Reply To: SARS cov2 and Covid 19

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I am sorry you think I misunderstood you but the arguments about PCR positivity and whether they mean anything and also whether long queues of ambulance are significant are at the crux of determining whether what you were directing attention to, when you referred to the WHO warning about PCR and also whether the deaths and sickness figures from the virus are high or are manipulated is what bogged down the discussion and made this a circular argument.

I agree with you that the lockdown measures taken by our government are not appropriate but not because they are too severe, but that they were not severe and decisive enough at the beginning. They are now detrimental to the economy and to people’s mental well being, but because we were not prepared for the epidemic, we took the wrong decisions, the decisions were late and were inadequate. Dealing with epidemics is something that should be a reflex well rehearsed and well prepared for measure, it should not be subject to political discussions or under the direction of politicians, it is a public health matter. The ideal reaction for a nation prepared for such an eventuality is to identify and isolate cases as soon as possible, to limit movements into and out of the country to prevent spread of infection. Identification of potentially infectious subjects should be done as early and as thoroughly as possible and those identified either on clinical suspicion or by testing when this is available, irrespective of how sick they are, and isolated. Isolation in this case means complete isolation in a facility where all their needs are met so that they do not pass on the infection to others. It certainly does not mean going home in a small flat and inevitably infecting other members of your family. And you know these concepts are not bizarre or outlandish, they were effectively carried out in China and South Korea and other places. This will reduce the transmission at an early phase of the infection, and as in the case of SARS of 2003 and of MERS in 2012 has successfully led to extinction of the virus with no man-to-man transmission. Governments in the West dithered, and in particular UK and USA who had a clear 2 months notice of what will happen and took no action until it was too late. I don’t know whether these governments thought that because we are cleverer than other countries, we were not subject to the same susceptibility. In summary the government was not prepared, there was no PPE for ages, there was a shortage of testing, which was only directed at sick patients. Others were directed to go home and infect their families. Care home residents were decimated and hospital capacity was nearly swamped. The half hearted measures of the first lockdown ‘flattened the curve’ but that merely allowed the NHS a breathing space. It was not sufficient to actually control the virus. Flights to and from Heathrow and other international airports were not limited, and it is estimated that over 20 million travellers came to this country during ‘lockdown’. Even travel from Italy and Spain was not limited when it was known that these countries had high rates of infection.

I know that you will say you know all this, but the point is that discussions about the mortality rates and the infection rates and questioning them seem to ignore all this background scenario as irrelevant. In stead of focusing on the inadequate response and the real cause of economic and social hardship, prolonged by this inept government, we shift the focus to try and blame scientists for failing to detect that the tests that they produce and work with everyday, are worthless and that we really do not have a crisis at all, just a perception of one.