Responding with a general answer, but thanks to Simon, SER8 and Woodsie for their considered responses. Having read your responses I’ll speak again against lockdowns, masks and medical coercion.
It might be said: we should have drawn the line at seatbelts; if we had done we may not be here today. Personally, I believe the idea of protecting others by not breathing on them should remain a social concept, not a legal one. Once we cross that line, it opens the path to a very dystopian future.
Does that sound hyperbolic? And yet that is precisely what lockdowns and mask mandates are controlling. Crossing this line moves us toward a biosecurity paradigm. The question is, does the current situation actually warrant this?
Simon mentions a guy wanting to get a steak. And of course I believe someone should be able to get a steak if he wants, but this type of argument attempts to minimise the very real societal damage that lockdowns do. While the billionaires multiply their wealth many times over, and educated professionals work from home, the real brunt of the damage is felt by service workers, the unemployed, the self-employed, and small and medium sized business. As many businesses go under, who steps in to take their place? Corporations, who have the capital to weather the storm and the insider channels to government support.
While I personally think it’s naïve to think that those ultra-rich and connected individuals with the greatest agency to enact their will only ever do so by legal means, or if not legal, at least using clear steps that are easy for the common person to discern, speculation of such matters is unnecessary when assessing the costs and benefits of the interventions.
With regard to masks, we now have abundant data from pretty much every country on the planet. There is no correlation between mask compliance and the spread of the virus. Early in the pandemic, there was a meme around that we know masks work because countries with a natural tendency to wear masks seemed to have lower case levels. That’s no longer true. For example Thailand has high mask compliance and rapid spread. South Korea has almost total mask compliance and is apparently getting a new wave. In regional side by side analysis a different US states with and without mask mandates the curves are remarkably similar. There is no discernable ‘signal’ in the data anywhere to see an effect after mandates have been introduced or relaxed. To say WHO says they are effective is not a satisfactory argument. It’s a logical fallacy called appeal to authority. There are numerous studies on the effects of face masks to reduce respiratory infection by the general public, see some of the main ones collected here: Are Face Masks Effective? The Evidence.
I’d also like to add on masks: In my opinion it’s self-evident that they don’t work and the reasons why seem obvious. Firstly (and crucially) most of the air passes around and through the mask. But going deeper; what moisture that is captured by the mask quick evaporates due to the temperature of the face. In a sick person this moisture could include larger droplets. Once the moisture has evaporated, the smaller particles may even be blown away from the mask, the mask having effectively nebulized the larger droplets (which would have fallen to the ground) into a longer lasting aerosol.
It might surprise you to know the fatality rate of covid is not 2 or 3% but 0.2 or 0.3%. Here is a detailed global study from WHO’s own website: https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/BLT.20.265892.pdf It’s 0.05% in under 70s
Lastly, vaccines. Touchy subject. Personally I would prefer not to take a medical intervention if I think it is unwarranted. I’ve taken vaccines in the past, but I’m uncomfortable with this particular situation. The vaccines are new technology. Especially the mRNA ones. There’s some risk associated with the spike proteins. I think it’s a personal choice. This is why I mentioned the principle of informed consent in the previous post. I personally believe, according to the evidence, that the dangers of covid 19 have been exaggerated by the media and governments of the world (again, speculating why is irrelevant to my argument). As such my risk assessment is: don’t take the vaccine. I really hope it doesn’t come to full vaccine passport segregation in our society, but if it does we are on a frightening road. Consider reading this account, by an educated German, about how the totalitarian situation evolved in Germany bit by bit. How he became a NAZI basically. It’s really very, very interesting. We all have our own cognitive biases and you may not see the same things as me. But I unfortunately see some similarities to the current situation. They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, an excerpt, 2017 edition
It is funny how many people with different views consistently ask others to "do their research".
As an example in the above you mention "With regard to masks, we now have abundant data from pretty much every country on the planet. There is no correlation between mask compliance and the spread of the virus.".
The source you site is Are Face Masks Effective? The Evidence.
I thought that was interesting point of view and different to anything I had heard so I would check out who these guys are.
It took all of two minutes to find this
When reached by Reuters for comment, SPR said that the social media posts misrepresented their analysis and that they "do not claim or suggest that masks increase cases, nor do we suggest people shouldn't wear masks."
Posts on Facebook showing a graph plotting daily new coronavirus cases along with the claim that “mask mandates may have actually spread COVID-19.” This claim is false. Mask mandates are not responsible for spikes in COVID-19 cases, and studies have proven that they reduce...