QED

Sentenced to Lockdowns Without End

Now that all Australian governments, federal and state, are committed to total COVID-19 elimination, regardless of cost, economic, social and psychological until some undefined percentage of mass vaccination is achieved, it is high time we face up to some stark choices. Otherwise, we will continue the descent into hysteria and madness.

The elimination strategy is utter nonsense. Governments pursuing this approach will only dig themselves a deeper hole. The obsession with infection numbers must be replaced with reports on how well our health system is coping with serious and life-threatening illness. In other words, the original objective of “flattening the curve” to ensure our hospitals and health system are not overwhelmed should have been adhered to. Instead, Gladys Berejiklian, along with her fellow premiers and endlessly subsidised by the hapless Morrison Government, is chasing a utopian rainbow at an unacceptable cost to our freedoms and economic survival.

Given that the Delta genie has long escaped the bottle, let me outline my layman’s view of where we now stand. Should I err, medical experts at the coal face, so to speak, are welcome to correct me; bureaucrats in the various health departments can bite their tongues.

First, COVID-19 appears to be a highly anomalous infection. Many “cases” are asymptomatic and most others appear to be mild. But as Henry Ergas reminds us, the minority of cases requiring hospitalisation, including a smaller minority in intensive care, display symptoms often a number of degrees worse than those from seasonal influenza. In other words, the COVID danger is acute for those with compromised immune systems.

By contrast, influenza appears to be a common-denominator infection. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have not heard of asymptomatic influenza infections. Moreover, in spite of the long available annual anti-flu jab, adapted each year to deal with the almost endless variants, annual deaths from influenza, especially among the old and frail, exceeded deaths from COVID-19 right up to the year preceding the pandemic. We might also observe that our hospitals have been able to cope with the annual influx of influenza patients. And despite the dire predictions of academic modellers, hospitals have been more than able to cope with the relatively small influx of serious ill COVID patients.  

Those ‘fright porn’ pictures of COVID patients on ventilators, intended to scare those inclined to disobey the lockdown orders, raise the rather obvious question: whatever happened to the other viral and bacterial infections so common in previous years? To say that our health czars are less than open and frank about co-morbidities  would be an understatement. Moreover, the federal government ad showing a young woman struggling for breath in ICU is seeking to depict the most unusual as the most typical. Given that there is no clear roadmap back to normal freedoms, the federal health bureaucracy is relying on misleading imagery to scare the young into getting the jab, a campaign rendered farcical by the shambles of both vaccine procurement and rollout.

Given that only two people have died this year, the only realistic strategy now is to treat COVID as endemic and continue to ensure that our health system is well able to cope. Vague talk about 50%, 65% or 80% getting vaccinated — pick a number, any number — can only mean that we are held hostage for months ahead. Right now, the only proper reason for any lockdown is if our hospitals face the serious prospect of nearing capacity. The majority of the frail elderly have now been vaccinated. They comprised the bulk of those in ICU and deaths in 2020.

Meanwhile, chief medical officers seem to have supplanted elected politicians. They are the high priests, the fonts of all wisdom and knowledge, whose “advice” or, rather, dictates must be accepted without question. Yet, when we check the CVs for the likes of Queensland’s Jeannette Young and NSW’s Kerry Chant, we find they are not virologists and are several degrees of separation from clinical practice. Moreover, health bureaucracies tend to be process-bound and rigid when the times demand flexibility, receptiveness and adaptability to new ideas. Worse still, ideology is a barrier to objective assessment of treatments which could mitigate the severity of Covid. Professor Robert Clancy’s positive review of the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin underlines the potential of such treatments to counteract the gloomy numbers game being played out day after day. This surely underscores the need to end bureaucratic inertia and resistance to remedies, espoused by well-credentialed  specialists, which could help free us from the empire of fear.

Afterthought: If Gladys Berejiklian and her fellow premiers continue to ignore independent advice and   slavishly bow to their chief medical officers, they should give substance to their oft-repeated claims during lockdowns that “we are all in this together”, by taking, at least, a 75 per cent pay cut. John Ruddick, take note. You could be on to a winner!

35 comments
  • Michael

    As Chris Uhlmann observed, Covid-19 has become the only disease in history that no Australian can be permitted to catch.

  • Peter OBrien

    I notice today, both Gladys and Dan are now studiously avoiding the term ‘health advice’, the use of which was nauseously repetitive. Hazzard today had a go at the ‘media’ for using the term ‘health advice’, saying that they take a range of advice (or words to that effect). Now it’s just ‘advice’ or ‘the best advice’. The spin doctors have been at work.

  • Stephen Due

    Like influenza, this respiratory infection can mostly be treated by GPs. Unfortunately Australian governments and the TGA have adopted the line that the well-known FLCCC multi-drug early treatment protocols, which are ideal for use in general practice, do not meet their exalted standards.
    The FLCCC protocols use reliable repurposed (off-label) drugs, including Ivermectin. The Australian authorities base their opposition on the fact that the FLCCC protocols are not supported by the best evidence, namely large randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
    The hypocrisy of this stance is obvious. None of the measures the same authorities have themselves enforced, including lockdowns and mask mandates, is supported by anything remotely resembling best evidence. With the vaccines, there is actually zero knowledge of their long-term safety. In addition there are dangerous short-term effects that were not revealed in the hasty research used to justify their approval in the first place.
    There is good evidence that the FLCCC protocols save lives. Under the circumstances, there is something quite perverse about depriving the public of this inexpensive and safe form of treatment.

  • Peter Marriott

    Good piece Christopher and good comments. In comparing the Flu with Covid I’ve used the same arguments myself. I’ve never heard of asymptomatic flu, and the death rates for certain years have been much higher than covid, taking the prince of’em all the 1919 Spanish flu that killed 15,000 in Australia I think and at least 50 million plus around the world ( there was civil war in Russia, and probably China etc) so who knows how many more died there) plus the flu kills children, young people, middle aged people, AND the infirmed and low immune system people…..sounds a lot worse than covid to me, and the infection rate for flu must be just as high because you don’t have to wait 14 days to know you’ve got it….72 hours max I think, and it’ll race through a normal household,like the common cold. Sounds just as infectious as covid, even more so. Also how dead is dead….does covid somehow kill people DEADER than flu dead, I ask myself. The point is of course that we handle flu epidemics without all these draconian lockdowns and travel restrictions and should be doing it with this new covid flu.

  • gareththomassport

    Speaking as a medico, Peter, your comments are largely spot on.
    The only way I can explain the current decisions being made is that they are purely political in motivation.
    There is no medical explanation for Stephen Due’s valid points, nor “just get immunised and we’ll be back to normal”. The politics is simple- create fear, then position yourself as a tough ruler who saves lives.

  • ianl

    Watching the Glad & Kerry show today for the first 15-20 minutes (about as long as I can cope with, and becoming a smaller period by the day) as I need to know on a daily basis what normal things I do will now get me arrested.

    Chan was directly and specifically asked if closing construction sites was her exact “health advice” to the State Govt. Immediately she (Chan) started the yacketty wobble-wibble so familiar to us when some “authority” tries to avoid answering. Eventually, the only sense one could make of the babble was that Chant had recommended no such thing. It was entirely down to Berejiklian et al.

  • lbloveday

    I made a come-back to writing comment in The Australian On-line.
    .
    5 of the less than 60 “Fully Vaccinated” Texas Democrats who flew to Washington in a chartered plane are COVID-positive. Some “resistance”! REJECTED
    .
    More people in Australia died of Flu, which is contagious, in 2019 than of COVD-19 in 2020. REJECTED.

  • Elizabeth Beare

    That’s why we cancelled our subscription to The Oz lbloveday. They are no different to Facebook or Twitter in enforcing the orthodox narrative.

  • lbloveday

    Another – “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty” REJECTED

    Ok, I’ve given up, again!

  • Stephen

    Relying on experts allows the politicians to avoid full responsibility when things go wrong and they call this strong leadership. Winning the next election takes priority over the actually defending the good. Covid has medical, economic, social and psychological effects. The emphasis seems to be purely on the medical whilst the other aspects are relegated. Who knows, suicides due to bankruptcy and unemployment may well end up exceeding Covid deaths (frankly I don’t know of any stat on this).
    This reliance on experts has along history of causing disasters. Thomas Sowell’s book, “Intellectuals and Society” covers this subject. If you don’t have time for the book view this Hoover Institution interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERj3QeGw9Ok
    As for myself, I’m pretty old with a heart condition, so I’m going to be careful and will probably continue to wear a mask even if everyone else doesn’t have to. I’ll take personal responsibility for my welfare. What I don’t expect is the whole to shut down just to protect a small minority like myself.

  • Alistair

    This is part of the softening up of the population for the future. Its all part of the “technocracy movement’s” plan to side-line politicians and the remnants of “democracy” and manipulate power from behind the scenes. In Dan’s case, seize power and manage through the “experts.” In America they have installed a dementia patient in the White House and rule by “expert” committee in the background. This is the model for the future of “democracy”.

  • pgang

    Having just conducted a search, I don’t think a single zombie media article exists that celebrates ‘freedom day’ in the UK. All of them are pronouncements of doom. From Adam Creighton in The Australian:
    .
    ‘Eighteen months on, all the features of the Wuhan response – lockdowns, mandatory masks, surveillance and border closures – have become standard practice, despite each specifically being ruled out by the WHO in 2019.
    The WHO understood such extreme measures in free societies would have profound and enduring economic, social, constitu­tional and political ramifications. Real life wasn’t a game of SimCity, where elite public servants, largely immune from the costs of their own decisions, could dial restrictions up and down.
    Why the West junked all its pre-2020 disease management advice remains the most concerning and unanswered question of our time. In 2017, the US government updated its pandemic plan, spelling out clearly what governments should do based on the severity of any pandemic. It’s not surprising the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t yet declared the severity level for Covid-19 because it would fall around category three based on its own criteria: in other words, not nearly severe enough to justify the measures used to contain it.
    Even if another Spanish flu-type pandemic (magnitudes worse than Covid-19) emerged, schools should be shut for only 12 weeks at most, the plan said – certainly not for a year, as has been the case in California and some other states. Forcing businesses to close and well people to stay home and controlling information weren’t even canvassed.’
    .
    ‘Why the West junked all its pre-2020 disease management advice remains the most concerning and unanswered question of our time.’
    Yep. Nice summation Adam.

  • Losthope

    have you noticed here is now no talk of her immunity. They have discovered that herd immunity is impossible if you can still contract cover after being ” vaccinated”
    Further, No Doctor offers or patients ask the duration of the efficacy of the flu shot.. 4 months? the same applies to thecovit jab. If the CMOs were real CMOs they would be asking ” vaccinated ” patients to return for blood test to check on immunity levels .

  • Stephen Due

    “It’s Not a Pandemic, It’s an IQ Test.”
    Protest placard at London demonstration 19 July 2021

    Indicative of the failure of governments to pass the IQ test is the fact that active, systematic censorship of voices opposing lockdowns and the vaccines is proceeding apace. It only becomes necessary to silence the opposition when you are not intellectually competent to engage in the debate.
    YouTube videos are disappearing within minutes of being posted. A steady stream of ‘hit pieces’ is appearing online and in the mainstream media, denouncing opponents of the official Covid-19 narrative. Wikipedia entries of targeted individuals are being doctored to make the person look incompetent and untrustworthy. Any expert who questions the prevailing orthodoxy receives a deluge of hate mail, including death threats. Many have been bullied into silence. Google algorithms have been changed to ensure that a search on any prominent person known to be a Covid-19 dissenter results in negative stories at the top of the list.
    The reach of this censorship operation is vast. There is big money involved (pharmaceutical companies) combined with a sinister political agenda (Gates, Soros). The democratic processes of the Free World have ground to a halt. Big Tech is running the show – to the extent of determining who becomes the President of the United States and what he does in office.
    Nobody should imagine that Big Tech is a benign force working for domestic bliss, universal harmony and a borderless world. Behind the rhetoric is a hatred of the West, contempt for the general population, and a program to replace democracy with rule by a self-appointed technocratic elite.
    Australians must take action to preserve democratic processes. We need to protect our rights to freedom of speech and assembly. We need new state and federal legislation to better define what constitutes an emergency. We must prevent the prolonged use of emergency powers, and specify more strictly how they can be used. Citizens should have effective remedies against the abuse of emergency powers.
    The ludicrous spectacle of Premiers and senior bureaucrats lording it over the people – parading daily at press conferences to announce the latest irrational, destructive, tyrannical regulations – is deeply offensive. It should not be allowed to occur again.

  • pgang

    Here we go, our worst fears confirmed: minor headline in The Australian. This nation is finished, it’s time to leave.
    .
    ‘Delta dawns: not free until kids get jab
    The Delta variant could force a rethink over whether restrictions can be relaxed once the adult population is largely vaccinated, health authorities warn.’

  • Rebekah Meredith

    pgang–Where could we go? South Dakota isn’t a nation.

  • pgang

    Plenty of good states in the USA Meredith. Trouble is that it has to be a long term plan. If you put ’emigration’ as the reason on the totalitarian departure ‘request’ form, I’m doubtful you’d be let out.

  • lbloveday

    ” a sinister political agenda (Gates, Soros)”.
    .
    I’ve long thought Mrs Gates was the driving force behind Mr Gates’ evil; just maybe he will now turn away from the dark side. Similarly I think Rupert Murdoch’s daughters-in-law from hell are behind the drift Left of The Australian.

  • Alice Thermopolis

    Our state premiers came to mind while reading Plato’s Letter VII this week.
    Fascinating personal account – not a fake, according to scholars – of his several visits to Sicily from 388 BC, when he was 40.
    He became more and more disillusioned about corrupt politics, there and elsewhere:

    “I concluded it was difficult to take part in public life and retain one’s integrity. This feeling became stronger the more I observed and the older I became…..I was driven to assert, in praise of true philosophy, that nothing else can enable one to see what is right for states and for individuals, and that the troubles of humankind will never cease until either true and genuine philosophers attain political power or the rulers of states by some dispensation of providence become philosophers.” If only……..

    Over two thousand years later, we are still searching for Plato’s elusive philosopher-kings.

    When push comes to shove today, too many people prefer tyrants, state premiers or CMOs, not necessarily in that order.

    Even in its birthplace, democracy lasted less than a few decades. It was the Athenian demos, a jury of 500 citizens, that sentenced Socrates to death in 399 BC.

  • talewis

    All the Premiers and Chief Ministers know how to do is heavy-handed lockdowns.

    In the UK they are stopping restrictions while having more than 50,000 cases a day reported.

    They have realised what we haven’t: protect the vulnerable and let the virus go. It’s about actual deaths, not cases.

  • lbloveday

    “protect the vulnerable” I hear “everywhere”- Bolt, Chris Kenny……from people who don’t count themselves in “the vulnerable”
    .
    I’m elderly, hence generally termed vulnerable. How do they propose I be protected? Forced “vaccination”? Masked 24/7? Locked down? Keep me monitored and controlled? Not allowed to work? Not allowed to see relatives and friends? Not have a pint or two with mates at the club? Forever? Because that’s how long COVID and, or, its ilk are likely to be around.
    .
    Here’s what I want:
    .
    Leave me alone; I’ve made it to this advanced age without being baby-sat, by looking after myself, by making considered decisions, by taking calculated risks, by balancing those risks against my enjoyment of life….
    .
    As Reagan said ‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help”‘

  • ianl

    The core weakness in complaining about the endlessly repetitive, intensely damaging State lockdowns is the inability to answer the direct question: “What would you do, then ?” I’ve heard pundits say time after time that there are other ways – yet these are never specified. Until useful, practical alternatives are spelled out, the dark politics of fear will remain draped over the country.

    Vaccines for the majority, I hear. yet these vaccines do not prevent one from becoming infected or being infectious while asymptomatic. Does anyone really believe that the State Premiers, as obnoxious as they are, will do a backflipped Freedom Day while some infections and the occasional death are being reported ?

    The National Cabinet meeting a month ago ostensibly agreed to the Doherty Institute modelling the cut point for vaccinations to allow a Freedom Day. I pointed out then that “agreement” was an outright lie, done to force Morrison into halving the repatriation of stranded Aus citizens. Has anyone heard any of these obnoxious Premiers since say they’re just waiting for the Doherty Institute report before making any decision ?

    Powerlust. So ugly …

  • STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Flatten the curve has been futile. Now it’s flatten the people.

  • Greg Williams

    Off topic, but nice letter in today’s West Australian, Rebekah . I still read the West, albeit superficially, mainly to see who is writing the letters, and to do the cryptic crossword. The (relatively) new editor appears to be moving the paper more and more to the left. When Brett McCarthy was editor, I was a regular contributor to the letters pages, but now, despite still sending in regularly, I almost never get published.

  • pgang

    The NSW health overlord has just banned friendships apparently. This is not the time for them. Got that?

  • Rebekah Meredith

    Greg Williams, thank you. This was the first letter I’d actually gotten into the West Australian in over a year, and I almost didn’t bother; but I had to try to point out the misapplication of Reagan’s words. In fairness, I should also say that I had credited my closing quote to Thomas Jefferson. I’m sure that a much-loved history teacher said that Jefferson DID say that, but the letters editor’s checks showed that he never said it. From a very quick check myself, I think he was right. I’m glad that the ACTING letters editor (maybe that explains my being published), Matthew Mills, saved me the embarrassment of having a mistake as I corrected a mistake!

  • pgang

    Frankly, if we stopped testing people the whole problem would simply vanish.

  • Greg Williams

    Yes Rebekah, I have pretty much given up trying to get anything published in the West now. I have had a few letters published in the Oz, and a lot of my comments in the blog get accepted, although, like lbloveday above, a lot get rejected as well. I am never too sure why comments get rejected, as I try to avoid ad hominem comments. I have a beach house at Falcon, so maybe I will try a letter to the West with my Falcon address and see how that goes :).

  • Greg Williams

    Agreed pgang. It is totally beyond me why we have to have this microscopic examination of how many Australians, and what is a vanishingly small percentage of the population, are infected by a virus that has little to no effect on the vast majority of those infected. I tried to make something of this in this article (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2020/10/covid-19-risk-and-public-policy/) published in quadrant last year.

  • Peter Marriott

    pgang, and Greg Williams I third that. This incessant testing of people, with almost no complaints or symptoms, and the shrill taking up and reporting of it all is most of the problem now, being used in a way to sort of keep the ‘fear and trembling’ stoked. The Gov seem hell bent on keeping us all well and truly under control, ‘levelled’ to quote Kierkegaard again, and he wrote that for this really to happen a phantom must first be raised, a monstrous abstraction, aided by the press which itself becomes a sort of phantom. This virus seems to have been morphed into a levelling phantom on us all now….aided by our charming press I think.

  • stephen.fairweather

    Please bear with me as I ask you indulgence to explain some of my statistical analysis on the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 1.5 years.
    If we are to take the best relative measure of the disease severity of Covid-19 and ensure that the epidemiological statistics were rigorous and valid, than we would look at 5 following statistical criteria:
    a) the per capita mortality rate
    b) the per capita sever cases (patients in ICU wards)
    c) ensure we had the case numbers corrected for demographic age distribution.
    d) ensure the sample size was large enough to representative of the population as a whole.
    e) That all covid-19 cases, fatalities, and severe cases (i.e. all categories of disease measurement) were being collected and counted with the same, valid, and robust methods

    None of these 5 criteria at any stage and in any health jurisdiction have together been met for Covid-19. For many other serious diseases, around for much longer, they are and sound judgments are made concerning them. But no infectious disease or other human aliment has ever led to such an array of negative consequences due to the direct actions of political leader and bureaucrats.
    here are some sobering statistics to measure the enormity of the mistake being made:
    1. the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for 2021 in Australia is ([3806 cases/6 deaths] x 100) 0.157 – almost the same as the seasonal, overall population CFR for flu viruses.
    2. The CFR patterns globally make no sense. What do I mean? Take this challenge: choose and cohort of countries you like, entirely randomly selected or selected according to a definable theme or variable, correlate the cohort of the characteristic you selected on and the CFR (or any other disease number measure): does it make any sense. It won’t, believe me, apart from a few very uninformative ones such as population density, or islands vs land-boarder nations. No measure espoused as correlated to outcomes of the disease or prevention of it holds true for any significant number of jurisdictions. I have been tabulating data from disease outcomes from John Hopkins/world-o-meter and trying to establish some clear correlations that could be used to explain disease trends or used as solid evidence for public health measures – there simply are none.
    One example will suffice (I could give hundreds) look at the CFR for Arab-speaking nations: a cohort you could select and control for numerous variables: cultural-social background, similar GDP/capita numbers (lower to medium developing nation status for most), per capita health spending, similar covid-19 public health policies and social restriction practices et al. None of it correlates with the CFR; for Saudi Arabia (to 20th July) the CFR is 1.582%, for Kuwait 0.579%, and for the UAE 0.226% !
    If you had presented such figures at an epidemiological conference or paper several years ago you would have been told to go away until you had come up with some plausible correlative reasons for such massive discrepancies when having accounted for so many other variables. Take any combination of cohorts and variables and try to tease out a pattern in their relationship to disease severity.
    I’m a post-doctoral scientist at the Australian National University and I have never seen anything like this in my short career – I though it would be impossible for such a flagrant example of poorly measurement and understood science (even one such as epidemiology that is naive is its empirical methods) to gain such dogmatic positions among so much of the medical and health sciences professions.
    If any commentator or reader would like to contact me to discuss they can e-mail me at: stephen.fairweather@anu.edu.au, or contact me through my ANU website:https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/fairweather-sj
    I would enjoy discussing this very much with interested people.

  • pgang

    Greg that was a good article.

  • Greg Williams

    Thanks pgang. It was fairly heavily edited by the Quadrant crew, mainly I think to make it a reasonable length. It was a bit repetitive I guess. If you ever want the original I can email it to you :).

  • Stuart J. Burrows

    lbloveday and Elizabeth Beare — I also cancelled my subscription to The Australian a month or two ago, and for the same reason: they are rejecting comments that make strong points with which the editors disagree. i.e. Our newspaper of record no longer believes in freedom of speech.

  • Dr Andrew Campbell

    The Australian recently cancelled six comments made on the maladministration of the national archives although it was a very hot news topic . ! They met all the criteria for publication.. no explanation was offered – in a word : censorship.

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