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Opinion

Why I spoke out against lockdowns – Professor Martin Kulldorff, Spiked

I had no choice but to speak out against lockdowns. As a public-health scientist with decades of experience working on infectious-disease outbreaks, I couldn’t stay silent. Not when basic principles of public health are thrown out of the window. Not when the working class is thrown under the bus. Not when lockdown opponents were thrown to the wolves. There was never a scientific consensus for lockdowns. That balloon had to be popped.

…Ultimately, lockdowns protected young low-risk professionals working from home – journalists, lawyers, scientists, and bankers – on the backs of children, the working class and the poor.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/06/04/why-i-spoke-out-against-lockdowns/

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Opinion

Child vaccination implications for fully informed consent – HART

HART continues to be deeply concerned to hear various MPs and SAGE representatives calling for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the lack of long-term safety data. Disturbing language has been used by teaching unions implying that the use of ‘peer pressure’ could be harnessed to boost take up among school children, even though such coercion would be unethical, not to mention contrary to UK and International Laws and Declarations.

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Opinion

History shows us why vaccines must be voluntary – Spiked

To this day, many commentators think that coercion is justified in defence of public health. Arguments over ‘vaccine passports’ and obligations to get vaccinated in contracts of employment are already raging. The voluntary principle, however, is a good one. It is what allowed Britain’s vaccination programme to move beyond the controversies of the 1880s, squaring the circle of vaccination and opposition by letting people opt out. Pointedly, the conscientious objection clause over time killed off Britain’s anti-vaccine campaigns by removing the causes célèbres of vaccine martyrdom.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/05/31/history-shows-us-why-vaccines-must-be-voluntary/

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Opinion

COVID-19 educational materials in schools use inappropriate emotional pressure – HART

Resources use inappropriate emotional pressure

The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 (the ‘Regulations’) apply to anything ‘designed to promote the … supply … or use of that [medicinal] product’, which according to the regulations amounts to an advertisement. As the materials do not properly encourage critical thinking and present information as fact without substantiation, it is entirely possible that the teaching materials and lessons delivering those materials amount to an advertisement and may constitute an offence.

However well meaning these materials might be, it appears that they have at least the potential to put emotional pressure on children and — potentially — coercively control children’s decisions in relation to the vaccine.  The materials are therefore incompatible with the NC and the government’s advice on Teachers’ Prevent Duty, which are there to help protect children.

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News

By ditching compulsory face masks in schools, the government is finally prioritising children’s welfare – The Telegraph

Still, however, the battle for common sense over hysteria is far from won. Do we really think testing healthy children at an estimated cost of £144,564 per positive test is either “sensible” or “proportionate”? Do we really think that asking children who’ve already missed so much this year to miss further days isolating for a virus against which all vulnerable adults have been vaccinated is a drawback appropriately balanced against a benefit? And what do we think of this in the context of the looming discussion over offering the vaccine to children – at negligible risk from Covid – given the harm we should assume will ensue to a small minority of them?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/05/11/ditching-compulsory-face-masks-schools-government-finally-prioritising/

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News

Schools back mass vaccinations for children as headteachers say ‘peer pressure’ will boost take up – The Telegraph

Schools back mass vaccinations for children, with headteachers saying that “peer pressure” will boost take up.

Education leaders would be willing to help facilitate a vaccine roll-out at schools around the country, according to Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the largest union for secondary school heads.

…“I think there will be a sense of schools wanting to step up and play their part and explain to children why having the vaccine is important during assemblies and in tutor time.”

…He explained that vaccinating children at school could result in higher take-up because pupils would not want to feel socially isolated by refusing to have the jab.

…“The peer pressure of seeing that your friends are lining up to do it is likely to make the overall numbers taking up the vaccine higher,” he said. Some scientists have argued that if Covid rates rose significantly it would be a priority to vaccinate children to prevent any more disruption or closures of schools during the next academic year. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/05/02/schools-back-mass-vaccinations-children-headteachers-say-peer/

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News

Face masks in classroom risk causing children ‘physical and psychological harm’ – The Telegraph

There is a “prima facie risk” of harm to secondary school pupils from wearing masks during lessons due to the impact it has on their ability to breathe properly, according to lawyers acting for a 12-year-old girl against the Trust that runs her school.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/04/30/face-masks-classroom-risk-causing-children-physical-psychological/

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News

End The Lockdowns Now – Forbes

It was clear by late spring of last year that the best approach was to focus efforts on the most vulnerable parts of our population—that is, the elderly and those with serious preexisting conditions. However, instead of following the science, too many politicians and health officials imposed—and continue to impose—sweeping restrictions that have been useless, capricious or counterproductive. 

The country has paid and—this is outrageous—continues to pay a fearsome price. Low-income households have been disproportionately harmed, as parents haven’t been able to work because they’ve had to stay home to take care of kids who couldn’t go to school.

…This is the blunt truth: The states that are more open are doing better in terms of health and economic performance than those that are more restrictive. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2021/04/06/end-the-lockdowns-now/

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News

School attendance has ‘minimal impact on serious Covid-19 infection’ – ITV News

Adults who lived with children during the pandemic’s second wave were only slightly more at risk of Covid-19 than those who lived without them, suggesting school attendance has minimal impact on infection rates, a new study has found.

While there was a small increased risk of infection and hospitalisation for those aged 65 and under who lived with school-aged children between September and December last year, they were no more likely to be admitted to intensive care or die than those who lived without children.

The peer-reviewed study, published in the British Medical Journal, found no evidence of a noticeably increased risk of infection during the first wave in the UK between February and August, compared to those adults who do not live with children.

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-03-19/school-attendance-has-minimal-impact-on-serious-covid-19-infection

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News

Face masks in class are causing ‘physical harm’ to children – The Telegraph

Face masks in the classroom are causing physical harm to children, ministers have been warned amid reports of breathing difficulties, headaches and dizziness.

Children around the country are suffering from a range of side effects including light headedness, fatigue and facial rashes, according to a symptom tracker launched by the parent campaign group UsForThem.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/16/face-masks-class-causing-physical-harm-children/

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Publications

Face coverings in education – Department for Education

No pupil or student should be denied education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967285/Face_coverings_in_education-March-2021.pdf

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Publications

Closing schools is not evidence based and harms children – BMJ

Some 8.8 million schoolchildren in the UK have experienced severe disruption to their education, with prolonged school closures and national exams cancelled for two consecutive years. School closures have been implemented internationally1 with insufficient evidence for their role in minimising covid-19 transmission and insufficient consideration of the harms to children.

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n521

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News

UK children being used in ‘unethical mass experiment’ – demand for urgent action – The Express

EXPERTS have called for urgent action to protect children from the harm of lockdown, saying youngsters are being used in “an unethical mass experiment” and warning we are on the brink of a “national emergency”.

They are urging the Government to take urgent steps to examine and address the collateral damage that has been caused to children from issues such as school closures, lockdowns and social isolation as a result of the pandemic. One specialist is calling for a task force to be launched immediately and to remain in place for10 years, which would include experts in child abuse and neglect, childhood depression, suicide and anxiety, as well as physical, educational and developmental health.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1397594/UK-children-Covid-lockdown-task-force-10-years-children-mental-health

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Videos

Prof Jay Bhattacharya, Signatory of Gt Barrington Declaration: Why ‘Lockdown’ Will Kill Millions – Naomi Wolf, Daily Clout

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Opinion

‘It’s the isolation’: parents on the impact of lockdown on children

With many primary school pupils learning at home, and toddlers missing out on critical social interactions with their peers,parents of young children have concerns about the long-term impact of long periods spent at home.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/feb/10/its-the-isolation-parents-on-the-impact-of-lockdown-on-children

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Videos

Covid, Tango and The Lagom Way – Documentary by Claudia Adela Nye

Trapped in lockdown between the two extremes of Coronavirus deniers and lockdown orthodoxy, Nye is intrigued by Sweden’s approach: no lockdown, no school closures, no masks. She manages to secure an exclusive interview with Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, whose steely resolve not to buckle under world mainstream media pressure means – among other things, tango dancing is allowed in Stockholm!

Claudia Nye is a BAFTA nominated filmmaker. Brought back to documentaries for the sake of the future of her children, Nye travels from UK to Sweden to learn about their unique Covid-19 strategy.

She is also a qualified Relationship Counsellor, which she’s been practicing over the past ten years. She travelled to Stockholm with photo-journalist Sean Spencer and together they made this documentary

Video mirrors:

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News

Depression among the young is at ‘frightening’ levels and keeping schools shut risks having ‘calamitous’ impact on children’s mental health, paediatricians warn – Daily Mail

Depression among pupils is at ‘frightening’ levels, paediatrcians have warned, as they urge the Government to reopen schools or risk a ‘calamitous,’ impact on children’s mental health.

Ten of the UK’s top exerts in child health say anxiety, self harma nd suicidal thoughts have reached frightening levels among children.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9186711/Schools-closures-risk-calamitous-impact-childrens-mental-health-paediatricians-warn.html?__twitter_impression=true

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Opinion

What role do schools play in the spread of Covid-19? – The Spectator

Analysis of the age profile of Covid infections, however, does not point to schools being especially important in the early-stage growth of the second wave. Although the report does also observe that ‘school closures can contribute to a reduction in SARS-CoV-2 transmission’.

But had schools played a big role you would expect to have seen a sharp increase in cases among children of school age a week or two following the return to the classroom. Instead, the ECDC noted that Europe’s second wave began with a sharp increase in cases among 19 to 39 year olds in mid August. Cases among 16 to 18 year olds also increased around this time, but the curve of infections among younger children rose much more gradually, in step with infection rates in the over-40s. 

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/what-role-do-schools-play-in-the-spread-of-covid-19-

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Publications

COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission – first update – ECDC

The return to school of children around mid-August 2020 coincided with a general relaxation of other NPI measures in many countries and does not appear to have been a driving force in the upsurge in cases observed in many EU Member States from October 2020.

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/children-and-school-settings-covid-19-transmission

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Opinion

Why did the world react so hysterically to covid? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

  • The mortality rate is below 0.2%.
  • For most people the risk of dying if you get infected is less than one in 500 (and less than one in 3,000 if you’re below 70 years of age).
  • The disease preferentially strikes people who are anyway very close to the end of life/
  • The amount of lifetime lost when someone dies of the disease is usually small.
  • 2020 will likely turn out to have been a very average year in terms of overall mortality.
  • 98% of people who get covid are fully recovered within three months.
  • There is no good evidence that covid results in long term health consequences.
  • Chinese realized early on that covid-19 wasn’t very serious, no worse than a bad flu.
  • China is still reporting less than 20 cases per day.
  • China is claiming that less than 5,000 people have so far died of covid in China. That’s less than Sweden, a country with less than 1% of China’s population.