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Why won’t Right-wingers wear masks?

August 4, 2020 - 3:00pm

Has the Covid-19 crisis blown apart the psychological theory that conservatism is an evolutionary response to pathogen avoidance?

That’s a question asked by a Twitter mutual, and it’s certainly an interesting one.

For all the exceptions to this rule (including me), people on the Left tend to be more in favour of lockdowns, social distancing and mask-wearing, while those on the Right are more likely to think that shutting down the economy will do more harm – and perhaps even cost more lives in the longer term.

This seems to contradict the theory that behavioural tendencies associated with the Right evolved as a response to the threat of infectious disease. On the assumption that strangers are more likely to carry pathogens that the in-group has no immunity to, the idea is that xenophobia (literally, “fear of the foreign”) developed as an avoidance mechanism.

The most extreme example of conservative pathogen avoidance was probably Adolf Hitler, who ranted about how Jews and Slavs were “infecting” German society, but who also had an obsessive fear of germs and disease. From the very start, the Nazis passed laws ensuring workplaces were clean.

It’s also argued that the world has become more liberal since 1945 because infectious diseases have been gradually wiped out, causing people’s reactionary instincts to be switched off. But if that’s true, why are Right-wingers today so willing to take their chances with the virus while progressives are stuck at home like Howard Hughes?

There could be several factors, one of which is simply age; conservatives tend to be older, and older people see an illness with a fatality rate of around 1% differently to younger people. It’s easy to forget how much safer the world has become; children today are three times less likely to die in childhood than even when I was growing up in the 1980s. The formative years of older generations were even more dangerous, and so, from that perspective, the risks from Covid-19 don’t seem unusually terrifying.

Or if you look at it in terms of moral foundations theory, libertarian-leaning people on the Right hold freedom as a core value, while those on the Left are much more invested in the care foundation — i.e. protecting the vulnerable. This has obvious implications for public health policy.

But perhaps we shouldn’t ignore the sheer overwhelming power of ideological tribalism. Once a position becomes attached to a political side people will rally behind it based purely on their partisan allegiance.

Before the pandemic response became politically polarised, it was corners of the conservative internet warning of disaster, while more liberal outlets were telling us it was no worse than the flu, or that “prejudice” was a bigger danger. Now, almost entirely due to party cues, Right-wingers loudly refuse to wear masks to “own the libs”, while on the other side they tweet hysterically about “Boris the Butcher” or wildly exaggerate the health risks of opening schools.

Perhaps our politics have been influenced by evolutionary responses to pathogens. I think it’s a plausible theory, but it’s also the case that our evolutionary desire to be part of a tribe trumps it.


Ed West’s book Tory Boy is published by Constable

edwest

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Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago

Maybe people who don’t like wearing masks are simply aware that the evidence for their efficacy is rather weak. Perhaps also, they might argue that if indeed there was a strong case for wearing masks, the time to insist on their use was at the beginning of the pandemic not when the disease has almost fizzled out

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

There is pretty good evidence of a weak effect now. They don’t 100% protect you, nor do they 100% protect others from you, but they are part of a collection of measures which can reduce transmission. It’s all a statistics game to try to keep that R value down.

Those arguments you give might be good reasons not to engage in a high-outlay, expensive and/or risky endeavor, but when it comes to slapping a bit of cloth over your face, not so much, IMHO.

Especially when the cost of en-masse non-compliance might be a small infection uptick and the pub shutting again …

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

The pub shutting again is an unnecessary political choice. It wasn’t necessary to begin with, either.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

So there was never a need to distance anyone from anyone else and the whole coronavirus thing, worldwide, is effectively a lie in your view?

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

One of the sad effects of the degradation of public discourse is that many have lost the capacity to disagree without accusing those they disagree with of ill intent. For example, you are unable even to imagine the possibility that I might simply believe this to have been a dreadful error. The only possibility you can conceive of is that I must think that the coronavirus is “a lie”, whatever that would mean.

So, for the record, there never was a need to distance any healthy people from other healthy people, and “the whole coronavirus thing, worldwide”, is a mistake arising from a panicked over-reaction by epidemiologists like Neil Ferguson and the WHO, who have a track record of catastrophically over-reacting to every scare going. This over-reaction then triggered a mass hysteria among the ignorant populace which forced even governments that had been being sensible to join in the over-reaction.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

So it’s only necessary to distance people who have the virus from others.

Excellent.

So what’s the plan to deal with asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread?

Is the overreaction in your view only in regard to the measures taken to shut down the economy, or are you another person that holds the (mistaken) belief this is no worse than the average flu season?

For the record I’m not accusing you of bad intent – there are many who believe the entire thing a hoax. The fact you took my question as an insult is indicative of your attitude to such views, not mine towards you.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

No, you have misunderstood. There is absolutely no reason to distance ordinary young people who happen to have the virus from other people. In anyone under the age of 70, coronavirus is one of the mildest, most gentle diseases ever known to man. It is truly astonishing how benign it is in children in particular, who are almost totally incapable of even showing symptoms unless they are already on their deathbeds with some other disease. It is not only “not worse” than flu: it is, far, far, far LESS severe than flu unless you are extremely old. It is presently more severe than flu in the extremely old, though this is heavily skewed by the fact that we have had two years of extremely mild flu, which has left an unusually large population of elderly ripe for being taken off by respiratory disease.

So there does not need to be a “plan to deal with asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread” any more than we need such a plan for the flu. Care homes should perhaps take better precautions to protect their inmates, but that’s always been true.

The problem is that you, like many others, have no conception of either what a normal bad flu outbreak looks like (or of just how awful the truly great pandemics of the past were). This, combined with the media frenzy, leads to dismal results like this: https://summit.news/2020/08…. Coronavirus has been about on par with the upper end of normal bad flu outbreaks. There is not nor has there ever been any reason to take economy-destroying measures like this in response to a normal bad flu outbreak. This lockdown is without precedent in the thousands of years of human history in response to a virus of this minor magnitude.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

There is absolutely no reason to distance ordinary young people who happen to have the virus from other people.

There really is, to stop the disease spreading through the population

one of the mildest, most gentle diseases ever known to man … It is truly astonishing how benign it is in children in particular, who are almost totally incapable of even showing symptoms

Your information here is just wrong, sorry. It does affect kids, though is certainly milder, but, well, look at the PM – he’s under 70 and had a spell in intensive care thanks to coronavirus.

Coronavirus has been about on par with the upper end of normal bad flu outbreaks.

Coronavirus has killed several times as many as a usual flu seasons in both the US and the UK, and that’s with the lockdown.

As the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinions about the appropriate action, but you aren’t entitled to your own facts. Yours are just plain wrong here.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

I am not wrong on this, thankfully. But I think we have reached an irreducible core of disagreement here on which neither will persuade the other. So I suggest we bid each other well and move on.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Speaking of Boris Johnson’s experience with coronavirus and his spell in intensive care.

Boris Johnson had a flu shot in October 2019. A few months later he was apparently very ill with COVID-19.

Did the flu shot make him more vulnerable?

It’s also notable that most of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been in the elderly, a cohort which is pressed to have flu vaccination. I wonder how many of those people had flu vaccination?

Kerry Evans
Kerry Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Very interesting! I also heard that in Vietnam NO ONE gets the flu vaccine. And they have about 2 people with covid. However, I question this theory bc many many kids are inoculated against flu and they have had no problem.

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

I don’t think the PM is an example of a health-focused young man!

Kerry Evans
Kerry Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Could not agree with Chris Martin more!! There is an absolutely bizarre inability of people to look at the real facts and stats about this illness. The media has convinced everyone that indeed an illness that kills the most vulnerable amongst us (1% of those who actually contract it) should be deeply feared by all of us. Are you aware that a Johns Hopkins study from 2005 found that half to 3/4 of all people transmitting the flu have absolutely no symptoms? That they do not appear sick? This is the way viruses work and have always worked. Over time, we have come to deal with this by creating a vaccine that is suggested and or given to the most vulnerable, or those that will have the worst time if they contract the flu. This is what we do. We not force everyone that may contract the flu and asymptomatically pass it around to get the vaccine. We simply protect the vulnerable by giving them a vaccine. But because there is no vaccine for covid (yet) , The public health world has caused a frenzy insisting that EVERYONE must cover themselves, quarantine themselves, so healthy carriers do not become part of the problem. But as a result, they have caused a massive hysteria over the actual potency of an illness that has a 1% fatality rate. THIS is the problem.

chrisjwmartin
chrisjwmartin
3 years ago
Reply to  Kerry Evans

Completely agree except that the situation is even more bizarre than you suggest: the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR, deaths per infections) is probably about 0.1%, and certainly no higher than 0.5%. This has been clear from the start, as outlined here: https://thoughts-about-stuf….

The higher figure of about 1%, sometimes cited as 3-4%, is the Case Fatality Rate (CFR): deaths per presentations to a doctor with symptoms. In a disease where most infections are asymptomatic and most symptomatic cases aren’t severe enough to go to a doctor, let alone a hospital, it’s the IFR that’s more important.

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Brilliant Chris – very well, unemotionally, argued. You and Kerry and others should drop me a line at johnvaughan84@outlook.com Cheers – John

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

It’s clear that the career and political interests of those who have a track record of over – reaction are well served by over – reaction. Just sayin’

Julie S
Julie S
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Well said.

Avigail Abarbanel
Avigail Abarbanel
3 years ago
Reply to  chrisjwmartin

Well said!!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

A massive over hyped panic. It has only killed about six hundred and eighty thousand,(6%) whilst eleven million survived (94%).

Very disappointing indeed.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Yes but 57 Million people die a year. And a large amount of our spare cash gets spent on research for diseases that kill the young and healthy.
Not to mention that life should be fun before you die, including for old people.
To be fair we didn’t know that only 680000 people would die over the last 6 months when this started, but now we do, we could end the madness.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

We had a very clear warning at the beginning of ‘The Great Panic’ from Lord Jonathan Sumption, KS and others about the dangers of over reaction. They were ignored.

Concurrently, one ‘scientist’ only had to open her/his mouth for another to condemn them.
All in all a very poor performance from ‘Science’.

Let’s hope we now, as you so correctly say “end the madness”.

Kerry Evans
Kerry Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

Same number died of H1N1 in 2009. Look it up. 40 million got it in the US alone. Did we freak out? No. Because there is a flu vaccine. But it didn’t work that year. But we live for vaccines. So the world ignored it. We are just used to hundreds of thousands dying of the flu. And if there is a vaccine, people don’t care.

Kerry Evans
Kerry Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Not only that, there have been about 26,000 in ALL OF EUROPE AND THE US combined that were UNDER 60 that have died…. meaning, this thing does not kill many YOUNG people, yet MILLIONS of young people in underdeveloped nations will die if OTHER diseases like TB, bc we can’t get the vaccines delivered to them due to covid!! This is criminal!!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

The figures speak for themselves, this has been the greatest scam in history, or at the very least, since the Resurrection

Clach Viaggi
Clach Viaggi
3 years ago

Exactly my opinion.
I tend to believe masks may give a little help, although the evidence is not clear, but as a temporary measure during the peak of an epidemic.

This peak has passed months ago.
It is a massive, damaging over reaction keep asking people to wear them.

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Clach Viaggi

It is a massive, damaging over reaction keep asking forcing people to wear them.
fixed.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Kelly Mitchell

Is coercive masking behavioural training to prepare people to comply with fast-tracked experimental coronavirus vaccine products?

Also bear in mind these coronavirus vaccines are likely to be free from liability for the manufacturers, e.g. Reuters reports “AstraZeneca has been granted protection from future product liability claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine hopeful by most of the countries with which it has struck supply agreements…”

According to Reuters, Ruud Dobber, a member of Astra’s senior executive team, said “This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in…four years the vaccine is showing side effects”. (See: AstraZeneca to be exempted from coronavirus vaccine liability claims in most countries. Reuters, 30 July 2020.)

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

My thoughts exactly.

Sean L
Sean L
3 years ago

Except risk to life from this relatively mild virus is negligible: statistically under 70s have more chance of perishing from a road accident. Therefore suppression is likely to be counterproductive exerting positive selection pressure to enable the spread of more deadly strains: if everyone else is confined the only places where the virus can spread are the hospitals/care homes where people are dying.

This has been argued by any number of professionals – they’re just ignored by media, eg Dr Knut Wittkowski. As Dr Wolfgang Wodarg put it: ‘The emperor has no clothes’, i.e. CV-19 is just another ‘corona’ shaped respiratory virus but with global PR.

Previous flu season death rates have been higher in recent years and no one batted an eyelid. No reason in principle why such “deaths” weren’t ‘wrong’ or why we shouldn’t have ‘cared’ or worn masks in those years – It’s a wonder we’re not being retrospectively castigated for not ‘saving lives’. Whereas it was only in 1968 when ‘Hong Kong Flu’ garnered some headlines that flu season casualties even registered in the public realm.

We’ve always taken it for granted that some otherwise infirm people will perish in flu season while the rest of us will merely be out of action for a few days however unpleasant that might be. Not least because the cure is likely to be worse than the disease: not only in the sense of the economic effects and their social and political repercussions but because infection confers immumity. I’m old myself but would sooner be free to roam than be guaranteed life in confinement even if it’s ‘only a mask’.

And if a virus isn’t deadly surely it’s better to be infected and thereby gain immunity? We know that respiratory viruses evolve else we couldn’t get cold/flu more than once. We used to have German Measles parties when I was a child for that reason, because the same virus is harmless in children but dangerous later in life – were we ‘left wing’?.

The logic here is identical. It’s hard to fathom how otherwise intelligent men can’t comprehend that. On the other hand professional journalists/’scientists’ in our world are de facto propagandists and bound to calibrate their opinions accordingly.

Apparently the media opinions of some scientists contradict their own published work. But the virus has become a principle of political accusation, like ‘carbon’ or Diversity, around which identical ‘globalist’ interests have coalesced. No human being is immune to corruption of media spotlight.

Why, for example, has The Economist magazine been so alarmist? The evidence suggests CV-19 is a prelude to something like the CCP ‘social credit’ system: digital technology in service of mass surveillance. Some retailers are already using the virus as a pretext for refusing cash payments.

Silke David
Silke David
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean L

Thank you for such a good comment.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean L

” The logic here is identical. It’s hard to fathom how otherwise intelligent men can’t comprehend that. On the other hand professional journalists/’scientists’ in our world are de facto propagandists and bound to calibrate their opinions accordingly.”

I am dismayed by how many people have genuinely lost their capacity for independent and critical thinking when it comes to this; there is the group trying to control everyone and their enablers, useful idiots, and the rest.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean L

“If a virus isn’t deadly surely it’s better to be infected and thereby gain immunity”

I think this is probably the best example of the sort of black-and-white, overly simplified thinking in your post there.

If a virus doesn’t kill you it can leave you crippled (see polio), brain damaged (see measles) or suffering a variety of respiratory and potentially mental health consequences for weeks or months afterwards (coronavirus). We don’t know yet what the permanent effects are on those that survive it.

Further to that, we also don’t know if any long term immunity is conferred, or if you can get it again.

This is just one of many inaccuracies in your post.
And do you have figures from those previous flu seasons? As far as I can tell, so far, this is several times as bad as they are – flu usually causes around a a fifth to a third as many deaths as coronavirus has done so far in the US this year.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Stop panicking and pull yourself together.
This not the Black Death, whatever you may wish.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

What makes you think I’m panicking?

I’m just pointing out the factual errors in that post.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

I’m jolly glad to hear it, because many millions are, to their eternal shame.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Dave H: While I’m not (yet?) persuaded by your arguments, I’m glad you’re making them. I’d hate for the UnHerd comment section to be a purely conservative echo chamber. Good to hear differing perspectives and challenge each other. Keep it up!

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

I don’t personally see this as a left or right issue. I’m on the left and am frightened by the ridiculous, authoritarian response to this virus and the complete shutting down of rational debate by the MSM.

I don’t think this is a left or right issue, even though the media would like to paint it as such. This is the rational vs the herd

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

Unfortunately, there seems to be no immunity to the herd.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

Thanks! I don’t think of myself as a leftie in any way, nor conservative, I am an argumentative b****r though 🙂

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Show me these cripples, then.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

You saw that I mentioned that in relation to Polio, right?

It was an illustration that surviving a viral disease doesn’t necessarily always mean quick or complete recovery. The post I replied to made sweeping statements about how much better it would be to just have the virus, recover and be immune. My point was it’s not always that simple.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Dave H you say “If a virus doesn’t kill you it can leave you crippled (see polio)…”.

What do you think about the comment below from Jonas Salk, in response to veterinary vaccines specialist Ronald Schultz’s comment about maternal antibody in puppies*:

“In polio, the immune response that’s required is not the same. It’s altogether humoral, and in fact, it is so efficient that all you need is the capacity to respond rapidly. The only individuals who become paralyzed are those who have a sluggish immune response to the intestinal component of their infection. The immune response, as evidenced by the appearance of antibody in the blood, is too late to prevent the viremia that occurs. The purpose of immunization is simply to accelerate the responsiveness sufficiently which can be done by inducing enough memory.”

Re: “The only individuals who become paralyzed are those who have a sluggish immune response to the intestinal component of their infection.”

I wonder why some people have a ‘sluggish immune response’?

*(This is from a DVM Roundtable discussion – Safety, efficacy heart of vaccine use; experts discuss pros, cons. December 1988.)

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean L

Very well said, The voice of reason in a sea of cant.

Kerry Evans
Kerry Evans
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean L

You’ve got it exactly!!

Gerald gwarcuri
Gerald gwarcuri
3 years ago

If there is any connection to be made between mask wearing and a person’s socio-political leanings ( and this is a very tenuous concept, not the least reason for which is that definitions for these categories are very slippery ), then let it be said that conservatives ( so-called ) tend to mistrust big government and bureaucracy, preferring a robust lifestyle of self-reliance. Progressives tend to bow to the dictates of all-seeing, all-knowing government elites, following like sheep the dictates of these agencies as if their lives depended upon them. And, see? Even that proposed explanation fails, as the ensuing riots and “protests” demonstrated that progressives only obey certain government entities, whenever they feel like it, and conservatives support law and order.

Oh, and then there’s always the canard that progressives are more likely to base their decisions and behavior on science. Ha! The “science” behind the public health measures for COVID is arbitrary, and all over the map. As is compliance and enforcement. Please cite the “science” behind the six-foot rule for the “social distancing” that is now being universally mandated. There isn’t any.

So, forget the “right wing” and “left wing” categories as meaningful predictors of human behavior toward the pandemic. Like most oversimplifications, they just don’t work. As is plain by how individuals are responding… as individuals, not as theoretical groups.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

Yet conservatives are also the most keen on law and order, long sentences, massive police forces and huge defence spending.

There’s very little robust or individualistic about those.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

A gross over simplification if I may say so.

Inadvertently, you seem to have revealed your true colours, thank you!

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

A gross over simplification if I may say so.

As was the post I replied to, which described “a robust lifestyle of self-reliance” and “a mistrust of big government”, which are certainly not traits held by all self-described conservatives.

Inadvertently, you seem to have revealed your true colours,

Oh do tell! I’d love to find a political persuasion I didn’t think was awful.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

As you well know, there isn’t one.

Cheer up, ” worse things happen at sea”.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Absolutely true.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Actually Dave H, issues of appropriate punishment and sentencing in the CJS are exactly about individual responsibility, and responsibility of that individual to society. The left’s view that every crime can be blamed on drugs, or bad parenting, or a congenital brain abnormality, but not on an individual decisions and choices, is the epitome of victimhood culture and just one example of the current primacy of group responsibility over individual. As a doctor I would prescribe you a healthy dose of Theodore Dalrymple, which may cure your SJW mind virus. 😉 Just kidding by the way, I think this is an interesting discussion and I presume you’re a reasonable human.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Milburn

Sorry but I disagree, the picture painted in the post I replied to, of the rugged individualist who takes care of his own affairs is wholly incompatible with the massive state spending on law enforcement and military organisations. The rugged individualisty has no need of such things, and can take care of all that himself.

Now, I don’t think you need to reconcile the two, they are distinct viewpoints, and I can easily accept that conservatism is a very wide church, in the same way that communists and environmental-anarchists are both of the left, but quite separate species. But to credit *all* conservatives with rugged individualism, while many clearly are in favour of quite a large state and a lot of government interference in life, seems a contradiction.

I’m far from any sort of SJW and don’t consider myself to be on the left either – far too much muddled thinking and emotional signalling over that way!

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago

Ah, the “this country has had enough of experts” point of view. I’m pretty sure that if you were afflicted with appendicitis you’d want a qualified surgeon and not Sid the plumber.

It is daft to stereotype people as “progressives” or “conservatives”. Political viewpoints are not binary. However, if by “progressive” you mean educated, liberal, and middle class, it may indeed be true that such people think other educated people stand a better chance of suggesting effective policies if they are based on evidence, rather than superstition or prejudice. Kowtowing to government has nothing to do with it.

A great deal of the comment here has clearly not been informed much by evidence.

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Plenty of experts on the anti-lockdown side. Try Professors Carl Heneghan, Karol Sikora and Robert Dingwall for a start.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

A person can feel an inflamed appendix and the hospital has a track record of good outcomes on appendicitis surgeries. The virus, if there even is one, it practically harmless even to the small numbers of people it infects. The average age of death is over 80. In my state in the USA we are at 98 percent of expected deaths for 2020 according to the CDC. We are actually below average of expected deaths. What kind of “pandemic” is that? LOL.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Of course we’d prefer a qualified surgeon for appendicitis, or an oncologist for cancer, or a dentist for an infected tooth, but try getting either of the latter during this lockdown. People have had to resort to taking out their own teeth because of the pain and complete lack of treatment available.
And people have died and will die from cancer treatment that’s been suspended. Not to mention all the other avoidable deaths because people were too scared to go to hospital.

A surgeon will have done years of training, and their expertise will be measurable. They have a track record that can be looked at, with specific data points, i.e. patients treated successfully, vs those not treated successfully.
The “science” that the government has been following is not agreed, it’s not defined. In too many cases it’s been little more than educated guesswork. Those who have been recommending certain courses of action have an equal number who recommend doing the opposite. There was no expert in this virus because it only appeared last year, and no one was an expert in how to treat it. A great many people died because the wrong treatment was given, i.e. forced ventilation that damaged lungs and killed patients.
Epidemiologists believed initially that the death rate was around 7%. It’s closer to 100th of that, now more data is in.
There have been few “experts” in this, and too many have an agenda, even if it’s to appear more knowledgeable than they really are.

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
3 years ago

This only goes to show that ‘conservative’ is a complete rag-bag of a category, united only by projection and dislike in the mind of the left-wing orthodoxy. ‘Conservative’ includes free-market ideologues and Catholic corporatists, spivs who’d sell their grandmother for threepence and pious traditionalists who’d look after her through her dementia and never complain. The only thing they have in common is their non-acceptance of the restrictive and unreal world-view of one K. Marx and his interpreters. How do you expect them all to have the same ideas about germs? Come on!

Mike Atkinson
Mike Atkinson
3 years ago

Spot on

Anne-Marie Mazur
Anne-Marie Mazur
3 years ago

Liberals are not Marxists. There seems to be a lot of confusion about political economy and the players within it. Marxists are materialists, and an actual Marxist would demand evidence that the Viral Virus (TM) was indeed the new plague from scientists and not the mouthpiece of the state media and censorship of the millions of other scientists who do not agree with the state propaganda. I know plenty of “socialists” (the real sort, not the Bernie Sanders type) who are wholly opposed to this and any other state OPPRESSION based on the lying of the STATE on behalf of the capitalist ruling class. Try reading Marx before claiming any “progressive LIBERAL” is one of them. Liberals wouldn’t know a Marxist work if it bit them on their bourgie asses.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago

A very perceptive analysis. Well said.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago

Wasn’t the link between conservatism and pathogen avoidance started on the Left in order to denigrate it and show what an archaic philosophy conservatism was? I’m not sure.

Small ‘c’ conservatism can manifest on the Left and the Right, I think it’s more likely people of a genuinely liberal persuasion are anxious about the way the world has responded to Covid.

The reduction of humanity to a series of retractable variables to be manipulated at will for viral suppression is not a neutral option for human mortality – it comes with a cost in human lives, and people feel that has been ignored in favour of a mechanistic approach to eliminating a virus – not a realistic goal in any case (I may just be speaking for myself there, but that’s how I see it).

Liberals are more likely to appreciate this and – with an increasingly authoritarian Left – are more likely to be found on the Right in the West; along with people traditionally thought of as small ‘c’ conservatives.

Maybe this is where the confusion comes from?

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
3 years ago

“The most extreme example of conservative pathogen avoidance was probably Adolf Hitler, who ranted about how Jews and Slavs were “infecting” German society, but who also had an obsessive fear of germs and disease. From the very start, the Nazis passed laws ensuring workplaces were clean.”

Is this a joke? Not only was vegan, atheist, central government supremacist Adolfo certainly no economic or social conservative, the current state and local government forces acting, at least analogously, to “ensuring workplaces are clean,” are “progressively” minded, as is the point (if there is one, now) of your article. What a dumb paragraph.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

You are right. Hitler was very much a progressive. Progress as he saw it anyway. Conservatives (well non Jewish ones anyway) held their collective noses because they were more afraid of the international type of socialist.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Not vegan, not even vegetarian – well not all the time, apparently.
https://skepticalinquirer.o
https://michaelbluejay.com/
Not that this has any bearing on the subject.

Silke David
Silke David
3 years ago

What an absolute nonsense!
I talk to all kinds of people who are against the measures, and all they have in common is that they did their own research and are available to think. I meet a lot of older people, and they just want to go ahead and live freely. The 1.3 Mill Germans participating in the demo on the 1.8. in Berlin were a wide spectrum of ordinary people. They were called conspiracy mad or right wing by the media. Go, look at the plentyful footage of the demo on YouTube, you will see that trying to denunciate opponents of these measures as political on the right is absolutely absurd! This is just another method of the media to push the government propaganda, a position which is based on totally – by now proven wrong – scientific theses.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

….or could it be that we are too long in the tooth to buy the bullshit that we’re being fed. We KNOW that Hydroxychloroquine works, we Know that the NHS doctors have been falsifying the death count to inflate numbers, We Know that NHS managers were deliberately sending infected patients to care homes, we Know that this Scamdemic was planned in advance (See Event 201), We KNOW that the morbidity rate for this virus is 0.024%, and we KNOW that kids don’t get ill with it. We Know that the median age of death is 78 years old, and we know that 45% of those deaths were in nursing homes. We KNOW that there is not one empirical, peer reviewed, scientific study that says masks work, We know that Fauci and Gates have a patent out on the vaccine, and We know that Ferguson, Valance, and Witty have received over 40 Million from the Gates foundation. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture. So it’s not because we on the right are afflicted with some pseudo-scientific malaise, it because we can smell bullshit from a mile away.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Known knowns, as Rumsfeld would have said

Clive Page
Clive Page
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

I might have believed some of your claims if you hadn’t started out with hydroxychloroquine. It has been tested in randomised placebo-controlled double-blind tests and these show it is useless. How do I know that your other claims are not equally groundless?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Page

This is not true. The only studies have been giving it to people who already had lung damage or/and had been given too high a dose. When the study was done properly HCQ was very effective https://www.henryford.com/n

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Page

The study were they gave way too high a does was done by Gilead connected researchers. Gates and Fauci are trying to shove remdesivir at $3400 per treatement vice $10 for HCQ. The Remdesivir study made no difference on mortality yet Fraud-chi declared it a great success.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Clive Page

HCQ is an enabler. It is a zinc
ionophore and assists our cells in resisting the incoming virus. It has to be given early and if given late is useless. By then the virus is well entrenched. The trials have been useless. Check out the paper withdrawn by the Lancet as useless . .Why are so many dying in the so called advanced West? Compare the deaths per million with the third world. Ask the questions. .By the way there are other zinc ionophores. Quercetin for one.
Also vitamin d seems to have a regulating effect on our immune response. Again silence from our government. They even accuse those who suggest that BME in our latitudes need a supplement as a racist attitude. That all those covered up BME in the north maybe deficient in it is ignored. I am sick of the lies.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

I’m a right-winger, and I have started to wear a mask, because it’s the law and I don’t want to cause even more bother to stressed out shopworkers.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I fully understand your predicament,

However, let’s face it, mask wearing is one of the greatest opportunities for ‘virtue signalling’ since the Reformation.
From my casual observations, youngish women are the worst offenders. One can almost hear them ouse ” look at me, aren’t I so very virtuous, I’m doing this for you”.

I happen to be exempt from mask wearing, however I do possess a full throttle, NATO standard, NBC gas mask. I wear it at appropriate venues to cause panic and alarm. I look like Quatermass, and it scares the hell out of my Springer Spaniel.

If this was a ‘real’ crisis, we should all be issued with such a mask, as we were in say 1938. As it is this is an absurd government/national charade, and we may use a soiled handkerchief if we choose to. What utter nonsense!

Hugh Clark
Hugh Clark
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Thank you Mark for giving me a good laugh!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Clark

My pleasure!

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Yes, and some of these youngish women are wearing stylish masks with such pride like they would wear a new set of diamond earrings and their friends ask, “Oh where did you get that mask, I want one just like it”. This is for real!

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

It drives me crazy!!

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

And I’m on the left and care deeply about individual liberty, and refuse to wear a mask unless I absolutely have to …

I think there’s a lot of labelling going on here and I happen to think this stereotyping has been carefully constructed. It’s basically pick a side. Do you as a citizen want to be associated with that idiot Trump or do you want to be a good citizen like us? There has been an increasing politicisation of the whole affair, for what should have been seen as evidence led, rationally based, risk assessed health policy.

I personally come from an anti-authoritarian, human and civil rights standpoint, which has traditionally been a domain of the left. I’m also concerened about the disparity of outcomes on the worlds poor by a poorly constructed and ill-thought out lockdown policy. Again, what the real left should be concerned about.

I personally think the people who we call ‘left’ these days are actually impostors. The blanket term liberal-left has come to me to be associated with neo-liberalistic establishment, but I would argue they have nothing whatsoever to do with the left, they are actually wanting to conserve the status quo and are actually self interested and increasingly authoritarian, intolerant conservatives

David Barnett
David Barnett
3 years ago

National Socialism is a species of leftism The clue is in the name. Adolf was of the left. So was Mussolini with his Fascists.

The enmity between Communists and Fascists should be viewed competition between close relatives for the same political ground.

A few years ago in Britain and America, you could define “Left” as “Socially liberal, but economically authoritarian”, and “Right” would be the reverse. No longer.

Today, the left is highly authoritarian on all counts.

Xenophobia as a collectivist political tool transcends left and right.

Liberty as an ideal also transcends left and right.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  David Barnett

As someone on the left, I totally agree and I think these people should not be labelled ‘left’ because, as you say, they are becoming increasingly authoritarian, not to achieve socialism, but sowing divisions between people and groups. I actually agree with you that they are veering towards fascism – I personally disown them as charlatans and will never grace them with the term ‘progressive’ or ‘left-wing’

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

“…Why won’t Right-wingers wear masks…?”

Why do left-wingers believe that it makes a difference?

Mask wearing evidently makes no difference to any risk encountered, for either yourself or anyone else. Wearing one is really down to choice.

Why do so called journalists insist on wringing out any differences between individual people, grouping them into one group or another and then asserting that one group is against another.

Isn’t this part of the problem? Journalists creating division.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Here’s one left winger who completely agrees with you. This should not be a left or right issue, it should be rational, evidence led one. This simplistic political narrative falls right in to the hands of those who have used this virus all along as a blunt political instrument.

Left or right, let’s have some sense and rational debate.

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

There is mounting evidence that mask-wearing does indeed make a difference. To begin with, it was just to others, but now it’s emerging that it protects the wearer as well. TO SOME EXTENT. How worthwhile it is may depend on how fearful you are of the disease.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Lol…ok…you do realise that you contradict yourself?

“… but now it’s emerging that it protects the wearer…”
“… How worthwhile it is may depend on how fearful you are…”

There is zero evidence. The only thing emerging is increasing amounts of bollox.
I work in a lab with a couple of dozen Biochemists. 10 Minutes protection for a new mask, at most. Then your own breath warms and dampens the mask, reducing any protection to zero.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

…..

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

Homemade masks were not as effective as surgical masks in preventing wearers from expelling droplets, but they did reduce droplets and were better than no protection, according to a 2013 experiment.
The combination of wearing a mask and hand-washing ““ but not either one by itself ““ reduced household transmission of influenza by 35-51% in a 2010 study.
Flu-like illnesses occurred 13 times more often in healthcare workers wearing cloth masks compared to surgical masks, and 97% of particles penetrated cloth masks, compared to 44% penetrating surgical masks, according to a 2015 study.
Wearing a mask decreased infection risk by 60-80% when a parent was caring directly for a sick child in the same household, but mask adherence was well below 50%, leading the authors of a 2009 study to conclude that masks were “ineffective in controlling seasonal influenza-like illness” but might work better with better adherence. Further, the authors urged “caution in extrapolating our results to school, workplace, or community contexts, or where multiple, repeated exposures may occur, such as in healthcare settings.”
A 2015 systematic review of nine randomized controlled trials consistently found that real-life use of medical masks overall did not reduce infections compared to no masks except in the 2009 study above when adherence was high. Five studies found small reductions in risk with a combination of mask-wearing and hand-hygiene, while the others found no benefits.
Five separate studies in the 2015 review above found that N95 respirators significantly reduced infections compared to surgical masks.
Masks blocked live influenza particles in a 2013 simulation experiment with a dummy, but studies showing that masks block droplets or even infectious particles cannot be assumed automatically to prevent infections.
Wearing masks appeared to reduce SARS transmission risk, with approximately one infection prevented for every six people wearing a mask, according to a 2008 systematic review.
Face masks were not helpful in reducing transmission of pandemic influenza, according to a 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis.
Do face masks work against the coronavirus and should you wear one?

In 2015, MacIntyre and her colleagues ran a clinical trial pitting cloth masks against medical ones. The team provided 1607 healthcare workers at 14 hospitals in Hanoi, Vietnam, with either disposable medical masks or reusable cloth ones, which could be washed at home at the end of the day they were worn. Those that wore cloth masks were significantly more likely to catch a virus, the team found.

But what about the rest of us? In an attempt to answer this question, Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, and his colleagues looked at 31 published studies on the efficacy of face masks.

Overall, the evidence suggests there may be a small benefit to wearing some kind of face covering. They do seem to prevent sick people from spreading the virus, but the evidence is weak and inconsistent, says Hunter.

“Our view is that there was some evidence of a degree of protection, but it wasn’t great,” he says. “So we still don’t effectively know if face masks in the community work.”

Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I have a very simple mind. I believe if you wish to play Russian Roulette, then carry on without a mask, but don’t expect me to stand next to you.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

Evidently you do have a simple mind, and I wouldn’t want you standing next to me either.
So, you think that Scientists who work in labs and who wear masks on a daily basis are lying? Why would they lie?
Why do you think are lying?

dsellers9
dsellers9
3 years ago

Masks declare: every person is a constant danger to everyone else, and that is not true — Harvard’s Michael Mina and WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove have clarified that asymptomatic spread is “rare” and “people are contagious only when there is an extremely high virus level in their body.” Masks also declare, “I support lockdowns, and I’m ready for the next one.” In reality, every decade in the past is more dangerous than the decade more recent. Going back to the 1970’s, what the USA has experienced over the most recent 52 weeks on record with the CDC, including the impact of COVID has been 16.7% safer / less dangerous in terms of deaths per 100,000, excluding people in the 85+ age group – 640.6/past 52 weeks in the USA, 769.4/1970s, all causes. Compared to the 1980s, the past 52 weeks have been 9.3% safer, excluding people 85 and older. Despite the political stigma associated with downplaying the seriousness of COVID, I think it is important to recognize that, over time, people have been living longer by large margins. There were only 1.511 million Americans in the age group 85 and older in 1970. In 2020, there are 6.550 million. The death rate in 1918-1919 relating to Spanish Flu in the USA was an estimated 1,684.2, as compared with the past 52 weeks at 922.8 (all age groups). After the Spanish Flu epidemic ended, the rate in 1920 was 1,050 per 100,000. A major difference between the Spanish Flu and COVID-19 is the age groups suffering the greatest losses: 20-40 for the Spanish Flu and age 85 and older for COVID-19. In 1920, only 5% of the USA population made it past 65, let alone 85. Masks support a ‘fear culture’, and, being under the age of 85 and having lived through the 1970s, I refuse to live in fear; and I’ll subscribe to Mina/Van Kerkhove, not Fauci. Besides, Randomized Clinical Tests prior to 2020 said (a) dentists can take masks off, they do nothing, and (b) infection rates in surgeries were the same, with or without masks — they make as much sense as a submarine made out of chain-link fencing.

Martin Harries
Martin Harries
3 years ago

I shop at a few ‘bargain basement’ type shops and I presumptively reckon there are a fair number of people there who are quite likely not to vote Tory – and a large percentage of them are not wearing masks.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago

Age is important. I am at the stage where well over one third born in my birth year are gone. Most of my close old friends too. Beautiful women sadly as well .
I have decided to sit this out. I shut it out literally. No towns no shops nothing. The internet and deliveries is all we need. I cannot stand the sight of a meek and masked and scared people. It is no way for me to live. Fresh air, wide open windows and the countryside is all I want. In our valley where we all live. I never signed up to this loss of freedom . It is all I have ever wanted this sense of being a free man in a free land. I get it from my father and uncle and they got it from their father. My sons have it and I hope so do the grandsons. We will last this out even if some of us go down but not being stupid I take care.

Jordan Flower
Jordan Flower
3 years ago

So Covid-19 is what throws the theory out the window?

Assuming the “disgust mechanism”, as a product of evolution, only applies to pathogen avoidance, is myopic and shows a lack of understanding of the theory.

Sure it has its origins in literal germs, but it has fanned out into a wide set of personality traits and social practices, one of which is avoiding disease.

Looking at the average conservative’s response to Covid-19 neither proves or disproves the theory. And the biggest reason for that being, the average conservative believes Covid-19 is less infectious or threatening than what they’re being told, going as far as being equal or less of a threat than normal viruses that we’re already accustomed to living with year over year. Whether they’re wrong or right about that is irrelevant to this point. It’s what they believe, and what they are acting on.

Also take into account that perhaps a conservative’s “disgust” for the “infection” of having their liberties and rights encroached on, may far outweigh their penchant to avoid literal germs.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

Making mouth masks a political issue almost seems a criminal act, since what is at stake is a public health issue that is neither left of right. They work or they don’t work or we just don’t know if they do. And if certainty can not be given then freedom of choice must prevail.

David J
David J
3 years ago

I expect a surgeon to wear a mask, just as I would a fighter pilot.
Wearing a mask to go shopping is hardly difficult, and if it keeps the virus at bay just a tad, so much the better.
For objectors (of left or right) it’s surely an issue in their minds, rather than reality.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

I don’t want to be forced by legislation into what I must wear. If someone else wants to wear a mask, I’m not going to stop them. Judging by how much people fiddle with them, constantly adjust them, etc, I’m not convinced they’ll do much good and are likely to be counterproductive.

There was no requirement for masks when the virus was at its peak when it might have made sense. Anti-social distancing and increased hand washing helps d stop the spread, and the number of symptomatic infections and deaths have now plummeted since the peak in early April. It make sense zero sense to me and many others to make masks mandatory now. It smacks far more of social control than anything.

David George
David George
3 years ago

It’s not so much a Left-Right question as authoritarian versus libertarian I suspect.
Here’s a little test you can do to find out where you sit in the Left/Right/Libertarian/ Authoritarian matrix. https://www.politicalcompas

Adamsson
Adamsson
3 years ago

The terms left and right come from the french legislative assembly in 1791 the Royalists sat on the right and the republicans on the left. These terms are now used by those in favour of big government and state control as an alternative to goodies (left obviously) and baddies (anyone who thinks that absolute state control is not a good thing)
When explained like this it is obvious why those who object to the compulsory wearing of masks to spread fear and so allow more state control are called right wing.
Even though back in 1791 they would have sat on the left

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

This is what is happening in Melbourne, Australia – car windows are being smashed and people dragged out of cars for “refusing to follow coronavirus restrictions”, see the SBS article: ‘Police single out so-called ‘sovereign citizens’ for breaking Victoria’s coronavirus mask rules’ (look for it on the net, difficult to leave links here).

Some quotes from the article: (Ironically, the police in the photo on the article aren’t wearing masks…)

“Victoria Police say they have witnessed a concerning trend in the rise of so-called “sovereign citizens” who are refusing to follow coronavirus restrictions.”

“Chief Commissioner Shane Patton on Tuesday raised concerns about small groups refusing police directions.”

“In the last week, we’ve seen a trend, an emergence if you like, of groups of people, small groups, but nonetheless concerning groups, who classify themselves as sovereign citizens, whatever that might mean,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“People who don’t think the law applies to them. We’ve seen them at checkpoints baiting police, not providing a name and address.

“On at least four occasions in the last week, we’ve had to smash the windows of cars and pull people out to provide details because they weren’t adhering to the Chief Health Officer guidelines, they weren’t providing their name and address.”

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Anyone would think the PM of Victoria was trying to protect his citizens from an out of the Black Death, and that people would be dropping dead in the streets he didn’t.

Well they say twenty-four hours is a long time in politics. In Melbourne it feels like someone has slipped something hallucinogenic into your soy latte and you have entered a parallel universe. But when you come around you discover you weren’t hallucinating ““ it really did happen.

A beautiful winter Sunday afternoon was ruined by our hapless (or is that hopeless?) state Premier announcing in his gravest tones that Lockdown 2.0 and mandatory face nappies just aren’t doing the trick. We are all being very naughty and not doing as we’re told and so the ‘State of Emergency’ is being upgraded to a ‘State of Disaster’. This involves a near total shutdown of non-essential businesses, an 8pm-5am curfew, no travel further than 5km from your home and you’re only allowed out for one hour of exercise per day. Schools are closed, weddings banned and numbers at funerals are limited. Welcome to Lockdown 3.0.

Within minutes of the announcement, queues were forming outside supermarkets and by the end of the day the shelves had been stripped of fruit, veg and fresh meat by panic buying locusts. They obviously stopped listening to Kim Jong Dan’s doom-mongering before he got to the bit where he said supermarkets would remain open.

There are quite a few changes following the introduction of the ‘State of Disaster’ which should worry anyone who values their liberty. It is initially for the longest allowable period of one month, but the Government can extend it for another month if they deem it necessary. The Police Minister has taken over from the Chief Health Officer as the person responsible for managing the crisis and can suspend Acts of Parliament and legislative instruments as he sees fit. The Police can now be designated ‘Authorised Officers’ (which they have been pushing for since March) which means they can enter any premises without an invitation or warrant. They will adopt a zero tolerance approach to handing out fines so if you’re caught too far from home it’s an automatic $1,652 fine. Or more, obviously.

Apparently, the Vicstapo handed out $250k worth of fines within the first 24 hours of the new measures being introduced. This is much easier than hiding in bushes with speed cameras ““ you just fine anyone out after dark.

Meanwhile, infectious disease experts are accusing the state Government of not being transparent about the Covid data. What a surprise! They do have a history of withholding information going back quite a way. If I was being cynical I might think they had something to hide. Quite hard to fathom why Kim Jong Dan is running around like Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army, given that the total number of Covid deaths in the whole of Australia is 247.

There have now been a whole raft of rules set out concerning what businesses will be allowed to open/operate. ‘Essential’ workers are going to need a permit to be allowed to travel to and from work and the Police will be stopping people regularly to check their paperwork. They estimate 250,000 people are going to be told to stay at home because of this.
Postcard from Melbourne, Lockdown Sceptics.

Funny how his measures are aligning with De Blasio in NYC, who has announced quarantine checkpoints around New York to stop people entering the city….

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

People are not being dragged out of cars for not wearing a mask, they are being dragged out of cars for trying to cross closed state borders, then angrily refusing to identify themselves or comply with the law, while quoting legal garbage about their imagined freedoms from the governance of the state.
They indulge in the wildest of conspiracy theories and and consider themselves exempt from the law, and from paying off debts, or paying tax, or having a drivers license or anything else, through a variety of imagined technicalities. It’s effectively magical thinking, it affects other people when they drive with no license or insurance, and I have no sympathy for them.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

I’m horrified by the political situation in Australia in relation to the handling of this virus. Elected representatives of the people have grossly over-reached in exerting control over those they are meant to serve. And now unelected individuals, i.e. Federal and State medical officers, and various academics, are influencing policy with little or nothing in the way of accountability.

There is something really rotten afoot in Australia, and this has been building for some time. This is so much about ‘the vaccine’, and plans to impose this on the entire population. The groundwork has been set, with the coercive Federal No Jab, No Pay vaccination law implemented in January 2016, and No Jab, No Play laws subsequently implemented by the States. These coercive vaccination laws were campaigned for by the Murdoch newspapers, News Corp, which is also a corporate partner of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is involved in vaccine research and development, a massive undisclosed conflict of interest.

Coercive vaccination lobby groups such as SAVN and Friends of Science in Medicine were at the forefront of the campaign for coercive vaccination, and were privileged by representation at the Senate Hearing on this matter.

And in 2015 the Australian Biosecurity Act was enacted. My reading of this Act indicates Australians could be compelled to have vaccination in an emergency, e.g. coronavirus vaccination, with the penalty for refusal being five years imprisonment and/or a $63,000 fine. I’m seeking clarification on this matter.

It’s shocking that such legislation could be slipped through the Parliament without the general public being consulted.

These are very grim times indeed, and it’s not just about the virus…

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

These are frightening things happening around the world. All the freedoms people fought for are being up-ended. Terrible.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago

By my casual observation, it does seem to be left-liberals who are more pro-mask than right wing libertarians. A quick scan of the Guardian newspaper, or a listen to the arch-deacon of lefties, James O’Brien, on LBC would confirm this.

There are a few things going on here. For a start, lefties do love to signal their virtue, more so than right wingers. They tend to deal in moral absolutes – they’re the only ones who care, you see. Not like evil Tory scum, and what better way to indicate you are a caring leftie than wear a colourful mask, for all to see?

Secondly, pro-lockdown tends to go hand in hand with pro-mask. Why are lefties pro-lockdown? Could it be that they tend to be teachers, university lecturers, civil servants, and other government employees? Their livelihoods are less affected by the lockdown. They still get paid, whilst businesses go bust. At least for now.

The left tend towards economic illiteracy too. When the government runs out of money, following the inevitable economic disaster that the lockdown will cause, it won’t be blamed on the lockdown, but on evil Tory austerity. So in the meantime, carry on with lockdown, mask wearing etc “if it saves one life”. Never mind the thousands of lives blighted in the near future. They are too stupid to see that far ahead.

Tim Flowers
Tim Flowers
3 years ago

First, your headline alone tells me you’re a bit biased. OK, a lot biased. But getting past that, your article reads like a typical liberal viewpoint where the left is intellectually and morally superior to the right, which is one of the many lies coming from that side. As a recovering liberal, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the cult of leftism. I was fed so much propaganda that I actually began to believe much of it. Thank God I escaped. Now let me give you another perspective that the elite liberals never seem to think of: Liberals tend to have more of the collective “herd” mentality. There’s a huge amount of peer pressure involved that keeps everyone on the same page. Much of the agenda on the Left is force fed to it’s adherents from the top and you either buy into it or you’re bullied, canceled, or otherwise socially ostracized. What seems to happen is liberals wait for the elite to take a position on an issue and once that position is set, everyone gets on board regardless of the facts. It’s socially dangerous not to get on board, and depending on where you work, it could cost you your job if you dare to have a different opinion. Conservatives, on the other hand, are not the science denying knuckle-draggers the left cartoonishly paints them as. Rather, conservatives, myself now included, are simply independent thinkers who are skeptical of any information that seems to be pushed upon us, regardless of where it comes from. Pushed information often has an agenda. History has taught us this, and we listen to history. We don’t live in it but we do listen, which is why we don’t tear down historical monuments. That’s really all there is to it. Conservatives are not afraid of life, unlike liberals, who are always trying to increase the power of the government so they can have the fantasy of feeling safe. (until recently when the traditional American left was hijacked by Marxists who want to eliminate the police, and true to form, most good liberals are falling in behind the radicals because Pelosi and company have given their blessing.) As for masks, I could go on for hours posting valid scientific studies and data showing masks are ineffective. But facts don’t matter to people with an agenda. It’s amazing to listen to the rhetoric coming from science-denying mask wearers actually thinking they have studies backing up their conformity. It’s tragic, really. But, all I can do is keep reading the science, and hoping other people do too. But trying to politicize mask wearing, as many in the media have tried to do, is simply deflecting away from the fact that there is no valid science that supports widespread mask wearing by the general public. Theories abound, but the proof is missing in action.
So please, liberals, stop acting like you’re so superior and smart. Being a drone rather than thinking for yourself does not give you the high ground on anything, except obedience.

Nick Welsh
Nick Welsh
3 years ago

Given that the hospitals are empty and the all cause mortality is below average for the SIXTH straight week, it appears that all policy is based entirely on detected ‘cases’; i.e. the positive PCR tests.

This puts the case number in to context (number of tests, date of tests, etc) :
https://www.cebm.net/covid-

This investigates the validity of the results themselves: https://www.cebm.net/covid-

Bart
Bart
3 years ago

Mask wearing is the new gun control. Neither works but it feels like it works.

pallenfamily
pallenfamily
3 years ago

Perhaps the answer is a little more tantalizing. Why is the Government deliberately keeping the fear ongoing and mandating mask wearing, could be one question? Here is a reason to consider. Kim Jon Son and his Conservative Communist Party have ruled us with an iron hand because a virus that is no less lethal than a flu is being used as a Trojan Horse in order to facilitate propaganda and a mechanism for the European Economic Forum, the UN and the WHO along with China’s CCP, to force change. They intend to bring about an Economic,Global Reset for 2021 and destroy Trump. Civil unrest is another prong of attack. The driving force behind this deceptive wickedness is partly a fear of climate change and an ambition for global governance. Investigate the Davos Conference and witness the intentions of the principle players, Klaus Schwarb, Soros, Gates, Rockefeller, Prince Charles, Al Gore, Jeffrey Sachs and the Vatican, et.al. By their own words a conspiracy theory becomes a fact. I suspect Boris is under orders from this bunch of wealthy, powerful, and fearful miscreants to keep the narrative going; hence face masks and local lockdowns. It is the same the world over. Why would he continue with this Covid19 fear when it is fully understood by many renown epidemiologists and virologists, that the virus is of extremely low risk to the majority and has virtually dissipated? More cases does not mean serious consequences.Thank you Freddy Sayers, for your objective and probing interview skills in this revelation. Interestingly, a Government paper suggest that mortality rates from the lockdowns could exceed the fatalities from Covid19 itself. The entire debacle is criminal. The collateral damage, colossal. I guess they think that is a price worth paying in the end.
https://assets.publishing.s

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
3 years ago

Well written article but I suspect the author is a crafty Leftist. The title is “Right Wingers, and the example given is of Hitler and the Nazis. Then the phrase “Before the pandemic became politically polarized” is subtlety added. No mention of the pandemic being claimed as “our Opportunity”, no mention of the statistics being falsified to make the death rate of the virus higher than it actually is, no mention of the lies that were told to us about masks, no mention of the fact that lock down and distancing were to lower the curve so hospitals were not overwhelmed, no mention herd immunity or any immunity at all. The only immunity the Left recognizes is immunity gained by a vaccine. And then there is the continual use of the term “science”. The Governors, Mayors, Politicians, and bureaucrats always preface authoritarian commands with the word “science”. Curios to note that virtually every time a leftist uses the term science their commands are the exact opposite of what the science supports. The Left has seized the virus as their opportunity, they have turned the pandemic into a political weapon, Their end justifies the means approach to getting their way disregards what is good for the country economically and at the expense of human life. The Left will do or say anything to gain political power and that is exactly what they have been doing since January when they claimed the virus as “their opportunity”.

pallenfamily
pallenfamily
3 years ago

It could be an that our politics are influenced by evolutionary responses to pathogens, or it could be familiar political power grab. Why is the Government keeping the fear ongoing by mandatory face mask rules? Here is a more tantalizing possibility. Boris Johnson has ruled the country with an iron hand because a virus that appears to be no less lethal than a flu is being used as a Trojan Horse in order to facilitate propaganda and a mechanism for the ambitions of the World Economic Forum, and the UN in order to force social and economic change. Is it their intent to bring about an Economic Global Reset for 2021 and destroy Trump? The driving force behind this perceived deceptive wickedness is partly a fear of climate change and an ambition for global governance. Investigate the Davos Conference and witness the stated intentions of the principle players, Klaus Schwarb, Soros, Gates, Rockefeller, Prince Charles, Al Gore, Jeffrey Sachs and the Vatican, et.al. I do wonder if Boris is under orders from this bunch of wealthy, powerful, influential bodies to keep the narrative going; hence face masks and local lockdowns. It is the same the world over. Why would Governments continue with this Covid19 fear when it is fully understood by many renown epidemiologists and virologists, that the virus is of an extremely low risk to the majority and has virtually dissipated? Many experienced front-line medical experts believe Covid can be cured with existing drugs. They are frequently censored by the internet giants, despite their qualifications and experience.Why? More cases does not mean serious consequences. And,a recent Government paper suggest that mortality rates from the lockdowns could exceed the fatalities from Covid19 itself. The entire debacle may well be criminal. The collateral damage, colossal. I guess they may think that is a price worth paying in the end.
https://assets.publishing.s

Penelope Newsome
Penelope Newsome
3 years ago

It looks like yet another identity politics trick of grouping all ” right wingers” in one camp and all ” left wingers ” in another . Ridiculous. Some people who may have a “right wing” view on something – whatever that may mean = might want masks and vice versa. So don’t waste time and space on this kind of pseudo science.

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago

This interests me greatly as I would never wear a mask but am considered well to the left in the UK. I am also a behavioural scientist and know there is no evidence in favour of masks. 2 examples from my own research – first, a 6-year old girl finds a mask on the floor, puts it on her face then throws it down whereupon her 3-year old sister picks it up and wipes her hands and face with it. Second, an 88-year old lady, forgetting she has a mask on, finds a tissue and blows her nose into a room containing 4 family members. Discuss!

Avigail Abarbanel
Avigail Abarbanel
3 years ago

I am VERY left wing but strongly oppose to lockdowns and masks and the general overreaction and prioritisation of this virus. Given how dodgy death certification practices have been since the start of this, it’s hard to know what the real fatality rate is from this virus. But even if you accept the official numbers the death rate does not justify a reaction that demolished the economy and jobs, that sacrificed children to pedophiles at home in lockdown and school closures, that sacrificed those most likely to be affected by the virus by removing them to care homes from hospitals and there is plenty more. The reaction to the virus has been thoughtless and knee-jerk with little regard to the fact that ‘science’ is a process of learning and debating and not a rule book, that doctors have been wrong many times in our history, that doctors and scientists are not saints but have been instrumental in modern day genocides and other crimes against humanity. There is plenty more. I object to masks because they are inhumane, unhealthy and there is no evidence that they make any difference. I believe they are intended to give people a false sense of control and security as well as the false impression that their governments care about them.

I am left-wing, very, and am opposed to the above. I do not like this idea that now anyone who is opposed to lockdowns, masks etc is lumped together with right-wingers.

Andrew M
Andrew M
3 years ago

The prognosis for most people contracting Covid-19, as much as we know (longer term effects may yet become apparent) is very good. Sick people, old people, BAME people, public service workers though all appear to have a worse than average prognosis.

The point of wearing a mask is to try to reduce spread of the virus and help stop it getting to these more at risk groups, not particularly to save the wearer’s life or health. It is thus an altruistic act, which benefits society as a whole, not the individual. That is why it has less appeal to right wingers.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew M

There is no evidence to support your assertion that masks reduce spread of the virus. Some theories reckon masks make matters worse.

I still suspect a lot of people wear masks to try to protect themselves, not others. In which case what does that say about them? Or are those particular mask wearers selfish right wingers!?

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

I wish people would stop saying ‘selfish’ to those who don’t want to wear a mask (for whatever reason). It is just another way to blame, shame, and bully people to wear one. Social media and mainstream media support this treatment. If you want to wear a mask, do so but why are they mandatory now when the big hype about this virus is largely settled?

Andrew M
Andrew M
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

There is lots of evidence – you just haven’t bothered to find it. What is lacking is 100% proof – as is still the case with smoking and cancer. But if people wear masks to protect themselves, what the hell, good thing. If people refuse to wear masks and (potentially) (probabilistically) harm others, then they’re just selfish twats.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

What gets me about the “conservative” side of the argument there is it’s inconsistent – prolonged shutdowns affect businesses and endanger peoples income streams, and the economy as a whole.

So … wear a mask to help keep transmission down so we can avoid doing that?

But apparently that’s too much to ask, we must open businesses *and* not take precautions, while presumably pretending coronavirus is a lie?

(I make no claims that the average lefty has any more self-consistent opinions here, I just haven’t examined them so much)

In fact the whole thing makes me think that the “conservative” subset who are very anti-mask (it’s far from all conservatives that feel this way), are less conservative and more just reactionary anti-liberal.