The Coronapocalypse Part 34: Into the Twilight Zone

Back in post 10 of this series I noted that the story we have been telling ourselves during corona is the modern version of The Plague Story. The modern Plague Story is the same as the old one except it has a different ending. In the new ending, the experts save the day with a cure. There were two main problems with this story right from the start. Firstly, corona is clearly not the plague i.e. not in the same league as Spanish Flu or the black death. So, the story was a lie. Secondly, the new ending was make believe. The idea that experts could come up with a cure in time to end the plague had no historical precedent whatsoever. It was something cooked up in the imagination of Hollywood screenwriters. The only other time we tried something similar in real life – the swine flu false alarm of 1976 – it was a complete failure. To overturn society to pursue such an outcome was, to put it politely, reckless. But that’s what we did. Not only that, the thing that was going to save the day was a brand new technology that was all but untested. What could go wrong? In the movies, the process of finding the cure and rolling it out happens immediately. But we don’t live in the movies, we live in the real world (well, some of us do). It took just over a year for the “cure” to be rolled out in the form of the various vaccines. During this time the public was led to believe that the vaccines would bring the matter to an end. We just had to sit tight and wait for the experts to save the day. It’s important to understand that this is still what the average person thinks is going to happen. At least, that is what they have been thinking until the last few weeks where the wheels have started to fall off the story. We’re now entering the next phase of the corona event which I’m going to dub The Twilight Zone in honour of the old tv series that specialised in the abnormal and dystopian. Of course, for most people reading this blog, we have already been in the Twilight Zone for a year and a half but I think things may be about to get even more surreal.

The timeline of the vaccine rollout has varied substantially from country to country. Britain, the US and Israel were three of the fastest and they have accordingly been the three where the most early data is available. Each has had a period of “freedom” in the last few months where it seemed that maybe the vaccines were working. In the US, this came earliest in the states of Florida and Texas but the rest of the country eventually caught up and the summer there has, by all accounts, been mask free and quite enjoyable. Britain staggered towards its “freedom day” with “case” counts spiking substantially. No sooner had the day arrived, however, than counts began to fall and are still falling rapidly which is no doubt helping Boris Johnson to sleep at night. This is in contrast to Israel which has seen cases rise again after an initial burst of normality where all restrictions were dropped. It is here that the efficacy of the vaccines is most being called into question. Restrictions are now back and the country recently became the first to roll out a “booster shot” for the elderly and at risk. All these developments have been accompanied by a change in language from the authorities. The phrase “breakthrough case” is the latest bit of newspeak to enter the lexicon. We’re hearing of “booster shots” and, of course, the “vaccine passports” to go to nightclubs and cinemas etc. There was nothing in the movies about this stuff. In the movies, people take the cure and get on with their life. As of the last few weeks, we are no longer following The Plague Story. We have gone off script and the public is just starting to realise that fact.

There’s a couple of important points to make about this. First is the political. Here is how I think about the politics of corona so far.

The Branch Covidians are what I have called the acquiescent children (aka Orphan archetypes manifesting their shadow). They are the ones who have been psychically overwhelmed during corona. The unbelievers are mostly the rebellious children but there has been a substantial split within that group and many have followed the official narrative. In any case, for our purposes here, the unbelievers are ones who are sceptical about corona. This can include people who still believe there is an underlying health issue but are aware that the response has been hysterical and counterproductive. In my estimation, neither of these groups is particularly attached to The Plague Story, albeit for very different reasons. The unbelievers don’t believe The Plague Story was ever valid and so the fact that it has not worked according to plan is not surprising to them. The Branch Covidians are not worried that the story is not coming to an end as they have been quite happy with the re-arrangement of society and have no problem if it continues indefinitely. For these reasons, the recent change in the narrative doesn’t really affect either of these groups.

The average people are the ones who have believed in The Plague Story most firmly and their expectation has always been that the vaccine would end the story. Although it might not seem that way due to media bias, these are the majority of the population. The average person has followed along with the narrative influenced by the media and the politicians but they are not true believers. They have always wanted The Plague Story to end with the vaccine. It’s for this reason that the recent change in the narrative was most likely to affect this group. If I’m reading the room correctly, this is exactly what has started to happen. In the US, the reaction has been caused by the re-introduction of an indoor mask mandate by the CDC a measure which will apparently also be enforced for children at school. The news about the falling efficacy of the vaccine in Israel and Iceland has also started to circulate. In the meantime, politicians have started talking openly about booster shots and vaccine passports. Here in Australia, the Prime Minister, who has been three steps behind the whole way through corona, came out and announced that Australia too will have vaccine passports. The vaccinated will be given extra liberties when Australia finally does open up which is supposed to be by Christmas. His reasoning? The vaccine makes you “less likely” to get infected and “less likely” to get sick. Perhaps he ought to look at the statistics coming out of Israel to check the truth of such statements. In any case, this new language is not going to cut it with the average person. The whole point of the vaccine was that it would end The Plague Story. If it does not, then the story has not ended properly. Vaccine passports and booster shots are not an ending. On the contrary, all they promise is endless extension.

It’s beginning to dawn on the average person that the story is being changed and the new story has no ending. That was always the main political risk of putting all our eggs in The Plague Story basket. We had no idea whether we could bring that story to an end. Now it seems that we can’t. Politicians have backed themselves into a corner with no way out. What is going to be politically crucial in the next few months is how angry the average person gets once they realise they’ve been sold a dud and what they can do about it. It looks like the Republican party in the US is setting itself up to capitalise on the anger. Meanwhile, leaders in different countries (most notably Israel) have already shown a willingness to scapegoat the unvaccinated. This makes sense politically. What politicians cannot allow is a sizeable segment of the population turning to the unbeliever side. That would threaten the entire narrative. Until now, the politics of corona has progressed in a relatively orderly fashion as the majority of the population was happy to wait for the vaccine. If those people now get angry enough to push back, things could get very tense indeed although it’s hard at the moment to see where this anger could find a (productive) outlet.

The other aspect of this is the factual, scientific angle. The vaccines are still in trial mode. They have been given emergency approval and part of that process is presumably to observe very closely to see if they work and what side effects they cause. The chances of objectively judging these matters was already almost zero as the political concerns have overridden any proper evaluation. Now everything is about to become even less clear. As booster shots get rolled out, the number of statuses under consideration increases. There will be the unvaccinated, the single vaxxed, the double vaxxed, those who’ve had the booster and, inevitably, those who’ve had every other booster that gets rolled out. In the meantime, we’ll have an endless parade of variants arrive on the scene. So, now you’ll get effectiveness of different vaccination states against each variant. Well, booster one works against the delta variant but not the omega. For that you’ll need booster two – and so on. On the other side of the ledger are the side effects and also the risk of major issues such as antibody dependent enhancement. Robert Malone was talking about that this week and seems to think there is early evidence that ADE is a thing. Interestingly, he was doing so with Steve Bannon. I don’t know enough about US politics to understand what that means or how influential Bannon still is there. But if other republicans get a hold of that side of the story things could get very interesting politically. Scientifically, though, I think we are unlikely to get any clear signal. There will be enough evidence for and against any side of the argument you want to take. Viral disease is complex enough without throwing experimental “vaccinations” into the mix. Ergo, the “science” is not going to solve any of the political problems. Of course, this is nothing new. If it had, we wouldn’t be in this mess to start with.

We are now moving into a new phase of corona where things are probably going to make even less sense than they have so far, if that was even possible. Spare a thought for us here in Australia. Enormous amounts of political capital have been spent keeping Australians locked up to prevent the spread of the virus. This was all done on the promise that the vaccinations would be rolled out by the end of the year and then we can go back to “normal”. It looks almost certain that the story will fall apart just as Australia gets vaccination rates high enough to open up. I’m imaging the Prime Minister getting up in December and telling the nation that everybody who is vaccinated has to go back for a booster shot before we can open the borders. That will go down like a lead balloon. It’s hard to predict what will happen but just last week we had the two largest corona protests so far in this country and the authorities were clearly taken by surprise. It may just be that things are going to get interesting politically in Australia for the first time in decades. I don’t mean that in a good way. I think we may be headed for a genuine political crisis. But, then again, so may many other countries. The post WW2 order appears to be falling apart right before our eyes. The free movement of people, a cornerstone of the neoliberal ideology, has gone up in smoke. The same people who two years ago would have insisted on it now can’t even bear to let people leave their own homes. That’s life in The Twilight Zone.

All posts in this series:-

The Coronapocalypse Part 0: Why you shouldn’t listen to a word I say (maybe)

The Coronapocalypse Part 1: The Madness of Crowds in the Age of the Internet

The Coronapocalypse Part 2: An Epidemic of Testing

The Coronapocalypse Part 3: The Panic Principle

The Coronapocalypse Part 4: The Denial of Death

The Coronapocalypse Part 5: Cargo Cult Science

The Coronapocalypse Part 6: The Economics of Pandemic

The Coronapocalypse Part 7: There’s Nothing Novel under the Sun

The Coronapocalypse Part 8: Germ Theory and Its Discontents

The Coronapocalypse Part 9: Heroism in the Time of Corona

The Coronapocalypse Part 10: The Story of Pandemic

The Coronapocalypse Part 11: Beyond Heroic Materialism

The Coronapocalypse Part 12: The End of the Story (or is it?)

The Coronapocalypse Part 13: The Book

The Coronapocalypse Part 14: Automation Ideology

The Coronapocalypse Part 15: The True Believers

The Coronapocalypse Part 16: Dude, where’s my economy?

The Coronapocalypse Part 17: Dropping the c-word (conspiracy)

The Coronapocalypse Part 18: Effects and Side Effects

The Coronapocalypse Part 19: Government and Mass Hysteria

The Coronapocalypse Part 20: The Neverending Story

The Coronapocalypse Part 21: Kafkaesque Much?

The Coronapocalypse Part 22: The Trauma of Bullshit Jobs

The Coronapocalypse Part 23: Acts of Nature

The Coronapocalypse Part 24: The Dangers of Prediction

The Coronapocalypse Part 25: It’s just semantics, mate

The Coronapocalypse Part 26: The Devouring Mother

The Coronapocalypse Part 27: Munchausen by Proxy

The Coronapocalypse Part 28: The Archetypal Mask

The Coronapocalypse Part 29: A Philosophical Interlude

The Coronapocalypse Part 30: The Rebellious Children

The Coronapocalypse Part 31: How Dare You!

The Coronapocalypse Part 32: Book Announcement

The Coronapocalypse Part 33: Everything free except freedom

The Coronapocalypse Part 34: Into the Twilight Zone

The Coronapocalypse Part 35: The Land of the Unfree and the Home of the Safe

The Coronapocalypse Part 36: The Devouring Mother Book Now Available

The Coronapocalypse Part 37: Finale

50 thoughts on “The Coronapocalypse Part 34: Into the Twilight Zone”

  1. I live in Ontario, Canada, and our government has just announced the indoor mask mandates will be permanent. What I find fascinating is that since then I’ve seen a lot more people refusing to wear masks since, many of whom have said some variant of “I’m vaccinated. I was willing to wear a mask while other people got it, but not forever.”

    Making this more interesting, as far as I can tell, aside from one person, our entire provincial parliament is on board with the mask mandates, and with the entire Covid narrative: The Greens, Conservatives, NDP, Liberals, all of them are on board with all of it. The one person against it all is forming a new party, one which might have a lot of support in the next election if things go badly enough for the standard narrative. If all the established parties crumple, well, all bets are off on what happens next.

    Also, one of our other provinces just returned back to normal as far as legal issues are concerned, and is now facing attacks from the media and the federal government, and the feds have hinted that they might not let them stay open. There are plenty of legal ways they could force Alberta to shut down again, and a number of people in the media have started demanding it. We’d probably face an instant constitutional crisis, but the Branch Covidians seem to control our federal government, so it could happen.

    All in all, the next few months promise to be interesting here as well.

  2. Kevin – yeah, I heard about Alberta. That was good news. At least you’ve got some kind of alternative there in Canada. Here in Australia, every state and federal government has backed the wrong horse. In theory, this could be over very quickly. Politicians have only been allowed to do this cos the majority is on side. When they realise that the majority is not onside, things could change with great speed. Who is the “one person against it” there? Is that Maxime Bernier?

  3. Simon,

    I’m expecting the People’s Party of Canada, led by Maxime Bernier, to win a lot of seats in the federal parliament if we have a fall election and things go south fast enough. I can easily see this happening: the Liberals are clearly gearing up for one, and I can easily see provinces reimpose restrictions as it becomes clear the vaccines offer minimal protection at best; and the only party at the federal level against these lockdowns that has any kind of recognition right now is the PPC. By default, they could easily get a lot of votes from people tired of the insanity.

    At the provincial level, the sole person in parliament against the insanity is Belinda Karahalios. She’s a fairly minor figure, having been a Conservative backbencher until she was thrown out of the party for voting against giving the premier near total authority to shutdown anything in the province at any time. Recently though, the Unbelievers have started crystalizing a small movement around her, she’s forming a new provincial political party, and if Ontario sticks with the level of Covid restrictions we’ve had until the next election (scheduled for next summer), I could see her new party wiping the floor with the established ones as people vote for someone who will end the insanity.

  4. Hey mate,
    as always interesting thoughts.
    I hope you are right about the branch covidians being a minority. Doesnt feel like it here. Everybody is happy that QLD is lockdown again.
    This is how freedom dies. Not with a whimper or a bang but with thundering applause.
    Ah yeah and we got the olympics. I mean what were the odds of brissie getting the olympics? Yeah i know they were exactly 1, but you cant say that north of the 28th parallel.
    You raise an interesting point. Pretty much our whole political class bet the sheep station on zero covid. Not the best horse in the race. It is by now impossible for them to pull out. Now they have to pretend that their horse is not lying in the dust with a broken leg.
    I feel almost sorry for them. They ended up in this just by accident with nothing more than an average amount of incompetence. A lot of them know exactly what is going on, but what can they do if they want to survive politically?
    And i wonder if the story may fall apart, but still nothing changes. People have become used to being locked up and wearing masks by now. This could go on and simply slide into something more and more dystopian. I think this is what the political class tries to implement.

    By the way I don’t think it is the post WWII order that is falling apart. That happened in the 70s and 80s and brought us neoliberalism. This seems something far bigger. A fundamental change in the value system. What comes next won’t be nice.
    I am starting to wonder if a war would be the worst possible outcome. A few years of absolute horror have a way of reestablishing reality and shocking people into sanity for a few decades if history is any guide.
    Maybe the worst case scenario is things going on as they do and society sliding further into the twilight zone.

  5. Kevin – interesting. I think we had one parliamentarian here who left his party after opposing the measures. We have a federal election due in about six months and I expect the minor parties are going to do very well. Due to Australia’s system, if one of the parties opposed to the measures wins the balance of power in the senate that would make a real difference. I don’t see there being enough support for them to win a significant vote share due to the weird situation in Australia where we haven’t even had a pandemic. A lot depends on how bad the vaccine story falls apart and what the government does to try and cover for that. Unfortunately, one of the possibilities is that they double down and do something really absurd like made vaccines mandatory.

    Roland – I still think most people are in favour of lockdowns because they think the vaccine is going to save us. So much more psychic energy has been invested in that here than anywhere else. That’s a big worry actually. That energy can get channeled to very dark places. Interesting point about the neoliberal stuff. Maybe what is really falling apart is the neoliberal order and it fell apart all by itself. As Australia was 100% behind that agenda, the freak out here is worse too. It was weird that Brisbane was the only contender. Nobody wants the olympics. Apparently it doesn’t make money any more. Japan must have lost a fortune on their one.

  6. So, where do people like Heying & Weinstein fit into your trichotomy (Believers/Average/Unbelievers)? They just posted this article with a plan to drive COVID extinct, starring ivermectin:

    https://naturalselections.substack.com/p/on-driving-sars-cov2-extinct

    No, I haven’t actually read it (beyond the first few sentences, plus a quick glance at the rest). Couldn’t stomach it. Maybe later.

    And yes, I’m sparing a thought for Australia. I truly have no idea how Australia gets out of this. Europe may just give up at some point. Yes, quite a few people have died here, but it was hardly the apocalypse we were promised. So, maybe we’ll just call it quits at some point. Australia, though, is a victim of its own success. As soon as those draconian measures are relaxed – boom. Allowing something like that sounds like a political suicide. So, I simply don’t know.

  7. That psychic energy is a worry indeed. Especially given the religious nature of it. Religious fanatics don’t give up on a savior in a hurry just because he doesn’t materialise. Look at the Christians. Still waiting after 2000 years. So if covidianism is our new mandatory state religion now, as it appears to be, what is the way out of this?

  8. Irena – Weinstein belongs with Taleb and a few others in the megalomaniac category. Fortunately, they are irrelevant politically. Australia will follow whatever happens in the US and the UK. If they get through the next northern winter without restrictions that will make the Prime Minister’s job here much easier as he can point to other places where life is “normal”. If those countries go back to lockdown, I don’t see Australia’s borders opening for at least another year. By the time the borders do open, we’ll have missed out on all the new variants of every other respiratory virus which means we’re gonna have one hell of a flu season.

    Roland – We’ll have to find out how many true believers there are first. I still think it’s low but maybe I’m wrong in which case we could be in for years of nonsense until something important breaks and we have a real problem to deal with.

  9. Simon,

    I hope that Australia’s election does give someone opposed to the insanity enough influence to matter, but people I know from Alberta are saying their news is claiming that some of the Conservatives plan to break party lines, ally with the NDP, and replace Kenny with someone “who will take the pandemic seriously”. If it happens it would be quite odd: the left and right, who usually make a massive show of disagreeing with each other, allying to exclude a premier for reopening the province! If this is true, then it suggests that even if the minor parties hold the balance of power in your senate it’s possible you’d just see the major parties moving towards an alliance to keep them from power.

    Simon & Roland,

    One important factor to keep in mind is that an established religion does not require that the general populace agree with it, just that it holds enough political power to enforce its mandates, at least in public. We could see a situation in which the elite doubles down on Covidism, even well after the average person has seen through it, and we get a few very ugly years as that sorts itself out.

    One other possibility I’m looking for is the possibility that a long term cultural divide might be emerging: here in Canada there’s a very strong overlap between Unbeliever and poor on the one hand; and Branch Covidian and rich on the other.

    This could produce a situation which I hate to say could last for years or even decades in some places, where the wealthy sequester themselves at home hiding from a plague that the general public knows is not there, because they are going about life as normal, at least in any area where they don’t need to deal with governments.

  10. Kevin – although I think he lost the plot with corona, one of Taleb’s very useful ideas is the “intolerant minority” and how they can impose their bias on the whole system. The political class, especially in the US, has been weaponising intolerant minorities for decades and arguably longer than that. Corona represents, I think, the end game of all that. They’ve created the ultimate intolerant minority of people who think other people are going to kill them. The political antidote to the intolerant minority is the demagogue. I would expect we’ll start to see demagogues pop up all over the place now but it may take a few years for that to work itself out. On the other hand, the true believers are now going to be psychically scarred for life and may impose their will on the system for a long time.

  11. Simon,

    I fully expect to see lots of demagogues over the next few years. The thing is, I think it’ll be quite easy for them to restore the ability for people to go out without masks, and live normal lives, but I doubt that they’ll be able to make those True Believers who have sufficient resources to remain in hiding give up on their refusal to leave their homes as easily; and I expect the civil service, at least here, to be quite resistant to allowing people in offices without masks, and what have you. If my observations that the majority of what’s left of the middle classes is typically True Believers holds, then they are going to be a major political and social force for quite a while.

    So I see a possible outcome of the fight between the demagogues and the True Believers being that the bulk of the population gets on with life, while the well to do sequester themselves, terrified of leaving home for any reason; and as long as they have internet access they could avoid any human contact for a very long time.

  12. @Kevin, that is a good point. Unfortunately that means that even if the majority returns to sanity, sanity might not return to the majority.
    Not that it makes a difference here. In Queensland virtually everyone seems to be a Covidian. I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks who was even slightly critical of the measures.
    An outcome where society is split might not be too bad, but i dont think we will get that here. Aussies are very conflict shy by nature. They tend to adopt what they believe to be the majority view in any situation.
    What we might get here is an extension of what we have now. I believe the only thing that can get us out of this is a severe shock to the system. Some kind of collapse, be it economic, societal or military. Like the slap in the face that you might give someone in a hysteric fit.
    Until then it simply will not be possible here to live life as normal, since all aspects of it will remain under government and, by extension, Branch Covidian control.
    I have little hope and even less respect left for this country and the only reason I am still here is that I am getting a bit too old to start again.

    @Simon I have my doubts that we will be following the USA or the UK any time soon although it would be nice if i was wrong. We’re too in love with being the only Good People who don’t let anybody die of covid in a world that doesn’t care. I guess we’ll have to see what the next northern winter brings. This thing is mainly driven by the MSM, so as long as they keep screeching, the sheeple will crawl under their doonas (duvets if you are not an aussie) and the politicians have no choice but keeping this up.
    And I cant see the MSM giving up on it. After fighting for survival for more than a decade, they are on top of the world again. Try and take that away from them.

  13. Hi Simon,

    Delta is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, I believe, and common sense says that four variants in seventeen months, means that current vaccinations will be not entirely useless, but certainly no real protection in the not all too distant future. As far as I’m aware they aren’t any guarantee anyway even now – as you also note.

    This last lockdown I can assure you that people were / are pretty angry as few businesses received any level of support, but they sure took some costs. People are now saying one thing in private and providing another different story in public.

    Liked your diagram too, and history suggests what happens when politics abandons the centre. And that lot must be getting concerned as there is both a Federal and State election next year. Career politicians don’t want to make a difference, they want a career – that should be obvious to everyone.

    Mate, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the other day I could well understand how people voted in a strange political party with kooky ideas, jackboots, weird insignia and a propensity for violence, if only because they were the only ones who could break the deadlock. It’s the great unspoken risk.

    Economically, I’m uncertain how much longer we as a society can afford to follow the plague story. You can only really do that shtick, whilst you can afford to do so. There’s something in the bumbling shambolic approach to the entire vaccination story which suggests that possibly the current situation is the intended outcome of a slide into an uncertain future. After all I believe Paul Keating may once have admitted in an interview a few years back that the Hawke-Keating government took things further than they needed to go to produce the ‘recession that we had to have’.

    Dunno, strange days indeed. I’m enjoying your analysis, as this entire episode is too odd for my brain.

    Cheers

    Chris

  14. Kevin – that sounds perfect. All the Branch Covidians hiding away in their homes and leaving the rest of us be is about the best possible outcome I can think of. Of course, they can pass some rules about what we should all do but as long as the police refuse to enforce them everybody will be happy. Actually, there’s now a lot of non-compliance on masks where I am now. It is technically required to wear them outdoors at the moment but I’m seeing almost nobody even pretend to do that. That’s just a small sign of defiance and a big change from this time last year. The stalemate situation we may end up in is the bureaucracy announces rules which nobody follows until gradually everybody loses interest.

    Roland – we have to face reality, though. People are wanting to take their overseas holidays again and I would have thought whatever is left of the tourism industry or the higher education industry will not accept any further delays. I saw an interesting post today from somebody I know – “Go and get the vaccine. You don’t want to be the one who triggers a lockdown.” That’s a great example of Goal Displacement. Now we’re getting vaccines not so we don’t get sick but so there’s no more lockdowns. If the government can just promise not to have any more lockdowns that might be enough to please the public.

    Chris – there’s a geopolitical element to this too. The vaccines were supposed to be the thing that re-opens international travel. If it turns out they don’t work, how can we go back to travelling? Who is going to agree on which “booster shot” is the acceptable one? What if different countries have different requirements? Australia requires Booster 120 while the US requires booster 123. Now you need two booster shots just to get on a plane. You’re right about the anger. Australians don’t speak honestly in public. It’s one of the parts of Australian culture I really dislike. Much prefer Americans who just say what they think.

  15. Simon,

    The outdoor mask mandate has always seemed really weird to me. These people are scared of fresh air? It’s especially strange when it gets enforced in rural areas. I strongly suspect that the “OMG animals can get Covid!” thing going around now is partially a reaction to a lot of rural dwellers who’ve stopped following the mask mandates entirely, because once you make an outdoor mask mandate in the middle of nowhere, you’re pretty clearly doing security theatre.

    As for how things will play out, I strongly suspect that it will differ from place to place. I see the general public in the US just ignoring the rules; while in Canada we’re a fairly rule abiding type and I think it’ll take someone actually repealing the rules to get us to stop following them.

    Roland,

    I get that. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Canada too, since next to no one is actually willing to do anything. If the government bans protests, most of the people who were protesting just don’t show up, because they want to follow the law more than they want to protest.

    It’s fine, if the law makes any kind of sense; but right now this is a huge problem. Without a very severe shock to the system I see our state of affairs lasting for a while too: but I suspect that the necessary shock for us will come in the form of an election result.

    Honestly, I’d feel better about my country if we were mostly Branch Covidians: but it’s the fact that we’re unwilling to actually stand up to them that makes me feel like this is not a good place to call home anymore: everyone is too scared of the government, and too concerned with following the rules, to actually do anything. Luckily I’m still young (mid 20s), and so I am able to leave to go somewhere else. Where, I don’t know yet, but I’m currently working on getting into working with electricity, a skilled trade that’s needed pretty much everywhere.

  16. Hi All,
    I think there are quite a few people here that are distrustful of AZ but happy to get one of the MRNA jabs, thinking they are safer.
    If the rate of heart attacks etc goes up soon after, will it be reported?
    To be honest, I think the only way people will take notice, is if the adverse reactions happen to “enough” prominent people, whatever number that ends up being.
    Much harder to hide, when it’s people we all “know”.
    I still think some public figures are just getting saline…

    Kevin J, do you know of Viva Frei, who does a podcast with Lawyer Robert Barnes? He’s in Quebec, and is running for the people’s party, I believe.

  17. Helen,

    I’ve heard of Viva Frei, but did not know he was running for parliament. If that’s the kind of person the PPC is able to recruit, they’re doing a lot better than I’d thought. This is good news as far as I’m concerned, given I’m voting for them pretty much no matter what happens at this point.

  18. Kevin – yeah, the masks were one of the main reasons I started thinking about psychological (unconscious) explanations to what is happening. Alongside the treatment of children and just the complete absence of logic from some otherwise smart people, I can’t think of any other way to explain it. I grew up in country Australia and I would be very surprised if any country folk are taking this seriously. The whole psychology on display here is that of city people. In fact, I’m contemplating a move back to the country as I think the cities are going to be madhouses for a long time.

    Helen – Eric Clapton spoke out about a particularly nasty reaction he had to the vaccine. Nobody in the MSM will cover that story. In fact, I think Irena (a commenter here) posted about an article where they covered it but then pointed out he was a racist. Maybe vaccine side effects only happen to “racists”. It’s very obvious now that the rate of side effects is far higher for these vaccines than any others. It doesn’t matter, though. As long as people aren’t dropping dead on the street, they will be able to hide it. Whole Facebook groups of people complaining of side effects have been removed, for example.

  19. @Simon

    Re: Weinstein

    Megalomaniac! That’s a beautiful way of putting it. I probably should read their article at some point, though (as I said, I only read the first few sentences and then quickly skimmed the rest). It likely contains useful information, though the way they’re framing it (namely, as a drive-COVID-extinct plan) is obviously nuts.

    @Simon & Helen

    And then there was that BBC presenter who died after getting AstraZeneca:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-57267169

    But don’t worry, it only happens once or twice per million cases. Of course.

  20. @Simon

    Re: Robert Malone

    Well, now I’m getting worried about that antibody-dependent enhancement. If that turns out to be what’s going on, it’ll be an absolutely nightmare. Just imagine if our best and brightest unwittingly found a way to turn this unpleasant, but all things considered, relatively mild pathogen, into something as deadly as smallpox (or worse!).

    See, that’s just the thing. Ever since this “vaccination” campaign began, I’ve been scratching my head, trying to figure out how otherwise reasonable people would think that it was a good idea to give an experimental treatment to pretty much the entire population. If something goes badly wrong, you end up killing or crippling your entire population. A case of burying one’s head in the sand if there ever was one.

  21. @Kevin: Canada and Australia really seem to be twins.
    You are doing the smart thing. Getting a proper skill and then go to the least insane place to live. Exactly what I would do if I was your age.
    Unfortunately I am in my fifties. Makes things a bit harder, but if as Oz descends deeper into madness I might still have to pull up stumps at some point. Certainly considering my options at the moment. I have a habit of speaking my mind. This could become a serious risk in a society that requires and more and more enforces compliance.

  22. Irena – ADE would be a nightmare scenario not least because the authorities will never admit it. Instead, they’ll blame whatever new “variant” is floating around at the time. In any case, it’s now clear that the powers that be are either unwilling or unable to bring The Plague Story to an end. Therefore, this is going to go on for many years. What form it will take is anybody’s guess. I expect a stalemate where all the rules remain ostensibly in place and people just work around them as they see fit. In the meantime, the authorities will shred whatever credibility they still have. It’s gonna take a genuine crisis to snap us out of it. Mostly likely that will be either an oil shock or a financial reset, or both.

  23. Simon,

    I’m with you that cities are likely to remain a madhouse for a long time. I’m not sure I want to live in the country myself; I lack a lot of the skills needed to get by comfortably in a rural area. I’m looking into small towns though, at least short term; long term my goal is to get out of the country, and since I’m far from sure where this will be, I’m planning to keep my options open.

    Irena,

    My fear is that these vaccines may be creating a situation exactly like the Branch Covidians have been insisting exists since last March: if ADE shows up in the way that it has in previous coronavirus vaccine trials, then the people who took the shots are now deathly susceptible to any coronavirus. These things almost always circulate, and usually cause nothing more than a bad cold; sometimes it turns into a flu, but for most healthy people that’s it.

    In other words for the rest of their lives, any human contact for the people who took those shots will be gambling with their lives, just as they are insisting is the case now.

    Roland,

    I’m glad I’m young enough that I can move. I’m not at all sure where I’ll go though: this madness seems to have gripped almost everywhere. I’ll need to see what things look like this winter before I can get a really good sense of where to go; this plus the fact I won’t finish my course until December of 2022 means I have lots of time to figure this out.

    Best of luck to you, and hopefully Australia doesn’t go much further into the loony bin…

  24. I get that so far the ever increasing numbers of those who have suffered side effects have been ignored.
    But this has been in countries that have all been told that the bodies were practically piling up on the streets. The mindset seems to be, well you have to suffer to get the “soaring” death rate down.
    Here, we haven’t been subjected to the bodies in “our” streets narrative, because we all know it hasn’t happened, because look how wonderful we’ve been in preventing that.
    But, if we end up having more fatalities, side effects etc, after a large number get single / double jabbed, what then?
    It’s just a hypothesis, there may be a collective shrug, or simple avoidance all together, of course.
    My point about prominent individuals putting a spotlight on side effects is predicated on that hypothesis.
    Then as mentioned before, there’s the whole depleted immune system thing due to winter and no mixing.
    What else will people be prone to catching, with more severe side effects than normal?
    I’m just crystal ball gazing, as we all are 🤷

  25. Kevin – country towns have their own problems but I know what to expect there. Plus, at the moment there is a huge shortage of agricultural workers in Australia which means you can walk into a job almost anywhere in the country with no experience and they will train you. That’s quite appealing to me at the moment as I fancy a career change and agriculture is a secure industry. But will see what happens. I’m stuck where I am for the rest of the year and I expect the next six months are going to be nuts. Who knows what sort of world we will live in by Christmas time.

    Helen – I haven’t bothered to check the figures, but I’ve heard it said that the number of deaths from the vaccine is in the hundreds in Australia already. Not sure if that’s made the news as I don’t watch the news. I think you’re right about our disconnection from the rest of the world and the lack of immunity we will have to respiratory viruses in general. I expect the first flu season after the borders open to be very bad. Hopefully it doesn’t trigger another panic and we go back into lockdown but that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

  26. @Kevin if Canada is anything like Australia you will easily be able to support yourself as an electrician in a rural area. But I think a reasonably sized town not too close to a city would be my first choice.

  27. Re: antibody-dependent enhancement

    If that turns out to be what’s going on, I fully expect the American CDC et al to deny everything. However, we will eventually hear about it from official sources, most likely from the Scandinavians. I don’t know what happens then.

    Also, I believe that the severity of ADE can vary quite a lot (correct?). So, it may make the disease only slightly more dangerous, or it may be a certain death sentence, or it can be anything in between.

    For now, though, we don’t know for sure that this is happening. It may well be that these “vaccines” simply stop working after some time, and that’s all there is to it.

  28. Robert Malone is on the case too which has got to have some people in the CDC sweating. I think it’s most likely the science won’t show anything definitive. Already, we’re hearing that the vaccine makes it “less likely” you’ll get sick which is a very unscientific phrase. How less likely? Over what time frame? How can they even measure that given that most people only ever had mild flu symptoms anyway? Plus, all these statements are being made based on summer results which is not the time of year when people are going to be getting very sick. The true test is the upcoming winter.

  29. I have no idea what kind of world we will be living in come Christmas, but the real problem is that our political classes have no out: they cannot admit they were wrong over the past year and a half without creating a killer crisis of legitimacy; but they cannot restore things to normal in any area where the flu circulates without in some way saying they were wrong.

    If Covid justifies the insane reaction we’ve had since last March, then I fail to see why the flu shouldn’t as well. All the same arguments can be made for it, after all; and in fact given how hard it is to tell the flu from Covid without testing, I can’t see any way out without admitting we’ve been in a madhouse since 2020.

    Roland,

    I hate driving, and one of the major reasons I live in a city is that here rural areas are designed such that cars are a necessity. I hope this will change soon, but I fully expect rural areas to have some major crises before that happens.

  30. Kevin – agree. That’s why I think everything hinges politically on “the average person”. The Branch Covidians are about to have an epic meltdown when it becomes clear the vaccines can’t protect them but they will find a way to double down. Government will initially play up to them as they have been doing since the start. The average people have played along up until now. I don’t think they will play along any more. At least, that’s true in the US. I’m really not sure what will happen in Australia. Everybody is scarred by lockdowns here. It may be that everybody agrees not to care that the vaccine doesn’t work as long as there are no more lockdowns. It may be that we double down. There’s also the question of whether the Prime Minister can get the state governments to agree on a way out. It’s not clear that he can. Meanwhile, in the US, Florida, Texas etc. will just go their own way. There’s no need for agreement there.

  31. I don’t know if you saw, but John Michael Greer posted that he’s worried about mass deaths from the vaccines. This worries me, since he’s usually inclined to roll his eyes rather hard at anyone who starts talking about mass die offs. It’s quite surprising to see him agreeing with me, or even quoting worse numbers than I’m expecting.

    I really, truly, sincerely hope that he’s wrong, but what he’s saying seems plausible to me….

    https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/140421.html

  32. Kevin – thanks for that. That’s been the worse-case scenario that’s been on my mind for some time: ADE plus the authorities blaming “variants”. Where it gets scary here in Australia is that things have taken such an authoritarian turn and the population is so scarred by lockdowns that politicians might go further than scapegoating the unvaccinated. They may make the vaccine mandatory. Every single thing done by government so far has been the worst possible decision and I don’t see them stopping now. I’ve been making plans for such an outcome. As long as they don’t freeze bank accounts I should be ok but nothing would surprise me anymore.

    Interesting that JMG has finally broken his relative silence on this.

  33. Couple of general updates:

    In Israel, 80-90% of hospitalisations are now vaccinated people. Robert Malone says this is evidence of ADE. Currently 67% of the population has had at least one dose of the vaccine. https://twitter.com/RWMaloneMD/status/1423333233979240451

    In Iceland, they are already back to restrictions. “For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic public opinion is shifting slightly. It has been absolutely in favor of the restrictions so far but it seems that now a sizable minority does not support the imposed restrictions. I can’t say I’m very optimistic that we will see any real resistance, though. The political class seems paralyzed by fear of the media/public health establishment.” https://mailchi.mp/tomwoods/nowiceland?e=cbdc7fbd5f

    Apparently the chief epidemiologist there really thought they were going to get herd immunity with the vaccine which is (or should be) criminally negligent but gives an idea of what the public health bureaucrats are thinking.

  34. @Kevin there are countries with great public transport in rural areas. I lived in a small town in Switzerland for a few years and never bothered to own a car. Simply was not necessary. But in the anglo sphere you might be out of luck.

    Thanks for the link. Totally would have missed that since I don’t check Greer’s blogs anymore. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately.

    @simon you said you prepared for the vaxine enforcement. Would be interesting to know what you did. Im stocked up on food, got a 1200 litre water tank, planning to add another 10K litres before the wet season, got cash, gold and silver in a safe place and just getting the garden going. Between jobs at the moment and it is amazing what you can get done if a day job does not interfere. Got another job lined up, but I’m starting to wonder if raising my level of self sufficiency might not be more important right now. Thinking about getting some chooks too since i won’t be travelling for a while anyway. I think it is too late to leave to avoid the vaxine.
    The big one is how long it will take and what kind of world we will find ourselves in.

  35. One thing that’s not being talked about is that, if ADE turns out to be real and severe (that is, if it makes the disease far more deadly, rather than just slightly more deadly), then those of us in high-“vaccination” countries are screwed, regardless of our own “vaccination” status. Think about it. If most of your military has been “vaccinated,” and that causes soldiers to drop like flies, then what’s to prevent any un-“vaccinated” enemy from marching right in? (Hello, Taliban.)

  36. Roland – pretty much the same as you. I have the garden humming along nicely now and have been slowly building up a stockpile of non-perishables for about a year. Also have the water tanks and chickens. Another good thing about chickens is that they really boost the compost production and compost made with chicken manure is ideal for the veggie beds. Australia is in a crazy position. If ADE becomes proven, how can we ever open the borders again?

    Irena – I wouldn’t be worried about the military so much as the people who actually do the real work i.e. truck drivers and anybody who works in the food supply chain. By the way, that reminds me of a classic old Onion article – https://www.theonion.com/fbi-uncovers-al-qaeda-plot-to-just-sit-back-and-enjoy-c-1819576375

  37. Simon: “I wouldn’t be worried about the military so much as the people who actually do the real work i.e. truck drivers and anybody who works in the food supply chain.”

    It’s not “either/or.” It’s “and.”

  38. BTW, another thing to keep in mind is that it’s possible that only some (but not all) of these “vaccines” cause ADE. Currently, Pfizer is the main ADE suspect. Whatever applies to Pfizer will almost certainly apply to Moderna as well. But what about the viral vector stuff (AZ, J&J, Sputnik)? What about those Chinese (traditional) vaccines? Anyway, if the problem is with the mRNA “vaccines” in particular (but not the others), then don’t expect Russia (Sputnik) and China (Sinopharm) to remain silent. Obviously, they’ll seize the opportunity, and possibly make significant geopolitical gains.

    Now, Sinopharm in particular appears to be fairly useless. But what would you rather have: ADE or useless? I know what I’d choose. But then again, maybe “useless” is in fact unacknowledged ADE. Lots of unknows.

    Oh, and thanks for that Onion article. Funny!

  39. Simon,

    Having read his earlier work his comparative silence on the Covid crisis strikes me as quite odd as well. I’m preparing for the possibility that the government here might decide to try to make the Covid vax mandatory: I don’t expect the federal government to do it unless Quebec is onboard, so the moment Quebec tries to make it mandatory I’m considering drastic options like heading to the US border and crossing illegally.

    The province of Ontario has made every single possible terrible decision since the crisis started. I figure there’s a good chance the government will mandate it at some point, and for now my plan is to move into Quebec if this happens. It’s very much not a long term solution, but I only need short term right now.

    Roland,

    Here at least small towns are occasionally compact, if they’re old; but anywhere outside of them everything is so dispersed cars are necessary. I’m still trying to figure out what my plans are though, since they depend on so many variables which are changing too quickly to keep up with. With the new talk of mandating the vaccine in Toronto (Ontario’s capital), I think it’s best to plan to leave the province, and since our only sane one on Covid is very rapidly turning into a desert, I think it means my best bet is to leave the country as quickly as possible.

  40. Irena – The question is, are we going to get any reliable statistics on any of this? I don’t even trust the western sources any more and I sure as hell don’t trust any stats coming out of China or Russia. So, again, I don’t see the “science” telling us anything useful.

    Kevin – I think the whole story will fall apart before they try to make it mandatory. Plus, politicians would have to be aware that there’s a hardcore of at least 10% who will never take the vaccine. Do they really want those people kicking up a fuss at just the time when the vaccine narrative is falling apart? I doubt it. I think they will stop at vaccine passports for things like sports and cinema to give the illusion that the vaccines work and reward the people who did what they were told. Having said that, anything is possible at this time and it’s wise to make plans.

  41. Simon: “The question is, are we going to get any reliable statistics on any of this? I don’t even trust the western sources any more and I sure as hell don’t trust any stats coming out of China or Russia.”

    That’s a good point. However:

    (1) If ADE is where it’s at, we’re by far the most likely to hear about it from the Scandinavians (or maybe the Dutch).

    (2) Aren’t the Scandinavians (and the Dutch) mostly using mRNA? Anyway, they’re certainly not using Sputnik/Sinopharm.

    (3) So… If our Swedish (or Norwegian or etc.) friends sound the alarm about ADE and Pfizer/Moderna, then obviously, Russians and the Chinese will capitalize on this and claim that *their* vaccines are perfectly safe, while the Americans and Germans are killing people.

    (4) Our Swedish (and Norwegian and etc.) friends will say “sorry, we have no data on Sputnik/Sinopharm.”

    (5) Hence, geopolitical points for Russia/China, regardless of the truth. (Well, except in the extreme case where those vaccinated with Sputnik/Sinopharm truly start dropping like flies for everyone to see, in which case – no need for statistics!)

    But in any case, this whole thing is one horrible mess. I feel like I’m stuck in some weird theater-of-the-absurd/morality-play hybrid. (Yes, yes, our vaccines don’t work, but you must take them anyway, because otherwise you’re a Bad Person!)

  42. Irena – The more I read of Jung the more I realise how well his work fits with what’s going on. Here’s a relevant quote: “There is no lunacy people under the domination of an archetype will not fall a prey to.”

    Of course, this happens to us all the time in real life. Normally, some family squabble or romantic relationship going south. Now it’s happening at the societal level.

  43. I’m planning on assuming the narrative can last forever, because a lot of people, myself included, were saying that it couldn’t possibly get as far as it has: at this point I think assuming it will collapse at any point is dangerous, outside of those areas where it has been shown to have collapsed.

    The problem as I see it is that governments are so out of touch, and a lot of them are so overrun by Branch Covidians, that I’m far from sure the narratives will collapse in government circles. I can see the Ontario government (at least) doing things as stunningly counter productive as mandating vaccines, because they’re just that committed to the narrative.

  44. Kevin – agree. The public health bureaucrats would happily keep us locked up forever. It’s only when the public demands action that the politicians will move and even then it will need to be a sizeable majority. The early evidence from Iceland suggests that this majority won’t exist for a while, maybe years.

  45. Things have started to tighten down again in the US. I have noticed people who dissented early on are talking that way again, though only when there are no true believers nearby.

    Back in April, the CDC announced they were only going to count cases for vaccinated people that resulted in hospitalization or death. This would have the effect of reducing cases by 97% for vaccinated people, even if the vaccines do nothing. It seemed like a pretty good way to wrap the plague story up.

    The funny thing is, the state governments and news media basically refused to go along with it, and are still reporting every positive test that comes back. Now we’ve had a 400+ person outbreak reported in Massachusetts, and 75% of the cases were vaccinated people. That’s in a state which is 73% vaccinated.

    So if the cases keep going up, and the restrictions come back, the average person might get mad. Right now I’d give it 50/50 odds whether they decide to get mad at the Authorities or the Unvaccinated.

  46. Alex – I recall at the start of the year that the WHO was trying to get labs to drop the cycle count on the PCR test. It does seem like there have been attempts to move things in the right direction but they keep failing. That’s a good example of the competing interests at play, I think. How is the approach differing between states in the US. I haven’t been paying close attention, but I’ve seen snippets that would suggest that DeSantis and other republican governors are not going to re-impose measures. Do you think it’s likely that the democrat states will go back to restrictions while the republican states don’t?

  47. I’m afraid I can’t give you any first-hand account of the differences since I haven’t been traveling too much lately, and I’ve been trying to limit my news intake since it was not making me happy, to put it mildly. My state has a Republican governor who has stated he won’t re-impose restrictions, but I have very little faith he will stick to that.

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