by David Paton
Saturday, 31
December 2022
Reaction
15:32

Covid restrictions on Chinese travellers are a bad idea

The underlying idea that politicians can control viruses was never true
by David Paton
Passengers arrive at Heathrow from Shanghai on 29th December 2022. Credit: Getty.

The headlines in yesterday’s papers, claiming that ministers were going to resist Covid curbs on Chinese travellers coming to Britain, could mean only one thing. Sure enough, a few hours later the U-turn was leaked and then formally announced: travel restrictions for Covid are back.

Some of those pushing for pre-departure testing have suggested it will stop the impact of high infection rates among Chinese travellers contributing to a faster spread of the virus in the UK. The Government has argued that this is a “temporary, precautionary” measure that will help protect the country against potential new variants. But does the evidence actually exist to justify such claims?


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In the context of the UK, which is currently experiencing a high (though now decreasing) level of infections and where a large proportion of the population now has some kind of immunity, it is difficult to argue that screening travellers from one specific country will have any clear impact on spread. In the context of the milder Omicron variant and a highly vaccinated population, it is even harder to sustain the claim that the measures will reduce Covid-related hospitalisations or mortality. 

Really, we now have high-quality, peer-reviewed evidence on the impact of travel restrictions. Research published earlier this year in Frontiers in Public Health examined the causal impact of a range of different non-pharmaceutical interventions across 169 countries. It found no statistically significant effects of international travel restrictions either on mortality or on infections. This finding held true in both the short and long term, early in the pandemic and later, and even when international travel restrictions were combined with stay-at-home measures or business closures.

When it comes to new variants, real world data has repeatedly demonstrated the lack of effectiveness of travel restrictions. Having some of the toughest border restrictions in the world was not enough to stop the Delta variant spreading to Australia in 2021. Undeterred, in November of that year the UK Government brought in stringent restrictions for travellers from six African countries, specifically to prevent the spread of the new Omicron variant. We know how well that worked out.

The Government must be aware of the lack of evidence for any benefit from travel restrictions. It appears they are paying more attention to the results of opinion polls than peer-reviewed research and scientific data.

And, as with all interventions, the new restrictions will not be cost-free. The Government statement announcing them acknowledges the costs to the travel industry, but makes no attempt to balance these drawbacks against the very limited potential benefits.

The cost is not only about travel from China. The Government has reintroduced an atmosphere of uncertainty, which has the potential to affect the travel and tourism industry as a whole. If pre-departure testing is right for China, then why not Japan, Hong Kong or South Korea, where cases are at record levels? And any time a new variant appears in a country, the industry must now factor in the possibility that further restrictions will follow. Indeed, influential voices have already suggested that the only effective measure would be the reintroduction of pre-departure testing for all travellers, regardless of which country they are travelling from.

Worse, by folding so quickly and easily, Rishi Sunak has sent out a worrying signal to the Covid restriction evangelists. When we see another big outbreak or new variant in the UK, we can expect a torrent of lobbying for useless mask mandates and other evidence-free restrictions. Sadly, we can have little confidence that the Government has the backbone to resist.

The mistaken conceit of global Covid policy over the past three years was that politicians have the power to control the virus with so-called “interventions”. It was never true. We have had lockdowns, business closures, tiers, masks and vaccines, and every single one has proved ineffective against the virus. Since early 2022, it has appeared that the UK Government had at least learnt its lesson. The new travel restrictions for China suggest a depressing return to the failed policies of the past.

David Paton is Professor of Industrial Economics at Nottingham University Business School

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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago

Can we please stop pretending that any Covid policy has been developed on the basis of clear, rational thought.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I retain hope that a sensible balance after all this painful experience might, just, be applied this time.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Dream on sunshine!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

They are now exploiting an NHS ‘emergency’ to propose all sorts, so maybe I was being delusional.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It most certainly has been. The thing the thought was how to achieve the results seen. This was a plandemic, and the goal was to destroy the savings and wealth of the middle class, and also the global economy for the Great Reset. It has been amazingly successful.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

That’s just totally ridiculous. The plan of a Conservative government was to ‘destroy the savings and wealth of the middle class’? If that were the (conspiratorial) aim, which must of course have included the crashing of house prices, it has been a remarkably unsuccessful one.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The honest answer to that question for anyone in any position of political power or authority can only be, “no we can’t, for to do so now would be to admit that we screwed up, big time”.

So on they go, in their deluded, detached little fantasy world in which they believe themselves to be powerful masters of nature and man alike, while the rest of us suffer the consequences of their abject inability to comprehend or deal with reality, their pathetic little power games, and their total disregard for truth, logic, or the actual interests of the people they are supposed to serve. Words cannot adequately describe the utter contempt in which so many people now hold the whole lot of them, across whole (albeit increasingly narrow) spectrum. And then they wonder why they are losing trust. There needs to be root and branch change in both the way that we are governed and who we are governed by.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

There wasn’t time nor data for your idea of rational thought …just a desire to do what seemed to be the most appropriate things to protect and save the largest percentage of the population. You back seat drivers have great hindsight…

Bruce Crichton
Bruce Crichton
1 month ago
Reply to  Sam Brown

Your post is Communist propaganda, just like lockdown

Andrew Buckley
Andrew Buckley
1 month ago

Damned if he does, damned it he doesn’t!
Personally anything that gives a bit of angst to Chinese travelling around the world the better at the moment.
There is little, if any, evidence of the Chinese (rulers) giving any consideration to any other country throughout this pandemic.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Yeah they haven’t exactly been helpful. They claimed that last Wednesday only 3 people died from Covid, in a population of 1.3 billion. Laughable.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Dr Malone, the original patent holder says Gain of function Bio-Weapons can be so specific as to target genetic differences in populations. I would point out

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

worldometers official covid statistics

China deaths per million 4

UK deaths per million 2904

USA deaths per million 3339

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

It does seem rather contrived that they release their people with over a 50% infection rate into the world. I don’t believe they’ve engineered a bio weapon deliberately, but that’s with a generous dollop of believing the Chinese wouldn’t be such bad humans. Occam is undermining that belief.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

Quite so. They ‘manufactured’ this pestilence and thus must be banished from the civilised world for sometime as a penance.

Last edited 1 month ago by stanhopecharles344
Bruce Crichton
Bruce Crichton
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Buckley

What balderdash.

This intervention is completely random and irrational, just like government policy on lockdown

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago

Very interesting.
Judging by the first comments, three years of the pandemic have not taught the public, which continues to fear COVID with the fervor of converts.
I have to admit that governments don’t have to go to great lengths to manipulate the accountable herds.

Last edited 1 month ago by El Uro
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

There’s a balanced sensible approach. If a country of 1.3 billion has a pandemic, and you just don’t know if it’s harmless or not, would you really not bother trying to find out more about it?

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I don’t believe in corpses on the streets and I don’t advise you.
And when correspondents write that at the moment in China, those over 80 years old are at particular risk, I remember that we were fed the same horror stories three years ago.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

I can accept your argument about an over reaction if we believe the pandemic in China is being exaggerated by our media. But in the absence of case data from the Chinese, in fact an absolute denial that they’ve had more than a few thousand cases, do you trust the Chinese enough to believe them instead? After Wuhan?

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Indeed, but… who cares. COVID is with us, so what does it matter whether extra cases come from China or Peru or Gabon. Who or what are we trying to shield? New variants may crop up anywhere.

Mike Carr
Mike Carr
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I think there is enough worldwide data now to be able to produce a pretty accurate forecast of the outcome of china cases. In fact a reasonably accurate forecast could never been made from the Diamond Princess. China will end up looking much the same as the rest who followed a zero COVID policy. Whether it actually gets reported is moot.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

“If pre-departure testing is right for China, then why not Japan, Hong Kong or South Korea, where cases are at record levels?”

Agreed that travel restriction cannot stop the virus. But knowledge of the variants arising allows us to develop vaccines for new variants if these are capable of dodging current vaccine protection or immunity. These countries you list are providing lots of data on genomic sequencing so that everyone can monitor the situation – except for China, which is providing almost no information on its covid cases to the international community – they provided less data than the U.K. in the last month when it’s estimated they’ve had 250 million cases.

So testing of visitors from a place where we have no knowledge of the variants they may be carrying seems like a valid precautionary measure – that’s what Italy and the USA are proposing to do.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart
Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

”But knowledge of the variants arising allows us to develop vaccines for new variants if these are capable of dodging current vaccine protection or immunity.’‘ The vaccine is much more harmful than covid.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

I don’t believe it is personally

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

If you don’t want to believe it, I suggest you follow Dr Eric Feigl-Ding – one of the main Branch Covidians on Twitter – he will tell you what you want to hear all the time.
“NEXT BIG ONE—CDC has royally screwed up—unreleased data shows #XBB15, a super variant, surged to 40% US (CDC unreported for weeks!) & now causing hospitalization surges in NY/NE.https://abs-0.twimg.com/emoji/v2/svg/27a1.svgXBB15–a new recombinant strain—is both more immune evasive & better at infecting than #BQ & XBB.https://abs-0.twimg.com/emoji/v2/svg/1f9f5.svg

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well here is one of Britain’s Top Cardiac Consultants saying the vax is much more dangerous that covid. Dr Malhotra

Numbers he quotes – in 80 age+ it is shown 7000 must be given the xax to save one from death by covid.

YET 1 in 800 of ALL ages suffers a life-changing harm from the vaccine (likely under reported by a power of 10)

SO – 9 times more likely to be harmed by the vax than saved – and that is saving an 80 year old, yet the harmed are all ages!

https://rumble.com/v23e4gs-bret-weinstein-speaks-with-dr.-aseem-malhotra-on-the-darkhorse-podcast.html

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonas Moze
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Lesley, Jonas:

Peer-reviewed papers please. If you took cranky videos as proof, you could ‘prove’ that the earth is flat. And. yes, even well-known cardiologists or Nobel prize winners are not immune to jumping on crazy wagons.

Come on, if the data are there – reliable data – surely it cannot be hard for you to find them?

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Some from Israel. Not from rumble 🙂

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-10928-z
Quote:
‘Using a unique dataset from Israel National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from 2019 to 2021, the study aims to evaluate the association between the volume of cardiac arrest and acute coronary syndrome EMS calls in the 16–39-year-old population with potential factors including COVID-19 infection and vaccination rates. An increase of over 25% was detected in both call types during January–May 2021, compared with the years 2019–2020. While not establishing causal relationships, the findings raise concerns regarding vaccine-induced undetected severe cardiovascular side-effects and underscore the already established causal relationship between vaccines and myocarditis, a frequent cause of unexpected cardiac arrest in young individuals ‘

The last time I tried to share an article talking about this, it never made it. Let’s try this one.

One more: https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/mit-study-ties-covid-shots-to-cardiac-arrest-among-youth/

Last edited 1 month ago by B Emery
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Thanks – that Nature article is useful. No disagreement, this is a serious article. It will of course be interesting to see the outcome of those ‘raised criticisms being looked at’ that the editors talk about, but to a quick amateur look nothing raises any suspicions. On the other hand, as the authors themselves say, the conclusion could be summarised as ‘Hey, there might well be something here, so we need to look closer’. I do not doubt their statistics, but the curve of emergency call numbers does look quite noisy, which should mean there is some risk of being misled by coincidences. Short term this does not move me from the general conclusion that for young people vaccination has low risks and low benefits. But we definitely need to ‘watch this space’.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rasmus Fogh
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Spot on. People are living in dreamland, sitting slack-jawed in front of corporate media.

Paige M
Paige M
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

We need different vaccines. I have zero interest in meddling with these MRNA vaccines for new variants.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Do you believe these boosters work? And you you believe that constantly giving people these boosters is at worst a benign process? ie putting the money grift to one side, do you believe they are safe?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago

I do!

And with the number of people who have had those boosters, there are all the data available to prove the question either way. If you want to get anywhere this is where you need to spend your time, not on ‘reanalysing’ the original trial data.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rasmus Fogh
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Oh dear Rasmus. So putting analysis aside …. Which you clearly don’t want because in your head these vaccines now somehow have changed and are yielding more benign results. Excess mortality is super high (not linked to COVID, but many excuses). People get the boosters and become very ill thereafter (foolish friends of mine for starters) and plus THEY STILL GET COVID.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago

It is an epidemic of the stupid.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago

It is a plandemic of the evil…

think Tuskegee Study – look it up

think Unit 731
”The Japanese Army built Unit 731 in northeastern China in 1936 for ‘research’ Scientists carried out horrific human experiments on prisoners during WWII Some 3,000 people died,”

Think smallpox on blankets for the Indians …

This is what your psychopathic masters have done with their plandimic….

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

The bad news:
“Two flights into Milan were among the first to see passengers subjected to new mandatory testing imposed on Chinese travellers. Guido Bertolaso, Lombardy regional councillor for welfare, told a news conference: “On the first flight, out of 92 passengers 35 (38%) are positive. On the second, out of 120 passengers 62 (52%) are positive.””
https://news.sky.com/story/covid-patients-no-longer-have-to-quarantine-in-hong-kong-as-restrictions-are-lifted-12775498

The good news:
“Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Italy already sequenced half of the samples tested in Milan and they all show the omicron strain of the coronavirus “This is quite reassuring,” she said.”
https://fortune.com/2022/12/29/italy-covid-tests-china-arrivals-no-new-variants-mutations/

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago

The Chinese press says its all pants, American propaganda.
I looked yesterday after our radio news was spouting about travel restrictions and twindemecis all day. Obvs the global times is riddled with pro Ccp propaganda, its pretty heavy on it. But their line is, its omicron which they say the west said was mild, Chinese scientists have agreed its mild, they expected an omicron spike, the same as we had.
They are running a few stories, all saying the travel restrictions are just a dig at China basically, different perspective on it anyway, one example:
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202212/1282911.shtml?id=11

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Always important to see what the other side is saying.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Thanks, yes luckily we haven’t shut off the global times here yet, russia today is now unavailable though. Bit pants really, there’s two sides to every story and then the truth 🙂 short on truth at the moment being one of our major problems I think, especially over covid. So many propaganda machines running over time, on all sides. Quagmire 🙂

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

Sorry Miss Emery but the Chinese are lying! They just can’t help it, sadly.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago

Didn’t say they weren’t Mr Stanhope, I said very clearly it was riddled with ccp propaganda. I offered it as a different perspective. I even said two sides to every story and then truth, implying I don’t entirely trust the media on the subject from either side. I’m still smarting after the twitter files. Media madness.
However, it is a fact that when we opened up, we had a spike in cases, this was expected, the omicron varient caused quite a spike but it was milder. Now the Chinese are simply saying they are obviously experiencing the same spike we all did when we lifted restrictions. But that the cases are milder and so they will continue to lift them. I feel that is pretty reasonable. Whether or not we should have travel restrictions because of the spike in their cases. Minefield. I won’t even start, I’m not really qualified, I’m off for a drink – happy new year!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

But they aren’t sharing the data on their cases B. That ain’t propaganda but an actual fact – these internationally supported databases which every country provides case data to are not getting much from China, and never have, because they are pretending they don’t have a problem.

So the rest of the world is flying blind when it comes to cases imported from China – over 50% of Chinese passengers on two flights into Italy last week tested positive. Our case rate is only 2% currently!

So testing in the absence of the Chinese providing case data, genomic sequencing specifically, is a wise precaution.

B Emery
B Emery
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Mr Stewart, that’s fair enough if that’s how you see it. Perfectly reasonable. As I said, I’m not really qualified to say what we should be doing but I’m afraid how you view travel restrictions very much depends on your opinion of how this started and if the initial reaction to covid was correct. On whether you think pcr testing works etc. No one has been very clear on the data and we STILL have no origin.
Now if you opposed lockdown from the start, then it would follow that really, you would oppose travel restrictions of any kind. If you opposed lockdowns for omicron, same argument, you can’t really then turn around and say the Chinese are doing it wrong.
If you think china released it and are culpable, you might like the travel restrictions just because it will annoy the Chinese, regardless of your opinion on the rest of it. Fair enough again really.
Also, as I said they are buying Russian energy etc. Could also have imposed travel restrictions based on stuff like that too, geopolitics. There may be more to it than just worrying about covid. There may also not be.
There’s quite a few other arguments too, I haven’t seen anyone here talking about covid potentially not coming from China at all, that’s really fringe still, maybe for a good reason, lol.
Point being, I’m not saying that china have, or haven’t done wrong. You said they are denying they have a problem, I don’t think that’s fair either, china have treated covid as a bigger problem than most of west – hence their zero covid policy. They are saying look, we have got a spike, it was expected, you criticised us for zero covid, now you are criticising us for opening up. That is what is interesting I suppose. The msm wanting it both ways. Slam the Chinese for harsh lockdowns but then they slam them for opening up. They are simply seeing the same spike the west did. Its not so much looking for the truth in the global times article – it gives you a good feel of how our relationship with China is going I suppose and the contrast between our media. As to whether I think there should be restrictions – honestly, no I don’t from the perspective I bloody hate the pcr tests, we have proved omicron is mild, it’s circulating the west already and has been for some time – so if its going to mutate it doesn’t need help from China. We opened up ages ago now and still no killer strain has emerged. I think it’s being over egged tbh. On the other hand, if this is also to do with the geopolitics going on between Russia, china and America, and if this was china’s fault in the first place, maybe they are justified. Just my humble and very conflicted opinion though 🙂

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  B Emery

They reported ONE death in the whole of the country, yesterday. It would be laughable if it weren’t so 1984 …

David Harris
David Harris
1 month ago

“It appears [the govt] are paying more attention to the results of opinion polls than peer-reviewed research and scientific data”
Which is what theye done since the first lockdown. Nothing changes…

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago

Try watching any of the Thousands of videos on the free of censoring ‘Rumble’ the youtube format, like this Of the man thought to be mRNA vaccines greatest expert – he does hold the original patents on it – and is the world’s top vaccinologist.

https://rumble.com/v21r5h8-dr.-robert-malone-understanding-and-resisting-fifth-generation-warfare.html

How about this 3 hour video from the USA Senate, Senator Ron Johnson – proving the vaccine is much worse than covid, and all the measures taken made everything worse. You must skip forward to minute 7 where it begins – takes 30 seconds to load – but is finally truth – a vital thing to watch, and very interesting.

https://rumble.com/v1ze4d0-covid-19-vaccines-what-they-are-how-they-work-and-possible-causes-of-injuri.html

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

A ‘political’ not a ‘scientific’ decision.

But is it important Chinese travellers get to appreciate that despite the glorious leadership of the CCP they remain in a mess over Covid, whereas the West is now v much in a different place? Not the primary purpose one assumes but still of some utility?

Of course this contrast continues to upset the Covid conspiracy commentariat and (groan) yet again we have to listen to rubbish about how they’d have just it rip through our own unvaccinated population whilst utterly clueless as to what then would have happened- including to the entirety of all other healthcare.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 month ago

The author states that travel restrictions did not stop the delta variant from entering Australia. That is true but did it limit the infection rate? It must be the case that the more infective individuals in a population the higher the infection rate. Is it possible that the restrictions have been imposed to ease the load on the NHS rather than to stop a new variant entering the UK?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Fair point, as it’s reported that many Chinese may come to the Western countries for treatment – and if we’re the only country not testing then they’d make the mistake of coming to get treatment from our dysfunctional NHS.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

“to ease the load on the NHS”
Dear God, not that again.
Sometime, it feels like the UK is a taxpayer funded, ludicrously poor “free” healthcare service with a country attached to it, rather than the other way round

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Why should the UK taxpayer fund the hospital care of Chinese tourists who arrive with Covid?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Don’t know. Maybe because those Chinese tourists spend a lot, maybe because China is our new overlord, beats me really, maybe because the sooner the NHS goes off the cliff the better – don’t have a good answer, especially because I didn’t suggest anything of that sort in my comment to begin with!

Simon Clark
Simon Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

They only spend a lot in Chinese owned businesses.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

But by letting in Chinese travellers with Covid then you’re increasing the pressure on the hospitals, which are funded by UK taxpayers so by letting in all these infected people then that’s exactly what you were suggesting.
Also why would it be better if the NHS fails? Would you rather it be replaced by the French or German systems, which come on around 20% more expensive per head of population?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It is true taht the German and French systems are more expensive, but they are more effective too, especially when it comes to cancer diagnoses.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Is it possible that the restrictions have been imposed to ease the load on the NHS rather than to stop a new variant entering the UK?

No, I don’t think so, most likely the restrictions were introduced to appease the cowards.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

It’s a shame you can’t engage in debate without polarising it with histrionics.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart
El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

There is no theatricality here, except for the feeling of fatigue from the fact that this whole performance starts all over again.
Why doesn’t it occur to you that the authorities and the media are just trying to convince you that all their crazy measures against COVID were justified?
Why don’t you remember anything from what happened three or two years ago?

Last edited 1 month ago by El Uro
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Oh I remember El. I live it every day as a family that is immune compromised (transplant) with zero immunity, partially shielding for 3 years and accepting that everyone else has the right to get on with their risk free lives. I just spent £1500 getting Evusheld for my wife so we can see our family with a limited risk. I know the science as I study the published papers and attend the conference calls. And I understand why people believe our government over reacted big time, and don’t disagree with that view. But we can’t chuck the baby out by having no form of infection review at all.

Your fear of another over reaction may be justified, but we have to try and steer a sensible course this time.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart
El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I sympathize with you, but I can’t help you.
On the other hand, I am 69 years old and I do not see the need for my grandchildren to stay at home in lockdown for me to live a few extra years. I want them to be happy not me. They will survive my death.
Sorry for a very rude answer

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

You’re doing what you accuse the authorities of doing, over-reacting. There’s no question of lockdowns, they simply won’t be tolerated. But sensible precautions which don’t affect the UK population isn’t a “thin end of the wedge” argument. Please try to retain some perspective.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

This is not an overreaction. It is rather a feeling of helplessness when you see that people are unteachable.
Personally about me:
Am I afraid COVID might kill me? – Yes, I’m a little afraid. At 69, this is a forgivable fear.
Am I an anti-vaxxer? – No, not at all. I honestly got two jabs (at the insistence of my wife) and then no less honestly got COVID (together with her). I expected to get COVID, no illusions!
Do I think that more dangerous mutations of this virus are impossible? – No, it’s quite possible.
However, I contend that the most sensible way to deal with COVID is to stick to the normal rhythm of life and accept COVID as an unpleasant inevitability. Life is too short to waste it on fear. To be clear I thought so from very beginning…

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

It looks like you’ve managed the risk very well for your position. I want to be able to do that too, and letting infected Chinese people into the country with no monitoring at all just seems to increase the risk unnecessarily when the Chinese government has refused to share adequate data on their cases.

Having stated that, I understand completely your angst that it could allow our own authoritarians to dictate our response.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

That’s not a rude answer at all – you have every right to manage the risk the way you see fit, and I think that’s what we all should be able to do, without over zealous restrictions that stop people doing that.

Unfortunately, until recently, those with no immune systems thought that zero immunity meant infection leading to death or very serious illness as a majority outcome. But a paper published just 3 weeks ago showed that post infection treatments reduce the chance of serious illness or death for those with transplants to very low probabilities. That’s fantastic news for the 500,000 in the U.K. with reduced or zero immunity. It also illustrates how those who have commented above that the various treatments (vaccines, antivirals, etc) are more dangerous are completely wrong when it comes to people with reduced immunity, at least.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Did you really need to tell us that?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

I think so because there is a very large group of immune compromised people in the U.K., about 500,000, which these discussions often don’t consider. In fact they have started a campaign group calling themselves the forgotten500k to get the approved Evusheld treatment which prevented infection (but less effective against Omicron). However the government chose not to fund the treatment through the NHS. I talk to some of these people every day now, agonising over whether they can afford the £1500 it costs.

You are always quoting facts. Why would you want to avoid being made aware of these facts that are relevant to the discussion?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I sympathise with your predicament but feel UnHerd is NOT the place for emotion.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

I’m not after sympathy as I think loads of others have a far harder lot than I do, especially those that didn’t need lockdown. But it’s useful to be able to inform people based on personal experience.

It’s pretty extreme having to buy Covid protection like I and many others have – but our vulnerable group is sorting itself out for protection which I think complements the arguments of others here that we don’t need lockdowns if the vulnerable can be protected.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Correct. There’s no need for invective, which is cowardly in its own right.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Invective “cowardly “?
Surely not, much more like ill-mannered ?

Last edited 1 month ago by stanhopecharles344
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 month ago

Yeah, probably!

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

We don’t know what is happening in China but it seems that covid is widespread. Asking them to have a couple of negative tests before they leave is not at all onerous and entirely sensible.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago

It does now look like the authoritarians are using an NHS ‘emergency’, not Covid ironically, to tell us how to behave safely, so my hopes expressed in these comments for common sense and proportionality may indeed have been foolish.

Raf M
Raf M
1 month ago

It seems the sunk cost fallacy has taken a firm hold. Politicians, media pundits and many so called experts simply cannot bear to admit that their unbelievably poor judgement has been absolutely worthless.

Mike Carr
Mike Carr
1 month ago

When Sunak said he argued against lockdowns was he lying?

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 month ago

” In the context of the milder Omicron variant and a highly vaccinated population,”

It is Proven, the more vaccines you have received, the more likely you are to catch covid and to suffer worst outcomes. It is proven the mRNA vaccines reduce the immune system ability to fight viruses. The vaccine is a Harm, it is not a Help in anything but to promote a Police State, and to promote political corruption by the Vast transfer of wealth it enabled.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

In what way has it been proven that vaccines cause worse outcomes?
I’ll agree the lockdowns were a very poor policy for which we’ll be paying for a long time and vaccine mandates were morally wrong, but I simply don’t believe the vaccines did more harm than good.
NZs geographical isolation meant that it was able to keep the virus out until a vast majority of its citizens had been vaccinated, and the number of deaths it suffered from Covid once the virus had circulated the population was minuscule compared to many other western countries

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Want something recent? Watch the latest John Campbell video “Reanalysis of mRNA trial data”. Not that this data isn’t just everywhere at the moment,

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago

Research published earlier this year in Frontiers in Public Healthexamined the causal impact of a range of different non-pharmaceutical interventions across 169 countries.

I tried reading that, but it is too technical for amateurs like me to evaluate. One notes some things, though:

As the authors explain, they show that the various non-pharmaceutical do not visibly reduce the number of deaths.
They note that some of them significantly reduce the number of COVID cases.
They explicitly cannot and do not say anything whether the interventions keep the number of deaths from increasing. At the beginning of an epidemic in a population without any immunity, surely you would expect an increase in deaths in the absence of measures to prevent it.
They note that this result (which is based on more data) contradicts the result of earlier publications.
They note in passing that their data show that vaccination does significantly reduce the number of COVID deaths (just for any sceptics out there).
This does seem to be an important article, but as always you cannot just pick out a single article. One would certainly want to see some kind of consensus with other scientists before considering the matter as settled. Especially considering one big question. Are the article authors – or David Paton – really saying that a country like Australia would have had the same number of deaths if they had not done *one single thing* to reduce transmission? And if they are – do they really have the evidence to prove it?

Last edited 1 month ago by Rasmus Fogh
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I would have thought the delay in covid getting to Oz meant far less deaths in their vulnerable population as they got the vaccinations in time. But their approach was too extreme. In my view precautions for the vulnerable population only could have been implemented, inevitably with mistakes (and deaths) happening as it’s very complicated, and everyone else could have continued as they were.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart