Why Did the World React So Hysterically to COVID?
"What the hell is going on?"
Over the last few months, I’ve sought to demonstrate that covid is nowhere near as bad as it is portrayed by the mainstream media. I’ve written about how the mortality rate is below 0,2%, meaning that for most people the risk of dying if you get infected is less than one in 500 (and less than one in 3,000 if you’re below 70 years of age). I’ve also written about how the disease preferentially strikes people who are anyway very close to the end of life, so the amount of lifetime lost when someone dies of the disease is usually small. And I’ve noted that 2020 will likely turn out to have been a very average year in terms of overall mortality, in spite of the supposedly deadly pandemic that is currently raging.
Some have countered that covid might not be that deadly, but lots of people have “long covid”. I’ve pointed out that 98% of people who get covid are fully recovered within three months, and that there is no good evidence that covid results in long term health consequences (there is bad evidence, based on low quality science, that has intentionally been used to scare people).
I’ve also pointed out that the measures taken to fight covid, such as the huge fear campaigns, canceled childhood vaccination programs, and school closures, will result in far more years of life lost than will be lost to the virus directly. And the data I’ve used to point out all these things is publicly available, and published in some of the most prestigious and respected scientific journals in the world.
Given that this is the case, what the hell is going on? Lockdowns have in many cases been more severe the second time round than the first time, even though we now know so much more about the virus. It made sense to be extremely careful in March, when little was known about covid-19. It doesn’t make sense any more.
I have a hypothesis, that is really just my attempt to make sense of the situation, which I’m going to share with you. A lot of these thoughts have been developed together with Ulf Martin, who’s written extensively about what he thinks is going on on his own web site. If you have an alternate hypothesis, please share it in the comments section below, and we can discuss. As everyone knows, covid-19 started in China, and China is a totalitarian dictatorship that has a long history of strict control of its media messaging, and a well-developed propaganda machine.
I think the Chinese realized early on that covid-19 wasn’t very serious, no worse than a bad flu. That’s probably why their initial response was to try to suppress public discussion of it and just let it blow over. But it soon became clear that that was going to be impossible, with stories spreading rapidly on social media in spite of their attempts at censorship.
So instead, they changed tack, and decided to stage a show, straight out of a Hollywood movie. Therefore, in January and February the world was treated to carefully choreographed images of lockdown in Wuhan. We saw the entrances to apartment complexes being welded shut, people in hazmat suits fumigating buildings, people lying dead in the street, and fleets of vehicles spraying disinfectant over everything.
Maybe this was merely intended to be a show of strength. Maybe the goal was to manipulate other countries in to the extraordinary acts of self-harm that ensued. Or maybe that was just a lucky bi-product. Regardless, China claimed to have defeated covid completely in little over a month. On the 11th of February, China reported 6,900 cases a day. A month later, there were supposedly only 15 cases a day in all of China, a country of over one billion people.
At present, when the rest of the world is dealing with a second wave, China is still reporting less than 20 cases per day. They are also claiming that less than 5,000 people have so far died of covid in China. That’s less than Sweden, a country with less than 1% of China’s population. Yeah, right. [On the other hand Japan has only had 3,000 deaths and that is possibly with 50% seroprevalence in Tokyo, so it is possible that East Asia is simply different in some way, more resilient to it for some reason.]
For some reason, even though we know that China is a dictatorship, with a well-developed propaganda machine, we are trusting their numbers and their information. We’re trusting that China’s temporary lockdown in Wuhan was so successful that the disease was stamped out completely in the country, and still hasn’t shown any sign of returning.
Clearly, this is impossible. As I’ve written about earlier, the evidence shows that lockdown is ineffective. And by the time Wuhan went in to lockdown, in February, the virus had already been circulating in China for months, and must have been widely spread throughout the country. Locking down one city in a situation where the virus was already widespread in the country was really a meaningless action, purely done for the purposes of propaganda.
And what was the result? Global media went into overdrive, spreading the Chinese images across the world. When cases started to appear in other countries, everyone was already primed to see this as a deadly pandemic. Demands were made in both established media and social media that governments take similar action to China, since China’s actions had “clearly” been shown to be so effective. Democratic governments, afraid of losing voters, complied. Voters, seeing increasingly draconian measures being taken by governments, felt that this justified their fear, and became ever more afraid, and ever more demanding. A positive feedback loop was created. And the rest is history.
A hundred years from now, historians will not be talking about covid-19 as an example of a deadly pandemic on par with the Spanish flu. They will be talking about it as an example of how easy it is to induce a state of collective mass hysteria. Given that this is the case, how long will the present hysteria continue?
I think most governments have dug themselves into a hole in relation to covid. They’ve portrayed it as for more deadly and dangerous than it is. They know this. But to admit the error now is impossible.
Partly, that is because lockdown has resulted in so much suffering that it would be suicidal to say that it was all for nothing.
Partly it is because the mass media and general public are so convinced of the seriousness of the disease, that any government that argued the contrary would be labeled as irresponsible and deranged.
So, the only way out of the hole is with a magic bullet. And that magic bullet is the vaccine.
It doesn’t matter whether the vaccine has any effect whatsoever on overall mortality, or whether it protects the old and infirm, who are at most risk of severe disease, or prevents spread of infection. The only thing that matters is getting out of the hole as quickly as possible, without admitting ever having done anything wrong.
Once enough people have been vaccinated, governments can state that the crisis has been ended. Heads of state can be lauded as heroes. And we can all go on about our lives. [That’s an optimistic view.]
A lot of people have been asking me about my views on the vaccines lately. I’m digging in to the data right now, and should have an in-depth article ready in about a week.