Is it Lockdown Lunacy? Or are we genuinely facing an historic threat to our health and well-being that fully justifies these actions?
New Zealand is now back in a nationwide Level 4 lockdown and Australian states have been going in and out of various levels of lockdown for a number of months now. The New Zealand border has been virtually closed off to the rest of the world for nearly 18 months now. Lives and businesses have been destroyed, suicides and social problems are skyrocketing, and we have a generation of young children who are growing up in a dystopian, fear fueled world which will most likely result in significant psychological and behavioural issues for them for the rest of their lives.
We are told that this is all for the ‘Greater Good’. ‘Go hard and go early’ if we want to get out of this nightmare at some point. We are told by our governments and our media on a daily basis that the consequences will be catastrophic if we don’t do this. We are told that this pandemic is unprecedented in its lethality and transmissibility, and that the dreaded new delta variant must be contained at ALL costs.
But is this really true? Are we really being given a fair and accurate picture by our governments and media? Or are our daily COVID-19 headlines more like a manipulation of facts and information that are deceptively and creatively woven into a narrative that is just creating an illusion and a perception of such a dire threat and danger? Is it propaganda? Sometimes we need to take a step back from the daily media onslaught and stop and think about these things ourselves, with a clear, open, and enquiring mind. We need to ask ourselves a few basic questions and ask ourselves if things really do make sense in the way we are being told to think about these things.
Here are a few useful questions to start trying to frame things around:
- Why did our governments and media in New Zealand and Australia, in the middle of 2020, suddenly switch from talking about COVID-19 deaths to only talking about COVID-19 cases?
- Over the last year, how many reported COVID-19 cases have there been in New Zealand and what percentage of these cases have been fatal?
- In 2021, how many reported COVID-19 cases have there been in Australia and what percentage of these cases have been fatal? Including the delta variant.
- The new delta variant is said to be much more dangerous than the original COVID-19 virus and therefore we must go back into full lockdown to protect ourselves at all costs. But is the delta variant really that exceptionally dangerous? Is the mortality rate of the delta variant really such a dire threat to humanity and society when we critically analyse the actual numbers rather than just listening to the government and media?
Let’s have a logical, fact based look at the questions above using the New Zealand, Australia, and UK government’s own official COVID-19 data. Not conspiracy theories. What has actually been going on in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK with regards to people dying from COVID-19 and from the new delta variant?
For the first few months of COVID-19 in 2020 all the talk by the governments and media was the number of COVID-19 deaths. By August 2020 the number of reported COVID-19 deaths had reached around 700 in Australia and was at 26 in New Zealand. Since that time there has been virtually no reference at all to COVID deaths by our governments or media. Almost the only thing highlighted by our governments and media are the surging number of cases in New Zealand, Australia, and in other countries. Why is that?
When discussing the COVID-19 mortality rates, we must emphasise that any death, for any reason is highly regrettable and should not be trivialized at all. But at the same time we must look at the entire big picture and the balancing of these things with ‘normal’ mortality rates, and all the other big picture issues of human society around the world.
In the 12 months since August 2020 there have been approximately 1,300 reported cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, and from those 1,300 cases there have been precisely zero deaths. So, over the last year approximately 1,300 people in New Zealand have reportedly been struck down by this unprecedented lethal virus, but not one of them has died. Not really Black Plague lethality.
COVID-19: Current cases | Ministry of Health NZ
In Australia there have been more than 10,000 reported cases of COVID-19 in 2021.
Most of these have been since mid-June when the delta variant was reportedly unleashed in Australia. From these reported 10,000+ cases, including the more recent delta variant, there have been approximately 20 deaths reported. That is a mortality rate of approximately 1 in every 500. That is a mortality rate of 0.2%, which is similar to seasonal flu, and those figures are made up mostly from the current reported delta variant.
But despite these very low mortality figures in both New Zealand and Australia, what do we get from the New Zealand and Australian governments and media? Nothing but catastrophe headlines about the surging number of cases and the need for further extreme lockdowns to try to contain the unprecedented danger. But the facts of the government’s own data shows that only a handful of people have reportedly died from COVID-19 across Australia and New Zealand in 2021 despite more than 10,000 reported cases of this deadly virus. Compare this to normal influenza. On average approximately 3,500 people across Australia and New Zealand die every year from normal influenza.
The dreaded delta variant is now dominating the New Zealand headlines and is being thrust onto the New Zealand public as the reason for having to take extreme precautions and another nationwide Level 4 lockdown. As Chris Hipkins liked to highlight to the public in the days leading up to the current Level 4 lockdown, “if we get one case of the delta variant it will require swift and severe action”. Or words to that effect. And so, here we are. Swift and severe action has indeed been served on the New Zealand public.
But is the dreaded delta variant really as catastrophic and deadly as we are being led to believe by our governments and media? Let’s specifically examine the delta variant, and let’s once again do this through official government data, rather than conspiracy theories. The delta variant has been an issue in the UK for much longer than it has in New Zealand or Australia. So let’s have a look at the UK government’s own official data on the delta variant.
Between February and August 2021 there have been 300,010 people reported as having the delta variant of COVID-19 in the UK. 265,749 of those are under 50 years of age, and of those, only 71 have reportedly died as a result of the delta variant. That is a mortality rate of 1 out of every 3,743 cases of the delta variant. We have a mortality rate that is virtually zero within this demographic. However, the reported mortality rate of the delta variant is considerably higher in the over 50s age group. Of the 33,736 reported delta cases in the over 50s in the UK, 670 of them have died (the majority of these deaths are actually in the over 70s age group). This gives us a mortality rate of 1 in 50, or 2%. That is a mortality rate that should be given significant attention for sure, but it is also a mortality rate that is not hugely dissimilar to that of normal flu within that elderly age group. Overall, across all ages, the delta variant in the UK has reportedly resulted in the death of 742 people out of 300,010 cases. That is an overall mortality rate of 1 out of every 404 cases, or 0.25%. That is very similar to the delta mortality rate we are currently seeing in Australia, and again, that is an overall mortality rate that is similar to seasonal flu. But it is also skewed almost totally towards the elderly (70+) and the health vulnerable.
So, with this official government data in mind, are we dealing with an unprecedented pandemic of deaths, as we are led to believe, or are we instead just dealing with a pandemic of reported positive tests or cases? Is it actually a pandemic of fear and propaganda? As the case numbers of delta swell to around 20 in New Zealand at the time of writing, and we consider the delta mortality statistics from the UK (1 in every 404), does this really justify the level of fear and panic that is being pumped out relentlessly by our government and the media? Does it really? Does it really justify turning the whole country upside down and creating the levels of carnage, misery, and damage that comes with these Level 4 lockdown measures? Does it really?
Or is this really a situation of ‘Lockdown Lunacy’? A manipulation of public perception. A campaign of grossly exaggerated fear and propaganda with other agendas at play? We really need to be thinking for ourselves about these important questions.