It is now clear that coronavirus has been the biggest public policy disater, arguably in human history, because never have so many governments deliberately shot themselves in the foot, but even if we just consider outcomes and cost, it is certainly the maddest example of utter scientific and government incompetence since WWII (although climate is obviously a strong contender for that position).
Failure to plan
The single biggest failing, was very simple: the government had no viable plan for what was a supposed deadly pandemic, but then, when it turned out to be nothing of the sort, it had no plan for coming out of the greatest assault ever imagined of our human rights.
Two obvous examples support this: when people came back to the UK and were asked to “self quarantine” no one had even thought how they supported themselves. So anyone with a mild cough who had just been on an expensive holiday with lots of photos to show the family – almost certainly ignored the government. The other obvious examaple was the failure to provide home deliveries as a priority to over 70s (what?)
Intentionally keeping the public mis-informed
I put it as strongly as that, because we were denied all the basic information we needed:
- prior knowledge of intended actions
- Timescales of likely action
- Sight of the models or evidence supporting their action
- The number of patients in hospital
- A comparison of predicted versus actual
This resulted in a massive panic by the public, because the government were clearly either totally ignorant of what was going on, or worse were criminally negligent. When gov says “there’s nothing to worry about” …and the evidence says clearly there is …then the rational thing is to totally ignore the government and to second guess what is necessary for each individual & family. Indeed, I assumed the panic buying was a deliberate policy by government to scare the population into panic buying. If it wasn’t then they are just the dumbest …
As for one day just announcing that all clubs and pubs will shut … if I owned a pub I would have been absolutely furious because with a bit of forwarning a lot of the economic damage could have been reduced. Likewise for families who were left without a clue about the timescale or intended action of the government.
To put it simply, next time a pandemic looms, I’m just going to assume the government won’t tell us anything and we must just go out any buy everything we might need for a six month (totally useless) lockdown.
Criminal failure to sample test
The key information for planning the response to the epidemic and therefore which would have supported the early end to the denial of human rights, was to know how many people had had the virus. And in order to know that, there had to be sample testing of random people to determing the level of infection at any one time in the population. Let’s suggest that 100 random people are tested a day, then within a week we have 700 tests and we can know to level of infection with a standard deviation of 4%. If we then also determine the length of infection for the ordinary population (by repeating the test), we can determine the total number of people who have had the virus. This then allows us to determine not the “case fatality rate” (those who require medical attention who die), but the far more important total Infection Fatality Rate (IFR). Because the number of deaths is easy to determine if we know the total number with the virus (and when they got it), we can work out the IFR.
If we had done the necessary sample testing, then even by the time the government started their knee jerk policies like closing bars, we may have known that the IFR was nowhere near the 1-4% originally being quoted and was actually around the 0.1% of normal flu. That would have stopped the criminal denial of human rights and the wholesale destruction of the economy.
The other thing this sample testing and early understanding of the very low IFR would have shown is that the vast majority of cases are entirely benign. This explains why the R0 value was about 10 (Not the 2.3 academics told as. The 10 is shown by the way it increased 10x by the peak day of transmission from person to person). With very high levels of asymptomatic carriers and very high contagion, it would be obvious any form of “contact tracing” or “social distancing” would never end the epidemic The end will come, whatever the politicians or pathetic academics say, by herd immunity.
Letting the criminally negligent academics run the country and decide government policy
Academics as a group cannot be trusted to advise on critical timely economically important government decisions. THEY ARE USELESS IN A CRISIS and run about like headless chickens imagining the worst possible scenario. In contrast, people like the army and industry are trained to manage in a crisis. Boris let the headless chicken morons of academia dictate government policy – we let people with not the slightest interest in job losses (because they have secure jobs) throw away millions of jobs for a virus no worse than flu. It happens time and time again and it’s time it stopped.
Criminal disregard for human rights
We have a centuries long tradition of no detention without a trial or at least the evidence being heard and cross examined. Government are allowed to quarantine people who are ill, but to detain people who are not ill was a direct contravention of human rights.
If there was an emergency – then for as long as that emergency exists and no longer – it is possible to justify denying human rights so long as the evidence for the action is available for public scrutiny and challenge. But the emergency was over almost before the lockdown started as we very quickly saw the NHS was not being overwhelmed as had been predicted. As such the legal requirement to lockdown should have ceased and the emphasis should have been on “strong advice & government assistance” to isolate.
In the long run, I think the way fundamental human rights were just thrown away for something that was no worse than flu, will be the biggest concern of most people.
The Selfish generation
One of the most shocking aspects of this calamnity, has been the way I’ve seen NHS staff clambering over each other to try and get themselves PPE, whilst sending old patients with coronavirus to care homes, where the other patients had no PPE. And medics getting PPE for themselvse without a thought for the home helps going around to see older people in their homes, again without PPE so making those most at risk, most likely to catch it because unlike the selfish generations, the old could not isolate from their carers.
Indeed, it was appalling to see medics attacking the government because they didn’t order enough PPE (whose job was it to know whether PPE is needed for a MEDICAL emergency) … not for the vulnerable but for the young and fit medics who I am told did not suffer any more deaths than the general pupulace.
Likewise, to see young fit adults hiding away in their homes scared to come out, scared to send kids to school, when almost no children died and almost no one from their own age group. Whilst they clogged up the home delivery for older & vulnerable people and who was it who was supposed to keep working in the supermarkets, who was it who was supposed to enforce the denial of human rights that they so eagerly sought to reduce an insignificant risk?
In that regard, I have to apologise for my own actions in early articles. Whilst I only had access to government stats and my intention was to ensure we didn’t “crash the NHS”, it is now obvious in retrospect that we should never have had the lockdown at all. Instead we should have solely concentrated on protecting the old and vulnerable. I apologise for my part.
Finally the SNP. What can I say? It became pointless even reading the latest nonsense they came up with. It was just the UK version a week later with unnecessary “scotification”.
They destroyed enthusiasm for the great ideas of community help groups & people volunteering to hel the NHS.
In part that was clearly because, whilst the UK scheme was developed at a time the NHS was thought to need help, the Scottish version was “developed” at a time it was increasingly obvious the NHS had no problem coping. Yet despite knowing the NHS coped, the SNP are now floating the idea of a longer lockdown in Scotland. So, the SNP know the NHS doesn’t have an emergency, they know the only moral basis to deny human rights went away weeks ago, yet they still intend denying our human even longer than the draconian, anti-science bullshit measured of the UK gov. The UK gov response was appalling, the SNP was a lot worse.
If there’s ever another pandemic, the first thing (if not done before) must be to suspend devolution.