Willy Forsyth describes “Life in Zero-Covid Antarctica”.
Since the appearance of COVID-19, there has not been a single case of the disease at any of the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) stations on Antarctica, of which McMurdo Station is the largest, with around 1000 people based there during the southern summer. Forsyth writes,
While USAP research stations are some of the only populations in the world with zero Covid, residents of these stations live under stricter Covid precautions than many Western cities during peak waves of infection.
The policies begin with medical screening for health risks, which include known Covid risk factors. Deployers to McMurdo travel as cohorts that isolate in hotel rooms for three days, confirm a negative PCR test result, then fly on a private, direct flight to Christchurch, New Zealand.
When the first cohorts of the summer season arrived in September, there had been zero Covid cases on the entire South Island for almost a year. PCR tests and screenings for symptoms took place on arrival, days three, seven, and 12 during 14 days of strict isolation in Christchurch’s proven and effective “managed isolation and quarantine” (MIQ) facilities. US and Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrews subjected to the same isolation procedures as USAP cohorts then flew them to “the ice”. While at great expense, these sound, evidence-based procedures have to-date successfully kept Covid out of all USAP stations.
It is after arriving to Antarctica where these policies go awry. Following passenger plane arrivals of Covid-free cohorts, the entire receiving station population must wear masks, social distance, and adhere to inconsistently and arbitrarily reduced capacities in public and recreational spaces for one week.
In October a new passenger plane arrived about every five days, protracting restrictions to the entire month. We were relegated to constant face coverings where we lived and worked and a loss of any social or recreational activities that usually preside at McMurdo Station – all in the absence of Covid. Even the most ardent mask supporters had become “anti-maskers”.
Beyond low morale, the policies contribute to immense operational and safety setbacks. The station population this season is small – around 500 – and has been slowly dwindling in response to the strict policies and a vaccine mandate that took effect one week after my cohort (with an 85% vaccination rate) arrived. Multiple written assurances that those who were non-vaccinated would not be medically disqualified, were reversed. Several workers in critical departments refused the vaccine and were sent home, many others quit due to the other extreme policies. Nearly all departments are now short-staffed.
These avoidable, policy-derived setbacks contributed to three of six research projects in West Antarctica canceling before beginning, reducing total supportable research projects from the seasonal average of 60 down to 11, and caused the entire month of normal life in December to be robbed by mask-wearing and canceled holiday events.
Read the whole thing.
I have been mulling over the extent to which Covid has - so very conveniently - empowered the state at the expense of the individual. This post shows a microcosm of the malevolent lunacy afoot everywhere, pervading every institution. Although it is difficult, as a general matter, to observe major inflection points of civilization while living through them, I believe we are part of such a radical, revolutionary change of direction. Seeing the lock-step response world-wide with few exceptions, it is an inescapable conclusion that statism is ascendant. It is unlikely that coercion of the individual will ever again recede now that Covid has removed most all barriers to the state’s prerogatives. “The rule of law” has become an empty slogan, along with “consent of the governed”. How quaint.
Perhaps more alarming and even less reversible is the state’s usurpation of the publication (the state decides in large part what studies are funded - and thus are ever done - in the first place) and flow of information. It is blindingly obvious that many, many previously reputable and highly respected scientists have been de-platformed, censored, silenced and attacked for any deviation from the approved narrative and this has likely been responsible for at least hundreds of thousands of lives lost unnecessarily. The arrogant and malevolent suppression of successful early treatments of Covid is, I think, unprecedented and required concerted action by elected officials, bureaucrats, business leaders, big tech (censorship) and MSM (propaganda). It is ongoing and TPTB in Antarctica offer a small example of “global swarming”.
As Dr. McCullough points out, there is no approved treatment for Covid in the outpatient setting. None. Actually, no use of hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin is even permitted by various agencies, which have placed barriers which exist for no other medications in no other circumstances! The official line is that those who are sick should stay home in isolation and suffer until they cannot breathe; only then should they go to the hospital. That the power exists to enforce not only this absurd policy, but to prevent even any discussion of it, is evidence that we have crossed a previously unimaginable line when it comes to the relationship of the individual and the state.
The absurdity in Antarctica is emblematic of the global mass insanity enforced by states now drunk with their newfound power. It bodes ill for the entire future of humanity. This topic is surely worthy of book-length treatment. I, alas, am not equipped to write it.
If I may climb onto one of my favorite hobby horses again, it is worth looking once more at President Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address, remembering that he served as President of Columbia University after WWII and understood the research environment.
Immediately after his often-remembered warning about the Military-Industrial Complex, he warned about the potential for politicization of research funding. The cogency of that warning has only become more significant with the passage of time.
As the old saying goes – He who pays the piper calls the tune. When the only major source of funding for science is the DC Swamp, science inevitably suffers. However, suitably-compliant “scientists” benefit rather than suffer!
I can only imagine the horror of a scientist who at least aspires to be honest (especially a true believe in manmade global warming), whose results surprise him/her/other-pronoun by not only not supporting the narrative, but which actually cast some doubt on it. Do you suppose such studies - which surely exist - ever see the light of day? Submitting such a manuscript for publication would be a career-ender and everyone know it. Never would another grant application be approved. Never tenure. Etc. The amount of inherent bias in “science” because of this very situation is incalculable.
The only trustworthy stuff nowadays is that which is close to applied materials and engineering - where things either work or fail and do so obviously. I trust very little else. It has all been corrupted.
These things are all easily observable. What is less well known is the creep of big business into small business spheres. Medicine is a great example.
It began with the “rebranding” of physicians as “providers” - along with NP’s, PA’s, Optomotrists, Podiatrists, etc. Mostly this was intended to lessen the position and power of the Physicians.
Then we got the hospital consolidations. Most hospitals are run by idiots, so buying struggling hospitals was easy. Then came the branding of these hospitals with the base chain name. So Northwestern Medicine Hospitals - spread all over hell and gone in the Chicago area.
Then came the practice buying. Offer the MD’s a lucrative buy-out option and they are likely to take it. Most of them only want to practice medicine and help patients, so all the paperwork was not “helpful”. Hospitals now assigned administrators to do the admin stuff.
BUT the MD’s found that they could be “sent” to other practice locations “because of need”. Then came the institution of “treatment protocols” - with no variance allowed to MD’s. Thus, as MD’s found ways to treat WuFlu early, they got shut down, to adhere to the official government and hospital chain “protocol” - one and the same, as hospital funding mostly comes from the government.
That’s just ONE area. Think of all the other ones this scheme works.
The Antarctic experience could be seen as an interesting experiment on the question of – Who really matters in society?
"Several workers in critical departments refused the vaccine and were sent home, many others quit due to the other extreme policies. Nearly all departments are now short-staffed.
"The station power plant is only about half-staffed. A power supply failure in the Antarctic environment means water sources could freeze and food would not be safely stored. The fire department was so short staffed they could not fully support the airfield where frequent flights may have to land in inclement weather on an ice runway.
“This hazard legally barred the New York Air National Guard – who flies special ski-equipped LC-130s on essential cargo flights – from arriving on schedule, greatly impeding logistics and supply chains”.
As our society crumbles, look for a rebalancing between those with expensive credentials and those who actually make the world work.