- 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 British public protected the NHS alright. Any fears that the institution might be overwhelmed were put aside when, a couple of weeks into lockdown, the hurriedly-constructed Nightingale hospitals were still empty, along with many other hospital wards, clinics and surgeries. By mid April, routine clinical activity by GPs was down 25 per cent and A&E visits down 52 per cent. Some of that was thanks to fewer drunks falling over and fewer children coming to grief in playgrounds, yet there is plenty to suggest that some very unwell people were scared into taking the instruction not to trouble the.
I can’t clap for the NHS because of a truth that all NHS staff come to learn – that the NHS runs only by exploiting its workers.
This unaccountability is not limited to hospital management. The failures of procurement departments and of Public Health England during this crisis are by now well-documented. As for how much time and money is wasted by countless other NHS bodies – including (but not limited to) NHS Digital, NHS Resolution and NHS Business Services Authority – I can only guess. No one seems interested in holding these bodies to account, either.
What is unique about this pandemic–apart from the fact that it’s rather small–is that the damage that it does is self-inflicted.
This is a very odd plague. It’s rather small in scale but it’s gigantic in consequences because we have chosen to inflict a form of economic suicide on ourselves.
This week on “So What You’re Saying Is…”: Dr. David Starkey argues that a calamitous series of events and decisions caused a panicked British government to recklessly abandon its sensible coronavirus plan for one that is likely to harm the nation far more than the virus itself.
Comparing this virus with historical pandemics Starkey believes the dire situation we are encountering today has a different cause. Earlier pandemics such as the Black Death eradicated up to half of the population of Europe. In contrast, although it is profoundly tragic on a personal level to the individuals and familiies it afflicts, coronavirus is nowhere near as devastating on a population-wide level as previous pandemics. Consequently, Starkey argues, the Conservative government was correct to follow a similar path to Sweden which was far more relaxed than elsewhere in Europe.
This approach suited Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s libertarian attitude and personality. But on a single weekend there was a calamitous confluence of events and decisions that caused the Tory government to panic (Northwick Park hospital overwhelmed, Imperial College modelling showing potential 500,00 deaths etc.) and enforce an extreme lockdown without any plan to deal with the epidemic. It was simply a goal to protect the NHS.
Protect the NHS: The Tory Government, says Dr. Starkey, was desperate not to be seen as responsible or the NHS being overwhelmed. Eager to prove to the traditional Labour “Red Wall” that the Conservative Party really was their natural home, the British government prioritised the NHS’s capacity to deal with Covid-19 over everything else– but disastrously this included its treatment of cancer patients etc. A bizarre and unprecdented abandoning of the Hippocratic oath that we have not seen in other countries, argues Starkey.
The argument for a lockdown was overwhelming. When Boris Johnson addressed the nation eight weeks ago, it appeared as if a killer virus was about to engulf the population at astonishing speed. You had to be mad or bad, it seemed, not to back the Prime Minister as he urged us all to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. The moral justification for collective action was crystal clear. “Squashing the sombrero,” as Johnson colourfully put it, was needed to buy time for the NHS to fight this thing. And we did it. Britain achieved that aim.
- Just 11 people under the age of 20 have succumbed to Covid-19.
- Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College has a dismal record as a forecaster.
- There’s the possibility that the lockdown has actually made the virus more deadly.
- Bank of England warned that if the lockdown is extended until June the economy could shrink by 14 per cent this year.
- More than one-in-five adults now furloughed on 80per cent of their wages.
- A fifth of the working-age population could be jobless and the quality of people’s mental and physical health would plummet.
- Every day, about 1,700 people die in Britain. Only five years ago, in the winter of 2014/15, more than 28,000 people died from seasonal flu, not far off the current coronavirus death toll of just over 30,000.
- Direct evidence to support the two-metre rule is weak, and based almost entirely on modelling rather than real life.
Forum posts apparently show NHS workers and patients discussing the empty UK hospitals. Screenshot below.
Colleagues around the country report their clinics have never felt emptier or their workloads lighter as hospitals have gone on a war footing.
Yes, of course it is a war we have to fight with every weapon at our disposal. But I read, with a growing sense of outrage, a leaked report this week claiming that over the Easter weekend just 19 patients were treated at the newly-created 4,000-bed Nightingale Hospital in East London.
Article from 2017 warning about the risk of A&E departments ‘grinding to a halt’.