COVID-19 Lockdowns: Liberty and Science
By: Sam Jacobs | Libertas Bella
The Chinese Coronavirus (COVID-19) hit American shores — officially, anyway, there is significant evidence that it arrived earlier — in late January 2020. The American public was then told that a two-week shutdown of the economy would “flatten the curve,” relieving the pressure on hospital intensive care units and saving lives in the long run.
The average American, including conservatives, being people of good faith, complied, thinking that this was a common-sense measure that would save lives in the wake of a new and mysterious pandemic.
But two things quickly happened: First, the goalposts moved. No longer was it enough to “flatten the curve.” Now we were to be locked down until there was a cure.
Even the cure was not enough for some figures like the lionized-by-liberals Dr. Anthony Fauci — we would continue to be locked down even after a vaccine had been rammed through the approvals process with limited testing. When would we be allowed out by our masters? No one could answer this.
Second, there was an intensification of the authoritarian measures. Some states, aided by Big Tech, introduced “contact tracing” where people had to sign in with extensive personal information if they wanted to, for example, eat out at a restaurant. This was so that, in the event of infection with COVID-19, the state health department would be able to track and trace everyone you had contact with.
We should add that a third thing didn’t so much “happen” but was discovered: As it turns out unless you are old (over the age of 65), morbidly obese, or suffer from a complicating disorder (such as diabetes or asthma), COVID-19 was little more than a bad cold or the flu.
What’s more, there was a financial incentive from the government to mark deaths as COVID-19 deaths when they were not. George Floyd, the man who died while being arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department, sparking riots over the summer of 2020, is officially a COVID-19 death because he died with COVID-19, despite not dying of COVID-19.
By the fall of 2020, the facts became clear: While COVID-19 was dangerous for select populations, it had an extremely low death rate among the young and healthy.
The generous or naive might say that COVID-19 health measures are misguided attempts to protect the population. A more hard-nosed or cynical person likely thinks that these measures are a deliberate attempt to enact totalitarian measures leveraging public panic.
This, of course, would not be the first time the government and its toadies took advantage of such a panic, with the 9/11 attacks presenting a recent example of such.
We believe that COVID-19 measures are little more than a cynical power grab. We also believe that they have no basis in “the science” often breathlessly invoked by the toadies of this power grab.
In this article, we will make a compelling case that there is nothing scientific about this attack on the individual civil liberties of Americans. As Canadian Dr. Roger Hodkinson, a top pathologist, virologist, and CEO of a biotech company manufacturing COVID tests said, “this (COVID-19) is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.”
Who Is Hurt By Lockdowns… And Who Isn’t?
Before launching into specifics about “the science” of lockdowns, it is worth discussing who was impacted by lockdowns and who wasn’t. Despite the rhetoric from the political and media class about how “we are all in this together,” there is clearly no “we” and there are different impacts on different people.
First, let’s discuss the American and international media elites. These jobs are largely done remotely and, where they are not customarily performed so, can easily be transitioned to be done remotely. Then there is the small matter of the political class of bureaucrats who receive their paychecks whether they perform any ostensible “work” — to say nothing of obtaining results — or not.
Unsurprisingly, these are two groups heavily invested in both lockdowns and in policing the behavior of ordinary citizens. Compare with the working- and middle-class Americans who do not see a dime unless they actually show up to work, work which often cannot be done under the restrictive and arbitrary rules of the lockdowns.
While one can write clickbait articles about how anti-mask and anti-lockdown protesters are agents of white supremacy from the comfort of one’s own home, the same cannot be said for tasks like construction, manufacturing, many forms of retail sales, or hospitality.
This isn’t just a matter of a few people missing out on a few weeks of work. CNBC host Jim Cramer has noted that the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic led to one of the biggest wealth transfers in all of American history. Wall Street cleaned up at the expense of Main Street.
Small businesses shuttered at an astonishing rate with restaurants and retailers hardest hit. All told, 60 percent of business closures were expected to be permanent, for a total of over 100,000 businesses.
While Main Street businesses were locked down, Amazon was making a killing — all while Jeff Bezos’ vanity blog, the Washington Post was pushing lockdown policies. Walmart, Lowe’s, and Target were likewise seeing booming profits.
This is emblematic of the massive transfer of wealth from small Main Street businesses to Big Tech and the financial sector. Indeed, the tale of the Chinese coronavirus in total might well be described as a massive upward consolidation of power.
The point of all this is to point out that there is a massive social and economic cost to the lockdowns that is borne entirely by the plebeians and not at all by the political and media elites who push the lockdowns hard.
People’s lives have been ruined by the lockdown. And while the projected increase in suicide rates has thus far failed to materialize, why does someone have to kill themselves for us to be concerned about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives?
Further, we have evidence that people die of “despair” — effectively giving up on life and failing to perform adequate self-care, overdosing on drugs, or other similar types of deaths — at an alarming rate during the pandemic lockdowns.
Indeed, there is even a mathematical formula for this, whereby there is an expected 5,300 to 10,000 deaths for every 1 percent of unemployment. Unemployment during COVID lockdowns peaked at 14.7 percent, which would be an expected excess death total of between 77,910 and 147,000.
The COVID lockdowns of Spring 2020 saw an uptick in a number of other serious conditions. Increased suicide was one, but also drug overdoses, alcohol-related illness, tuberculosis infections, and on the non-lethal side of things, increased alcohol abuse generally as well as increased spousal and child abuse.
Delayed cancer screenings were another problem during the lockdowns. The United Kingdom, which has socialized medicine, believes that there are tens of thousands of deaths related to delayed treatment because of COVID alone.
Conservative news and opinion website Revolver has conducted an extensive study of just how impacted American quality of life has been by COVID lockdowns, in terms of actual months of life lost. They concluded that over 10 times as much life has been lost due to COVID lockdowns than due to the disease itself.
The Revolver study is largely based on “back of the envelope” type calculations but is still worth reading to get a sense of the scope of how COVID-19 lockdowns have negatively impacted the lives of Americans significantly more than the disease itself.
The Great Barrington Declaration, signed by over 7,000 scientists, virologists, and infectious disease experts believes that lockdowns are destroying “at least seven times as much life” as the disease itself and that in the United States and the United Kingdom, there is “irreparable damage” being done.
The declaration notes clearly that “seven times as much damage” is the absolute minimum, putting a more realistic figure at 90 times.
There is another metric worth mentioning in our quest to quantify how bad the lockdown has been for non-sick people. Global debt has ballooned, growing by $20 trillion since the lockdowns began, according to the Institute of International Finance. This is thought to be the biggest increase in debt in the world’s history
Perhaps worst of all, none of this is ever explained to the public as being necessary. It is simply not acknowledged at all. It is an article of faith in the COVID cult that any measure that will prevent even a single death is worth it no matter what the social or economic consequences.
How Dangerous Is COVID? Not Very.
On the flip side of this are the large number of “COVID deaths” which are actually attributable to some other cause. We’re not talking about an elderly person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder pushed over the edge by the Chinese Coronavirus. We’re talking about people who died of gunshot wounds, got into motorcycle accidents, fell off a ladder, or had a drug-related heart attack while a police officer kneeled on their neck who were counted as COVID deaths.
With fat government subsidies for COVID cases, it’s unsurprising that hospitals and other healthcare facilities would diagnose people as having COVID who actually did not.
We know very little about COVID and how it is spread, but here are a few things we do know: First, we know that there are a number of comorbidities that make it far more dangerous, one of which is obesity, which increases the risk of COVID death by a whopping 48 percent. But even that might not be as dangerous as it first sounds: In California where they have had 18,000 deaths, a scant two of these were people under the age of 18, one with underlying health conditions.
A much more important factor is age. A large study conducted on data from cases in South Korea, Italy, China, and Spain, three of the early breeding grounds for the virus, found a 0 percent death rate for those under the age of 9, The death rate didn’t climb above 1 percent until the age of 50-59 — and then only in China and Italy and then only just barely, at 1.3 and 1 percent respectively.
It climbed slightly above 1 percent for all four countries in the 60-69 age bracket, staying below 2 percent in South Korea and Spain, but below 4 percent for Italy and China. Death rates then spike dramatically over the age of 70.
This tracks with flu deaths over the 2017-18 “flu season” in the United States: Very few deaths under the age of 18 (a little over 600), slightly more for 18-49 (2803), another modest jump between 50 and 64 (6,751) and then a huge spike over the age of 65 (over 50,000). Of course, there are more cases of the flu, which has a lower death rate overall: The overall death rate for COVID-19 is 1.5 percent, regardless of age, with an average season’s flu killing about .1 percent of everyone who gets it.
Closer to home, we’re finding that there’s absolutely nothing to be concerned about for most healthy people. The COVID survival rates according to the CDC are 99.997 percent for those under the age of 20, 99.98 percent for those between the ages of 20 and 49, 99.5 percent for those between the age of 50 and 69, and even 94.6 percent for those over the age of 70.
These numbers include people with comorbidities such as respiratory diseases. And even these numbers are likely off, as only 6 percent of all COVID deaths are attributed to COVID alone. The rest had, on average, at least two comorbidities.
The average death rate annually for the flu is about .1 percent.
It’s worth noting that this data all comes from the early stages of the pandemic when medical professionals had little way of treating the disease other than ventilating — and thus, probably killing — severe cases.
Now we know quite a bit more about therapeutics that aid in recovery. President Donald Trump, a clinically obese 74-year-old man, recovered from the disease in less than a week. There is ample evidence that the disease is becoming less deadly, not more. Death rates fall because of increased testing, but the median age of infection has likewise gone down.
Do Lockdowns And Masks Even Work?
All of this raises an important central question: Why do the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and the obese simply sequester themselves or take reasonable precautions rather than shutting down the world economy?
Indeed, there is mounting evidence that government intervention has, surprise of surprises, actually made things worse. As of November 18, 2020, there have been 34,058 COVID deaths in the state of New York. Of these, over 6,500 (or approximately one in seven total deaths) were nursing home deaths that were a direct result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s policy of forcing nursing homes to accept COVID patients and lock them down with the vulnerable and uninfected.
This is a concrete example of government lockdown measures killing people. But you won’t hear about it in the controlled media.
What about the omnipresent masks that we are now seeing everywhere to the point where someone without a mask is seen as the strange one. They must work, of course!
But there is scant evidence that masks prevent the transmission of COVID or any other respiratory infection. In every randomized clinical trial ever conducted, there have been inconclusive findings that mask-wearing aided in suppressing transmission of respiratory diseases. Studies generally rely upon fitted N95 respirators that must be sterilized after every use or surgical masks that should be thrown away. We have more evidence that typical masks cause headaches than they prevent against COVID.
Compare this to what you see on your average trip to the grocery store: People wearing unfitted cloth masks that get occasionally cleaned — maybe. Many people don’t even bother to pull them up over their noses. Thus, most mask-wearing is useless and little more than a form of social control or forced act of “solidarity.”
There’s magical thinking involved in the current mask mandates: If cases go up, it’s because people weren’t good little boys and girls and didn’t wear their masks. If they go down, everyone has been well behaved and gets to pat themselves on the back for wearing their face diaper.
Some evidence suggests that masks make people feel magically protected from the virus and thus they do not take common-sense precautions against all diseases, such as handwashing, keeping fingers off the face, covering their nose when they sneeze, and the like.
What this means at its root is that people are trading effective measures for ineffective theater. Mask reuse likewise increases infection rates and who among us isn’t guilty of that?
What’s more, studies suggest that people who wear the cloth masks, that are now virtually required to do anything outside one’s home, lead to an increase of flu-like symptoms — and thus create lots of COVID paranoia where there ought not to be any.
It was only in March that many experts were urging people not to wear masks at all, with this article from April likewise urging people to not wear masks.
There are also the “soft” effects of mask-wearing. There is significant evidence to suggest that children living under COVID will have their emotional and psychological development severely stunted and warped thanks to mask orders. As if you needed another reason to pull your kids out of public school.
Indeed, we have a mountain of troubling data about the social effects of mass mask-wearing that go back decades. Put simply, masks make people stupid, pliant, and anti-social. Examples of findings from mask studies include:
- A 1976 study where people were more likely and required less pay to carry a sign reading “masturbation is fun” if they were masked.
- A 1979 study found children were more likely to take more than their allotted amount of Halloween candy if they were masked.
- A 1989 study found that masking led people to abandon defense mechanisms and revert to more primitive psychological states.
- Studies conducted in 2005 and 2017 found neurological evidence inhibits both impulse control and identity formation, decreasing prefrontal cortex activity.
- Repeated studies have found that masking reduces blood flow to the brain.
A number of public figures have backed off of masking as a panacea, instead, they are pushing it as an act of “social solidarity.” Sure, masks might not actually do anything — but what about feelings? British politicians Michael Gove and Nicole Sturgeon are indicative of this trend.
Your Social Betters Are Not Actually Afraid of COVID
But perhaps the best evidence that this is all just a bit of political theater is seeing how our media and political class actually behave when they think no one is watching.
Chris Cuomo, brother of Governor Andrew Cuomo, often referred to as “Fredo” due to paling in comparison with his brother, was quarantined for two weeks, not for abstract reasons, but because he was actually exposed to COVID. This didn’t stop him from leaving his house unmasked after he got tired of lifting fake weights on camera.
Bill De Blasio, the Mayor of New York with questionable connections to Communist organizations and a daughter in Antifa, was caught at the gym and didn’t feel even a twinge of shame about it, explaining that he needs to go to the gym, but you do not.
Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago, told Chicagoans to stay home for Thanksgiving. This didn’t stop her from taking to the streets following Joe Biden’s ersatz “victory” in the 2020 Presidential election to celebrate.
Gavin Newsome, Governor of California has presided over some of the harshest lockdowns in the nation, going so far as to shut off power and water to people who defy his lockdown diktats. He somehow finds time to dine out at the three Michelin star restaurant French Laundry with some of the top medical bureaucrats in the state.
He’s not the only governor who believes in “lockdowns for thee, but not for me.” Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan went as far as to threaten lockdown protesters with further lockdowns because of their protests. She is a bit of a poster child for the mediocre people who have appointed themselves COVID cops.
Whitmer put in some of the most restrictive lockdowns in the country, then attempted to use them to blackmail Michiganders into voting for Joe Biden. In November, she began threatening jail time for businesses that did not record the personal details of their customers for her personal perusal. Her husband attempted to throw his weight around to get his boat moved into place for vacation early in violation of state orders.
Nancy Pelosi’s lockdown-violating haircut is well known. Less known is that she planned to carry on with the reception dinner for new members of Congress until her plan was exposed and widely mocked at a time when she and other political elites were telling average Americans to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The elephant in the room, of course, was the BLM riots of the summer of 2020. In cities such as New York, Portland (where riots literally went on every night for months), and Seattle (where insurrectionists took over several blocks of the capitol district and demanded ethnic cleansing of whites from the area), there were leftist riots growing out of a media-manufactured panic centered around the death of George Floyd, a criminal who died of a drug overdose while resisting arrest and whose death is officially listed as COVID.
These riots were fine, indeed necessary and it wasn’t just politicians who were saying so. The medical profession also chimed in, predictably declaring that “racism” was the “real pandemic.”
Compare with the reaction to anti-lockdown protests. Those seeking consolidation of power upward in the form of breaking police unions and disbanding local police departments, who terrorized small businesses and local communities, not just in big blue cities, but also in places like Kenosha, Wisconsin and Lancaster, Pennsylvania — the latter of these sensibly held rioters on $1 million bail.
The message is simple and clear: Freedom fighters are superspreaders. The freelance goons of government repression and Big Tech labor discipline enforcement are free to do as they will. Their “protests” aren’t just safe, but vitally important.
The Coming COVID Police State
There is no other term for the COVID regime than a nascent police state. Governors and bureaucrats, without any legislative authority, have demanded that people remain in the homes at their personal whim for a disease with a 99.9% survival rate.
Australia is an example of a country that has moved very firmly and decisively into police state territory. Zoe Buhler, a 28-year-old pregnant mother was arrested, handcuffed, and had her electronic devices confiscated for the crime of posting about an anti-lockdown protest on Facebook in a town with four active cases. The name of the crime? “The planning and encouragement of protest activity.” The punishment? Mrs. Buhler is looking at 15 years in prison.
You can watch the video of Mrs. Buhler’s arrest here. It should make your stomach turn. The Premier of Victoria (equivalent to the governor of this Australian state) allowed and encouraged BLM protests of up to 10,000 that summer.
In Victoria, as elsewhere in Australia, as well as in many American states, people are not allowed to leave their houses except for reasons deemed “essential” by their government, then only for so long and between certain hours and you might need a hall pass explaining to officers where you are going and why you are going there.
People harassed for the crime of sitting down on park benches include a law professor with cerebral palsy and her 70-year-old mother and a heavily pregnant woman while a young tradesman was harassed and fined for not having his papers filled out properly.
With new lockdowns rolling out that involve requirements to wear masks in your own home and a prohibition on all visitors, it is clear that some are attempting to bring back the bad old days of Spring 2020, but with even more restriction and enforcement.
Thinking about protesting? Forget about being arrested and manhandled by police. If your protests get too large, as they have done in Germany, the police will turn fire hoses on you like you’re in Alabama in 1956.
And then there’s the prospect of the vaccine, two versions of which will soon be available, if not mandatory.
Could the coronavirus vaccine be “the Mark of the Beast?” One doesn’t have to be religious to see it as such. Public health officials are already boasting that no one will be able to work, travel, or go to school without this vaccine that was rushed through approvals for political theater.
Former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t ruled out making the vaccine mandatory, though the federal government will likely just punt enforcement to large corporations, similar to how they use Big Tech to manage information on the Internet and Big Finance to take banking services away from dissidents.
Bill Gates has called not only for mandatory vaccines, but also mandatory tracking of people who have received them.
It’s worth noting that “asymptomatic transmission,” the notion that people who don’t know they’re sick are passing the disease around and thus, the entire basis of mask mandates and lockdowns, is patently false.
Are our elites deliberately conspiring to instill fear or are they just idiotic dupes? Probably a little from Column A and a little from Column B. But one thing is clear — the economic, political, academic, and media elites in this country are using a disease with a 99.9% survival rate to transform the country into a police state. Patriots and freedom lovers must resist this by any means necessary.
One way to do this is by patronizing local businesses who are openly defying mask mandates. But in many cases, you can circumvent these laws — particularly at big box stores — by saying: “I have a health concern.” The law prevents them from asking anything further and risk-averse large companies generally won’t for fear of a lawsuit or an Americans with Disabilities Act or HIPAA complaint.