores declined the most on record in math (seven points) and in reading since 1990 (five points). Two decades of progress have been erased in two years.


You’d think this would be cause for reflection by our education elites, but no such luck. Media headlines blamed “the pandemic,” as if Covid-19 ran America’s school districts and decided to force students to sit at home in front of screens for more than a year. Educators—as they call themselves—did that.

Aaron Kheriaty reports on the effort to uncover the extent to which the U.S. government worked to suppress and control information about covid and covid policy.

Jimmy Quinn, writing at National Review, isn’t buying Beijing’s boast about the ‘success’ of its still-ongoing covidian tyranny.

Following this Twitter thread begun by Jason Furman, Mikko Packalen tweets:

Year ago @DrJBhattacharya and I wrote about economists’ silence on lockdown and school closure harms. Discussion spurred by this thread by @BarackObama chief economist shows that we were right.

Consequences of this silence have been catastrophic for kids.

Purdue University president Mitch Daniels aptly describes Biden’s student-loan ‘forgiveness’ as “the final confession of failure for a venture flawed in concept, botched in execution, and draped with duplicity.” A slice:

The scheme’s flaws have been well chronicled. It’s regressive, rewarding the well-to-do at the expense of the less fortunate. It’s grossly unfair to those who repaid what they borrowed or never went to college. It’s grotesquely expensive, adding hundreds of billions to a federal debt that already threatens our safety-net programs and national security. Like so much of what government does, it’s iatrogenic, inflating college costs as schools continue to pocket the subsidies Uncle Sam showers on them. And it’s profanely contemptuous of the Constitution, which authorizes only Congress to spend money.

When the federal government took over the loan program in 2010, President Obama claimed it would turn a profit of $68 billion and that “we are finally undertaking meaningful reform in our higher education system.” Credit where due: a dead loss of hundreds of billions of dollars and tuition costs that continued to soar can fairly be described as “meaningful.”

(DBx: Please do recall Obama’s confident claim from 2010 whenever you encounter some politician or pundit confidently claiming that government can be trusted to profitably allocate resources through industrial policy.)

GMU Econ alum Peter Jacobsen tells the tale of why Warner Bros. sank Batgirl.

K. Lloyd Billingsley reports on a development out of California that a room stuffed with the world’s finest comedy writers couldn’t come up with:

Days after releasing a plan to phase out new gas-powered cars, Ben Zeisloft of the Daily Wire reports that California officials are “asking residents to avoid charging their electric vehicles in the interest of not overwhelming the power grid.”

Also writing about this California fiasco is Scott Shackford.