COVID-19 in 2022

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  • #93583 Reply

      @DG: Kindly do not become unduly exercised.

      If you say something as profoundly… err… questionable as _repeatedly_ demanding, “Why aren’t I dead? So why aren’t I dead then? Why? Hmm? Hmm?” – then it might well appear pretty obvious you’re a Covid denialist of some description, because little else would explain such a… erm… curious question.

      Now since you apparently have other reasons for saying something as – if you’ll forgive me – …. puzzling as that, I am sure we’re all fascinated to read it.

      Add to that, your boasts about not being vaccinated. I don’t know anyone who would profess such bafflement that a dose of Covid wasn’t fatal, and brag about not getting vaxxed to boot, who wasn’t a denialist.

      So please stop shouting and swearing at those making the rather obvious conclusions people make when they hear …. let’s say oddities, no matter who makes it, and regardless of how splendid they claim their qualifications might be.

      #93585 Reply

        Well, I didn’t expect that. DG, I wasn’t trying to speak ill of you. I apologise for using the term hoax. I wasn’t happy using the term hoax when I initially typed it but couldn’t think of a better one at the time. I guess I should have said so in a different post. If anything I was trying to calm things down a bit and wait for you to explain to us what the significance of your question “why am I not dead?”. I am still not certain of that significance but I think part of it that you believe because you were not ventilated you survived, i.e. That ventilation itself caused, or partially caused, deaths.

        From my own experience getting someone into an ICU and ventilated is a decision made at senior level and not done without due consideration. If you are confronted with someone ill enough from whatever cause for them not to be able to maintain adequate gaseous exchange if you don’t change that situation they will die. Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the medics you have to ventilate or lose your patient.

        You’ve made a long response with a number of topics raised.

        #93605 Reply

          DunGroanin, thanks for turning up. It is late; I will need to read your post far more carefully. In brief, two members of the Quaker meeting I attend died; these are the two I knew personally. Another member’s mother died. These three were all elderly, but at least one had still been independent and active. Yet another member lost six of his friends, “five elderly, but one in his prime”.

          And a friend of mine was working in the kitchen of a care home through the second peak, preparing the meal lists among other work. The staff began to get covid symptoms, but management would not give anyone time off until their lateral flow test showed positive. They were calling the place “a covid cess pit”. My friend was watching the meal lists get shorter by the day; residents were confined to their rooms. Eventually she got a positive PCR result and was given time off. When she got back to work, resident numbers had fallen from around sixty to around forty – and the chef had died.

          Sorry we got off to a bad start. I think you have inherited ill will by appearing to defend the remarks of an outright denier, which you, clearly, are not. Please forgive me, and the others. I think your insights, particularly from working at ONS, will be very valuable.

          Oh, smoking seems to be protective! Yes, there really have been some studies showing that.

          #93606 Reply

            Will moon, Goldacre’s Bad Science is primarily about the way commercial media undermines public understanding of science, and a toolkit for critical thinking. It is not really about exposing corruption; Goldacre is more an open data advocate, activist, and specialist.

            His subsequent book Bad Pharma goes into a lot more detail about government collusion with the pharmaceutical industry, but still doesn’t really cover its links to other industry, military or otherwise. Do you know of a good book on that subject? Both books are quite long enough as they are!

            #93607 Reply

              And DunGroanin, you wrote:

              “I told you many moons ago what my experience was, that I was also involved in the ONS study on the frontline from mid 2020 to spring 2021.”

              I have completely forgotten this and still don’t remember; I apologise.

              In my defence, I worked myself to a frazzle during the lockdowns, monitoring this site and posting comments to counter the trivialisation and even outright denial so many commenters were reposting here. I made this effort because, at that time, such disinformation was literally lethal. I found it extremely hectic and emotionally stressful.

              But it worked! ET, glenn_uk/nl, DrEdd and others all pitched in. This site didn’t need censorship, because the denialist sound-bites and misrepresentations were met with rational responses, from personal testimony, scientific papers, regional, national and global statistics, and first principles.

              #93609 Reply

                DunGroanin, I’ll begin addressing some of your points piecemeal, between other things I must do.

                “I interviewed and tested some 500+ random households over a nine month period and it was rare to find one with any more than one such Covid death and not even that many with positive results after almost 15 months. “

                I read an article, I doubt I could find it again, that there was a lot of media emphasis on Big R, the basic rate of infection of the virus in laboratory conditions, and Little r, the observed infective rate in a real population given social behaviour at the time – but hardly any mention of, if I remember rightly, k, the amount that infections tend to cluster. The article said that covid has an unusually high k, being passed mostly by super-spreader events. I think a specific example was given of over a hundred infections traced to a single person in an office building, dispersed through the air conditioning system.

                Could high k square your own experience of finding low prevalence, with the overall high prevalence in the national statistics? It would also explain overloaded hospitals in some regions and empty hospitals in others. Weren’t the army trucking patients about at one point?

                #93610 Reply

                  DunGroanin, I also apologise for my own intemperate remark #93548.

                  #93614 Reply
                  will moon

                    Clark, the definitive book on the links between these two monsters (MIC and BigP) has yet to be written, as far as I am aware. Glimpses are available in multitudinous sources, varying in utility, but the most promising I have found is “Germ Wars: The Politics of Microbes” by Melanie Armstrong (2017). The bibliography could be especially important as it is large and widely focused, featuring citations from both the pure and social sciences amongst the diverse sources the author consulted. There is an emphasis on the militarisation of previously medical responses in the text but it, and the bibliography, gives an image of sufficient permanence and clarity to allow a broad view of this hugely problematic relationship.

                    My main issue with the pandemic response, was telling people the jab would stop transmission: i.e. harm to others. This was the only statement that could persuade me. I was willing to take my chances otherwise. It so happens that I remember several speeches delivered by caring elders fifty years ago or so regarding the fatalities of the pre-vaccination era. They were tragic tales, none were spared the knowledge of fatal disease. I doubt there was a more pro-vaccine person than myself. But the Pandora’s Box of doubt was opened when top scientists went along with, or were silent on, this spurious claim. I felt I had been played – not a good feeling to associate with public health information. Clarity and moral authority are the main weapons in Public Health, in my opinion, but these were squandered, opening the gates for the informational FUBAR reality we see post-pandemic.

                    #93618 Reply

                      Will moon, maybe it’s because I shun the commercial mass ‘news’ media; while I was aware of the false claims that vaccination would prevent transmission, I never found it a particularly pressing message. I suppose also it could have been that I was in no hurry to start going to gigs or restaurants let alone book a passenger flight overseas. I was still avoiding infection; I was quite late getting my first vaccination because local arrangements required multiple buses to a town twenty miles away and it didn’t seem sensible to risk infection to get vaccinated. So all the furore about vaccine passports seemed rather irrelevant to me; if people had so little patience that they couldn’t resist crowding into enclosed spaces, well, that was their own problem not mine, and there was plenty of entertainment and company to be had outdoors, where risk was very low.

                      I was aware that vaccination produced only slight reduction in transmission pretty much as the results started coming in. I was watching for that data because I wanted to know.

                      #93619 Reply

                        Will moon:

                        “My main issue with the pandemic response, was telling people the jab would stop transmission: i.e. harm to others.”

                        But there is another route by which vaccination reduces the risk of harm to others. In many areas, covid overloaded hospitals. Vaccination greatly reduces severity, so at the social level, vaccination reduces load on hospitals and the health service in general, enabling those most in need of treatment to get it.

                        This is the “rugged individualism” problem again; our neoliberal media and political environment steeps us in it, so we absorb it at a subconscious level. The vast majority were thinking of risk to themselves and their loved ones, but hardly anyone was thinking about how a virus impacts an entire population.

                        Even the death rate isn’t a constant property of the virus. It’s a result of the interaction of the virus with the entire population and its health infrastructure. Covid was making 2% to 3% of those who caught it ill enough to warrant hospital admission, but there’s no way you can get 2% or 3% of the population into hospital, all in the same month or two. More die if they can’t get treatment.

                        #93620 Reply
                        will moon

                          I did not have access to the internet or TV during the event, a neighbour kept me informed of major press conferences etc.

                          I invested undue reverence in the CMO and the other top medical officials still cleaving to the views I had learned in my youth. Though my faith in politicians and the drug companies was limited (Thalomide, regulatory capture etc) I thought major public health issues would have limited private input and top officials would attempt to rise to the crisis, earning respect by showing the citizens respect. I am re-formulating my views currently

                          #93621 Reply
                          will moon

                            Nothing to do with rugged individualism. I knew of no one seriously affected by the disease and still don’t. That does not mean I dispute testimony or data if it comes from unproblematic sources. I wish the CMO felt the same.
                            Clark, my only concern was others. No one would have known if I had died in my flat; I would not have gone to hospital under any circumstances and I believe I should be able to make my own decisions. I didn’t see anyone apart from my housebound neighbour and the people in the shop, for however long the lockdown lasted.

                            #93628 Reply

                              “I am re-formulating my views currently”

                              I’m not bloody surprised. What a débâcle!

                              “Nothing to do with rugged individualism.”

                              Well I wasn’t specifically referring to you, if you’ll pardon the irony 🙂 I meant the attitudes that were being reported, and things that were being posted to this site – though comments on blogs etc. could be from genuine commenters, or from PR-run or domestic/foreign state-run influence campaigns. Certainly a lot of names appeared in the comments during both lockdowns that never appeared before, between, or since, so I do suspect that PR-run anti-lockdown influence campaigns were active.

                              “I knew of no one seriously affected by the disease and still don’t.”

                              Hopefully DunGroanin will have something to add about covid’s high k value, from his work with the Office of National Statistics. I’ve spoken to lots of people who knew of no one seriously affected, and plenty of others who knew of several, so it does look highly clustered to me.

                              “I believe I should be able to make my own decisions.”

                              I very much agree. Credit to you for your highly responsible attitude.

                              #93629 Reply

                                And thanks for the book recommendation; I’ll put in a request at the library.

                                #93791 Reply

                                  DG, I made a longer reply to you a couple of days ago but cloudflare or something gobbled it up.

                                  You stated above that there were not excess deaths in people who remained in their homes and were not ventilated.

                                  This data from The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities derives from the ONS data and runs to December 2023. ie. It’s current. Looking at place of death it is evident that there were considerable excess deaths recorded for people in their own homes, though you could rightly point out that from their graphs most were not covid-related. This data source is possibly the best I’ve come across, at least for England.

                                  Excess mortality in England.

                                  You can also look at multiple different parameters. I have linked to this data a number of times in this thread already.

                                  Here is another link to a study of ventilation on ITU patients with covid in the first month of the first wave in the Netherlands.

                                  Ventilation management and clinical outcomes in invasively ventilated patients with COVID-19 .

                                  The death rates from ventilation are not as high as you state, even in the beginning of covid when we knew less.
                                  Please keep in mind that if a patient is at the point of being unable to maintain their own oxygenation due to illness, then they are by definition very seriously ill and would likely die without ventilation.
                                  I take your point about length of ventilation being one of the determinants of prognosis. Remember though that anyone who has a general anaesthetic is ventilated for the duration of the procedure. Mostly these people do fine. Just saying it’s not as cut and dried as you are saying.

                                  As for your vaccine comments. The majority of currently-used vaccines DO NOT provide immunity. You can carry on thinking that they do, but you’d be wrong. This point has been extensively discussed earlier in this thread. Please read it from the beginning.

                                  Anti-viral drugs: which ones would they be? There is acyclovir for Herpes Simplex virus and some very useful in treating HIV (and Hep B+C), but few others – except perhaps for the flu virus. Realistically there are very few shown to be useful. They don’t really exist. A glance at the Wikipedia page on anti-viral drugs will tell you so. Please don’t bring up ivermectin again. If you do know of any currently available, proven to be effective in double blind controlled trials, do let us know.

                                  We didn’t get the Russian or Chinese vaccines because they were not approved by the relevant agencies in UK, EU and USA. This was blatantly political as I am sure you well know.

                                  #93833 Reply


                                    “you could rightly point out that from their graphs most were not covid-related”

                                    Am I right in thinking that “not covid related” means that covid is not mentioned on the death certificate? Is this the usual meaning of “not covid related”?

                                    #93834 Reply

                                      Erm, yes Clark, you are correct. I ought to have phrased that better. In their introduction they describe those graphs as being broken down by whether or not covid was mentioned on the death cert. Using the “place of death” tab compare the shading in the bottom graphs for “home” and “hospital.” A larger proportion of the excess hospital deaths are reported as having covid mentioned on the death cert. Answers on a self-addressed postcard please. 🥺

                                      I think I know where you might be going Clark. Remember though that from that data we can’t know for sure what was on the death certs that didn’t mention covid. To suggest that they may have been due to covid would also call into question the veracity of the death certification process. 🤔

                                      #93835 Reply

                                        No fault of yours ET; YouTuber John Campbell mentions this “excess deaths unrelated to covid”, hinting as hard as he can without YouTube sanctioning his account that therefore it must be the vaccines.

                                        What I’m thinking is, we know covid does long term damage, it gets into neurons, T cells, past the blood-brain barrier, so just because people died when they didn’t have or hadn’t just had covid doesn’t mean that covid isn’t increasing the death rate.

                                        Got any “excess deaths by vaccination status” stats?

                                        #93844 Reply

                                          The link to the ONS death by vaccination status appeared earlier in this thread.

                                          It’s here:
                                          Deaths by vaccination status, England.

                                          I haven’t looked at them since it came up in this thread previously.

                                          #93855 Reply

                                            Many thanks ET.

                                            #93857 Reply

                                              None of the excess deaths up to December 2020 were vaccine related because vaccines weren’t available before that.
                                              Also, excess deaths in the first few months couldn’t be “long covid” because the virus hadn’t been about long enough to have long covid.

                                              The death certification process for those who died in their own homes may not have been as robust as that in hospitals. Fewer investigations, less direct contact etc.
                                              However, one is obliged to consider there were other factors brought to bear. People unwilling to contact services, less available services, online consultations etc etc. Also, people who remained in their own homes were less likely to get covid in the first place.
                                              So, it’s complicated.

                                              #94175 Reply

                                                Not sure if this is the proper place but I found nothing better suited:

                                                Lee Fang, from THE INTERCEPT (?), on MODERNA silencing critics:

                                                “Moderna Surveillance Operation Targeted Independent Media Voices
                                                The second part of our investigation shows how Moderna carefully monitored and attacked voices questioning mandates, industry profiteering, and the efficacy and safety of childhood vaccinations.”

                                                #94184 Reply

                                                  AG, thanks for that link; I’ll read it when I get time. I think we probably need a thread about private sector influence campaigns, which I strongly suspect are far more prevalent than generally realised.

                                                  #94204 Reply

                                                    AG, I’ve just read the article you linked. I’m still thinking about it; Hopefully I’ll read it again eventually, and also part one.

                                                    None of it surprises me. I regard such issues of, let’s call it “corporocratic information management”, as merely symptomatic of the deeper problems of secrecy, very much including commercial confidentiality, and the now nearly total “full spectrum dominance” of capitalism.

                                                    I found the article somewhat one sided. That doesn’t surprise me either, unfortunately; whenever someone uncovers secrecy and manipulation of information, it’s natural for them to assume they’ve uncovered “the bad guys”. But it’s more complicated than that; when secrecy and manipulation of information are ubiquitous, they’ve uncovered merely one set of motives among many – and those motives are ones we could have guessed anyway, eg. in this case, Moderna want to maximise vaccine uptake, to maximise profit.

                                                    It’s a pretty good article in that it covers a lot of facts. However, I have a criticism of one statement in the 14th paragraph:

                                                    Early in the pandemic, criticism of policies such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates came almost entirely from independent media, which faced shadowbans and outright censorship on various platforms.

                                                    This is an oversimplification. Corporate media and allied influence campaigns use “independent” media too, e.g. James Dellingpole’s blog could be called “independent media” but its huge following is acquired from Dellingpole’s columns in the Daily Telegraph. Certainly Dellingpole published stuff there that wouldn’t have got past the Telegraph’s legal team. Dellingpole gave a platform to wealthy medical technology supply company board member Mike Yeadon on his blog, who argued against lockdown on the scientifically untenable claim that there could be no second wave. The right-wing corporate media were very anti-lockdown, but were limited in how hard they could push it by the legal restrictions they operate under.

                                                    Then we have the myriad unidentifiable commenters on independent media arguing that covid isn’t much to worry about – who all mysteriously sprung up whenever there was a lockdown or one appeared to be likely, and just as mysteriously disappeared when there wasn’t. I strongly suspect that many of these were false identities manufactured by commercially sponsored influence campaigns, because lockdowns cut profits. “Independent” media isn’t as independent as we might assume; nothing is, in an environment dominated by capitalism and obscured by commercial confidentiality.

                                                    Commercial confidentiality should be abolished. The entire surveillance systems, corporate and state run, should be pointed in precisely the opposite direction, to reveal to the public what goes on in government and corporate offices. The paywalls on scientific journals should be taken down. And Aaron Swartz cannot be resurrected, but Julian Assange must be released and statues built to both of them all over the world.

                                                    Secrecy kills.

                                                    #94209 Reply


                                                      Thank you for the infos.
                                                      I simply lack the medical knowledge on this subject.
                                                      At some point I had to decide whether I would engage into it or not. Since I have no time.
                                                      Naively I assumed since its science debate and controversy would be limited. Well, see how that turned out.
                                                      I am aware of the power politics of big pharma. Over Covid however so much coverage was going on I doubted the efficacy of secrecy here. Again, see how that turned out.
                                                      E.g. the fact alone that the European Parliament voted AGAINST the disclosure of PFIZER contracts was almost not reported in Germany, is enough to acknowledge how wrong I was.
                                                      Also no one has issue over the fact that health subsidies are cut, that the number of hospitals and personnel were already reduced DURING the pandemic years. There are policies occurring at the very same time but treated as if they had nothing to do with each other. Nor is there any discussion over the scandal that 80% (?) of dead were retirees and in care-homes. I mean that is so obviously sick. Instead they talk about children wearing masks or not over and over and over again (I mean to criticize the allocation of discursive resources). Another important point: Rents were not cancelled while people had no income. So what happens if one side makes no money but the other side, the owners of the real estate, are getting their rent every month as if there was nothing. You again have a huge redistribution of wealth. This is a non-existent topic in the media.

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