As Omicron variant marches in so also is a coming dark winter for the global poor with renewed lockdown calls: case in point how vulnerable Indians 'died for COVID'
by Paul Alexander
Locked down and locked out in their 'receiving state', they began their thousand mile trek on foot back to their village, with no money or food and many walked to their deaths
Let us be honest now. COVID-19 lockdowns led by the US in March of 2020, devastated and harmed general populations with crushing force but it devastated the vulnerable in ways never seen before. Moreover, it did so underpinned by mathematical models that were all catastrophic epic failures. Imperial College’s Ferguson stands as an example of complete utter incompetence when it comes to this forecasting and his work started a devastating chain of lockdowns, that continued even after we had data to show that the infection fatality rate (IFR) was 0.15% and for those under 70 years of age, it was 0.05%.
The crushing lockdown harms rode in like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, littering landscapes with corpses but do not tell that to the laptop, elitist, café latter class. The ‘pinky in the air’ coffee drinkers. They fared best as they caught up on some books and got to walk their dogs, enjoyed remodelling their homes as they settled into the new cadence of remote work, tutors for the children, all draped with Amazon and UBER. Lockdowns benefitted the rich in our societies and shifted the morbidity and mortality burden to the working ‘poorer’ class. Suzie who got her only meal each day in school, went without food for months. But you do not dare tell that to the laptop class.
The lockdowns did nothing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and when we thought lockdowns were dead and gone (e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Singapore), Omicron has given it a new lease on life and it is back with vengeance. Moreover, nations pivoting back to lockdowns are doing so out of the gate with draconian punitive sanctions e.g. Austria and Germany and Australia, should you not comply, shredding societal liberties, dignity, and human rights as they tether COVID vaccinations to renewed lockdowns. Did they learn anything from Peru with the highest death rate yet strictest, toughest lockdown? Conversely, Belarus which did not lock down or impose mask mandates, boasted among the lowest COVID-19 European burden (examined up to the point of Delta).
Yet a core issue is this: governments asked its populations for 2 weeks to flatten the curve so that hospitals could be prepared and ramped up, especially to cope with non-COVID illnesses. It has been 22 months now and thus we need to know what has happened in 22 months and where has the billions of taxpayer money to buy the PPE and prepare the hospitals gone? Is it not a devastating failure by governments and hospitals and not the citizens? Populations must not be made to bear the burden of lockdowns again for government failures and potential corruption, grift and graft.
Brownstone’s Tucker asks it as cleanly as it can be asked: “How did a temporary plan to preserve hospital capacity”… become near-universal house arrest that ended up causing worker furloughs at 256 hospitals, a stoppage of international travel, a 40% job loss among people earning less than $40K per year, devastation of every economic sector, mass confusion and demoralization, a complete ignoring of all fundamental rights and liberties, not to mention the mass confiscation of private property with forced closures of millions of businesses?” Look at what lockdowns did to the rise in domestic abuse internationally?
And now we have Omicron clipping at the heals and driving a new round of panic and hysteria by those who have had 22 months of experience with this virus. This hysterical clutching of pearls and vapours. In all this irrationality, it is the unvaccinated who has become the globe’s scapegoat in this Omicron driven lockdown paranoia even while strong consistent evidence has accumulated to show that the infection explosion globally that we have been experiencing– post double vaccination in e.g. Israel, UK, US etc. –may be due to the vaccinated spreading Covid as much or more than the unvaccinated. Research by Acharya et al., Riemersma et al., Chau et al., Brown et al., Singanayagam et al., and Salvatore et al. showed us this. This research findings underscore the argument against vaccine mandates and the problems with vaccine mandates that are currently threatening the jobs of millions of people. These findings also focus the doubts about the arguments for vaccinating children. Children have potent innate immune systems and are naturally protected and bring near statistical zero risk to the table. They are not candidates for these COVID-19 vaccines, and I argue could be catastrophically harmed by these vaccines.
With this open, I wish to focus briefly on what the lockdowns did. “135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation” as a result of their economies shutting down to supposedly inhibit the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, I wish to focus specifically on what happened to the very poor among us globally, and I refer to interstate floating migrant workers who leave their home villages and lands to seek employment often thousands of miles away, to a ‘receiving state’, and often on foot. With nothing other than a family waiting their long trek back with the few dollars earned. It is a story of pain and immense suffering, revealing the real tragedy of what lockdowns did and can do, for many ‘died for COVID as they walked to their deaths. “With no prospect of income, they took long journeys to go back to their villages. Some managed to get transport, but those who couldn’t, walked hundreds of miles. And some of them never made it home as they died because of exhaustion or in accidents.”
Those who have benefitted and luxuriated in the lockdowns, have done so with consummate ease and prospered, and in my mind often at the pure disregard of the ramifications of what their decisions impart. Faceless technocrats and bureaucrats who make decisions that devastate lives and not once, not once do they go with out income. Not one pay cheque is lost. ‘Where the streets have no name’ describes the plight of these floating migrant workers who travel for hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles in search of a few dollars wage and how they ‘died for COVID’ and lost it all, as they tried to make it back home to their rural villages when their receiving state and home states/nations ‘locked down’. They died as they walked back home, often with small children on their backs and in tow. Equally devastating, they were often caught in no man’s land, where “the migrant labourers stuck in different parts of the country found themselves to be second class citizens.”
This is a sordid story of immense pain for persons least able to afford the lockdowns nor survive simply making their way back. It is a story of people we do not see, they simply do not exist in our ‘café latte’ worlds, yet they are human beings just like us, with dreams and hopes and wants just like us. With children and families and spouses who feel pain just like us and love and incur loss just like us.
“All passenger trains were suspended by the Railway Ministry two days before the lockdown, and all road transport was halted once it began. Tens of millions of migrants from rural India working in Indian cities—a vast proportion of them daily wage workers in the informal sector—became unemployed overnight, and in many cases were rendered homeless as they lost access to workplace-based accommodation….They also had to contend with the police enforcement of the lockdown and its requirement that everybody stay at home, regardless of whether they had homes or not…Just two days before the March 2020 lockdown, many transportation services in India ground to a halt, stranding and starving thousands of people at a time when strict stay-at-home rules were declared. To enforce the orders, police brutally beat those considered insufficiently compliant… Thus began their desperate journeys on foot or bicycle to their home villages hundreds or thousands of kilometres away.” Massive numbers were left stranded and many died and I simply wished to share the ‘other side’ or face, of the lockdowns. You may get back to your reading and it is about time to walk the dog.