Another article by Michael Fumento, dated April 8, 2020, published in the American Conservative, this time more focused on the economic effects of public health responses to the virus.
It’s simply accepted by statistical modelers, the media, and the politicians who declare war against the coronavirus that lockdowns to maximize “social distancing” are highly effective. Yet it’s incontrovertible that these actions often impose tremendous hardship now, which portends greater hardship later as the world spirals into a deep recession,
…the enemy is a piece of mindless DNA, and there’s precious little evidence to support the necessity of enforced social distancing beyond 1) Hermits don’t get contagious diseases, and 2) Any time a country hits peak cases and infections recede, the public health community and the media give credit to government measures that preceded it. This is merely the fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc; after this therefore because of it.
[Regarding Govt actions in Norway, Denmark and Sweden] when it comes to COVID-19, we see dramatic differences in government actions. Simply put: The Swedish Chef is still in business while his Norwegian and Danish counterparts are unemployed.
“The strategy in Sweden is to focus on social distancing among the known risk groups, like the elderly. We try to use evidence-based measurements,” Emma Frans, doctor in epidemiology at the famed Karolinska Institute, told Euronews. “We try to adjust everyday life. The Swedish plan is to implement measurements that you can practice for a long time,” she said.
The Norwegian model, along with the Danish one, appears more based on “erring on the side of caution” or perhaps the proverbial swatting of a fly with a hammer. So how is it working?
Swedish cases, according to Worldometer, are little more than half those of Norway: 714 per million versus 1062. Denmark has a rate of 808, better than Norway but still worse than “fiddling” Sweden. Indeed, Sweden has one of the lowest rates in Europe. For all the financial and emotional suffering and a worldwide rise in authoritarianism, cui bono?
To be sure, despite the numerous similarities between these countries there could be various factors at play that are difficult to account for. But we should also consider the success of a vastly different culture on the other side of the world, that of South Korea, where the epidemic peaked in just two weeks.
Moreover, seemingly every epidemiologist who gets quoted or published regarding the coronavirus ignores the most basic rule in epidemiology called Farr’s Law (dating to 1840 and before any public health organizations), that says epidemics peak and decline on their own. That’s not to say that proper actions cannot reduce overall infections – or improper ones increase them. During bubonic plague outbreaks people sometimes blamed and killed cats – that of course were actually beneficial in controlling plague-spreading rats. There’s a lesson there.
Both Farr’s Law and the Scandinavian experience show it may not be necessary to destroy the world economy to save the world. Further, we’ve long known that “wealth equals health,” and not just between nations such as the U.S. and Bangladesh but within countries as well.
…aside from a few countries, we’ve seen too little balancing. Instead it seems fanaticism has reigned—a tunnel vision focused on combating this disease through coercive means, at the cost of untold economic devastation and ruined lives.
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