A Brief History of Lockdowns: Part I
As many of our countries contemplate another round of closures, a look at how we got here.
As my first weekend exclusive to subscribers, I offer you this long piece on the origins of lockdowns I wrote in the spring. Normally, important political items will be free, but a German version was published in March (at Sezession im Netz, introduced by my friend Martin Lichtmesz: see here, here, here and here), and for various reasons I want that to be the primary incarnation of this work on the internet. Because of its length, I’ll post the article in two parts. The second will follow tomorrow.
In February 2020, medical bureaucrats, journalists and politicians across the West were in agreement: Sars-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, posed a minor threat. Corona alarmism was the province of internet conspiracy theorists and anonymous Twitter accounts. Then, beginning very precisely on 8 March, opinion shifted, and our leaders decided one after the other that Corona is among the greatest threats facing mankind. Why and how they reversed their views, is a question that has hardly been explored. It can’t be the changing science: Research does not accumulate in the space of days. Nor does new, direct experience with the virus seem a likely answer: Western outbreaks were in their infancy when this seismic realignment began.