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Good story on the Mail‘s front page today. But is it true? According to the paper, Boris has set a 10-day deadline to operationalise the Government’s ‘track-and-trace’, programme. Once it’s in place, he’s promised to dial down the lockdown. On the plus side, the number of people tested yesterday hit a record of 177,216 and the Government has reportedly hired a 25,000-strong army of trackers. But if the NHS’s contact-tracing app is part of the plan, we may be in for a longer wait. According to the front page of the Independent, it won’t be ready by June 1st.

Simon Dolan Serves Papers on the Government

Lawyers acting for Simon Dolan, the aviation entrepreneur mounting a legal challenge against the lockdown, filed over 1,000 pages of legal documents with the High Court this morning. The proceedings are against Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – whose name is on the lockdown laws – and Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, who has presided over the closure of schools and universities. The aim of the court action is to lift the lockdown, restore our civil liberties, and allow schools, healthcare services and the economy to restart.

Due to its huge potential significance, the Court is being asked to deal with the matter urgently on a speeded-up timetable. Simon says he hopes to have the case heard in the first week of June. In a press release issued earlier, Simon says:

The number of people furloughed or unemployed stands at 10 million, and billions are being wiped off the economy with every passing day.

Those lucky enough to have jobs left at the end of this crisis could see income tax increase by up to 10p in the pound. The Government has spent £13,000 per household on the bailout so far.

A judicial review is the only effective means of challenging what the Government is doing and holding them properly to account. Boris Johnson and his crew have sleepwalked into this mess and are taking the nation over the cliff edge with them.

Our fight begins proper today!

You can read the press release in full here and contribute to Simon’s crowdfunder here. He has already exceeded his fundraising target of £125,000 and increased it to £175,000. Thanks to all those readers who’ve contributed.

Economic News Just Keeps Getting Worse

Under the headline ‘Sunak’s £124bn virus bill‘, the Mail reports findings from the National Audit Office (NAO) showing that Government ministers made more than 500 announcements between January 31st and May 4th in response to the outbreak, amounting to £124.3 billion of spending. It includes £6.6 billion for health and social care measures, £82.2 billion for businesses, £19.5 billion to support individuals – such as via benefits – and £15.8 billion on other public services. It does not include £13.4 billion of NHS debt which has been written off, nor money which the NAO suggests may be lost to “fraud and error”.

So that’ll be another £10 billion.

An updated online version of the same story warns further that “[t]he grim consequences for UK plc of the coronavirus crisis are becoming clearer with every passing day – as GDP goes into free-fall, public debt soars past £2 trillion and millions become unemployed. Apocalyptic predictions from the Bank of England and others show the UK is on track for the worst recession in 300 years, when the Great Frost swept Europe.”

The Guardian reports the Chancellor’s plans to spend yet more borrowed money on extending the mortgage relief scheme beyond the end of June, and adds that the Bank of England may move to negative interest rates, a first in its 325-year history. Is the global economy in such a parlous state that the Bank of England thinks investors will pay the British Government to take their money?

On the heels of yesterday’s news that 9,000 jobs are being lost at Rolls-Royce, the Times reports that current plans for relaxing the lockdown will not be enough to save many businesses.

Two-Metre Social Distancing Rule Unnecessary, According to NERVTAG Member

Downing Street said yesterday that it has no plans to change the “sensible and safe” two-metre social distancing rule, after Robert Dingwall, a member of the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), said the evidence that it is necessary is “fragile”. This is despite the fact that many other countries, and even the the World Health Organisation, recommend just one metre. Britain and Spain are now the only European countries to apply the two-metre rule, says the Mail.

Professor Dingwall said on BBC Radio 4: “The World Health Organization recommends a one-metre distance, Denmark has adopted it since the beginning of last week.

“If you probe around the recommendations of distance in Europe you will find that a lot of countries have also gone for this really on the basis of a better understanding of the scientific evidence around the possible transmission of infection.”

Iain Duncan Smith has also called for the two-metre rule to be scrapped, according to the Sun.

The Times reports that many businesses will go bankrupt if the rule isn’t relaxed. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, told the paper that “at two metres you’re probably looking at only 20 per cent of pubs being able to operate” but reducing it to one metre “would put the majority of pubs back in play”. Other sectors have also raised concerns:

Richard Walker, boss of Iceland, the supermarket, said: “The reality is that many businesses will not survive if we are too zealous with the two-metre rule. If scientists and experts are comfortable with a way that we can relax it then we absolutely should, because it is critical to so many sectors.”

Edwin Morgan, of the Institute of Directors, said that “maintaining two metres’ distancing will be difficult for many firms, and impossible for some”. He urged the Government to help industry find “innovative ways to adapt”.

Some businesses, facing bankruptcy if they remain closed, “have taken it upon themselves to open up despite lockdown restrictions“, says the Mail. Can we include them here, please?

Salons, butchers, florists and coffee shops are tentatively opening their doors to customers, by coming up with their own interpretations of the Government’s social-distancing rules. In Alresford, Hampshire, eight high street businesses are now open, including a salon – despite the Government insisting hairdressers should not yet be open. And in Thame, Oxfordshire, the chocolatier, hardware store, florist and butcher have thrown open their doors for the first time since the lockdown started in March. Meanwhile in the capital, Broadway Market in Hackney was packed with Londoners lapping up the sunshine and grabbing disposal pints of beer from pubs which have opened up for takeaway refreshments.

The Easy Way to Get Through Lockdown

The Telegraph reports that Liberal Democrat peer Chris Fox is “milking” the taxpayer by furloughing himself from his business but continuing to claim his daily £162 House of Lords allowance for Zoom meetings.

A frontbench peer has furloughed himself despite having a £100,000 cash pot in his company and claiming the daily House of Lords allowance during lockdown, the Telegraph can reveal.

Lord Fox, who owns two homes worth more than £2 million, is the first Parliamentarian known to use the Government’s wage subsidy scheme to pay himself. The 62-year-old Liberal Democrat frontbench spokesman for business is the owner and sole employee of Vulpes Advisory, a ‘strategic communications’ company. His decision to double dip into the taxpayers’ pocket was criticised as “milking the taxpayer” by MPs, who said on Wednesday that he should pay the money back. Asked on Wednesday night whether having his private income paid by the state as well as taking the Lords stipend was “greedy”, Lord Fox said: “I don’t think conflating the two is even logical.”

Accounts filed with Companies House show Lord Fox has access to more than £100,000 cash in his Vulpes bank account. Instead of using the money to tide the business over, he furloughed himself and has already received his first month’s wage subsidy, of about £1,000, from the Government. Asked why he did not first use the £100,000, he said: “I’m hoping to tide the business over, I’m hoping to relaunch it properly when the scheme… when the virus lifts.”

Lord Fox has a five-bedroom house in Windsor, which he reportedly bought in 1995 for £280,000 and which is now estimated to be worth up to £1.89 million, as well as a second home in east London. He sits on the Lords economic affairs committee, before which Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, appeared as a witness this week. It has held four hearings over the past month, for which Lord Fox will receive £648. He also claims the daily allowance for his work as the Liberal Democrat spokesman for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon said: “It’s incredible that, when my residents in Harlow are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, this peer seems to want to milk the taxpayer at both ends, for every penny – both through the Lords allowance and the furlough scheme. The Chancellor needs to nip this in the bud and make sure this is not allowed. The least he could do is pay the furlough money back.”

The Sun splashes with the story that Labour Party supporter Steve Coogan – creator of Alan Partridge – has furloughed his gardener and housekeeper.

The wealthy comic, 54, has left the taxpayer to stump up 80% of the pair’s wages. His two staff work full-time at his £4 million home in southern England, which boasts a swimming pool and tennis court.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said last night: “The furlough scheme is to protect businesses that are suspended and can’t operate during the coronavirus pandemic. It’d be difficult to see how Steve Coogan’s earning potential has been diminished.”

TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive John O’Connell said: “Support should only be sought if it’s really needed.”

Day Trippers Defy Lockdown Orders

Southend beach yesterday. Credit: ITV News

All the papers had pictures of people ignoring social distancing rules to enjoy Britain’s hottest day of the year, with temperatures climbing to 82F – although the snappers know their pictures are more likely to be used if they make it look as if people are bunched more closely together than they are. According to the Mail, tens of thousands of sun seekers packed on to beaches up and down the country and traffic wardens ran out of tickets.

Needless to say, some local panjandrums have been harrumphing about the influx of visitors. According to the Telegraph:

When Boris Johnson announced on May 19th that from May 13th English residents would be allowed to drive to enjoy the outdoors for any length of time (as long as they do not stay overnight), local authorities in places like the Lake District were in uproar, telling travellers firmly to stay away.

In recent days the row has rumbled on, with placards and barricades appearing in parts of the Lakes. Messages scribbled onto boards include “no entry”, “please stay away”, and – in one specific case – “Keswick is still closed. Please come back when we are open”. This “informal” lock-out has even included “impromptu” road blocks – with plastic barriers blocking routes to popular sites. 

It’s a welcome change then to hear Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage at Hampshire County Council, insisting the all responsible daytrippers are more than welcome.

He told Telegraph Travel: “Our country park car parks operated well over this last weekend and all within the 60% capacity limit imposed following a risk assessment. The vast majority of people behaved both sensibly and in a good humoured fashion, they were pleased to be able to visit, and appreciated the precautions being taken by our staff and the measures in place, which included clear signs and advance communications.” 

Case Numbers Keep Falling

Meanwhile, the number of cases keep falling. The Times quotes Stephen Powis, NHS England’s Medical Director, saying there were 9,953 people in hospital with coronavirus on Tuesday, the first time this has been below 10,000 since March 29th:

No cases of coronavirus have been confirmed for Monday across London and eastern England, an area covering 15 million people, and just 79 have been recorded across England. While the number will rise as laboratories report more data, the figures underline the extent to which transmission has been brought under control.

The Telegraph says that new “surveillance data” suggests “those aged 17 to 29 are the most likely group to carry the infection – although they are far less likely than older people to fall seriously ill”.

The sampling by Public Health England, which occurred as the epidemic approached its peak, showed that in early April, around 11% of those aged between 17 and 29 were infected with the virus. Those in their 30s were the age group with the second highest number of infections, at around 10%, with rates closer to 7% among those in their 60s.

Fewer People have Died in 2019-20 than in 2017-18

Interesting post on the COVID-19 In Proportion blog pointing out that the total number of deaths in England and Wales between November 29th and May 8th (275,044) was lower than the total number in the same period in 2017-18 (281,566), when there was an above-average number of deaths from seasonal flu. He also notes that the lockdown on March 23rd doesn’t appear to have made any dent in the number of people dying from non-Covid flu and respiratory diseases in 2019-20: “If lockdown is effective at stopping the spread of infection wouldn’t there be a drop in the rate of non-Covid flu and respiratory deaths?”

Worth reposting this from the same blog last month, comparing the coverage of deaths from COVID-19 with deaths from influenza in 2018 on BBC News. Needless to say, the 2017-18 influenza epidemic which killed more people than Covid got nary a mention.

Stop Press: COVID-19 In Proportion blog has now updated this post. If you add the second week of May, the total number of deaths in 2019-20 does now exceed those in 2017-18.

MPs “Must Go Back”

House of Commons Leader Jacob Rees Mogg says MPs “must physically return to Westminster if they want to participate in debates and vote on new laws”, according to the Mail:

The House of Commons is currently using a ‘hybrid’ system which allows a maximum of 50 MPs to be present in the chamber while up to 150 can take part using Zoom video software. But Mr Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader, said the current set-up dramatically curtailed the amount of time which could be spent debating legislation as he said all MPs should come back to London on June 2nd after the Whitsun recess which starts tomorrow. However, the decision sparked a furious backlash from some opposition MPs who said the ‘hybrid’ model is working and moving away from it would force them to make ‘non-essential’ journeys. 

The Problem With Epidemiological Models

We’ve published a great piece on Lockdown Sceptics today by Hector Drummond entitled ‘The Real Fault with Epidemiological Models‘. Drummond, a former academic with a must-read blog called Hector Drummond Magazine, argues that critics of the computer modelling used by Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial to show that half a million people would die from COVID-19 in the “do nothing” scenario shouldn’t focus on the poor quality of the code because “any number of epidemiological modellers could have come up with similar analyses using impeccable code”. Rather, the fault lies with epidemiological models in general:

Epidemiology seems to be one of those areas, like climate change, where model reliability matters far less than it should. This can happen to areas that become politicised and where the journals are controlled by strong-armed cliques. It can also be a consequence of modern academia, where the emphasis has shifted almost totally to funding success. Funding success in areas like epidemiology can depend on exaggeration to impress people with agendas and money to burn, like Bill Gates. In an objective field you would expect, after all, underestimates to be as prevalent as overestimates. Yet in this field, overestimates are rife. And the reason for this is the same as the reason why alarmism thrives in climate “science”: it’s because all the research money goes to those who sound the alarm bells.

This is a top notch piece from someone who understands how academia works. Well worth a read.

How Good is the University of Minnesota’s Epidemiological Model?

A reader sent me a long email expressing his doubts abut the epidemiological model that was cobbled together by three grad students overnight at the University of Minnesota in March and then invoked to justify Minnesota’s lockdown. This is the model that was unveiled with great fanfare by state officials last month and was relied upon by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz when deciding how to respond to the pandemic. According to an article on the University’s website, the model was developed by three graduates students who were called by a professor at the University’s School of Public Health on the evening of Friday March 20th and told the model needed to be ready to present to the Governor on Monday morning. “I don’t think a lot of researchers get to work on something over the weekend and have public figures talk about it and make decisions based on it three days later,” said Marina Kirkeide, who was on a gap year when she got the call.

The model predicted that 57,000 Minnesotans would die absent a lockdown and Governor Walz duly issued a stay-at-home order on March 25th, two days after the results of the simulation were presented to him.

So how shonky was the grad students’ model? I asked “Sue Denim”, the ex-Google engineer who reviewed Professor Ferguson’s model for Lockdown Sceptics, to take a look.

I did a quick scan of the code, insufficient to thoroughly check for bugs, but enough to get a feel for the likelihood of their presence. Despite being the work of rushed grad students it’s of a significantly higher quality than the Covid-Sim program from Imperial College – for example, the functions all have extensive comments explaining what they do, variables mostly have meaningful names, there are internal safety checks, and so on. It’s written in R, instead of C. R is a language designed for mathematical and scientific use, so the code is a much closer match for what the developer really means and is thus much easier to read. R manages memory automatically and thus the sort of basic memory errors found in the ICL code aren’t possible in this kind of program.

Model-wise, it explicitly takes into account hospital capacity, whereas Ferguson’s model ignored beds and assumed constant capacity throughout the entire epidemic. It has 36 parameters vs the over 400 parameters found in the ICL code. This is still large, but more reasonable.

Professor Ferguson’s team should sit through some lectures given by these students.

So that’s the good news. Unfortunately, it’s outweighed by the bad news. I agree with your reader’s comments about the dodgy assumptions. It’s obvious these models have severe theoretical flaws as different codebases keep generating predictions that are wrong, and always wrong in the same direction and magnitude. Beyond parametric difficulties and although this team doesn’t seem to have made the same kinds of staggering coding errors found in the ICL codebase, this is still academic code so the critical structural and process problems identified in my first and second analysis of the ICL code are still present.

1. Like before, the history of this program is missing. Taxpayers being able to check the work that was actually used to change policy is seen as unimportant.

2. Although there are no Covid-specific assumptions in the code, it was written fresh for this problem instead of re-using a battle-tested infrastructure. This is something ICL theoretically did better: they re-used a previous codebase from years ago, so it had plenty of time to be thoroughly written and validated. Ferguson’s team didn’t in fact use the time to do this, but could have if they’d cared, whereas in this case the code was written from scratch in a rush. Even with the best intentions and practices it could never have been subjected to proper validation.

3. There are still no unit or regression tests of any kind. Although they were rapidly changing this program under pressure (exactly the situation where mistakes are most likely to occur) ,nobody bothered writing any code to verify sub-functions or that results of e.g. a single time step matched expectations. That’s not surprising – in recent days scientists responding to comments by software engineers have explained that in academic science “if it looks right then it is right”.

Given this attitude, is it any wonder that epidemiological models keep producing estimates that are wrong when compared to real world outcomes, yet this doesn’t seem to bother anyone in the field ? And models appear no more accurate today than they were during the UK foot-and-mouth epidemic in 2001? Given the lack of any really Covid-specific assumptions that we’re seeing here, it would make sense to use generic models that are extensively unit tested against prior-observed outcomes, but we don’t see that.

Imagine if a piece of safety-critical software controlling a car were thrown together in a few days by some interns, sold into the market and then went wrong in some way that caused people to die. People would be incredibly angry. It would end up in court. In fact, we don’t have to imagine, because the case of the Toyota engine control system gives an example of what happens when standard practices aren’t followed. The code for the Toyota ECS looked very much like the code for Covid-Sim: written in C, many global variables, no working peer review process and other problematic practices. Although I think it was never proven that this led to unintended accelerations that killed people, there was also no way to convince a jury it didn’t. Unlike in academia, where so far we’ve seen widespread denial that any problems exist at all, Toyota ended up recalling nearly 10 million cars and dealing with multiple lawsuits. In one of those the court heard testimony about code quality: Toyota settled after they realised the testimony was devastating and they couldn’t win.

Bad code can be found anywhere. Markets and regulations can’t stop bad code being written, but they do ensure that when the systems are working low quality has consequences and gets pushed to the bottom of the barrel. Those consequences can range from losing customers to losing court cases. If there’s any academic equivalent of these outcomes it’s unclear what they are. Students determining the fate of millions of people will continue to occur for as long as policymakers incorrectly believe that academic output is of trustworthy quality.

Note on Yesterday’s Chart Showing UK Infections Peaked Before Lockdown

The chart I published yesterday provoked an interesting discussion in the comments, with several people asking where the author got his figure of a 23-day lag time between infection and death. After all, if the median lag time is significantly less than that, then the graph doesn’t show that infections peaked before the lockdown was imposed. I asked the reader who sent me the graph to respond:

The source is one of the first studies in Wuhan which was widely reported.

I’ve read some of the comments it attracted on your site. It’s a fair challenge that the time to death might be less than 23 days in the UK – for example, if the population is more elderly they might die quicker. But I don’t think that answers why the time gap is different between the UK and London. The lockdown was imposed across the country on the same date, so if that was the cause of infections declining surely it would have happened at the same time in London and the rest of the country?

I’ve dropped an email to Kit Yates, a statistician who features on a BBC Sounds Podcast talking about this specific point (which one of your other readers pointed to), to see if he has an explanation for this – and also why the time gap from lockdown to peak deaths varies so much from country to country. That’s the same point – if lockdowns work, you’d expect a consistent gap between the lockdown being imposed and deaths declining in each country where they’ve been imposed. But you don’t.

Another Chart Showing Lockdowns Don’t Work

This chart formed part of a presentation by JP Morgan to investors yesterday. It shows infections haven’t increased in those US states that have ended their lockdowns. The JP Morgan analyst told investors: “This means that the pandemic and COVID-19 likely have its own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented.” NBC’s Carl Quintanilla did a Twitter thread on the presentation yesterday.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s Anti-Media Rant

This is worth a watch: Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, unleashes on the media for predicting he was conducting an experiment in “human sacrifice” by refusing to order a lockdown sooner than he did, and that Florida would be “the next Italy”. He also faced criticism when he became one of the first Governors to start easing restrictions at the end of April. In fact, Florida has had one of the lowest number of deaths per 100,000 of any state in the union. This probably has nothing to do with the four-week lockdown and more to do with DeSantis making sure elderly people infected with the virus were removed from care homes. You can watch his rant here.

Continuing School Closures are #NotOk

A group of concerned parents called Us For Them have launched a campaign to try and persuade schools to reopen – and without the ludicrously excessive and potentially harmful social distancing measures that nearly all schools are planning. The campaign’s hashtag is #NotOk. You can find out more about the #NotOk campaign, and sign a petition to show your support, here.

One of the people behind the campaign is Christine Brett, the market access consultant who wrote ‘How at Risk Are Your Children From Coronavirus?‘ for Lockdown Sceptics last week. Worth a read if you missed it the first time.

Cambridge Clarification

The University of Cambridge has issued a clarification following yesterday’s news that all lectures are moving online until the end of the next academic year. Turns out, face-to-face contact between students and academic staff will still take place, albeit from behind masks:

The University and the Colleges will welcome as many students as possible to Cambridge for the start of the next academic year, guided always by advice from Public Health England. We are committed to continuing to deliver high quality education to all our students and to delivering a rich student experience, while ensuring that we respond effectively to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small group teaching – supervisions, seminars or individual tuition – is at the heart of our educational provision and will continue in person as much as possible. Given the likely need for continued social distancing, we have decided to suspend mass lectures in person for the next academic year. Lectures will be available online; this system is already in place in some University Departments. Lectures are only one part of the rich education that Cambridge offers and freeing up space in lecture halls will allow us to concentrate on delivering small group teaching, language classes, lab work and practicals.

Colleges are planning to offer a wide range of activities, and will work hard to build up community life, even in the midst of social distancing.

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 week, 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 500+ now – keep ’em coming.

Theme Tune Suggestions

Only one suggestion today, but it’s a goodie: ‘Deal Wiv It’ by Slowthia and Mura Masa.

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. The site’s total page views have now passed one million and it’s averaging 54,000 visitors a day. We’re making a difference!

And Finally…

Have a read of my latest column in the Spectator. Trigger warning: this probably won’t appeal to left-wing readers of this site (and I hope you’ve noticed that I’ve tried to keep the partisan sniping to a minimum). Here are the opening two paragraphs:

It has become a commonplace among social psychologists that one of the characteristics that unites conservatives is our sensitivity to disgust. A succession of experiments carried out over the past ten years seems to show that a person’s political views are linked to how disgusting they find the idea of, say, touching a toilet seat in a public lavatory. The more repulsed you are, the more likely you are to hold conservative positions on issues like gay marriage, immigration and abortion. These findings have been lapped up by liberal social scientists since they confirm their view of conservatives as uptight control freaks whose love of hierarchy and tradition is rooted in an irrational fear of contagion.

But like many findings in psychology, these experiments haven’t always been easy to replicate and a meta – analysis of 24 studies in 2013 found that the relationship between conservative opinions and sensitivity to disgust was fairly modest. Today, I wouldn’t be surprised if people on the left are more easily repulsed than those on the right. It is liberals who seem to be gripped by a horror of contamination, not conservatives. How else to explain the enthusiasm with which they’ve welcomed the quarantining of whole populations as a way of managing the outbreak of coronavirus?

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Schrodinger
11 days ago

That graph “Fewer People have Died in 2019-20 than in 2017-18” now seems to have been updated on the host site and the headline would not now appear to be true? Or am I reading things wrong?

http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/

Otherwise thanks for keeping us updated.

Bob
Bob
11 days ago
Reply to  Schrodinger

It has been updated, the author of InProportion posted on Twitter to confirm this.

Olivia Clayton
Olivia Clayton
10 days ago
Reply to  Bob

I crunched the numbers for the same period in 2014 – 2015, ( week ending 29 November 2014 to week 21 in 2015 from the ONS ), when there was alsp a bad flu season, and the total number of all cause deaths over that time period that year was 291,415, still around 21k less than this year, but then I remembered that an estimated 11k-15k of deaths this year have been caused by the panic and lockdown measures, eg people not calling for ambulances in time, not attending hospitals for illness etc, and that’s not counting the many deaths to come of undiagnosed and untreated cancer etc. Which means that even if the Co19 mortality figures were actually a reliable measure of Co19 lethality the virus would only have caused 6k more deaths than flu.

Adele Bull
Adele Bull
11 days ago

The trouble is he’s set himself a hurdle to cross before he gets anywhere! The track and trace milarky won’t be ready and we’ll all have to wait for it! Why can’t he just let us get on with it? Kids back in schools, everyone back to work, wear a mask if you want to, sensible 1 metre distancing where possible, crack on!!

Bella Donna
Bella Donna
11 days ago
Reply to  Adele Bull

It’s evident Boris and his cabinet are deliberately trashing our country. I cannot believe what is happening!

Jacob Nielson
Jacob Nielson
11 days ago
Reply to  Bella Donna

I read somewhere that a letter to an MP is worth 1,000 votes; i.e. it carries a lot more weight when compared to opinion polls and petitions. I’ve now written to mine twice and will continue to do so in the hope that it represents a larger ground swelling of public opinion against lockdown. I encourage everyone to do likewise (as well as signing petitions etc.).

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Nielson

I wrote to mine and got a fairly standard looking reply from a lackey saying basically “science!” and “we are lifting the lockdown”. But maybe sending the email helped a bit.

RDawg
RDawg
11 days ago
Reply to  guy153

Good work Guy,

I published a response on this site a couple of days ago to send as a retort to your MP, when they try and fob you off.

You can also read it here: https://twitter.com/WeWillBeFree82/status/1262776120426074112?s=20

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

I tried to just stick to historical facts that even an MP can understand– hardly anyone of working age is dead so what’s the fuss all about?

Here’s what I wrote (people are welcome to copy and paste if they want):

Can you please put as much pressure as possible on the government to end this extremely harmful “lockdown” as soon as possible, and return our country and NHS to normal, productive life.

While COVID-19 can be a nasty illness it is extremely rarely severe or fatal for anyone of working age or without pre-existing conditions. In the UK, where there have been at least several million infections, probably tens of millions, the total number of people under the age of 60 without pre-existing conditions who have died with Covid mentioned anywhere on the death certificate is fewer than 300. Even if we include pre-existing conditions, the number is around 2000.

These are official figures from the ONS and I would urge you to check them yourself. We don’t even need to argue about how few of those deaths might have actually been caused by COVID-19, or to discuss the finer points of IFR estimation from serology studies or the likely progression of the epidemic so far.

There is therefore absolutely no justification for keeping the general population away from their jobs, schools and lives with all the devastating consequences that that is already bringing. I am also extremely concerned at reports that the NHS is no longer providing essential services such as dentistry, cancer tests, operations, and treatments for other illnesses. Given the high prevalence of these other issues and the relatively low fatality of COVID-19 priorities appear to have been completely inverted.

Furthermore there is no evidence that “lockdowns” are significantly more effective than simple measures such as “self-isolating” when you are symptomatic, in particular at this stage in the epidemic, when there is likely to be at least partial population-level immunity. If the R number is reduced below 1 the effect is the same– the epidemic is stopped in its tracks. It appears that in the UK the peak of infections was before the “full lockdown” implying that the far less destructive and voluntary measures were sufficient even at that stage. They will be even more so now that there is at least some immunity in the population.

COVID-19 is a problem in hospitals and care-homes which the government needs to address urgently by tackling the actual problems in those environments, not by imposing extremely harmful restrictions on the population outside those environments.

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
10 days ago
Reply to  guy153

Well written piece- informative, knowledgeable and full of facts!

RDawg
RDawg
11 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Nielson

Well done Jacob. You absolutely must do this. Also, I recommend you push for a telephone appointment. Do not take no for an answer. Mine is calling me tomorrow lunchtime.

Offlands
Offlands
10 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Looking forward to the update RDawg.

Stephen McMurray
Stephen McMurray
11 days ago
Reply to  Jacob Nielson

I wrote to a number of local MPS and got no response whatsoever.

Lms2
Lms2
10 days ago

If they are not your MP, and you don’t include your full name and address, they won’t reply.

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  Bella Donna

It’s an amazing idea isn’t it? But I absolutely think it is true. Boris is actually trashing his own sister’s, and her kids’ future to save his own miserable reputation!

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Those of us of a non no-deal Brexit persuasion are less surprised by this characteristic of Johnson.

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  guy153

No, the two things don’t compare. Brexit was a genuine choice between two rational paths – that Britain had been dallying with for decades. There were advantages and disadvantages to either choice.

The Covid lockdown is a pure disaster without any redeeming features. Boris is cynically trashing the country to cover up the fact that he was given his actual, genuine Churchill moment and f****ed it up. He may not even be dragging it out because of what other people are going to think of him, but to save his own internal sanity because he knows what he has done and what he threw away.

If the claim is that this is no different from the Brexit referendum because the public supposedly support it in opinion polls, the difference is that both sides of the argument are not being aired. The public are only being fed one side of the argument.

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Yes but _Johnson_ never believed in Brexit. He didn’t care. He was just doing what it took to become PM.

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  guy153

I’m kind of ambivalent about that. What he actually believes in is not fundamental to what is best for the country. He’s a politician. It could still be a perfectly principled position to push for whatever outcome would be best for the country overall, even if it wasn’t his personal preference.

The issue here is that I think he’s pushing for the worst outcome for the country for purely cynical, personal reasons. I’d like to think I was wrong, but the conclusion is becoming unavoidable.

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

He did have his Churchillian moment. It was called Gallipoli.

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  Adele Bull

I thought they’d changed it anyway to just call some number if you think you might have Covid and/or feel like being tested, locked up and generally interfered with. That seemed like a more sustainable target.

£3.8m was already rather a lot for an app whose purpose is to display green traffic lights. But if we all have to wait for it the cost will run to billions. Maybe they just want to break Fergie’s record for the most expensively bad code ever written.

Ewan Duffy
11 days ago
Reply to  guy153

I assume the number will be a premium rate number. Gotta make up for the revenue drop somehow!

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  Ewan Duffy

Yep, and wait until people realise that their medical details are flashing up on a screen in a callcentre in Bangalore.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  Adele Bull

It is no use anyway as the virus has all but run its course and most people in any case would be symptomless, although if they keep adding new ones like anosmia as a sole reason to self isolate we will just be going round in circles for ever.
More money from the magic money tree going down the toilet.

MiriamW
MiriamW
11 days ago

‘Getting this in – about people’s behaviour in a small High Peak town – quick even before I read what looks like another excellent post:

Today in Buxton: We get there by ‘bread-van’ i.e. small buses operated by High Peak. The 61, normally popular, has had 1 or 2 other people on it since the lock-up. Today, there were nine. Two got off in Whaley Bridge and another 2 got on! No hope of observing the 2-metre rule and nobody seemed bothered. What’s going on?

Buxton has a small shopping mall in which almost everything which hadn’t previously gone bust has been forced to close. It’s now used mainly by Waitrose customers, the access from the pedestrianised street was closed off at the beginning of the lock-up, meaning that we elderly bus-users have to traipse a good 1/4 of a mile round to the car-park entrance. There, strict anti-social distancing is ‘policed’ by unsmiling goons and we shuffle forward (except for one man with a learning disability a couple of weeks ago who wouldn’t follow the rules and was treated by the Masked Ones as if he was even more dangerous than a super-spreader!)

Anyway I saw a woman going in via the pedestrian entrance today so I followed her and remarked, ‘Is this the first glimmering of sanity, do you think?’ She replied, ‘I think we should all go back to normal – now!’ – Hallelujah! We had a good chat and I told her about Lord Gumption as she hadn’t heard of him.

The mall opticians and bank have re-opened and it was busier, as was the pedestrianised street, despite the sad, closed shops. Maybe it’s the unusually warm, sunny weather. Apart from a few terrified ‘swervers’ and a few Masked Ones, the mall also seemed livelier. i was amused to witness one woman, wearing gloves, and pushing a trolley, wiping her gloved hands on her trousers and then scratching her nose.

A lot of people seem to be standing and passing a lot closer to each other. All in all , some grounds for cautious optimism.

MoH
MoH
11 days ago

Yes of course they may let us out some time. Though with so many out of work and businesses failing due to unworkable ‘new normal’ restriction and money being saved for basics, there will be almost as many people stuck at home anyway as there are now so the lockdown will still carry on by de facto. They will possibly be not allowed out due to track and trace requirements for ‘essential workers’ anyway so now we have the reality of millions stuck at home and probably not allowed out for quite some time ahead. There has to be a way out of this or effectively our lives are over.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  MoH

Simple, don’t listen to them and get on with life as normally as you can. That’s what I’ve been doing.
Live free or die!!!!!

Poppy
Poppy
11 days ago

I really think we’re on track to have the longest lockdown in the world. We’re into week 9 with no sign of any further easing anytime soon, especially if the track and trace app launch goes tits up which it undoubtedly will. What infuriates me more than anything is that such a long lockdown isn’t even necessary and doesn’t stop the masses of deaths in care homes – it’s just a way for the government to ‘make up’ for their disgraceful failure to manage this pandemic. It is immensely frustrating and right now I feel like I’m stuck in one of those dreams where I’m running really slowly, as if through treacle, trying to get to my destination but being perpetually pushed back by some invisible, unrelenting force, and I’m trying to open my mouth to scream but it’s all happening in slow motion and no sound is coming out.

I concede to the argument that back in March we didn’t know as much about the virus as we do today, but now that we have the benefit of hindsight, Johnson needs to give a ‘mea culpa’ speech and acknowledge that he and his administration got it wrong and start getting things moving again. We’ve had a few comments from ministers hinting that the ‘science was wrong’, but it’s just not enough. I’m definitely getting the impression that they’re trying not to rock the boat.

My only glimmer of hope in this is that if the populace has been ‘programmed’ to fear the virus and going outside, then surely they can be ‘programmed’ the other way, to fear the ruinous economic and health crises of the lockdown. This mass social experiment has shown that a large proportion of the populace will just do what the government tells them and will believe what they hear in the MSM. If they are told that the danger of the virus has passed and that we need to focus on getting the economy moving, and they are bombarded with all the apocalyptic predictions of mass unemployment and catastrophic recession, then surely the tide must turn the other way. I really think that’s the issue as to why people are being so slow – they just don’t understand or foresee the economic consequences yet because they’re so abstract and haven’t happened yet, but by the time they do, it will be too late. It is now so patently obvious that the danger has passed – no new cases or deaths in London, falling cases and deaths everywhere else in the UK, and in countries that have lifted the lockdown, no massive second spikes. Even the slight uptick in infections in places like Germany, China, and Korea turned out to be false alarms. The UK has lost all credibility – if all the countries were anthropomorphised to represent people at a party, the UK would be the demented old man dribbling in the corner while everyone else backs away.

Sorry, am getting quite aggy now given that I have not seen my boyfriend for over two months…!

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

Go see him. We won’t tell anyone.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago

I agree, go for it!

IanE
IanE
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

As long as he’s not called Ferguson! ;}

Poppy
Poppy
11 days ago

I would see him tomorrow if I could but unfortunately we do not live near each other and he would be doing the driving (I sadly cannot drive) and he is still a bit hesitant to break the lockdown even though he knows deep down it’s a total joke…!

Poppy
Poppy
11 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

And I know I can see him with the 2m social distancing but we all know that completely goes against the entire idea of a romantic relationship so we are basically still restricted according to the gov. I give it until June when he finally gives in…! Surely others must be.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

Social distancing is not a law. It’s guidance.

Poppy
Poppy
11 days ago

This is what I’ve been telling him until I’m blue in the face but he’s still reluctant…! But he currently has exams so I think he wants to wait until those are over and then think about what to do. He seems to be turning slowly.

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

Well, that doesn’t bode well… you’ve been clear-thinking, defiant and strident during this business…. you must be somewhat disappointed by his reticence?

Poppy
Poppy
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

I am, but as I said above he currently has exams that he needs to get out of the way and he’s quite distracted. With any luck they’ll be finished at the same time schools go back/the app gets up and running but even if not, we will probably try and work around it. I’m sure others are

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
10 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

He can drive! Tell him to just get in his car and come and see you – many people have and the more people do, the easier it will be to get back to normal- so don’t just give in to your bad dream analogy- you will not be the only one!!

Lms2
Lms2
10 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

Get him to read this site. And watch this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watchv=5oaweiqijyk

If your boyfriend stays in his car, doesn’t get close and personal with anyone else, then there’s no problem. You know that, and you just have to persuade him of that.
For the vast majority under 60, there’s very little risk. Tell him to go for it…..

LockdownKillsBusinesses
LockdownKillsBusinesses
11 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

“don’t understand or foresee the economic consequences yet because they’re so abstract” Abstract? Things like the stock market and the 2008 credit crunch may have been abstract but the economic carnage of lockdown is hitting business where the really important stuff happens, in the supply chain, in the ability to source produce, in the ability to have custoemrs to sell to, in the ability to get workers in to work… Nothing abstract about the damage this is doing, how can your first thought in a pandemic NOT be “where are consumabels going to ekep coming from”, especially when we saw the loo roll panics as it began?

Poppy
Poppy
11 days ago

You’re right, this is precisely the point I was making, the populace THINKS the economic consequences are abstract because they associate the economy with monopoly men and cigars and graphs on the FT but it’s anything but.

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago

Most people don’t understand the supply chain. If you read Leonard Read’s “I, Pencil’ to them, they’d take on the expression of a dog being shown a Rubik’s Cube.

Alison
Alison
11 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

UK as a whole is bad and bad enough, entirely agree… but the ridiculous document Nicola Sturgeon has released this afternoon suggests that lockdown in Scotland is absolutely indefinite… no school till 11 August, and then only part-time, loosening on 28 May is only going to allow for ‘local’ driving for exercise, seeing family outdoors etc, no dates for anything else. Also complete lack of distinction around which parts will be advice and which enforceable, a muddle which I am pretty sure is intentional. Have written to my MSP to clarify whether by driving across the country, as I intend to do, I’ll be breaking the law or just ignoring advice…. so unacceptable that it should be totally unclear from the 50 page document.

Apparently Nicola “felt like crying ” when she saw photos of some folks having fun on a beach near Edinburgh yesterday. And that’s the shoddy, emotive level of justification being offered for continued house arrest.

So, Scotland has decided apparently to commit to lockdown as an industry and a way of life.

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Alison

Wow, what a dictatorship.

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
10 days ago
Reply to  Alison

Perhaps it’s time to all just get out and go against the ‘leaders’- because the moment that are not leading. We are a free people and should not stand for this.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

Why haven’t you seen your boyfriend Poppy? It’s entirely in your own hands. Or is he in another country?

I managed to persuade someone to give her grandchild a hug for the first time since the shut down and she thanked me and said it was the best thing ever.

I am sole carer for my mum who is 88 and very frail. I also go to work and do all the shopping.

When she puts her old head on my breast and I am able to comfort her by stroking her hair it is life affirming.

No-one under any circumstances will tell me when I can and can’t see my own family. They would have to kill me first.

Nobody knows when they will die and many people while waiting for “instructions” will find that when that time comes it will be too late.

A HUG IS HEALTH GIVE ONE WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!!!!

And by the way it was known from before the shut down that this virus is only dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions and that even 85% of those over 80 recover so I don’t want any excuses for this debacle.

We just need to get out there and start to live again and not in the new normal or we will be forever stuck in a joyless, soulless, fearful , futile dystopian nightmare that is no life at all.

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
10 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

Go see him, be a rebel not a compliant sheeple.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  Poppy

My reply seems to have disappeared.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago

Another important announcement from Sergeant, Constable, Detective, Officer Peter Piss-Pott of Twat-Valley Police:

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

CarrieAH
CarrieAH
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Oh that’s wonderful! “follow the rules regardless of whether or not you know what they are!”. Thank you so much for posting this! I needed the giggle today. It’s been a bad day, very depressed and wondering what’s the point of going on like this . . . there doesn’t seem to be any tunnel never mind any light at the end of it. What started out as me thinking I can “do” 3 weeks lockdown to allow them time to bring the NHS (sorry, our NHS, naughty me) up to standard, has turned into some sort of living endless nightmare which just seems to drag on and on.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

So agree CarrieAH. This isn’t life, is it? The mischevious part of me wonders what I can do tonight at 8 p.m … 🙂 I am trying to defy all this bonkersness with everything I have …

Paul
Paul
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

I’ve considered turning the hosepipe on them,but they would probably lynch me from a lamp post,

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Open the windows and play the Chicken Song at max vol.

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

For the record after vascillating between Ride of the Valkyries and The Chicken Song, I settled for playing the Russian National Anthem out the window… next week China, Cuba after that.

The Cuban one’s good. it’s circus music.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

Currently busy listening to the LSO but next week I might play “God Save the Tsar” (pre-1917 Russian National Anthem) full blast.

Annie
Annie
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Not a chance, it would mean touching you.
Two-metre rule applies to all lynchings.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  Annie

That cracked me up and should not go unacknowledged.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Play loud music from 8.00pm onwards. It helps if you like punk or heavy metal.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Not my bag (rock-wise the heaviest I get is the Eagles). Got a bit of Jonas Kaufmann though …

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Not enough of a “wall of noise” really, but maybe Hotel California on max volume might do it if you skip the intro bit. Google tells me Jonas Kaufmann is operatic. Got any Wagner? Some of that might work.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark

No, no Wagner. But just looking at my Best of Eagles album, there’s a rollocking great song called ‘Get Over It’ … 🙂 The great Don Henley at his acerbic best …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eVtbXaGO8E

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Oops, wrong link … this is the real thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hv5h2PRI6o

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Oh yes – didn’t notice that first one was a cover….

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

LOL! Seems apt.

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Ride of the Valkyries it is at 8pm. Thanks.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

And don’t forget to throw in the Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla for good measure

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

Should give you time to get through the quiet bit at the beginning

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

I grew up with punk and hm, so the Stranglers has been my anti-clapper noise for the last few weeks.

Tonight I’m a bit angrier so I’m going with Killing Joke I am the Virus at full volume. I don’t mind the conspiracy theory stuff and the alienated anger suits at the moment.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Bloody typical, get my protest song on and the bastards don’t come out and clap! Must have got a bit tired woke-wise!

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Ooof! That blew the cobwebs out! I honestly couldn’t tell you if there was any collective bleating here tonight.

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

Interesting… there’s no sign of it diminishing at all round here.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

Poor you Aidan.

I gave the girl on the check out at Aldis a clap at 8 last night and as always had a clap for Sweden.

Michel
Michel
11 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

There’s a nice heavy noise bit in Hector Berlioz’s Requiem (might hurt your speakers though 😉 )

Dave Tee
Dave Tee
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

You can check out any time you like… but you can never leave.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  Dave Tee

“We are all just prisoners here of our own device”

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark

In the land of the pigs the butcher is king by Meatloaf sums the sheeple up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-SLN3whXW0

Paul
Paul
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

When I’m at home,not watching TV,not listening to the radio and keeping away from newspapers everything seems just about okay,but when I venture out into the wider world the way I see most people acting and hearing the things they are saying it gets me so low I just want to scurry off home,I assume this is exactly the reaction the government is hoping for ?,thank god for Lockdown Sceptics !.

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul

Hear, hear … I look at people with their gas-masks on (yes, really, seen a few of those this week) and I see parents yank their children out of my way and I just feel like a frigging alien in my own country. Each morning I wake up and for a nano-second I feel like everything is as it was and then the grim reality dawns. And I keep wondering when are people going to rise up against this bollocks but they’re just not. It’s like being surrounded by a load of Stepford Wives.

james007
james007
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

The next time the demands are made for more police officers, I will think about Sergeant, Constable, Detective, Officer Peter Piss-Pott of Twat-Valley Police, and all his merry colleagues.
I wont be able to get the videos of his small army of officers going round London parks looking for bench-sitters and picnics 🙂

james007
james007
11 days ago
Reply to  james007

I mean I wont get them out of my mind 🙂

kh1485
kh1485
11 days ago
Reply to  james007

He’s a credit to the force er … I mean service!

Angela
Angela
11 days ago
Reply to  kh1485

He is hilarious!

Biker
Biker
11 days ago

yeah see this trace and track idea, how about they take a flying f**k with that? Who in their right minds thinks it’s a good idea that the government tracks you? To me this is the single reason this whole shame is being done. They want to follow you everywhere all the time. They are lunatics who’re prepared to destroy everything until you beg to be monitored 24 hours a day for your whole life. The governments of the world are criminals, they sell weapons to despotic regimes, they steal from Africa, they let millions die of starvation and preventable diseases and they let the fascists that run China sell their concentration camp made plastic rubbish in our communities. The world needs a revolution from these maniacs and it needs it now because if you think they’re gonna take their boots off out necks without a civil war then. I’m afraid i think we’re in a war for our lives.

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Biker

Oh yeah, all people are in the same boat on this one. I just think it’s already here more or less, just have a look at your phone into the settings. Mines an android, and even IF you have location and bluetooth OFF, by default it runs bluetooth scanning in the background … so what was the ‘tech’ behind the bluetooth ‘handshake’ again eh? everyone has their phone on them , that leads to a lot of handshakes = Track and trace!

This stuff is already here. I did post this the other day and have noticed it all more and more.

All the new updates with new privacy t’s and c’s on various apps and websites.

I don’t have the energy to ‘spot the difference’ but I bet anything there is something sinister on them compared to previous terms … needs a lawyer to take a look at a couple.

Or maybe I am just paranoid…

IanE
IanE
11 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Paranoid? Could be – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!

CarrieAH
CarrieAH
11 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Thankfully I have two phones, one of which is registered in another country where I usually spend some months of the year. I’ll use that one for any tracing app and leave it at home.

Carrie
Carrie
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Why download the tracing app at all? So far it is not compulsory – do you want to ‘signal’ to the government that you are happy to comply with being traced?

T. Prince
T. Prince
11 days ago
Reply to  Carrie

They’ll make it compulsory if you want to travel….gotcha!!

JohnB
JohnB
11 days ago
Reply to  T. Prince

Could an average teenage hacker not tweak bluetooth ?

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  T. Prince

Don’t travel then.

They will have to stop this madness when people finally have to face the economic consequences of this disaster.

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Carrie

The point is that your phone already is a tracing app. Downloading some crap from the NHS isn’t going to cut it at all, I have no doubt apple and Google will be involved… It’s amazing what sort of shit you find in developer settings.

And then quite hilariously mine has some Alerts for severe life threat, and child abduction…?! I mean…Wtf? switched it off.

However don’t be surprised if some nefarious stuff is already in the OS and you can’t touch it.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

It’s going to be integrated into the OS, and as they’re are only two left (that’s a story in itself) your only option to evade this is not to have a phone at all.

Biker
Biker
11 days ago

this is true but you can still buy burner phones thought the tories were talking about banning them. If they do it’ll create a black market in unregistered phones

eastberks44
eastberks44
11 days ago

Or buy a vintage Nokia that’s still good for calling someone to arrange an illicit meeting but has no GPS or OS.

Biker
Biker
11 days ago
Reply to  ianp

i’ve been telling people not to have a smart phone since the first time i heard of them because it was obvious it was nothing more than a tracking device. Personally i use burner phones and change my phone from time to time. I’ve nothing to hide what with me being a boring shop worker who likes to ride motorcycles and go to the football. But that’s not the point. Like you say other peoples phones are tracking you, sod that.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago

Took a sojourn into the Daily Mail comments today. Great fun. On the people going to the beaches story, ‘Shoot them all’ ‘Put them all in prison’. But on the other side very gratifying to see that about half of the comments were hardline sceptics. I’m not sure if it’s always been the case there, or if the tide is turning. But I found it encouraging, even if it is only DM readers.

Old fred.
Old fred.
11 days ago

It’s carnage on there – handbags flying everywhere- some very funny comments though plus plenty of lunatic ones

JohnB
JohnB
10 days ago
Reply to  Old fred.

Public sentiment is very definitely changing.

LockdownKillsBusinesses
LockdownKillsBusinesses
11 days ago

The 26% “covid-19 fee”, perhaps call it a “making up for the revenue we lost due to the draconian disastrous lockdowns” fee, I don’t think anyone could much disagree with it then. I’m visiting my local takeaways as soon as I hear they’ve reopened, if they want to charge a little more I’m find with that, but if they want to insist on cashless transactions and refuse good honest notes and coins then I’ll go elsewhere.

SweetBabyCheeses
SweetBabyCheeses
10 days ago

I don’t mind paying a little extra for luxuries too. Maybe a lot extra in some cases (eg flights if it means that the industry is no longer subsidised). But I am concerned about the potential for us to be heading into a severe recession, soaring unemployment and falling interest rates AND with rising inflation – it’s been many years since my A Level Economics but I’m pretty sure that spells Extra Bad News.

CarrieAH
CarrieAH
11 days ago

You couldn’t make this up. Greece have just announced the few countries who will be allowed to fly into Greece as they begin to open up to international travel. Amongst the first of the countries allowed . . . no not us, we are still banned . . . China! For goodness’ sake, it’s ridiculous. They put their citizens through a severe lockdown, come out the other side of it, and immediately let in the Chinese. Well, we know why. They are the people with money, who want to invest in Greece. I have truly had enough of snakelike politicians. All of them.

IanE
IanE
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Unbelievable – well, maybe not, but it SHOULD be!

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Thailand have done the same thing, removed China from their ‘at risk’ visitor countries. It’s all about the money. Be it tourists, or the huge trade deal they’ve struck that has resulted in the drying up of the Mekong and destroyed thousands of lives.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Its the money innit?? You can bet that the same will follow here.

Jesus wept.

Nobody2020
Nobody2020
11 days ago
Reply to  Bart Simpson

It’s basically a race now on which countries can get their economies up and running fastest. First mover advantage and all that.

T. Prince
T. Prince
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH
Mark
Mark
10 days ago
Reply to  T. Prince

Taking ones with money doesn’t help to undercut wages and conditions for the proles.

AidanR
AidanR
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark

It contributes to making decent housing unaffordable for the proles.

Mark
Mark
10 days ago
Reply to  AidanR

So it’s heads they win tails we lose for the movers and shakers pushing mass immigration.

AidanR
AidanR
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark

That it is.

LockdownKillsBusinesses
LockdownKillsBusinesses
11 days ago

The truth about the 2 metre rules is that they don’t need to make it a 1m metre rule, they need to make it not a rule. make it an ideal instead “Keep 2m apart whenever feasiby possible”. “As soon as not feasibly possible just maintain whatever distance you can”. Ideas about 1, 1.5 or 2m are all based on a mix of guesswork and statistical chance analysis, they work on probabilities not certainties. None of the rules can guarantee safety, but as long as people don’t crowd together where crowding is unnecessary then spread is still substantially reduced. And open the ****ing windows, moving air is more difficult for the virus to spread in than recirculated stuffiness.

RDawg
RDawg
11 days ago

They need to forget social distancing entirely. It is totally unnecessary.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Absolutely correct and incredibly anti social.

IanE
IanE
11 days ago

I suspect that whilst there is guidance, businesses will feel compelled to obey for fear of legal challenges. Since the ‘government’ clearly wish to have such guidance, the only chance of survival is dropping of the limit to the WHO guideline. Not much chance even of that though with the current load of chancers.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago
Reply to  IanE

The 2m thing isn’t law. Even though everyone seems to think it is. However, is it different for commercial premises? We ignore it completely at my workplace

eastberks44
eastberks44
11 days ago

That depends what you mean by “law”. There is criminal law enforceable by the police, which the 2 metre rule is not. And there’s grounds for an employee (or other building user) to sue an employer (or building operator) should he or she cntract the disease while on the premises. That’s what’s different for commercial premises. And unless there’s primary legislation or very clear case law that says you are NOT liable if one person passes an infectious disease to another while on your property, then the 2 metre rule will end up being enforced by insurance companies.

JohnB
JohnB
11 days ago
Reply to  eastberks44

How to prove the disease was caught on the premises ?

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
11 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

Impossible to prove where you got the disease.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago

I can’t stand it. I deliver to retail shops all day and naturally completely ignore it. But the queues are ludicrous, the government were right, people can’t gauge distance as most people are at least 4 metres apart. I just want to scream at them. Sometimes I feel like if I shout a call to arms for sceptics at a silly queue whether anyone would put the head above the parapet. Everyone seems so scared to question this. Naturally I loudly voice my scepticism and people look at me like I’m nuts. Even though I have all the facts and figures and they have nothing but the good word of our honest government.

SweetBabyCheeses
SweetBabyCheeses
10 days ago

Yessss! I can’t wait to tell all the lazy people at work (who are always cold because they don’t move) that we need to turn off the central heating and have the windows open as it’s healthier for us.

RDawg
RDawg
11 days ago

After constant pestering of my MP’s office (and believe me when I say I have been very persistent), I am finally getting a callback tomorrow between 1 and 2pm. I don’t think she has any idea of the lecture she will receive from me. I will try my absolute best to stay calm, rational and use only evidence based arguments to attempt to win her over.

If everyone on this site pushed to speak with their local MP, I do believe we could convince one or two more to make a stand in Parliament. Anyone remember what Tom Watson achieved with the expenses scandal? It only takes one…

It is up to each and every one of us to contact our MPs and try our very best to convince them why lockdowns do not work and why social distancing must be abolished. Keep pushing for a telephone consultation. Do not take no for an answer.

Good luck!
R Dawg

Oaks79
Oaks79
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Well done on actually getting a call and good luck, stay calm and have all your evidence etc written down but you probably have that already. I’ve not heard a peep from my MP I’ve sent a letter and I’ve emailed every day.

RDawg
RDawg
11 days ago
Reply to  Oaks79

Good work. Call their constituency office. Keep calling every day and say as a constituent you demand a response. Gotta make these people work for your votes. 😉

AidanR
AidanR
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

A quid says she ends the call abruptly with an accusation that you are bullying and abusing her, followed by a twitter thread bemoaning the rude, angry, ungrateful men in her constituency.

JohnB
JohnB
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Well done RDawg. Are you considering recording it ?

RDawg
RDawg
11 days ago
Reply to  JohnB

I won’t record it as that would be unethical without her consent. I will try my best to give a calm, rational and evidence-based argument citing various epidemiologists and scientific papers etc. Angry, ranting voices never win.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Depending how flexible your ethics are, you could tape it only in order to type out a transcript and then destroy the recording (or perhaps keep it in a secure location in case she subsequently accuses you of lying). Though that could have legal consequences if you ever were to produce the tape, I’m not sure.

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

Why should she object to you taping it?

Mark
Mark
10 days ago

I think politicians are pretty twitchy about talking on the recorded record unless they’re prepped for it, which is a much bigger deal than just a chat with a constituent. But, yes she might just agree to it.

WaveyWanderer
WaveyWanderer
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Does anyone happen to have a link to the template for writing to your MP that I think was posted on here urging them to end the lockdown. I could have sworn it was on here but I can’t seem to find it, thanks.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

All the best!!!

james007
james007
11 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Good luck, come back and let us know how it goes!

Awkward Git
Awkward Git
10 days ago
Reply to  RDawg

Well done.

swedenborg
swedenborg
11 days ago

https://twitter.com/JamesTodaroMD/status/1263294734249988102/photo/1

If infected and between 18-44 yrs, there’s a <1% chance of needing any hospitalization whatsoever and chances of dying are <0.1%. Notes: – Risk decreases dramatically if healthy – NYC has worse morbidity than most

And for 0-17 year age group Infection hospitalization rate 0.10 % IFR 0.002%

And this is New York City one of the worst hotspots well covered by BBC/MSM

It looks very similar to the Spanish figures. And this is supposed to be the worst localized Covid-19 outbreak in the world.

South Coast Worker
South Coast Worker
11 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

And that’s with the inflated NY numbers. They’re defrauding the government to get the Medicare cash as they’re basically bankrupt. Presuming everyone here knows about the cash incentives for treating the rona

Annie
Annie
11 days ago

I need help from my extended family of sane sceptics.

I look through the site, follow the links, think ‘Sanity is returning, it’s obvious that only morons could want the lockdown to continue, soon I’ll be free.’
And then I return to the real ( can it be?) world of Gulag Wales, where the lockdown seems poised to go on for ever, I am forbidden to drive a mile so as to have a change of scene, the council is scraping the barrel to find more car parks to rope off, and my zombie neighbours are
proudly preparing for their tenth orgy of NHS worship. (I presume that there are no cancer sufferers, or victims of other scourges, among them. Meanwhile, our local hospital proudly claims to be devoting all its resources to ONE Covid patient.)

What can I doooo? Save me before I go entirely dotty! Pleeeeeese!

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Annie

I feel for you… it’s beyond any comprehension. The pot n planners were out near me, but they are a small and ridiculous cult minority – if you remember it was like all those mawkish minute ‘applause’ you used to get at football when some life long fan’s dog fucking died. True faux grief culture.

I am now taking huge delight in precisely timing my evening bike ride through their little clapathon – just waiting for one of the zombies to try and give me any grief.

I thinking of doing wheelies next week, but they are probably so stupid they’ll think I am doing it in tribute to the NHS.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  Annie

Go about your daily life as normal as possible.

Drive where you like. I’m sure it is not legal to restrict how far you can drive.

Ignore the clappers, they are indoctrinated idiots.

Be proud that you are a sane, free thinking individual.

Stay strong.

Jacob Nielson
Jacob Nielson
10 days ago

On several occassions been walking along the street during the clap. Closest I’ve felt to being royalty!

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  Annie

Just remember that you are on the side of sanity and sense.

Don’t take any notice of any rules.

People who so far have been living in their own wee bubbles will have to wake up soon and face the reality. I think they will then want to get back to normal.

I am having fun challenging people on Twitter and putting across my own propaganda. There are more people on our side than you might think.

Stay strong, stay sane, stay positive.

Annie
Annie
10 days ago

Thanks to all the above. You are my oxygen!

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago

Great confusion over the fact that Stockholm’s population was only at 7% antibodies at the end of April.

“…Tom Britton, a maths professor who helped develop its forecasting model, said the figure from the study was surprising.

“It means either the calculations made by the agency and myself are quite wrong, which is possible, but if that’s the case it’s surprising they are so wrong,” he told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “Or more people have been infected than developed antibodies.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/21/just-7-per-cent-of-stockholm-had-covid-19-antibodies-by-end-of-april-study-sweden-coronavirus

Well, duh! We’ve been saying this for ages.

(copied over from yesterday’s comments – I posted it just as today’s page arrived)

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  DressageRider

The aricle’s right about the “cloud of obfuscation”. Boris Johnson’s words a week last Sunday when he supposedly eased the lockdown disgusted me. A load of constructive ambiguity topped off with a threat of increased fines for “the minority that break the rules”. God, I hate that man – and until a couple of months ago I was a deluded fan. He may well go down in history as, objectively, the worst prime minister ever.

Biker
Biker
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

worse than Gordon Brown?

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  Biker

I think Boris’s cost to the economy is the same as the 2008 crash every few days! He spends Gordon Brown’s gold every two days.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

A fair point, well made…

Biker
Biker
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Fair enough, worse than Gordon Brown, Worse than Churchill then?

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  Biker

Far worse IMO. Boris is managing to spend about the same amount of money fighting a phantom as Churchill spent fighting a real enemy. And probably the same number of lives once the deferred operations, civil unrest, food shortages etc. feed through. And we don’t yet know that Boris’s face-saving exercise isn’t going to result in an actual war.

Biker
Biker
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

before Churchill, British Empire after Churchill, no British Empire, Boris will have to go some to make a bigger mess of things than that

IanE
IanE
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

Amazing, but true. I thought May was the worst ever and now the floor just dropped again. I lent him my vote as the least worst option from a dreadful bunch in the hope that we would at least get Brexit: I now fear even for that and we have been force-fed HS2, Huawei and net zero into the ‘bargain’!

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

He has already won that award and then some.

swedenborg
swedenborg
11 days ago

https://www.corrieredellosport.it/news/attualit/cronaca/2020/05/20-69959112/il_coronavirus_circolava_in_italia_prima_dell_epidemia_arriva_la_conferma/

According to a new study, 1 in 20 blood donors in Milan had COVID-19 before Feb 21st, the date of the first measured case at Codogno Hospital.
What does this mean? Take a look at the Italian curve https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/
20% of blood donors already infected even before you can see any cases on the curve.The infection was already peaking long before we got the testing. Lockdown meaningless. The pandemic has its own path.

swedenborg
swedenborg
11 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

sorry should be 5% but still enormous numbers in total

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Very interesting. This is further indication that the highest you get to is about 20%. If it was already 5% of blood donors back in February it will have reached the highest it was ever going to reach some time ago. The “sigmoid curve” gets to a few %, then shoots up very rapidly, and then gradually levels off to the herd immunity threshold.

swedenborg
swedenborg
11 days ago
Reply to  guy153

This is 5% of population already past the infection and it is easy to imagine how many persons infected 10 days later. Levitt’s discussion of Gompertz curve of this pandemic is so interesting. The cases explode over a remarkable short time period reach a roof very early on and then continuous decline. The roof must be way below 60% the so called herd immunity and many discussing a lower 15-20% level including antibodies and also T cells mediated immunity and cross immunity from our other coronaviruses. The Bell curve(which in my eyes already slightly resemble Gompertz curve) you now see for Italy should be pushed back a few weeks for the infection peak and should have even more the typical Gompertz curve. That should be followed by the death curve which already has a more Gompertz like curve. (In Gompertz curve 2/3rd of the cases comes after the peak).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw2ZTaiN97k

swedenborg
swedenborg
11 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Checked again as this is very hot news but also from another source
https://www.kongnews.it/primo-piano/a-milano-1-positivo-su-20-prima-della-pandemia-lo-studio-su-donatori-di-sangue/
Here it says that 4.6% was positive at the start 21st February and even more startling only 7.1%
In the beginning of April. Perhaps even a better psuggestion that a roof is hit very early on in the epidemic?
Dai risultati, è emerso che all’inizio della pandemia, il 4,6% dei donatori, 1 donatore di sangue su 20, aveva già gli anticorpi contro il coronavirus, percentuale che è salita al 7,1% all’inizio di aprile.
La ricerca è stata realizzata e coordinata da Daniele Prati e Luca Valenti del Dipartimento di Medicina Trasfusionale ed Ematologia del Policlinico di Milano insieme a Gianguglielmo Zehender dell’Università degli Studi di Milano, in collaborazione con diversi ricercatori provenienti anche dall’Ospedale Luigi Sacco e dall’Istituto Europeo di Oncologia

guy153
guy153
10 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

Note that in absolute terms this is an estimate of the seroprevalence only among asymptomatic patients as that was one of the criteria for being allowed to give blood.

They also had a pretty low sensitivity for IgM (the antibodies that appear later) of only 67%, which is why the 95CI for the final percentage is quite wide (4.4% to 10.8%).

We also need to subtract at least two weeks from the date of the test to allow for the time it takes for antibodies to appear, so the final state there represents the infections around March 25th or so, which looks it was around the peak of their epidemic.

This is consistent with a maximum of around 15% to 20% for the whole population including the symptomatic cases.

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

This is great – a smoking gun. I don’t speak Italian, but I presume you’re saying that they have retrospectively tested donated blood and found it contains SARS-Cov-2..? If so, it is real evidence from before they began fiddling the figures.

So how much of this blood was transfused into patients?

Bob
Bob
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

According to Google translate they did antibody testing. The translated article seems to be arguing that the results imply that the population is far from herd immunity, but I’m not sure why as if it was 1 in 20 in February then it would have increased since then. There’s also a weird paragraph about the apparent benefit of social distancing that doesn’t make sense to me.

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

It’s antibodies they’re finding in the blood indicating people who have had Covid and recovered. There shouldn’t ever be any virus in the blood (blood can get infected but not with. SARS2 I don’t think.

The virus is in the cells in your lungs, nose, etc, and in the spaces between the cells.

Barney McGrew
Barney McGrew
11 days ago
Reply to  guy153

It seems the RNA can be detected in blood..?

“Because of the rapid increase of cases of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA in plasma the safety of China’s blood supply became a major concern. Most blood centers and blood banks in China began taking measures to ensure blood safety”

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0839_article

guy153
guy153
11 days ago
Reply to  Barney McGrew

I stand corrected… sounds like it is at least a potential issue in blood donation then.

Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson
11 days ago
Reply to  swedenborg

1 in 20 is 5 % not 20 % .

swedenborg
swedenborg
11 days ago
Reply to  Peter Thompson

I corrected that immediately below my comment.Sorry. The interesting thing is that during the epidemic from Feb to early April it increased only to 7%. Many comments that this is not herdimmunity but they forget that antibodies is not everything in this immunity,there is a crossimmunity from other coronavruses and also T cells immunity triggered by contact with the virus.The important thing is that there is a roof which is rather low when the epidemic slows in a remarkable pattern which seems to happen everywhere.

Will Jones
11 days ago

Thanks for including the note about the graph and whether the lag is less than 23 days. The key point is that there is more recent and more relevant data than the Wuhan study from Italy https://www.epicentro.iss.it/en/coronavirus/sars-cov-2-analysis-of-deaths and the UK https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.23.20076042v1 that puts the median gap between symptoms and death at more like 10 days than 18. Sceptics should use this data to ensure our case is as robust as possible.

London presumably peaked earlier because it was hit earlier, with more people visiting or returning from infected regions.

Tony Rattray
11 days ago

Yes, wee krankie is following the money in scotland. 10 million uk adults now being paid to do nothing until the end of july, so no need to do anything of any substance until aug. Almost certain now scotland will be the last european country out of ‘lockdown’. When the sun is out, it is still very much a never ending bank holiday feel up here – lots of never-ending b&bs, etc. In other words, despite the statistical probability that a healthy Scottish individual under 60 is now more likely to die from falling into a b&b whilst retrieving a burnt haggis than the virus, many working age adults are still more than happy with the current situation.

Yes, very interesting comment from toby about the strong possibility of negative interest rates on the horizon! Best put your money under the bed literally this time for what is to come.

Tony Rattray
11 days ago
Reply to  Tony Rattray

Meant bbq (not b&b)!

GetaGrip
GetaGrip
11 days ago
Reply to  Tony Rattray

Some aren’t.

2 blokes (no masks, not swervers) overheard in Tesco Inverness today:

‘F***ing lazy b******s, on their arses at home on 500 quid a week’

‘F****** hell. I’m getting 480 at work full time! And we’ re f***** busy’

F***ing lazy *b******s’.

Made my day.

Tony Rattray
11 days ago
Reply to  GetaGrip

Yes indeed, so long as the government retains in working order the part of the economy that feeds the masses, they are more than happy to keep clapping in-between each bbq and bicycle ride!

Biker
Biker
11 days ago
Reply to  Tony Rattray

i’m in Scotland and it’s busy again, everyone in my street has visitors and most are still working. Admittedly we’re all working class and do the jobs that working class people do but no one around me buys this bullshit and are mad that we’re working and paying tax to hand to people sitting doing nothing. It makes me hate them for it. I tell anyone and everyone i meet who spouts the government line they are not thinking straight, don’t have a clue about what’s going on and i consider their pathetic behaviour to be a threat to my future liberty and life. I’m disgusted how all these people are prepared to give up their lives and force me to do the same.

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Tony Rattray

Or spend it.. that could be a side effect of paying banks to hold your cash. Pent up demand so to speak

Don’t be surprised if physical currency is phased out as well – may as well burn that cash you might be hoarding.

It’s oh so crafty

Follow da money, some people (a tiny minority) are going to get insanely rich out of this. Wonder who… ? ;

CarrieAH
CarrieAH
11 days ago
JASA
JASA
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

It is very good and seems to cover everything. It now rests on getting a good judge who will listen to and read everything and actually be impartial.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  JASA

I would imagine whoever gets this case is going to be crapping himself.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago

DeSantis was a bit soft on the media and the panickers in general I think.

These poisonous idiots have been predicting disaster if their dire warnings weren’t heeded time after time, from Sweden to half the US states, and time after time nothing happened. Yet we are still cowering in fear of their nonsense? Wtf?

A13
A13
11 days ago

It looks like Prof Gupta has finally been given a wider platform to speak: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/21/pubs-restaurants-could-reopen-now-without-risking-public-health/
The latest headline from The Telegraph – Pubs and restaurants could reopen now without risking public health, says Oxford scientist.

Does it mean that the government will start listening to the right scientists? I do hope so.

The article repeats what she said during an interview for Unherd. Nice to see this on MSM.
“Pubs and restaurants could reopen tomorrow without posing the threat of a second wave of coronavirus, a leading Oxford scientist has suggested.”

Tyneside Tigress
Tyneside Tigress
11 days ago
Reply to  A13

Great minds think alike – or read the same newspapers at the same time (see below)!

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  A13

I hope you’re right. Newspaper circulation isn’t what it was!

Annabel Andrew
Annabel Andrew
10 days ago
Reply to  A13

I listened to the podcast yesterday- it’s such a shame that she thought that being in line with the libertarian view was ‘unfortunate’!

Tyneside Tigress
Tyneside Tigress
11 days ago

This, according to Prof Gupta – “I would say that it is more likely that the pathogen arrived earlier than we think it did, that it had already spread substantially through the population by the time lockdown was put in place. I think there’s a chance we might have done better by doing nothing at all.” Now, bearing in mind she is in Oxford, where there are a high number of Chinese students coming and going (I think I read somewhere the city has one of the highest percentages of thoracic diseases given the constant to-and-fro of students and tourists, plus the very damp conditions that make it a breeding ground for pathogens), and given that her husband runs the Jenner Institute, I would put money on her knowing the facts of the matter!

ianp
ianp
11 days ago

To be honest, it’s exactly what I thought at the end of February, without the help of any scientists… But common sense then deserted the whole world. Deliberately I would say.

A HUG IS HEALTH
A HUG IS HEALTH
10 days ago
Reply to  ianp

Me too.

Adrian
Adrian
11 days ago

From Switzerland, where I live, the lockdown has been eased out on May 11th, with schools reopening, bars, restaurants, etc. And the lockdown wasn’t too severe, comparing to other countries. We could go out in fact as many times we wanted, use parks or whatever. Not too many masked zombies either. However I fear the MSM propaganda has made a terrible damage which we will feel at full coming september. People just don’t go to restaurants, they don’t go to shops either except the still “essential” groceries. Part of the population is still afraid of Kung-Flu so they won’t go out anyway, the other part has realised that the economy is going to be in the shitter so they stick to just the basic shopping. Here its called technical unemployment, I guess what you call furlough. We are at 37% of the workforce. Now that the lockdown is ending the government is taking everybody off the furlough. Result? The unemployment budget has exploded, literally. To cover it there will be, wait for it….., a strong tax increase.
It is not the finish of the lockdown that will put everything back together, I am afraid the psychological damage done by the propaganda is going much longer lasting effects…and is the issue with this new normal.

By the way I am from the french speaking part of Suisse, if the english is too atrocius, well tough luck.
Here we have the excellent “Swiss Propaganda Research” site which has been on it from the first day, but not such an excellent journalistic type site as lockdwonsceptics. Keep up the good work, you are a beacon for the rest of the world as well

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)

Toby, I think you should really change the plot in your article…
http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/images/cumulative_total_200520.png
… I’m mean I understand it would basically mean just deleting the whole section as it becomes meaningless.

old fred
old fred
11 days ago

??????????????

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)
Reply to  old fred

He added a Stop Press update to this article in the section about there being less death in 2019/20 than 2017/18, but did not change the link to the image in this article. The referenced articles new image shows the exact opposite of Toby’s point…

… don’t know how much more obvious I can make my point.

… maybe you just fell asleep on the keyboard?

A13
A13
11 days ago
Reply to  old fred

I think he means that if you follow the link posted by Toby, it would take you the same graph but with different numbers.
“From the end of November to the second week in May, in 2019/2020 there were 312,339 deaths . For the same period in 2017/2018 there were 281,566 deaths.”

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago

Had to go to the cursed post office again this time to post a Father’s Day card to my dad who lives overseas, I was preparing myself for another clash with masked rude post office worker from a few weeks’ ago but to my surprise it was a much more normal experience.

Sure I had to queue outside for 5 minutes but once I got inside, I was served by a nice young man who wasn’t wearing any mask or gloves. In fact our interaction was pretty standard, we didn’t chat but he was smiley and provided a good service.

No one else was masked save for an Indian bloke who kept touching his face with his gloved hands then rubbed his hands on his trousers.

Thank God that will be my last trip to the Post Office for a long, long time.

BecJT
BecJT
11 days ago
Reply to  Bart Simpson

I can understand say elderly people who live alone, who have to go out for provisions wearing a mask, even if the risk is very small, I get why they are frightened.

Everyone else I just think is a pillock and very self indulgent, it’s a bit like wearing a crash helmet in a bank, it’s just rude.

I too am seeing a bit more normality when I go out, and am also having chatty conversations with shop staff, who seem very business as usual.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

Exactly. That was the reason why I had a run in a few weeks’ ago as she (post office worker) was wearing a mask and of course it muffled her speech and I couldn’t understand her. She became rude when I asked her politely to repeat what she said twice.

I agree that people who wear masks (not the old who are possibly frightened) are self indulgent. I also don’t like the disapproving looks I get from people who wear them, it’s a perverse form of virtue signalling as if to imply that they’re superior because they see themselves as “caring” for their health and that of others.

I will do my shopping tomorrow so will see how I get on.

Annie
Annie
11 days ago
Reply to  Bart Simpson

I an fortunate enough to own a horse. To ensure her comfort and my safety, her saddle normally receives regular checks.
As of now, the saddler will not perform the checks unless both she and I (though not the horse) are gloved and masked, although the procedure involves no close contact and takes place entirely in the open air.
No way.
No doubt the saddler us acting under duress from a Superior Moron, but still – no way.
The horse is happy and I am happy and we are just going to stick it out.

Biker
Biker
11 days ago
Reply to  BecJT

i wear my crash helmet when i go into the garage and they used to get upset about it but these days, not a peep. I guess they think it’s like a mask

Mark
Mark
11 days ago
Reply to  Biker

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good…

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

The elderly people around me are the least worried and they don’t wear masks.

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

Elderly people around me are the least worried and don’t wear masks.

Masks are dangerous as they reduce the oxygen to the brain and vital organs, which in turn suppresses the immune system.

I think they should be banned for people driving.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
10 days ago

That probably explains why I’ve seen people who wear them turn into a weird shade of green – trouble breathing methinks.

Marcus
Marcus
11 days ago

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

Has anyone seen any news about the situation in Iran? Their curve is way different than anywhere else.

Guirme
Guirme
11 days ago
Reply to  Marcus

I wondered about that too. I did wonder if their figures are reliable or to what extent enhanced testing is producing more new cases; certainly the deaths ate falling and this is perhaps the better metric.

CarrieAH
CarrieAH
11 days ago

I think the clap for carers thing has petered out round where I live. We were all out this evening and I was prepared to do my waving and smiling instead of clapping – but I didn’t need to. Nobody actually clapped, we just stood around chatting! Great stuff.

Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Either the novelty has worn off or the public are slowly waking up from the zombie apocalypse induced torpor.

Farinances
Farinances
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Unf the sheeps still out on their doorsteps this even round near me 🙁

Paul
Paul
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Seems to have stopped around my way too,thank god,at the height of it we had a firework display and an air raid siren !.Incidentaly,our daughter works on the so-called NHS ‘frontline’ and she finds the cult worship of the NHS baffling and ridiculous.

Farinances
Farinances
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul

They were letting off rockets round here too. Any excuse

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

Sounds like ‘essentials’ have been purchased then..

james007
james007
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Sadly round my way it has got louder and longer each week. Seemed to go on for ages with pots, pans and bells being deployed as required.
I wondered if clapping had now been made government “advice”

IanE
IanE
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Worse than usual round me – rather depressing!

T. Prince
T. Prince
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

We’ll be clapping for teachers from 1 June….what a brave lot, facing up to toddlers!

Nigel Baldwin
Nigel Baldwin
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

Never seen any clapping since this started where I live and it is a residential street

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Baldwin

Consider it free from ‘covid’ then. There are still a minority of persistent roaches that need exterminating in my area

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

I think we need to find out where the clapping virus hotzones are… Seems a real mix of responses.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 days ago
Reply to  CarrieAH

There are plenty of smackdown enthusiasts around here and normally they clap like seals, but whilst the hush has not descended yet, it has diminished. I think that sometimes klaxons, fireworks & pots and pans are a sign of this with the true believers attempting to make more noise to compensate for those who have peeled away.

It’s interesting, but people fight shy of asking me why I won’t do it, partly no doubt, because contrarians might shake the faith.

Mark
Mark
11 days ago

‘Virus Raged at City Jails, Leaving 1,259 Guards Infected and 6 Dead‘ – Alarming story in the New York Times, until you divide 1,259 by six and realise that means an IFR of 0.5%, roughly half that assumed by the Imperial College modellers. And the population concerned probably suffers from below average health

Especially as the story says there are 9680 in total, so you get 13% affected, which fits pretty well with this infection running through and reaching its natural peak, especially if there were a fair few undetected cases.

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)

Your “peaked before the lockdown” plot, this is fools errand.

The best way to determine the effect is to compare the UK to a country that didn’t lockdown as much as the UK, say Sweden, and look at a long running average of daily new HOSPITAL cases before and after…
https://medium.com/pragmapolitic/in-the-uk-did-the-lockdown-tip-the-balance-2cb1cd8d5437

I also don’t know where the author got their London death peak from, as ONS do NOT publish daily data by location for anything more granular than England and Wales.

As to the substance of the point, I pointed it out to you over a month ago that TFL shows that tube travel was at 50% by the 15th, 30% by the 19th.comment image

I know you like to think that “working-from-home” is NOT a lockdown/suppression measure and that as a result Sweden is not in a “lockdown” despite having a 65% reduction in commuter traffic, but this is what caused new cases in both countries to change.

As your author’s plot shows deaths plateau from the 10th, but did not start dropping till the 13th, which would mean even by their plot it was people’s behaviour from the 21st of March that made them start to fall not just plateau like in Sweden.

Given by the 21st tube travel was at 15%, THIS was the cause of the peak. After all you can only have a peak when things start to drop. Being at 15% commuting is not like being at 35% as in Sweden, which means it must have been this extra oomf that “caused the peak” in the UK.

So even by your wacky spot the tipping point method, which is far less accurate than a long running average, it was going beyond 65% to more than 80% that turned the tide. The long running average shows that our measures have cut new HOSPITAL cases from 70/day/m pop to 21, less than a 1/3 of our peak. Whereas Sweden has not turned the tide at all, and is still at 2.5x our level. Given we had 60% more growth than them before… how could we have followed? Be honest with yourself.comment image

Being a sceptic is not about contriving data to present a lie. It is entirely possible to accept that the UK needed stronger measures to stem the tide and move on, but be sceptical and VERY annoyed that it has taken us this long to get TTT sorted meaning it is going to take us EVEN longer than we need to get out of these suppression measures.

Please start focusing on honest critique, not this smoke and mirrors guff… your capacity to bring focus to areas is far greater than ours and you just erode your believability by sharing this stuff.

Farinances
Farinances
11 days ago

He’s back!

A13
A13
11 days ago
Reply to  Farinances
Farinances
Farinances
11 days ago
Reply to  A13

Lol his twitter feed is as dead as mine

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)
Reply to  A13

I’ve been a member on this site since Toby founded it, I clearly state who I am provide a reference to my blog, and to my twitter handle.

“Guest A13″… I think you seem to be hiding behind double standards.

StevieH
StevieH
11 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

77th Brigade…

Old fred.
Old fred.
11 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

I know what you mean!

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)
Reply to  Old fred.

Well somone needs to provide some actual analysis rather than just rhetoric.

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)
Reply to  Farinances

So quick to say hello! Clearly you missed me.

ianp
ianp
11 days ago
Reply to  Farinances

I’ll leave the patient statisticions to debunk this fool.

To put it simply, we have used a nuclear bomb to kill a bloody mosquito. Now watch out for the fallout, it will be harsh, it will be severe. It will cost lives.

And I before I get any ‘you wouldn’t say that if you knew someone that…’ crap, my mother died in a care home some five years ago, she got an infection. From outside. This shit just happens and it’s crap and a measured response was needed.

Lockdown is far from measured. It’s pointless

Bob
Bob
11 days ago

CEBM gives the deaths per day by region of England, including London:
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-death-data-in-england-update-20th-may/

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)
Reply to  Bob

The author of the plot cites ONS not CEBM, but fine, perfectly reliable source. Doesn’t really change the argument, as the peak starts dropping from the 10th in London too, and given there is no strong argument that the London average would have to be 23 days, at the more typical 21 days it still fits the commuter data. Esepcially as there are likely some unknown number of days lag in the TFL data to consider…

Mark
Mark
11 days ago

I know you like to think that “working-from-home” is NOT a lockdown/suppression measure and that as a result Sweden is not in a “lockdown” despite having a 65% reduction in commuter traffic, but this is what caused new cases in both countries to change.

It’s not a “lockdown” if it’s voluntary. I’m pretty sure this basic truth was pointed out to you previously, so I really don’t know why you still are pretending not to have grasped it. It’s absolutely fundamental, so if you are going to talk about these issues you need o try to come to terms with it.

Simon Nicholls (sinichol)
Reply to  Mark

What total guff. Being asked to work-from-home, not to visit elderly relatives and not to go outside if you are over 70 is a curtailment of freedom, suppression measures and a lockdown of behaviour.

Plus, if you bothered to actually check what is going on in Sweden (rather than relying on recieved wisdom that it is some utopia) you’d be aware that their government asked its citizens to do exactly this at the same time as ours did…
https://www.thelocal.se/20200316/stockholmers-urged-to-work-from-home-as-swedens-coronavirus-deaths-rise
… they even initially tried to enforce it, but when they realised measured given their slower rate of case growth they had manged to plateau cases they backed off and started selling trying to sell it as the original idea…

All that was pointed out to me before was that Toby (like nobody else other than Ferguson in his original paper) likes to refer to “working-from-home” as “social distancing”. Everyone I deal with considers this to mean mitigation measures, like staying 2 meters apart. Ferguson in his original paper does refer to it as this, but Toby is pretty much the only other person.

Perhaps he just likes the ambiguity of being able to say that Sweden is “only social distancing” leading to people like you thinking it is not in lockdown… but, people not being able to actually call him on it…

Mark
Mark
11 days ago

Remarkable! Are you really claiming not to understand the difference between the government ordering people to do something, with direct legal compulsion backed by police enforcement, and the government asking them to do it?

And before you shoot off down another irrelevant rabbit hole, no the fact that the Swedish government said they might make some measures compulsory if enough people didn’t follow the advice does not constitute compulsion.

You seem unable to prevent yourself sliding off into separate terminological issues concerning mitigation, suppression and distancing, which are utterly irrelevant to the point under discussion.

Get a grip, man!