There was more than a hint of irony in knowing that after being pinged, the Prime Minister was reluctantly forced to self-isolate on his own “Freedom Day.” Case numbers climb and the NHS track and trace apps continue to ping in their hundreds of thousands, sparking increasing fears of a summer of chaos with millions more forced to self-isolate. Despite tweaks to the app, week on week the number of alerts are growing, prompting some to suggest that mask-wearing and social distancing should become part of our “normal” routine and stay in place for the foreseeable future, or even for ever. Others believe that only those with proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 should be permitted overseas travel, and there have even been calls for a night-time curfew, as of the type introduced in France during the height of the pandemic.
Clearly there are deep and continuing concerns, so we extended our survey, firstly asking about the level of anxiety regarding all Covid restrictions being lifted. We found that a small majority, 57%, were either “very anxious” or “fairly anxious” about the move, while a total of 41% were either “not very anxious” or “not at all anxious.” But it was obvious that most people now feel one way or the other as only 2% said they “don’t know”. There was also strong support for some protective measures being adopted permanently, with 48% in favour of masks being worn in enclosed public places, 44% backing social distancing in public venues, and a majority figure of 53% wanting only those fully vaccinated being permitted to travel abroad.
Fear of Freedom
An alternative view on the way forward
These poll results highlight the success of the campaign coordinated by The Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviour, an advisory team of behavioural scientists working inside Whitehall. In March 2020, the SPI-B felt the need to increase “the perceived level of personal threat” and to frighten the British public with “hard-hitting emotional messaging.” This has involved weaponisation of fear through behavioural psychology propaganda straight out of the totalitarian handbook. The aftermath is not only that the majority of people still feel anxious and nearly half favour the continuation of restrictive measures but in the survey 53% also feel that unvaccinated people should have their freedom to travel forcibly removed. Trading freedom for security has enhanced neither.
And now that, according to ONS estimates, 92% have antibodies to Covid, severely reducing our susceptibility to hospitalisation or death, the fearmongering has shifted to the possibility of new variants that might evade the vaccines. Meanwhile, throughout this campaign, people have been assured by the scientific (for which read pharmaceutical) consensus and mainstream media that vaccination is the only viable solution.
This has involved censorship on an unprecedented scale, suppression of medical and scientific debate and also of effective clinical treatment protocols such as that of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons that prevented 85% of hospitalisations and deaths. US and Canadian physicians have even lost their licenses for successfully treating their patients. The fact is that the international official Vaccine Adverse Reactions figures show reported vaccine deaths and “serious injuries” are in fact running at record levels. We should be able to consider this alongside the arguments for the vaccines success, and make up our own minds. We now need the whole truth and nothing but the truth, along with open debate.
David Lorimer is a writer and educationalist. davidlorimer.co.uk