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2021-02-12

Freedom or Lockdown?

The AIER highlights two pertinent articles today, one extolling the advantages that freedom of choice confers on us if we have the wit to discern them, and the other suggesting why the UK government should (but obviously won't) end the lockdown in favour of the more nuanced tactic of protecting the vulnerable, which we may assume (although I would disagree) has been adopted in the policy of vaccinating the most elderly. The logical course would therefore be to now open up the tier restrictions and allow some better semblance of normal life to flourish.

"The conclusion that because one’s knowledge of risk is extremely imperfect one therefore should undertake an extremely ambitious policy to eliminate that risk is absurd. Wanting to do something does not mean that one knows what to do, and to respond by trying to do everything means undertaking the impossible"

". . . command-and-control correlates with economic devastation. We’ve seen this domestically and internationally for the past 11 months"

"I must confess that I expected this shift to take place nearly a year ago as the costs of its policy dawned upon the Government and the unremarkable significance of Covid-19 for those not otherwise vulnerable became clearer to it. The success of the effort to maintain a climate of panic has astounded me"

There is nothing much new in these articles but they do provide a welcome reminder of the basics that the Matt and Boris Show seem determined to ignore.

The articles pursue the political aspects of the arguments but quite fail to address the obvious medical inconsistencies - the most egregious of a long list being the wisdom of rolling out novel and (by comparison with all previous vaccines) experimental vaccines that have not been accorded full approval (approval has been granted for emergency use only) to our most vulnerable population (the elderly in care homes):

"Only a small proportion of those over 65 live in care homes and by virtue of their situation they have been relatively very easy to vaccinate. At the moment they are literally a captive target"

What does this say about the care being taken to ensure the "informed consent" of each person?

Why should we not regard this roll-out as reckless?

There are now stories of care home residents who have died very shortly after receiving the vaccination that was supposed to protect them. Are these deaths being properly and independently investigated? The NHS being the primary agent of vaccination is hardly likely in reality to be independent.

I confess to some foreboding when I consider how many such elderly will die over the coming months should the vaccine turn out to have further unforeseen consequences. Of course the vaccines would not be held responsible - that would call the whole vaccination programme into question and might lead to serious court cases.

Meanwhile the roll-out will continue for the less elderly. At what point (if at all) will the authorities consider that further vaccination for those below a certain age is unnecessary? Or will they push it all the way to babes in arms?

Whilst it will be interesting to see whether the government really is intent to push it to those below 40 (who the statistics indicate are very unlikely to suffer serious consequences from the disease itself), maybe we should ask ourselves who will truly be vigilant against the possibility that these vaccines may lead to undesirable consequences further down the road?

Is the precautionary principle that guided the lock-down mentality no longer of consequence when considering the vaccine roll-out?