A Journal of the Plague Year (41)


April 26, 2020

Time to Roll Back the Hysteria

I’m a big fan of Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, who is probably the best political commentator in the US right now. In relation to the latest fake news from the media hacks, he says:

1@ScottAdamsSays [here]

There’s a massive IQ test on the Internet today. If you think the president was asking Dr. Birx about injecting bleach or isopropyl alcohol into coronavirus patients — because it sounded that way to you — you failed the test. CNN ran an ad promoting this disingenuous poppycock: and Nancy Pelosi lied claiming that the President had said people should kill the virus by injecting Lysol.

Of course, these days we know the Democrats are lying when their lips move.
The media hacks lie and twist everything the President says to try to score “political points”. They should go back to their sewer whence they came. In a national emergency, they haven’t the smallest shred of common decency among them.

The Canadian media are just as bad, waxing fat by consuming their own anti-Trump bile, always laced with lashings of hypocrisy.

There are exceptions though. Conrad Black can be a voice of reason and calm midst all the hysteria currently consuming the media.

Sane public policy requires however, that we also keep in mind that Canada has also self-inflicted over a million unemployed and stock market declines of $670 billion in two months, a staggering $330 million for each of the nearly 2,200 lives that have been lost to this pandemic in Canada.

No matter how effective or ineffective the lockdown is, governments must have a plan to restart the economy. And soon. President Trump is moving towards that and in Canada the Ontario government has started planning a Jobs and Recovery Program with a similar objective. It may be that we all have to accept a higher level of risk in our everyday lives, but that is necessary. Now that we know much more about the virus and what measures are effective in stopping the spread of infection [rigorous hand hygiene and masks in enclosed public places] we can act accordingly. Destroying the entire economy would be a far greater crime and produce many deaths in other ways—that’s the opportunity cost.

Trade-offs must be made and political leaders make those decisions. The hysteria being whipped up by the media in many countries is not only irresponsible, it’s downright seditious at times. When a calm understanding of the facts is required, we get ‘gotcha’ yellow journalism from ignorant hacks behaving like monkeys at a chimps tea party.

But to switch to the real world, what is happening with Sweden?[here] How is the no-lock down policy working? To take one metric, the number of deaths per million of the population,

So Sweden is not on lockdown and the US and the UK are? So for Sweden it doesn’t look like the curve is any different from the curve in the lock-down countries?

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases per million, 3-day rolling average

The number of confirmed cases is lower than the number of total cases. The main reason for this is limited testing.


This is one of the most interesting experiments going on right now in the context of testing whether the big gamble on shutting down economies and causing untold financial damage to ordinary people was worth it. If it wasn’t, then bad call, your credibility is shot.

Rebel Yell

Arran Gold

It is hard to say if hysteria has peaked. Today I was out all by myself, just before midnight, getting some fresh air when I was accosted by the police who asked me why I wasn’t wearing a mask. I decided not to say, “because I have no plans to rob a bank” and instead said “I am all by myself”. I was told in no uncertain terms that I should wear a mask. I have never worn a mask through this whole hysteria and I am hoping this madness ends soon.

The most problematic issue in the decision making process is that the decisions were made with no information or data. There were early data points from Italy which pointed to this as being a virus that was only inflicting those over 65 but it was hard to reason with anybody. Everybody under 60 should have been allowed to go on with their daily routine. Of course there will never be any accountability. There never is.