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Covid safetyism has gone mad Policy can't change the fact that risk is a part of life

Is this what we'll be wearing come Christmas? Credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Is this what we'll be wearing come Christmas? Credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images


September 15, 2021   5 mins

There was a time when even our more pessimistic experts thought the pandemic would be over by Christmas, thanks to the UK’s high vaccine uptake. But, with winter looming, the Government is threatening to, among other things, make masks mandatory again.

This “plan B”, outlined yesterday by Sajid Javid, is grist to the mill of the moralists who rage that everyone must be jabbed. Demands for near-compulsory vaccination have become ever more strident. You might get seriously ill, the argument goes. The hospitals might fill up. You might infect NHS staff. You might deprive someone of a bed. And in any event, the unvaccinated might breed mutations. It’s not about you.

This is all perfectly true. Those bad things might happen. And we do frequently expect each other to limit risk to strangers, even at some cost to ourselves. Indeed, a general principle to that effect was established almost a century ago. The “general duty of care”, set out by Lord Atkin in 1932, states: “You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee would be likely to injure your neighbour.” But the concept of reasonableness — which appears twice in that formula — leaves judges with a heavy burden of interpretation.

Take the 1951 case of Bolton v Stone. Miss Bessie Stone, on the street outside her home, was hit in the head by a cricket ball. It had been tonked over the boundary for six by “an exceptional straight drive”, as the Law Lords put it. The resulting wound became infected, causing serious pain and disability. And so the courts had to decide: had the cricket club taken “reasonable care” to avoid the accident?

“The existence of some risk,” Lord Porter observed, in the final appeal, “is an ordinary incident in life”. The suggestion that it would have been a “wise precaution” to move the wicket to the middle of the ground, further from the houses, found no favour with him: “I do not think that it would have occurred to anyone that such an alteration would have made for greater safety.”

Lord Normand noted that, “it is not the law that precautions must be taken against every peril that can be foreseen by the timorous”. Lord Reid pointed out that not every peril can be foreseen: “Even the most careful person cannot avoid creating some risks and accepting others”. And Lord Oaksey, who five years earlier had led the tribunal at Nuremberg, found that many foreseeable risks “cannot be guarded against except by extreme isolation” — something we’ve all had enough of in the past 18 months.

All four of those men had seen active service in the Great War. The fifth judge, Lord Radcliffe, while agreeing that the injured lady’s claim must fail, did so “with regret”: the hypothetical reasonable man, “if his play turn to another’s hurt”, ought, he felt, to offer something more than the mere reflection that “a social being is not immune from social risks”. As chance had it, on the very same day that Miss Stone was hit — 9th August 1947 — Radcliffe had submitted his final plans for the design of an altogether more problematic boundary: that between India and Pakistan. We can only speculate whether the hundreds of thousands of deaths that followed gave him a more sombre perspective on foreseeable, though unintended, consequences.

Cricket balls no longer pose a threat outside Miss Stone’s old house — the ground now consists of a Care Home and a Modesty Clothing business — but legal claims of this kind have become more common, and the courts’ attitude to fault-free risk less accepting. As Jonathan Sumption noted in his provocatively titled 2017 lecture “Abolishing Personal Injuries Law – A Project”, the number of personal injury claims grew to about 250,000 a year by the early 1970s. And by 2014 the figure stood at 1.2 million.

Part of the reason for the increase is a feedback loop with the insurance industry. When a defendant is insured — which the vast majority are, mainly because insurance is compulsory for drivers and employers — it doesn’t quite feel like justice to leave a seriously injured claimant empty-handed in a borderline case. And when the courts expand the potential for liability, appetite for insurance grows.

But the crucial insight for understanding the mechanics of Safetyism, and how we have come to threaten students with a no-jab-no-education policy, was a brief, candid aside from Lord Oaksey in the cricket ball case: “It may very well be,” he speculated, “that after this accident the ordinarily prudent committee man of a similar cricket ground would take some further precaution, but that is not to say that he would have taken a similar precaution before the accident.” Daniel Kahneman was barely out of short trousers, and Cass Sunstein not yet born, but the observation neatly prefigures the cognitive bias they later described: the availability heuristic.

This is our tendency to judge the frequency and importance of an outcome by the ease with which we can call examples to mind. We over-estimate our share of housework, for instance, because we have no trouble remembering when we took the bins out ourselves — but barely notice when someone else does. For the sake of our argument, if the “reasonable man” has recently been told that something he’s planning to do led, on some previous occasion, to a bad outcome, he will be less likely to do the risky thing, because that bad outcome is fresh in his mind. Which, according to Lord Oaksey’s analysis, actually alters how we determine what amounts to negligence.

If this seems like mere common sense, well, in a way it is. But common sense isn’t always right. The ease with which we recall examples of a result is not an ever-reliable guide to its frequency and importance. If, for instance, a determined and creative cabal of your enemies were to follow you around all day FYI-ing you about all the terrible consequences of your acts and omissions — not taking a vaccine, for example — the availability heuristic would likely lead you astray.

Yet this is exactly what millions subject themselves to on Twitter every day — policymakers in particular. Negligence is defined in law as taking a risk that the reasonable man would not. The reasonable man today is someone who has heard all the hostile moralists’ warnings. And so, the reasonableness window has shifted, and the ratchet of risk-aversion takes another click.

And this is why there’s no smoking gun in the law reports — no moment when the courts’ approach to health and safety went mad: a slow and steady reappraisal of what the reasonable man would do will naturally seem, well, reasonable. But something surely changed between Bolton v Stone and, say, the case of Tomlinson v Congleton, half a century later, where the Court of Appeal found in favour of a man who injured himself diving into a public lake surrounded by “Dangerous Water — No Swimming” signs. Warning notices were not enough, they said: the popular beach beside the water should effectively be destroyed. The House of Lords put that one right in the end, but the fact that Lord Justice Sedley felt able to say that if his ruling required the removal of all similar facilities across the country then “so be it”, tells us something about the direction of travel.

And more recently, in the Age of Lockdown, social media has given the operation of the availability heuristic nuclear capabilities. The “reasonable man” is bombarded with a very particular set of examples of adverse consequences, and so it is these that stand to determine the shape of negligence. Never mind the social benefits of allowing people to judge for themselves what is best for them and their children, or to apply the much-vaunted precautionary principle according to their own tastes: if you don’t get the vaccine, and the booster shots when they arrive, you’re practically a murderer.

There is a clear and enduring downside to recasting the normal business of everyday life as a special privilege reserved for those who will take their medicine as directed by the government of the day. The upside — increasing the proportion of the vaccinated population from 90% to, say, 98% — is nebulous. Let us keep our heads, while all about us others — France, Australia, New Zealand — are losing theirs, and bear in mind the undeniable fact that we are seeking to strike a balance. In the coming weeks, the Government would do well to consider, very carefully, what is really meant by “reasonable”.


Adam King is a criminal barrister at QEB Hollis Whiteman.

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D Hockley
D Hockley
2 years ago

First of all, let me say what a fantastically well thought and well written piece. Excellent!
 
What frightens me most about (the reaction to) Covid is that whilst it is obviously something to be avoided if one can, it is not serious enough to have warranted the reactions seen by some countries. In the UK we were told that lockdown and other measures were being put in place only so as to ‘flatten the curve and take the strain off the NHS’. Yet here we are 18 months later and the hysteria over a very common type of virus is still in full force.
The fact that we are sacrificing the economy and the futures of our children for a virus whose average age of victim is over 81 years old (higher than the average life expectancy) is utterly ridiculous.
And now, (according to this article) people are blaming the mutations on those who have not been vaccinated…..utter poppycock….Indeed, there is a body of thought that suggests it is the vaccines that are causing the mutations as the virus struggles to survive. However, since the vaccines seem not to stop the risk of infection but just to stop the worst of the symptoms, it appears if that too could be incorrect.

Covid 19 or SARS2 is a new virus, and the human defense (immune) system will take time to combat it, but combat it, it will—–as it has always done with this type of virus throughout the history of humanity.

The over reaction to this virus is very suspicious indeed.

Last edited 2 years ago by D Hockley
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  D Hockley

Your comment is 100% on the mark

robert stowells
robert stowells
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I am chipping in here because of what I see as the dangers of revisionism which filled me with a horror “as yet unseen” when I read the words, slipped in the above comment, about what we were told in the UK about the justification and reasons for lockdown. To my mind the reaction to Covid was pretty much universal globally and really no country got it better than any other and I believe that the idea that in UK is was all an effort to  â€œflatten the curve” for the benefit of the NHS is like insanity upon insanity undermining my very experience.  Was it really only a horrible dream in the UK?…. It was never just about logistics!  In the UK it was primarily, upfront and overwhelmingly about death rates just like other countries and it was an insanity which would not have existed if it were all about the logistics of NHS coping. Just like the anti-Brexit movement all those hordes including the great and good who were taking to media and stating that we could not possibly survive outside the EU will now be back-peddling furiously with many possibly saying “of course when I talked about the impossibility of survival outside of the EU I only meant that such a scenario would emerge where we did not get a deal or that when they talked about it they only meant that we would be up to 2% GDP points better off if we stayed which they would point out is a considerable sum!” 
With regard to the article itself. To me the key thing is about the difference between acute or personal choice matters (like the taking of a vaccine) and the chronic and deeply significant aspect of mask wearing and lockdown and there is a constellation of difference between the two. On the matter of vaccination about which there have been many comments I see it as a matter which, while requiring vigilance, is really transient.  Also, given my views about transience, I see the focus on vaccines in the comments as an extension of my concern about revisionism as other aspects are far more important.  Mask wearing and lockdown, is something which people have willingly, even gleefully, embraced and that for me is a concern for the very broad evolution of humanity. The attitude behind mask wearing and lockdown exhibited by humanity is major and, effectively, permanent as an attitude of humanity towards its place in nature where humanity is not only living as to date as if it were apart from nature (and massively abusing nature) but is now viewing nature as positively hostile and something to be held at arm’s length each day and every day.
I place the “heurism question of reasonableness” referred to in the article also as part of the transient aspects similar to vaccination. I place it as an imposed phenomenon even as the reality portrayed in Orwell’s 1984 is an imposed reality by Big Brother. In being an imposed phenomenon, even if unexpressed in Orwell’s book, there is a hope in the reader’s own mind that one day reality or truth will shine through and Big Brother will be thrown off. There is no such relatively immediate hope in relation to mask wearing and lockdown which, being so happily and readily embraced, is a chosen evolution by humanity itself and not imposed and so is the future.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
2 years ago

Where is this sudden headache coming from ??

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
2 years ago
Reply to  Bruno Lucy

laughing!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  D Hockley

Many nations now want to roll out a system of QR codes for the vaccinated. Anyone not vaccinated will be unable to enter restaurants, bars, or any other place large groups of people mingle. I’m hearing from my vaccinated friends in South Australia that every time they enter a store, the information is sent to a central database. I also read recently of a British woman who posted an unpopular opinion on social media had her bank accounts frozen.
What we are witnessing is the rapid build-up of a surveillance state infrastructure. This, more than anything else, is why I am so reluctant to take the vaccine. What depresses me more than anything is that it seems that the majority of people are embracing this system and shaming those who resist it. The vitriol and hatred of the vaccinated against the unvaccinated has taken me by complete surprise. In my idealism I always believed that we in the West had outgrown this medieval mindset long ago.

D Hockley
D Hockley
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

This has already been done in Chile. You theoretically cannot enter a bar or restaurant unless you have your QR verifiable Covid passport.

Don Lightband
Don Lightband
2 years ago
Reply to  D Hockley

What does the insertion of “theoretically” mean there, exactly?

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Has also been already implemented in Ireland. First for indoor dining and pubs, now extended to cinemas (which were already open without it), theatre and other indoor entertainment. Ostensibly to “protect the unvaccinated” ( that’s what they actually said), bit it’s really about coercion and Ireland has the highest rate of vaccination in EU (after Malta).

Sam McLean
Sam McLean
2 years ago

Ireland has the highest rate of vaccination in EU (after Malta).

So, the second-highest then?

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I went the easy way. First, lucky me
..I managed to spend 3 months in Sweden at the start of the pandemic
..and another 10 weeks in Austria in October 2020 until January 2021, escaping the absolutely mad french lockdown.
As to the vaccine, the sooner the better
..I knew there would be some sorts of health pass and having my nose bored into 5 times before being vaccinated, convinced me that having a bleeding nose wasn’t game on compared to the jab.
The world has gone mad, this is an undisputed fact 
..however, I don’t see why I should join the loopy farm party pulling my hair because of a vaccine. Just get the jab and get on with life
..might I remind you that this commodity is rather short in its lifespan ?

J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

A very reasonable article, I would say.
Hey Unherd, how about commissioning this barrister to write an article about legal remedies available to people who are subject not just to cancellation but who lose their livelihoods due to progressive activists and their claims of racism or some other kind of –ism?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I would tell him to go a bit more for the brevity of the main argument, and stick in some other side issues, to give it a bit more kick. He could mention the, say, Ivermectin thing – what with ‘Reasonable care’ being mentioned.

Dr Campbell or Bret Weinstein on the Meta-study on Ivermectin are good places to begin on youtube. YET do a search on Ivermectin and what comes is the most blatant Algorithm Tampering ever! Hundreds and hundreds of anti Ivermectin links – a very great of them outright lies (Hospitals and poison control centers overloaded with Ivermectin poisoning – dozens of these will be there, but all Fake News – yet allowed to stand) – Wile Not One link to Ivermectin being useful! Evin though a billion pills have been used for covid in developing countries – and hundreds of studied also in developing world as NOT ONE Ivermectin study has been done in the West! (meta-study shows 62% -86% improvement)

The theory being that it works on covid – and the Vaccine was released under emergency license on the basis there was NO Medicine which did work. Thus if Ivermectin did work the vaccine license would become invalid. It is the $$$$$$$$$$$

I have my horse de-wormer Ivermectin in the bathroom, and my zinc, D3, C, and Querctin on the table……

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Or maybe there are hundreds of anti ivermectin links because the vast majority of medical professionals believe that using it to treat Covid is nonsense. I find it strange that a man who proudly states he won’t take a medically approved vaccine to ward off the effects of Covid, whilst at the same time taking an unproven substance to try and get the same result

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What Sanford clearly stated was that the search results are being rigged to NOT reflect the true story. There are thousands of doctors and scientists around the world getting PROVEN success with Ivermectin, and hundreds of studies showing its undoubted efficacy. Alas, the results are getting repressed due to the obvious reasons that Sanford says and many people naivrly beleive. Whatever the search results throw up. The fact that you have bought into the lies that Ivermectin doesn’t work just shows how successful their efforts have been at covering up the truth. For anyone willing to do even a little research will quickly find out that what the MSM and search engines are telling you about Ivermectin is definitely nothing like the truth, but when one lookd at where the bulk of their ad revenues come from it isn’t hard to understand why.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

You boys love a conspiracy theory don’t you!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Wuhan lab leak and vaccine passports are two examples of ‘conspiracy theories’. Oh dear.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

The Wuhan leak does look like a cover up from the Chinese, with large parts of the medical profession scared of losing large parts of their funding if they challenged it. To me that’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s simply the danger of allowing institutions becoming too reliant on money from bad foreign governments.
Likewise the vaccine passports aren’t a conspiracy theory either, they’re simply a terrible piece of legislation from governments who feel like they have to be seen to be doing something to control the virus.
If ivermectin worked as you claim, don’t you think one of these billion dollar multinationals would have found a use for it somehow and sold it up as a wonder cure? Instead of a few lads on some backwater YouTube channel claiming to have seen through the deep state?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You completely missed my point. Until recently, the Wuhan Lab Leak and Vaccine Passports were dismissed as conspiracy theories.
As for Ivermectin, I’m afraid you are simply very naive. There is no money to be made from it, so it has to be discredited.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

don’t you think one of these billion dollar multinationals” – The vaccines are quite rewarding. No reward for an off-patent generic.

Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Which bit is a conspiracy? Vaccine passports? Vaccinating children? Booster jabs? Wuhan lab leak? Mandatory vaccines?

At what point do people who use the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ realise that researching and questioning are just normal things to do. Doing such things in times gone by would have been the intelligent thing to do. It is what all thinking people did, and is how mankind has progressed.

Now, if you dare to question the single narrative that is given to us by the WHO/CDC/NIH, you get called a conspiracy theorist, which is very odd.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

Be scared of the conspiracy.. wooo wooo wooo…))))

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

Care to provide a link to these thousands of clinical tests that prove ivermectin works to prevent Covid?

Nikolai Hegelstad
Nikolai Hegelstad
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Thousands of doctors, not thousands of clinical studies, rather thousands of patients treated successfully.

Here you can see 64 of these studies: https://ivmmeta.com/

Last edited 2 years ago by Nikolai Hegelstad
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because of the behaviour of governments, large organisations and businesses, corporate media, big tech, compromised scientists and the like, it is incumbent on the intelligent and the curious to be sceptics. The stories like the Wuhan lab leak and vaccine passports only serve to underline this.
Seriously, can you believe organisations like this? The FDA recently tweeted “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” This is about a medicine that is safe and has had 4 billion plus doses administered to humans.
Then the recent bollocks that LIT corporate and social media to the extent that Rolling Stone (the most inflammatory of the bunch) posted this headline (then edited it): “Gunsh*t Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says.” In fact many of the MSM ran this story without checking details and the incurious just lapped it up.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

There are many substances that have been administered to humans and animals, ketamine for instance, that doesn’t mean that they all work on different virus’

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think it’s a case of the poison is in the dose. In the case of both ivermectin and ketamine it’s the dose that makes the difference.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Doses certainly make a difference. In the case of Ivermectin however you have to take industrial amounts to make you keel over. I exaggerate slightly but this is a drug that is safer than aspirin, that has been handed out like smarties to hundreds of millions of people. Their usage was hardly carefully monitored. To date after 40 years there are about 20 deaths recorded – ref. WHO.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

I’m not referring to it being poisonous, as you say you need to mess up the doses or take the wrong kind for it to do damage. However just because it’s not killing people doesn’t mean it is an effective treatment.
Whilst I’m not exactly trusting of the morals of big companies, I’d be willing to bet if it was any use they’d have found a way to market it as such. A potential Covid suppressant would be worth billions after all, I find it hard to believe that they’ve missed out while some crockpot in the dark reaches of the internet has discovered it personally

Sam McLean
Sam McLean
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s out of patent so there is very little money to be made by drug companies. They have just spent billions creating new drugs, they wish to recoup that outlay by selling them. If IVM was proven to be effective treatment for Covid then this would be problematic for them.
That does not prove anything of course, and based on the available evidence, the ‘vaccine’ is currently most people’s best option.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam McLean

So in 5 years time when trillions has been made from vaccines there will be a study on a ‘new’ drug called Iverschmectin and the drug companies will happily sell it to us as a great new cure for Covid.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

You don’t have to wait that long. Merck has already funded the study.
https://news.emory.edu/stories/2021/03/coronavirus_DRIVE_molnupiravir/index.html
It’s something they had lying around — developed as a broad spectrum anti-viral for influenza, and equine encephalitis … horse medicine.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

The US government funded the study. They gave Merck (and Ridgeback) $1.2 billion to develop a new anti viral.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago

My mistake, I didn’t know that.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What happened to the flu case numbers? Did the seasonal flu all of a sudden just up and disappear because we have found a cure for it?

What about the overall death numbers from all causes… did more people die in 2020, then did in 2019, than did in 2018, than did in 2017?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Billy Bob, surely know that huge quantities of meds are used off label.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

it is not unproven. There are dozens of everyday substances that easily kill viruses. Lots of work still to do but vs. various viruses already effective. https[colon]//pubmed[dot]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32533071/
https[colon]//www[dot]ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539925/
…and many more links

Last edited 2 years ago by David Owsley
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree with you. Taking these home remedies is meant to show that you are an original thinker, that nobody can push you around, that you can understand science (whatever that means). But this can’t translate to a population of millions. Why don’t I put a voodoo doll under the pillow at night to ward off evil spirits?

For countries, for millions of people, you have to follow medical advice, even if it turns out to be wrong when history is written in 50 years from now. Quack remedies based on a paper somebody has read on the Internet just don’t answer the question.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

It’s bizarre, it’s like the opposite end of the spectrum to comments section on sites such as the guardian. Instead of the purity spiral of constantly trying to prove how woke they are by ignoring basic human biology and parroting divisive rhetoric such as the critical race theory, the other end want to prove their differences to those people by ignoring basic science such as that we can see by the reduced hospital numbers following vaccination, and so desperate to stand out that they’ll label anybody who defends the vaccines as sheep while blindly following any dissenting voice they find on the internet

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Exactly. It is all about showing how clever you are. My neighbour was telling me recently that he has read a paper about vaccination which points out a lot of negatives. So he won’t get vaccinated. His choice I suppose but it is like saying “I’ve read something you haven’t read, so I’m cleverer than you are”.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

you describe exactly what ‘the vaccinated’ are doing.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“…ignoring basic science such as that we can see by the reduced hospital numbers following vaccination…”
Science? And you may be surprised, I do not know what numbers you are looking at but you seem not to notice the current numbers?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  David Owsley

Compare the peak of hospitalisations and deaths pre vaccination (which was during lockdown) to now when society is fully open and large numbers of double jabbed. To me that shows vaccines work

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

What are they hospitalized for?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Guardian readers tow the government, big tech, big organisation, corporate media line. There is a word for unquestioning people like them.

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

 “But this can’t translate to a population of millions.“…it can and it has. Do keep up.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Could you rewrite that in English, please?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

lijkely not….I just jam out my rants nd hit post…..

David Owsley
David Owsley
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

LOL

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Can we afford the Fees?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

So the unvaccinated breed mutations? I clicked on the link and was taken to the Guardian – no surprises there then and zero risk of any other position from The Guardian. As both vaccinated and unvaccinated can catch and spread the disease, why would it only be the unvaccinated that are driving variants?
Earlier in the year it was posited that mass vaccination with a narrowly focused, non sterilising vaccine in a pandemic would drive ever more infectious variants to develop as the virus is driven to evolve. In this scenario you see the vaccinated inadvertently being the problem and it certainly makes sense to me.
What about Unherd producing an article discussing variant risk factors?

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years ago

Just last week, Brett Weinstein in conversation with Joe Rogan said the same thing: that in his opinion the spread of variants was undoubtably linked to the fact of the vaccine being ‘leaky’, therefore exerting concentrated evolutionary pressure on the virus.
I have to say, I’m still not convinced that this is necessarily the case. But it is at very least a sensible enough hypothesis which, in the absence of stronger evidence to the contrary, should give strident vaccine advocates pause for concern.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Exactly. The scientific process of rigorous testing, discussion and criticism of hypotheses has seemingly been suspended to only follow one narrative.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

At issue: was Delta the product of an inferior vaccine trial in India or was Mu the product of the Chinese inferior vaccine in Peru? There are reputable scientists that are quite worried about these experiments.

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago

I understand the argument to be that partially vaccinating a country risks variants arising that have immunity to the vaccine. Once you get past the herd immunity threshold, the risk drops

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago

It’s not immediately obvious to me that either the vaccinated or unvaccinated per se drive the generation of new variants. The argument by Brett Weinstein regarding increased evolutionary pressure as a result of a leaky vaccine is certainly correct. However, recall that the UK alpha variant arose before vaccination, and the Indian delta variant arose in a country where vaccination levels were negligible at the time (and are still negligible). Also recall that the Indians got over the delta variant pretty quickly (i.e. the delta wave was short-lived with rapid rise and rapid fall). All of which suggests that the virus will mutate no matter what simply as a result of replication errors, as RNA viruses are wont to do. The real question then is whether in the coming months variants are generated that are largely resistant to antibodies generated by vaccination. Those variants are clearly likely to be driven by infection of the vaccinated rather than the immunologically naive unvaccinated.
As for ivermectin, the suppression of its appropriate use in the US and UK is to my mind nothing short of criminal. In the appropriate dose it is completely safe, and therefore worth giving a shot if infected, whether one is vaccinated or unvaccinated. Whether ivermectin really works is another matter but together with the appropriate antibiotic (doxycycline or azithromycin) to prevent secondary pneumonia, zinc, vit C and vit D, it sure can’t do any harm.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

A major force in the production of new variants is ‘people whose immune system is compromised’, particularly if you decide to treat them by giving them plasma from people who have recovered from covid.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03291-y
explained for a popular audience here:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/covid-variants-may-arise-in-people-with-compromised-immune-systems/
So while the unvaccinated may have been more at risk for the severe version of the disease that might make the doctors at the hospital stick plasma in you — the bulk of people with bad immune systems are the ones who are also doubly vaccinated, because they were prioritised for precisely this reason.
At some point (who is measuring this?) you can expect that doubly or triply vaccinated immuno-compromised people are the people most at risk for severe illness. The people whose immune systems are so broken that a vaccine doesn’t invoke much of a response are going to be at high risk for severe disease no matter how many times you jab them.
How the asymptomatic long carriers of the disease, whose immune systems never clear the thing and who don’t know, because they aren’t sick factor into the ‘where do variants come from’ equation is still unknown. We don’t even know how many of those people there are, for instance.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Yes, I do realize that mutations happen regardless of vaccination – I was simply making a point in reference to the statement that the unvaccinated were driving variants.
As for Ivermectin, I agree with you and don’t know if we will ever know the truth. There is too much money involved and too many people have skin in the game. To me it has been shocking to watch and learn the extent of corruption in many governments, industries, organisations, media houses and businesses. This even after the past decade and a half in a large corporate (stuffed to the rafters with psychopaths, narcissists and other creatures with various pathologies)!
I did read that India introduced Ivermectin during the surge with very good results in many states – the most obvious outlier being Tamil Nadu where the governor (MK Stalin – yes) banned Ivermectin and introduced Remdesivir. The cases soared.
I continue to take it on and off during epidemic waves and it nailed a recent cold I had in 24 hours. Or maybe it was simply a 24 hour cold, which is certainly novel to me!

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago

Anecdote should never replace properly conducted trials. Just because you read something once doesn’t make it true. How come there wasn’t a conspiracy against dexamethasone which is cheap and off patent? There is no conspiracy – if ivermectin is effective it’s at too low a level to have been detected in trials so far, which means that any effect is likely to be non-existent or trivial.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

There was no hoo ha about dexamethasone because it is a treatment of symptoms in hospital and not an anti viral. And there are plenty of Ivermectin trials. Sheesh.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago

I have to apologise – I have been doing some more reading and it seems that ivermectin is quite effective and safe in normal doses. I have been too trusting. However, I’m afraid that I don’t buy your distinction between the two drugs as an explanation as to why the WHO has taken against ivermectin. Is it because some of the trials have been conducted in the Third World?

I think it’s time we stopped funding the WHO.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Dexamethasone is used widely for a variety of different conditions. It is not a prophylactic and is not an anti-viral (which is the Ivermectin claim), therefore it is no threat to the vaccines.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago

But really neither is ivermectin. You only use it when your are already infected

Nikolai Hegelstad
Nikolai Hegelstad
2 years ago

How come there wasn’t a conspiracy against dexamethasone which is cheap and off patent?

Because dexamethasone isn’t a threat to kill the emergency use authorizations. Dexamethasone doesn’t claim to reduce viral load, it is merely a drug to treat the symptoms.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Ivermectin is not completely safe in any dose. No drug that works is ever completely safe. Please read this: https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/ivermectin-treat-covid-19-coronavirus-3535912/

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago

Come on. Be a little realistic. For sure nothing is 100% safe. Even ice cream when too much is ingested! Ivermectin is a safe as tylenol, paracetamol and advil, all available OTC.

Last edited 2 years ago by Johann Strauss
Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

See my newer reply


Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago

‘Life’ is not completely safe.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Lloyd Byler

Neither is covid

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The unvaccinated are not necessarily immunologically naive, remember 80% of people are asymptomatic.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Jones

Where did you get the ‘80% are asymptomatic’ figure? I thought this was one of the still-unknowns.

Dan Gleeballs
Dan Gleeballs
2 years ago

Brilliant! Fantastic, interesting piece. More from this author, please. One of the best on Unherd.

Richard Riheed
Richard Riheed
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

Agree! Excellent article.

Alyona Song
Alyona Song
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan Gleeballs

yes! Nothing beats the reason.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

So the dreaded ‘availability heuristic’ has become our yardstick of acceptable behavior….

This at a time the MSM, Government, Pharma/Medical Industrial Complex and their lackeys NHS, PHE, CDC, FDA, and the Social Media/Tech industry – the teaching professions and the hard Left Unions which manage them….., are bombarding us with fake news, repressed Scientific advice and news, hysterical advice told with horror stories to back them up, Government issue Fas *ist level lockdowns, – Police harass park bench sitters in London, Military troops harass beach users in Australia, Indian Police beat the public with batons…And meanwhile the Central banks create so much debt, and slow productivity, that the global economy Must fail into a disaster not seen since WWII.

Biden’s recent mass vaccine, totalitarian, campaign has proven this all is not about health, as he mandates hundreds of millions be vaccinated, even against their will – Although as many as a hundred million have natural immunity, which is superior to vax antigen derived immuinty. They refuse to allow this superior, natural, immunity over the artificial! This cannot be about health.

What it is is Pure Collusion. the ‘availability heuristic’ is not real, it is completely manufactured. Yet as the writer says – legally it stands, it is the guide we are legally judged by ““You must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which you can reasonably foresee” and the fake news, lying Government, and sleazy self interested Medical, are all warping what is ‘reasonable’. It is no longer Possible for the truth to be told in this new-normal.

Something is afoot, the Global Elites must be supposed to exist in this unanimity of repression from every source in society. So lets turn to the World Economic Forum (WEF), and Klaus Schwab, for some reassurance it will work out.

” “History shows that epidemics have been the great resetter of countries’ economy and social fabric. Why should it be different with COVID-19?”
― Klaus Schwab, Covid-19, The Great Reset

ï»ż

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

People are not thoughtful or reasonable (or kind, nice, decent etc) en mass (quite often as individuals too) sad to say, and what might be rational will always fall to that which is generally believed to be true my the many (what is fashionable and easy to understand – presumably because others think it to
. (See Anatole France and a million foolish things), this evolves, and the courts take note of this. However instead of screaming at a mad word (a dispiriting task), why not treat truth propagation in the same way as untruth, morally distasteful yes, but, if it can be made as popular as believing bollocks, people may believe instead in something that is not bollocks. Dismal I know, but people always adore those magic beans, and once they buy them, they are the only way to go. Probably won’t work, idiots are idiots and very attached to it at that.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The Black Death not only reset the medieval economy it also laid the foundations for the modern western world through the reformation. Reset is unavoidable. We need to make it our Reset.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

As long as the reset isn’t the one proposed by the WEF. Otherwise we’ll all end up eating lab produced food & owning nothing. Though, apparently we’ll be happy. Personally, I think it’s more likely we’ll see the great backlash. History shows us that when people’s freedom is threatened long enough, they always rise up.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

One can only hope.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

Haha, you missed a trick there by not capitalising the Great Backlash. I do like the idea and I was thinking about all the stuff that is retrospectively believed to have occurred in society after the Black Death. It might be an interesting thought experiment to try to come up with the more unusual results that might emerge from the current situation. And it would be wonderful to find some contemporary analysis from during the initial attack of the plague up see what people thought was happening and might happen in the future. I’m picturing long essays about Ye Grate Reseteth.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

I thought that was due to the resultant labour shortage. The reformation came 150+ years later.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago

These days they’re all believed to be part of the same thread. Rather wonderful cause and effect. Might be interesting to try to work out if the same journey might have occurred without the Black Death. A friend of mine wrote a great short story in school using the butterfly effect about someone who went back in time and stopped the fire of London.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
2 years ago

Ah, interesting.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

I think we’ve crossed a line somewhere in this “pandemic”. Something isn’t quite right in peoples’ heads anymore. This thought bears some developing and a lot of polishing, but it has a lot to do with the death of public Christianity in the west.

That may seem a strange connection to make, but remember, Christianity is a whole philosophy of life, not just a belief in the divinity of Jesus. It’s a modus vivendi and a reference against which you measure what you experience. Some years ago, Peter Hitchens opined that public Christianity died in the mud of Flanders, and since then, we in the west have all been warming ourselves on the embers of a fire to which we have contributed nothing and which has slowly been going out. I suspect the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic will, with hindsight, be the moment when history will declare the last spark of the fire finally went out.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francis MacGabhann
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Read the Unherd article on Satanism.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago

I believe you are correct. Something is not quite right anymore. I think we are reverting to a pre-Christian mindset.

Nick Wright
Nick Wright
2 years ago

We’re seeing very similar issues in the financial services sector, where the government seems intent on protecting the populace from itself while damaging private enterprise.

The left-wing parties are simply continuing their philosophy of paying people to do nothing (and protecting them from evil money-makers); presumably, the right-wing governments are applying their paternalistic principles (and protecting its core voters to the cost of all others). In neither case are hard-working taxpayers being considered.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

Two questions;
Is there empirical evidence that mask wearing cuts the risk of covid?
Is there empirical evidence that hand washing cuts the risk of covid?
Obviously I’m aware that hand washing is a good thing from a general hygiene aspect, but has it anything to do with a respiratory virus?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

I believe there is some evidence that mask wearing helps against COVID – some recent results from villages in Bangla Desh showed a 9% reduction in cases, as mask wearing improved from 14% to 42% of the population. It is admittedly not overwhelming, and that for handwashing is thinner, AFAIK. The point is that for both measures there are strong theoretical reasons to think that it ought to help (unlike a random drug, let us say). For handwashing I believe it came form experience with another virus.But then, it is hard to get definite proof – and as you know there is no proper trial to prove that putting on a parachute makes it less dangerous to jump out of aeroplanes. But then it is a relatively cheap measure and (again unlike some random drug) unlikely to a make people believe they are so safe they can ignore the risks.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

But Fogh, I read that mask study and it has one Very weird part–

There is NO difference in mask/unmasked for people under 50 years old. The only documented difference of covid spread in masking/not masking is in over 50 ages – that must mean it is very flawed

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I saw this in The Economist, who are reasonably reliable as journalists go. It is not overwhelming (I did say “some evidence”). There could be an explanation for what you see, but to be honest I would rather accept that the evidence for mask wearing is by no means conclusive (as I hope was the original message) and not spend the time to check through the details.

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If the study is using cases are the measure, how can it mean anything as cases do not mean anything.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Every mask study is contaminated via confirmation bias or the GE effect. The only possible data come from large population assessments. A mask protects against droplets, only, not viral particles. But wearing one is a social convention.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Sounds reasonable. What is the GE effect?

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Viral particles are contained in droplets when they are expired. The finer the droplets the longer they hang in the air for others to breathe in. Studies have shown that masks affect this dispersal.

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
2 years ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

And virtue signaling.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I don’t know where you get the ‘unlikely to make people believe they are safe so they can ignore the risks’ nonsense. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince seniors that the new Swedish mask mandate for public transit did not make public transit safe, and some of the people who did not believe me got covid and died after taking public transit into town when they had carefully avoided it before ‘wear masks on trams’ came out.
I failed these people.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

I stand corrected. It seemed to me that masks would be a lot less likely to have that effect than a drug, but I cannot argue with your experience. Do you think there would have been fewer cases and fewer deaths in Sweden if nobody had worn masks and people had been more fearful?

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

‘People more fearful’? no. Elders more fearful, yes. When the mask mandate came out, every old person I interacted with, and I was part of the ‘delivers groceries and cleans your house and whatever’ for free, very badly wanted to believe that the mask mandate meant that public transit was safe. So they could travel to meet their friends, outdoors, at great distances, because they were lonely, lonely.
What I needed, badly, was a nice peer reviewed mask study that told the truth about how much protection masks gave people. Every one I read seems to indicate ‘if there is any effect, it is small’ — definitely not enough to make the trams safe. But we didn’t get those. The Danish study was the best we got, and there are problems with that study.
All I got was ‘yap yap, do what Democrats in the USA do because they are Democrats’ vs ‘yap yap the Democrats are all liars, so don’t believe them’. What about those of us, who by and large do not give a damn what the b- Americans are doing at any time?
I wanted an authoritative source for telling the old people to stay locked down, or, even better, come out because the trams are safe. Nobody wanted to give me that, it seems.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

People more fearful’? no. Elders more fearful, yes. When the mask mandate came out, every old person I interacted with, and I was part of the ‘delivers groceries and cleans your house and whatever’ for free, very badly wanted to believe that the mask mandate meant that public transit was safe. So they could travel to meet their friends, outdoors, at great distances, because they were lonely, lonely.
What I needed, badly, was a nice peer reviewed mask study that told the truth about how much protection masks gave people. Every one I read seems to indicate ‘if there is any effect, it is small’ — definitely not enough to make the trams safe. But we didn’t get those. The Danish study was the best we got, and there are problems with that study.
All I got was ‘yap yap, do what Democrats in the USA do because they are Democrats’ vs ‘yap yap the Democrats are all liars, so don’t believe them’. What about those of us, who by and large do not give a damn what the b- Americans are doing at any time?
I wanted an authoritative source for telling the old people to stay locked down, or, even better, come out because the trams are safe. Nobody wanted to give me that, it seems.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago

(the b-word got me moderated. this may come out twice.)

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Thanks for telling us. Worth thinking about. Big upvote.

PS Goes to show that false hope and false information is dangerous. Also for masks. I still favour them, but I shall be reminded of their limitations.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I came to the conclusion that the absence of a ‘masks proven to be xxx effective study’ doesn’t mean that ‘nobody looked’ but rather that ‘nobody found any serious effectiveness’. Because if it had been found, we would have heard by now.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

I think that it means that the effect is certainly not close to 100%, but it could still be significant (though it could also be quite small) , and that it is very hard to test with certainty. How do you set up a control group? How do you make sure that any change in case numbers in the community at large really is due to mask wearing, and not to any of the numerous other variables? See how hard it is to agree about the effectiveness of lockdowns. How do you control for correct use of masks or people not bothering some of the time, or changes in motrivation?

So, you are right that nobody found conclusive evidence of effectiveness, but there is still room for considerable effectiveness that could not have been picked up. The same could be said for Ivermectin, actually, though I think masks have a better starting position and are rather more likely to be worth something.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

People forget. Mask wearing is to protect other people, not yourself. If everybody in a space wears a mask, keeps good hygiene and does not linger in the room, you have everyone protecting each other. If people cheat there is probably no protection from mask wearing.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes and the problem is that mask wearing is not to protect the wearer but other people. Very difficult to test in a trial. Engineering experiments show that it’s likely to be off some benefit, though.

D Hockley
D Hockley
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

There is no peer reviewed scientific study that show masks do anything to stop the spread of Covid. Sars2 is an airborne virus and thus any mask other than a fully sealed mask (that you see worn in films about viruses killing humanity) is very unlikely to have a significant impact on either the wearer or a third party.
The only peer reviewed study was done by a group of Danish Doctors and it showed mask wearing had no effect on the wearer.

Lloyd Byler
Lloyd Byler
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

If you can smell your fart when wearing a mask, it means the mask is not effective against anything.

Laura Pritchard
Laura Pritchard
2 years ago

Gosh, the comments section gets off the subject quickly, doesn’t it? I found this article very illuminating particularly by illustrating the creep that is occurring around the question is acceptable risk. A dear friend of mine explained to me one day how his ice climbing in the Alps was much safer than someone else’s walking in the rolling English countryside because he and his colleagues were acutely well trained to judge risk accurately. He would encounter people who were thoroughly unprepared to be on the side of a mountain because they had wandered into the risk without any forethought. At the other end of the scale, one of his favourite walking spots was set to be ruined by the insistence that a hand rail had to be installed “just in case” someone got too close to the edge… partly because this spot had become hugely popular with families who then seemed to be incapable of trusting that their kids wouldn’t hurl themselves over the edge. Or worse, that, in their imaginations, that’s what their kids just might do one day in the future.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

Is it no the case that the vaccinated are more likely to breed mutations?

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

That is exactly what I thought – for very obvious reasons.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

the unvaccinated might breed mutations.”
I must have missed something but I thought it was the vaccinated who were more likely to breed mutations as the virus looked for ways to break through the vaccine.
That aside, this is a very good article on the mission creep of the risk averse and the ever-growing army of those who believe that every misfortune that befalls them must be “someone’s” fault.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

I think you’re falling into teleology when you write ‘virus looks for ways to break through’.
They’re not sentient. Every time an organism reproduces it has to copy its genetic material, in this case RNA. Copying mistakes happen for no reason or intention. If the errors make any difference to contagion, or lethality, or vaccine avoidance, we notice them.
Most errors don’t confer any advantage and don’t get noticed by us at all.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Replication requires cell entry. If a vaccine fails to prevent cell entry the virus can make more copies of that success. Thus more spread of those successful ones. Delta has three spikes, the vaccine works on one.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

That would fit with evolutionary theory, but empirically, the variants we are all worrying about now all emerged in places with essentially low vaccine uptake. (Kent before the UK vaccine drive went full bore, Brazil which even now has only about 35% fully vaccinated, South Africa and India (each with under 13% of the population fully vaccinated.)

Ken Moss
Ken Moss
2 years ago

I take prescribed Ivermectin for my blepharitis but it’s a far cry from the veterinary dosage which is attracting a lot of attention.
I also take vitamins D, C and zinc, never had a flu jab or any other jab also have never worn a mask because I’m asthmatic . I’m way past retiring age but still and exercise every day. My immune system has taken care of me for a long time now and I have great faith in it.
Sadly I don’t feel the same towards this government and its MSM sycophants. It seems to me that governments around the world made a knee-j**k reaction and they now find themselves on merry-go-round going faster and faster and they can’t get off, but maybe vaccinating everyone might slow it down a bit. Or just maybe SAGE will conjure up some more psychological tricks to fool the gullible.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
2 years ago
Reply to  Ken Moss

Total respect to those who are applying your strategy. Taking personal responsibility for your health by the way of exercise and some supplements rather than relying on government proposed “vaccines” which it now appears – do not control transmission, sometimes have side effects with women, boys or some compromised population and who knows how repeatedly vaccinated will fare in the future . So the best strategy is exercise and good health especially healthy lungs . After all it’s a respiratory illness.

Anita Sorkin
Anita Sorkin
2 years ago

And a low carb diet as COVID is also a vascular disease (ie blood clots) so keeping insulin low and weight normal is equally important.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Define risk. Join the Army, get trained on and issued with a gun. Be sent to Iraq etc. It is reasonable to expect incoming gunfire but not the whole platoon to be hit.. Not all who get on rush hour public transport or drink in a busy bar catch Covid. To be hit by a stray cricket ball is sheer bad luck. Best to avoid the cracks in the pavement lest you attract angry bears.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

Only one objection: “has gone mad” misses the mark. COVID safetism was born mad. Public policy throughout the entire Western world, save in Sweden, has for the past 19 months or so been predicated on the absurd premise that the only human goods are the prevention of infection with and death from COVID-19. The mere suggestion of a cost-benefit analysis for any anti-COVID measure is met with reactions more appropriate to someone proposing in all seriousness that we take up the suggestions in Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago

As a risk management consultant I feel a burning need to clarify a few points: firstly, the term “reasonable man” is actually defined in law, well, sort of: he is “the man on the upper deck of the London to Clapham omnibus”. That may seem idiotic at first glance but it is far from it. Such a man is not “elite” in any way but your ordinary Joe Soap (or he’d br in a taxi and not heading to Claphap: no offence to Clapham!). Secondly he is not downstairs which is protected from the rain, but upstairs (open to the elements at the time) so has some hope and positivity in his makeup: ie he not a coward or a doomsday merchant.. he is willing to take some risk for the benefit of fresh air!
So when calculating risk one must estimate the frequency factor (likelihood of contracting the virus) and also the probable outcome (mild or severe illness or death). That is but one risk. There is also the risk to others and again both factors apply. With 4 variables this is a complex risk because each individual has to examine his or her own probabilities AND those of (several?) others they are likely to encounter which in turn depends on a myriad of factors related to their home, family, extended family, work, travel, socialising, crowding (street, station, bus, train, pub, gig, stadiums) etc etc etc.. And wait, we must then factor in the degree of precaution they take as regards face covering, distancing even shouting, sneezing, laughing etc etc
In short it is quite impossible to come up with a defined set of measures to take or to impose. All we are left with is:
1. Awareness of the risks (minus anti vax lunacy) as far as the layman can be informed.
2. Commonsence: regarded (in law) as rare: common stupidity is far more prevalent!
3. Vigilance in not exposing ourselves (virus wise) to others and taking simple, routine hygiene precautions.
4. A degree of self denial in not socialising and attending pubs, restaurants, gigs and sporting events etc. (too often).
It is important to remember some issues that seem to be missed even in expert advice:
A. Whatever increased risk is posed under 4. above the risk is doubled if you do it twice as often! So a fegree of self denial is important.
B. Time is an ignored but critical aspect. The longer you engage in chatting to a virus carrier (or potential victim of your own infection) the greater is the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus. Time is critical!
C. Ventilation is equally critical so open air is much safer than indoors. Many premises are badly ventilated. Most think only of extraction forgetting that extracted air has to be replaced. If air intake isn’t controlled it may well come from low levels (eg under doors!) and so may be virus laden since droplets fall to the ground! Air intake is therefore more important than extraction!
Ok: I’ve gone on a bit: apoliogies!

robert stowells
robert stowells
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Thanks for a reminder of this.

Last edited 2 years ago by robert stowells
robert stowells
robert stowells
2 years ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Thanks for a reminder of this.
As a resident of Clapham I will make a point of seeking out those double deckers and sitting in satisfied happiness on the top deck (even if the risk is only the stairs) in the knowledge of the significance of being seated where I am.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago

Quite right but the whole covid decisions debacle is much more sinister:
Have a look at this declaration: https://www.globalcovidsummit.org/

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
2 years ago

Thank you.
I am currently so traumatised by the Orwellian use of the word “safe” in public service announcement that I’ll need a safe space just to retain my sanity.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Those of us who travel on horseback, in close company, at speed over 4’6″ of hedge and fence, and have the now less than perfectly function bone structure to remind us, tend to despise obsession with safety and those who impose and cow tow to it, with a vengeance… However, they do provide splendid sport outside the season, as quarry to tease, bait, wind up and annoy…. the only fun bit of Covid and the papier mache spined corona phobes… Tally Ho!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

I believe that members of UnHerd are thinking too much about themselves and their ‘freedoms’. They should be thinking about protecting the Herd, which is what governments are supposed to do.

Nietzsche said that the UnHerd amounted to 0.1% of the population but today it is probably about 0.5% because of improved education. The idea should not be to give freedom to 0.5% and ignore 99.5%. The Herd need to know one thing: is it safe for everybody. If not, what should they do?

To compare this question to an obsession with H&S is just silly. I never wear a helmet when I cycle – how many people get seriously injured because they aren’t wearing a helmet? I actually know a person who was killed by a cricket ball while fielding at square leg. I still played cricket.

Covid is killing hundreds of thousands of people. It is not a game of intellect, it is real.

D Hockley
D Hockley
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Political philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in his essay On Liberty, “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will is to prevent harm to others.”
The problem that lockdown brings is that whilst one group is supposedly being protected (sheltered from harm) by lockdown, another group is exposed to harm by the very same measures of the lockdown (depression, bankruptcy, lack of treatment of other ailments such as cancer etc etc) .
Given this, in order for a lockdown to be legally and morally acceptable the government must first provide demonstrable proof of the severity of the two harms – and only then chose the lesser of these two.
Since no attempt has been made to do this, I would strongly argue that lockdowns are both illegal and immoral. And just because the majority are in agreement with them in no way justifies them.
The fact that the government is hiding behind the opinions of the majority (who are is a state of mass hysteria and have been the victims of a concerted brainwashing campaign) only further demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of those currently in charge.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  D Hockley

yes, well put

And also – the harms must be very severe in order for any rights to be suppressed.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  D Hockley

I have read John Stuart Mill. I am a scientist and have worked all over the world. How does this apply to billions of ordinary people who live for ‘Strictly’ or ‘Love Island’? Do they have to be sacrificed to prove the theory?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Freedom is more important than small risk, by far!

But the real flaw in your argument is that there seems to be NO difference in places which locked down and those which did not!

It is all a scam!

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Actually there is a difference. Sweden’s IFR is 1.2%, well below most of the rest of Europe and elsewhere.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Maybe I agree with you and maybe not but that is my point. My point is that most people do not understand all of the (over)theorising that you see on this site. For thinkers, the UnHerd, there are literally thousands of theories to talk about and it is very interesting to do so BUT for most people you need to spell it out very clearly – don’t get close to anybody, don’t hug anybody, be miserable and live.

If you have faith that you will survive, if you don’t have a close family and nobody cares about you, if you are a loner by education (like me and probably you), then you can do as you want. If you are normal there is an interlocking of people who live for each other – of all ages, young and very old- and you can’t speak for them. You can’t talk about alternatives or freedom (whatever that means), you have to spell it out. It is no good having alternative strategies, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vaccination, etc. You have to have a strategy for EVERYBODY. This is what you are missing.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Well they could have explained to all those allegedly “stupid people” – not 95% maybe 30-50% (bell curve of IQ) that taking vit D, C, losing weight etc might help but no, they (at least here in Ireland) decided to (I exaggerate a bit for brevity) lock us ALL up for nearly on a year and close down businesses and schools for the longest time in Europe.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago

Those ‘stupid’ people are the people. That is our country and our world, not a few pseudo-thinkers who spend their leisure time on sites like this.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have a husband and a wide circle of friends. People frequently get together and many people hug. No masks. No endless squirting of the chemical gel. We maybe hugged a little less at the height of the wave but that is about it. The general decision taken by the people I mix with is that they want to live the life given, rather than live masked and isolating. Especially as the disease appears to be endemic and we are likely all to get it.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

And for a huge number getting infected is a one and done. If we only fully understood who will be terribly affected by, say, long covid. We know that being obese or diabetic or elderly creates great risk and they need to be wary until that herd immunity arrives.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You have no right to speak for other people. You are a reader so read any book by Russian authors post 1991. The ordinary people still believe that St*lin was a god and long to go back to unfreedom.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Surely you’re an example of a person judging what risks they are prepared to take. Why do you not want to extend the same self autonomy to us all. My own judgments are at variance with yours. I cycle and use a helmet on the road. I have rarely worn a mask during this pandemic. When I have it’s been to reassure others rather than from any fear myself. I don’t deny the danger from COVID-19 but having been trained in Nuclear, biological and chemical warfare in the 1960s I know that the protection offered by masks unless carefully fitted is minimal. Learning how to put on and remove protective clothing without contaminating yourself is difficult. We were tested with liquid sprays that were invisible except under uv light. Most of us even after extensive training showed traces on our skin. The loose cloth masks which people have worn in shops and then removed and put in their pockets are ridiculous. I don’t even believe the government have any faith in them or they would have conducted training and had some quality standards. It’s an exercise in public relations not public health.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Yes, I understand you because I have an international reputation as a scientist. But how does this apply to billions of ordinary people?

Alan B
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You have illustrated well the difference between rationalism and reasonableness–although I am not certan that was your intent.For what it is worth, Nietzsche, too, was more rational than reasonable.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

These are not good comparisons. Swimming behind a ‘No Swimming’ sign is easy to avoid. Unusually long-flying cricket balls are extremely rare, unpredictable, and only affect policy because they are so memorable. Catching COVID is neither rare nor easy to avoid, and the effecty on policy comes from the large and growing number of cases, not from ‘availability heuristics’.

Leaving it to the most risk-taking people in the population to strike a balance between their personal convenience and other people’s health is not a good policy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes but leaving it to people who are on wages and can work remotely to strike a balance between their personal anxieties and other people’s unemployment + the destruction of small businesses isn’t working either.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Indeed. Which is why we need a reasoned, collective decision. That is what governments are for. Not the ‘remove the restrictions but advise people to follow them anyway and let everybody do whatever they want’ nonsense that the UK government is doing.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think that most governments have given up on reason. It’s all about emotional manipulation. The sad thing is that ‘we are going to do X, because we think this is a reasonable thing to do, and here is why we think it is reasonable’ actually plays very well with the public, no matter what the spin doctors, nudgers, and committees to evaluate the re-election chances say.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
D Hockley
D Hockley
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You seem to yearn to live in a totalitarian state. Maybe a move to Cuba or Venezuela would be a good idea for you.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You state that catching COVID is neither rare nor easy to avoid. An interesting statement fed more by fear mongering by the MSM and our governments than actual reality. First, it is not hard to avoid getting COVID. Just don’t go to crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces. That may not be 100% effective but it is highly effective. Second, for a viral infection that is supposed to be so commonplace, it is quite amazing that many of us will probably find that in their circle of acquaintances very few have actually come down with COVID. In terms of people I actually know directly (as opposed to a friend of a friend of a friend,…..) I only know of one family that had COVID (and interestingly they had nothing bad). And for the record I don’t live in the wilderness either.
With regard to vaccination I think it may be time for Governments and public health officials to take a step back. To claim that the vaccines are completely safe is clearly nonsense as the number of side effects and deaths post-vaccination reported in the US VAERS and UK Yellow book databases exceeds that of all other vaccines combined over the last 10 years. So while serious long-term (i.e. extending more than a few days) side effects and death post COVID vaccination are certainly rare, they are orders of magnitude more common than for any of the other standard vaccines that everybody gets. Perhaps would be wise to check people for long-term T and B cell immunity before vaccinating people willi-nilly. An expensive procedure but probably a wise one.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

We have had this discussion already. You believe that COVID is not much of a danger and easy to avoid, that COVID vaccines are quite dangerous, and that Ivermectin is a proven cure. I disagree on all three points. No need to run this again.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You should not put words in my mouth. That is never a good way to argue and suggests that you have a very blinkered and closed view of things. A closed mind is a dangerous mind.
I never said COVID vaccines are quite dangerous. I simply stated the absolutely known fact that deaths and major side effects from the current crop of COVID vaccines is higher than that for all other common vaccines for the last 10 years combined. To deny that there are potential serious consequences (and unpredictable ones at that) from COVID vaccination is dishonest and simply equivalent to close one’s eyes and scream “see no evil, hear no evil”. That’s why getting the COVID vaccines should be an informed personal decision. I’ve been doubly vaccinated back in February but I won’t be rushing to get a booster shot.
Ass for Ivermectin I never said it was a proven cure. What I said is that it is a safe medicine when dosed appropriately for humans, that literally billions of doses of ivermectin have been administered since its introduction 35-40 years ago, and that therefore there is nothing to lose. That’s a critical point because the choice before one is sick enough to require hospitalization is to either do nothing and wait for one’s fate, or do something that is harmless but may work to some extent.
I also never said that COVID is not potentially dangerous and indeed fatal, especially if one is over 65 with co-morbidities. There is no denying that and COVID is not something to simply ignore, especially for those in the high-risk groups. But at the same time it is actually not that hard to avoid catching it or at least significantly reduce one’s chances of catching it by avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces. Why, because those spaces are the prime location for transmission. You’re not going to get it outdoors even if you transiently pass an infected walker, jogger or cyclist. You’re not going to get it unless you spend a significant amount of time indoors in very close proximity to an infected person. And that’s why if you ask most people, they can only name a very small number of people they actually know directly who’ve actually had COVID.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

OK, you are saying that

  • COVID is not much of a danger and easy to avoid, “it is actually not that hard to avoid catching it[…] and few people know anyone directly who has caught it.”
  • COVID vaccines are quite dangerous, “deaths and major side effects from the current crop of COVID vaccines is higher than that for all other common vaccines for the last 10 years combined”, so that “getting the COVID vaccines should be an informed personal decision”

I can’t see that it makes much difference which version you use.

On Ivermectin I admit that I have misrepresented you. You did not say that we should make Ivermectin available to everybody and encourage them to rely on it because we know it works (that was another debater), You said that we should make Ivermectin available to everybody and encourage them to rely on it even though we do not know if it works

I still do not think there is any need to run through the arguments again

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I advocate Ivermectin be put in the drinking water. WTF? If you can be forced to Vax, why not be forced to take sheep de-wormer. It is safer and more effective in the off-lable studies I have seen….

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So you do say that Ivermectin is a proven cure? I disagree.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I am joking about putting it in the water….

but here is Dr Campbell (who is actually a nurse, but wide experience, and the world’s favorite covid youtuber) on the big Ivermectin study

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j7am9kjMrk

I do not care for him much as he is a radical pro Vaccine advocate, and a firm masker – but I watch his stuff, and he has several on Ivermectin, but as Youtube is so anti – such, just talking of it means a great chance of being kicked off the site, or as many others who mention Ivermectin, having their advertising money stopped.

Phil Thompson
Phil Thompson
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Game Set & Match Sir! I ain’t going to bother with the tripe that’s supposed to be a response

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I believe that there may be unforeseen side effects from the vaccine. We don’t really know what’s in them. What if they adversely affect our immune systems so that we are unable to resist other strains of viruses? What if, in the long-term, they degenerate brain cells? What if they do cause structural cell damage?
There are too many ‘what-ifs’, and too many vested interests in this whole pandemic scheme.
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/patent/US-2020279585-A1

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

The things you mention are all possible. They are just quite unlikely. There have been enough vaccinations that short-term effects would have shown up by now. As for long-term effects 1) There have been other vaccines. For non-specific parts of the vaccines there will be data from those 2) for COVID-specific proteins, the amount and variety of proteins you get exposed to from a vaccine seem certain to be a lot less than what you would get from the actual disease. So your ‘what-ifs’ would also apply to getting the disease – in spades.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

IFIK, no other mRna vaccines have ever been used on humans so we have no idea about long term effects. The vaccines do not include complete coverage compared to the disease nor do they produce an equivalent immune response. The vaccines may be a safer way to partial immunity but that jury is still out. But we don’t understand why some are so severely affected by the virus that getting infected would be risky.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I agree. This is an example of being too clever for the real world.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’ve been in South Africa among the variants since last year and have still managed to avoid it so far. So has my wife, two sons, daughter-in-law, three grand children of various ages and father-in-law who is over 90. None of our friends has been infected although the guy who runs the gym has a great aunt who caught it. None of us are vaccinated yet. Avoiding indoor crowds and social distancing in shops seems to work after all.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

I think the latest is that you will eventually get it – and also the Vaxed will too…It is just endemic and inevitable.

Heggs Mleggs
Heggs Mleggs
2 years ago

It isn’t about what is best for “individuals and their children”. It’s about what is best for the most vulnerable in our society. This individualistic view is just frightening. There will never be a benefit that outweighs the risk of the deaths of thousands of vulnerable people.

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago
Reply to  Heggs Mleggs

Yeah great let’s jab children, for no other reason than to protect the elderly who have already had double/ triple shots of the same vaccine. Makes a load of sense.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

And bearing in mind that the children very seldom every get this disease seriously and the elderly have few life years left!

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago

The JCVI did not recommend vaccinating children, but said it might be worth considering to avoid disruption to schools

Nikolai Hegelstad
Nikolai Hegelstad
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

The best thing you can do to avoid disruption to schools is to end the testing regime


Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

My understanding is that children are being vaccinated to reduce transmission so as to protect the vulnerable who refuse to be vaccinated, thereby reducing hospital admissions and deaths. The justification to use children in this way is that they benefit from reduced disruption to their schooling.
I agree with Rasmus Fogh that the examples in the article are poor. I also think the science is inadequate. Academics compete rather than elucidate.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

The idea of vaccinating children who are essentially at close to zero risk to protect the elderly, when there are known significant risks associated with vaccination of children is completely unethical, especially when those at risk can take necessary precautions to protect themselves (e.g. vaccination, wearing a N95 mask if one has to go into crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces, etc….).
Just last week a study was published in the US that found the risk of myocarditis following vaccination of 12-15 year old boys was 6 times greater than that following COVID infection. That’s a significant risk that one has to consider. Put it this way: if you’re child were vaccinated and developed myocarditis that significantly impacted their future (e.g. long recovery, possible premature death, etc….) I very much doubt that you would simply say that you and your child took one for the team!!!!! That’s what you have to bear in mind when issuing vaccine mandates and one -size fits all blanket approaches.
And incidentally, the same is true regarding vaccination of those who’ve previously been infected and recovered. Again a recent study out of Israel indicates that the level of protection against future infection resulting from prior infection is over 10 times greater than that resulting from vaccination. So why bother vaccinating the previously infected with potential untoward risk.
And lastly, as regards vaccination, one really needs to take a pause and look at what’s going on in Israel, Iceland and for that matter the UK. How well have the vaccines really performed? How long are they effective for? Given that they are leaky does widespread vaccination, as opposed to focussed vaccination of those at high risk, actually promote the generation of escape variants? Is mass vaccination in the middle of a pandemic for a disease where the fatality is small a sensible thing to do, or does it do more harm than good – e.g. the case of Marek’s disease and vaccination in chickens where vaccination actually made things worse rather than better. These are all things that one has to consider rather than simply doubling down on an approach that may be fatally flawed.

Heggs Mleggs
Heggs Mleggs
2 years ago

Did I say vaccinate children? No, I didn’t. If you’re asking, I think we need to address vaccine inquality globally before we do that.

Bruce Haycock
Bruce Haycock
2 years ago
Reply to  Heggs Mleggs

Surely if the most vulnerable were assisted to get vaccinated the risk to them would be reduced irrespective whether others chose not to be.

And what do you say to a most vulnerable person who believed, rightly or wrong, it was in their own best interest not to be vaccinated?

Heggs Mleggs
Heggs Mleggs
2 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Haycock

No, unfortunately the data suggests that the most vulnerable will not have enough protection from the vaccine alone. It is about everyone doing the right thing to protect them, so keeping social distancing and masks and encouraging all who can to get vaccinated.

Norman Powers
Norman Powers
2 years ago
Reply to  Heggs Mleggs

Children are normally understood to be some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Not to Covid though. Some children in the USA have died after getting the vaccine. Only already vulnerable children have died after Covid, for them the risk/ benefit analysis is clearly in favour of vaccination. For most people under 50 or so, it isn’t.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

That is generally true, but in the case of COVID children, fortunately, are actually the least vulnerable

Heggs Mleggs
Heggs Mleggs
2 years ago
Reply to  Norman Powers

Not with covid. Which is what we’re talking about.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Heggs Mleggs

I am in my late 80s and so “very vulnerable” but have never wanted the government to put my welfare before that of my children and grandchildren. This elderly point of view has never been investigated but I believe it has more support than the government and press ever lead us to believe.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

They did such a study in Sweden. The elderly were the most supportive of the relaxed measures ‘for the sake of the younger people’. Meanwhile the younger people were most likely to think that the restrictions did not go far enough, ‘for the sake of the oldest people’.
https://www.thelocal.se/20200511/coronavirus-survey-what-do-swedes-really-think-of-the-countrys-approach/
This says to me that the selfishness and untrammelled individualism Mary Harrington writes about today is not as bad a problem in Sweden. But I think there actually is a lot of this other-people-first mentality going around, for all that it does not make headlines.

Last edited 2 years ago by Laura Creighton
Carol Scott
Carol Scott
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

I feel the same, I had the vaccine as I had hoped to travel but I will not be having a booster. I think it is completely unethical to give this vaccine to children while long term results won’t be known for another couple of years. At my age, 79, it doesn’t matter too much but not for my grandchildren. I have never worn a mask due to severe respiratory problems on the advice of my consultant who said it would be dangerous for me to do so. It’s a strange virus, my neighbour caught it at the very beginning and was really ill. Oddly his wife and two adult children did not get it. Yet in the past two weeks I personally know of eight people you got it, all fully vaccinated, some with AZ and some with Pfizer. I have just carried on as normal and have had no problems so far.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Heggs Mleggs

Isn’t that exactly why people like Gupta et al. have proposed focussed protection of those at high risk while leaving the rest of society free to go about their daily business.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Great Barrington Declaration …. The last voice of reason in this last 18 months.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

And roundly condemned but where we find ourselves anyway.

Heggs Mleggs
Heggs Mleggs
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

How would we do that? Insist vulnerable people just stay in their houses forever?

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Heggs Mleggs

Not at all. Just avoid poorly ventilated crowded indoor places such as bars, pubs and nightclubs; avoid large indoor gatherings. And perhaps use a N95 mask if one has to venture into such places.