Monday 12th July 2021 was an historic day re the management of the Covid crisis. In England, the Health Secretary announced that the formal lifting of Covid restrictions will take place on July 19th: the government is indeed moving away from imposing obligations. prioritising guidance to the population [obligatory measures remain for entry into the UK].
In France, however, the scientific establishment spent last week ramping up pressure in the media for the President to impose compulsory vaccination on the adult population. Their worry now is a potential “4th wave” of the Delta Variant Covid. They don’t see its effective management in the same way as the government of the United Kingdom under Boris Johnson.
Mondays night’s Presidential address to the French nation did not disappoint the hardliners. Macron wants normality to return before the Presidential election next spring and the National Assembly elections in June. He knows that the government cannot continue to bail out business as it has done. So he is resorting to vaccination as the solution. Contradicting his promise last year to avoid making vaccination obligatory, he now keeps it in reserve for the autumn should new draconian measures fail to corral the general population into line during this summer.
With immediate effect, all employees in the Health Sector must get doubled dose vaccinated before mid September. Meanwhile, as from August 1st, the rest of the population must have a covid passport or recent test result in order to go into a cafe or travel on a train or long haul bus. The message is clear: the screw will be turned until everyone ‘volunteers’ to be vaccinated. In any other context, that would be called blackmail.
So in traditionally free Britain, the government is starting to realise that you cannot keep up this degree of compulsion and constraint indefinitely, but in France the government is reverting to type: collectivist, dirigiste, materialist.
On a more personal and pertinent note, we went for coffee with a French friend the same day. He has a doctorate in medicine, and reflects the Establishment view about compulsory measures to deal with Covid 19.
As we arrive, he places a surgical mask over his face. As a matter of normal courtesy, I ask if he wants my wife and I to do likewise. He says no, emphatically. He then explains that although he is fully vaccinated, he could still transmit the virus to us …. We are not vaccinated because we have too many serious questions – I politically, philosophically and historically, while my wife is also seriously concerned as a natural science graduate.
The conversation begins around the issue of Covid. He stick his heels in, and so do I. This is not new – we have had this conversation about the way to handle covid a number of times now. I explain that I am not against vaccination in principle; that I recognise that there have been major successes against the likes of whooping cough, polio, TB etc.
But I point out the nonsense of his being vaccinated, yet still capable of transmitting the disease. He replies that it still has a damping down effect, all the same. I point out that I know no-one who has died of Covid 19, whether here where we live, or among our wider network of family and friends. No-one !
I also point out that I checked that morning on the latest statistics for world population so far this year. In round figures:
- 73 million birth
- 31 million deaths
- 42 million net increase in world population so far this year ….
Deaths so far attributed to Covid 19 since early last year total 4 million.
So I have pointed out the micro view – personal knowledge – and the macro view – the knowledge of population globally. Both sets of data lead me the the same conclusion. Covid 19 is vastly over-rated as a threat, and the drastic measures applied are way out of proportion and not justified. Official Guidance is legitimate; compulsion is emphatically not.
He simply ignores the points I make and changes the subject on each valid point raised. He has no answer. I start getting annoyed and force him into a corner as follows.
Remember he is scientifically qualified in this general field. So, I remind him that all good science is based on transparency about data, methods and results. Then I ask him:
In this age of the internet where we can view phenomenal quantities of information both current and historic, has he ever searched for
- the composition of the Covid Virus ?
- the formula for the vaccines being used ?
To both questions his embarrassment was obvious. Finally, he acknowledged that he had not looked.
Incredible. He is a highly intelligent man. He is advocating constraints upon our freedom of decision which totally undermine not just our personal fundamental liberty, but our fundamental DIGNITY as responsible, intelligent and experienced human beings.
Yet a man of Science has never taken this obvious and elementary step to check the Science for himself.
This tells us something. It highlights the mentality being propagated around this entire matter. The play on emotion, not sober attention to reason. The assumpton that we should all simply swallow whatever government says regardless of all else. It assumes that Nanny State knows best, regardless of the evidence, regardless of the questions that need to be asked, regardless of the very real concerns about the vast range of matters beyond the simple risk from Covid itself – problems ranging from the impact on mental health, through restrictions on our liberty, right through to the displacement of proper care for all the other matters which exist, but which are displaced by the obsessive, monotonous and dangerous focus on Covid.
I should point out that apparently the police are exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated. That is telling. They will rely on the police to enforce these measures, but the police themselves are tired of dragooning the population on Covid; tired of being criticised by the government for over-reaction to demonstrations; tired of being attacked; tired of seeing serious drugs criminals walk free or getting light sentences.
The drastic measures to oblige the general population to have Covid passports for many of the most mundane daily activities also have to get past the Conseil Constitutionnel and through a parliamentary vote – a dedicated extraordinary session is programmed for 21st July.
Lastly, the basis on which President Macron insists on general vaccination is to my mind extremely dubious. In his broadcast he asserted that the vaccine is the only way to avoid all the unpleasant alternatives like lockdown and to get the country beyond the crisis once and for all. The particular evidence he cited prompting alarm right now was the increase in cases of the Delta variant, saying that it was 3 times more contagious. Projections [yes, that dubious measure again] suggest a serious rise in cases causing a crushing 4th wave. But that was it. No mention of the fact that although Delta is so contagious, it is no more deadly than previous variants – if anything, it is less so. No mention of the fact that the actual rate right of infection now is really low, and that occupation of intensive care beds is well below half capacity. Everything is based on the establishment scientists fear that with the intensive mixing of people over the summer, followed by the onset of colder weather in the autumn and winter, the infection rate will rise dramatically.
Not good enough !