Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Best Roadmap Out Of Lockdown: Cold Turkey

As we have noted in our previous articles, particularly "Case Closed: Lockdowns Don't Work", "The Difference Between Naive And Stupid", "How To End The Pandemic In ONE WEEK Without Lockdowns, Masks, Or Vaccines", and "We Need To Do Both", the True Spirit of America Party (TSAP) has never really been a fan of lockdowns and related restrictions, and only for a few months (April-August 2020) grudgingly supported mask mandates (with nuance) as an alternative to lockdowns.  We have, alas, learned the hard way that not only do these restrictions not work very well if at all, but they are in fact worse than useless, doing more harm than good.  

There is nothing "woke" or progressive about these fundamentally illiberal and authoritarian policies, and anyone who still supports them now, a year later, cannot honestly identify as such.  There is nothing even remotely communitarian about these socially corrosive measures, and certainly not the least bit libertarian either.  Nor is there anything particularly conservative about tossing the hard-won wisdom of the ages out the window like so much garbage and instead knee-jerkedly going full medieval-and-Orwellian-dystopian-hybrid.  Thus, the only leaders who honestly support these policies for even one more day are technocrats, oligarchs, authoritarians, or all of the above.  And their followers and lackeys are either stupid, ignorant, insane, brainwashed, and/or corrupt.  Sorry, but the truth hurts.

As our British friends across the pond have noted on the site Lockdown Sceptics, a study of 170 countries found that the correlation between a country's Government Stringency Index and the COVID case and death rates is in fact the opposite of what it would be if these policies actually worked.  That is, the greater the stringency, the worse the case and death rates on average.  And given how it is non-linear in that the perverse correlation particularly with deaths is strongest with stringency scores above 60/100, then logically the best (or least-worst) "roadmap" out of lockdown is to simply go "cold turkey" and end all (or practically all) restrictions right away, full stop.

Yes, really.  And here is how to do it, folks:  Simply set a "quit date" no more than a week or two in the future, and commit to that date no matter what.  Remember, these policies are generally worse than useless, even for the sacred cow of travel restrictions (except perhaps during a very narrow window at the very beginning of the pandemic, and that train has long since left the station), and there is currently no imminent threat of overwhelmed hospitals anywhere now.  The worst is basically over in most places, in other words.  Thus, on that quit date, and not a single day later, any and all pandemic-related restrictions imposed after February 2020 shall lapse and become null and void immediately and in full, period.

Should exceptions be made?  Perhaps a "Rule of 500" or some even larger number could exist for very large gatherings lacking numbered seats for a little while longer.  Enhanced hygiene, ventilation, and perhaps temperature checks in some places would likely still be de rigeur as well for a while.  Enhanced precautions in hospitals and nursing homes would likely remain to some extent as well for a while too, as is the case in Florida currently.  But the overbearing, omnipresent, and almost entirely unprecedented restrictions that would have been utterly unthinkable a year ago in February 2020 would nonetheless be gone for good, never to be reimposed again.

Public schools, and in fact any schools receiving federal and/or state funding, will be required to reopen for full in-person instruction no later then the Monday following the quit date, or else have such funding immediately and indefinitely revoked until they do.  And they must remain fully open except for very brief closures (no more than two weeks at a time, if even that) if and only if they actually experience bona fide school-related outbreaks and/or they are located in a severe bona fide local "red zone".

And of course, individuals and businesses would still be free to voluntarily put as many restrictions as they wish on themselves going forward, just like they always were.  After all, each person's own definition of acceptable risk and their calculus of cost vs. benefit will be different.  But no longer would anyone be able to use the inherently coercive power of government to force others to do so against their will anymore.

That means that the powers that be will have to (gasp!) use education and persuasion instead of coercion and (gasp!) stop treating adults like children.

As for the supposedly scary new mutant strains of the virus, if anything that is a stronger argument against lockdowns and related restrictions, since these restrictions would actually be more likely to concentrate and incubate these strains (which will inevitably escape and spread further), when it would really be better to dilute, dilute, dilute them instead.  Note that Florida, who basically went cold turkey as of September 25, 2020, and even hosted the 2021 Super Bowl, has still seen cases, hospitalizations, and deaths plummet since January nonetheless.  And their cumulative death rate has been better than the national average and most lockdown states as well.

Furthermore, since we know that the virus is seasonal and most likely endemic now, that implies that if we don't want to get slammed yet again next winter, it would logically be best NOT to artificially suppress it during the spring and summer.  That is in fact when we should be building up our immune systems through the inevitable natural exposures, not mollycoddling and overprotecting them with extraordinary (and ultimately futile) measures, nor should we be wrecking them with the unholy lockdown trinity of anxiety, isolation, and vitamin deprivation.  The same goes for seasonal flu as well, which may come back with a vengeance next winter after being temporarily displaced by COVID.

And yes, we still need a robust COVID relief package yesterday, even more robust than the paltry one still being debated now.  Even the most arch-conservative or hardcore libertarian can understand that the Takings Clause of the US Constitution would logically require the government to compensate We the People for any losses (both direct and indirect) resulting from these government-imposed lockdowns and restrictions.  And while nearly all of the restrictions were imposed by state and local governments, the fact remains that the federal government (including even 45 himself at first) effectively green-lighted such restrictions, and furthermore they, unlike our now largely bankrupt state and local governments, have the power to simply print the money as needed.

So what are we waiting for?  To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, "Mr. Biden, tear down this plexiglass!"

MARCH UPDATE:  Looks like no sooner did we post this than several states (16 already, and growing) are now abandoning this whole ship of fools and doing what Florida already did back in September and South Dakota already did last May--going cold turkey (or nearly so) later this month if not already.  Once the first cracks and fissures in the facade appeared, it was only a matter of time.  The lockdown zealots and technocrats are probably having a collective heart attack right now, or at least soiling their trousers, but tough noodles for them!  They've already had their proverbial day in the sun for a whole year now (that was only supposed to be two or three weeks to "flatten the curve", remember?) and now it's long past time to start actually living again as humans qua humans.  To the wretched New Abnormal we say, "Good riddance!"  And may a century of liberty follow after we all say, "Never Again!" and really mean it.

And once again, yet another study finds that lockdowns are basically a lose-lose proposition. It is practically axiomatic now that lockdowns do more harm than good.  What next, a study that finds that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

We Need To Do Both

If you are confused about how to save America, you are NOT alone.  To fix this country we need to get out of this nasty rut we are stuck in ASAP.  And to do this, we need to not only reopen the country by ending the lockdowns and restrictions OR only firehose the economy with federal money, we need to do BOTH.  

Yesterday.  In fact, yesterday is not soon enough!

If we keep these restrictions for any longer while hoping to just paper over the massive holes in our economy and society with newly printed money, that will not work in the long run, as we will just keep on damaging the economy and society.  Likewise, if we attempt to reopen with a bang without injecting federal dollars into the economy, it will be a big disappointment since the damage is done and has not been repaired.  Either way, it is like pushing on a string--or like pushing an elephant up the stairs.

As we have already noted in a previous article, we can effectively end the pandemic in ONE WEEK tops without lockdowns, masks, or vaccines, full stop.  Simply send everyone an Indian-style $2 Ziverdo kit (Zinc, Ivermectin, and Doxycycline), and as Karl Denninger notes, the Doxycycline is optional and can be substituted with Vitamins C and D (and if we had our way, also add Niacin, Thiamine, and Quercetin as well).  And for the few severe or critical cases that still occur despite this, there is always the MATH+ Protocol (and even cheap steroid inhalers) to fall back on.  In fact, early use of steroid inhalers seems to reduce the number of severe cases by 90%!  Problem solved.

(In India, adding Vitamin D to the Ziverdo Triple Therapy mix is also known as Quadruple Therapy.)

Oh and by the way, did you know that we are basically at the holy grail of herd immunity in the USA (if not also globally on average) already?  Why else would virus cases be plummeting starting weeks before fully vaccinating a significant chunk of the population, in the middle of winter, even in states and countries with little to no restrictions?  Even with those supposedly scary new mutant strains allegedly running rampant for weeks, no less.  If it can't be due to seasonality, vaccines, or restrictions, then it MUST be due to naturally acquired herd immunity.   Too bad we had to climb a mountain of corpses to get there thanks to the incompetence and malfeasance of our "leaders" who suppressed the treatments and prophylaxis that actually work while throwing the wisdom of the ages out the window like so much garbage.  And that's to say nothing of all the collateral damage deaths caused by the lockdowns and panic.

(NOTE:  The sharp decrease in cases predates the reduction in the PCR test cycle threshold in many places, and was in fact followed by decreases in hospitalizations and deaths, so it can't be entirely due to sleight of hand unless one concedes that all of the data were nearly 100% false from the very start.  Either way, the case for restrictions crumbles.)

Thus, no reason not to end all restrictions and open up right away, full stop.  That is, no more restrictions than we had a year ago in February 2020, other than those that individuals and businesses voluntarily choose to put on themselves.  But again, the damage is already done at this point, even if we don't do any further damage going forward.  We must then do the Herculean task of healing the existing damage done.  Fortunately, the federal government has just the technology to do that--the printing press, or its more modern equivalent, a computer with a keyboard.  Money is simply an accounting entry these days, so make the entry and be done with it.  Yesterday. 

(And before anyone predictably cries "inflation!", the truth is that deflation is actually a much, much bigger risk nowadays in the age of secular stagnation.)

The recent paltry stimulus is just barely scratching the surface of what is needed.  We will need an ongoing Universal Basic Income for all (at least $2000/month per adult and $1000/month per child for the first three months, followed by at least half those amounts per month thereafter). We will need single-payer Medicare For All. We will need to expand Social Security.  We will need to increase funding for schools.  We will need free higher education as well.  We will need a Green New Deal to create millions of good jobs while saving the Earth at the same time.  And we will ultimately need some sort of debt jubilee as well.  Seriously, now is NOT the time to be pikers!

So what are we waiting for?

UPDATE:  As the ever-insightful Bill Sardi notes, we can now add the amino acid lysine to the rapidly accumulating list of treatments and prophylaxis for COVID-19.   It may be the biggest game-changer of all.