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Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:30

The Ten Myths of the Great COVID Panic

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The COVID scare has hit us like a meteor, without warning and with great consequences for our freedoms and our rights.  Is what the State says right?  Is our way of life under threat?  And does the State even know what it is doing?


Let us begin with conspiracy theories.

Recently I was accused of being a conspiracy theorist for being a COVID lockdown sceptic.  I made the twin mistakes of accusing the world’s governments, or at least most of them, of listening to the wrong scientists.  And second, I claimed that the “listened to” scientists were in positions of power because of their cleverness and ability to game the system rather than because of any superiority as academics.

These are unexceptional claims.  They may be wrong (as the knowledge we have of this virus is ever evolving), and they may reflect a minority view, but they are not fringe theories.  They assert no conspiracy.

Accusations of being a conspiracy theorist are nothing more and nothing less than a device to shut down dissenters.  Godwin’s Law states:

As a discussion on the Internet grows longer, the likelihood of a comparison of a person's being compared to Hitler or another Nazi reference, increases.

Since no one has yet claimed a title for a similar law in relation to conspiracy theories, I will claim it as Collits’ Law.

The term “conspiracy theory” was invented by the CIA after JFK’s assassination to discredit those who thought his killing might have been the result of actions beyond Lee Harvey Oswald.  The political scientist Michael J Wood has noted:

“Conspiracy theory” is widely acknowledged to be a loaded term. Politicians use it to mock and dismiss allegations against them, while philosophers and political scientists warn that it could be used as a rhetorical weapon to pathologize dissent.

So, no, believing that governments have got it terribly wrong in response to COVID is, in no way, a conspiracy theory.

The COVID scare has caused an unprecedented (a favourite COVID word) public policy response.  On the flimsiest of evidence but much political fear and not a little political overreach, governments in so-called “liberal” democracies have shut down churches, thus endangering souls, confined their populations to mass house arrest, divided society into the new haves (those with secure jobs) and have nots (those without secure jobs), shut down whole industries, consigned a generation to unemployment, destroyed small businesses (and not so small), and directly caused increased death, misery and illness for the non-COVID affected. 

Governments have achieved this with the utter complicity of the media, who daily regurgitate government propaganda so as to keep the populace supine.  This has worked.  Individual rights have been excised from the polity, alas with ease.  The popularity of COVID warriors has soared across the polities which have bought the scare and visited its consequences upon us.

All this has been done without the remotest affirmation of “science”, much appealed to but little acknowledged.  For “science”, read discredited models which have proven to be inaccurate by orders of magnitude.  Read celebrity scientists like the flawed Anthony Fauci in the USA and the non-sexual distancing, morally challenged  Neil Ferguson in the UK, riding the COVID wave to the beach.  We have all suffered as a result of the strategic plays of the COVID warriors.

What damage has the COVID scare wrought?  It is massive, and still to be fully accounted.  The full costs of the COVID hysteria will take decades fully to compute.

It is built on a number of myths, all promoted by the “credentialled class” of policy makers, “scientists” and Deep State technocrats.  The “experts”, to be trusted at all costs.  In summary, the top ten are as follows:

  • Freedom does not, ultimately, matter;
  • The State always knows best, and we should all believe the propaganda (“lockdown has worked”);
  • The COVID virus is a threat to whole populations, and so whole-of-population measures are required;
  • Private health is a matter for governments to decide;
  • We are not capable of determining our own actions;
  • Health trumps all other community objectives;
  • Models are science;
  • Social distancing is settled science;
  • Dissent is not permitted – it is evil;
  • The State can now override churches, and God’s law.

These apparent “truths” are all subject to serious challenge, on reflection.

A number of sane, respectable, questioning scientists have, mercifully, challenged the official line.  They have questioned some of the core assumptions of those who have the ear of governments.  They have called out the farce.  They have alerted us to the false assumptions, the prevarications, the utter falsehoods of the official line.  They have shown us that the trajectory of the virus and its spread are in no way related to the nature of policy responses, whether UK style lockdown or Swedish style liberal approaches.

There are also policy responses that challenge the global lockdown consensus.  Sweden’s actions, subject to much analysis, do appear to be working and to suggest an alternative that protects freedom and individual rights.

The models predicting dire outcomes have been shown to have been catastrophically inflated scare campaigns, without substance.  The numbers of COVID “deaths” have been inflated.  The widespread infections, largely without suffering and sometimes even symptoms, have made a nonsense of the early lethality projections.  The lockdown has not protected the vulnerable, but has caused destruction to those at little risk, their freedoms and their livelihoods.  Models are never “evidence” of anything.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Absent good data about infections, their spread and their impact, death projections are useless.  What if COVID was “in the wild’ much earlier than thought?  What if much of the population was unknowingly infected?  The models become next to useless.  Not gospel.

The strategies to mitigate have been shown to be chimeric.  The stripping of human rights have been shown to have been worthless, as the virus continues to spread.  We have handed over our essential freedoms without cause.  For a Kung Fu Flu of merely moderate impact, still no ways beyond the impacts of a bad flu season.

Freedom matters, even when those who benefit from it do not recognise its rewards and its relevance.  The Sate should not automatically be given the benefit of the doubt.  We the people have the right to determine what health means to us, and to our households and families.  All lives matter, not only those of the chronically ill and elderly who die in their millions as a matter of course from the ailments of the aged.  Quality of life counts.

Even some of the COVID warriors in power have recognised their own nakedness.

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is one:

"Most new Covid-19 hospitalizations in New York state are from people who were staying home and not venturing much outside, a “shocking” finding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday."

This is an astonishing recognition of failure, on a truly massive scale, yet without any self-examination.  The great scare is based on complete rubbish.  Let the message sink in – two thirds of hospital admissions with COVID came from those locked down.  Oh dear.  It hasn’t worked.  Yet the scare continues.

These things should frighten us, especially as evidence emerges that this emperor has absolutely no clothes.  Sadly, they do not appear to have done so.  We are no longer sceptics when it comes to the State and its incursions upon our freedom.  Observers such as Peter Hitchens in the UK have pointed out that we have, collectively, decided to believe the propaganda and to submit to reckless State power.  We love Big Brother.  Without questioning State power, in ways that did not occur in the depths of Soviet communism, where at least the punters still retained a sense of ironic and humoured resignation to the farcical ways of the oppressive Communist State.

We have, it seems, willingly agreed without question to the closure of our churches, those places where lost souls can seek solace, meaning, the graces of the Sacraments and forgiveness for their sins.  Gone.  We can visit Bunnings, but not our Saviour.  Not even for private prayer, when all the normal avenues of spiritual sustenance are forcibly removed from us. 

The bizarre inconsistencies of policy – masks are required one day, then no so the next, churches are verboten but not hardware stores – suggest that governments are simply making it up as they go along.  Abortion clinics stay open.  Prostitutes can visit, but not family.  Park benches are a source of plague propagation.  Beaches are verboten.  Even though the open air and the sun are sources of immunological health.  We can renovate and repair houses, but not our souls.  Essential “services” seem to have been very poorly thought through and defined.

How has this happened? 

I submit that the current crisis is a direct result of the corporatisation of the world’s institutions, and the triumph of political correctness. 

Every workplace is now a place of submission to corporate power.  Governments, political parties, churches, businesses, sports, local councils, are now all in thrall of the dictates of corporate identity, with their resultant conformism, the denial of independent thinking, the suppression of dissent, the acceptance of the party line – all in the name of the corporate message.  Let a hundred government infomercials bloom.

We have suffered mightily from a fascist push towards big government across our democracies, on the back of a poorly understood health scare and woeful ignorance.  We have lost much, and we do not seem to care, or to understand how this has occurred.  We should be truly alarmed at the events of 2020.

Read 2561 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:53
Paul Collits

Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent researcher who lives in Lismore New South Wales.  
He has worked in government, industry and the university sector, and has taught at tertiary level in three different disciplines - politics, geography and planning and business studies.  He spent over 25 years working in economic development and has published widely in Australian and international peer reviewed and other journals.  He has been a keynote speaker internationally on topics such as rural development, regional policy, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Much of his academic writing is available at
His recent writings on ideology, conservatism, politics, religion, culture, education and police corruption have been published in such journals as Quadrant, News Weekly and The Spectator Australia.
He has BA Hons and MA degrees in political science from the Australian National University and a PhD in geography and planning from the University of New England.  He currently has an adjunct Associate Professor position at a New Zealand Polytechnic.