The Covid-19 outbreak is largely over, and man’s attempts to slow, stop or understand the virus have failed. Science will eventually discover more about the pandemic but it is a slow process.
Science, if it is working properly, will not come to a conclusion that is wholly wrong. But not everything that is true can be established by a randomized control trial followed by peer review. Take the theory, popularized by Dr John Lee’s work in the Spectator, that Covid has become less deadly as it spreads, and is now basically inert.
This would perfectly explain why so many people died of Covid-19 in a short period of time, and why deaths have basically flat-lined since April. It fits with many Covid studies confirming fast evolution, different strains and reinfection. Furthermore, a change to the virus itself could explain why the same patterns in deaths have been seen everywhere, irrespective of lockdowns, demographics, contact tracing or any other scheme.
In fact, with each passing day it is increasingly probable that the virus has mutated to a milder form. The trouble is it would be nigh on impossible to establish this with the instruments of science, now or any time soon. The vagaries of individual human bodies and microscopic particles are just beyond the scope of exact science.
People need to accept this about Covid (and hopefully later, much else) and stop fetishizing the scientific method at times when a bit of common sense would do the job. We are paralysed by a need for the World Health Organization or Public Health England to conjure up some peer-reviewed study or other confirming to 99.9 percent likelihood that we can go back to normal now. That will never happen, but we have to get back to normal.
Consider this article, written by three scientific minds. It is a measured and ‘data driven’ analysis of whether Covid is becoming less deadly. But is blinkered by an assumption that only official data, no matter how muddled, can be relied upon. All you really need to do is ask doctors whether they are seeing people come in with Covid, or if they are dying of Covid when they do. Instead it focuses on case numbers, which are not worth the paper they are written on.
Here is another paper, co-authored by the brilliant Professor Carl Heneghan of the University of Oxford’s Center for Evidence-Based Medicine. He has been tireless in his questioning of the government’s interpretation of coronavirus statistics, although it has taken far too long for him to be given any kind of platform from which to address the public.
The study, while no doubt accurate and valuable for establishing fine points of detail, seeks to answer whether the infection fatality ratio has been falling in the UK. A comprehensive review of the limited data suggests that it has, but so what? What does that mean to the average Joe, confused as to whether they should send their child to school in the morning, or whether it would be irresponsible to give their elderly parents a hug?
So many people have been so frightened – understandably – by exaggerated accounts of the threat posed by Covid-19, and it will take a lot to persuade them that they have been sold a pup. But they need to be persuaded, so that can get their old lives back. The present regime will never take on this responsibility because it would center on an admission of massive guilt on their part.
What is needed now from all sensible people is calm but insistent argument, with friends, relations and authorities alike, for the total abolition of all coronavirus-related restrictions. We saw some of that in London and Berlin over the weekend, and it was fantastic to see such well organized and clear minded dissent against the sinister ‘new normal’.