Isaiah says

Given that they have been wildly wrong in each of their predictions about the course of the Red Chinese Batflu, I have no confidence whatever in expert predictions. It is a mystery to me why anyone has, in epidemiology or any area I have observed over the years. About the only thing I would predict with confidence is: “We will fail to predict the future.” The closest we can ever do is to predict what won’t happen, from elementary common sense. When the number of variables is tiny, this may give us some hint. Or we may guess what always happens, because it is a law of nature. If, unaided by any sort of prop, you step off the parapet of a tall building, you will plunge to the ground. This is not a statistical probability: it is 100 percent.

Some of the “rules of economics” are like that. If you spend more, you have less. At some point you go into debt, no matter how much you had to start with. Even Charles Dickens understood this, though like any sentimental progressive, he didn’t like it. There are consequences to going into debt, which will grow the larger the debt is. From this, we enter politics, where we may try to abrogate such rules. All schemes of deficit financing end badly, though it is often possible for one administration to pass onto the next. Eventually, however, someone has to pay, even when the politicians succeed in transferring the load onto another generation. We can’t predict how the disaster will occur, only that it will. By the study of human nature, we can reasonably expect that those consequences will be worse than we foresaw.

Happily, pandemics may be better or worse. The one we have now has, in defiance of very grave epidemiological predictions, proved better so far. Only a couple hundred thousand have died. We can’t know, and we should know we can’t know the future, from the history of pandemics. For instance, serological tests “prove” that the asymptotic are the overwhelming majority of those infected. But maybe they will show real symptoms later. Millions, including many young, will start dropping dead from strokes. Or perhaps they won’t. We’ll see.

We’ll see what happens in the summer, then in the fall. For now, pandemic deaths are falling sharply, and we attribute this to our lockdown. That the rise, crest, and decline of these deaths has followed roughly the same statistical pattern, whether there was a lockdown or not, is interesting. Not having tried such an act of tyranny before, we can have nothing to compare with that lockdown. Still we can say that the virus is indifferent to our measures, and speculate that future waves will not consult our wishes, either.

For all our medical hubris, we are more or less defenceless. A vaccine or some therapeutics may reduce the toll slightly, during a wave, as it does with conventional influenzas each year, but we’ve never had much luck with vaccines against coronaviruses, and are at sea on much physiology. Some die, others live, because individual immune responses are widely variable; we haven’t learnt much except in our imaginations. When we learn more against the last Sars we may know more about the next one, but again, maybe not.

This is what we can say about the future of the Batflu: that we don’t know, and can’t. It may disappear tomorrow. It may grow suddenly much worse. It may seem to disappear, then return.

But whatever it does, if we don’t get back to work, we will starve. We are already watching “supply chains” break down, including some for food, here in North America. I flinch to think of Africa, where conditions for famine are already well advanced, including locust swarms — now also crossing the Middle East. Everywhere, arrangements to merely slow (not end) the Batflu seriously hinder the response to famine.

Fear has been abetted, much of it for obvious political purposes by those who actually want to wreck the economy because they think it is the only way to defeat Trump, or stealth-legislate their political agendas. This derangement is acute in politicians, not only Left but Right, who get a kind of erotic thrill from their newfound powers, which they long to keep. It is reinforced by the arrogance of specialized “medical experts.”

It will be interesting now to see whether this psychic “pandemic” can be tamed: whether people, long cowed by their Nanny States, will find the courage to resist the latest micromanagement. This is where the battiness of progressive ideology most tells, after generations of leftwing infiltration and agitprop — a holdover from the 20th century.¬†Again, we will see what happens. If we are lucky, under pressure of events, “progressiveness” might even become a target, and “wokeness” might be eliminated entirely. All trends are reversible, as I like to say. If we are unlucky, the human race will suffer instead. Courage is among the unpredictables.

As recent popes have said, we must choose: to be on the side of life, or on the side of death. This controversy has been with us for some time.

As Isaiah said: “Choose life!”