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Borough Market in London, normally a busy hot-spot for food lovers and those in search of a pint, was packed today as people gathered in their numbers for the first time since lockdown began

The re-opening of England’s pubs has rendered me, ahem, unable to do a proper update today but will do one tomorrow.

In the meantime, here is a post from regular contributor Guy de la Bédoyère that will, I imagine, strike a chord with many.

Sky News this morning featured another of those bizarro-world reports the broadcast media seems to be fixated about pushing out. This one, by Alex Crawford in Houston, was about the dramatic increase in infections in Texas. It was straight back to the Good Old Days of Covid Death Porn – except that there didn’t seem to be much death. But Ms Crawford had clearly been watching back through the Death Porn archives to make sure it ticked all the boxes. But somehow it just didn’t work out like that.

Needless to say, the item began with a patient having a tube stuffed down his nose – the usual opening scene in any self-respecting Covid hospital report. “The awful reality of Coronavirus,” said Alex Crawford, who moved on to a hospitalised patient whom she reported as saying that “Coronavirus kills you”. That he seemed to be alive, conscious and on the way to recovery had apparently passed both him and Crawford by.

“Even survival feels like death,” Crawford opined, perhaps frustrated by the lack of body bags on hand. This was a faintly peculiar thing to say since it appeared to suggest it isn’t worth surviving the virus anyway.

Crawford hunted on through the wards. We were treated to another victim who had a mask on but was otherwise sitting up and able to bang on about the governor’s irresponsibility for lifting the lockdown. Crawford added the revelation and dark warning “it only takes one infected person” to catch the virus. She’s obviously been reading the Noddy in Toyland Guide to Epidemiology.

The numbers of cases have “tripled” (no numbers provided). The doctors are “frantic” about how they’ll be able to cope. One told Crawford “if you go out on July 4th you have the potential of dying or killing someone else”.

I’m not sure why that makes this year’s July 4th especially or unusually dangerous since unless I’m missing something there’s been no July 4th in history in which zero risk was an option, either from a car crash, catching an infection or being mugged, or not going out and falling downstairs.

“There’s no shortage of protective equipment here,” said Crawford, which seemed to suggest along with the systems in placed that everything was under control. Nonetheless the doctor in charge of the unit shook his head and said there were still some people out there and he just didn’t know how they could still be alive. How indeed?

But it turned out that a cocktail of steroids, vitamins and anti-coagulants costing $100 per day per patient has resulted in a 96% success rate of those hospitalised. “The infections in Texas have spiked but the mortality rate is much lower… and they’re getting results.”

Crawford was quick to quash any sense that might be good news.

Crawford interviewed a nurse who was keen to warn her “that a lot of people are going to die being ignorant and ignorance is never a defence… and they’re going to be an example to the rest of the country” as well as countries like Britain. “If they don’t take this serious [sic] they’re gonna die… point blank.” Then bizarrely the nurse added “and they’re gone get sick”, but presumably not necessarily in that order prior to the inevitable death she was promising, apparently not being aware of the 96% survival rate of those who were bad enough to go to hospital in the first place.

Just in case you hadn’t realized how serious she was she threw in “and it’s gonna be bad”.

For good measure the piece finished up with a nurse who had been infected because after all no hospital piece is complete without a health worker hero hanging off the barbed wire in No-Man’s Land. She too was sitting up in bed and was able to warn anyone who had mistaken her for someone still alive, conscious and in a reasonable state, that if you didn’t hug your loved ones they you might never do so again.

The entire premise of the piece seemed to be that catching COVID-19 is invariably a catastrophe and that death follows as night follows day. That this was not corroborated by any of the content of the piece did not bother the fearless reporter or the people she spoke to. Nor did it match the news that the surge in infections in Texas seems to be partly due to much younger people getting COVID-19 who, as we all know, are far less likely either to get sick or to die.

Presumably even now the BBC’s battle-seasoned Covid hacks are on their way to Texas for a slice of the action.

Theme Tune Suggestions From Readers

One suggestion today: “Compete Control” by the Clash.

Small Businesses That Have Re-Opened

A few weeks ago, Lockdown Sceptics launched a searchable directory of open businesses across the UK. The idea is to celebrate those retail and hospitality businesses that have re-opened, 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 opened near you. Now that non-essential shops have re-opened – or most of them, anyway – we’re now focusing on pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as other social venues. As of July 4th, many of them have re-opened too, but not all. 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. Don’t worry if your entries don’t show up immediately – we need to approve them once you’ve entered the data.

Note to the Good Folk Below the Line

I enjoy reading all your comments and I’m glad I’ve created a “safe space” for lockdown sceptics to share their frustrations and keep each other’s spirits up. But please don’t copy and paste whole articles from papers that are behind paywalls in the comments. I work for some of those papers and if they don’t charge for premium content they won’t survive.

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. It usually takes me several hours to do these updates (although not today), which doesn’t leave much time for other work. If you feel like donating, however small the amount, please click here. And if you want to flag up any stories or links I should include in future updates, email me here. (Please don’t email me at any other address.) I’ll try and get another update done on Saturday.

And Finally…

Not-so-easyJet?

Can I ask for advice regarding the Young family holiday? We want to go to Venice and then on to the Dolemites in the last week of July or thereabouts and have found some nice places to stay. However, I’m worried about booking an airline ticket, only for the flight to be cancelled. How risky do people think that is? Are some airlines more reliable than others? And if they think it’s very risky, would they recommend going by train instead? Please email me here with any advice. Thank you.