QED

What We Are Learning and, Sadly, Confirming

This cursed pandemic, and the accompanying panicky overreaction, is a learning experience. A first thing we are learning is that massive death tolls are usually invisible. Death upon death with nary a mention. Oh, the sheer callousness of it!

I took CIA data for country-by-country death rates in 2017. Australia’s was 7.3 deaths per thousand people. On this basis, we can expect to suffer in the order of 186,000 deaths in 2020. That is on average about 3,600 deaths each and every week; mostly unmourned by vox populi.

As of late in evening Anzac Day, 81 deaths have reportedly occurred on Australian soil as a result of the Wuhan virus. Predominantly, those who have died have lived at least their biblically allotted three score years and ten and, as well, had co-morbidities. All of these deaths, about 10 per week on average, since the first death on March 1, have been made conspicuously visible.

Each death is reported on individually and with emphasis. The humbug of “every death is a tragedy” compulsorily preludes any otherwise sane comment on the government’s dystopian experiment to cure the virus by collapsing the economy. One or two people die aged 92 in a nursing home and “death toll climbs” is the typical headline.

The contrasting treatment is stark. Convulsions over “the tragedy” of just 81 deaths; indifference to the 28,000 or so people (including children) who, on average, die in the same number of weeks in other ways. Mind you, we do hear about some of these deaths; if a notable or a so-called celebrity dies, or if those who die are victims of particularly horrific road accidents or of terrible crimes. But, on the whole, only close family and friends mourn. The rest of us are oblivious. We get on with our lives understanding that death is commonplace.

When we look back at 2020 from the vantage point of, say, 2025, the Wuhan virus deaths too will be background noise. They will be unnoticeable on the graphs. And we, who are not their friends or their families, will not remember them or, truth to say, care a wit that they have died. Robert Frost puts it candidly in the ending of his poem “Out, Out – “:

No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little-less-nothing! – and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

A second thing we are learning is that most people are completely seduced by the moment. For them, there is no past to learn from and the future is completely coloured by the present. Let me give an example of many. This is Katrina Grace Kelly (Grace Collier with a new longer handle) in The Australian on April 18.

In the old world, despite the nation’s obsession with cooking shows on television, more than 36 percent of all meals were consumed outside the home. In hindsight this seems absurd, pointless and wasteful. In the new world, it will be downright dangerous.

Surely the writer must be aware of past pandemics and world wars and the ability of people to forget all about them, and soon, after they have passed. The roaring twenties was not unduly weighed down by the Spanish flu or the carnage of WW1. Just a shot in the dark – doubt whether the flappers gave a hoot.

So, those few of us who are able to think outside of the present have a duty, so far as we can, to bring a sense of perspective to current affairs. We will not get back to a spooky “new-normal” which leftists, in particular, are rubbing their sanitized hands with glee about. We will get back to normal-normal and, yes, this will include being within kissing distance of grandparents, rubbing shoulders at sporting events and in crowded bars and, such is hectic modern life, jostling in overcrowded modes of public transport.

Shaking hands and hugging will return (though, personally, I could do without the hugging). I could say something about the return of those downright dangerous activities, to wit, fornication and casual and commercial sex but I imagine they didn’t stop.

A third thing we are learning is that many of our fellow citizens will willingly dance to any tune governments play; however discordant. Instructions to cower in your bathtub, would be greeted with, ‘oh well you know, the government must be right’. Sheep, looking for all the world like people, are seemingly in great abundance. The inimitable Eli Wallach called it out, playing the Mexican bandit Calvera in The Magnificent Seven. “If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.”

The are no doubt other things we are learning but I want to end with a confirmation rather than with an instance of new learning. As we know from the economic desolation they cause when in charge; from their national self-loathing; from their agenda to rob us of pride in our past; from their determination to tear down institutions (like traditional marriage) which have served us so well; from their overt hostility towards Christianity; from their intrigue to divide us by race and by sex, leftists are a plague on the world, more virulent than any virus. And, true to form, is their doleful advocacy in the current crisis.

Want more stringent lockdowns to keep more people out of work and in despair? Look left. Want ever-longer lockdowns to maximise long-lasting damage to people’s livelihoods, mental health and wellbeing? Look left. Want the loss of yet more individual liberties and inalienable rights? Look left.

34 comments
  • john.singer

    If the last month has not taught people to look both ways before crossing then I dread the next election. At the moment it seem like Gramsci 2 v Prosperity 0.

  • IainC

    Numbers can be tricky.
    Day 1. 30 CCPVID-19 cases reported. Government announces widespread suite of restrictive measures.
    Day 2. 30 new CCPVID-19 cases reported. Government announces exponential increase is happening.
    Day 3. 30 new cases. “Infections have tripled in 3 days” announce Feds.
    Day 4. 30 new cases. “Infection rates are doubling every 2 days. At this rate of growth, models say all Australians will be infected within 30 days. Australia is now in complete lockdown. Do not go outside”
    Day 5. 30 new cases. “Infection rate increased by 25% over yesterday. We are in the midst of a grave crisis.”
    Day 6. 30 new cases. “Infection rate is tripling every 3 days. We must be resolute….together! Police will patrol the streets to ensure compliance.”
    Day 7. 30 new cases.
    Day 8. 30 new cases.
    Day 9. 30 new cases.
    Day 10. 30 new cases (300 total). “Great news. The number of new infections only increased by 10% today. Our policies are starting to have a measurable effect.”
    Days 11-20. 30 new cases each day (600 total). “Fellow Australians, it’s now Day 20, and the infection rate only increased by 5% today, and the doubling rate is now 10 days! We are winning the war.”
    Days 21-30. 30 new cases each day (900 total). “Fellow Australians, it’s now Day 30, and the infection rate only increased by 3% today, and the doubling rate is now 15 days! We are flattening the curve, but we cannot be complacent. Restrictions will remain in place.”
    Days 31-60. 30 new cases each day (1800 total). “A new low in the virus spread today on Day 60 – only 0.2% more cases. We announce that Australians can start going back to their normal routines.”
    Days 61 and following. 30 new cases each day, no announcements.
    (Disclaimer. This is satire. The numbers and announcements are fictional. Any resemblances to real-life circumstances are coincidental.)

  • Peter OBrien

    Peter, your basic premise is quite true. Another example is some conservative commentators predicting that Wuhan has put paid to climate alarmism by having put it in perspective and showing what life under Green’s policies would be like. Pigs might fly.

    And I too find the ‘of course, every death is a tragedy’ mantra hugely irritating – a bit like “I don’t agree with what X said but I support his right to free speech’

  • Peter Marriott

    Peter Marriott 26th April

    Thank you Peter. Always enjoy reading your articles, on this coronavirus scare, and economics. The fear that has driven the excessive reaction to the covid-2 virus seems to be based entirely on modelling predictions of deaths which I assume is in turn based on statistics, which used to be laid out via a curve on graph paper. Reflecting on it I was drawn to a 1973 essay I re-read recently by the Polish Philosopher Leszek Kolakowski ‘The Revenge of the Sacred in Secular Culture’, and one particular sentence that pretty well captures it for me. “However modest the number of infallible principles we have at our disposal when dealing with global predictions, one thing is certain ; the most fallible method is that of unlimited extrapolation from a curve that has begun to take shape, for here, as in all other spheres of life, every curve breaks off at some unpredictable point”.

  • ianl

    > ” … the loss of yet more individual liberties and inalienable rights”

    Well, they’re not actually inalienable, are they ?

    I agree, though, that this panicky episode has exposed in very bright light how easily manipulated most are by exaggerated fears. The next step (and please note that the goalposts are being constantly moved) is isolating the country’s international borders until … a vaccine, a beneficial mutation, other countries demonstrating they are no longer unclean, whatever. Since this could take some years – there are still no vaccines for SARS, ebola strains, MERS, HiV – the destruction will be done by economic strangulation, not death by C-19.

    “We” have borrowed $0.5 trillion, likely to top $1 trillion, and the ability to repay or even sustain that through agriculture and mining is under consideration for deliberate smothering. These export industries require constant inward flows of expertise, FIFO, DD funding, machinery and parts we have no idea of how to manufacture nor service without the influx of specific people, transport expertise … endless.

    Regional Australia is almost completely C-19 free since internal tourism has pretty well ceased (on a personal level, I’m ok with that) but opening it to allow exports to re-grow is not publicly discussed. Of course, the irony of the destination of these exports – here, specifically high quality iron ores and world benchmark coking coals – is also avoided. “We will punish China” is a new mantra yet of course it will go on paying us top $ for these commodities. The difference between the CCP and its’ subjugated 1.4 billion people is rarely acknowledged.

    Lastly, myself and a group of colleagues have generated a small “book” betting on the next most silly MSM headline. Quite a large pool to choose from. So far, I’ve won $18.50 betting on the Nova website, but then we don’t bet big.

  • phicul19

    Peter, stop giving sheep such a bad rap please. Having grown up on a sheep farm,I can testify that they are not as easily pushed around as our fellow Australians.

  • brennan1950

    According to a Swedish scientist interviewed on Outsiders today, the Imperial College document which I understand was to a large extent adopted as a template by the British government was not even peer reviewed.

    He described it as more of a memorandum than anything else.

  • Guido Negraszus

    Sheep mentality indeed. Just read the readers comments of today’s story about the app in The Australian:

    “I will get the app as soon as it is available. It will enable us some normality and enable the virus to be tracked and investigated.”

    “Look folks these restrictions are killing us & our lifestyle . Therefore even if it doesn’t work or invades privacy lets humour the government & get this app & maybe stop this crazy life.”

    “With Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram following and logging our every move and like or dislike, I cannot see how anyone could object to this app. ”

    “Time to fight this virus with technology. Only those with the metaphorical tin foil hats won’t load it up, so lets find out what percentage of Australians are tin foil hat conspiracy theorists.”

    And so it goes on. More comments to come today. No doubt. It just beggars believe how naive some people are.

  • Stephen Due

    I had a pet sheep once – a ram. In order to shear it, one held it down on the verandah, clipping first one side, then the other. Once released it was fairly docile to begin with, taking stock of its recent trauma and its new circumstances. After that one was unwise to turn one’s back on the ungrateful animal, as it showed a remarkable propensity for surprise attacks, developing considerable momentum with only a short run-up.

  • pgang

    Another headline I’m sick of: ‘Covid 19 has caused….’
    The wuhan virus has in itself caused very little. It is media/government/public cowardice that has caused everything.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    PS: “Death upon death with nary a mention. Oh, the sheer callousness of it!”

    Agreed, Peter.
    The deadliest infection confronting humankind is not Covid-19, but something nastier:the incurable DT.
    Shakespeare described it centuries ago, It was his birthday on 23 April, so surely right to draw attention to his Sonnet-19:

    Devouring Time (DT), blunt thou the lion’s paws,
    And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
    Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
    And burn the long-liv’d Phoenix in her blood;
    Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
    And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
    To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
    But I forbid thee one more heinous crime:
    O, carve not with the hours my love’s fair brow,
    Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen!
    Him in thy course untainted do allow
    For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
    Yet do thy worst, old Time! Despite thy wrong
    My love shall in my verse ever live young.

  • Alistair

    I have been thinking a lot about this recently – the collapse of the past and future into little more than the daily news cycle. “Unprecedented Warming” “Worst bush fires ever” and now we terrible pandemic. Consider that these boffins had a practice run for a pandemic on a cruise ship months before – but had nothing to learn from it With all their resources the media itself has no corporate memory. .Projecting into the future is no better. 30 days of oil stockpiled Even the next election is an eternity away. We seem to be moving into a totally new way of looking at time

  • ianl

    brennan1950

    That interview is with Professor Johan Giesecke, now retired Swedish Chief Scientific Epidimediologist.

    A more complete interview, although on the same lines, is at https://unherd.com/thepost/coming-up-epidemiologist-prof-johan-giesecke-shares-lessons-from-sweden/

    Perhaps the most pointed comment he made is that countries like Australia that have focussed on eradicating the virus (and so have no answer to re-opening international borders) have painted themselves into a corner. As he commented: “Will you keep these borders closed for 30 years ?”

    It’ the same issue I examined in a comment above. It is the same issue that has been broached and avoided for 3-4 weeks now. What is the EXIT strategy ? Bluntly, there isn’t one that we’ve been made privy to. Without a quite detailed, accountable exit plan, there seems little point in listening to the bureaucracy and politico groups.

  • en passant

    What has really surprised me is how easily the failing Climate Con was able to morph into the panda-demic Wuhan virus and achieve in 3-months what 23 years of scare-mongering had failed to do: bring down the Oz economy and force us to become vassals to the Lender nations – for eternity. How easy was that?
    Whereas the 100M climate refugees failed to materialise, yet 81 deaths Australia-wide REPORTEDLY caused by this virus (yet probably less than half that, and still less tan the Victorian Road Toll has destroyed the Oz I thought I knew.
    Resilient, larrikins resistant to dumb authority, self-reliant adults? Not any more. When cruises and flights start again I will be leaving for a sane country that barely closed its industry, commerce or way of life.

  • Warty

    Metaphorically speaking a sheep has a brain the size of a, well a sheep. To tell the truth they don’t follow very well, definitely don’t lead and are easily spooked. Ability to follow directions is achieved through well-directed nips to the back tendons by an infinitely more intelligent Border Collie.
    But this is where the analogy breaks down: generally speaking, the average younger person in Australia does indeed have a brain size of a sheep, but this is brought on by an education system designed to produce mass conformity. I’m not in a position to comment on the level of education of the wooly variety.
    Responses to newspaper article any longer than a sentence, or two at the most, attract no ‘likes’ because any even vaguely extended response ever gets read. Our reading skills are severely compromised, resulting in an equally compromised use of reason. If needs be, look ‘reason’ up in the dictionary (not the Shorter Oxford, as that is too long) if you don’t know what it means. Any attempt on my part to give a definition will over-extend this already overly extended response.
    Conclusion, we accomodate lockdowns because we have lost the ability to think for ourselves; moreover Twitter doesn’t present sufficiently challenging literary material with the potential of stimulating atrophied brain matter; and the universal iPhone slouch doesn’t allow for the sort of posture likely to clear the inevitable mental fog.

  • Bernie Masters

    Someone has to point out that the emperor has no clothes so it may as well be me. The author totally fails to acknowledge that, without lockdown, Australia’s health system could have been overwhelmed in the same was that Italy’s, Spain’s, the UK’s and New York’s health system were found totally unable to cope. In Australia, we did not have people dying in the streets nor mass burials nor dead bodies stored in freezer trucks. The only serious question is whether the economic impacts of lockdown were smaller or greater than the potentially compromised health system had the lockdown not been in place. The answer to this question will be clearer in a few months’ time.

  • Doubting Thomas

    I’m with you, Bernie. We may never know whether the Government’s dire actions have been the reason why our epidemic has been so relatively tiny. Nor will we ever no what might have been without such actions. But given what was known at the time about the nature and rapid spread of the virus and the swiftly changing situation, something had to be done, and quickly. And, given the gross partisan irresponsibility and general ignorance of Australia’s media, something significant had to be seen to be done. Anything less would have been political suicide.
    Yet, in this forum, despite the thousands of words complaining about the perceived health and economic effects of the Government’s response, I have not yet seen anyone propose a more practical, or practicable, alternative. Coulda, woulda, shoulda arguments are just so much blah, blah, blah.
    The time to carefully consider these things is when the virus has run its course, and we have all the facts. Unlike several recent wastes of time and resources, eg the bushfire inquiry, this really is an issue that justifies a powerful Royal Commission. Until then, I’ll ignore the blah, blah, blah and congratulate Scott Morrison for acting so quickly and decisively for better or worse.

  • Colin Clarke

    The reality Bernie & Doubting Thomas is that in the last few years at least 1,200 people died annually (it is suspected that is under reported ) from Influenza with annual visitations to GP’s of around 160,000.
    Also the number of deaths in Australia is around 430 per DAY so over 50,000 people have died over the last four months. Statistics is all about context.

  • Peter Smith

    Bernie and Doubting Thomas, the practical alternative to a lockdown has been spelt out by numbers of Quadrant contributors including me and, of course, by many conservative commentators (in other words those using common sense and reason), elsewhere – in Australia and overseas. That alternative was to focus on protecting the vulnerable – something, by the way, which has not been done adequately in numbers of nursing homes because of a lack of focus – to build hospital capacity and to issue guidelines on the way businesses should operate to cut down the possibility of transmission among employees and customers. But leave that aside. If you are going to have a lockdown have a consistent exit strategy to minimise harm. Don’t constantly move the goalposts. Try to calculate the cost of the “cure” to inform decisionmaking.
    And I wish people wouldn’t keep on bringing up Italy. It is a furphy. Different demography. Different way of living. Thousands of workers from Wuhan carrying the virus. Poorer health services. And even then the number of deaths in Italy has to be kept in perspective. Over 12,000 Italians die each week on average. The virus has accounted for around 3000 deaths per week. When we look back we will find it is hardly a blip as most of those dying of the virus would have died in normal course within a short space of time. None of us live forever. Callous? Maybe, but I think it is callous to marginalise the plight of those thrown out of work and to basically ignore the cost to their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

  • Bernie Masters

    If Italy is a furphy, Peter, then so is Sweden, with a death rate some 20 times higher than in Australia and a far less restrictive lockdown and hence less economic impacts. But what price do you put on the extra 2000 or so dead in Sweden that died prematurely? I agree with Doubting Thomas that the state and federal governments had to act as if the worst was going to happen. Now that we know the worst hasn’t and probably won’t happen, we can start relaxing some of the restrictions and get back to work.
    Talking of work, what happens here in Australia is far less important than what happens in the world’s greatest consumer nation, the USA. If they have handled the virus response as badly as New York seems to have done, Americans are going to stop buying Chinese manufactured goods and China then will stop buying our resources. The impact therefore of the USA’s response is a far more serious potential risk to our economy than our current lockdown.

  • lloveday

    Warty,
    .
    The moderators of newspaper article comments can’t understand even short posts.
    .
    I commented in The Australian in response to another post accusing Trump of ” calling Covid 19 a Democratic hoax”.
    .
    My post IN FULL: “It has been proven well beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump did not say that, yet still the false comments come, and are even featured”.
    .
    It was rejected, so I lodged a complaint, and received the following from the “Engagement Editor”, whatever that may be:
    .
    ********
    Hi LB. You are welcome to state your case that you believe Trump is doing a great job on coronavirus, but yours was rejected for calling another commenter’s contribution false and having a go at the moderation/featuring of comments which our guidelines are quite clear we don’t permit.
    .
    If you wanted to tweak your comment and resubmit with some reasons why you disagree and believe Trump has handled the crisis well, we’d have no problem running that.
    *********
    .
    How can any rational, remotely competent person claim that my comment addressed Trump’s handling of COVID-19, let alone claim I think he has done a “great job” and “handled the crisis well”?

  • Warty

    In support of Peter Smith, and in response to Bernie Masters, with the latter stating: ‘Australia’s health system could have been overwhelmed in the same way that Italy’s, Spain’s, the UK’s and New York’s health system were found totally unable to cope’.
    Such fears were based on the original modelling that (belatedly) sent the Democrats and (therefore) the MSM into a flat spin. The modelling has been repeatedly revised downwards. Ianl’s satirical ‘numbers can be tricky’ specifically parodies the meaningless modelling, and I suppose our own vapid trust in the various authorities, particularly ‘medical experts’. It is the same sort of modelling that lies behind the global warming hoax, that similarly sends the Extinction Rebellion crowd, and their useful idiots, into a not too dissimilar hissy fit.
    If I may refer to Jennifer Oriel’s (I’ve a huge platonic crush on that woman) article in The Australian today, where she points out that a number of Islamist groups, along with China, Russia and Iran, are more than interested in the Western economic shut-downs bringing liberal, democratic countries like America, Australia and (of course) Israel to their knees. I am with them with regards to liberal governments, but I do think we ought to be very careful indeed about shutting down our economy, when it is just my age group likely to be affected.

  • Doubting Thomas

    I’m not for one minute suggesting that people haven’t discussed alternatives. It’s possible that some of those alternatives might have worked had they been implemented. But you only have to look at the Ruby Princess incident to see how a situation could get out of hand much more quickly than it could be managed. The essential thing was to act firmly and quickly, and at the time that decision had to be made, nobody knew what they were dealing with.
    Everybody here is taking into account what has been learned since – information that was mostly unavailable at the time the decision had to be made and implemented. As anyone who has worked within a government bureaucracy knows, or ought to, is that bureaucratic inertia is incredibly difficult to overcome, and that even when a system is decided on, a process that inevitably takes time, and implemented – more time, some fool somewhere, eg the Rugby League players in the news this morning, will ignore the rules.
    How do you develop this “exit strategy”? You need time. You need to identify and consult those all important “stakeholders” – more time, overcome bureaucratic inertia yet again. And if you miss greasing any squeaky wheel, the hostile media will slaughter you.
    The media will demand to be kept informed at every point and to his credit Morrison has tried to do that. But this inevitably leads to criticism of plans and the sometimes necessary moving of goalposts.
    In the final analysis, the Government has the ultimate responsibility and accountability. None of us has any. So, talk’s cheap.

  • Warty

    Dear lloveday,
    I can’t help but notice your post happened to be seething with hatred (as opposed to the verb ‘hate’). You may have, subtly, been undergoing a process of hating at the time, but that certainly doesn’t mean you may have been even close to a ‘hate’ crime, which, for grammatical reasons, simply cannot exist, and if it cannot exist grammatically, then moderators (along with their poorly written guidelines) cannot think you are guilty of such a crime. You compounded your sin by pointing obliquely (not unlike a witch’s crooked finger) at other commentators and (obscurely) the moderators themselves, when you wrote ‘yet still the false comments come, and are even featured’.

  • Bernie Masters

    Warty, the original modelling has been shown to have excessively overestimated the infection and especially the death rate from Covid 19. However, modelling did not help Italy’s, Spain’s, the UK’s and New York’s health systems which could not cope with the actual number of infections and deaths, so, for these countries/regions, modelling was largely irrelevant.

  • Peter Smith

    For goodness sake Bernie do you really think that Sweden’s much higher death rate than Australia’s had anything at all to do with the relative severity of the lockdowns? Sure, the death rate in Sweden is higher than in Demark but lower than in Holland or in the UK. A lot depends on circumstances and demography. You mention NY handling the virus badly. NY is the first port of call for most international visitors; it is densely populated; its crowded inner-city communities comprise large black populations who suffer disproportionately from obesity and diabetes, and not surprisingly have borne the brunt of the acute cases of the disease. And, even though Trump acted quickly to close the door to China and then to Europe, the information coming out of China and the WHO was deceptive and lulled much of the world into a false sense of security right into the month of March. On March 9, Dr Fauci, for example, was saying that it was okay for young people to go on cruise ships.
    We, in Australia, have the advantage of the tyranny of distance and for one reason or another – cruise ships aside – didn’t appear to have much infection imported from abroad, as did Europe and the US. I am not sure why that is. The lucky country I suppose – or all down to the brilliance of Morrison. I think not.
    Oh, and by the away, can’t speak for Italy or Spain, but NY’s health system was never overwhelmed. A few hospitals at times got hectic. Hospital capacity across the city was always sufficient. No one who needed an ICU did without one. And, quickly, through Trump, NY was given a massive army-built hospital and a hospital ship – neither of which proved to be required. There’s those alarmist models for you.

  • pgang

    Peter Smith I admire your restraint. I guess there are those (and there are many as we now know) who are willing to cast petty accusations of ignorance at those who have maintained sound reason and logic while all around them is madness; who are willing to swallow a catastrophic scenario that is dumped in front of them without a whit of scepticism; who refuse to acknowledge the historical and future context of this and every other viral outbreak; who in this instance are willing to suspend rationality to believe each and every line of nonsense presented by the media and bureaucracy, knowing that these institutions spread falsehood as a hobby; who don’t question the leadership of the global political class in driving their nations into a frenzy of narcissistic and unfounded fear, rather than promoting calm and encouraging moral fortitude; who somehow won’t accept that our world-class health system, which costs us tens of billions of dollars every year to maintain, is up to the task of handling viral contagions which occur every so often; but most of all, who are willing to watch our once proud culture descend into humiliation and obeisance, forfeiting our humanity and honour to the siren song of ‘safety’; who callously watch millions of their fellow men, women and most assuredly children face dire economic uncertainty across the Anglo-sphere, and who stand idly by as our core freedom to worship or even to associate with one another is junked.
    All of that, just so that the lives of an elite few can be spared for a few weeks longer.
    But of course Death comes, come what may. In the meantime, the living should get on with living.

  • lloveday

    Warty,
    .
    “seething with hatred” is an extreme conclusion from scant evidence, especially as you state it as a fact, not an opinion, nor a possibility.
    .
    The wife of one of the 5 closest friends of my life, and who had seen me under a wide range of circumstances over many years, said that if I could bottle and market my emotions I’d be a billionaire.
    .
    My self-perception is I don’t laugh or cry, aren’t happy or sad, don’t love or hate, and I’ve known me even longer than she has.

  • Peter Smith

    What a spiffing sentence pgang. Never flagging 13 to 14 lines long. Polemecists of old, eat your livers out.

    And lloveday, I think Warty might be using a bit of satire to make fun of the newspaper’s moderator.

  • lloveday

    Oh, I’ve never been good at picking up satire other than from body language, I always take words at their plain meaning.
    .
    Poe’s Law:
    “Without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views”

  • Bernie Masters

    Peter Smith: “For goodness sake Bernie do you really think that Sweden’s much higher death rate than Australia’s had anything at all to do with the relative severity of the lockdowns?” I don’t know and you don’t know. All we have to go on are the current statistics which hopefully give us some clues as to whether one response to Covid 19 is better or worse than another. I will await more data. But Sweden has 40% of Australia’s population in a land area that is just 6% of ours, although our population is concentrated along the coast into maybe 20% of our land mass. There are so many factors potentially at work here to impact upon the current infection and death rates that your opinion is in support of less lockdown and an urgent return to as full economic activity as possible and my opinion is that the lockdown we’ve had was appropriate and we can resume economic activities as infection numbers drop, esting increases, the Covidsafe app is taken up by more people, etc, etc. Time will tell.

  • Warty

    Dear lloveday, the ‘seething with anger’ bit was not related to the tone of your response, and there was indeed ‘scant evidence’ for it. I was playing around with the modern mutilation of language, where we allow nouns to disappear, ‘hatred’ for instance, to be replaced with a verb ‘hate’. Otherwise my comment was in full agreement with your criticism of mindless moderation in The Australian. Whether it is ‘hate’, ‘hatred’ or merely offence, we are no longer guided by that now ancient schoolboy ditty: ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cannot harm me’.

  • Warty

    As Bernie quite rightly points out: we know very little about this particular strain of coronavirus, all we can go by (and I deliberately avoided ‘rely on’) are the statistics, and this is where governments around the world have failed us, in that they have taken the advice of ‘scientists’ who desperately need to be weaned off their addiction to computer-generated modelling.
    There is so much to marvel with regards to science: it has given us literally millions of cctv cameras to save us from crime, yet observing us with precisely the same rigour meted out to the crims. There are an equal number of facial recognition devices designed to keep tabs on rule breakers and political dissidents in the land of Confucius, serendipitously protecting its more pliable citizens. In the same way that social science can devise a points-based system to reward those self same pliable citizens, whilst ‘re-educating’ those who stumbled on an ability to think for themselves.
    To think there were those in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, even the USSR who were prepared to sacrifice their own lives for the Truth, yet our own irrational fear of death has made us almost as compliant as the average citizen living behind the Iron Curtain. In order to get a fetch for what it is that we are letting ourselves into, we really need to read our history.
    What will say in two, three years time when this coronavirus is as distant as Sars? Will we lament becoming a Keatingesque ‘banana republic’, or take on the chin the Great Depression we had to have?

  • Lonsdale

    Bernie, you are the only intelligent voice here.

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