Dr Campbell calls it ‘the Australian Protocol’ – does it signal the end of the panic?
Dr John Campbell is a reasonable man. As befits a dedicated professional clinician, he is slow to chastise his peers, even when, as he patiently and diligently charts the progress of the Covid virus, he finds much in their conduct that deserves chastisement. His most recent podcast particularly caught my eye, entitled as it was ‘The Australian Protocol’
To follow, on the one hand, Dr Campbell’s regular updates on the Omigod Covid variant, using data supplied from its fons et origo, South Africa, while on the other hand listening to the vapid ecstasies of the ABC’s coverage of the same organism, is to inhabit a parallel universe. Campbell describes a virus that has so far killed no-one in South Africa, despite being rampantly prevalent in a population of 60m. (A single fatality has been recorded in the US, the deceased being in his 50s and beset with comorbidities). He describes its symptoms in terms which, until 2020, most of us would have associated with the common cold. He makes the point that a very large number of so-called ‘Omicron hospitalisations’ are in fact people admitted for other reasons, and who, had they not been routinely tested for Covid, would have been unaware that they were infected. The ABC and SBS honour Omigod with the full 21-gun salute, detailing in the ominous tones with which we have become wearily familiar all the dire outcomes that ‘could’ await us if we don’t respond to it with the full arsenal of repressive, socially and economically destructive measures, with which we have become equally familiar.
So cravenly have the ABC talked up the fearsome Omigod variant, and so supine has the federal government’s response to their fearmongering been, that I generally hear their utterances as white noise, as I wait for the news to be over, and for something less egregiously sociopathic to be broadcast. It was therefore thanks only to Dr Campbell’s podcast that I became aware that our Prime Minister, hitherto spineless and jelly-backed in the face of the lunacy perpetrated by the state and territory governments, but particularly those of Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, has shown signs that he may finally be growing a pair of testicles. This much longed-for anatomical development, which many of us had believed impossible, has seen him declare that ‘we’re not going back to lock-downs’. Which is great, but given that these matters are the responsibility of the states and territories, we must wonder how this new-found fortitude will play out. Will ScoMo be seeing recalcitrant premiers and chief ministers in court, at last deploying the many legal remedies with which the constitution furnishes him, but which he has hitherto baulked at using?
Economics has memorably been described as ‘the dismal science’. How then, to describe the profession of epidemiological modelling? Harrumpf readers will be familiar with my unavailing attempts to elicit from the Doherty Institute some evidence, in the form of past predictive success, that its taxpayer-funded forecasts of Covid outcomes should carry any weight with policy-makers. In light of the deafening silence with which these enquiries have been met, it’s heartening, not to say astonishing, to note that ScoMo now appears to share my scepticism, pointing out that many of the assumptions inherent in their doom-laden ‘scenarios’ (a term the modelling fraternity favour so that they cannot be later accused of making falsified ‘predictions’) are simply preposterous, and effectively ending the federal government’s thraldom to the modellers.
Harrumpf has always espoused the view that the Covid virus will, like all its predecessors, beget variants which are more infective and less virulent, and that the sooner we could reach the point where the endemic variant was no more harmful than the common cold, the better. ScoMo and his government now appear, after nearly two appallingly destructive years of denial, to be coming round to this view, saying;
“There will be other variants beyond Omicron and we have to ensure, as a country, and as leaders around the country, we are putting in place measures that Australians can live with.
“What that means is we have to move from a culture of mandates to a culture of responsibility. That’s how we live with this virus into the future.
“As a country, we’ve got to get past the heavy hand of government and we’ve got to treat Australians like adults,”
Which is great, but with ‘leaders around the country’ – including the AMA – reaching for the old ‘zero-Covid’ playbook, how is ScoMo going to break it to them that the game’s up, the party’s over, and the adults are back in the room?
Perhaps he knows that it’s a problem that will soon solve itself. Until now, the prevalent Covid variants have proved sufficiently amenable to non-pharmaceutical interventions that they have merely inflicted pointless misery and economic ruin on our society, but have allowed some semblance of normal life to continue. Omigod’s sheer fecundity, however, is quickly leading to a situation where absolutely everyone in Australia will be a close contact of a Covid-positive individual, and therefore, in theory, obliged to isolate, bringing life to a grinding halt. With nobody dying of it, and precious few needing hospital treatment, the sheer absurdity of the rules so beloved of the Covidistas will be revealed for the pointless charade they have always been.
Dr Campbell, as I say, is a reasonable man. I, on the other hand, am not a reasonable man. I believe firmly that there are some issues to which, to paraphrase Hunter Thompson, the only sane reaction is a gross over-reaction. I want to see the Covidistas publicly shamed and humiliated, in the most degrading way imaginable. Unless they learn that their mendacious conceits have consequences – bad ones, painful ones – they will be unrepentant, unreformed, and likely to behave just as destructively when the next cause celebre comes along.