This post is trying to explain the main features of the epidemic as shown in the following curve (and the contrast between deaths in countries with lockup and not)
- As the log vs. time curve shows, the epidemic either is increasing or decreasing in straight lines, meaning exponential increase/decrease and these DO NOT RESPOND AT ALL to policy changes
- That the only other significant feature that can respond to policy is the turning point
- That countries that locked up like the UK, Spain, Peru have a MUCH HIGHER death rate than countries who do not lockup.
- That there was an (apparent) second wave
Bizarrely the problem here is not the lack of effect of policy – because it’s very easy to explain why masks didn’t work, or why anti-social policies like distancing had no effect (people ignored them), the problem is explain, BOTH how policy had no effect on the rate of spread of the virus, but also massively increased deaths.
I set out in “Lockups kill” a plausible explanation of why lockups tend to increase deaths in that they increase the fraction of social contact which is with vulnerable people who are far far more likely to die. But that requires that policy has an effect on how the virus spreads, whereas, the straight lines, which do not change as policy changes, appear to show that policy has no effect.
This obviously needed some kind of explanation.
In Lessons from Lockup I have summarised what we should learn from the insane government response that killed so many people and so wrecked our economy. Unfortunately, except for saying “it should never happen again”, and “those responsible should rot in jail”, there is not a lot we can benefit from now, as hopefully, it will be a long time before anyone is so stupid again.
We are now at a position, where the “second wave” is peaking with almost no appearance as excess deaths, meaning that this is a pretty normal autumn in terms of infectious diseases. As such, the emergency is over, the human rights acts now take precedence over any silly covid legislation, and we can legally go about our normal business ignoring the huffing and puffing of politicians.
But, the question now, is should we, as a society, now just say “it’s over everyone just return to normal”. Because I don’t think it may be that easy. The problems are: Continue reading
We are now at a stage, where more and more people are accepting that the second “wave” is amounting to not much at all as it barely registers as any excess deaths. And with multiple signs of it peaking, those who look at the data are no longer scared. But what now?
Lockups increase covid deaths
In the 1970s there was a infamous Sun headline: “It was the Sun Wot won it”, referring to their appallingly dishonest electioneering which they blatantly admitted had manipulated people to vote for a party they otherwise would not have done so.
That, was at a time, when there were relatively few newspapers and TV channels and when it was extremely expensive to create an alternative paper or channel by which to get your voice heard. As a result, almost the entire political dialogue was carried out BY JOURNALISTS in THEIR PAPERS. The public were to a very large degree, just bystanders to the debate. And as a result, the subjects focussed on at elections were overwhelmingly the subjects that journalists wanted to discuss. And the press were totally silent on the subjects they didn’t want discussed like the EU or immigration.
Then, along came the internet, blogs, social media and the cost of an ordinary person like me getting their voice heard, became relatively trivial. For a number of years, free speech flourished, such that we started to talk about the EU and we got a vote to leave. We started to talk about immigration, so that political parties had to pretend to take it seriously. Continue reading
Sweden with a very mild form of reduced social interaction, got community immunity over the summer at a death rate equivalent to 40,000 deaths in the UK. This is significantly lower than the death rate in the UK, and in addition, it is clear that either the UK was still a significant distance from community immunity or some new epidemic mistaken for covid has occurred. Either way, locking up society caused greater deaths, but how.
It is tempting to blame the higher UK death rate on the appalling behaviour of our politicians in that they callously sent infected patients from hospital into care homes and thereby almost deliberately spread the virus. However, reports suggest that similar behaviour occurred in Sweden such that they also had a lot of infections in care homes.
Thus, the main difference between the UK and Sweden appears to be that the UK had a very draconian, human-rights infringing lockup, whereas Sweden did not.
The conventional wisdom is that lockups save lives, because it appears that by stopping the virus spreading, that people will not get infected. But unfortunately, due to the non-homogenous nature of society, there is no single R number such that the concept of “R number suppression” is totally worthless. Instead, R number suppression, doesn’t act in the way it is believed to had to reduce the death rate, but the evidence shows it increases it. Continue reading
In the same way “Social distancing” ought to be called “anti-social media”, so there is a good case that “social media”, or at least those who run it, are about as anti-social as it is possible to get and that they are largely responsible for an appalling death toll that will occur due to worldwide government response to covid in 2020. That is because, through their manipulation of content on their platforms, they created conditions in which hysterical attitudes to covid took off whilst common sense views were repressed.
During the disastrous and mistaken “covid” scare of 2020, as someone who was not on Facebook and was highly dubious about Twitter, eventually departing them for Parler, the strange thing was that there appeared to be almost no organised opposition.
The inability to find common sense on covid websites was obvious knowing as I did how much Google repressed Republican and climate sceptic websites and how they were taking down every Youtube video that dared to question the orthodoxy of the covid end-of-world viewpoint. That would make it almost impossible to find common sense websites using Google, and since about 90% of searches were made via Google, that meant common sense websites were very hard to find for most people making it quite ineffective to produce such a site. Continue reading
For release: 00:00AM (GMT) 15th March 2020
We can beat coronavirus: we need to turn and face it.
A tsunami of infection is about to swamp our health services if we allow it. We cannot beat it if we all hide; like a ship our society & economy will be swamped if we attempt to run away, instead we must have the courage to turn to face it.
The vast majority of young people have nothing to fear from CV19 except the chaos in our health services caused as older people swamp that service leaving nothing for the young. So those most responsible for this destructive tsunami, must isolate ourselves, to give the maximum chance to those younger people for whom CV19 poses the least risk to “take it on the chin” and power their way through the CV wave by heading towards it: letting or perhaps even encouraging them to get the virus while our health services are relatively free of cases from others.
They will suffer least interruption to their lives, they will then keep the economy going, the food deliveries to those in isolation, whilst generation by generation, the rest of us can rejoin and take our chances from CV19, albeit higher than the young.
Notes for Editors
- Young people under 50 are likely to represent 10% of all demand on the health care services and that can be reduced significantly by isolating the few people in this group who have pre-existing illnesses making them susceptible.
- Whilst still difficult, present health services could cope with just those under 50 who get CV19
- Young people under 50 who under this plan can carry on much as normal, make up about 70% of the workforce.
- People over 70 are likely to create around half of the workload on the health services and represent less than 1% of the working population
- There is very little risk to children and to young parents, so there is very little rationale in a “lock down” that closes schools or in other ways curtails their future life prospects.
- A full plan may entail other measures to reduce demand on the NHS such as limiting the sale of alcohol & reducing speed limits to reduce demand on A&E.
- In April 2015 there were 31.05million employed. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/2015-04-17
Detailed Plan: Plan
In January, when SAGE said the risk of Covid was “Very low” I was writing to politicians telling them it was coming and we should be looking at getting hospitals and ventilators ready
In February I was writing saying that that doctors needed PPE
In March the figures looked grim with an 80% infection rate meaning there would be a tsunami of cases which could overwhelm the low-capacity of intensive care beds in the UK. So I was in favour of a short lockdown for one to two weeks on 23rd March when it finally came.
But when a couple of weeks later at the beginning of April we started to see dancing nurses in empty hospitals, something was very wrong. There was absolutely no need to “save the NHS” and the huge cost of lockup and the very low chance it would actually save lives meant we should have returned to normal.
Mid April, the evidence that lockup was pointless came when Sweden, with a very mild lockup which only reduced meetings of over 50 people, started to peak and then fall. This showed that the 80% infection rate that had been predicted based on a “novel” virus, was a fiction. It was actually closer to only 20% who were being infected. This changed the lockup from a “the cost benefit does not warrant it”, to “It is F£&King insane”.
Sweden is now back to normal. Sweden has the same sized main cities as Scotland. They have the same urban density. We are at the same latitude. We have similar nordic cultures (much of Scotland was settled by norse). In contrast the two countries that are often compared to Sweden are very different. Denmark is very flat, Norway the settlements are squeezed between sea and mountains. Scotland is the nearest comparable country in the world to Sweden, and with a slightly higher death rate (probably due to sending infected people into care homes), we are so close to community immunity that it is insane that we are still locked up. Yes, there are still infections, but those infections are in the young and health which lock up stopped getting infected. But being young and healthy, they do not add to the deaths. In contrast, the grim reaper has already had her crop of the elderly with multiple conditions close to death (the average age of death with covid is nearly the same as that from normal deaths).
And because Scotland (despite the rantings of the SNP) had the same policies applied as the UK, and because the UK followed the same epidemic curve as Scotland. What is true for Sweden, which is true for Scotland is also very much true for the UK. The whole UK is also so close to community immunity, the only sane policy is to go back to normal (whilst providing voluntary protection the vulnerable)
CV19 didn’t just kill directly although bad enough in itself, there were far more people were killed by the policy response. In a sense, both had one cause: the body (politics) response to the virus, which is to wage an all out war against the virus, but in doing so the body (country) gets trashed by “friendly fire”. But all viruses and other scares have the potential to do that, so why was CV19 so deadly?
The simple answer is that it was deadly, because it by and large wasn’t deadly. To explain, if CV19 had caused a serious infection in everyone who got it, so that 100% were seriously ill and perhaps 20% died. Then the body politic would not only have reacted swiftly but also with the right type of draconian measures. And because everyone was serioiusly ill, it would have been extremely easy to indentify who had the virus, so where it was geographically, and to quarantine those involved. Lockdown measures kill, but when the death rate is very high and the “enemy” is obvious, the deaths can be minimised to those directly at threat.
And, even if the virus had leaked out of the original quarantine area, it would VERY SOON be obvious and VERY SOON contained again. So, there is not the slightest doubt, that whilst a lot of people in the immediate area involved would have died, it would have been very quickly contained and killed off.
That did not happen with CV19 because it now turns out that for every person who has an illness serious enough to see a medic, perhaps 50 to 100 other people have had the virus with either no or minimal symptoms. Indeed, it may be higher. Sweden is peaking along with most other countries. But early anti-body testing is only picking up around 25% of people with the virus when if it is peaking it should be closer to 50%. That may indicate, that in perhaps the majority of people, the illness is so mild, that the response cannot even be picked up by the testing. This is born out by the total fatality per head of population that is increasingly looking like coming in below 0.1% (the value oft cited for flu). This compares to original death estimates of 1-4%. That indicates that the “medical radar” was only picking up 3 – 10% of all cases.
CV19 is a totally benign virus in the overwhelming not majority, but almost everyone. That made it deadly
CV19 was an ice-berg.
The UK, like many economies, has just destroyed its economy for a bug that was not much worse than flu and indeed, it could still turn out to be less severe than flu.
The insane policy was created by academics, based on untested, unchecked models which the public could not scrutinise. The recommendations were made by academics without the public having any involvement or chance to cross-examine those involved. And the outcome is a total unmitigated disaster which far from saving lives has increased the death count and wrecked the economy.
However, as this is relatively small compared to climate policies, which are also based on the same untested, etc. models from academics, CV19 is very much a dry run for the climate madness. So, for that one reason, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Because after the CV19 debacle, there is not a chance in hell the public will ever go along with any academic pushing economically destroying policies based on their untested models.