From two primary perspectives—medical and liberty—the lockdowns were massive failures. From Jeffrey Tucker at realclearmarkets.org:
Life in the United States and in many parts of the world was transformed in mid-March 2020. That was when the great experiment began. It was a test. How much power does government have to rule nearly the whole of life? To what extent can all the power of the state be mobilized to take away rights that people had previously supposed were protected by law? How many restrictions on freedom would people put up with without a revolt?
It was also a test of executive and bureaucratic power: can these dramatic decisions be made by just a handful of people, independent of all our slogans about representative democracy?
We are far from coming to terms with any of these questions. They are hardly being discussed. The one takeaway from the storm that swept through our country and the world in those days is that anything is possible. Unless something dramatic is done, like some firm limits on what governments can do, they will try again, under the pretext of public health or something else.
There is so much to unpack from those early days, every day filled with drama and meaning.
There were two critical turning points, so far as the public knows. The first was on March 12, when Trump gave an evening speech that ended in announcing a travel ban from Europe. Fauci had previously said that it would not happen.
Harvard researchers certainly weren’t goal seeking the conclusions that came from their own study. From Brad Polumbo at fee.org:
Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.
We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.
The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.
The picture painted by this comparison is one of working-class destruction.
For the high and the mighty, because much of the damage has been to the poor and powerless, it doesn’t count. From Steve Watson at summit.news:
“Every single poor person on the face of the earth has faced some harm, sometimes catastrophic harm, from this lockdown policy.”
Stanford University professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya says that in years to come lockdowns will be looked back upon as the most catastrophically harmful policy in “all of history”.
Speaking on The London Telegraph podcast ‘Planet Normal’, Bhattacharya noted that government scientific advisors “remain attached” to the policy of lockdown in spite of the total “failure of this strategy”.
“I do think that future historians will look back on this and say this was the single biggest public health mistake, possibly of all history, in terms of the scope of the harm that it’s caused,” said Bhattacharya.
The epidemiologist added “Every single poor person on the face of the earth has faced some harm, sometimes catastrophic harm, from this lockdown policy.”
“Almost from the very beginning, lockdown was going to have enormous collateral consequences, things that are sometimes hard to see but are nevertheless real,” Bhattacharya added.
He further noted that serious mental and physical illnesses have been basically ignored and “we closed our eyes to them because we were so scared about the virus and so enamoured with this idea that the lockdown could stop the virus.”
Posted in Business, Civil Liberties, Economy, Governments, Labor, Law, Media, Medicine, Politics, Propaganda
Tagged Covid-19 lockdowns, Covid-19 totalitarianism
Nothing we don’t already know, but even the mainstream is waking up to the fact that most everything that was done to stop or slow the spread of the coronavirus had no effect. From Paul Joseph Watson at summit.news:
Infection rates already falling before restrictions put in place.
A major new study by German scientists at Munich University has found that lockdowns had no effect on reducing the country’s coronavirus infection rate.
“Statisticians at Munich University found “no direct connection” between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country,” reports the Telegraph.
The study found that, on all three occasions before Germany imposed its lockdowns in November, December and April, infection rates had already begun to fall.
The R rate – the number that indicates how many other people an infected person passes the virus to – was already under 1 before the lockdown restrictions came into force.
As we highlighted last year, a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.
This is by no means the only study to have concluded that lockdowns are completely useless and don’t work.
A peer reviewed study published in January by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
Back in March, Stanford medical professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Newsweek that COVID-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years.”
Leftists love the poor so much they destroy their livelihoods. From Jeffrey Tucker at realclearmarkets.com:
An axiom everyone picks up in college – and in nearly the whole of media culture too – is that people who favor a market economy disregard everyone but the privileged rich (itself a euphemism). It’s a great rhetorical trick because the presumption keeps backers of freedom on the hot seat, permanently.
You know the ropes. Trickle down is a myth, so why are we shilling for the rich? What’s this fetish for big business? Why do we disregard the poor, the workers, the marginalized, the vulnerable? Why is our thinking so solipsistically exclusionary of people unlike ourselves?
If the experience of 2020 doesn’t change this fake narrative, nothing will. The reality is that with few exceptions, the people who identify as “left of center” became the champions of lockdowns, as if this were a normal policy any civilized country would deploy in the event of a new pathogen.
I never would have believed it, and some of my friends on the left are shocked by it all. They are in the minority among their tribe. Still there it was, a clear ideological bias for lockdowns that strongly tilted left.
Let us begin with the great slogan of Spring 2020: “Stay home and stay safe.” Twitter even invented a little house icon that appeared when you typed it. It became a kind of mantra that the way to control this disease is not to leave your house. Have your meals delivered. Watch your church services on your computer. Meet with friends only through Zoom. Get out on the roads only if you have to, and do not travel no matter what.
When did absolute safety become the most important aspiration for so many people? How can they live so neurotically? From Rachel Marsden at rt.com:
Countries are starting to open back up again, but not everyone is happy. Many of those on the Left are worried about having to emerge from hiding from the virus at home and get back to dealing with the demands of everyday life.
A Google search of the phrase “I’m anxious about lockdown ending”, or for similar terms on social media, reveals a number of people who really took it to heart when the state sold them on the idea of home being a safe space from the virus.
Now that lockdown is being lifted, they’re worrying about having to go back to socializing normally with people instead of living largely behind a computer screen. They’re nervous about venturing out into a world of non-zero risk where Covid is still lurking. Many also apparently enjoyed lockdown because it alleviated their Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).
During lockdown, there were far fewer posts on social media showing people having a great time traveling or partying, thereby making others feel as though their own life was lacking. The government ordered everyone to become homebodies during the pandemic, and suddenly those who didn’t particularly enjoy their life or want to take responsibility for improving their lifestyle found themselves in the same boat as the people who had pre-pandemic lifestyles they envied.
Evidently, people can be scared out of sex, or perhaps familiarity doesn’t breed anything but contempt. From Robert Bridge at rt.com:
Instead of allowing the human spirit to triumph in the face of adversity, we cowered in our homes, prevented children from learning and playing together, and let our small businesses go up in flames. History will judge us badly.
Since it is well known that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, it should come as no surprise that it also does little to breed babies. Even the most amorous lovebirds will go frigid when their wings have been clipped and predictions of impending doom scream from every mainstream channel. That may be the main takeaway from the radical experiment known as Lockdown 2020, as the US birthrate took an unexpected hit at a time when all the indicators were looking rosy.
The US birthrate didn’t just go wobbly last year, it plummeted a whopping four percent, marking the worst single-year decrease in nearly 50 years. To further break it down, birthrates fell eight percent for Asian American women, three percent for Hispanic women, and four percent for African American and Caucasian women. Locked-down Europeans are reporting similarly precipitous declines.
And no, this decline was not the result of caged couples wisely resorting to safe-sex practices. Sales of Trojan condoms slumped six percent during the three months ending Sept. 30, 2020, coming on the heels of a 13 percent decline in the previous quarter. In other words, when you hit ‘pause’ on life you may succeed at ‘flattening the curve’, but you will also flatten the libido.
The only thing the still locked-down European economy has going for it is the European Central Bank. From Claudio Grass at mises.org:
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been constantly bombarded by news reports and “expert” analyses celebrating an incredible global economic recovery. They’re not even presented as projections or expectations anymore, but as a fact, as though the return to vibrant growth were already underway. Stock markets certainly seem to agree, going from record high to record high while all the political and institutional leaders congratulate themselves on a job well done.
Although this is largely the consensus in most Western economies, this jubilant, victorious mood feels most bizarre in Europe. Celebrating a recovery during a third round of total lockdowns, closed shops, travel bans, and millions out of work seems like cognitive dissonance at best, or barefaced political hypocrisy at worst. France, Italy, Germany, Austria, they’ve all launched yet another round of business shutdowns and heavily restricted social activities and freedom of movement. And they did that to combat what they labeled a terrible, deadly third wave of infections and hospital overcrowding. In fact, to convince the public of the dire need to go back into lockdown, they painted postapocalyptic visions of a virus-overrun nation and sounded the alarm on the imminent collapse of their public health systems. Under these extreme conditions, these existential threats, closely resembling a state of national emergency, it is really quite challenging to see how the economy might be flourishing.
One could argue that the trillions that were printed by the ECB and helicopter dropped on member states actually achieved their aim and successfully rescued and restarted the economy. However, it is still hard to fathom how injecting any amount of cash into a forcibly frozen economy can restart economic activity and jump-start productivity, given that it’s still largely illegal to be economically active and productive. In other words, you can pump as much fuel as you like into your car, but if the engine is dead, you probably won’t go very far.
During the entire coronavirus outbreak, there has been virtually no official mention of how people can bolster their immune systems. The old maxim that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure is apparently a forgotten dead letter. However, there are ounces of prevention for Covid-19, and they work a hell of a lot better than lockdowns, about which people are getting increasing incensed and taking to the streets. From
[..] the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks, water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges, dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in
Bob Dylan, Jokerman
I’ve seen huge amounts of riot police in many cities this weekend, in Holland, Germany, UK, Sweden, Canada, Florida and money more places (Miami Beach declared a state of emergency), using water cannons, horses, dogs, in some cases tear gas, to disperse relatively small and peaceful crowds. These things are normally used in case of serious rioting. But now the “justification” is that people are standing and walking too close together, and not obeying the “measures” and restrictions.
But that is exactly what they’re protesting. If you protest the measures, and they say you can only do that if you comply with those same measures, which includes asking permission beforehand, that is not a protest, that is theater. And the right to protest is not something that can just arbitrarily be taken away in a democratic country. Until now. Until Covid came along.
Keeping kids locked up, away from school and friends, does them a world of good. Some of them like it so much they kill themselves. From Misha Gartz at aier.org:
Before Covid, an American youth died by suicide every six hours. Suicide is a major public health threat and a leading cause of death for those aged under 25 — one far bigger than Covid. And it is something that we have only made worse as we, led by politicians and ‘the science,’ deprived our youngest members of society — who constitute one-third of the US population — of educational, emotional and social development without their permission or consent for over a year.
And why? For what?
We were scared. We were scared for our lives and those of people we love. And, like your average German-on-the-street in the 1930s and 40s, we believed that doing what we were told and supporting the national cause would save us and our families.
The reality is we sacrificed others without a second thought. We have sacrificed our youths’ lives and future livelihoods in a desperate attempt to save a slim minority of the elderly population who have surpassed the average US life expectancy of 78.8 years and those who were already on their way out.