Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Fourth anniversary


Today, 2024-03-15, we have the fourth anniversary of my first text on and around COVID and, in particular, the disgraceful COVID countermeasures. Below follow some own reflections and quotes from several recent articles by others.


My first text and the three earlier anniversary texts can be found under [1], [2], [3], [4].

These, however, are just four out of what must be dozens of texts on related topics.

Own reflections

Fortunately, we appear to have put the horrifying COVID-countermeasure era behind us (knock on wood...), but the aftermath is still present—and will be so for a long time to come. Consider the ongoing damage through inflation, increased government debt, bankrupted private businesses, personal habits that have changed for the worse, and whatnot.

Great question marks are present around children and how they will be affected in the long term through these few years, e.g. through disruption of education, mask wearing as a normal state of being, potential socialization issues, etc. A question that I find particularly interesting is what might or might not be present in terms of COVID fear, disease paranoia, germophobia, and similar. I, myself, grew up in an era of great fear around nuclear weapons (“in the shadow of the mushroom cloud”, as Queen put it), and I can recall, as a young child, sometimes lying sleepless because I could not shake that fear. Maybe, today’s young have similar issues around the next virus to hit (“waiting for the virus to kill”, to misquote the same song).

There are also great reasons to fear a repetition. In particular, there has not been a reckoning, despite how urgently needed it has been. The perpetrators of these atrocities still walk around without fear of legal persecution, official investigations of a serious (even if not judicial) character, non-trivial criticism in media, etc. Similarly, there has been no or next to no repercussions against those who pushed bad science, flawed models, panic-creating mis-/disinformation, whatnot, from the medical side (notably, the likes of Ferguson, Birx, and Fauci, all of whom have likely benefited considerably from their involvement in the anti-scientific fear-mongering; Birx, in particular, has made sufficiently many self-incriminating statements that she, in a saner society, would conceivably spend life in prison). Acknowledgement of those who had it right from the beginning is still missing. Ditto reparations for those medical professionals who have suffered career injuries for speaking up against dubious approaches and poor science. Ditto apologies to those outside medicine who have been unfairly maligned or censored for speaking up. Ditto punishments for those maligning and censoring. Etc.

A particularly sad case is the U.K. COVID inquiry, which, from day one, seemed deliberately geared at validating (!!!) the flawed approach and, if anything, criticizing the original government/PM (Boris Johnson) for not locking down faster (!!!) and harder (!!!). Even the British media have repeatedly complained—so flagrant have the problems been. (This will be the topic of the first article discussed below, my latest encounter among many articles by the Telegraph on the inquiry. I make the reservation that the inquiry is still ongoing and that an improvement, no matter how unlikely, is theoretically possible—indeed, that first article is based on exactly an attempt to improve the remainder of the inquiry.)

A much older article (I did not keep a link) was a good illustration of the attitude problems and lack of insight: During the inquiry, some relatives of COVID-dead held up accusatory images, as if the dead had been murdered by the government or died through a great negligence by the government—which is simply not the case. (Additional concerns can be raised whether such publicity stunts or whatnots have a place in a serious inquiry, investigation, debate, or other adult setting.) Yes, these deaths were tragic—as are virtually all deaths, one way or another. However, they must be seen in their proper context and we have to consider the many who died or will die because of the countermeasures, including among those who did not get or did not dare to seek proper medical care for other problems, those who did not receive a cancer diagnosis in time, those who suffered premature heart attacks through unnecessary countermeasure-induced stress, etc.—and how many more these could have been with even harsher, even more disproportionate countermeasures.

Then there are the “small” deaths, where adverse events might not kill someone outright, but does eventually cut off time towards the end of life, or where the accumulation over the entire population leads to many deaths, even when the risk of death for any individual is small. Then there are the many who did not die but suffered quality of life losses, loss of income, loss of education, or similar—including small children who grew up with masking and a corresponding reduction in human contact and interaction. Etc. And, again, we have to consider how many more of these there would have been with even harsher, even more disproportionate countermeasures.

At the end of the day, the holders of these accusatory images do more harm than good, show a fundamental lack of understanding of the situation, and, worst of all, show a fundamental disrespect for the many others who have died, suffered, lost, whatnot, because of the countermeasures—and whose deaths (etc.) are the more tragic through being actively caused by ill-advised government action.

In many ways, the image wielders are saying that “my loss matters—yours does not”.


To expand on small deaths, for which no better phrase occurs to me, two of many scenarios:

Firstly, e.g. a reduction of exercise due to lockdowns, curfews, and whatnot, which can lead to long-term issues with, say, more or earlier atherosclerosis as a potential side-effect, and certainly lower cardio-pulmonary reserves and whatnot. This might not have much effect now, but what happens down the line? What if a 50 y.o. who, in some sense, “should” have died of a heart attack at 75 does so at 70 instead, because a few years of lockdowns set him back in the now?

Secondly, e.g. a loss of income, which leads to extra stress, which leads to health damage, which kills a small proportion of the afflicted in the relative short term, because some critical threshold happens to be exceeded. (If in doubt, someone past his best age might suffer a stroke or a heart attack after being harassed one step too far and flipping out.) Say that a certain problem leaves one in one thousand dead and the rest alive. If we now have a million afflicted, this still amounts to a thousand premature deaths.

Such scenarios can, of course, overlap, e.g. in that extra stress today has a negative effect on dietary habits, which cuts off a few years down the line. A particularly interesting variation is the set back to immune-system strength through reduced continual exposure to pathogens, which could, in due time, manifest in either category. (But the more time passes, the greater the chance that immune systems will recover.)

Note that with this type of death, as with some of the above, it is not always possible to pinpoint individuals sufficiently to e.g. claim that “My father died because of the COVID countermeasures! Down with the government!” while waiving an image of the diseased. Very often, the effect will only be visible in statistics, e.g. in that the number of deaths in a certain age range was higher than expected, while the individual victims remain unknown and anonymous, and while the surviving relatives, only seeing e.g. “heart attack”, have no obvious reason to go to the barricades. (To boot, with multiple simultaneous disturbances, e.g. COVID and COVID countermeasures, measurements like “excess mortality” are severely reduced in informative value.)


An interesting special case is those who did have COVID but died through mistreatment, e.g. through being prematurely put on ventilators and/or on miscalibrated ventilators. (This was a considerable issue early on. The accounts that I have seen have not been consistent on whether ventilators, period, were a bad idea for many of the “ventilated”, or whether the ventilators had to be, but were not, calibrated in a particular way for COVID.)

In such cases, protests and image holding could have a considerable justification, if directed at those responsible; however, this does not appear to be the case with the current image holders.

Writing this, I also realize that I have not even mentioned the possibility of vaccine deaths above. This is a positive, as it shows that we do not need vaccine deaths to demonstrate how problematic the countermeasures were—the vaccines could have been perfectly safe and the countermeasures would still have been killers. (I am uncertain whether clarity on the scope of vaccine deaths has been found by now.)

In a bigger picture, there does not seem to have been a sufficient reaction in the peoples of the world against the governmental missteps, which is the more regrettable as these have often pushed the world even further in a Leftist or far-Leftist direction. (Every non-Leftist victory seems to be accompanied by two Leftist—one step forward, two steps backward.) In particular, the proportion of those who fail to see the strong overlap between Leftism and COVID-mania and draw the right conclusions is depressing. (Even many writers for Brownstone seem to write with a strong Leftist angle on topics outside COVID, to give Trump too much blame and Biden et al. too little, etc.—or did so when I was a regular reader, cf. below.) Consider the case of far-Left Canadian Trudeau, who is still in charge, and, according to the Telegraph, is “threatening his most tyrannical attack on freedom yet”e.


This Trudeau article will not be included below, although I encountered it during the same visit as the others, because it has little to do with COVID. Ditto a great number of other recent articles that deal with Leftist excesses and whatnots. Consider e.g. all that is or might be written alone about current Germany, which has a governmental and political attitude towards the people that matches the DDR of the 1980s, a strike situation that matches the U.K. of the 1970s, economic and whatnot policies that remind me of the Sweden of my childhood, a climate of political intolerance that looks like a modern U.S. college, etc. (With similar remarks applying to a great many other countries, especially, if the currently absurd strike-situation is discounted.)

Concerning the Left–COVID connection, I leave unstated to what degree this is rooted in a deliberate use of COVID for nefarious purposes, in a Leftist susceptibility to authority arguments and fear-mongering, in the recurring Leftist inability to view more than one side of an issue (e.g. to consider medical and economical issues of the same question) and to consider side-effects (not just effects of various measures), in the typical Leftist disregard for the rights of the individual, in the regularly demonstrated weak critical thinking on the Left, or in something else altogether. Certainly, different explanations could apply on different levels and/or for different persons, e.g. in that some Leftist leaders or ideologues saw COVID as an opportunity, while many of the Leftist grassroots were simply stuck in a naive “the government knows best” or “we must always comply” mentality. Also note the possibility that behaviors and opinions, even in the same Leftist, had different motivations.

External articles


I have not fact-checked any individual claim, nor do I necessarily endorse any given claim. (But the respective big picture matches my own observations.)

Changes to formatting might have taken place.

Quotes given reflect what I consider most interesting for my purposes, under the restriction that I wish to keep the quoted material within reasonable fair-use. A reading of the original texts is recommended.

Telegraph on U.K. COVID inquiry

A Telegraph article notes that “Covid Inquiry appears fundamentally biased, say scientists”e:

The Covid Inquiry appears to be “fundamentally biased” and is failing to examine the costs of lockdown, leading scientists have warned.

In a letter to Baroness Hallett, the inquiry chairman, the group of 55 professors and academics express their concerns that the process is “not living up to its mission” to evaluate the mistakes made during the pandemic, assess whether Covid measures were appropriate, and to prepare the country for the next pandemic.

They warn that a “lack of neutrality” means the inquiry “gives the impression of being fundamentally biased” and appears to have led to “predetermined conclusions, for example, to lockdown faster next time”.

In the letter, published on Tuesday, the group states that the inquiry is neglecting to hear evidence from those who suffered from the “negative effects” of pandemic policy decisions, or scientists who disagree with choices made by the Government.


[The letter] states: “The consensus position in pre-2020 pandemic plans was that non-pharmaceutical interventions, including lockdown, had weak evidence of effectiveness, and were predicted to cause substantial harm to society, especially if used for prolonged periods.

“This informed the initial response to Covid in early 2020. Yet, the inquiry assumes that these measures are effective and appropriate. As a result, it downplays the harms to society caused by two years of emergency infection control mandates.”

The academics also note that the inquiry “lacks impartiality” in the selection and questioning of expert witnesses.


“The inquiry has not seriously questioned the hypotheses and assumptions offered to government, especially from government-appointed modellers, which were used to justify Covid policies. Neither has it seriously examined the social and economic costs of lockdown.”


Telegraph on Nicola Sturgeon, etc.

Another recent article demonstrates some of the original problems, here focused on Nicola Sturgeon,e who was recently forced to step down as First Minister of Scotland (as well as head of the Leftist and, during her reign, gender-fanatical SNP) over various controversies and failures:


Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to force Scotland’s secondary school children to wear face masks was “totally political” and “not based on medical advice”, Sir Patrick Vallance wrote in his Covid diary.

Sir Patrick, who was the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser during the pandemic, noted in August 2020 that “Scotland breaks ranks on face coverings and schools”. 


[...], he said this was despite the four chief medical officers (CMOs) from the home nations issuing a statement the previous day on the risks to children that made no mention of the need for masks.

The statement concluded: “Very few, if any, children or teenagers will come to long-term harm from Covid-19 due solely to attending school. This has to be set against a certainty of long-term harm to many children and young people from not attending school.” [I note my strong personal disagreement on the effects of lack of school: education is good, but school is a poor way of getting an education. See excursion.]


Sir Patrick wrote three days later about Matt Hancock, who was then UK health secretary:

Despite this, Boris Johnson performed an about-turn and announced that face coverings would be mandatory in secondary school communal areas and corridors in areas of England under high levels of Covid restrictions.

The Telegraph’s Lockdown Files disclosed last year that Sir Chris Whitty, England’s CMO, said there were “no very strong reasons” for introducing the change but it was “not worth an argument” with Ms Sturgeon.


Although [the aforementioned statement] said the virus was transmitted in schools, it said it was “probably not a common route” and argued that “control measures” such as hand washing and reducing face-to-face contact would minimise any risk. No mention was made of masks.

But the following day, Aug 24, Ms Sturgeon told her daily media briefing that her government was in the “final stages” of consulting teachers and councils on recommending staff and pupils in secondary schools wear masks in corridors and communal areas.


In Feb 2021, he wrote: “Note that most cases were in Scotland which has been bragging about tougher border measures zero Covid etc”.

Of course, with the facts in hand, we know that masking was a highly dubious decision even for adults (outside risk groups)—and we certainly know that kids were only very rarely affected by COVID in a non-trivial manner.

Brownstone, anniversaries, and the Ides of March

With the anniversary upcoming, I also made a first visit to Brownstone in (likely) close to a year.

Brownstone also has what amounts to an anniversary texte, drawing on the Ides of March (which is today; that I published my first text on that date, however, was likely sheer coincidence). This text is a highly critical historical overview of events in (mostly) the U.S. A few quotes:

[...] The death of American liberty happened around the [the Ides of March] four years ago, when the orders went out from all levels of government to close all indoor and outdoor venues where people gather.

It was not quite a law and it was never voted on by anyone. Seemingly out of nowhere, people who the public had largely ignored, the public health bureaucrats, all united to tell the executives in charge – mayors, governors, and the president – that the only way to deal with a respiratory virus was to scrap freedom and the Bill of Rights.


It was never clear precisely who to blame or who would take responsibility, legal or otherwise.


Only 8 days into the 15 [days originally envisioned], Trump announced that he wanted to open the country by Easter, which was on April 12. His announcement on March 24 was treated as outrageous and irresponsible by the national press but keep in mind: Easter would already take us beyond the initial two-week lockdown. What seemed to be an opening was an extension of closing.


There was never a stated exit plan beyond Birx’s public statements that she wanted zero cases of Covid in the country. That was never going to happen. It is very likely that the virus had already been circulating in the US and Canada from October 2019. A famous seroprevalence study by Jay Bhattacharya came out in May 2020 discerning that infections and immunity were already widespread in the California county they examined.


[...] Trump seemed to figure out [...] that he had been played and started urging states to reopen. [...] Tweeting out his wishes until his account was banned. He was unable to put the worms back in the can that he had approved opening.


As the months rolled on [...] it became clear that the vaccine could not and would not stop infection or transmission, which means that this shot could not be classified as a public health benefit. Even as a private benefit, the evidence was mixed. Any protection it provided was short-lived and reports of vaccine injury began to mount. [...]

The prevailing attitude in public life is just to forget the whole thing. And yet we live now in a country very different from the one we inhabited five years ago. Our media is captured. Social media is widely censored [...] The administrative state that seized control has not given up power. [...] Public trust in all official institutions is at rock bottom. We don’t even know if we can trust the elections anymore. [He said in an election year that might see the very last chance for the U.S. to be anything but a far Left travesty. To some degree, however, the countermeasure era might merely have revealed, not caused, some of these problems.]

Brownstone and “Science Writing is Rarely Journalism”

Another interesting Brownstone article discusses problems with science journalisme, repeatedly exemplified by missteps by one Jon Cohen. (I have no personal recollection of previous encounters with Cohen.) Some quotes:


While the author might well have a sound idea, the choice of terminology is extremely dubious, and I suspect that the author has a highly naive view of how journalism usually works. (Also note “Gell-Mann amnesia” and similar issues.)

Certainly, one of the problems with journalists/reporters, in general, is that they rarely have more than superficial (and, often, faulty) own knowledge and rely too strongly on (often just alleged) experts. Common other problems like a too low ability to think critically, strong ideological biases, and similar, do not help.

The word “reporting” could even be seen to outright imply passive transmitting of information, events, claims by others, etc. In contrast, proper science (and other) writers, e.g. those who write quality textbooks, often have profound knowledge and insight. The problem, then, is too little “science writing” and too much “science journalism” and “science reporting”.

Looking at what passes for “science journalism” in a typical newspaper, I would certainly reverse the angle and say that journalism does not reach the standards of proper writing, giving us a title of “Science Journalism is Rarely Proper Writing” (or some variation like “[...] Rarely Science”).

Ditto the clear majority of other journalism: “Journalism is Rarely Proper Writing”. (Note, again, “Gell-Mann amnesia”.)

The Covid pandemic created some of the worst science writing in our lifetimes. Major media outlets failed at providing readers with accurate and balanced news across a host of issues, including vaccines, masks, lockdowns and how the virus likely began spreading through the human population.

It’s critical to call the news we read over the last four years “science writing” and not “reporting” because few science media outlets do any actual reporting. What science writers label “reporting’ is just calling up the known experts and then quoting them as the known experts.

As I’ve noted in the past: Science writers report for, not on science.


Based on emails, we now know that some scientists were even concerned whether the virus came from a Wuhan lab.

But on January 31, 2020, Science Magazine’s Jon Cohen tried to shoot down such thinking in a misleading feature that ignored scientists’ own opinions. [...]


In case the narrative wasn’t already clear, Cohen then addressed “conspiracy theories” about the pandemic beginning from lab research.


Well, here’s the funny thing. Emails show that Cohen’s “reporting” was totally wrong-headed.

The day after Cohen published his “most researchers say” piece to “knock down” the “conspiracy theory” that the virus could have come from a lab, Kristian Andersen—the same one quoted in Cohen’s story!—emailed Anthony Fauci.

“[S]ome of the features (potentially) look engineered,” Andersen wrote to Fauci. “Eddie Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.

Excursion on school failures

As I note above, I disagree with the presumed dangers of missing school. The problem is missing education, not missing school. Merely missing school would not have been a problem, had adequate measures to ensure a continued education been taken. Indeed, for many, like me, the results of home schooling or self-studies (depending on age) would have been outright better than regular school. (Negative effects through e.g. “being confined to one’s home” or “being forbidden to play with other children” are possible, but are also separate issues.)

Here, it is noteworthy that no strong measures were taken in the cases that I encountered during the countermeasure era. Mostly, schooling was either cancelled (even be it temporarily) or switched to some type of online-emulation of school, e.g. by still having a teacher lead classes, just through a computer screen. (Which is indeed likely to be inferior relative in-person teaching.) A complete re-thinking would have been more beneficial, e.g. to do proper home schooling, to focus more on book studies, or similar.

While it is true that such options would not have worked with everyone, it would have worked well enough for many—likely, especially when compared to an on-screen teacher.


As for “like me”: I can guarantee this in my case, based on what I did learn in school and learned at home, in my spare time, and independent of school, even during my own, long ago, school days. This with additional backing from my learning habits and successes later in life. I only extend reservations for: (a) The very few first years, where the matter is harder to judge in detail, but where I am certainly optimistic. (b) Some special topics, where practical participation is a virtual necessity, e.g. the mandatory-in-Sweden wood shop. However, very similar problems as for (b) certainly apply to in-home students and on-screen teachers, and similar problems as for (a) are certainly possible. In the case of e.g. wood shop, we can also dispute how much damage missing wood shop could bring to someone who did not have a career as a carpenter, or similar, in mind. (I cannot recall one single instance in my life where having taken wood shop brought me any benefit.)