Aug. 2, 2021

The World Health Organization's hobgoblins of fear

Watching TV coverage of COVID news, in particular warnings about the Delta variant, reminds me of a quotation by H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956):

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” 

We have lost perspective in the COVID narrative. Politicians and infectious disease specialists do not differentiate between possibility and probability. For example, there a possibility that a meteorite will hit me during the next 24 hours. However, the probability is so low that I can ignore the possibility.

Virus specialists warn us that vaccinated people can be infected but fail to disclose the probability. I suspect it is very low. Warning of the possibility without stating the probability is a hobgoblin.

The latest absurdity is that vaccinated people should wear masks due to the highly infectious Delta variant. Either the vaccines are effective or not. If the vaccines do not protect us, they have to say so.

Anything less than a properly fitted N-95 medical quality mask is ineffective in preventing COVID infections. Again, governments and health agencies recommend or require face masks but do not give us information on how effective they are. Most are useless in screening coronavirus.   

Medical personnel with proper equipment have become infected. They can let their guard down for a moment and suffer the consequences. Relying on face masks to prevent infection is high risk. Recommending face masks unless they can be shown to be effective in preventing infection is a hobgoblin. The scare tactics are insidious and ridiculous.

Virus specialists and the media love to use terms like transmissible. If the effort is to inform us rather than frighten us, they will use standard terms like contagious or infectious. They ignore probability. They suggested that the Delta variant is ten times more contagious than the original but offer no proof which is another hobgoblin.  

They are looking at unscientific ‘studies’ of small groups of patients in one facility with no control group for comparison. Those observations are interesting as an inducement to make a proper study but should not be used to frighten people. 

We have had coronavirus in Canada since January 2020. Over 18 months, we have had a total of 1,430,825 cases. They represent 3.76% of our population.

Of the total cases, there were 26,598 deaths or 1.9% of those deemed infected.
However, the deaths represent only 0.07% of the population. That is seven one-hundredths of one percent. The probability of someone becoming infected and then dying of COVID is very low.  

97.7% of people diagnosed as COVID infected recover. With only 3.7% of our population infected and only 1.9% of infected persons dying, the risk of COVID infection is overstated, and the risk of dying from a COVID infection is wildly exaggerated.

The current COVID strategy is to treat all COVID patients as a priority. That is blatantly hypocritical. Our virus specialists and politicians decided that treating a COVID infection is more important than treating someone with cancer or a severe heart or kidney condition. We have tens of thousands of people across Canada whose medically approved treatment is ‘on hold’ so hospitals can treat COVID patients.

That is as inhumane and insane as politicians can get.

Particularly now that we have vaccines available, giving COVID patients treatment priority is repulsive. People who are not vaccinated run a higher risk of infection than others but are no more entitled to priority treatment than someone with a lung disease or suffering cancer.   

The focus on the COVID narrative 24/7 is to divert our attention from the dishonesty and hypocrisy of our political class. Our politicians need to consult with medical specialists to decide on how to deal with a contagious virus. If provinces are concerned about a ‘fourth wave’ they will have to explain why most don’t bother to update virus statistics on weekends.

The media keeps interviewing virus specialists 24/7 who tut-tut about the potential risks, but don’t address probability. More hobgoblins.  

Medical specialists can only advise. Politicians are responsible for determining what regulations are reasonable for the people in their province. They have failed us by avoiding political risks while they doom thousands of people to premature deaths due to lack of treatment.

They have created a shameful mess and need to be held accountable. Our health care systems failed us in a medical crisis. Politicians will not admit to the lack of preparedness or medical staff depth to deal with an epidemic.      

Before you leave, please return to the top of the page and re-read Mencken’s quote.

The World Health Organization employed hobgoblins to scare governments into adopting an untried and untested method of controlling an infectious disease.