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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

COVID is only a problem for people with some form of compromised immunity and/or comorbidity.

It has always been thus.

As Dr McCullough would say – “it is amenable to risk stratification and effective early treatment” (whatever “it” is, which you will understand is not actually that important if you read on).

The “hammer” approach is actually a great analogy. It’s just like this other one: “A sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

My favourite way of expressing it at the time was taking a homogenous approach to tackling a heterogeneous problem.

Absurd, illogical, inefficient, doomed to inevitably fail even absolutely let alone in terms of relative cost/benefit.

Several months later, the best epidemiologists in the world articulated it in The Great Barrington Declaration.

What’s truly incredible is that any of this needs saying. I can still clearly recollect Covidians arguing that it was not easier to protect the vulnerable (who were already mainly corralled in hospitals and care homes anyway) who numbered no more than 2% of the population, than it was to shut down the other 98%.

Joel Smalley

10 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    One thing that took me by surprise was how the IEA’s Stephen Davies, who is a “radical classical liberal” (his own words) claimed that the targeted protection approach preferred by the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration was not viable, because it would be like trying to enforce rules against urinating in part of a public swimming pool. His argument was that targeted protection was too hard, once the bug was out in the system, and that only across-the-board lockdowns would work, at least until the virus had mutated to be less dangerous. Further, he claimed that vaccines of the elderly/compromised was the only really viable “targeted” approach that would work. My question to such folk as Davies and other lockdown supporters is this – what would you have done without a vaccine? Would they have done what Beijing is doing, and lock down a country indefinitely, causing massive harm? Would they still resist attempts to develop early intervention and other treatments? (ln Davies’ case he conceded that continuing lockdowns for years is like continuing WW2 food rationing into the 50s, which is what happened. The problem is that once targeted protection is ruled out of bounds, what options do folk have?)

    I recommend this book, Economics in One Virus, by Ryan A Bourne of the CATO Institute.

  • Ferox

    It all makes a lot more sense if you understand that Wuhan Flu was merely a pretext for all that control, rather than the actual reason for it.

    I don’t doubt that some of the strident mandators and lockdown enthusiasts are sincere … I merely doubt that the people at the top actually making those decisions are sincere. They know very well that it was all malarky.

  • Paul Marks

    There have always been fairly effective treatments for Covid 19 – but they were systematically smeared by the international establishment (both government and corporate).

    The international establishment instead pushed medically ineffective “lockdowns”, which wreaked economies and societies, and cloth masks. And then the international establishment pushed injections – which offer little protection against Covid and have proved toxic for many people.

    Note in the above I have not made any claims as to WHY the international establishment have done these terrible things – I have just set out the facts, not made any claims about motives.

  • Steven R

    A phrase the Left loves to use on my side of the Pond is “if it saves just one life it is worth it.”

    It’s just a pithy statement, but it gets a lot of use. If we deprive free men of their liberty, it’s totally cool if it saves just one life. If we crash the world economy and treat 8 billion people like prisoners, it’s worth it if it save a single life. If we treat everyone like he is Typhoid Mary over what is essentially a bad chest cold, it makes perfect sense if it saves just one life.

    After all, who can be against life-saving measures?

    It’s insidious. If anyone opposes the measure, regardless of the issue, they are immediately thrown on the defensive once terms like “heartless” start being thrown in the press.

  • If the Chinese Communist Regime actually falls because of this (possible, but I suspect unlikely), will the usual suspects who have been praising China’s containment learn anything or will it be a case of “Wasn’t real COVIDianism”.

    Looking at you Justin “Fidel Castro Jr” Trudeau…

  • Mike-SMO

    Tell the population and the physicians about “co-morbidities” then get out of the way. The vaccines and the comorbidities are all a risk. The individual takes the gamble, not the state. Initially it seemed that the virus was deadly. It almost immediately became clear that certain populations were at greatest risk. Masks and lock downs were a stop gap, not a real protection. Talk to your physician and then “roll the dice”. Once it was clear that there was a special risk for individuals with special conditions, the government’s job was done. I’ve worked in respirators and protective clothing. Wearing a rag mask to the grocery doesn’t cut it. The lock downs were pointless exercises that destroyed our economy. And created a distrust of government.

  • Stonyground

    Wasn’t the actual question more like the one about changing the points so that the train hits one guy instead of ten? The collateral damage caused by those drastic, and ineffective, anti Covid measures are starting to become so obvious that the government are now starting to admit it.

  • David Norman

    Stonyground. I like your analogy which is a nice way of putting it. Pinching it and applying it to the less neatly expressed view I held from about May 2020 onwards I thought that in reality, because of the collateral damage, the effect of the Government changing the points was that the train would hit 10 guys instead of one. The 10 guys were however much further down the track than the one guy and have only started to be hit recently. This can be seen I think as a prime example of democratic government short termism; the immediate kudos gained by saving the one guy, or appearing to, was seen as more important than the probability that the 10 would be hit later and in any case the responsibility of the Government for them being hit would be less direct and easier to explain away or fudge.

  • Paul Marks

    “If it saves one life it is worth it” – the policies of the international establishment (for example systematically smearing Eary Treatment) COST lives.

    These policies, such as lockdowns, were never about saving lives. They have cost lives – and as the economy and society continues to decline, they will cost a lot more lives, this is already happening.

  • Jon Eds

    what would you have done without a vaccine

    Maybe a moot point since these (IEA) people no doubt think the “vaccine” works, but it does not; and you should know better.

    With an airborn respiratory RNA virus you don’t vaccinated yourself out of the ‘pandemic’ – the only solution is focussed protection. You also need to accept that in some cases you unfortunately can’t protect the vulnerable.