What if we learned we'd been fooled?

A paper was recently published explaining how the Covid-19 response has fallen into two distinct paradigms, with each leading “to diametrically opposite conclusions”.

Paradigm One: Institute non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to flatten the curve, whilst we wait for our population to achieve herd immunity via a successful vaccine roll out.

Below is the Imperial College ‘model’ that most of the worlds initial Covid-19 response has been built around.

We must follow this model and whatever NPIs necessary to avoid a surge in cases that would completely overrun the hospital system. We cannot let this virus get away from us.

This has meant we set a collective goal for society as a whole. Yes, it means that many groups will have to make sacrifices. But we’re all in this together, so to break from the herd and act in ones own self interest would be like shooting Bambi.

There’s been a few Bambi Assassins, unfortunately. The people questioning the science. The people breaking the rules. The people refusing to take the fucking vax.

The worst Bambi Assassins are the ones deliberately doing all three. Those utterly selfish right wing extremists protesting in large groups that flout the Chief Health Officers orders. This headline on Australian major news outlet put out a public search warrant on someone who had committed a particularly heinous crime. A positive Covid-19 case who was on the run deliberately spreading the virus in the community.

“COVID-positive fugitive Anthony Karam knocks back offer of hotel quarantine”

Wanted COVID-positive man Anthony Karam.

We’ve all had an experience with someone letting down the team. The person in a group assignment who didn’t submit their work on time. The team mate on the sports team who drank too much the night before a game. The work colleague who never pulls their weight and cost us our collective goal required to hit bonus.

We know how those people make us feel. We have seen that same feeling throughout society since March 2020 for anyone in the world who decided to commit to paradigm one. And our efforts to reach this utopia of beating Covid-19 has depended on every single last person doing their bit.

The last 18 months have been hard. But so many of us have done what we’ve been told to do because we want to be team players. We’re so close to beating this thing. We can see it, we can get our freedoms and civil liberties back.

Question One: How many politicians, scientists, doctors, media outlets, celebrities and ordinary citizens are pot committed to the strategy of flattening the curve and reaching herd immunity via mass vaccination?

All those people who did the right thing. The suicide victims. The domestic violence victims who’ve spent the last 18 months locked in their 50 square metre apartment with an abusive partner. The business owners who shut up shop after 20 years in business. The kids that have lost 2 years of school. The formerly healthy people who’ve put on 10kg since their gyms closed. The future cancer patient who learns about a malignant tumour that’s advanced beyond cure because they haven’t visited a doctor for any regular check ups. The divorcees whose marriage collapsed under the pressures of ongoing NPIs. The child whose last goodbye to their dying parent was via a Zoom call because they were trapped in quarantine. The elderly person who has spent the final years of their life without visitors. The engaged couple who cancelled the wedding of their dreams four times before finally deciding to tie the knot at the registrars office.

What if we all learned that the cure was worse than the disease?

We learned that the epidemiology models we’d based our policies on heavily overstated the predictions on infection rates, hospitalisation rates & impact of the NPIs on flattening the curve.

We learned that the Hail Mary vaccines weren’t anywhere near as effective as we’d initially hoped.

We learned that the active promotion of non-vaccine treatments or less invasive NPIs (like the promotion of exercise and soaking up vitamin D outdoors) would’ve reduced the willingness of the population to get vaxxed, therefore making it impossible to get near the required levels of the epidemiology models.

We learned that the people who started to ask these same questions wouldn’t dare express them publicly for fear of being cancelled.

We learned that we’ve added $20 trillion in global debt to pay for the economic response and that most of that has made its way into asset prices.

We learned that we’ve been fooled.

Question Two: What would it mean for the reputations of those who’ve promoted paradigm one if we discovered that it was the wrong strategy all along and was bound to fail from the beginning?

Question Three: Would those same people be capable of acting in their own self interest and doing whatever they can to suppress any suggestion that they’re to blame for all of these problems?

Question Four: Are they more likely to do whatever it takes to double down on their initial strategy, or put up their hands today to admit fault?

I will leave these questions unanswered and let the reader come to their own conclusions. I would hate to be labelled an anti-science conspiracy theorist.

To Anthony Karam – I wish I never had to use your name or show your photo and for that I apologise. But you are no enemy of mine. If we ever cross paths, I would love to buy you a beer and show you that you still have some fellow countrymen who haven’t lost their humanity.