Time to Dissent

I have been fully vaccinated. I wear a mask. I believe that lockdowns drove the number of infections in Melbourne to zero. I scan the QR code whenever I have the chance. When I go to the supermarket, it is just me. Yet, I see many couples shopping and not being challenged by security. Most importantly, I keep the f.ck away from people on the street and at the market, which is really the only thing that matters. The bottom line here is that I have done, and continue to do, my bit to limit the spread of Covid.

But I fear that Paul Fritjers is proving correct. Australia seems to be sleepwalking. We are becoming an authoritarian country too easily influenced by a howling mob of thoughtless, terrified idiots and spurred on by the media and other self-interested demagogues. This is not a reason to have opposed lockdowns in the first place, but it demands dissent.

Let me quote Article 13 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement … within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his(sic) own.

There are circumstances under which these rights can be restricted and a health crisis would be one of them. But to justify this as an exemption, you would have to draw a connection between the health crisis and the right that is being restricted. And I cannot see that there is a health related justification for two policies that have been imposed for the last 12 months.

I strongly contend that the government has no right to stop me leaving the country. Nor does the government have the right to restrict me to my home when I am vaccinated. If there was a health justification, it would be legal to do so both of these things. But I argue below that there is not. And if you agree, then it seems to me that we need to be out there protesting and defying laws. I cannot defy the overseas travel law but I can certainly defy the current lockdown and visit my vaccinated friends.

Freedom of Travel.

Australians cannot leave their own country. Until now, only countries like North Korea would stop their own citizens from leaving. Now we have a liberal democracy doing it.

When I bring up the issue of overseas travel bans, people immediately (I mean without even a three second pause to think) counter that they will come back and bring the virus with them. But you cannot get back into Australia at will. There is a cap and those who leave would know that they will have a hard time returning. They might even be put to the back of the queue. Regardless, it is a fact that the number of citizens returning from overseas would not change at all.

I have heard no argument that allowing overseas travel would have any effect on the virus entering Australia. There is no ethical defence for stopping a citizen leaving these shores if they want to visit their parents or perhaps if they just want to get the hell out of Australia because they are sick of the fear mongering and moralising. Even Mark McGowan does not stop West Australians from leaving his pristine state.

Why are there are no howls of protest? Why is the media silent? Why are even the Liberal Democrats not making a noise? I have no idea. Maybe they have been deplatformed.

Recognition of Vaccination Status.

Vaccination with Pfizer gives 90% immunity. This means that whatever your chance of being infected is now (which depends on your behaviour and prevalence) it will be 10 times lower. Thought of another way, if 100 people would get infected unvaccinated, then only 10 of them would if they were all vaccinated. Astra is less effective than Pfizer. But both reduce your chance of dying if infected by a large factor. Unfortunately, neither seems to have much effect on your ability to spread Covid if you are infected.

Since R is about 5 for delta, logic would suggest that a fully vaccinated population would be safe to mix as normal. Add masks and density limits and it is a nobrainer. If you mistrust logic or the estimates of vaccine effectiveness then we have an experiment that is running right now. We have the US.

In June there were 10,000 deaths and 99.2% were unvaccinated. That is 80 deaths of the vaccinated across the entire US, in an environment where they are mixing with the unvaccinated. You do not need a math degree to realise that without the unvaccinated spreading Covid there would likely have been zero vaccinated deaths.

I Googled “covid deaths of vaccinated Australia” and came up with nothing. Which would make sense since our death totals are so much lower and there are less vaccinated.

The bottom line is that I am not at any practical risk freely mixing with other people if I am just sensible about keeping my distance and stay the hell off Tinder. So, does the government lock me down for my own benefit? Clearly not though commentators will sometimes claim it is for my own good. The more common argument is that the general lockdowns cannot cease yet because we are not at herd immunity.

The claim is (and I think the simulations support it) that if we all mixed together now then the virus would take off. The deaths would nearly all be unvaccinated and most of the infections would be spread by the unvaccinated since vaccinated have 10 times less chance of being infectious. Nevertheless, this is a legitimate argument for lockdown compared to no restrictions at all.

I am sure you can see the error of binary thinking here.

What would be the effect of letting only the vaccinated out? Based on the US experience there would be virtual elimination. Based on theory, the population of vaccinated are … 100% vaccinated. If it is not safe for them to be set free then what are we to make of the 70%-80% official target?

Again, when I mentioned this I get reflexive opposition. The first counter is that many people have not had the chance to be vaccinated yet so it would be unfair. Yes, it may be unfair but do they really want me to be locked down just because they have not been able to get a jab? My sons are not vaccinated and they do not want me locked down.

And just to add a libertarian argument, the unvaccinated can always stay home if they think they are too vulnerable wothout any government mandate.

The second counter is that it would be impossible to police and it could be abused by the unvaccinated. This is at least an argument. So let’s have it. How can we create an effective vaccine passport? Currently, there is no public discussion because we have not identified that setting the vaccinated free is ethically desirable.

Is it really impossible to get an app on a phone to prove your status? I have a pdf from MyGov that would be pretty easy to forge. I am not sure why they sent it, since it entitles me to nothing anyway. Any proof has to be digital.

In Singapore that have a QR code that links to your Medicare record. You show your photo ID and the police scan your QR code and you are good to go.

I have a friend who lives in Saudi Arabia. A screen shot of the government mandated app is below which has been running since February. Here is his description:

There are a number of different states that can be displayed. In different shades of green – no record of infection, immune by infection, immune by first dose, and, immune. The app reflects a national tracing system that runs in the background so if I happen to be in the same place at the same time as an infection occurs, the colour turns red and you are directed to get a test.

The test results are subsequently reflected in the app when the colour returns to green (as below) assuming negative. The app is linked to your national ID. There is no need to check into a location with a QR code, it happens automatically so yes, big brother is indeed watching.

I do not believe that the Saudi’s are so advanced that we cannot emulate such technology.

But wait the Guardian readers cry. We cannot let the government have this kind of power over us! Sigh.

Unless I have missed some big issue, which I may well have, this is a time for civil disobedience. If you (would have) defied the draft in 1968 then I think you should defy the lockdown right now if you are vaccinated.

Finally, there is a health argument for vaccine passports. It would strongly incentivise vaccination. The queues would be a mile long. But that is another argument to the ethical one I am making. Though it does suggest an answer to the question “Well, why has ScMo not been demanding freedom for the vaccinated?” The answer I think is that it would make his failure to secure enough vaccine much more salient.

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Nicholas Gruen
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Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
3 months ago

Thanks Chris

I certainly agree about the extraordinary ban on leaving the country. I also think we should be heading in the direction you’re suggesting towards COVID passports and so on. I also agree with you on enforcement and may have made some comments to that effect on this blog.

One of the things that irks me and I’d like to write a blog post on, but haven’t yet, is that if we’re serious about human rights there’s lots to be done. And it’s not fundamentally in defending broad rights against extraordinary curtailment. That is our right to do what we like when there’s a serious external harm of a dangerous pandemic, but our rights for any curtailment of those rights to be subject to very strict safeguards. That’s barely been discussed.

I didn’t read up on all the detail at the time, but you may recall in Victoria the Government seeking some Parliamentary sanction for extending the state of emergency for a LONG time. Perhaps it was six months, perhaps it was longer. Anyway I think Parliament agreed to it. I think parliamentary sanction every month is precisely where the rubber meets the road on this from a human rights perspective. Our rights are not being infringed when they’re breached on an extraordinary, prudential, temporary and well justified basis. It’s when those safeguards are treated without respect that our rights are compromised.

The pity of this is that this will ALWAYS be the case in a democracy as we know it, because such things are never front of mind in political discussion. When I worked for John Button in Opposition — so that’s a long time ago (1981) — I drafted a bill for him to finally get rid of arbitrary imprisonment of any Australian without trial or any other form of due process.

How could that happen? By using parliamentary privilege. Of course people say “well that would never be used to imprison people”, to which the answer is
1) then enshrine that in our constitution and
2) in fact they already have. Two journos were imprisoned in Goulburn gaol for infringement of Parliamentary privilege (i.e. reporting on politicians in a way they didn’t like) in the 1950s.

In any event, our whole system is littered with easy paths to authoritarianism, some of which we’ve newly established in our war on terrorism.

And then there’s Julian Assange and the disgraceful criminalisation of whistleblowing that Bernard Collaery and his client Witness K have been caught up in.

Vern Hughes
3 months ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

No, Nicholas, it is not the case that these restrictions will ALWAYS be imposed in a democracy, as you put it. Sweden proves the point.

Alone amongst Western democracies, Sweden learnt from the Spanish flu and made a change to their national constitution in 1921 – they made their public health agency independent of the government of the day. This was done precisely to stop governments of the day from imposing restrictions on civil society. Viewed from the vantage point of 2021, this is a remarkable act of prescience and wisdom.

The Swedes had learnt from the Spanish flu that the one certainty in a pandemic is that governments will fear-monger and panic. They therefore approached COVID-19 with the express intention of not fear-mongering and not panicking. The results were contentious in 2020 but are now unambiguous in 2021. Swedish excess deaths in 2020 are slightly higher than the 2015-2019 five-year average, but below each of 2015 and 2011 which were bad flu years. More importantly, civil society is intact and the social fabric has not been ripped to shreds.

Australia, on the other hand, has inflicted arguably the most damage on its social fabric of any Western country with the lowest incidence of the virus. Quite an achievement.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
3 months ago
Reply to  Vern Hughes

Thanks Vern

Thanks for picking me up on my word ‘always’. I was talking about tendencies, so should have used the expression ‘almost always’.

I think we’re broadly on the same side regarding safeguards for our liberties, though it looks like we might make different judgements about when to exercise extraordinary powers. Even in that context I reiterate the fact that, my main comments on this blog have largely been provided as conditional statements — IF we lockdown, we should do it properly to maximise its speed and effectiveness and so minimise its cost.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

I looked at the site. It shows Sweden having way higher excess deaths than Finland and Norway. Scroll down to the second Z-scores by Country. The default map is showing deaths right now, which is not really pertinent. So hit play (move the slider to 2020).

Maddie
Maddie
3 months ago
Reply to  Vern Hughes

Sweden’s excess deaths are the same % over the 5 year average as Australia’s deaths in 2019. 2019 deaths in Australia were particularly high so it followed that 2020 had negative excess mortality. Australia has excess 5% mortality this year to make up for last year whereas Sweden has seen negative excess deaths.

Sweden had the same issue of panicked staff in care homes. But their mortality rate would be a blip in history.

Harry Clarke
Harry Clarke
3 months ago

In the simplest SIR epidemic model the percentage of the population immune (through vaccination or from having contracted the disease) that is required for herd immunity is 100(R-1)/R where R is the infection number.

So if as you believe R = 5 then the percentage of the population required to achieve herd immunity is 80%. If R = 10 (possible if people are sloppy about safe distancing and masks) then the percentage required for herd immunity is 90% the much higher level that is currently the government target.

So it is certainly safe to say that a fully vaccinated population would provide herd immunity which here means you can still contract the disease but generally not suffer serious effects such as hospitalisation and death.

Maddie
Maddie
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd

This is all nonsense. The numbers you are quoting are based on nothing but a fantasy in models that have no basis in reality. Do you still buy Blakely’s models from March 2020 as well? Do you actually believe that Australia has ‘saved’ 10s of 1,000s of lives?

There is no evidence that masks amongst the public work. I’ve read just about every mask study out there and anybody who thinks that masks mandates work must not be able to read a graph. The Czech Republic was one of the first countries to implement mask mandates and look how it turned out for them.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Maddie

How they well they work is quite context dependent. Don’t hang around hospitals.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6549/1439

Maddie
Maddie
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

They don’t work well in hospital settings either. I’ve read just about all their references. This is just more modelling trying to fit their predetermined conclusions. Mask compliance has been extremely high in places where cases have gone up.

Maddie
Maddie
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

The real world doesn’t match their modelled world. Then they follow up by linking studies for using their observational data that went up until May 2020. Not like covid cases didn’t go up despite the high mask usage.

There is nothing that validates their theoretical mathematical models.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago

At some stage Paul will certainly be right. If most of your population is vaccinated, then clearly the cost for saving people will be multiple times higher, and thus arguing about things like does it kill .3% or .%5 won’t matter much any more in terms of what to do.

I think the problem now is just a fairness. I’m vaccinated because I was able to get one early because I woke-up early in the morning the day I could get one. Lot’s of people were not. Thus dropping everything now will be perceived as unfair by many people (as in political fail). But once everyone is vaccinated that wants it, you will have a case where vaccinated people would like to do as they please and most of the anti-vaxxer squad won’t care because most of them seem to think the virus is not especially harmful anyway. Obviously the hospitals will fill up and lots of them will be die so some will change their mind, but by then the cost/benefit ratio will be overwhelmingly against lockdowns because it takes a long time for the vaccines to work after you get them (a 2 month lockdown for anti-vaxxers? I don’t think that will be a vote winner). Many people won’t care much about rules either so it will be essentially impossible to do anything.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd

I like your style here blaming the federal government :). I wish I knew if that would work, because, aside from the fairness component, obviously having people wandering around as normal would be good for businesses etc. . It would also probably encourage people to get vaccinated. On the flipside, it would be rather difficult to stop people cheating.

Vern Hughes
3 months ago

True, Chris’ arguments in Time to Dissent are not reasons to have ‘opposed lockdowns in the first place’ – it remains the case that the principal reason for opposing lockdowns in the first place is that there is no exit strategy out of them: once governments begin on the lockdown road, they have to persist with it. Once governments spread fear and panic as official policy, their populations will not allow them to let up on it. Every easing up of restrictions is met with a new outbreak of the virus, restrictions are re-imposed, and the process continues without end. This is the Australian experience.

It is true, however, that the absurd restrictions Chris now wishes to dissent from, were utterly inevitable once the lockdown strategy was begun. The dynamic of fear and panic that is institutionally unleashed and buttressed by lockdowns will intensify over time, rather than weaken. This argument for a rejection of lockdowns was precisely the Swedish rationale for rejecting lockdowns back in March 2020 – once begun, there is no way of getting out of them.

Some of us found this argument compelling in March 2020 and everything that has happened since has been a brutal, step-by-step confirmation of it.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Vern Hughes

The mainstream media promotes fear more than the government. We hear of every vaccine death (all six of them in Australia), every covid death, etc. . The government then panders to those beliefs.

It is also is not the case that the craziest of restrictions were inevitable — Most countries didn’t have them. People are also happy to give up on them when new solutions become available — as recently happened in the UK, and if people want it, most governments will pander to it.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd

I live in Adelaide now, so it is fortunately quite hard for me to defy the rules at present :). Some of them I agree with — I think reducing the spread via cheap methods like masks and minimal restrictions on obvious super-spreader events until people that want it are vaccinated are a good idea (I don’t want to get locked down again), especially until the end of Winter when things are much harder to control.

Apart from that, I don’t think I can actually get a plane to go overseas so there is not much I can do about that (and I wouldn’t leave if I need 2 weeks in quarantine to get back) but I don’t see why other people should be stopped. That’s the least of our worries really.

John Bowyer
3 months ago

First the so called vaccine does not stop you catching the disease or passing it on, some strange vaccine that is?
Generally accepted that children are in no danger but here we are with even babies being expected to be given this injectable treatment. Why, to suppress the natural immune systems?
Average age of death of covid victims being over the average age of death in total?
The rank dishonesty of the medical profession, politicians and the disgusting main stream media from the day this little nonsense was discovered.
A full Royal Commission will be required to expose the perpetrators of literally the crime of the century.

Saupreiss
Saupreiss
3 months ago

“The deaths would nearly all be unvaccinated and most of the infections would be spread by the unvaccinated since vaccinated have 10 times less chance of being infectious.”

I think the first claim is fairly well-established. Is there any hard evidence for the second? The CDC argues that there is a lesser chance of the vaccinated being infectious but does not quantify it. Your source please, Chris.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd

Chris, you might wonder whether it would actually matter much if they are 10 times less infections. Let’s say no-one spreads it after vaccination. What happens?

If we give up with precautions after 70% of people are vaccinated, you now have 7.5 million people wandering around unvaccinated, tourists coming in, etc. . Many of the anti-vaxxer squad also don’t believe anything helps, nor that it will make them seriously sick, so these people are not going to be too worried to spread it or take precautions either.

Now, since we can’t stop tiny numbers easily without massive effort, I think you can reasonably expect more or less all of these people are going to catch it. It might be a bit slower in summer, although maybe with Delta this factor won’t matter that much.

So the main question left is that when these people start dieing and clogging up the hospital system, are the 70% of vaccinated people going to want to be lock-downed for a month or two month (vaccines take time to give and then work) for those that change their mind? I suspect the answer here is no, or the rules and people complying with them will not be strong enough as to be futile.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd

I think it is going to be almost impossible to stop cheating, since the only way you will stop them dying and getting sick is to lock them in their houses, but this won’t work because you can’t tell the difference between people on the street easily.

The main thing I think you can do if you feel the need to worry about their welfare more is that you can have passports and stuff to annoy them (as done in France), and more will get vaccinated/

I personally don’t think we can wait forever for them. We also don’t stop people from being, for example, obese or smoking, both of which at a guess have worse outcomes than covid in terms of years lost (assuming that after you catch covid/get vaccinated you are much more unlikely to die the second time you catch it). Of course it will look terrible, because a lot of the cost will come largely in one hit but it is unclear to me what else you can reasonably do.

Hughbert Jarse
Hughbert Jarse
3 months ago

There is so much bs in the article it is not funny. Firstly Pfizer does not give 90% immunity. Which arse does this figure come from?

Secondly, this is a respiratory virus. You only have to study history to know that you cannot eliminate respiratory viruses. They circulate all year long waiting for the immune system to be weak, aka winter. It is not like small pox at all. Think common cold and influenza.

Have a close look at the break out of COVID-19 in the USA this last summer when Vitamin D levels are at their highest.

The vaccines do not prevent you getting infected. You just get asymtomatic so all these people that are vaccinated who think they are safe and should be exempt from lockdowns will be the major problem in terms of spreading the disease. If you think vaccination means no spread of the disease, you are living in Lala land. You will spread corona virus to the vulnerable and worst of all you won’t know that you are doing it.

Then there are the people who have recovered from COVID-19 who will be forced to get vaccinated.. They will have no reduction in symptoms and will most likely end up in hospital. It is known they suffer two to four times greater side effects if they are subsequently vaccinated.

Just stop and think for a minute. Why do you think we can do for Corona Virus what we haven’t been able to do for the common cold and influenza? What is so special about the limited time taken to develop the current vaccines that makes you believe they will work? Every corona virus study tried on animals has failed. Fact.

Before you ask me to provide links etc, do the homework I have done – study it for yourself. I won’t give you a free ride.

If you think I am full of s**t then don’t whinge when you will still be forced into lockdowns many months down the track even with high vaccination levels by a government that is clueless on how to deal with a pandemic and who is trying to bully the public into believing its pathway. Google the August 2019 edition of the national pandemic plan – it outlines Australia’s strategy to manage an influenza pandemic and minimise its impact on the health of Australians and our health system.

Substantial changes were made in 2014 to the Pandemic Influenza Plan to take into account the recommendations of the Review of Australia’s Health Sector Response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009—Lessons Identified and developments in the approach to pandemic response within the international community. It was revised again and republished in August 2019.

A key goal of the Pandemic Influenza Plan was to ‘achieve a response that is proportionate to the level of risk’: A response that is appropriate to the level of impact the emergency is likely to have on the community, and on vulnerable populations within the community, will make the best use of the resources available and minimise social disruption. (Page 18)

No mention of lockdowns. The big question is if lockdowns is not a strategy, what plan are governments following?

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Hughbert Jarse

“Firstly Pfizer does not give 90% immunity. Which arse does this figure come from?”

the clinical trial

“Secondly, this is a respiratory virus. You only have to study history to know that you cannot eliminate respiratory viruses.”

No-one said we could.

“The vaccines do not prevent you getting infected. ”

No-one disagrees with this. The obvious outcome is a lot of sick and dead anti-vaxxers.

“Then there are the people who have recovered from COVID-19 who will be forced to get vaccinated.. They will have no reduction in symptoms and will most likely end up in hospital. It is known they suffer two to four times greater side effects if they are subsequently vaccinated.”

Evidence apart from crank-sites?

“What is so special about the limited time taken to develop the current vaccines that makes you believe they will work? ”

Because next to know-one dies after having them. The wonders of the 21st century!

“Why do you think we can do for Corona Virus what we haven’t been able to do for the common cold and influenza?”

We have be able to do it. There are both antivirals (e.g., tamiflu, Relenza) and vaccines for the flu that work well. That will great next time there is an influenza pandemic (which is inevitable).

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

Do you call Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying cranks, Conrad? They are learned biologist. Their soon to be published book is on my reading list and they won’t take the vaccines. All the vaccines in the West, both vector and mRNA were derived from the technique developed in gene therapy research by Robert Malone at Salk in 1988-89. Peter McCullough is a world-renowned cardiologist. Are these people cranks? What about Tess Lawrie? These are dedicated professionals of the top rank. Who do you think you are? As for Chris on his motorbike, he issues an open invitation to fascists. They don’t need to be asked twice. We need lawyers and we need them fast. When the army is pulled in against its own population the situation is not sustainable.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Roberts

Sure, at present, they’re cranks spreading misinformation. Perhaps they’re bored of being scientists no-one had heard about before (like essentially all scientists) and this is their chance at fame. Who knows.

Make sure you stock up on ivermectin in case you get covid. They recommend it after all, so it must be true. Apart from that, since there have been 4 billion+ vaccinations now, all of which I guess are dangerously cytotoxic despite the lack of evidence (and clearly much more dangerous than cathing covid), you should look for more on the 4 billionth + 1 vaccination.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

As I understand you in your response to Hughbert and the official position, the vaccines do not prevent re-infection but vaccinated people who catch the virus are less likely to die from the virus than unvaccinated people who become infected.

In this view, the unvaccinated people are a risk only to themselves. This seems like a reasonable startling point for discussions between patients and doctors. I do not see any room for politicians, bureaucrats, police and army to be involved. The patient can decide whether he is at risk from the virus and whether this risk in his personal case is greater than the risk from the vaccine.

The vaccines are extremely dangerous and it is not possible to cover up this fact even in our propagandised increasingly fascist States. When your neighbour’s mother has the vaccine on Monday and dies on Friday, the news gets around the neighbourhood and the family.

Peter Schirmacher is conducting autopsies on people who died within two weeks of vaccination, 40 of them so far. He is finding a horror show of cerebral brain thrombosis and autoimmune diseases and calculates that between 30 and 40 percent of the deaths were caused by vaccination. He is not a crank, Conrad. Schirmacher is Director of the Pathological Institute at the University of Heidelberg. Naturally he has been attacked by the army of corporate pimps, whores and assassins known as fact checkers or trolls who form a guard of honour for professionals not afraid to do their jobs. On his calculation with the figures I quoted to Nicholas the number of deaths from vaccinations in Australia in these early days is not six but one hundred or six times the number of deaths this year from the virus.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Roberts

“but vaccinated people who catch the virus are less likely to die from the virus than unvaccinated people who become infected.”

It’s good we’ve got somewhere. I think everyone agrees with this, including the companies making the vaccines.

I also agree that we don’t need and shouldn’t use the army either, and nor do I think people should be forced to get vaccinated — as far as I’m aware they don’t in any country.

The bigger problem is clearly the opposite in most of the world. Not enough vaccines for people that want them.

“The vaccines are extremely dangerous and it is not possible to cover up this fact even in our propagandised increasingly fascist States.

Clearly it must be easy, and that’s why people think that people like you are spouting crackpot nonsense from B grade academic failures.

John R walker
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

Conrad +2
Re dissent at least meaningful kinds of dissent, NSW the “rouge” state is clearly dissenting from the elimination meme .
About time confusing having a tactic with having a strategy has cost us so many lost months…

John R walker
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Roberts

Jerry the risk from vaccines ( truthfully real but so in the scheme of things sosmall ) needed to be balanced against the benefits of eliminating lockdowns I.e. reduced domestic violence reduced child suicide attempts , reduced you name it.
That balancing did not happen and that is the unforgivable thing.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  John R walker

You are assuming lockdowns were acceptable in the first place. The lack of early treatment is the primary cause of this tragedy. Pierre Cory clarifies this as well as anybody. I have just listened to him talking about such simple measures as Vitamin D supplement and iodine (I think that was nasal sprays).

Mantaray
Mantaray
3 months ago
Reply to  John R walker

Any actual idea how dangerous the vaxes are? in oz the TGA runs a Database of Adverse Event Notifications…https://apps.tga.gov.au/Prod/daen/daen-entry.aspx…put COVID in the search and it will give you three options. Tick all three. then the Date Range. you must place 2019 and 2021 in the boxes and then search. It will currently give stats up until 1st may only. Be very surprised at how much the media is NOT reporting….
Number of reports (cases): 13600

Number of cases with a single suspected medicine: 13476

Number of cases where death was a reported outcome: 129

That’s up to 3 months ago remember…

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago

You mention masks, Chris. Like everybody else inside the building at Port Hedland airport, I wear a mask. It is a harmless looking, paper thing that I keep in the glove box of the car. I suspect most of us have the same attitude as soldiers who polish their boots, shine their brass and make their beds according to Hoyle. Why pick a fight with the sergeant over such trivial matters? But are masks trivial? British psychologist Gary Sidley studies the subject and American lawyer George Wentz is preparing a legal case against mask-wearing. You will find them both on corona-ausschuss.de Sessions 60 and 61.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
3 months ago

Obviously, my post is based on the assumption that vaccines risk is lower than covid risk. I listen to Brett Weinsten regularly and think he has become slightly deranged. The number of deaths from vaccination in Australia is 6. The number of Covid deaths over 1000 and that would be much more if we opened up completely. I am seriously not interested in a discussion of vaccination effectivness and safety for this post. Just take it as a premise (which could always turn out to be wrong) so any such comments are simply off topic.

But since it is a premise that the government also makes, I think I am entitled to follow it to its conclusion. Which is that the vaccinated must be set free. How this is an “open invitation to facists” is beyond me.

mantaray
mantaray
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Lloyd

Here’s my difficulty with toeing the govt line (any current govt line)….

First we had the Brisbane -based Qld Health worker with “the highly contagious Delta variant” roaming about in Townsville and on Magnetic island for 4-5 days when there were no restrictions whatsoever. She stayed on the island and crossed to Townsville to attend the crowded weekend markets, as well as visiting pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants. Also shops and tourist attractions. She was at T’ville airport twice and at the two ferry terminals 4 times each. Qld Health located more than 900 contacts…with no transmissions at all.

A month later we had the Cairns taxi-driver, also positive to the “highly contagious delta variant”. He drove his taxi for ten days while ‘infected”, being in constant close contact with passengers and also visiting airports, train stations, bus stations,boat terminals, pubs bars clubs etc etc, And no transmissions whatsoever.

Today I read the on-line Byron Shire Echo wherein we find….”In the aftermath of three infectious people staying in the Far North Coast area earlier in the month, surprisingly, NSW Health has to date reported no new cases of COVID-19 in the Byron Shire, or broader Northern Rivers.

Only the determinedly naive and gullible will still believe that CSARS-CoV2 ,and particularly the Delta variant are highly contagious..

As a result, one would have to be super naive and super gullible to go along with anything the govt says or claims. It’s a scam Chris.

mantaray
mantaray
3 months ago
Reply to  mantaray

Should’ve also included this govt-lick-spittle bit…”Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics wrote in the Australian Financial Review on 10 August: ‘Delta is so infectious that the vaccination rates we need are at least as high as those already achieved by the likes of Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel and Italy’.

Hyperbolic paranoia is unseemly in govts and in ‘Economists”

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  mantaray

All you’ve done here is document something everyone already knows: There is lots of a variability in the extent to which individuals spread the virus (and we don’t really know why). You could add the super-spreader events here to show the flipside of the problem and why it is hard to get rid of.

This is of course partially the governments fault. They always look at the mean spreader and tell you how many people they infect.

Yet the variability is probably more important but they never explain this (I personally don’t blame them — most people don’ t understand baselines, let alone variability and probability distributions). For example, if everyone always infected 4 others, it would be vastly easier to stop compared to than if the average person infected 4, but most people infected 1 and a few infect many.

Mantaray
Mantaray
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

conrad. Recall when the allegedly new virus appeared in northern Italy? The timeline….”On 31 December 2019, the Health Commission of Wuhan, Hubei, China, informed the WHO about a cluster of acute pneumonia cases with unknown origin in its province. “….”In late January 2020, following the developments of COVID-19 outbreak in mainland China, on 3 February, Italy set up enhanced screening measures, including thermal cameras and medical staff at airports.”[34]….’On 22 February, the government announced a new decree imposing the quarantine of more than 50,000 people from 11 municipalities in Northern Italy.”

Ok, so for 7-8 weeks the virus was on the loose in Italy as many thousand Chinese residents of italy came back from Wuhan holidays, and nearly everyone in Lombardy was more-or-less exposed to it. And the average age of deaths was 83.

The number of younger types who were hospitalized, or who died, was truly miniscule compared to the tens of thousands of older codgers with serious illness. That was an “in vivo” trial of how serious the pandemic is for anyone under about 80 = not very. No need to wonder since we KNOW.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Mantaray

That’s not true at all — A more sensible way to look at seriousness is to look at excess deaths (you can get these for all of Euroland and the US very easily — the CDC site has breakdowns across other variables too), which shows people > 45 have quite some excess deaths from covid. It is interesting that some countries differ a fair bit but I imagine Aus is likely to be in the higher death groups given how fat the population is (hence giving very high comorbidity rates on that variable alone).

Of course if you are, say, 30 years old, arn’t overweight and generally healthy, the chance of death is miniscule (you probably have more chance of death due to stress caused by worrying about it). Alternatively, lots of people are still getting pretty sick, and long covid, which cuts across age groups, is probably a good reason to get vaccinated even at that age (and for getting partial immunity in case variants that do affect younger people turn up — as was the case with SARs-1).

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  mantaray

In other words, Manta, you are saying there is no medical justification for the dramatic policies pursued in Australia. I agree. To take an optimistic view, we may see some sanity now that Dr Fauci has acknowledged the importance of early treatment and Merck is ready with an oral medication to make money from Fauci’s belated enlightenment.

Mantaray
Mantaray
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Roberts

Of course there is no MEDICAL reason for the lock-down.It’s simply a mega power-trip for dimwits (NASTY dimwits = thugs)

The Police Minster in NSW made this very clear in the following clip…https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-nsw-update-police-minister-sick-to-death-of-people-thinking-covid-rules-dont-apply-to-them/3f7bf9ec-81ee-41fd-ae26-8d9b189985f7….

See from 3.25 mark. “now the scientists and the medical people might tell me I’m wrong, but ” I AM THE SMARTEST TOUGHEST HOMBRE IN THE ROOM , SO SHUT UP. (paraphrased)

The guy’s a certifiable fascist loon (believes in state CONTROL of everything. Not ownership). Forget those darned scientists and medical people.. This is all about me oppressing YOU says the Police Minister.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Mantaray

Our WA Police Commissioner tried a similar stunt. I hope the Germans are successful in their bid for a Mark 11 Nuremberg trial for crimes against humanity to sort out this mess.

ianl
ianl
3 months ago

A few observations from Aus empirical evidence, with an attempt to avoid hysteria, fear and panic – unwelcome as that is.

The Aus Federation is a ghost train. When the then colonies agreed to federate, the amount of real power that was ceded to the “Commonwealth” was both miniscule and extremely limited. Even the actual real estate now owned by the Federal Govt (ie. the two Territories) just tramples over the Feds when it suits their politico/bureaucratic entities. The National Cabinet has constantly shown itself as a deliberate ploy to avoid accountability – this was pointed out at the time it was formed. Yes, some Court has decided that the deliberations resulting from NC meetings are not protected by Cabinet-in-Confidence, but we will never see the unexpurgated minutes no matter what lawerly lawyers insist on.

A State CMO simply declares that convening a Parliament is a danger to public health and hey presto ! no Parliamentary oversight, cross-examination or transparency. The NSW Upper House ran headfirst into this hard fact when the Minister for Health this week refused to allow the CMO to answer any questions directed to her in a designated oversight sitting.

Because it is a ghost train, the Commonwealth is essentially powerless in this situation. The individual State Govts will do exactly as they please, with the only real constraint being their covert opinion polls. Consequently, individual intermittent lockdown tactics will remain, irrespective of any vaccination levels. Constant repetition of a State Govt reneging on some NC decision that it agreed to just a few days (or even hours) previously makes this self-evident.

Obviously, there will be disagreement here but I would expect this to be supported with actual empirical evidence.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago

These are the most dangerous vaccines in medical history. That is a fact. Why are they not withdrawn? Probably money. Governments have paid billions of public money to companies to manufacture these products and have indemnified companies from damages. Not sure how this works legally but it looks like that makes the governments liable for damages claims. If they admit the vaccines are dangerous by pulling them out of the market they admit liability. There are 12,000 adverse effects reported so far in the Australian vaccination campaign and these are early days. That is the official figure. Yet governments press on, spending more million of the public’s money on advertising that urges the public to get vaccinated. They are backed up by free advertising from the media who are making no effort to practise basic professional journalism. I do not recall seeing an interview with Malone or McCullough, for example, on the ABC. There is no inquiry, no investigation, just propaganda. Now the army is on the scene. Governments are using fear and intimidation against their own people. There is no way people are being informed of the risk and informed consent is the Nuremberg Rule created after the work of Dr Mengele.

Interesting that you should raise the subject of ivermectin, Conrad. It is such a beautiful story, reminiscent of the penicillin discovery in its happenstance. Mind you, not quite as romantic as the original Covid story about bats having unprotected sex with pangolins in whisky-soaked orgies in the caves of Wuhan.

Japanese scientist Satoshi Omura discovered unusual streptomyces in the soil near a golf course on the south-east coast of Honshu. Subsequently he worked with William Campbell of Merck to bring his discovery to the world in the product known as ivermectin that proved to be so widely used and so readily available that it ran into one of the problems of capitalism noted by learned economists like you gents. It was no longer possible to make lots of money from selling the stuff.

Now Merck has received preliminary approval for another tablet and Anthony Fauci has acknowledged that early intervention with anti-inflammatories is the key to treating Covid. Merck missed the bonanza with vaccinations but catches up with the oral medication. What you miss on the swings, you pick up on the roundabouts. Everybody is making money. We can end the pandemic and go back to the football.

conrad
conrad
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Roberts

Your ignorance is astounding for such strong views. Apart from the fact you think we don’t need statistics, which puts you into same group as the no trade-off economists, you clearly have no idea about the drugs you are talking about. Ivermectin is a drug which has been shown to have no efficacy. If it was a great conspiracy, why would every country on Earth be hiding it? You don’t think the Chinese government would like to say bad things aboutthe American government and vice-versa?

Apart from this, new antivirals (and there other companies with them in late stage trials e.g., Mesoblast) will be useful but will never be use instead of vaccines. The reason here is obvious: If they were used all the time, like any number of drugs before them, a mutated version of the virus would simply appear which is not affected by them. Have a look at the history influenza drugs to learn something about this (hint: most don’t work anymore). This is why the current two that still work are stockpiled but not used often and why the government still wants people to be vaccinated (apart from the fact it is better not to get sick in the first place). Alternatively many vaccines (e.g., for influenza) can simply be rejigged as needed — now very quickly with mRNA vaccines.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

“Ivermectin is a drug which has been shown to have no efficacy.” I do not think that is correct. I have heard it described as promising by the same scientists who dump all over Brett Weinstein.

It certainly has not been proven in trials but it is hard to fund trials for a drug that is already approved. There is plenty of observational data. I have no idea if it is useful, but in a world emergency we need to relax our standards of proof for a drug that we already know has few side-effects.

Jerry Roberts
Jerry Roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  conrad

Any other product with the safety record of the Covid vaccines would be recalled, whether it be a medication, household appliance or motor car. Your argument in summary, as I understand it, is that the virus is more dangerous than the vaccine and so it is worth taking the risk. That is a moot point when it comes to age groups and co-morbities but it is an honest opinion and a decision that can be made by an informed individual. I take it you are prepared to take the risk. I am not and I hate to see the police and armed forces brought into this medical decision-making.

In Australia the precedent was the employment of the army by the Chifley Labor government in 1949 to break a coal miners” strike. This was the right wing of the Labor Party asserting control over the left. More recently the Howard coalition government used the army in the Northern Territory “Intervention” organised on behalf of the mining industry and used the elite SAS unit to board a merchant ship in an election stunt that embarrassed our army and our country. Now we have the army on the streets of Sydney. This is a corona virus, not the war of the worlds.

Mantaray
Mantaray
3 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Roberts

While many people now know that the Gene-therapy injections are only Emergency Use Authorized (= not known to be safe or reliable) ONLY, most are unaware that the PCR test for the alleged new virus is ALSO Emergency Use Authorized (= also not reliable) only.

So dud test finds dud virus to “justify” injection of dud “vax” with ALL stages indemnified against liability.

And there are loads of willing lemmings shouting “We may be lowly lemmings but we can also be Guinea Pigs if you like”

Very odd.

paul frijters
paul frijters
3 months ago

thanks Chris for continuing a troppo anti-lockdown voice during my holidays! Normal service will soon be resumed :-)

Civil disobedience is a brave stance. It often does not get noticed. Sometimes it is publicly punished as harshly as possible to set an example. Yet, when the tide does swing it is the act that stands out. I am not sure that is the mood yet in Australia.

I am with Vern above though: already at the start it was clear liberty and human rights were being sacrificed, and so it was a(nother) reason to oppose them then.