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Emergency State - How We Lost Our Freedoms in the Pandemic and Why it Matters (Book Review)

Created on: 2023-12-06

Adam Wagner

222p, published 13 Oct 2022

Cover image of Emergency State by Adam Wagner, showing the crowned portcullis symbol of the UK Parliament, behind warning tape bearing the words 'Quarantine - do not cross.' Cover image of Emergency State by Adam Wagner, showing the crowned portcullis symbol of the UK Parliament, behind warning tape bearing the words 'Quarantine - do not cross.'

The author of this book, Adam Wagner, is a leading UK barrister, specialising in human rights. Prior to covid, he spent over a decade making human rights laws accessible through social media, etc. Therefore, when the lockdowns were imposed, he was in a perfect position to keep the public informed via the same media as to what the ever-changing legal situation actually was.

Wagner also acted on behalf of #ReclaimTheStreets in their successful case against the Metropolitan Police relating to the vigil for Sarah Everard, in the wake of her murder by then serving Metropolitan Policeman Wayne Couzens, who used the cover and confusion of the lockdown rules to commit his crimes.

This book, released in Oct. 2022, explores the conflict between basic human rights of liberty, versus the lockdown restrictions brought in ostensibly to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives. The book is focused on how events unfolded in the UK, though touches on similar events in other countries.

Wagner contextualizes the legal aspect of the response to covid in ancient and recent history. We learn about the origin of quarantine and isolation. The term "quarantine" comes from laws passed in Venice in the 1300s to isolate individuals who had possibly been exposed to the Black Death, for up to 40 days (cf. French for "forty": "quarente").

Similar laws were passed around the world over the centuries to prevent the spread of the plague, cholera and yellow fever.

However, Wagner notes that the lockdowns - quarantines of entire countries - were a massive . . .

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