- This topic has 224 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Clark.
March 12, 2020 at 18:05 #50796SA
“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 #50802SA
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 #50808michael norton
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.
Risky stratergy.March 13, 2020 at 16:45 #50811SA
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 #50812michael norton
Also the younger males will become less fertile, this slowing the world population curve.March 14, 2020 at 06:33 #50817SA
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 14, 2020 at 11:27 #50821SA
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 14, 2020 at 19:22 #50829michael norton
Starting to get dangerous in Europe.
Thousands of deaths.
Complete lock-down over most of Europe.March 14, 2020 at 20:52 #50832michael norton
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 #50841SA
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 #50869SA
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 16, 2020 at 09:39 #50873SA
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 #50875SA
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 #50876Kim Sanders-Fisher
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 #50877SA
“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 satireMarch 16, 2020 at 17:07 #50895michael norton
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 #50912Kim Sanders-Fisher
“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 #50922SA
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 #50923SAMarch 18, 2020 at 08:10 #50931SA
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 18, 2020 at 08:13 #50932michael norton
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
The Alps.March 18, 2020 at 11:52 #50938Marmite
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 #50941SA
Torygraph just announced impending lockdownMarch 19, 2020 at 04:36 #50969Kim Sanders-Fisher
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 19, 2020 at 06:50 #50975SA
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 #50976michael norton
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 #50982SA
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 #50991Uta Korner
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 #50997SA
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 #51014michael norton
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 #51016SA
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 #51017michael norton
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 20, 2020 at 18:22 #51022SA
Brexit come early with a vengenceMarch 20, 2020 at 18:45 #51024michael norton
Now they are saying pubs and cafe and theatre and strip clubs and music halls have to close after tonight.
This is like the end of the World.
Worse crisis since the Spanish Flu.March 22, 2020 at 09:16 #51052Rhys Jaggar
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 22, 2020 at 09:18 #51053Rhys Jaggar
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 22, 2020 at 09:22 #51054Rhys Jaggar
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 09:26 #51055SA
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 09:36 #51056SA
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 #51057SA
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.