By John Tamny
John Tamny is a Vice President at FreedomWorks, editor of RealClearMarkets, and the author of the newly released book, When Politicians Panicked: The New Coronavirus, Expert Opinion, and a Tragic Lapse of Reason. There follows a short summary of some of the book’s themes that the author has done for Lockdown Sceptics.
How soon we forget. But so that we don’t, let’s please travel back in time to November of 2018. Memories of what happened then will hopefully further wake people up to the abject stupidity of lockdown as the path to enhanced health.
Back then John Allen Chau, a Christian missionary from the United States, made his way to North Sentinel Island. He was murdered upon arrival.
North Sentinel is 500 miles east of India, and it’s speculated that somewhere in the range of 100 to 150 people live there. No one knows for sure. The North Sentinelese descend from African migrants who settled on the island 50,000 years ago.
Chau’s body was apparently “riddled” by arrows launched from yes, bows. NorthSentinel Island’s civilization is of the Stone Age kind. Per the very excellent Tunku Varadarajan in a Wall Street Journal account from 2018, “the Sentinelese are the world’s most isolated and inaccessible people.”
To some of the fanatics who so naively bought the run-and-hide from the coronavirus concept in total, the Sentinelese are likely very healthy people. How could they not be? So isolated are they that no one even knows the island’s actual population. As for an outside understanding of its language, forget about it.
Chau was seemingly the latest to try and get to know the Sentinelese, to bring religion, but as he approached with an eye on converting them to Christianity, the arrows flew and his life ended. About the murder, it’s crucial to understand the why behind it.
The answer is very simple. Their isolation has done the North Sentinelese no favours in a health sense. As Varadarajan put it, “Contact with the outside world – with men like Chau – would likely kill off the Sentinelese. Think flu, measles, chickenpox”.
Aiming to maintain the existence of their most primitive society, the Sentinelese had no choice but to kill a certain giver of virus and disease who naively thought he was a source of good. Not only did Chau break Indian law, in making his way to North Sentinel his very existence threatened the lives of something on the order of one hundred people.
Precisely because the North Sentinelese have been so isolated for so long from the outside world, their immunity is nil. Though missionaries like Chau came to them in peace, it was as though he arrived with an AK-47.
Chau’s murder is yet another gentle reminder of how backwards the lockdowns were. Hide from a virus? To do so would be for cities, states and countries to set themselves up for something much worse down the line. As the North Sentinelese remind us, isolation weakens the human body precisely because it limits the exposure to the myriad human-spread viruses that paradoxically strengthen the immune system.
Oxford professor Sunetra Gupta, one of the authors of The Great Barrington Declaration, has long argued that globalisation’s genius has been understated. It’s not just that the division of labour has enabled relentless specialisation among the world’s workers, it’s not just that people ‘bumping into each other’ have spread ideas and processes that have driven even greater economic advancement that has easily been the greatest foe of disease and death, globalisation has also fostered a great deal of physical, in-person interaction among productive, specialised people increasingly possessing the means to see the globe.
As a consequence they haven’t just seen the world. In a health sense, they’ve spread viruses around the world. With more and more of the world’s inhabitants moving around the globe, so have viruses. The spreading hasn’t weakened the global population, rather it’s strengthened it. Immunity is most notably achieved naturally, and it’s achieved much more quickly when people are constantly interacting with other people.
The North Sentinelese haven’t been so lucky. Wholly isolated, the island’s inhabitants have long been separated from the crucial human interaction that fosters immunity. That they must kill outsiders who approach them is a reminder that viruses don’t go to sleep, get bored, or run away; rather they’re a forever concept.
That they are calls loudly for the very human interaction that politicians and experts have tried to outlaw over the past year. Historians will marvel at their foolishness.
It’s not just that lockdowns and other forced isolation destroyed so many jobs, so many businesses, and that they caused all sorts of other human tragedies of the alcohol, drug, and suicidal variety as discussed in my new book, When Politicians Panicked. Lockdowns furthered the rather backwards notion that our health is improved if we’re separated from one another.
People aren’t saved from what threatens their health by being kept in isolation. Rather, that just means delaying their contact with the pathogen you’re trying to protect them from and increasing their vulnerability to other pathogens.