It is inhumane for ministers to tell us who we can hug at Christmas
It is inhumane for ministers to tell us who we can hug at Christmas… these restrictions massively infringe on our civil liberties, writes Dr JOHN LEE
As I watch Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s hapless handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and listen to their parroting of ‘the science’ as if it is some sort of religious text, I can’t help but think of the Spanish Inquisition.
Now, as then, public policy hangs on central dogmatic beliefs that are being used to control a population – all in the name of the ‘greater good’.
In our case, that means somehow snuffing out a respiratory virus using a combination of ill-judged military rhetoric and restrictions that massively infringe on our civil liberties.
All the evidence suggests that this approach is not working, and that implementing increasingly draconian tier systems and lockdowns will do little or nothing to hasten a return to normality, while causing massive collateral damage along the way.
Boris Johnson (left) and Matt Hancock (right) speak during a press conference at 10 Downing Street
Not that this has deterred the Prime Minister from vigorously trying these methods time and again.
Indeed, rather than question whether a respiratory virus, which spreads on the wind, can really be vanquished by shutting down the entire country, the Government insists on ratcheting up their hysterical mismanagement of this crisis.
To mount a successful Inquisition you need villains to be denounced.
Our Health Secretary identified them yesterday in the form of people rushing out of London for a family Christmas that had been earnestly promised them by the Prime Minister – until he decided to cancel it just days later.
But you also need a higher authority.
Step forward the wise men of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), a narrow selection of ‘experts’ who are fully invested in the mistaken narrative of viral ‘control’.
They are the ones who provided the impetus to Mr Johnson’s justification for tearing up millions of people’s Christmas plans: Namely, that a new, supposedly more infectious strain of the virus has emerged.
How this is surprising when at least 20,000 variants of Covid have been identified, I cannot fathom.
After all, mutation of this (and every other virus) is inevitable – and, in fact, it needn’t always be a bad thing.
As new strains of a virus emerge, they naturally evolve towards variants that may be more transmissible but which cause mild or no disease.
Of course we should do everything possible to help vulnerable groups shield themselves and vaccinate at the earliest opportunity. But coercion in the face of this virus is wrong. (Stock image)
Why should this be so? Because it actually benefits the virus – it is more likely to survive, reproduce and spread to ever increasing numbers of individuals if it doesn’t kill its hosts.
Crucially for us, if the new strain isn’t as virulent, its spread among Britain’s healthy populace could even be advantageous.
Exposure to it would stimulate the immune system to produce a response against it, so providing future protection as we move to a general level of immunity in the population.
So why don’t Johnson or Hancock publicly acknowledge this? Why do they persist instead with terrifying rhetoric of a ‘mutant’ virus spreading out of control.
It seems to me that from early on in this crisis, the Government developed a particular narrative of fear from which it cannot now deviate without admitting that its whole policy has been a disaster.
It doesn’t seem to matter that evidence from around the world shows that lockdowns do not work; that they destroy the economy, impoverish the public, drastically worsen public health outcomes and damage the mental health of the nation.
Nor does it matter that, despite the surge in reported cases yesterday, Britain’s weekly overall death rate is comfortably within the usual envelope for this time of year when compared with the past four decades.
That’s why it makes little sense to talk about ‘defeating’ a respiratory virus that is with us for ever, and that kills very few of those it infects.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t look after everyone. Of course we should do everything possible to help vulnerable groups shield themselves and vaccinate at the earliest opportunity.
But coercion in the face of this virus is wrong. Why should the Government be telling us who we can hug at Christmas?
If nothing else, it is that uniquely inhumane edict that confirms just how misguided their approach is.
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