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.
A STUDENT has been found dead at a university halls of residence.
Emergency services dashed to Trinity View, privately owned accommodation, in Coventry city centre to reports of a responseless 19-year-old man. He was pronounced dead at the scene and police are not treating it as suspicious.
The mortality data for England and Wales from ONS from 1 May 2021 until 17 September 2021 shows a significant excess, particularly in the 15-19 year age group. Depending on the baseline chosen, the excess for 15-19 year olds is between 16% and 47% above expected levels (see table 1 and 2). COVID-19 deaths were too small in number to account for the excess. A disproportionate number of these excess deaths were in males. A certain amount of variation by random chance would be expected but an increase of this proportion is large enough not to be dismissed without further investigation.
…Mortality has risen in younger age groups since 1st May 2021. The increase in the 15-19 year old age group is particularly noticeable, especially as deaths in this age group are uncommon. The excess deaths have a marked male predominance. An increase in ambulance call outs for patients who have had a cardiac arrest or are unconscious showed a coincidental noticeable rise from May 2021. The period also coincides with the rollout of vaccination. Finally, ONS have reported on a striking rise in age adjusted mortality rates in those with only one dose that accelerated in May 2021 to levels far exceeding those in the unvaccinated.