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Opinion

Have we got it all wrong when it comes to Covid? – The Irish Examiner

There is a case to be made that we as a country have been led by a conversation about the virus which has been unbalanced and disproportionate, writes Daniel McConnell

https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/arid-40081700.html

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Opinion

Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals – AIER

The study is important because of the social structure of control here. It’s one thing to observe no effects from national lockdowns. There are countless variables here that could be invoked as cautionary notes: demographics, population density, preexisting immunities, degree of compliance, and so on. But with this Marine study, you have a near homogeneous group based on age, health, and densities of living. And even here, you see confirmed what so many other studies have shown: lockdowns are pointlessly destructive. They do not manage the disease. They crush human liberty and produce astonishing costs, such as 5.53 million years of lost life from the closing of schools alone. 

https://www.aier.org/article/even-a-military-enforced-quarantine-cant-stop-the-virus-study-reveals/

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News

Lockdown cancer warning: Four week delay in treatment will see chance of dying soar – The Express

A four week delay in cancer treatment increases the chance of dying by as much as 13 percent new “staggering and sobering” research reveals.

The research published last week online in the BMJ, was put together in the light of treatment delays resulting from the pandemic and have led to calls for more attention to be given to other deadly health conditions whose treatment is being put at risk by national measures to contain the virus.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1357434/Lockdown-latest-cancer-warning-treatment-coronavirus-news

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Opinion

‘New advisers needed before Sage wrecks our economy’ – The Express

THE Treasury must form its own advisory group to counterbalance the “Covid-19 only” approach of Sage, experts say.

England was placed into lockdown following advice from the Government’s scientific advisers, despite warnings that it would lead to mass unemployment and cause huge economic damage. Much of the data relied on by Sage, including the “4,000 a day” death figures, has been challenged, with experts saying too much weight was being given to the doomsday scenarios. One accused the group of using “eye-wateringly wrong modelling data to inform government policy” akin to “crystal ball gazing”.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1357547/coronavirus-latest-sage-advisors-lockdown-economy

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Opinion

Is the cost of another lockdown too high? – The Spectator

At times, the argument about lockdown has been described as a choice between saving lives or saving money. But this is a false equivalence. A weak economy leads to weakened citizens: it means less tax revenue, less money for the NHS, and poorer families – wealth and health are all too-closely linked. Just look at the difference in height between Koreans, depending on which side of the 38th parallel their grandparents happened to be caught on.

It’s easy to measure money, but it’s far harder to measure the indirect results of a richer or poorer economy. It’s also hard to work out how much money you should spend to save a life. Ban cars, and you’ll end road deaths. But you’d also hit the economy. So a balance has to be struck somewhere.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/is-the-cost-of-another-lockdown-too-high-

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Opinion

Official data is ‘exaggerating’ the risk of Covid and talk of a second wave is ‘misleading’, 500 academics tell Boris Johnson in open letter attacking lockdown – Daily Mail

Official data is ‘exaggerating’ the risk of Covid-19 and talk of a second wave is ‘misleading’, nearly 500 academics told Boris Johnson in open letter attacking lockdown.

The doctors and scientists said the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has become ‘disproportionate’ and that mass testing has distorted the risk of the virus.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8925427/Official-data-exaggerating-risk-Covid-500-academics-tell-Boris-Johnson.html

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Opinion

‘Continuous lockdowns will be human disaster on colossal scale’ – The Mirror

So we’re in another lockdown – which will surely do so much more harm than good.

That’s a view also taken by nearly 70 GPs, led by high-profile names such as Dr Ellie Cannon and Dr Phil Hammond.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/saira-khan-continuous-lockdowns-human-22973982

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Opinion

Unless you want our children to grow up in a world based on wickedness, stand up to this – Bob Moran

This is an archive of a series of Tweets by Bob Moran, cartoonist for The Telegraph. It has been formatted for readability but otherwise kept intact.

Bob Moran is an award-winning cartoonist. He has worked for The Daily Telegraph since 2011. In 2017, Bob was named Political Cartoonist of the Year by the Cartoon Arts Trust and in 2018 became The Telegraph’s lead cartoonist.

Header image by Bob Moran.

The choice we have been presented with from the beginning is a false one. The government says – and most people seem to believe – that we must choose between sacrificing freedoms and livelihoods or letting thousands of people die.

This is not, and has never been, the choice. The reality has always been that a lot of people were going to die this year (though possibly no more than any other year). The choice we had to make was between two groups of people; if we let one live, the other would possibly die.

The first group of people is, almost exclusively, very old people who are already very sick, with an average age which exceeds the average life expectancy. The size of this group is around 20,000 – that is the number we hope to save, although in this context, ‘save’ really means delaying their imminent death by a few months.

The second group of people consists of all ages with a much, much younger average age and contains children and newborn babies. This group numbers at least 200,000 but is probably a lot bigger. The loss of life, therefore, is huge.

Every decision taken has been about making this choice, between these two groups. As a society, we were presented with an opportunity to demonstrate our understanding of the value of life, the preservation and protection of the young and our adherence to moral principles.

And we chose the wrong group. We chose to let the much larger group of much younger people die and, just to make it even more wicked, we did it without any certainty that we would ‘save’ anybody in the first group.

This decision shames us all. It will scar us for generations.

We have made the wrong choice and now, we’ve done it a second time. The people who support lockdown, who wear masks, who download the app, who get tested, who strain every sinew to make this virus seem frightening, they are declaring that this choice was the right one.

They want this undeniable evil to be the new moral philosophy on which our society is built. There is no longer room for hindsight, no excuses for not understanding what we were doing. It has been clear since April.

This is what I am standing against. The good, kind, decent people who oppose all of this are not whingeing about their own freedoms being taken away, they are not moaning about the ‘inconvenience’ of it all, they are desperately trying to protect our collective sense of good.

Unless you want our children to grow up in a world based on wickedness, stand up to this. Fight it. Reject it. Say, “No.”

At the very least, don’t let there be any doubt as to which side you are on.

Read the original Tweet here.

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Publications

Harms of public health interventions against covid-19 must not be ignored – BMJ

The harmful consequences of public health choices should be explicitly considered and transparently reported to limit their damage, say Itai Bavli and colleagues

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for governments. Questions regarding the most effective interventions to reduce the spread of the virus—for example, more testing, requirements to wear face masks, and stricter and longer lockdowns—become widely discussed in the popular and scientific press, informed largely by models that aimed to predict the health benefits of proposed interventions. Central to all these studies is recognition that inaction, or delayed action, will put millions of people unnecessarily at risk of serious illness or death.

However, interventions to limit the spread of the coronavirus also carry negative health effects, which have yet to be considered systematically. Despite increasing evidence on the unintended, adverse effects of public health interventions such as social distancing and lockdown measures, there are few signs that policy decisions are being informed by a serious assessment and weighing of their harms on health. Instead, much of the discussion has become politicised, especially in the US, where President Trump’s provocative statements sparked debates along party lines about the necessity for policies to control covid-19. This politicisation, often fuelled by misinformation, has distracted from a much needed dispassionate discussion on the harms and benefits of potential public health measures against covid-19.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4074

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Opinion

New national lockdown is a mistake – Boris Johnson must keep his promise to release us on December 2 – The Sun

THE fact that Covid cases were already plummeting across London is yet more evidence the new lockdown is a mistake.

Yes, a few hospitals around Britain are under huge strain, as NHS chief Simon Stevens says.

But many have few Covid patients or none.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13122295/the-sun-says-new-national-lockdown-mistake-covid/

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News

Second lockdown will be the ‘final death blow’ for thousands of British businesses, industry leaders warn as leading economist predicts new measures will cost £1.8billion per day – Daily Mail

One leading economist predicted lockdown will cost the UK £1.8billion per day

Business bosses slammed ‘disastrous’ restrictions could devastate High Street

Businesses and consumers expected to slash their spending in coming weeks

This will have a knock-on effect on the public purse as VAT takings slump

As more businesses struggle job losses are expected to rise in spite of furlough

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8903375/Second-lockdown-final-death-blow-thousands-British-businesses.html

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Opinion Videos

Dr. Mike Yeadon on The James Delingpole Channel

Interview highlights

  • COVID-19 is not a dread disease that will kill everyone.
  • The initially high case fatality rate of COVID-19 was because the medical community didn’t know how to treat it.
  • The fatality rate of flu is 0.1% (1 in every 1,000 who are infected end up dying).
  • Ventilators are the wrong option if you do not have an obstructed airway disease.
  • Prod. Ioannidis: The infection fatality ratio of COVID-19 is 0.15%. This is pretty much the same as the flu.
  • We should just ask people to be careful but otherwise go about your daily life.
  • These things pass every year. This is the first ‘social media pandemic.’
  • The normal practice for intensive care beds in the NHS is to run them almost full. This is because a lot of intensive care bed assignment is planned.
  • ICU use at the height of the pandemic was has very low because the NHS was run as light as possible to cope with a second wave.
  • Respiratory viruses don’t do waves.
  • This is not opinion but is basic understanding among experts in the field. It is supposrted by the highest quality science. Sir Patrick Vallance knows this.
  • COVID-19 follows the Gompertz Curve.
  • You have immunity after your body has fought off a respiratory virus. If that was not the case, you’d be dead. Immunity probably lasts decades based on evidence from other viruses.
  • Gompertz Curve is identical in all heavily infection regions.
  • Something awefull happened in the middle of the year: PCR swab test.
  • It is not true that if you test more people you’ll save more lives. A certain percentage of the test will come up positive even if there’s no virus in you.
  • False positive rate wasn’t released.
  • Kate Barker wrote in a government document on June 3rd, 2020, to SAGE: test has an unknown false positive rate; based on similar tests it may be between 1%-2%. This is a big deal.
  • Based on 1%: for every 1,000 people you test, 10 will come back positive, even if they don’t have the virus. If prevalence is only 0.1% as reported by ONS, only 1 in 1,000 will be genuine. This means 9 in 10–in other words 90%–are false.
  • Pillar 2 testing would have caused of the most of the positives to be false.
  • 1,700 people die normally every day in the UK. During the summer, only about 10 were dying per day of covid.
  • More testing, more false positives. We’ll never escape covid if we keep testing because most of the positives will be false. This is immunology 101. Sir Patrick Vallance would have known this.
  • Influenza is a high mutation-rate virus. Coronaviruses are relatively stable so once you’ve recovered, you are probably immune for decades.
  • COVID-19 kills 0.15%-0.2%, slightly more lethal than the average flu. Once it’s gone through the population, it won’t come back.
  • 99.94% survive COVID-19 and will be resistant for a long time.
  • COVID-19 is 80% similar to SARS-COV-1.
  • People who were exposed to SARS have T-cell immunity 17 years later. Evidence for COVID-19 all point in direction.
  • Our bodies have many lines of defense, including innate immunity and T-cells. Antibodies are in the last line of defense.
  • Study shows around 30% prior immunity to SARS-COV-2. It was due to exposure to common-cold coronaviruses.
  • The claim made by Sir Patrick Vallance that more than 90% are susceptible is a lie.
  • Mass testing of the well populating is the worst problem as it generates false positives, fear and control.
  • If you’re immune, you can’t be infected or infectious. Herd immunity is already in play in London.
  • If SAGE is correct, London should be ‘ablaze’ with deaths.
  • Current testing methods are not forensically sound.
  • Tests detect common cold and dead virus.
  • SARS-COV-2 has never really been a public health emergency.
  • We do not need the vaccine to return to normal. Most people are not in danger from COVID-19. More people are in danger from car crashes and we accept that risk.
  • Best case scenario is that the vaccine is 50% effective. Natural immunity might be better.
  • The most vulnerable often don’t respond well to vaccines and die anyway.
  • SAGE is giving lethally wrong advice.
  • The reason the pandemic is not over is because SAGE says it’s not.

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News

Government has borrowed £1bn PER DAY and £208bn in just six months – during coronavirus crisis as £2tn debt debt pile hits worst level since 1960 – Daily Mail

* Government borrowing has hit £208billion in six months of coroanvirus crisis
* Debt pile has topped £2trillion and at 103.3% of GDP is the highest since 1960
* September borrowing figure of £36.1billion was the third highest on record

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8862441/Government-borrowing-hit-36BILLION-September-highest-month-records-began.html

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Opinion

Why I’m resigning from the government – Chris Green MP, The Spectator

The Greater Manchester ‘local lockdown’ and the more extreme economic lockdowns have both failed to control the number of positive tests within the Borough of Bolton, which has inexorably risen.

During the lockdown, Bolton has seen 20,000 fewer GP referrals to hospital when compared to last year, while many others have not accessed vital treatment because they have been too frightened to do so. By taking our current approach to Covid-19, we are creating many other health problems that are leading to pain, suffering and death. 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-i-m-resigning-from-the-government

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News

WHO warns against COVID-19 lockdowns due to economic damage – New York Post

The World Health Organization has warned leaders against relying on COVID-19 lockdowns to tackle outbreaks — after previously saying countries should be careful how quickly they reopen.

https://nypost.com/2020/10/11/who-warns-against-covid-19-lockdowns-due-to-economic-damage/

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Opinion Videos

Prof Francois Balloux: the climate of fear on Covid is dangerous – UnHerd

Source: UnHerd, 8 Oct 2020
  • Scientists should not be involved in devising and implementing policies.
  • The window of opportunity to suppress the virus is gone.
  • The toll on public health caused by closed borders will be absolutely awful.
  • Indefinite suppression may not have ever been an option.
  • Vaccines may be helpful but won’t be a silver bullet.
  • The virus is here to stay.
  • Vaccines may be effective in reducing symptoms but we can’t gamble on an infection blocking vaccine.
  • Some vaccines aren’t always suitable for the entire population.
  • Banking everything on a vaccine is not a reasonable approach.
  • National level measures are not convincing; targeted measures have more potential.
  • Communication has been problematic so public trust has been lost.
  • Fear over a long period of time is physiologically unhealthy and doesn’t ever just evaporate.
  • The cost of allowing people to choose their own risk-level would be much lower than the current blanket proposals.
  • Well-targeted testing can be extremely effective but mass testing in schools is not a good use of tests.
  • The ‘medicalization’ of society is worrying.
  • Blanket testing of asymptomatic people is completely new and presents multiple ethical problems.
  • Proportion of asymptomatic cases for 2009 influenza pandemic was around 50%-75%; this is similar to what we’re finding COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 is not so different from other viruses but the global approach is completely different.
  • Normalising the mass testing of otherwise healthy testing is very dangerous.
  • There’s not much to be gained from comparing the measures and results between countries; the move to technocracy is dangerous.
  • Whole societies should not turn around public health.
  • A constant climate of fear is counter-productive.
  • There were other countries that took a similar approach to Sweden, such as Switzerland.
  • Past pandemics have been comparable to COVID-19 but did not have the same response.
  • Outbreaks in care homes is nothing new.
  • The pandemic phase of COVID-19 should eventually be over by mid to end of 2021 and in all likelihood become endemic.
  • The most important message: COVID-19 presents a severe health crisis but it is not a ‘new normal.’
Categories
News

Herd immunity could have saved more lives than lockdown, study suggests – The Telegraph

Researchers from Edinburgh University reassessed Imperial modelling that showed half a million people would die.

Blanket social distancing and the closure of schools may have cost more lives than if herd immunity had been allowed to build slowly in the community, a study suggests.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/10/07/herd-immunity-could-have-saved-lives-lockdown-study-suggests/

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Opinion

An epidemic of failure: Test and Trace that doesn’t work, local lockdowns that don’t make sense, flu deaths counted as Covid-19… and an economy on the brink. We somehow made a crisis worse – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

  • The UK Government’s Test and Trace policy isn’t working and is worse than useless.
  • 40 per cent of those asked to name their recent contacts were unable to remember anyone.
  • The tests on which Test and Trace is based are highly unreliable.
  • Covid is a coronavirus and its symptoms are vague: a cough, a raised temperature, the loss of taste and smell — all of which overlap with the symptoms for flu and the common cold.
  • When the procedure goes wrong, it generates a ‘false positive’ result: it indicates an infection where none exists.
  • Even with long-established tests, we’d expect to see false positives in perhaps one per cent of cases. With this one, it could quite conceivably be 5 per cent or higher.
  • This means that if 300,000 tests are processed in a day, perhaps 15,000 or more will generate inaccurate reports of Covid-19 infection.
  • One positive is not necessarily the same as another, but the Government numbers don’t differentiate.
  • Last week, it was reported that just 1,800 out of 110,000 occupied beds in hospitals were taken up by Covid-19 patients.
  • It is likely that those who died were elderly and suffering from co-morbidities such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • But it is also possible that they died from something else entirely — such as flu.
  • The UK Government’s Test and Trace policy isn’t working and is worse than useless.
  • 40 per cent of those asked to name their recent contacts were unable to remember anyone.
  • The tests on which Test and Trace is based are highly unreliable.
  • Covid is a coronavirus and its symptoms are vague: a cough, a raised temperature, the loss of taste and smell — all of which overlap with the symptoms for flu and the common cold.
  • When the procedure goes wrong, it generates a ‘false positive’ result: it indicates an infection where none exists.
  • Even with long-established tests, we’d expect to see false positives in perhaps one per cent of cases. With this one, it could quite conceivably be 5 per cent or higher.
  • This means that if 300,000 tests are processed in a day, perhaps 15,000 or more will generate inaccurate reports of Covid-19 infection.
  • One positive is not necessarily the same as another, but the Government numbers don’t differentiate.
  • Last week, it was reported that just 1,800 out of 110,000 occupied beds in hospitals were taken up by Covid-19 patients.
  • It is likely that those who died were elderly and suffering from co-morbidities such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • But it is also possible that they died from something else entirely — such as flu.
  • Coronaviruses are as old as humanity and have resisted every attempt at a vaccine or a cure. One project to wipe out the common cold was funded for more than 40 years — and got nowhere.
  • Today’s flu vaccines are less than 50 per cent effective, and there is no chance whatever that a hurriedly developed Covid-19 vaccine could be anything like as good as that.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8808609/DR-JOHN-LEE-Test-Trace-doesnt-work-local-lockdowns-dont-make-sense.html

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Opinion Videos

Covid experts: there is another way – UnHerd

  • Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.
  • Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.
  • We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young.
  • COVID-19 is less dangerous for children than many other harms, including influenza.
  • All populations will eventually reach herd immunity.
  • Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.
  • Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19.
  • Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.
  • Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.
  • Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home.
  • Restaurants and other businesses should open.
  • Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/covid-experts-there-is-another-way/

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News

‘Inhumane, degrading, inexplicable’: Britain’s Covid care home policies ‘violated the fundamental human rights of vulnerable elderly residents’, Amnesty International report finds – Daily Mail

  • UK Government’s pandemic policies ‘violated the fundamental human rights of vulnerable older people in care’, Amnesty report claims.
  • Measures exposed elderly residents to Covid then blocked them from care.
  • Ministers ‘know from the outset’ that the virus posed ‘exceptional danger’ to 400,000 residents of UK care homes, many of whom are vulnerable.
  • Care home residents were subjected to ‘inhuman and degrading’ treatment.
  • Report says UK Government is ‘directly responsible’ for the care home tragedy.
  • 8,186 excess deaths recorded in care homes, with 18,562 of these attributed to Covid-19 – 40 per cent of all deaths from the virus.
  • Care home residents with suspected Covid-19 were ‘outright refused’ hospital treatment and died in distress from the virus without appropriate medical care – despite local hospitals having ‘hundreds’ of empty beds;
  • Health chiefs instructed GPs to pressure care home staff to put blanket ‘do not resuscitate’ orders on all residents without discussion. Instructions were often given verbally rather than written – leaving no paper trail;
  • One manager who tried to get a severely unwell resident into hospital in March was told: ‘He’s at the end of his life anyway, so we’re not going to send an ambulance’;
  • Care bosses have continued lockdowns – banning families from visiting loved ones, causing further distress and death – because they feared not following ‘excessive’ Government guidance would lead to them being sued or stripped of their licence to operate;
  • Despite repeated appeals, the Government and public bodies have withheld crucial data about the spread of Covid-19 in care homes and refused to reveal how many key decisions came to be made.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8801287/Coronavirus-UK-Care-home-policies-exposed-residents-virus-BLOCKED-medical-care.html