Policy outpaced by events

As the days and weeks pass, we are learning that the road maps offered by the PM and premiers, particularly, the sign posts of our deliverance from house arrest, do not comport with reality. Zerohedge reports that the most recent study of vaccine efficacy re delta variant is significantly reduced compared with alpha and degrades over time.

It should be clear now that the vaccines, though helpful as a part of a coordinated policy, are no panacea. As Mater described in a previous post looking at the Cabinet’s final response to the Spanish Flu in 1919, the government’s resources are exhausted and the public is by now well-informed of the measures they can take to avoid COVID; continuing the present course is ruinous.

Not Mandatory. Mandatory. Not Mandatory.

A guest post by Arky

From around the web:

September:

When Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 3AW a vaccine would be “as mandatory as you can possibly make it” there was an immediate backlash from some groups.

Mr Morrison even went so far as to suggest the grounds by which exemptions should be granted.

“There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis,” he said.

A few hours later, talking on 2GB, Mr Morrison made a sharp departure from his earlier comments, ruling out a compulsory vaccine.

“It’s not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine,” he said.

November:

The vaccine will not be mandatory and individuals will maintain the option to choose not to vaccinate. The vaccine will be available for free to those who choose to be vaccinated.

-ABC

January:

Residents and workers in aged care facilities will not be required to get a vaccination in order to remain living or working there, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

..

June:

Vaccinations will become mandatory for aged care workers, the Prime Minister has announced.

Scott Morrison said the decision was made at the emergency National Cabinet meeting between state and territory leaders on Monday night.

August:

The Commonwealth’s deadline for all workers in the aged care sector to be vaccinated is in mid-September.

The Prime Minister said the “important principle” of the national vaccine roll out was that the jab would be free and not mandatory.“We are not going to seek to impose a mandatory vaccination program by the government by stealth,” he said.

Last Friday, Mr Morrison outlined the options available to private businesses to enforce a vaccine mandate, which he reassured were existing powers under current legislation.

And:

The Therapeutic Goods Administration, July:

Death related to TTS

A 72-year-old woman from South Australia has sadly died after developing TTS following vaccination with her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The TGA extends its sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones.

TTS cases to date

Since last week’s report, a further seven reports of blood clots and low blood platelets have been assessed as confirmed or probable TTS likely to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. One of the cases reported this week is critically unwell in intensive care.

..

In summary:

When an individual takes a treatment that has a risk of death or disability and something subsequently goes wrong, as long as the individual was fully informed and every care was taken, that individual is responsible for their own misfortune.

When a government mandates a treatment that it knows will result in death and disability for a portion of those having the treatment a line is crossed. An important line, one that puts those enforcing the mandate in a position that is likely to lead to cynicism and callous disregard for individual deaths. In a large bureaucratic system, that’s what happens. It’s why we only do so in the case, usually, of war.

If this is a war, who are we at war with? And don’t tell me it’s a war against a virus. Wars are against people. Not viruses or “terror”. So who are the actual humans we are at war with if we are taking wartime measures? Is it, like with the war on terror, that it is again impolite to say who this war is against?

Something furthermore should be said about the deliberate move of risk from older people to younger people. Because that is the effect of mandating vaccines for everyone when the vaccine might kill a younger person, but the virus mainly kills older people. If the government knows something about the origins and likely course of this pathogen that leads it to believe that younger people might in the near future be at more risk from it, they should make that information clearly known.

Mater’s Musings #1: Why the difference in approach?

This is a guest post by Mater, reposted with permission.

When you hear the Premiers indicate that we will remain under house arrest until we have zero cases and no community transmission, please keep this in mind.

The 2009 Swine flu (A(H1N1)pdm09) has been lurking around killing people during the flu season up to, and including, 2020, when deaths from any variety of flu completely, and miraculously, stopped in July of that year. That being, incidentally, almost exactly the time when Covid deaths started during the second wave in Victoria.

To summarise:
If we’d taken the same approach to A(H1N1)pdm09 as we have with Covid 19 and its variants, we would still be locked down, more than a decade later.

Remember, also, that A(H1N1)pdm09 attacks primarily the younger generations and, like all flus, tends to primarily kill those with co-morbidity factors. That, and the fact that younger people suffer less co-morbidities, would seem to be the telling factor in the death rate differences (although Covid-21 seems less deadly than A(H1N1)pdm09). The specialists seem to explain this by indicating that it is now more prevalent in the young.

“The ratio of deaths to cases in the year to date has decreased in comparison to this time last year, noting substantially lower case numbers this year and the difference in age distributions of those infected in 2021 versus 2020.”

Year to date (2020) 1 January – 1 August 2020 – Case Fatality Rate = 2.75%
Year to date (2021) 1 January – 1 August 2021 – Case Fatality Rate = 0.28%

I rest my case.

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/1D03BCB527F40C8BCA258503000302EB/$File/covid_19_australia_epidemiology_report_47_reporting_period_ending_1_august_2021.pdf

The Cathedral bears its fangs

We live in strange but dangerous times when even our legislative representatives are routinely censored by BigTech, acting in collusion with other state actors, when they depart from or resist the grand narrative on election integrity, mask and vaccine mandates, diversity, open borders, and the like. New Black Legends are being written as we speak, spreading calumnies relating to this or that nation’s past. There is now a coordinated attempt to stifle any resistance to the new hegemonic order emerging in the post-Cold War era both in Europe and the Anglosphere. Consider the effort being expended on the denigration of PM Orbán in Hungary merely for offering his people a reasonable alternative to liberal globalism that would not have battered an eyelid a generation ago. Do not underestimate the viciousness of this campaign; their will to power is terrible.

‘It could have been worse’

The propaganda for vaccines is reaching the point of incredulity. A vaccinated man dies and the report goes on to say that doctors suggested “it could have been worse” if not for the vaccination. Dear oh dear.

The lockdowns will continue until morale improves

We find ourselves again in the grip of another lockdown, the 6th in Victoria, on the heels of 6 locally acquired cases. What this portends in the short term, if unanswered, purportedly justifies the deprivations of liberty entailed by home detention, business closure, remote schooling, and the like. But does it?

The initial claim that was used both here and overseas in order to justify lockdowns was that a short but sharp lockdown for 2-4 weeks was needed to stop the spread and prevent the hospital system from being overwhelmed by hospitalizations leading to operational collapse. This never eventuated even in countries that did not engage in lockdowns as a strategy. That is why the example of Sweden regarding COVID is anathema to proponents of lockdowns.

Sweden’s experience, as one of the few developed countries to eschew lockdowns, in terms of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since Feb 2020 is well within the range of experience of those that did. And the worst of it can be blamed on the poor management earlier on of COVID in aged care, not on any failure to lockdown its people.

Sweden is the clearest lesson that lockdowns were never a necessary component in fending off national disaster. Public order and safety could be preserved within reason without the onerous and crippling deprivations of liberty imposed on the public. State and society could collaborate in their efforts to stave off ‘the spread’, protect vulnerable groups, and engage voluntarily in social distancing and other measures (remote work, effective hygiene, and the like) in ways that continued to respect the rights of its citizens in their pursuit of everyday goods.

Whereas, where we now find ourselves is in a never ending spiral of pointless goals (0 cases) and edicts. Having failed to achieve the impossible goal during a pandemic of 0 cases, the government, and having grown accustomed to emergency measures where no emergency exists beyond the recollection of its own failures, the government is effortlessly and gradually expanding from recurring temporary lockdowns to compulsorily requiring vaccinations as a prerequisite for returning to normal life; or should we say the ‘new normal’ life. To put it another way, the lockdowns will continue until morale improves.