The Currency of Absurdity 201


When is the last time you had a guest inside your home, you gave them a cup of tea and a biscuit, perhaps watched some TV together, and then when they left you thought “Oh, they were nice. I wonder who that was?”.

Apparently it happens all the time. At least, the peculiar operation of the new lockdown policy for most of Strathclyde is predicated on that belief.

Today I may not go and visit my son Jamie in his home in Glasgow. I can however meet up with him in a pub or restaurant in Glasgow, surrounded by dozens of other people, which is, we are told, safer. The main reason it is safer is that, in the event of somebody there having covid-19, the restaurant or pub will have been given our contact details. Whereas if we had met not in the pub but in Jamie’s home, apparently it would have been much more difficult for track n trace people to get the contact details, because obviously, unlike the restaurant, Jamie and I have no idea how to contact each other.

There are two glaring absurdities of this strand of argument.

The first is the presumption that whereas people have imperfect knowledge of who has been in their homes, bars and restaurants have perfect knowledge. Because of course nobody can have given wrong contact details to the pub, by muddle or by ill-will. I would counter that the occasions when people do not know who is in their own home are far rarer than occasions when the pub does not have accurate contact details for everybody in it.

The second is that the group in the pub has only had to give a single contact for the group, not everybody’s contact details. So actually track n trace is precisely as reliant on the host or organiser knowing everyone else’s contact details in the pub or restaurant as they would be had the meeting been in the home.

The third is that if someone of the 100 people in the pub through the course of that day and the next had later tested positive for covid-19, Jamie and I would have to be track n traced had we been there. Whereas if we had never been to the pub at all, but just had a quiet cup of tea in his home, we would never have come in potential contact with covid 19 and had to be traced. And if either he or I had been the carrier, that is 98 less people who would have had to be contact traced if we hadn’t been forced to meet in a pub rather than at home.

The Scottish Government’s other argument for it being safer to meet in a pub than at home is that pubs and restaurants have social distancing and hygiene measures in place, whereas homes do not.

This is perfectly true. Just like airports have runway lights in place, but homes do not. Because planes do not land in homes. If I visit Jamie in his flat, there will probably have been a total of three or four people in that flat all week. As opposed to visiting a pub or restaurant which has a total footfall of hundreds through that space. It is patently untrue that the risk of contracting coronavirus is higher in the private than in the public indoor space. I am perfectly capable of washing my hands without a pub sign telling me I have to. Contact with the traces of 600 less people is a large advantage to nullify by a sign and some sanitiser.

The truth is that the ban on people visiting homes in and around Glasgow, while the pubs, restaurants and shops are all open, is simply absurd from any practical standpoint.

The underlying truth is, that what the Scottish Government is seeking to say is that there appears some indication of spread of covid-19 through people holding parties – raucous parties with drinking and dancing, and loads of people attending, some of whom the host does not know who thus cannot be contacted – in the Glasgow area. In that specific situation, the arguments of the Scottish Government do make sense. Yes, there is obviously a chance of spreading coronavirus at such party gatherings. Yes, there may be people at such gatherings who cannot subsequently be traced.

But what percentage of occasions when people enter other people’s homes, is for the purpose of such a party? It is not an easy question to answer. My best shot would be about 1 in every 5,000 visits to enter someone else’s home is for a party of that description.

Simply to ban the other 4,999 home visits on entirely spurious grounds that people do not know who is visiting them, and that they are insanitary, is an absurd example of taking a sledgehammer to crack a grain of pollen. Ban parties. Ban indoor gatherings of more than ten people, or people from more than two or three households, however you wish to define it. There are plenty of situations where the law already defines parties – they are banned in plenty of tenancies, and the law is very used to having to judge what is disorderly.

Auntie Jean visiting Auntie Effie for tea is not the problem here.

A situation where I can visit with my son in a pub, but not in his home, is stupid to the point of surreal.

But what is truly worrying is the adverse reaction I received in the early hours of the morning on Twitter to pointing this out. An absolute avalanche of tweets arrived in reply, each one parroting exactly the two Scottish government arguments – that pubs have better visitor contact details than homes, that pubs have better social hygiene than homes. These are arguments which the world’s dimmest marsupial would perceive as rubbish given ten seconds independent thought, but they were trotted out as religious liturgy by the faithful:
https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1300940041900957696

Now few people can be happier than me at the much greater public trust in Holyrood than in Westminster on handling covid-19 (although that dim-witted marsupial would have done a better job than Boris Johnson: at least they would be unlikely to be primarily focused on making hundreds of millions in corrupt contracts for their mates). The trust that Nicola has built up is a very good thing, and hopefully she intends to spend that credit in the cause of Independence in the near future.

But people should never trust politicians – any politician – too much. When it reaches the stage that people react angrily and defensively to any criticism of government measures, that is not healthy for democracy. One problem is that fear is a very powerful tool for a politician. Fear of coronavirus is such that heavy-handed, blunderbuss measures will always be supported, even when like this Glasgow lockdown they make no sense in detail.

I perfectly understand why people might wish to shut down their critical thinking faculties in this coronavirus situation and put absolute faith in an authority they trust. I have myself refrained from any criticism of lockdown measures before now, because I recognise that those in charge are grappling with complex problems to which there is no perfect answer, and with better access to facts than I have. But I still reserve the right to point out the absolutely absurd.

The banning of meeting in Glasgow except in the presence of a till is absurd.

By all means suspend your critical faculties, but do not turn on those who have not.

——————————————

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201 thoughts on “The Currency of Absurdity

1 2
    • Cubby

      Scott

      Not at all a very sensible policy.

      The BBC is doing its best to undermine any aspect of the Scotgov policy on the corona virus even at the risk of more people becoming infected and people dying. Disgusting Britnats have been at this all the time since the pandemic started. What England does must always be correct is the Britnat mindset and the colonies have no right to do anything different. Well the bampot bonking Britnat Brexiteer Boris has made an absolute bollocks in handling the pandemic and thank goodness Scotland has not followed Boris into his killing fields.

    • Cubby

      To make my position clear I disagree with Scott’s comment re noise in pubs/ restaurants/ clubs but have no problem in agreeing with Craigs post. You do not have to disagree with everything the Scotgov says or does nor do you have to agree with absolutely everything they say or do. Other independence sites have locked themselves in to this silly situation where the Scotgov is perfect and cannot be criticised (Wee Ginger Dug) or you must sign up to Sturgeon being the devil incarnate( Wings over Scotland) and the Scotgov must not be praised for anything.

      Any increase in the virus in Scotland is down to irresponsible and reckless individuals – extremely busy pubs/house parties and holidays abroad with no quarantining when they should – but as Craig points out the rest of society then pays the price for their behaviour. The only benefit of this new measure is to put more pressure on people to act responsibly. A bit like drink driving in the early days.

    • nevermind

      The Scottish Government obviously is more interested in the biosecurity of special interest nightclubs, than with reading what scientists and Dr.s in the Lancet say about singing loudly, i.e. there is NO INCREASED RISK at all.
      Do nightclubs have to collect contact details of their nightly visitors?
      Every measure they take has a commercial economic slant to it, the health of one’s constituents is secondary.

      • Cubby

        Nevermind

        Jason Leitch, the National Clinical director has said on more than one occasion during the daily briefings that there is an increased risk from singing shouting etc. So the Scotgov is following his advice.

        Not aware of any nightclubs that are open in Scotland – care to let me know where they are????

        • Stevie Boy

          Where are the scientific facts, analysis, studies, papers to back up these ‘experts’ utterances ?
          There aren’t any. Government policy is primarily based on bollox science and social media opinions.

  • John

    Not my words but pretty much my thoughts.

    “I’m a Professor of Philosophy, working mostly on medicine and health. So I find that I’m able to digest a lot of the scientific literature and I’m also pretty good at identifying the weak points in arguments. Back in March, I thought the lockdown was an awful mistake, but I naively assumed that the situation would be reevaluated as the evidence became clearer. That didn’t happen, of course. Instead, anything that didn’t fit the established narrative was distorted until it did and then assimilated, or it was ignored. Still, I hoped that reason and evidence would prevail by now. But no, it’s masks, more masks, and then even more masks – surely they’ll help ward off the evil spirits.
    For a while, I was just bemused by it all, but now I’m genuinely frightened. Can one really impose something so odious as mandatory masking on the whole population, despite there being no decent evidence in support of it? Yep, they’ll just slap the rags on their faces as a symbol of virtue and chastise anyone who doesn’t conform, so that the whole wretched thing is self-policing. I dread to think of all the things an authoritarian regime could get the Great British public to do, while barely lifting a finger.
     
    More generally, something deeply unsettling is happening, which I really struggle to understand: somehow or other, this virus has triggered a perfect storm of reasoning biases, fears, and vices disguised as virtues, resulting in something that often looks more like the behaviour of a religious cult than an informed response to a viral pandemic.”

    I will just add my own ‘2p’ to this as well. The simple fact remains that any pathogen (that in this case has an infection fatality rate similar to severe flu) will take its natural course until herd immunity is reached (or a vaccine brings about artificial herd immunity). Social distancing and lockdowns merely change the rate of progression. When are politicians and Joe Public going to get this into their heads? In answer to that last question I suspect that the politicians now have a taste for controlling their ‘compliant citizens’ so much easier than having them demand answers from you; just impose your latest crackpot whim.

    • G H Graham

      “the rate of progression” – That’s it. The flu or indeed any similar virus will simply spread throughout the population at will, regardless. The only thing we can attempt to do is to change its rate of infection. The end result however will be more or less the same; possibly around 80% to 90% of the population will get infected, it’s just a matter of time.

      We can already see that the primary peak is well behind us. Will more peaks appear? Of course but any analysis of similar pandemics clearly demonstrates that it is invariably the primary peak that kills the most people in the shortest period of time.

      (Hospitals were not over run and the temporary on in Glasgow was barley even used, Meanwhile thousands of regular patients continue to be denied basic medicine while the wards across the major hospitals are barely operating. This is a national disgrace.)

      Eventually however, the population acquires the infection and most accommodate it with little more than a minor health inconvenience. Sure, there are sadly victims. The flu killed over 2,000 Scots in January 2018. But we didn’t destroy the economy because we have accepted that the flu despite vaccines, still infects and kills vulnerable patients; the old, those already compromised by illness etc.

      Meanwhile, we see a government beholden to evangelical wisdom that all deaths from infection are actually avoidable; it’s our fault that we don’t adhere to government instruction. This is patently absurd and unrealistic. Life itself is dangerous and risky. Anyone suggesting we ban all liquids in the house because >200 people in Scotland poisoned themselves by accident last year is laughable. And no-one in government dare outright ban alcohol or all tobacco products even though they are the cause of most deaths in Scotland. Even Sturgeon knows the dangerous consequences of such puritanical measures.

      But here we are, with a First Minister desperate for a legacy and determined to cling on for another 5 years while she attempts to exert her authority over an increasingly skeptical audience. This latest edict from Holyrood is beyond farcical. I’m just surprised that so many of the electorate have blindly jumped to her defense.

      And we wonder how regimes like Hitler’s was so successful? We just need to look at ourselves. It’s truly an amazing & terrifying thing to watch.

      • Cubby

        G2

        A very dangerous post. You do not say what the current % infection is – I wonder why?

        The old herd immunity people just keep coming back with the disgraceful refrain people die -“Sure, there are sadly victims.” Sounds like Trump to me when asked about all the dead in the USA said ” it is what it is”. Callous.

        Craig writes a sensible article on the virus and out come the herd immunity crowd – let the people die they say the quicker the better. Disgraceful and callous.

        What is truly amazing and terrifying is people who have such a disregard for human life. Now what regime demonstrated this disregard in the past.

        • G H Graham

          If you believe the stats from the gov then deaths from Covid is 0.05% of the population. 91% of these are over 65 years old. And almost half of them from care homes. 10.58% of the population has been tested resulting in 0.38% of the population recorded as infected.

          Three deaths in 7 weeks should be compared to the more than 1,000 deaths from causes such as smoking, alcohol, obesity, accidental poisonings, accidental falls, road traffic fatalities etc. But I’m not expecting draconian measures anytime soon to ban cars, liquids inside the house or fresh air exercise from which people die every year.

          Consider that life itself is risky and that this Covid response from Sturgeon might be a colossal over reaction and a deeply troubling over reach of state authority.

          If you are personally worried for your own safety, maybe stay locked inside your own house for the next few years? Just be careful in the kitchen & bathroom, two rooms where thousands die from falls, drownings, poisonings & electrocutions every year.

          • glenn_uk

            If they were older that 65 (mostly), then screw ’em, right?

            Only a small proportion of the population has so far been exposed, so your “0.05% of the population” stat is absolutely meaningless. About 1 in 200 people have had a case of C-19, about 12% of those have died. Multiply that up by the rest of the so far unexposed population and there will be a lot of death.

            It’s not just a case of living or dying either, we have no idea of the implications of this virus on the long term health of an individual, because it is novel.

            Of course there are fewer deaths now because of precautions being taken. It is astonishing that people like you continually mistake the success of precautions for meaning there was no need for them!

          • Cubby

            G2

            With regards to your last para gtf you Pratt.

            The point being only a very small (0.38% as you now say above) percentage of the population has been infected but herd immunity people know it needs a very high figure 60- 80% to be infected with the consequent risk of high numbers of needless deaths.

            “91% are over 65 years old” – again a staggering callousness for human life.

            You are posting misleading nonsense. People can choose not to drink alcohol, smoke, drive, cycle or overeat. They cannot chose not to contract a virus if herd immunity bampots want it to be everywhere.

            So, as predicted, bampots would use the success of lowering the deaths and infections as an argument that there is not really a problem. The only thing you have not moved on to is to say it is all just a hoax.

        • Penguin

          Herd immunity is nothing to do with letting people die. It is an effect of immunity within a population that can be measured and predicted based on how infectious the disease and the transmission vectors. Thanks to the mongos in the media and shroud-waving commentators it has now been placed alongside re-opening Auschwitz as a bad thing.

          Kindly stop such nonsense.

          • glenn_uk

            When people get infected, they often need treatment in hospitals. They were running at maximum capacity as the lockdown took place, with a very small percentage of the population actually having been exposed.

            Without treatment in hospitals, they would have died.

            If everyone gets infected in “a nice big epidemic”, how do you imagine hospitals would treat all those who needed help, when that number might be 20-100 times larger than it was when the same hospitals were maxed out?

            This is the nonsense idea – the one promoted by Johnson and Cummings – that we could let the virus rip through, and we would all come out of it quickly and get on with business. We have had tens of thousands of deaths with a relatively slow rate of infection. That number would be hundreds of thousands if not millions, in order to rapidly achieve herd immunity without vaccinations.

          • Bayard

            “They were running at maximum capacity as the lockdown took place, with a very small percentage of the population actually having been exposed.”

            Are you talking about the UK? If so, your evidence for that statement is what? I know two people who worked in two different hospitals and both said there were hardly any admissions for COVID-19. Yes, some hospitals in some hotspots were “running at maximum capacity”, but many were not. Agreed the media tend to assume that London = the UK, but that does not make that true.

        • Steph

          ‘Sure, there are sadly victims’

          So what is to be done about all the victims of flu each year? You don’t seem to be advocating similar measures to protect them. Don’t you care about them? Callous.

          • G H Graham

            Ask the Scottish Gov cos so far they don’t seem to have given the those who died from the flu in 2017/2018 a mention.

            And there are a lot of them; 23,137 deaths between December 2017 and March 2018, according to the National Records of Scotland – the highest figure since 1999/2000. The number of “additional” deaths in that winter was 75% greater than in 2016/17 caused mostly by influenza and pneumonia.

            You might wonder why they thought it not worth the bother of shutting down the economy for that episode? Meanwhile, they’re participating in the deconstruction of our economy for some power game competition with London.

            So why resort to puerile name calling – all the stats I produced here are the government numbers. If you don’t like them, question them instead of reaching for the school playground rule book.

            Or maybe just grow up?

        • Peter Moritz

          Oh goody, finally a Godwin.

          Instead of idiotically trying to quarantine a whole population that is in its majority NOT being threatened by a so called: DEADLY disease, but one that LIKE flu can have in some cases severe consequences, why was there no attempt to help and quarantine the really vulnerable – the age group above 65 where over 90% of death occurred usually with one or more co-morbidities. And of those most occurred in care home settings.

          https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02483-2

          So please – where is the logic for lockdown?

        • Minority Of One

          Last Sunday morning, radio 4 news, they stated that global deaths from CV19 had just reached 800,000. This sounds quite apocalyptic. Except that it is only about 0.01% of the global population or 1 in 10,000, and the numbers dying seem to be falling as we get better and better at treating the very ill.

          The last thing the govt wants is the general population to start thinking independently, with thoughts like: “We have destroyed the economy for how many deaths from CV19?” I know, such a disgraceful thought. Such a disregard for human life.

          The black death, caused by a bacterium rather than a virus, killed somewhere between 30% and 60% of the people in Europe. That is what you call a disregard for human life.

          • Steve

            Small correction if you please;

            The large numbers dying are falling for two main reasons, firstly those highly vulnerable, largely elderly who the virus killed at the peak cannot be killed again, Secondly, many countries across the World are successfully using the Hydroxychloroquine plus zinc plus steroid/antibiotic treatment that has been effectively banned in the countries with the highest death rates.

        • Bayard

          Please explain, for the benefit of other readers, how the present measures make you immune to COVID-19, or, if they don’t, how they will prevent you catching the virus some time over the next ten years or so.

      • Davie

        GH

        The responses to your post highlight exactly it’s a religious cult rather than a rational response.

        Some of the curtain twitchers actually get quite aggressive. Which is kinda ironic.

        I see a lot of the support coming from, to put not to fine a point on it, life’s losers. The weak of mind and body, the unfit, the fat, the ugly, the stupid, those without large friend groups. They have lived their lives resentful of those who go out, have the confidence to get on with it and be ‘successful’.

        Their adherence to the absurd measures is matched only by their insistence that others conform. I conclude the reason is threefold:

        • A desire to bring everyone down to their level – no more inferiority complex.
        • A lack of sacrifice. Staying in, getting fat, finding reasons not to do things is what they do. Now they actually get to feel virtuous about it.
        • Revenge.
        • G H Graham

          Thank you Davie,

          I’m attacked just for reproducing statements of fact using the government’s own numbers.

          I concur that many feel for the first time in their miserably unproductive lives that they have the apparatus of government behind them so they can peek through curtains and snitch on their neighbours with impunity. This has actually happened to me.

          It reached new levels when the virtue signallers came out in force to clap for the NHS but this of course was unsustainable. It’s hard work virtue signalling and there’s always another more fashionable cause célèbre to pin your virtues to.

          This groupthink is usually enthusiastically embraced by those with less to lose; a mechanism to level the playing field with those more independent minded folk, naturally suspicious of government interference.

          It should concern all of us that so many enthusiastically embrace whatever statutes, rules & guidelines are published even when they are demonstrably absurd.

          George Orwell is surely turning in his grave as we watch how fast & deep this evangelical cult like behaviour has gripped the national mood.

          • Davie

            The lack of critical displayed was spellbinding and is now becoming horrifying. First time in my life I’m invoking Godwin, these people are selling their civil liberties down the Swanee for the age old trope of things being done for them to protect them.

            The mob cannot even remember what was said the week prior. Therefore the next pronouncement, such as the Scottish Government’s complete nonsense yesterday, is embraced as the gospel. I’m off to coach football (something no doubt frowned upon) so I genuinely am not giving this list much thought; I’m sure I could double it given 10 minutes:

            • Food shortages – rubbish
            • 500,000+ dead in the UK – rubbish
            • Hospitals overwhelmed – rubbish
            • Nightingale hospitals – rubbish
            • Mad dash for ventilators – rubbish
            • Children and Young People at significant risk – rubbish
            • Mask for general public ineffective – Ah, maybe correct so an obvious u-turn
            • No natural immunity – rubbish
            • People getting reinfected – rubbish
            • Spikes in deaths about to follow….BLM protests, statue protests, VE celebrations, people on the beach, pubs opening, schools returning ad infinitum – rubbish

            Then there’s the bizarre from pets spreading it to tall people being twice as likely to catch it. All rubbish.

            And yet this bizarre cult stride on ever more certain in their narrative. Evangelical is a good word, I also use fundamentalist. Again time is my enemy however there is undoubtedly a religious aspect to the movement. Perhaps filling a gap in modern life:

            • Invisible Entity that must be appeased
            • Theologians – epidemiologist and other modellers
            • High Priest – e.g Sturgeon
            • Saints – NHS
            • Worshipful signs in household windows
            • Rituals – pot banging, clapping, wandering onto roads at the sight of someone on the pavement
            • Modest attire/face coverings to please invisible entity
            • Hell – non-existent suffering that non-believers (covidiots) are forever threatened
            • Puritanism – do not enjoy yourself, sing, form relationships, frequent pubs
            • Public shaming for those that do
            • Theocracy – police to enforce religion

            God Almighty!

          • Bayard

            Davie, as G.K.Chesterton said “When men stop believing in God, they won’t believe in nothing they will believe in anything”. This is not the first pseudo-religion, there is another recent popular belief that fits the bill that preceded it, and no doubt other will follow. Craig is complaining about people blindly following authority and not thinking for themselves. I think that the history of religion shows that this a perennial aspect of human behaviour.

      • Jan

        Slowing the rate of progression is a good thing. The end result won’t be the same; don’t lie. The slower the progress, the fewer people will get infected before a vaccine is found, and the fewer people will die.

        It is not only deaths though that should be measured. Even young people can get ill, and even a mild case can mean several weeks of sick leave, and for many people several weeks of sick leave means no money to buy food. And I’m leaving aside long-lasting (maybe permanent) effects on health.

    • Prasad

      ‘Can one really impose something so odious as mandatory masking on the whole population, despite there being no decent evidence in support of it?’

      There is a lot of evidence and why is it odious?.
      You may have to scroll quite far down here as the science has been very clear for quite a while. If you really wanted to find out you would try.

      https://twitter.com/DrEricDing

      Hiding behind the need for science to prove something beyond a shadow of doubt maybe be fine with something that is not a matter of life and death but it is the enemy when fighting against a pandemic.

      • Penguin

        It is an Epidemic in Scotland, not a pandemic, and one may ask why there has been such a massive increase in the numbers infected after a 2 months of mandatory mask-wearing when the numbers were negligible when everyone was bare-faced?

      • Stevie Boy

        Joe public is only required to wear ‘face coverings’ not ‘surgical masks’, I assume this is the same for Scotland.
        A proper surgical mask has a different, and more stricter, function than the coverings worn by most lemmings.
        I also assume that medical procedures are not carried out at the ‘Dog and Duck’, so there is no similarity – a false simile, methinks ?!?

    • glenn_uk

      @John: ““I’m a Professor of Philosophy, working mostly on medicine and health.”

      Got a reference for this? Or is this “Professor of Philosophy” so shy that s/he doesn’t want to reveal their name?

      This is so typical of denialists. They quote some unnamed “expert” who makes their case for them, no need for references, no need for any scientific backing to their claim. This BS goes around and around, eagerly circulated by dupes through social media. And – of course! – accepted entirely at face value, critical thinking dispensed with completely.

    • Tom Welsh

      John, if you are going to post such a lengthy quotation you really must also give the URL of the original page from which you are quoting.

      • glenn_uk

        He’s not going to do that, Tom. If the quote was from a credible source, he would have stated it. The same is quoted in full here:

        https://lockdownsceptics.org/2020/08/30/latest-news-119/

        – Again, no reference to the origins or any clue as to who this “professor” might be. The author is Toby Young, who claims to have had correspondence with the good “professor”, but forgot to mention his name.

        There are loads of these “My brother’s mate’s uncle is a doctor who said [Insert denialist nonsense here]” going around on social media. Don’t think, just believe it and forward it!

        This is all argument by weight of authority (which denialists hate when it comes from real medical authorities), but here it’s just the authority of an anonymous person that supposedly gave a statement. I expect little better from denialists.

      • Dredd

        The offending comment appears on that Lockdown Sceptics website under the photo of Prof A C Grayling – but they’re definitely not his words!

        The phrasing suggests that the source could well be a philosophy professor with a knowledge of medicine, in which case there would be a plausible claim to authority. But the mixture of epistemological inference, value judgements and practical exhortation represents a rhetorical abuse of that authority. The conclusion is obviously not entailed by the premises; instead it rests on the author’s avowed expertise. However, as the majority of professors with similar expertise hold a diametrically opposite view, the appeal to authority fails an essential criterion: the opinion does not represent a consensus amongst the relevant experts. It’s more of a maverick expression of personal frustration than a reasoned argument.

        If you’re familiar with the denialist propaganda elsewhere on the Lockdown Sceptics blog then the sentence “Lockdown Sceptics is one of only a few places where I’ve consistently been able to find sensible discussions of what’s going on” would evoke some concerned scepticism about the anonymous professor’s own reasoning biases.

        It’s just polemic, best ignored.

    • AliB

      So, back in March/ April hospitals were struggling to cope and thousands dying each day was a mirage? a fiction? part of a conspiracy?
      You could choose other authority that would endorse mask wearing – not as 100% effective, but better than non mask wearing.
      Herd immunity requires over 80% to have been infected- I trust you don’t care if you and any of your loved ones dies. If not, then kindly stop spreading your version of misinformation. Yes, things could have been handled much better, but just ignoring the virus will not be better.

      • syntax_error

        You’re right. Hospitals haven’t been close to being overwhelmed since March. Can you remember why we did a lockdown all over the economy? Have you any idea how many deaths and how much poverty, misery and Austerity is baked in to this ludicrous overreaction?

  • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

    Wouldn’t whispering be associated with greater expulsion of breath and higher transmission than talking ?Another plus for China as whispering is so difficult in Chinese while characters can be scrawled or traced with no risk.How does the Gaeltacht compare to Glasgow for voice transmission given the much quieter typical speech pattern?
    All good research proposals if the B&M Foundation is giving out funds.

  • James

    Thank you Craig for another sensible article that clearly explains the absurdity of these laws. I am a keen supporter of yours and hope all goes will in London next week. Free the truth.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    People’s opinion of wee Jimmy Krankie and her Scotland under the jackboot are becoming more apparent. You are completely right in what you say, Craig, when you make reference to the absence of a till……

    People around the globe are seeing the so called, lockdowns, as simply a gagging scheme to invoke some fascistic new world order that is hell bent on injecting us with Bill Gates money syrup.

    It’s time for the people of your wonderful country to cast off their blinkers and start to realise that acquiescing to these monsters is their only chance of getting back what they once held dearly…

  • Mighty Drunken

    Of course the measures are absurd, because they are not giving the real reason behind the policy. The reason why pubs are open, but homes have restrictions is the economy. Essentially every political question is about how it will effect the economy. Neoliberalism has consumed everything.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The aspect omitted from your polemic (and indeed, the Scottish Government’s justification for restricting home visits in greater Glasgow) is COMMERCE.
    All mitigation is balanced against “cost”. Restricting social interaction in pubs and cafes will negatively impact the struggling economy. Restricting social interaction in private homes will not (unless Jamie is charging you per bickie).

  • CoryP

    Having watched some of those Twitter comments come in, I can’t help but think they are astroturfed due to the extremely similar language used in the talking points. I know calling everyone on Twitter a bot or a spook isn’t productive, but it can be more comforting than believing that these are in fact real sincere people behaving like mindless robots.

    In any case, you’re completely right, of course.

  • jake

    It may well be true that current infection spread is by social contact in the home. What is certainly true ( according to the Scottish Governments own figures) is that by far and away the current position is that the great majority of infections are in the 25-44 year old age group. Based on this evidence, its clear that if there is to a targeted response it should be aimed at this age group. What I’m not sure about is whether this age group should be told to self-isolate at home or whether they should be told to avoid the home and stay in the pub.

    • Stevie Boy

      Based on the evidence … are the collected statistics in Scotland better than they are in England ?
      All the evidence to date indicates that the infection rates and the death rates cannot be trusted. The only figure that can be ‘trusted’ is the excess deaths figure, BUT, one needs to take account of the fact that a lot of the people who died will have died due to government incompetence and deliberate policy, ie. the elderly in care.

  • Yossi

    “better access to facts than I have.” I trust that you had your tongue in cheek.
    Why your silence on the virus lockdown? Free speech is important particularly when the MSM silences dissenting voices. As the death rate comes down the hysteria increases. I wonder why?

  • Ben McDonnell

    Dear Craig: Absurd is a good word. My word for it was and still is “baffling”. But I have been consistently and openly applying that word to the lockdown ever since C4 news man Jon Snow self isolated in February.

    I think the lockdown, social distancing, masks, were wrong. Like Knutt Wittkowski and many others, and borne out by decreasing hospitalisations and deaths, I think the virus weakens as it spreads, and if we inhibit this we could make trouble for ourselves.

    But what baffles me is the surprising reaction of the population to the MSM, and the question of what is really driving the government line.

    Regarding visiting your son, are our governments really just going through the motions to make sure they don’t get caught out by the press? Does Sturgeon honestly believe in what she is doing? Dominic Cummings and Neil Ferguson obviously didn’t.
    Why does the man next to me in the supermarket washroom wear a mask but leaves without washing his hands?
    Why does a friend concede that he actually prefers lockdown to “normal”? How many other people think this?
    How many of the people I used to shake hands with were all along rather queasy about it but didn’t like to say?

    The answers are out there on non MSM sources, although all my sources were derived originally from MSM articles and comments. All I can add is that it’s something vaguely due to superstitious ritual, hysteria, crowd mentality, fear and conformity, and the time being ripe for something to take the public imagination.

    I will seek you out on saturday and politely offer to shake your hand.

    • jake

      Me, I’ve never understood this superstitious ritual of hand shaking.
      As to handwashing in the lavatory, I make a point of doing so before I go on the basis that I ‘m more confident of where my genitals might have been and what they’ve been in recent contact with than I am about what I might have inadvertently picked up on my hands from elsewhere.

  • nevermind

    As for ‘ schools being the catalyst’, I disagree with you. it is the total lack of control or direction, after the lockdown was eased, the insistence to control what comes into the Uk via numerous, previously uncontrolled flights from the US and the Americas at large, visa vis no control whatsoever internally, that has spread the virus.
    Masses from Birmingham and Manchester were free to holiday in areas with low numbers of the virus, bringing cases up locally.
    Unless I have missed it, Cummings obviously did, when were we told/advised to keep within 50 miles of our homes for a small holiday or weekend break?
    The government is presiding over a self inflicted chaotic transmission and their underlying reason seems to be still based on spreading herd immunity and most important, to keep in control of this shamble.

  • Craig P

    People, use your common sense. Avoid house parties. I doubt we will be persecuted for quietly visiting relatives – though in your particular case Craig, given what else you are overcoming right now, I’m sadly less confident of that.

    It’s one of the open secrets of lockdown that most people, excepting the genuinely germophobic, broke it at some point or another. (That’s not a defence of Dominic Cummings – those who set the rules must abide by them, or utterly lose respect.)

    The big question I would like answered is, how much is the rise in recorded cases down to increased infections, or to better tracing? After all, at the first height of the virus, the total number of infected was unknown, but thought to be massively more than reported cases. With track & trace, are we now recording the majority of cases?

      • Craig P

        Thank Ben. That suggests the UK is now testing adequately, but that higher level of testing only started at the end of June – so comparisons between now and confirmed cases from March-May aren’t really valid.

        • Ben McDonnell

          No, but you could extrapolate the recent very smooth section of the curve backwards. It would show that overall infections are exponentially decreasing, tending towards a very low number, so there is no indication of a second wave. It also implies that the MSM and the government have been scaring the populace with insufficient data. The question now is why? Or maybe just How did this all happen?

          Most significantly of all, hospital admissions and deaths still decreasing, implying that the virus is weakening.

  • S

    I thought that the reason you were allowed to meet in pubs/restaurants is precisely because they have a till. If people stop spending money then that is a problem for the way our economy works. Apparently it is even worse for our society than not educating our children. Which is indeed absurd.

  • Billy Bones

    Craig, as always, succinctly clarifies the facts and the consequences to the facts.

    I watched, for the first time, the film, ‘Paddington Bear 2’. I thought it was a film for kids but it was actually quite terrifying, in that British ‘justice’ locked up a wee bear, with the cutest wee face and impeccable manners,There was no evidence that he had wronged anyone, the book which he was alleged to have stolen, never being seen on his presence or recovered from him; but a malicious, narrow-minded auld bastard of a judge was simply seeking revenge for an unfortunate loss of some of his hair.

    Yes I know it was meant to be funny and it was. I laughed myself silly.

    But the nagging doubt remains that anyone watching this film will be terrified of that British legal system.

    And worse,

    I could not help but think of Craig when Paddington was gaoled (for 10 years) and facing his first night in prison, without Mrs Brown to read him a bedtime story! And he was a first offender too!

    Manny Singh. Alex Salmond, an innocent man, might have died in jail if certain ruthless parties had prevailed.

    The Birmingham bombers.

    My grandfather’s grandfather was hung at Duke Street prison. The public records of the public execution state that at the hood was pulled over his eyes, he still shouting his innocence, with the tears running down his face.

    So yes, I do fear for our future, all our futures, in this dark land.

    But I will always support you Craig and myself and many uncounted parties in this country and abroad are in your corner. And you are no doubt thinking, ‘But you won’t be in my cell’. So no comfort really but I just wanted to express my admiration for a brave man’s courage. And you are a brave man.

  • glenn_uk

    This seems to be part of the push to get people back inside business premises, making money for them and most importantly generating tax revenue.

    The “Eat out to help out” scheme was ludicrous. You _have_ to eat inside a restaurant in order to get the taxpayer subsidy. Buy a takeaway, or have food delivered, and you get no discount at all.

    It is surely obvious to everyone (apart from, apparently, the Welsh First Minister and his health minister) that C-19 is transmitted primarily by air. An indoors setting, with multiple people gathered for an extended period, is precisely what you need for multiple infections, and having people distance themselves by six feet makes little difference. This has been clear for months, with more evidence supporting the notion that we should not be enclosed with little fresh air circulation (or where air is re-circulated). But government advice still leans towards washing hands, using sanitiser and so on, despite lack of evidence for surface based infections.

    That the government is now urging people to return to the office – whether they need to in order to work or not! – makes this policy of not having a guest around even more ludicrous. Where is the contact & trace apparatus when one shares public transport?

  • J Galt

    Virtually the entirety of the Covid death toll is down to the neglect of the care homes and over 70s generally at the start of this event. And that happened both north and south of the border.

    Deaths in the UK reached a peak on 8th April and since then hospitalisations and deaths have steadily dropped until they have reached penny numbers and yet the manufacture of fear continues.

    We now hear about “cases” and are deliberately given no information about how many of these “cases” result in death, hospitalisation or even symptoms. The answer to that is very few, the vast majority completely asymptomatic. We are also discouraged from learning too much about the “test” and how it does not actually test for Covid 19 and that a “positive” result can be triggered by exposure to other causes such as the common cold.

    However the people are not discouraged from believing that “twenty new cases” in such and such a place means twenty poor souls fighting for their lives in ITU, indeed they are encouraged to believe that is so.

    “What about the excess deaths!”

    Well there is increasing evidence that thousands, perhaps ten of thousands were caused by the lockdown – the virtual shutdown of the NHS for anything other than Covid or perhaps what is more important the perception that this was the case. Heart attacks, strokes and cancer deaths due to interruption of treatment – how many deaths due to that?

    The myth of Nicola’s “competence”. She either followed or slightly preempted Boris – the policies of playacting more or less the same with a week or two’s difference here and there, the difference in deaths between Scotland and England towards the end of this in late May/June down to a different method of recording “Covid Deaths”, no more.

    Yes she’s been a better performer at the podium – but so what?

    I honestly believe that if she got up to her podium and said that her experts told her that doing a certain wee dance every day at noon reduced the risk of Covid19 infection, we’d see the streets and offices filled with half the population dutifully doing their wee dance with a smug, self righteous look on their faces or with snarling hatred for anybody not complying!

    • Kempe

      ” Deaths in the UK reached a peak on 8th April and since then hospitalisations and deaths have steadily dropped until they have reached penny numbers and yet the manufacture of fear continues.
       
      We now hear about “cases” and are deliberately given no information about how many of these “cases” result in death, “

      Possibly because hospitals now understand the disease better and have become better at treating it.

      • Penguin

        They have done that. Giving people oxygen before they need intubated on a ventilator. Giving people Hydroxyquinone and other potions much favoured in the Atlantic colonies seems to work also.

        The real reason for the reduction in death rate is that most of the vulnerable are already dead, and the rest are now being treated to some sensible securityin care homes.

      • Bayard

        “Possibly because hospitals now understand the disease better and have become better at treating it.”

        Does that mean we can stop reacting to the virus as if it was the Bubonic Plague and start reacting to it as we do to ‘flu?

    • syntax_error

      And worse of all, we’ve used data and statistics from care homes to inform our understanding of the risk and severity of the virus. We cannot let data from those individuals in those particular settings to be extrapolated across the general community. In fact it’s downright dangerous.

  • Mist001

    I criticise Sturgeon all the time because I don’t know if anyone’s noticed but on at least three separate occassions, she has threatened the return of lockdown as a form of potential punishment for not following their rules.

    All this stuff that’s now ‘mandatory’ under the guise of the Coronavirus emergency act, will never be repealed.

    I think her behaviour is despicable and despite what the media parrots, I don’t think she’s handled this ‘crisis’ well at all.

  • N_

    Those at the top know exactly what they are doing in engineering the culture in this schizoid way. It’s not a mistake. Those who think for themselves are encouraged to be viewed as an ever-decreasing circle of antisocial elements who are a danger to public hygiene.

    It would be good if some kind of brainless cop for the system – a c*** from a council, maybe, or a headteacher, senior nurse, medic, social worker, somebody like that– were to come here and try to defend the patently obviously “absurd” policy in Glasgow.

    Because I can tell you that the only way this can be done (and even then it doesn’t stand up to logic, but the world isn’t a debating chamber) is if they “think” there are horribly dangerous hordes of proles out there who are so subhuman that they will spread a killer disease at the drop of a hat unless they have the whip of the state held over them.

    That is precisely the notion that is being built up, day in, day out, by the media and government, always relying of course on tame “experts”.

    The same can be said about the “reopen schools because, don’t worry, we’ll make sure little Johnny is safe for you” policy.

    Very soon they will be using “track and trace” to enforce mass vaccination and to hunt down resisters to it who try to do things like go shopping with impunity.

  • Brenda Steele

    I rather think, Craig, that you are judging that others will behave as sensibly as you would inside a house. I very much doubt that is the case. It has been made clear that there are multiple events involved. I should imagine that at least some of these meetings were more like parties with all precautionary measures flouted, and others were smaller groups who just thought the rules didn’t apply to them.

    The only way we will get through this is if pretty much everybody follows the rules. How can you get this through to everyone without imposing these kinds of restrictions on everyone?

    If any of these clusters had been traced back to restaurants or pubs, then I am sure they would have been closed down.

    If the infection clusters had come from pubs or restaurants then I am sure the locations concerned would have been held to account.

  • N_

    It says a lot that most cops for the system, right down to a low managerial level – people who believe whatever they’re told by their bosses and then spout it out to “members of the public” as though it is true – believe fanatically in the lies they receive and repeat, and they also assume that anyone who really does think for themselves must have “read it somewhere on the internet” and basically be a gullible fool. Even those who are professionally cynical and think life is all about money, such as lawyers and medics, still feel the same contempt for those whose minds are free.

    It is the same story in almost all domains, whether we are talking about “health”, “education”, direct debit, housing, or whatever.

    Call it “over-compensation”. As they pull the bags tighter and tighter over their own heads – or if they are in the cynical professions, then as they become ever more committed – the hatred against the freethinkers builds and builds. And yes we are heading towards some kind of “festival”. Who knows what the timing will be, but there’s no way it’s several years away.

  • Nicholas Shaxted

    I think the reaction to the postis a good illustration of how the current semi-automated analysis engines (algorithms if you like) fail catastrophically.
    It is clear from the example here and the government generated ones used in education, health etc. that all too often siftware used to detrmine the “reject” trigger is far too simplistic. Typically written and developed naively so as to be seen to be doing something.

    In this case the Twitter platform seems unable to dstinguish between a Critique/Criticism post and something full of mis-, or inaccurate information. Maybe the analysts (or algorithm developers) need to visit Plato, Socrates, Aristotle to learn rhetorical tools. Unlikely given the pay grade.

    The function of reading contains contains multiple actions (read, analyse, comprehend, understand and/or critique for example). Sadly for the majority of modern Twitterers (and Farcebookies) and their associated algorithmic “analysis” engines they barely pass the first action as the default reaction always seems to be “outrage”.

    Posters probably need to improve their skills too although it is very difficult to develop an argumernt in the first 50 words.
    Maybe we are seeing the first moves to a more meaning method of communication beyond the simple use of words
    .
    I am sure early Sumerian cuneiform was much more polite given that the writer had to make his clay tablet, and spend years learning to write concisely and accurately. Just imagine reaching the end of your last clay tablet and still had a sentence to go.

    So yes Criag, the various restrictions are absurd and what appears to be happening is that, this year especially, all large organisations and many governments show a complete lack of thinking. By employing contractors means that a knee-jerk type solution is in place quickly. A carefully analysed and properly constructed solution obviously takes more time (and money). The fool with the tool is still a fool…but they will not care as they won the contract.

  • Jane in France

    There are a lot of numbers in this comment, but I have tried to keep it as simple as possible. According to the latest release from the National Records of Scotland, in the 32 seeks this year from January 1 to August 9, there have been 40,417 ALL CAUSE deaths in Scotland which works out at approx. 1,263 ALL CAUSE deaths per week. The table of excess deaths records 3,906 deaths attributed to covid19 during this period, sometimes on the basis of a test followed by death within a month, sometimes on the basis of suspicion of covid19’s presence. The 5-year average for deaths during this period is 36,082. So we have an excess mortality of 4,335, not all caused by covid19, over the 32 weeks to August 9. Now let’s look at who is dying. Among the over 85s, there were 2062 more deaths than usual (ie more than the 5-year average). There were 1613 more deaths than usual in the 75-84 age group and finally, there were 595 excess deaths in the 65-74 age group. Which brings us up to a total of 4270, just a little under the total number of excess deaths for this 32-week period. (Remember that not all these deaths were caused by covid19. ) The average life expectancy for a Scotsman is 77 years and a Scotswoman 81. Sadly, whenever a virus is going about, the elderly are more likely to be the victims. Young people catch it, pass it on and acquire immunity. It would appear to be no different this time.
    (The first page of the latest NRS release records the higher number of 4213 attributed to covid19. I don’t quite understand where that number comes from. Remember that you can have cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and so on, and still go down as dying of covid19.)

    • glenn_uk

      So your point is that it’s mostly old people and those who had something else wrong with them anyway, so screw them, right?

      Do bear in mind that excess deaths other than C-19 fatalities have greatly reduced because people have not been getting into trouble through normal life, car accidents, poisonings and other transmittable infections (such as ordinary ‘flu, which reduced to almost zero), workplace accidents and so on due to restrictions imposed. Also note that not everyone has been exposed by an extremely long way, so deaths from C-19 would increase by orders of magnitude were they to do so in a short duration.

      Your notion that young people acquiring immunity through infection is a harmless process is dangerous. We have no idea what the long term implications of having C-19 might be. Plenty of young people have died of it. We do not know that contracting C-19 makes one immune long term. We do know they can pass it around very effectively.

      • Penguin

        The point is that the overwhelming majority of the population will suffer no ill effects from this supposedly killer virus. They are suffering the economic effects of mass unemployment and house arrest. Well done for believing the W.H.O. An organisation which considers it possible for Men to fall pregnant and Lesbians to posses a penis.

        • glenn_uk

          You don’t know people suffer no ill effects, because the long term impact even on people who recover is not known.

          In any case, the “overwhelming majority” of people have not encountered C-19 yet, but a proportion of those that do will die. You are calling for death on a truly massive scale, and are apparently just fine with that.

          Could you put a number of how many people you are OK with seeing dead, so we can have the economy buzzing along again in short order?

      • Steph

        ‘So your point is that it’s mostly old people and those who had something else wrong with them anyway, so screw them, right?’

        I’m so tired of seeing this retort thrown out to make people feel bad. Just out of curiosity, given that you don’t wish old people to die from covid-19, may I ask what it is you prefer them to die of instead? The other options are usually Alzeimers, Cancer or Heart disease. Or are we supposed to live forever?

        • glenn_uk

          That’s awful that you’re so tired, Steph!

          Personally, I’m tired of people like you, who wave away the notion that anyone has any business living if they happen to be of retirement age or have a pre-existing condition. Have you considered working for the American healthcare insurance industry – they’re very keen to have people on board with your gentle sympathies.

          • Steph

            ‘people like you, who wave away the notion that anyone has any business living if they happen to be of retirement age or have a pre-existing condition’

            Complete garbage which bears no relation to my comment..

          • glenn_uk

            Are you trying to gaslight us here? My remark was completely on point to your indignant question about “given that you don’t wish old people to die from covid-19, may I ask what it is you prefer them to die of instead?

            Shoot, they’ve got to die sometime of something right? So why not right now of C-19. That is your point.

          • Nick

            Glenn
            Where is your empathy and empathy for all those who have died from being unable to be treated,as the nhs refused to treat them(including those with covid. Self isolate instead of treat early?)
            The truth is with better care homes and stopping agency staff moving from home to home,covid deaths could have been greatly reduced. But stop telling people they don’t care when they point out that over a third dying in Scotland were 90+. Its a fact. And the long term ramifications of the lockdown will result in many lives ruined too,which you never seem to acknowledge. The young will have years of no jobs and no hope to look forward too as a third of the worlds population now looks forward to long term unemployment for the .01%.
            Compassion cuts both ways.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “So your point is that it’s mostly old people and those who had something else wrong with them anyway, so screw them, right?”

        No.

  • Fastest Slowest

    ‘I recognize that those in charge are grappling with complex problems to which there is no perfect answer’

    …are they not paid, as a day job, to do this kind of work? The question is why so few of them are actually up to doing the work they’re paid to do. Our politicians general lack of competence in tackling the myriad of problems affecting the people they’re supposed to represent is, in my view, past excusing or tolerating. Covid is (maybe) a crisis, but politicians are paid to manage these things, alongside their other political work. If you take a high-status, high-paying job then you should be up to completing it effectively, no questions asked. If you enjoy the perks that come with such positions then you must expect to receive flak for an abject performance.

    To my mind, this latest action by Sturgeon and her govt. just shines another light on their inherent lack of courage, talent & ability (let alone integrity) in running Scotland at the moment, with any excuses for their ineffective & corrupt behavior in govt. having long disappeared over the horizon.

    As a final comment, I do consider myself a passive independence voter, meaning I think Scotland’s perfectly capable of running it’s own affairs, there’s more enough talent here to accomplish that. But there’s not a snowball-in-hell’s change I’d vote for the SNP to deliver this, ever. A new independence party’s needed to deliver this now…any takers?

  • glenn_uk

    Perhaps it is worth asking the Powers That Be if it would be OK to have a guest around, as long as they were charged for everything consumed and the appropriate tax given to Inland Revenue?

  • Royd

    It’s all about reviving a moribund economy IMHO. The ‘bottom line’ is the bottom line and your bottom and mine are being urged to place them on a seat in a pub and/or restaurant.

    • syntax_error

      It didn’t need to be crashed in the first place. I don’t think anyone is considering the damage to our health that mass unemployment has.

  • Ryan

    Craig, you hit the nail on the head once again.

    However I’m not sure if you are aware but there is something even more absurd than this which has come back into force.

    My wife is due to give birth imminently to our first born children, and it’s twins.
    Because of the reintroduction of “lockdown” in Glasgow, I am now not able to attend any appointments/scans with her and even worse than that – I am not allowed to be there when she goes into labour. Only when she actually gives birth – regardless of how distressed she might be – am I allowed into the room, until the babies are born and then I will be told to get on my merry way.

    This, I believe, infringes close to my human rights to be present at the birth of my children.
    The worst part being, we live in the same bloody household! If I was carrying the virus, so would my wife be!

    So people can go into town for a piss up, and I’m not allowed to be fully involved in my own children’s birth?

    Absolutely ludicrous.

    There is a petition floating about which people have signed – not sure who started it or which parliament it is aimed at – but feel free to sign nonetheless: https://www.change.org/p/partners-allowed-for-entirety-of-labour-birth-in-all-hospitals

    • Steph

      I’m so sorry, that is really sad, it must be very distressing. They just make these things up as they go along regardless of who is affected. Masks for schoolchildren in corridors but not in classroom. Can someone point me in the direction of the research that demonstrates this is beneficial? What are the health implications of pulling a facemask (possibly contaminated with covid-19 if it actually serves the purpose it is purported to) on and off all day? Or re-breathing in all the stuff which your body has just chosen to get rid of through exhalation for hours at a time? No research into any of that I suppose.

      • Ryan

        Exactly, playground politics!

        I can sort-of understand the restrictions on hospital visits when you are visiting someone from another household (however it does take a mental toll on people, especially when they are denied visiting terminally ill patients – my grandmother passed away in June and none of us were able to visit her during her final 2 weeks on earth. It was very sad indeed).

        But to restrict two members of the same household being in the same room together is nothing but bureaucratical nonsense.
        Who does this protect?

    • ET

      Ryan, I would very robustly challange that edict. It is not the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist’s guideline.
      Here is a link to the “Information for pregnant women and their families” relating to Coronavirus infection and pregnancy produced by the ROCG.
      https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy#partners
      If you scroll down to birth partners you can read and present to your hospital what they say.
      If I were you I would write (email or otherwise) to your hospital’s Head of midwifery, The clinical director of the women and children’s directorate (or whatever department Obstetrics comes under in your hospital) and the Medical Director of the whole hospital. As you and your better half are expecting twins you will be under the care of a consultant obstetrician. Get your partner to request meetings with head of midwifery and the consultant to discuss this. Kick up a major fuss. It is beyond outrageous that you are being told you cannot attend the birth.
      O+G is my specalty, I would be more than happy to help you out with this if you wish by advising you who to contact etc etc

  • Peter Moritz

    The absurd turns into the sinister when considering this:

    “Belarus is the only country in Eastern and Southeast Europe that refused to impose a coronavirus quarantine, despite recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). According to Mr. Lukashenko, this tactic was chosen in order to prevent severe damage to the nation’s already struggling economy. However, it looks like this move has also become a serious hurdle on the way to an IMF support package. “The IMF continues to demand quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone’s tune,” Mr. Lukashenko told the nation’s new cabinet.”
    https://www.obserwatorfinansowy.pl/in-english/belarus-faces-limits-in-its-hunt-for-eu-and-imf-money/

    now consider the actual stats of the covid 19 pandemic in Belarus, w/o lockdown or masquerade:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/belarus/

    with a country of similar population and severe lockdown:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/belgium/

    and explain to me why the IMF demand makes sense?

    Maybe the Naked Hedgie has the right points?:

    https://thenakedhedgie.com/2020/08/27/covid-19-the-banking-cartel-is-driving-the-agenda/

    “Further evidence that the agenda is being driven by the bankers was the recent Op-Ed in the New York Times by Neel Kashkari, the president of Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank calling for the government to issue strict 4 to 6 week shelter-in-place orders “for everyone but the truly essential workers.” Kashkari advocated that the lockdowns should be as comprehensive and strict as possible and done aggressively, using “the testing and tracing capacity we’ve built…”

    • glenn_uk

      Those are the official figures from Belarus. You believe them? Do you also believe there are zero cases in North Korea, as its own dictator would have it?

      • Peter Moritz

        Why shouldn’t I? Those figures were accepted by John Hopkins, if they do – why shouldn’t I?
        North Korea i.e. had no figures published likely because they did not release any or were not to be trusted.

        PS: Is it just because they are Russian? Or because they have an “elected” Dictator??? like the PUTIN?

  • DiggerUK

    I am unsure how Quack Scientists, such as Professor Neil Ferguson, we’re given any consideration when they predicted half a million fatalities from Covid. We are now in the situation when someone without a face mask engenders as much fear as a head chopper with a suicide vest.

    Considering his track record of failed predictions before this year it is just shocking he was still on any payroll.

    Let’s look at some of his previous work.
    2002, predicted between 50,000 and 130,000 UK deaths from ‘Mad Cow Disease’. 177 fatalities materialised.
    2005, predicted 200,000,000 worldwide fatalities from Bird Flu, 282 eventually perished.
    2009, predicted 65,000 UK deaths from Swine Flu, 457 casualties.
    2020, predicted up to half a million UK deaths from Covid 19. If you add together the claimed infections as well as the falsified deaths we are still a long way from that spectacle.

    But if you are in to Quack Scientists, well, each to their own…_

    • glenn_uk

      In each of these cases, the death rate were not as predicted because precautions were taken. The predictions were precisely concerned with what would happen if NO precautions were taken.

      Your conclusion is that no precautions needed to be taken. Absolutely brilliant.

      • Peter Moritz

        “In each of these cases, the death rate were not as predicted because precautions were taken.”

        Funny that countries not using those “measures” had death rates similar or below those countries that did not take those measures.

        Isn’t it funny:
        Case fatality rate: (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality)
        USA – 3%
        Belarus – 1%
        Sweden – 6.9%
        Poland – 3%
        South Korea – 1.6%
        Tajikistan – 0.8%
        Nicaragua – 3%
        Brazil – 3.1%

        and that:

        Belgium – 11.6%
        Canada – 7%
        UK – 12.3%
        France – 9.5%
        Hungary 9.8%
        Ireland – 6.1%

        You guess which group was under lockdown and which one wasn’t.

      • DiggerUK

        Professor Quack made his predictions based on mathematical models, models that have been trashed by those whose pay grades allow them to criticise with the necessary authority to do so.

        Sweden took far fewer precautions than the UK and has a lower death rate per 100,00.

        Arguing that a whole nation under house arrest was anything other than the removal of freeborn civil liberties is impossible…_

      • Bayard

        “In each of these cases, the death rate were not as predicted because precautions were taken.”

        So, if we had all also stood on one leg and whistled the National Anthem for five minutes each day, would that have decreased the number of people dying, compared to if no precautions were taken? Of course it would. If you take a whole raft of measures and that results in the desired outcome, it doesn’t mean that every one of those measures was equally necessary, it only means that at least one of them was.

  • Brian

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm
    Comorbidities
    Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html/?2020-08-29T09%3A00%3A20%2000%3A00
    In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.

    On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.

    One solution would be to adjust the cycle threshold used now to decide that a patient is infected. Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

    Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

    What was the logic of the lockdown
    Lockdown healthy people Why?

    1. To protect them and stop then getting infected
      But if they did get infected and were healthy they would probably not get seriously ill.
    2. They may be health but infected with no symptoms
      But we are told the main spread is from coughing , sneezing, runny nose .
      You have none of these if you have no symptoms so would not spread infection

    Lockdown due to cases of infection why?
    If you test more you are you not more likely to find cases of infection
    If the positive cases are healthy is there a problem.

    If people want to take a holiday it is a lottery will they be forced to quarantine on return.
    My wife a health worker would like to visit her home town in the Philippine’s but would have to quarantine on return . Philippine population 107 million Covid related deaths 3,623 that is less than .001 . Deaths from Heart Attack 2019 50,000.

    They are saying they will have difficulty separating this winters flu from covid this will likely lead to more lockdown. If they are going to wait for zero cases before they end all the restrictions they are going to have to wait a long time.

    • ET

      Need to be careful in interpreting these statements. Just taking from the table 3 underneath the statement:

      “Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.”

      In the age group 55 to 64 years old, for example, they state there were 20,295 total deaths. They then list various “conditions” as “conditions contributing to deaths involving coronavirus”. In this age group: Adult respiratory distress syndrome (3777 cases), Respiratory failure (7208 cases) and Respiratory arrest (362 cases) cases, are listed as “conditions contributing to deaths invoilving coronavirus.” In my view these particular “conditions” would have been a direct cause of covid 19 not ancillary. Therefore I would question their inclusion in the “2.6 additional conditions”. Covid 19 caused these conditions to arise, they didn’t exist before that person was infected and developed severe covid 19 (for the vast majority). In that sense they are not pre-existing.

      I get it. The death cert wll have cause of death “Respiratory failure” with contributary conditions being ARDS and coronavirus but the underlying cause is coronavirus.

      In terms of other pre-existing conditions such as hypertension remember that in the population as a whole many people have treated hypertension from mild to advanced and are well. I made a post on this some time back in another thread:

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/06/coronavirus-only-an-anecdote/comment-page-3/#comment-946130

      • Brian

        The Respiratory illnesses could also be long term illnesses. How many were heavy smokers? But even if you tipple the 6% only Covid deaths that is only 18%. If the true death count from covid is only a one fifth of that reported then it is no worse than the normal flu season. All the extra deaths from closing normal NHS support and overloading care homes could have been avoided. Plus the unemployment that will result from the lockdown.
        Continuing it now the deaths have mostly stopped based on low level infection in healthy people will likely result in a economic depression that will cost many more lives.

        • ET

          Adult respiratory distress syndrome is something you either recover from or die from, it isn’t a long term illness and requires ventilation. Same goes for respiratory arrest but it this case you have a few minutes to sort it out or your patient is dead.Can you not see the link between a respiratory virus that can cause severe respiratory distress and these events?
          You can’t put cancer as a cause of death in a death cert because most people , in the end, don’t die from cancer but what the cancer leads to, usually cardiorespiratory collapse.
          If someone is run over by a bus, the cause of death won’t be “road traffic accident,” it will be something like cardiac arrest due to massive haemorrhage due to injuries sustained by road traffic accident. Equally you can’t just put cardiorespratory arrest as cause of death without giving the underlying cause. In the case the underlying cause is Covid 19.

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