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Opinion

Making an apocalypse out of a pandemic – Spiked

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.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/09/18/making-an-apocalypse-out-of-a-pandemic/

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News Opinion

‘Australians must know the truth – this virus is not a pandemic’: Alan Jones, Sky News Australia

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.

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6191311935001

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News Opinion

The Failed Experiment of Covid Lockdowns – Wall Street Journal

New data shows that ockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus.

Six months into the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. has now carried out two large-scale experiments in public health—first, in March and April, the lockdown of the economy to arrest the spread of the virus, and second, since mid-April, the reopening of the economy. The results are in. Counterintuitive though it may be, statistical analysis shows that locking down the economy didn’t contain the disease’s spread and reopening it didn’t unleash a second wave of infections.

Considering that lockdowns are economically costly and create well-documented long-term public-health consequences beyond Covid, imposing them appears to have been a large policy error. At the beginning, when little was known, officials acted in ways they thought prudent. But now evidence proves that lockdowns were an expensive treatment with serious side effects and no benefit to society…

Measuring from the start of the year to each state’s point of maximum lockdown—which range from April 5 to April 18—it turns out that lockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus. States with longer, stricter lockdowns also had larger Covid outbreaks. The five places with the harshest lockdowns—the District of Columbia, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts—had the heaviest caseloads.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-failed-experiment-of-covid-lockdowns-11599000890

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Opinion

We wanted the toughest possible lockdown, and now we will pay the price – The Telegraph

I used to joke about ending up under house arrest – arraigned by Europol on charges of xenophobia for criticising the Maastricht Treaty or some such. Sure enough, here I am after an ill-timed trip to France. And house arrest is the apt term: we returnees not allowed out even for solitary walks. The rules are unenforceable, of course, and plenty of people are ignoring them, but newspaper columnists and politicians don’t have that option. If there is a double standard at work, it is the opposite of what is commonly supposed.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/30/wanted-toughest-possible-lockdown-now-will-pay-price/

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News

Europe is at last waking up to its lockdown folly – The Telegraph

Did you hear it? Beyond the second wave sirens and the schools debate, the sound of the penny dropping on the global stage. In recent days, world leaders have hinted at an extraordinary admission: lockdowns are a disaster, and we can’t afford to repeat the mistake

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/27/europe-last-waking-lockdown-folly/

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News

New Thinking on Covid Lockdowns: They’re Overly Blunt and Costly – Wall Street Journal

In response to the novel and deadly coronavirus, many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression.

The equivalent of 400 million jobs have been lost world-wide, 13 million in the U.S. alone. Global output is on track to fall 5% this year, far worse than during the financial crisis, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Five months later, the evidence suggests lockdowns were an overly blunt and economically costly tool. They are politically difficult to keep in place for long enough to stamp out the virus. The evidence also points to alternative strategies that could slow the spread of the epidemic at much less cost. As cases flare up throughout the U.S., some experts are urging policy makers to pursue these more targeted restrictions and interventions rather than another crippling round of lockdowns.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-lockdowns-economy-pandemic-recession-business-shutdown-sweden-coronavirus-11598281419

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News

How eco-warriors are using Covid as an excuse to drive cars off the road: Councils are closing roads but creating more cycle lanes, piling new agony on shops… all under the guise of saving us from the virus – Daily Mail

Covid has been used as an excuse for road closures to encourage people out of their cars to get fit and lose weight and protect themselves against the virus 

London, Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Derby and Cardiff are all in line for Government funding to install ‘green’ measures

Government has set aside £225m for ’emergency’ walking and cycling measures

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8654475/How-councils-closing-roads-creating-cycle-lanes-guise-saving-virus.html

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News

UK economy faces long climb back to health after historic 20% crash – Reuters

Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in the second quarter when the coronavirus lockdown was tightest, the most severe contraction reported by any major economy so far, with a wave of job losses set to hit later in 2020.

The data confirmed that the world’s sixth-biggest economy had entered a recession, with the low point coming in April when output was more than 25% below its pre-pandemic level.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-economy/uk-economic-output-collapses-by-20-4-in-second-quarter-idUSKCN2580LK

Categories
Opinion

The Lockdown Lobotomy – The Critic

While naysayers may pick holes in specific studies, the quantity and consistency of evidence is overwhelming: lockdown is stressful, it harms cognitive function, and it makes you susceptible to disease. Ultimately, the toll is high. A meta-analytic review (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015) found that social isolation increases the likelihood of mortality by 29%. In short, lockdown is murder.

https://thecritic.co.uk/the-lockdown-lobotomy/

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News

Sweden’s Economy, After Not Having Lockdown, in Much Better Shape Than Rest of Europe – Newsweek

  • Sweden’s GDP fell 8.6 in Q2 2020, the country’s worst quarterly decline in modern history.
  • The Scandanavian nation markedly outperformed the rest of Europe. Its GDP drop in the second quarter was lower than the 12.1 average experienced in the Eurozone, as well as the 11.9 average across the whole of the EU.
  • Sweden outperformed several European countries, including Spain (18.5 percent fall), France (13.6 percent), Italy (12.4 percent) and Germany (10.1 percent).

https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-sweden-economy-gross-domestic-product-eurozone-better-europe-1523359

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News Opinion Videos

Australians have been filled with fear and alarmism – Alan Jones, Sky News Australia

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)
  • 1,200 die in car accidents
Categories
Opinion

We need a Covid reality check and to focus on getting our economy back – The Telegraph

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.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/08/07/need-covid-reality-check-focus-getting-economy-back/

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Opinion

Britain’s gone from lockdown to la-la-land! – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

Grounded in dubious science and cowardly politics, the grievous wounds we have inflicted upon ourselves with the Covid-19 lockdown are becoming more evident every day.

Britain’s economic outlook is dire and job losses are mounting daily. It is clear many of those currently bankrolled by the Government’s furlough scheme to lie on the beach, lawn or sofa will soon discover that they have no employment to return to in the autumn.

Meanwhile, disturbing figures reported in the Mail yesterday, reveal how alarm is spreading among doctors and patients at the continued mothballing of sectors of the NHS.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8597815/Britains-gone-lockdown-la-la-land-says-DR-JOHN-LEE.html

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News

Lockdown may cost 200,000 lives, government report shows – The Telegraph

As national restrictions were imposed, experts from the Department of Health, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the government’s Actuary Department and the Home Office forecast the collateral damage from delays to healthcare and the effects of recession arising from the pandemic response.

It estimated that in a reasonable worst case scenario, around 50,000 people would die from coronavirus in the first six months of the pandemic, with mitigation measures in place.

[T]he report published in April they calculated that up to 25,000 could die from delays to treatment in the same period and a further 185,000 in the medium to long term – amounting to nearly one million years of life lost.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/19/lockdown-may-cost-200k-lives-government-report-shows/

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Opinion

Day by day, the coronavirus edges ever closer to extinction. Time to get back to normal – The Telegraph

It’s becoming clear that the social distancing rules – even if the new one-metre rule – are unnecessary.

Across the United Kingdom, epidemiologists, public health officials and local bureaucrats are stamping their feet and gnashing their teeth. They’re furious about the fact that daily deaths from Covid-19 are continuing to decline at a precipitous rate. Contrary to their dire warnings, the easing of lockdown restrictions hasn’t led to an uptick in the rate of infection. The much ballyhooed ‘second spike’ has refused to materialise. The virus has all but disappeared.

The extent to which Covid-19 has vanished isn’t immediately apparent from the figures. The death tolls announced each day refer to all those deaths involving coronavirus that have been ‘registered’ in the last 24 hours. That includes people who died weeks ago – sometimes months ago – but whose paperwork has only just been completed. If you look instead at the number of actual deaths in English hospitals in the last 24 hours, that gives a clearer picture. The number on June 23 was four – all in the north west. Fewer than 20 died in London hospitals in the past week.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/25/day-day-coronavirus-edges-ever-closer-extinction-time-get-back/

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News

The Government’s coronavirus response remains trapped in ludicrous second wave pseudo-science – The Telegraph

It is official. No 10 is too entangled in lockdown spin to do what it takes to save Britain. For the sake of our ailing economy, political clarity, and basic scientific honesty, this was Boris Johnson’s moment to declare to the nation that the overwhelming evidence suggests lockdown was a mistake – and we must never lock down again. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/06/23/governments-coronavirus-response-remains-trapped-ludicrous-second/

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News

Rise in UK jobless ‘already exceeds first year of the Great Depression’ – Evening Standard

After years of a near jobs miracle that saw record numbers in employment, Covid-19 is taking a brutal toll.

Figures from the ONS today show that the number of staff on UK payrolls fell by 612,000 between March and May.

Claimant unemployment is already up by 1.6 million since March to 2.8 million. In the whole year after the 1929 Wall Street Crash it rose by 1.0 million.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/rise-in-uk-jobless-already-exceeds-first-year-of-the-great-depression-a4470361.html

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Opinion

The past three months have proved it: the costs of lockdown are too high – The Guardian

The results are now in. Lockdowns are toxic for a world in which people travel to work on buses or commuter trains, spend eight hours with their colleagues at the office, spend their lunch hour doing a bit of shopping, and head off in the evening to the pub, the theatre or the football.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/14/the-past-three-months-have-proved-it-the-costs-of-lockdown-are-too-high

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Opinion

As the Left now controls every lever of power, we face nothing less than Regime Change – Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday

The sad but unavoidable fact, that the disease is little danger to most young and healthy people but is especially deadly to the old and ill, is also now beyond dispute…

The ceaseless assumption of the Government and the BBC that the shutdown ‘protected’ the NHS is simply not borne out by any facts. The NHS was never going to be overwhelmed. Covid deaths in this country peaked on April 8 – an event far too soon to have been caused by the shutdown announced on March 23 and begun the following day.

In fact, the country with the highest number of deaths per head is Belgium (843 per million). Yet Belgium introduced one of the tightest and most severe shutdowns on the planet. Sweden, without a shutdown at all, has suffered 472 deaths per million.

The UK figure of 620 per million may be inflated by our lax recording methods but hardly suggests that we did better than Sweden by throttling our economy and grossly interfering in personal liberty. Japan, which also did not shut down, suffered just over seven (yes, seven) deaths per million…

I believe that forces hostile to our country, its history and nature, have seen this as an opportunity. Probably incredulous to begin with, they realised the British people really had gone soft, accepting absurd and humiliating diktats, believing the most ridiculous claims. 

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/06/peter-hitchens-as-the-left-now-controls-every-lever-of-power-we-face-nothing-less-than-regime-change.html

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Publications

UK GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April 2020 – Office for National Statistics

In June 2020, The Office for National Statistics released their Gross domestic product (GDP) report for April 2020. They calculated that GDP fell by 10.4% in the three months to April. This was directly caused by the UK government’s policy of lockdown.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/gdpmonthlyestimateuk/april2020