Coronavirus: Only an Anecdote 904

Today’s shocking evidence by Prof. Neil Ferguson that, had lockdown been implemented a week earlier, the death toll would have been halved, has the ring of truth, although it must remain a surmise (and I am aware of his past record).

But I want to give you an anecdotal example from my own family of the extraordinary government laxness at the start of this pandemic.

Whilst I was in London during February covering the Assange hearing, Nadira attended the Berlin Film Festival. She has produced a feature film in Iran, currently in post production, which she was there to promote. She therefore spent almost the whole time in the company of people from Iran involved in the film.

In very early March, a week or more after her return, Nadira developed a bad fever and pneumonia like symptoms. I advised her to call 111. It is important to remember that at this time Iran was well known to be a major epicentre of Covid-19. Nadira was phoned back by a Covid-handler from 111, and she explained the situation to him. He said that she just had seasonal flu and that Germany was not a risk for Covid-19. She explained that she had been the whole time with people newly flown in from Tehran. He stated that unless they were showing symptoms, there was no risk of infection. He said Nadira did not need a test or to self-isolate.

When I got back from London, Nadira took to her bed and remained there for a week, which is simply unheard of – she never gets sick. Cameron developed a nasty cough and we kept him off school for over a week.

Two things are in retrospect striking. The first is that Nadira complained bitterly, and continued to do so for some weeks, that she had completely lost all sense of taste and of smell. We had been gifted a particularly good bottle of wine and I thoughtlessly opened it, rather than wait until she could enjoy the taste too. At that time loss of taste and smell was not a reported marker of covid-19.

The second striking fact is that we now know that the real reason that the 111 service was so adamant to Nadira that no testing was required, is that there was in fact no available testing capacity for anybody who was not Prince Charles. That does not explain why Nadira was told she did not have to isolate. Nor does it explain why in early March NHS Scotland could not grasp the difference between being in Berlin, and being in Berlin with a group flown in from Tehran.

It is worth noting that Nadira flew back in to Edinburgh, very likely carrying Covid 19, precisely two days before the controversial Nike conference. Nadira is just one person, and I am prompted to tell the story (with her permission) by Ferguson’s admission that the failure to do anything about the thousands of people returning from Italy had seeded the virus substantially. That is only a part of it. The refusal to take seriously and test members of the public who believed, with sensible reason, they may have contracted the virus abroad, plainly contributed to the UK’s higher death rate (let alone the failure to bring in airport screening).

Of course, until an antibody test is made available, we have no evidence it was not indeed just the flu which Nadira and Cameron had. To complete the family story, I did not develop pneumonia but did come down with a number of acute symptoms of which the most startling was sleep. About ten days after I returned to Nadira from London, I went through a period where I just could not wake up: for about five days I was sleeping 20 hours a day in a proper, deep sleep. I also found I could not type to blog. I could not control my fingers, while after ten minutes of typing my hands became extremely painful and I literally could not move my thumbs at all. I had all kinds of worries, from arthritis to Alzheimers. It was only later I discovered this arthritis like condition can be a coronavirus symptom too. It now seems to have thankfully cleared up.

At precisely the same time my daughter, who lives with us, came down with eye infections so bad she was off work for a fortnight while they were treated by the Edinburgh Eye Clinic. There is some evidence now this too can be a symptom of Covid-19, though the same can be said for a huge variety of symptoms.

The only member of my family to have been tested was my sister-in-law, who works in the NHS. She was extremely ill and hospitalised for a considerable period. She self-isolated and avoided admission perhaps overlong, not wanting to be a burden on her own hospital. In this self-isolation period my brother continued to look after her and to share a bed, and yet he has at no stage exhibited any symptoms.

This is all only anecdotal. Only one of the family ever was tested, even though Nadira very much ought to have been and wanted to be. It interests me that only Cameron ever developed a cough – even my sister-in-law who was hospitalised for weeks never coughed, even though both she and Nadira had breathing difficulties. My daughter and I had completely different symptoms again. The only common symptom to us all was fever. My brother, who cannot have avoided catching the disease, had no symptoms at all.

Anecdotal evidence is not without value. What the story of my family does show is that government negligence caused the most serious failure in diagnostic capacity compared to better organised countries, and thus the abdication of any possibility of effective track and trace right from the start. That seems to me a sufficient illustration of why the UK death rate has been so high.

I wish to thank all of those who tuned in for the first procedural hearing in my Contempt of Court trial. I realise it was not too gripping but please do not give up and do stay with me through the procedures as they get more dangerous. Julian Assange’s case has been marked by terrible abuse of procedure. I am severely constrained in what I can say, but I may perhaps say that today was a most happy contrast to the handling of Julian. I have no doubt your presence with me helps; and it is a massive emotional support.


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904 thoughts on “Coronavirus: Only an Anecdote

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  • N_

    In short, the poshboy regime in Britain

    * has shut most of the state health service (yes it has);
    * has told people that everybody else is a potential death danger because of the latest flu-type virus (anybody who doesn’t understand the xenophobia link doesn’t understand much about propaganda);
    * refuses to test most people who report suffering from the publicised symptoms;
    * gets medics to write “Covid-19” on medical certificates of the causes of the death even when there aren’t any test results;
    * slaughters much of the elderly care home population;
    * passes an Act that exonerates medics and other health “workers” from claims whenever they do anything that has “Covid-19” stamped on it;
    * gets its media to condemn as anti-social elements those who “desecrate” statues to a right-wing prime minister from the 1940s;
    * sends some of it soldiers (reportedly from the parachute regiment) on a Nazi day out to London to “protect statues”;
    * gets much of the population to clap for the government every Thursday;
    * gets much of the population to decorate its accommodation with symbolism praising the national-sacred Nazional Heimland Service.

    That sounds like one sh*tbucket of a country.

    • ET

      OK, you baited me enough to reply.

      ” has shut most of the state health service (yes it has)”.
      You are correct. This, they have done. Most consultations take place remotely. Many people will have avoided seekig health care because they were afraid to do so. This was and is wrong.

      “has told people that everybody else is a potential death danger because of the latest flu-type virus (anybody who doesn’t understand the xenophobia link doesn’t understand much about propaganda);”
      I don’t really agree with this. I think mostly , people are pragmatic about the risk assesssment here. I am not sure what your xenophobic agrument is here, though I can guess.

      “refuses to test most people who report suffering from the publicised symptoms”
      Totally agree with you here. It is abhorrent.

      “gets medics to write “Covid-19” on medical certificates of the causes of the death even when there aren’t any test results”
      I don’t agree with this. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks it is probably a duck. If i have a patient with respiratory symptoms similar to a covid-19 clinical picture, imaging pictures that look like covid-19 imaging, etc etc I don’t think it is unfair to state that in my clinical judgement this is a covid-19 case. Even after death there are tests that verify that. Medics and nurses are not automatons. They come from the same community as you do.

      ” slaughters much of the elderly care home population”
      I possibly wouldn’t use the terminology you use but yes, they totally got the management of this wrong. Perhaps criminally wrong.

      “passes an Act that exonerates medics and other health “workers” from claims whenever they do anything that has “Covid-19” stamped on it”
      I am not sure where I stand on this yet. I need to look into this more.

      “gets its media to condemn as anti-social elements those who “desecrate” statues to a right-wing prime minister from the 1940s;
      * sends some of it soldiers (reportedly from the parachute regiment) on a Nazi day out to London to “protect statues”
      I cannot neither verify or dispute this because I don’t have the information to do so. However I think you are starying from fact to opinion here. I could be wrong.

      “gets much of the population to clap for the government every Thursday”
      Agreed, this has run it course.

      “gets much of the population to decorate its accommodation with symbolism praising the national-sacred Nazional Heimland Service.”
      Are we really at this point?

      • Clark

        “Medics and nurses are not automatons. They come from the same community as you do.

        Yes! WELL said, ET.

    • Stonky

      gets its media to condemn as anti-social elements those who “desecrate” statues to a right-wing prime minister from the 1940s…

      If the Allies had lost World War II and Germany had won, none of the black people out complaining about the dreadful racist history of the country they’re forced to live in would actually be here to complain about it (the white people would probably all be Nazis – they have the basic mindset). And if it hadn’t been for Churchill’s relentless opposition to Hitler during the 1930s, and his leadership during the war, Britian might easily have lost, or even not fought. I don’t think it’s excessive to describe people who are too stupid to understand that as “anti-social”.

      Take the young moron who desecrated the Cenotaph. It’s there to commemorate people like my Uncle, who died within a few days of his 21st birthday. I know he died “so that others might have freedom of speech” and all that, but I’m not sure a young moron shoving a middle finger up at things he’s too stupid to understand really constitutes “freedom of speech”. And I’d be surprised if he has ever in his life inconvenienced himself purely for somebody else’s benefit, far less made any real sacrifice.

    • Mary

      N_ You omitted –

      *have gone to their second homes.

      Many houses are shut up and unoccupied in ‘leafy Surrey’. There is nobody about and little traffic.

  • Paul Barbara

    Just for the craic. I was on the Demo today, I saw literally hundreds of police (due to probability of football hooligans attacking BLM protesters) . I did not see one, not one, policeman (or woman) wearing a mask, and I shook hands with a number of them (no ‘elbow-bumps’). And no ‘distancing’. Just sayin…

        • Tatyana

          Thanks, Clark 🙂 sorry, today is the gross cooking day for me, so I’m trying to keep track of the discussion while busy with bliny and a saucepan of mushroom soup 🙂
          Special thanks for explaining about TSG, very timely prompt, because I knew only one meaning of this abbreviation (That’s SO Gay, according to the Urban Dictionary).

      • nevermind

        They arrested over 100 people they said, Tatyana. Those protesting were thugs from the EDL and some ten different football aligned hooligan, many of them banned from football matches, grown men who have always been violent.
        i hope that the police will infiltrate these groups, as they and MI5 do with almost every group that challenges the status quo in the country.
        For once I am glad that the police managed to keep these two groups apart, it would have been devastating to see BLM activist clash with these ‘untouchables’.
        I expect the usual right wing cheerleaders in the Tory party to come out with some soft pedalling excuses over the next few days.

        • Tatyana

          Curiously, you PM shows no support to the protesters, eh? He would certainly do, if they were Russian or Hong Kong people throwing bottles at the police, I believe. Or, spraying mustard gas in the crowd. Or, blocking roads. Or, whatever. If they were in Moscow or in Beijing, then your PM highly likely would say “it’s so totalitarian, so much dictator’s action to detain the protesters. Police state ”
          etc etc the whole set of stamps.

          • Clark


            And in our corporate media, western war is always justified and western allies are barely criticised, whereas the official enemies are always “dictators”, “abusing human rights” and all the other guff. Same old, same old – “we” are better than “them”, keeping the people of the world divided.

  • Brian

    This also only anecdotal my wife is a domiciliary care worker she and her colleges go house to house looking after vey old and ill people who are bed ridden or house bound in the south wales area of Bridgend and surrounding area. This year my wife and her colleges have seen hundreds of clients but not come across a single death or illness from covid.
    only 1318 had no pre-existing conditions

    the scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health, Professor Walter Ricciardi, said:
    “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus……On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus.”

    But if every one who gets ill think they have covid then it must be true.
    I ain’t afraid of no ghost

    • Clark

      “only 1318 had no pre-existing conditions”

      ET examined this numerically and in considerable depth on the previous page of comments:

      “The pre-existing conditions associated with covid-19 deaths are reflective of said pre-existing condition’s overall prevalence in the population as a whole for that age group. I am not saying that co-morbidities don’t have some contribution but to choose a much bandied about phrase, most of the coronavirus deaths will have died WITH pre-existing conditions and not OF them.”

      Professor Walter Ricciardi’s statement was made before the massive wave of deaths in Bergamo, and may have contributed to the complacency that caused it. OffGuardian should stop recycling that report, or at least add a prominent explanatory note, if they wanted to achieve any semblance of accuracy.

      • Brian

        So people died WITH pre-existing conditions and not FROM them.
        But people die FROM Covid-19 and not WITH it.
        So someone over 80 with Chronic Pulmonary Disease did not die from it.
        Every year people in these conditions will die if they get any extra illness like the flue. If Covid-19 is the straw that breaks the camels back does one blame the straw or the load the camel was already carrying.

        What ever has happened since Professor Walter Ricciardi’s statement. If there has been a re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, of death certificates preciously attributed to covid-19 and found only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus. Then all the 24/7 world wide news reporting of deaths in Italy up to that point were grossly wrong. Yet there was no world wide news reporting of this. It did not cause a world wide revaluation of deaths attributed to covid-19. The UK continued with its very generous attribution of deaths to covid-19.
        Covid-19 was only made a notifiable disease on the insistence by business worried by insurance claims. Test that are questionable showing presence of the infections SARS2 are being taken as proof that the person has developed the Disease Covid-19 that is put on the death certificate. But a person can get the infection and not develop the disease.

        Date introduced Condition Count of condition Count of unknown or not reported for condition Count of all deaths since condition introduced % of deaths since introduced with condition % of deaths (excluding unknown or not reported) with condition
        24-Mar Received treatment for a Mental Health condition 1,123 8,153 27,045 4% 6%
        24-Mar Learning Disability and or Autism 492 6,731 27,045 2% 2%

        31-Mar Asthma 1,744 – 25,424 7% 7%
        31-Mar Chronic Kidney Disease 3,745 – 25,424 15% 15%
        31-Mar Chronic Neurological Disorder 835 – 25,424 3% 3%
        31-Mar Chronic Pulmonary Disease 3,768 – 25,424 15% 15%
        31-Mar Dementia 4,741 – 25,424 19% 19%
        31-Mar Diabetes 6,745 – 25,424 27% 27%
        31-Mar Rheumatological Disorder 845 – 25,424 3% 3%
        01-May Ischaemic Heart Disease 759 – 6,594 12% 12%
        31-Mar Other 18,086 – 25,424 71% 71%

          • Stonky

            Covid-19 is no ‘straw’ and Off-Guardian has been misleading about this; covid-19 has been killing at a far greater rate than the annual flu season…

            Question: How many young and otherwise healthy young people has it killed?
            Answer: Qutie literally, almost none at all. Almost zero.

            Of course it’s killing more people than the average flu season. It’s a new virus. Nobody has antibody immunity. So of course it’s going to kill a lot more elderly and vulnerable people. And most of them are probably now dead anyway. You don’t need a nationwide lockdown to protect the ones who are still alive. We have a nationwide lockdown protecting nobody from nothing.

            Hey, but maybe if we keep going with the lockdown some of the dead will come back to life…

          • John Goss

            Thank God for the likes of Stonky, Brian, Paul Barbara and others who can see through the translucent screen placed before our eyes. Though we are looking through a glass darkly my faith remains strong that one day the scales will be removed from people’s eyes and the blind will see.

          • Brian

            I am not afraid
            When I was young
            I had a couple of motor bike accidents with out injury
            going over the handle bars one time
            sliding under the tail gate of a lorry when it put its air brakes on
            I had a couple of hang gliding accidents
            stalling at 30ft I sprained an ankle
            one time my harness failed and I was left 500ft off the ground holding on to the trapeze bar until I glided to the ground
            One time a ladder broke under me and I fell 15ft onto concrete floor without injury
            I have had over a dozen car accidents with out injury (not my fault)
            A car crashed into the back of my car on the motorway in the rain
            A bus pushed my car off the road
            Life is full of hazards
            one can not cocoon one self.
            we are told contradictory things all the time.
            This food or that is considers good one day then bad the next.
            going out in the fresh air is dangerous . Are you kidding pull the other one it’s got bells on.

          • Clark

            Stonky, that is such a heartless argument. We have seen what happened in China and Italy; with no social restrictions, covid-19 rips through an entire city population in under a month, overwhelming healthcare systems leaving the dying without even palliative care. Five days choking to death without care seems a horrendous way to die, and a horrible thing for friends and family to attempt to cope with, especially if they too are ill.

            And please do not write off my vulnerable friend in his 40s, nor another friend’s immunocompromised 16 year old daughter. Living with imperfect health is one of the main things modern healthcare is for. Exterminating the weak or disabled was something the Nazis were keen on.

          • Clark

            “one can not cocoon one self.”

            Our neoliberal media relentlessly promotes thoughts about one’s self, but restricting spread of infection is a social matter.

            “we are told contradictory things all the time. This food or that is considers good one day then bad the next.”

            Again, this is standard fare from the corporate media, especially the Daily Mail. Personally I won’t have any corporate media in my house.

            “going out in the fresh air is dangerous”

            This was one of the most stupid pieces of government “advice”; it is only necessary to maintain a bit of distance from others. Going out is healthy, infection is much less likely to transmit outdoors, and consequently retailing outdoors should be encouraged. But stupid government advice does not make the pandemic a hoax; I already linked the mortality curve above.

          • Clark

            “And most of them are probably now dead anyway”

            No; the elderly population is in the millions; the deaths are in the tens of thousands.

          • Stonky

            No; the elderly population is in the millions; the deaths are in the tens of thousands…

            The elderly population of China is in the hundreds of millions, and next to none of them have died, despite their foolish failure to institute a demented lockdown. Perhaps you ought to go out there and explain to them what they’re doing wrong. Alternatively, perhaps you could question your own position and beliefs.

          • Stonky

            I’ve also read that under 50s in Mexico are dying in higher numbers than expected due to them being overweight and having diabetes…

            Then they’re not “young and otherwise healthy”.

            But hey. Let’s have a nationwide mass lockdown anyway. It’s the only way to protect them. The only way.

          • Clark

            “The elderly population of China is in the hundreds of millions, and next to none of them have died, despite their foolish failure to instutiute a demented lockdown”

            China locked down like nowhere else; doors of apartments welded shut, one resident per apartment allowed out twice a week to collect food from the barrier at end of the street, teams of four in hazmat suits knocking on doors and enforcing quarantine by carrying people off, traffic checkpoints with teams and people-nets, 760 million people under travel restrictions, 10% of the entire global population, social media censored, citizen journalists disappeared for a fortnight and not doing it again. Don’t give me “China”, Stonky; I’ve seen the videos that got out.

          • Stonky

            We have seen what happened in China…; with no social restrictions, covid-19 rips through an entire city population in under a month, overwhelming healthcare systems leaving the dying without even palliative care…

            Nothing even remotely resembling this happened in China, Clark. It doesn’t help your case when you are so totally ill-informed about stuff.

            And please do not write off my vulnerable friend in his 40s, nor another friend’s immunocompromised 16 year old daughter. Living with imperfect health is one of the main things modern healthcare is for…

            I trust your friend and the immunocompromised girl are immune to all the other requirements of life – food, clothing, shelter etc… Broken economies aren’t very good at providing these, and it tends to be the weak and the vulnerable who go first. One of the other things they’re not very good at providing is modern healthcare.

          • Clark

            Evidence from China, via Fox and France 24:


            Evidence from citizen journalists in Wuhan, and 700km away, Hangzhou. Also commentary by Edward Snowden:


            A Quarantine Diary, Beijing, 1100km from Wuhan and 1300km from Hangzhou. Posted March 17:


            ABC News: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency, 45 minute documentary including phone camera video from Wuhan:


            Stonky, I have asked you before; do you act in any public diplomacy capacity for any Chinese concern? Denying the Chinese lockdowns seems pointless.

          • Stonky

            …doors of apartments welded shut.. teams of four in hazmat suits knocking on doors and enforcing quarantine by carrying people off… Don’t give me “China”, Stonky; I’ve seen the videos that got out…

            Would you like me to send you a few videos that didn’t get out? I’ll send you some videos of apartment blocks whose doors weren’t welded shut. You’ll probably gt bored after the first million, which is a pity as you’ll have another ten million to go. But I’ll spare you the nearly 1.4 billion videos of people not being dragged off to hospital by hazmat-suited teams of four.

          • Republicofscotland

            “No; the elderly population is in the millions; the deaths are in the tens of thousands…”


            You said “Question: How many young and otherwise healthy young people has it killed?
            Answer: Qutie literally, almost none at all. Almost zero.”

            Ten of thousands isn’t quite zero is it Stonky, add in that this virus hasn’t run it course yet and we could be looking at even more deaths of young folk from the virus.

            Do you want to take a minute to confer that rather rash statement, and reconsider?

          • Republicofscotland

            “Then they’re not “young and otherwise healthy”.

            But hey. Let’s have a nationwide mass lockdown anyway. It’s the only way to protect them. The only way.”

            Stonky @12.39pm.

            Although they might be overweight and have diabetes, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t young, under fifty means just that. The lockdowns seem to be working in some countries the R number appears to be reducing.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            ” Personally I won’t have any corporate media in my house.”
            “Evidence from China, via Fox and France 24:”

          • Clark

            Johny, yes, from links in comments, and from web searches, and if you follow my links, consistent with citizen journalism.

            What I won’t do is go to any corporate media home page and let it set my agenda, nor have a television or radio setting the agenda by playing its schedule, nor have any “news” paper.

            Reporters, however, are ordinary people doing their jobs, and some of them are better than others.

        • pete

          Yes, lets play the statistics game. Which are the countries best and worst prepared for a pandemic:

          The figures for last year show the USA and UK lead the world in preparedness, which begs the question how have they performed so badly in the actuality?
          My own theory is that the mindset that tells you we are well prepared is most likely to be in denial when it comes to facing up to reality. It is almost unbelievable that people might be arguing over piles of dead bodies trying to attribute who is to blame for this mess. But I am prepared to believe that some people will put economic necessity as a priority over the well being of fellow citizens, those being the most greedy and rapacious.

          • Yalt

            I can’t speak for the UK, but some comments on the US in light of the report:

            1. Health service *capacity* is emphasized, measured by such factors as physicians per capita. The US does quite well here. What the report does not measure is the ability of the public to access this capacity.. A substantial portion of the population here avoids necessary medical care because they cannot afford it. That means a lot of people with underlying conditions; worse, it means a lot of people with poorly treated underlying conditions.

            2. They measure the ability of the system to respond quickly to an epidemic; they do not measure the political will to do so. This was a problem in both countries–in my own state the head of the Department of Health has resigned (she took the virus threat “too seriously”) and public health decisions are now in the hands of a committee of businessmen.

        • terence callachan

          Brian ….Scotland records covid19 differently to England
          You keep referring to recording of covid19 deaths in U.K.
          Which part of U.K. are your figures for because for sure they do not refer to Scotland England wales and NI

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Just as an exercise, refer to the curves from the USA.
      The new infections per day have remained at a steady state for around four weeks. During this period the fatalities per day have dropped from around 1.9K / day to around 0.9K / day. As a rough estimate, if the 0.9K / day of “healthy” people right now are dying OF Covid, then four weeks ago 1.0K / day people with underlying health conditions were dying WITH Covid.
      Don’t even contemplate applying this guide during the chaos of the peak period. Not enough testing was being done and what tests were available were being expended on the seriously ill (which is a form of confirmation bias).

      • Clark

        The whole “of or with” argument is silly, a distraction. Something rapidly increased the overall death rate off the scale, so some new cause of death must have appeared. Social restrictions were applied and, after accounting for the timescale in which covid-19 infection may lead to death, the death rate fell again.

        Some things I find very sad about the “it’s mostly a hoax” argument; one is the dismissal of the old and vulnerable, as if shoving the old out of the community and into “care homes” wasn’t enough. Another is the suspicion that falls upon ordinary people – healthcare workers, coroners, local government officers, the scientific community – when it was neglect of preparation by national government and their decades-long degradation of health services that turned a problem into a crisis.

        But most ironic has been the enthusiasm with which many alternative news sites have seized upon and relentlessly amplified empty arguments without applying simple critical scrutiny, and have thereby provided very right-wing governments and their corporate cronies with convenient cover stories.

        • George+McI

          “The whole “of or with” argument is silly, a distraction. Something rapidly increased the overall death rate off the scale, so some new cause of death must have appeared.”

          The implication is that we don’t need to know what the cause of death is. This is emphasised by that “of or with” as a “silly distraction”. Thus the entire field of medicine is “a silly distraction”.

          • Clark

            If you say so George. I’ll trust that our entire field of medical staff have a lot more integrity than the conspiracy theorists give them credit for.

      • glenn_uk

        If you exclude New York, which hit the peak much earlier, you’ll find the figures are going up rather quickly.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Exactly so. The “model” proffered is “fake news”, but how many people desperate for a simple solution to a complex problem would be taken in? A gig as a pundit on Fox News awaits.
          The argument may work if the same pattern of curves applied to geographically distinct entity such as New York City (but I doubt it does). The argument fails to take in differentials in regional “burn” rates. The folk dying at regionally disproportionate rates in the North of England just now will have the same healthy to underlying health issues ratio as the folk in the SE of England eight weeks ago.

      • Brian

        That is 539 cases if the tests are accurate . 85 Covid-19 related deaths. The trick here is in the word related. How are they related. What does the word related mean. Definition connected. Connected in what way. Appearing at the same time? That is correlation not causation. They only need to be suspected of having the SARS2 infection to be added to those have Covid-19 disease related deaths. 85 out of 147049 is about .06 percent. Most will be over 80 with other serious illnesses.

        • Clark

          Yeah, old bastards; let’em die! Trash the restrictions and let’em die en masse, unable to get into overloaded hospitals, no medical care and no morphine. And it might not be covid-19 killing’em anyway; maybe that huge spike in the death curve is just a fluke.

          • andyoldlabour


            Sadly that is the message I am getting from Brian and Stonky’s posts. Brian with his list of (imagined?) previous accidents, regards himself as some kind of indestructable superhero, who doesn’t care if the over 60’s die.

          • Clark

            The thing I find saddest about the triumph of neoliberalism is the degree to which its subliminal message of unbalanced individualism has pervaded the very souls of so many. It is subconscious, utterly corrosive to the bonds of society, and it’s extremely widespread. Even the natural health messages of the “peace and harmony” New Age Hippies are almost entirely without social awareness; it’s all about individual diet, individual behaviour. Yes, diet and behaviour are vital to health, but the message that such choices are purely individual rides this subliminally, thereby going unquestioned.

            I propose a new political awareness of value, with the primary colours of light as a metaphor. The Blue values shall be those of the individual; liberty, endeavour and self-betterment. The Red values shall be those of society; sharing, community and mutual support. The Green values shall be those of protecting nature and the environment, upon which both individuals and society depend.

          • Stonky

            Sadly that is the message I am getting from Brian and Stonky’s posts….

            Really? This inane drivel is “the message you’re getting from my posts”:

            Yeah, old bastards; let’em die! Trash the restrictions and let’em die en masse, unable to get into overloaded hospitals, no medical care and no morphine…

            Then perhaps you would have the courtesy to quote a few of the extracts from my posts from which you gleaned this message, so I can try to defend myself.

          • Nick

            Unfortunately it is a fact of life that previous novel pandemics in the vast majority take the elderly and infirm before burning out against more robust immune systems. It’s called natural selection..happened on earth for aeons.
            I understand your anguish for your friends in a vulnerable position…that what makes us human.
            But going against natural order,weakening the strong to save those that are near the end of life,is not a great idea long term.
            The not nazism…its nature.
            Yes we care as a species for one another which ensued we are still here. But there comes a point where you realise every pandemic does what a pandemic does. We are not close to an inoculation…there are too many variations of this virus to cover,which is showing in the multiple symptoms presenting. Lockdown will not suppress the virus as is being shown with China. Permanent lockdown or herd immunity look the only realistic options as of now.
            I don’t want to lose vulnerable relatives,but I’m watching my kids suffer too. No hugging grandparents. No playing with their friends. Luckily I have a garden but many of their friends stay in flats..lockdown has seen those kids pile on so much weight. Please do not make me out to be some sort of uncaring socialist because I disagree with you. Just that lockdowning the healthy has never been used ever to deal with previous pandemics…and yet out population globally has never been higher.

      • Brian

        My accidents were very real
        I missed that my appendix nearly killed me.
        As for the over 60’s I will be 68 in August.
        I take the same view now as I have always taken. I have known tragedy, I have buried both parents as well as a brother. All to varying degrees due to medical malpractice.
        The BBC website says 18% of all deaths in Bridgend involved coronavirus.
        So maybe we should be worrying about the other 82% of deaths that did not involve coronavirus. That is some 387 people and there families that apparently we do not care about. What bastards we must all be.

    • Ian

      The measure of excess deaths has been used for decades in assessing flu and other epidemics and outbreaks. Nobody has complained much about that. But suddenly, amateur epidemiologists have emerged everywhere telling us how they know it is all a big conspiracy blah blah. With scant evidence, other than anecdotal tales and a lack of any experience in the field. Funny that, weren’t it so tiresome.

      • Clark

        It seems to have started on the Swiss Propaganda Research site, which unlike this site is entirely anonymous; no one has been able to trace who is responsible for it. The memes posted there were enthusiastically taken up by UK Column and Off-Guardian, and have since spread beyond, to 21st Century Wire etc.

        Moon of Alabama has been sensible.

        • David


          you are doing a very very useful mighty fine job defending a sensible level of current understanding from what might be whimsical errors by other entities

          however I can’t let you get away with a couple of minor howlers – Swiss Policy/Propaganda Research might be a mad/bad site – we’ll find out in about a year when all the new SARS data is carefully & independently analysed. But it isn’t in any shape “anonymous” – there is zero anonymity on the internet at present(1). So it is fully understood who runs it and why, by the people that care. I’m sure that includes OFCOM (Office fédéral de la communication) amongst other agencies, especially those who are capable of internet protocol packet traffic-staining and other cloud techniques….

          …and subtly, MoA is ‘mostly’ sensible, they have surprisingly followed some of the pro-narrative nudges in recent memory, whilst most of the rest of the time they are a very interesting and relevant discussion group as you said, is that enough faint-praise?

          (1) I can link you to the (US) FTC slides where a particular special interests group first ‘goes-after’ our anonymity. It is completely open historic powerpoint slide. However, I tend to get attacked when I share genuine, free & open, internet links of that sort. Articles 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, most importantly 11, of our fundamental rights (Nice, France: 7th December 2000) are not respected by some powerful groups – and I worry about their progression towards complete lawlessness by ignoring articles 2, 3, 4, 18, 20, 21!, 41, 47 & 48 in the case of our generous host and Julian.

          • Clark

            Swiss Propaganda Research is anonymous to us, the ordinary Internet users. I too regard it as dubious that the authorities get to see registration data which is blocked to ordinary readers by being hidden behind commercial anonymity providers.

            But my real points are that (1) unlike Craig, Swiss Propaganda Research hide their real identities; they’re unwilling to stand up and be counted, and (2) the sites that have followed their lead haven’t bothered to apply critical thought, and have instead launched into full-blown counter-propaganda mode.

            Two wrongs don’t make a right, and one wrongness does not counter an opposing wrongness. We have peer-to-peer publishing now; a massive advance in my opinion, but to make good use of it we must begin practising peer-to-peer critical analysis. We have been too lax for too long, and foolish conspiracy theory is drowning our wonderful new communication channels under oceans of unchallenged bullshit. The alternative is censorship by a return to centralised gatekeeping, as we’ve been seeing since Trump’s election resulted in Facebook turning to the Atlantic Council etc.

      • N_

        Amateur is good. It means somebody loves the subject, usually so much that they’re always learning more about it, they love explaining aspects – and explaining them well – to people who don’t know as much as them, etc. – not like those “professional” tossers who get paid to adopt a clergy-type role (they’re not “laymen”) and who believe anything that their insurer, trade body, and probably Elsevier-owned trade journal tells them that month.

  • Toby

    Craig, before you get too excited about the good Professor, consider:

    1) His record of bad predictions, often orders of magnitude out.

    2) The total lack of evidence that lockdowns even work.

    3) Who funds him and why.

    And here’s an anecdote for you: I and a lot of my friends had all the CV-19 symptoms late last year – weeks before it was supposed to be in the UK. Yet the government insists it only arrived in late January. Why?

    • Ian

      The evidence for lockdowns is plentiful, especially in those countries which have a relatively successful track record in dealing with Covid.

        • Clark

          Well it halted the incredible rise in the death rates, and the air smelled clean and the roads and skies were quiet for a few glorious sunny weeks. But some of the restrictions were stupid, unpleasant and unnecessary whereas other sensible interventions weren’t implemented, so it didn’t work as fast as it could have and there are still over a thousand deaths per week :/

          • mrjohn

            “Well it halted the incredible rise in the death rates, ”
            Did it?
            These claims can be neither proven nor disproven.
            The problem with a lockdown is it does not solve the problem, it just delays it, now you are trapped. You have no exit, only the hope of a vaccine, being traced, and being sociopathically distanced.
            My father died in a carehome last month, cause of death given as Covid 19, he was 91, with advanced dementia, saying Covid killed him is like saying someone who fell off a 400 foot cliff was fine for the first 399 feet, 9 inches, but the last 3 inches were fatal. Since I live in Japan, is it fair I could not visit him for his 91st birthday? Or that I had to attend his 20 minute funeral via the internet? All in the name of preventing the spread of a virus which made it to his bed, despite him being bedbound for 3 years. So the lockdown stopped what ? It stopped my brother visiting him, which in my opinion is the real cause of death, losing the will to live.
            You have to ask yourself what kind of a world you wish to live in. The restrictions imposed after 9-11 were never lifted, the restrictions imposed now will remain. The government is now legislating every aspect of your lives, though as Professor Fuckwit and others demonstrated, these rules are only supposed to apply to the proles.
            Welcome to the days you have made, you are welcome, you are welcome.

          • Clark

            I am sorry that you and your brother could not see your father.

            However, he was infected, so to see him you and your brother would have had to enter an infected area, increasing the risk of you spreading covid-19 to others. This is tragic and unjust, but infection knows no justice. I am sorry. Maybe you could have met him had there been precautionary quarantine facilities for you to enter voluntarily afterwards, but such facilities have not been set up.

            “These claims can be neither proven nor disproven”

            Simple comparison of countries’ strategies and their populations’ behaviours against the resulting infection and death rates prove it beyond reasonable doubt, but do look deeper than for instance “Sweden has no lockdown”; such soundbites are persuasive but misleading.

            Ferguson resigned; Cummings remains. Choose your targets wisely.

        • Mrs Pau!

          Sadly we do not know the answer to how many deaths have been caused by coronavirus because in the UK we rejected WHO advice as not applying here and gave up testing early on ( although even that seems to have been too late) and did not resume until too late. So we still lack reliable information .

          We all know over 70s are more at risk, but what percentage of over 70 mortalities were from coronavirus alone and what percentage had comorbilities? No one seems to know. And in care homes with GPs not visiting – the diagnosis was reduced to observation by a member of the nursing Staff so the same question arises.

          Fhere seems to be a large difference between the numbers attributed to the increase in deaths at this time of year and numbers to deaths from coronavirus. Maybe this is accounted for by all those patients with other serious illnesses whose treatment was delayed or cancelled to make way for turning over wards to coronavirus. And still still the UK has one of the highest mortality rates from the virus in Europe. What exactly did the UK do again that Boris keeps telling us was successful? Perhaps Dr Jenny Harries could explain to us?

          id not staave not done enough tests. Because

    • Clark

      Criticisms of Ferguson’s previous predictions have been greatly exaggerated.

      The ICL model correctly predicted the proportion of the Spanish population infected, as confirmed by widespread antibody tests:

      There are plenty of other models that produced broadly similar results. Ferguson seems to have been promoted by the right-wing press as a figure for the public to blame, distracting from this uncaring, negligent, incompetent government.

      • Spencer Eagle

        It’s no exaggeration to say that Ferguson’s modelling has been at best inept and at worst negligent, just like all other modelling that emanates from academia, including climate and pollution modelling. The private sector, specifically those involved in modelling for insurance companies, have long been critical of the methodology and processes employed by Imperial College.

        Code Review of Ferguson’s Model
        A second analysis of Ferguson’s model

        • Clark

          “Ferguson”, always “Ferguson”, isn’t it? Always promoting that scapegoat, when the government should take the responsibility. Even your own link says the ICL model had major contributions from Microsoft!

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Clark June 14, 2020 at 12:26
            ‘…Even your own link says the ICL model had major contributions from Microsoft!’
            That’s the sort of sloppiness you are always blaming me for.
            ‘…The code. It isn’t the code Ferguson ran to produce his famous Report 9. What’s been released on GitHub is a heavily modified derivative of it, after having been upgraded for over a month by a team from Microsoft and others…’
            Did you misread that, by any chance?

          • Clark

            You’re right, I didn’t give those articles much time, but they’re just smear pieces anyway. They could just download the new version and run that, and see if it predicts a much lower number. Have they done so? It would be in the article title if they had.

            The current ICL model correctly predicted the infection rate in Spain, as confirmed by widespread antibody tests.

        • pretzelattack

          you lost me at describing climate modelling as inept and at worst negligent. bullshit.

      • FranzB

        Re the github model, the predictions always follow the actual deaths, so the prediction for Germany with 106 deahs per million has the same correlation with actual deaths as the prediction for the UK with 614 deaths per million. How could any model predict that Germany would be so well prepared and competent at dealing with Covid 19 whereas the UK would be so criminally negligent.

        “when a Swedish team applied the modified model that Imperial put into the public domain to Sweden’s strategy, it predicted 40,000 deaths by May 1 – 15 times too high.”

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Clark June 14, 2020 at 11:45
        The model Ferguson used is so fatally flawed UCL is doing it’s best not to release it for scrutiny.
        It is likely to require a FoI request and perhaps even a court case to get it released.
        Mind you, I don’t think Ferguson will die a pauper, with Gates watching his back.
        Of course, Gates (and those he funds) might just possibly have a dog in the race regarding numbers of victims of the virus, stoking fear and causing governments to allow short-cutting the testing trials normally required for vaccines.

    • Clark

      “I and a lot of my friends had all the CV-19 symptoms late last year – weeks before it was supposed to be in the UK”

      It doesn’t seem credible that this was covid-19, because covid-19 has been seen to spread extremely rapidly, yet whatever you and your friends had did not.

    • andyoldlabour

      Well Toby, if that is true then you and your friends should put yourself forward for testing.

    • terence callachan

      Toby….when in Turkey August 2019 I had a dry cough dizziness loss of smell loss of taste it lasted months the dizziness my GP said was vertigo I know of many people who have had COVID like symptoms it’s not new but it’s passed on more easily

      • Clark

        “it’s not new but it’s passed on more easily”

        That’s right, either viruses in different places all over the world suddenly mutated in such a way as to spread faster, or it just mutated that way once, probably in Wuhan, but in such a way as to be unrecognisable to the immune systems of you lot who’ve had it before. But whatever, all the experts are either wrong or making it up for Bill Gates, that’s for sure.

        • Clark

          terence callachan, sorry, that was intemperate of me. I think I’m getting a bit hair trigger about conspiracy theorists. They didn’t used to matter so much, but it has become a matter of support for policies that affect life and death.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Clark June 14, 2020 at 19:18
            ‘…it has become a matter of support for policies that affect life and death…’
            The big conspiracies have normally cost millions of lives – but you have the cart before the horse. It’s the conspiracies – Pearl Harbour, ‘Gulf of Tonkin Lie’, Sarajevo, USS Liberty Attack and other cons used for ‘casus belli’ time and again – that cause the deaths, not the so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ trying to expose them.
            As the Kennedy article below quotes nearly half a million cases of paralysis in India from the Gates anti-polio drive is hardly small beer in the numbers game.

          • pretzelattack

            how was the uss liberty attack used as a casus belli? rather the opposite, it was covered up even though normally the u.s. would have reacted with a great deal of force against a much weaker adversary. from what i remember johnson called back some planes and ships rushing to defend the liberty. he didn’t want a distraction from his total commitment to the vietnam debacle; perhaps there were other reasons as well.

          • Clark

            The largest cause of premature death globally is actually pollution.

            So far as I know, conspiracy theory has never exposed anything, and is not capable of doing so; only investigation can do that, and my experience is that the more a person tends toward conspiracy theory the less discriminating they are as an investigator, they accept anything that confirms their foregone conclusion, and refuse even to consider counter-evidence.

  • John Goss

    What the globalist authorities don’t want is people getting together in groups and spreading “false” information, like for example, the truth. Like Paul Barbara I have shaken hands with many people since this nonsense over a virus started. At every opportunity I put forward the truth as I see it (alternative to mainstream) and yesterday one of four fellow golfers (in the medical profession) agreed fully with me, The other two were more sceptical but not in a nasty glenn_uk or Clark manner. At the end of the round two of us shook hands, the other two did the elbow butt, and I’m OK with that because I realise it is going to be some while before everybody can see what a nonsense this has been. After the round one of the older gentlemen asked if I could do something with the flag which was flying at half-mast and flapping about because a lower lanyard had come loose and the cord tied round the mast was too tight for him to undo. It was tight but after I got it free he came over in his mask to help. As we both went to tie the loose end our hands touched. Neither of us said anything.

    What a ridiculous nation we have become!

        • Clark

          No, the figures disprove it. The death rate rose rapidly, but two weeks after the start of restrictions it began to fall, and continued to fall throughout the following five weeks despite the stay-at-home order remaining in place. Furthermore, in Italy, cities without major outbreaks were covered by the Italian social restrictions. These cities saw a reduction in the overall death rates, probably due to a reduction in traffic accidents etc.

          Of course the reduction in usual healthcare services will have resulted in bad effects including some deaths, but that could have been avoided had the Westminster government acted responsibly by responding to the early warnings from China and the WHO.

        • Clark

          But I agree that getting out is good for the health, and Westminster’s “only allowed out one hour per day” rule was cruel and counter-productive. Covid-19 transmits a lot worse outdoors. Retailing should be encouraged to move outside, and central parks should be made available for open markets.

        • andyoldlabour

          John Goss, the government for all its failings said a few weeks ago that we should be spending as much time outside as possible which was a complete U turn on their previous advice.

    • Sarge

      John Goss

      I don’t believe you think for one second it’s all a hoax.

      If you did, you would have attempted at least some answer to my very basic questions of yesterday.

      I’ll repeat then to you directly:

      Can anybody explain why governments as disparate as those of the United States, Venezuela, Britain, Cuba, China are conniving in a hoax pandemic, and who has persuaded them all to go along with it?

      I only make the request because to my knowledge not one hospital administrator, government official or even opposition figure in any of the hundreds of nations affected (or pretending to be) has yet broken cover and said it is all a hoax.

      Is this because the millions of individuals perpetrating the hoax worldwide have all been promised big money so long as they keep their gobs shut?

      You claim you see it all as a hoax, so prove you are a serious commenter and not just a silly troll.

      • John Goss

        The virus is real, the hoax is the fear factor governments have been obliged to follow. Bill Gates has long wanted a reduction in population. He and other Bilderbergers who own the media and Big Pharma are behind it.

        While I am not obliged to answer everyone’s questions I have posted many links showing what is going on.
        And Paul Barbara also gave you these:

        As the nurse in the first video says hospitals get more money when the death is labelled a COVID death.

        Have a good day!

          • pete

            Looking at John’s third link, this payment assertion (that hospitals financially benefit if they declare a death Covid19 related) concerns US hospitals and the Medicare system, I don’t see how it is relevant to the assertion that the pandemic has a propaganda fear related theme underlying it.
            Even more difficult to understand is the assertion, elsewhere, is how Bill Gates might benefit personally from a program to reduce the global population by encouraging birth control and public health measures. Differences in death rates from country to country seem mostly to do with the authorities incompetence in the response to the pandemic.
            So I dont think the global panic plot idea flies.

        • Clark

          “Bill Gates has long wanted a reduction in population”

          Grief, who in their right mind doesn’t want population growth to stabilise? Humanity is teetering on the edge; there’s absolutely no way of extending wasteful Western consumption to the four fifths of the world poorer than us lucky souls!

          “Bill Gates”, “Bilderbergers”, “Big Pharma” – just the usual regurgitated conspiracy theory, no original thought or critical analysis, no political awareness or critique; just parrot it whole from your favourite right-wing anti-UN, anti-international law conspiracy sites.

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            “Bill Gates has long wanted a reduction in population”

            No mention, of course, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s extensive work in Africa combating malaria vaccinating children. How does this fit with the “Gates wants a reduction in population”? I despair.

            One thing is clear: Bill Gates is the new George Soros. He will now be continuously accused of all sorts of nonsense by the nuts on the right and left. Because, like Soros, he is incredibly wealthy but not right wing.

            You left out the 5G nonsense by the way. Just as gobstoppingly dumb as the chemtrail, hollow Earth and “viruses are toxic excretions of cells” claptrap.

          • Clark

            “How does this fit with the “Gates wants a reduction in population”?”

            Oh, that’s the “vaccines are really designed to kill everyone and make women infertile” conspiracy theory.

            I hadn’t heard of the “viruses are toxic excretions of cells” claptrap. I guess I have that to look forward to on this whistleblowing former ambassador’s website. Sigh.

          • Penguin

            The SNP, Greens, Labour, Libdems all want to massively increase the population of Scotland. That’s four parties which pay lip-service to the environment but enact policies which can only increase the destuction of Planet Earth.

            Now apologise for being wrong AGAIN and we’ll say no more about it.

          • Clark

            Oh hello Penguin, your name emerged from the bottom of my screen as I was reviewing the comments above. I wonder if you have anything sensible to say today? I’ll have a look next… You’re not the Batman character are, you, by the way?

          • Clark

            Nope. I’m pretty sure that the “SNP, Greens, Labour, Libdems” want to encourage immigration to Scotland rather than encouraging people to have more children, but I could be wrong…

          • Clark

            Oh my God what a crock of shit you’ve linked to there John! Just about every anti-vax conspiracy theory under the sun.

          • Clark

            From the link John Goss posted above:

            In 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a phony “tetanus” vaccine campaign.

            The article omits that it was Kenyan catholic bishops who started this nonsense. The claim has been thoroughly dissected by Dr Edd, here:


            I expect Kennedy’s other claims are equally invalid, but there are far too many for me to check. So are you into anti-vax conspiracy theories now John? Heading for flat earth and chemtrails?

          • John Goss

            Vaccination can be a good thing. It got rid of smallpox, and greatly diminished polio outbreaks. It can also be a bad thing and there may be a better way forward if those who were producing gcmaf treatments were not in prison. Many believe their imprisonments have been brought about by Big Pharma and WHO.

          • glenn_uk

            JG: “Vaccination can be a good thing.

            Not according to that Italian MP you were so enthused with yesterday, and most of your favoured sources are strongly anti-Vaxxer. As are most of your denialist chums.

            By “many people”, who are you talking about specifically? Please don’t use that Trump rhetoric here, unless you’re even more closely aligned with him that you want to admit.

          • Despair!

            Anti vaxxers and pro safe vaxxers are 2 very distinct groups – why is that so difficult to accept.

            And – it seems that many of the very same people who would readily accept the malign influence of big pharma in other areas of public health – anti depressants, ADHD, painkillers – suffer from deep cognitive dissonance when it comes to vaccines – believing ardently – religiously even – in the wholly altruistic, wholly uncorrupted endeavours of a benevolent big pharma. Weird.

          • Clark

            “deep cognitive dissonance…” Oh for goodness sake. Look if someone can present convincing evidence for a case, it will be considered. If they have one good case buried under a mountain of bullshit it’s unlikely to be found; repeatedly finding bullshit will alienate the rational thinkers.

            See this:

            “believing ardently – religiously even – in the wholly altruistic, wholly uncorrupted endeavours of a benevolent big pharma. Weird”

            ..this is merely typical insult via conspiracy theory. Yes, people like me already know about non-disclosure agreements, publication bias, and collusion between pharmaceutical companies and government regulators etc. Your sentence assumes that we’re merely deluded dupes, yet it offers absolutely nothing in terms of what to look for, what might be wrong, where to look. It’s lazy. It basically says “we have suspicion! Now you lot go and find the crime, and build a rigorous case for us, and you’re deluded dupes unless you do as we say, and if you don’t confirm our suspicions you’re probably working for them!

        • Kempe

          A rebuttal of the Elmhurst Hospital allegations.

          It seems this woman has ‘form’.

          The thing is if somebody dies with more than one potentially fatal condition it’s difficult if not impossible to determine which one actually killed them or which one(s) weakened the patient to the point that something else carried them off. Thus patients die ‘with” not ‘from’ COVID-19 and practically everything else. I’ve never seen a death certificate which didn’t have more than one cause on it.

          • John Goss

            As to Dr Zubin Damania’s latest comedy show I have no idea whether he is right or not. His comedy shows are of an unusual ilk in that they are not funny, at least none I’ve watched. I don’t doubt the anonymous medical personnel from Elmhurst contacted him. I would be worried if it appeared I was receiving good money to label a death COVID-19 regardless. And of course the doctors could be right or the nurse could be right. At least the debate needs to be in the arena. Remember that Elmhurst is a specific epicentre for the treatment of COVID-19 cases so why were so many admitted without it?

            In this comedy show he asks why we are prepared to get into a car every day with a vastly higher chance of dying, what is the exit strategy to get everyone back to work but we are absolutely willing to go batshit crazy for a virus that kills a tiny number unless you are in a high-risk category.


            To say this woman has “form” shows you did not watch the video but looked for an alternative that dissed it.


          • Paul Barbara

            @ Kempe June 14, 2020 at 14:54
            Here is another NY nurse who agrees with her: ‘Nicole Sirotek’:
            Clearly, there is a great deal at stake here for the hospital – they may become liable for lawsuits and even criminal trials. Plenty of reason to demonise a whistleblower,
            They had 152 ventilators, I don’t know if that was when the ‘whistleblower’ nurse was there, or if they later got more, but that is nearly $6 million from Medicare. For each one they can clear, either by the patient recovering or dying, an extra $39,000 rolls in. Mayor Cuomo says 80% of patients put on the ventilators for Covid – 19 don’t survive.
            I don’t much fancy those odds (even if they survive odds are there is permanent damage to the lungs) and would definitely plump for hydrochloride, zinc and the other drug associated with hydroxychloroquine, azy-something or other.
            The ‘whistleblower’ nurse must have believed in what she was doing, because she risked getting Covid – 19 every day she went to work in the hospital.

      • Stonky

        You claim you see it all as a hoax, so prove you are a serious commenter and not just a silly troll…

        I’ve heard that burning straw men is almost as foolproof as pointless lockdowns when it comes to keeping the dreaded Covid-19 at bay.

        You should give it a try and let us know how you get on.

          • glenn_uk

            Very disappointing, but not at all surprising. Trivial, lazy, and in no way matches his supposedly deep conviction.

          • Stonky

            He said exactly what I would expect him to say. That the virus is real, and the hysterical levels of fear being generated about it through the Western media is a hoax. And he’s absolutely right and I agree with him. The per capita death toll in China from this “deadly virus” is 1 in 280,000.

            You specifically accused him of claiming the virus is a hoax. Which is a lie. He has never said that. I quoted your post and I’ll quote it again:

            You claim you see it all as a hoax…

            Just for the record, and at the risk of repeating myself, that is a lie.

          • Sarge

            Who’s this then?

            John Goss
            June 12, 2020 at 07:54
            While I agree that COVID-19 and the way it has been used is a “monumental hoax” it is not Craig’s fault, He, like so many others, has fallen for the fear factor . . .
            But it is a hoax being used to manipulate.

          • Clark

            Stonky – “The per capita death toll in China from this “deadly virus” is 1 in 280,000.”

            Well, those are the official figures, the real numbers were probably many times that, but in any case the majority of the Chinese population have not been exposed to the virus due to harsh and widespread lockdown – a practice you oppose and a fact you deny, see above, and my links in reply which follow it:


          • Sarge

            And are you seconding his opinion that all those different governments and media in every country are dancing to the tune of the parties John Goss believes are behind it.

          • Dawg

            From John Goss’s website:

            COVID-19 – true or hoax?

            True or hoax, which is it, according to JG? (Clue: not the former). He deduces it on the basis that he doesn’t personally know anybody that has Covid-19, and that epidemiology guru Ron Paul says it’s a “total hoax”.

          • Stonky

            And are you seconding his opinion that all those different governments and media in every country are dancing to the tune of the parties John Goss believes are behind it…”

            You know what? It would be a lot more dignified if you simply said “You’re right. I completely misrepresented his views and I owe him an apology…”

            Let me try to make this simple for you. Did he say the virus is a hoax? Yes or no?

          • Stonky

            From John Goss’s website:…

            Dawg, if you have read that linked article, and if you are genuinely pretending to believe that the gist of the article is that the Covid-19 virus is a hoax, then you are either far too stupid or far too intellectually dishonest for me to bother engaging with.

          • Stonky

            “Well, those are the official figures, the real numbers were probably many times that…”

            What scientific evidence do you base this claim on?

            “…but in any case the majority of the Chinese population have not been exposed to the virus due to harsh and widespread lockdown…”

            What scientific evidence to you base this claim on?

            Clark, you know absolutely nothing at all about China. Nothing. I doubt you have ever once set foot in the country, or even in the hemisphere. You do have an admirable enthusiasm for swallowing whatever drivel you are served up in the western media, I’ll grant you that.

            “But… but I once saw some anecdotal videos! There were three! No, four!”

            Are all of your opinions, on every matter, the same empty bombast?

          • Clark

            Stonky, there won’t be much scientific evidence for a political suppression of information. But there is some physical evidence for the widespread lockdown. There was the vast reduction in traffic fumes observed by satellites in orbit:


            There was China’s very low electricity production:


          • Sarge


            You’re pretending you didn’t see John Goss comment I provided for you above. Okay. Here it is again:

            John Goss
            June 12, 2020 at 07:54
            While I agree that COVID-19 and the way it has been used is a “monumental hoax” it is not Craig’s fault, He, like so many others, has fallen for the fear factor . . .But it is a hoax being used to manipulate

            So now we come to why you are pointedly avoiding saying whether you concur with John Goss on who is behind the hoax and is getting governments and media to perpetrate it.

            Might that be because what you accuse Dawg of being is just straightforward projection?…

            “you are either far too stupid or far too intellectually dishonest for me to bother engaging with”

            I suspect a combination of the two. Either way, I’ll leave you to your tedious dodging and weaving.

          • Clark

            You’re right I’ve never been to China. I am in the Northern Hemisphere, and living near the Greenwich Meridian, I have been in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

            But a local friend of mine called Rob does have a friend living in China. Rob showed me some videos his friend sent him; that’s where I saw the traffic roadblock training videos; no mucking about from those security teams. That’s where I saw nets being used to catch uncooperative drivers. I checked with Rob and his friend both confirmed that there was a lockdown in his locality, and vouched for videos of apartments being welded shut as genuine.

            Some of my links are to Western media, but I did check them against the citizen journalism that came from people who actually live there. I also noticed your dismissive response to another regular visitor to China on a previous thread.

            I trust my sources over your testimony, which not only supports obvious outright conspiracy theorists, but also fails to make sense in its opposition to social restrictions that have proven effective all over the world.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      How Craig and the mods can let you post here is beyond me. You give conspiracy theorists a bad name.

  • ET

    “Every year people in these conditions will die if they get any extra illness like the flue.”

    Correct. Known as the excess winter deaths. On deaths cetificates, if people died with influenza, it will be recorded that they died of Influenza. They will also have significant pre-existing conditions mentioned. The excess deaths don’t happen in April though and not to the same extent as the excess deaths in April 2020. I wonder whats going on. In graphical form:

    “If Covid-19 is the straw that breaks the camels back does one blame the straw or the load the camel was already carrying”

    You blame the straw that broke the camel’s back because prior to that the camel was coping with its load.

    I suggest you read the gudance on filling out death certificates:

    of note:

    “Information from death certificates is used to measure the relative contributions of different diseases to mortality. Statistical information on deaths by underlying causeis important for monitoring the health of the population, designing and evaluating public health interventions, recognising priorities for medical research and health services, planning health services, and assessing the effectiveness of those services. Death certificate data are extensively used in research into the health effects of exposure to a wide range of risk factorsthrough the environment, work, medical and surgical care, and other sources.”

  • Penguin

    Since tonight is the grand opening of the Skripal story on the EBC I do have to correct Sir Craig of Murray.

    It is not astonishing that the first person to find the Skripals collapsed on their bench was the senior Nursing Officer to the entire UK armed forces. She lived nearby, and wandered through that space on a regular basis.

    The problem is that the Senior Nursing Officer to the entire UK armed forces didn’t recognise the symptoms of neurotoxin poisoning and allowed her beloved daughter to perform first aid on Yulia S. If she didn’t think that the Skripals were suffering from Neurotoxin poisoning then why should anyone less qualified than her be allowed to make claims to the contrary? Unless you are saying she deliberately risked the life of her own daughter?

    Sometimes you really can’t see the wood for the tinfoil Murray.C

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      How much evidence is actually there that the Skripals were poisoned with a neurotoxin? The theory that they were poisoned by touching their doorknob is completely ludicrous to begin with.

      I don’t know what happened to them. But the official narrative is a pack of lies. Not even competent lies.

      • Bramble

        It might be amusing to watch the BBC’s three part dramatized account of the affair. The whole thing is already obviously a series of furiously woven and re-woven fictions; will it become more convincing with a real story teller gets to reweave the entire pack of lies? I fear, for the average citizen, it will. Hence this lavish and expensive drama.

        • James

          John – well, it’s completely clear that they weren’t poisoned by Novichok. I read today that the policeman who genuinely got a dose of Novichok – a very small dose – is still in bad shape.

          I remember a video showing Yulia Skripal pretty much completely recovered from whatever it was that made her feel unwell.

          If it really was Novichok, then both the Skripals would be well and truly dead by now. And none of us seriously believe that they are, do we?

          Incidentally, how are Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller these days? Are they in good health?

    • James

      Penguin – well, the `it woz MI6 wot dunnit’ theory actually makes much more sense than the `it woz the Russians wot dunnit’ theory.
      I’m wondering who will play the part of Christopher Steele and who will play the part of Pablo Miller in the BBC programme …..

  • Brian

    But if it is the common cold that pushes them over the edge then that will not be put on the death certificate. I do not agree that the straw is to blame. The camel may not have been coping and needed a lot of help to stay alive. If the straw could not have killed the camel on its own with out the load doing most of the work. Then the straw is not the culprit. If I poisoned someone near to death. Then some one else gave them medicine that would normally be tolerated but in the weakened state caused the death. Who would be found guilty?.
    This graph shows influenza deaths a peek at 22,000
    This graph shows all deaths a peek at 90,000

    These are some of the many reports mentioning 50,000 extra deaths in 2018
    That is extra not total deaths

    Obviously if you close the NHS to most non covid patients make GP doctors appointments extremely difficult . Move people needing hospital care into private care homes that are under staffed with staff contract staff to scared to go in and people not going to accident and emergency you may get a few extra deaths.

    As for the guidelines on death certificates. These were pre pandemic guidelines . Before the rules were changed and safe guards removed. Before the new normal. If in doubt call it covid.

    • Clark

      “This graph shows influenza deaths a peek at 22,000
      – This graph shows all deaths a peek at 90,000”

      The first graph is weekly deaths, the second graph is monthly deaths, hence the disparity. The first graph does not show deaths from influenza; it is from the influenza and pneumonia monitoring service, so it has the influenza peaks labelled by influenza subtype. Both graphs show deaths from all causes.

      Yeah, it’s all a fabrication by those damn evil doctors, eh? They’d write anything to please George Soros Bill Gates…

      • Clark

        “As for the guidelines on death certificates. These were pre pandemic guidelines . Before the rules were changed and safe guards removed. Before the new normal. If in doubt call it covid.”

        No. Read the link text:


      • Brian

        But you missed the main point this graph shows 2018 deaths at 65000 with no lock down and a fully working NHS and GP’s Patients not been moved early into care homes accident emergency normal. 2020 deaths at nearly 90,000 less than a 40% increase. I expect a significant percentage of the extra 25,000 deaths were due to the actions of the lockdown restricting the NHS and GPs and the other changes. If we allow 20% extra deaths due to lockdown measures. Then Covid 2020 is about 20% worse than 2018. Ruining the economy with economic lockdown could cost a lot more lives.

        • Clark

          The peak for covid-19 was attenuated by “lockdown”; it was heading up like a rocket until “lockdown” arrested it.

          And you can’t just subtract a different year’s flu peak from the covid-19 peak as if covid-19 would prevent flu deaths. The 2019-2020 flu peak was a small one, and it had already passed by the time of covid-19.

          Of course if you subtract all sorts of random causes of death from the peak covid-19 deaths got to before the restrictions halted them, you can falsely make covid-19 look trivial.

          • Brian

            “The peak for covid-19 was attenuated by “lockdown”; it was heading up like a rocket until “lockdown” arrested it.”

            Very hard to prove cause and effect as apposed to correlation. You would need a parallel universe where the only difference was the change on lockdown and then compare the two. But that is not possible. If more people bought red jumpers during the period and the death numbers went down. Would that prove buying red jumpers caused a reduction in deaths.
            If you predict something and your prediction comes true does that mean you have foresight. There are only a number of possible outcomes to predict. 1. deaths rise more than normal 2. deaths rise the same as normal. 3. Deaths do not rise as much as normal. You have a 1 in 3 chance of guessing correctly not bad odds.

          • Dawg

            Brian, your jaw-dropping comprehension of science and maths is reminiscent of one of Tatyana’s little jokes:

            The blonde was asked:
            – What are the chances that you meet a dinosaur on the street?
            – 50/50.
            – But why do you think so?
            – Oh, it’s very simple. There are only two probabilities, either I meet one, or not.

        • ET

          Deaths that occur because of lockdown are more likely to occur later down the road than immediately. The NHS service restrictions will cause deaths. Missed cancer screenings, treating disease later in its development course than would have otherwise been the case, mental health issues caused by economic fallout etc etc.These deaths will take time to show up. Cancer for instance doesn’t usually kill people immediately.

          I don’t doubt that some people who should have gone to hospital and didn’t because of lockdown will have died. However, one can compare the deaths in other countries with similar lockdowns such as Greece, Germany and others. They didn’t have such a high peak this is not supportive of the lockdown directly causing a large death toll.

    • ET

      The graph I posted is the All Deaths for the previous 15 years. It includes and depicts the excess winter deaths you are referring to. 2018 excess winter deaths were the highest in the last 15 years. You can easily see how much higher than even that peak the April 2020 deaths are. These are from the ONS registered deaths figures. They are about as incontestable as you can get. You are either dead or you ain’t.
      So, very clearly, something happened in April 2020 that pushed the death rate up so much.

      Within the population there are going to be people who have various health conditions. the co-morbidities mentioned in the figures. For sure, some of them will have a significant influence on the course of any further insult, such as covid-19. Others maybe not so much. The number of people within the population with these “co-morbidities” didn’t suddenly increase and cause them all to die. The numbers of people who are in the population with co-morbidities will have been relatively stable over the last 15 years or so. Give or take*. There has been no comparable peak in the previous 15 years. If 95% of the excess deaths were due to co-morbidities then there wouldn’t have been a peak at all. People would have been dying at a similar rate from these co-morbidities every month for the last 15 years.
      Something caused the excess deaths.

      *(this is not strictly true as for instance, dementia rates will have increased as the average age of the population as a whole increased and there will be some changes in prevalence of others due to public health measures etc)

  • bevin

    It is hard to believe that so many previously sensible souls are rallying around a banner upon which are inscribed these words:

    ” Bill Gates has long wanted a reduction in population. He and other Bilderbergers who own the media and Big Pharma are behind it.”

    But they are.
    Though it is tempting to continue to explore the satirical possibilities of the ludicrous arguments being advanced by the disciples of the duo, a playwright and her son, running Off Guardian there is no profit in doing so.

    The sad reality is that this virus is claiming the lives of more every day. Those who, rather than mourning and committing themselves to ensure that successor epidemics will not be allowed to gain such purchase, attempt to draw attention to their own singularity, cleverness and readiness to defend an indefensible argument are wasting everyone’s time. And enormous amounts of bandwidth.

    At the beginning of the pandemic it was not unreasonable to caution society against going overboard. But it was soon clear that the great danger came from those ruling, reactionary, social Darwinist forces in society whose lack of enthusiasm and serious commitment in their execution of protocols designed to control the spread of the virus was exemplified in the silly behaviour of both Johnson and his muse, Cummings. And in the lax immigration procedures which allowed tens of thousands of virus carriers into the country and the general population.

    It has been this lingering official affection for the ‘herd immunity’ idea- an idea calculated to appeal to idlers and sociopathic fatalists- which has characterised the British administration of a quarantine. It is almost as if, conspiracy theorists will like this one, the government intended the ‘lockdowns’ not only to cause unnecessary inconveniences (restricting people to an hour a day outside is unaccountably foolish) but to discredit the policy by ensuring that it had little chance to produce optimum results.

    It is now June and the ‘flu season is still raging. It is very much to be hoped that in September those sick of the denialists will not be saying ‘I told you so’ as a second wave crashes in.

    What we really need to do, all of us, is to save our breath and exercise our lungs against imminent attack. And to wear masks.

    • Brian

      You must be living in an alternate reality. Deaths attributed to the virus are going down around the world not up. As for a second wave. They may test more people and find more people with the virus. They may call this a second wave. But difficult to increase the death count. Yes they can claim every death is a covid death but that gets a bit silly after a while. The problem is one of supply and demand. There is not the required supply of very old and very sick people who will drop dead with just a little help from a virus or by other means. Any such second wave would be very weak. You need to build up a good supply of nearly dead people and that takes time. Maybe a year or two before they can repeat the trick.

      I will not live in fear
      I ain’t afraid of no ghost
      Ray Parker Jr – clip from the Ghostbusters’ theme (YouTube, 0m 2s)

    • John Goss

      “The sad reality is that this virus is claiming the lives of more every day.”

      It is claiming the lives of less every day. Check out the Johns Hopkins figures. Some more or dying but less than previously.

      The flu season is not raging. The media presentation is raging. But you’ve certainly bought into it.

      • Clark

        Covid-19 has killed about 1200 people in the UK in the last week.

        The UK is currently on about 170 deaths per day. Are you for a higher death rate John? How much higher? There’s plenty of spare capacity; we could easily exceed our peak of over 900 a day.

    • Shatnersrug

      here’s the thing bevin

      Is COVID a pandemic that we should all be worried about and take extreme precaution – Yes
      Are the Government using to enforce more draconian control over us – Yes
      Did the government policy enacted to late cause more deaths – Yes
      Are international big pharma etc looking to profit from it – Yes
      Did the Government want herd immunity to bump a significant part population – Yes
      Is the government being confusing regarding the end of lockdown deliberately so that they came blame the pollution – Yes

      And that’s the problem here, everyone might have a point.

      • Sarge

        “everyone might have a point”

        A large proportion of commenters on this site believe world governments of all ideological stripes are perpetrating a giant hoax at the behest of Bilderbergers. Are you of this ilk as well?

        • Clark

          Oh the conspiracy theorists do have a point. They usually do, in some convoluted way. But their cranky fantasies always divert attention away from where true responsibility lies, and onto some imagined group so vague, remote and unaccountable it would be impossible to do anything about them.

      • Clark

        I agree with all but one of those points; I’m not sure about:

        “Did the Government want herd immunity to bump a significant part population”

        That demographic bolsters the Tory vote, and care homes are another money-making concern.

        • Bramble

          Yes, but people in care homes are invisible. They are virtually non people, not least because nobody wants to think of them as real people (as they do not want to think about what will happen when they reach that stage of life). They don’t want to think about them at all. Old age is so not-sexy. If you are going to bump off a large number of people and everyone is going to avert their eyes, then care homes are a good choice to do it in (as are homes for those with educational difficulties, and homes for the disabled, and the mentally ill, and acre after acre of terraced housing without a garden in sight where the poor who are mostly employed looking after the above are quartered).

          • Clark

            I know. The modern attitude to old age is deeply saddening, and we’re in denial about death, we seem to want it to happen out of sight. Our seniors carry our history, they should be our story-tellers. Even if not all are individually wise, their memories are our past, and should become part of our identities. But the fast modern attitude leaves no place for that; we’re in Huxley’s Brave New World.

        • Shatnersrug


          I know that seems illogical but that’s what Cummings said – carry on and protect the economy and if seniors die so be it

          I mean you couldn’t get much clearer than that

      • FlakBlag

        Is the lockdown an engineered scapegoat for the recession that was already beginning in order to preempt a fundamental rethink of the prevailing economic system and calls for actual change – Possibly?
        Is the virus the latest distraction from the climate destabilisation that will make agriculture unable to feed the majority of people on this planet – Possibly?

        Lots of polarisation going on in this thread, lots of people nailing their colours to masts flying flags hoisted by shady partisan parties. It seems “Truth” has become an entirely subjective thing, one’s beliefs are dependent on which lies one chooses to believe. Everyone selling “facts” has an agenda, all truths have become lies.

        To everyone here who isn’t paid to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt: consider yourself hugged 🙂

        May God have mercy on our souls.

    • Ingwe

      How wonderful it must be to have the monopoly of knowledge and certainty on all things relating to Covid19-SARS 2 exhibited by Clark and Glenn. I’ll come back when the thread is less boring. Enjoy your weekend.

      • Clark

        No monopoly; I merely reason with data from publicly available sources.

        It would actually be more interesting for me if anyone could come up with a remotely valid objection; something that would actually make me think. But they won’t find any of that on sites that have dedicated themselves to promoting potentially lethal disinformation that diverts blame from the government.

        Sorry, but when lives are at stake I think it best to stick to fact, and I’m also not keen on smearing our medical staff just to inflate a conspiracy theory. If you need fantasy to pique your interest, try a C J Cherryh novel.

    • John Goss

      There you go again with the same nonsense. Nobody wants a higher death rate, not even I suspect those who favour the lockdown that’s given us one.

      • Clark

        Well we had a much higher death rate until it was reduced by the “lockdown” that all the conspiracy theorists are objecting to. And it’s the same pattern all over the world. Do you expect to die of boredom soon? Because unless you have no other health issues at all and you’re under 65, your fellow conspiracy theorists should insist that you died with boredom rather than of it, and it’ll go down as “covid-19” on the death certificate no matter what 🙂

        • John Goss

          You have given no proof of that. You cannot prove it because you do not know what would have happened if there had been no lockdown. The parabolic curve you produced 2 days ago is the general curve of a virus as it runs its course. It has nothing to do with lockdown thought you seem to think it does because the Bill Gates-funded Imperial College speculates. They can’t prove it either but the money keeps rolling in. So why not.

          • Clark

            The countries that applied restrictions latest have had the highest death tolls; I demonstrated that numerically with data from Europe, here:


            The countries where restrictions are most lax or fail to be observed are the same countries whose death tolls are falling slowest; Sweden is often quoted by the conspiracy theorists for having no lockdown, but Sweden’s death rate is still rising:


            Business Insider – Lockdowns save lives:


            I have data whereas you have only conspiracy theory, which looks like this:

            “you seem to think it does because the Bill Gates-funded Imperial College speculates. They can’t prove it either but the money keeps rolling in”

          • Clark

            John, when facts keep proving you wrong, the best thing to do is to trust in your existing beliefs and just keep going on as you were. Never deviate, never rethink, because before you could change tack you’d have to admit that you had made a mistake. That’s why we still believe that the sun circles the earth, heavier things fall faster and all moving objects come to rest.

          • John Goss

            You cannot have facts without detailed studies and all the data is not in yet. Your links do not mention Belarus which has a lower death-rate than most European countries. Your speculative analysis lacks finality and a lot of missing information.

          • John Goss

            “John, when facts keep proving you wrong, the best thing to do is to trust in your existing beliefs and just keep going on as you were. Never deviate, never rethink, because before you could change tack you’d have to admit that you had made a mistake. That’s why we still believe that the sun circles the earth, heavier things fall faster and all moving objects come to rest.”

            I could apply the same criticism to you.

            Clark in your eyes, and the eyes of moderators and about half the comment-makers, the mainstream narrative is correct and you never deviate from it. Well why should you? They gave you: weapons of mass destruction, the Skripal case, unmitigated support for the Ardin-Wilen fabrication which sees Julian Assange in prison and the suicide of Dr David Kelly to name but a few. Yet you support this latest false-flag. You are an immovable object whatever irresistible force is applied!

            One thing I can see is that this virus lockdown nonsense which is going to bring so much poverty in its wake has divided the nation. I hope in a year, perhaps two, you will acknowledge what you and the supporters of lockdown have achieved.

          • Clark

            Look John, why don’t you put triangular wheels on your bike? The mainstream narrative says you have to have circular wheels with the hub in the centre, and you never deviate from it. They gave you Skripal, fake weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and trumped up charges against Julian Assange but you still believe them and have circular wheels on your bike. It just makes money for Raleigh because triangular wheels are easier to make out of old banisters.

          • Steph

            ‘Sweden is often quoted by the conspiracy theorists for having no lockdown, but Sweden’s death rate is still rising:;

            That is incorrect. Here are the weekly death statistics for Sweden
            w/b 13/4 641
            w/b 20/4 654
            w/b 27/4 485
            w/b 4/5 546
            w/b 11/5 453
            w/b 18/5 319
            w/b 25/5 397
            w/b 1/6 264
            w/b 8/6 215
            Clearly the number of deaths in Sweden is falling, just as they are all across Europe.
            Currently in Sweden, the number of deaths per million of the population is 483 or 0.047% of the population. The equivalent UK rates are 615 deaths per million or 0.06% of the population.
            I hope I am not to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist for quoting these figures. However, I do believe it is extremely short-sighted to dismiss out of hand the experience of Sweden when trying to learn from global experiences. They are one of the few countries to adopt a more relaxed approach and thus provide very valuable data indeed..
            I note that Swedish infant school children have not been subjected to months of social isolation or had to return to a school in which every soft item has been removed, where they must learn not to touch their friends and must wash thier hands 4 times in 3 hours. Heaven only knows what the long-term effect of that will be.
            I note also that Swedish small traders have not been put out of business en-masse, that their government has not used the pandemic as an opportunity to dismantle the entire legislative system, that they do not appear to be staring at a gigantic reduction in GDP and all the ills which go with it and they seem unlikely to have their every movement and association recorded on a central database.
            I do not claim to know what is right, but I do agree with Shatnersrug. There are many, many aspects to this and it seems blinkered to believe that the paranoia surrounding this virus is entirely justified.

          • Clark

            Steph, thanks, you’re right. It’s the infection rate has been rising, not the death rate:


            But the infections have shown most rise in the last two weeks, so the death rate is likely to rise again soon, or at least stop falling.

            No one is a conspiracy theorist for posting data. Being a conspiracy theorist is not about what one believes, but why one believes it. If you’d have come out with some nonsense about figures being faked by hundreds of doctors because Bill Gates funds vaccination, that would have been conspiracy theory.

          • Giyane


            It’s not fair to compare the UK with Sweden because the UK has continued to allow flights without checks throughout the lickdown.

            A friend told me yesterdayhe was contacted by the Imperial College Stage 1 survey, of active infection by throat swab. One would have thought iit might be more scientific to have done stage 1 in March, not July.

            Boris Johnson hasn’t even undetstood yet that Cummings’ herd immunity thinking should have been physically thrown out of Downing Street. That would have convinced us thatt it was not government policy to let us die.

            As it is, bouncer hard man Cummings who is indispensible as Hard Man for Brexit is seen as hard man against the British people.
            The type of man who uses the British people as a guineau pig for the lethailty of the virus. In 2 weeks time we’ll know whether the virus has quitened down or not, by the same wisdom that gave us 500 mile round trips to test our eyesight.

          • N_

            @Steph – That’s very interesting about every soft item being removed in schools, presumably including many objects that are not high-touch and wouldn’t constitute much of a risk. SARS-COV2 survives longest on smooth hard surfaces. I was reminded of “scientific” shyster (a “behavioural economist” who has the ear of Dominic Cummings’s pal and SAGE attendee, mathematician Timothy Gowers) Eyal Winter’s warning that in the coming epoch drinkers in pubs should get used to consuming less than they did before. Some of this behavioural engineering has ABSOLUTELY EFF-ALL to do with preventing the spread of viral infection. It is just an increase in bossing people around. Want to go to the shops? Well get used to it that the experience will now be similar to being in prison.

            When I went in Tesco’s some d*ckhead working for the company was insistent that I had to position my trolley at a certain angle at the checkout. He forced it to the angle he wanted, exerting pressure against my arms. Funny that he wasn’t wearing a mask and I was.

            Supermarket trolley handles must be a major vector for the spread of disease. Think how many people touch them. Any sensible person wipes them down, but of course the companies aren’t encouraging that at all. All they are saying is stay away from other shoppers, keep to the one-way system, don’t “queue-jump” (i.e. go down every aisle because you might impulse-buy something you hadn’t come in for), and maybe wash your hands with the crappy disinfectant they keep at the entrance which is total garbage compared to proper 60%+ isopropanol which is what you should be using. (It’s not exactly difficult to make your own with 100% isopropanol and some “sanitiser gel” from the shops which already comes in a suitable squirty bottle. But they don’t want people doing anything on their own.)

            The idea is not to get people to THINK at all – it’s just to get them to OBEY, and often follow needless sh*tty procedures that do not reduce risk, that ignore real risk, or that increase risk.

            Britain is exceptional in that everyone who stands behind a desk, wears a uniform, etc., is conditioned to thinking of “members of the public” as troglodytes and basically as extremely antisocial thicko crazy wreckers if they ever do something like step out of line or ask why.

            If you do ever think of stepping out of line in this country, you will get some utterly moronic dimwit of a low-level cop talk to you in an extremely sarcastic tone identical to the one that schoolteachers used towards them when they were having the spirit taken out of them as children.

            Anybody who stands “above” anyone else in Britain has been having an absolute f*cking FIELD DAY in the early Covid-19 epoch.

            Talk about Covid-19-84.

            Any parents reading this who actually like their children should be aware that parents have the right to instruct schools to butt out of their “education” with immediate effect. All you have to do is write to the “proprietor” and tell them you’ve started and will continue to home educate your child and that the school should therefore deregister them. The school is then statutorily obliged to do what you’ve just instructed them. (Best do it by “signed for” delivery, because you shouldn’t trust them not to deny receiving the letter.) Goodbye school – they won’t bother you again. That’s the law: section 8(1)(d) of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

        • Brian

          Japan did not try to Lockdown early as it wanted to keep it’s hopes of the 2020 Olympics. When the Olympics were postponed they gave guidance for a lockdown and declared a partial state of emergency on the 7th of April extending to all of Japan on the 16th of April. But laws left from WW2 stopped the government making a lockdown compulsory. Japan have a population of some 127 million nearly double the UK. Japan have an aged population with a third over 60 and over 17% over 70. Japan is a lot closer to China and has much more transfer of people between China than the UK. There was some voluntary observance of the lockdown in Japan but far short of a complete lockdown. Japanese more commonly ware face masks for pollution. But you would expect from all of the above that the Japanese deaths would be higher than the UK. Yet total deaths related to Covid-19 in Japan is just 924. In the UK it is 41,698 deaths related to Covid-19
          So Japan lockdown after us and less than us have older population closer to china with more Chinese. Yet there deaths are just over 2% of UK deaths and deaths per million is just over 1% of UK deaths.
          So this should raise doubts about the need for the extent of the lockdown in the UK

          • Bayard

            “So this should raise doubts about the need for the extent of the lockdown in the UK”

            Not if you have faith.

          • Clark

            I don’t really care if there’s a “lockdown” or not. Well, preferably not, but I think it’s a stupid term, it inflames resentment, and it means different things in different countries.

            What I care about is that the infections should be forced down as low as we can get them, and to do that people have to take action. If infections rise out of control like they did in England, heavy restrictions are needed to get them back down to manageable levels. At Japan’s levels, milder and more voluntary restrictions can be combined with tracing and quarantine, but that can’t be achieved at ~300,000 new infections per day like the UK was at on the day that “lockdown” was applied.

            Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Iceland and New Zealand have all done particularly well. Covid-19 can be beaten:


  • Minority Of One

    2 days ago (Friday) the Office for National Statistics published data that showed the UK economy fell by 20.4% in April. Although I cannot find it published anywhere online, the bloke from the ONS interviewed on Radio 4 on Friday at 7 am said the fall for April and May combined was 25%.

    What effect will a 25% drop in economic output have? Two weeks ago the Daily Mail and Independent both reported on research from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, suggesting that about 6.5 million people might be about to lose their jobs, permanently:
    Daily Mail:

    I know, I know, it can’t be true because it was reported by the Daily Mail, Independent, take your pick, a good excuse for ignoring reality when you don’t like it. But let’s suppose it is true.

    If 6.5 M will lose their jobs, including dependent like children, the number affected will be 12-13M.

    6.5 M people are going to have less money to spend. Suicide rates will probably increase, and as a result of increased levels of poor mental health from depression and anxiety, and poor physical health from malnutrition and insufficient food, rates of disease will increase. And a lot of people might be trying to sell their flats/houses which they can no longer afford.

    Govt coffers will be reduced from a massive drop in taxes paid, at the same time as govt expenditure will explode from the extra millions of people who will need govt support.

    We are headed for disaster. Yes, the govt could and probably will create billions of pounds out of thin air to pay for things, precisely what it is doing at the moment to pay for the 10+ million people on furlough. This kind of creating money out of thin air to pay for the govt . budget has historically lead to hyperinflation. Where this year a beer costs £5, next £500 and two years hence, maybe £5M. Maybe this time will be different and we won’t get hyperinflation.

        • giyane


          All sorts of PPE were available from the UK but government was unable to function purchasing from UK manufacturers. Tory policy about British manufacturing is a bit like feminist policy: Man talking – block ears. When Tories talk about Backing Britain, they mean, Back Tory Hedgefunders, who make money on company failure. You wouldn’t expect them to give business to those whom they are betting against, surely? It’s not that Tories are incompetent, or even Labour, it’s that all politicians in the world are so busy gaming the system that they are mentally and physically unable to do the job for which they are paid.

          When they stood for parliament, they never expected to be asked to solve anything. No, their job was to make problems that would create wealth and status opportunities for themselves.

          • Clark

            “When they stood for parliament, they never expected to be asked to solve anything”

            Yep, that’s about it! And they haven’t. There are estimated to be about 225,000 infected at present, about the same as on March 9, a fortnight before “lockdown”. Their useless “lockdown” rules have taken three months to buy us two weeks.

    • John Goss

      Thank you Minority Of One. This is far more important than a virus. But you are not a minority of one, there are two of us and I know of others. I said this would happen on 5 April when I wrote:

      “When the coronavirus, one of several coronaviruses, COVID-19, hit China Bill Gates was fast to update his prediction to 33 million in six months. Fortunately, even by the hyperinflated figures, this looks unlikely to happen now. However the world economy is in a desperate state based on trying to defend against this fairly innocuous virus by adopting extreme measures. Through unnecessary isolation it has killed off social interaction (its purpose) had politicians lying to businesses that they will be bailed out when they won’t, stopped all sports events or meetings where a group of people could actually discuss this issue rationally, given 24/7 coverage to frighten people of a non-existent danger, had local news taken from the screens to make sure everybody gets a single message and left the world in a state which will see millions die from starvation, cold and the diseases brought about by penury. That is the aim – depopulation.”

      Nobody can see it even yet. Those figures, and I caught the news item you mention too, are only for April. There is much worse to come and the concerns you raise are genuine. People should be very worried, not about the virus, which is on its way out as all viruses do before they reappear in another guise, but about all the forthcoming deaths that poverty and privation bring.

      • glenn_uk

        If you did write that back then, I’d keep it quiet – not brag about it.

        You think the aim is depopulation through starvation. Uh huh. But slight changes in the tax code would achieve significant population decrease, and the one-child policy was LIFTED by China a few years back. The most significant programme to reduce the number of children is female education – which is suffering badly now, as a result of C-19.

        Never let facts stand in the way of a good evidence-free conspiracy, though.

        • John Goss

          I can see you are not concerned about the forthcoming poverty.

          I have to admit to not understanding your second paragraph but I’m sure you do.

          • glenn_uk

            John, you think this is a Grand Plot and every government is in on it. To decrease the world population through starvation.

            This involves the full cooperation of :
            – Every country’s medical administration
            – Millions of doctors, nurses, GPs and medical assistants, worldwide
            – Statisticians, medical scientists and virologists, worldwide
            – Every government minister, their assistants, secretaries and advisors, worldwide
            – All public servants with the least connection to the C-19 response

            I could go on at some length. But you actually think ALL of them are in on some plot, but only you can see it? Seriously?

          • John Goss

            I’m afraid you’re wrong glenn_uk. It only requires instruction from above to filter down the pyramid till it gets to those at the bottom, who lap it up like manna from heaven, it would seem.

          • glenn_uk

            John, that is utter and complete rot.

            Come on, stop being so absolutely stupid. People don’t behave like that.

            An order “filters down”, and medics start lying, nurses pretend patients from their own locality are dying from C-19 while they’re really just dying of old age (but in sudden numbers)… it’s really hard to even begin to examine the depth of your conspiracy/denial here.

      • glenn_uk

        By the way, “a non-existent danger” ?

        I thought you were denying saying that C-19 was a hoax. But here it’s “a fairly innocuous virus”. I wish you’d make your mind up.

        “Nobody can see it even yet”, you say. But John – that’s because you’re much more clever than anyone else!

        • John Goss

          You see. You’ve been trying to impute in my not believing in a virus on me for months. Say something often enough and it will stick. Then you can argue against it as you have just done with “I wish you’d make your mind up.” Hmm.

          • glenn_uk

            Goodness sake, you’re saying above it doesn’t exist and it’s innocuous. Then you claim you didn’t deny that it’s serious. Are you simply playing games here?

          • John Goss

            No glenn_uk. You have long been trying to say I did not believe there was a virus. You can search for the comments yourself.

          • glenn_uk

            Stop playing dumb, John.

            You have consistently said there is no real danger here. Now it’s tough to pin you down, because you keep changing your position. Is C-19 a danger? No – it’s trivial. Yes, but it’s being taken advantage of. No – it’s a plot. Yes – but Bill Gates is using it to kill millions through starvation.

            You’re all over the place, and it’s very sad to see.

        • John Goss

          As to the non-existent danger. If you have a car you probably get in it without fear that you are going to die. You certainly don’t “stay at home to save lives”. Yet there is a much greater chance of you dying from driving your car than there is from COVID-19. There is an argument that not using your car is a good thing, and I agree it can be.

          • Clark

            “Yet there is a much greater chance of you dying from driving your car than there is from COVID-19”

            Er, wrong again John. Under three weeks of the current covid-19 death rate adds up to the whole national traffic mortality for a year.

          • John Goss

            You are probably right here Clark. But we won’t know till 2022. Anyway it was casualties not deaths. I was relying on memory of something I read in March (17) regarding Italian statistics:

            Population: 60,487,409
            Confirmed: 27,980
            Deaths: 2,158
            Recoveries: 2,749
            Current chances of dying from the COVID-19 virus in Italy: 0.003567684639955%
            Currently, chances of getting infected from the COVID-19 virus in Italy: 0.004625756080906%
            Odds of being in a car accident in Italy: 0.005584633324268%

            As we know the figures changed substantially after that. Apologies. I was not deliberately trying to mislead.

          • Clark

            Thirteen significant figures? Starting from a seven digit denominator? You can work out exactly how many fingers were knocked off in the crashes from that.

            Seeing as all reasonable rules of statistics are out the window now, how about this one. From your figures:

            Deaths: 2,158
            Recoveries: 2,749

            Confirmed fatality rate = confirmed deaths / confirmed outcomes
            = confirmed fatalities / (confirmed deaths + confirmed recoveries)
            = 2,158 / (2,158 + 2,749)
            = ~44%

            That’s quite some “innocuous coronavirus, like the common cold”, John! A bit worse than flu, eh?

          • John Goss

            It is little different from other viruses. Because it is a new one people’s immune systems will take a while to fight it. Still it is just a virus. Nobody wants to get it. Nobody wants other people to die from it. My auntie, in her nineties, picked up a bug in hospital when being treated for a serious stomach problem. She died. But she had a serious stomach problem. The elderly should have been given special consideration and protection and they were not.

            But for younger people and those with strong immune systems COVID-19 is a virus, will be unpleasant to catch, but not generally life-threatening. The world should not have been shut down because of it,

          • ET

            Taking figures from worldometer the current fatality rate from coronavirus in the UK per 100,000 population is 61.4 with a infection rate of 436 per 100,000.

            The estimated road traffic fatality rate per 100,000 is 2.9 in uk. The serious injury rate is approx thirteen times the fatalities 40 per 100,000 which is actually quite worrying. Figures from:

            You are onto something here John when talking about perceived risk. It is very difficult to convey risk to people.

          • Clark

            ET, your figures are the covid-19 mortality rate with social restrictions. John Goss is arguing for no social restrictions. So increase your coronavirus figure from 61.4 per 100,000 to at least 1,000 per 100,000 – at least, because with no restrictions the hospitals will overload and the death rate will double or more.

            He’s also comparing with the risk specifically from driving. About half of road casualties aren’t even in motor vehicles; they’re caused by others driving.

    • James

      Minority of One – this is a question that interests me – do you know exactly what is meant when they say that `the economy fell by x percent’?

      Because I have a nasty feeling that they have a strange way of counting things. I suspect that it does *not* mean a 20 percent drop in economic output (whatever that means); I suspect that they count `economic activity’, which may well mean that the amount of money that people are spending on things which they don’t really need. It may well be that people spending money which they haven’t got on things that they don’t need has gone down by 20 percent.

      I think we all remember Gordon Brown trying to `stimulate the economy’ by persuading people to blow the credit card and spend money that they hadn’t got on things that they didn’t need.

      If it really is based on spending, then there is absolutely nothing to worry about. I for one have continued to to my job – albeit from home – and to earn money, but I have spent very little (because there hasn’t been much opportunity) – and I suspect that there are huge numbers of people in exactly the same position. Many people have discovered over the last three months that they can do an awful lot of their jobs from home – so they’re still working and earning money – and they’re simply waiting for an opportunity to spend it.

      So I’d really like more details on what is meant when they say `the UK economy fell by 20 percent’.Because if this is only an indication of the amount of money people are spending, then there is nothing to worry about.

      • Minority Of One

        A university research group conclude that about 6.5 million people in the UK are about to lose their jobs, and all you can say is: “do you know exactly what is meant when they say that `the economy fell by x percent’? … there is nothing to worry about.”

        I am not too sure that 10.2 million people on furlough will be re-assured.

        Coronavirus: ‘Thousands’ of North Sea oil and gas jobs under threat
        “The UK’s oil and gas industry is warning that 30,000 jobs could be lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the low oil price.”

        British Airways to cut up to 12,000 jobs as air travel collapses

        British Gas owner Centrica to cut 5,000 jobs after heavy losses

        Airline job losses could be on scale of 1980s mining industry, report warns
        Report says 70,000 jobs immediately at risk in next three months due to coronavirus pandemic

        More than 17,000 UK shops forecast to close in 2020; plus what happens after the CVA?
        This article is from early January, pre-COVID-19.

        etc etc. Coming soon to a street near you. Poverty, homelessness, increased risk of suicides, fall in property prices leading to negative equity, riots.

        • James

          Minority-of-one – yes – if these things do come to pass then it will be a catastrophe.

          The only point I take issue with is the nature of these indicators – `the economy has went down by 20 percent’. I don’t know what they include in this and I think that this is very misleading.

          Certain things are going to return without difficulties. People will clearly go to shops less, but they’ll buy an awful lot more using the internet and getting things delivered to the door.

          Of course gas consumption, oil consumption, air travel will decrease as people work from home (and everybody is going to avoid travelling by aeroplane unless they really have to for a long time), so some specific sectors will be hit. People working in oil, gas, air travel will be in difficulties, but I’m not as pessimistic as you about the overall hit to the economy.

          And I don’t think that the economists have a good way of measuring things when they give us figures such as `the economy has went down by 20 percent’.

    • Clark

      I guess the UK’s Gross National Product must have fallen. But wasn’t it one of the highest in the world anyway? Oh my God! We might have as little money as a load of those inferior countries we look down on and despise! How do they get by? Better learn quick!

      • Geoffrey

        30 % of the money being raised by the government is from the Bank of England…which does not have any money of it’s own. Ie its funny money and will never be repaid. If people understood that the government is just printing money to pay furloughing etc the £ could collapse…resulting in the UK having difficulty in even importing enough food to eat.
        If this happened, whis is highly possible,Clark the old and infirm and poor and everyone else will not be worrying about living until they arw 100 but about having enough food to eat.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          “ 30 % of the money being raised by the government is from the Bank of England…which does not have any money of it’s own”

          Utter rubbish!

          If the BoE has “no money of its own”, where on earth do you think it got the £625bn from that it has so far spent on purchasing Gilts on the secondary bond market?

          Down the back of the sofa?

          The govt does not need to “print”, but it does create money out of thin air, via reserve add operations at the BoE, whenever it spends – and it does this each and every day – as does any other govt which issues it’s own free floating, sovereign fiat currency.

          It’s perfectly normal, and nothing to be afraid of; channelling Thatcher and her ignorant, damaging “handbag economics” is of no relevance whatsoever.

          The UK hasn’t been on the Gold Standard since 1931, nor in a currency peg with one since 1971, so pretending that we still are is pointless and destructive.

      • James

        Clark – I sure would like to know how they count these things. I suspect that the UK’s economy was the biggest in the world because the chancellor succeeded in persuading people to buy things they didn’t need using money which they hadn’t got, blowing the credit card limit. I think that the size of the economy relates to how much money is being spent and not on how much money people have.

    • N_

      Remember that an adviser to the Treasury has said that the food sector is “not critically important”.

      I will leave a beat for that to sink in.

      This absolute shyster is called Tim Leunig, who is now the “chief scientific adviser” to the Department of “Education”. Leunig got his BA in modern history and economics and his master’s and doctorate in economics, so presumably if he has any qualifications in science whatsoever they are no higher than A Level. In fact they are probably no higher than GCSE given that students who do history and economics degrees at university don’t usually take science subjects at A Level. So perhaps he has GCSEs in physics and chemistry and that’s that. And I repeat: this guy is now the “chief scientific adviser” at a big-budget government department.

      Seems to me that this guy doesn’t know much about history or economics either, because how could anybody serious believe that the food sector is not critically important, especially in an island country that imports half its food? Value is always produced or got hold of by LABOUR, and the reproduction of labour power depends on working class people EATING FOOD.

      But Leunig’s attitude makes sense if you come from a class whose “thinkers” have been such as Thomas Malthus, Herbert Spencer, and H G Wells, and if you can’t think of British cities such as London without thinking they’re “obviously” overpopulated with prole trash. The food sector? Oh how common! “Not critically important”.

      As far as I’m aware, the weekly “briefings” in No.10 have covered the issue of this year’s harvest (how to bring it in now that all the East Europeans have been scared off) precisely once, when praise was given to a recruitment drive run by some toff whose career so far had been in “making high-profile families feel at ease”.

  • Clark

    Hey! Conspiracy theorists!

    I get it that you’re saying that the doctors and other medical staff are classifying all sorts of deaths as covid-19 because the “government” are telling them to, and the excess deaths are really being caused by the “lockdown” and the reduction of medical provision. But there’s something I don’t get, right? The following page has the graphs and numbers for UK infections and covid-19 deaths:

    There are loads of these pages for all different countries, and even the different US state. But what I want to know is this:

    How do the graphs get that characteristic shape? Nearly all daily figure graphs rise to a peak, and then fall, with a longish tail. How do the governments get the medical staff to misclassify as covid-19 just the right number of deaths each day from random other causes to get that characteristic shape? Am I missing something obvious here, like Darth Vader characters sent onto the wards and into coroners’ offices demanding that the right numbers are recorded? ‘Cos I realised, you’re all very clever people and not a bit deluded, and I shouldn’t keep falling for this official narrative when it’s an obvious false flag, but that shape just looks to me like the combined effects of a sharp rise followed by social distancing. Please help me out because the cognitive dissonance is driving me nuts.

    • Steph

      Why must you adopt such a sneering tone? I refer you to my comment above regarding Sweden.

        • Steph

          I would imagine the ‘characteristic curve’ is created by most countries adopting the WHO guidlines for recording covid-19 deaths. Whether using that guideline produces a robustly accurate recording of the effect of the virus is anybody’s guess.
          There, will that do for you glenn_uk?

          • glenn_uk

            But Steph, it’s so consistent. How could that possibly happen if it’s all being ginned up?

            That is a question for the denialists, not for you necessarily.

          • Clark

            “the ‘characteristic curve’ is created by most countries adopting the WHO guidlines for recording covid-19 deaths”

            How? How do the countries influence the doctors to write the right cause of death on the right number of death certificates each week? And how do the WHO guidelines influence the countries to influence the doctors? Do the WHO guidelines change each week differently for each country to get the numbers to fall in the UK, but to rise for countries such as Brazil and the US?

          • John Goss

            No it’s not true. Some countries follow that so-called “characteristic trend”, some don’t. Among the exceptions are France, China. Ecuador, Poland, Iran, Algeria, Australia, Uzbekistan and Bulgaria. If I had time I would no doubt find many more exceptions. So please stop attacking Steph and other people who try to present another view. We know what your two (Clark and glenn_uk) entrenched views are and we can watch the telly every day to get them endorsed. But please show some concern for others who are seriously worried about what is happening.

            Everybody has a right to his or her opinion providing they are polite. Steph has been polite and is not the first to have noticed the sneering tone of others.

          • Clark

            “Everybody has a right to his or her opinion providing they are polite”

            Yes, but do they have the right to promote their opinion, say, to ten year olds that they should run across the M6 at rush hour? “Those cars aren’t really solid, they’re just holograms. Just run; you’ll be fine”. Because judging by some of the comments on this subject, not everyone here is capable of adult thought. Some people, for instance, want to pass on a virus that has a 1.5% chance of killing the infected. OK, not quite Russian roulette, but not far off.

          • Steph

            ‘Conspiracy Theorist’. I find this is a very lazy and ineffectual retort, frequently made by those who are unrealistically convinced of their own correctness, even when the subject of discussion is multi-faceted and far from straightforward. It also always seems to be attended by a deeply unattractive tone of infallible superiority.
            If someone has taken the time to accumulate information from whatever sources, and formed their own conclusions from what they have discovered, as John Goss clearly does, then selecting snippets of his observations to hold up for collective ridicule is not only discourteous, it is positively childish and has no place on a forum such as this.
            From my own point of view, I too am tired of endless statistics, despite having tried to analyse constructively those which I have collected. I remain absolutely convinced that the detrimental effects of ‘lockdowns’ will, ultimately, far outweigh the beneficial ones but time alone will be the judge of that.
            Thanks to all.

          • Bayard

            “those who are unrealistically convinced of their own correctness” et seq.
            Nicely described: plenty of them on this blog

            “I remain absolutely convinced that the detrimental effects of ‘lockdowns’ will, ultimately, far outweigh the beneficial ones but time alone will be the judge of that.”

            You have to remember that no two “lockdowns” are the same and each is composed of a multitude of different elements, some of which are effective and some of which are pointless. Given that testing regimes for COVID-19 vary between countries too, comparing “numbers of cases of COVID-19” or “deaths from COVID-19” with “lockdown” or no “lockdown” in different countries is completely meaningless.

      • Jack

        I dont get the support for Sweden. If Sweden would be an example of something good, they would have low-death toll. They have instead a very high death toll and still have.

        • glenn_uk

          They haven’t imposed much in the way of mandatory restrictions. That’s good enough for the denialists.

          • Steph

            ‘They’? ‘Denialists’? (is that even a word). Hardly a comment of great profundity from you either! Surely it would be foolish not to compare the effects of different approaches to the virus? Or is your interpretaion the only one with any validity?

          • Clark

            “Surely it would be foolish not to compare the effects of different approaches to the virus?”

            Oh! If only the denialists did that! But they don’t. They only recognise two states, namely “lockdown” and “no lockdown”. They then argue from “no lockdown” to covid-19 being about as dangerous as a common cold, and claim it’s all hyped up for… Whatever. Bill Gates, the Agenda 21 depopulation agenda, or so the banks can take over everything seem to be the main three for this pandemic.

            Steph, you obviously don’t see this, but these people are not reasonable, and they don’t even seem to realise it. You have to try convincing them to find out.

          • Jack


            “I believe the effect of lockdowns will result in more deaths than coronavirus could ever have done. .”

            UK have a high death rate + a high excess death rate, would you not say that the vast majority of deaths reported is from the pandemic?

        • Steph

          Higher than some, lower than others? But no lockdown, the effectiveness of which is the point being discussed I think. .

          • Clark

            If you compare Sweden with the other Scandinavian countries, it’s doing really badly. Japan and South Korea are much better examples of more advisory restrictions working.

          • Jack

            Sweden are just 3 places below the UK (Death toll per capita), sure Sweden is better than what, 5 nations? Is that a good grade?

          • John Goss

            “Japan and South Korea are much better examples of more advisory restrictions working.”

            Belarus is a much better example of no lockdown.

            UK (lockdown) = 297,342 confirmed 41,743 deaths
            Sweden (no lockdown) = 51,614 confirmed 4,874 deaths
            Belarus (no lockdown) = 53,973 confirmed 308 deaths

          • Steph

            If we look at the 10 countries with the highest deaths per capita, Sweden stands alone in having virtually no restrictions imposed. The other 9 countries all closed schools, non-essential businesses and ordered people to stay at home. 5 of them fared better than Sweden, 4 fared worse. Why? Clearly lockdown alone was not the decisive factor. But we do know for certain that lockdowns will have very significant detrimental effects for years to come. Aren’t you at all concerned about that? Why just dismiss Sweden’s experiences as of no consequence because the death rate was poor compared to other places. Don’t you want to know what things actually DO affect outcomes?

          • Clark

            Excellent graph Jack; thanks. I had to switch it to logarithmic even to see Japan’s and South Korea’s deviations above the axis. They’re two orders of magnitude better than the UK and Sweden, and their epidemics started sooner.

          • Clark

            Steph – “Why? Clearly lockdown alone was not the decisive factor”

            Applying social restrictions early makes a huge difference, because infection numbers increase so fast; see the table of European countries at the bottom of the following comment comparing number of deaths by “lockdown” and number of deaths a month later:


            Once a country has a high infection density, heavy social restrictions are currently the only way to get it down. There are ways to keep more of the economy open while you do that, but no one seems to be interested; I’ve written to my MP, I got as meaningless a response at I get here.

            The alternative is remove all restrictions (which is what the denialists want) but then at least half a million people and maybe up to two million would die in agony over the course of about two months.

          • Jack


            I made clear some days ago to you why Belarus is not a case to bring up, nor is the argument that 1 example somehow disprove the generality of the sucess of lock-downs.

          • Clark

            John, so you don’t suspect the dictator of Belarus of suppressing figures, then? I think you’d best look it up on Russian news, ‘cos Russian news media got into trouble out for reporting on the rising death figures, and you usually trust Russian media, right?

          • Jack


            Sweden have restrictions,
            From what I read Sweden will not do better economically than any other state reall.
            Regardless, do you rank economy above humans?

            Lockdowns work, countless reports prove that, not to mention it has been proven during earlier pandemics.

          • Steph

            ‘Applying social restrictions early makes a huge difference’
            The only restriction imposed in Sweden was a ban on large group gatherings on March 11 when 500 cases had been confirmed. No further restrictions were imposed. In Belgium a ban on large groups was imposed on Mar 13th when 400 cases had been confirmed. Schools closed the following day. Non-essential busineses were closed and people instructed to stay home on which time 1486 cases had been confirmed. In Germany, a ban on gatherings of more than 1000 was introduced on 8th March when there were 1040 confirmed cases. On 13th March most schools were closed when there were 3116 confirmed cases. On 22nd March non-essential businesses started to close and people were advised to stay indoors, there being 24873 confirmed cases by this time.
            In the 10 countries with the highest death rates Belgium is number 1 with 833 deaths per million, Sweden is number 5 with 483 per million and Germany is 10th with 106. If lockdown is a significant factor in combatting the disease how can these figures be accounted for?

          • Steph

            ‘Regardless, do you rank economy above humans?’
            I am so sick of hearing this inane comment. No. I believe the effect of lockdowns will result in more deaths than coronavirus could ever have done. .

          • Clark

            Steph, I think you’d better answer Jack’s question immediately above your comment.

            “The only restriction imposed in Sweden was a ban on large group gatherings on March 11 when 500 cases had been confirmed. No further restrictions were imposed”

            I’m pretty sure that’s not so, and in any case “recommendations” were made. What makes a difference is behaviour, not laws, so why are most people discussing laws?

          • Jack


            It would have been worse if there was no lock-down in these nations you mention and the death toll in Sweden would have been lower if they had a lock down.

            You should ready this to understand why lock-down is working:
            How some cities ‘flattened the curve’ during the 1918 flu pandemic
            Social distancing isn’t a new idea—it saved thousands of American lives during the last great pandemic. Here’s how it worked.

          • Clark

            “I believe the effect of lockdowns will result in more deaths than coronavirus could ever have done.”

            Ah ha! Do you think that political changes to the economic system could address that?

          • Steph

            ‘The alternative is remove all restrictions (which is what the denialists want) but then at least half a million people and maybe up to two million would die in agony over the course of about two months’

            If thats not the kind of over-emotive speculation befitting your despised conspiracy theorists I don’t know what is. Have you even a vestige of proof of that? And there are hundreds and hundreds of causes of death listed by the ONS. None of them are particularly inviting I can assure you.. Hardly anyone just nods off peacefully I’m afraid.

          • Clark

            “The only restriction imposed in Sweden was a ban on large group gatherings on March 11…”

            It’s not so.

            “On 24 March 2020, the government introduced new restrictions to bars and restaurants requiring all service to be table service only. Restaurants were also recommended increase the space between the tables. Venues that do not adhere to the new restrictions could be shut down. Several bars and restaurants were later ordered to close by municipal health inspectors. Beginning on 1 April, all private visits to nursing homes was outlawed by the government. Many municipalities had already forbidden such visits

            – On 27 March the government announced that the ban on public gatherings would be lowered to include all gatherings of more than 50 people, to further decrease the spread of the infection, again at the request of the Public Health Agency. The ban would apply to arts and entertainment events including theatre, cinema and concerts, religious meetings, demonstrations, lectures, competitive sports, amusement parks, fairs and markets. The ban did not include gatherings in schools, workplaces, public transport, grocery stores or shopping malls, health clubs or private events”

            There are also a lot of “recommendations”, but the public are “expected” to follow these, and it seems that they do:


          • Clark

            “Have you even a vestige of proof of that?”

            Yes. It’s what started to happen in Wuhan, Spain, Italy and New York. In each case it was curtailed by “lockdown.”

            Just after the New York spike, the Infection Fatality Rate was determined to be between 1% and 2%, by antibody studies in Spain and New York. For the UK population, that’s between 670,000 people and 1.34 million people. So if say 75% of the population were infected before lack of hosts halted the spread, we could expect half a million to a million deaths over the course of a few weeks. Of course that completely overwhelms the healthcare system (as happened in Wuhan), so nearly those people struggle for breath for five days or more each, with no breathing assistance and no pain or anxiety drugs, presumably at home, before dying.

            But it would actually be worse than that, because the 1% to 2% death rate assumes hospital care. Without it twice as many die. And in areas of high infection density, initial infection severity may be increased; such increased viral exposure seems to be what kills young, fit, healthy hospital staff. This happened in Wuhan, Italy and Spain.

            Need I go on?

          • Clark

            Here’s the calculation of the Infection Fatality Rate from the New York figures. It comes to 1.4%


            Before the UK lockdown, covid-19 infections were doubling about every four days. There are probably about a quarter of a million infected now, so let’s say all restrictions were removed on June 30:

            Date – Number infected (millions)

            June 30 – 0.25
            July 4 – 0.5
            July 8 – 1
            July 12 – 2
            July 16 – 4
            July 20 – 8
            July 24 – 16
            July 28 – 32
            Aug 1 – basically the entire UK population.

            See? One month from where we are now, to complete hospital overload hell. No “received opinion”; just the behaviour of covid-19 observed so far and some simple maths.

          • Clark

            And it started to happen in the UK. We were up to about 300,000 new infections per day when “lockdown” was imposed. 50 to 60 thousand deaths and eleven weeks of restrictions later, we’re back to the infection density of around March 9.

      • Clark

        “Why must you adopt such a sneering tone?”

        I’m with the great, late Jake Thackray on this:

        “I don’t mind people behaving like idiots so long as they don’t mind me taking the piss out of them.”

        Conspiracy theory is stupid when it’s applied universally. A suspicion of governments and the powerful is healthy, but conspiracy theorists act like you need no other kind of reasoning. Worse, they just swallow what they read on random websites, so if someone says this whole crisis was manufactured because Bill Gates funds vaccination, that’s what they all start bleating.

        • Steph

          Of course denouncing everyone with an alternative opinion as a conspiracy theorist might also be considered a little less than clever.

          • Clark

            You’d best look at my answer to your question up-thread; I hadn’t yet seen this section when I replied to that.

            I only call them conspiracy theorists when they’re conspiracy theorists.

          • Clark

            No, I call people conspiracy theorists when they write this sort of thing:

            “The virus is real, the hoax is the fear factor governments have been obliged to follow. Bill Gates has long wanted a reduction in population. He and other Bilderbergers who own the media and Big Pharma are behind it.”

            See? There’s no consideration of propagation rates, the effects of social restrictions, antibody tests, PCR tests, hospital capacity, symptoms, or anything else. It’s a particular, recognisable form of argument and it’s called conspiracy theory. Here’s another example:

            “Craig, have you ever heard of the concept “cognitive dissonance”? I ask because you are in favour of the lockdown and you claim to be opposed to authoritarianism. Yet there is nothing more authoritarian that the lockdown. The Coronavirus Act 2020 (and its associated Regulations) are fascist. We have been deprived of our rights and liberties to an extent that is unprecedented. Here’s brief list of the violations:”

          • John Goss

            And your original term is?

            Because you follow received opinion on COVID-19 and try to defend it vigorously you are inviting others to think of you as one of the “sheeple”. Sheeple would equate with the derogatory “conspiracy theorists”. You see you’ve picked up a term and it has eaten into your psyche so badly that it is the first thing that springs to mind: conspiracy theorist – that’ll get ’em and give me kudos. Well I’m afraid it doesn’t.

          • glenn_uk

            Indeed John, you don’t like the term “conspiracy theorists” – despite that being exactly what you are.

            Believing that Bill Gates, vaccines… Agenda-21 …. depopulation… 5G… contrails – that’s unworthy of being called a “conspiracy theorist”.

            On the other hand, anyone citing actual facts using reputable sources is a MSM drone, one of the stupid masses who just don’t get it. And that’s perfectly fair, right?

          • Clark

            John, you’re dismissing scientific studies and scientific consensus as “received opinion”. Science is how we attempt to determine facts. It’s not perfect but it’s the best we’ve got.

            In New York, around 1 in 500 died (official records), and the subsequent antibody studies showed that around 20% had been infected (scientific study). That gives an Infection Fatality Rate of around 1%. The best, latest figures place it around 1.4%. The results from Spain were similar:


            Why should anyone care what anyone’s opinion is of covid-19? We use science and counting to determine the facts, as best we can.

            If by your definition a sheeple is someone who accepts the facts, then a conspiracy theorist must be someone who denies them. I know which I’d rather be.

            TRUTH, Justice, peace.

        • Ken Kenn

          I must say I’m psephed out.

          Lot of numbers and a lot of theories based on them.

          The complaint tends to be – you can’t trust the governments ( of all nations ) figures etc etc.

          Begging the question: If these alternative figures aren’t based on government figures – what are they based on?

          I don’t have the answer at all but I have a decent memory as to what happened when Wuhan started with the alleged first outbreak.

          Uncle Donny and a few chums in the UK started calling for ex-pats to come back home in an aluminium tube with recycled air conditioning.

          They even laid planes on to do that.

          All in order to score points against China.

          Ironically ( at the moment this is a brand new virus) China is possibly the safest place to be and maybe New Zealand as well.

          Johnson’s ‘success ‘ has been to get to only about 60k excess deaths when Vallance said 20k would be a good measure.

          This is a new virus and there may be a return.

          Obviously I hope it doesn’t happen just to prove point but it has happened before.

          All we have to do now though is: Get the crops picked – do Brexit and recover an enormous amount of lost GDP.

          If not ( the BBC never notices or asks these things for fear of scaring the children and horses) then Covid will be the least of the UK’s problems.

          Kier no doubt will ask questions about these matters but come up with no alternatives.

          Such is the fate of the centre.

          The irony is despite the ‘ forensic ‘ questions if Covid comes back with a vengeance Kier will be blamed just as much as the scientist are/will be.

          One person they can’t blame is Corbyn.

          Secretly I bet he’s relieved.

          He had a lot of plans and they will all be nicked and passed off as their own from the Blairites and the government.

          Where’s the world’s Roosevelt?

          Cometh the hour – whereth the man or woman?

          Woeful leadership everywhere in the Western world.

          • Giyane

            Ken Kenn

            The missing person is Corbyn, whose humanity and honesty really got under the Tory and corporate MSM’s skin worse than Biological washing powder enzymes. The Guardian says Karma is beating Bojo, but all he is doing is feeding him with Bullingdon boy cues to pretend to wring his rhetorical hands and weep his oratorical tears, somewhat loudly, while doing the will of Dominic Cummings.

  • mark golding

    The Government (second/third homes?) has said that landlords and tenants should agree repayment plans as three quarters of all landlords have been contacted by tenants worried about their rent payments.[thisismoney] This while millions in the UK have spent lock-down in unsafe homes. In the post-Covid world, landlords will see tenants in place for longer and the wealthy, rich and affluent will grab house bargains in a slack market, leaving first-time potential buyers staying with mum or looking to rent.

    Interestingly lucrative care/nursing homes have been slow in broadcasting deaths as reporting data has not been mandated.The suspension of routine inspections has meant there has been no mechanism for systematic examination of care being provided during the pandemic, nor the impact of COVID-19 in care settings. A public inquiry into neglect of care will of course be kicked into the long grass.

    The interminable posting to win arguments and pitching a flurry of daily pandemic data in the form of lies, damned lies and statistics mixed with put downs and digs, pillars the sanity that ‘Despair!’ reveals in the ways global health outcomes are shaped by awareness, race, class and indigeneity.

    Bush once said, “you are either with us, or with the terrorists. A similar disjunction exist here perhaps polarized to ‘You are either with us, or you are with the COVID19…

    • U Watt

      You’re using the old trope beloved of British politicians, you are either with us or you are a sneerer.

    • Gav

      “The interminable posting to win arguments and pitching a flurry of daily pandemic data in the form of lies, damned lies and statistics mixed with put downs and digs…”

      …is also quite counterproductive (if the original intent was earnest); exemplified when scrolling through this comment section reveals desperation in a sunny hue.

  • Jm

    John Goss,

    Respect to you for putting your opinion across with good manners without reverting to sneering arrogance and patronising ad hominems.

  • Brian
    WHO Says ‘Very Low Risk’ Of COVID-19 Spread By Asymptomatic People
    So why social distancing if you have no symptoms
    Why lockdown if you have no symptoms
    Basically if your sick stay at home as you do every year with the flu (If you can afford to)
    If not sick continue life as normal

    Update new government dictum
    We have to stand on one leg and whistle Dixie

      • Steph

        ‘why take the risk?’
        You seem to see risk lying only with inaction. It needs to be understood that the harm caused by pandemic responses also carries significant risk.

        • Jack

          Because it is. UK for example, have one of the highest death toll and one of the biggest excess death rate globally, the vast majority of these deaths is because of the virus.

          • Steph

            And in comparison, the longer term risks associated with the global pandemic response, what about those? Are you happy to just ignore these?

          • Jack

            I realize that there are risks and deaths related to a lockdown, what many of the lockdown nations did wrong were that they didnt act fast enough.
            Going back though, wouldnt you be pro a swift and short lockdown in jan/feb that would have cutten back on the transmission greatly?

          • Steph

            As I understand it, the point of a lockdown was to ‘flatten the curve’ so as to avoid overwhelming health services, not to reduce the overall number of deaths from the virus over time. Unless you propose locking down until all risk from the virus is removed, the risk for those who are vulnerable resumes as soon as restictions are removed.
            To answer your question, it is no longer possible to ‘go back’. A short lockdown at the very outset, when the virus was thought to be very much more dangerous than it is subsequently proving to be, would seem the only appropriate response until more data could be accumulated. However, that did not happen and we are where we are, and the longer lockdown and restrictions continue, the more any associated benefits are outweighed by serious disadvantages. .

          • Jack


            I dont propose to have a lockdown to the very single case is eradicated, When a lockdown is removed yes the virus will sitll be out there but the transmission rate (so called “R number”) will be far lower – meaning the society could go back to a more normal life.

      • Brian

        If you read the take back. It says the data collected from tests could not find any spread from asymptomatic patients. But the models predicted asymptomatic patients cause 40 percent of transmissions. So we should believe the computer models and not data from actual tests.
        I just hope the computer model was not written by the team at Imperial college. I have looked at there code and it is some of the worst code I have seen.

        “if there is doubt of asymptomatic spread, why take the risk?”
        Life is about taking risks. From the moment you get out of bed. People die putting on there trousers and falling and hitting there heads. People die from falling down stairs. Many people die in accidents in the house. Once you go outside things get even more risky.
        I guess we should all follow the precautionary principle and stay in bed and hope that bed bugs don’t bite.

        • Jack

          Its goes back being precautions, if we dont know how asymptomatic patients spread the virus, why take the risk? What do you win from not being extra careful for a couple of months?
          This is a pandemic you cannot compare that to accidents of falling down in stairs.

          • Steph

            ‘What do you win from not being extra careful for a couple of months?’

            You are again failing to balance this question by not also asking ‘And what do you lose by being extra careful for a couple more months?’

          • Jack

            What would happen if all restrictions would be lifted right now then? Not a rise in the toll rates? Not a prolongation? Not more suffering? Not more negative economic impact?

          • Jack


            His arguments seems to be based on the callous argument that it is “only” elder, already sick people that die and from that premise, he can justify anything. That is social darwinism right there.

            But if we could get back to my question, you argue against restrictions and lockdowns, so what would happen if we lift all that now and go back to live our normal lives?

          • Brian

            Total deaths that will be claimed are as a result of the virus will be small compared to other causes of death. Heart diseases are the biggest killer. Death is part of life we can not avoid it. Life expectancy has increased over time but is different in different parts of the world. Was the UK government lax in allowing 65,000 die in 2018 from all causes. Maybe if every one had stayed home in 2018 there would of only been 45,000 deaths. Saving 20,000 lives must have been worth wile. All we had to do is give up everything.

            ‘In the midst of life we are in death’ Book of Common Prayer, The Burial of the Dead

          • Jack


            I want to ask you the same question, what would happen if all lockdowns, restructions were lifted right now? How would that affect hospital resources LESS than it is at the moment?

    • Moine

      The following day Van Kerkhove, (WHO’s technical lead on the Covid-19 pandemic), corrected this point saying she had “miscommunicated”. There is a detailed report of her clarification in STAT :-

      One problem is that the term Asymptomatic People could have been confused with Presymptomatic People.:-

      “Harvard Global Health Institute said Tuesday. “All of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. In fact, some evidence suggests that people may be most infectious in the days before they become symptomatic — that is, in the presymptomatic phase when they feel well, have no symptoms, but may be shedding substantial amounts of virus.””

  • Minority Of One

    John Goss,

    Hello John, I am amazed at your tenacity. The misinformation and propaganda from Goebbels’ disciples is relentless.

    I tried posting a link to a very useful YouTube video a few weeks ago, so in case it gets deleted again, I’ll put it in a separate post.


    • Minority Of One

      John, Check this out in YouTube: Global Health Mafia Protection Racket

      This is interesting too:
      Dr. Tenpenny: This is The Biggest Scam Ever Perpetrated on The Human Race…

      • Spencer Eagle

        The hypocrisy of the moderation on this blog is breathtaking, we are expected to be outraged at Craig having his freedom of speech denied by the government, meanwhile posts to this blog that are not in line with lefty sensibilities or narratives are removed.

        • Mary

          Seconded. I put up a link to the Salisbury programmes knowing of Craig’s and others’ long standing interest in the matter.. I realized it was off topic and said so. Still deleted plus a telling off.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    It is impossible to not be aware from this thread of the conflict between Clark and John Goss and others defending the piety of their respective views. There is something deeply sanctimonious about the arguments from each side each side.I have actually done science at a level that made me aware that it is always disputatious, competitive, frequently falsified/massaged(money and reputation, career and status are all at stake).
    Not sure what is at stake here.I seems to be a willie waving exercise between disappointed older men (my hand up here) aware of their frustratingly peripheral role in the world.We have latched onto Craig’s blog as a way of lending some weight to some important principles( the plight of Julian Assange, the appearance of the abandonment of the fundamental principles of justice in relation to Alex Salmond, the hypocrisy of our ‘democracy’ with its deeply corrupt FPTP electoral system and the roles of malignant individuals such as Johnson, Trump, all the members of the ERG.
    As to the science of coronavirus.- at this stage it is mostly speculative. The people best placed to speculate are people with an intellectual history of the science of disease transmission, viruses, immunology.+ some other speciaities.I am prepared to wager there is no one with any of these academic ,or intellectual background.
    Way back in the early eighties I dipped my toe into some of this material in relation to HIV and BSE but this went
    about as far as following the arguments put forward in ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’ and one or two specialised publication concerned with the development of techniques such as Elisa testing, and using polyclonal antibodies and fluorescence microscopy to identify structural elements/molecules within certain cells.Some of you will realise just how specialised this activity was.
    DNA analytical techniques were on the ‘near Horizon’ at that time but apart from a little bit of DNA ‘fingerprinting’ using some extremely laborious and clunky techniques there was little settled or established knowledgIe, technique or expertise in that area.I daRE
    The point I am making is that all this hostility regarding Conspiracy theories amounts to very little.
    I dare say one can impute heinous thoughts to Bill Gates regarding population control butI am petty sure that in a direct challengae to him, he would express a nuanced understanding of the dilemmas and tensions inherent in such arguments.
    A few posts back Craig cited Percy Shelley and Ozymandias. At the time he was writing his wife Mary Shelley was writing the story we now call Frankenstein which speculated about the use of science to create monsters and defy the normal rules of life(in particular resurrecing the dead. The basis for her prophetic story(conspiracy theory) was the demonstration of the role of electricity in making a dead frog’s leg move.OK the science seems ludicrously naive now but it then offered up endless possibilities of achieving unimaginable progress or change to the human’ lot'( you are born , you labour/suffer, you die.)
    At the moment any thinking person will know that we risk destroying ‘nature’ and all its fabulous potential ,by the voracious quality of human activity expressed as it is through competitive exploitative corporatism. I really believe we are very close to a crucial moment in human existence and it is that which we should use our energy for, not uninformed (science flavoured) pontification.

    • Tatyana

      The current conspiracy theory – about the alleged desire of Bill Gates to massively vaccinate the population, injecting nano-chips with the vaccine, then to control them with 5G towers and thus create a world-wide digital concentration camp – this theory generated a wave of humor among Russians. This is a typical reaction to the absurd, I am sure, not only among Russians.

      I believe that for proponents of this conspiracy theory, nanochipping would probably be a good option, because there would be at least one really smart thing in their bodies.

        • Tatyana

          Clark, I wish one day I maybe could visit Doun the Rabbit Hole. Perhaps I could get an autograph from Mr. Murray, and maybe I could meet in person with the commentators of this blog. I’m even ready to tolerate Pussy Riot singing 🙂
          But I’m afraid that the British authorities will not give me a visa. I still do not lose hope one day to personally see people with whom I communicate here. You are all wonderful people, this is an amazingly interesting place.

    • Clark


      That was a very damaging comment you wrote; perfect ammunition and false justification for conspiracy theorists. Throughout, I have stressed that evaluation of claims is something we can do for ourselves; we have no need to trust any authority. We can look at the infection and death figures, and we can work out; do these figures support the social restrictions themselves being the cause of the deaths? Can the shapes of these graphs be the result of misclassification of deaths? How do earlier or later restrictions affect the death toll?

      This is citizen science, all performed in public, everything right out in the open where others can check my figures and reasoning, or use figures from other countries to advance their own hypotheses.

      So what do you do with my efforts?

      “As to the science of coronavirus.- at this stage it is mostly speculative”, and “I have actually done science at a level that made me aware that it is always disputatious, competitive, frequently falsified/massaged(money and reputation, career and status are all at stake). Not sure what is at stake here”

      Really? You’re not sure what’s at stake here? Covid-19 has around a 1.4% mortality rate, five to seven digit numbers of deaths are at stake on public attitudes to social restrictions. Having trashed science, even approving thuggery, you go on to offer concocted solace to the conspiracy theorists, by offering them parity with Shelly’s Frankenstein. Really? You think that classic work about status, slavery and prejudice is comparable with this?:

      “The virus is real, the hoax is the fear factor governments have been obliged to follow. Bill Gates has long wanted a reduction in population. He and other Bilderbergers who own the media and Big Pharma are behind it.”

      Then with stunning lack of self awareness you conclude:

      “At the moment any thinking person will know that we risk destroying ‘nature’ and all its fabulous potential ,by the voracious quality of human activity expressed as it is through competitive exploitative corporatism. I really believe we are very close to a crucial moment in human existence and it is that which we should use our energy for, not uninformed (science flavoured) pontification.”

      How have you failed to notice that this entire issue is dominated by a battle between science and the various corporately funded conspiracy theories deployed against it? Thirty years of rising emissions, while fake, sciency-sounding conspiracy theories were promoted to undermine the message – “NASA is corrupting the temperature data”, “East Anglia Uni are conspiring to hide the decline” – until decades of polar ice melt made it indisputable. And how are we going to demonstrate biodiversity and habitat loss without field scientists gathering the data? But no. Science is pontification, you say.

      What on Earth did you think you were doing? Trying to find a “balance”? What “balance” is there between truth and falsehood?

  • wonky

    Somebody disprove Prof. Montagnier’s claim, that these new strains of Corona viruses are laboratory SARS/HIV chimeras.
    Or in other words: BIOWEAPONS! (Repeat this word until something clicks. Repeat this word until something clicks. Repeat this word..)

    He spoke out in March. It is now June. Fishbowl memories have moved on, no discussions whatsoever.
    Oh, but now we have the ‘racism’ media spectacle. In other words: the next OSF/OTPOR regime change play. (Compare the OTPOR and BLM logos for added synchronicity fun.)

    Anyway, it’s high time for some of these ‘leading’ Crispr/ Gain-Of-Function/ Synthetic Biology “experts” to receive some proper bloody broken noses, because they choose to waste their education and talents on following the nefarious agendas of the usual “philanthropic” billionaire you-know-whos, instead of being of use.

    • Clark

      I can’t disprove the claim, but SARS-CoV-2 is the most useless bioweapon I can think of; it spreads too well, so it’s like the cobalt bomb, it might seem useful for global blackmail, but if bluff were called the aggressors choice is between backing down or initiating global calamity.

      • Clark

        It reminds me of a snippet from Bugs Bunny. He shoots someone, the sheriff I think, with a carrot, but the sheriff just gets up again with a huge frown, his face all black and his shirt in tatters, so Bugs tries to shoot him again but this time the carrot just goes ‘click’, and Bugs says, “eeah, dat’s d’ twouble wi cawwits; they’re only good once”, and then runs away.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Well yeh! There are some really shitty people who are scientists,(I could name names but that is pointless) funnily enough, about at the same rate as shitty people as in the general population.

      • wonky

        Scientists who invent viruses that otherwise would never come to existence, are less than useless, they are a threat. To humans, to the ecosystem, to the world. So yeah, f**k ’em. Drag ’em out in the open. Name names. Let’s hear their justifications. How else are they going to learn?

        SARS-Cov2 is, contrary to general belief, not just one but a bunch of strains that differ genetically. This means, there could be very deadly, yet hardly contagious varieties employed/deployed wherever ‘appropriate’ (Iran..), less deadly ones that serve as a warning (Italy.. how dare they speak to the Chinese about absurd silk roads!) and rather harmless ones, that happen to spread very quickly and uncontrollably (“I heard there’s several new cases in my nephew’s school!”). The former two could be nice little instruments of – let’s call it CIA-style realpolitik, with the added advantage of generating dramatic photo-op imagery of coffins and despair. Mixed with the latter, it would serve the PsyOp purpose of creating a worldwide panic necessary for hegelian roll-outs of vaccines, contact tracing apps, even deep culture shifts (hugs, kisses, cash money, everything VERBOTEN!), and whatever else 21. century neoliberalcon fascists might come up with in the near dystopian future.

        So, no, I disagree with your conclusion that a program like this would be useless. Quite the opposite, from the aggressor’s and profiteer’s point of view. I also disagree with your assumption, that nobody would be crazy enough to initiate global calamity.
        There are some right evil, rich bastards out there, who would never dream of accepting the moral framework or the same set of rules as the plebs.

        • Clark

          “SARS-Cov2 is, contrary to general belief, not just one but a bunch of strains that differ genetically”

          Yes. That’s SARS-CoV-2’s evolution in action, and that’s how geneticists track the routes of infection it took. Strains are depicted by colour in the graphic at the top of this page:

          and if you have an interest in such things, here’s a site dedicated to that subject:

          Scientific programmes collect, classify and modify organisms including viruses to study them. But the behaviour of a given virus in the human population is not yet something that can be predicted, so unless you can find the captive population of millions of people upon which your various strains have been tested, then the “right evil, rich bastards out there” have no more idea what a given strain will do than you have, so they’d be as much at risk as anyone else from the deliberate release of various strains. Plus each of the various strains would mutate further, making it even more unpredictable.

          “This means, there could be very deadly, yet hardly contagious varieties employed/deployed wherever ‘appropriate’”

          So far, the various strains all seem to produce the same illness and spread at the same rate, and that is consistent with their genetics.

          If you’d prefer a genuine issue, lab security should be a major concern:

          Scientists working in labs are just people doing their jobs. You may as well give bloody broken noses to motor mechanics for contributing to pollution, noise and traffic accidents. In fact why don’t we all beat each other up, or even have a global war? That’d be bound to help.

  • Clark

    So who’s for starting a new movement to convince primary school kids that traffic is really holograms road safety is a hoax?

    • Clark

      It’s really a very simple choice – face reality or live in a world of fantasy. But with road safety as with covid-19, your choice is more than merely personal; your behaviour and the behaviour you encourage will affect others, some of them profoundly.

    • Greg Park

      “If only Jeremy Corbyn had won the December 2019 general election, the Covid-19 crisis would have been entirely different. At least, that is what the Facebook sages on the left of the political spectrum are currently claiming”

      Corbyn was blasted by all and sundry in early March for daring to say the government should heed the advice of the Italians and Spaniards and lock down the country and undertake massive testing and tracing.

      But in answer to your question James, no nothing is the fault of the government, even when they oversee the world’s worst death rate. The late lockdown, the shuttling of 25,000 untested hospital patients into care homes, the dire shortages of PPE, the woeful test and trace system, the hasty and shambolic ending of the lockdown — all fake news or someone else’s fault in turns out.

  • Clark

    Returning to this thread presents an assault to my emotions. Presumably myself, and others arguing to face reality, are accused of piety, sanctimony, willie waving, lefty sensibilities, and being disciples of Goebbels. Arguments that would result in an obscene orgy of suffering and death are tenacious, lovely, warm, humane, distinguished and exceedingly knowledgable.

    Social restraint prevents this:

    Coronavirus: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency:

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      When I mentioned sanctimony, piety willie waving etc I did not have your comments in mind.I apologise if you took this as a slight. I was referring to some of the more ‘random’ commenters some of whom have a parlous grip on reality.
      On the other hand I sense that the competitive, and veering into abusive language, on the thread, is made worse by inciting a reaction, even if the inciting point made is reasonable. Some peoples’ (in)sensitivities are held in check by only the flimsiest of hair triggers.

  • Brian

    “I want to ask you the same question, what would happen if all lockdowns, restructions were lifted right now? How would that affect hospital resources LESS than it is at the moment?”

    You ask an honest question. I do not think the hospitals will be affected more than normal. Much of the damage to the economy and jobs has already been done. But every week they extend the lockdown the worse that it gets. I Live in South Wales. It looks like Wales is going to be the last to come out of lockdown despite having a low claimed number of cases and covid RELATED deaths. Non of this effects me directly as I am retired. But it will affect my family. They have mortgage and a job that may not reopen. Millions of lives have been ruined by the lockdown. For us who have the luxury of time to blog this is just another day in paradise. As always the heaviest price will be paid in the third world and by the poorest in society. Even a 10% drop in income or increase in prices can push the poor into destitute. I hope that answers your question.

  • Clark

    To Jack, Moine, ET, bevin, SA, Tatyana, terence callachan, Republicofscotland, pete, various others.

    Especially to ET; thank you for your day job.

    I’m going for a bit. It is deleterious to my emotional wellbeing to attempt to engage here.

    To various others; “conspiracy theory” is not an insult; it is a description of a recognisable form of argument and reasoning. Calling an argument poetic, religious, logical, humane, racist etc. all carry connotations, but they are descriptions. Before the Race Relations Act, much racist language was defended, and dismissed as not really racist.

    There is also a difference between fact and opinion. Not all facts are directly observable. If I were to convince ten year olds that traffic is really just projections, and encourage them to run across a busy motorway, I would be putting their lives in danger. I could argue about my right to free speech, and I could argue that they might make it across, you can’t prove that they will be run over unless they actually try it.

    I hope you get my points; bye for now.

    • James

      Clark – much of what you put up has been very useful.

      There are some people who have made up their minds and it isn’t really very useful discussing with a brick wall (on either side of the argument).

      Take care – and thanks.

    • ET

      Take a break Clark and recharge.
      Reasoned argument always has its place.
      Perhaps another topic won’t be quite so divisive.

    • Jack

      Sad to see you leave, I have appreciated your comments, knowledge and especially your freethought.
      At the same time I understand, debating on blogs takes alot of time and sometimes really eats the energy out of one emotionally.
      Recharge and take care.

  • mark golding

    So easy to be cynical esp. when bitterness takes the lead. Talking about children in the appropriate context here we realise from the large number of counseling sessions delivered by the NSPCC, Covid has seen support decline for children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism and lockdown according to Dr Bernadka Dubicka, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has increase anxiety in young children and with some compulsion has developed obsessive tendencies.

    The intention to control by fear has deeply troubled many parents and this anxiety of course transmits to their children. From some work by a group of doctors in Iraq it was noted that traumatized children have a greater risk of dying from normally survivable diseases where stress has weakened the immune systems. I know of disturbed children with measles that induced ear infections; croup; diarrhea; pneumonia and many died from encephalitis (irritation and swelling of the brain).

    A normally strong member of my family has passed from an untreated (locked down)hernia that twisted and caused part of his bowel to die from lack of oxygen (ischemic bowel).

  • steve brown

    I live in the south of France (nothing fancy honest) and beginning of March my son came down with really bad flu symptoms. Off his food, quiet no tennis which he loves. In bed for a week. Then I began to feel off. Next day I had a temp of 39°C, trembling like a leaf, hot/cold and a cough that pained my lungs like nothing I’d ever felt before. I was out of it for four days and it was three weeks before I could go jogging again. It didn’t feel like the flu. I should get the anti-gen test i guess

  • TenaciousV (@VMortonXX)

    My daughter is a student nurse. She was on placement in GRI Jan/Feb in acute medical ward & most dealt with older respiratory patients. 3 days in she had her 1st death. There was a few from then on. Towards end of her placement she was unwell, fevered sore throat & exhausted. She missd a few shifts. I then felt even more wheezy, with tight chest pain & a bit more unwell than usual (I have post cancer treatment effects & Asympto asthma) I even went to GP(locum) who never even took my pulse & recommended counselling!! We are sure D brought CV home but no one at hospital has EVER told her if any of those patients who died & whom she tended to after death had tested for CV19. She is a now working in a hospital … and still not tested!!

  • Republic of Scotland

    Apparently there’s been a break through on the Covid-19 front.

    “A CHEAP steroid has been hailed as a “major breakthrough” in the fight against Covid-19 after it was found to reduce deaths by up to a third among patients on ventilators.

    The drug, dexamethasone, is readily available in hospitals and should now become “standard of care” in Covid-19 patients on ventilators or oxygen, researchers say.

    They add that this could be done as soon as later on Tuesday, or on Wednesday.

    Advice will be going out to all NHS hospitals within the next 24 hours to act on the results, meaning everyone who could benefit from the steroid could get it.”

    • giyane


      Yes, but will it build up your muscles at the same time. Steroids are a miracle cure for minor skin conditions . My first mum in law was on cortizone for 17 years after an allergic reaction to a form of penicillin. It increases body weight, weakens the bones and sometimes sends a message to the body to stop producing its own natural supply. But if it gives the body time to build up antibodies, very good idea.

    • bevin

      A very interesting development and a significant one, too. Throughout this crisis it has been clear how much of the problem is attributable to the way that capitalism, and its governments, work.
      Perhaps the best example of this is the state of care in hospitals, the downgrading of nursing and nurses. And care, rather than magic bullet cures, vaccines and wonder drugs. Care by labour that is rather than by the application of saleable commodities.
      Capitalists hate labour, particularly skilled work carried out by trained and experienced artisans, which is what nurses are. As are GPs, looking after their patients.
      Anyone with pulmonary problems knows that steroids can be very useful in relieving symptoms, which in a crisis caused by the attack of a virus, is very important.
      I was recently reading about physicians from what is now Haiti- long may it prosper – facing the Yellow Fever epidemics in Philadelphia, in the 1790s. While the local medical men were looking for a cure, and finding one worse than the disease in bleeding and feeding the weakened patients massive doses of mercury, the San Domingue doctors, and another passing through on his way home to Spain from the Philippines prescribed proper care, feeding, using quinine to relieve fevers and, in essence, nursing, refusing to allow the virus to kill.
      Of course the only money to be made out of such treatment is in the form of employing nurses and paying for doctors’ visits.
      It is no accident that the basis of the NHS lay in district nurses, proper dietary regimes, and the provision of Physicians and nurses in hospitals staffed, not by itinerant casuals but by full time staff, members of the community with permanent jobs and constant skill upgrading. You can’t privatise that.
      But both Scotland and, I believe, Wales could develop policies to rediscover the real genius of the NHS- the belief that every life counted, that no effort should be spared to save and extend lives and that the basis of any Health Service lies in the ancient traditions of human beings looking after each other, without regard to the costs or profits.

    • glenn_uk

      Wonder what the tin-foilers will make of this.

      After all, the “hoax” was supposed to be all about making Big Pharma (and Bill Gates, ‘natch) loadsamoney.

      This cheap treatment threatens to blow the entire, massive, worldwide scheme out of the water!

      Think of those plotters (Gates, Soros, every world government leader – good friends all) wailing and gnashing their teeth at this. “And we’d have got away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!”

  • James Charles

    The average life expectancy for an 80 year old is 5/8 years.
    60,000 excess deaths from Covid-19. Stuart Mcdonald.
    More or Less: 17/06/2020.
    “Hopefully this goes some way to addressing the false narrative that these people would have died soon anyway, and we’ll hear rather less of it from journalists and commentators who ought to know better.”

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