General Corona Virus Discussion

Uwe

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The question on whether it should be a "mandated" versus a "voluntary" part of a strategy gets into the complex area of individual freedoms versus societal protection and this is the role of governments to determine in my opinion.
Ah yes, the wise and benevolent government, that certainly isn't "brought to you by Pfizer".

If I disagree with the government line taken then (at least in a democracy) I can vote to have them removed and if enough of my fellow citizens agree with that then that will happen.
Except that "line" should never have been implemented to begin with because most of it is a violation of inalienable human rights.

"Democracy is the means by which those who adore authority and crave the security of servitude can use their superior numbers to enslave those who wish to be free."

-Uwe-

 

DV52

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Learn to live with it.
@Uwe: Arrhhh.......... that's it - those few words speak volumes!! I had long suspected that the "do nothing" solution was your preferred alternative!

Whilst, I can agree that the current batches of vaccines might not be the best of their type (they never are when infections are new), I believe fervently that it's negligent in the extreme for democratic/communist/despotic governments to just sit-back and watch COVID unfold in their countries. History would not treat such decisions well and electors wouldn't allow governments to remain - if outright revolution didn't happen first!

If you would allow me to thieve a phrase from your previous post - Any government that adopted such a laissez-faire strategy in a global pandemic truly would be:
a crime against humanity.

Don
 
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RGH0

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Uwe - I am sure you are aware of this quote

Winston Churchill once said that: “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”

cheers
Rohan
 

Uwe

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@DV52 Are you familiar with the phrase, "First, do not harm"?

Doctors are supposed to take an oath that includes it. IMO, "public servants" should as well.

Virtually every measure that has been taken by governments has caused more harm than it has prevented.

-Uwe-
 

Uwe

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Winston Churchill once said that: “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”
Yes. I have very mixed feelings about that war-monger, but to elaborate on them would be off-topic here.

Franklin: "A Republic, if you can keep it."

You do understand the difference, right?

-Uwe-
 

DV52

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@DV52 Are you familiar with the phrase, "First, do not harm"?
Doctors are supposed to take an oath that includes it. IMO, "public servants" should as well.

Uwe: Latin was a favorite language of mine and it is the root of your saying- originally, "primum non nocere".

Of course - the pithy cliche can't be attributed to the oath that is often uttered by newly qualified doctors because the much older words of Hippocrates were written in ancient Greek.However, I do understand how the sentiments in the 2 x pieces of text might appear to be similar at first blush.

Truth is that I have always been wary of cliches - particularity those cliches with so few words!!

What does "First, do no harm" mean? If taken literally, it means that very few decisions would ever be made because most of life's choices are about an advantage of good outcomes over bad outcomes - they are not about only proceeding if only good outcomes ensue.

Combating a global pandemic is very much of this nature. No medical intervention can ever claim to be 100% guaranteed harmless and no Government strategy would similarly never be implemented under this mantra. Even the alternative "do nothing" strategy does not comply with this cliche because people are being harmed by COVID (use any definition you want) when they might otherwise be helped if something was done!

Virtually every measure that has been taken by governments has caused more harm than it has prevented.

-Uwe-
hmm... we will disagree, I'm sure - but I find it incredulous that you maintain that your alternative proposal of "learn to live with it" will do less harm than you purport was done by governments under the current strategies!!
 
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RGH0

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ETA: Quoted text of the above message removed.

Those who first quote the Nazi's or Hitler's regime in any way in an argument to support their position lose...... If you think it is simple then your analysis is trivial in my opinion and does not consider all the issues fully

I am married to a native German and have a number of German in laws and their friends who take a range of positions on this topic including yours so I understand it well. My arguments are based on my own analysis of relevant data in Australia and as I continue to make clear, apply to me in Australia, and you are entitled to your own opinion in your own circumstances of course, but I politely disagree.

The response to an illegal dictatorship in Germany as implemented in the 1930's that is required by the citizens is somewhat different from the response required by the citizens in the 2020's in a legal and effective constitutional democracy in countries like the USA, UK, Germany or Australia in my opinion. But if you are advocating a take over of the democracy by a minority and unelected group to stop the democratic processes of government in these countries (and similar) due to Covid and the government responses made..... I fundamentally disagree with that proposal in these circumstances

cheers
Rohan
 
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HMC

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The UK and Denmark seem to be heading there as well.
That is because we have the vast majority with 2 jabs and a booster and consequently greatly reduced numbers in hospital and particularly ICU's.
Regards HMC
 

Uwe

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The response to an illegal dictatorship in Germany as implemented in the 1930's that is required by the citizens is somewhat different from the response required by the citizens in the 2020's in a legal and effective constitutional democracy in countries like the USA, UK, Germany or Australia in my opinion.
Your premise is incorrect. The rise to power by a certain dictator in Germany in the 1930s was not "illegal". Each step involved laws that were passed in a "democratic" fashion in accordance with the Weimar Constitution.

-Uwe-
 

Uwe

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I find it incredulous that you maintain that your alternative proposal of "learn to live with it" will do less harm than you purport was done by governments under the current strategies!!
It's not incredulous at all if you don't ignore all the harms caused by "current strategies".

-Uwe-
 
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DV52

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It's not incredulous at all if you don't ignore all the harms caused by "current strategies".
hmm.......there has been a staggering 10 Billion doses of vaccine administered. Over 60% of the souls that currently inhabit this planet have had the needle - 128 jabs for every 100 souls on this earth!

I'm not sure if you consider this a travesty. I don't - I think that it's an extraordinary achievement; it's a testament to the evolution of our species and I don't care if it was driven by financial incentives, conspiracy motives, or just plain human concern for ourselves and for others!!

We can argue about the efficacy of the vaccines until hell freezes over - but I'm flabbergasted that a man of your intellect can hold the position that a better outcome for humanity (which includes protecting against the collapse of every national medical system across the world- thereby ensuring that non-covid care can continue) is to just sit-back and allow the disease to rage in our communities (i.e. only natural herd immunity stops COVID - eventually)!!

And of course, let's not forget that the "Learn to live with it" strategy is also happening simultaneously in an environment where there are minimal (no?) restrictions on people movement (your position on the "tyranny of lock-down" appears in each of your posts).

Wow!! I'm trying to picture the world in 2022 and beyond under the "Learn-to-live-with-it/No -people movement-restrictions" COVID strategy and it frightens me terribly!!

I see a planet in chaos and rampant fear in our communities as the body count increases (yes, old people with comorbidity issues first, but then followed by millions of others). I see an inevitable and total breakdown in the world's medical institutions (across every country) as an avalanche of sick people desperately descend on an infrastructure that was never designed for such numbers!

And throughout this appalling disaster, as huge numbers of wretchedly scared citizens look to their governments for an answer - the sole response is "learn to live with it" (and "there's another plane-load of international tourists arriving in a few minutes")!

By any definition of the quality of being human - this can't be what you say is a better COVID strategy!! Shirley not?

Don
 
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Uwe

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Over 60% of the souls that currently inhabit this planet have had the needle
And in somewhere between 5 and 20 years from now, we'll know whether they're actually better off for it, because that's how long it takes to make a proper determination of safety and efficacy.

I'm trying to picture the world in 2022 and beyond under the "Learn-to-live-with-it/No -people movement-restrictions" COVID strategy and it frightens me terribly!!
I'm far more frightened by the ease with which people have given up their liberties to government "officials" than I am of this virus.

this can't be what you say is a better COVID strategy!!
It's certainly no worse than what you're advocating. Have a look here at this paper by researchers at Johns Hopkins University:
Studies examining the relationship between lockdown strictness (based on the OxCGRT stringency index) find that the average lockdown in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% compared to a COVID-19 policy based solely on recommendations.
The effect of border closures, school closures and limiting gatherings on COVID-19 mortality yields precision-weighted estimates of -0.1%, -4.4%, and 1.6%, respectively. Lockdowns (compared to no lockdowns) also do not reduce COVID-19 mortality.
In the early stages of a pandemic, before the arrival of vaccines and new treatments, a society can respond in two ways: mandated behavioral changes or voluntary behavioral changes. Our study fails to demonstrate significant positive effects of mandated behavioral changes (lockdowns).
The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.

-Uwe-
 

Uwe

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While vaccinations may not prevent all infections they do prevent some. They also prevent some hospitalisations and some ICU admissions and some deaths. They have certainly prevented the Australian medical system from being overwhelmed in the Delta and Omicron waves
There are plenty of countries/states that have no vaccine mandates, and/or far lower vax acceptance rates that Australia. Can you point out some where the medical system was "overwhelmed" at any point during the Delta and Omicron waves?

If you cannot, then it appears you're implying that Australia's medical system is somehow the most fragile and easy to overwhelm in the world. :confused:

-Uwe-
 
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DV52

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And in somewhere between 5 and 20 years from now, we'll know whether they're actually better off for it, because that's how long it takes to make a proper determination of safety and efficacy.
Yes, indeed!!.

But I'm not sure how this fact is relevant. No-one is saying that vaccines are the magic bullet for COVID. And no-one is saying that vaccination programs somehow circumvent findings that might happen "between 5 and 20 years from now"!!

Every possible strategy (including your "Learn-to-live-with-it" suggestion) will be subject to post implementation analysis and to hindsight critiques - ain't nothing in this fact that particularly advances your proposal (or that particularly disadvantages vaccination strategies)

I'm far more frightened by the ease with which people have given up their liberties to government "officials" than I am of this virus.
.
As I have said in the past, it's absolute folly to hold-up a particular citizen freedom above all others; each individual citizen right must be considered in the context of ALL our rights - because they often conflict with one-another

Ain't nothing special about the liberties that are impacted for COVID restrictions - you are perfectly happy to give-up many of your individual rights to enjoy the benefits provided by the society in which you live. "Lock down" rules are no different:
  • if you believe in the bone-fides of the government that your community elected, then you should have confidence in their decisions.
  • If you do not believe in the bone-fides of the government which your community elected, then act in a way that changes that government (in the normal way of a peaceful democracy).
  • If you want to completely change the government regime by other means - then incite a revolution (but be careful- you might just get what you want)
  • If you can't accept the rules that are implemented in a community - then it's simply unreasonable to expect that there will be no consequences from your decision (there's a cost to be paid - ain't no free rides in the new normal COVID world!!)
Mixing COVID specific strategies with wider concerns about government motives is tricky and it confuses cause-and-effect. Both of these issues are sufficiently important to warrant their own SEPARATE considerations - IMO of course!!

And in any event - this is a simple matter of Maslow hierarchy of needs. Ain't no point holding onto freedom of movement rights if the society in which those rights are practiced doesn't function correctly because COVID is rampant in the community!!

It's certainly no worse than what you're advocating. Have a look here at this paper by researchers at Johns Hopkins.
hmm....... I consider you to be an extremely resourceful man (and clearly an intelligent individual). I'm not sure that a duel of citations between us really advances either of our positions - but thank you for the link (I will refrain from posting a paper with a counter position)
 
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RGH0

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There are plenty of countries/states that have no vaccine mandates, and/or far lower vax acceptance rates that Australia. Can you point out some where the medical system was "overwhelmed" at any point during the Delta and Omicron waves?

If you cannot, then it appears you're implying that Australia's medical system is somehow the most fragile and easy to overwhelm in the world. :confused:

-Uwe-
Not a scientific analysis I know but.....

The US (e.g. NY in the first wave), UK, India ,Italy to name a few all suffered from overloaded medical systems at times during the various outbreaks to the point that even the funeral system which is the end point for medical system failures was overwhelmed and bodies were being stored in refrigerated shipping containers and they were running out of firewood in India for their cremation ceremonies. In Europe they were shipping sick people across countries to try to balance up supply and demand in the medical systems.

What is not so easily seen were the elderly people dying from / with Covid that were left in their age care homes to die as their was no room in hospitals or the hospitals did not want the work of caring for them and risk infection of their other patients.

cheers
Rohan
 

RGH0

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Your premise is incorrect. The rise to power by a certain dictator in Germany in the 1930s was not "illegal". Each step involved laws that were passed in a "democratic" fashion in accordance with the Weimar Constitution.

-Uwe-
Without drifting off the topic of this thread I would just say that what may have started as a democratic process under the Wiemar constitution rapidly and progressively became more and more an illegal seizure of power through a variety of means during the 30's. The weakness of the German democratic institutions and constitution at that time greatly aid the illegal processes occurring behind the scenes

For example ...I don't think burning down the Reichstag in 1933 and then blaming your political opponents for the act and arresting them on trumped up charges was really a democratic process under the constitution even if it was possible to do so under the guise of an emergency degree under the constitution that allowed it once you had combined the power of the chancellor ( prime minister) and president effectively under one person

cheers
Rohan
 

RGH0

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One of the key issues under discussion here is where in the spectrum from "let it rip" to "enforce all sorts of draconian laws and mandates" should a reasonable government decide to position itself while responding to the current pandemic.

Many factors influence government positions and how people judge if their response was reasonable

for example
The perception of how serious the pandemic actually is
The perception of how effective and save the various actions taken are in response
The ability of people to act independently of government and protest within a country without ending up in jail or worse

To try to judge the actions in various countries of both the government and the population based on some "absolute standards" of fairness and human rights assumes these absolute standards exist in a universal, comprehensive and non disputed way, which I don't think is the case. The same problems exists when people of today judge the behaviour of others in history based on current day perceptions of morality and human rights as I am sure we alive today will be judged in the future

just my opinion

cheers
Rohan
 

Fred's Imports

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Without drifting off the topic of this thread I would just say that what may have started as a democratic process under the Wiemar constitution rapidly and progressively became more and more an illegal seizure of power through a variety of means during the 30's. The weakness of the German democratic institutions and constitution at that time greatly aid the illegal processes occurring behind the scenes
Feel free to drift, illegal seizure of power is the reason the scandemic was brought about. Figure it out folks, we are being SCAMMED.
 

morris39

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Yes, indeed!!.

But I'm not sure how this fact is relevant. No-one is saying that vaccines are the magic bullet for COVID. And no-one is saying that vaccination programs somehow circumvent findings that might happen "between 5 and 20 years from now"!!

Every possible strategy (including your "Learn-to-live-with-it" suggestion) will be subject to post implementation analysis and to hindsight critiques - ain't nothing in this fact that particularly advances your proposal (or that particularly disadvantages vaccination strategies)


As I have said in the past, it's absolute folly to hold-up a particular citizen freedom above all others; each individual citizen right must be considered in the context of ALL our rights - because they often conflict with one-another

Ain't nothing special about the liberties that are impacted for COVID restrictions - you are perfectly happy to give-up many of your individual rights to enjoy the benefits provided by the society in which you live. "Lock down" rules are no different:
  • if you believe in the bone-fides of the government that your community elected, then you should have confidence in their decisions.
  • If you do not believe in the bone-fides of the government which your community elected, then act in a way that changes that government (in the normal way of a peaceful democracy).
  • If you want to completely change the government regime by other means - then incite a revolution (but be careful- you might just get what you want)
  • If you can't accept the rules that are implemented in a community - then it's simply unreasonable to expect that there will be no consequences from your decision (there's a cost to be paid - ain't no free rides in the new normal COVID world!!)
Mixing COVID specific strategies with wider concerns about government motives is tricky and it confuses cause-and-effect. Both of these issues are sufficiently important to warrant their own SEPARATE considerations - IMO of course!!

And in any event - this is a simple matter of Maslow hierarchy of needs. Ain't no point holding onto freedom of movement rights if the society in which those rights are practiced doesn't function correctly because COVID is rampant in the community!!


hmm....... I consider you to be an extremely resourceful man (and clearly an intelligent individual). I'm not sure that a duel of citations between us really advances either of our positions - but thank you for the link (I will refrain from posting a paper with a counter position)
My comment is not intended to support or attack your position, however it seems to me you protest too much. I am clearly not in a position to offer guidance on health policy. My view is strictly egocentric and opinions of others pass through a filter which includes a significant discount for being factually true.

You say "No-one is saying that vaccines are the magic bullet for COVID." In my country (Canada) this is not true. Federal chief health officer claimed in 2020 and 2021 that vaccination was a virtual magic bullet (90+% efficacy) and the same for my provincial counterpart. As far as as I know that view was in agreement with USA, UK etc. The claim has been walked back since and is the right course of action given the outcome. It seems to me that that it is fair to criticize the over confident advocacy (not change of opinion) given experience with the seasonal flues. The establishment has a history of doing this.

You advocate trust in government's directives and changing the elected if results are not as desired.That is not disputable but not necessarily relevant and not in this case. In my jurisdiction (B.C.) there has been a consistent effort by the government and media to exaggerate the seriousness of the pandemic. Data is presented in a manner that is very difficult or impossible to interpret. For instance they might say in one sentence thatt his week there have been 697 infections, 204 hospitalizations, 36 in ICU and that there is real concern about ICU capacity (so says a nurse or doctor). If the intent were to inform, the data would be given in separate chunks. the change and possibly rate of change. So for instance, this week there were about 200 hospitalizations a drop 5% from last week but the trend is slightly up for the month. Etc. ICU capacity is not divulged, nor the % used relative to non pandemic times. No discussion at all of increasing ICU capacity just that we should be worried.
There has been no criticism of this lack of transparency from the establishment ie opposition political party, the doctors/nurses/teachers associations. They grind their own ax. Politically the current party is in it's second term, following 2 terms of the other party and elected with a minority popular vote but enough for a majority which has been fairly typical. So we have a government which electorally functions as it should but the policy suits the establishment.

Personally " living with it" is maybe the same as "dying with it". In my view health impairment is the cumulative effect of microbe infections or you can choose to explain it by saying "aging" ;). Being old I select the least risky based on very sketchy information. No advice for others.
 

DV52

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^^^@morris39: Thanks for the reply.

I believe that we are in heated agreement!! My statement about having confidence in the decisions of a properly constituted Government was not meant to imply that democracy was solely a process on election-day

Of course it's the right and more importantly, it's the obligation of every citizen in a healthy democracy to "hold the bastards accountable" - for what they do and for what they say (especially when the latter doesn't align with the former).

However, over-inflated statements from politicians and others about the efficacy of a vaccines does not (should not) mean that both the baby and the bath-water should be thrown-away

As I have said, if we have learned anything over the past 1.5 years - it has to be that combating a global pandemic in the 21st Century is not only a medical exercise.

Truth is that COVID is a multi-headed beast. The principal reason for this is that humans tend to use powerful community issues for other purposes. Ain't no surprise about this practice - happens all the time (it's a characteristic of our species - probably because joining seemingly unconnected issues has been so successful to our survival)

So yes, the battle against COVID has been (and will continue to be) used to further other non-pandemic objectives. Those objective might be misguided, but good intention-ed - or they may be nefarious and sinister.

Our job is to recognize when politicians and interest-groups in our communities try to conflate separate issues. When this happens, our job is to ensure that these separate issues are dealt-with, separately - as is the case with the paranoia by some that governments around the world are using COVID control strategies to steal our freedoms!

But I agree, a healthy democracy cannot function properly without ever-present vigilance!!!

Don
 
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