View from Holland: The core innovation of lockdown

From a Dutch university professor: “The Nazis got tired of digging graves for people they’d shot, so they figured out that they should make them dig their own graves first. It’s the same strategy governments have pursued with lockdown. Make people work to pay for their own cells. It’s not Arbeit macht frei, but Lockdown macht frei.” From my 1999 trip to Dachau:


Governors and public health officials in the U.S. work together in the same ways as the medieval prince and priest: “You keep them stupid and I’ll keep them poor.”

Aside from politicians and the billionaires, who has done well in West’s Year of Lockdown? “It’s been a Godsend to the sad and lonely. The West has been the center of family disintegration and there are more people living alone than at any other time or place in history. The sad and lonely are not any better off, but everyone else has been dragged down to their level.” [Divorce lawsuits are more lucrative in the U.S. than in Europe and, perhaps not coincidentally, the U.S. is statistically more disintegrated than any of the European countries.]

How about the college students? Are they rioting? “They’re used to having a world imposed on them by Baby Boomers, so it doesn’t occur to them that they can object. They’re having parties in basements and trying not to get caught.”

Unlike Maskachusetts, the Netherlands allows residents to roam outdoors without masks. My friend goes to a private riding club in which the government cannot require masks. “If it were a public for-profit club, they would be subject to the mask law,” he said. Executives generally cannot issue orders that eliminate citizens’ rights, but the parliament can meet expeditiously and change the law, which it has done.

What has muscular government action in the Netherlands accomplished? A similar-shaped profile to masked-and-shut UK or US and also similar to unmasked and un-shut Sweden:

“About half of the older people still believe that masks and lockdown can save us,” he said, “but the other half are disillusioned by the continued epidemic.”

5 thoughts on “View from Holland: The core innovation of lockdown

  1. I must have been sick when this was taught in school, but I recently learned that Auschwitz is in Poland.

    • Yes it is. I don’t know whether there are any McDonald’s nearby today, I haven’t asked my friends about that specifically, but the ones who have visited remember what happened there.

      “The city must completely disappear from the surface of the earth and serve only as a transport station for the Wehrmacht. No stone can remain standing. Every building must be razed to its foundation.”

    • Google Maps shows that the McDonald’s next to the Dachau concentration camp is still there. Europeans love McDonald’s almost as much as they love lockdowns!

  2. I agree that parts of this shutdown/lockdown make little sense. If most of the virus spread is in households or smaller private settings (including those “parties in the basements” and maybe even some church gatherings — singing, etc.), where masks are not being worn (or are otherwise proving ineffective), then wearing them (even ones that might work) in other places is certainly not going to be significant at changing the rate of infection. Confining people to the places where the virus is being spread the most makes little sense to me. I think fewer people seem to be at death’s door (though people are still steadily dying), but that may well be because we now know how to treat the most common case issues (especially if you have access to ultra-top-notch health care)? Yours truly, Mr. (only sort of — there is the cat!) Supalonely.

    P.S. Your pictured Dachau gate was stolen in 2014 and subsequently recovered:

    • > I think fewer people seem to be at death’s door (though people are still steadily dying)

      US COVID deaths are at an all-time high and likely to increase further still.

      > More than 4,000 people died of Covid-19 in the United States in one day for the first time on Thursday as the country reports record-high numbers and the outbreak grows more severe by the day.

      > The U.S. has reported a record-high daily death toll on five of the past 10 days, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the past week, the U.S. has reported an average of more than 2,700 deaths per day, up 16% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

      Remember when Fauci estimated back in April there would be 100,000 to 200,000 COVID deaths in the US? We’re about to cross 400,000 within about two weeks and then 500,000 not long after, the fact that it’s now a vaccine-preventable illness notwithstanding.

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