The events needlessly called off due to COVID scare tactics
Unless words have lost their meaning, I don't know what the Prime Minister means when he implores the States and Territories to reopen their economies and scrap border closures.
He rightly warned we should not embrace "a future of lockdowns".
Prime Minister, there is a significant body of reputable epidemiological scholarship which would tell you that lockdowns should not have been embraced in the first place. However, when the PM calls for the end of lockdowns, how on earth does he justify locking down the nation's border and preventing people from travelling overseas?
In this whole sorry saga of a disproportionate response, world authorities have been ignored.
Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford University, has "urged Australia to abandon its selfish and self-congratulatory lockdown tactics and embrace a Swedish-style herd immunity to help fight COVID-19".
Stanford University Nobel prize winning scientist Michael Levitt has said repeatedly that lockdowns are "a huge mistake".
The notion that somehow Victoria or any of us are out of lockdown is laughable. In NSW we are told we can go to the beach, but keep a towel distance away from the next person.
They didn't say whether it was a face towel or a beach towel, but you get the drift - the towel police are after you. There is not one piece of paper of epidemiological proof that this achieves anything.
The Tamworth Music Festival isn't until the end of January. It's off.
The Sydney to Hobart yacht race is not until after Christmas. It's off.
Isn't that lockdown?
If you are in Melbourne, the 25km travel limit remains in place.
No one tells us where the figure comes from. Would the Grim Reaper grab us if we went 26km? Hit 25km and you face massive fines. That is a lockdown.
If you want to meet in public, outdoors, only 10 people allowed. That is a lockdown.
Restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in Melbourne are allowed a maximum of 20 people indoors and no more than one person every four square metres. That is a lockdown.
And where is the epidemiological justification for it?
Indoor religious gatherings! The churches are being belted up again. A maximum of 10 people.
If anyone thinks we are not in lockdown across Australia, they need medication. The only difference between Victoria and the rest of Australia is that Victoria is worse.
Sweden was vilified and pilloried because it argued against lockdowns.
The reality is that September 2020 was the least deadly month in Swedish history, in terms of the number of deaths per 100,000 population. Ever.
Not the least deadly September, the least deadly month ever.
No lockdowns in Sweden.
Dr Sebastian Rushworth has argued: "This is pretty clear evidence of two things - first, that COVID is not a very deadly disease; and second, that Sweden has herd immunity."
It prompts the question, why are there continued lockdowns for a disease that is no worse than the flu?
Dr Rushworth: "This is missing one big point about COVID. The average person who dies from COVID is over 80 years old and has multiple underlying health conditions."
Yet here we have not only lockdowns everywhere, admittedly worse in Victoria, where the Premier Daniel Andrews has said: "We will be wearing masks until at least the end of the year and into next year."
The mask-phobia is everywhere. As with lockdowns, the scholarship repudiates Andrews.
Roger Koops, from the University of California, has written: "The healthy people in our society should not be punished for being healthy, which is exactly what lockdowns, distancing and mask mandates do."
As Dr Koops argues: "The mask mandate idea is a truly ridiculous knee-jerk reaction and needs to be withdrawn and thrown in the waste bin of disastrous policy, along with lockdowns and school closures."
And, in an important point, he writes: "Children should not be wearing face coverings. We all need constant interaction with our environments and that is especially true for children. This is how their immune system develops. They are the lowest of the low-risk groups. Let them be kids and let them develop their immune systems."
Dr James Meehan of Global Research issues a disturbing warning: "Untrained members of the public are wearing medical masks, repeatedly … in a non-sterile fashion.
"They are pulling them off their car seat, off the rear-view mirror, out of their pocket, from their counter top and they are reapplying a mask that should be worn fresh and sterile."
Trisha Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care at Oxford University, makes a point about the efficacy of face masks: "Just look at the COVID transmission rates in Vietnam and other South-East Asian countries, where everyone wears masks and it's obvious they have an impact."
But even Professor Greenhalgh would never "shame crowds on a beach" because they are outside and "that is a million times less dangerous than going into a busy pub".
But while Professor Greenhalgh recommends masks in smaller crowded spaces, she says there is no need to wear masks outside.
"If you rise above all the obsession with numbers, there are common sense things you can do once you know the broad parameters of risk," she says. "And I think we can trust people to do that."
The problem here is, none of us are trusted. Governments are determining what we do about our own health.
And in relation to masks, this is genuinely disturbing.
Neurosurgeon Dr Russell Braylock has written: "By wearing a mask, the exhaled viruses will not be able to escape and will concentrate in the nasal passages, enter the olfactory nerves and travel into the brain.
"No one is telling the frail elderly and those with lung disease, such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis, of these dangers when wearing facial masks of any kind, which can cause a severe worsening of lung function."
Scott Morrison is right to argue that the nation "unshackle itself from COVID lockdowns and restrictions".
But Prime Minister, let's go the distance. Let people get on with their lives and let's tell the truth about lockdowns and masks.
Unless, that is, we want to trap people in alarmism and hysteria for many months to come.
Originally published as The events needlessly called off due to COVID scare tactics