At first slowly but in recent weeks with seemingly gathering pace, two trends have emerged.
On the one hand, many of the core claims behind lockdowns, masks, and vaccines are unravelling and the prevailing narrative has been in retreat on all three fronts.
But there is still a long way to go, as indicated by the cussed refusal of the Biden administration to let Novak Djokovic play at Indian Wells.
On the other hand, the explosive lockdown files in the UK have blown apart the official narrative. We the sceptics were right in our dark suspicions of the motives, scientific basis, and evidence behind government decisions, but even we did not fully grasp just how venal, evil, and utterly contemptuous of their citizens some of the bastards in charge of our health, lives, livelihoods, and children’s future were. “Hell is empty, And all the devils are here” (Shakespeare, The Tempest) indeed. They will have to build a new circle of hell to accommodate all the perpetrators of evil let loose upon the world since 2020.
A mistake is when you spill coffee or take the wrong exit ramp off the highway. Lockdown was a policy pushed hard by politicians and health chiefs even against scientific dissent and substantial public opposition, using tools from every tyrants’ playbook of disinformation and lies whilst attacking and censoring truth. The depth of public opposition went unrecognized because the fear-peddling media colluded in not reporting on protests.
Genuine mistakes were few and are forgivable. Most were deliberate distortions of reality, outright falsehoods, and a systematic campaign to terrorize people into compliance with arbitrary diktats interspersed with efforts to vilify, silence, and cancel all critics by using the full powers of the state to co-opt, bribe, and bully. All in pursuit of the most maddening public policy insanity of modern times because it ignored existing canons of pandemic planning in blind panic just when calm was most needed. To call lockdown a mistake is to trivialize the shock to society.
Before coming to that, a few preliminary observations to summarize where we are at.
What is Now Known and Generally but Not Universally Admitted
Covid is now endemic. It will circulate throughout the world and keep returning with mutating variants. People who have been infected and/or vaccinated can contract and transmit it. Consequently we have little choice but to learn to live with it. What is important is to make sure the right policy lessons are learnt so that never again, neither for a novel coronavirus nor for any other infectious disease, do we go down the path of public policy insanity to lock up an entire city or country with the discovery of 1-10 cases and bring all social, cultural and economic activity to a shuddering halt – or give total power and control to sociopaths and psychopaths.
Meanwhile what is particularly striking is just how many suspicions voiced by sceptics from early 2020 onwards and mocked as conspiracy theories have turned into plausible claims and accepted facts:
- The virus may have originated in the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology;
- Covid modeling was dodgy and dressed up outliers as reasonable case scenarios;
- Lockdowns don’t work;
- Lockdowns kill through perverse consequences and inflict other damaging harms, including interruptions to critical life-saving children’s immunization campaigns in developing countries;
- School closures are particularly bad policy. They did not curb transmission but they did cause long-term harm to children’s education, development and emotional well-being;
- Masks are ineffective. They stop neither infection nor transmission;
- Infection confers natural immunity at least as effective as vaccination;
- Covid vaccines do not stop infection, hospitalization, or even death;
- Covid vaccines do not stop transmission;
- The safety of vaccines using new technology had not been definitively established, neither for the short term nor for the long term;
- Vaccine harms are real and substantial but safety signals have been summarily dismissed and ignored;
- mRNA vaccines are not confined to the arm but spread rapidly to other parts, including reproductive organs, with potentially adverse consequences for fertility and births;
- The harm-benefit equation of vaccines is, like the disease burden itself, steeply age-differentiated. Healthy young people did not need either initial or booster doses;
- Vaccination mandates don’t increase vaccine take-up;
- Vaccine mandates can fuel cross-vaccine hesitancy;
- Suppression of sceptical and dissenting voices will lessen trust in public health officials, experts and institutions, and possibly also in scientists more generally;
- Estimates of “Long Covid” were inflated (CDC estimate of 20 percent of Covid infections against UK study’s estimate of 3 percent) by using generalized, non-specific symptoms like mild fatigue and weakness;
- Health policy interventions involve policy trade-offs just like all other policy choices. Cost-benefit analysis is therefore an essential prerequisite, not an optional add-on.
The Lockdown Files
The last three years have seen lives lost in the millions with tens of millions more yet to be accounted for in the coming years, civilized lifestyles destroyed, previously inviolate freedoms shredded, civil liberties turned into privileges to be granted on the whim of bureaucrats, law enforcement officers corrupted into street thugs brutalizing the very people they are sworn to serve and protect, businesses destroyed, economies wrecked, bodily integrity violated.