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Christmas is still scarred by Covid Our moral framework has been irreparably altered

'I stared at it, then I was in tears.' (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

'I stared at it, then I was in tears.' (Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)


December 22, 2022   6 mins

As my daughter grows, ever more of our Christmas tree ornaments originate with her: decorated by her at school or preschool, or little end-of-term gifts from teachers. When we decorate the tree, unwrapping each one comes with a little payload of memory from the year it arrived. Recently, unpacking and hanging these decorations, one pulled me up short. It came from preschool, dated 2020. The snowman is wearing a mask.

I stared at it, then I was in tears.

Humans are resilient. Bad things happen, and eventually we move on. But we remember, too. We just wrap those memories up and store them in unexpected places, such as a box of Christmas tree ornaments. 2020 still feels like a blur to me: one long horrible Groundhog Day. But that little snowman abruptly took me right there. Lovingly painted, its little face-mask trying to make something fun of something nightmarish, it captures the heroic efforts of everyone with children in their care. So many parents and carers, making the best of something utterly beyond the capacity of an infant to understand: an official ban on almost all spontaneous touch and social connection.

What does Zoom mean to a toddler? So much of a child’s social world is wordless, conducted in the language of touch, face, and gesture. A loved and trusted other is not a face on a screen but a living, breathing, warm, huggable entity. And for this group, a virus which posed relatively little risk to them meant almost all of this was abruptly taken away. More under-18s died of influenza than Covid-19 in 2020, but we don’t shut the world down for the flu.

We did for Covid. Was it worth it?

How do you calculate something like that? We know that maternal post-natal depression can have lasting negative effects on a developing child. What, then, about the fact that rates of perinatal depression doubled during lockdown, affecting nearly half of all mothers of newborns? What of the children, now toddlers, who didn’t interact with anyone other than their parents for months or even years of their earliest life, and are now developmentally delayed on a raft of measures compared to previous cohorts?

Was it worth it for the millions of children left to scroll unspeakable corners of the internet, unsupervised, for months on end, while their parents tried to keep up with Zoom work? Those all the way up to university age who lost years of education? What about the depression and PTSD that rocketed in kids between seven and 12 between March and June that year? Was it worth that? What about those trapped at home with abusive or neglectful parents?

But just as the downsides of lockdown weren’t evenly distributed, nor were the risks of Covid. Someone elderly or immune-compromised might say: yes, kids were not at great danger from the virus. But why should the demographics most at risk of severe illness and death be recklessly endangered, for the sake of children with their whole lives ahead of them? And this is the nub of the problem. Every human culture prior to our own understood the tragic dimension of human life: that is, the truth that some situations have no good outcome, only messy choices and their painful aftermath. In the Christian tradition, we see something like this in the doctrine of original sin, which holds that we can never make life on earth perfect — because each of us carries a taint of wickedness, and can only hope and pray for salvation.

Nor is this downbeat assessment only a feature in the Christian worldview. We see it, for example, in the ancient Greek myth of Oedipus, a man whose parents sought to avoid the monstrous actions the gods foretold he would take, by abandoning him on a hillside, only to bring about precisely that fate through their actions. In Hindu myth, times of high civilisation and towering achievement are inescapably followed by ages of decline and destruction, before the cycle begins again.

No doubt, for non-Christian and Christian premodern cultures alike, this downbeat view of what’s achievable on earth was informed by being on everyday speaking terms with hunger, illness and death. But a core belief of the modern world is that weighing two competing dangers is a thing of the past. Instead, thanks to the wonders of innovation and rising prosperity, we can defy gravity and have all the good things at once — even things that previously seemed in conflict. Powered by cheap fossil fuels, we convinced ourselves we were on our way to eliminating hunger and illness, and could set our sights on death itself. And among all the other things fuelled by cheap energy, perhaps the most pervasive has been the conviction that we could escape life’s tragic dimension.

We could have freedom from family obligations, while ensuring the old and young were cared for. Rising prosperity replaced the duty to welcome the stranger, and the injunction to love your neighbour. We could be intensely relaxed (as Peter Mandelson famously put it) about some people getting filthy stinking rich, because some of that money can be collected in taxes and redistributed. And we could do this while leaving everyone free to pursue their own vision of the good. As long as we adopt the same overall rules, and accept the same bits-and-atoms understanding of what’s real and important, we can be as values-pluralistic as we like.

“Progress” means, in a nutshell, the ability to trade in-person social bonds for freedom, while our basic needs are met via paid-for services and labour-saving machinery. In other words, technology replaced moral frameworks, or rather became the moral framework: a machine theology. In this worldview there are no moral choices, only rational ones. Its corresponding mode of governance is technocracy, where the legitimacy of political choices rests in their adherence to “evidence” and “data”. And humans, too, are unconnected atoms: you’re a person to the extent that you can be free, with no obligation to share values or social codes.

Except it turns out that there are still situations where we can’t just “do our own thing”. When each of us is a potential disease vector, everyone else absolutely has a stake in what we do. And at the collective level, sometimes there’s no “neutral” option. Faced with a rapidly-spreading virus of still-unknown severity, doing nothing is as much a decision with consequences as making active interventions.

So Covid presented a new universe of tragic choices. But we had little mental furniture for grappling with them. No wonder so many ended up hiding behind “science”, and sought to justify their preferred policies in those terms. But the truth is that no one is very rational when lives are in danger — and so the pandemic exposed the underlying, enduring truth that data-driven decision-making can only ever be a fig-leaf for the real business of governance, which is tragic moral choices.

How do you weigh incommensurable alternatives, where every side has horrible trade-offs? How do you weigh granny’s life against a generation of developmentally-delayed babies and toddlers? Short answer: you can’t. At least, there’s no way of doing so rationally, using data, without some kind of moral framework.

And from this perspective it’s easier to see why we accepted the choices we did — or at least found ourselves at a loss to protest, even if it felt wrong. For what we needed to navigate Covid were the very moral frameworks we’ve spent so long carefully dismantling, in favour of moral pluralism underwritten by the lonely unity of machines and the market. No wonder, then, that when in-person contact suddenly seemed a danger to life, we told ourselves all of it could be replaced with money and machines — for money and machines are the moral framework now. And no wonder we looked away from those groups for whom in-person contact is life.

We accepted the sacrifice of almost all in-person social contact, on our children’s behalf, for months on end. In some parts of the world, it was years. Perhaps, accustomed to a machine theology that dismisses relationships as an optional extra, we didn’t think it much of a sacrifice. It was a moral choice, founded in a culture that insists everything inconvenient about love can be replaced by money and machines. But we didn’t defy gravity. Instead, the heaviest burden fell on the slightest shoulders. Now, we’re living with the aftermath. Two Christmases on, I’m still feeling the disintegrative aftershocks of Covid in my own family, and a sudden reminder of 2020 in the Christmas box can leave me choked. As inflation soars and everyone hunkers down, we’re feeling it at a national level too.

That little snowman will go back into its box on Twelfth Night. But we can’t just pack away the memory of that fearful, isolated time — especially as China faces its long-postponed reckoning with Covid, driving fears of new variants spreading overseas. We can’t just forget again what it was like to see a generation of children stripped of social worlds they couldn’t do without. A generation of the young, two years older now, living with the cost of our refusal to defend love in the face of death. As families gather for another Christmas, we must say: never again. That experiment can never be repeated.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Lucas D
Lucas D
1 year ago

What a beautiful article.

My wife and I felt so alone in those times. We had 4 month old twins when lockdown arrived. We knew from the start the decision was a terrible one. But no one would brook any criticism. Now, apparently, everyone who scolded us for complaining were against it all along. Who knew.

We went mad as a country. We should talk about it in those terms. And resolve never to do it again.

I love this line: “we refused to defend love in the face of death”. Bravo Mary.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Some of us have not gone back on what we said back then – me for one.

I should have liked to see the following line from Mary. ‘We loved our children so much that we would sacrifice the lives of 100000 strangers to give them a normal childhood‘.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Except that has been shown to be a false dichotomy, as in Sweden, Florida and elsewhere! We should have some everything possible to protect the elderly and vulnerable, not lock down by law the entire healthy population, which had never been done in the entire history of dealing with pandemics. The UK, US, the entire western world in fact, made absolutely no effort to do so, indeed quite appallingly seeded covid throughout care homes to help, in our case, ‘protect our (beloved) NHS’. Of course with a pandemic people would have otherwise radically reduced their interactions in a voluntary manner, but crucially this wouldn’t have criminalised seeing your grandchildren, if that were a risk you wanted to take.

I think what happened was quite simple. Governments panicked, decided to shred their existing pandemic plans overnight, with no evidence as to their effectiveness or not, and decided to copy the world’s main totalitarian state, China, which some of them rather admired, at least in part. (This was explicitly acknowledged by Neil Ferguson, he of the dodgy models).

Frankly it is utterly chilling that overnight supposedly democratic and liberal governments could simply abolish all basic liberties (this was unconstitutional I believe in Sweden) and then govern by administrative fiat. They then worked with might and main together with Big Tech corporations to suppress any dissenting voices, especially in the US, as had now been proven beyond doubt by the release of the Twitter files.

For all the many faults of the Tory Party, at least some of its MPs were deeply troubled by this and were ultimately able to curtail the imposition of yet another lockdown when the Omicron variant began circulating. There was by then excellent strong evidence of its mildness from South Africa which was studiously ignored by Whitty, Vallance, SAGE etc. (Of course no one could see any adverse consequences of lockdowns, could they?). None of the other political parties, Labour, the SNP, Lib Dems ever did anything other than demand more intense and longer lockdowns. So with Starmer as PM, we would have had months and months more lockdowns.

By the way, the UK and several other western countries have excess deaths now as high as those at the height of the pandemic, but in this case it is underplayed in stark contrast to the previous covid hysteria. This is very likely caused in major part BY precisely that closing down of society and health services which then took place. It is amusing, but angering, to see the cheerleaders for lockdowns, including the BBC, blithely talking about viruses such as flu having worse effects than they would have, precisely BECAUSE people were so isolated for so long. Not much mea culpa or even reflection on show where there perhaps there ought to be.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Of course with a pandemic people would have otherwise radically reduced their interactions in a voluntary manner, but crucially this wouldn’t have criminalised seeing your grandchildren, if that were a risk you wanted to take.

That sums up the problem pretty well. Most of the reduction in social interactions – and the resultant costs – would have happened anyway. In Sweden they thought, quite likely correctly, that they would get enough compliance from mere advice, because Swedes tend to do what the government advises them to do. As my dad once said, ‘the sum of social pressure and legal compulsion required to obtain a given result is constant’. More individualistic countries would not have got the same compliance without a mandate. But the key words are “if that were a risk you wanted to take”. Fighting a pandemic is a collective job. everybody must pay the price and take the trouble, so that everybody can benefit. Every chance you take risks not only your own health, but also the health of all your contacts. If you are unwilling to take precautions that are not directly to your own benefit, then no one else will bother to take the precautions that might protect you. A mandate has the advantage that it is clear what you are supposed to do, and that you have a reason to comply to protect others, in return for other people doing the same for you. Leaving it to individual initiative means only idealistic fools will do anything much – and everybody suffers.

As for ‘the closing down of society and the health services’ – do you think that the NHS would have been in better nick and have less of a backlog of operations if there had been no lockdown, and all the COVID patients had flooded the hospitals?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well said. But you will only get down voted on this site because, when it comes to COVID (and many other issues, too) it’s a bit of a bubble.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

But it wasn’t well said – it jumped straight to the ‘moral’ argument by ignoring the false premises. If you accept the false premise, then sure, the moral argument would follow. This is precisely the muddled thinking of the mainstream – a moral argument (do as we say or you are a granny killer) built on false premises. Then if anyone challenges the false premise, you accuse them of immorality. Insidious. Almost insidious as complaining that Unherd is a bubble. Is there anywhere out there that’s not a bubble? If you are so satisfied with the mainstream narratives, why are you here?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

If you can show that lockdowns do not and did not help, there is indeed no need for a moral discussion. But can you? I am not asking for proof (no one could prove this either way), but can you show me enough evidence to show that your view is most likely? I’d very much like to see it.

The definition of a bubble is pretty much that everybody inside share the same assumptions and the same ‘facts’ and are immune to evidence from those who do not agree. And if the evidence objectively does not sem to justify those ‘facts’ there is a strong suspicion that people choose their ‘facts’ to fit with the group opinions. I do think that anti-vaxx and anti-lockdown bubbles may be a little more at risk here than pro-lockdown bubbles. Both groups have the normal biases and personal interests (it is easier to be pro-lockdown if you can work from home, for instance). But the anti-lockdown groups have a strong personal reason to (want to) believe that they will be fine regardless. Our side do not have a strong personal incentive to believe that COVID is dangerous.

Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’ll make a simple moral judgement: you are the distillation of evil and loved what was done TO, not FOR us very much 
 oh so very much 
 at a ‘cellular level’.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

There’s nothing that Rasmus has posted that justifies that. Whether you agree or not, can we please keep this site free from such mindless invective? Thanks.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

Derek you need to sharpen up a bit or keep quiet……we are attempting elicit truth vs angry ranting

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

There’s nothing that Rasmus has posted that justifies that. Whether you agree or not, can we please keep this site free from such mindless invective? Thanks.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

Derek you need to sharpen up a bit or keep quiet……we are attempting elicit truth vs angry ranting

Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The argument is simple. Lockdowns could only ever be a delay tactic. They do not deal with the disease, they do not make it go away. At best they therefore delayed death by however long you were willing to endure the consequences of lockdown. Perhaps you could argue that delaying was worth it while we waited for the vaccine but even there the evidence does not support you. The severity of the lockdown in a country does not correlate well with death rates. Perversely, what lockdowns did was protect those least at danger from Covid by removing them from the general circulation while leaving those who could not isolate (think those who needed regular medical care or those living in long term care) to bare the brunt of the pandemic. We waited around for them to all get it and then opened up so the rest of us got it! Finally there is the vaccines themselves. With the waning effectiveness that they demonstrate, they unfortunately appear to be little more than a delay tactic themselves – unless you are willing to get boosted every 3 to 6 months.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

I do not think your argument stacks up. The people who needed regular medical care or who who are living in long term care are exactly those who the Barrington strategy claimed we should protect, but, as you say, would have suffered anyway. Keeping the overall number of cases low would at least have reduced their exposure.

The death rates depend in complex ways on lots of things apart form lockdowns. There is no simple proof that lockdowns worked, but there is no simple proof either that they did not.

The numbers I remember seeing (cannot find a reference) was that Omicron was maybe half as lethal as the original variant, and better treatment and vaccination reduces the risk by another factor of maybe three. The first is luck (the next variant may be worse) but the second is the gain from delaying. And I am prerfectly happy to take boosters every six months, if that will help keep me alive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It all depends on how you believe we get through this thing. I would argue that one gets through a pandemic only by having the population adjust to the new virus and build up its immunity over time so that the virus eventually ceases to be a major threat. Lockdowns delay that whole process thereby leaving the vulnerable, vulnerable for longer. While we can argue about whether lockdowns worked, what is inonctrevertible is the sheer damage of them. Millions thrown into poverty world wide according to the World Bank. Businesses shuttered, countries thrown into recessions, children’s education messed up for multiple years – all for something that maybe helped but really we can’t be sure and for a disease that is not a serious threat for the vast majority of people.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Not unreasonable. Just remember that there would have been some degree of “Businesses shuttered, countries thrown into recessions, children’s education messed up” etc. also just from the pandemic without lockdowns.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Not unreasonable. Just remember that there would have been some degree of “Businesses shuttered, countries thrown into recessions, children’s education messed up” etc. also just from the pandemic without lockdowns.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus that is the point – you are allowed to CHOOSE – all anyone wanted was informed choice……..(or even uninformed ) – and to be allowed to act like grownups vs children who needed legal enforcement/deterrant . I beleive many elderly folk also wanted that choice rather than being infantilised…..

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

It is good to be able to choose for yourself. But the big problem is that your choice has a lot of consequences for other people too. If you go freeclimbing without proper training, the only person who gets damaged is yourself. If you behave in a way that increases the spread of COVID, the main cost is borne by others, who may be more vulnerable and who do not share in the benefits you get. You cannot get a collective result of reducing transmission overall without some kind of mechanism to enforce compliance – and thereby to convince everybody that the annoyance of complying will indeed give them some kind of benefit.

In fact I think a lot of the anger in the debate comes from this. From the pro-lockdown side it looks like a lot of people simply refuse to accept that keeping other people alive is worth even some minimal inconvenience from their side. And then choose to believe in a set of facts that have little basis in evidence but that very conveniently means they do not have to do anything they do not feel like doing.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

It is good to be able to choose for yourself. But the big problem is that your choice has a lot of consequences for other people too. If you go freeclimbing without proper training, the only person who gets damaged is yourself. If you behave in a way that increases the spread of COVID, the main cost is borne by others, who may be more vulnerable and who do not share in the benefits you get. You cannot get a collective result of reducing transmission overall without some kind of mechanism to enforce compliance – and thereby to convince everybody that the annoyance of complying will indeed give them some kind of benefit.

In fact I think a lot of the anger in the debate comes from this. From the pro-lockdown side it looks like a lot of people simply refuse to accept that keeping other people alive is worth even some minimal inconvenience from their side. And then choose to believe in a set of facts that have little basis in evidence but that very conveniently means they do not have to do anything they do not feel like doing.

Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It all depends on how you believe we get through this thing. I would argue that one gets through a pandemic only by having the population adjust to the new virus and build up its immunity over time so that the virus eventually ceases to be a major threat. Lockdowns delay that whole process thereby leaving the vulnerable, vulnerable for longer. While we can argue about whether lockdowns worked, what is inonctrevertible is the sheer damage of them. Millions thrown into poverty world wide according to the World Bank. Businesses shuttered, countries thrown into recessions, children’s education messed up for multiple years – all for something that maybe helped but really we can’t be sure and for a disease that is not a serious threat for the vast majority of people.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus that is the point – you are allowed to CHOOSE – all anyone wanted was informed choice……..(or even uninformed ) – and to be allowed to act like grownups vs children who needed legal enforcement/deterrant . I beleive many elderly folk also wanted that choice rather than being infantilised…..

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

I personally know half a dozen maximally boosted who all got it in the end anyway. One of them twice. Hard not to wonder if they weren’t being boosted with placebos. Maybe there is a huge RCT being conducted which we are unaware of?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I had Wuhan Flu 6 weeks after my booster. I didn’t enjoy it – it felt like a weed hangover. But it wasn’t too bad, and I guess it might have been worse without the vaccine.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I had Wuhan Flu 6 weeks after my booster. I didn’t enjoy it – it felt like a weed hangover. But it wasn’t too bad, and I guess it might have been worse without the vaccine.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago

They should have been concentrating on treatment not vaccines.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

I do not think your argument stacks up. The people who needed regular medical care or who who are living in long term care are exactly those who the Barrington strategy claimed we should protect, but, as you say, would have suffered anyway. Keeping the overall number of cases low would at least have reduced their exposure.

The death rates depend in complex ways on lots of things apart form lockdowns. There is no simple proof that lockdowns worked, but there is no simple proof either that they did not.

The numbers I remember seeing (cannot find a reference) was that Omicron was maybe half as lethal as the original variant, and better treatment and vaccination reduces the risk by another factor of maybe three. The first is luck (the next variant may be worse) but the second is the gain from delaying. And I am prerfectly happy to take boosters every six months, if that will help keep me alive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

I personally know half a dozen maximally boosted who all got it in the end anyway. One of them twice. Hard not to wonder if they weren’t being boosted with placebos. Maybe there is a huge RCT being conducted which we are unaware of?

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago

They should have been concentrating on treatment not vaccines.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It was probably an overreaction much in the same vein that Dan Patrick was viciously attacked when he said he was ready to sacrifice himself in order to keep the country open and not harm the younger generations. Most conservatives saw the risk and was willing to take it in order to save the country. The fact that we had been blatantly lied to many times and accused of granny killing had an extreme oppo effect on most. It didn’t help that the democrats and their media allies jumped on this crisis to destroy trumps chances; it was pretty obvious to most of us.

Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’ll make a simple moral judgement: you are the distillation of evil and loved what was done TO, not FOR us very much 
 oh so very much 
 at a ‘cellular level’.

Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The argument is simple. Lockdowns could only ever be a delay tactic. They do not deal with the disease, they do not make it go away. At best they therefore delayed death by however long you were willing to endure the consequences of lockdown. Perhaps you could argue that delaying was worth it while we waited for the vaccine but even there the evidence does not support you. The severity of the lockdown in a country does not correlate well with death rates. Perversely, what lockdowns did was protect those least at danger from Covid by removing them from the general circulation while leaving those who could not isolate (think those who needed regular medical care or those living in long term care) to bare the brunt of the pandemic. We waited around for them to all get it and then opened up so the rest of us got it! Finally there is the vaccines themselves. With the waning effectiveness that they demonstrate, they unfortunately appear to be little more than a delay tactic themselves – unless you are willing to get boosted every 3 to 6 months.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It was probably an overreaction much in the same vein that Dan Patrick was viciously attacked when he said he was ready to sacrifice himself in order to keep the country open and not harm the younger generations. Most conservatives saw the risk and was willing to take it in order to save the country. The fact that we had been blatantly lied to many times and accused of granny killing had an extreme oppo effect on most. It didn’t help that the democrats and their media allies jumped on this crisis to destroy trumps chances; it was pretty obvious to most of us.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

If you can show that lockdowns do not and did not help, there is indeed no need for a moral discussion. But can you? I am not asking for proof (no one could prove this either way), but can you show me enough evidence to show that your view is most likely? I’d very much like to see it.

The definition of a bubble is pretty much that everybody inside share the same assumptions and the same ‘facts’ and are immune to evidence from those who do not agree. And if the evidence objectively does not sem to justify those ‘facts’ there is a strong suspicion that people choose their ‘facts’ to fit with the group opinions. I do think that anti-vaxx and anti-lockdown bubbles may be a little more at risk here than pro-lockdown bubbles. Both groups have the normal biases and personal interests (it is easier to be pro-lockdown if you can work from home, for instance). But the anti-lockdown groups have a strong personal reason to (want to) believe that they will be fine regardless. Our side do not have a strong personal incentive to believe that COVID is dangerous.

Mark Turner
Mark Turner
1 year ago

You and Rasmus have well and truly drunken of the coolaid, havent you?

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

What is with all these downvotes? Am I not understanding this voting system? I thought it was kind of like Reddit: you downvote comments you want to make disappear – reserved for abuse, tirades, off-topic or simply incoherent. If people use voting to just say “I agree” or “I disagree” the comments are going to become a choir in an empty room with nobody around listening who isn’t singing.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

But it wasn’t well said – it jumped straight to the ‘moral’ argument by ignoring the false premises. If you accept the false premise, then sure, the moral argument would follow. This is precisely the muddled thinking of the mainstream – a moral argument (do as we say or you are a granny killer) built on false premises. Then if anyone challenges the false premise, you accuse them of immorality. Insidious. Almost insidious as complaining that Unherd is a bubble. Is there anywhere out there that’s not a bubble? If you are so satisfied with the mainstream narratives, why are you here?

Mark Turner
Mark Turner
1 year ago

You and Rasmus have well and truly drunken of the coolaid, havent you?

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

What is with all these downvotes? Am I not understanding this voting system? I thought it was kind of like Reddit: you downvote comments you want to make disappear – reserved for abuse, tirades, off-topic or simply incoherent. If people use voting to just say “I agree” or “I disagree” the comments are going to become a choir in an empty room with nobody around listening who isn’t singing.

Stephen Lodziak
Stephen Lodziak
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Florida doesn’t fit your stereotype of compliant peoples. This was the argument from March 2020 and it hasn’t stood the test of time.
We will never know about the NHS. But given many wards were shut down in preparation for a Covid-overload, you’d have to guess that, yes, we would be in better shape now had they been kept open. Cancer screenings, heart issues even mental health support would have been ahead of where it got stuck for two years.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I upvoted you, although I don’t agree with some of your premises, reasoning and conclusions. I come to Unherd to here intelligent differences of opinion and you’ve presented that.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well said. But you will only get down voted on this site because, when it comes to COVID (and many other issues, too) it’s a bit of a bubble.

Stephen Lodziak
Stephen Lodziak
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Florida doesn’t fit your stereotype of compliant peoples. This was the argument from March 2020 and it hasn’t stood the test of time.
We will never know about the NHS. But given many wards were shut down in preparation for a Covid-overload, you’d have to guess that, yes, we would be in better shape now had they been kept open. Cancer screenings, heart issues even mental health support would have been ahead of where it got stuck for two years.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I upvoted you, although I don’t agree with some of your premises, reasoning and conclusions. I come to Unherd to here intelligent differences of opinion and you’ve presented that.

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Thanks. Sadly I think you are right.

Dominic mckeever
Dominic mckeever
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I agree very much. I have begun to ponder whether the ready acceptance of unprecedented restrictions by liberal, progressive types was perhaps a perverse expression of their horror at the recent populist movements of Trump, Farage and others.

Covid offered an opportunity to demonstrate their anti- populist virtue in contrast to the anti- science sentiments undoubtedly held by those Brexit type people.

Rather like the Calvinists who needed to constantly show in their everyday behaviour that they were the chosen ones, as opposed to the clearly dammed, misbehaving masses.

What got lost in the copycat virtue signalling was respect for actual science; respect for facts, evidence and the measurable consequences of actions and behaviours.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Which anti-science sentiments undoubtedly held by Brexit-type people? That’s just about the most unscientific statement i’ve read on Unherd! Yes, i voted for Brexit. Maybe i’m a Brexit-type person, but your ignorant rhetoric will NOT go unchallenged.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You are attributing to Mr McKeever the idea that Brexit-type people are undoubtedly anti-science. But in fact, far from endorsing this idea, he instead was attributing it to (his words) šliberal progressive typesš, and – if I am not mistaken – implicitly critiquing it (and the latter, rather than the former, types) himself. So you and he appear to be largely in agreement.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

If that was indeed what he was trying to suggest, his terminology should’ve been different.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

D.Mckeever’s stance is a bit open to misinterpretation, but I think R.Sharpe does get it right.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

D.Mckeever’s stance is a bit open to misinterpretation, but I think R.Sharpe does get it right.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

Agreed. I had to read it twice, but I’m fairly sure he was just describing pro-science attitudes as one of the common conceits of liberal-progressive types that very often turn out to be no more than a thin veneer of rationalism in front of a head stuffed full of irrational drivel.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

If that was indeed what he was trying to suggest, his terminology should’ve been different.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

Agreed. I had to read it twice, but I’m fairly sure he was just describing pro-science attitudes as one of the common conceits of liberal-progressive types that very often turn out to be no more than a thin veneer of rationalism in front of a head stuffed full of irrational drivel.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You might find this interesting. I ran across this paragraph in a substack I was reading this morning:
“Quarantine policy and the science behind it was a huge flashpoint at the time. Instead of anti-vaxxers, the 19th century had anti-contagionists. The twist: the anti-contagionists were the ones trusting the science. At the time, most scientists thought it was obvious that diseases did not spread primarily by tiny little organisms because everybody knew you could get sick without getting close to a sick person. Progressives hated contagionism because reducing disease to germs ignored poverty’s role in public health, and merchants hated it because it legitimized quarantines, which slowed down shipping. It was hard to argue with anti-contagionists because they were always doing things like swallowing bouillon laced with cholera and then not getting sick. Contagionism won in the end, of course, but this helps explain why Galton would have found these quarantines amusing.”
https://experimentalhistory.substack.com/p/how-to-keep-cakes-moist-and-cause

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Excellent contribution! Thanks.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Excellent contribution! Thanks.

Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You are attributing to Mr McKeever the idea that Brexit-type people are undoubtedly anti-science. But in fact, far from endorsing this idea, he instead was attributing it to (his words) šliberal progressive typesš, and – if I am not mistaken – implicitly critiquing it (and the latter, rather than the former, types) himself. So you and he appear to be largely in agreement.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

You might find this interesting. I ran across this paragraph in a substack I was reading this morning:
“Quarantine policy and the science behind it was a huge flashpoint at the time. Instead of anti-vaxxers, the 19th century had anti-contagionists. The twist: the anti-contagionists were the ones trusting the science. At the time, most scientists thought it was obvious that diseases did not spread primarily by tiny little organisms because everybody knew you could get sick without getting close to a sick person. Progressives hated contagionism because reducing disease to germs ignored poverty’s role in public health, and merchants hated it because it legitimized quarantines, which slowed down shipping. It was hard to argue with anti-contagionists because they were always doing things like swallowing bouillon laced with cholera and then not getting sick. Contagionism won in the end, of course, but this helps explain why Galton would have found these quarantines amusing.”
https://experimentalhistory.substack.com/p/how-to-keep-cakes-moist-and-cause

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
1 year ago

I find myself in agreement with by the view that lockdown and endless borrowing for furlough together have been a mistake . Too much of both for too long. Advice not law would also have meant that we took if we needed to, informed risks. We will be repaying our borrowing for several generations.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alison Tyler
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

So-called progressives aren’t liberal. They only usurp liberalism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Which anti-science sentiments undoubtedly held by Brexit-type people? That’s just about the most unscientific statement i’ve read on Unherd! Yes, i voted for Brexit. Maybe i’m a Brexit-type person, but your ignorant rhetoric will NOT go unchallenged.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
1 year ago

I find myself in agreement with by the view that lockdown and endless borrowing for furlough together have been a mistake . Too much of both for too long. Advice not law would also have meant that we took if we needed to, informed risks. We will be repaying our borrowing for several generations.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alison Tyler
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

So-called progressives aren’t liberal. They only usurp liberalism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Of course with a pandemic people would have otherwise radically reduced their interactions in a voluntary manner, but crucially this wouldn’t have criminalised seeing your grandchildren, if that were a risk you wanted to take.

That sums up the problem pretty well. Most of the reduction in social interactions – and the resultant costs – would have happened anyway. In Sweden they thought, quite likely correctly, that they would get enough compliance from mere advice, because Swedes tend to do what the government advises them to do. As my dad once said, ‘the sum of social pressure and legal compulsion required to obtain a given result is constant’. More individualistic countries would not have got the same compliance without a mandate. But the key words are “if that were a risk you wanted to take”. Fighting a pandemic is a collective job. everybody must pay the price and take the trouble, so that everybody can benefit. Every chance you take risks not only your own health, but also the health of all your contacts. If you are unwilling to take precautions that are not directly to your own benefit, then no one else will bother to take the precautions that might protect you. A mandate has the advantage that it is clear what you are supposed to do, and that you have a reason to comply to protect others, in return for other people doing the same for you. Leaving it to individual initiative means only idealistic fools will do anything much – and everybody suffers.

As for ‘the closing down of society and the health services’ – do you think that the NHS would have been in better nick and have less of a backlog of operations if there had been no lockdown, and all the COVID patients had flooded the hospitals?

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Thanks. Sadly I think you are right.

Dominic mckeever
Dominic mckeever
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I agree very much. I have begun to ponder whether the ready acceptance of unprecedented restrictions by liberal, progressive types was perhaps a perverse expression of their horror at the recent populist movements of Trump, Farage and others.

Covid offered an opportunity to demonstrate their anti- populist virtue in contrast to the anti- science sentiments undoubtedly held by those Brexit type people.

Rather like the Calvinists who needed to constantly show in their everyday behaviour that they were the chosen ones, as opposed to the clearly dammed, misbehaving masses.

What got lost in the copycat virtue signalling was respect for actual science; respect for facts, evidence and the measurable consequences of actions and behaviours.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yeah, we know, ad nauseum.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines.”

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Aye, but whether it was “foolish” or not is the issue.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Aye, but whether it was “foolish” or not is the issue.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You waste your time on here. I would have let it run and burn itself out in the warmer weather. I do think however, looking at the news now, financial chaos, no ambulances, fewer nurses, waiting times, interest rates, inflation, businesses closing, unemployment, all we see now would have been then in 2020. Sadly a lot of elderly lost but the huge budget deficit would have been just the same.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

That is a tenable position, certainly. Are you saying that we would have had the same bad situation but less accumulated government debt? You are a bit unclear here, but I would agree about the debt. The thing is that we would have had lot more dead that way. People would have got the disease before there was time to vaccinate them or get the COVID treatment protocols sorted out, and intensive care and hospitals would have been overwhelmed, so that people could not be treated properly. That was the expectation, at least, and I still think it is correct.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kirk

That is a tenable position, certainly. Are you saying that we would have had the same bad situation but less accumulated government debt? You are a bit unclear here, but I would agree about the debt. The thing is that we would have had lot more dead that way. People would have got the disease before there was time to vaccinate them or get the COVID treatment protocols sorted out, and intensive care and hospitals would have been overwhelmed, so that people could not be treated properly. That was the expectation, at least, and I still think it is correct.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Buried in your comments is the one truth about the modern world that horrifies so many if not all of us. It is a truth made known to us by Hegel; namely, there is no such thing as innocence. Like Regan and Cornwall, we aim first for the most precious targets.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well, maybe that final statement could be seen another way: we inflicted decades of poorer quality of life on a generation of the young to give the elderly another few years of decrepitude.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

I would put that differently – but I will not deny it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

I would put that differently – but I will not deny it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Disputatio Ineptias
Disputatio Ineptias
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Such an uninformed comment.

Alan Bright
Alan Bright
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“100,000 older strangers with pre-existing health problems.” Before vaccinations the average age of death with Covid was, I am told, 82.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I don’t often use this kind of language but you are talking nonsense and that you do not know is deeply troubling.
I am in New Zealand where the rate of Covid deaths after a full vaccination program and a delay of a year to prepare is exactly what Johann Gieseke predicted for all Western Societies. 3 Covid Deaths for 1 flu. England, Sweden, and New Zealand have the same ratio of 3-1. That’s not from cranky conspiracy sites. It’s their own healthcare website.
Even more important is Sweden, the Scandinavian Country which is most like the rest of Europe in terms of interconnectedness as opposed to being remote, has a very creditable excess mortality rate compared to the rest of Europe and pursued “Lagom”, just right taking account of all the matters that Mary talks about so eloquently.
When I consider the multiple consequences to millions of people which is now well established of such inappropriate policy making I would get angry with you face to face.
2020 for me was one of the best years of my life so I have no axe to grind. The loser was my faith in the West.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

That sounds interesting – but what are you actually saying here? That if New Zealand had not closed its borders, not vaccinated anyone, and not tried any kind of measures to reduce spread, the number of dead would still have been the same? In short that no human action could have made any kind of difference to the outcome? I find that very hard to believe. Could you say more clearly what you think we should have done different, and what you think the consequences would have been, to make it easier to make a comparison?

I did make a lightning check on the UK NHS site, just to see if your numbers showed up as raw total numbers, death rates, or what. What I found was:

Deaths involving Influenza and Pneumonia (underlying or secondary cause): 127,575
Deaths due to Influenza and Pneumonia (underlying cause): 21,614
Deaths involving COVID-19 (underlying or secondary cause): 102,554
Deaths due to COVID-19 (underlying cause): 92,913
As you see one could get to very different conclusions by picking either ‘underlying cause’ or ‘underlying or secondary cause’ from the table. Presumably only one of those is the right one to pick, but that makes it very hard for a non-specialist (like me) to make or evaluate conclusions from these numbers.

In short, you may well have an important point here, but I cannot evaluate it without a more detailed description of what the evidence is supposed to be saying, and a professional analysis of the data that I can at least try to read and check for rebuttals. Do you happen to have a link?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

That sounds interesting – but what are you actually saying here? That if New Zealand had not closed its borders, not vaccinated anyone, and not tried any kind of measures to reduce spread, the number of dead would still have been the same? In short that no human action could have made any kind of difference to the outcome? I find that very hard to believe. Could you say more clearly what you think we should have done different, and what you think the consequences would have been, to make it easier to make a comparison?

I did make a lightning check on the UK NHS site, just to see if your numbers showed up as raw total numbers, death rates, or what. What I found was:

Deaths involving Influenza and Pneumonia (underlying or secondary cause): 127,575
Deaths due to Influenza and Pneumonia (underlying cause): 21,614
Deaths involving COVID-19 (underlying or secondary cause): 102,554
Deaths due to COVID-19 (underlying cause): 92,913
As you see one could get to very different conclusions by picking either ‘underlying cause’ or ‘underlying or secondary cause’ from the table. Presumably only one of those is the right one to pick, but that makes it very hard for a non-specialist (like me) to make or evaluate conclusions from these numbers.

In short, you may well have an important point here, but I cannot evaluate it without a more detailed description of what the evidence is supposed to be saying, and a professional analysis of the data that I can at least try to read and check for rebuttals. Do you happen to have a link?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Interesting. I think you may have set a record for largest negative down votes. I don’t recall seeing this many before.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

A daft point that doesn’t even come close to being arithmetically plausible, not to mention the dodgy assumptions that must apply to the rest of it.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Except that has been shown to be a false dichotomy, as in Sweden, Florida and elsewhere! We should have some everything possible to protect the elderly and vulnerable, not lock down by law the entire healthy population, which had never been done in the entire history of dealing with pandemics. The UK, US, the entire western world in fact, made absolutely no effort to do so, indeed quite appallingly seeded covid throughout care homes to help, in our case, ‘protect our (beloved) NHS’. Of course with a pandemic people would have otherwise radically reduced their interactions in a voluntary manner, but crucially this wouldn’t have criminalised seeing your grandchildren, if that were a risk you wanted to take.

I think what happened was quite simple. Governments panicked, decided to shred their existing pandemic plans overnight, with no evidence as to their effectiveness or not, and decided to copy the world’s main totalitarian state, China, which some of them rather admired, at least in part. (This was explicitly acknowledged by Neil Ferguson, he of the dodgy models).

Frankly it is utterly chilling that overnight supposedly democratic and liberal governments could simply abolish all basic liberties (this was unconstitutional I believe in Sweden) and then govern by administrative fiat. They then worked with might and main together with Big Tech corporations to suppress any dissenting voices, especially in the US, as had now been proven beyond doubt by the release of the Twitter files.

For all the many faults of the Tory Party, at least some of its MPs were deeply troubled by this and were ultimately able to curtail the imposition of yet another lockdown when the Omicron variant began circulating. There was by then excellent strong evidence of its mildness from South Africa which was studiously ignored by Whitty, Vallance, SAGE etc. (Of course no one could see any adverse consequences of lockdowns, could they?). None of the other political parties, Labour, the SNP, Lib Dems ever did anything other than demand more intense and longer lockdowns. So with Starmer as PM, we would have had months and months more lockdowns.

By the way, the UK and several other western countries have excess deaths now as high as those at the height of the pandemic, but in this case it is underplayed in stark contrast to the previous covid hysteria. This is very likely caused in major part BY precisely that closing down of society and health services which then took place. It is amusing, but angering, to see the cheerleaders for lockdowns, including the BBC, blithely talking about viruses such as flu having worse effects than they would have, precisely BECAUSE people were so isolated for so long. Not much mea culpa or even reflection on show where there perhaps there ought to be.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yeah, we know, ad nauseum.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers and divines.”

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You waste your time on here. I would have let it run and burn itself out in the warmer weather. I do think however, looking at the news now, financial chaos, no ambulances, fewer nurses, waiting times, interest rates, inflation, businesses closing, unemployment, all we see now would have been then in 2020. Sadly a lot of elderly lost but the huge budget deficit would have been just the same.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Buried in your comments is the one truth about the modern world that horrifies so many if not all of us. It is a truth made known to us by Hegel; namely, there is no such thing as innocence. Like Regan and Cornwall, we aim first for the most precious targets.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well, maybe that final statement could be seen another way: we inflicted decades of poorer quality of life on a generation of the young to give the elderly another few years of decrepitude.

Disputatio Ineptias
Disputatio Ineptias
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Such an uninformed comment.

Alan Bright
Alan Bright
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“100,000 older strangers with pre-existing health problems.” Before vaccinations the average age of death with Covid was, I am told, 82.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I don’t often use this kind of language but you are talking nonsense and that you do not know is deeply troubling.
I am in New Zealand where the rate of Covid deaths after a full vaccination program and a delay of a year to prepare is exactly what Johann Gieseke predicted for all Western Societies. 3 Covid Deaths for 1 flu. England, Sweden, and New Zealand have the same ratio of 3-1. That’s not from cranky conspiracy sites. It’s their own healthcare website.
Even more important is Sweden, the Scandinavian Country which is most like the rest of Europe in terms of interconnectedness as opposed to being remote, has a very creditable excess mortality rate compared to the rest of Europe and pursued “Lagom”, just right taking account of all the matters that Mary talks about so eloquently.
When I consider the multiple consequences to millions of people which is now well established of such inappropriate policy making I would get angry with you face to face.
2020 for me was one of the best years of my life so I have no axe to grind. The loser was my faith in the West.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Interesting. I think you may have set a record for largest negative down votes. I don’t recall seeing this many before.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

A daft point that doesn’t even come close to being arithmetically plausible, not to mention the dodgy assumptions that must apply to the rest of it.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Yes…and all this under the guise of an ideology that insisted, “love is love”. We’d do well to remember that love (like hope) is a theological virtue

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Mary – your article – What a miserable, relative morality, situational ethics, flexible code of honour tale of shame. I cannot believe parent could write such.

Your child and all children were greatly harmed. You justify it, and you let it go. NO. Child abuse on a scale of millions, billions, and you excuse it?

The ones who did this crime against humanity need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The ones complicit, who did it because it was their orders or will (Doctors, teachers,Police) need to sued for the harms they caused till they have lost everything they have as they have made innocent people lose everything by their fas* ist controlling and breaking all the legal rights of society.

”Someone elderly or immune-compromised might say: yes, kids were not at great danger from the virus. But why should the demographics most at risk of severe illness and death be recklessly endangered, for the sake of children with their whole lives ahead of them?”

That ANYONE would say the above – that anyone could say an adult with no dependent on them could sacrifice a child’s well-being for their own is so morally repugnant I cannot understand modern society.

No NO – I refused the mask although it was so much easier to surrender to this horror show of totalitarianism, I refused the vax – because it was Wrong! That the majority went along excused Nothing! The Nuremberg trials proved this. I hope they are gearing up for this exact same kind of trials –

Good health treatments that worked forbidden, Censored totally!ï»ż and very dangerous mRNA experimental treatments said to be safe and effective when they were Neither! Then forced on the people wile denying them treatments which actually work to prevent ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ – A crime against Humanity!
NO – Mary you are 1000% in the wrong with your relativism article excusing child abuse on this epic scale. NO. The ones responsible must be called out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonas Moze
tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Few seem to want to face it but as mad as we went (and we did), any PM but Boris would have been worse. Starmer was looking for more lockdowns after Summer 2021 – remember the “Boris Variant”

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Exactly. An elderly neighbour of ours walked out of his residential place, reasoning that he had had his “three score years and ten” and if death should come for him, then that was no more than might be expected at his time of life and anyway, a few days’ respiratory illness was far preferable than years of lingering decline. To their great credit his family supported him in this.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  ben arnulfssen

If I was that family, I would have viewed supporting his decision as a no-brainer. We must NEVER let the authorities do this again.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  ben arnulfssen

If I was that family, I would have viewed supporting his decision as a no-brainer. We must NEVER let the authorities do this again.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Exceedingly well said.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Some of us have not gone back on what we said back then – me for one.

I should have liked to see the following line from Mary. ‘We loved our children so much that we would sacrifice the lives of 100000 strangers to give them a normal childhood‘.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Yes…and all this under the guise of an ideology that insisted, “love is love”. We’d do well to remember that love (like hope) is a theological virtue

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Mary – your article – What a miserable, relative morality, situational ethics, flexible code of honour tale of shame. I cannot believe parent could write such.

Your child and all children were greatly harmed. You justify it, and you let it go. NO. Child abuse on a scale of millions, billions, and you excuse it?

The ones who did this crime against humanity need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The ones complicit, who did it because it was their orders or will (Doctors, teachers,Police) need to sued for the harms they caused till they have lost everything they have as they have made innocent people lose everything by their fas* ist controlling and breaking all the legal rights of society.

”Someone elderly or immune-compromised might say: yes, kids were not at great danger from the virus. But why should the demographics most at risk of severe illness and death be recklessly endangered, for the sake of children with their whole lives ahead of them?”

That ANYONE would say the above – that anyone could say an adult with no dependent on them could sacrifice a child’s well-being for their own is so morally repugnant I cannot understand modern society.

No NO – I refused the mask although it was so much easier to surrender to this horror show of totalitarianism, I refused the vax – because it was Wrong! That the majority went along excused Nothing! The Nuremberg trials proved this. I hope they are gearing up for this exact same kind of trials –

Good health treatments that worked forbidden, Censored totally!ï»ż and very dangerous mRNA experimental treatments said to be safe and effective when they were Neither! Then forced on the people wile denying them treatments which actually work to prevent ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’ – A crime against Humanity!
NO – Mary you are 1000% in the wrong with your relativism article excusing child abuse on this epic scale. NO. The ones responsible must be called out.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jonas Moze
tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Few seem to want to face it but as mad as we went (and we did), any PM but Boris would have been worse. Starmer was looking for more lockdowns after Summer 2021 – remember the “Boris Variant”

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Exactly. An elderly neighbour of ours walked out of his residential place, reasoning that he had had his “three score years and ten” and if death should come for him, then that was no more than might be expected at his time of life and anyway, a few days’ respiratory illness was far preferable than years of lingering decline. To their great credit his family supported him in this.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucas D

Exceedingly well said.

Lucas D
Lucas D
1 year ago

What a beautiful article.

My wife and I felt so alone in those times. We had 4 month old twins when lockdown arrived. We knew from the start the decision was a terrible one. But no one would brook any criticism. Now, apparently, everyone who scolded us for complaining were against it all along. Who knew.

We went mad as a country. We should talk about it in those terms. And resolve never to do it again.

I love this line: “we refused to defend love in the face of death”. Bravo Mary.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

Mary, who in the name of Baby Jesus can make/give a masked snowman?
Anyway, although I can see where you are coming from, you are being FAR too generous with those in charge and those who went along with it. Without a reckoning of some sort we cannot really move on.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

It will happen again! Mary has – for once- not pointed the finger at and identified the warped credo which determined the lockdown frenzy. It dominates all politics and culture so it is hard to miss. It is the pyschological terror of any form of discrimination. It is the Equality mania/hysteria which forbids ANY act which permits the preferential treatment of one group over another, no matter the wider benefits for society. I remember being stunned when those wretched ‘scientists’ and the Newspeak Propaganda so BBC venomously attacked Great Barrington as ‘eugenic’ in seeking to allow the majority to live normal lives while the tiny numbers of vulnerable (av death 84 remember) were to be shielded Even the welfare of children was expendable and knowingly sacrificed on the altar of this demented non discrimination groupthink. It is more powerful now. So we are powerless to stop further tyrannical over reactions in the future. They have got away with it. Scott free. All of them.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I remember talking to someone about the Great Barrington Declaration and he too complained about the unfairness of isolating seniors. I was stunned. So the better option was to isolate everyone? What sense does that make?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Modern society reminds me of Tolkien’s world, where true evil in the form of Morgoth created his army by corrupting and debasing the fair elves and turning them into the monstrous orcs.

We are seeing all that was good about mankind – notions such as fairness, equality, kindness – being twisted and corrupted, and being used against us, to subvert society and cause harm. The people doing this are not misguided, they are utterly evil.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I completely agree with the sentiment – it very much feels that way! On both (all) sides ironically. But feelings aside, the reality is likely that every human being is moral by their own definition. Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. To Mary’s point – most people lack the capacity for moral reasoning.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Well done. The principle you’re appealing to is known as Hanlon’s Razor

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Well done. The principle you’re appealing to is known as Hanlon’s Razor

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I completely agree with the sentiment – it very much feels that way! On both (all) sides ironically. But feelings aside, the reality is likely that every human being is moral by their own definition. Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. To Mary’s point – most people lack the capacity for moral reasoning.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

If you were a “senior” you would feel differently about isolating seniors. Some of us are fairly healthy because we get out, exercise, get some fresh air and sunlight. And interact with our fellow humans.
A year of quarantine would have killed me. What sense does that make?
What we seem to be talking about is the cultural inability to just do nothing. (The Swedes, who barely reacted, get the prize for reasonableness.) Luckily, here in Brooklyn there was no real lockdown if you didn’t want it, some stores never insisted on masks and most of us spent 2020/21 sitting in the park, watching the kids grow.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Modern society reminds me of Tolkien’s world, where true evil in the form of Morgoth created his army by corrupting and debasing the fair elves and turning them into the monstrous orcs.

We are seeing all that was good about mankind – notions such as fairness, equality, kindness – being twisted and corrupted, and being used against us, to subvert society and cause harm. The people doing this are not misguided, they are utterly evil.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

If you were a “senior” you would feel differently about isolating seniors. Some of us are fairly healthy because we get out, exercise, get some fresh air and sunlight. And interact with our fellow humans.
A year of quarantine would have killed me. What sense does that make?
What we seem to be talking about is the cultural inability to just do nothing. (The Swedes, who barely reacted, get the prize for reasonableness.) Luckily, here in Brooklyn there was no real lockdown if you didn’t want it, some stores never insisted on masks and most of us spent 2020/21 sitting in the park, watching the kids grow.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The problem with the Barrington declaration was not that it is wrong to discriminate. It was that there was no realistic prospect that the shielding would actually work. Too many people were vulnerable and, being vulnerable, they were in close contact with too many others, carers and the like. Justified or not, the Barrington course of action would have killed a lot of people, whatever the proposers said.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Concur RF. The GBD never specified how exactly you’d separate the young from the more senior. One suspects because it was a bit of side-line point scoring and they knew if they actually told us how they’d propose to do it there’d have been howls of outrage. It’s easy to commentate, esp when you can get away with over simplifying a problem, much harder to actually take responsibility for v difficult decisions.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

In actual fact they discussed ‘how’ you would do it. In great detail as I recall. On this platform if I recall. This is when censorship becomes truly pernicious. Reminds me of the show trial in Germany for the general who plotted to overthrow Hitler – they took his uniform from him and forced him to wear rags that were so big he had to hold up his pants from falling down during the trial. Then the German press mocked him for his appearance!

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

In actual fact they discussed ‘how’ you would do it. In great detail as I recall. On this platform if I recall. This is when censorship becomes truly pernicious. Reminds me of the show trial in Germany for the general who plotted to overthrow Hitler – they took his uniform from him and forced him to wear rags that were so big he had to hold up his pants from falling down during the trial. Then the German press mocked him for his appearance!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is of course a debate to be had on GB. You may be right. But this debate was never allowed. Ofcom and BBC banished it from airwaves. The Zero Discrimination mania did for EVERY and all such attempts to challenge full lockdown. Understanding the dqngerous force of this hysteria and groupthink in our meek rulers is the key to unlocking the lockdown catastrophe.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That is simply an assertion; no one seriously tried to do implement CBD principles. Another rather chilling commentary on our time seems to me that you evidence is completely secondary to our ‘virtuous’ feelings whether about covid, climate change or anything else. A comment below said the policy resulted from a fundamental egalitarianism, and this seems very plausible to me. It is better, in that view, to ban the social lives of 65 million people rather than perhaps 1 million!

Actually Mary Harrington wasn’t arguing one way or the other about whether lockdowns were justified or worked, but about trade offs, which were scarcely acknowledged at all by the pro lockdown orthodoxy.

A ‘lot more people’ were not in fact killed in Sweden, so your logic falls down straight away there, though they too made a mess of care homes.

We in fact seeded covid almost deliberately, at least cavalierly through care homes in order to ‘ er… protect hospitals, which as we know didn’t stay protected for long and became themselves main modes of covid transmission.

Something like the GBD measures have now been in fact now largely been implemented in care homes. Staff and patients can be tested regularly and rooms isolated if necessary. This is done by care homes I know of, not only for covid but for norovirus for example. This is not without its ethical problems, but it is a lot better than locking down the whole population by law.

To be fair to the chaotic Johnson government, we had it better than many countries, such as Italy France, where I have friends, where quite ludicrously public parks were closed and exercise effectively prohibited. People were
forced to live in sweltering temperatures in tiny flats for the vast majority of the time, often in multiple generation households! As we can see, hardly anyone died of covid because of those measures – did they?!

Lastly, the government reaction might be seen as plausible and having some arguments for it in rich western nations, but became a monstrous evil absurdity in the developing world, where most people are day labourers and were simply deprived of their livelihoods, which has been an even bigger concern of the GBD authors. Of course so many of our bien pensant virtue signalling Left know nothing and care less about actual poor people living in those countries!

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The Barrington declaration is like anarchism: since it has never been seriously tried, there is no way to prove definitively that it does not work. In either case, I can think of good reasons why no one ever tried to implement it properly.

As for Sweden, it is too easy to cherrypick a country and claim it proves your point. I could compare Sweden to Denmark and use that to ‘prove’ that the Swedish approach was a disaster. The reality is that the problem is too complex to get an answer by a simple two-country comparison.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Give us and it a break Rasmus. Lockdowns weren’t tried either, nor were they in any guide in respect of a respiratory virus.
There were enough of us with logic and nous who had already read early on about the stats coming from the contained environments of the cruise ship Diamond Princess and from Prof Hendrik Streeck about the outbreak in the small town carnival in Germany to give us a good idea about IFR. We said so loudly on these pages ffs.
Besides that, it was published very early on that it was the overweight old people with co-morbidities who were most at risk.
Just admit you were wrong.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

What about choosing Florida if you don’t like the Sweden argument? Lots and lots of old, overweight people with co-morbidities there.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Anarchy is the null hypothesis. Anarchism is an ideology that, far from being “never seriously tried,” may be the best label for the system Mary is critiquing here. Call it “actually existing anarchism”!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan B

That has nothing to do with COVID but it sounds interesting. Could you elaborate?

My understanding of anarchism is that there should be no structures, no procedures, no power relations, no government or organisation, and that you can rely on people doing the right things for everyone – unprompted. I do not think that this has even been tried seriously as an organising principle for a society. Has that been tried? Or do you mean something else?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan B

That has nothing to do with COVID but it sounds interesting. Could you elaborate?

My understanding of anarchism is that there should be no structures, no procedures, no power relations, no government or organisation, and that you can rely on people doing the right things for everyone – unprompted. I do not think that this has even been tried seriously as an organising principle for a society. Has that been tried? Or do you mean something else?

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

At this point the death toll in Sweden is sort of average for the post industrial nations. The amount of societal upset, though, is much lower. I don’t think they ever closed the elementary schools.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Give us and it a break Rasmus. Lockdowns weren’t tried either, nor were they in any guide in respect of a respiratory virus.
There were enough of us with logic and nous who had already read early on about the stats coming from the contained environments of the cruise ship Diamond Princess and from Prof Hendrik Streeck about the outbreak in the small town carnival in Germany to give us a good idea about IFR. We said so loudly on these pages ffs.
Besides that, it was published very early on that it was the overweight old people with co-morbidities who were most at risk.
Just admit you were wrong.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

What about choosing Florida if you don’t like the Sweden argument? Lots and lots of old, overweight people with co-morbidities there.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Anarchy is the null hypothesis. Anarchism is an ideology that, far from being “never seriously tried,” may be the best label for the system Mary is critiquing here. Call it “actually existing anarchism”!

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

At this point the death toll in Sweden is sort of average for the post industrial nations. The amount of societal upset, though, is much lower. I don’t think they ever closed the elementary schools.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The Barrington declaration is like anarchism: since it has never been seriously tried, there is no way to prove definitively that it does not work. In either case, I can think of good reasons why no one ever tried to implement it properly.

As for Sweden, it is too easy to cherrypick a country and claim it proves your point. I could compare Sweden to Denmark and use that to ‘prove’ that the Swedish approach was a disaster. The reality is that the problem is too complex to get an answer by a simple two-country comparison.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

… the Barrington course of action would have killed a lot of people …

A lot of people die in transport, road traffic accidents, for example. But we carry on with transport, because national life requires it.

But whereas people of all ages die in transport accidents, the people most likely to die of Covid were overwhelmingly 80+. In other words, they were near the natural end of their lives. The simplest internet search shows the figures which make this clear.

And they died, they weren’t ‘killed’.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Not making the connection here WD.
Firstly we don’t know what would have happened if GBD implemented instead of broader Lockdown because it’s proponents never defined how it’d work. They keep hiding behind generalities. Folks need to come off the fence and outline how would they have separated the young and old. Suspicion is they don’t because their contention would unravel.
Your second point is about broader accidents – fact was Hospitals (in UK at least and in part because we have underinvested in capacity) were overwhelmed and couldn’t treat the normal emergencies unless the Covid wave abated.
Finally the point about it killed predominantly those over 80 – yes this is true but a hindsight observation, and in part it’s because of all the action that was taken. Remember in the UK our PM ended up in Intensive care. Had that capacity been overwhelmed and no room for him he would have died. He wasn’t 80yrs of age and he wasn’t unique. Had we done nothing there would have no room for him by time he got Covid (obviously as PM he’d have been found a bed but you get the point). People forgot the nature of the virus was not well understood initially – it was killing/making serious ill some whilst others seemed completely unaffected.
Clearly the Policy decisions have affected many of us, kids potentially more so. But it’s a bit early for full historical perspective on this. Let’s see how China gets on too

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Not making the connection here WD.
Firstly we don’t know what would have happened if GBD implemented instead of broader Lockdown because it’s proponents never defined how it’d work. They keep hiding behind generalities. Folks need to come off the fence and outline how would they have separated the young and old. Suspicion is they don’t because their contention would unravel.
Your second point is about broader accidents – fact was Hospitals (in UK at least and in part because we have underinvested in capacity) were overwhelmed and couldn’t treat the normal emergencies unless the Covid wave abated.
Finally the point about it killed predominantly those over 80 – yes this is true but a hindsight observation, and in part it’s because of all the action that was taken. Remember in the UK our PM ended up in Intensive care. Had that capacity been overwhelmed and no room for him he would have died. He wasn’t 80yrs of age and he wasn’t unique. Had we done nothing there would have no room for him by time he got Covid (obviously as PM he’d have been found a bed but you get the point). People forgot the nature of the virus was not well understood initially – it was killing/making serious ill some whilst others seemed completely unaffected.
Clearly the Policy decisions have affected many of us, kids potentially more so. But it’s a bit early for full historical perspective on this. Let’s see how China gets on too

Jane McCarthy
Jane McCarthy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“..I am not asking for proof (no one could prove this either way), but can you show me enough evidence to show that your view is most likely?”

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane McCarthy

Well, I can give you the argument. First, people start getting vulnerable at around age 60, to which you must add all the diabetics and people with a lot of other diseases below that age. If you wanted to protect them all, you would be in the tens of millions who need to be isolated from society – which is impossible. If you only protect the weakest and over-80, that leaves the 60- and 70-year-olds with over 1% death rate and no protection.

Then, sticking to the oldest and weakest, they generally are in contact with a lot of carers, nurses, cleaners, not to speak of familiy visits which a lot of people strongly object to curtailing. They need constant help, after all. If their carers get COVID, it will likely be passed on. So the carers would have to be in the isolation bubble too – which is hardly realistic in large numbers. You could do some kind of partial lockdown on all the carers (which would not be popular), but you are still talking about people who do have quite a few contacts to others – in the middle of a raging epidemic of a highly contagious disease that can be passed on before any symptoms show. After all, the plan is to let the disease run free until everybody not in a protection bubble has had it.

Someone compared the Barrington plan to sitting in the middle of raging fireand trying to keep an open bowl of gasoline from burning – without any attempt to put the fire out. That is probably an exaggeration. Still, it does not sound to me like the protection of the vulnerable is likely to be very effective. In fact I suspect that much of it would be mere security theatre – like a flammable fire safety curtain. Measures to make everybody feel like they something is being done to protect them, even though nobody who understands things expect it to actually work.

It is going to be a hard problem whatever you do, but trying to keep the rate of spread low by lockdowns etc., combined with test-and-trace and some special isolation measures for the most vulnerable sounds more likely to be effective.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane McCarthy

Well, I can give you the argument. First, people start getting vulnerable at around age 60, to which you must add all the diabetics and people with a lot of other diseases below that age. If you wanted to protect them all, you would be in the tens of millions who need to be isolated from society – which is impossible. If you only protect the weakest and over-80, that leaves the 60- and 70-year-olds with over 1% death rate and no protection.

Then, sticking to the oldest and weakest, they generally are in contact with a lot of carers, nurses, cleaners, not to speak of familiy visits which a lot of people strongly object to curtailing. They need constant help, after all. If their carers get COVID, it will likely be passed on. So the carers would have to be in the isolation bubble too – which is hardly realistic in large numbers. You could do some kind of partial lockdown on all the carers (which would not be popular), but you are still talking about people who do have quite a few contacts to others – in the middle of a raging epidemic of a highly contagious disease that can be passed on before any symptoms show. After all, the plan is to let the disease run free until everybody not in a protection bubble has had it.

Someone compared the Barrington plan to sitting in the middle of raging fireand trying to keep an open bowl of gasoline from burning – without any attempt to put the fire out. That is probably an exaggeration. Still, it does not sound to me like the protection of the vulnerable is likely to be very effective. In fact I suspect that much of it would be mere security theatre – like a flammable fire safety curtain. Measures to make everybody feel like they something is being done to protect them, even though nobody who understands things expect it to actually work.

It is going to be a hard problem whatever you do, but trying to keep the rate of spread low by lockdowns etc., combined with test-and-trace and some special isolation measures for the most vulnerable sounds more likely to be effective.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The idea that Covid “would have killed a lot of people” without lockdown is exactly the evidence-free assertion that caused the problem.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Concur RF. The GBD never specified how exactly you’d separate the young from the more senior. One suspects because it was a bit of side-line point scoring and they knew if they actually told us how they’d propose to do it there’d have been howls of outrage. It’s easy to commentate, esp when you can get away with over simplifying a problem, much harder to actually take responsibility for v difficult decisions.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is of course a debate to be had on GB. You may be right. But this debate was never allowed. Ofcom and BBC banished it from airwaves. The Zero Discrimination mania did for EVERY and all such attempts to challenge full lockdown. Understanding the dqngerous force of this hysteria and groupthink in our meek rulers is the key to unlocking the lockdown catastrophe.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That is simply an assertion; no one seriously tried to do implement CBD principles. Another rather chilling commentary on our time seems to me that you evidence is completely secondary to our ‘virtuous’ feelings whether about covid, climate change or anything else. A comment below said the policy resulted from a fundamental egalitarianism, and this seems very plausible to me. It is better, in that view, to ban the social lives of 65 million people rather than perhaps 1 million!

Actually Mary Harrington wasn’t arguing one way or the other about whether lockdowns were justified or worked, but about trade offs, which were scarcely acknowledged at all by the pro lockdown orthodoxy.

A ‘lot more people’ were not in fact killed in Sweden, so your logic falls down straight away there, though they too made a mess of care homes.

We in fact seeded covid almost deliberately, at least cavalierly through care homes in order to ‘ er… protect hospitals, which as we know didn’t stay protected for long and became themselves main modes of covid transmission.

Something like the GBD measures have now been in fact now largely been implemented in care homes. Staff and patients can be tested regularly and rooms isolated if necessary. This is done by care homes I know of, not only for covid but for norovirus for example. This is not without its ethical problems, but it is a lot better than locking down the whole population by law.

To be fair to the chaotic Johnson government, we had it better than many countries, such as Italy France, where I have friends, where quite ludicrously public parks were closed and exercise effectively prohibited. People were
forced to live in sweltering temperatures in tiny flats for the vast majority of the time, often in multiple generation households! As we can see, hardly anyone died of covid because of those measures – did they?!

Lastly, the government reaction might be seen as plausible and having some arguments for it in rich western nations, but became a monstrous evil absurdity in the developing world, where most people are day labourers and were simply deprived of their livelihoods, which has been an even bigger concern of the GBD authors. Of course so many of our bien pensant virtue signalling Left know nothing and care less about actual poor people living in those countries!

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

… the Barrington course of action would have killed a lot of people …

A lot of people die in transport, road traffic accidents, for example. But we carry on with transport, because national life requires it.

But whereas people of all ages die in transport accidents, the people most likely to die of Covid were overwhelmingly 80+. In other words, they were near the natural end of their lives. The simplest internet search shows the figures which make this clear.

And they died, they weren’t ‘killed’.

Jane McCarthy
Jane McCarthy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“..I am not asking for proof (no one could prove this either way), but can you show me enough evidence to show that your view is most likely?”

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The idea that Covid “would have killed a lot of people” without lockdown is exactly the evidence-free assertion that caused the problem.

Bruce Luffman
Bruce Luffman
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I agree with you WM; Mary has been too generous in spirit towards the perpetrators. They were the pseudo scientists acting as modellers, behavioral scientists(!), politicians with totalitarian power ideology and corrupt pharmaceutical companies. I say ‘corrupt’ because they knew their rushed-through vaccines would not stop transmission or stop the infection especially with 10 months of tests and not the normal 10 years. I am a retired farmer and not a epidermiologist but even I was able to email my young Tory MP and lay out in detail what would be the outcome if we lockdown – this was not after the event but the 3rd week of March 2020 …… and it all came to pass and I take no pride in being right.

Bella OConnell
Bella OConnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. This whole debacle fragmented families even more than Brexit. We are still living with the aftermath of all of this, and no-one in my social circle who had an opposing view to mine is giving those of us that supported the Great Barrington Declaration and all it stood for, even a glimmer of recognition for being right in so many aspects, let alone an apology for the way we have been vilified, our jobs put on the line, our social movements curtailed, and the extreme loneliness many of us felt. This apathy and head-in-the-sand approach concerns me greatly. The Planet Normal podcast has seen many of us through and deserve praise for their wonderfully researched and courageous reporting on the pandemic.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I remember talking to someone about the Great Barrington Declaration and he too complained about the unfairness of isolating seniors. I was stunned. So the better option was to isolate everyone? What sense does that make?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The problem with the Barrington declaration was not that it is wrong to discriminate. It was that there was no realistic prospect that the shielding would actually work. Too many people were vulnerable and, being vulnerable, they were in close contact with too many others, carers and the like. Justified or not, the Barrington course of action would have killed a lot of people, whatever the proposers said.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rasmus Fogh
Bruce Luffman
Bruce Luffman
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I agree with you WM; Mary has been too generous in spirit towards the perpetrators. They were the pseudo scientists acting as modellers, behavioral scientists(!), politicians with totalitarian power ideology and corrupt pharmaceutical companies. I say ‘corrupt’ because they knew their rushed-through vaccines would not stop transmission or stop the infection especially with 10 months of tests and not the normal 10 years. I am a retired farmer and not a epidermiologist but even I was able to email my young Tory MP and lay out in detail what would be the outcome if we lockdown – this was not after the event but the 3rd week of March 2020 …… and it all came to pass and I take no pride in being right.

Bella OConnell
Bella OConnell
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. This whole debacle fragmented families even more than Brexit. We are still living with the aftermath of all of this, and no-one in my social circle who had an opposing view to mine is giving those of us that supported the Great Barrington Declaration and all it stood for, even a glimmer of recognition for being right in so many aspects, let alone an apology for the way we have been vilified, our jobs put on the line, our social movements curtailed, and the extreme loneliness many of us felt. This apathy and head-in-the-sand approach concerns me greatly. The Planet Normal podcast has seen many of us through and deserve praise for their wonderfully researched and courageous reporting on the pandemic.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Arkadian, the very best illustration of what Mary excuses was a picture of an old man with a baby in one of those carriers that hold a baby against ones chest in a sling with their face inwards, and their back to the outside –

The line under it was:

COVID Stab Vest.

And that is exactly what lockdown and the vax were – ONLY they did not even work – so it was morally obscene – and pointless!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

It will happen again! Mary has – for once- not pointed the finger at and identified the warped credo which determined the lockdown frenzy. It dominates all politics and culture so it is hard to miss. It is the pyschological terror of any form of discrimination. It is the Equality mania/hysteria which forbids ANY act which permits the preferential treatment of one group over another, no matter the wider benefits for society. I remember being stunned when those wretched ‘scientists’ and the Newspeak Propaganda so BBC venomously attacked Great Barrington as ‘eugenic’ in seeking to allow the majority to live normal lives while the tiny numbers of vulnerable (av death 84 remember) were to be shielded Even the welfare of children was expendable and knowingly sacrificed on the altar of this demented non discrimination groupthink. It is more powerful now. So we are powerless to stop further tyrannical over reactions in the future. They have got away with it. Scott free. All of them.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Arkadian, the very best illustration of what Mary excuses was a picture of an old man with a baby in one of those carriers that hold a baby against ones chest in a sling with their face inwards, and their back to the outside –

The line under it was:

COVID Stab Vest.

And that is exactly what lockdown and the vax were – ONLY they did not even work – so it was morally obscene – and pointless!

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

Mary, who in the name of Baby Jesus can make/give a masked snowman?
Anyway, although I can see where you are coming from, you are being FAR too generous with those in charge and those who went along with it. Without a reckoning of some sort we cannot really move on.

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago

In an interview, right at the beginning of the so-called pandemic, Stanford professor John Ioannidis warned that we were making far-reaching decisions with potentially devastating economic and psychological implications on insufficient data. YouTube took it down. In a Substack post also near the beginning the Naked Emperor reported that research indicated the most effective nudge for compliance, was altruism (doing it for granny). Hard not to be cynical.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

John Ioannidis was right, not for the first time. We were making far-reaching decisions with potentially devastating economic and psychological implications on insufficient data. The problem is that the decisions needed taking urgently, as in right now, and there was no time to wait for better data to come along. That being so, it is at least understandable if there was some official suppression of people who try to undermine compliance with health policy at the start of a pandemic.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

When I was training in emergency response, I clearly remember one graph which showed time, and subsequently amount of information, along the X-axis and scope for action along the Y-axis; as time went by there was far less room for manoeuvre as the emergency got worse, it is the job of an emergency controller to decide when enough information is available and to act. The very last nugget of wisdom we were given was – when all is done and dusted, no matter what you did you will have been wrong. All those people who did not have to make decisions based on the limited kowledge you had at the time and now with all the information available will be telling you what you should have done.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
1 year ago

Isn’t that because we default to outsourcing responsibility to external authorities? Trying to stop a virus is like asking Canute to turn back the tide. Expecting governments to save us with sweeping policies rather than taking responsibility for our own health is always going to result in disappointment and blame.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
1 year ago

Isn’t that because we default to outsourcing responsibility to external authorities? Trying to stop a virus is like asking Canute to turn back the tide. Expecting governments to save us with sweeping policies rather than taking responsibility for our own health is always going to result in disappointment and blame.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

So why does the suppression continue to this day? That’s called corruption.

M L Hamilton Anderson
M L Hamilton Anderson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

That’s called a vacuum of basic Year 9 biology knowledge.

Last edited 1 year ago by M L Hamilton Anderson
M L Hamilton Anderson
M L Hamilton Anderson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

That’s called a vacuum of basic Year 9 biology knowledge.

Last edited 1 year ago by M L Hamilton Anderson
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

When I was training in emergency response, I clearly remember one graph which showed time, and subsequently amount of information, along the X-axis and scope for action along the Y-axis; as time went by there was far less room for manoeuvre as the emergency got worse, it is the job of an emergency controller to decide when enough information is available and to act. The very last nugget of wisdom we were given was – when all is done and dusted, no matter what you did you will have been wrong. All those people who did not have to make decisions based on the limited kowledge you had at the time and now with all the information available will be telling you what you should have done.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

So why does the suppression continue to this day? That’s called corruption.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Youtube, Facebook, Google, Gates, and Twitter are the very face of Evil – how they handle themselves over Covid and everything else. Evil!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

John Ioannidis was right, not for the first time. We were making far-reaching decisions with potentially devastating economic and psychological implications on insufficient data. The problem is that the decisions needed taking urgently, as in right now, and there was no time to wait for better data to come along. That being so, it is at least understandable if there was some official suppression of people who try to undermine compliance with health policy at the start of a pandemic.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  Hendrik Mentz

Youtube, Facebook, Google, Gates, and Twitter are the very face of Evil – how they handle themselves over Covid and everything else. Evil!

Hendrik Mentz
Hendrik Mentz
1 year ago

In an interview, right at the beginning of the so-called pandemic, Stanford professor John Ioannidis warned that we were making far-reaching decisions with potentially devastating economic and psychological implications on insufficient data. YouTube took it down. In a Substack post also near the beginning the Naked Emperor reported that research indicated the most effective nudge for compliance, was altruism (doing it for granny). Hard not to be cynical.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Amen, Mary. We truly have lost our capacity for moral reasoning, and so to act morally. Much like the fictional Captain Kirk, who as a cadet, is faced with a command simulation where he has to decide whether to risk his ship and all the lives on it in order to attempt to rescue the crew of a ship in distress in enemy territory. The purpose of the test was to force the cadet to make a moral choice – which was not to gamble with the lives of his own crew, even knowing he might have been able to save others. But Captain Kirk cheats – he reprograms the simulator to permit a solution where he can rescue the people in distress without losing his own ship. This is the ‘moral’ lesson in nearly every movie and tv show of our modern age – you don’t have to make a hard moral choice – you save everyone. What could be more virtuous? And this was the morality of the pandemic – we saved everyone, but only by cheating – and we continue to cheat by pretending that nothing we did caused any harm.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Brilliant comment!

Diana Holder
Diana Holder
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Indeed we didn’t save everyone.
People with missed cancer diagnosis, people who missed several rounds of chemo because the hospital was closed to all regular patients.
People who’ve fallen into depression.
Care home residents, miserably unvisited.
Thousands of kids who fell out of the school system.
Not saved.
I understand how authorities got bounced into the first lockdown, but not its duration – and the second one and other restrictions was just them doubling down.

Last edited 1 year ago by Diana Holder
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Holder

The tragedy is undeniable – but how many chemo appointments do you think there woudl have been if if had let the pandemic run free and the hospitals were spilling over with COVID patients? The blame lies with the virus, not the decision makers.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Diana Holder

The tragedy is undeniable – but how many chemo appointments do you think there woudl have been if if had let the pandemic run free and the hospitals were spilling over with COVID patients? The blame lies with the virus, not the decision makers.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Brilliant comment!

Diana Holder
Diana Holder
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Indeed we didn’t save everyone.
People with missed cancer diagnosis, people who missed several rounds of chemo because the hospital was closed to all regular patients.
People who’ve fallen into depression.
Care home residents, miserably unvisited.
Thousands of kids who fell out of the school system.
Not saved.
I understand how authorities got bounced into the first lockdown, but not its duration – and the second one and other restrictions was just them doubling down.

Last edited 1 year ago by Diana Holder
Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Amen, Mary. We truly have lost our capacity for moral reasoning, and so to act morally. Much like the fictional Captain Kirk, who as a cadet, is faced with a command simulation where he has to decide whether to risk his ship and all the lives on it in order to attempt to rescue the crew of a ship in distress in enemy territory. The purpose of the test was to force the cadet to make a moral choice – which was not to gamble with the lives of his own crew, even knowing he might have been able to save others. But Captain Kirk cheats – he reprograms the simulator to permit a solution where he can rescue the people in distress without losing his own ship. This is the ‘moral’ lesson in nearly every movie and tv show of our modern age – you don’t have to make a hard moral choice – you save everyone. What could be more virtuous? And this was the morality of the pandemic – we saved everyone, but only by cheating – and we continue to cheat by pretending that nothing we did caused any harm.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Without inquiries and trials I am not moving on from 2020. Our leadership shattered the country on the altar of ‘the science’ and destroyed the lives of countless people with little justification.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

Without inquiries and trials I am not moving on from 2020. Our leadership shattered the country on the altar of ‘the science’ and destroyed the lives of countless people with little justification.

Charles Corn
Charles Corn
1 year ago

Lovely, thoughtful piece.

‘What of the children, now toddlers, who didn’t interact with anyone other than their parents for months or even years of their earliest life, and are now developmentally delayed on a raft of measures compared to previous cohorts?’

My second son was born 10 weeks early in the first week of lockdown. Usually parents decamp to the NICU and live by their preemie’s side until they’re ready to come home, and family can come and visit. Not in lockdown – one parent was allowed for 90 minutes a day. That’s it. For 7 weeks my poor boy didn’t interact with anyone but masked nurses and doctors, and a short daily cuddle with one parent. He’s turned out fine but there were children there with much more complex difficulties- I do worry about them.

David Lonsdale
David Lonsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Corn

A lady with a young child in a buggy was working on an allotment close to mine. When she had done and was walking past me she stopped to chat briefly. The child looked at me and howled. “I’m so sorry” the lady said “but he is terrified of any adult he sees without a mask!”

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lonsdale

That’s really, really disturbing.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lonsdale

Unless that lady wore masks at home I find this story hard to believe personally

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So do I. My kid was fine. No one wore masks in the parks outside round here or anything, or on their allotments.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Same, the only time my kids saw a mask was at the supermarket. It was the exception rather than the norm for them so I find it hard to believe a child would be scared by a face

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Exactly! And everyone took them off outside the shops in town, the majority were not wearing them in the high street and such here. Mine was 3, I don’t like people going ott about the kids, we did loads of fun stuff, made it as normal as poss then went out loads to make up for it, I never made her wear a mask cos little ones were exempt, I think mines OK 🙂

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Exactly! And everyone took them off outside the shops in town, the majority were not wearing them in the high street and such here. Mine was 3, I don’t like people going ott about the kids, we did loads of fun stuff, made it as normal as poss then went out loads to make up for it, I never made her wear a mask cos little ones were exempt, I think mines OK 🙂

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Same, the only time my kids saw a mask was at the supermarket. It was the exception rather than the norm for them so I find it hard to believe a child would be scared by a face

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So do I. My kid was fine. No one wore masks in the parks outside round here or anything, or on their allotments.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lonsdale

That’s really, really disturbing.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  David Lonsdale

Unless that lady wore masks at home I find this story hard to believe personally

David Lonsdale
David Lonsdale
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles Corn

A lady with a young child in a buggy was working on an allotment close to mine. When she had done and was walking past me she stopped to chat briefly. The child looked at me and howled. “I’m so sorry” the lady said “but he is terrified of any adult he sees without a mask!”

Charles Corn
Charles Corn
1 year ago

Lovely, thoughtful piece.

‘What of the children, now toddlers, who didn’t interact with anyone other than their parents for months or even years of their earliest life, and are now developmentally delayed on a raft of measures compared to previous cohorts?’

My second son was born 10 weeks early in the first week of lockdown. Usually parents decamp to the NICU and live by their preemie’s side until they’re ready to come home, and family can come and visit. Not in lockdown – one parent was allowed for 90 minutes a day. That’s it. For 7 weeks my poor boy didn’t interact with anyone but masked nurses and doctors, and a short daily cuddle with one parent. He’s turned out fine but there were children there with much more complex difficulties- I do worry about them.

Richard Abbot
Richard Abbot
1 year ago

Leftism brought us lockdowns. Under Leftism everyone must be in the same boat, even if that boat is sinking.

Richard Abbot
Richard Abbot
1 year ago

Leftism brought us lockdowns. Under Leftism everyone must be in the same boat, even if that boat is sinking.

Suzanne Chiasson
Suzanne Chiasson
1 year ago

This is a wonderful, timely article. When my husband and I made the decision to see our grandchildren regardless of any risks (we were 59, in decent health) our son-in-law actually said to our daughter “as long as you’re comfortable with killing your parents.” She had four sons, 8 and under, including a baby, and was extremely isolated. He exhibited what we considered paranoid fear but what was actually closer to the norm in America. She wasn’t allowed to see friends, except occasionally outside at a distance wearing masks. It seemed idiotic and dangerous to us, the long term effects of prolonged fear of other people on children has to be greater than the risk to the elderly, like it or not we are all going to die. It became a major stressor in their marriage and communicated that stress to the children. Naturally they were on opposite sides of the vaccine debate.
Playgrounds here were closed for a long time, with yellow tape as if a crime had been ( or was about to be) committed. When our neighborhood playground’s tape had either been removed or blown away we took the two toddlers there. The older had been a socially astute, outgoing child. Another mom arrived with two children, thrilled to find unmasked humans who would actually sit and talk to her. My grandsons behaved as if they were terrified of the other children. They wouldn’t climb on the large gym if the other children were on it, even 25 feet away.
The fear among the elderly seems from my limited perspective to be strongly influenced by religious faith. Our Latin Mass community, which has many elderly members as well as young families, returned to church as soon as it was permitted. Most were anti Covid vaccination. Our culture has an unhealthy fear of death, not accepting it as a natural and inevitable end of each while urging unnatural and ill considered suicide on the vulnerable but very much alive. People have lost all sense of irony.

Suzanne Chiasson
Suzanne Chiasson
1 year ago

This is a wonderful, timely article. When my husband and I made the decision to see our grandchildren regardless of any risks (we were 59, in decent health) our son-in-law actually said to our daughter “as long as you’re comfortable with killing your parents.” She had four sons, 8 and under, including a baby, and was extremely isolated. He exhibited what we considered paranoid fear but what was actually closer to the norm in America. She wasn’t allowed to see friends, except occasionally outside at a distance wearing masks. It seemed idiotic and dangerous to us, the long term effects of prolonged fear of other people on children has to be greater than the risk to the elderly, like it or not we are all going to die. It became a major stressor in their marriage and communicated that stress to the children. Naturally they were on opposite sides of the vaccine debate.
Playgrounds here were closed for a long time, with yellow tape as if a crime had been ( or was about to be) committed. When our neighborhood playground’s tape had either been removed or blown away we took the two toddlers there. The older had been a socially astute, outgoing child. Another mom arrived with two children, thrilled to find unmasked humans who would actually sit and talk to her. My grandsons behaved as if they were terrified of the other children. They wouldn’t climb on the large gym if the other children were on it, even 25 feet away.
The fear among the elderly seems from my limited perspective to be strongly influenced by religious faith. Our Latin Mass community, which has many elderly members as well as young families, returned to church as soon as it was permitted. Most were anti Covid vaccination. Our culture has an unhealthy fear of death, not accepting it as a natural and inevitable end of each while urging unnatural and ill considered suicide on the vulnerable but very much alive. People have lost all sense of irony.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

A society which lacks an authoritative, binding moral framework and backbone is vulnerable to attack by outsiders interested in exploiting and weakening it for their own ends. The CCP observed how weak and lost we were and, given a golden opportunity that “covid” presented, they pounced. In their world, might is right and all they care about is power for power’s sake. Communists never value scientific truth and progress as an intrinsic good but only as an instrument to obtain and maintain their own power and ideology.

But what is so important to understand is that the powerful people – the aging Davos set terrified of their own mortality and the younger wannabe “global leaders” who surround them – in the West are not, generally, evil communists. But they also have an ambivalent relationship with truth and many of them have communistic, utilitarian, leanings that an absence of spiritual and moral purpose can allow to sprout and grow like an aggressive knotweed. Many seem to have convinced themselves that they need, for the greater good, to maintain “trust” in the failing, fallen institutions that they lead, and doing so means avoiding any accountability for the horrendous mistakes that they made – especially the ones they were conned into making by the liars in power in Beijing. So they can only double down on the errors, refusing to acknowledge the enormous economic, political, and physical harms done by interventions of all descriptions. They’ve bet the farm, and there is no going back.

Which leaves the rest of us exposed. The WHO – with support of both the lying eastern Communists and the cowardly western Technocrats – is pushing ahead with a pandemic treaty that will empower the Communist in charge until at least 2027 to declare another “pandemic” and bind our so-called leaders into whatever he tells them to do next, with little or no regard for actual truth or for morality (at least not in the way any western civilisation understands it). To oppose it would mean admitting that the global institutions are rotten, and shine a bright light on the corruption at national level that has supported them. There are just too many vested interests – the pharma and tech lobby has captured the WHO and national regulators & politicians, and too many half-decent but weak-willed people are too dependent on the perpetuation of lies and silence for their material well-being and comfort for them to do anything meaningful about it.

And so on it goes, with no-one in a real position of leadership and authority willing to open their eyes and stand up and try and get off the bus that they know is heading full speed off a cliff. All that any of us can do is keeping calling it out, stay humble, speak what we perceive to be the objective truth as best we can, but most of all do not willingly submit to the machine out of fear, laziness, or greed. It cannot get you if you do not consent. It’s all going to come crashing down sooner or later and you’ll want to be on the right side it when it does.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

A society which lacks an authoritative, binding moral framework and backbone is vulnerable to attack by outsiders interested in exploiting and weakening it for their own ends. The CCP observed how weak and lost we were and, given a golden opportunity that “covid” presented, they pounced. In their world, might is right and all they care about is power for power’s sake. Communists never value scientific truth and progress as an intrinsic good but only as an instrument to obtain and maintain their own power and ideology.

But what is so important to understand is that the powerful people – the aging Davos set terrified of their own mortality and the younger wannabe “global leaders” who surround them – in the West are not, generally, evil communists. But they also have an ambivalent relationship with truth and many of them have communistic, utilitarian, leanings that an absence of spiritual and moral purpose can allow to sprout and grow like an aggressive knotweed. Many seem to have convinced themselves that they need, for the greater good, to maintain “trust” in the failing, fallen institutions that they lead, and doing so means avoiding any accountability for the horrendous mistakes that they made – especially the ones they were conned into making by the liars in power in Beijing. So they can only double down on the errors, refusing to acknowledge the enormous economic, political, and physical harms done by interventions of all descriptions. They’ve bet the farm, and there is no going back.

Which leaves the rest of us exposed. The WHO – with support of both the lying eastern Communists and the cowardly western Technocrats – is pushing ahead with a pandemic treaty that will empower the Communist in charge until at least 2027 to declare another “pandemic” and bind our so-called leaders into whatever he tells them to do next, with little or no regard for actual truth or for morality (at least not in the way any western civilisation understands it). To oppose it would mean admitting that the global institutions are rotten, and shine a bright light on the corruption at national level that has supported them. There are just too many vested interests – the pharma and tech lobby has captured the WHO and national regulators & politicians, and too many half-decent but weak-willed people are too dependent on the perpetuation of lies and silence for their material well-being and comfort for them to do anything meaningful about it.

And so on it goes, with no-one in a real position of leadership and authority willing to open their eyes and stand up and try and get off the bus that they know is heading full speed off a cliff. All that any of us can do is keeping calling it out, stay humble, speak what we perceive to be the objective truth as best we can, but most of all do not willingly submit to the machine out of fear, laziness, or greed. It cannot get you if you do not consent. It’s all going to come crashing down sooner or later and you’ll want to be on the right side it when it does.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago

1) It’s impossible to have TOTAL lockdowns. We had partial lockdowns.
2) The virus is airborne and can infect people over distances of up to 40 metres. – So much for the 2 meter rule. And don’t forget about the ridiculous handwashing!
3) There is not a scintilla of scientific evidence anywhere that shows that mask wearing (in normal day to day use) reduces transmission of airborne viruses. On the contrary there is overwhelming evidence that those wearing masks can get Covid just as easily as those going about unmasked.

So overall what did the wretched partial lockdowns achieve?
We had many millions of doctors, nurses, ambulance crews and care workers (mainly dealing with the most vulnerable) together with postmen, police, and other essential workers milling around spreading the virus across society. When the immediate family of all those essential workers are added up there were, throughout the pandemic, 10 of millions of people circulating capable of spreading the virus. And what actually transpired? Almost 100% of the population were exposed to the virus at one time or another. DESPITE THE PARTIAL LOCKDOWNS.

The ‘lockdowns’ were a ‘sick joke’ -beyond pathetic!

All that was achieved was the worst of all possible worlds – the destruction of social life and of many livelihoods at vast cost to achieve NO BENEFIT WHATSOEVER.
On the other hand, the harms done to society are now shown to be truly appalling.

The sheer ineptitude of the WHO and the various medical bureaucracies across the world is truly mind blowing. The fact that in the year of Our Lord 2020 they didn’t know how bog standard respiratory viruses spread will go down in history as conclusive evidence of their criminal incompetence.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago

1) It’s impossible to have TOTAL lockdowns. We had partial lockdowns.
2) The virus is airborne and can infect people over distances of up to 40 metres. – So much for the 2 meter rule. And don’t forget about the ridiculous handwashing!
3) There is not a scintilla of scientific evidence anywhere that shows that mask wearing (in normal day to day use) reduces transmission of airborne viruses. On the contrary there is overwhelming evidence that those wearing masks can get Covid just as easily as those going about unmasked.

So overall what did the wretched partial lockdowns achieve?
We had many millions of doctors, nurses, ambulance crews and care workers (mainly dealing with the most vulnerable) together with postmen, police, and other essential workers milling around spreading the virus across society. When the immediate family of all those essential workers are added up there were, throughout the pandemic, 10 of millions of people circulating capable of spreading the virus. And what actually transpired? Almost 100% of the population were exposed to the virus at one time or another. DESPITE THE PARTIAL LOCKDOWNS.

The ‘lockdowns’ were a ‘sick joke’ -beyond pathetic!

All that was achieved was the worst of all possible worlds – the destruction of social life and of many livelihoods at vast cost to achieve NO BENEFIT WHATSOEVER.
On the other hand, the harms done to society are now shown to be truly appalling.

The sheer ineptitude of the WHO and the various medical bureaucracies across the world is truly mind blowing. The fact that in the year of Our Lord 2020 they didn’t know how bog standard respiratory viruses spread will go down in history as conclusive evidence of their criminal incompetence.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

Given a choice between death today and depression tomorrow politicians chose the latter.
Given another pandemic they’d most likely do the same again
 no matter how loudly you squeal and use hindsight to justify your position.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

And that’s the crux of it. In those early days when every single media outlet was screaming for government to “Do Something” who, in any position of influence, would’ve been able to make a call by second-guessing the consequences of the virus – still at that stage largely unknown apart from its DNA sequence – when to make any other choice but to lockdown might just have killed half the population?

Another virus with similarly unknown consequences could (almost certainly will at some stage) emerge.

Anyone who says they knew better, in those early days, is a liar. But then came the Great Barrington Declaration. It was then that a recalibration was possible. Some countries emerged sooner than others, but the damage that Mary describes was already done.

What i’d ask is that, instead of people making out they knew better all along, just to pause and consider that hindsight isn’t actually “a wonderful thing”, it’s disingenuous in the extreme.

Will we be better prepared in the future? What if a new virus/plague proves to have no demographic preferences, such as the Black Death? Are we prepared to watch half the population develop hideous and excruciatingly painful boils before snuffing it in a matter of say, 48 hours? Go ahead, make that call not to lockdown.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Lord Jonathan Sumption was there from the very beginning, denouncing the terrible tyranny that was about to unfold.
He used logic NOT hindsight and predictably was proved correct.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

His prowess as a logician only became validated once the demographics of the virus became established. Before that point, if he’d been the PM for instance, his logic would have counted for nothing.

It was very much validation in hindsight. I understand why this seems so appealing – the idea that someone can use logic to extrapolate how an unknown and still mutating virus will unfold. That’s far removed from political reality. I fully agree that once the true nature of the virus was established, different decisions might have been made.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago