With the publication on Monday of the Government’s “roadmap” out of lockdown, the Covid crisis enters its final phase, albeit a painfully extended one.
The Government has ruled out Zero Covid and, despite earlier reports, not included infection or case levels in its criteria for sticking with its timetable.
However, it is still beholden to the modellers, with reports that a faster timetable was shelved following an intervention by SAGE scientists who claimed it would cause 55,000 more deaths (or was it 91,000?).
Jeffrey A. Tucker in AIER has penned an excellent piece heralding the wind-down in America and around the world and looking ahead, with a welcome air of optimism, to what comes next.
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 Restrictions are being repealed.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).
Despite all the talk of a new normal and infinite mandates, there is hope that it could all unwind quickly, pushed by force of public impatience and frustration with restrictions, and a political scramble to avoid responsibility by running away from all that they did for the last year.
The list of signs and symbols could be made very long.
The politicians who overreached are suddenly being held accountable, with both Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom on the hotseat. Calls for governors and mayors to resign consume state and local news. There is clearly major political tumult building.
– The Great Barrington Declaration scientists can hardly keep up with the requests for respectful interviews, now that it is becoming clear that they were right all along.
– The experience in open states like Florida, Georgia, South Dakota, and so on, makes it impossible to ignore the grim truth that the lockdowns achieved nothing for public health but did harm health, businesses, liberties, law, and civilized life.
– The push to open economies, by the same people who locked down the economies, such as Boris Johnson in the UK, is an implicit repudiation of the nonsensical ZeroCovid movement. Everyone seems now to agree with what AIER has been saying for a year: humanity must deal intelligently with pathogens and stop pretending that political forces can control them.
– AIER visiting senior fellow Naomi Wolf had a hit just last evening on the Tucker Carlson show, and they spoke as allies in the reopening efforts after years of ideological sparring.
– There is growing weariness of Anthony Fauci’s daily word salads that have massively mixed up the public health messaging for a full year, to the point that Meghan McCain has called for his firing.
– A year ago, Slate was making sense until the virus became political and they joined the lockdown mob. Now the publication is back to making sense again, with this excellent piece.
– British medical journal The Lancet is publishing excellent short pieces on the cost of lockdowns, including this riveting letter from Martin Kulldorff.
– A prestigious European journal of public health has published a blistering attack on the very idea that a power government should ever be trusted with virus mitigation.
The people who have committed their careers and lives to this pandemic and the policies surrounding it might soon need to find a new raison d’etre. Then the clean up begins – how did this happen, who did it, how to make sure it never happens again – and does not end perhaps for decades.
It’s been fascinating to see the early drafts on the reasons why. There will be some perfunctory efforts to credit lockdowns, masks, human separation, and closures for somehow making the virus go away. The trouble is that there is no evidence of this. There is evidence for many other explanations having to do with herd immunity and “seasonality” (another way of saying the pathogen comes and then goes) and possibly more precision in testing.
For example, this new article by the very sensible Jennifer Beam Dowd of Oxford names many factors (while downplaying the role of vaccines) but says of masks and so on that it is “challenging to identify their specific effects, and cases are dropping in almost all states even with a wide range of policies.”
The reckoning will be taking place for months if not years. In the end people will be left wondering why we took such extreme measures that wrecked so many lives when the endemic equilibrium comes in time regardless of all these measures. We tried a crazy experiment in social and economic control and we are left with scant evidence that it made much difference on the virus but vast evidence that they demoralised and ruined life for billions of people.
Worth reading in full.