Remember this joke: a teenager kills his parents and appeals to the courts for mercy as an orphan? The Australian Medical Association backed lockdown restrictions back in the day but is now complaining about the growing backlog in elective surgery. Here’s a question. Had the vast sums thrown at Covid been redirected to the leading killer diseases, using the standard quality-adjusted life year metric, how many million deaths would have been averted around the world over the next decade? The lockdown harms are showing up in excess death counts, job losses, supply chain chaos, rising cost of living, and have locked in generational poverty and inequality in and across nations. Historical illiteracy is now a job requirement for ‘experts’. Germany has burned 17.25 million masks past their expiration date, while stockpiling more for future emergencies. Recalling Margaret Thatcher’s comment on the trouble with socialism, politicians don’t learn from mistakes made with other people’s money. The media too lived down to their description as stenographers with amnesia. The state dictated every aspect of people’s lives, down to the most ridiculous, absurd and intimate details. With no known cure for blind faith in governments, people embraced compliance with draconian directives from politicians offering iron fists as a magic bullet.
Lockdowns were a euphemism for a wholesale shutting down of social and economic activities and putting entire populations under house arrest. Neither based in science and best-practice medicine, nor commensurate with the age-stratified threat from the virus, they lasted on and off for two years with constantly shifting goalposts. As early as February-March 2020, data told us that elderly people with comorbidities were the most vulnerable. In a modern-day version of sacrificing virgins to appease the viral gods, the young have lost many more years of their lives to buy a few more lonely, miserable months for the infirm old. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that lack of household exposure to children increased Covid hospitalization of grown-ups by 27 percent and ICU admission by 49 percent. They should have said: ‘Don’t be a Granny killer. Leave that to us.’
The UK Influenza Preparedness Strategy 2011 encapsulated the prevailing consensus on masks: ‘there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in [the community and household] setting’. The lack of observed differences can be seen in a series of comparative charts in Ian Miller’s Unmasked: The Global Failure of Covid Mask Mandates (2022). Governments ‘nudged’ the public to exert peer pressure as a tool of social coercion, backed by sometimes brutal police action against pockets of resistance and protest. Mask mandates reflected and perpetuated the reign of fear and demonstrated broad compliance with the effort of governments to exercise population-wide social control. A highly visible symbol of collectivist compliance, masks became Mao suits for the face. The degree of coercion deployed to increase vaccine uptake would not have been possible without the ground having first been prepared with lockdowns and masks.
Japan has extraordinarily high levels of public compliance with government directives and mask wearing is all pervasive. Using Our World in Data figures, Japan hit 80 percent full vaccination on December 9, 2021 when its Covid daily death rate was 0.01 per million. This had risen to 3.43 per million on January 9, 2023. Total deaths had increased from 18,370 to 63,777 over that period. Thus 2.5 times as many people died with Covid in the 13.5 months after full vaccination than in the 21.3 months before 80 percent full vaccination. Yet they still refuse to entertain the notion that vaccines might be the problem, not the solution. The continued hold of the ‘safe and effective’ vaccine mantra, and face mask efficacy for controlling the coronavirus is cause for despair in official cussedness and public gullibility. The transient effectiveness of vaccines has necessitated boosters every few months. Often vaccine rollouts coincided with upsurges in infections and deaths, suggesting negative efficacy. Newer studies show successive doses are less effective and repeated doses may be driving infections by damaging immune function. When vaccines began to be administered at the end of 2020, 1.9 million people had died with Covid globally. Another 4.8 million have died since then. Added to the growing toll of vaccine injuries, this has discredited officials and experts who claimed the vaccines would prevent infection, transmission, severe illness and death. Yet all that matters to zealots is how many arms are jabbed and how often.
With help from the media, social media (thank you, Elon Musk, for the Twitter Files) and police, people were frightened, shamed and brutalized into submission to arbitrary and authoritarian diktats. Governments deployed state propaganda to instill fear of the disease and shame all efforts to question edicts. Turning the debate from a scientific discourse into a moral imperative facilitated the demonization and denigration of critical voices on the lethality of the virus, the effectiveness and ethics of lockdowns, masks and vaccine mandates, and the harms inflicted by these interventions. Calls have grown for an immediate suspension of vaccinations until the unusually strong correlation with excess deaths, heart problems and female reproduction are properly investigated. Instead, suspicions become only stronger that regulators have become vaccine-enablers first, more committed to defending vaccines from criticism than protecting people from harmful vaccines. The media switched from exposing official lies to amplifying them. One dispiriting lesson of the last three years is that people will ‘live happily ever after’ as long as the media ignores how governments trample our freedoms while claiming to keep us safe.
On every major point of contention in managing the pandemic, the Great Barrington Declaration was right. Fearmongers-in-chief like Neil Ferguson, Anthony Fauci (whose omniscience deserted him during deposition) and their local ‘useful idiots’ were wrong. The common sense distilled into the few words of the Declaration was an uncommon virtue. The three scientist-authors – from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford! – were taken down savagely and belittled as ‘fringe epidemiologists’. This malfeasance was compounded by the cowardice of political leaders hiding behind ‘Follow the Science’ that mistook a slogan for policy and let loose upon democratic societies previously unimaginable acts and scenes of censorship, coercion and brutality which have gradually eroded trust in authorities and institutions. Recovery and healing will be difficult without accountability, punishment and robust institutional guardrails against repeating episodes of the abuses.