Tag Archives: Covid-19 lockdowns

The Myth That Lockdowns Stop Pandemics, by Stacey Rudin

Lockdowns are an egregious violation of human and constitutional liberties, and they don’t even work. From Stacey Rudin at realclearpolitics.com:

From the beginning of time, humans have used mythology to make sense of a chaotic natural world. Sir G.L. Gomme dubbed myths “the science of a pre-scientific age.” Folklore provided pre-scientific people a comforting sense of control over nature. To address dry spells, they deployed rain dances. Sunless stretches hindering crops prompted offerings to Helios. Then, our ancestors sat back and waited. The rains always came. The sun always reappeared, validating their “wisdom,” the illusion of control reinforced.

Thanks to science, we know this was pure superstition. Though the same outcomes would have occurred had the tribe taken no action, the tribe leader would still have received credit or blame from his constituents. Similarly, today’s politicians race to take credit — or place blame — for COVID-19 “results.” Do politicians really control these outcomes, or are they simply exploiting our ingrained tendencies?

When China first deployed lockdown in January to “defeat COVID-19,” The Washington Post approvingly quoted a Georgetown University professor as saying, “The truth is those kinds of lockdowns are very rare and never effective…”

In March, Imperial College London’s dire projections influenced the White House, but a careful reading of the advice contained in the Imperial College report reveals that its authors knew lockdown alone could not eliminate any infections, only delay them: “The more successful a strategy is at temporary suppression,” it stated, “the larger the later epidemic is predicted to be in the absence of vaccination, due to lesser build-up of herd immunity.”

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The Media Said Europe “Beat Back” Covid. But Now Lockdowns Loom Again, by Ryan McMaken

Are lockdowns going to continue as long as someone, somewhere has a runny nose? From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In recent days governments in Australia, Europe, and the US have moved toward imposing a new wave of forced lockdowns in the name of fighting the spread of COVID-19. Australia has imposed harsh new lockdown measures, including a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. CNN reports:

Those restrictions include a curfew in Melbourne for the next six weeks, a ban on wedding gatherings, and schools must go back to online classes….Only one person per household is allowed to leave their homes once a day — outside of curfew hours — to pick up essential goods, and they must stay within a 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) radius of their home.

Meanwhile in Europe, Belgium is threatening a “total lockdown” even as it tightens other measures, which now means that “a family or those living together can meet only the same five people from outside their household over the next four weeks.” (Belgium has been in a state of lockdown in all but name for months, since even until the most recent restrictions, an individual was allowed to meet in person with only 15 different people per week.)

Other regions of Europe are discussing similar measures. The Guardian reports:

Europe is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus as continuing outbreaks raise the prospect of reimposed restrictions…

[T]he Spanish region of Catalonia may also have to reintroduce lockdown measures if outbreaks are not brought under control within 10 days.

In France, the health minister has called for greater vigilance after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in young people, and Germany’s public health advisory body has said it is “deeply concerned” about the rise in cases over the past few weeks.

Serbia and surrounding countries are announcing new restrictions and regional shutdowns as cases reach new all-time highs.

With these new restrictions will come more economic devastation, more unemployment, more suicide, more drug overdoses, and more cancer death. This cycle is likely to repeat itself, because lockdowns do not make diseases go away. They only—assuming the theory behind the lockdown is actually true—spread out infections into the future.

Consequently, it increasingly looks like the global public should expect regimes to keep locking down their citizens again and again. The only way this cycle will end is if (a) populations revolt against lockdowns or (b) herd immunity is reached either through widespread transmission or through a vaccine.

The preferred course of action on the part of the experts and politicians is clear: lockdown forever, or until there’s a vaccine.

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Domestic Violence More Than Doubled Under Lockdowns, New Study Finds, by John Miltimore

Lock people up and some of them are going to behave like caged animals. From John Miltimore at fee.org:

New research shows that domestic violence surged during quarantine.

The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 lockdowns have been severe: mass unemployment, increased drug overdoses and suicides, and widespread social unrest are but a few of them.

On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research released a paper detailing another: increased domestic violence.

Analyzing government-mandated lockdowns in India, researchers Saravana Ravindran and Manisha Shah found evidence of a 131 percent increase in complaints of domestic violence in May 2020 in “red zone districts,” or districts that experienced the strictest lockdown measures, relative to districts that had less strict measures (“green zones”).

The researchers, who used a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, found the increase in domestic violence complaints was consistent with a surge in Google search activity for terms related to domestic violence over the same period.

The authors’ findings “contribute to a growing literature on the impacts of lockdowns and stay-at-home policies on violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The findings, which also found a decline in reported sexual assaults because of decreased mobility, are similar to those from research that found lockdowns led to a 100 percent increase in intimate partner violence calls in Mexico City. A study analyzing data from police departments in four US cities showed smaller increases in domestic violence, 10-27 percent, during lockdown periods.

Globally about one-third of women experience “intimate partner violence” (IPV), which negatively impacts female earnings, labor participation, earnings, mental health, and household consumption.

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The Biggest Fraud: Part 1 – The “Hocus” Science Behind Lockdown (With link to Part 2), by Barry Norris

These are two of the best, most straightforward, and well-documented articles published on the coronavirus, particularly on natural and herd immunity. From Barry Norris at argonautcapital.co.uk:

Part 1 – The hocus “science” behind lockdown

Part 2 – The vaccine swindle


Fraud (from 14th century Latin) n – deceit, trickery, intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender legal rights: and art of deceiving or misrepresenting; imposter, cheat, one who is not who that person pretends to be: something that is not what it appears to be

Hoax (probable contraction of hocus, circa 1796) n – an act intended to trick or dupe: something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication; v – to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous

Swindle (from Old English, coined circa 1782, “to vanish”) v – to take money or property by fraud or deceit.

“Great Hoaxes, Swindles, Scandals, Cons, Stings and Scams” Joyce Madison, 1992

Frauds often have powerful counter-narratives. When Wirecard went straight from a DAX-30 €12bn capitalisation to insolvency in June, we wondered not only why it had taken so long for the auditor to seek confirmation of cash balances but why so many investors had been hoodwinked for so long by its empty claims to have been a legitimate player at the epicentre of the digital payments industry. We had also long been inclined to believe that $4bn FTSE-100 member NMC Healthcare’s management had been siphoning off shareholders’ assets (and that the same was true of its smaller sister “fintech” company Finablr), but were bemused to see continued institutional demand for insider share placings and belief in faked takeover rumours, right up until the declared insolvency in March. Whilst we think there is plentiful potential for further stock-market flops it is time to consider whether these serious corporate failings have now been dwarfed by the unnecessary damage caused by the “science” behind lockdown and the current parallel focus on a vaccine as the sole long-term COVID solution1.


Part 1 – The hocus “science” behind lockdown

When lockdown was imposed, we were told we were facing a second Spanish flu pandemic (thought to have killed up to 50 million people2); that hospitals would be overrun and there would be 500,000 deaths in the UK alone3. This was a powerful and emotive narrative, but it was never true4. Governments and an obedient media focused exclusively on Imperial College’s now discredited doomsday scenario built on a hypothetical, badly coded model5, ignoring its author’s history of failed doomsday predictions6 and the different views of other scientists7.

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Coronavirus UN Officials Cite Study That Finds Lockdowns, School Closures KILLING More Children Than COVID, by Steve Watson

Watch mainstream media and you’ll see the case and death counts for coronavirus 24/7, but nobody’s keeping score on the staggering adverse consequences of the coronavirus response. Aren’t we all supposed to be concerned about “the children”? From Steve Watson at summitnews.com:

There will be “intergenerational consequences for child growth and development.”

UN officials have pointed to a study that reveals lockdowns and school closures are doing more harm to children than the coronavirus itself, with many more deaths expected to come from the reaction to the outbreak, rather than the pandemic itself.

In a presentation seeking extra funding for coronavirus efforts, UNICEF director Henrietta H Fore said Monday, “The repercussions of the pandemic are causing more harm to children than the disease itself.”

UNICEF nutrition program chief Victor Aguayo noted that the most harm is being done “by having schools closed, by having primary health care services disrupted, by having nutritional programs dysfunctional.”

The officials pointed to a study published in The Lancet that notes “physical distancing, school closures, trade restrictions, and country lockdowns” are worsening global child malnutrition.

The study estimates that an extra 6.7 million children will be at risk, and that lockdowns and other coronavirus responses could lead to more than 10,000 additional child deaths every month.

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When It Comes to Masks, There Is No “Settled Science”, by Chris Calton

Strictly speaking, there is no “settled science” on anything. Old hypotheses are continually giving way to new ones. From Chris Calton at mises.org:

  • mask mandate covid

As the “fifteen days to slow the spread” continues to extend indefinitely, the issue of mask mandates has become increasingly contentious. The debate has been exacerbated by the inconsistency of the recommendations of authorities (political, scientific, and imaginary). Early in the pandemic, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) advised against the use of masks, except by those who are particularly vulnerable (the elderly and immunocompromised) and their caretakers.

Many of us with some understanding of economics made such arguments at the outset of the debate, not necessarily because of any epidemiological expertise. When you understand the principle of scarcity, policies mandating that healthy teenagers vie for medical products with their more vulnerable grandparents is a formula for exacerbating the most severe outcome of any viral infection. In fairness, many medical experts raised exactly these concerns, even if they did not enjoy the media attention of their more demagogic counterparts.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the masks-for-all policy, it is heartening to see how well entrepreneurs adapted to the spiked demand, making masks cheaply available in various designs, sizes, and materials, solving the problem of fear-driven people trying to steal masks from emergency rooms. Of course, the dazzling speed of the market response obscures the fact that the adaptation to new conditions and an ostensible emergency would have been even more immediate had private businesses not been forced to wait on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to sell masks to healthcare workers.

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The Media’s Jihad Against Sweden’s No-Lockdown Policy Ignores Key Facts, by Ryan McMaken

Judging by Sweden’s death rate per million, Sweden’s policy was no worse than many other jurisdictions, and was much better than several US states, like New York and New Jersey. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

As soon as it became clear that the Swedish state had no plans to implement harsh lockdowns, global media organizations like the New York Times have implemented what can only be described as an ideological jihad against Sweden.

For many weeks, there has been an incessant drumbeat of articles with titles touting the “the failure of the country’s no-lockdown coronavirus strategy,” that “Sweden Has Become the World’s Cautionary Tale,” and “How Sweden Screwed Up.”

It is common to read articles stating that Sweden has one of the world’s worst death rates for COVID-19.

This, however, remains a matter of perspective.

Sweden’s total deaths per million in population as of July 14 is 549. That’s considerably lower than the deaths per million rate in the UK, which is 662, and in Spain, which is 608. In Belgium, the death rate is 884.

Moreover, the Sweden deaths per million is many times better than the rates found in New Jersey and New York: 1,763 and 1,669.

An astute reader, however, will quickly notice that articles condemning Sweden’s “failure” rarely if ever mention these comparisons. Instead, anti-Sweden articles are careful to only mention countries with far lower deaths per million, usually Denmark and Norway. A nonspecific stock phrase is generally inserted which repeats that Sweden has: “a far higher mortality rate than its neighbours.”

Articles about countries with far more deaths per million than Sweden often make excuses for those governments. In May, for example, the BBC repeated the Belgian government’s talking points, which attempted to explain that things aren’t as bad as they seem in Belgium. In places where harsh lockdowns were implemented—such as New York or the UK— the explanation is that these countries implemented their lockdowns too late.

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War on Poverty, or Just War on the Poor? By Claudio Grass

Covid-19 lockdowns are decimating the poor. From Claudio Grass at lewrockwell.com:

As the dust is now begging to settle, both from the heights of the COVID panic and from the riots that shook the western world, we are starting to get an idea about where we stand after this unprecedented and tumultuous time. We are able to begin taking stock of the damage that was inflicted by the lockdowns and to evaluate the governmental efforts to help those affected and to provide support to the economy. More interestingly, we are finally in a position to see clearly who amongst us paid the highest price, who suffered the most and whose livelihood was taken away.

This picture is especially clear in the US, where the numbers speak for themselves. One look at the unemployment figures as seen in the chart below is enough to demonstrate the extent of the damage of the economic shutdown. However, a more detailed examination of the data reveals a lot more. It shows the sharp inequality in those lost jobs. Low- and minimum wage employees, seasonal, part-time and low-skill workers, were fired from their jobs at an astoundingly higher rate than their white-collar and better-paid peers. It makes sense, of course. Not only could these jobs be performed from home more easily, but these employees were also largely less replaceable. Being by and large more educated, more experienced and more skilled, there were seen as more “essential”, to use the government’s own terminology. Of course, all jobs are essential for those who need them to survive, but then again that argument never managed to gain any traction when bureaucrats were deciding who gets to keep their job and whose source of income is simply surplus to requirements.

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What is the real purpose of the Lockdowns? by Renée Parsons

By now most SLL readers know the real purpose of the lockdowns: to consolidate and increase governments’ power and strip people of whatever remains of their liberties. From Renée Parsons at off-guardian.org:

If given the choice between maintaining a toxic world of fear, pollution and violence controlled by the State or a society of prosperity and compassion based on freedom and individual rights, there is little doubt that the majority of Americans would want the old paradigm of synthetic events to take a hike; except that choice has been distorted under the guise of what the World Health Organization (WHO) has mislabeled the most deadly virus in history.

The coronavirus crisis arrived in a flash with little time to analyze exactly WTF was going on. Americans struggled to process what is real, trustworthy and authentic as the unraveling of deep political decay revealed a behind-the-scenes subterranean power struggle that has surfaced with the intent on disintegration of American Society.

While the country is fast approaching an existential crisis on steroids, millions experienced an inner knowing that some indefinable thing was not right with recognition that the early explanations were hogwash while others, addicted to mainstream/social media who still believed in the illusion of democracy, were on board with the litany of spin from the medical and political establishment.

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Governors Reinstate Lockdowns To Combat Recovering Economy, from The Babylon Bee

U.S.—Governors across the country have reinstated lockdowns mere weeks after slowly starting to lift them, citing a “concerning spike” in jobs and the economy.

Worried that the increase in jobs, prosperity, and happiness would hurt them in November, they reacted to the economic upturn quickly, shutting down businesses and locking people back in their homes.

“We can’t let this economic spike continue,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “That would go against SCIENCE. The SCIENTISTS say that locking down an entire population is the best way to prevent dangerous economic spikes.”

“Also, we wanted to mention that this message was brought to you by PlumpJack Estate Winery. Use code NEWSOM for 10% off your next tasting!”

The governors noticed that people were happier with their lives, glad they could go back to work and reopen their businesses, and having fun outside. Unable to tolerate this kind of freedom and general satisfaction with life in the age of Trump, they scrambled to lock back down.

“We’re seeing a concerning rise in the number of people disregarding the government and going on with their lives,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “If you’re outside enjoying yourself or contributing to the economy, I’ll get you, my pretty! And your seeds too!”

https://babylonbee.com/news/governors-reinstate-lockdowns-to-combat-recovering-economy

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