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The Times today leads with the story that the Government is planning to quarantine all travellers coming to Britain for two weeks. Under the new measures, likely to come into force in early June, travellers will be asked to provide an address at which they’ll self-isolate for 14 days, with spot checks and fines of up to £1,000 for those who don’t comply.

Needless to say, the aviation industry isn’t happy abut this and nor is the travel industry. Airlines UK, which represents British Airways, EasyJet and others, says the proposal will “effectively kill international travel to and from the UK, and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy”. It added: “Nobody is going to go on holiday if they’re not able to resume normal life for 14 days, and business travel would be severely restricted.”

Isn’t this a case of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted? According to Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, 6.6 million Brits might already be infected. Screening arrivals into British airports and ports, and quarantining those with a temperature, would have made much more sense back in January. Similar policies were adopted in those Southeast Asian countries that are the success stories of this pandemic, such as Thailand, which introduced airport temperature screenings on January 3rd. Had Britain followed suit back then, it might have nipped the problem in the bud.

But we should hesitate before blaming the Government for this oversight. The Department of Health and Social Care asked the Newly Emerging Respiratory Virus Advisory Group (NERVTAG) to hold a meeting to consider the need for port-of entry screening in January and one was duly convened on January 13th chaired by Peter Horby, an Oxford professor with links to the World Health Organisation. At that point, seven other countries had introduced temperature screening at airports for visitors from Wuhan, the centre of the viral outbreak in Hubei. The NERVTAG recommendation was that there would be no point in doing this if exit screening at Wuhan airports was already taking place, although they had no evidence it was.

At the next NERVTAG meeting on January 21st, this one attended by Chris Witty, the Chief Medical Officer of Engalnd, and his deputy Jonathan Van-Tam, the boffins were asked to reconsider the question, but again they passed the buck to the Chinese authorities. By now, human-to-human transmission had been confirmed, i.e. China’s attempt to cover-up the outbreak had been exposed and greater doubt should have been cast on any information coming out of the Communist dictatorship. Nonetheless, NERVTAG’s response was the same:

Neil Ferguson noted that from the modelling perspective, with exit screening in place in China, effectiveness of port-of-entry screening in the UK would be low and potentially only detect those who were not sick before boarding but became sick during the flight. NERVTAG felt there was a lack of clarity on the exit screening process in Wuhan, although it was thought that this process would be robust, and statements had been released by Chinese authorities about stopping febrile passengers from travelling. However, as noted, there were no data on the implementation of this programme.

Minutes of the NERVTAG Wuhan Novel Coronavirus Second Meeting: January 21st 2020

A lack of clarity on the exit screening process in Wuhan?!? You can say that again. As I’ve flagged up before, the Chinese authorities cut off travel from Hubei to the rest of China on January 23rd, two days after this NERVTAG meeting, but not from Hubei to the rest of the world, including the UK. If the exit screening process in Wuhan was as “robust” as the boffins thought – if the Chinese authorities really were “stopping febrile passengers from travelling” – why was the process not good enough to prevent infection spreading to the rest of the country?

I’m basing all this on the minutes of the NERVTAG meetings which are available online here. (Hat tip to a reader who flagged them up and went through them for me.) Could some BBC journalists start looking into this as well please? Like Deborah Cohen, who put together a great package for Newsnight on Thursday? I have no doubt the NERVTAG recommendations will be scrutinised very carefully by the inevitable public inquiry.

Another focus of that inquiry will be the code that sat beneath the model developed by Professor Ferguson and his team at Imperial College. The pseudonymous author of the article I published about the code that attracted so much attention earlier this week has written a follow-up that I’ve published today. The reason he’s revisited the subject is because an enterprising coder realised they could unexpectedly recover parts of the original code’s deleted history from GitHub, meaning we now have an audit log of changes dating back to April 1st. It still isn’t exactly the original code Ferguson ran, but it’s significantly closer. The author, who worked for eight year as a senior engineer at Google, is no more impressed than he was by the more distant version of the code. Read the new piece here.

The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), a great source of data about COVID-19, has published a graph plotting the rise and fall of deaths from the virus. This shows the numbers who have died in English hospitals and tested positive for the disease at the time of death up to May 7th:

Note that deaths peaked on April 8th, less than three weeks after the lockdown was imposed on March 23rd. Professor Carl Heneghan, the director of the CEBM, has repeatedly made this point. As he says, it suggests the social distancing measures recommended by the Government on March 16th were more than adequate to suppress infections without the need for more draconian measures.

My colleague Jonathan Kay made a similar point in an article for Quillette yesterday using metadata available from Moovit, an Israeli-based transit-app that maps transport use in dozens of cities around the world. Kay has crunched the numbers for four cities – Seattle, New York City, Miami, and Stockholm – and concluded that people stopped using mass transit at the same time, regardless of whether the city went into lockdown or not. He writes: “Much of the lockdown effect was imposed not by top-down fiat, but through millions of small decisions made every day by civic groups, employers, unions, trade associations, school boards and, most importantly, ordinary people.”

Kay’s conclusion is that sceptics have over-stated the negative effect of lockdowns on economic activity – it would have fallen off a cliff anyway – and says the zealots v sceptics debate is “phoney”. But as I pointed out to Kay, the sceptical case isn’t just that the impact of lockdowns will be economically disastrous – and he doesn’t address the argument that the economic damage will be worse in those countries that locked down. The restrictions have also been disastrous for public health. To give just one example, Professor Karol Sikora, an NHS consultant oncologist, believes there could be 50,000 excess deaths from cancer as a result of routine screenings being suspended during the lockdown in the UK.

Defenders of the status quo will point out that we won’t know for sure whether the lockdowns caused a net loss of life for some time, and the debate will probably go on for years. For instance, we won’t know for decades whether the economic impact of the lockdowns has had a negative effect on mortality, assuming we can disentangle it from the impact of the pandemic (the problem Kay flags up). But the uncertainty surrounding this doesn’t mean governments around the world were right to place their citizens under virtual house arrest. As a classical liberal, I accept that in some circumstances the state is justified in suspending people’s rights if it can show that doing so will save lives – during wartime, for instance. But the burden of proof always falls on those seeking to take away our rights and the case for lockdowns hasn’t even been proved on the balance of probabilities, let alone beyond reasonable doubt.

It’s worth remembering that beneath the statistics about the people likely to die from missing hospital appointments during the lockdown lie thousands of individual human stories. Here’s one a reader sent me today:

I have/had prostate cancer and am meant to have regular blood tests. Told by my local surgery not to go to be tested until lockdown is over! Six weeks overdue I went last week anyway, having cleared it with the hospital who said I should come. Normally there is a very lengthy queue. I walked in to find three nurses and me. What must be going undiagnosed is horrifying.

I’ve referred to Simon Dolan’s legal challenge to the lockdown several times on this site, but there is at least one other challenge, this one being mounted by the English Democrats. The co-chair of the English Democrats, Robin Tilbrook, is also the solicitor acting for it in this matter and you can read the Government’s response to his pre-action letter, as well as Tilbrook’s response to that response, here. And if you feel like donating to support that lawsuit, you can do so here.

In case you need reminding of how draconian the lockdown is, the Manifesto Club has compiled a photographic record of public parks and beauty spots in Britain that have been closed by the authorities since March 24th, as well as first-person accounts by people who’ve been harassed by the police at these locations. Read it and weep.

A log in Victoria Park, London

How much longer can these restrictions on free movement be maintained? I went for a walk along the Thames yesterday and was pleased to see plenty of people ignoring the lockdown: couples walking arm-in-arm on Putney Bridge, children playing football in Fulham Palace, groups of friends drinking either side of Hammersmith Bridge. Several readers have reported similar “green shoots” in their neck of the woods – or, as one put it, “the sand slipping off the side of a sandcastle as the tide comes in”. Here’s a report I received from a reader in the Midlands:

Interesting afternoon here in my village on VE day, in a part of the nation where there never hasn’t been a Conservative MP. Various conversations and interactions. Not one, and I do mean not one, person we talked to is in favour of the lockdown carrying on as it has been. These include people working for the NHS. One is a GP practice manager. Her daughter is a doctor in A&E nearby who reports there are no evening drunks coming in but instead they have an elevation in overdose cases. Another is a manager of a gynaecological unit in an East Midlands town – she reports there has been a small but detectable rise in stillbirths since lockdown began.

Of course, there are some benefits to the lockdown, as the writer Harriet Sergeant reminds us on Twitter: “My local heroin dealer has decided lockdown is over. He’s back on the bench outside my house. Customers come and go. But now I know how to get a police response – report him for social distancing.”

And it isn’t just the British police who are zealously enforcing the rules. Police officers in Laredo, Texas are straining every sinew to keep the city’s residents safe. The city’s Covid-19 Taskforce Enforcement arrested Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia and Brenda Stephany Mata and charged them with violation of emergency management plans after they caught them running underground nail-and-eyebrow salons at their homes. With heroic disregard for their own safety, officers disguised themselves as regular customers and scheduled appointments for nail and eyelash services and then took the dangerous criminals in to custody. KGNS News has the story.

In Singapore, by contrast, there’s no need for police officers to enforce social distancing rules – robots are more than capable of doing the job. Take a look at this YouTube video of a four-legged robot patrolling Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. (The Straits Times has more.) At present, all the robodog does is broadcast social distancing propaganda and take photographs of people breaking the rules. But how long before it’s equipped with more persuasive tools? I’m reminded of this scene in RoboCop in which the pampered executives of Omni Consumer Products are introduced to ED-209, the latest enforcement droid. Warning: contains scenes some readers may find distressing.

“Return to your home immediately. You have 30 seconds to comply.”

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, police are searching the social media profiles of those who dare to criticise their Gestapo-like behaviour. I was contacted by a reader who has been very critical of police over-reach on Twitter. He saw a Tweet from another sceptic complaining the police had checked his profile on LinkedIn and thought, “That can’t possibly be true. Surely, they’ve got more urgent maters to attend to?” He then checked his own LinkedIn profile and found this:

Someone who must be in the police’s cross-hairs by now is Dr John Lee, a former consultant pathologist for the NHS. He has compiled a list of 10 reasons to end the lockdown for the Spectator. Dr Lee, a retired professor of pathology, was one of the first senior medics to question the wisdom of locking up the entire country. His 10 reasons are:

  1. You cannot understand the significance of this virus simply by looking at the raw death figures
  2. The policy response to the virus has been driven by modelling of Covid – not other factors
  3. We don’t know if lockdown is working
  4. We should ease the lockdown to save lives
  5. Lockdown is not sustainable
  6. Lockdown directly harms those most likely to be affected by coronavirus
  7. Lockdown directly harms those who will be largely unaffected by coronavirus
  8. The health service has not been overwhelmed nor likely to be
  9. The virus is almost certainly not a constant threat
  10. People can be trusted to behave sensibly

Dr Lee also has an article in today’s Mail making the same argument and it’s worth reminding ourselves that his views are by no means uncommon in the medical establishment. I was pleased to see this letter from a biology professor in today’s Telegraph:

SIR – Science proceeds by putting forward conjectures or hypotheses, collecting empirical data to test them, and accepting, rejecting or modifying them on that basis. The implication is that our scientific understanding is not fixed, but changes as evidence accumulates.

In the United Kingdom the initial decision to impose lockdown to control the effects of COVID-19 was based on a conjecture or model that has now been tested against real data and is found to be wanting.

The model predicts that, under the sustainable public health measures taken by Sweden and in the absence of lockdown, there should now be 60,000 deaths in that country from Covid-19, whereas there are currently only about 3,000 there, with deaths now well past the peak and declining.

Given the failure of the model to make useful predictions, there is no justification for using it to guide future policy. In contrast, large amounts of empirical evidence have now been gathered which demonstrate that for a very large fraction of the population the virus poses a very low risk, while a small fraction – whose immune systems are compromised – are vulnerable.

Therefore, to follow the science, an appropriate policy is the targeted shielding of those who choose to be classified as vulnerable, rigorous screening of their carers to prevent transfer of infection to the vulnerable sector, and release from lockdown for those outside these categories.

Continuing the blanket lockdown cannot be justified on the basis that it is “following the science”.

Professor Richard Ennos, Edinburgh

I have written a comment piece in today’s Telegraph asking what happened to our famous stiff upper lip. Forget about the bulldog spirit. We seem to have become a nation of scaredy-cats. Readers of this site will already be familiar with my views about the supine acquiescence of the British people to having their rights curtailed, but here’s a quote in case you need reminding:

How did it come to this? We’re supposed to be a nation of indomitable yeoman who guard our ancient liberties more fiercely than any other people on earth. These islands, which haven’t been invaded since 1066, are the birthplace of liberal democracy.

Yesterday, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the day the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany after more than 350,000 British soldiers gave their lives to protect this country from tyranny. Yet when the Government enacted a statutory instrument on March 26th that suspended the rights of every freeborn Englishman, some of them dating back to the 12th Century, we didn’t let out so much as a squeak of protest. Probably just as well because protests of more than 100 people are now illegal.

I got a great response from a reader – of the Telegraph, not Lockdown Sceptics, although I suspect she would like this site too. Here are the first three paragraphs:

I have never in my life written to a columnist to berate or applaud something they have written. But after over six weeks of pointless and frustrating lockdown, and an inability to read anything on social media or newspapers for fear of punching a tree, I read your article today in the Telegraph.

Thank you. For voicing everything I want to but don’t have a platform to. We are small business owners who have had no financial help and expect none, and are struggling like everyone else. We have young kids who are being damaged by this prison they live in, and struggling with maintaining the hope that they feel is being snatched from them, despite our protestations. We are all caged in our homes, and my strong belief in liberty is now seen as a badge of defiance and shame. I resent being told what to do by anybody, generally, but I will always respect authority and knowledge. I voted for Boris and Brexit in that belief. But now I do feel that my respect for that authority waning, as the world becomes infantilised and patronising. I can’t take my dog for more than one walk a day or sit on a fallen tree to take in the view without people feeling they have to point and tut. I despair of the example this all sets for the new generation that fear everything, and take pride in nothing except their own social media profiles; who have fallen blindly behind ‘science’ in the form of a randy, fear-spreading, and inept epidemiologist professor.

I idolise the Queen, but she was wrong – I think my wildly brave grandfather and those of his generation would be turning in their graves at the lily-livered modern Britishness, and despair or those neighbours who curtain twitch as I leave the house. I love the NHS, having worked in it for most of my life, but I detest the clapping when I recall that I had no respect shown to me by most people (who are now clapping) when I turned up as a paramedic to treat them. And does the NHS deserve all of this? Well, yes, those in Covid wards do of course. But, my God, there are plenty of complete idiots in the health service who are now relishing their deification, despite never earning it. And many are actually not even working at all, as we have scared the life out of everyone to go to hospital or the GP. I see selfish and self-absorbed self importance all about, and I truly don’t know how I explain this period of history to my children without embarrassment at how my nation has behaved. Suddenly the BBC treats the part-time bin men and supermarket workers as “heroes” and worth more than my young kids – we need only to hear the BBC news that speeding drivers at the moment “may even kill a key worker going to their vital work” to see this view. And why does everyone want now to identify as a key worker? Please…..

Victor David Hanson, writing in the National Review, argues that the divide between lockdown sceptics and zealots reflects the ancient conflict between empiricism and abstraction — between common sense and abstract science. He may be on to something, as this story in the Telegraph about front-line doctors in New York illustrates. State governor Andrew Cuomo favours a phased exit from the lockdown, with life not returning to normal for months, whereas the doctors fighting the disease think the battle has been won, and the fact that the state’s hospitals are now half-empty means people who need urgent medical treatment aren’t getting it. “It’s not often I agree with Trump, but I think that we should open up on May 15,” says Dr Samir Farhat, who runs the emergency room at New York Community Hospital as well as working as a physician at Mount Sinai Brooklyn.

In UnHerd, Douglas Murray highlights the idiocy of those trying to censor what people are and aren’t allowed to say about the virus on social media. Includes an absolute gem from the website of the Institute for Strategy Dialogue (ISD) which describes the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as opposed to the Wuhan wet market, as a “right-wing conspiracy theory”, claiming “there is absolutely no scientific evidence that the genome is man-made”. Evidently, the ISD missed this podcast with Dr Luc Montagnier, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine, who concludes the virus could not have evolved naturally and must have been created in a laboratory. As Murray points out, this supposedly crackpot theory is being investigated by a consortium of Western intelligence agencies, as was revealed in the leaked “five eyes” document. (Proud to say Douglas Murray is a director of the Free Speech Union.)

The P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province. Picture: Hector Retamal/AFP

A round-up of all the stories I’ve noticed, or which have been been brought to my attention, in the last 24 hours:

Thanks as always to those who made a donation in the last 24 hours to pay for the upkeep of the site. 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.

No songs today, but I’ll leave you with a quote from my piece in today’s Telegraph:

Let’s hope Boris screws his courage to the sticking place tomorrow and announces an end to this authoritarian nightmare. This is a country in which every man’s home is supposed to be his castle, not his prison.

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swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago

Stunning quote from CDC planning for pandemic
https://twitter.com/boriquagato/status/1259142805105938432
“ The results suggest that the effectiveness of pandemic mitigation strategy will erode rapidly as the cumulative illness rate prior to implementation climb over 1 percent in an affected area”
The comment of the twitter says it all
We just paid $4 trillion to close the barn door after the horse was long gone

scuzzaman
scuzzaman
26 days ago

According to an Italian member of Parliament the Italian National Institute of Health says that 96.3% of Italians who died WITH the corona virus died OF other causes.

So not only is the total death toll a big nothing burger, but 96.3% of that isn’t even IN the nothing burger.

My view is that bad medical advice from experts has killed more corona virus patients that an other cause, due to a number of overlapping factors:
– peak flu season loads on poorly managed hospital systems
– simplistic rush to ventilation of the already-fragile without proper supervision (see first point)
– extremely poor test methods and mechanisms giving excessive proportions of false positives
– already-done-to-death extremely poor modeling pedaled by “if it bleeds it leads” sensationalists
– the inherent knee-jerk tendency of bureaucrats to treat every crisis as a massive power grab opportunity, exacerbating all of the above

And for this shabby mirage we’ve destroyed the global economy, upended a thousand years of slow progress toward liberty, set precedents that will haunts us for centuries to come (such as each of us having to prove to the government that we’re safe to be let out, instead of the government having to prove that an individual is dangerous), encouraged the already virulent vaccinazis, meekly submitted to the most irrational fears and tinpot tyrannies, exalted the insolence of office to absurd Olympian heights, and produced our own infectious plague of well-meaning busybodies.

Strikes me, in those quiet reflective moments, as somewhat of a bad deal.

Bob
Bob
26 days ago
Reply to  scuzzaman

Is there a reference for those % stats from Italy? They’re very worth sharing, but without the source I can see them being challenged.

scuzzaman
scuzzaman
26 days ago
Reply to  Bob

from a speech in the Italian parliament, by Vittorio Sgarbi:

“Non dite anche qui venticinque mille morti. Non è vero! Non usati per retorica e terrorismo. I dati di Istituto Superiore dal Sanità dicono che il novantasei virgula tre percento sono morti per altro patologie”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=Fz5z126qliY

You can see it’s not a popular message in that forum where, as he points out, none of them wore masks while deciding to destroy their own national liberty and prosperity.

Even WITH the source they will be challenged. The Italian Superior Institute of Health also published the average age of the dead before the global lockdowns started, at 79.3 years of age, with more than half having THREE pre-existing serious medical conditions. Nobody cared because it didn’t fit the preferred narrative.

silent one
silent one
26 days ago
Reply to  Bob
Terry
Terry
26 days ago
Reply to  scuzzaman

Ok, you start with some Italian member of parliament over here (A) tells you that the Italian Institute of Health over there (B) says that nearly all Covid-19 deaths are from some other cause entirely. (Boy, you need a lot of cooperative liars for such stupidity given that health care people especially can quite often tell what someone died of. I mean, I break my skull and die and some arse says I died of Covid… well that sure takes a lot of cooperative liars, especially on such a grand scale.) Then you put forth this beautifully written set of conjectures based on… your own mind.

So, I have some questions.

Where’s the link to the report by that Italian Institute of Health?

All these evil people in power and yet, who gives you the information upon which you build your entire argument? One of those very people.

You mention the flu season as if we’re in the middle of one. What are the dates (roughly) of flu seasons?

If we actually have flu seasons, can we not have a covid-19 season? Is this not an unusual time of year for these seasons?

Is it not possible that there actually is a really serious pandemic AND that all this corruption and democracy destruction is going on? Do we really need a grand dichotomy? (Indeed, I would suggest that your overwrought suggestions are as hysterical as those on the other side of the coin.)

I would suggest that historically this kind of societal destruction has regularly gone on all the time. But this is NOT an argument that the Spanish Flu in 1918 was a hoax. Furthermore, a lot of lives were lost then by quarantines ending too rapidly. Furthermore, later estimates in retrospect were a lot lower than contemporary estimates. This too is normal. And this too did NOT mean it was all a great hoax, though there were plenty of people who thought it was then too.

Do you know anyone who has contracted this virus? I do. A family. They were very very very sick for a couple of weeks. Much like a flu, yes, but a flu of 3 or 4 times the intensity.

I have emphysema. Pretty bad too. If I caught this infection and died, what would you say killed me?

How about if I walked out and got killed by a bus?

I think all the bad things are happening that you think are happening. I also think a very serious illness is about. How serious is the big question I suppose, but I don’t think we’ll have that insight for a long time yet. But in the meantime, I don’t need any false dichotomies to confuse matters or to frighten people any more than they already are.

I think if I had children I would steer them clear of crowds right now. Wouldn’t you?

Nick M
Nick M
26 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Nah.

JohnB
JohnB
26 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Me neither.

sunchap
sunchap
25 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

F

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Hi Terry,

Thanks for your constructive feedback.

Firstly with regards to your first point: re the Italian’s overestimation on the cause of deaths being attributed to Covid-19. I refer you to Professor Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health, who said, “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.” He continues:

“On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” he says.

As regards your second point, I don’t believe anybody on this website thinks Covid-19 is a “hoax” or does not exist. Yes, to anyone over the age of 70 or with pre-existing health conditions, it does present a significant threat to life. However, this is essentially an issue of proportion. 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 Frost of 1709. We need look no further than Sweden, who only last 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.

The mounting evidence is that the lockdown is causing more deaths than lives it is theoretically saving. I simply cannot support a strategy that is so spectacularly draconian and authoritarian, especially when are supposed to be citizens of a free and democratic society.

chris c
chris c
25 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

I want to be you when I grow up

Thanks for the 12% quote which I’d read before but couldn’t attribute

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
24 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

From the ONS:
The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (24,009 out of 27,356), with 43% (10,410) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.

Farinances
Farinances
26 days ago
Reply to  Terry

I’d just like to ask Terry why he’s on a site called Lockdown Sceptics expecting us to agree with him.

SKW
SKW
25 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

– perhaps Terry has ventured to this site, aiming for a broader more insightful understanding than the initial one that favored lockdown.

Is it helpful to consider that people are afraid and trying to make sense of this, even just as a way to regain some emotional/psychological control?

Personally, I am doing exactly that: seeking validated facts that uphold my rights so that I can remain calm and balanced in the face of any further extreme impositions.

Generally, people have a tendency toward seeking and aligning with validation of where we already are philosophically, politically, religiously, etc.; and this tendency intensifies when we are afraid. It takes courage to break out of the “safety” of such group thinking, but it is essential if we ALL are to evolve beyond the cluster mentality, kneejerk reactions and face-saving policies that are currently dominating the narrative.

It seems we all have something to be afraid of here: loss of rights, loss of life, loss of economic stability, loss of trust in those meant to ‘serve and protect’ in their various official capacities, and a growing fear of being able to co-exist in every day life …

Acknowledging fears on both sides, and aiming to step calmly into a non-partisan, non-reactionary arena where ideas can all be passed through a filter of “How does this help?” might expand our local and global humanitarianism more effectively than remaining behind the mutually exclusive camps of self-justifying yay-sayers and nay-sayers.

Perhaps such a meeting of minds and hearts will help form better planning for “where do go go from here” because this will not be the last time we see this or a similar virus.

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago
Reply to  SKW

Fear is failure, SKW.

Meetings of hearts/minds are good things. Good faith on both sides, though, is a sine qua none. We haven’t seen a lot of that from the ICL gang. Nor from our ‘lockdown based on zero evidence of benefit’ government.

Being ‘calm and balanced’ is good when two-way communication is taking place. But not when one shower are ruling on science-free diktat.

Mark
Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

“Good faith on both sides, though, is a sine qua none. We haven’t seen a lot of that from the ICL gang. ”

In fact even just in terms of the discussion we’ve seen the direct opposite, with them openly and repeatedly trying to shut down dissent by claiming it’s “dangerous” to disagree with them.

These people do not deserve any respect, not because of their views but because of their unwillingness to sustain honest discourse..

scuzzaman
scuzzaman
25 days ago
Reply to  Terry

“Strikes me, in those quiet reflective moments, as somewhat of a bad deal.”

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
25 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Thanks for your comments Terry. I would take my children and walk into a crowded stadium right now- we are no more at risk than we were before.

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
24 days ago
Reply to  Annabel Andrew

If your children are young you are at virtually no risk at all.

“The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (24,009 out of 27,356), with 43% (10,410) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.”

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
25 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Terry if you’re still reading this thread, you MUST listen to Dr John Lee, former Professor of Pathology at Hull Medical School.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1013854/3675205-episode-4-dr-john-lee-part-1?client_source=twitter_card&player_type=full_screen

He explains the REALITY of this virus – it is NOT the Black Death, it is NOT Ebola or anything remotely like such diseases.

The lethality of Covid19 is similar to that of a severe flu bug. THAT’S IT. All the rest is panic, hysteria and fearmongering.

You would not be terrified to take your kids out during flu season; nor should you be during this “pandemic”. In fact, seasonal flu is MORE dangerous to children than is Covid19.

( Note that “pandemic” simply means a virus which has spread to all – “pan” – continents. The word implies NOTHING about the severity of the disease, only how far it has spread.)

Mark
Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Terry, it’s always hard to judge whether someone posting the kind of stuff you do here is a genuinely open-minded questioner or a provocateur who has no intention of listening to any responses. On the assumption you might be the former, here’s my suggestion.

You need to take a step back from all the scary pictures and stories, and all the anecdotal stuff, and look at the numbers, and look at them in proportion, not in isolation. 0.2% of ten million people is 200,000, which sounds like a big number but it is still only 0.2%, which is probably the kind of risk level people overall are facing of dying from this disease, if we catch it (and most probably won’t catch it even in a pretty bad epidemic). If you have very bad emphysema then your own personal risk might be much higher, but that should be a matter for protecting individuals who are at high risk. It should not be used to argue for trashing the whole of society in a vain attempt to suppress a virus that is harmless for most, and is best addressed long term by building resistance in the general population to reduce the severity of future epidemics.

You ask how serious this is? Flu is clearly the best comparison. It sweeps through and kills a small percentage, mostly the very elderly and already very ill, and it makes a rather larger percentage ill for a while, some quite seriously. A disease that “finishes off” very old and ill people should not be regarded as in the same category as one that kills a lot of young and healthy people (and I say that as someone well past his prime). We all have to die sometime – it’s not a matter of if but rather of when and how.

Just to establish that the idea that this disease is “like flu” is not just empty words by an anonymous internet commenter, I’ve attached below my own list of occasions I happen to have seen where experts in the relevant fields, some of them as entitled to an expert opinion on this point as anyone alive in the world, say exactly that. There will always be people who say “ah, but it’s worse than flu because it actually kills 0.5% rather than 0.1%”, or it has this or that particular characteristic, or it actually kills a lot more of the very old and ill. But these are mere argumentative nit-picking. The difference is with diseases that actually kill or disable very high proportions of those who catch them, such as ebola (20-80% fatality), or larger percentages of the young and healthy. In those cases you can’t rely on population immunity. But with flu-like diseases, you absolutely can, and should, because as we are seeing the alternative is economically, culturally and socially disastrous. And we’ve barely begun to pay the costs if we really are going to try to live long term as though we are stalked by a disease as infectious as flu but as deadly as ebola.

“The death rate due to this disease is probably going to end up round about 0.1%, which is similar to flu”
John Lee is a recently retired professor of pathology and a former NHS consultant pathologist, who writes for the Spectator
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1013854/3675205-episode-4-dr-john-lee-part-1?client_source=twitter_card&player_type=full_screen
(From ~15 mins in)

“I expect about 0.1 or 0.2 percent, the same mortality rate as with influenza. I think this virus is comparable to influenza, but it could be a little more dangerous. If influenza were a new disease, nobody had it yet, and it had suddenly come into the world, the reaction of most countries would be the same as that of the corona virus.”
Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, advisor to the Swedish Government (he hired Anders Tegnell who is currently directing Swedish strategy), the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and an advisor to the director general of the WHO
https://www.addendum.org/coronavirus/interview-johan-giesecke/

“There is no evidence to show that the 2019 coronavirus is more lethal than respiratory adenoviruses, influenza viruses, coronaviruses from previous years, or rhinoviruses responsible for the common cold.”
Dr Pablo Goldschmidt, an Argentine-French virologist specializing in tropical diseases, and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Buenos Aires and Faculty of Medicine of the Hospital Center of Pitié-Salpetrière, Paris.
– Interview on Clarin.com, 9th March 2020, quoted in https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/28/10-more-experts-criticising-the-coronavirus-panic/

“That is the main fear: the disease is presented as a terrible disease. The disease per se is like the flu in a normal winter. It is even weaker in the first week.”
Dr Karin Mölling, a German virologist whose research focused on retroviruses, particularly human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). She was a full professor and director of the Institute of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich from 1993 until her retirement in 2008 and received multiple honours and awards for her work.
– Interview on Anti-Empire.com, 23rd March 2020, quoted in https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/28/10-more-experts-criticising-the-coronavirus-panic/

“Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic”
Dr. John Oxford, an English virologist and Professor at Queen Mary, University of London. He is a leading expert on influenza, including bird flu and the 1918 Spanish Influenza, and HIV/AIDS.
https://novuscomms.com/2020/03/31/a-view-from-the-hvivo-open-orphan-orph-laboratory-professor-john-oxford/

“If you take these numbers into account, they suggest that the infection fatality rate for this new coronavirus is likely to be in the same ballpark as seasonal influenza.”
John Ioannidis, Stanford University’s Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Population Health, and (by courtesy) of Biomedical Data Science, and of Statistics; co-Director, Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).
https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2020/04/27/coronavirus-19s-infection-fatality-rate-is-about-the-same-as-for-seasonal-flu-stanford-university-epidemiologist-dr-john-ioannidis/

Mark
Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Sigh! 0.2% of ten million people is 20,000, not 200,000! Spotted it as soon as I’d hit post. Proof-reading has never been one of my strengths…..

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Thanks Mark, very well summarised. You’re at your prime now, sir !

Farinances
Farinances
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark

He isn’t reading any more.
He didn’t come here for sense. He came here to argue.

Nel
Nel
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Very well said. Thank you

APB
APB
25 days ago
Reply to  Terry

“……I think if I had children I would steer them clear of crowds right now. Wouldn’t you?”

No. Me neither, I’m afraid – indeed my inclination would be to encourage them to mingle. I remember my biology lessons covering how childhood immunities are cultivated (and potentially catastrophically diminished by isolation).

Tracy Jones
Tracy Jones
25 days ago
Reply to  APB

I agree, Children must be allowed to mix and play with one another, humans are highly socialized creatures, the current orthodoxy the 2 metre rule the not being allowed to mix with your friends is incredibly devisive, you only have to visit a supermarket to witness that now humans are viewing other humans as a threat, as a carrier of contagion that needs to be kept away. We cannot teach this as a norm to our children, an adult looking at a toddler approaching with horror and shoeing them away! whats wrong with us?.

ChrisH29
ChrisH29
24 days ago
Reply to  Terry

Terry

Where have you been, the moon? Have you looked at the ONS web site before making such absurd and ridiculous statements as, …a lot of cooperative liars…

Allow me to educate you. Covid is a reportable disease like Typhus, Botulism, Mumps but NOT flu) and requires reporting in line WHO classifications U07-1 and U07-2 that state:

An emergency ICD-10 code of ‘U07.1 COVID-19, virus identified’ is assigned to a disease diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing.
An emergency ICD-10 code of ‘U07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified’ is assigned to a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available.

From WHO directly:

U07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified
o Clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed COVID-19
▪ Probable COVID-19
▪ Suspected COVID-19

The key element here is that Covid need merely be SUSPECTED as being present, with that it must be reported and will be included in the toll, a very long way from being the main or significant cause of death.

If that is not enough then how about from a spokesperson in the US, who have a similar reporting protocol to the UK:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9iqFCByk2k

It is not rocket science Terry, just take a little time to do some research and cease believing everything you hear from those desperate to avoid being embarrassed during the public enquiry that will surely come.

The death toll for Covid in the UK, USA and Italy at least are wildly over stated for reasons that will form the basis of argument for years to come. But for now, just take in data rather than propaganda.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
26 days ago

As you might be aware most doctors unquestionably follow the ” official line ” which does tend to change every 24 hours. We all gather first thing in the morning for the conference call with updated information from the bigwigs . Do we believe it ? Well at lunch hour after wearing our PPE to see the few patients triaged to come through the doors all the doctors and nurses ( about 12 ) gather in a small room about 15 feet by 15 feet with two sofas to chat about the ways of the world . I can assure you that nobody then gives a fig about social distancing .

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
26 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

Peter, why are doctors not speaking out en masse about what is going on? The public still think that they are inhaling the Black Death with every breath they take outside their “safe space”. We have a terrified population who think that infection from this virus is 100% fatal. Is there nothing you can do to change the narrative?

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
26 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

As a crude general observation the younger women in medicine tend to follow the offical line the older males tend to be ” open” to different viewpoints. Medicine is these days a very female dominated profession .
The general public tend to give credence to the narrative of the main stream media which for its own reasons has pumped 24/7 corona horrorporn for the last 3 months. They have little concept of mortality figures and would be surprised if I told them nearly 2,000 people die every day in the UK .All they have in their mind is horror pictures from the TV of italian hospitals.

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
26 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

We fight this Government get rid of it or stay at Home cowered like sheep We just celebrated Yesterday 75 Years since VE Day My Grandfather did not spend 5 Years fighting Nazis, so snowflakes and cowards sit at Home allowing a useless Government remain in office

Mark
Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  Adam Hiley

In fairness, it’s not a useless government that you’re up against, it’s a useless political establishment. They are all at least as bad as the “Conservative” Party on this, and many are worse.

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark

fair enough though I don’t hate Johnson I do dislike the 3 Main Parties, the Civil Service Limp Dick Media etc

Decima
Decima
25 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson, how sodding stupid. Are you suggesting that the sex of a doctor affects their professional judgement? That the reason they aren’t speaking out is because they’re female? Maybe it’s because they’re all menstruating. What a silly, ignorant, profoundly idiotic thing to suggest. In my experience as an NHS nurse government workers do what the government dictates they must, end of. During this episode my medical colleagues are as imposed upon as everyone else, fully aware of the consequences to their patients and yet required to adhere to the rules. In a situation like this they have no influence over the decisions made nationally by the government or how they’re to be implemented. It is fairly evident that nobody does. In addition, my predominantly male consultant colleagues have never demonstrated themselves more able to be open minded or free thinking than their female counterparts, ever. Even if they were, what would they be able to do with it? They’re (you’re) just little worker bees like the rest of us. Did you only just work this out? The doctor may have all the skills and knowledge to diagnose your ills (yes, even the lady ones) but the state decides absolutely everything else. I thought this sad state of affairs was being made glaringly obvious by the current situation? But of course as you suggest if all the doctors and surgeons were in fact middle aged men with mustaches none of this would have happened.
Maybe it just makes you feel better to believe it’s women that are the problem rather than face the fact that barring the modicum of control you exert over your patients you’re not able to influence anything. Harsh, but sadly true.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
25 days ago
Reply to  Decima

Try and write a valid reasoned reply . I only write my observations from years of experience.

chris c
chris c
25 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

My observation differs somewhat. In the past it used to be that the older doctors were hidebound and the younger ones more questioning.

Nowadays it’s the exact opposite, the older ones with more experience have learned things, the young ones believe in “Evidence Based Medicine” without realising that half the evidence is missing. I have had both good and bad doctors of both sexes.

Lms2
Lms2
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Two doctors in California did speak out, on YouTube, in a video that was seen millions of times, before Google, the owners of YouTube, took it down, because they didn’t agree with official guidelines, i.e. the WHO.
I suppose they can take comfort that unlike the doctor and others in China, they weren’t “disappeared.”

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago
Reply to  Lms2

They didn’t take it down, it’s still there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f0VRtY9oTs&t=1823s I watched it yesterday. Propaganda does not help the sceptics cause

T. Prince
T. Prince
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

My Son sent me the link of the press conference and it certainly wasn’t available for some time. Now, however, there are more interviews available of those doctors on YouTube

Cody
Cody
26 days ago

So the BBC now has a “disinformation and social media” correspondent.We are now officially in an Orwellian nightmare……..

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago

Two epidemic death curves. Just look at the curves not the numbers but the peak date
UK
https://twitter.com/carlheneghan/status/1258766782044741632
Sweden
https://twitter.com/ThomasSteelfire/status/1259051879167909888/photo/1
There is a time line being infected, incubation time, clinical illness, hospital admission, ICU admission and death. This is between 21-28 days. That is also the time between the peak of infection (not peak of detected cases) and peak of deaths.
The peak of deaths in the UK is 8th April. The lockdown was 23rd of March. The peak of infection in the UK was between 11th to 18th March. The peak of deaths in Sweden was around 12th April a week later than the UK. Don’t trust the Worldometer’s death which is the reporting date.
These two curves have exactly the same form of classic Bell curves and are mirrored on a gigantic scale 21-28 days earlier at the time of the peak of infections.
The UK was well on the slope down on the infection curve before the lockdown. Herd immunity has already been achieved for this time, otherwise we would not have the downward slope of deaths.

Will Jones
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

I agree, except it looks like the average time between infection and death is around 16 days. The survey ‘Features of 16,749 hospitalized UK patients with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterization Protocol’ finds average 4 days of symptoms pre-admission and 7 days hospital stay (all patients, both deceased and surviving). The incubation period averages 5-6 days – see the Covid-19 wiki article for references. Also in NYC the death curve lags the admission curve by 5 days. In England it’s 6 days. The report ‘Characteristics of COVID-19 patients dying in Italy’ found average 10 days between symptoms and death. Put this data together and you get average around 16 days from infection to death corroborated from a number of sources. The larger estimate came from an earlier Wuhan survey that said 14 days average between symptoms and death, plus 6-10 days incubation gave you 20-24 days. (There’s evidence the strain dominant in East Asia is not the same as in many western countries.)

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago
Reply to  Will Jones

Thanks for the comment.The timelines I quoted was from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine published very early March about the Farr curve but just now I cannot find the link.He discussed other time lines also at least the shorter Italian time line above. But it could be shorter as you stated.

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago
Reply to  Will Jones

The link from Tom Jefferson Oxford Group Evidence Based Medicine
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-william-farrs-way-out-of-the-pandemic/

ThomasPelham
ThomasPelham
25 days ago
Reply to  Will Jones

Will, I find that report lacks a category for time spent in hospital in which the outcome was death. But I might be wrong. Are those who die likely to spend longer in hospital? And has that changed with different use of ventilation? It’s not clear from the report, the 7 days is an average for all patients.

Gko
Gko
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

They all follow the same curve (bell), but the peak itself can be of very different height.

Lms2
Lms2
25 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-death-data-in-england-update-9th-may/
CEBM (The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Oxford) analysis says much the same. They have been collating the data, and displaying the deaths as date of death, not date of reporting.
The peak was 8th April for England.

“NHS England releases data at 2 pm each day and reports daily count up to the previous day as well as a total figure. We wrote about the problems with reconciling the different data here:

Today’s reported figure is 207 deaths in hospitals in England: 71% fewer than the 711 deaths reported on the same day two weeks ago (Saturday 25th of April). These deaths are distributed back to the 12th of March: 183 (88%) of the deaths were in the last week, and 24 (12%) occurred more than 7 days ago.”

The lockdown was sold to us as necessary to “flatten the curve” and not overwhelm the NHS. That’s been achieved. It’s been hugely successful. But there’s no sign that lockdown is going to be lifted in any meaningful way, so what are the government waiting for? What are they trying to do? They couldn’t destroy our economy any better if Corbyn and McDonnell were both in charge, along with Extinction Rebellion.

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago
Reply to  Lms2

Hugely successful only if one believes the ‘lockdown’ has saved most lives than it has/will cost.

TyRade
TyRade
26 days ago

Perhaps a little context on the terrible Anglo-Saxon employment situation?

Covid-US unemployment rate now 14.7%; pre-COVID Spain , January 13.7%

Covid-UK (Bank of England forecast) 8%; pre-COVID France, January 8.2%

So, a terrible, everyday (best case) European scenario. The virus is neither necessary nor sufficient for a sustainable crisis. A socialist super-state ego trip is.

V. Dominique
V. Dominique
26 days ago

Regarding, “State governor Maria Cuomo…”

The governor of New York is Andrew Cuomo. He is the son of a former governor, Mario Cuomo.

mhcp
mhcp
26 days ago

Toby the difference between empiricism and abstraction is often called the battle between the Theorists and Empiricists. Or at least it was when I was doing my Phd in Physics.

The best quote is Thomas Huxley – ‘The Great Tragedy of Science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact”

The big problem with abstraction is that you often fall down the rabbit hole that Richard Feynman spoke about – that science is all about not fooling yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

But also it’s worth reading Influence by Robert Cialdini, in which he describes the 6 “weapons” of persuasion. One being Commitment and Consistency where once you commit to a viewpoint it gets very hard to backtrack. Because we don’t want to be seen to be a flip-flopper. It’s how many years after the Korean War, US veterans who were interrogated by the Chinese (and not tortured or even harmed) would firmly believe in communism.

To mix up Mark Twain and Feynman – “It’s easier to fool someone than convince them they’ve been fooled. But it’s even easier to fool yourself and harder to convince yourself otherwise”

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago

Hi All,

You might have missed this post I made yesterday. I’m planning to drop a massive Tweet-bomb this Thursday, 14th May at 8:02pm. (Immediately after the happy seal clapping state NHS worship)

Here’s how it works…

1. Set up a Twitter account, if you haven’t got one already.

2. Tag @BorisJohnson @DominicRaab @MattHancock at the start of the Tweet.

3. Write the following text:

This lockdown is destroying our lives and our economy. There is no scientific justification or legal authority to allow this to continue. We demand our freedom be returned now.
#EndTheLockdown
#WeWillBeFree

4. At precisely 8:02pm on Thursday, 14th May, send your Tweet.

This will only work if we all do this at the EXACT same time. I’m planning to put a promotional graphic together that can be shared widely on my new social media page here: https://twitter.com/WeWillBeFree82

Who in theory, would be up for supporting this? It’s completely legal, easy to do, and can be shared widely for mass effect…

Cheers
R Dawg

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg
Pebbles
Pebbles
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Let me reactivate my Twitter account!

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago
Reply to  Pebbles

If you message me on my Twitter account, I can send you a copy of the graphic via direct message. Then you can forward to your friends on WhatsApp etc.

Twitter is @WeWillBeFree82

Let’s do this!

eastberks44
eastberks44
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

I am in

Farinances
Farinances
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Why 8.02?

I will be there in spirit but as I have no social media accounts* ……

*an absolute blessing in this ‘time of crisis’ …. as it always is

RDawg
RDawg
25 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

8pm on Thursdays has become state worship time in the U.K. I figured let the people have their two minutes of applauding an NHS that refuses to treat cancer patients and has empty hospitals and GP surgeries.

Our response will be a mass Tweet bomb the second it finishes (at 8:02pm), to let the government know what we, the lockdown opposers, really think.

RDawg
RDawg
25 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

In other words, they have their say, we have our say.

Thursday 8pm – State worship NHS clap
Thursday 8:02pm – Anti lockdown protest time.

Farinances
Farinances
25 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Lol I’d actually forgotten that Thursdays are seal clap days!!
That makes me proud.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

I’ve PM’d you for the graphic

Geraint
Geraint
25 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

It’ll be a pleasure….

Biker
Biker
26 days ago

I hope those who support this lockdown are happy at the moment because in the very near future they’re gonna be very unhappy indeed. It’s like they’ve decided that a few months holiday on full pay will do for a start and then a limited return to work for another year. Well the food shortage is here. You want to see the products unavailable list at Asda for instance but i know it’s for all supermarkets. In the next few days the shelfs will be bare of, now get this Tea, Coffee, brown sugar, biscuits, pasta, rice, tomatoes, fizzy juice, crisps, tomato sauce, ready meals, meat, veg, fruit and cleaning products. Things are going to get very grim. Oh and don’t think i’m making this dire warning up for effect or something, i have read this list a few times at work yesterday and i’ll tell you this even i am getting freaked out about how the food chain is nearly collapsing. The Regional manager says he doesn’t know when this is gonna change and his advice is to stock up as much as you can because when the tea for instance runs out we’re looking at 6 months at the least without there being any more tea!!!!!! If we don’t open up society right now and get back to normal working like it was before, no half measures, we are in big big trouble. Either Boris knows this and is gonna do the right thing on Sunday or he doesn’t and we’re all screwed. I don’t believe in god but i’m praying Boris has the balls to stand up and tell all the country that in the space of a couple of weeks our country is gonna be like some third world hell hole with starving people everywhere so we have to open back up now.. How all these fools who’ve been sitting in their garden drinking wine, eating too much food and getting a nice tan react to no more easily life will almost be worth it.

KH1485
KH1485
26 days ago
Reply to  Biker

I’m not religious either but I too am praying that he ends this. And I’m also incredulous that people seem to be treating this as some sort of extended holiday/jolly; marvelling at the weather etc. without possessing even a minimal realisation of what the hell is going to befall us.

Old fred
Old fred
26 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

Govt helped by giving them 80% pay, mortgage hols & telling them to stay at home or they will die. Dread to think where this is all going.

AdamD
AdamD
26 days ago
Reply to  Biker

This is very scary, and I agree that the country is falling apart under the lockdown with potentially much worse to come. Do you actually work for Asda?

Biker
Biker
26 days ago
Reply to  AdamD

i won’t conform or deny i work for asda (they don’t like employees talking about work on line and you can be fired) but let’s just say i don’t work for anyone else.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  Biker

Diplomacy at its best 🙂

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
25 days ago
Reply to  AdamD

Bring back the Bradbury Pound end the FIAT money system https://www.newchartistmovement.org.uk

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  Biker

A lot of people didn’t want to be furloughed. They’d far rather be in work.

chris c
chris c
26 days ago
Reply to  Biker

Thanks for the heads up.

We have a Co-Op here and it’s astonishing how after all this time there are still loads of shortages and things which come and go off the shelves, and a restriction on buying more than two of anything. If they could get more they could sell more and MAKE MORE PROFIT it makes me wonder where in the supply chain the restrictions are imposed.

We’re better off than many, we have proper butchers, veg shops and farm shops and so far the local food supplies aren’t affected. So far.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago
Reply to  Biker

If this is true (and I defer to your greater experience in food retail) and Johnson has not been advised about it then we have the worst government in history. If he has been advised and takes no action to ameliorate it then we are looking at a conspiracy which has, in fact, nothing to do with saving lives. (Trouble is, how will we know if he’s been advised or not?)

Biker
Biker
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

i can say they have a massive list of products that they’re gonna not have on the shelves this is 100% true, the time frame from talking with others looks like what i said but with these things a day or two longer maybe the case but make no mistake this book of products on the scarce list is totally true

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

This Government makes May’s look competent in comparison

Sceptic
Sceptic
26 days ago

I love the article by Douglas Murray about censorship of the Covid narrative on social media. Investigative journalist Sheryl Attkisson was told she was sharing ‘fake news’ when she posted the factually correct Epoch Times video on the virus origins. She discovered that the fact check led to an unsigned article at a website called healthfeedback.org., and the reviewer is a US scientist who actually works in the lab! Here’s a link to the story https://sharylattkisson.com/2020/04/facebooks-dangerously-fake-fact-checking/

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago
Reply to  Sceptic

Very interesting link. Dr Daniele Andersson was a scientist working in the Wuhan lab.She published an article in Lancet https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7133556/ in Feb claiming bat origin of the Covid-19.She was the person used by Facebook to censor Epoch Times video. She had personal interest in doing so considering she was working in the lab. Even more interesting that Dr Fauci himself in a press conference referred to the Lancet article above as proof of bat origin. He certainly had reasons to do so considering that he was illegally transferring money from his institute in US to outsourced dangerous work on Corona virus in bats in Wuhan lab. I know that some blog members don’t think we should discuss the possible origin of the virus but there is something rotten here.

Sceptic
Sceptic
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

And why should we not be discussing the origin of the bat virus? It’s free speech isn’t it?

Carrie
Carrie
26 days ago
Reply to  Sceptic
swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

https://twitter.com/NikolovScience/status/1257510869581262849
2014 the Obama administration stput a moratorium for this dangerous work but Fauci directed money 2015 to the Wuhan lab

Will Jones
26 days ago

It’s a shame Kay didn’t also look at when deaths started to plateau in the cities so he could actually see whether social distancing makes a difference rather than just assuming it does. I did that for Manchester here https://conservativewoman.co.uk/has-social-distancing-made-much-difference-after-all/ and found social distancing did not appear to affect the infection rate.

It’s also a shame he didn’t look at Belarus, the only country where the government has not introduced or encouraged any social distancing at all.

Will Jones
26 days ago
Reply to  Will Jones

I’ve just looked up the death curves for Seattle and Stockholm and in neither does it match up with social distancing. In both, as in Manchester, there is exponential increase in infections while social distancing is well underway. Defenders of social distancing need to explain this.

Jane
Jane
26 days ago

Claus Köhnlein is another of the many sceptical German doctors. In a video he describes a case study he had read in the Lancet about a 50-year old coronavirus patient, not in any risk group, who turned up in hospital with a sore throat, a cough and shortness of breath. The patient was treated with high doses of cortisone, which makes breathing easier if you have asthma, but does more harm than good in the case of a virus. This was followed by a very strong antibiotic, protease-inhibitors used in AIDS treatment (all fairly toxic stuff, in Dr Köhnlein’s words), interferons which have immuno-suppressant effects and finally another broad-spectrum antibiotic. The patient died. Dr Köhnlein believes the treatment was what killed him. Are covid19 patients in hospital still given all these drugs? If not, how are they treated, bearing in mind that intubation is not recommended? Will the shortness of breath go away on its own?

Victoria
Victoria
26 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Dr Brownstein has treated more than a 100 patients with COVID and all of them survived https://www.drbrownstein.com/dr-bs-blog/

BecJT
BecJT
26 days ago

Mini local breakthrough. Just been to Aldi for wine (quantities of which my elderly Dad and I have been drinking in well over the recommended amounts since this started). I was behind a woman who was clearly a harassed young mother of toddlers by the groceries on the belt, and we had a (very nice, very young, very chatty, very tattooed) chap on the till who remembered me from the last time (he’s still not dead, despite being there every time I go in). She was telling him how fed up she is trying to entertain small kids all day, wished they could go back to nursery, and looked really down in the mouth. He says, ‘well we’ve got three more weeks of this’ and she said ‘I know’ in a defeated voice. So I risked it. I said something.

‘I don’t think they can justify that on the data they have now’ and they all agreed with me, including everyone in the queue (apart from the old boy behind me, who looked appalled). She and I had a laugh about Boris, ‘every man thinks he’s dying when he gets the flu, hahahahaha’.

Chap on tills tells me everyone is loving this, as it’s a holiday. I explained about job losses, how our business is on 10% sales, how we have 20 staff, and how we are planning for 40% business when this is over. Builder at the back of the queue was smiling and nodding when I said ‘people are in for a shock when this ends, there won’t be jobs to go back to, why keep them, there’s nothing for them to do’. Chap on tils pointed out, people actually have more money in their pocket, not less, no mortgage, no petrol, no gym, no going out.

I’m so relieved. Then I heard on the radio in the car on the way home, London has given up trying to enforce distancing in parks, and the RNLI have put out a plea to stop people congregating on beaches. I think the end is nigh.

Poppy
Poppy
26 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

I really hope the end is nigh but I’m not getting my hopes up for what will surely be a very disappointing announcement from Boris tomorrow. I’m actually dreading it in a way because I know I’ll feel devastated and dejected after hearing we have to endure another 3 weeks of severe restrictions, which will take us to 9-10 weeks in lockdown by the time they’re up. Our lockdown will end up being longer than Italy’s at this rate.

In my neck of the woods, people still stop and move aside quite significantly when I walk past, definitely more than 2 metres away. It’s quite disheartening really, being treated like a leper by total strangers.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

When people move away from me, I walk towards them 🙂

BecJT
BecJT
26 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

I hear you, I was never a rebel at school, did a few dangerous things at uni, had two speeding tickets since, but in the intervening period, recovered my wits and learned to suit myself. I’ve never thought what other people told me to think, even when I didn’t speak up, I can’t be alone. I think us free thinkers have to lead by example, nothing radical, but just small acts of rebellion, like starting conversations, chatting to neighbours, walking the dog three times, waltzing into the supermarket unmasket and unconcerned, and suiting ourselves. I am not sure quite what is going on, but I don’t think stupidity is it, or at least not entirely. People need permission, confidence to think differently or to say what they are really thinking. We’ve got to nudge them. Social media is a lost cause, but in person, it really makes a difference. Us Brits aren’t stupid and we aren’t boot lickers, I think it’ll be small things that tip it back the other way. I trust that in the main, my fellow citizens are decent, kind, and know what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just not great at making a fuss. I think it’ll be the little things that do it.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
26 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

People need permission. Couldn’t agree more.

BecJT
BecJT
25 days ago

The social pressure is immense, my town has a massive facebook group, it’s got 20k members, that’s pretty much every resident with an internet connection, dissent is piled on, there is post after post about ‘selfish idiots’ and ‘saving lives’, although if you look, for such a big group, the traffic, likes, comments, shares are low. I think people are keeping quiet, but I’m starting to hope that doesn’t mean agreement.

JohnB
JohnB
26 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

We only have to endure 3 weeks further severe restrictions, Poppy, if we do what they tell us to.

chris c
chris c
26 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

I think you nailed it, Boris has made such a monumental fuck up from beginning to end that his only way out is to have The Longest Lockdown In The World.

Paul
Paul
25 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

I agree Poppy,I expect the announcement from Boris to be even more disappointing than all of the speculation about it is leading us to believe,I am quite sure I will end up feeling more angry and despondent than I did after the last extension.I am also tired of being treated as if I am radioactive or something when I meet other people on my walks,I’ve had people suddenly head away hundreds of metres through crops in fields,through dense undergrowth and also out into the middle of the road just to avoid passing me.I regularly get people approaching me stop,look horrified and retreat quickly back the way they had come from !,this also happens when they approach from behind.I have also found that a lot of people have become very unfriendly,I generally say ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’ to everyone I meet but increasingly I get no response other than a nasty scowl,I honestly don’t know what has happened to our country in the space of a few weeks,I don’t think the future is looking very good at all.

sok
sok
25 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Hold firm Paul, Just ignore them, I nearly got run over by someone pulling out in their car driving solo with a mask on. Gotta laugh!)

chris c
chris c
25 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Not quite so bad here, though there are some. I do the supermarket shop one day, the town shops another day and walk somewhere pretty much every day. Still get to chat with people I know and people I don’t, the paranoid are there but a distinct minority

KH1485
KH1485
26 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

The people “loving this” are clearly living in a fools’ paradise and the fact that they don’t seem unduly worried about it is all the more depressing. Mortgage/loan/council tax holidays are not indefinite. Sure, their employer may be furloughing them at the moment but, as Rishi Sunak has pointed out, this arrangment won’t last and then guess what, as soon as the lockdown is lifted, they’ll be made redundant just as the banks/councils start to claim their money back.

BecJT
BecJT
25 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

That’s what I said at the till, ‘I don’t think it’ll change until it hurts people’s pockets’ which is when the builder at the back started laughing and nodding his head. We’ll be making redundancies, not because we want to, but with the business shrunk by 60%, there isn’t enough work for them to do.

KH1485
KH1485
25 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

The really depressing thing is that they don’t see (or perhaps don’t want to see) what’s coming. I have a friend who, everytime I ask her how she is, breezily responds that she’s “loving it”. And I despair …

Sceptic
Sceptic
26 days ago

Richard Harper from Conservative Woman has a point when he says we can’t always be safe. It’s the same as the expression ‘business wants certainty’. The only thing we have been certain of in the past 15 years is uncertainty. As well as the fact that the world isn’t a terribly safe place. If we could just move out of our limbic brain for a moment this might finally sink in!

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
26 days ago
Mark
Mark
26 days ago
Reply to  tides

Welcome to the new reality, and to the Britain we have made out of the country that won two world wars.

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago
Reply to  tides

The Met have always been ‘special’. They kill deaf people carrying chair legs, ffs.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago

This is 5 months too LATE.
Taiwan had quarantine for ill passengers arriving at airports way back in January.
They have had no lock-down and 6 deaths so far from Covid-19.

AnotherSceptic
AnotherSceptic
26 days ago

You should see the comments on Yahoo, I am beginning to think that it’s part of the BBC.
Especially the story of the park in London today….it’s insane the people calling for water cannons & the army to move them on.

The amount of people on there that are absolutely falling for all this scaremongering is insane.
Wo betide anyone who comments against the lockdown & it’s stupidity.

Honestly, it makes me ashamed to say that I am from the UK.

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago
Reply to  AnotherSceptic

The ‘water cannon / army’ people are quite likely 777.

Steve
Steve
26 days ago
Reply to  Marcus

Thank you, well worth a read (via Google translate.)

FiFi Trixabelle
FiFi Trixabelle
26 days ago

Just looked at my LinkedIn account….Police Scotland have viewed my profile this week!

eastberks44
eastberks44
26 days ago

No Police searches on mine , so far. I have not actively used LinkedIn for a long time but I will now check it regularly.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago

I’m not surprised as they don’t do any real work like catching criminals anymore! Do you have a gold account? I can’t view most of those who’ve looked at my profile.
I’ve been working for a great company the last five years that is in the events scheduling business, and as is not hard to guess, it’s now going downhill due to this lock-down. Naturally I’m having to keep my eyes open for something else if it gets worse, which is what I’m expecting. I’m dismayed and outraged by what this government has done.

FiFi Trixabelle
FiFi Trixabelle
26 days ago

Yes – I do have a premium account that allows me to see who has been having a look. Quite hilarious…read Toby’s post and had received an alert earlier today that I hadn’t paid attention to.. I have now!!

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago

I might upgrade to premium, even if just for the first free month!

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago

I binned Linkedin last week, when I heard they had binned Brian Rose.

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago

Boris Johnson, having himself survived a serious bout of COVID-19, is probably the only one in government who has not only the power but also the moral authority to declare the end of the lockdown on Sunday and open up the whole of society immediately. He could justify this by arguing that the lockdown saved the NHS, preventing it from being overrun, and that we should now concentrate all our efforts on establishing a “cordon sanitaire” around care homes and on voluntary self-isolation for the over-70s until the pandemic is over at the end of June.

Were he to give such a speech, though, he would at once become the most hated man in the country. The Tories would sink in the polls like a stone in water. Labour would almost certainly regain power in 2025, when there is still likely to be a recession. The government’s propaganda machine (i.e. the BBC and mainstream media) has managed to transform a once heroic country into one teeming with hypochondriacs. Most of the lockdown enthusiasts would love to continue receiving pay cheques from the government in perpetuity. They have been told by the BBC and mainstream media that there is a high risk of dying if we return to normal life before Bill Gates’s vaccine becomes available.

If Johnson were to end the lockdown on Sunday, the Labour party would find itself in an absolute win-win situation. Every COVID-19 death would be blamed on the cynical Tories controlled by the callous bankers in the City. When the pandemic subsides in June, they will change tack. Every single death caused by a delayed diagnosis of cancer, every suicide, every bankruptcy, every new spike in unemployment will be attributed to the Tories. How could it ever have occurred to them to impose a lockdown – something that was obviously invented by rapacious Big Pharma capitalists in the United States?! However, that is after all just normal politics. What is not normal politics is to have 650 shell-shocked sheep in Westminster unanimously voting for a lockdown model that was imported from Communist China and that clearly infringes civil rights, and, what is more, doing so with a speed reminiscent of the Reichstag in Berlin during the 1930s.
Will Boris Johnson do what is best for his country or what is best for his party? Remember
“One man with courage is a majority.” T Jefferson

Victoria
Victoria
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Great post. It will only give Johnson a bit more time, once reality starts to bite (jobs gone and no more paying to sit at home), many of the masses will wake up. Voters will not forget, especially those who had their futures stolen from them by ineptitude and politicking.

Sceptic
Sceptic
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

I don’t envy him. But people aren’t stupid. If the govt presented us with some well researched and balanced facts behind their recommendations I’m sure the public would start to understand and lockdown could be eased. Also, the govt needs to stop listening to all the ‘experts’ that the MSM wheel out of nowhere and contradict them and push them into decisions that are just wrong for the country. They need to show some backbone!!!!

BecJT
BecJT
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

He didn’t have a serious bout, all men think they are dying when they catch a sniffle! You wouldn’t see women being so hysterical about a dose of flu.

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
25 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Johnson is still more charismatic by miles Raab or Hancock would just irritate People

GetaGrip
GetaGrip
26 days ago

Laugh (or cry) of the day:
In supermarket. Woman aged ~30 wearing surgical facemask buying pack of cigarettes at counter whilst glaring at too-nearbyers.

Paused briefly, just out of badness really, to educate regarding concepts of ‘relative risk’, but got told off by Supermarket Stasi for contravening social distancing rules.

But at least I claimed a small victory for the Resistance later by going Up on a Down isle in the bread section.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

Well done. Keep it up!

Mark
Mark
26 days ago

Jonathan Kay’s piece is interesting and makes some good points, but rather misses a key point, which is that in some areas of life the government can actually be quite effective.

The fundamental truth is that government action in this kind of area is clumsy, slow and inflexible, whereas individual action is the opposite. Either might be “right” or “wrong” in a particular case, but at least individual actin is tailored to the situation of the individual.

It’s absolutely unsurprising that a shutdown imposed by the government is late, and it’s equally unsurprising that a government will close many businesses that never need to be closed, and will be late in reopening in areas that can be reopened. And while some people and businesses can get away with turning a blind eye to government rules, many others can’t or won’t.

Furthermore a big part of the problem is the excessive levels of fear around this disease. A lot of that is due to media and experts putting out very misleading coverage and information, but all that is given huge added credibility in most people’s eyes by dramatic government actions. And unfortunately people are then sceptical when told it’s safe after all to go back out, because actions speak louder than words.

Flexibility is key. Many, many aspects of the coercive lockdown are foolish when applied to particular cases, or are especially costly and of limited benefit in particular cases. Voluntary measures allow actions to be tailored to individual circumstances by people who in large part are actually able to think for themselves, when they aren’t in the grip of some kind of mass emotional delusion such as fear. And there’s a huge difference between businesses such as restaurants and bars limping along for a while on reduced business, and the same businesses being forcibly shut down wholesale. You can give state support in either case, but it’s going to be a lot more, for longer, and in the teeth of a deeper downturn in government revenue, with the coerced closure.

Of course a big part of the problem has been media propaganda that says lots of people are being “stupid”, as Kay himself perpetuates by referring to people not stopping going to the beach when he thinks they should. But where’s the evidence that going to a beach or a park, even a reasonably crowded one, contributes much if anything to spread of the disease? People in each other’s general vicinity outdoors are highly unlikely to spread anything, especially if they are all generally aware that disease is an issue, most who are actually coughing stay at home, and the rest mostly take reasonable contact and hygiene precautions, and as he points out himself, most are actually capable of taking that kind of action, voluntarily. And given that we are not actually dealing with a very deadly disease that is some kind of combination of the infectious potential of flu with the deadliness of ebola, the costs of a few continuing to spread it a bit faster are a price more than worth paying for maintaining a degree of liberty and of flexibility.

clivepinder
26 days ago

This quarantine of international travellers, British Citizens or not, pours more grist in the mill of The Goverenment’s claims they are following the science. I have written to my MP twice and to Grant Shapps on this matter asking them to present the science ether are following. At the same time I drew their attention to a couple of peer reviewed papers that demonstrate there is no evidence to suggest that “entry screening practices for infectious diseases among travellers’ points of entry” are efficacious. See links below. Unsurprisingly I received no answer.

For a government suggesting they are ‘following the science’, perhaps they could show us what science they are referring to before condemning us to such restrictive conditions apparently under threat of imprisonment, not to mention condemning the airlines and associated industries to even more economic mutilation or pouring cold water on any aspirations for a Global Britain.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926871/

 https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0993_article

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago

Letter sent to MP:

I am writing to express my opposition to the current lock-down along with my desire that the government comes to its senses and ends it in full within the next week.

Having failed to implement a proper course of action back in January by quarantining ill passengers arriving at our airports (as Taiwan did – they’ve had 6 deaths from Covid-19 and no lock-down), the government should have adopted the approach taken by Sweden.

Instead, a full lock-down was imposed, which in my opinion was a gross overreaction which will have severe repercussions for a long time to come, and which will most likely end the “Conservative” Party’s time in office at the next election.

First Huawei, then the HS2 white elephant, and now the unnecessary lock-down. This will not end well. I am particularly appalled at the behaviour of our “police” force, which having already lost the respect of the public a long time ago has now cemented its reputation as a bunch of bullying twits who prefer to boss people around, spend time on Twitter and go to gay “pride” parades, rather than do what they are paid to do, which is to prevent crime and catch criminals.

The chances of catching the coronavirus are miniscule, especially outside in the open air. The death rate is extremely low, and the number of deaths so far is comparable to the flu spike of 2014/15 and previous pandemics we have weathered as a country (without any lock-downs).

Furthermore, absurd social distancing measures will guarantee the end of restaurants, pubs, concert halls and a whole host of other venues that depend on a good number of people using them to stay in business. Not to mention airlines, railways and other forms of public transport. Education will prove impossible and most company offices will not function.

It is apparent that most politicians have next to no understanding of operating in the real world, and appear to have limited intelligence. They are cocooned in their liberal Westminster bubble, making ridiculous policy decisions that make no sense and which do nothing except invite ridicule from the country at large. The joy of achieving a proper Brexit by 31st December has been replaced by the nightmare of this lock-down fiasco. It is time to end it now.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago

Great letter. Not sure about the ‘gay “pride” parades’ part though, as could this be perceived as being homophobic and detracts from the overall message.

However I am pleased you exercised your democratic right to contact your MP. Well done.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

As you can tell, I’m not a fan of gay “pride” parades. For religious reasons.

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago

Religious beliefs aside, I do hope Jonathan, that you at least respect their right to take part in such events? I’m not going to give you a patronising lecture about homophobia and gay rights, but if we want to live in a truly free society, then it is essential that such parades continue to exist.

That’s the whole point of this blog isn’t it? To challenge the importance of freedom, defend our civil liberties and live in a free and democratic society where we can fully exist without fear of reprimand, harm or intimidation. In some countries such as Uganda, their citizens risk facing the death penalty for openly being gay. So I will absolutely defend the rights of gay pride (or any other oppressed or marginalised groups) to continue to exist freely in our society.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Indeed people are free to take part in whatever they want. As long as those who disagree with their activities are free to express their opinion.

Splendid Acres
Splendid Acres
25 days ago

A nicely detailed letter, Mr Castro. I think your letter showed less impatience than mine (written 29th April). I did get a response, something along the lines of “ah, but you can’t be sure you won’t get ill, and that impacts on others and the NHS – hope you’re following guidance.”

Dear My MP

I share in the congratulations you gave to the PM and his partner on the safe birth of their son. However, it got me thinking, and I decided to undertake a quick Google research project and risk assessment.

Apparently, annually in the UK…

There are about 7 maternal deaths per 100,000 births.

1 in 200 pregnancies are stillbirths (after 24 weeks of pregnancy, where babies are considered ‘viable’)

60,000 babies are born premature (born at 24 – 37 weeks gestation) many with ongoing health conditions.

There is a strong possibility of 250,000 miscarriages (before the 24th week of pregnancy)

This list is not exhaustive, obviously, and does not cover the also-rans of postnatal depression, gestational diabetes, perinatal domestic violence, cholestasis, etc

In conclusion, it seems to me that pregnancy is a far more dangerous condition that covid 19 could ever hope to be, and we should therefore concentrate on isolating the sexes from each other, and lock them down completely. Think of the lives we could save! Nobody born = nobody dies in the long term. Short term, the NHS would be quids in.

My personal feeling is that women know and understand the risks of pregnancy, just as they know and understand the risk of crossing the road, not washing their hands before eating, contracting a nasty virus by going outdoors, wrestling wild boar, and so forth. Life is a constant risk assessment.

With this in mind, can you please push (pardon the expression) for a lifting of the lockdown for those who are willing to run the risk of contracting this disease, and focus all furlough payments, home deliveries and special medical arrangements for those who have assessed their risk and deemed it too high to leave their homes? We who are of sound mind and adult can take responsibility for ourselves.

A vaccination could take many years, and may never work. Found one for the common cold yet? Or HIV? There’s billions of dollars to be made on those, and we’re still waiting.

Thank you.

Oaks79
Oaks79
26 days ago

Bumped into a old fella (70) who drinks in my local, haven’t seen him since the lockdown started. He put his hand out for me to shake I was hesitant at first but before I could really think he had his hand in mine shaking it, then was telling me in some of his most colourful language exactly what he thought about all this.
Him and his friend Rob still meet up for a few beers they take it turns on whose house they meet at, he said its actually fun sneaking about without his neighbour’s seeing, reminded him of when he used to sneak to the pub when was married, haha.
He did say he misses the social interaction of the pub and he can’t wait for when they reopen and no one will be stopping him from going.
As he walked off he shouted back “Don’t worry I’ll wash my hands when I get home, so you haven’t killed me”

His comment about the pub though made think, the pub for people like him is the only place they have to socialise with like minded people and now that’s gone.

KH1485
KH1485
26 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

This reminds me of a similar encounter I had recently. An elderly lady who I recognise was on her way to our local shop. Ordinarily, I would have walked alongside her and seen her safely across the (rather perilous) zebra crossing. But because of these crazy social-distancing rules, I gave her a wide berth – for her benefit, not mine. I felt awful as she looked on rather perplexed. I walked slowly in order to keep an eye on her and thought that if there was a queue at the shop, she could have my place. Thankfully there was no queue so we both got in straight away. But this having to deny just basic human kindness to someone who is vulnerable on the pretext of ‘protecting’ them made me feel wretched.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

If I see someone avoiding me, I walk towards them 🙂
Ignore the social distancing rubbish and do what you would normally do.

KH1485
KH1485
26 days ago

You’re right. Just a little hesitant in case some Warden Hodges-type appears from nowhere, accusing me of putting an elderly lady in danger …!

Mark
Mark
26 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

I think in these situations you have to be guided by them. If she’s not herself frightened then just do what you would normally do. If she’s obviously scared it’s a little tricky, because there might be a place for giving some advice and reassurance if you know her or if they seem open to it, but often just trying to explain things is seen as threatening and confusing, especially from a stranger, so it’s best not to try.

All pretty depressing though.

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Good on him. Legend!

South West Skeptic
South West Skeptic
26 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

I was out for a walk yesterday on the local cycle path. A guy (late 40s I guess) was running towards me holding a stick. He proceeded to hold his arm out fully stretched so the stick brushed against my shoulder and shouted, “that’s not 2 metres!” And then ran off. I was gobsmacked.

I also run my own business and I might post (tomorrow) some real eye openers I’ve heard from clients and suppliers re: furloughing

I must say, this site has been a godse

Farinances
Farinances
26 days ago

Please do!

KH1485
KH1485
25 days ago

And they call those who merely want to get a bit of sun in the park “covidiots” … I despair

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago

Take your own stick next time, SWS. 🙂

Gtec
Gtec
26 days ago

I don’t think this lockdown is any longer – if it ever was – about controlling a viral outbreak, but much more about the perception of risk and risk management itself. It doesn’t and won’t matter what evidence is produced to show that the current approach is flawed, damaged, based on opinion rather than hard fact, and so on, it will make no difference; the only important factor in deciding policy will be ‘risk’ itself.

Risk of what, I’m not sure, as it isn’t concern for public health with the lack of diagnosis and actual treatment being undertaken in largely empty hospitals.

Nor is it out of concern for our economic health as the economy is being propped up by printing money (call it what you like, but that is what it is); it isn’t concern for our mental health and social well-being, given the level of anxiety that being under effective house arrest for an indefinite period is producing – it is beginning to feel that we’re in some sort of social pressure-cooker that is about to blow.

It is most definitely without concern for our political rights and liberties, with no effective dissent present anywhere in what has become a staged-managed democracy; they say all the right things, but they are just reading from a script which is then cast away.

The corporatist approach to just about everything these days, but particularly decision making, has a profound affect upon us and wider society – these affects include the lack of any real sense of personal responsibility for decisions made; hence no one ever resigns even when they are found to be incompetent.

That’s if you actually get to make a decision yourself, without having to refer it up, usually to an approvals board (the Cabinet?) – no one person is ever accountable. The most damaging part of this corporatist approach though is the infantilising of people, not trusting anyone to make a decision or to behave in the way that you want without constant reminding.

And God-forbid, never, ever let anyone question what is being done; don’t rock the boat, think of the effect on others, be a team-player – essentially, rely on group think and all will be well. Dissent not allowed – otherwise you will be pilloried, especially if you’re in the public eye and on social media.

Regardless of negative outcomes or contrary evidence, the management of the ‘risk’ has become all-consuming and, as people are constantly reminded, they are not ‘experts, so they must just do what they’re told because of the ‘risk’; but of what exactly? It isn’t quantified, and all we are fed is platitudes and exhortations in place of sound and reasoned arguments.

So now everyone is frightened of the ‘risk, no matter how small it might be; we can’t ignore the ‘risk’, no matter what the social, economic, and medical fall-out might be. So don’t expect anything to change very soon.

Also, am I the only one who is tired of talk of the ‘new normal’? It isn’t ‘normal’ at all, it’s abnormal. It’s not how we are, or how we behave naturally! The same goes for so-called ‘virtual reality’ – it isn’t real.

To pretend – as we’re encouraged to do – that it is like the ‘real’ seems rather Alice in Wonderland-like. But unlike Alice, it turns us into shallow, vicarious consumers who pretend to be with someone who isn’t there physically, or be somewhere we’re actually not – it is no substitute for reality.

I’m very much reminded of ‘Year of the Sex Olympics’, a play by Nigel Kneale I saw when it was broadcast on BBC2 in 1968. The play is about a dystopian world dominated by reality TV and the vicarious consumption of life by the viewers, which to me is beginning to seem more than a little like the ‘new normal’! The play is well worth a view (BFI).

As for a song for today, how about ‘Eve of Destruction’ by Barry McGuire, 1965? We might not be facing a nuclear holocaust, but the fall-out from this lock-down may well be as catastrophic for very many of us.

chris c
chris c
25 days ago
Reply to  Gtec

+1

OMG I just watched BloJo bloviating. I need a lie down

Oaks79
Oaks79
26 days ago

Has Germany had a spike of infections ? Seeing a few posts saying they have. Also Government new slogan apparently.

STAY ALERT
CONTROL THE VIRUS
SAVE LIVES

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

“Stay Alert”. “Control the virus”. LOL.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
26 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

And so the Orwellian doublespeak continues …

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

How about

STAY FREE
PROTECT YOUR SANITY
LIVE LIVES

Farinances
Farinances
25 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

STAY ALERT – by letting us track, trace, and alert you every time you pose a ‘risk’ to society
CONTROL THE VIRUS – by acquiescing to our control of you
SAVE LIVES – by not living yours

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago

If I had that cranky robot shouting at me I’d turn it on its back!

Gerry Smith
Gerry Smith
26 days ago

Listening to an advert on Classic FM by the Stroke Association, they report that there is a stroke suffered by someone in the UK every 5 minutes…. that is 20160 strokes suffered from 1.3.20 to 7.5.20
just to make a comparison to the same period of today’s bar chart…. many of these will be severely affected.

Tony Rattray
26 days ago

SAVE THE ECONOMY
GO TO WORK (STATE PAID HOLIDAY OVER)
SAVE EVEN MORE LIVES

IanE
IanE
25 days ago
Reply to  Tony Rattray

p.s. As the state has none of its own money, YOU (and any offspring and their offspring) will have to pick up the tab for the ‘state paid holiday’!

Geraint Williams
Geraint Williams
26 days ago

Hi – I’m a new joiner….
Just wanted to say ‘well said’ for article in Telegraph today.
The supine, portly public has ceded freedom, common sense and economic stability to useless politicians, dodgy epidemiological modellers (the new ‘dismal science’ surely?) and the hopeless public health mafia. The hysteria has been fanned to conceal their collective ineptitude in failing to plan and execute anything approaching a sensible containment strategy.
I trust that when we finally stop cowering and wetting our collective undies and discover a semblance of a backbone that we will a) be suitably embarrassed at our pathetic behaviour and b) never ever let it happen again.
Time must be approaching when we protest on the streets…?

BecJT
BecJT
25 days ago

Agreed, I think we’ve got to start laughing at it, us Brits have a wicked sense of humour. If we can lampoon it, and mock it, I think that might help. I live in a rural backwater, small market town, surrounded by miles of fields, you are more likely to be trampled by a herd of escaped cows than die of covid. There was one (grown) man in a face mask in the supermarket, I didn’t quite have the nerve to point and laugh, but I’m working up to it! I don’t know how we do it, but it needs to become embarrassing to be (as my elderly dad would say) ‘a big girl’s blouse’.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
26 days ago

So, its been a roller-coaster of emotions here in sunny Notts today, as per usual.

The scenes of cops harassing people in London were just awful. The venom directed at the VE celebrations by the Lockdown zealots on twitter has been downright evil. Speaking to several 80-year-olds over the last 24 hours, all of whom have told me that they don’t expect the country to get back to normal in their lifetimes, has deeply saddened me. The sick feeling in my stomach that Mr Bumble (Peter Hitchens name for him) will further become Nero tomorrow, allowing us to take baby steps while the country burns (Simon Dolan’s analogy). I used to love reading Boris’ columns in The Spectator when he was the editor. What a total and utter disappointment he has become.

But, I’m determined to try and be positive. Following yesterday’s fun VE day street party, we’ve decided to hold a big party as soon as Big Brother gives us the green light to do so. On one of our daily walks today (naughty!), we saw a number of neighbours and let them know that this is the plan. The response? ‘Mad for it’, as I do believe the kids say.

I know this seems frivolous when so many truly shocking things are happening to our country. However, one thing we can definitely commit to is getting back to normal as quickly as we can. We need to show the world that we’re not afraid to live. Stuff the ‘new normal’ and stuff living in fear of a virus which it looks like it has a much much lower mortality rate than Professor Pantsdown plucked out of thin air.

There’s already a working name for the celebration – ‘Escape from lockdown’.

Hang in there fellow Lockdown Sceptics – we won’t let the buggers grind us down.

Mark
Mark
26 days ago

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/09/in-london-today-the-police-behaved-disgracefully/

Yes, the police were a disgrace in London. Seemingly they don’t care that they are just making themselves hated for no benefit to anyone.

Those who support the lockdown are supporting that. It’s no use saying “oh I don’t think that’s necessary! I don’t support that!” That’s what the lockdown is, that’s what it empowers thugs in uniform to do, and it’s the lockdown that enables them to justify it to themselves and to others as “dealing with idiots and selfish people who are endangering others”.

Well done, lockdown supporters. Hope it was worth it.

Were any of he uniformed shock troopers at all conscious of the irony of doing what they were doing while VE day celebrations are still in people’s minds? Welcome to what we have made of the Britain that won two world wars.

Mark
Mark
26 days ago

Germany: Thousands of protesters slam isolation measures
https://www.dw.com/en/germany-thousands-of-protesters-slam-isolation-measures/a-53382891

“Over 3,000 people rallied in Munich and thousands more gathered in Stuttgart and across Germany on Saturday to demand the lifting of restrictions ordered by the German authorities. Many of the protesters defied the guidelines which call for a limited number of participants and for social distancing to be maintained during such events.

The protesters accuse politicians and medical workers of spreading panic and infringing on the population’s rights with the prolonged lockdown. Some of the rallies included anti-vaccination activists.

In Munich, police used loudspeakers to urge the protesters to minimize the infection risk. While the participants failed to heed the instructions, the police decided not to disperse the gathering “on the grounds of proportionality” as the participants were not violent. However, the authorities dispersed a separate right-wing demonstration which gathered around 25 people in the same city, according to the Germany’s public broadcaster ARD.”

Some signs of life in Germany

Farinances
Farinances
26 days ago
Reply to  Mark

“Some of the protestors were anti-vaxxers”

So of you agree with them about the lockdown, you too are evil and anti-The Science! Don’t be a covidiot! Clap for the lockdown! CLAP!! YOU BETTER CLAP!!

mantrid
mantrid
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark
Tony Rattray
26 days ago

STAY ALERT…STAY SAFE…CONTROL THE VIRUS…Blah…blah…blah…

Note the below 90s “stay alert” safety video for children which is an apt portrayal of how the government (boris et al) view us (sunday pm viewing). Don’t forget to use your radar machine to spot someone who may have the virus! 2 metres apart please before I reach a decision stranger!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgvv4wnVlFU

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago

Toby gave a link to the minutes of NERVTAG. There must be a public enquiry about this.
NERVTAG is the group advising the Government about new diseases.
13 Jan Meeting of NERVTAG(Members of the group incl Neil Ferguson, observers DHSC, PHE)
31/12 WHO informed of new disease from China, Wuhan
9/1 WHO confirmed coronavirus the cause
12/1 WHO confirmed cases starting from 8th dec-2nd Jan. Connected with seafood market now closed 1st Jan
China reported NO new cases since 3rd Jan !!!!!!
“According to Chinese authorities, the virus in question can cause severe illness in some patients and does not transmit readily between people.”
“Current reports describe no evidence of significant human to human transmission, including no infections of healthcare workers”
“Cases of pneumonia possibly linked to Wuhan City have been assessed in Hong Kong and some of the surrounding countries”
“Reports suggest airport entry screening has been introduced by Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore. There is a direct flight from Wuhan to the UK three times a week”.
“The evidence that is currently available, the novel virus does not look to be very transmissible”
“On the 13th January 2020, the Ministry of Public Health Thailand announced its first imported case of lab-confirmed novel coronavirus 2019 from Wuhan, China. The case was detected from thermal surveillance and interviewed by port health authorities at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). She had been symptomatic a couple of days before her departure date and during her travel from Wuhan to Thailand. The case is a 61-year woman living in Wuhan City and has a history of buying food from local fresh markets everyday but did not go to the Huanan Sea food market.”
“According to the WHO, regular exit travel measures are in place in Wuhan, where officials are verifying travellers’ temperature, but no enhanced measures have been added.”
NERVTAG does support the current position that port of entry screening is not advised. NERVTAG is fully aware of the single case in Thailand detected by a thermal image scan but, in spite of that, the NERVTAG recommendation does not change.

Extraordinary that the committee did not immediately became suspicious of the following:

China definitive saying no new cases in Wuhan 3rd Jan to 13th Jan
All countries outside but near China i.e. Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore ,Taiwan already having airport screening. These countries are well aware of that China is cheating most times about outbreaks. They have learned from the SARS outbreak 2003

How can the UK group take at full value all the information from China incl. WHO?

WHO has expelled Taiwan from the organisation because of China. A reported document from Taiwan to WHO warning about human to human transmission in Wuhan was not accepted by WHO as it was not authorized to act upon Taiwan documents according to China.
The UK group must have been already aware of that China could be lying and also that UK cannot completely trust WHO which is heavily influenced by China. The chief of WHO was handpicked by China.
The three weekly flights from Wuhan continued to UK even after China stopped internal flights from Wuhan to the rest of China in the middle of January but China happily continued with the Wuhan flights to the rest of the world incl. UK and Milan, Italy until they both stopped the flights in the end of January.

Now this government 6 months down the line is supposed to quarantine all inward passengers to UK after 215000 cases and 32000 deaths of Covid-19 in the UK and even more startling, during the lookdown accepting 100000 passengers a week

RDawg
RDawg
26 days ago

So apparently our Supreme Leader of North Korea, sorry the Prime Minister of the U.K. (keep getting those two confused lately) is going to announce tomorrow:

– Unlimited exercise
– Garden centres to open next week
– Mandatory 14 day quarantine for all passengers on flights into the U.K. Starting…wait for it…in June.

And that’s it.

I despair. I really do. And the reason he is reluctant to open up yet is because, and I’m not making this up, modellers at Imperial College have said 100,000 people could die if the lockdown is lifted too early.

Give me f—king strength! The peak was a month ago. A month! I think we need to axe these so-called government “scientist“ advisors because clearly they haven’t got a bloody clue!

Oaks79
Oaks79
26 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

£2bn on a cycle and walking package as we enter a “new world” as “things can’t return to normal”. Feel like I’m living in some weird t.v. program from the 70s or something.

KH1485
KH1485
25 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Boris bike mkII?

karate56
karate56
25 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

If we are still using the imperial model, Ferguson has clearly gone nowhere. All this lockdown breach crap to get his end away was to let him disappear for a while and advise from outside public scrutiny. He mentioned 100,000 a few weeks ago so he’s still the kingpin in their policy. I would have thought if he was sacked the model goes with him so the government hasn’t sacked him at all or is paying huge sums of money to use his garbage.
I just can’t get my head around their dependence on this model? What the hell is the reason? There are experts all over the world, stating in the public domain, how shit it is. Yet were still using it, still slowly killing our own populace by default because if it’s recommendations. Surely to god, not all SAGE advisors are on board with it and dissent, for the live of gid, surely?
Nevermind, in 3 more weeks we’ll be allowed to go within 1.98 metres of someone, or go to a car wash.

karate56
karate56
25 days ago
Reply to  karate56

Love of God

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago
Reply to  karate56

Hope you’re not dissing us gid worshippers ? 🙂

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
26 days ago

Watch this clip with Silly Billy Gates trying to trash Sweden’s approach:

https://youtu.be/FSmW-ryD-NE?t=557

What is he smoking?

OpenCorona
25 days ago

Just embarrassing. He has money and somehow this gives him license to speak as an authority? That is preposterous.

Adam Hiley
Adam Hiley
25 days ago
Reply to  OpenCorona

what does a computer geek know about Pandemics Gates needs bringing to account

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago

Confirms he has an agenda then

Sally
Sally
26 days ago

I’m not at all convinced that an early travel quarantine would have “nipped the problem in the bud”. The virus was most likely well-established in the UK, quietly doing its thing under the radar, well before mitigation measures were seriously considered, much less implemented.

But suppose it had choked off the infection: then what? Australian and New Zealand both imposed fairly early travel restrictions, with mandatory quarantine periods. Both countries have had few infections and deaths, but they now face the problem of when and how to open up to the rest of the world. New Zealand has been promoting the idea of a safe trans-Tasman “bubble”, with Aussies travelling to New Zealand to provide some of the desperately needed tourism dollars they have lost. Now both countries are talking about a broader opening up that includes China, Japan, South Korea and certain other Asian nations. There is undoubtedly a quiet desperation, because policy makers know that travel quarantines are economic suicide.

I think we will see, when all is said and done, that the nations that dealt most successfully with this are those that at a relatively early point took a pragmatic decision to resume ordinary life with some minimal testing and social distancing measures in place. Countries like Japan and South Korea probably have many more infections and more deaths than are being recorded; I just think they’ve wisely decided to stop testing everything that moves. This is what we all should be doing: treating this like the flu-like illness that is is, testing and treating the significantly ill, and otherwise carrying on living.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
26 days ago
Reply to  Sally

It probably wouldn’t have solved the problem, as you say, because we were unaware when it first entered the UK. However, it would have potentially stopped a lot of people travelling to the UK with the virus.

swedenborg
swedenborg
26 days ago
Reply to  Sally

You are probably correct that it is impossible to stop but could perhaps delay a
week or two but that could still be useful for planning. Australia and New Zealand could also have less infection due to being in the Southern Hemisphere. Now there is an increasing suspicion that the outbreak already started in October in Wuhan. But not a very good idea to have three weekly flights from Wuhan to UK whilst China stopped all internal flights from Wuhan in January.

Sally
Sally
26 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

The infection wasn’t just in China then. It was already widespread in Europe. The Telegraph reported, for example, on a British family that believed they contracted the virus at the ski resort of Ischgl in Austria, which had a large outbreak.

What planning are you talking about? The early data from China and Italy showed quite clearly that this was an illness that overwhelmingly afflicts those already near the end of life with pre-existing conditions. That’s where we should have directed any additional resources, plus adding some hospital capacity as often happens during severe flu seasons. The rest is just unnecessary, panic-inducing, economy-crushing nonsense.

guy153
guy153
25 days ago
Reply to  Sally

Yes to all of this, but back in early Feb we didn’t know when it started, or how widely it had already or was going to spread. So a bit of checking of people at airports would have been justified. If it was only going to spread to one or two countries and was caught early maybe we could have stopped it. I don’t think SARS1 ever got around the world, mainly because it is less infectious, but we didn’t know at the time how infectious SARS2 was.

Instead they’re talking about quarantining everyone coming to the UK starting in June (!). Completely stark raving bonkers.

IanE
IanE
25 days ago
Reply to  guy153

Barn doors!

Sally
Sally
25 days ago
Reply to  guy153

We could continue debating the pros and cons of this, but in theory some checks or restrictions might be justified at an early stage were a new infection genuinely mysterious. The problem, however, is then getting the authorities to modify and remove such measures in the light of accrued knowledge. The UK government is still acting as if this is the Black Death despite everything we have learned, so once they implement this new quarantine heaven knows what will be required for them to remove it.

swedenborg
swedenborg
25 days ago
Reply to  Sally

With the benefit of the hindsight we now know it was much more spread earlier.But in January we could have with closure of airflights delayed perhaps a week or two.The planning I meant was to buy PPE gowns etc.China successfully bought up all these items before the pandemic was declared.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
26 days ago

A tale of four countries. Tony Heller on form.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HSiVwlYi0w

ianp
ianp
26 days ago

Oh my… I hope it’s just my paranoid cabin fever but the latest government crappola from tonight about ‘terror threat level’ is now tying in the ‘carrot’ of more space on the streets, cycle lanes, less cars so to have a ‘safe distance’ when queuing ….oh air pollution has been reduced, how lovely! Similar schemes here there everywhere.

It was like parody piece.

Link that to all the collateral deaths due to lockdown that I have little to no doubt have occurred ( remove the sick) and a rather insidious little phrase about social distancing for 12 – 18 months!!! That would be the start of the depopulation bit? How will anyone meet anyone else?

I am seriously shitting myself now that this is some sort of agenda 2030 conspiracy and I don’t do them at all but how else can this worldwide insanity be explained?

JohnB
JohnB
26 days ago
Reply to  ianp

140 countries in lockstep. 🙂 I certainly can’t think of any rational alternative.

(Welcome to the Dark Side, Luke …).

old fred
old fred
25 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

Like you, I find it impossible to understand the collective lockdown insanity going on across the world.

Maybe the best way to rationalise it is ‘and billions of flies eat shit every day! So what? Does that make it good?’ (Birdman movie, 2014).

Farinances
Farinances
25 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Mass delusion motivated by fear, fecklessness, and greed

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
25 days ago
Reply to  ianp

I can only see this as an agenda, unfortunately. I keep trying and trying not to. I keep trying to tell myself it’s just a godawful cockup. But as the insanity levels ramp up, I simply cannot believe that any government which actually has potential control of the situation, could be acting like it is.

Boris and his ministers would have to be, quite literally, mentally ill.

However, if our government is being controlled by the REAL power brokers, then everything makes sense. The world is being turned into a global North Korea and the neverending lockdown is necessary to facilitate everything needed for this – identity tracking, financial dependence on the state, forced vaccinations – the whole caboodle.

Let me be wrong. Please let me be wrong. The government are just nutters, that must be it. Surely.

Ianric
Ianric
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I have been dubious about conspiracy theories but the lockdown effects match what conspiracy theorist have said. Gracie Knoll mentions financial dependence on the state. David Icke had a theory the lockdown is designed to create mass unemployment. If people can’t earn an income through working or running a business, they have no choice but to claim benefits from the state. David Icke said the government will introduce a universal basic income but it will have conditions and if claimants don’t do what the government wants, the basic income is is withdrawn which means unemployment and basic income is used as a tool of social control.

The lockdown is a perfect way of creating mass unemployment. Business go bust because they can’t operate, suppliers go bust due to lack of orders and unemployment takes spending money out of the economy which creates further unemployment. Finding work will be much harder if large numbers of businesses go bust. For instance, chefs will have difficulty finding work if the number of hotels, pubs and restaurants is reduced.

BecJT
BecJT
25 days ago
Reply to  Ianric

It’s also a way to deregulate everything and bin worker’s rights, mass unemployment, who’s going to argue. I know you brexiteers won’t like this, but we do have a bunch of fringe loony no dealers the cabinet.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
25 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Most of our workers rights originated in our law, not the EU.

Mark
Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

If you go into what is basically a game of chicken having openly said you won’t under any circumstances risk crashing, you will lose because your opponent knows you will always swerve. That’s basically what the negotiations over leaving terms are, because of the deadline. And that’s basically why the EU side has never given an inch on anything substantive and has constantly stuck to unreasonable demands.

We should from the day after the referendum have declared that we were happy to leave with no deal and started active preparations for that, whether or not we actually were happy at the prospect, and we should have said publicly to the EU that we would love a better deal than no deal – what do you have to offer?

That’s regardless of what one might think the merits or otherwise are of leaving with no deal.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Sadly, this is exactly where I am. There is no rational reason to be carrying on the way we are. That is unless there’s something that we’re not being told.

Pebbles
Pebbles
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

The bigger picture is that there is a much bigger agenda playing out. YES. This isn’t just about the ineptitude of our politicians. I know some want to believe the politicians mean well and have been making mistakes, and surely soon they will come to their senses etc., and Bill Gates is just here to save mankind from itself. I suppose that’s where their personally blind spot is, where the cognitive dissonance even in highly intelligent and articulate people is so strong that they can’t look at the evidence because the implications are so big, so paradigm shattering that one must do all it takes to deny deny deny… ridicule the “conspiracies”… only that the ample evidence around us takes you exactly there and nowhere else.
Contact tracing / apps, vaccination programs, universal basic income tied to conditions are all a part of this. All you need to do is read up on the following agendas / headlines online to get a grasp of the bigger agendas that have been out in the open for years:
IMF pushing for a digital world currency since 2013
The Known Traveller Digital Identity Project
ID2020
Basic Universal Income (similar to China’s social credit score system)
The Internet of Things by 2030

Forget Brexit. Forget freedom. Forget being sovereign. Forget freedom of speech. This isn’t just about a lockdown finally ending… this is about us hitting the biggest fork in the road now at the beginning of this decade of 2020-2030 and finally getting a grip of what is really going on and where their roadmap is taking us by 2030 if we don’t #remove consent and truly claim our state as #sovereign citizens.
That’s why they keep pushing the “we are only in Chapter 1” message in this Coronavirus crisis because we truly are…!
So let’s support Simon Dolan, push petitions, ask questions, write to MPs and Broadcasters, say NO to contact tracing, demand a public enquiry into gov UK handling this pandemic, demand investigation into the true death rate of Covid-19, demand transparency re Ferguson and his model…. and not fall asleep behind the democratic wheel ever again.

Paul
Paul
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

I recall watching many disaster and apocalypse type movies over the years and thinking ‘thank gooodness that couldn’t happen for real,even the worst governments aren’t that stupid’ but then look where we are now,like you Gracie I just cannot believe the situation we are now in and the fact that our so-called leaders appear determined to make the chasm we are rapidly falling into deeper and deeper and all with the silent acquiescence of most of the population,this is now becoming very unnerving indeed.

chris c
chris c
25 days ago
Reply to  Paul

You could look into Bilderberg as well as Bill Gates

Schwartz
Schwartz
26 days ago

Hi Toby. Outstanding work. Here is the piece I published on my facebook page today:

Sweden by the numbers — in proper context

Context is everything and right now we live in a time of panic at all levels and context is hard to find. Every day, I take the numbers published by their health authorities here and I update my spreadsheet and graph. https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd-beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/bekraftade-fall-i-sverige
(Note: the numbers in the world trackers are all wrong. They represent the deaths on the day they are reported, not the date of death which almost always different.)

Sweden is a big problem for the WHO, and for most governments worldwide — basically everyone who has been fear mongering. Why? Because Sweden didn’t fear monger and they applied interventions based on scientific evidence and now they are making everyone else look the fool. Given that context it isn’t surprising that 9 of every 10 articles I read point to Sweden being a disaster with the implication they should have locked down like everyone else.

Every single critical article cites the same two points:
1) Sweden’s elderly care homes were hit hard
2) They have a much higher death/population rate than Norway, Denmark and Finland

Those are both true facts and on the surface those seem like very logical arguments. In fact, the Swedish authorities have readily admitted their strategy failed to protect the elderly in the homes, I think their elderly home deaths are around 50% of total COVID deaths in Sweden. The problem is that lockdowns clearly don’t protect elderly homes, so the lockdown advocates are barking up the wrong tree on this one. In fact, here in locked down Ontario, 80% of our deaths are in elderly homes. That is worst of every jurisdiction I’ve read about. Lockdown or no lockdown, almost every country failed to protect the vulnerable (there are a few exceptions).

Let’s examine the second argument: Sweden has a much worse death rate per population than it’s geographical neighbours. The second last word is the one that should stick out. Why aren’t people comparing Sweden to Belgium, Lockdown Italy, Lockdown UK, Spain? Those countries have far worse death rates per population. Oh, they’re not in the same geographic region. Really? Should we be comparing our death rate with Mexico because we are all in North America. By that comparison, we are doing 5x worse than Mexico. I think we can both agree that is a ridiculous comparison as is the one between Sweden and Norway.

Death rates are all about demographics as we have seen first hand, especially in the US. Sweden has one of the highest percentage of people over 80 in all of Europe. Sweden also has a huge percentage of immigrants with darker skin. This is important because we have seen higher death rates in multiple northern countries in people with darker skin. I’ve read several hypotheses that Vitamin D deficiency plays a role in COVID mortality. Whatever the reason, demographics is the valid comparison, not geography.

So with those two arguments being eliminated, how do we determine if Sweden’s strategy has been successful?

I will argue there are several indicators we should look at:
1) Did their approach lead to unconstrained exponential deaths?
2) Did their approach lead to unnecessary deaths from an overwhelmed health system?
3) Did their approach lead to significant excess death?
4) Did their approach cause unnecessary damage?

You can see from the graph on this post, the answer to #1 is a clear NO. Sweden has seen the exact same curve reflecting a dropping R0 value. There was never any sustained exponential growth. Just like everywhere else. This is indisputable.

For #2, Sweden has maintained 20% excess capacity for COVID cases the whole time. In addition to that, they have continued to deliver health services unlike Locked Down jurisdictions like here, the US, or the UK. That means Sweden is not only not overloaded they aren’t killing sick people who don’t have COVID like the rest of us are.

#3 gets interesting. I don’t have the data to properly adjust the death rates by age, but I have a much simpler, and arguably better measure. If we look at the overall death rates from the past few years, we can see if the COVID deaths represent a significant increase. For the past 8 years, Sweden’s death rate per year has ranged from a low of ~89K to a high of ~92K, a spread of around 3.5K. Their COVID deaths are sitting at 3200 which is still less than their annual fluctuation. Their chief epidemiologist predicted that the deaths would likely be in the range of a year with a bad flu. It looks like he was right, since their death rate has settled down. Sweden is not seeing a ton of excess death at all compared to what they normally see. No need to compare to other countries.

If we want to cross validate my calculations, we can go to their annual flu reports and we see that the excess deaths in 2018/2019 (assumed to be flu or flu like illness) are in the same range (higher actually) than the COVID deaths. https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/publicerat-material/publikationsarkiv/i/influenza-in-sweden/?pub=63511

So by two separate measures, the excess deaths from COVID in are well within their regular annual fluction, or as their chief epidemiologist predicted, a bad flu season.

For more perspective, all deaths are undesirable, but Ontario with 1.6K deaths represents a mere 15% of the difference between the minimum and maximum annual deaths for the last 10 years of 12K. Ontario had a record high 109K deaths last year. 1.6K is a drop in that bucket.

#4 Sweden didn’t close any businesses, they didn’t force battered spouses and children to stay at home with their abusers. They didn’t close schools below the age of 16. The damage done everywhere is almost certainly going to exceed the lives saved — almost none.

Sweden failed in their elderly homes, just like everyone else. However, by every measure that matters, Sweden achieved a very good outcome. They aren’t killing people who don’t have COVID. They didn’t decimate their businesses. They didn’t ruin the schooling of their children. Their economy will be less damaged than those of us who locked down. The predictions of armaggeddon never materialized. And they haven’t suffered any significant excess deaths.

Most importantly, they did not teach their children or their population to act in FEAR! They taught them how one should act in the face of uncertainty: follow the evidence. Most of the rest of the world panicked and did the opposite. We certainly did, and we’re still cowering in our homes despite seeing first hand how it should be done.

Now, how long before I see another article comparing them to Norway or Denmark again because geography is the only valid comparison? No, because it’s the only thing they can pick on to try in vain to justify the damage we’ve done for nothing.

ianp
ianp
26 days ago
Reply to  Schwartz

I agree with this wholeheartedly, but sadly this doesn’t matter anymore. The general public, well who knows how many, are so cowed hook line and sinker to the mythical flattening of the curve and eliminating all cases ( IE chasing their fucking tails) that they would sell themselves into slavery and starvation for it. It’s all lining up now with the ridiculous ‘threat level’ which is a right to declare martial law.

Who says these tests are even accurate? They will be rolled out randomly at some point in the future and hey presto … We have a case!!! Must tack race, lockdown.

This feels like an endgame but there aren’t even of the unbrainwashed to take to the streets

KH1485
KH1485
26 days ago
Reply to  ianp

I agree. I wonder how many of these bloody boffins are awake at 2.35 in the morning, (s’cuse language) shit-scared about their futures. Not many, I’m guessing. Where are all the civil libertarians now, they seem to be conspicuous by their absence.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

Civil libertarians are here, trying to get their voices heard above the clamour of servile obedience. Seems to me this ends badly, one way or another. Either we succumb to Orwellian dystopia or we rise up. And that could be painful physically. Those of us who most seem to be willing to stand up (not all, don’t want to appear age-ist, but the only people wearing masks where I live are in their twenties) are getting on in years. I was demonstrating in solidarity with Grosvenor Square in 1968 while still at school, I bruise easily these days.

KH1485
KH1485
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

I know they’re *here* and I’m very grateful for that. My point is, where are the ones with a public voice? I agree that those who appear least affected, in terms of attitude, are those of a certain vintage. I run a small business and it is my older customers who have got in touch to say they can’t wait to get back out. And I have noticed also that it is the least at risk – the young – who are going around in haz-mat gear. My fear also is that putting one’s head above the parapet (in public) sadly comes with the risk of (potentially) being the target of physical and verbal aggression, so I take your point.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago
Reply to  KH1485

I see your point also. That’s why I, as a lapsed leftie, have parted company from most of my leftie friends who want to beat me to a pulp for objecting to the lockdown. I always thought the right were more authoritarian (hence my left leanings). I’ve had my eyes opened during this fiasco.

Farinances
Farinances
26 days ago
Reply to  Schwartz

Great post. I’m gonna copy it and use it on the Sweden bashers

OpenCorona
25 days ago
Reply to  Schwartz

Hey Schwartz! Would you please join the OpenCorona group on fb and post this there? Thanks! (Click my name to get to it)

guy153
guy153
25 days ago
Reply to  Schwartz

Very good explanation. Agree that the comparisons with Denmark and Norway are just otiose cherry-picking to make a point, but there may be some correlation between latitude and mortality possibly because of Vitamin D (or for whatever other reasons more people usually die of flu and coronaviruses during the winter).

TJN
TJN
25 days ago
Reply to  Schwartz

Lots of Second World War analogies around. Here’s another:

Sweden is Churchill’s Britain; Britain is Vichy France.

Well done Sweden.

swedenborg
swedenborg
25 days ago
Reply to  Schwartz

Stockholm is the odd man out in Sweden. Big population lots of immigrants,metro and very big care homes with not adequately trained staff. I think half of the deaths is in Stockholm.I suspect that if you take out Stockholm from the figures,Sweden would look pretty like their neighbours.

BobT
BobT
25 days ago

UK population is about 66 million. Officially 31,609 people died of or with Covid-19 which is 0.05% of the population and the vast majority of them are over 70 years old. The remaining 99.95% of the population are survivors of the virus who are all younger people who have been robbed of their education, their social interactions, their freedom, their future livelihood which which in many cases will turn into poverty, despair and ill health.
Putting the same numbers another way, 2000 younger people are paying this price to extend the life of one person who is likely near their end anyway.
??

Margaret
Margaret
25 days ago
Reply to  BobT

I shocked my neighbour (also a sceptic) when I asked her to guess on average how many people die in the world each year. She had no idea that it was in the region of 57 million people, which works out at an average of 19 million over the first four months of a year. We are currently looking at less than 280000 deaths worldwide ‘with corona’. Says it all really.

Suitejb
Suitejb
25 days ago
Reply to  BobT

As I’ve mentioned before social isolation is just as much of a death threat to the elderly as Covid-19. Quality of life is vital and to deny those who may only have a year or two of life left the chance to see friends and relatives, and to stroll round an open garden or the shops is tantamount to a punishment. Most older peole are able to make decisions about the risks they’re willing to take and should be allowed to do so.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
25 days ago
Reply to  Suitejb

More than a punishment, it’s conscious cruelty. I am witnessing it with a 96 year old mother who hasn’t spoken to another human in the flesh for eight weeks.

chris c
chris c
25 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

I’m relieved that my mother died before all this started. She was born during World War 1 and lived through World War 2 but I doubt she would survive the lockdown. Especially she had a keen eye for bullshit.

Mark Hunter
Mark Hunter
25 days ago

On the subject of the police closing public spaces and parks etc.

I took my oldest son a drive two weeks ago as the lockdown was truly getting to him. He was in his second year at uni (he’s decided he won’t return after this). Like the rest of us, he hasn’t seen his friends for 6 weeks (many of whom are lockdown cucks – his words) and was just feeling a bit flat.

We drove to a spot over the hills that he and his friends have driven to many times. But, of course, the car park gates were closed, with several signs on display with print justifying their closure “due to COVID-19”. We drove on to the next, smaller car park, that didn’t have a gate, where we parked.

Access to the nature trail was blocked by a locked gate, however, another sign boldly proclaiming lockdown restrictions.

And in a moment that will live on in my memory with pride, he strode over to the gate, grabbed the sign, and in one gesture full of energy and defiance, ripped off the sign, folded it in half, threw it away, climbed over the gate and walked on. I don’t think I can imagine a more symbolic gesture of lockdown defiance.

Like I say, I’ve never been prouder.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hunter

My wife went one further. Having ripped down a similar sign in a fit of frustration and rage, she proceeded to scrape our dog’s shit up with it before throwing the shit-covered sign into the bushes.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Your wife is pretty darn awesome too!

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
25 days ago
Reply to  Gracie Knoll

Great, but could have least have chucked it in a bin. I’ve been doing litter picking in my spare time for a few years…

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
25 days ago

No bins in the woodland, unfortunately. Chucked it well away from the path and into tangled undergrowth where it wouldn’t be seen or trodden on.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hunter

Good lad. He’s our future and my hero.

JohnB
JohnB
25 days ago

Huzzah!
We should maybe all of us follow his example, as far as we are willing and able ?
Scissors for plastic tape.
Marker pens for ‘correcting’ notices.
Our own leaflets/posters, with facts/URLs on them.
Please expand anyway you can think of folks.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hunter

Very good. Keep it up!

Suitejb
Suitejb
25 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hunter

I wonder if the petty officials who drive around putting up signs and closing car parks and laybys ever feel a scrap of guilt that they are able to be out and about in the beautiful spring countryside whilst at the same time trying to keep the rest of us out of it!

Mark
Mark
25 days ago
Reply to  Suitejb

My guess? No, not for a second. Too busy feeling all smug and warm that they are serving the Greater Good, and stopping those “covidiots” they read about in their red-top or Times/Guardian rag from murdering people by going outside