- 75,000 people could die from non-Covid causes as a result of lockdown to devastating official figures in a 188-page document from SAGE.
- 16,000 people died as a result of the chaos in hospitals and care homes in March and April alone.
- A further 26,000 will die within a year if people continue to stay away from A&E.
- An additional 31,900 could die over the next five years as a result of missed cancer diagnoses, cancelled operations and the health impacts of a recession.
- Official COVID-19 death toll on 29 September 2020 is 41,936.
We have had plenty of anecdotes about people failing to be diagnosed with serious diseases during lockdown. This is thanks to either to hospitals cancelling appointments, GP surgeries stopping face-to-face meetings or people picking up the message that they should protect the NHS by trying not to use it.
The cycle of absurdity is now firmly established. We conceal ourselves; COVID-19 bides its time until we decide to come out again, infections rise, we go back into hiding. It’s a miserable, pointless spiral and possibly the most depressing thing about it is the institutional lack of intelligence it reveals. How much longer must this national version of Jeux Sans Frontières continue before Boris Johnson points to the elephant in the room – a great, lumbering fact of life that increasing numbers of us have been aware of for months.
Have we all gone mad, and become so afraid of the virus that we’ve lost the ability to read, to think and to question? You could argue that the fear of Covid-19 has become so all-consuming that it has become even more of a killer than the virus itself.
- The national debt: £36 billion borrowed last month [August] alone.
- The national debt: Our overall figure of more than £2 trillion is the biggest ever recorded, and will take at least two generations to pay off. Redundancy looms for millions.
- Of the 52,514 virus deaths registered by the Office for National Statistics, 89 per cent have been over-65s.
- More than 22,000 over-85s have died, as well as some 17,000 aged between 75 and 84.
- Only 314 people under the age of 40 have died of the disease since March.
- NHS England figures show that more than 95 per cent of patients who die from coronavirus in hospital have an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity.
- New report estimates that there will be a total of 74,000 deaths over the next five years due to the long-term financial and health impact of the pandemic.
- Oncologists warn of an extra 30,000 deaths from cancers currently going undiagnosed.
- Dr John Lee: COVID-19 is currently killing fewer than 40 of the 1,600 people who die every day in the UK.
- There were 2,000 extra deaths from strokes and heart attacks this summer.
Our study shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a large number of potentially missed or delayed diagnoses of health conditions, which carry high risk if not promptly diagnosed and effectively treated. Primary and secondary care services must proactively prepare to address the large backlog of patients that is likely to follow. Should a public health emergency on the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic occur in the future, or if subsequent surges in COVID-19 cases arise, national communication strategies must be carefully considered to ensure that large numbers of patients with urgent health needs do not disengage with health services.
Dear Prime Minister, Chancellor, CMOs and Chief Scientific Adviser
We are writing with the intention of providing constructive input into the choices with respect to the Covid-19 policy response. We also have several concerns regarding aspects of the existing policy choices that we wish to draw attention to.
In summary, our view is that the existing policy path is inconsistent with the known risk-profile of Covid-19 and should be reconsidered. The unstated objective currently appears to be one of suppression of the virus, until such a time that a vaccine can be deployed. This objective is increasingly unfeasible (notwithstanding our more specific concerns regarding existing policies) and is leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits.
Instead, more targeted measures that protect the most vulnerable from Covid, whilst not adversely impacting those not at risk, are more supportable. Given the high proportion of Covid deaths in care homes, these should be a priority. Such targeted measures should be explored as a matter of urgency, as the logical cornerstone of our future strategy.
In addition to this overarching point, we append a set of concerns regarding the existing policy choices, which we hope will be received in the spirit in which they are intended. We are mindful that the current circumstances are challenging, and that all policy decisions are difficult ones. Moreover, many people have sadly lost loved ones to Covid-19 throughout the UK. Nonetheless, the current debate appears unhelpfully polarised around views that Covid is extremely deadly to all (and that large-scale policy interventions are effective); and on the other hand, those who believe Covid poses no risk at all. In light of this, and in order to make choices that increase our prospects of achieving better outcomes in future, we think now is the right time to ‘step back’ and fundamentally reconsider the path forward.
Professor Sunetra Gupta; Professor of theoretical epidemiology, the University of Oxford
Professor Carl Heneghan; Director, Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, the University of Oxford
Professor Karol Sikora; Consultant oncologist and Professor of medicine, University of Buckingham
Sam Williams; Director and co-founder of Economic Insight
I knew a second lockdown was on the cards before we’d had the first one. In mid-March my team at the University of Edinburgh modelled a lockdown that ended in June and was followed by a slow, initially imperceptible rise in cases over the summer, culminating in a second lockdown in late September.
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 or 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 great 20th-century pandemics, comparable in so many ways to their 21st-century heir, accounted for myriad private tragedies. Yet, unlike this novel coronavirus, their public, political significance was negligible. They were treated as public-health challenges, problems for clinicians, virologists and epidemiologists. And there were arguments at the time that more should have been done to mitigate their harm. But there was no sense of a world ending. No talk of a new normal. No attempt, that is, to reorganise the entirety of societal life around the threat they posed.
Dr. Mike Yeadon, former Chief Scientific Advisor, Pfizer:
- The evidence suggests that a substantial number of the positive cases are false positives.
- The government doesn’t know or is not disclosing the false positive rate.
- False positive rate may be as high as 1%, which would mean most or all of the positives are false positives.
- We are finding traces of an ‘old’ virus which can’t possibly make people sick.
- The test looks for a piece of genetic code. A positive test does not mean someone is sick.
- ONS says the prevalence of the virus is less than 0.1%.
- Pillar 2 (community) testing seems to be flawed. Method of processing samples would be inadmissible if this were a forensic case.
- The number of COVID deaths is continuing to stay low and fallen for 6 months. For it to suddenly increase would need a big change in transmission.
- Young people would have been the first who caught COVID-19 because they were not social distancing. The idea that the young people are now getting it is “for the birds.”
- If positive tests are false, they will be distributed evenly in the population. This is what we’re finding.
- Mass testing is not the answer.
- Sweden is not doing mass testing and their society has had 0.06% of their population die from COVID-19. This is the same as the UK.
- We are using a test with an undeclared false-positive rate.
- Are we re-testing the positives? This is unclear.
- A second lockdown is going to amplify the non-COVID deaths.
- UK’s lockdown was too late to prevent the initial spread.
- Mass population immunity is keeping the deaths low. This is the most reasonable explanation for the differences between the models and reality.
Sky News host Alan Jones says he has warned time and time again the political leaders who are the architects of this coronavirus response will not be able to escape the criticism that is now finding its way into the public place. It comes as an economist in the Victorian Department of Finance and Treasury, Sanjeev Sabhlok, on Wednesday penned an article in the Australian Financial Review announcing his resignation from his position.
- Policies are a sledgehammer to kill a swarm of flies.
- The Spanish Flu killed killed at least 50 million out of 1.8 billion people out of worldwide.
- To compare with Spanish Flu, COVID-19 would need to kill 210 million people. It has only killed 0.9 million.
- 60 million people worldwide normally die each year.
- There are strong scientific arguments against lockdown.
- The data was clear from February that the elderly should be protected but this wasn’t done.
- Epidemiological models have badly exaggerated the risk.
- There was never any reason to mandate measures such as face masks.
- COVID-19 is no worse than the Asian Flu.
- Lockdowns cannot eradicate the virus.
Since the pandemic began, Goerke’s wife, Denise — 63 years old and afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease — had declined dramatically. Left alone in her nursing home, she had lost 16 pounds, could not form the simplest words, no longer responded to the voices of her children.
In recent weeks, she had stopped recognizing even the man she loved.
Goerke, 61, could tell the isolation was killing his wife, and there was nothing he could do but watch. “Every day it gets a little worse,” he said. “We’ve lost months, maybe years of her already.”
A slew of studies from around the world has reported a disturbing trend: since the coronavirus pandemic started, there has been a significant rise in the proportion of pregnancies ending in stillbirths, in which babies die in the womb. Researchers say that in some countries, pregnant women have received less care than they need because of lockdown restrictions and disruptions to health care. As a result, complications that can lead to stillbirths were probably missed, they say.
- The NHS has not resumed anything like normal service. But the predicted Covid deluge never materialised.
- Current Covid death toll of 41,628 is barely half the total fatalities of the 1968 flu epidemic in the UK.
- Hospital admissions for cancer were down by 36 per cent in April and another 37 per cent in May.
- The State has wildly over-reacted, partly as a result of being in thrall to scientists such as Professor Neil Ferguson with unproven theories and dubious modelling.
- More than 1,600 people die in Britain every day, yet, despite the Government’s scaremongering, the coronavirus daily death toll has been in single or low double figures for weeks.
- The ‘rule of six’ has no scientific evidence to back it up, and may well end up having major social consequences.
- Increased activity at the end of summer leads to an increase in acute respiratory infections, as it does every year.
- Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence Based Medicine: no scientific evidence on the effects of measures such as distancing on respiratory viral spread. No study pointing to the number six. If it’s made up, why not five or seven?
- Admissions for Covid, critical care bed occupancies and deaths are now at an all-time low.
- There are currently 600 patients in hospital with Covid compared to over 17,000 at the height of the epidemic. An average of ten patients a day die with Covid registered on their death certificate, compared to over 1,000 at the peak.
- Shift in focus away from the impact of the disease is a worrying development.
- Severity of the pandemic was monitored by numbers of cases, numbers of admissions, and deaths. All three measures are open to misinterpretation if their definitions are not standardised.
- Cases are being over-diagnosed by a test that can pick up dead viral load.
- Hospital admissions are subjective decisions made by physicians which can vary from hospital to hospital.
- Even deaths have been misattributed.
- Cases will rise, as they will in winter for all acute respiratory pathogens, but this will not necessarily translate into excess deaths.
- Models ignore the vast expertise of our clinicians and public health experts who could provide a more robust approach based on their real-world healthcare experiences.
- The current Cabinet is inexperienced:
- the Health Secretary has been in post for just over two years now;
- the PM and the Chief Medical Officer a year;
- The Joint Biosecurity Centre is overseen by a senior spy who monitors the spread of coronavirus and suppresses new outbreaks;
- New chair of the National Institute for Health Protection who has little or no background in healthcare.
- The recognised alert threshold for ‘regular’ acute respiratory infections is 400 cases per 100,000.
- Britain’s mental health has deteriorated. During lockdown, a fifth of vulnerable people considered self-harming, routine healthcare came to a standstill, operations were cancelled, and cancer care put on hold.
- The most glaring initial blunder was not observing what was going on in other European nations and learning from their mistakes.
- Life should return to as close as possible to normality.
The face mask requirement at school is bad for children’s general well-being and should be abolished, 70 doctors wrote in an open letter to Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts.
…The doctors mentioned anxiety and sleep problems as well as behavioural disorders and germaphobia, which is a pathological fear of germs. They are also seeing an increase in domestic violence, isolation and deprivation.
“Mandatory face masks in schools are a major threat to their development. It ignores the essential needs of the growing child. The well-being of children and young people is highly dependent on emotional attachment to others,” they wrote.
Moreover, “there is no large-scale evidence that wearing face masks in a non-professional environment has any positive effect on the spread of viruses, let alone on general health. Nor is there any legal basis for implementing this requirement.”
But where did this one percent figure come from? You may find this hard to believe, but this figure emerged by mistake. A pretty major thing to make a mistake about, but that’s what happened.
In order to understand what happened, you have to understand the difference between two medical terms that sound the same – but are completely different. [IFR and CFR.]
CFR will always be far higher than the IFR. With influenza, the CFR is around ten times as high as the IFR. Covid seems to have a similar proportion.
Now, clearly, you do not want to get these figures mixed up. By doing so you would either wildly overestimate, or wildly underestimate, the impact of Covid. But mix these figures up, they did.
…we’ve had all the deaths we were ever going to get. And which also means that lockdown achieved, almost precisely nothing with regard to Covid. No deaths were prevented.
FORCING school children to wear masks is part of a scattergun approach by a government “lacking the political will” to study the actual evidence, a professor warns.
Dr Carl Heneghan said that the mask doctrine came into place even as the deputy chief medical officer admitted there was no strong evidence they would help with the disease. This was despite the social and psychological damage masking pupils would cause, he said. He pointed out that with drug interventions, high quality testing was required before they were implemented.
…He said: “Wearing masks can interfere with social wellbeing. We clearly understand with drugs the need to do proper research on the benefits against the harms before we use them.
This is a huge intervention to impose on society with many unknowns and potentially damaging consequences, but we are not doing the research to justify it.”
Death rates among seriously ill Covid-19 patients dropped sharply as doctors rejected the use of mechanical ventilators, analysis has found.
Patients dying at home from causes other than Covid-19 are fuelling excess deaths across the UK, official figures show.