Not seemingly since Moses did his tricks have we been struck by so many plagues and calamities. But, while our pharaohs in Wellington and Melbourne harden their hearts and refuse to let our people go, the curses keep multiplying.

Not just the China virus, but the accompanying curses of authoritarianism, and the hysteria and ignorance which fuel them.

Shadow Foxing. Cartoon credit SonovaMin. The BFD.

Because, while the Covid-19 pandemic is a threat, it’s scarcely the Black Plague. Despite recent claims, it’s not even a patch on the Spanish ’Flu. Most closely it resembles the late-60s Hong Kong ’Flu – and who today even recalls that one?

But ask your average Branch Covidian about the China virus and, from behind the muffle of their mask, they’ll rattle off a bunch of “facts” they’ve been taught by the media and politicians – “facts” which are completely false.

Ask them what they think their chances of dying would be should they catch Covid and most get this massively wrong – a good few get the odds wrong by two orders of magnitude (answering 30 per cent when at most it’s about 0.3 per cent). And we’re talking about one’s chances of dying before being vaccinated.

Government propaganda – because there is no other way to describe it – has deliberately tried to scare people senseless and hence to distort their relative-risk assessments. That has been a clear and unmistakeable goal, including of all the daily press conferences with the breathless recitation of cases by politicians without an ounce of concern for freedom-­related issues, and by public-health types.

And for once, government seems to have got something right because its Covid scaremongering has been very successful.

On all fronts. Not just that people are convinced that Covid is a virtual death sentence, when for 99.7% of its victims it isn’t, or that “computer models” are paragons of accuracy when they’re repeatedly and astronomically wrong. But also in convincing people not to believe good news when its right there for them to see.

So now turn to Sweden, with a population of just under 10 and half million. It never locked down at all. No small businesses were forced to close and so bankrupted (and no big businesses were thereby incredibly enriched and allowed to have bumper profits under the sort of crony capitalism that lockdowns deliver). Schools never closed. People were trusted to make smart calls. Oh wait, Sweden may have put a limit of 500 people at big events for a while. That was it.

According to the most recent data I can find, Sweden has had about 1.14 million Covid cases and 14,753 Covid deaths (a sizeable chunk of those happening early on in aged care, for which the overseeing epidemiologist, Professor Anders Tegnell, quickly admitted the country’s handling mistakes). Since May of this year Sweden has had one of the lowest rates of Covid in Europe. Its deaths per million across the whole pandemic are now low enough that the press no longer talks about Sweden. The lockdownistas do not want the country to do well.

Worse, the Covidians are absolutely convinced that Sweden has been “devastated”, “ravaged” by Covid. Nothing, least of all hard data, will convince them otherwise.

Just as they’re convinced that anyone who chooses not to get a Covid vaccine is a selfish, hateful, walking Covid Mary.

The median age of Covid deaths is higher than the country’s average life expectancy for men and for women.

It’s a world where (according to the latest Stanford study) the survival rate for the unvaccinated for these age ranges is: 0-19 (99.9973 per cent); 20-29 (99.986 per cent); 30-39 (99.969 per cent); 40-49 (99.918 per cent); and the survival rate doesn’t drop below 99.7 per cent until you get to the over-70s.

In a world with that sort of risk of dying from Covid, if you are under 70 why would you care in the slightest if someone else chooses not to get vaccinated?

The primary, perhaps sole, benefit of the Covid is purely personal. “Herd immunity” from high vaccination rates appears to be a myth: a recent Lancet study found no correlation between vaccination rates and “infections” (which, it must be remembered, really means a positive result to a swab test, not actual sick people). Covid vaccinations certainly improve your outcomes if you do get sick – which is great (and the sole reason I’m in the process of being vaccinated: a judgement based on my age and health conditions), but absolutely no justification for holding entire nations hostage to vaccination rates.

The whole vaccine-passport mandate position (full disclosure, to have some hope of one day seeing my kids who live overseas I’m double-jabbed) is premised on people having no clue at all of their relative risks. Then add in a dollop of “take the worst imaginable outcome modelling”. Throw in a media and press corps that is either stupid or longs for the reincarnation of Pravda. Stir. And you have Australia, readers.

We’re not the world’s best handlers of Covid. From early on it was plain we were on a trajectory to be the world’s worst. And with every year that passes, that will become ever more obvious.

The Australian

Are you reading this, Jacinda Ardern? Ha ha, of course you’re not. And you’d refuse to believe it, even if you were, wouldn’t you?

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A Plague of Hysteria and Ignorance

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...