Thursday, 26 March 2020

Government downgraded coronavirus, then imposed draconian measures

On the 19th of March 2020 the government decided on the basis of a review of all the evidence that the Coronavirus is not a high consequence infectious disease. Within days of this decision, the government introduced draconian measures to combat the threat posed by the virus. These measures violate fundamental human rights and liberties. There are justified by the government as necessary to protect public health. If this strikes you as odd, it gets even worse.

The government initially classified coronavirus as a high consequence infectious disease in January. Yet it did not secure the borders, but allowed people who might well have been carrying the virus to enter the country and mix freely with the general population. This lack of action ensured that communal infection would occur, as it did.

So, when the government held the opinion that the coronavirus posed a similar level of threat as such diseases as Ebola and SARS, it failed to take the necessary and obvious action to protect the public. Yet, after the government reached the opinion that the virus did not present such a threat it took draconian measures that violated rights and inflicted substantial damage on the economy; a package of measures that will be very likely to cause more harm than the virus would.

None of this makes any sense.

I suspect it makes no sense because it is senseless. As far as I can tell, the elite have gone collectively mad.

Collective madness is nothing new. We have seen outbreaks of it throughout history, over and over again. We have seen it in recent history. People generally emote, rather than think. Scary images and words result in immediate judgement. Having jumped to judgment, they use their intelligence to generate rationalisations to justify their judgement; to persuade themselves that they are right; to pretend that they reached their judgement on the basis of evidence and reason, rather than mere emotion. The educated are even more prone to this than the less well educated because their ability to generate specious arguments is highly developed. Once such a judgement is accepted by a critical core of the elite, it becomes a loyalty test: everyone has to believe (or at least pretend to believe) it. Anyone who dissents is either ignored or punished. This is how whole societies go mad. And it is what has happened with a mere coronavirus.


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