Covid is a bad virus which has caused much harm, and many deaths. Fortunately the average age of death with Covid is well over 80 years and in line with normal death rates in most countries. So while we need to take some care, we should not have great fear, or incite fear in others. There are many risks in life, and Covid is just one of them, being far less risk than e.g. driving in a car for most folk, but should be seen in proportion like any other risk.
There is much talk of the collateral damage associated with Covid 19, and a large body of scientific evidence suggesting that the harms of government policy may in fact be larger than the virus itself. We all want to keep others safe, and it seems obvious to do 'what we can'. Yet sometimes the hidden effects of doing something good, can be causing more harm elsewhere.
The human rights associated with government Covid policy in many countries has been called into question.
Many news articles are now reporting for example, that Australia is becoming like North Korea in some areas of draconian policy, such as allowing citizens to come home, or even leave.
One particularly new area of contention is Covid 19 passports. While they seem like a good idea, mandating them has massive implications in a wide range of areas. Two tier society, totalitarianism, major cost both on the scheme by government, but also by venues to enforce. Reduced patronage, reduced spontaneity if you can't enter a venue without 'your papers', major data security issues, health privacy and major discrimination issues. The list goes on.
I, Chris Cooper lobbied against these schemes, not only signing multiple petitions, and posting on social media. I also actively provided written submissions to the UK Parliament, on behalf of both myself and my UK based company, in response to their call for evidence in the matter.
A summary of my submission to the UK parliament was posted here in March 2021.
SUCCESS! (Part 1):
On 12th June 2021, the UK parliament committee released its final report.
In a detailed report with evidence from numerous scientific advisors, companies and public submissions, it explained why Covid certification / vaccine passports have 'No justification' and come with numerous opportunities for harm, security issues, discrimination, costs.
We all want to reduce harms from Covid, but a totalitarian approach, without evidence the benefits outweigh the significant harms is not the answer. Fear should not drive policy.
The UK government has already been reported for directly using fear to control the population in Covid. Also, the OFCOM media regulator has imposed significant penalty for broadcasters to publish any material contrary to the government's own Covid policy, which strongly stifles public debate and reduces scientific rigor. This is in a climate of heavy police action to stifle any public debate on Covid, ironically using the new Covid powers to do so.
So in such challenging times for both the public and for our governments, it's pleasing to see not everything is being railroaded without robust debate, and in this case at least, and for now at least, the issue of Covid passports has been found to have no possible justification, but numerous significant harms. While it seems logical, the devil is in the detail.
We thank the UK government for providing a democratic method to petition for change, and for it to consider submissions such as ours, and for conducting a professional inquiry into the ethics and benefits of Covid Passports. We all want to reduce harms, but a proportional response, considering collateral damage is critical to any public policy.
In fact, the term Collateral damage was rarely used outside the military till 2019. I, Chris Cooper wrote the Wikipedia section covering Covid as a key collateral damage issue. At this time there were few references to this term. But now in 2021, a Google search brings over six million references to this phrase, showing articles and medical reports, documenting massive harms coming from policy decisions. An example of organisations under this term is https://collateralglobal.org
It shows that debate should always have two sides, and what seems obvious to many, may be causing massive hidden harms in other areas. Getting the balance right, in a proportionate manner to the actual risk is critical for us to move forward in such challenging times, as the virus is only one risk. A significant risk, but the flip side is risk that comes with policy that doesn't see the other side. Good that at least in the UK, for vaccine passports, the government has clearly acknowledged both sides, and acted accordingly.
So the UK agreed to not adopt Covid passports.
Then said they would. Then said no, in July.
Then it was announced that while the UK government would NOT implement vaccine passports after all, they announced that they will, for nightclubs and other large venues. Which sort of means that yes, they ARE intending to violate their findings that such passports cause much harm and are unnecessary.
SUCCESS (PART 2)
On 12-9-2021, the UK government announced that again, it was NOT going to mandate vaccine passports, even for large venues.
At last. The incredible division in society is beginning to take it's toll. The riots in France and distrust of authority are incredible, and thank goodness the UK government listened to its advisors (again), and to the large numbers supporting petitions against these mandates.
Forcing such measures are incredibly divisive and hurtful to community, and as their own reports state, cause additional hesitancy in accepting vaccines in many cases. So any benefits of such passports are lost to the harms and costs.
A resounding success in the fight to retain normality in society, and a proportionate acceptance of life risk. Vaccine passports were never the way, only the way to show virtue or control. Covid is a very bad virus, but we should not cause more harms indirectly in our 'panic' to address it.