A lament for the corona panic victims.

Spare a tear for millions of poor people around the world. They will no longer have good jobs, good health, or long life.

Weep for the poor, the sick, and the old in our own societies. Their hopes, dignity, and pensions are gone.

Light a candle for the workers in hotels, bars, tourist resorts, airlines, and elsewhere. Their jobs are gone.

Cry for the lonely whom we have just created and abandoned. They now face fines and ridicule for seeking human connection.

Feel one with the athletes and their helpers. Their dreams are destroyed.

Say sorry to the billions we didn’t have the courage to protect from our fears.

Ask forgiveness of freedom, privacy, and joy. We orphaned them.

Forgive the doom-sayers, the bullies, and the health advisers. They know not what they have done.

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11 Responses to A lament for the corona panic victims.

  1. paul frijters says:

    I tried to get all my grieving at the coming madness and needless destruction over with in March, but when one reads of some of the things that are now done, it still hurts even in December.

    For instance, take the following story in the UK of what can only be described as state-organised child abuse on a wide scale:

    “Mandatory mass testing in schools. …. Allowing these poor kids to freeze in classrooms and forbidding them to wear coats because the windows must always be open to let the vile, green miasma of Covid waft out. Stopping children from seeing friends and forging valuable social skills. Forcing them to wear dirty rags over their faces. Placing them in front of a screen all day and pretending it’s a substitute for a real rich and varied educational and social life. ”

    Or Belgium, which has been in near continuous lockdown mode since March and still has the world’s highest claimed covid death toll of any country:
    “Spare a thought for the Belgians. Four people maximum at Christmas but only in the garden. And only if you don’t have to pass through the house to get to the garden. Among the guests in the garden only one is allowed to enter the house to use the loo. What happens if the others need to go? They have to return home. Or squat among the trees like Rex the dog. ”

    And then of course the Big Stuff, like the mass hunger, the neglect of mental health, or the attack on civil rights. As Time magazine reported, 80 countries have been said by Freedom House (who has monitored such things for years) to have had serious reductions in their level of democracy, with a whopping 72 restricting free speech and criticism of the government. There is a lot to lament.

    The list goes on and on.

  2. paul frijters says:

    sometimes I come across a piece that speaks to the same well as the post above: a deep sense of compassion and injustice that seeks a way through anger to forgiveness. Take this one from a long-running website “The Conservative Woman” (yes, what strange bedfellows this saga makes).

    Lockdown: The cruelty is the point by Laura Perrins
    YES, the cruelty is the point. What Boris Johnson and his henchman are doing now is cruel and wicked. They have been aided and abetted by a propaganda media that rarely asks any tough questions, such as how accurate is the 100,000 Covid death figure, where are all the flu deaths, why did you empty the hospitals of Covid positive patients and put them in care homes, why are schools still closed when Public Heath England said it was safe to open after half term, and how many lives will be lost to lockdown conditions and recession conditions?

    Pretty much every question from the media is, why didn’t you lock down earlier, and why didn’t you lock down harder? This is what counts as journalism these days, a false opposition interested only in pushing the government agenda and propaganda. What the media have done is to manufacture consent from the population for what is a needlessly cruel and wicked lockdown that we will never recover from. It is a classic media propaganda model.

    Let’s take schools. Before the latest announcement it was the case that ‘primary schools can safely reopen after half-term if cases keep falling, government health advisers have concluded. Public Health England (PHE) said that there was now a “strong case” for the return to class, adding more pressure on Boris Johnson to set out a timetable for primary schools to reopen’.

    (The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s review of evidence from 17 countries found that reopening of schools could not be blamed for a resurgence in the virus and that the negative physical, mental health and educational impact of school closures on children outweighed any benefits. Nor is there any evidence of teachers being at particular risk – in fact they are at considerably less risk than other occupations who have had to keep working.)

    Cases did keep falling but Johnson overruled Gavin Williamson and kept the schools closed until at least March 8. And mark my words, the schools will not open then. I believe they will push it back until after Easter. These is no public health reason to close the schools. None. ‘Pupils in that age group are “resistant” to wider coronavirus trends and play a small role in spreading infection, a series of comprehensive studies has concluded.’ So why has Johnson kept them closed? Why has he done this despite knowing of the devastating impact this lockdown will have on children? What he is doing will break children and their families.

    One mother of an autistic son was so broken by the first lockdown that she killed him. But to the government this son and this family were expendable and disposable.

    Further: ‘Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, perhaps put it most clearly when he told MPs on the Education Select Committee earlier this month: “When we close schools we close their lives”.’

    And: ‘At the opposite end of the age spectrum, health visitors, who support parents and babies during the early years, are worried about the impact on new-borns.’

    Finally, children with disabilities have essentially been imprisoned. ‘Dame Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, says in some cases children have ended up “incarcerated” in their homes. “There are some who have barely had any formal education since lockdown began”.’

    Destroying the lives of children, slowing the development of babies, isolating new mothers and inflicting incarceration conditions on children with disabilities, is all for nothing. It is not needed to ‘control the virus’. So what is the point, dear reader? The point is the cruelty. Boris Johnson is recklessly inflicting these cruelties on the most vulnerable children and their families. And what do the public do? Go along with it. Shame on you all who do.

    Let’s analyse what Covid is supposed to be doing. We know that is not accurate to say 100,000 people have died of Covid; that figure is fake news, as James Delingpole has pointed out in TCW. Once adjusting for age and population the mortality figures were worse in 2008 than 2020. The ‘Annual number of deaths, crude and age-standardised mortality rates, deaths registered in England and Wales, 1838 to 2019 (final) and 2020 (provisional)’ shows that the age-standardised mortality rate in 2020 of 1,043.5 deaths per 100,000 of the population was surpassed not only in 2008 (with 1,091.9 deaths per 100,000), but also in 2007 (1,091.8), in 2006 (1,104.3), 2005 (1,043.8), 2004 (1,163.0), 2003 (1,232.1), 2002 (1,231.3), 2001 (1,236.2) and 2000 (1,266.4).

    Mark Ellse’s analysis of age standardised mortality rates on TCW likewise shows how similar 2020 deaths (taking Government statistics at face value) are to previous years and how few people of good health have been affected by Covid.

    We know that they are over-counting Covid deaths and that the PCR test is not fit for purpose. Covid is not the great killer they say, but lockdowns are.

    It was reported in the Times on Saturday (though buried on page 10) that recession will be more harmful than the virus. ‘Lockdown and recession will cause more harm in the longer term than Covid-19 deaths themselves, according to estimates for Sage.’ ‘Recession results in the loss of the equivalent of 1.3million years of good quality life compared to 1.1m lost through Covid deaths and “long Covid”. Living under lockdown itself also results in an estimated 1.1million years of good quality life lost due to issues such as inactivity, self-harm and alcoholism, offset by the drop in accidents and better quality air.’

    This excludes all the deaths caused by delayed and denied cancer treatments, heart treatments and others. In other words, this lockdown will cost at least 2.4million life years compared with 1.1million lost through Covid. Sage still maintains that there would be 200,00 extra deaths in the three months to March without the restrictions but first, they over count deaths and second, this is not the same as quality of life years lost.

    As I have always said, lockdowns fail on every test: they are immoral, they are unethical, they are disproportionate and they even fail on utilitarian grounds. They break families, they target the vulnerable, children and children with disabilities the most. Johnson has needlessly kept schools closed and dangled hope for reopening in the future, always the not-too-distant future that never seems to come.

    If he and his henchmen followed the science they would see how damaging lockdown was. They would know how cruel and evil it was. But they don’t care. For some reason they are doubling down, probably to save their political lives and the propaganda media, many bought and paid for by the Tories, and their corporations are enforcing this wicked dictatorial regime and manufacturing the public’s consent.

    One day I hope people will understand what they have done: that they have collaborated with this tyranny that is inflicting inhuman and degrading treatment on the sickest and most vulnerable. Justice will be done, in this life or the next. Of this at least I am sure.

  3. conrad says:

    It’s hard to think of a place that has bodged up the Covid response as badly as the UK, especially considering that, like other Island nations, they could have had a vastly more effective policy after the first lock-down. But their leader is the man that also gave them Brexit, and people voted for him. I feel sorry for the population that didn’t vote for him, but if too much of your population wants leaders to give them post-reality right-wing postmodernism, this is what you get. The problem isn’t really Boris, he’s just the figurehead and gave them what they asked for. Next they’ll find out that Brexit hasn’t been a short-term success and then they’ll complain that all those Eastern European Eurobaddies who actually did all the work like repair their houses cheaply etc. have gone home, the latter of which they probably cheered for.

    • Could the UK have ever really closed Dover and the Irish border for all but a trickle of quarantined ,for two weeks truck drivers etc, for say three or more months ?

      • Conrad says:

        I don’t see why not. The Aus states happily did it to each other. WA probably still wants to be its own separate country. They could also have had some agreement with Ireland. As for Euroland, they don’t want to be part of it anyway, so stopping that traffic would have been easy.

        • Food and other essentials ?

          • Conrad says:

            I don’t think you can have no traffic (Aus didn’t), but it is clearly vastly easier to avoid virus transmission and track it when it happens with a vastly smaller amount of essential goods trucks and ships than the set of everyone that wants to come.

            • Going off the reports of chaos etc resulting from the beginning of Post Brexit border restrictions, I feel that you are underestimating the problem.
              For example Australia is a large exporter of food , we grow far more than we can eat. The situation for the UK is different.

    • paul frijters says:

      unfortunately I have to agree with almost all of this. The complete dominance of seeming over being in UK politics has been gob-smacking.
      The fact that Brexit actually reduces the number of white immigrants to the UK (those Eastern Europeans) is one of those beautiful ironies. As a Trekkie might say “Its racism, Jim, but not as we know it”.

  4. paul frijters says:

    The UN brought out a report today on how lockdowns in South Asia (mainly India) has caused young children to die of malnutrition, and to increase the nember of deaths in childbirth. (https://www.unicef.org/rosa/media/13066/file/Main%20Report.pdf) the headline conclusion is that they think about 239,000 children have unneccessarily died because of the policies adopted. This is about the same as the number of claimed corona deaths in that region. A child of 2 would have had 60 years to live.

    These are just the additional numbers via quite specific mechanisms in one region of the world just in the last 12 months. Obviously we are talking about many millions if the world as a whole and the future effects are taken into account. As predicted.

    It is a tragedy.

    • conrad says:

      To put some more miserable perspective on that, apparently more than 700,000 died children of malnutrition in 2019 in India even without covid, so part of the problem is inequality given India is not so poor anymore and an investment in proper nutrition clearly has huge long term benefits.

      I imagine the decision making also follows inequality lines. Given India’s population is pretty young and most of the population is not overweight, they should be very resistant to Covid (unlike a lot of Euroland). Alternatively, the smaller proportion who are richer, older and more overweight (and hence less resistant) are presumably those making the policies.

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