COVID-19 in 2022

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  • #92132 Reply

    AG, I suggest extreme caution, about both the hearing, and this report about it.

    The hearing seems to have been politicised and adversarial, many of the questions being posed by members of the right wing CDU, with the most biased questions coming from a particularly right wing member, Saskia Ludwig. This may explain some of the secrecy, though I’ve little doubt that secrecy was also urged by pharmaceutical companies, as they always avoid scrutiny as much as possible.

    I cannot read German, and from the translation I cannot tell whether the references given in the article were the documentary evidence presented to the hearing, or just supporting articles chosen by Christine Born, who wrote the article you linked to. However, two of these references are to YouTube which, of course, frequently promotes pseudoscience. Five of the twelve references are to which is clearly a right wing site, no less than four of them being by Peter F. Mayer who promotes the view that climate change is a hoax by a worldwide conspiracy of scientists. One of these references, tellingly and predictably, is based upon the editorial to Stat by John Ioannidis, made in the early months of the pandemic and strongly criticised by most epidemiologists, in which Ioannidis underestimated the US infection fatality rate by a factor of four, as it turned out, and claimed there were only seven covid deaths aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, when the eventual death toll was thirteen. In another reference, Mayer badly misrepresents UK official data despite each table carrying a clear warning about likely misinterpretation, which Mayer simply ignored.

    These are the same old anti-mask, anti-lockdown crowd now doing their anti-vax thing. I’m really not surprised that the officials at the hearing were cagey.

    #92133 Reply

    Oh, sorry; I forgot a positive point I meant to include, a section I strongly approve of:

    “The RKI subsequently monitors the effectiveness of the vaccination in the population in post-marketing studies (PMS), whereby the performance of medical devices is checked “in the field”, i.e. in the population. [5] Post-marketing – an interesting term and association when it comes to medicine, health and human life.”

    Big Bad Pharma spends more on marketing than on research and development; twice as much, by some estimates. There should be NO place for marketing in pharmaceuticals, as it can only make health outcomes worse.

    #93491 Reply

    What the matter Clark don’t you want a genuine opinion that disagrees with yours? Why did you have me censored?

    [ Mod: To be clear, DunGroanin, Clark did not “have you censored”. He advised, quite correctly, that the Covid issue was off topic in an article thread and that any comments in response should be posted in the discussion forum. That was the correct protocol. What you did, however, was post a follow-up in reply – contrary both to his advice and to commenting rules.

    A moderator then suspended your reply for being off topic and advised you to post it in the discussion forum. Instead you posted a quibble with moderation, which was addressed to the moderators and therefore also off topic in an article thread.

    If there’s something you still don’t understand about the moderation decisions, please post your question in the Blog Support forum. ]

    December 26, 2023 at 12:48

    Played?! My friends are dead! I’m tempted to swear at this point.

    Yes I’m aware of the censorship; I’m trying to address that here, among other places, but I get no cooperation. And yes; I, ET, DrEdd and others constantly and repeatedly posted links to scientific papers, and regional, national and global statistics, ie the biggest picture you can get, during the lockdowns. There is no way a scam could produce the degree of correlation between positive tests, hospital admissions and total mortality that Covid did, and still does.

    You seem not to understand what is wrong with the so-called MSM, ie the commercial ‘news’ media. Try the book Bad Science by Ben Goldacre rather than succumbing to conspiracy theory, because knowledge is power whereas ignorance and confusion serve the powers that be.

    And I second glenn_nl; this should be taken to the forums.

    Clark, happy whatevers, it’s been a while dear chap, but I have to have make a direct comment to you – Did you mean to divert the thread? Did you have to push an emotional button, with anecdotal personal evidence to elevate the passing C word topic?

    Do you want mine? I left it at that topic months ago. Did you or anyone answer it?
    Here it is again:
    Why am I not dead?
    I am in the high risk category, I have had the bloody thing twice. It wasn’t pleasant.
    I have not had any jabs or boosters… simple question- why am I not dead?
    Everyone has know has had it multiple times AFTER their jabs and boosters.
    Just as badly as mine. Many still suffering. I am not.

    Please Clark, even Flat Earthers eventually admitted the reality of Gravity, let it go and perhaps even give some credence to others experiences and judgements or if you wish to carry on this subject please start with answering my question.

    Why am I not dead?

    So here I am on your subtopic.

    Please answer my question.

    #93507 Reply

    DG, good to hear you’re not dead and I genuinely mean that. You’re not dead because the mortality rate from covid was/is relatively low 0.7% or so in the end. Perhaps just as relevant a question is why should you be dead just because you got covid. This is a genuine question, what perspective do you have that makes you feel by not being dead covid was somehow a hoax?

    #93509 Reply

    ET: Dungroanin suffers from binary thinking.

    Either Covid is 100% fatal in every case, particularly if there is _a tendency_ to be susceptible to its effects, or it’s completely harmless and its all bullshit. Nothing in between.

    “At risk” means “complete certainty”. A ‘danger’ means a ‘certitude’.

    Everyone always reacts exactly the same way, whether it be a susceptibility to negative effects of virus, or vaccines for that matter.

    So if one person in a million has an adverse reaction to a vaccine, it means it’s deadly to everyone, and clearly a plot to kill us all.

    On the other hand, if only 7 people in 1000 die fom Covid, it isn’t any threat whatsoever, and any action to counter this clear non-existent threat is a massive plot to…. [fill in the blank here].

    Makes sense!

    #93510 Reply

    Btw, DG, why would Clark seek to “have you censored” when he’s been practically begging people to get here to properly and honestly debate this stuff for literally years?

    #93511 Reply

    DunGroanin: Luck. Or maybe you’re fit and look after yourself.

    Now you answer me one. If covid is a hoax, or overblown or something, how come the positive test rate predicts hospital admissions by a week, and the death rate by a fortnight? How come these curves have the same, characteristic shapes, over and over, in region after region, country after country?

    Here’s another. If the jabs are so bad, how come they suppressed the amplitude of the latter two curves relative to the first by whatever large factor they did?

    I’m jabbed as many times as I could get. This bloody penny-pinching government won’t let me get jabbed again, because I’m only sixty. The next older demographic group, the 65s to whatever, are actually showing a lower excess death rate than my group, bucking the well known covid trend to be more dangerous the older one is.

    “Did you mean to divert the thread? Did you have to push an emotional button, with anecdotal personal evidence to elevate the passing C word topic?”

    Tom Welsh diverted the thread by posting potentially lethal disinformation. When I countered this with personal experience, Stevie Boy suggested I’d been “played” and that, understandably, pissed me off. It is not normal to hear of twenty nine associates, all dying in the same two one-month periods. Like it’s not normal to have 40.6 centigrade temperatures in England.

    #93512 Reply

    “Everyone has know has had it multiple times AFTER their jabs and boosters.”

    Indeed. Didn’t you hear? It was all over the news. The jabs don’t stop people getting it. They reduce the chances of getting it – a bit. But what they DO do very effectively is reduce the severity for almost everyone who does get it. You can see this in the hospital admission and all-cause mortality curves.

    #93513 Reply

    And in case you’re about to ask me why the government did this, that or the other, I don’t know and I don’t particularly care. Who knows why the terminally deluded do any of the odd things they do? I know they fucked up real bad and I’m furious about that.

    What I do care about is that people have good information so they can make sensible decisions. For themselves.

    #93514 Reply

    C: “What I _do_ care about is that people have good information so they can make sensible decisions. For themselves.”

    That’s all well and good if people really are up to it – but we see right here an awful lot of people are not. They don’t want to discuss it, deal with facts, or do anything but put down silly conclusions to simplistic notions based on flawed logic and imagined premise.

    There’s something deeper at work here – the idea we should be “self-made men”. We don’t need no stinking building codes, electrical regulations or standards. Or flight plans, air safety rules, or even rules of the roads for that matter. Let’s drive on whatever side of the road we damned well want!

    ” ‘elf’n safe-ty ” – a ridiculed notion, something busy-bodies thrive on. We should all be rugged individuals! But when the question of why precisely no people died in the construction of the 2012 British Olympic Arena, while god only knows how many thousands died during the construction of the Saudi football arenas, the ” ‘Elf’n safety ” mockers go all quiet. But only for a moment, of course.

    The hard-right libertarian no-tax, no-society, rugged individualists hate the idea of a common threat – climate change, Covid – that we all need to get together and fight.

    That’s why it’s _desperately_ sad to see decent people become useful idiots as climate change and Covid denialists with such idiotic enthusiasm. They’re there with Trump, the Daily Mail and Fox News! Let’s fight The System! /face palm/

    #93515 Reply

    “What I do care about is that people have good information so they can make sensible decisions. For themselves.”

    See, by promoting disinformation and refusing to debate and thus learn, Tom Welsh and the like are actually strengthening the case for censorship and government authoritarianism – “Oh the poor, ignorant public, they need protecting from themselves and each other”*.

    I happen to believe the opposite. If you treat people as intelligent and give them good information, they act far more intelligently than if you scare them to try and manipulate them, and then bully them – which, understandably, predictably even, makes them distrustful.

    * (even though these are the same sanctimonious tossers who fucked up the social restrictions so badly that England had one of the highest covid death rates in the world. Do you know how many passengers flew in and out of the UK during the “lockdowns”? Sixteen fucking million.)

    #93521 Reply

    Glenn and Clark, I was hoping DG would answer my question for himself. I wanted to read how he expresses his viewpoint because it’s a similar viewpoint some of my own family (who live in London) have, despite my best efforts to sway them with facts, face to face.
    Also, for the most part they would otherwise have similar views to my own on other topics. I want to entertain the view that perhaps it’s me who is missing something.

    #93522 Reply

    I should add that the argument I hear from my London-based family – who as “key workers” had to go to work every day – is that they know of no one within their circles who died because of covid. Their emphasis is very much on the harms of lockdowns. As one worked in a south london school I have to listen to what they have to say, especially about primary-school–aged kids.
    In another thread some time ago someone mentioned in a cynical way that mocked the fact that kids were starting school unable to talk, less able to socialise, and not toilet trained. Think about that!

    #93523 Reply

    ET, sorry. Those were my replies to DunGroanin, who had addressed their questions to me. I hope DunGroanin does reply to your post as well.

    However, people seem to have a strong urge to post only on the most active comment thread, and seem reluctant to huddle in the forums for a quieter, more focussed chat to sort out a few facts. I guess it’s the rugged individualistic milieu under which we’re all struggling to live that glenn_nl described above. I guess people don’t realise that it gets under our skins whether we want it to or not, and that it takes conscious decisions to counter it. Everyone wants to be different (just like everyone else), and they want to be seen to be different!

    Together we stand; divided we’ll fall. We’re falling fast these days, and accelerating. The higher you fly, the faster you fall. Why these mountains? Why this sky? This long road. This empty room.

    #93524 Reply

    ET, the lockdowns were appalling, just one of the aspects of the government’s great fuck-ups. Grief, I could go on about this for hours.

    Johnson’s Brexit party, elected on the single issue of controlling the UK’s border, completely neglected to control the UK’s border. And the ‘news’ media never mentioned this! I think the despised and ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn suggested border control in the House. We’re a group of islands! With immediate border quarantine, we could have been like New Zealand, with no social restrictions whatsoever.

    If they’d acted a bit late, there was the option China and Australia deployed; immediate, localised lockdown with travel restriction immediately upon detection; trace, test and quarantine to stamp it out; back to no restrictions in days or weeks rather than several months.

    The lockdowns and economic measures could have been designed to cause class-stratified resentment. If you were wealthy, you got paid time off work and you could go out in your garden as much as you liked. If you were working class you had to expose yourself to infection at work, and otherwise remain confined to your flat.

    Then there was the “grass up your neighbour” campaign, followed by “get vaccinated or be socially excluded” while government ministers flouted their own rules and channelled vast sums into the pockets of their cronies for schemes that could never do any good.


    #93525 Reply

    But if you think covid was bad, just think how badly this system will fail as the ecological and climate crisis begins to bite.

    #93548 Reply

    DunGroanin, it seems, simply won’t come to the forums. Not interested in debate; just wants to promote an extreme opinion where the most people are watching. Ego; nothing more, not even the money-making incentive of the commercial media.

    DunGroanin, please prove me wrong. Really, I could do with more faith in humanity 🙁 But I see you’ve been posting on the front thread.

    #93549 Reply

    Well there appears to be a lot of activity suddenly, it is not nested as in the main comments section so I’ll start from the top.

    ET – you traduce me – I have never claimed Covid to be a hoax.

    Show me anywhere where I have, going back to the beginning. I even stated that I had it twice and when, many times.

    Either withdraw that LIE immediately or forever stand proven that you are a LYING PIECE OF EXCREMENT. And at every opportunity I will CITE THIS FALSE ACCUSATION.

    Sorry for shouting but I will not be traduced by some strange alien creature.

    Let me respond to your non sequitur about the mortality and whatever that has to do with the price of fish?
    What is the mortality rate from flu and cold?
    In fact do give us a list of mortality rates for various afflictions if you would be so kind and place SarsCov2 on that list for vaccinated and unvaccinated, boosted, and other such variables. Please make sure it includes raw data so that I can analyse it myself.

    I can’t wait.

    #93550 Reply

    Glenn, I studied science, physics at university level. I know statistical analysis. I have forgotten more than most will ever learn in their life.

    So you to as ET has chosen an ad hominem route so here’s my response to your particular attempt at cancelling my opinion by calling me names – BINARY!!

    So what gives you the wit to claim that I am a binary thinker?

    It does seem that at best that is PROJECTION by you.

    It is your binary thinking that is perhaps on show.

    See? That’s how it’s done, halfwit – with wit.
    As with ET, kindly withdraw your ad hom and stop being childish.

    #93555 Reply

    Welcome to the discussion forum, DunGroanin, and thanks for engaging with the questions and criticisms. Nonetheless, your responses contain several barbed remarks that might be understandable in the circumstances, due the intemperate nature of previous debates, but could prompt equally derisory responses.

    As mentioned in the comments section, the forum debates will be monitored more closely than before, due to complaints that were previously raised relating to personal abuse, bullying and bias. The ‘Fair Play’ rule in the moderation rules for commenters will be applied more strictly:

    Fair Play
    Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others…. No taunting.

    Address the argument, not the person. To do otherwise will be an immediate warning flag for deletion. Any reference to any commenter which is not courteous will lead to the comment being immediately deleted.

    Accordingly, all participants are required to keep the tone of debate respectful. That means replies that don’t meet the courtesy criterion – for example, if they contain personal abuse, unwarranted accusations, fallacious ad hominems, mockery, or sarcasm – will be suspended and replaced with a moderator’s notification.

    Hopefully from this point onwards the discussions will be more constructive.

    #93565 Reply
    will moon

    Clark re Goldacre’s book. It is strangely silent on the links between the MIC and Big Pharma

    I have just browsed the 2014 edition and I see no mention of this intimate relationship

    While the book is good with what it covers, I find it concerning what is not mentioned

    If you think of all the medical data transferred from the defeated powers in WW2 (forced testing on human subjects etc), it strikes me there should be some mention of this relationship in the aforementioned book.

    Big Pharma and the MIC are irrevocably linked as far as I can tell

    #93566 Reply

    I’m here, Clark. I have other interests too, you know.
    I am not afraid to debate and bring data and analysis to back it up.
    I am now also extremely angry by what I’ve seen posted here since I was advised by the mod to bring it here – as you will notice.

    So pardon me if this is a bit frank but I do not feel in the mood to be pulling my punches.

    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. Directly testing and collecting random participants – so you must see that you ain’t talking to some random person who derives their understanding from mass media but through science.

    Now having got that caveat out of the way. Will you be prepared to submit your personal list of Covid deaths to some analysis?
    Not because I doubt that you personally knew of these people but that it seems an exceptional number. 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.

    Covid is real – I had it at the beginning of 2020 and then again at the end of 2021. I was out and about all the time and must also have picked up all the variants. But that did not register with me as much as these two infections.
    They were worse than any flu I ever had. I was debilitated for couple of weeks and had weakness for weeks after.

    Most casualties were from care homes deprived from family and care workers! It seems that more than a few just wasted away from dehydration or lack of food. Many perhaps couldn’t stand the depression and isolation and stopped wanting to live.

    My friend’s father recovering from a stroke was, equally as cruelly, murdered in such a facility, unable to be visited and looked after by his family; the funerals also equally restricted.

    The majority of deaths were in that type of group. Those who lived at home and had support didn’t die in such numbers. Many did get ill but if they didn’t go to isolation in hospitals, they recovered.

    There were Excess deaths. I got up to over 70,000 based on ONS data. More than the civilians in WW2. Bozo got more killed than Churchill!!
    The bodies piled high, and he did have to sort out the care system he promised in his ‘election’.

    The scare right at the beginning was the supposed affliction of the lungs of anyone who caught it! Where that narrative originated and was pushed is an interesting point for medical historians to study.
    Also criminal investigators – seeing as how much is being swept under the carpet at the laughable ‘Inquiry’ where it is taken for granted that Government-issued ministerial phones were somehow able to lose thousands of WhatsApp messages because Bozo or Sunak pressed the wrong button when they were setting up their new phones themselves!!

    Do you believe that? Do you believe that government ministers set up their own phones? That WhatsApp sitting in the cloud or in backups or archives can suddenly become inaccessible to the IT experts whose job it is to look after that?
    My ONS job also required sandboxed apps on secure phones eventually supplied – we had to use our own early on, with some US Salesforce app bludgeoned into service to collect masses of personal data that lived on US servers!
    Data gathered which goes directly to medical insurance and Pharma companies.

    Anyway leaving that aside – I’ll return quickly at the ‘glass lung’ syndrome that could only be aided by a VENTILATOR!

    Kindly tell me what your understanding of ventilation is, when it is used, how it is used, for how long?
    Tell me what the recovery rates are from ventilation and associated coma and how it changes with how long anyone is ventilated?
    That is, let’s have a look at mortality from ventilation, regardless of the cause of ventilation.
    To be absolutely clear cut, take numbers prior to Covid.

    I have looked, and I did it early and I knew that ventilation was a death sentence.
    If you remember there was a rush to get ventilators built, but there was no such rush to get nurses and doctors trained to manage patients. Because such intensive care nursing doesn’t just hang around in General wards.
    It takes 3 years to take a trained nurse and make them an intensive care nurse. Or used to, when we had a decent NHS.

    You may even recall that the great British success story inventor Dyson was tasked to bring his skills to bear upon building a modern ventilator by the thousands – did he? NO, because he quickly saw through the scam that it was and that it would kill more people than anything.
    So no Dyson miracle lungs!!

    Look also at the Chinese Emergency hospitals set up to deal with the mass infected. A makeshift giant ward with hundreds of beds laid out – none of them on ventilators.

    These hospitals declared victory in the middle of 2020, took their masks off and went back to normal awaiting the development of their Covid vaccine or herd immunity, relying on isolation when flare-ups happened. How many millions of Chinese are dead?

    Which brings me to that whole vaccine issue.
    Yes, now you say these vaccines are not supposed to grant immunity!
    Really? is that even a vaccine by definition?
    Do no vaccines provide immunity?
    Does the flu vaccine provide immunity for the specific viral types they have been constructed for? What about all these travel vaccines we used to take? Polio? Yellow Fever, etc.? It is a strange idea of what vaccination means, if you believe they are not designed to do what they are supposed to do!

    Finally, on vaccines, why is it that we are forced only to have the ones supplied to us. Why don’t we get a choice of vaccine? Why can’t we get the Chinese one, or the Russian one or the Cuban one?
    Why is having had Covid and recovered, and thus with ‘immunity’, not as valid as a vaccine (that doesn’t provide immunity!)
    Why were people forced to have vaccine passports to travel for something you admit is not there to provide immunity?

    Why are all these billions of people who have not had any, in many parts of the world, not reporting excess deaths. How have they managed to survive??

    What are the efficacies of the various vaccines? What was claimed initially 80–90%? That is IMMUNITY – not the now supposed not-really-immunity that everyone harps on about?

    Why weren’t antivirals also tried? You know, the ones which have been around for decades that are known to be effective against deadly viruses, safe to humans, and out-of-copyright so that pharmaceuticals that originally made them couldn’t claim a continued monopoly and premium from their manufacture and supply? But ‘new’ extremely expensive patented antivirals were rushed into service? Without any trial data?

    So you see Clark – I am 60 now, smoke, drink daily, not particularly fit, but I do tend not to eat crap fast food; I am not obese, I don’t have diabetes but I’m sure my liver and kidney, heart, and especially lungs. could all be better off with more abstention. Perhaps this new year I’ll aim to be better – why am I not only not dead, but not suffering from Long Covid anymore or have had serious Covid only twice; whilst most of my peer group are now on their 4th or fifth bouts? Including having suffered immune responses from most of the jabs they have had.

    There is science and data and honest appraisal of it.
    And then there is base flat-Earthism, and a sucker born every minute.
    As Twain said, the hardest thing to prove to such people is they have been suckered. I have been scammed by con artists in my life, some even friends and family!
    But I learn from my experience; I don’t blame anyone but myself for having been trusting. I admit my error and attempt not to repeat it. That has been how I have tried to live my life since my 20s.

    I am not interested in a never-ending circular debate; I have other things to do. My intervention on the main thread was to stop it spiralling off into Covid/climate derangement syndrome as usual. When there is mass murder in Palestine and Ukraine and we are blightly directly involved in these hell holes.

    That’s all. I’ll check back sometime to see if you wish to let me look at the data on your list of casualties. I am intrigued.

    #93569 Reply

    Noted Mod. I aim to be civil but will not turn the other cheek – my response was a response – I am fuming by the two posters adhoms and have asked them to withdraw – will they?
    As you can see I am trying my best to engage with Clark and the tricky subjects I really have attempted to steer clear of for the last year.

    #93573 Reply

    [ Mod: Sorry, glenn_nl, but you’ll have to moderate your tone to contribute to these debates. We won’t go down the same path towards mutual mud-slinging again. Patronising the opposition is out of order; so is exaggerating their responses (e.g. “stop jumping up and down”), calling them their rhetorical questions “stupid”, and making sarcastic remarks. Accordingly, very little of your reply would clear the bar.

    Kindly have a rethink and try to adopt a more cordial attitude. ]

    #93578 Reply

    [ Mod: Dialogue with moderators should be posted in the Blog Support forum rather than in topical discussion threads. ]

    #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.

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