X Close

The Covid tiers can’t go soon enough When lockdown ends, the Government should look to traffic lanes, not traffic lights

Regulation that is insensitive to local conditions quickly starts to feel sinister Credit: Andy Barton/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty

Regulation that is insensitive to local conditions quickly starts to feel sinister Credit: Andy Barton/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty


November 30, 2020   6 mins

Boris Johnson’s sunshiny “one more heave, chaps, the cavalry are coming” Covid message doesn’t seem to be landing very well. Perhaps he presumed that, with all that good news on the vaccine front, everyone would simply accept the logic of pretty much staying locked down until it arrives.

But this sense of an ending doesn’t seem to have done much to shore up discipline. If anything, it seems to be going the other way: anti-lockdown protests this weekend led to over 150 arrests, people are moving around much more in lockdown 2 than lockdown 1, and the political rebellion among Conservative MPs has gathered, rather than lost, momentum since the vaccine news. It looks like keeping up restrictions is going to become more difficult, not easier, as the end comes into view.

You can see why Tory MPs are worried. The map of areas still stuck in ‘tier 3’ lockdown restrictions, with pubs and restaurants shut, has echoes of the most Brexit-voting parts of the country: a new ‘red wall’ stretching from Lancashire in the North West across to Lincolnshire and the Wash, with a separate pocket of red in the Thames estuary and Kent. These are the voters most precious to the Government — fear of getting on the wrong side of them runs deep.

Interview
The Covid tiers can't go soon enough

By Sir Graham Brady

What’s more, the latest polls are not offering much reassurance. We’ve become used to surveys showing overwhelming support for more restrictions, leading to the general assumption that ‘lockdown sceptics’ are little more than a small but vocal group on social media; Nigel Farage’s attempt to launch a new political party on the back of that passion has so far fallen flat.

But on the post-lockdown tier system, opinion is more divided — of four options offered by YouGov, the most popular at 33% is the view that too many areas are now being held in top tiers. More disconcertingly for the Tories, the dissenting group rises to 37% of Brexit voters (compared to 28% of Remainers) and 44% of voters in the all-important Midlands (compared to just 21% of Londoners). The voters who propelled them into office are the least happy.

What Tory MPs know (and not only the 70-odd rebels lined up by Steven Baker and Sir Graham Brady) is that there’s something about this whole approach that goes directly against what they were elected to do. As Editor of the Sheffield Star, Nancy Fielder, told Andrew Marr on Sunday, Tory MPs in the North “were elected around Brexit, which was all about freedom — we want to be able to do what we want to do ourselves without being dictated to — and look where we are now.” Brexit was a rebellion against control from the centre, against remote regulations set by faraway people in Whitehall or Brussels who aren’t interested in the details of your area — the Covid tiers have an unhappy whiff of the same hauteur.

The aggravation doesn’t stem from people being selfish or from behavioural fatigue so much as from the bluntness of the regulation. Even among those who are concerned about the virus and keen to be responsible, rules that are arbitrary and insensitive to local conditions quickly start feeling pointless and sinister; from there it is a short step to them feeling tyrannical.

Notes of absurdity are even more potent at destroying support. Think of how much energy the Brexit movement got from reports of EU regulations on “bendy bananas” — today’s elaborate one-way systems around half-empty garden centres and tiny designer Perspex vizers covering only the chins of waiters in restaurants are surely the new equivalents. You can imagine the mixture of hilarity and fury in the Kent village that has been divided down the middle between two tiers, so one of its pubs has to close but the other can remain open.

At heart, the flaw in the system is the continued adherence to a one-size-fits-all approach. A “traffic light” system of regional tiers may sound targeted and human at a No 10 press conference, but it doesn’t feel that way to the millions of people lumped together in Manchester or Kent, or to the 99% of the population still forbidden from seeing anybody inside during an English winter. As each MP knows, within each constituency, let alone county, there is a variety of urban and rural areas, and a range of different demographics — it’s a whole world, not a dot on a map. This is the central shortcoming of the lockdown movement — that you can force everyone in a hugely varied society to behave in the same way, by diktat.

This was never true, and particularly not for a threat like Covid that is so unusually targeted at a certain subset of the population: we all know people who are more- or less- cautious about Covid and have been all along for perfectly good reasons. Wise regulation would acknowledge this reality, and provide principles that people can apply to their unique circumstances. The Government will win their vote in parliament, but the anger will start to subside only when we move beyond universal life-rules controlled by the centre. The principle of different advice for different groups is already established: the proposal to ‘protect the vulnerable’ in the Great Barrington Declaration may have been rejected on the grounds of practical difficulty, but different ‘shielding’ advice was given early on to the particularly vulnerable and ministers insist that as soon as the most vulnerable are vaccinated, restrictions can begin to ease.

Suggested reading
The Covid tiers can't go soon enough

By Tom Chivers

So as we move through this difficult winter, with the new promise of a sunset clause on the Tiers system, perhaps the Government needs to switch up its metaphors: instead of traffic lights, which are notoriously frustrating and treat everyone the same, it might be better to start thinking about traffic lanes, which when functioning well on a motorway are a remarkably effective way for society to move safely along together.

A nationwide traffic lane system would allow people to choose at an individual or household level how to live: amber means you carry on as now, respecting regulations to a normal degree, red means you are additionally cautious because either you or your regular contacts are highly vulnerable, and green means either you have decided that the risk of contracting Covid is acceptable to you and you are personally not worried, or that you are now immune via prior infection or vaccination. Information about local virus levels and your own risk profile can help you choose your lane, and you can quarantine between lanes (which is already what the Government recommends to students coming home for Christmas). As long as you aren’t a threat to others, everyone can decide for themselves.

Rather than attempting to micro-manage the entire public square as a single space, which is the source of so much unhappiness, individual venues and events could be allowed to cater to different risk levels. Care homes and hospitals will obviously continue to operate on ‘red lane’ principles with the highest care, but supermarkets and shops could return to the excellent system where the first hour of the day is reserved for ‘red lane’ customers. Which system would you prefer, as a vulnerable elderly person — to be forced in, as now, among the noisy young people being cavalier about masks and bumping into you, or to be able to know that the newly-cleaned shop was open at limited capacity only to people taking proper care?

Pubs and restaurants could start to operate similarly — red lane on one day, amber for most of the week and green on Fridays and Saturdays when young people and the increasing number of immune and vaccinated can do as they please without being accused of being selfish. Transport could work on similar rush-hour principles, and even schools would be safer than they are now with a class or stream reserved for students who had genuinely vulnerable people at home, rather than pretending all schoolchildren obey distancing guidelines when quite obviously they don’t. If a venue or service cannot be modified safely in this way, it can remain in the amber lane — no change.

A post-lockdown regime along these lines could provide a route for the whole UK to offer better protection to the vulnerable as discipline starts to collapse, while providing safe outlets for the people who will break the rules anyway to live their lives without censure. Most of all it would reacquaint people with the ability to make decisions for themselves, and move beyond the local colouring-in exercise that is causing so much political tension.

Thinking along these lines will become only more important as vaccines start to be administered: if people are frustrated now, imagine how they will feel if they or their loved ones have had the vaccine and are still being asked to lead a half-life of distancing and not seeing anyone for months afterwards. There must eventually be a mechanism to release the vaccinated and the less vulnerable, while providing proper support for people who need to continue avoiding exposure. The sooner it gets moving, the better.


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

freddiesayers

Join the discussion


Rejoignez des lecteurs partageant les mĂȘmes idĂ©es qui soutiennent notre journalisme en devenant abonnĂ©s payants.

Subscribe

To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

194 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
3 years ago

I think this is a brilliant description of The Great Barrington Declaration which is saying the same thing. Yes we should be allowed to carry on our lives if we have been through the virus ( my 20 something boys have recovered from it), especially if we have been through it . Too much hurt is being felt by those Not Vulnerable. Yes protect the vulnerable. Think in terms of 7 billion people and this is not the end of humanity as we know it and think of the legacy this lockdown & tiers we are leaving for the future generations. The mindset of young is being conditioned . The old and vulnerable who have died have seen no loved ones, no familiar faces, no warmth of touch to send them on ! It’s cruel and inhumane. Love transcends the virus but the government doesn’t see it that way. It’s all about numbers and stats for a virus that is sure to live amongst us regardless of vaccines and lockdowns.

Shalal Sadullah
Shalal Sadullah
3 years ago

Superbly put. For me one of the biggest tragedies of Covid is that we are no longer living as a society as fear has led to an irrational sense of self protection. I see cancer patients , many elderly,who are not allowed to be accompanied by relatives or any visitors if admitted. How have we completely lost our sense of compassion and duty to the ones who rely on us the most?
Its terrifying how legislation can change human behaviour so rapidly! Its almost debatable if governments cant see it or like what they are seeing!

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago

It’s not just legislation, the out of context saturation media coverage has put even more fear into people.

Shalal Sadullah
Shalal Sadullah
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

Very true

Shalal Sadullah
Shalal Sadullah
3 years ago

But who is gaining??

pswstu
pswstu
3 years ago

Follow the money.

Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith
3 years ago

I have thought for a long time that those who are at risk (if they wish; a healthy 75 year old, say, may not) or afraid should have the option of entering voluntary seclusion.
Basically, a personal lockdown. They remain in their homes, shop on line where possible and special time slots at GP surgeries, dentists, etc are reserved for them. Tradespeople attending their property use full PPE but they must declare they are secluded and premises can refuse to admit them on the basis that the proprietor cannot guarantee their safety.
If not able to completely work from home, (and in fairness to employers, the secluded who are not disabled other than from fear must not be protected from redundancy selection etc at the expense of a more resilient or adaptable employee, ) they should be free to sign themselves onto DLA. Further, any children in a secluded household must be assigned a social worker.
I personally would be green light. I’ve been a sceptic throughout and am now hostile. The need to be able to produce an enhanced DBS is the only reason why I am not an active protester.
I have never locked down, have attended a workplace throughout, don’t muzzle, don’t use hand sanitizer, haven’t downloaded the app etc and have not had a day’s illness. I reckon I’m immune and I am fed up of having to act as a shield for the moribund and tolerate the abuse of the hysterical.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

Interesting proposal. Maybe apply it to some other random allocation of attributes. Say, those with the first name Elizabeth. All people with the first name Elizabeth have the option of entering voluntary seclusion. And can sign on for DLA (which doesn’t exist anymore). What’s more, because Elizabeth’s can’t leave their house they should be made redundant before people called Eliza – just the luck of the draw, I’m afraid. A YouGov survey revealed that the 98% of the population not called Elizabeth broadly supported these measures and felt they should probably be extended to include those who self defined as Lizzie.

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

That’s an inane response. A name is not the same as age.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Vulnerability is not the same as age. Lots of vulnerable people are relatively young.

Aside from that, are you arguing it’s OK to discriminate on the basis of age? If you don’t like using names as a determinant how about redheads under 5 foot 7 inches, left handed people with brown eyes or people with a disposable income of less than £50k a year?

You think people should have their rights restricted because of their age or vulnerability? Getting old or being vulnerable is not a lifestyle choice – it’s a condition of being human.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

“Lots of vulnerable people are relatively young”.
Rubbish, the average age of a C-19 death in the UK has just crept up to 82.5, whilst life expectancy remains stubbornly at 81.1

I seem to recall you spent the 1980’s in a state of abject terror about the good old ‘Cold War’. You are obviously having another “terror” attack. Poor chap.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Six and a half thousand deaths in the under 65’s in the UK. And deaths only mean deaths within 28 days and not those still suffering and severely affected but still alive. That’s one in ten of deaths from Covid under 65.

I have an autoimmune disorder resulting in pulmonary/cardio damage. I’m 53, two teenage kids. Life expectancy? 15 to 20 years if I’m lucky with increased disability. Maybe a better outcome with a lung transplant. If I catch Covid? Odds not good at me making it to Spring. Forgive me for having a ‘terror attack’. I want to see my kids grow up, if at all possible.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

One of us must be using incorrect data. I took mine from Jonathan Sumption, if that is of any help.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I was using Office for National Statistics.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thank you. Put another way, by Age UK’s Dr Elizabeth Webb, the fatality rate in the age group 0-69 is slightly less than I per thousand, not bad?

That should cheer you up! For those of us who have past the “three score years and ten” marker, things are not so bright, but otherwise trotting along in the Valley of Death (VOD) is not without its compensations.

For some, the recent collapse of religion and the panacea it offered is slightly troubling. For the rest, where is the logic (logos) in fearing nothing (nihil)? It is a question that is quite often discussed in the VoD, as you might expect, even if you are not Heraclitus.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

The death toll on 911 was approximately 1 in 100,000 of the US population.

So obviously they just shrugged, ignored terrorism and didn’t spend $4 trillion on combatting it.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Really? And I thought it was just a good excuse for the US to go bonkers, just like after Pearl Harbour, and earlier after the destruction of the USS Maine. Silly me!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

On the kind of claims made here, the US response should have been that even tightening up on airport suitcase searches was not worth the effort, because the 911 attacks only killed 1 US citizen in 100,000.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Exactly, why overreact?

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Bruce Schneier reckons “exactly two things have made us safer since 9/11: reinforcing the
cockpit door and convincing passengers that they need to fight back”.

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

So another massive and misguided overreaction then.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

So another Who claims to have” Seen” c56,700 Autopsies,
hysteria is not ‘Scientific data” 97% of these attributed to SARS2 have diagnosed or undiagnosed illness like Cancer,leukaemia, dementia etc…All the mPs, have done is condemn treatable patients to a lonely death at home..

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

If you have a serious co-morbidity and you are unlucky enough to get a meaningful dose of Sars Cov 2 either up your nose or via your eyes your chances of then surviving for the length of time you were “supposed” to survive is much diminished. So … Covid killed you because if there hadn’t been a pandemic, chances are you would have lived a bit longer – Yes ?

A lot of people would argue that dying at home (greater chance of your nearest and dearest being with you) is infinitely preferable to dying in hospital right now (chances of nearest and dearest being with you are slim)

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I see you got 2 downticks for that!

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Actuarially 80 – 89 year olds in the UK right now, with 2 long term conditions can expect to live for another 5 years at least.

All this weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth has only ever been partly about the final butchers bill (excess all cause mortality).

If you are unfortunate enough to get really sick with Covid and require hospitalisation then you really bung up the system for everyone else because of the longer average stay compared with a bad case of flu + the huge drain on skilled NHS personpower.

This is a microthrombotic, multi organ disease. It is not just people drowning in their own secretions.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

What splendid news. I can now get another English Springer Spaniel without any remorse!

latchmore
latchmore
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Covid might primarily kill people over a certain age group but it severely affects a much broader group. A healthy friend of mine in their early thirties knows this only too well as she has been struggling with long Covid symptoms since March.
These comments summarise perfectly why the approach suggested in this article won’t work. Too many people think they’ll be fine or they’ll get it and die but it’s a risk worth taking.

Until it happens to them or their loved ones……

Eugene Norman
Eugene Norman
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

It’s ok to discriminate on the basis of age where such discrimination is to the benefit of the old. The pension age is clearly ageist by your standards – the right to work past that age is restricted. There are rights (a form of discrimination) that the old get as well. Free travel for instance. Were we to use your logic then that should be disallowed because:

” [age shouldn’t matter on free travel] how about redheads under 5 foot 7 inches, left handed people with brown eyes or people with a disposable income of less than £50k a year?” This kind of substitution is ridiculous.

Clearly Covid prohibitions on the elderly, if enacted (and I’d prefer guidelines) are designed to protect.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Check UK law – the ‘pension age’ was abolished several years ago because it was discriminatory. Pensions are an insurance policy that people pay into on the basis that they are able to claim them when needed.

I’m not talking about Covid prohibitions on the elderly – I’m talking about the vulnerable, and their families. Covid ‘guidelines’ that restrict the rights of the vulnerable are not designed to protect the vulnerable. They are designed to protect the rest of the population from having to restrict their activity that could be harmful to the vulnerable.

Good point about bus passes. I always thought that was in recognition of the contribution these people had made to our society/economy and the inadequacy of market capitalism as a mechanism for looking after them when their economic value as workers was negligible.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Clearly you support the restrictions applied to the entire population in relation to Covid 19. Flu kills many thousands annually but there are no restrictions. Is it the much higher death-toll that makes the difference?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Weyland Smith

There are mitigations already in place around flu – including vaccination for vulnerable people and health service staff. Covid seems to have a higher mortality rate and a higher risk of having a long term impact. I think those are the reasons I support some of the restrictions applied to the entire population.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I can understand your support of restrictions given your risk status. How long would you support blanket restrictions, and what / how are you weighing up the myriad other life-affecting variables for other people? Do the trade-offs change over time? Just one variable “Each month cancer treatment is delayed increases the risk of cancer death by around 6%-13%”according to the BMA. I don’t know how accurate this is, but it doesn’t seen too far-fetched. According to Cancer Research, “around 200,000 people per week no longer being screened for bowel, breast and cervical cancer”.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Weyland Smith

Vaccine will be in a lot of arms by Christmas and even more by end Jan and end Feb. That answers your question “how long…”.

Cancer diagnosis and treatment are being delayed by the number of beds taken up by Covid sufferers. When those people turn up at hospitals in ambulances, gasping for breath, what are the hospitals supposed to do? Turn them away and let them die? Tell them that they have been conned by a MSM conspiracy. The best way to get cancer etc treatment running at full speed again is to suppress Covid with lockdowns, sensible behaviour not idiots like the weekend’s demonstrators, and vaccination.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

end Feb.it is then

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Around 30,000 excess deaths at home in the U.K. since the start of the pandemic. Many of these may have died due to , or exacerbated by, covid – many may have survived if they’d sought treatment. Around 10,000 excess at-home deaths occurred during the summer months long after covid had peaked and few people were “turning up in ambulances, gasping for breath”. People are not seeking medical treatment because of fear. 10-20% of covid infections are suspected of being acquired in hospitals.

Roll-on the end of February.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  Weyland Smith

Where I live, in South Wales, that 10-20%
is not a suspicion but as a 77 yo I am
happy and willing to keep going with a “Mus’n’t Grumble” attitude. I consider
myself lucky to get this far after losing
mates in the military happenings of the last century – In many cases the ‘Cold War’ was just something that happened mostly in the backround.

Doug Pingel

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The state pension is payable from a fixed age. Many people call this “pension age”.

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The biggest risk factor of dying from Covid is age.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

So what? As repeatedly pointed out, even people who die in their 80s have a number of years of life left.

And 6500 deaths among the under-65s.

Which would be far more if we hadn’t taken measures to reduce transmission.

And within weeks, vaccination will have protected the most vulnerable of all, and that will roll out to those who have progressively less risk. BTW, even those who are personally at little risk of death can (a) get long Covid (b) spread the disease to the vulnerable.

What sensible person will say that they’d rather go for strange alternative schemes like the impractical one proposed at the top, whose only purpose seems to be to pander to the lockdown denialists?

optocarol
optocarol
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

From ONS: 84959 deaths under 65 in 2018, to give some perspective on your 6500. As most of you will know, a covid 19 death means you tested +ve in the previous 28 days, regardless of the actual cause of death.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Smith

So are you saying they deserve it then?

Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Eugene Norman

Many people whose only “risk” factor is age don’t regard themselves as being at risk.
They were not raised in a culture of vulnerability in the way those under 40 have been; read Frank Furedi on “How Fear Works”. A healthy septuagenarian was raised to be psychologically robust by parents who lived through WWII.
That was my point.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago

Love your approach. For the true facts about this virus and lockdowns, seek out Ivor Cummins Youtube Channel and watch 1 or 2 of his videos on lockdown. There you will find real science and not the psuedo science fed to us by SAGE and the useless Hancock.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  John Ottaway

Ivor Cummings is an engineer turned diet guru. Covid is his clickbait for 2020. So obviously he knows better than thousands of doctors, virologists and other scientists.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Some of the smartest people I have ever met are engineers – they have an eye for data and accurate analysis which is essential to their profession – the expertise of SAGE – by contrast – is debatable. There are no immunologists and no experts on coronaviruses (this fact even made it to the BBC!).

Getting back to the actual article though, if an idea (such as is presented above) is more logical, humane and a feasible alternative to a response which is unquestioning damaging (however proportionate you may or may not feel it is), doesn’t it deserve consideration regardless of who advocates it?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Good technique.

Find a charlatan / fringe figure.

Then declare that your willingness to listen to him shows how open-minded and reasonable you are, unlike folk who point out that he’s a charlatan.

Meanwhile attack the people at SAGE, who do know what they are doing.

As I’ve pointed out above, the proposal for ‘lanes’ is deeply flawed because there is contact between ‘lanes’.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

SAGE did it even have an immunologist on board. They weren’t qualified to make the decisions they made.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  shinybeast1

It has more than one, Professor Whitty, for example, is an epidemiologist.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

Oops I meant immunologist!

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  shinybeast1

What was an immunologist going to do back in the spring? Now that there is a cohort amongst the population with prior infection and 3 vaccines on the way, if they are completely devoid of such advice then I agree it would now be useful – I don’t think that that’s the case though.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

Do you really not think an immunologist would have been an important voice in the decision making? How on earth can they come out with graphs and models without information on how many people are estimated to have immunity? I would suggest that they based their models on the assumption that immunity does not exist and that is outrageous

latchmore
latchmore
3 years ago
Reply to  shinybeast1

Professor Charles Bangham Has studied immunology for 33 years. What sort of qualifications are you after exactly?

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Ok, I get it – you don’t like the guy who proposes (agrees with) the alternative. So, what are you going to do? brutalise and process humanity in response to a virus (as we are doing – in ignorance of the warnings from history of such behaviour) or let the virus rip (unacceptable to your half of the debate). Is it really sensible to dismiss a third alternative simply because you doubt the credentials of the proponent or because of some theoretical issue with it that may (or may not) be mitigated in practice?

SAGE may very well be intelligent people (I am sure their mothers are very proud – probably less so since March), but they have been consistently wrong on this. Sometimes looking at the data without the burden of formulating policy allows you to comment on it more objectively, and these alternative analysis of the likes of Professor Carl Henegahan (or even someone on the internet that you don’t like), shouldn’t be condescendingly dismissed when the problems they address are too multi faceted to be the purview of a single set of scientific advisers (who are heavily weighted towards behavioural psychologists and computer modellers – not virologists)

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

I’m an engineer. Take it from me, Cummings is a charlatan.

Julia Moore
Julia Moore
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

What makes you say that James? I’m genuinely interested. Ivor Cummings backs up all of his analysis with government data. He has offered an important piece of the puzzle to this story which is extremely complex. It’s been like a breath of fresh air to see a sensible analysis of actual figures rather than the vague, misleading graphs (not labelling of axis, no context over time, no comparison with historical data) than we see on the news. Ivor, like you and I, deserves to earn a living from his work. I think there is a great need to question how much control can us humans exert over this virus through draconian measures? From what I’ve seen not that much… Ivor Cummins contributes to the debate and many doctors and scientists agree with him. He has offered a sensible analysis throughout the the year, without being censored, as YouTube simply cannot refute the real world data. What I wonder is… why do the wildly over estimated projections about the dangers of the virus have all the airtime, yet the actual real world data gets virtually none… It’s quite fascinating don’t you think James?

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  Julia Moore

It doesn’t fascinate me at all. IC is an HP computer engineer turned diet guru turned Covid misinformation supplier. He does it for the money. He has found a gap in the market and fills it. If he had a scientific contribution to make, he would not be making Youtube videos. If you want him to be your information source, it’s your choice – nothing to do with me.

Richard Gandy
Richard Gandy
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yeh and his 40 minute video presentation up to 5 September basically saying that the threat had been eradicated and most vulnerable had been caught in the spring after a low flu season a year ago has proven to be wrong

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  John Ottaway

He is a diet crank cashing in on the pandemic. Youtube isn’t science.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago

There are about 1.8 million multi-generational households in the UK and about 300,000 multiple family households.

Across every socioeconomic level in Britain, White British people live in less crowded homes than members of every other ethnic group, regardless of whether or not they own their own home.

We know for sure that BAME portions of the population have taken a big hit in this pandemic and this section of the population are more likely to live in multigenerational households.

I am sure that it is theoretically possible to socially distance in a multigenerational household – even in a 2 bedroom house in Bradford. Difficult, but not impossible.

There aren’t enough social workers to look after children on the At risk register now. Where are you going to magic up the thousnads that would be needed in your scenario ?

There are about 18.5 million people in the UK deemed to be at greater risk of both catching Covid and becoming seriously ill – this figure includes all those > 70 years, diabetics, BMI > 30, chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, kidney disease and all the immunocompromised who in the main, appear to be perfectly well (go to work etc). This includes those receiving or recovering from cancer treatment, rheumatoid, Psoriasis, LE, Eczema, Type 1 Diabetes, Cushings, Coeliac disease, Crohns, kidney + other organ transplant patients.

I note that this mythical model inside your head doesn’t include a management plan for any of those bods. Of course – they can look out for themselves as per your prescription. Hallelujiah. Let’s hope none of them get ill and bung up the hospitals even more than they are doing now.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago

Pardon?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

So you’re happy to infect others, who may die as a result. You “are fed up of having to act as a shield for the moribund”. Apparently “moribund” is your description of anyone with a health condition and/or getting on in years. Of course it’s all about your emotions and your convenience.

Those who criticise you for your selfishness are not “hysterical”, they just have morals and a conscience.

I note that you insist that those who are trying to protect themselves from selfish disease-spreaders like you, by secluding themselves in self-defence, “in fairness to employers…..must not be protected from redundancy selection etc at the expense of a more resilient or adaptable employee“. So when they understandably try to protect their lives against your propagation of the disease out of selfishness, you are happy to destroy their occupation.

Do you know the meaning of the word “sociopathic”?

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

Well at least an attempt to put back some sanity into the problem.

But, as the positive test numbers begun to fall in parts of the country before lockdown, and rise in some parts of the country during lockdown, one has to wonder if lockdown is the benefit claimed.

I strongly suspect, that some of the rise in the autumn was caused by the vast numbers of students going to university, and the normal seasonal effects of a respiratory illness.

I, also believe that, in general, people respond to an increase in their area, by becoming more cautious in their behaviour.

A general lockdown (aka Tiers 2 & 3) for the country is thus not required and liable to prove to be more counter productive, than beneficial.

Perhaps a new slogan, no lockdowns, trust the people!

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago

I think you are right about the self-correcting behaviour as the threat from the virus increases (and the reverse relaxing of behaviour when the threat lessens). This is entirely rational and would happen whether there was a lockdown, tiers or whatever, as long as people had some tolerably reliable data. It will be interesting to see the analysis after all this is over of whether the various restrictions and lockdowns really made a difference, or whether they were relatively minor adjustments to a course essentially determined by some underlying logic of the vaccine’s seasonality tempered by changes in people’s behaviour that would have happened anyway. I suspect it’s mainly the latter.

Alex Camm
Alex Camm
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

I hope you are right and that there will be an objective evaluation of the measures taken. I think the impact of the errors that have been made are of such magnitude that this will not be allowed to happen

Shalal Sadullah
Shalal Sadullah
3 years ago

You may remember that at the time we went to a second lockdown the ONS had said that we had already peaked and the infections were starting to decline. Also the BLM protests across the country led to no increase in cases. Bournemouth had its beeches packed with one of the lowest rates in the country.
Yet the media claims that it is lockdown that has reduced the cases!
I agree trust the people- if we are clever enough to decide on brexit( or not !) and elect the next government surely we are intelligent enough to look after our own safety

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Did you see the graphs today?

Infection numbers stopped going up a while back and are now going down.

Hospital admissions more recently stopped going up and started going down.

I wonder what caused that?

Here’s a clue: L*CKD*WN.

But of course the dogmatic libertarians and free marketeers can’t accept that, because it would undermine their ideology. And the conspiracy theorists can’t accept it, because Covid is a hoax, or a ‘plandemic’, or a ‘scamdemic’, or part of a global conspiracy to institute the new world order, or the great reset, or control by the Illuminati, or the giant lizard, or whatever other nonsense they have read on fringe websites.

Shalal Sadullah
Shalal Sadullah
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes i have and ive seen the graphs in Sweden as well!
This is not a conspiracy; its a misguided and disproportionate response to a viral infection which predominantly affects the vulnerable and elderly. The Office of National Statistics says that if you are under the age of 50 you are more likely to die of accident and injury rather than Covid. The Great Barrington Declaration did not suggest its a hoax- it favoured targeted protection. Whatever ones ideology let it not be based on pure misinformation! Criticism of our current strategy of avoiding a pot hole and going into a bus is not libertarian its rational thinking

Peter Whitehead
Peter Whitehead
3 years ago

There are 2 parallel universes going on. The virus doing what a virus does and the government obsessed with its arrogant belief that it can control it.
Currently the so-called pandemic is purely a product of testing and inaccurate tests. Drop pillar 2 tests and no one would notice anything unusual going g on for a late November.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Nigel Farage’s attempt to launch a new political party on the back of that passion has so far fallen flat.’

What evidence do you have for that? I am not really aware of his having made a serious attempt to new launch at this point. My understanding is that he wants to reverse engineer the Brexit Party into the Reform Party which is, admittedly, somewhat problematic. However, his Brexit Party launch suggests that he could come from nowhere to win, say, the local elections in May if he puts his mind to it.

Such are the tyrannies currently imposed upon us that, in my opinion, he should simply form a party called the Freedom Party. There are millions upon millions of us who would vote for that, especially as we have resolved never to vote any of the other parties ever again.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Social democrats, Reclaiim party)laurence Fox) have actually had some media &Membership traction,As opposed to thye lies from iTV,BBC,CH4,ch5,sky news

Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago

So, a restrictive regime for which there was no evidence of effectiveness coupled with an array of absurd and contradictory rules that have given licence to the abuse of power by the police, authoritarianism and government by diktat have proven to be unpopular. Quelle surprise.

Robin Williamson
Robin Williamson
3 years ago

Hush! What’s that sound? I think it’s my parents (who experienced deprivation and hardship during 5 years of war and subsequently many more years of post-war shortages) spinning in their graves as they contemplate the ‘suffering’ of today. Time for a few spinal implants, methinks!

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

Perhaps your parents saw a reason behind being deprived of X and Y, although I am sure they were not that keen on food stamps.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

They didn’t engage in libertarianism leading to chop-logic on why food shouldn’t be rationed, why they shouldn’t be conscripted, or why they should be allowed to continue manufacturing frills on dresses if there was a market for them rather than converting to producing uniforms. And so on.

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago

Just have two lanes. Fully open life as before green lanes and full distancing/masked red days. Let the people choose is a very dangerous concept though, sounds a bit like democracy.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

“Let the people choose is a very dangerous concept though, sounds a bit like democracy.”

Just like we don’t need to enforce payment of taxes, we just let people decide how much to give. And let them drive at whatever speed they like, speed limits are sooo repressive.

Actually, democracy consists of electing Governments and they make rules. I don’t like the current one but that doesn’t mean that they are wrong to set rules. When I shop for food, having people in the supermarket who have exposed themselves gratuitously to virus transmission because they think they themselves are unlikely to die (they may well be right) is a threat to me.

And as I pointed out above, your proposal of “Fully open life as before green lanes and full distancing/masked red days” doesn’t work, because people can’t avoid mixing in multiple contexts such as families, workplaces, healthcare, and any face to face service context. So face to face workers end up having the decision made for them by the people who opt for the ‘green’ lane, unless they resign from their jobs and become unemployed – hardly a ‘libertarian’ outcome, though of course a lot of libertarianism seems to me to consist of opinionated middle class people assuming that some working class people who don’t really matter will clear up their mess.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago

Study after study around the world has been published and peer reviewed and they all conclude no difference between no lockdowns and lockdown hard. The virus will do as it wants until enough herd immunity is around. Luckily we are almost there and herd immunity will be here before the vaccine. But they will claim the vaccine has been responsible for stopping the virus.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  John Ottaway

Can you cite one of these papers?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Curiously, no answer despite the alleged existence of ‘study after study’.

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Just tried to post a link to the papers but the comment system has marked my entry as spam. There’s a lot of data, although it might come to you as a suprise. Those papers are peer reviewed, and published in sites such as Lancet, Nature, Koch Institute and many more. One site which keeps a list of links is thefatemperor.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

I’m aware of one study which I have read through, comparing different countries. It’s interesting, but there’s an obvious flaw in drawing conclusions about what will happen in one country. To sum up the flaw simplistically for illustrative purposes, it’s akin to saying “the Red Cross hands out food parcels in Ethiopia but not in Norway, yet there is more starvation in Ethiopia than Norway, therefore eating Red Cross food causes starvation and should stop”.

You can’t get away from the fact that both UK lockdowns converted rising trends of infection rates and hospital admissions into declining rates of both things, within weeks.

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

There are many papers on that. More or less in line with Oxford’s CEBM hypothesis. I don’t know if you are aware of that. Even Karl Friston from SAGE concludes that more than 50% of UK’s population was inmune to COVID19 by the time of the outbreak. You can check him up on his articles in The Guardian.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

He doesn’t “conclude” that and he is not “from SAGE”. If you are going to refer to all this stuff without references, at least describe it accurately.

There are many, many (genuine scientific) papers attempting to address the question of the effectiveness of NPI’s – there is no clear and absolute conclusion.

One thing is for sure, the majority of material you will find authored on Twitter, Youtube and other social media is total and abject rubbish.

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

I am assuming that people can do a bit of research on their own. Just google Karl Friston and you’ll come up with something. I would have placed the links myself but Discuss doesn’t allow me to do that. It flags the comment as spam.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

Yes I have read that. He does not “conclude”. He speculates. And he is not from SAGE.

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

Google this: “Covid-19 expert Karl Friston: ‘Germany may have more immunological “dark matter””

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

Indeed he was just an advisor to SAGE and not a member. My apologies. The NPI’s are being taken using worst case scenario projections in all cases. This seems very reasonable. But at a certain point, governments need to prepare for the ‘more probable’ scenarios, especially when worst case scenario interventions are extremely costly multi dimensionally. In December 2020 we are in condition to prepare for the most probable, there is enough knowledge.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

No, he’s not either of those things. It’s like you think Neil Innes was one of the Beatles.

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago
Reply to  James Moss

However he was being presented by the Guardian (advisor to SAGE or not) there’s no doubt Friston is an eminent scientist. There’s a great interview to him by Freddy Sayers you might find of interest. It’s right here in this site.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The shape of the curve would likely have been exactly the same lockdown or not.

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago

Here are the links to the studies: https://thefatemperor.com/p

Richard Lustemberg
Richard Lustemberg
3 years ago

Please see my answer to the comment below.

Shalal Sadullah
Shalal Sadullah
3 years ago

I personally do not think the solution to this problem is to introduce a whole set of new rules without any objective or subjective evidence that they will ‘work’. The crucial question is what do we mean by ‘work’? Currently what has led to the tiers is the rate of positive Covid tests. With 60-70 percent being in a less vulnerable population and most of the college and university students being asymptomatic the first thing we need to ascertain is whether asymptomatic Covid is a threat to transmission. Currently there is no evidence it does. A test and trace system worth its salt should have given us that information-but thats a different issue!
Remember a vaccine wont stop people being Covid positive; it will just make a higher percentage being asymptomatic. If that scares us now why wont it scare us after the vaccine?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Currently what has led to the tiers is the rate of positive Covid tests.’

Many of which were false positives, the PCR tests being a total scam. A Portuguese court has ruled in favour of someone who claimed that his freedom or business (I’m not sure which, but it’s the same thing) should not be restricted the basis of PCR tests that are largely unreliable and a key factor in the scamdemic.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes. You’re not sure which. You’re not sure it even happened. You just have a vague memory of something that was related that you came across but can’t be bothered to look up.

Fred Bloggs
Fred Bloggs
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

What is it like, being perfect?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fred Bloggs

How would I know? Just pointing out that saying ‘a bloke in the pub told me’ isn’t the basis for an informed discussion.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

In Norway, every positive PCR test is followed up with a much more accurate lateral flow test. This is because the PCR tests are so unreliable – even in a civilised country like Norway.

The lateral flow test is the one that the army has applied in Liverpool. Only 0.3% of tests were positive, demonstrating once again the criminal inaccuracy of the PCR tests.

D G
D G
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I think it is at theportugalnewsdotcom

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

What about the false negatives?

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

“Currently there is no evidence it does” – there is ample evidence of this.

“If that scares us now why wont it scare us after the vaccine?” – because the vaccine protects people against the disease.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

There must eventually be a mechanism to release the vaccinated and the less vulnerable, while providing proper support for people who need to continue avoiding exposure.
That would imply logic and a use of context in weighing the relative risk of the virus across population groups. Why do you think that is going to surface now when it has steadfastly been ignored?

Kenneth MacKillop
Kenneth MacKillop
3 years ago

The amount of ignorance and stupidity displayed in response to this most minor of pandemics has been breathtaking.
Even the most rudimentary of knowledge of immunology includes the fact that the most frail will be least protected by vaccination, and possibly not at all in many cases. Vaccinating the most susceptible is NOT how benefit is provided, for the most part. It is the vaccination of the more healthy that provides the bulk of the societal benefit by retarding and diminishing contagion, stimulating some (though incomplete) immunity in many not yet naturally infected/exposed, and so increasing the chances that the most vulnerable will simply not be exposed/infected at all.
For this particular virus, however, vaccination will not provide much impact at all (other than in some of the public psyche, maybe) for the following reasons:
a. Vaccines will arrive far, far too late, after buildup of natural immunity from infection by SARS-CoV-2 will have been adequate to already achieve endemic equilibrium, or very large immunity even if short of proportions required for epidemiological equilibrium, depending upon region/location.
b. CoVs are the only family of viruses with built-in error correction. As such, there was already substantial widespread immunity from so-called cross-reactivity with alpha CoVs, and even with the earlier beta CoV (SARS-1) in some countries. More importantly, most of the effective defenses against CoVs are innate, including intracellular, because these have evolved into our genomes over a long time due to the unusual stability of the CoVs themselves. This explains why, in terms of coevolution/adaptation over time, the adaptive immune system (and especially humoral response, which is what vaccines target almost exclusively) and response are of little or no importance wrt this CoV as well as the others. It probably also explains why the historical success of vaccination efforts for other CoVs has been so poor.
c. Basic metabolic health is predominant in success of recovery for this virus, and to an extent unparalleled with any other virus. The risk curve with age is of identical shape to that for overall mortality from all causes, uniquely. This indicates that vaccines will be of limited efficacy in comparison to flu, for instance. Humoral response is very important and potent wrt flu, and not for CoV-2.
d. This virus is such a weak pathogen, and especially for the young (again, in stark contrast to flu and many other viruses such as polio) that little to no incremental benefit can be expected from vaccination for vast swaths of the population. These people would recover so quickly and efficiently, often without symptoms, that they would not transmit to any significant or detectable degree without vaccination, and so there is little room for enhancement by innoculation.
Measured in lost man-years of life this has been a very minor pathogen even in its first, pseudo-novel season. It does not even compare with seasonal flu. Now endemic, it will be much less virulent and less significant still, epidemiologically from now on. The vast majority of those who did not recover had very little time left anyway.
So any political (or other) justification of lockdowns to wait for a vaccine is ludicrous now, just as it has always been.

Bob Honda
Bob Honda
3 years ago

Well argued and great points made.

Implicit in what you say, is: who will the vaccine really save? the 85+ year olds who have several co-morbidities and maybe 2-3 years of life left, who are the ones who disproportionately die from (or with…) COVID19… It certainly will not save the young, because they are simply not at risk at all, the mortality is extremely low for young people without pre-existing conditions. So not really sure what we are waiting for here.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

This seems to be a proposal for even more unclear and complicated rules. Segregated schools? Your mum’s black, diabetic and over 50 so you’re in the protected class? Your mum’s white and under thirty so you’re in the fun class? Maybe some sort of visible identifier for those at risk – a yellow star or something for those who are only allowed to eat out on Mondays?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Freddie Sayers

Yes, they should be branded with the letter V on their forehead, and on their backside.

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

v for vaccine tier 1 2 or 3 queuing up for his guinea pig lab rats vaccine and they said it was urgent that they get the software tool to PROCESS THE HIGH EXPECTED ADVERSE REACTION TO THE VACCINE OF ASTRA ZENEKA /GENPACT PARTNERHSIP WHY WAS IT SO URGENT THAT THEY GET IT BY 7TH DEC THIS WAS THE DATE THEY FORCED HARRY TO GET ENGAGED TO MARKLE OTHERWISE HE COULD NOT SEE HIS GRANNY. I DONT BELIEVE THIS IS COINCIDENCE. HAPPY XMAS FROM MAD VAX MEN THE VACCINE

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago
Reply to  linda drew

THE ADVERSE REACTION ON ASTRAZENEKA WEBSITE WAS 4% AND 2% SEVERE HEADACHES AND SEVERE FATIGUE. – YOU WOULD NOT RUN TO YOUR TIER 1 2 3 PEN FOR YOUR SEVER HEADACHE OR SEVERE FATIGUE OR BOTH WOULD YOU
THREE PENS AT PRESENT GEZA FRACKMANS AND 2 EXTRA ONES SET UP FOR HIS NEW GUINEA PIG LABS NEXT YEAR. TIERS INSTEAD OF LOCKDOWN IS JUST ANOTHER NAME JUST TO SHOW THEY KEPT THEIR PROMISE TO GET US OUT OF LOCKDOWN BY 2ND DEC THEIR PROMISE!!!!!! THEN REVIEW JAN AND ANOTHER REVIEW IN FEB LIKE BREXIT EXTENSIONS NOW COVID EXTENSIONS. MADMEN RUN THIS SHOW – I WISH COVID COULD BE SHUT DOWN INSTEAD OF EVERYBODY ELSES BUSINESSES EXCEPT MI6 BUSINESS

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago
Reply to  linda drew

M6 HAS EVEN SET ON A COVID MINISTER WITH UK BORROWED MONEY- 150B FROM AMERICA PAID TO SET IT UP IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A QUICK FLU FOR PEOPLE THEN IT WENT AWAY

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  linda drew

Linda, CAPS off love, there’s a good girl. People might even read your post…

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  linda drew

7th December, isn’t that the anniversary of the “Day of Infamy” or Pearl Harbour day?

Very odd.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Infamy, infamy…they’ve all got it infamy..

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago
Reply to  Freddie Sayers

Nobody should be treated by the state differently. Once you start doing that you create “good” people & “bad” people. – and before you know it “bad” people will be wearing yellow stars – with all the implications that history has shown us.
Just give us the information on a consistent basis and trust the people.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago

It would be ideal to ‘trust the people’. That assumes they will think effectively and be honest and unselfish.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I’ll re-write your comment…

It would be ideal to ‘trust the government‘. That assumes they will think effectively and be honest and unselfish.

I trust us more than I trust them.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

A very fair point!

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Thank you 🙂

G H
G H
3 years ago

But surely Nick, this interesting idea of Freddie doesn’t create good or bad people, just people with different risk profiles and attitudes to risk. My wife is in the high risk group because of a medical condition but chooses to ‘risk’ going to the supermarket late in the evening when it is quiet. She would not go at 6 on a Friday night. My 100 year old father in law would dearly love to go back to the pub for the occasional pint and lunch with his family. He freely recognises that he is in theory in a high risk category because of his age but knows the actual risk to his health is very low. He wants agency in choices and not arbitrary and often contradictory judgements imposed on him by people who know nothing about his life.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

Exactly. Assess the risk both to yourself and those that you may come in to contact with.

Most people I know have employed this method for months now.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

I obviously put my ideas in a confusing way.
I agree with Freddie’s article, but as Freddie says below ” crucially, people can decide for themselves”
It is the idea that people can have a vaccine pass (aka a freedom pass) that I find abhorrent – hence my view that the state must treat people equally.

D G
D G
3 years ago

We’ll always have hope, but it seems that a sort of apartheid is coming. Sites as commonpass.org exist

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  G H

And if he gets ill as a result, and can’t breathe, he can take a bed in a hospital ward which has been converted from treating cancer patients.

And then some folk posting on here will talk about the delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and will blame ‘the Covid scare’ and suchlike, when the reality is that it’s transmission of the disease that has robbed cancer care of resources.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

This would only happen with the assistance of the MSM, continuously and indefatigably telling us who the “good” and “bad” people are, with graphs and expert commentary.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I think they are doing that already.
Unfortunately for me, none of their owners seem to own a pub, or theatre!

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago

This has already happened to some extent. Attend a BLM protest and you get treated well, attend a lockdown protest and all bets are off.

D G
D G
3 years ago

It seems a sort of apartheid is coming, if not from the state, from big companies. Ticketmaster and some airlines have stated that proof of vaccine will be needed. Commonpass is on its way.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Freddie Sayers

No. I hope that sufficient people will accept vaccination and that it is effective enough that we can all enjoy the same freedoms as soon as possible. People who are extremely clinically vulnerable need society to act in a way that protects them without removing their freedoms compared to others.

There are as many extremely clinically vulnerable people in the UK as there are Muslims. If anyone suggested all Muslims should stay at home because they could be at risk of attack from the virus of spreading Islamophobia there would, rightly, be outrage and every attempt made to remove the risk of Islamaphobia from society. Muslims would not be told that, if they do go out, it’s at their own risk.

However, it seems it is less outrageous to suggest older or clinically vulnerable people are told to stay at home so that the rest of the population can carry with spreading the Covid virus and if the old or clinically vulnerable don’t like it, they can go out, at their own risk.

Deryck Hall
Deryck Hall
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I agree that some of what the author says isn’t practical (single tier primary schools wouldn’t be able to separate year groups and maintain full teaching) but most makes more sense than the Govt’s proposals.

For example, I live in a Tier 3 area and I am being encouraged to go to.work in a Tier 2 area. However, I am also being told to avoid travel to the same Tier 2 area to play golf. I am more likely to contract Covid-19 in an indoor setting than on a golf course where social distanxing is not an issue. Arbitrary and nonsense.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Deryck Hall

Maybe golf is less important than your role in keeping your workplace running, despite as you say the lower chance of you catching it outside? On the latter, golf tends to involve a 19th hole indoors? But yes, if after the 18th you just threw your clubs into the car boot and drove home, with the clubhouse shut, you would be running few risks.

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Dr. Seuss already had a story for this — the Sneetches …

Jeremy Stone
Jeremy Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

It is true that there were Sneetches with stars, who were allowed to eat frankfurters with each other. But the position became more complicated than that when Dr Sylvester McMonkey McBean arrived with his “Star-off” machine, that ultimately confused everybody. If your implication is that Yellow Stars are not a great thing, I entirely agree with you (and so did Dr Seuss).

Sue Julians
Sue Julians
3 years ago

Very sensible.
Personal assessment of risk is of course what will happen over christmas, by self-selection. Don’t you think Christmas may be a pilot study on what the great British public will do when left to their own devices?
But if they offer immunity passports to those who have antibodies through the vaccine, but not through natural infection, I’ll be furious. We were told for months that this would be politically divisive and unjustifiable, I cannot believe they are considering this now, because it suits their motives.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago
Reply to  Sue Julians

I still don’t understand why BJ had to self isolate again…

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

In order to avoid having to meet anyone?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  John Stone

I too have self-isolated since March for this very reason. I now have a perfectly good reason not to mingle with the mindless denizens of the PMC (Professional Managerial Class).

Sue Julians
Sue Julians
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

He didn’t. But thought he had to be seen to be doing what the law demands of anyone else in the same situation. Utter nonsense. If the rules are crap, change the rules.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Princess Nut Nut has to be “obeyed”, whatever the sacrifice.

Phil Thompson
Phil Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Because there are no provisions in the rules for people with immunity. There’s no reason for him to wear a mask either, other than to show the sheeple that’s the right thing to do.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Because he could have caught it a 2nd time. There was an article in the Spectator by Professor Carl Heneghan explaining why that you could look up.

Duncan Cleeve
Duncan Cleeve
3 years ago

This virus has killed 0.01 percent of the global population, average age of death 82, 95 percent with pre-existing conditions, 80 percent won’t even know they have it, 99.8 percent will make a full recovery. The idea that our freedom should be on the condition that we take a vax with unknown long term side effects for a virus that is harmless to the vast majority of us is BS. I’d like to see some journalists questioning and investigating why the worlds governments are collapsing their economies and destroying free market capitalism on the back of an unremarkable virus. You could start by telling us why World leaders are parroting the policies and slogans of the WEF ‘build back better’, the ‘Great Reset’, ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, ‘The Green New Deal’, and how it’s all just a coincidence and people like me are ‘conspiracy theorists’, I’d love to be proven wrong, but this is not about a virus.

Bob Honda
Bob Honda
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

You called it. Unfortunately, critical thinking has now altogether been redefined as “conspiracy theorizing”. Ad hominem attacks on people who think differently abound, see some examples in this thread. We’re going back to the dark ages where independent thought (no matter how well argued and supported by evidence) is simply “heresy”.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

Freddie

What do you know about the vaccines that I don’t which leads you to think the end is in view? I think you ought to interview Peter Doshi, author of three articles in BMJ about the Covid vaccines and one in NYT. I would put more money on the roll out of Vitamin D albeit the dosage is rather low.

History has shown that even nations that have entered wars with vastly superior technology don’t always end them where they supposed. With this technology we haven’t got the assurance that it is even that effective or particularly safe in the short term. The rushed to the market swine flu vaccines of 1976 and 2009 were a disaster and here we are dealing with things far more speculative. We understand neither disease that well or the products.

Maybe if we had had back last February a nutritional vitamin D, C, zinc strategy from the beginning – which are protective if not absolutely against all infectious disease (and safe) we would be in a very different place now. Instead Dr Hancock gave £20m to Porton Down to start the Oxford/Astra project – too big to fail. But now apparently, they need the Vitamin D to support the vaccines!

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

Just to say thank you to Freddie.
Once again an interesting and thought provoking article.
I particularly like the idea that Freddie is prepared to comment and thus further our understanding of his thoughts.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

I would like to see replies to comments from others who write for Unherd, Obviously not all comments, but there are always 2-3 comments that would benefit from a response from the writer.

Jeremy Rolls
Jeremy Rolls
3 years ago

Whilst I agree with the sentiment being expressed by the article I think the solution being proposed is extremely complicated and will be very difficult to administer in practice. As a supporter of the Great Barrington Declaration I would prefer to see the tier system abandoned completely in favour of focused protection. I don’t believe focused protection is impractical to implement, as it is not far removed from the previous shielding programme, it just takes too much political courage and an admission that lockdowns were the wrong approach from the beginning.
The tier system is simply lockdown by another name with slightly different rules. The sensible way out now (viz point about political courage above) is to unwind it asap as the vulnerable/elderly are vaccinated. This would involve taking the regions down through the gears to tier-1 initially but critically then to tier-0 (i.e. complete return to normality). This should be possible by about the end of January if the current information on vaccines is to be believed. Anyone who considers themselves vulnerable after that point but is yet to be vaccinated can of course choose to carry on shielding until they have been vaccinated (and/or a sufficient % of the population has been vaccinated so as to achieve herd immunity).

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Rolls

A complete return to normality while the virus is still rampaging would swamp hospitals with cases, bring much illness and death, and undermine consumer confidence.

shinybeast1
shinybeast1
3 years ago

Probably not as most people will be immune by now

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Rolls

The vulnerable are still shielding – so what’s going wrong?

jill dowling
jill dowling
3 years ago

It’s heartening to read new ideas as to how to carry on with normal life but I think the point being missed is the crossover between what people are asked to do and what they actually do, and also the very real issue of hospitals being overwhelmed. I heard Dr Gupta (Barrington Declaration) being interviewed and she said she had great faith in the British public to make sensible decisions. Lovely, if only that were true.
Green lanes for the young on a Friday and Saturday night sound great but those young people still go and visit elderly parents and grandparents, who are so delighted to see them they are willing to take risks. You’re allowed a small wedding? I’ll just squeeze a few more guests in etc etc.
Even amongst the most law abiding people I know, the rules are stretched and broken. The human being is not rational, we see rules for other people but not ourselves. We tell ourselves we won’t get it, this has also been my experience of even very elderly people. And that is mainly why we are where we are. It’s winter, do we really want to risk huge problems for our health service? What about the people awaiting operations for cancer that were postponed earlier in the year? How many of those people have gone from something curable to something they will now die from? I think the tiers are a pretty good compromise to be honest, most people will bend the rules but they’re are still a boundary that provide some protection.

Lindsay Gatward
Lindsay Gatward
3 years ago

Bet our authoritarian and now obviously pointless ‘cures’ of Mask and Lockdown kill more than the actual virus – History will surely record this as the greatest self inflicted wound of all time – Even worse will be the grinding down of hard won liberty now governments have seen how easy it is to scare or simply order us into obedience – A completely new party will be needed to displace the authoritarian bullying now wetting the appetite of Labour and Conservative?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago

An excellent article. ‘Universal life rules controlled by the centre’ says so much and I am sure that if the rule-makers had appeared wise rather than foolish (dividing the village in Kent is an example) it would have made an enormous difference to attitudes.

However, people whose reason for voting for Brexit was a desire for freedom surely realise that we can have some freedoms and not others; also that different freedoms are appropriate at different times. I realise that this is hard to assess when no-one has much knowledge and there is a lot of conflicting information some of which is simply masquerading as knowledge.

If we look across the Atlantic and see the appalling Covid situation in the States, we can also see that much of this is simply people doing what they want rather than what they are told. (I do not write as someone what asks how high on the way up when I am told to jump, but as someone who enjoyed much civil disobedience in the sixties, perhaps learning which rules negatively affected others the most!)

The traffic lane system seems ideal but it relies on people thinking effectively and being honest.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

‘If we look across the Atlantic and see the appalling Covid situation in the States…’

The CDC is projecting 2,769,000 deaths for the US this year. That is around 80,000 fewer than 2018 and 2019. When you allow for at least 100,000 deaths due to the effects of lockdown, not Covid itself, that becomes 180,000 fewer than recent years. And when you add those who died in care homes for due to the criminal negligence people like Andrew Cuomo, it becomes perhaps 230,000 fewer than recent years.

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Behave, you will be saying this years UK excess mortality is typical of the last 5 years (source Euromomo). Oh damn now I’m letting facts spill out onto the ever more censored internet.

sheena gilby
sheena gilby
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Good reply Judy. Freedoms have to be carefully thought out! America is certainly an example of why we can’t completely do what we want. The thought of a freedom party fills me with horror. We have a collective responsibility to protect each other.
The bottom line must be not to overwhelm the NHS this winter. I have a 93 year old frail mother. The thought of her getting COVID fills me with horror. Not a nice way to go. I want people to be sensible!

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I do not know about people being honest, but the majority of people do not want to become ill or die.
Hence they will modify their own behaviour to their own situation. Those that do not, are unlikely to take much notice of rules anyway.
All we require is consistent and timely information to make our own decisions.
Central decisions are always crass because they can not provide any nuance, and thus lead to an unnecessary loss of freedom.
As Fraser says below the US is not appalling, it is just that it has a much bigger population than the UK. As the MSM likes a good scary story they never quote the figures on a pro rata basis.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

What appalling situation? It is no worse than most western places and further reinforces the evidence that the control measures have very little effect one way or another, other than on timing of waves.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Here in the States we are told that the situation is Europe is much worse, except for when there is an opportunity to blame Trump for high Covid numbers. Like many of my American contemporaries we have yet to see any valid reason for the mass hysteria and the subsequent lockdown of our schools and businesses. Depending on who I hang out with here, it’s like I’m living in two different realities: one where people are hanging out together and living life as normally as possible, the other where people are masked up and have a deathly fear of contagion.

One weird factoid that’s become apparent to me, is that the kind of people I generally have an easier time making friends with are those who are unconcerned about the virus. It makes me wonder if our reactions to this virus are based on certain personality traits or on something much deeper.

Brian Bieron
Brian Bieron
3 years ago

Covid is not too deadly for most, but it seems plenty dangerous enough to swamp health care systems, especially when publicly funded and therefore chronically underfunded. So, if someone chooses Green and ends up with an unusually bad case, do they get a hospital bed, or do they do their best at home and live (or not) with their personal choice? Seriously, the odds of a terrible outcome (death or disability) seems very, very small for under-50’s. Not a crazy gamble. But if it comes to that, it seems very unfair to divert a bed, any scarce meds, or the attention of health care workers, from people who sacrifice in Yellow or Red lanes but still get sick. If health care was also a free market, then free personal choices for risk would make more sense, but we socialize the downside cost and invite risk free riders. And there does not seem to be a way to walk away from that part of the equation.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
3 years ago

Within weeks you are going to have four groups of people where there are no concerns about being infected.

1) Those vaccinated which will continue to grow.

2) Those who have had the Virus which will grow more slowly.

3) The young who have nothing to fear from it. 0-50. ( I know long haulers but incidence is low and recovery occurred with Sars CoV in the majority.)

In addition you will have those who remain concerned.

1)The elderly who are frail.

2) Aged care facilities

3) Co Morbid.

4) Those who because of their personal out look are fearful whatever the advice offered. They will voluntarily not go into environments which they consider a risk.

5) Professional health care agencies quite correctly following risk averse protocols.

The idea that you can manage those two groups other than informally is fanciful.

The increase in incidence whilst greater than normal is following seasonal trends in respiratory illness and typically peaks in week 48 and falls backward from there.

By March sustaining anything other than new hygiene standards in businesses and organisations will not work and people will simply rebel.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago

“Long-hauling” is a media creating thus far, not a scientific fact. It’s interesting to me as a doc that I see the same type of people claiming they are “long-haulers” who have been afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, bad backs, migraines, sick building syndrome, and all of those other evidence-free and yet somehow extremely disabling conditions that have plagued modern society. It always amazes me how our grandparents managed to milk the cows before school, or survive life in trenches in France, while we are too disabled by a bump on the head to continue working at a desk job.

rosalie.c.tonkin
rosalie.c.tonkin
3 years ago

Not really on topic but is it Sir Graeme or Sir Graham Brady? As both seem to be referred to on one page

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago
Reply to  Freddie Sayers

And now we know, Freddie reads the comments!

d.vass
d.vass
3 years ago

I came up with exactly the same idea a few months ago – red, amber green “swim lanes” depending on the risk factor, and segregate accordingly. A bit late now, but if it would have been discussed 6 months ago we maybe could have done something

Richard Cosier
Richard Cosier
3 years ago

I have never encountered noisy, young people during the first hour of supermarket opening, amd probably not during the last hour. Biggest challenge at any time is circumnavigating home delivery pickers who have no lane sense. Unfortunately as with motorways, choosing the lane that suits you does not mean it will not be abused by “overtakers or undertakers”

d.vass
d.vass
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Cosier

Don’t get me started on the “Amazon prime” people with their trollies, thinking they have right of way on everyone and everything.

latchmore
latchmore
3 years ago

This ignores what seems pretty glaringly obvious. We have a traffic lane system already. Many ignore the rules because they consider themselves low risk or aren’t worried about catching Covid. This includes your 83 year old Maureen from Barnsley and many others like her that are very high risk because of their age.

The problem is nobody really cares that much until friends and family start being hospitalised and by then it’s too late. If we rely on self regulation, Hospitals will end up being pushed beyond breaking point and regaining control will be so much harder and costly.

Shielding vulnerable people were already being extra careful but this combined with the softer measures wasn’t enough. Lockdown is a blunt tool but public policy usually is. It is also the only approach proven to work. Making rules to redraw county lines because they happen to divide two pubs isn’t practical so the alternative to our current system is a national lockdown which is even more blunt!

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

Masks need to go. They don’t work and are just symbols of oppression.

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

I was going to tell everyone a joke about Covid-19. But I’m not going to since 99.7% of you won’t get it.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
3 years ago

Freddie, excellent work describing in very detail manner a way out of this mess.

I however wouldn’t hold my breath with this Government. If they do as you suggest, people will not have a need to break the rules any longer as you can choose what is best for you. But if people do not break rules, there is no one to escapegoat.

Also, I highly doubt the Government will recognise the existence of any form of gained immunity that is not the vaccine. They hinted at that at the beginning but have moved to completely deny it. To the point of Boris self-isolating when “re-exposed” to the virus even though the chances of getting it twice is much less than getting it with the vaccine.

Steven Sieff
Steven Sieff
3 years ago

I believe this is pretty much the approach that https://greenbandredband.com – also explained in British Medical Journal at https://www.bmj.com/content… and https://www.bmj.com/content… has been proposing.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

Amen

AMEN!! (With both hands waving in the air)

linda drew
linda drew
3 years ago

Conservative MPs has gathered, rather than lost, momentum since the vaccine news-obviously then the vaccines are yet another power grab for wmd gove wants another lockdown we always knew he was totally owned by wmd lgbt forces since his lgbt recruitment in schools. POWER GRAB BY WMD IS THE LOCKDOWN CANT GET FROM GUISELEY TO WAKEFIELD PUTS FAMILIES AT RISK

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

Great op-ed by Freddie.
The colour system that he recommends is already in force in the province of Quebec in Canada, although it doesn’t change with different days of the week, just different regions of the province. Red is most restrictive, then there is orange, yellow and green. A colour system is easier to relate to than a number system, since we are already used to virtually the same colour system with traffic lights. Quebec is definitely not Sweden, but relative to other Canadian premiers, Premier Legault has been reluctant to shutdown as tightly as other Canadian premiers have. In spite of the fact that the province has had a worse record for infections and deaths than other provinces, partly due to his own government’s mistakes, he is almost certainly the most popular premier in Canada. People value their freedom and don’t like it taken away from them. The other thing is that French Canadians are a gregarious people; they can be told to physically distance, but they will never be like Swedes, and there is only so much a premier can do. His own electorate is aware of that, and cut him some slack.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

The best results have been achieved by Atlantic Canada.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago

We here in lockdowned Portland have to keep up with our Governor’s daily Covid rules and regs. One day everything is closed including bars and restaurants indoors or out but when the restaurant lobby gets to her, suddenly the tier drops from the highest to the lowest. That way it seems as though she is doing something but still satisfies the restaurant owners.

However, there is a 10 p.m curfew since the virus , like vampire, comes out only after 10.

I am amongst the elderly and obey the mask, social distancing, etc rules. I do read the daily death reports and yesterday one 102 year old was listed as a Covid death. This is not in any way to demean any death but I do wonder if she died alone and in isolation. Most of the other deaths are in the over-80 category and all of them have underlying medical conditions.

We are all waiting to see whether things improve now that Biden is in – and I am NOT a Trump supporter.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Well Biden has openly speculated about a ‘dark winter’ and a four to six weeks lockdown. So don’t get your hopes up in that regard.

kristin30
kristin30
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Hi Dorothy! So glad to know I am not alone here in the states, but it sure feels like it. Before this year I would have been labeled pretty darn liberal. Certainly not a Trump supporter. Didn’t much care for Biden either but we don’t have real choice here, only the illusion of it. Speaking of illusion, everything is censored now and the mainstream media only gives one side. It is difficult to know what is really going on in other countries but we are told everyone else has done the right thing and looks at our country like we are insolent, spoiled brats who won’t do what it right and good. I have never claimed to be the smartest person in the room, but I do have 2 science degrees so after the first 2 weeks of being rightly frightened back in March, I finally said, wait a minute….something seems off. Believe me, if this were something on the order of measles or SARS 1, I would be properly frightened and protecting my children and fellow citizens. But it’s simply not. No rational person disputes it has an elevated risk to those with underlying health conditions, especially if they are elderly. But when the average age of death for a man in the US is 76 and the average age of death for someone who dies of Covid is 84, I’m left scratching my head.
Anyway, my point for even writing is that no one seems to be connecting the obvious dots here, or they have, and are complicit. Last year at this time, liberals were furious with the like of Big Pharma for just grievances like the quadrupling of the price of insulin. Now they seem to be deifying them and worshipping at their vaccine altar, but it’s the same entity! My fear is most people don’t understand the power of these corporations lobby groups. Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Ag, Big Chemical, Oil and Gas…this is who runs our country. And if you don’t think Joe is also in their pocket…lol. Who do people think provides grants and funding for the CDC and NIH, thereby paying Fauci’s salary essentially? He knows who butters his bread. Now these companies need to sell a redundant vaccine on a massive scale to recoup the money spent. Isn’t it odd how the vaccines using the never before used mRNA technology are being touted as completely safe and the Oxford vaccine is having its’ safety questioned? The two that will be sold for a hefty profit are safe but the one that will be sold at cost is not. Nobody thinks that’s strange?
I know this is unbearably long but I have one more thing I feel needs to be brought up because I see it nowhere else. Does everyone honestly think we have suddenly found the cure for influenza and the hundred other respiratory diseases we contend with EVERY winter? ICU’s are often at capacity this time of year. Did a SARS 2 RT-PCR test really cure influenza?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

Hallelujah!
What perfect timing, the greatest event since the Resurrection or the invention of Thomas the Tank Engine.

Claire Olszanska
Claire Olszanska
3 years ago

Freddie. What do you mean by subset?

Sandra Hetherington
Sandra Hetherington
3 years ago

Freddie, I love your work but I think you have fallen into the Covid nonsense trap. If the government had spent some of those 394 bn bolstering the NHS instead of “flattening the curve” or funding the NHS at at an appropriate level, we would be in a much healthier position both personally and economically. The damage that has been done over the last 10 months is catastrophic and our MP’s have seriously let us down. I do not agree to having my personal freedom and liberty taken away. I lived through the Hong Kong Flu pandemic in the late 70’s but the country wasn’t brought to it’s knees. In fact, I was completely unaware of it. Of course we had only just got colour tv in those days and the BBC wasn’t funded by big Pharma.

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

The government has failed and the approach taken is totally wrong.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘Pubs and restaurants could start to operate similarly ” red lane on one day, amber for most of the week and green on Fridays and Saturdays when young people and the increasing number of immune and vaccinated can do as they please without being accused of being selfish. Transport could work on similar rush-hour principles, and even schools would be safer than they are now with a class or stream reserved for students…’

Yet more complex and useless rules etc. Have you thought of becoming an MP Freddie?

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

They wouldn’t necessarily need to be rules. I took them as a suggestion for what businesses might do to meet demand, reflecting the relative numbers of cautious, less cautious and ‘not bothered/probably immune’ people in the population. Different businesses could try different things. I assume your objection is to the rules, not the complexity. Any market is complex because there are lots of providers, all offering something slightly different.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

How would the people in the pub on an orange night (social distancing, masks….) know that some of the drinkers weren’t ‘green’ folk wanting a drink that night?

Yes, the green folk would be following orange rules for that hour, but they would previously have been mixing with people on a green basis giving them a much higher risk of being infectious even when distanced.

kev.ingram61
kev.ingram61
3 years ago

The traffic light system sounds good on paper, but it’ll need some sort of identification as to whether you can enter on certain days, that brings us back to Hancock’s “Freedom Passes” or Dido Hardings NHS track and trace app, neither of which are acceptable.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  kev.ingram61

‘The traffic light system sounds good on paper.’

No it doesn’t. It sounds like the sort of demented scheme that only a member of the British civil service could dream up, then sell to an equally demented bunch of ministers.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Ken ”Boris”Dodd.. ”Tears for souvenirs” Inept ..We see A lack of leadership in Conservatives, lib-dims,Labour,greens,Snp,plaid ..Lockdowns dont work..This the ”Pink Elephant” Syndrome, well as there are None sighted,it must be correct…

nick harman
nick harman
3 years ago

All too complicated. Total lockdown is the only practical way.

That or don’t bother at all.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

Don’t worry Nick.
I am sure we can invent some especially simple rules for you to follow.

Leave the rest of us to do that complicated stuff, called thinking for ourselves.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  nick harman

I’m sure total lockdown will have no consequences at all. None. What a luxury to be able to made decisions that have no impact on oneself.