Facemasks, science, obesity: the tyranny of numbers

Governments cannot defeat a virus by diktat. The best Johnson could have done in March would have been to invite the rest of us to take the reasonable precautions and to leave it at that, argues Sean Walsh

I won’t wear a “face covering”. My refusal is not on grounds of civil liberties, but because I think it is intrinsically immoral to cancel your face in public. To those who say, a la Gove, that it is a form of “courtesy”, I’ll return the serve: to wear a mask in public is to withdraw from the normal courtesies of life. It’s the Muzzled Masses who are being rude.

(And – just to confirm- the day on which I take lessons in “courtesy” from the intrinsically preposterous Michael Gove is the day I decide just to be rude for the sake of it.)

Why would anyone consent to face coverings? Peer pressure aside?

Well, to keep the “virus” on the backfoot, I suppose. The Facemask Sanhedrin are those who stipulate that in order to “defeat” this microscopic scrap of genetic code, we must take urgent measures. These measures seem to involve re-swallowing the stuff your body has decided it no longer needs (maybe, just maybe, your immune system is cleverer than Patrick Vallance?).

But they haven’t worked, have they, these urgent measures?  At least not by their own criterion of success. Cases – especially in muzzle obsessed Spain (the last bastion of the hapless Grant Shapps) – seem to be going up. Even as the death rate declines to zero.

We have, currently, a C-19 community prevalence of about 0.04%. To count as an epidemic, according to the WHO definition, that would need to be 0.3%.  In order to meet someone with C-19, in other words, you might have to meet 4,000 people (and increasing). Another variable is the infection rate: even if you meet that person you are unlikely to get this disease. And if you do? Then at that point the infection mortality rate- the likelihood that you will die- becomes 0.2%. And then, more than likely, only if you are ~80 years old.

For this, we have crippled the country.

I don’t believe (see below) that the mere stats tell you the truth about this virus’s rampage through the mindsets of the powers that be – but they’re worth bearing in mind, as I continue my rant.

The scientific case for compulsory muzzling is like the “scientific” case for Bigfoot. It’s there if you want to see it. The rest of us should not be compelled to watch the grainy video.

Governments cannot defeat a virus by diktat. The best Johnson could have done in March would have been to invite the rest of us to take the reasonable precautions (handwashing etc) and to leave it at that. He declined to do that. He decided instead to listen to a bunch of very second rate, Establishment “scientists”, who encouraged in him what I can only assume was a latent authoritarian impulse.

And those scientists, who seem to have become policy makers (why?), are the last people to recognise what the rest of us now can see: that “science” is a non-static, eminently flexible, roiling cesspit of personal ambition. The Whitty types, while posing as neutral arbiters of Truth, have dragged the rest of us into that cesspit at the cost not just of the economy, but of the spiritual health of the country.

I said this in March and was ComBox mugged for it: that the Government “daily briefings” disclosed a morally unhealthy obsession with mere numbers. A calculus of morbidity. The Government generated a framework of interpretation in which the “success” of fighting this virus was a matter of quantification. How many have died? How many cases?

It thereby made it impossible to see that there were real cases of what I choose to call “spiritual” harm which were direct consequences of the “Lockdown” decision: when your child has to get in bed with you through fear; when grandparents emotionally distance themselves from their grandchildren because “hugging” is forbidden; when children are reluctant to interact normally with their peers when they meet them in the street.

I’ll call it: the quantification of morality. The false idea that mere numbers can tell you what is right and wrong. A sort of sophisticated utilitarianism. A “calculus of harm” which is unable in its own terms to define what “harm” means.

And our PM is up to it again. Not content merely to insert himself into our lives by telling us what to eat (yes it really is that absurd) he’s proposing that restaurants should be required to publish calorie figures with each meal.

Mr Johnson, whom we can visually infer has Epicurean tendencies, has lost the joy of life. Having been mind-captured by the rubbish Whitty types it seems he has decided that the way we should all live is in terms of a grey mathematical calculus which he has extended from the C-19 crisis (at which point it might have been forgivable) to my meal with my friends, and my calorie count, (at which point it isn’t).

The authoritarian virus which colonised his mind at the time of C-19 has mutated (as viruses do) into the new virus which makes him think it’s his business to tell us what to eat. And to do so on the basis of numbers.

Are you becoming as depressed as me?

The post Facemasks, science, obesity: the tyranny of numbers appeared first on Comment Central.

Scroll Up