SARS cov2 and Covid 19


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  • #57938
    SA

    Matt Hancock’s announcement that the governement is disbanding PHE. It is to be replaced with the new National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP), which will take on some of PHE’s existing responsibilities along with the NHS Test and Trace programme and the work of the Joint Biosecurity Centre.. The announcement was made on Tuesday with little detail other than that the new organization was to be headed by Baroness Harding, a non medic whom Hancock described as “simply the best” person in the entire country to run his pandemic organization right now.

    This is so blatantly a political move which is part of the government’s plan of using the covid-19 to run its own agenda on social and health changes in this country. If this proposal is to be taken seriously then it should have been made through a transparent process and by choosing a top scientist to head the organization which has a much bigger role in the health of the nation than just the prevention of epidemics or dealing with them.

    The Tories have deliberately underfunded Public health England by cutting its funds by £850 million since it start in 2013.

    Cynically this move, done hastily is probably meant not only to start the privatisation and politicisation of major parts of the NHS system, but also to scapegoat PHE for what is essentially a failure of government policy in dealing with the covid-19 pandemic. In some ways the scientists and medical advisers who have remained uncritical of the governement throughout this, have brought it on themselves. Time for those experts to speak out.

    This letter in the BMJ sumarises the catastrophe that awaits us.

    “Restructuring Public Health England: public health is about more than being prepared for future pandemics
    August 19, 2020
    Paul C Coleman, Joht Singh Chandan, and Fatai Ogunlayi consider the effect this restructure will have on the future health and wellbeing of England

    We have serious concerns about the future of public health in England after the announcement earlier this week that Public Health England (PHE) will be disbanded. Few organisations can claim not to have made any mistakes in the management of the covid-19 pandemic. Yet media reports on the role of PHE have often been misinformed and one sided, with PHE receiving criticism for mistakes outside of its remit, including a lack of mass testing and problems with the supply of personal protective equipment. PHE has also received criticism for halting contact tracing on 12 March—a decision that was in fact part of the government’s move into the “delay” phase of its coronavirus strategy.

    While there are lessons that must be learnt, it would be prudent for the government to delay any restructure until we can better understand the mistakes that have been made, especially since the prime minister announced in July that there would be “an independent inquiry into what happened.”

    We are particularly concerned about the crippling effect this restructure will have on the future health and wellbeing of this nation, and the ability of our public health system to respond to the interrelated challenges posed by communicable and non-communicable diseases. While it is too early to ascertain why the UK experienced one of the highest levels of covid-19 mortality in Europe, there is evidence to suggest that this could be partly due to the UK’s high prevalence of morbidities, such as obesity and diabetes, which are recognised risk factors for severe covid-19 outcomes. Furthermore, the UK’s ethnic and regional variation in deaths from covid-19 shows that it is incredibly difficult to disentangle the effects of the virus from the wider impacts of health inequalities in our society.

    Since its inception in 2013, in the wake of another disruptive top-down restructure, a core function of PHE has been to address the socioeconomic determinants of ill health. However, the spending review of 2015 saw PHE’s budget cut drastically and during this time we have seen widening inequalities between the richest and poorest parts of England, a stall in improvements to life expectancy, and rising levels of morbidity and mortality from a range of non-communicable diseases. These failings are due to a decade of austerity, cuts to local authority public health budgets, and the government continually prioritising cure over prevention—as demonstrated by the disparity in funding for the NHS and public health.

    Unfortunately, it seems that yet again the socioeconomic causes of ill health are being ignored. The announcement of PHE’s disbanding by Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for health and social care, outlined no plans for the future of health improvement and PHE workstreams focusing on the non-communicable causes of disease.

    While covid-19 may be the greatest public health challenge currently facing the country, mortality from the impacts of air pollution alone is predicted to outweigh covid-19 related deaths over the next decade. What we need from the government is a cohesive strategy that recognises the complexities of addressing the interconnected challenges posed by communicable and non-communicable causes of diseases—as highlighted by the inequalities in covid-19 morbidity and mortality.

    We urge the government to consider the vital role of public health in reducing inequalities and improving the health of the whole nation. In particular, we need to see greater investment in local public health services, especially in areas with the highest levels of deprivation and worst health outcomes. Critically, we also demand immediate clarity on the government’s future plans for the vital health improvement work undertaken by PHE, and how as a country we will address both the communicable and non-communicable causes of disease.

    Paul Coleman is a public health specialty registrar at the University of Warwick.

    Joht Singh Chandan is an academic clinical fellow in public health at the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick. Twitter @JohtChandan”

    #57942
    Clark

    I’m worried by this Joint Biosecurity Centre; the name alone sounds military, and:

    “It is modelled on the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, established in 2003, which advises the government on the appropriate terrorism threat level.”

    – “Clare Gardiner, director of national resilience and strategy at the National Cyber Security Centre (part of GCHQ), has been seconded as director general to set it up.”

    https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m2604

    #57943
    N_

    Is it true that many private hospitals in Britain have rented out most or all of their beds to “the NHS” because of the “virus crisis”, and that most of those beds have lain empty for several months, just like most beds in “NHS” hospitals?

    If so, how much is the government paying the private hospitals for that?

    That’s a step on from paying mafia-run construction companies to build a bridge that nobody wants.

    #57948
    SA

    Yes according to the daily mail, both stories seem to be correct. Covid-19 has been used to accelerate transference of NHS tax payer’s money to the private sector. The privatisation of the NHS will then be complete and seamless.

    #57952
    Clark

    N_, I agree with you wholeheartedly that covid-19 has been and is being capitalised upon ruthlessly, but it’s a virus crisis, not a “virus crisis”. The right is very happy to encourage as much denial as possible; get as many working and shopping again so they can get back to creaming the profit. From my observation, the cherry-picking and conspiracy theories start at the entirely anonymous Swiss Propaganda Research, progress to Off-Guardian and UK Column, and end up repeated (slightly watered down) in the Telegraph, Express etc.

    Critical care beds filled to capacity in March/April and ICU was severely overrun, but not for long; see eg. “Hospital resource use” section here. Covid-19 is fast – fast to spread, and fast to either kill or get better.

    #58019
    N_

    “Police in England will be able to fine organisers of illegal gatherings of more than 30 people such as raves up to £10,000 from Friday, ministers say.” (BBC.)

    (This is relevant to this thread because the context is “restrictions” that have been or will be imposed ostensibly because of SARS-CoV2.)

    When did police get the authority to impose fines?

    #58027
    Clark

    Police have been able to issue penalty notices since the 1950s:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_penalty_notice

    #58537
    N_

    Heard today on a BBC Radio 4 phone-in programme about the problems of getting people to return to “work” in the office: a woman who described herself as a “buy-to-let landlady” (fingers on triggers, everyone!) who didn’t use “public transport” but whose husband had used it before SARS-Cov2 said that it would be dangerous for her husband to go back to work, because public transport is so disease-ridden, because many people are travelling on it who aren’t wearing masks – and “nobody is telling them off”.

    In other words, proletarian scum are breathing the way they want, with impunity! What an insult that is to all right-thinking people!

    She suggested that they should be given 3 days in prison, or 50 hours of “community service”. Perhaps they could clean the properties she has bought to let? And if she sees a nostril slip out when one of them was scrubbing the kitchen for her, perhaps she should be empowered to order the nostril’s owner to work for another 50 hours?

    This piece of sh*t obviously thinks she has the right to rob people who don’t own houses and who are in the position that they have to pay her so that they can live in a house that she owns but doesn’t live in. There’s nothing new in that. That’s what almost all landlords think. She also hates most working class people who can’t afford cars. There’s nothing new in that either.

    But look how the hatred is building. This moneygrabbing parasite wants the sharp end of the state to clean the smellies out of her ladyship and her husband’s way, for hygiene’s sake.

    Meanwhile the government are saying grandparents won’t be able to hug their grandchildren at Christmas. Well why open the f*cking schools then? They are encouraging the kind of dulling of family relationships that is common in famine, even though there isn’t yet a famine.

    Hug your grandchildren! F*ck the government!

    #58538
    N_

    The reopening of schools is another big propaganda topic at the moment. Practically the whole of the mainstream media are assuming as follows:

    a) that parents can’t and won’t educate their children in anything, and that therefore children who don’t go to school receive no education whatsoever, even while their parents are off work and in the house all day;

    b) that school is compulsory (they don’t say this but they strongly imply it – they certainly don’t mention that parents have a statutory right to have their children deregistered from any damned school with immediate effect);

    c) regarding the reopening of schools (in which teachers will act even more like concentration camp guards than they did before SARS-Cov2), that parents are incapable of understanding that children can spread a virus that doesn’t harm them themselves or even cause them any noticeable symptoms. Never mind that this was supposedly precisely the reason that schools were shut in the first place. It is now largely forgotten about. The ultra-patronising and typically British discourse is mostly “Don’t worry about little Johnny. We’ve got a hygiene policy in place. He won’t get ill. We understand you’re worried, or at least you’re worried when you don’t have all those non-native men visiting you in your council flat. Nothing’s going to happen. Trust the authorities.”

    #58584
    Clark

    Schools should NOT be reopened:

    School Reopening Guidance for Families and Teachers

    When COVID-19 is no longer being transmitted within a community, schools can begin to reopen safely. It is not safe to reopen schools for in-person schooling while community transmission is still present. In-person schooling increases the risk of rapidly escalating case numbers throughout the community, placing health and lives at risk and possibly requiring further lockdowns to contain transmission. Before a community can safely begin to reopen schools (primary, secondary and higher education), they must bring new cases to zero and have safeguards in place to keep cases at zero. We can stop COVID-19 community transmission. All it takes is five weeks. We know how to get there, and we can all start now.

    #58585
    Clark

    The article I linked above includes lots of links to scientific and statistical articles about covid-19 in schools and its effects on children.

    #58595
    SA

    Clark

    All these discussions are a diversion. Any measure whatever it is, to reduce the spread of the pandemic, has not only been abandoned but also completely unmentioned by any one. The key to stopping an epidemic is – or should I say, was – to test, contact trace and proper quarantine, not voluntary self isolation. The offhand way by which this basic principle of containing highly contagious diseases have never been debated and has been outsourced for profit and not containment.

    Like politics it seems that science and medicine have given up resistance to a cult of constant misinformation.

    #58596
    SA

    The key to all this is adaptability. Maybe the planet is seeking to heal itself? Human activity must change and COVID-19 is pointing the way. Strangely measures that became popular such as working from home, a brilliant idea where it can be done, is now being discouraged because the spinoffs of working in crowded inner cities are being threatened. But the spinoffs must adapt.

    Take for example all the unnecessary journeys in overcrowded tubes leading to reduction in pollution just one example.

    #58844
    N_

    Regarding the £10000 “penalty” imposed on Piers Corbyn for his involvement in a “Stop the New Normal” demo in central London, Matthew Scott writes as follows:

    “(T)he £10,000 Fixed Penalty Notice issued to Piers Corbyn as someone “involved in” the demonstration is disturbing. Mr Corbyn’s “FPN” requires him – strictly speaking one could argue it “invites him” but it is an invitation backed by a threat – to pay £10,000 for breaching Regulation 5B of The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions on Holding of Gatherings and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020.”
     
    “Regulation 5B was hastily made law last Friday 28th August, the day before the demonstration was held. It was introduced under an emergency procedure and was neither debated nor given even the most cursory scrutiny by any Parliamentary process. It permits the most junior Community Support Officer in the country to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice to the suspected organiser of a political event, demanding £10,000 to avoid prosecution and consequent financial ruin.” (Emphasis added)

    (Note: the reference should be to section 2 of the cited regulations, which creates section 5B of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020.)

    #59046
    N_

    In the British NHS, the partners of pregnant women are now not even being allowed into hospitals to accompany the women when they “go to appointments” (excuse the Britspeak), for example when they learn they are having a miscarriage. “That’s because of the coronavirus, love”, you can imagine some senior nurse straight out of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” telling the couple in a patronising tone at the door, used to “explaining” to “members of the public” whatever her bosses have told her to believe that day – unvarying in her belief that “members of the public” are mainly stupid, not like her, and always mindful of the security procedure she should follow if a member of the public doesn’t knuckle down and lick boot.

    That’s the NHS for you.

    NHS = Nazional Heimland Service.

    “Because of the coronavirus”, my left cr*phole!

    What it really is is another example of the across-the-board attack on socialisation, as the state hierarchy gets ever stronger vis-a-vis the proletarian population.

    Naive lefties should perhaps put their hands over their ears right now, but the truth is that the rich are not treated like this. Similarly rich women in Britain were able to get abortions prior to the 1967 Abortion Act, and their husbands were allowed to be present when they gave birth decades before that “privilege” was allowed to proletarian male procreators.

    State schools of course have been like this for decades – teachers often treat proletarian parents as if they are potential or actual paedophiles who are not only sexually extremely promiscuous but probably eat their dinners while sitting on their living room armchairs.

    Basically the proletariat are viewed as farm animals – the parent-child relationship in the proletariat is considered to be worth f*ck all compared to the anti-educational regimented culture of the army-like school system, and now what’s happening is the relationship between two expecting parents (young lefties please note: parents come in pairs and can only be a man and a woman) is similarly being cr*pped on as if it were not just worthless but a threat to public hygiene.

    Of course there are some who don’t give a tinker’s cuss for obeying the regulations governing who they’re supposed to be allowed to meet and where, and at what distance. But we are few, very few.

    Unfortunately many locked themselves in their houses for 3 months, only venturing out to the shops about once a week, too scared to go for a daily walk to get some exercise even though it has always been legal. Their wising up within the next few weeks or months or years to realise that they themselves were the authors of their own imprisonment seems unlikely, to say the least.

    Would they put their heads in the gas oven if someone with a posh accent or an “expert” demeanour told them to?

    Yes, many of them would.

    I am totally fed up with engaging in any conversation about SARS-Cov2 where the other person has no interest in how the concept of “hygiene” functions in British class society and in Britain’s almost colonial administrative structure.

    #59125
    N_

    The British government has “lost” £3.5 billion to coronavirus “fraud” – and that’s only what they’re admitting.

    Will any minister or official get jailed or the sack?
    Will any City firm that advised “Her Majesty’s Government” on the “furlough scheme” cease to get government contracts?
    Will they hell…

    Time for a story on the front pages about “Prince” Harry’s house, or about some other “prince” attending nursery school. I mean what’s a three and a half billion quid heist (that will probably turn out to be much bigger, assuming sterling will last much longer as a currency that anybody takes seriously) compared to a “prince’s” haircut or a “duchess’s” dress?

    #59279
    SA

    Another small study suggests that improvement in clinical management of patients with covid 19 who require increased oxygenation by injections of a licensed drug, a Kinin B2 receptor antagonist, icatibant, to 10 patients and 20 controls, in a case controlled study of patients with covid-19 requiring oxygen therapy:

    Pulmonary edema is a prominent feature in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters the cell via angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).1
    ACE2 is involved in degrading the kinin des-Arg9-bradykinin, a potent vasoactive peptide that can cause vascular leakage. Loss of ACE2 might lead to plasma leakage and further activation of the plasma kallikrein-kinin system with more bradykinin formation that could
    contribute to pulmonary angioedema via stimulation of bradykinin 2 receptors.2 We investigated
    whether treatment with the bradykinin 2 receptor antagonist icatibant in patients with COVID-19
    could be used as a treatment strategy.

    Of course this will need confirmation through a large randomised study, but together with the study published on the use of dexamethasone, may help save some lives until more effective targeted therapy is found.

    Interestingly it has also been observed that the rising number of cases in this second wave is associated with less severe disease including the number of deaths. Although this is at present anecdotal, the ratio of new cases to deaths seems to confirm this at present. A number of reasons may be at play but one of them is probably also due to better management of the severely ill patients due to increased understanding of the disease process.

    #59319
    N_

    Boris Johnson says he wants everybody to take “enabling tests” for “the virus” at the beginning of every day. (Click that link to hear him say it.)

    Ways that can work:

    1. Everyone is microchip-implanted, and the testing technology shakes hands with an implant when it takes the blood sample, verifying somehow that the implant and the sample are in the same person’s body.

    2. The technology checks the DNA fingerprint of the blood sample that it runs the viral antigen test on. (Be aware that cutting the strands of DNA into pieces as is required for a DNA test currently takes at least a few hours.)

    3. Any other suggestions? (A system relying on voice recognition, an iris scan, or other non-intrusive biometrics such as face recognition, would be easy to beat. For example, just show another person’s face to the camera when you stick your finger in the finger-prick device.)

    #59321
    N_

    It looks like this:

    * everyone will be microchipped
    * everyone will either be under house arrest or allowed out on daily-reviewed parole

    Today some idiot said they weren’t a “conspiracy theorist” when I remarked that a) many have contracted the novel SARS strain and beaten it; b) most people can easily increase the health of their immunue systems (for example by drinking more orange juice and taking iron and zinc), and c) “health officials” could easily spread this information but haven’t.

    #59339
    Clark

    But N_, you are a conspiracy theorist. All this pretence that the pandemic is just concocted and isn’t a problem, that the climate emergency is a hoax; it’s all classic conspiracy theory. Plus you support the “Jewish doctors murdered Stalin” thing. And also, you seem to hate almost everyone.

    #59354
    SA

    N_ is acting in a very un Marxist way echoing the empire’s attack on climate change Resistance and attacking the NHS workers as tools of the empire. Moreover N_ rarely answers when challenged just producing more conspiracy theories. I have seen this methodology before.

    #59411
    Clark

    “I have seen this methodology before.”

    Yes. It comes to be easily recognisable. The ‘net is awash with it.

    #59580
    Clark

    “…but together with the study published on the use of dexamethasone, may help save some lives until more effective targeted therapy is found.”

    The New York and Spanish studies, and the Diamond Princess figures give an Infection Fatality Rate of about 1.4%. However, these were with hospitalisation, treatment, breathing support etc. We must remember that left unchecked by social restrictions, covid-19 would still overwhelm hospitals by a factor of ten, in which case the IFR would more likely be around 2.8% – that would be around 1.9 million people in the UK.

    #59873
    N_

    Reported deaths with Covid-19 in the US:

    5-8 Sep (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue): 707, 430, 286, 496
    12-15 Sep (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue): 707, 392, 480, 1197
    Figures from Worldometers.

    So yesterday’s figure was an increase of 141% over the number for the previous Tuesday. This is looking like the beginning of a “third wave” in the US.

    Statistical Note
    Given the weekly reporting cycle, it is sensible to compare figures from the same day of the week, as above. The federal Labour Day holiday on Monday 7 September probably had an effect on the usual reporting pattern, but the figures for the three days prior to the two Tuesdays suggest that at least most of yesterday’s increase is NOT the result of reports stacking up because of the holiday. If such a stack-up happened, it might explain the small decrease on Sunday and the small increase on Monday, but it doesn’t explain the rocketing growth yesterday.

    It is just about possible that the holiday may have caused some reports to be filed early rather than late (I am not sure how this may have happened, but it may have occurred for some bureaucratic reason), so keep a watch on the figure for today. But this seems unlikely. Far more likely, big trouble is starting. This may turn out to be concentrated in states where the Trump campaign has held large rallies with lots of shouting by people not wearing masks.

    #60594
    N_

    Cash from Covid: Who is Making a Quick Buck?” – piece in the Glasgow Keelie, voice of “the dissident, the downtrodden, the troublemaker, the enraged, the anarchist, and we welcome the participation of all true lovers of liberty”.

    #60649
    Clark

    Covid-19 cross-infects far more readily indoors. The whole northern hemisphere has just passed equinox, night is now longer than day, the weather is getting less pleasant, people are now gathering indoors, and 90% of the global population is in the northern hemisphere.

    UK infection numbers are rising; we should be locking down now. At first the increasing numbers could be accounted for by increased testing, but deaths have been rising for a week now, so true infection numbers must have been rising for nearly a month. The seven-day average deaths now are equivalent to March 20. On March 23, the day of the stay-at-home order, cumulative deaths stood at 331. There have been a similar number of deaths between September 3 and yesterday. This all looks sickeningly familiar, just like March; the government is unwilling to support the population to stay at home by giving us money, so instead they tinker at the edges of their restrictions. And they haven’t a clue what effective measures look like anyway because they’re scientifically illiterate.

    The Russian government has been widely criticised in the West for deploying their vaccine before Phase III trials. However, most of Russia has an inland climate, far more harsh than the UK’s. Moscow for instance gets severe cold weather, and much housing is Soviet-legacy high density apartment blocks; very high cross-infection appears inescapable. I suspect that the Russian government has weighed the possibility of adverse vaccine effects against the near certainty of rapid mass infection, and the best-tested vaccine next spring will be the Russian one.

    #60686
    SA

    Clark
    The Russian vaccine has not been approved for wide scale use, only for a select group. A large scale trial has started in Russia and other countries and the vaccine will only be released for general use after the results of the trial are published. The anti-Russia media attack on Russia is part of this misrepresentation. There is a good explanation of what is actually happening here.

    #60691
    SA

    I am not sure anymore that a second lockdown will work. The first one worked because it was observed by most; the experience was new. Now people are less observant. Social distancing and masks and so on work well in shops but can hardly be applied in eateries and pubs. You can’t eat or drink wearing a mask ?. But the mask drops even by people who should be wearing them as in public maintainable workers aggregating in places, admittedly mainly in open spaces but not really social distancing. Where I live, there is little sign of social distancing except in formalised settings.

    The problem now is that this government does not like to be unpopular and therefore likes to throw the blame back on to the public, whilst being reluctant to effectively enforce the unpopular measures.

    The opportunity has been missed. Lockdown with proper isolation and quarantine measures could have worked first time if proper elimination or near elimination of the virus was contemplated, given that we are an island, and if strict measures then taken to limit reimporting the virus. These last have never been in place and to this day air transport hubs have not been effectively monitored to limit incoming passengers reintroducing more waves of infection. NZ and Australia have had some successes on this line.

    #60724
    N_

    Report from Airstrip One

    1. The idea that the rulers are whipping up in the population is “Pray for a vaccine to save us”.
    Refusing the vaccine when Big Pharma decides “the time has come” will generally be viewed as a crime against humanity, God, common sense, sanity, Work, Property, the white race, and the universe. Wait and see.

    2. Among middle class types (a minority of the population) there is also the idea of allowing proper people to “go about their business” as they carry microwave trackers (“smartphones” – yeah, right) with “Track and trace” software installed. “Track and trace” is a typically alliterative or otherwise schematically emphasised bit of advertising talk, basically denoting the electronic tagging of everyone who isn’t under arrest.

    3. Grassing up your neighbours if they gather in groups of more than six is being officially encouraged including by government ministers.

    4. Meanwhile there is talk of blocking off Kent, the county that British people will have to try travel through if they want to escape famine and death camps by running to the continent. (Clue: Ireland won’t be an option.) What would readers say if they heard that governments in Syria or Venezuela were sealing off their border regions? If they could put down their copies of the Daily Mail for a minute they might be able to apply the same “thought” to Britain that they apply to foreign countries. That’s if they weren’t terrified of foreigners so much, which is of course highly counter-factual. To spell it out: the authorities want you to have nowhere to run to.

    5. How many of those recorded as having died “with” Covid-19 have NOT had pneumonia that they caught in an institution?
    How many have even been tested for whether they had pneumonia or not?
    I reckon practically all the elderly people who have died “with” Covid-19 have had pneumonia.
    Dying “with” something doesn’t mean shee-yit. If I die “with” an ingrowing toenail, it doesn’t mean it killed me.

    6. SARS-Cov2 is not a flu-type virus, but “Covid-19” is a collection of flu-like symptoms. There’s nothing “odd” about having an impaired sense of smell if you’ve got a cough (or indeed a cold). Yet the authorities are doing things like closing down schools because one child has a runny nose. Never mind that a runny nose is a symptom of a cold, is not a symptom of Covid-19, and does not indicate that someone is more likely to have SARS-Cov2 than if they don’t have a runny nose. All it means is that you’ve got a bit of a cold. Colds are mostly caused by rhinoviruses. Even when they are caused by coronaviruses (maybe 15% of the time), that’s not the same coronavirus as the SARS strain that’s going around. That SARS strain doesn’t give you a runny nose.

    7. Sometimes I think people need advice on how to wipe their own bottoms. Talking of bottoms, expect more articles about toilet rolls to take people’s minds off the prospect of food shortages.

    8. Trinity College, Cambridge, seems to be above the law banning evictions.

    9. I wish people would stop talking about pubs. The majority never go to a pub.

    10. Turning off the internet for a few days would cause the suicide rate to skyrocket.

    #60725
    N_

    I couldn’t find the stat I was looking for about going to pubs, but ISTR that the proportion of adults in Britain who go to the pub whether frequently or occasionally had fallen below 50% even before the start of fascism six months ago. If I get time I will look for whether this statistic comes from the ONS.

    In 2018 the ONS reported that 27% of those aged 16-24 describe themselves as teetotal. (See the graph in section 2 of that article.) Meanwhile, the proportion of beer sold in the “off trade” has risen relative to the proportion sold in pubs or on other premises for consumption in-house. Many pubs have closed.

    Booze companies of course market fanatically to students…universities being to a significant degree about alcohol as well as moneylending. So it’s good to see that so many youngsters don’t drink. How much attention does one have to pay to realise that booze companies have also been marketing fanatically to the population in general by force-feeding them with the message “Celebrate the end of lockdown – get p*issed out of your head down the pub”. Ever felt you were being treated like a cretin?

    Of course there is also the consideration that it’s harder to pick your smartphone when you’ve got a glass in your hand, which might explain some of the decline in the number of people who go to pubs. Every location in the real world must seem pretty much the same to smartphone users. Walking the dog in the park? Pick your phone. Having a meal with your spouse? Pick your phone. Taking a crap? Pick your phone? Having a shag? W-wait…someone’s liked something on Facebook – excuse me for a moment while I stop thrusting – it’ll give you a chance to check your Twitter feed too, or look at some porn.

    There is very little consequential criticism of addiction…

    #60726
    Clark

    SA, some people are less observant. Most that I know remain vigilant. The fortnight I was in London, mask use on public transport was high; over 80% I’d say.

    Some people have become less observant, presumably swayed by the propaganda primarily from the right-wing corporate “news” media, but with summer’s low death rate covid-19 has been easy to dismiss. But with the death rate now rising rapidly, that is likely to change.

    Thanks for the MoA link. So it was just yet more Russuphobic FUD about the Russian vaccine. Typical.

    #60730
    Clark

    N_:

    ‘Dying “with” something doesn’t mean shee-yit.’

    http://www.cebm.net/covid-19/death-certificate-data-covid-19-as-the-underlying-cause-of-death

    There are now hundreds of regional examples of overall death rates increasing to way above long-term averages, and only returning to normal after social restrictions were imposed. Likewise, there are hundreds of examples of death rates increasing to way above long-term averages after social restrictions have been relaxed. This makes it beyond reasonable doubt that some new airborne-transmitted virus is the cause.

    ‘“Covid-19” is a collection of flu-like symptoms.’

    Seven months later, what we know about Covid-19 — and the pressing questions that remain

    See also the articles linked from the one above; “Covid-19 brain complications include strokes and psychosis” and “Long after a Covid-19 infection, mental and neurological effects smolder”.

    It mystifies me that you continue to endorse the Right-wing and corporate propaganda and conspiracy theories about covid-19. Their agenda barely requires thinking about – for the sake of profit, they want to convince as many people as they can to go out and work and spend as much as possible, public health be damned. That should be obvious to anyone who knows Marx’s work. They also don’t want any new vaccines paid for by governments, who have vastly greater bargaining and litigating power than the fragmented and alienated public.

    “Ever felt you were being treated like a cretin?”

    Eschew the corporate media.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by modbot.
    #60731
    Clark

    N_:

    “…the authorities are doing things like closing down schools because one child has a runny nose.”

    The schools shouldn’t even be open:

    http://www.endcoronavirus.org/schools

    “It is not safe to reopen schools for in-person schooling while community transmission is still present. In-person schooling increases the risk of rapidly escalating case numbers throughout the community, placing health and lives at risk and possibly requiring further lockdowns to contain transmission. Before a community can safely begin to reopen schools (primary, secondary and higher education), they must bring new cases to zero and have safeguards in place to keep cases at zero.”

    Multiple examples provided of schools driving community infection, plus a spreadsheet with links to over 400 articles. UK death rate now rising as fast as it did in March, less than a month after reopening schools.

    Fir fook’s sake, close the fookin schools!

    #60739
    SA

    N_
    It is frustrating that somebody as intelligent as you keeps ignoring what has been discussed and proven to be nonesensical , move on man.
    Covid 19 causes a different loss of smell and taste through a different mechanism than a bunged up nose does. I have described how this is different before and you will have to research this for yourself and come back and discuss, preferably by the Monday morning. Thank you.

    #60760
    Clark

    I’ve thought up a “Track and Trace” algorithm. It would inform each user of estimated risk without informing any authority. It could run in parallel with Big Brother schemes without interfering with them. It works like this.

    Each user who wishes to participate installs a free and open-source application on their “smartphone” (I too dislike that term) or other portable device.

    The application generates a random number long enough that the chances of any two being the same is vanishingly small; we shall call this number a Device Unique Identifier DUID. It transmits this number on short range communications whenever other similar communications are detected.

    Each application also scans short range communications, recording each DUID it encounters, and the integral of signal strength over the time of the encounter.

    Any user of the system who suspects themself to be infected informs their application of this. The application then posts their DUID to a public online noticeboard, with the status “suspected”.

    Any user of the system who tests positive informs their application of this. The application then posts their DUID to a public online noticeboard, with the status “positive”.

    Any user of the system who tests negative informs their application of this. The device then deletes their DUID from the public noticeboard.

    Since there is no database connecting DUID to personal identity, posting DUIDs to the public noticeboard poses minimal immediate privacy risk. The application can generate a new DUID occasionally to break any association between DUID and personal identity that may have been generated by third-party surveillance. Each public noticeboard would be relevant to a particular geographical area of a size chosen to keep the data manageable.

    Each device application periodically scans the relevant public noticeboards comparing those DUIDs with its internal list of recorded encounters, calculating an assessment of infection risk and informing the user, automatically producing an alert if some threshold is exceeded. Since this is all voluntary the user would then presumably get tested, and inform their application of the result.

    Improvements and refinements could be added, eg. shops and transport have wifi that could also be assigned identifiers and posted to the noticeboards, so that portable applications could assess the risk in spaces they had visited.

    #60764
    Clark

    Data is kept manageable within each portable application by deleting any recorded DUID and its associated encounter integral ten days after the encounter, unless that DUID is found on a public noticeboard within that time.

    This algorithm makes least demand upon the device when the proportion of suspected and positive DUIDs is small. But when they’re large, track and trace is pointless anyway and lockdown is called for.

    #60802
    N_

    Six months into fascism in Britain: in the words of the state TV and radio service, the London police have “shut down” a protest demonstration held today in Trafalgar Square, and they “used batons to control the crowd”. As a result of the baton use, some protestors were left with “visible injuries”. In other words they crushed the gathering and they beat the sh*t out of the protestors…people peacefully protesting against blanket fascist house arrest and a South African-type “banning” order applying not only to known anti-fascists but to the entire population, or at least to everyone who doesn’t shoot grouse – an order that the fascists have helpfully branded with the number “6”.

    Making it absolutely clear that the Labour party supports fascism, London mayor Sadiq Khan blamed the protestors for acting against the “safety of our city” and injuring “hard-working police officers”.

    The fascist regime’s position is essentially “no more protests, no more opposition”.

    What should happen now is a swell of anti-fascist demonstration, a general strike…but it’s not going to.

    #60805
    Clark

    The protestors are doing exactly what the corporate media, particularly the Right-wing “news” media has encouraged them to do. At 03:30, hear them laughing at their own risk assessment:

    Note that virtually no one wears a mask. Note the rejection of science by the speakers.

    I strongly oppose this government. Governmental leadership in this crisis has been non existent with ministers and advisors acting hypocritically. Restrictions have been late and unscientific. Monetary support has been targeted primarily at the largest corporations and administered by the banks rather than giving support to the people.

    But the government being bad doesn’t make the protest good. These ill-educated people have been disinformed about science throughout recent decades by the appalling “science coverage” relentlessly promoted by the corporate media, leaving them vulnerable to the antiscience promoted through anonymised websites such as the so-called Swiss Propaganda Research.

    This is very sad.

    #60828
    Clark

    N_, there were zero political points being made at this protest, absolutely nothing about economic policy. I don’t know how conflict broke out, but the protest did not appear to be committed to non-violence, eg. the video I linked shows a “Gestapo police” placard, and another shows protestors engaging violently with police.

    On what basis do you suggest this to have been an “anti-fascist” protest? The protestors appear merely misguided by antiscience, without any coherent political stance at all.

    #60847
    Clark

    Protestors advancing, police retreating. Protestors chanting “choose your side”. Many shaved heads. I would leave a protest as aggressive as this:

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