Last updated2020-06-11T09:00:16



25695 HawkAnalyst, 17, #1 of 405 🔗


Another great post today.

Best regards


25697 LGDTLK, replying to LGDTLK, 48, #2 of 405 🔗

Tonight’s bubble announcement is surely the death knell for lockdown. I find it alnost impossible to believe that sentient intelligent beings sat around a table and concocted this fatuous bubble shit believing a pliant population would swallow it. Today the science officially jumped the shark.

25711 ▶▶ Nic, replying to LGDTLK, 29, #3 of 405 🔗

They live in a bubble and are detached from the real world they haven’t a clue about how ordinary people live and truly believe we are a idiots.
How can bojo keep s straight face when he delivers this bull sh , but he is destroying this country and must be stopped .

25724 ▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to LGDTLK, 20, #4 of 405 🔗

Goes to show that they absolutely have no clue and don’t have to cojones to admit that they got this wrong and tell the public that we should go back to how it was before March.

25736 ▶▶ smileymiley, replying to LGDTLK, 28, #5 of 405 🔗

Watched for the first time in a number of weeks, Wish I hadn’t. They just don’t understand, they haven’t a clue. We are just decimating our economy, our kids future & our history. Someone please get a grip on this government. I never thought in my 63rd year that Conservative and Unionist party would do such an heinous assault on our oncegreat country. I hang my head in shame.

25741 ▶▶▶ Jonathan Castro, replying to smileymiley, 8, #6 of 405 🔗

I’ve never watched it, and I’m not starting now!

25948 ▶▶▶ Bella Donna, replying to smileymiley, 7, #7 of 405 🔗

Well don’t hang your head in shame you didn’t instigate these crazy policies. The real problem is there is no one on the horizon with the leadership qualities we need to get us out of this. And that is shameful!

25776 ▶▶ BobT, replying to LGDTLK, 12, #8 of 405 🔗

I think I can hear the conversation…..
“Neil, I have a deal for you…You make up some more numbers to make me look good…..like I saved millions of lives …..and then I will change the rules so that you can go ahead and shag your girlfriend without getting hassle from the press.”

25952 ▶▶▶ Bella Donna, replying to BobT, 8, #9 of 405 🔗

LOL yes obviously the no sleepover rules are playing havoc with their extramarital leg overs hence the relaxing of rules. Similarly the one where nannies and cleaners could get back to work which funnily enough coincided with Boris jnr arrival.

25807 ▶▶ JohnB, replying to LGDTLK, 1, #10 of 405 🔗

Pliant population swallow bubble shit ? Some people would pay to watch that video …

25973 ▶▶ Andrew Fish, replying to LGDTLK, #11 of 405 🔗

It’s not clear – is it a 1:n thing or an m:n thing? i.e. can dozens of single people attach themselves to the same family. If so, can they all visit at the same time?

25976 ▶▶ A leaf, replying to LGDTLK, #12 of 405 🔗

Sadly there are millions out and about still walking at night with masks, wearing gloves and avoiding people like dog shit. So they will believe this oh man they will believe it very much.. 🙁

26042 ▶▶▶ AidanR, replying to A leaf, #13 of 405 🔗

Point and laugh at them. They’ll soon re-evaluate their choices.

25698 Lms23, replying to Lms23, 6, #14 of 405 🔗

COVID-19: Doctors’ Bring Legal Challenge Over PPE Shortages

Relatives should be bringing a legal case against the PHE and health minister over the decision to transfer patients from hospitals to care homes, without ensuring they d have CV19.

Where is everyone today? Too depressed about the current dire state of our politicians and other supine leadership.

25700 ▶▶ Lms23, replying to Lms23, 3, #15 of 405 🔗

P.S.: I couldn’t bring myself to read much of the news here today. It’s just too predictable and dire.

25714 ▶▶▶ Nic, replying to Lms23, 10, #16 of 405 🔗

Yes after 3 months I’m just kind of numb now nothing to look forward to possibly loose my business when I see Johnston I just feel real anger and I’m a very placid person but he induces real anxiety in me.

25723 ▶▶▶▶ Lms23, replying to Nic, 11, #17 of 405 🔗

I don’t feel anger. It’s more contempt.
Maybe the serious CV19 infection he had has affected him more than we or he realizes.
Or maybe he was never really suited to the job.

25734 ▶▶▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to Lms23, 2, #18 of 405 🔗

Or maybe it wasn’t CV19 but a ‘stress-related’ illness.

25953 ▶▶▶▶▶ Bella Donna, replying to Lms23, #19 of 405 🔗

Both I think.

25799 ▶▶ matt, replying to Lms23, #20 of 405 🔗


25705 Peter Thompson, replying to Peter Thompson, 22, #21 of 405 🔗

Having been on the ” front line ” since day 1 and not cowering in the wardrobe like Britain’s dentists I look forward to receiving my ” Corona ” medal from the hands of Boris.


As I presume it will be too difficult to distinguish between those who deserve it and those who don’t ( mentioned in dispatches? ) in the NHS I imagine it will be like ” service medals ” given to all NHS workers from Prof Whittey down to the ward cleaner., along with all those who registered as NHS volunteers and heard nothing more.

Apparently it will be coming out in September presumably when the unemployment numbers will be reaching 4 million. I am really not sure what I will do with it if I get one , it really does sum up the insanity of the whole saga, probably put it on ebay.

25709 ▶▶ Bella, replying to Peter Thompson, 2, #22 of 405 🔗

You won’t get 10p for it 🙂

25745 ▶▶ DJ Dod, replying to Peter Thompson, 7, #23 of 405 🔗

Perhaps ‘VC’ day will be a national holiday?

There’s nothing like a big parade to boost morale before the coming recession – I can see it now – massed ranks of nurses marching down the Mall… Carry on Matron!

25774 ▶▶ matt, replying to Peter Thompson, 7, #24 of 405 🔗

Two thoughts.

1) dear god. Really?
2) 4 million? It not often you meet an optimist ‘round here.

25706 Bella, replying to Bella, 59, #25 of 405 🔗

I’ve had it now and I will declare my bona fides. I resigned from the Labour Party after the last leadership election, hopes dashed that politics might take a different direction with Corbyn. Experiment over and I didn’t want a Blair Mark 2. But I still had a tendency towards soft left politics. But when I see Long Bailey coming out against kids going back to school. Starmer on his knees on a Twitter photo politicking the right thing to do and Jeremy Corbyn urging everyone to take a fucking knee at 6 pm I now know that every fucker on both sides of the House is trying to coerce me and they can all go to hell. This is utter, utter madness. A plague on both your houses. No ALL your houses. SNP, Lib Dems and Greens included. ‘Love thy neighbour as thy self’ is all we need and I don’t have a religious bone in my body.

25720 ▶▶ mark baker, replying to Bella, 10, #26 of 405 🔗

I was a Corbynite as well. Resigned my Labour membership over their Lockdown support. Sickened by the things you mention.

25731 ▶▶▶ Judith Day, replying to mark baker, 2, #27 of 405 🔗

I was a committed Labour supporter and local candidate until the day of the ‘Blair’!

25900 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to Bella, 1, #28 of 405 🔗

*standing ovation*

25939 ▶▶ FrankiiB, replying to Bella, 5, #29 of 405 🔗

I was a centrist but became horrified by all the left wing and centre Lid Dem positions.
I feel the ‘Lockdown Left’ as I call them are going to be punished harshly by the people when the tide turns. Most left/centre voters tend to be young and will be affected badly by the lockdown. Young entrepreneurs, most important to the economy, most of all. As the truth gets exposed, the lie of lockdown, and the terrible economic consequences become apparent, the left’s championing of lockdown could destroy its core vote.

25998 ▶▶ paulito, replying to Bella, 4, #30 of 405 🔗

Same here Bella. What the left has become absolutely terrifies me. It is totally bereft of ideas and offer nothing other than identity politics bullshit, censorship and authoritarianism. I’m disgusted by all of them.

26003 ▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to paulito, 3, #31 of 405 🔗

And the new leader of the Labour party is the man who as head of the CPS refused to prosecute Jimmy Saville and the grooming gangs so he is just another part of the Establishment right down to his core.

From now on either spoilt ballot paper or a vote for a true independent individual or party – none of the existing parties will ever again be voted for by me.

25716 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 7, #32 of 405 🔗

Coronavirus: Facemask plans mired in confusion


Plans for compulsory face coverings on public transport risk being thrown into disarray after operators raised serious doubts over the enforcement of the policy.

BTP, which polices the railway, said it had “no powers regarding the national rail conditions of travel, which is a contract between the train operators and the passenger”. Officers could merely “engage with passengers and encourage them to comply”, it said in a statement.

The Times has also spoken to rail and bus operators who said they were concerned about enforcing the policy themselves.

It is understood that the DfT is now considering dropping plans to enforce them through the “conditions of travel”. Instead they could be enshrined under the Public Health Act 1984 which was used to introduce fines for people who flout the lockdown rules. It would mean transport staff would not be held responsible for enforcement.

One industry source said that the powers may not be in place before Monday.

25722 ▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to HawkAnalyst, 11, #33 of 405 🔗

This doesn’t surprise me as I’ve pointed out in this blog over the past few days – antisocial distancing and muzzle wearing won’t work especially when reality hits – rain, signalling problems and “customer incidents”. When all of this hits, people who are running late for work or important appointments won’t take kindly to being berated for not following the 2m rule or wearing a muzzle.

25728 ▶▶▶ arfurmo, replying to Bart Simpson, 10, #34 of 405 🔗

I’m still waiting for the “breathing difficulties” get out fine print . I won’t get away with the first one and wouldn’t even attempt the second one-but stick a muzzle on me and it isn’t pleasant-

Some passengers will be exempt from the new rules:

  • Young children
  • Disabled people
  • Those with breathing difficulties

25737 ▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to arfurmo, 8, #35 of 405 🔗

Don’t forget:

  • asthma
  • agoraphobia or some other kind of phobia
  • anxiety/ies

Why not try saying you get headaches and dizzy spells from wearing one? Which is a legitimate point as you’re not getting oxygen into your brain when being muzzled up.

25781 ▶▶▶▶▶ matt, replying to Bart Simpson, 4, #36 of 405 🔗

With a bit of luck, I’m off to meet an actual friend (as opposed to someone I happen to know, who lives nearby) next week. It’s nearly 7 miles away, so walking there and back isn’t realistic and I intend to have a beer, so nor is driving.

I will be brandishing an inhaler. I don’t really need it, but nonetheless.

25921 ▶▶▶▶ annie, replying to arfurmo, 5, #37 of 405 🔗
  • And those who breathe, either through their mouths or through their noses.
25753 ▶▶ Carrie, replying to HawkAnalyst, 1, #38 of 405 🔗

Seen the new stations posters re mask-wearing? The old ones did say ‘please’ wear a mask – there is no ‘please’ on the new ones.. See Peter Hitchens’ Twitter account for pictures..

25899 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to HawkAnalyst, #39 of 405 🔗


25968 ▶▶ Julian, replying to HawkAnalyst, 1, #40 of 405 🔗

I would also like to see how they reword the relevant sections of the law to cover this bubble nonsense. I like to think I am quick on the uptake but it had me baffled.

25719 swedenborg, replying to swedenborg, 15, #41 of 405 🔗


Perhaps a further explanation that Richard Horton Chief Editor Lancet has “changed” side? A video leaked, where both editors of Lancet and New Eng J Med admitted that Big Pharma controlled them.
Big Pharma just don’t control only them, they control the whole handling of this pandemic from the beginning. And most ironically, the biggest cheerleaders have been the supposedly left wingers, but might that change now?

26001 ▶▶ paulito, replying to swedenborg, 1, #42 of 405 🔗

One of many post on this subject from Dr Kendrick’s blog. “science has taken a turn towards darkness” Richard Horton.

25727 FrankiiB, 12, #43 of 405 🔗

Excellent piece on schools, thank you.
If the government really can’t organise full time schooling for all students then they should give parents a tax credit for us to buy our own or top up with private tuition and private education. Just giving up on our children’s schooling is not good enough.

25730 AllieT, 5, #44 of 405 🔗

Thanks for this daily dose of sanity!

25732 ianric, replying to ianric, 1, #45 of 405 🔗

This is another question I would like to ask anyone with medical and scientific expertise. When implementing a draconian lockdown and so much media hysteria created over coronavirus, the impression is given that coronavirus is a highly infectious disease which justifies drastic measures. I am curious as to how infectious coronavirus is and the factors which affect how infectious coronavirus is. We are told coronavirus is spread when a person coughs or sneezes and the droplets enters another person’s mouth, nose or eyes. If droplets land on a surface and someone touches a surface and then touches their face they can become infected. I have some questions

* If someone coughs or sneezes, how close would someone have to be for the droplets to be dangerous.
* Can droplets still be dangerous outdoors .
* If someone sneezes indoors, can factors such as temperature and ventilation affect how dangerous the droplets are.
* How long would you have to exposed to droplets to be dangerous.
* If someone touches a contaminated surface, would their hands have a dangerous level of virus even if they only touched a surface very briefly.
* If someone touches a contaminated surface, how long would the virus stay on their hands.

25751 ▶▶ Rosemary Patterson, replying to ianric, 4, #46 of 405 🔗

The droplets would only be dangerous if you had a weakened immune system which for some reason couldn’t fight off the virus – but wash your hands and avoid touching your face and you’ll be fine

25778 ▶▶ Riffman, replying to ianric, 1, #47 of 405 🔗

Perhaps if you didn’t use the word ‘dangerous ‘ five times in your post you might get a better response. Covid is only a ‘risk’ to ….etc.etc. 😴

25795 ▶▶ djaustin, replying to ianric, 2, #48 of 405 🔗

It’s about as contagious as influenza and rhinovirus (cold). Nursing homes show that indoors it’s very easy to transmit. Outside, much harder. It persists on surfaces for longer than these two viruses according to a NEJM paper. Yes you can contaminate your hands sufficiently to infect yourself, but washing your hands is very effective (with any soap).

Paper here https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

If this virus had been as pathogenic as SARS-COV-1 and as transmissible as it is, then I would not be typing this, and nobody would be arguing that the lockdown was not a good idea.

25920 ▶▶▶ annie, replying to djaustin, 8, #49 of 405 🔗

Bear in mind that nursing homes doo not contain a representative sample if the population.
(Not to mention that they are always as stuffy as a broom cupboard and as not as Hades.)

25735 Rob Tyson, replying to Rob Tyson, 3, #50 of 405 🔗

So, question for you fellow sceptics…

I make a point of arguing the toss with several different people on Twitter every day. I do this deliberately to spread the word about the insanity of ‘lockdown’ and the C19 response generally.

I realise that I will probably never win over the original poster as the very act of arguing with them tends to make them more entrenched (known as the ‘backfire effect’).

The idea is more to appeal to the ‘watchers’, to let them know there is an alternative view and maybe win THEM over to a greater or less extent.

Are my efforts best spent:
a) trying to win over ‘floating voters’, e.g. Daily Mail, that kind of audience where it’s 50/50?
b) going into ‘The Lion’s Mouth’ and taking on people following e.g. The Guardian, Channel 4 news, Labour MPs, sowing a bit of doubt and blunt their certainty?

25740 ▶▶ Julian, replying to Rob Tyson, 2, #51 of 405 🔗

Ah well that’s a good question. Goodness only knows – it’s hard to fathom what goes through people’s heads.

You’d imagine the floaters would be easier to bring round, as you have a few more “ins” in terms of the economic reality possibly. On the other hand, there may be some on the other side who are more open to arguments regarding the morality of saving lives at all costs and the doubtless disparate impact on the poor.

Go with your gut, pick the fights that interest you. Try to have some fun with it – God knows we need a bit of fun at present.

I tend to try and keep it very neutral and get people to explain what THEIR exit strategy is, how long they think we can carry on with the new normal and what they think the long term impact might be, and back it up with some stats from well-known sources such as the CDC about the true IFR, point out other reputable scientific bodies have differing views, and point out the lack of correlation between “lockdown” severity and outcomes, across the world, and the lack of any sign of a second wave.

But I tend to prefer drawing out their thoughts, bit by bit, and give them enough rope, as it were.

Good luck.

25765 ▶▶▶ Tom Blackburn, replying to Julian, 2, #52 of 405 🔗

Instead of aiming for full conversion, try asking what it would take for someone to reconsider their position on a certain point.

25951 ▶▶▶▶ Julian, replying to Tom Blackburn, #53 of 405 🔗

Good idea, thanks

25756 ▶▶ Carrie, replying to Rob Tyson, 1, #54 of 405 🔗

Maybe post links to Francis Hoar’s or Simon Dolan’s Twitter pages, or to a suitable post that appears in one of their accounts? Or a page from Hector Drummond’s website where there are loads of official ONS statistics? Or the swprs website https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

25806 ▶▶ djaustin, replying to Rob Tyson, 6, #55 of 405 🔗

Well I’m here, and I’m not a skeptic (or a zealot for that matter). As a scientist I have to be skeptical of both the science and the counter position. Anyone who is certain of anything about a pathogen with which we have about six months human experience, is likely to be wrong. How wrong? – we will see. If you have made up your mind then how will you recognise if you are wrong (Richard Feynmann). There is enough variability in the data within and across countries to start to draw conclusions.

But in essence, the UK situation is coming down to a failure to protect those in nursing homes due to a lack of testing and suitable quarantine of patients when admitted from and discharged back to nursing homes. Plus community transmission in densely populated areas like London, which responded to contact reduction.

Nobody wins on the internet 🙂

25835 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 1, #56 of 405 🔗

Hang on…you were a “modeller” yesterday and today you’re a “scientist”. Congrats. That’s a step up I would say. Tomorrow you may be a “Nobel Prize Winner”.

25836 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, #57 of 405 🔗

I believe I said I model for a living, that’s part of science I do 😉 . I won’t be winning any Nobel prizes, although my PhD supervisor was denied one unjustly in my opinion (and many others).

25849 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 2, #58 of 405 🔗

I don’t know. You could win a Nobel Prize for BSing here. In particular not admitting that early lockdown Belgium has the worst Covid death rate in the world after you claimed early lockdown would have saved huge numbers of lives in the UK.

25842 ▶▶▶ guy153, replying to djaustin, 10, #59 of 405 🔗

You are right to be skeptical of everything including skepticism itself, and that there is always plenty of uncertainty. But I can’t see that lockdown in the UK is a solution to anything for a generous range of plausible values of all these uncertain variables (the key ones being the IFR for each age band and where we are in the life-cycle of the epidemic).

There might have been a case for a three-week lockdown at the peak to slow things down a bit, make life easier for the NHS, and to sneak up on the herd immunity threshold without overshooting it. But that’s it. Otherwise what’s the plan? Wait for a vaccine? Make TTT work?

I don’t think there is going to be a second wave in the UK. But I could be wrong about that and I think it’s an interesting thing to discuss. But am I considerably more certain that a second lockdown would be a terrible idea.

25846 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to guy153, 3, #60 of 405 🔗

On that I don’t disagree at all. It’s a once only intervention. I don’t think there will be a second wave because I think Sweden have helpfully shown what endemic state looks like (to the consternation of many).

I’m not hopeful for a vaccine, but there will be treatments and better management of infections which will help provide prophylactic protection for those most at risk.

It could be a bumpy 12 months.

25997 ▶▶▶▶▶ guy153, replying to djaustin, 1, #61 of 405 🔗

I am a bit concerned about the vaccines being rushed through as similar vaccines (especially to the two leading Chinese ones) for similar viruses (SARS1 and MERS) have a history of “enhancement”– making the disease worse. There’s a risk of a competition between the autocratic regimes of China and the UK to tear up safety procedures as quickly as possible and win the race to sell billions of doses.

Antibody treatments look the most promising, and they will also help to validate the vaccines– if they do show any enhancement it’s time to take a step back on the vaccines.

Not sure if HCQ and Remdesivir will do much although I would be interested to see what you could achieve with Remdesivir as an inhaler.

People have already figured out better ways to treat people, in particular to go easy on the intubation and try blood thinners in the cases where blood clotting is more the problem than traditional pneumonia.

I am wondering if COVID-19 has significantly higher fatality in the elderly and vulnerable compared to flu but quite a bit lower fatality in everybody else (compared to most flus). Early observations of severe disease in the elderly led people to a natural extrapolation that the disease on its own was somehow more potent than flu and something new and scary hence the panic and the lockdowns. But having let millions of younger people get infected anyway with very few deaths it’s now clear that the characteristics of the disease itself dictate a protect-the-vulnerable strategy. This wasn’t known at the start.

26036 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to guy153, 1, #62 of 405 🔗

Remdsivir will look like tamiflu. Useful in mild/moderate infections when used early to bring more rapid resolution. Anti-IL6 has shown results in the most severe infections and other cytlokine blockers may also help (GMCSF). Hydroxychloroquine as monotherapy is not at all efficacious. It may be that treating early with O2 to prevent hypoxia may lead to better resolution. Hence the infection hospitals and Nightingale could serve a purpose beyond mechanical ventilation of the most sick.

Your observation on fatality is very reasonable and fits with my own feeling. And no, it was not obvious at the start. People are vary keen to use hindsight, but don’t recall the young healthy Chinese doctor treating COVID patients who then died.

25949 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to djaustin, 6, #63 of 405 🔗

“Anyone who is certain of anything about a pathogen with which we have about six months human experience, is likely to be wrong. How wrong? – we will see.”

I don’t think we will see. What I am taking away from this fiasco is that we don’t even know very much about pathogens that have always been with us. We don’t even understand influenza it seems (antibody studies don’t match the suggested ‘R0’ values for those viruses, even though there’s no lockdown or social distancing).

Epidemiology is pseudoscience as described by Karl Popper. It can create a superficially plausible (wrong) explanation for everything retrospectively, but it has no predictive power.

26041 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Barney McGrew, #64 of 405 🔗

I’m a great believer in classic epidemiology, contact tracing, seroprevalence, fundamental genetic studies with PCR. Whilst I enjoy modelling, during the early phase of an exponential epidemic, very little can be estimated beyond growth rate. I don’t put much say in R – useful to explain concepts, but not really a policy tool. The epidemic is shrining at about 3-5% per day. That’s a policy tool. R = 0.7 to 0.9 is not.

26087 ▶▶▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to djaustin, #65 of 405 🔗

“I’m a great believer in classic epidemiology”

I can tell. Here’s a question: if immunity is not binary, but a person can be resistant, or partially immune, or can build up resistance over time due to exposure of low doses of a virus or similar viruses, what does the ‘R’ number mean? If a person with Covid breathes on another person and they fight off the infection without developing antibodies, were they ‘infected’ or not?

To me the whole idea of ‘classic epidemiology’ is about as useful as ‘classic phrenology’. Epidemiology always seems to get it wrong, I suspect because it cannot get past the idea of the SIR model. Without SIR (and its variants), there is no ‘R0’, or ‘Rt’, so epidemiology cannot move on. If it had to admit that R0 was a nonsense it would be laughed at even more than it currently is.

26233 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ guy153, replying to Barney McGrew, 1, #66 of 405 🔗

R0 and R are just averages. If some of your population has partial immunity already, or some of them catch the disease but are less infectious, then it averages out– basically it just makes R a bit smaller than it would have been.

R0 and R(t) are perfectly meaningful terms (they’re just how many other people each person infects on average at the start and at some other time respectively). This epidemic has followed the curves predicted by SIR and similar models very well.

The difficulty with R0 and R comes with trying to actually estimate what they are at a particular time in a particular place.

Ferguson’s controversial model was completely different. He was trying to model the effect of individual interventions using a mixture of uncertain assumptions, assumptions that were actually far from their known values, and lousy code. That isn’t “classic epidemiology” but just what you get when a few students learn how to code badly and are given a computer to play around with.

26280 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to guy153, #67 of 405 🔗

Nobody seems capable of thinking it through. R0 has become ‘iconic’ but it is purely an artefact of a particular ‘classic’ i.e. over-simplistic model. If the immune system doesn’t work as the model suggests, the model can never predict anything.

For a start, R0 isn’t supposed to change throughout the ‘classic’ epidemic. If the population changes its behaviour half way through the epidemic, then ‘R0’ no longer means anything because it is supposed to represent the virus’s potential to infect the uninfected population. Not only has the population’s behaviour changed, but a proportion of it has already been infected.

Next, the population’s susceptibility changes as time goes on, not just the proportion of uninfected. We can find this out if we talk to immunologists who know about this T-cell stuff etc., and they can tell you how a low exposure can act as a vaccine, etc. R0 means nothing if the population’s resistance changes dynamically with exposure.

We can delude ourselves that we are calculating a dynamic ‘R’, but not if we can’t even define ‘infection’. If a positive PCR doesn’t correspond to subsequent antibody results, then whether a person is ‘infected’ is anybody’s guess, and it will change depending when and how you do the tests.

‘R0’ and ‘R’ are meaningless. Even non-scientist Matthew Parris has spotted the discrepancy between the R0 figure and the much lower ceiling on infections that’s being found in many places! But then, he is a first rate brain even though he didn’t formally study science.

26256 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Barney McGrew, #68 of 405 🔗

Classic epidemiology engages in well-controlled observations such as case controlled trials. For example, follow 100 heathcare workers and 100 matched controls, and see who will catch the infection (you are about 8x more likely if the former). Description of these phenomenon by models are helpful – when they disagree it can inform on the error of assumptions. For example if the model assumes all cases and deaths are in the community, but fails to capture heterogeneity in nursing homes, it will not predict the wider population. It might still describe case numbers.

The concepts are all sound. Their application and interpretation


25897 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to Rob Tyson, 1, #69 of 405 🔗

50/50, certainly. Simply because they’re less certain.

Good on you, I can’t be bothered. I find it too exhausting screaming into a virtual brick wall.

I will however, argue til I’m blue in the face with someone in person. That to me is always more effective.

25922 ▶▶▶ Mark H, replying to Farinances, 2, #70 of 405 🔗

I find the most effective route is to over-agree with their position and then double down.

They say: “Wear a mask!”

I say: “Yes! I even wear one indoors and I won’t be leaving my house for at least another 6 months or until it’s safe. And neither will my children, whom I haven’t hugged in 3 months.”

25994 ▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to Rob Tyson, 3, #71 of 405 🔗

I just quote facts, figures, dates, actual events and so on. When they ask where I got all the information I say “official Government websites like the ONS, daily briefings, euromomo etc”.

Really stumps them that the facts do not tally up with the pronouncements.

They either go into cognitive dissonance or ask “why are they lying to us?” or “tell me more where I can find out for myself?”.

You cannot change a person’s mind for them so no amount of arguing will work, they have to change their mind themselves and that only works if you can give enough information to them to start them down the road of discovery for themselves.

Keep chipping way one person at a time. I’ve noticed that when talking to someone others earwigs in the background and listens in even if they do not join in. Normally it is another unbeliever who will join the conversation and back you up which helps.

My son has actually realised this works – he was posting some of my stuff on his Facebook page, he would get slagged off, he would post some facts and the other person would either disappear for god or apologise and ask for more info. Now all his friends have started doing it as well.

26000 ▶▶ guy153, replying to Rob Tyson, 2, #72 of 405 🔗

The best thing is to start with some common ground– something everyone can agree on. The statement that Boris Johnson is an idiot is good one. Practically a tautology I know but it still gets a sympathetic response. Once you’re on their side you just need to pick a good time to mention how many people under 60 with no pre-existing conditions have died in the UK out of millions of infections (it’s fewer than 300).

25739 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 8, #73 of 405 🔗

Scrap social distancing in schools to save our children’s education


Johnson’s luck has temporarily run out. The scientists gave him the wrong advice at the start, the bureaucracy let the country down appallingly, he and his top team caught the virus and he is now making his own, unforced errors, as he struggles to push through the unlocking of Britain. Even his staunchest supporters are baffled: what is going on? Tory MPs are panicking, and for once have a point. Why is our crisis dragging on so much longer than that in France, Italy, Spain or Germany? Can we have the old Boris back please, and some of his buccaneering, can-do spirit?

Yet all is far from lost, and it would be an act of extreme stupidity for the Tories to turn on Johnson now. The OECD forecast that the UK will suffer worse economically than its rivals is the product of a typically useless technocratic spreadsheet, ready to be refuted by reality. Britain’s daily deaths and infections continue to slide, and the economy is reopening. But if he is to capitalise on this, Johnson needs to start gambling again. Nowhere is this more true than with schools.

25743 ▶▶ Back To Normal, replying to HawkAnalyst, 26, #74 of 405 🔗

Scrap social distancing everywhere – to save our country!

25747 ▶▶ Julian, replying to HawkAnalyst, 18, #75 of 405 🔗

Johnson’s luck has temporarily run out.” In so far as he had to deal with a really serious challenge, and screwed it up big-time, yes it has.

Yet all is far from lost,” For now, all is lost. We need to repeal the Coronavirus Act, end lockdown, admit the whole thing was a huge mistake, and completely abandon the “new normal”. Don’t see much sign of that, at present.

” and it would be an act of extreme stupidity for the Tories to turn on Johnson now.” Well, it’s hard to know who’d be much better, but his blunder is so monumental that he needs to go as soon as possible, and never be allowed anywhere near high office, ever again.

25786 ▶▶ Mark, replying to HawkAnalyst, 8, #76 of 405 🔗

Johnson’s luck has temporarily run out. The scientists gave him the wrong advice at the start ,”

This is not a matter of luck, the decision to enact lockdown was an unforced error on Johnson’s part reflecting poor judgement and weak character. He chose to take advice from a far too restricted pool of scientists and he chose not to properly consider the costs of lockdown, and he allowed himself panic and fail to maintain self-discipline in the face of scaremongering (probably) from Cummings about bad NHS publicity.

25817 ▶▶▶ Tyneside Tigress, replying to Mark, 11, #77 of 405 🔗

Agree completely. I like Allister Heath but I think he more than pulled his punches in the article. Johnson admitted in front of the scrutiny committee a couple of weeks ago that he only looked at a ‘summary’ of the SAGE meetings. Gobsmacking. You are PM in charge of locking the country down and all you consider is a ‘summary’. Further, nobody in their right mind in a senior position in industry would rely on a modelled ‘guestimate’ from a supposed scientist who has systematically overestimated outcomes of an order of double digit magnitude. Who on earth is responsible for deciding who is on the SAGE committee – is it the Cabinet Secretary or Mr Cummings? They all need to go now, before they do any more damage.

26006 ▶▶ paulito, replying to HawkAnalyst, 1, #78 of 405 🔗

I wouldn’t put much in store in Spain’s example. Yes, they have eased restrictions but are still firmly on the path to social and economic ruin.

26007 ▶▶▶ paulito, replying to paulito, #79 of 405 🔗

“put much store by Sapin’s example”

25742 Will Jones, replying to Will Jones, 8, #80 of 405 🔗

Great analysis of the Imperial failures on Sweden. What about all the other countries though? They predicted the UK would have max 20,000 deaths given the lockdown we implemented – it’s more like 40,000. And where is the steep drop off in infections they predicted in countries which locked down? Where is it in Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, here? Where are any of their predictions validated? Where are the signals in the death data for any of their measures at all? Why is no one making them prove their recommendations actually work?

25757 ▶▶ Nic, replying to Will Jones, 7, #81 of 405 🔗

I can remember italy and spain locked down hard but deaths and infections continued to climb for weeks afterwards yet people were strictly imprisoned in their homes strange if lockdowns are supposed to work so well.

25763 ▶▶▶ Will Jones, replying to Nic, 4, #82 of 405 🔗

Exactly. But for some reason no one is asking them these fundamental questions.

25851 ▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Nic, #83 of 405 🔗

Rate of decline in Spain has been markedly faster than other countries. Italy has also declined faster than the U.K. and Sweden has barely declined at all. Lockdown has the effect on the way down too but this effect is often overlooked by the vast majority. People are looking for a switch off then on but the effect is blunted by the dynamics of the process.

There is no evidence of herd immunity leading to a lack of supply of new people to infect. There is debate about whether people may have some natural immunity to restrict infections and how many can be infected. But we know that about 6% of the U.K. population have had it, and at least 25% could catch it based on closed population studies.

25860 ▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 3, #84 of 405 🔗

You’re such a BSer. Italy’s outbreak was highly regionalised, highly concentrated in the north. Anyone interested in this sort of analysis wouldn’t make sweeping generalisations about “Italy” and “Spain”.

“we know that about 6% of the U.K. population have had it”

“Had it” is a very scientific term for a “scientist” like you djaustin. How do you define “had it”?

And where do you get the BS 6% figure from?

25955 ▶▶▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to OKUK, #85 of 405 🔗

“Trust the data…”

If you start looking behind the neat table of figures, who knows what you’ll find. And then you’ll have to somehow incorporate the distortions into your statistical analysis which is impossible.

No, it’s best to simply plot the graphs and then start speculating about those as though you know nothing else about the situation.

25984 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to Barney McGrew, #86 of 405 🔗

(I’m talking about someone else, not you, OKUK!)

26026 ▶▶▶▶ Will Jones, replying to djaustin, 3, #87 of 405 🔗

How do you figure that? Looking at the graphs, Spain took 8 weeks to decline steadily from peak to near zero – there’s certainly no sharp drop-off such as an effective lockdown would create. Italy looks very similar to Spain – about 8 weeks steady decline from peak with no sharp drop-off. UK peaked slightly later but the shape is basically the same and 8 weeks later is back to near zero. Sweden peaked later than UK but looks basically the same as the others and is on the same trajectory. The claim doesn’t stand up to a preliminary look at the graphs so unless you have a proper research paper to point to that claims to demonstrate otherwise I suggest you stop making these false claims.

25759 ▶▶ Carrie, replying to Will Jones, 19, #88 of 405 🔗

Except that it is not really 40,000 deaths here – once you take away co-morbidities and look only at deaths from Covid 19, where the patient had none of the known risk factors or other pre-existing illness, the number of deaths is only around 1350..

25762 ▶▶▶ Will Jones, replying to Carrie, 2, #89 of 405 🔗

Sure, but they meant deaths as per the way we were counting. The point is their predictions were totally wrong, as usual.

25811 ▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Carrie, -5, #90 of 405 🔗

Did the other 61,000 people slip in the bath? Odd they seemed to remain upright in Norway, no? One could argue that being old is a comorbidity – but then at the extremis, so is being alive. What is noticeable is that about 30,000 more 85+ yo have died so far this year than at the same point in any year since records began. It doesn’t really matter how you count the bodies, we’ve lost a town the size of Paignton.

25820 ▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 11, #91 of 405 🔗

I’m not at all surprised. The only thing that keeps most 85 year olds going is the loving support of close family. Maybe you have no relatives of that age and are unaware of that. You do seem quite ignorant about a lot of “data”. Isolated from their families, a lot of 85 year olds will do what they were going to do soon and…die

25838 ▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, #92 of 405 🔗

Average life expectancy in a nursing home last year was about four years, This year it is closer to three and a half.

25840 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 8, #93 of 405 🔗

So what? Your claim was that early lockdown saves lives. But early lockdown Belgium has the worst Covid-19 death rate in the world. Why can’t you admit that simple fact? Or do you deny it is a fact?

25896 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to djaustin, 7, #94 of 405 🔗

Are you seriously trying to argue that six months of life, even thousands of times, is worth trashing the entire world economy for?!?

If not, please stop arguing with people about this nitpicky bullshit.

25989 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to Farinances, 1, #95 of 405 🔗

And that’s six months of life in a nursing home. What’s that worth?

No, everything to do with deaths in extreme old age is nonlinear. Tipping people over the edge who were due to go anyway is not the same as a proper ‘death’. Attempting to extrapolate wider conclusions from such “data” is a mistake.

25832 ▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to Carrie, 4, #96 of 405 🔗

I linked to an article in DM on yesterday’s thread that included an interactive tool to show deaths in England and Wales by location. I’ve included a screenshot. Note how low the “COVID 19 not mentioned” deaths are relative to the 5 year average in Hospitals. Note also how excess deaths in care homes were already fairly high for non COVID deaths until a sudden jump in COVID deaths.

To me it’s highly suggestive that lockdowns increased excess deaths outside of hospitals and then caused people in hospitals and care homes to get infected and die.

25744 swedenborg, replying to swedenborg, 3, #97 of 405 🔗


This is an important Covid-19 risk calculation from David Spiegelhalter
But most important is the explanation for his
“Average Covid risk has been around 50% extra than normal risk for over 45s,much less for under 45s”
The important comment on this
“Isn’t it rather important to note that this is not the extra risk if you get COVID, it is the combined risk of getting it and then dying. The risk is only low (“just” 50% more than normal) because only 6.8% of us got the disease (ONS estimate).”
Spiegelhalters twitter reply confirms this “You are right, it said risks to the population but could have been clearer. Tricky to give all caveats in 280 characters, but should have put them in image”

So with this little warning on the phrase below on the table,a remarkable view of the actual risk of Covid-19

25816 ▶▶ djaustin, replying to swedenborg, -3, #98 of 405 🔗

The point is to extrapolate that increase in risk to a higher prevalence, should more people in that age group become infected. That has yet to happen – it is moot as to whether it will do so. I’ve been doing the same calculations – in fact I posted a plot of these risk a week ago. The risk rises to 200% more for the 85+, but is now heading back to baseline.

25831 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 3, #99 of 405 🔗

djaustin – You can moot all you like – you are sounding like a BSer because you refuse to address salient points. Please explain, as you have consistently refused to up till now, why Belgium has such an appallingly high death rate from Covid-19….despite an early lockdown.

25895 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to swedenborg, 1, #100 of 405 🔗

I had to explain this to someone today – I would recommend it, because his face was a picture of relief. Personally I can’t believe some people are looking at these risk rates, even with that assumption, and being scared of them!

Maybe I should get a motorbike, clearly I think I’m indestructible.

25746 Bart Simpson, replying to Bart Simpson, 55, #101 of 405 🔗

Longtime readers on this site might remember that I did a take on Emile Zola’s J’Accuse a few weeks’ back.

I’ve updated it a bit to include something of what has happened over the past few day:

I accuse the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of cowardice and for caving in to the hysterical ramblings of the media and the flawed advice of the scientists. For not showing true leadership to lead us out of this crisis.

I accuse the mainstream media both print and television for the barrage of apocalyptic headiness and scare stories that have cowed the populace into submission and pushed us in to this disastrous situation that we are now in.

I accuse Neil Ferguson for his flawed model which has caused misery and untold damage to this country. Not only once but twice, even thrice.

I accuse our elected and unelected representatives also of cowardice like the Prime Minister for allowing our civil liberties to be restricted all in the name of health.

I accuse the police, local government and judiciary for their abuse of power and trampling on the rights of innocent people who are unable to fight back and stand for their rights out of fear.

I accuse Matt Hancock and SAGE for not considering the voices of other scientists and economists and through this lockdown allowed our economy to grind to a halt and encumbering us with debt that will be paid for by future generations.

I accuse the opposition, the devolved administrations and the likes of Sadiq Khan for using this crisis to unleash their inner authoritarianism and for political point scoring.

I accuse the NHS and its apologists for their dereliction of duty to those who are suffering from cancer, stroke, heart disease, dental problems and other ailments that have been ignored due to this virus.

I accuse the unions of aiding and abetting child abuse by refusing to open schools and their absurd insistence on social distancing that will accelerate the retardation of the development of our young that will take years to undo.

I accuse the mental health charities of being silent and not addressing the impact of the lockdown which has led to increase in anxiety, psychosis and suicide.

I accuse companies such as Yorkshire Tea and institutions such as the Ashmolean for being more concerned with the death of a man 5,000 miles away and yet are silent over the erosion of our civil liberties and measures that will ensure the death of their businesses and institutions.

Finally I accuse members of the public who have bought into this unthinkingly and refusing to see with their own eyes how this situation is rapidly destroying our country and society.

To those I accuse, I do not know you or have met you. I have neither resentment for you nor hatred. All I ask is that our country needs to reclaim the life it has lost before it’s too late.

This country and its people have suffered long enough. End the lockdown and social distancing NOW!

25777 ▶▶ matt, replying to Bart Simpson, 4, #102 of 405 🔗

Bart, that’s brilliant.

But it hasn’t cheered me up at all.

25784 ▶▶▶ Tyneside Tigress, replying to matt, #103 of 405 🔗

Matt, I hope you are ok. We can all take comfort from each other on here. Did you message your friend who knows the Cabinet minister?

25804 ▶▶▶▶ matt, replying to Tyneside Tigress, #104 of 405 🔗

I did that yesterday. Yesterday I felt like there was some kind of way out and things were moving. Today doesn’t feel that way. I have dependents (which makes it worse, but I have responsibilities). If I didn’t, I think I’d just swallow a bottle of paracetamol and then drink beer till I didn’t wake up.

25830 ▶▶▶▶▶ Tyneside Tigress, replying to matt, #105 of 405 🔗

Please stay strong, things are moving – the mood in the media has changed and Johnson is starting to panic. Can you talk to your partner or does she not share the same views on lockdown. Can you see one of your mates?

25876 ▶▶▶▶▶ JohnB, replying to matt, 1, #106 of 405 🔗

Nah, leave out the pills. Then you can drink beer again tomorrow ! 🙂

25933 ▶▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to matt, 4, #107 of 405 🔗

I hope you are OK. LIke you there are days I feel like this isn’t going to end but we have this wonderful site and it does feel like the tide is turning.

25752 HawkAnalyst, 10, #108 of 405 🔗

Telegraph cartoon 11 June 2020
comment image ?imwidth=450

25754 Back To Normal, replying to Back To Normal, 25, #109 of 405 🔗

I’ve just made a complaint to npower over the use of the term “new normal” in an email they sent me today. I find this phrase offensive.
I suggest that all sceptics start complaining to companies that promote any of this rubbish – “keeping you safe” etc.

25758 ▶▶ Kath Andrews, replying to Back To Normal, 17, #110 of 405 🔗

In terms of these horrid new phrases that have been used throughout this, it is ‘new normal’ that scares me the most.

25761 ▶▶▶ Julian, replying to Kath Andrews, 9, #111 of 405 🔗

I am trying to drop it into conversation with colleagues and acquaintances, making it clear I think it’s revolting, and quickly move on (unless they seem to want to pick up the point). I think it’s it’s important people regularly hear others around them questioning it and suggesting there is a CHOICE. We can do behavioural insights, too…

25839 ▶▶ JohnB, replying to Back To Normal, 8, #112 of 405 🔗

I’d like if they called it “The Abnormal”, at least then it would give us some hope of returning to normality.

25910 ▶▶▶ Harrison Bergeron, replying to JohnB, #113 of 405 🔗

That’s how I only ever refer to it. Also “anti-social distancing”, “coronaflu”, “covid 1984” etc.

25755 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 8, #114 of 405 🔗

Coronavirus: 700,000 children ‘doing no school work’


The response in Europe
All nursery, primary and lower-secondary schools have reopened. Lycées, or sixth-form schools, are reopening this month but not in the Paris region. Jean-Michel Blanquer, the education minister, and scientific advisers want restrictions in schools to be eased because children do not spread the virus as much as first thought.
The country is a patchwork of regional rules but most pupils are back in classes at least once a week. The northern state of Schleswig-Holstein has suspended its minimum-distance requirement so that all primary pupils can come back. All states aim to resume face-to-face teaching for every age group before the holidays.
Secondary school students in their final two years and pre-school toddlers were allowed back on May 18.
All schools for under-16s stayed open but universities and the equivalent of sixth-form colleges switched to online teaching in March. Officials recommended spacing out desks and staggering schedules to avoid pupils congregating in large numbers.
The first European country to reopen its primary schools in April after a lockdown. Its R number increased in the following fortnight but remained below 1. Children were kept at least two metres apart, with many lessons taking place outside.
Pupils aged seven to ten went back in the last week of May. Those in the last years of primary and secondary school facing exams may meet teachers for “consultations” .
All children under 12 are back in school with no social distancing in classrooms.

25780 ▶▶ Bella, replying to HawkAnalyst, 7, #115 of 405 🔗

Interesting about Belgium since their deaths per million are way higher than ours.Dear me, we are so weak and pathetic

25766 ambwozere, replying to ambwozere, 9, #116 of 405 🔗

The whole issue around schools reopening or not is so strange.

I work in an FE (further education) college and had to attend an all day meeting actually on the College campus. It was so exciting I saw real live human beings and sat in a room with them for 6 whole hours.

We had to meet to discuss how the College will run in terms of teaching delivery next year. And as one of the timetablers it is somewhat vital I have some idea of what the curriculum are looking to achieve.

So from what I gathered it will be a mix of online learning and some fave to face teaching on college sites. To comply with anti social distancing there will be a limit to how many students can be in a room. Plus if a different set of students goes into the room it has to be cleaned in between sets of students. A whole raft of issues from allowing students to eat food in classrooms, social spaces to be patrolled for 2m rule compliance, online enrolment (If they ever get the app built and working!), plus issues around rooms with air conditioning which have no windows so can’t be used.

We have some staff who are reluctant to come back due to various issues and one lecturer who is adamant she will have to wear a full hazmat suit to teach face to face. Needless to say our health and safety have told her this isn’t happening. They’ve gone down the road of PPE is available if staff want it but they have been given advice from the Association of Colleges that the evidence to wear masks is not good enough for it to be a rule.

So I would imagine similar conversations have and are taking place in schools. The bug difference being this college is partially opening to students next week for those who need to come in and complete practical activities. And we will be open from September so if 16 plus students are okay to be in colleges why not under 16s who are less risk?

25773 ▶▶ Dave #KBF, replying to ambwozere, 1, #117 of 405 🔗

Open from September, but still following social distancing?

25775 ▶▶▶ ambwozere, replying to Dave #KBF, 2, #118 of 405 🔗

Yes sadly, we’ve got lovely round markers on the corridors for the one way system 🤦‍♀️

25891 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to ambwozere, 6, #119 of 405 🔗

I really, really hope our educational management/admin have some bollocks and fire the bedwetters who refuse to go back to work.

25771 Threepartslogan, 3, #120 of 405 🔗

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/analysisofdeathregistrationsnotinvolvingcoronaviruscovid19englandandwales28december2019to1may2020/technicalannex – released on 5 June.

In particular, Section 7: Possible explanations for non-COVID-19 excess deaths.
Figures 14&15 – These bar charts are shocking!! I don’t recall seeing anything about this reported on the MSM!!

25772 HawkAnalyst, 16, #121 of 405 🔗

Little Britain: where the two-metre rule came from and why it is not actually a rule at all


Government’s official website: “Keep your distance if you go out – 2 metres apart where possible”.
And here it it is laid out by the Department for Business in its official Covid “guidance” for employers and employees: “Maintain two-metre social distancing, where possible.

The fact that the two-metre rule is not a rule and only a bit of (sensible) guidance, probably explains why the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty looks like he might bash his head against the lectern every time he is asked about it.

This is a British disease. We make up rules where none exist. If we are to survive this pandemic as a nation we have got to stop painting by numbers and engage our brains.

25779 OKUK, replying to OKUK, 10, #122 of 405 🔗

The “educide” of a whole generation who are at virtually no risk from the virus cannot be justified.

The government should have stated quite clearly that primary schools would be returning to normal functioning and that secondary schools would return with some social distancing and protection for the vulnerable – the obese and the diabetic for instance.

Any teachers not wishing to serve in schools in such circumstances would be given a year’s salary to retrain for something else. Otherwise only valid medical certification would be accepted as a reason to absent from school. Any gaps to be plugged by volunteer teachers (ex teachers, persons with relevant experience etc.) If the teaching unions try to sabotage the plan, organise an Emergency Referendum on the matter.

26055 ▶▶ Anonymous, replying to OKUK, #123 of 405 🔗

Why not a month’s notice?! A year’s notice is far too generous to teachers who don’t understand that they’re probably more at risk from a career length exposure to the annual flu, even if they’ve had the vaccine.

25782 OKUK, replying to OKUK, #124 of 405 🔗

Where is djaustin tonight? Never responded to my challenge for him/her to explain why full on early lockdown Belgium has done so badly (a third more deaths per million than the UK).

I’ve seen that pattern of behaviour before on forums. It’s a typical Remainiac tactic in the Brexit debates. Fly in, make some assertions that sounds plausibly factual and then fly out quickly without responding in detail to counter-arguments. It’s also a tactic used by the notorious Maxincony at Biased BBC.

The aim is to demoralise, to confuse and to sow division. Also, the claim to expertise (in this case mathematical modelling) was a classic trope.

25821 ▶▶ OKUK, replying to OKUK, #125 of 405 🔗

He seems to have similar hours to Maxincony….

25822 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to OKUK, #126 of 405 🔗

Or she I should say…or ze even.

25834 ▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, #127 of 405 🔗

Largely the same reasons as the UK. Incapacity to test, coupled with a failure to contain in the nursing home sector. Belgium locked down a week before the UK. The plot I;ve attached shows mortality in the 65+ age group and that the decline in mortality in Belgium has been more rapid than the UK. Denmark by contrast seems to be even more of an outlier they locked down a week earlier than Belgium.

BE 1219 cases 10 deaths at lockdown – 11.5M – 0.86 deaths/M
UK 6650 cases 359 deaths at lockdown – 66M – 5.4 deaths/M
DE 804 cases 0 deaths at lockdown – 5.8M – 0 deaths/M

Deaths lag behind cases and are the signal of what is to follow on a geometric progression.

25837 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, 4, #128 of 405 🔗

Yep you really are a BSer aren’t you?

Your claim was that failure to impose and early lockdown created the UK’s death toll from Covid.

That claim is pure BS as shown by the fact that early lockdown Belgium has the worst Covid death rate in the world.

You refuse to acknowledge that fact and instead treat us to irrelevant mood music data that might convince Mail and Mirror readers but here you’re up against people with a bit more nouse, so sorry mate doesn’t work. You didn’t make a claim about deaths in over 65s, you made a claim about deaths in all age groups.

Stop the BS and admit that Belgium – that had an early lockdown – has the worst death rate in the world from Covid.

25858 ▶▶▶▶ A Reader, replying to OKUK, 1, #129 of 405 🔗

Not sure why you are focused with Belgium is but as has been widely reported the way they record care home deaths is different to most other countries and leads to a higher number. Here is the first link I found on it:

I don’t personally think that the lockdown makes much different to overall deaths for several reasons, but Belgium is not a good example to use.

25870 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, 1, #130 of 405 🔗

And Norway? Finland? Denmark? Germany? Greece? As I stated Belgium has largely suffered the same fate as the U.K. an epidemic of the elderly spread via nursing home and hospitals. Belgium have counted covid19 deaths differently to the U.K. and elsewhere (their official data explicitly includes COVID19 deaths in nursing homes and hospitals and ours and others does not include nursing homes – about 50% of our deaths). The plot of excess mortality is one means of adjusting for this difference.

Based on that scale, on the 65+ age group, who account for 90% of all excess mortality, the U.K. has the largest deviation from the normal expected number of deaths in Europe. Do you know how extraordinary a Z-score of 40 is? Or the likelihood of such a finding by chance (known as a P value)? How do you account for the same lack of signal in other countries? Are there any common features that may explain a lack of mortality in Finland, Norway and Denmark, but a significant increase in their neighbor Sweden?

25987 ▶▶▶▶▶ swedenborg, replying to djaustin, 6, #131 of 405 🔗

I think I will answer this question the last time about death rate Covid-19 in Sweden compared to their neighbours. We all agree that the deaths are mainly in care homes not in the community.
Sweden has a larger often double size care homes than the other countries
Sweden has a “dedicated” home care for elderly but more visits than 4 times daily usually places the clients in their terminal life in care homes where the survival time is average 6 months
Sweden has accelerated the privatization and other measure to rationalize the care of the elderly i.e reducing the resources for the elderly much more than the other countries
Sweden has seen an enormous loss of trained nurses to Norway where they are paid three times the wages in Sweden
Sweden has the largest immigrant community in the Nordic countries and the worst integrated.
Sweden has, especially in the large cities, a badly paid care staff, often not well trained, sometimes semi illiterate, barely understanding Swedish, and a changing of staff all the time.
Sweden instituted a late prohibition, 1st April, of visits to care homes.

Naturally, everybody knows about the problem, but political correctness means you are not allowed to discuss this so you have to read between the lines (like they always did in the old USSR)

The deaths of Covid-19 in Western Europe are the for the most part a geriatric problem.

What about Eastern Europe and their extreme low death rate of Covid-19?
I think they are lucky that they still have the old-fashioned fever hospitals i.e dedicated infectious disease hospitals with lots of beds (Last time visiting Latvia,they had enormous fever hospitals isolating at that time diphteria patients). Unfortunately, as they become more westernized, losing their inborn sanity, they will probably end up like Western Europe following the latest whims and downsize hospitals, beds etc.

26034 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to swedenborg, 1, #132 of 405 🔗

The separation of health and social care in he UK has had largely the same effect. That some nursing home workers might move between homes seems to have been neglected. Not having testing capacity has exacerbated the problem.

25919 ▶▶ annie, replying to OKUK, 1, #133 of 405 🔗

Don’t sorry. We are neither demoralised nor confused. We are sceptics, remember?

25926 ▶▶ grammarschoolman, replying to OKUK, 1, #134 of 405 🔗

That’s a question you should be putting to Ferguson, rather urgently.

25783 Peter Thompson, replying to Peter Thompson, 25, #135 of 405 🔗

This is from Professor Fergusson’s testimony today before the science and technology select committee.

” we didn’t anticipate that it’s very common for [care home] staff to work in more than one facility, and that accelerated the spread of the infection from one care home to another.”

This to me summarises in a nutshell the ivory tower existence of these SAGE members. Most medics could have told him many carers especially overseas ones work ” bank ” shifts and you will often see the same smiling Phillipino or Romanian faces working in several local care homes.

Because of such stupid ignorance we have ruined the well being of millions in this nation.

25798 ▶▶ OKUK, replying to Peter Thompson, 1, #136 of 405 🔗

Yes – unforgiveable ignorance.

And many are Vietnamese slave labourers who pay the bulk of their salary to the gang master just as do nail bar workers. But no one cares about our labour laws being trampled on.

26065 ▶▶▶ mjr, replying to OKUK, #137 of 405 🔗

mmm – slavery; it still exists but as the narrative is not 200 year old whites enslaving blacks the BLM movement and inparticularly the woke snowflake white middle class youth that ignorantly follow this movement ignore modern day slavery… and no doubt are avid users of the nail bars or happly smoke the cannabis tended by vietnamese kids in suburban cultivation houses

25841 ▶▶ Tom Blackburn, replying to Peter Thompson, 6, #138 of 405 🔗

Didn’t anticipate the VERY COMMON incidence that people come in and out of care homes. Why is nobody in MSM asking these very simple questions?

26025 ▶▶ Invunche, replying to Peter Thompson, #139 of 405 🔗

Ferguson is as thick as two very short planks.

It’s evident in every absurd statement or prediction that he makes.

It’s not unusual for the odd thicko to make waves in academia but it is odd to do it in a place that has (had?) the prestige of Imperial.

I can only assume that he is a grant winning machine, because he sure isn’t there for his insight.

26028 ▶▶▶ Invunche, replying to Invunche, #140 of 405 🔗

Ha, scrolled down and Kendrick has also indicated that this is the case


See, this is the problem when you introduce fees into academia and turn them essentially into businesses. You need to balance the books and need more investment to keep students paying those fees.

Then you get bad scientists with bad science doing dubious work for external “donors” but hey! They pays the bills!

This is all aside. Ferguson is clearly a fool and the government should never have had him anywhere near Sage.

25785 matt, replying to matt, #141 of 405 🔗

Can anybody help here? Google and Wikipedia are not really working for me. I’m trying to get a timeline of when lockdown started in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and when relaxations happened and what was relaxed.

25789 ▶▶ Mark, replying to matt, #142 of 405 🔗

I have the following list in my notes from when I was researching lockdown dates versus death peaks a while back. Unfortunately I didn’t record the source, so it’s perhaps of little use. I’ll see if I can find where I got them from.

Mandatory national lockdowns

Spain 14/3

UK 23/3

Hungary 28/3

Singapore 7/4

Belgium 17/3

Germany 20/3 bavaria variable by state

Czech Republic 16/3

France 16/3

Ireland 27/3

Norway 12/3

Denmark 11/3

Italy 10/3 (local from Feb)

25803 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Mark, #143 of 405 🔗

So my recollection was right that Belgium was a pretty early lockdown – six days before the UK. And they have the highest death rate in the world.

25828 ▶▶▶▶ JohnB, replying to OKUK, -2, #144 of 405 🔗

Does anyone know the state of 5G rollout in Belgium ?

26015 ▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to JohnB, -2, #145 of 405 🔗

Have look at this website:


A while back I received this with the coronavirus hotspots superimposed on it and there was about a 85% correlation match. Deleted it though when I cleared out my e-mails though.

Princess Cruises are also the leader in 5G at sea and have major networks on their ships – I think the Diamond Princess has over 1500 wi-fi access points on it.

Read some of the articles on State of the Nation, Radiation Dangers, Arthur Firstenberg, bibliotecapleyades, Von Pohl, the US embassies in Moscow (1950s) and Cuba (2016), the DARPA Area Denial Weapon System and so on if you are interested in EMFs and their adverse effects on humans. It;s a dark, deep rabbit hole.

26093 ▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to JohnB, 1, #146 of 405 🔗

John B,

You ever noticed whenever you try to mention 5G out come the thumbs down, bad reviews etc almost instantly and in the MSM it won’t get posted even on the unmoderated common boards?

Put a complaint into OFCOM about the censorship of and discussion on 5G but no reply, as expected.

Trolls, social media censorship and 77th working to stop any meaningful debate so it must be hitting a raw nerve.

Truth Passes Through Three Stages: First, It Is Ridiculed. Second, It Is Violently Opposed. Third, It Is Accepted As Self-Evident

26434 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ JohnB, replying to Awkward Git, #147 of 405 🔗

Yep, probably the 77th earning some dosh via ‘industry sponsorship’ or somesuch.

25871 ▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, #148 of 405 🔗

This is very interesting to me, and tickles that part of my brain that makes me think lockdowns actually lead to a worse death rate.

25912 ▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to OKUK, #149 of 405 🔗

That’s if you presume their death with covid figures to have any real meaning and to be comparable. In terms of excess all cause mortality at least the UK and Spain are worse https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/

Maybe they did happen to have deaths from all other causes dip substantially as everybody started dying from covid – or perhaps the covid associated death counts are essentially meaningless.

25808 ▶▶▶ matt, replying to Mark, #150 of 405 🔗

So my recollection is right. We’re a couple -to-three weeks behind going in and everyone else is coming out. And we’re still here.


25810 ▶▶▶▶ Mark, replying to matt, 5, #151 of 405 🔗

I’d suggest that compared to most other countries we Brits currently have a particularly dysfunctional political, social and cultural elite.

25813 ▶▶▶▶▶ matt, replying to Mark, 1, #152 of 405 🔗

Having lived in two other European countries, I’m not sure I completely agree with you. Maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention at the time.

25824 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Mark, replying to matt, 3, #153 of 405 🔗

I probably wouldn’t have agreed with myself on this a year ago, but at the moment it looks to me as though we are markedly lacking in coronapanic dissent and in recovering common sense compared to other countries, but it might be just as matter of perspective.

25913 ▶▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Mark, 7, #154 of 405 🔗

I am not sure the general public are any better. Out of a population of 60 million there is really only a handful of people here. Considering how few places there are for lockdown sceptics to discuss things that does not seem to bode to well.

The hardest part of this for me to accept is not the actions of government but how the British public has been so eager to liver in tyranny and violate each others natural rights.

26045 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to Saved To Death, #155 of 405 🔗

Speaking to people when out and about the ones who are most likely coming to be unbelievers do not know there is a sceptic community out in interweb land.

I try and point them in the right direction and to real independent news sites.

It’s never mentioned in the MSM, searching the interweb turns up all sorts of things but only specific phrases etc leads to sceptic land, other than that you get directed to act-checkers who have been thoroughly debunked over their abilities and independence, BBC and other MSM, pro-lockdown crap and idiots on twatter and farcebook.

26020 ▶▶▶▶▶ paulito, replying to Mark, #156 of 405 🔗

Spain is effectively being run by a gang of crusty SJWs who won 35 seats at the last election. Imagine having BLM zealots at the heart of government to get an idea where Spain’s at.

26022 ▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to Mark, #157 of 405 🔗

After living around the world working on all 5 continents over 33 years I’ll say all governments are dysfunctional.

Our’s is just a bit ahead of the rest.

25946 ▶▶▶▶ Poppy, replying to matt, 2, #158 of 405 🔗

Yes, I’m just as confused as you. Our lockdown also wasn’t as strict as places like Spain/Italy, where exercise was banned and police enforced it a lot more vigorously, so I would assume that, based on the original justification for lockdown (slowing the spread) with a less-strict lockdown like the UK, the virus would have spread more quickly in the community and we would have caught up with Italy, but the MSM have repeatedly said that we’ve somehow fallen behind Italy. Obviously we know that isn’t true – as has been stated by numerous commenters on this forum, the virus has become pretty much nosocomial now which is why the UK daily death toll remained stubbornly higher than other countries.

25790 ▶▶ OKUK, replying to matt, #159 of 405 🔗

Could be a life’s work. Italy, Spain and Germany have strong regional or federal states which as in Scotland influence timings. I know in Northern Italy it was a very patchwork lockdown that started with individual cities and grew larger and more severe.

25796 ▶▶ Mark, replying to matt, #160 of 405 🔗

Looks like I got most of the information from this page, but it seems to be a constantly updating “current situation” page unfortunately so a lot of the info is gone:


25809 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Mark, 1, #161 of 405 🔗

The most interesting thing for me was how Southern Italy was hardly touched by the virus but in North Italy it was absolute hell – probably the worst part of Europe, worse than Belgium. We hear fatuous stuff about tourists. Don’t Chinese and other tourists go to Rome or Naples?

What was the real driver here?

Some people said it was poor air quality. Well yes the region is bad for that. But then, so is Athens, very similar. Greece has very little incidence.

Some said it was the mixing of elderly and young in the same household – but you get that in Greece as well.

I think we can’t discount the illegal Chinese work gang theory because many of those workers come from the Wuhan region, ,they are working illegally and won’t be known to the authorities if they have only mild symptoms. That then fits in with Spain which had a bad dose of it whereas Greece doesn’t.

The other interesting theory is BCG vaccination. John Hopkins University in the USA found a strong connection between low incidence and national BCG vaccination, which seemed to afford heightened protection. Greece does still have a national BCG vaccination programme. The UK doesn’t. I think in Italy it’s sporadic…can’t recall now. Does anyone know if any more work has been done on that?

25814 ▶▶▶▶ Bella, replying to OKUK, 2, #162 of 405 🔗

If I remember right Lombardy was the centre of Italy’s asbestos industry until quite recently so a lot of people there were already compromised in their breathing

25823 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Bella, #163 of 405 🔗

Maybe, maybe…but Poland had a lot of coal miners and their rate is low…

I’d be interested to know but I think with other pandemics like flu you don’t get such a huge – I do mean huge – variation in deaths per million. But I may be wrong.

25815 ▶▶▶▶ jrsm, replying to OKUK, 2, #164 of 405 🔗

Probably people in Greece and Southern Italy have a much higher exposure to the sun, and therefore higher vitamin D levels? I heard there were several 30º+ degree days in Greece in the Spring.

25833 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to jrsm, 1, #165 of 405 🔗

Vitamin D (or rather its absence) is definitely a relevant co-factor I think. But I am not sure you can read it across like that…after all Athens is pretty much at the same latitude as Madrid and Barcelona.

25843 ▶▶▶▶▶ Mark, replying to jrsm, 3, #166 of 405 🔗

Early on I assumed this but it turns out vitamin d levels are not straightforwardly correlated with latitude, probably because of supplements and behavioural issues:

When mortality per million is plotted against latitude it can be seen that all countries that lie below 35 degrees North have relatively low mortality. Thirty-five degrees North also happens to be the latitude above which people do not receive sufficient sunlight to retain adequate vitamin D levels during winter. This suggests a possible role for vitamin D in determining outcomes from COVID-19.
There are outliers of course – mortality is relatively low in Nordic countries – but there vitamin D deficiency is relatively uncommon, probably due to widespread use of supplements. Italy and Spain, perhaps surprisingly, have relatively high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency has also been shown to correlate with hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and ethnicity – all features associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19

COVID-19, vitamin D and latitude

25825 ▶▶▶▶ Mark, replying to OKUK, #167 of 405 🔗

So many potential variables in these comparisons, it’s pretty hard to form any strongly held opinion imo.

25845 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Mark, 1, #168 of 405 🔗

Which leads to the conclusion: why do epidemiologists have such strong opinions?! lol

25914 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to OKUK, #169 of 405 🔗

I imagine because it pays well.

25881 ▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, 1, #170 of 405 🔗

On Greece- there’s a few reasons I think.

1) They spend their entire lives outside, even in winter
2) They don’t really have care homes – the elderly are looked after at home in multigenerational households. You may think that this would be a bad thing, but it must be way better than the care home/hospital environments if we’re going with the strong nocosom…. theory. Italy and Spain have a lot of care homes and sheltered housing for the elderly, even though they also live in multigenerational households a lot.
3) They are a very healthy population – even the old. I think they are way healthier in old age than the Spanish or the Italians. Obviously there’s the diet, but more than that, they are extremely active into old age. There are many people in their 70s and 80s who run businesses on the islands where I regularly visit. (Lesbos and Spetse). These businesses often involve manual labour outdoors – fishing, sheep farming etc. They are less likely to have the old age comorbidities of our elderly or even the Italians or Spanish. And yes, they smoke like chimneys – which could be a positive factor.
4) No megacities. Even Athens, the biggest city, isn’t a patch on the likes of New York or London. (Athens has about half the population of London, maybe?)
5) Population spread over a vast area – so low density – other than in Athens, population density is low. Population is way less mobile in that they often don’t commute very far for work or leisure. Life is more….. local, in every sense of the word.
6) Virus hit off tourist season, or very early in the tourist season. Most of the transfer into Greece would be from tourism, and Greece isn’t really somewhere tourists visit off season in a ‘city break’ kinda way like they would with Spain and Italy. Not many tourists, comparatively, even go to Athens off season as they would with an city like say Florence or Madrid.
7) – this to me is KEY – Islands. The population is not only disparate, but spread out over many land masses. Yes there is mixing of peoples between islands, but not as much as you would think in the everyday. A LOT of island inhabitants go for months, years even, without ever leaving their own particular island. I’d be interested to look at a similar Mediterranean country – maybe Croatia? – with a mainland but also lots of separate island communities to see if there are any comparisons.

Not based in any scientific reasoning – based in pure experience of spending a great deal of my childhood/teenage years in Greece.

25883 ▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to Farinances, 1, #171 of 405 🔗

Also… maybe a distinct lack of Chinese tourism. I have never seen ANY Chinese/Asian tourists outside Athens. There’s definitely no influx of Chinese workers into Greece like there is in Italy for instance.

25903 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Farinances, -1, #172 of 405 🔗

There are no illegal Chinese work gangs for sure. Not sure about a lack of Chinese tourism…I would have thought Athens might be on the intinerary along with Venice….but Venice actually had a much lower incidence than you might expect.

25904 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, #173 of 405 🔗

I have never in all my years seen an Asian tourist in Greece outside Athens. And I’ve been every year since I was 2. Granted I spent most of time on the islands, but…..

25901 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Farinances, -6, #174 of 405 🔗
  1. No evidence cited.
  2. No evidence cited.
  3. No evidence cited.
  4. How big is Milan? Smaller than Athens. Irrelevant observation.
  5. Low density population? USA has much lower density population than any major European country. Germany has plenty of dense urban settlements. You’re not making sense.
  6. No evidence cited. Are you claiming that Chinese tourists who visit Northern Italy in wintewr don’t visit Rome as well as part of their itinerary?
  7. Most people in Croatia – the vast majority – live on the mainland! But despite being bang next door to Northern Italy they have a v. low incidence.
25905 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, 1, #175 of 405 🔗

I never said there was evidence. I said it was my opinion.

25918 ▶▶▶▶▶ annie, replying to Farinances, 2, #176 of 405 🔗

How about Scotland? Lots of islands, and Highland communities very scattered.
Quite different weather, of course, and maybe more inter-island mobility? And Greece doesn’t have the Scourge of the Sturgeon, which is enough to make anybody ill.

25936 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to annie, 2, #177 of 405 🔗

As far as I know, Scotland’s main problem apart from the generally unhealthy diet is the weather. I lived there for 10 years and the running joke there is that you can get four seasons in one day. The sun barely makes a presence so much so that even in July and August some people would turn the heating on at night because it can get very cold and sometimes even wet!

25787 Squire Western, 1, #178 of 405 🔗

Boris is not proving to be a great educational hero. His lockdown has already put his old prep school, Ashdown House, out of business and has been widely reported. The journalists all seem to have missed the fact that his daughter Stephanie is a current pupil at the school and will now have to move.

25788 Tom Blackburn, replying to Tom Blackburn, 10, #179 of 405 🔗

Anyone know anything about cancelling their TV license? Thinking of doing it for a couple of months just to make a point but cannot be bothered if it will result in multiple knocks on the door during that time

25792 ▶▶ OKUK, replying to Tom Blackburn, 1, #180 of 405 🔗

I am not a refusenik but from everything I’ve seen online the door knocking doesn’t start for several months. You get the threatening letters first, even if you’ve informed them you don’t want a licence! It’s a good idea though. What if millions of people wrote to them saying “We’re taking a two month break. Hope you don’t mind.” lol Collective organisational nervous breakdown…

25819 ▶▶ JohnB, replying to Tom Blackburn, 5, #181 of 405 🔗

Not had a tv licence for over 10 years – never a knock on the door. We are in rural Sussex. Loads and loads of meaningless letters though.

Someone else on here (lives in a town/city) did say they had been visited though. Crapita (for it is they) have no powers at all, and can be asked to leave immediately.

25829 ▶▶▶ JohnB, replying to JohnB, #182 of 405 🔗

Wow, a downvote for the above. 🙁 Outraged Capita employee ?

25855 ▶▶ Jonathan Castro, replying to Tom Blackburn, 2, #183 of 405 🔗

It won’t. I cancelled mine a few years ago and haven’t had any knocks.

25862 ▶▶ Scott G, replying to Tom Blackburn, 1, #184 of 405 🔗

I’m in London. Cancelled over 4 years ago. No knock on the door. Too many people to bother.

25868 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to Tom Blackburn, 2, #185 of 405 🔗

You can fill in the online form and notify them you don’t want a licence any more.

BUT – from wha tI’ve heard it doesn’t matter if you inform them or not, they may still harass you with the letters and apparently this form includes the proviso that they “can turn up at your house and check you really don’t need a licence”.

I wouldn’t bother tellling them anything. Just cancel and don’t engage at all with any harassments they may throw at you. They’re just Crapita – they have no legal authority.

25882 ▶▶▶ Dave #KBF, replying to Farinances, 3, #186 of 405 🔗

Not like the old days when The GPO had vans and could tell if you had a telly, now Capita have to send someone to ask if you have a telly, seems like a backward step.

Bit like we’ve lost the technology to send someone to the moon.

25902 ▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Tom Blackburn, 3, #187 of 405 🔗

I have not had a license for a long time. The TV licensing bullies may turn up unless you fill out a form


At first I did not wish to do this but they really are bullies and would often intimidate my wife and she might even have let them in the house – once I filled this in they send a two year no license license and the bullies dont turn up for two years. They do return quite promptly when it expires so you just fill the form in again.

An effort well worth it to not fund the BBC.

25929 ▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Saved To Death, #188 of 405 🔗

Thanks for that. I never watch the BBC anyway or any live tv come to that.

25937 ▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to Tom Blackburn, #189 of 405 🔗

Never had one. Never had a knock on the door or letters, used to have the latter when I lived in a hall of residence and we were told just to ignore them as my hall was covered by one TV licence paid by the managing company.

25797 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 8, #190 of 405 🔗

Science behind two-metre rule ‘does not consider economic devastation it brings’


Prof Dingwall told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the study was “problematic” because it did not look at the economic consequences of having a larger distance requirement.
“I think it’s a question of relative risk,” he said. “Even the problematic Lancet study that was published last week was really saying you’re moving from a tiny risk at two metres to a very small risk at one metre.
“You have to set that against all the other harms that are being done by the economic devastation that is wreaked by the two-metre rule, the deaths that will be attributable to the lockdown itself, and the social and economic disruption that is causing.”

25801 ▶▶ OKUK, replying to HawkAnalyst, 6, #191 of 405 🔗

A risk of what? Getting the virus, which is a two day sniffle if you are healthy. If you are vulnerable then you should perhaps not be out and about anyway.

25867 ▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, 8, #192 of 405 🔗

Now the tide is beginning to turn, I’m getting this a lot from people I talk to.

“B-B-b-b-b-b-b-b-but, but there’s STILL A RISK!”

Yes indeed. There’s also a risk an asteroid will drop from the sky tomorrow and kill us all. How annoyed would you be if that happened and you’d spent the past six months cowering in your basement, afraid of the common cold?

25873 ▶▶▶▶ jrsm, replying to Farinances, 1, #193 of 405 🔗

Well, people have been hit by meteorites, and being inside didn’t help them:

25889 ▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to jrsm, 8, #194 of 405 🔗

Yeah that’s why noone cowers in their house trying to protect themselves from a natural phenomena we are virtually powerless to avoid.


25898 ▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to OKUK, 6, #195 of 405 🔗

Also getting a virus helps keep your immune system prepared to fight different viruses in the future. Has anyone considered the risk of not getting the virus?

25908 ▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to Saved To Death, 5, #196 of 405 🔗

Yes. Not that I’ve been actively ‘trying’ to get it, but I’ve definitely been hoping I’ve already had it, and I’m certainly exposing myself to all physical contact with fellow humans I can possibly indulge in. It is better to get it in the long run, and it’s better to get it mildly with some passing exposure to a friendly stranger.

25928 ▶▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Saved To Death, 6, #197 of 405 🔗

Precisely. I keep my immune system fed everyday as I work with animals, muck, dirt and their poo on my smallholding. Outdoors – lots of vitamin D. It’s likely why I rarely get a cold, last had real flu 18 years ago and aren’t even registered with a GP.

25800 TJS123, 1, #198 of 405 🔗

Has everyone seen the release from Musgrave Park Hospital in Somerset – there was a “spike” in numbers causing people to panic about the R number. The cause was a faulty machine giving false positives and 78 people who tested positive are being contacted and retested. How many other machines? https://somersetft.nhs.uk/?news=issue-affecting-some-covid-19-test-results-for-some-inpatients-at-musgrove-park-hospital&fbclid=IwAR0SFMT11wLi7Tta1npuWajOx7JBjnAefCVMiZE5LAKQ_6v5L1iKoOSiuEA

25812 OKUK, 2, #199 of 405 🔗

So djaustin you’re out and about again. Do you want to engage in meaningful discussion or just spray all over the forum?

Can you explain Belgium’s much higher death rate from Covid compared with the UK – something like a third higher, despite having an earlier lockdown?

25818 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, #200 of 405 🔗

Virus Contact-Tracing For All – Singaporeans To Be Tracked By Gov’t In Post-COVID World

Singapore plans to give a wearable device that will identify people who had interacted with carriers of coronavirus to each of its 5.7 million residents , in what could become one of the most comprehensive contact-tracing efforts globally.

Singapore will soon roll out the device, which does not depend on a smartphone, and “may then distribute it to everyone in Singapore,” Vivian Balakrishnan, the minister in charge of the city-state’s smart nation initiative, said on Friday.

25826 ▶▶ OKUK, replying to HawkAnalyst, #201 of 405 🔗

Well that sort of contract tracing could possibly work in a city state. But I always start with the stat that someone with a full blown Covid-19 infection is producing 7 billion virus particles every day. I hope I remembered that right. If not I am sure someone will correct me. That’s a lot of particles.

25856 ▶▶ Biker, replying to HawkAnalyst, 5, #202 of 405 🔗

i’ll lose mine. i’m really bad a keeping track of keys and phones so no doubt i’ll lose this device every time i get a new one

25864 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to HawkAnalyst, 3, #203 of 405 🔗

Well that’s Orwellian

25869 ▶▶ JohnB, replying to HawkAnalyst, 1, #204 of 405 🔗

Yet another thing to train my dog to eat. Not enough hours in the day …

25927 ▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to HawkAnalyst, 1, #205 of 405 🔗

I could see mine falling into the horses’ muck heap. Quite by accident of course.

25844 OKUK, replying to OKUK, #206 of 405 🔗

Just in case you come across djaustin on this forum , be warned they’re not interested in honest debate.They make a claim but when challenged in reasonable terms refuse to back it up with evidence – however, they do keep posting to give the appearance of engaging in debate. If challenged further they post irrelevant data that doesn’t relate to their original claims but does seem to have some superficial connection. This is all the equivalent of the “chaff” that the RAF used to unleash to confuse German radar.

I’ve seen this pattern before. But just thought it was worth pointing out to others who might not have been exposed to such underhand tactics before.

25847 ▶▶ A Reader, replying to OKUK, 3, #207 of 405 🔗

I disagree. It is a good thing to interact with people who have different opinions, and that should be welcomed. Suggest you try to calm down a bit.

25850 ▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to A Reader, -2, #208 of 405 🔗

Where did I say I didn’t want to intereact with djaustin? I am trying to interact…You seem to be saying someone can (a) make a claim (b) refuse to back up the claim with evidence (c) post irrelevant material designed to confuse people and (d) refuse to answer counter claims honestly and yet must still be treated with “respect”.

But then you are probably just djaustin on another device.

25857 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, #209 of 405 🔗

I don’t post anonymously on the internet.

25861 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, -2, #210 of 405 🔗

Great. I don’t care. Just answer the question. Why does early lockdown Belgium have the highest Covid-19 death rate in the world by a large margin? It’s a simple question.

25872 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Biker, replying to OKUK, #211 of 405 🔗

revenge for their horrible chocolate

25875 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, #212 of 405 🔗

I responded in detail below. But in essence, Belgium counts COVID19 deaths including those in nursing homes. The U.K. and elsewhere does not. Hence their data is inflated by approximately 50%. They have faced the same situation as the U.K. – failure to control nursing home spread. They have, however seen a more rapid decline than the U.K. once past the peak. Rate of decline is also dependent on lockdown too, with Spain showing the lost rapid decline.

25877 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, -3, #213 of 405 🔗

More BS. You are actually claiming the UK doesn’t include any care home Covid deaths in its Covid death total. Where’s your evidence?

So you are just addressing your previous BS – rate of decline is irrelevant to death total.

25863 ▶▶▶▶ A Reader, replying to OKUK, 3, #214 of 405 🔗

Yes, I guess so – I’m saying I could cope with someone meeting your criteria a-d without resorting to ad hominem attacks. Because I am not 9 years old.

Also, having looked in the mirror to double check, can confirm I am not djaustin.

25874 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to A Reader, -2, #215 of 405 🔗

Great… so can you define ad hominem argument? Because that’s what you just resorted to. An ad hominem attack – accusing me of being a child rather than addressing my argument.

And I note again djaustin will not engage with the point about early lockdown Belgium having the worst Covid-19 death rate in the world. You don’t seem at all concerned that djaustin won’t engage with that point, even though djaustin claimed that the UK’s failure to adopt an early lockdown led to a massive death toll.

I guess you might think that’s an amusing bit of coquettishness on djaustin’s part. For me it’s an insulting refusal to accept the terms of free and fair debate. But then again you might be djaustin which might explain why you are not concerned about the refusal.

25852 Biker, replying to Biker, 3, #216 of 405 🔗

since i’m trying to free Fife from the Scots and want the Pictish Community returned to our lands i’m forming ‘East Fife Matters. We’re reasonable but if anyone disagrees with us they’ll be arrested and made to listen to Jimmy Shand until they change their minds

25893 ▶▶ Mark, replying to Biker, 2, #217 of 405 🔗

The Pictish reputation for brutality is well-founded: they are rumoured to have gone into battle stark naked, and they have no word for fluffy!

25853 mark baker, 2, #218 of 405 🔗

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/did-late-lockdown-double-covid-s-death-toll-fact-checking-neil-ferguson In this article, Alistair Haimes calculates how the R0 has progressed in the UK, working backwards from death figures. He shows it falling rapidly from 2.5 at the start of March to below 1 when the lockdown started and staying more or less at that level ever since. If this is correct, this clearly shows the lockdown had no effect on the R0. Is it correct?

25859 Biker, replying to Biker, 3, #219 of 405 🔗

This Bubble Boris is talking about, will it contain John Travolta ?

25925 ▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Biker, 6, #220 of 405 🔗

I didn’t see the announcement but I gather Boris announced that single people can now have sex inside a bubble. I’m off to Portmeirion tomorrow to seek out The Prisoner and ask if I can borrow his.

25945 ▶▶▶ Alec in France, replying to CarrieAH, 1, #221 of 405 🔗

Love it!

25880 OKUK, replying to OKUK, 1, #222 of 405 🔗

Just so people can see the BS. This is what djaustin just wrote:

“But in essence, Belgium counts COVID19 deaths including those in nursing homes. The U.K. and elsewhere does not. “

djaustin is claiming we in the UK don’t include nursing home Covid-19 deaths in our totals!!!

Well there’s only one word for that and it begins with a big fat L.

So I hope from now on we can just safely ignore all BS claims from djaustin .

25884 ▶▶ djaustin, replying to OKUK, #223 of 405 🔗

“These figures do not include deaths outside hospital, such as those in care homes. This approach makes it possible to compile deaths data on a daily basis using up to date figures.”

From the official NHS website on reported daily deaths. Here:


Official U.K. COVID19 deaths do not include deaths in nursing homes. Nor do they for other countries on ECDC and worldometer. Belgium took a deliberately more conservative approach and report all deaths including unconfirmed by testing. The compatible rate of deaths for Belgium is roughly 450/M to the U.K. 608/M. That’s about the same as Sweden.

Nice article on why they chose this here


25885 ▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to djaustin, #224 of 405 🔗

Why are you using the NHS figures and not the ONS ones, then?

25887 ▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to Farinances, 1, #225 of 405 🔗
25892 ▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Farinances, #226 of 405 🔗

Any official daily mortality figure is based on hospital registered deaths in the NHS. The ons figures based on all registered deaths include deaths outside of hospitals but have a delay due to the reporting process and are only provided on a weekly basis. Any daily nursing home deaths are an estimate and hence unofficial.

Worldometer and ECDC (which is used by Johns Hopkins) is hospital deaths. Except Belgium. Which is why they and not the U.K. are currently far out front. Their comparative figure is not great 450/M. But about 15% lower than ours.

25906 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to djaustin, #227 of 405 🔗

This is djaustin ‘s MO in a nutshell. Total BS. The original claim was that the UK was not recording “nursing home” Covid-19 deaths. A totally insupportable claim as any reasonable person will understand. But now djaustin is trying to morph his absurd claim into more reasonable ones that have nothing to do with the original claim.

Just to confirm djaustin ‘s total deceitfulness…

Djaustin claims (knowing it not to be true) that Worldometer’s figures for deaths per million are based entirely on “hospital deaths” . I knew that was BS and followed the Worldometer link to their source…which is of course HM Gov UK where you will find the following:

“From 29 April, figures for deaths include all cases where there is a positive confirmed test for coronavirus. The figures include deaths with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in all settings, not just those in hospital, and this provides us with a single figure on an equivalent basis for the whole of the UK.”

So djaustin has been tried and found guilty of high BS.

Your next question should be: why is djaustin coming here spreading disinformation?

25907 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, 2, #228 of 405 🔗

Ok man calm down. Sounding hysterical.

25909 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Farinances, #229 of 405 🔗

What? I’ve just taken the guy down piece by logical piece and you’re accusing me of being hysterical ? lol Djaustin doesn’t believe the BS in his/her posts. Djaustin knows it’s all untrue. If you aren’t allowed to call out that sort of duplicity in strong terms, well why should you give an f about anything.

25911 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to OKUK, 3, #230 of 405 🔗

How do you know what he believes?

Oh yeah, cause everyone but you has an agenda.

25915 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Farinances, #231 of 405 🔗

Where did I say I don’t have an agenda? But I don’t think anyone can justly claim I refuse to discuss issues on the basis of evidence. Djaustin does refuse to do so. More than that he/she just lies, as you yourself point out. Remember djaustin claims to be a scientist with expertise in mathematical modelling (!). Do you really suppose they don’t know how UK Covid death stats are compiled (ie they honestly believe that they include only hospital deaths) when you and I and probably 99% know the reality?

Djaustin is engaged in a disinformation campaign.

25935 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Biker, replying to Farinances, 1, #232 of 405 🔗

you need to up your troll game bro. It’s a bit rubbish at the moment

25894 ▶▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Farinances, -3, #233 of 405 🔗

He knows all that. He’s just here to undermine free and fair debate. As I said, I’ve seen it lots of times before re Brexit and BBC bias. They do this fake debating thing.

Whether Toby thinks he should be allowed to continue posting while refusing to engage in free and fair debate is entirely up to him. I’m not particularly a fan of banning myself. But I do want people to know he is a total BSer.

25890 ▶▶▶▶ OKUK, replying to Farinances, -2, #234 of 405 🔗

Because he’s a BSer. He knows the difference!

25962 ▶▶ Bella Donna, replying to OKUK, #235 of 405 🔗

I don’t know why anyone listens to him. I skip over his comments.

25923 annie, replying to annie, 5, #236 of 405 🔗

DT. claims an exclusive to the effect that the 2-metre rule us to be scrapped in time for the new term.
By September!!!
But it’s a start. If it’s true.

25924 ▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to annie, 8, #237 of 405 🔗

Morning Annie! I think that bit of guidance – which they have already backtracked and admitted it’s guidance rather than a legal rule – is going to go out of the window faster than that. As the shops open and crowds arrive, there may be carefully distanced queuing outside but a free for all inside. Very few people now step back 2 metres from me if we are talking. But yes, it’s good news if they have finally woken up to the fact it’s unworkable.

25942 ▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to CarrieAH, 6, #238 of 405 🔗

All of that queuing will go out of the window once the weather turns bad. The likes of Monsoon and Accesorize have now gone into administration with under 600 jobs going,what are the odds that there will be more to follow before this month is over?

25943 ▶▶▶▶ Poppy, replying to Bart Simpson, 6, #239 of 405 🔗

Indeed, the weather forecast in my area is rain for pretty much the next 10 days. And it’s a terrible shame that so many shops are going bust – in my town, it’s not just big chains but a couple of small independent businesses have also permanently ceased trading. This is just the start and if this trickle turns into a flood, all hell will break loose.

25954 ▶▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to Poppy, 6, #240 of 405 🔗

Same here. I went out yesterday and got caught out in the rain so had to shorten my walk to go home. Checking over the next few days, its going to be rain here too.

I agree that its a shame that so many shops are going bust especially small independent ones. The high street in my area was decimated a long time ago and its worrying if vast swathes of this country will end up like my area – barely any local shops and the rest are branches of chains!

The government’s laughable statement about “bubbles” shows how clueless they are and are blind to the coming storm ahead all caused by their disastrous lockdown and antisocial distancing policies.

25961 ▶▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Bart Simpson, 2, #241 of 405 🔗

I’ve just been watching a short video of how the Trafford Centre is going to operate when it reopens next week. That’s all indoors. It’s depressing. I won’t be going. Though at least the toilets will be open!

25963 ▶▶▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to CarrieAH, #242 of 405 🔗


Trafford Centre reopening “safety” plans 🙄

25966 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to CarrieAH, 1, #243 of 405 🔗

Jesus wept.

However if was heartening to see several people take the piss out of it,

26096 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ mjr, replying to Bart Simpson, 1, #244 of 405 🔗

But disheartening to see most people showing concern that masks are only suggested and are not compulsory and that handrails are cleaned.. It shows that the great british public are unfortunately still scared sh*tless

25974 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Sarigan, replying to CarrieAH, #245 of 405 🔗

Isle ofWight will be no fun either:


25965 ▶▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to CarrieAH, 1, #246 of 405 🔗

Small mercies that the toilets are open. However I shan’t be going there or any store for that matter that imposes all of that

25934 ▶▶ Biker, replying to annie, 9, #247 of 405 🔗

i make a point of ignoring it and if anyone says anything to me i tell them to shut their fucking face, It’s not very nice but i don’t give a shit. I long for one of these cowards to fight back but so far no one has. I’m afraid our nation is full of cowards

25930 Padowan, replying to Padowan, 32, #248 of 405 🔗

I’m amazed anew at what a bunch of obedient saps the people of this country are and have become. If you need permission from Boris Johnson (Boris Johnson!) to go and have a shag with your girlfriend/boyfriend you need a thorough and immediate head checking.

Enough is enough for me. I’m one of the lucky ones: working at home on full pay, nice house, garden, live in a pleasant area. Why are the people of the cities, esp. London where there were NO new cases yesterday, not rising up? Why is there not mass disobedience to the draconian lockdown? Is it genuinely just the furlough scheme keeping people compliant. Pay people’s wages and they will forgive all else?

It amazes me that 11 weeks on (is it 11?) I still feel a social taboo to say out loud to others what a nonsense this is. Please tell me I’m going to wake up from this nightmare?

25931 ▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Padowan, 18, #249 of 405 🔗

I think it may be because the majority of folk have become terrified of “The Virus”. I’m amazed at how previously sane and sensible friends are still petrified about going out and about. Sometimes I honestly wonder if they are right and I’m wrong, as without this website I’d pretty much be standing alone in my “it’s just a bug” attitude.

26039 ▶▶▶ Gossamer, replying to CarrieAH, 2, #250 of 405 🔗

Yeah. When you’re the only sane person in a world that’s lost the plot, you can easily start to doubt your own sanity.

26049 ▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to CarrieAH, 1, #251 of 405 🔗

I’ve seen experiments where there are say 10 people with 1 person who doesn’t know it’s an experiment. They’ll then get shown a short clip with somebody wearing a blue hat for example. Then they ask everyone what colour hat the person was wearing. Everyone will say the wrong answer, “it was a red hat” and the person not in on it who’s always asked last will say it was a blue red hat in agreement.

The suggestion is that the need to fit in or conform is strong enough for people to go against what they actually believe to be true.

25944 ▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to Padowan, 9, #252 of 405 🔗

And don’t forget furlough money. That said, employers will be asked to contribute more from next month and it ends in October. It will be interesting to see what the unemployment figures will be then.

A few of us have predicted that there will be rioting either before summer is over or after the furlough scheme ends.

25982 ▶▶ Winston Smith, replying to Padowan, 4, #253 of 405 🔗

I could have wrote that 👍🏻

26012 ▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Padowan, 3, #254 of 405 🔗

I am not sure its even the ‘ furlough scheme keeping people compliant’. I know self employed individuals who have not had their income replaced still seemingly happy to wait to be told when they can resume working despite having the opportunity to work anyway. Its more like people have been possessed by what streams out of their TV. They will even only protest for the causes that the TV tells them are OK and not for the cause – their own .liberty and prosperity that the TV tells them is bad.

25932 Tim Bidie, replying to Tim Bidie, 10, #255 of 405 🔗

I watched a programme yesterday about how Goebbels transformed an eccentric and erratic German individual with an odd moustache into a national demigod.

“Those people nowadays who say they would have stood up against the Nazis – I believe they are sincere in meaning that, but believe me, most of them wouldn’t have.” (After the rise of the Nazi party), “the whole country was as if under a kind of a spell,”.

Brunhilde Pomsel, one of Goebbels secretaries.

25947 ▶▶ Biker, replying to Tim Bidie, 7, #256 of 405 🔗

The Nazi’s won the war. They took down the British Empire for a shadow force we’re not allowed to mention. Off course the braindead think we won but during the war the shadow force used the American people and had them invade, sorry liberate us leaving their standing army where they set up the EU and forced everyone in Europe to join together and now? Now the whole world is to come here with their diversity and fantastic culture like genital mutilation, face coverings, drugs, guns, and stinky food, and because we’re awful people who once had slaves and must be destroyed we must sit back and say nothing, stuff like that.
Britain never won the war we lost.

25985 ▶▶▶ John Smith, replying to Biker, #257 of 405 🔗

Europe simply replaced one occupying force for another 2.

Got rid of the commies eventually (till now). The Yanks never left.

26089 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to Tim Bidie, #258 of 405 🔗

Yes indeed. It’s like that experiment where they get a person in a white coat (a person of ‘authority’) to tell people to electrocute a fellow participant without explaining why.

9/10 people do it without question.

25938 Tim Bidie, replying to Tim Bidie, 3, #259 of 405 🔗

About 12 million people in Britain over 65.

63% of the UK population overweight or obese

Over 9% of age group 16-59 took drugs 2018/19

7.4 million people in Britain with heart and circulatory diseases.

The ‘spell’ cast over the population in Germany during the 1930s resulted from economic deprivation.

This ‘spell’ cast over Britain’s population derives from the state of the nation’s health; a ‘first world’ problem.

Britain really is, once again, ‘The sick man of Europe’

25995 ▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to Tim Bidie, 2, #260 of 405 🔗

“7.4 million people in Britain with heart and circulatory diseases”

Scotland is proud to be a major contributor to those numbers. In fact using the Barnett Formula I’ve calculated that Scotland probably contributes more than it’s fair share to the rest of the afflictions mentioned.

We’ve been the heart disease capital of Europe for many a year. At least that’s something we can win at.

25950 TJN, replying to TJN, 18, #261 of 405 🔗

‘Perspectives on the Pandemic’, Episode 9. The view from a New York Hospital.

I had wondered why this latest episode of the series had been so long coming. Having watched it I can see why. There was a short thread on this yesterday, but it seems too important to let go.

First, I find the witness, a nurse from another state working temporarily at the hospital, to be credible. Time will tell of course; the program-makers invited the hospital to comment, but thus far they have declined.

A few thoughts, in no particular order.

The covid data coming out of New York has long raised eyebrows among analysts, as being off the scale and uninterpretable. This documentary implies that this data, taken as a whole, is of little or no practical use for any analysis or understanding of the disease itself.

The hospital concerned treated mainly what we would call ethnic minority patients. The ‘treatment’ they received puts the death of George Floyd into a new perspective. In the case of Mr Floyd, the police officers concerned have immediately become the subject of a murder investigation; despite this, there has been widespread protest, rioting and looting in the US, and large protests and some disorder here in the UK. By extension, one wonders what might be a proportionate reaction to this documentary.

For myself, I find it difficult to explain what was going on within the hospital. The programme suggested one cause as being the financial (and even political) incentives for identifying and treating covid patients, especially for the use of ventilators. Perhaps these factors played a part.

As I watched (in shock) I saw the hospital as an institution trapped within an existing narrative: that narrative having been established at the outset as one of a tsunami of covid cases coming, which would overwhelm the hospital, and of the most important (and almost only) treatment being the use of ventilators. So powerful was the grip of this narrative on the minds of the majority of those working in the hospital, particularly the many younger doctors, they found it impossible to re-evaluate their initial preconceptions, even as evidence accumulated to the contrary.

Looking wider in the UK, the covid-19 tragedy appears to me to be revealing our institutions in a dreadful light. I struggle to think of one established public or private body which is coming out of this with any credit. Like the New York hospital, it is as if they are all trapped – paralysed even – in that initial narrative, established back in early March, and are unable to adjust or move on. What is wrong with our institutions, and by implication wider society?

The nurse at the centre of the programme comes over as a brave woman, and is clearly someone who values independent thought – a great rarity in our societies, it appears. A little thing: towards the end of the programme she tells how, in the early stages of the pandemic, she and her family in her home state spent much time on the beach, along with crowds of other people. Notably, covid barely took hold in her home state. Vitamin D from sunlight and salt water, she explained, are wonderful boosts for the immune system. Of course, she’s right – many of us knew that long before covid. But our institutions – the National Park authorities, the local park authorities, the police, the government, the local authorities, the mainstream media … all insisted we should stay inside: trapped within a narrative – just like that New York hospital. Except that within the hospital the consequences were more immediate and identifiably tragic, and thus susceptible to whistle blowing.

25991 ▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to TJN, 5, #262 of 405 🔗

There have already been articles suggesting that people in care homes have died of neglect.

It would not surprise me at all if it was discovered that most of COVID-19 deaths, and non COVID excess deaths, were because of the way the world reacted.

We may never know but it’s entirely possible that this could have ended up as no worse than a bad round of flu had the world treated it as such.

26047 ▶▶▶ TJN, replying to Nobody2020, 1, #263 of 405 🔗

Yes, it may well be that people in care homes have died of neglect – either direct neglect or the implicit neglect of not being able to see loved ones for months. It certainly appears that many people are going to die early because they haven’t had routine medical treatment over the last three months.

When you add all this up, your second paragraph seems bang on.

26029 ▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to TJN, 1, #264 of 405 🔗

If you can speak Spanish this is horrifying:

it’s a voicemail from a Puerta Rican (I think) woman in a covid-19 ward in New York leaving a voicemail for her husband and basically it says she has watched the staff give everybody an injection and they are dying or dead and as she was the last one to get the injection she was also to die.

The place I read all this goes on to state her name, her family confirm the voicemail, confirms her name on the list of deaths for that day along with the number of the others in the same hospital.

There is also a video from new York showing an authority run sheltered housing complex being emptied. 2 days later there was a big spike in covid-19 attributed deaths as predicted by the article’s author.

Problem is most of the stuff I have been looking at and passing onto other sceptics in my little acquaintances list is now showing that the link/video/article etc is either deleted, 404’d, taken down due to community guidelines etc so cannot look at them again.

26044 ▶▶▶ TJN, replying to Awkward Git, #265 of 405 🔗

This makes my blood run cold.

There’s a bit in the documentary in which the nurse explains how ‘residents’ (i.e. trainee doctors) were giving out incorrect drug doses. Perhaps this is what happened to that poor woman and those poor souls around her.

If this is correct, then presumably it’s manslaughter (or whatever the US equivalent is), at the very least.

Your third para. – who’s doing the emptying? It’s difficult to know how to interpret this, without more information. Looks awful though.

26123 ▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to TJN, 1, #266 of 405 🔗

In the video taken from the block of flats opposite a fleet of ambulances and buses turns up and the woman doing the filming asks what is going? Where are they all going?

She ends up posting it online but it got buried apart from a few independent sites – same as that video taken in the Uk where the a woman takes on some guys in hazmat suits as they claim someone with coronavirus and died there hours before and they were there to secure the area and she wants to know who they are and who gave them the info as she was talking to the “deceased” about 10-15 minutes before when the Police took him away as he was homeless and she used to feed him etc as he was dossing in the block of flats she lived in.

26072 ▶▶▶ TJN, replying to Awkward Git, #267 of 405 🔗

I don’t understand the down-vote(s) on AG’s post, but am intrigued to have an explanation.

Does someone think the post is inaccurate, or based on false information?

In the interests of genuine debate, I’m interested to know.

26107 ▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to TJN, #268 of 405 🔗

77th doing their stuff.

Look at John B’s post asking about 5G, same happening.

26117 ▶▶▶▶▶ TJN, replying to Awkward Git, #269 of 405 🔗

Who are the 77th? (Pardon me for not knowing.)

So they are just trolling?

Do you mean John Smith?

26173 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to TJN, #270 of 405 🔗

It’s the 77th Brigade of the British Army.

UKColumn in their podcasts over the past few weeks have a really good description of what they do, basically psychological warfare against the British people to control the narrative of what is seen on TV, internet etc.

Now there is also the 13th Signal Brigade that has been started an doing it as well.

26177 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to TJN, #271 of 405 🔗

Good description of them:



MP Tobias Ellwood is supposedly the independent oversight of them for the Government but he is actually a reserve Luitenant Colonel in the 77th Brigade so not exactly neutral nor independent is he?

From here:

“A former army officer with the Royal Green Jackets, now a proud reservist with 77th Brigade”

25956 Mike Smith, replying to Mike Smith, 11, #272 of 405 🔗

Prof Karol Sikora: Covid-19 death toll may be less than half of what has been recorded (Daily Telegraph)

We’ve known it was a lot less for ages. But less than half?

Not sure we need a two millimetre rule now. Not sure we need any rules at all. Not sure what it was all about in the first place.

25958 ▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Mike Smith, 1, #273 of 405 🔗

I’ve just been reading that article. Good on him for saying it.

26009 ▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Mike Smith, 2, #274 of 405 🔗

Didn’t they find only 12% in Italy, isn’t it only 5% of death certificates in the UK list no other causes? So perhaps a lot less then half.

26085 ▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to Saved To Death, 1, #275 of 405 🔗

Yes 10-15% seems to the broad consensus from places I’m seeing who have revised their death count/estimated how it should be revised. But honestly? I think our figure may be even less due to the huge skewing of figures towards care home death. We really have had hardly any death from the ‘healthy’ portion of the population, unlike Italy or NY

26186 ▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Farinances, 1, #276 of 405 🔗

And if that is the case there is a lot of excess deaths that can attribute to the lock down itself. I am no lawyer but how is this not criminal? Its not like the dire consequences of these actions could not be predicted by any reasonably competent person.

25957 Bella Donna, replying to Bella Donna, 9, #277 of 405 🔗

I doubt anyone will take any notice of any more lockdowns based on scientists dodgy calculations, especially those from Imperial College. I really hope we can save our pubs, restaurants and High Streets after this economic massacre. I’ve heard of a couple of businesses staying closed in my local town and they’ll probably be many more before the government stops this madness.

25960 ▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to Bella Donna, 6, #278 of 405 🔗

A friend and I are taking odds about how many of the shops that reopen on 15 June will close for good before the month is over.

25969 ▶▶▶ Bella Donna, replying to Bart Simpson, #279 of 405 🔗

I think the government is relying on the public to spend spend spend once the lockdown is officially lifted, thereby boosting the economy.

25979 ▶▶▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to Bella Donna, 3, #280 of 405 🔗

Agree. Trouble is I seriously doubt that people will have much money and the increase of prices will kill off any appetite to spend money even if people do have them.

26008 ▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Bella Donna, 2, #281 of 405 🔗

I am not sure what makes you think the government cares about the economy. They are systematically destroying the economy for no good reason. Until we can accept how dire our situation actually is there is no hope of changing it.

25959 Ross Hendry, replying to Ross Hendry, 18, #282 of 405 🔗

As we’re finding out with the BLM protests, and the threatened angry reaction to them from others, you can only keep people under lockdown for a short time before frustration leads to violence. In our everyday lives we develop routines and ways of keeping deep emotions suppressed. Take away habitual ways of acting by introducing virtual house arrest and something’s got to give sooner or later, in this case in response to an unpredictable and not directly relevant trigger from overseas.

Johnson, Cummings, Sage et al. clearly thought there would be no significant reaction to their draconian measures. That’s a measure of how out of touch they are with ordinary people – and their own feelings.

25964 ▶▶ Bart Simpson, replying to Ross Hendry, 9, #283 of 405 🔗

A few of us here have predicted rioting before summer is over or after the furlough scheme ends. The police inaction over the BLM protests have shown that lockdown and antisoscial distancing was all bunkum and as more people lose their jobs and/or are unable to find one and more businesses close, they will find that they have nothing to lose by rioting.

Not only that but we may also see low level violence in the form of assaulting transport staff or those in retail and visitor services when they try to enforce antisocial distancing and muzzle wearing.

25967 ▶▶ Julian, replying to Ross Hendry, 3, #284 of 405 🔗

I sadly cannot see that there has been a “significant reaction” to their draconian measures – certainly early on there was broad compliance (though I am sure more people cheated than would have been apparent from opinion polls on whether people supported – vast majority did support and a majority continue to support the general thrust of what the government is doing).

Aside from people like those who post here, and certain newspaper columnists and scientists, the idea that we had a choice and made the wrong choice isn’t really in the public consciousness.

I dare say the BLM protests may have attracted more than they would have done otherwise, if for no other reason than lots of people didn’t have much else to do, but I don’t think they have much to do with lockdown.

25977 ▶▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to Julian, 10, #285 of 405 🔗

“I sadly cannot see that there has been a “significant reaction” to their draconian measures”

I could believe that there is an unconscious reaction, though. Plenty of us were predicting rioting as a result of the lockdown even before it was imposed. The riots have been given a spurious ‘theme’ that distracts from the lockdown, but I think that our predictions were right.

26081 ▶▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to Barney McGrew, 4, #286 of 405 🔗

Hear hear. The BLM ’cause’ basically just provided an excuse for most of them to go on the rampage.

26161 ▶▶▶ ianp, replying to Julian, 3, #287 of 405 🔗

How and why did the BLM protests appear when they did… did no black people die at the hands of the police in 2019?, Yes a load of wokist bandwagon jumpers that makes it look like a huge movement, but it’s incredibly suspicious isn’t it? All for a career criminal with multiple convictions no less. Worldwide and coordinated… But at the end of the day just a tiny minority of vocal race baiters that have revealed themselves.

Earlier this week, after all the rioting, the police did actually nab a large number of their ringleaders who would not disperse.

Have a look at USA to see the true extent of it.Who is supporting it…. ?

25970 Barney McGrew, replying to Barney McGrew, 4, #288 of 405 🔗

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

I think it’s got the ring of truth.

I think for ‘events’ we can substitute ‘data’ (it’s a numerical representation of an event or collection of events).

I believe that Boris Johnson probably is in the first category, but his ignorance of science is such that he has deferred entirely to the second category of people.

Probably all the SAGE members are in the second category. We have our own second category person in these comments, and it’s fascinating to get a window on how this mode of thinking works. It will lead you over the edge of a cliff on the basis of a super-simplistic model that produces “data” that looks nice on a graph. Neil Ferguson is another prime example. The power of “data”, even if it is generated from within his own very small head, is such that he is prepared to keep sticking his neck out and effectively shouldering the responsibility for possibly the most catastrophic decision ever. He has no idea what he is doing.

And as for the third category, we see it everywhere in the BBC, Guardian, BLM, etc.

25972 ▶▶ Mike Smith, replying to Barney McGrew, 1, #289 of 405 🔗

Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
I know a funny story about her!

26027 ▶▶ IanE, replying to Barney McGrew, 4, #290 of 405 🔗

Boris with a great mind? Hardly – if so he would not have been moved around by patent shysters like Ferguson, and he would have been able to put covid risks in the broader context.

26158 ▶▶▶ ianp, replying to IanE, 1, #291 of 405 🔗

Maybe, maybe not. But I don’t think you can underestimate the forces lined up against him… always remember them.

26094 ▶▶ Bella, replying to Barney McGrew, 1, #292 of 405 🔗

I’ve never seen evidence that Johnson has a great mind. Mr. Bumble, as Peter Hitchens calls him, cannot articulate a complete sentence without making an arse of himself. Great minds have stillness and gravitas, Johnson uses rugby metaphors and punctuates his lack of reasoning and argument in hearings with such erudite comments as ‘Get stuffed.’

25975 Andrew Fish, replying to Andrew Fish, 2, #293 of 405 🔗

Technical question. Tomorrow Simon Dolan’s case goes to court. If he wins but the Government decides to appeal does the Government have to end the lockdown until such time as it wins an appeal or can it just keep the lockdown going whilst continually appealing against the ruling?

25986 ▶▶ Anthony, replying to Andrew Fish, 4, #294 of 405 🔗

Maybe they don’t want to win. Losing would provide a way out of lockdown with someone to blame for any nasty consequences.

26005 ▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Anthony, 1, #295 of 405 🔗

I don’t understand the whole idea that the government would end lockdown if only they could save face or find someone to blame – however much damage they have done so far its only going to get much worse when millions upon millions loose their jobs. If they cared about saving face or being blamed they would end lockdown now. Clearly they could not care less how much damage they might get blamed for. This is just wishful thinking. Its over – liberty and the prosperity it brings are gone.

26016 ▶▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to Saved To Death, #296 of 405 🔗

A cynical viewpoint would be that the worse shape the economy is in the more focus they can put on “the recovery” and brush aside distractions such as public enquiries and blame seeking.

26182 ▶▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to Nobody2020, #297 of 405 🔗

We are facing economic destruction of a scale never before seen. The governments recovery plan appears to be a totalitarian communism/facism hybrid. I thought we just had an election and rejected a similar ideology. If they can manage to just brush this aside then I am afraid the bulk of the people who went along with all of this deserve everything they get.

25988 ▶▶ Mark, replying to Andrew Fish, 2, #298 of 405 🔗

Not based on specialist knowledge, but I think the court can order either way. In practice, if the government intends to appeal I’d have thought there would be not a chance in hell that a judge would risk ordering material changes immediately.

But they’ll probably go straight to Supreme Court I’d have thought, so only one challenge.

26204 ▶▶▶ Andrew Fish, replying to Mark, #299 of 405 🔗

Thanks – I genuinely wanted to know. Hopefully Mr Dolan will win, the Government will fold and we can start getting back to normal. At least the current Government isn’t likely to appeal to the EU courts to drag things out further.

25978 Geraint, 19, #300 of 405 🔗

Rules explained..
Provided that the second letter of your surname is a consonant and that you were born on a day of the week beginning with an S, and that you do not own a toaster, you may form an elongated soap bubble in your back garden (or passage) that may, should surface tension allow, include three members of your immediate family, an in-law, a small pet no larger than a gerbil, someone else’s child and a pot plant, to engage in convivial conversation, (not to include swear words) on topics of a non-inflammatory nature, provided an average distance of 1cm per inch length of the average participant (not including gerbil) is maintained for at least 6/7 ths of the time spent in said bubble.
For Wales: please remain behind your sofa for foreseeable future
All other rules remain in place except for those listed in Chapter 2, Section 3, Subsection 4.7, para B, revision 5.6.7 of the .gov website.
Dept of Obfuscation and Opacity

25980 Winston Smith, replying to Winston Smith, 4, #301 of 405 🔗

Thursday Reflections.

Most people are either –

– lazy thinkers
– easily led
– gullible
– not skilled at critical thinking

25983 ▶▶ John Smith, replying to Winston Smith, -10, #302 of 405 🔗

Many populate this board.

25993 ▶▶▶ Mike Smith, replying to John Smith, #303 of 405 🔗

Can you expand on that thought?

26021 ▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to John Smith, #304 of 405 🔗

There is certainly a lot of thought that the government that has stripped them of their liberty and set about the systematic destruction of everything we had is eventually going to turn around and save them.

26032 ▶▶▶ Geraint, replying to John Smith, #305 of 405 🔗

Not really – just the one by the sound of it. Now f**k off….

26023 ▶▶ IanE, replying to Winston Smith, #306 of 405 🔗

I would just remove the ‘either’.

25981 Bella Donna, 2, #307 of 405 🔗

I see the BLM idiots have toppled the statue of Christopher Columbus in Minnesota.

25996 Awkward Git, replying to Awkward Git, 7, #308 of 405 🔗

Anyone else get the feeling Boris Johnson is just stalling until the Government loses the judicial review and is told to scrap the coronavirus legislation?

This way he can claim that if there are further waves “it was not me, the big boys made me do it then ran away” or can claim his delaying tactics save the nation?

He can then start reigning in the tyrannical councils and local authorities who are overstepping their powers during all this, depoliticise the Police, make the unions look like numpties and so on.

Personally I don’t think our “elite”are that intelligent to do either but are just winging it and hope the population give in eventually nad behave themselves.

26002 ▶▶ kh1485, replying to Awkward Git, 3, #309 of 405 🔗

God, I hope you are right. I don’t know how much more of this de-humanising behaviour I can take.

26017 ▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to kh1485, #310 of 405 🔗

Just heard from my estate agent who wants some documentation: I am not “allowed” in their office and have to hand over said documentation at the door …

26018 ▶▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to kh1485, #311 of 405 🔗

even vampires can gain entry to a premises once invited.

26024 ▶▶▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to Nobody2020, 7, #312 of 405 🔗

Look, I presume this is an attempt at humour. I notice you’ve commented on some of my other posts in a similar way. I am actually trying to make a serious point here. I am beyond effing angry. My business has been trashed all in the name of saving a busted flush useless insitution, an insitution that killed my mother (with their vile drugs and other hideous ‘treatments’). I hate this country, I hate the idiots who are going along with all this crap. So your attempt at either humour or belittling me isn’t appreciated. And, while I’m at it, I don’t appreciate those who constantly point out others typos/errors – not clever and not funny. I’m not an intellectual/university educated (no sarky comments please). But I have worked hard all my bloody life and taken risks that our ruling elite wouldn’t dream of taking. I’ve also known real fear (ocean sailing anyone?) and I believe I have just as much right to express my views (however badly articulated) as anyone else.

26033 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to kh1485, 2, #313 of 405 🔗

Apologies I guess my attempt at humour is simply to highlight the absurdity of the situation. I’ll try to hold back on the silliness but may not be able to help myself at times.

26100 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to Nobody2020, #314 of 405 🔗

OK. It just seemed like you were taking the piss out of me rather than those who really deserve to have the piss ripped out of them.

26104 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ mjr, replying to Nobody2020, 1, #315 of 405 🔗

no – stick with the humour… sometimes the absurdity of the world today and some of the info that we are presented with on here, the only options are to laugh or cry and i for one have run out of kleenex

26086 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Bella, replying to kh1485, 3, #316 of 405 🔗

kh, as you said you are angry and you have every right to be. So am I and I have not suffered the privations that you have through this. I am angry on your behalf, my elderly mother’s behalf, schoolchildren’s behalf etc etc. The list is too long. But if you can step back I think you’ll find that a lot of people here support you. I’ve been coming since day one and there’s so many positive remarks directed towards you and your heroic attempts to keep your cafe open against all odds. I salute you for this and all your posts here, and I (and I guess the majority on here) don’t give a monkey’s arse about your education. I appreciate your contribution and thank you. I hate this country too, but only because of the people running it. All over the world now we seem to be embracing hysteria that makes no sense to me.Please keep coming here. I’ve had reasonable exchanges with all sorts whose political views I would have once railed against. Coming to LS has changed my political outlook and, I like to think, for the better. Some prejudices have been lifted from my eyes. .People like you documenting your struggle in all this have helped to do that.

26098 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to Bella, 4, #317 of 405 🔗

Thank you Bella for your kind comments. I get your point about ‘standing back’. It’s just all a bit surreal. I can’t talk to most of my friends about this as they are either full-on NHS supporters or full-on lockdown supporters. There’s not really anywhere to go, which is why LS has been such a refuge! I think it was Poppy who remarked that it is like you are screaming and no-one is listening and that is the frustrating part of all this for me. And the more liberty people are surrendering, the more they will find they can’t retrieve when/if all this madness ends. That’s what really terrifies me: they don’t care that they are just giving away something so, so precious.

26121 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Bella, replying to kh1485, 4, #318 of 405 🔗

I couldn’t agree more. And I have lost a lot of my lefty friends as a result. These are lovely people, none of them extreme, sometimes a bit posturing, but genuinely want what’s best for all people. I get on here that a lot of people would question their methods and I understand that, but they were my friends because their motives were unassailable. Kind people. I don’t like unkind people so they wouldn’t have been my friends if that were the case. But when I point out that this is madness, they just can’t see it. I thought they were all highly intelligent, certainly most of them have a better formal education than me, but this willingness to give up your liberty – hell that was what the left used to mean to me. Liberty, equality, fraternity. I am now officially neutral and stand with decency. God help us, please bring back decency.

26110 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to kh1485, 4, #319 of 405 🔗

Yep, my business gone as well – 20 years hard work gone in a matter of days. Bastards politicians and experts and quangos and billionaires one and all – worldwide w have to get rid of them.

26054 ▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to kh1485, 2, #320 of 405 🔗

You’ll be surprised how much you can take before you crack, as a contractor at work paid by the day when things went to shit normally due to idiot managers and incompetent engineers the saying was always “I can do this for day longer than they have the money to pay me”.

I’ve found alcohol helps but it’s podging on the pounds as I’m testing the wine before it goes into the recipe – Keith Floyd school of cookery.

One day at a time like in AA helps.

So does annoying trolls and other assorted pro-narrative brainwashed numpties and nuggets,

Plus leading almost wannabe sceptics to sites like this and real independent sources of information.

26079 ▶▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to Awkward Git, 1, #321 of 405 🔗

Thanks Awkward. Getting v. v. angry about all this. I guess what tipped me over the edge today was the masked-up staff in my local shop, treating me like diseased vermin and then the estate agent instructing me not to cross the threshold. I have to take a break from LS sometimes as, despite the (much appreciated) solidarity, I dislike some of the snark that is creeping in. And, the other day, I had some bloke in my shop virtually accuse me of being a fascist because I dared to suggest that trashing the economy probably wasn’t the best plan in tackling the virus.

26119 ▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to kh1485, 2, #322 of 405 🔗

My wife used to run a pub while I was working way.

The opposite corner was a shop run by an Indian family and the 2 sons used to come in for a few beers regularly when they closed up.

One day an New Pakistani face came in the pub and was a bit obnoxious and accused me of not liking him and being racist. I turned round and said to him “I didn’t care what colour, creed, sex, age or religion you are, you can still be an arsehole!”.

He left and the 2 Indian lads cracked up – said that’s why they liked drinking in there, I may not be racist but I did not understand that politically correct nonsense.

I have spent my whole life working and living abroad with brief stints in the UK so lived and worked with locals and been the only white man sometimes for hundreds of miles so I’m not a racist no matter what those who have never experienced what I have say but I do know arseholes come in all colours, creeds and religions and infest the world.

Try rewording it to suit your circumstances plus as a business premises you do not have to serve anyone you don’t want to -make up a rule and say they broke it. I even barred the brewery’s area and region managers from the pub and there was nothing the brewery could do about it.

When being bossed around by the hi-vis hitlers I tend to say “you forgot to say please” or “pardon, cannot understand you with the afce mask on, I’m half deaf (I am so not really lying) and need to read your lips” or just ask them for the manager as their attitude stinks and I don’t think head office would appreciate their customer service skills dropping the more the power went to their heads and so on – try and have fun with it and be annoying. Didn’t the word used to be pithy?

Keep up the fight.

26139 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to Awkward Git, 1, #323 of 405 🔗

Thanks again Awkward. Oh, he got it with both barrels, believe me. I think he was a little surprised to be honest. I think he thought because he was a customer he could insult me and I would just tug my forelock and grovel. Well, he picked on the wrong person that day! Telling me that my business is acceptable collateral damage to save the useless NHS, whilst making use of my facilities was not the best way to go!

26184 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to kh1485, 2, #324 of 405 🔗

The only good thing I will say about the NHS is that if you are wheeled into A+E unconscious after a really nasty accident they are great.

Anything else and they are abysmal – and I know from experiences with myself, wife, kids, family and friends how bad they are upto and including killing people off by by dehydration.

Notice how many people die over the weekend? OK on Friday, dead on Monday morning – don’t give them water, no water for 3 days and the average human will die let alone an ill one. Cause of death whatever they were admitted for as dehydration not checked during the autopsy if there is one – not normally a they died under the care of a doctor for a known problem so not required.

26214 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ kh1485, replying to Awkward Git, 1, #325 of 405 🔗

I agree with you entirely. That’s the only reason I would be grateful for the NHS – if I were in a car crash. Yes, I know all too tragically about the subesequent points you raise. (hope you don’t mind, I asked on today’s LS page about your wife’s ES, be interested to find out more).

26013 ▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to Awkward Git, 3, #326 of 405 🔗

And therein lies another tragic unintendid consequence in all this. The actions of today have undermined the effectiveness of any future actions should a more deadly virus come along.

It’s basically the boy who cried wolf. By overreacting to a relatively benign virus who’s going to believe them in future?

26031 ▶▶ Julian, replying to Awkward Git, 1, #327 of 405 🔗

I doubt the PM has thought through the consequences of the road they are on. I can see no evidence for that.

26102 ▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Julian, #328 of 405 🔗

I bet Cummings has though. He will have thought it through

26147 ▶▶▶▶ Julian, replying to CarrieAH, #329 of 405 🔗

Maybe. I think he thinks he’s cleverer than he actually is. He’s not stupid, obviously, but I get the impression he overestimates himself a fair bit.

26156 ▶▶▶▶ ianp, replying to CarrieAH, #330 of 405 🔗

Yes,I am sure he has. It’s a long game that is just going far too slowly for my liking. I think it’s waiting for what else comes out from the ‘other side’. This is bloody tortuous though

26108 ▶▶▶ mjr, replying to Julian, #331 of 405 🔗

makes you wonder what is going to happen when normal winter flu arrives again. Whereas in the past people get ill, many die, but the world goes on , is the “new normal” now going to be that everything stops again and we all get quarantined to stop flu deaths?

26131 ▶▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to mjr, #332 of 405 🔗

I’m afraid that may well be the case. The precedent has been set.

25999 swedenborg, 6, #333 of 405 🔗


Interesting discussion in countries late in the pandemic like Germany.
The few case detected are now almost in the majority asymptomatic carriers.
Why continue to test well people? Why not test symptomatic people and isolate?
Implied is of course the belief, that in a pandemic dying down, herd immunity has been reached (phoney arguments that lockdown reduced the herd immunity can be discarded)
And it is uninteresting to chase carriers who will anyway disappear.
This never happened in flu pandemic as we did not rely on testing at that time but only common sense that the pandemic was petering out in all measurements we had at that time.

26004 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 11, #334 of 405 🔗


Why aren’t broadcasters scrutinising Neil Ferguson’s claims?

Resigning in disgrace has come to take on a very different meaning than it did in the days when John Profumo withdrew from public life and dedicated himself to Toynbee Hall, a charitable institution in east London. Now, it seems to mean a few weeks in the sinbin before you are allowed to creep back to doing pretty much what you were doing before. It is only five weeks since Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College was forced to resign from the government’s SAGE committee after it was revealed that he had twice broken lockdown by entertaining his married lover at his London home. Yet twice in the past fortnight he has been back to give evidence before Parliamentary committees, last week with the House of Lords and today with the Commons select committee on science.

And boy did he make best use of the opportunity. He told MPs:

‘The epidemic was doubling every three to four days before lockdown interventions were introduced. So had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have reduced the final death toll by at least a half.’

To be fair to Ferguson he did then go on to admit that he had no proper scientific basis for making this claim. It was not an analysis which has been published in a scientific journal and peer-reviewed (for that matter his original paper of 16 March, which persuaded the government to change course and, a week later, go into lockdown, still hasn’t been peer-reviewed either). He went on to tell the committee:

‘Whilst I think the measures, given what we knew about this virus then, in terms of its transmission and its lethality, were warranted, I’m second guessing at this point, certainly had we introduced them earlier we would have seen many fewer deaths.’

Some might say that is first-guessing rather then second-guessing, but never mind. What I suspect Ferguson will also have been able to guess was how his comments would be reported. At the Downing Street press conference an hour and a half later, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and Sky News’ Beth Rigby both laid into the Prime Minister, made out that Ferguson’s remarks were now scientific fact, and asked if he now regretted causing the deaths of 25,000 people by delaying lockdown for a week. Boris Johnson referred the question to the Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer who both said it was too early to be making judgements on what would have been the best course of action at the beginning of the epidemic.

Why does Ferguson – a man who has been horrendously wrong while making predictions in the past, on swine flu, avian flu, BSE and so on – have such a grip on the media? If broadcast journalists were prepared to widen their scientific reading just a little they might have come across an alternative piece of modelling, by Simon Wood at Bristol University, which concluded that the peak of infection in Britain had occurred a week before lockdown and was in steep decline on the day that we all were all told to shelter in our homes. Fraser Nelson wrote about that here last Friday.
I haven’t, I have to admit, listened to every minute of the BBC’s output on Covid-19, but, funny enough, I haven’t heard that study covered. If it is correct – and I am not saying it is; it is just one more piece of modelling in a crowded field of studies which have pointed in all kinds of directions) it would suggest that lockdown might not have been necessary at all.
Not to be outdone, Channel 4 News this evening uncovered an even more hyperbolic study from Imperial College, by Professor Steven Riley of the Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health. This was apparently submitted to SPI-M, a sub-committee of SAGE on 9 March, and claimed that unless lockdown was imposed the NHS would be overwhelmed and there could be 1.7 million deaths – more than three times Professor Ferguson’s estimate of 500,000.

Again, Channel 4 presented the Riley paper as if it were scientific fact, and did not even subject it to a basic critical analysis: 1.7 million deaths would amount to an infection fatality rate of at least 2.6 per cent (assuming everyone in the country caught the disease) and 3.2 per cent (if 8 in every 10 people caught it). That is way higher than has been measured anywhere.

So why is Channel 4 News dragging up an old paper and not even asking basic questions about it? All through the Covid-19 crisis we have been poorly served by broadcasters, who have leapt on every hyperbolic paper or statement by Imperial College without looking more widely at the scientific evidence. That wider evidence varies massively and shows just how uncertain the forecasts have been – making it hugely difficult for the government, which must balance all kinds of interests. As the Prime Minister said at today’s briefing, it is too early – midway through the epidemic – to be able to work out what would have been the best course of action. This is going to take a lot more than a few words from Neil Ferguson.

26010 ▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to HawkAnalyst, 3, #335 of 405 🔗

He could have gone the whole hog and said if we’d locked down and closed borders in October 2019 we could have had zero deaths. But then there would be no outrage, it would be considered a stupid thing to say.

It’s all very well saying if we’d done such and such, but he should then state the reasoning for doing so at the time as that is as relevant as the action proposed. Was he saying at the time if we lock down now we’ll have half the deaths that we’re going to end up with? No, at the time he was presenting models that had very little reflection on reality.

Some say his prediction of 20k has turned out to be an understimate. That’s one way to look at it I suppose. The other is that his modelling was simply wrong.

26076 ▶▶▶ Farinances, replying to Nobody2020, 1, #336 of 405 🔗

That to me is what proves it’s complete arse. 500,000 deaths!
A few weeks later: Agh shit, I’m really wrong. Quick, pick another number- what did Valance say was a good number?
20,000 deaths!!

When asked why he revised his estimate down, Neil probably says “because lockdown!!” OK Neil. Why has lockdown killed an extra 20 thousand? 😉

26030 ▶▶ Julian, replying to HawkAnalyst, 3, #337 of 405 🔗

Mainstream journalists, especially on TV, have been abysmally poor at what you’d think are obvious basic challenges to the choices made.

26067 ▶▶ Montag Smith, replying to HawkAnalyst, #338 of 405 🔗

I think Ferguson said the infection peak (or at least rate of increase peak) was between March 16th and end of March. It’s possible I’m misremembering, so here’s the interview in which I think he said that:


26073 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to HawkAnalyst, 2, #339 of 405 🔗


26011 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 2, #340 of 405 🔗

New data suggests millions of Russians may have Covid-19 antibodies


As testing ramps up, a growing number of Russians are discovering that they have already had Covid-19. Results show almost 14 percent of people have immunity, meaning millions may have been infected.

“Almost 650 thousand people were tested in 46 regions,” she said, explaining that almost 14 percent of the tests came back positive.
If extrapolated to the rest of the country, 20 million of Russia’s estimated population of 146 million may have been infected.
Popova noted that children were found to have the highest level of immunity, with almost 20% of under-17s having immunity.
“14% of people between 18 to 64 years of age are immune, and only 11% of those 65 and older,” she explained.
She added that, in addition to checks for antibodies, over 13.5 million tests for current coronavirus infection have been conducted, with the results showing “a clear trend of decreasing growth rates.”

26050 ▶▶ swedenborg, replying to HawkAnalyst, #341 of 405 🔗

Very interesting. This is a gigantic country and such wide spread show that the virus is impossible to stop. The vast majority asymptomatic. The PCR tests showing on Worldometer, I think are many, if not the majority, asymptomatic carriers they have found in mass testing. They have tested almost 10 % of the population, more per capita than UK,US etc. And a very low death rate. This is most likely the normal IFR for this virus unless you deliberately infect care homes as in the US and UK as part of a strategy to free up NHS or US hospital beds by sending the infected to their care homes.

26062 ▶▶ AidanR, replying to Bella Donna, #343 of 405 🔗

It’s a really good piece of work. Well worth a read… I didn’t find it depressing.

26019 HawkAnalyst, replying to HawkAnalyst, 2, #344 of 405 🔗


A decade after his own ID project failed, ex-PM Blair pushes for one to prove Covid-19 ‘disease status’
Ten years after Tony Blair’s contentious British ID card scheme was binned, the former PM says a digital version is urgently needed so that people can prove their Covid-19 “disease status” as the world transitions out of lockdown.
Speaking at the Virtual CogX technology conference on Tuesday, Blair argued that it’s only when citizens can easily show they’re coronavirus-free that sectors such as international travel will be able to restart.
The former UK Labour prime minister insisted that such a system would operate alongside the government’s track-and-trace program as the economy is rebooted.

It’s a natural evolution of the way that we’re going to use technology in any event to transact daily life, and this Covid crisis gives an additional reason for doing that.

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which has been making a range of coronavirus response recommendations to leaders around the world, published a paper on Tuesday calling for a digital health ‘passport’.
Under the proposals, people would download a digital wallet app secured with either a fingerprint scan or facial recognition. This would allow them access to their personal health data, such as a test proving they’re Covid-19 free.
The suggestion comes a decade after the infamous national identity card scheme proposed and lauded by Blair’s New Labour government but ultimately scrapped by David Cameron’s coalition administration in 2010, owing primarily to civil rights concerns.
Perhaps in expectation that he would face similar criticism this time round, Blair claimed a digital form of ID could be “easily protected, so you can deal with a lot of the privacy and surveillance issues that worry people.”
This latest intervention in the civil liberties debate has provoked much anger on social media, with some suggesting this ID scheme, like the last, is likely to be a waste of money and end up in the trash.

Former UK Independence Party leader and Member of the European Parliament Gerard Batten suggested Blair was taking his orders from owners of big corporations, raging : “See how this piece of s**t earns his millions from his globalist paymasters?”
Even a self-described “Tony Blair fan” voiced his disapproval, saying such a scheme, which requires citizens to have the appropriate technology, would lead to a “two-tier world, or digital ID for the rich.”
Others joked that people really shouldn’t get so riled about Blair’s proposition, insisting – perhaps with a heavy dose of sarcasm – that this “kind-hearted soul” simply cares about everyone’s health and just wants to make sure “we’re all safe and accounted for.”

26071 ▶▶ Farinances, replying to HawkAnalyst, 6, #345 of 405 🔗

I love the fact that BLiar is championing this. Just like last time, it will cause people to recoil from the idea in droves.

26075 ▶▶ Barney McGrew, replying to HawkAnalyst, 4, #346 of 405 🔗

And don’t forget that Boris said at the time: “If I am ever asked, on the streets of London, or in any other venue, public or private, to produce my ID card as evidence that I am who I say I am, when I have done nothing wrong and when I am simply ambling along and breathing God’s fresh air like any other freeborn Englishman, then I will take that card out of my wallet and physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it.”

26113 ▶▶▶ Bella, replying to Barney McGrew, 2, #347 of 405 🔗

I’d like him to say that again today when he pushes his track and trace bollocks at us all.

26149 ▶▶▶▶ ianp, replying to Bella, 1, #348 of 405 🔗

He won’t… yet. Every rule and guideline published has pretty much failed hasn’t it. If they wanted to do it properly, then they could easily do that, given the amount of money being thrown around at everything else

26035 Lou, replying to Lou, 1, #349 of 405 🔗

After a terrible Start to 2020 I’m desperate to get away this summer for some sunshine.

Obviously the 14 day quarantine poses a problem unless it is scrapped under its next review.

Has anybody got any insider info on these travel bridges and if they are actually going to be in place ready for mid July ? I don’t want to book anything yet as the lack of common sense from the leaders of this country leaves me doubtful we will arrive at a decision, but would appreciate any thoughts ?

26046 ▶▶ AidanR, replying to Lou, 3, #350 of 405 🔗

Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider going abroad this year. They could easily change the rules while you’re away due to some kneejerk nonsense and you find yourself coming back to a new quarantine or a new lockdown.

26048 ▶▶ Sarigan, replying to Lou, 2, #351 of 405 🔗

Lou, I run a travel company and even with the up to the minute info, it is still clear as mud. On 9th June, it was stated in travel press that a senior Govt. source has said that quarantine would be replaced by air bridges on 29 June. My gut feeling is that they will do all they can to achieve this to avoid legal action from the ‘Quash Quarantine’ group. However, there are also reports that countries such as Spain have apparently stated that they are not in talks with the UK and want an EU wide approach which could take a lot longer than air bridges. According to a recent survey, 85% of Brits think the Govt lack the capability to manage quarantine and the early evidence of the farce at Heathrow seems to back that up.

The financial implications for the consumer are also unclear if a holiday is booked but you cannot go due to quarantine restrictions. If the hotel is open and the flights are operating then you potentially could lose your money as no insurer will touch it and the airlines/tour operator/hotels are also potentially in the clear from a refund aspect.

I would wait another week or so as I think we will know much more soon.

26053 ▶▶▶ Lou, replying to Sarigan, #352 of 405 🔗

Thank you 😊

Gosh what a depressing year hopefully like you say another couple weeks we will know more

26145 ▶▶▶▶ Sarigan, replying to Lou, 1, #353 of 405 🔗

The government has set out its full “Covid-secure” guidelines for the safe resumption of international air travel.

Passengers are advised to check in all baggage, including their hand baggage, and wear face coverings at all times.

They are also advised to remain seated as much as possible during the flight.

The guidance covers the entire passenger journey, from arrival at their departure airport to picking up their bags in-destination.

Airports and airlines are encouraged to reduce face-to-face contact with passengers at check-in, security and at the gate, and ensure passengers take precautions to guard against transmission onboard.

Airlines have also been told to draw up and introduce protocols to manage passengers or staff who show symptoms during a flight.

Despite trials at Heathrow and several other airports, the government has said it does not believe temperature screening is an effective precaution.

A full guidance note published on Thursday (11 June) by the Department for Transport states “there should be no requirement for temperature screening before passengers fly to, enter, depart from, or fly within the UK”, citing the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

Airports and airlines are free to implement temperature screening as part of a wider package of measures to increase passenger confidence, or comply with requirements of destinations that have already mandated pre-flight temperature screening.

Operators are advised to consider pathways for passengers who fail screening.

“Today’s guidance is a positive next step towards ensuring a safer and more sustainable aviation sector,” said transport secretary Grant Shapps.

“The government’s advice currently remains to avoid all non-essential travel, but today we are taking the necessary steps to ensure a framework is in place for the aviation industry to bounce back when it is safe for restrictions on travel to be lifted.”

Passengers are further advised to wash their hands regularly, including after touching any surfaces; practise social distancing to a distance of two metres wherever possible; check-in online and limit face-to-face contact wherever possible, and “treat staff and other passengers with respect”.

Airports should do everything possible to promote social distancing through one-way flows to reduce queues and crowding; install new signage, including floor signage; implement enhanced cleaning and disinfection regimes; and install protective measures such as check-in screens.

Airlines should increase pre-flight communication to remind passengers of any new rules and requirements, such as bringing their own face coverings; consider removing in-flight magazines and reducing onboard service; consider providing passengers sanitation wipes; and devise rigorous protocols for handling symptomatic passengers.

SOURCE: https://www.ttgmedia.com/news/government-set-outs-covid-secure-guidelines-for-flying-23416

26151 ▶▶▶▶▶ Sarigan, replying to Sarigan, 1, #354 of 405 🔗

FCO have also removed the word ‘indefinitely’ from their travel advice:

COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. This advice is being kept under constant review.

Was changed on Sunday night I believe.

26370 ▶▶▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Sarigan, #355 of 405 🔗

If you’re not supposed to move around the cabin too much – presumably cut down on loo visits (no chance here then! 😂 ) then how on earth are you supposed to wash your hands regularly in flight? I’ve always carried Clinell wipes anyway as I fly regularly in the summer months.

26056 ▶▶▶ Bella, replying to Sarigan, 3, #356 of 405 🔗

What with ‘bridges’ and ‘bubbles’ I feel as if I’m living in a Philip Pullman children’s novel. WTF do these terms mean?

26069 ▶▶▶▶ Sarigan, replying to Bella, 3, #357 of 405 🔗

Bubble actually used to be one of my favorite words. Now I hate it with a passion.

26112 ▶▶▶▶ MoH, replying to Bella, 7, #358 of 405 🔗

They use childish words to linguistically disguise the nasty intent of enforced social isolation. These words are the velvet glove behind the iron fist. These words are patronising, humiliating, sinister and should be recognised for their true intent

26099 ▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Lou, 3, #359 of 405 🔗

I’m in the same sort of position. I have a little village house on a Greek island and I normally spend the summer hopping backwards and forwards as I have family both in Greece and the U.K. I desperately want to see my Greek family but 2 weeks quarantine on return is impossible as I need that time to tend to my livestock and land. Frankly I’m getting to the stage of just going anyway and ignoring the quarantine when I get back as I can’t see it being enforceable – by ignoring it, I mean do what I’ve been doing throughout lockdown which is live alone and go to my livestock alone each day, so I can’t see I’d be putting anyone in danger. I still think the virus will have disappeared by the end of July anyway.
Either that, or go and not come back! Which is looking more tempting by the day!

26111 ▶▶ MoH, replying to Lou, 5, #360 of 405 🔗

The quarantine rules are unenforceable. Only slaves comply to such petty tyranny that has no scientific or logical benefit. When I leave this ridiculous country, Im not coming back.

26197 ▶▶▶ Bella, replying to MoH, 3, #361 of 405 🔗

This might cheer you up – not. I came across this site at the very beginning of this nonsense and had a fit. I was inadvertently directed there yesterday and nearly had a coronary. They blatantly claim that the scientific evidence backs wearing muzzles. Not in my research. But this is what I mean about getting people to willingly allow themselves to be muzzled. https://masks4all.org/

And a slight digression on the same subject. I don’t watch much TV news so maybe it’s my paranoia but whenever I catch an item about CV19 and they’re interviewing a punter outside they seem to be invariably wearing a mask. Do you think the broadcasters make them wear one to push their narrative? I rarely see someone where I live wear them. And I’ve read somewhere else that as soon as the emergency services etc are off camera they take them off. Is this more of the same sinister shit? I will go to prison before I wear a mask. Or have a vaccine for that matter.

26249 ▶▶▶▶ MoH, replying to Bella, 1, #362 of 405 🔗

I had a look at the site and saw this:

Jeremy Howard Co-founder of the movement #Masks4All
data scientist and entrepreneur, a founding researcher at fast.ai, a faculty member at Singularity University, and a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum

Young Global Leader and World Economic Forum are red flags. The WEF is the Davos set, the global power brokers, that are pushing the transformation for the Fourth Reich Industrial Revolution, and all they spread are lies that are of benefit to the power elite. This is all hidden in plain sight.

The power elites control the worlds mainstream media and they know how psychology works, so they will make their broadcast staff wear masks to programme us into the desired action they want from us. They go way too far with it so on TV programmes or reports they will have presenters or guests sitting on the other side of the room, just to ram through the point.

The government has a Behavioural Insights Team, and a sub group of SAGE is SPI-B which are about psychological ‘nudging’. The government and the media are experts in controlling peoples behaviour through psychology and the British, in particular, are masters in it as Orwell informed us.


26095 matt, replying to matt, 16, #363 of 405 🔗

Maybe I’ve just finally been broken by the whole thing, or maybe I drank more beer last night than is good for my serotonin levels, but I’m finding this whole situation increasingly difficult to explain rationally.

I’ll acknowledge that I’m specifically looking for information that supports the anti-lockdown side of the argument – I’m sure we’re all guilty of that here – and it’s true to say that that is the kind of information I’m mostly going to find here (and I’ve probably spent an unhealthy amount of time here in the last few days at least), but (and bear with me)…

I’ll acknowledge that there is an a priori argument that a lockdown should work as a way of stopping the spread of a virus. It makes logical sense that, if you limit people’s interactions, it will limit the opportunity that a virus has to replicate, therefore fewer people will become infected, or at least people will become infected more slowly. I’ll also acknowledge that it’s possible to argue that lockdown has indeed worked from looking at the way that infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths have decreased since the imposition of lockdown. I don’t buy this argument and I have seen plenty to discredit it, but I can see that it’s there and I can see that many people, including many informed and intelligent people might believe this to be true. I’ll especially acknowledge that, the people whose idea lockdown was might very well be able to interpret the numbers as telling them that the strategy has worked as intended and might remain unconvinced by the evidence to the contrary.

I’ll acknowledge that back in March, there was very little known about the virus and that much of the information coming out of – for example – Italy was genuinely concerning and could have pointed to an absolute nightmare. I’ll also accept that the scenes we saw of hospitals being completely overwhelmed could easily have led to the conclusion that, having them replicated here (or anywhere) would have been unjustifiable on political or moral grounds.

Heck, I’ll even acknowledge that, back in March, Ferguson and the team at Imperial College were acknowledged experts in the field and the results produced by their model were a credible scenario for what might happen if drastic action was not taken.

I’ll acknowledge that it’s possible that there was a genuine expectation that the whole thing would “work” quickly and that it would all be over in a matter of weeks.

So given all of that, I’ll concede that, when the government made the decision to impose a lockdown, whether on the advice of SAGE or otherwise, it was a decision taken in good faith, well meaning and with good intentions. I think it was the wrong decision and I did at the time, but I can accept that sometimes people make bad decisions for good reason.

I acknowledge it’s true that most people are frightened by SARS2. This is partly because of what they saw in Italy and elsewhere and partly because there has been a highly effective propaganda campaign to make sure that they remain that way. I won’t go into the mass psychology of it here, because it’s not part of the point I’m trying to make.

But… we’re not in March anymore and there is a lot of data available now that weren’t available then. Again, I don’t spend much time looking for information that proves me wrong, but when I do, I just can’t find it. I can find old numbers that make the IFR, the numbers of sick and the number of deaths in Italy look terrifying, but these are from a time when testing capacity was such that the only people who were known to have the virus were the people who were sick enough to present at hospital.

It really does look like this virus is maybe a little more infectious than the ‘flu and only a little more deadly. It also looks like we now have a very, very good idea of exactly what groups in the population have any meaningful likelihood of getting very sick and dying.

It also seems to be increasingly likely that there is a substantial level of immunity and resistance in the population, so we don’t need to worry nearly so much that a huge percentage must catch it, in order for herd immunity to be achieved. However, I’ll drop this because as far as I’m aware, this hasn’t been proven – it’s just that the numbers seem strongly to suggest it.

So, there you go. I’ve conceded a good deal of the argument.

So can someone please tell me, what information is it that SAGE, or anyone else close to government, can possibly be looking at that is persuading them that it would be genuinely unacceptably dangerous to lift all of these restrictions straight away, and let us get on with the job of trying to repair the damage that has been done? They cannot seriously be weighing the risks of a fairly infectious, occasionally lethal disease against the certainty of all of the other damage that is continuing, can they?

I’ve said here before that I think that the government is struggling to change the public view of the danger and so finding it politically difficult to make the changes any quicker. That it’s weakness, incompetence and lack of courage. But I don’t think I can believe that anymore. The message from ministers and from the SAGE scientists is exactly the same scaremongering that it’s always been. There is no effort being made to calm people down. The idea that the government wants to open the schools (for example), but can’t because the political backlash, born out of public fear, doesn’t hold water when the same government that was so effective at getting across the message of fear at the beginning of the outbreak, is making absolutely no attempt at all to change it. When you have Matt Hancock appearing at the press briefing and in interviews talking about “this awful virus” and Chris Whitty warning darkly that we are “not at the end of this epidemic, not by a long shot”, then what is the public going to think?

So can somebody please link me to some information, somewhere that shows me what information is being looked at that is showing SAGE and the government that there genuinely is a significant risk? This is not a sarcastic question – I really want to see it and ideally having seen it, I really want it to change my mind. Because at the moment, none of this makes any sense. It’s now stopped looking like incompetence and back-covering and started to look like willful self-destruction and I just cannot understand why any government would indulge in it.

And staring into the abyss of despair because my country is willfully being destroyed is not a nice place to be. I would far, far rather be able to believe that it was all for the best.

So – genuine question – can someone please point me at the nasty data, at the scientific studies that prove that this virus poses a very real and substantial threat to life and must be suppressed at literally any cost? For the sake of my sanity, I think I need to re-educate myself and I’d like to know where to start.

26097 ▶▶ Edna, replying to matt, 1, #364 of 405 🔗

Hear, hear Matt; I agree completely with what you’ve written.

26101 ▶▶ Awkward Git, replying to matt, 6, #365 of 405 🔗


Unfortunately I can’t point you to any data that says all this is justified and I’ve been following and researching it since early February when I was working overseas and the news was coming out of Wuhan an what was going on – along with all the dissident round-ups being hidden by the lockdown (a few of the guys were living in China or has Chinese girlfriends so we were getting things sent through by them and confirmed by independent sources).

There must be some, I’ve just not came across it.

During the research lots of interesting stuff turned up going all the way back years which could be a long post by itself. Lots of coincidences, synchronicity etc and lots of follow the money and same names and companies cropping up time and time again.

The only threat really was that if too many people contracted its and were needing hospitalised at the same time then the hospitals would be overrun with not enough beds available for about a 10-14 day period as it all peaked and as people dying in corridors is bad publicity for any Government and especially as the NHS is almost a national religion here so TPTB panicked and set about destroying the economy and society rather than have a little bit of bad press for a few weeks.

But still, keep banging your head against the wall and challenging things and making a nuisance of yourself.

Imagine how David Icke, Jim Stone, Ben Fulford, the journalists investigating the Clinton Foundation (and “died”), the journalists investigating EU corruption (and died), Arthur Firstenberg and a lot of the other researchers have felt going through this for years.

Remember, it is always darkest before the dawn and when (I won’t say if as I am optimistic on this no matter how downbeat some of my postings are) the new dawn comes and we are proved right and society becomes a lot fairer and free you can be proud you were part of the fight.

26105 ▶▶ MoH, replying to matt, 5, #366 of 405 🔗

I have seen dozens of videos and articles that discredit the lockdown policy, yet instead of relaxing it, they double down. Its simple, we have a government of occupation that will not stop until the objectives they have been given have been introduced. These include crashing the economy, mandatory vaccines, full on surveillance with track and trace, humiliation and subservience of the population, a complete stripping of our fundamental rights, euthanasia and a complete restructure of society and its institutions. There isnt any credible data to justify the lockdown so the controlled media distracts, confuses and lies to buy time for the government objectives to be met. People need to wake up to the horror of what is happening and that understanding is truly terrifying, as we are running out of time.

26109 ▶▶ Bella, replying to matt, 7, #367 of 405 🔗

I believe the nasty data doesn’t exist, because if it did they would present it to back up their case. There’s only two explanations ‘absolute rank incompetence’ or, as you say above, wilful destruction. Frankly, I don’t believe anyone is that incompetent. So we turn to wilful destruction. A quick tour of Twitter (I did it for the cause folks!) will illustrate that in the main the country has been fooled into thinking we are in grave danger and if the economy has to be brought to its knees to save us all then so be it. People on their knees (a lot of them doing it willingly I concur for BLM, adding irony to this post) are much more easily controlled. And this is about control. It’s about ruling, rather than governing. It’s a power grab and a bid for despotism. Just take masks/muzzles as an illustration. Masks don’t work but if they were needed then they were needed at the peak in April but people are calling for them now when the virus is on the wane. That is insane, but it is because it is an overt symbol of being controlled. On the leash. To me those images are horrifying. You might as well be in handcuffs. And people are willingly complicit. .We at LS are living in a bubble. I feel secure here, but out there it is chaos. Hysteria doesn’t mind who its bedfellows are, they are all grist to the mill in helping the power grab and the bid for despotism. They (the ruling class) may have miscalculated (God willing) but this is about that ‘boot on the human face – forever.’ Don’t call me a conspiracy theorist please. It won’t wash. It’s too effing obvious to me.

26116 ▶▶▶ MoH, replying to Bella, 3, #368 of 405 🔗

Don’t call me a conspiracy theorist please

‘Conspiracy theorists’ are a slur that is used by a hostile media and government to psychologically dissuade people who look into the real nature of government and its shennanigans through shame and ostracisation. Its just a rehash of the Church calling non believers ‘heretics’ back in the day, as the heretics called into question the power of the Church which was a threat to them.

26130 ▶▶▶▶ Bella, replying to MoH, 4, #369 of 405 🔗

Thanks MoH, I know that but it’s worth pointing out because it is another thing that has become ‘woke’. (God how I hate that word!) The heretic analogy is a good one. And ‘conspiracy theorist’ works, because I have it thrown at me almost daily by people who should know better because they have the capacity to think critically.

26141 ▶▶▶▶▶ MoH, replying to Bella, 2, #370 of 405 🔗

Thanks. We need to push back against anyone using the CT slur with logic and reason due to the seriousness of where we are right now.

26350 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to MoH, 1, #371 of 405 🔗

To me, a conspiracy theorist is anyone who has the ability to look at all sides of an issue, examine it thoroughly, and come up with the most rational answer. Without being led down the garden path by TPTB.

At the very start of this, I tried to examine all sides, all theories as to what had happened, all remedies and medical interventions, what works best, what doesn’t, what the figures truly show. I went from one extreme (Mr Icke) to the other (what is fed to us by government) and as ever I think the truth is probably somewhere in between. But Mr Icke is being proved right on many things right now which is a little scary. I believe very little of what is dished up by the MSM, but we parted ways long ago. I would have liked to believe the government, if only for my state of feeling secure and looked after, but sadly that wasn’t to be. I do believe however that they’ve got themselves into one almighty mess and don’t know where to go from here without losing a lot of votes. Which they already have, but for some reason are still insisting on digging further into the hole. I would have loved to have given in to their agenda when Rishi (I think) said a very clever line about the government wanting to put its’ arm around the people – that surely must have been one of Cummings’ lines because the PM himself used it again the other day – but again I just don’t trust them enough. This whole thing stinks in a bad way, and not coming out of lockdown now when it’s obvious the virus is nowhere near as bad as first told to us, and setting into motion the ridiculous travel quarantine laws instead when every other country is coming out of them, just makes me despair.

26379 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ MoH, replying to CarrieAH, #372 of 405 🔗

I completely agree but surely the charade of democracy is becoming ever more clearer? We had local elections due in May 2020 and they were suspended due to the Cornavirus Act 2020 and there was hardly a murmur. Surely they could suspend elections forever with such tyrannical legislation. Anyway there isnt any significant difference between Labour and Conservative as the main agendas get carried through regardless, as elsewhere in the world. They know they arent truly held to account. MPs fob constituents off and when people get to the booth, choosing between Coca Cola or Pepsi, is not any real choice so politicians do want they want, which generally is what their lobbyists pay them for

Please watch UK Column, as their news bulletins is the real news.

26125 ▶▶▶ Julian, replying to Bella, 3, #373 of 405 🔗

You may be right, though I hope not. The other possibility is that they now know they screwed up and are just covering their arses to save face and save their careers.

26146 ▶▶▶ matt, replying to Bella, 2, #374 of 405 🔗

Look, honestly, I don’t want to think this way, but I can increasingly see the logic behind it. At least it makes rational sense of it all.

26191 ▶▶▶▶ Saved To Death, replying to matt, 1, #375 of 405 🔗

When reason leads you somewhere you don’t want to be either you give up on reason or you give up on where you wanted to be.

26207 ▶▶▶▶ Bella, replying to matt, 2, #376 of 405 🔗

I noticed your post before about taking paracetamol and beer and although I empathise and although I am angry at all this shit I can’t deny that it is an interesting time to be alive. I thought the way things were being done before this ‘crisis’ were pretty unpleasant, people weren’t generally kind to each other, and for years we’ve been brainwashed to compete and trample on one another and my fervent hope is that when the dust has settled we might think and act in a different way. I don’t want to go back to what it was. I read somewhere that a crisis is an opportunity on a dangerous wind and rather than opt out of this life I intend to resist. And if they want incarcerate me for not doing as they tell me (e.g wear a muzzle) so be it. The French Resistance were much braver than me but sometimes we have to show our colours. If people that are here don’t resist who will? And if we win maybe the planet will turn out to be a better place. I keep on coming out with stuff that smacks of religiosity which is ironic given my contempt for organised religion but I want to live where everybody does unto others what they would have done unto themselves.

26114 ▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to matt, 2, #377 of 405 🔗

There is no data. The only basis that I can see is that they won’t allow the possibility of us getting back into the situation we were in in March.

As I noted yesterday, the virus itself has become secondary in terms of threat. The primary threat now is merely the possibility of the virus becoming the primary threat once again.

Even I think it looks stupid when I write it but I’m sure this is the thinking now. Hence why the objective of flattening the curve has become eradication of the virus at all costs.

26128 ▶▶▶ matt, replying to Nobody2020, 2, #378 of 405 🔗

It fits the facts, but the problem I have with this is that it’s essentially the same position I’ve been taking – a government running scared of popular opinion that they themselves helped to create. And the thing is that it’s seems so irrational to me that there wouldn’t be some effort being put in to changing that public opinion. So irrational that I can’t even start to get my head around it. So irrational that I’m really struggling to believe it now

26133 ▶▶▶▶ Julian, replying to matt, 3, #379 of 405 🔗

It’s irrational from the point of view of what’s best for the country, but from the point of view of what’s best for them to preserve their politicial careers, it makes sense, especially as they are not being challenged on the fundamentals of the choices made.

26140 ▶▶▶▶ Nobody2020, replying to matt, 3, #380 of 405 🔗

If you watch M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village it’s a fairly good representation of what we’re going through now.

You can find the synopsis here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Village_(2004_film)

In short the village elders created imaginary monsters to keep the villagers under control in case they find out the truth about the village. Over time merely the thought of monsters is enough to keep the villagers in line.

26122 ▶▶ Julian, replying to matt, 7, #381 of 405 🔗

I haven’t come across any such studies.

I think it’s mainly based on supposition/conjecture/assumptions about levels needed to achieve herd immunity, when the spread started and how many have been exposed.

The surveys done looking at % with antibodies are pretty variable but tend to point to fairly low numbers having had it and this pushes up the IFR a bit, to a number that’s significantly above, say, flu for it to present a danger to healthcare’s ability cope and that would cause more deaths than people want to see, if the spread is allowed to continue naturally.

Others think that the experience in the real world points to a lower threshold for herd immunity, earlier spread, more people having been exposed and put the lack of antibodies down to natural immunity.

I’ve not seen much of a decisive nature as to which of the two competing theories is closest to the truth, or even how you’d go about verifying such a thing “scientifically”, but I tend to think the latter theory is more likely simply based on the fact that despite very varying amounts of imposed or voluntary distancing measures, we have still seen nothing like the kind of mortality predicted, anywhere. I don’t know how the likes of Ferguson explain that.

As for believing it was all for the best, I know what you mean though some feel that the measures taken were not justified even assuming a higher mortality rate. It seems beyond much doubt that there will be a massive cost to life and health for a generation and it may well end up exceeding by some margin any lives that have been theoretically saved, and that’s without taking into account the loss of freedom and enjoyment of life imposed upon an entire population.

That last point seems callous, and I’ve seen umpteen posts denouncing people for being selfish (you kill your granny so you can go to the pub etc.). But taken to an extreme, would we accept house arrest for the rest of eternity, to save a proportion of the population from dying of this as opposed to some other condition? Of course not, just as we choose to drive even though it is dangerous, we choose to pollute, we choose to spend some money on frivolity instead of cancer research etc etc. So no-one really believes in saving lives at all costs. It’s just a question of where you draw the line. Three to six weeks house arrest/economy working at half speed, to save half a million lives (truly save them, not just flatten the curve), then back to normal? You could make a case for that, possibly. Three months and counting, followed by new normal forever? Are people really up for that?

26154 ▶▶ djaustin, replying to matt, #382 of 405 🔗

A thoughtful post demands a thoughtful reply.

Recall that human experience with this pathogen is only six months old. The vast majority of scientific publications in the field are currently not-peer reviewed and live only on a preprint server (which is a huge advance on previous times and a clear benefit of the internet).

Our experience of respiratory infections ranges from rhinovirus (mild in all except the immunocompromised, but no lasting immunity) through to SARS-COV1 (not very transmissible but VERY deadly), passing through annual influenza (which can kill a lot more people than most realise). So early reports force us to put SARS-COV2 somewhere on that scale. Early data from Wuhan showed that, unlike SARS-COV1, it is transmissible in the community (perhaps about the same as influenza). Identification of pathogenicity was not possible – so will this be a flu that kills a lot more people? Estimating the denominator number of cases is really not possible without massive testing (which is not possible for such a new pathogen).

Surprisingly, influenza is a disease of children, who experience high morbidity but low mortality. This has the effect of clogging up healthcare preventing those most at risk of mortality (the elderly) receiving possible life-saving treatment. Much of the debate on schools has pivoted on whether infection of SARS-COV2 has the same school pattern of infections. People do not recall, but schools were closed in the last influenza pandemic of 2009. What to do this time?

Faced with such uncertainty, action was necessary – the nature of that intervention and its effectiveness can be debated. But without hindsight, the situation did appear grave indeed. Hesitation on pulling the trigger on what is a once only handbrake on the country’s economy may have led to an increase in the epidemic course. I do not think that the effect was hugely significant, but a factor of two (but not more) is not implausible, and appears to be supported by other countries (with hindsight of course).

There have been some significant learnings, notably about mortality (much less on morbidity actually). The virus disproportionately kills those with comorbidities and those over 85. The gold standard data for this to compare nations is the all-cause mortality expected deaths. Conservatively, up to first-half of 2020, an additional 70,000 people will have died compared to the average of the past 10 years. Whether 70,000 fewer will die in the second half can be debated (known as “harvesting” in actuarial science). I personally think this will not happen and that life expectancy in 2020 has fallen a very small amount. This may return to baseline in 2021 or remain lower until better treatments and protection become available.

Now onto removal of the lockdown. There is little firm data on unlocking schools when there is evidence of community transmission. That data is coming, and the UK decision is actually data driven by precedence (as it was going in – models may have helped, but Italy and Spain really showed the course we would take). Unlocking schools is an economic not education decision, and clearly key to return. I predicted at lockdown that schools would not truly return in any full capacity until September.

Prevalence data from ONS shows that about 6% of the population have experienced the disease, and that about 0.25% had it at any time during the end of May. The data also shows that children are as likely to be positive as adults. Whether they are passing it to or catching it from adults remains unknown. This number is falling, and the general consensus from cases and deaths over the UK is that they are halving every two-weeks (3-4%/day compared with doubling initially every three days 33% growth per day).

There is evidence that the halving time decreases with lockdown severity (Spain decreased faster than UK for example). Compared with other countries, and with some hindsight, we have achieved later (based on deaths) and softer lockdown (restrictions). Hence skepticism in and entirely reasonable position with which I have considerable sympathy. If this really had been SARS-COV1, nobody would be skeptical.

The real unknown has been whether hospitals and care homes have been the iceberg above or below the water. At the beginning it as reasonable to think they were the part above the water and the community was below with the bulk of cases (and possibly deaths). Hospitals are where you find cases (and deaths) because with little testing, that’s how you find them. Now it appears that care homes and hospitals are below the water line (for deaths). Changing the course of the Titanic is slow and testing and future quarantine of residents and stricter cross home working practices are likely to be key measures.

26169 ▶▶▶ Tim Bidie, replying to djaustin, 3, #383 of 405 🔗

In fact the mortality by age for this common cold coronavirus closely mirrors that of other common cold coronaviruses and rhinoviruses.

‘Unexpectedly Higher Morbidity and Mortality of Hospitalized Elderly Patients Associated with Rhinovirus Compared with Influenza Virus Respiratory Tract Infection’

There is plenty more peer reviewed stuff out there from years back.

And, surprise, surprise, it looks highly likely that there is a great deal of cross immunity from other common cold coronaviruses.

If it quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, looks like a duck……

But we have a monolithic state health service, massive state bureaucracy, heavily unionised public sector (34% of GDP) and a state broadcaster. That is why we are where we are……statist intransigence, incompetence.

26176 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Tim Bidie, 1, #384 of 405 🔗

Not unexpected though – past influenza infections confer some level of immunity in the elderly. About that duck, the paper below has been one of my favorite coronavirus publications – 20 years of study of reinfection. I’m not hopeful for lasting or even significant cross-immunity. Nor vaccination.


Don’t get your hopes up just yet. Witty is right in that these are early days for what may become the fifth circulating endemic coronavirus.

26183 ▶▶▶ swedenborg, replying to djaustin, 2, #385 of 405 🔗


There is no evidence that we had exponential growth at the lockdown. In fact, when lockdown was implemented the R value was below 1. The only reliable data is death. You see in the above reference that deaths are decreasing in the exact manners in all countries. You cannot rely on a quickly expanding testing system to give you exact figures of increase of cases. Ascertainment bias. But it is more difficult to cheat with the death figures gong in the same direction everywhere with or without lockdown. They are the best figures reflecting infection (not detected cases).
They all follow Gompertz curve. Everywhere the infection shoot up reach a roof and slows down before the implementation of lockdown.


26196 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to swedenborg, 1, #386 of 405 🔗

I agree with death being the harder endpoint, but the lag between deaths and infections (i.e., contact restriction) can be up to 14 days (about 5-7 in the raw data). Gompertzian growth in the early phase is, in essence, exponential. In fact on a technical level, I think the true growth is generalised logistic, which is between mass mixing and gompertz. There is much debate over the reasons for the slowing, but contact restriction, whether via lockdown or not, rather than limiting supply of people to infect, is my preferred explanation.

For those that care, the slope on a log scale for log(N) cases or deaths and a maximum of Nt is:

exponential = a – never slows
Logistic = a (1 – (N/Nt)) slows down due to lack of susceptibles
General Logistic = a (1 – (N/Nt)^pwr) slows down faster due to mixing restriction
Gompertz = a (1 – log(N)/log(Nt)) slows down even faster (used in cancer growth a lot)

a was about 0.23/day and we were likely in the General Logistic to Gompertz range, with net rate falling towards 0 from a. We still aren’t at zero.

26199 ▶▶▶ matt, replying to djaustin, 3, #387 of 405 🔗

OK – thank you. This is along the lines of what I was looking for and is genuinely helpful.

Leaving aside the arguments you made as to why imposing the lockdown was a justifiable decision in the first place (I conceded this point above and as I say, I understand and can accept it, though I don’t agree with it), to sum up what I think you’re saying (and please, do correct me if I’ve misunderstood): although there is an increasing body of knowledge on the behaviour of the virus, how it spreads, who it affects and how, there is still too little and it is not yet sufficiently established for us to have any real certainty, and so the scientific advice can only be caution? As the body of data grows, then there should be room for more action.

Is that a reasonable (if brief) summary?

Assuming that is correct, then it leaves us with a position where the political leaders of the country are acting solely on the advice of a single group of experts, who are themselves focused entirely on a single issue. This is not the fault of the scientists, because they have been given a single issue to focus on and they are giving the best advice that they can on that issue. And even if you brought (say) some economists into SAGE, it would be a pointless exercise, because the economic advice and the epidemiological and medical advice would be irreconcilable and you’d simply have to choose between the two.

Meanwhile, the political leadership has abrogated their responsibility. Leadership – and especially governing – is not about focusing on a single issue to the exclusion of all others, it is about making balanced judgements about the right thing to do and having the courage to see them through – balancing all of the risks and benefits and deciding a way forward. In other words, by insisting they were following the science and opening themselves up to accusations from the media that they were not following the science, they’ve painted themselves into a corner where they are no longer able to do their job properly.

And when Matt Hancock says that they’re worried about a second peak, what he actually means is, that if the government takes any decision that goes against the scientific advice, and there is a second peak, he’s well aware that it will now be political suicide.

So, I think I’m back to where I was before I started feeling maudlin – incompetence, weakness and lack of courage from our political leaders. And I think I feel better now, except that it sounds like we’re still screwed for quite some time to come

26215 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to matt, 1, #388 of 405 🔗

Completely reasonable summary. Based on the situation in Feb-March, and knowledge of SARS-COV-1 from 2003, precaution was definitely merited. And the public were already calling for it in . Where leadership has failed is in lack of decisiveness in taking those decisions and waiting for precedence going in. That has led to uncertainty coming out.

Your comment on Hancock is spot on. But that is the point of leadership, with it comes accountability. The Govt seem to not want the second part of the deal.

Science is the skill of being comfortable living with uncertainty – “how wrong can I be” is a question I ask all the time. Models can help with informing just how wrong. But decisions by politicians are actually data-driven. And coming out, the data is lacking (testing is a culprit here), hence the dither.

I think it will be a bumpy twelve months.

26227 ▶▶▶▶▶ matt, replying to djaustin, 3, #389 of 405 🔗

Politics has to take data into account, because the best decisions can only be made based on information. Politics also needs to take public opinion into account – but should also not be driven by it.

Deciding the course of the country based on the most risk-averse possible way of dealing with any single obsession will always and can only ever be wrong. Any decision will always have unintended as well as intended consequences, but political leadership ought to be about having the courage (there I go using the c word again) of your convictions and the expectation that you will be able to account for yourself.

26243 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to matt, 1, #390 of 405 🔗

No economic assessment will ever come out looking favorable. Not that such analyses should not be done. The government have an economic version of SAGE who will have a different obsession (and models to back those up too – also wrong of course).

The Netherlands have largely followed the UK (slightly better outcome), but the difference has been leadership and communication. Leaders bring people with them. They don’t shirk responsibility and they admit mistakes. Apparently our government have made no mistakes.


26216 ▶▶▶▶ Keen Cook, replying to matt, 4, #391 of 405 🔗

Like you Matt I have looked and failed to find that definitive hard article “this is why we must stop the country stone dead”. I feel like I’m now actually living in Auden’s poem “stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone”
Insert lockdown & MSM you will see where I’m going.

I am close to the end of my career and live in a remote part of the UK with no elderly close relatives to lose so I was always circumspect with my friends when rather gung-ho at the start about worrying that people might die. I too will die. I’ve had a good life and would rather go doing something I chose to do that might be risky than have someone faceless bureaucrat tell me I can’t. Isn’t it MY choice? Have I been infantised to such an extent that ‘nanny knows best’? NO NO NO.
Closing the entire economy that funds our new God, the NHS, has impoverished this population for decades to come, has imprisoned our children and denied many less cared for young from having access to one regular hot meal a day for 6 months.
This in a democratic mature western society. It is like living in a nightmare.

26364 ▶▶▶▶▶ CarrieAH, replying to Keen Cook, 2, #392 of 405 🔗

I agree. I am in my mid 60s, no close living relatives, and now is the time for “me” . . . I don’t want to hide behind a sofa because of a bug, I want to get out there, enjoy life, take a few risks, have something to really remember when I am no longer capable of getting around as easily. If in pursuit of that goal I pop my clogs due to this bug, then so be it. That’s fine. When somebody shouted at me the other day that I was reckless and quite literally could kill her Granny, I just said “I’ve never met your Granny and have no intention of going anywhere near her!” I’m not daft, I realise other people may not want to take the same risks and that’s fine too. But there must be CHOICE. And to have that choice removed to bow before the altar of the great NHS – which I don’t even use anyway, I haven’t even seen a doctor in 20 years – really does gall.

26287 ▶▶▶ Winston Smith, replying to djaustin, #393 of 405 🔗

“Surprisingly, influenza is a disease of children, who experience high morbidity but low mortality.”

djaustin, I stopped reading your thoughtful reply after I read that sentence. I’m not sure you understand the concept of mortality and morbidity, also, as a scientist, what sources are you using?

26322 ▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Winston Smith, 1, #394 of 405 🔗

Have a read, it may be surprising – Table 1.


Admissions of those without and with risk:

6m – 4y 84k 13k
5-14y 43k 10k
15-44y 88k 30k
45-64 40k 99k
65+ 52k 370k

However, per capita the 5-14y group are three time more likely to be admitted to hospital than the 65+ but 724x less likely to die. That’s for those without risk factors. If you have a clinical risk then the admission ratio is about unity but the fatality rate falls to thirty times more likely.

I am very familiar with the concepts.

26484 ▶▶▶▶▶ Winston Smith, replying to djaustin, -1, #395 of 405 🔗

I have read the one study you linked to, that says, ‘Mortality in children under 15 years was low’.

Are you actually a ‘scientist’, and in which field?

In my 20yr career as a paediatric nurse, I haven’t come across a child who died of influenza. Meningococcal disease, bronchiolitis, even varicella. I’m not disputing it, but ….

Are actually a practicing professional or are a blowhard?

26593 ▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Winston Smith, 1, #396 of 405 🔗

Practicing professional scientist in a medical-scientific discipline, if you must know, with over 25 years experience (including but not limited to Epidemiology). My work has led directly to the extension of life in Cancer, progression of disease in MS and use of an antimalarial in children. I’m currently working on new treatments for COVID19. I am very happy with my real job.

I simply pointed to a paper that precisely matches your clinical experience, confirming what I wrote. Children do not die of influenza (almost zero mortality). However compared with young and middle-aged adults, they do suffer disproportionate morbidity (burden of disease leading to healthcare utility). That is surprising to those who are unfamiliar with the data. It was one justification for closing schools to prevent what might have been undue use of hospitals by children (as per influenza pandemic planning).

That outcome has not come to pass, because their infections are largely mild or asymptomatic (fewer children die from COVID19 than influenza). This was not obvious very early in the epidemic when there were very few cases. Now debate has moved to whether they contribute to transmission to the elderly who are at risk.

Why do you assume I have no daily frustrations? I have an extended family I have not seen for three months and a son who is about to lose his job.

26627 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ Winston Smith, replying to djaustin, 1, #397 of 405 🔗

djaustin, I apologise.

Your providence is reassuring.

We are all finding this this hard, in our own individual ways.

I do not understand why we have had our liberties taken away from us, when the excess deaths, historically, are greater than this epidemic.

My wife was ventilated for 3 weeks in the swine flu epidemic, I know how it feels. But, people die all of the time, my feeling is that the lockdown will have cause deaths not related to C19. I believe that my wife, if the hysteria that we are experiencing now was present then, I genuinely believe that she would be dead now.


26648 ▶▶▶▶▶▶▶▶ djaustin, replying to Winston Smith, 1, #398 of 405 🔗

That’s OK. All I try and do is provide facts and untangle the science in a dispassionate way. The science now is not what it was three months ago. It’s still not well-understood, but some clarity is starting to emerge. I also had swine flu that year and it was truly awful. I am pleased your wide survived. My twin sister spent 8 weeks in ITU with ARDS, only to die of melanoma five years later. I also know only too well what missing oncology appointments means to patients. The closure of such clinics is outrageous.

Things appeared very grave in March. When faced with such gravity, action was required. Restriction of contacts, avoidance of large events, closure of London public transport, closure of schools, all will have helped. Removal of liberties? That’s the big question and to be honest the jury is still out. Sweden tells one story, it’s neighbors another. I expected 12 weeks of measures and an epidemic largely over by July – and made this prediction at and about lockdown. That seems to be likely. The Government have clearly not wanted to communicate “predictions” of duration with any clarity whatsoever (easily tested of course).

The excess deaths in the UK are genuinely appalling – they exceed any previous influenza epidemic since 1918/19. We are a clear outlier compared with most other European countries (Including Belgium). The government will rightly be held to account for this above all else. It is right to ask “We took the medicine that others did, why did it not work for us?”. That’s where my skepticism lies.

26549 ▶▶▶▶▶ Winston Smith, replying to djaustin, -1, #399 of 405 🔗

‘I am very familiar with the concepts’ – theoretically or ‘on the front lines. I dispute that you are very familiar with the concepts.

I am, intimately, personally and professionally.

I am tired of keyboard warriors opining their fantasy qualifications and pseudoknowledge, this a space for people to let of steam and talk about their daily frustrations about this living nightmare. Not parading your faux intellectualism to feed for ego.

Get a real job, actually making a difference or even actually really saving lives or even helping people at the end of their lives, making them and their families as least painful as possible.

Take a good look at yourself.

26135 HawkAnalyst, 3, #400 of 405 🔗


Ignore Neil Ferguson’s guesswork – the post-mortem on Covid-19 is best left until this is all over

The trouble comes when reporters, or politicians, see one study which suits their purposes and promote it as if it were scientific truth, beyond all challenge. Ferguson’s claim was reported in Wednesday evening’s news bulletins as if it were evidence that the Earth is spherical – that you would have to be loopy to deny it.
There is a still a huge amount we have to learn about Covid-19 and about the success or failure of various measures which have been employed to combat it in different countries. Why, for example, has Japan had such a low death rate when it has neither gone into lockdown nor carried out a huge amount of testing?

26203 HawkAnalyst, 2, #401 of 405 🔗

Number waiting over year for NHS treatment trebles


NHS England released waiting time statistics this morning showing that 11,042 people had been on the waiting list for more than 52 weeks in April, up from 3,097 in March. Overall the number of people on the waiting list fell to 3.94 million, down from 4.2 million a month earlier. This was driven by a sharp drop in referrals.

Only 491,934 people were referred for treatment in April, down 60 per cent from 1.2 million in March. The figure for April last year was 1.7 million.

26307 mr ben, replying to mr ben, #402 of 405 🔗


Perspectives on the Pandemic Episode 2: In this explosive second edition of Perspectives on the Pandemic, Professor Knut Wittkowski, for twenty years head of The Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design, says that social distancing and lockdown is the absolutely worst way to deal with an airborne respiratory virus.

Further, he offers data to show that China and South Korea had already reached their peak number of cases when they instituted their containment measures. In other words, nature had already achieved, or nearly achieved, herd immunity.

Thankfully I watched this video back March/April. I do believe everything Professor Knut Wittkowski said in it has come to pass. I’d like to check but I cannot because Youtube have removed it.

What are we really up against?

26414 ▶▶ TJN, replying to mr ben, #403 of 405 🔗

Yes, as I recall it just about everything he said came to pass.

I think it’s available elsewhere, including:

26333 Ross Hendry, #404 of 405 🔗

A little light humour and a chance to ridicule the woke brigade:


27212 HawkAnalyst, #405 of 405 🔗


I’m an ER Doctor. Here’s What I Feel OK Doing as My State Reopens.

So should I just ignore the fact that restrictions are easing, and stay home?

Well, I haven’t been.

Yes, we would all be safer at home. If you had the ability to ride out the pandemic, however long it takes, by staying home, growing and cooking your own food, ordering nothing off the internet, and avoiding contact with anyone except those who had chosen to isolate themselves with you, you could be 100 percent guaranteed not to be infected with coronavirus. You would also be guaranteed not to die in a car accident, an occurrence whose lifetime risk is 1 in 100 for people who live in this country. And yet most of us drive every day.

I know that people want to be safe and healthy but that they also want art, and laughter, and music, and bourbon—to create them and to consume them.

Responsible people take risks all the time in the course of normal life. And as responsible people, both out of regard for ourselves and for others, we take steps to mitigate those risks. We drive, but wear seat belts; we bike to work, but wear helmets; we drink alcohol, but don’t get behind the wheel of a car right afterward; we have swimming pools in our yards, but have fences around them. So can we return to some semblance of normal, but do it without endangering ourselves or others?

For every activity I think about going back to, I consider the opportunity costs. For example, just as Virginia began to ease restrictions, a local sports club reopened its outdoor tennis courts. I called a friend and we played tennis for an hour. We were well over 6 feet apart, and although we obviously had indirect contact through the balls, we were careful not to touch our faces and we washed our hands afterward. It felt safe, and also exhilarating. Did I absolutely need to play tennis? Of course not. Was it terribly risky? Probably not. Did it make me happy? Undoubtedly, it did. And we are all in need of a little happiness right now.

The value of a life is not just in the simple act of living it, but in how you do so. I know that people want to be safe and healthy but that they also want art, and laughter, and music, and bourbon—to create them and to consume them. Not everyone can do those things in lockdown, but if you can, how do you decide?

There are three things that enter my calculus for what I should and shouldn’t do right now. The first: Am I putting anyone else at risk? For me, “anyone else” includes all my patients, so I feel acutely responsible for making sure I am safe. For many people, “anyone else” will be family members or close associates who are elderly or have other risk factors for getting very sick from COVID. I consider the downstream effects of increasing my risk on those whose well-being I am responsible for. Without this, being young-ish (42) and with no chronic illnesses, I might be tempted to be more cavalier. The risk to others is perhaps the most complicated to determine. When I think about visiting my parents, who are in their 70s, I worry about infecting them. And, of course, it would be safest to stay away. But I also worry about them feeling isolated, and the fact they miss their grandchildren. So one weekend, just as Virginia began to lift restrictions and I had not worked a shift in the ER for five days, I drove my family up to see them, and we sat in their living room with masks and on their back porch without them. If case numbers climb where I work, I probably will feel less safe visiting them and will stay away. But if this drags on for years without a vaccine, I imagine I will then feel differently. They and I will weigh the risk of them getting COVID and dying, against the sorrow of missing their grandchildren growing up, and perhaps we will all decide the risk is worth it.

Because I consider myself a possible risk to others because of my job, I might not invite friends over for dinner inside my house right now. But I might consider grilling in the backyard, with people I trust to wear masks in public, wash their hands, and realize that the coronavirus really is a threat. (This brings up a side note: This is a time to reflect upon the company we keep. If we gave freely of ourselves in the pre-COVID era, perhaps it is time to consider just how important any given person is in our lives. Some people we were friendly with before just might not make the cut. There is legitimate value right now in keeping one’s social circle a little bit smaller.)

A second consideration is the risk of the activity I want to partake in against its importance to me. And although some of the things I would like to do could be categorized as frivolous, I intend to do them anyway. Friends have asked me: Are pedicures safe? Perhaps they are, and so may be spa visits and haircuts; weeks after two Missouri hairstylists exposed more than a hundred customers to COVID because they worked while sick, no customer has yet tested positive at the time of writing. If this remains true, it suggests that close quarters with masks, which the two stylists were both wearing, might be OK. While none of these activities are essential, they are things many of us are longing to do. And what we have learned is that there are real ways to make them safer: physical distancing, masks, and good working conditions for employees. (This matters because it’s a good indicator of how able the employees can protect themselves as they want to—if you were already worried that your nail salon was exploiting its workers, now is definitely not the time to go back, for their sake or yours.) If you don’t long to do something, then maybe holding off on doing it for now is the best option. For example, there is no dearth of movies on Netflix I haven’t seen, so going to see a new release in a theater holds no fascination for me. But if everyone is 6 feet apart at the movies and wearing masks, an armchair movie critic might choose to make this their first pandemic outing. Similarly, if I couldn’t drive to see close family, I might consider getting on a plane but would wear a mask and bleach-wipe my surroundings. Each of us will decide, with a certain degree of arbitrariness, what we consider safe and important. But I wouldn’t go to a crowded bar, or a pool party where no one was wearing a mask, no matter how much I wanted to. That would clearly just not be safe right now.

It’s not just the frivolous that concerns me. As the days with COVID march on, some of the things we have been avoiding will become necessary. Adults will need to go back to work, and we’ll need to send our children to school and day care. How will we learn how, and teach our children how, to be safe in those settings? The CDC has published mitigation strategies for schools and business, and we will want to know that our employers and school districts are taking them seriously. While there is data that suggests children aren’t a huge source of transmission, we really won’t know how safe school is until we have tried it. I intend to send my children back as soon as schools are open, but I imagine there will be some parents who won’t want to. Until that long-awaited back-to-school day arrives, I’ll try to ingrain COVID safety in my kids. They now always wash their hands for 20 seconds or leave their shoes by the door, and they are learning to be comfortable in masks. And for us adults, the skills we acquire in our occasional forays into the world will serve us well when work in an office is a regular occurrence again; not touching our faces, and sanitizing obsessively, will have to become second nature. We’ve already contended with decisions about something that is morally necessary: protesting. People have done integrated strategies to mitigate their risk of COVID even as they march and kneel in the streets.


There’s a lot of shaming on the internet of people who want to go out and do things, and this makes us question our desires to do so. Yes, we all want to survive this pandemic. But we also need to learn to live with COVID around us and take steps to protect ourselves and our communities. Ultimately, most of the risks we will all take won’t be about pedicures, or haircuts, or eating at a steakhouse. They will be about seeing the people we love, being with the people who sustain us, interacting in a way that makes us feel human. While love can be expressed in an email, on a computer screen, in a phone call, those digital forms of communication are no substitute for sharing the same physical space with another person, even if the words are the same. And wanting that closeness does not make you a bad person. Just wear a mask when you do it.


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47Peter Thompson22, 25
46Nic29, 10, 7
42matt0, 7, 4, 4, 0, 0, 0, 1, 16, 2, 2, 3, 3
35OKUK21, 2, 3, 11, 8, 3, 10, 0, 0, 0, 4, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, -1, -6, 1, 6, 0, 0, -2, -2, -3, -2, 1, 0, 0, 0, -3, -2
32swedenborg615, 3, 6, 0, 2
30Awkward Git3, 3, -2, 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 7, 4, 2, 2, 2, 6
28Biker5, 0, 3, 3, 1, 9, 7
27Barney McGrew2, 6, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 10, 4, 4
26Bella Donna27, 8, 0, 0, 9, 0, 0
26Saved To Death0, 7, 0, 3, 6, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 0, 0, 1
25Nobody20204, 1, 2, 5, 0, 0, 2, 3, 0, 3, 2, 3
23MoH7, 5, 1, 5, 3, 2, 0
23Mark8, 0, 5, 3, 0, 3, 0, 2, 2
21Carrie1, 1, 19
21annie5, 8, 1, 2, 5
20Lms236, 3, 11
19TJN18, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0
18Ross Hendry018
18Tom Blackburn2, 6, 10
17Kath Andrews17
17Will Jones8, 4, 3, 2
17kh14853, 0, 7, 0, 4, 1, 1, 1
16Tim Bidie10, 3, 3
14guy15310, 1, 1, 2
13djaustin2, 6, 0, 3, 1, 0, 0, 0, -5, 0, -3, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
12mark baker210
12Mike Smith11, 1, 0
11ambwozere9, 2
11Tyneside Tigress11, 0, 0
10Jonathan Castro8, 2
8Poppy2, 6
7DJ Dod7
7A Reader1, 3, 3
7Sarigan0, 2, 1, 1, 3
7Winston Smith4, 4, 0, -1, 1, -1
6paulito4, 1, 1, 0, 0
5ianp3, 1, 0, 1
4Keen Cook4
4Rosemary Patterson4
4Dave #KBF1, 3
4IanE4, 0
4JohnB-2, 0, 5, 0, 1
3Rob Tyson3
3jrsm2, 1
3AidanR0, 0, 3
2Judith Day2
2Mark H2
2Andrew Fish0, 2, 0
2mjr0, 1, 1, 0
1Alec in France1
1Scott G1
1Squire Western1
1Lou1, 0
0A leaf0
0Harrison Bergeron0
0Montag Smith0
0mr ben0
0Invunche0, 0
-10John Smith0, -10