Public Health

When Inflexibility Becomes a Guiding Principle

Imagine the scene. After two years of taking the same medication and without any improvement in your health, your doctor says she didn’t prescribe the medication to make you better but to ensure that you appeared kind to other people. That’s the situation we find ourselves in after two years of wearing masks, getting vaccinated, enduring lockdowns, not travelling, and disinfecting everything in sight. In other words, people not thinking about the best way to manage the pandemic but, rather, virtue-signalling on social media how good they are. It’s a definitive sign that most people can’t think or evaluate evidence but need their opinions and actions mediated by authority figures.

The other side of the coin is people who won’t listen to any evidence, no matter how persuasive. At least the latter, though, have an excuse. We’ve been lied to so many times by an Establishment ‘nudging’ us in the right direction that nobody with a semblance of intelligence should listen uncritically to anything that’s said about the coronavirus.

All the pillars of the official response to COVID-19 have proven to be not only ineffective against the pandemic but, in many ways, to simply not work. Masks, for example, have a minimal-if-any impact on the spread of the virus. Numerous meta-analyses of the efficacy of mask-wearing have shown only insignificant levels of protection. The World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Infection cite one study, among many with the same message, which states that ‘face masks did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza’. One Australian study, which included both gold-standard surgical N95 masks and no masks, found a ‘significant benefit’ against catching COVID-19 among those who wore masks, but the results were ‘confounded’ when hand washing was included in the analysis. Mask wearers reported washing their hands more often than non-mask wearers.

Disinfecting surfaces also doesn’t work. COVID is transmitted by air. People become infected by breathing in aerosols, which are often so small that they float in unventilated spaces. Some people have contacted the disease by touching surfaces but the percentage of those who became infected this way is minuscule in comparison to the majority who have caught the virus.

Lockdowns are also ineffective in stopping the spread, at least when we evaluate the difference in transmission and deaths in separate jurisdictions. Sweden, which didn’t impose an extensive lockdown, sits in the middle of European statistics in the severity of infections and deaths. It should have experienced, at least by the rhetoric shouted in its direction, Armageddon by now. It hasn’t happened. The same goes for the US states of Florida and Texas, which have equal or lower rates of infection and death to California and New York, both of which imposed lockdowns that have been almost medieval in their approach to contagion.

Vaccination has also not been the magic bullet that the Establishment said it would be. We were told that the disease stops when you are vaccinated. The inoculated, they said, would be protected and couldn’t spread the virus to others. US President Joe Biden said in July 2021 that ‘You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations’. This is not true. Israel has instituted a fourth vaccination on its population and it hasn’t stopped either infection or death. This is not to dismiss out of hand that vaccination against COVID is bad or unnecessary — the jury remains out on that — or that it doesn’t have positive effects. But the fact remains that mass vaccinations hasn’t done what we were told it would do.

The nineteenth century French economist, Frederic Bastiat, wrote a seminal essay, That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen, in which he explained something that is obvious when pointed out, but which most people never consider: that the results of bad economics are invisible. The house, factory or hospital are not built, the medical innovation is not created, and the toys you would buy your children don’t exist. The same can be said for the effects of the pandemic. We’re concentrating on coronavirus infection and death rates and ignoring the effects on other measures of wellbeing, including people not receiving medical care for other illnesses, which also cause death.

The biggest lapse in morality for me, though, has been the silence about the effects on people in poor countries from lockdowns. Economics is not GDP numbers divorced from reality. It’s real life and bad economics kills. People who live on two or three dollars a day cannot afford, because it’s life or death for them and their children, to playact virtue-signalling nonsense on social media. To give one example of pervasive thoughtlessness: only healthy economies can donate to poor countries. When we turn our economies off, as we have done over the last two years, there’s nothing leftover to help those in need. They just die. Out of sight and out of mind.

The moment I became suspicious of the official response to the coronavirus was when I discovered that anyone in the UK who caught it and died was counted as a ‘COVID death’, even if they had recovered from the virus and relatively soon thereafter died in a car crash. Whether this was bureaucratic ineptitude or something more sinister, the result was the same: an increase in societal hysteria. COVID is bad enough as it is without official statistics making it appear even worse. My critical antenna also went into overdrive when every critic of the official response was silenced by government, Big Tech, and the medical establishment. The COVID censorship was at the same level of authoritarianism meted to those bigots who say that people with penises aren’t women. In other words, something peculiar was happening, none of which has yet to be explained.

What many people dimly understood a few months into the emergency has come to pass: shutting down the world to stop a pandemic is analogous to the courtiers of King Canute not understanding that he, or they, can’t stop the tide. This made sense in the early stages of the disease, when we didn’t know much about the virus. But that moment has passed a long time ago, and the inflexibility of the governing class bespeaks stupidity. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that ‘a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’ and few moments in recent history have proven the wisdom of his adage as the official response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is what should have been done: protect the old, the vulnerable, the sick, and people with comorbidities  with all the power and wealth of the State. Then vaccinate as many people, who want to be vaccinated, in as short a period as possible. People can voluntarily social distance, wear masks, or, I’m being facetious, bathe in essential oils, get exotic massages, or have their backs cupped. It’s up to them. Why? Because fewer people will die in the long run. And also because there is no rational alternative which won’t continue destroying more than it saves.

16 comments
  • exuberan

    Contradictory article as evidenced by the last Para. Always easier in hindsight isnt it? My take is that the Governments in this country were always going to be damned no matter what action they took. Meanwhile, China just sits back innocently looking on

  • Stephen Due

    On the other hand, early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin according to published protocols works splendidly.
    Ben Marble’s organisation at myfreedoctor.com has treated 150,000 patients with Peter McCullough’s protocol and the result is 99.99% survival. Brian Tyson and George Fareed in California have treated 7000 Covid patients with hydroxychloroquine, with no deaths. Dr. Shankara Chetty in South Africa has treated 6000 patients using an early treatment protocol with no deaths.
    The Front Line Critical Care Alliance (FLCC)in the USA (covid19criticalcare.com) has accumulated and published a vast amount of experience with early treatment using ivermectin.
    One of many clinical trials proving the effectiveness of early treatment was published last November by an Australian team. Kate Reid and colleagues, using the Zelenko protocol, reported 99.6% of participants fully recovered:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC8712288/

  • Stephen

    I have to agree with just about everything stated above. After 2 (long!) years there is enough evidence for us to know that –
    1. All the hand washing and disinfecting doesn’t help. Covid is caught by breathing in the virus not from surfaces.
    2. Covid is not caught out of doors. Wearing a mask in a crowded indoor setting is probably warranted but if it’s a large room, lightly populated, like the gym at 10am, a mask isn’t needed. Ought of doors, more so with a wind, masks are pointless. I keep seeing people wearing masks when driving alone in their car, It’s one few sources of laughter offered by Covid.
    3. I’ve had 3 vaccine shots. Hopefully these will keep me out of hospital if I do catch Covid. But, from the available evidence, we can’t put that much faith in the current vaccines. Maybe there will be better vaccines in the future. The key benefit of vaccination is that it provides a passport that allows you to go to places and do thing you otherwise couldn’t. Being forced to show my papers and report my movements to the Government whilst I go about my personal activities is only just barely tolerable and it had better stop soon!

  • pgang

    I don’t understand how we can still refer to the shots as vaccinations when clearly they are not that at all.

  • pgang

    Good article Declan. Many of us became suspicious of the covid mantra as soon as the media started pushing the narrative in Feb 2020. From the beginning it was a massive beatup. Immediately afterwards it became political and from that point onwards, say March, everything about it became a lie as we descended into political surrealism.

  • ianl

    “In other words, something peculiar [COVID censorship] was happening, none of which has yet to be explained.” [from Declan Mansfield’s article above]

    Not explained by the bureaucracy or political players as yet … but the vulgar opportunism seen in locking down people, tracking and controlling their movements and behaviour is aimed, I believe, at conditioning for “climate change” behavioural patterns. That will never be admitted to until well after it becomes a simple fait accompli.

  • andrew2

    Your point is beautifully demonstrated in the unfolding case of Dr John Campbell. This retired nurse educator has amassed 2.17m subscribers on Youtube because of his objective presentation of the Covid-19 pandemic, using referenced articles and official statistics. He recently interviewed our own Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy and this wonderful video has been seen 623k times to date.

    Yesterday he received a “1984” treatment by a BBC “Health and disinformation reporter” named Rachel Schraer for his 20 January 2022. The video presented statistics of people who died of Covid but who didn’t have any co-morbidities. He correctly exclaimed that this story is huge because the mainstream media did not report these statistics and also because the mainstream media intimates that the chance of dying without co-morbidities is much higher that what the statistics show.

    A striking feature of this case is that Dr John Campbell is retired and so is relatively immune from attacks on his reputation by the BBC. If he was practising his job would probably be in jeopardy right now. The most that the BBC “disinformation reporter” can hope to achieve is to get his Youtube Channel banned.

    This should be a Clarion call to anyone who is of retirement age. Can you not see the role you are meant to play for the rest of us? You have a lifetime of experience and are free to speak out and address the issues that affect your children and grandchildren and the way of life that you want them to have after you are gone.

    This humble nurse educator has received up to 2.9million views on his Covid videos.

    Here is his rebuttal video to the BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bza1gAc8sOA

  • Ceres

    You speak for many Declan who like myself feel I’m living in a parallel universe. Yes one of the red flags for me, which is still continuing is the “incidental” covid in hospitals but counted as a covid admission. The broken leg victim didn’t know they had it. Also age and comorbidity are omitted as well as a categorisation of non vaccinated 21 days after a shot. All very surreptitious and aimed at prolonging the hysteria.
    The virtue signalling you mentioned is also nauseating. All TV presenters must have been told in any discussions on covid it is de rigeur to mention you’ve had the jabs AND the booster. I don’t need or want to know. Go after your gold medal in goodness another time.

  • vickisanderson

    The manner in which this virus – very probably re-engineered in the Wuhan lab – has exposed the fault lines in western society is historic in its proportions. Put quite simply – the failure of so many who have received a comprehensive education to critically examine the “scientific” dogma surrounding COVID19 is breathtaking.

    I can understand that many (including myself) lack a detailed grounding in microbiology, and were initially at the mercy of those who are. Nonetheless, we have had two years in which to establish a basic understanding of immunology and virology. At the very least, the “gatherers of information” amongst us have had ample time to establish the plethora of opinion in scientific circles. That commentators can still claim that there is unanimity in the world of virology and immunology regarding the efficacy and long term safety of the new genetic “vaccines” is astonishing. There are literally tens of thousands of doctors, pathologists and medical practitioners in all fields who have signed petitions such as the Great Barrington Declaration and the more recent Rome Declaration who implore governments to cease the vaccination program immediately.

    I have lost faith in so many institutions and organisations in the last two years. But the worst is that I have lost faith in the ability of modern education to equip us for the onslaught of the false flags of modern technology.

  • Surftilidie

    As a teacher of mathematics to secondary school students, I quite often go “off topic” and present alternative views to the climate change narrative that their geography and science teachers deliver. Many students will just refuse to even countenance the notion that humans are really not contributing much to the overall climate of the planet. I even give them some good mathematical explanations of how insignificant we are in the scheme of things (see https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2019/06/a-remedial-lesson-in-climate-education/ ). Some, definitely a minority, start to show signs of accepting parts of my version of things, but then I have to say to them “Whatever you do, don’t present this in your answers in tests, as you will end up with a failing grade ). The problem is the teachers. The problems exist in many faculties, but science, humanities (geography and history) and English, where ideologies are presented rather than facts and training the kids to think critically.

  • Claude James

    Now ask:
    Would the infection spread be worse if there were no masks and sanitizing hands and other surfaces?

  • Adam J

    What I am amazed about is how poor the vaccines are and how difficult this is for otherwise intelligent people to accept.
    The smallpox, measles, and polio vaccines are effective. So are many others. These Covid ones are not. Simple yet apparently difficult.

  • pgang

    Does anybody have a clue what the mandates are in NSW these days? What has Lord Dom decided is best for us? Are we still muzzling and doing all the other socialist rubbish?

  • john2

    Very much my sentiments also, @vickisanderson.

    A useful observation from CS Lewis in “That Hideous Strength” (ca. 1945) reminds us that apparent deficits of rationality in the educated classes are more likely perennial rather than anything new:

    “Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who CAN be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the high-brow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re all right already. They’ll believe anything.”

    Actually, rationality deficits are merely the presenting problem, rather than the underlying cause. As Reinhold Niebuhr puts it in “Moral Man and Immoral Society” (1932), “reason is the servant of interest long before it becomes its master”. Indeed, “Men will not cease to be dishonest, merely because their dishonesties have been revealed or because they have discovered their own deceptions. Wherever men hold unequal power in society, they will strive to maintain it. They will use whatever means are most convenient to that end and will seek to justify them by the most plausible arguments they are able to devise.”

    And of course, there are a multiplicity of other contributing causes feeding in to the persistent, endlessly spun-out overreaction to the virus (Omicron being the latest exhibit). These will no doubt be the subject of many books. Fault lines indeed!

    And to end, some comic relief as a tonic for jaded spirits (a little dated, but no less efficacious for all that): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpWiFygdAAE&ab_channel=JimmyRees

  • Watchman Williams

    Perhaps, vickisanderson, it is because so many HAVE received what you refer to as a “comprehensive education” that they cannot bring any rational intelligence to bear on any of the latter day scams foisted upon a public so easily terrorised into submission.
    “Comprehensive education” these days is akin to that provided in the Third Reich, at least to the extent that it focusses on political indoctrination at the expense of encouraging, facilitating and developing a capacity to think creatively and critically.

  • Lawrie Ayres

    My brother-in-law’s family and some friends, 32 in all, caught the bug on Christmas day. All were double vaxxed and all got sick to a greater or lesser extent. All recovered within two to three days. Dom says we will have to live with it but prevents us catching it for the moment at least. Dom also said that human rights were not the government’s to take or give. He then proceeded to take and so far has failed to give. Dom is a fraud like all the rest of our politicians.

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