SARS cov2 and Covid 19

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  • #62019

    No definatly not them or anyone else. The mods can confirm this.

    If you’re not seeing the connection in my previous comment, go back to the claims at the beginning of this fiasco and how long it would take to “flatten” the mythical curve.
    Then ask yourself how long it’s been and what has been flattened(or obliterated).
    Now read the comment that I replied to.

    [ Mod: ‘nothinguptop’ first posted as ‘nobodyhome’ in December 2019, once, and several times thereafter with the new moniker. There is no evidence to link the identity to ‘Node’. ]


    Hi SA,

    Thanks for clarifying.
    As you say we seem to agree in part and there’s little that is settled yet, so any of us, no matter how much we’ve read, could end up with egg on our faces.

    I disagree that healthy people locking themselves up is sensible and although happy to make arrangements for those with valid worries I would not force it on anyone and there really isn’t evidence that it’s anything but destructive(economy/mental health/unhealthy environment).

    The one place I would say I’m confident is masks and I’d go as far as saying they perform the opposite of what is claimed(that’s before the psychological impacts are considered).

    As for the bit you can’t seem to accept.
    It was a comment on the main thing that’s been achieved(deliberate or overwise) and the fear mongering stupidity of what I was replying to.

    Anyway my main concern is the overall outcome and particularly what it’s doing to children, so a couple of links to show where my real concern lies(not the virus, it’s done nothing to demand it).


    I have composed a long reply, but here is a shortened version.

    The normal response to the virus and the pandemic:

    • The methods of dealing with a pandemic of infectious diseases have been established over the centuries. These include initially restricting intercountry and within country movements according to infected areas. If the risk is higher, closing of borders would be necessary.
    • imitation of close interaction between individuals, limitation of crowding in closed spaces and limiting close contact, limit handshakes and so on. The wearing of face masks is also helpful in reducing the incidence of infection, but the effect may be minimal but still useful.
    • A prompt testing and tracing to identify infected and potentially infectious individuals to isolate early and prevent the spread of disease.
    • These actions should be done reflexively.
    • Isolation of infected individuals is a public health safety issue and is not up to individuals to determine and implement. This is a core responsibility of public health organizations. It means also that the state should provide adequate facilities for caring for infected individuals and looking after their needs.
    • There are international conventions. The WHO declared a pandemic sometime in the first part of March, but each country then seems to have decided that they will do their own thing without any international coordination.
    • These measures which could extend to a national lockdown are meant to reduce the transmission level to make it manageable and eventually to contain or eliminate the virus. A long or repeated lockdown means failure of the initial policy and will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to deal with the pandemic.

    Sadly you cannot play around with this whilst mathematicians ascertain the exact IFR which is meaningless as an average value in an ongoing pandemic in a fast evolving situation and with so much variability in mortality rates in different subgroups. Moreover, the IFR does not take account of the considerable morbidity and the possible social and economic consequences of lots of people being sick, nor of the possible sequelae of the infection.

    I agree that there have been indirect consequences of the lockdown and just to limit the discussion to two: treatment of other conditions has suffered, and the mental health problems associated with lockdown. (Incidentally this also applies to the economic consequences also). Yes these are real and serious, but the remedies proposed are binary: either deal with covid-19 or deal with these other problems. No, the answer is that the first lockdown should have given us enough time to think this through. My personal opinion is that the extent of the pandemic is now such that it is too late to contain, but that does not mean easing the lockdown. It means finding innovative ways to dealing with these other problems within the constraints of the lockdown. This is where the incompetence of the present administration is showing most, it is reactively dealing with problems as they, or even after they arise. There are already some hospitals, I believe who have devised Covid and non-Covid streams. Similarly with child and youth mental health services, this is a chance to see why these problems have burst into the open. They are just exaggerations of a trend that has been ongoing because of the nature of austerity and cuts in public services dictated by the neoliberal capitalists policy of enforced austerity. There is no capitalist solution to this crisis, and no room for too much individualism, society must now understand that the only route to improvement is actually a socialist one.


    Sorry SA, but I only got as far as this

    “The wearing of face masks is also helpful in reducing the incidence of infection”

    I’ve shown this to be a scientifically proven lie(first link in my last post provides enough links but I can supply more. It was accepted science by everyone until March/April this year. What changed?), so I hope you understand why that’s as far as I read.

    You asked questions and I answered, so please address the issue that my reply concerned and it is the most important one at this point(we can talk about the lack of science/history concerning healthy people doing the most unhealthy/economically destructive thing imaginable once we conclude the science of masks).

    I’ll repeat.

    There is and never has been any science that backs what you say.

    If you think otherwise supply links(not low confidence shit like the Lancet tried to get away with).

    Masks are scientifically proven to be detrimental to the wearer and a source for spread.
    You need to show otherwise with real science or accept that masks are no more than symbolism(history backs this up).

    Your avoidance worries me. Do you back healthy people wearing a portable, virus spreading, petri dish and worse still, depriving young people of the oxygen needed for their brains to develop fully, all for a macabre symbolism that has no basis in science?

    I expected more SA, but you seem you appear to live in the same fantasy world as the person my original comment was aimed at.
    Scientifically that’s somewhere lower than than this

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by modbot.


    Thank you for your answer. I missed your first link thinking it was part of the second more prominent link.
    The link is to a blog post, hardly a scientific resource to get important health related information. After reading a bit, I looked up Jim Meehan and found that he is a well known antivaxxer with a history of making many claims about vaccine safety and other issues. Moreover I believe he is an ophthalmologist with not much published research and certainly not in virology or infectious disease.
    Now I have to say that I stopped reading. I have had a long and unfruitful experience with an antivaxxer in another thread of this website. I will not therefore fall for this method of being bogged down in pseudoscience by people who do not publish their findings and arguments in scientifically approved peer reviewed journal.
    I will therefore decline to engage with you further and would just like to warn the modS of the possibility that you may be trying to spread misinformation.



    You make an unfounded accusation and fail again to address the issue of masks.

    There is no scientific argument for healthy people to wear masks.
    I know this and you if as claimed read science know this.

    As I’ve asked before for you to link some of your “science” but you seem unable to do that, so I’d suggest you stop throwing baseless accusations around.

    You seem to have misled by mass media bullshit.
    Shame on you and your lack of science.


    And it is my hope that the moderators of this forum don’t take heed of your warning SA! I didn’t personally follow the links which nothinguptop provided, but this concept of suppressing what is labelled by someone as ‘misinformation’ is, in my view, not a good thing and never will be. But it is everywhere, not least the latest Facebook suppression of groups claiming the US election has been rigged. I have no idea if it has been rigged or not, and find Biden and Trump equally loathsome myself, albeit for different reasons, but trying to suppress the voices of those that passionately believe it has, is unhelpful and inflammatory. If you encounter a proponent of a an argument contrary to one’s own, surely one should set out a counter argument, not simply dismiss it because you don’t rate them as an individual. This is so common nowadays. The commenters on this site seem to me well able to sift information and form a conclusion without having it pre-judged so that it fits someone else’s definition of veracity. Lets not try and bring that here too!


    I sort of agree with you that censorship is not a good thing. But if a forum is infiltrated with people with an agenda that is not what is stated it is a form of deception. And maybe that is what should be pointed and hope so that we can have open honest discussion. I have had a very long experience of this on a thread about vaccines, it is time consuming and it is a method of gaining insidious publicity.


    “If you encounter a proponent of a an argument contrary to one’s own, surely one should set out a counter argument, not simply dismiss it because you don’t rate them as an individual.”

    All easy to say but when you are bombarded with something like what you did, a nearly two hours video to watch in order to see the argument, one has to decide whether to invest the time. Indications as to whether to invest the time or not start by looking at the source and its associations. I have no time and will not discuss with people who are anti-vaxxers, HIV and overt Covid-deniers and naturopaths and homeopaths. Similarly it is futile to discuss on the subject of religion because beliefs cannot be displaced with reason. When the start of a discussion is to discount anything to do with the establishment across the board, and to label mainstream science and medicine as part of a big conspiracy and to ignore public and international bodies, and only believe people who broadcast their ideas and findings on YouTube and personal blogs, and who are not willing to acknowledge the basis of scientific methods and do not acknowledge the peer review process then it really is not worth investing the time.


    Fair enough. I promise not to post a link to anything lengthy which I find interesting again! But surely participation in a discussion is voluntary? Why should you feel ‘bombarded’ by counter opinions, whatever their source? I almost daren’t ask, for risk of being accused of wasting your time again. It is as though there is one ‘Truth’ and you have appointed yourself staunchless guardian of it. You kindly took the time to respond constructively to the link I posted re. Mike Yeadon, conceding some points and refuting others. But then you subsequently commented you wouldn’t have bothered had you had prior knowledge of the guy interviewing him!
    I too have followed Craig’s blog for many years, occasionally posting if I have a period of inactivity. The really good thing about it is the different viewpoints that are made. I really don’t understand why you should look upon participation as some kind of exhausting duty which necessitates a sort of ‘filtering’ process to accomplish whatever it is you are trying to do.



    “There is no scientific argument for healthy people to wear masks.
    I know this and you if as claimed read science know this.”

    Oh, really? “Science”, you say, mmm? (While referencing a pseudoscientist, I see.) OK, then. Let’s have a quick look at some of the relevant science.

    “We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.”
    Howard et al (2020). Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review. Preprints.

    “The results of this review revealed that the use of masks is associated with a protective effect against respiratory infections in healthcare facilities, in long-term care facilities and at mass gatherings.”
    Olry de Labry-Lina et al. (2020). The use of masks to protect against respiratory infections: an umbrella review. Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica.

    “… wearing simple homemade or surgical face masks in public is highly recommended if no particle filtrating respiratory mask is available. Firstly, because they protect against habitual contact of the face with the hands and thus serve as self-protection against contact infection. Secondly, because the flow resistance of the masks ensures that the air remains close to the head when breathing, speaking, singing, coughing and sneezing, thus protecting other people if they have sufficient distance from each other.”
    Kähler & Hain (2020). Fundamental protective mechanisms of face masks against droplet infections. Journal of Aerosol Science.

    “The results of the current study add to the growing body of literature supporting the use of face masks as a measure to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by retaining potentially contagious droplets that can infect other people and/or contaminate surfaces. Based on the current evidence, face masks should therefore be considered a useful and low-cost device in addition to social distancing and hand hygiene during the postlockdown phase.”
    Landi et al. (2020). Should face masks be worn to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the postlockdown phase? Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.

    “Because asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 produce respiratory droplets that can remain suspended in air for several hours, social distancing may not be a reliable physical barrier to transmission. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, some governments were reluctant to mandate public mask use out of concern this would worsen shortages of respirators for healthcare workers. Cloth masks with a filtering effectiveness of 70-90% can be made from widely available materials, and are a better option than respirators for the public.”
    Salter (2020). Reinventing Cloth Masks in the Face of Pandemics. Risk Analysis.

    “Conclusion: cloth face masks are a preventive measure with moderate efficacy in preventing the dissemination of respiratory infections caused by particles with the same size or smaller than those of SARS-CoV-2. The type of fabric used, number of layers and frequency of washings influence the efficacy of the barrier against droplets.”
    Lima et al. (2020). Cloth face masks to prevent Covid-19 and other respiratory infections. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem.

    Those are just a few quick examples: I could fill your screen with dozens more … if I had time. But that’s the profound imbalance here. It doesn’t take many minutes to lift a rumour from a dubious pseudoscientific website and regurgitate it in a forum. Checking the relevant science takes a great deal longer; and it’s hardly the province of amateurs.


    ‘Those are just a few quick examples:’ And that is all that is required as a response don’t you think? So much more useful than ‘Its all bollocks because Mickey Mouse said it’.


    You are quite right and I apologise for being so pompous. I was curious enough about Yeadon to look at what he said and I always find it good to challenge one’s own belief by reading something intelligent and certainly he made some sense, more so than this guy JIM Meehan that nothingontop quoted. Please do not feel that you have wasted my time, far from it.


    That is exceedingly gracious of you SA. Thank you.

    Roger Gough

    Has this point been discussed here yet? If masks are at all valuable in slowing or halting the spread of any flu virus, why have the UK population never been directed to wear them before? . Surely that would have saved many lives and ‘helped save the NHS’. Why are masks not issued free to everyone by the NHS?


    Because ‘flu is not as contagious as SARS cov2. There is also a certain amount of herd immunity and a vaccine given to the elderly. Mortality from ‘flu is also much lower.


    Masks will slow the spread of all respiratory viruses and can also be used to reduce the incidence of flu and in fact are widely used in Japan and other Asian countries. Here is also an explanation of where they work.


    Meanwhile the government is taking this opportunity to reinstate the VAT payable on face masks. This was removed in May but is being reintroduced


    On government “guidance”, British supermarkets are restricting access to certain goods deemed “non-essential”. That’s got nothing to do with the virus. Staff explaining to customers who are so stupid as not to know how to wear a face mask that we breathe through three holes on our faces and not just through our mouths would reduce viral load by a much greater proportion than preventing customer access to the clothes section of the shop floor. So would encouraging people harder to wipe trolley handles with disinfectant. So would a public relations campaign explaining that masks made of cloth are a joke insofar as they are good at stopping dust but don’t stop so many bacteria or viruses, which are much smaller than dust particles. So would banning those hand-drying machines in public and customer toilets that blow germs all over the place. (Please don’t use them, folks. Just wiggle your hands in the air and they’ll dry in about 20 seconds.) What, then, is the real reason for the rope-offs in shops? What the government and the big business interests it serves are doing is nudging. They are expectation engineering. They are preparing the population for staying docile when the shortages come – actual real shortages: empty shelves, not stocked shelves that you can see but aren’t allowed to buy anything from.

    Am still thinking about the army deployment in Liverpool and the billeting of soldiers in the Pontins holiday camp. Even though the culture of the armed forces centres around unquestioning obedience to orders, there is still a nudging and public relations effort internally within the army and the other two services. It would be useful to know more about what is being told to these soldiers in Liverpool. Certainly they are getting a type of experience that is new in the domain of their relations with the home civilian population. A similar thing can be said about some of the staff in supermarkets and other shops.


    Today is the fifth consecutive day with more than 1000 reported deaths “with Covid-19” in the US. The last time that happened was in August, three months ago.

    Hunker down for a tough winter.


    The reason why non-essential shopping is cordoned off is that it is exactly the place that attracts those who do not use face masks properly and do not sanitise their trolley handles! Seriously though, it is to limit the exposure to virus by limiting the amount of time a shopper spends in the shop. But it is not either or as you seem to imply, it is all three.
    As to air hand dryers, I fully agree with you, what an efficient way to circulate droplets and even aerosols! Nobody seems to have cottoned on to this. They should be banned, but of course one aspiring ventilator manufacturer who makes masses of these SARS cov2 spreading machines, might object on the basis of free trade and discrimination against the spread and thereby reduction of profits both ways, lesser spread lesser use of said theoretical ventilators, lesser profit all round.
    The deployment of the army to deal with public health matters is appalling. Why not use tried and tested public health routes and build them up instead of privatising to inefficient dido-friends-of-the-tory-profit-making-catastrophe-fund? But of course we know the answer.



    You start with this

    “Oh, really? “Science”, you say, mmm? (While referencing a pseudoscientist)”

    How about a comment on what was said in the article and all the links it provided?
    I can only assume you like SA are avoiding that for some reason.

    You then put a few selective quotes from selective articles. Did you see how many links where in the article your avoiding talking about?

    I picked one of your articles at random, read it and a few of it’s own links. You quoted from the first paragraph, but not from the start, which sets the tone slightly different from your selective quote don’t you think?

    “Many governments have instructed the population to wear simple mouth-and-nose covers or surgical face masks to protect themselves from droplet infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in public. However, the basic protection mechanisms and benefits of these masks remain controversial”.

    Is that not a relevant piece of the article?

    How about this(again before what you quoted).

    “we provide visual evidence that typical household materials used by the population to make masks do not provide highly efficient protection against respirable particles and droplets with a diameter of 0.3–2 μm as they pass through the materials largely unfiltered.”

    Like you I’ve left some bits out. See how that works?

    The article contradicts itself multiple times and works from a starting point that already knows what answers it wants to find and diligently sets out it’s experiment to achieve that(just look at the cough photo. Who does that in the real world?).

    I was going to highlight bits, but why bother with conclusions like this

    “If these general rules are followed and all people use suitable particle-filtering respirators correctly, the transmission of viruses via droplets/aerosols can be effectively prevented. Otherwise, these types of masks would never have received certification, nor would they be a core component of the personal protective equipment in hospitals and other environments. Therefore, proper face masks can save lives while maintaining social life and securing the economy and the state.”

    That first sentence even if it was correct(it isn’t) is logistically impossible.

    Second sentence is a lie. As all the science before April 2020 agreed.
    A few they seem to have missed

    Ritter et al., in 1975
    Laslett and Sabin, in 1989(again in 2002)
    Tunevall’s 1991
    Skinner and Sutton in 2001
    Lahme et al., in 2001
    Figueiredo et al., in 2001

    Therefore the third sentence is a lie and pseudowhatitscalled.

    But they still don’t know when to quit

    “Second, some people are extremely bad at following rules, either because they do not want to or because they simply cannot. These people can become super spreaders”.

    Super spreaders?
    That’s science is it?

    So lots of words. Many that where contradictory and no mention of the massive harm they cause to the wearer, or the possibility that they spread more than protect.
    None of it taking into account real world scenarios, like this bit from your selective quote

    “Firstly, because they protect against habitual contact of the face with the hands and thus serve as self-protection against contact infection. Secondly, because the flow resistance of the masks ensures that the air remains close to the head ”

    Firstly, it’s well documented that the general public don’t know how to use correctly, constantly touch whilst on and reuse.
    Secondly, the air doesn’t do that in the real world.

    You end with the same sad condescension you started with

    “Those are just a few quick examples: I could fill your screen with dozens more”

    Before April 2020?

    Go for it. Anyone that looks will be able to beat you at least 10/1

    And you finish with

    ” It doesn’t take many minutes to lift a rumour from a dubious pseudoscientific website and regurgitate it in a forum. Checking the relevant science takes a great deal longer; and it’s hardly the province of amateurs”

    After the article I read, I have to say that’s very honest of you. Try reading more.

    Enough of the distractions now. I’m not interested in playing.
    As you’ll know(if you read why I posted that article,so maybe not) my concern is children(adults can follow any cult they like) and I have to say well done to parents of Broadgreen International School pupils for fighting back. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go look at the letter they sent to parents on Friday(I believe).
    There’s something that should worry people.


    We can all be bogged down with totally irrelevant discussions about the utility of facemasks. It probably is of lesser importance than social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings. Also the most crucial strategy in overcoming the pandemic, more important than face masks by far is testing and tracing and quarantine. All three have been done inadequately in countries with high mortality such as Britain and US some of the most advanced economies.

    I personally prefer to read a review like this one The 2019–2020 Novel Coronavirus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) Pandemic: A Joint American College of Academic International Medicine-World Academic Council of Emergency Medicine Multidisciplinary COVID-19 Working Group

    What started as a cluster of patients with a mysterious respiratory illness in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, was later determined to be coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The pathogen severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel Betacoronavirus, was subsequently isolated as the causative agent. SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted by respiratory droplets and fomites and presents clinically with fever, fatigue, myalgias, conjunctivitis, anosmia, dysgeusia, sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, dyspnea, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. In most critical cases, symptoms can escalate into acute respiratory distress syndrome accompanied by a runaway inflammatory cytokine response and multiorgan failure. As of this article’s publication date, COVID-19 has spread to approximately 200 countries and territories, with over 4.3 million infections and more than 290,000 deaths as it has escalated into a global pandemic. Public health concerns mount as the situation evolves with an increasing number of infection hotspots around the globe. New information about the virus is emerging just as rapidly. This has led to the prompt development of clinical patient risk stratification tools to aid in determining the need for testing, isolation, monitoring, ventilator support, and disposition. COVID-19 spread is rapid, including imported cases in travelers, cases among close contacts of known infected individuals, and community-acquired cases without a readily identifiable source of infection. Critical shortages of personal protective equipment and ventilators are compounding the stress on overburdened healthcare systems. The continued challenges of social distancing, containment, isolation, and surge capacity in already stressed hospitals, clinics, and emergency departments have led to a swell in technologically-assisted care delivery strategies, such as telemedicine and web-based triage. As the race to develop an effective vaccine intensifies, several clinical trials of antivirals and immune modulators are underway, though no reliable COVID-19-specific therapeutics (inclusive of some potentially effective single and multi-drug regimens) have been identified as of yet. With many nations and regions declaring a state of emergency, unprecedented quarantine, social distancing, and border closing efforts are underway. Implementation of social and physical isolation measures has caused sudden and profound economic hardship, with marked decreases in global trade and local small business activity alike, and full ramifications likely yet to be felt. Current state-of-science, mitigation strategies, possible therapies, ethical considerations for healthcare workers and policymakers, as well as lessons learned for this evolving global threat and the eventual return to a “new normal” are discussed in this article.

    Maybe there are not all the answers we seek but it has a lot of documentation of facts published, and through clinical practice, but also lessons learnt, from this Pandemic which showed how unprepared the world was to deal with the pandemic, despite the recent scares from SARS, MERS and the Ebola virus outbreaks.

    I would also like to read about some clin9cal developments such as disorders of the normal immunological and clotting responses to the virus, developments that give us more understanding of why the disease has such a widespectrum of severity in different settings. These are much more useful than these rather unrewarding discussions that are really distractions.


    The World Health Organisation’s “Immunisation Agenda 2030”: “a global strategy to leave no-one behind”, “a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age…fully benefits from vaccines”. What subtle phrasing.

    So far one of the most striking features of the pandemic has been the level of uniformity of governments’ policies around the world.

    If any government ever wants to vaccinate me against my will, they’ll have to bring some damned big policemen…

    According to the Big Pharma-owned “WHO”, “immunization plays a key role in eliminating poverty”. Really? Does it now? Maybe the poverty we see in the world is an illusion that was conjured up by crazed “anti-vaxxers”? What else is needed to get out of poverty other than being vaccinated? Watching lots of adverts? Obeying all orders without question? Killing your own children maybe?

    Perhaps soon Google and Apple will turn smartphones off unless their “owners” have been vaccinated? (But since that would draw a line making it clear that all rebels are on one side of it and most sheep and bosses’ men are on the other, that might not be a bad thing.)

    You wonder how many people know what “immunisation” means. It means strengthening your immune system. Anyone who wants to advocate doing whatever the bosses tell us regarding what “the sirs” (is that the right term for medics?) get paid to want to inject us with should first find out what widely available foods and supplements really do tend to strengthen the immune system. Then if they write out their explanation 10 times for why they were so gutless as not to have bothered to find out about them already, we might be able to have a conversation.


    From the WHO’s “IA2030” document: “<i>When vaccination is complementary to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, it prevents diarrhoeal diseases, which are the leading cause of child mortality in low-income countries.</i>”

    Yeah and when slimming pills are “complementary” to a calorie-controlled diet, i.e. to not stuffing your face, they “prevent” obesity too.


    According to the Wikipedia outfit, the only countries in the world operating policies of forcible vaccination at the moment are some in continental Europe that were formerly run by fascists (Italy etc.) or Stalinists (Poland etc.), plus Brazil, Indonesia, Malta, and let’s not forget France.

    Let’s see how successful Dominic Cummings will be in Britain if he wraps forcible vaccination in the flags of “we love our children’s education” and “you should be we’re so grateful to the rich NHS”.

    In Britain 165000 people signed a petition against imposing restrictions on those who refuse a “Covid-19” vaccination. (Incidentally the government has all the signatories’ names now. Signing such a petition using your real name is extremely unwise if you are planning REALLY to resist forced vaccination in the REAL WORLD.)


    Vaccination against cholera is not needed in Yemen, just a clean water supply and for the siege on one of the poorest countries in the world by one of the richest, with technical knowhow by some of the most advanced military countries, including bombing of desalination plants, could stop the epidemic there. But I am sure that instead donations will be given to start a vaccination programme against cholera is being planned by some NGO or other.


    Government wants to jump on vaccine bandwagon as a distraction from their own failure on test and trace. This is typical of the way this has all been handled, not as a public health crisis but as a political and business opportunity.


    ‘So far one of the most striking features of the pandemic has been the level of uniformity of governments’ policies around the world.’

    Utterly untrue. In China, apartment doors were welded closed, people were forcibly taken into quarantine, and in some areas centralised food distribution was implemented. Now, people can’t enter public buildings or use public transport without a QR code. Many countries have done nothing. In others, restrictions were voluntary, or enforcement varied from none to overzealous in different areas. New Zealand closed its borders. Some African countries have used blood sample pooling to make the limited number of test kits go several times further. There is and has been a huge diversity of policy.

    ‘“immunization plays a key role in eliminating poverty”. Really? Does it now?’

    Yes, it does. For instance, it vastly reduces child mortality, which in turn encourages women to conceive less times. Still, get’em all scared of the medics “the sirs” and maybe they’ll turn away from contraception too, eh? Keep’em pregnant all the time, just like the Good Old Days?

    ‘According to the Big Pharma-owned “WHO”…’

    (sigh) Conspiracy theory again! Here’s the WHO website hosting a paper by Ioaniddis, darling of the “it’s only flu” anti-mask, anti-lockdown, antisocial, pro-infection crowd:

    ‘If any government ever wants to vaccinate me against my will…’

    Grief N_, the government hasn’t even mentioned mandatory vaccination. It’s only the conspiracy theorists who ever mention it and boy do they mention it often!

    You’ve got MARXIST emblazoned across your daisy but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one bit of Marxist theory from you, just a load of conspiracy theory scaremongering. And Marx didn’t slander everyone with a job like you do; his economic theory teaches that people are motivated by self-interest, and thus capital and profit warp human behaviour. Are you trying to give Marxists a bad name?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by modbot.

    Steph: – ” I promise not to post a link to anything lengthy which I find interesting again!”

    I suggest that you summarise, or find a transcript. But even before that you should be suspicious when someone who knows how things are done in the scientific domain tries to influence public opinion directly, rather than presenting their idea to other scientists via the scientific literature, because this is the proper method by which the scientific consensus is forged. In the USA, the drug companies are permitted to advertise directly to the public; Yeadon is doing something similar.

    You should also learn to recognise the structure of conspiracy theory. It goes “Mr Big wants so-and-so, and therefore all the so-called experts are just falling into line. Look! They are all hiding or denying this special knowledge which I am revealing to you; their mendacity proves that what I’m saying is true. Anyone who contradicts me is either in on it or duped by the mainstream media“. Nonsense like this is all over the Internet; it varies from mild to extreme but it all has the same basic structure.


    Steph, here’s some conspiracy theory from nothinguptop:

    “I can only assume you like SA are avoiding that for some reason.”

    Hinting that Dredd and SA are part of the conspiracy.

    “not low confidence shit like the Lancet tried to get away with”

    Hinting that the Lancet is part of the conspiracy.

    “You’ll kick yourself when you realise”

    ie. “I’m cleverer than you”, the stance that conspiracy theorists always take. By their own definition, conspiracy theorists are better than mere sheeple, so if you the reader wish to rise above the dumb herd you’ll have to join them.

    “You seem to have misled by mass media bullshit”

    As I pointed out in my previous comment, it’s always “you’re a dupe of the mainstream media”.

    It’s also unpleasant aggressive trolling; this sort of stuff is part of why I haven’t commented for the last fortnight. Driving other commenters away aids its effectiveness.


    nothinguptop linked Jim Meehan’s blog, wherein Meehan recommended Cochrane Foundation and systematic reviews, preferably pre-2020, so…

    Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses

    Cochrane Systematic Review – Intervention Version published: 06 July 2011

    Nine case‐control studies suggested implementing transmission barriers, isolation and hygienic measures are effective at containing respiratory virus epidemics. Surgical masks or N95 respirators were the most consistent and comprehensive supportive measures. N95 respirators were non‐inferior to simple surgical masks but more expensive, uncomfortable and irritating to skin.

    – Implementing barriers to transmission, such as isolation, and hygienic measures (wearing masks, gloves and gowns) can be effective in containing respiratory virus epidemics or in hospital wards.

    simple mask‐wearing was highly effective […] (Analysis 1.3), based on seven studies (Chen 2009; Lau 2004a; Liu 2009; Nishiura 2005; Seto 2003; Wu 2004; Yin 2004)

    Many claims Meehan makes are contradicted by the very sources he cites. The argument he promotes is political, “the politicians are trying to scare you”, but he presents no evidence for that. I expect that some politicians are trying to scare people (I wouldn’t know because I rarely listen to them but its the sort of thing that politicians often do) but if that’s the argument he’s making then that’s what he should present evidence for eg. quotes of politicians versus facts, rather than trying to misrepresent research results.


    SA, November 3, 17:49, #62017

    “As to effects on other organs, my belief is that it is minimal, the major effect being on the respiratory tract. Other effects are probably should be taken as complications of being seriously ill and nursed in ITU.”

    Blood clotting and renal problems are well established medically. The blood clotting causes heart attacks; there were loads of these in the early New York peak, many found by ambulance teams never made it to hospital.

    “I have seen no evidence that it affects IQ or fertility.”

    These are from pre-prints; sorry, I don’t have the links. But we know it infects and affects neurons because a distinctive symptom is loss of taste and smell, though not caused by nasal congestion.

    My point was that this virus is so new that we can’t yet know everything that it can do, but there are some very worrying indications. We can’t know long-term effects until a longer term has passed for effects to be noticed and for research to quantify them. Meanwhile, transmission should be vigorously suppressed.


    SA, it’s very bad for the heart:

    July 27, 2020
    Outcomes of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients Recently Recovered From Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    Findings: In this cohort study including 100 patients recently recovered from COVID-19 identified from a COVID-19 test center, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%), which was independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and the time from the original diagnosis.

    That’s empirical; this article in Nature goes into the theory:

    “COVID-19 itself can also induce myocardial injury, arrhythmia, acute coronary syndrome and venous thromboembolism.”


    I am very much aware of hyperactivity of the blood clotting system in covid-19 and resulting complications on many organs. I have referred to a paper above. Hypercoagulability is a complication found in many patients in ITU after major surgery because the coagulation system is often activated in inflammatory and traumatic conditions. In fact heparin and other blood thinning agents are now routinely used in these settings and also after heart attacks and stokes. What I meant to say is that the effects of covid-19 other than on the respiratory tract, are mainly secondary to these events and I do not think the virus attacks the heart or the brain or the kidneys directly. Covid-19 at its worst is bad enough and we do not need to be alarmist about its potential mass effect on intellect, fertility or the heart and kidneys. I have not looked but if you have references please post.


    SA, these two articles are summaries in plain language:

    Harvard Health Blog

    Web MD

    The first links to multiple papers. The second links to just the following preprint:

    Adam Hampshire et al, ICL

    I see from my search results that the preprint has been widely promoted by the corporate media.


    Sperm: this article summarises some findings from Professor Dan Aderka of the Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, and includes many other relevant links:


    …the virus was present in 13 percent of sperm samples taken from screened COVID-19 patients. He also found a 50 percent reduction in sperm volume, concentration, and motility in patients with moderate symptoms 30 days post diagnosis.

    Here’s some research from China:

    The Lancet


    SA, I’m perturbed by your use of the word ‘alarmist’. If someone who sees evidence of fire says so, are they being alarmist?

    I share your aversion to the polarisation arising around SARS-CoV-2, but we get nowhere useful by attempting compromise. Reality is what it is; objectivity cannot be achieved by searching for a description that upsets people the least.

    I think the polarisation is being caused by:

    (1) the corporate media, who simultaneously (a) are barely capable of treating technical issues intelligently, and who (b) pedal sensationalism to attract readers to sell to advertisers, (c) find ways to have a go at the government to bolster their own power, and yet (d) disparage anything that threatens profits such as social restrictions – the last three are hopelessly contradictory objectives, and

    (2) the conspiracy theorists and downplayers, most of whom are probably just reacting against the corporate media, but probably also include a few malicious actors such as hostile state powers trying to maximise other states’ death rates and healthcare costs, and PR companies inciting public objection against profit-reducing social restrictions.

    My own position regarding this never-seen-before virus is precautionary. There are many worrying signs so we should suppress it vigorously until our understanding is better, especially until we’re sure that getting infected a second time isn’t even worse than the first. It’s a coronavirus, and our experience with those is that infection doesn’t impart long-lasting immunity, but we also know it can provoke some extreme immune responses, so we should be very cautious until we can rule out antibody dependent enhancement upon second infection.


    This is likely to be very time consuming to look at in detail, my general impression is that the points made are:
    1. There are various neurological complications from covid 19 mainly in those who have been in ITU on a ventilator, and these had a number of pathologies, strokes, toxic confusion, encephalopathies, and perhaps a small minority specific encephalitis due to covid 19. This is probably the same rate of complications that you would see with anyone who has been in ITU and due to hypoxia, hypercoagulability and some immunological reactions.
    2. These are mainly observational case reports, often there is no proper control group nor is there a strict denominator, so it is difficult to reach a conclusion as to how much a problem this is, and also how much a problem this is specifically in relation to covid-19.
    3. I tried to read this preprint Adam Hampshire et al, ICL, I am not sure whether it will be accepted for publication but to me at least it has several problems. The data is based on an online questionnaire run by the BBC horizon program and therefor all the data is based on what the responders say, including whether they had a confirmed covid-19 test. Of course there is no control group and there is apparently no way to check on the accuracy of any of the data. It would be interesting to see if it is published, and if so, what the reviewers comments are.
    In a situation like this there is a major bandwagon effect and a lot of observational studies where doctors and scientists observe some unusual complications and report them. Many of the reports are cautious to say things like, this warrants further investigations and so on. Given for example that the population at risk of severe covid 19 are also prone to strokes and cardiovascular events, to is very important to control for these factors. But claims that it ages you by ten years and you loose 8.6 percent of your IQ smack a bit like sensationalism.


    “COVID-19 may harm sperm production”. Lets leave it there. It sounds like the statements made by governments about novichok and other agents.
    Alarmist: yes I used this term pointedly because it is at present just that, there is no solid basis for a mass effect. Any sick person will have reduced sperm counts. I have not read the paper or blog, but like papers and blogs that are posted by conspiracy theorists, I also will have to limit my reading to the larger picture and avoid being bogged down by these sort of diversions. Having said that I may have to eat my words and have egg on my face eventually, but somehow I don’t think so.

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