Categories
Opinion

Government may increase the death toll with unjust and insane measures, why are they doubling down on failure? – Lord Sumption, The Sun

  • Instead of indiscriminate rules, we should be concentrating on protecting the vulnerable.
  • The rest should be allowed to get on with normal life and acquire some natural immunity.
  • The Government’s policy is founded upon a great lie — that we are all vulnerable to Covid so it is necessary to take over the lives of everyone.
  • For healthy people under 60 the symptoms are usually mild or non-existent. 
  • About 90 per cent of deaths have been of people aged over 70. Most are in their 80s or 90s.
  • Infections don’t matter a row of beans unless they lead to hospitalisations or deaths.
  • Out of nearly 43,000 dead with Covid-19, just 41 have been under 25.
  • What we are seeing now…is the first spike…which has come back to hit us. Just as their advisers told them it would, back in February and March.
  • So why are Johnson and his crew doubling down on failure? This is about covering politicians’ backs.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12886627/lord-sumption-government-death-toll-coronavirus-crisis/

Categories
Opinion

Is Moonshot testing a waste of money? – UnHerd

Recently, the Government agreed a £161 million deal with a British company called DnaNudge to provide 5.8 million Covid tests, as part of its “Moonshot” programme for mass testing of the population at the point of care. The CovidNudge test is “a rapid, accurate, portable and lab-free RT-PCR test that delivers results at the point of need and in just over an hour”, according to DnaNudge’s own promotional material. DnaNudge is a spinoff company of Imperial College London.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/is-moonshot-testing-a-waste-of-money/

Categories
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
Opinion

My manifesto to beat coronavirus crisis: Protect the elderly and vulnerable, let the rest live their lives, and throw Britain open again – Prof. David Livermore, Daily Mail

In fact, it is now becoming clear [Lockdown] is simply the wrong policy. Those who dissented from the Government’s Covid-19 strategy have been dismissed as mavericks on the fringes of the scientific establishment. However, this is no longer the case. I am afraid that the broadcast media has been particularly slow to reflect a shift in outlook among international scientists.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8816651/PROF-DAVID-LIVERMORE-manifesto-beat-coronavirus-crisis.html

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Publications

Global perspective of COVID‐19 epidemiology for a full‐cycle pandemic – Prof. John Ioannidis, Wiley Online Library

  • As of October 2020, there are >1 million documented deaths with COVID‐19.
  • Many early deaths may have been due to suboptimal management, malfunctional health systems, hydroxychloroquine, sending COVID‐19 patients to nursing homes, and nosocomial infections; such deaths are partially avoidable moving forward.
  • About 10% of the global population may be infected by October 2020.
  • Global infection fatality rate is 0.15‐0.20%
  • Global infection fatality rate in those younger than 70 years old is 0.03‐0.04%.
  • Targeted, precise management of the pandemic and avoiding past mistakes would help minimize mortality.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13423

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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News

The exploitation of Long Covid – Spiked

Clearly, the long-term effects of coronavirus need research, and those suffering from them need help. But these long-term effects also need to be seen in perspective. Long Covid is only unique insofar as it has been named and advertised as such. A post-viral syndrome can follow many types of viral infection, from the common cold to influenza and pneumonia. Yet no one has compiled and publicised data sets for those suffering from such a syndrome, let alone anointed it Long Flu or Long Cold.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/10/06/the-exploitation-of-long-covid/

Categories
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

Categories
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/

Categories
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

Categories
News

Sweden’s coronavirus success: How nation went OWN WAY to ‘lead fight against Covid-19’ – The Express

A CORONAVIRUS vaccine may work but will need years to take effect if it does. Even in this best case scenario, Covid-19 will probably never be truly eradicated.

In fact, Mr Tegnell says, if any country was “following the science” – the phrase favoured by Boris Johnson – sense advice to alert its population.

Long-term lockdowns and facemasks are not the answer, he believes. “I can understand some countries situations were so bad they needed to do something drastic and it was tempting to lockdown,” he says.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1343447/sweden-coronavirus-vaccine-no-lockdown

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Opinion

Boris Johnson’s ‘strongman’ Government is destroying democracy – Lord Sumption, The Telegraph

Authoritarian government depends on fear. Ministers need to spread fear to justify what they are doing and achieve compliance. So we have the continual attempt to pretend that everyone is at risk, even if they are under 60 and in good health. We have the dodgy charts deployed last week to persuade us that infections were doubling every week. We have continual threats to lock us down. This kind of behaviour destroys trust. If the government were trusted, it would not need to resort to coercion on the scale that it is doing. People are more likely to comply if the advice makes sense, is presented to them coherently, in calm language, and is supported by evidence which has not been crudely hyped up.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/10/02/boris-johnsons-strongman-government-destroying-democracy/

Categories
Publications

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 1: Friable mask particulate and lung vulnerability – ResearchGate

There is no biological history of mass masking until the current era. It is important to consider possible outcomes of this society-wide experiment. The consequences to the health of individuals is as yet unknown. Masked individuals have measurably higher inspiratory flow than non-masked individuals. This study is of new masks removed from manufacturer packaging, as well as a laundered cloth mask, examined microscopically. 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.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344360277_Masks_false_safety_and_real_dangers_Part_1_Friable_mask_particulate_and_lung_vulnerability

Categories
Opinion

How each year of life saved from Covid-19 costs £180,000: Statistician claims the price of rescuing a coronavirus patient is six times higher than the NHS threshold for other diseases – Professor Simon Wood, The Spectator

The cost of adding one more year of life to someone who is dying of coronavirus is more than five times higher than the maximum the NHS can spend on other illnesses, according to a statistician.

  • The cost of adding one more year of life to someone who is dying of coronavirus is more than five times higher than the maximum the NHS can spend on other illnesses.
  • Professor Simon Wood has calculated that it costs approximately £180,000 per extra year of life to rescue a dying Covid-19 patient.
  • NHS watchdog will only spend up to £30,000 per year of life on any new treatment, deeming any higher cost a bad cost-to-benefit ratio.
  • Many people left in worse physical or mental health, or in poverty, as a result of policies brought in to slow down Covid-19 could see years chopped off their life expectancy.
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted the UK’s national debt would grow by £550billion next year as a result of spending during the epidemic.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which makes decisions on which drugs are good value for the NHS, considers £30,000 to be at the upper end of its good value limit.
  • Statistical organisations across the UK, meanwhile, suggest that there have been around 59,000 ‘excess deaths’ during the epidemic, which includes people who died of Covid-19 but never tested positive, as well as those who died because of indirect effects of lockdown, such as being unable to get hospital care.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8795383/How-year-life-saved-Covid-19-costs-180-000.html

Categories
News

More than a third of UK employers planning to make staff redundant – The Guardian

More than a third of UK employers plan to make staff redundant over the next three months, according to research warning of a cascade of job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/01/more-than-third-uk-employers-planning-make-staff-redundant-job-losses

Categories
Publications

Effectiveness of Face Masks in Preventing Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 – American Society for Microbiology

Airborne simulation experiments showed that cotton masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks provide some protection from the transmission of infective SARS-CoV-2 droplets/aerosols; however, medical masks (surgical masks and even N95 masks) could not completely block the transmission of virus droplets/aerosols even when sealed.

https://msphere.asm.org/content/5/5/e00637-20

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Publications

Effect of calcifediol treatment and best available therapy versus best available therapy on intensive care unit admission and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: A pilot randomized clinical study – Science Direct

The vitamin D endocrine system have a variety of actions on cells and tissues involved in COVID-19 progression.

Early calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) treatment to hospitalized COVID-19 patients significantly reduced intensive care unit admissions-Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the COVID-19.

Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960076020302764

Categories
News

HSE attempts to trace origins of new virus cases – RTE

The committee also heard that under the World Health Organization case definition, if a patient has a heart attack and is also found to have Covid-19, the case will be recorded as a Covid-19 death.

  • Chief Executive Paul Reid said the cost of testing this year is estimated at €450 million and the estimate for next year is €700m.
  • He said that, to date, the highest level of weekly testing has been 90,000 tests.
  • 4,328 children and teachers have been tested and the positivity rate in school cases has been 1.9%.
  • Out of 27 deaths in September 2020, 20 of these cases, the patients had an underlying illness.
  • The median age of those who died was 79.
Categories
Opinion

We must learn to live with coronavirus – just like Samuel Pepys lived with the Great Plague

  • Humans have lived with infectious diseases for at least 15,000 years.
  • Until the early 2000s when we started to vaccinate for flu, we accepted that outbreaks would kill 20,000 to 50,000 people every winter without much comment.
  • Self-isolation is not appropriate if you do not share the living conditions of the elites who make the rules – and that the risk does not seem proportionate to the benefits for ordinary people.
  • Face covering, as practised, is irrelevant in most circumstances. The whole country should not be driven by the exceptional circumstances of rush hour in major cities. If most people are currently wearing face coverings, acknowledge that this is because they want to avoid trouble rather than to achieve protection.
  • We will never eradicate the threat from coronaviruses because they are so widespread among animal populations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8776423/Coronavirus-UK-learn-live-covid-says-ROBERT-DINGWALL.html

Categories
Opinion

Quantifying the cost of lockdown – The Spectator

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. 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/quantifying-the-cost-of-lockdown