The fact that solitary confinement is a widely-recognized form of psychological torture, with measurable long-term physiological effects when the period of confinement lasts more than a few weeks, should concern everyone presently enduring the global house arrest of 2020.
Humans are social creatures, and the absence of love from our lives can literally be deadly. In fact, human touch is so fundamental to our survival that infant mortality increases measurably for new born babies that are ignored.
What cannot be ignored, however, is the rational response by both the Swedish and Taiwanese governments to the Covid Crisis. While neither country employed any of the brazen authoritarianism witnessed elsewhere around the world, both have exhibited statistically lower rates of pandemic deaths than other governments.
But that hasn’t stopped many locales from doubling down in their conviction that mass isolation is the appropriate default for ensuring public health, in spite of the evidence that it actually causes far greater harm.
Chronic social isolation is observed to create behavioral changes including increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar peers, persistent fear, and hypersensitivity to threatening stimuli, leading researchers to conclude that social isolation actually causes transformations to the brain.
As evidenced by a 2007 UCLA study entitled “Loneliness Is A Molecule“, the social side-effects of prolonged lockdown are worse for our health than smoking, obesity and heart disease:
“Changes in the immune system may explain why social factors like loneliness are linked to an increased risk of heart disease, viral infections and cancer. It’s already known that a person’s social environment can affect their health, with those who are socially isolated–that is, lonely – suffering from higher mortality than people who are not. Now researchers have identified a distinct pattern of gene expression in immune cells from people who experience chronically high levels of loneliness. The findings suggest that feelings of social isolation are linked to alterations in the activity of genes that drive inflammation, the first response of the immune system.”
Award-winning scientist Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai who holds four degrees from MIT, including a PhD in biological engineering, emphasized the importance of this study last week:
“Fauci, who’s basically their front man for pharma [says], “Isolate yourself. Quarantine yourself. Don’t get any sun.” Let’s look at that: There are an infinite number of papers – landmark studies – that show when you isolate people you create a detrimental situation that’s worse than obesity; worse than heart disease; worse than smoking. You basically down-regulate genes which create anti-viral activity, and you up-regulate genes that create inflammatory response. So think about that. You’re basically destroying the immune system by social isolation.”
We’re being collectively conditioned to view other human beings as a threat to our very existence when, in fact, the opposite is true.
Some communities are actually reporting more suicide deaths than CoViD-19 deaths. And suicide hotlines are getting slammed nationwide. Hotlines in Tennessee sustained an 800% spike in calls with similar trends occurring throughout the nation.
As reported by Bethany Ao:
A Los Angeles mental health clinic reported 1,800 COVID-19 related calls in March, compared with just 20 in February. Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services said it has seen calls double since March 13.
The most common measure taken by governments around the country and around the world ultimately amounts to institutionalized mass house arrest, dispensing added distress amid an already emergent national mental health emergency.
As with nearly every other peril in our society, the burden crushes our most vulnerable populations. For those with comfortable homes, ready access to outdoor recreation, and reliable at-home internet access, the nationwide quarantine may seem like a vacation. But for the millions of Americans who can’t afford such necessities, a stay-at-home order may feel much more like solitary confinement. Comedian and radio host Russell Brand elborates:
“I suppose this outbreak, more generally, helps us to recognize inequality; helps us to recognize that some privileged people are locked down in comfortable environments afforded to them by economic good fortune, whilst others are experiencing something much closer to incarceration. The metaphor of urbanization as a form of penitentiary is a well-worn one, i.e. we are all imprisoned by our economic roles, our social roles, and various other castings that we endure. … it’s a great prism for understanding inequality, for witnessing inequality. And I wonder what fluctuations we’ll observe if this goes on.”
It should be noted that “lockdown” is a term borrowed from prison parlance. Societies everywhere are being invited to accept increasingly authoritarian rule, justifying the employment of draconian tyranny as a necessary evil for defeating the virus. Even in the face of a burgeoning global awakening toward community and compassion, the apparatus of fascism continues to reach for the stars.
In Nepal, quarantine violators are publicly caged.
Quarantine violators in the Philippines are shot on sight.
Both Panama and Peru have adopted gender separation rules, allowing men outside of their homes only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and allowing women outside only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with no one allowed outside on Sundays.
Throughout Spain, children are not allowed out of their homes under any circumstances.
Officials in Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam are using mobile data to construct an electronic fence that alerts authorities if you leave your home or switch off your phone, dispatching enforcers within 15 minutes.
Polish citizens in isolation are required to download a tracking app and take a compulsory selfie in their homes lest they risk a “wellness check” from the police.
The telecommunications industry now openly shares your location data with the governments of Austria, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the UK, inching toward open tracking of citizens as now taking place in South Korea, Iran and Israel.
Canadian authorities recently the passed the Quarantine Act, mobilizing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to visit homes and punish individuals who disobey with up to a $1-million levy and three years imprisonment.
In the United States, the town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado has announced that authorities will begin punishing people with up to a year in jail for going outside without a mask.
Michigan officials have announced a “social distancing crackdown” allowing police to criminally charge citizens, while Flint becomes the first city in the state to institute a 9 PM to 6 AM curfew that punishes violators with up to 90 days in jail. And in Kent County, Michigan, a Chief Circuit Judge has empowered police to arrest anyone suspected of having the virus.
Washington, DC, residents face 90 days in jail and a $5,000 fine just for leaving their homes during the outbreak. Similarly, residents of Maryland, Hawaii and Washington risk up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine for violating the stay-at-home orders, with violators in Alaska similarly facing fines up to $25,000.
Kentucky residents are prohibited from traveling outside the state, with quarantine violators now legally subject to the administration of GPS ankle bracelets.
In Rhode Island, police have been instructed to pull over cars with New York license plates, commanding out-of-staters to self-quarantine for 14 days.
South Carolina’s police are now empowered to break up any public gatherings of three people or more.
Authorities in Daytona Beach, Florida as well as Chula Vista, California are now employing talking drones to enforce social distancing protocols in the city’s beachfront parks and on hiking trails to “dissuade law-breakers while maintaining a safe distance amid the ongoing pandemic.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti publicly stated that “snitches” in his city will get “rewards” if they tattle on neighbors who could be violating the stay-at-home order.
Ford Motor Co. is currently piloting Social-Distancing Wristbands that vibrate when workers come within six feet of one another.
Emirates announced this week they are proud to be the first airline to conduct mandatory blood tests on passengers to test for CoViD-19.
And President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner just created a task force that wants to create a real-time National Coronavirus Surveillance System. Edward Snowden has dubbed the coming surveillance panopticon the “architecture of oppression”. We are losing our freedoms, and mobile phone technology is the mechanism taking them away.
In a piece entitled “COVID-19: A Pretext for World Government” Kurt Nimmo warns:
The crazy thing about the COVID-19 “crisis” is how easy it is for the state and its media to frighten the public and manipulate ill-informed citizens into embracing economic and social decapitation.
Blinded by scary headlines based on irrational speculation—subsequently revised downward and published on page C-23 of corporate newspapers demanding a bailout—the American people have embraced authoritarian measures supposedly imposed to win a battle against an invisible enemy.
We are now beyond the point of no return. The inflicted economic and social damage has already taken a heavy toll and it will get worse the longer health bureaucrats, state governors, and a remarkably clueless president and his apparatchiks demand we stay imprisoned in our homes, frightened of a bug the state and its media have fictionally rendered as an insatiable and inescapable Gorgon of Doom.
The COVID-19 aggrandizement and propaganda campaign is not simply a public relations scheme for Big Pharma and its highly dubious—and often deadly—vaccines. It also serves as a cover for authoritarian measures the ruling elite have schemed to put in place for decades, measures designed to monitor and control everything you do.
And as a final dystopic cherry on top of the nightmare sundae, the City of Baltimore is attempting to keep tabs on its 600,000 residents by deploying a tactic previously used by the US military to surveil the populations of occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. The City is proposing the employment of private military contractor Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) to fly a heavily outfitted surveillance craft over the city. The drones employ an array of super high-definition cameras to surveil, record and catalogue every bit of outdoor activity citywide. If those indicators weren’t suspicious enough, PSS founder Ross McNutt has named this terrifying surveillance operation “Gorgon Stare”.
But what the increasingly ubiquitous eyes in the sky still can’t see is what’s going on inside our homes. As the fear narrative and its accompanying outrages ratchet up worldwide, governments and NGOs are considering ways to address one of the most prevalent vectors for the spread of the disease: contagion among families.
When we get sick, who is it that takes care of us? In the case of people who live in family units, that duty often remains within the household. As anyone who has ever cared for a sick relative can testify, we run the risk of catching the illness ourselfs just by caring for one another until the virus has run its course.
But for whatever reason, the World Health Organization has decided that the compassionate act of caring for sick loved ones may pose a threat to civilization itself, and must be brought to heel by Orwellian means.
As reported by Tucker Carlson:
Dr. Michael Ryan of the World Health Organization, announced that in response to the spread of this virus, authorities may have to enter people’s homes and remove family members, presumably by force:
“In most parts of the world, due to lockdown, most of the transmission that’s actually happening in many countries now is happening in the household, at family level. In some sense, this transmission has been taken off the streets and pushed back into family units. Now we need to go and look in families to find those people who may be sick and remove them, and isolate them, in a safe and dignified manner.”
Just so you know, we’re coming to your house, seizing your children and “isolating them in a safe and dignified manner.” Whatever that means. Now that’s not something that, under normal circumstances, officials casually drop during briefings. It’s the kind of statement that might trigger violence. People don’t respond well when you threaten to take their kids. But Ryan said it like it was no big deal. And that’s how the media treated it. The threat didn’t make headlines in any of the major newspapers in this country. That’s the kind of moment we’re in.
It’s encouraging to remember that while much of the world employs innumerable shades of unnecessary authoritarianism to “flatten the curve”, Sweden and Taiwan have both responded to this crisis rationally, instructing their citizens to stay home if exhibiting symptoms, and to otherwise simply be careful and practice mindfulness.
Both Sweden and Taiwan kept their schools and businesses open, yet both countries are somehow experiencing substantially lower infection rates and death rates than their quarantined neighbors. This suggests that lockdown measures are not only completely unnecessary; they’re wholly ineffective.
Taiwan has a population of nearly 24 million people, and as of 13 April has only experienced 5 deaths with around 300 total diagnosed infections. In contrast, the US state of Montana has a population of 1 million people, having reported a total of 10 deaths at the time of this writing. Taiwan has over 20 times the population in less than 10% of the area. And due to the close physical proximity to China, Taiwan was one of the first places outside the mainland to face broad exposure to the virus, with daily flights from Wuhan landing in Taipei as the outbreak started.
Explaining the success of Taiwan’s limited response is difficult. One interesting, and likely relevant factor is that a trained epidemiologist currently serves as Taiwan’s Vice President. However, in light of their highly anomalous infection and death statistics, many skeptics insist that such a low statistic indicates manipulation, with authorities under-reporting deaths in order to prevent panic or to keep the economy open. However, those with an understanding of Taiwan’s history and government values understand how Taiwan’s culture and government are very western-facing.
Taiwan has always appealed to the broader international community for recognition as an independent nation, meaning they are culturally open to the West as part of a broad effort to distance themselves from Chinese rule.
The World Health Organization has been accused of exhibiting a pro-Chinese bias in their handling of Taiwan and their broad refusal to address questions about Taiwan’s response to the pandemic. A Hong Kong newscast featured an interview with WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward in which the interviewer attempted several times to question him about the WHO’s stance toward Taiwanese membership and his thoughts on Taiwan’s minimalist response to the virus.
Aylward consistently refused to even address the topic, at first saying he couldn’t hear the interviewer and asking to move on to the next question, then ending the call when she insisted on discussing Taiwan. When the call was reconnected, Aylward refused to field any questions about Taiwan, saying, “We’ve already talked about China.”
Taiwan’s complicated relationship with China makes them a taboo subject for many global organizations. The People’s Republic of China is well known for extreme responses to media outlets and NGOs that undermine the “One China” policy. Taiwan is the dirty little secret of the international health community. Their response to the virus and its success have been deliberately ignored, in part because the WHO considers Taiwan’s population in aggregate with China as a whole, which effectively erases their anomalous statistics altogether.
Additionally, were it widely known and discussed that a densely populated nation was continuing life as usual, with schools and businesses open and with gatherings unrestricted, other countries might have a more difficult time justifying their increasingly authoritarian responses.
For its part, Taiwan has voiced a willingness to share lessons learned from their handling of the pandemic. Should the international community find a way around the quagmire of China’s influence, they may find useful information in Taiwan’s decisive response to the virus. And for the many Americans and Europeans struggling with the crushing economic and psychological burden of a nationwide quarantine, the idea of a more measured response that both protects health without molesting our civil liberties may come as a breath of fresh air.
Another country that provides a successful example of effective strategies absent totalitarian insticts is Sweden. Like Taiwan, Sweden has kept its schools and restaurants open and has not instituted a compulsory restriction on gatherings. Sweden instead relies on voluntary measures for social distancing, and self-quarantine in case of illness.
The Public Health Agency’s lead epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, indicated they were using a different approach than other governments but that the overall goal remained to slow the rate of infection and minimize death:
“Sweden has gone mostly for voluntary measures because that’s how we’re used to working. And we have a long tradition that it works rather well.”
Their efforts have produced a marked success, with a lower per-capita infection rate and death rate than most of Europe, all while avoiding the considerable economic and psychological detriments of authoritarian lockdown. Absent are the dystopic horror stories that have become all too common across the world. Also missing are the despair and desperation-inducing economic consequences of total economic shutdown.
Perhaps the condition of “life must go on” inoculates Sweden’s population against the worst ravages of the CoViD-19 pandemic. In most developed nations, economic factors are consistently one of the largest causes of stress and anxiety. It’s well-documented in the medical community that stress has an extremely detrimental influence on the healthy function of the body, especially the immune system.
So can we take Sweden and Taiwan as proof that global lockdown does more harm than good?
The viruses of fear and poverty pose the greatest risk to those who are already compromised. Millions of families across the United States cannot weather a $500 disaster. Such loss can be catastrophic, potentially leading to a loss of home and employment, spiraling an already-tenuous situation further out of control and turning entire families into statistics.
Many Americans are already walking the razor’s edge of stress and anxiety, partially due to economic desperation, and partially due to the paralyzing epidemic of social media dependence that now directs our collective attention into the mainstream of paranoia. Mental health disorders continue to rise at an accelerating rate as the economic alarms bells of poverty and income inequality ring like never before.
Americans have been poised on the edge of a precipice for a generation. Hundreds of millions work their fingers to the bone with nothing to show for it. The fruits of their labors disappearing into the pockets of an increasingly opulent oligarchy who allow the population just enough wealth to continue working, but not enough to ever take a breath. As a result, the financial stressors of lockdown-austerity will likely kill far more people than the virus does after the despair of bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction and homelessness has run its course.
The sobering consequences of the lockdown beg us to question which epidemic is worse: the CoViD-19 pandemic? Or the fear, isolation and torture used to “treat” it?
As the totalitarian conditions of the nationwide lockdown were introduced, we were all told that just by going outside, gathering together and holding our loved ones close, we might be putting others at risk. Our instinct to help was used against us, while the very conditions that abuse and deplete us were marketed as the panacea.
Tyranny by any other name still smells just as despotic. Indeed, it often goes by many other names: “Economic Stimulus”; “Common Good”; “Flatten the Curve”.
In short, Tyranny is called Safety.
By allowing our constitutional rights to be abridged and allowing our economy to be choked out of existence, we threaten the well-being of ourselves, our families and the greater community. We cannot trade our freedom for comfort lest we lose both entirely. We cannot assume that freedoms that are taken away will be automatically returned to us. We must never allow fear to corrupt our reason or rob us of our common sense. We must fight for our precious liberties while we still have them like our lives depend on it, because they do.