Effectiveness of lockdowns questionable
“Power is authority, and makes for more authority. It is force and makes for more force.” Bertrand de Jouvenel, “On Power”
Jeff Horvath’s criticism of a one-size-fits-all COVID policy and my letter of concurrence seem to have struck a nerve with our man in Massachusetts (Brian Barnett). As usual, his defense of the nanny state is far from adequate. Passing over complaints of incivility between the masked and unmasked, the core issue is this: Do the benefits of extended lockdowns justify their cost?
Data gathered by RealClearPolitics indicate substantial variations among the states regarding both case fatality rates as well as COVID deaths per million population. For the former the range (March 31) is 0.51% (Alaska) to 2.71% (your Massachusetts, Mr. Barnett); and for the latter, 326 (Hawaii) to 2,765 (New Jersey).
Moreover, states of any given degree of lockdown appear to be uniformly woven throughout the entire range of data. Thus, there’s no evidence that lockdowns at the state or federal level are either productive or counterproductive.
Of course, it’s possible that the benefits of such are latent. Identifying these, however, would call for a statistical model adjusting fatality rates for various socioeconomic and other relevant factors. To date, I know of no such study. Indeed, even the World Health Organization has recently expressed doubt as to the efficacy of such drastic action.
Meanwhile, the costs of protracted shutdowns (e.g., lost years of schooling, business failures, rising suicide rates, suspensions of individual liberty, etc.) have been too varied and extensive to catalog here.
Still, the bureaucratic mindset as represented by Dr. Fauci and supported by Barnett and others whose missives grace these pages seems to contend that if there is even the remotest possibility of lockdowns generating benefits sufficient to justify their cost, then we should err on the side of caution.
It’s the same sort of draconian risk-averse thinking that leads the DHS to justify abridgments of privacy and mobility if so doing lowers the average American’s chances of dying in a terrorist attack by one in several hundred thousand at best.
In short constitutional rights are little more than a luxury that may be suspended on short notice by administrative fiat. Let’s face it. Modern administrative states have become the very realization of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. They cultivate fear and insecurity upon which they feed and grow; and anyone who dares object is a racist who must be silenced.
A new covenant for you and me
When reading form Jeremiah this morning as part of my devotions, these thoughts came to me in this week of Easter: “Behold, the days are coming. says the Lord, when I will make a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,” verse 31.
This new covenant is Jesus Christ. I welcome Him with open arms today. Easter brings that new covenant into today’s timeframe. Our country needs a revival and it starts with me. Having accepted that new covenant, I now want to share it with you.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I (Jesus) stand at your door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I (Jesus) will come in to you and dine with you and you with Me (Jesus).”
That completes this new covenant for you and me. I hear our leaders talking about change today. If our people would accept this, change would occur. With that thought in mind, remember who is in charge.