Medical Apartheid and the Excuse to Crackdown

Good morning on this fine Tuesday morning!

I hope you’re well-rested for another day in the existential trenches.

I’m busy imagining just how creative, useful, and productive I’d be if I didn’t have government to worry about.

The Pluck of the Irish

Jerry and I hold our Facebook Messenger sessions every few months.  On them, we figure all that’s wrong with the world and how we’d fix it.  Usually, our methods require merely undoing all the stupid crap governments have been doing.

If you don’t have a genuinely Irish friend, I suggest you get one.  The candor, intelligence, and bonhomie are second to none.

And when we were kids, my goodness, did the beer flow!  We’ll probably be relegated to a finger of Jameson’s the next time I’m in Dublin, but we used to put the booze away with impunity.

Jerry is one of the guys at the bar during LBS graduation day (See MBA: Mediocre But Ambitious), right in front of me.

He’s got white hair now; I’ve got no hair now.  These things happen over 19 years.

More often than not, I find myself replying to him by saying, “No, Jerry, it’s not you.  The world really has gone crazy.”

With that in mind, let’s start with Ireland.

Ireland

Jerry fancied a cup of coffee the other day.  He walked into his local cafe, walked up to the barista, and proceeded to order.

The barista asked, “Would you like to sit outside or inside?”

“On the inside.”

“May I see your medical clearance?”

“Huh?”

“If you’d like to sit on the inside, I need to see that you’ve been vaccinated.”

“It’s really happening, Seanie.  That’s all I was thinking.  It’s really happening: medical apartheid.”

Lest you get upset about the word “apartheid,” all it means is “apartness” in Afrikaans.  Using that term here is perfectly acceptable because government officials seem to be creating second-class citizens in their own countries in a bid to force vaccinations on them.

it seems many former freedom-loving peoples have elected “democratic socialists” thinking “redistribution.”  Perhaps out of guilt.  Perhaps out of some moral intuition.

Of course, Socialists, whatever adjective you apply to them, think one thing only: “I control the means of production.”

Before I go on, let me explain my two big problems with the vaccine rollout.

Two Big Issues That Won’t Go Away

The first issue I have with all this is base rate neglect.  Base rate neglect is a cognitive error whereby too little weight is placed on the original rate of possibility (that is, the probability of A given B).

The base rate differs wildly between ages and methodologies.  First, let’s do methods.

Case fatality rate and infection fatality rate are not the same things, though they are spoken of as they are.  CFR is the number of deaths from COVID divided by confirmed cases.  The IFR, the one we’d really like to know, is the number of deaths from COVID divided by total cases of COVID.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the total cases of COVID because many people didn’t know they had; symptoms were so light.  Also, many doctors didn’t know what sickness to look for in the early days.

The key takeaway is that confirmed cases do not equal total cases.  Furthermore, confirmed cases are probably not a good proxy for total cases.  In short, the two numbers may not be in the same ballpark.

So when you hear a death rate of 2%, people are talking about the CFR.  But if the total cases were much larger, and that may be a reasonable assumption, the IFR is probably much lower.  You can read more about this here.

In short, if my IFR is under 2% – and some believe it’s under 0.4% – do we need a vaccine at all?

Next, we must look at the age differences.  

Again, we are using the CFR, which isn’t ideal, as they do in this graph.

We can see COVID disproportionately kills old folk.  Just eyeballing it, one can infer the vaccine may be a good idea if you’re over 70.  Under 70, I can’t see why a vaccine is needed.

For those who’d retort, “You take the vaccine to protect others!”  I’d reply, “They’re taking the vaccine to protect themselves.  And if they’re doing that, they don’t need me to protect them.”

That leads to my second issue.

There was no control group for these vaccines.

The control group is the people in an experiment who don’t receive a vaccine or treatment.  We need a control group to see if there’s a significant difference between getting vaccinated and not getting vaccinated.

With a control group, we’d be able to say, “Above [this age, whatever it may be], get the vaccine.  Below [this age], you may be doing more harm than good.”

We simply do not know what that age is.

If you ask me, that’s a science-based sin.

Now back to the bureaucrats gone mad.

France

Oh, Monsieur Le President, what have you done?

In another case of medical apartheid, President Emmanuel Macron decided to force vaccination on his population by requiring health passes to enter public places.

Obviously, the president didn’t read my piece on the French Revolution.

According to this morning’s ft.com:

After a marathon debate over the weekend amid scattered street protests, the [French] parliament approved a revised version of the bill that included lower penalties for businesses that do not comply, a slower calendar for its application, and other modifications that could make the measures less effective in curbing a looming new wave of infections.

For example, businesses will not be required to check people’s identification along with the health pass, making it easier to cheat. Healthcare workers also cannot be fired for refusing to be vaccinated, only suspended without pay. Nor can other types of workers be dismissed for not showing the pass.

That means this is a nothing burger, thanks to the threat of death by guillotine.

Vive la France!

Australia

The Federal Government in Australia has passed a bill requiring social media companies to collect 100 points of data to open an account with them.

Allegedly, this is to crack down on online abuse and “to remove the veil of being anonymous.”

Sounds Orwellian to me.  Here’s a YouTube video explaining it on the news.

Without the cover of COVID, they’d never be able to do this.

Kanada

This floated across my Facebook feed, and I thought,… Nah.  It can’t be.

Well, it is.  Here’s the bill right on the Parliament’s website.  Scary as hell.

God, I miss the days when you were innocent until proven guilty.

Young Justin is a chip off the old block if nothing else.

There are many other government offensives taken place right now.  I can’t encourage you enough to protect yourself.  Head to the Rude archives and check out the blog posts on second passports.

They’re no longer a luxury; they’re essential.

All the best,

Sean

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