The Atlantic calls for ‘pandemic amnesty’ after Covid lockdown and vaccination demands

The American publication called for a “pandemic amnesty”, urging people to “forgive each other for what we have done and said” during Covid.

Emily Oster, writer and economist at Brown University, has argued in column per Atlantic Ocean on Monday that it’s time to “move forward” and address the social divisions caused by lockdowns, school closures, mandatory masks and other public health measures over the past two years.

As evidence continues to accumulate that much of the response to the pandemic was due to more harm than good – views that were routinely censored on social media and ridiculed by politicians, the media and health officials throughout 2020 and 2021 – Oster suggested that “most of the mistakes were made by people who were seriously working for the good of society.”

“Given the degree of uncertainty, almost every position has been taken on every topic,” she said.

“And on every topic, someone ended up being right and someone wrong. In some cases, the right people were right for the wrong reasons.

“In other cases, they had a forward-thinking understanding of the information available. People who get it right for some reason may want to gloat. Those who err for any reason may become defensive and take a position that does not correspond to the facts.”

Oster said these discussions were “hot, foul, and ultimately unproductive.”

“In the face of such uncertainty, there was a fair amount of luck in getting something right,” she said.

“And, likewise, doing something wrong was not a moral failing. Treating pandemic selection as a metric on which some people scored higher than others is preventing us from moving forward. We must postpone these fights and declare a pandemic amnesty.”

Oster cited the example of Los Angeles County closing its beaches in mid-2020, noting that “after the fact” it made as little sense as wearing clothes. outdoor masks on a tourist trip.

“We can exclude deliberate providers of factual misinformation while forgiving the rigid demands that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge,” she said.

“The standard saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But dwelling on the mistakes of history can also lead to a recurring fatal loop. Let’s acknowledge that we’ve made tough choices in the face of deep uncertainty and then try to work together to recover and move forward.”

Atlantic Ocean The article sparked an uproar online.

“You couldn’t hold your dying mother’s hand or give her a real wake or funeral – while George Floyd was zipping across the country in a golden coffin – and Atlantic magazine wants to know, “Can’t you just get over it?” tweeted podcast host Jerry Callahan.

“Sorry, no deal,” wrote Zachary Faria, columnist Washington Examiner.

“The social decline and other ill effects that bureaucrats and (mostly democratic) politicians have brought upon society must be answered. “We didn’t know” is not an acceptable answer.”

Faria noted that it was known from the beginning that children were not at serious risk of contracting the virus.

“By the start of the 2021 school year, we certainly knew that children had a place in school in person, without restrictions,” he said. “In New York, Washington DC, and Chicago, politicians and bureaucrats were still putting restrictions on children just a few short months ago.”

He added: “Moreover, ignorance is no excuse for the hypocrisy that we have seen throughout the pandemic. While people weren’t allowed to see their elderly parents and grandparents, Democratic politicians were relaxing or throwing parties, violating the restrictions they supported or even placed on people.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, writer National Reviewalso said that the answer should be “hell no”.

“We don’t need amnesty here,” he said.

“We need to understand the role that deliberate deception (noble lies) plays in the dissemination of health information. We must investigate this precisely because, although it did not achieve its goals, it caused a backlash.”

Dougherty said that Auster was “correct that millions of people fell to their deaths”. wrong side prudential issues of freedom and security”.

“But the issues of the pandemic were not just disputes over the facts of a disease that developed rapidly,” he said.

“They were also arguing about whether the Bill of Rights matters more. To think about [former New York Mayor] Bill de Blasio, telling Christians, Jews, and other believers that they must abide by the city’s rules against gatherings of ten or more people, even when he himself broke those rules by publicly supporting protests against George Floyd.”

Vinay Prasad, an associate professor at the University of California at San Francisco and a public health columnist, wrote in a rebuttal. on the substack that what was needed was “responsibility for the pandemic, not an amnesty.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the implementation of many bad policies,” he said. “We need accountability so that we never introduce this policy again.”

Professor Prasad proposed a number of “structural solutions”, including the importance of resolving public debate.

“I did not sign the Great Barrington Declaration, but I can read it today and know that no one was closer to the truth about schools than the authors,” he said, referring to document 2020 Authors Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University and Martin Kuhldorf of Harvard University are calling for an end to the “destructive” lockdown policy.

“At the same time they were demonized by Fauci and [National Institutes of Health director Francis] Collins who named them extreme epidemiologists“.

Professor Prasad also touched on the controversial issue of vaccination mandates.

“A commitment to produce vaccines or other medical products is a bold move and should never be made if those products cannot stop transmission,” he said

“If there is no benefit to third parties, the mandates are not fair. Even if there are advantages, one should be careful with such a policy.”

He added that vaccine manufacturers “should not be shielded from vaccine litigation. adverse events“.

“People who demand vaccination should also be the subject of legal proceedings,” he said. “In America, the only retribution is a lawsuit. If you give a booster to a 26-year-old man and he has myocarditis, he can sue you for all the crap.”

This comes after a major independent review last month. was sharp Australia’s response to Covid.

97 page fault lines a review led by Western Sydney University Chancellor Peter Shergold, a former senior civil servant, concluded that state and federal governments were “overzealous” with politically motivated health orders and excessive lockdowns that failed to protect older people, ignored young people, and abandoned disadvantaged communities.

“Government regulations and enforcement too often went beyond what was required to control the spread of the virus, and sometimes lacked discretion,” the report says.

“Obligations to use outdoor masks have been put in place along with restrictions on outdoor activities. Regional communities that have not had Covid-19 cases have been isolated and schools closed. Restrictions on international and interstate borders continued in some jurisdictions after significant community transmission of the virus began.

The report added that the rules were “too often formulated and applied without fairness and compassion”.

“Business people were often allowed to travel across borders, while those who wanted to visit dying loved ones or newborn family members were not allowed to do so,” the report said.

“Traveling abroad was allowed for professional sports stars, but not for those who needed medical attention.”

The report warned that such overreach could “undermine fundamental rights and public confidence in institutions that are vital to an effective response to the crisis.”

“There was a trade-off between health, social and economic outcomes,” he added. “There were trade-offs between the short and long term. There were compromises between different parts of society. The existence of these trade-offs has too often been ignored in our response to the pandemic.”

Professor Shergold’s review did not address the issue of mandatory vaccination.

The premiers of Victoria and Queensland opposed the report, while Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk defended the decisions their governments made during the pandemic.

Mr. Andrews dismissed the report as “academic views”.

“There was nothing academic about us having to go into lockdown because we didn’t have a vaccine,” he said.

“There was nothing academic about doing everything we could, very difficult decisions with real impact, to save lives.”

Ms Palaszczuk supported the strict border closure, saying she made decisions “in the best interests of the people of Queensland”.

“I think that the pandemic has had a long-term impact on a wide range of people, not only because of the closure of borders,” she said.

“I support the decisions that the Chief Medical Officer made at the time I supported them.”

frank.chung@news.com.au

– with NCA NewsWire

Originally published as The Atlantic calls for ‘pandemic amnesty’ after ‘mistakes’ during Covid response