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The Observer leads with a new poll by Opinium that reveals fewer than one in five of the British public believe the lockdown should be lifted. 67% of people think schools should remain closed, against only 17% who think they should reopen. Just 11% think it’s time to reconsider reopening restaurants, with 78% against, while only 9% think pubs should reopen, with 81% against. When it comes to sporting events, 84% are against allowing mass gatherings to take place, with just 7% in favour.

Unfortunately, that poll isn’t an outlier. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times found that just 25% of adults would feel safe returning to work and the public opposes reopening schools by 48% to 28%. And 59% of people polled by the Sunday Express said they would not feel comfortable going out and don’t plan to resume a normal life any time soon.

It’s official. We’re a nation of bedwetters. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

And it isn’t just us. In America, the lockdown zealots are on the march, having got the hashtag #extendthelockdown trending on Twitter. New York Times journalist Taylor Lorenz has been banging the drum for this cause, tweeting: “The ‘open up the economy’ people are truly the dumbest ppl on here. How do they think the economy will look when millions are dead and our hospitals are overwhelmed? If u want to ‘save the economy’ then u need to keep everyone *alive.*”

Among the “dumbest ppl” expressing scepticism about the effectiveness of the lockdown policy is Michael Levitt, Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2013. Levitt has given a great interview to Freddie Sayers at UnHerd pouring scorn on lockdown advocates and their scientific handmaidens. Among the points he makes is that the total number of deaths we are seeing in places as different as New York City, parts of England, parts of France and Northern Italy all seem to level out at a very similar fraction of the total population. “Are they all practising equally good social distancing?” he asks. “I don’t think so.” He points out that the lifecycle of the virus, wherever it has broken out, is remarkably similar, regardless of local differences and irrespective of whether lockdowns have been imposed or not. In particular, after a two week period of exponential growth infections and deaths tail off, meaning the projections of Neil Ferguson and other modellers, which assume constant exponential growth absent a lockdown, are vast overestimates. And worth bearing in mind that so far Levitt’s death toll estimates have been much more accurate than Professor Ferguson’s.

Here’s one of the interview highlights:

I think the policy of herd immunity is the right policy. I think Britain was on exactly the right track before they were fed wrong numbers. And they made a huge mistake. I see the standout winners as Germany and Sweden. They didn’t practise too much lockdown and they got enough people sick to get some herd immunity. I see the standout losers as countries like Austria, Australia and Israel that had very strict lockdown but didn’t have many cases. They have damaged their economies, caused massive social damage, damaged the educational year of their children, but not obtained any herd immunity. There is no doubt in my mind that when we come to look back on this, the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor.

One of the most interesting sections of the interview is when Levitt explains why epidemiologists’ predictions tend to be so apocalyptic. The reason, he says, is because if they underestimate the death toll likely to result from a viral outbreak they face catastrophic reputational damage – if people die, they get the blame – but if they overestimate it they face zero consequences. “In my work, if I say a number is too small and I’m wrong, or a number is too high and I’m wrong, both of those errors are the same,” he says. “It seems that being a factor of 1,000 too high is perfectly okay in epidemiology, but being a factor of three too low is too low.”

Worth reminding ourselves that Neil Ferguson’s estimates of the impact of previous viral outbreaks – which have been almost comically inaccurate – haven’t damaged his scientific reputation in the slightest. In 2001, he predicted that foot and mouth disease could kill up to 50,000 people. It ended up killing less than 200. In 2005, he told the Guardian that up to 200 million people could die from bird flu. The final death toll from avian flu strain A/H5N1 was 440. And in 2009, a Government estimate based on one of Ferguson’s models estimated the likely death toll from swine flu at 65,000. In fact, it was 457.

Just in case the Government’s anointed scientific experts haven’t done quite enough to scare the bejesus out of people, another group of experts is intending to shadow the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and publish what looks to be even more cautious advise. According to the Sunday Times, the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British Government, Sir David King, will chair the group, which is meeting for the first time tomorrow. “It is expected to focus on seven key areas,” says the report. “These include the criteria being used to lift the lockdown, how testing and tracing can be achieved, whether the policies on quarantine and the shielding of vulnerable groups are sufficient and how untapped resources can be better deployed.”

Whether the existing lockdown is sufficient?!? God give me strength.

Incidentally, it’s probably a good idea to watch Professor Levitt’s interview ASAP because there’s a risk YouTube will take it down. Yesterday, the video platform deleted David Icke’s channel, telling the BBC it had “clear policies prohibiting any content that disputes the existence and transmission of COVID-19 as described by the WHO and the NHS”.

The censorious attitude of the tech giants – and the gatekeepers of the mainstream media – to anyone who challenges official Covid orthodoxy is reminiscent of the suppression of dissent in totalitarian societies. A reader pointed me towards this quote by Friedrich Hayek:

The situation in a totalitarian state is permanently and in all fields the same as it is elsewhere in some fields in wartime. Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavourable comparisons with conditions elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions, will be suppressed.

Friedrich Hayek, The road to Serfdom

Yesterday I flagged up the fact that America had endured a bad bout of seasonal flu in 1967 that killed 100,000 people – more Americans than COVID-19 has killed so far – and managed to cope without placing its citizens under virtual house arrest. A reader has drawn my attention to this piece in the National Review about how America responded to what was referred to in 1968 as “Hong Kong flu”, which, needless to say, didn’t involve closing schools or shutting down businesses or imposing stay-at-home orders. As an article in the American Institute for Economic Research pointed out, Woodstock took place during that flu outbreak. And the Telegraph ran a similar piece yesterday, pointing out that the British authorities responded to the same pandemic without over-reacting, recommending hand-washing and social distancing at work but nothing more. Both pieces drew on an article in the British Medical Journal by a retired professor of medicine called Philip Philip Snashall, whose two-year-old daughter was the first known case of Hong Kong flu to hit Europe. “How things change,” he noted. “The stock market did not plummet, we were not besieged by the press, men in breathing apparatus did not invade my daughter’s play group.”

It’s not all bad news in today’s papers. The Mail on Sunday reports that the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association have warned the Government against quarantining healthy people aged 70 and over when the lockdown is eased – and a furious row has broken out between Matt Hancock and the Sunday Times, which has the same story, in which the Health Secretary disputes that quarantining the elderly for 12 weeks is official Government policy. “The clinically vulnerable, who are advised to stay in lockdown for 12 weeks, emphatically DO NOT include all over 70s,” he tweeted above a screen grab of the Sunday Times‘s front page.

Here’s a quick round up of stories that have stood out for me, and been flagged up by readers, in the past 24 hours:

In what may be becoming a series, here’s another letter in the Telegraph about the wrongful diagnosis of COVID-19 as the cause of death in a care home:

Sir – My mother died last week in a care home at the age of 98. When my brother registered her death, as expected the cause given was “frailty due to old age”, but he was surprised to see that the doctor certifying the death had added “presumed COVID-19”, an inclusion that also shocked the home’s manager.

The day before our mother died, my brother was allowed to sit with her for an hour. His temperature was checked before he was admitted, but there was no form of isolation and none of the home’s staff were wearing personal protective equipment.

If doctors are attributing all deaths in care homes to COVID-19, it makes a nonsense of any statistics and does great reputational damage to both individual care homes and to the care industry as a whole.

Tony Parkinson, Christchurch, Dorset

And for a bit of light relief, there’s a story in the Sunday Times about how the lockdown has given an unexpected boon to amateur pornographers (‘Debbie does lockdown: coronavirus home porn goes viral‘.) “Data from Pornhub, the world’s most popular video-sharing website, suggests COVID-19 is far from a turn-off for libidos inflamed by the sight of a mask or the thought of a police officer hiding in the bushes,” says the paper. “It has reported more than 8.2 million searches for videos about ‘quarantine’, with overall viewership up by about 25% since lockdowns were introduced.’ Wannabe porn stars have to apply to be verified by the website, but after they’ve received Pornhub’s imprimatur they can then upload their videos and are paid when the clips are viewed. The site now boasts more than 165,000 amateur performers, up 41% in the past year. According to the Sunday Times: “Popular themes in the coronavirus genre include ‘doctors and nurses’ inspecting ‘patients’; women performing sexual acts in return for loo paper or dried pasta; and police officers turning up at opportune moments.”

Another candidate for Hero of the Week has been nominated by a reader: Plants Galore, a company that has garden centres in Plymouth, Exeter and Newton Abbott. Not only has this company defied the lockdown order, arguing that their garden centres are also hardware stores and therefore should be exempt, it has also started a petition to try and stop the local council shutting down its outlets. The petition has already attracted over 3,500 signatures, including mine. Thanks to CBird for flagging this up in the comment thread below yesterday’s Latest News.

Readers have suggested more theme tunes for the site: ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now‘ by the Smiths, ‘No Restrictions‘ by Men at Work, Thomas Tallis’s ‘Spem Alium‘ by Stile Antico and ‘I’m a Lazy Sod‘ by the Sex Pistols.

Thanks to those who donated to this site yesterday. If you feel like donating, you can do so by clicking here. (Every little helps!) And if you want to flag up any stories or links I should include in tomorrow’s update, you can email me here. See you tomorrow.

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Mimi
Mimi
1 month ago

Peoples’ abject terror seems the insurmountable obstacle at the moment. One of my friends here in South Carolina has spent the last six weeks not leaving her house. She orders her groceries, and when they arrive she lets them sit in the carport for three days before dousing them with disinfectant and allowing them in the house. She complains that “people aren’t wearing masks!!!” without ever having left her premises to verify this fact. (It’s true. But how would she know?)

This, in a state of 5,000,000 people that has had 6400 confirmed covid cases and 267 deaths. Over a period of two months. You couldn’t catch coronavirus if you wanted to, because cases are rare as hens’ teeth.

To be sure, plenty of people aren’t afraid. Our neighborhood streets are teeming with walkers, children on bicycles, joggers. (So many people have taken up jogging! Even me! Because what else is there to do!)

What I’m sincerely hoping is that the henny pennies who genuinely believe that they are preserving their very lives by hiding under their beds are actually not the overwhelming majority that polls suggest, and that those brave souls who venture out now will venture further as restrictions disappear. Polls are often misleading.

Of course it would help if the media weren’t so heavily invested in preserving the lockdown for whatever reason. But it is truly bizarre that people WANT to extend it. The world has gone coco loco.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Mimi

Reds under the beds now replaced by virus not my house.

I tried to hold the door of a local shop -as you do- for a couple waiting outside.
The man frowned at me while his wife said ‘no need’.

Yesterday a large overweight bloke pulled a disapproving face as I approached his trolley at the milk display in the local supermarket.

The only cheery greeting I can recall was from a smiling elderly man who grinned and said ‘I’m not dangerous!’ as we passed last week in the supermarket.

What a rare pleasure! I laughed and agreed that I posed no viral threats either.

What a sorry lot we have become.

Amy
Amy
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

Ha. I live in a tiny town in the middle of the wilderness – our county has had zero cases – and the pizza delivery guy showed up wearing a mask – I had forgotten to put mine on to answer the door and I said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’ll get mine” and he whipped his off and said, “No need, not worried.”

It made my day.

Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

I told a guy to “fucking behave and go him if you’re that scared” when he tutted, rolled his eyes and shook his head at my daughter for not getting out his way fast enough today. I’m no longer going to not speak up in the face of irrational behaviour.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Mimi

Hopefully the survey was conducted on landlines. Only scared shut-ins answered while everyone else was out cycling or jogging or walking or sat in the garden or whatever.

scuzzaman
scuzzaman
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

You laugh but deliberate oversampling is a standard means of gerrymandering polls to get the desired result.

Why were all the polls so outrageously wrong about Trump’s 2016 campaign? Because they deliberately over-sampled Democrats (most probably to try and discourage Republicans).

The real question now is why anyone still pays attention to polls when we know they are totally manipulated?

Why do we listen to the doom-mongers when they’ve predicted the end of the world every year since 1843?

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Mimi

I took at trip to the local Co-op yesterday. It was operating a one in, one out system so there was queue outside.

An elderly gentleman came to queue behind me without a care in the world for the 2m ‘safety zone’. We had a good chat about the craziness of the situation.

Greg
Greg
1 month ago
Reply to  Mimi

As the doctor said, If you are Asymptomatic that means you are ‘healthy’.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Mimi

Unfortunately they are the overwhelming majority. Or they are in the UK. Before this debacle I considered myself on the left of mainstream politics. I’ve just read a Twitter thread about a (very minor) protest against the lockdown outside a central London police station. The abuse aimed at the people involved was horrific, and coming principally from – I’m embarrassed to say – the left. Ironically they are calling lockdown sceptics fascists, tyrants, dictators in case we go out and breathe on them, Two things: a) breathing on someone wouldn’t do anything otherwise we’d all be dead, or ill, already and b) if they don’t want people to breathe on them they can stay indoors. They are free to do that and I wouldn’t want to deny them that liberty. Their intolerance is mind-boggling and their wilful blindness as to who are the real dictators just paradoxical. After the last GE I disassociated myself from the left and, boy, am I glad now. BTW, up until 20th March when they closed the pubs I was drinking every night in my watering hole, probably at the time when the virus was at its most potent given the peak was 8th April, about 2-3 weeks later. I’m fine, and I don’t know anyone I drank with who isn’t.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

Don’t worry these people aren’t the left. They’re the ‘left’. Not that you can tell them that worth a damn.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

They’re the left the thinking gear behind -too busy dishing it out.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”
― Joseph Goebbels

Lockdown theme:

https://genius.com/The-police-every-breath-you-take-lyrics

Jimmy
Jimmy
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

Also see Josef Stalin’s “one big lie” concept. Every evil dictator in history has made use of constantly repeated slogans to brainwash the masses, or at least trik enough of the masses into thinking the rest have al been brainwashed to be pro-state and that any resistance would be futile. Any time someone tells you to “stay safe” tell them “life without liberty ain’t worth living”.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy

Quite agree. Well said

David Mc
David Mc
1 month ago

We truly love Big Brother.

It’s good that you posted that Hayek quote. He is often misunderstood as having been suggesting, in The Road to Serfdom, that any government intervention in the economy or society was an inevitable slippery-slop towards totalitarianism.

It’s not that, at all. His point is much more subtle: you can have a society of equality of outcome where everybody is safe and protected from risk, but that will be a society of serfs, because it will not be a free society. The point being, you can have freedom or you can have security and equality. Not both – they have to be traded off against each other. We are seeing that dynamic currently being played out before our eyes. Sadly – horrifyingly, to me – it seems most people prefer a serf life free from risk to one that is genuinely free.

Side question: I am not sure if anybody caught Andrew Lilico’s terrific column in the Torygraph the other day? https://t.co/xswkuA45x6?amp=1 As the father of a 3 year old and with another on the way I found it truly moving, and deeply scary at the same time. It is intolerable to imagine raising my children in this country if social distancing is to go on ‘indefinitely’, and since the possibility is open to me (at great cost) to up sticks and move overseas, that is what I intend to do if these conditions are to last beyond May/June. I wonder whether any other regular readers here are parents and what you make of raising a child in a society which is afraid of its own shadow?

IanE
IanE
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

Of course the serfs will NOT have a risk-free life (despite giving up their independence and freedom): that is impossible.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

I think I may need to move to Sweden.

eastberks44
eastberks44
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

You can still go there, legally, until December 31st. But don’t rely on getting a flight before then. You may need a sailing boat.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  eastberks44

I can still go there legally after 31st December if I fill in a few forms ;o)
Might be worth thinking about.

Jake
Jake
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

I wonder if we can declare ourselevs to be refugees fleeing an oppressive government.

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

I was considering this possibility too – pity it has such long cold winters! Now feeling very envious of the intrepid souls featured in Ben Fogle’s 2 series ‘A New Life in the Wild’.

Jane
Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

Where are you thinking of moving? Belarus might be nice. I wouldn’t recommend France where parents are terrified of sending their children back to school when we officially start to open up on the 11th of May, and many social distancing measures will remain in place.

Lms2
Lms2
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

I would guess that once the lockdown is eased and people start mingling again (on the London Tube, I doubt they ever stopped), all this will gradually fade away. This country is too crowded to maintain “social distancing” forever, and when there aren’t scenes reminiscent of the Black Death everywhere, more and more people will shrug it off and go back to normal.
If everyone is still afraid of their own shadows in a year’s time, then you’d be more than justified in moving elsewhere.

I personally cannot wait to be able to resume my travels. I had a trip up the east coast of America booked, which I had to cancel, and another booked in August. I don’t want to cancel it, but we’ll see. I don’t want to remain cooped up much longer.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Lms2

I still believe in people’s own need to self-preserve financially speaking – and that should eventually force them outside by hook or by crook.
And then, I hope, they’ll see sense and you’ll be right.

coalencanth12
coalencanth12
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

His articles are really good! The Torygraph seems to have the most sceptical lilt of the major papers – they seem to be doing some digging into Ferguson. I am childless but still horrified at this sinister ‘new normal’ being pushed. I feel very sorry for the children, although I’ve noticed locally that the teenagers are still managing to find ways to meet up… It is anti-human and I can’t see how permanent social distancing is practical in society or in the workplace.

Francis
Francis
1 month ago
Reply to  coalencanth12

Amazed to say, having spent the last 3 and a bit years as a remainer, the Telegraph is giving much of the most rational coverage right now. And what used to be the good Guardian has now turned to lockdown zealotry.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Francis

Welcome to seeing what the rest of us see when we read the Guardian lol (emoshuns, lots of emoshuns).

chris c
chris c
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

I’m old enough to remember good journalism in the Guardian. Today not so much – it’s all virtue signalling. Vegan Central.

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
1 month ago
Reply to  Francis

I noted the very same about ‘The Telegraph’ – pity the BBC don’t follow their example of balanced and logical articles, with accurate statistics.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago

https://youtu.be/0jTHNBKjMBU

And another: The Loony Tunes theme; a favourite in years gone by

Roger Tame
Roger Tame
1 month ago

If only 9% think pubs should reopen then what’s the problem? Open the pubs and for those of us who have not been cowed by the state and it’s media lackeys; there will be no problem in maintaining “social distancing”.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Tame

God, yes please. I’m beginning to think I’m living through Prohibition – and that worked well

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
1 month ago

“It is becoming more and more obvious that it is not starvation, it is not microbes, it is not cancer, but man himself who is his greatest danger: because he has no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are are infinitely more devastating in their effect than the greatest natural catastrophes.”

C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Quoted by the late great Christopher Booker in his last book “Groupthink: A Study in Self Delusion”.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Groupthink-Study-Delusion-Christopher-Booker/dp/1472959051

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago

I recall strange epidemics of unknown cause in girls’ schools some years ago:

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/14117464.flashback-hundreds-blackburn-pupils-hit-fainting-frenzy/

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

Like we’re all living in a play by Arthur Miller

ianp
ianp
1 month ago

Are the government so stupid to not know all the things we know on here? To ignore the hard facts and evidence? I find it hard to believe. Do they want to ruin the economy and people’s lives – no, even I don’t believe that. Did they make a huge mistake imposing ‘ social distancing’ and the fucking lockdown – in hindsight undoubtedly yes. So it’s now a political game, and I wonder if the heinous and scandalous overreporting of Corona deaths (indisputable) at this time is a deliberate strategy to keep the numbers artificially high, so that when lockdown ends, they will go back to recording ACTUAL Corona deaths and thereby when the number of actual deaths inevitably rises ( as there isn’t enough herd immunity because of the initial mistake) it will actually look as if it’s still falling, so they can proclaim themselves heroes in their policy decision, and critically will not have to impose any further social restrictions to damage the economy…

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyup

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

Always reminds me of Rubber Ring by the Smiths, “You are sleeping, you do not want to believe.“

Tim
Tim
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

Of course they are deliberately obfuscating the real trend. The number of ICU patients and deaths in hospital was, if nothing else, a consistent and reliable measure of the progress that the virus has made in our society. There was no good reason … other than appeasing the media … to include deaths in the community.

Poppy
Poppy
1 month ago

I am utterly dismayed and depressed by the observer article and similar. I am sure the interviews were mainly from people enjoying the time off work and furloughed, also those scared to death by mainstream media. Being a therapist on the “frontline” of a group of people suffering trauma, depression, anxiety and emotional abuse in their homes I can say that i am terrified whether I will see my clients for their next session and I know many therapists who are the same. Hearing of friends who are lawyers dealing with an massive increase in child abuse and suicides. We won’t know the actual stats of suicides until January as they are recorded way after other deaths. Friends who are keen for the lockdown to continue seeing these things as an unfortunate side affect is utterly shocking. It is like there is a priority list of people who need to be protected. Covid patients being top of the list and all others just statistics and “what a shame” and “yes it is difficult times”. We should feel as a country utterly ashamed by what we are doing and the lax approach we have to risk assessing the impact of the lockdown. The lack of proper statistics and lack of any discussion at government level around other scientific views and evidence from other countries.
Helpless and powerless does not even touch the pain that I am feeling, hearing and seeing.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Poppy

Man, I wish the BBC would interview YOU at prime time.

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

Me too. Was wondering if i could anonymously borrow your comment and put it on my Facebook page? I too am appalled at so called friends who are saying they are “ENJOYING” the lockdown, and so many others who seem to be passionate about saving someone over 80 who has numerous other medical conditions and would probably die this year anyway, but ignore the fact that those with cancer from all age groups, are being denied diagnostic tests, minor operations whist tumours are operable, and treatments, plus those dying from strokes, heart attacks, assaults, murders, suicides, the effects of extreme poverty – and in the developing countries starvation. When I have pointed out the lockdown is not saving lives it is killing more people who would otherwise have the rest of their lives ahead of them, than Covid-19 ever could, I receive unbelievably aggressive and angry responses which not only ignore statistical evidence and opinions of eminent professionals around the globe, but frighten me with their lack of tolerance and downright Nazi like attitudes.

Poppy
Poppy
1 month ago
Reply to  ShropshireLass

Hi Shropshire lass. Please don’t share further but I completely appreciate why you want to. I feel the same. I have had so much stick from people that I have had to come off Facebook and it is good to be able to share my frustrations here.

Decima
Decima
1 month ago
Reply to  Poppy

I feel exactly the same as you Poppy. Utterly bewildered and disheartened by my colleagues dismissal of sound evidence and critical thinking. When I endeavour to show them a different view they refuse to see it, to hear it. I suspect that this is the only way they can deal with the harm we are collectively doing to our community. For to admit that our response to covid19 is wrong and will in fact lead to widespread harm is too much. It is far easier to go along with the collective belief and feel virtuous in doing so.

Morris_Day
Morris_Day
1 month ago
Reply to  Decima

The response ‘every life count’ and ‘you don’t care about the vulnerable’ will be used until this has blown over and then we will be reading articles in the Guardian about how the millions of jobless have no Government support. These responses are a get out of jail card that debunks all data, thought and evidence.

It is clear that there is no argument that the ‘stay home, save lives’ will believe. It is a media led propaganda win that North Korea would be proud of. I think it has come at a perfect storm with the hard left reeling from Corbyn’s failure (I am not a Tory voter but I had more chance of winning than him) and Brexit (which I’m also pissed about!!)

The only hope I see is that a couple of Countries take the lead as you have to remember ‘we are two or three weeks behind everyone else’. I’ve been relatively quiet on my social media profiles so far, just a couple of posts about living a life and the rhetoric of ‘stay home’ must change, but if Thursday’s announcement isn’t positive (and I’ve lost faith it will be with today’s polls), I will be breaking cover and will be happy to lose a few ‘friends’ along the way.

Rick
Rick
1 month ago
Reply to  Morris_Day

Think I’ve already lost several myself, but it beats losing family to the lack of all non-covid medicine during lockdown and beats losing one’s future career to today’s panic of choice.

aaaa
aaaa
1 month ago

Benjamin Franklin not Alexander Hamilton.

Sceptic
Sceptic
1 month ago

The ECB was teetering even before Brexit and the UK’s departure will push it over the edge. QE has been pumping out cash for years and there’s always a time of reckoning. C 19 and our deliberate drive towards economic collapse can hide a multitude of sins, and also provide low hanging fruit for cashed up investors when it’s done. In my opinion, it’s the only reasonable explanation for this madness. (see this article written in January 19) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/05/global-economic-crash-2020-understand-why

Lms2
Lms2
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

“our deliberate drive towards economic collapse can hide a multitude of sins, and also provide low hanging fruit for cashed up investors when it’s done”

I believe the Chinese are already hoovering up UK companies…

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
1 month ago

In the first breath we are told we are being imprisoned and our rights and liberties suspended to ‘save the NHS’ (rather than it saving us which is somewhat ironic) as they had to “follow the science”. When the science turns out to be over-hyped, fear-mongering nonsense without a shred of data to back it up and tons that contradict it, we are told that the people’s fear is important. Even Joseph Heller would have thought it unbelievable.

If you tell people alighting on a strange planet that taking off their space suit will kill them as the atmosphere is poisonous, none are going doff their helmet to check. The Govt must now set out the reality with the appropriate mea culpa and dispel the Coronaphobia forthwith. As long as ego maniacal, self serving news “personalities” are permitted to enhance their Twitter feeds by spreading nonsense or exaggerated mis-information, the longer we will remain in this tragic mess.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

“Insanity is contagious.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Morale was deteriorating and it was all Yossarian’s fault. The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

GLT
GLT
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

‘Catch-22 says they have the right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing’
Joseph Heller Catch-22

Why the action against the government being proposed by Simon Dolan is so important…

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago

So my Mum just talked to her friend on the phone. She knows someone who probably had the corona in January (back when it ‘wasn’t transmissible from human to human’) and was very ill, back and forth from hospital, they thought it was just a bad chest infection etc. This is a middle-aged but fit woman.
My next door but one neighbours also told me this morning that they were both very ill in January, to the point of having emergency doctors out. They are both in their late 60s.

Sadly, there are now enough ‘serious’ cases for a lot of people to at least know *of* someone who has been badly affected or died and this is fuelling the climate of fear. They don’t yet know enough people who have been badly affected by the lockdown measures to weigh the consequences in their minds – and it will probably take the effects hitting them personally (in the pocket, substantially) to jog their brains into gear. As long as the financial effects remain staggered over a long period they may actually remain immune from deviant thoughts for quite a while. Like the frog in gradually heated water. Rishi’s furlough teat is dulling their faculties.

If Rishi is a ‘lockdown hawk’ he needs to actually end furlough ASAP and make people get off their arses.

Sceptic
Sceptic
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

A work colleague and I had terrible sledgehammer headaches and dizziness in late January (we never get headaches or get sick) and then another collague in her early 50s (healthy) got classic C19 with awful side effects (it’s still ravaging her organs). We are sure we all had it but just reacted in different ways.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

A neighbour had a headache and cough for about a fortnight but thought nothing of it. She’s fine now.
I had a tickly feeling in the upper airways for 3 days but nothing happened after this. I wasn’t incapacitated in any way.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

2 weeks after lockdown, I developed a sudden, very strange punctate rash on my forearms and legs – weird rashes are now recognised as one of the less common signs of infection from Covid19.

This was followed by a “typical” Covid19 symptom – total loss of taste and smell, accompanied by general malaise (similar to a severe cold), and a dry cough. I megadosed myself on sodium ascorbate powder and liposomal vitamin C (I stocked up in advance), and ate a low-carb diet. I remained active and went out dog-walking every day in woodland where I could have 500 yards of “social distancing” if necessary (the woods were usually deserted.)

I wasn’t at all worried about this because (a) knowing Dr Ferguson had done the calculations, I was convinced at the outset that this pandemic would end up like the previous outbreaks of the Black Death – hyped beyond belief; and (b) by the time of my illness my predictions were coming true; the IFR was being revised ever downwards.

After a fortnight everything cleared up. This missus had similar but much milder symptoms and got better much faster than me.

Was it the dreaded “lurgey”? At this stage I don’t know but the rash and the TOTAL loss of taste & smell were not symptoms I’d experienced with any other bug during my 65 years. I hope I have had it and now have some nice circulating antibodies. Wonderful thing, the human immune system!

Amy
Amy
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I was sick with a terrible respiratory illness in late December – all of the classic symptoms of Covid. I went to the doctor and he told me, “Everyone in town has it!”

I’m half-convinced it’s why there are no cases in my county right now – I think we all got it and survived in December.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
1 month ago
Reply to  Amy

My whole family was the same in December, to the extent that we had to go to the out of hours surgery at the hospital on a Sunday night. I was told it was a chest infection or ‘just a virus’ but the symptoms were definitely like Covid19. There is mounting evidence that it’s been around a lot longer than since Feb/March in the UK. Yet it seems that evidence matters little to this government and to the country as a whole.

Harry
Harry
1 month ago
Reply to  kvnmoore561

Had something odd, like a cold but much briefer, really bad sore throat, one day of high temperature, but nothing else, when there were only hundred cases in the UK. Doubt I could have got covid-19 then but sincerely hope I did. because if I did then A) I’ve got antibodies now and B) a lot more people than expected would have had to have had it back then to get me infected, so the spread now would be very wide and the fatality rate very low.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic
Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

I’ve been banging this particular drum for a while now – GOOD HEALTH is our best initial defence against a novel virus. (What a crazy idea – why, we all know that a healthy body runs on patented pharmaceuticals!)

FINALLY there is some attention being given to one important aspect of this:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/03/time-take-seriously-link-vitamin-d-deficiency-serious-covid/

Given that the populace are locked down away from sunlight and many are living on a diet of fast food and booze (take a look at the TV ads during this crisis), I doubt many people have any vitamin D reserves left.

Lms2
Lms2
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

My OH and I have been taking Vitamin D over the winter, precisely because we get so little sunlight then.
I had a short-term cold just after Christmas, then a more serious viral infection at the beginning of March, i.e. a sore trachea which caused a cough (1 day), followed by raised temperature (2 days), extreme lethargy for about a week, followed by a cough that lasted 7 weeks. I have no idea if it was the WuFlu, but it sounded very similar to the bug everyone else had around December, January time. I was clearly a late developer.
MOH did not catch whatever it was I had, and has continued to take VitD.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I’m over 65 and have been supplementing myself with Vitamin D3 in the winter as a matter of course for the past five winters. Advise everyone to do the same. I suspect everyone in northern hemisphere is low on vitamin D during dark winter months. No concidence that dark-skinned people are suffering disproportionately from this virus in northern European countries.

chris c
chris c
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

And look at the high carb low fat crap they are fed in hospitals and care homes.

My experience – but n=thousands – all the while I ate high carb I would catch everything going. Couldn’t possibly be the healthy diet right?

A dietician was horrified by “all that fat” I was supposedly eating, so I replaced it with even more carbs, put on a load of weight all round my gut and was finally diagnosed with diabetes.

When I finally wised up and went low carb/paleo/keto I lost all the weight as quickly as I put it on, normalised my blood glucose and lipids, came off most of my drugs, and hardly ever catch anything, no flu and only two colds in the last fifteen years

BUT I did come down with an annoying cough and felt rough for a few days, way back probably in December or early January, as did a whole horde of other people. We’ll never know if it was early covid or some other bug which was strong enough to break through my cast iron immune system doing the rounds.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

At Christmas I developed a very bad sore throat, followed by a constant, debilitating, dry cough. I couldn’t shake it for two weeks, and I was still coughing on and off several weeks later.

I’m sure this was coronavirus. The symptoms match and it was like no other cold or virus I’ve ever had.

I think it’s likely this virus has been circulating since December, but for some reason no-one is talking about this or investigating the reports.

If that is the case, then the fatality rate may be even lower than reported, as a significant proportion of the population have already had this bug, making this lockdown even more pointless.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago

Truth is, the British are an increasingly lazy and feckless society. They grow fat (literally) on handouts and love “free stuff”. One of the funniest thinks I have seen on TV as a couple of days ago when the BBC were bleating about the increased patronage of food banks. They were following what we must consider to be the ‘typical’ customer, a woman the size of the Hindenburg, a person of such enormousness, it was hard to understand why she would need to visit a food bank this side of 2021. But, indulged and provided with keening BBC sympathy, she had to be. Depressing and revolting in equal measure.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago

I used to volunteer at a food bank and sad to tell, malnutrition, obesity and poverty frequently appear together.
Initially I too was staggered by the dimensions of some of the more rotund visitors but it’s a sad reflection on the way too many people live now.
There are many many very fat people here in my small town.
They don’t know how to cook,how to use fresh vegetables or how to achieve a simple,affordable balanced diet.
Now that we’re all under house arrest, rates of obesity will undoubtedly rise.
And the message that it’s a risk factor for calamitous-covid doesn’t seem seem to be making any impression.
Since so many nurses and care assistants are seriously obese, and ‘fat-shaming’ is still frowned upon by the commentariat, I don’t quite know how this will play out.

Sceptic
Sceptic
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

I don’t think anybody can use the excuse that they don’t know how to use fresh vegetables and eat a balanced diet. There is a plethora of free information about it everywhere. It’s just bad habits and a lack of wanting to change.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

Yes I agree; I’m not making excuses, merely reporting the facts on the ground here.

Fiery
Fiery
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

I’ve worked in minimum wage jobs for years but still manage a good standard of living on a low income. I cook from scratch and am a master at making cheap nutritious meals. I don’t waste food either. I have a healthy BMI as I make sure I get plenty of exercise walking, running or wild swimming all of which are free. Many people are simply lazy and are more than happy to dial a pizza or calorie laden take away and then spend mindless hours lolling about on the sofa. If anyone is going to be targeted perhaps obese people should be under lockdown rather than healthy older individuals. Obesity is a huge epidemic in the UK and one that will certainly cost the NHS as it does already.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Fiery

There are 2 individuals up here who are grossly, staggeringly obese: the woman has developed an abdominal overhang which reaches almost to her knees; the man is confined to a mobility scooter.

There are also several young families whose members are all big-parents and children.

As mentioned on another thread, the senior nurse practitioner at the local GP practice is significantly overweight and yet part of her role must be to give health advice.

As to the food bank, there was a plan to start cooking lessons to address the problems of poor diet but these have no doubt been shelved now.

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

Healthy food is expensive and fattening food is cheap too (a reversal of a rotund Henry VIII showing off his wealth by being grossly obsese), plus it’s hard to cook if you’ve got no money for the gas meter.

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Which is also why being a ‘size zero’ is now a status symbol.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Size is in many ways a good class indicator: very few fat folks in affluent areas .

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

Yet in places in the world where food is scarce, being fat is a class indicator, the richer you are, the fatter you are.

Anne
Anne
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

The definition, I have heard it said, of the transition from a third world/developing country to a first world/developed one is that those who are struggling on an inadequate income become fat rather than thin.

Sceptic
Sceptic
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

That’s not strictly true. Vegetables are some of the cheapest foods available. If you don’t have money for the gas meter then there are food banks available. People can use plenty of excuses, but I think it’s more about habit and no real desire to eat better. Sadly once people are addicted to sugary fast foods it’s very difficult to come of them – sugar has been described as more addictive than cocaine. That addiction combined with a lack of desire to change makes it difficult indeed, but it can be done.

Jane
Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

Government advice about “healthy eating” is part of the problem. Here is the NHS eatwell guide. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/ You can see that apart from fruit and vegetables, it is all starch, processed food, low fat dairy and margarine. No wonder people are fat and unwell and depend on medical care rather than their own immune system to keep them going. Zoe Harcombe, who blogs about obesity and other health issues, points out that in the days when British people ate meat and two veg and used butter and lard, overweight wasn’t a problem. Lack of exercise has less to do with overweight than many people think. Saturated fat is like covid19; the government has made people paranoid about it.

chris c
chris c
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

THIS!

There’s a cartoon of a pyramid-shaped person looking at a poster of the Food Pyramid.

The real superfood no-one dares to mention is meat, and better still lamb’s liver which hopefully I shall buy tomorrow.

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

Shame fruit couldn’t be as cheap as veg, if you could get strawberries at the per kg cost of cabbages then people might be more willing to give healthy foods a try.

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

That’s nonsense.

A kilo of carrots costs less than a mars bar, a banana costs less than a packet of crisps.

People are to bone idle/stupid to cook/eat properly.

Lms2
Lms2
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

I’m never quite sure how all those nurses, who complain about being run off their feet, and don’t get time to eat because they’re so busy, plus their wages are too low to be able to feed themselves…. how so many get so fat.

Jane
Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Lms2

That’s why they’re so fat. They follow the NHS Eatwell Guide, snack on sandwiches and filled rolls and never sit down to a square meal.

Brian
Brian
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Think the lockdown will only make this worse. In saner times when something called work went on I had one large meal at lunch a day (not a terribly healthy one) then ate just a little meat and a load of fruit in the evening. Now in this chaos having so little to do all day I’m turning to snacking for something to keep me busy.

Fiery
Fiery
1 month ago
Reply to  Lms2

Too many biscuits, cakes, crisps, take aways, copious amounts of alcohol and not enough exercise. I used to work in the NHS and obesity is endemic.

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago

Those on zero hours are still at work if they want to eat, they are also being hypocritically lauded as ‘essential’ but not so essential as we give them rights, and holidays and good conditions (our Amazon driver tells us it’s busier than Christmas, no extra pay, nothing). I don’t buy the ‘feckless’ line. Plus dreadful employers need to take a bow too, if they treated their employees better they’d want to be at work, why wouldn’t you want to sit at home on 80% if you had a job you hated. This situation is complex I think, lots of factors at play. I think a breakdown of lockdown support and fear by socio economic class would be interesting, seems to me this is a posh panic.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

My friend is on a zero hour contract and he said to me “I don’t qualify for furlough, I don’t qualify for sick pay (not enough hours). If I don’t go to work, I don’t eat, or I sign on. But if I do to work and I get sick, I’m in the same situation, only I’m ill too. So I can be poor and ill or poor and healthy.”

So he stayed at home and signed on. The remaining staff must be run off their feet, cause I bet there are plenty like him.

Morris_Day
Morris_Day
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

What’s really fucking sad is that the actions of the very same people who want an end to zero hour contracts and Mega Business have put into action a chain of events that are allowing them to thrive, whilst also threatening the very existence of every independent business who (generally) cares about their staff.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago

Can’t get the British back to work, they are too scared? What they are is too well off. Remove their benefits and generous furlough funding, and they will scamper back to work quick smart. Currently, too many are on an extended paid holiday. They are ‘scared’ because it suits them to be scared.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
1 month ago

It’s all a bit short-sighted isn’t it?!

T. Prince
T. Prince
1 month ago

This, a text from my wife’s friend last weekend, a woman in her mid 50s (teacher of primary school kids)…Excuse punctuation etc… direct copy!

“I don’t know why I watch that conference every day…so blooming depressing. Now over 20,000 dead helped hugely by the government allowing a week of Cheltenham gold cup plus liverpool playing real Madrid fans coming from spain and stereophonics concert they will have gone on to give it to millions!!!! Very cruel..we are doing what they ask but no exit in place…its not a wonder people are starting to go out!! Enjoy your bbq if your having one tonight.”

Then 3 minutes later:

“Channel 82 clubland ibiza anthems… really good x”

This woman, sat at home on full pay, is ‘frightened’ to go back to work in case she catches CV from the children. I’m more concerned that the children might catch a mental health problem from her!

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Prince

“If your having one tonight”

She’s prob been shouting Covidiots at the local working class scum at every opportunity. Soon she’ll back at school teaching that punctuation to our children 🙄

Liam
Liam
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

Funniest one was when I saw a lockdown zealot who commented, below a news article about an anti-lockdown protest. The zealot tried to seize on the fact that the protesters had stood up “for the workers”, he suggested that “the o of workers should change to an a”. So it seems that they can’t even spell sufficiently well to make an insulting substitution, let alone handle homophones in the grammatically correct fashion.

Johann
Johann
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Prince

Typical double standards, pro-lockdown zealots come in two types: “draconian rules must be applied rigourously to everyone but me” and “I’m sacred to work but happy to attend parties”. Their whole attitude is virtue signalling, but only signalling, there is no true virtue in wanting civil rights crushed and jobs destroyed.

T. Prince
T. Prince
1 month ago

“It’s official. We’re a nation of bedwetters. As Alexander Hamilton said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.””

There you have it, we’ve reached herd stupidity. We should just let those that wish to barricade themselves in their homes to get on with it, while the rest of us can concentrate on earning living.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Prince

‘Panty wetters’, as James Delingpole would have it, spot-on

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Prince

Herd stupidity. Love it.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

Great headline for Hitches or journalists of a similar persuasion:

“WE HAVE NOW ACHIEVED HERD STUPIDITY.”

I feel the word “CORONAPHOBIA” should also start gaining widespread traction; we are in the grip of a severe “Emotional Plague” (to quote Wilhelm Reich) that will result in vastly greater loss of life than the physical “plague” we’ve just been through.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Oops…..Hitchens

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  T. Prince

Franklin, not Hamilton

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
1 month ago

As someone on the ” front line ” I can say the only covid19 deaths I have come across are very elderly frail patients who have been admitted to the local DGH with significant illnesses eg myocardial infarcts who then go on to catch the virus in the hospital where presumably it is carried by a lot of asymptomatic carriers. The other frequent place for covid 19 deaths is two local EMI ( dementia ) homes where in both cases a supposedly non infectious covid19 had been discharged from the local DGH.
I have not seen any covid19 fatalities under the age 75. I am not sure why the media is highlighting every ” young ” covid19 fatality but they are as rare as hens teeth.

Sceptic
Sceptic
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

I think we all know why…

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  Sceptic

A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to check childhood UK deaths from seasonal flu. 15 minutes scanning through some abstracts on PubMed gave me the answer – on average, around a dozen very young children die each year during our flu season. No mention of this little annual tragedy by our MSM.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

Trouble is, everyone has an old person they care about. Plus everyone sees how I’ll the young *can* get and shits themselves.
I understand it even though it’s completely not logical to me. But countries should be run on logic, not empathy.

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

It is evident that Covid is no more dangerous than flu and, it could be argued less so, for unlike flu Covid is not dangerous to the young whereas flu is.

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

Which also means, by the traditional definition, it’s not a ‘pandemic’.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

It’s a fear pandemic.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

It’s a herdemic

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

It’s a panicdemic

Kathryn J Smyth
Kathryn J Smyth
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

And the first victim was Logic!

Mimi
Mimi
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

A demopanic?

Karen
Karen
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

Flu pandemics have typically hit the young worst, they have tended to cause immune systems to go into overdrive among thsoe who have an effective one. The 1918 flu largely left the old and infirm untouched, absolutely tore through the young though including soldiers in excellent health. We should be gald covid-19 isn’t like that, end the lockdown now so we can start preparing medical infrastructrue to handle any future pandemic that might be rather more dangerous.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

Also I think the more evidence (anecdotal or otherwise, esp from professionals such as yourself) we get out there that covid patients were being discharged back into care homes, the better. People need to realise that the policy hasnt just been “protect the NHS” — rather it has been “protect the NHS over the people it’s meant to serve”.

GLT
GLT
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

A statistician-friend has been looking at the numbers daily. Below is a link to his analysis of the mortality risk for a 50-55 year old in one of the peak-mortality weeks, compared to the same week over the previous 5 years. In answer to your thoughts, Peter, he has put the mean, mode and median age for mortality between 82 and 90.
https://massagehealth.co.uk/covid19_26/

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  GLT

That’s a really good, well explained article. It reminded me that people could make the classic error of ignoring the low baseline death rate when looking, and potentially worrying, about the increased death rate in their age bracket.

There was a chapter in Bad Science about this. I wonder what Ben Goldacre makes of everything that’s been happening?

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob
Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  GLT

But surely he’s got the percentages wrong. 6.6 in every 100,000 is 0.0066% not 0.000066%. still low, but not that low.

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwMVMbmQBug Made me laugh. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Speech from Network:
“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago

Just one point, there’s nothing funny about porn, particularly pornhub who have made all their subscription content free to help men “cope” with the lockdown. Please remember illegal child abuse and the awful Cyprus rape were uploaded to that site, one family of a missing 15 year old school girl, only found her due to dozens of illegal videos of her captivity and depraved abuse uploaded to that sewer. I could show you links about what happens to those kids, even when they are out and ‘safe’, men continue to track them down on the internet, and the things they say would make you cry, it’s no laughing matter.

Porn is clearly linked to violence, and attitudes to rape and violence, and general attitudes to women, spare a thought for all the women and kids (one thing abusive men do is force their children to watch it, and have it on in the house at all times at maximum volume) locked in with an angry, violent, sexually entitled man. And before you tell me about the women who choose to do it, any porn star you can remember the name of is already dead. Women survive about three months in that industry, it’s no laughing matter, nor is the fact that despite the fact we are in the middle of the biggest theft of our rights and our wealth (and please do remember who is doing most of the unpaid labour at this time) men still dream up utterly disgusting ways to get their rocks off.

This is a sceptics of lockdown site, I didn’t sign up to laughing at the degradation of women and children.

David Mc
David Mc
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Well done for saying this. You won’t get much in the way of acknowledgement for it, because most men’s attitude to porn is textbook cognitive dissonance.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

Bloody awful Men, eh, who needs ‘em..(BTW, thought this site was dealing with lockdown scepticism rather than man-bashing)

Biker
Biker
1 month ago
Reply to  David Mc

i think you’ll find most men think porn is disgusting and don’t watch it.

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
1 month ago
Reply to  Biker

Most men must be liars then 🙄

Biker
Biker
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

speak for yourself but i’d say most of us don’t need filth and degeneracy in our lives. It’s a myth put about by feminists than men watch porn.

GLT
GLT
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

I didn’t think much about it when I read the original article in The Times as it was an amusing interview of a young, apparently happy, couple. You are absolutely right to point out the hidden casualties behind the site, particularly at a time when vulnerable children and others are forced into confinement with their abusers.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Well said BecJT.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Quite agree BecJT. Some time ago I watched- I think it was a Stacey Dooley doc- a young woman who’d abandoned her degree course for an excitingly glamorous life as a porn star,
What an awful story: such is the emphasis now on this being a freely chosen ‘life style’ career for the liberated woman.
She was paid more for unprotected sex with fellow porn stars.
At the film’s end, she confessed to being stricken by panic attacks.
One can only wonder about the risks to her physical health:STDs, cervical cancer, HIV

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Hear, hear, unreservedly.

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

Well Toby, you opened the gates to the holier-than-thou, self righteous, virtue signalling, man hating brigade, well done and good luck, I’m done…

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago

Don’t worry some of us like porn as much as the next man. 🖒 #badfeminist

swedenborg
swedenborg
1 month ago

Two other important articles today
https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan-lab-millions-us-dollars-risky-coronavirus-research-1500741
This is now in MSM in the US.The role of Fauci and indirect the US in outsourcing extremely dangerous science experiment. It is unbelievable why this extreme dangerous work with chimeric corona virus was needed in the first place.Frankenstein work. And backing all this NIH Fauci and the Master manipulator Bill Gates.
https://www.zerohedge.com/health/why-sweden-has-already-won-debate-covid-19-lockdown-policy
An extensive article about the total fiasco of lockdown, an experiment never done before.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  swedenborg

This is what’s so funny to me. I’m a student of medieval literature and history — and they didn’t even try this crap on such a scale even back then despite it being a throughly medieval tactic. They’d do it in individual cities and towns (akin to how they stock down during a siege) but never even attempt to do it across whole countries or even between countries. Trade routes would still function and people would still work.

Hector Drummond
1 month ago

A really good article by Professor Robert Watson, looking at death rates by age and sex, at Hector Drummond Magazine:
https://hectordrummond.com/2020/05/02/guest-post-robert-watson-a-comparison-of-the-relative-magnitude-of-covid-19-and-all-other-causes-of-deaths-per-1000-for-age-and-sex-cohorts/

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago

What a splendidly sensible analysis. Needs to reach the more hysterical cohorts in the msm.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago

Great article with a fascinating and panic-busting conclusion, but who is Robert Watson? The blurb describes him as a “retired professor” but a former professor of what exactly, and at which university? If he is a man of some clout as, say, a medical statistician, this could be a powerful article; if he is a former professor of Anglo-Saxon whose hobby is statistics, the article will be all too easily dismissed.

rossum
rossum
1 month ago

The interview with Professor Michael Levitt, and especially what is being said about it, tells me we are all not getting any better at understanding the epidemic dynamics, and their models. Both people in favour and against the lockdown policies seem not to understand some key points.

The exponential growth with an “R0” rate is what should be observed at the start of the epidemic. The actual rate at which people are getting infected decreases with time, though, as the susceptible population decreases. This is what causes “the curve” to change shape from an exponential to a bump. The “explosion” is contained by the limited size of the population.

I believe this is what Professor Levitt is talking about. He was observing the dynamics of the infection rate, pointing out that the peak has been reached. This does not mean there was no exponential regime at first, it just happened earlier.

The size and width of this peak will be controlled by the parameters fed to the model, as anyone playing with the simulations must now have understood. What it’s striking to me is that no-one seems to be trying to actually fit these models accurately to the data. The procedure discussed by the Professor seems a little rudimentary. This is not a criticism, it’s just to make clear that to look at daily changes to get an idea of the instantaneous rate of change is just a crude way to fit the model to the data. He himself admits the data is noisy. This can be done in more rigorous and sophisticated ways, though, overcoming this noise.

Other scientists have been missing the opportunity too. Anyone running simulations and merely checking whether it’s more-or-less close to some observation is also not performing the best form of model fit possible.

The fact is the early simulations had little of faulty data. We have better data now. Fitting a complex model is not very easy, though. We need more experts doing this work: not of developing the model, just fitting them, something that requires expertise that most of the people who develop the models don’t have. When this happens, we will have a better understanding of what are the parameters governing the epidemics, including contagion and fatality rates.

Summing up, some people are talking as if there is some disagreement with the models, and I don’t think it’s true. It’s just about finding the right parameters. And it was clear from the beginning that we didn’t know them. It is possible that the models are missing some important detail, although only accurate model fitting can make this clear.

TL;DR Pay more money to non-linear optimization and pattern recognition experts!

swedenborg
swedenborg
1 month ago
Reply to  rossum

https://covidcurvetracker.org/
“The work is based on an observation Professor Pike made (during his own coronavirus-related isolation) while exploring public COVID-19 data: that the growth in rate of deaths from confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy seemed to be the same pattern seen in China. Subsequent exploration of other countries’ death rates indicated that this may be a more generalized phenomenon and could serve to provide useful information about the pandemic.”
Quite interesting. All deaths of Covid seem to follow same pattern.UK will have 35000 deaths in end of June when the epidemic ends.Updated every day for several countries

old fred
old fred
1 month ago
Reply to  swedenborg

This would seem to be broadly similar to the UK deaths from Hong Kong Flu back in the late ’60’s
( there were two waves) after adjusting for relative population. Broadly similar IFR’s ( I think) but no lockdown back then.

guy153
guy153
1 month ago
Reply to  rossum

The reason you don’t see pure exponential growth is just because by the time you notice the epidemic it’s already somewhat underway.

Caswell Bligh
Caswell Bligh
1 month ago
Reply to  rossum

I absolutely agree with the bit about exponential growth – but didn’t have the confidence to say it!

However, I don’t agree that the models just need their settings tweaking. For sure, it would be possible to set a computer off and running, to home in on the optimal settings that give least squared error or whatever. However, I still don’t think we have meaningful data (all deaths are now Covid-19, confirmed cases isn’t from random samples), and I don’t think the models reflect reality.

If you fit an oversimplified model to the data, for sure, you might get a close fit. But if you then assume that your model must be correct, and therefore its predictions are meaningful you may be deluding yourself.

old fred
old fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Caswell Bligh

Definition of an economist – someone who looks out the back window of a car and tells you where you are going Same as computer modellers?

Tim Bidie
Tim Bidie
1 month ago
Reply to  rossum

The data that came out of China changed so often so quickly that attaching any value to early modelling outputs was fraught with a high degree of risk. No doubt modellers made this abundantly clear (or not really?)

‘From Jan 15 to March 3, 2020, seven versions of the case definition for COVID-19 were issued by the National Health Commission in China. We estimated that when the case definitions were changed, the proportion of infections being detected as cases increased by 7·1 times (95% credible interval [CrI] 4·8–10·9) from version 1 to 2, 2·8 times (1·9–4·2) from version 2 to 4, and 4·2 times (2·6–7·3) from version 4 to 5. If the fifth version of the case definition had been applied throughout the outbreak with sufficient testing capacity, we estimated that by Feb 20, 2020, there would have been 232 000 (95% CrI 161 000–359 000) confirmed cases in China as opposed to the 55 508 confirmed cases reported.’

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30089-X/fulltext

‘Mathematical models have been used to simulate scenarios and predict evolution of infectious diseases since the early 20th century.11 Models are usually driven by a disease’s intrinsic mechanism or fitted through sufficient data, but they are frequently expected to provide quick insights of, and predictive power on, a new pathogen in the early stages of an outbreak, which are seemingly contradictory expectations.2, 12 Indeed, it is not clear whether early cases of COVID-19 were from infection by animal or human, and data are limited and unreliable. In this case, models fitted by early data probably produce results divorced from reality.’

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30258-9/fulltext

Biker
Biker
1 month ago

If i can work 36 hours a week in a supermarket then i can go to the pub and the football, i can visit my old man, i can race my dirt bike. No lockdown for me or my wife and daughter who all work in the same supermarket. I call those who are staying home cowards and those who clap the NHS braindead zombies who’d let our country become a dictatorship resulting in the likes of me having to fight for my freedom and, perversely, their’s too. They sicken my to my core.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Biker

We need more stalwarts like you with your good sense and robust independence-good on you!

Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Biker

Well said, mate.

Fiery
Fiery
1 month ago
Reply to  Biker

I have a zero hours contract in social care and am more than happy to work at the moment as Im getting more hours than I can cope with. It means I can get out of the house for hours then have a nice drive home on empty roads. The clapping for theNHS and carers needs to stop though. Personally I find it patronising and condescending.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Fiery

Thanks for what you’re doing 🙂
Like….. That’s all that needs to be said really, isn’t it? All the tokenistic seal-clapping BS only cheapens genuine sentiment

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  wendyk

https://youtu.be/jySfU10IQu4

And this: The Importance of Being Idle

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
1 month ago

Thanks again Toby. Still no news on the Robert Kok petition, it’s still showing as pending. It must be nearly three weeks now!

Barry
Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  kvnmoore561

Starting to look pretty suspicious, I check it every day.

Kevin Moore
Kevin Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry

Agreed, why is it taking so long unless they want to censor it?

Thunderchild
Thunderchild
1 month ago

It is clear that the government still wants to stoke up plenty of fear to ensure that we are sufficiently submissive for whatever happens next. Face masks perpetuate the idea of an out of control virus which is literally everywhere and the stories about people being afraid to leave lockdown simply encourage people to continue to be afraid. And so it goes on.

Thunderchild
Thunderchild
1 month ago
Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Thunderchild

He’s amazing. I wish he was my grandad.

Jane
Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Farinances

Personally I’d rather he was the PM

JASA
JASA
1 month ago
Reply to  Thunderchild

Excellent article.

Oaks79
Oaks79
1 month ago

First French case may have been back in December 27th, didn’t Itailan press claim their first case might have been in December too.

https://twitter.com/cecileollivier/status/1256966423919935491?s=19

Steve Austin
Steve Austin
1 month ago

It’s a nasty virus not The Black Death.
It will kill the vulnerable (As Flu does every year and look up the 1968 pandemic)
The Govt panicked, having been given duff statistics by ONE dodgy scientist with a poor track record.
MSM have panicked the gullible sheep by preaching their 24/7 fear laden message of death and destruction.
Govt are weak (Boris has done himself no favours whatsoever)
Govt are starting to realise they have cocked up and are now struggling to find a way to back down.
The stats are being manipulated.
In the meantime the economy is going to be f****d and ironically more people will eventually die as a result of this, than will die of Coronavirus.
Let’s act sensibly, take sensible precautions (as we did at the start), get back to work and go and have a pint afterwards. Life is for living.

This is Steve Austin, reporting for the ‘I’m not a sheep and refuse to clap for the NHS on a Thursday’ and no. I’m not moving off the footpath, common sense news channel.

T. Prince
T. Prince
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

“One of Ferguson’s models predicted that 65,000 people could die from swine flu. In the event, no more than 500 died”.

Shouldn’t that have sounded alarm bells? Do our cowardly politicians know how to ask the right questions?

Jane Darrall
Jane Darrall
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Austin

Join the discussion…I also refuse to clap for the NHS! What idiots so many in the UK have turned out to be. I’m ashamed to be British! Just think what we could have been doing with these weeks if we weren’t imprisoned. I’m feeling my grip on sanity is being eroded-& I’m an intelligent, fit woman! All life involves risk. Let intelligent commonsense & personal choice prevail

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
1 month ago

I am becoming increasingly enraged at the wilful ignorance of many in the media intent on destroying our lives for I can discern no credible motive. Cui Bono?

I have seen little intelligent comment on the Government’s ‘testing, programme apart from ideological arguments over whether an arbitrary target was met or not.

Why are the fear mongering Twitter-trolls with 6 million followers and a dais on Breakfast TV not looking into the rationale for the Governments strategy, particularly bearing in mind that they are condemning its actions in every new Tweet? Their entire focus appears to be to perpetuate an irrational fear of Coronavirus. In any other situation were an expert to have published an opinion on which Government policy was based these trolls would have eviscerated the advisor and the Minister responsible, but in these times they completely ignore Ferguson and his discredited and absurd prognostication in favour of spreading the same narrative as though he had been correct, namely mass death on an industrial scale, rather then one following the path and severity of seasonal flu.

The Government has instigated a massive testing programme, which appears to be little more than a PR exercise that will do little if anything to inform policy immediately and the little they may discover will be achieved grossly inefficiently over time, depending on who they are testing.

It appears from the information disseminated by the Government that the 122,000 test done on 30th April (let’s not get into the pathetic partisan nonsense of whether the 100,000 target was hit or not) were essentially all RT-PCR tests. These tests that seek to identify virus RNA were, only a couple of weeks ago, accepted as being wildly inaccurate with only circa 65% being correct. It is my understanding that the majority of these false results were false positives rather than negative, at least partially because the result could be contaminated by non-virus RNA.

Whether that was the case or not, let us for the sake of this discussion assume that the issue has been addressed by the Government and the tests are now perfect. (Hey, you at the back, stop laughing.) These test will inform the Government who of those tested has, or more accurately had, the virus at a particular moment in time. According to their own data out of the 73,191 people tested on that day 6.201 were positive (8.5%) with the balance of 66,990 not. The following day, the number tested was 63,667, 4,806 of whom were positive (7.5%).

Results for 1st May:

Much like an MOT test, within minutes of it being completed there is no assurance at all that the car is still roadworthy, or in this case the Covid free ‘testees’ have not contracted it from the very next object they touched. It is for that reason that NHS staff are tested frequently – the public where knowledge of the epidemic is required, not so much.

This brings us to the issue of who was being tested. Was it to determine the status of the disease in the wider community in order to inform policy? No it was not. The vast majority of the tests conducted to date have been on those with clinical need, health and social care and other essential workers. The tests that form part of a national surveillance programme out of the total 1,129,907 conducted to date number only 14,865. What is worse is that the results of those test are not known or at least not published.

Some may argue that the PCR testing is necessary and to some degree I would agree, it is helpful in determining those working with potential patients who are infected, but the motivation I suspect is that the Government wishes to be seen to be doing something in order that they are not to be blamed. The efficacy of this programme in informing on the spread of the virus is limited to say the least. It is quite likely that information will be gleaned as each day passes and the results are compared to the day before but as a methodology to address the need for action now it is useless.

Since essentially all the people tested were, to quote the ‘Lockdownistas’, front line the real motive for the testing was not about epidemic control but about treatment for a section of the population potentially working with the outbreak, the amount of information that can be gleaned about the virus in the wider population is limited compared to antibody testing, for example.

All was not bad news, however, for amongst the 122,347 test on the 30th April, there were, according to the Health Secretary, a little over 3,000 antibody tests. It would have been infinitely more valuable had the numbers been reversed and 119,000 antibody tests been conducted but that was not policy. 3,000 is not large enough to draw firm conclusions about the whole country (if we had the results) but it is at least a start although from the underwhelming demeanour of the Secretary it doesn’t seem that he gives a toss about them.

Before going off the deep end it is worth reflecting on the accuracy of these antibody tests. I have heard it argued that they too are inaccurate and that may indeed be the case but it appears that there are sufficiently accurate tests available in the USA for example so I can see no reason they should not be available here, cost surely cannot be a consideration.

Had 100,000 antibody tests been conducted, better still 1,129,907 on a representative sample of the population the exact status of the epidemic would be know with a very high degree of accuracy, enough to intelligently inform policy and would provide an irrefutable rationale for Government action in the future, no matter how things evolved.

It seems from much of the analysis available that the virus was present in Europe earlier than the twittering classes would have us believe so the extent to which it has already passed through the population is critically important to know, hence the far greater value of antibody rather than RT-PCR testing. Very strong data from the US indicates that New York had immunity of above 25% more than week ago, it will be considerably higher by now. Since the UK appeared to be earlier in the infection cycle than the USA it is quite probable that our infection rate is higher still, which would be extremely good news.

Having said all of the above, there is some information that can be inferred from the data gathered once all the results are in but unfortunately HMG has not deigned to provide the necessary granularity in the data for the public to analyse it in detail. Nevertheless, it is not unreasonable to make certain assumptions to reach ‘Ball Park’ numbers.

It is known that a high proportion of the population, particularly younger sectors, are asymptomatic with Covid-19, it is certain therefore that a proportion of the
643,686 people that tested negative will have had the disease already. Depending on how representative of the country the testing of “essential workers and their households” has been, and how the positive results are distributed amongst the sample, if 8% were infected on one particular day, 30th April, it is likely that significantly more than 3 times the infected number, 25% of the population, are now immune. If the age of the tested sample was mainly below 50, which is likely, the majority of those infected will have been only mildly affected if at all and as many as 90% could have suffered no symptoms that required medical intervention. This would put the previously infected number even higher. certainly around 40% of the country could quite easily already be immune. If that is the case, the Government’s lockdown policy would be explicitly harmful rather than beneficial to the elderly as the longevity of the virus is increased placing the vulnerable at risk for longer.

There is one other leg to the Health Secretary’s stool, and this one is made of straw – “Track and Trace”. They seem to be placing great store on tracing the contacts of those infected as determined by their million plus tests, in order to control the spread of the disease. It seems to me that there must be an ulterior motive for such a ridiculous proposal at this stage of any contagion, much less more than 45 days into the evolution of an air borne respiratory disease. It is an exercise in futility if ever there was one, unless of course the real reason is to legislate for compulsory surveillance of everyone via mobile devices. If so, mine will be on Ebay 5 minutes after the announcement.

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

A+++ couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said

Nel
Nel
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisH29

Yep, my mobile will be there alongside yours!

GetaGrip
GetaGrip
1 month ago

Corona Crap Thought For The Day:

In a New Years’ Honours list in the not too distant future:
Professor Sir Neil Ferguson

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

Oh hell no

Dene Bebbington
Dene Bebbington
1 month ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

IIRC he already got one for his work on Foot & Mouth.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago

Just back from a dog walk with the missus. An interesting point came up in the conversation.

We wondered if many of those furloughed think that the government has some sort of “obligation” to keep paying them for as long as lockdown lasts – even if that’s another 18 months or more.

That maybe, many people simply don’t realise where this money is coming from and that there’s some sort of bottomless reserve somewhere.

That they think they’ll just walk back into their old jobs 18 months down the line, having had a lovely 18 months’ holiday.

And that therefore they don’t want this lockdown to end anytime soon.

A few months ago I would have found it inconceivable to imagine that the average Brit could be dumb enough to think the above. But now…….

Ethelred the Unready
Ethelred the Unready
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Spot-on. They are using “fear” of returning to work to prevent the nice holiday ending too soon…

Scots lass
Scots lass
1 month ago

I’ve been furloughed and I’m certainly under no illusion that this is any kind of paid holiday. I feel sick that the company I have worked for for nearly 20 years, and which has been going for over 60, may not survive and even if it does there’s certainly going to be a lot of redundancies. It’s not the sort of business that will just be able to instantly brush itself down and return to pre-lockdown productivity quickly, it will take many, many months. The ensuing worldwide recession will also take its toll.

I would be able to accept the situation a lot better if I thought the government had taken the right course of action but I believe the long term consequences will cause far more harm to far more people than the virus could ever inflict. They are being very short sighted.

Ianric
Ianric
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I can’t understand how workers on furlough can be complacent. You still have 20% less salary and how are people going to manage with a reduced income. I would worry if I would have a job to go back to. For instance, if I was working in a shop selling products classed as non essential and the shop couldn’t open during the lockdown, I would worry the shop would not recover from not being to trade and lay off staff when being allowed to re-open.

Sophie
Sophie
1 month ago

I tried to put all arguments against and pro lockdowns in one article, and came to the conclusion lockdowns are doing more harm than good. Read it here: https://link.medium.com/2Al7Ck95b6

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Sophie

This should be published elsewhere as well Sophie; it’s excellent

RDawg
RDawg
1 month ago
guy153
guy153
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

Meh sounds like at least he does want to basically end the lockdown. Most of the measures appear to be addressing psychological issues (facemasks so people “feel safe” that sort of thing).

It all confirms the theory that nobody really believes Fergie or is serious about trying to do TTT. This is a good thing because it’s almost certainly too late for TTT to be possible in the UK and even if it wasn’t the government are so incompetent that it is certainly much better for everyone if they don’t try.

No doubt there will be a bunch of incredibly stupid regulations that everyone will ignore. “Health theatre” as someone (it might have been you 🙂 very aptly described it.

Nel
Nel
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

I felt sick too

ianp
ianp
1 month ago

Oh lord help us. Having not used Facebook for a long time due to the number of virtuous narcissistic pricks that inhabit it on a daily basis (yes that’s a hell of a load of people who I am supposedly ‘friends’ with), I decide to have a look today at people trying to outdo each other as ‘martyr of the day’ : answer = still lots. Fb even provide ‘photo frames’ for your pic with a number of lovely little status GIFs like #stayathome #stayingin. How crass. I looked at the list and not one for #endthelockdown sadly, or anything remotely like it. This is what the world has come to, debate is squashed, dissent is futile.

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

I’ve been deactivated on and off for weeks, did a two week stint and looked today (had to for a local campaign page I manage unrelated to this) and I’m spotting a few more asking questions, but mostly not. I post the odd cat picture to check everybody hasn’t unfollowed me (they haven’t, they like cats) but when I post ‘Nobel Prize Winning Scientist says Lockdown a disaster’ – not a sausage. What troubles me is my lefty mates won’t touch that with a barge pole because it’s ‘right wing’, it is so frustrating, when did caring about the bloody poor or listening to scientists who aren’t Neil Ferguson become ‘right wing’?? But this is why I’m anxious the sceptical argument remains a broad church, we need to tempt the lurkers into the fray, those that are nervous that supporting our argument is not ‘right on’. It annoys me, but I know enough about campaigning to know you can’t bludgeon people into agreeing with you, you have to take them up the ‘yes ladder’. My technique is obviously still rubbish, cos they are still on the bottom rung thinking I’m a granny killer …

Adele Bull
Adele Bull
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

I just looked at the FB comments under the daily government mantra and they are shocking! People are scared to death but not looking at the facts. I just keep posting the CEBM link on the posts in the hope people will read them!

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  Adele Bull

So glad I’ve been off social media for…..
Can’t Even remember now. But it’s been a long time. Does wonders for one’s mental health.

ianp
ianp
1 month ago

Can this be the laugh out loud link of the day…. ?may 3rd entry.. What a gem!
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52506114

Spike in accidents due to this risible thursday clapathon…. Peak Darwin award? Can this situation get any more surreal?

Farinances
Farinances
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

Maybe when they end up in hospital they’ll see how EMPTY it is. Silver linings…..

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  ianp

This is like Taking Over The Asylum

RDawg
RDawg
1 month ago

Just sent the following to my MP. Feel free to copy, paste and share widely. Good luck everyone!

Dear Munira Wilson MP,

I am writing to express my deep concerns regarding the continuation of the restrictions on our freedom of movement and forced closure of businesses, otherwise known as “lockdown”. These actions were based on nothing less than science fiction, which originated from Imperial College’s false modelling and the predictions led by Professor Neil Ferguson’s non peer-reviewed unpublished paper, produced on 16th March 2020. His model was based on false assumptions, and relied on assuming a virus mortality rate which we now know was 10 times higher than has found to be the actual IFR.

Prof. Ferguson’s history of pandemic modelling, has been nothing less than disastrous, overblown nonsense. To remind you of Neil Ferguson’s estimates on the impact of previous viral outbreaks – which have been embarrassingly inaccurate: He was previously instrumental in modelling that led to the cull of more than 6 million animals during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, which left rural Britain economically devastated. In 2002, he predicted that mad cow disease could kill up to 50,000 people. It ended up killing less than 200. In 2005, he told The Guardian that up to 200 million people could die from bird flu. The final death toll from avian flu strain A/H5N1 was 440. And in 2009, a Government estimate based on one of Ferguson’s models estimated the likely death toll from swine flu at 65,000. In fact, it was 457.

I now move to my second point, which is that there is no scientific evidence lockdowns prevent deaths, whatsoever. The devastating restrictions, which have been severely challenged by leading and renowned epidemiologists and scientists such as Dr. Knut Wittkowski, Dr Johan Giesecke and Professor John Ioannidis, suggest that locking down is completely the wrong approach and will cause more economic damage and non-direct deaths than the virus itself. These include:

– Crashing the economy, causing more than two million people to lose their employment and multiple businesses to collapse
– A severe period of missed education through the blanket closure of schools and cancellation of exams.
– Creating an unprecedented mental health and domestic violence crisis by forcing people to stay at home. Suicides as a consequence of lockdown have reached a huge spike in numbers.
– Predictions of circa 50,000 cancer related deaths due to cancelled screenings and treatments, as predicted by leading oncologist Dr. Karol Sikora.
– Excess deaths from heart attacks, strokes and other serious diseases, where people have been too scared to seek treatment at A&E for fear of catching coronavirus, due to the Government’s ubiquitous “Stay at home. Protect the NHS” message.
– GPs seeing their urgent referrals not taking place due to hospitals disproportionately diverting all attention on Covid-19, to the detriment of all other life-saving treatments.

It is a false argument that we are “protecting the NHS” by enforcing such strict measures. If we crash our economy and create rising unemployment and government debt, this will cause a huge reduction in income tax, which of course will mean funding cuts for the NHS further down the line and therefore poorer healthcare. How will we sustain future funding for the NHS if we have no money to pay for it? Austerity, unemployment, poverty and economic depression all cost lives. Additionally, why have we now seen the decommissioning of the newly built Nightingale hospitals, if this disease is as deadly as we are being led to believe? A disease which was declassified by Public Health England on 19th March 2020 as no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID).

The government could have chosen to manage this “crisis” with a sensible, balanced and proportionate response that would have saved people’s livelihoods, children’s education, people’s mental health and the economy from crashing to a level not seen since the Great Depression. We need look no further than Sweden, who only this week was described as “a model of how to respond to a pandemic” by the World Health Organisation. Instead our Government is choosing to enforce an extreme, never-seen-before approach that has stifled people’s liberty, wellbeing, physical and mental health, and effectively written off an entire year of people’s lives. This approach has stemmed from panic and fear, in response to a virus which leading epidemiologists, virologists, microbiologists and epidemiological statisticians have said presents a relative background mortality risk no greater than a potent influenza season. Despite the plethora of evidence that lockdowns cause more deaths than the virus itself, still our Government is continuing on this self-destructive path, with seemingly no end in sight.

I am genuinely terrified that if we do not open up the economy soon, we risk causing irreparable damage which will scar our lives, economy and way of living for many decades to come. We are damaging the nation for ourselves, our children and future generations, which is unforgivable and totally avoidable. As a constituent who voted for you in December 2019, I implore you as a matter of urgency to challenge the Government on this draconian and unlawful shutdown of the economy, and police-state mass enforced quarantining of the nation.

I await your timely response with great interest. Thank you.

Regards

Ryan Karter, constituent

Kevin Moore
Kevin Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

Hi, I sent something similar to my MP last week. They did reply but it just felt like it had been copied and pasted from the party line, ‘protect our NHS, mantra. I’d be interested to hear your response. Sadly, a veil of fear and deceit has been pulled over the eyes of many and it doesn’t appear to be lifting any time soon if the latest polls are anything to go by.

RDawg
RDawg
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin Moore

Well done Kevin. I simply cannot sit back and do nothing. When I look back on this in years to come, I want to know I did everything I possibly could to challenge this illegal lockdown.

kvnmoore561
kvnmoore561
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

Me too!

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin Moore

Ok.

There seem to be two ways out of this.

1) A growing, indeed exponential realisation of the dire situation we now face – not from the virus, but from the lockdown.

Mainstream media journalists and broadcasters might possibly begin to realise that their constant fearmongering is not only going to eliminate their own jobs, but is trashing their children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s futures. They will have to change the narrative – FAST – or accept these consequences.

Ditto for the futures of the families of doctors, virologists, epidemiologists, microbiologists, economists, psychologists, sociologists and lawyers. They can speak out – SOON – or accept the ruination of their descendents’ lives.

Ditto for politicians. Speak up. Now.

If enough break ranks and speak up, we can get out of this, and quickly.

2) None of the above happens. The country is f***ed.

Anyone think of a (3)?

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

3) Civil unrest, further draconian measures, fascism and then a European war as we all blame each other, and we end up in a Mad Max Movie? In all seriousness, I hope the kids wake up, this is their future, they should demand it back.

IanE
IanE
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

3) I am inside a virtual reality imposed to destroy my psyche and punish me for what must have been some appalling crime in Real Reality.

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  IanE

Welcome to The Matrix

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

A break up of the UK,as the SNP sizes its chance. Cue

giblets
giblets
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

Thanks, I’ve used this as a template, I added more detail on the extra deaths at the beginning as this seems to be the only figure people are interested in

“These restrictions (otherwise known as “lockdown”) are based on wildly exaggerated numbers of deaths, are sold to us on the premise that they will save lives, and despite repeated repetition, there is NO evidence to support the supposition that staying at home does save lives, in fact it is leading to more deaths… The NHS has four times as many empty Acute beds as normal (patients who were previously considered ill enough they needed to be in hospital are now not getting this care) and there are still plenty of spare ICU capacity, with thousands of Nightingale hospital beds sitting empty. In fact the desire to push these Acutely unwell patients into the community has exacerbate the COVID deaths (there was not requirement to test them for COVID before sending back to care home!).

In April alone there were 25,000 fewer cancer referrals (and not doubt an equal or greater number of cancelled consultations), which will lead to disease progression and thousands of extra, early deaths. This has been replicated across numerous disease areas, also leading to early deaths , that will build well beyond the end of the lockdown. A&E admissions are also down significantly, with heart attack admissions down anyway between 40-80%.”

wendyk
wendyk
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

This is brilliant RDawg. Would you consider plugging this in the mainstream MSM as well? Howw about Guido Fawkes?

https://order-order.com/

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
1 month ago
Reply to  RDawg

Excellent letter, well put.

I would add one thought though. The lockdown was not intended to save lives at the outset, it was intended merely to ‘flatten the curve’ to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed. The problem that you elucidate has been made worse by the fact that the powers that be have realised that their decisions were wrong, the virus is just another flu-like illness of similar lethality and that they were misled by in-expert ghouls peddling imbecilic models.

Rather than explaining to us all that they took the conservative approach relying on what they thought was good but turned out to be bad information, they have now decided to double-down on their rhetoric and terror campaign in the vain hope that we don’t notice.

They are wrong, when this is all done and dusted and we find out, as we surely will, the reality of this and the cost in lives and money, they will not be forgiven.

Rick
Rick
1 month ago

Holy sh*t, I am a proud remainer but now I find myself having to agree with Tory Steve Baker of all people, he’s put a good article in the telegraph on 3rd May. Shows how the damage lockdown is doing has really warped the world.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/03/boris-johnson-must-end-absurd-dystopian-tyrannical-lockdown2/

BecJT
BecJT
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick

I feel your pain brother, we’re a broad church us sceptics.

IanE
IanE
1 month ago
Reply to  BecJT

Yup – only requirement (admittedly rare) is a functioning brain

old fred
old fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Rick

I echo your sentiments entirely. It will be Mark Francois next! ( although I do prefer the other one on Twitter i.e Mark ne Francois pas.)

Karen
Karen
1 month ago

Guardian article suggests very sinister facial recognition plan being hatched by the Uk Gov:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/03/coronavirus-health-passports-for-uk-possible-in-months

Clearly has no connection to testing, why would a workplace receptionist who you see EVERY DAY need to rely on a government system to know who you are? We need to make it very clear that we will not tolerate this.

Sceptic
Sceptic
1 month ago
Reply to  Karen

They must have the technology to see through masks!

BrianJR
BrianJR
1 month ago

Just found this on the Telegraph site, and a quick google finds plenty of press coverage for it.
I will be tuning in today.

Rival Sage committee to make case for use of facemasks and quicker end to lockdown
Chaired by Professor Sir David King, the group will stage a press conference to be broadcast on Youtube before the Government’s briefing

BrianJR
BrianJR
1 month ago
Reply to  BrianJR

mmm, bit unsure on the purpose actually. Telegraph implies the aim is to end lockdown earlier, but Guardian implies it is to keep lockdown longer.
It will likely be censored / removed by YouTube if it doesn’t fit the government narrative anyway.

scuzzaman
scuzzaman
1 month ago

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you deserve it or not. If you give up your freedom to obtain safety, you simply don’t get either one.

Let’s leave what people deserve to the moral philosophers and let’s talk about how reality actually works, in the light of what we know about how people and the systems of government we create really behave. The biggest problem in this whole lock-down farce is that people are building fake realities based on errant models and childish fantasies of safety, instead of dealing with how reality actually works.

guy153
guy153
1 month ago
Reply to  scuzzaman

I think this is a strong practical argument in favour of liberty generally. Governments are pretty hopeless and should stick to the basics. What’s happening in the UK is fairly typical: we’re spending millions on unused ventilators, PPE, tracking software, no doubt lots of other crap, that will all be too late, and billions on a lockdown that achieved next to nothing, while the politicians use most of their energy trying to pretend it was all fine and they knew what they were doing, and even extending it and making it considerably worse just to make a point. The epidemic has just done its thing and really isn’t bothered by any of this.

Even more disturbing was how in the early days “liberal” pundits were praising China for their approach of locking people up and trying to beat the virus out of them. The whole culture of lockdowns seems to have originated with people copying China– but we only have their word for it that achieved anything.

Italy were the first to copy them perhaps out of initially understandable panic, but then everyone else joined in, and it just became the thing to do. People were asking “why not a lockdown?” rather than “why a lockdown?”. Then it gains momentum of its own because of governments’ refusal to admit they were wrong or be seen to be changing their minds. Italy’s “relaxed” phase 2 of lockdown is still worse than ours ever was. Maybe they (and Spain) are trying to promote their “victim” status to get more cash out of the EU.

old fred
old fred
1 month ago

Daily deaths in Spain, France and Italy are now declining rapidly, with the UK likely to be doing so in another week or two. It appears the outbreak will have lasted for around 12 weeks in each country before things return to normal.

Is it too much to hope that MSM hysteria will follow a similar pattern so that we can all get back to normal life?

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
1 month ago
Reply to  old fred

I don’t know about anyone else but life as we knew it before this is a distant memory and I don’t think we’re ever going back to it.

IanE
IanE
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Seale

Given the state to which the economy has been trashed and the accumulating excess deaths (cancer, heart attacks, etc) that will have been caused by the absurd, dystopian and tyrannical lockdown (to quote Steve Baker), let alone the terror that has been instilled in the sheeple, I rather agree!

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
1 month ago
Reply to  old fred

There are basically TWO urgent messages to get “out there” to the British sheeple (including the ovine MSM):

1) THIS VIRUS IS NOT THE BLACK DEATH. At worst, it’s the equivalent of the 1968 Hong Kong flu. WE GOT THROUGH THAT ONE WITHOUT LOCKDOWN. (Doctors, virologists, immunologists, medical statisticians and epidemiologists – stand up and be counted!)

2) THE LOCKDOWN WILL TRASH THE ECONOMY, COLLAPSE THE NHS, REMOVE CIVIL RIGHTS, AND CAUSE FAR MORE DEATHS THAN THE VIRUS.
(Economists, psychologists, sociologists and lawyers – stand up and be counted!)

As Basil Fawlty would have said, “it’s not a proposition from Wittgenstein!”

old fred
old fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Yes – Hong Kong Flu was a nothing event in late ‘60’s. Herd immunity developed, all without panic & lockdown. Interesting that the prof from Israel (forgotten his name) reckons Australia, Israel, New Zealand have taken the wrong action and likely to suffer later on.

ds
ds
1 month ago

I too have been perplexed and enraged by the insanity of the public policy response to CV19. Reading Lockdown Sceptics gives me a daily fix of sanity and honesty that I appreciate greatly given how much distortion and misinformation there is about. After the lunatic and disastrous lockdown it looks like needless social distancing is going to be both draconian and never ending. Why, from the start, was a selective approach not taken, focused on high risk groups and their families. Even if that affected 25% of the population that would have been better than locking everybody up and shutting down 90% of the economy. Neil Ferguson, who was at the same college as me at Oxford in the early 1990s, neglected to model selective shielding of high risk people and their families. He, and the likes of Matt Hancock, should be locked up and we should throw away the key.

Amy
Amy
1 month ago
Reply to  ds

I live in the US but every time I see Matt Hancock the phrase that immediately comes to mind is “lean and hungry look.”

Oaks79
Oaks79
1 month ago

The more I think of this the more angry I get at this government, I mean if their plan was for “herd immunity” and the Swedish route why wasn’t the Nightingales being built at the end of February/beginning of March ? The Swedes knew their strategy back in January so I’m guessing SAGE did too, so why the hell wasn’t the NHS ramped up as soon as the shit hit the fan in Italy ? Every man and his dog knew this was heading our way so if your plan was to sit it out and go for herd immunity wouldn’t you get that plan rolling at the earliest point you could ? If they would have done that I’ll probably still have a job.

old fred
old fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Vice website has a good account of the things Boris was, and wasn’t, doing at the start of the year. Missing 5 Cobra meetings was one of them, holidaying in Mustique another. Apparently he is very good at not doing things. Sorry to hear about you losing your job.

guy153
guy153
1 month ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Yes absolutely right. They should have doubled the number of ICU beds in January (not 10x but doubled because we’re undercapacity anyway), made sure they had all the PPE ready etc. This way they would have got through the peak without overwhelming the system and without even a short lockdown.

As it was, if we needed the lockdown down at all, 3 weeks would have been enough anyway. But even 3 weeks of lockdown is hugely more expensive than preparing properly in time would have been.

But now we’re getting at least two months of lockdown for no reason at all than for Johnson to make people think he’s warm and caring and not the flippant git he may have come across as when this started.

It’s completely shameless irresponsible populism, which is how this bunch of thugs got into power in the first place.

Paul Seale
Paul Seale
1 month ago
Reply to  guy153

The NHS and the public sector in general exists only to protect itself.

Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Oaks79

The element that grinds my gears the most is “protect the NHS”. It’s the NHS’s job to protect us. We give it £134 billion per year to do this. The NHS knew about the virus at the same time we did. The NHS knew all about Italy, etc. So, why didn’t it impotently sit back and not prepare earlier, as you rightly ask?

We’re being told to delay our cancer tests, stay at home, lose our jobs all to protect the biggest employer in Europe, whose single job – asides from hiring equality managers at £51,000 per year – is to protect our health, especially in the time of a pandemic.

Paul Cuddon
Paul Cuddon
1 month ago

Clearest data yet (from Germany) that infections were already on the way down before lockdown. Why are we continuing with this madness?
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Situationsberichte/2020-05-03-en.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

Paul Cuddon
Paul Cuddon
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Cuddon

See figure 2

swedenborg
swedenborg
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Cuddon

Fascinating figures.Look at the deaths.We have all heard that female deaths less in all countries and that is true also in Germany between 70-90.But in 90-100 years old ,double amount of female deaths compared to males. There must be some explanation like fewer males in that age interval unless former surviving members in the Reichs army had a health advantage

swedenborg
swedenborg
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Cuddon

Completely agree. A puzling thing is that in the former DDR much less cases and the same in all the Eastern European countries. There has been speculation that they all had enormous vaccination with BCG for tuberculosis giving some cross immunity.

Paul Cuddon
Paul Cuddon
1 month ago

See figure 2

swedenborg
swedenborg
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Cuddon

The full lockdown in Germany 22nd March.Sensible, non economical suicidial, social distancing measures started 13th March

tides
tides
1 month ago

Hope to God no one in authority in the UK sees this. They may not realise it is satirical.

https://babylonbee.com/news/governor-unveils-innovative-37-step-plan-to-reopen-state-over-the-next-10-years

ShropshireLass
ShropshireLass
1 month ago

Interesting article on a potential anti-inflammatory drug treatment for coronavirus, currently being trialled in several countries. By Cade Metz published in The New York Times, 30th April entitled ‘How A.I. Steered Doctors Toward a Possible Coronavirus Treatment’. Here is the link if Toby or anyone is interested:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/technology/coronavirus-treatment-benevolentai-baricitinib.html?fbclid=IwAR3lwNCuIr_jgp0RFptzSh9Y_Lf97GJ36mIyK3Htg7tQpKs__13ZKE8KPnE

guy153
guy153
1 month ago

Good news! Tesco now have so much pasta they’re selling it cheap. Time to start stockpiling for that second wave.

Pebbles
Pebbles
1 month ago

The Robert Koch Institute in Germany is about as trustworthy as the Imperial College Model by Prof Ferguson (NB: they both are on the Gates’ IV money drip). The RKI started off with a “every deceased is a Corona fatality” message in March and officially recommended not to conduct any autopsy postmortems due to fear of spreading the virus despite the clear necessity for postmortems to understand the true fatality rate and impact on the human body.
A pathologist in Hamburg, Prof. Püschel, decided to go ahead with autopsies anyway in early April and went on national television saying that the autopsies prove that hardly anyone seems to be dying OF but WITH the virus as a passenger. Note that in the last few weeks, the RKI has since back paddled significantly and reversed its original statements about autopsies…
The most significant difference in the Coronavirus crisis between the UK and the continent/Germany seems to be the number of German, Swiss and Austrian doctors who are very vocal about the disproportionality of the Coronavirus measures versus the lethality of the disease – according to their findings and research – similar to their US colleagues; the UK seems to have put every NHS medical professional under a severe gag order. How else can one explain such deafening silence here in Britain?
One major canon shot against the Coronavirus dictatorship was fired early by this impressive man by the way (born in Thailand, immigrated to Germany, most-cited micro-biologist in the country, trained more than 12,000 doctors):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsExPrHCHbw (with English subtitles)
5 questions for Mad Madam Merkel, never answered… He was, naturally, completely ignored by the mainstream media, bullied and belittled on every occasion his name was mentioned, so a similar fate to Prof. Dr. Wodarg, another specialist who said early on it wasn’t a pandemic but a panhysteria….
Due to its devolved system, lockdown measures in Germany have varied from one federal state to the other, but they were never “sensible”. The country has seen its “Grundgesetz” suspended indefinitely under the Coronavirus act, the fear has paralysed large parts of the nation. Media censorship is in full swing, worse than in the UK from what I can gather, voices of dissidents are ridiculed as non-scientific and not representative. Demonstrations have been happening for weeks already, in Berlin they call them “hygiene demos” where people sit and stand 2meters apart with a copy of the “Grundgesetz” under their arms.
The lower and middle class businesses are experiencing a full frontal car crash, economically speaking, while Adidas, after raking in billions of Euros the last years, is seeing a massive government bailout already…
Another interesting voice criticising the Coronavirus measures was Prof. Streeck, virologist from Bonn, who conducted the first extensive field study in Heinsberg in the northwest of the country to trace how the virus is actually spreading. The village was said to be a hotspot with many Coronavirus infections. He and his team swabbed hundreds (or thousands?) of people, surfaces of all kinds, pets, mobile phones etc etc and came to the conclusion that it is almost 100% clear that it is not a smear infection and announced a first cautious conclusion of the field study as early as 02 April [The final results are pending, the study is now in peer review]. The majority of infections he investigated seem to have come from holidayers engaged in after-party events in skiing resorts… There was furious backlash against the study as “not representative”… funny isn’t it when the only people doing some practical investigations are tripped up by those screaming in fear doing nothing…
This is nothing short of peculiar considering neither government, nor the Robert Koch Institute, nor the WHO showed any interest in conducting these field studies in the early days of the virus outbreak…. It was his idea, and he executed it together with his team with the blessing of the department/institute he works at. The token of gratitude from the nation was a kick in the gut.
What Germany did do successfully was to prepare for the pandemic from January onwards, and its health care system (whatever you may think about it in terms of efficiency etc.) is pretty solid and overall in much better shape than the NHS in the UK. Then again, it’s not hard being in better shape than the NHS. Their fatality numbers are pretty low, last I read ‘lower than during the previous years with influenza / flu’. Nevertheless, as a German friend of mine remarked: the fact that they didn’t cancel carnival in February, speaks volumes – either of negligence, ineptitude, total overreaction of too much too late in March, or…hidden agendas that the average citizen doesn’t know about. If just a dozen people in a crowd there had the virus during the carnival celebrations, thousands and thousands of people crammed into narrow cobbled streets would have been infected singing from the top of their lungs, dancing, hugging etc.
So much for a quick update from “sensible” Germany.