Disagreement with the res­ponse makes you a “denier of the problem”

A Horror Movie From the Babylon Bee

Be afraid, be very afraid. Do not say anything sensible if the woke monster may hear. Presenting an animated horror film from the Babylon Bee:

Moonbats Wage War on Wyoming

Rugged and quintessentially American Wyoming may be the last state to be absorbed by the moonbat Borg. Democrats are waging war against its economy. Biden shut down oil production, and now the liberal establishment is employing weaponized Covid hysteria to convince tourists not to visit:

Panic response would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic

 
 
Chris Kenny The Australian June 25, 2021
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Climate alarmism and pandemic pandemonium. For the discerning Australian, they are the interminable frustrations of our age, moving us from laughter to infuriation daily, and showing no signs of abating (pardon the pun). These topics combine the existential angst of the perpetual doomsayers, the endless self-­fascination of the hypochondriacs, the frantic fear of the catastrophists, the preening sanctimony of the public health and environmental do-gooders, and the nanny state intrusiveness of the bureaucratic busybodies.
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All the while there is a heartless disregard for those who suffer needlessly – sacrificial lambs to the common good – and an abandonment of any rational ability to assess risks against proportionate responses. Question this madness and your sensible scepticism is turned sharply against you.
This is their zero-sum game where ­disagreement with the res­ponse stamps you as a denier of the problem.

There can be no denying the seriousness of the pandemic abroad, and environmental stewardship is always important. But our lived reality is a world away from the frightening scenarios constantly laid out before us. And there must be a point at which ­policy responses can do more harm than good.
This is a deadly serious dilemma but, thankfully, the hypocrisy is so stark that it provides plenty of laughs on the road to awareness. Could there be anything more farcical, for instance, than Beijing criticising Australia over global warming and the protection of the Great Barrier Reef?
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China treats its environment like a rubbish tip, polluting rivers, fouling landscapes and choking cities, while pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other country (more than the next three combined). Beijing also has instigated a novel twist on reef management; in the South China Sea it turns them into military installations.
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If China had control of the Great Barrier Reef, it would never be in danger of disappearing. The reef would be fortified in steel and concrete, given the permanent flat top of a military grade runway, so angel fish and dugongs would be replaced by Xian Y20 transport planes and JH-7 bombers.
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That absurdist theatre of global climate politics is matched by the farce of our domestic Covid-19 response; from Victorians sometimes unable to visit friends but free to visit brothels, to Queenslanders given the thumbs up for group sex at legal brothels but unable to dance at weddings.
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There have been endless examples of these puerile paradoxes, but mirth turns quickly to anger when you consider the ­macabre manifestation of these pedantic rulings. Thousands of people have been unable to cross state borders to attend the funerals of loved ones.
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In August last year, a woman pregnant with twins was told she could not cross from northern NSW into Queensland for treatment at a major hospital. Instead she waited 16 hours at the Lismore Base hospital before being flown to Sydney – and she lost one of the babies. Astonishingly, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared: “People living in NSW have NSW hospitals, in Queensland we have Queensland hospitals for our people.”
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Just this month, the same state refused permission for parents Sarah and Moe Haidar to see, let alone hold, their premature baby boy Ilyas after an emergency caesarian during hotel quarantine. Returning from Qatar, they were fully vaccinated but still forced to wait until the end of quarantine before they could see their son.
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Palaszczuk and her chief health officer Jeanette Young maintained this heartless and irrationally tough stance with Mark Killian and his wife Anneli for a full week until relenting this week. Mark’s dying dad, Frans, was holding on, hour by hour, in palliative care, while Mark and Anneli travelled, fully vaccinated, from the US for a final farewell – they had received travel ban exemptions from the federal government but were blocked by Queensland until a week of public pressure forced a compassionate exemption.
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Epidemiological experts such as professors Peter Collignon and Catherine Bennett have explained that the risk in these cases is negligible and manageable. To deny contact in these situations is to exaggerate the threat of individual infections of a disease that will be with us for years.
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We need sensible consideration of proportionate responses.
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Given the irrationality of border bans, lockdowns and other ­restrictions by state governments over the past year it is impossible not to view them as political decisions, using hardships imposed on citizens to demonstrate political muscle in defeating a virus. The opportunist premiers in five states have never shown the courageous competence of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her chief health officer Kerry Chant, who have backed health officials and staff to diligently contain outbreaks without burdening all of Sydney or NSW with unnecessary social and economic pain.
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Berejiklian and Chant have been sorely tested this week. But this just underscores their determination to use lockdown only as a last resort, and in the end the public pressure and political terror has seen them implement what is effectively a lockdown of Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
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Yet however extreme this is given the relatively benign circumstances, we know it is a much lighter touch than we would see in any other state.
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After using her chief health ­officer as a human shield while delivering an over-the-top coronavirus response over the past year, Palaszczuk has announced that Young will be Queensland’s next governor. Apparently, the virus is such a clear and present danger in the Sunshine State right now that parents cannot see newborns, children might not visit dying parents, and others are barred from funerals, but the Premier and Young have decided it will all be sufficiently benign by November that the chief medical officer can move on to gubernatorial duties.
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From being hissed at by strangers for standing too close in a queue or not wearing a mask, to seeing people mask up while walking alone in the sunshine, there is much strangeness afoot. We have been amused (and appalled) by calls to duck the footy at AFL games, and advice to remain Covid-safe by switching our lovemaking preferences to socially distanced mutual masturbation.
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Our self-reliant, resilient and anti-authoritarian national ethos has disappeared. At times, Australians have become unrecognisable to each other – even our egalitarianism is under threat.
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Palaszczuk bent her own rules to get a Pfizer vaccine so she might be available to fly to Tokyo for the Olympics. Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton flew to an event in Canberra while restrictions kept other Melburnians within 25km of home. And Scott Morrison found time in Britain to check family heritage sites at a time the rest of us are banned from overseas travel.
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One rule for them.
Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne have each been locked down twice this year for as little as one infection, and South Australia was locked down late last year over silly and erroneous fears the virus had travelled on a pizza box.
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Epidemiologists who thought these lockdowns were over-the-top at the time have looked at the data in the wash-up and seen that in most of them, no infections occurred outside the known contacts who were already isolated.
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So the lockdowns were pointless. And in the two where there were outside infections, they were so limited it is probable they would have been contained through normal contact tracing and isolation practices.
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People who endured these lockdowns are reluctant to recognise they were needless. To do so would be to accept that they supported, in good faith, a response that turned out to be a foolish, damaging farce.
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But there is no shame in ­facing up to the facts. People understandably did the right thing and co-operated in a ­community response – the problem is that the governments ­cruelly and incompetently imposed the wrong response.
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Despite the vast majority of the vulnerable being vaccinated already, the rest of us facing negligible risk, ample health capacity being available, treatments greatly improved over the past year, vaccines continuing to roll out, most infections being asymptomatic or mild, and not a single person being in intensive care from the virus in this country, we continue to see an unofficial elimination strategy. Borders slam shut, restrictions are imposed, and while there is consternation about frontline workers who have chosen not to be vaccinated, we allow no additional rights to those who are fully vaccinated.
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We seem no closer to living with the virus than we were a year ago. To be sure, we have done well keeping the virus from overwhelming our country, but our approach, as has been clear for a year, is unsustainable – we refuse to take advantage of our early good management.
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The parallels with climate alarmism are compelling, complete with sanctimony and moral panic. Yet another frightening decree came from the UN this week, warning global warming would “fundamentally reshape life on Earth” unless we cut our emissions sufficiently.
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So many tipping points, so many last chances, so many desperate attempts to describe the latest episodes of extreme weather as unprecedented, but so little empirical evidence to prove such claims. Instead of rational efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is hysteria, evangelism and promotion of unsus­tainable responses – when the silver bullet of nuclear energy is ignored, it gives the activists’ game away.
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Those who promote fear should not be trusted; we have too many Chicken Littles in our public debate exaggerating threats from the virus, from vaccines and from the climate. Who among us will stay calm and carry on?

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