20 Mar Some Covid Links
Having the jackboot of George Orwell’s 1984 stamping on one’s face would be preferable in a way. At least it would involve a sort of honesty from the oppressor about the oppression. Unlike the current pervasive underhand attrition that is sapping our democratic life blood, taking with it individual liberty, energy, creativity and love, steering us closer toward Aldous Huxley’s very un-brave “Brave New World”.
Orwell’s brutal dystopian depiction published in 1949 can be seen as a reply and an update, as Orwell saw it, to the warnings of Huxley’s earlier dystopian vision published in 1932. Huxley depicted a scientific dictatorship in which a passive population was subdued through scientific and psychological engineering while kept consistently useful to the ruling class.
The Covid-19 pandemic represented a test of elites in the U.S., from public-health experts to the corporate media. The results have been disappointing. Policy makers who bucked the elites and challenged the narrative have been proven right to do so.
To begin with, highly publicized epidemiological models were as consequential as they were wrong. The model produced by Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London—which forecast millions of Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. without mitigation efforts—sparked panic among public-health elites and served as the pretext for lockdowns throughout the U.S. and Great Britain. The lockdowns failed to stop the virus but did a great deal of societal damage along the way—damage that a more targeted approach, seeking to reduce total harms, would have been able to avoid (and did, in places like Sweden and Florida).
Perhaps most damaging to public trust was the public-health campaign urging “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” This short-term mitigation, we were told, was necessary to buy time to prepare hospitals for any patient surges. But that reasonable aim was soon transformed into a lockdown-until-eradication approach that left no end in sight for most Americans. Going from “save the hospitals” to “zero Covid” represents one of the greatest instances in history of moving the goal post.
As noted above, the 2.2 million figure for the US (and corresponding 510,000 figure in Britain) were “worst case” scenarios in which the pandemic ran its course. According to the underlying theory of the ICL model, these catastrophic totals could be reduced by the adoption of NPIs – the escalating suite of social distancing measures, business and school closures, and ultimately full lockdowns that we observed in practice over the last year.
Aside from its 2.2 million worst case scenario, ICL offered no specific projections for how its proposed mitigation measures would work in the United States. Ferguson did however tell the New York Times on March 20, 2020 that a “best case” American scenario would still yield “about 1.1 million deaths,” giving us a glimpse of what he believed to be possible under NPI mitigation. The March 16th report similarly “predict[ed] there would still be in the order of…1.1-1.2 million in the US” under the most optimistic mitigation strategy, barring a large increase in hospital ICU bed capacity.
The repeated failures of the Ferguson/ICL model point to a scientific error at the heart of the theory behind lockdowns and similar NPIs. They assume, without evidence, that their prescriptive approach is correct, and that it may be implemented by sheer will as one might achieve by clicking a check-box in a Sim City-style video game. After a year of real-time testing, it is now abundantly clear that this video game approach to pandemic management ranks among the most catastrophic public health policy failures in the last century.
A once panicked population, which for the past year has been captured under the spell of COVID hysteria, is slowly coming to the realization that power drunk governors, bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci and the “public health” cartel, and other snake oil salesmen have done so much residual harm in the name of a virus, while never contributing in a positive manner to anything related to COVID-19.
In recent months, when it was becoming clear that their latest avenue for panic was reaching its end point, the “public health” gang seamlessly shifted to another issue of “concern.” From lockdowns, to curfews, to masks and the like, these draconian moves were not met with much hostility. Despite our best efforts to inform the public that COVID-19 — with its 99.8% recovery rate — is a virus to manage by individuals with medical doctors, the “public health” terror campaigns worked incredibly well.
However, now a full year into the “two weeks to slow the spread” campaign, we are seeing real signs of resistance.
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