The Covid Dystopia

If you need any more evidence that people in government are generally incompetent and cause immense harm due to their ignorance and stupidity, not to mention for the moment their obvious cupidity and greed, there’s no greater example of that incompetence than their handling of the Chinese virus, aka Covid-19, pandemic.

You are probably as sick of the relentless coverage of the pandemic as I am but please humor me for a bit. I beseech you to take a good listen to what Tom Woods had to say recently on the topic. I reiterate that I am aware that you have probably overdosed on the topic but for heaven’s sake, do this if you have any confidence in my judgement.

Let me say this once again: I fully appreciate that you are probably quite sick of the whole business. But do give a listen to what Woods has to offer. It’s a different perspective but not gratuitously so. We’ve been bombarded with relentless propaganda about this Chinese disease. It’s not as if I am a tin-foil hat wearing retard, which if I were you probably would not be reading this.

On this site, my focus has been on India, although not exclusively so. The Indian government — which for all practical purposes currently operates under the dictates of Prime Minister Modi and who is the de facto dictator of India — has demonstrated its absolute incompetency. I would not ascribe this insanity to malice but only to total stupidity and ignorance for now. I don’t think the Indian bureaucracy is paid by the CCP. Not yet, I hope.

Here’s what I wrote a just little over six months ago — although it would appear ages ago.

The consequences of the shock to the Indian economy could be dramatically negative. That is because the people at the top have neither the knowledge to respond appropriately, nor do they stand to lose for their mistakes. Like China, India is a de facto dictatorship, a single party rule headed by a powerful clique. This clique has the power to impose rules without any due diligence or rational deliberations.

The result will be a power-grab under the excuse that it is necessary for the benefit of the people. This will lead to draconian command and control measures. Putting the entire country under lock down is just the first move. That move itself will damage the economy and lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Cronies of the government will of course make out like bandits. Crony socialism has always been part of the economic system in India but this time around, it will flourish like never before. That will hurt the poor and the middle classes. A lot of bad karma is going to be visited on Indians. It’s a democracy, after all, and the bad governance they suffer is of their own choosing.

The Chinese virus would lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, no doubt. But the draconian measures that Modi’s government imposed on India would lead to tens of millions of deaths — that’s two orders of magnitude greater. This will not be common knowledge any time soon but in a few decades, it will be clear that the Indian government killed around 50 million Indians — more than any other agency — in the 2020s.

Like Gandhi, Modi too will eventually be known as one of the greatest butchers of Indians.

Aside: I wrote this in March, just six months ago.

Should India do a complete and total lock down? The pros of that move is that it will definitely slow down community transmission, and therefore save some lives. The cons of that move would be lives lost due to the loss of economic activity — the production and distribution of goods and services which translate into income that is necessary for survival. Lives lost to economic shutdown could easily dwarf the lives lost to the virus.

It appears that the Covid-19 case fatality rate is between 2 and 3. Of 100 infections, around 90 people recover without hospitalization; around 10 have serious symptoms but recover with hospitalization, and around 2 or 3 people die. Of those who die, most are the elderly or otherwise frail.

If by locking down the economy, around 10 people die of malnutrition and starvation, that would be a case of a cure worse than the disease.

As noted above, the appropriate response depends on the specifics. A rich country like the US can survive a total lock down. Wealthy countries, like wealthy individuals, have the spare capacity to ride out economic downturns; poor countries and people cannot.

India does not have the option to do an economic lock down. It has to just do the best it can to do social distancing, hard though it is for people who don’t have the capacity to keep away from each other. India has to accept what it cannot avoid — that the annual death rate of 0.7 percent will go up, and even double for a couple of years. The herd will be thinned a bit and some of the herd will get immunity.

What cannot be avoided has to be endured, and what can be avoided must be eliminated. Vaccines for Covid-19 is a couple of years away. Until then, the best course for India is to continue to function as usual but with all affordable measure to limit transmission.

Do the movers and shakers of the Indian government understand that? Perhaps they do but I suspect that they don’t. They lack competency and the motivation for doing the right thing.

That post was “The Silver Lining to the Chinese Virus.

Author: Atanu Dey


4 thoughts on “The Covid Dystopia”

  1. In March/April, horror stories of overflowing hospitals in Italy were making rounds. India, with its poor infrastructure, seemed poised for more extreme horrors. ‘Experts’ were predicting infections in crores, deaths in multiple lakhs. If I were the prime minister, I would have taken the same decision as Modi in this pandemic.

    Yes, Modi has committed some avoidable blunders in the past. But, I will not consider COVID management as a case of mismanagement. At least, not yet.


  2. I am a big Modi fan, a Bhakt in fact. (If for nothing else, for his push on cleanliness) There are many reasons for my being a fan, BUT ..
    On Covid, I think Modi has committed a himalayan blunder. The entire Covid hysteria in the west can be attributed to the malicious media driven campaign. True information is scarce.
    In India fatalities from Road Accidents 2019 : 154,000
    Covid deaths so far in 10 months: 110,000
    So in normal times it is more deadly just to be out on the road in India, but they locked down the whole country for this.
    Also, total TB deaths are 400k per year … but rationality has completely been thrown out to the curb.

    The evil lockdown and the atmosphere of fear and hysteria has caused many avoidable deaths. Also, poor people who barely crawled out of decades long state control induced poverty have been forced back into that soul crushing poverty.
    The stupid lockdown in India is probably one of biggest policy blunders in recent history. But then again the whole world had been forced into this hysteria and Modi did not prove to be firm enough to resist it.


    1. Raj, don’t you think you are basing your criticism on hindsight? Who knew in March about the fatality rate? Horror stories were coming out of Italy, remember? Experts were predicting dead bodies will be heaped in morgues and hospitals. Maybe the lockdown prevented that.

      I have quite a few whines against Modi. But Wuhan-virus handling is not among my complaints.


      1. I have no complaints against Modi and I feel he is literally a transformational most consequential leader of modern India. However, covid related self goals by Modi were completely avoidable.
        India could have done a 1 month lockdown and then moved to gradual opening. Should have had NO LOCKDOWN in sparsely populated areas.
        Modi’s national speeches induced hysteria caused more damage by making people $h!t scared. So many avoidable deaths are occuring even today due to proper medical services not being restored fully.
        IAS morons made matters worse (I have first hand knowledge)
        Modi may be transformational but his abiding faith in the India bureaucracy is disastrous.

        To make matters worse the stupid bureaucrats couldnt even run trains for free – they were sitting idle not making any money – yet some moron bureaucrat decided that tickets must be charged – how stupid and useless are IAS .. what do they really do other than taking bribes?

        Deadly combo of Modi’s blunder and incompetence of bureaucracy meant that people were walking on streets for 100s of miles, how heart wrenching.

        And comparing India to Italy??? Italy has per capita GDP 17 times higher than India’s. India’s population is mostly young – much less vulnerable to Covid. Italy has huge above 80 population, poor people of India dont make it to that …


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