Lockdowns, Masks, and the Illusion of Government Control Over Covid
In the early 11th century, King Canute—while at the peak of his power—set out to demonstrate to his fawning courtiers the limited power of royal edicts.
After having his throne placed by the sea’s edge, he sat down and commanded the tide to stop rising. When the water began washing over his feet, he declared, “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings.”
Nearly a thousand years later, facing a different force of nature—Covid-19—an entire global generation of presidents, prime ministers, governors, mayors, public health officials, scientists and citizens is being given the same lesson.
However, where Canute’s lesson sprang from his humility, this lesson springs from the hubris of the present-day ruling class and the credulity of the masses who place far too much faith in their rulers’ power.
The lesson was pointedly driven home on July 19th. That was “Freedom Day” in the United Kingdom, with government ending restrictions on social contact, allowing the reopening of remaining establishments such as nightclubs, and abandoning mask mandates.
Two weeks before Freedom Day, as the Delta relentlessly pushed the UK’s case count higher, 122 prominent scientists and doctors submitted a letter to The Lancet calling the planned easing of restrictions “a dangerous and unethical experiment.”
On the eve of Freedom Day, the UK’s daily case count was over 40,000. Imperial College London mathematical biologist Neil Ferguson told the BBC it was “almost inevitable” the end of restrictions would prompt daily cases to soar to 100,000 and perhaps even 200,000.
Mother Nature was about to deliver a harsh comeuppance to Ferguson and others who’d have us believe government restrictions and mask mandates offer a potent defense against Covid contagion: Cases promptly went into a two-week free fall.
Daily New Cases in the United Kingdom
In addition to fostering well-founded doubt about the benefits of lockdowns and face coverings, the turn of events should also cultivate healthy skepticism about the pronouncements of the public health establishment.
Hopefully, Ferguson’s particular humiliation will immunize officials, journalists and citizens against trusting Imperial College London’s Covid-19 models.
Those models, which played a key role in enabling unprecedented, draconian lockdowns around the world—have been wildly wrong again and again. For example, Imperial College London projected Sweden’s relaxed approach to Covid-19 would leave nearly 100,000 Swedes dead by July 1, 2020. The actual count: 5,700.
The United States has endured its own false alarms about what will happen when government-imposed restrictions are eased. Grim predictions and accusations of gubernatorial indifference to human life accompanied the ending of restrictions and mandates in states like Iowa, Texas and Florida, and proved as wrong as the ones made in the UK last month.
Lacking Canute’s humility and undaunted by contrary evidence, the great majority of officials, scientists and pundits who’ve favored coercive government measures have proven stubbornly incapable of entertaining the possibility that these interventions—which have boosted depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, drug overdoses, domestic violence and undiagnosed cancer—aren’t a net positive for public health after all.
That resistance to contrary evidence extends to a great many everyday citizens whose unwavering support of lockdowns, business restrictions, remote schooling and mask mandates is part of a politicized tribal identity.
Exasperatingly, that tribe embraces “trust science” as a mantra, oblivious to the fact that the scientific method hinges on the reliable replication of results that supports one’s theory—something sorely lacking where lockdowns, masking and other measures are concerned.
The “trust science” crowd is likewise oblivious to the fact that scientists are far from unanimous in supporting those government-imposed nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), and that highly-credentialed scientists from esteemed institutions are among the most vigorous dissenters.
The most prominent demonstration of such dissent came with the October 2020 “Great Barrington Declaration.” Led by professors from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, epidemiologists and public health scientists from around the world expressed their “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies.”
The declaration has now been signed by more than 58,000 medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners. Their numbers and credentials don’t guarantee their views are correct; however, they do bely the presumption of a scientific consensus behind coercive mitigation policies.
Among three original Stanford signatories to the declaration is biophysics professor and Nobel Prize recipient Michael Levitt. He and a group of Stanford and international scholars have been analyzing Covid-19 data since January 2020.
Referring to the steep drop in cases after UK restrictions were eased, Levitt recently asked the Twitter-verse: “Can anyone show clear correlation between NPI or other restrictions & reduced COVID-19
Article from LewRockwell