Last updated2020-04-27T23:46:59



967 RDawg, replying to RDawg, 45, #1 of 133 🔗

The (Un)official Covid-19 Swear Jar

Persons caught saying any one of the following phrases, especially when used in a morally superior “tutting” way, is subject to a payment or £10 into the swear jar and a slap round the face with a wet kipper:

– Self isolate
– Social distancing
– Flatten the curve
– Guided by the science
– The new normal
– We must wait until we have a vaccine
– Any positive referencing of Neil Ferguson and his “model”
– We risk having a second peak

Anything else I have missed…?

970 ▶▶ Mark H, replying to RDawg, 21, #2 of 133 🔗

“Oh, so you’re happy for all the old people to die?”

971 ▶▶▶ RDawg, replying to Mark H, 7, #3 of 133 🔗

People won’t even look at the evidence from the epidemiologists against locking down.

975 ▶▶▶▶ Sam, replying to RDawg, 15, #4 of 133 🔗

Mark is simply stating what the pro-lockdown herd say to our arguments. The correct response to which is: “I’m not happy for the old to be trapped at home with their mental and physical health declining and no chance of seeing their loved ones before old age does its thing, and I’m not happy for the terminally ill to spend their last weeks to months unable to live their remaining life ot its fullest.”

1002 ▶▶▶▶▶ RDawg, replying to Sam, 21, #5 of 133 🔗

I wonder how many of the over 70s actually want to be “shielded” and be forced indoors for an indefinite period? Have they actually asked them?

1012 ▶▶▶▶▶ Mark H, replying to Sam, 1, #6 of 133 🔗

– Exactly.

1021 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ RDawg, replying to Mark H, 1, #7 of 133 🔗

– I originally misunderstood your comment; I thought you were attacking me! Until I realised you were just quoting a typical lockdown zealot retort.

980 ▶▶▶ Andy, replying to Mark H, 32, #8 of 133 🔗

Security without liberty is prison. Our liberties have been removed we are now a slave race living in fear of a form of a virus that by many people’s expert opinion is no worse than seasonal flu because the state tells you that is the only way to protect the NHS, an NHS that is currently not providing the service it was designed for – the hospitals are empty for god’s sake. Answer one question when our economy collapses totally and millions are unemployed who will pay for social care for the elderly and for the NHS? There will be no MONEY. Last point Ferguson is funded by Bill Gates, Mr illegal vaccine, if you will let your children have a Bill Gates vaccine then shame on you.

1064 ▶▶▶▶ VaccinesWorkLockdownsDont, replying to Andy, -4, #9 of 133 🔗

Agreed with EVERY word, right until Bill Gates got mentioned, that sort of paranoid anti-vaccine talk only undermines our anti-lockdown cause.

1121 ▶▶▶▶▶ Willow, replying to VaccinesWorkLockdownsDont, 4, #10 of 133 🔗

You don’t have to be anti vax to realise that vested interests are potentially a massive issue though. For example, Neil Ferguson does have interests in a company that manufactures both vaccines and Covid 19 tests. The contract for the NHS contact tracing technology has been awarded to the brother of someone who sits on SAGE, Bill Gates is now the biggest funder of the WHO and has huge vaccine interests. He also uses the WEF to push digital identity which will require comms infrastructure in which he’s also significantly invested. Critical analysis of media, texts and science has to include assessment of potential underlying bias as a result of vested interest. We shouldn’t label this “conspiracy”.

1129 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Willow, replying to Willow, 2, #11 of 133 🔗

Haha, beautifully illustrated by Raab’s announcement on Twitter


1124 ▶▶▶▶▶ ScuzzaMan, replying to VaccinesWorkLockdownsDont, 2, #12 of 133 🔗

Ask the Indian government about this paranoia. Ask the additional 490,000 children damaged irreparably by Gates’ one-eyed vaccine programme. Ask their parents.
Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean Bill isn’t out to make money off your concerns for your health. And if he is, then it’s your lack of paranoia that is aberrant.
Being aware that unscrupulous people are attempting to garner immoral profits from this situation is not paranoia, nor is it “anti-vaccine” but thanks for a good demonstration of the standard rhetorical tactic of “Dissent=Insanity”.

989 ▶▶▶ Tony Prince, replying to Mark H, 7, #13 of 133 🔗

Or, “It’s worth it if it saves just one life.”

1013 ▶▶▶▶ Mark H, replying to Tony Prince, 11, #14 of 133 🔗

“It’s not worth it if it causes just one suicide.”

974 ▶▶ wendyk, replying to RDawg, 2, #15 of 133 🔗

Ferguson rules OK-or not OK

984 ▶▶ Beacritical, replying to RDawg, 4, #16 of 133 🔗

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives -.-

1119 ▶▶ Jonny Dixon-Smith, replying to RDawg, 1, #17 of 133 🔗

Stay safe?

968 Will Jones, 23, #18 of 133 🔗

What a massive wet let down.

972 wendyk, replying to wendyk, 1, #19 of 133 🔗


The lockdown song

In no man’s land-indefinitely, it now seems.

1051 ▶▶ Snake Oil Pussy, replying to wendyk, #20 of 133 🔗
973 JASA, replying to JASA, 17, #21 of 133 🔗

Very disappointed. The PM said, “..we are passing through the peak.” The peak was on 8th April according to the data, nearly three weeks ago. The lock down needs to start being eased this week.

1004 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to JASA, 14, #22 of 133 🔗

That should be the question everyone asks at PMQs. What are you talking about Boris? The peak was April 8th. Everyone is saying so. Your own data says so. Stop saying we’re at the peak now when we’re past it!!!!

This is definitely a case of “say it enough times and it becomes the truth”. Unf after a particularly frustrating Zoom convo last night with three friends (two in UK, one in Italy), people do just imbibe whatever the BBC/politicians say apparently. Does anyone even read newspapers any more? ? ? (Not that they’re particularly skeptical but at least they’re beginning to publish skeptical voices now and at least some of the data which backs them up).

1052 ▶▶▶ Snake Oil Pussy, replying to Farinances, 4, #23 of 133 🔗

Newspapers are not “essential purchases” so you can be arrested for going to buy one. Though to be honest I have relocated the Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail and Torygraph to the empty bog roll shelves.

1066 ▶▶▶▶ Jamie, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, 6, #24 of 133 🔗

During the era when I was a Remainer standing against Brexit I’d have enjoyed the sport of shifting those “papers” to the loo-roll aisles. Since the lockdown began, though, the papers I did like have not published sense, they’ve all gone pro-lockdown. So have the papers I despised, although oddly enough the papers I despised have given some column space to a few voices I have strongly agreed with on their anti-lockdown stance. I’ve always been a centrist, as much right-wing as left-wing, I follow, at any time, whoever is standing for individual liberty, something that neither left nor right seems to have any long-term attachment to. P.S. Any purchase you make from an “essential”* shop is an essential purchase

* Isn’t any shop that provides employment to staff and products or services to customers, essential?

1113 ▶▶▶ Willow, replying to Farinances, 2, #25 of 133 🔗

Which newspaper is giving the actual data and science most coverage and is most questioning of the narrative? I thought maybe the Telegraph but even then it’s only on and off. I opened the app the other day to read a piece that was basically Bliar telling us we all needed to forget civil liberties and embrace surveillance to beat CV. It put me right off!!

976 Oaks79, replying to Oaks79, 4, #26 of 133 🔗

Get your questions in https://www.gov.uk/ask

983 ▶▶ Beacritical, replying to Oaks79, 1, #27 of 133 🔗

Great! Going to submit a question every day, need to feel useful.

988 ▶▶ giblets, replying to Oaks79, 13, #28 of 133 🔗

Anyone got any nice lines for questioning, guessing the more along a similar vein one will get chosen? I have a few simple ones, better questions that the public can understand might get more attention, which mine might not be?

-How many of the people in the governments numbers actually died as a result of the virus, and not just ‘with the virus’?
-Which modelling are they using to predict the virus, and what IFR are they using, how many people do they think are asymptomatic?
-Bearing in mind the peak was reached on 8th April, with the lag between infection and the results, does this mean the curbs made before the lockdown were actually effective enough?
-There have been figures releases suggesting that 150,000 people could die as a result of the lockdown and figures suggestion >2,000week dying of the lockdown (lasting long after it has finished) Has the government made any calculations on this? If the government does not believe in these models….why are they relying on a questionable model for the lockdown?

994 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to giblets, 25, #29 of 133 🔗

Can all people involved in the decision-making process demonstrate that they have no financial or other links to organisations that stand to benefit from promoting a universal vaccine as the only exit strategy?

Basically, this stinks to high heaven.

996 ▶▶▶▶ JASA, replying to Barney McGrew, 22, #30 of 133 🔗

Particularly in relation to Prof Ferguson, Imperial College and Bill Gates.

1001 ▶▶▶▶ JASA, replying to Barney McGrew, 7, #31 of 133 🔗

Particularly in relation to Prof Ferguson, Imperial College and Bill Gates.

995 ▶▶▶ RDawg, replying to giblets, 16, #32 of 133 🔗

If the incubation time for the virus is 2-3 weeks, what use is locking down for longer than 3 weeks?

1022 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to giblets, 12, #33 of 133 🔗

Prime Minister, why is it necessary to talk to the British people like children, when the Swedish government talks to its people as adults?

1024 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to giblets, 19, #34 of 133 🔗

Prime Minister, is it the case that the immune system is strengthened by sunlight and day-to-day interactions with other people, but is weakened by isolation indoors and excessive hand washing? Is it the case, therefore, that the the lockdown is tending to make the British people’s immune systems weaker, not stronger?

1025 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to giblets, 16, #35 of 133 🔗

Prime Minister, is it the case that provided social distancing guidance is followed, sitting on a park bench, sunbathing, or dog walking in remote countryside is no threat whatsoever? Why then, are the police moving people on who are indulging in these beneficial activities? Why is it necessary to close parks and tape over benches? Why is it necessary to trap people in their houses except for a token period for exercise each day?

1026 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to giblets, 19, #36 of 133 🔗

Prime Minister, is it the case that after you were treated by Our NHS a couple of weeks ago, you went to stay at your second home in the country to convalesce? Is this a course of action you would recommend for anyone who thinks they may have had the Covid-19 infection and has a place to stay in the country?

993 ▶▶ Tony Prince, replying to Oaks79, 20, #37 of 133 🔗

Does anyone else think that this will be as rigged as a Question Time audience?

1006 ▶▶ Julian, replying to Oaks79, 12, #38 of 133 🔗

One question is what use is the much-trumpeted testing, given that all it tells you is whether you have the virus on the day you are tested, and you shouldn’t request a test unless you have symptoms, in which case you are meant to self-isolate anyway, and in any case huge numbers of carriers either never get symptoms or they only manifest after several days, so I don’t see how it helps. Are we all meant to get tested every day for the rest of our lives?
Another is what does the Imperial model say now, based on the latest data suggesting the IFR is much lower then originally thought?
Another would be what weight did the govt put on the reduced life expectancy and degradation of quality of life that is being and will be caused by current policy, when balanced against the lives they claim to be saving?

1011 ▶▶▶ giblets, replying to Julian, 1, #39 of 133 🔗

Answered my own question, data is on the ONS, however, they state:
“In the majority of cases (3,372 deaths, 86%) when COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, it was found to be the underlying cause of death”.
If you don’t consider the lazy answers, the the death toll in the UK from COVID is around 15% lower straight off the bat.


1028 ▶▶▶▶ Tim Bidie, replying to giblets, 3, #40 of 133 🔗

And if you dig a little deeper:

‘Of the 3,912 deaths that occurred in March 2020 involving COVID-19, 3,563 (91%) had at least one pre-existing condition, while 349 (9%) had none. The mean number of pre-existing conditions was 2.7.

The most common main pre-existing condition was ischaemic heart diseases…’

Your reference above

To emphasise: The mean number of pre-existing conditions for all ages within 91% of deaths ‘involving’ Covid 19 was 2.7………but they died ‘from’ Covid 19. So how credible, really, is that number? Not very……..

No wonder the Office of National Statistics has not hitherto been much regarded for its expertise in pathology…….

1033 ▶▶ Harry, replying to Oaks79, #41 of 133 🔗

The page says an independent polling organisation picks the question to be asked from among submited ones, so how can we get on the list of people that org will ask? Our votes added together could get some reasoned critiques of the dangerously extreme aspects of government policy nicely to the top of the pile.

1067 ▶▶▶ BVGDFTRFSVDHFHUF, replying to Harry, 1, #42 of 133 🔗

Apparently YouGov, according to the Guardian’s coverage of the new questions service. Not sure how to sign up for this specific polling though.

1074 ▶▶ Csaba, replying to Oaks79, 2, #43 of 133 🔗

They won’t choose our questions. Maybe we should submit exactly the same question every day. It could be a poll on this website to vote on possible questions and next day everybody would ask the same. This would make us seen rather than anything else.
Any thoughts?

1097 ▶▶▶ Beacritical, replying to Csaba, 1, #44 of 133 🔗

I think that’s a good idea, that they get flooded by one question. Don’t know how to go about it, would have to be an addition to the site added by Toby Young where the questions are submitted and voted on by members? Or a new reddit sub?

977 Beacritical, replying to Beacritical, 26, #45 of 133 🔗

Unimpressed doesn’t even begin to cover it. Hopeless is a recurring feeling these days. Especially now that there are more platforms publishing REFERENCED information that questions the lockdown measures –> http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/
I don’t want to believe conspiracy theories but it really does seem like the UK government is being held hostage by this quack Ferguson so that he can advance his messed up agenda.

982 ▶▶ Andy, replying to Beacritical, 17, #46 of 133 🔗

Churchill would never have been so weak. For a student of Churchill, Boris is looking like a scared man and not the leader we need at this time. I voted for him – he needs to bring in other experts and remove Ferguson immediately, also all papers on how Ferguson’s work is funded need to be released.

1005 ▶▶▶ Beacritical, replying to Andy, 4, #47 of 133 🔗


This might direct you towards an answer re Neil FerguCON’s funding. It definitely reads like a conspiracy theory though

1008 ▶▶▶▶ Andy, replying to Beacritical, 11, #48 of 133 🔗

What has happened to us, how do we get so easily manipulated. For some reason we think the phrase conspiracy theory is bad or made up fake, look at the definition of the word conspiracy….the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal……..do people really believe that this is not how things happen, not every conspiracy is a 9/11 type scenario. Look at Gates that man openly admits he wants to depopulate the planet, he openly admits he has requested that vaccine producers should be immune from prosecution (therefore above the law) is it so hard to believe that such a man may have secret meetings with people to try and achieve his aims by unethical means?

1023 ▶▶▶▶▶ Beacritical, replying to Andy, 16, #49 of 133 🔗

I guess it’s a bit of a difficult pill to swallow when you’re in the thick of it. Delving into conspiracy theories is not the most uplifting of activities. Personally I’m struggling to come to terms with how blindingly obvious it has become that we have little to no control over our lives right now.

1088 ▶▶▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to Beacritical, -2, #50 of 133 🔗

Rather nuts as an article. The premise is oddly that researching infectious diseases and trying to combat them is somehow sinister. They then go the Full-Icke with:

“…in order for the stand-alone AI-powered command center to work without a hitch, and for purposes of calculating everyone’s potential contribution, and threat to the system.”

985 ▶▶ NMoss, replying to Beacritical, 4, #51 of 133 🔗

Appalling shower of hogwash. Distinct impression that he might have written (or just made it up) himself.

1086 ▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to Beacritical, -4, #52 of 133 🔗

Watch the interview and you’ll see Ferguson knows his stuff and talks about stopping the lockdown. He is not a quack, fool, alarmist or idiot. The US is following a similar path, as is most of Europe, and he’s not there.

979 Snake Oil Pussy, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, 1, #53 of 133 🔗

Sky News today


9% of people responding to a poll say they are “resisting” the lockdown, effectively admitting to breaking the law.

1009 ▶▶ Andy, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, #54 of 133 🔗

Is the lockdown an actual law?

1016 ▶▶▶ Mark H, replying to Andy, 1, #55 of 133 🔗

No, it’s just a turn of phrase. But the Coronavirus Act 2020 is the Act of Parliament that provides the government and the police the powers to enforce elements of the lockdown.

1034 ▶▶ Graham, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, #56 of 133 🔗

Thank heaven that some academics are willing to keep survey results anonymous, only then can they get the truth. Else they’d just have a survey where everyone appears to be supporting the idocy.

981 giblets, 3, #57 of 133 🔗

Apparently the public are being asked to ask questions at PMQs, perhaps some good questions can be put forward:

Edit: Just seen someone else post the link.

986 Farinances, replying to Farinances, 46, #58 of 133 🔗

When Boris said “I can see the long term consequences of the lockdown as clearly as anyone” I threw my flipflop at the tv.

Is 5,000 April cancer diagnoses instead of the usual 30,000 not enough for you Prime Minister? That’s potentially 25,000 people a lot closer to being dead as a result of the lockdown, right there. Already more than the (highly questionable) Covid death rate. Just latent cancer cases alone.

I can’t watch the news any more. For want of a better phrase, it sends me batshit. It’s absolutely dementing.

992 ▶▶ Seamonster, replying to Farinances, 20, #59 of 133 🔗

correct…you cant watch the news, no one seems to understand maths anymore…and we have gone full woke. no one is allowed to die.

1035 ▶▶▶ Jim, replying to Seamonster, 3, #60 of 133 🔗

Oh the pro-lockdown lobby are happy to see deaths, but only of patients who die from non-covid-19 conditions and are being miserably trapped at home and made to suffer the indignities of not having any chance for enjoyment or seeing family before such a patient’s end comes.

987 Jane in France, replying to Jane in France, 11, #61 of 133 🔗

If you think the lockdown strategy makes no sense in the UK, it makes even less in India. According to worldlifeexpectancy.com
648,220 Indians die each year from influenza and pneumonia (640 per million)
896,779 Indians die each year from lung disease (969 per million)
Lung disease includes tuberculosis, a serious infectious disease.
On March 21st the Indian government imposed lockdown on India’s population of 1.3 billion people. To date, according to worldometers, India has had 884 deaths from covid-19, a rate of 0.6 per million. When they risk catching TB, which is obviously far more lethal, Indians seem to be allowed to go about their daily business. It seems strange that they should have to stay at home now.

1007 ▶▶ Mark H, replying to Jane in France, 10, #62 of 133 🔗

I’d question that data. Global deaths from flu are around 500,000-600,000 a year.

So far this year they’re sitting at around 156,000. Which is very interesting. It’s almost as if deaths that would normally have been attributed to the flu are being classed as something else.

1027 ▶▶▶ Jane in France, replying to Mark H, 1, #63 of 133 🔗

Flu yes, but these are deaths from “flu and pneumonia” which are lumped together in the statistics.

999 iainclark, replying to iainclark, 7, #64 of 133 🔗

Doctor Strangelove. Made me laugh.

If Dominic Cummings being on SAGE will put pressure on the poor experts, how come Ferguson can publicly make his apocalyptic pronouncements to the media?

That undoubtedly puts pressure on the Cabinet.

1089 ▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to iainclark, -2, #65 of 133 🔗

Ferguson was clear that the advisors are observing and don’t influence the discussion. Calling him Stranglove is a bit silly. Watch the interview and you’ll see he is an academic.

1000 T. Prince, replying to T. Prince, #66 of 133 🔗

Why are some replies ‘awaiting moderation’?

1003 ▶▶ Ian Rons, replying to T. Prince, 3, #67 of 133 🔗

Because we want to check that comments are reasonably sensible before publishing them, in order to foster a good discussion. Please try not to re-post comments if they don’t appear instantly.

1019 ▶▶▶ T. Prince, replying to Ian Rons, #68 of 133 🔗

Ok. Thanks

1010 Gracie Knoll, replying to Gracie Knoll, 17, #69 of 133 🔗

For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a link to a video by two ER physicians in the USA, calling for an end to lockdown. The salient points they raise are in the article transcript.


These guys have come under fire for their statistical analysis of the IFR. I have a total blind spot with maths so I can make no comment on this; they may indeed be wrong.

But what I WOULD like to flag up are the guys’ comments – in the transcript – about the immune system and herd immunity. This has been the elephant in the room for me all along; nobody mentions the immune system in the narrative, it’s all about miracle vaccines.

Now that we have evidence (not basing it on these docs; their stats might be flawed, but from other researchers) that this pandemic is nowhere near as deadly as first feared, and that most people’s immune systems can deal with it, we should be aiming at herd immunity – lockdowns prevent us achieving herd immunity in any reasonable time (which, I’m sorry to say, I increasingly fear is the game being played on us.)

1018 ▶▶ Mark H, replying to Gracie Knoll, 8, #70 of 133 🔗

This MIT article was written on 17th of March. It very darkly, but strangely enthusiastically, outlines that the world will need multiple lockdowns until a vaccine is ready. Along with contact tracing apps and “health passports”. It’s almost as if this was planned all along.


1095 ▶▶▶ ChrisH29, replying to Mark H, 6, #71 of 133 🔗

Why does anyone think there will be a vaccine ever? There isn’t one for the common cold, there probably won’t be one for Covid-19.

1015 percy openshaw, replying to percy openshaw, 23, #72 of 133 🔗

Johnson is a disappointment all round. His appalling, big state reaction to this crisis is of a piece with his neo-Heathite agenda: big state, tax and spend intervention. It failed then; it will fail now. We didn’t vote for this and he’s got to go.

1020 ▶▶ T. Prince, replying to percy openshaw, 5, #73 of 133 🔗

“he’s got to go”. Maybe that’s his plan. Maybe he now realizes that it’s a bigger job when there’s a crisis involved.

1036 Csaba, replying to Csaba, 9, #74 of 133 🔗

This speech from PM is very frustrating. He acts as nothing happened and we should keep doing the job to achieve something when the reality is different. I cannot believe that the government doesn’t see the facts. They obviously see it. I think they just want to do something that is supported by the majority of people. They don’t want to go against the public will. The problem is just this these people have no idea what’s going on. Only a very small proportion of media tell the reality and try to open eyes. Maybe just because people don’t want to hear it. I know a job for the government. Let’s educate people about the truth and see what they will think after that.

1092 ▶▶ guy153, replying to Csaba, #75 of 133 🔗

rem acu tetigisti

1044 Tim, replying to Tim, 11, #76 of 133 🔗

The fifth test is impossible to meet:

Fifth test: Being confident any adjustments would not risk a second peak

The government has dug itself a real hole with this. Any adjustments carry at least some risk of increasing the infection rate. But the only way to find out for sure is to try.

Enforcing total isolation of the entire population until we have each been vaccinated is the only strategy that carries no risk of increasing the spread of the virus. The government knows this. It has deliberately introduced this impossible test to obfuscate the fact that it hasn’t the faintest idea how we are going to emerge from lockdown.

1072 ▶▶ Mark H, replying to Tim, 4, #77 of 133 🔗

The tactics of New Zealand are absolutely ridiculous, but the mainstream doesn’t seem willing to call out the lack of logic being shown there because the female prime minister is “compassionate”.

She’s claiming they’ve eradicated the virus. Ok, well done. Now, what will happen the second you allow the economy’s biggest driver, tourists, back into the country? Oh, you expect each tourist to go into quarantine for 2 weeks? What, even the entirely asymptomatic ones? Ok, sure thing. Expect tourism to fall off a cliff.

As one article, critical of her government’s strategy, pointed out, she’s effectively created a prison colony: no one can leave and visitors aren’t allowed.

1076 ▶▶ Ethelred the Unready, replying to Tim, 5, #78 of 133 🔗

The fifth test is deliberately designed not to be met, the ‘Stay in Gaol free card’ just in case the other 4 are demonstrably met

1102 ▶▶▶ Snake Oil Pussy, replying to Ethelred the Unready, 1, #79 of 133 🔗

The five tests were always intended to be as vague and meaningless as the five tests set by the last Labour government for joining the euro.

1101 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to Tim, 3, #80 of 133 🔗

Exactly. Noone can ever know.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s kinda inevitable. All it takes is the wrong person getting on a plane, infecting everyone on there, and them all getting off in some other country. None of them need show any symptoms in their two week quarantine. (A joke really considering people say the asymptomatic incubation time can be anything from 1-3 weeks, and then of course most people probably don’t even get notable symptoms). So unless you’re consistently testing every person not only in quarantine but for a few weeks after they leave….. It’s just impossible to control.

It’s kinda like holding waves back from a beach. The only way forward is herd immunity. No matter what anyone says. It’s actually amazing how basic biology is being denied here. (Although considering there are now people who fully claim that men can menstruate, I don’t know why I’m surprised).

1045 giblets, replying to giblets, #81 of 133 🔗

The latest is the rare disease in Children being linked to the virus by everyone, one major problem though
“ Some, but not all, tested positive for coronavirus.”
Maybe they were all in lockdown though…

Coronavirus alert: Rare syndrome seen in UK children https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52439005

1109 ▶▶ Willow, replying to giblets, 1, #82 of 133 🔗

This is potentially serious and alarming. SarsCov2 could potentially be infecting macrophages (immune cells that destroy pathogens by engulfing and digesting them). There’s already some research on this :


The feline coronavirus that causes feline infectious peritonitis does so in this way – it infects monocytes (presursor to macrophages) and causes pathology very similar to that being described in these cases in children.

Is it possible that a Sars-Cov2 mutation driven by lockdown itself is occurring? Could there be an interaction between Sars-Cov2 and coronaviruses carried by domestic animals? I’m not remotely qualified to comment. But locking people indoors just seems more insane by the day.

1047 coalencanth12, replying to coalencanth12, 11, #83 of 133 🔗

I’m delighted to have found this community. I am an academic scientist becoming, alarmed, at what is going on.
I have always had an element of doubt about Boris Johnson – I did think last year that although I didn’t have a high degree of respect or confidence in him, at least he would be a laugh. How hollow that seems now, as he has effectively turned our nation into a Corbyn-esque basket case and police state; and now shows no sign of wanting to extricate us from this dire situation. My anger levels are mounting, quickly, made worse today by the apparent suggestion they are thinking of making this farce stricter!

The only hope we have is more sensible voices in the Tory party doing the necessary and getting rid of him as the economic and social problems mount – like them or loath them the Tories have a limited tolerance threshold of leader incompetence. There does seem to be an element of backbench dissent brewing.

It’s interesting to see where friends, family and colleagues lie on the ‘lockdown’. The strong lockdown supporters fall into three groups:

1. People very happy to sit on their backsides collecting furlough – they are being kept in line at the minute by the ability to order cheap tat online and sitting in the garden, many not realising their jobs may vaporise quite rapidly. Some public sector employees ‘working from home’ also fall into this category.

2. Extreme left wingers i.e. Momentum/Extinction rebellion types. Quite keen to use this to foster some sort of social/economic collapse to further their ends. Infest Twitter and BTL comments in the Guardian. Some cross-over with the public sector/arty/media part of group 1 who want to weaponise the death rate to attack the ‘evil Tories’ whilst not actually obeying the lockdown requirements.

3. The loonier fringes of the Brexit movement. I don’t know quite what their game is

I have sensed a change may be in the air in terms of public opinion – many of my colleagues in academic la-la land are becoming alarmed – many of us are also a bit concerned about the ‘following the science’ line which sounds suspiciously like ‘we’ll blame the scientists for this mess’. The distribution of likes and upticks in the Daily Mail and Telegraph comments is interesting, and I get the sense some in the Torygraph are starting to turn against Boris a bit.

1061 ▶▶ Sally, replying to coalencanth12, 10, #84 of 133 🔗

How many British scientists have publicly expressed concern about the lockdown approach? If there really are some who are alarmed they should speak up. They shouldn’t complain about scientists being blamed if they’re unwilling to express their concerns.

1096 ▶▶▶ coalencanth12, replying to Sally, 8, #85 of 133 🔗

That’s a good question Sally, Professor Gupta of Oxford is the main one who has stuck her head above the parapet – the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine also have some good resources. I think there are some resources on this site covering some more ‘sceptical’ interpretations of the available data. For a lot of us, we’re worried about our throats being jumped down on social media. Bear in mind that many scientists of an academic bent have little wider life experience and are reluctant to comment outside our immediate fields – this is often not well received by ‘experts’ in the field you intrude into. I have read the Ferguson paper and am a bit wary of many of his conclusions, as his models are very sensitive to the input parameters, which might explain why he has been so wrong in the past. Personally, I suspect his estimate of IFR is far too high. His model doesn’t account for the ‘negative’ effects of lockdown – suicide, delayed treatments. On the flip side, it seems he may not have taken into account the terrible situation in care homes. This brings me to why ‘following the science’ isn’t an acceptable excuse for a politician – they are supposed to synthesise scientific advice into something that works politically, economically, ethically and socially, none of which is happening here.

1048 Dylan Jones, 10, #86 of 133 🔗

On average around 9 million people die every year from starvation. That already dwarfs the number of deaths from this attention-seeking flu bug.

“Aid organisations warn that far more people“ will die from the economic consequences of the measures than from Covid-19 itself. Forecasts now predict that 35 to 65 million people will fall into absolute poverty, and many of them are threatened with starvation.”

815 million people were starving in 2018. How many more will starve and die due to this hobbled economy?

1050 Snake Oil Pussy, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, 8, #87 of 133 🔗

Could we have an opinion poll for people aged over 70, on the following question:-
“Would you prefer to see your family and friends and risk dying of Covid-19, or live the rest of your natural life indoors and in isolation?”
How much would it cost to do, and could it be crowd funded through this site?

1068 ▶▶ Thomas, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, #88 of 133 🔗

This is a GOOD idea.

1083 ▶▶ fiery, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, 5, #89 of 133 🔗

This is definitely needed. I don’t fall into the over 70s cohort but if this was the case and I had no health problems, wasn’t on medication and rarely saw my GP I’d be furious about being incarcerated in my house and definitely wouldn’t comply. I’d rather enjoy a good quality of life and risk infection from Covid-19 than suffer the longer-term health problems which prolonged self isolation will undoubtedly cause.

1098 ▶▶ Beacritical, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, 1, #90 of 133 🔗


Maybe the poll could be created and added to the website as a link for people to go and answer.

Or a petition with a similarly worded question, those that sign would be the ones who subscribe to the view that they would rather take the risk if it means seeing friends and family.

1099 ▶▶▶ Snake Oil Pussy, replying to Beacritical, 1, #91 of 133 🔗

I was thinking of a professional poll by YouGov or whoever, which would get picked up in the mainstream media. But a free online poll could be used as a start, and a way of getting crowd funding donations.

1112 ▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to Snake Oil Pussy, -1, #92 of 133 🔗

Another referendum then? But this time on life or death but without the data or a sensible risk analysis. “Will you drink this fluid? It might kill you or you stay home for some time. You need no more data and we will not show our workings and I’m not telling you what some time means. Now answer.”

So much of this site has so many comments looking for simplistic answers. It just isn’t simple or easy. I agree we are not in a bloodbath and that we need to get out of the lockdown.

1054 RDawg, replying to RDawg, 24, #93 of 133 🔗

Anyone else sick of all the clone-like TV ads at the moment? Basically a montage of camera phone selfie-videos saying, “Strange times these,” “We’re here for you.” “We’ll get through this together.”

The WHO one is particularly sickening. “Everyone has a higher purpose in life, and right now our purpose is to stay home.”

Even channel 4 has a permanent watermark top left, reminding us to “Stay at Home”.

Seriously, just stop!

1058 ▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to RDawg, 10, #94 of 133 🔗

Claire Fox made a great point: we’ve got to comply with their rules, but no one should be celebrating lockdown culture. These adverts, and the programmes that revel in ‘staying at home’ just make it more likely that it’ll be imposed again in future.

1055 Sally, 9, #95 of 133 🔗

Please don’t promote the idea of future lockdowns as a way out of the present one. This is exactly what Dr Strangelove is going to press for at every opportunity. And what do you think is going to happen once they roll out their massive testing program? An uptick in cases, which will lead to calls for lockdown.

You might also examine the longer term effects on the NHS of all this. There will be a tsunami of pent-up demand once access to services is restored, and the waiting list will increase to over 5 million. So much for saving the health service.

1056 Eldred Godson, 5, #96 of 133 🔗

Just jaw dropping. I was aware of most of the components of this, but brilliantly compiled and presented. Thank you so much Toby Young! I am really struggling to believe there is not more to this than immediately meets the eye at present. What’s to be done?

1059 Barney McGrew, replying to Barney McGrew, 1, #97 of 133 🔗

Is it now your policy to moderate all comments, or have I specifically done something wrong? If the latter, I’ll just go away if you like. A shame, because I liked the idea of this website.

1063 ▶▶ Ian Rons, replying to Barney McGrew, 4, #98 of 133 🔗

The former, just to keep things informative and sane. Not a personal slight!

1069 Willow, replying to Willow, 24, #99 of 133 🔗

I’m getting a really, really weird feeling about all this. It’s like there is a wall around the government and SAGE and no data from out here is getting in there. They are just carrying on regardless. As Kit Knightly from Off Guardian says:

“The most peculiar thing about COVID19 so far has been that they are not hiding the data […] The data is right there, and yet it is separate from the narrative, which never references the data; the data never references the narrative.”

The same thing is happening in the US too. I believe Fauci has now come out denouncing serological tests as meaningless.

The extent to which the narrative is being controlled and censored too is really disturbing. I’m certain I’ve come across several 77 Brigade accounts on Twitter and I had one of Prof. Knut Wittkowski’s videos silently deleted on Facebook.

If this source is correct, there’s been a concerted campaign against his material

I’m starting to feel extremely on edge about the whole thing. We know now what the IFR is, we know when cases peaked, yet here we are, still in lockdown despite catastrophic health and economic effects, there is a mad rush for a vaccine, a surveillance and tracking infrastructure is being constructed… is it me or is it no longer (if it ever was) about the virus?

I hope I’m wrong.

1071 ▶▶ Tim Bidie, replying to Willow, 2, #100 of 133 🔗

Hanlon’s Razor (‘Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity’) explains just about everything that is going on, I think…….

There is a brilliant post on here near the bottom of the ‘How reliable is Imperial College’s modelling’ thread written by Hugh Osmond which seems to make a great deal of sense.

The wider diplomatic situation (this dithering muddle has ‘foreign office’ written all over it!) may also be worth bearing in mind. It is a U.S. Presidential election year so HMG will do little without agreement in Washington. It is also brexit year and the British PM is already greatly beholden to Germany and France for his agreement late last year, and needs their forbearance again this year.

But this shambles is unlikely to play well in the bright light of hindsight that will illuminate the next general election in this country.

1073 ▶▶ Csaba, replying to Willow, 5, #101 of 133 🔗

Well, which one do you think is better for the pharmacy industry: vaccination or herd immunity? I would bet there is a massive lobby from the pharmacy industry against herd immunity. I’m not saying vaccination is wrong, if its purpose is saving lives and not making money. I hope in our situation it goes in the right direction.

1075 ▶▶ RDawg, replying to Willow, 6, #102 of 133 🔗

Why are people choosing Neil Ferguson over Wittkowski?

1082 ▶▶ Willow, replying to Willow, #103 of 133 🔗

Dr Erickson’s briefing video has been taken down by YouTube.

1117 ▶▶▶ Barnabas, replying to Willow, #104 of 133 🔗

This is disturbing news.

1118 ▶▶▶ Pebbles, replying to Willow, 1, #105 of 133 🔗

Is that a surprise…? No. Is it a disgusting overreach into free speech? Yes. Most YouTubers engaged in critical thinking have been predicting this for a while. Free speech censorship has been in full swing for weeks now, sceptical voices in many countries are deliberately silenced and sidelined, governments are doing their utmost to shape the narrative to their liking, using it for maximum political gain. A critical debate isn’t happening.

And yes – where are the petitions for an independent investigation into Covid-19 deaths and accurate recording of true cause of deaths, handling of the pandemic, a critical look at the hysteria caused by the media, etc., etc.? Are they still “pending review”?

1151 ▶▶▶ Nigel Baldwin, replying to Willow, #106 of 133 🔗
4718 ▶▶▶▶ Ken Butcher, replying to Nigel Baldwin, #107 of 133 🔗


1091 ▶▶ guy153, replying to Willow, 4, #108 of 133 🔗

To be fair there is still quite a bit of uncertainty about the IFR. If we look at Iceland, who have good data, it looks like it’s somewhere around 0.1%, but it could be twice that, and certainly no higher than 0.7% (which is the CFR there). But in NYC 0.2% of the population are actually recorded as dead of Covid-19. Assuming it’s endemic there, it means 50-60% of them have been infected which would put the IFR at at least 0.4%. This is also consistent with their serology study. But they probably aren’t done dying yet so this 0.4% minimum will get higher.

I find it hard to believe it’s as high 0.9% because that would mean it started dropping in Spain, the UK and Italy several weeks before we had lockdowns.

It isn’t the same everywhere. It depends on the age and comorbidity of the population and, probably more significantly, on how the deaths are classified and counted. That could easily account for a factor of 2 or 3 difference. So it’s a vaguely defined term to start with. Accounting for all this is could be anywhere between 0.1% and 0.7%, which is a huge range in terms of the actual number of deaths.

In the early days people were throwing around numbers like 2% or 3%, which are way off. The WHO may still be quoting something like that. But most serious “alarmists” in the debate now are not going higher than 0.8% or so. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the climate change debate which started with predictions of 6 degrees and higher of warming and has gradually settled down to bitter arguments over fractions of a degree too small to determine with any accuracy and what the consequences of that will be.

But I agree that the UK government is not being remotely honest with us. If you watch the interview with Ferguson on unherd he comes across as more of a politician than a scientist. He claims that everything the UK government did was exactly the right thing at the right time, fudges on Sweden, deliberately misleads, and refuses to say what strategy he actually recommends. A complete contrast with that Swedish guy who was a real scientist trying his best to be diplomatic and not mention herd immunity.

Note also that the UK government already has access to quite a few serology results from Porton Down, which they’re keeping secret.

They started the lockdown too late to have much effect on the epidemic and the reason for it was pure populism. Now that most of the deaths are out of the way, they can shape the narrative how they want. They won’t row back on the 500k claim because now they can take the credit for reducing it to whatever it turns out to be in the end. They can lift the lockdown just as they feel popular opinion is turning against it. Right about the time it looked from Spain and Italy data that around 20k was where the UK would peak, Ferguson and/or the government announced that through our hard work and devoted clapping we might just get it down to 20k from 250k.

In many ways this is a much better hand to play than somewhere like Germany where the lockdown may have actually been early enough to be effective. Now they are faced with lifting it and watching deaths possibly go up. Much harder to spin that. It’s all downhill from here for Johnson. He needs to drag it out just long enough that we’ve forgotten the actual number of deaths, only remember the recovery narrative, and are slightly more pissed off by the lockdown than we ever were by the actual virus (for most of us here that was before the lockdown even started, but he has to get the general population to that point).

1122 ▶▶▶ guy153, replying to guy153, #109 of 133 🔗

Sorry to reply to my post, but I have to correct a mistake I made. I said the population fatality ratio in NYC was 0.2%. This was 17328 deaths / 8.4 million. But checking Wikipedia, the 17328 deaths were in fact in a population of 19,745,289 (the whole state). If we just look at NYC, the correct figure is 12287 / 8443713 which is a population fatality ratio of 0.15%. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_New_York_(state)

1077 Oaks79, replying to Oaks79, 14, #110 of 133 🔗

These “experts” the media wheel out for us, they only ever offer their opinion on the virus. No actual science they’ve done, no actual data they’ve collected, etc. Yet the likes of Prof. John Ioannidis are stuck on YouTube, I’ve gone to show family and friends and they’ll just dismiss it because it’s YouTube – all conspiracy nuts on there apparently.

The phrase “following the science” is used a lot, but it seems no-one is apart from a few. I mean is the data from the antibodies studies from around the world (which are all coming to the same result about the IFR) all wrong? Is the data from the cruise ships and aircraft carriers wrong?

Is Witty, Vallance and the government looking at other science? Why isn’t anyone in the media pinning them down on the above in the daily press conferences?

I’m really starting to get frustrated by the whole thing.

1111 ▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to Oaks79, -3, #111 of 133 🔗

That’s not true. The likes of Ferguson & Whitty are analysing and “doing science”. I agree hardly any of the media cover it. I think if Ioannidis and Ferguson did a YouTube together you would fine that they agree on a lot. Ioannidis takes the science and his findings to a policy conclusion. Ferguson does not. This is the big difference. The gap is not the scientists. It is the politicians.

1079 Moomin, replying to Moomin, 13, #112 of 133 🔗

Hi, This is my first post, I don’t normally do this sort of thing but feel compelled to do so given the current situation.

Thanks to Toby for setting up this site, if nothing else it’s confirmed I’m not going crazy in my thought process about this whole fiasco.

Is it me, or has the government changed its figures on excess deaths? Yesterday I read on the BBC page (which I try to avoid) that of the 8,000 or so excess deaths, 1,700 or so were not attributed to Covid19, yet last week I seem to recall figures being released saying that about half the excess deaths were non-Covid19 related. Did anyone else pick up on this? What am I missing?

I’ve always struggled with politics and with the rhetoric of politicians, but when I heard Mr Johnson say yesterday that we are at the ‘point of maximum risk’ I was furious. It’s in the public domain that it peaked on 8th April yet the government continues to insist on its campaign of fear and control, which I feel much more threatened by than by Covid19.

The government seems to be ‘shifting the goalposts’ with respect to the criteria for easing the lockdown. We have heard that we need to pass the peak (which, as we know, apparently happened on 8th April), flatten the curve (it’s falling), have enough PPE, not risk a second wave (which incidentally seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy since our immune systems have been compromised by being forced to stay at home), optimise the ‘R’ number, etc.

Also, does anyone know what is happening with the petition to Parliament? It still seems to be pending review.


1107 ▶▶ Rick, replying to Moomin, 3, #113 of 133 🔗

The GOV’s stance that we are only just in the peak is a smokescreen to hide the fact that the virus was at peak transmission in the community before the lockdown. If they truly believed we are in the peak (in Hospitals and care facilities) why would they (finally) open up cancer and other care now? It would make no sense whatsoever. This is about politics and not health. Locking populations in their houses and crashing the economy is an obvious way of inflicting staggering short and long term damage on a global population.

1120 ▶▶▶ Moomin, replying to Rick, #114 of 133 🔗

Thanks for the reply. Can anyone make sense of the latest ONS stats saying that deaths are 108 percent of the five year average?

1085 BoneyKnee, replying to BoneyKnee, -11, #115 of 133 🔗

The Ferguson interview is excellent. I recommend it to everyone here – particularly the second half, when the end of lockdown is discussed. He doesn’t say lockdown cannot end until a vaccine. He talks about social distancing measures. He even points out it’s not his job – it’s a political decision. His key metric is watching the capacity of the NHS to handle Covid and standard stuff.

It’s not what Toby describes at all. He is very open and honest. He explains the Swedish figures well. He knows that the mortality rates in New York and Stockholm are lower – younger populations. He discusses the difficult of working out one overall mortality rate because the virus hits sections of populations so differently. He is clear about the limitations of his model. (None of this is surprising – he is a world expert in the field.) He agrees that a long-run lockdown is not viable.

He points out that as a scientist he has no special place in moral and political decisions. He can tell you what might happen, taking different paths. He agrees that you can lift the lockdown. You will get more deaths but with the right measures you can have an NHS that works for all. BUT this is not his call. He is highly sceptical that you can “shield” care homes. Nobody has, anywhere in the world: it’s extremely difficult.

I felt encouraged having heard this that the advice is good and sensible. The big issue is “What now?” Transmission is down in the UK. The NHS is in OK shape. The scientists say we can get out of lockdown. It won’t be fully normal until medicine develops and the elderly are a major issue.”

Please watch it.

1103 ▶▶ SteveB, replying to BoneyKnee, 6, #116 of 133 🔗

I get all that BK, but I suspect that (as with a lot of good modellers) Ferguson might not be as good at interpreting and, in particular, presenting his results to non-modellers, as he is at building models. As I understand it, he’s taken an old model and plonked some reasonable first guess parameters into it. The outputs are purely a function of the inputs, and so I would have expected to see lots of sensitivity tests around each of the inputs, not just the R but the others as well.

6 weeks on and I would now also expect to see the model “back cast” to see whether it still fits. I suspect that the initial parameters overstated the IFR, perhaps understated the R0, and assumed that susceptibility was 100% whereas in fact it is probably about 60%-70% because young people don’t seem to be very susceptible at all. I haven’t seen any evidence that this back casting has been done.

Finally, the model should be open source. No excuses for this one.

1110 ▶▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to SteveB, -4, #117 of 133 🔗

I think you’ve got it wrong. Why is the model “old”? I’ve heard this a lot. Epidemiologists are modelling all the time and changing their models and code. You suggest he “guessed” the inputs. They used the best available data – which is not great but it is better than any guess. Yes. The outputs are a function of the inputs – this is is self evident. The models are models – not reality in code and not accurate predictions. They are better tools than simple maths.

The model I think is available. There’s data here.


The models are being improved all the time as is the critical base data. They will back cast to try to get it to model what has happened. Reality though is massively shaped by what we all do. The lock down has changed the course of the virus – I agree the question “Was it worth it?” isn’t answered but that’s not Imperial’s task right now.

I urge you to listen to the interview that Toby links to. It is really excellent.

1115 ▶▶▶▶ SteveB, replying to BoneyKnee, 3, #118 of 133 🔗

“Why is the model “old”?”

Ferguson himself tweeted:

“I’m conscious that lots of people would like to see and run the pandemic simulation code we are using to model control measures against COVID-19. To explain the background – I wrote the code (thousands of lines of undocumented C) 13+ years ago to model flu pandemics…”


He has (still) not released this code, the “control measures” model in C, unless you know otherwise?

If the model is being improved and back-cast, I look forward to seeing the outcome. I have listened to the interview and my comments stand.

1157 ▶▶▶▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to SteveB, -2, #119 of 133 🔗

Want to add the next Tweet from 22 March…

“I am happy to say that @Microsoft and @GitHub are working with @Imperial_JIDEA
and @MRC_Outbreak to document, refactor and extend the code to allow others to use without the multiple days training it would currently require (and which we don’t have time to give)…”

I think you can get it here. You’ll see it warns that you need to know what you’re doing with it.


Let’s remember there are many, many such models. Ferguson is not a world guru. He is one leader in the field. Others are getting similar results.

1192 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ SteveB, replying to BoneyKnee, #120 of 133 🔗

Thanks. Looks like that is the full model. Let’s see what others make of it.

1125 ▶▶▶▶ Mark H, replying to BoneyKnee, #121 of 133 🔗

Didn’t he use the data from the Princess Diamond in the model? Which is what Ioannidis suggests. And it’s hardly representative of any country in the world.

1155 ▶▶▶▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to Mark H, -1, #122 of 133 🔗

I cannot see any evidence that Ferguson would use data from a cruise ship to model a country. I can see that he works as part of a large community developing data. This paper from the Lancet has over 25 authors of which Ferguson is one. Take a look.


1116 ▶▶ ChrisH29, replying to BoneyKnee, 7, #123 of 133 🔗

Why would his view be given any prominence at all? He may have been doing this for years but he has been equally, catastrophically wrong for years.
It is now clear from data, rather than speculation, that the lockdown will kill more people globally than Covid, probably by an order of magnitude. Our immune systems are being undermined that will make us susceptible to otherwise harmless pathogens and the economic damage will result in millions of deaths, most likely of children – we are collectively committing a crime against humanity of biblical proportions.

1087 Gracie Knoll, 17, #124 of 133 🔗

Here is the bottom line from Professor John Ioannidis. It says it all really:

In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.

One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops – short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.

1114 ScuzzaMan, replying to ScuzzaMan, 8, #125 of 133 🔗

“He (Ferguson) reiterated that the only viable exit strategy is a vaccine.”

This is an outright lie and he knows it. This alone ought to disqualify him from any further part in public policy.

But it won’t.

1150 ▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to ScuzzaMan, -2, #126 of 133 🔗

It’s a big lie in that Ferguson did NOT say that. In fact he talks about getting out of the lockdown prior to vaccines and seeing the lockdown as untenable in the longer term. Toby Young is whipping-up distrust in Ferguson to undermine him. Do watch the interview. It’s good.

1218 ▶▶▶ Willow, replying to BoneyKnee, 1, #127 of 133 🔗

If Ferguson wanted to come and explain himself that would be one thing. Since you seem to be a big fan, why not ask him? Otherwise I wish you’d go away. There are plenty of places you can indulge your fandom, but most of us come here to get a break from lockdown rhetoric.

1180 ▶▶ guy153, replying to ScuzzaMan, 1, #128 of 133 🔗

If you watch the interview with him on UnHerd he prevaricates on the strategy (because he knows that’s a decision for the government to make). He fudges on Sweden and New York. He refuses to go back on his alarmist predictions but stops short of endorsing the actions they imply. I don’t think he’s influencing public policy at all. He’s just a tame “scientist” the government are using to reinforce their narrative (which is that there would have been 10x as many deaths but lockdown is going to have prevented them). No doubt his credentials and background on Wikipedia are fine but right now he’s just coming across as a government spokesman.

I think the government do want to release lockdown fairly soon (which is why Ferguson is not speaking out against that) and that the timing is all about politics. When they say “lockdown phase 2” that’s Johnson cake speak for it being released, although no doubt there will be dozens of ineffective, unenforceable and annoying regulations on every little aspect of life for at least the next year.

1128 BoneyKnee, replying to BoneyKnee, -6, #129 of 133 🔗

Toby, I just noticed it was you who called Professor Ferguson Dr Strangelove. My opinion of you sinks even further. Name calling? Trump style name calling, Little Baldy? That’s ridiculous. The tragedy is that there is a need to push back hard on assertions that “the worst is yet to come” or “we MUST stay locked down”. With no real data an no discussion of the pros and cons just simple statements. I think we do need to lift carefully to reduce its negative impacts & avoid people just ignoring it anyway – a “black economy”.

This site is of use and I’ve learned a fair bit. The public debate is very weak and the case for a continued lock-down needs to be stated to get buy-in from those locked-down. I think most gave the benefit of the doubt at the beginning. We could see that the rising numbers of cases and deaths were an issue. Now we have some stability, more data & understanding it’s time to share that in a discussion.

Professor Ferguson is highly skilled at what he does and I would take his word over Toby’s every time on the topic of disease control. He is one person on what is a large committee. Strangelove was…oh Lord I’m not even going to make a comparison. There are other factors than controlling the spread of disease which is Ferguson’s bit. We don’t save lives “at any cost” ever. The balance needs to come from others. It’s not Ferguson’s fault. I don’t think Toby understands how science works like so many of our politicians and journalists. We have a severe lack of technically trained in our government. PPE at Oxford is super for a debate. Not so good for running things.

What I find so troubling is that people like Toby Young trivialise and denigrate experts in the field like Ferguson. They try to convince us that he is wrong. He is not infallible but what he has is the best we can do. What needs to happen is for his outlook to be tempered by other perspectives. These need not be epidemiological – Prof versus Prof. Economists can point to other issues. Medics can raise other issues. Ferguson is not an expert on everything and doesn’t claim to be. He can tell you how to slow the disease by contact reduction. Remember Ferguson knows as we all do that the transmission mechanisms aren’t fully understood. There’s the to-and-fro on masks which is partly tempered by there not being enough in the UK anyway. Ferguson won’t be opining on medical treatments or masks- like, Trump say – these are not his specialisms.

Lay off our scientists and look at the bigger picture. Calling them names is truly pathetic.

1132 ▶▶ ChrisH29, replying to BoneyKnee, 1, #130 of 133 🔗

Ferguson is “highly skilled”??? Are you serious or is this a parody post? His “models” are so inaccurate and his prognostications so doom laden as to be beyond parody.
If his ineptitude at the outset (500,000 deaths) weren’t enough, now in the light of real data, his doubling-down with a prediction of another 100,000 in a second wave is worse and one might be forgiven for believing he is being mendacious.

1148 ▶▶▶ BoneyKnee, replying to ChrisH29, -3, #131 of 133 🔗

Professor Ferguson is one of the world’s leading epidemiologists. So yes, he is highly skilled. You might want to check him out on Wikipedia. He is not always right. He is not a fortune teller. He cannot tell you the future. Like most scientific fields there are differing ideas and theories. That doesn’t make Ferguson a fool or mendacious. The problem here is that many don’t really understand the field at all.

1177 ▶▶ John Bradley, replying to BoneyKnee, 2, #132 of 133 🔗

Hi BoneyKnee. I have no reason to question Prof. Ferguson’s ability to advise on how to control the spread of the disease by contact reduction, which is what you say his job is and where his expertise lies. The point that many are making is that his advice is not about the impact of relaxing a particular aspect of the lockdown has on R, but is seen to be that 500,000 people would die if we did nothing, and that we could expect 100,000 deaths if we lifted lockdown. It is these supposed results of his modelling that are driving government policy (and I imagine it is this that leads to Toby’s colourful characterisation of him as Dr S.). I would argue that this, at least initially, is the fault of government and the media not Prof. Ferguson.

There are those who would say that the way to generate attention, bring in the research funding is to generate a good scare story, but I couldn’t possibly comment. My experience as a (lapsed) modeller suggests a rather more innocent explanation: that in order to run the simulations the model needs some starting assumptions, critically the IFR. Looks like a deadly virus to me, seen this before, crunch some numbers from Italy. 0.9 looks like a good number. Multiply by an estimate of the virulence of the virus. Bingo. Half a million deaths. Use that as a starting point for the model to simulate the impact of controlling the spread of the disease by contact reduction. Fair enough. But the message that gets picked up and amplified by relentless, ill-informed media and politicians eager to be seen to do something (whilst acting on the best scientific advice) is half a million will die unless we do something drastic. Point is though that half a million to die is not a prediction, it is not what the science is saying, it is not even what the modelling is saying – it is an *assumption*, based on very limited evidence. It is not Ferguson’s fault that his work is misinterpreted this way, although he has not exactly sought to distance himself from this interpretation of his work, probably because he believes it to be true: that the virus is akin to Spanish flu in its lethality. Can’t help thinking of the Life of Brian: ‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy’.

1216 ▶▶ Willow, replying to BoneyKnee, 1, #133 of 133 🔗

Fatal flaws in the model :

1. Epidemic seed date – no basis for it, much, much too late. Genetic research from Iceland now shows that virus was widespread, yes widespread in UK very early on. Ferguson may not be a virologist but if he’s modelling an infectious virus, he should get his assumptions checked by one. It was probably spreading globally before the Chinese even “discovered” it. The infection seed date was way off.

2. The worst case scenario was never going to happen because it made a flawed assumption about human behaviour – namely that humans had no agency, that human behaviour would not change in response to a threat. If you like, the worst case scenario, even if other variables were correct, could only have come about if humans were entirely ignorant of the virus’ existence.

3, 4, 5 Proportion likely to become infected, infection fatality rate, proportion of infected likely to need hospital care. Clearly Ferguson could only use the data he had at the beginning. That’s fair enough, but there’s no indication at all that he’s changed his assumptions in line with emerging data. This is very clear by what happens when the model is used to generate predictions for Sweden. They are just comically off. Ferguson needs to use actual data. He needs to calibrate the model so it’s predications fall in line with reality.

But he doesn’t, he just churns out more and more rubbish. That’s what I find inexcusable. It’s not science, it’s petulance.


53 users made 133 comments today.

120RDawg45, 7, 21, 1, 16, 24, 6
102Barney McGrew25, 12, 19, 16, 19, 10, 1
63Farinances14, 46, 3
60Andy32, 17, 11, 0
56Mark H21, 1, 11, 1, 10, 8, 4, 0
53Beacritical4, 1, 1, 26, 4, 16, 1
46JASA17, 22, 7
35Willow4, 2, 2, 1, 24, 0, 1, 1
34Gracie Knoll1717
27Tony Prince7, 20
23percy openshaw23
23Will Jones23
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5Ethelred the Unready5
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5guy1530, 4, 0, 1
3wendyk2, 1
2John Bradley2
1Jonny Dixon-Smith1
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-41BoneyKnee-2, -4, -2, -1, -3, -11, -4, -2, -1, -2, -6, -3