Lockdown Hegemony in Australia
and The Conversation executes a faux pivot on the Covid vaccines
Australia, still suffering the ill-effects of it’s near fatal attraction to the seductive but dangerous drug of ‘Zero Covid’, is still not fully out of its Covid coma. The Mask still lingers on in all its tatty, germy glory and there are still pockets of medical apartheid whilst vaxx coercion through No-Jab-No-Job mandates clings on tenaciously in some state jurisdictions. Neither has the concept of lockdown been fully retired to a museum of Covid pseudoscience.
Politicians and their ‘public health’ bureaucrats will have taken note of a rather depressing recent survey by the University of Tasmania (Your money or your life? Public support for health initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, published in the Australian Journal of Social Issues and reported by the Daily Mail) which finds that two-thirds of Australians feel that the severity and duration of the endless Covid lockdowns of 2020/2021, the still extant mask mandates and the spasmodic rationing of normal social interaction have been “just right” whilst barely 8% thought they were “definitely too restrictive” and not many more (11%) thought they were “probably” too restrictive. This survey continues the dismayingly unbroken two-year run of surveys showing that Australian citizens are just wild – and not in an angry way – about Australian governments’ policy response to Covid. All the lockdowns, face-muzzles and vaxx mandates/passports were just tickety-boo and kept us all safe according to a large majority of Australians. The state propagandists certainly won that battle with an hysterical but skilful fear campaign.
The lockdown hegemony is not totally uniform, however. Voters on the political Right are three times more likely than Labor voters to regard the restrictions as being too heavy-handed, whilst a slightly higher proportion of men (24%) feel this way compared to women (15%) and men were also more likely than women to “choose the economy over health” whilst being less compliant than women with rules on mask use, venue check-in and testing whilst also being less likely than women to be jabbed. So those of a more ‘protectivist’ bent (the statist Left, mothers) were more inclined to go along with the (bogus) ‘Stay Safe’ narrative. But these sex and political-identity differences are not all that large and they only fiddle at the margins of an enormous lockdown hegemony amongst the population.
Expert-worship by the virus-terrified is also a chronic condition in Australia – “higher trust in university research, and trust in scientists as a source of information about Covid was positively associated with attitudes and behaviour designed to reduce the transmission of Covid”, say the authors. So the lockdown-lovers, compulsive maskers and jab-happy lab-rats are content to abdicate any independent, critical thinking and to simply do as they are told as long as it is by someone in a figurative white-coat.
All this makes for grim reading but the broad picture of a monolithic orthodoxy on ‘lockdown good, the economy/freedom bad’ needs a little revision. If we take the measly 8% who positively bridled at the excessive and unscientific government interference in their lives, and add to them the 11% who, though not outright opposed to the new Covid regimes, were nevertheless ‘lockdown-hesitant’, we get almost one in five Australians who were unimpressed with the political response to the virus.
Even this one-in-five cohort of the disgruntled may be an understatement because the research by the academics is far from dispassionate and shows the same statistical-fudging bias (pro-lockdown in response to an exaggerated viral threat) as in the output of other social science practitioners. Academia has, after all, been a hotbed of Covid hysteria and vaxx mania throughout the Great Covid Panic and this research is no exception.
All their survey questions were explicitly framed in the context of the virus being a deadly killer of great threat to all (not just to the very old, very sick) hence their reference in the survey instrument to the virus having killed 8,500 Australians. This is a seemingly terrifying number that pays no heed to its gross statistical inflation by, as per WHO instructions, lumping deaths with Covid together with deaths caused by Covid, with, furthermore, all Covid-related deaths being determined by a PCR test which is infamous for a high rate, in the 90% range, of false positives (which includes asymptomatic infection in the healthy, or infection by related coronaviruses such as the common cold). The 8,500 deaths figure also lacks any reference to the overall mortality landscape in Australia, where the normal two-year total, all-cause death toll is around 320,000 (making even the worst-case figure of 8,500 Covid deaths less than 3% of the total of all who died in Australia during a rather feeble ‘pandemic’.
Panicky lockdown-lovers would only have had their worst fears of the virus, and their desperation for lockdown, reinforced by such leading questions framed with absolute, not relative, statistics of dubious validity, with no data quality caveats and no sensitivity analysis estimates of a high-low range of Covid deaths estimates derived from quite different protocols for determining Covid deaths. So, the lockdown/restriction consensus may be, in part, an artefact of the survey design and instrument.
The researchers, in their executive summary, also betray their ulterior motives by praising compliance with Covid rules as ‘minimising the impact of the pandemic’ (which assumes there was an actual pandemic) and that lockdowns, ‘social distancing’, masks, school closures, cancelling the footy, Covid ‘vaccination’ and all the rest of the junk science and political theatre really do work against virus transmission.
The flipside of these mistaken, ideologically-driven assumptions is a thinly disguised academic disapproval of the non-compliant who are portrayed negatively as ‘choosing the economy over health’ as if they are uncaring, callous granny-killers concerned only with heartless commerce in the middle of a deadly pandemic. This distaste for the Covid dissidents assumes that protecting workers’ jobs and small businesses, or protecting full wages from the hefty discounting they endured under furlough, are mere fripperies of no consequence and that the fearsome, inflation-priming effect of a stonking great government debt is irrelevant. The Covid policy rebels are also derided by the researchers as those who egregiously and selfishly frame opposition to ‘life-saving’ restrictions as a right-wing issue of ‘free speech’ - the quotation marks are the authors, indicating that free speech concerns, as with the economy, have no validity in the midst of a health ‘crisis’.
One other shortcoming of the research is any consideration of the future of lockdown. Whether all of the lockdown-lovers the survey unearthed would want to go to the lockdown well again in a hurry remains unknown. Lockdown may look (erroneously) as a wonderful achievement but this could subsume a hope that lockdown stays a thing of the past because another rerun of all the collateral economic, social and psychological damage that lockdown causes may be less enthusiastically welcomed. State and federal governments, for their part, are seemingly backing off from (or at least remaining silent on) a repeat lockdown performance because of the monumental fiscal costs, as well as the broader economic harm, not to mention politicians’ narrow self-interest inherent in the electoral consequences, at the hands of the relatively small but electorally-critical lockdown opponents - in Australian elections, the margin between forming government and stewing on the Opposition benches is quite narrow. Eagerness for more lockdown, into an indefinite future, as a Covid management strategy may not look as rosy for the ongoing hegemony of lockdown.
Yet, despite the bias of the survey which was like an open door leading to the results it wanted to find, it didn’t take much to invite in at least 80% of a population already hypnotised into lockdown worship after a successful psyops campaign that struck viral terror into the hearts of most Australians and provoked a desperate desire for a drastic, authoritarian government policy response.
The Conversation executes a faux pivot on the Covid ‘vaccines’
Academia may, nevertheless, be coming, late and reluctantly to be sure, to the ‘end of the pandemic’ party and starting to lose its puppy-love for Covid bio-fascism, at least a little.
The Conversation is the online, public outreach organ of university academics and it has been a reliable barometer of Covid hysteria in the professional thinking caste in the institutions of ‘higher learning’ but now, however, we have an article (Here's why we're not talking about herd immunity anymore) which dismantles a central pillar of Australia’s Covid response – attaining herd immunity through Covid ‘vaccination’.
Sure the article hangs on, limpet-like in its Covid orthodoxy, to debunking what it caricatures as the scientifically untenable and morally indefensible concept of naturally-acquired immunity (which is how humanity has handled every virus) as wantonly “letting a dangerous virus rip through the population” but the article breaks new ground in seeking to discredit the once-dominant idea that the Covid ‘vaccines’ “could squash virus transmission” and thus eliminate or eradicate the virus and so “get us back to normal”, an idea which was central to the government-pushed vaxx mania that engulfed Australia.
Now, however, we are instructed that ‘vaccine’-induced herd immunity “was probably always a pipe dream” according to The Conversation, a publication which for two years solid had pushed the notion of ‘vaccine’-induced herd immunity as the grand solution to Covid. And what has done this concept in is acknowledgement that the “effectiveness of the vaccine” has not lived up to its advance publicity. Indeed, the Covid vaccine is a total lemon, says the article in different words. We have learned, they write, that the Covid vaccines “don’t block all transmission”, that whatever immunity the ‘vaccines’ appear to confer “wanes over time” thus requiring a perpetual, and frequent, cycle of boosters, and that the ‘vaccines’ are only ever a variant or two away from total irrelevancy. Not much bloody good, then, as vaccines go (again, not the authors’ actual choice of words but clearly their substantive conclusion).
“So why are we bothering to vaccinate?”, they rightly ask, in the face of all the evidence of real world underperformance of the (not)-vaccines. And here, academia’s loyal Covid compliance comes to the rescue with their new argument that the vaccines “go hand-in-hand with other measures”, including, you guessed it, those wonderfully successful “behavioural and environmental measures” such as physical distancing and wearing masks – these work just fine, and, combined with the demoted but not totally abandoned vaccines, the virus can still be defeated. The party line prevails. All hail the mighty Vaccine God!
The Great Syringe in the Sky still casts a radiance on its human subjects. Once a jabbed person has been infected by the virus, says The Conversation, the vaxx serves a therapeutic purpose - “the primary purpose of Covid vaccination has always been to protect individuals from severe illness and death”. As bold as brass is The Conversation, which was assiduous in promulgating the initial promise that the experimental Covid ‘vaccines’ would be prophylactic and provide sterilising immunity.
Having divorced itself from this wild hope of the vaxxes stopping the virus in its tracks, however, The Conversation has now hitched its ideological vaxx agenda from prophylaxis to therapeutics and this involves trading one data-defying delusion for another because the vaccines aren’t all that crash-hot as treatments either, as all the increasing majority of jabbed people in the hospital wards, ICU beds and mortuaries attests. Still, the credentialed and lettered academic priests of the Covid cult have a secular bio-religion to protect.
For a climax to its faux pivot on the Covid ‘vaccines’, The Conversation predictably goes on to Say The Words – “being vaccinated remains as important now as it has always been … it has never been more important to ensure you are fully vaccinated”. With all the quasi-Stalinist predictability of ‘correct line’ thinking, the appearance of an article in The Conversation which is critical in some respects of the Covid ‘vaccines’ indicates an approved change of official line (if only against the concept of vaxx-induced immunity) in the face of obstinate reality (dud vaccines stopping neither infection nor transmission) without actually challenging vaxx mania or the overall ideology on Covid.
Like a moth to a flame, under the mistaken impression that it is the moon that is giving off the light it needs for nocturnal navigation, and getting severely scorched for its pains, I foolishly keep returning to The Conversation seeking enlightenment only to be badly singed as a result. Perhaps the publication’s pivot towards questioning the herd-immunity efficacy of the Covid vaccines may be a chink of light in the Covid fog that has blanketed the world of academia but only when there is a blinding shaft of light which exposes the hideous safety profile of the vaccines will I go near the publication again in expectation of objective, scientific honesty on Covid. I will wait and see but, given that the universities of Australia are full of double and-triple-jabbed Covid-hysterical dons, who would also have a personal stake in not admitting they got the whole sorry Covid mess wrong intellectually, and who would not want to admit that they may be candidates themselves for the epidemic of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome that has mysteriously appeared out of nowhere, it may be a very long wait.