Evaluating the disease and the response’s political risk and benefits
The men of Issachar “had understanding of the times” enabling them to know “what Israel ought to do”.11 Chronicles 12:32
The following is an attempt to help busy saints and shepherds understand these unprecedented times – that we may better serve and bless the Bride of our Lord Jesus.
This report is likely imperfect, but is presented in the belief that “it is better to be roughly right, than precisely wrong”2A variation of Carveth Read’s original: “It is better to be vaguely right, than exactly wrong.” — if you spot mistakes do get in touch.
Introduction: Is the war against Covid-19 ‘just’?
Enforced lockdown and related measures may slow the spread – but they come at a high cost from human, societal, political and economic perspectives. But is the cure worse than the disease? Answers to this question can lead to widely differing perspectives on how to love our brothers and neighbours worldwide and how to best follow Christ at this time – thus, having an answer is not a side issue to following Jesus.
Some have felt the lockdown measures were “too little, too late”, with love for neighbour and Christ driving them to follow all measures rigorously, whilst seeking for further measures to be imposed and justice for those behind the late locking down.
Others liken the lockdown measures to a nuclear strike to combat UK terrorists: ineffective and creating disproportionate collateral damage. They believe that a “just war”, even against a virus, should have the twin limits of necessity and proportionality and that the lockdown measures have been neither necessary nor proportional. Thus, they believe that to love their neighbour and best follow Christ is to resist – due to the measures’ horrific collateral damage and negative impact on their fellow man. Even if Covid was as dangerous as first feared, the global response should cause far more concern and reaction.
This report argues the second view.
In evaluating this whole issue there is a risk of psychological bias:32020-05-05; Dr Willbourn, Hugh; Blog; CC2 Covid, Brexit and Flying Saucers; https://www.hughwillbourn.com/post/cc-no-2-covid-brexit-and-flying-saucers almost everyone has made significant personal sacrifices they would like to think were worthwhile. If recognition of bias is the first step to guarding against it, perhaps thorough investigation is the second: “The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.” William Kingdon Clifford42020-08-23; Rudin, Stacy; AIER; Save Yourself: Stop Believing in Lockdown; https://www.aier.org/article/save-yourself-stop-believing-in-lockdown/
An overview of the disease
Humans have been getting coronaviruses forever – four are believed to cause 25% of all colds and seem to offer some immunity to C19.52020-08-03; Advisory Board; Can the common cold give you immunity to Covid-19?; https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/08/03/common-cold With the advent of C19 there are now seven major human coronaviruses.6https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html If C19 in time kills 2.2 million, then it will equal Hong Kong Flu of 19687Hong Kong Flu killed 1 million out of a global population of 3.5 billion in 1968. – if it hits 5 million, it’ll equal the Asian Flu of 1957.8Asian Flu killed 1.75 million out of a global population of 2.9 billion in 1957.
At the very worst, so far C19 appears at most about twice92020-08-14; Tweet from Stanford Prof Micheal Levitt: “SARS-CoV-2 seems a factor of 1.5 to 2 worse than regular Influenza. I personally worry that the terribly misguided response of lockdown may turn this into a catastrophe of bad government, economic loss and social unrest the likes of which not seen for 90 years. Hope to be wrong!”, https://mobile.twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1294279305040723968 as deadly as the recent nasty flu of 2017/2018. The Diamond Princess102020-02-28; Levitt, Michael; Twitter; Diamond Princess analysis – see point 7; https://twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1284358079564394496/photo/1 cruise ship scenario in February suggested the percentage of the population who would likely die would be up to 0.1% and herd immunity achieved with only 20% of the population testing positive (half were asymptomatic) – the rest likely having pre-existing natural immunity.112020-09-17; Doshi, Peter; Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity?; https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3563,122020-06-10; Stadler, Beda; Medium; Coronavirus: Why everyone was wrong; https://medium.com/@vernunftundrichtigkeit/coronavirus-why-everyone-was-wrong-fce6db5ba809,132020-06-16; Nelde et al; Research Square; SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes define heterologous and COVID-19 induced T-cell recognition; https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-35331/v1 It is also now known that such herd immunity is likely to be long lasting.142020-08-16; Wu, Katherine; The New York Times; Scientists see signs of lasting immunity to COVID-19, even after mild infections; https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-nyt-covid-immunity-mild-infections-20200817-hvv4tiiu5feklclx47bc74el34-story.html
This is pretty much what we are seeing in countries that didn’t lockdown or locked down late. For example, the pandemic seems to be nearly over in Sweden, which didn’t lockdown but employed voluntary social distancing and protection of the vulnerable, and they have had 0.058%15Retrieved 2020-08-28; Worldmeter; Sweden Population; https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/sweden-population/
5840/10,109,561 = 0.058% of their population die.
It’s an almost identical situation in the UK at 0.061%16Retrieved 2020-08-28; Gov.uk; Deaths in UK; https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/deaths
Retrieved 2020-08-28; WorldOMeters; UK Population; https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/uk-population/
41,486 / 67,944,236 = 0.061% – 99.94% of the population have survived. By May 6th the 7-day rolling average for C19 daily deaths went below the 450 daily deaths from cancer;17Retrieved 2020-09-09; Cancer Research UK; Cancer mortality statistics; https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/mortality#heading-Zero by June 19th daily deaths dipped beneath the 140 who were dying with flu and pneumonia;18 2020-08-01; ONS; Flu and Pneumonia vs Covid; https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc939/fig1/index.html by July 15th daily suicides – at 18 – exceeded Covid deaths;192019-09-03; ONS; Suicides in the UK: 2018 registrations; https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2018registrations and on September 1st at just 6 Covid deaths, we got very close to the 5 traffic accident fatalities.202019-09-26; Gov.uk; Reported road casualties in Great Britain, annual report: 2018; https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-annual-report-2018
As a worst case example in the hard hit State of Amazonas in Brazil where there were no mitigation measures,212020-10-07,’Brazil’s policies condemn Amazonia to a second wave of COVID-19′, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1026-x much of the indigenous population were high-risk222020-04-17; Protect Indigenous peoples from COVID-19; https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6488/251.1 and impoverished hospitals were overwhelmed232020-04-09, ‘Brazil’s Amazonas State Warns its Health System Overwhelmed by Coronavirus’, https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil-amazon/brazils-amazonas-state-warns-its-health-system-overwhelmed-by-coronavirus-idUKKCN21R3L3 – to date 0.099%243,828 out of population of 3874000 as of 4th Sept of the population has died (99.9% have survived) and again the pandemic seems to be on the decline.25https://coronavirus.app/tracking/amazonas While every death is a tragedy, most people who have died worldwide were old262020-04-20; Christensen, Lars; Blog; ONE factor explains most of the differences in Covid19 deaths across countries; https://marketmonetarist.com/2020/04/20/one-factor-explains-most-of-the-differences-in-covid19-deaths-across-countries/ – 43% were in care homes2743% (17,721 of 41500) of Covid deaths were in care homes: people both old and with multiple comorbidities.
2020-08-27; Booth, Robert; The Guardian; Data on Covid care home deaths kept secret ‘to protect commercial interests’; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/27/data-covid-care-home-deaths-kept-secret-protect-commercial-interests – or had comorbidities28https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm#Comorbidities and many were expected to die this year.292020-06-02; Levitt, Michael; YouTube; COVID-19: Choices and Consequences; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi4j1I_ix_c “Within Europe, population age structure differences alone can cause four-fold variation in the exposure to C19 death risks.”302020-12; Kashnitsky, Ilya & Aburto, José; COVID-19 in unequally ageing European regions; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105170 Obesity is another leading factor.312020-05-10; Ryan, Paul & Caplice, Noel; WEF; This is why people with obesity are more likely to die from coronavirus; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/this-is-why-people-with-obesity-are-more-likely-to-die-from-coronavirus,322020-09-08; Wadman, Meredith; Science; Why COVID-19 is more deadly in people with obesity—even if they’re young; https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/why-covid-19-more-deadly-people-obesity-even-if-theyre-young,332020-07-10; Wood, Vincent; The Independent; Are global coronavirus death rates linked to a country’s obesity levels?; https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-obesity-death-rates-uk-global-who-a9612626.html
We should expect more deaths this winter and severity will likely reflect the degree of population penetration from the first wave. We can hope Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt is right in dismissing as “really crazy”342020-07-14; Levitt, Michael; Twitter; https://twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1282929464381509632 the idea that a UK second wave will be much worse.
In conclusion, the C19 pandemic is more deadly than a flu pandemic with nasty, sometimes protracted, symptoms in some – and a particularly focussed peak period. However, it is only unprecedented compared with serious past pandemics in the unique attention it’s been given.
Why the different death tolls between countries?
Covid’s status in countries and regions seems to vary widely depending on how much hold it had gained before lockdown, the health and demographics of the population and the quality of health care provision. For many European countries where the disease was rife in March, they found that, by July, deaths and hospital admissions had dropped to almost nothing,35UK death graph: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk, Italy daily death graph: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/ with the virus seeming to have a lower death rate.362020-06-26; BBC; Coronavrius death rate falling in hospitals; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53192532,372020-06-24; CEBM; Declining death rate from COVID-19 in hospitals in England In the UK the death toll is clocking in at 1.3 times worse than 2014/15 or 2017/18 flu,38Range for UK so far 0.9 to 1.3. Comparison 1 – England: PHE (using FluMOMO algorithm) 28,330 influenza in 2014/15 vs 36,828 Covid; Comparison 2 – England and Wales: excess deaths via ONS: 44,000 influenza 2014/15 vs 38,423 Covid; Comparison 3 – UK: WHO 2018 data influenza & pneumonia 37,494 vs 41,477 Covid. All Covid data retrieved from https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/deaths August 28th, 2020. with deaths involving COVID-19 dropping to a level 5 times below flu and pneumonia by August.392020-08-13; ONS line chart showing deaths involving Covid vs Influenza and pneumonia; https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc939/fig1/index.html Other countries locked down before Covid-19 had really arrived.
Which scientists to listen to?
There are many scientists who have made predictions about the death toll of C19. The most famous has been Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London. His model predicted 510,000 UK deaths if the pandemic was unmitigated40‘Report 9: Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand’, https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf and was the basis for most of the countries locking down. However, it’s worth looking at the scientist’s alarmist track record. In 2005, Ferguson suggested Bird Flu might kill “around 200 million”412005-09-30; Sturcke, James; The Guardian; Bird flu pandemic ‘could kill 150m’; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/sep/30/birdflu.jamessturcke (445 to date42Retreived 2020-08-28; Wikipedia; Influenza A virus subtype H5N1; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_A_virus_subtype_H5N1). In 2009 his early analysis432009-05-12; Imperial College London; Swine flu: early findings about pandemic potential reported in new study; https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/66374/swine-early-findings-about-pandemic-potential/ of Swine Flu concluded it’s “likely to cause a really major epidemic”442009-05-12; Weaver, Matthew; The Guardian; Swine flu could affect third of world’s population, says study; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/may/12/swine-flu-report-pandemic-predicted killing 65,000452009-07-16; Bowcott, Owen; The Guardian; Swine flu could kill 65,000 in UK, warns chief medical officer; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/16/swine-flu-pandemic-warning-helpline in the UK (457462010-07-01; Gov.uk; The 2009 Influenza Pandemic; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/61252/the2009influenzapandemic-review.pdf actually died). More recently with Covid-19, his world influencing non-peer reviewed model was applied to Sweden, and predicted a median of 96,000472020-07-29; Miltimore, Jon; Foundation for Economic Education; Sweden’s Actual COVID-19 Results Compared to What Modelers Predicted in April; https://fee.org/articles/sweden-s-actual-covid-19-results-compared-to-what-modelers-predicted-in-april/ deaths by July 1st. By contrast another extensive Covid scientific analyst, Professor Michael Levitt of Stanford, predicted Swedish deaths would top out at 6,000482020-05-04; Selig, Kate; The Stanford Daily; Q&A: Nobel Laureate says COVID-19 curve could be naturally self-flattening; https://www.stanforddaily.com/2020/05/04/qa-nobel-laureate-says-covid-19-curve-could-be-naturally-self-flattening/ and they’re plateauing in that direction now.49Covid-19 in Sweden; https://www.covid19insweden.com/en/ Ferguson’s model applied to Wuhan, the Diamond Princess, the UK and the US looks very like being out by a factor of 10 times502020-03-01; Levitt, Michael; Twitter; Based on Guardian Wuhan/Diamond Princess data from The Guardian. https://twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1265550265589137408/photo/1 (i.e. 1000%), making his predictions next to useless for all pragmatic purposes.
The Bible judges a prophet by the soundness of his predictions.51Deuteronomy 18:22 To be out by a little way is one thing, to be out by a country mile another. Unfortunately, reality has not checked Neil Ferguson, or the world’s leaders and media who continue to platform him: he stands by his model and continues to issue dire warnings. Stanford Professor Michael Levitt, and Oxford Professors Sunetra Gupta and Carl Heneghan and many others have followed approaches and models that are far more accurate, yet their work doesn’t seem to be widely promoted.
Concerns with “emergency powers”
Historians and political philosophers across millennia have noted that man’s nature makes him reluctant to give up power once he has received it. There is huge incentive to maintain a crisis in order to retain such power – this risk factor may far outweigh any lives lost from the virus in many countries across the globe. Twentieth century history shows you have more to fear from your own government than a virus. The biblical truism applies: “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power absolutely.”
Below is a list of some of the political tools and controls that we are now seeing. Combined with the emergency powers, they threaten life and liberty. This is because they are all key components in the rise and functioning of totalitarian states:
Bypassing due process
To be able to pass laws without the full rigours of political process, as has happened in almost every country worldwide, removes a vital check against abuse of power. For example, 24 hours before the largest UK anti-lockdown protest to date was due to happen, some key legislation against protests was introduced but was “neither debated nor given even the most cursory scrutiny by any Parliamentary process…given its timing, even if it was not introduced with the purpose of targeting the organisers of a political protest against government policy, it very much has that appearance.”522020-09-02; Scott, Matthew; Piers Corbyn may be a crank but his treatment should worry us all; https://barristerblogger.com/2020/09/02/piers-corbyn-may-be-a-crank-but-his-treatment-should-worry-us-all/ Furthermore, local lockdowns have been issued on weak evidence532020-07-03; Dr Q; Leicester’s Unnecessary Second Lockdown; https://lockdownsceptics.org/why-leicester-doesnt-need-a-local-lockdown/,542020-08-02; Heneghan, Carl; COVID cases in England aren’t rising: here’s why; https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-cases-in-england-arent-rising-heres-why/ and without the elected representatives of areas being consulted.55LBC; Angry Leicester Mayor says he’s not seen data to show city needs local lockdown;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3l-tMRTqXA “Laws to cover local lockdowns could be debated properly in parliament and Kirsty Brimelow QC says the fact that they aren’t ‘can only mean government seeking to bypass the democratic system’.”562020-09; Dodsworth, Laura; Liberty in lockdown; https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/september-2020/liberty-in-lockdown/
We must consider that “lockdown was enforced under the Public Health Act, originally designed to immobilise and treat people who are infectious, not the entire population”57ibid and thus ask the question, “What made Covid the first disease to merit quarantining an entire population of the healthy?”58ibid Kirsty Brimelow QC is concerned that: “The rule of law is being so emasculated that when you actually need it you will find it is no longer there. That then leads to arbitrary decisions, overreach and [the law] being used against citizens. We have become too used to being a liberal democratic country and our rights are being pulled away by stealth. If we don’t have a strong legal framework then we will move towards law by government and not law through parliament, and the heart of democracy will be gone.”59Kirsty Brimelow QC; ibid Lord Sumption, former supreme court judge, explained: “The only reason I can think of why the government did not use the one piece of legislation that’s plainly applicable is that it wished to avoid parliamentary scrutiny.”602020-09-10; Pearson, A & Halligan, I; The Telegraph; Planet Normal: Use of fear has brought about ‘the greatest invasion of personal liberty in our history’; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/10/planet-normal-use-fear-has-brought-greatest-invasion-personal/
Emergency powers were conceded and lockdown began on the proviso that it was simply to “flatten the curve” – so the hospitals could cope. This reason expired – the overflow hospitals in both New York612020-04-30; Simkins, J; Navy Times; Hospital Ship Comfort departs NYC, having treated fewer than 200 patients; https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2020/04/30/hospital-ship-comfort-departs-nyc-having-treated-fewer-than-200-patients/ and London622020-05-18; Courtney-Guy, Sam; Metro; Just one Nightingale hospital is treating coronavirus patients; https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/18/just-one-nightingale-hospital-treating-coronavirus-patients-12722040/ were sadly632020-04-02; Schwirtz, Michael; New York Times; The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients.; https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html barely used. The curve couldn’t be flatter now. However, the lockdown continued and the powers still remain in place. It is also clear from Ferguson’s original paper that lockdown would be for a minimum of several months and up to 18 months642020-08-22; Slane, Rob; The Blogmire; Three Weeks for the Lockdown… But They Were All of Them Deceived; http://www.theblogmire.com/three-weeks-for-the-lockdown-but-they-were-all-of-them-deceived/ – it was not made clear to the public that this was on the table, but it was clear to those following his work.
Both regular and outstanding65Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt, Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford; Knutt Wikowski, former Head of Biostatistic, Epidemiology & Research Design at Rockefeller University; Professor Karol Sikora, former director of the WHO Cancer Programme and Dean of Medicine at University of Buckingham
2020-06-01; Kisin, Konstantin; The Telegraph; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/01/must-fight-youtubes-outrageous-censoring-lockdown-sceptics/ professionals and academics with a different narrative have been either completely censored or heavily restricted66Sunetra Gupta, Scott Atlas – deception about numbers attending rally etc; discover Shadow Banning: https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/censorship/ — including over 700 doctors in Germany,67Retrieved 2020-09-28; Doctors for Enlightenment; https://www.xn--rzte-fr-aufklrung-pqbn68b.de/ and over 1000 medical personnel in Belgium.682020-09-05; Docs 4 Open Debate; https://docs4opendebate.be/en/open-letter/ There has been a concerted effort to achieve one voice, and no dissent – Ofcom disallowed questioning of the narrative,692020-09-04; This Morning Britain; “You’re not allowed to question the narrative”; https://youtu.be/MFqpt9UuKCY?t=498 forbidding “statements that seek to question or undermine the advice of public health bodies on the Coronavirus, or otherwise undermine people’s trust in the advice of mainstream sources of information about the disease”.702020-05-26; Ofcom; Note to Broadcasters; https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0033/195873/Note-to-broadcasters-Coronavirus-update.pdf Most people who would have agreed that censorship was wrong before are now tolerating it – driven by fear and saving lives. Reducing freedom of expression has widespread implications on the health of a nation. An international digital-rights body reported “many countries have resorted to state-sponsored disinformation and propaganda to enhance their own political agenda. ‘Official disinformation’ promoted by heads of state threatens fundamental rights, democracy, and the rule of law.”712020-04-21; Access Now; Fighting misinformation and defending free expression during COVID-19: Recommendations for States; https://www.accessnow.org/cms/assets/uploads/2020/04/Fighting-misinformation-and-defending-free-expression-during-COVID-19-recommendations-for-states-1.pdf
Social atomisation (isolating members of a society from each other)
Measures such as social distancing, household isolation, gathering limitations and mask wearing may well have been promoted from benevolent intentions, but they also harm social ‘capital’ in a way that is hard to quantify.722020-07-08; Dr Collins, Randall; Sociology of Masks and Social Distancing; https://www.drrandallcollins.com/sociological-eye/2020/7/8/sociology-of-masks-and-social-distancing,732020-07-28; Fagan, Patrick; The Critic; Face masks make you stupid; https://thecritic.co.uk/face-masks-make-you-stupid/ We believe that the Word became flesh, and dwelt amongst us. That was important. The New Jerusalem is the Bride: a City built from living stones – each tightly connected to his neighbour. To isolate is in a fundamental way to unravel human society – made in the image of the eternally relational triune God. This is a cost we wish to limit as much as possible. “Individual isolation and loneliness are preconditions for totalitarian domination.”74Retrieved 2020-09-03; Summary of Hannah Arendt; Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origins_of_Totalitarianism
The right for the state to track the individual has been given a significant boost at this time. Most used to agree that big brother watching you is the stuff of dystopias, and represents a cost to individual privacy. However, people are now accepting tracking if it helps to ‘control the virus’.
Timothy Snyder, a historian specializing in the history of Eastern Europe and the Holocaust noted that “Totalitarianism is not an all-powerful state, but the erasure of the difference between private and public life. We are free insofar as we exercise control over what people know about us and in what circumstances they come to know it.”752017-03-20; Adams, Tim; The Guardian; On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder – review; https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/20/on-tyranny-twenty-lessons-from-twentieth-century-timothy-snyder-review
The employment of psychological behaviour control techniques have been manifest globally. Once the state apparatus for forming thinking has been justified, created and used it may be hard to stop more opportunistic use and undo the harm that widespread state level psychological control causes.
Along with various techniques, the UK pursued two that might have “negative spill-over effects”: the plan to “use media to increase sense of personal threat” alongside the cultivation of “social disapproval for failure to comply”.762020-03-22; SAGE; Gov.uk; Options for increasing adherence to social distancing measures; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22-march-2020The latter has arguably furthered social atomisation through cultivating a culture of peer-policing, shaming and shunning. It’s not just big brother but your neighbour who has been encouraged to watch you: “people should report their neighbours for any suspected breaches… the crime minister has said.”772020-09-14; BBC; Coronavirus: Report ‘rule of size’ breaches minister urgest; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54142699
Theft of language
Consider the new usage of the word “tolerance” – the redefinition of language is a powerful tool. “The Nazis commandeered language before they commandeered everything else… Hitler’s language explicitly undermined all and any opposition… any attempt by free people to understand the world in a different way was ‘defamation’ of the leader.”782017-03-20; Adams, Tim; The Guardian; On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder – review; https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/20/on-tyranny-twenty-lessons-from-twentieth-century-timothy-snyder-review Only now, those who diverge from the mainstream are labelled as “conspiracy theorists”79“It is a terrifying ignorance where recognized international studies and experts from all fields – virologists, bacteriologists, epidemiologists, or economists – are simply not heard or ignored. Even worse, they are called liars, charlatans, or conspiracy theorists, which is likely to be the non-word of the year 2020.” 2020-07-03; Dr Schiffman, Bodo; ACU2020; PDF Transcript – Text, ACU (03.07.2020) – acu2020.org; https://acu2020.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Text-ACU-english.pdf – and C19 has clearly given the word “misinformation”80“Misinformation” began trending with Coronavirus according to Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&q=misinformation a whole new purpose. The history of the term “fake news” is similar, tracing its creation to the last US election in November 2016.81“Fake News” created in https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=fake%20news
Excessive force: compulsion (not cooperation)
Whilst there are indicators that the measures pursued globally could have been done on a voluntary basis (like Sweden), compulsion by law has largely been used. “There’s simply no evidence that Americans resisted social distancing until ordered to comply. Instead, the evidence suggests that Americans were voluntarily social distancing to some extent up until the date when they received shelter in place orders.”822020-04-28; Stone, Lyman; the Public Discourse; Information Can Do What Lockdowns Can’t; https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/04/62837/ The same is true in Europe.832020-04-14; Payne, Sebastian & Burn-Murdoch, John; Financial Times; https://www.ft.com/content/3a654170-d53c-4efa-862a-027496fb6289,84London Datastore; Coronavirus (C19) Mobility Report; https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/coronavirus-covid-19-mobility-report
There have been some dystopian and highly authoritarian approaches taken to enforce compliance – from intrusive robotic dogs in Singapore852020-05-11; BBC; Robot dog enforces social distancing in Singapore; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-52619568 and drones worldwide862020-05-26; di Marco, Alessandro; Coronavirus: drones used to enforce lockdown pose a real threat to our civil liberties; https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-drones-used-to-enforce-lockdown-pose-a-real-threat-to-our-civil-liberties-138058 to arresting an Australian pregnant woman in her own home for an anti-lockdown Facebook post872020-09-02; New York Post; Pregnant Mom arrested for facebook post planning lockdown protest; https://nypost.com/2020/09/02/pregnant-mom-arrested-for-facebook-post-planning-lockdown-protest/,882020-08-18; Bolt, James; Melbourne’s slide into Covid dystopia; https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/08/18/melbournes-slide-into-covid-dystopia/ and pepper spraying a train passenger in the UK for refusal to wear a mask.89https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/04/police-officer-arrests-man-without-mask-liverpool-train/,902020-09-05; Pyman, T & Robinson, J; Daily Mail; Police officer pepper sprays passenger over face-mask despite exemption claim; https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8701013/Father-five-pepper-sprayed-rail-police-claims-innocent.html In the UK “every single conviction under the Coronavirus Act has since been overturned”,912020-09; Dodsworth, Laura; Liberty in lockdown; https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/september-2020/liberty-in-lockdown/ showing the force is potentially not only excessive, but unlawful.
“This is the greatest loss of liberty in modern Britain and it has happened by diktat. This is how autocracies and dictatorships emerge, for the ‘greater good’, measure by measure.”92ibid Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch
“The state decided without debate to restrict our rights and freedoms in ways that are unimaginable in a democratic system. This is not the way a normal liberal society operates. What is terrifying is that this wasn’t just imposed by governments — people wanted it. Of course, people can choose to stay in their homes, but they wanted it to be law, to impose these restrictions on others. Protest was made illegal on 26 March. In fact, any gathering of more than two people was made illegal. This is an epochal moment: it feels as if a barrier has been breached. One thing that is troubling is that people experience restrictions being lifted and talk of being ‘allowed’ to go to the pub or visit their family. Can you imagine saying that before?”93ibid Francis Hoar, barrister
The net of responsibility for all these measures must go wider than national governments (and subsidiary bodies) to include influential global bodies such as the WHO, NGOs – and particularly Big Tech and the media with their crucial facilitating role.
Whilst all these measures may have been undertaken from (misguided) benevolent intentions, they are inherently dangerous and costly to all that was held dear before C19. The man who asks for your house and car keys, and gets them, must make a compelling case. The people of the world have handed over rather more.
A biblical view of authoritarian tactics
The authoritarian tactics we are seeing are not tactics we should welcome as believers. They should remind us of he who seeks to “steal, kill and destroy”. Information control through censorship of truth is real power – Satan “holds the whole world under his sway”, and misleading messaging is a fundamental tool: he is “the father of lies”, “the deceiver of the whole world” and “the god of this age” who operates by blinding and “masquerades as an angel of light”. Moreover, psychological manipulation is harmful.
By contrast with all of the above, we have a God who is a God of truth and free enquiry. He says, “Come let us reason together,” “You are saved through the renewing of your minds,” “we have the Spirit of God to search even the deep things of God,” “a spirit of love, power and a sound mind,” “let each be fully convinced in his own mind,” “and walk according to the light that he has received,” “beware of wolves” – “a more noble mind examines to see whether the things said are true.”
Many of the worldwide tactics are antithetical to God’s nature and being.
Historic concerns regarding the dangers of governing by science
CS Lewis foresaw the possibility of a scientocracy in his 1958 essay, The Willing Slaves of the Welfare State:941958-07-20; Lewis, C S; The Observer; Willing Slaves of the Welfare State; http://liberty-tree.ca/research/willing_slaves_of_the_welfare_state
“The new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan [our lives] on its claim to knowledge… This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets… Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value…
“On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in’. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants’ ‘science’ – they didn’t think much of Hitler’s racial theories or Stalin’s biology. But they can be muzzled…”
“We have on the one hand a desperate need… We have, on the other, the conception of something that might meet it: omnicompetent global technocracy. Are not these the ideal opportunity for enslavement?”
“All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of the others. They will be simply men; none perfect; some greedy, cruel and dishonest. The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be. Have we discovered some new reason why, this time, power should not corrupt as it has done before?”
Professor Jordan Peterson has spoken about an academic paper showing the link between disease and authoritarianism: “The correlation between the prevalence of infectious disease in a locale and the degree to which authoritarian beliefs were held in that locale was about 0.7. You never see that in social sciences. That’s higher than the correlation between I.Q. and grades! – which is about as good as we ever get in terms of prediction…One of the things that implies is that one of the ways to get rid of authoritarian attitudes is through public health.”952020-05-08; Peterson, Jordan; 2015 Personality Lecture 14: Existentialism Solzhenitsyn Intro to Biology Psychometrics; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO6VfFqvRkM&feature=youtu.be&t=220 – of course, the inverse might also be true: can public health create authoritarian attitudes?
We should not be surprised, in light of German history, that many more Germans are seeing this clearly, as evidenced by their anti-lockdown protests that have been the largest to date worldwide.96Berlin Demo filmed for over an hour: https://youtu.be/gKuGWFeQCN4 To quote from one of the protest speakers: “I started seeing a risk of losing democracy, and every day I see more and more efforts to turn our free and democratic constitutional system into a surveillance state, with mind control, surveillance apps and the like, under the guise of infection protection laws.” Dr Bodo Schiffman972020-07-03; Dr Schiffman, Bodo; ACU2020; PDF Transcript – Text, ACU (03.07.2020) – acu2020.org; https://acu2020.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Text-ACU-english.pdf
“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.” Albert Camus982019-11-07; Galles, Gary; FEE; Camus’s Forgotten Lesson on Liberty; https://fee.org/articles/camuss-forgotten-lesson-on-liberty/
Benefit vs costs of lockdown measures
Minimal benefit of lockdown measures
It is inconceivable that C19 can now be eliminated and any strategy aimed at total prevention is flawed. Lockdowns do not save lives, but only delay deaths99“…full lockdowns and wide-spread COVID-19 testing were not associated with reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.”
2020-07-21; Chaudry et al; A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes; The Lancet; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100464,1002020-06; Gibson, John; IDEAS; Government Mandated Lockdowns Do Not Reduce Covid-19 Deaths: Implications for Evaluating the Stringent New Zealand Response; https://ideas.repec.org/p/wai/econwp/20-06.html – as UK’s SAGE minutes also make clear: “the primary impact of such measures is to delay transmission and reduce peak incidence; when they are lifted, transmission can be expected to resume.”1012020-02-25; SAGE; Tenth SAGE meeting on Wuhan Coronavirus; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891785/S0025_SAGE10_Effect_of_NPIs.pdf “Mitigations can be expected to change the shape of the epidemic curve or the timing of a first or second peak, but are not likely to reduce the overall number of total infections.”1022020-02-27; SAGE; Eleventh SAGE meeting on Wuhan Coronavirus; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888778/S0379_Eleventh_SAGE_meeting_on_Wuhan_Coronavirus__Covid-19__.pdf SAGE advisor Mark Woolhouse later reiterated this: “It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic… It was never going to change anything fundamentally, however low we drove down the number of cases… it was always clear that the moment we started to relax enough measures we were likely to see infection rates rise again either nationally or locally… I would not dignify waiting for a vaccine with the term ‘strategy’.”1032020-08-26; Johnston, Lucy; The Express; UK lockdown was a ‘monumental mistake’ and must not happen again – Boris scientist says; https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1320428/Coronavirus-news-lockdown-mistake-second-wave-Boris-Johnson
Though some research1042020-05-20; He, Elaine; Bloomberg; The Results of Europe’s Lockdown Experiment Are In; https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-opinion-coronavirus-europe-lockdown-excess-deaths-recession/,1052020-04-24; Meunier, Thomas; medRxiv preprint; Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic; https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20078717v1 suggests even such delaying powers are limited: “We all want to believe we can control COVID19. May be possible very early on. Then SARS-CoV-2 virus dynamics takes over. Like a stone thrown in the air, the trajectory is predictable”. Professor Michael Levitt of Stanford1062020-08-01; Levitt, Michael; Twitter; https://mobile.twitter.com/MLevitt_NP2013/status/1289474569145729024
A multi-regional analysis covering 25 US states and 23 countries similarly observed a pattern: “Once a region reaches 25 total COVID deaths, within a month the growth rate in deaths per day falls to approximately zero. In other words, no matter the country or state and its policies, deaths per day stop increasing within 20-30 days of passing a threshold of 25 deaths.”1072020-08-26; Miller, Stephen; AIER; Lockdowns and Mask Mandates Do Not Lead to Reduced COVID Transmission or Deaths New Study Suggest; https://www.aier.org/article/lockdowns-and-mask-mandates-do-not-lead-to-reduced-covid-transmission-rates-or-deaths-new-study-suggests/
Within a few weeks of the UK lockdown it was discovered that infections had actually peaked before lockdown, the curve had flattened without lockdown and was on its way down naturally.108‘UK coronavirus outbreak peaked before ‘unnecessary’ lockdown, claims Oxford Uni professor’, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/uk-coronavirus-outbreak-peaked-before-21895937,109‘UK Covid-19 infection peak may have fallen before lockdown, new analysis shows’, https://www.bristol.ac.uk/maths/news/2020/peak-lockdown.html Even Chris Whitty acknowledges infections had peaked before formal lockdown1102020-07-22; Smyth, Chris; The Times; Chris Witty blames poor planning for lockdown in bad-tempered health committee; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/chris-whitty-blames-poor-planning-for-lockdown-in-bad-tempered-health-committee-d5kb3fmw2 – it had gone non-exponential even before significant pre-lockdown behaviour changes.1112020-07-08; Jones, Will; Faith & Politics; Why lockdown is useless: The Case for the prosecution; https://faith-and-politics.com/2020/07/08/why-lockdown-is-useless-the-case-for-the-prosecution/
The lag between death and infection is based on Italian median of 12 days from onset of symptoms to death, Wuhan data indicates 17.8 days – WHO indicate 5-6 days from infection to symptoms – so you have a range of 17.5 to 23.3 days to clock back from deaths. To apply this range to when deaths cease to be exponential on 24th March, shows that infection ceased to be exponential 1st-7th March. UK public transport behaviour didn’t shift till 11th March. London deaths peaked 6th April, which tells us the infection peak was 14th to 20th March – the UK formally locked down March 23rd. Flu and pneumonia deaths seem to be minimally affected by lockdown in the UK,1122020-08-01; ONS; Flu and Pneumonia vs Covid; https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc939/fig1/index.html which would be another indicator of limited efficacy.
“Lockdown is going to bankrupt all of us and our descendants and is unlikely at this point to slow or halt viral circulation as the genie is out of the bottle. What the current situation boils down to is this: is economic meltdown a price worth paying to halt or delay what is already amongst us?”1132020-04-08; Jefferson & Heneghan; COVID-19 – The Tipping Point; https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-the-tipping-point/ Professor Tom Jefferson and Professor Carl Henneghan of Oxford. These are not ‘outlier’ viewpoints: Jefferson was lead scientist writing the Cochrane review1142011-07-06; Jefferson et al; Cochrane Library; Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses; https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub4/full of 67 studies titled “Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses” – he is one of the foremost specialists on the subject.
To prevent the virus coming into and then spreading in your country is extremely difficult and costly, as New Zealand and Australia (and others) are finding – and every day the costs mount up. Perhaps this explains why the various isolation measures of Leviticus115Leviticus 13, 14, 15 & 21 are by comparison generally limited in duration and extremely selective – never quarantining healthy people who’d had no contact with uncleanness or death – and the Israelites were certainly no strangers to lethal plagues.
Costs of lockdown measures chosen
Some of the costs listed here are financial, because when you have poverty, life expectancy goes down. You won’t see all of these deaths immediately, but because they are invisible and long term, please don’t think they are any less real or enormous in size, almost certainly dwarfing C19 deaths.
Cost to global health & economy
An additional 130 million1162020-04-21; UN; As famines of ‘biblical proportions’ loom, Security Council urged to ‘act fast’;; https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1062272 will be at the brink of starvation: it is estimated 6.7 million1172020-07-27; UNICEF; UNICEF: An additional 6.7 million children under 5 could suffer from wasting this year due to COVID-19; https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/unicef-additional-67-million-children-under-5-could-suffer-wasting-year-due-covid-19 children under 5 will suffer wasting, leading to 111,000 deaths in 2020 alone.1182020-07-27; International Food Policy Research Institute; Almost 180,000 children are also at risk of starvation from pandemics; https://www.ifpri.org/news-release/almost-180000-children-are-also-risk-starvation-pandemics-jung-welt%C2%A0 Tuberculosis will kill 1.4 million more people because of lockdowns.1192020-05-08; Watson, Paul J; Summit News; 1.4 Million People to Die From Untreated TB Due to Coronavirus Lockdown; https://summit.news/2020/05/08/1-4-million-people-to-die-from-untreated-tb-due-to-coronavirus-lockdown/ A minimum $2.4 to $10 trillion loss from impact to global tourism1202020-07-02; UNCTAD; Covid-19 and Tourism: Assessing the Economic Consequences; https://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=2810
The maths here are: $1.2tn to $3.3tn in best/worst case direct losses. “The indirect losses due intersectoral linkages in the tourism industry produce a multiplier effect throughout the economy. Findings show that the losses in GDP are approximately 2-3 times higher. As a result, a $1 million loss in international tourist revenue can lead to a fall in national income of $2-3 million.” So the best/worst case scenarios become $2.4tn to $9.9tn. – along with dramatic unemployment amongst the world’s poorest, with likely mass foreclosure on home mortgages coming. 90 countries have introduced fiscal measures totalling $10 trillion.1212020-06-30; ILO Monitor; COVID-19 and the world of work. 5th edition; https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/coronavirus/impacts-and-responses/WCMS_749399/lang–ja/index.htm
With consequential losses caused by business failures and debt, the common people of this planet (who did not get $637 billion1222020-08-03; Woods, Hiatt; Business Insider; How billionaires got $637 billion richer during the coronavirus pandemic; https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-net-worth-increases-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-7
This figure is almost guaranteed to rise significantly, as the recession follows, and they buy up more of the world at discount. richer during Covid) could lose $10-20tn – alongside millions of QALYS (quality adjusted life years) far exceeding the loss of life from Covid:
“[W]hen morbidity is taken into account, the estimates for the health impacts from a lockdown and lockdown induced recession are greater in terms of QALYs than the direct COVID-19 deaths. Much of the health impact, particularly in terms of morbidity, will be felt long after the pandemic is assumed to last…”1232020-07-15; UK Gov’t: Department of Health & Social Care, ONS, Gov’t Actuary’s Department & Home Office; Direct and Indirect Impacts of COVID-19 on Excess Deaths and Morbidity: Executive Summary; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907616/s0650-direct-indirect-impacts-covid-19-excess-deaths-morbidity-sage-48.pdf
If you factor in the interest attached to the loans for decades to come, the final cost will be considerably higher. The NHS England annual budget is $114bn,1242020-01-17; Harker, Rachel; House of Commons Library; NHS Expenditure; https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn00724/ so we’re talking 130-220 times the NHS budget – $16tn would provide NHS care levels for the entire planet.
The loss of such enormous sums will inevitably translate to the loss of almost incomprehensible future years of life. Healthcare, food, clean water and other basic life giving infrastructure takes money. Many of the poorest will be getting poorer and dying younger: “austerity kills”.
“Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
Cost of unemployment
In the UK the number of C19 deaths under 65 is less than the number of suicides in 2018. However, suicides of this age bracket are predicted to significantly increase, as there is a correlation between unemployment and deaths, including suicides:1252015-02-13; Cummins, Ian; WEF; The link between unemployment and suicide; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/02/the-link-between-unemployment-and-suicide/ in the US a 1% rise in unemployment risks 37,000 deaths.1262020-04-20; Crudele, John; New York Post; Is unemployment really as deadly as coronavirus?; https://nypost.com/2020/04/20/explaining-the-link-between-unemployment-deaths-amid-coronavirus/ 40 million Americans may lose their homes.1272020-07-30; Nova, Annie; CNBC; The pandemic may cause 40 million Americans to lose their homes; https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/30/what-its-like-to-be-evicted-during-the-coivd-19-pandemic.html
Covid-19 could cause “equivalent of 195 million job losses”1282020-04-08; Economic Department; UN News; 195 million unemployed; https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1061322 globally – it’s estimated there will be an average cost of 9.79 Years of Life Lost (YLL) for 2.1%1292020-04-30; McMaken; Mises Institute; Unemployment Kills: The Longer Lockdowns Last, the Worse It Will Get; https://mises.org/wire/unemployment-kills-longer-lockdowns-last-worse-it-will-get of the population, compared to the 10 Years of Life Lost1302020-05-15; Briggs, Andrew; Avalon Health Economics; Moving Beyond ‘Lives-Saved’ From COVID-19; https://avalonecon.com/moving-beyond-lives-saved-from-covid-19/ that C19 causes for 0.06% of the population131Assuming C19 stays as lethal as it was initially in each new area. – i.e. the cost from unemployment impact in Years of Life Lost by C19 measures looks 35 times greater than C19 itself.132If you were to use Quality Adjusted Life Years instead, you’d probably be looking at 70 times more.
Cost of each day of measures
Each day around another 10 thousand lives and $100 billion are lost. Duration is a key aspect of the cost – 150 days of lockdown so far at those costs gives 1.5 million lives that will be lost and $15tn. It is the pressing international issue. Every day of delay in return to the old normal is another tragic loss to be mourned. In the UK it’s reckoned that every week of lockdown cost 2,700 lives.1332020-07-29; Donnelly, L & Knapton, S; The Telegraph; Lockdown has killed 21,000 people, data suggests; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/29/lockdown-has-killed-21000-people-say-experts/
Cost of social distancing
This will change the profitability of the entire retail industry globally: pubs, clubs, cinemas and restaurants especially, closing down far too many businesses – if you can’t use your floorspace the way you used to, and your throughput is reduced by 25 to 50% or more overnight, your business is under serious threat. In addition not-for-profit sector gatherings will also be deeply impacted: from Alcoholics Anonymous to Mosques and Churches. This will lead to a massive suppression of social activity and will further contribute to social atomisation.
Aside from the financial aspect, recent research has shown that baby mice’s brains fail to develop correctly if isolated for just two weeks after weaning, causing problems with social behavior.1342020-08-31; Yamamuro et al; Nature Neuroscience; A prefrontal-paraventricular thalamus circuit requires juvenile social experience to regulate adult sociability in mice; https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-020-0695-6 Similarly “child social isolation is associated with raised CRP levels almost 40 years later… In addition, children who were socially isolated tended to have lower subsequent educational attainment, be in a less advantaged social class in adulthood, were more likely to be psychologically distressed across adulthood and were more likely to be obese and to smoke.”1352014-12; Lacey et al; Science Direct; Social isolation in childhood and adult inflammation: Evidence from the National Child Development Study; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306453014003126
Cost to care homes patients
It’s an irony that Matt Hancock has said, “Don’t kill your gran!”1362020-09-08; Smyth, C & Bennett, R; The Times; Don’t kill granny with coronavirus, warns Matt Hancock; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/affluent-youth-are-catching-coronavirus-most-says-matt-hancock-qvbpxw2nk when both the US1372020-06-26; Drew, Karen; Click on Detroit; What’s gone wrong in Michigan’s handling of the coronavrius (COVID-19) in nursing homes; https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/defenders/2020/06/26/whats-gone-wrong-in-michigans-handling-of-coronavirus-covid-19-in-nursing-homes/
2020-05-22; Condon, Peltz & Mustian; AP News; AP count: Over 4,500 virus patients sent to NY nursing homes; https://apnews.com/5ebc0ad45b73a899efa81f098330204c
This was apparently following CDC guidance, which has to raise some eyebrows: “Nursing homes should admit any individuals from hospitals where Covid is present”; https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/23/politics/cuomo-new-york-nursing-homes-coronavirus-patients/index.html
2020-5-14; McKelvey, Wallace; PennLive; Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s removal of mom from care home amid epidemic draws scrutiny; https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/05/health-secretary-rachel-levines-removal-of-mom-from-care-home-amid-epidemic-draws-scrutiny.html
2020-07-09; Villeneuve & Peltz; AP News; NY count: 6,300 virus patients were sent to nursing homes; https://apnews.com/b29d0a5eb51a5aed21d5efe132c33374 and the UK1382020-05-28; Brand, Paul; ITV News; ITV News reveals plans to discharge Covid-19 patients into care homes; https://www.itv.com/news/2020-05-28/itv-news-reveals-plans-to-discharge-covid-19-patients-into-care-homes-nhs-coronavirus
2020-04-07; Holland, Lisa; Sky News; Coronavirus: ‘Sacrificing the elderly’ – Care homes asked to take COVID-19 patients; https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-sacrificing-the-elderly-care-homes-asked-to-take-covid-19-patients-11969661
2020-05-14; Swerling, Gabriella; The Telegraph; Inquiry over coronavirus patients sent to care homes, as owner says he was forced to take in sick residents; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/14/equalities-watchdog-considers-whether-sending-patients-hospitals/ forced care homes to take Covid positive patients in — and the UK did it again months later, when they were “worried” about a second wave.1392020-09-17; Jenkins, Ciaran; Channel 4 News; Revealed: Local authority calls on care home providers to accept covid-positive patients; https://www.channel4.com/news/revealed-local-authority-calls-on-care-home-providers-to-accept-covid-positive-hospital-patients This effectively put a firelighter to the most vulnerable communities and increased fatalities.1402020-06-30; Earle, Peter; AIER; The Real Pandemic Was a Nursing Home Problem; https://www.aier.org/article/the-real-pandemic-was-a-nursing-home-problem/ In various countries many over-70s had limited care,1412020-04-07; Age UK; Response to DNR forms during Covid-19; https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/articles/2020/04/age-uk-response-to-dnr-forms/
2020-04-15; Discombe, Matt; HSJ; ‘Prejudiced’ hospital admissions guidance for the elderley dropped by NHSE; https://www.hsj.co.uk/patient-safety/prejudiced-hospital-admissions-guidance-for-the-elderly-dropped-by-nhse/7027414.article
2020-08-24; Likhtman, Asya; The Week; NHS care homes told to put ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders on all residents at Covid peak; https://www.theweek.co.uk/107888/nhs-care-homes-do-not-resuscitate-order-all-residents-coronavirus
2020-05-19; Savage, Maddy; BBC News; Coronavirus: What’s going wrong in Sweden’s care homes?; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52704836 which further increased deaths – some have described it as “active euthanasia”.1422020-06-22; Cook, Michael; Mercatornet; Did Covid-19 open the door to euthanasia in Sweden? https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/questions-raised-about-swedens-covid-19-policy-on-nursing-homes/13479 Moreover, most patients are now being kept nearly completely isolated from friends and family indefinitely which will have massive psychological impact.
Cost of delayed treatment
A&E attendance was 50% down, many cancer appointments and much other critical care were cancelled. These significantly contributed to excess deaths,1432020-08-07; Knapton, Sarah; The Telegraph; Lockdown ‘killed two people for every three who died of coronavirus’ at peak of outbreak; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/07/lockdown-killed-two-three-died-coronavirus/ and will continue to do so, until the backlog is worked through. In the UK the waiting list is 15 million,1442020-08-27; Lay, Kat; The Times; Coronavirus: NHS data shows 15m on ‘hidden waiting list’; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-nhs-data-shows-15m-on-hidden-waiting-list-w250vxvz6 20% of the population. In the UK lockdown “killed two people for every three who died of coronavirus” at the peak of the outbreak.1452020-07-29; Donnelly, L & Knapton, S; The Telegraph; Lockdown has killed 21,000 people, data suggests; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/29/lockdown-has-killed-21000-people-say-experts/
2020-08-22; Gibbons, Katie & Blakely, Rhys; The Times; Cancer care backlog may cost 30,000 lives, Boris Johnson told; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/cancer-care-backlog-may-cost-30-000-lives-boris-johnson-told-2ttvw330l
(Possible) cost of burying cures is burying bodies…
The most prominent cures from world renowned specialists are hydroxychloroquine146HCQ+Azithromycin+Zinc (HCQ) and MATH+, both use highly affordable safe drugs readily available globally and were widely discussed by March. While after 102 studies (60 peer reviewed)147Retrieved 2020-09-19; 102 studies, 60 peer reviewed; https://c19study.com there is still debate on HCQ’s benefit, countries with widespread early use of HCQ seem to show mortality rates 75% lower.148Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine: a country-based analysis; https://hcqtrial.com/ (cf. c19study.com) The MATH+ protocol appears to achieve a 50-75% reduction in Covid mortality rate.149The FLCCC Alliance Story; https://covid19criticalcare.com/ The global C19 mortality rate could possibly have been reduced substantially if such medicines were used.
(Possible) cost of not creating fever hospitals
Years of experience in managing highly infectious diseases were ignored and fever hospital1502020-05-11; Jefferson & Heneghan; CEBM; COVID-19: ‘Fever Hospitals’ https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-reestablishing-fever-hospitals/ strategies were not used, making hospitals ripe spreading grounds for the virus – further contributing to the sharpness of the infection spikes seen, and the fear that gave impetus to prolonging lockdown. If you were going to spend a fortune this would have been an effective direction.
One could investigate the cost of C19 measures on education, domestic abuse, child abuse,1512020-06-22; “Barnado’s has seen a 44% rise in the number of referrals to its fostering services from councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland”; https://fullfact.org/education/barnardos-foster-care-coronavirus/ mental health (& suicide risk), social welfare and other dimensions. Each deserves its own space, but time is limited.
Incompetence, opportunism or corruption?
Some see history as largely a series of bungling mistakes, others see opportunistic playing of circumstances, while some consider conspiracy commonplace. It is both possible and probable – given the nature of man – to have all three at work together.
Austrian Professor Martin Haditsch152ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Haditsch is highly concerned about the measures and believes that:
“Investigation is necessary because inappropriate decisions have been made irresponsibly from the outset, either grossly negligently or deliberately, without the necessary duty of care, that is to say without even the slightest consideration for collateral damage – decisions that have also undermined fundamental democratic rights and trampled all over ethical duties… In view of the scope of the decisions made, both options described above must necessarily be subjected to a detailed review…”1532020-07-02; Professor Haditsch; ACU2020; https://acu2020.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Text-ACU-english.pdf
Below is a list of serious problems that show incompetence, opportunism or corruption.
Critiques of lockdown had been ignored
Lockdown had been the subject of long consideration. In 2006 the first ever influential pro-lockdown paper1542006-11-01; Glass RJ, Glass LM, Beyeler WE, Min HJ; Emerging Infectious Diseases; Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza; https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1211.060255 came from an unqualified team.1552020-05-15; Tucker, Jeffrey; AIER; The 2006 Origins of the Lockdown Idea; https://www.aier.org/article/the-2006-origins-of-the-lockdown-idea/ It is therefore unsurprising that their “lockdown” paper was heavily critiqued in great detail by field leaders in epidemiology, infectious diseases and their global control. The main author of this counter paper was the legendary epidemiologist and smallpox eradicator Donald Henderson, and is worth quoting at length:
“A number of mitigation measures that are now being considered could have a serious impact on the ability of the health system to deliver adequate care and could have potentially adverse consequences for the provision of essential services. Many could result in significant disruption of the social functioning of communities and result in possibly serious economic problems. Such negative consequences might be worth chancing if there were compelling evidence or reason to believe they would seriously diminish the consequences or spread of a pandemic. However, few analyses have been produced that weigh the hoped-for efficacy of such measures against the potential impacts of large-scale or long-term implementation of these measures.”
“There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread of influenza. A World Health Organization (WHO) Writing Group, after reviewing the literature and considering contemporary international experience, concluded that ‘forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.’ Despite this recommendation by experts, mandatory large-scale quarantine continues to be considered as an option by some authorities and government officials… The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.”1562006-12-18; Henderson et al; Center for Biosecurity – UPMC; Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza; http://www.upmc-biosecurity.org/website/resources/publications/2006/2006-09-15-diseasemitigationcontrolpandemicflu.html
Nonetheless, the idea made progress and permeated high level thinking. In 2010, lockdown featured heavily in a carefully worked through future planning scenario (“Lockstep”)157Referenced by Warwick University, but pdf here: https://www.nommeraadio.ee/meedia/pdf/RRS/Rockefeller%20Foundation.pdf showing striking similarities to today, perhaps further watering the seeds that birthed our current situation.
In 2011, the largest ever medical review of “physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses” concluded: “Simple and low-cost interventions would be useful for reducing transmission of epidemic respiratory viruses [in particular: isolation & hygienic measures (surgical masks, gloves and gowns) in hospital wards, regular handwashing]… There was insufficient evidence to support screening at entry ports and social distancing (spatial separation of at least one metre between those infected and those non-infected) as a method to reduce spread during epidemics.”158See footnote 34.
Following 2009 Swine flu epidemic, more research against such mitigation measures had come to light. Hence Canada’s 2018 pandemic guidance declared restriction of movement “impractical, if not impossible.”1592018-08; Government of Canada; Canadian Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: Planning Guidance for the Health Sector; https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/flu-influenza/canadian-pandemic-influenza-preparedness-planning-guidance-health-sector/table-of-contents.html Even the “U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its 2017 community mitigation guidelines1602017-04-21; CDC; Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza; https://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/cdc-24-7/preventing-pandemic-influenza/community-mitigation-guidelines-for-preventing-pandemic-flu.html for pandemic flu, didn’t recommend stay-at-home orders or closing nonessential businesses even for a flu as severe as the one a century ago.”1612020-08-24; Ip, Greg; The Wall Street Journal; New Thinking on Covid Lockdowns: They’re Overly Blunt and Costly; https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-lockdowns-economy-pandemic-recession-business-shutdown-sweden-coronavirus-11598281419
The benefit argument stood against lockdowns and social distancing: such measures were followed in spite of – not because of – “the science”.
Likely virus origin raises serious concerns
It looks increasingly likely that the virus came from a lab,1622020-06-02; Latham, Jonathan & Wilson, Allison; Independent Science News; The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin; https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-case-is-building-that-covid-19-had-a-lab-origin/,1632020-08-10; Mosher, Stephen; LifeSiteNews; Renowned European scientist: COVID-190 was engineered in China lab, effective vaccine ‘unlikely’; https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/renowned-european-scientist-covid-19-was-engineered-in-china-lab-effective-vaccine-unlikely and almost every major health institution in the world and US would be implicated, including those influencing the current response. The funding of bat coronavirus work at Wuhan Institute of Virology should have arguably excluded the WHO, Francis Collins of NIH, Anthony Fauci at NIAID and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation from any involvement in the proceedings they potentially caused – instead they are leading voices.
There was a clear due-process failure in initiating lockdowns
There were three substantial and compounding mistakes here:
- Choosing only one person to provide your data model – almost all procurement works on the basis of at least two quotes for any given job. If a nuclear strike rides on the back of such a decision, perhaps the bar should be raised a little higher. Neil Ferguson’s one model led the world’s decision making process.
- Choosing someone with a very poor track record – this led to significantly exaggerated projections and a consequently excessive response
- Deciding to lockdown without “any cost benefit analysis of the economic and health impacts or consideration of less onerous alternatives.”1642020-07-16; Parker et al; Financial Times; Inside Westminster’s coronavirus blame game; https://www.ft.com/content/aa53173b-eb39-4055-b112-0001c1f6de1b
Immediate expression of intent for “no old normal” possibly exposes ideological motivations
From very early on, Bill Gates suggested no return to normal until a vaccine comes out.1652020-04-30; Gates, BIll; GatesNotes; What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine; https://www.gatesnotes.com/Health/What-you-need-to-know-about-the-COVID-19-vaccine There were many others sharing this idea: “no old normal, only a new normal.”1662020-04-11; Milan, Aidan; Metro; Coronavirus UK: When will life get back to normal after Covid-19; https://metro.co.uk/2020/04/11/coronavirus-uk-will-life-get-back-normal-covid-19-12542290/ A SAGE member said we need a long term approach to live with it for decades to come,1672020-07-21; Corbishley, Sam; Metro; UK will be living with coronavirus ‘for decades to come’; https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/21/uk-will-living-coronavirus-decades-come-13019088/ while Fauci is now asserting “we have entered a pandemic era… we will increasingly provoke new disease emergencies. We remain at risk for the foreseeable future.”1682020-08-15; Morens, D & Fauci, A; Emerging Pandemic Diseases: How We Got to COVID-19; https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31012-6
Policies concerned with “saving lives” actually do the opposite, yet they continue
Months into lockdown measures, the cost to life of our measures (and lack of benefit) combined with new information on how C19 is multitudes less deadly than originally thought has become abundantly clear, and yet lockdowns continue, as does the harm. Why?
Accelerated vaccine path for C19 ignores history and risks
Dr Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told Reuters that he is concerned about the C19 Vaccine:
“‘I understand the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but from everything I know, this is not the vaccine to be doing it with,’ …Hotez worked on development of a vaccine for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the coronavirus behind a major 2003 outbreak, and found that some vaccinated animals developed more severe disease compared with unvaccinated animals when they were exposed to the virus. ‘There is a risk of immune enhancement,’ said Hotez. ‘The way you reduce that risk is first you show it does not occur in laboratory animals…’ There remains no vaccine for any of the new coronaviruses that have caused outbreaks in the past 20 years.”1692020-03-11; Steenjuysen, Julie; Reuters; As pressure for coronavirus vaccine mounts, scientists debate risks of accelerated testing; https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN20Y1GZ
If SARS and MERS – two other dangerous Coronaviruses – fizzled out to non-concerning levels without a vaccine, and Covid has shown a similar trajectory, why make such a huge focus on rushing the development of a vaccine? Perhaps because of fear of losing funding?
“The SARS and Zika epidemics ended before vaccine development was complete, and federal funding agencies reallocated funds that had been committed to vaccine development, leaving manufacturers with financial losses and setting back other vaccine-development programs.”1702020-05-21; Lurie et al; NEJM; Developing Covid-19 Vaccines at Pandemic Speed; https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2005630
A similar financial concern was shared by a virologist developing a C19 vaccine: “By the time they have gone through trials to determine safety and efficacy, will there be the same kind of public will to push this out on the market? Will we continue to have government and private industry investments?”171Angela Rasmussen, virologist, quoted: 2020-04-14; Peeples, Lynne; PNAS; Avoiding pitfalls in the pursuit of a COVID-19 vaccine; https://www.pnas.org/content/117/15/8218
The leading vaccine contender has been allowed to skip animal testing, receiving $487m from the US government, and is “a whole new type of vaccine… it would be the first of its type”1722020-04-01; Roberts, Joanna; Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine; Five things you need to know about: mRNA vaccines; https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/five-things-you-need-know-about-mrna-vaccines.html – from a new company with no track record of ever bringing a drug to market: Moderna.1732020-07-01; Loftus, Peter & Zuckerman, Gregory; Inside Moderna: The Covid Vaccine Front-Runner With No Track Record and an Unsparing CEO; https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-moderna-the-covid-vaccine-front-runner-with-no-track-record-and-an-unsparing-ceo-11593615205 It’s therefore unsuprising that a former Director of Chemistry at Moderna, Dr Suhaib Siddiqi, said this is cause for alarm: “I would not let that [vaccine] be injected in my body. I would demand: Where is the toxicity data from the lab?”1742020-05-01; Kuznia, Polglase & Mezzofiore; CNN; https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/01/us/coronavirus-moderna-vaccine-invs/index.html
Science on medical solutions is cherry picked and censored
The FDA considers 30% efficacy1752020-07-10; Mezher, Michael; Endpoints News; Peter Marks on Covid-19 vaccine efficacy, EUAs and challenge trials; https://endpts.com/peter-marks-on-covid-19-vaccine-efficacy-euas-and-challenge-trials/ for a vaccine acceptable, whilst indemnity is still sought1762020-08-26; Mancini, Donato & Peel, Michael; Financial Times; Covid-19 vaccine makers lobby EU for legal protection; https://www.ft.com/content/12f7da5b-92c8-4050-bcea-e726b75eef4d
2020-07-30; Burger, Ludwig & Aripaka, Pushkala; Reuters; AstraZeneca to be exempt from coronavirus vaccine liability claims in most countries; https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN24V2EN for injuries177 2020-04-09; Quick, Becky & Gates, Bill; CNBC; Watch CNBC’s full interview with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates on the coronavirus pandemic and his work toward a vaccine; https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/04/09/watch-cnbcs-full-interview-with-microsoft-co-founder-bill-gates-on-past-pandemic-warnings.html
“There will be some risk and indemnification needed” @ 12:40ish (a 2010 government report suggested this might occur in 2.6% of cases1782011; Lazarus, Ross; Agency for Healthcare Research (AHRQ); Electronic Support for Public Health-Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System; https://digital.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/docs/publication/r18hs017045-lazarus-final-report-2011.pdf) – and yet “the vaccine” is viewed as the great cause to promote globally while concerns about safety are suppressed.1792020-05-22; Kennedy, Robert; Children’s Health Defense; Vaccine Trial Catastrophe: Moderna Vaccine has 20% ‘Serious’ Injury Rate in High Dose Group; https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/vaccine-trial-catastrophe-moderna-vaccine-has-20-serious-injury-rate-in-high-dose-group/
By the same measure, promising, safe antiviral treatments with rigorous, long term scientific research to support180Vitamin C: harmlesswise.com/covid#1.3; Vitamin D: harmlesswise.com/covid#2; Iodine: harmlesswise.com/covid#3.1 are censored and even discredited through fraudulent medical data1812020-06-03; The Guardian; Surgisphere: governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/03/covid-19-surgisphere-who-world-health-organization-hydroxychloroquine and trials.1822020-08-28; Dr Campbell, John; A simple and clear explanation of recent positive and negative studies: hydroxychloroquine has strong evidence of efficacy; https://www.palmerfoundation.com.au/a-simple-and-clear-explanation-of-recent-positive-and-negative-studies-hydroxychloroquine-has-strong-evidence-of-efficacy-by-dr-john-campbell/,1832020-06-14; Nass, Meryl; WHO & UK trials use potentially lethal hydroxychloroquine dose; https://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2020/06/who-trial-using-potentially-fatal.html
Hydroxychloroquine, which is safe for pregnant women, is perhaps the most prominent case. Beyond the “tsunami of evidence”,184Retrieved 2020-08-28; COVID-19 Treatment – Analysis of 82 global studies showing high effectiveness for early treatment; c19study.com,1852020-07-13; Jullian, Michel & Azalbert, Xavier; FranceSoir; Covid-19: hydroxychloroquine works, a proof?; http://www.francesoir.fr/societe-sante/covid-19-hydroxychloroquine-works-irrefutable-proof,186Palmer Foundation; HCQ timeline; https://www.palmerfoundation.com.au/hydroxychloroquine-stories-as-it-happens-timeline/ “it is remarkable that a large series of events taking place over the past 3 months produced a unified [negative] message about hydroxychloroquine, and produced similar policies about the drug in the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and western Europe.”1872020-08-20; AHRP; How a False COVID-19 Narrative Was Created & Sustained for Six Months; https://ahrp.org/how-a-false-covid-19-narrative-was-created-sustained-for-six-months/
Any research that suggests we have may have arrived close to herd immunity is now considered dangerous. Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford University has shared that “We’ve found it difficult to publish our work1882020-07-16; Lourence, Pnotti, Thompson & Gupta; medRxiv; The impact of host resistance on cumulative mortality and the threshold of herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2; https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.15.20154294v1 in mainstream journals – sadly anything that deviates from the consensus has been met with criticism – not simply of the science, but we’ve been labelled as saying things that are dangerous…1892020-09-02; The Evening Standard; Let children be exposed to viruses, says Professor Gupta; https://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/the-londoner-let-children-be-exposed-to-viruses-says-professor-gupta-a4538386.html which is really rather heartbreaking because right from the beginning we’ve all been very concerned about the effects of lockdown on underprivileged people, both in this country and globally.”1902020-07-21; Gupta, Sunetra (Interview); We may already have herd immunity; https://reaction.life/we-may-already-have-herd-immunity-an-interview-with-professor-sunetra-gupta/
Similarly another “preprint estimating relatively low herd immunity thresholds” was rejected because: “Given the implications for public health, it is appropriate to hold claims around the herd immunity threshold to a very high evidence bar, as these would be interpreted to justify relaxation of interventions, potentially placing people at risk.”191M Gabriela M Gomes; Twitter; https://twitter.com/mgmgomes1/status/1291162358962937857 Meanwhile the bar for mandating masks, vaccines and exorbitantly expensive lockdown related measures remains low even by normal academic standards.
Even the search results from PubMed, a free search engine for academic medical journals, seem to have been subject to manipulation during Covid thus making it difficult to find research that doesn’t fit the narrative.1922020-06-17; Verkerk, Rob; Alliance for Natural Health International; Be careful what and where you search; https://www.anhinternational.org/news/be-careful-what-and-where-you-search/
Statistics were presented in such a way that has led to hysteria
- Daily death announcing At the beginning, both the government and the media daily announced the death count (though the government has stopped now). Pictures and stories of the deceased were published daily. If any disease, such as sepsis that kills millions annually, had every death announced daily it would create world wide hysteria over sepsis. Moreover, the media often focused on the statistical anomalies such as a young mother dying of Covid.
- Lack of explanation of statistics Early on, only those who were very sick in hospital were tested, thus leading to the Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) being terrifying: it looked like if you got it you died. Most people did not know that the Infection Fatality Ratio (the actual chance if you got it, you die) was a different number, and typically a good deal lower. However by not doing randomized testing of the population early on, the infection fatality ratio could not be calculated. All this was not made clear by the media leading to hysteria.
- Inflation of Deaths by misleading counting: the distinction between dying of C19 or with C19. If you had flu in 2019, but stage 4 colon cancer and died when you got flu, it would be “cancer” you died of – but now that death goes towards the C19 count.1932020-03-28; The Spectator; How deadly is the coronavirus? It’s still far from clear; https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/The-evidence-on-Covid-19-is-not-as-clear-as-we-think In many cases if you had tested positive for C19 but recovered, your death would still count as C19: whether you died months later in a car crash or sky diving.1942020-07-16, Why no-one can ever recover from COVID-19 in England – a statistical anomaly; https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/why-no-one-can-ever-recover-from-covid-19-in-england-a-statistical-anomaly/
- Focus on Cases Now, the focus is on cases – and by conducting a lot more tests you can double the number of cases in a given area: and you have grounds for locking down. As a function of the inaccuracy of tests, you get a certain percentage of false positives: if you conducted 100,000 tests you could get 500 false positives (5%)1952020-07-20; Heneghan, Carl; The Spectator; How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?; https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-many-covid-diagnoses-are-false-positives-,1962020-08-05; Jefferson et al; CEBM; Are you infections if you have a positive PCR test result for COVID-19?; https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/infectious-positive-pcr-test-result-covid-19/ – while The New York Times found “up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus”.1972020-08-29; Mandavilli, Apoorva; Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be.; https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html,1982020-09-05; Schraer, Rachel; BBC; Coronavirus: Tests ‘could be picking up dead virus’; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54000629 The same occurred during the Swine Flu “epidemic” in Summer 2009 leading to unnecessary panic.1992010-03-12; Bethge et al; Spiegel; Reconstruction of a Mass Hysteria: The Swine Flu Panic of 2009; https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/reconstruction-of-a-mass-hysteria-the-swine-flu-panic-of-2009-a-682613.html The UK planned trials of mass weekly Covid-19 testing of the population could lead to a “second wave” purely from false positives of people who then die of other causes – especially if this were to be rolled out in nursing homes.2002020-09-02; Elgot, Jessica; The Guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/sep/02/mass-weekly-covid-19-testing-of-population-to-be-trialled-in-england
As a result of this, a UK poll2012020-08-05; FullFact.org; Coronavirus Death Poll; https://fullfact.org/health/why-poll-gives-misleading-view-how-many-people-public-think-covid-19-has-killed/ revealed confusion about Covid’s death toll: the median view was 1% of the population had died of C19 and the average view was 7% – out by 15 to 100 times respectively. The actual figure is around 0.06%. Some healthy people have stayed in their homes since lockdown began as a result. “Personal threat” has been unreasonably increased with little done to allay it.
If malicious, one could selectively ramp up tests to generate more cases as needed – and move towards using excess deaths as the “best means” of counting C19 deaths – knowing these are likely to rise globally as a fallout of the non-covid deaths resulting from punitive lockdown measures.202Including all mentioned, but many more I’ve no doubt missed, and others such as the guidance on CPR: “it is recommended that you do not perform rescue breaths or mouth-to-mouth ventilation; perform chest compressions only.”
Retrieved 2020-08-29; Gov.uk; COVID-19: guidance for first responders; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-interim-guidance-for-first-responders/interim-guidance-for-first-responders-and-others-in-close-contact-with-symptomatic-people-with-potential-2019-ncov
Who might benefit from the crisis and its perpetuation?
There are many factors and motives that may be at play together:
- Historically, there is a lot of human interest for those in power to attain and retain more power.
- A recession was coming before Covid, but the financial crash that this is precipitating stands to benefit money lenders. The freeing of slaves in the UK was achieved in 1833 by buying them off their owners for 40% of the national budget – the taxpayer would not finish paying this debt back until 2015, 182 years later.2032018-03-29; Manjapra, Kris; The Guardian; When will Britain face up to its crimes against humanity?; https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/29/slavery-abolition-compensation-when-will-britain-face-up-to-its-crimes-against-humanity Lending money is lucrative, and gives power: “the borrower is the slave of the lender.”204Proverbs 22:7
- The media oligarchy also has many interests that might prevent neutrality in coverage. Bill Gates has also given $250m2052020-08-21; Tim Schwab; Columbia Journalism Review; Journalism’s Gates keepers; https://www.cjr.org/criticism/gates-foundation-journalism-funding.php in funding to the media over time, gaining substantial influence there, equivalent to Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Times. Pharmaceutical advertising buyers are significant.
- Bill Gates gave $300m206$296.9 to be more precise: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gI_MdbR-Kcg4Ls1q2aXU1c8wE1TpkjQtXNfsheSIO9k/ in grants to Imperial College London,207Retrieved 2020-09-03; Awarded Grants; Gates Foundation; https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database#q/k=imperial%20college%20london whose data model was so key in facilitating the path the world took – and has been the biggest funder after the US of the WHO for many years.2082020-04-15; Moulds, Josephine; WEF; How is the World Health Organisation funded?; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/who-funds-world-health-organization-un-coronavirus-pandemic-covid-trump/ Bill Gates remains a significant player in Big Tech, with financial ties through his shares in Microsoft (which owns LinkedIn and Skype)2092020-01-28; Yitzhak, Yaron; The Next Web; Bill Gates owns a lot more Apple stock than you might think; https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2020/01/28/bill-gates-owns-a-lot-more-apple-stock-than-you-might-think/ – so he may have potential conflict of interest in the provision of digital solutions that have seen substantial growth during lockdown. Further, his own keenness for vaccines may bias outcomes of the parties he has influence over in that direction – even if his interest there is purely altruistic. Additionally he may have a conflict of interest over his involvement with digital tracking systems related to immunisation.2102020-03-18; Perez, Matt; Forbes; Bill Gates Calls For National Tracking System For Coronavirus During Reddit AMA; https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/03/18/bill-gates-calls-for-national-tracking-system-for-coronavirus-during-reddit-ama/#5b4ef73e6a72,2112020-08-30; Weaver; Tap News Wire; FDA Nears Approval of Injectable Biochip Implants for COVID Detection, Linked to Computers; http://tapnewswire.com/2020/08/fda-nears-approval-of-injectable-biochip-implants-for-covid-detection-linked-to-computers/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=786c7454-b962-4bf0-8b7c-0fd9388c5542
- Combined, the financial scale of both a regular repeat2122020-08-22; BBC; Coronavirus will be with us forever, SAGE scientist warns; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53875189 vaccine market of 7 billion people, along with technology aimed at tracking compliance with vaccination mandates provides strong interest for unrighteous mammon – without considering potentially significant side-benefits. C19 being over without the need for such a solution could constitute an unhelpful public precedent and set back for interested parties.
- Big Tech is declaring record profits when many other businesses are failing: the global centralisation of the means of production – and an even more tech dependent future is being both imagined2132020-08-06; BBC; This is what coronavirus will do to our offices and homes; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-dc2d6e2d-3ab4-42de-8d03-bb7eda5fff8e,2142020-07-21; Cost, Curtis; Gates & Gov. Cuomo Take Advantage of COVID-19 and Re-Imagine the NY Education System; https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/gates-and-gov-cuomo-take-advantage-of-covid-19-and-re-imagine-the-ny-education-system/ and tested.2152020-05-08; Klein, Naomi; The Intercept; Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia; https://theintercept.com/2020/05/08/andrew-cuomo-eric-schmidt-coronavirus-tech-shock-doctrine/
- Google/YouTube’s parent company Alphabet has significant ties to the vaccine industry via GSK,2162016-08-01; Hirschler, Ben; Reuters; GSK and Google parent forge $715 million bioelectronic medicines firm; https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN10C1K8 Merck217Mary Ellen Coe is both President of Global Customer Solutions at Google and on Merck’s Board of directors; Retrieved 2020-08-31; https://www.merck.com/leadership/mary-ellen-coe/ and Vaccitech2182018-01-15; Hirschler, Ben; Reuters; Google venture arm backs UK universal flu vaccine company; https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN1F400H who are now developing a Covid vaccine – thus furnishing potential interest in censoring2192019-09-27; Henein, Maryam; The Epoch Times; Google Censors, Shadowbans, and Blacklists Alternative Health News; https://www.theepochtimes.com/google-censors-shadowbans-and-blacklists-alternative-health-news_3098108.html alternative2202020-05-28; Alliance for Natural Health USA; Doctors Gagged as Feds Launch Censorship Campaign; https://anh-usa.org/doctors-gagged-as-feds-launch-massive-censorship-campaign/ treatments. FaceBook ‘fact checkers’ have typically received funding from the interested parties above.
- The World Economic Forum sees a massive opportunity to invoke global change via a “Great Reset”. They note “one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has shown how quickly we can make radical changes to our lifestyles. Almost instantly, the crisis forced businesses and individuals to abandon practices long claimed to be essential… The changes we have already seen in response to COVID-19 prove that a reset of our economic and social foundations is possible. This is our best chance to instigate stakeholder capitalism… the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed.”2212020-06-03; Schwab, Klaus; WEF; Now is the time for a ‘great reset’; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/
- The UN has Agenda 21222https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/outcomedocuments/agenda21 and 2030223UN; The Sustainable Development Agenda; 17 Goals for People, for Planet – A Decade of Action; https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/ which plan to dramatically change the world for “the better” – including “no poverty”, “zero hunger”, “good health and well-being”. 2030 as the target timeframe is challenging – perhaps why UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave WEF’s “The Great Reset” his endorsement2242020-06-03; Monck, Adrian; WEF; The Great Reset: A Unique Twin Summit to Begin 2021; https://www.weforum.org/press/2020/06/the-great-reset-a-unique-twin-summit-to-begin-2021/ – he may see it as a solid “partnership to achieve the Goal”.225Goal 17 of Envision 2030 Agenda Historically, huge systemic changes conducted by the few, in the name of the people’s betterment, have normally done the opposite.
Fear of man (or peer pressure), unrighteous mammon, a love of power and pre-eminence can all be possible motives for corrupt policies, but for the Christian there are also unique spiritual factors:
- Bible believers expect spiritual wickedness in high places. Evil has an interest in death and destruction: Satan was a murderer from the beginning and is also named “Destroyer”.
- The Bible indicates the Babylon of Revelation – a symbol of global corrupt trading226Revelation 18 – has “dominion over the kings of the earth.”227Revelation 17:5 & 18 So we increasingly expect the world’s business — plied by the super corporations of the day — to rule the world’s politics as we get nearer to the end.
- Could most of the world be deceived? We are assured by prophecy that one day it will be: “Satan will go out to deceive the nations and gather the kings of the earth together against the church.”228Forgive the interpretational concatenation of Revelation 16:14, 19:19-20 & 20:7-9. To assume that this cannot happen in our day is to fail to take the Word of God seriously. Very few nations of the world appear outside the emerging power system that is pushing for the present authoritarian measures and has nations acting in concert across much of the planet. As this system continues to impinge on the church, it is worth considering whether we could possibly be seeing a near-final fulfilment of this truth — and what God’s intent was in giving such prophecies: forewarned is forearmed? Satan could be one who will benefit from our times: the nations have possibly been deceived and gathered as one, the direction in which they head will be interesting to note.
- Satan now also has a number of unique opportunities in getting the nations to turn against the church. While the whole world has been told our only hope is a vaccine, there have been interesting developments around vaccine certification, immunity passports,2292020-08-28; Protecting Society & Economy; National trial commences; healthpassportireland.ie digital IDs2302020-09-03; BBC; Tony Blair: It is common sense to move towards digital IDs; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54010432,2312020-09-02; Grylls, George; The Times; Digital ‘ID cards’ lead the Dominic Cummings data revolution; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/digital-id-cards-lead-the-dominic-cummings-data-revolution-v750fn3kt,2322020-09-11; VST Enterprises; Yahoo Finance; British Tech Companies Deliver Covid Test, Health Passport & Contact Tracing App Tech Solution to UK Prime Minister; https://finance.yahoo.com/news/british-tech-companies-deliver-covid-160000663.html and their potential impact on an individual’s freedom to function2332020-08-31; Meneguzzi, Justin; BBC; Will you need an ‘immunity passport’ to travel; http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20200831-coronavirus-will-you-need-an-immunity-passport-to-travel in an increasingly cashless2342020-06-24; Kale, Sirin; The Guardian; You can’t pay cash here; https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jun/24/you-cant-pay-cash-here-how-cashless-society-harms-most-vulnerable,2352020-09-24; Haig, Samuel; CoinTelegraph; Federal Reserve Bank reveals details of digital dollar research; https://cointelegraph.com/news/federal-reserve-bank-reveals-details-of-digital-dollar-research,2362020-08-01; Coronado, Julia & Potter, Simon; Bloomber Two Ex-Fed Officials Have a Faster Way to Distribute Money in Recession; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-01/two-ex-fed-officials-offer-a-faster-way-to-make-stimulus-payments,2372020-09-25; Vincent, Danny; BBC; One day everyone will use China’s digital currency; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54261382 society. However, the five front runners for the vaccine are all made with aborted fetal tissue2382020-05-15; McGovern, Celeste; National Catholic Register; USCCB and Pro-Lifers Demand Morally Sound Coronavirus Vaccine; https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/usccb-and-pro-lifers-demand-morally-sound-coronavirus-vaccine – the vaccine industry has almost certainly used thousands of healthy aborted babies, all over 3 months, over many years.239If you’ve heard the line only two fetuses from the 60s were involved, you’ve heard only part of the story. Stanley Plotkin used 78 (76+2) in one study, and he was involved in countless – see p340ff in the Stanley Plotkin deposition, or better still watch it here: https://youtu.be/DFTsd042M3o?t=27787 A number of evangelical bioethicists are adamant that the use of such tissue is unequivocally a moral evil, a “modern day Molech”.2402015-07-14; Patrick, Charles; Southwestern Baptist Seminary; Modern Day Molech; https://web.archive.org/web/20191012113917/https://swbts.edu/news/releases/modern-day-molech/,2412000-08-23; Mitchell, C Ben; The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity; NIH, Stem Cells, and Moral Guilt; https://cbhd.org/content/nih-stem-cells-and-moral-guilt The tissue is typically taken from late term abortions of healthy babies that are only recently deceased and many Christians could not take such a vaccine in clear conscience. One could imagine if Christians refused the vaccine worldwide it could lead to persecution. Moreover social distancing, mask wearing, singing bans and regulations on gatherings could last indefinitely. All of these prevent Christians from communing normally with one another and worshipping God. Thus if the church was to rise against this, persecution could follow.
- Despite the government recognising charities must be for the “public benefit”2422013-09-16; Gov.uk; Public benefit: the public benefit requirement; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-benefit-the-public-benefit-requirement-pb1/public-benefit-the-public-benefit-requirement – this has not been in any way recognised by distinction in treatment. It is an irony that Churches and Alcoholics Anonymous have been closed – whilst off-licenses have been trusted to manage social distancing. Quiet singing appears no riskier than talking, but has been banned.2432020-08-20; Moss, Lauren; BBC; Singing ‘no riskier than talking’ for virus spread; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53853961 By July daily Bible reading had dropped by 35%,2442020-07-22; Roach, David; Christianity Today; Bible Reading Drops During Social DIstancing; https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/july/state-of-bible-reading-coronavirus-barna-abs.html but Barna Group president, David Kinnaman, has said 20% of churches face permanent closure in the next 18 months.2452020-08-26; Gryboski, Michael; Christian Post; 1 in 5 churches facing permanent closure within 18 months due to COVID-19 shut downs: Barna pres.; https://www.christianpost.com/news/1-in-5-churches-face-closure-within-18-months-due-to-covid-19-shutdowns-barna-president.html For many countries with Christian minorities C19 has brought a marked increase in persecution.2462020-07-23; Lett, Leah; Christian Post; Persecuted Christians ordered to renounce faith or lose COVID-19 aid: ‘It is a tragedy’; https://www.christianpost.com/news/persecuted-christians-ordered-to-renounce-faith-or-lose-covid-19-aid-it-is-a-tragedy.html,2472020-08-27; Johnson, Nathan, International Christian Concern; Kenyan Christians Discriminated Against by Local Muslim Authorities; https://www.persecution.org/2020/08/27/kenyan-christians-discriminated-local-muslim-authorities/,2482020-06-06; Miller, Olivia; International Christian Concern; Pakistani Christian Suffer Layered Persecution Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic; https://www.persecution.org/2020/06/06/pakistani-christians-suffer-layered-persecution-amid-covid-19-pandemic/ Peru has a shut-in every Sunday.249Retrieved 2020-09-02; Amazonas Explorer; https://amazonas-explorer.com/is-there-coronavirus-in-peru/
Whilst everyone will grant that some harmful opportunism will inevitably occur, as it does continually, in the main many would like to believe this is largely a mistake, born out of multi-layered incompetence: “Hindsight is a marvellous thing,” “We should have had a second data model from someone else”, “I had no idea Ferguson’s record was so bad”, “I should have been better at maths”, “It was all about stopping deaths – we forgot economics”, “We now realise lockdowns didn’t suit poorer nations”, “We had to act in a hurry, and we made mistakes”.
The pure “mistake”/incompetence theory has a plausibility problem, as it requires a few subsidiary beliefs that taken together are hard to credit:
- Lack of foresight: the great minds who considered this issue in advance made massive oversights, failing to practice normal due diligence.
- Lack of nearsight & ears: those involved continue to propagate rather than remedy the problems – when so many have been pointing them out, some from long before day one.250‘Michael Levitt’s Report on Coronavirus 2019 from 2-Feb-20 to 2-Mar-20 as widely distributed in China’, https://www.dropbox.com/s/vp4u2ae5yaswhk5/2.%20All_Michael_Levitt_22_Reports_on%20COVID-19_2-Feb-to-3-Mar.pdf,251“Back in March theoretical epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta published analysis suggesting herd immunity for COVID-19 could be more like 20% if you take into account many of us seem to be resistant to infection, possibly due to previous exposure to related coronaviruses.”, https://www.itv.com/news/2020-09-01/are-we-seeing-the-effects-of-coronavirus-herd-immunity-or-is-it-dangerous-to-even-suggest-so Is it credible to believe the lack of nearsight is simply a mistake, covering tracks or a proud refusal to back down? Is it plausible that ordinary people can discover and understand these problems, but those in charge cannot, or if they can, double-down to avoid shame?
- Global incompetence: granted peer pressure can account for a lot, but without widely influential guidance, it is incredible to believe these “mistakes” could be perpetuated across so many countries – can so much of the world’s governance, civil service and statisticians truly be so incompetent at governance to make the same mistakes despite it being their full time job, and being corrected by so many so publicly?
Dominic Cummings made sure the “Vote Leave team explored thousands of scientific papers during the referendum to figure out the most effective tactics and the best use of money.”2522019-11-27; Cummings, Dominic; Batsignal!; https://dominiccummings.com/2019/11/27/on-the-referendum-34-batsignal-dont-let-corbyn-sturgeon-cheat-a-second-referendum-with-millions-of-foreign-votes/ That’s what rigorous due diligence on heavy decisions looks like in the real world: those involved work hard to limit ignorance.
Belief in the “pure incompetence theory” requires the simultaneous belief that we (and the very many who have pointed this all out) are more able to discover and discern the problems – and make them plain – than the vast majority of key decision makers and those supporting them. We have to believe there was a sufficient majority of incompetent and ignorant people in every country at every level to drown out the voice of reason from any individuals as able as ourselves. This appears to be a highly improbable faith position. The background and writings of some involved indicate a very high level of education, intelligence, competence and perception. For many this task was a near full time job, with their long term reputation hanging on the results – the professionals had a lot less excuse than the amateurs for not being well informed.
Corruption and the nature of man
Ruling out all forms of untoward planning and ongoing opportunism appears to stem from a deep faith in the goodness of human nature and government. While such generosity of spirit is commendable, it’s not the approach taken by investigators on arrival at a train crash killing and injuring hundreds, or at a bank whose vaults were found empty on Monday morning – nor indeed at a possible crime in progress. Giving the benefit of the doubt or “believing the best” in such circumstances would never preclude a very thorough investigation of all relevant parties.
The Bible is unshrinking in revealing the dark potential of human nature: from the laws God created to history covered and prophecies made – exposing hypocrisy and corruption of those in power is one of its many consistent practices, whilst being impartial in holding all mankind silent before the law. Do we share this approach or do we sanctify our leadership in critical areas of potential guilt? Christians may think it okay to point out the moral failings of leaders, such as their affairs. But what if leaders are robbing the people, at huge scale, of liberty, prosperity and posterity? All shrewd government propaganda would encourage distraction from such systematic evil. Let’s not catch the gnat, and miss the camel. If we’re prepared to discuss minor wickedness concerning a leader’s moral example, let’s not dismiss and ignore possible major wickedness that concerns their actual role and affects the globe.
Possible criminal intent
“A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat.” Dresden James253See authorship discussion here: https://davidagrant.blogspot.com/2008/09/who-is-dresden-james.html
Many people struggle with the possibility of malicious intent of any kind because it creates cognitive dissonance: they cannot face the possibility that their world may not be as they thought it was – but thoroughly entangled by forces as malign as those that grabbed power following the Reichstag Fire in Germany, 1933. This is understandable – when a horrific crime occurs, attributing it to an accident allows continued belief in a nicer world. To consider malicious intent on such a grave issue can mean the shattering of a person’s worldview, and subsequent reformation – many of their previous ideas might be mistaken: money might be involved, the press might be controlled and so on. Do history and the Bible allow us to dismiss the possibility of malice aforethought?2542020-06-07; Seidler, Thomas; The Bible & history teach conspiracy; http://harmlesswise.com/theology/conspiracy There is wisdom in the old adage to “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”.
“Knowing afar off (which it is only given a prudent man to do) the evils that are brewing, they are easily cured. But when, for want of such knowledge, they are allowed to grow so that everyone can recognize them, there is no longer any remedy to be found.” Niccolo Machiavelli
Summary & conclusion
“Emergency powers” have been retained in many countries where Covid is no longer an epidemic. This is a genuine and profound threat. In many places measures have been introduced that are entirely inappropriate to the Covid threat levels. Trust is not being earned, but undermined.
If having become informed we still cannot consider the possibility – at the very least – that “trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale” (Mark Woolhouse, SAGE advisor2552020-08-26; Johnston, Lucy; The Express; UK lockdown was a ‘monumental mistake’ and must not happen again – Boris scientist says; https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1320428/Coronavirus-news-lockdown-mistake-second-wave-Boris-Johnson), then we should be careful lest we are deceived. Voltaire warns: “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities” – or at the very least collaborate with and enable them.
If the shepherd sees the wolf coming, he must shield, warn or guard the sheep – if a shepherd doesn’t see past the clothing the wolf wears256Whether that of fellow-sheep, government official or scientist’s white coat – Satan has used an array in the past… to the rather long teeth and grey fur, he may instead cooperate, encouraging the sheep to line up neatly – echoing the wolf’s call that he only cares about their safety.
Since, the war against Covid is causing enormous, deadly and disproportionate collateral damage against the planet’s human population, is there a moral obligation to contend for the “old normal” and contest the measures – especially the emergency powers? To remain silent at this time, when we have the freedom to make our voice heard, is to risk allowing our world to pass into a nightmare the like of which history and the Bible well warns us, but is not something Jesus wishes us to facilitate.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What is at stake risks being even greater than in either Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s or Martin Luther King’s day: how would we have reacted at the Nazi takeover? Would we have been in the majority of Nazi-compliant ‘German’ Christians who supported the government against the Communist threat? Would we have been non-vocal against the Jim Crow laws in the racist Southern USA?2572016-01-17; Held Evans, Rachel; Blog; Christians, MLK Day, and Historical Amnesia; https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mlk-liberty-trump-historical-amnesia What would Jesus have done? Not establish a political movement, but not complied with, approved of or been silent about unreasonable, spiritually oppressive, deeply damaging and ultimately evil laws? And somehow been stark and beautiful and bold and fearless in following the edicts of the King, and standing against the darkness…
Social distancing, masks and the many other mandates might have held some water at peak virus season (if only to protect the health services), or at a time when we didn’t know C19 was only twice as bad as flu at worst. But now we know differently – what does sacrificial love look like now? Blind obedience to state laws, even if they lead to massive net harm? If we don’t believe in blind obedience, where and when will we draw the line? “We were just obeying orders…” or “We didn’t have time to think about it”? – are those excuses that will wash when Jesus asks us why?
As many Christians have said with evolution and social Darwinism, the acceptance of pseudo science as truth has consequences. Does tolerating or buying into Covid-Secure pseudo-science risk making our church a State Scientism2582020-10; Voshell, Fay; American Thinker; The Cult of Covidism Has Invaded the Church; https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/10/the_cult_of_covidism_has_invaded_the_church.html ‘compliant’ church2592020-10-13; Hopkins, C J; Off Guardian; The Covidian Cult; https://off-guardian.org/2020/10/13/the-covidian-cult/ – bringing their cold and clinical edicts and new idol of “health and safety”2602020-07-01; Philip, William; Health and safety or hope and salvation? The church’s message during a pandemic; Evangelical Times; https://www.evangelical-times.org/59120/health-and-safety-or-hope-and-salvation-the-churchs-message-during-a-pandemic/ into Christ’s holy church, setting these rules over Scripture on many points: limited corporate worship and fellowship, no closeness or intimacy, no baptism – all things Christ commanded are OK, except where Caesar declares them ‘unsafe’ (regardless of compelling evidence)?
A possible starting point
What path does sacrificial love take when laws do more harm than good? It must start with an earnest desire to obey God rather than men, and a willingness to suffer. How to follow that through as harmless as doves and as wise as serpents is a serious conversation the Church ought to begin – but perhaps the below is a baseline we can unite around:
1. Some anti-Covid measures are causing profound harm both to the world and the body of Christ;
2. The harm caused by such measures is significantly disproportionate to harm prevented;
3. Any such measures breach the royal law of love;
4. Shepherds have a calling to protect their sheep from harmful external influences;
5. Shepherds need to talk together about how best to fulfil such a calling at such a time with the wisdom of Christ.
“If I profess with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except that little point which the world and the Devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” Martin Luther
If you are a church leader please consider signing this open letter from 885+ Church Ministers and Christian Leader to UK Prime & First Ministers:
“We entirely support proportionate measures to protect those most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. But we question whether the UK Government and the devolved administrations have it in their power either to eliminate this virus or to suppress it for an indefinite period while we await a vaccine. And we cannot support attempts to achieve these which, in our view, cause more damage to people, families and society – physically and spiritually – than the virus itself.”261Though I do not support social distancing, which the letter does, I believe the important principles of proportionality and the harm principle contained in this quote annul them, thus I signed it in good conscience.
If you want to persuade your brethren, some persuasion advice agrees well with the scriptures’ relational emphasis: “The Vote Leave team explored thousands of scientific papers during the referendum to figure out the most effective tactics and the best use of money. All the science boils down to a simple answer: the most useful thing most people can do is make the time to speak to friends and family and explain why you will vote for [X] and why you think any other move… would be a disaster. Face-to-face is more effective than other communication, direct messages (text, Facebook) are more effective than emails — the more personal, the better (the less spam on the channel, the more powerful it is).”262Though we might disagree with the source, he’s undoubtedly thought through on persuasion; https://dominiccummings.com/2019/11/27/on-the-referendum-34-batsignal-dont-let-corbyn-sturgeon-cheat-a-second-referendum-with-millions-of-foreign-votes/