On the one hand, figures (even the official ones) show that the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be subsiding. On the other hand, it seems many governments have not had time yet to read their own statistics. So, they maintain the strict rules imposed earlier, just to make sure people don’t recall they used to live in freedom.
So, what gives?
Here’s what gives: despite Klaus Martin Schwab and his World Economic Forum’s wishes, the Great Reset, a.k.a. the fourth industrial revolution, hasn’t succeeded yet, the earth’s population still hovers around 7.8 billion instead of the 1.5 billion the Gates Foundation has been dreaming of, and individual countries still keep their individual governments, despite fervent demands by George Soros-owned Open Society that the United Nations take over.
Besides: give the bunch of semi-illiterates power that borders on the unlimited: if you expect they are going to give it up just so, you must be dreaming in Technicolor.
Shockingly, it took the RT (Russian Television) to start asking uncomfortable questions that would lead to unpleasant results.
Before we go any further: RT, an international television network, gets its funds from Russian government’s federal tax budget. Its services include pay television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, and Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, and Russian. Nominally, on paper, ANO TV Novosti owns RT. Its slogan is pretty modern, too: Question More.
A few details
When the Soviet Union, under Nikita Khrushchev’s leadership in the early 1960s, realized the West can be fooled into dreamless and snoringless sleep by appropriate propaganda, it created something known as APN (it stood for Agentstvo Pechati Novosti, or Press News Agency in verbatim translation). Unlike the official TASS (Telegrafnoie Agentstvo Sovetskogo Soiuza, or Soviet Union Telegraph Agency), APN concentrated on featurish stories, stuff that would fill lifestyle and entertainment sections of Western newspapers (and, later, television broadcasts).
Most Soviet journalists were aware that Novosti was a front for the misinformation department of the KGB First Main Administration (foreign intelligence). Most Western journalists never figured it out. Even such American veterans like Walter Cronkite fell for the velvet suaveness of the Novosti crowd. No wonder the Novosti guys knew their manners: most of them would study in New York’s Madison Avenue advertising agencies during the years of the so-called détente, a.k.a. relaxation of relationships between the mighty Soviet Union and the then-mighty U.S.A.
Back to the story
Today’s RT crews learnt their craft well.
So, they came up with something they would call Covid Freedom Index.
This title is linked directly to that index: RT has been updating it almost daily, crying crocodile tears all the way that “there has been little let-up in crisis rhetoric, with those in power often advocating restrictive measures that go far beyond flattening any kind of curve. New regulations are set to be in place for years, if not permanently, unless there is significant accountability and pushback.”
This statement is perfectly correct, alas. And not that it isn’t happening in Russia, too, either.
As RT puts it, all of this has been happening even though billions of people are acquiring immunity to the virus, some through vaccination, and others through having gone through the illness themselves.
In any case, RT says its new Covid-19 Freedom Index “will track the world’s leading economies, and major territories within them, to see if they are restricting their citizens, either by limiting basic rights, such as freedom of movement, essential functions, like the ability to go to school or operate a business, or freedom from technological surveillance.”
True, all statistics have their limitations. As cynics like to say, statistics, basically, are precise calculations based on highly imprecise and suspect, even, numbers. The great American author, Mark Twain, went further still, and Great Britain’s Sir Winston Churchill loved quoting him: there are lies, damned lies, a statistics.
RT acknowledges it: all kinds of rankings may exist, but they all depend on the questions asked. The selection of questions depends on who’s asking and why.
One can use all kinds of formulas, graphs and tables, to make the final results sound as pure science, but, RT adds, its statisticians, aware of all the dangers, have done their best to minimize their bias. Ranking is subjective by its conception, whatever scientific veneer it receives by formulas and tables. Nonetheless, to minimize bias, they have tried to break down their index into easily quantifiable and weighted criteria, and rigorously source each piece of information from official publications, where possible.
Besides, and this is an important point, RT’s index tries to avoid measuring the baseline and broader state of civil rights in individual countries. It only tries to compare the input and output before Covid-19, and the input and output now.
Fair enough: a repressive country that has not implemented any additional restrictions due to the virus is still a repressive country.
RT denies having any political bias, the least believable statement of all. They claim to be shocked by the authoritarian drift the pandemic has caused. Still, they say, epidemiological situations vary from place to place. Many of the disruptions their tables mention can’t be understood without grasping the context.
RT says they aren’t judging anybody.
Considering Russia’s relationships with the rest of the world, and remembering the pure mischief RT has enjoyed reporting on, for example, the U.S. obsession with the alleged Russian interference in American politics, one has to wonder.
In any case, you be the judge.