Yes, there is.
Warning: This post on Covid-19, which is divided into four parts, will make a number of you really irate. (But not to worry; I am not suggesting we abandon our precautions and safe spaces, not entirely, anyway, as I develop in my fourth and last point, and there I will delve deeper into why in fact this post is upsetting to so many of you.)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Is There Irrefutable Proof that the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Overstated?
2) Why Are Statistics Like a Bikini?
3) To What Extent Does It Make Sense That Isolation and House Arrest Is the Solution?
(including the Svane Checkerboard Theory)
4) So Why Is There a Feeling of Uneasiness in Your Reaction to This Post?
(does wanting not to destroy the economy really mean putting money above people’s lives?)
1) IS THERE IRREFUTABLE PROOF THAT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS OVERSTATED?
I contend that there is proof — not suspicion, nor simple evidence, but indisputably 100% proof — that the Covid-19 scare is, deliberately or otherwise, overblown and exaggerated.
And for this reason: Every day we get the latest numbers of people infected and of people dying from the Wuhan virus, both globally and within individual countries and regions.
It feels like the dreadful images of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, or later in Japan, of an unbreakable wave, an unbreakable tide that runs amok and crashes through everything, killing indiscriminately, the old and the young, the weak and the strong, the guilty and the innocent…
But they never break down the infected and the dead into age ranges (for instance, hypothetically, 30% of the dead in Denmark are over 75, 25% are aged 50 to 75, 20% are 20 to 50, etc…). Why are we not allowed to learn those numbers?
Surely, the first thing a news organization does is make a brief "BREAKING" news alert with two to three lines reporting that, say, 418 people died in France in the space of 24 hours. But you would imagine that they could, and that they would, follow that up, perhaps an hour or two later, with a more detailed report giving more information about such things as, say, the division between the sexes and the division into age ranges — along with whether the deceased were simultaneously suffering from other diseases.
It is not something hard to dig up — the numbers are all there in the first place. What did not happen prior to the report, after, was a government official or a journalist in Rome, or Madrid, or Paris, or Copenhagen, or Sacramento spending the morning calling around every hospital in the region and asking the respective institution's secretary for the number of dead.
No, the statistics that various governments issue come from various hospitals' computers with detailed input: a doctors in a Northern Italian hospital will report, say (this is a hypothetical example): 18th person dead from Coronavirus in Milan's Central hospital on March 25: Antonio Catsofreddo, 83 (plus address, date of birth, and various other details). These are common figures we have for cancer patients, for example, both living and deceased. (Thus, many European countries know to send men over a certain age, often 50, a kit for detecting prostate cancer.)
Again: When it takes hardly any work at all, why would the media, or the authorities, not do something as simple and as natural as breaking down the numbers of the infected and of the dead into age ranges?
To ask the question is to answer it.
Please read that again:
To ask the question…
Is… to answer it.
There can be only be one reason that we are not given the age breakdowns;
and that is because close to 100% of people dying from the Wuhan virus inconveniently fit into one single age group. As you can guess, from the rumors, they all "happen to be" senior citizens; according to one report, all, or most of, the dead are over 63, and according to another, all, or most, are over the age of… 81!
This could be disproved easily — by releasing the age breakdowns. The fact that those statistics are not released, by any organization whatsoever, I take as proof that the (altogether sensible) reports can only be true.
Incidentally, as you know, there are several other rumors, from the fact that far more males than females are infected; to the fact that, more importantly, that just about alisl the deceased (whatever their age may have been) were suffering from other diseases.
Meaning that the vast majority of people who are infected with Chinese virus are likely to get over it — just like Greta Thunberg did. Indeed, it is far from unlikely that some people go through the Wuhan virus, mistaking it for the common flu, and get over it without ever knowing that they had it. I never thought in a million years I would ever be quoting a Swedish teenager, but that seems to be one of the main gists of Greta's Instagram post…
If just about all the diseased are old-timers and/or people set with preexisting diseases, the entire response to the pandemic, by individual countries as well as by the global community, may very well be one huge overreaction. (Note that I am not saying to throw all precautions to the wind, I am just pointing out certain salient facts…)
And, as it happens, it turns out that there is one country (at least) that does publish its statistics (toda to Glenn Reynolds). And it turns out that — sure enough — the numbers happen to — shocker! — confirm this self-evident deduction…
Most of Israel’s coronavirus fatalities have been elderly men with underlying medical conditions … 64% of [the] dead are male, only 6% [are] under 60, [and the] average age of Israel’s dead was 79.8 years old…
Update: In mid-May, the readers of the Boston Herald learned from Howie Carr that
Of the 5,141 virus deaths in Massachusetts, 3,095 have occurred in the state’s nursing homes — more than 60% …
Yet Gov. Charlie Baker, the scold and scourge of all golf carts, gun shops, nail salons and churches, none of which have recorded any fatalities, seems strangely oblivious to the ever-escalating toll in the state’s “long-term care facilities,” which are both heavily regulated and subsidized by the commonwealth.
Ditto, the Legislature, where no one seems to be demanding hearings into the nursing-home death tolls, which dwarf those of neighboring states.
Of the 5,108 deaths, only 246 were of people under the age of 60. Yet they remain locked up, more than a million have lost their jobs, and yet they are daily lectured and threatened by politicians who say next to nothing about the nursing homes where residents are actually at risk.
But there's more.
Every day we get terrifying news updates such as
In the past 24 hours, Italy has seen 864 deaths from Coronavirus.
In the past 24 hours, 646 people have died in Spain.
If you can't guess, here is the answer:
Because they reveal a lot…
but: they hide the essential…
Statistics is not only raw numbers, it's also things like pie charts, percentages, etc… What follows may probably sound heartless to some of you, but — luckily — it is also the unvarnished truth…
What are the populations of Italy and Spain?
Respectively, about 60 million and a little over 45 million.
That means that the crisis we saw on Sunday was that 0.0004125% of the Italian population and 0.000144% of the Spanish population were killed by the virus.
In other words, the above news items might just as well have said that:
On March 29, 99.9998 % of Italians did not die from Covid-19.
On March 29, 99.9986 % of Spaniards did not die from the Corona virus.
Did you recognize that one? It's the pure number hat trick which our governments pull out to warn us about, and to protect us (sic) from, another modern-day crisis: the horrific hecatomb of road accidents!
You can say that (as we are used to), It's shocking! c'est un hécatombe! In 2019, 3500 people (!) in France were killed in car accidents! THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED! C'est une honte! c'est scandaleux! To save lives (!), we must punish drivers with an ever-increasing number of, and with ever-costlier, fines, peppering the country's roads with radars for good measure (especially the highways, which happen to be a country's safest roads due to the absence of traffic lights, pedestrians, etc…). That way, we will fill the state's coffers with millions of— I mean, that way, we will save thousands and thousands of lives!
Or: you could say that: In 2019, a colossal part of France's (65,000,000) population was not killed in road accidents — 99.9995% of Frenchmen, to be exact…
But then you would lose all sense of melodrama and the idea of a crisis, n'est-ce pas?
Notice that the authorities and the journalists, can and do choose percentages when it suits them. When the pure numbers sound more melodramatic, they will use those; when percentages are more suggestive of a crisis, they will turn to those. For example, they will say that yesterday (or last year), the number of deaths in a certain category was up by… 7% (!!).
Well, yes. To take the road accidents numbers again, a certain town, or a given region may have experienced 72 road deaths in 2018 and (shocker!) 77 deaths in 2019. Anyone with a brain will figure out that you that doesn't mean much, even if you know more details. If two or three more car accidents involved entire families in a vehicle rather than the driver alone the year prior, or if there was more rain, or more snow during the winter, or more of a heat wave (which tends to make drivers drowsy) in the summer, or if there was a combination of some or all of the above, then there is not much to get alarmed about regarding the fact that there may have been more deaths this year than the year previous.
Now it is true that the Spanish death toll total recently topped 10,000, i.e. 0.022 of Spain's population. Even if 99.98% still looks low, you are not incorrect to say that the numbers keep adding up. But if the rest of the planet's national statistics resemble those of the Israelis, and the average age of the diseased is around 79 or 80 — with underlying medical conditions, then we should start having a more in-depth debate…
I am sorry if I sound cold-hearted and it sounds like I am dissing old-timers, but it does remind me of the war against tobacco in the 1990s, in the valiant fight to prevent smokers from dying early. We then took it for granted that it was worth spending millions and millions of dollars to get smokers to add years and years, and perhaps even decades, to their lives, but one pundit (whose name, alas, I forget, but I believe it was a woman) brought it home when she said that Yes, it's true that the smoker who continues puffing on his cigarettes will die earlier; instead of dying at age 86, he or she will die at age… 85 (or 85 1/2).
If you are upset at what I am saying, it is because you think that I have the gall to be flippant when we get alarming news alerts stating that, say, "New York experienced 500 deaths yesterday" or "Spain recorded 884 deaths on Friday." Imagine if, instead, we got the following type of news alerts, which seems to be just as factually correct: "New York had 500 deaths yesterday; the average age of the deceased was 79" or "Spain recorded 884 deaths yesterday; the average age of our lost ones is 80."
3) TO WHAT EXTENT DOES IT MAKE SENSE THAT ISOLATION AND HOUSE ARREST IS THE SOLUTION?
So, in addition to the numbers being (deliberately or otherwise) misleading, there is the fact that throughout human history, the vast amount of panics have not panned out. In the past 20 years alone, they include the Millennium (Y2K) bug of 1999 and, as far as diseases are concerned, the swine flu scare of 2009. (Indeed, it is barely that I recollect the epidemic of 10 years ago, and I do so only thanks to a medical doctor, one Brian C.Joondeph, MD, who recently wrote an article (via Instapundit) which was (appropriately) titled "Remember the H1N1 Pandemic? I Don't Either".)
As for Le Point, it has an article this week on the global pandemics of 1957 and 1969, which led to respectively 20,000 and 30,000 deaths in France alone. "Who remembers any of that?" asks the French weekly laconically, noting that no trace can be found of either of them in current shool manuals. (Incidentally, however, both epidemics originated, you guessed it, in China…)
Certainly you may counter that if most scares have turned out to amount to nothing, after all, then others have — such as the Spanish flu of 100 years ago. Or, farther back, the Black Death in the Middle Ages. Or think of Germany's Jews in the 1930s who laughed at their emigrating neighbors, saying that there was little to fear from Herr Hitler's blustering.
Better be safe, right?
More to the point, you may state that some 800 deaths every day, even if it is correct that it amounts to "only" some 00.00085% or so of the population, ends up adding up, and that is certainly right as well. (One reason the road death rate is — slightly — misleading, as I will freely admit, is that it is per year, while the virus rate is per day). But at the same time (as we have seen), it is (as unfortunate as that may be) the weak and infirm who are at mortal risk, not the whole population…
(One more quick footnote while we are on the subject road deaths statistics: the per annum figure makes the government's yearly statistics about road deaths even less formidable then they appear at first: the numbers are traffic deaths per year, n'est-ce pas, but none of France's drivers — whom the French state actually refers to as Budding or Blossoming Murderers (des meurtriers en herbe)! — has driven only once in a given year. Taking into account that many citizens do not have cars, let us hypothesize that the median car owner uses his vehicle on average 150 times a year (whether to drive to work or for pleasure): that means there have been 150 times, or 149 more times in the (rare) case of an individual's road death, when a Frenchman's trip has been entirely humdrum and produced no accident at all. So: if instead of calculating yearly road deaths, we calculate the deadly danger of outings with a vehicle, the already infinitesimal percentage must be further divided (multiplied?) by 150, making it even more microscopic…)
Besides, the pandemic is responsible for far fewer deaths than influenza is every year — as many have pointed out. The common flu (whose only virtue is that it is familiar) kills far more people across the globe than the Coronavirus has (so far).
By all means, let us do everything to save as many as possible. But does that really include refraining from all outdoors activities, going to the office, shutting down all business venues, engaging in self-imposed house arrest, and setting society itself in lock-down?
People who have defied the ban, whether regularly or just once, are treated as true Enemies of the People.
Go outside for a walk, and you are regarded almost as an escaped felon or as a suicide bomber.
I was at the supermarket the other day, and suddenly a masked worker with her back to me turned her head, and I suppose I was too close to her, because her expression reminded me of Harry Dean Stanton's final appearance in the first Alien film…
I don't know why we can't be trusted, like adults, to exercise due vigilance and common sense and go to a checkered roadside café and enjoy a cappuccino a or a chardonnay inside or on the terrace of an eventually checkered business (like a checkerboard, the tables on the black squares are shut down, with their chairs removed).
I'm sorry, I will admit it: I must be stupid. I don't understand why, if we can go grocery shopping with a mask and keeping two meters apart from other people, we should be prevented from doing other, more mundane, things in life while keeping the selfsame two meters between us. Could restaurants remain open, with every other table shut down? Could movie houses remain open, with every other row closed off, as well as every other seat in the open rows? Why not? Surely, if masks are worn that might be a possibility (and it might enter in the cinema's business calculations — "buy two buckets of popcorn and get a mask for half price!").
The checkerboard is key: call it the Svane Checkerboard Theory, if you wish. If the totality of the seats in a cinema or the totality the tables in a restaurant or on its terrace can be represented, figuratively speaking, by all the squares of a checkerboard, make the ones on the black squares (or, if you wish, on the white squares) unavailable, leaving the place of business in a staggered arrangement.
According to the video of a Frenchman who claims to have lived 25 years in Hong Kong, one part of the world (and of China!) that is experiencing a low number of deaths in spite of all, or most of, its businesses remaining open. What is the secret? Every single person in the street is wearing a mask.
All stores open.
All restaurants open.
Very low death toll.
All due to the universal wearing of face masks.
Ergo: most of the world's reaction is as overblown as it is plain wrong.
In Hong Kong 🇭🇰 there are very few deaths from the #coronavirus or #covid19 compared with the rest of the planet...
Posted by Erik Svane on Saturday, April 4, 2020
In any case, why must individuals other than in the population at risk (i.e., old-timers) have their liberty curtailed? Do you think that sounds like a selfish statement? Let's imagine there are three basic age groups, 1 to 30, 30 to 60, and 60 to 90 and above. If youngsters were in a group prone to disease, I would want them, and them alone, in confinement. If the middle group were the group prone to disease, I would gladly stay at home, while having no problem with the two other groups going out and, uh… partying. No, there is no selfishness about it.
I know a few people who have defied the ban and have gone for walks since the lockdown, both in town and in the countryside. Why is this bad? Why is that dangerous? There is nobody around to infect them and nobody around for them (should they hypothetically be contaminated) to infect.
Obviously, if the streets are empty, they must be perfectly safe for your health — and for everyone else's.(Indeed, there may even be fewer people on the sidewalk than in… your home!) True, if everybody were to do what I am saying, you might counter, we are back at square one. But not everybody is doing it, not at present. And, even in normal times, there is nothing out of the ordinary about maintaining distance while walking in the city, in a park, or on the beach.
A nationwide scandal erupted in France a week or two ago when a Nice Matin journalist interviewed a woman on the town's rocky beach. Christiane was tanning in a bikini, and declared that she wasn't about to give up the sun rays. The next day, the written press picked up the story. They would quote her remarks, only to mention with disgust to what extent she was irresponsible, to what extent she was selfish, and to what extent she was a shame to her community.
Truth to tell, Christiane may have come across as a bit snobbish and self-centered, but there was just one problem. Christiane was almost entirely alone on Nice's long rocky beach near la Promenade des Anglais. The beach was virtually empty of people. There were perhaps 3 or 4 sunbathers or sunbathing couples in the background, perhaps 50 to 100 meters away, but otherwise it was deserted. (Indeed, the only time that Christiane was in potential danger or that she was a danger to others was when the Nice Matin journalist showed up!)
Across the ocean and almost across an entire continent, in that perspective, a father was arrested in Colorado for playing ball with his six-year-old daughter in an… empty park.
Matt Mooney … a former state patrol officer … said the interaction with the police was the only violation of the social distancing guidelines that he had been involved in. "During the contact, none of the officers had masks on, none of them had gloves on, and they’re in my face handcuffing me, they’re touching me"Further West, a paddle boarder was arrested in in Malibu for flouting stay-at-home orders (thanks to Ed Driscoll). As Joel Engel puts it,
Genius. He was miles from another soul until confronted face-to-face by the deputies, then who knows how many others at the sheriff’s substation. “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”Of course, stay away from evening get-togethers. Stay away from crowds. On the beach, stay away from Spring Break-type parties like those that infected young college students in Fort Lauderdale.
Let me tell everyone of my FaceBook friends: after reading this, you could open your front door, take a walk through your neighborhood or head for your local park and beach, and — as long as you keep your distance from the (rare) people you might meet — nothing will happen, health-wise, to anybody (including you), nothing at all.
4) SO WHY IS THERE A FEELING, EVEN SLIGHT, OF UNEASINESS IN YOUR REACTION TO THIS POST?
So, this post, and every paragraph in each of my four points, can be summarized as follows:
Nothing I have said so far is, in the final analysis, particularly controversial… So why the uneasiness that some of you may have reading it?
Because there are rules, Erik, and we must obey the rules.
We must obey, Erik, plus we must show solidarity.
Except that I have just proven that the rules are overblown, they make little sense, and that isolation and self-imposed house arrest is taking it too far.
But, you reply, we are (as Emmanuel Macron calls it) in a "state of war" or (according to Xi Jinping) part of "the people's war" against the virus.
And some say, Erik, we cannot take the risk.
Again, if there is little risk in going to the supermarket with appropriate measures (masks, distance…), why should there be any when engaging in other daily activities?
There are those who, in a fit of anger, bellow that, Erik, you cannot sacrifice lives to save the economy!
This is the old "Shut up" argument (sic), related to the "that is offensive" argument (sic). It's related to the parental argument (sic), "Eat your spinach, because children in Africa (it used to be China!) are dying of starvation." It's related to Michael Moore's asking politicians (but only those he does not like), "Would you send your child to die in a foreign war?" What, if anything, is wrong with those questions, you ask? Well, you are taking as a given cause and effect when there is none. (Regarding Michael Moore, nobody goes to war, willingly or otherwise, knowing that they are, or indeed exactly which individuals are, going to get killed… Likewise, I hate to tell you this, but in an epidemic we can never know for sure whether some policy that a politician or a bureaucrat implemented did in fact save someone's — just one person's — life.)
You can put what is already a highway slowness limit (sorry, the highway speed limit) down to 70 km/h, or 25 km/h, or 10 km/h, and then, agreed, you may have fewer road deaths. (Actually, because people are not robots but human beings, the amount of deaths is likely to rise; after all, the major killer on highways across the planet is, no, not speed, but drowsiness, with bored drivers losing concentration thanks to the slowness limit — I mean the speed limit — and falling asleep behind the wheel.) If every single personal vehicle is banned, yes, then we are likely to come close to 0 road deaths. (We will have saved one life!)
So: no person who is reluctant to be jobless or lose his business necessarily means automatically that he wishes to go to the office coughing and sneezing and contaminated with the coronavirus.
And, as a blog called the Writer in Black puts it,
Economics is the Dismal Science. … Personally, I find the most dismal aspect of it to be how many people don’t understand economics. It’s enough to make a man take off his hat, throw it on the ground, and stomp on it.Regarding the "If all we have done, shutting down the entire state , saves only one life, we will be happy" argument, Dennis Prager finds it "preposterous", as well as "rationally and morally absurd":
Does Winnie the Flu kill people? Yes. It does. However, you know what else kills people? A faltering, let alone crashed, economy [!] …/… However, attempt to raise this issue, to explain it to people, and sure as taxes, someone will tell you what a horrible person you are for putting money above people’s lives. They can’t seem to grasp that the money (or rather, the goods and services, and the economy that produces those goods and services) is people’s lives.
You are causing havoc in millions of people's lives, you are depriving millions of people of an income, you are putting people who live alone into solitary confinement… And all of that is worth it to save one life?! … You cannot make social policy on what will adversely affect one person!At another blog, Roger Kimball states that he thinks that, no,
the best reaction to the disease was not furnished by the protagonist of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”
…/… I continue to believe that shutting down the U.S. economy was insane (also here, here, and here). I maintain, in retrospect, this episode will furnish ample material for an addendum to Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
Unfortunately, there is no arguing with insanity. As one friend of mine likes to note, arguing with such madness is like arguing with a hurricane. It is completely ineffective, indeed counterproductive, because making arguments at such a time is likely to distract one from taking precautions and making preparations.
… One of the most disgusting features of this health scare is the behavior of the media and liberal Democrats. In this season of Lent, they seem to be on their knees, fervently praying for greater damage to the economy, for more people to lose their jobs, for a greater destruction of wealth. It’s not, exactly, that they think these are good things in themselves—though one senses an air of thoughtfulness as they ponder the rapidity with which the economy can be turned upside down and people brought to heel.
Left-wing progressives are not advocates of big government for nothing. Nothing seems to justify big government more than a dependent populace, and nothing guarantees dependency more reliably than economic distress. All that is in the background—present but unspoken.
What is patent is the fervent wish that this crisis might, somehow, be pinned on Donald Trump.
… There are people, like [Andrew] Cuomo, who like to pretend that we have a choice between saving lives and saving the economy. But a moment’s thought will show that that is a false dichotomy. Unemployment just shot up by more than 3 million. That is more than 3 million people who have lost their livelihoods so far, many of whom face uncertain prospects for the future.
Expect a sharp rise in cases of depression, drug abuse, and suicide because of that."It’s all very well to say you won’t die FOR Wall Street" writes Sarah Hoyt in an article called Destroyed Lives. "But will you die of the economy?"
In The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek observed while it “may sound noble to say, ‘Damn economics, let us build up a decent world,’ . . . it is, in fact, merely irresponsible.” Something similar can be said about the false opposition between humanitarian concerns and attention to the economy. Tending the economy is just as much a humanitarian concern, just as much a life-or-death matter, as manufacturing new ventilators.
… excellent is [the] concluding observation [that Dr. John Lee, a retired professor of pathology in the United Kingdom, made in Spectator USA,] that “The moral debate is not lives vs. money. It is lives vs. lives.” … we do not want to get ourselves into a situation in which the cure is worse than the disease.
Short of actual black death numbers, what we’re doing to the economy is more dangerous than the disease. And will ultimately cost more in lives blighted and ended …Let us end with an American Thinker piece from Steve McCann:
I think it’s very important to talk of the lives that will be destroyed or lost to this insanity of locking ourselves in our houses for fear of a virus. (Let me explain again, in quarantine, you lock up the sick. When you lock up the healthy it’s called house arrest. Yes, I am aware that there have been quarantines in the past. This is NOT — repeat not — a quarantine. Economic suicide. Collective insanity. Unprecedented violation of civil rights in peace time. It is all of that and more. It is not a quarantine.)
We’ll point out the obvious: there are people losing businesses they spent their lives building. There are people — I know some — who had just got a job which is now revoked. There are students who have just finished/are about to finish training, and who will be unemployed and crushed under student debt, no matter how sensible their training.
There is a risk of some number of these people committing suicide. That will be “visible deaths” coming from this particular insanity.
… governments (mostly state and local) decided it was a great idea to take the wheels off the economy, possibly because they were suffering from a terrible case of Orange Man Bad and knew they couldn’t elect their spokeszombie in the face of a thriving economy. You know, things like people getting jobs, with good training, in a thriving economy.
No wonder that the title of Steve McCann's article is How a Police State Is Born.When societies lose their freedom, it is not ordinarily because autocrats or tyrants have forcibly taken it away. It is usually the result of the population willingly surrendering their freedom in return for protection against an external threat. While the threat is oftentimes real, it is invariably exaggerated.This is what we in the United States are experiencing. The general public has been stampeded by the fearmongering in the media into demanding action from the politicians at both the state and [local] level. The politicians respond and do not pause to ask whether these actions will work -- just do something! They do not ask if the financial and societal cost to the nation is worth the unknown and perhaps nebulous return.Any student of history and human nature would recognize that these are the classic symptoms of collective hysteria. Hysteria is contagious. This nation is turning itself inside out as we, thanks to the media, are exaggerating the threat and not stopping to ask if the cure is worse than the disease.… This is not to say that the Coronavirus is not a serious health issue and steps must be taken to protect the most vulnerable sector of the population -- the elderly with significant medical conditions. The number of people infected with the virus over the past 30 days continues to rise as the nation has dramatically expanded testing. Of those who have died, approximately 1.6% of total infections, we do not know how many succumbed as the direct result of the virus or died of other ailments, as any death with the virus present is currently being counted as a Coronavirus fatality. The Italian evidence, for example, suggests that only in 12% of deaths is it possible to say the Coronavirus was the main cause of death.… In its 244-year history the United States has weathered seven of the worst pandemics in world history without the hysteria and loss of liberty and freedom. All indications reveal that the Coronavirus will be exponentially less life-threatening than any of these previous pandemics.Is the Coronavirus pandemic serious enough to warrant putting much of the nation’s population into house imprisonment, or wreaking the economy for an indefinite period of time, or prohibiting worshipers from attending their churches, synagogues or mosques, or outlawing freedom of assembly and travel, or destroying businesses that have taken years to build up, or saddling future generations with unfathomable debt? The nation is choosing to plunge millions of people into depression, heart attacks, suicide and unbelievable distress, though they are not especially vulnerable and will only suffer mild symptoms or none at all.This is what a police state is like.
This leads Patricia McCarthy to issue a call: Let my people go!
It is time for President Trump to utilize his uncommon common sense and put a stop this China-orchestrated full-scale attack on our country. Easter Sunday would the perfect day to set the nation free from the madness this particular virus has perpetrated on us all. President Trump, let those with compromised immune systems self-quarantine, and set the rest of the population free to get back to work. You can do it. Do it now.But there is another idea, a more psychological one, at play in the "everybody who leaves home is a virtual Jack the Ripper" scenario: that if I am not enjoying myself or having fun, then nobody else should be enjoying themselves or having fun, either. Some people might call it jealousy. In Denmark, this is even more deeply pronounced by the so-called Jantelov. We should all be equal, we should all suffer together, nobody should stand out, nobody should have more fun than anybody else, and those that do must be shamed, they must be cancelled, they must be outed.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
They must be punished!
In fact, I have often pondered the thought that in reality, people's attachment to government and government services has often a lot, if not most, to do with the desire to see their fellow citizens (the "guilty" ones, those who do not behave) punished.
Straf! Straf! Dein Straf! as Charlie Chaplin's dictator yelled maniacally from the balcony of Tomania's chancellery. Schultz! Dein Straf!
Remember the Malibu paddle boarder? And the Colorado father? In the Vosges mountains, gendarme helicopters are surveilling the mountain paths to see who is dastardly defying the stay-at-home orders ("Saturday, we spotted a mountain bike cyclist at Lac Blanc whom we proceeded to fine").
Speaking about France, law officers are so prevalent that newspapers recently noted that (what I believe is) the 100,000th fine against common citizens had been issued for no other reason than being outdoors. Leading mucho mavericks to ponder why the authorities aren't using so much energy and spending so many euros to, y'know, do things like, uh, find a cure for the virus, for example… As a Facebook meme has it, "On vit dans un beau pays, où on préfère vous pister pour vous verbaliser que vous dépister pour vous soigner."
We people of the 20th and 21st centuries are so proud to have gotten rid of religion and be free of so-called superstitions, we being scientific and reasonable and so on, but isn't the truth that we are not as "free" from faith as we convince ourselves we have become, having turned to the State (l'état-providence in French) and made it our religion instead?
The entire reason we are told that we need to obey the state's priesthood and their oh-so-wise pronouncements is because we "know" that the average human being, the average citizen, is undependable, dumb, and unreliable. Like a child, he or she needs to be cosseted, taken care of, and directed. We are too stupid, too poor, too irresponsible, to take care of our own lives
We cannot trust the common citizen, we cannot trust the writings of someone like Erik Svane (after all, he is a private individual like the rest of us, and therefore part of the irresponsible crowd).
But thank God, there is magic at work here. In this nightmare world with hicks 'n' bumpkins, there is hope. In this brave new world without religion, there are miracles. Yes! Because it turns out that there are superior beings in this world whom we can trust. And whose advice (not to mention whose commands) we must follow.
These amazing beings, who are they? These knights in shining armor, who are they? Who are these wondrous angelic creatures?
They are professional politicians and lifetime bureaucrats. All citizens are morons, as we have seen, but as soon as you enter politics (but only on the Left), or as soon as you join the civil service, by some wave of a magic wand, or some quasi-divine turn of events, by some miracle of Gaia the Earth mother of all us Earthlings, like a born-again Christian of old, you become a pillar of wisdom who is allowed to, whose very duty is to, go about bossing about your fellow citizens (aka society's deplorables).
Who are we to question their commandments?! Who is any one of us to doubt their edicts?!
These priests of the state possess all the facts, or at least all the pertinent facts, and so they can be safely entrusted with our safety (like the civil servant who patiently explained on TV that people should not touch their faces, after which she… touched her face; or like the Italian politicians who told the Italians in January to go out and show that you are not a racist like Donald Trump, by finding a Chinese tourist and giving him or her… a tight hug).
Conversely, our betters, the politicians and the bureaucrats, are right not to let us have all the news, and not to let us learn all the facts, because, and when, some of us deplorables might develop foolish thoughts — just like I have.
After all, when I was saying, in the previous point, that I didn't see why we need to all need to go into isolation and house arrest, many of you were thinking that I should just be quiet, obey, and get with the movement.
We should all shut up and, like the children we are, obey our betters.
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