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Opinion

Why masks must be binned on June 21 – and never come back – Dr Gary Sidley, The Conservative Woman

  1. No evidence that masks reduce viral transmission in real-world settings
  2. Wearing masks is likely to do harm
  3. Masks increase compliance with the ongoing public health tyranny
  4. Masks are dehumanising
  5. Masks perpetuate the elevated levels of fear

The recently-launched Smile Free campaign – of which I’m a part – is campaigning for the removal of mask mandates in the UK, and believes that, in a democratic society, the evidential bar to justify mandating a behaviour should be set very high. The research in support of masks offering protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection falls a long way short of this threshold, and the negative consequences of wearing them are considerable. The decision whether to wear a face covering should be a personal one, not one imposed by Government diktat. All mask mandates must be lifted on June 21 and this most insidious of all the Covid-19 restrictions must never return. 

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News

States with strictest lockdowns ruined livelihoods — without saving lives – New York Post

Most states with the strictest COVID lockdowns destroyed millions of jobs for their citizens, while those with modest, targeted rules are largely experiencing low levels of unemployment even for normal times.

https://nypost.com/2021/05/01/strict-states-ruined-livelihoods-without-saving-lives/

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Opinion

My darkest predictions have come true… the effects of Covid lockdowns are catastrophic – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

One year on from the start of the first lockdown, the brutal price of this drastic policy is all too obvious. Amid battered public finances, rising unemployment and widespread business failures, entire sectors of the economy have been devastated.

…Indeed, the average age of Covid fatalities is over 82, higher than the UK’s average age of death from all causes. And among those who contract the disease, just two in 1,000 (or fewer) actually die.

…But, while every death is a tragedy for bereaved families, 7 per cent above average does not strike me as a particularly shocking figure, especially since some of those deaths were caused by lockdowns themselves.

…In fact, there is no authoritative research that reveals a clear correlation between the severity of lockdowns and the avoidance of viral peaks.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9386953/DR-JOHN-LEE-darkest-predictions-come-true-effects-lockdowns-catastrophic.html

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News

Government estimates 220,000 will be the true death toll of the pandemic – with nearly half lost to non-Covid causes such as cancelled operations – Daily Mail

  • Hospital chaos will have led to 46,000 avoidable deaths by end of next month
  • Cancellations to routine operations may cause 18,000 excess deaths overall
  • Another 40,000 people may die due to the economic impact of lockdown 

More than 100,000 people are likely to die from non-coronavirus causes because of the pandemic, according to an official government estimate.

By the end of next month the chaos in hospitals and care homes will have led to 46,000 avoidable deaths, Department of Health research has suggested.

Cancellations to routine operations may cause 18,000 excess deaths in the long-term, on top of hundreds more from cancer.

Officials calculated that over the next few years another 40,000 people may die due to the economic impact of lockdown, including rising unemployment and mental health issues.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9203279/Government-estimates-220-000-true-death-toll-pandemic.html

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Publications

Coronavirus: no going back to normal – Institute for Government

Life after coronavirus will not feel like life before. It is best that governments acknowledge that and start planning now in order to capture the best that can come out of a very tough period while not raising expectations that life will suddenly snap back to an almost forgotten normal.

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/publications/coronavirus-no-back-normal

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News

The clampdown that is just bureaucratic insanity – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

By plunging London into a Tier Three lockdown, the Government is going to do terrible harm to the city, the entire national economy, and to millions of lives.

No one can predict the number of people who will lose jobs, suffer poor mental health or who will have life-saving operations postponed until too late.

All we can say with any certainty is that all these things will happen, and not to a few isolated people. The harms caused by these new restrictions, like those caused by the previous over-reactions, will be immense.

  • The Government is withholding much of the information we need to draw our own conclusions about better ways to handle the crisis.
  • The weekly average number of Covid deaths in the capital is just over a tenth of what it was at its peak in April.
  • Weekly average Covid admissions to London’s hospitals are a quarter of what were in the spring.
  • The [UK Government’s] obsession with secrecy is not intended to hide the facts from enemy agents but from us, the general public.
  • This disease is not like Spanish flu, or the plague. It does not sweep away young and old indiscriminately. In fact, many younger people – now more likely to catch Covid – will have it without even being aware. They will be infected but not affected.
  • The average age of people dying with a Covid infection is 82 years and four months – 14 months more than the average life expectancy in Britain.
  • In November the total number of deaths in London was very little different to the average over the past five years.
  • Covid is a respiratory virus that spreads on the wind. Just look at the leaves blowing around – that’s what viral particles do when we walk past each other.
  • Cloth or woven paper masks are no barrier to this tiny virus either, as shown by the world’s only controlled study, from Denmark, which found that they only made a small, ‘non-statistically-significant’ difference.

https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9053311/DR-JOHN-LEE-clampdown-just-bureaucratic-insanity.html

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News Opinion Videos

The hidden cost of Covid lockdowns – Channel 4 News

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News

Pub closures not backed by evidence – The Herald Scotland

A leading bacteriologist has said he was not surprised to learn that pub owners are pursuing a legal challenge against lockdown closures saying he had been left ‘frustrated’ by the absence of hard data informing some decisions.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/business_hq/18816036.coronavirus-pub-closures-not-backed-evidence/

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News

More than a third of UK employers planning to make staff redundant – The Guardian

More than a third of UK employers plan to make staff redundant over the next three months, according to research warning of a cascade of job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/01/more-than-third-uk-employers-planning-make-staff-redundant-job-losses

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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

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

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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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News

U.K. Jobless Claims Surged in April as Lockdown Kicked In – Bloomberg

Yet a sharp drop in vacancies signals trouble ahead. Vacancies fell 170,000 in three months to April, the biggest drop since the series began in 2001. Job openings had all but collapsed entirely by the time the lockdown was announced, according to research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, with the decline coming across the wage distribution.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-19/u-k-jobless-claims-surged-by-856-500-in-april-as-virus-struck

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News

Furloughed and Frustrated, Workers Are Struggling Across the U.K. – Bloomberg

Benefit claims made by unemployed and underemployed people in the U.K. rose more last month than at any time on record, with the pain spread throughout the country. Jobseeker’s Allowance and related Universal Credit claims jumped by 856,500 in April alone. For context, the worst month during the 2008-09 financial crisis saw claims increase by 143,000.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-uk-unemployment-benefits-covid-19/

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News

Some 42% Of Jobs Lost In Pandemic Are Gone For Good – Forbes

Only some of roughly 36 million jobs lost since the beginning of the lockdowns designed to protect hospitals from surging cases of COVID-19 patients are not coming back in a V-shaped or a U-shaped recover. The University of Chicago estimates that 42% of the recent layoffs will result in permanent job losses.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2020/05/15/some-42-of-jobs-lost-in-pandemic-are-gone-for-good/

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Opinion

Furlough billions? Just a giant payday loan in YOUR name – Peter Hitchens, The Mail on Sunday

It remains true that deaths from Covid-19 peaked in this country on April 8, well before the shutdown could have taken effect.

Nobody has ever seen so much wild spending of non-existent money before in peacetime. Some idiots nowadays think you can do this without consequences. In wartime it was disastrous. This kind of debt really hurts. 

https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/05/peter-hitchens-furlough-billions-just-a-giant-payday-loan-in-your-name.html

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Opinion

The furlough scheme will soon become a national addiction – The Spectator

Trouble is, there will be many people who are better off sitting at home on 80 percent of their salary than going out to work to earn 100 percent of it – once travel costs, childcare, tax and so on are taken into account. For millions, there is little incentive ever to return to work. Moreover, because the government has been so generous this time around it has created an expectation that it will always bail out businesses in trouble in this way. In future recessions we will have demands for furlough schemes. Individual industries, too, will start demanding to be able to furlough employees when the going is tough. We are heading towards an idea which even Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell rejected: a universal basic income.

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Opinion

The lockdown left is no friend of the working class – Spiked

It is now the left that wants working people to be decommissioned, put out to pasture, languishing on state-paid wages or Universal Credit and uncertain of whether their job will even exist once the lockdown is finally lifted. And it’s the Tories saying: ‘Erm, don’t you think it would be better if working people worked?’

Of course, the left’s justification for its new policy of preventing the working classes from working is that they might catch Covid-19 and die. They’re ramping up the culture of fear in a desperate effort to present their bizarre, historically unprecedented anti-work outlook as a good, noble thing. Actual facts – like the fact that under-40s have made up just 0.75 per cent of deaths from Covid – don’t get so much as a look-in. No, keep all workers at home, even the fit, healthy young ones.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/13/the-lockdown-left-is-no-friend-of-the-working-class/

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News Opinion

The Grand Delusion: Bail-out billions shield us from the reality – our economy is in tatters – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

  • 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.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8302055/Bail-billions-anaesthetise-reality-economy-tatters.html

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News

Coronavirus: 2million have now claimed benefits in UK since outbreak took hold – The Mirror

An astonishing 1.8million have claimed Universal Credit, 250,000 claimed jobseekers’ allowance and 20,000 claimed Employment and Support Allowance between March 16 and the end of April.

Even now UC claims are still running at around 25,000 a day – double the usual rate, MPs heard.

The new figures suggest around 5million people may now be on Universal Credit in the UK – many of them in work on low incomes.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-coronavirus-2million-now-claimed-21972159