This a fantastic and timely article. Heather MacDonald was talking about this exact topic well over a year ago, but she's a "conservative" so she got no play at all.

I work in the Bad Neighborhood and the lockdowns and masks have been devastating. I had two seniors, young women, who attempted suicide. But for early intervention they would have succeeded. No one cared - because COVID! Because they were unable to meet or socialize, so we could use two weeks (now over 600 days) to "flattenthecurve", they had all of their teen issues exacerbated and they were almost destroyed. I had another student get shot and killed. He would have graduated in June 2021, but no one cared, because of two things: he wasn't killed by a white male wearing a badge, and because COVID! I wrote about him here:


As NYC begins an insane round of vaccine segregation, the ripple effects will be terrible. If you were told for the last 2 years that the USA was a systemically racist, unconscionably corporate, bigoted hellhole since 1619, then told to get a Gov't and Big Pharma vaccine because, well, THIS time those selfsame institutions are suddenly looking out for your best interests - you'd be leery of the vaccine too. This is why we have around 39% of the African American population fully vaccinated. But NYC is seeing to it that the Black population will not be allowed to go into restaurants, clubs, museums, or any other establishment. This is only one aspect of the continued madness of this new Religion.

Not only is the cost benefit analysis not being recognized, the trampling of Civil Rights is afoot, because COVID! The silence of the ACLU is unbelievable. This new religion of COVID, seemingly spearheaded by outfits like the World Economic Forum and their "Great Reset", is going to have the effect that all of these globalist maneuvers will have: it will decimate, discriminate and destroy the people who can least afford it.

NYC has collapsed under its 'leadership' (I'm in NYC), and Greenwald's assessment is correct, timely, and deserves a wide audience. We need regular people to push back, because the Corporate Media / Government Complex isn't.

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WHERE THE HELL is the DEBATE over MANDATED VACCINES?!?!? Look at deBladio’s NYC wide mandate, now in Los Angeles and I’m sure it will be a domino effect, soon to arrive at your Blue State City. It’s is OUTRAGEOUS that ppl would be fired from their job for not taking the “SHOT” or denied a continued membership at their health facility, or access to restaurants, public events etc. WHY should ppl who ALREADY had Covid & have antibodies be mandated to take this shot?? WHY is no one discussing those who have compromised immune problems and were advised by their DOCTORS NOT TO TAKE THE SHOT not factored in?! WHY, now that we KNOW, the vaccinated are also still TRANSMITTING Covid and can get Covid again, aren’t we allowed to do the cost benefit analysis and decide for OURSELVES whether or not we want to reduce our own personal chance of “severe symptoms/hospitalization?!” VS the UNKNOWN LONGTERM health implications of this “shot” that has YUUUGE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST among those individuals and agencies which are behind its development ?! WHY hasn’t there been a VERY public debate regarding safe, effective, credible and known TREATMENTS?! WHY Aren’t we hearing anything about the actual debate that is occurring among world renowned neurologists and vaccine developers formerly with Pfizer and Merck and Gates foundation (Geert Vanden Bossche) and countless others about the risks of a mass vaccination rollout during a pandemic and the likelihood of breakout cases and the CREATION of more and more variants? WHY in the hell hasn’t that debate been occurring and why hasn’t it been covered main stream outlets? I am grateful for 20 Greenwald four this article regarding rational cost benefit analysis of policies regarding Covid. But, the giant elephant in the room is mandated vaccines, which is why you’re seeing millions and millions of people around the globe protesting yes. Where are the large protests here in the United States? Don’t people realize this it’s a scary slippery slope leading to authoritarian control? Have they forgotten Michael Chertoff and his airport scanners after 911 saying “they could milk those surveillance capabilities & policies” for years?? What the hell is wrong with people? They have succumbed to the fear mongering and lost all rational objective thought.

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One phrase I want purged from the discussion around COVID, especially as it relates to schools, - "abundance of caution." Instead, how about the "appropriate level of caution?"

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A number of people I know on the right believed covid would magically disappear after the election last fall. I kept reminding them of Rahm Emmanuel's infamous line, never let a crisis go to waste. The calculus is simple: Covid will cease to be the dominant issue in all of our American lives, and restrictive measures taken in response to it will only end, when it stops being a winning issue for Democrats. They control people with fear (so do Republicans, but Dems have the media, so they win), and as long as they can make people irrationally afraid to death of covid and convince those same people that only Democrats have all the right answers, they will continue to propagate this insanity.

And it isn't only about votes. Look how the CDC is now being leveraged as super-Constitutional psuedo-agency to enact policy, and its edicts are upheld by federal judges. What amazing power! Democrats will never give that up unless someone takes it from them.

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The real issue is not harm caused to children by missing schools, it's that COVID was overblown by the media and, especially, politicians - such as Faucci. By the CDC's own statistics, only some 6% of deaths attributed to COVID were actually solely due to it. Furthermore, only a small fraction of those who are believed to have had the virus have died. Not only that, in the United States, less than 10% of the population has allegedly had it over the past year and a half. Of course, millions probably had it and thought it was just a cold (which it essentially is.) The real problem is the armies of government beauracrats who saw COVID as an opportunity to exert their authority. I live in Texas where EVERY SINGLE on of the county judges and mayors who have imposed draconian measures is a Democrat while the rest of the state is essentially free of those impositions. My own county is governed by an Indian immigrant, a Democrat, who does whatever his parties dictates that he do. The county judge in Harris County is a Colombian immigrant, also a Democrat, who does the same thing as does the black Democratic mayor of Houston. In short, the driving force in the imposition of drastic measures is political with left-wing journalists providing the propaganda to cause panic among part of the population.

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The over the top response to COVID-19 was originally done as yet another means to undermine and sabotage the Trump administration. The democrats in NY and NJ eschewed copious resources supplied by Trump and instead chose a course of action that led to the unnecessary and preventable deaths of thousands of older people.

Now that Trump is gone, the farce is being continued in earnest because the mercurial lock-downs, mask mandates, and vaccination document requirements are training the public for the planned future of extreme micromanaging of their lives and existence by a ruling class who are absolutely certain they know what's best for all of the humanity they openly despise now, in spite of mountains of evidence and a history of consistent failures to the contrary.

Even though there is zero evidence that, outside of a clinical setting containing people with open wounds or compromised immune systems, masks are a deterrent for the spread of disease, the mask mandates are now a key political wedge issue. The democrats will literally never give up the mask mandates... ever. The reason why is that mask mandates, over time, condition the public like domesticated livestock to whittle down notions of personal "freedom" to something as preposterous as being "allowed" by some psychopathic governor to walk around in the open air without a goddamn dirty rag over one's face.

"Golly!!!... Thank you dear leader for letting me not have to wear a mask today!... I feel so free!!!"

Once freedom is defined to that pathetic level of existence, people won't fret so much about the high taxes they pay to corrupt psychopaths to squander on things that don't do the public one lick of good.

The Future is Now... And it really sucks.

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I have a 16 year old who has now lost the second half of freshman and entire sophomore years. He was an honors student, but by the end of last year flunked 3 classes. Remote learning was a complete joke, the teachers often didn't show up at all, just posted a note on the screen to read the next section. His sport was cancelled, he's now lost interest after the 1.5 year absence. Judging by the reaction of the school and district, and the incredibly full summer school programs (again, it took weeks to find availability), this is very common in our area. The district just offered to retroactively list any grades on any transcript as pass/fail. When he predictably developed major depression, it took us months to find a therapist with availability, and that is by remote because the available therapist lives 2,500 miles away. It's only now getting better for him, he just successfully finished summer school and the therapy is helping immensely.

Any education official who claims to care about the children in all this is lying, plain and simple. This is about flexing political muscle and protecting the teachers, full stop. I would say they should be ashamed of themselves, but they are incapable of shame.

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The Cult of Safetyism (of which the Cult of Covid is a branch) has done and continues to do immense damage to our society. It has blinded sensible people to rational thought; it has turned us into a nation of cowards; it has done astoundingly high damage to kids’ development; and on and on… “ if we just save one person, it is worth any cost…” “out of an abundance of caution…” “you are responsible not for yourself, but for all of us…”

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Glad you finally picked up the topic, Glenn. The refusal to do any cost-benefits analysis is just the tip of an iceberg that something fundamentally rotten here. I am no Covid dinner, not a Trump supporter and not an anti-vaxxer. I just took my Pneumovax 23. So what are the other indicators that something is fundamentally rotten?

1) right at the beginning of the pandemic government officials in multiple countries had proclaimed that we'll get back to "normal" only after vaccination. Now consider that a vaccine for a new disease has always taken 8-10 years to develop. They cannot have suggested locking down countries for that long. Alternatively it has always been a fix from the beginning

2) If Covid-19 is one of the deadliest diseases that we have faced recently, why have our health authorities failed so far to come up with early treatment recommendations? I am being polite here - in reality they have doing everything to refuse to consider and evaluate many promising options. I have had several relatives, colleagues, friends who got Covid. All of then have survived well. But more importantly, I have asked each of them, after being told that have Covid, what their primarily physician had asked then to do. Without exception they were told to "stay home, take rest, drink a lot of water, take Aspirin if needed, measure temp, etc. ... and go to the emergency room if symptoms become serious"!!!! Really?

3) "Fatality from Covid" per million differ by a factor oh hundred. That tells me that it is not the inherent lethality of the virus, but other things that are different in different countries that should be equally taken into consideration - identify those, and find out where one can have the best leverage. It may sound provocative, but a virus does not (by itself) kill a person. It initiates a cascade of events that ultimately may or may not kill the persons. the events in this cascade are influenced by a variety of parameters, some biological and some external. Biological parameters include strength of the immunes system, age, comorbidities, etc. External parameters include time and type of medical intervention, access to care, etc.

Therefore, the logical approach would have been to investigate why fatality rates are different in different countries and location, identify a host of parameters that might be influencing the cascade of events, then identify which ones can be influenced (in the short, medium and long term), and then go about addressing the problem. But no, from the very beginning, there was a razor sharp focus on vaccination. In reality, what we have been having from the very beginning, are not pandemic measures but vaccination measures. There is a big difference between to the two.

Let me give an analogy to explain the fallacy. Let's say the mortality rate from gun shot wound is 100 times higher in Country A than in Country B. Instead of finding out why Country A is having so much more fatality from a the cause, the government of A dictates that everyone in Country A must go around in full body armor made from depleted uranium. We are the Country A!

I could add many more such absurdities, that irrespective of any statistics or having to go into virology or medicine, shows that if you think rationally, the whole thing stinks.

BTW, I always see people talking about "Covid cases". That's an absurdity. What they (including officials) are talking about is the number of "PCR positives". These are completely two distinct things.

PCR is a test that cannon detect infection or infectiousness. It certainly cannot diagnose any disease, let alone Covid that's because it is not a diagnostic device. Only a clinician, sometimes with the help of certain diagnostic tools, can diagnose a disease. PCR test has never been approved as a diagnostic device, the test as not been standardized and has never been validated. Authorities are misreprestating PCR positive numbers as "cases" to scare people to comply with draconian measures.

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I recently had a discussion with my graduate mentor about covid, and how mask policies and vaccinating children for a disease that is virtually harmless to them (statistically) does not make sense. We do not put our children at increased risk in order to provide more safety for grandma and grandpa. He said my type of language is what leads to elder abuse. In this discussion, it was also implied that I placed a greater value on the lives of children vs. the elderly. I outright stated that if I were forced to put value on lives, that yes, the life of child is "worth" more than that of an elderly individual, and that I thought this was a normal stance of people in our society (after all, you save the women and children first in emergencies).

Covid has people living in their brainstems, leaving them unable to think rationally. This includes our children, who have been severely impacted by all-things covid. It needs to stop.

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Disappointing that there are comments here literally arguing against doing any cost/benefit analysis. Hope they're getting paid by Pfizer's PR firm because the alternative is almost more depressing.

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Well done. This is really important. Aside from the fact that MASKS DO NOT WORK. And vaccine passports are racist and exclusionary even if the vaccines stopped one from contracting and spreading the virus. And lockdowns and closures are insane as they destroy many aspects of human health and survival. 150 million globally have been shoved into extreme poverty and starvation by lockdowns.

But one important addition, is that Covid is extremely AGE STRATIFIED and none of these restrictions nor guidelines are AGE STRATIFIED. Nearly 80% of Covid deaths are among people over 65 with multiple underlying comorbidites. People over 65 are only 16% of the population. The OBESE are also nearly 80% of all deaths. And hospitalizations are nearly 80% people with Vitamin D deficiencies. So Covid is not something that impacts everyone equally.

In fact, asymptomatic spread, spread on surfaces and outdoor spread are all rare and not a driver of the pandemic. So masking is nonsensical, even if it worked. Which is most certainly does not. Covid is transmitted by aerosols and masks do not stop aerosols. If you can smell the smoke from a person smoking nearby, then you are not protected from Covid aerosols either. People who are high risk go into crowded indoor spaces because they are masked and risk contracting Covid, and those with symptoms may go out thinking they are masked so it's okay. So, Masks likely cause more deaths from Covid.

With the decline in vaccine efficacy shown in Israel and the UK, we have to admit that Covid is going to be endemic and seasonal like the flu. We will see it come in waves and we need a longterm strategy to protect the most vulnerable while the young and healthy return to normal.

As soon as we admit Covid will NEVER END, we can start making sensible policies to protect the vulnerable, not to destroy the lives of children and young healthy people who are at vanishingly small risk. Children are likely at about .001% of death from Covid. That's far less than from the FLU. Policies for children should not be the same as those for people over 65. We should be putting money into protecting the elderly and the infirm and vulnerable. And stop limiting the lives of the young and healthy who SHOULD catch Covid, hopefully after vaccination, and have robust natural immunity which in turn protects the elderly and immunocompromised because they are also part of the herd.

Last thing, masking children for 7 hours a day in school is criminal. They are at at least 4x less danger from Covid than from the Flu. It's child abuse to make them mask up all day in school. The severe damage we are doing to our children is going to be seen in the future as a crime against humanity.

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Great post, Glenn. You raise questions most of us have been asking ourselves for a year and a half! In San Diego county where I live, COVID deaths (through 8/17/21) for children 0-9 are exactly... zero. For ages 10-19, that figure is 2, or .1% - a bit less than seasonal flu. And that includes kids who are immuno-compromised in some way. Children are more at risk being driven to school than in school from COVID. I recently reviewed as much mask data as I could find. Most such studies were for influenza, and most included hand washing and social distancing together with mask wearing. The general takeaway I got is that this combination protocol is modestly beneficial in high risk settings. I can't see a justification for masking up kids, however, when one assesses the cost/benefits. The one mask-only study I could find (DANMASK-19) was inconclusive with respect to the benefits of masks. Despite being a well-designed study with 6,034 participants, it was turned down by Lancet, JAMA and NEJM - no surprise as all 3 have become politicized. I also noted that the Great Barrington Declaration by 3 of the world's top epidemiologists (and co-signed by over 3,000 other public health scientists) was given little coverage as it took a common sense approach such as what Glenn suggests - protect the vulnerable and otherwise open up with reasonable precautions. Another area that is under-reported on is the difference between the CASE fatality rate (when people present to an institution and are diagnosed with COVID) and the INFECTION fatality rate, which includes those who have mild symptoms and didn't get treatment or those who are asymptomatic. To me, the latter is what matters. I used CDC data to calculate my infection fatality risk (I'm a 69 year old male in good health) and it came out at .9 of 1%. I'll take those odds all day long. I have to conclude that the people making these inane decisions for us are either not very well-informed or they have an ulterior agenda.

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Great article, as usual, but those who would benefit the most from taking its message to heart are those to whom Covidiocy is either a) true religion or b) malevolent intent to bring about a nefarious outcome. Neither will change their behavior based on logic and clear thinking.

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Another way cost-benefit is ignored is on the specificity of the responses.

For example: recent CDC information suggests that infected individuals, whether vaccinated or not, shed the virus at the same rate -- i.e. are equally dangerous to those around them.

That would suggest that not getting vaccinated does not increase any individual risks but for the unvaccinated individual him/herself. There isn't any good data on how easy it is for the vaccinated to be reinfected or infected with variants (indeed, the CDC stopped measuring this in May of this year). And yet, the proposed solutions do not match the data. Things like vaccine mandates. Vaccine passports. When based on the reality on the ground, it would seem we should have perpetual social distancing and masks.

Then on masks, no studies showing the cost-benefit of those have rendered definitive answers either. Mask wearing has been shown to promote bacteria pneumonia. It might also stop the virus trapped in large vapor drops, but most masks aren't fine enough to stop the aerosol virus. What's the cost benefit there? Who knows?

Nothing is subjected to cost/benefit analysis, even compared to what our mainstream CDC says we know.

That's religion. Masks always good. Non-mask wearers always bad. Vaccine always good. ANY other treatments, even if seemingly effective -- bad.

And so it's no wonder people suspect other agendas (pharma profits, for example). When nothing makes sense, and the data is not only often contradictory but also rankly manipulated, that suggest motive other than health.

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My daughter has MIS-C last year and it was the scariest two weeks of my life (she’s fine now), but I’m not going to ignore the statistics and pretend that my single experience (or other people’s one-off anecdotes) should dictate public policy. Schools absolutely need to be open and society needs to learn to live with this virus in a cost-benefit manner. The people championing New Zealand and Australia’s zero-COVID policies are the real psychopaths.

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