Expected and Unexpected Winners in the West from the covid hysteria.

[micro-trigger alert: dark humour ahead]

The top prize for economic winners in the covid hysteria goes to the pharmaceutical companies who were quickest to jump on the covid-vaccine business. They are already selling billions of unproven vaccines that will now clearly arrive too late to have noticeable benefits anyway.[1]

Second prize goes to the covid-testing and protective-wear industry. Its been an amazing ride for them. Hundreds of millions of tests done by now, costing billions, feeding the hysteria that leads to ….. more testing. Such a self-enforcing drug habit is every coke-baron’s wet dream. Ka-ching!

Third place goes to the plastic and containment industries that have been more than happy to individually wrap everything that can be individually wrapped, ranging from rolls at the supermarkets to faces. Greta and the oceans won’t thank us for the new waste mountain of masks, wrappers, and plastic bottles, but the industries will not want the bonanza in useless packaging to end.

Unexpectedly, state bureaucracies are also winners in all this. States have tried new control systems, got a crash-course in the possibility of electronic surveillance, have had a shot in the arm in terms of popularity with the population, etc. Though the bust will hurt, they’ll probably get to keep some of the extra powers and functionalities.

It’s also been a good time to clean the books of some of the embarrassing dossiers that were lying around: the mistakes of the past could be aired, such as collateral deaths in Afghanistan or culpability for mismanaging previous disasters like the Windrush scandal in the UK. No-one was paying attention, so the insider culprits on those dossiers got away with it. The army commanders, politicians, and civil servants responsible for past failures are high-fiving their co-conspirators on zoom.

In the population, there have also been some unexpected winners. Many health workers got an extended breather as the population didn’t dare come in for treatment. The bullies thrived too: those who love to boss others around and invent disruptive measures for no good reason at all had a whale of a time. They’re on Facebook already to launch the next excuse to force others into silly walks!

Collateral beneficiaries include the Muslim populations living in Europe and the US. A new scare is always good for the previous object of fear. The War on Terror is now totally forgotten and deemed unimportant. Allah be praised.

Maybe nationalists will get out ahead from this saga too as internationalism has taken a big knock: all the main decisions were made by national governments and millions of migrants were forced to return to their country of citizenship. UKIP and Pauline Hanson could not have wished for more!

There are of course a few losers. The young, the old, the rich, the poor. Health, joy, freedom, reason, science, etc. So it’s not all good news.

[1] Its almost as good as selling over-priced WWII submarines to Australia in 2015, scheduled to arrive in 2040.

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7 Responses to Expected and Unexpected Winners in the West from the covid hysteria.

  1. Conrad says:

    “The top prize for economic winners in the covid hysteria goes to the pharmaceutical companies who were quickest to jump on the covid-vaccine business. ”

    You’re now complaining about the companies that have played a large part in increasing our life expectancy across the world to 80+ in many countries, stop us getting sick every year from influenza etc. (at a tiny cost) and are give us vaccines for things that we are more than likely to never develop permanent immunity from and give us brain damage when we catch them. I’m thankful technology can be developed so quickly now that they we have the option to wait for it.

    • paul frijters says:

      Do I believe you truly think the pharmaceutical companies were necessary to increase life expectancy? And does it matter anyway for the points in the post?

      No and no. So we can play ping pong on this, but what’s the point?

  2. hc says:

    Wouldn’t you want the private sector to make a self-interested effort to come up with a vaccine? Of course many (maybe all) the efforts will fail but, in relation to the expected costs of the pandemic, these expected costs are small potatoes.

    Likewise for testing and protective clothing. Earlier this year both these were in short supply. You could only get tested if you had definite symptoms and you could not buy masks in the shops.

    Now you can get both easily. Again markets working.

  3. Dugald says:

    Let’s not forget the mainstream media. Stooped to new lows with disgraceful fear-mongering and misleading reporting, earning record breaking ratings (and I guess revenues) in the process.

  4. Michael Baker says:

    The author is remiss for not giving at least an honorable mention to the manufacturers of the plastic handgun-style temperature testers that are pointed at your forehead everywhere you go (at least in Southeast Asia where I am). These are devices of pure terror, not public safety. They are variable in accuracy and we live in fear of a false reading which can result in one being quickly rushed off in a paddy wagon to a containment camp where you are sure to actually to catch something (possibly covid-19 itself).

    • jeez Michael, seriously? Having a temperature is now a crime? I can see the Victorian government going for those guns.

      • Michael Baker says:

        Yes, having a temperature puts you under a heavy presumption of guilt. In authoritarian countries around Asia (most of them are), where people are for the most part poorly educated (even those who have attended university are not taught to think, analyse or question authority) it was not surprising that the public health orthodoxy was never challenged. What is stunning, however, is the sheer durability of that lack of questioning (both publicly and privately) even as the economy and their lives have fallen apart. In the central 2 sq.km of the city I’m currently holed up in – once a thriving neighborhood – I can tell you with absolutely no hyperbole that 70%+ of the businesses are closed, including those that attempted to reopen after lock-down ended in mid-July but had to shutter again. Of the 30% open now, I’d say half of those are functionally dead (the lights on but no customers).

        As for Victoria, it looks from afar like another authoritarian state that wouldn’t be out of place in Indochina. New Zealand likewise. Andrews and Ardern are national embarrassments, in my view, not to mention enemies of democracy. While countries like Cambodia have no tradition of informed, data-driven policy making, I’d expect more from Australia. But there you go. It’s just another surprise of many surprises in the past few months.

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