Categories
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

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

Categories
Opinion

Snitches and snoopers, students and the elderly shut away… a nation cowering and an economy in tatters. Now BEL MOONEY asks: How could once-indomitable Britain be reduced to slaves to fear? – Daily Mail

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.
Categories
Publications

Diagnosis of physical and mental health conditions in primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a retrospective cohort study – The Lancet

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.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30201-2/fulltext#

Categories
Opinion

Boris Johnson needs to bin the rule of six- The Spectator

  • 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.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-needs-to-bin-the-rule-of-six

Categories
News

Mandatory masks in school are a ‘major threat’ to children’s development, doctors warn – The Brussels Times

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.”

https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-all-news/health/130480/face-mask-obligation-in-school-major-threat-to-childrens-development-doctors-say/

Categories
News Opinion

Face mask rule for school children imposed ‘without proper research’ professor says – Professor Carl Heneghan, Daily Mail

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.”

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/

Categories
Videos

Live NHS Special – Unlocked

We get to grips with the unintended consequences of lockdown on the NHS & the health of the nation.

Martin Daubney interviews Ex-director of the WHO Cancer Programme Professor Karol Sikora.
Consultant Neurologist and MS specialist Dr Waqar Rashid
Dr Ellie Cannon NHS GP and Mail on Sunday Columnist
Dr Tom Jefferson Clinical Epidomilogist- University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine
Dr John Lee Former Clinical Professor of Pathology at Hull York Medical School and Consultant Histopathologist at Rotherham General Hospital & Director of Cancer Services at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.

Categories
News

Fifth of vulnerable people considered self-harm in UK lockdown – The Guardian

A fifth of vulnerable people in Britain thought about self-harming or killing themselves during lockdown, according to research shared with the Guardian, as a series of inquests underline the mental health toll of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Findings from University College London reveal that 8,000 out of 44,000 people surveyed (18%) reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and 42% had accessed support services. A further 5% said they had harmed themselves at least once since the start of the UK’s lockdown.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jul/12/vulnerable-people-self-harm-suicide-uk-lockdown-coronavirus

Categories
News

UK’s mental health has deteriorated during lockdown, says Mind – The Guardian

Government must take urgent action to prevent even bigger crisis in future, charity warns

Lockdown has been devastating for mental health and the worst could be yet to come, a leading charity has said.

The mental health charity Mind says a survey has revealed that lockdown has had a dramatic impact on the nation’s mental health, warning that unless action is taken now, the problem could grow.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jun/30/uks-mental-health-has-deteriorated-during-lockdown-says-mind

Categories
News

Three mothers are considering launching legal battle with Government claiming school closures during coronavirus crisis may have breached their children’s human rights – Daily Mail

Three mothers are considering suing the Government over school closures – amid claims they may have breached children’s human rights and pupil’s are being ‘treated like they’re germs’. 

The women have also written to the Secretary of State Gavin Williamson to ask whether the ‘long term physical and mental welfare’ of pupils has been considered, and to raise concerns about social distancing.

Categories
News

Calls to lift lockdown in UK care homes over fears for residents’ mental health – The Guardian

Senior social care leaders are calling on ministers to prioritise unlocking care homes amid growing concerns that mental health problems are contributing to the deaths of residents.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/30/calls-to-lift-lockdown-in-uk-care-homes-over-fears-for-residents-mental-health

Categories
Videos

Why We Might Not Need A Vaccine for COVID-19 – Professor Karol Sikora, This Morning ITV

Categories
Opinion Videos

Professor Karol Sikora: fear is more deadly than the virus – UnHerd

  • Professor Karol Sikora says that COVID-19 behaves like pandemics in the past.
  • Society is scarred all over the world.
  • The virus will go but the fear will do the damage.

Note: YouTube has taken down the video. Please go directly to UnHerd’s site:

https://unherd.com/thepost/professor-karol-sikora-fear-is-more-dangerous-than-the-virus/

Professor Karol Sikora has become something of a celebrity in the UK over the past months for his expert commentary on the pandemic, and his unusual tendency for optimism rather than pessimism.

Virus ‘getting tired’
– In the past two weeks, the virus is showing signs of petering out
– It’s as though the virus is ‘getting tired’, almost ‘getting bored’
– It’s happening across the world at the same time

Existing herd immunity
– The serology results around the world (and forthcoming in Britain) don’t necessarily reveal the percentage of people who have had the disease
– He estimates 25-30% of the UK population has had Covid-19, and higher in the group that is most susceptible
– Pockets of herd immunity help *already* explain the downturn
– Sweden’s end result will not be different to ours – lockdown versus no lockdown

Fear more deadly than the virus
– When the history books are written, the fear will have killed many more people than the virus, including large numbers of cancer and cardiological patients not being treated
– We should have got the machinery of the NHS for non-corona patients back open earlier

Masks and schools
– Evidence on masks is just not there either way so it should be an ‘individual decision’
– We should move to 1m social distancing which means restaurants and bars could reopen
– More schools should reopen in June as ‘children are not the transmitters of this virus’
– We should be getting back to the ‘old normal’ not a ‘new normal’

Categories
News

UK lockdown causing ‘serious mental illness in first-time patients’ – The Guardian

People with no history of mental illness are developing serious psychological problems for the first time as a result of the lockdown, amid growing stresses over isolation, job insecurity, relationship breakdown and bereavement, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has disclosed.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/16/uk-lockdown-causing-serious-mental-illness-in-first-time-patients

Categories
Publications

COVID-19: The downside of social distancing – Science Daily

When faced with danger, humans draw closer together. Social distancing thwarts this impulse. Professor Ophelia Deroy from Ludwigs-Maximilians Universitaet in Munich (LMU) and colleagues argue that this dilemma poses a greater threat to society than overtly antisocial behavior.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200424132539.htm

Categories
Opinion

Social distancing prevents infections, but it can have unintended consequences – Science Magazine

Over long periods of time, social isolation can increase the risk of a variety of health problems, including heart disease, depression, dementia, and even death. A 2015 meta-analysis of the scientific literature by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a research psychologist at Brigham Young University, and colleagues determined that chronic social isolation increases the risk of mortality by 29%.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/we-are-social-species-how-will-social-distancing-affect-us

Categories
Publications

Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review – NIH (2010)

The quality and quantity of individuals’ social relationships has been linked not only to mental health but also to both morbidity and mortality.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2910600/

Categories
Publications

COVID-19 is having a profound effect on mental health and physical health – The Lancet

Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19
pandemic: a call for action for mental health science

PDF download of the paper available from The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpsy/PIIS2215-0366(20)30168-1.pdf