BY DAVID SOLWAY DEC 23, 2020
Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool
The only demonstrable result of government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns has been the destruction of national economies, the crippling of domestic and cultural life, the suffering and death of multitudes due to untreated prior medical conditions, and the drastic rise in suicide rates. The lockdowns themselves have seemed to do little to prevent the onset of the disease, hence one lockdown after another has led to no discernible effect—apart from the fact that the virus appears to strike primarily a designated older cohort of the population already suffering from comorbidities. A recent graph charting the effects of repeated lockdowns in the province of Ontario would appear to indicate that the lockdowns themselves are super-spreaders. Texas Tech professor Gilbert Berdine sums up: “After taking the unprecedented economic depression into account, history will likely judge these lockdowns to be the greatest policy error of this generation.”
The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the mask mandate, somewhat less destructive but equally absurd. After touting home-made, cloth, and sundry other masks for six months, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam have discovered that Canadians should be wearing three-layer masks—a tacit admission that the single- and double-ply masks we have been wearing for all this time are patently inadequate. Apparently, no-ply also works, given that our Minister of Health Patty Hajdu was spotted at Toronto’s Pearson Airport unabashedly maskless and happily smiling, like her American counterparts Anthony Fauci at a baseball game and Governor Newsom of California at his favorite restaurant.
In fact, masks do not screen out (or keep in) viral microns averaging 100 nanometers in size; the weave of all masks, with the partial exception of the medical N-95, is far too large to repel the coronavirus particle, which varies between 60nm and 140nm. Further, masks may cause hypoxia and consequent immune deficiency through the ingestion of one’s own CO2. It gets worse. A 50-state-wide controlled study showed that there is no correlation between mask mandates and fewer cases. On the contrary, there is a reverse correlation: non-masking states and counties did better than their masking counterparts. There is no weeding around the graphic evidence. One wonders if CO2 -forced immunity depletion had something to do with this.
As for home isolation and travel restrictions, they are not taken seriously by our authorities. According to the Associated Press, Denver’s mayor flew to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with his family, after urging others to stay home. A Pennsylvania mayor banned indoor dining, then patronized a restaurant in Maryland. The governor of Rhode Island was photographed at a wine tasting. The mayor of Austin, Texas, flew to Cabo San Lucas on a private jet after hosting a wedding for 20. It’s common knowledge that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker & family have blatantly violated his own travel ban. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s husband was caught attempting to sidestep her shutdown.null
Similarly, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, after declaring that anyone who traveled over the Thanksgiving weekend should assume they were infected with COVID-19 and should limit celebrations to “your immediate household,” traveled to her vacation home in Delaware during Thanksgiving, “accompanied by three generations of her family from two households.” These people must know something the rest of us don’t. As IT professional Alexander Scipio writes, the political, social, and economic devastation we are suffering is not caused by a virus “with a survival rate of well over 99%,” but by a political and financial class—international oligarchs—seeking absolute power via “a weaponized virus from China.” But we go along with it, dutifully obeying the mandates, as if we were characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream bewitched by fairies and spells. “Shall we their fond pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
“We as a society are becoming ever less bookish,” writes the great Theodore Dalrymple, which means we are becoming ever less informed, ever less knowledgeable, ever less educated. Indeed, we are on the whole ever more incurious and credulous, which is no doubt the permanent condition and status of the majority of human beings—except that never in the history of mankind has the accessible intellectual horizon broadened, at least potentially, to the extent that it has today: university education on offer for all, books readily available, libraries, museums, theaters, concert halls (pre-lockdown) open to the public, a World Wide Web and computers proliferating as domestic items. And yet studies suggest that genuine IQ is deteriorating, people are as gullible as ever, and mob psychology and identity politics are increasingly replacing the independent thought of the questing individual. One might call it Twitteritis.null
We are content to remain in a low-information twilight zone and, just as bad, to outsource common sense to our political betters, their hired-gun health officials, and so-called “experts” who can’t keep their stories straight. Thus, there is an irresistible tendency, in the face of government decrees with respect to COVID, to behave like lemmings obediently surging toward the cliff, “willing to obey the demands and commands of the world elite,” writes Sucharit Bhakdi, Chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz. He deplores the complete over-reaction to a virus that could have been handled differently and far more wisely. True, one must acknowledge those brave souls who have marched and demonstrated against government imposition of unconstitutional measures, but they are small in number, regarded as dissidents, troublemakers, and “spreaders” by the surrounding population and disavowed by majority opinion.
And there in a nutshell is the marrow-deep problem we are confronting. We can expect our nominal leaders, with few exceptions, to be incompetent, restrictively educated, partisan zealots, profoundly unintelligent, and visibly hypocritical. The spectacle of our politicians brazenly violating the very rules they have sternly imposed comes as no surprise. That is par for the course. But the public that should be keeping our politicians’ feet to the fire are, at least, equally undistinguished, as well as easily malleable and fundamentally incurious.
I speak to my neighbors, to people I meet in the public square, and to our professionals, medical, legal, and otherwise. When I point out certain obvious facts, I am usually met with glazed incomprehension or outright condescension. When I am informed, for example, that Sweden, which did not lock down, is currently experiencing the same winter spike in COVID infections as lockdown countries, and therefore that not to lock down is a failing strategy, I wonder at the incapacity for logical deduction. If the results are the same, I reply, then why in heaven’s name not keep the kids in school, allow bars, restaurants, and small businesses to stay open, and preserve the economy intact? No response. (Sweden, incidentally, remains one of the few sane countries on the planet.)null
When I point out that pro-pandemic agitator and Director of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab of Great Reset fame and a major influence on our Prime Minister has paradoxically confided in his book COVID-19: The Great Reset that COVID is “one of the least deadly pandemics the world has experienced in the last 2000 years,” the reaction is: Who is Klaus Schwab? Should I recommend familiarity with the police-state program called the Great Reset and its partner UN Agenda 2030, again, no interest.
When I suggest that instead of blindly following the government line, or deriving our information from suborned or ignorant journalists churning out a column a day, they might spend a few hours doing their own research and consult eminent virologists and organizations like the Great Barrington Declaration, the Truth Over Fear Summit, Medical News Today (MNT), the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), and even the left-leaning The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—all readily accessible on the Net—people turn away as if I were some sort of crank. And yet spending merely a couple of minutes with a recent AIER assessment would help dispel the “fog of disease mitigation.” Citing a W.H.O. report that asymptomatic spread is “very rare,” the AIER concludes that “everything we’ve done over the months—the mask wearing, the grasshopper dance not to be next to people, the canceling of everything, the wild paranoia and premodern confusions—has been a calamitous and destructive waste of time, energy, and money.”null
When I suggest that it might be worthwhile to crack the spines of a few definitive books like Liberty or Lockdown or Corona False Alarm?, written by world-acclaimed specialists and epidemiologists—my interlocutors hem and haw. They are busy with work and family. They already have the truth—it was on CTV or Global. They prefer to park their confidence in the pronouncements of our Provincial Health Officer, who has already changed her mind three or four times.
I suspect my anecdotal observations could be universally generalized. One recalls Churchill’s famous (alleged) remark: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Of course, the same cognitive defect would apply across the board to the citizens of any other political system.
The Surgeon General of the United States Jerome Adams advises, “I hope that people will do their research and do the right thing for themselves and for their communities.” Of course, Adams assumes that people will follow the official guidelines, recommendations, and mandates, the presumable “right thing”—but what if prolonged and meticulously conducted personal research leads to other conclusions? Adams has nothing to say about this outcome. It must be admitted, however, that the odds regarding individual citizens actively pursuing a research program on their own initiative, exercising their curiosity, investigating the validity of government edicts, wishing to learn about what has disrupted their lives, spending a few hours reading a book—is probably statistically insignificant.
I realize I am belaboring the obvious. Still, one works, so to speak, one person at a time. Perhaps we need not wholly despair. Two of my correspondents, employees at the local supermarket who were avid lockdowners and maskers, did in fact follow up, check out my suggestions, and have recently told me they have changed their thinking. They are compelled to wear masks on the job, but discard them as soon as they leave the premises. They recognize that the lockdowns are the height of institutional folly—though they may not suspect the Machiavellian planning behind them.null
Nonetheless, minor victories. At least, something.
David Solway’s most recent book Notes from a Derelict Culture was delisted by Amazon. It is currently available at Barnes & Noble.