DUBLIN, IRELAND – Oh my… oh my… England is courting disaster.
From last weekend’s Financial Times:
The country is set to become the first to lift all COVID-19 restrictions, even as cases are rising. Critics have condemned the plan as “dangerous and premature.” How big a gamble is [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson taking?
The decision “defies logic and it’s criminal frankly,” says Ravi Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at Cambridge University.
The dreaded Delta variant is on the march. New cases are reportedly running 15 times higher than they did at the beginning of May.
Have the English gone mad? Or suddenly gone sane?
We have been exploring the role of the elite in a society.
It is the elite who decide its pandemic policies, for example. And what to do about its government budget deficits. And how much money to print. And when it makes sense to subsidize industries or give out money to households.
Ordinary people – often wearing jeans and flannel shirts – fix the plumbing, build the cars, and flip the burgers. But it is the men in suits… and the women in their smart business attire… who really make a mess of things.
The “little people” suffer their own little disasters. The “big heads” cause the big ones.
For better or for worse, the private person gets – generally – what he has coming. If he fails to fill the tank or fix the roof, he pays the price.
But the public person – with his wars and fantasies – puts the cost on others.
As we’ve seen, like other groups, the elite always wants more money and more power. But the elite control the government, and the temptation to use it to get both is almost irresistible.
Then, the interests of the elite no longer align with those of the rest of the population.
We’ve spent a lot of time connecting the dots, showing how the elite use the fake-money system to transfer trillions of dollars to themselves.
Even more galling, to many people, is the way the elite flexes its muscles in other ways.
“We have been informed,” said our minister on Sunday, “that we will no longer be permitted to do baptisms.”
That is, we presume, meant to protect us from the COVID-19 virus. But to me, it seems like overreaching by the government.
Health is usually a private matter. Whether a woman flosses her teeth or eats enough green vegetables is typically not for the public-minded elite to decide. It’s nobody’s business but her own, she may think.
But over the last 15 months, her health has been a matter of government concern. She was no longer allowed to make her own choices and take what came her way; she was expected to obey.
She may have been forced to close her business (if the authorities considered it “non-essential”). She may have been forced to “shelter in place,” or even to wear a face mask outside.
Looking at the statistics, state by state, country by country, there is no obvious connection between the policies decreed by the medical elite and the consequent COVID-19-related death rates.
And whether they implemented the lockdowns or not… they got about the same results.
France, for example, with a very competent public health service, which was determined to stop the virus from spreading, suffered 166 deaths per 100,000 people. Nicaragua, very unlike France in every way, suffered only 3.
Most likely, the difference comes from the way people live. In Nicaragua, houses are open to the outside air… and people spend much of their time outside. Studies show that almost all viral infections happen indoors.
Whatever the explanation, the elite’s war against the COVID-19 virus looks like another failure. Sweden, initially a conscientious objector, had fewer deaths than France.
But now, it appears that the battle was not only futile… but counterproductive. Here’s The George Gilder Report:
A new study (one of as many as 50 or so that I’ve seen) from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Rand Corp. took a close look at all US states and 43 countries. The authors were seeking a correlation of some sort between shelter-in-place (SIP) orders and lives saved. Incredibly, they found the opposite:
We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases. The increase in excess mortality is statistically significant in the immediate weeks following SIP implementation for the international comparison only and occurs despite the fact that there was a decline in the number of excess deaths prior to the implementation of the policy. At the U.S. state-level, excess mortality increases in the immediate weeks following SIP introduction and then trends below zero following 20 weeks of SIP implementation. We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies. We also failed to observe differences in excess death trends before and after the implementation of SIP policies based on pre-SIP COVID-19 death rates.
What transformed a private health matter into a Great Public Crusade (and another public policy failure) were essentially two misunderstandings…
First, that “nobody’s safe until everybody’s safe.”
And second, that the elite knows how to make us all safe.
As to the first, it was never true. Fat, diabetic, old, and frail people – especially those in nursing homes – were much more at risk of dying from the coronavirus than young, healthy cowboys out on the Great Plains.
The differences were personal and individual, not public. And it never made sense to treat each individual as though he had the same risk of dying as everyone else.
In that sense, maybe it was never really a “pandemic” at all. A pandemic is “incident to a whole people,” in which everyone is at risk. Most people were never really at risk of dying from COVID-19.
Instead, the way the disease chose its victims was little different from the basic pattern of life itself. People are enfeebled by age and ailments. Then, they die. The coronavirus merely helps them complete the final stages of their lives.
As to the second – that the elite could protect us from the virus – at least you could make a plausible case for it.
On islands, especially, where the feds could control the comings and goings of the population, a lockdown might be effective. New Zealand, for example, which has restricted access, has had just 26 COVID-19-related deaths.
But in most places, including the U.S., as time goes on, the lockdowns look more and more like more overreaching.
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