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The Great Covid Panic: now out!

It’s here, the booklet I am sure you have all been waiting for. The one which Gigi Foster and Michael Baker slaved over for 10 months. It is also on Kindle. It is dedicated to all the victims of the Panic, in poor countries and rich countries. They include our children, the lonely, and the poor.

The short publisher blurb: How to make sense of the astonishing upheaval of Spring 2020 and following? Normal life – in which expected rights and freedoms were taken for granted – came to be replaced by a new society as managed by a medical/ruling elite that promised but failed to deliver virus mitigation, all in the name of public health. Meanwhile, we’ve lost so much of what we once had: travel freedoms, privacy, a democratic presumption of equality, commercial freedoms, and even the access to information portals. Something has gone very wrong.

The longer blurb that our publisher chose for it is over the fold! There is also a website that will tell you where book launches will take place, which bookstores sell it, and who has liked it sofar.

To make sense of it all, the Brownstone Institute is pleased to announce the publication of The Great Covid Panic: What Happened, Why, and What To Do Next, by Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, and Michael Baker. Combining rigorous scholarship with evocative and accessible prose, the book covers all the issues central to the pandemic and the disastrous policy response, a narrative as comprehensive as it is intellectually devastating. In short, this is THE book the world needs right now.

In the Great Panic of early 2020, nearly every government in the world restricted the movement of its population, disrupted the education of its children, suspended normal individual liberties, hijacked its healthcare system, and in other ways increased its direct control of people’s lives. Attempts to control the new coronavirus in most countries made the number of deaths from both the virus and other health problems rise. Some countries and regions snapped out of the madness in early 2021 or even before. Yet other governments, still in 2021, were ever more fanatically obsessed with control.

Why did 2020 become, so suddenly and so forcefully, a year of global panic over a virus that for most people is barely more dangerous than a standard-issue flu virus? This book reveals how the madness started, what kept it going, and how it might end. This is also a book about stories and experiences, some real and some fictionalized to protect identities. Join Jane the complier, James the decider, and Jasmine the doubter, the three core protagonists of the narrative part of the book. Their experiences illustrate what happened to individuals and through them to whole societies, telling us — if we care to listen — how to avoid a repeat. This literary presentation is mixed with detailed reports of the actual data and deep research that has generally been obscured in the midst of media madness and obfuscation by public-health authority.

“A tour-de-force on how the pandemic response was driven by fear, crowd thinking, big business and a desire for control, rather than by sound public health principles. This is bound to be a classic.” ~ Professor Martin Kulldorff, Harvard Medical School

“When I received the manuscript, I was hooked from the first page and knew then that I would miss a full night’s sleep. I did indeed. My heart raced from beginning to end. As the publisher, I must say that this book is a dream for me, the book I never thought would exist, the book that I believe can change everything.” ~ Jeffrey Tucker, Founder Brownstone Institute.

Do lockdowns work in Europe?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 28/07/2021 - 10:56pm in

Let us divide the countries in Europe that have at least 1 million inhabitants into three groups: the ones that had high movement restrictions in 2020, the ones with almost no restrictions, and the ones in between. The graph below gives you the punchline that countries with more restrictions had higher numbers of covid-deaths, but in order to discuss the many other implications, I need to explain how the graph was put together.

I take the data on restrictions from the Oxford Blavatnik Stringency Index that gives a daily severity level for all countries in the world since January 1st 2020. This stringency index combines information on nine government policies: school closures, workplace closures, cancellation of public events, restrictions on gatherings, closure of public transport, restrictions on internal travel, restrictions on foreign travel, and the presence of a covid-cautioning public information campaign. The lowest value is 0 and the highest 100. One can think of a lockdown as having a score above 70. By that metric, the UK spent 4 months of 2020 in lockdowns and Australia about 3 months. From January 1st 2020 to now, the average world citizen spent about eight months in lockdown.

I take the claimed numbers of covid deaths by countries from the Oxford Blavatnik website as well, which essentially reports the daily data as claimed by countries themselves (so sometimes when a country revises downwards you see negative numbers for that day). I define the high-restriction European countries as those with at least 60 days of lockdowns in 2020. That includes 92% of the population and most of the large countries. I define minimal restriction countries as those with average restrictions in 2020 below 40, which turns out to hold only for Belarus and Estonia. The pragmatic countries in between are all the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland), Switzerland, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Latvia. Interestingly, the Scandinavian countries all had very similar average restrictions. Denmark, for instance, had an average restriction level of 51 whilst Sweden scored 54. Only Sweden had no lockdowns at all in Scandinavia, whilst Finland had 18 days of lockdowns and Norway 34 days in 2020, for which the Norwegian health authorities later apologised.

The total deaths per million till July 26th was 1449 for the lockdown countries, 1123 for the pragmatists, and 433 for the minimalists.

The graph and the data shows and suggests many things:

  1. Lockdowns in Europe ‘do not work’ to prevent covid deaths. Rather, the data shows that the more restrictions in 2020, the more covid deaths in both 2020 and in 2021. So the data strongly suggests lockdowns lead to more recorded covid-deaths. At the very minimum the data shows that countries without lockdowns do not experience the covid-Armageddon that is even today prophesised by doom-medics in lockdown countries. That alone makes liars out of an entire layer of government advisers, model builders, and politicians throughout much of Europe who daily fan the flames of covid-hysteria.
  2. The lockdown countries have less flat curves in spring 2020 (March-June) than those of the pragmatists and minimalists.
  3. Covid-deaths are highly seasonal, with the numbers going down in summer times. This was not clear in 2020 when many suspected (including myself) that covid was ‘done’ in much of Europe. Now we know that new variants and differing circumstances lead to another winter peak.
  4. The covid-death numbers in the lockdown countries in the summer of 2021 look very suspect: we are now talking about vaccinated populations in a season where in 2020 there were very few recorded covid deaths, and where in the pragmatist countries there are again almost no covid deaths in the summer of 2021. One has to strongly suspect that the lockdown countries are counting people as covid deaths that in truth died of other causes, but who tested positive at some point in time. [You btw also see in the excess death graphs a total lack of any summer excess]. The suspicion has to be that we are now looking in the lockdown countries at artificial claims, either because of false positives in tests or due to counting of minimal covid-levels as the cause of death.
  5. The rest of Scandinavia does not ‘disprove’ Sweden: restriction levels are similar across Scandinavia and none of them are lockdown countries.
  6. In most regions of Europe, there is some country close by to which those who enjoy their personal freedoms can move to if they want to. Central-Europe can go to Serbia or Bulgaria. North-East can choose between Latvia and Estonia. North-West can go to Denmark or further up still. Southern Europe can head for the Swiss alps to taste freedom (what does that remind me of?).

Revised GP Co-Payment Still Bad Policy: ACOSS

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 11/12/2014 - 9:20am in