From aggressive lockdowns, to banning early treatments, masking protocols and vaccine mandates, the Australian and UK governments stayed fairly well in lockstep throughout the Covid pandemic response (though the convict colony Down Under was more extreme on some counts).
Throwing agreed pandemic protocols out the window, our governments inexplicably threw everything they had at a new, untested approach. Many warned of the impending carnage. They were ignored. However, the data doesn’t lie, and nearly three years in, the pitfalls are bearing out.
So just how wrong were they?
Dystopian Down Under (Australia) and The Stark Naked Brief (UK) have teamed up to count the ways. Over the coming weeks we will be deep diving into the details, issue by issue. This post will be updated with links to the more in-depth topical posts as we go along.
What is the point of this exercise? People are sick of hearing about Covid, and sifting through the minutia can be as excruciating as it is vindicating.
Yet, to simply move on without taking stock of the mistakes, the harms and the ongoing damage would be foolish. History is a great teacher. An inventory must be taken, learnings must be noted and actions must be taken to ensure that we never stumble down this path again.
To readers who may be wondering what we’re talking about - was it really that bad? Yes, it was. Really bad.
An independent review1 published last month found Australia’s Covid response to be excessive, particularly in regard to school closures, lockdowns and border closures. A cost benefit analysis2 by think tank Institute of Public Affairs found that 37 x more life years were lost than were saved as a result of lockdowns, and that thus far, Australia’s Covid response has cost almost 1 trillion dollars. Another cost benefit analysis,3 by UNSW economist Gigi Foster, found that the costs of Australia’s Covid lockdowns have been at least 68 x greater than the benefits they delivered.
An official government enquiry into the UK Covid response is underway, but it is yet to examine administrative governance and decision-making. The HART group4 called the UK lockdowns, “the greatest policy failure in modern history,” finding that the costs of lockdowns exceeded any plausible estimate of the benefits many times over. UK news site The Daily Mail produced their own cost benefit audit of lockdowns. Their research team estimated that, for every day that Britain remained in lockdown, the national debt rose by £1 billion.
In short, not only did the Covid responses of the Australian and UK governments not work as hoped, they caused damage of epic proportion: economic, social, and to the health and wellbeing of individual citizens.
During the past two and a half years, the mainstream media have gushed effusively over the efforts taken by our respective governments. Journalists have reported uncritically for the most part, as though their job was to reprint government press releases, always appended with a plea to get vaccinated (the sole solution to a circulating respiratory virus). They have sought to justify government overreach and to excuse the failures, whilst remaining silent on the harms. They have perpetuated the use of the misnomer “anti-vax”, weaponising it as a pejorative to tar and feather dissidents and to shut down democratic debate. Taken in entirety, this behaviour from marquee outlets signals a complete abandonment of the Fourth Estate mandate, which is to hold truth to power so that the people may be protected from their government.5
Such dereliction of duty on the part of the media leaves it to independent journalists, niche publications and citizen bloggers to perform a hard task with limited resources and reach.
The task is to provide the balance of what is not reported in the mainstream media. To give voice to those who are silenced and suppressed. To sift through the flow of information to determine what needs to be added to the agenda that has been set by the main instruments of the propaganda machine. To apply a critical lens to said propaganda. To hold truth to power.
So here is the truth of the Covid response. This list will be updated as new information comes to light.
1 / They were wrong to flout the ethical primacy of valid consent, coercing the population into a medical experiment.
2 / They were wrong to force vaccine mandates on the public – for a vaccine that does not prevent infection or transmission.
3 / They were wrong to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on rushed vaccines, PPE and tests, then throw astronomical amounts away.
In fact, the cost of the Covid response as a whole was obscene and wasteful beyond belief…
4 / They were wrong to spend so much money for so little gain, when those resources could have been diverted towards saving and improving far more lives than they did.
5 / They were wrong to push vaccination on the younger population, who were never at serious risk from Covid and who stood the greater risk of harm from the Covid vaccines.
6 / They were wrong to say that myocarditis is mild and temporary.
7 / They were wrong to mask school children, which failed to stop the virus, but succeeded in causing developmental delays, health concerns and social anxiety.
8 / They were wrong to close schools, businesses, gyms and other places of gathering, confining people to their homes for week and months on end.
9 / They were wrong to divert policing resources away from important duties, and towards petty enforcement of absurd and draconian Covid rules.
10 / They were wrong to divert important healthcare funding and resourcing to endless testing and associated activities for a virus with a >99.5% survival rate6, causing important surgeries and health screenings to be cancelled.
11 / They were wrong to dismiss valid concerns over vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially in light of the fact that mRNA vaccines had never before been (provisionally) approved and rolled out to the population at large, and in the absence of medium or long term safety studies.
12 / They were wrong to use alarmist modelling as basis for their extreme Covid response measures.
13 / They were wrong to enforce vaccination passports, which did not stop the spread and which only served to hamper businesses, infringe on civil rights, and marginalise people for their health choices.
14 / They were wrong to isolate the old and infirm, leaving many to die alone while their anguished loved ones begged to be allowed inside, to no avail.
15 / They were wrong to assure pregnant and lactating women of the safety of the vaccines, when the appropriate research had not been conducted for this cohort.
16 / They were wrong to ban or limit access to early treatments, instead pushing vaccination as the single magic bullet solution.
17 / They were wrong to engage nudge units to manipulate the population into receiving an experimental medical procedure.
18 / They were wrong to suspend the right to protest.
19 / They were wrong to make obtaining compensation for vaccine injury so difficult and delayed.
20 / They were wrong when they said that the mRNA products are not experimental, that the mRNA clears the body within a few days, and that it cannot affect the recipient’s DNA.
21 / They were wrong to marginalise and demonise a small, principled minority of constituents, stoking division and hate.
They were wrong. They caused immense harm. They owe the public heartfelt apologies and restitution.
Children learn, at a young age, that when you harm others you must apologise and make amends. It doesn’t matter whether you meant to cause harm, the fact is that you did, and that you simply must say sorry, and try never to do that again.
Shifting blame is juvenile. We do not allow 5 year olds to get away with it.
We demand of our leaders that they do better than 5 year olds.
The apologies should be forthcoming, sincere, and detailed. Our leaders should demonstrate that they appreciate the depth and depravity of the harm that they have inflicted upon us. They should tell us how they intend to do better, and they should take action to make sure they never do this to us again.
An amnesty will not do. Cries of, ‘we just did what we could with the information at hand’ are unacceptable. You simply cannot be that wrong, that many times without there being serious error in the culture, thinking and processes of our political elite and institutions.
Regardless, no matter what doom the alarmist modelling broadcast, no matter what promises The Science™️ foretold of magic bullet solutions, there was never an acceptable argument for enacting such harsh, authoritarian measures at the expense of the civic rights of citizens, and of the most foundational principles on which our purportedly democratic societies are built.
It starts with sorry.
Then, a reckoning.
Those who apologise early, with sincerity, may find the reckoning to be less painful.
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