‘Pandemic’ Retrospective

Between April 2020 and November 2021 I wrote several articles opposing the official coronavirus narrative. Now that this period is in the past tense I’ve combined them into this summary and overview.

In early 2020 the world faced what was called a ‘pandemic’. We saw videos of people falling down dead in China, then we heard of countries like Italy and Iran being decimated by a novel coronavirus. Various nations, particularly in the West, began imposing brutally strict lockdowns, mask mandates and then ‘vaccines’ and ‘vaccine’ passports. No public discussion was allowed, no debate. Shops had to be closed, workplaces too, and schools and transport systems; medical services had to be curtailed too and we had to augment our technological systems and serious dissent had to be silenced. All this had to be done because ‘people were dying’.

People die all the time. Cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia, road traffic accidents, malaria, suicides and so on claim millions upon millions of lives every year, but we weren’t encouraged to think about these deaths. ‘Pandemic’ mortality figures were presented as absolutes, without any kind of context. Ten thousand people dead, fifty thousand, a hundred thousand! See how bad it is!? We must lock down. We must have ‘vaccines’ and ‘vaccine’ passports.

At the time, in the spring and summer of 2020, an astonishingly small number of people questioned all this, but over time the numbers grew. When the first ‘variant’ appeared, then the second and third, followed by the introduction of ‘vaccines’, then boosters, more and more people began to ask questions that more critical minds had answered right at the very start.

Was there a ‘pandemic’?

Even if lockdowns did workand, as scores of studies demonstrated they didn’teven if we knew they workedand we didn’twhy lock down for a virus with a similar IFR to a bad flu (or perhaps a very bad fluat the very worst twice as bad as those of ‘57 and ‘68) and which almost exclusively killed people about to die of old age; i.e. who would have died of influenza or pneumonia anyway?

Countries which locked down hardest (such as the UK and the US) had among the highest death rates and those which hardly locked down or didn’t lock down at all did no worse and often much better. Most of Africa, which locked down sloppily or (in the case of Tanzania) not at all, hardly noticed this uniquely deadly diseaseneither did lightly lockdowned countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Belarus, Sweden (upon which the predicted apocalypse never happened) and others. The Third World, with its poverty, overcrowding and poor sanitation, managed to muddle through with a tiny number of deaths. Nigeria and the Congo, with populations of 200 and 90 million respectively, somehow got through the ‘global pandemic’ with death tolls respectively of three thousand and, wait for it; four hundred.

The average age of death in most countries was 80, and those who were dying had two or more very serious illnesses. It was practically impossible for young, healthy people to die in the ‘pandemic’. This is why hardly anyone knew hardly anyone under the age of 70 who had died of it. There were no bodies in the streets, there was no dramatic upswing in all-cause mortality, people working in the supermarketson the front linedidn’t drop like flies, and no big-name slebs died of it.

Age-standardised mortality rates in the UK were normal. 2020 was much the same as 2004 (which is why graphs on the tv showing how uniquely appalling 2020 was didn’t go back beyond 2010). Age-standardised mortality rates in the us and Italy, countries ‘devastated’ by the terrible ‘pandemic’, were normal. Age groups under 70 did not experience significant excess mortality (until the ‘vaccines’ appeared).

As the very old were battling a flu-like virus, as they often have to do during late winter, the young had nothing to worry about. Stockholm University worked out, in 2020, that the chances of survival of someone under 40 catching Covid was something in the region of 99.9991%; enormous. This is why if it had not been for the television and mass media onslaught, few would have noticed a ‘pandemic’ had even happenedjust as few noticed or remembered the ‘57 and ‘68 epidemics. What kind of ‘pandemic’ requires a constant barrage of media hype to remind you it exists?

Imagine, instead, the threat had been from a secret terrorist invasion. You might, at the announcement of this terrible attack, take precautions, board up your windows, lock up your daughters, sniff out strangers… You’d have to be a bit soft in the head to believe the government, but even so, at some point, if you have the slightest independent intelligence, you’re going to have to ask yourself, ‘but where actually are they these terrible evil-doers? I’ve not seen one, nobody I know has seen one, there have been no attacks, no bombs, no famous kidnappings and none of the expensive military bases we paid for have been used. Could this terrible invasion be, really… an invention?’

It turned out, to some people’s surprise, that very few people were ‘independently intelligent enough’ to notice the same thing happening with the alleged ‘pandemic’. It turned out that an intelligent mind is of very little use to a cowardly heart; more of a disability, which is why intelligent cowards refused to enter the debate, while continuing to wring their hands about a ‘pandemic’ which even the UK government confessed did not exist.

So there was no pandemic, not really. There was a pseudopandemic. A real pandemic results in (as the WHO used to say, before their definition conveniently changed) ‘an enormous number of deaths and illness’, and the number was not enormous. It was (even taking the massively inflated official numbers as read) around 0.05% of the world’s population.

Given these facts, we might ask why deaths from this disease (from, not with; a crucial distinction, ignored in the media) were considered more important than other deaths? Why couldn’t the half a trillion pounds that the UK government spent on ‘handling the pandemic’ have been spent on reducing road traffic accidents, heart disease and so on? Or perhaps on reducing obesity that, according to a Lancet study,1 led to a ‘linear increase in risk of severe Covid19 leading to admission to hospital and death’. And as people in their 70s, 80s and 90s did have a greater chance of perhaps dying one or two years earlier than they would have anyway, why wasn’t that money spent on making the horrifying lockups they are forced to rot away their declining years in‘care’ homes as they are calledhealthier and happier places to be?

Where were all the dead people?

45 million people died of the Spanish fluan actual pandemic (with an enormous ifr, between 10-20%; suspiciously ‘downgraded’ by Wikipedia in early 2020)—in which everyone knew someone young who had died, which claimed a good many famous folk and which nobody needed to be reminded still existed. Dead bodies were everywhere, hospitals were overrun, funeral parlours were working flat out. Not so in 2020. foi requests from councils around the UK demonstrated that burials and cremations were more or less as normal. One foi request to Birmingham, a city of 2 million people confirmed that between 1st February 2020 to 3rd April 2021, 79 people died with Covid and 2 people died from ‘Covid alone’. Two.

It was particularly strange that the pandemic didn’t touch children, that sector of society most susceptible to new viruses. Why were they not dying? No answers were forthcoming. Nor could anyone explain the strange fact that the average age of death in most countries was almost identical to the average life expectancy of most countries. We were supposed to accept the necessity of closed borders, closed schools, closed hospitals (which were not overrun; they were stretched, just as they are every winter, particularly in countries, such as the UK, where the number of hospital beds has been decimated), experimental ‘vaccines’ and passports because millions of people were dying a year or two earlier than they would have otherwise. Of course there were a handful of child deaths, and a fair number of adults died tooalthough often with life-threatening comorbiditiesbut when reporting these deaths there was a total absence of context. They were presented as uniquely tragic; standard practice when an illegal war needs to be justified.

In addition, the number of major figures in sport and entertainment, finance, business, or politics who died, could be counted with one hand (again, not so once the ‘vaccines’ appeared). The coronavirus, as many noted, was extraordinarily discerning. It demanded the world lock down, although Very Important People were allowed to carry on their lives much as normal. Perhaps they just didn’t care for their lives? They certainly displayed a shockingly casual attitude towards lockdowns, social distancing and masks, aggregating in large chummy partiessuch as, most conspicuously, the g7 meeting, Royal Ascot and Christmas parties in Downing Street.

Why were scientists ignored?

Science is unable to answer any meaningful, qualitative (moral, aesthetic, existential) questions, but it is, quite obviously, the best tool for answering technical, quantitative questions, such as ‘are glaciers melting?’ or ‘do we need a lockdown?’ The way science is supposed to work under such circumstances is that when there is doubt or confusion, you ask people who understand the subject and, through debate, you seek some kind of consensus, or perhaps a compromise if one can’t be reached. And yet. When it came to the 2020 lockdowns, scientists who didn’t agree with the instant decision to shut society down, slap masks on us all, keep us 2 metres apart and, latterly, pump experimental chemicals into our veins; all these scientists were ignored.

Why? Why did they not appear in any newspapers or on the television? Why were we told to ‘follow the science’when it was impossible to even hear about lockdown-critical scientists who understand epidemiology and biomedical statistics, let alone follow them? Some of the top medical scientists in the worldJohn Ioannidis (epidemiology expert at Stanford), Jayanta Bhattacharya (professor of medicine at Stanford), the twenty-odd doctors and scientists behind the ‘balanced response’ open letter to the Canadian government (including two former Chief Public Health Officers for Canada), Carl Heneghan (Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford), Martin Kulldorf (professor of medicine at Harvard, who headed a group of 133 lockdown-sceptical doctors and nurses), Sunetra Gupta (Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford) and the thousands of experts behind the Great Barrington Declaration, the British Health Advisory and Recovery Team, Mike Yeadon (former chief scientific officer at Pfizer and an expert in biochemistry and toxicology), Luc Montagnier (virologist and recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize), Sucharit Bhakdi (former head of the institute of medical microbiology and hygiene at the University of Mainz), the 400 Belgian doctors behind the open letter to the Belgian government and many, many others (and that’s without counting the doctors and medical scientists who, threatened with losing their jobs, were too scared to speak up)—why did we not hear from them? Hardly fringe figures after all. What kind of decisionone with such gigantic possible consequencesis taken in this sinister manner? Why did social media platforms ban so many of these people? Why could their objections not be met with honest, open, scientific debate?

We might also ask why, in addition to the suppression of scientific doubt, an instant taboo emerged on critically discussing the official narrative anywhere; at least anywhere in public, professional and civic life. Apparently this was not a cause for alarm amongst supporters of lockdowns, masks, ‘vaccines’ and whatnot. Apparently, a widespread sense that ‘we’d better not talk about’ this’about one of the most invasive and potentially destructive government policies of all timewasn’t particularly troubling. Why?

Why was ivermectin not used?

Ivermectin has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. There were many randomized clinical trials of ivermectin for Covid which showed reductions in mortality, when used in adequate doses and in patients who are in early enough stages of the disease. A massive meta-study, in Nature, concluded:2

Since significant effectiveness of ivermectin is seen in the early stages of infection in experimental studies, it is proposed that ivermectin administration may be effective in the early stages or prevention.

There are many others (such as who consultant Tess Lawrie’s famous meta-study3). So why was ivermectincheap, abundant, and under no patentnot made widely available? Why was there a widespread media campaign against it when it worked; in Africa, for example, and in India?

And what about vitamin d, also well known to have a positive effect on similar diseases? Certainly not a miracle cure, but simple, cheap, natural and at least moderately effective (one meta review concluded that Covid-19 patients supplemented with vitamin d were ‘more likely to demonstrate fewer rates of ICU admission, mortality events and rt-PCR positivity’). Why was it not promoted?

In fact, while we’re on the subject, why was the government suddenly so terribly concerned about our health? That so many people believed that the satanic cabal in charge of public life in, say, the UK were now actually concerned about the NHS that they’d been selling off for the past two decades, or about the welfare of the sick and disabled whose benefits that, only a few years before, they’d cut to zero, is one of the more astonishing features of the public response to the lockdown.

Why were faulty PCR tests used?

This is one of the key questions of the entire ‘pandemic’ as positive results from the PCR test were the foundation of the entire drive for lockdowns, masks, ‘vaccines’ and all the rest of the nonsense which followed.

PCR tests work by making millions of copies of genetic material found within a test sample. These copies are called ‘cycles’; the more ‘cycles’ the greater chance there will be of creating false positivesidentifying all kinds of irrelevant matter, including dead viruses. This is why there is a limit to how many cycles should be performed. The Frankfurt Public Health Agency disregards anything beyond 24 cycles as unscientific, according to Mike Yeadon anything above 37 cycles of amplification results in 97% false positives and even Antony ‘The Science’ Fauci said that PCR tests are useless and misleading when the test is run at ‘35 cycles or higher’. Clearly a positive result from a PCR test running at too high a cycle cannot be accepted.

So how many cycles were PCR tests running at last year from the start of the ‘pandemic’? 4045. And whose idea was it to run them so high? Enter Bill Gates-funded, German virologist, Christian Drosten. He developed the Covid-specific PCR test in January 2020seemingly at light speed (it took 24 hours to get through the peer-review process; 172 days is the average4)—which then served as the standard test. Back in 2014 he commented on the efficacy of PCR tests (which the original inventor, Kary Mullis, had said can be used to find ‘anything in anybody’), explaining that ‘the method is so sensitive that it can detect a single hereditary molecule of this virus’, enabling people without symptoms to be ‘included in the reporting statistics’. He also said that ‘we wouldn’t even know the virus existed if we didn’t test for it’.

In 2020 a group of 22 experts published a peer-reviewed article which concluded that there were ten serious flaws in Drosten’s PCR test (or rather the study he co-authored, known as the Corman-Drosten paper) including that it is non-specific, due to erroneous primer design, that it is enormously variable, that it cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments, that it has no positive or negative controls and that it has no standard operating procedure.5 In addition, of the authors of the Corman-Drosten paper at least four had severe conflicts of interest.

So the PCR test was a lemon. The cdc seemed to think so, as did the WHO, who finally questioned its magical accuracy and began presenting it instead as an aid for diagnosis, and not an actual test. Unsurprisingly, ‘cases’ then collapsed.

All this was how the number of positive ‘cases’ (a word that used to mean ‘hospital admission’, but was redefined to mean ‘positive test’) could be vastly exaggerated, and how this number could then be used to inflate deaths. In the UK, for example, a positive test followed by a death from any cause was counted as a ‘Covid death’. Wake up feeling asymptomatic, pop down to the local deserted test centre, have a swab rammed up your nostril, be told that, although you feel completely fine, you are a ‘case’ now carrying a civilisation-destroying disease, rush home to self-isolate, get hit by a bus in your rush back to safety, die of internal bleeding and be counted as a coronavirus death. Even if you died a month later you’d be put down as death by Covid. This is like having a swim, dying 30 days later from cancer and having cause of death recorded as ‘drowning’. Ask yourself; what would mortality figures look like if deaths from any cause 28 days after a positive flu test were recorded as ‘deaths from influenza’?

This was also how you could catch Covid without having any symptoms, why ‘Covid’ tended to kill people already dying of something else, why reductions in cycles of amplification magically reduced cases and why excess all-cause mortality rates (a statistic which cannot be manipulated6) did not show any sign of a real pandemic. Because the tests didn’t work.

Why were asymptomatic people tested?

Imagine going to a doctor, pre-2019, and complaining of being ill, but of having no symptoms, or of phoning up your boss and telling him you can’t come in because you have an asymptomatic disease, ‘yeah, I feel finegoing fishing in factbut I better not come in, in case I infect other people’. It is an established fact that asymptomatic people are not vectors for contagious diseases, for the simple and transparently obvious reason that asymptomatic people are healthy. That’s what (amongst other things) ‘healthy’ means, or used to mean; not having symptoms of ill health. For the first time in history this fundamental fact was turned inside out, presented to human beings as the truth and then widely accepted.

The idea that completely healthy people had to lock down, self-isolate and accept all the imposed strictures of a ‘pandemic’ because suddenly, for the first time ever, something called ‘asymptomatic spread’ (not that asymptomatic people can’t pass on an illness, but that this is how they spread) had appeared, will appear to people of the future as one of the most astonishing aspects of the lockdown era.

Why did we have to wear masks?

An extremely large number of studies have shown that masks are of little or no actual benefit in halting the spread of viruses like Covid-19. Cloth masks have as much chance of keeping viruses out of your mouth as chicken wire has of keeping a mosquito out of your garden; which is why masks have never been recommended for use during seasonal flu outbreaks, epidemics, or any previous pandemics.

Surgeons wear masks to prevent their respiratory droplets from contaminating the surgical field and the exposed internal tissues of surgical patients. If the surgeon were sick, he wouldn’t perform surgery. Also, he only uses his mask once and he places it carefully in a bio-waste bin. We plebeians, on the other hand, had no bio-waste bins, nobody cared what our masks were made of, or how often we changed them, or how we handled them. Clearly their putative powers of protection were of no actual concern to anyone. It’s hard not to conclude that most governments and most of the people who obediently did what their governments told them to do somehow unconsciously agreed with the many experts who said that using masks outside of a clinical setting to protect you from a virus only serves a symbolic purpose; that, unless we were surrounded by people wearing masks we might forget there was a virus. We might even, perish the thought, be reminded that we live among human beings and not contaminated and contaminating vectors.

Why was there a lockdown?

This question, interesting and useful as it is to speculate on the answerssome of which are certainly more likely than othersis secondary. That we were locked down, for no reason, is far more important than any reason why, which, as I write, is still not completely clear. The fact that a massive financial crash was imminent and that a ‘controlled demolition’ (causing a controlled economic crash, throttling production in a not too elite-disrupting manner in order to rebuild it, injecting liquidity into the money system and, in this case, converting to an id-linked, centrally managed digital currency) is the only feasible way to handle an innately inflationary debt economy certain to implode at any minute is, without question, a more likely reason for virtualising the economy, expanding the wealth and power of the super-rich and liquidating the poor than compassion; the constant work, done by elite organisations, to keep their populations in a state of tractable terror (commies, drug barons, terrorists, etc., etc., etc.) might also be taken into account; as might the goals of transnational organisations such as the WEF which, at the very least, influenced the global reaction to the ‘pandemic’ and pushed it towards their openly stated transhumnist agenda. One might also note that the economy has been booming since April 2020, that the super wealthy now more or less have the world to themselves while we proles scuttle to and from the corner shop; that billionaires got over 50% richer during the pseudopandemic; and that states everywhere have massively augmented their powers under ‘emergency’ conditions, with absolutely no chance they will ever give them all back. Another fact worth considering is that civilisation is resting on an ecological foundation that has now almost entirely been eaten away, which will certainly lead to unprecedentedhorrificcivil unrest; it would certainly be useful, to those who control Earth plc, if and when this happens, for us all to be living in a techno-fascist lock-up.

But the details are still, as I write, elusive, as they usually are when massive crimes are committed. What we do know, and have long known, is that the technocratic system has its own priorities, its own goals, its own ‘intelligence’ and its own inexorable momentum, and this momentum goesand can only goin one direction; more control. More control of nature, of human nature, of culture, of everything. Nothing else ‘makes sense’ to the system; the system which politicians, ceos, professionals and even rebels of the left and right all serve; which is why, with every passing year, in every country on earthcapitalist, communist, monarchist, whateverthere is less and less wildness, less and less personal or collective freedom, less and less common space to move around in, less and less surprise and less and less opportunity for critics of this zombie-manufacturing machine-world to be heard.

All this happens automatically. The global elite, in other words, do not have significant power over the machine they own and manage and they did not suddenly decide to take over the world. It’s a process that has been long in the making (I argue 10,000 yearsbut the current, terminal phase dates back to the neoliberal revolution in the 1970s). There clearly were, in this case, concerted and conspiratorial efforts to manufacture a crisisas evidenced by previous attempts to whip up panic over SARS, MERS and what have youbut the technocratic elite (the politicians, managers, professionals, wealthy landowners and powerful ceos of the world) does not, fundamentally, work consciously. It simply works in the direction of technocratic necessity, which is why focusing on the specific people in charge, the specific policies of specific politicians, the specific corporations behind whatever crime you care to be outraged about and the specific activities of specific institutions… why all of this is beside the point and, ultimately, sure to perpetuate the world’s ills.

Unfortunately this was all very difficult for most people to grasp, even those who were anti-lockdown. Far easier to focus on baddies than on the system itself; because each one of us has given up our lives to the system and are completely addicted to it, even as it crushes us. Turning against the entire system means turning against that part of our own souls which the system has colonised.

Why ‘vaccinate’ everyone?

Many people, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, allowed the state to inject them with what they were told was a ‘vaccine’, a fragment of dead or weakened pathogen which the body develops an immune response to. In fact, what they were actually putting into their bodies was a synthetic, inorganic molecule that programs cells to synthesize pathogens in the form of a ‘spike protein’ that the immune system then has to fight off, perhaps forever. In other words, this gene-hacking technology causes your immune system to attack your own body, quite possibly for the rest of your life. How dangerous was this, really? Nobody knew, but the state went ahead and pumped it into everybody that was stupid enough to believe them or weak enough to put their jobs or their holidays before their own lives or those of their children.

We knew at the time, even taking drug companies at their word on their data,7 that the absolute risk reduction from ‘vaccines’ was minuscule. It soon transpired that not only did the ‘vaccine’ do nothing to prevent infection or transmission, but the body’s manufacture of millions of dangerous spike proteins caused heart attacks, fatal blood clots and, as the effectiveness of the immune system declined, a form of induced Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (aka aids). Was it, as the authorities told us, that the effectiveness of the vaccine waned over time, or was the performance of the body’s immune system weakening? Is worse to come? Who knows. At this stage, however, those who refused to be injected clearly made the more prudent choice.

It is strange though, given the fact that Covid was a flu-like disease that herd immunity (a natural fact) not only could have easily dealt with but did so, to vaccinate the world against it, even if we had an actual vaccine. To coerce or compel people to take an experimental, synthetic, gene-hacking chemical with a high rate of adverse reactions and fatalities (even official figures were extremely high), the long-term consequences of which were completely unknown, was positively baffling.

The mysteries didn’t end there though. How not just one safe and effective ‘vaccine’ managed to get developed in the space of nine months, but three (in the UK, more around the world), when no pharmaceutical company had ever successfully created one, was quite extraordinary. As was the completely non-suspicious decision to completely indemnify all the ‘vaccine’ companies against any risk. As was the fact that guinea pigs for the drugs weren’t told about the serious adverse reactions the drug companies themselves had found during trials, or about the reporting scheme for adverse effects. As was the decision to ramp up the campaign to include children, whose chance of dying from (or catching, certainly passing on) the coronavirus was so impossibly minute as to be effectively zero. People under twenty-five were being told to combat a disease with a one in a million chance of killing them with a then unlicensed ‘vaccine’ that had, even according to Johnson and Johnson, a high chance of giving them serious side effects, with a good chance that appalling long-term consequences could follow. All in order to ‘reduce transmission’ that real-world data proved was unaffected by the ‘vaccine’!

A coercive programme to vaccinate the entire world with dangerous, experimental chemicals looks to be the acme of insanityunless you assume that the reason is not to protect us all from an illness which, for the vast majority, is safer than furniture, but for some other reason, such as to inject them with microchips, to depopulate the earth or to effectively install an immunological ‘operating system’ in everyone that has to be updated twice a year.

Such ‘conspiracy theories’ are, taken at face value, all but impossible to take seriously, but, like many fairy tales about how the world works, in their attempt to intuitively grasp at the actual cause of our ills they hint at, albeit in a distorted manner, the truth, or in this case the most likely reason for the unprecedented push to vaccinate everyone on earth in order to, illogically, protect everyone on earth (‘none of us are safe until all of us are safe’), and that is that ‘vaccines’ were necessary for ‘vaccine’ passports and for, however it is carried out in practice, more control of the unruly masses.

Where was the criticism from the left?

That ‘the right’ remained compliant with iniquitous state edicts is, for many people, easy to understand, but that the nominal ‘left’, the fearlessly moral crusader class, immediately fell into line appeared to many to be a little more surprising. With a handful of honourable exceptions all the ‘dissidents and radicals’ on the left, every man jack of them, completely and immediately accepted the necessity and justifications for lockdown. The list of voices on the left who were either silent or openly supportive of what happened was long indeed. Noam Chomsky, Matt Kennard, John Pilger, David Graeber (who died six months into the ‘pandemic’, long enough to grasp the situation), Media Lens, Jonathan Cook, Caitlin Johnstone, Chris Hedges, Paul Kingsnorth, Dougald Hine, Glenn Greenwald, Asa Winstanley, The Canary, Novara, Swawkbox, libcom, Moon of Alabama, John Zerzan, Matt Taibbi, Aaron and Gabor Maté, George Monbiot, ‘Mr. Ethical’, Billy Bragg, Max Blumenthal, Slavoj Žižek, George Galloway, Rachael Swindon, Michael Rosen, Peter Joseph, CounterPunch, the writers of Dark Mountain and, with a few honourable exceptions, Lord knows how many lefty musicians, comedians, authors, actors and so on… With a few peripheral complaints aside they all, at the time, accepted lockdown, with barely a murmur.

This last point is critical. Even if there really had been an actual pandemic, which had necessitated unheard of restrictions of liberty, annihilation of small businesses, catastrophic disruption to our cultural, social and productive lives, masks, social distancing and the rest of iteven if all that had been true, it still wouldn’t have justified total, uncritical acceptance of the official story, particularly from those whose job it is to critically scrutinise official pronouncements.

According to the United Nations, lockdowns may have put the livelihood of billions of people at acute risk, pushing hundreds of millions of children into poverty. At the very start of the pandemic they were predicting ‘a Biblical famine’ (while the BMJ was reporting a ‘staggering number’ of extra deaths in the community). A massive five million excess deaths were recorded in India during and largely as a consequence of lockdowns. None of this appeared to trouble the caring, pacifistic, moral left wing. When asked to defend their support of the lockdowns they resorted to unbelievably feeble arguments or, more often than not, they just waved the entire topic away.

Faced with the introduction of punitive laws across the world; widespread censorship on dissenting voices and a vast inflation of wealth of the richest in society (not just billionaires, but anyone who owns assets); millions of excess deaths around the world from destroyed health services, disrupted logistics and wiped out income (particularly in the Global South); ‘vaccine’ mandates leading to fatalities in those who already had immunity along with unfounded drives for boosters to protect us against milder ‘variants’; the psychological torture of children; the introduction or threatened introduction of ‘vaccine’ passports and the virtualisation of society entire (particularly its currencies); the transparent bullshit of an ‘asymptomatic’ pandemic (not to mention the litany of diabolical variants that were dangled before us, which the incredible PCR test could also reliably detect); faced with all this and more, most of the left chose to say… nothing.

Why? Why were the left silent?

First of all, if we start with what the left actually does and how they actually live, we see that they are the management classthey are the professionals who organise, conceptualise, administer or, in the case of the writers we are interested in here, promote and justify the system, or ‘the machine of the world’. The power of the management class comes not, as it does with the owner class, from ownership (i.e. from capital, hence ‘capitalism’), but from management (of and through society; hence ‘socialism’). This doesn’t mean that the left do not also have the same kind of power as owners, that they don’t also sometimes hold right-wing views, that the two don’t also blend into each other and are, ultimately, in their implicit acceptance of the system, indistinguishable. They do and they are. Nevertheless, when we say ‘the left’ we are referring to those people whose power comes from amassing abstract facts and controlling information and who therefore prejudice education and taste over morality and meaning, and, following this, never criticise the power of the tasteful, educated class.

When we say the ‘left’ we are talking about those who have been appointed to manage the machine, and who therefore have a faith-based belief in the power of the machine, of technology, and, insofar as the machine is society, in collectivist, statist, democratic solutions to social problems, which they package as ‘tolerance’, ‘inclusivity’, ‘compassion’, ‘respect’, and so on, but which always contain the sneaky unspoken assumption that they, the ever-so-nice professional class, will be somehow organising (or explaining, or assessing, or fixing) this tolerant, compassionate collective mechanism.

All this will be done with their enormous minds. The left (and here they overlap with the right) do very little with their hands, and so tend to privilege formintellectual ideas and theories, design, structural adjustments and so onover function, over actually engaging with the real world. In addition, they are nearly always wealthy, comfortable, propertied and raised in or habituated to a world in which uncertainty, much less the need to directly rely on other people for their survival, plays a peripheral role. All of this leads to a qualitative ‘atmosphere’ that the left partake ina blandness, a smugness, an uptightnesseven as their specific opinions vary.

The left have almost no lived experience of what the peoplethe working class and the poor (who are often fooled into leftism)—call ‘real life’ and very little ability to see that life as it is, or as it is experienced by those at the sharp end of the society they manage. Instead, leftists ‘care’they ‘care’ about the poor (especially the poor in far-off countries) and about the marginalised and about the rainforests and about the tragic starving children.

This leads to two central features of the left. The first is its moral hypocrisyan expressed desire to ‘help’, combined with a sense of nice, ethical (perhaps ‘spiritual’) kindness, but with no actual interest in ever doing anything which actually deals with the problem, which actually takes apart the system that they fix and manage. The second feature of those with little experience of life (and again, this is shared with the right) is their intense fear of real life, with all its uncertainties, and of the people who live anything approaching such a life.

All of the foregoing is why the leftas a class of professionals, academics, managers and spokespersonsaccepted lockdown. They are addicted to technocratic solutions to collective problems (such as the ‘pandemic’ offered), their power and security come from professional expertise (which the ‘pandemic’ augmented), they worship the state (which the ‘pandemic’ also bolstered and which the left absurdly believes somehow ‘protects us from neoliberalism’), they are terrified of uncertainty, death and disease (not to mention humanity; all of which the ‘pandemic’ seemed to threaten them with), they see life in the abstract (just as the ‘pandemic’ viewed mankind through the prism of ‘cases’), they are usually uncritical of ‘science’ (and of how easily ‘science’ can be manipulated; as Hannah Arendt put it, ‘totalitarian propaganda is characterized by its almost exclusive insistence on scientific prophecy’) and they have no experience of, or have forgotten, what it means to be poor, to rely on your hated work for your survival, to live in microscopic shitholes, and to always be one paycheck away from ruin.

What this means is that so-called ‘leftist values’, such as compassion, tolerance and fairness, are illusions. Just as much as ‘rightist values’, such as individualism and respect for tradition and genuine authority, are. These are all human values. Working-class people who have fought, nobly, for their freedom and dignity may have been seduced into adopting leftist slogans and solutions, but this no more makes them socialist than their equally misguided thirst for money-power makes them capitalist. In reality the people are inherently anarchistic, but they are stupid and easily fooled into adopting the ideologies of the rich rightist and the clever leftist.

Why did everyone accept the lockdown?

Institutionalisation runs deep. It’s not just a question of accepting the ‘values’ of the state, or the medical profession, or Christianity, or whatever ideology is flavour of the institutional month. Being forced to live as an integral component of complex social systems profoundly changes man. It makes him dependent on the systemon its various institutionsand therefore submissive. It suppresses and numbs his individuality and sensitivity and forces him to become sceptical ofeven afraid ofhis own sensate experience. The institutional system, in a word, domesticates man (and more painfully; women).

The fundamental reason that so many people, particularly middle-class people (and so many of us in the West are middle-class in this sense now) a) were so afraid of a flu-like virus which was of no danger to them and b) accepted both official propaganda and the ‘need’ for lockdowns, is that they have so little experience, in their actual lives, of uncertainty, death and genuine psychological independence. They may have seen these things, but they’ve never had to live them. The supporting structure of an institutionalising civilisation has been a constant, life-long, screen, or filter, pulled over their conscious experience. They might have marvellously radical opinions about politics, the environment, or even civilisation, but when push comes to shove, these are just opinions.

Independence from the institutionalising systempsycho-spiritual independence that is, physical independence is pretty much impossibleleads to truth and to confidence, to the truth of one’s own unique experience and critical faculties and to confidence in that experiencenot to mention in one’s immune system, or in the capacity of humans to find health for themselves, rather than have it dispensed from above. Because so few people are, in any meaningful sense, independent, they are helpless before the lies, threats and bribes of the system, as the world lockdown clearly demonstrated.

What is health?

Let’s go a little deeper into all this. Ivan Illich, in his pioneering critique of the medical profession made what was more or less a cast-iron case for its ‘iatrogenic’which is to say its inherently sickness-creatingnature. First of all, the medical profession, Illich argued, removes, from the hands of ordinary people and their communities, the power to self-diagnose and self-medicate. This doesn’t mean that people as they are today could accurately do the former or responsibly do the latter, but that they are forced to depend on external, remote and largely unaccountable institutional power structures for their so-called health. They cannot even conceive that ‘health’ could come from a good, natural life, from living well with one’s fellows; it must be dispensed.

Secondly, medicine (like psychiatry) has an inherent bias towards illness. Doctors are employed to diagnose illnesses and then treat those illnesses. In theory doctors do not presume sickness, but in practice they march into every encounter searching for something to cure.

Thirdly, and by far the most crippling effect of living in a world in which health can only come through the medical profession, is that we have been forced to introject social sickness into the body. All of our ills are located, by doctors (and, again, psyche-professionals) within the body of the individual, a body which isand can only beconceived of as a machine, a system, a collection of discrete rational parts, which the doctor-mechanic is paid to tinker with until it is again running smoothly and the patient can return to his alienated life of ‘ordinary misery’. All of us now view our own bodies in this way, as, in effect, a medical diagram into which an alien shock or virus has entered, which now needs to be repaired or excised. The whole of our lives, the whole of our character and, most importantly, the whole of our worlds do not and cannot come into it, for the fundamental reason that these are not, ultimately, a collection of objective (or even subjective) things, but living experience which we can only understand, and deal with, qualitatively; as moral problems, as personal challenges and through creative or even mythic symbols.

David Cayley summarises Illich’s argument:

What concerned [Illich] was a world in which scientific phantoms have taken on the appearance of tangible, everyday realities: where people speak familiarly of their genes, as if they were referring to an ordinary object and not a somewhat blurry theoretical construct; where unthinkably complicated simulations of the earth’s climate drive political decisions; where the womb becomes a public place and families put ultrasound images of the unborn on their mantelpieces and ‘bond’ with them; where the person standing beside you in the street may be conversing with someone on the other side of the world. Illich considered that techno-science had eclipsed sense, or what Maurice Merleau-Ponty once beautifully called ‘the soil of the sensible and opened world such as it is in our life and for our body’. This is the context in which Illich wrote, a context that he considered to be a dire emergency because of the speed with which the growing prevalence of scientific and technological abstractions were hollowing out people’s senses.

This ‘hollowing out’ is the cause of a sickness which no science can ever diagnose. It cannot even think about such a devastating violationlet alone do something about itwhich is how radical critiques such as Illich’s can be smugly swept aside as incomprehensible mystic silliness. That we are the victims of the medical profession, and that this medical profession, in its debasement of human dignity and awareness, turns us into rational diodes and valves in a machine which crushes our health and sanity, can only appear perverse nonsense to those conditioned to willingly participate in the system’s annihilation of consciousness, quality, conviviality and cooperation. This is also why doctors are essentially submissive, why they always support the system, why, for example, so many of them joined the Nazi party, why, as every year passes they become more like the mediocre technicians they are, staring at screens and handing out stimulants and depressants, and why so many of them are so cold, arrogant, insensitive and almost outrageously uncultured. They do not know what health is, and they can do nothing about a sick world.

Fortunately, Illich’s ‘mystic silliness’ is starting to look a lot more sensible. At the very least it became clear to many people that everything done for our ‘safety’ and for our ‘health’ during the pseudopandemic made us sicker. Our power to understand and live with what ails uswithout biomedical interventionsour power to be healthydespite what the medical profession tell usand our power to freely shape our environments for our own good; all of these powers, feeble as they already were, have now been almost entirely taken out of our hands, leaving nothing but a sick shell.

Why save lives?

What a strange question! Surely only a madman would ask it? Someone mad enough to question the world-system. For, in truth, it is the world’s attitude to what it calls ‘life’ that is profoundly, actually unspeakably, evil. The modern attitude to ‘life’ has taken over the pre-modern attitude to the Abrahamic God. ‘Life’, as Illich realised, is now an idol that is universally worshipped, the value of which is taken to be so self-evidently sacrosanct that to question it is to run the risk of sounding like a creature from an evil parallel dimension orfar more likelyof simply being ignored, as if one had claimed that one is made out of wax and eats pencils. This was Illich’s fate, when he began to speak on the subject of life.

The denial and existential terror of death has its counterpart in a pathological worship of what is called ‘life’, but is actually a grotesque objective caricature of it. Like all virtues stripped of their complementary-but-oppositessuch as courage which, without circumspection, becomes recklessness; or confidence, which, without modesty, becomes arrogance; or originality, which, without tradition, becomes perversitylove of life, without acceptance of death, becomes living death. This isn’t to say that we are all suffering from an excess of joie de vivre, rather that, as the result of a long process of alienation from our own embodied experience, we have come to see life not as an indefinable, elusive quality, but as a thing which can be owned, administered and controlled, and in becoming thing-like it has taken on an almost nightmarish independent ‘shadow-reality’ which has subordinated actual life to its definitions and needs. ‘Life’ now, for us, is ‘an instance of something unimaginably general. [It] can be evaluated and improved, possessed and conserved’. It can and has become a kind of deified quantity, against which our actual, individual existences are mere instances, and therefore expendable.

This explains why we were obsessed with the death toll of the ‘pandemic’ andif that seems reasonable to youwith irrelevant ‘cases’. It’s also why the promise of ‘saving lives’ can beand isused to justify every imaginable deformity of our experiencein the case of the ‘pandemic’ with being forced to live melded to a screen, tracked with high-tech surveillance systems and severed from our fellows. Old people were not allowed to touch their loved ones, and the minds of children were torn apart in order to be reassembled as digital knowledge-consumption-and-production units. All to ‘reduce cases’ and ‘save lives’. Not because of any interest in the lives of actual people, which the system can only perceive as a threat to ‘order’ and to ‘stability’, but because ‘life’, as an objective fact, has supplanted reality. Our ideas of ourselves have become us, and we have become our ideas of ourselves. No state more hellish can be imagined.

Living with neverending fear

And then, in the twinkling of an eye, the terror was over, at least one temporary outward form of it. Two years after it had begun the pandemic magically ended, no more variants appeared, and we were all told that now we had to be terrified not of a tiny virus under our noses but of a huge Russian monster rampaging across Eurasia. The left then suddenly remembered that the media reports nothing but lies, and that the state is a source of danger to us all, while the right lost its memory, completely forgot about the virus and immediately believed everything they saw on the news, begging the state to protect the civilised West from the vile Rus.

Suddenly, millions of people who had never uttered a syllable of protest against us-backed annihilation of the Yemen, or of Syria, or of Libya; millions of people who had happily sold their freedoms, not to mention the potential long-term health of their children, for a tiny little bit of safety; suddenly these people were all terribly worried about Ukrainians, who were sure to be exterminated by the baby-eating Russians, and about the heroic Ukrainian government, a party of Nazi sympathisers (led, if you can believe this, by a Zionist Jew and armed by the Israeli government) which, again with US-UK support, had been mass murdering Russian-speaking people for years without a murmur of complaint from the West.

All of this usefully divided anti-lockdowners and ‘anti-vaxxers’, many of whom were Standard Moral Nationalists only too happy to cower under the table if the state tells them that Johnny Foreigner is coming to get them, while, through food shortages, rising costs and disruptions to global supply chains, giving the technocratic system more scope to discipline and punish those who are squashed beneath it.

‘Vaccine’ and mask mandates ended. People kept dying of the ‘vaccines’, but this wasn’t much of a worry. Nobody spoke about these deaths, just as nobody spoke about deaths caused by lockdowns. Actually, as the ‘experts’ now told us, the whole thing had all been something of ‘a mistake’, due to ‘bad data’ (just as the Vietnam war, and the Iraq war, had been ‘mistakes’ caused by ‘bad intelligence’). Leftist commentators and slebs who, during two years of punitive lockdowns, ‘prudently’ kept their heads down or made nothing but vague, sly allusions to their oppositionin order to protect their jobs or their famedetected, with their usual shrewd perspicacity, just the right moment to declare they were really, actually, anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine, and they had been all along. All received with warm applause and approving upvotes.

The obedient masses meanwhile, like their obedient leftist handlers, found themselves just as terrified as before, still living under ‘emergency laws’ that states had arrogated to themselves under lockdowns, still under the power of those who financially gained from lockdowns, and still subject to an expanding technocratic infrastructure that, through digital ID, digital currencies, digital institutionalisation and digital discipline threatens to obliterate the human spirit for good. It was now the war that was causing all thisthe further impoverishment and immiseration of the peoplenot the commies, not the Arabs, not the terrorists, not the virus. Next it will be something else. It turns out that half the world are terrified of Very Big Things coming to get them from afar, while the other half are terrified of Very Small Things coming to get them from nearby, so it will probably be necessary to see-saw between wars and viruses, enmity towards the morally unclean then the physically unclean, all of which will necessitate more privation, more lonely misery and more technocratic control; all for our own good, for our health and for our safety.

None of this is ever going to stop, while the system lives. The system will never, ever give up coercing us to more fully enter into it, until the soul of humanity has given up the ghost, an event which will inevitably coincide with the final collapse of the machine we have been fused with.

 

This is an extract from Ad Radicem, my new book of essays. Sign up to my mailing list if you’d like to hear of it (because it won’t be popping up on social media any time soon).

 


Appendix 1: Evidence that lockdowns do not work

This list of studies (collated by a twitter user, one @the_brumby), many from prestigious medical journals (such as The Lancet and the BMJ) are proof — or as close to proof as we’re ever going to get — that lockdowns do not and did not work. All this evidence has been available almost from the start, and yet lockdowns have persisted around the world; for the obvious reason that containing a deadly disease is not, and was never, the purpose of shutting the us up in the human garages we call ‘homes’ while poor people bring us things.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13571516.2021.1976051?needAccess=true&journalCode=cijb20

An examination of over 100 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on false assumptions that over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs of lockdown. The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths… The limited effectiveness of lockdowns explains why, after more than one year, the unconditional cumulative Covid-19 deaths per million is not negatively correlated with the stringency of lockdown across countries.… It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/eci.13484

“there is no evidence that more restrictive nonpharmaceutical interventions (“lockdowns”) contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or the United States in early 2020”

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.22.20160341v3

“Inferences on effects of NPIs are non-robust and highly sensitive to model specification. Claimed benefits of lockdown appear grossly exaggerated.”

https://thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30208-X/fulltext

“government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality”

https://advance.sagepub.com/articles/preprint/Comment_on_Dehning_et_al_Science_15_May_2020_eabb9789_Inferring_change_points_in_the_spread_of_COVID-19_reveals_the_effectiveness_of_interventions_/12362645

“Official data from Germany’s RKI agency suggest strongly that the spread of the coronavirus in Germany receded autonomously, before any interventions become effective”

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2005.02090.pdf

“the decline in infections in England…began before full lockdown…[S]uch a scenario would be consistent with…Sweden, which began its decline in fatal infections shortly after the UK, but did so on the basis of measures well short of full lockdown”

https://datascienceassn.org/sites/default/files/Illusory%20Effects%20of%20Non-pharmaceutical%20Interventions%20on%20COVID19%20in%20Europe.pdf

“the UK lockdown was both superfluous (it did not prevent an otherwise explosive behavior of the spread of the coronavirus) and ineffective (it did not slow down the death growth rate visibly).”

https://timesofisrael.com/the-end-of-exponential-growth-the-decline-in-the-spread-of-coronavirus/

“Given that the evidence reveals that the Corona disease declines even without a complete lockdown, it is recommendable to reverse the current policy and remove the lockdown”

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.20088260v2

“stay at home orders, closure of all non-essential businesses and requiring the wearing of facemasks or coverings in public was not associated with any independent additional impact”

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20078717v1

“these strategies might not have saved any life in western Europe. We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures … experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic.”

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.26.20202267v1

“the model does not support [the] estimate that lockdown reduced the case reproduction number R by 81% or that more than three million deaths were averted by non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

“The case of Sweden, where the authors find the reduction in transmission to have been only moderately weaker than in other countries despite no lockdown having occurred, is prima facie evidence”

https://bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3588

“results presented in the report suggested that the addition of interventions restricting younger people might actually increase the total number of deaths from covid-19”

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.30.20047860v3

“We show that [lockdown] is modestly superior in saving lives compared to [focused protection], but with tremendous costs to prevent one case of death. This might result in overwhelming economic effects that are expected to increase future death toll”

https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2652751/

“For pathogens that inflict greater morbidity at older ages, interventions that reduce but do not eliminate exposure can paradoxically increase the number of cases of severe disease by shifting the burden of infection toward older individuals”

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3607803

“Current policy can be misdirected and can therefore have long and even short-term negative effects on human welfare and thus result in not actually minimizing death rates (incorporating externalities), especially in the long run.”

https://imgcdn.larepublica.co/cms/2020/05/21180548/JP-Morgan.pdf

“…the data…shows a decrease in infection rates after countries eased…lockdowns with >99% statistical significance. Indeed…infection rates have declined after reopening even after allowing for an appropriate measurement lag. This means that the pandemic and COVID-19 likely have its own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented.”

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2768086

“restrictions imposed by the pandemic (eg, stay-at-home orders) could claim lives indirectly through delayed care for acute emergencies, exacerbations of chronic diseases, and psychological distress (eg, drug overdoses).”

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3665588

“Comparing weekly mortality in 24 European countries, the findings in this paper suggest that more severe lockdown policies have not been associated with lower mortality. In other words, the lockdowns have not worked as intended”

https://nber.org/papers/w27719

“Our findings … further raise doubt about the importance in NPI’s (lockdown policies in particular) in accounting for the evolution of COVID-19 transmission rates over time and across locations”

https://bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3543

“[the] President [of Belarus]…has flatly denied the seriousness of the pandemic, refusing to impose a lockdown, close schools, or cancel mass events…Yet the country’s death rate is among the lowest in Europe-just over 700 in a population of 9.5 million”

https://pandata.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Exploring-inter-country-variation.pdf

“Consistent with observations that .. lockdown has not been observed to effect the rate…of the country reproduction rates significantly, our analysis suggests there is no basis for expecting lockdown stringency to be an explanatory

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.04.20168112v1#:~:text=The%20seroprevalence%20of%20COVID%2D19,care%20workers%20in%20Niger%20State

“This study shows that the virus is already here, and we must find ways of living with it such that it caused no or minimal human and socioeconomic losses in … Nigeria as a whole…. going back to the lockdown should never again be entertained”

https://frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.604339/full

“The national criteria most associated with death rate are life expectancy and its slowdown, public health context (metabolic and non-communicable diseases (NCD) burden vs. infectious diseases prevalence), economy (growth national product, financial support), and environment (temperature, ultra-violet index). Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate”

https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00779954.2020.1844786?journalCode=rnzp20

“Whether a county had a lockdown has no effect on Covid-19 deaths; a non-effect that persists over time. Cross-country studies also find lockdowns are superfluous and ineffective (Homberg 2020). This ineffectiveness may have several causes. “

http://upmc-biosecurity.org/website/resources/publications/2006/2006-09-15-diseasemitigationcontrolpandemicflu.html

“There are no historical observations…that support.. confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods…The negative consequences…are so extreme…this mitigation..should be eliminated from serious consideration”

https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.28.20248936v1

“Our analysis shows that while infection levels decreased, they did so before lockdown was effective, and infection numbers also decreased in neighbour municipalities without mandates”

Need more? Try this list of 400 studies (not all peer reviewed, some are preprints, but still, a colossal weight of evidence and good rational analysis) demonstrating that compulsory covid interventions were at best useless.

Or how about this 2022 meta review concluding;

While this metaanalysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are illfounded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.

Appendix 2: Evidence that Covid-19 was not much worse than a virulent strain of flu

The overall infection fatality rate (IFR) of covid-19 in the general population is about 0.1% to 0.5% in most countries. As of 15 July 2021, Public Health England’s modelling group estimated that overall infection mortality rate is approximately 0.096%. The infection fatality rate (IFR) of seasonal influenza, against which prior immunity and vaccines exist, is about 0.05% to 0.1%. The IFR of epidemic influenza, such as in 1936, 1951, 1957 and 1968, was about 0.3% and the IFR of the 1918 pandemic influenza was about 20% (see above).

There have been two global meta studies, one putting Covid at around half as bad as an ‘epidemic and medium pandemic influenza’, the other at around twice or three times as bad.

(Global: low estimate) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13423

Infection fatality rate in different locations can be inferred from seroprevalence studies. While these studies have caveats, they show IFR ranging from 0.00% to 1.54% across 82 study estimates. Median IFR across 51 locations is 0.23% for the overall population and 0.05% for people <70 years old. IFR is larger in locations with higher overall fatalities. Given that these 82 studies are predominantly from hard-hit epicentres, IFR on a global level may be modestly lower. Average values of 0.15%-0.20% for the whole global population and 0.03%-0.04% for people <70 years old as of October 2020 are plausible. These values agree also with the WHO estimate of 10% global infection rate (hence, IFR ~ 0.15%) as of early October 2020.

(Global: high estimate) https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)32180-9/fulltext

After exclusions, there were 24 estimates of IFR included in the final meta-analysis, from a wide range of countries, published between February and June 2020. The meta-analysis demonstrated a point estimate of IFR of 0.68% (0.53%–0.82%) with high heterogeneity (p < 0.001).

Here is a follow-up study from Ioannidis and Axfords https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.08.21260210v1 which concludes

The IFR of COVID-19 in community-dwelling elderly people is lower than previously reported. Very low IFRs were confirmed in the youngest populations.

Results from European and North American states (white states, essentially) were high (although the median age of death was over 80 and more than half of the deaths occurred in ‘care’ homes), for example;

(England) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.12.20173690v1

We estimate that 3.36 million (3.21, 3.51) people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in England to end June 2020, with an overall infection fatality ratio of 0.90% (0.86, 0.94).

(Germany) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.04.20090076v1

With the seven SARS-CoV-2-associated reported deaths the estimated IFR was 0.36% [0.29%; 0.45%]

(Sweden) https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/contentassets/53c0dc391be54f5d959ead9131edb771/infection-fatality-rate-covid-19-stockholm-technical-report.pdf

Our point estimate of the IFR is 0.6%, with a 95% confidence interval of 0.4–1.1%. For the age group 0–69 years, the IFR is 0.1% (c.i. 0.1–0.2%), and for those of age 70 years or older we get an estimate of 4.3% (c.i. 2.7–7.7%)

While those from Africa and Asia were low;

(Kenya) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.27.20162693v1

We estimate that 1 in 20 adults in Kenya had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies during the study period. By the median date of our survey, only 2093 COVID-19 cases and 71 deaths had been reported through the national screening system. This contrasts, by several orders of magnitude, with the numbers of cases and deaths reported in parts of Europe and America when seroprevalence was similar.

(India) https://thewire.in/health/delhi-mumbai-covid-19-coronavirus-seroprevalence-survey-results

Both Delhi and New York recorded about 23% seroprevalence, amounting to about 1.9 million infections in NYC and about 4.4 million in Delhi. The stark difference is that NYC data indicates about 15,000 fatalities shortly after its survey, while Delhi had recorded only about 3,200 fatalities shortly after its survey. At face value, COVID-19 appears to have been ten-times deadlier in NYC than in Delhi.

(Brazil) https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.08.28.20180463v1

The infection fatality rate was one of the lowest reported so far, and the proportion of asymptomatic cases was low.

Here is Chris Whitty, the ghoulish chief medical officer of the UK telling us, at the start of the ‘pandemic’, that a huge proportion won’t get it, that most of those who do will have no symptoms, that for those who do get symptoms the great majority will only get a mild to moderate disease.

Appendix 3: Evidence that masks do not work

The first of these, a Danish study, was the first randomized controlled trial on the real-world efficacy of face masks against coronavirus infection. It was widely ignored, while the seriously flawed WHO study, published in June 2020 was published in The Lancet and ‘instrumental in shifting global facemask policies’.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

Our results suggest that the recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mask wearers in a setting where social distancing and other public health measures were in effect.

https://uwaterloo.ca/news/media/study-supports-widespread-use-better-masks-curb-covid-19

The study showed that most common masks, primarily due to problems with fit, filter about 10 per cent of exhaled aerosol droplets. The remaining aerosols are redirected, mostly out the top of the mask where it fits over the nose, and escape into the ambient air unfiltered.

https://escipub.com/Articles/IRJPH/IRJPH-2021-08-1005.pdf

Earlier mask mandates were not associated with lower total cases or lower maximum growth rates. Earlier mandates were weakly associated with lower minimum COVID -19 growth rates. …We did not observe association between mask mandates or use and reduced COVID-19 spread in US states.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

In this review, we did not find evidence to support a protective effect of personal protective measures or environmental measures in reducing influenza transmission.

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/covid-19-face-masks-community-first-update.pdf

The evidence regarding the effectiveness of medical face masks for the prevention of COVID-19 in the community is compatible with a small to moderate protective effect, but there are still significant uncertainties about the size of this effect. Evidence for the effectiveness of non-medical face masks, face shields/visors and respirators in the community is scarce and of very low certainty.

https://www.cochrane.org/CD006207/ARI_do-physical-measures-such-hand-washing-or-wearing-masks-stop-or-slow-down-spread-respiratory-viruses

Compared with wearing no mask, wearing a mask may make little to no difference in how many people caught a flu-like illness (9 studies; 3507 people); and probably makes no difference in how many people have flu confirmed by a laboratory test (6 studies; 3005 people)

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data

we… conclude that cloth masks and face coverings are likely to have limited impact on lowering COVID-19 transmission, because they have minimal ability to prevent the emission of small particles, offer limited personal protection with respect to small particle inhalation

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection.

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2781743

Many governments have made nose and mouth covering or face masks compulsory for schoolchildren. The evidence base for this is weak. The question whether nose and mouth covering increases carbon dioxide in inhaled air is crucial. A large-scale survey in Germany of adverse effects in parents and children using data of 25,930 children has shown that 68% of the participating children had problems when wearing nose and mouth coverings… We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks.

https://pdmj.org/papers/masks_false_safety_and_real_dangers_part3/

Wearing a mask causes physiological changes to multiple organ systems, including the brain, the lungs, the heart, the kidneys and the immune system.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.01.20049528v1

The evidence is not sufficiently strong to support widespread use of facemasks as a protective measure against COVID-19. However, there is enough evidence to support the use of facemasks for short periods of time by particularly vulnerable individuals when in transient higher risk situations.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0310057X0102900402

The evidence for discontinuing the use of surgical face masks would appear to be stronger than the evidence available to support their continued use.

https://pubs.asahq.org/anesthesiology/article/113/6/1447/9572/Is-Routine-Use-of-a-Face-Mask-Necessary-in-the

…masks for personnel not scrubbed for surgery is a departure from common practice. But the evidence to support this practice does not exist…

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.18.21257385v1

Mask mandates and use are not associated with slower state-level COVID-19 spread.

Finally, a good overview of how effective masks are and a here’s a good technical stats overview of a mask trial in Bangladesh.

Appendix 4: Evidence that there is no such thing as ‘asymptomatic transmission’

Some studies (and a link to a quote from the WHO) which demonstrate the obvious (you might like to start with a simple statement of the obvious, from Dr. Mike Yeadon, here).

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w

“A total of 1174 close contacts of the asymptomatic positive cases were traced (from ten million screened), and they all tested negative for the covid-19.”

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/8/20-1274_article

“Of the 97 persons with confirmed COVID-19, only 4 (1.9%) remained asymptomatic within 14 days of quarantine, and none of their household contacts acquired secondary infections.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11427-020-1661-4

“None of the 24 cases developed severe covid-19 pneumonia or died.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513410/

“…we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic sars-cov-2 carriers might be weak.’

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-2671

“Our results showed that patients with COVID-19 who had more severe symptoms had a higher transmission capacity, whereas transmission capacity from asymptomatic cases was limited.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0895398810600086?via%3Dihub

“sars cases are infectious only during their symptomatic period and are non-infectious during the incubation period.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain

“We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing… They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.

Appendix 5: Recommended books and websites

A brief list of a few places to get critical information about the coronavirus, lockdowns, vaccines, masks and so forth. Obviously they are biased — everyone is — and obviously they make mistakes — everyone does — and I certainly don’t agree with everything in them — but they are not the work of nutcases, nor are they ‘hard-right’ propaganda. They are, on the whole, well-reasoned and well-researched, and, at the very least, a good antidote to the ‘mainstream’.

Books:

  • A State of Fear, by Laura Dodsworth
  • Corona, False Alarm; Facts and Figures by Karina Reiss & Sucharit Bhakdi
  • 33 Myths of the System, by Darren Allen (yes, that’s me)
  • Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis, by Ivan Illich
  • Industrial Society and its Future, by Theodore Kaczynski
  • Where Are We Now: The Epidemic as Politics, Giorgio Agamben
  • Moominsummer Madness, by Tove Jansson

Websites;

https://www.pandata.org/

‘A group of multi-disciplinary professionals, who perceived the global reaction to Covid, and lockdown in particular, as overwrought and damaging to the point of causing a great tear in the fabric of society.’

https://swprs.org/facts-about-covid-19/

Good, balanced, account of the entire situation.

https://eugyppius.substack.com/p/corona

And brief but comprehensive overview.

https://doctors4covidethics.org/

Hundreds of doctors and scientists ‘urgently warning of short and long term dangers from covid-19 vaccines.’

https://nojabforme.info/

Useful critique of the magical vaccines.

https://off-guardian.org/

Good resource for lockdown-critical information. To their credit they were suspicious right from the very start, which is why Twitter almost instantly started putting warnings on their output. Highly recommended is this comprehensive overview of the situation.

https://thefatemperor.com/

Excellent analysis of official statistical shenanigans, served up with a nice side salad of laconic Irish wit.

https://www.davidcayley.com/blog

David Cayley is probably the foremost expositor of the philosophy of Ivan Illich — and a penetrating and original thinker in his own right. His ‘Illichian’ insights into the nature of health are required reading.

https://winteroak.org.uk/

Another overview, typically sharp, from the uncompromising radical US outfit.

https://lockdownsceptics.org/

Excellent dissident site with long analyses of various aspects of the coronavirus narrative. Particularly recommended;


Feeling nostalgic for the pre-pandemic days? Try: The Normal That Never Was

An updated version of this essay appears in Ad Radicem, a collection of radical reflections on the system and the self.

Notes

  1. Gao et al., 2021
  2. Heidary et al., 2020.
  3. Bryant et al., 2021.
  4. See Simon Goddek, How Scientific Fraud took the World Hostage.
  5. Borger et al., 2020.
  6. See Ivor Cummins’ Covid Chronicles.
  7. Olliary et al., 2021.