SARS cov2 and Covid 19


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  • #62271
    SA

    Case studies
    Case series
    Phenomenology
    These are all second tier type of research, maybe important background, but await proper investigation.

    #62274
    Clark

    SA, your comments on those papers are entirely appropriate. Yes, some of this is very vague data. Yes, it would be immensely time consuming for any individual, but thankfully there is a vast scientific community looking into all these preliminary studies.

    But the process takes time, whereas probably the most certain thing about SARS-CoV-2 is that it can spread extremely fast. And it’s mutating, diversifying, and every additional infected person gives it more opportunities to do so.

    Hence my frustration with those who argue against all and any measures to slow the damn thing down. Far better to take precautions now, show some patience and self restraint, such that we’re in a much better position if SARS-CoV-2 does spring some nasty surprises upon us in the coming months. Surprises like these:

    Superantigenic character of an insert unique to SARS-CoV-2 spike supported by skewed TCR repertoire in patients with hyperinflammation

    PNAS October 13, 2020 117 (41) 25254-25262; first published September 28, 2020

    A hyperinflammatory syndrome reminiscent of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is observed in severe COVID-19 patients, including children with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). TSS is typically caused by pathogenic superantigens stimulating excessive activation of the adaptive immune system. We show that SARS-CoV-2 spike contains sequence and structure motifs highly similar to those of a bacterial superantigen and may directly bind T cell receptors. We further report a skewed T cell receptor repertoire in COVID-19 patients with severe hyperinflammation, in support of such a superantigenic effect. Notably, the superantigen-like motif is not present in other SARS family coronaviruses, which may explain the unique potential for SARS-CoV-2 to cause both MIS-C and the cytokine storm observed in adult COVID-19.

    SARS-CoV-2 Uses CD4 to Infect T Helper Lymphocytes

    doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.25.20200329

    The mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 infection may result in immune system dysfunction is not fully understood. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 infects human CD4+ T helper cells, but not CD8+ T cells, and is present in blood and bronchoalveolar lavage T helper cells of severe COVID-19 patients. We demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S) directly binds to the CD4 molecule, which in turn mediates the entry of SARS- CoV-2 in T helper cells in a mechanism that also requires ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Once inside T helper cells, SARS-CoV-2 assembles viral factories, impairs cell function and may cause cell death. SARS-CoV-2 infected T helper cells express higher amounts of IL-10, which is associated with viral persistence and disease severity. Thus, CD4-mediated SARS-CoV-2 infection of T helper cells may explain the poor adaptive immune response of many COVID- 19 patients.

    #62275
    Clark

    SA, we are not dealing with effects of a decades-old virus that previously went unnoticed because they are so rare. We are dealing with multiple, sketchily understood effects of a brand new virus that haven’t been quantified yet, and very probably can’t be quantified because there hasn’t yet been enough time for them to manifest widely.

    If everyone who’s got it now turns out in six months time to still have it, replicating happily in their gut or, heaven forbid, their immune cells, we could be in really deep shit. What proportion of those who’ve been infected have been tested for either?

    #62276
    SA

    Exactly if being the operative word, let us wait and see.

    #62280
    Clark

    “let us wait and see”

    Seems we have little choice, with our government treating us as lab rats for SARS-CoV-2 and giving it every advantage over us mere people as they can, and what feels like every disinformation agent in the world encouraging us to spread it as fast as possible. I’ve never felt so cynical in my life.

    #62283
    SA

    At least Cummings, who is behind this government’s failed policies is gone.

    #62289
    N_

    Funny how “general practitioners”, the money-grabbing ultra-cynical non-specialist medics paid by the government to delay working class people’s access to healthcare (but who can “refer you privately” if you slip them enough dosh), who disappeared for several months to count their money, supposedly terrified that the virus-infected hordes might spread the lergy in their “surgeries”, now plan to keep their offices open for long hours so that their staff can administer Pfizer’s “new type of vaccine” to as many plebs who are sucker enough to want it.

    There’s a lesson here regarding their priorities.

    Looks like it’s going to be quite a winter.

    #62290
    SA

    N_

    You are talking crap. Sorry I don’t usually use this language but you are.

    #62291
    N_

    You know those sections (11-13) of the Coronavirus Act that allow the indemnification of certain health sector persons from liability for killing people, just so long as they’re doing stuff they’ve been told to “because of SARS-CoV2”?

    Does the availability of indemnity apply to those who license and administer Pfizer’s new type of vaccine (mRNA), which looks as though it will be promoted throughout the British state and media?

    Some of us have been saying for decades that the absence of proper criticism of the “health” and “education” systems is a massive weak spot for the left, and in working class critical consciousness. Looks as though it will soon be cash-in time for our rulers. Don’t even expect coffins, let alone being allowed to console each other at funerals.

    #62292
    Clark

    ‘working class critical consciousness’

    Shouldn’t that be troll class, wantonly critical? Sure, all GPs are alike, just like gays, Jews and Gypsies are.

    ‘…proper criticism of the “health” and “education” systems

    N_, I’ve never once known you criticise a system. Instead, you criticise entire classes of workers. Correction; you don’t criticise; you merely malign. I’m sick of your continual hate speech. Contribute something meaningful for a change.

    #62293
    SA

    I agree with Clark. N_ doesn’t seem to have anything constructive to say and even his criticism is just maligning and all inclusive. There is no recognition that whilst we may have had a certain degree of lockdown, GPs had none. And unless even hospitals, they remained open for everyone, dealing with all the issues that keeps patients going. They would consider mass vaccination as a massive increase on their workload, no doubt with no extra facilities provided, and that would be on top of their workload which would have increased because of covid-19. But N_ paints all GPs with one brush and is really non-discriminating in his criticism. He also never answers, this is supposed to be a discussion forum, not a ‘broadcast your own negative thoughts’ forum.

    #62305
    Clark

    Hull:

    hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/bodies-fatigue-frustration-stark-reality-4698927

    “I work next to the mortuary and I see the impact of coronavirus every day with more and more bodies being brought there and just piling up, I’ve never seen anything like it at the hospital before. It really takes it toll on you seeing all these deaths when they really could be prevented. Mentally it has really got to me and I get up on morning and think do I have to go to work? I just don’t think that people are taking coronavirus seriously enough and it’s not a proper lockdown. I only shop when it’s essential and come to work. But I see that a lot of people don’t wear masks in shops or on buses and if they have the mask on, they don’t cover their noses. It makes me angry it’s not right at all.

    East Yorkshire has had ten times as many deaths as the whole of New Zealand.

    Are the trivialisers, denialists and conspiracy theorists satisfied yet, or do they need half a million deaths before they revise their precious opinions ? I’m so sick of “views” and “opinions”; the deaths are facts; cold, hard facts.

    #62310
    Steph

    ‘I work next to the mortuary and I see the impact of coronavirus every day with more and more bodies being brought there and just piling up’

    This gentleman seems to have rather a flamboyant turn of phrase given that there have only been 5 covid-19 deaths at that hospital over the last month!

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by modbot.
    #62312
    N_

    The newspaper read by some of the most stupid newspaper readers in Britain, the Daily Express, has declared a “New coronavirus symptoms alert“, as “people with diarrhoea and headaches test positive”. The strap line then says that “as part of the trial, people with non-typical symptoms tested positive for the virus”. That’s hardly surprising given that an ingrowing toenail, say, or a case of the runs, has little effect on whether or not you’re going to be infected with the 2019 SARS strain, except perhaps if it stops you leaving the house. But never mind that. Independence of variables is far too “intellectual” a point for Daily Express readers. What most of them will get from the article is the idea that any of a range of symptoms that they hadn’t previousl associated with “Covid” might mean you’ve got the virus, including headaches and diarrhoea. They’d better be careful if nursy at the surgery pricks them too hard with a needle because she might skewer their sole remaining brain cell.

    What about irritability? Is that a symptom too? I mean anything can be nowadays, right? We just don’t know! Hey, maybe I’ve got the virus!

    Half the Daily Express readership probably think you can get the virus if a black man looks at you.

    It’s so easy to be “intellectual” about propaganda and miss how it works.

    #62314
    N_

    But if the bodies are nitrogen-cooled and then stacked vertically one on top of the other then the pile will look big to the guy as he peers through the mortuary’s windows while he processes linen next door. He’s probably looking through a vertical crack and assuming that he’s only seeing one column in a huge pile that has a footprint as larger as the entire floor. Or the roof might be broken by the top one’s head. Put that together with him inhaling whatever chemicals are used in the linen room, and you’ve got a recipe for him foaming at the mouth when he speaks to the local rag’s finest superhack. Or…maybe he’s just pressing for playing Yahtzee at work all day again as he and most of the hospital’s nurses probably did from March to June. I wonder if he could mention even one food that’s good for the immune system or tell us why having a strong immune system might be relevant when there’s a pandemic. One thing is for sure: the controllers of how this virus is covered in the media are deliberately scaring the cr*p out of people. Some people I meet have real fear in their voices when they parrot a phrase such as “panic buying”. Then when they get to the supermarket everyone does exactly what the staff order them to do. It’s very interesting how the idea of “panic” functions in the culture. Of course he is right when he says you have to be an idiot to wear a mask and leave your nostrils uncovered. But I suspect if it wasn’t that, he’d find some other reason to be scared. Cloth masks are rubbish anyway. Many manual workers, car mechanics, etc., are pulling scarves up around their faces, which probably assists rather than hinders the spread of disease. I don’t think it’s passive aggression, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Maybe they think they’d look gay in a surgical mask. Meanwhile the number of people I’ve seen wipe the trolley handles in a supermarket is one – me.

    In a culture in which most people pick their phones all day, have we got much to lose anyway? 🙂 LOL

    C’mon, fellow blog commenters. Gotta have a laugh sometimes, even if it’s only at Beelzebub coming out of Number 10 with his cardboard box.

    #62315
    N_

    How much passive aggressiomn is there is in the wearing of masks so as to leave nostrils uncovered?
    The behaviour is certainly widespread. Do many realise they are not wearing masks “properly”?

    It’s often hard to get a grasp on why others behave in certain ways, but it can be enlightening when you finally figure something out.
    Thoughts on this?

    #62320
    Dredd

    Steph

    “This gentleman seems to have rather a flamboyant turn of phrase given that there have only been 5 covid-19 deaths at that hospital over the last month!”

    It seems your numbers might be wildly out. From a Hull Daily Mail report 2 days ago:

    “On Friday, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust announced it had recorded four new Covid-related deaths at either Hull Royal Infirmary or Castle Hill Hospital.
    Three patients died on Wednesday and one passed away on Thursday – bringing the total number of deaths to 274.
    It also means in the last seven days there have been 28 deaths within Hull’s hospitals.”

    And another Hull Daily Mail report yesterday:

    “Hull’s hospitals have now suffered its deadliest week for coronavirus-related deaths with 31 recorded during the last seven days.
    Sadly, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed five more people have died in Hull’s hospitals after contracting coronavirus.
    Three patients died on Thursday and two more on Friday. Hull and East Yorkshire’s death toll now stands at 279. All of the deaths occurred at either Hull Royal Infirmary or Castle Hill Hospital.”

    That’s 31 Covid-related deaths in the last week alone, across 2 hospitals. So it looks like the gentleman’s testimony might be quite reliable after all.

    #62331
    Steph

    Dredd – I do apologise, I did indeed get that utterly wrong! I was looking at this
    https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/health/coronavirus/66-more-coronavirus-deaths-recorded-across-yorkshire-hospitals-3034154 in which it listed Hull as having 5 deaths between October 10th and November 11th. Goodness knows how they arrived at that figure as the NHS says 60.
    Although the gentleman obviously hasn’t worked there for very long if he has ‘never seen anything like it before’ as there were 95 covid-19 related deaths over a similar period at the height of the pandemic.

    #62335
    N_

    Her Majesty’s “Labour” party, currently led (for the first time in its history) by a knight of the realm and former senior state prosecutor, is calling for “emergency censorship” laws to prevent people circulating material in opposition to the rulers’ planned mass vaccination programme. They say they want the state to “stamp out” this kind of opposition.

    As I have said before, if anyone wants to vaccinate me against my will, they had better bring along some damned big policemen.

    Those who are involved in circulating anti-vaccination material must NOT trust Fqcebook (or Whatsapp or Instagram, both of which it owns), Twitter, etc. The internet may soon go out of action for most people, but if you want to use online channels of communication then learn how to use Usenet, email mailing lists, and email addresses that are NOT supplied by G卐ogle.

    #62337
    Dredd

    Thanks for that acknowledgement, Steph. I think it’s very important to be as accurate as possible in reporting the numbers and statistics, because there are people who would seize on any alleged inconsistency in the “official” narrative to sneer at the silly sheeple who actually believe it. Just like N_ did above. The implication is that the “establishment” – including the government, NHS and the media – are conspiring to promote lies for some sinister occult motive.

    So what do these cynics say when the contrary “evidence” evaporates? Nothing. I suspect that a retraction and apology might be a long time coming in this case. But you set a shining example, Steph.

    There is undoubtedly a lot of sensationalism and fear porn about Covid in the media, as there is with any major headline news. But it’s usually just spin rather than misinformation. And the tendency to spin facts is clearly mirrored by the cynical critics. As long as we all stick to the known facts and bracket off the exaggerated rhetoric, we should be well enough informed. Then it’s up to us to decide what attitude to take to those facts, and how to deal with them on a policy level. Clearly some of us take different attitudes, and that’s OK. These debates are useful – as long they stay factually grounded.

    #62374
    Clark

    Steph – “…as there were 95 covid-19 related deaths over a similar period at the height of the pandemic.”

    Yes. If there were 95 deaths resultant from the first wave, that leaves 179 since then, most of which will have been in this ongoing second wave; so it’s much worse. And numbers are still rising, meaning that it will get worse yet.

    Steph, why did you write “at the height of the pandemic”, as if the worst was over? Serology surveys from August showed that only around 6% of the UK population had been infected, leaving 94% still with as little immunity as those 6% had before getting infected. As 94% of the population is over fifteen times as many people as 6%, there is clearly potential for this wave to be over ten times worse than the first one.

    Steph, do you think this is an “opinion” or a “view”, and consequently any other “opinions” or “views” are equally valid? Do you consider the chance of seeing a unicorn when you’re out shopping to be 50/50, since you’ll either see a unicorn or you won’t?

    #62375
    SA

    A tale of two pandemics

    Very curious patterns emerge when you look at the deaths per 1 million population in different countries. Of the top ten are 5 Latin American countries 3 European countries, and the next ten include USA, 3more European countries and 4 Latin Ameriacn countries. These top twenty go from the spectrum of 1240 per million to 600 per million (Sweden). Of the Asian countries, none of those with populations above 100 million have high death rates, the highest being India at 94 per million. Other South East and Southern Asian countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Vietnam have low rates. In Africa, most countries haver lower death rates apart from South Africa at 340 per million. In Oceania the rates are also very small. This rather curious phenomenon does not seem to be commented on widely. This is not only due to limited number of cases leading to fewer deaths because some countries have many cases, for example India, but relatively few deaths per million.
    This is an interesting observation and may be due to either genetic factors or environmental factors. Environmental factors could be related to social practices or to innate or acquired silent immunity to the virus. I am sure some scientists should be looking at these factors to try to find out the cause of the discrepancy. One thing is certain. There is no priority to roll out the vaccine in Africa and Asia, and it is the West and Latin America that will be the focus.

    #62376
    Clark

    N_ – “One thing is for sure: the controllers of how this virus is covered in the media are deliberately scaring the cr*p out of people.”

    Capital controls the media. Media is sensationalised because it’s just bait, to attract the most readers, so that more can be charged for the adjacent advertising space, because that’s how “news” media makes money.

    Corporations are like organisms; they adapt to their environment or they get out-competed. Commercial organisations’ environment is capitalism. This theory explains the sensationalism without the need for deliberate or coordinated fear-mongering among controllers; throughout its existence each “news” organisation has been routinely replacing staff with those who attract more readers, so come the pandemic, all the “diverse” “news” media were pre-optimised for sensationalism, and is capable of little else.

    Everything under capitalism is like this. No matter what a commercial organisation ostensibly does – whether it makes furniture, publishes music or designs corporate slogans – that function is secondary at best. None of the stuff we’re surrounded by is optimised to be good at what it’s supposedly for; it’s optimised to maximise profit.

    #62377
    Clark

    SA, I too have wondered about the variations in case density and mortality. I’ve given up for now – too many variables. Probably the picture will be clearer in a few years time.

    I’m wary about taking the figures at face value; I expect there to be large variation in both case detection and attribution of cause of death. Case density is likely to increase with how much the population travel. How much gathering occurs indoors is probably important too.

    #62378
    SA

    I know but it is low in high density populations in Bangladesh Pakistan Indonesia and so on. Also population average age is much lower in Africa.

    #62379
    N_

    During WW2 the British government took control of steel production. All steel was supposed to be produced “in the public interest”, because, y’know, there was a war on. It took control of car production too. It didn’t tell car manufacturers “you’ve got to fulfil this contract for the army, OK?” It actually took control over the operation of car factories and steel plants – and coalmines too. Not ownership – this wasn’t nationalisation – but control. (It also banned strikes.)

    Funny how practically nobody right now is calling for the government to take control over vaccine production. Young people reading this might like to note that AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Glaxo SmithKline, Sanofi, Moderna – they aren’t charities, any more than Google, Apple, Facebook, or Tesco are. Their cause is the cause of making profit – large amounts of it for the all-too-real filthy rich exploiters who hide behind these names to which the law fictitiously ascribes “personality”.

    Mussolini’s definition of fascism: when you can’t even slip a cigarette paper into the gap between state interests and private business interests.

    #62390
    N_

    The army are using Liverpool football club’s stadium to test people for “Covid-19” (sic). Soon they’ll probably be using football stadiums for other things too, as well as “holiday camps” like the Pontins one in Sefton on Merseyside that they’re currently billeted in for deeply Covid-helpy reasons.

    Mustn’t grumble!

    #62391
    N_

    What is Piers Corbyn’s take on religion?
    In his challenge to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to debate with him about the “new normal”, he keeps going on about Satanism.

    #62393
    Steph

    Clark – There were 95 deaths in the worst 30 day period in spring. There have been 60 deaths in the 30 day period referred to in the article, which was I think the period starting Oct 12th. Therefore if the gentleman had ‘never seen anything like it before’ he obviously didn’t witness the earlier 30 day period when 95 people died. Thats all, no more, no less.

    #62399
    SA

    Marxist

    “During WW2 the British government took control of steel production. All steel was supposed to be produced “in the public interest”, because, y’know, there was a war on.”

    That would have been the correct approach to the current crises. It would also have been the correct approach in 2008 when the banks stole our money and were then bailed out at our expense and told to go on stealing our money but do it quietly.

    I even wrote something similar to what you said above about commandeering and common good to my local MP, who shall remain nameless, and she wrote back to say what a good idea she will pass it on to the appropriate department, but of course nothing happened.

    What has happened since the war was something nasty called Margaret Thatcher, who declared that there is no such thinhg as society. Each shark to himself and the minnow have to just survive somehow.
    And my feeling now is that there is no neoliberal capitalist way out of this crisis, there is only a socialist one. Countries which are the most advanced in neoliberalism also have the worst death rates and poorer control, and countries with civic adherence and sense of belonging and perhaps still a bit of socialism are doing better.

    #62400
    SA

    And this was the letter I sent on 23/03/2020

    Dear
    I am one of your constituents. I have written to you earlier about the Covid-19 crisis concerning the flawed government response. Since then it has been widely agreed that this response was flawed and the Government has changed its stance although in my opinion the response is late and weak. However, I would like to make a suggestion.
    The government is proposing to give businesses and self employed and those on zero hour contract support during this crisis which is highly commendable. Would it not be possible to give this help a positive twist so that the recipients are actually involved and committed? This can be done by way of requisitioning both workers and premises. Of course details need to be worked out, but currently the majority of the nation seems to be asked to sit at home helplessly whilst a minority are bearing the burden in carrying out essential services. The government and local councils can use this to for example do the following:
    1. Requisition resources to organise transport safely for NHS and other essential workers.
    2. Requisition resources to help the food industry to arrange and expand home food deliveries.
    3. Organise locally a system of volunteers to ensure that the vulnerable are cared for.
    4. Organise queues at places such as supermarkets.

    I am sure there are other activities but this is just a blueprint.

    #62401
    SA

    And this was the answer I received

    Thank you for your email to [ local MP ] regarding the Government’s actions to deal with COVID-19.
    … read your suggestion with interest and has passed this to HM Treasury for their consideration.

    I hope this is helpful. Thank you again for taking the time to write to ….

    Yours sincerely,

    #62404
    Steph

    Re requisitioning workers – whatever happened to all the volunteers? I seem to rembember seeing headlines about 50,000 people offering to help. Then nothing more ever again

    #62405
    Steph

    …and what happened to the £30m raised by Captain thingy for the NHS. That seems to have disappeared into a black hole too.

    #62406
    SA

    Good Question Steph. It seems that there is a Scottish government run organization in Scotland. There is no equivalent one in England, volunteering is done through a charity: The Royal Voluntary Service whose President is the Queen in waiting. There is a linked charity called NHS Volunteer responders . Like everything else in the anti-Covid efforts, the government is taking a rather aloof attitude to this except by allowing the false NHS badge to be used, in a typical market oriented neoliberal capitalist manner.

    #62407
    SA

    Excuse me: you mean Captain Tom Moore who is now promoted to the rank of Honorary Colonel and is a knight of the realm.
    He raised 33 millions for the NHS staff welfare fund. Here the BBC explains how the money is spent.

    #62421
    Clark

    Steph, you very much seem in favour of permitting SARS-CoV-2 infection to spread without social restrictions, so I have some questions for you.

    Do you think people should die of covid-19 in their homes without medical care? And who should allocate what medical facilities there are, and on what basis? If large numbers of people struggling for breath turned up at hospitals, or were brought by their families, what should be done with them? And if this policy of no restrictions and letting hospitals be overwhelmed doubled or quadrupled the death rate, would you consider that acceptable, and preferable to restrictions?

    Please remember that these are other people’s deaths and final days you’re considering, not just your own.

    #62425
    SA

    Clark
    I don’t want to speak for Steph but I think Steph, unlike others who post here, asked some genuine questions because she found statements by someone like Yeadon plausible because he is a Scientist. I think some of the questions asked are legitimate. Is the cost of lockdown for what is perceived to be a disease that causes death mostly to those who are probably at the end of their life worth the economic hardship for all of society as lockdown will also have an effect on death rate due to other causes?
    There are different aspects to this question. Scientifically and medically it is obvious that the argument is clearly that the measures are in favour of extreme measures to suppress the virus because mortality is not the only factor, you have to take into account the contagiousness and the morbidity and the sequelae of the disease and their secondary effects which also will cause societal and economic disruption.
    But there are also other aspects of this pandemic, a sociological, ethical and political aspects and that is why there is so much wide interest in the science by people who would normally not worry about questioning the science.
    The problem here is that what people like Boris Johnson and others call ‘the science’ is selected and presented through a politically modified prism (including the selection and makeup and political interference within SAGE) The gross mishandling of the crisis, the lack of strategy and the sleaze accompanying the awarding of contracts to cronies have further amplified the suspicion. Some also see that the measures have failed to prevent a second wave but that is because of the poor application of the measures. Go around the country now, it is not a country in lockdown.
    The lockdown should have been a one bite at the cherry attempt. Should have been done properly, a la China (minus some of the worst coercive measures, more like NZ or South Korea). Not that I think lifting the lockdown now will help the economy but I think it is too late for it to have the impact needed.
    The lesson here is, when you go to vote, look at the heart of what the system stands for. Many people voted for very narrow reasons and forgetting the nature of whom they voted for. Whereas everyone wants apparently want to improve their lot and that of others, in fact people voted for incompetence and sleaze. Johnson had a good track record in both but seems to have got away with it with the help of the very press that is now trying to convince everyone of their impartiality.

    #62437
    Steph

    Clark – You make the assumption that I am in favour of ‘permitting SARS-CoV-2 infection to spread without social restrictions’ I am not even convinced of that myself, so I think you are stretching it a bit to assign such a position to me. Were you to contend that I seem to have ‘deep reservations about social restrictions’ I would willingly agree, for the reasons I have already set out. You then ask me to answer a series of ‘what if’ questions. And herein lies the difficulty, as we are all dealing with ‘what ifs’ to some extent. I could just as easily ask you ‘what if’ social restrictions result in any number of evils, from extreme and widespread poverty, huge increases in death rates and the destruction of human rights. These are at least fairly well documented as they have happened before. You will no doubt say ‘the science’ proves beyond doubt that terrible things will happen if strict controls are not enforced, but science is still only a series of ‘what ifs’, it is not infallible, it changes over time and is often subsequently proved incorrect. And it hasn’t even begun to look at some of the possible unforeseen effects, such as significant interference with the ‘normal’ circulation of viruses, essential to our survival.
    I do consider other people’s deaths and final days, although I am honest enough to say that I think of them in terms of those I know personally and not in terms of a vague mass of souls whom I have never met. The final weeks of my next-door neighbour, who had been long ill and suffered with Alzheimer’s, were quite tragically marred when his little trips out to the garden centre and visits from his children and grandchildren were suddenly stopped by the first lockdown, leaving him wildly unhappy and confused. His health spiralled rapidly downwards and he died shortly after the lockdown was lifted. His wife is left not only with the sadness of bereavement but a desperate feeling of letting him down, despite it being quite beyond her control. His final days were not improved in the slightest by the measures supposedly in place to protect him. If I was as rude as you, I might ask accusingly ‘don’t you care about him or her?’ but it serves no purpose, it is not your fault.
    You seem very concerned by a vision of huge numbers of people gasping for breath and bodies piled up. I personally do not share that vision, my fears lie elsewhere, for the future of my children and grandchild and for others that I know who are being badly knocked about in all this. But neither of us can accurately predict the future and nor can the scientists. Look more kindly on your fellow man, even if he doesn’t agree with you, it’s all you can really do to make the world a better place.
    SA – Thank you for making some very important points, although I did not find Yeadon plausible because he was a scientist. Had he been a milkman I would still have found what he has to say of interest! It is a very very complex situation and not at all as clear cut as I think Clarke feels. I agree entirely that there is something disturbingly wrong with the way we all keep voting for ineffectual and power-hungry governments. To be fair, we don’t have much choice. I suppose every system is inherently flawed, as soon as someone stands up and says ‘Vote for ME’ we know that is not really the kind of individual we need. The only exception I can think of is Corbyn, but without the killer instinct he was lost. An unsolvable contradiction it seems.

    #62440
    Clark

    Steph, please quote my “rudeness” in the comment you’re replying to.

    I am quite fed up with the complements and insinuations, which you apply very selectively. If your personal account earlier is genuine, you should know better than to deploy such techniques of propaganda.

    “You seem very concerned by a vision of huge numbers of people gasping for breath and bodies piled up. I personally do not share that vision”

    It is not a vision as you again insinuate, you need only look at Bergamo in Italy, or the first waves in Spain and New York, or the outbreak aboard Diamond Princess. It is not a matter requiring scientific interpretation that you may raise seemingly reasonable doubt about (as the corporate media is so adept at); it is simply experience so far.

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