Economist Gigi Foster appearing on Q&A (Image: Supplied)

This week we were struck by a real mask off moment (in more ways than one) from Nick Cater in The Australian. Comparing the plight of locked-down Victoria with that of loosely-regulated Arizona, he concluded:

Arizona is paying its own price. Its COVID death toll on Saturday was 4688. Victoria, with a similar-sized population, has registered fewer than 400 deaths. Some, however, may view the loss of life in Arizona as an acceptable price for the maintenance of freedom.

Arguing for an approach that would result in a 10-fold increase in deaths requires some awkward contortions, and, in some cases, it has.