Latest News

The Guardian leads this morning with the latest woes over the NHS’s contact-tracing app. The message about there being a second version of the app may have got lost in the post on its way to the Ethics Advisory Board (see yesterday’s daily update), but it made it to the Kent-based recruiters tasked with hiring 18,000 trackers and tracers. According to the Guardian, applicants have started to receive the following response:

Thank you for your online application for this role. Unfortunately earlier today the roles were put on hold. This is due to a delay in the launch of the “Track and Trace’”app itself while the Government considers an alternative app.

Assuming the alternative app is the one commissioned for £3.8m from Zulke based on the Apple-Google decentralised approach, this consequence was foreseeable. A centralised approach relies on an army of operators; a decentralised one doesn’t. Does this mean the track-and-tracers hired in England so far will have to be furloughed? Scotland’s Sunday Mail attacked the Scottish Government yesterday for not having hired a single tracer, but that may turn out to be prudent in retrospect. (A stopped clock, etc.) The latest news is that the roll out of the app is going to be delayed until June. The one straw Matt Hancock can clutch at is that the UK Government is not alone in making a complete hash of this. According to Politico, plenty of other European government are struggling with contact-tracing technology. Why didn’t they all just adopt the Apple-Google approach in the first place?

Can the High Street Recover?

The Daily Mail leads with a classic vox pop by Harry Wallop in Southwold, a Suffolk coastal town which is a cipher for small towns across the country. Harry has spoken to various shopkeepers in its once-thriving, now-deserted High Street, to find out how they’re faring. The answers, while unsurprising, are distressing: many shops shut, with turnover down in those still open by up to 90%, and all of them facing huge bills for everything from rent to Perspex screens.

In Southwold, for all its independents, there are 12 empty stores, with many clothes shops and gift shops closing over the past year.

Those surviving still have to pay rent to landlords, even during the lockdown.

Many fear that when they are allowed to reopen, social-distancing restrictions will be so severe it will be impossible to make enough money to pay their bills.

And shopping centres are unlikely to fare much better. See this depressing footage from a shopping centre in Sydney posted on YouTube this morning. Is this what Westfield’s going to look like?

No Regional Variation

The Mail also reports business minister Alok Sharma’s comments from last night’s Downing Street briefing to the effect that the Government will not adapt the coronavirus lockdown regionally, despite the ‘R’ rate varying widely in different parts of the UK. This appears to confirm what many think, that the Government believes the public is too stupid to cope with more nuanced guidance.

No More Holidays in the Sun

The Times says that overseas holidays are likely to be banned this year, with Brits returning from foreign climes being forced into a 14-day self-quarantine which will make leaving the country impractical (and destroy much of what’s left of the country’s travel industry).

There had been a glimmer of hope for Francophiles after Boris suggested that those arriving via the Channel Tunnel or on cross-Channel ferries might be exempt, following a phone call with Macron. But the Times reports that ministers will meet today “to agree what one called ‘a very tight set of exemptions'”, while a Whitehall source says that number of possible exemptions has “been considerably scaled back” on “the advice of the Government’s scientific advisers”.

Lorry drivers are expected to be exempt from the rules, which does at least allow for the possibility of families from Milton Keynes being smuggled back into the country alongside those from Mogadishu and Mosul. In addition, the paper says “scientists researching coronavirus may also be exempt”. Does that include social scientists “researching” the impact of the virus on Italian and Spanish coastal towns? I studied economics at university…

Online, the Times reports the comments of Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary on the Today programme this morning that the 14-day quarantine policy is “idiotic” and “un-implementable”. O’Leary predicts that any such plan will be “dropped within weeks” because people will refuse to abide by it. The Telegraph and the Express also cover O’Leary’s remarks.

Meanwhile, Wales Online says package holidays will cost at least twice as much post-pandemic. Time to invest in a holiday let in Cornwall…

Six Million Fear Losing Their Jobs

In other news, the Guardian reports that six million people fear losing their jobs:

A survey finds 60% of workers are at most three months away from rent or mortgage default.

As many as 6 million people in Britain fear losing their job within six months as the coronavirus outbreak causes the biggest economic shock in living memory, a study has warned.

With much of business and social life at a standstill despite gradual steps to reopen the economy, the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) said workers feared the coronavirus recession would be worse than the 2008 financial crash.

As many as one in five people in a survey of 2,000 workers by Survation for the left-wing thinktank said they were worried about losing their jobs, despite Government efforts to cushion the blow using its wage subsidy scheme.

Academy Bosses Back Schools Reopening

There’s a letter in the Times this morning from the chiefs of 22 academy chains backing the Government’s plans to reopen schools. Together, these chains teach about a third of a million children. In the letter, they say the impact of schools remaining closed will be calamitous and irreparable, particularly for poorer pupils.

Michael Gove, the former Education Secretary, has told teachers to end their opposition to schools in England reopening more widely in a fortnight. He told them to “look to your responsibilities” and said that if teachers really cared about children they would want them to be in schools, because “teaching is a mission and a vocation”.

The Guardian reports on a new survey showing that keeping poor children off school damages their education.

Keeping schools closed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic is almost certain to increase educational inequalities between children from the richest and poorest families, according to a study, as debate intensifies over the Government’s push to reopen schools in England.

Survey data from more than 4,000 families in England analysed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that by the end of this month, children in better-off families will have received a week and half more home learning than children in the poorest households during the closures.

Pity that until now the paper has done its best to give the impression that asking teachers to do what nurses, checkout staff and posties have done all along – i.e. go to work – is tantamount to genocide.

The Telegraph has a summary of a new report by Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance which concludes that the risk of coronavirus spreading in schools is “extremely low”:

Speaking to the Telegraph yesterday, a senior member of the SAGE sub-committee on schools… described it as a “very useful and interesting piece of research”.

[It] was conducted by Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. It was cited by the country’s officials when they announced that children should return to the classroom and found schools had a “very limited” role in transmission of the virus.

The scientists found that across 15 schools in New South Wales, 10 secondary and five primary, 18 people – nine teachers and nine students – had confirmed coronavirus.

Of the 735 students and 128 staff who were in close contact with the virus carriers, only one secondary school pupil caught it from another student and one primary school pupil caught it from a teacher.

The authors said their findings “do suggest that spread of COVID-19 within NSW schools has been very limited” and transmission “appears considerably less than seen for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza”.

They concluded that the data “suggest that children are not the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in schools or in the community. This is consistent with data from international studies showing low rates of disease in children and suggesting limited spread among children and from children to adults.”

The Sun has a strong leader saying its time for children to return to the classroom:

Militant unions telling teachers they should refuse to go back to work must also urgently rethink their stance.

Reopening schools is obviously essential if we are to prevent the poorest and most vulnerable children falling behind — new research reveals that better-off children are spending a whopping 30 per cent more time each day on education than those from poorer homes.

But as parents can only go back to work once their kids are in class, it’s also the only way to kickstart the economy.

The Telegraph has a report on what it says are the “first images” to emerge of what life will be like for British children in primary schools. Turns out, this is exactly – and I mean exactly – the same story that I ran on Lockdown Sceptics last week about the now-deleted Facebook post complaining about the new rules in place at Holywell Village First School in Northumberland. I always credit other journalists on this site. Be nice if they reciprocated occasionally.

“Fake News” More Accurate Than “Real” News?

Peter Ebdon snookers Government propaganda

People who dare to tell the truth about the Government’s massive over-reaction to the pandemic, and challenge the propaganda being pumped out daily to justify it, are so often accused of spreading “fake news” and “misinformation” that I’m tempted to create a page on the right-hand side called “Fake News”, but with the word “Fake” crossed out and replaced with the word “Real”. In this regard, it’s worth reading Omar Kahn’s Medium post about the hysterical coverage of the crisis in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest truth-teller to be accused of hawking “conspiracy theories” is the Snooker champion Peter Ebdon. In an interview with BBC Five Live on Saturday, he dared to suggest that self-isolating might be damaging to people’s psychological health: “Is social distancing harmful? Yes, it probably is. People need touch, need to shake hands.”. He also said he thought people might be better off in the long run if they focused on building up herd immunity. “They need to build up their immunity,” he said. Finally, he said the British authorities have been using tried-and-tested psychological techniques to try and get us to observe official guidance. “There’s an awful lot of brainwashing going on at the moment,” he said. “We’re facing the greatest psychological operation in history.”

All sounds pretty reasonable to me, but not to the Independent. The headline in today’s paper reads: ‘Former snooker champion promotes coronavirus conspiracy theory during BBC interview.’ The story begins: “Peter Ebdon has used a BBC interview to a promote a conspiracy theory around the coronavirus pandemic. The former world snooker champion believes that the Government’s social distancing guidelines are harmful.”

I wonder who else the Independent is going to accuse of promoting “coronavirus conspiracy theories”? The Royal College of Psychiatrists? On Saturday, it warned that psychiatrists are in danger of being overwhelmed by “a tsunami of mental illness”. By way of confirmation, the BBC reports that over half a million people have accessed online training courses that aim to prevent suicide in the last three weeks alone.

Actually, we don’t need to speculate about who else the Independent is going to accuse of this thought crime because it lists Ebdon’s co-defendants further down in the piece: “Ebdon is not the first sportsman to come out publicly with conspiracy theories relating to the pandemic. Former Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell earlier this month claimed that the virus was man-made…”

Note to Ben Burrorws, the journalist who’s written this article: another person guilty of promoting the “conspiracy theory” that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a lab and couldn’t have evolved naturally is Dr Luc Montagnier, joint winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

Why Do Lockdown Zealots Behave Like Members of a Cult?

Interesting link in the comments beneath yesterday’s Latest News. It was to a blog post by Hugh Willbourn, longtime collaborator of Paul McKenna. He poses an interesting question, which is why vast swathes of the population, not just here but across the world, continue to believe the worst about coronavirus in spite of the now overwhelming evidence that it will end up killing about the same amount of people as a bad bout of seasonal flu? As he puts it:

In spite of the evidence that COVID-19, whilst tragically fatal for too many, is not the decimating plague that was predicted, governments and populations around the world continue to behave as though it is a plague on a par with the Black Death.

His theory is that those who’ve got hold of this idea, and adjusted their behaviour accordingly, have essentially joined a cult – the Covid cult – and the mounting evidence that their beliefs are mistaken has prompted them to double-down on those beliefs rather than abandon them.

That may sound like an odd reaction, but in fact it’s typical of doomsday cult members throughout history. Willbourn cites the work of Leon Festinger, a mid-century social psychologist, who joined a UFO cult in 1954 in an attempt to understand what drove its members. These cultists believed a wave of catastrophic earthquakes and floods were about to engulf the US, but they would be saved by the “Guardians” who would whisk them to safety in flying saucers. To Festinger’s amazement, when the appointed hour came and went and no earthquakes or floods occurred, his fellow cultists become more convinced that they were right, not less.

Festinger wrote a book called When Prophecy Fails in which he hypothesises that the reason doomsday cultists always double down on their beliefs after they’ve been shown to be nonsense is to avoid the pain of admitting they were wrong and all their sacrifices were for nothing. He sets out five conditions that have to be present for this extreme form of cognitive dissonance to occur:

  1. There must be conviction
  2. There must be commitment to this conviction
  3. The conviction must be amenable to unequivocal disconfirmation
  4. Such unequivocal disconfirmation must occur
  5. Social support must be available subsequent to the disconfirmation

Is this starting to sound familiar? As Willbourn points out, the sequence that Festinger wrote about more than 50 years ago is eerily reminiscent of what’s happening today: an apocalyptic prophecy was delivered from on high (“the science”), those who believed it radically altered their behaviour, the prophecy turned out not to be true, but instead of abandoning their doom-mongering the believers have become even more fervent, attacking anyone who points out the gap between fantasy and reality as dangerous heretics (“fake news”, “misinformation”, “conspiracy theories”, etc).

The difference, of course, is that Festinger’s UFO cult had a few dozen members, whereas the Covid cult seems to have infected half the world. If Festinger’s right, the bad news is we won’t be able to persuade people to stop social distancing if we prove that the danger posed by COVID-19 has been dramatically overstated. On the contrary, people’s opposition to returning to normal will intensify rather than diminish as the evidence mounts they were wrong.

You can already see this in the reaction of parents reluctant to send their kids back to school when you point out that the chances of a child aged 14 and under dying from COVID-19 are 5.3 million-to-one. Far from being reassured, they just become hostile and suspicious. It’s like the opposite of red-pilling someone: they’re even less likely to send their child to school once you’ve given them the facts. The solution may well be to give the entire population of the UK a magic potion that persuades them they’re now protected from this killer virus. Which is exactly what Alok Sharma announced yesterday at the Downing Street press briefing: plans are in place to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine to 30 million people by September if trials are successful.

When Prophecy Fails is available on Kindle for just 99p. Worth checking out for people trying to figure out how we ended up in this predicament.

And while we’re on the subject of mass hysteria, Guy de la Bédoyère, long-standing contributor to this site, has written an excellent essay called ‘Climbing Out of the Lobster Pot‘ about the psychological trap our Government has led us into. Well worth a read.

A Critical Care Nurse Writes…

A reader passed on a gripe from a critical care nurse at a large NHS hospital in the East of England. She’s none too happy about the staff who’ve been redeployed to work in critical care at their own request:

This week’s work has been very hard. Wearing full PPE makes me overheat, the visors are cloudy and mine is constantly steamed up. Then staff are arguing. Some nurses, Health Care Assistants and Operating Department Practitioners redeployed to critical care at their own request are complaining the work is too hard; they don’t like being told what to do by a critical care sister. They go on about us being heroes. Makes me so cross, let’s just get on with our jobs, I am doing mainly what I have been doing for years. We often risk catching some horrible illness, we just get on with it, taking the best precautions we can. These new prima donnas need to get a grip.

A Banker Writes…

A banker has been in touch, having waded through the minutes of the Strategic Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) meetings. According to him, they prove that COVID-19 is a nosocomial disease, which has long been a suspicion of his:

I am sure you are all over this but it is an absolute treasure trove if you can be bothered to go through it.

But my particular hobby horse is nailed in minutes of meeting 18, items 6 and 7. Basically, it admits that they knew, by March 20th, that the majority of new ICU cases were coming from within the hospitals themselves, from in-patients being infected by medical staff and other patients. They were not coming from outside.

This is almost entirely a nosocomial disease. Nearly all the deaths have arisen from infections passed around in hospitals and care homes; almost none in the general community. All they had to do was protect hospital in-patients and care home inmates and we wouldn’t have had an epidemic. Probably why there are virtually no deaths in Africa and definitely the reason for so few deaths in Japan – they protect their elderly.

Bluntly, this is an almighty fuck-up by PHE and NHS: they allowed the virus to get into hospitals early doors and then panicked and made the situation even worse by sending a whole load of infected patients into care homes. 80-90% of deaths are going to turn out to be people who were already in a hospital or care home, but it is being covered up because NHS/PHE don’t want to admit that they actually caused the problem. They have killed a lot of people.

This is the answer; it explains everything. It explains the different death tolls between countries; it explains why countries with high death tolls have so many who had pre-existing conditions; it explains why there is so little correlation between lock-downs and death tolls; it explains differing fatality rates; it explains Sweden and Germany; it explains why the outbreaks die out relatively quickly regardless. In the general community, like MRSA, it is pretty harmless, but if you get it into hospitals and medical facilities it runs riot and kills people. Did we learn nothing from Florence Nightingale?

What do you do with a disease that only kills really old and ill people? Keep it out of hospitals and care homes…

We have all been imprisoned for no reason at all.

You will also like all the stuff about intentionally frightening us all to ensure compliance. Sick-making.

I’ve had a brief look myself and the minutes he’s referring to aren’t quite the smoking gun he imagines. Items six and seven in the minutes of meeting 18 read as follows:

  1. The current doubling time may higher than expected in the longer term, if there is appreciable nosocomial transmission resulting in high prevalence in health care workers and a greater risk of transmission to vulnerable patients.
  2. If the current ICU demand is being driven largely by nosocomial transmission and increased transmission to vulnerable patients and this process is separate from transmission in the general population then it will not be influenced in the short-term by current measures.

It sounds like the boffins on SAGE were discussing the possibility that COVID-19 is “driven largely be nosocomial transmission” rather than stating it as a bald fact. Nonetheless, if that does become the settled consensus about how the virus is passed on – and everything we’re discovering about transmission is trending in that direction – my banker friend is right about the authorities’ response being “an almighty fuck up”. And questions will need to be asked about why this possibility was considered, and apparently rejected, by SAGE.

Incidentally, I wonder if my friend has seen this piece in the Guardian? It says that more than 20% of those patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in hospitals contracted the disease while in hospital being treated for another illness.

Why Have There Been So Many Deaths in Care Homes?

In light of the fact that COVID-19 is almost certainly a predominantly nosocomial disease, I’ve created a new page on the right-hand menu called ‘Why Have There Been So Many Deaths in Care Homes?‘ I’ve had help with this from “Wilfred Thomas”, the pseudonymous academic who wrote ‘COVID-19 and the Infantilisation of Dissent‘ and ‘The Hyper-Rationality of Crowds: COVID-19 and the Cult of Anxiety‘. Please add your comments underneath and suggest links we should flag up at the foot of the page.

How Did We Respond to Previous Pandemics?

A reader has sent me such an interesting bit of historical research he’s done on earlier pandemics I’m going to start a new page on the right-hand side entitled ‘How Did We Respond to Previous Pandemics?’

I’ve already written about the fact that the influenza pandemic of 1968-70 was more deadly than the current pandemic, but didn’t cause any country to start quarantining entire populations and this reader has dug up some interesting facts about it.

For instance, 80,000 people in the UK died from what was known as “Honk Kong Flu”. As a percentage of the UK population back then (55 million), that’s the equivalent of 97,000 in today’s money. And it was a big story at the time – see this Pathé News report. But we didn’t lock people up in the homes or mothball our economy and, as a result, there was no hit to GDP. Whole year growth for 1969 was 1.9%; for 1970 it was 2.7%. More info on this and other pandemics coming soon.

There’s a good article on the blog of the American Institute for Economic Research about how the policy of locking down entire populations in response to a pandemic was first floated in 2006 as a possible response to bird flu. It was rejected then, but resurfaced four years later in a “second wave” of terrible policy responses.

Round-Up

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

Small Businesses That Have Reopened

Last Monday, Lockdown Sceptics launched a searchable directory of open businesses across the UK. The idea is to celebrate those retail and hospitality businesses that have reopened, as well as help people find out what has opened in their area. But we need your help to build it, so we’ve created a form you can fill out to tell us about those businesses that have reopened near you. Please visit the page and let us know about those brave folk who are doing their bit to get our country back on its feet. We’re up to 455 now. Keep ’em coming.

Shameless Begging Bit

Thanks as always to those of you who made a donation in the last 24 hours to pay for the upkeep of this site. I’ve now got two journalists helping out and I’d like to pay them something, so if you feel like donating please click here. And if you want to flag up any stories or links I should include in tomorrow’s update, email me here.

And Finally…

Citizen Young rallies rallies his troops outside the now closed Tooting Broadway tube station

I love getting emails from lefties who say they share my lockdown scepticism and can’t believe what a bunch of bed-wetters their fellow travellers are. But this is my favourite so far:

Just to say I’ve been a lifelong member of the Marxist revolutionary left and would definitely be on the other side of the barricades from Toby Young (except on Brexit). However, I will be making a donation to Lockdown Sceptics because it is a beacon of sanity in a sea of hysteria. I’ve just finished writing a piece against lockdown, which is even worse where I am (Scotland), and it will hopefully be published next week in a small scale online magazine.

Keep me posted, Comrade. I will link to your article on this site.

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DocRC
DocRC
14 days ago

You’ve certainly rattled the Grauniad’s cage, Toby! They even defend Ferguson’s model. Apparently we shouldn’t question the “experts.” With a degree in physiology and Medicine I take exception to that. Probably why I don’t read the Guardian.
https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/18/lockdown-sceptics-coronavirus-brexit

Dwayne
Dwayne
14 days ago
Reply to  DocRC

Has anyone found a CV for Ferguson? I have looked at his Wiki page and the page at Imperial and all I can see is a PhD in Physics. I don’t see any study in mathematical biology and nothing on epidemiology and yet he is sold as some kind of medical professional and epidemiologist.

I am getting tired of the media picking which expert is the right one to quote instead of giving a balanced report by finding alternate experts with differing opinions. More like propagandists than reporters.

Stephen McMurray
Stephen McMurray
14 days ago
Reply to  Dwayne

his phd is only in physics according to his linked in page

paulito
paulito
14 days ago
Reply to  Dwayne

Spot on Dwayne.

Geraint
Geraint
13 days ago
Reply to  Dwayne

Maybe the physics background of making assumptions like ‘consider the body to be a dimensionless point’ ; ‘the string can be considered to have no mass’ ; ‘consider the particle to be uniformly spherical’ etc etc might hint as to why his model is such a ‘garbage in- garbage out, assumptions riddled, un-peer reviewed pile of (expensive!) shit. ! 🙂 . points I made to him in an email, which he didn’t deny, just said government does not rely on one model alone….

Alice
Alice
13 days ago
Reply to  Dwayne

It’s weird – the media would previously report both sides of an argument, and the left would complain that this is why Brexit happened. The “obviously insane” choice to leave the EU was presented on equal footing with apparently the sensible option of remaining.

And yet there’s mountains of evidence coming out in favour of ending the lockdown, and it’s being completely ignored or mocked by most of the media.

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago
Reply to  DocRC

That article seems to be at odds with something. What could that something be? Oh, yes that’s it, proven evidence.

They say that people like me are anti-experts and anti-evidence, No I’m not. I’m all for experts and scientific facts, I just think that some things, such as quality of life, need to be ranked above the mere extension of life for life’s sake. Better a happy life, statistically shortened by a small risk, than a long one being miserable living in poverty under a draconian state.

They say we’ve compared shutting pubs to the work of dictators, if all that had happened was shutting of pubs then I personally would scarcely mind, I don’t use them that often, the trouble was that the government went well beyond shutting pubs and closed down everything and took away our rights, the article steps straight over those details.

They accuse us of social darwinism, the lockdown is hurting the poor far more than the virus ever could. While the virus has, seemingly, had worse health outcomes for poorer patients, it doesn’t discriminate anything like as stringly as the lockdown does. Our posh pompous PM got the virus and came, the media say, close to death, heads of state have been killed by it. The relative protection wealth gives against the virus is a lot less than the relative protection wealth gives against harms exacerbatd by the lockdown. Lockdown will produce famines in africa, in most african countries people work outdoors, covid-19 will only spread if they are trapped at home, does wanting to stop thsoe famines make us murderers?

They say Nadine Dorries is one of us, last time I looked she was saying we mustn’t get our rights back until a vaccine is ready. Waiting in hope and destroying all of modern life’s amenities in the meantime is not what us sceptics are for.

They say we’re nearly all brexiteers, as a remaienr myself i’m offended by that. And from the somments on this site and on the internet in general I’d say we’re split somewhere between 50-50 leave-remain to maybe 66L-33R, a broad church in agreement over our essential liberties quite irrelevant of R-L voting in 2016.

They state that this weekends protests were organised by the far right, despite the press having all admitted on Sunday that Sat’s protests were mostly hippies and while there was some police brutality most of the crowds were, in their own wors, good natured.

They treat us like we approve of privacy violating apps as a “solution” to covid-19, no-one on here has been sympathetic to transferring our most intimate details of life to governments and corporations for some notional “protection” from the virus, we’ve been saying quite a lot about hos that is the same shade of wrong as the lockdowns. The article insists we are ignoring tis hazard.

They then try to put words in the mouth of Carl Sagan (R.I.P) who isn’t around to defend himself. This despite him being recorded in print as standing against arguments from authroity, for freedom to publish work as a scientist, and arguments on the importance of education to ensure people know the danegrs of freedoms being suppressed. He said in his “Demon Haunted world” book that “Part of the duty of citizenship is not to be intimidated into conformity”. I couldn’t dare to assume from this that he’d back our cause, but the article’s authors have no right to assume he’d oppose it either.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

The far right thing is my favourite.

How do they explain Piers Corbyn? Did they even mention him in that article?

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Besides, whoever wrote that clearly has never actually read anything on this site.
Honestly, the editor just wanted a hit piece.

paulito
paulito
14 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

And that part about lockdown scepticism being a “minority sport”. Why bother writing about it then.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  paulito

Yeah, love that. We’re so mental and ridiculous that they have to write daily scathing articles about us.

A13
A13
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

That part about Sagan really annoyed me. He was called a sceptic’s sceptic for a reason. Anyone familiar with his books, especially ”the varieties of scientific experience” knows that he had a very inquisitive mind and wasn’t afraid to challenge established conventions and ask difficult questions.

Looking forward to not buying Geoghegan’s book.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

“I couldn’t dare to assume from this that he’d back our cause, but the article’s authors have no right to assume he’d oppose it either.”

Quite, it’s complete fantasy to speculate about what his views would be on the substantive issue. But it’s pretty reasonable to assume he’d have absolutely condemned the attempt to shut down sceptical questioning on the issue in the way that article does.

Andrew Clapton
Andrew Clapton
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Well said! I read the guardian article and was extremely annoyed. Notice how with such articles one can’t post a comment. They know many readers on this site would tear their “argument” – if you could call it that – apart. Cowards. Then I read Climbing out of the Lobster Pot. Compare the two and I think it’s obvious where the intelligent discussion resides. Exellent work Guy! An absolute pleasure to read.

Jane
Jane
14 days ago
Reply to  DocRC

The people who wrote that article in the Guardian are from openDemocracy, an “independent media platform” funded by the the usual NGO suspects including Avaaz, the Open Society, Rockefeller, Ford, and NED among others.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Jane

*bangs gavel down*

Of coooooooooooooooooouuuurrrse

Edgar Friendly
Edgar Friendly
14 days ago
Reply to  Jane

He who pays the piper calls the tune

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
13 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Yep, a little bit of digging always turns up these are names over and over.

paulito
paulito
14 days ago
Reply to  DocRC

i said I wouldn’t look at The Grauniad ever again, but I couldnt’ resist a quick look at their latest nonsense. An article that critises sceptics for ignoring scientists has not one word to say about the numerous scientists who have criiticised this disasterous imprisonment sinc day 1. what science does this article cite? Well, Imperial College whose modelling has been consistently wrong for decades.Pathetic..

chris c
chris c
14 days ago
Reply to  paulito

The Guardian never met a consensus it didn’t like (not the case in the past).

The trouble is, science is NOTHING to do with consensus. You make observations, evolve a theory and test it. If you fail to break it enough times it starts to become believable.

In Guardianworld The Anointed come up with a Great Plan which must not be questioned: anyone who dares question it is either stupid or evil

Tom Naughton helps explain it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=GDlF-z_x7vc

paulito
paulito
13 days ago
Reply to  chris c

Exactly Chris . Those who talk about scientific consensus and settled science demonstrate that they have no idea what real science is.

JohnB
JohnB
14 days ago

Citizen Smith maybe ?

Annie
Annie
14 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

Hard,y. Citizen Smith wanted – ostensibly at least – to give power to the people. Ferguson’s mad panic took away power, human rights, and sanity from everybody.

Stefan
Stefan
14 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

“Power to the People”

Oh the irony!

Edgar Friendly
Edgar Friendly
14 days ago
Reply to  Stefan

Can i borrow a quid?

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

Citizen [Toby] Young, in this case…

JohnB
JohnB
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yep – that’s what the loud whoooshing noise must have been … 🙂

Stephen McMurray
Stephen McMurray
14 days ago

I have just has a freedom of information request rejected as it would take too much time and expense to supply the information. However, most of the questions could have been answered by looking at minutes of the meetings. No surprise, of course, as transparency is anathema to this lot.

1. Please supply the figures and formulas in the computer model used to persuade the government that lockdown was the only way of curtailing the corona virus outbreak and who supplied them with these figures?

2. Please advise if any virologists or epidemiologists were consulted, who were they and what advice did they supply?

3. Where there any other suggestions put forward other than lockdown and, if so, why was the lockdown option chosen as the only way to counteract the virus?

4. Where any economists consulted as to the economic impact? If so, who were they and what was their advice?

5. Where there any mental health experts consulted? If so, who were they and what was their advice?

6. Where any experts on suicide prevention consulted. If so, who were they and what was their advice?

7. Where there any experts on the physical and mental health effects of unemployment on people consulted? If so, who where they and what was their advice?

8. Was an Equality Impact Assessment carried out before issuing the lockdown order?

9. When a number of international experts came forward on the offguardian website and various other platforms to state that covid 19 was not as dangerous as initially presumed and questioning the wisdom of lockdown measures, did the government consult with them to find what their expert opinion was and, if not, why not?

10. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into account the fact that all deaths are being reported as covid 19 deaths if a patient tests positive even if there was no evidence that the virus was a causative factor?

11. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into account the fact the well-known problem of PCR tests showing false positives due to contamination?

12. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into account the fact that the PCR tests on many occasions cannot differentiate between covid 19 and other corona viruses and other respiratory viruses?

13. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into account the fact a lot of the Chinese patients that were diagnosed positive for covid 19 were not tested but the diagnosis was based solely on clinical symptoms which would greatly overestimate the number of people that actually had the virus?

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago

Maybe try submitting each of the 13 points again as a single request? So they can’t try to claim “oh no, wall of text, this is too much work”.

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago

I’m a bit of an FOI pro (local authority battle), you need to really hone your questions, they can refuse if it’s too much work (that’s a big list). What’t the burning question you want to know, and can you nest any of the others under it as related, keep it really simple. You can only submit one every 60 days I think, so other way to do it is share them out and get other people do them on your behalf.

RDawg
RDawg
14 days ago

I hope all these questions will be pursued fully when there is a full inquiry.

JohnB
JohnB
14 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Ha ha ha. 🙂

Oh, you’re serious ? Let me laugh harder. 🙂 🙂

Pebbles
Pebbles
13 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

How do we get the full enquiry going then? Only through public pressure…lawsuits…petitions…citizen journalists and brave outlets who won’t take BS for an answer… what other chances do we have at this point?

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
13 days ago
Reply to  Pebbles

Simon Dolan’s lawsuit is hopefully doing just this. You can still donate on the crowdjustice website.

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
13 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

You can bet the groundwork for the whitewash is already being laid.

paulito
paulito
13 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Or at the criminal trial..

Kung Flu Lou
Kung Flu Lou
14 days ago

Sort out your weres from your wheres. Once or twice is acceptable but five times!
Aside from that, some good questions.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Kung Flu Lou

Pilkunnussija.

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
13 days ago

Too long a list, you will need to ask a lot less at a time.

Let me know what question to ask to what department and I’ll put one in.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
14 days ago

The Guardian (and many other MSM news outlets) have peddled pure fiction for many many years.

Keep it up Toby. You’re a journalistic breath of fresh air.

SilentReader
SilentReader
14 days ago

The Guardian really has turned into a pseudo-intellectual Buzzfeed for avocado-inhaling, champaign-sipping, ‘injustice’-fighting Islingtoners. The rag has been full of clickbait for years but the content they’re releasing at the moment is rapidly killing my few remaining brain cells. Toby, please keep it up. I’m beginning to lose my marbles…

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago
Reply to  SilentReader

The Guardian used to be sensible, but since this lockdown began they’ve completedy turned their back on the importance of liberty when applied to whole populations. Somehow they think injustices are a tragedy when faced by the few but some kind of deluded duty when imposed upon all. Right and wrong does not work like that!

Bella Donna
Bella Donna
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Indeed we used to have it in our household! Can’t believe it now! 😅

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

The reality is that the Guardian has always been run by and for a bunch of authority worshiping, reality denying elitists. For many lockdown sceptical former Guardian readers here, it’s just that it’s the first time they’ve found a cause they sympathise with on the receiving end of its poisonous abuse and dishonesty

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Agree, on women’s rights and transgender they have been vicious, and extremely disingenuous, you could read the same story reported in the Times and the Guardian (male sex offender put in women’s prison for e.g.) and get two entirely differing reports. It was very illuminating watching it play out.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

A website was set up by left-libertarian dissidents who were banned from the Guardian comments because they didn’t toe the authority line on Russia. An absolute disgrace to the whole basis of what the Guardian supposedly stood for (but never did, in reality).

https://off-guardian.org/

chris c
chris c
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes the Off-Guardian is what The Guardian used to be decades ago.

In view of the ongoing censorship of Wikipedia by editors with an agenda, interesting to note that Jimmy Wales is (was?) on the board of the Guardian

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
14 days ago
Reply to  chris c

I once made a donation to Wikipedia, but the wokeness and nastiness means I never will again.

Edgar Friendly
Edgar Friendly
14 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

I did the same once, but the barrage of beg letters i received afterwards as a ‘supporter’ put me right off ever bothering again, not to mention the horrendous bias that prevails there now. Wish i had bought a proper encyclopedia from a charity shop instead.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Edgar Friendly

It was a great idea – still is – but when you have “editors” banning everyone from editing “their” subjects, especially when they are right, just because the editor is vegan and hates low carbers, and they remove people they don’t like, such as the estimable Malcolm Kendrick . . . the most unbelievable story I heard was when someone corrected a minor error in the description of a BUS, and the editor removed the correct information and reverted to the incorrect version. You Just Couldn’t Make This Up.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

The Guardian always liked to bring up Lord Rothmere’s (Daily Mail) cheerleading of Hitler until 1938 but they keep quiet about their own support for eugenics.

AidanR
AidanR
13 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

How far back are you going to find a time when the G was sensible? I remember it being a hysterical menopausal laughing stock more than 15 years ago.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

I’m going back to the seventies or so.

When John Brunner was writing his dystopias back in the sixties and seventies he used to read The Guardian and New Scientist, and project what he read into the neat future.

I haven’t read it recently but I was told the New Scientists isn’t what it was either.

Mark
Mark
13 days ago
Reply to  chris c

Depends whether you like your science news smothered in a deep layer of political correctness or not.

Bess
Bess
14 days ago
Reply to  SilentReader

Oh come on – stop it. Islington’s where my home is. I like avocados and champagne, but I’m also a Lockdown Sceptic

Edgar Friendly
Edgar Friendly
14 days ago
Reply to  SilentReader

Hoi, us Islingtonians require a year-round supply of avocados, this virus has hit us the worst, it’s really not on. I just can’t call it a proper breakfast without a smashed avocado on my sourdough toast. Our housemaid can’t find any in Waitrose, neither Holloway Rd nor the Angel, and the local shops in Evesham where i’ve come to escape… i mean rest, are no better.

bluefreddy
bluefreddy
13 days ago
Reply to  Edgar Friendly

Oi, I live in Islington too, and I’m the original lockdown sceptic. I strongly disapprove of avocados.

Invunche
Invunche
13 days ago
Reply to  SilentReader

The Guardian is pretty much finished. It’s completely lost its way.

It’s always had a bad element within it’s writers but now it’s exclusively a mouth piece for victims of Dunning Kruger to write echo chamber pieces for an ever decreasing pool of other victims of Dunning Kruger.

They’ve sniped away at bait (ppe, testing figures) whilst completely missing the enormous catch (lockdown was pointless, long term ramifications for people locked down for no good reason is huge).

A complete failure from editor to staff writers.

Very disheartening.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Invunche

What I found entertaining (OK I’m easily pleased) was the ranting from the Guardian readers. Compare and contrast, the Daily Mail has crap journalism but much more sensible replies. Now the Telegraph seems to be the most questioning of the mainstream media, who would have thunk? The world has been turned upside down.

IanE
IanE
14 days ago

Yes, poor Southwold. I was there on Sunday and I have never seen it so empty (even on cold winter days). On the upside, I didn’t see a single mask and didn’t sense any terror as I passed by people on the pavements (even quite closely). I guess that those of us who are brave enough souls to venture outside must have a good sense of risk levels!

Annie
Annie
14 days ago
Reply to  IanE

…and dear old Southwold is flanked by miles and miles of empty beach swept by healthy, if chilly, sea air. Possibly the most Covid-unfriendly place in Britain.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Annie

Ah, the “lazy wind” which can’t be bothered to go round and just cuts through you, and blasts all known pathogens out of your nostrils.

Bella Donna
Bella Donna
14 days ago
Reply to  IanE

I’m thinking T shirts declaring you don’t social distance and this lockdown is a farce would be a hit. Toby food for thought?

Bess
Bess
14 days ago
Reply to  Bella Donna

Advice for us Lockdown Sceptics:Walk on the inside of the pavement and let the anxious members of the public do the distancing if they’re that way inclined. We shouldn’t have to move out the way (usually into the road). This prevents us from giving them the opportunity of looking at us as though we are something that has just been scraped off their shoes.

paulito
paulito
13 days ago
Reply to  Bess

This what I do. If they’d rather get run over, let them.

Annie
Annie
13 days ago
Reply to  Bella Donna

Where can we buy one?
Thought: the Zombies may throw an occasional stone, but they sure as hell won’t be beating us up because you can’t do that from a sicial distance.

Bumble
Bumble
14 days ago
Reply to  IanE

Southwold’s problem is that it has become a second home hotspot and people aren’t allowed to visit their second homes (not sure why). On the upside, I have been to 4 garden centres/nurseries in Dorset since Wednesday and they are rammed, long queues, every trolley stacked with plants. Hopefully it will be the same when other businesses open.

chris c
chris c
14 days ago
Reply to  IanE

Haven’t been there for a while but I live not far away. I had some thoughts: I don’t know anyone who had coronavirus and nor do most of the people I talk to. Well there was one girl in the supermarket but she wan’t tested so it could have been a cold or flu.

What I DO know is a considerable number of people, self included, who had some varying degree of lurgy back in December or January.

Was that covid doing the rounds in a non-immune-compromised population, or was there some other virus doing the rounds just before this one? We’ll never know

Elaine Robertson
Elaine Robertson
13 days ago
Reply to  chris c

I was very ill from 25th December for 3 weeks – cough, breathless, high temp and exhaustion – turned to pneumonia – North Yorkshire – my husband, and 2 close friends also had it.

paulito
paulito
13 days ago

Elaine. Strongly suspect my nephew had it just after Christmas. He comes with his parents to stay at his grandmother’s house every year to pass the extended Spanish festive season. He displayed all the symptoms you describe and visited ER 3 times. Was ill for about 3 weeks. If indeed he did have it, the rest of the family came through it unscathed including his 74 year old grandmother and myself who suffers from heart disease.

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
13 days ago

My mother and mother in law had exactly the same in December and it lasted for 3-4 weeks. We’re also North Yorkshire – loads of people reported the’100 day cough’ after Christmas.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Annabel Andrew

Mine wasn’t that bad, but since I haven’t had the flu and only about two colds in the last fifteen years, it caught my attention. I coughed a bit, felt a bit off for a few days, and choked at night. Oh and I had pink eye, but only in one eye, and it was gone by lunchtime. Don’t recall losing my sense of smell or taste though.

Most people had it worse but it was around the same time. No-one got so bad they were hospitalised though.

JH
JH
14 days ago

Test and trace isn’t really about the App. The app is an assist, but not much more. Even if a proportion p of people have the app, it will only ping a proportion p squared of the contacts, because *both* sides need to have the app downloaded, switched on and running for it to register a contact. So if even as many as 50% of people were running the app, it would only ping 25% of the contacts. And in Singapore it’s been a lot less than 50%.

So the technology isn’t the key here. (And if the government think that it is, we’re on course for yet another round of blundering).

What test’n’trace stands or falls by is the quality of its people, how good they are at talking to people, and how much local knowledge and common sense they can bring to bear. (And how fast the tests can be turned round).

It’s going to need the building of a decent team on the ground for there to be a chance to make this work, not just a shiny app.

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago
Reply to  JH

We’d do better asking people to keep a little diary of who they’ve encountered, and leaving it up to them to, should they develop symptoms and get a positive antigen test, contact any acquantainces who they met and might have infected in the last few days. Also no privacy risk here, everyone keeps logs of what they’ve done and can destroy them (after 3 weeks or sooner if they think some crooked snooper might want to try poking their nose between the bookcovers) by ripping up a page. I encouraged my workplace that people should be encouraged to do simple things like this, before they went insane and fully closed for lockdown instead.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

To be fair your idea sounds a bit much as well. I certainly wouldn’t do it.

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago

Perhaps a bit much, but hey, it’s unenforcable so it makea a great proposal. The scared can write one, the fearless can say they’ve done it and just let the dog have eaten it should anyone ask. Unenforcable ways of pandemic control are pretty good overall, massively reduces fear among the cowardly, sometimes provides some genuine help if the initiative is a good one because at least some people will do it, and doesn’t threaten civil liberties.

guy153
guy153
14 days ago
Reply to  JH

It’s far too late in the epidemic for anything like this to be of any use. But there is a potential psychological benefit in giving people an app that shows a green traffic light and says “you’re safe!”, with perhaps a nice cartoon graphic of a Nurse from our NHS.

Bella Donna
Bella Donna
14 days ago
Reply to  guy153

Please don’t encourage them!

RDawg
RDawg
14 days ago
Reply to  JH

I for one will not be downloading the app or having the vaccine. I do not comply!

ianp
ianp
13 days ago
Reply to  JH

I will say it again… The app is already there I suspect. Bluetooth scanning is auto set to on within my android phone, even though I do not switch Bluetooth on unless I need it. Most people won’t check

Liam
Liam
13 days ago
Reply to  JH

We already have an army of testers and tracers, they are called Environmental Health Officers, and they are sitting on their arses wondering why the government feels it needs to train a whole new army of testers. More should be made of this.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Liam

Good point!

Kevin
Kevin
14 days ago

I just read the guardian article about sceptics. Gosh, it is so disingenuous and ill informed, with child like name calling. Pretty pathetic journalism.

Annie
Annie
14 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Never mind, brothers and sisters. If the Grauniad is after our blood we must be doing something right.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Pretty standard Guardian stuff, then.

paulito
paulito
13 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

Absolutely Kevin. Accusing others of the things they themselves are guilty of.

IanE
IanE
14 days ago

‘ the reason doomsday cultists always double down on their beliefs after they’ve been shown to be nonsense is to avoid the pain of admitting they were wrong and all their sacrifices were for nothing’

Now who is reminded of our government by that line?! (Except, of course, the ‘sacrifices’ were of us).

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago

The Telegraph mainly has good stuff about the situation thesedays, but they’ve allowed a disgusting article in today:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/18/not-romanticise-swedens-ill-prepared-adrift-coronavirus-response/

Article totally misses how Sweden’s sane and relaxed response, whether it was due to deliberate planning or to the paralysis of decision making that they implausibly accuse, has saved civil liberties and the local economy. At no point does the article recognise how an unfree life dogged by crippling poverty is worse than a small risk of death while going about normal life in a mostly functional world. And the article also utterly ignores how lockdowns, draconian policing and economic slumps lead to serious physical and mental health tsunamis in future years and how lockdowns therefore produce surges of delayed deaths far in excess of the little “lets get the suffering over with ASAP” type peaks that Sweden has seen. Furthermore the article uses the good sense of Swedes in taking subtle infection control measures for themselves (hand washing,masks, gloves, avoidance of truly huge gatherings…) as arguments against the Swedish way, these are Sweden’s strengths in that they’ve shown non-intrusive measures can do the job without catastrophic lockdowns, but yo wouldn’t guess that from this awful article.

IanE
IanE
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Yes, there was another article by Brolin a few days earlier with the same overall analysis. Pathetic!

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Brolin has clearly chosen the wrong response to having been caught on the wrong side of the truth/falsehood divide: double down and lie harder. He was responsible for this reprehensible piece of black propaganda a month ago, just as the tide began to turn incontrovertibly in favour of the Swedish approach:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/04/16/sweden-has-shown-not-tackle-coronavirus-fights-now-save-face/

Nick
Nick
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Does Brolin have personal beef with Giesecke or Tegnell or something? I couldn’t believe how poor this article was in terms of completely missing the point.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Nick

See his previous article I linked below.

I think Brolin just has an uncontrolled personal emotional over-reaction against anything that threatens an authority line that he is personally invested in. I’m pretty sure I remember him writing this sort of stuff to try to attack criticism of some of our stupid foreign policy positions a few years back.

Graham
Graham
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

I have just ordered a Swedish flag. I saw one flying from a house in a nearby village among the rainbows and mawkish tributes to the NHS and immediately thought that I must do the same. Flying the Swedish flag is a good way to show one’s dissent.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham

I like this. Nice.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham

I may be planning a midnight excursion to my local town centre. There’s a huge spray painted ‘NHS *rainbow*’ monstrosity on someone’s shuttered up shop front (the irony). I might have to go change the ‘H’ to a ‘C’.

JohnB
JohnB
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Someone on here (IanP I think) has acquired a Belorussian footie shirt. Dire, but a nice way to show support.

Nel
Nel
14 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

I’ve just bought a Swedish flag badge to wear

ianp
ianp
13 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

Yep…! Not arrived yet.. international shipping. Priority order! 1 more week… fuck importing food supplies, this is far more important.

Not sure what I will look like in such a garment and it better not be compression fit or anything…

Barguest
Barguest
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Order a Gadsden flag too, that’ll really get the authoritarian bed-wetters’ knickers in a major twist. After all, in their world view freedom = slavery.

Nobody2020
Nobody2020
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

First paragraph sets the scene. Sweden can only meaningfully be compared to it’s neighbours. Except it can’t because they took different approaches. Sweden let the virus spread and the others chose to suppress it. Comparing them is as useful as comparing the UK to a country that never even had the virus.

Nobody2020
Nobody2020
14 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

There is one thing I will say against the Swedish approach. That is if the virus does naturally disappear then they will be judged on their death rate relative to the other countries that suppressed the virus.

However their overall circumstances probably meant that lockdown was never an option for them.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
14 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

Sweden will be able to hold it’s head high as a beacon of liberty and common sense while we, snivelling, subdugated nations will forever bear the shame.
Fool Britannia!!!

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago

I’ve mentioned it before, but with regards to schools, I fail to understand why teachers in the UK maintain it is not safe. Sweden’s schools have stayed open and we have had one child death (they will not say the age, only that it was a child between 0 and 9 years of age – so may not even be a school-aged child). Not only that, but they are not yet sure whether or not the child even died of the virus!

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

Sweden also has a much bigger population than Norway and Denmark, and has had much higher levels of immigration than Norway. I mention the immigration due to statistics saying dark-skinned people are much more likely to succumb to the virus – here in Sweden we have a lot of people from countries such as Somalia and Eritrea, as well as the Middle East. So comparing Scandinavian countries is not really meaningful.

Annie
Annie
13 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

What’s really nasty is that these people clearly want lots of Swedes to die so as to prove their point.

Gracie Knoll
Gracie Knoll
14 days ago

Effective non-vaccine treatment here:

https://covid19criticalcare.com/

Will almost certainly be dismissed as “quackery” by those awaiting their windfall from Bill Gates’ Final Solution® vaccine, so we’ll have to stay locked down and socially distanced until that joyous day dawns in September…or next year….or 2025….or 2030….or never.

Professor Karol Sikora, one of UK’s leading oncologists, lends his weight to the anti-lockdown cause:

https://youtu.be/uk2YZfnsOPg

Takeaway comment:
“We should be getting back to the “old normal”, not the “new normal”.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
14 days ago

I won’t be party to any ‘tracing’ app, regardless if it’s developed by the NHS or Google/Apple. Probably more so the latter as an NHS app will likely be broken. The Google one will doubtless track us with pinpoint precision. Yes I know they already are etc.

Fin
Fin
14 days ago

I agree – but you know exactly what the next step will be.

This ‘voluntary’ app will be required at your workplace or before you enter a shop or a pub. Public transport won’t let you on without your tracing app turned on.

It will always be ‘voluntary’ but you can be sure that the powers that be will ensure that your life will be a day to day misery without it.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
14 days ago
Reply to  Fin

It’s already happening in some places. Thailand opened up their shopping centres yesterday. You have to log yourself going into the centre, and also at every shop inside.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1919612/shoppers-tracked-as-they-return-to-malls

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
14 days ago

Just to add – Thailand: 51 covid deaths. 30k road deaths a year.

Jane
Jane
14 days ago

And over 60,000 deaths from flu and pneumonia in 2017. My son is there at the moment, but according to him it was not full lockdown, only curfew, and the shopping centres were open, but you needed to wear a mask and have your temperature checked at the door. He travelled to Cambodia in February with friends at the height of the panic in Wuhan – no problem at all. There is no way the virus can’t already have been circulating in Thailand at that time, but nobody worried about it. A month later, on the basis of no evidence at all, it’s been transformed into the worst health crisis the Thais have ever seen.

guy153
guy153
14 days ago

To be fair if they are on only 51 Covid deaths it’s worth them trying to do a bit of tracking and tracing. I still believe it should always be voluntary but that’s another matter. In the UK it’s academic because it’s too late anyway.

Cheezilla
Cheezilla
14 days ago

That’s a strong case for online shopping!

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago
Reply to  Fin

We need a plan for how to work together against the coming of such a world. What proportion of people would have to disobey to make it utterly impractical to run such a totalitarian society?

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

Another point – since when has it been mandatory for people to a) own a smartphone b) carry it on them at all times for the purposes of being traceable? When was that law passed? Is there going to be a fixed penalty if a person does not buy a smartphone or leaves it at home/switches off bluetooth? Or allows the battery to run out while not at home? What happens if a person cannot afford a smartphone and/or or is elderly/disabled and does not know how to use one? Will they have to stay at home forever? To the best of my knowledge, there has been no Parliamentary discussion or legislation passed regarding this..

JohnB
JohnB
14 days ago
Reply to  Fin

Not sure that sort of bollocks will wash, in particular with those awakening from their support of the lockup. They’ll be twice as angry as we are, and in no mood to risk looking like muppets once again.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
14 days ago
Reply to  Fin

If this ever becomes the case then turn it on and once you have gained access turn it off again

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago

Re tracing apps, this reply seen on another blog gives rise to many concerns as to potential abuses and misuses:
‘I wonder how you would feel if (say) you were all set to attend your daughter’s wedding (or perhaps embark on the trip of a lifetime that you had been planning for over a year) and you carefully haven’t allowed yourself to venture outside for 21 days, and then you get (erroneously, in your opinion) a demand via your smart phone that you stay indoors for 14 days because you may have come into contact with someone who has reportedly been displaying symptoms similar to Covid-19?
Or how would you feel if a protest group, perhaps intent on bringing down the economy as we know it, starts making fictitious reports that they have all been displaying Covid-19 symptoms – in a deliberate attempt to inconvenience hundreds or even thousands of other people who may have travelled on the same public transport?
How would you feel if the government seeks to extend the number of reasons it can use the tracking facility for – initially perhaps to combat terrorism?
Or to track a parent who has absconded with their child?
Or to track someone who has been diagnosed with a completely different but highly infectious communicable disease?
Or someone who has not been paying their child maintenance?

Likewise the Ancestry websites. What better way to build a DNA database than to have people voluntarily send in their samples (AND pay for it to be done!) ? If the security forces haven’t yet thought of sequestering those data, they soon will!’

‘“Contact Tracing” is Orwellian doublespeak for “tracking you at all times”. One more way the globalists are using the virus to push their long planned for agenda’

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Carrie

Oh god, those ancestry websites! What kind of a dumbarse voluntarily sends their DNA to a random company 😂

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

I read via Malcolm Kendrick that the UK Biobank, which seemed like a good idea at the time, is being run by Rory Collins and is now making its information available to the government and probably other companies

DaveyP
DaveyP
13 days ago
Reply to  Carrie

They have been using sites like Ancestry for years to match DNA. The below story “DNA from genealogy site used to catch suspected Golden State Killer” is from 2018:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/dna-from-genealogy-site-used-to-catch-suspected-golden-state-killer-1.4637726

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
14 days ago

Attempts to temper a zealot’s covid hysteria with a quick rundown of the numbers, and how relatively small they are in relation to other infectious diseases are not going well. Usual responses are that the numbers are only small because of lockdown, and half a million would be dead otherwise; and the government wouldn’t be doing this if the risk is as small as I suggest.

Nobody2020
Nobody2020
14 days ago

Acting early is the biggest determinant in stopping a virus from spreading. People attribute it to lockdown but it’s not. Take the simplest possible example, 1 infected person. If you isolate them it’s job done. You could lock down an entire country, isolate that 1 person and claim it was thanks to the lock down but it wasn’t. Hence why New Zealand with lockdown got the same result as South Korea with no lockdown but a much bigger bill for the privilege.

A lockdown may help to slow the spread of a virus but there will be a point where there is no net benefit to imposing one compared to regular social distancing.

Victor
Victor
14 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

The stats seem to show that there isn’t such a “point where there is no net benefit”, rather in ALL cases there is no advantage for lockdowns over much milder less intrusive distancing methods.

sunchap
sunchap
13 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

Yes great comment. Our bill is about $150 billion for next three years in a country of 5 million people. Our PM is claiming she saved 80,000 lives….And everyone believes her….It is madness. But at least we do not have an evil tracing app.

trying
trying
14 days ago

Yes I agree.

What would be the argument against “numbers are only small because of the lockdown”?

Annie
Annie
13 days ago

That’s the old ‘elephant powder’ argument. A man scattered powder on the streets of New York. He explained that it was to keep the elephants away. ‘But there aren’t any elephants in New York,’ he was told. ‘Just shows how well the powder works!’ he replied.

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
13 days ago
Reply to  Annie

Yep, like when I was working in india.

We had a pooja religious blessing before starting the operations. They were a total disaster as the pre-job planning was a joke and it was all dumped onto us operational guys at the last minute.

next time before starting the next contract out comes the same priests and he does the pooka again. He recognised me and came to say hello. During chatting I asked him why do the ceremony again as it didn’t work the last time.

His answer – it did work, just think how much worse it would have been if we hadn’t done it.

Reminds me of the government now.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  Awkward Git

Hahahaha excellent analogy!

tonyspurs
tonyspurs
14 days ago

You have to laugh at lockdown happy clappers keep referring to the R rate but I’ll be ready for them at their Thursday 8pm prayers when I open my windows with this little ditty
https://youtu.be/5Tffp64Lu10

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
14 days ago
Reply to  tonyspurs

No clapping for the NHS here. They are a disgrace and have collectively broken their oath to first do wrong.
The mental and physical fall out from this will be colossal.

Poppy
Poppy
14 days ago

The Guardian has always been an awful rag so I expected nothing less. Making generalisations about all lockdown sceptics being Brexiteers (I’m a Remainer) and cherry-picking citations like the Matt Ridley one, even though Ferguson’s code has been debunked by other actual computer scientists like our very own ‘Sue Denim’ – gutter journalism. Simplifying the issue into a simple binary ‘like Brexit’ is part of the problem. Both Brexit and the lockdown are complex issues that do not lend themselves to tribalism. But of course, the proliferation of the internet and social media has drastically cut attention spans and people just do not have the capacity for nuanced debate or discussion, only soundbites and simple binaries.

Also the implication that questioning the lockdown is akin to ‘social Darwinism’ – really?! Surely this ludicrous experiment to which we are currently subjecting our poor school children, which disadvantages those from poorer backgrounds, is social Darwinism!

On a lighter note, I saw a lovely comment on a MSM news outlet that reckons the next few years will be like the roaring 20s again, especially for the young. If the government lift these ridiculous social distancing measures, admit they were wrong to scare everyone senseless and allow the economy to open up again, we could see a true renaissance as people release pent-up demand. Frankly, if everything opened up tomorrow I’d be the first one in a restaurant, bar, cinema, or shop. I miss all those simple pleasures terribly and I refuse to self-flagellate for being a ‘shameless consumer’.

I really am trying to see brighter days ahead.

Annie
Annie
14 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

I reckon I’d beat you to it, Poppy. If I didn’t, it wouldn’t be for want of trying.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
14 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

While no doubt many remainers are lock-down sceptics, I have met some remoaners who are lock-down fanatics.
Rather ironic that these people who think Brexit will damage the economy don’t mind flushing the economy down the loo with this lock-down!

FNG_6T3
FNG_6T3
13 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

[quote=Poppy]…Frankly, if everything opened up tomorrow I’d be the first one in a restaurant, bar, cinema, or shop. I miss all those simple pleasures terribly…[/quote]

I totally agree with you Poppy. I would attempt to squeeze all of those activities into a single day again. Despite having socially distanced for years – it was a pleasure to have had the choice – I miss people watching through my local Costa’s windows, sharing the emotions of the cinema and not having to use a microwave for the majority of meals.

We should all try and see better days ahead. Without hope, what do we have?

PS Excellent article by Lionel Schriver in The Spectator (16th May) and Toby gets a mention too. :>D

FNG_6T3
FNG_6T3
13 days ago
Reply to  FNG_6T3

Apologies to Lionel Shriver for incorrect spelling. Duh!

swedenborg
swedenborg
14 days ago

Most interesting today from Toby’s update was the comment that this was really a gigantic nosocomial pandemic. Perhaps most of the cases were contracted in care homes and in hospitals. This would explain many unique features in this pandemic i.e the extreme high rate of infected health care workers(HCV),( 15 % of all cases in Spain and Italy if I remember correctly).You never saw that amount of influenza infected HCW. Also the striking feature in the world statistics, the more advanced health care system in the bigger countries the higher death rate and the less advanced health care system the lower death rate. The original SARS virus was mostly a nosocomial infection.
The most interesting figures would be how many cases contracted the infection in hospitals and care homes versus really contracted the virus in the community. Doubt that the politicians would like that information but will be difficult to hide if this was true. Our hospitals and care homes killing fields for the elderly?

CymruAmByth
CymruAmByth
14 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

“ the more advanced health care system in the bigger countries the higher death rate and the less advanced health care system the lower death rate”

Germany had a super low death rate, and their health care system is advanced and definitely better than here in the UK

swedenborg
swedenborg
13 days ago
Reply to  CymruAmByth

Germany seems to be an exception perhaps a decentralised health system functions better. But neigbouring Netherlands and Belgium and even Switzerland high death rates.

Gillian
Gillian
14 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

This is very interesting. I have been doing some reading online about the original SARS outbreak from 2002/03, about which I know very little, but I haven’t come upon any information suggesting that it was mainly a nosocomial infection. Can you point me to any source about this? I’m not disputing your statement, just wanting to read further. Thanks.

swedenborg
swedenborg
14 days ago
Reply to  Gillian

I remember they had a big problem in some selected hospitals in Toronto and it was mirrored in some other countries I think in Singapore and HongKong.

swedenborg
swedenborg
14 days ago
Reply to  Gillian

Here is the reference https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12925421 about the big Toronto outbreak.As a curiosity in this chart
https://twitter.com/EthicalSkeptic/status/1262213838621102086/photo/1
this person has outlined the current Covid-19 in the world and below he has put the SARS epidemic as he is thinking that as SARS fizzled out in August the same thing could happen for Covid-19.Optimist.

Mimi
Mimi
14 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Another thing about the hotspots (NYC, Spain, Italy) – all have high rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria. So you have a decent chance of catching something nasty on the best of days.

guy153
guy153
14 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

One way to try to get a feel for this is to compare Covid deaths and all cause deaths in the different UTLAs per unit of population using the ONS data. In most places the Covid mortality is about 25% of the all cause but does not seem highly correlated. If the Covid infections arose outside the hospital you might expect them to be added to the all cause, so places with more Covid deaths would also have more total deaths in a consistent pattern.

I had a look for this and it’s hard to see much correlation but this is also because the all cause deaths are so variable. In fact the mean Covid death rate is only a fraction above the standard deviation in the all cause. (I know right, and the UK is one of the worst hit countries).

We can also look at the geographical distribution of the Covid death rate. If it’s higher in more built-up areas then that looks like a correlation between the Covid deaths and the environment outside the hospital, in other words not dominated by nosocomial. If there are anomalies it might imply particular issues on particular hospitals.

The highest Covid PFRs are all in NW London inside the M25 between Ealing and Enfield. The only anomaly seemed to be Hertsmere, which is in that zone but had a much higher Covid and All Cause death rate than the other places making me suspect one or two hospital outbreaks there.

I didn’t see a smoking gun for nosocomial infections in hospitals. Care home deaths however are nosocomial by definition.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago

“This appears to confirm what many think, that the Government believes the public is too stupid to cope with more nuanced guidance.”

Doubtless. But in fairness, I think it’s pretty clear the Government are collectively too stupid to grasp reality.

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I e-mailed my MP today in response to her justification for the lockdown. Let’s just say, I didn’t pull my punches. She might believe I am stupid, but she sure as hell will get the message. Even more so with my final sentence, that I will never vote again.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Is your MP Conservative?

While resistance here comes from all sides of the political divide I do think this lock-down is a more fundamental betrayal of conservatism than it is of socialism (I use that term here because Labourism isn’t a word). The idea of big brother government telling us what to do in petty detail for the (supposed) Greater Good of socialised healthcare is, or ought to be, anathema to any conservative.

“Conservative” Party MPs need to understand that those who voted for them did not vote for this kind of thing and absolutely have a right to be disillusioned.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I should have added there: so too should trashing the economy, and the small businesses that represent the fruit of often years of blood, sweat and toil on the part of their owners. [be anathema to any conservative, that is]

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes, allegedly she is a Conservative! This is the point I made to her: 16-17 years of hard graft potentially down the toilet. All in the name of saving the NHS, a bloated behemoth that has already hugely negatively impacted my life. It was no empty threat to say I wouldn’t be voting again. She and her government doesn’t represent me.

(NB: she went down in my estimation last year when I witnessed how she spoke to her underling as though she were nothing. Always instructive to see how those in authority speak to those under them).

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Sorry, she and her government *don’t* represent me .. (I think … blame my poor English on the bog-standard comprehensive I went to!)

james007
james007
14 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

I have never abstained from voting in an election before. There doesnt seem to be a lot of choice at the moment.
The Conservative government (and possibly the party) seems only to care about power and popularity. Many of it’s members and some MPs may be highly principled and do a lot of good, but this government is hollow.

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  james007

I agree. It gives me no pleasure to say I won’t vote again but until there are actually some conviction politicians with guts and principles then there is just no point. Such a pity that people such as Iain Duncan Smith and David Davis didn’t get any further. But it’s the cult of popularity (style over substance and emotion over reason) that prevails, sadly.

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
13 days ago
Reply to  james007

I always vote – normally by spoiling my ballot paper by writing “none of these” across it.

At least spoilt papers get counted.

james007
james007
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

I agree that it is more of a betrayal of Conservatism than of socialism. Some on the left who are classical marxists like Brendon O’Neil and Claire Fox are strong allies. I was surprised about Rod Liddle.

The election winning machine that is the Conservative Party want to be absolutely all over the NHS. They also want Boris to be like a 1st term prime minister, so very different to Torys who have gone before, by the next election it wont feel like they’ve been in power for however many years it’s been.
NHS always used to be their weak spot, and every election the same old boring arguments about how the Torys would cut it, and Labour would spend more.

When presented with a scenario of a Northern Italy type situation here, they completely panicked. They wanted people to be afraid, so that they could look like saviours and protectors.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  james007

That is certainly a pretty plausible case, but the real shame of it is that if they were ever going to take a temporary popularity hit in order to stay on the side of reality, a year into a five year term was exactly that time! Johnson had a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually be a Great Leader (“Churchillian”, even – precisely Johnson’s dream), and he comprehensively blew it.

james007
james007
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Exactly right!
Churchill stood in the wilderness for sometime with his unpopular views. He did not lead for popularity. He lead people through dark times because he thought it was the right thing to do.
Boris isn’t Churchill.

Mark
Mark
13 days ago
Reply to  james007

Yes, Boris clearly failed to grasp that one of the essential elements of courage in a leader is actually standing up to something dangerous to him (ie unpopularity), when it is right and necessary to do so.

He’s like the kid who desperately wants a medal but isn’t willing to take any risks.

james007
james007
14 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

My MP said that lots of people dont feel safe and we need to make sure that they are. Safety is very important and gentle lockdown easing is the way.
Also bear in mind that this is a “multi-phase” plan, which means that it has definitely been thought through. Also note that it is “science based” which means very very clever people are involved. Also did you know the government has 5 tests – and any time a politician has 5 tests (eg Labour on the brexit deal or Blair/Brown on the Euro) it means they definitely know what they’re doing.

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  james007

So, same load of patronising claptrap I got then … I presume they did a load of standard letters and just re-jigged the wording a bit. Oh dear I am so, so cynical …

james007
james007
14 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Yes. It was obvious which bits were template as there were abrupt changes in tone. A standard bit at the beginning, a couple of sentences related to where I was pro/con – which had the tone of voice of a letter, and then official tect relating to the key phases, key tests and links to the government webpages.

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  james007

“My MP said that lots of people dont feel safe”

Hmmm:

UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), dated 22nd March:

“Persuasion
2. Perceived threat: A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened; it could be that they are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group (8), although levels of concern may be rising (9). Having a good understanding of the risk has been found to be positively associated with adoption of COVID-19 social distancing measures in Hong Kong (10). The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging. To be effective this must also empower people by making clear the actions they can take to reduce the threat (11).”

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882722/25-options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22032020.pdf

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

And the suggestion later in the paper for how to achieve that objective of increasing popular fear:
“Use media to increase sense of personal threat”

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Terrorism pure and simple.

Starsphinx
Starsphinx
14 days ago

Here is an idea for the teachers. If the concern is having all children back at once how about only opening the schools to those who qualify for free school meals for the remainder of this academic year.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
14 days ago

Last week in LS the complete stopping of the dental service in March and the return to 18 th century dentistry was publicised . The media have been really quiet on this. Interestingly Germany has kept its dentists working with stronger hygiene measures . Can we get a mini bus trip to Germany so that people from the UK with tooth problems can be treated ?

swedenborg
swedenborg
14 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

The government has got its priorities right, estate agents are open but not dentists. My dentist is eager to go back to work (always working with gloves and mask) but all work with fillings and drilling etc is prohibited so only medieval dentistry allowed, pull the tooth. The Chief Dental Officer for England is still shell shocked and has not decided yet about the protection against this common cold virus. The options will probably be PCR testing each patient, serology and change of spacesuit for the dentist between each patient. I think the cost will be out of reach for most so probably we all need to go to the barber and have the tooth pulled out, at least a progress from medieval dentistry to 18th century dentistry

Mimi
Mimi
14 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

The UK dental thing is beyond horrid! Pulling teeth! I ask you! Is it 1820? Can’t dentists do better than that? Even British ones?

(I mentioned this to my daughter, and she said “Isn’t dentistry always like that in the UK?” Sassy American children….)

Stefan
Stefan
14 days ago

Over my dead body will I be having any fast tracked vaccine for this.
Have these idiots never heard of thalidomide!

It should not be used until every MP vaccinates themselves and the whole family first then wait 6 months.

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  Stefan

My sentiments exactly.

Pebbles
Pebbles
14 days ago
Reply to  Stefan

Amen.

Can someone please start a petition for that…!?

A vaccine in September… 6 months after Covid-19 appears for the the time? Nigh impossible.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
14 days ago
Reply to  Stefan

And the propaganda press and their families.
There has never been a vaccine developed for a coronavirus so probably more money down the drain.

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago
Reply to  Stefan

Surely no ‘coincidence’ that the key players like Boris, Chris Whitty and Neil Ferguson have supposedly had the virus and will therefore not be obliged to have any vaccine. In public they may bleat on about there being no certainty that having had the virus means you are now immune, but note that Ferguson claimed he was now immune as his excuse for having his girlfriend over…

Pandemrix
Pandemrix
13 days ago
Reply to  Stefan

A more worrying example than Thalidomide (not a vaccine) is Pandemrix, which caused an elevated rate of narcolepsy in children:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemrix

This specific vaccine was developed in a hurry to fight … (wait for it) … swine flu. Licensed only for use during a flu pandemic as declared by the WHO. Too bad the WHO changed their own definition of pandemic to remove the need for actual deaths, so the swine flu would qualify:

https://www.forbes.com/2010/02/05/world-health-organization-swine-flu-pandemic-opinions-contributors-michael-fumento.html#31e52ed948e8

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago

In all seriousness, in the bit about cults, how are we going to jolt people out of it? We can’t slay them with facts (that’s my own experience, facts just make them angry), is there some way to deprogramme someone? Cult deprogrammers exist (seen a documentary about it), so how are we going to nudge the populace to relax their vigilance and calm the hell down?

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

The real believers are largely immune to criticism. Facts questioning their dogmas are just “conspiracy theories”.

Hammer Onats
Hammer Onats
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Don’t worry, they will soon be shocked out of it when the money stops and they get their P45s. Far too many public sector are enjoying the free cash while the self employed and essential workers just have to get on with it. While there are a few nutters around the vast majority are just treating this as an extended holiday.

Jill5
Jill5
14 days ago
Reply to  Hammer Onats

More accurately, they treat it as an extended holiday for themselves, whilst reporting any neighbour who has the same idea. There was a poll about the PM’s latest “stay alert” slogans, 90% thought they could handle that themselves but only half thought the rest of the public could be trusted to use common sense.

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago
Reply to  Jill5

I have seen, everywhere, but particularly on the Times comments, ‘the public cannot be trusted to ….’ a) who the hell do these people think they are? and b) it’s snobbish contempt, someone might be a plumber (see poor Ryan on Channel 4 news!) but who the hell are these people to say that the Ryans of this world don’t care, or can’t exercise sensible, common sense? Ryan did make me chuckle, he was interviewed on LBC on Monday, after a weekend of being under siege, his company’s house listings put online, sleepless with anxiety, he was mocked for being a ‘right wing brexiteer’ (I feel his pain as a dithering left of centre sofite), and he said ‘I voted Remain’. Posh corbynistas’ heads around the country exploded! But I’m so sick of the contempt. It’s just naked snobbery.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
14 days ago
Reply to  Hammer Onats

Hopefully that would be their reality check. But what about those who are cushioned by their wealth and don’t have to worry about P45s? That’s the question as many of our prominent lockdown zealots are in that category

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
14 days ago
Reply to  Hammer Onats

Those people I know who are furloughed would rather not be furloughed.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

By admitting it was a complete cock up. But I think the public would still say “There’s something they’re not telling us.” as I have heard this from the start.

Jonathan Castro
Jonathan Castro
14 days ago

All of us with BS detectors knew it was rubbish the day it started!

4096
4096
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Perhaps, they have to find themselves a scapegoat – the media and/or the government. So they could say “I’ve been perfectly rational the whole time, I couldn’t possibly have known that THEY were shamelessly lying to us”

Farinances
Farinances
13 days ago
Reply to  4096

The BBC is not gonna survive this when the truth permeates.
And it will, eventually.
This explains why dear old Aunty is so hellbent on Gloom&Dooming it every day, no matter the real news (the real, good news). They’re arse-covering as determinedly as the government. It may appear that they’re being all adversarial and shizz but we all know they’re not actually questioning the policy at all (neither is the wider media but they’re not taxpayer funded) on any meaningful level.

4096
4096
13 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

I absolutely agree that the media are not doing a great job questioning the policy but blaming journalists or the government is I think is just an easy cop out.
The Treasury is racking up debt at possibly one of the fastest rates in history, the government is imposing literally unprecedented restrictions on the whole population and taking away you freedom to go out and see your friends and family and it’s not like it’s difficult to find data, such as mortality rates by age, that clearly show that this is unnecessary. So if after 2 months of this you still never stop to question the official narrative I think you are just as guilty as the most rabidly pro-lockdown Guardian columnist. Not that any of this will stop millions from blaming the media and government for their own gullibility when this is all over.

Incidentally, the media/government aren’t, of course, lying. I am pretty sure they all genuinely believe what the say/base their policies on (I am not that cynical yet). It’s just that what they believe is based on very little to no critical thinking at all.

paulito
paulito
13 days ago
Reply to  4096

Good point 4096. A lot of zealots will try to belatedly get on the right side of this when the truth starts to come out.

chris c
chris c
13 days ago
Reply to  paulito

“Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me”

Initially there may have been some justification for the lockdown, but no-one as looking at the downsides.

By now it’s blatantly obvious that the downsides far outweigh any benefits. There’s an increasing amount of evidence which is getting harder to dismiss as conspiracy theories but they are still trying.

Bob
Bob
14 days ago

France’s all-cause mortality rate has slightly dipped below the 2018 and 2019 figures (graph 2/3rds of the way down the page):

https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2020/05/05/coronavirus-age-mortalite-departements-pays-suivez-l-evolution-de-l-epidemie-en-cartes-et-graphiques_6038751_4355770.html

Stephen McMurray
Stephen McMurray
14 days ago

Just read this in the daily Mail. The Oxford vaccine that is supposed to be the panacea – all the monkeys injected with it got covid 19. Really- a dangerous vaccine – who would have guessed!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8331709/Oxford-coronavirus-vaccine-does-not-stop-infection-experts-warn.html

guy153
guy153
14 days ago

Yeah but they got it less badly. What’s more worrying is the same design of vaccine but for SARS1 caused “enhancement” (when it makes the actual disease much worse if you catch it) on 6 out of the 8 monkeys they tried it on.

This one was OK on the 6 monkeys they tried it on. But Covid-19 is generally a much less severe disease than what you get from SARS1, so maybe you need a bigger sample.

The enhancement issue seems to be caused by an unbalancing of the immune response, which is exactly the sort of thing that’s involved with Covid-19 deaths. So I’m not sure how easy it is to extrapolate from a few monkeys (none of whom were obese, elderly, vitamin D deficient or BAME).

They’re going ahead with human trials but I’m not going to volunteer.

Vaccines are great and everything but when the disease is only Covid-19 it’s going to need a big sample size to prove the vaccine isn’t making things worse.

GLT
GLT
14 days ago
Reply to  guy153

I know intelligent people who would race to vaccinate their children as soon as possible. I just do not understand it when the risk from the virus appears to be negligible and the alternative is poorly tested.
As someone who lives with an ‘imbalanced immune system’, I also cannot understand why people do not realise that our immune health will not be improved by this lockdown and distancing from others. I worry that the effect on the young will be worse.

Nobody2020
Nobody2020
14 days ago
Reply to  GLT

There is absolutely no reason for children to be vaccinated when the risk to them is virtually zero. Let’s vaccinate everyone so a virus that doesn’t do much to them is stopped from spreading to a minority of the population? It’s as ridiculous as locking down a whole country to try and do the same thing. Vaccination is a complete red herring.

guy153
guy153
13 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

Yes, it would be completely crazy to vaccinate anyone for this except the “high risk groups”.

Nobody2020
Nobody2020
14 days ago

The vaccine is a red herring anyway. It’s not essential because most people don’t need it. There are only 2 reasons for a vaccine:

1. Create “herd immunity” which is needed to suppress the spread of a virus. Herd immunity is not necessary when the vast majority of people are relatively unnaffected
2. Vaccinate the people at highest risk to give them some protection against the virus. For this virus, this is the only reason for a vaccine

Now why does this sound familiar? Because it’s the exact situation we have with flu every year.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

To put my tinfoil hat on, it makes complete sense from a vaccine industry POV. They need another cash cow to make trillions from every year- a parent they don’t make enough with millions of flue vaccine doses per year, so they need another seasonal disease to vaccinate us all against. Every twelve months until eternity.

Despite it being a coronavirus I actually think they might crack it (but in years not months). But only in the sense they’ve cracked the flu vaccine – I. E. completely new vaccine every twelve months, made from cobbling together a guesstimate of which strains will be most active etc.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

— = MO’ MONEY! !!

kh1485
kh1485
14 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Not to mention the massive market that has probably been created for anti-depressants … No doubt there will be a few more disorders created for inclusion in the next edition of the DSM. Oh, my cynicism is on a roll tonight …

Victoria
Victoria
13 days ago
Reply to  Nobody2020

The game plan is to make vaccinations mandatory. If you can do it with this one, why not all the others such as annual flu vaccine.

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago

Here is a link (below) to the Centre for Disease Control’s own list of vaccine ingredients. Note aluminium which causes muscle weakness, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disease, thimerosal (mercury) one of the most toxic elements on the planet, formaldehyde, which is carcinogenic, polysorbate 80 which causes infertility, MSG, an excitotoxin, gelatine, egg protein and casein – all of which can cause allergies, numerous potent antibiotics, squalene from sharks which when injected into a person causes automimmunity by the immune system attacking the human squalene in our bodies, quillaja saponoria which is so toxic it is not supposed to be in human vaccines, potent antibiotics, cow blood, canine kidney cells, monkey tissue, chicken cells, human diploid cells (aborted foetus). The idea that all this being injected into a child’s body is safe when their immune system hasn’t fully developed is ludicrous. Hardly good for adults either!

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf.

Apart from these ‘ingredients’ which are normally in vaccines they are regularly contaminated with all sorts of bacteria, viruses and heavy metals. An Italian study found 100% of 44 vaccines tested had contaminants in them.
http://medcraveonline.com/IJVV/IJVV-04-00072.pdfetc.

Victoria
Victoria
13 days ago
Reply to  Carrie

The number and type of toxic ingredients are truly shocking. Imagine the damage it would do to people short, medium and long term. People that are more susceptible to certain health issues could incur much more extensive damage.

Allen
Allen
14 days ago

I’d like to discuss the piece of this sordid puzzle regarding the elderly who reside in nursing homes/care centers/LTCF’s- this too, like all else Covid, is a complete lie. To tell half-truths to purposefully de-contextualize a situation of this magnitude is to knowingly manipulate the facts- it is to lie.

Based on watching interviews and reading reports there seems to be a consistent pattern of how the situation with those in care centers has been handled in Madrid, London, Milan, Brussels and NYC.

How it works in the best of times is that when one is placed into an LTCF this does not mean that that person will remain in that facility for every single day for the remainder of their lives. What it does mean is that that person is most always in a situation where their health has deteriorated significantly, there are complex health problems where constant care is required. So where else will that person spend time, at least during “normal” times, when they are not directly in that care facility? In the hospital.

It is important to understand that care centers are not set up for most medical emergencies and do not have extensive, or even minimal, health professionals on staff to attend to such complex medical issues that are omnipresent with these chronically ill elderly patients.

Many of these individuals who now reside in LTCF’s, most of them, live out their lives shuttling back and forth from care facility to hospital. They go from the care facility to the hospital when they have a dramatic downturn in their health status with life-saving medical treatment being required to keep them alive at this point. At the hospital they will undergo treatments which serve to stabilize the elderly patient and in a matter of 3-7 days, on average, they become stabilized and are sent back to the care center. Most of these individuals yo-yo back and forth between care facility and hospital until the day that they die.

It’s important to understand, that while it varies some from country to country and from care center to care center, on average once one enters a care facility that person will be deceased in around 6-12 months. Here is a report from 2010 which speaks to this:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945440/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6143238/

Once the patient is stabilized in the hospital they then go back to the care center. If they were not to have been stabilized at the hospital, during this medical crisis, that elderly patient would descend very rapidly while in the care center and be dead within a week- possibly sooner. Again keep in mind we are talking about individuals who are already in severe health crisis with very complex health issues.

What is happening now with the care center to hospital rotational is radically different then the normal back and forth. It is this difference which has created the conditions for what we now are witnessing as a “bulk” rate of deceased elderly. It has little to do with Covid per se (though many are listed under the now catch-all Covid category) and instead points to a social problem not a viral problem.

The changes are such that now we are seeing that once an individual is sent to the hospital for whatever cause they may have (“Covid” or otherwise) and then stabilized they go back to the nursing home just as before. Some are being dismissed prematurely (due to fear of overcrowding which never happened) and are being sent back to care facilities, which as mentioned earlier do not have the medical capabilities to care for these severe and complicated health problems.

Unlike the previous back and forth that defined these patients lives, once the patient is identified as a Covid patient (often with no testing or diagnosis) and returned to the care center they will no longer be in a position to return back to the hospital when the next (and certain) downturn occurs.

Once this chain is broken, not being allowed to be sent back to the hospital for stabilization, it is essentially a death sentence- a form of negligent euthanasia. This also means that oncd they return to the nursing home may infect others individuals in the care center- with whatever infection they may have-workers included. A climate of neglect and fear prevails.

Compounding all of this is the fact that with that climate of fear and hysteria workers are withdrawing from care centers, calling in sick, skipping shifts etc creating worker shortages and an even more stressful situation in every aspect of the care centers- a perfect storm.

https://www.politico.eu/article/the-silent-coronavirus-covid19-massacre-in-italy-milan-lombardy-nursing-care-homes-elderly/

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/health-coronavirus-britain-elderly/

And through all of this let’s keep in mind that those that these nursing home deaths (deaths caused as much by neglect and abandonment) represented about 50% of the “Covid deaths” in Europe- even though it was admitted that many were never tested.

And let’s also keep in mind that these pumped up numbers of “Covid deaths”, of those that government officials neglected, were used to justify all manner of draconian measures by those same governments. It’s a sick and twisted game being played here.

Anthony
Anthony
14 days ago
Reply to  Allen

Excellent stuff – it’s quite likely that this ‘disaster’ is largely of our own making.

swedenborg
swedenborg
14 days ago
Reply to  Allen

You are absolutely right. In Sweden people are sent to care homes if nurse/HCW visits at their home is required more than 4 – 6 times per day. The elderly at care homes have an average 6-12 mths to live.
These are the people dying in the care homes ,mainly Stockholm, because of several blunders by the Swedish government including stopping visits very late 1st April, inadequately trained staff many with language problems. This never happened in Norway and Finland hence the low death rate in those countries. US has exactly the same problem see this map
https://twitter.com/justin_hart/status/1262403188096892929/photo/1
The only state with astonishing low figures is New York due to the fraudulent Governor falsifying the figures.

Carrie
Carrie
14 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Also in Sweden there are lots of staff who work at more than one care home, because they are on part time contracts and they need to work more hours to make ends meet. So they could potentially have spread the virus from one care home to another.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Carrie

Same here I imagine. (UK)

BobT
BobT
14 days ago

BEIJING, February 2020

President is having breakfast. His head of intelligence (HI) walks in excitedly.

Pres: What do you want?
HI: Boss, I have come up with a brilliant idea
Pres: Yes..and?
HI: You know about this virus outbreak in Wuhan….
Pres: Oh yes, we did a brilliant job controlling that, shut down a whole city, scared the shit out of my loyal followers, nobody complained or argued. In fact if I remember right we did not execute many detractors and we only had to imprison a few. One of my better moments don’t you think?
HI: Yes, yes Sir, of course but listen, the virus is spreading, not here of course, but around the world.
Pres: Thats a shame. I hope they can control it like we did.
HI: But, Boss we see an advantage here to help us expand our power worldwide.
Pres: Oh yes, I like that idea! Tell me, tell me more.
HI: Listen carefully, this is the plan. We eggagerate the danger of this virus and claim it kills, lets say, 10 or 15% of everyone who catches it and publicise that in the western world’s press. Then, you may remember that we invested a whole ton of money in Ethiopia, secured most of their minerals, only had to bribe a few of their politicians……
Pres: Yes, good move that. But what’s this got to do with the virus?
HI: Sorry Sir, but one of their politicians is now head of the World Health Organisation and he owes us a favour. We will ask him to to declare this virus a global pandemic. Not only that but we have invested a lot into Imperial College London and about half their students are Chinese so we will ask them a favour too. They can make up some wildly exaggerated predicted numbers of deaths and put them in a professional looking document and present it to their Government to scare them.
Pres: OK, OK but get on with it……the world domination bit.
HI: Bear with me Sir. You know the western press can publish anything they like, the scarier the better, and they cannot even execute or imprison their journalists.
Pres: Yes, I always thought that was strange, ha ha ha.
HI: Yes, funny that. So they will definitely publish the exaggerated figures from ICL along with their recommendations to lockdown their whole economies. The WHO pandemic announcement will be music to their ears. Think of the sales, think of the advertising revenue for them! They will terrify their people. But this is the best bit……The western leaders are terrified of being criticised by their press so they will follow what the press say. They will lockdown all their businesses, put their citizens under house arrest and impose drastic restrictions on their freedoms.
Pres. Just like us, ha ha. I bet they will go against their own silly human rights laws they bang on about too.
HI: And voila! We have destroyed their economies.
Pres: I get it, I get it now. We go in and buy up all their broken businesses for a song. We put their workers on 7 day working weeks for half their present pay……we clean up……at no cost to us ….and not a shot fired! Your plan is beyond brilliant. You must execute it immediately. I will recommend you for a State Honour and your pay will be doubled to 20 dollars a month.
HI: Thank you, thank you, you are the greatest Dear Leader. (lots of bowing and adoration).

Jane
Jane
14 days ago
Reply to  BobT

I’ve pointed this out before, but another thing I find strange is that as early as January 4th, five days before the first confirmed covid19 death, and just one day after the whistleblowing doctor Li Wenliang was arrested, the South China Morning Post was already in Wuhan, doubtless with the permission of the PRC, making a video to drive home the message of a “mystery illness.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LtA0-qoHOg It was like the opening scene from a horror film: everything outwardly calm, people standing about in masks, creepy music. The Wuhan Virology Lab wasn’t mentioned; instead they tried to direct suspicion toward the market. The SCMP put out a whole series of such sinister videos. To me it seems that far from trying to cover up this mystery illness the PRC was almost trying to set the scene for the whole panic scenario that has subsequently swept the world.

Farinances
Farinances
14 days ago
Reply to  Jane

I kinda agree. But they wanted everyone to panic when they *wanted them to panic – because they knew they couldn’t cover up their own outbreak any more.
It was about timing not intention.

Jane
Jane
13 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

i agree with that too. Sort of damage limitation.

Willow
Willow
14 days ago
Reply to  Jane

I’ve said this before. The Wuhan lockdown was theatre imo. They were already past peak infections when they imposed it. It’s not very good optics either that Bill Gates lobbed Xi Jinping $100million straight after and it’s not good optics that Imperial College have just accepted sponsorship from Huawei. China is making aggressive moves in HK and, aiui, in the Philippines too. Whether China’s wish to expand control and the vaccine and tech interests of a billionaire happened to align coincidentally, who can tell. Incidentally, the phrase “new normal” that all the Western governments simultaneously started using? Came from WHO during Gates pandemic dry run event 201. Odd.

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
14 days ago
Reply to  BobT

Steve Bannon’s podcast on Saturdays focuses on China. Chinese dissidents phone in anonymously from China. Some of the stories they tell are terrifying.

Just listen to any of the ones with ‘Descent into hell’ in the title.

https://pandemic.warroom.org/podcast/

Willow
Willow
14 days ago

I don’t think I can. China has always terrified me. My dad always told me that they would bid for world power one day and I believe him ☹️

AN other lockdown sceptic
AN other lockdown sceptic
13 days ago
Reply to  Willow

Sadly, having read a lot on the subject recently, I think your Dad may have been correct.

David Adams
David Adams
14 days ago

Problem about sending our children back to schools though Toby and I’m a lockdown sceptic and would be happy to take my children back to school tomorrow if schools returned to normal but I received the new measures from our Primary school today and the measures are ridiculous if the schools are “safe”. Social Distancing is enforced, cluster classes of 15 max in separate classrooms. Children cannot mix with other classroom clusters so separated from their friends, curriculum is reduced due to these measures, toys and games are locked away for reception. If we accept these measures it’s almost a concession to the government that these ridiculous measures are widely accepted of the new normal. These measures will never be normal for 4 to 11 year olds and schools are either safe to return to normal or they are not. The mixed messaging from the govt to say schools are completely safe but reception, year 1 and 6 will be the guniea pigs with such strict measures in place does not scream to me schools are safe. I do not want my 5 year old to be told he cannot go near his friend he cannot play with this he cannot do completely harmless things. If parents push back on these measures then that will force the govt hand to reopen schools fully and back to how they were.

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago
Reply to  David Adams

Get together with other mums and dads in your area and do it yourself! It’s abusive to do this to kids. I’m so sad about it.

David Adams
David Adams
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

It fills with me so much despair. The only way out of this is if the govt admit the pandemic is not as serious as first feared and schools and workplaces will return to the “old normal”. How long do we have to endure of these measures everywhere we go? Most of the parents I have spoken to wont send their children back out of fear of covid not the measures. I almost get the impression the measures are not stringent enough for some parents!

Mark
Mark
14 days ago
Reply to  David Adams

The doctor who commented here a few days ago and referred to the teaching unions as “the covid equivalent of flat earthers” was absolutely spot on with that. Applies to a fair few of the parents as well, clearly. See the piece published here by a journalist who tried to get up a petition to get schools going again.

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago
Reply to  David Adams

In your shoes, if you have the spare parent time to do it, just get your kids out with other kids, go and play, go for walks, go to parks, all pile in the living room and watch movies, make things, get messy, but whatever you do, do not inflict this on your kids! It is not the job of children to contain or assuage the feelings of adults! It really isn’t. There’s no risk. Adults co-opting the compliance of children like this, for another agenda, co-opting their compassion and worry is what sex offenders do, it’s so damaging. Children should navigate the world, clear in the understanding ‘don’t worry about that, that’s grown up stuff’ (which is what I say, verbatim to my nephews and nieces all the time, the latest was ‘if mum and dad died would we come and live with you aunty?, my answer, yes but that is not going to happen and you really, really never need to worry about that, that’s our job’), and that should be the END. Children’s job is to be children. This sh”t makes me FURIOUS.

JohnB
JohnB
14 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

What are your thoughts on gender unicorns in infant classrooms, Bec ? 🙂

(Just teasing, in full agreement with what you say.).

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

LOL, those opinions would have me ‘cancelled’ as a bigot!

PS thanks!

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
14 days ago
Reply to  David Adams

That’s cruel and I wonder if the people who draft these guidelines really have a clue what they’re doing to children.

GLT
GLT
14 days ago
Reply to  David Adams

I have 3 school age children and have been a school governor for over a decade. Mine are not in the years going back but I am readying myself for a legal fight if social distancing is in place in September given the absolute lack of scientific basis. I wonder if protecting the rights of our children would gather as much crowd funding support?

BecJT
BecJT
14 days ago
Reply to  GLT

I’d contribute, children should not be pawns in a fight, either a divorce or a political battle.

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
14 days ago
Reply to  GLT

I’d contribute even though I’ve never been a parent