I’m going to lay my cards on the table here:
At this point I no longer think there’s a good argument that this hasn’t been a massive, very harmful overreaction. I think anybody who still thinks that is being fooled by the media or else isn’t paying attention.
If you look at the data WITHOUT the underlying assumption that the media has been reporting things honestly – and you should never assume that – it’s glaringly obvious that nothing we’ve done makes sense. Worldwide, the numbers don’t make sense. In the country, the numbers don’t make sense. Not even close.
There was a point where a shutdown for a couple of weeks to a month in order to monitor things was a good idea; we did that, and it was clear things weren’t particularly bad. So naturally the shutdown was extended and the media breathlessly reports every incoming statistic 24/7.
I bring this up because I see that Dr. Feser supports the lockdown. Dr. Feser is charitable, his writing is clear and logical, and he’s respectful of his opposition. He is also totally and completely wrong, not even close to correct. His linking to really, really bad articles is especially bizarre.
The issue with “revising their opinions” is that the decisions they are making are based on models they are using. The problem is that the models they are using have been totally off. Not only are they totally off, at no point at any of this have they been even close to right.
Consider: If “revising their opinions”, repeatedly, because they have been repeatedly wrong, is no reason to not trust the epidemiologists, is there literally any reason at all to NOT trust the epidemiologists? “Never once being close to right” is apparently not a reason to mistrust them. Soooooo…auto-trust in experts I guess?
This is precisely the same logic used to justify global warming. Sure, the climate scientists’ predictions have been wrong, in fact, not even close to right, but that’s no reason not to trust them!
I will give Dr. Feser some credit. At least he acknowledges the actual point here, as most people seem to miss it.
This is threefold:
- The best case scenario – best case, if with perfect compliance and a total lockdown, which we didn’t get – was said to be 100,000 dead, by Fauci. And it was this model that gave us this number that was used to justify locking down the country.
- Every model that has been used to justify extreme measures, every single one, has overshot. And overshot badly. Because we never needed extreme measures to prevent a second Spanish flu. We were never getting that. We were never close.
- People are ignoring the historical perspective. I know I keep bringing up the 1967 flu, but: The 1967 flu. Corona isn’t a particularly interesting cold bug. It hit nursing homes and hospitals unusually hard. In a couple of hotspots around the country you should probably wear gloves and use takeout. Wash your damn hands.Now even the skeptics are grudgingly admitting we’re going to end up around 60,000 dead. To reach the percentages of the 1967 flu – I believe the extent was school was closed for a month or two – we’d need around 300,000 dead.
Nobody remembers that pandemic. Why? Because it wasn’t that big a deal. Wanna bet that people who lived back then would have wanted to react like we are now? I’ll put my money on “No, because that’s insane”.
Given all of this I don’t see any way anybody giving an honest appraisal of the situation can see all of this as anything but a massive and incredibly harmful interaction.
Maybe if we open lockdowns “early” the death count will hit 100,000. So what? Who cares? That’s unfortunately high, but it happens. It isn’t end of the world high. And this economic collapse is in all likelihood going to affect millions, and for years.
And the article gives us gems like this:
If we are going to have 60,000 deaths with people not leaving their homes for more than a month, the number of deaths obviously would have been higher—much higher—if everyone had gone about business as usual. We didn’t lock down the country to try to prevent 60,000 deaths; we locked down the country to limit deaths to 60,000 (or whatever the ultimate toll is) from what would have been a number multiples larger.
Multiples? How many multiples? How do you know that? What models are you using to get that number?
Because the models we’ve been using haven’t been right yet. That’s the whole point! We were never on the path to be “multiples” higher than 60,000. And some basic thinking would prove it: You would need to believe the U.S. alone would quadruple the world death count in a month just to reach 100,000 deaths. Does that sound remotely plausible? Of course not! How much more absurd is millions?
But the experts said so. And the climate scientists said that if we didn’t have that recycling program the pyramids would be underwater.
So chalk this up as maybe the first time I’ve ever disagreed with the good doctor about anything. But I appreciate his respect for the other side of the argument.