There is a sense in the air that the pandemic is winding down, and the toxic culture of division, fear, and hatred along with it. Cases are down dramatically. Deaths too. Hospitalizations are no longer irregular. Restrictions are being repealed. You can follow all the action daily at the CDC’s new and unusually competent landing page on the virus (it only took them a year to build this).
I envy the reader who can reach the end of Alex Berenson’s Unreported Truths About Covid-19 and Lockdowns: Masks, without tearing her hair out in frustration at the absurdity of the world today, which apparently is not so different from the one that Galileo inhabited four centuries ago.
Men . . . go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” So wrote Scottish journalist Charles Mackay in his 1841 bookExtraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, which for good reason to this day remains in print.
In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns. It’s very common for the proponents of these interventions to write articles and large studies without even mentioning the downsides.
As if our societies didn’t have enough conflicts, we have added a new beautiful way of pitting one person against another: Covid-restrictions. Instead of clamping down with the mighty force of government on some innocent behavior, politicians have outsourced the enforcement of their rules to shop-owners or workers at cafés and restaurants. All over, consumers are pitted against producers (or other consumers) in a way that’s almost entirely absent from regular market life.
“It’s Now Up to Governors to Slow the Spread,” says a Wall Street Journal article — written by board members of pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Illumina, Johnson and Johnson and Cigna. It encourages states and governors to band together and implement restrictions “focus[ed] on known sources of spread, such as bars and nightclubs.”
European countries are imposing harsh lockdowns again as a second wave of COVID-19 spreads throughout Europe. It was a mistake last spring, when most U.S. states followed Europe’s lead in imposing lockdowns during the first wave, and it would be an even bigger mistake to copy the failed lockdowns again today.
The Great Barrington Declaration website went live on October 5, 2020. Over the next four weeks it amassed signatures from over 10,000 health scientists, 30,000 medical practitioners, and 600,000 members of the general public – all calling for an end to lockdowns as the primary tool for mitigating Covid-19. Lockdowns have imposed immense social and economic harms over the last eight months. Meanwhile, surprisingly little evidence exists to support the effectiveness of the lockdown approach.
Current COVID-19 lockdowns protect low-risk college students and young professional bankers, attorneys, journalists, scientists and others who can work from home, while older high-risk working-class people are risking their lives building the population immunity that will eventually protect us all.
It’s more than fair to say that we are experiencing a pandemic, but not the one you hear about ad nauseum. No, the pandemic is not a virus, it is a pandemic outbreak of Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy which focuses its obsessions on the virus.