How did we listen to that bonkers, ahem, advice with a straight face? I thought it was worth compiling a list of the 50 craziest measures
One of the checks and balances on rampant bad scientific research is to continuously assess how new ideas fit into the framework of the bigger picture. A new piece of information may seem perfectly reasonable and well-documented, but the domino effect of its implications gives you another way to test its validity. When multiple lines of seemingly rock-solid evidence contradict one another, that’s a good sign that something is wrong, even if you don’t yet know why. Whenever a thread seems out of place, it’s time to pull on that thread until you can figure out what exactly is going on.
…”Trusting the science” is not (and never has been) about trusting results or trusting experts. Trusting the scientists is what got us into this mess. For science to function properly, we must NOT trust the scientists. Instead, we must trust in the messy self-correcting process that allows truth to boil to the surface even if every participant in that process is flawed.
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the Experts”
— Richard P. Feynman
Science is the relentless competition between measurable pieces of evidence, the ruthless gauntlet of debate, the willingness to question even the most “obvious” of assumptions, and the humbleness to test and retest any and all assumptions against hard evidence, most especially when those assumptions are our own.
‘I remember 20 May 2020 vividly, I spent hours on the phone to a man who was in the hospital car park, utterly desperate to see his wife. He begged, wept, shouted to be let in, but we said no – for the greater good of everyone else. She died unexpectedly and alone, as the government had a party.’
…We let people die alone. Just think about that. We let desperate, terrified men howl in car parks. We kept husband from wife, wife from husband. We let people give birth alone. We deprived the elderly of visits from their loved ones. We left dementia sufferers to believe, in their rare moments of lucidity, that their sons and daughters and grandchildren had abandoned them. We let people die alone.
Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the height of nationwide lockdown to “make the most of the lovely weather”.
An email shared exclusively with ITV News provides the first evidence of a party on May 20, 2020, when the rest of the country was banned from meeting more than one other person outdoors.
7.00 We never vaccinate an entire population
21.00 Vaccination does not stop transmission
30.00 21000 died VAERS data
35.00 BBC, CNN YouTube etc is suppressing information
46.00 The way out is to stop testing
50.00 masks don’t work
53.00 Effective Home Treatments
here was a distinctive moment, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, that neatly encapsulated the mistakes and confusion of Britain’s early efforts to tackle the disease, says Mark Woolhouse. At a No 10 briefing in March 2020, cabinet minister Michael Gove warned the virus did not discriminate. “Everyone is at risk,” he announced.
And nothing could be further from the truth, argues Professor Woolhouse, an expert on infectious diseases at Edinburgh University. “I am afraid Gove’s statement was simply not true,” he says. “In fact, this is a very discriminatory virus. Some people are much more at risk from it than others. People over 75 are an astonishing 10,000 times more at risk than those who are under 15.”
And it was this failure to understand the wide variations in individual responses to Covid-19 that led to Britain’s flawed responses to the disease’s appearance, he argues – errors that included the imposition of a long-lasting, national lockdown. This is a strategy that Woolhouse – one of the country’s leading epidemiologists – describes as morally wrong and highly damaging in his forthcoming book, The Year the World Went Mad: A Scientific Memoir.
One of Britain’s most senior health advisers has been accused of disseminating “dodgy data” that inflated the potential risk of omicron.
Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), is understood to have been the source of a contested claim by Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, that there is typically a 17-day lag between patients becoming infected and requiring hospitalisation.
However, independent experts pointed to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which suggested an average delay of nine or 10 days.
The impact of lockdowns on young children “will last for years”, according to experts, who are warning that delays in communication and social skills will affect learning in the future.
Social and emotional development, interaction with their peers, behaviour, self-regulation, and anxiety have all been highlighted as areas of concern by Sara Bonetti, head of early years development at the Education Policy Institute.
The Covid modellers at Imperial College have begun to back down. About time too. Over the past few weeks, they have made extreme claims about the omicron variant that cannot be fully justified by fundamental science, let alone by clinical observation.
Fears the NHS could be overwhelmed with Omicron cases, one of the key concerns that spooked ministers into talk of Christmas lockdowns, appear to be unfounded based on the current data, it was claimed last night.
London’s hospitals have seen a spike in cases of patients with coronavirus, leading to fears hospitalisations are following the exponential increases seen with cases in recent weeks.
However, figures show up to 40 per cent of new Covid admissions in the past week only tested positive after arriving at hospital, possibly for a different illness or ailment.
Dr. Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH, is a board-certified cardiologist who has testified before committees of the US and Texas Senate regarding the treatment of COVID-19 and management of the ongoing pandemic.
The UK Government’s handling of what Boris Johnson warned will be a ‘tidal wave’ of Omicron infections verges on hysteria.
With predictions of one million cases by the end of the month and concerns about the NHS being overwhelmed with up to 10,000 hospitalisations per day, I gather there is talk of Christmas again being cancelled and a possible New Year lockdown.
Yet you only have to look at the picture in South Africa, where the world’s first known cases of Omicron were spotted, to realise this reaction is out of all proportion to the risks posed by this variant.
And I should know — because I am the doctor who first raised the alarm about Omicron back in November.
The No 10 Christmas party was planned for three weeks with invitations sent to officials and advisers on WhatsApp while the UK was in full lockdown, The Times has been told.
Invitations to last year’s event were circulated at the end of November, asking people to attend the press office’s “secret Santa” gathering with an exchange of gifts. The invitation said it would be held on December 18 and that there would be food and wine.
The messages are likely to form part of an inquiry by Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, who is seeking to establish whether the event was a party and therefore represented a breach of lockdown rules. Case has said he is prepared to hand over any evidence to the police.
The societal, and therefore moral, consequences of our current situation are catastrophic, and yet they have gone curiously unmentioned. Domestic violence has risen to levels that constitute a tragic pandemic in itself. The reliance on the internet and hours cooped up at home has led to the consumption of violent or taboo forms of pornography skyrocketing.
We have a duty to contemplate the effect of repeated lockdowns on the young, particularly on the development and the nutrition of the poorest children. They have carried an extraordinary burden.
And while restrictions may be tolerable for the comfortable middle classes, our leaders seem to have forgotten those for whom staying at home is a type of hell, and those for whom work, which tends to be essential, cannot be conducted from the spare bedroom.
‘Masks were a softening up exercise for Plan B,’ according to a government whistleblower. He told me that while there is little appetite in the Cabinet for a full lockdown, Covid Passes are ‘oven-baked’ and ready to go.
In my opinion, the UK government’s Winter Plan was always about Plan B. It displayed a classic ‘foot-in-the-door’ strategy – the raison d’être of Plan A was to prepare you for Plan B. Now winter is upon us, and the nudges fall in a flurry of torpefying snowflakes. Worst case scenarios, big numbers, salutary stories in the media, threats and cajolements are directed at us daily. Plan B is in motion as calls for working from home are heard from the usual suspects and we hear the Cabinet is divided on Covid Passes.
This seasoned government insider plays a key role on a Covid task force and has decided to speak out now because he is disturbed by the unethical reasons for mandating masks. Firstly, ‘It’s a highly political move to reset the Johnson administration’s orientation after bad polling over sleaze and corruption. If Omicron turns out to be super-bad and the public ask what the government did about it, the answer is we implemented masks. The one-way systems, plexiglass screens and masks are to give you an illusion of the government doing something. It’s just theatre. There is no evidence base or proportionality in favour of masks.’
Plan B is a go. And just like that, more mask mandates, working from home guidance and, most controversially, vaccine passports have been rushed in. While we wait, of one thing we can be certain: Covid decisions this winter are once again being determined by one institution. While we wait to find out more about the omicron variant, there is one thing we can say with certainty: our future rests once again on the ability of the National Health Service to handle an uptick in cases.
…Yet the NHS has a guilty little secret, rarely talked about given its status as the national religion. On many metrics, capacity has not been rising – it’s actually been falling.
Italy has brought in tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people as the holidays draw near, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theatres and museums to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine skeptics to get their jabs.
Only those who have the ‘Super Green Pass’, which requires Italians to be double-jabbed rather than providing a negative Covid test result, will be able to fully participate in public life from Monday.
Italian police will be checking will be checking whether those visiting indoor restaurants, bars, concerts, sports events, theatres and public events, have the ‘super’ green health pass until January 15.
Perhaps the most dangerous three words in the English language are ‘Protect the NHS’.
After 18 months of discouraging people from getting treatment in hospital, we are now seeing the catastrophic results.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) this week found that up to 740,000 potential cancer patients have been missed since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.
These are people who should have been referred urgently for investigation in hospital, for a disease where delays exponentially increase the risk of death.
The NAO estimates that, since the pandemic began, between 35,000 and 60,000 fewer people than expected have started treatment for cancer.
Madrid’s rising star leader on Friday attacked “paternalistic” Left-wing governments for confining people to their homes as she warned that any return to a Covid lockdown would be remembered as a “historical error”.
Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the president of Madrid’s regional authority, defied Spain’s socialist government to free her city from a lockdown she believed was doing more harm than good.
…”I received an unprecedented level of pressure, both politically and in terms of the media. I was insulted and called a murderer,” she said. “But time has shown I was right because we were clear about what we were doing. Since the regions took back control of the health situation, infections in Madrid have tailed off.
Freddie visits the Austrian capital Vienna on the day that the world’s first lockdown for the unvaccinated was introduced, looking for answers. How do ordinary people feel about a third of their population being put in partial house arrest? How does it feel for the people stuck at home? And how did a liberal democracy come to this in 2021?