by Amy Jones
Monday, 26
April 2021
Reaction
11:48

Spare us the selective outrage on the lockdown protests

Medical staff can't pick and choose — it undermines their authority
by Amy Jones

Images of the protests held in London this Saturday over lockdown, vaccine passports and ongoing restrictions, sparked a predictably venomous response from many prominent healthcare workers.

https://twitter.com/NHSMillion/status/1386060204165435395?s=20 

Criticism was widespread, primarily focusing on the foolishness of protest (rather than the reason for it), ranging from angry predictions of a third wave to wondering out loud if medical care should be withdrawn for those who participated.

There is, of course, the issue of whether it was actually correct to criticise the march. After all, protesting is a basic democratic right, prevalence of Covid is low, and outdoor activities are associated with less transmission than indoors. Moreover, a significant proportion of the vulnerable population has been vaccinated. 

Indeed, it is worth considering that Patrick Vallance, giving evidence to a select committee earlier this year, reported that, based on data on marches in New York, there had been no spikes following protests, and in January, Jonathan Van Tam reiterated his belief that it was only necessary to wear face coverings indoors.

This aside, perhaps a more important question should be asked — where was the same outcry remarking on the danger and recklessness of other recent protests, which also took place in a pandemic?

The Sarah Everard vigil, and associated protest, occurred earlier in the year, when prevalence was higher, and fewer people had been vaccinated. Yet, far from provoking widespread condemnation, it was greeted with encouragement by many medics. There was even anger towards the police for acting in such a heavy handed manner when they broke it up under the auspices of “Public Health”.

Similarly, the protests earlier this week in response to the (thankfully doomed) football Super League — which even included singing! — were met with silence. Likewise, few medical staff argued that scenes earlier this month from the “Kill the Bill” protests against the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, had them fearing a third wave.

This selective outrage towards protesting by many in healthcare appears to be a very odd affliction. Strangely, it only seems to flare up when protests are related to lockdowns, vaccine passports, and masks. Even though everyone has their own political views, there is a difference between criticising the reason for someone’s protest, and using the pandemic as justification in order to argue against the right to protest.

Medical staff crying foul, and invoking their position as NHS employees in order to condemn only certain protests, and certain people — those they disagree with — are at risk of appearing, at best, inconsistent, and at worse, manipulative. 

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Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

Another fine thing that we’ve exported to you from the US. This sort of pretzel logic is commonplace here: spring break events, Trump rallies, and holiday events were all supposed to be massive superspreaders, but riots and mayhem are no problem. It is not at all surprising that our minders would be upset at the proles daring to voice their discontent.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Here in Oregon, our governor is threatening yet another severe lockdown since the hospital intakes are going up a bit and that is always the threat used: we have to lockdown so our ICU beds and health workers are not overwhelmed. I have great respect and sympathy for anyone who has worked in hospitals during the worst of the COVID months. I have read the personal stories of doctors and nurses and what they went through and they all deserve medals.
However, our ICU and hospital beds were NEVER filled to capacity. Indeed, due to the fact that patients with other illnesses were warned away from seeking any non-Covid medical care, (and elective surgery is the money maker) hospitals lost money and were begging people to please come back.
I can only think that our Governor and Fauci and company have to keep the fear alive far into the future but this time, I doubt they will get anyone to obey.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

I’m in GA, where we have largely been open – schools, businesses, etc. There was a slowdown for several months this time last year, but it gave way to the idea of letting adults make adult decisions for themselves.
One thing about ICU beds that is never mentioned is that they are limited by definition. A state agency rules how many such beds a facility can have, but this is apparently a mystery to some. I don’t think the fear will ever go away; it’s as if the goal is to cause as much harm to as many people as possible.

Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller
1 year ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

May I ask (as I am utterly ignorant on this) –
If you end up in hospital because of Covid and you have no health insurance or not much money, how do you pay for it?
I have heard that in normal times, US hospitals will bankrupt people over medical bills but is it the same for Covid?
Thanks mate!

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah Miller

Contrary to popular belief, there is entirely decent care for most poor and/or uninsured people in the USA (I have many friends, including a best friend from university days, who are physicians there). Here in Canada, we make sure everyone gets middling or poor care, and then we are happy because nobody came out ahead. I am unsure which system has a set of problems that are more attractive. For now I remain in Canada, and would still vote for our problem set, but the balance is tipping as our system cracks and collapses more each year.

Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Isn’t it ironic?
Don’t you think?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

I was watching Saturday’s march on various livestreams. It was wonderful to see. Thank you, Amy Jones, for acting as a rare voice of reason from within ‘our’ demented and out of control NHS.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

NHS are a political/social engineering organization that does medical work on the side as their cover.

Ian Herriott
Ian Herriott
1 year ago

As I approached Oxford Street on Saturday I was overwhelmed by the unity of spirit. Every colour,creed and political sway, hollering in defiance against the authoritarianism that has strangled our society. We are broken into the fearful, the compliant and the awake, and I choose the latter. Thank you to those NHS nurses who attended and those who are brave enough to speak out.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago

It seem highly inappropriate for the NHS to be commenting on what is essentially a political matter, and particularly in such an emotionally overwrought manner.
There is an increasing problem with the politicisation of the medical profession. The Lancet, under the editorial control of Richard Horton has devolved in to a left wing/”progressive” mouthpiece. The acceptance by many doctors of “transgenderism” and the use of the experimental and potentially sterilizing administration of puberty blocking drugs on children, is deeply disturbing.
Trust is vital in the relationship between medical professionals and patients. With the medical profession increasingly sounding off and getting involved in political controversies, there is a real danger of that trust dramatically diminishing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcus Leach
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

The NHS hasn’t commented. Some people who work for the NHS have commented.
Do you think their right to speak on things should be restricted because of who they work for?

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

You are quite right. I was deceived by the usage of a logo that is exceptionally close to the official NHS one.
I am quite happy for these people to express their opinion on their social media account. I would suggest however that they be forced to change their logo and to make it clear they are not affiliated with the NHS.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marcus Leach
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Transgenderism, wow, JP Sears did a good youtube where he explains how progressive some laws are which allow hormone blocking to be done on teens even without the parents permission, and how much more progressive it would be to do it without the teens permission too, as the doctors know best, and gender is oppression.

Al Johnson
Al Johnson
1 year ago

Makes no sense. Lockdowns are breaking the NHS. Waiting lists are too long now to ever catch up. Thousands will die and the NHS will be unable to cope because of LOCKDOWNS. The NHS should be anti-lockdown.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Al Johnson

Waiting lists are long because so many operations had to be cancelled because hospitals were full of COVID patients. There is a very clear correlation between lockdowns and 2-3 weeks later the number of COVID patients falling. The numbers in Hospital are now back where they were in early Jul when the last lockdown ended.
https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/current-covid-hospitalizations-per-million?country=~GBR
So NHS staff this time round looked after over 3 times as many COVID patients as first time round, as well as dealing with all the other seasonally higher afflictions AND have vaccinated 50% of the population with at least 1 shot and nearly 20% of those have had 2 shots.
You probably ought to check your facts and think about what you are saying. COVID nearly broke the NHS, many staff were totally exhausted and are having their own mental health issues. What relieved the pressure and saved the NHS from total collapse was LOCKDOWN.
I can appreciate why NHS staff are sensitive about crowds breaching rules. The point about their selectivity of outrage being dependent on the cause – the point of the article, is however well made.

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
1 year ago

The real virus is the media and those who control it.

M J Kelly M D
M J Kelly M D
1 year ago

As an American physician who realizes what a massive fraud this whole event is those, NHS “doctors” should be lined up with all the others after this mess is over heading towards the guillotines.
In this country, Florida, Texas , and South Dakota have opened up and are free. California and New York have been destroyed. The big dogs are eating the puppies.

Last edited 1 year ago by M J Kelly M D
Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
1 year ago
Reply to  M J Kelly M D

When the dust all settles, the fact the different states within the same country behaved differently will at least one hopes enable proper analysis of the efficacy of lockdowns.
Every cloud has a silver lining I suppose, although really it’s advocates of a therapy as drastic as lockdown that should be proving their case, not the other way round.

David B
David B
1 year ago

Before all of this I was a big supporter of the NHS. Now I want it broken into as many pieces as possible and sold off. I’m done with them.

paul white
paul white
1 year ago
Reply to  David B

that’s the whole point, PRIVITISATION!!!!!!! wakey wakey

David B
David B
1 year ago
Reply to  paul white

Are you implying that the NHS staff want the NHS to be privatised? It is their conduct which has led me to this point.

paul white
paul white
1 year ago
Reply to  David B

The NHS staff are are behaving the way they have been told to by this Conservative government, who do want the health service to be privatised .

David B
David B
1 year ago
Reply to  paul white

The staff hate conservative governments……..

liam.odonohue
liam.odonohue
1 year ago
Reply to  David B

David B – be careful what you wish for!

Pathology, radiology, sterile services, laundry, catering and portering have been privatised a long time ago. GP practices are also subcontractors, so private also.

GP are generally run by GP partners who continue to see patients and remain physically connected to their surgery. I worry for the creation of large GP networks that will bring with it the potential for further detachment from the family doctor.

Privatisation of healthcare beyond what we have
will cost more and deliver less. I forsee a replication of the disaster that was privatisation of British Rail.

Patients will lose, so too will the majority of workers, bar a select few, who by chance are in the right place at the right time.

Only the lawyers, accountants and middlemen will benefit from this.

Health and science is a world of its own. This imbalance of knowledge has the potential to be exploited to bill more and deliver less. Look at the USA system for an example of the worst case scenario.

Last edited 1 year ago by liam.odonohue
Epicurus Araraxia
Epicurus Araraxia
1 year ago

NHS staff should not be the cheerleaders for stupid, ineffective virtue-signalling measures like face coverings, “social” distancing and house-arrest.
Over a year ago, we had “three weeks to flatten the curve”. We now know that even the first attempt at forcing people to stay at home was a dismal failure. The curve wasn’t flattened at all, and it made zero difference to the death toll. Those who work in the NHS should know better than Joe Public that the harms done to people’s mental health, the missed diagnostics, and the cancelling of necessary surgeries and treatments have contributed greatly to a decline in the overall health of the UK population.
The NHS is held in great esteem in the UK, but in 2020, instead of the NHS doing what it’s there to do (to keep us safe from health risks and to treat the sick) we were coerced into “protecting the NHS” by being told to NOT go to A&E if we were sick and to NOT go to GPs if we were sick. So, instead of people getting the appropriate medical treatments from the NHS, they died in their own homes in unprecedented numbers.
Stuff the NHS. You were PAID to do a job, not make TikTok videos. Your salaries were paid in full and on time whereas millions of us got NOTHING in compensation for having to close our businesses, supposedly to protect YOU.
So, when upwards of half a million people march about London because they recognise that “vaccine passports” are the thin edge of the wedge of totalitarian social controls and government micromanagement of every aspect of our lives, those who are employed by the NHS don’t get to criticise that.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago

Maybe, it’s certain “prominent” health care workers voicing their thoughts, thoughts that they might well have for ALL protest marches, but only feel BRAVE enough to criticise those they feel aren’t “socially” progressive enough. If, after all, the NHS is the new religion then they don’t get brownie points for knocking fellow travellers, even if they behave no better than the very groups they berate.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

It’s the usual Leftist excuse – “It’s OK when we do it”

Dave Smith
Dave Smith
1 year ago

In January and February this year I had two operations (not major but tricky ) in a private facility paid for by the NHS as it turned out. . Very clean and very efficient with far fewer staff around than I have had in a NHS hospital. I was telephoned at home with instructions and queries at a late hour when necessary by the staff involved in my case. If this is the future then bring it on.
The whole company looked and felt on top of it’s game and the work was quickly and well done. Being interested I asked a nurse if the staff were NHS as well. She said at first yes but now no.
The company is run to make a profit and so what if the result is better for the patient and the country .

Sarah Miller
Sarah Miller
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

The NHS requisitioned some of the private hospitals due to the pandemic.
https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/nuffield-health-makes-30-hospitals-available-to-the-nhs-to-support-battle-against-coronavirus-covid-19
Many private patients were not happy that their healthcare facilities and insurance was pretty much unusable last year.
In your post I can’t tell if you were joking when you said “if this is the future then bring it on”.
Just in case you were being serious then here you go – https://www.bupa.co.uk/health/health-insurance

Geoff Cox
Geoff Cox
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Smith

Hi Dave – I’ve ticked your post because I agree. But in a fully privatised health service, which I would advocate, there would have to be government oversight of the industry as a whole. This would be to prevent monopolies and restrictive practices developing. But there is no reason why you should be able to pick your health services like you pick your groceries. I suspect the efficiencies brought about by competition would outweigh by far any costs.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
1 year ago

This kind of thing makes me embarrassed to be an ER physician. About 30-some physicians died of COVID. By my rough calculations, the odds of dying of COVID as a physician was roughly the same (or at least same order of magnitude) as one’s odds of dying in a car accident.
We take infectious disease risks as docs every day, mainly from needle pokes but also TB and other diseases. COVID was worse than typical, but not on the same scale as someone who jumped out of a trench at Vimy, or rushes into a burning building to save someone. We shouldn’t present ourselves that way. It’s overly-dramatic and extremely unbecoming of the profession(s).

Peter LR
Peter LR
1 year ago

I wonder if we have all been infected with the ‘social media virus’ which makes everyone view every matter in binary terms usually informed by emotion or peer opinion (the madness of crowds).
Even Jeff Besos has said, “Social media is the destroyer of nuance”.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

The place to turn to if you want to know that sort of thing is the old Urban75, a talk forum which virtually invented ‘Cancel Culture, back in the day where saying anything negative about abortion was lifetime banning. Also good if you want to know about XXXXXX XX XXXXX CCXCC XXXX, or if you just want to rant about the man or discuss making a living in creative ways. http://www.urban75.com/Action/

paul white
paul white
1 year ago

i did but its been removed

Chanel Cochrane
Chanel Cochrane
1 year ago

Could it be bots? Not sure if anyone has seen the documentary The Dissident? That could perfectly explain government controlled posts to stir up others

paul white
paul white
1 year ago

bring back clause 4 and public ownership, and full funding of the NHS which has been underfunded along with anything regarding welfare by the Conservative party for the last 10 years. The majority of people in a survey before the last election said that they would support the renationalisation of transport and utilities, regardless of what party they supported. The Tories seem to be happy to hand over our utilities to foreign powers and allow the Chinese to build a nuclear power station and a massive private dock for Chinese ships only in the Thames estuary. Dave, BoJo and many more ministers probably got well paid. I’m sure the silent majority of fair minded people haven’t got a clue what’s going on ,that and the fact that the Main stream media support the Conservatives means the country will have to put up with these 2nd rate MPs for a long time to come