A senior research scientist for a pharmaceutical company (who wishes to remain anonymous) writes with his thoughts on where we are now.
1. Assumed solutions
As someone who has spent a career in drug R&D, the thing that led me to lockdown scepticism was the realisation that we had moved from evidence-based medicine to one of “assumed effectiveness”. This is where we are today. Lockdowns (and mask wearing) are assumed to work and all arguments as to the effectiveness start from this point. This means that the “evidence for” is constantly overplayed whilst any “evidence against” is dismissed or explained away. This is why the Swedish or Floridian approach needs to be better than lockdown, it is not simply good enough that it had similar outcomes for a lower price. From a medical intervention perspective this is simply lunacy; why would you give your patient a drug with more side effects than an equally effective one with fewer?
The most striking moment to me as a scientist was when Whitty and Vallance stood in front of a graph they knew to be wrong in order to justify going into the second lockdown. This was the point they lost any shred of credibility.
The real tragedy is that as a result of assumed effectiveness of lockdowns, Government thinking has never moved on and we have learned nothing. What is there to learn when you already have the best solution to the problem?
2. A disease with no symptoms
The dictionary definition of a disease is: a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury. To have a disease is to be ill, yet the most striking feature of COVID-19 is that apparently one in three people can have this disease but be perfectly healthy or, to use the new vernacular, asymptomatic. Perhaps most of us also have an asymptomatic broken leg too?
3. The Fallen
Lockdowns kill, hurt and maim people. This was captured brilliantly in the “For The Fallen” piece at the start of the year, as it brought home the human misery of lockdowns. The trouble is that none of our leaders seem to care; their world is Covid and Covid is their world. The collateral damage caused by lockdowns is huge both to our health and wealth, and the harm caused will almost certainly end up dwarfing any potential benefits the intervention had on Covid-related mortality. We will have killed the patient to save him.
4. Throwing our young people under the bus
What we have done to our young people in the name of saving lives is scandalous. This is a “trivial disease” to those under 25 and yet they have been asked to shoulder the biggest burden of lockdowns. They have also been shamefully scapegoated. How many lives has lockdown destroyed almost before they have even really started? I am surprised that they have been so tolerant of this (so far), but can only put it down to them being genuinely fearful. As a parent I have seen the impact of this first-hand and I will never forget or forgive the people who have done this.
5. Media sophistry
Because the damage caused by lockdowns is plainly evident to everyone, the only way we can live with it is by employing doublethink i.e., blame the misery on “the virus” or “the disease” or “the pandemic”. No, let’s be clear, the damage to society is due to policy, not a short strand of RNA covered in some proteins and lipids. Of course, the most vocal advocates of lockdowns are often those who are also crying into their decaf, soya lattes about the terrible cost of the “pandemic” to society and the vulnerable.
6. Life in the Virocracy
I’ve come to the opinion that life in the UK today must be a bit like life in Iran under the ayatollahs. We have the religious council (SAGE) who set policy and a compliant government who then enact it. The population is then divided into three basic groups: there are the heretics who need to be suppressed at all costs in case they undermine the authority of the religious council. Then there are the true believers who are given voice to continue to spread the “Good Word”. And finally, there is everyone else, who just do their best to muddle through the lunacy by paying lip service to the required strictures of life, but are quietly getting on with it. Lockdowns have turned many people into lawbreakers as the only real way to survive.
Stop Press: A Lockdown Sceptics reader came across the entry for totalitarianism in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is scarily apt for our new “virocracy”:
The totalitarian state pursues some special goal, such as industrialisation or conquest, to the exclusion of all others. All resources are directed toward its attainment, regardless of the cost. Whatever might further the goal is supported; whatever might foil the goal is rejected. This obsession spawns an ideology that explains everything in terms of the goal, rationalising all obstacles that may arise and all forces that may contend with the state. The resulting popular support permits the state the widest latitude of action of any form of government. Any dissent is branded evil, and internal political differences are not permitted. Because pursuit of the goal is the only ideological foundation for the totalitarian state, achievement of the goal can never be acknowledged.