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DAVE WITHEROW: Retrospect

What happened to the Great Pandemic? Not long ago we were all going to die; we were at war with a lethal virus. And now, voila, nothing to worry about, nothing at all to be seen. And, most remarkable of all, no media curiosity as to whether all the excitement was warranted.


This, of course, has become standard practice in what was once New Zealand, where cock-ups blow away like the morning mist – political cock-ups especially. And so, as John Cleese used to say in another context: “Don’t mention ze vorr”.


But how deadly, really, was the virus? This, surely, ought to have been worked out early on, back in January, 2020 – before Saint Jacinda led the Team of Five Million into full-on national hysteria and economic hara-kiri.


But we didn’t do that. No-one even tried. Not Doctor Bloomfield, or the glib Professors, or the bright pink gas-bag, or the infallible Jacinda herself. They all just drank the Kool-Aid. And none of them, even now, can tell us the true kill-rate of Covid.


It is certainly far below the scary estimates emerging from Wuhan in early 2020, when, rumour said, twenty percent or more of those infected were dying. (A fabrication soon trimmed back to a still-dubious one percent).


The quacks, however, refused to budge. The new bug, they maintained, was slaughtering millions. It was the Black Death all over again, so unless we closed the borders and “flattened the curve” our goose was surely cooked.


As a simple matter of fact, however, millions of people die every year - mostly of old age and its predictable raft of contending ailments - and there was no plausible evidence that Covid had increased global mortality in the slightest. Nothing changed. People wore out at much the same rate, and the only difference - where any trace of the new bug could be found – was that their deaths were enlisted as “proof” of a WHO-inspired pandemic.


The real story, after three years of medical and political runaround, is now impossible to determine. The best guess might be that Covid, like the flu, is no big worry unless you are close to expiring already.


What can be said, however, is that New Zealand’s Covid response was a three-year rolling disaster. None of the experts got it right. None of the lockdowns, forced isolation, social distancing, obligatory masking, economic disruption, and de facto dictatorship made any difference in the long run. We got the bug, just like everyone else. And it’s still here, still circulating – a permanent reminder that the Prime Minister’s famous Pulpit of Truth, all along, was bullshit.


But Ah, the good sheep murmur, the past is past, fading into history, and surely we have problems enough without dwelling on old issues best forgotten?


Well, yes, we have problems. We are in debt, for a start. We owe untold billions which we may possibly never repay. Taxation is rising, inflation is booming, and as skilled people depart for pastures new, their substitutes - shipped in by the tens of thousands - are seldom qualified to replace them.


Our Health Service, once not too bad, is a basket case, and waiting-lists, now to be reorganised on racial grounds, keep growing.


Education, nationwide, has returned to pre-Victorian times, with half of our our school-age children now permanently absent. Our universities, once havens of intelligence, promote Stone Age “science” and the superior wisdom of the tribe. Gangs of criminals roam the streets, and the unemployed have become so numerous they are no longer called unemployed.


Only within the bureaucracies does the good life still happily flourish. Here the drones proliferate, consuming much, producing nothing.

None of this is very auspicious. Our little nation is in a bad way, so before we let bygones be bygones it might be useful to recall that the Pandemic “strategy” was approved by all Parties now in Parliament. None abstained, or demanded due public process. All just simply went along, and thus all – led by Jacinda and Chris and David and the rest – are responsible for the disaster we are living through now.

How did such a strange thing happen?


The threat of Covid, after all, was based on an overblown scare and confected panic that many expert observers soon knew to be unjustified. Conflicting evidence soon emerged, but was denied in an implacably hostile campaign against any viewpoint contrary to the official narrative. Legitimate protest was brutally quashed, free speech suppressed, and the news media, bribed and suborned, became the propaganda arm of a united all-Party junta.


Did all this happen by accident? By nothing more profound than a simultaneous outbreak of irrationality within our governing institutions?


Maybe so. Errors of judgment do occur. Individuals make them and so do collectives, and so, of course, do governments. History is replete with examples, but very seldom do long-established democracies become undone so swiftly, and for such threadbare reasons.


New Zealand is a sad place now. Division grows from day to day, fostered by those with something to gain, or something to cover up. “Anti-vaxxers” are still vilified – even though it was they, not the dutiful, compliant majority, who turned out to be wise.


The experimental gene-treatments, we all now know, did not prevent infection by Covid, nor did they prevent transmission. They failed to work as promised, yet still we are urged to take more.


And now, with the Great Scare officially over, there is no improvement in sight. People are sick, and people are dying, quite mysteriously, in unprecedented numbers. Our own surplus mortality - now close to twenty percent – is astonishing, yet receives no coverage in the media. Nor does the alarming up-tick in heart attacks, blood-clots, turbo-cancers, and so on. (Coronaries, to take one example, have increased by eighty percent).


These sad phenomena, now reported worldwide, have no official explanation. The medical profession is utterly stumped, and likewise the best brains in the think-tanks, universities, and every department of government. It is a mystery beyond all reckoning.

There’s an old theory that Democracy, far from being a steady state, is just part of a recurring cycle involving Oligarchy, Tyranny, Revolution, Retribution, and finally, via Anarchy, back again to the risky business of Democracy. And there’s another theory involving frogs and hot water that says the citizenry are the last to know when one stage in the cycle is giving way to another.


Not always though. Many frogs (real Frogs, in France), have had enough of the increasing temperature. They’re bailing out, refusing the invitation to own nothing and be happy. And the same thing, on a much larger scale, is happening in the Disunited States of America.


Democracy may recover – may stagger on for a few years yet - but here in remote “Aotearoa” our leaders have other ideas. Democracy, they believe, is obsolete, a relic of the colonial past, a malignant doctrine incompatible with the nirvana of racial privilege. It must be modified, re-adjusted, and (by 2030, we are told), abandoned altogether.


But Democracy is already dead in what used to be New Zealand. It died with a surrender to simple greed, to “Partnership” and the tribal veto. It died with crooked lawyers and corrupt bureaucracies, and with the tacit consent of an ill-educated populace all unaware that freedom is not forever.

It is end-game now. Nepotism thrives without restraint, as race takes precedence over race. The Treaty swindle rolls on and on, inventing grievance, cementing privilege, and driving wedge after wedge into the tottering remains of our once-collegial society.


The formality of an election is close, and the usual suspects are all in accord. Details may differ, but the design for our future is crystal clear, and the coup de grace – Co-Governance - is about to be administered.

And then, as the saying goes, you can kiss your ass goodbye.



Dave Witherow, who is a long time columnist with the Otago Daily Times, emigrated to New Zealand from Northern Ireland in 1971. He's an author, script writer, and worked as a scientist for Fish and Game.



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