Lifting lockdown: Episode 14

Previously on Lifting Lockdown:

  • New home for the blog, and plans for the future.
  • Numerous studies on the impact of lockdown versus their supposed value.
  • We checked in on the no-doubt stunning concept of gyms not being the outbreak centers they were promised to be, and also discussed yet more issues with obesity and COVID-19.
  • We recapped active lawsuits.

On this episode, we continue to grow the case against continuing lockdowns, we look through the work of Stanford’s John Ioannidis from March to the present, and we check in with the ongoing trainwreck in Pennsylvania.

1.) Health Impact. —- There’s a story out of Dallas about Children’s hospitals seeing a rise in suicide patients. Back in August it was “a child or teen a day” for Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. This is tied, in part, with kids struggling with being unable to return to any kind of normalcy. — This has dovetailed with other evidence going over the mental costs of the COVID pandemic and, frankly, the damage of the response to the pandemic. — As Dr. Ken Duckworth of the National Alliance for Mental Illness told ABC News, “There is a mental health wave to this pandemic. We as a species don’t do well with uncertainty.

1A.) The trouble with case reports. —- A growing body of research suggests that many “positive tests” of COVID may just be tests picking up on “residual traces” of the virus. In other words, viral load that aren’t contagious, and are on their way out regardless.

Put more bluntly, “confirmed cases” may be so insignificant as to be not worth reporting. But it DOES lead to some scary graphics to hide that. — One of Toronto’s top public health experts suggested back on October 3rd that the focus on daily case counts isn’t helpful. In an interview, Vivek Goel said that “what we seem to have developed, by and large, is a view that we need to focus on eliminating COVID-19. And we have got people to the point that they’re so scared of COVID-19 that they’re not thinking about all the other consequences.” — The World Health Organization has essentially reversed itself, now holding that blanket lockdowns aren’t a good idea anymore, and that their cost is far outweighing their supposed benefits. Dr. David Nabarro observed that “lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer. — Following this logic, we have the Great Barrington Declaration. Signed by about 15,000 “medical and public health scientists” according to the Washington Times, the Declaration lays out opposition to lockdowns on the basis of their risk to the general public, and the damage done to other parts of public health (cancer screenings, for example.

1B.) John Ionnadis. One of the main scientists who have opposed lockdown since March is Stanford epidemiologist Dr. John Ioannidis. Tonight, we celebrate his work, and retrace this comments, working our way from March to the present. — In March, Dr. Ioannidis said that the rush to lockdown was based on bad data. Dr. Ioannidis projected about a fatality rate of .05% to 1%, adding that “a population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.” — Stanford would later release research over a month later showing a remarkably low death rate, and that other factors (namely poverty) could contribute to worse outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

There’s also the issue of obesity that we covered in practically every episode of Lifting Lockdown. — In June, he called for an end to lockdowns across the globe. — His work was backed by biologist Beda Stadler, formerly the director of the Institute for Immunology at Switzerland’s University of Bern. — Put more bluntly, Dr. Ionnadis’ position in March was validated. — A few weeks ago, his study on COVID-19’s fatality rate was released by WHO.

2.) Education. — Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), has become very much anti-lockdown as of late. From saying that lockdowns will never happen again under his administration, to more recent comments where he states that he believes closing schools was a monumental mistake. — Meanwhile, a study out of Zurich, Switzerland has found no link between schools opening in the area and a surge in COVID-19.

3.) Gyms. — A gym in Nebraska made headlines this month. Big Kent’s Strength and Fitness has been training student athletes at low or no cost during the pandemic. Owner Kent Fleming told KETV that “It was very important to me as one of the only Black owned gyms to use my platform to really effect in the community.”

3a.) Gyms in California.—gyms-from-lincoln-heights-to-silver-lake/article_5ec1debe-050f-11eb-9d2f-43bd40cccba7.html — A lot of gyms in California are starting to believe they’ll never reopen. The state’s “reopening” guidelines allow for 50% capacity if the county the gym resides in has less than 1 case per day. (Recall what we just discussed about the tests. This is virtually impossible.) — Gyms across the state are taking their case to court, calling for an end to the lockdown in California. It is what the California Fitness Alliance called “restoring access to fitness.” In response to Governor Newsom’s reopening plan, CFA advisory board member Francesca Schuler said in a press release that “he has apparently decided only those who can afford a Peloton should have access to a healthy lifestyle.

4.) Politics. —- Michigan Supreme Court rules Gov “has no authority to continue state of emergency.”

5.) PA. —- PA Lawmaker caught on hot mic saying masks are “political theater.” It was fun watching the backpedaling there.

6.) Closing thoughts. Remember when bringing up the effects of hard lockdown, or bringing up that it’s VERY likely unnecessary for such a long-term blanket closure, or that the damage would would outweigh the benefits would get you labeled as “not caring about people” among other things? When suggesting that lockdowns might kill more than the virus was “being selfish.” — When social distance shamers roamed the Internet looking for people to mob?

Turns out that absolutely none of that has aged particularly well. — As we discussed in episode 13, what we’ve been left with is accepting government control of business at a granular level, businesses having to sue for their own survival, a rise in suicide; domestic violence; and generally the sort of long-term damage that will outlast the lockdown.

It isn’t exactly the kind of minor damage that can be waved off.

Even as Lifting Lockdown slowly becomes an occasional feature, and not the main segment of Midnight Iron, that will continue to be the theme for the series. This series will aim to be a thorough examination of everything that happened OUTSIDE of COVID, and that has now become acceptable to talk about only because it’s now impossible to run from.

Of course, we never ran from it in the first place. As a result, this series also serves as a well-sourced running record for everything outside of COVID, that for whatever reason was allowed to fester and grow.

That is one thing I will always be proud of, regardless of where Midnight Iron goes. From the beginning, we saw coming what everyone else was surprised by. Every last one of the sources that supported the series’ main premise has now been thoroughly vindicated. From the benefits of physical activity, to the impact of lockdown on a physical, mental, emotional, and economic level; everything laid out in this series over the last few months has been validated.

The only problem is now, everyone has to inspect the damage.

As even the WHO now notes, we can prevent further damage by ignoring the perpetually-wrong promises of doom, looking at the hard data, and lifting the lockdowns.

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