The Mainstream Begins to See Lockdowns were a Catastrophe
According to a recent study by the World Bank, published today in the journal Nature, lockdowns and the response to Covid-19 have pushed an additional 75 million people into extreme poverty, living on less than US $1.90 a day.
In the typical Walter Duranty style that’s become a kind of twisted journalistic norm since March 2020, the World Bank and Nature of course blame this on “the pandemic” rather than lockdowns. I remain baffled as to how seemingly well-meaning people are able to sleep at night repeating such nonsense—are they somehow blind to the role of their own sycophancy in perpetuating these policies?
Nonetheless, there are signs that the political mainstream is starting to realize lockdowns were a disaster. Today, the Wall Street Journal published an excellent piece titled The Revenge of the Locked-Down Voters, noting the growing political backlash against lockdown politicians from voters at the lower end of the income scale.
This comes shortly after the New York Times quietly acknowledged a study showing that Covid lockdowns and mandates led to over 170,000 excess deaths among young Americans.
Likewise, today the Daily Telegraph, the UK’s centre-right newspaper of record, published an excellent piece titled Basket-case Britain is the definitive proof lockdown was an epic mistake.
And, as in America, this comes shortly after the London Times, the UK’s centre-left newspaper of record, published a cautiously-introspective piece on its support for lockdowns.
These are promising indications that the political mainstream, especially on the right, is coming around to the fact that lockdowns were a policy catastrophe more quickly than some might have worried.
Still, there’s much more to be done. Currently, the mainstream left and right are starting to realize lockdowns were a big mistake, while many career bureaucrats are still stuck pretending lockdowns were the greatest medical breakthrough since penicillin. There really needs to be a bipartisan consensus that lockdowns were an unprecedented policy catastrophe before we can start to see justice and have undue foreign and financial influence taken seriously.
Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. Want to support my work? Get the book. Already got the book? Leave a quick review.
Your first error is in imagining any of them to be "well-meaning."
I worked most of my employed life for purportedly liberal or progressive organizations, which all had boards of directors made up of the powerful and well-connected. They were nice up to that awful moment in time when they were slightly inconvenienced by the needs and/or problems of ordinary people.
And then at one point in my strange life's journey I myself founded a small women's center serving the very poorest in an awful city in a poor, intensely-conservative country where the elite live in remarkable luxury that makes a NYC condo, say, seem like basic housing. We approached some international NGOs, one based in the US, for grant money, and as our grantwriter I discovered how clueless these professional do-gooders were about the lives and circumstances under which the poor must try to exist.
You do not understand that the elite truly do not care, because even if they've traveled or been stationed in posts in poor countries, they have never been exposed to the real, daily lives of the poor. They meet "representatives of the community" who themselves are crushing the really powerless under their heels daily, and they get their theses confirmed and go back to their fine offices and write nonsense.
And in any community--small-town America, slums in Mumbai, rough urban neighborhoods--"elite" is often just a comparative term, but they will fight to the death to keep their privileges and ensure their pockets are filled and no change is allowed to live for long.
Until every country can manufacture its essentials and international funding and credentialing bodies lose their power, this will remain a fight to the death and as we've seen, plenty of people are needlessly dying.
The title says it all, though, doesn't it? "How COVID has deepened inequality — in six stark graphics." Nah, ladies, your insane overreaction to Covid did this.