Britain is now in grave danger of sleepwalking into a second national lockdown. The consequences of doing so would be disastrous.
We find ourselves in this wretched position partly because the Government’s main achievement since the pandemic first emerged in China has not been suppressing the virus or saving lives or the economy, but in spreading irrational fear.
A blanket lockdown is the last thing we should be contemplating if we are serious about the nation’s mental and physical well-being.
This second wave will not trigger the explosion in deaths we saw in the spring.
Not a single young child has died in the UK from Covid without some other serious pre-existing condition.
According to Cambridge statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter, anyone under 50 is more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.
The consequences to be inflicted on the personal wellbeing of Australians, business viability, the national economy, and mental health are far beyond what could be described as responsible management of the situation says Sky News host Alan Jones.
“The nation is swimming in debt, kids are out of school, people are locked up while all along the mental anguish of what is taking place is beyond calculation,” Mr Jones said.
On Monday, Premier Daniel Andrews outlined the details of his stage four lockdowns which will affect Metropolitan Melbourne for at least six weeks in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Andrews ordered all non-essential workers not to leave their homes from Thursday but promised people they will not need to bulk buy food as supermarkets, grocery stores and pharmacies would stay open.
Mr Jones said if lockdowns were the answer, why do deaths continue to escalate around the country.
Mr Jones discussed the issue with Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland.
Australia-wide: 43 critical cases
1% of patients critical
99% of cases are mild
221 COVID-19 deaths so far out of a population of 26 million
440 Australians die every day
1,000-1,500 flu deaths each year
COVID-19 not in top 50 death causes
Professor James Allan: “In a decade this will be looked back on as one of the most colossal public policy fiascos of the century.”
Around 161,000 Australians die every year (440 per day)
Here is the good news: No matter how old you are, you are extremely unlikely to die of Covid-19. Even if a lockdown had not been instituted and no social distancing implemented, and assuming Imperial College’s controversial worst-case scenario estimate of 500,000 deaths, there would have been a 99% likelihood of surviving the pandemic.
This is no bubonic plague. That killed very nearly 30 per cent of the world’s population in the 14th century. Here is some more good news: a lockdown was instituted and social distancing measures are now well entrenched in our behaviour. As a result, the chance of surviving the pandemic is more like 99.9%.
If you are fortunate to be under the age of 45, your chances of dying from the virus are negligible. You are more likely to die from a lightning strike. The Office of National Statistics estimates that only 0.07% of the population in England is currently infected by the virus. That equates to about 35,000 people.
The difference between what the government was telling us and what their information was telling us was so extreme and outrageous.
Exponential means a “constant rate of growth.” The government data in March was clearly showing that the COVID-19 was declining, not growing exponentially. This was the same in all countries you could see the data. [See chart 1]
A constantly declining growth rate will make a bell curve. The government were standing in front of bell curve graphs during their briefings yet they were telling us we were in the middle of the epidemic.
It was very clear that we were heading to a peak sometime around early to mid-April.
You don’t have to be complicated mathematics to see that COVID-19 was running out of steam almost from day one.
The conclusion from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine seems to be that it’s impossible to predict if there will be a second wave.
Sweden’s epidemic looks identical to the UK’s but they did not lockdown. Their datapoint indicates there won’t be a second wave. There has been no spike in Denmark either. [See chart 2]
Unknowns: has summer affected COVID-19 and will there be a mutation?
Will illnesses during the autumn and winter be mis-attributed to COVID-19? Poor media coverage means that we can’t be sure.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to the flu. Something could look like a second wave but will we really know?
The lockdown is costing a Brexit bill a week.
The government response seems to have been skewed by Neil Ferguson’s modelling data. The make-up of government advisors seems to be a recipe for groupthink, which is very dangerous.
Epidemiology (the way a disease spreads through the population) is not complicated science. The government could have had lots of people who were very good at this but they didn’t.
We should have cocooned the vulnerable, make sure the NHS has capacity and “let it rip” through the population.
We should never have had an open-ended lockdown.
The ‘R number’ is just the difference of in the number of people infected after each generation of a disease. Britain crossed the ‘magical R of 1’ line a few days before lockdown and the same day as Sweden. Whatever interventions have been done doesn’t seem to have had any effect. [See chart 3]
COVID-19 is mostly a care home and hospital disease. This was obvious very early on. Old people should not have been moved from hospitals into care homes. It seems as if we knowingly seeded the most vulnerable environment with the disease.
37% of our deaths are care home residents but they are only 0.5% of our population. Of them are dementia sufferers.
Over 20% of the infections were picked up in the hospitals. COVID-19 seems more like MRSA than influenza in that it’s an infection control problem.
COVID-19 is much more comparable to flu for the rest of the population.
1968 flu killed 80,000 people in the UK.
This last winter was a low flu winter. It’s quite possible that the people who died of COVID-19 are those who didn’t die.
If you overlay COVID-19 deaths with the 2000 flu season, they look very similar. [See chart 4]
95% of deaths have had another serious disease. Most people have almost no chance of dying from COVID-19.
If you are under 40, you have more chance of being struck by lightning that dying of COVID-19.
If you are under 60, you have more chance of drowning.
At any age, you have more chance of dying on the roads than dying of COVID-19.
Lead indicators of 111 and 999 calls with COVID-19 symptoms show there was no spike after VE Day celebrations or BLM protests. In fact, it was even coming down at lockdown. That lockdown was big change for COVID-19 is invisible in the data. [See chart 5]
Chart 1: COVID-19 was declining in Europe as of march. It was not growing exponentially
Chart 2: Sweden’s epidemic looks similar to the UK’s but they did not lock down.
Chart 3: Britain crossed the ‘magical R of 1’ line a few days before lockdown
Chart 4: COVID-19 deaths overlayed with the 2000 flu season
CONCLUSIONS: People <65 years old have very small risks of COVID-19 death even in pandemic epicenters and deaths for people <65 years without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon. Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic.
COVID-19 is largely harmless to the general population under 65 with no pre-existing conditions, who are more likely to die in a road accident.
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