Of Coronavirus and Chartism 468

I am cheerfully optimistic that this Coronavirus, like asian swine flu and SARS before it, will prove not to be as deadly as may be prognosticated by journalists wanting to fill column inches. One day the human race will become extinct; but it is unlikely to be a virus that does it, as wiping out your host is not a clever survival policy for a virus. Even a disease as vicious as ebola proved not to be so potent against subjects who were not malnourished nor struggling with other health issues. So far this coronavirus seems to have a mortality rate of about 3%, which is probably an over high estimate as it is only a percentage of those who died after testing, whereas it appears there are large numbers with milder symptoms who are unlikely to have been tested in the first place. So coronavirus is not looking vastly different to ordinary influenza, which has a mortality rate of about 1%.

When you or I get flu we don’t normally panic as though we have a 1% chance of dying from it. That is again because we are well nourished, live in good conditions and have not been much weakened by other disease. Like this coronavirus, influenza generally carries off the old and frail. Whether the infamous Spanish flu after the First World War that killed so many was a particularly potent strain is open to doubt. A more powerful factor is probably that the population it wracked was suffering greatly from malnourishment, stress and disease already as a result of the war. But unlike this coronavirus, that one did attack children badly.

Which is not to say the current coronavirus might not yet mutate into something much more lethal, but as yet there is no sign of that happening.

I was educated both at school and university very much in the liberal tradition of history. At both levels, the curriculum featured a view of historic political development very much as “progress”. The “years of revolution”, 1830 and 1848, were landmarks in this, where liberal and national movements made some progress against monarchist autocracy across the whole of Europe. These political waves of convulsion on a continent wide basis undoubtedly happened, and in the UK resulted in the Great Reform Act and the Chartist Movement. They were taught in the Macaulay/Trevelyan historical tradition as very much the product of development in thought, as a product of political philosophy, as though the masses were moved by the elegantly turned phrases of a Benthamite pamphlet.

At university, I did add to this the knowledge that poor harvests had helped precipitate events, and indeed those had featured in my A level lists of “Causes of the French Revolution”. But it was only really a few years ago, when I was researching Sikunder Burnes, that I came to focus properly on the role of epidemiology in these human convulsions. Both the 1830 and 1848 European wave of revolutions coincided with the first and second ever cholera pandemics sweeping across Europe. The reason I came across this while studying Burnes is precisely that it was the opening up of Central Asia to trade in this period, largely through Russian exploration and expansion, that brought the disease into Europe. Burnes was in 1832 in a Bokhara ravaged for years by cholera. Its great canals – which are still there – were only being opened to fresh water once a month, and they served as both water supply and sewer, as Burnes documented in detail.

Without the misery inflicted by cholera, both directly and in economic impact, the desperate urban mobs may not have existed which enabled middle class liberals – and their own auto-didactic leadership – to start the establishment of western European democracy. It seems a very strange thing to suggest that cholera pandemics forwarded social progress. But there you are. I am now proceeding to an audacious discussion as to whether a lack of effective pandemics may retard social progress. Hang on to your hats.

[As a complete aside, I also discovered while researching Alexander Burnes that the great British liberal historical tradition was founded on a truly remarkable incestuous household menage a trois between Macaulay, his sister and Charles Trevelyan, father of the historian George who may well have been Macaulay’s son and nephew, rather than the official version of just nephew, and that Macaulay had also been having sex with his other sister. So much for Victorian respectability. Sikunder Burnes is a difficult book to describe because it presents an extremely detailed and painstaking account of the life of a 19th century British imperial functionary, and then from that framework sprout all kinds of exegeses on my wider intellectual interests. I hope it reads better than that sounds].

I do hope that I am right that coronavirus will prove, like SARS, not a great threat to us. The ability of modern nutrition, living conditions and medicine to ward off serious risk of epidemic and other illness has of course resulted in a very significant increase in human longevity. The relentless increase in longevity has slowed slightly as a result of the post 2008 economic crash, but I expect it to pick up again as it is a centuries old trend. In the UK, much has been written about the economic effects of this. In the UK, the concentration of wealth in the hands of old people who are not dying and passing it down, coincides with economic changes which have made it very difficult for young people to have good secure employment and to accumulate wealth, particularly property.

At the same time, the old people may own wealth but do not much generate it. With the increasingly aged demographic profile boosted by both people living longer and by historic falling birth rates, the percentage of the population in employment is in decline. The Office of National Statistics projects that while in 2007 there were 244 pensioners for every 1000 adults of working age, by 2041 there will be 419 per 1,000. This is a well understood economic problem to which, within the UK, the answer has lain in immigration.

It is not my purpose here to touch on these economic questions. I wish rather to look at the political effects. The UK has become a gerontocracy. The proportion of British adults eligible to vote who were aged over 55 in 2007 was approximately 37%. By 2041, that will be a majority of voters aged over 55. It is quite possible that a majority of those who do cast their vote in the UK are already over 55, as voter turnout is much higher among the elderly. So by 2040 it is perfectly possible that 60% or more of all votes actually cast will be cast by people aged 55 or over.

This is significant because it is a matter of indisputable fact that voting patterns are different between the old and the young. It was, to a truly remarkable degree, only the votes of the over 55s that stopped Scottish Independence, voted for Brexit, and elected Boris Johnson. Now any time I write on this subject I get offended older people saying “well I am old but I am not a Tory”. I know. I am not claiming every old person is a Tory. But Unionism, Brexitism and Toryism all are much more predominant among older voters. And while the issues may differ by 2040, I very much doubt there will cease to be differentials between the views of the old and the young.

The long term effects of western political systems which become increasingly dominated by geriatric voters are very unlikely to include a greater willingness to adopt progressive or innovative political approaches. I do not see how there can fail to be a stultifying effect on social progress. Again, I am 61 myself. Of course there are many radical older people. But there is overwhelming evidence that is not the norm.

Gaia has ways of restoring balance. It seems to me a fascinating speculation that, as the planet’s apex predator, mankind has succeeded in increasing individual longevity by increased nutrition and an ability to stave off pandemics which nature would use to keep down the numbers, and which normally would particularly kill older people. But the result of this may be a profound reduction in the adaptability and flexibility of mankind’s political hive mind as it becomes encrusted with geriatric thought, leading to seriously bad political decisions which ultimately will impact population anyway. Climate change is the most obvious example, but the process could have long term subtle effects in many ways.

Thomas Malthus was pilloried for centuries, but his critique of the dangers of human over-population now chimes with envronmentalist concerns. I have no desire to underestimate the suffering of those unfortunate enough to be affected by coronavirus. I do not actually wish to see elderly Tories and unionists carried off by flu. But I suspect you, like me, may very seldom get to read an article referencing the interrelationship of epidemiology, longevity and political systems. As the avowed purpose of this blog is to make people think, I thought readers and commenters may care to stretch their brains on this one.

Finally, as a restorative affirmation of the fact that older people can have very positive contributions to make to political thought, here is last week’s debate between George Galloway and myself on the subject of Scottish Independence. It has become unusual in British politics to see two people with fundamentally different views on a major political issue, discuss the matter with mutual respect and absolutely no rancour. It is a practice that appears to have deserted most professional politicians, as the last disintegrating days of the UK state become increasingly acrimonious.


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468 thoughts on “Of Coronavirus and Chartism

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    • michael norton

      Now in Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Estonia, Belarus, Lithuania, Greece, North Macedonia, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Netherlands, Belgium, U.K. Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Georgia, Lebanon, Israel.

      We are ringed by virus.

      The second most affected country is South Korea where they have 2237 cases, far more than Japan
      but still none in adjacent North Korea?

      • N_

        Numbers of reported cases don’t tell us how many have been screened in each country. In Britain for example there has been very little screening. I imagine that if a person calls their GP (through whatever phone desk they have to go through these days) and says “I’ve got cold symptoms – please can I be checked for coronavirus?”, they will be asked whether they have any Chinese, Korean or Italian connections and if the answer is no they will be patronisingly told to eff off and keep watching the telly for further “advice”. In Venice, though, y’know, with “plague doctor” outfits etc. There has been a lot of testing in Italy. Nice contract if you can get it.

        At least one school has been shut because it has pupils of Italian DESCENT – in other words, straightforward ethnic profiling.

        Goodness knows what things are like in the Bedford, Luton and Dunstable area where there are large numbers of people of Italian descent.

        The c***s who voted Tory must be loving this.

        Reminder to all readers: the state is first and foremost about making money for big business.

        That said, there should be no doubt that this going BOOOOM!
        My credible interval is between 9000 and 30 million deaths by May Day.
        Have you got an analysis based on the figures, @Michael?

        • michael norton

          Well, to repeat, on Radio Four this morning, the presenter said that, again no government spokesperson would address their listeners on Coronavirus but they were lucky to have Jeremy Hunt, the longest ever Health Secretary after his return from Geneva.

          J.H. said the idea is to have containment where not more than five percent of British people catch it.
          If it goes much above that rate, there will be hundreds of thousands of deaths, just in the U.K.
          5% of 65million
          is 13.6 million
          3% of 13.6 million is 408 thousand deaths.

          • N_

            5% of 65 million is “only” 3.25 million, which at 3% death rate would give 97500 deaths. Average death rate in Britain is about 600000 per year. I doubt anybody can reliably predict the number of world cases to within +/- 25% even by the end of March. (My number crunching gives a credible interval for a world total on 31 March of 130000 to 600000.) Death rate is likely to be higher than 3% in Africa.

            Containing it to 5% of the population in Britain would require shutting the country down. What are they going to do, paint signs in blood on thresholds? If it reaches 5% it will probably quickly (within a month) reach 75%.

            A big question is what amount of TESTING will they do.

            People are very mistaken if they think that everybody who is infected will be tested.

            Prediction: compulsory vaccination; huge crash in male fertility.

          • michael norton

            Boris Johnson has today finally stepped in to take charge of the spiralling crisis by agreeing to chair a Cobra emergency meeting arranged for Monday.

            But furious politicians slammed the ‘part-time’ Prime Minister, saying it shouldn’t take three days for the meeting to take place, while former chancellor George Osborne demanded that the government go on a ‘war footing’ to reassure the ‘fearful’ public with regular Cobra meetings and daily press briefings.

            Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today warned Britain was at a ‘tipping point’, saying the NHS would struggle with a pandemic and that hundreds of thousands of lives could be at risk if this outbreak escalates.

            A British man has died in Japan of Coronavirus, he was on board the Diamond Princess, he is the first Briton to die of this horrible virus.
            There is speculation that a GP in Surrey has the disease and he has not stepped foot outside of England.

  • michael norton

    A man in his 70s who tested positive for the coronavirus died in Japan on Friday after 22 days in hospital, the Japanese Health Ministry says.

    Speaking at a press conference, Governor Naomichi Suzuki urged residents to stay inside their homes over the weekend. The governor said the number of infections is steadily increasing on the island, which now has the highest number of confirmed cases in Japan outside of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Officials recently reported 13 cases in Hokkaido.

  • AKAaka

    Well, we’re about 10 days away from where I predicted we would start to see the NHS struggle.

    To be honest, the NHS was already struggling with normal flu, but this is where serious cases should start to become less concealable, if that is what is going on.

    I believe cases are being hidden, either covered up, or simply by sending them home to recover from ‘flu’. There are numerous reports of suspected cases being denied testing in the US without travel history to Wuhan etc, and people are being treated the same in the UK. There will be thousands of undiagnosed cases in Italy, why should it be any different in the UK, US, or anywhere else with high international traffic? In fact, Italy closed flights sooner, so their cases could easily be assumed less than others.

    This ‘hiding’ strategy has 2 obvious benefits. It stops beds being blocked early, some of which will just have the flu, but those that are infected increase the risk to frontline staff earlier. Secondly, no test means no cases (on paper), and I believe they are trying to avoid a market crash.

    This strategy is flawed (unless you are a psychopath) since it is only protecting the markets (or making the most out of them). By sending people home, of course most will recover, but many more will be infected and faster, completely uncontained, and uncontainable. Playing it down and rubbishing masks for example leads to complacency and sending 300 employees home by tube train for example in London because of a suspected case at work.

    “Delay” tactic is not the same as “slow” tactic. Slowing spread is key, not ignoring it, delaying the inevitable and adding pressure to the bubble before it bursts.

    I’m hopeful that actually millions are already infected/recovered, since this would mean that actually the serious cases is a much much smaller percentage, and may even be less severe than normal flu. Papers and data aren’t backing this up unfortunately, if anything, the case fatality rate could be higher than anticipated, but I remain hopeful.

    There is a massive margin of error for predicting the outcome of this. For example, worst case scenario, 19-23% of cases require hospital treatment and 80% of the population will be infected. Beds will be blocked very quickly, so the majority of that 19-23% would be in danger. The chaos could claim the same amount regardless of the virus. Not to mention multiple waves, famine, other disease outbreaks, and violence. So a poxy “not-even-the-flu” could wipe out over half the population of the world in a few years. “Doom porn”, but worth bearing in mind when considering risk and strategy.

    The other end of the scale is; it already may have infected much more, who have now recovered or never even noticed, and so has a very low mortality rate. Also it could mutate today to be that mild. I believe this is the gamble governments have taken, but it will be the people that pay the price either way. Hardly a decision at all to a psychopath.

    • N_

      People under 80 who are infected probably have the same survival rate whether or not they present themselves to the health service.

      In typical British form, the news isn’t saying “X people at place Y were advised to be tested” or even “they were tested”, but “their boss told them to go home” or “they were locked up”. One wonders how much effect it has on the economy if a bunch of office workers stop pushing papers and having meetings. If they don’t get paid then Tesco might lose some revenue and throw away more food that night, but they’ll probably miss their debt repayments so the banks will be pleased. Also typically for this sh*tty country, people will be annoyed about having to spend more time with their families. In most other countries in the world, people would be pleased.

      • N_

        The hate-filled Tory scum have been chafing at the bit for a big cull for about 200 years. Looks as though they’re going to get what they want now.

  • N_

    In Britain or in any other country:

    * How many people have been tested? We dont know. So we have no idea how what proportion have tested positive.
    * What advice has been given to medics regarding the conditions under which to test a person? We don’t know.

    So we have no idea how many are infected. In densely populated areas it could already be three-quarters of the population, for all we know.

    • N_

      If there were a vaccine and you thought you might have contracted the virus, the question would arise “Should I beg a quack for a test?”

      Since there is no vaccine the question doesn’t even arise, except perhaps if you are over 80 and at risk of getting pneumonia if you get a heavy cold. Probably half the elderly people in Britain are on opiates already – I wonder what that has done to their immune systems.

      Just as people become “more like themselves” when there’s a drama (“crisis”), so do countries.

  • michael norton

    Greek border guards are using tear gas to deter some 500 people trying to enter the European country.

    President Erdogan is about to open his flood gates so hundreds of thousands of Syrians can move from Turkey in to Greece.
    Will the Greeks put these new commers into holding camps in case of spreading Coronavirus?
    Jeremy Hunt thinks hundreds of thousands are likely to die of Coronavirus, just in the U.K.
    There must be some back bone in the E.U. to resist this new push by Turkey.

    • michael norton

      The BBC is going BIG on Coronavirus today
      and they have been trying to shame our government in to coming out of hiding and to start letting the country in on what are our plans.
      This is why the BBC have been interviewing Jeremy Hunt, again and again.
      So the question is
      Why is the U.K. government invisible on the Coronavirus crisis?

      • michael norton

        The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded the global risk of the coronavirus outbreak to “very high” –
        its top level of risk assessment.
        Now Mexico and Iceland and Azerbajaian have it.

  • michael norton

    At least 210 people in Iran have died as a result of the new coronavirus disease, sources in the country’s health system have told BBC Persian.

    Most of the victims are from the capital, Tehran, and the city of Qom, where cases of Covid-19 first emerged.

    The figure is six times higher than the official death toll of 34 given by the health ministry earlier on Friday.

    Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour insisted it was being transparent and accused the BBC of spreading lies.

  • michael norton

    South Korea now has 3150 cases, second in the World, after China, but Tibet only has one case.
    So what are they doing right in Tibet and what are they doing wrong in South Korea?

    • N_

      Possible answers:
      1) reporting bias: there are more cases in Tibet than 1, but they aren’t being reported;
      2) the virus doesn’t like the high altitude;
      3) unreported restrictions on movement;
      4) ???

  • N_

    British state radio this morning: Britgov is preparing for 70% of the population contracting the coronavirus, and a fifth of them being hospitalised. At the current death rate of 3.4% (and assuming that everybody who is currently infected and who hasn’t yet died or recovered will recover, which they won’t), that works out as 1.6 million deaths in Britain. State radio didn’t mention a timescale, but presumably that’s within 3 months, max.

    Who do I say is the god of the Tory party? Thomas Malthus. Tories and Extinction Rebellion must be jumping with joy.

    State radio said that the “man in Surrey” who is said to be infected has no known connection with any part of the world where there are known to be a lot of cases, such as China, Italy, and Korea.

    Guess what. Something doesn’t stack up. They say they are only testing people who have come back from those areas or who may have come into contact with those who have, or those who have been in contact with those who have been in contact and who show the symptoms, etc. They are NOT testing everyone who says they’ve got cold or flu symptoms.

    My advice: if you think you may have the coronavirus, do NOT contact the health service. Call in sick. Stay in bed. Do what you would normally do if you have a cold or the flu. Perhaps if you feel you’re at death’s door, then call someone if you want to, especially if you need painkillers. That’s it.

    I won’t be surprised if the water supply starts getting turned off to council estates here and there, or to areas marked as having excess “chavs” and “pikeys”.

    Maybe those among working class people in the North of England who handed the Tory party its 80-seat majority could have a bit of a think now, huh, if it doesn’t hurt their heads?

    • N_

      Outside of China, this is going BOOOOOOOOOM!
      My model has an excellent fit for figures for the past 14 days (R^2 = 0.998) and it’s unlikely to be a long way out for the next 7 or so.

      Extrapolating: predicted numbers of reported cases outside China:

      Monday 2 March 10665
      Thursday 5 March 23673
      Saturday 7 March 42391

      The following figures are also predicted, but with less confidence as to accuracy:

      Monday 9 March 79071
      Thursday 12 March 217445
      1 millionth case on 17 March
      10 millionth case on 22 March
      100 millionth on 27 March
      1 billionth on 31 March

      • michael norton

        I can not understand why the U.K. government are invisible on this Coronavirus.
        Are they in such fear they do not know what to do, if so we are buggered.
        This could be the collapse of society.
        All schools and Universities shut down.
        Airports on Lock-Down.
        Channel Tunnel sealed to keep the Italians out.
        Ferry routs shut down.
        Public transport curtailed.
        G.P. surgery on Lock-Down.
        Priti Patel top mandrin has also jacked it in.
        He should have manned up, claiming a woman bullied him, what a loser.

        • N_

          The Chinese economy has practically shut down.

          Re. Philip Rutnam:
          * who is backing Patel, and on what specific contracts?
          * who will get his job?
          * will he get his pension? (Even before he resigned, Patel said he shouldn’t. I can’t remember a single precedent for a minister speaking in that way about their permanent secretary. Craig’s view would be very interesting to hear.)

          Rutnam says he is suing the Home Office. That may turn out to be a fascinating case. Let’s hope he minds how he goes.

          He says “It has been alleged that I have briefed the media against the home secretary.” That reminds me of two things:

          1) Theresa May accusing Gavin Williamson of leaking information from the National Security Council to the media (which he denied);
          2) the Duke of Cummings accusing Sonia Khan of having spoken to people around Philip Hammond.

          In his resignation letter, Rutnam calls Patel a liar.
          He also threatens (between the lines) to say more.
          Watch this space.

  • michael norton

    Italy cases surge to nearly 900
    The total cases confirmed in Italy is now 888 with 21 deaths. 64 patients have recovered so far.

  • michael norton

    Qatar’s health ministry reported on Saturday the first case of coronavirus infection in the country, the state-run Qatar News Agency said.

    Other than South Korea, Japan and China, the other World epicenter would seem to be the Middle East and Europe.
    Bloody Odd that it’s not reported in Turkey, seeing as they are at war with Syria and share a border with Georgia/Azerbajain/Iran/Iraq/Greece

      • N_

        Holiday Inn? Many Tories will think “free bed and board – what a disgrace”.

        This aspect of Toryism (which is its fundamental characteristic) has been ignored by the left for so long, or at least relegated to the realm of “Sure, you’re right, but we mustn’t talk about that”.

        Now we’re about to find out what a Malthusian deathfest looks like.
        Happy Easter.

    • N_

      Remarkable that it has not been reported among refugees, such as the 4 million in Turkey. It probably will be and very soon.

      Case numbers vary across the Middle East:
      UAE: 19 cases, Chinese population 180,000;
      Iran: 593 cases, Chinese population less than 3000.
      The next Middle Eastern country after Iran is Kuwait with 45, less than in each of France, Germany, Spain, and the US.
      Admittedly it’s easier to lock down the UAE, or Dubai which is where most (150000) of the Chinese people live, than Iran.
      But still – who has it in for Iran?

      EVEN if this virus did not come from a country’s BW stocks or research facility (which I doubt), the coronavirus has certainly been treated as a military matter for weeks now – both in defence and offence. One country wants to bring another to its knees? Here’s a very cheap way of doing it…

      • michael norton


        The total cases confirmed in Italy is now 1218 with 29 deaths.
        473 new cases are reported in Italy within the last 24 hours.
        A young man in his twenties has caught it, he was recently in Iran.
        Armenia sealed their border with Iran on February 24th.

  • michael norton

    The death rate is given as about 3.4%
    but if you compare those dead with those recovered the rate changes to 6.7%



    Countries affected
    Italy?? : 566, Total: 1694

    Boris will attend COBRA

  • michael norton




    Countries affected


    Pope Francis,
    who canceled a Lent retreat for the first time in his papacy because he is suffering from a cold, has tested negative for coronavirus.
    335 new cases reported overnight in Italy.
    Total for Italy now 2036 with 52 fatalities.

  • michael norton

    European Union in panic mode.
    Christine Lagarde, called an emergency meeting to escalate planning for the deadly virus, which threatens to plunge the Eurozone into recession. She warned: “The Coronavirus outbreak is a fast developing situation.
    Italy, Spain, Germany and France are the most affected and these four are the engine of the economy of Europe.
    Ukraine has now admitted it has the disease.

    • michael norton

      Italy reports 466 new coronvirus cases, bringing total to 2502
      total death toll to 79.

      U.K. now over fifty cases.
      U.K. patients will soon be see from their homes by video.
      U.K. to soon move to “War Footing”
      with exceptional powers, that will be passed by Parliament.

      • michael norton

        U.K. figures edging up to a hundred.
        Two more today in Scotland.
        Boris claims that maybe 20% of U.K. workforce will be self-isolating/in hospital
        and any one time.
        Up to 80% of U.K. people will get it in the coming year.
        Most expected to be relatively mild

  • AKAaka

    First death in Spain. Actually died on the 13th of Feb. Was diagnosed at the time as having pneumonia of unknown origin. Now been confirmed as having had nCoV.

    This is actually very big news. Spain’s first confirmed case was just 3 days ago. But actually their first death was 3 weeks ago, making theirs the third death outside of China. How spread is it really? Well done to Spain for following up on this and not hiding such information. How many more have been ‘missed’ like this?

    • AKAaka

      Sorry, was looking at wrong figures, Spain’s first case was not 3 days ago, it was 1st of Feb.

  • michael norton

    there are very huge differences in China, for example only one person has caught it ( who is currently in Tibet)
    this gives 1 person in 3,180,000

    in Hubei 1 person in 870 has it.

    Why such a difference.
    If we could understand that, we would understand a lot.

  • michael norton

    Iceland coronavirus cases doubled in a day
    13 new cases are reported on Wednesday, bringing the country’s total to 26.

    Spain 202, 1 death
    France 285, 4 deaths
    Germany 262, 0 deaths
    U.K. 85, 0 deaths
    Switzerland 80, 0 deaths
    Norway 59, 0 deaths
    Sweden 52, no deaths

    Italy 3089, 107 deaths

    all schools and universities to be SHUT in Italy

      • michael norton

        United Kingdom health officials have moved into the “Second Phase”
        of their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

        In the “delay” phase measures will be ramped up to slow the spread of the virus, the country’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said.

        He told M.P.s it was “highly likely” some people now being infected in the UK have no connection to overseas cases.

        Three new cases of the virus in Scotland have brought the total number of positive tests in the UK to 90.

  • N_

    The poshboy Malthusian regime’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty is telling people not to stock up on anything and not to wear masks.

    This announcement by the straightbacked “Mr Expert” who is doubtless on first name terms with the government relations guys at the major pharmaceutical companies and their placemen in the research institutions and universities, comes as the British government has published a laughable “coronavirus action report” while it twiddles its thumbs for a week or so just to make sure that enough old and weak plebs over the age of 60 kick the bucket. Almost the entire ruling class in Britain is brought up from a young age to believe that most of the proletariat are a waste of oxygen and food except when they’re skivvying, and frankly anybody who doesn’t know this is very ignorant indeed and may never have even met anybody from the ruling class. I say it again and again, but the god of these people is Thomas Malthus. Those who think I’m talking rubbish are about to find out to the contrary.

    Anyway, Whitty says don’t stock up on anything and don’t wear a mask. Therefore it is time to stock up (if you haven’t already done so) with food, fuel, toilet paper etc. – and to wear a mask! Don’t do what the man tells you. Do yourself a favour.

    Note that there are two kinds of mask – a flimsy one that supposedly serves most to cut down the chance that the wearer will infect other people, and a “respirator” one which is supposed to reduce the probability that the wearer will get infected. The second type often comes with a valve, the function of which isn’t to stop bacteria or viruses but to prevent your face from getting too hot with prolonged use. You may find it difficult to get hold of the respirator masks – most shops have either sold out or (as I suspect) some may have obeyed orders to remove them from their shelves, after making sure of course that pharmacists, the managers of Boots branches ,etc., all have as many as they want for themselves and their families. BUT even the flimsier masks which mostly protect other people than the wearer will still provide the wearer with SOME protection (never mind anything you read to the contrary) because they reduce the frequency of you touching your face (which most of us do quite a lot) – and touching your face after you’ve touched a contaminated object (what medics call a “fomite”) is a major vector of infection.

    Summary: don’t believe the man; hoard food; wear a mask.

  • michael norton




    Countries affected

    40,000 people who have been infected are neither dead nor yet recovered.

  • michael norton

    87 new cases reported in Germany, bringing total to 349

    This has eased off in China but seems to be going mental in Korea/Japan/Singapore and well as in Europe.
    Current known amount of victims in Europe is running at
    7, 681

    So second most dense infection hot-spot after Wuhan, China.

  • Dungroanin

    When is a pandemic not a pandemic?

    WHO knows and WHO doesn’t!

    ‘The problem lies in the WHO’s pandemic indicator. It was developed for flu and includes the word influenza throughout…They have one set of pandemic ‘traffic lights’ and their definition is based on spread and does not include a severity component…At present it is triggered by sustained community transmission in multiple WHO regions and has legal consequences.’


    ‘The changes allowed under a PHEIC or pandemic declaration are not needed in a 2009(H1N1) pandemic where a seasonal flu strain is being replaced by a similar strain. They are needed for this or a high CFR flu. WHO boxed themselves into a corner in 2009 by having a disease that met their definition but did not meet the public, or Nation States, understanding of what a pandemic is.’

    So it is legally a pandemic based on legal definitions from decade ago but they have decided not to use the word ‘pandemic’ because it has legal consequences based on the legal definition they agreed it would have!

    It’s a matter of principle and if you don’t like it WHO have other principles!

    They have been told NOT to use the word and the word has been scraped from their categories – because of its LEGAL implication.


    And btw the Chinese have set a new world standard which will improve humanity’s chances to react to other such crises as explained by a WHO expert Bruce Aylward (https://www.who.int/dg/adg/aylward/en/)
    In this interview:

    And btw the Chinese are finally getting close to trying find what it actually is:

    10:02 am Mar 6
    For the first time, Chinese researchers in Shenzhen observed the true morphology of inactivated COVID-19 via microscope, providing an important ultramicrographic basis for the recognition, identification and clinical research of the virus.

  • michael norton

    Iran reports 1234 new cases and 16 new deaths, bringing total to 4747
    yet strangely not a single case in Turkey?
    Even little Iceland has 47 cases.

  • michael norton

    Perhaps the mid-seventies person who died of Covid-19 in Royal Berkshire Hospital Hospital was not a man but a woman.
    They were diagnosed less than 24 hours before they died.
    No one knows how it was caught.
    This means, they likely had it for more than a week, before it was diagnosed.
    So many others will have been infected, from the source.
    Second person now died in U.K.
    and number of victims officially known tops 200.

    • michael norton

      21—24 January 2020
      World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

      The greatest concentration of Covid-19 victims outside of China/Korea/Japan/Taiwan, is in the nations of
      The Alps.
      Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria.
      More than ninety percent of the victims in the United Kingdom have contracted it from The Alps, meaning ski-resorts.
      It probably started in Wuhan in October or November last year.

      It would be interesting to see if any attendees at this years World Economic Forum
      are spreaders?

  • michael norton

    Most countries in Asia, most countries in Australasia, most countries in Europe, 11 countries in The Americas and 9 countries in Africa
    just when will the WHO call a Pandemic?

  • michael norton

    South Korea – 6767 – 44 d
    Iran – 4747 – 124 d
    Italy – 4636 – 197 d
    Germany – 670 – 0 d
    France – 653 – 9 d
    Spain – 401 – 8 d
    Switzerland – 214 – 1 d

    An anomaly is no notified deaths, yet, in Germany.

    Also of note that all the countries in Europe that have so far announced more than 200 cases of Covid-19 are countries that share the Alps. This probably stems from transmission from skiing resorts.

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