The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Decision to Let Covid Go Chronic

Has been made.

If I know that if I don’t do X, then Y will happen, and I choose not to do X, then I have chosen Y.

Our elites  have chosen not to control Covid. It’s tiresome to keep going through Pandemic 101, but they haven’t tracked and traced, haven’t quarantined, haven’t enforced vaccines, haven’t opened up vaccine patents and helped every country manufacture them, haven’t kept lockdowns going long enough, have opened schools, refused to acknowledge Covid was airborne for too long, and on, and on, and on.

There is a playbook for defeating pandemics, it is well understood, and only a few countries ran it.

Covid has made the rich much richer. It kills old and poor people primarily. Selling Covid boosters every year or even twice a year for $150/pop to everyone who can afford them is a lovely new sinecure for pharma.

Because Covid has proved to be a great boon to almost everyone important, i.e., everyone who actually makes decisions or influences them, there’s no reason to end it.

And so it appears it’s going to go chronic.

Even if there are some countries who keep it under control, there will be vast numbers who don’t, and they will serve as pools for Covid to continue to evolve. This is good, of course, if you are a pharma exec with stock options, because that means new booster shots! Vaccinated populations which do not reach crowd immunity are a thing of beauty, allowing Covid to evolve against the vaccines!

Life is wonderful. Modern neoliberal capitalism is the most amazing economic system ever created — one so finely engineered by two generations of intellectuals, bureaucrats, and politicians that it turns even a plague into a massive profit event for the rich.

And, really, as anyone who isn’t rich is obviously a worthless loser who doesn’t add value to society, because money obviously accurately measures value, this is as it should be.

Too bad about grandma, or that kid getting long-covid and losing the ability to speak properly — if they were worth keeping alive and healthy, they’d be rich, because that would show their merit.

Anyway, enjoy the new world.

And remember, if you don’t overthrow your elites, they will kill you or make your life unbearable. It’s you or them, and so far, it’s you.

(My writing helps pay my rent and buys me food. So please consider subscribing or donating if you like my writing.)


The Canadian Economy Under US Hegemony and Neoliberalism


Quarantine Matters


  1. Stormcrow

    Ian, Covid was going to go chronic the moment the Delta variant got loose.
    The estimated R₀ of Delta is somewhere between 6 and 7.
    So the rule of thumb herd immunity percentage, (R₀-1)/R₀, is bounded below by 5/6 ≅ 83%.
    This gets better, since vintage Covid does not seem to confer immunity to Delta.
    You’d need to vaccinate absolutely everyone, right down to the 6 month old infants, and with Pfizer/Moderna to boot, to have a fighting chance of clearing that bar. And this would mean, in the US, literally vaccinating a good proportion of the Trump cultists at gunpoint. Other western countries as well, I think; France’s antivax nuts are as militant as the ones in the US and far more destructive.
    So the bottom line is, we’re not going to get there. Not with Delta. Covid has won that much of the learning race that began 20 months ago.

  2. anon

    I’m vaccinated and still wearing a mask indoors. I don’t care what other people think or say about me. There was a maskless Trump rally near where I live only a few months ago. If anyone believes that the majority of people going maskless in stores and schools are vaccinated and not spreading new variants everywhere they go, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. There are more stories of breakthrough cases with people who have taken the vaccines. I don’t want this virus even if it doesn’t kill me, and I don’t want to have the guilt of spreading it to unvaccinated children who could suffer for the rest of their lives because of it. Yes, COVID is going to be a chronic illness and innocent people will continue to suffer and die from it, especially if they don’t have the money to afford a booster shot. We could have all just worn a mask and stayed indoors all of last year to get rid of it. Now we will have to live with the threat of it for the rest of our lives and for generations to come.

  3. Plague Species

    Excellent post. Spot on. I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Ché Pasa

    Once again,


  5. Hugh

    It’s not just our elites. We live in a world that is increasingly insane, and that’s saying something. Look at all the wars and disasters of the Twentieth century and how we managed not to learn anything from them. About all you can say is that somehow we managed to stumble and bumble, and with a lot of luck, our way into not eradicating ourselves in a nuclear holocaust.

    Now in the Twenty-first century, we are at the point of no return on existential crises like overpopulation and climate change. We ignore the first and do as little as possible about the second. We accept as normal in our politics and economy the endless grifting of neoliberalism.

    That our greedy, incompetent, criminal rich and elites were going to blow our response to covid, but still find ways to loot it was a given. The international response was a joke, a caricature of too little too late. But even domestically in the US, look at how many of us won’t wear masks or get a vaccine shot because it has become normal to deny any inconvenient reality, call it Fake, a Hoax, and mumble something about Gunz and Freedumb.

    It is strange living in a world that has a death wish, and wondering how we got here.

  6. They have chosen not to treat it in its early stages. When a person tests positive, they are not told to see a doctor, they are not prescribed any medication (and there are medications to treat the illness), they are not followed with visits to see how they do, they are simply TOLD TO GO HOME AND SELF ISOLATE.

  7. Mary Bennett

    I think what we Americans learned from the last year is two things: that our society is a lot more resilient than anyone realized, and that there is plenty of money around, only in the wrong places. That is why the elites of both parties are pulling out all the stops to prevent the election of any more self styed progressives to Congress. The “progressive” faction, whatever weird beliefs it might have about human sexuality, is committed to a distributive economic system, which the elites and their minions will not and cannot allow.

    I have no doubt that the measures Ian describes are needed. The problem in the USA is that large and highly vocal segments of the American public simply won’t stand for them. Never mind that those are often exactly the same people who think they should get to tell the rest of us how to dress, what music we ought to enjoy, and in general how to spend our own money, what there is of it.

  8. Willy

    They have chosen not to treat it in its early stages.

    This makes no sense to me considering our for-profit age. Every doctor I’ve ever seen for far lesser conditions have suggested treatment and/or pharma options which seemed very expensive to me.

    It makes far more sense to me that encouraging people to not wear masks, to call it a flu, to consider it a hoax… is a big pharma backed conspiracy geared towards even more profits.

  9. Willy

    I remember seeing a Jordan Peterson video where he stated that most of us would’ve been Nazis had we been Germans in the 1930s. Yet the stats tell us that only a third of Germans actually supported Hitler, and that a far smaller proportion were actually Nazi Party members. The rest either suffered in silence, laid low, or got the hell out of the country. A very vocal few owned by an even fewer few may be the way of human things..

  10. Synoptocon

    If only this were elites leading people around by the nose. Elites are to a significant extent *reacting*.

    Why is the action from PMO, Cabinet Office, etc. a series of middle of the road half measures? Because they’re scared of the political fallout from a bunch of semi-organized dimwits. For most of the pols, they’re in the best job they’ve ever had and brand “glorious leader” is their best chance of keeping it. For the civil service, they’re in over their heads and worked off their feet trying to thread the needle through a system structured to kill creativity and favour inertia – anyone with any brains is either already out or keeping a low profile in Kanata counting the days until the next cost controlling retirement buyout comes through.

  11. Ché Pasa

    Reports indicate that the “real” death toll (“truth” being relative and all) in the US from COVID is on the order of a million, probably well beyond it; ancillary deaths from other causes left to fester at least partly because of the COVID may be in the several hundreds of thousands more in the last year and a half; life-spans (for the Lower Orders) have been on a steep decline; birth rates have crashed. Perfect, no? “Everything’s going according to plan!”

    If reports that the actual deaths in India from COVID have been undercounted by ten times (ie: 4 million instead of 400,000) with no end in sight, wow. We have no idea what the fatality rate is in China, but we can be reasonably sure it’s significantly higher than the few thousand reported.

    And then there’s the rest of the world, like Britain, where Clown Boris says “Party on!” because only people over 80 die from this plague. Dude.

    Our rulers have decided that as long as the dead are almost all among the wretched refuse, it’s all good.

    This is only the beginning.

    Save the People Who Matter; let the rest…expire.

  12. someofparts

    Krystal and Saagar are making a good point this morning about getting more people vaccinated. Biden should reach out to Trump. Trump would probably do it and a fair number of people would listen to him and get the shots. So, really really lame of Biden not to do that.

  13. js

    It’s not just the elites. I mean try to imagine this: was there ever a time when contract tracing would have worked in the U.S. as whole, or would people not have cooperated with it?

    This was all done on the state level and states varied widely. Some states seemed to have decent contract tracing going on and many (including some blue states) didn’t. But also cooperation probably differed among states different populations. The elites were at best incompetent, at worst malevolent. But even if there weren’t, there needs to be a buyout among the people as well. Often times ordinary people are blamed for things that not in any way their doing, it’s all the elites and the structures they create, and we must live under. But contract tracing really does require everyone’s cooperation. But what if Trump hadn’t poisoned the discourse very early on in the pandemic? I don’t know, it didn’t help any, immediately after there were more people out and about, we can all speculate.

    One can figure about how many people are going maskless and unvaccinated in stores by figuring out the local vaccination rates. If this is fairly high then most people in the stores masked or not are probably vaccinated, if not, then not. People travel of course, but unless you live in a major tourist spot, most people will be locals.

  14. Hugh

    What drugs are Krystal and Saagar on? Trump got 600,000 Americans killed because he not only didn’t do the right thing about covid he did the worst thing possible about it. He could have any time on his own told his followers the time had come to take covid seriously and to get vaccinated. And now it is Biden’s fault for not asking the Great Leader to pretty please do the “right thing.” This to a guy who’s still running the grift that he won the election not because he believes it but because he still gets attention and money from his fascist followers.

  15. StewartM

    Someofparts–Trump could encourage people to get vaccinated, as he did (secretly), instead of allowing his supporters to become anti-vaxxers. But why should he help? The very reason why the Rs are promoting “Freedumb” from vaccination is because if the Dems were successful in even greatly mitigating Covid, then that makes Trump look even worse. So they *want* to see Americans die. Like with everything else they do, it’s a callous political calculation.

    What Covid is demonstrating is that, like climate change, local competency doesn’t do that much. Countries like Taiwan and Vietnam tried hard, and did far better than most, but the Trumps and the Johnsons and the Bolsonaros of the world, with their combination of deliberate cruelty and incompetency, eventually overwhelmed the countries that tried to do it right. The only way to solve both pandemics and climate change is by coordinated, global, action. Good luck with that when countries like the US struggle to pass a budget.

    For years I’ve read warnings of “overpopulation!!” and now it seems we’re going to get our mass die-off, just as Limits to Growth predicted. Solutions like both restricting births (contraception, abortion) and encouraging immigration to balance the demographics between countries with old populations and those with young were brushed aside as they violated someone’s “val-yews” or threatened macaroni-and-cheese dinners, polka music, gun worship, and Southern Baptist ministers as the mainstays of culture. Who did you think was going to die off first, but the poor and the vulnerable? It wasn’t going to be the billionaire class.

  16. js

    What the Biden administration should do is find a way to put Trump in jail. It shouldn’t even be hard. But they are committed to not doing that, looking forward and not back, looking bipartisan, letting the elite go unpunished.

    And so instead of Trump in jail, we are all subject to him trying to whip up a right wing revolution all the time (even if you want a revolution, this is definitely not OUR revolution, don’t confuse a f-ist coup with a left wing revolution).

    We had immigration enough to increase population, even if not entirely balance demographics, the problem is immigration to countries that have a large environmental and carbon footprint is just that, more carbon etc..

  17. Astrid

    Considering that mRNA vaccines are the major avenue of new research for cancer treatments and all the COVID organ damage may spur new research into organization repair. The wealthy may well live forever. Hell we’re far from rich and my husband wants to live forever (gag).

  18. “look at how many of us won’t wear masks or get a vaccine shot because it has become normal to deny any inconvenient reality,”

    This is ironic considering the reality that there is no long term or even medium term data on the experimental vaccines.

    When Trump said “If we don’t test it doesn’t exist” it was him saying the quite part out loud that is the common practice in our society. All the people claiming a never before tested mRNA vaccine is “safe” are followers of that statement.

    Here is what the only full study done by corporation selling the vaccine says.
    1 out of 100 people getting the vaccine will be prevented from getting Covid.
    62% will become fatigued,
    22% to get a fever,
    55% headaches,
    23% join pain
    38% muscle pain.
    1.2% will get a severe adverse event.
    1.2% more people in the vaccine groups data was hidden by the corporation.
    No tests were done for negative health effects.

    The inconvenient reality is that there is no quality evidence these brand new never before tried Vaccines are on net beneficial.

  19. My previous post I posted the wrong link to the full Pfizer study.

    Here is the correct one.

  20. Hugh

    Gee, Oakchair, people are notoriously noncompliant in taking their blood pressure medications because of various side effects associated with them. So maybe we should just throw them out. And we all know about loss of hair and bad digestion from many cancer treatments. So we should probably can those as well. And it’s not like covid has killed more than 600,000 Americans or that there’s a surge going on among the unvaccinated. So clearly vaccines must be ineffective and a hoax as well. No need to take them either. Problem solved!

  21. nihil obstet

    And then there was thalidomide. Some cancer treatments appear counterproductive in that you will die of old age before the cancer affects you (this appears to be true of thyroid cancer in South Korea and prostate cancer in the U.S.) It was very recent that all U.S. women were pressured by doctors to do HRT (hormone replacement therapy for estrogen) before a long-term systematic study was undertaken and then halted halfway through because the group receiving the estrogen was experiencing such high mortality rates.

    I’ve been vaccinated for covid. I encourage others to be vaccinated because I tend to follow medical advice that isn’t just silly (a lot of it is).

    I do not blame people who choose not to be vaccinated because they are leery of a medical intervention that has not had a long study of potential damaging effects. It’s not a valid argument to equate a known valid drug with an unknown one.

  22. Joan

    Just tossing in a note that any track and trace system would need to be low tech. My country tried both, and only the sign-in paper slips worked. I got months into the QR code scanning only to realize my phone hadn’t been doing it properly. Plus old people don’t carry phones, and some people (myself included) are downgrading from smart phones to cheap Nokia-style things that still get the job done.

    I didn’t realize the US had gotten rid of the indoor mask mandate. So you don’t have to wear a mask on public transit or in crowded shops? That seems a bit loose. But here mask-wearing was never political, just a nuisance, so people wear them when required (anywhere indoors where you don’t have to show a negative test, so public transit and shopping), then take them off immediately once outside. I spent all of 2020 marveling at news of Americans wearing masks outside. Americans are so polarized it seems it’s all or nothing.

  23. NR

    Here is what the only full study done by corporation selling the vaccine says.
    1 out of 100 people getting the vaccine will be prevented from getting Covid.

    That is definitely not what the vaccine study says, not even close. This is what it says:

    A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older.

  24. different clue

    Change of subject? Not entirely. Not if the ” meta-subject” here is how the Ruling Elites deliberately make things go chronic in order to stealth-kill as many people as possible after a plausibly amnesiable passage of time.

    Here’s another illustration of that “meta-subject”. The Ruling Elites have made global warming chronic on purpose as a tool in their toolbox of long-term down-range gigadeath population reduction.

    What inspired that thought? This little article from Naked Capitalism.

    Here is a little quote from that article.
    “ANCHORAGE — Meteorologists were stunned last week when three successive thunderstorms swept across the Arctic from Siberia to north of Alaska, unleashing lightning bolts in an unusual phenomenon that scientists say will become less rare with global warming.”

    It should be amusing to see the manmade global warming denialists try to denialize this. I am sure they feel they are up to the challenge.

  25. The older I get, the more I’ve read and learned, the more I realize that not all incompetence is unintentional. Sometimes it’s a veneer that lends a disguise to something you would never be able to do if it were obviously intentional. I’m not sure there was ever any intent to stop covid, and am not entirely sure that the leak was unintentional. The power in this world lies with people who are inherently sociopathic.

  26. PS — anyone who has read “Confessions of an Economic Hit-man” knows what I’m talking about. Anyone who hasn’t read it, should.

  27. Everybody should breathe a deep sigh of relief. It turns out that the UK’s chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance erred when he said 60% of UK covid hospitalization are from double vaccinated people.

    @ukchiefscientist corrected himself soon, thereafter:

    Correcting a statistic I gave at the press conference today, 19 July. About 60% of hospitalisations from covid are not from double vaccinated people, rather 60% of hospitalisations from covid are currently from unvaccinated people.

    I think the moral of the story is clear. If you want to be one of the 40% hospitalized for covid in the UK, make sure you get “double vaccinated”. However, if you want to be one of the 60% hospitalized for covid in the UK, make sure you never get vaccinated.

    One of the advantages of being in the 40% group is that you have a higher probability of living long enough to instead die from prion disease, Alzheimer’s or heart failure due to micro blood clots in your lungs, which force your poor little heart to beat faster and faster.

    Whether the nightmare scenarios we’ve been warned about, come about, or not, you can at least proudly say, “Guinea pig for Pfizer/Moderna/J&J/fill-in-the-blank”

  28. Hugh

    Nihil, there are systems for the reporting of adverse reactions. If there had been any as with the J & J vaccine, we would have heard of them by now.

    It is important to distinguish real concerns which we really don’t have with this game of excuses where as in so many areas it is conclusions first and excuses made up as needed to justify what people were going to do anyway.

  29. “Gee, Oakchair, people are notoriously noncompliant in taking their blood pressure medications because of various side effects associated with them. So maybe we should just throw them out.”

    How about instead you stop trying to control other people bodies and stop being a bully?

    “So clearly (Covid) vaccines must be ineffective and a hoax as well.”

    If that is how you want to describe your inability to produce evidence and use science go for it.

    @ NR

    Here is what the study found: 162 and 8 people were infected with Covid in the placebo and vaccine group out of a total of 44,820 people. So yes I was wrong. The vaccine actually prevents less than 1 out of 100 people from catching Covid according to those selling the drug.

    ” there are systems for the reporting of adverse reactions.”

    Here is what the FDA and Harvard say about those self reporting systems.

    Likewise, fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported.

    But you keep on following Trump’s, “if we don’t test it, it doesn’t exist” philosophy.

  30. NR


    Stop making claims based on statistics when you clearly don’t understand statistics.

  31. Soredemos


    The Democrats gave up on any chance of Trump personally being held accountable for anything when they decided to relegate his obvious emoluments violations to the courts, and instead impeached him over made up nonsense.

    Also there was no coup attempt, just a mob of angry retards that got out of control.

  32. @NR

    I stated the data as reported by the study from the corporation selling the Covid vaccine.

    I understand that you’ve been an asshole to those who know the science and you can’t handle the hit to your ego. To save face you respond with projection, ad hominems and other logical fallacies. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to get over yourself and enter a good faith logical discussion and utilize scientific practices instead of mindlessly parroting corporate marketing.

  33. Billy Bob

    This obsession with COVID is rather ridiculous. If the “elites” are killing the poor by not forcing quarantine, etc, then I suppose the poor will do really well if the “elites” force everyone to quarantine, not work, lose their jobs, stop growing and harvesting food, and stay at home to cower in fear as the COVID lurks outside their door, while they starve from lack of food and electricity, as everyone knows that food and electricity will just drop from heaven like manna once everyone quarantines properly.
    Do you not see any of the second and third order consequences from your recommendations of forced quarantine, etc?

  34. bruce wilder

    This was fairly obvious as soon as a year ago. I do not recall when Ian first called it so. But, that policy was allowing COVID to become endemic was clear enough from April 2020.

    I am kind of amazed that there has been so little reaction to the decision of the CDC not to track so-called “breakthrough” cases (cases among the vaccinated). There are not many interpretations of that policy that do not come down to malevolent incompetence. (Most incompetence comes with a serving of malevolence.)

    Still it is very easy to blame the deplorables for being skeptical about vaccines from the same elite making this plague endemic. There is no moral case that I can see for legally compelling adults to take a vaccine of unproven (and unmonitored) efficacy, and none at all for imposing on minors, who face (apparently) little risk from the disease (again the data is poorly monitored by malevolent incompetents so go figure).

    When you get up in the morning ready to overthrow this regime, that will be the dawn of living in reality.

  35. Astrid

    If the vaccines conferred immunizing sterility or lifetime immunity, the relative risk reduction might matter. But it doesn’t, it’s the absolute risk reduction during the 6 months of relative effectiveness that needs to be compared to the various vaccine downsides. Preventing less than 1% of Covid cases, when more than 1% will get severe reactions that may be in par with or worse than getting Covid, is pretty bad. Even for the average punter, it means you’re talking time out to get shots twice, likely in a poorly ventilated indoor space, after which you are more likely than not to feel sick for 1 or more days, all for avoiding a less than single low single digits chance of getting Covid without the vaccine.

    I got the vaccine, but only because I was afraid that my vaccinated parents and husband would go out, catch it, and pass a high viral load to me.

  36. bruce wilder

    Quarantine and other such measures are utterly useless now. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. It is pointless speculation on a counterfactual past. Life goes on. Mourn for what was lost. Face the truth about who rules.

  37. NR


    You whine about me not understanding scientific practices when you clearly do not understand basic mathematical and scientific concepts like statistical sampling and relative risk. Your ignorant blather on the topic of vaccines would be amusing if it didn’t have the potential to get people killed. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and stop trying to expound on topics of which you are completely ignorant.

  38. bruce wilder


    Masks are required on public transit in the U.S.

    One of the clear indications of elite malevolent incompetence has been the generally poor quality of public health recommendations and the superstitious manner is which they are followed. There was never much reason to think transmission out-of-doors in sunshine was a serious risk, but the Media Early on loved the pictures of “crowded” Florida beaches (made crowded by telescopic lenses) and city officials closed public parks just to make quatantine as Puritanical as possible. Airborne transmission in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces — not fomite surfaces — should have been clear both from the early cruise ship experience and from previous experience with related SARS. But that insight was not widely shared; people were left with very poor guidance.

  39. Geof

    Astrid, I think I know what you and Oakchair are saying, but I’m not sure it’s coming across clearly.

    “it’s the absolute risk reduction during the 6 months of relative effectiveness that needs to be compared to the various vaccine downsides. Preventing less than 1% of Covid cases, when more than 1% will get severe reactions that may be in par with or worse than getting Covid, is pretty bad.”

    My understanding of what you’re saying is that in relative terms, the vaccine is effective, preventing 95% of infections. But in absolute terms, even if the vaccine were 100% effective, it is only minimally beneficial if covid cases are rare. If only 1% of the population will contract covid during the period of vaccine efficacy, then 0.95% (1% x 95%) is the relevant number, not 95%. Meanwhile, a very high proportion of those who take the vaccine will experience side effects – and if everyone took it, the rate of severe adverse events would be higher than the rate of covid infections (never mind serious covid cases, a lower number).

    As stated, the argument looks reasonable. But I have questions.

    1) Is 1% the correct prediction for the percentage of the population likely to catch the virus in a six month period? I believe the proportion of the population that caught it here in BC is less than 4% over about a year and a half, so here at least 1% might be right (though we’re relaxing restrictions…).

    2) Is six months the correct interval during which the vaccine is effective? Or does it, for example, maintain lesser efficacy for a longer period?

    3) How does the rate of severe side effects from the vaccine compare to the rate of severe side effects from the disease? I believe the rate of long-term organ damage from covid is high. If it is, say, 20%, then the vaccine appears to be worth it. BUT, if I’m going to have to take the vaccine twice a year for the indefinite future, with a chance of serious side effects each time, that advantage evaporates.

    Meanwhile, neither the virus nor prophylactic and treatment options are standing still. There are no easy choices. (I take that back: Ian is right. There were a number of easy choices that our authorities chose not to take. The level of malice and/or incompetence has been mind-blowing.)

  40. NR

    If the vaccines conferred immunizing sterility or lifetime immunity, the relative risk reduction might matter. But it doesn’t, it’s the absolute risk reduction during the 6 months of relative effectiveness that needs to be compared to the various vaccine downsides.

    No, this is incorrect, for the simple reason that the absolute risk of any particular individual contracting COVID is impossible to calculate as it depends on a myriad of different factors (and that’s without even getting into the fact that variants complicate things even further). But what we do know is that whatever a person’s risk of contracting COVID is, getting vaccinated reduces it by approximately 95%. That is the appropriate statistic to base decisions on.

  41. NR


    There certainly are cases where the relative risk reduction can be somewhat misleading. For example, say there’s a rare genetic condition out there that runs the risk of developing life-threatening complications later in life. Say there’s a medication you can take that reduces the chance of those complications by 99%. However, only 1 in 1 million people have the genetic condition.

    In that case, a 99% relative risk reduction would sound like a lot, but since the condition only affects 1 in 1 million, all that means is that the risk drops from 1 in 1 million to 1 in 100 million.

    However, that’s not like COVID at all. COVID is everywhere and is highly transmissible. Epidemiologists have forecasted that in the absence of vaccines, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the world’s population are likely to eventually get COVID and be at risk for serious illness and death. That means everyone needs the risk reduction. Therefore, the relative risk reduction is the most relevant thing to consider. Furthermore, that’s just the individual risk reduction. In the presence of widespread vaccination, the percentage of the population that will actually be infected drops. And this isn’t even considering the economic consequences of letting COVID run rampant.

    The bottom line is that if you get vaccinated, your risk of hospitalization, severe disease, or death from COVID drops by 99% or so, your risk of being infected in the first place drops by 95%, and the risk of children, the elderly, and others in contact with you being infected by you drops by some large amount as well. The systemic risk to the hospital system drops a lot. The economic risk drops a lot. Individuals choosing not to vaccinate based on the rationale that it makes little difference in their individual level of absolute risk will have significant cost to our society.

  42. NR

    And by the way Ian, one look at your comment section on any of your COVID posts should be more than enough to tell you that yes, while the elite response to COVID was either grossly incompetent or depraved (or both), elites are far from the only reason COVID has raged out of control in the West.

  43. Geof

    “while the elite response to COVID was either grossly incompetent or depraved . . . elites are far from the only reason COVID has raged out of control in the West.”

    I was stocking up in February 2020 while the country fiddled. I even wrote to my health authority during that time, when they said that the disease was not present in the general population. I warned them that their policy against testing (which might have been due to a lack of resources, I don’t know) meant that ultimately it would spread out of control and they wouldn’t know until too late. I pulled my child from school before the authorities closed the schools. I was an early mask adopter, at a time when the authorities said masks were ineffective or even (!) counterproductive. I bought and used an air purifier at a time when authorities said the virus was not airborne. I organized first vaccine shots for my family.

    I think my jurisdiction, BC, has managed the crisis better than most. I don’t think they are depraved – on the contrary, they are well-maning and relatively competent. Nonetheless, the constant stream of falsehoods has torpedoed my confidence in their claims. Not all of what I say applies to BC – but it seems that BC’s choice has been to follow the lead of the WHO and the American CDC. This lack of critical thinking has led failures there cascade to here.

    Faleshoods include the risk of the virus itself (“the flu kills more!”), keeping planes flying (to do otherwise would be “racist”), discouraging masks, a denial that the virus is airborne, censorship of the lab leak hypothesis, censorship of discussion about the use of existing drugs, censorship of the risks of the vaccines (all vaccines have risks; I got my shot knowing and accepting this), the reversal on outdoor protests in the wake of the Floyd murder.

    The denial of aiborne transmission is probably the worst. If there were an interest at stake (e.g. pharma profits), at least that could explain the failure. It’s not even politically polarized. The evidence was overwhelming early on, with the Chinese restaurant study, the inter-city Chinese bus study, and the Seattle choir. Yet it took BC authorities one full year to acknowledge the fact, while the CDC remains equivocal. From everything I’ve read (especially Zeynep Tufekci), this is purely a result of expert group-think and conformity. Even when there is no external political pressure (of which there is generally plenty), health professionals failed catastrophically – in lock-step throughout the west – at assessing a non-routine situation. The failure to recommend vitamin D is equally reprehensible.

    Add to that the politics, the money, the polarization, the willingness to lie (on masks), the deranged mainstream media, and general collective insanity. In my opinion, one would have to be ignorant or crazy to accept what our authorities say at face value. Which means that to the extent I can, I need to constantly question and reevaluate everything – including the vaccines – and try to balance the risks entailed in every course of action.

    No wonder some people throw up their hands and say it’s all lies. It’s not – the failure to grapple with this initially shows that clearly – but it’s an understandable response, that flows naturally not only from the depravity and incompetence of the past 18 months, but of years and decades of neoliberal malfeasance and lies, and the idiotic supine conformity of the professional class.

  44. bruce wilder

    what we do know is that whatever a person’s risk of contracting COVID is, getting vaccinated reduces it by approximately 95%.

    We do not know any of the sort.

    The vaccines were tested on several tens of thousands, which gives a high degree of confidence in estimates of rates and common severity of direct consequences in the short-term (aka “side-effects”). Only a tiny number of those vaccinated contracted COVID in the study period — vaccinated or not — and no deep case studies of those instances have been reported. The error bars that one ought to draw around the ratio of dozens vaccinated who contracted COVID in a relatively short period to the few hundred unvaccinated ought to be very wide indeed.

    Your attitude borders on the anti-scientific in its dogmatic assertions extrapolating from a very small and narrowly focused sample assessment.

  45. NR

    Bruce Wilder:

    It is not a very small and narrowly focused sample assessment anymore. Current data shows that 97% of hospitalizations and 99.5% of deaths from COVID are among the unvaccinated.

  46. When considering the risk vs. reward of a covid vaccine, you should bear in mind not just death from “breakthrough” cases, but also how many people are dying from the vaccine, itself.

    A whistle-blower’s testimony has been submitted in a motion filed by America’s Frontline Doctors

    asking to immediately stop administration of experimental COVID vaccines in anyone 18 and younger, all those who have recovered from COVID and acquired natural immunity, and every other American who has not received informed consent as defined by federal law.

    The whistleblower — a computer programmer who developed more than 100 distinct healthcare fraud algorithms, and who has expertise in healthcare data analytics that allows her to access Medicare and Medicaid data obtained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Systems (CMS) — filed a sworn statement under penalty of perjury alleging the actual number of COVID vaccine-related deaths is closer to 45,000.

    The whistleblower alleged that VAERS, while extremely useful, is under-reported by a conservative factor of at least five.

    The whistleblower states that the swine flu vaccine was pulled off the market after 53 deaths.

    Source: “Federal Lawsuit Seeks Immediate Halt of COVID Vaccines, Cites Whistleblower Testimony Claiming CDC Is Under-Counting Vaccine Deaths” @

    IMNSHO, anybody who trusts the CDC is a fool. Ditto the WHO.

  47. Thomas B Golladay


    The Gold Standard is and remains HCQ or Ivermectin with Zinc, and Vit D and C regimens. Countries doing this have the virus under control.

    The lockdowns did not work, they actually sped up the spread of the virus by concentrating people in fewer buildings. Masks lessened the severity of the virus, but didn’t stop you from getting it. States that did not lockdown and restrict HCQ and Ivermectin regimens had less Covid Cases than those that did.

    Also the Delta Variant is less deadly and it is the vaccinated who are getting it due to antibody escape, especially those above the age of 50. Also the vaccines are not FDA approved and I am transporting more people for vaccine side effects than Covid these days.

    Those following Dr. Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity can see the real data on the outbreak for themselves. MSM is utterly useless for information alongside US Health Authorities.

    For myself, I am on a Ivermectin Regime by my Medical Director along with the rest of my crew. None of us has gotten Covid.

  48. Speaking of the CDC, the Wall Street Journal posted “The Flimsy Evidence Behind the CDC’s Push to Vaccinate Children” 2 days, ago.

    A tremendous number of government and private policies affecting kids are based on one number: 335. That is how many children under 18 have died with a Covid diagnosis code in their record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet the CDC, which has 21,000 employees, hasn’t researched each death to find out whether Covid caused it or if it involved a pre-existing medical condition.

    Wh-h-h-h-y-y-y-y-y, it’s almost as if the CDC was putting the business interests of vaccine makers ahead of the health and safety of children.

    Or, am I just too cynical?

  49. The Gold Standard is and remains HCQ or Ivermectin with Zinc, and Vit D and C regimens. Countries doing this have the virus under control.

    I can’t speak to the accuracy of his numbers, but MD/Ph.D/JD Richard Fleming has posted the numerical efficacy rating of various protocols, for various stages of covid disease. He’s also priced out the cost of the various protocols. See flemingmethod dot com.

    For early stage (defined as treatment started within 3-4 days of treatment) the Zelenko protocol (minus zinc) only weighed in at 79%. However, the top rated protocol, which also had hydroxychloroquine as one of 3 elements of the stack, was rated as 100% effective.

    Here it is (the dosages are in the document):
    HCQ / Clindamycin / Primaquine


    I talked yesterday to the neurologist of a family member who was sent to the hospital after the J&J vaccination, about 2 months, ago. He was recently diagnosed with CJD, a prion disease. This is very rare – odds of 3 in 1,000,000.

    I had sent this neurologist a couple of pdf’s from Fleming’s website, one with an excerpt from a paper suggesting mRNA fragments can also act as prions. Fleming has stated that, based on animal models, we will see the onset of Alzheimer’s and prion diseases in vaccinated individuals in a year and a half. He didn’t predict how widespread or how rapidly developing these conditions would be. (CJD kills in about a year.) I sent this pdf because I’m concerned my relative may be an outlier (2 months << 1.5 years) Also, to alert the doctor of what may be coming at him in the near future.

    Well! He told me Monday that there is an infectious disease expert at his hospital who also believes the vaccines will cause prion disease!

  50. someofparts

    Thomas B Golladay – Where can I get Ivermectin? I desperately want it but can’t figure out who to see or where to go to get it.

    Also, fwiw regarding the general conversation here, the fact that anyone who tries to speak about the treatments TB Golladay references is banished from the internet tells me that the mishandling of covid treatments in this country is very intentional and Nuremburg-level criminal.

  51. Willy

    And Steven Turley sez that President Trump will begin His SECOND TERM by NUKING the COVID RELIEF BILL!!!

  52. different clue

    @ Billy Bob,

    Death by all the things you mention from following quarantine etc. would be painfully visibly obvious if it were to happen. People would be named and blamed.

    Whereas death by sowing invisible micro-cellular damage throughout an infected population of millions, damage not self-perceived by overtly painful symptoms, damage silently lying in wait for 20 to 40 years to manifest itself as the ” missing margin of safety” in organ systems which ” should have normally survived ” an older-age illness but “mysteriously couldn’t” because the margin of cellular safety was not popularly recognized to be gone . . . would be a stealthy way of producing millions of deaths starting a couple of decades from now, without a visible first cause or even a trail of smoking breadcrumbs visible to the average citizen.

    So that would be the preferred method.

    But if you know better, and consider covid itself to be near-harmless for most people, including yourself most likely; you should go out and get a case of it for yourself, so you can add your personal exposure-immunization to the herd immunity at no future cost to yourself, if you believe the future cost to yourself would be zero.

  53. Astrid


    Thank you. Yes, you stated the case much more coherently than I did and the details you added are interesting and mirrors my own thinking. As you see, NR isn’t having problems understanding what I said, he or she just wants to say actual infection rates do not matter, since everyone is at risk. I think that is at least something to consider in a pandemic situation if the vaccine acts as a firebreak, the way that measles and smallpox vaccines does to reduce the population spread and bringing infectiousness under 1. But I haven’t seen any evidence that the Covid vaccines effectively reduces infectiousness.

    Since there’s no persuasive argument at the population level for mass vaccination, thee argument shifts to likely benefits and likely detriment for the individual. I think you state the case very well. The costs and benefits of vaccination are relatively even, and may tip towards not vaccinating for young healthy people who can wear a mask or minimize closer contacts.

    I base the 6 months effectiveness window based in the Israeli studies of Delta breakthrough cases and the recommendation circulating to get boosters after 6 months. I know there’s substantial residual protection beyond 6 months but effectively, the 90-95% protection quoted is only available for a 6 months window, so that’s what should be assessed.

    The science on COVID is evolving quickly and very incomplete. And due to botching and national interests, even countries that should be able to produce relatively unbiased population studies (due to lack of pharma influence as compared to the US or France) such as China or Iran cannot be trusted to do a good job.

  54. Synoptocon

    We are not preventing less than 1% of COVID infections with vaccines.

    From the CNN article, 3% of those hospitalized have the vaccine (call it roughly 750 of roughly 25,000). Assuming one percent of those were protected by the vaccine, that leaves us 743 vaccinated and 24,250 unvaccinated.

    The rate of full vaccination in the US population stands at 48.9% – backing it up a month to account for hospitalization lag takes that down to 46.7%.

    If the level of protection conferred is 1%, based on the fraction of the population unvaccinated, I should expect to see 1,394 of them in hospitalization – instead I see about 17.4 times as many. Tells me there’s a lot more protection there than 1%.

    Best advice that I heard before this little experiment in DYI disinformation kicked off was to comport yourself as if primarily concerned about the possibility of giving the virus to someone else. Still seems sound.

  55. Joan

    @bruce wilder, thanks for your reply. That makes a lot of sense.

  56. Yes, some of this may be random at the moment but it won’t stay that way:

  57. Jason

    comport yourself as if primarily concerned about the possibility of giving the virus to someone else

    Sure. So the emphasis might be on antibodies and viral loads vis-a-vis transmission, both with and without vaccines. How does the vaccine component interplay with the whole, bearing in mind always that this “known” variable is only “known” within a given elapsed time period, simply by virtue of the nature of time itself.

  58. Ché Pasa

    Just as a marker:

    I’ve been immune suppressed since 2017. I was vaccinated in May (Moderna) with no adverse reaction. I was taken off one of the immune suppression medications in June and was told I would not receive either antibody testing or booster vaccination with no real explanation for why, except that it’s not recommended by the ACR and therefore cannot be authorized by my insurance.

    Without testing, of course, there can be no determination about whether I have any ability to resist the virus. In the past, I refused other vaccines (to flu, pneumonia, shingles, etc.) because I didn’t think they would have any positive effect being as that I was immune suppressed. In those cases, I was still urged to get the vaccine. In the case of the COVID vaccine, however, I can only say that my doctors have been ambivalent about it. Neither for nor against. The refusal to find out whether the vaccine had any effect and the recommendation that I “enjoy life and do what you want” though supposedly I’m at much higher risk than most people leads me to believe… well, what exactly?

    That there is a lot unknown, that the overall risk is lower than sometimes suggested and that the specific risks to people in my condition are far from dire. Successful treatments have been found and are available, but they are applied, shall we say, with discretion. Probably depending on algorithms. Depending on age, gender, color, wealth or lack of it, potential for survival, underlying conditions, usefulness or lack of it, etc.

    So. Decide for yourself what to do or don’t do. Personally I wear a mask whenever I’m out and about or around strangers and I generally maintain social distance, I wash and use hand sanitizer though I get my hands in the dirt all the time. I take vitamin B12, D3, and zinc supplements (have been since before the pandemic), have been taking Plaquenil for years as part of my regular medication routine, feel no need for Ivermectin or other alternatives at this time.

    But truly, it is a crapshoot, isn’t it?

  59. Fauci – a known liar – appears to also be lying about deaths of vaccinated in the US. I commented (mistakenly, in the next post) about the CDC’s unlikely math regarding US covid hospitalizations.

    However, in “Hey Dr. Fauci, How Come the Vaccines Are Working So Much Better in the US Than in Israel?” @, the author looks into data about covid deaths in July, in Israel. The sub-title is “Is it plausible that the vaccinated make up 0.8% of COVID deaths in the US but 75% in Israel?”

    The author makes the same mistake I did, by looking at the total vaccination rate, instead of just the vaccination rate of adults. (60% vs.85%) But it is easy enough to calculate the more realistic comparison, using the data in the article.

    From the graph, the fully vaccinated covid death sum is: 60
    The unvaccinated covid death sum is 26

    So the adjusted relative risk for the vaccinated death, compared to unvaccinated death is

    (.15/.85) 60 / 26 = 41%

    So, in this narrow context, there is still benefit to being fully vaccinated. However….

    The Israeli population is 9 million, let’s call it 1/35 of the US population. The CDC whistleblow is claiming 45,000 US deaths from the vaccine, itself. 1/35 of this is 1,286.

    Israel has been vaccinating for about 7 months. The graph covers 2 weeks of data, or ~ 1/14 of 7 months. So, if we take 1/14 of the 1286 estimated Israeli dead from the vaccine, we get 92

    Ok, drumroll, please. If we redo my first calculate but add 92 killed by vaccine to 60 vaccinated who died from covid, we get a relative risk of

    (.15/.85) (60 + 92) / 26 = 103%

    I.e., using these admittedly crude estimates, I’m seeing vaccinated Israelis MORE at risk of death from getting fully vaccinated, than unvaccinated Israelis are.

    And the hospitalization trends are in the wrong direction, if you are a vaccine fan…

  60. Cakeeater

    A million migrants streaming into the country, bussed and flown to interior cities. Why mask? What difference could it make when the door is open.? The cabal collects about $400 million a month for bringing migrants to our border.

  61. @ Geof

    1a) We actually don’t know the relative reduction in total Covid because the corporate studies do not actually test everyone for Covid. Pfizer’s study did not test around 1,600 and 1,800 people for Covid when they had flue like symptoms. Considering their stated Covid infections was 170 this is a massive flaw.
    1b) According to the corporate studies those getting the vaccine are more likely to get Covid for 2-6 weeks. Pizfer found 409 and 287 in the vaccine and placebo group caught Covid during this period. These numbers were cherry picked out of their efficacy data.

    2) It is impossible to know effects after 6 months because there isn’t any data. Hypothetically if the vaccine caused 20% of people to get heart inflammation after 6 months we wouldn’t know. Hell if it causes 20% of people to get heart inflammation in the first 6 months we wouldn’t know because the “if we don’t test for it, it doesn’t exist.” Strategy was used.

    3) The rate of negative effects from Covid differs between different groups. Young people who are at a healthy weight have about a 0% chance of dying or being hospitalized if they get Covid. For people in this group even according to the highly biased corporate studies the vaccine causes more harm than good.

  62. DMC

    Ivermectin is available at feed stores and is sold as a horse wormer

  63. Gaianne

    I am late to comment, as usual–I need to fix that!

    Ian, once again you have described clearly and concisely things that no one seems to want to think about.

    The decision to let covid go endemic was made early on. Once the original outbreak and crisis in China had become clear, there were only two main strategies: 1) Close borders–especially air travel–and suppress the spread 2) Do nothing and let it rage. Except for New Zealand, the West almost entirely chose a sort of option 2a) Let it rage but try to slow it by individual isolation and face masks. But slowing was never suppressing. Endemic covid would be inevitable.

    In this context official medicine is of no use, for it is only designed to make money for pharmaceutical companies, not to stop covid. The vaccines–the only officially accepted measure against covid, are effective at best for less than a year and apparently not against all strains–and that is putting aside the occasional disastrous side effects. So the public is most literally on its own.

    Unofficial measures can be deployed, and most are not even illegal (yet), though information about them is now being actively censored from the internet. The central point is to understand when a society’s system of medicine has become too corrupt, as ours has now become, and when it is time to take ones health, as a practical matter, into ones own hands.

    I have no idea how to overcome the rule of corrupt government and lawless corporations under which we now suffer, but I do know that even as an isolated individual one can implement Gandhi’s first principle: Withdraw consent. There is no need nor reason to give daily support to the institutions that exploit us. They can be avoided; alternatives can be found.

    Ian, once again you have written a gem of an essay. I am happy and grateful.


  64. different clue


    I would agree. I would say further that even partial withdrawal of consent is better than no withdrawal of consent at all. And if a hundred million people partially withdrew their hundred million consents, that would be an overall lot of withdrawn consent.

    Why do I suggest that partial withdrawal of consent is better than no withdrawal of consent at all? In part because one of the brainwar tactics which the enforcers of total consent use is ridicule and derision against the partial withdrawers of consent to get them branded as virtue-signalling hypocrites in order to shame them into returning to giving total consent.

    There was a very clever little cartoon drawn about this process once, but it is very hard to find on-line. The best I have found is various vast collections of images of which it is but one tiny hard-to-find image. But it is worth finding, so I will include a link to one of those disordered piles of images and then give my best directions to finding the cartoon I mean.

    ( Apparently this cartoon is so threatening that the whole Web conspires to prevent being able to even find the image. The best I can do is offer a clumsy link to the searchphrase I used. A little snapshot of the “collected images” may come up. If it does, the cartoon I have in mind is the first almost-too-tiny-to-see image on the topmost left.;_ylt=AwrJ7FWWs_lgsd8ATpFDDWVH;_ylc=X1MDMTE5NzgwNDg2NwRfcgMyBGZyAwRmcjIDc2ItdG9wBGdwcmlkAzZaMWl3cDBKUWlXTVNRWmlraWc4ckEEbl9yc2x0AzAEbl9zdWdnAzAEb3JpZ2luA3NlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzAEcHFzdHIDBHBxc3RybAMwBHFzdHJsAzc1BHF1ZXJ5A3NvY2lldHklMjBjb3VsZCUyMGJlJTIwaW1wcm92ZWQlMjBzb21ld2hhdCUyMGFuZCUyMHlldCUyMHlvdSUyMGNob29zZSUyMHRvJTIwcGFydGljaXBhdGUlMjBpbWFnZXMEdF9zdG1wAzE2MjY5Nzg4MTM-?p=society+could+be+improved+somewhat+and+yet+you+choose+to+participate+images&fr=sfp&iscqry=&fr2=sb-top

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