Fearmongering Is Apparently All They’ve Got Now, And It Better Not Be Enough

Fearmongering

Unable to provide actual guidance that restricts the spread of the Wuhan virus, unable to be consistent in their various “scientific” pronouncements, unable to avoid utter hypocrisy by violating their own measures, and insulting our intelligence by implying that the pandemic doesn’t bother Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Party, the various state governments are now reduced to pure fearmongering, apparently in the vain hope that if everyone is terrified to do anything or interact with anyone, that will keep the Wuhan virus at bay, and, perhaps even more importantly, condition Americans to Love Big Brother.

Well, to hell with THAT.

When I saw today’s new, revised, extra scary risk wheel from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), I thought it was a Babylon Bee joke. Sadly, it’s not. Sufficient numbers of idiots and would-be human-sheepherders in the Colorado state government decided that the usual DefCon 5 Red Zone wasn’t enough to frighten Coloradans sufficiently to meekly allow the government to wreck their businesses, stunt their children’s social and educational development, make them poor, and confine them to house arrest. These bureaucrats are so dim that they don’t realize that the sillier and more desperate they act, the less likely anyone with self-respect and a brain is going to care what they say.

The damn thing isn’t even color spectrum competent, not that it was before tacking on a new terror level. Green is out of order already: it should be Blue, then Green, then Yellow. If you are going to add Purple or Magenta, it has to be at the beginning, not the end. The spectrum is not a circle, because then “Ah! I can relax!” is right next to “AIIIIIEEEEEEE! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”

Fearmongering is the tool of dictatorships, and that’s exactly how the Democratic Party’s state governments are using it now. In New York, the government wants to arrest family members at Thanksgiving dinner who aren’t frightened enough to avoid topping the Big Brother decreed limit at the feast. I dare it to do that.

Once upon a time, when the Bush Administration was using similar (but far less intrusive) tactics after 9/11, Democrats at least protested consistently with their traditional pro-civil liberties ideology. Now they’ve abandoned their values for political power. Well, even if they ultimately fail, the tactic got Biden elected. It also killed the economy, small businesses, the restaurant industry, the airlines, the arts, education, and a whole lot more, but hey, it was worth it to get Trump out of office, right?

Meanwhile during a zoom conference call involving Alberta, Canada’s Community and Public Services Committee, pathologist Roger Hodkinson told government officials that the pandemic crisis is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public.”

Funny, I seem to recall someone else using that term…

Pointing out that he was also an expert in virology, Hodkinson said that “there is utterly unfounded public hysteria driven by the media and politicians.” He opined that nothing could be done to stop the spread of the virus besides protecting older more vulnerable individuals, and that what we have been experiencing is “politics playing medicine, and that’s a very dangerous game.”

But…but…science!!!

Hodkinson stated that “social distancing is useless because COVID is spread by aerosols which travel 30 meters or so before landing…Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence base for their effectiveness whatsoever. Paper masks and fabric masks are simply virtue signalling. They’re not even worn effectively most of the time. It’s utterly ridiculous. Seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people – I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense – seeing these people walking around like lemmings obeying without any knowledge base to put the mask on their face.”

Gee, what do you really think, doctor? Well, he also thinks the tests are unreliable and harmful, saying that “positive test results do not, underlined in neon, mean a clinical infection,” and that all testing should stop because the false numbers are “driving public hysteria.”

“I’m absolutely outraged that this has reached this level, it should all stop tomorrow,” concluded Dr. Hodkinson, as he called for society to be re-opened immediately.

Hodkinson’s credentials are impeccable, but he’s just one expertwho could be right or wrong. I’m not an expert in this field, but his assessment makes more sense, and leads to a more rational place, than “AIIIIIEEEEEEE! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”

I’m with President Roosevelt…

33 thoughts on “Fearmongering Is Apparently All They’ve Got Now, And It Better Not Be Enough

  1. I am SO done with this garbage. Our local governments are more concerned with how many hospital beds they have available than how many people have died from it. Fortunately, the owner of our local bar has suddenly developed a spine and flatly said that if he is ordered to close, he will not. If fined, he will contest it, to SCOTUS if necessary. ‘Bout time somebody decided to tell them “No”.

  2. As a geezer I am told that if I don’t follow the rules I will immediately contract the dreaded disease and die. I have one of those co-morbidity factors that makes me, according to science, an added risk factor of a gazillion.

    When the pandemic began and we were locked down I found that by not buying all my needs at one time I could go out more often. Walmart became my social outlet. There, I would not only find every necessity but also thousands of others seeking an emergency blender or leggings.

    As time went on the lockdown made my co- morbidity factor worse so back to Walmart I went for an emergency bicycle to reduce the pounds I had gained.

    It took a few outings to get my stamina up having been a smoker up until two years ago. As I journey up the rail trail from Big Pool MD to Bills Place in Little Orleans (about 28 miles one way) I get to laugh at all those riders on their expensive bikes pull up their face masks as I cruise by. That look of pure terror on their faces as I ride alone with no mask is hysterical. If I were sick I would not be riding so much of that fear is manufactured by people like Fauci.

    Aside: What was Dr. Fauci’s responsibilities before the pandemic and other than tell us to (not) wear masks, stay 6 feet away and wash hands frequently what was he being paid to do?

    Enough about the Fauch, I have thought about this a great deal during my rides. If I am forced to remain inside I will become an outlaw and purposely push the law to make them arrest me. At 64 and retired I have little to lose so screw them and their little charts too.

  3. I am so proud that neither my state, my county or the small town I live near have enacted any of the draconian measures like some other areas about which I read and that I see on the news shows. I am sure that a big part of the reason is they know our people well enough to know that the majority of folks here would have told them exactly where to shove their edicts. Healthcare facilities and medical offices here require masks, and many business have staff wearing masks and have enacted mask “requests” for customers, but I see no enforcement of it. I see most young, healthy people going about living their lives (good on them!) and it is mainly older folks like me who are wearing masks and limiting our time in public gathering places.

  4. I live in New York City, where this week our stupid and malign Mayor DiBlasio once again closed the public schools, despite the fact that they have been operating with almost perfect safety here and elsewhere in the nation and the world for many months. He and the hysterical teachers unions are destroying the lives of my 10-year-old son and his friends, who are learning nothing at all remotely and going insane from lack of human companionship. DiBlasio said today that he expects this shutdown to last until the third week of January, i.e., Inauguration Day, presumably because the leadership of Joe Biden is all we need to make us safe.

    Today, we also got a shut-down order for our business. We were previously shut down for three months at the beginning of the pandemic. For the last five months, we have been operating under safety guidelines that we developed in conjunction with government health officials, including screening and contact tracing for everybody entering or using our facility. During that time, we have served thousands of customers without a single incident of the Wuhan virus being traced to our facilities or operations. If I described to you the nature of our business, you would understand why our safety record is so good — simple common sense would tell you that what we do is inherently safe. Yet we’re being shut down notwithstanding the facts, the science and common sense. This latest shutdown is probably going to mean the end of our business, and we spent the day notifying our 100 employees that they are probably going to be out of work. There is not the slightest reason why this has to happen except that our mayor is an idiot and a tyrant, and that Democratic politicians and the media were determined to weaponize the Wuhan virus to destroy Donald Trump.

    I actually have some respect for Governor Cuomo, who is essentially a serious man who works hard and tries to makes decisions based on facts and medical advice. He made a terrible mistake with his nursing home area, but I consider that moral luck. All around the world, leaders had to decide whether to leave infected nursing home residents in overcrowded hospitals or send them back home; half of the leaders guessed right and half guessed wrong. But DiBlasio is lazy and frivolous, knows nothing and seems to care nothing about the people of New York who elected him. He lives to show off, boss people around and stick his finger in the eyes of his enemies Cuomo and, of course, Trump.

  5. In the last 24 hrs, a US resident died of C19 on average every 43 seconds.

    http://newsroom.royalcollege.ca/clarification-on-statements-made-regarding-covid-19-by-dr-roger-hodkinson/

    “We would like to clarify that Dr. Hodkinson is not nor has ever held the position of chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

    We can confirm that Dr. Roger Hodkinson was certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a general pathologist in 1976.

    The Royal College believes COVID-19 presents a serious threat to the health of Canadians. The Royal College strongly supports all public health advice given by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, including recommendations to practise physical distancing and to wear masks to help prevent COVID-19 transmission”

    But enough of competing arguments from authority. Why not look at the good doctor’s logic.

    Not all auto fatalities involve alcohol. Therefore, regulations, laws or public awareness campaigns against drinking and driving are useless fearmongering.

  6. But what about experimental evidence? If only there was a country that followed exactly the good doctor’s advice? Like oh, Sweden.

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-11-18/sweden-s-pivot-toward-new-virus-restrictions-may-not-shift-mindsets-says-swedish

    While still not having any form of lockdown, they now recommend both masking and social distancing, and now complain that people are still going to restaurants and bars simply because they aren’t prohibited from doing it by law, with consequent rising caseload and death rates.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/discontent-rises-in-sweden-as-coronavirus-cases-spike/

    • While still not having any form of lockdown, they now recommend both masking and social distancing, and now complain that people are still going to restaurants and bars simply because they aren’t prohibited from doing it by law, with consequent rising caseload and death rates.

      Some people want to go out to restaurants and bars despite the risk.

  7. A government shutdown isn’t what is preventing me from getting a hair cut, my nails done, going to a restaurant, going to a movie theater, etc., it’s common sense. Stop blaming the government — unless you want to criticize it for not ordering a month long shut down in the beginning but for needed resources with direct payments to employees who lost work.

    • There’s nothing common sensical about it, SS. Common sense is going on with life, accepting the risks of living, and not depending on the government to pay the public for doing nothing, with money future generations are going to be burdened by for decades. Closing the schools isn’t common sense. Letting people riot while stopping them from going to church isn’t common sense. Making it difficult for people to get treated for other conditions isn’t common sense. Listening to “experts” who have been repeatedly wrong isn’t common sense.

    • I wonder if the states would provide displacement assistance funds if they had to borrow the money from the federal government and be obligated to pay it back. That would not add to the net debt of the US. If states can shut down their economies and demand anyone entering to quarantine for 14 days then the states should incur the economic damage of those shutdowns. That is Federalism and why states are called the laboratories of democracy. The idea that the feds should bail out every person impacted by the virus because the states will not is ridiculous.

      This notion that money grows on trees because the FED can monetize the debt brings us one step closer to having the Chinese Yuan become the global currency. If you think that is a good idea you might believe the Chinese Quigers are prospering under that system.

  8. *I can’t believe I’m saying anything good about Colorado’s idiot governor.*
    The new level prevents shutdowns in roughly 30/63 Colorado counties because the previous red color was “stay at home” now purple is… he also wants schools to reopen and stay open for grades K-5. Now for the odd. Things apparently now close at 8:00 and bars are not open at all. Capacity is reduced to such a pitiful level, I do not know how any business that relies on people will be viable or functional. Oh and “wear your damn mask” because of course allllll the increase in cases is due to people not following the simple rules. Please. They have as near as complete compliance as you can get in the Front Range (The cities along I-25). Not so much out East and low and behold…. cases are up all over. Perhaps that recall petition has something to do with his more lenient attitude.

    • Weld County is doing me proud right now. We’ve got one large city with a college, and the rest is open farmland. The state first let various counties decide how much they wanted to lock down, and then when Weld said “no, thanks” the state said, “well, then we’ll move you up anyway.” The county health commissioner has said repeatedly “we’ve got no authority to enforce this, and we won’t.” Last time, the state responded by pulling the business licenses of anyone they didn’t feel was obeying hard enough, and they’ll likely do the same this time. But at least they’re arguing for freedom!

  9. In the 1630 Plague in Milan, it was government policy to quarantine the infected by nailing them shut in their homes with their families. If the property had value, it would be spared the torch and often authorities would wait until the residents had actually died. Due to these, and other equally brutal measures, the city suffered only a 46% death rate.
    So make sure and mask up against this brutal virus with only a 99.99% survival rate for those below the age of normal human life expectancy! And, you probably need to give up most of your rights. My God, people are dropping by the .001’s!

  10. Heard a report on the radio saying there is now doubt that surface contact is a major vector for transmission. Nothing is fixed; everything is mutable =/= “Follow the science”. Do the infrared and ultraviolet segments on your risk wheel provide means to adjust for these changes?

  11. Just to be clear about Sweden: High schools went back at the start of the Autumn term and other schools never closed. The limit on public events like concerts, football matches and church services was recently dropped from 50 to 8, and table service with distancing is required for bars. Apart from that, the government is saying avoid unnecessary bus travel, work from home if you can (and big employers are falling into line), don’t go to the gym, don’t go to the bar, etc but compliance is entirely voluntary, which is for me the difference between being treated as an adult able to manage my risks and benefits, or as a child who has to do as they are told. Yes, some people with newspaper bylines don’t agree that Swedes are adults, but there are always a few of that type anywhere, and they always try to grab the megaphone. That doesn’t mean their view is widely accepted.

  12. Pandemic Porn Lives!

    While the following details may be different, the concepts remain consistent:
    (‘How to lie with statistics’ – by Darrell Huff, p. 130)
    “A report of a great increase in deaths from cancer in the last quarter-century is misleading unless you know how much of it is a product of such extraneous factors as these: Cancer is often listed now where “causes unknown” was formerly used; autopsies are more frequent, giving surer diagnoses; reporting and compiling of medical statistics are more complete; and people more frequently reach the most susceptible ages now. And if you are looking at total deaths rather than the death rate, don’t neglect the fact that there are more people now than there used to be.”

    and (p. 120)
    “The fact is that. despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science. A great many manipulations and even distortions are possible within the bounds of propriety. Often the statistician must choose among methods, a subjective process, and find the one that he will use to represent the facts. In commercial practice he is about as unlikely to select an unfavorable method as
    a copywriter is to call his sponsor’s product flimsy and cheap when he might as well say light and economical.”

  13. I agree the colours are a little arbitrary.

    Paying attention to Dr Hodkinson’s opinion above those of the remainder of the global medical establishment seems to me to be an unwarranted combination of confirmation bias and cherry picking.

    • 1. He’s far from the only expert to express similar opinions.
      2. Science is not a consensus discipline.
      3. You speak as if “the global medical establishment has been consistent, or that its various edicts and declaration have been reliable or trustworthy. They haven’t.
      4. The doctor’s comments about masks have been largely agreed to, with the consensus now resting on “well, they may help a little.” The aerosol statement is also accurate. There is nothing magical about 6 feet. It’s obviously a compromise, since ten feet is impossible.
      5. Now we are hearing that surfaces probably don’t carry the virus. And what ever happened to “don’t touch your face”?

      • 1. Fair and true, but I reacted strongly to this post because of Dr Hodkinson’s extreme “zero” /”none whatsoever” position. I find the declaration Mrs Q posted just below to be more reasonable and justified by what we know about the pandemic.
        And yes, confirmation bias goes both ways, but it is still true that one side is better supported by scientific reasoning and knowledge.

        2. Not sure what this is supposed to mean, but the best standard of evidence we have in modern science is from a random controlled trial, and even those are imperfect. We draw the conclusions we can and become more certain when multiple independent findings point in the same direction.
        3. They haven’t been consistent. Many (like myself) interpret it as scientists learning more and revising their theories and recommendations.
        4. Obviously it’s a compromise and I’ve said so elsewhere and repeatedly the debate should be on to what degree and how we enact and enforce recommendations, not on whether the science is to be “believed”.
        I (and those who comply with mask edicts) agree the risk-benefit ratio of masks in this pandemic to be net (if slim) positive, and think that despite some evidence to the contrary, overwhelmingly this is the case.
        5. I’ve always been under the impression that spread via surfaces is minimal, but I do have access to different sources than the average person and do think this point was poorly covered in the media. This is different from touching your face, which is still a bad idea because your hands frequently get droplets on them and your face has mucous membranes.

        • 1. I don’t know what “better” means if the advice has been contradictory, and the results have been ambiguous. How “better”?

          2.What it means is that scientific truth is not determined by how many scientists sign on to a position at any given time. “Consensus” proves nothing, never mind that it also seldom exists. That realization isn’t anti-science, it’s acknowledgment of reality. There was once consensus that dinosaurs were just big, cold-blooded reptiles that dragged their tails. At one time, anyone suggesting that some had feathers would have been laughed out of academia. Etc. etc.

          • 1. “Better” means it is “supported by elementary scientific axioms” such as 1) infectious diseases spread via contact, droplet and/or aerosol, 2) reducing the number of ways in which the preceding are generated and propagated decreases infection, 3) reducing the number of individuals who are exposed to the preceding decreases infection, etc. These (from the scientific point of view) are inalienable facts and the basis upon which mask/quarantine/shutdown mandates/recommendations are formed.

            I state again that I think the balance of public/health/economy/personal autonomy should be allowed to be the subject of lively debate. I also do not argue the fact that the implementation of these in some/many/all jurisdictions should be questioned/scrutinised. I still insist that extremist positions like Dr Hodkinson’s are nonsensical. I will even go so far as to draw parallels to the nauseatingly prevalent declarations of “no evidence” of election fraud.

            2. I sense we have different philosophies on this. Scientific truth may not be “determined” by the number of scientists in agreement with a position, but I’d argue it’s more likely to be strongly correlated. Skepticism is ingrained in modern science: we are taught to examine evidence for ourselves, see if it’s repeatable, see if it’s free of bias, see if it’s internally/externally valid, etc. Again, randomised control trials are the highest standard of scientific evidence possible, and even so every such trial is limited. We know there is no perfect evidence. If not scientific consensus (and I don’t think any reasonable person uses this word in this context to mean 100% of all people everywhere), what else are we to go by? Fringe opinions/outlier findings that agree with out worldview?

    • https://gbdeclaration.org/view-signatures/
      There’s definitely more than one medical expert that has signed this declaration.

      And the question that should be asked is: if there are other experts (well over 12,000) that have a different opinion/conclusion, why are they being censored or given “warnings” on social media about the validity of their findings?

      Confirmation bias is a two way street, especially when it appears that “most experts agree” and that many citizens are willing to go along.

  14. Oregon: Gov. Brown encourages Oregonians to call police on neighbors who violate COVID-19 freeze.

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Days before Thanksgiving, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she believes residents who know their neighbors are violating the most recent round of COVID-19 protocols, which includes capping the number of people allowed in your home at six, should call the police.

    “This is no different than what happens if there’s a party down the street and it’s keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it’s too noisy. This is just like that. It’s like a violation of a noise ordinance.”

    The restrictions, known as a freeze, were implemented this week via an executive order by the governor. For the next two weeks in Oregon, and four weeks in Multnomah County, residents are banned from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, among other restrictions. Social gatherings in our homes are also limited to no more than six people. Violators could face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 in fines or both.

    30 days in jail or $1,250 fine or both? Some of these Governors have lost their minds. I guess they make an exception if you actually have more than six living in your home.

  15. This is an interesting development in the world of COVID lockdowns:

    It’s video taken when a group of about 100 (that’s the number being reported, you can’t see that many people on the video, but by the noise they make, there’s a sizable group) business owners met in Buffalo, NY to discuss the latest lockdown restrictions. They were reported to the health department, who showed up and found a group who clearly were no longer interested in compliance with the governor’s executive orders. They kicked the health department folks out and demanded they not come back without a warrant. I confess to finding it perversely amusing when the sheriff’s deputy that the health department people brought with them turns around and tells them they’re trespassing on private property and they have to leave…

    I expect we’ll see more of this kind of thing, as businesses that barely survived the “two weeks to slow the spread” (that ended up being “eight months to influence the election”) are now facing a do-or-die moment. If they comply with the lockdowns, they’ll go under. If they resist, they may be put out of business by their government, through fines, license revocation, etc. I think a lot of people are going to roll the dice on the latter, in hopes that enough of their fellow business owners (hence this meeting in Buffalo) will band together with them to defy these kinds of orders. It’s a choice between certain death or possibly calling their government’s bluff. A lot of these mandates are well outside the scope of powers that most state governors/mayors/health departments have, and they don’t want to risk a court decision that explicitly says so. As long as they keep it out of court, they can keep pushing the limits of their power. But I think we’ve reached the point where they’ve pushed those limits past the tolerance of the citizenry, and things are going to get kind of spicy from here on out.

    • Our county recently tried to pass an ordinance that would have allowed the county health commissioner, with warrant in hand, the ability to enter “any building” and remove “any person” suspected of having a “communicable disease”. Now I’m not a lawyer and I will admit to fancy talk going over my head on occasion but I’m pretty sure “any building” includes my home, “any person” includes me, and “communicable disease” includes illnesses like, oh I don’t know, the flu.

      I voiced my concern about the language of this proposed ordinance on a community FB page and was told I was overreacting. The link to the proposed ordinance is gone now and has been replaced by a mask mandate; a mandate which our county sheriff’s department has made clear they have no intention of enforcing.

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