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Will we pass the Boris roadmap tests? It's hard to tell from the measures whether we'll be released by summer

Are we there yet? Boris Johnson sets out his four-step roadmap. Credit: Leon Neal / Getty

Are we there yet? Boris Johnson sets out his four-step roadmap. Credit: Leon Neal / Getty


March 10, 2021   10 mins

I desperately want to have a drink in a pub garden — something which, in theory, I might be able to do quite soon. But when? We’re told that our exit from lockdown will be guided by “data, not dates”. But what does that actually mean?

Because, although it’s supposed to be about “data”, we don’t actually know precisely what the relevant data is. The Government has given four “tests” for easing restrictions, but we don’t know what “passing” those tests actually involves.

According to the “roadmap” announced towards the end of February, lockdown restrictions would be eased in four main stages. Schools would reopen on 8 March (with a few small extra changes, such as meeting up to six people outdoors, and the reopening of outdoor sports, on 29 March, as children broke up for Easter).

On or after 12 April, non-essential shops would reopen and pubs and restaurants would be able to serve people outdoors. On or after 17 May, you’ll be able to meet up to six people or two households indoors, and get a drink or a meal inside a pub or restaurant. And on or after 21 June, all restrictions will end.

It’s the “on or after” which is key. Each new easing will come only if we meet certain criteria and if we don’t meet them, then the dates will be pushed back. So it’s interesting to note that whether we pass the criteria — as set out in the four tests — is entirely subjective: there is no clear quantitative answer to whether or not we achieve the goal.

 

 

These four tests need to be passed at each stage of our liberation and you’ll notice a distinct lack of numbers:

1) the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully; 2) evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; 3) infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS; 4) our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

So what, then, counts as “successfully”? What counts as “sufficiently effective”? What is “unsustainable pressure”? What counts as “fundamentally changed”? (Also, it’s noteworthy that there’s no mention of R at all.)

Given my desperation for a pint, I need to understand what it all means. So I asked Dr Duncan Robertson, a policy and strategy researcher at Loughborough University, to have a go at explaining  And I have had a go at trying to work out how likely we are to pass the tests. 1

 

First test: vaccine deployment

This is going well. According to NHS England statistics, 95% of 70- to 74-year-olds, nearly 101% of 75- to 79-year-olds, and nearly 95% of the over-80s had been given a first dose of the vaccine by 28 February. (Yes, 101%. That’s as a proportion of the ONS population estimates, suggesting that the ONS population estimate may have been a little low.) The Scottish data is similar and much more conveniently presented.

There are some wrinkles. For one thing, while care home residents have been very effectively covered – nearly 94% – care home staff seem less so, at below 73%. Since care home staff were on the highest priority list, that seems suboptimal.

Robertson points out, though, that things may not be as bad as they seem, or at least they are bad in a different way. We have good data on how many, say, 75- to 79-year-olds there are in the country, through NHS databases. (Not perfect, obviously, given that we seem to have vaccinated 101% of them. But good.)

We do not, however, have a good central database for care home staff. Robertson suspects that a lot of them will be registered at two different homes. “It would not surprise me if there were some double counting of care workers,” he says. “I don’t think we have very clear numbers of them, so getting that percentage is fairly difficult.” He suspects the true figure will be higher; certainly in Scotland the figure is almost 85%.

It is a real problem that we don’t have this data, and workers moving between different care homes may, he thinks, have been a driver of some of the many outbreaks in those homes last year: “It would be nice if there was more reliable data,” he says. (It’s another reminder that, as Robert Colvile says, a lot of modern government is database management, and if you don’t have a good database, you’ll struggle to implement policies.) But it may not be a disaster in terms of the rollout.

A more interesting problem is whether the rollout is evenly distributed. We can see discrepancies, to some degree, in the NHS England data at a regional level: London is lagging behind all the other regions at every age category, although that could be because the ONS population estimates are wrong (London population is very transient, and there may have been, for instance, a significant net outflow of foreign nationals in the last few years, with Brexit and Covid). But while there is much more granular data – local authority level and below – it’s not broken down by risk categories, so we can’t see how many, for instance, over-70s in Blackburn with Darwen have been vaccinated. If we reach an average of 90% coverage, but some local communities are badly covered, that could leave pockets for the virus to keep transmitting.

So how do we “pass” this test sufficiently for us to carry on coming out of restrictions? Away from the roadmap, the UK has set itself milestones – vaccinating all the over-70s, care home residents and extremely vulnerable by 15 February; all the over-50s and other vulnerable people by 15 April, all adults by 31 July. We’ve passed the first of those milestones, and even though we haven’t quite managed “all”, getting well past 90% for most of the categories looks pretty good, and we seem to be well on course to meet the rest.

If I crudely stick the figures on a graph and extend the line, I expect we’d have given first doses to the 32 million people in all the priority cohorts around the end of this month, and the whole UK adult population of 53 million or so by late May. Obviously that doesn’t take into account any of the nuances above, and it’s unlikely we’ll actually keep on at the same rate once second doses start in earnest. But still, I’d be very confident that this test will be met — that, by any reasonable definition, the vaccine rollout will be “continuing successfully” — for Stage 2 in April, and almost as confident that the May and June reopenings will be met too.

Crude probability estimates of meeting this criterion at each stage: Stage 2, 90%; Stage 3, 85%; Stage 4, 80%.

 

Second test: vaccine efficacy

Early data from nearly five million Scottish people and from a smaller group of healthcare workers across the UK found that they reduce infections, hospitalisations and deaths by large percentages; over 90% in the case of hospitalisations and deaths. That’s true of both the Pfizer and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. Hospitalisations are falling faster in over-75s than other groups, suggesting a vaccine effect. It’s not unreasonable to assume that they’ve saved about 3,000 lives already.

I think it’s pretty clear, then, that the vaccines are “sufficiently effective”.

The only thing that is likely to reduce this effectiveness would be some vaccine-escape mutant. But assuming that’s not the case (more on that in a bit) then we can probably be confident that the vaccines will continue to be seen to work, and that they won’t prevent us from opening up in April, May and June.

Crude probability estimates of meeting this criterion at each stage, assuming that we don’t get a significant new variant: Stage 2, 95%; Stage 3, 95%; Stage 4, 95%.

 

Third test: pressure on the NHS

Now it starts to get more complicated. Can you define “unsustainable pressure on the NHS”? Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said in November that the NHS was never overwhelmed during the first wave. And in terms of never quite running out of ICU beds, that may be true. But certainly in terms of its ability to carry out elective procedures, manage chronic care, generally look after people who didn’t have Covid, it was severely struggling. Is that “unsustainable pressure”?

“There’s a whole backlog of patients who need to go into hospital for operations and elective care,” says Robertson. “If you keep all of them out of hospital, you reduce the demands on the NHS, but the pressure doesn’t go away, it’s just off the balance sheets.” Somewhere between “higher-than-normal demand for a normal July day” and “the peak of surge capacity at the height of the Covid waves”, there is an invisible line marked “unsustainable pressure”, but exactly where it is we don’t know.

We won’t find out, either, at least for a few weeks. Schools have now been open for two days as I write this. If that leads to new cases, we won’t see any of them for about a week, and there won’t be enough to reliably say that there’s an effect for at least three. Hospitalisations are around a week behind that. If the first stage of the roadmap causes significant pressure on the NHS, we won’t know until early April at the very earliest. That’s why the roadmap includes these long gaps between stages: so we can see the effect.

Chris Whitty expects to see a surge in cases, and then hospitalisations and deaths, as we open up — much reduced, though, because the most vulnerable people will be protected by the vaccine, so the ratio of cases to hospitalisations (and deaths) will be far higher. But it will not be zero. Whether the surge is enough to cause “unsustainable pressure” will be a question both of how big it is and what is meant by that phrase.

At the moment, there are about 600 admissions a day for Covid in England, which is roughly where we were in October. For context, we got up to almost 4,000 a day in January, but were way down at around 60 a day in August last year. And at the moment there are around 1,500 people in ICUs needing mechanical ventilation, down from about 3,000 in January, but that number drops slowly because people stay in ICU a long time.

I’m much less confident about this than I was about the vaccine rollout. I am less confident about what is defined as “unsustainable pressure”, but, also, I worry that by 12 April, with the schools having been up and running for three weeks and other things opening up, we could be starting to see the beginning of a rise in hospital admissions. The vaccines should help keep the numbers down, so I still think it’s pretty likely that we’ll go ahead with stage 2, but I’m a bit less confident about stages 3 and 4, in May and June.

Crude probability estimates of meeting this criterion at each stage: Stage 2, 80%; Stage 3, 70%; Stage 4, 70%.

 

Fourth test: variants of concern

The B.1.1.7 variant arose, or at least was detected, in the UK in September. It turned out to be much more transmissible than Covid Classic and, lately, death data suggests that it’s between 33% and 100% more deadly than the vanilla version, as well. Does that “fundamentally change” the assessment of risks?

Well, probably not, since the variant was known about before the roadmap was released. But back in January, there was serious concern that the inherent transmissibility of the new variant would make it impossible to control using lockdowns alone: that its R would remain above 1 and the virus would spread regardless. It hasn’t turned out that way, but I think that would have counted as “fundamentally changing” the risk.

Now, there’s real ambiguity over how well the various vaccines perform against the more recent variants, the Brazilian, South African and other mutant strains with the E484K mutation. This mutation changes the shape of the spike protein and makes the vaccines less effective — vaccine escape — but there seems to be evidence that they still work pretty well.

If a real vaccine-escape variant were to come along, says Robertson, that’s a “worst-case scenario”. Then all those vaccinated people in the at-risk groups are vulnerable again and we’re perhaps not back where we started, but certainly nowhere good. Another possibility would be if the virus mutated to be more dangerous for young, healthy people.

So far that hasn’t happened, and so far the more worrying variants that do exist seem to be relatively well-controlled. If, as we open up, they start spreading around more, or more mutations start happening, that will be worrying. This, incidentally, is where I get a bit worried about the idea that the easing of lockdown is “irreversible”: I hope it’s pretty bloody reversible if some serious vaccine escape variants start spreading around.

Whether we pass this test is a matter of pure luck, although the more cases there are in the community, the more chances there are for the virus to mutate. There are reasons to think that it might be quite hard for the virus to become yet more virulent or to properly escape the vaccine, but they’re very theoretical. The UK does have excellent genetic sequencing, though, so it should get very early warning of any variants that do arise. What exactly counts as “fundamentally changing” the situation is, again, unclear.

Crude probability estimates of meeting this criterion at each stage: Stage 2, 85%; Stage 3, 80%; Stage 4, 75%.

 

When will I be having that pint, then?

I had imagined writing this piece with lots of graphs, showing where we are on a route towards opening up – these numbers counting down, these ones going up, a neat projection for where we’ll be on 12 April and 17 May if current trends continue. But unlike previous lockdowns, there isn’t a clear quantification of what it means to meet the different tests at any of the three stages to come.

That may be sensible. The last lockdown had apparently objective measures – local areas would have restrictions imposed when they reached a certain threshold of cases per 100,000. But those were quietly changed, then ignored. Also, if you start imposing lockdowns on any simple measure, you become subject to Goodhart’s Law pretty quickly.

But on the other hand, if it is going to be a judgment call, then whose judgment it is becomes extremely important. The roadmap document only says “the Government” will examine the data, not SAGE or the Joint Biosecurity Centre. “The critical thing is assessing the data after four or five weeks,” says Robertson, and the point is assessing the data, not the political pressure.

I think the vaccine rollout and vaccine efficacy tests should be met with ease. I’m much less clear about what “unsustainable pressure” on the NHS looks like, and whether we’re currently experiencing it or not; and given that we’re yet to see what the effects of opening schools will be on transmission, that may end up slowing things down. And as for variants of concern, it’s a crapshoot – literally random, although the UK’s sequencing capability is helpful. But I think the odds are reasonably good.

One complicating factor: there are, inevitably, calls for the Government to open up faster. But Whitty and Patrick Vallance have told the Science and Technology Committee that this would be unwise; I suspect people wouldn’t like it, given that lockdown measures have been pretty popular so far. Either way, it seems absolutely crazy to speed things up, when the costs of coming out of lockdown too early could be enormous, and the costs of waiting a few more weeks as the vaccines get rolled out are large but limited. If, however, it’s a decision made by government, rather than scientific advisers, then the political pressure might tell.

So what about my beer? Of the four tests, two — the vaccine-related ones — are clearly being met. With the third, hospital pressure, we’ll have to wait and see, but the success of the vaccine rollout should give us plenty of room to play with. And, so far, we’ve been reasonably lucky with new variants. So any given test will probably be met at any given stage.

All taken together, though, it’s not quite so obvious. If you take all my probability estimates above and simply multiply them out, then you get about a 60% chance that stage 2 will happen on April 12, about a 45% chance that stage 3 will happen on May 17, and about a 40% chance that stage 4 will happen on 21 June. But I’m going to bump them all up a bit, because I think if it’s borderline they could be tipped upwards by political pressure, so I’ll say 70%, 55%, and 50%, respectively. So, if I were a betting man, I’d wager at least one round on the fact that we’ll be drinking our first pint this year in a pub garden on 12 April. Even if it’s raining.

 

FOOTNOTES
  1.  Almost a year ago, I said that I was going to start making more falsifiable forecasts more regularly. I haven’t really honoured that, and (I should admit) most of the forecasts I have made have been wrong. But this seemed a good opportunity to get back in the habit.

Tom Chivers is a science writer. His second book, How to Read Numbers, is out now.

TomChivers

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Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago

Go on to the tube in London, walk through the streets of Camden or tower Hamlets and tell the thousands of people there is a lockdown!
It’s only the shops closed otherwise people are getting on with their lives as rent must be paid, food must be put on the table.
Open up properly, let us live again because people are not listening to your doom mongering anymore
Freedom

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Best
Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Yep, it was metrosexuals who ignored the common good in order to have their ‘freedom’ while the great unwashed obeyed.
You must be very proud

Andrew Best
Andrew Best
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Johnson

I have been lucky enough to still have a job and I have not stopped going to work during this lockdown.
So your pathetic insults are just that, pathetic
Lockdowns are for the middle classes the working classes if they still have a job have to go to work

derekatkins
derekatkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Johnson

Once you resort to insults you,ve lost the argument

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Johnson

Blaming COVID on gay people is rather stupid.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

metrosexual
[mɛtrəˈsɛkʃʊəl]
NOUN
informal

  1. a heterosexual urban man 
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Johnson

It was the great unwashed who had to go out to work in order to pay the bills. It was never really about them
It was the public and the service sectors that could stay at home on full pay

Olly Pyke
Olly Pyke
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Depends where you live, it’s very quiet out in the shires.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
3 years ago
Reply to  Olly Pyke

It’s very quiet (relative to normal) here in London too.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

Yes. I travel into Fleet Street every so often for important meetings – the streets are delightfully quiet, free from the hordes of rampaging foreign students pushing you into the road, and from groups of daft students who seem to think they can walk over Waterloo Bridge 15 abreast and no-one can ask to be let past.
This is however a personal view. I also know that business, including one I’m involved in, is suffering mightily. Which means employees are suffering mightily, as are the self-employed. Some taxi drivers go in to work and get no jobs for an entire day. Given they rent their cabs, they cannot survive this much longer.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Open up properly, let us live again because people are not listening to your doom mongering anymore”
Or let us die again. Or let us take a bed from a cancer or heart sufferer who needs surgery but won’t get it in time, because we are indulging ourselves.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Are you trolling or genuinely hysterical?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Which part of Covid killing people, and Covid sufferers taking beds from cancer and heart patients, do you not understand?
Of course, Covid patients who have taken reasonable precautions have no reason to feel guilty about the latter, but those who do so because they don’t discipline themselves for the greater good are being irresponsible.
Clear?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

DNR orders and denial of treatment for dementia sufferers? Or the over 80s? Not allowing family members to help and check on quality of care? Average age of death near 80 for covid? Did they really die of covid or did we just let them die because we decided their lives weren’t worth saving? We had to keep our resources available for the young and deserving? Lot of studies coming out on this…. How many actually died of covid? How many died for poor healthcare, not performing proper health screening, denial of care of Dementia patients and over 80s. We were supposed to be “saving the NHS” right? While they let the elderly die? How do we know they deserve such respect? The data coming out suggests they don’t deserve it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Boylon
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

The focus on Covid deaths is unhelpful. It wasn’t so much the deaths that brought the NHS almost to a halt last year, it was the huge numbers of hospitalisations. A large proportion of the hospitalised take many weeks to either recover or die.
The average age of Covid deaths is a misleading statistic too, or at least it’s bandied about in a way that misleads. Anyone who has survived to the age of 80 has an average expectancy of a further 8 years. Do you really think these fellow citizens are expendable, “for the children”?
And, while we’re at it, having an underlying condition does not mean “at death’s door” so not worth worrying about.

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago

The majority of hospitalisations were/are totally uneccessary, and this is at the door of Hancock et al.There are prohylactics and early stage treatments which our health system for reasons of its own has virtually ignored. And when it does take note it seems to disbelieve non in house, uk trials and then deliberately trial incorrect dosage at the wrong stage of illness or at incorrect doses. Such as Vit D/calecefidiol, HCQ/zinc, budesonide, Ivermectin, and others. All the above have shown both empirically by thousands of doctors and also through trials that hospitalisations down 80 plus percent. Trials on budesonide and ivermectin were halted cos of the immorality of killing the control groups off.
If Hancock is not strung up by his balls for the rest of his lockdown and holding out for a vaccine at the expense of anything else shambles, he needs stringing up for killing off all those whose lives may have been extended by being given these treatments.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago

Oh Dougie, such facts and rational thinking are never well-received on UnHerd 😉

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago

The hospitalisation issue was caused by the initial mistreatment of Care Homes and their dwellers. What Care Home owner, having once had ill people sent to them by the NHS (the NHS having full knowledge of what they were doing) taking with them a virus that hammers the elderly, would then allow the NHS to do the same thing to them again? Hospitals were packed with the well elderly.

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

They have actually done the analysis. Average loss of years of life for Covid is between 8.6 and 11.6 years. I hope when I am old, no one says ‘you only have about 10 years left to live, so we are not too concerned if you die’

beancounting42
beancounting42
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

I have effectively lost the last year to this virus because my life has been so heavily constrained. How many more years like the last one should I be prepared to accept before I draw the conclusion that it is better to take my chances and walk away from these lockdowns than to hide away from COVID? 8.6 years perhaps?

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You could have just said ‘hysterical’

Last edited 3 years ago by David Slade
Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

NO, not clear at all. The mortality rate for this “flu bug” is identical to all previous flu bugs at 99.97%, and the average age of death from it is 82.2 years of age. Pray, tell me why cancer and heart patients have been left to die last year? Give me a scientific reason why this would be so? The selfish ones are those who would support this massive crime against humanity, perpetrated by a corrupt medical mafia, and an even more corrupt government.

Eva Rostova
Eva Rostova
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Misinformation/disinformation. I refer you to Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge and the Royal Statistical Society, one of the world’s most respected statisticians (also quoted by lockdown sceptic Lord Sumption): the infection fatality rate of Covid in the UK is closer to 1%.
And a big reason cancer and other patients had some of their treatments delayed was because so many beds were taken up taking care of Covid patients, particularly ICU beds. Same story in Sweden, which had no lockdown. Use some common sense: full hospitals due to an uncontrolled pandemic will lead to pressure on hospital resources.

Last edited 3 years ago by Eva Rostova
Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

I believe you mean the SURVIVAL rate.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

Perhaps we should be asking what would have been done in earlier times. The NHS gets the praise but it should be the van drivers delivering food and goods to us that should get the praise. Without them and the internet to place orders the policies adopted by Boris would not have been workable.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Best

You might not be listening but most are.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

Dear Tom,
you are like a clever child who still believes in Father Christmas. You can’t believe your mummy and daddy would tell you a lie, so you go on using all your reasoning and mathematical skills to persuade yourself otherwise.

It is sad and a bit embarrassing.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Exactly, well said.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

Indeed

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Yes, you’ve nailed him.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Lockdown is like a religion to some people, surely his eys must occasionally see the official data graphs and note that by all 3 measures cases were falling before lockdown mark 3 even started. Surely he must wonder why despite a year of some of the hardest restrictions the UK still has one of worse death rates (backed up by huge excess deaths, many caused by lockdown). But like a true believer these mere facts are ignored, or perhaps terrible events are not evidence that god isn’t all powerful – but that we have been bad (not enough hard restrictions) and have been punished.

One of the most sane modellers (Woodhouse? Edinburgh) suggested that we should perhaps consider using the actual data over the models – given that the drop in cases, and deaths is way better & faster than any of the models predicted. He said this like it was a controversial idea. I thought this was the whole point of empiricism/science, real observed good data should always trump ideas/models.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

But I think the science is chosen to support the political action, not vice versa. Scientists offer validation.
Why do you think that our politicians are actually capable of making the right decisions? What choice do we have?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Cases and deaths have fallen each time lockdown was imposed.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No they didn’t. please look at the facts. Cases were always falling before lockdowns began.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Second England Lockdown started November 5th 2020. Covid daily recorded cases peaked November 13th 2020 and daily deaths 27th November (taking 7 day moving average for deaths). 2nd Lockdown ended and new Tier system introduced 2 December. Daily recorded cases on 1st December lowest since November 13th and 7 day moving average for deaths at lowest since 27th November on December 9th. I don’t see the falling cases or deaths before 2nd lockdown but I do see a reduction in cases from 8 days after lockdown and deaths from 22 days after lockdown.
After 2nd December (tier system in place) daily cases steadily rose until January 8th and deaths peaked on January 23rd. 3rd lockdown started January 5th (although most of population was already under Tier 4 restrictions equivalent to lock down after 26th December). Daily cases reduced from January 8th and deaths reduced consistently fromn January 23rd. until now. Again, looks as though a reduction in cases followed the imposition of Lockdown and the reduction in deaths followed Lockdown.
There also seems to be a fairly consistent timeline of cases dropping one to two weeks after lockdowns and deaths dropping three to four weeks after lockdowns.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

A large part of both falls was more lateral flow being used and then this year changed parameters for PCR.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Whatever, a lot of the so-called cases, or infections, are false positives. But a lot of people have been able to go on a big power trip, and a lot of people are getting rich, and that’s the main thing.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

So lockdown deaths peaked 8th April suggesting a peak a week before 23rd March.
Late October 2020 cases were plateauing, before lockdown.
Trying to pretend that lockdown 3 started at an earlier date is desperate, restrictions have been in place for near a year, strong restrictions were in place for 90% of England since November – yet we had a massive surge.

See Wales for lockdown failure in October 2020.

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

Oh, it was just an amazing coincidence each time, was it?

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

well it must have been when you compare dozens of examples round the world with stunningly different reactions (no masks, no lockdowns vs full lockdown) having exactly the same infection and death curves. Virus gonna virus

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Explaining Finland is, for instance, beyond most lockdown fanatics.

Duncan Cleeve
Duncan Cleeve
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

They were falling before the lock downs were imposed, the data clearly shows this and have the government have admitted it, their argument was it wasn’t falling quickly enough. The spike of death goes up and comes down no matter what a government does, data from around the world demonstrates this.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

The spike of death goes up and comes down no matter what a government does”
While increasing cases may lead people to be a little more cautious (a kind of informal lockdown) even in advance of Govt regulations, it defies commonsense to suggest that the transmission of an infectious disease – a disease which can ONLY spread by proximity and contact with surfaces – is not affected by lockdowns.

johndeery
johndeery
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The ‘common sense’ argument is an interesting one. There is a reason we do not do hard lockdowns. We actually know the result. Within 2-3 weeks hospitals are running on emergency generators, the dead go unburied and the rubbish piles up in the streets. We know because we did it! The current lockdowns are middle class fantasies. Taking into account middle class people working from home, people furloughed or unemployed and we have perhaps a reduction on activity of 20%. There are more than sufficient transmission pathways in the rest of the population for a highly transmissible virus to get round that. Not so ‘common sense’ after all?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  johndeery

And little shopping apart from food.
And shops closed.
And pubs, restaurants, cinemas, churches, concert halls etc closed.
Which despite essential workers continuing to work, means that the R value falls below 1.0 and the previous rise in new infections goes into reverse. And so do hospital admissions a couple of weeks later, and deaths a couple of weeks after that.

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The ‘R’ number. Surely no one takes a blind bit of notice of this farcical Witty benchmark any more?

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  johndeery

How does it defy commonsense? There were stringent lockdowns in California and New York. New York had more deaths than Florida and California had about the same as Florida. Florida has a significantly higher average age. Sweden had less stringent lockdowns than UK, Spain, France, and Belgium and still had better results. An odd propaganda campaign was launched against Sweden to convince the masses it did horribly by comparing it to its neighbors but one of the things the propagandists didn’t do was to look at the other nordic countries lockdown policies. These policies resembled Sweden’s more than it did the UK. In fact other than a short month lockdown in Spring and tighter border controls Finland has had less stringent controls than Sweden. Especially the last several months as the political leaders in Sweden lost their spine. This is also true of Denmark. People have been pointing to Norway but for the last 10 years Norway has had a significantly lower death rate than all its neighbors. Has anybody even bothered to find out why? I’ve heard it has a younger population but looking at average age it doesn’t seem significant to me. The only thing that stands out is the population density is significantly less than Sweden. Is that the driver? Are they a wealthier country with less people and a better healthcare system?
I have not locked down at all. I work with over 400 people and have about 100 contractors on site a day. 24/7 operation. I am a department head and this company has a covid review every morning for all employees and the people they live with. I sit in on that every morning. I have had whole families get tested positive. After a year of this no one has died. The worst case spent 2 days in the ICU for dehydration but fully recovered and has been back at work since May. No long covid. Everybody who has had it has recovered fully. A family of 3 all had it. One had no symptoms. The other two a slight cough and low fever for 3 days. All completely healthy now. This employee jokes about the “dreaded” covid.
I firmly feel this was a gigantic overreaction and a scam. The more I look into it the more it looks true. Especially after discovering and reading this…. was this a trial run for big pharma? Did they take a look at what went wrong in 2009 and build a better game plan? Did the event 201 in October get everybody practiced up and ready to go?
I posted early that studies are coming up bringing all of this into doubt. Looking at the average age of death it is possible we have simply allowed a larger number people to die because we abandoned the elderly. We cut their care and access to support. There seems to be policies in place to deny dementia patients medical care and even giving DNR orders without families permission. Supposedly this was done due to the “emergency” to free up space for younger sick people. This was also the reason they were removed from hospitals and put back into care homes. Without family access to care homes and hospitals how do you know the level of care given? This is especially true of dementia patients who get a lot of their care and support from family member. Who filled that void? From what I’m reading that answer is nobody. We abandoned them to die alone.
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFlu/swine-flu-pandemic-world-health-organization-scientists-linked/story?id=10829940

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Boylon
worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

We have had treatments and preventatives, known about for months, but as mentioned in another post, Hancock, as he said in October, put covid on hold until the vaccines arrived.
Budesonide, VitD, ivermectin, HCQ/zinc, Vit C etc etc were showing great results and trials showing each giving an 80plus percent reduction in hospitalisations and deaths with some once in hospital.
Meanwhile our hospitals were ‘overrun’ with people dying left right and centre according to Hancock.
Meanwhile, our very inflexible and intransigent NHS continued not treating early stage nor even deaths door cases with anything that works.
Was this a trial for pharma and mRNA vaccines and/or being used as a political weapon? Hancock’s actions, along with those of Fauci, Gates and co suggest so. Which brings us back to all the above treatments being dirt cheap and either non patentable or out of patent.Ouch – not good for profit and Hancock’s back pocket.

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

There is plenty of comparative data from around the world, even states in the USA that either didn’t lock down or opened months ago. And consistently across this data is either no differeence to the non lockdowners faring much better looking at all acause mortality. There are thirty plus papers showing lockdowns don’t ‘work’ except to kick the bucket down the road and reduce natural immunity.
Looking at case numbers is a joke, certainly here in the UK as we were using high cycle threshold and as has been found out very recently, single gene ‘positives’.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

I’m never sure about the differing effects of restrictions around the world (given disparities in data collection , demographics and restrictions), however what’s clear is that the correlation between strong restrictions and positive outcomes certainly doesn’t shine through.

Compare and contrast this with vaccines, the positive outcomes are excellent, regardless of any other factors.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Well, that’s just not true

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Lockdowns Always produce ‘Spikes’ ÂŁ22billion on test 7trace has been Wasted…..Whitty has boxed himself in..30,000 could die..etc..

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The reason our death rate is worse than many other countries is because our population was so unhealthy going in to the pandemic. I know it’s satisfying to blame the Government, the NHS, someone else, but no other explanation is needed.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago

Well some obesity 14% of 70million,but Underlying illnesses have &will continue to dwarf SARS2 deaths in next 3-4 years..Cancers, Fibrositis,Heart,Lung etc..

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago

We also had a soft flu season the year before, so lots of ‘dry tinder’.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

As I’ve observed before, many of the lockdown complainers are innumerate, so they’re more like children (or at least, young ones who can’t count) than Tom Chivers. For example, already in this thread we find the assertion that the lockdown itself caused “many” of the excess deaths.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Wright
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

If you can’t beat the facts, attack the messenger. Try reading around a little, perhaps papers you won’t like – some researchers put the deaths caused by lockdown at 21,000 by July 2020 alone (Sheffield and Loughborough universities). There’s 101 others out there. One of the presumptions is that the governments over zealous lockdown messenging led to a massive drop in urgent hospital visits – cardiac related visits reduced by nearly 50% during the 1st lockdown. The lack of precise numbers is a meaningless charge, we will never know exactly how many died of Covid 19, probably not within 10% – it doesn’t change the fact that ‘many’ people died of it.

The excess deaths in England (as oppossed to the whole UK) were particularly high by ONS european data comparisons. So whilst our Covid related deaths were similar to other countries, our excess deaths were significantly higher again – 80% etc. Again this is public domain, and graphed for easy consumption.

Some pro lockdown supporters are ignorant of the damage caused by lockdown and goverrnment policies, some decide to ignore it – others decide that it was worth it on balance (sensible level of debate) . Which one are you?

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The more people who are in hospital due to Covid, the fewer beds there are for heart and cancer patients. Allowing Covid to run away because of an ideological hostility to lockdown would have led to even more nightmarish choices between Covid patients suffocating to death if they are not given a bed and oxygen (Italy was attempting to treat people in hospital car parks at one point) and people who will die from their heart attack if not given a bed.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Your ideological belief is that blanket lockdowns are effective – you assert that lockdowns have stopped runaway covid rates and deaths, yet there is simply no evidence to back this up.

Consider that the UK has far worse outcomes than countries with much looser restrictions and that this comparison works worldwide and inter state (US).

You want to believe that your sacrifice has been worth it, and that we’re in control – we’re not in control, and the sacrifice has offered very poor returns.

I’d have prefered a lockdown policy that may even have been more draconian – if it had been focused on protecting the high risk groups. Even if we had the similar level of lockdown as currently applied to everyone, with extra restrictions and help for higher risk groups. Yes this would have hard on them, but not unfair. What is wrongheaded is that children have been de facto locked up, whilst high risk people go to work, go shopping daily etc. I know 80 year olds who go to multiple shops, the garden centre etc daily – for something to do, whilst I know 6 year olds who’ve barely left their home in 2 months.

The vaccine rollout clearly shows that they believe age is the clearest proxy for high risk, and that people who work with them are also a risk to them. These were the groups society should have protected, and protected well.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The idea of simply shielding the elderly/vulnerable was considered. It was rejected because it was found to be unworkable. If it had been workable, it would have been adopted as having less impact. After all, it’s hardly in the political leaders’ interest to have massive economic slump and nightmarish borrowing, is it?
And children going back to school will increase transmission from infected households to uninfected ones (as we may shortly see) – which can probably be just about tolerated now that 30% of the population, predominantly the most vulnerable, has been vaccinated, but was not tolerable when it was 0% or 20%.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

What specific threshold of infection / hospitalisations / deaths is acceptable to you for the lifting of restrictions?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Weyland Smith

I’m not Chris but it’s a fair question. Say 7 day moving average deaths in single figures for a period of four weeks and daily new cases at less than 500 over 7 day moving average for four weeks?
However, this would have to be supported by a properly working Test and Trace function to pin down outbreaks and having workplaces / transport etc following guidelines to reduce risk of airborne infections of all kinds.
With the other provisos about vaccine resistant strains, or strains that are more deadly or transmissable etc.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thanks for the considered reply. Even ‘provisos’ about resistant / deadly / transmissible strains beg the same questions. In the end society has to settle on a trade-off and acknowledge an acceptable number of deaths as it does with flu. I suspect that’s what Johnson has in mind when he speaks about the opening up being irreversible. I think that in the end the rolling story will start to wind down and covid19 will blend into the winter respiratory background.

Colin K
Colin K
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Lockdowns were considered unworkable in democratic countries up until 2020.

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Well said, as a 74 year old I detest lockdowns but would have abided by, and understood why, if they had been aimed only at the vulnerable groups. There is no excuse for including children and younger people in this governments draconian measures.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Pauline Ivison

Except that, if the disease had been allowed to run riot among younger people, a high proportion of the people you deal with would get it at some point. That includes the postman pushing letters through your door, the milkman delivering milk (if he does), the guy delivering groceries, any home help you have, anyone who comes to mend your broken-down boiler, etc. That’s why shielding only the vulnerable was considered and rejected.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Except that, transmission of the virus on objects (fomids) has been found to be almost non-existent. So it doesn’t matter if the mail carrier or the grocery deliveryman has Covid, the shielded elderly would have virtually zero chance of contracting the virus from them. Before we knew about the low risk from fomids, I washed my hands when I brought the mail in and then left it alone for three days. Same with groceries.
As far as the plumber, everyone wears masks, you throw open all the windows, and the at-risk resident waits outside as much as possible.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

With hindsight.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Excellent points, it’s sad that some lockdowners would rather stoically inflict maximum damage on everyone rather than work to achieve lower death rates.

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Not really. When the over 70s and vulnerable were vaccinated it was reported by government that those groups represented 99% on those who died. They were not delivering the post etc.

Al K
Al K
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The more fear you create, the harder you lockdown and the more beds you re-allocate for over-estimated Covid cases, the fewer urgent, non-Covid, hospital visits. This is not only common sense but backed up by data.
That often means un-diagnosed cancer, or late-treatment of cancer (for example), which kills.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Lockdowns don’t work! Lockdowns kill! Covid rarely does!

worldsbestbrewer
worldsbestbrewer
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Many of our docs treat in car parks – although most of our docs don’t actually treat. As you may have read above, there are plenty of treatments to prevent hospitalisations in the first place with 80 plus pcent suuccess rates.
Hancock and our health boffins, inc docs aware of themm but ignoring them are complicit in loads of early deaths.
although, most of those dying would probably be dead within weeks or months from something else if it wasn’t covid.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I have upticked you because you are mostly right although Mr Wright is also right. (sorry!)
As you point out, there is information everywhere and you can choose the information to support your view. Unfortunately, I don’t think that people bother to read things which offer an alternative version.
Every so often I read The New Statesman and The Socialist Review and sometimes I think that they are right (meaning that they offer a reasonable alternative). If I start a post, “This morning in The New Statesman it said….” I immediately get ten downticks and nobody bothers to read the rest of the post.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

It’s alright – some anti-lockdowners and anti-vaxers are nuts, more than innumerate. What’s worrying is the number of pro lockdowners who are completely unwilling to consider that more intelligent and focused restrictions could have produced far better results, or that lockdowns have large downsides. Even the original Imperial work suggested signifcant deaths 10,000s) caused by lockdowns, even if they considered it “worth it”.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Yep.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The fact that the government and their apparatchiks in the NHS cannot say who died from SARS-CoV2 and who died with it, let alone those who died from lack of access to the empty wards/nightingale hospitals tells you all you need to know. They are either stupid, wicked or both.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Reality check on your last sentence.
You’ve got it into your head that either:
(1) the government, scientists and NHS doctors and leaders are “stupid
or
(2) the government, scientists and NHS doctors and leaders are “wicked
Really?
I suggest:
(3) you can’t accept the view of people who know better than you do.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Governments and scientists have been known to be wicked and stupid before.

John Keepin
John Keepin
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Or to take a charitable point of view, many are so specialised that they are broadly incompetent, and frequently make serious mistakes. I know this, with a fair bit of experience as a patient over the years!

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I suggest you take a hard look at the statement “you can’t accept the view of people who know more than you do”. I agree with you if we are talking about an expert operating within the sphere of their expertise and within well established science. The opinion of an expert opining outside of these parameters is something else altogether. The expert guess in this case is really little better than the layman; possibly worse as the experts typically avoid the consequences of their edicts. I believe the opinion and perspectives of the “man in the arena” who is going to have to bear the load of the expert edicts has largely been ignored.

John Keepin
John Keepin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Jennings

You’re right. Part of the real problem is that politicians (who are inevitably incompetent in most specialist fields) tend to believe in them, and take action on account of what they say.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Why do you think it needs to be any of those?

A generation which never knew the real threat of nuclear war (as was the case during the Asian and Hong Kong flu pandemics) or actual war (Spanish flu), had no frame of reference for the uncertainty and fear that comes from a virus.

Politicians, out of expediency or inexperience, came up with the only response that a terrified populace would accept (extreme measures for what they thought were extreme circumstances), and had just enough people working comfortably from home to keep the opinion polls in the right direction. This response would not even been possible 20 years ago as the later of these two conditions couldn’t be met.

You see, it’s very rare that you need to invoke a cabal made from those outliers in humanity who deliberately seek to inflict evil to explain its occurrence. Sometimes it (or, more precisely, it’s facsimile) is stumbled in to through fear; accident or lack of imagination to see the alternatives.

The mistake conspiracy theorists make is assuming conspiracies are necessary.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Slade
Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

So you trust this godless bunch? Led by a man who can’t be trusted by those he claims to love? And with another man at the heart of it who ignores the policies his claims have put in place? Why, in God’s name, why would you trust them?

Pauline Ivison
Pauline Ivison
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Both.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

So whilst our Covid related deaths were similar to other countries, our excess deaths were significantly higher again – 80% etc. Again this is public domain, and graphed for easy consumption.

I’m not sure what graphs you are referring to. https://twitter.com/_johnbye/status/1355842968326987777 has the ONS graphs for excess deaths, and does not agree that many deaths were caused by lockdown (which I take to mean the restricting of reasons why people may leave their house, by law). Bye’s conclusions are:
– Most excess deaths are due to covid
– There are no excess deaths in the young
– Only circulatory diseases show significant excess deaths
– Many non-covid excess deaths in April seem to be undiagnosed covid
– Excess deaths at home may be displaced from hospitals and hospices

Duncan Cleeve
Duncan Cleeve
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

‘lock down complainers’, how selfish that people who are in no danger of the virus should complain about losing their jobs, their businesses, their children suffering from mental health, being unable to get treatment for serious conditions such as cancer etc etc. I trust your mortgage isn’t on the line? Meanwhile the wealthiest in the world are cashing it in, while SME’s are going to the wall.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

You’re wasting your breath; lockdown zealots are basically robots. Not only do they need to recalibrate their ethical compass; they need to get one in the first place!

Some are genuinely frightened, some – I’m afraid – are just enjoying seeing society reordered around their numbers.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

I think you might be talking about lockdown sceptics.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

I do wonder how many lockdown complainers are like me who apart from sitting on a bench (in the middle of nowhere I hasten to add) on Sunday, have largely stuck to the rules and beyond (I avoided seeing older relatives despite bubble legality, in order to protect them) – and are bitter about them?

Whilst many pro lockdowners I know vocally support the concept, whilst partaking in plenty of needless trips, socialising with family and friends indoors and staying away etc.

Seems like an issue of moral license. Or perhaps and this is it! pro lockdowners really don’t understand the rules and the spirit of them, so they continue doing what they like; wondering what all the fuss is about.

Last edited 3 years ago by LUKE LOZE
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

It’s beds being taken up by people with Covid that prevents cancer sufferers getting treatment. And medical staff getting Covid which reduces medical staff availability on any particular day. Those problems are reduced by lockdowns.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

“It’s beds being taken up by people with Covid that prevents cancer sufferers getting treatment.”
No it isn’t.
Next!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Glib.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

 being unable to get treatment for serious conditions such as cancer etc etc.

Again, “sceptics” making stuff up. Inability to get treatment happens because of hospitals being overloaded, not because of lockdown (where one of the rules has always been that you could leave your house for medical treatment). If COVID spread more, more people would be in hospital and the problem would be worse.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

As for the rest, I agree that the economic effects of lockdown are terrible. However, if the “sceptics” really cared so much about the economy, there wouldn’t be such an overlap between #KBF in Twitter profiles and support for Brexit. Trashing businesses for “freedom from the EUSSR” is fine, doing it to save lives provokes (crocodile) tears.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Wright
Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

“The effectiveness of shielding vulnerable individuals was limited by the inability to control transmission in hospital and from other adults in the household.”
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.02.21252734v1

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

“While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less-restrictive interventions.”
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33400268/

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

“Covid-19 caused just two thirds of the excess deaths in the US during the first five months of the pandemic. The rest were due to indirect effects of the outbreak—and many were in older Americans suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”
https://qz.com/1918541/more-adults-have-died-from-dementia-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I only know people who have died because of the lockdown. Additionally, my family has been directly impacted by suicide. Suicide is on the up and it is hard to claim that the lockdown has not contributed to this. I find the casual attitude towards those who question the lockdown (the biggest political power grab in British history) to be cruel, heartless and frankly evil. We are not innumerate, it is the because we can interpret data (and do not trust mathematical modelling) that we raising the issue in the first place. There has to be another agenda here, because it cannot be for the good of our health, that’s for sure. Lockdowns kill, covid rarely does.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  C K

Lockdowns kill, covid rarely does”
125,000 dead within 28 days of a positive Covid test.
Most of them dying from Covid symptoms of suffocation.
Do a thought experiment. Choose something which has the same frequency in Britain as having Covid – something like watching a particular TV program or buying replacement inkjet cartridges. Would 125,000 have died within 28 days of doing so? No.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

More Spin &lies …125,000 have NOT died of SARS2 .its more like 5% of that 6,250 ….Unless you are doing Autopsies ,Which lockdown fanatics aren’t…

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  C K

Suicide is on the up and it is hard to claim that the lockdown has not contributed to this

Again, “sceptics” just make up things they think are happening without looking at statistics. https://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=51861 says suicides have not risen. What is your evidence that they have?
By all means question the lockdown, but don’t make things up to do so. Pretty much everyone I’ve seen on here who is a “lockdown sceptic” has a wild variety of stuff they’ve made up, from the PCR false positives to the “lockdown killed most of the excess deaths”.

malcolm6
malcolm6
3 years ago

Data, not dates, was the mantra, yet all we were told was dates. If reopening was based on the data, we would have reopened by now. Infections down 90% since the peak, deaths and hospitalisations down 80%, people in hospital down 70% and all still failing, vulnerable groups vaccinated. Source: the government’s coronavirus website. We’re well passed the tipping point and businesses reopening won’t reverse that but will help save the economy and deaths from other causes.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  malcolm6

Those falls in infections etc are due to lockdown, plus some impact of reduced infectiousness of those who have been vaccinated. But only 30% have had even the first jab so far. Merely reopening schools as we did on Monday will cause more infections – whether that will push R above 1.0 remains to be seen (hopefully, if that happens, the ever-increasing vaccination proportion would then tug it below 1.0 after a few weeks). That’s why the Government is proceding stepwise, with a decision point before each further relaxation. The argument that since lockdown has worked, we can abandon all aspects of it forthwith, isn’t viable with 30% vaccination. 80%, maybe. Remember what happened in September/October, when Boris rejected the scientists’ advice and the virus was out of control at the end of October.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris C
cererean
cererean
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No, because those 30% are by far the most vulnerable to covid. Don’t be distracted by cases, focus on what actually matters, deaths and hospitalisations and damage.
Also, outdoor activities are very low risk (ask an actual epidemiologist – https://twitter.com/mugecevik/status/1348771251758784517). There was no reason at all to ban these, and certainly no reason to wait until the 29th of march or 12th of april to allow them again. Go by data, which says open them up, not by arbitrary dates.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  cererean

The ban on a lot of outdoor activities was idiotic, needlessly draconian and probably counter productive. I can understand contact sports, I mean Rugby scrums seem an obvious place of infection, but golf?
Obviously any activitiy between households increases infection risk, but outside is orders of magnitude safer, and healthier – whilst ironically being at far greater risk of being caught and fined. Really poorly thought through.

Steve Kaczynski
Steve Kaczynski
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Supposedly obesity contributes to poor Covid outcomes, yet McDonalds and many fast food place function, even if you are not allowed to sit down, but exercise centres that might be on the same street are closed.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I agree with that. Banning safe outdoor activities while not providing adequate sick pay to infected people isolating seems particularly absurd.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  cererean

The outdoor activities themselves are probably low risk as you say, but:

  • do the participants turn up already wearing their sports kit, and then walk home in wet kit covered in mud or climb into their nice new car while covered in mud, or do they use changing rooms and showers at the same time as the other players?
  • participants embrace after scoring etc
  • spectators and supporters spread out along the fixed length of the perimeter – so if they are a fair number of them, they can’t socially distance
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

As Mr Eliot warned some time ago, I suspect that April will be the cruellest month for Tom and all those who still believe that one day we might be free again. Personally I gave up on that belief a long time ago. We are ruled by an entire governing and media class that, having been captured by scientists (social and otherwise), has gleefully seized this opportunity to control every area of our minds and lives. It’s a long time since I’ve voted, and I don’t suppose I will ever be voting again, even if allowed to.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Don’t believe we have been captured by scientists (because I am one, myself). The scientists are just there to say what the government wants them to say so that there is a justification for what is done.

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago

Indeed, same as in climate science. In the first half of the past century it was much warmer then now, but this can now only be found in old newspaper articles from back then, because ‘scientists’ have erased the warming from that period to make it look like even the seventies were warmer, which they were not. I am old enough not only to remember they thought a new ice age was ‘cometh’. In my maritime education we had to study meteorology, and my teacher back then said these ice age predictions were done by meteorologists to stupid to do a study in real science, so they chose meteorology instead (back most climate scientists where meteorologists). The reason they thought a new ice-age was coming was because it was getting al lot colder fast in the sixties and seventies, with ice-sheets forming all the way to Iceland. Fun fact, climate scientists love to start their graphs in 1976, the coldest year on record. As if we did not have a climate before that year.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

1976 was the coldest year on record? That year saw a famous and prolonged heat wave in the UK, which goes to show that climate is not consistent around the world.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

As I noted in a comment on another article, we were sweating miserably in the office in 1976 – no air con. The grass in local parks went brown before heavy rains arrived in September.

Saying “the coldest year on record” is also problematical, because how far back do these records go? I bet the Little Ice Age years were colder. As was that 18th century winter described by Gilbert White in “The natural history of Selbourne”. White’s beautiful Hampshire valley was in the grip of a horrendous freeze (likely volcano induced) when they couldn’t get warm anywhere for weeks, not even in the kitchen.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I think it was 1978 when it was cold.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

April produced Snow in 1978 ,1975 it Snowed in late june before Wimbledon

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Indeed Climate is Affected by Solar Winds,Volcanic Activity ie 1883 Krakatoa , 1980 Mount St,helena etc..

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

I knew there was a link between Covid denial and climate change denial. “Make up your own facts” in both cases.

Neil Mcalester
Neil Mcalester
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

What exactly is ‘COVID denial’? Is it also a meaningless slur you use to make yourself feel smart? I have never heard from a ‘climate change denier’ ‘The’ climate (which one?) has always changed.

Duncan Cleeve
Duncan Cleeve
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I knew there was a link between covid bedwetters and people who believe farting cows change the climate, (it’s the sun).

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Cleeve

Yes, methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, whether it comes from farting cows or from Donald Trump (the idol of so many Covid deniers) gratuitously allowing the US oil and gas industry to vent large amounts of it, against the requests of much of the industry itself.
Oh sorry, that’s S-C-I-E-N-C-E, not just nonsense funded by billionaire coal mine owners who fund global warming denial groups.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I thought facts were deemed oppressive.

David Slade
David Slade
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

There is overlap with climate denialists but no link – for a start Covid denial is a fallacy; a debate about the efficacy and morality of a solution is not a denial of the problem. A few people may deny Covid exists but they don’t lead the discussion – even on sceptic sites.

The evidence base for anthropogenic climate change is much stronger, based (at its simplest form) on a recognition of the Carbon cycle, it’s equilibrium and the probable consequences of disrupting this as well as the absence of any alternative narratives (Carbon can’t just dissipate into space for instance and nor is there a measurable increase in biomass to contain it)).

You could have an equivalent debate if someone proposed taking humanity back to the stone age as a solution – as then there would be an ethical dimension (as with Covid and Lockdowns).

There is also pre existing plans to deal with the threat of respiratory viruses that specifically cautioned against the current practices, this puts the debate on a different empirical (as well as ethical) footing to that of climate change.

I know some here are cynical about climate change (as a human induced phenomenon) but I thought the above worth pointing out, as equating lockdown scepticism with climate denial is a common smear for lockdown zealots. But as someone who accepts anthropogenic climate change but rejects lockdowns/new normal dogmatism, I felt the need to point out this is false.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Slade

Thanks for that, it is a reasoned argument. But you are different from many here, for whom any conspiracy theory represents wisdom just because it makes them feel sophisticated.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Your sense of irony shows no sign of abating. Covid and climate change possess much in common, ranging from the WEF to data manipulation (or suppression) to media complicity and unequal platforming / profile for both sides of the debate .To someone of your political persuasion, that’s just fine then?

A few weeks ago in Germany, the freezing temperatures (global warming I suppose?), lack of wind and sun rendered all the expensive ‘green’ energy generation sources unworkable. Put another way: useless.

So what did Germany do? Fired up the coal generating plants. Sehr grĂŒn, nein? Then there’s Germany’s Nordstream gas deal with that paragon of warm and fuzzy respect for international law and human rights, Russia (although you doubtless retain nostalgia for the old Soviet Union).

Were they – like anyone else – supposed to freeze in the name of ideological climate change dogma?

Like Covid, the results of letting scientists run the show without context or assessment of wider societal requirements and considerations can be (and is) extremely dangerous.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

“Like Covid, the results of letting scientists run the show without context or assessment of wider societal requirements and considerations can be (and is) extremely dangerous.”
Very good comment although unfair to most scientists who actually realise that science is never settled and trying to bend – or even omit – facts to fit the theory is not the way it works.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Point taken.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

Brilliant and you are correct. I remember a front page spread in (I think) The Daily Mail – “New Ice-Age on the way.” in1978. From that point it started to get warmer again and the new panic started. Our climate has been doing these things for thousands of years but the environmental activists only show a curve from the end of the 19th century to support their views – bogus scientists have been doing this for years. Manmade global warming is a silly idea.
I have another theory, that politicians have got together secretly (maybe Tony Blair?) and decided that we need to become less dependent on Russia and the Middle East for our energy. Global warming is a good way to get people to believe in cutting fossil fuels.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Look at the figures for global temperatures.
Nine of the hottest ten years on record are very recent.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes but you have to look at long-term trends if you want to monitor something as complex as the planet.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Garbage No they ARE NOT 1666, 1826 1862 1911 1940 1959 1976 were warmer so stop your bilge..

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Where is this info for the 1970s everything I’ve looked at shows the coolest 20 years in the 1st 50 years of good records 1880’s-1929 and the hottest 20 years since 1997.

I find climate change to be a bit like Covid, in that whilst it’s true and a serious issue, there’s too much hysteria and the actions we take often seem to cause maximum harm, for a low pay off. With climate change most of the West’s actions achieve nothing but moving polluters and wealth abroad, often achieving more CO2.

I’ve worked with some of the ‘bogus’ scientists, it’s not a silly idea – but it has been co opted by certain political groups. There is also the hysteria where all weather is assigned to ‘climate change’.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

It’s taken me a while to get anything together because I am of an age of books, not the internet. I have books but can’t photocopy for UnHerd.
First of all, there was a 2 degree cooling between 1946 and the winter of 1977-78. I remember the front page of The Daily Mail telling us about the forthcoming ice age.
I have a reference for the NYT of Jan 5th 1978 –
“International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30-year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere”. I remember that this was taken seriously on TV – I was a student at the time.
Then and only then temperatures started to rise. When global warming started to be discussed seriously we started to see the famous ‘hockey stick’ showing temperatures over the last 1000 years and a sharp increase after 1980. It was decided that this must be caused by CO2 emissions and we started on our way.
In fact CO2 levels in climate measurements based on ice bars from Antarctica only show a part connection to global warming. There have been very warm times when the CO2 levels were low. Also important were sun flares, volcanoes (a negative effect), the Earth’s axis.
In my thoughts as a scientist I feel that a connection with CO2 is possible but not likely. Anecdotally, I think of times after, say, 1850 when everybody had coal fires and there were smogs in every city. Admittedly there were fewer cars but CO2 levels were still high. Then the years after WW2 were phenominally cold, culminating in 1978 when newspapers had leaders as above.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Solar minimum(Lack of sunspots) 2018-2030 tends to nproduce cooler drought Summmers & Wetter Autumns &Colder Winters seems to correlate to 2018-20 so far..

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

Have you a source for the ‘coldest year on record’ being 1976? Sounds complete tosh, given the ‘Maunder minimum’ and other known periods when global temperatures were relatively low.

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

In recent history. During the medieval warm period in England grapes were grown to make wine. During the little ice age the Thames froze over every year. Those times were hotter and colder then recent history. co2 levels had nothing to do with it.

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

I remember concerns being raised in the mid 70’s about the fate of commercial fishing in Norway. Experts were worried that ports would be iced-in.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

but Met office records from 1659…still exist..Last summer 2020 BBC said it was the ‘Warmest’ Ever when it was Joint 51st..etc similar lies & brainwashing children,Maybe stopping children going to ‘Propaganda’ geography classes, Has been beneficial .. which list meaningless ‘Unpecedented figures’ whilst ignoring 600 weather stations shut over last 25 years…

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

There’s scientists – like the vaccine researchers, and then there’s ‘scientists’ who produce untested models and give political advice.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

untested models based on out of date inputs (by approx a month I believe). GIGO. And why are our respected media not questioning this and giving the scientsist and governent hell about it? They are not worth the salary they draw. The misuse of data to perpetuate measures that are destroying the country is scandalous. Could we suggest no pay rises for any public sector worker – including the nurses and polis – to concentrate their minds? or better still a 20% reduction in salaries for all public sector workers for the duration of the lockdown regime? It is time they understood from personal experience, these measures are not about reconnecting with your home life but cause serious damage.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Johanna Barry

Oh yes! great post.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Johanna Barry

Better still publish figures on how the tax base will shrink as the lockdown continues and how many NHS/teaching/public sector job will have to go as a result. The lockdown would be over by lunchtime Friday

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I don’t think the politicians had the slightest idea what to do. So they allowed the scientists to tell them what to do, invariably based on fake modelling.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You surely know that rant is just fantasy?
As for “captured by scientists“, who do you think should be advising the Government? Astrologers? Aromatherapists? Some right-wing bloviators from Fox News?

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Let people decide for themselves. If people want to cower indoors, let them be free to do so. If people want to go to the pub, let them be free to do so.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

And then let them infect others, next morning at the supermarket, with the disease they caught at the pub.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Last week you were chiding those impatient of lock-down telling them that they should stay home and do all their shopping online. Now you’re telling those who support lock-down to go to the supermarket. Maybe you could rearrange these ideas into a workable compromise.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You obviously Never been to a pub in Last two years..Most Take your order and Serve in masks..Standing at the bar IS NOT possible as Plastic separates areas..So stop blaming pubs…

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Mark me down as Yes for aromatherapists.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Jennings

Yes, 125,000 dead is just a big joke, isn’t it?

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Yes, if you think overcounting deaths attributed to Covid is stupid and dishonest. Or using PCR tests with high CT to generate falsely high numbers of cases.

You’ll be citing New Zealand as a beacon of inspiration and relevant comparability again before long….

Last edited 3 years ago by Duncan Hunter
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I know a scientist very well whose field is mathematical modeling of complex systems. Right from the start he was incandescent about the bankrupt modeling put together by IC

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Sadly I have come to the conclusion that we will not be free (in the way we used to be) in my lifetime. I hope I am wrong, but reading some of the comments here have astounded me. This is a new religion (or cult) and it will take years to work its way through. The lockdown is now our new way of life and apart from some little times of respite, it is now permanent. We are not coming out of it. Think about that and get it into your heads. We are not coming out of this.I hope you lockdown supporters enjoy it, but you are obviously oblivious to the pain and cruelty you are inflicting on many thousands of innocent people. It’s all been a lie. I hope you get all you deserve out of this….but you won’t. I have barely left my home since Christmas and I am now working through how I can have a meaningful life confined to my home for the forseeable future, and ultimately the rest of my life. The lockdown supporters demand that we (others) sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. We are no longer a functioning democracy, and are sliding towards a truly authoritarian state. (Totalitarianism proper is coming via big tech as in CCP) I cannot see us voting in any meaningful way again, only in that sham communist way of East Germany and the like. Facts absolutely do not matter. It is all about emotive impact and propaganda. (Lies=truth) I have seen facts and data deployed by very eminent people (we are not all stupid, we can count, and we can interpret graphs and discern meaning from the results) but it seems that it is lockdown supporters who ignore data and go for modelling and fear-mongering. Freedom = slavery. Ignorance = strength. The vilification of Sunetra Gupta et al demonstrated ad hominem at its fiercest, always the giveaway of a lost argument. Where is the public square where the debate can take place? Not on social media, not unherd, not Twitter, not the press. The BBC are deploying full on Ministry of Truth propaganda instead of doing their job. I no longer engage with any of them, (rarely unherd now as well). All dissent is crushed. If you care to search for it, Jordan Peterson talks about how the narrative of “infection” always leads to totalitarianism. He cited the language of the Nazis (yes I know I’m doomed now I mentioned them… but hang on for one moment) all about infection, disinfection, vermin, with rodent poison gas used to kill millions of human beings… it was all centred around fear of contamination, disease and infection. He claimed that Hitler bathed four times a day. I don’t know, did he? And is it true that one of his first acts was to have factories deep cleaned and disinfected? Again, I don’t know. But after the last twelve months I’ve thought a lot about that and considered the sickening possibility that many people I used to be friends with would have fallen for everything Hitler (and co) claimed and would have simply obeyed orders and doen terrible things in the name of a disinfection of sorts. There is a reason we remember the Holocaust, it’s to prevent another one. We’re in the middle of another one, not just Britain but all over the world people are going hungry and dying of hunger because of all the lockdowns. (Hey, who cares if it’s not you? So enjoy your champagne socialist luxury lockdowns while you can!) And yet. Trying to discuss and weigh it up? We have thrown away our basic freedoms and the ability to debate crucial issues, yes, democracy itself for a mess of genetically modified fast-food pottage. It is the destruction of democracy and lack of accountability that people ought to be truly fearful of. What have lockdowns really achieved? Dreadful, terrible outcomes and no discernible benefit (look at Florida, Finland Sweden yadda yadda, but it is true) and if you don’t believe me you need to stop watching Netflix and start thinking. At least consider your fellow human beings. Lockdowns kill, covid rarely does. Survival chances for covid 99.8% Cancer, 50%. Like the lottery, it could be you.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  C K

brilliant comment, unfortunately a bit late to get the deserved upvotes. You are not wrong mentioning the N-a-z-i-s. There was a recent hoo-hah in the USA when a minor celeb posted about it saying how this is EXACTLY how it started: it didn’t begin with the stormtroopers or SS dragging out J-e-w-s etc or smashing their property, it was neighbours, ex friends, children etc.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Owsley
Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Vote for me Independents…or Reform or SDP have demanded an end to Lockdowns…

Steve J
Steve J
3 years ago

PM Johnson doesn’t care about the data. All that he cares about is what the polls say. At the moment the polls are saying that people are happy to be kept under house arrest and for the economy to be trashed, so that is what PM Johnson will keep doing.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve J

Precisely. On February 22nd Johnson didn’t so much announce a roadmap out of house arrest with its “data, not dates” jingle, but slyly and stealthily extend lockdown for another 7 weeks.

There is no guarantee any of it will be adhered to, not least because the data will be ignored or marginalised if inconvenient. Already the data is so apparently promising that one should think acceleration of the release dates might be possible. But no, as yesterday’s performance from Whitty and Vallance confirmed, this is not remotely their thinking and it is clear that their blackmail-like stranglehold over the feckless, polls-driven serial liar Johnson continues.

Within days of his February announcement, on cue new mutant strains were all over the media. Unlike Scotland, where return to school is being phased, sending all years back on the same day looks – depending on your perspective – either reckless or designed to create the optimal conditions for a rise in the R rate. And of course, the ramped up testing in schools with flawed tests – another potential impetus for more new ‘cases’.

It’s hard to avoid the sensation we are being played. PHE still won’t go public on the cycle threshold (CT) levels being used for PCR tests. Noone in the MSM is asking. And the contradictions and absurdities are still prevalent. Again we haven’t been shown the evidence on hospitality venues but despite the immense efforts and expenditure on compliance in that beleaguered sector, non-essential retail ranks before hospitality in terms of reopening.

As exemplified by the vaccine passports “review”, time alone will tell whether anything Johnson and his feeble, nodding dogs cabinet can be trusted. With his roadmap, I fear more of the same.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

I disagree with most of what you say, but I’m interested in your statement that “ Already the data is so apparently promising…..“.
That’s happening during a lockdown, with the vaccine being rolled out. If the data is so promising, any ideas why that might be?

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I said apparently. On the vaccines we won’t know for several years and you don’t either. But the point is, if the government data is so apparently promising, then why is it so beyond reasonable to bring forward an end to the economic, social and non-Covid mortality carnage? That doesn’t imply 100% confidence in the data to me, more like sly, deceitful political calculation based on a*se covering and survival – and to hell with the effect on children, non-Covid cases with threatening conditions and the economy and society in general.

There must be a proper public enquiry (in Glasgow we’d call it a reckoning), with consequences. There will be blood!

Last edited 3 years ago by Duncan Hunter
C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Hunter

We ain’t coming out of this until people wake up. It’s now for the foreseeable future. I now plan to make a meaningful life as much as I can from my own home because that is all I will be allowed.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve J

He is ensuring that everyone is propagandised though as well.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

This is such a disaster, there never should have been a vaccine response to this virus.
It’s been well known for months that most people aren’t at serious risk of the virus, but who knows what has been unleashed now with the experimental Covid-19 vaccines being rushed out into the community?
Will these vaccines increase variants/mutations?
Billions and billions are being spent on these vaccines, tests, masks etc, money that would have been better spent elsewhere, e.g. on effective treatments for those at risk, and potential preventatives such as improving vitamin D deficiency.
Now there’s plans to roll out a Covid-19 ‘booster’ in the autumn, and annual ‘boosts’ in future, as indicated by Anthony Harnden – “who has chaired the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation during the pandemic because of its chair’s conflict of interest…” 
The chair of the JCVI is Andrew Pollard, who is the lead investigator on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trials. And here is the major problem, academics involved in commercial vaccine trials are also influential on taxpayer-funded vaccination policy. It’s an absolute conflicted mess, which has been allowed to fester because the media/fourth estate has failed in its duty to provide critical analysis of vaccination policy.
Somebody needs to sound the alarm, this vaccination response is out of control, the increasing vaccine burden on the community isn’t sustainable.
This has to be tracked back now… Originally in the UK there was a plan to go with natural immunity, which appears to have been upset by Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College Report 9 modelling report, published last March.
The UK government and SAGE must be subject to investigation, the handling of this coronavirus is a disaster, and it’s impacting all around the world.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Elizabeth, you are utterly wrong.
For the record, since you claim “there never should have been a vaccine response to this virus“, do you believe there should be a vaccine response to ANY virus? I’ve read anti-vaxxers claiming we shouldn’t have driven smallpox to extinction with vaccination. Do you agree with them?

Neil Mcalester
Neil Mcalester
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Must be quite a fire risk in your house Chris, what with all those straw men laying around.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Chris C, something has to be done about this constant ‘anti-vaxxer’ labelling. This situation is beyond serious and the motives of people using this name-calling to derail discussion have to be challenged, it appears to be a concerted campaign, the origins of which must be investigated.
In regards to this virus, see my submission to the Australian regulator, the TGA: Could Covid-19 vaccines facilitate the evolution of more virulent variants?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Now you are talking. Your long statement above is maybe a little flawed but it is highly likely that vaccinations cause more variants (not necessarily more virulent variants but definitely possible).
There is a trade-off. The vaccinations will probably save a lot of lives today but there could be problems tomorrow. We have had virus problems before and usually the variants get around the vaccine but in time we develop our own internal resistance. I would suggest but can’t prove that the ‘flu is similar. In the past the ‘flu has been more deadly, we have vaccinated and variants have come along. But as a race we have not so much to fear from the ‘flu today.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

You didn’t answer my question. Were we right to eliminate smallpox by using a vaccine? Because if we were, then the anti-vaxxers who claim that we shouldn’t have done that would have left a killer disease killing millions.
Yes or No?

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I don’t know Chris C. I think the smallpox question is more complicated than you indicate, and I haven’t had time to investigate that one myself. Smallpox vaccination is not on the current schedule.
My concern is for the current burgeoning vaccination schedule which is growing out of sight.
Chris C, here’s the NHS schedule, how many of these vaccine products and revaccinations have you had? Have a close look at the children’s schedule. Have you had the three doses of 6-in-1 vaccine with aluminium adjuvant for babies? The two doses of rotavirus vaccine? The three doses of menB vaccine with aluminium adjuvant? Two doses of pneumococcal with aluminium adjuvant? Hib/MenC? Two doses of live MMR? Flu vaccine every year from 2 to 10 years? 4-in-1 pre-school booster, aluminium adjuvanted? Two doses of HPV vaccine, aluminium adjuvanted. 3-in-1 teenage booster? MenACWY?
Did you have this vaccine load when you were a child Chris C? There are a lot of vaccines and revaccinations, and I have questions about some of these vaccines, important questions that aren’t being answered in this hostile climate which tags people as ‘anti-vax’ if they dare to challenge the blessed ‘vaccination science’.
And now, they’re planning to vaccinate children with COVID-19 vaccines, doom them to a life of vaccination with these vaccines, which they don’t need because children, young people and others don’t seem currently to be too adversely affected by the virus. But their natural defences are at risk of being stolen from them, and these children and young people and others being made dependent upon the vaccine industry for life with these vaccine products – is that ethical Chris C?
Note the name of the ‘COVID-19’ vaccine products Chris C. Interesting they’re not called SARS-CoV-2 vaccines don’t you think? Apparently they’re supposed to protect against serious disease, i.e. COVID-19. But if you’re not at risk of serious disease with SARS-CoV-2, why should you be subjected to COVID-19 vaccines?
Chris C, it’s a very serious matter that people who aren’t at risk with the virus are being threatened with coercive vaccination, potentially every year or even more often.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

So you aren’t willing to commit yourself on whether the world should have eliminated smallpox by vaccination. That is DAMNING about your sense of reality. You really don’t know whether you’d like millions of people to still be dying of smallpox, and others being maimed or disfigures, as was the case in the 1950s and 1960s, because it’s a problem for anti-vax ideology. Doesn’t that say it all about anti-vaxxers?
And yes, I had the full schedule of vaccinations indicated for babies/children in the 1960s, and observed my younger sister having them a few years later, all with only 1960s levels of HSE rather than 2020s sophistication, plus various ones for cholera, typhoid, rabies, etc, more recently, as has she with all her travels, and I’m fit and well, as is she. While 125,000 are dead from Covid, and now that we’ve started vaccinating people the death toll is divorcing itself from its previous correlation (time-lagged) with the serious illness statistics, and the serious illness number is divorcing itself from the new infections.

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris C
The Ancient Mariner
The Ancient Mariner
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

“Dead from Covid” ? No proof. Death certificates not marked “with Covid” so no way of differentiating.my brother died in November, Covid on the death certificate – no mention of his underlying health problems which would have killed him if he had caught a cold, let alone Covid. And even if it were true, DO THE MATH. Work out for yourself the percentage of tested cases that have resulted in death – and then make it even smaller, to account foer those NOT tested but having clearly had Covid and recovered with no treatment. Too much lemming, not enough brain activity.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Death certificates not marked “with Covid”

Why do you keep just making stuff up? Death certificates in the UK look like this: https://geekymedics.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Death-certificate-blank.pdf
As you can see, they have a section for the cause and another for contributing factors. The ONS death certificate stats distinguish between COVID19 as a cause and a contributing factor.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Spot on. We used to live in a democracy where we could peacfully argue these matters. We used to have a public service broadcaster that would challenge the powerful, now they’re being paid off by the powerful, big pharma (and its funders….) is watching you!

Last edited 3 years ago by C K
Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  C K

Agree CK, public service broadcasters are atrocious. Something really sinister has happened in the last few years, and they’ve become government propaganda machines, clearly seen with the BBC in the UK, and ABC and SBS in Australia.
These broadcasters are funded by taxpayers/licence payers, and have a duty to report news accurately, but they have gone AWOL when it comes to providing critical analysis of taxpayer-funded vaccination policy, an area which is a cesspit of conflicts of interest.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has bought the media to spread a biased message, e.g. the UK Telegraph received a $US3.4 million grant from the BMGF in Nov. 2017; The Guardian has a ‘philanthropic partnership’ with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; BBC Media Action received ÂŁ1.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2019/2020… Who knows how many media entities are on the Bill & Melinda Gates gravy train, and providing biased reporting as a result?

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I agree Elizabeth. Using the ‘anti-vaxxer’ term is just a way to diminish discussion around vaccines. With vaccines, there is risk and that is what people do not want to hear. With this experimental jab, goodness knows what will happen to the people choosing this? We have been blinded by big pharma and our constant running to them for a fix for everything, most times forgetting we actually have an immune system.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

So Elizabeth W, are you too unclear whether we were right to make smallpox extinct, as Elizabeth Hart is?

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Ad hominem – argument lost already!

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  C K

I presume you’re referring to ‘Chris C’s attacks on me…?
Vaccination policy is such a serious issue, with the ever-increasing number of lucrative vaccine products going on schedules. This area of public health policy is awash with conflicts of interest, the general public has no idea how bad things are.
And then there’s the ‘anti-vaxxer’ tagging, it’s relentless, there’s an army of pseudonyms who are determined to derail public discussion of vaccination policy.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

You will soon graduate to vaccine denier

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago

Ethniciodo Rodenydo, not sure of the point of your comment?
Do you think people should be forbidden from questioning vaccination policy and practice?
There are a lot of vaccine products and revaccinations, and growing – we’re entitled to ask questions about these medical interventions which are pressed upon mass populations.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

I mean that for questioning the fundamental vaccine truth you have been labelled an anti-vaxxer. It can only be a matter of time before you are elevated to the status of denier to stand on the pantheon next to those other well known deniers lockdown, climate change and holocaust. An honour indeed.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

how’s that vaccine for the common cold coming along? Or the one for HIV? There is a flu vaccine but people still get that virus, including some who also got the shot. It’s almost like viruses are unpredictable and hard to control.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I believe that there are about 50 viruses which get lumped together and called, ‘the common cold’. We don’t need a vaccine because the race has built up a resistance so the symptoms are mild. If, however, a completely new tribe was discovered in the jungles of New Guinea – a tribe which had never before seen a white man – and they were infected by the common cold, things would be different.
The ‘flu virus mutates all over the place and the shot is a best guess at how it will mutate in the future. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Also we have a greater natural, built-in resistance to the ‘flu today, so although people do die from the complications every year, it is still not a killer like Covid 19.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

People do die of the flu in the thousands still. Covid is not nearly as dangerous as the narrative suggests. We need a more nuanced and calmer debate on all of this without the name calling!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yes, those particular ones mutate so fast that a vaccine isn’t feasible (common cold) or at least isn’t ultra-successful (flu) even though in the latter case it’s still worth getting the 70% (varies radically by year) reduction in risk. Which is why I have the flu vaccine every year, the NHS advises older people to have it, and companies often offer it to their staff free.
Coronavirus does also mutate, but not so fast – it seems, so far – that the vaccines aren’t useful. Here in the UK, with 30% now given the first jab, the number of hospital admissions is being forced away from the number of new cases, and the number of deaths is being forced away from the number of hospital admissions. That’s the vaccines working. Fingers crossed there isn’t a new variant of the virus which both takes over from the others AND isn’t resistant to the vaccine. But as the vaccine suppresses infectiousness and thus transmission, there are fewer infected people to act as petri dishes for the virus to mutate, so that risk also diminishes.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

“Here in the UK, with 30% now given the first jab, the number of hospital admissions is being forced away from the number of new cases, and the number of deaths is being forced away from the number of hospital admissions. That’s the vaccines working.”
No, that is the dominant winter virus abating as it has done in every single winter in history.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

The seasonal effect will make cases lower than they would otherwise be (but please not, that was happening in late January and also in February – you can’t claim that’s because we were leaving Winter behind in those months, that IS Winter!) but there’s no reason for the ratio of deaths to hospitalisable cases, or the ratio of infections to hospitalisations, to change?
I’m afraid that you are clinging to straws to avoid admitting that the vaccine is working.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

No, the vaccine may work, just like vits/minerals and other prophylactics, ones well tested, unlike the vaccines. The fall comes in January EVERY year, check the numbers and graphs. Infections to hospitalisations is simply “case” fiddling. They then needed the schools to test to able to keep the positives high to maintain their ludicrous lockdown restrictions. Tell you what though, how many deaths have the vaccines caused so far? I think under-60s have more chance of dying from the vaccine than COVID but I haven’t done the maths.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It’s not designed to prevent infection, that has been made clear. It will only lessen your symptoms if you get covid, because it is a gene therapy not a vaccine. They haven’t isolated the covid virus yet as I understand it.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yes, we are always under the illusion that we can control nature, and we can’t. This might be why the debate is congruent with the climate one, those who believe we can control everything and those who accept the limits of human power.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The reaction by Elizabeth is like an anti-measles vaccination theory. It comes from the point of view that measles is not obviously a threat in our lives, so why bother? This is from a base of comfort.
In the world there are many races and tribes who have serious problems when they get measles. People travel between countries. The Spanish, when they invaded South America almost wiped out the indigenous population with western diseases. Imagine the time when Ebola escapes from Africa – there will still be people sitting comfortably behind their computer with a long drink in a warm room, shouting, “No vaccination for me.”

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Chris Wheatley, what do you know about my position on measles?
For years I’ve strived for parents to have the option of an antibody titre test after the first dose of MMR, rather than be pressed to have an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine for their children, see my BMJ rapid response: Measles vaccination and antibody titre testing.

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

But with measles vaccination there are also other things to worry about, see my BMJ rapid response: Measles vaccination – is anyone worried about shorter term maternally derived antibodies via vaccinated mothers?

Last edited 3 years ago by Elizabeth Hart
C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

It’s not a vaccine.

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Wow. C19, It’s a chicken laying golden eggs.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Elizabeth you are utterly right. One point we should all clarify is the terminolgy, it is not a “vaccine” in the true sense, it’s an experimental gene therapy which is not fully tested yet. It may well prove to be safe, but it hasn’t been fully proven to date. From a human rights angle, no person should be forced or coerced into taking an unproven, possibly dangerous medicine for a disease with a survival rate of over 99%. Dear reader, take it if you want it, but don’t compel others to do so. (It only lessens covid symptoms it doesn’t prevent infection, right? Non vaccinated can’t be “killing granny” then. Herd immunity was rubbished when Gupta mentioned it, or is it back in fashion now? Whatever, gene therapy doesn’t seem to do this, although I am prepared to be corrected on that.)

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

Having A Vaccine rollout currently to 23million including myself,is Seriously P+++ off the EU just for that its worth it,they Keep Accusing UK &USA or stopping exports of AZ,Pfizer,whilst Italy & Ursula van der liar and her bureaucrats have ”useless” Vaccines in private whilst EU27 have none!

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

We have been using vaccines for almost a 100 years. They are the oldest form of medicine we have. Almost everyone alive today has had at least one vaccine. Why the sudden hysteria about them?
If you think vaccines are a concern, you should have an issue with almost all forms of medical treatment, most of which is far less evidence based and is far more dangerous than vaccines.

Last edited 3 years ago by J J
Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  J J

JJ – can you tell me how many of the vaccines, multi-component shots, and revaccinations you’ve had on the current NHS vaccination schedule?
Yes, vaccines are of concern to me, in particularly over-vaccination, as there are many lucrative vaccine products being pressed upon the community now, with many more in the pipeline. We need to stop and review these burgeoning vaccine schedules, and the motives behind the growth.
Similarly there are too many other medical products being pressed upon us, e.g. antibiotics, opioids, anti-depressants, proton pump inhibitors etc, etc.
We are a grossly over-medicated society, and I suggest not healthier for it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Elizabeth Hart
Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Hart

From The Spectator’s daily update today: “Vitamin D deficiency may not be significant in determining severe Covid-19, two studies have suggested. The first study found no evidence that supplements protect against Covid-19, while the second said that vitamin D deficiency across Europe was not a significant factor in determining mortality.”

Elizabeth Hart
Elizabeth Hart
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

Perish the thought that vitamin D might be helpful to protect against Covid-19…not when there are lucrative Covid-19 vaccines to be marketed every year…
Here are a variety of opinions on Vitamin D in rapid responses on this BMJ article: Vitamin D and covid-19.

Mark James
Mark James
3 years ago

There is no UK pandemic, don’t take my word for it, please see ONS annual deaths and mortality rates, 1938 to 2020. Mortality levels have not varied significantly, being at their lowest 0.90% and highest at 1.12%, but in the 1% range, from 1990 until 2020.
In fact, mortality levels were actually higher from 1990 until 2000, and compatible from 2001 until 2003, if compared to the 2020 ONS provisional figures?
I do not recall a UK pandemic from 1990 until 2003, do you? Technocrats are just increasing the percentage attributed to coronavirus, while reducing others to compensate.
So, in effect government propagandists are manipulating mortality numbers by reallocation, that’s why the flu and other diseases are in decline while coronavirus deaths increase.

David Owsley
David Owsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark James

exactly right

Granville Stout
Granville Stout
3 years ago

I’ve checked all the data and discovered that living is far too dangerous for all of us. Stay home, but you will probably die of boredom. Never mind in about ten years time we will have enough data to decide whether staying at home is good or not good for your health. Give yourself another peer reviewed Ph.D

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
3 years ago

I am no longer interested in a word that Johnson says. Never liked the sound of him and this last year has told me I was right,. He is , as my old dad would say -a wrong un. His personal life tells us that. Best comment I have heard from round my part of the world
‘On the 23rd March it is one year . I am done with it’. And this from a typical early middle aged housewife.
Get rid of him and the whole lot of them. I want my country back.

Richard Long
Richard Long
3 years ago

One thing is sure is that the people at large have lost interest in endless graphs they don’t really understand, endless media garbage by media fatcats like the BBC and the drip,drip drip of more and more political presentations that one day cheerfully announced great progress followed by the next one that tells us to forget coming out of Lockdown.

The so called Roadmap is cleverly meaningless, and it’s hope is dwarfed by the social deprivation, the poverty, the mental anguish and the potential for bankruptcy as a nation.

We need to get serious, we need to start saying No, and we desperately need honesty and there is precious little of that along with trust.

The government is running out of time and resorting to good old lies and obvious State Control. The possibility of serious consequences and social unrest are massive, and poverty will become the next pandemic.

We need to move on QUICKLY.

C K
C K
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Long

They’ve removed all legal and democratic means of protest and dissent, so what’s left? It can’t go on like this forever, can it? Maybe this really is it. What will happen when enough is enough? We’re not all having luxury “idyllic” lockdowns…..

Mark Stone
Mark Stone
3 years ago

We have no right to live without risk. Manage it yes, but life cant be risk free. I’d like to see our government leading us out of this nightmare but I fear Boris is not brave enough. At some point he is going to have to say “death is inevitable and we must accept people will die of this disease”. This is plain truth and every year about 600k people die in the UK. 1/6th more people of died in the past year. I doubt lockdowns have helped. Certainly not enough to justify the cost. The median age of deaths from Covid is 85. Median age of death in general is 81. I just do not understand why or how it has come to this. I suspect very sadly, that it is just plain old “put out feelers with ideas, see how popular it is on twittersphere, act”.
I’m so fed up!

Richard Long
Richard Long
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

The infamous political gaff ( other than the millions on the bus) ‘We will beat this virus’
Quote!!! Is essentially the first of many lies that followed regarding Covid.
You actually don’t beat viruses, yes it’s possible to manage them, but you will not beat them as promised.

Covid 19 will join the list of human killers from the micro small world and doubtless we will be vaccinated each year as we are lucky to live in a relatively wealthy part of the world.
Around the world and not of interest to BBC Breaking News, will be the millions the virus will kill in poverty stricken countries around the third world.
But why should we care, sitting on our beach with pint in hand.

Eventually however we will risk walking out of lockdown because we have no choice, or live in a futile bubble of lockdown forever and the consequences of that really are the dark arts.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Stone

If it were not for the lockdown, there would be a hell of a lot more than 120,000 dead. People would have been suffocating to death in hospital car parks because there were no hospital beds and no oxygen.
But yes, with ever-increasing vaccination there will come a point where we can get back to normal even though some people are still dying from Covid. It’s just that that point is not today.

Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

And what is that point – for you?

Steve Kaczynski
Steve Kaczynski
3 years ago
Reply to  Weyland Smith

There are advocates of “Zero Covid”, and presumably for them there would have to be not only no new deaths but no new cases. I don’t know whether Chris C is one of their number but we could be waiting a long time for such a point to be reached.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Weyland Smith

Clearly not Zero Covid (although we did achieve zero smallpox, with vaccination, which astoundingly some of the lockdown sceptics on this site actually won’t endorse!).
Maybe something in the influenza range.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago