At first slowly but in recent weeks with seemingly gathering pace, two trends have emerged. On the one hand, many of the core claims behind lockdowns, masks, and vaccines are unravelling and the prevailing narrative has been in retreat on all three fronts. But there is still a long way to go, as indicated by the cussed refusal of the Biden administration to let Novak Djokovic play at Indian Wells.
On the other hand, the explosive lockdown files in the UK have blown apart the official narrative. We the sceptics were right in our dark suspicions of the motives, scientific basis, and evidence behind government decisions, but even we did not fully grasp just how venal, evil, and utterly contemptuous of their citizens some of the bastards in charge of our health, lives, livelihoods, and children’s future were. “Hell is empty, And all the devils are here” (Shakespeare, The Tempest) indeed. They will have to build a new circle of hell to accommodate all the perpetrators of evil let loose upon the world since 2020.
Genuine mistakes were few and are forgivable. Most were deliberate distortions of reality, outright falsehoods, and a systematic campaign to terrorize people into compliance with arbitrary diktats interspersed with efforts to vilify, silence, and cancel all critics by using the full powers of the state to co-opt, bribe, and bully. All in pursuit of the most maddening public policy insanity of modern times because it ignored existing canons of pandemic planning in blind panic just when calm was most needed. To call lockdown a mistake is to trivialize the shock to society.
Before coming to that, a few preliminary observations to summarize where we are at.
What is Now Known and Generally but Not Universally Admitted
Covid is now endemic. It will circulate throughout the world and keep returning with mutating variants. People who have been infected and/or vaccinated can contract and transmit it. Consequently we have little choice but to learn to live with it. What is important is to make sure the right policy lessons are learnt so that never again, neither for a novel coronavirus nor for any other infectious disease, do we go down the path of public policy insanity to lock up an entire city or country with the discovery of 1-10 cases and bring all social, cultural and economic activity to a shuddering halt – or give total power and control to sociopaths and psychopaths.