Lockdowns Don’t Work

The Netherlands have recently implemented a curfew from 21.00 in the evening until 04.30 in the morning, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. Who would have ever thought that a flu-like disease would be used as an excuse to have a martial law in my country?

As I have mentioned in several posts, it becomes more and more clear that the lockdowns are causing more damage than the COVID-19 outbreak itself. COVID-19 seems like a very serious disease, mainly because of the implemented worldwide lockdowns, causing havoc.

In the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak, hardly anyone questioned the lockdown measures, and those who did were labeled completely irresponsible. I have read several reports of lockdown critics receiving hate mail like, “Do you want to kill our grandmothers?”

Now, in the start of 2021, more and more people question the lockdown measures, and some call upon governments to choose Focused Protection  instead. The full support for lockdowns is breaking down in our society.

In this scenario, it is obviously always good to get our facts straight. What is really happening, what is really helpful? A group of scientists has done just that. They have written a paper about it, Assessing Mandatory Stay‐at‐Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‐19

The motivation for their research was this:
“The most restrictive non‐pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for controlling the spread of COVID‐19 are mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures. Given the consequences of these policies, it is important to assess their effects”

The conclusion of their research was this:
“While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.”

When a group of conspiracy nuts protest against lockdowns, it can easily be ignored. When groups of young people full of hormones decide to party despite of potential dangers, one can frown upon it. But what are we going to do with this scientific evidence, which cannot be ignored?

Please share this article, or only the link, with people who are still convinced that lockdowns are a good idea. It may convince them they may have been wrong, and that an alternative approach to dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak is a good idea.

COVID-19 Damage & Lockdown Damage

I have spent a lot of time reading the news around the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying worldwide lockdowns, both on mainstream media and alternative media. In doing so, I have noticed a very manipulative description of the damage in both human lives and money.

“Corona damage”, “corona support”, “the cost of corona”, our current “corona crisis”, and so on. Now it is clear that the virus causes damage, both monetary damage and cost in human casualties, but most often the term COVID-19 damage is connected to lockdown consequences.

When you close down a whole industry, with the intent to protect people against the spread of COVID-19, the economical damage is not direct COVID-19 damage, but lockdown damage. By not mentioning this, you make the COVID-19 outbreak seem much more serious than it is.

The same is true for the excess death toll related to the lockdowns. What happens during a lockdown? A rise in domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, and suicides, all result in more people dying in the lockdowns than if there would not have been any lockdowns.

If I really buy into the corona rhetoric and relate all this suffering, dying, and economic destruction to the COVID-19 outbreak, I will soon start to believe that this virus must be as dangerous as Ebola, that something very serious is happening right now, a worldwide killer disease.

Yet what is happening is that a flu-like disease is spreading across the world. And just like with any other outbreak of a flu-like disease, people are dying. If you have lost one of your loved ones, I offer you my condolences. Flu-like diseases kill people every year, and this is horrible for those involved.

At the same time, there is no need to say that COVID-19 is the worst problem which is facing humanity right now, because it isn’t. Hunger, war, chronic health issues like obesity and cancer, all cause more death and suffering than the virus outbreak that we are currently confronted with.

I urge you to pay attention to this manipulative use of language. Yes, there is a virus outbreak. But the cure is worse than the disease. Apparently the decision has been made to lock down the whole world, which will cause more death and destruction than the virus itself ever will.

Only when you are clear about which damage is caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and which damage is caused by the lockdowns, can you objectively watch the news, and make up your own mind about what is happening, and what you should do about this situation, personally.

So please stay alert about what is happening. Do your own research and don’t just swallow things up the way they are presented to you. Don’t be manipulated into believing that the COVID-19 outbreak itself is the worst thing that happened to humanity since the Second World War, because it isn’t.

The Corporation & The New Corporation

Years ago I watched a very provocative and insightful documentary about corporations, and how they influence everybody’s lives. Even though it is made in 2003, the things discussed in this movie are still very relevant toda.

“THE CORPORATION explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time…. Taking its status as a legal “person” to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics…. The film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan.”

If you have not seen this documentary, I highly recommend that you do, it is available for free.

The Corporation – Full Movie

To my delight I discovered that a sequel to the original movie is made this year, called “The New Corporation.” Instead of focusing on the corporation itself, this movie focuses on how our world is influenced by big corporations.

“The Corporation (2003) examined an institution within society. The New Corporation reveals a world now fully remade in the corporation’s image, perilously close to losing democracy. We trace the devastating consequences, connecting the dots between then and now, and inspire with stories of resistance and change from around the world.”

The new movie is unfortunately not available for free. For more information about “The New Corporation”, you can check out the official website, and you can check out the trailer.

The New Corporation – Trailer

It is time to ask ourselves what kind of world we want to have, and what kind of role WE want the corporations to play in this. Without our financial support, corporations will not survive. We can all decide how we want to spend our money and monitor what kind of influence our spending has on the world. These are important decisions, so we have to choose wisely.

Petition Against Mandatory Vaccination

Recently I found an interesting website from “America’s Frontline Doctors”  with a petition “to prevent people from being intimidated or pressured into taking experimental vaccines.”

These doctors are not against vaccines in general, as some organizations are. America’s Frontline Doctors clearly state in their disclaimer: “SMD & AFLDS is NOT “anti-vaxx” or in any other form to be considered or mislabeled as disapproving of established, reputable vaccines when taken voluntarily without coercion.”

For me, this is a crucial difference. Vaccines are not evil. There are vaccines which have proven to be a blessing and vaccines which have proven to be a curse to humanity. With the new, experimental vaccines, we don’t know yet which of the two it will be. We can make predictions, but only time will tell.

In most countries there is some kind of (constitutional) law which states that these vaccinations cannot be made mandatory. Yet how much is your right to decide for yourself worth if a lot of external pressure is applied to try to force you to get your shot?

How “voluntary” are vaccines, when there is talk about making people unable to fly, to cross borders, enter restaurants and cinema’s, get healthcare, or even enter the place where they work, without a “vaccine passport?”

I have nothing against vaccines in general. I have great problems with coercion, lack of transparency, and lack of freedom. What is currently happening worldwide is a giant operation to get the whole world vaccinated against COVID-19, with experimental vaccines.

The ones who organize this gigantic experiment don’t ask my opinion or yours about whether we want this or not, or whether we think it is the best thing to do. So please check out this website, and if you agree with me that this is a cause worth supporting, please sign the petition.

Intermittent Fasting

One of the positive developments in this chaotic world that has caught my eye is the new diet trend called “intermittent fasting.” I find it really interesting because it is simple, and it really seems to work to help people lose weight and become healthier.

When writing for “the gentle restart” I am always looking at things that can benefit humans, or humanity as a whole. In the first world the rise of obesity is obviously a significant problem, and intermittent fasting may be a simple and effective solution to solve this problem.

What is “intermittent fasting?”

This is a diet, whereby you don’t count calories or are restricted in the types of food you eat, but are only restricted in the time that you are allowed to eat. Most often this is done with a daily schedule of having a certain “fasting period” and a certain “eating period.”

For example, many people follow the “eight hour diet”, and eat only eight hours a day. You can choose to eat from 12 to 8 in the evening, and all the other hours you only consume beverages which don’t contain calories, like unsweetened coffee or thee, or water or light drinks.

There are also people who eat ten hours a day, or only four, and in extreme case, the OMAD method, whereby you only eat One Meal A Day, for example in a one hour time frame. Experiment and find out what works for you. Always consult a doctor before trying things like these.

Some benefits of doing intermittent fasting on a personal level are weight loss, better health, and higher levels of energy. I have experimented with it myself and found out that the fasting part of the diet really helped to clean out my system.

Benefits on a global scale are obviously, that when people in the first world eat less and become more healthy, there is more food left for people in the third world to eat. And those healthier people in the first world will be far less dependent on Big Pharma for staying healthy.

I believe that intermittent fasting is an interesting method which deserves our attention. Try it, you may like it! First consult your doctor and then check out this website about intermittent fasting.  Good health to you!

The PinePhone

At the time of writing, the free speech app “Parler” has just been removed from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. These two very powerful players decide when smartphone apps are allowed or not on the market, based on their own standards.

In this situation Apple has almost absolute power about which apps are on your iPhone, unless you decide to jailbreak your iPhone, which will allow you to install apps which are not from the Apple App Store. This has consequences for your support and warranty, and therefore many people don’t want to get involved with jail-breaking their iPhones.

For Android devices, the situation is not that strict. You can still, if you want to, install apps on Android devices, when these apps are not available in the Google Play Store. But most people won’t do this, as they are afraid of what will happen on their smartphones, when they ignore safety warnings.

In this limiting scenario, with two big major players who are both fighting for a monopoly position, it is really refreshing that a third option now is possible. Enter “The PinePhone”!

“The purpose of the PinePhone isn’t only to deliver a functioning Linux phone to end-users, but also to actively create a market for such a device, as well as to support existing and well established Linux-on-Phone projects. All major Linux Phone-oriented projects, as well as other FOSS OS’, are represented on the PinePhone and developers work together on our platform to bring support this community driven device.”  Visit website

On the computer market, for decades we have been offered an alternative to Windows or macOS: free Linux distributions. I have experimented with Linux and must say that it is a very interesting alternative to the two commercial options which most people choose.

Now Linux is more and more used on the smartphone market, and I welcome this development. When my current smartphone needs to be replaced, for whatever the reason, I will switch to a Linux smartphone, because I believe they restore the power to the people.

The main advantage of switching to Linux smartphones is that this will break the monopolies of Big Tech on this market. It will restore the “free market principle” to this niche, and allow for both free and paid apps to be developed, benefiting common people instead of mainly benefiting shareholders.

So please join me in this experiment of trying Linux smartphones. And if you are involved in the developments on this market, or if you are in any way involved in the development of Open Source Software, thank you! Thank you for making this world a better place.

New Links Page

A message for the regular visitors. I will be on a spiritual retreat starting today and ending on the 24th of January 2021. In this period I will not be blogging, but I expect to begin again on the 25th with that daily routine.

To compensate for this lack of new input, I have updated the website with a links page and started with six links to interesting websites. All highly recommended, so please check it out!

Thank you for your time,
and I will be back soon,
Thijs Hottenhuis

The Distribution of Wealth

One of the most shocking facts about the distribution of wealth on our planet is that 1% of the population owns as much as the other 99%, as confirmed in this Oxfam Novib report.  “As growth benefits the richest, the rest of society – especially the poorest – suffers. The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point.”

Those who have followed the news around the COVID-19 outbreak and the worldwide lockdowns will have noticed that the current situation has only worsened the gap between rich and poor. Big Tech is doing fine in this situation. Many billionaires get richer. Poor people suffer more than usual.

Even with government support, many small companies have financial problems, and they expect a wave of bankruptcies soon. And the economic problems in the first world, combined with lockdown restrictions, will have a horrible impact on the third world.

What to do in this situation? A first small step in reversing this situation is to buy locally whenever you can. Instead of purchasing goods and services from Fortune 500 companies, see if you can buy the same or alternative options locally.

Whenever you buy products from Fortune 500 companies, you are supporting companies who hardly get taxed, because there are lots of ways for them to legally avoid paying taxes. The profit of this tax avoidance will end up in the pockets of shareholders, usually the 1% mentioned above.

When you buy locally, taxes will be paid, and this money will flow back to the community, at least part of it. You will provide local people with money they can spend, which will benefit the local community again. Instead of losing money to rich shareholders, you keep the money in the local economy, making it healthy again.

Money will start circulating among the “common people”, the 99%, simply by buying locally whenever possible. This is not the whole solution to the current extreme imbalance in the distribution of wealth, but buying locally is a first step. I will write more posts on this subject in the near future, so please stay tuned!

Restoring Your Privacy

Online privacy is a hot topic. It is directly linked to the great reset and the desire for freedom. I believe that especially since the movie Snowden and the documentary The Social Dilemma became available, the interest in online privacy has become bigger.

If you are like most people, you may not have given online privacy much attention, other than keeping the software on your devices up to date, and maybe using a virus scanner or firewall. It takes some more effort to really secure your online privacy. Where to start?

One of the best places to start that I have found is the amazing website restoreprivacy.com  “Your online privacy and security resource center. Giving you the tools and information you need to restore your privacy, secure your devices, and stay safe online.”

If you are still not convinced of the importance of being careful with your online privacy, I highly recommend that you watch “Snowden” and “The Social Dilemma” first. I believe that this will convince most people that this is serious stuff.

Then, start restoring your online privacy and security, and keep it simple. “Online privacy and security do not have to be overly complicated. Unnecessary complexity may also be a barrier for people who are interested in restoring their privacy. To help with this process, and to reach a larger audience, the guides on Restore Privacy are written in a simple, yet informative style.”

Some good guides to start with on this website are:
The Best Temporary Disposable Email Services
Alternatives to Google Products for 2021

A big “Thank you!” to the people who build and maintain this great website!

Short-term & Long-term Actions

In our locked-down world, a lot of things are happening at the moment. In looking at “The Great Reset”, and what meaningful action we can take against this, it quickly became clear that both short-term actions and long-term actions are needed here.

All short-term actions are aimed at not being overrun by the current lockdown measures, the censorship, and the fear pandemic which is being created on top of the COVID-19 outbreak. We cannot remain passive and have to break free of this all-together.

In the short run, we need to get informed and take meaningful, peaceful action. Things like forming online and offline communities, signing petitions, peaceful protesting, taking legal action, and civil disobedience come to mind.

Besides these urgent short-term actions, there is a very important long-term need. We need to look at how this could happen to humanity, and how we can avoid it ever happening again. What was the breeding ground of the great reset?

Does this have to do with being in a world where 2% of the people own as much as the other 98%? Or the extreme power of Big Tech and Big Pharma, and the ever present influence of the mass media? Maybe the vague role “think tanks” like the World Economic Forum and the Bilderberg Group play?

This needs to be examined, and everyone needs to do his own personal research. The solution to avoiding a technocratic society obviously isn’t having blind faith in new authorities, who show you another way of being, which is hopefully the way out.

On top of neutralizing the forces that made the great reset possible, we need to come up with alternative ways of dealing with the problems which are facing humanity right now. How can we really “build back better” in a humanistic, transparent and democratic way?

Long-term actions can be leaving Big Tech, by flocking to alternative options, and no longer supporting Big Pharma, by taking more responsibility for our own health, making healthy lifestyle choices. And to buy locally instead of from big corporations.

Getting informed through alternative media and supporting new political movements, instead of the political parties who are through lobbying completely connected with the big corporations and their agenda’s. And learning to live sustainably.

It will take both short-term and long-term actions to come with a constructive alternative to the great reset. I will keep writing about possible actions to take, and welcome feedback and ideas. Please contact me with your inspired ideas, thank you.