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Opinion

‘The lockdown is causing so many deaths’ – Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Spiked

Lockdown deaths:

The really concerning thing is that if all the deaths taking place during lockdown are put down as Covid-19 deaths, we are going to miss the fact that the lockdown policies have caused an increase in deaths from many other things. There has been a 50 per cent reduction in people turning up to A&E. It is clear that people just do not want to bother the doctors. And a number of these people will be dying. If we muddle the Covid-19 statistics in with the other statistics, we might think the lockdown has prevented a certain number of deaths, when it has actually caused a large number of deaths.

NHS capacity:

You hear this idea that all NHS staff have been working 20 times as hard as they have ever done. This is complete nonsense. An awful lot of people have been standing around wondering what the hell to do with themselves. A&E has never been so quiet.

The chances of children dying from COVID-19:

How many people aged 15 or under have died of Covid-19? Four. The chance of dying from a lightning strike is one in 700,000. The chance of dying of Covid-19 in that age group is one in 3.5million. And we locked them all down. Even among the 15- to 44-year-olds, the death rate is very low and the vast majority of deaths have been people who had significant underlying health conditions. We locked them down as well. We locked down the population that had virtually zero risk of getting any serious problems from the disease, and then spread it wildly among the highly vulnerable age group.

On vaccines:

It is not clear that getting the virus actually makes you immune to it in the future, and it is not clear a vaccine would either.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/06/26/the-lockdown-is-causing-so-many-deaths/

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Publications

Empiric model for short-time prediction of COVID-19 spreading – medRxiv

Covid-19 appearance and fast spreading took by surprise the international community. Collaboration between researchers, public health workers and politicians has been established to deal with the epidemic. One important contribution from researchers in epidemiology is the analysis of trends so that both current state and short-term future trends can be carefully evaluated. Gompertz model has shown to correctly describe the dynamics of cumulative confirmed cases, since it is characterized by a decrease in growth rate that is able to show the effect of control measures. Thus, it provides a way to systematically quantify the Covid-19 spreading velocity. Moreover, it allows to carry out short-term predictions and long-term estimations that may facilitate policy decisions and the revision of in-place confinement measures and the development of new protocols. This model has been employed to fit the cumulative cases of Covid-19 from several Chinese provinces and from other countries with a successful containment of the disease. Results show that there are systematic differences in spreading velocity between countries. In countries that are in the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, model predictions provide a reliable picture of its short-term evolution and may permit to unveil some characteristics of the long-term evolution. These predictions can also be generalized to short-term hospital and Intensive Care Units (ICU) requirements, which together with the equivalent predictions on mortality provide key information for health officials.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101329v1

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Opinion Videos

Professor Karol Sikora: fear is more deadly than the virus – UnHerd

  • Professor Karol Sikora says that COVID-19 behaves like pandemics in the past.
  • Society is scarred all over the world.
  • The virus will go but the fear will do the damage.

Note: YouTube has taken down the video. Please go directly to UnHerd’s site:

https://unherd.com/thepost/professor-karol-sikora-fear-is-more-dangerous-than-the-virus/

Professor Karol Sikora has become something of a celebrity in the UK over the past months for his expert commentary on the pandemic, and his unusual tendency for optimism rather than pessimism.

Virus ‘getting tired’
– In the past two weeks, the virus is showing signs of petering out
– It’s as though the virus is ‘getting tired’, almost ‘getting bored’
– It’s happening across the world at the same time

Existing herd immunity
– The serology results around the world (and forthcoming in Britain) don’t necessarily reveal the percentage of people who have had the disease
– He estimates 25-30% of the UK population has had Covid-19, and higher in the group that is most susceptible
– Pockets of herd immunity help *already* explain the downturn
– Sweden’s end result will not be different to ours – lockdown versus no lockdown

Fear more deadly than the virus
– When the history books are written, the fear will have killed many more people than the virus, including large numbers of cancer and cardiological patients not being treated
– We should have got the machinery of the NHS for non-corona patients back open earlier

Masks and schools
– Evidence on masks is just not there either way so it should be an ‘individual decision’
– We should move to 1m social distancing which means restaurants and bars could reopen
– More schools should reopen in June as ‘children are not the transmitters of this virus’
– We should be getting back to the ‘old normal’ not a ‘new normal’

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Opinion

Set us free from lockdown, ministers, and stop covering your backs – Lord Sumption, The Times

Categories
Opinion

Can we trust Covid modelling? More evidence from Sweden – The Spectator

One reason why the models failed is that they – just like most countries’ politicians – underestimated how millions of people spontaneously adapt to new circumstances. They only thought in terms of lockdowns vs business as usual, but failed to consider a third option: that people engage in social distancing voluntarily when they realise lives are at stake and when authorities recommend them to do so.

As countries plan how to leave lockdown, they can look at Sweden and ask: what happens if you don’t involve the police, if you don’t issue edicts about how many of your relatives or neighbours you can visit, and just ask people to be careful? Might that work? The Swedish experiment casts huge doubts on the models, and makes the case for trusting the public.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/can-we-trust-covid-modelling-more-evidence-from-sweden

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Videos

Covid-19 – Britain’s Disastrous Response Will Have Devastating Consequences – David Starkey

What is unique about this pandemic–apart from the fact that it’s rather small–is that the damage that it does is self-inflicted.

This is a very odd plague. It’s rather small in scale but it’s gigantic in consequences because we have chosen to inflict a form of economic suicide on ourselves.

This week on “So What You’re Saying Is…”: Dr. David Starkey argues that a calamitous series of events and decisions caused a panicked British government to recklessly abandon its sensible coronavirus plan for one that is likely to harm the nation far more than the virus itself.

Comparing this virus with historical pandemics Starkey believes the dire situation we are encountering today has a different cause. Earlier pandemics such as the Black Death eradicated up to half of the population of Europe. In contrast, although it is profoundly tragic on a personal level to the individuals and familiies it afflicts, coronavirus is nowhere near as devastating on a population-wide level as previous pandemics. Consequently, Starkey argues, the Conservative government was correct to follow a similar path to Sweden which was far more relaxed than elsewhere in Europe.

This approach suited Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s libertarian attitude and personality. But on a single weekend there was a calamitous confluence of events and decisions that caused the Tory government to panic (Northwick Park hospital overwhelmed, Imperial College modelling showing potential 500,00 deaths etc.) and enforce an extreme lockdown without any plan to deal with the epidemic. It was simply a goal to protect the NHS.

Protect the NHS: The Tory Government, says Dr. Starkey, was desperate not to be seen as responsible or the NHS being overwhelmed. Eager to prove to the traditional Labour “Red Wall” that the Conservative Party really was their natural home, the British government prioritised the NHS’s capacity to deal with Covid-19 over everything else– but disastrously this included its treatment of cancer patients etc. A bizarre and unprecdented abandoning of the Hippocratic oath that we have not seen in other countries, argues Starkey.

Categories
Opinion

The moral case for a blanket lockdown is fading fast – The Telegraph

The argument for a lockdown was overwhelming. When Boris Johnson addressed the nation eight weeks ago, it appeared as if a killer virus was about to engulf the population at astonishing speed. You had to be mad or bad, it seemed, not to back the Prime Minister as he urged us all to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. The moral justification for collective action was crystal clear. “Squashing the sombrero,” as Johnson colourfully put it, was needed to buy time for the NHS to fight this thing. And we did it. Britain achieved that aim.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/16/moral-case-blanket-lockdown-fading-fast/

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Opinion

Ten reasons to end the lockdown now – Dr. John Lee, The Spectator

Even if one could understand why lockdown was imposed, it very rapidly became apparent that it had not been thought through. Not in terms of the wider effects on society (which have yet to be counted) and not even in terms of the ways that the virus itself might behave. But at the start, there was hardly any evidence. Everyone was guessing. Now we have a world of evidence, from around the globe, and the case for starting to reverse lockdown is compelling.

  1. You cannot understand the significance of this virus simply by looking at the raw death figures
  2. The policy response to the virus has been driven by modelling of Covid – not other factors
  3. We don’t know if lockdown is working
  4. We should ease the lockdown to save lives
  5. Lockdown is not sustainable
  6. Lockdown directly harms those most likely to be affected by coronavirus
  7. Lockdown directly harms those who will be largely unaffected by coronavirus
  8. The health service has not been overwhelmed nor likely to be 
  9. The virus is almost certainly not a constant threat
  10. People can be trusted to behave sensibly

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/ten-reasons-to-end-the-lockdown-now

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News Opinion

The Grand Delusion: Bail-out billions shield us from the reality – our economy is in tatters – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

  • Just 11 people under the age of 20 have succumbed to Covid-19.
  • Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College has a dismal record as a forecaster.
  • There’s the possibility that the lockdown has actually made the virus more deadly.
  • Bank of England warned that if the lockdown is extended until June the economy could shrink by 14 per cent this year.
  • More than one-in-five adults now furloughed on 80per cent of their wages.
  • A fifth of the working-age population could be jobless and the quality of people’s mental and physical health would plummet.
  • Every day, about 1,700 people die in Britain. Only five years ago, in the winter of 2014/15, more than 28,000 people died from seasonal flu, not far off the current coronavirus death toll of just over 30,000.
  • Direct evidence to support the two-metre rule is weak, and based almost entirely on modelling rather than real life.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8302055/Bail-billions-anaesthetise-reality-economy-tatters.html

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Opinion

The lockdowns still aren’t working – Spiked

It is also worth noting another unsayable fact at this point: approximately the same number of people have always been projected to contract Covid-19 in most ‘curve flattening’ scenarios. Lockdowns simply spread the deaths out across a longer period of time.

The original argument for locking down to ‘flatten the curve’ was very specifically about stopping patients from entering hospital in a single stream that would overwhelm healthcare resources and cause millions of incidental deaths. Now, however, we know that hospitals have not been swamped on a large scale in any of the non-lockdown US states, nor in nations such as Sweden which never locked down. In fact, more than 200 hospitals in lightly hit areas of both lockdown and social-distancing states have begun to furlough their employees, after cancelling elective procedures in preparation for a Covid wave that simply never arrived.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/08/the-lockdowns-still-arent-working/

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Videos

Perspectives on the Pandemic | Professor Knut Wittkowski Update Interview | Episode 5

This video has been removed by YouTube so a Bitchute mirror is provided below. Please wait after pressing the play button. It may take longer than usual to load the video.

  • Professor Neil Ferguson was not doing science.
  • Lockdowns are worse than useless.
  • It was known to everyone that the lockdown would cause a catastrophe.
  • Isolating nursing homes would have prevented the load of hospitals.
  • The lockdown approach taken by most governments was a human catastrophe that should never have happened.
  • All we have done is slowed the spread of herd immunity and increased the risk to the elderly.
  • We have wasted a lot of time, money and lives.
  • The spread of respiratory diseases are predictable and relatively short.
  • Bill Gate’s comments about the need to lockdown until a vaccine is ready is absurd and has nothing to do with reality.
  • We don’t need a vaccine for COVID-19.
  • “I don’t know where the government finds these so-called experts who very obviously don’t understand the very basics of epidemiology.”
  • Tragic stories from some doctors are not representative of the general experience. We don’t stop living our lives because something goes wrong in a particular place.
  • The Swedish approach shows that the draconian measures taken in other countries were unnecessary.
  • We may see a ‘Second Wave’ rebound but it may be low.
  • There is no reason to believe that COVID-19 will be fundamentally different from other coronaviruses.
  • Having a novel virus is not novel.
  • We have no science about the effect of social distancing.
  • The COVID-19 disaster is a failure of the people to take control of the government.
  • There is no reason to wait before opening up schools and businesses.

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News

Two new waves of deaths are about to break over the NHS, new analysis warns – The Telegraph

A new analysis by Edge Health, a leading provider of data to NHS trusts, warns that a second and then a third wave of “non-corona” deaths are about to hit Britain. Unless radical solutions can be found to resume normal service and slash waiting lists, the NHS may be forced to institute a formal regime of rationing.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/two-new-waves-deaths-break-nhs-new-analysis-warns/

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Publications

It’s not exponential: An economist’s view of the epidemiological curve

The spread of COVID-19 is not going to follow an exponential curve – and grave errors will follow if analysts believe it will. The number of new cases rises rapidly, peaks, and then declines. It’s called the epidemiological curve. It’s not a theory or hypothesis; it plays out that way every flu season. It is how it has played out in China and Korea for COVID-19. Flattening the peak to avoid overloading the healthcare system is the main medical goal of the seemingly extreme containment policies we have seen to date.

https://voxeu.org/article/it-s-not-exponential-economist-s-view-epidemiological-curve

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News

The hospital I work in is so quiet – MumsNet

Forum posts apparently show NHS workers and patients discussing the empty UK hospitals. Screenshot below.

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/coronavirus/3886452-The-hospital-I-work-in-is-so-quiet

Go to forum

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News

NHS crisis: 20 hospitals declare black alert as patient safety no longer assured – The Guardian (2017)

More than 20 hospitals in England have had to declare a black alert this week after becoming so overcrowded that they could no longer guarantee patient safety and provide their full range of normal services.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/11/nhs-crisis-20-hospitals-declare-black-alert-as-patient-safety-no-longer-assured

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News

Exclusive: Nightingale largely empty as ICUs handle surge – HSJ

London’s Nightingale hospital has remained largely empty, with just 19 patients being treated at the facility over the Easter weekend, HSJ understands.

https://www.hsj.co.uk/service-design/exclusive-nightingale-largely-empty-as-icus-handle-surge/7027398.article

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News

The coronavirus lockdown is also harming the nation’s health – Dr. Max Pemberton, The Daily Mail

Colleagues around the country report their clinics have never felt emptier or their workloads lighter as hospitals have gone on a war footing.

Yes, of course it is a war we have to fight with every weapon at our disposal. But I read, with a growing sense of outrage, a leaked report this week claiming that over the Easter weekend just 19 patients were treated at the newly-created 4,000-bed Nightingale Hospital in East London.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8223733/Have-gone-far-fear-lockdown-harming-nations-health-writes-Dr-MAX-PEMBERTON.html

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Publications

Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period – Sicence Magazine

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793

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News

Flu piles pressure on over-stretched NHS hospitals – Daily Mail

This article in January, before COVID-19 scare, was already warning about a hospital crisis for this year’s flu wave.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6603277/Flu-piles-pressure-stretched-NHS-hospitals-outbreak-KILLS-26-people-week.html

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News

Hospital A&E wards ‘in crisis over shortage of emergency doctors’ – The Guardian (2016)

Article from 2016:

Royal College of Emergency Medicine says workforce is not growing fast enough to keep pace with rising numbers of patients.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/10/hospital-a-and-e-crisis-shortage-emergency-doctors