What follows is a guest post by Lockdown Sceptics regular Guy de la Bédoyère on the farce going on down-under.
I can’t be alone in feeling a mild sense of panic that we are being engulfed in a form of lockdown madness. It’s everywhere now. Northern Ireland gets out of one lockdown and throws itself straight back into another. SAGE ‘experts’ have even dreamed up a bizarre form of punitive transactional lockdowns for England: one day off, five days of flagellation back in the clink as retribution for “giving Granny Covid for Xmas”. Christ, it’s like some dystopian vision of public schools.
It seems a thousand years since Imperial College’s infamous 500,000-deaths report from March conceded that it was ‘not at all certain suppression will succeed long-term’ and that attempting measures with such disruptive consequences had never been tried before. Looking back now, Neil Ferguson and his Hole in the Wall Gang sound like lockdown sceptics. Almost.
But now lockdown has become a way of life and government policy. Indeed, in some places it’s the only government policy (apart from not accepting responsibility for anything). In an astonishing development, it turns out South Australia’s instant overnight lockdown was triggered by a lie. A pizza restaurant worker claimed to have caught the virus after a single visit to the pizzeria, not mentioning that he worked there. State officials knew that another employee had tested positive and assumed the strain in question must be incredibly virulent if this young man had become infected after one visit. In a moment of frantic overreaction, the government of South Australia ordered an instant shutdown, throwing businesses back into turmoil and ensuring the masses would immediately pile into their cars to buy life-saving toilet paper in industrial quantities. That’s how a nuclear war could get started.
It’s our version of the 1518 dancing mania that broke out in Strasbourg, a mass psychogenic illness, triggered by a young woman who started spontaneously dancing in public. Sounds familiar? With nerves frayed to the bare bone, people crippled with anxiety provoked by razor brains like Professor Andrew Hayward of SAGE the other day, and stress afflicting everyone from politicians to the residents suffering from dementia in care homes, the conditions are ripe for panic-stricken lockdowns ranging from state sponsored hysteria to individual self-imposed gibbering behind locked front doors.
Even though the vaccine has hoved into view on the horizon, I rather think we’d better grit our teeth and prepare for more of this mania in the last few weeks and months of Lockdown World. South Australia won’t be the last place to go bonkers.
To define true madness, what is’t but to be nothing else but mad? (Hamlet 2.2)
Stop Press: Guy has a piece in the Telegraph reflecting on how “our ancestors would be baffled by our hysterical response to this modern plague“.