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The ZeroCovid debate: can the disease be eliminated? Professor Devi Sridhar makes the case for why we should not tolerate any level of Covid-19


August 25, 2020   4 mins

“When I look at people of the Swedish perspective that life can go on, we’re actually aligned on a lot of things,” says Devi Sridhar, the American public health professor currently Chair of Global Public health at Edinburgh and a leading figurehead of the “ZeroCovid” movement. “We’re both against lockdown, we both want social lives to continue, we both want schools back, but we want it done safely.”

In order to achieve these goals, however, Prof Sridhar’s suggested strategy is the opposite of Sweden’s more laissez-faire approach. Instead of being more permissive, she is calling for governments to follow the Scottish lead and commit to a “ZeroCovid” strategy — ie that any level of Covid-19, no matter how low, is considered unacceptable, and that within national borders, governments should aim to eliminate the virus completely. Liberty, achieved through greater suppression, is the paradoxical idea.

 

If you want a preview of the next phase of the political debate around Covid-19, this is it. Nicola Sturgeon (who Professor Sridhar advises) is calling for England to join the other home nations in committing to a ZeroCovid strategy, the so-called “Independent Sage” group of scientists is in agreement, and the Liberal Democrat Layla Moran has begun to demand that Boris Johnson takes the pledge. The group has a distinctly Left-progressive-idealist flavour, perhaps unsurprising given that the policy is driven by a conviction that, with enough willpower, governments and collective action can remake the world.

The key argument is as follows. “Health versus the economy” was never the right framing — the countries that have fared best so far in this pandemic, whose economies and societies are returning to normal fastest, are the ones that acted to lock down decisively and early, drove the virus down to very low levels, and are employing massive testing and track and trace programmes to keep it there.

If you try to open up society while the disease is still in circulation it will firstly not work because people are still feeling afraid (Prof Sridhar points to the mostly empty cinemas and theatres since they reopened) and, what’s more, the virus will come back. She gives Spain as an example of a country that had driven the virus to low levels but, since opening to tourists and restarting the “night-time economy” of bars and clubs, has seen a large surge in case numbers. In her view, they should have controlled the border more aggressively, been more activist in testing, tracing and isolating, and kept things like nightclubs closed.

When I pressed her on what exactly would be different from today in a ZeroCovid-committed England, the impression is of “do more of the same, but do it better and try harder”. More testing (up to 1 million a day), replace 14-day quarantine with testing twice at the border, and improve the NHS Test and Trace programme. Partly, she feels that change would already come from making the commitment, as it would give citizens clarity as to the national strategy. One striking detail was the idea of making ZeroCovid zones within the country, ringfenced with limited movement in or out, that could link up until the whole country was rid of the disease. (I wouldn’t want to be the one to inform the inhabitants of a town that they couldn’t leave because it had become Covid-free!)

I asked her about the dramatic improvements to mortality rates that we are seeing in these apparent “second waves” across Europe. She acknowledged the trend and thinks it is down to spread among the younger population and improvements to treatment, but says that she has not yet seen convincing proof of either widespread T Cell immunity or mutations towards a milder strain. I asked whether, if the virus becomes provably less severe, it would reach a point where she would abandon the ZeroCovid idea altogether:

“Of course. We have to change our strategies based on the evolving nature of this virus and that’s why my mind has changed over the course of watching this virus. What worries me is the health impact — not only on the deaths but the disability for younger people. I’m concerned about the long-haulers. If a new strain emerged that was more infectious but less severe like the common cold — well then that would be fantastic and I would not be saying we have to push for zero Covid.”

She’s keen to emphasise that, despite the name, the policy is not a plan to live in perpetual lockdown until the last human being is cured of Covid-19. She describes herself as “anti-lockdown” and that “CovidZero is not about keeping restrictions forever — you don’t want to destroy a society chasing down the last person who has the virus. It’s actually saying that we are going to continue seeing spikes and mitigating the economic effects
 It’s about mass testing, good tracing and getting life back
”

So what about a disease-like flu, which according to some estimates is already killing more people per week in England than Covid-19? Should we have a zero-flu policy, with mass testing, local lockdowns and a test and trace system?

“Covid is nothing like the flu,” Prof Sridhar says. “Flu is a respiratory disease, whereas Covid is a multi-system disease. You have young people a few weeks after catching Covid having heart attacks, which does not happen with the flu, along with kidney failure, blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. There is something different about this virus — it is nothing like the flu.”

Opponents will say that the ZeroCovid goal ends up being fanatical, potentially consigning us to years of life-altering restrictions in pursuit of a goal we will never achieve, in response to a threat that doesn’t warrant it in the first place. Yesterday’s announcement by New Zealand that Covid-19 sufferers will be removed to a quarantine facility and Scotland’s drive to require masks in schools will only add to their concerns. But Professor Sridhar clearly believes that concerted activism and short-term pain is a more responsible route back to life as normal — she makes an eloquent case and our thanks to her for such a stimulating discussion.


Freddie Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.

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T S
T S
3 years ago

Can someone, anyone, point me in the direction of hard data that suggests this is a policy that needs to be implemented? As is mentioned above, despite an increase in new cases (some explained simply by more testing), hospital admissions and fatalities have not budged.

All the way through this debacle, the data has been abundantly clear as to who is and isn’t badly affected by this, so why the masochistic obsession to keep the general public terrified?

Fred Oldfield
Fred Oldfield
3 years ago
Reply to  T S

Absolutely right..

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago
Reply to  T S

Brilliant M8. Spot on!!!

E. E.
E. E.
3 years ago
Reply to  T S

I find myself asking the same question. I am not taking conspiracy theories seriously and hope other sensible people are doing the same (most of what I’ve seen online is just an awful lot of crazy talk). It seems like it’s just more of the same herd mentality: the public has become so obsessed with this virus that no policy is too absurd not to be seriously considered.

Sadly, experts such as this one are pernicious. They are unelected, suffer from the tunnel vision syndrome, and are largely a boon to conspiracy theorists of all stripes and colours. They are actually undermining trust in authorities and experts.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  E. E.

I consider experts like this to be more dangerous than Covid itself because of their influence on govt.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

And when the wheels fall off it’s a sort of *shrugs* ‘Well, Science is about competing theories and it needs some to fail,’ waffle….

pallenfamily
pallenfamily
3 years ago
Reply to  E. E.

What conspiracies theories are you concerned about? have you anaylised the difference between theories and facts. For instance do you consider that klause Schwarb’s statement that the Covid19 virus is sufficient evidence to initiate a Great Reset in the world and install a One World Government to tackle the “pandemic” and Climate change and bring in a novel economy an theory or fact?

Jimbob Jaimeson
Jimbob Jaimeson
3 years ago
Reply to  T S

True enough but…if we have healthy people running around all infected, spreading infection but not getting too sick, the rate of infection among those at risk will also be higher as more infected people WILL infect more people.

As to hard facts and data. Having worked in that field…. Life the universe and everything is more complex than any set of numbers you’ll ever read in a single document on any subject. Data nearly always tells the story of the storyteller. It’s essentially the truth of the data told but is always mising something. When accuracy is required your model gets more and more complex untill you start ignoring it because complexity never tells a convincing story one way or the other, so you’ve never got the whole picture. Asking for hard facts and data is asking for a dumbed down simplistic answer that will never be the whole truth

Ian Campbell
Ian Campbell
3 years ago

I beg your pardon but are you saying we should avoid hard facts and data in our deliberations?

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago

Not if those at risk are properly protected.

We have known for many months that those at most risk are the over 70’s. Spend as much money as it takes shielding those and they won’t get infected.

It cannot be right that we blight the lives of kids and young adults in pursuit on this nonsensical suppression strategy. It just won’t work and it is harmful. Think of the deep well of anxiety that is being ingrained in young kids for something that does not affect them, Its monstrous.

Life must go on.

Kerensa Sandham
Kerensa Sandham
3 years ago
Reply to  joe_falconer

I heard this on a youtube video and thought it was very eloquently put:

“I relinquish any claim on the lives of the young. As an oldster who is presumed to be peculiarly susceptible to the ravages of covid 19, I will not ask anyone to sacrifice days, weeks or months of their time, love, life, and livelihood on my behalf. It is grotesque for the old to ask the young to sacrifice for them. Go live your lives, enjoy the beautiful spring weather, I have no claim on you for my welfare. Who among my fellow oldsters will release claims on the lives of young people?”

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago

Absolutely! And the risk even to the oldest of becoming seriously ill or dying reflects their usual risk of dying over a 1 year period (badly quoting Sir David Spieglehalter, personal fan!), so they can act according to their appetite for risk.

Saphié Ashtiany
Saphié Ashtiany
3 years ago

Agreed. And thankfully different age groups don’t live in age ghettos- society and communities are interconnected.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  T S

The most interesting aspect of this whole interview was the question of flu and its current impact versus covid. Her zero covid logic, if you follow it through, is that we should be reacting even more strenuously to flu than covid but she repeatedly avoided being drawn on that question.

As she admits, she is risk averse. We should not have her irrational fears imposed on our lives. Her opinions are not evidence based – she takes a “better safe than sorry” position.

Her disavowals of lock-down are disingenuous. Her influence along with Ferguson drove us into lockdown responses when we were plowing a road similar to Sweden. She senses that in the washup to come, her reputation is at risk and much of this interview was an attempt to re-write her role in this mess.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  joe_falconer

Well observed…and as we have been locking down a bit, distancing a bit, hand washing etc how come Flu is going full on (and when did we ever hear about summer deaths from Flu and Pneumonia in the 1,000 a week?? )

Surely if we are seeing Covid19 fizzle out a bit then Flu should have fizzled out even more? Both being spread basically the same way.

Or is that just unscientific thinking?

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  T S

The *we see young people have heart attacks after Covid, but not after Flu* but without any number of percentage is just not scientifically helpful. As you say it’s basically very old people often with other illnesses etc that mean they have months at best.

How many young people have had gheart attackes as a % of all survivors and survivors under 40…if it’s 30,000 wordwide that’s one thing if it’s 3 that’s another.

Darren Turner
Darren Turner
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Other respiratory infections like Covid19 can cause damage to other organs and infections in them such as the heart. Covid19 is not unique in this. Flu can sometimes lead to Rheumatic Fever etc and one of the possible complications of this is infection of the heart valves and therefore possible heart attacks

Neil Weymouth
Neil Weymouth
3 years ago

Utterly away with the faeries, yet another person promoted way beyond her abilities by always saying the ‘right’ thing. Society and medicine fall way short of being able to eliminate these viruses.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Neil Weymouth

Why should she give a flying f…. about the economic & social consequences of her “strategy”..she will continue to be paid on the dot every month (plus pension) courtesy of the taxpayer (English)-the more outrageous she is the more publicity she will get the more money she will make.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

Well said indeed! You beat me to it.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

She has a biology bachelors degree, but a masters and doctorate in philosophy. She seems to have majored on the ‘social’ aspects of public health since then.

The biology degree she has is from the University of Miami – and is essentially a crash 2 year degree to prepare people for a subsequent 4 years of medicine. She didn’t complete the medicine part and was the youngest person in the US to be awarded the Rhodes scholarship — where she went into philosophy.

Clearly bright it would seem – but seems to be quite far removed from the science part

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Seriously? Those are her credentials? How the hell did she become Chair of Global Public Health?

Chi Zilla
Chi Zilla
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Friends with Chelsea Clinton….

Matt K
Matt K
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Friends with Chelsea Clinton

s p
s p
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

It is all about promoting the “under represented”.

Sarah Atkin
Sarah Atkin
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

Possibly friends with Nicola Sturgeon??? #JustThinking

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

She would have ‘thrown a hissy fit’, as we used to say.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Oxford not Cambridge has been the incubator here, it must in all fairness be said.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Perhaps would have been a bit aggressive and might scare off future interviewees. Though I agree with sentiment for sure!

Whilst I think the passive interviewing style is preferable to an aggressive one, I do think there could have been a shade more scrutiny

naillik48
naillik48
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

She may have only agreed to do the interview on condition that such issues weren’t raised ; as may have been the case when Freddie interviewed Neil Ferguson – it was noticeable that he didn’t challenge him on his appalling record .
Or maybe he’s just too nice.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Thank for doing that research. So to put it succinctly, she is a “bluffer”, as we used to say.

olivps
olivps
3 years ago

Interesting the concept of “virus elimination” strategy. So far to my knowledge we have been able to eliminate one virus: smallpox. Many other virus kill more and are more relevant than SARS-CoV 2 that kills predominantly the ones older than the expected mean longevity in any country (that means over 80 years). Flu is a good example and strikes all ages and kills also unusually on uncommon organs like cardiomyopathy. It seems that she is following “Animal Farm”, some are more important than others without any supportive reason. I suspect that with time she would love to kill any carrear of virus or put all them in a prison somewhere in a remote island. All this for a disease that in 99.5% of the infected people don’t kill anyone and is mostly asymptomatic. Democracy and freedom are in dangerous with this kind of “sages”.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
3 years ago
Reply to  olivps

And this is exactly what is going on in France where an entire city…..Toulouse has introduced the mandatory use of face masks…..outside.
In Marseilles, the government has sent a squad ( 100 ) of riot police to enforce the use of masks outside.
I love the fact that France is always prompt to lecture the world about its democratic values when in fact turning into a police state.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

France has, and will always be a Police State, no matter who or what is in power.

Dr Leah Remeika-Dugan
Dr Leah Remeika-Dugan
3 years ago
Reply to  olivps

Except that smallpox is held in repository in both (at least) the USA and Russia though some other European countries are doing recombinant research on a crispr combination of both an ancient nordic strain to synthesise it with the modern strain to come up with a new strain — as we speak.

I didn’t watch the video, the title of the article alerted me to it’s fallaciousness, so I didn’t bother.

Unherd…. disappointing.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  olivps

“Covid is nothing like the flu,” Prof Sridhar says. “Flu is a respiratory disease, whereas Covid is a multi-system disease “

It is quite literally called SARS COVID 2 – i.e. severe acute respiratory syndrome. To quote a lancet paper published last month: LINK

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is genetically closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) […] the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is less deadly but far more transmissible than MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV. […] Because of its broad clinical spectrum and high transmissibility, eradicating SARS-CoV-2, as was done with SARS-CoV in 2003, does not seem a realistic goal in the short term.

The lancet is not a gospel authority for sure, and nor is everything it publishes correct, certainly not on a new virus. But the onus is overwhelmingly upon Prof. Sridhar to back up her somewhat absurd claim and her casual dismissal of a basic fact.

I am all for Freddie’s style of allowing people to speak for themselves, but this needs challenging

Thomas Lundberg
Thomas Lundberg
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Yes, I’m very disappointed with Freddie here after having watched many of his interviews during lockdown. In this interview, Sridhar has displayed the lowest level of expertise and competence of any of Freddie’s guests (in my opinion), with many self-contradictory statements or assumptions, a poor grasp of detail, and very general, sweeping claims. Most of Freddie’s other guests have been of a far higher calibre.

Sadly, I live in Scotland, where Sridhar seems to be having quite an impact on public policy. I fear for the future.

Rickard Gardell
Rickard Gardell
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Flu kills a lot of people and so does covid. Does it matter if one is a respiratory disease and one is a multi system disease?? A death is a death. Both are from viruses that spread throughout the populations. Makes no logical sense to have total elimination for one but not the other based on the multi system nature of one. So….if covid was a respiratory disease and killed the same amount of people, we wouldn’t care??

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

No it doesn’t matter from a death perspective of course – but that’s not the point.

The nature of the virus really does matter however when it comes to talking about measures to prevent spread/cure etc.

So for a supposed expert to casually dismiss one of the defining characteristics of the virus without being questioned is very concerning. Especially when she is in a policy influencing role where decisions will affect millions.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

Agreed, more challenge needed. There is no proper scrutiny of this narrative, journalistic balance is needed desperately

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  A Spetzari

I don’t think he needed to challenge her any more than he did.

She failed dismally to be persuasive or to distance herself from the lockdown mess we have endured.

Its sometimes worth letting someone just talk ….

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  joe_falconer

I think her views are being slightly retro-fitted at the moment (as indeed somebody said up the replies…probably you(!).

She has been slipping towards the political side of things, in backing Nicola Sturgeon’s (slightly) harder lockdown strategy to differentiate from England…and in that moment a week or two back, when Scottish infections had fallen, she joined in the dog whistling with Nicola Sturgeon about how the English were *streaming* over the border bringing the infection North.

Which was heard by the usual suspects at the crackers end of the Nationalist movement, who then lined up at the Border in PPE suits and masks etc with their *English F-Off* signs and the rest.

Of course Scottish infections are breaking out again and rising quite quickly….not in the usual spots, unless the English Tourists have given up the Trossachs for Stand up drinking bars in Aberdeen and the Oban and the Isles to tour food plants in Coupar Angus…..

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Yep.

And she decries “wack-a-mole” then offers no real alternative except some mass surveillance state where we are all subject to constant testing and quarantine measures.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Amazingly Shridhar lives in Scotland but professes to take little interest in British politics.

Jim J
Jim J
3 years ago

This is a scientific advisor? I’m pretty well read on this topic, she says-
“Covid is nothing like the flu,” Prof Sridhar says. “Flu is a respiratory disease, whereas Covid is a multi-system disease. You have young people a few weeks after catching Covid having heart attacks, which does not happen with the flu, along with kidney failure, blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. There is something different about this virus ” it is nothing like the flu.”
Whilst dismissing the obvious current cases up, hospitals not, deaths not, as irrelevant.

Can someone point me to any evidence of her deaths in “young people” as she describes, I would be happy to see it.
If it doesn’t exist then her statement strikes me as criminality.

John Dineley
John Dineley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

From what I understand most young people are asymptomatic. The data I’ve seen is that very few young people have died or suffered serious problems from this virus. Any that have are anomalies and outliers. The virus predominantly kills older people and those with underlying comorbidities. I’ve just checked with the office of National Statistics and deaths of any numbers from this virus start to increase after the age of about 60 years. Cases in younger people are negligible. Her statements are dangerously misleading.

Jim J
Jim J
3 years ago
Reply to  John Dineley

Absolutely John.
NHS stats yesterday say only 4 people < 40 have died with C19 in hospitals in England for 2 months.

So does this woman suffer any censure or query? God this is scary.

Rick Sareen
Rick Sareen
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

Worse than that she is advising NS and making this a sort of pact you have to sign up for or else you are killing our children nonsense.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sareen

Yep and writing in the guardian too.

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

Ah, now makes perfect sense.

Michael Yeadon
Michael Yeadon
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

There’s no compare / contrast reports yet which allow any big claims of being worse than flu or not. We do know that ‘long’ & ‘multi-system’ exist in flu victims. Probably the only clear thing we can say is the newish virus spares the young.

Jimbob Jaimeson
Jimbob Jaimeson
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Yeadon

How about this year to date seasonal flu deaths 320,000, covid deaths 820,000. Same time scale , same conditions

peers.lilian
peers.lilian
3 years ago

My daughter is a nurse and tells me that the people who died in the home were the ones they expected in January, but they lived on to Covid-19.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

This year yes, but that’s because we didn’t have a particularly bad flu season.

Average deaths from the flu UK each year – 17,000
More likely to die from flu currently than coronavirus
A number of flu seasons have been comparable, or worse. Look up 1968/69, which killed over 80,000 in the UK alone. As recenlty as 00/01 we had a comparable number of deaths from flu, and we’ve had a host of new viruses, Ebola, SARs etc since. No lockdowns or restrictions.
No proof that lockdown or restrictions work. (Look at Belgium’s death rate compared to Sweden/Japan)
Big question mark over the way deaths are being recorded. In Italy a study showed that only 12% of deaths were actually from coronavirus. If that is true, then this virus is actually less dangerous than the average flu year.

I’m not sure you’ve proved your point

Dutton
Dutton
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

Science-wise, I can see Devi has a BSc in Biology. But then so does my brother, and I wouldn’t trust him to look after the fish in my pond.

The rest of her career seems to be in “Health Politics”, whatever that is.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Dutton

She joined in Nicola Sturgeon’s divisive dog whistling about the *English* streaming North spredaing infections..that led to the nutters capering on the Border on the A1 with F-Off signs.

Shealso tweeted about ‘Pro-UK, Anti-Scottish people’ (Before deleting it) when talking about critics of Nicola Sturgeon..ie Conservatives… she is typical of many of the supposedly Scottish Govt advisors (i.e. impartial) around the SNP these days, over-politicised, over-rated, and over here.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

Well the Spanish flu, which was the subject of the Imperial modelling data on Coronavirus (go figure!) had a peak morbidity age of 28, so really had to cause quite a few complications in healthy immune systems. Coronavirus, peak morbidity age 80+.

Yeah, damn right it can’t be compared to a flu, I’ve been saying that since the Imperial College paper came out. SO WHY WAS IT?

Maybe she could let that idiot Ferguson know?

peers.lilian
peers.lilian
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

The lock-down was to save the NHS noting more. The NHS made it worse by shipping out elderly patients with the virus to Nursing homes.

henk korbee
henk korbee
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

I only refer to the video https://www.youtube.com/wat…, in dutch, about which virusses were active among them the corona; also about fear and masks. It’s quite opposite to what she is proposing. It seems that behind her argument of only tolerating zero corona level, is the fear of getting ill by corona, and being unsatisfied how the world has developped last decades. Maybe she admires the idea of GreatReset of the world. Not to ask if corona can be reduced by measurements to sea-level apart from all kind of other questions. There is little understanding of economy in arguing about financial aspects. What about the financial disaster pushed by the almost zero economical activity, and those who are suffering from it, the debts and so on.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim J

And even if one grants the premise that Flu is respiratory and Covid this other thing… (and Flu is killing far more people right now than Covid-19) they are both spread virtually identically, so why haven’t we ever lockeddown against the virulent summer flu catastrophe..which I have never heard mentioned , ever, in my whole life?

Chris Douglass
Chris Douglass
3 years ago

A 36-year old who has never left University her entire adult life yet knows a total shutting down of the real economy is the right thing to do.

Steven James
Steven James
3 years ago

I applaud Unherd for giving every opinion a hearing …. i’m no scientist and even I can see she is talking complete and utter claptrap….you aint getting a zero and your ruining all of our lives maintaining this ridiculous charade…..STOP IT!!!

William MacDougall
William MacDougall
3 years ago

Appalling. Deranged. Mad.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

Sums it up I’m afraid

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago

According to cancer research UK – Lung cancer deaths 100 per day, Breast cancer deaths – 30 per day. We know smoking causes lung cancer, alcohol is a major factor in breast cancer. These deaths are every year. Year in year out. If we wanted to stop premature death we could very simply ban tobacco and alcohol. Why on earth do we tolerate these toxins?

Oh yeah! freedom of choice, liberty, acknowledging the risk and getting on with it. I hate smoking but I wouldn’t dream of making it illegal even though the health benefits are obvious.

Slightly facetious I know its more complex than this, but where did this this risk averse nonsense come from?? In construction safety we talk about safety measures being reasonably practicable. It basically means that things must be done a safe way at a reasonable cost in terms of money and time against that risk. That’s because we know some things are impossible to remove risk from. We wont eliminate this virus in 50 years let alone before our economy dives so much that we are back in the dark ages!

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Drinking and smoking you say? Two things that have definitely increased in usage over the last 5 months – I wonder if the death rate from these things might increase in the short, medium or longer term? Every life matters, but not these it seems …

Adrien
Adrien
3 years ago

This idea is a total bullshit. It takes 20 years to eradicate Smallpox on earth.
Nobody want to habe Lockdowns and masks for the next 20 years even if we have a vaccine.
Than you have the problem with the vaccine. Actually the overall mortality for covid-19 is around 0.05-0.1% of the population. This mean the vaccin must kill much less than this number. To be able to achieve this with never tested methods like mRNA or Adenovirus Chimeres you need several years of testing, otherwise we can have the same problem than with the Dengue vaccine.

Overall Covid-19 kill preferentially very old people. In Sweden the mean age of the poeple who die from covid-19 is over the mean life expectancy. Young poeple under 55 years are even less in danger than with influenza.

If you put all these numbers together its obvious that covid-19 at the end will as one of the saisonal respiratory virus were we have learned ti live with.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrien

Actually death rate is more around 0,37 %……but you re right, a vaccine will have to outweigh the risks implied …….
Injecting older people won t do the trick since their immune system doesn’t react all that well……part of the reason that when it comes to flue, it’s the young children that one should vaccinate ……..same for covid……one needs to immunize the population more likely to unknowingly transmit the virus……and by that …..younger people will be cut some slack as they are ( in France anyway ) being turned into the perfect scapegoat……all the while having a hell a life start on the job market.
Sickening !!!

Adrien
Adrien
3 years ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

You make a false assumption, you must vaccine heathly persons. A vaccine is not a treatment. It means the number you have to work with is the mortality per 1 mio persons of covid-19 in a country and not the mortality of covid-19 infected.

Perdu En France
Perdu En France
3 years ago

Lunacy. : “
“Health versus the economy” was always the right framing/ It would be the right framing if this was the return of the Black Death. The “economy”is what produces the food & services keeps us alive. No economy & you’re as surely dead as of any virus. And currently countries are straying very close the edge of where economies start to collapse & we start losing the benefits of civilisation. Be unable to afford health care & hospitals. And the wages of tossers like her.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago

Brilliantly phrased.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago

Yes, she can come and visit us here in Africa to find out what happens to people’s lives when the economy has collapsed (and continues collapsing due to corruption).

Tim Gardener
Tim Gardener
3 years ago

It is clear, to me at least, that this professor is advocating a totalitarian approach based on disingenuous arguments. She blithely passes over the data and fails to give realistic appraisal of risk. For her, it’s all about transmission and infection rates and the long-haulers – no regard to hospitalisation/ICU/CFR in her policy decision. Question is – what percentage of covid patients are long-haulers and how long is their haul? I haven’t seen any statistics on that one.

My second question is – how do intelligent people come to such nonsensical conclusions? How do decent people become advocates of oppression?

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Gardener

Because fear …..is the killer….not covid…..it even kills democracy, voters even giving a helping hand at that !!!
Just diabolical…….and when they realize….it’s too late

mary.p.morley
mary.p.morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

Exactly. Kipling put it rather well: ‘In all things recall, it is fear not death that slays.’

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Gardener

I think they think they are doing the right thing, but this person seems too stupid for that ever to become a reality.

I think 2 words describe why she has risen to prominence, and that’s the concept of the ‘useful idiot’. In this case the idiot is being used by Sturgeon.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Gardener

The Chinese are highly intelligent people and yet, millions (billioins?) died as a result of their (still) revered Chairman Mau’s five-year plans and agricultural policies (like killing all birds because they were eating the crops) etc.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

Intelligence is no match for fear

Barry Crombie
Barry Crombie
3 years ago

Thought this was a poor interview from her – very little scientific rigour and a lot of opinions and unsubstantiated hypothesis. She also seems to be basing her ‘zerocovid’ policy on the ‘long haulers’ but nowhere is this quantified or properly described. Are we talking 10s, 100s, 1000s, 100000s……

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago

Another interesting interview – thank you. I like hearing the alternative arguments to the position I take although, I have to admit, I have yet to be convinced by any of them. I also watched the interview on this channel with Neil Ferguson and Natalie Dean and, had I not heard any dissenting expert opinion, think I would reject their arguments anyway purely based on the contradictions of their own narrative.

Its also very telling that the interviewee uses air quotes around mention of herd immunity – as if such a thing is nonsense (rather than, you know, the reason humanity still exists). She also gets in an early dig at Trump and admits to being extremely risk adverse – in fact, openly advocating risk aversion. It doesn’t leave much scope for consensus. I think we should just accept that this is a political question now and ‘public health’ and ‘the science’ left the room ages ago (if they were ever there).

Zero covid seems to be the off-spring of pro-lockdown (despite the protestations of the professor in this interview); in that they are different variations on the theme of ‘covid as game changer for human society’narrative. The proponents of this point of view never give the impression of having properly thought through the implications for human health of this position. They also seem to be clueless as to its sustainability.

The final comments – that of covid as a catalyst for collectivism – is, frankly, just sinister. I am constantly amazed that those who consider themselves ‘progressive’ manage to be completely insensitive towards the negative historical implications of this.

perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Well-written comment. Thanks!

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Let’s go all round the houses to relativise anything challenging so it fits our original standpoint. No risk of learning anything there.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  T J Putnam

I try not to engage in debate on these comment sections, but your comment confuses me – you seem to take exception to the fact I haven’t been persuaded by the interviewee’s argument and then gone on to explain why that is; however I do not know why you were so persuaded and so don’t know what you think I missed?

I did actually learn a lot from the interview – just as I learnt a lot from the two others I referenced. Its just that – like a jury hearing a very poor case – what I learnt was that the arguments are confused; unconvincing and largely devoid of an evidence base.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

For a much more informed perspective, check out Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s latest blog post: COVID – What have we learned?

He concludes:
“So, what have we learned? We have learned that medical science is not a pure thing ““ not in the slightest. We have also learned that the world of research has not come together to conquer COVID, it has split apart.
Those wanting to make money, have distorted and damaged research for their own ends. Those who want to vaccinate the world, forever, have seen a door open to the promised land. Those who wanted lockdown, are inflating the numbers of those killed. Democrats in the US are using COVID as a stick to beat Donald Trump. It is all a bloody horrible mess.
It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. Never has this been more certain that with COVID. In this case, first we killed the truth, then we killed science, then we beat inconvenient facts to death with a club. It is all extraordinarily depressing.”

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Yes, this exactly. Every organization that stands to make money from the virus is parading their own solution. Those institutions that were set up to serve the public interest are working double-time to profit from us.
The result of this, is that people are going to go back to trusting their gut instincts while continuing to ignore the ‘experts’.

Thomas Lundberg
Thomas Lundberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Exactly. Critical thought, logic and common sense all went out the window months ago. I can’t believe how downright anti-scientific so many ‘experts’ have been. It’s all about (often ideological) agendas and using the current circumstances to advance them.

What worries me more than anything else is how readily people in democracies threw away their rights and freedoms. It didn’t take much to scare the hell out of people and drive them to superstitious practices (face masks are essentially a talisman if you believe the scientific studies into their effectiveness for the public). I despair.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Cast your mind back Thomas to when this all started… In Australia it was portrayed as a full-bore global catastrophe, with a never-ending stream of vision of people in scary-looking hazmat suits on the telly and in the newspapers. Reports from Italy were of a humanitarian disaster, a medical system that couldn’t cope. It was full-on, and people were terrified. I wasn’t so much terrified by the virus as I had seen these sorts of beat-ups about infectious diseases before, eg meningococcal B and flu. But I was terrified by the political implications, particularly when restrictions were implemented which inhibited freedom of movement and freedom of association, and also the patronising attitude of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, treating us like children. The people were in shock, and believing the ‘voices of authority’ which were frightening them, it’s all been very sinister. Then we had the toilet paper shortages and other staples, all designed to rattle us. And didn’t the mainstream/corporate media love it, spouting forth with a non-stop torrent of alarm. Speaking of which, have you watched the Event 201 videos? Essential viewing I think to understand the current situation, eg check out Segment 4 re communications…

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Exactly – been making this case since April.

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Hi Elizabeth, Thanks for the pointer to Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s site. The first message I posted to this thread was detailed and had no URLs in it. It survived for a while, according to Disqus, was later removed as “spam”. So it is impossible to discuss actual biology here.

I hope you and others interested in biology – including especially vitamin D, immunity and COVID-19 – will look at the article by Karl Pfleger “Low Vitamin D Worsens COVID-19” and my pages “Vitamin D & other nutritional supplements to protect against severe COVID-19 symptoms”. Both link to and discuss many research articles of great interest.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Whittle

Thanks Robin, will have a look.

Carlo Dallapiccola
Carlo Dallapiccola
3 years ago

Well, I’m super happy to see that the lockdown interviews have started back up – a small thing to look forward to during these otherwise gloomy months!

I must admit, I was not able to finish watching this particular interview. First of all, as hard as I tried (and as hard as Freddie tried), I was failing to understand what exactly it is that Prof. Sridhar is advocating. Zero covid cases/maximum suppression, but at the same time not “going crazy trying to track down a single infected person.” Anti-lockdown, yet in favor of no-travel zones popping up for indeterminate periods of time. And so forth – the whiplash from watching the first half of the interview was tremendous.

Secondly, as the interview went on it came to resemble a fantasy so entirely detached from reality that it no longer warranted the time I was spending watching it and trying to make sense of it. Massive expansion of testing (door-to-door!), supremely efficient contact-tracing, comprehensive screening of all travelers into the covid-free zone(s), strictly monitored quarantining, etc. Are we really to believe that these high standards are not being attained simply because of the lack of will? I propose that we go a bit further and demand that our nation’s leaders finally pull out their magic wands and eliminate the virus once and for all.

One final comment: I would love to see more pushback against the tendency to view the negative fallout from lockdowns and suppression strategies as being “economic.” It is far more than that. We are talking about the deteriorating mental and psychological health of people, the losses of livelihoods (not just the financial losses, but those things that provide us all with focus and satisfaction in our lives), the loss of joie de vivre.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

Amen to that.

‘Saving lives’ has never been so easy, particularly for those that are undoubtedly most vulnerable and can an afford to ie those who are no longer part of the workforce, no longer have significant financial liabilities and are likely on mounting pensions that they are no longer spending as they would have in ‘normal times’.

Meanwhile, jobs and businesses are lost, kids’ futures are jeopardised, mental health and domestic and child abuse rates ‘quietly’ rocket and, as reported in today’s press, a 46 year old (with the possibility of half his life ahead of him) with apparently once operable bowel cancer has now been told it’s too late for him to have his operation.

The reason?

According to reports, the risk of him contracting Covid-19 and dying was deemed just too great.

Welcome to nuthouse people. Hope you enjoy your stay.

Michael Yeadon
Michael Yeadon
3 years ago

If the good doctor hasn’t seen the T-cell data on epitopes common to endemic CoVs & SARS-COV-2, she’s not been paying attention. There’s no other force than the herd immunity threshold that can account for the shape of these events in each heavily infected country. So the proposition that 65% need to be infected was wrong. It’s much more likely in the 15-25% range.
I don’t think there’s any hint of mutations of importance beyond the single substitution seen early on.
Of the so called 2nd waves all but Spain’s is an artefact of massed testing. I’m reserving judgement on Spain as the data is a bit flaky but I’m not ready to say 2nd wave. If it’s regional, it’s the rest of the 1st wave.

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Yeadon

Nice to see you back Michael – given your background, how come someone like you is not advising Governments I wonder? Too experienced in epidemiology and possesses common sense I suppose.

colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Yeadon

Indeed the Diamond Princess cruise ship only got 20% of people infected.
https://es.wikipedia.org/wi

Though going against the 20% number – care homes in Madrid were tested recently and showed 61% of residents had antibodies.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago

It took me less than a minute to find this info about flu:

“Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis) tissues, and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu virus infection of the respiratory tract can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by flu.”

Clearly there’s a difference in some effects of Covid-19 and flu, but it’s worrying that an expert who is advising govt mentions kidney failure as though that isn’t also a possible complication of flu. Besides, none of what she said about the difference is relevant to whether we should have a zero-Covid policy.

It’s experts like her that give experts a bad name!

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

Good post; I would want to know if such long term complications can be definitively linked to Covid – given the number of underlying health conditions present; or if they were exacerbated by poor treatments early on in the pandemic – such as patients being put on ventilators too early.

If all this is proven, then the question remains as to what extent the occurrence of these things is statistically significant compared to the complications experienced when recovering from a bad viral infection.

As you say, proving the worst case scenario for all of this would still be a long way from a justification for the zero covid case; more for better treatments and better aftercare.

neilyboy.forsythe
neilyboy.forsythe
3 years ago

Given that we have evolved with continual waves of coronaviruses and influenzas, logically, what do you think will happen to the strength of our immune systems if we successfully manage to prevent those waves for an extended period of time?

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago

Exactly. And what a real expert, Prof. Gupta, said from the start.

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
3 years ago

Interesting to hear one of the progressive zealots talking in real life, a mixture of scientific rigour and completely unsubstantiated ideas. The crux for her seems to be that ‘ Covid 19 is nothing like flu’, claiming that Covid causes far more ongoing systemic, multi organ problems for those that have recovered. Does she have any data to justify this claim? As for 100’s of children having cardiac arrests in the New York outbreak, where did that one come from?? For a so called scientific expert to come out with stuff like that is alarming and utterly irresponsible.

Michael Yeadon
Michael Yeadon
3 years ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

I looked at her training & could find no evidence of specialty. It’s not clear she’s any more qualified to comment any more than our average GP. Like most of them, I’m convinced she couldn’t even have read the 100 most important papers in this fast moving field.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Yeadon

Yes I looked at her background too. She’s served on the World Economic Forum Council on the Health Industry among other things. I’m not looking towards her for expertise in viruses and immunology.

Crikey, there’s so many of these academics lolling around universities, exerting undue influence over our lives. I suspect we would be much better off without most of them…

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Yeadon

Bachelors in Biology – followed by a masters and PhD in Philosophy

So significantly less qualified than your average GP.

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Yeadon

I have degrees in philosophy and psychology and have managed health care services for in excess of 20 years, mainly mental health services. She had alarm bells ringing for me and nothing to do with covid. Delusional thinking of the order I have just witnessed is concerning and that politicians are listening to her and acting on this is even more so. Oh dear, as a psychiatrist friend of mine often says.

jill dowling
jill dowling
3 years ago

“You have young people a few weeks after catching Covid having heart attacks” …. Er, where is the data? More project fear, more emotion, no facts. Professors aren’t what they used to be.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  jill dowling

A government adviser, on BBC radio this morning said that this was the worst virus we had seen for 100 years and she went completely unchallenged by the interviewer.

As people will know the 1968/69 flu killed over 80,000 in the UK alone, and there are many others (old and new viruses) both in terms of virility and death rate. Why are these throw away comments allowed to stand? Where is the scrutiny? Why are we being continually lied to? I am hopping mad.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

Keep up the good work!

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 years ago

While Dr. Sridhar is undoubtedly super smart and brilliant – after all one doesn’t become a full professor at a major research university at age 30 for nothing – this interview illustrates the old adage of age before beauty. i.e. being super smart does NOT make one wise. brilliance is all that’s required in the hard sciences, bu in Public Health, wisdom is absolutely critical, and wisdom is generally only acquired with age – i.e. a lifetime of experiences.

Unfortunately Prof. Sridhar illustrates a degree of naivete that is bordering on dangerous, if not unhelpful. Only one viral disease has been completely eliminated and that’s smallpox. In the case of SARS-CoV2 there really is nothing that one can do to prevent the ultimate spread throughout the population and the acquisition of immunity (whether T or B cell based, and whether pre-existing or not). Why? Because people are people and there will always be flaws/cracks in anything that one chooses to implement, no matter how careful one might be at the population level.

Therefore, far smarter to use the Swedish approach and keep those at risk out of harms way. Of course, time will tell and it will take 2-3 years before we know the answer for sure. But I suspect, in the end, the outcome in all the major western countries will be rather comparable, no matter what actions they governments took or didn’t take. Ultimately the area under the curve remains the same whether the curve is flattened or not.

I might also add that Prof. Sridhar would have done well to complete med school at the University of Miami rather than drop out after her Bachelors to take a PhD at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. I say this, because it should be obvious that working in public health would benefit immensely from significant medical knowledge, not just theoretical but practical. As an example, she states that the flu is not a multi-organ disease whereas SARS-CopV2 is. But all respiratory viral diseases have the potential to cause systemic effects through an inappropriate immune response. Many auto-immune diseases can be attributed to post-viral infection sequelae. This includes hypo (Hashimoto’s) and hyper (Graves) thyroid diseases, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Bells palsy, etc. etc. etc..

Lastly she states that one of her goals is to get rid of inequalities. Given her history, you would have thought that she would realize that there are vast ranges of abilities in the population, and not surprisingly those with exceptional abilities are likely to do very well. She is a prime example of that. Let her think for one second of how many examples she knows of individuals becoming full professors at the young age of 30!

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The most useful comment I’ve found so far – providing missing information. One can intuit the meaning of sequelae, but for clarity: A sequela is a pathological condition
resulting from a disease, injury, therapy, or other trauma. Typically, a
sequela is a chronic condition that is a complication which follows a
more acute condition. It is different from, but is a consequence of, the
first condition.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
3 years ago

She’s advising Nicola Sturgeon? Explains a few things.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

It’s scary that she is the advisor to Sturgeon though! No matter how high you get wrt your education, the blinkers remain. Maybe something is wrong w the education system not teaching enough reality .

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

Really, she is a political mouthpiece who is handily disguised as a scientist. As another poster has researched, she only has an undergrad degree in biology, the rest of her career being in ‘health politics’

Yet more proof that this debacle is political, not scientific.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

It appears elderly people with comorbidities are the ones most at risk from the coronavirus – yet our entire society and economy in Australia is being turned upside down to deal with this threat.

Why aren’t the elderly leading in demanding a proportionate response to the coronavirus?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 15.9% of the Australian population is aged 65 years and over. In a population of 25,522,169, that equates to 4,058,025 people. 515,700 people are aged 85 years and over. (317,600 females and 198,100 males, reflecting higher life expectancy for females.)

Do these millions of people all agree with the disproportionate response to the coronavirus that is occurring in their name? (525 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the past seven months, mostly in people over 80 years. 438 of those deaths are in the state of Victoria.)

When this first started it was about ‘flattening the curve’, that’s what we were told…now this seems to have morphed into elimination. Where to from here?

We should of course think of the front line healthcare workers who face the consequences of the coronavirus in the hospitals, but isn’t this what health systems are for? Shouldn’t we have been better prepared?

Are we now going to go into rolling lockdowns for any virus that pops up? This is not sustainable for our society and economy.

It’s time for the elderly to speak up for the benefit of their children and grandchildren, and demand an effective, proportionate and targeted response to the coronavirus.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Australia – https://twitter.com/i/statu

New Zealand – https://twitter.com/i/statu

(incidentally, it has been rumoured that Bill and Melinda Gates are currently holed up in NZ)

Now, this has clearly got nothing to do with Public Health.

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Only problem is Elizabeth – they may well be speaking up. Alas you need a vehicle to be heard, but we have the suppression of alternative views and strategies for dealing with covid. I know a number of elderly people, indeed have continued to support them throughout, and to quote one gentleman of 94, ‘Just let us get down the club, being locked up is not living. Gonna die of something and bet it won’t be this covid thing’.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Olaf Felts

Hi Olaf, a version of my comment above was published in the hard copy of The Australian newspaper today, and online, where I received some useful responses and was able to share more info.
You say “Alas you need a vehicle to be heard, but we have the suppression of alternative views and strategies for dealing with covid.” Absolutely right, we have the suppression of views in so many areas. In Australia we have very limited mainstream media, with Murdoch newspapers/media dominating, plus The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. These are better described as corporate media as their focus is on their corporate clients rather than ‘pure’ news. And seems to me ‘the news’ is shaped to suit the corporates.
My recent experience in having comments published on articles on the Murdoch The Australian has been very unusual, and probably because things are getting very touchy in Australia now re the handling of the virus and lockdowns and border closures, plus PM Scott Morrison’s ham-fisted announcement the vaccine would be mandated.
I also fought for my comments to be published, they didn’t automatically go up, and they’re behind the paywall, so not accessible to the general public.
It does bring home that ‘the people’ have little effective representation, with politicians not wanting to be bothered with us, and fobbing off people with rubbish form letters in response to our concerns, that’s often been my experience.
How can you be heard in a two party system which generally protects the status quo, and where we end up with the same old, same old, despite who gets in?
We need an effective public forum where serious issues raised by citizens can be heard.

Chris N Ray
Chris N Ray
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

This is my first ever post. I am nearing 70 and my husband is a few years older. We live in a mixed household with our daughter and grandchildren. Our view is that we would not want a single child to lose a day of school, a single person to lose their job, their business or home in a vain attempt to protect us from this virus. We are perfectly able to make our own decisions. We have so many friends who are what we would have described as young old people who, up until now, have lived an active and engaged life. That has now all gone and the emotional and psychological toll of lockdown on these people has been terrible. Did anyone ask their opinion. Of course not. But who listens to us?

spotdespot
spotdespot
3 years ago

Very professional Freddie – no chance I could have managed that in the face of so much drivel. She is very eloquent but if anybody actually listens to what she says it is a pretty incoherent argument. She contradicted herself more than once, presented statements as “facts” with no supporting evidence on so many occasions it was astounding, avoided answering your repeated question re. using the same method for the Flu and said so many times “I believe”, or “I’ve been told” or similar.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  spotdespot

Astounding it was, for sure.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago

Surely, this is just nonsense. For it to have any meaning at all, we must have an objective of Zero-Virus, which is simple not possible. We have an immune system to deal with this and we are not immortal. We all die from something eventually. It is no surprise that the Scottish nutcase is involved in this.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago

Looking at the latest data from this week, it seems the countries with the lowest cases per 100,000 of population are the U.K. and Sweden. Why? Most likely explained by both countries have some substantial level of herd immunity.
At the end of the day it’s only going to be herd immunity that stops this virus and those countries that lock down hard will be continually locking down and keeping their borders shut forever if they wish to try to main ZeroCovid.
It’s time for the world to acknowledge Sweden got this right. And the U.K. , particularly England with its denser population, later and less severe lockdown , has already seen the worst of the virus and is emerging on the other side.

Brian Clegg
Brian Clegg
3 years ago

The comment about ‘replace 14-day quarantine with testing twice at the border’ is bizarre – you can test as many times as you like but it will be negative for the first week or so. Is she suggesting people stay at the border for a week?

Shay McInerney
Shay McInerney
3 years ago

Super interview. I now understand where the covid response and progressive politics merge. It’s not about data one way or another, it’s ideological.

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
3 years ago
Reply to  Shay McInerney

Yes – government is the next best thing to God, and for some who don’t believe in a deity, Government is the all-powerful, endlessly wealthy, Mommy-Daddy-Force which can do anything, and should – must – do all sorts of things for the Greater Good. Only Government can make things Right.

They spend all day and night trying to figure out how They can get their hands on it – since no-one else but them knows what is Good for everyone else. Without Them in control, of course everything goes Wrong.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Shay McInerney

Nicely put, maybe even the word religious can be used

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Shay McInerney

You got it one!

It’s been ideological since the beginning.

Barry Crombie
Barry Crombie
3 years ago

I expected more from her to be honest as she is the darling of the Zerocovid side and I expected there to be referral to more evidence rather than her off-the-cuff comments about ‘100s of young people having cardiac arrests’ and the reference to Kawasaki Syndrome that seems to not have been subsequently supported by much evidence. She has not retweeted Freddie’s tweet or referred to it in her own timeline which I find strange. I get the impression that she is being caught out a bit here due to overreach – she took a policy position which is difficult to enact and when challenged, even politely, she finds it difficult to articulate. This is a trait of very clever people sometimes – belief that their own opinions do not require the evidence demanded of lesser mortals. An expert opinion is possible bettered informed than most but is still only an opinion and often we can find another expert with another differing opinion. I find the CEBM and Carl Heneghan much better informed that she is

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Crombie

She finds it difficult to articulate….well that’s the least of her problems

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Crombie

‘100s of young people having cardiac arrests’

That would seem to be unlikely, considering that at the time of the interview some 28 people under 45 had died of Covid in Scotland.

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago

What about Covid 20, 21, 22ff or any other surely upcoming zoo- or man-made virus with their likely even higher IFRs than the low, and octogenarian+ focussed, one of Covid 19?
Zero virus policies forever?
After one more try and/or case of listening to and acting upon the advise of people like her or Ferguson, we are at the GDP level of Burkina Faso and will have some pretty different challenges and health problems to address- namely tubercolosis, cholera&co.

So, give me Tegnell and Sweden’s approach for grownups instead, ASAP, and at anytime.
But then, I said that in and since March.

roger wilson
roger wilson
3 years ago

I stopped reading anything written by Sridhar quite some time ago. She’s a Guardian rent-a-quote to hammer the UK government.

Giesecke, in his interview with Freddie Sayers, said that the problem with lockdowns is that they were being implemented with no exit strategy, that they would create panic in the population and people would not want to come back out – and here we have Sridhar advocated harsher restrictions and then saying that people are too scared to go to the cinema anyway. Well, obviously – if you tell them that they’ll die if they don’t observe lockdown, this is bound to be the result.

I think the winter will shake a lot of this rubbish out – if the furlough is not extended and mass unemployment hits the young, they’re not going to be listening to the likes of Sridhar telling them they have to stay at home, keep their distance. Pubs and restaurants will not be able to survive with no outdoor customers and a 3rd of their normal income etc. You need goodwill and a sense of fairness and rationality to make a lockdown succeed – the likes of Sridhar seems not to understand any of that.

John Dineley
John Dineley
3 years ago

This is the same scientist to said in an interview in The Times that CoVid 19 was here to stay and we have to live with it. Compared to something like smallpox (which I believe kills 30% of those infected) CoVid is for most a mild disease. The lock downs and so forth have been completely disproportionate with the dangers. I can’t quite work out what this scientists political agenda is but clearly there is one. The fact that she is advising Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP is certainly a woke red flag.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

Really strange. ‘Coronavirus is nothing like ‘flu’ she says. Accepted, but In that case, why did the Imperial College modelling use the Spanish flu as it’s baseline? You know, the modelling that contributed to the utter disaster we’ve made for ourselves. It seems its ok to compare this to a flu when it suits …

People like this really annoy me. If this precedent is applied now, with it being 6 times more likely to die of flu than coronavirus currently, and god knows how many more likely to die to die of anything else; then look forward to a complete authoritarian state – these proposals will, and have always been, completely unsustainable, not proven to work, and are already causing more harm than good. This person is incredibly dangerous in my opinion and should not be given any more air time with these extreme authoritarian views.

Simon Giora
Simon Giora
3 years ago

“What worries me is the health impact ” not only on the deaths but the disability for younger people.”

That an advisor to the Scottish government is so ignorant of the facts is worrying. She does not define young, so assume under 20. The ONS figures show that between March and June 10 people under 20 years old died of Coronavirus (I don’t know how many of them had comorbidities.).

Imperial College research shows that 10 to 19 year olds required hospitalisation in 0.07% of cases.

Not like Flu? Well, yes, technically. However Flu is more likely to kill young people than Covid and can have serious long term effects. Flu can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

And this:
“A protein in influenza virus that helps it multiply also damages lung
epithelial cells, causing fluid buildup in the lungs, according to new
research. The researchers say the recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza and
the rapid spread of this strain across the world highlight both the need
to better understand how the virus damages the lungs and the urgency to
find new treatments. Influenza is a contagious disease leading to about
36,000 human deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations every year in the
United States alone.”

Zero Covid? According to Visit Britain there 40 million visits to the UK in 2019

Adam C
Adam C
3 years ago

Great journalism. Ps., she’s a delusional fantasist.

Sarah H
Sarah H
3 years ago

Conflation of Covid19 disease and infection with SARSCoV2 here. Which one are we to be free of? It is impossible to achieve a zero level of virus tests because, simply, the tests have a certain but unquantified false positives rate (and false negs) (no gold standard reference test to know). We can’t even tell which are true positives and which are true negatives therefore. Even if the virus vanishes, the test will STILL throw up positives. She should know that but clearly she doesn’t.

Define Covid19 as a syndrome or bundle of definitive symptoms? We STILL can’t. Ah it’s now a multi-system heffalump disorder rather than a respiratory disease; of course it would be. So we can’t define what Covid- free is. Do asymptomatics count? Bit fluey? Bit of a sniffle? Hospitalisation? Died of cancer but had a positive test while enduring hospital care? What does success look like.

Sequence the virus that we can definitively attribute as the cause of the disease that we can’t define and can’t reliably test for but have only partial historical evidence of? We STILL can’t and it’s morphed and split so we never will, definitively. We buried the bodies un-PM’d any way.

fujifiddle
fujifiddle
3 years ago

It’s curious that Professor Sridhar describes Covid as a “multi-system disease,” when the vast majority are either asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms with no sequelae.

Where do we draw the line?

Human beings and other inhabitants of this world were not designed to live in sterile bubbles.

E. E.
E. E.
3 years ago

Zero cases? Really? Whatever happened to the “flattening the curve” narrative? How did we move from flattening the curve to zero cases? Do we have zero cases of anything? Syphilis? Tuberculosis? The flu (even with a vaccine)?

Sorry, but I don’t trust this latest guest of Freddie Sayers’s. Reminds me of our own “top doctor” in the city where I live. The lady in question is constantly touted as an “expert”, but when you read her biography on Wikipedia, you quickly realize that she’s just a functionary with a medical degree (among many others!) who’s spent most of her career shuffling through the halls of NGOs and such – basically, a creature of institutions.

No disrespect meant, but the sooner we get rid of these “experts”, the healthier we’ll be.

Robert Mitchell
Robert Mitchell
3 years ago

Fair play to Unherd for not submitting to confirmation bias. However, did not do much to re-establish my confidence in experts…

Charles Rae
Charles Rae
3 years ago

This woman is the same one who called unionists ” un-Scottish” and said that we are all wanting the virus to get worse. Given how stupid she can be in her comments, why should her medical comments be any saner?

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Rae

She’s a rampant nationalist first and a ‘doctor’ second …

Liz Davison
Liz Davison
3 years ago

This lady begins by sounding reasonable but gradually reveals her true nature: that of a control freak unable to allow the gradually weakening virus to achieve herd immunity naturally. She admits the increased infections are due to younger people catching it but is unhappy about it because “some have suffered heart attacks, etc”, but she fails to quote percentages badly affected. Very poor response and a blatantly biased view on the Covid problem. She just can’t bear the thought that the people will cope with what comes next, unmasked and behaving normally. Those in vulnerable groups are unlikely to be walking among large crowds and socializing in crowded places.

Chuck Burns
Chuck Burns
3 years ago

These Leftist politicians, bureaucrats, and “experts” all have one theme in common and that is to ignore and obstruct the natural concept of herd immunity. The leftist mindset is all about authoritarian control with little to no implementation of science. In fact they use science as an all encompassing buzz word but most all their recommendations and actions are contrary to science and just the opposite of what is needed.

Rick Sareen
Rick Sareen
3 years ago

You can never have zero covid as testing will always show some false positives.

If this woman is a scientist she is lacking some basic knowledge.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Rick Sareen

She’s not a scientist, but that doesn’t excuse her ignorance.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
3 years ago

Why do I feel the huge urge to utter profanities ????…..probably because I read the comments policy…….
Her voice reminded me why I never married an American…..chalk on a blackboard
And I cannot believe I made it to the end of the interview……probably because in my hammock enjoying an unlimited view on the sea on an island in the Stockholm archipelago.
As much as I find this woman utterly annoying……she has a point about herd immunity……the richer you are……the less vulnerable you are..BUT…..this applies to any other illness……from gastro to cancer……
Higher education also buys you health….’good income buys you health having the choice not to eat junk food…..etc

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago

She really has no clue whatsoever of the so called ‘collateral’ damage being done by the corona-measures. Really totally unaware, like in a hypnosis. Furthermore she offers not a shred of evidence that measures taken can eradicate the virus. So many professors have already said that the virus is here to stay. I would give her a oneway ticket to la la land. I just can not believe she’s a scientist….Let’s pray that the next interview will be with Johan Giesecke, but I fear he already has given up on humanity.

roger wilson
roger wilson
3 years ago

Fair play to Sayers for interviewing Sridhar, because, frankly, she’s dreadful. I read a few of her article in the Guardian at the start of the pandemic, but it was obvious she – like the Guardian itself – was far more interested in destroying the government than actually presenting any kind of balanced and informative news about the virus.

By the way, I’m all for the press sticking it to politicians, but the Guardian has lost control of its editorial policy and is guilty of propagating misinformation about this crisis – Sridhar is one of the paper’s chief sources of politicised bad science.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  roger wilson

Great posts Roger

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  roger wilson

Absolutely agree about the Guardian.

Since Rusbridger left the descent has been continual.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago

Sridhar likes to cite New Zealand as a model but does not explain the reality.

It starts as a “team of 5 million” making sacrifices to beat Covid for the common good. Unfortunately as the reality of the challenge becomes obvious, politicians are forced into more and more attacks on civil liberties in order to achieve the unachievable.

In NZ’s Bill of Rights we have enshrined the freedom to leave and return to the country. To access that right, we now have to pay $3100 for quarantine charges. The government is also artificially reducing passenger arrivals in incoming flights which has the effect to causing carriers to prioritize business class passengers. The upshot is that the proportion of people able to access their travel rights continues to reduce and is linked to wealth.

As the difficulties in controlling the spread of Covid undermine the team’s mission, more and more draconian measures become necessary. Enforceable, managed quarantine is now operational for anyone returning a positive Covid test in New Zealand.

That’s right, Covid jail has just been introduced without debate in parliament or an explicit law change. Just slipped in to a daily briefing and very little media coverage.

What’s the next logical evolution?

Routine, unannounced knocks on the door for testing by health bureaucrats? Jail if you refuse? Mandatory inoculation of a rushed vaccine if one becomes available? All international flights denied except for the elite jets? Suspension of the Bill of Rights – once you leave, you cant come back?

NZ becomes one big prison at the foot of the world for years? We’ll need to recruit a new Patrick McGoohan soon (for the youngsters: Google The Prisoner TV series from the 60’s).

If you think this is sensationalist, look at Australia. It is now necessary for Australian citizens to apply for an exemption permit to leave their own country (most of which are denied). Military like curfew in Melbourne – doors shut by 8pm. Victoria’s state premier seeking a 12 month extension of emergency powers….

This is all possible because the general populace has been coerced into a state of fear that is more akin to time of general conflict. Being manipulated into giving up your rights is standard political tactic when a fearful disposition has been achieved across the population.

The likes of Sridhar would see all this as just part of what is deemed necessary to get to Zero-Covid. Her position is extreme despite the presentation and we must resist this madness.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  joe_falconer

Yes, Joe, absolutely draconian in Australia. As you say, people can’t leave freely, might not be able to get back into the country within six months with the current arrangements, hugely expensive because of fewer seats available on planes. Hearing grim stories of people stuck overseas. Have to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks at own expense, not allowed to quarantine at home. And just how dangerous is this virus anyway…? Wow, how have these arrangements been made without any consultation with the people?

And people have been deliberately misled by politicians about the risk of the virus, to try and make everyone afraid. For example Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is behind an ad blitz that was “about drumming home the message that the coronavirus does not discriminate. “This is about trying to tell a story to as many Victorians as possible that this virus does not in any way discriminate between people based on age, based on their otherwise healthy status,”

So many people are afraid of the virus they’re willing to accept the constraints, which have been built on false pretences. Even if this virus was as lethal as it’s made out to be, would that justify the incredible upheaval that is not only occurring now, but who knows what lies ahead?

What is clear from this situation is that people have little or no say in our so-called liberal democracies. At the moment there is scant accountability from ‘our elected representatives’, and certainly nothing in that regard from the unelected medical officers who are currently running the show in this country.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

You will not be surprised to learn that Professor Devi Sridhar is Common Purpose, hence her illogical, irrational and sometimes just factually incorrect view on the CV-19 issue.

She is the one propping up Wee Krankie’s gently fascist approach to CV in Jocko-Jocko land

It is safe to say that whatever utterances she may make ignoring them will be the better choice.

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

She gives the impression of someone who doesn’t want to waste a crises! In this case the idea of “universal state income” appears to be the objective. Keep us all locked down for a year to two and make the state pay us. Deal done!

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Es ist fĂƒÂŒr Ihre Sicherheit, alles fĂƒÂŒr Ihre Sicherheit

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

As New Zealand shows, a zero Covid policy means no international travel. Not even if a close relative is dying in a foreign country. Does anyone in Scotland advocate this? And if they do are they prepared to tell the public?

Andrew Meffan
Andrew Meffan
3 years ago

NZ does have international travel. There is a quarantine requirement of 14 days in a 4-star hotel. This makes visiting dying relatives difficult. Just like things were forever before air travel.
Local tourism increase has filled much of the void left by international tourists. Partial lockdown to contain current cluster is set to lift. Skifield today had distancing in the chairlift queue.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Meffan

And yet there are new cases of Covid-19 that are unexplained and presumably came from people who travelled abroad. My point was not about NZ, because NZ has failed to achieve zero Covid (as has every other country). My point concerned what would be necessary to achieve zero Covid.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago

I think you are referring to Australia which at the moment looks more like North Korea than a democratic state.

The other commenter is partially correct about international travel from NZ but here’s the point he did not disclose:

NZ has a Bill of Rights that enshrines the ability of its citizens to freely leave and return to the country. This right is now fundamentally undermined by enforced charges for quarantine at $3K per entry. The government is also throttling passenger arrival volumes which is leading carriers to a preference for business class occupancy. This increasingly means only those with sufficient wealth can access their enshrined right to travel.

It is only the Bill of Rights that is stopping us from following Australia down the plug hole where their citizens need a permit to leave.

rosscocons
rosscocons
3 years ago

I agree, her ideas are ridiculously idealistic and far fetched. local lockdowns of regions would severely damage those regions, we all rely on a supply chain across the country, the continent and the world. Border testing is all well and good but spending money hand over fist on a virus which has now receded and does less harm than flu will probably do this winter is not affordable. Cite some examples of countries who have fared best? South Korea – who are experienced in these things – are in recession, Germany, Italy and France all had more workers furloughed than us in June. We have all over reacted, we know how to deal with it and we must get back to a new normal, with precautions not lockdowns. Unless she fancies paying the bill?

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

Tracking and tracing is not compatible with a return to normal:-

The Princess and the Pea

By Hans Christian Andersen translated by Jean Hersholt

Once there was a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. Only a real one would do. So he traveled through all the world to find her, and everywhere things went wrong. There were Princesses aplenty, but how was he to know whether they were real Princesses? There was something not quite right about them all. So he came home again and was unhappy, because he did so want to have a real Princess.

One evening a terrible storm blew up. It lightened and thundered and rained. It was really frightful! In the midst of it all came a knocking at the town gate. The old King went to open it.

Who should be standing outside but a Princess, and what a sight she was in all that rain and wind. Water streamed from her hair down her clothes into her shoes, and ran out at the heels. Yet she claimed to be a real Princess.

“We’ll soon find that out,” the old Queen thought to herself. Without saying a word about it she went to the bedchamber, stripped back the bedclothes, and put just one pea in the bottom of the bed. Then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on the pea. Then she took twenty eiderdown feather beds and piled them on the mattresses. Up on top of all these the Princess was to spend the night.

In the morning they asked her, “Did you sleep well?”

” Oh!” said the Princess. “No. I scarcely slept at all. Heaven knows what’s in that bed. I lay on something so hard that I’m black and blue all over. It was simply terrible.”

They could see she was a real Princess and no question about it, now that she had felt one pea all the way through twenty mattresses and twenty more feather beds. Nobody but a Princess could be so delicate. So the Prince made haste to marry her, because he knew he had found a real Princess.

As for the pea, they put it in the museum. There it’s still to be seen, unless somebody has taken it.

There, that’s a true story.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

I suppose that has some connection with the subject matter in had though not obvious

neilyboy.forsythe
neilyboy.forsythe
3 years ago

She didn’t answer the question on chasing down flu. She diverted. Worrying!

Mulvya Chand
Mulvya Chand
3 years ago

The aim of ZeroCovid – “any level of Covid-19, no matter how low, is considered unacceptable” is at odds with her later statement that “you don’t want to destroy a society chasing down the last person who has the virus”. Is not chasing that last carrier an acceptable choice or not?

Note that there is a law of diminishing returns in effect here. The effort required to reduce Reff from say, 3 to 2, is less than the effort required to reduce it from 2 to 1. The effort to reduce it from 0.2 to 0.1 to 0 is much much greater since the intrusion and monitoring has to be much greater.

“concerted activism and short-term pain is a more responsible route back to life as normal”

Does she define what short-term means?

Michael Yeadon
Michael Yeadon
3 years ago
Reply to  Mulvya Chand

Excellent post, explaining why it’s as close to impossible as makes no difference & the effort involved utterly out of proportion to the gains. Already, and on a weekly basis, flu is associated with around 5x more deaths than is covid19. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have a light flu season. The two viruses kill the same typically elderly & ill people. It might be the case that the most vulnerable cohort has been depleted.
Too early for well informed bet, but if pressed, my gut is that it’ll be lighter than average provided there isn’t an untoward interaction of flu vaccine & respiratory illnesses.

Barry Crombie
Barry Crombie
3 years ago

Has someone got some more information on these 100s of kids having cardiac arrests in NYC – also, I have not heard very much recently about the Kawasaki Syndrome prevalence – it all has gone quiet on that front but surely we should have seen many more examples as the age profiles of cases gets younger?

Michael Yeadon
Michael Yeadon
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Crombie

The Kawasaki patient advocacy group were irked at some people misusing awareness of this rare / orphan disease, because there wasn’t an increase in incidence.

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Crombie

Most doctors and researchers are unaware of this 2015 Italian research “Severe vitamin D deficiency in patients with Kawasaki disease: a potential role in the risk to develop heart vascular abnormalities?” Stefano Stagi et al. Clinical Rheumatology volume 35. The article is behind a paywall, but if you enter this DOI “10.1007 slash s10067-015-2970-6” into the website you can find by looking up Sci-Hub on Wikipedia, then you can read the PDF.

Low vitamin D causes immune system disregulation and Kawasaki Disease is immune system dysregulation. Likewise a similar condition: “Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome”. Both are triggered by numerous infections, and COVID-19 – not necessarily with strong symptoms – is a strong trigger.

Please see my earlier comment for more information. BTW, I am not a doctor – don’t take my word for any of this. Please read the research articles yourself – I link to dozens from my page “Vitamin D & other nutritional supplements to protect against severe COVID-19 symptoms”.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Crombie

Ha,ha, yes , Kawasaki being linked to Covid-19, that really was hilarious…(not the terrible Kawasaki disease itself ofcourse). Statistical absurdity at its very best.

Brendan Keelan
Brendan Keelan
3 years ago

A really interesting piece. I’ve never subscribed to the genocide version of invasion and conquest but I’m an optimist about human nature. Some years ago Michael Wood gave a fascinating insight on the origins of ” Englishness” in which he postulated that Englishness was more about one elite -the Anglo Saxon -replacing the indigenous leadership and the majority of the population assimilating.

I think this is compelling especially when I consider my home turf of The Wirral. There, place names of Viking, Welsh and Saxon origin can be found side by side and there’s even one part of the local population which has a strong Norwegian influenced DNA . This hardly attests to wholesale slaughter and cultural eradication.

Finally, a question. I’m intrigued by the swift demise of Roman settlements and cities in England. Is that perhaps because the Roman imprint was skin deep and barely penetrated the local population, apart from the elite?

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago
Reply to  Brendan Keelan

Yes, Brendan, very interesting indeed. I remember reading Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Winning of the West”. He starts with an account of how the Germanic tribes simply replaced the Celtic population in England, and this paved the way a millennium later for mainly British people replacing the Indigenous population in what became the United States. He never used the word genocide of course but the process he described sounded genocidal in both cases. I took him at his word. It’s good to know that it really didn’t happen that way in England. Of course in the US some of the practices directed against Indigenous peoples were genocidal. To be fair to Roosevelt, although there was a certain whiff of Mein Kampf about the opening pages of “The Winning of the West” he was no Hitler. He did note that some of the finest families in the American West pointed with pride to Indigenous ancestors.

Robin Pearce
Robin Pearce
3 years ago
Reply to  Brendan Keelan

An interesting article about an important subject, the origins of English and Welsh identity. One thing I would question is the use of Gildas as a reliable description of what happened with the Anglo-Saxons, he wasn’t writing a history but a religious and political polemic. There have been many books on the subject of how Roman Britain became Anglo-Saxon England, one of the best is ‘The Ruin of Roman Britain’ by James Gerrard.

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
3 years ago

An economy can only thrive with a degree of certainty and predictability. Business decisions do not get made, people do not get employed and things do not get done when certain key factors are unknown.

By taking a fundamentalist “zero case” doctrine you are going to impose perpetual uncertainty and economic damage as you will never know when a new case pops up and lockdowns will once again be imposed.

It will be impossible to globally eradicate the disease until or unless a vaccine is created – even if, and that’s a bloody massive if, every nation simultaneously adopts a covid eradication policy.

That for a starter is why this is madness, without going into all the other flaws. Not least the fact that she dismisses a comparison to flu because of the disease having affected more than just the respiratory system on young people is exposing her – since only 4 people have died in the UK under 40 in the past two months – and none without any other underlying conditions.

Nick Welsh
Nick Welsh
3 years ago

Lockdowns, local or otherwise, do not work. See New Zealand (!), Australia, Peru, Hawaii, etc.

Kathryn Richards
Kathryn Richards
3 years ago

Every time you cross a road in a town, every time you get in a car or an aeroplane, every time you take an alcoholic drink, every time you eat a doughnut or drink a fizzy drink full of sugar you take a calculated risk.
A car or bus could knock you down, car accidents happen every single day killing and maiming, aeroplanes crash, alcohol has serious health risks as does obesity caused by eating too many of the ‘wrong’ foods.
You can not eliminate risk, and nor should we.
This woman is dangerous with her ideas.

mptighe123
mptighe123
3 years ago

On the question of pubs and spearding of the virus Prof Karl Hennigan was before a speical covid committe in the Irish parliament last week and he informed them that in England there are 47000 pubs and to date there has been less than 10 outbreaks in pubs since they opened . In Ireland there are still thousands of pubs unable to exit lockdown five months after they were closed by authorities and NPHET (National public health emergency team ) set up by the government were asked to show the evidence as to why they will not allow pubs to open and you would have expected some peer reviewed studies as evidence but in response they produced clippings from the Guardian , New York Times and the Irish Times with stories on outbreaks in pubs . Currently 25000 jobs are under threat because of these pubs remaining shut . When will this madness end ?

David Bell
David Bell
3 years ago

In the film Juristic Park Jeff Goldblum character says something along the lines of “life will always find a way”. What that means is no matter what we do, Covid 19 will find a way to survive. New Zealand have just proved this. A country that effectively cut itself off from the rest of the world was unable to stop Covid 19 entering the country. A “zerocovid” strategy is impossible, we need to learn to manage this disease, it is here for keeps.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

whose economies and societies are returning to normal fastest, are the ones that acted to lock down decisively and early, drove the virus down to very low levels, and are employing massive testing and track and trace programmes to keep it there.

This is an evidence free claim.

Can you ask her for the statistical evidence of “long haulers”? What is a long hauler? A person with active infection? A person who tests positive on a PCR test weeks afterwards because the body has not rid itself of the dead virus particles?

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

I’ve been searching for data on “long haulers” and found little. I have found a few people interviewed that have described persistent illness over months after being tested positive for SARS-COVID-2. This could be a thing, however the phenomenon of persons with weak immune systems having persistent illness over months from ANY initial illness is evident and my cynical side flags the prevalence of hypochondriacs…

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

Does anyone know exactly how many young people were “a few weeks after catching Covid having heart attacks”. This bit, certainly the way in which the information was used sounded a little suspect to me. Severe heart attacks, fatal heart attacks, pre existing conditions? -it’s just not a good argument unless there is some properly solid data behind it.

colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
3 years ago

New Zealand tried that, and despite having a huge advantage (i.e. it arrived far later than Europe), they still haven’t got rid of it. No chance of eliminating it in Europe.

She is just another person who will influence public opinion, but face absolutely no consequences for being wrong. A dangerous combination.

Peter Whitehead
Peter Whitehead
3 years ago

She cannot be anti-lockdown. Isolating areas is lockdown. The virus will still spread until herd immunity is reached, which is potentially quite close.
She is a very stupid woman whatever “qualifications” she claims and will just add to the obsene murder committed by the likes of her.

steve.g.fuller
steve.g.fuller
3 years ago

The scam moves on.

1. Flatten the curve. Protect the NHS. Kill people
2. It’s excess deaths that’s the real measure
3. Oh excess deaths less for 7 weeks
4. It’s now cases, cases, cases
5. Yeah, but deaths not increasing with rising cases (the public will see through that)
6. Long-term Covid related health (that’ll keep them scared for years)
7. New strategy ZeroCovid

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  steve.g.fuller

‘the public will see through that’

Are you sure? If they have swallowed the rest of the BS then I’m sure they have room for more … Do you think the British media are going to stop? Surely not, when the prize is non less than the destruction of the populist right.

The narrative may change against the backdrop of a positive US election result … the problem is, in Britain anyway, they’ll be still be the Brexit front to fight.

Covid is all too handy for their aims, especially when they back it up with an anti-racism agenda …

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  jmitchell75

These are good points and the danger is seen every day in the Guardian’s coverage.

I have been a long term reader of the Guardian for many years but there has been a progressive decline into “offense” sensationalism and now the Covid headlines that get through tend to be the negative ones.

It is truly dreadful when the Daily Mail is more truth seeking than the Guardian.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  joe_falconer

Gave up on reading the Guardian regularly years ago.

Shame, it used to be such a great newspaper.

More keen to pander to a baying, wilfully ignorant, pathologically ‘woke’ audience nowadays.

roger wilson
roger wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  joe_falconer

Agree re Guardian. Terrible what’s happening to that paper. There are now so many commenters on the staff that I just can’t be bothered to read (Owen Jones, Monbiot, Toynbee, Nesrine Malike, Afua Hirsch, Aditya Chakraborty, Frances Ryan, Zoe Williams, Dawn Foster, among others) that it’s hardly worth visiting the site. Suzanne Moore and Kenan Malik are ok, but Moore will soon be out on her ear for not following the woke wave, and Kenan is far too independent to last for long on the staff.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Here in Australia things are grim… Currently, we’re generally not allowed to leave the country. And if we could leave, probably couldn’t get back in! And we’re not free to travel round the country either, with various borders closed and policed.

Where I live, in South Australia, things are ok, just some minor restrictions. But this could change in a heartbeat if more ‘cases’ emerge.

The state of Victoria is a disaster, the penal colony returns. Victoria is in Stage 4 lockdown as this appears to be the ‘diseased state’. Premier Dan Andrews is now a full-on dictator, and is trying to get an extension to emergency powers for another 12 months to facilitate further lockdowns. In the Stage 4 lockdown, people are under curfew from 8pm until 5am, and can only leave home for work, medical care and caregiving during those hours. During the day people can only leave their homes for necessary goods and services, exercise, healthcare and caregiving, and work if they have a permit, but most people are expected to work from home. They must wear a face covering, unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so. They can generally only travel 5kms from home. Only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services, just once a day. They can leave home to exercise, but not more than 5kms from home, and with only one other person, and only once a day, for no more than one hour.

The, unelected, Chief Health Officer is now in power over the population and can detain any person or group for as long as reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health; restrict the movement of any person within Victoria; prevent any person or group from entering Victoria; and give any other direction reasonably necessary to protect public health; close any premises; direct a person or group to enter, not to enter, to remain at, or to leave, any particular premises; without a warrant, enter any premises and search for and seize any thing; request information, including names and addresses; inspect any premises; require the cleaning or disinfection of any premises; require the destruction or disposal of anything; or direct the owner or occupier of any premises, or any other person, to take particular actions.

It’s mind-boggling what’s happening in Australia in response to this virus, a massive shock that liberty and freedom of association can be trashed in an instant…

Thomas Lundberg
Thomas Lundberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I’m glad you’re in SA and not in Victoria. I was supposed to be visiting a friend in Melbourne in early April, but this was cancelled due to the virus. Glad I didn’t get stuck there! I saw the horror stories about people trying to get (very expensive) flights back home.

I’ve been following the developments in the news and while I was well aware that Australians are not known for being civil libertarians, I was surprised to see the high levels of support for the Victoria state government’s draconian actions. Of course, I was also surprised to see so much support for the less draconian, yet still illiberal, actions here in the UK. I’m a lecturer in politics and had noticed some recent literature claiming that people (particularly younger people) were supporting liberal democracy less and less. Now we have – unfortunately, in my view – much more evidence that people don’t really value freedom, even when it’s taken away from them. It’s very disappointing, especially when there is so much evidence that the ‘threat’ that initially frightened people has, more or less, disappeared.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Hi Thomas, yes, I’m very glad not to be living in the police state of Victoria. I’ve been making comments on articles on (Murdoch) The Australian newspaper website the past few days (behind the paywall), and other comments from Victorians reflect they are very unhappy. It’s been quite an experience getting comments published on The Australian, as people like me have been shut down for years here – I’m investigating the over-use of vaccine products and conflicts of interest in vaccination policy, so of course get labelled an ‘anti-vaxxer’. However with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt recently indicating a coronavirus vaccine might be mandatory/coercive for the population, a few more people might start getting interested in this area. This whole exercise is so much about ‘the vaccine’…

Thomas Lundberg
Thomas Lundberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Yes, Elizabeth, I’ve noticed that The Australian and Sky News (which is quite different to the UK version) have been the only major news outlets with any questioning of the ‘received wisdom’ there. Of course, it’s bad here as well, but there are are few dissenting voices in the Daily Telegraph (particularly the columnists) and a few other places, as well as online.

I think most governments have dug themselves into a hole (in so many ways) here, with the mythical vaccine seeming to be the only way out – though I’m sure you’ve noticed how many authority figures, both ‘experts’ and those in governments around the world, have been backpedalling on this for weeks now. I understand that it takes about 5-10 years for a safe and effective vaccine to be devleoped and nothing exists for any coronavirus now. Anything developed more quickly will face a lot of resistance for obvious reasons, and coercion will lead to even bigger problems. Government ineptitude has been staggering.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Yes, the Murdoch Australian and Sky News perspective has been interesting with the likes of Alan Jones very agitated about lockdowns. But it’s complicated… That doesn’t mean they’ve been against ‘the vaccine’, the opposite I would suggest…
The Murdoch media/News Corp Australia is conflicted because it’s a corporate partner with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which is involved in vaccine research, including coronavirus vaccine research.

Olaf Felts
Olaf Felts
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Feel for you Elizabeth – so very scary and me thinking the Australians to be a pragmatic and freedom respecting people.A flash back to 1930’s and the effect and power of misinformation and pernicious ideology. Truth becomes a lie and the lie a truth. Beyond madness and ugly totalitarianism happening in a supposed democracy. What I can relate is the anger I am sensing in my peers in UK and it’s increasing daily – a good friend of mine is off to London this weekend to protest, a person who would never have dreamed of taking such an action before this. Me next? Absolutely.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

This is why we must resist.

Globally we are slipping into totalitarian responses that will be exceedingly difficult to reverse since it involves the transfer of power from individuals to politicians and the state.

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago

We have ALWAYS had respiratory viral infections. They are there constantly, lower in the summer higher in the winter. Every few years one of them flares up.

Anyone who thinks you can implement measures to get the “cases” to zero is not just wrong but very dangerously wrong becasue they clearly have no idea about viral infections. They also have no idea about human immunity. Since any measures can never work we will be in lockdown forever. Oh and I am perfectly aware that Covid19 will mutate within the next 12 months or so (probably already has) BUT the PCR test is so flaky we will be testing positive for the 4 or 5 versions of human Coronavirus forever!

Best way of “unterrifying the public” TELL THE TRUTH!! Let everyone who isn’t terrified back to the life of no mask no distancing, lift all restrictions for 3 days a week! The other 4 keep measures in place. 100% guarantee the mask free pub,shop,restaurant days will be full of happy, virus free/asymptomatic (ie normal), people. The masked days will be soulless and miserable. The terrified will become unterrified pretty quickly.

Stu White
Stu White
3 years ago

The guy is certifiable

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago

. You have young people a few weeks after catching Covid having heart attacks, which does not happen with the flu, along with kidney failure, blood clots and pulmonary embolisms.
How prevalent is this?

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

She has clearly made this up and should have been pressed for the evidence

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Well done indeed Mr Sayers, a brilliant expose of this blatant hysterical Shrieker.
I think we should award you the title “Witchfinder General”. This has been a gravure performance and she has well and truly hoisted herself on her own petard.
To think, that this Rhodes Scholar is an advisor to Mrs Sturgeon is truly astonishingly and all paid for by us, the English taxpayer!
I wonder is she perhaps a Brahmin, like her compatriot Gopal of Cambridge notoriety?

Magnus H
Magnus H
3 years ago

Yet another doctor ignoring vitamins and minerals, and the radical idea of making people strong and healthy so no-one dies no matter what viruses are going around.

stgerje
stgerje
3 years ago

To her point regarding trade-offs: here’s the trade. In the US there are 50million kids in school. Keeping schools closed will result in material lifetime harm for a portion of these kids. My guess is that about 1/3rd of the middle 30 million are the ones who will experience a much worse education.

Therefore, the trade is whatever perceived benefit is at the cost of 10 million kids having much worse lives.

Keep in mind – Sweden has been right with their response. NY and MA massively increased their deaths through dictatorial policy of placing covid infected people in long term care facilities.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

For some reason my comment, including Hans Andersen’s long out of copyright tale of the Princess and the Pea was taken down. This was a self-regarding performance, full of inconsistencies and impracticalities. This is not a recipe for zero Covid but for dismantling every aspect of social and economic life: it is somebody who doesn’t understand anything making unreasonable demands.

juanplewis
juanplewis
3 years ago

Yeah, you can also try to make Scotland wind proof. Built massive walls on the coastline and a huge dome which covers it all. Easy peasy.
She’s the type of authoritarian the SNP will listen to… All from the comfort of her professorial position.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago

“studied philosophy”. Not really. It’s the convention to award advanced degrees in “Philosophy” whatever the subject. My first degree was notionally in Arts and my second in Philosophy, although actually they were both in mathematics, as an example.

Prof. Sridhar has M.Phil and D.Phil degrees from Oxford, but both were in the Global Economic Governance Programme.

Chris Clark
Chris Clark
3 years ago

I’m confused. There were dozens of different comments on this thread 12 hrs ago when I first had a listen to this interview…and all were quite critical of the absence of logic backing up Dr. Sridhar’s recommendations and of her obvious inability to correctly analyze data. Where did all the comments go?

Craig Hutchinson
Craig Hutchinson
3 years ago

What is it about medical training that allows this type of thinking? I don’t mean to taint all Doctors with the same brush; I know there are many opposed to this point of view. But how does it get through? Is it just that many medicos are so ‘academic’ they are removed from the real world of risk? Some seem incapable of grasping the concept of ‘risk’. It’s been a real puzzle.

joe_falconer
joe_falconer
3 years ago

Well, it might surprise you that she’s not a medical doctor …..

Scott Powell
Scott Powell
3 years ago

We need herd immunity from the mainstream media.

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago

I am afraid her ‘clear strategy’ is non-existent. In fact it’s bats!!! Tell them to stop crossing borders, OK???

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
3 years ago

This is dangerous nonsense. So is the currently accepted “wisdom” of lockdowns until boffins arrive with a vaccine for everyone. This virus would cause very little trouble if everyone’s immune system worked better, as it would if our vitamin D levels were like those of our ancestors.

The drop in UK daily new cases coincides with the summer rise in vitamin D – with a month or two delay from the 21 December UVB peak due to 25OHD (25 hydroxy-vitamin D) storage in the blood.

Mother Nature’s crossover study is now entering a deadly new phase for the UK and other countries far north of the equator as vitamin D levels drop towards their winter nadir and daily new cases rise, inexorably, despite lockdowns and a generally small proportion of previously infected people having some immunity.

To the best of our knowledge, our ancestors’ 25OHD levels were in the 40 to 60ng/ml range (100 to 150nmol/L). 25OHD is an essential input for the autocrine (inside the cell) signalling systems of many cell types, especially those of the immune system. Only people with weak and/or dysregulated (overly aggressive, hyper-inflammatory, self-destructive) immune systems develop severe COVID-19 symptoms. There are several reasons for such weakness and dysregulation, including especially obesity (itself partly caused by and causing low vitamin D levels). Low vitamin D is the most important, easily correctable, cause of this weakness and dysregulation.

Average 25OHD levels for whites in the UK are about 16ng/ml coming out of winter and 24ng/ml in August. For BAME people they are much lower, 11/ng/ml January and 14ng/ml in August. UK government policy is that 10ng/ml (25nmol/L) is replete, which is less than 1/4 of the 46ng/ml (115nmol/L) of Maasai pastoralists and Hadzabe hunter-gatherers.

There’s little D3 in food or multivitamins. High elevation sun exposure is not available to many people, and causes skin damage and cancer risk. Average weight people need 0.125mg (5,000IU) supplemental vitamin D3 a day to attain, on average, 50ng/ml. Obese people need two or three times this. Yet the UK government recommends 0.01mg (400IU) D3 a day for adults, and states that any intake above 0.1mg (4,000IU) a day is dangerous. This advice is way out of step with research in recent decades – and it is harming and killing UK people in numerous ways, since low vitamin D drives a host of chronic and acute illnesses. I can’t put URLs in this comment, so please search for a recent review which recommends 40 to 60ng/ml 25OHD for all people: “Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease” Nipith Charoenngam, Michael F. Holick 2020-07-15.

If all adults in the UK took 0.125 to 0.3mg (for the obese) D3 a day (it can be taken weekly or fortnightly), with equivalent amounts according to bodyweight, for babies, children and adolescents, then general health would be vastly improved. (Kawasaki disease only happens to children with very low vitamin D.) Very few people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 would have severe symptoms. Good, healthy, 40 to 60ng/ml levels will probably somewhat reduce the chance of being infected for any given viral insult.

However, the most dramatic impact of most people being vitamin D replete would be that if they are infected, they will have very mild or no symptoms and the number of viruses they shed will be dramatically reduced.

The summer lull in COVID-19 new cases and the rise in recent weeks and months can only be explained by a generally very much lower level of shedding by those who are infected, which dramatically reduces the number of people they infect.

URLs don’t work in these comments, so for links to the latest research on vitamin D, immunity and COVID-19 please search for Karl Pfleger’s excellent article “Low Vitamin D Worsens COVID-19” and my pages, with “The case for worldwide vitamin D supplementation”.

0.125mg is a gram every 22 years. Pharma grade D3 costs USD$2,500 a kilogram. So, for 0.125mg (5,000IU) a day, the ex-factory cost is 12 US cents a year = UKP0.09. It just needs to be packaged in 26 or 52 fortnightly or weekly capsules. There is no risk in this. There would be profound health benefits even if COVID-19 was not a consideration. Doctors have generally vastly overly-cautious ideas about toxicity, which may only be a problem with 25OHD levels above 150ng/ml (375nmol/L) which are only attainable over months with extremely high intakes, far beyond what is needed to get to 40 to 60ng/ml. With these levels, there would be almost no trouble with flu transmission or serious symptoms, and it wouldn’t matter if SARS-CoV2 mutates to evade the immunity elicited by a vaccine.

Magnus H
Magnus H
3 years ago

Ask her why this “coronavirus” hits rich countries worse than poor countries.

anthony.brady56
anthony.brady56
3 years ago

Weekly Covid deaths in England and Wales down for the 17th week (w/e 14th August) in a row to 139. Hospital admissions with Covid, way down too. Hopefully the worst is now over and we can get back to normal. Also the WHO has accepted that this will now be with us forever, but that we will adapt to it and it to us.

jmitchell75
jmitchell75
3 years ago

None of this matters I’m afraid because this was about public health for only a few short weeks. Now it is political. Only when Trump and Brexit are stopped/reversed (and I am no fan of either) might we have any opportunity to return to ‘normal’

Julia McMaster
Julia McMaster
3 years ago

Some ideas are so mad, only scientists can believe them! There is plenty of evidence that this whole “pandemic” is non-existent, death rates are slightly below the seasonal flu. Sweden without any lockdown had a death rate of 550 people per million compared to the UK with 650 people per million. Anybody needing proof of these facts let me know, I have plenty. Concerning symptoms- it might be worthwhile to check whether the epople that are really sick live in close vicinity to 5G towers. Magda Haves, PhD, maintains that Covid-19 cases are 95% higher and deaths are 126% higher per million in areas with 5G.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia McMaster

As far as I can read it the correlation between 5G and Covid-19 seems to be based on purely statistical assumptions. Even a PCR-test says more about covid than that. So I think more research is needed, to say the least.

Sarah Atkin
Sarah Atkin
3 years ago

Professor Sridhar isn’t just an adviser to the Scottish Govt. From what I have seen in interviews and on social media she’s become more of a mouthpiece for the Sturgeon government’s objective of appearing ‘different’ from England. This ‘zero covid’ strategy came out of nowhere a while back without debate. Suppression is what lockdown was for. Zero Covid isn’t happening anyway. How can it? Do we want to become North Korea, closing our borders and all of us electronically tagged? Obviously a balance has to be struck doesn’t it? Also, it’s very easy to slow down the opening up of your society/economy when somebody else is expected to pick up the tab (the Treasury.) As for testing, Scotland’s own capacity (aside from the UK system which operates up here) doesn’t seem to have been expanded to sufficient levels to cope with what I think is needed to keep the infection rate down and to minimise the economic/social disruption – regular mass testing of at least all our key workers. COVID is a massive challenge for any government. There are no easy answers. Just don’t be taken in by those who say things are any better and easier up here. They’re not. We really are all in this together.

Thomas Lundberg
Thomas Lundberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Atkin

I agree. Unfortunately, I live in Scotland and it’s become clear that the Scottish government’s ‘virus agenda’ has shifted from initially being quite cooperative with that of the UK government to one that seeks to make the most of the crisis for the Scottish independence and SNP cause. The virus seems to be exacerbating pre-existing conflicts in many places as politicians and others use it for their own benefit.

It’s important that you pointed out that the ‘Zero Covid’ strategy came out of nowhere a while back without debate. I noticed this, too, and am alarmed that there was no public or parliamentary debate about this strategy – which has far-reaching implications – and little, if any, media coverage. This is yet another way to weaken the union with the rest of the UK because it could lead to the pursuit of a hard border with England, as you can see in Australia, for example. I’m not sure if this would be tolerated by the UK government, but any delays on the border would cost Scottish consumers dearly, not to mention affect sectors like (what’s left of) tourism.

jlbrown101365
jlbrown101365
3 years ago

I was embarrassed for her. She interjected her feelings and opinion and then talks about wanting to see the science on T-cell immunity. Has she read any randomized study on any masking? Maybe the Vietnam 2015 would be a good suggested start for her.

Freddie, you should get her and Carl Heneghan on at the same time.

perrywidhalm
perrywidhalm
3 years ago

Incredible!

War Is Peace
Slavery Is Freedom
Ignorance Is Strength

It never ends ……