prioritizing life over disease ducking
watch as the jersey changing nears completion
it sure is a shame we didn’t have any “experts” like this around in early 2020 who might have said something along these lines then and urged us to stay calm and follow 100 years of evidence based pandemic guidelines instead of joining the panicked chorus of white coated chicken littles proudly proclaiming the the sky was falling and that we all needed to panic over some epidemiological campfire stories and submit to made up mitigations in the name of power and profit.
what a thing that might have been.
this is, of course, the correct take. we should never have prioritized the fake and pointless mission to avoid a respiratory virus over life and livelihood. not only is it morally wrong to push and force such policy while trampling rights, liberty, and agency, but it’s top to bottom charlatanry and fraud that does not, could not, and did not work. this was known and knowable. all the evidence said so. all the guidelines said “do not do this.”
this idea that “there is no way we could have known” is pure nonsense. yes, there was. this is WHY we had pandemic guidelines.
and they were NOT subtle or equivocal on these issues. they literally stood on chairs and screamed “governments may try to do these things because they are politically seductive. DO NOT DO THEM! the are unbelievably destructive. and they do not work.”
not exactly subtle, were they?
travel restrictions don’t work.
school closures do not work.
banning gatherings does not work.
none of it works.
the WHO did a survey on masking in 2019. it does not work. not even on flu, which is considerably less aerosol than covid, so masks would be expected to work better. every bit of this was counter to evidence and science.
and it’s not like they didn’t know. they knew full well.
they just flipped their tunes when he who paid the piper decided on a different agenda.
they happily fed us to the wolves for a little filthy lucre.
check the date on this one. odd how they forgot all this information so quickly, no?
pro tip: they didn’t.
they chose to lie to you because it suited their agenda. and if you choose to ignore this and trust them again, well, fool you once, shame on them, fool you twice, shame on you, fool you a 27th time, well, maybe getting fleeced by grifters is just your thing…
“bUt iT wUZ a nOVeL PaTHogeN!” how could we know?
this is one of the stupident arguments of all. so, what, every time you see a new anything, you forget all priors from similar things? if you see a new kind of fish, do you assume it will be nothing like any other of the 200 fishes you’ve seen before and make up and entirely new set of expectations because some muppet in london has a bad exponential poisson model? or might a sane person presume that it’s probably a lot like other fish until there was some strong reason to believe otherwise? i mean
and in this case, the data was fricking obvious and it was absurdly easy to collect and analyze. yet, to my knowledge, no government health agency did so. as far as i know, i was literally the first author on twitter to grab the google mobility data and compare it to covid outcomes to assess lockdowns. i did this is fricking excel. it’s not exactly rocket science. i got in all sorts of trouble over it because the results were so stunningly clear: there was zero effect on spread and deaths. zero.
this is some work i published in may of 2020.
it’s simple to do. i took the rate of change in deaths in the netherlands (who was already reporting real date of death then, not day of report) and plotted it. you can see the nice, clean, smooth gompertz style decline. this right there starts your intuition moving toward “this is an entirely natural epidemic shape.”
i then plotted the degree of drop in social interaction using google mobility data from tracking cell phones. this is the best dataset in the world and astonishingly complete and large scale. i then time shifted that dataset 24 days because that’s the median time from infection to death. this stacks cause and effect in a vertical line in the chart. distancing 24 days ago is what predicts death today. (this was also a best fit)
if distancing has a strong effect, we’ll see it bend the curve sharply away from its underlying pattern. but it clearly did not bend it at all. the curve stayed smooth and even in decline. what’s more, the curve was already well into decline before distancing could even have had any effect.
5 day replication had dropped from ~4.5 to 1.5 by the time distancing would have mattered and the shape of the curve was unaffected by distancing. pure gompertz. the re-opening similarly had zero effect. replication remained below 1 and kept dropping. so we have a 2 way measure. neither locking down nor opening had any visible effect on curve shape.
this is glaringly obvious stuff. an internet cat who was bored and annoyed and wanted to see if any of this was real figured it out in like a week using publicly available data and microsoft office. are we seriously to believe that no health agency could do the same? because i just don’t buy it. (and if, in fact, they cannot, then why do we even have them? they’re useless.)
this was laughably easy to spot.
spain locked down super hard. netherlands lightly and briefly.
they had the same day of peak deaths. it was seasonal, not response based.
but try and tell the outcomes apart when you look at rate of change (R)
this is all but idenitical.
try to tell any of it apart. no one changed the shape of their curve. they all got the same one.
this: (the swiss number goes haywire at the end because the numbers got so small)
the whole debate should have been over right then.
instead it raged on for two years until the political price got so high that the polling data changed the science.
they never really recanted.
they are trying to slink out of town.
back then you got shadowbanned on twitter for posting this stuff.
now you get published in nature.
my, how things change.
but the point remains: by may of 2020 there was absolutely no doubt that lockdowns were pointless.
the experts were either wrong or compromised or paralyzed by fear and pushed by societal pressure to comply with a narrative they knew was false.
they had their reputations, relationships, and money threatened.
and they proved that even incredibly simple work, just reading the past guidelines and following them and doing simple, obvious analyses to validate them was beyond them.
the scary times came and they either froze or turned on us.
and this is why we cannot let them remain in power.
this is why we cannot have “rule by technocracy.”
because even if such a thing were ethically permissible (it’s not) they have proven themselves incompetent and outright dangerous stewards.
they got EVERTHING wrong from lockdowns to schools to masks to rushing bad, leaky vaccines using a deeply dangerous set of modalities never before allowed in humans to market based on deeply flawed studies and absurdly inadequate safety data.
and now they claim (as certain internet felines predicted they would) that “times have changed, omicron is somehow different, and we’re on the side of “choose life not a hermitage of performative disease ducking” once they have already driven the world into a ditch.
well, glad you made it to the right answer, but you’ve proven you’ll always be the wrong person to trust.
they won’t be smarter or better or less conflicted next time. they have not been red pilled. they have been cowed into acquiescence and are once more seeking to join the herd. they did not change, we did and they now feel themselves alienated on the edge and pushing low status, unpopular ideas and so the wens of the world shift like weather vanes and start blowing “consensus” again because they are not leaders nor thinkers nor even experts. they are populist panderers seeking position and power.
there can be no future with such people in charge.
a free future finds foundation in individual agency, not in proscription and permission.
this will not be truly over until we all realize one thing and make it a cornerstone of our thought and action:
no one gets to take your liberty like this.