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Samizdata quote of the day – a journey of a thousand miles

Any significant public health threat from Covid was over in the early part of 2021, as my colleague and I have previously argued. However the administrative classes – politicians, MSM, ‘public health experts’ and so on – kept the charade going for another two years to serve their various agenda-driven purposes.

Now, though, most of these people have decided that it is expedient for the insanity to be over politically. As usual, the details we discuss in this article relate to the UK, but it is a similar story across the western world. So why now?

The disastrous fallout has finally begun to dawn on the same apathetic middle-class liberals who took their furlough money to enjoy an extended sabbatical at home – in the halcyon days when “lives were more important than the economy”. Apart from the most dedicated acolytes of the Covidian cult, reality can no longer be denied: The socio-economic fabric of Western society is crumbling, as was so obviously predictable, and predicted, by ourselves and others.

John Sullivan

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – a journey of a thousand miles

  • Kirk

    Any significant public health threat from Covid was over in the early part of 2021, as my colleague and I have previously argued. However the administrative classes – politicians, MSM, ‘public health experts’ and so on – kept the charade going for another two years to serve their various agenda-driven purposes.

    I question the basic premise, here.

    Was there ever a real “significant public health threat”?

    Other than the overreaction we were pushed into by all the Bestest Peopuhl Evah™, that is. The actual response to COVID was not an effective immunological response by the body politic; it had rather more similarity to a drastic autoimmune reaction that damn near killed the entire organism.

    Was the response to COVID ever justified, given the actual case fatality rate? The sort of person infected? Have we ever done anything like lockdowns in the past? For far more destructive pandemics?

    I mean, if lockdowns were such a great idea, why the hell didn’t we use them during the various pandemics from the mid-20th Century on? Did we lockdown for Hong Kong Flu? Swine Flu? Did we “lockdown” the gays during AIDS?

    What about COVID justified any of the actions we took? Anyone care to explain those reasons to me?

    The whole thing looked stupid from the outset, and still does. The fact that Fauci and his minions in the NIH made millions from their fine work ought to show as a bit of a “tell”, but all too many are too trusting and credulous to question the narrative.

    Oh, and by the way… Narratives are story-telling conventions. You can’t rely on them being true, even when you are told they are. The fact is this: Whole swathes of information have been left out of the “COVID narrative”, and you’d be doing well to note those holes, acting accordingly.

    Anyone with a memory and even the slightest familiarity with the history of past pandemic disease should have been able to work out what was going on was a dire overreaction to the actual effect of COVID. The actual case fatality rate was nowhere near justifying the “OMGWEREALLGONNADIE” reaction we gave to it.

    Face it, folks: You got suckered.

  • bobby b

    Covid was a distinct and aggressive danger to the very old, the very sick, and the very fat. It was dangerous enough to those people to warrant lockdowns of those people.

    But it’s not nice to discriminate, I guess, so we locked down everyone. And did a poor job of protecting those at-risk types in the process. It became more about theater than competency. Millions of lapel buttons that said “I follow the Siense!”

  • Kirk

    Seriously? I have to question your position, here… When have we EVER used anything similar to a “lockdown” to combat pandemic disease?

    Quarantine? Certainly; that has worked. Still works. What makes you think that locking down the healthy works? At all? In any way? Even if they are more susceptible?

    Hell, all lockdowns accomplished in a lot of cases was locking the vulnerable healthy in with the sick, such that they all got sick. See the death rates in those nursing homes across New York and other states that had people with COVID forced on their previously-healthy inmates…

    Lockdowns were a novel response that didn’t work, and should have been rejected on the outset of even being suggested. What “science” were they based on, again?


    Read that whole thing. If you’re going to say “lockdowns good“, then I demand you refute what is said in that article.

    In other words, it was a high-school science experiment that eventually became law of the land, and through a circuitous route propelled not by science but politics.

    The primary author of this paper was Robert J. Glass, a complex-systems analyst with Sandia National Laboratories. He had no medical training, much less an expertise in immunology or epidemiology.

    That explains why Dr. D.A. Henderson, “who had been the leader of the international effort to eradicate smallpox,” completely rejected the whole scheme.

    I’m not going to say that sourcing is the problem, here… Anyone can have a good idea; you have to evaluate the idea on its merits. But, the fact is, the idea was evaluated by experts in pandemic response, and they found it to be flawed.

    Why did it become law of the land? Politics. Any political influence on public health matters is inimical and just plain wrong, almost certain to end in disaster for all concerned. Politicians should not be making these decisions on a political basis, and they should not be taking advice from the politically-minded like Fauci.

    I think Trump’s trust in the institutions and his native germaphobic nature led him to making a bunch of bad decisions.

  • bobby b

    “When have we EVER used anything similar to a “lockdown” to combat pandemic disease? . . . Quarantine? Certainly; that has worked. Still works. What makes you think that locking down the healthy works?”

    We are angrily agreeing here.

    We should have (quarantined/locked down) the very old, the very ill, and the very fat. Not the rest of us.

    Instead, we did a dumb general lockdown that was leaky to the virus anyway.

  • Kirk

    We are not in agreement.

    Quarantine means that you separate the actually sick from the well until they are well again. Lockdowns are pre-emptive attempts at separating the healthy before they get sick.

    Has never worked, never will. Quarantines do work, when intelligently used. The two things are not remotely similar.

    Hell, there are questions about whether or not widespread quarantines work all that well in modern circumstances. When it’s a plague ship anchoring off a 19th Century port, quarantine might be a good idea. When it’s locking healthy people in with the sick, in a modern nursing home? WTF are you smoking?

  • bobby b

    “When it’s locking healthy people in with the sick, in a modern nursing home? WTF are you smoking?”

    Sib runs several large nursing homes. Towards the beginning of Covid, they had large numbers of deaths. She had no corporate or state money to fix her systems, so she called me, and we designed and installed a barrier system – closed areas, visitor rules, a visiting area of a walled-off-with-acrylic-sheet middle barrier with positive air pressure on the old/sick/fat side. Residents at risk could not leave or interact with visitors except for speaking through the acrylic. (You can have conversations through 1/8″ acrylic.)

    That was – whatever you want to call it, I find the distinctions a bit lacking – a lockdown or a quarantine system. Deaths dropped from 15 per week to 1 per week.

    And, it’s mostly gummies these days.

  • Kirk

    Couple of points, here: Firstly, that is not how lockdown was implemented across the country. What you’re describing is effectively a low-tech isolation system like you’d see in a biohazard lab. That’s not what the term “lockdown” meant in terms of policy; that meant basically shutting everything down, from stores to schools to travel. Using entirely ineffective things like face masks, and applied to everyone, no matter what their risk factors might have been.

    I’d say the things you did were rational acts in the face of unknown circumstances. Once the virulence and nature of COVID were determined, however, how long were they maintained? Were tests ever conducted to determine where you were getting that “1 per week”, however? Have investigations been done to be able to see precisely what was going on? I can see several reasons that potentially could explain that drop, which would render your measures irrelevant. One, you could have already killed off most of those who were actually susceptible to COVID, vice those who only appeared to be susceptible. Two, the disease itself could have changed over the course of that period, such that it wasn’t anywhere as lethal as it had been at first. This is a fairly common course of progress for new diseases; you look at the things syphilis did to its victims early on, and they’re pretty damn spectacular, compared to the modern version of the disease.

    I think you’re allowing magical thinking about the course of your personal experiences with COVID to color your beliefs about things. It’s sad, but you and the rest of us really have no scientific idea at all about what went on with a lot of the events of COVID. I’m convinced, without any ability to say for sure in any scientific way, that there was something spreading throughout the Pacific Northwest during the late winter months of 2019. People were getting this really nasty, weeks-long cold/flu thing that had symptoms of COVID. Several people died, that I personally knew. Yet, saying those were COVID deaths? How the hell can I actually say that? At that time, nothing was sequenced and nobody was even too sure what was going on. The fact that the vectors for at least one set of cases was the Costco admin section that dealt with procurement in China that had been going back-and-forth to Wuhan might or might not be a factor in the causation. Those cases were all in late October through early December; it was obvious that something was going on.

    You can have well-founded suspicions about these things, but without well-constructed clinical studies done with actual scientific rigor, we’re basically doing voodoo.

  • bobby b

    Just as an aside: Sib was feted corporately, system was copied across many of their facilities nationwide. Resident advocates and relatives were thrilled.

    State of Minnesota Department of Health people inspected, and wrote up and fined the facility because the new walls we slammed in had some sharp edges and unpainted surfaces that could not be properly sanitized.

    Fricken useless people.

  • We should have locked down the media and turned off all the transmitters/presses on the grounds that it wasn’t safe for the people who had to keep the transmitters/presses running couldn’t work from home.

    Maybe that would have gotten the press and normal people to see the hypocrisy in so much of the lockdowns. If a 1A case says you can’t lock down the press, then you can’t forcibly shut churches either.

    But then, goodthinkful politicians could flout the lockdowns and have a fawning press cover for them.

  • JohnK

    There was no lockdown for Asian flu in the late 1950s or Hong Kong flu in the 1960s. Why?

    Back then, £1 was worth $2.80, and $35 was worth one ounce of gold. Money could not be made out of thin air. £400 billion could not be created by the Bank of England. Exchange rates were fixed and the dollar was backed by gold. QE and various other forms of funny money could not happen. If, for the sake of argument, you wished both to create a welfare state and conduct a war in South East Asia, you had better raise taxes to pay for it. Obviously, such monetary constraints upon Leviathan were unacceptable and had to go.

  • Paul Marks

    First the international community (or corporate state) lied about the origins of the virus – partly to shield guilty men such as Tony Fauci (American bureaucracy) and Peter Daszak (EcoHealth Alliance and World Health Organisation) who funded the research in Wuhan, but also because to tell the truth about the origins of the disease would have not fitted with the political agenda.

    Then they lied about the medical effectiveness of lockdowns – claiming that they wanted lockdowns for medical reasons, when it is now clear that there was a political and cultural agenda. The harm the lockdowns have done has been vast – it is hard to overstate the damage done, not “just” to the economy (and the economy matters – poverty kills), but also to society.

    Then they lied about Early Treatment – claiming that there was no effective Early Treatment (when there was – indeed several). They “had to” lie about Early Treatment – in order to justify the lockdowns and to get emergency authorisation for the injections.

    Then they lied about the injections – the infamous “safe and effective” mantra, repeated endlessly.

    I must stress that I am NOT saying that political leaders such as President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson lied about the above – indeed one of the revelations of the last three years has been how little power political leaders have, how policy (such as detailed lockdown regulations – clearly worked out long before) are just presented to them, with the officials and “scientific experts” having their own political and cultural agenda.

    As one of the members of “SAGE” in the United Kingdom said when challenged about her membership of the Communist Party – the other members of SAGE were NOT members of the Communist Party, but shared her general “Social Justice” beliefs and agenda. After all, the lady explained. everyone important in the international community (including the supposedly capitalist corporations) does share such beliefs and objectives.

    Well fair enough – at least we now know where we stand, what the position is.

  • Paul Marks

    JohnK – as you know Sir, they were cheating even in the 1950s and 1960s – they did not really have the gold to cover their Dollars at one once for every 35 Dollars. They have always cheated – the Bank of England was cheating almost from the time it was founded in 1694, but the scale of the cheating has increased over time – dramatically increased.

    And, yes, since 1971 there has not even been a fig leaf – they can create any amount of “money” and dish it out to their corporate friends, both banks and non banks.

    At first, even though they could do anything they wanted, they showed some restraint – Paul Volker (a Democrat – I admit that) showed restraint in the amount of banker welfare and general Corporate Welfare he dished out.

    But since Alan Greenspan (ironically Mr Greenspan had once been a sound money man) became head of Federal Reserve, restraint ended. All the bankers and corporate bosses had to do was declare a crises – and Mr Greenspan would hand them out more money.

    As for the last few years (post Greenspan) – it is hard to find the words to describe their behaviour, it is just so bad.

    I am told the Federal Reserve has handed out tends of billions of Dollars in banker and corporate welfare in just the last few weeks, I hope that is NOT true, but I can not rule it out – due to their disgraceful behaviour over many years.

    And YES the Bank of England is much the same – something between 400 and 500 Billion Pounds were spent on counter productive (insane) Covid policies, financed, indirectly, by the Bank of England creating money from nothing.

  • JohnK


    As you say, they always cheated somewhat, but since 1971 they no longer have to cheat, the whole game is rigged.

    What bothers me is why the government is taxing us heavily to try and prove it is paying off the £400 billion it created to pay for lockdowns. The money was created out of thin air. It didn’t exist, then it existed. No-one worked to produce the wealth, no-one lent it to the government (the idea the Bank of England lent it to the government is a fiction, they are two cheeks of the same arse, as Mr Galloway says). Who are they paying it back to? There is no debt to be repaid, apart from a bookkeeping entry at the Bank of England. Do they think we are falling for this BS?

    Perhaps the fiction is necessary to stop people wondering where this money came from and why it needs to be “repaid”?