Corona virus: Government takes the St Augustine approach.

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  • #71933 Reply

    SA, you may find some helpful links in the following article:

    – Count the cost of disability caused by COVID-19

    – Focusing only on cases and deaths hides the pandemic’s lasting health burden on people, societies and economies.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is well into its second year, but countries are only beginning to grapple with the lasting health crisis. In March, a UK consortium reported that 1 in 5 people who were hospitalized with the disease had a new disability after discharge. A large US study found similar effects for both hospitalized and non-hospitalized people. Among adults who were not hospitalized, 1 in 10 have ongoing symptoms 12 weeks after a positive test. Treatment services for the long-term consequences of COVID-19 are already having to be absorbed into health and care systems urgently. Tackling this requires a much clearer picture of the burden of the disease than currently exists.

    #71948 Reply


    Thanks for the link, exactly what I am saying and very informative.

    But another issue that is so important that has not produced the big headlines and action from G7 and rich countries is the question of why all the world’s pharmaceutical factories are not given the means to produce vaccines against SARS cov2 and waive all patent rights and dues to enrich already enriched big pharma, who in any case developed these vaccines at record time, only by receiving help and commitments from their own governments? This is the greatest scandal that shows what globalization really means, money and control for the rich at the expense of the poor.

    By the way I now here many experts say that it is impossible to now get rid of this virus and that we will have to live with it. It is too late, serious lockdown/quarantine with appropriate strict control and support runs against the principles of greed capitalism where short term profit is the aim.

    #71956 Reply

    “many experts say that it is impossible to now get rid of this virus and that we will have to live with it”

    They should be more careful in their use of the word “impossible”, remembering that parts of the world are free of SARS-CoV-2, and that China and Australia are living with it far more successfully than those countries which gave up without seriously trying.

    #71957 Reply

    And yes, let’s nationalise Big Pharma, or at least a sizeable chunk of it, say, 10% of every major pharmaceutical corporation. Neoliberalism claims to be all about the virtues of competition, yet it outlaws one particular type of competition – that between private and public sectors.

    #71958 Reply

    That train has left the station long time ago Clark. Unless the success of China and NZ and Australia was repeated simultaneously everywhere, it would be impossible to get rid of this virus especially with its ability to mutate and with about 5% or more of the world infected and no indication that it is waning or being controlled.

    #71959 Reply

    “That train has left the station long time ago”

    This analogy seems inappropriate; the situation is, and will continue to be ongoing. Do you think that Australia, China, New Zealand etc. will abandon their suppression policies that have so successfully protected their populations and economies, and adopt instead the majority model of unaccountable community transmission held barely in check by three month lockdowns?

    Vaccines modify this situation rather than transform it. Vaccines will help countries like China and Australia achieve actual green zone status; are they likely then to open their borders to infected countries such as Plague Island UK? More likely they will open only to other green zones, and a two-tier world will develop.

    The vaccines-plus-sporadic-three-month-lockdowns approach may never achieve effective suppression due to continual virus mutation. Green zone countries have the luxury of watching this from their safety, and deciding whether they wish to participate. Or not.

    #71960 Reply

    China and Australia cannot forever maintain their green zone status in the world by indefinitely closing their borders, and even if they did, the rest of the covid infested world will never get rid of the virus. That I am afraid is the reality we are going to have to face.

    #71961 Reply

    Only New Zealand has green zone status by maintaining quarantined borders. China and Australia have suppression policies that maintain very low levels of unaccounted community transmission. But that is far more successful than the current majority model in terms of both public health and economy; they have zero incentive to adopt the incubate-lockdown-incubate-lockdown approach.

    #71962 Reply

    New Zealand is well set to massively increase the value of its tourist and visitor sectors. What would some people pay for, say, a three month visit to a country with no restrictions, even if the first two weeks had to be spent in quarantine? Green zone status could become highly lucrative; then watch other countries attempt to follow suit.

    #71963 Reply

    No restrictions and no danger. A holiday from infection anxiety. New Zealand’s tourist sector would do well to invest in delightful quarantine facilities to facilitate this.

    #71969 Reply

    I am afraid it is wishful thinking to think that there will ever be a radical change in policy in the neo liberal west to adopt socially responsible policy because of the supposed pursuit of personal freedom, in the land of state surveillance and increasingly oppressive laws with increased state power all on the wrong direction to that envisaged by socialism.

    #73258 Reply

    The government’s mismanagement of the pandemic at each step, and its continuing to do so, seems to have not been noticed by most of the media. Even the revelations by an insider and observer of this incompetence, Dominic Cummings, has been met by a sort of malaise from the press and the corporate media and state broadcaster. Even the late secretary of state’s plans to give himself more powers and to open our confidential health information to commercial companies has been met with muted comments and resistance. So, it is extremely farcical that the fall of one of the chief architects of this failure who has so far been protected by the PM, should be felled by such a relatively much less minor offence, breaking his own lockdown rules by snogging or embracing or kissing his lover whom he has appointed as a non-executive advisor to oversee his performance. The same Secretary of state has recently been admonished for minor breach of the ministerial code through some commercial deals for which he stood to gain and got away with yet another apology, and this after a string of debacles including lack of PPI, the massacre of care home residents, the failure of test and trace, the culture of chumocracy with lucrative contracts awarded to his friends and so on.

    In a very insightful article by John Hilley

    “The ‘fading’ of great state crimes: why isn’t Johnson’s Covid failure deemed criminally negligent?” offers an excellent dissection of the way the media have protected the politicians from being made accountable for their negligence.
    “While covering every daily aspect of the Covid crisis, and airing criticism of the government’s handling of it, our ‘all-seeing’ media remain collectively averse to calling out such failings as criminally negligent.
    Instead, it has helped peddle a narrative of ‘learned mistakes’ and ‘recovered fightback’, serving to soften the harsh truth of government culpability. “

    It is worth reading this whole analysis by this Glaswegian blogger who is a member of the Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign

    But the lesson here is quite clear, Johnson will eventually emerge from this seriously incompetent situation as a supposed saviour and his early and continued mistakes will be forgotten. Any enquiry will be led by someone sympathetic to the government, will be a whitewash because of the unprecedented nature of this pandemic which nobody could have foreseen. Such nonsense will of course be swallowed by the collective press and not probed. Meanwhile Johnson will have to look for another incompetent scapegoat to point the fingers at. In having to appoint his formidable opponent, Sajid Javid to the position of health secretary he may be signalling the beginning of losing his grip on the party, or alternatively in setting a trap for his adversary.

    #73281 Reply

    Boris won’t be far behind Hancock, his days are numbered. No government enquiry will uncover criminality but the lawyers wll eventually secure compensation. The MSM, now basically advertising catalogues for shopping, continue on their slide to inconsequentiality, a minor competition for Amazon.
    The real fight is in the online space keeping proper journalists such as CM in that space and once that is secured furthering their prominence. The unanswered question is how that is funded.

    #73318 Reply

    How will that be funded? The precedents are there, integrity initiative, brigade 77 and so on. We still however not had the equivalent of NED with direct CIA funding.

    #73338 Reply

    Moved from the main blog on the advice of the Mods as it was OT.

    “I suggest another concern for Johnson may be potential popular anger over the Delta variant. “

    The government only have themselves to blame. Originally the countermeasures against COVID were not aimed at stopping people catching the disease, but stopping people dying from it. All the statistics talked about the numbers of excess deaths. Then the emphasis shifted to stopping people being hospitalised by the disease and the quoted statistics switched to reflect that. Now the focus has shifted to infections, and this with a test that has a know high false positive rate, We now know how many people have tested positive for the disease in a particular area, but not whether any of them have had to be admitted to hospital as a result, nor yet if any of them has died. At the same time the number of infections is bound to be higher than the number of hospitalisations, by at least one, if not more orders of magnitude and the same is true of the difference between hospitalisations and deaths. If the government wanted to quell “popular anger over the Delta variant. ” it only need to go back to counting hospitalisations.

    #73340 Reply

    PCR has a very low false positive rate. Its supposed “high false positive rate” is actually sensitivity for several weeks after previous infection, even after full recovery.

    This isn’t a problem when infections are rising because during growth the new, active infections that actually matter always greatly outnumber the old, defeated infections. This enables PCR testing to anticipate hospital demand by about one week.

    PCR’s “high false positive rate”, or rather its belated detections, become a problem when infections are falling by wasting the resources of any trace-and-test programme, swamping the signal under noise, and prolonging widespread lockdown longer than needed.

    #73342 Reply

    “We now know how many people have tested positive for the disease in a particular area, but not whether any of them have had to be admitted to hospital as a result, nor yet if any of them has died”

    Please excuse the pedantry, but people get admitted to hospital as a result of symptoms – a positive test results merely in being told to self isolate. Many cases aren’t detected until tested at hospital, and “the number who died with COVID-19 mentioned as a cause on the death certificate” is nearly 20% greater than “all deaths within 28 days after a positive test”, so tens of thousands of serious cases must have escaped detection by test.

    Hospital admissions sorted by nation, NHS area, and by NHS trust can be found on the following page by clicking the blue “United Kingdom” drop-down near the top:

    Likewise for deaths, which you can find sorted by nation, region and local authority here:

    #73343 Reply

    What is your source of information that the PCR has a high false positive rate?
    The PCR will tell you whether there is specific RNA fragments of the virus is detected but will not tell you that this is a complete virus or indeed whether the person testing positive has any disease as even catching the virus can lead to mild or asymptomatic infection. But as Clark states, the increasing number of positive tests precedes hospitalizations and then deaths. This was true with the first and second waves of infections preceding mass vaccination, but the link has now become weaker because of vaccination which protects in both reducing the number of people infected and even if they are infected they are less likely to be hospitalized or die of the disease. However because there is still a sizeable number of unvaccinated individuals and because the data about vaccine protection is developing it is important to be cautious about rising positive PCR cases for two reasons: those unvaccinated will be at risk, and because rising infections can lead to the rise of new variants which may be vaccine resistant or more lethal and that is why rising number of positive cases is still important.

    As to the statement about high false positive rates of PCR, that is misinformation unfortunately propagated by conspiracy websites, including OffGuardian which repeat this as fact. based on some poor science and twisting of facts. If the PCR gives high false positive rates, it would not be the case that countries like China and New Zealand would record periods with very low number of positive tests when they had effective lockdown. Suggest stop believing OG.

    #73344 Reply

    When I said “we now know”, I should have said “we are now told by the MSM”. I didn’t mean to imply that the date for hospitalisations and deaths was being hidden, merely that it was no longer being broadcast. Thanks for the info on the PCR test.

    What is your source of information that the PCR has a high false positive rate?”

    I think Clark answered that adequately. However, the meme about the high false positive rate for the PCR test is not limited to websites like Off-Guardian. If it was, I would never have come across it, because I have never read anything on that website or one like it. It may be a myth, but it is now a myth fairly firmly embedded in the public consciousness, like so many others.

    #73350 Reply

    From my observations at the time, the “of or with covid” and various other distractions started at Swiss Propaganda Research website (now Swiss Policy Research) which published lots of the early trivialisation cherry-picking. From there it got echoed by OffGuardian and UK Column, some of the milder of which the corporate media ran with a couple of weeks later – the Express, Mail and Telegraph particularly – as anti-lockdown material. I don’t know if such papers did the same with the “PCR false positive” fallacy because I got too angry to watch any further, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Seven tons of horseshit is an appropriate response, I feel. The damn papers are always for killing people, foreign or domestic; there’s good money in death.

    #73356 Reply

    “The damn papers are always for killing people, foreign or domestic; there’s good money in death.”

    Not that anyone even needs to die, there’s good money in sabre rattling, threatening and predicting death (that never happens, but who cares, the papers have been sold by then).

    #73376 Reply

    “Not that anyone even needs to die, there’s good money in sabre rattling, threatening and predicting death (that never happens, “

    What do you mean by this statement?
    Do you mean that deaths from COVID-19 are all a hoax? So all governments, all doctors, scientists, health workers are all into this hoax making money, eh?

    #73377 Reply

    Oh no, I forgot, the doctors and scientists are either threatened or hoodwinked into believing stories that they themselves helped to make up.

    #73390 Reply

    “What do you mean by this statement?”

    The expression “sabre-rattling” should give you a clue. Just because something is posted on the ‘net doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy theory, or even about one.

    #73404 Reply

    SARS-CoV-2 has killed everywhere, roughly in proportion to how much it has been permitted to proliferate; this is reflected by the peaks in “deaths from all causes” graphs from countries all over the world. In the UK alone, some seven hundred thousand person-years are estimated to have been sacrificed by the government’s initial bravado and subsequent procrastination and corruption.

    But that is probably not the greatest toll; covid is known to do long term damage to those suffer a bad case. Cases of long covid already outnumber deaths by a factor of three, yet we’re less than two years into this; we haven’t had time for any damage longer term than that to have manifested.

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