9 December 2022
If you think that the Covid madness is over, think again. I’m not talking about China, where people are being literally welded inside their homes in the futile pursuit of Covid Zero. The long tail of pandemic hysteria, much of it confected, continues to wag the dog of the body politic on these shores.
Almost three years in and our medical experts aided and abetted by the Greens, Teals and activist academics just can’t let the Covid thing go. Perhaps this pandemic withdrawal syndrome stems from the evaporation of importance and power conferred by the pandemic on the bureaucrat class; from ministers of health all the way down to hospital infection control officers. Had it not been for Covid, would we have had to suffer the odious Brett Sutton and his cringey dad-bod tattoos?
And how are the experts with waning dealing public enthusiasm for the message? I present to you Long Covid, the latest, and hopefully, the last weapon in the pandemic fear campaign – a poorly defined, heterogeneous assortment of Covid symptoms that lingers after the initial illness has abated.
Long Covid symptoms include muscle aches, shortness of breath, ‘brain fog’, fatigue, and depression. It is more frequently reported in women, the obese, people with histories of mental illness, and in hospital workers. Watch this space as the Covid alarmists shift the narrative to the unformed horrors of Long Covid as summer sees a natural decrease in infection rates.
There is, however, good reason to believe that Long Covid is no worse in severity than any other post-viral syndrome, according to a recent paper published in JAMA Network. There is also good reason to believe that many of the symptoms of Long Covid have a psychological overlay and in some cases may be physical manifestations of depression and anxiety. Who’d have thought that almost three years of hypervigilance, social isolation, and relentless government propagandising would lead to a widespread deterioration in mental health?
Fortunately, We the People are waking up and developing immunity to the tiresome fearmongering of governments. Growing numbers of us are eschewing perpetual masking as we realise that mandates are based on low-quality studies and have little impact on virus transmission at a population level. Mask-wearing is now a naked political statement as much as anything.
We are also baulking at the prospect of endless vaccines given emerging doubts about their efficacy and safety. Prime Minister Albanese has just tested positive again despite four jabs. Big Pharma is once more being viewed with healthy skepticism rather than blind consumer confidence. Most of us are belatedly just getting on with their lives.
And guess what? The sky hasn’t fallen in.
In Victoria, from June to August 2022, there were over 650,000 cases but only 1,300 Covid-related deaths. This puts the case fatality rate at well under two per thousand. According to the ABS, most of these deaths occurred in the very elderly, a third of whom had dementia. Covid barely cracked the top 34 causes of death in Australia in 2021. Interestingly in the same year, suicide was the 15th cause of death, and deaths due to alcoholism were the highest in 10 years. Yet Sutton and colleagues in the Medical Journal of Australia just declared breathlessly that Covid is a ‘multi-system cluster bomb’. Let’s add that to the lexicon of overblown pandemic rhetoric along with ‘absolute beast’ and ‘Covid survivor’.
Our CHO’s however are still stuck in 2020. Consider Professor Sutton’s tone-deaf advice to the Premier relating to Victoria’s pandemic declaration of August 29 this year. It was so laden with doom-saying that even the Andrews government chose to disregard some of its more heavy-handed recommendations.
In his submission about Victoria’s pandemic management framework, Sutton opined that:
‘As far as I am aware, no other currently or proposed legislative, regulatory or operational mechanisms have been identified that could enable key PHSM’s (Public Health and Social Measures), including the critical measures of mandatory case isolation and close contact management, or could maintain current levels of compliance…’
In other words, the exhausted public won’t do what he wants unless they are forced to under threat of punishment. This creepily autocratic approach to public health not only shows poor judgment but a striking indifference to the basic operating system of the human being. Technocratic solutions to complex systems of human interaction are often dehumanizing because they are bound by the narrow constraints of expertise rather than being holistic, democratic, and practicable.
Similarly, public servants continue to largely opt for decisions based on risk assessment (keeping us ‘safe’) rather than on cost-benefit analyses. For example, the Victorian Acting Chief CHO Ben Cowie recommended in April this year the abhorrent practice of masking of children as young as 8 (presumably to protect the elderly) in childcare and educational settings despite both the robust evidence for psychosocial harms of paediatric masking and the pointlessness of such a measure from an infection control perspective. A recent study from Spain showed that masking young children at school produced no reduction in disease transmission.
Recall that it was our medical experts who either devised or colluded with many of the other breathtakingly stupid and unsustainable responses to an exaggerated infection risk, often in contravention of basic human rights and medical ethics.
We should neither forget nor forgive the border controls, vaccine passports, curfews, ‘rings of steel’, quarantine camps, forced closures of businesses, schools, beaches, and playgrounds, outdoor masking, contact tracing, restrictions on family access to the dying, shaming by the media of the unvaccinated, the division of society into essential and non-essential, and so on. None of these ‘PHSM’s’ was warranted or proportionate.
Sweden’s success has put pay to the lie that these psychotic incursions into our lives were in anyone’s best interests. Now we have a slew of excess cardiovascular and cancer deaths, hospital backlogs, and spiraling inflation to thank for these inhumane social experiments.
Sutton and his ilk should do the honorable thing; apologise and resign immediately. Don’t hold your breath though.
Dr Carlos d’Abrera is a Sydney-based psychiatrist