This topic contains 87 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by SA 1 day, 6 hours ago.
March 12, 2020 at 18:05 #50796
“Lord, grant me chastity and continence… but not yet”
The government has just announced the next phase of dealing with corona virus pandemic, the delay phase. Except not just yet. Combining the St Augustine approach, the government also adopts an ostrich like posture of not really being interested in identifying and recording new cases as long as anyone with suggestive symptoms just self isolates.
The announcement was just made by the PM Boris Johnson, flanked on the left by the chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, and the Chief Medical Advisor Chris Whitty.
Boris Johnson described Coronavirus as the “worst public health crisis for a generation” and warned families to be braced for the deaths of loved ones. His bleak warning came it emerged there are 5,000 to 10,000 Britons carrying the virus that is sweeping the world. “This is the worst public health crisis for a generation,” said the Prime Minister at a press conference. “I must level with the British public – many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”
So the response of the government and advisors is, just keep washing your hands and self isolate for seven days if you have symptoms, but don’t bother us, we don’t want to know. This approach is of course going to drastically cut down the number of reported new infections, not by prevention but simply by the fact that what you do not know, does not hurt you. The government is worried that if you bring more stringent measures to soon, then people will get up isolating themselves repeatedly, so we want them to worry only when we really have big numbers as happened in Italy because we are 4 weeks behind Italy (two weeks actually).
As to mass fixtures, apparently the ‘scientific advice; is that stopping those has very little effect on reducing transmission. WHAT.
Mr Johnson warned that the most dangerous period is some weeks away as he stressed that the “lines of defence” must be deployed at the right time to maximise their effect.
In summary, to delay the worst period of transmission, we must delay taking decisive action too soon and we must wait until the inevitable happens first.
Incompetent government and I wonder how much was the scientific and medical community were leant on to produce the convenient ‘modelling’ that appears to be so much at variance with those in countries with large numbers.
March 13, 2020 at 10:59 #50802
Even a Tory, Jeremy Hunt is concerned about the government inactivity in delaying introducing officially social distancing and I would add to that the rather negative attitude to testing in order to be able to actively delineate the number of people infected and proactively deal with the epidemic.
Well the chickens have come home to roost. The UK electorate in their wisdom, or the electoral system through its being rigged has elected an incompetent person to run the country at a time of serious problem. The system is set to be tested to destruction. Already the signs of incompetence are showing.
Still on the Covid-19 it seems that things are not as straightforward as is made out. Chinese and Japanese scientists seem to think that the virus may have so far been maximally disseminated in China but it may have originated elsewhere. There are indications that in the US the administration the numbers are about to explode is discouraging widespread testing and may be even ascribing some deaths to ordinary Flu and Lung Fibrosis, that are actually due to Covid-19. The reluctance to roll out extensive testing is also shown here. The U. K. chief Scientific and medical advisers seem to be in cahoots with the government to introduce a spurious model to explain this inaction, which is only done for political-financial reasons and not to protect the population/
March 13, 2020 at 16:01 #50808
Well, apparently the U.K. government want all people over 60 ( that includes me) from midnight tonight, to self-isolate, even without showing signs of covid-19, the rest of the population is to act as a mass experiment, catching the disease, hoping to get herd immunity.
March 13, 2020 at 16:45 #50811
Interestingly N_ in the main thread always calls Dominic Cummings Eugenics Cummings. So this is a chance for the government to get a strong new stock of workers who are immune to the virus. The older people will probably slowly die of hunger and isolation as they self isolate and everyone else gets on with their herd immunity. Brave new world.
March 13, 2020 at 17:25 #50812
Also the younger males will become less fertile, this slowing the world population curve.
March 14, 2020 at 06:33 #50817
I need to do a bit more research about the ‘modelling’ that our government has based its inaction upon. It seems to be based as I understand it on the assumption that to really cope with this 🦠 in the long term, we need to acquire a herd immunity for this country by not really trying to stop the spread of infection, but by just protecting the vulnerable through self isolation whilst getting other members of society to weather the disease out and develop this herd immunity.
I think this approach is based on a study from epedemiologists from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and first saw it aired by them on a programme presented by Emily Maitlis. The programme also included experts from elsewhere who strongly disagreed with the model.
It was then presented again by Boris Johnson, Flacked by two government employees, his scientific advisor and his medical advisor in a triple act of self reassurance.
Any disease or for that matter, any strategic modelling, relies on data input. The more robust the data, the more reliable the modelling. Even then any data has a margin of error and therefore the error will be compounded by the error of each variable entered. For example what value was entered for mortality? Less the 1% as in South Korea, or 6% as in Italy? What value for ultimate infection rate? This is bound to be a total demise as even in China it is not know as disease course has been stopped, at least for now.
Also whatever the outcome of those who are healthy and get the disease will be dependent on the presence of medical support facilities which will be completely swamped and people may be turned away from vital treatment by some triage as to who is worth saving.
Any ‘modelling’ therefore that has so many variables, with potentially serious consequences, and with assumptions not based on facts, can only be presented as a set of results to chose from, not as presented, as an article of faith.
I am sure that when the storm hits, Johnson will be able to use the excuse that he consulted the experts and that he was guided by the science. The poor experts will of course be scapegoated, but maybe not. I don’t know how much they were leant upon.
March 22, 2020 at 09:16 #51052
Well that is due to all the female hormone analogues as food additives, not to mention all the unknown effects of over-vaccination of young kids.
March 14, 2020 at 11:27 #50821
Boris Johnson is a charlatan. I am sure that his advisors have been leant upon to give the answers he wants. But I do not understand why a Professor John Edmunds, Professor of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene should compromise himself so much as to appear inflexible, ideological and dogmatic. This interview from Channel 4, conducted by Matt Frei is very revealing. In It Edmunds is extremely confident that he has all the answers. The preferred solution is to hurry up ‘herd’ immunity’ by not being too proactive about slowing down the inevitable explosion of cases (this is contrary to the evidence of how China controlled this explosion). Simplistically, he thinks that slowing down this epidemic, far from giving the NHS more time to cope, will only prolong the agony. It seems to me that this is the line of thought that best tallies with the Government’s approach. The cull of the weak and elderly can then silently proceed, whilst the strong will become immune. The recorded number of cases will of course fall because we are not going to be testing except high risk cases in hospitals. This is a total abrogation of professional responsibility which should be pushing for testing, testing, testing and also for prevention at all cost. I wonder how long it will take for medical professionals to wake up to Prof Edmund’s flawed reasoning.
OK I may be too harsh on the professor, but he has shown no indication that he may be wrong, or that there are other ways of looking at this problem.
Meanwhile, a company that provides laboratory diagnostic reagents in Northern Ireland called AMS UK (NI) Ltd has developed an antibody test to diagnose whether someone has been exposed to the virus which gives a result in 10 minutes. The test depends on developing antibodies to the virus and may therefore need to be repeated especially if the first test is negative and is dione early in the infection. The current widely used test is a PCR which is based on detecting the virus but it takes several hours to do. It would be interesting to see whether our Government and NHS will use this test which could give a better picture of who is infected and will stop the ostrich with head in sand attitude.
March 22, 2020 at 09:18 #51053
There is a false belief that expressing certainty shows ‘leadership’ to the panicking masses.
Far better to show profound realism, including expressing the uncertainties.
But I never did fit into Britain, a total do-as-you-are-told top down culture.
March 14, 2020 at 19:22 #50829
Starting to get dangerous in Europe.
Thousands of deaths.
Complete lock-down over most of Europe.
March 14, 2020 at 20:52 #50832
As part of the U.K. new measures to help limit the impact of coronavirus, all people in Britain ages over 70 will be instructed to stay in strict isolation at home or in care homes for four months.
Other measures being planned included the forced requisitioning of hotels and other buildings as temporary hospitals and the requisitioning of private hospitals.
March 15, 2020 at 07:14 #50841
Over 200 Scientists write open letter to the Government
Public request to take stronger measures of social distancing across the UK with immediate eﬀect 14th March 2020
As scientists living and working in the UK, we would like to express our concern about the course of action announced by the Government on 12th March 2020 regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. In particular, we are deeply preoccupied by the timeline of the proposed plan, which aims at delaying social distancing measures even further. The current data about the number of infections in the UK is in line with the growth curves already observed in other countries, including Italy, Spain, France, and Germany . The same data suggests that the number of infected will be in the order of dozens of thousands within a few days. Under unconstrained growth, this outbreak will aﬀect millions of people in the next few weeks. This will most probably put the NHS at serious risk of not being able to cope with the ﬂow of patients needing intensive care, as the number of ICU beds in the UK is not larger than that available in other neighbouring countries with a similar population . Going for “herd immunity” at this point does not seem a viable option, as this will put NHS at an even stronger level of stress, risking many more lives than necessary. By putting in place social distancing measures now, the growth can be slowed down dramatically, and thousands of lives can be spared. We consider the social distancing measures taken as of today as insuﬃcient, and we believe that additional and more restrictive measures should be taken immediately, as it is already happening in other countries across the world. We urge anyone who has sympathy with our views, and access to the government strategy group, to make our concerns more widely known.
Meanwhile according to the Guardian NHS and Private hospitals join forces to tackle the crisis but is this also the case that it will enable those with health insurance to jump the cue?
According to the BBC the new strategy of Boris Johnson is
“Coronavirus: Elderly to be ‘shielded’ as PM seeks to equip NHS”
So all industries whatever they make are to get their resources together and make respirators so we have enough. But will there be the man power, the infrastructure or even the structures to be able to operate these respirators? Also Shielding the Elderly means house arrest for the over 70’s for four months.
March 15, 2020 at 21:10 #50869
The Governments idea that we can achieve control through letting the virus rip through the population is an insane experiment based on a faulty model. The Government and its advisers imply that they know that a solid immunity will develop in a population if faced with less serious diseases that do not kill or cause severe illness, such as say the common cold and in time enough in the population will become immune, producing a ‘herd immunity’ thereby lessening the transmission of the disease through reduction of the susceptible population because those exposed will become immune. Herd immunity is also the way by which mass vaccinations work but again to be effective, high rates of vaccination have to be achieved to reduce general transmission of the disease for people who are not vaccinated for a variety of level. This level is thought to be in excess of 90%. In populations naïve to diseases, even though they do not kill many in non-naïve populations, the effects of a disease such as measles can be devastating such as seen after the introduction of measles in the Polynesian Island of Rotuma in 1911.
So, the suggestions of Johnson’s scientific and medical advisers are flawed for the following reasons:
1. We do not have enough knowledge about the development of immunity to the Corona virus Covid-19 yet and how lasting is this immunity.
2. The Government’s scientific advice is based on a model of exposure of between 60-80% the population. This is insufficient to develop a protective ‘herd immunity’ even if the higher figure of subjects exposed is taken.
3. The herd immunity will not protect those who have been locked out in protective isolation when they come out of this isolation as it is known that the virus can be carried by a proportion of individuals especially children, with few or no symptoms. In other words, the virus will be contained but not eradicated and those isolated during the protective period will not be immune.
4. The point 3 above also applies to the 20-40% of those who may remain uninfected by the first round of virus.
5. The fatality rate estimated on the data available so far for Covid-19 according to age is:
• 80+ 14.8%
• 70–79 years old: 8.00%
• 60–69 years old: 3.60%
• 50–59 years old: 1.30%
• 40–49 years old: 0.40%
• 30–39 years old: 0.20%
• 20–29 years old: 0.20%
• 10–19 years old: 0.20%
• 0–9 years old: 0.00%
6. The UK population in the last census was about 68,000,000. 22% of the UK population is aged 60 years or more this breaks down as follows:
60-69 10.8% 7.34 million estimated mortality if all infected 264,000
70-79 7.1 4.8 million estimated mortality if all infected 384,000
80+ 4.6 3.128 million estimated mortality if all infected 463,000
Source for percentage age groups
If we look at the other age groups, we can extrapolate the following:
Age % of Pop Number Mortality rate possible deaths
50-59 12.1% 8.228 million 1.3% 106,964
40-49 14.9% 10.132 million 0.4% 40,500
30-39 21.2% 14.28 million 0.2% 28,560
18-29 16.2% 11.016 million 0.2% 22,000
10-17 9.5% 6.46 million 0.2% 12,900
0-9 11.7 No mortality recorded
Worse case scenario total mortality will be 1,324 million
Estimated mortality below 60 years is 240,000
So even the total mortality of those below the age of 60 years is considerable, not to mention the major morbidity and the strain on the health service which may increase these figures further. I urge the government to consider the current position and to change it according to advice from sources such a the WHO. I also would like to see a wider debate within the medical and scientific community and a full discussion of the data by which the Government has reached the conclusion it has.
March 22, 2020 at 09:22 #51054
This whole argument is nonsense because your mortality rates are nonsense.
The mortality rates are of ‘those who presented with disease’, which is a small percentage of those infected.
Divide by at least 5 to get a worst case scenario of 250,000.
Alternatively, look at actual disease evolution in China and South Korea.
You might become more realistic.
March 22, 2020 at 09:36 #51056
The mortality is high in the elderly and the sick, but there is a considerable morbidity which is associated with the disease even in younger people. Of course at the start of the epidemic this will be the pattern, but as the disease spreads and resources are stretched, even the young will suffer. As in the article by a junior hospital doctor from the guardian, this will impact on all patients requiring hospital care and in time I think even appendicitis may become a lethal disease because of lack of facilities and hospital beds and staff.
Yes of course China and South Korea did halt the epidemic, using draconian measures which the conspiracy websites are telling us is an overreaction.
20% require hospital admission
5% require critical care
therefore if you have 20,000 case in UK as is projected in about two weeks we will require 4,000 beds and 1000 ITU beds in excess of current occupancy. Do you think we have these resources, and this is only two weeks away. Do you think transmission ill magically stop?
March 22, 2020 at 09:47 #51057
And incase you thought that there is an unlimited number of ITU beds available the figure for UK is just above 4000.
You will have to click on the tab that says England Time Series XLS to look download the spreadsheet.
Bearing in mind that NHS beds and ITU beds usually run at over 90% capacity, you can appreciate the problem.
March 16, 2020 at 09:39 #50873
Even such measures such as screening passengers entering through airports, widely used elsewhere, have not been implemented and there is a massive resistance to rolling out testing. This is negligence on a vast scale.
March 16, 2020 at 10:18 #50875
The confusion created by the government’s approach to dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic is irrespective of whether the approach they have taken is right or wrong. Here are some of the issues:
1. The approach taken is at variance not only with advice from the WHO but also from the proven experiences of positive actions taken in China and South Korea, and negative ones because of delayed reactive rather than pro-active measures such as Italy and now Spain.
2. The reliance on ‘science’ as a sacrosanct entity. Science is never dogmatic and is flexible and acts and seeks new evidence especially in a novel complex evolving situation as in this case. A lot needs to be known about the nature of the immune response as to whether it is lasting and also as to whether it is an antiseptic immunity or a protective immunity. Whether this virus will be seasonal or not also remains to be seen. Part of the government’s approach appears to be directed at ‘buying time’ until the summer when the transmission may decrease, but this is not known. An interesting fact is how mortality is very much age related and how children do not seem to get serious disease. This of course cannot be because they are less more immune, because they are not but it may point out to a possibly immune response to the virus that is causing the pathology. This concept called a cytokine storm is very well known and developed in models of other diseases such as SARS-CoV, influenza virus, and dengue virus infections.
3. Because there is still much to learn about Covid-19 it seems counterintuitive to rely on a single mathematical model in talking this virus. If we can have a different range of models that can be discussed, then that would open up the possibilities. Modelling would surely also be seriously influenced by actual practice and experience of those who have handled the infection.
4. Some of the decisions seem to be political rather than medical and scientific. Some of them are very soft excuses, such as people getting fatigued if measures are introduced too early. This is a serious situation, a matter of life and death, will people be fatigued.
5. Reliance on protecting the elderly and vulnerable seems to ignore the fact that there is still considerable mortality in younger age groups (see table above) and also the effect of swamping of the health services such as seen in Italy and Spain which will increase the mortality in all age groups.
6. The government does not have a highly visible campaign that is coordinated and reassuring. The PM has not been heard off for many days. Some measures are leaked without careful consideration of their impact or of details of how they are to be implemented.
7. There is a total lack of organization at local levels. This is because of neglect of the role of councils in this respect. This means that communities will have to organize themselves locally without a central structure. The Tories mantra initiated by Thatcher “There is no such thing as society” is coming home to roost with a vengeance. What should be happening now is the appointment of wardens through councils and wards according to current councils and that these will receive some training as to various actions needed, not only to see that the vulnerable are protested, but also that some of these recommendations are followed because policing locking up a few million pensioners is not going to be easy.
March 16, 2020 at 12:47 #50876
UK policy of refusing to test symptomatic individuals and those with direct connection risk, including people returning from overseas, would seem to be in direct violation of the WHO mandatory reporting requirement for all Covid 19 cases. COVID-19 was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, which means it is mandatory to report to the WHO each human and animal case. A month and a half on the WHO has now officially declared Covid 19 a Pandemic.
Despite informing the public of the increased availability of testing equipment, and BBC Newsnight openly decrying the poor level testing being done in the US, on the 12th of March the NHS made the reckless decision to stop testing all except the cases severe enough to require hospitalization. South Korea have tested over a quarter of a million of its people.
SA – You are absolutely correct to point out that: “Any disease or for that matter, any strategic modelling, relies on data input. The more robust the data, the more reliable the modelling. Even then any data has a margin of error and therefore the error will be compounded by the error of each variable entered.”
In responding to natural disasters the WHO take on a decidedly unglamorous, but extremely important role. While other Medical teams arrive to set up field hospitals and treat casualties the WHO maintain a laser-like focus on the hugely laborious and tedious task of tabulating the numbers with regard to infectious disease. If this task was ignored a cholera outbreak could wipe out massive swaths of disaster victims in IDP camps and create a death toll exceeding the original disaster.
In a disaster zone, all other field Medics must report cases to the WHO to contribute to the accuracy of this vital ongoing analysis of risk. I witnessed this operation first hand when I worked as a Medical Volunteer in Meulaboh, Aceh in Indonesia after the Boxing Day tsunami; it made a strong impression on me and I am now simply gob-smacked by the official UK response. Our “”flying blind” approach provides no reliable information on potential hotspots where we might need to focus more resources. The decision to let hoards of Spanish football fans fly into Liverpool from Covid 19 hotspot Madrid, no testing, no restrictions: just “levelling up!”
When the PM blithely talks about not wanting to institute restrictions too soon because people will become non-compliant due to fatigue I am shocked by their strategy. On the NHS Website under self-isolation it says: “You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis. You cannot go for a walk.” The last statement really bothers me; it implies that the simple act of going outside will spread the infection. This is a sure fire recipe for exacerbating cabin fever unnecessarily. A cautious walk in the open air keeping a safe distance from other people and fixtures should pose zero risk. …A stand of trees in Hyde Park has tested positive… Oh please!
The constant reminders on hand washing assume that there is a wash basin on every street corner, while hand gel would present a reasonable alternative if it was available to buy in stores which it is not. To reinforce this somewhat unrealistic advice Boris Johnson gave an abysmal demonstration of how not to wash your hands, making sure to grab the specially designed lever tap to re-infect your hand as you turn off the tap. If he is too dumb to comprehend the design advantage of a lever tap, he is too ill-informed to run the country even if we had elected him.
There was a really good interview with the South Korean Foreign Minister, Kang Kyung-wha, on the Marr show on Sunday where she elaborated on the extensive testing throughout the country. South Korea are now getting the Covid 19 situation under control just as the British are being primed for over a year of misery and death. Also interviewed on Marr, Lisa Nandy pointed out a few of the glaring gaps in the Tory strategy. Topping the list was that the recent “Covid budget” did not mention Social care once or supporting local councils to provide care at a time when we they are considering confining everyone over 70 for four whole months!
Boris Johnson seems to have decided on the “Final Solution” for Social Care: starve the elderly to death isolated in their own homes. The reckless Tory Government that has usurped power in the UK has unilaterally decided that this unquestionable statistically sound and repeatedly well proven methodology is simply not worth adhering to and the British public should become the outlier “herd Immunity” experiment in their “survival of the fittest” eugenics campaign. In the UK the more exclusionary the cherry picking of the core data is encouraged in an attempt to suppress the infection rate the more deceptive our reporting to WHO becomes.
In an article entitled “Corona Virus the cures will be worse than the disease” there are stark warnings of an underlying agenda. The crisis could easily be manipulated by malevolent Governments to impose “Medical Marshal Law,” impose police state surveillance and shut down dissenting voices on the Internet. It concludes with the warning: “…This is another chance to “fail forward.” After all, as that great globalist soothsayer Rahm Emanuel told us during the last financial catastrophe, the global elitists’ mantra is to ‘never let a good crisis go to waste.’ Do you really think this “crisis” (whether real or imaginary) would be any exception?”
Covid 19 could act as the cover and the excuse for this far right Government to inflict more pain on the UK population than even the PM’s crash-out Brexit will cause. From the “Decimating Down” of Liverpool by inviting thousands of potentially virus infected fans to create a northern hot spot on Labour turf, to his “Final Solution” for culling the elderly by abandoning them to die in self imposed isolation or face jail: Boris Johnson’s decisions are criminal. We must continue to fight the grotesque injustice of the rigged election that gifted this Tory Government the power to continue exploiting and causing misery to millions in this country.
Join us on the Discussion Forum: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 and please read, sign, share and Link to this important Petition: 2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS URGENT NATIONWIDE INVESTIGATION.
March 16, 2020 at 13:07 #50877
“Also interviewed on Marr, Lisa Nandy pointed out a few of the glaring gaps in the Tory strategy. Topping the list was that the recent “Covid budget” did not mention Social care once or supporting local councils to provide care at a time when we they are considering confining everyone over 70 for four whole months!”
Not only that. Decimated local council budgets mean that councils are now totally detached from the local community in providing any local guidance or co-ordinating any sort of activity. Our local council, a dominantly Tory one unfortunately, refers you to the Government’s website for reference as to any action, there is nothing local to fall back on. Local councils should have a very large part in supporting and caring and disseminating local information but of course they have been rendered ineffective. Thatcher’s “There is no such thing as society” has become a self fulfilling prophecy.
Here is another letter in the Guardian from a Harvard Professor
I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire
March 16, 2020 at 17:07 #50895
Boris Johnson wants the British to stop meeting and greeting each other, also to stop all travel, unless it is for emergency or for work.
Mass Lock-Down coming soon.
E.U. Elite pull up the European drawbridges.
March 17, 2020 at 14:47 #50912
“Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after will seem inadequate.” – Michael Leavitt
I highly recommend reading this article from the “KevinMD” Blog: “A COVID-19 coronavirus update from concerned physicians” Authors: Howard J. Luks, MD, Joel Topf, MD, Ethan J. Weiss, MD, Carrie Diulus, MD, Nancy Yen Shipley, MD, and Dr. Eric Levi. Posted on March 14, 2020, although it is from a group of American Physicians it has important UK and global significance.
The authors explain how: “Exponential growth does not take that long to get to those scary high numbers. Every six days, we delay the number of infections double. This YouTube video does a great job of explaining this.” As I stated previously: “UK policy of refusing to test symptomatic individuals and those with direct connection risk, including people returning from overseas, would seem to be in direct violation of the WHO mandatory reporting requirement for all Covid 19 cases.” Testing, testing, testing provides data that enables and informs accurate modelling, but despite warning from the WHO there has been no change of policy.
In the Article there is also a logical explanation of the difference between “Personal risk vs. systemic risk.” I had already started into the Social distancing measures from the beginning of March, driven initially by what I perceived as my potential personal impact on the “Systemic risk.” I had not seen the list from the article which I have reprinted below, but it is uncannily similar to my own early intervention measures.
I assessed two factors: Area risk and Personal health risk to best determine the total risk. Area risk is greater for London and high density cities especially those with universities filled with overseas students. Any area with a large academic community, business or affluent overseas travellers I would consider to be an increased risk area. In addition any outlying dormitory community with large numbers of regular commuters to London or a major city is likely to be an increased risk area.
Increased personal risk includes more than just the elderly as anyone with reduced immunity, cardiac issues, diabetes or reduced lung capacity and even smokers could be more severely affected by Covid 19. This goes beyond the risk such a person will pose to their own health by not taking precautions seriously as the demands of their treatment will put undue pressure on our already overstretched NHS. As it states in the article the demands of treating Covid 19 patients will limit capacity to care for other patients with urgent medical needs entirely unrelated to the virus, but just as important.
It is your personal duty to take all reasonable steps to avoid putting our NHS under unnecessary pressure so the article has a list that EVERYONE should try their best to adhere to: “Mitigation measures for COVID-19” I have taken the liberty of reprinting the list verbatim here:
• Support your schools’ decisions to close: Proactive school closings save more lives than reactive school closings. Your schools should close now … before infections are present. Closed schools do not mean playdates for children – this counteracts the social distancing the school closures are meant to create in the first place.
• 6 feet: The COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets. They can move 6 feet before gravity brings them to earth. Stay 6 feet away from people if you need to go outside.
• Meticulous hand washing: Wash thoroughly and wash often. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer works well if your hands are otherwise clean.
• Do not touch your face. This is hard. This is a learned skill: Practice often.
• Clean doorknobs, toilets, cellphones, countertops, refrigerator handles, and so on many times each day. The virus could live on certain surfaces for 4-72 hours.
• If you can work from home, work from home.
• No tournaments, no sports events, no soccer, baseball, dance, volleyball, softball, gymnastics, concerts, martial arts, etc. We don’t care how much they claim they will clean the equipment.
• Cancel vacation travel. We know you planned this for a long time. You will be saving many lives by doing so … perhaps someone you know.
• Cancel weddings/ bar/bat mitzvahs, birthday parties, and so on. Help other people live so they can celebrate future events too.
• If you are over 60 years old, you should stay home. You should only go out if there is a critical need.
• If you have parents/grandparents in a nursing home, you should consider moving them home for now.
• Do not congregate in a restaurant, bar, etc. Again, you will save the lives of people you will never meet.
• If you feel sick, stay home. It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel too sick. Going to work will put countless other people at risk of suffering or dying.
• Cancel all business travel. Your life and the lives of others are more important.
• Expect supply chain issues: Work with your doctor to try to get a three month supply of medication.
• Many grocery stores have order ahead options with either pick up or delivery. There are online grocery delivery services available in many areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after unpacking groceries.
The Tory Government strategy is reliant on “Herd Immunity:” a conscious decision to “Slaughter the Sheeple!” This is the Tories “Final Solution” for Social Care where the elderly and vulnerable who evade infection with Covid19 are left neglected and abandoned to die of starvation in the self-imposed isolation of their own homes. If we had a legitimate Government in power there would be an appropriate prioritization of the needs of ordinary citizens rather than a myopic focus on propping up the corporate elite. We must continue to demand a full investigation into the Rigged 2019 General Election that gifted power to this rogue, hard right, Tory Government; please visit our Forum.
March 18, 2020 at 02:09 #50922
The government still will not test suspected cases as is required in notifiable disease and contact trace thus breaking a long established tradition of how to deal with contagious diseases and against WHO advice. A doctor has written in the Guardian that they will not even test symptomatic staff who have been exposed through their work.
But the government has plans to arrest and forcibly test anyone they suspect of carrying the virus who is breaking the curfew. Simple answer would be for all those NHS staff to get arrested so as to be tested.
March 18, 2020 at 02:11 #50923
March 18, 2020 at 08:10 #50931
The worst possible people are in charge at the worst possible time. In the UK, the US and Australia, the politics of the governing parties have been built on the dismissal and denial of risk. Just as these politics have delayed the necessary responses to climate breakdown, ecological collapse, air and water pollution, obesity and consumer debt, so they appear to have delayed the effective containment of Covid-19.
So says George Monbiot who spent the last 4 years denigrating the Labour party that has tried to shift the balance of politics back to the left. It is these same journalists and to an even greater extent those in the BBC who have helped the election of the current Tory Government and who have not had the courage or integrity to dig underneath all the propaganda and expose the anomaly that was the rigged 2019 election.
He then goes on to analyse how the governments of the UK, Australia and US have been captured by lobbying from these industries including tobacco, oil and although he does not directly mention this, agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.
I showed how these companies funded rightwing thinktanks and university professors to launch attacks on public health policy in general and create a new narrative of risk, tested on focus groups and honed in the media. They reframed responsible government as the “nanny state”, the “health police” and “elf ’n’ safety zealots”. They dismissed scientific findings and predictions as “unfounded fears”, “risk aversion” and “scaremongering”. Public protections were recast as “red tape”, “interference” and “state control”. Government itself was presented as a mortal threat to our freedom.
But what George does not mention is the role of journalists (including himself) in all of this and their lack of direct grilling of politicians in power rather than denigrating the opposition. If all the journalists exposed the inner substance of the tory party and did not help the coverup of their rampant racism instead of attacking Labour for a minor problem, or if they did not spend so much effort demonising Corbyn as a communist and terrorist sympathiser and looked beyond this screen, then things would have been different.
But maybe this was inevitable. If Labour was in now they would have had a hell of a problem dealing with the ten years of tory anti-social policy. It is not just that the NHS will be under great strain but social services that have been decimated and local councils that have been emasculated will have a tough time to deal locally with people who need help. I believe in China they appointed wardens to look after people who needed deliveries of food and so on.
But here Johnson has the gall to divert attention from the governments slap dash policies in dealing with the virus, justifying not testing those with symptoms until they are in hospital and not testing even NHS staff who have symptoms, and instead announce this revolutionary diversionary policy of asking ‘industry’ to divert from making whatever to making respirators. The guy has no clue, what we need is testing, testing, testing as the WHO has advocated, both for mapping the risk and for understanding the disease better. These are basic rules of contagious disease containment and yet UK is the outlier in the world.
March 19, 2020 at 04:36 #50969
I tried responding to the Opinion piece in the Guardian written by George Monbiot entitled: “Our politics isn’t designed to protect the public from Covid-19” that SA noted in another forum. I felt compelled to write the following: “I am so relieved to hear George Monbiot tell it like it is. I have to admit that I started avoiding the Guardian due to the volumes of negative garbage that typified so much of their pre-election coverage. Now the Guardian Journalists and contributors must honestly write about how toxic the far Right Tory Government really is and how the billionaire special interest groups they represent manipulated the British people to force these rogue Tories into power.”
I followed with a challenge and an appeal: “Where were their warnings back in December? This rather belated attempt to inform the UK public after the relentless onslaught that targeted the destruction of all credible opposition comes a tad too late. Does George Monbiot, or any other Guardian Journalist, want to join the fight to overturn the rigged 2019 Election result?” I pointed out that: “It was so blindingly obvious that the December Election was a stolen vote achieved through industrial scale fraud. Still not a single mainstream Journalist has demonstrated the courage to touch that story so that we can remove the incompetent criminals who now pose a direct threat to our lives as they advocate for: “Herd Immunity” to Slaughter the Sheeple…”
Just for good measure I included information and a Link to the Elections Aftermath Forum saying that: “A group of us are gathering the evidence necessary to challenge the stolen Election result; we desperately need a professional Investigative Journalist to get involved with this project.” I also posted a Link to my ailing, failing Petition: 2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS URGENT NATIONWIDE INVESTIGATION.
Perhaps it was the links that persuaded the Guardians of the Guardian to nix my comment, but one minute it was there and the next it was gone… I hit refresh to see if perhaps someone might have posted a comment, but I got a “Loading comments…Trouble loading?” message with three dots expanding and contracting in sequence. Nothing I posted warranted censorship, but obviously the Guardian was not amused.
Was I daring to be too critical when I said that: “This distressing reminder of what so many of us already know about the deadly impact of this illegitimate government ignoring the WHO mandate to Test, Test, Test accomplishes precious little. We need all conscientious Journalists to embrace the reality that the only way to prevent the catastrophic consequences of allowing these alt right Tories to get away with wholesale corruption is to remove them from office!”
It does not hurt to remind people that: “It is well recognized that our Electoral System is wide open to corruption on an industrial scale and that the UK Electoral Commission has been deliberately rendered powerless to do their job of protecting the core interests of the electorate.” I threw in a few of my favourite catch phrases like: “A Watchdog that cannot Watch is just a Dog! It is not too late: All Votes Must Count – It is time to: “Rescue our Watchdog!”
Was it my sinicism when I pointed out that there was an alternative well trodden narrative: “Or the Guardian could continue enabling and trying to justify the totally unfathomable miracle “Tory landslide victory” despite the well defined logical reality that millions of severely impoverished northerners did not vote for another decade of Tory austerity, Universal Credit, food banks, evictions, destitution and death on the streets. No, I do not believe for one instant that huge swaths of traditional Labour voters were prepared to watch their children starve so that they could courageously vote for job loss under a hard crash-out Brexit!”
All this is so obvious to me so why don’t they get it? I tried to elaborate: “Here’s a Reality Check for all Guardian Journalists: People Prioritize Survival; it is the single strongest human instinct, so… Please “Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid” If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s not a Giraffe!”
When I post anywhere other than these Forums or Craig’s blog I feel compelled to be super diplomatic when mentioning the Brexit vote. In order to pre-emptively combat false accusations that you are suggesting Leave voters are stupid it is necessary to be explicitly clear not to imply anything negative. I say what I honestly believe that: “We were all far too trusting when it came to the Brexit vote and I do not wish to insult anyone over the choice that they made back in 2016, but we all deserve the chance to make properly informed choices through a safeguarded voting system with no undue influence paid for by the elite.”
Being “too trusting” is not a fault or failing. We should all be able to trust our politicians not to lie to us as they did during the Brexit referendum. At that point I figured it was worth pointing the readers in the direction of an excellent Blog that has done a terrific job of explaining the truly sinister nature of the tactics being used to manipulate public thinking, instil fear and incite precipice. I posted a Link to “The Daily GasLamp” Blog for those who wanted to: “discover how Dominic Cummings used “Weapons Grade” PsyOps on an unsuspecting British public to sway the vote after the colossal illegal data theft accomplished by Cambridge Analytica via the complicit illegal negligence of Facebook.” So what to expect now, but more lies even when it’s a matter of life and death decisions?
I concluded by saying: “It is time to “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!” Imploring them as I do everyone who visits this Forum to: “Please take decisive action ASAP” Giving directions to the spot where: “Within Elections Aftermath February 17, 2020 Post #50261 there are Links to a total of Nine Petitions that target exposing various aspects of the fraud that enabled the fake ‘Tory landslide victory’. You could also try making the Hashtags: #TORYRIG2019 or #TORYRIGGED2019 go viral.”
I had hoped that my comment might be read by a few people before it disappeared beneath a sea of meaningless quips and the occasional thoughtful reflection. I wanted to publicize these Forums because ranting about the Tories bad direction over Covid 19, or the multitude of other injustices they inflict on us, achieves nothing unless we remove them from power. My comment was up for a few brief minutes; it garnered one reply and then vanished. I wanted to get an important message out: “We can oust the rogue Tories who usurped power in the rigged December General Election or we could just wait for “Herd Immunity” to “Slaughter the Sheeple!” I will not bother trying to post a comment in the Guardian again; it is just not worth the frustration.
March 18, 2020 at 08:13 #50932
ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s health care system could collapse by the end of the month if the new coronavirus keeps spreading at current rates, a government official warned on Tuesday.
The new epicentre of the epidemic seems to be centred on
March 18, 2020 at 11:52 #50938
I’m certainly no apologist for China, but I understand that that Chinese administration is looking on Britain and America with horror as Boris and Donald effectively sanction mass-murder.
This is very scary indeed, when a totalitarian regime is shocked by the utter immorality of ‘the free world’.
With its dictatorial refusals to test, and with its turning people with symptoms away from hospitals, with the near-total incapacitation of the NHS, Britain seems to be leading the way. And there are still those out there, ignorant to what is happening elsewhere, who still want to downplay the seriousness.
Sad that the British public are so programmed by the ‘keep calm and carry on’ ideology that it cannot see what is so clear. Sadder still is that nothing will be learned from this, and the survivors will no doubt vote in the Tories again, again on stupid economic grounds, on grounds that an economy that ravages the earth and lays waste to key life-support systems is better than having to change.
March 18, 2020 at 17:09 #50941
Torygraph just announced impending lockdown
March 19, 2020 at 06:50 #50975
The Guardian has a very thin skin with regards its reporting. Calling their ore-election reporting ‘garbage’ does not endear you. You will be blocked. I still read tge Guardian and there is a commenter called fishgirl who manages to write good comments without being censored. I have myself stopped commenting because it limits what you can say if you want comments published. Also I think reference to alt websites will get you blocked. Good try though.
March 19, 2020 at 07:47 #50976
It is being said this morning that the U.K. is soaring away from Japan.
We now have three times as many positive cases as is currently being claimed for Japan.
China now claims almost no new cases unless it is from people moving in to China.
As British Universities are soon to shut at least untill October, the thousands of Chinese students in the U.K. will move back to China and re-infect the Chinese populace.
March 19, 2020 at 09:14 #50982
Still no intention for extending testing by our government and it seems health workers with symptoms not being tested.
March 20, 2020 at 00:58 #50991
A German doctor explains how Corona testing and statistics lack validation. Without scientific transparency and academic peer review, political measures are inappropriate and more dangerous than flu. Not Corona is new, but Corona testing. It is not even peer reviewed.
March 20, 2020 at 06:13 #50997
This doctor although qualified has actually been a politician for many years. Check his Wikipedia page. He is not active in this field so what he says is his personal opinion which goes against many expert opinion.
March 20, 2020 at 09:18 #51014
I doubt many people are that bothered about Global Warming, this year.
If you will last the year because of Pandemic, is pretty well the main concern, these days, that and Great Depression Two.
COP26 Glasgow – United Nations Climate Change Conference
If Glastonbury and Wimbledon, and Ascot are cancelled, I can not see the Global Warning Conference, still going ahead, this year, in Scotland.
It has already been said that the atmosphere is improving as less people go to work or go on holiday by airliners.
March 20, 2020 at 14:25 #51016
If human activity is damaging the planet then reduction in human activity can heal the planet.
But the climate change conference can proceed as a virtual conference sending a strong message that it is only by changing our behaviour that things can change.
March 20, 2020 at 16:04 #51017
Well, if we are all on lock-down for six months, I can’t see how the economy is going to keep its head above water, we import most of our food, this will dry up, then the fear will really to start to rage.
Nothing worse than a pandemic lack of food to let it rip.
March 22, 2020 at 09:26 #51055
Some parts of the population still haven’t got it. Panic buying is still happening and some people still are not staying at home, even though there is less and less to go out to.
This is a very good article by a junior NHS doctor describing what it is like at the coalface:
I’m a junior doctor, in my second year of work. As luck would have it, Covid-19 has caught me in my A&E rotation at a busy central London hospital.
As the pandemic began to develop, we would receive daily guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on whom we should swab and what kind of isolation advice to give. Initially, we were swabbing people with significant travel history and respiratory symptoms. The numbers climbed: 20, 30, 150, 450, 1,000 … By 10 March, the reality of community transmissions was apparent. The question of travel history became irrelevant. Now, we only swab people sick enough to come into hospital, which means we’ll have a falsely low number of confirmed cases. Meanwhile, the government continues to downgrade the quality of personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by NHS staff. Initially, we were wearing FFP3s, high-grade masks filtering out 99% of particles smaller than 0.6 microns, to see any patient with suspected Covid-19. Pretty quickly, demand exceeded supply. Suddenly, entire wards were set up purely for Covid-19 patients. On 11 March, we were informed there wasn’t sufficient evidence supporting the wearing of FFP3s. Instead, PHE advised “basic respiratory precautions”, like with flu. Now we are wearing the most basic surgical masks and a tissue-thin plastic apron to see entire wards of confirmed cases.
It is worth reading the rest of the article. So the government had about a month’s warning to to make the necessary provisions and plan, including co-ordination with supermarkets and suppliers of vital NHS protective equipment, and had 4 years to plan for the 10,000 shortage of NHS doctors and 40,000 nurses and wasted it all on talking but not planning for Brexit and what it will mean
The strain that Covid-19 is placing on the healthcare system is immense. All elective surgeries have been cancelled. Doctors are being moved to high-pressure areas such as A&E and general medicine. Anyone with experience of ICU and intubation is being redeployed back to ICU, where it is anticipated the numbers requiring ventilation will rise sharply over the next week. The government is frantically trying to source more ventilators. The problem is that even with more ventilators, we need staff trained to operate them and look after ventilated patients. A tall order, given the NHS in England is short of 10,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses.
The global toll of Covid-19 is accelerating, and whereas China has now got on top of the epidemic, for now, Europe and US have accelerated and it seems that the number of cases in Italy, with a fraction of the population of china may soon overtake the number of cases. This stands at 53,000 for Italy with 4,825 deaths and 26,747 for US. Although we are lagging behind in UK with just over 5,000 cases, experience shows that in two weeks we will probably have more than a quadruple of the number, even though the NHS is already creaking under the strain.
But sadly there is still a lot of misinformation. The Moon of Alabama have been a good website to follow for updates on the virus, its spread and the reactions to the spread especially in Europe and US. Some readers tried to hijack the narrative with conspiracy theories, such as that the virus is man made, which has been debunked, but also in trying to blame China for either the spread of the virus or for slow reaction, which was not the case.
But some supposedly anti-establishment media, who shall remain nameless, are still busy spreading the theory that this is all a plot to control the population, and that this disease is no worse than the flu. Beware of these websites.
March 22, 2020 at 12:18 #51062
Here comes a fairly brilliant idea. In a time when everyone is worried, the chips are down for many, no cultural diversion, no sport and only a grainy netflix to sit on our backsides for, we need something to boost global moral.
THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC SONG CONTEST
1) Announce it worldwide to prepare one act per country, whittled down over two weeks to present the oline favorite in each respective country.
It is then that one camera wo/man films this act in each country, no touching at all. By a certain date, these acts are transmitted on TV for us to vote on, either online or by phone ( free or for a small fee,10n p, to pay for the camera work).
No need for large halls or bling or any presenters bar one who collates the votes.
It is open to any country worldwide and it is screened for as many days ( for one or two hrs/day) as it takes to see them all.
The final vote globally decides the numbers and we have one winner.
The can be one person or a group, an old or new song, it does not matter, the idea is to boost the moral of people that have been stuck at home for weeks.
I have talked to many, some who never were interested in Eurovision like me, and they all said its a great idea they would watch.
This is not about profits, but a cultural move to boost global confidence and moral.
I have no idea how to organise it as I do not work in the media, but the idea is to make it as safe as possible for all, without the bling, a simple cultural response to this wretched virus.
If everyone shares this widely, somebody with the nous will pick it up and run with it.
thanks in advance
March 22, 2020 at 13:08 #51066
The recurring theme heard from today’s roundup from UK is that the NHS does not even have the basic resources to protect its own staff, no appropriate masks or aprons, not sufficient staffing and no organisational attempts to help staff to and from work or to feed themselves. Already several doctors have become seriously ill and are on ventilators.
In the Andrew Marr show, an journalist from the Economist, Rolla Khaliq, said that it was Dominic Cummings who has been enthusiastic about the herd immunity eugenic experiments based on expecting 100,000 deaths. It was the Imperial study that projected that the figure was more like 500,000 if unmitigated and 250,000 if mitigated that changed his mind and he has now become a strong supporter of lockdown. I can’t believe that an unelected unscientific ‘advisor’ has so much influence on the clown who is our Prime Minister. A bit reminiscent of Rasputin and the last days of the Romanoffs.
Meanwhile minister still lie and reassure everyone that these supplies are available for the NHS and that in any case we will give them the money they need, as if wishful thinking will reverse this catastrophe.
On a separate note if we had a thinking government, instead of pretending that they will just dish out money for those affected by this, they should mass employ them to carry out a huge national mobilisation task. These people could be used to transport staff from home to hospitals and other essential activities, to distribute food, to act as marshals and wardens in communities to look out for the vulnerable, do their shopping and other errands and to monitor people who leave their homes unnecessarily. Such activities will not only allow people to retain an income, but will give them a sense of purpose and participation, rather than them being passive recipients of handouts.
March 22, 2020 at 22:22 #51070
Let one remember this picture when taking more than one needs.
March 23, 2020 at 02:21 #51082
Scotland bans people flocking to remote islands to escape coronavirus
Nicola Sturgeon has announced new measures to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus in Scotland, saying life ‘should not feel normal’. At a press conference today she said non-essential travellers should not go to the Scottish islands and ferries would not accept them, that B&Bs and hotels should not accept visitors and that people should not gather for occasions such as wedding receptions. She said there had been an influx of people to the Scottish islands, but warned that people ‘cannot outrun’ the virus and risked taking it to remote communities.
March 23, 2020 at 08:16 #51084
I have just sent this letter to my MP
I am one of your constituents. I have written to you earlier about the Covid-19 crisis concerning the flawed government response. Since then it has been widely agreed that this response was flawed and the Government has changed its stance although in my opinion the response is late and weak. However, I would like to make a suggestion.
The government is proposing to give businesses and self employed and those on zero hour contract support during this crisis which is highly commendable. Would it not be possible to give this help a positive twist so that the recipients are actually involved and committed? This can be done by way of requisitioning both workers and premises. Of course details need to be worked out, but currently the majority of the nation seems to be asked to sit at home helplessly whilst a minority are bearing the burden in carrying out essential services. The government and local councils can use this to for example do the following:
1. Requisition resources to organise transport safely for NHS and other essential workers.
2. Requisition resources to help the food industry to arrange and expand home food deliveries.
3. Organise locally a system of volunteers to ensure that the vulnerable are cared for.
4. Organise ques at places such as supermarkets.
I am sure there are other activities but this is just a blueprint.
March 23, 2020 at 08:30 #51085
Last evening, after they had closed, I went to Tesco to read their notice to see what they are doing about protecting their customers from infection, the manager came outside to take the notice in but spent some time chatting with me.
Pensioner hour will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday, between nine and ten, however, he pointed out that other people could not be excluded but he said pensioners would get “priority”.
I asked him how often they cleaned the trolley and basket handles, he said he did not know but he thought it was once a day.
I asked him did they actually have food.
He said they did have some food.
March 23, 2020 at 20:55 #51098
Interesting Piece here By Pepe Escobar at Consortium News –
….” Adding all that to the fact that coronavirus genome variations in Iran and Italy were sequenced and it was revealed they do not belong to the variety that infected Wuhan, Chinese media are now openly asking questions and drawing a connection with the shutting down in August last year of the “unsafe” military bioweapon lab at Fort Detrick, the Military Games, and the Wuhan epidemic. Some of these questions had been asked– with no response – inside the U.S. itself.
Extra questions linger about the opaque Event 201 in New York on October 18, 2019: a rehearsal for a worldwide pandemic caused by a deadly virus – which happened to be coronavirus. This magnificent coincidence happened one month before the outbreak in Wuhan.
Event 201 was sponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the CIA, Bloomberg, John Hopkins Foundation and the UN. The World Military Games opened in Wuhan on the exact same day…
March 24, 2020 at 09:20 #51107
Pepe is usually OK but in this case he is pushing an agenda, he has not qualified to make scientific and medical assessment, in my view.
March 25, 2020 at 00:32 #51118
Yeah you are correct Re Pepe’s Qualifications in this field.. I like pepe, doses good work.
I see that he Metro reported that the Virus is Airborne.. when there is Zero actual evidence for this –
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the Government has ordered 3.5 million antibody tests to aid its battle against coronavirus.
“They will let people know if they have had coronavirus and whether they are immune to the airborne disease.”
The airborne ‘theory’ was questioned by a Chinese expert on Sunday.. Two days before the irresponsible Metro article –
This view was questioned on Sunday, when researcher Feng Luzhao of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention told a press conference there is no evidence that the virus can form aerosols. Feng said, according to China Daily, that the most likely route of transmission appears to be direct, where a person breathes in the air of an infected person who has coughed or sneezed, which is different to airborne transmission. In addition, he said it is unlikely the virus can spread through fruit and vegetables.
March 25, 2020 at 06:35 #51121
That does appear to be the case. The difference is that droplets, large particles would be highly infectious, so if someone sneezes nearby or coughs then if you come in contact with these droplets you can get infected. On the other hand smaller particles persist longer and travel further but are not or much less, infectious.
March 25, 2020 at 11:56 #51129
The Government’s response to Covid-19 crisis is confused and dangerous. On Monday Boris Johnson said
The UK has been put on lockdown for at least three weeks to combat the coronavirus outbreak, with police being given the power to fine people who break new emergency social rules.
In an unprecedented TV address to the nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people must remain in their homes and can only leave in limited circumstances: to shop for food, exercise once a day, travel to work, and pick up medicine or care for a vulnerable person.
Johnson said all shops selling non-essential items will be forced to close, including clothing and electronic stores, while gatherings of more than two people will be dispersed by police. He added that social events such as weddings and baptisms will be banned, meaning people can only gather in large groups for funerals.
“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say ‘No,’” Johnson added. “You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.”
The prime minister, who delivered his message straight down the barrel of a camera in a message broadcast on the BBC and elsewhere, concluded: “I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives. Thank you.”
Very quickly after this the government watered down this ‘advisory’ lockdown even when it became apparent that the advice was unheeded by many and crowds went out to celebrate this new prolonged national holiday in the sunshine. So the current advice about going to work on the GOV website
“As set out in the section on staying at home, people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home.
With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has not required any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.
“If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.”
So again it is up to individuals employers and employees to decide whether it is safe.
I am sorry, but lockdown means lockdown, travel only if it is essential to the effort of keeping people alive and the virus contained. Dithering at this phase is exactly what will prolong the crisis you have to hit this very hard early as the Chinese have done, otherwise you will just prolong the agony.
March 25, 2020 at 19:51 #51140
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail from a British prison after his lawyers said he was at particular risk of catching the new coronavirus.
Assange suffered several respiratory tract infections while in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, his defence said, and if he caught the virus in prison “the risk could be fatal”.
But the judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court rejected the request, saying the Australian’s past efforts to evade legal proceedings showed he might try to escape again if released.
“As matters stand today, this global pandemic does not as of itself provide grounds for Mr Assange’s release,” Judge Vanessa Baraitser said.
Currently in London’s Belmarsh prison, Assange is wanted for questioning in the US for allegedly hacking and publishing military databases. The 48-year-old says the charges are politically motivated.
March 26, 2020 at 19:05 #51152
The number of people in the U.K. who have died with coronavirus has jumped by more than 100 in a day for the first time.
The death toll has risen from 475 to 578, health officials have confirmed.
Some have been suggesting that several million people in the U.K. have already been infected by the virus.
March 27, 2020 at 07:21 #51157
The government’s response to the Covid-19 epidemic has been slow and negligent. This incompetent regime is now contributing to unnecessary deaths of its own citizens. These are the steps that were either faulty or too slow or wrong decisions taken:
1. The government did nothing despite the warning of an epidemic and wasted two months of precious time without any plans, perhaps hoping that it will all go away. Like some conspiracists they probably thought that it was just the flu and there is no need to panic
” ‘For Unknown Reasons They Waited. And Watched’ – Lancet Editor Exposes Devastating Government Failure On Coronavirus”
2. When the response came the government was still planning to do nothing but to let the infection rip through the population, introducing the idiotic ill-conceived and out of context concept of ‘herd immunity’
Britain’s chief scientific adviser stoked controversy on Friday when he said that about 40m people in the UK could need to catch the coronavirus to build up “herd immunity” and prevent the disease coming back in the future. Defending Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision not to follow other European countries by closing schools and banning mass gatherings, Patrick Vallance said it was the government’s aim to “reduce the peak of the epidemic, pull it down and broaden it” while protecting the elderly and vulnerable.
Later on, when the Times leaked that it was the idea of Dominic Cummings No 10 Vehemently denied it.
Given past form and the power that Cummings holds over the hapless clown, it really does not surprise me that even Vallance, the ex GSK government scientific advisor (more like a political appointment) was leant upon to deliver this drivel. Later when the WHO, the scientific community and even the press denounced this as a dangerous policy, the government, on the 17th March did a public U turn but in essence continued with the same flawed policy secretly as I will discuss below.
“Johnson government admits its strategy of allowing the virus to spread and build up immunity was a failure but stops short of mandatory controls.”
3. But Johnson (and Cummings) did not really change course even if the public stance was changed. The restrictions introduced were not mandatory as discussed in the articles above and did not extend far enough. As a result, everyone instead of self-isolating went on a celebratory last drink and the next day the nation enjoyed an unscheduled public holiday in crowded parks in the sun, thereby speeding up the possibility of dissemination of the virus. Panic hoarding also ensued, and supermarket deliveries were inundated. This showed that the UK has no strategic planning whatsoever for major emergencies.
4. Following the beginning of the steep rise in cases the government was unprepared even to issue protective appropriate face masks and downgraded the specifications recommended by the WHO to cheaper, unprotective masks. The NHS staff pleaded for days for this protective equipment and despite Matt Hancock’s assurance on Question Time on BBC1 on Thursday 19th, the problem does not seem to be totally resolved.
5. The government has been resistant to two very basic principles of infectious disease management: early case identification and isolation, and rigorous contact tracing. These methods are not standard methods in infection control, but have been demonstrated to work in South Korea, so as to even avoid more draconian social distancing measures. South Korea it appears has learnt this from a previous outbreak of MERS.
There was no and there still is not a policy of widespread testing as to whether anyone with mild symptoms has SARS Cov2 infection. Instead the government advocated, no testing of ‘mild case’, although from anecdotal evidence some of these mild cases later died, self-isolation and left these strong focuses of infection at home to infect other household members. This is actually applying ‘herd immunity’ by stealth through infecting whole households. In China instead they quarantined all mild cases in hotels and provided them with supplies. Unfortunately, a quick search only comes up with extensive MSM reporting when one of these hotels collapsed killing several people. But this realisation, that mild cases will make the disease difficult to control was realised by china in mid-January and this was published in the BMJthis was published in the BMJ
Without widespread testing of mild cases, quarantine of confirmed mild cases, contact tracing, the epidemic will continue in UK even if the ‘curve is flattened’. The insane policy perused by the British government with not much resistance by the medical community is extremely alarming.
I am afraid we have all been hoodwinked, the government is carrying out its ‘herd immunity’ mass experiment on us by stealth.
March 27, 2020 at 08:50 #51160
So we’re short of 10,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses.
And we’re desperately short of ventilators, face masks type 2 and 3,and other PPE
We’re also short of testing kits and in fact stopped testing.
Strong and stable Conservative Government. The country is a grim joke. People will die, and die in numbers due to the greed, arrogance and brutal incompetence of this government. Decisions made by donkeys, driven by a hatred of the poor, where people earning less than £26,500 were considered economic dross. Yet that’s the people, the delivery drivers, the food packers, the crop pickers, many of the nurses, certainly all of the carers. Together with the bin men, sewage plant operatives, bus drivers these are the people we need to rely on. The economic cross as the Conservatives classed them.
And as for the doctors, well they’re fighting the virus with inadequate masks, other ppe and the equipment to save lives, and which equipment could have been sources under EU cooperation were it not for Brexit belligerence.
Yes when this is over we need to hunt down the men who did this like we hunted down war criminals after the Second World War. Change is coming. Things will never be the same again.
March 27, 2020 at 10:41 #51162
Now more than 1/2 million people world wide have been infected by Wuhan Virus.
Epicentre has now moved to
March 27, 2020 at 15:15 #51167
Please Michael use the official name of the virus not the Americanised political one.
March 27, 2020 at 12:58 #51163
PHE’s epidemic intelligence activities monitor global HCID events. These are published in a monthly summary in the form of a pdf file. The summaries followed monthly, right through 2019, up to the December bulletin, thus:
In that issue, the ‘Global high consequence infectious disease events Monthly update December 2019’ we have ‘UNDIAGNOSED DISEASE Events Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. In late December, an outbreak of viral pneumonia of unknown aetiology was identified in Wuhan. Many, but not all cases were linked with a seafood and live animal market in the city (Huanan South
China Seafood Market). The cause was SUBSEQUENTLY IDENTIFIED as a novel coronavirus. A FULL UPDATE WILL BE PROVIDED IN THE JANUARY 2020 SUMMARY.’ (uppercase added).
No information is given at all as to who, how, where or when the cause became known, and no further bulletins have been publicly issued since!
But then, a new single webpage format report was issued by the UK government thus:
‘Covid-19 has not been an HCID (high consequence infectious disease) in the UK since the 19th March 2020, when it was declassified by Public Health England (PHE) and NHS, and also by The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) who were also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.
An HCID is defined as:
an acute infectious disease
typically has a high case-fatality rate
may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely’
On the very same day, the 19th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson then announced measures unheard of in a supposed ‘democracy’ – ‘lockdowns’, threats, no freedom to work or for recreation. A curfew in all but name.
This has become a political, not a medical, matter.
March 27, 2020 at 15:13 #51166
Nonsense. The question of declassification has been discussed on the main thread. It is a question of high mortality (more than 10%) lack of treatment and infectivity. Because Covid 19 does not have a high mortality and because practically you can only treat HCID In high security units, this declassification was made.
It is a very dangerous thing for those with limited knowledge to fable in specialised fields and interpret them. That is why we have experts
March 27, 2020 at 15:54 #51169
I still adhere to the strong possibility that this virus got out of the Wuhan Level Four Lab,
I suspect they were “playing” with a virus they obtained from an animal, maybe a pangolin, possible one of the operatives got infected within the lab, then took it out into the wider community.
March 28, 2020 at 08:15 #51175
I think we should try and stick to facts and if we hear rumours we should do a bit of research before disseminating these rumours. There is zero evidence that the virus was man made. Although I like to quote primary scientific evidence in support of this, sometimes these reports make rather dense reading for those not used to them, but here is a very easy to read article which explains why this virus is not manmade.
March 28, 2020 at 10:05 #51177
I am not saying the virus was man made.
I am saying they have different viruses in The Wuhan Institute of Virology and it is possible a virus got out.
The pandemic was first noticed not that far from The Wuhan Institute of Virology.
March 28, 2020 at 12:31 #51182
You still have zero evidence for this. Did you read the papers attached?
March 28, 2020 at 12:45 #51183
I have never been to China,
I do not speak Mandarin or any other language spoken in China,
I therefore have no reliable knowledge of what they get up to in China.
The so called covid-19 was apparently first detected or accepted as detected in Wuhan, in Hubei Province China.
The only accredited Level Four Lab in China is conveniently at the epicentre of the outbreak.
March 30, 2020 at 10:51 #51219
It seems that science and common sense has been suspended in Britain. Maybe the process started in 2016 with the referendum but with each step since then including, the nonsensical Brexit negotiations with the dithering May leadership and the far right advocates of hard Brexit, to the choice of the inept Johnson as leader of the Tories, the general elections of the 12th December 2019 then the government’s shambolic handling of the Corona virus crises. Where are the Doctors and Scientists protesting en masse against this debacle?
The basic rules of dealing with an epidemic have been suspended. The government has concentrated at the wrong end of problem because they were like rabbits caught in the headlight. The focus was on the more glamorous treatment end of the illness, not at prevention. Why does Johnson want to concentrate on getting Dyson to make ventilators, when we have no PPE for our frontline workers? Why struggle for weeks to deliver these when they say they have got them?
Prevention of epidemics extracts from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/112656/9789241507134_eng.pdf;jsessionid=F7869B94D27897997E246F963888DEB0?sequence=1
Recommendations for early recognition and source control
“Early recognition of ARIs (Acute respiratory infections) and application of source control, including respiratory hygiene, are administrative control measures aimed at reducing or preventing the dissemination of infectious agents from the source. The early identification, isolation and reporting of ARIs of potential concern are therefore central to effective containment and treatment. “
In summary you will need to try and limit the influx of cases from outside your country if there is a pandemic. This has run fowl of the EU principle of free flow of people, and in the case of the globalist agenda od free flow of capitalists but not necessarily workers. To this day I don’t think UK has entirely closed its borders and flights although the numbers are diminished.
Also measures that would help would be to monitor all those entering the country with temperature monitors, testing and isolation of newcomers until shown to be negative.
A rigorous widescale identification of all cases should be an integral part of this policy with the aim of early identification and quarantine of all cases including mild cases and asymptomatic carriers, who should all be quarantined on identification. Contact tracing and testing should also follow.
Importantly, one of the first steps to take would also to protect your frontline workforce, something that has been very slow to implement. None of these measures were adopted in UK, despite the clear efficacy of these measure shown in stemming the epidemic in both Wuhan and China in general, and South Korea and other Asian countries. Instead our government advocated self-isolation of mild suspected case at home with their families thus increasing the pool of carriers and cases.
Social distancing should really have been much stricter and at the outset. This should have meant a much stricter curfew with restriction of travel for only essential workers rather than the wishy-washy go to work only if you cannot work from home. This gaping disclaimer means that construction, manufacturing and other considerable labour force are free to roam the streets. And then there is the loophole of exercise and cycling and so on, difficult to distance yourself from joggers and cyclists coming at speed in narrow roads and lanes. Many of these also continue their habit of congregating in number.
These measures of cutting the supply of new cases was one adopted by the Chinese successfully. But it requires the state to run huge quarantine facilities as well as home delivery service for the self-isolating population. So, the Tories opted out for the wishy-washy measures which translates to the worst option.
The focus on treatment rather than prevention has been the major downfall of the West because when the treatment facilities are very quickly swamped and the call for more ventilators is a focus on treatment that is useless. This is especially so because the government has asked non-specialists to develop ventilators from scratch. This of course may be possible but would take a long time to design construct and then adequately test and validate. If the government is earnest about this, they should seek established manufacturers with validated machines, because we can’t wait for a year to get our own machines. Anyway, this highlights another Tory ideological nonsense. Thatcher and subsequent governments have systematically dismantled industry in this country in favor of financialization dictated by the city of London. Now even so-called home-grown incubators are probably going to be made in Asia by a British tax haven refugee.
March 31, 2020 at 09:47 #51244
I am not trying to be clever.
All I am saying is there is only one internationally accredited Level Four Laboratory in China, it happens to be situated in Wuhan.
Wuhan is where this disease is supposed to have kicked off.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV; Chinese: 中国科学院武汉病毒研究所; pinyin: Zhōngguó Kēxuéyuàn Wǔhàn Bìngdú Yánjiūsuǒ) is a research institute on virology administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Located in Jiangxia District, Wuhan, Hubei, it opened mainland China’s first biosafety level 4 (BSL–4) laboratory in 2015
I am not saying this is a man made virus.
April 1, 2020 at 08:53 #51288
The coincidence of A and B does not mean that A is responsible for B, unless of course there is evidence, So far the evidence from what I posted earlier is nil and there are good reasons to say so.
After all why did the Chines start this institute, which money countries have, including several in the US? The supposed reason is to do research on dangerous pathogens so that we are prepared to fight these pathogens. China has had to deal with SARS in 2003 and also with the swine flu virus and that is why these facilities were developed. As testified by the WHO this facilities comply rigidly with safety standards.
Of course I am not saying that some countries have been know to play around with the idea of using biological weapons and in fact some of these countries still possess chemical weapons. The attempt to frame China with this is a US ploy to divert from the real issues of Covid-19. To engage and promote these theories only helps the US warmongers’ agenda.
March 31, 2020 at 05:37 #51240
This Must Read Article will hit you like a sledgehammer: “The Hammer and the Dance” Author Tomas Pueyo describes: “What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time.” The piece includes a lot of useful graphs to elaborate on the basic point he is trying to get across. He calls out our tepid response: “The US and UK, like countries such as Switzerland, have dragged their feet in implementing measures.” Pueyo lays out the likely consequences of a “Do Nothing” approach with the reality check that: “If 5% of your cases require intensive care and you can’t provide it, most of those people die. As simple as that.”
The author also raises an important point about: “Collateral Damage: These numbers only show people dying from coronavirus. But what happens if all your healthcare system is collapsed by coronavirus patients? Others also die from other ailments.” Quoting the number of ICU admissions in the US in one year as 4 Million the likely death toll if there was no place for these patients in ICU is staggering. With a far smaller population in the UK the potential collateral damage fatalities in the UK added to Covid 19 deaths would be unacceptably high.
The case presented by Pueyo clearly demonstrates that we cannot afford to overwhelm our NHS, but unfortunately we appear to be right on track for doing just that if we do not impose stricter measures right away, but also start aggressively testing and tracing to track down and isolate cases before they spread the virus. It does not inspire confidence or reassure the public that the PM is taking the necessary measures seriously when not only has Boris Johnson tested positive, but also the Health Secretary, Mat Hancock plus the PMs Chief Medical Adviser, Chris Whitte, has developed mild symptoms and decided to self-isolate and so has “Herd Immunity” advocate, Dominic Cummings. Are Whitte and the Dom postponing testing to avoid Boris’s “take it on the chin” bravado looking more like a total wipe out?
As I wrote in the Forum where we Focus on that other crisis, the Covert 2019 Rigged Election: “The simplistic sound bites delivered by jovial Johnson often pose far more questions than answers due to his complete lack of understanding of the most basic principals involved in effective “Social Distancing.” A less confusing instruction was needed to instil the concept in everyone including children: “Avoid People and the Things that People Touch!” That would be my simple instruction as it includes the missing part of the Covid 19 contamination puzzle that is barely mentioned in health warnings: “the things that people touch.”
You might avoid contracting the virus from an infected person by keeping a safe distance apart, but then pick up the bug from the door handle they grabbed just before you touched it yourself. We must become a lot more conscious of the things that we all come in direct contact with so frequently every day as the virus will survive on hard surfaces for up to 72hours. Carry a supply of antimicrobial wipes with you in a Ziploc bag and wipe the door handle, the ATM keypad, the access or lift button, before you touch it. This is just one more line of defence to include in your armoury.”
Worried about my best friends living down in London I found this Vox Article very informative: “11 things everyone should know about getting the novel coronavirus; If you have Covid-19 symptoms, here’s when to seek medical care and how to protect the people you live with.” I was pleasantly surprised that this US article pointed to a number of resources available to various groups, after being led to believe that Americans were universally stranded with no options due to abysmal Trump policies. While I know the situation is not great in the US and there are huge problems caused by their for-profit healthcare system, perhaps at least some of the finger pointing on our part is the pot calling the kettle black. For example their access to testing is criticized as very poor, but in the UK it is virtually non-existent even for Medical staff.
I found the information a lot clearer and more comprehensive than UK Government dictates that are so often contradictory; like an NHS instruction not to go for a walk as if the very act of venturing outside would expose you to the virus. Then you are told it is OK to walk a dog as if dogs somehow confer immunity! Taking fresh air is not a danger in and of itself, you just need to be cognisant of the fact that the last person to grab that handrail you are reaching for might have contaminated the rail. Does that mean you can no longer reach out for support going down steps outside of stairs inside a block of flats? No; just wipe before you touch or keep something between your bare hand and the potentially contaminated rail, door handle or other object.
That is why instead of hoping that the public will safely interpret what is meant by the term “Social Distancing” it makes a lot more sense to tell people something so simple even a small child can understand: “Avoid People and the Things that People Touch.” Another kid friendly message is: “Use your elbow, your bum, your foot; Think ahead to give Covid 19 the boot!” I am told invoking football imagery engages the attention of young lads and lassies; said she who has no kids, just a wild imagination like a wilful brat.
Why can’t this Tory Government develop a consistent strategy? Because their policy is driven by the need for damage control over serious blunders in policy like the support for Herd Immunity from which they are back-peddling at speed. The Tory “Herd” at number ten is in stampede mode; how many more will fall victim in the Government’s own “do as I say, not as I do” hotspot? This complication might slow the pace of their reckless agenda, but not for long. We should have fought back after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but we lapsed into a fatalistic complacency allowing the Boris Shit about “borrowed votes” to take hold.
But it is still not too late to “Rescue our Watchdog” and demand a thorough investigation into the stolen Election. I know many of you feel that the Covid 19 crisis demands our urgent attention and right now this must remain our priority. But Covid 19 and the Covert 2019 Rigged Election are inextricably linked. Unless we remove this Tory Government from office we will be forced to accept the tragic consequences of their dangerous decisions that will continue to put so many innocent lives at risk and the “Slaughter of the Sheeple” will proceed unabated.
March 31, 2020 at 07:29 #51242
I have seen, and looked through ‘The Hammer and the Dance’ by Pueyo. It is an excellent piece of work. In his graph he shows the dance bit which includes case identification and contact tracing. I think this should come earlier.
I don’t think the government has really abandoned their herd immunity theory just toned it down because it was rubbished almost immediately, and by none other than the Football clubs who voluntarily cancelled the matches, against HMGs wishes.
I think there should have been a wider use of curfew and quarantine earlier. Borders should have been shut except for essential travel, planes grounded, social isolation strictly applied and also wide testing including strict quarantine of all cases, mild and asymptomatic cases. This would have meant a huge organisational effort by the government to be able to provide widely early testing, have the capacity to provide quarantine facilities, and organise food and essentials delivery to those self isolating at home. This is what S Korea did early on, and China did after they had a major rise in cases and both were successful at containing the virus so far.
But the government has only started half hearted testing and still of selected groups. Letting people with mild disease stay at home with their families only means that their families will get infected. Letting people out to shop, only makes exposure to the virus on that trip more likely. I also disagree with the exercise bit, because it contains ambiguities and you need clarity of message. Not everyone understands that going out in the fresh air increases chances of infection, and not only by what you do but by what others do. In lanes and in parks, people went out en masse to celebrate the holidays.
The above measures would have required a level of organisation that would have required a major epidemic contingency plan to be enacted smoothly. Do we have one? Are we really prepared in this country for a major terrorist conventional or bio attack, let alone boasting of stopping a Russian hostile action which we periodically boast of.
The emperor has no clothes.
We have no contingency plans, or if we have, we don’t know where we filed it.
March 31, 2020 at 08:05 #51243
I wrote this earlier but did not post it. It repeats and elaborates on what I say in the last post.
Harmful actions taken by UK government
Of course, it is easy to criticise with hindsight, but some actions taken by HMG were bizarre to say the least and, in my opinion, have caused a lot of harm and will continue to do so unless reversed.
The government was slow to announce any decisive measures. The first announcement by the PM was on 11th March a full two months after it was clear that there was a likely major problem. The announcements seem to be advisory and, in many cases, not subjected to detailed reasoning. HMG’s herd immunity model, based on expert opinion, was not published and given in front of journalists with little medical or scientific scrutiny.
When it became clear that many public bodies and organisations were going to go against the government’s simple recommendations to ‘wash your hand’ and self-isolation for the elderly, football matches and public events were voluntarily cancelled, and the government then di a bit of a U turn which was not quite a U turn. The next announcement was that they government is thinking of introducing bans, then followed by recommendations to stay home but not clear instructions and with no promise of enforcement. The result was that instead of going home to practice social distancing, everyone went out to the pubs and streets to celebrate the great national holidays. Panic buying then set in and the shops and supermarkets became an excellent breeding ground for dissemination of the virus. Even the PMs father unashamedly advertised his visit to the pub. Next day the nation went to celebrate by visiting parks and open spaces in large numbers also further facilitating the obviously still favoured herd immunity approach. The National Trust kindly obliged by opening all there parks free for all the public.
The instructions about social distancing given to the nation then is even today:
• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
• travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
This is not a curfew or as they prefer to call it a lockdown, it is a wishy-washy request to stay at home if possible. The instructions about travelling for work purposes do not limit this to essential workers but to anyone who wants to work.
The total lack of preparation translated to the complete lack of a general disaster planning on a national scale, the lack of supplies of essential protective gear for essential workers such as healthcare workers and others, no appropriate protective masks or aprons, and so on. This left the healthcare workers in despair.
The lack of logistic planning has also showed itself in even food and home supplies. HMG announced that it had co-ordinated with supermarkets to ensure supplies something all major supermarkets denied. Then after the panic buying there was no central organisation to coordinate supplies of food to those who are self-isolating. This is happening slowly but a lot of it is being co-ordinated locally by volunteers. Many supermarkets are still unable to undertake home deliveries to existing customers let alone register new ones.
But to cap it all as if all this fiasco is not enough Prince Charles, The PM Boris Johnson the Health secretary and Professor Iain Ferguson and the Chief medical advisor were all announced to have mild symptoms and ‘tested positive’ for the virus. Moreover, it was said that the PM was in isolation 10 Downing street receiving his parcels of food and work in isolation. One of his advisors was seen running away from no 10 when caught by the cameras, evidently because he has been to see the PM, whilst Carrie, the PMs pregnant girlfriend has moved out, a luxury not open to the general public. Yesterday it was announced that Cummings also ‘tested positive’ for the virus.
This little vignette illustrates as to what is wrong with the current UK regime: Do as I say not as I do. Prominent members of those taking care of us supposedly are not even capable of taking care of themselves. Then of course Jo Bloggs would not have been tested and his pregnant wife would have had to self-isolate with him. Of course, the PM being very important can have the luxury of the quarantine in the lavish accommodation of his official residence.
Repeatedly Mr Hancock assured us that PPE was on its way to the NHS frontline but a week later this does not seem to have happened. Similarly, we were promised wider testing and this has not yet happened.
Does the UK have no strategy to deal with major disasters including pandemics, large terrorist incidents with conventional or biological attacks, let alone attacks from an outside power? Do we have two aircraft carriers roaming the oceans but are unable to protect our own people from a virus we have been warned about for two months? Will there be an enquiry as to why things went so badly wrong. Indeed will there be an enquiry as to how the elections were stolen and we ended up with such an incompetent government?
March 31, 2020 at 18:57 #51265
Hi there 🙂 my region is on quarantine from 18 p.m. today. 17 people tested positive out of nearly 5 million region population. Either the number of deceased is enlessened, or preventive steps are strict. Anyway, much time to spend on here 🙂
I’m bring8ng you this:
the severity of COVID-19 impact may be linked to varying national policies on BCG childhood vaccination’
Seems like a very possible explanation of the difference between China and Italy. What do you think?
March 31, 2020 at 19:10 #51268
I found the report
“…countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination (Italy, Nederland, USA) have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies…”
April 1, 2020 at 08:22 #51285
The reasoning behind this is that BCG, used for vaccination against TB, primes the cellular immune response so that it can react in a stronger and quicker way not only to TB but to other organisms. This concept was the basis of trials in the 70’s and 80’s to enhance the response of children with leukaemia, so that they can produce cells that can fight residues of the leukaemia after the number of cells were reduced with chemotherapy. The trials showed some promise but this did not translate to a real advantage so that this treatment was abandoned.
April 1, 2020 at 10:33 #51291
I saw a mention on BCG vaccine, that in 2018 someone researched its positive influence on Yellow Fever decease, also a viral pathogen
March 31, 2020 at 19:04 #51266
With planes grounded, cruise ships eager to discharge passengers, millions of people avoiding public transportation as most factories, businesses, offices, shops and leisure outlets close, we are commuting far less as people work from home, games and events are postponed: The Blue Planet, precious Mother Earth is taking a long, deep breath of fresh air! I have experienced unique environments untouched by the distressing pollution of our destructive human intervention. After so many years of sailing to incredible places throughout the world, from remote atolls in the South Pacific to the raging drama of the Southern Ocean on the Whitbread race: I am truly passionate about protecting our planet!
As the pandemic spreads its deadly tentacles worldwide I worry most about the poor in countries where I have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of our morally bankrupt policy of scavenging Medical staff from countries that cannot afford to train them. Their hospitals are already routinely overwhelmed with patients they struggle to treat with minimal supplies and donated outdated equipment; they have no spare capacity of ICU beds to prolong the life of those hit by the Covid 19 virus! Unlike Ebola we will be less willing or even able to help them out as our own healthcare system reels from the scourge of this disease.
We must find more affordable solutions for treatment of the afflicted or countless millions will perish in the developing world. The much maligned island nation of Cuba may come to the rescue with treatments they have been developing in cooperation with the Chinese, but Boris Johnson might need to stop his rabid anti-Commie rant and some eat humble pie! The the Chinese National Health Commission listed the Cuban anti-viral drug Interferon alfa-2b among the treatments it is using for Covid-19 patients. The admirable Cuban policy of Medical Diplomacy has bought Doctors and Medical training to so many poorer countries throughout the world in a spirit that we should emulate. Infectious disease can so readily incubate in squalor and abject poverty, but rapidly arrive on the next jet to land at Heathrow. It takes a global Pandemic for us to realize we are all in this together and we need to collaborate for survival.
One potentially more affordable salvation for less affluent communities and for us in the UK, following our disastrous strategy of doing too little too late, is the amazing life-line offered by an innovative piece of rapidly reengineered kit that could reduce the need for full ventilation or at least slow the progression of Covid respiratory symptoms to the point of ICU support. The new design is an adaptation of a very familiar piece of equipment called C-Pap, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which has been used in the past for people whose heavy snoring reduces their O2 stats overnight.
The Guardian Article: “F1 team helps build new UK breathing aid for Covid-19 patients” describes how the device was rapidly reengineered, developed and built in less than a week through a collaborative effort between Medics and Engineers to meet the urgent demands posed by the Covid 19 crisis. Cpap devices have already proven their efficacy with Covid 19 patients the article points out after “being used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China, bridge the gap between an oxygen mask and full ventilation.”
Here in the UK we already use this apparatus in our hospitals and it’s safe enough for sleep apnoea patients to use at home, but they are currently in short supply according to the piece. “The device delivers a steady stream of oxygen and air to patients who are struggling to breathe and can be used on standard wards, unlike ventilation, which requires patients to have an invasive procedure and sedation in an intensive care unit. The vital breathing aid that was designed “to keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care has been delivered to London hospitals for clinical trials.”
At a point where we desperately crave an item of positive news we heard that the “Engineers from UCL and Doctors at University College London hospital (UCLH) developed the device, which is claimed to be an improvement on existing Cpap systems, with Mercedes Formula One in less than 100 hours from first meeting to first production model. The device has been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.” This development could be a real game changer in the battle to avoid overwhelming our NHS as preventing or postponing the requirement for more complex ventilation equipment in the ICU could cost the lives of multiple Covid 19 patients and reduce the Collateral Damage impact of running out of ICU beds as described in the Hammer and the Dance.
This could buy us a little more time, but we cannot afford to squander a single second of that brief reprieve. Just as that remarkable innovative team raced to build this novel piece of kit in short order, we must drastically increase the both the pace and the extent of testing. Obviously the testing should start with frontline NHS staff, but it should not continue as a random patchwork of widely variable provision. We must continue with a comprehensive lock-down, accept the social distancing, but also vigilantly track down all contacts, tracing all suspected cases for strict isolation. If we do not take Covid 19 a lot more seriously, we cannot possibly hope to succeed it totally eradicating this highly infectious disease.
Covid 19 is not the only time sensitive crisis that we have failed to take seriously enough and suffered the consequences of inaction and Tory blundering. Thankfully it is not too late to “Rescue our Watchdog” and demand a thorough investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election as this urgent issue is just as pressing as Covid and the two are inextricably linked. Unless we totally remove this Tory Government from office we will be forced to accept the tragic consequences of their dangerous decisions that will continue to put multiple lives at risk as buying ourselves more time will not bring the Tory’s dystopian nightmare scenario to an end.
March 31, 2020 at 19:17 #51270
The United Kingdom now has a worse Death Rate
Over 1700 now dead from Covid-19 in U.K.
April 1, 2020 at 08:44 #51287
I would not give too much importance to these figures. I think Iran has adopted, despite sanctions, a wider policy of testing and therefore will include more milder cases as a denominator. Because the UK policy is only to test severe cases, this is bound to increase the current recorded fatality rates. Maybe this would be the only incentive of the Tory government to introduce wider testing so that there figures are not that bad?
April 1, 2020 at 08:41 #51286
This website is extremely important in keeping an eye of what is going on globally with Covid-19. It is a dashboard that shows the number of cases worldwide, the number of deaths and also has the facilities to show this in individual countries. It also shows through a bar chart daily increase in cases. This can be shown by pressing a tab towards the bottom right hand side labelled ‘Daily Increases’. If you do this you can see a number of patterns. Pattern one, unabated daily exponential increase and this can be seen in the US figures which is now heading towards 200,000. Exponential increase, with a doubling time of about 5 days, means that in the US if this trend continues there will be a one and a half million cases in about 20 days, unless the rate slows down due to the measures taken, which usually take two to three weeks. By clicking on each country on the left hand panel, you can see this rate in each country. Few countries are showing this exponential increase perhaps to a lesser extent, but this may also be a function of how late infection started in these countries. Perhaps the only other country showing this is Turkey.
The next pattern is that of either slower increase in cases or a levelling out of increase. This pattern is shown by UK, Iran and perhaps Canada.
The next pattern is that there is a slow decline of cases. The figures are not always neat, so that you may get a spike in the trend, but the important thing to look at is the overall trend over a period of 3-4 days and this is important because it shows that measures are working. Countries showing this pattern include, Germany, Austria, Belgium Italy and Spain (with the eye of faith) and other European countries.
The next pattern shows the efficiency of strict application of isolation measures, including quarantine of either whole towns, or of individuals with mild disease. This pattern is shown by China and South Korea.
So really we have models to work on and examples to follow and ways to monitor.
April 1, 2020 at 09:17 #51289
There are known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
These were the sage words of an otherwise discredited mass murderer during the reign of the Bush regime.
The current problem alerts us to things which we must keep in mind when dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.
We know that the Covid-19 crisis is real, we know now quite a lot about the virus and the way it behaves and we now have examples of how to, at least partially, effectively deal with it with the examples of China and South Korea and others.
We know that we do not know everything about the virus, importantly we do not know how many people are mildly infected and do not exhibit any symptoms when exposed to the virus. There are also many other details such as how infections are transmitted, although we have good ideas of some of the mechanisms. We also do not know why some people die and others get such mild diseases, although a lot of this seems to be age and co-morbidity related. We also do not know how to treat this or even whether supportive treatment with ventilators is of much use, as there is such a high mortality amongst those requiring ventilation. At this point we should therefore focus very much at preventing people to get to this stage rather than to advocate a kneejerk response of high cost sourcing more ventilators which may be of dubious efficiency. We also do not know whether immunity to this virus is long lasting, and we do not know whether there will be a successful vaccine yet.
The unknown unknowns: and here we move onto a new territory much advocated by some who like to find an underlying motive behind any disasters. Of course, there is such a thing as a deep state, and of course the deep state operates to exploit disasters for their purposes as shown by Naomi Klein’s famous book. For anyone in doubt, the crash of 2007 and the way it was handled, is ample proof of how the deep state reacted by rewarding the perpetrators of the crash, instead of reigning them in. They nationalised the liabilities but privatised the profits without conditions. This bit of knowledge is fraught with difficulties because not only are some of these unknown unknowns, but they are also unknowable unknowns. Theories that the virus was released by either the US or China are under this category, and theories that capitalists have crashed their own system to change the world belong to this category.
April 1, 2020 at 10:47 #51292
How stupid would have to be for this to carry on as normal?
Some two million people were expected to travel to Mecca and Medina this July and August for the annual gathering.
Muslims who are physically able must undertake the Hajj once in a lifetime.
Hajj Minister Mohammed Banten said the kingdom was concerned about the safety of pilgrims and urged people to “wait before concluding contracts”.
So they are not actually officially putting a stop to it.
April 2, 2020 at 07:55 #51311
They should have stopped it, Michael. Regardless of freedoms and religious believes.
That’s what happened in my country:
President declared paid leave, days-off for a week for the people to stay at home. What have the people done? Many crowded building supply supermarkets planning to spend the week repairing their houses. Many decided it’s another holidays and moved for picnic en mass. My region is warm resort region near the Black See, the roads were crowded with cars from all the country. Before the week we had 2 cases in my region, and after the week we had 17!
Our governor declared quarantine. We stay at home, we cannot drive, city transport is restricted to 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening, they wash the public places with desinfectants, no cars are allowed to enter into the city, post offices don’t work, only pharmacy and food stores are open. My doctor phoned yesterday and cancelled tests and visit sheduled for the end of April!
Everyone understands that March 31-April 5 is not enough, the quarantine will be prolonged of course. People like me, who are self-employed just don’t know how hard it may hurt my business and what impact will it produce on our income and our lives.
Ordinary people whom I talked to – they all say quarantine must be announced earlier. We would have stopped the virus by the current moment. Also, quarantine is ‘force-major’ and allows legally ask the bank to postpone loan payments. Most have loans like business, mortgage, general consumer loans etc.
Without decisive measures, we will have more cases, more deaths; we will just stretch the lockdown for long, and then we will be restoring normal life, for long.
April 2, 2020 at 12:38 #51318
The longer the delays to test, quarantine and isolate, the longer it will take to suppress the virus. That is why most governements should have acted sooner and more decisively.
April 4, 2020 at 11:03 #51379
Now France has more people infected with Covid-19 than does China.
The amount of people who have apparently, so far died from it/with it in France, is double that of China.
April 4, 2020 at 16:49 #51383
April 5, 2020 at 15:36 #51412
SA – I have been to the Moon of Alabama site before when the Skripal false Flag was big news; there are some very level headed people posting on that Blog. The other one is new to me so I will check it out. I wanted to respond to a comment you made over on the Elections Aftermath Forum regarding the wearing of face masks. I used to work at Jackson Memorial in Miami in the second busiest ED in the States. We were worried about the spread of TB and the need to protect ourselves and our patients from infection; this informs my current strategy on wearing masks.
I wrote “SA – Face Masks worn by infected people, or those suspected of being infected, reduce the distance infectious droplets can be projected by a sneeze or cough. A massive grey area complicating this issue is that people who are entirely symptom free may still be able to infect others. This is true of the period before they start to experience symptoms and potentially for as long as two weeks beyond the point they feel well again. This is why the WHO have recommended a longer isolation period than this arrogantly stubborn Tory Government, who abruptly cut the total isolation period down to just seven days! This misguided variance suggests that either the PM is determined to follow poor advice or they are still relying on Herd Immunity, but at a more controlled pace.
While a blanket assumption that all of us are potentially infected would require us all to wear masks, the reality is there are barely enough to maintain regular supplies for our Medical staff and care givers who must take priority. For those who are confident that they have not had any opportunity to become infected, but need to venture out to shop, face masks do help to limit the infection risk we all take by touching our face without thinking after picked up germs from something we have made contact with. The recommendations for hand washing and using hand sanitizer will combat infection caused by this impulse
Even the most efficient cleaning crews cannot keep pace with the need to constantly sanitize the things we touch so carry your own supply of antimicrobial wipes to sanitize the rail, the door handle, call buttons, keypads etc. as this will offer another layer of protection. This potential for infection through contact with frequently touched surfaces is why the vague term “Social Distancing” is so inadequate. A far more comprehensive and easily understandable instruction that even a small child can grasp would be: “Avoid people and the things that people touch!”
On an earlier post I explained that: “You might avoid contracting the virus from an infected person by keeping a safe distance apart, but then pick up the bug from the door handle they grabbed just before you touched it yourself. We must become a lot more conscious of the things that we all come in direct contact with so frequently every day as the virus will survive on hard surfaces for up to 72hours. Carry a supply of antimicrobial wipes with you in a Ziploc bag and wipe the door handle, the ATM keypad, the access or lift button, before you touch it. This is just one more line of defence to include in your armoury.”
I wanted to come up with an acceptable alternative for increased protection that would not impinge of critical supplies that must be reserved for our besieged Hospital and Care staff who are being let down so badly by this Tory Government’s shambolic supply chain deficiencies.
In Asian countries you will often see people wearing masks on the street, even when there is no pandemic threat, that necessity is often driven by city air pollution and they maintain steady production to meet regular demand which will now have been stepped up considerably.
How can you maximize your own protection without depleting our critical supplies for Hospital and care staff? This is my own personal strategy, which is useful now and in some cases worth considering in a Covid free future. I have ordered a couple of reusable masks that will not impinge on any local supplies for our besieged Hospital or care staff. It is also quite simple to make your own washable fabric masks and there are already a number of YouTube instruction videos demonstrating how to do this.
Reusable cloth face masks are mostly worn by cyclists with an inserted disposable charcoal filter added to reduce their exposure to pollution in city traffic. These masks are also highly recommended for children walking to school along busy city roads, especially if they are asthmatic. What, your kids don’t want to look like they are extras on some freakish movie set? But wait there’s more…
I then bought a pack of eight thin stretchy micropore tubes that fit over your head and can function as a scarf, bandanna or be pulled up to cover the lower half of your face. These multicoloured tubes have gained acceptance among skateboarders, cyclists and other young people exploring outdoor pursuits.
The stretchy fabric used to make these tubes will help to hold any mask more securely onto your face reducing the gaps that often make a poorly fitting mask such an ineffective form of protection. They are not only available in a wide range of bright solid colours and brilliant designs; they are also sold with a variety of different animal and other kid friendly formats. This can turn the need for protection into a fashion accessory and make wearing a mask on the walk to school far more acceptable and potentially even fun for children of all ages. All these items are available for order online although some include several weeks shipping time, so shop around…
Hey, what else do you have to do while in seclusion? Stay Safe!
April 6, 2020 at 08:24 #51426
Two articles from Declassified UK discuss some aspects of the corona virus epidemic and some of the hypocricy shown. Whilst some have criticised the wet market in Wuhan, sometimes with good reason, as both liable to spread infection, and also in the eyes of some for the lack of animal wellfare, the UK government has been investing in the business opportunities of wet markets.
Exclusive: Before coronavirus, UK government promoted ‘business opportunities’ in China’s wet markets
Documents seen by Declassified UK show Whitehall has regarded China’s wet markets and “food safety scandals” as an “opportunity” for UK exports since 2013
Theresa May and trade secretary Liam Fox visited Wuhan in 2018 with the largest ever UK business delegation, striking trade deals with China worth £10-billion and successfully lobbying Beijing to lower its meat safety standards to allow UK exports.
UK successfully lobbied China to reverse its ban on some live seafood imports despite Beijing’s concern over toxins in British crabs, with Liam Fox securing exports of live langoustines
Revelation comes after it emerges a live shrimp seller at Wuhan wet market was among the first coronavirus patients
The second article calls out how the establishment constantly downplayed the seriousness of the epidemic until it was too late.
Coronavirus fake news: How the British government misled the public for weeks
By Phil Miller• 30 March 2020
The UK authorities told the public at least eight times from January to March that coronavirus posed a “very low” or “low” risk, research by Declassified UK has found.
Cabinet ministers have also assured the public on at least 16 occasions that the UK health service was “well prepared” to cope with coronavirus — even as it has become clear that adequate protective equipment for health workers, as well as ventilators for those being treated, are lacking.
This one is even more worrying:
British security services have ignored global health pandemics — the UK’s biggest threatBritish security services have ignored global health pandemics — the UK’s biggest threat. British security services have ignored global health pandemics — the UK’s biggest threat. Systematic planning or intelligence gathering around health crises does not appear to take place in any UK security agency, whose roles are proclaimed to be to keep the country safe. This is despite at least 18,000 people working for MI5, MI6, Defence Intelligence and GCHQ, which have a combined budget of over £3bn.
April 6, 2020 at 08:28 #51427
These are actually three and there is more.
The UK will spend over £350bn on extravagant military projects while failing to ensure national health security
And this one
Despite lockdown, the UK military still flies, risking the spread of coronavirusDespite lockdown, the UK military still flies, risking the spread of coronavirus