Meanwhile, the disconnect between what ordinary people can see with their own eyes and the Covid regulations only confirms the idea that Government pronouncements are no longer to be taken literally. The rules are starting to seem symbolic and removed, subject to broad reinterpretation. While the polling shows that people are content with the official pace of reopening, the mobility data (what people are actually doing) shows they have been quietly reopening their lives since January. Apple data now shows use of public transport in London up to nearly 70 per cent of normal from nearer 30 per cent at the start of this lockdown.
The Communists hated Christ, and God in general, because they wanted the people to worship them instead. They rightly saw the church as a rival…It turns out that free countries are incredibly easy to turn into despotisms, because nobody can believe what is happening.
Emergent reports, albeit nascent and anecdotal but nevertheless vitally important (and will be clarified and defined in time) regarding the manufacture of masks, where, “many of them (face masks) are made of polyester, so you have a microplastic problem…many of the face masks would contain polyester with chlorine compounds…if I have the mask in front of my face, then of course I inhale the microplastic directly and these substances are much more toxic than if you swallow them, as they get directly into the nervous system.”
There are also reports of toxic mould, fungi, and bacteria that can pose a significant threat to the immune system by potentially weakening it. Of particular concern to us is the recent report of breathing in synthetic fibers in the face masks. This is of serious concern. “Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.”
Perhaps the most important point to grasp is that a pandemic is a construct, not an object. There is nothing you can point at which is the pandemic, only various data points indicating that one exists.
In a bad year for flu, we can lose 20,000-25,000 people. With a largely vaccinated population, there are likely to be about 30,000 Covid-related deaths over the next 12 months, an average of about 80 deaths every day. This is about half of one per cent of the deaths we would normally expect to happen in that period.
And not all of these will be additional deaths. In many cases, Covid will just substitute for another respiratory infection.
Dr Susan Hopkins, an epidemiologist consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology from Public Health England, has pointed to the possibility we will suffer a bad flu season in 2021/22 because the level of population immunity has been pushed down by Covid restrictions in 2020/21.
According to the UK Government, as of 27 March 2021, 126,515 people have died as a result of contracting Covid-19, and an additional 21,610 people have died with COVID-19 on their death certificates.
The government alleges, therefore, that a total of 148,125 people in the UK have died as a result of COVID-19. As we shall see, this claim is not credible.
By the time the world found out that Covid was nasty but not as virulent as feared, it had embarked on a course of action that those responsible could never accept might have been wrong. Moreover, the death toll means that they will never be persuaded otherwise and the UK Government can say, with some justification, that it avoided the national health service being overwhelmed.
…The fact that five times as many people died from non-Covid related conditions (some exacerbated by the lockdown) is a reminder of our mortality. Moreover, the deaths of around 600,000 people every year does not constitute an annual disaster but the normal end-of-life phenomenon.
A major contributor to the mass obedience of the British people is likely to have been the activities of government-employed psychologists working as part of the “Behavioural Insights Team” (BIT). The BIT was conceived in 2010 as “the world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural science to policy”. In collaboration with governments and other stakeholders, the team aspire to use behavioural insights to “improve people’s lives and communities”. Several members of BIT, together with other psychologists, currently sit on the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), a subgroup of SAGE, which offers advice to the government about how to maximise the impact of its Covid-19 communications.
A comprehensive account of the psychological approaches deployed by BIT is provided by an Institute of Government document titled MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy, where it is claimed that these strategies can achieve “low cost, low pain ways of ‘nudging’ citizens … into new ways of acting by going with the grain of how we think and act”. Several interventions of this type have been woven into the Covid-19 messaging campaign, including fear (inflating perceived threat levels), shame (conflating compliance with virtue) and peer pressure (portraying non-compliers as a deviant minority) – or “affect”, “ego” and “norms”, to use the language of behavioural science.
One year on from the start of the first lockdown, the brutal price of this drastic policy is all too obvious. Amid battered public finances, rising unemployment and widespread business failures, entire sectors of the economy have been devastated.
…Indeed, the average age of Covid fatalities is over 82, higher than the UK’s average age of death from all causes. And among those who contract the disease, just two in 1,000 (or fewer) actually die.
…But, while every death is a tragedy for bereaved families, 7 per cent above average does not strike me as a particularly shocking figure, especially since some of those deaths were caused by lockdowns themselves.
…In fact, there is no authoritative research that reveals a clear correlation between the severity of lockdowns and the avoidance of viral peaks.
As states begin to relax their pandemic restrictions in the wake of dramatic reductions in confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths, some observers are reaching a sobering conclusion: strict government lockdowns didn’t do much good.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that his state is ending its mask mandate and business capacity limits. While Democrats and many public-health officials denounced the move, ample data now exist to demonstrate that the benefits of stringent measures aren’t worth the costs.
…We have since learned that the virus never spreads exponentially for very long, even without stringent restrictions. The epidemic always recedes well before herd immunity has been reached.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, recently said that COVID-19 lockdowns are the “biggest public health mistake we’ve ever made…The harm to people is catastrophic.”
“I stand behind my comment that the lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years. We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation.
At the same time, they have not served to control the epidemic in the places where they have been most vigorously imposed. In the US, they have – at best – protected the ‘non-essential’ class from COVID, while exposing the essential working class to the disease. The lockdowns are trickle down epidemiology.“
From Security Magazine, 29 January 2020, citing the Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index.
A quarterly Civil Unrest Index reveals that over the past year 47 jurisdictions have witnessed a significant uptick in protests, which intensified during the last quarter of 2019.
This includes locations as diverse as Hong Kong, Chile, Nigeria, Sudan, Haiti and Lebanon.During this period, Chile and Hong Kong have plummeted in the ranking of 198 countries, from 91st to 6th and 117th to 26th highest risk respectively, says the Maplecroft Civil Unrest Index. Other hotspots, including Nigeria (ranked 8th), Lebanon (13th) and Bolivia (21st), have also recorded some of the biggest negative swings in the index.
While we are reducing the spread of the virus, we are simultaneously encouraging the virus to become more virulent and more transmissible, thus negating any positive effect on the overall mortality burden and diminishing the returns of our interventions? Meanwhile, these interventions are destroying livelihoods, demolishing our culture, threatening our democracy and, by the government’s own admission, putting thousands of lives in danger.
[W]hile almost all the people who have died of covid have died in rich countries and been old, the vast majority of people who have died of lockdown have died in poor countries and been young. This means that the number of years of life lost to lockdown is many times greater than the number of years of life lost to covid-19.
…The specific causes of death are malnutrition, caused by shutting down the global economy, lack of vaccination, caused by shutting down childhood vaccination programs, and treatable diseases like tuberculosis and HIV, that have been prioritized down as a result of efforts to fight covid-19.
…I have to say, I’m very impressed with SVT for producing this documentary, and daring to put a lot of the numbers in perspective. The documentary clearly shows that covid-19 is nowhere near as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu, and is in fact very much in line with the flu pandemics of 1957 and 1968. And they note that more people died of smoking last year than of covid. But we haven’t made smoking illegal. And they also note that anti-democratic governments in many countries have taken advantage of the pandemic to move forward their positions, get rid of opposition, and limit human rights.
But this logic is faulty. For a start, children are almost entirely unaffected by the virus. And anyway, why should the country be held hostage because one-fifth of the population decline to protect themselves?
…Regrettably, we may unintentionally have encouraged more serious variants with lockdowns instead of allowing milder variants to circulate and ultimately prevail.
The science behind fighting Covid is difficult, and politicians need all the help they can get to interpret it correctly. Sadly, Mr Johnson has repeatedly retreated to his comfort redoubt of a handful of key advisers who seem wilfully blind to the fact that their recommendations are tearing apart the fabric of our society.
Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?
In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.
…explained only by natural immunity. Behavior didn’t suddenly improve over the holidays; Americans traveled more over Christmas than they had since March. Vaccines also don’t explain the steep decline in January. Vaccination rates were low and they take weeks to kick in.
Despite the success of the vaccine programme, which will see all vulnerable people protected against Covid-19 in a month, it seems lockdown will largely continue until July.
Restaurants and churches possibly still closed. Travel impossible. Families forbidden to mingle indoors. The Treasury still borrowing billions to keep people on furlough. This is draining the health of our population and our economy.
Anyone would be justified in demanding to know what the past year’s sacrifices have been for, if not to end lockdown as soon as possible.
How can the Government fail to set free the country — particularly after the stellar vaccination campaign?
Norman Fenton is Professor in Risk Information Management at Queen Mary University of London and also a Director of Agena, a company that specialises in risk management for critical systems.
One of the major messages currently being pushed everywhere by the UK Government about COVID-19 is the claim that “1 in 3 people who have the virus have no symptoms”. In fact, if we trust the Government’s own data, this claim is massively exaggerated. The true figure – as we explain below – is more like 1 in 38*. Moreover, using data from
an ongoing study at Cambridge University (in which only people without symptoms are tested) we conclude that 96% of such people who test positive do not have the virus (i.e. they are mostly false positives).