Covid Madness

18 September 2020. Updated 22 September 2020.

by Manfred Horst

Ophelia (1851) by John Everett Millais.

Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.

Shakespeare, Hamlet II,2

Perhaps we should consider it a privilege to live one of the absurdest and grotesquest episodes of recent world history.

Perhaps we should consider it a privilege to witness how easily scientific and democratic control mechanisms can be overwhelmed by a global panic disorder.

Perhaps we should consider it a privilege to be merely publicly and socially ostracised if we dare utter a dissenting opinion to the uniform mainstream madness and hysteria.

Perhaps we should consider it a privilege to only be fined or imprisoned (not eliminated) if we dare disobey ridiculous and inhuman governmental orders.

Certainly, in the developed West, we must also consider it a privilege to still be living quite well.

Any one of the hundreds of subtypes of common cold/bronchitis viruses which assail our immune systems every year would produce the same clinical and epidemiological features as SARS-CoV-2 – if we decide to test and look for it:

  1. Non-specific symptoms – fever, cough, headaches, muscle aching, diarrhea etc.
  2. If we look very closely, perhaps we’ll find something a little more exotic (but still not truly specific), e.g. anosmia and ageusia
  3. A generally benign and transitory illness
  4. In some rare cases, longer-lasting sequelae
  5. Possible severe complications in elderly, frail and particularly susceptible patients
  6. A mortality at an average age which corresponds to the average age of death of the general population

All this was known before the end of February 2020. Chinese scientists had diligently published the data,1 although their authoritarian government had reacted completely disproportionately, as most other governments would in its wake.
At the very latest, the presentation of the first Italian cohort of 2,003 “Corona deaths” on 12th March2 allowed only one rational conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 is not a killer virus.
The average age at which these deaths had occurred was 80.3 years, 75% were male – almost exactly the average age of death in the general Italian population. They had all – with two possible exceptions – been suffering from at least one serious co-morbidity which could also explain or contribute to the fatal outcome.

There were two further rational conclusions which should have been drawn from the fact – by now confirmed around the world – that people who die of – or “with” – COVID-19 leave the world at the same average age as everybody else:

  1. Although the epidemic may “squeeze” the deaths which would have occurred over a given year into a shorter timespan, COVID-19 cannot increase population mortality in the long run.
  2. Government measures in order “to save lives” from COVID-19 are bound to fail, as they would need to increase the current average life expectancy in a matter of weeks or months – an impossible undertaking.

The world’s response to SARS-CoV-2 has been anything but rational, however. A population driven into hysterical fear by the mass media demanded of its elected representatives or its authoritarian rulers to be protected from this particular common cold virus, and the politicians have obligingly imposed draconian measures. This has been, and still is, a terrible panic pandemic.

Emotional pictures of coffins, of patients on ventilators and shuffled into trains or on planes, absolute numbers of cases and deaths – these have been the mass media’s main daily offerings during the past few months. People, often very intelligent people, have been frightened to death, totally unable to look at the sober numbers and facts and put them into perspective.

Every day, more than 150,000 people die on this earth,3 half of them from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Most of us don’t keep daily count of all those deaths – it would be difficult to carry on with our normal lives otherwise.

Tuberculosis kills more people every year4 than will have been – rightly or wrongly – attributed to COVID-19 in 2020. Tuberculosis kills children, adolescents and young adults too – i.e. it does reduce life expectancy. COVID-19 does not.

For it is blatantly absurd to calculate “years of life lost” in the case of Corona-deaths: while it is true that a living octagenarian has a few years of statistical life expectancy left, a dead one has none. In the current Covid hysteria, this sort of nonsense does get published however5 – well, why not apply the method to just any cohort, or to the whole population? We will all have to forego some statistical life expectancy when we leave this world.

Of course, physicians and healthcare workers need to try their best and save every individual life. Of course, an infection with SARS-CoV-2 can cause serious and life-threatening complications in some individuals – but so can virtually any one of those ever-mutating respiratory tract viruses.6 This one is having a spectacular career only because the whole world has been following it with a specific PCR-test and has been putting it into the glaring public limelight. Most healthcare workers have been frightened too. How should they not be, when they are told that this is a totally new and terrible killer virus, that they need to isolate and register every suspected Covid case, that they have to wear protective gear and face masks when approaching these patients, when all they hear and see in the media is cases, deaths, coffins and mass graves? Historical examples of physicians and nurses sent into unfounded panic do exist7 – for the first time, we have now seen this happen on a global scale, as healthcare systems everywhere have become terribly tilted and corrupted towards fighting this one and only disease.

A (perhaps) hitherto unknown virus, originating from China where the authoritarian government – for whatever reason – imposes a temporary local quarantine, the rapidly available possibility of testing (though with a completely unvalidated procedure) and thus the illusion of being able to follow the virus’s spread around the world, a daily recording of cases and deaths in a manner reminiscent of a football league table,8 and of course virtually all the media riding on the hysteria with emotional pictures and stories – these were the main ingredients which made people panic and governments stumble into horribly disproportionate measures. A planned and orchestrated propaganda, bent on destroying freedom and democracy, could hardly have been any more effective.

None of the governments which imposed societal lockdowns and deprived their populations of most of their fundamental liberties seems to have done so on the basis of any kind of benefit/risk analysis. They all followed the advice of some very peculiar “experts” – mostly virologists and epidemiological model builders. They all seem to fear that they could be held to account for an exponential number of deaths resulting from this “new” disease. They all seem to however completely disregard the enormous damage which their measures are inflicting on their citizens, their societies and the world at large. None of them listened to – let alone stimulated – contrarian opinions from other experts, who often had to accept an appearance in alternative media outlets in order to make their views known. Hopefully, the cautionary tale of the current hysteria will serve as a lesson for the future. Science is not monolithic dogma, but continuous hypothesis testing and falsification. Supposedly scientific models predicting the future can be as awfully wrong as any oracle or prophecy.

Every political measure destined to “save lives” has a cost – in terms of both money and human lives.9 Given the age characteristics of people dying with COVID-19, there was, from the start, not much – if any – life which could be saved. The “war”  declared by our heads of state against this virus has been, and still is, an entirely futile fight against normal population mortality: We all die, and on average we die at our average age of death. It did not matter which measures governments took, the epidemic (like every common cold epidemic) ran its self-limiting course anyhow.10 Had we accepted the appearance of this mutated Coronavirus as we have so far accepted all the other newly mutated respiratory viruses every year, without testing for them, we could have carried on with our lives as before, and we would not have seen any unusual upswing in population mortality.

For the excess mortality which could be observed in some countries and areas during the months of March and April started generally exactly on the day on which governments imposed draconian measures against their peoples.11 Everywhere, the younger population was struck by increased mortality too – but hardly anybody in the 15-64 years age groups dies with COVID-19. Therefore, it has to be assumed that this tragic excess mortality is due to panic and lockdown.12

From www.euromomo.com: The excess mortality seen in these age groups starts with lockdowns and cannot be due to COVID-19

Every economist (and every politician?) worth his or her salt knows that economic growth, trade and prosperity are essential factors for a reduction in population mortality.13 In 2020, the world economy has been drastically diminished by government intervention. The consequences for Africa, for India, for all those areas of the globe which had just begun to escape regularly recurring mass famines are dreadful.14 Our political leaders will need to carry their heavy guilt, and there will hopefully be a day of reckoning.

Where are we going from here, where are our governments leading us? In Europe, the epidemic, if it ever was one, has run its course – independently of which measures were or were not taken by governments:

From https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

However, the climate of fear and panic continues to be entertained – with numbers of “infected cases” – in reality (falsely?) positive tests, in people who are generally without any or with only very mild symptoms. Given that these tests are being expanded exponentially,15 and the distinction between an incidental positive PCR-test for SARS-CoV-2 and hospitalisation and/or death due to the illness COVID-19 is not being made,16 we have to expect that those numbers will increase too however. We can thus continue this ludicrous circus forever, we can also repeat it every year – we just need to develop a specific test for a newly mutated respiratory tract virus.

In the meantime, we are still restricted in our fundamental liberties, our economy is still strangled and becomes more state-controlled by the day, we still cannot gather freely in congresses, football stadiums and demonstrations, we still cannot travel normally, we still inhumanely isolate our old and fragile citizens, and – perhaps worst of all – we still impose social and psychological child abuse on our educational institutions.17 What is currently happening in the United Kingdom, in Australia, in some states of the USA – all those supposed beacons of human liberty – simply beggars belief.18

No wonder that the overt absurdity of it all (overt to anybody who cares to analyse the bare numbers) induces some people to look for an explanation beyond mere human hysteria and stupidity. Future history books will undoubtedly present the mask-wearing politicians of today as ridiculous clowns or as callous criminals – or both.

Thank goodness, more and more people around the world are waking up and beginning to challenge the Covid religion. Whether there be a method and plan to it or not – we must end this madness. Nothing less than human civilization and progress may be at stake.

Manfred Horst, MD, PhD, MBA is a Senior Consultant to pharma and biotech companies.

References

1 N. Chen et al.; Lancet (2020), 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30211-7

2 https://www.today.it/video/coronavirus-brusaferro-iss-eta-media-dei-deceduti-e-80-3-bfdpm.askanews.html

3 https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-many-people-die-each-day

4 Tuberculosis

5 For example: https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/articles/5-75

6 https://theconversation.com/can-you-die-from-a-common-cold-126241

7 For example, the hysteria around a false alarm of a pertussis epidemic in two American hospitals

8 https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

9 See, for example : Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics, 5th edition, p ; 586ff. : Saving lives

10 For an analysis and discussion of the uselessness of all non-pharmaceutical intervention by governments, see for example  a recent study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research : https://www.nber.org/papers/w27719.pdf

11 https://medium.com/@JohnPospichal/questions-for-lockdown-apologists-32a9bbf2e247

12 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341832637_All-cause_mortality_during_COVID-19_No_plague_and_a_likely_signature_of_mass_homicide_by_government_response

13 See, for example : Anna, Hans and Ola Rosling : Factfulness, or again : Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics, 5th edition, p ; 586ff. : Saving lives

14 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/hunger-could-be-more-deadly-than-coronavirus-in-poorer-countries/2020/05/14/32fd3f9a-8bd3-11ea-80df-d24b35a568ae_story.html

15 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-the-government-increase-coronavirus-covid-19-testing-capacity

16 https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53722711

17 http://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/combatting-covid-19-s-effect-on-children-2e1f3b2f/

18 https://www.aier.org/article/madness-in-melbourne/

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