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The Government’s Covid scaremongering It is an insult to the public's intelligence to treat us like a volatile rabble

Has the third lockdown made a difference to infection rates? Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Has the third lockdown made a difference to infection rates? Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images


November 6, 2020   5 mins

Given that our Government claims to be led by science, last Saturday’s slide show was an insult to the public: the data was out of date, selectively used, and out of context. Ten hospitals were full above their spring peak level, yes, but the other 472 (not shown) were not. Also not shown: excess deaths are only just beginning to rise above the five-year average, and hospital capacity is currently at normal levels for this time of year in most areas.

Tuesday’s session of the Commons Science and Technology Committee was a grilling for the Government’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor. Professor Whitty and Sir Vallance were asked whether their projected figures for hospitalisations and deaths take into account the effects of the Tier system, which is only a few weeks old? The answer was evasive. They were asked why, in Saturday’s Press Conference, they had displayed poorly-labelled graphs implying that there could be 4,000 deaths a day if nothing were done. The research group who modelled that scenario had already revised it to a much lower estimate of 1,000 daily deaths.

After wondering whether it was “sensible or fair” to display a misleading graph that will have frightened a lot of people, MP Graham Stringer asked why SAGE never presents equivalent predictions or quantifications for other impacts of lockdowns, citing an April study that suggested they would cause 200,000 deaths in the long term. “I think the public would be very surprised to see that was the other side of the equation,” he observed.

It’s only right that the cobbled-together visual aids used in Saturday’s Press Conference come under scrutiny, both in the media and by the MPs who were asked to vote in new restrictions. The UK Office of Statistics Regulation (OSR) wrote to Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Whitty, to remind them that data “should be published in a clear and accessible form with appropriate explanations of context and sources.”

“We welcome the fact that the sources for the data used in the slides were published,” noted the OSR in a simultaneous blog post, “albeit three days after the slides themselves.”

Despite continuing efforts to brand any objection to anti-Covid restrictions as a form of treason — some accuse dissenters of wanting to “Let It Rip” through the population — a space to discuss rational alternatives is emerging. Scientists and public health professionals are increasingly willing to distance themselves from arbitrary and counterproductive measures, like involving the police in contact tracing and isolation. The British Medical Association told The Register:

“For the test and trace system to be effective it needs to have the full confidence of the public, with transparency about the appropriate and secure use of their data. We are already concerned that some people are deterred from being tested because they are anxious about loss of income should they need to self-isolate – and we are worried should police involvement add to this.”

Professor Susan Michie of UCL warned the Huffington Post that the 10pm curfew had predictable consequences that would be counterproductive, calling it, “another example of a restriction brought in without a coherent strategy and without sufficient consultation with relevant experts and communities.” A campaign called Recovery has tabled “Five Reasonable Demands” (which I support) for a more balanced approach to Covid-19. The insistence that “there is no alternative” to lockdown, to use Boris Johnson’s words, is unravelling.

Suggested reading
The Government's Covid scaremongering

By Tom Chivers

And yet, on Wednesday Parliament voted in another lockdown, slightly less restrictive than the first, but one that has forbidden outdoor group sports for children, and closed golf courses and open-air swimming pools, bookshops and gyms. What is the evidence that these venues were a significant site for infections? Where is the modelling that shows the lives saved by preventing outdoor swimming outweigh the negative long-term health impacts? If they exist, the Government hasn’t seen fit to share them with the public.

Lurking behind this new lockdown is a difficult truth. Every winter, hospitals run close to, or at, their capacity, thanks to normal winter illnesses and the increased challenge cold weather poses to the frail. The added burden of Covid-19 could push that capacity to the point where, at best, non-emergency treatments are cancelled and postponed. At worst, people die untreated, whether from Covid-19 or other conditions.

The Nightingale Hospitals, which mostly stood unused in the Spring peak of the pandemic, offered beds but not doctors or nurses. One of the reasons they were so little used was that hospitals could only transfer patients there if they also sent staff. Their potential to take the strain now would rely on an influx of skilled personnel, and it’s hard to see where those people could be found in a chronically understaffed NHS.

This, at heart, is the justification for the second lockdown: shut down society to save our ailing health service from being overwhelmed, as it was in winter 2017/18. Tens of thousands of people had their treatments postponed or cancelled that year, as a bad flu season pushed demand above capacity. Those pre-emptive cancellations may have been designed to prevent a crisis like the one preceding it, in winter 2016/17, when overflowing hospitals had patients dying in corridors.

What has changed since 2018? There was no question of reorganising society around the needs of the NHS, even though 55,720 people in the UK fell victim to Excess Winter Deaths in that season. There were not even calls for people to avoid social interaction with the elderly, to wash hands more often, or to stay home if they had a fever. Those at risk were exhorted to get a flu jab, and the rest of us were left to get on with it.

Covid-19 is not seasonal flu. Left unchecked, it would spread faster, and kill more people. But we are not leaving it to spread unchecked. The Tier system of regional restrictions appears to be having effects already, with cases falling in the Northeast, and the R number shrinking back towards one since early October. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty admitted to the Commons Science and Technology Committee that he thought Tier 2 and 3 regulations were having an effect, but that those effects were not included in the models used to justify a second lockdown.

The most profound problem with current Covid-19 policies, though, is this: the public, whom the measures are supposedly protecting, are now seen as the problem. The CEO and deputy chief of the NHS, calling on MPs to vote for the new lockdown measures, claimed that dissent within parliament would “reduce public compliance” with the measures. Writing in the Telegraph this week, Rishi Sunak reminded us scoldingly that “the responsibility for tackling this virus is personal as well as collective”, before issuing a plea: “however frustrating and difficult, I am asking everyone to follow the rules.”

Clearly, the Government doesn’t trust us. That’s why the press conference wheeled out misleading graphs to frighten us into compliance. The less we are convinced by arbitrary and ineffective rules, imposed without evidence or even common sense, the more the government resorts to threats. Our willingness to make sacrifices — in Spring, 85% of the public adhered to the “Stay Home” instruction — has fractured into mutual distrust. 53% of recently surveyed adults blame “The Public” for recent rises in Coronavirus cases (the only other option was “The Government”, with “Nature, Red In Tooth And Claw” somehow omitted).

Instead of cultivating the upsurge of altruism that drove millions to volunteer back in March, the Government has treated us as a volatile rabble, to be contained and kept passive. No wonder they are so willing to shut down public performances, shared sporting and religious activities, meetings and demonstrations, formal and informal social events. They place no value whatever on public life. All the things that make human life something more than individual survival or passive consumption of products, physical or virtual, in our isolated households, are seen as superfluous. The coming together of human minds and bodies to create new ideas, projects, experiences, relationships, is quantified only in terms of viral transmission.

It’s time we had a rational debate about balancing social measures to suppress Covid-19 against social harms. The evidence presented in support of the new lockdown is weak. Evidence that the resulting damage has been researched alongside the hoped-for benefits is almost non-existent. “There Is No Alternative” is not an argument, when not only livelihoods, but the fabric of society, is being devastated in the name of controlling the virus and protecting the NHS, which should be protecting us.

This debate needs to recognise the corrosion of public life that results from sweeping measures imposed with little or no evidence. And, most importantly, it needs to be a debate about public life that actually includes the public.


Timandra Harkness presents the BBC Radio 4 series, FutureProofing and How To Disagree. Her book, Big Data: Does Size Matter? is published by Bloomsbury Sigma.

TimandraHarknes

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Ben Scott
Ben Scott
3 years ago

Debate has been stymied since the start of this enormous over-reaction. As has context, proportionality and – seemingly – rationality.

Instead, the Government has turned science from a collection of ideas, postulations and hypotheses, that should be discussed, questioned, researched and rigorously tested, into an immovable, unquestionable thing: “the science”.

Anyone who dares query the validity of this thing is clearly up to no good, does not have the country’s best interests at heart, is a science denier, believes the earth is flat and may as well go and wear a tin hat.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

The problem with your post is you think the Government is doing this for health reasons. If you discount that unlikely idea then you understand the ‘Science’ is merely assembling views to fit an agenda. The best example of this is how none ‘The Science’ is used to show unintended consequences and costs, just the outcome desired.

Julian Hartley
Julian Hartley
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Quite. Anyone wishing to understand way totalitarianism operates should read Theodore Dalrymple’s reflections on the USSR. The aim is not to supplicate, persuade, or even to manipulate; the primary goal is to humiliate and degrade.

Ben Scott
Ben Scott
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Hartley

Or Anne Applebaum’s “Iron Curtain”. There are striking similarities between 1950s Eastern Europe and what is happening now. I don’t believe that they are intentional (mainly due to Government incompetence) but we certainly seem to be heading in a similar direction.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Julian Hartley

Per America’s CDC, 85% of the cases occurred despite people wearing masks. Masks are, per many studies well prior to COVID, ineffective against viruses due to “entrainment” of the virus in the airstream (which flows through and around the sides of a fabric mask). If not useful for general prevention, then why wear them? Answer: to make people look stupid, to silence them, to make them focus on something else while other sleight of hand is being performed, i.e., the complete destruction of the economy and a restructuring of governments and society. O yes, the masks have a purpose… just not the purpose they are saying.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

I was under the impression Ben was saying what you’re saying. I think the reason many leaders follow ‘the science’ is so that if things do go wrong they have a handy scapegoat to point to. Basically they’re displaying institutional cowardice.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

Blaming the government goes a long way. A very long way. But the fact still remains that the majority of the populations worldwide asked for guidance from their governments like a bunch of brainless sheep. So actually when you zoom out and watch the general consensus people, in general, get what they deserve from the government. The minority of the people that escaped the hypnosis will at some point, if this continues for let’s say half a year from now, have to run for their lives. Let’s not forget that many dissident voices , like for instance Sunetra Gupta from the university of Oxford, are already being intimidated. The fear is moving fast now because the scientific facts are also moving fast. Fear is winning, the scientific facts and data are already being replaced by incomprehensible models.

Frederik van Beek
Frederik van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

Blaming the government goes a long way. A very long way. But the fact
still remains that the majority of the populations worldwide asked for
guidance from their governments like a bunch of brainless sheep. So
actually when you zoom out and watch the general consensus then people, in
general, get what they deserve from the government. The minority of the
people that escaped the hypnosis will at some point, if this continues
for let’s say half a year from now, have to run for their lives. Let’s
not forget that many dissident voices , like for instance Sunetra Gupta
from the university of Oxford, are already being intimidated. The fear
is moving fast now because the scientific facts are also moving fast.
Fear is winning, the scientific facts and data are already being
replaced by incomprehensible models.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago

It seems fair enough to ask for guidance from governments but two problems are that so many in government can’t be trusted in terms of their agenda, and also that many people have not been taught analytical nor critical thinking and so the guidance is not extensively evaluated.

Paul Monk
Paul Monk
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I agree. Criticizing “sheeple” is a bit unfair if one has never been exposed to the consequences of going against the grain, especially when doing so is a criminal offense. But I think we talk a lot about teaching analytical/critical thinking. I no longer feel this is something that can be “taught” in the commonly understood sense of that word. It requires an openness of spirit and a readiness to forgo the comforts of social cohesion as well as exposure to conflicting ideas.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Monk

I agree on those methods Paul.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Monk

Agree with you on the injustice in blaming “sheeple”; criminals are still criminally responsible for their actions, and not the “whole society”; group punishment if neither just nor effective (when the group is not allowed to act against the perpetrator). Critical thinking can, though, indeed be taught, but it requires a curriculum of independent problem-solving, not conformance to standardized testing and parroting of information. Political correctness is anathema to problem solving, pigeon-holing thought to one line of approach instead of a multi-dimensional opportunity.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago

The people did not ask to be deceived by their governments. Governments are elected, in theory, to serve the people they govern. The fact that the governments ARE using fear tactics, false models, and manipulation is not justified by peoples’ stupidity, but it does make it all the more urgent to oust these bastards and re-institute the government which we need… which is to look at the bigger picture beyond the myopic COVID-19 blinders.

Tim Clarke
Tim Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

Well put. Everyone just needs to subscribe to Ivor Cummins on YouTube. Once you’ve listened and understood the sound science then you see how criminal the government’s actions have been. These government scientists have been uttering falsehoods and lies from the beginning.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

Concur. Per the author, “sweeping measures imposed with little or no evidence.” And they call that “Science”… even though it is not.

Paul Hunt
Paul Hunt
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

Seems to be plenty of debate to me. It’s just that perhaps your and my half-informed worries and opinions don’t matter in an emergency where all the data is by definition two-weeks out of date because of the disease’s long incubation period and asymptomatic transmission. Ask your questions, then do the responsible thing.

Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago

That the government believes it can “defeat” covid 19 is mere hubris. The virus will rise and fall as is the natural history of viruses. Sadly, besides hubris, the government has fallen prey to cowardice and panic in the face of media pressure to “do something”. It is now so embroiled in its flawed, futile strategy that it is finding it politically impossible to find a way out without admitting that it made calamitous mistakes that caused grievous harm to the economy and which will cost many thousands of lives in the short, medium and long terms.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

“The virus will rise and fall as is the natural history of viruses.”

Are you actually suggesting that normal life should go ahead unchanged? – people sitting side by side on public transport and in open-plan offices, canteen staff breathing over the food on serving counters before it is handed to diners, and so on? Please clarify

Warren Alexander
Warren Alexander
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

If you can do so, socially distance and wash hands and try to protect those who are vulnerable i.e. put your money into that. If your society cannot do that, you need to let it move through the community. The alternative is far, far more deadly. It is not complex, it is very simple.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

He said ” it can “defeat” covid 19 is mere hubris.” defeat, not mitigate. Mitigation like telling people to do some distancing and hand washing is mitigation, Imprisoning the citizens and releasing the prisoners and blocking health care for all but covid are not mitigating, but crazy attempts to defeat the undefeatable.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Actually, above WA has replied “yes” to my question “Are you actually suggesting that normal life should go ahead unchanged? – people sitting side by side ….” etc. So glossing him as suggesting mitigation isn’t correct. He really does believe in doing nothing and letting the virus spread.

neilpickard72
neilpickard72
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Well few others do. The pandemic must be managed intelligently without the worst fears of the government clouding their judgement.

jamessykes3011
jamessykes3011
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

What’s wrong with that? Viruses always spread. The only one ever eradicated was smallpox.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes, because doing nothing is the same as whatever it is they are doing now. I’m repeating my post here regarding TB in Western Cape South Africa where I live, in case you missed it. In the Western Cape, South Africa, more people have died this year from TB than from Covid-19. TB is also an airborne disease. So you would think the lockdown and mask-wearing would have made a difference to the spread and prevalence of TB? Apparently not. So how much difference would those measures have made to the spread of Covid. In a paper published years ago, mid-1980s, while I was working for the SA Medical Journal, some epidemiologists had sampled a large cross-section of South African society and found that all of them, in the Western Cape, have had TB land upon them and their immune systems dealt with it in the background. We’ve all been exposed to TB, inevitably, on public transport, in supermarket queues, etc. but your immune system coped without your even being aware of it. The people who succumb are those who are “vulnerable” – poor nutrition, poor living conditions, e.g. in a leaking, damp shack. This sounds like the common sense that Prof Gupta is trying to explain.

Kevin La2son
Kevin La2son
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes, in the 50s we had wave after wave of polio and TB, but having to rebuild the country after WW2 meant we had no choice but to carry on.
In the 50s it was normal to have a couple of nurses looking after 30 -40 patients in nightingale wards with 20 patients a ward, led by matrons and sisters who had their skills honed in war conditions( my mother was trained as a nurse on such wards). If we are to deal with pandemics, the NHS is going to have to relearn this kind of nursing.
This article states the NHS is chronically understaffed, this is nonsense it is the 3rd largest workforce on the planet and is the largest healthcare workforce in Europe. The problem is the fact that 50% of workforce is non medical, instead of 2:1 medical in most other European countries

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin La2son

Which doesn’t change the fact of it being understaffed at the medical level.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

In the Western Cape, South Africa, more people have died this year from TB than from Covid-19. TB is also an airborne disease. So you would think the lockdown and mask-wearing would have made a difference to the spread and prevalence of TB? Apparently not. So how much difference would those measures have made to the spread of Covid? In a paper published years ago, mid-1980s, while I was working for the SA Medical Journal, some epidemiologists had sampled a large cross-section of South African society and found that all of them had fragments showing exposure to TB. We’ve all been exposed, inevitably, on public transport, in supermarket queues, etc. but your immune system coped without your even being aware of it. The people who succumb are those who are “vulnerable” – poor nutrition, poor living conditions, e.g. in a leaking, damp shack. This sounds like the common sense that Prof Gupta is trying to explain.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Some of you may have missed the sarcasm in this comment…
Truthfully, life can and SHOULD go back to our previous normal; except people with the flu or a cold really should stay home (we had gotten fairly inconsiderate in recent years to being conscious of OTHER’S health). And we can burn the worthless masks.

Stuart Sutherland
Stuart Sutherland
3 years ago

You nailed it mate!

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

I just reread your post Warren, hours later and spotted the problem, you say “That the government believes it can “defeat” covid 19 is mere hubris.”.

I am a conspiracy loon, one must be unless you do not actually fallow the world. SEE The governments NEVER thought they could defeat covid, thus never committed Hubris at all. They knew they were helpless against it – either that or us few here are smarter than all the government and all their experts, as we know that obviously!

No, they must be up to something dark! Ending of cash? Health passports to travel (a DNA collecting and tracking plot?), Destruction of the middle class (Work From home means no office, thus no visa needed to work in British offices, so your desk jobs offshore just like manufacturing TVs did, the Western Middle Class jobs go to Bangalore, Mumbai, and Manila (And China mostly), is it to kill pensions, no interest, no pension growth, and thus all become state clients – the stealing of old peoples money so it does not pass down is job one for the NHS, or is it 1000 other horrible consequences of covid response?

Just getting Trump out so he can not drain the swamp is enough reason for the Democrats to destroy USA using covid as their tool. No, Not Hubris at all as they never believed they could defeat it!

Then there is the gates vaccine with its ‘Markers’, and the social media monsters colluding to keep covid lockdowns ripping…. If you do not see conspiracy you see nothing.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago

Hubris indeed. “What we are doing isn’t working, so we will just keep doing that!” Sounds more like imbecility.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago

Unfortunately, one of the side-effects of shutting down all social activity is that the public don’t get to interact and exchange ideas. Face masks, no doubt ratchet this up even further. Furthermore, the government has banned protest, and the House of Commons is an anodyne version of its former self.

The net result is everyone locked at home, either shouting at the radio/TV in disagreement or railing at the “Covidiots”, daring to go to the beach. There is no rough and tumble of public discourse. It’s like we’ve all been muzzled, figuratively as well as literally, and we are all the poorer for it, heading to hell in a handcart.

Andrew Holland
Andrew Holland
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

One question I have for people who are sanguine about the Covid (over)reaction is: how can you be sure this isn’t the beginning of a slide into totalitarian central control?

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Holland

You can’t-and as Friedman stated “there’s nothing more permanent than a temporary Government programme” which although made in the context of public spending also applies to the ratchetting up of Government control and the withdrawal of basic freedoms-I for one believe that the Government will try to retain as much of the “emergency measures” as possible when this pandemic burns itself out.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

More depressingly, people will have got used to them

Deborah Short
Deborah Short
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

So it’s up to those of us, who are not so traumatised that we can no longer think independently, to NEVER get used to this abuse of power

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago
Reply to  Deborah Short

Too damn right. But we are up against a populace that has been reduced to a bunch of quivering, fearful bedwetters, convinced that they will get Covid and die unless all their freedom and dignity is taken from them by government diktat.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago

I can assure you that this varies hugely between areas. Round where I live there is a majority who recognise it as a hoax, but they do not jump out and tell you unless given some prompt. At one stage I wore a mask with “COVID HOAX” on it. The reactions to such a mask are very telling. No Covid believer would smile or ask where to get one if they saw that.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

even more depressingly many will embrace them with a religious zeal.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Adrian

Conditioning is one tactic… and it normally is made to make you complacent to the actual attack (which will be more destructive). “Sheepishness” is exploitable.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Holland

Because the measures being taken in liberal capitalist economies are designed to keep liberal capitalist economies going. A decent central totalitarian would nationalise everything and allocate resources based on need rather than profit.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

A decent central totalitarian would nationalise everything and allocate resources based on need rather than profit.
Love to see an example of a “decent” central totalitarian -surely an oxymoron?And resources(what little there are when everything has been nationalised) are generally allocated on patronage in such regimes.
However-you could be being ironic in which case ignore my commments!

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

A Jesuit Monastery. But other than that I cannot think of one either.

steveh4254
steveh4254
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Egos and altruism always lead to corruption

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

I don’t think he was, Pedro!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

how do you keep an economy going by artificially restricting the hours of operation or the number of patrons who can be served?

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Please try opening a history book, maybe google the ‘Ukranian Terror Famine’ or the Maoist ‘Great Leap Forward’. Conservatively totalitarian regimes killed 50 million people in the last 100 years.

Even the leaders of Totalitarian regimes live in fear constantly, every one else can be executed at a whim.

Do you perhaps mean Social Democracy? with less focus on crony capitalism and more help small businesses and actual local communities?

david bewick
david bewick
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Holland

Yes and governments that take these powers unto themselves part with them at great pains.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Holland

The “beginning”? Already well under way. However, the notion that everyone is conforming is very far from the truth. In posh areas everyone believes in the meritocracy and so they mindlessly accept the authority. In a lowly area such as West Brom, where no-one important lives, they all “know their place” and accept the authority accordingly. BUT I recently visited a VERY crowded Polish supermarket, where the mask wearers were outnumbered at least 20 to 1. On speaking to others in the crowd, I got the clear message that these foreigners were well aware of the truth in their homelands and considered the masks a complete and utter farce. Of course that shop should have already been a covid disaster zone months ago….. And round my own way, most people will soon reveal that even though they are wearing a mask they recognise that it is a huge hoax.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Please understand that far worse than the Covid hoax are:
Bank cards – these put total control of the population’s spending and earning in the control of a handful of faceless corporations.
Smartphones – every young person now freely provides a complete biography of everything they do and go, for permanent recording by faceless “authorities”. Orwell was a fairy story by comparison.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Some Supermarkets Like Sainsbury ,Aldi,Lidl, take Cash,and certain Charity shops.. but A worrying trend, local shops are Closing, Anywhere where people Meet, Pubs & Libraries,Post Offices Closing..

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

You non-compliants are being identified. Visits by Antifa or other cover-agency of intimidation to follow.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Another of the side effects of shutting it all down is, well, the other side effects. Apparently it’s okay if depression, substance and physical abuse, overdosing, and suicide all increase. Apparently it’s okay if the socialization of children is either stunted or worse, harmed by the notion that hugging a playmate is out of bounds behavior. And apparently it’s okay if more businesses collapse under the strain of trying to make a go of conditions that restrict in-store capacity.

Juilan Bonmottier
Juilan Bonmottier
3 years ago

MSM created this hysteria and have sustained it throughout.

The BBC is especially accountable.

Probably mostly unconscious, but we have to contextualise their response -drastically declining viewing and listening figures, reduced cultural relevance, license fee under threat -how do they establish relevance? Create a compelling and addictive psychological pull by stirring up a crisis. Try and place itself at the centre of the crisis all to appear relevant.

I think they all need some unconscious bias training -just not the sort they think -and they all need to learn they are not the story.

This applies to all MSM. Perhaps our politicians too.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

The far East are
Basically immune. Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand… 3 deaths per
million, Vietnam 0.3 Deaths per Million! They have always had these
things passing about. Rather like the Europeans wiping out the Native
Americans with diseases the old world was resistant to. This is a
disease of the West. It attacks other peoples but it is not such a deal
as it is in the West because we used this flu to self destruct. The
lemming stampede for the cliffs in some insane psychosis. China’s GDP
grows, the West collapse, what are our governments up to? None of this
is about health. Is it the planned nano-chips in Gate’s and Fauchi’s vaccine? Is
it the NWO great reset? Is it something even crazier? as it is not about
health. And how did it get from a Chinese bio lab? Is there something odd about that or is that just one of those things which happen?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

China Wuhan residents estimate there were 100,000= plus Deaths due to SARS2 alone without Shanghai,Beijing, Take Chinese figures to be hopelessly out

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Well in the great holiday recently in China half the people move about to see family, I heard of no blocking of this movement, and essentially no deaths or cases! The deaths in Wuhan are most likely purely to make it seem like covid was also a Chinese disaster, but from everything out of China it was not a disaster at all. In fact the covid has taken the world eyes off China’s economic colonizing the second and third world, and a thousand other no good things they are up to.

Just go to worldometers for real time covid, and not your whataboutry of 100,000 deaths pulled from some un-named source. CHINA, 3 deaths per Million!!!!! Taiwan 0.3 Deaths per Million!!!!!!!

Robert, you are passing on wumao info, invented numbers to promote China’s agenda! Or do you think Taiwan is colluding with China on this?????

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

No its ridiculous,Obviously Wuhan Laboratory,making Viruses a figment of Hong kong dissenters ?…WHO said SARS2 was not Virulent as late as February !…Sorry I dont believe Chinese figures..As I still believe only Way to halt this Virus is take Temperatures At Airports,seaports ,Like I will Soon at Dentist & Isolation hospitals, Why have Army build ‘Nightingale’hospitals & most are unoccupied?..

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Does putting “world” in front of something make it accurate? You don’t hear about all the Christian persecutions and beaten confessions from China either, but they do happen.

Record: China restricted in-country air travel for Chinese New Year, but freely permitted international travel. They knew about the virus, they knew about the spread, and they allowed it to flow to the rest of the world without warning… hence we can, justifiably, blame China for the spread worldwide. Irresponsible to the extreme… or by design?

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

How do they come to those estimates?

Joe Smith
Joe Smith
3 years ago

Amazingly the BBC has asserted with no evidence in a news article today that the media Covid coverage reflects public concern, not drives it. Their lack of self-awareness is frightening, or maybe the know they’re a problem but just won’t admit it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

This article is written by a BBC-type. So I was astonished to see that its early paragraphs actually contained some truth and common sense. But then it became just another moan about the ‘ailing’ and ‘understaffed’ NHS etc.

The NHS is, depending on which figure you last read, the world’s third biggest employer. It is handed astonishing amounts of money without having to account for any of it in terms of efficiency or outcomes. It is, in short, a giant racket.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

NHS spending as a proportion of GDP is around 2% of GDP lower than in other Western European countries – or, to put it another way, bringing it up to that average would increase spending by around 20%.

As for “without having to account for any of it in terms of efficiency or outcomes”, there is intense and continuous attention paid to NHS performance. For example, until recently it was meeting targets for A+E patients being seen within four hours and 95% of cancer patients starting treatment within 62 days of diagnosis, but as this decade-long Conservative Government with its progressive annual underfunding of the NHS has worn on, its performance has declined and in 2019 it started missing those targets. That was before Covid. Given your enthusiasm for organisations having to “account for it”, how would you rate the Tories’ stewardship of the NHS? I suggest we hold them to “account”.

anddean
anddean
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

For the last ten years spending on the NHS has increased in real terms every single year.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  anddean

In a number of years by only 0.1%, a sum carefully calculated to allow Conservatives to mislead the under-informed with such claims. Meanwhile a growing and ageing population clearly needs more than 0.1%, and the small increases in other years, in real terms.

The facts are clear – under Labour, and for several Tory years still illuminated by the afterglow of Labour’s spending before 2010, the NHS met the targets for A+E and cancer treatment. In 2019, before Covid struck, it wasn’t. Argue your way out of that one!

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It WILL ignore, Cancer,Heart,Blood,Lung disorders etc
Supported by Labour &lib-dem opposition…So ALL main parties.. spouting labour would do better is tosh sundry PPI funded hospitals by gordon brown cost Taxpayers £7.2billion for every £1.2billion Spent see)(new internationalist magazine.) Brown Also wasted at least £70million in nhs preparing for the ”Euro” which thankfully uK didn’t join

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Stick this in google, it’s not fully accurate. UK spending is around a smidgen above average for Western Europe. significantly less (1.5%) than France, Germany and Sweden. A little less than a few others, and more than others like Spain, Italy & Portugal.

Now it can be argued that we should spend more on health, which is a different matter. How you pay for it is also a great question.

There’s also and issue than even the ‘better’ countries like France are overwhelmed and locking down.

Why ICU capacity hasn’t been improved significantly for 8 months is an important question. But Matt Hancock/SAGE and co decided that 12 Billion on track and trace would stop a rise in cases, they then pretended during the summer that ‘their measures’ and track and trace was working. They were warned repeatably that it would be seasonable, that track and trace wouldn’t work on a widespread virus with low symptoms – but they continued with a strategy every bit as deluded and dangerous as Covid conspiracy nutters, we could have turned off 5G in April and watched cases fall and pretended it was that (it wasn’t by the way, just to be clear).

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

But IS France overwhelmed? Depends on the way you tell the story perhaps?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

98% of the Population only Use the NHS when approaching natural death!

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

Except for the health tourists from abroad who see fit to use it for their personal convenience without paying and is supported by NHS Doctors.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

How did this specific and well-argued case get onto a general argumnet about the NHS? The NHS probably does need more ICU beds, but the unreconstructed argument that all it needs is more money is pretty dubious The NHS is a national religion, and arguments that most countries have insurance-based systems fall on deaf ears. In fact the NHS as an entirely taxpayer funded health system is an outlier among developed countries (as is the US one in a different direction).

Just in the past few days the NHS wrote to me to say they would be writing to me later about a bowel cancer screening! I’m not sure why I needed to be sent two snail mail letters in quick succession. Perhaps that is a small issue in itself, but there are many more. Much of the population have experience of both the deficiencies and inefficiencies of the NHS. Much of the spending increases in fact do not end up benefitting patients, as with the huge increaases in doctor’s pay in rcent years.

And with regard to funding, it is in fact more likely to be increased when people see a direct correlation between what they may and what they receive. Raising taxes tends to only be popular up to the point that your own taxes are likely to be increased. Despite the ‘awful Tory’ attitude to the NHS and its insistence (perhaps in your view) of trying to destroy it through underfunding, the Tories do keep getting elected. So that in itself is an argument against a wholly taxpayer funded system, if you want to see more health spending.

But of course areas like dentistry (since in fact the 1945 Labout government) and opticians do in fact require financial contributions from patients / customers and for some reason this doesn’t seems to be too contentious. Certainly no Labour government since then has offered to remove these fees.

Nigel Cooper
Nigel Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Absolutely agree.

The large increase in NHS funding from the early part of the century seemed to run off into the gutters like heavy rain after a drought.

IMHO, until the NHS is NOT free at the point of delivery, to generate some personal responsibility in its use, we will be forever in this position.

Paul Buxton
Paul Buxton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

UK expenditure on health is about average compared to our peers but the number of hospital beds proportionate to population is amongst the lowest in the world. I don’t know why that is, but it is surely a factor in our annual inability to cope with seasonal illness.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Buxton

Yes, i believe we have a lot less beds now than in 1979, even though the population is much larger. New Label built a lot of shiny new hospitals via fraudulent PPI schemes, but they forgot to incorporate enough beds.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Like the Yes, Minister episode with the new hospital fully functioning with all Admin staff but no doctors, nurses or patients

Susan Lundie
Susan Lundie
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I was a frontline hospital based RGN RM at that time. They did not forget to “incorporate” enough beds. We were led to understand that beds were being axed because it was anticipated by government that lifestyle changes would make us all so healthy that the resources could safely be re-allocated to the community, where that lifestyle training and any necessary care would mainly take place.
Mental health hospitals were also axed and sold off because, we were told, those with “mental” health problems could be better cared for in the community.
I seem to recall that GP services and Primary Care teams in the community were reorganised to encompass these changes.
It’s all worked very well, hasn’t it?

cdodds1963
cdodds1963
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Buxton

Interesting to compare US/Euro/UK for public and total spending on health
https://www.factivated.com/
https://www.factivated.com/

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Buxton

Spending is significantly lower, as a proportion of GDP, than in other Western European countries. If you include Eastern Europe, as defenders of this Government do, you can make the claim that it’s average, but then you are not comparing like with like.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Buxton

£149billion in 2019 IS NOT small change..Now if Isolation hospitals, Destroyed in 1960s &1970s were Converted or built,Would make sense.?…The lies by Politicians and Money motivated, ”Goverment Scientists” with links to Big Pharmaceuticals &bill Gates(foundation on vaccines) is astonishing

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I too noticed the statement that the Nightingale hospitals were not used because of a lack of staff. But there seemed to be a lot of staff with so little to do that they were rehearsing and releasing TikTok videos, in some cases involving tens of staff. The ‘overworked’ NHS staff seemed to be having a great time at our expense while we were locked up at home.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I was astonished as well and rarely listen to the BBC because of their bias. I read that the government appointed (or intend to) a new controller and they were told to be unbiased. Maybe this is happening who knows?

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Ha ha… you don’t have to be a psychologist to see the glee on their faces as Trump faced defeat in the American elections. Every time I switched on it was the American elections. Should the BBC be renamed ABC?

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Although, to be fair, having the largest single employer of healthcare people does not necessarily mean the most healthcare workers per head of population. Other countries simply have more fragmented systems. I have no idea what those stats are. What is not in doubt, though, is the massive inefficiency of the NHS. Arguably, this may be a price worth paying for the universal access offered, but that is a whole separate debate and probably kne that becomes moot in a crisis

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago

The problem is we can’t believe a word of what we are being told. How do you know that the Death Statistics are correct ?? They aren’t. One would assume if you were admitted to Hospital with a heart condition and Pneumonia, have a chest x-ray that confirms the later and a Covid test which comes back negative, and you subsequently die of a heart attack, your death would be recorded as Cadiac and not Covid related. However, this is not so. Doctors it seems are routinely ascribing such deaths as Covid related arguing that the Covid swab test isn’t that accurate so can be ignored. This means we actually have no idea how deadly Covid is because the death figures are being inflated, but we don’t even know by a factor of what. The whole thing is a damned disgrace and its time Boris got a grip and a few heads rolled.

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

To your point, here are the CDC’s reporting guidelines for US deaths:

In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID”“19 cannot be made, but it is suspected or likely (e.g., the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID”“19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed.” In these instances, certifiers should use their best clinical judgement in determining if a COVID”“19 infection was likely. However, please note that testing for COVID”“19 should be conducted whenever possible.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago

They are just faking the causes to prove the case that this is all real and the response proportionate.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Incorrect. This is doctors following lines of evidence, and a positive test is ONE line of evidence in judging the case. Why would you downvote someone for factually relaying an existing policy?

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago

I’ve noted this elsewhere on UnHerd, but here in NZ we had so few deaths, it’s easy to interrogate. One of the last was a 70+ woman who tested positive, recovered, confirmed negative test and then died a week or two later. Of covid, apparently. Negative test notwithstanding. Another one to the tally of fear.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

So many cases like it. Friend’s uncle was in hospice for lung cancer for 8 months prior… and then died… of COVID, of course. And hospital received $13,000 (or $39,000) for saying so. Govt incentivized lying (i.e., using our tax money to further the story line) was part of the national response that our “leaders” authorized.

Dorothy Webb
Dorothy Webb
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

I do feel sorry for Boris and his cabinet as I do not believe this virus “got out” from China accidentally – this year when Britain was finally breaking away from EU and America faced the prospect of 4 more years of Fresh air under Trump. The Government’s handling of the pandemic will, it seems, make all the difference to their credibility with the average voter. It is said that President Trump has lost some of his support because of the way he treated it, so Boris is trying to do things differently.

Robert Brown
Robert Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

Govt definition of a COVID death – not political comment

“All deaths with a positive specimen (including at post-mortem) are counted regardless of the cause of death,”

So any body who dies of anything in the last 28 days who has had a positive COVID-19 test – car crash – drugs overdose – alcohol excess – rabies – tuberculosis – suicide – dangerous sex – will be recorded as a COVID death according to the Govt definition..

Ergo – more tests = more COVID positive cases = more people who die of other things, but will inevitably be recorded as COVID death for daily reporting purposes.

Brought to attention of BBC and some news desks but ignored.

But how can policy decisions be made without reliable data?

Par4.1 2nd part
“The PHE data series does not include deaths where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but a laboratory test was not carried out or failed. All deaths with a positive specimen (including at post-mortem) are counted regardless of the cause of death, and then restricted based on the time frames listed above. This aims to provide the most comprehensive measure of mortality burden possible.”

Par 4.1 First part
“There are 2 definitions of a death in a person with COVID-19 in England, one broader measure and one measure reflecting

current trends:

1) A death in a person with a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 and either: died within (equal to or less than) 60 days of the first specimen date”

“Or

died more than 60 days after the first specimen date, only if COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate

2) A death in a person with a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID-19 test and died within (equal to or less than) 28 days of the first positive specimen date.”

The daily number represents new deaths reported to PHE in the 24 hours up to 5pm the previous day. Report date does not

necessarily equate to date of death as it may take up to a week for deaths to be reported to PHE.”

I will post links above but system sometime does not accept

Robert Brown
Robert Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks
Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Yorks

In the US, money attached to CARES Act gave hospitals a significant FINANCIAL incentive at reporting COVID cases where there were none… and sensitive tests brought back 90% false positives… again, cases where there were none. So most of our reactions are to things that never were! (minus a bunch of old people and sensitive populations who have had normal flu vaccines who DID get sick… big correlation there that needs explaining… binary activation?)

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago

Given that our Government claims to be led by science,-no they don’t-they state categorically that they are led by THE Science-this is a deliberate misuse of terminology to imply that there is a single homogenous block of knowledge known by the noun “the science ” and therefore cannot be queried-as Boris said “there is no alternative”!!!!
However the sterling work done by a number of more critical thinkers is beginning to unpick this “consensus” and its very telling that the last few days have seen a significant amount of not only criticism but coverage of that criticism in the MSM-the dam is beginning to crack and we might,just might,have a more balanced discussion about what the correct policies are.
Also significant is the statement by the OSR which is about as close to a bollocking as they dare do.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

Astrology was a science once! Seems that and looking at sheeps entrails is now ‘The Science’ for Covid.

croftyass
croftyass
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

Probably more scientific than epidemiology!!!

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  croftyass

The use of ‘The Science’ is to show there is this construct of picked and chosen studies and opinions to form and substantiate a preconceived truth. It is used Ironically, as compared to ‘Science’.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Unfortunately, peer review has been degrading for decades. Pharmaceutical companies use the self-peer-review process by their circles of cronies to make their “studies” appear legitimate in journals, but they are really just t*t for tat (desired report for financial support!).

Or, if you are UN, you just assemble a bunch of scientists, quote selections from their research, and then write a report based on a political narrative that completely contradicts most of the referenced scientists. (credit to IPCC that pursues similar pseudo-science over climate cooli… heati… “change”)

Bruce Wallace
Bruce Wallace
3 years ago

Very good article from an obviously humanist perspective. However its weakness is in buying into the idea that the teired approach was “working”. There is not one scintila of evidence that lockdowns have any effect on viral transmission. The cure of the virus is practically identical irrespective of what measures are taken. It’s an assumption that we can effectively control it. If the curve of the virus goes down it is just assumed that it must be due to human action. You could prove that hunan intervention dealt with a cholera epidemic (John Snow) but any “evidence” for the effect of restrictions is based on a spurious correlation that does not, as science tells us, imply causation. In any case the rate of infections was actually going down accross the entire UK. The government were telling us that it was increasing exponentially across the country. An alternative universe is born.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Wallace

Bruce – I take the point that governments cannot completely control the virus by ordering lockdowns and there is clearly a big seasonal effect. But given that the virus is transmitted by human interactions of one form or another, it follows that the fewer human interactions there are, the less the virus will spread. Put another way, the R number will fall. There’s a good argument for saying the lockdowns have gone too far – I’d agree with that. Also, that people take actions to protect themselves, and this reduces transmission, regardless of lockdowns – I’d agree with that. But you seem to be arguing that humans can do nothing at all to affect the outcome. If that’s right, I’d be interested to hear your theory of how the virus is transmitted.

neilpickard72
neilpickard72
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

As I understand it and unsurprisingly the virus is not communicated primarily through the interaction of strangers. It is apparently and again unsurprisingly spread within households and between people who know each other well. In that case is it any surprise that infection continues as it communicates within and between our social “bubbles”? Who you walk past in the shops or eat at the next table to etc. is less important as makes sense.

7882 fremic
7882 fremic
3 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Wallace

Masks! I refuse to wear them as they are mere political. People are made to wear these pointless things for one reason – as we go about they show us how REAL it all is. The mask is the symbol of the virus, without them the insanity of the lockdowns would be obvious.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  7882 fremic

Symbols, for good or bad, are powerful. Crosses, monuments, stars, stripes, flags, emblems. Here in the US, the effort to remove Confederate monuments had nothing to do with slavery, but was an elimination of symbols of resistance to govt authority. Masks are a similar symbol of silence and vocal suppression. End-state: people fear the masks which symbolize virus, and by association, fear free-speech.

The US flag was a positive connotation of unity against oppression to forces that continue to plague both our countries: spiritual forces of darkness that want to control, demean, and subjugate us all. Again, both our countries must reassert our UNITED stands against forces that would dominate and subjugate us. We must continue to combat the lies, half-lies, and false narratives that continue to defy logic, morality, freedom, and true compassion… day by day.

Tim Hurren
Tim Hurren
3 years ago

An excellent article with one major omission, namely the request for the scientific evidence to justify the banning of corporate worship affecting many millions of people throughout the UK. The response of our two top Government science advisers to MPs questions regarding this issue on 4th November was – to put it mildly – very unscientific.

It appears that the Government’s two top scientific advisers on Covid strategy have no evidence to suggest that places of worship, properly ordered in line with current guidelines, have been responsible for the spread of the virus. The argument for transmission by people gathering outside places of worship is also weak indeed, Nothing statistically significant but purely anecdotal and, it seems, even this relates to the
US and not the UK.

My worry is that, unless there is more open debate about the options for managing the virus, not only will the politicians have failed us, but the reputation of science as a guide for action will also be undermined.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Hurren

They also have no evidence that pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues are major sources of infection. There isn’t any. They used another selectively tweaked and curated graph several weeks ago purporting to show that hospitality venues collectively were responsible for around 1/3 of new infections. However they deliberately chose to omit schools and non-hospitality workplaces – i.e., they only included 58% of the overall data available.

What is the endgame here? Prohibition by the back door? Pub, bar & restaurant owners have bent over backwards to comply with social distancing rules, spending considerable amounts on equipment, screens etc and reducing capacity. The thanks they get for all this is to be kicked in the face by this clueless, panicked government – manipulated into senseless clampdowns even before Lockdown #2.

No science. No evidence. Evasion, lies, distortion and dissembling.

Nigel Cooper
Nigel Cooper
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

Any place of public meeting, commercial, religious or otherwise, that was open and had been following all the guidelines and had had no known covid transmission, and must now close, must feel very harsh for all concerned

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

I live in South Africa and by far the majority of the population who live cheek by jowl in townships and also in certain rural communities, could not ‘lock down’, social distance or constantly wash hands. The only things locked down were the middle classes and the economy. We are an example of a situation where the virus certainly ‘ripped through’ – whatever people might like to say. Ultimately the virus is going to have its way and in the meantime we have completely destroyed livelihoods and pushed hundreds of thousands more into poverty. It is a disgrace.

Anna Tanneberger
Anna Tanneberger
3 years ago

In the Western Cape, South Africa, more people have died this year from TB than from Covid-19. TB is also an airborne disease. So you would think the lockdown and mask-wearing would have made a difference to the spread and prevalence of TB? Apparently not. So how much difference would those measures have made to the spread of Covid. In a paper published years ago, mid-1980s, while I was working for the SA Medical Journal, some epidemiologists had sampled a large cross-section of Western Cape society and found that all of them have had TB on board. We’ve all been exposed, inevitably, on public transport, in supermarket queues, etc. but your immune system coped without your even being aware of it. The people who succumb are those who are “vulnerable” – poor nutrition, poor living conditions, e.g. in a leaking, damp shack. This sounds like the common sense that Prof Gupta is trying to explain.

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago

“No wonder they are so willing to shut down public performances, shared
sporting and religious activities, meetings and demonstrations, formal
and informal social events. They place no value whatever on public life.”

The govt has shut down the public from meeting in larger groups because it fears an outbreak of mass civil disobedience which would surely arise as more people understand we’re being lied to. Just look at the students in Fallowfield, showing what can happen to arbitrary, corrosive rules when groups of people coalesce to express concerns for their freedoms. Imagine what would happen if thousands of football supporters got together or hundreds at student gatherings, speaker’s corners, etc., etc.

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

On the topic of football supporters – it is a great shame they cannot attend matches to boo at footballers cravenly “taking the knee” prior to each match.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

or Support leicester City,Leicester tigers RFUC ?..

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

Contrast in the U.S. where many (Democrat) leaders have ADVOCATED massive demonstrations during COVID to support BLM, but then they also prohibit (and prosecute!) church gatherings of far fewer people. The clear evidence shows they are indeed hostile to RELIGIOUS organization… and those who would dismiss God have no problems dismissing human welfare.

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago

Agree completely with this article, but wanted to add something on the Nightingale hospitals. There was a very foolish decision which came into force in 2013 that “All new nurses will have to hold a degree-level qualification to enter the profession”. This of course is something the RCN had been calling for, self evidently to boost the status and income of nursing. But it was a stupid caving in by the government to the nursing unions – utterly daft. Nursing at the vocational level is something school leavers should be able to sign up for without any further education – they can then get on the job training. To become an entry level nurse should be possible within 6 months with proper vocational training.

If the absurd requirement for an entry level nurse to have a degree level qualification were dropped, we could recruit and train up sufficient nurses to run the Nightingale hospitals in a matter of months – too late for that now however!

kldw
kldw
3 years ago

We used to have State Registered Nurses(SRN) and State Enrolled Nurses (SEN). Although each required different educational levels neither required degrees.

Graham Wilkinson
Graham Wilkinson
3 years ago
Reply to  kldw

My sister started her nursing career as a pupil nurse at age 16. She worked her way up to be Senior Sister in charge of orthopaedic wards then later cardiology wards in Holland. Good nurses are lost to the system because of the needless pursuit of academic qualifications.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  kldw

My late mum did her Nursing training Around 1936-38 in TB ”isolation hospital” in Warwickshire and the Leicester..The Only thing to Note, misnamed ”Spanish flu” fizzled out after herd immunity 1918-1920! That Was Pandemic,People did isolate &wear masks then to protect from blood coughed up from Lungs

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin Lambert

A TRUE pandemic… and even that was conquered by herd immunity.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago

“Covid-19 is not seasonal flu. Left unchecked, it would spread faster, and kill more people.”

We know it is not flu, but all respiratory illnesses are worse in winter. Covid19 arrived in winter and there were no excess deaths in the UK from the end of May. Where is the evidence that the first lockdown saved lives? It seems to me that many lives were lost because of the NHS turfed out the elderly to care homes and the care homes themselves had no polices to protect their residents. It was just the same in New York. What about the consequences of lockdown, both the damage to the economy and deaths from other causes associated with the policy?

We can compare Covid19 with flu, but only in the years when we did not have a vaccine for flu. We know from those years that there were often more deaths from flu than we have seen with Covid and even now we have some years when flu deaths are higher than the average.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

The main concern here is not necessarily deaths (which are going to happen regardless sooner or later) but the extranburden on a ‘lean and mean’ NHS that really ought to be getting on with the Spring backlog of other stuff.

See the CDC :
Risk for In-Hospital Complications Associated with COVID-19 and
Influenza ” Veterans Health Administration, United States, October 1, 2018″“May 31, 2020 October 23
“The risk for respiratory complications was high, consistent with current knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza pathogenesis (1,6).
Notably, compared with patients with influenza, patients with COVID-19 had two times the risk for pneumonia, 1.7 times the risk for respiratory failure, 19 times the risk for ARDS, and 3.5 times the risk for pneumothorax, underscoring the severity of COVID-19 respiratory illness relative to that of influenza.”
and
“The percentage of COVID-19 patients admitted to an ICU (36.5%) was more than twice that of influenza patients (17.6%); the percentage of COVID-19 patients who died while hospitalized (21.0%) was more than five times that of influenza patients (3.8%); and the duration of hospitalization was almost three times longer for COVID-19 patients (median 8.6 days; IQR = 3.9″“18.6 days) than that for influenza patients (3.0 days; 1.8″“6.5 days) (p<0.001 for all).”

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Higher hospitalization and death toll also because of a low mortality 2019 season.

david bewick
david bewick
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

In the UK we saw 55,700 excess winter deaths in 2018/9. A soft flu season followed in 2019/20.
There are papers being published quite frequently now on the effects of lockdowns. I keep referring to the Prof Iaonnidis peer reviewed paper which is available on the WHO website. The cost benefit of lockdowns is hugely negative taken in the round and disproportionately impacts those who are least able to bear it. Test and trace when employed on an endemic virus that behaves with seasonality is a fool’s errand.

Terence Riordan
Terence Riordan
3 years ago

Excellent article. The only ray of hope is that people like Henegan and Gupta are finally creating that space you raised. The public are conditioned from many directions of being castigated for entering reasoned propositions. For example slavery, Black Lives matter , Cllimate change. All these areas of legitimate realistic discussion are closed down by the proposing side.We have to rescue our society to enable rational discussion and free speech. I suggest that the major problem we have stems , unfortunately, from a serious long term effect of dumbing down our education system to a strategy of teaching children “What to think NOT How to think’. We have much to retrieve and hopefully the spotlight cast on the incompetence of the NHS and CV strategies which is now beginning to be seen ,will enable the core problem of regaining free speech to be helped. There is a theory among pub people that the Govt has always wished to destroy pubs because people go there to chat and discuss with others who have wide ranging views.

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago

Indeed, I have had many of my best discussions at pubs! First thing to do in war??? Jam enemy comms; an enemy that cannot communicate is blind.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

Does anyone else not see what’s happening? A mainstream media that unremittingly lectures us on our ‘unearned’ privileges. A lockdown that keeps us confined in our homes and takes away avenues for social interaction. A ruling ideology that seeks to divide populations along racial lines. A culture where informing and cancelling have become the norm.

What does this sound like to you?

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Airstrip One

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

That too. Basically one vast outdoor prison-industrial complex.

Andrew Hall
Andrew Hall
3 years ago

In her excellent critique the author writes, “Covid-19 is not seasonal flu.” But if you disentangle the data it emerges that’s just what it now is: whatever the initial prevalence during the first pass-through attack of Covid-19 its behaviour immediately reverted to seasonality just like any other endemic respiratory virus.
The current UK upswing in deaths was correctly predicted by the scientifically minded to follow the same path as normal seasonal flu and looking at currently rising Covid-19 deaths they exactly follow that pattern, not repeating the initial pandemic Gompertz curve upswing of the first attack (something first brought to the wider public by prof. Michael Levitt).
UK total respiratory deaths including Covid-19 have fallen below the average for respiratory fatalities at this time of year. Further, total UK deaths (Covid + non-Covid deaths) are currently running below the 5-year average in both care homes and hospitals. Clinical respiratory attendances are also running below normal for the time of year. It is an uncomfortable fact that the only significant source of excess deaths is home deaths which are running noticeably higher than the five year average – something which can reasonably be attributed to untreated cardiac disease. In another six months we can expect to see untreated cancer deaths adding substantially to collateral deaths and this will spawn a new collateral epidemic directly attributable to the policy perversity of current policy advisors.
It seems Covid-19 behaves just like any other endemic seasonal respiratory illness once the initial pass through phase has occurred, as it has done in the UK. The worst thing one can do is repeated hard lock downs because they thwart the stronger population’s natural immunity from evolving to protect the weakest.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

One thing that always concerns me is the large variations in daily positive test figures.
I have recently read that the data for the 3 & 4th of November has had figures added that were missed off from previous days.
Does the virus only work on some days a week, or is it that the people counting only work some days a week? I would have thought that in the situation we are in, the Government/NHS/PPE could arrange to have the counting done 7 days a week and counted correctly.
If it is the case that the number of tests vary, then the positive test figures should be shown as a proportion of tests taken. Also, if people, already tested positive, are retested they should not be included again – or at least shown as a separate figure.

Does anybody know why, there are these large variations in the figures?

Personally, when I find that nobody in the Government / NHS / PPE can count simple figures accurately & consistently, I begin to distrust them – and any decisions made on the basis of them.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

Deaths not being counted and tabulated fully during the weekend. What could possibly be the reason for that? Surely a genius like you can figure it out.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago

But if someone dies on Saturday it is recorded as a Saturday not the following Tuesday? But that was what they were doing during Lockdown 1.0. It could be used to give rather misleading statistics.

adem.aljo
adem.aljo
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

In order to figure that out, you had to download the entire set of data published and rearrange it manually so that the deaths appeared on the date of death. The Government didn’t provide this initially. What you ended up seeing is a really lovely curve, from which the extrapolated data showed that the peak of infections probably occurred sometime in late February or early March, way before Lockdown 1.0.

The use of statistical data during this whole saga has been a bewildering and eye-opening abortion of common sense in the face of emergency.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  adem.aljo

Lockdown 3.0 The Sequel on its Way?…

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

That’s why the BBC, for example, works on a 7 day rolling average in order to include every day of the week. Less reputable media outlets often don’t.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

Thank you for your kind words about my cognitive ability, it is not an opinion that I share.
I am not sure to which part of my post you are agreeing, is it that the virus only works a five day week, or is it that the Government / NHS / PPE have not managed to to arrange a method of counting for 7 days in a week?

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 years ago

I noticed oddities in the graphs during Lockdown 1.0:-

1. fewer people seemed to die at weekends and there was always a peak by the following Tuesday. It looked like they were recording death as happening on the day they entered the data, not the day the person died.

2. there was a chart (no long published) of cases by age and gender. It showed more female cases than male for the 20-60 age range. Are working-age women more susceptible to Covid? Or is it that nurses and care workers were getting infected at work and then going home and spreading it to their families. A sign that the NHS is a disease multiplier?

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

1. All sorts of delays with death stats. e.g. if someone dies in a care home and hasn’t been seen by a doctor for a while, they automatically have to have an autopsy to determine the cause of death – 1? 2? weeks delay

2. Yes, to a small degree as published in the BMJ on the 28 October

“Risk of hospital admission with coronavirus disease 2019 in healthcare workers and their households: nationwide linkage cohort study”

Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
3 years ago

I’m not sure about the UK, but I have a friend who works in a Covid testing clinic here, in Sydney. Apparently, no one gets Covid on beautiful, sunny days i.e. the clinic is deserted. In contrast, on Sunday evenings, when people are assumedly looking for a day or two off work while awaiting their test results, Covid is raging and the clinic is packed. I’m not sure how this affects daily infection figures (numbers are very low here), but it rather makes a mockery of the whole process.

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago

Why w/should anyone trust governments and their ‘scientists’, who botched and manipulated almost everything and refused to engage with any of the many scientific and very plausible opposing views to come up with a better synthesis and solution, with regard to a definetely rushed, likely ineffective and quite possibly harmful if not even deadly vaccination program?!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Joerg Beringer

Nobody trusts a single thing they say or do. But most of us are obliged to conform to their wickedness and lunacy.

John Simpson
John Simpson
3 years ago

The NHS at its founding was almost wholly staffed by people with frontline medical experience who then took on a managerial role running the NHS hospitals. Since then, and in particular in the late 1980s and 90s some Wizkid decided that the NHS should lose Crown immunity thereby exposing it to litigation and having to set aside massive amounts of insurance to cover themselves. It was also decided that it should have a proper management structure with accountants and such like and also have an internal competitive market whatever that might be. The net result is that the NHS is costing an absolute fortune; a considerable portion of which is going on insurance policies and management that they never needed before. Losing Crown immunity and the introduction of quality insurance meant they have spent A vast amount of time and money writing procedures for work and the staff are restricted from using their own judgment because they have to follow procedure instead. That in a nutshell is why the NHS is in deep Doodah. On the plus side accountants solicitors and insurance companies have made an absolute killing. Sadly the people who have paid is the taxpayer.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  John Simpson

Yes, it has become entirely dysfunctional and stuffed full of jobs that should not exist – all of them paying absurdly high salaries. It is so bad that since March I have warned my elderly parents not to go anywhere near an NHS hospital because they will probably catch Covid.

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Probably. The local hospital wanted me for tests next week .Meeting a 14 day referral target from the GP or something. I politely declined. I had to go for a covid test 3 days before. That would have been positive and that would have been it. I might never have got out. My sons did not want me to go. Am I being paranoid? Probably but all trust has gone,

Alan Matthes
Alan Matthes
3 years ago

Having read The World Economic Forum’s explaination of The Great Reset and watched how BJ’s government take ever more ludicrous measures and defend the indefensible you have to wonder at what point a conspiracy becomes the most plausible thing to believe.
Surely even politicians cannot be this stupid.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

Its on Youtube….They Also Want Mass migration to Europe, Banning of Nuclear Power, Wind farms to Lace All landscapes..so heralding ”A Glorious stone Age Reich” hail to the Chief?….not

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Matthes

A conspiracy of fools, these opportunistic shysters are taking advantage of the situation, in plain sight but hidden because most of the media are too stupid, lazy and prone to groupthink but it’s also in the interests of big government, big tech, big business and big media

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
3 years ago

” Covid-19 is not seasonal flu. Left unchecked, it would spread faster, and kill more people.”

What is the basis of this claim? In the UK, the epidemic – as measured by excess deaths – ended in the summer. There is no basis in theory or in observed reality for a so-called “second wave”. Respiratory mortality rates are following normal seasonal (winter) mortality. The currently mortality rate is slightly elevated, but the causes of those deaths are not respiratory, and are likely associated with excess deaths such as cancer and heart disease because treatment has been stopped.

Repeating scientifically illiterate mythology in the context of an article purporting to challenge scaremongering is absurd.

stephensjpriest
stephensjpriest
3 years ago

Irish doctor interview: “The Price Of Truth”. Witness…#Leadership.

A compassionate and emotionally charged interview with a brave Irish doctor, one who tried to speak up. To speak up for a balanced and proportionate response to this challenging viral issue.
Compassion. Rationality. Logic. Science. And more – those virtues that seemed to suddenly disappear in 2020.
Can we bring them back, before it is too late?

Ivor Cummins
you tube watch?v=_WbKl2gPo4Y

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
3 years ago

I like Ivor’s relaxed tone. It is a breath of fresh air to listen to him and to understand the science. He predicted the spike that would happen in Autumn due to the weather cooling. It was not a second wave. Different ideas should be allowed to be discussed as the government have political pressure on them which makes it difficult for them to admit when they are wrong. We are all learning here. Sweden had voluntary lockdown and distancing and it appears to have worked. When people have fear they are prone to make the wrong decisions. Using fear to control the public will backfire at some point when the truth is understood.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago

I am preparing a judicial review against Covid on grounds of the false science. Ivor Cummins’ awesome video about the evidence is one of the main items cited.
(Titled: “Viral Issue Crucial Update Sept 8th: the Science, Logic and Data Explained!”)
Another is the laughable response from the DofH, trying to make out that the PCR tests are the “universally recognised gold standard” while the only document they cite in support actually says “there is no clear gold standard”. (I will add the proper link to the video in separate comment as unheard is allergic to links.

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Ivor Cummings “Viral Issue Crucial Update Sept 8th: the Science, Logic and Data Explained!” https://www.youtube.com/wat

Robin P
Robin P
3 years ago
Reply to  Robin P

Ivor Cummins Covid-19 Video ““ Notes by Robin Clarke
The video is currently at /watch?v=8UvFhIFzaac

[the original has the times, but the double columns don’t transfer to this comment box. Iwill try to type in some of them.

Gompertz curve, is the standard time series of infections. Rapid rise to about 20% population, then abrupt turn downwards, and then sloping off. It will be seen that the time series just follow the Gompertz curve in all countries, with no effect of the political policy measures. (The US has a second peak due to the North-South explained further on)

Spain showing Gompertz curve.

-All-cause deaths (total mortality) – this is the most valid data as death is not usually mistaken for something else.

Modelling was hugely inaccurate

Sweden Gompertz curve, and mostly co-morbid

7.00 Graph of spikes in each year – big spike in 1918, tiny one in 2020.

8.30 Effect of prior season. (Low prior season causes high later.) Explains Sweden, Norway, Finland.

Prof David Spiegelhalter’s correlation of the same prior season effect.

Lockdown is least important of 16 factors

Prof Carl Heneghan – Pubs reopening had no outbreak consequence

Baizuo graphs – no effect on flu curves

Millions of grocery workers exposed but no associated consequences

And end of lockdowns makes no difference

Mask study, 40 years science shows no value of masks (“Non-pharmaceutical measures…”)

17.30 Graph shows no effect of masks policy

19.00 Well-established seasonality of corona and flu viruses

Edgar Hope Simspon 1992 book (including the seasonality data)

22 US combination of North and South causes “double” peak effect.

24.15 “Casedemics”

Search for “CEMB PCR” “Are you infectious if you have a positive PCR test result?” [More up-to-date documents are now cited in this statement.]

Casedemics in Ireland, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain.
Netherlands, France, US (North+South).
H1N1 2008-9.
Search “Spiegel Swine Flu”
Germany Casedemic
Spain Casedemic (now supposedly in a “state of emergency”)
End

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago

This is now primarily a plandemic, or casedemic, entirely based upon the unsuitable and manipulated, non-certified and non-standardized PCR test.
It could be ended immediately, if that test was standardized with regard to the at least 3 gene sequences mandatorily searched for, multiplied and confirmed, the primer and the number of cycle thresholds (30 or below).
Why that wasn’t and still isn’t done, or when and why it will likely be done (when the vaccines hit the shelves), is another story.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Joerg Beringer

‘This is now primarily a plandemic, or casedemic,’

No, it’s a ‘scamdemic’, and has been since March.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The govt appears to have plenty of allies in the scare-mongering, from its acolytes in the media, to parts of the scientific community, and to the Karenwaffe among the citizenry eager to scold anyone for going so far as their mailbox without a mask.

David Shaw
David Shaw
3 years ago

TRUST! It has gone. We lost trust in our Parliament when they tried to stop the will of the people over BREXIT. Now we have the architects of BREXIT and those we have put our trust in to steer it over the line. lying to us about Covid 19. I can’t quite see why and it certainly plays into the hand of the conspiracy theorists. I don’t buy the collective NHS protection narrative!
We, as a country, have been thankfully free of violent uprising but for a few times in our History. At these time we did it because it was so obvious that those who held the keys to power were abusing their position. Where you see frequent demonstrations on the streets of continental Europe, you see people untrusting of their Governments.
At heart most of us in this country are still libertarians and just maybe we are getting our wake up call that perhaps this is now our time to fight, as our great forefathers did!

Sean Arthur Joyce
Sean Arthur Joyce
3 years ago

“Evidence that the resulting damage has been researched alongside the hoped-for benefits is almost non-existent.” Well perhaps in the UK. But Stanford University medical expert Dr. Scott Atlas, an adviser to the US president, has clearly laid out the consequences of lockdown in his country: “We must open up because we’re killing people. In the US, 46% of the six most common cancers were not diagnosed during the shutdown”¦ These are people who will present to the hospital or their doctor with later stage disease”many of these people will die. 650,000 Americans are on chemotherapy”half of them didn’t come in for their chemo because they were afraid. Two-thirds of screenings for cancer were not done; half of childhood immunisations did not get done; 85% of living organ transplants did not get done. And then we see the other harms: 200,000 cases plus of child abuse in the US during the two months of spring school closures were not reported because schools are the number one agency where abuse is noticed; we have one out of four American young adults, college age, who thought of killing themselves in the month of June”¦”

P Hine
P Hine
3 years ago

Why have the private hospitals not been fully used? NHS will know the answer and I have heard nurses in some private hospitals are bored as not enough to do.
NHS has had 6 months to work out how to use Nightingale hospitals. You can do a lot of resourcing in that time.
In France you have to have proof that Covid was cause of death unlike UK where it is too easy to say it was cause of death and too many examples where it was clearly not despite death certificate. Numbers are not comparable.
Why isn’t there a campaign to improve public health? One seventh of NHS resources are spent on diabetes and that has increased dramatically ( which is why real increases in NHS budget are not enough along with expanding what NHS does e.g. tattoo removal). We all need to understand that being overweight, having diabetes, eating badly means we are at greater risk when it comes to Covid and other illnesses . AND there is a clear way of addressing type 2 diabetes read Michael Mosley’s book. Sugar is the enemy read Yudkin ‘Pure, white and deadly’ Why aren’t we doing more on this? Tax processed foods, subsidise fresh fruit and veg, make cooking compulsory in schools, this would be a start.

Andy Yorks
Andy Yorks
3 years ago
Reply to  P Hine

In the UK even if you have a negative test the Doctors can decide that you died with/of Covid and will record a Covid death. The argument is that the swab tests have a 20% false reading, but I fail to understand why Covid is recorded as a cause of death if there is a negative test unless and until there is a positive blood test. This is why the death numbers are being so vastly inflated. It is absurd.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  P Hine

This Government is well-known for its cosy relationship with the food industry and has repeatedly rebutted proposals from health campaigners in favour of “understandings” and “voluntary action” – some of which is delivered on, some of which is found years later to have been reneged on. It’s ten years since we had a Government willing to tackle the industry. I’m surprised to find that glucose-fructose syrup is listed as the largest single ingredient in some of the things I find my wife eating.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Sugar Tax has been Around since 2016….Its Peoples healthy diet they should be taught in Schools..

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

“It’s time we had a rational debate about balancing social measures to suppress Covid-19 against social harms.” Haven’t we been having precisely such a debate? Isn’t this article a part of it? Aren’t there hundreds of such articles, with hugely diverse viewpoints, published daily?
And as for “Hold a comprehensive public inquiry and a balanced public debate” (“Five Reasonable Demands” – link in article): comprehensive public inquiries typically take years. What do we do in the meantime?

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

How much of it do you see on BBC, Sky, ITV or Ch 4, Most people don’t read websites like this unfortunately.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Derek M

Exactly. You have to go about three or four media layers down to get any sort of truth. I threw the TV out 20 years ago because it’s garbage. The same applies to radio, except for Talk Radio and perhaps one or two people on LBC. The newspapers are mostly a joke, national, regional and local, as are most of the magazines, except for a few people in The Spectator.

So, you can only find any truth on sites like this, and from various people online. With regard to this subject, Ivor Cummins is the best person online.

Dorothy Webb
Dorothy Webb
3 years ago

The Government appears to think that “the Science” is all-knowing. They have not consulted with actual people Why do they not take a poll of the elderly and vulnerable to see what we think of the concept of lockdown? I wonder how many would agree with me that “life should go on” and that we who are at risk should take sensible precautions?

Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
3 years ago

In general the NHS is a bureaucratic monster and like any good bureaucratic institution serves only its own ends. It no longer seems to need actual patiences and as has been witnessed most recently some of its staff demand they be treated as more important and more priveleged than anyone who is not NHS. The average salary for a Nurse is now approx £31,000 gross per year (£2,000 net per month), which is about £1,400 (+5%) higher than the UK’s national average salary. To put the size of the NHS into context in March 2019 there were 112,031 doctors, 311,380 qualified nursing staff (including midwives and health visitors) and 34,556 managers in the NHS out of a total workforce of 1,093,638. Between March 2010 and March 2019, the number of doctors and nurses rose while the number of managers fell slightly whereas unfortunately the number of beds has more than halved over the past 30 years, from around 299,000 in 1987/88 to 141,000 in 2018/9. These staffing levels suggest there should be about 2 nurses per bed and approx half(ish) of a doctor.

Alison Phillips
Alison Phillips
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Craddock

The NHS is the world’s fifth largest employer….

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Craddock

NHS managers had the whole summer to designate a hospital in each district as a CoVid hospital, thus keeping the infection out of all the others, but they couldn’t be arsed.

Now due to lax infection control numerous people are contracting the virus in hospital and stretching the NHS further.

It was ever thus.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 years ago

The key question is “will it make any difference?”. I suspect not. The number of daily infections in England appears to have peaked, and in the UK has been declining since 29 October. Has all social activity stopped? Who knows what people do privately? TV interviewers seem to favour emotive human interest stories, like old ladies who have spent the last nine months shut in their rooms afraid to go out. How representative are they? There seem to be as many cars driving around. On the streets, a few people go shrouded up to the eyeballs, but most carry on normally. The vast majority, myself included, were already wearing masks in buildings and public transport. No big deal. I for one don’t feel the need to feel lucky or to impose that on anyone else. Personally, I haven’t noticed any change except that all the restaurants have removed their tables from the streets outside and are serving only takeaways. Will that make a difference? No-one has the foggiest idea. Let’s watch what happens at Christmas, when the students come home and assuming the partying begins again, then get ready for another spike in January.

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
3 years ago

The biggest problem we face is how two opposing factors are likely to combine:

1) Unsurprisingly, Lock downs etc almost certainly reduce cases/ hospitalisations and deaths from Covid 19 and other similar illnesses, but the evidence says that this is not by much. Looking at Influenza in the lock down one period, deaths were 25-30% below recent averages. This will be a combination of the effect of restrictions and that you can’t die of influenza if you have already died of Covid-19. So the actual effect of lock downs is somewhere between negligible and 30% reduction in deaths. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

2) Everything points to Covid-19 being very seasonal, as should be expected of a virus of this family. We should therefore expect a significant rise in cases over the next few months. From 10 year averages, deaths from respiratory illnesses rise by around 85% between October and January.

Therefore, it is highly likely that the seasonal effect will overwhelm the lock down effect over the next few months.

So, either the government (or should I say SAGE) will repeal lock down after four week when there are higher cases, hospital admissions and deaths; Or, they will legislate to extend it.

No wonder furlough is now extended to March.

Nigel Cooper
Nigel Cooper
3 years ago

A question that I have regarding the national Lockdown compared to the regional tiered system, is why there was never a top regional tier that was as severe as the national Lockdown?

It’s like many regions went from Tier 1 to, effectively, Tier 4 in one giant bound!

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Cooper

I noticed this as i live in such a district.. How can you trust this lot? If Cummings is the genius they say he is then what on earth is he playing at?

Robin Taylor
Robin Taylor
3 years ago

Absolutely brilliant article – a breath of fresh air. Keep them coming!

PJ Reece
PJ Reece
3 years ago

Congrats, Timandra, well said and thank you mucho and pardon me if I weaponize some this piece for my ongoing appeals to our government here in British Columbia.

clarke.pitts9
clarke.pitts9
3 years ago

In April the pinch point for the NHS was respirators and staff trained to use them. In the interim, medics have discovered that they are seldom the most effective treatment and cortisones and steroids are usually better. Any nurse can administer those and they are not in short supply. We are definitely not going to overwhelm the NHS and the second lockdown will surely do far more harm than good. This is an actual scandal.

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Good article. The problem seems to be of incompetent officials and government. The CMO, CFO, SAGE, DHSC and civil service are all incompetent.

andy young
andy young
3 years ago

Absolutely brilliant piece. Timandra fast becoming one of my favourite writers.

Paul M
Paul M
3 years ago

Going on the evidence from friends family and colleagues I have contact with, half, I know, have willingly ignored any rules regarding what we should and shouldn’t do including isolating. That’s it. Make of it what you will based on your own belief with this situation we find ourselves in.

Just observing my own initial reactions to what guidance we are asked to follow has surprised me (not in a good way!) Given that I’m immunosuppressed with drugs and at a greater risk should I catch covid, I’ve had to reign my own behaviour constantly because I get complacent. I certainly don’t want to put covid to the test if I can help it.

wendyshootingstar
wendyshootingstar
3 years ago

I really enjoyed this article and there are many truths within it. However listening to Professor Spiegelhalter of Cambridge gave me some sympathy with the government’s position. Prof SH argues that if an R rate of 1 is averaged out over the UK this will result in 2,500 hospital admissions per day. In the short term the NHS could cope with those admissions, but day after day, after day it would become overwhelmed, hence the need to get the R rate below 1. Maybe there is some validity in Prof SH’s argument and the government are terrified of the NHS being unable to cope.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

And remember health workers are more likely than most to catch it – they’re not much use as health workers if they’re isolating, ill or dead.

Paul Hunt
Paul Hunt
3 years ago

FFS Suck it up! We are not actually in any sense of a lockdown because of this type of demand for an irrational half-measure. You list some obvious harm, and then don’t present a rational way to minimise harm, just trying to spread it.

There has been shockingly poor leadership and mismanagement that has led to people not actually being locked down and allowing the virus to spread, whilst failing to ensure education, social care and non-covid healthcare continue- that would be a good thing to question directly.

The disease will kill people if we aren’t lock down so every effort to say ‘OK we’ll let the following people die so we can have a half-arsed lock-down’ is irresponsible and fundamentally mad.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

Given 30% of the population got less than a ‘C’ in the ridiculous dumbed down modern GCSEs, many of which would’ve been in subjects deliberately designed to appeal to the mentally defective like media studies, I too wouldn’t trust the general public on anything. Far Eastern countries treat their population like children and it seems to be working out pretty well for them so far.

X Xer
X Xer
3 years ago

Not the Uighurs though?

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  X Xer

There’s always a naughty one.

Alan BUtterworth
Alan BUtterworth
3 years ago

Interesting article, but it still continues to ignore the bloody large elephant in the room. The Government have and continue to lie, just as all the other governments around the world, about what this ‘pandemic’ is truly about. Until journalists such as this one grow some balls and tell it like it is, we will continue to hear and read from journalists, in essence ‘none of this makes sense’. Well it wouldn’t if the whole reason behind the ‘pandemic’ isn’t anything to do with a highly transmittable disease BUT is SOLELY to do with the total restructuring of employment, benefit and a completely broken banking system. Because of this lack of acceptance to what is the real cause of this ‘pandemic’, everything else is simply ‘pissing in the wind’.

Paul Grimaldi
Paul Grimaldi
3 years ago

Whilst Timandra Harkness makes some valid points, I wonder how open she would be to the open discussion that she advocates. One of her opening points is that the projection of 4000 deaths each day was an exaggeration, it should have been 1000. Is that OK then? Whilst Government messaging and handling has clearly been haphazard, surely it is people not taking sufficient precautions that is causing the figures to rise. There is plenty about the rules being too tough and maybe they seem excessive in some areas but nobody seems to be calling out those who are flouting the restrictions. It is only the public that are causing these infections, not the government. The extremes, as always are in the US but even in the UK we have our cover deniers. These and those who are ‘pro-freedom’ and ‘anti-restrictions’ are most likely those who insist on ignoring the rules and hence keep this thing going. Governments can never blame the public because the public are voters, journalists want their readers. So who is bold enough to point the finger at those who are spreading this virus.

Adrian
Adrian
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

> surely it is people not taking sufficient precautions that is causing the figures to rise

No, just no.

Seasonal vriuses rise when the seasons change. That is why a cold is called ‘A cold’

Yes, there will always be idiots who think that humans can and do control everything, including the weather, including viruses, and that only other’s moral turpitude caused it to rain today, but they should just sit inside and twitch their curtains nicely.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

Yep, those darned pro-freedom and anti-restriction types get to be a monkey wrench in all of your totalitarian schemes don’t they? Perhaps you should advocate for re-education gulags where you could gently set them back on the right path?

Phil Thompson
Phil Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

I disagree with most of the restrictions. I don’t believe the government, I don’t think theyre lying I think theyre incompetent. There’s an obsession with pharmaceutical companies solving the crisis and until then we are fed bullshit.
That said I follow the rules, keep my distance and all the rest but looking at the statistics I’m in a very low risk category. I can see people are frightened and I feel for them. There’s plenty of evidence out there to have me wondering how Ferguson et al have any remaining credibility. But the facts are science and its practices are didgy to put it mildly. Studies are fabricated and transparency non-existent. The public are being bought off, swindled and lied to but I still follow the guidelines

Robin Whittle
Robin Whittle
3 years ago

What is missing from this and most COVID-19 discussions is recognition of why this virus spreads, harms and kills and how we can stop this. Severe symptoms with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza only occur due to weak and dysregulated (overly aggressive, pro-inflammatory, self-destructive) immune responses. By far the biggest cause of these is inadequate vitamin D.

With severe symptoms comes greater viral shedding and so greater infectivity.

The UK COVID-19 hospitalisation graphs fall in the summer and are rising again now as average vitamin D levels drop. These are in the healthcare section of coronavirus dot data dot gov dot uk.

There’s a long way to go to the winter vitamin D low in January and it was only in April this year that rising vitamin D levels – plus social distancing etc. – reduced the spread of COVID-19.

If you search for vitamindstopscovid19 you will find my website with the hospital and monthly vitamin D graphs together. The summer white peak is around 24ng/ml (60nmol/L) and the winter low about 15ng/ml (45nmol/L). BAME levels peak at about 14ng/ml and the winter low for BAME men is just 10ng/ml (25nmol/L) in January.

All these vitamin D levels are terribly low. 50ng/ml (125nmol/L is a healthy level, like that of our African ancestors. This ensures our immune cells have sufficient vitamin D to work properly. Average weight adults need 0.125 milligrams (5000 IU) of D3 a day to, on average, achieve these 50ng/mg vitamin D levels. This is a gram every 22 years and the ex-factory cost is about UKP2 per gram. The UK government recommended intake of 0.01mg 400IU is almost useless – a gram every 274 years.

If everyone supplemented like this – achieving around 50ng/ml on average – neither SARS-CoV-2 or influenza would spread much, all year round. This is the only solution to these pandemics – ending the vitamin D deficiency pandemic. When this is done, it won’t matter how the viruses mutate. There will be no need for lockdowns, social distancing, vaccines or masks. Sound too good to be true? Find my site and follow the links to the research which shows all this. It is the only way forward.

All this vaccine and lockdown stuff is ineffective and vastly more expensive than 1/8000th of a gram of vitamin D3 per day, according to bodyweight, for all people. There would be numerous other health benefits – too many to list here.

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago

Not a bad article in general. The author seems to hang on the phrase ‘let rip’ is an accelerated version of the virus spreading through the population. She’s still stuck in the ‘tiered lockdowns seem to work’. Well, they work or they don’t and the data shows they have no effect or miniscule as in the kicking the can down the road. I believe Manchester figures were already falling at the start of their tier 3 lockdown. As we apparently can’t now separate flu from covid and hospitalisation figures from hospital coal faces are top secret the real measure is now the overall death rate.
Data just doesn’t lie. Politicians and their sage advisors do for whatever reason. Ivor Cummins on his data led you tube site has it weighed up as does Dr Yeadon.
https://www.youtube.com/wat
https://www.youtube.com/wat

riskpearlswisdom
riskpearlswisdom
3 years ago

Good article. We can all trace this back to research done by Lancet which used data from China+, then applied an overly-complex model which they then made three over-the-top adjustments to somehow link the results to (I kid you not) Diamond Princess cruise ship. They then heroically declared this analysis can be used to drive policy in all countries. To say these guys are snake oil sales people is an under-statement.
Five minute episode on “Risk Pearls of Wisdom” explains how.

https://anchor.fm/riskpearl

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago

All these articles on Covid, lockdowns, spreading, hospitals overflowing etc etc.. Yet I hear next to nothing from the mouths of our health leaders and journos on preventatives and treatments for Covid of which there are a number being used with great success. If we promoted and encouraged citizens, told docs to use them logic says that hospitals wouldn’t be so pressured as and when that happens.
The cynic in me as an amateur health researcher is suggesting that as Covid is a virus then if the pretty cheap and non patentable treatments used in the correct doses at the correct time during the resultant illness this would also work for a lot of other viruses with huge detrimental effects on certain company profits.
Of course the first approved ‘treatment’ by the FDA for Covid-19 is Remdesivir at 3k usd a pop which is baffling scientists. (Not the 3k, the approval)
https://www.sciencemag.org/
As opposed to Zelenko’s HCQ/zinc or Quercetin/zinc at 20usd/pennies a pop. Or god forbid, oral chlorine dioxide at pennies a pop. FDA hates CD. Or high dose C at pennies a pop. FDA hates C as well. Or simple using of an anti viral mouth wash. Or a salt pipe with iodine. Being healthy. Now, there’s a novelty.

juliandodds
juliandodds
3 years ago

Excellent. I have little to add.

Andrew Hall
Andrew Hall
3 years ago

In her otherwise excellent critique Timandra Harkness writes, “Covid-19 is not seasonal flu.” But if you disentangle the data it emerges that whatever the initial prevalence during the first pass-through attack of Covid-19 its behaviour immediately reverts to seasonality just like any other common virus.
The current UK upswing in deaths was correctly predicted by the scientifically minded to follow the same path as normal seasonal flu and looking at currently rising Covid-19 deaths they exactly follow that pattern, not repeating the initial pandemic Gompertz curve upswing of the first attack, something first brought to the wider public by prof. Michael Levitt.
UK total respiratory deaths including Covid-19 have fallen below the average for respiratory fatalities at this time of year. Further, total UK deaths (Covid + non-Covid deaths) are currently running below the 5-year average in both care homes and hospitals. Clinical respiratory attendances are also running below normal for the time of year. It is an uncomfortable fact that the only source of excess deaths is home deaths which are running noticeably higher than the five year average – which can be reasonably attributed to untreated cardiac disease. In another six months we can expect to see untreated cancer deaths adding substantially to these collateral deaths and this will spawn the new collateral death epidemic directly attributable to the policy perversity of messrs Vallance and Whitty, backed by the Imperial Wizards of academia, who have a ton of unscientific blunders to answer for. Perhaps someone will petition to remove them from public office before any further damage results.
Covid-19 behaves just like any other endemic seasonal respiratory illness once the initial pass through phase has occurred which it has done in the UK. The worst thing one can do is repeat the earlier hard lock down because it thwarts the population’s natural immunity evolving leaving the most vulnerable undefended by the normal population-based immunity achieved by its most resilient members notably the young and the active working population that produces the wealth necessary to sustain our vulnerable, more dependent members. How do the science quacks get into such powerful positions? Perhaps to borrow a phrase, good scientists do science; poor scientists become science advisors.
For more on this topic go to Ivor Cummins’ superb discussion with PANDA, at: https://www.youtube.com/wat….

Paul Monk
Paul Monk
3 years ago

Ass-covering governments pandering to “every life is precious” beliefs, their “science” allies, and the always-sensationalizing mainstream media can be counted on to create messaging for a demographic that doesn’t represent the full sprectrum of the population. So, the message, as well-intentioned (and misinformed) as it may be, does not necessarily take everyone in the intended fashion. As a result, you have some people who f***ing freak out and cross the street when they see someone coming toward them on the same sidewalk. And you also have people who have very public anti-Chinese racist meltdowns or claim it’s all a government (“deep state”) plot to control everyone. I agree it would be nice if we weren’t always treated like children, but that won’t happen any time soon and I don’t see an easy “solution” at this point. I’m sure there are plenty of commenters on here who have their pet solutions that will also never happen. So, sure, please do go ahead and spout away.

Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
3 years ago

Excellent article. But can they really think that closing shops and keeping people from meeting outdoors will protect the NHS? Given that infections are clearly starting to plateau, could it be they want to be able to attribute this to another lockdown? Else, either it’s slowing because of immunity, in which case the first lockdown came too late to have any positive effect; or the tiered measures are sufficient, implying the first one was excessively draconian.

stephensjpriest
stephensjpriest
3 years ago

Dear Unherd – this is something you have to watch and share

London Has Fallen | Financial Collapse – Shocking Video of Central London

YOU TUBE /watch?v=Dd2-VY6roL0
From Neil McCoy-Ward

Financial Crisis | What To Expect Next

YOU TUBE watch?v=jLwwUG9M7Sc
From Neil McCoy-Ward

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

According to official ONS June 2020 provisional figures for deaths ‘involving’ – carefully chosen word there – Covid 19, there were in the intervening four months,

‘50,335 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) that occurred between 1 March and 30 June 2020, registered up to 4 July 2020 in England and Wales; of these, 46,736 had COVID-19 assigned as the underlying cause of death’.

As we now know, those Wales/England figures since the ending of the first lockdown were, surely in no considerable part, revised down for the whole UK by over 5000 in the August to just over 41,000 for the country as a whole with a then estimated total death rate of 48,168 covid deaths up to the end of July and since January 2020…so relatively very few occurring in the country in what would normally be the peak death period, certainly in terms of respiratory diseases, the winter months of January and February.

The ONS statistician’s and Head of Mortality Unit, Sarah Caul’s official comment on this was curiously yet suitably confusing in her analysis,

‘Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of COVID-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020.”

Bummer.

According to her, it now seems that most people are unhelpfully dying of covid now rather than the things they all used to die of before and, given the current lower than average 5 yearly death rates, even a fiendishly clever novel disease like covid hasn’t yet mastered the art of killing the same very clearly identifiably vulnerable people twice.

Today then, as we enter into our second lockdown in an apparent effort to stop a touted mass killer second wave, at the end of October and given the three or so intervening months since the 48k deaths at the end of July, the UK death rate from Covid 19 according to ITV news now stands at a staggering….drum roll…wait for it….46,000…or it might even be as high as 61,000,

As ITV’s webpage on the 30th October ‘clearly’ states,

“A further 274 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday, the government has said.

‘This brings the UK’s total death toll up to 46,229.’

So, oddly, lower than at the end of July???

In many ways it gets worse, the site goes on,

Separate figures show there have now been 61,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.”

‘Involving’, there’s that curiously nebulous, all but impossible to prove word again, but up 11k since the ONS’s June/July figure whilst around 2,000 people have, at least according to official figures, apparently risen, Lazarus stylee, since that date.

It’s a miracle, I tell you!

Seriously?

Is it any wonder why a growing number of people are sceptical about all of this after all this time given the very obviously astronomical price that is being paid and will undeniably be paid in overall social, economic and health terms, not least by a massive majority of those who weren’t and aren’t even vulnerable to it, but whose chances of being so are arguably exponentially increased by seriously limiting, by diktat, their exposure to it?

Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson
3 years ago

See excellent Lockdown TV interview: “Freddie Sayers caught up with Scott Atlas” 20 Oct 2020. Poor risk communication has been pervasive and contributes to fear-centered COVID-19 response policies that are DESTRUCTIVE to public health.

I personally support the logic and opinion of Dr. Atlas, and consider Dr. Fauci as a purveyor of the COVID dilemna, having financed gain-of-function research in mainland China, and forcing stupid policies that are unjustified by pre-existing scientific literature.

Helen Barbara Doyle
Helen Barbara Doyle
3 years ago

Sack, Whitty, sack Vallance, sack Van Tam, bring new blood in.

James Moss
James Moss
3 years ago

I don’t think it’s so much an issue of the government insulting our intelligence. As a whole we are not that intelligent – but neither are the government themselves. Many of us are open to a wide spectrum of beliefs about the Covid-19 epidemic just based on observable data and that’s before we get started on models and projections. The government, many of them appointed for their ideological purity rather than analytical skill, are way out of their depth.

Most people will believe what they want to believe and I see much evidence of that here in the comments.

aelf
aelf
3 years ago

More & more it seems government actions have nothing to do with public safety or well-being and everything to do with establishing the brazen rule of ambitious mediocrities.

David Radford
David Radford
3 years ago

Unfortunately the author has moved from discussing the facts or non facts of covid statistical reporting to determining the motives for it which are apparently that we are regarded by HMG as a dim witted rabble. Incompetence almost always explains these situations, not intent. And Radio 4 as a famous left wing hub makes me discount what started out as a interesting factual article.

ruthengreg
ruthengreg
3 years ago

What is needed is the truth, not guesswork even with good intentions . But we get untruths or lies! Its pretty obvious no one knows the answers. That is not political but true there is no handbook. Every now and again the “sorry we don’t know” would help. Maybe then commonsense might come into play. I do know this is going to cost to put right. A coalition Government might help!

Richard Marriott
Richard Marriott
3 years ago
Reply to  ruthengreg

Disagree about a coalition government. However, we need a government which acts in all our best interests and which is brave enough to face down the mob and the MSM.

Kiran Grimm
Kiran Grimm
3 years ago
Reply to  ruthengreg

Judging by Sir Keir’s performance a coalition government would only serve to solidify the lockdown consensus. If the Conservatives call for a lockdown Labour call for an even tougher lockdown with lashings of compensation for everyone and (inevitably) more support for “Our NHS”.

What might just help is a serious sceptical challenge (or debunking if that’s what it takes) from the MSM. At the moment all we are seeing are occasional expressions of doubt and laments about how awful it all is.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Kiran Grimm

Bang on re Sir K and Labour. Add in invisible LibDems and the anxious-for-British-money-but-desperate-for-independence SNP and the sh*tshow would be complete.

The MSM are abiding by government “guidelines” (for which, read diktat) in not giving any meaningful platform or prominence to dissenting views. They are also the biggest beneficiaries of government spending on print, online & other advertising (for which, read propaganda). They are as complicit in this face saving cover up as our useless, timid parliament. Moreover nothing sells like bad news – if it bleeds, it leads.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

So according to you, the Government, the Opposition, the Scientists and the competing and mutually hostile media outlets (BBC, Daily Torygraph, Daily Mail, Independent…..) are all wrong and you are right.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

And according to you, the way things are turning out is just perfect is it? That we’ve had only the truth presented to us, that the “science” being invoked is infallible, that the MSM’s participation and scrutiny has been a model of balance and objectivity.
Based on your question, you doubtless believe everything you are being told and that the data and assumptions presented in their charts by Vallance and Whitty are not cherrypicked or distorted.
From a brief overview of your posts overall, you are either a government mole / apologist, a public sector worker who would vote for another lockdown and / or a Panglossian optimist content to swallow everything you’re being fed.
I believe Stalin would have a description matching your position on all this!

Barry Coombes
Barry Coombes
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

Enemy of the people?

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Barry Coombes

Er, not quite. Clue: begins with “useful”…

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  ruthengreg

Its pretty obvious no one knows the answers.
Yes, but the official class is genetically incapable of saying “I don’t know” even when that is the truth. And far too many in the public demand that govt “do something” because they have willingly outsourced all risk management to an unaccountable third party.

childe rolande
childe rolande
3 years ago
Reply to  ruthengreg

“Its pretty obvious no one knows the answers.”

That simply isn’t true. There is a consensus of opinion amongst the world’s leading scientists: Professors Ioannidis, Gupta, Levitt, Bakdhi, Henneghan, and many others all agree that this coronavirus behaves like other coronaviruses, that the curve of infection between March and June was a Gompertz curve indicating infection pretty much throughout the population, that immunity looks very likely to last decades, and that because of a useless PCR test, designed to detect cancer and, according to its inventor, not to be used for general diagnostic purposes, certainly not without establishing the false positive ratio, a lot of false correlations are being made between false positive cases and SARS-Cov-2, when what we’re actually seeing is normal seasonal infection.

They agree there will be no second wave, and indeed this isn’t one. Firstly, viruses don’t do ‘waves’. The 1918-1920 pandemic was almost certainly a number of viruses doing the rounds during the biggest migration in human history. It’s on this pandemic that the notion of ‘waves’ is premised, and it’s wrong. There is also peer reviewed consensus (six papers) that 30% of our population had prior immunity to this virus, which means Vallance knows that his absurd claim that 93% of us remain vulnerable is not true, since only 70% were ever vulnerable to begin with. They also agree that it is not possible to have a deadly pandemic stalking the land and no excess deaths. You can have one or the other, but not both – obviously.

The answer, it seems, is that this particular virus is pretty much over.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  ruthengreg

As long as that coalition is with the Swedish govt and the people running Florida, where they got rid of all restrictions on 1 October and have seen a decline in Covid deaths since then.

Geoff Allen
Geoff Allen
3 years ago

Is it any wonder that the government may inadvertantly over sized their calculations, after see the rabble of idiots in London and Liverpool and elsewhere all mixing and interacting with each other after being told not to congregate with crowds – shows one thing – people are f*****g stupid, especially the younger generation who dont give a toss( and please before any soft centred arseholes from the BBC and liberal papers come to their defense) I have seen it with my own eyes. As with the NHS- their are 30,000 staff off sick at the moment and as far as efficiencies go- the amount of drugs and facilities that are ordered for people who don’t need them and the lack of clarity in even trying to get an appointment to see a GP has sent the NHS backwards – not forward.