The real #covidiots

Those who rush to denounce others often reveal their own ignorance.

Tom Slater
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More than 500,000 Brits have signed up to be NHS volunteers to help vulnerable people through the coronavirus epidemic, smashing a 250,000 target in just 24 hours. It’s a welcome reminder of how good people are, and we needed it. In recent days you’d be forgiven for thinking we are all feckless idiots who aren’t taking this virus thing that seriously because we are simply too thick or too selfish to care. At least, that has been the message pumped out by the self-important of social media.

‘Covidiots’ is the ugly coinage that has been used to shame anyone who some nosey sort deems to have erred. We may not, to the chagrin of many in the media, be in a full continental-style lockdown, in which police are demanding papers and soldiers sit on every street corner. But we do at least have public denunciations and snitching, via an army of the smartphone-wielding self-righteous, ready to pap and shame anyone with too much loo roll in their trolley or too little distance between themselves and other joggers in the park.

In the days before the lockdown was brought in, there were of course some worrying signs that government messages around social distancing were not getting through in some corners. Images of hipsters cheek by jowl at Columbia Road flower market, and people crammed in on the Tube, paved the way for more draconian action. But that it was taking longer than we’d like for a drastic change in how society operates and how we all behave should hardly have been surprising. And in many cases the fury has been unfairly directed.

Piers Morgan, who is in his spittle-flecked element at the moment, has been fuming at ‘morons’ for days. ‘Nobody needs to go to some tourist place. Nobody needs to go in groups and hang around drinking wine in parks. Yes, they’re all morons’, he said on Good Morning Britain on Monday. Many of the people snapped walking along sea fronts or in parks at the weekend will have just been trying to enjoy the spring sunshine while keeping their distance. Still, they all became one undifferentiated blob of covidiocy.

But in their rush to judgement many people are revealing their own ignorance. ‘It’s THIS simple. (Unless you are an essential key worker, e.g. NHS staff) *this* is how the Tube map now looks to you. This is not hard to understand, is it?’, tweeted a transport author, with a pic of a blank map. But the crushes on the Tube this week will have most likely been made up of those key workers, people who don’t have media jobs and still have to go into work, who have been faced with a maddeningly reduced service, causing crowds.

This reflex isn’t about pushing people to do their bit to try to stem the spread of the virus. It’s about people conjuring an image of their stupid fellow citizens to make themselves feel morally virtuous. This is why there is often no sense of proportion. A video doing the rounds yesterday showed police angrily dispersing people sunbathing on Shepherd’s Bush Green. That they all looked to be properly spaced out from one another seemed not to matter. Here were more irresponsible morons to fume over on social media.

Easily the most curious subgenre of all this is the busybody tweeter going to his or her local park and taking issue with other people being there. Since the government made clear we shouldn’t mix with people outside our own household, even outdoors, an element of sleuthing and mind-reading has now crept in. Yesterday one BBC bigwig spotted ‘what looked like a guy with his personal trainer’ in a park. He conceded they might have lived together, but concluded that was unlikely. This is not normal behaviour.

People aren’t perfect. Some have been slow to adjust, and a few are no doubt in denial that coronavirus is something to be taken seriously. But the vast majority are trying to stick to the rules as best they can while doing what they have to do to put food on the table and stay sane. In the end, the #covidiots thing tells us far more about the shamers than the shamed. Some people spy in this crisis proof of what they apparently always thought: that people are stupid and selfish. This morning’s good news is proof of how wrong they are.

Tom Slater is deputy editor at spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Hunter McDonald

29th March 2020 at 9:54 pm

Prince Charles is self isolating with Covid-19
Prince Andrew is self isolating with Jennifer-14

Hunter McDonald

29th March 2020 at 9:57 pm

Sorry—I’m repeating myself—it must be Alzheimer’s

Tony Benn

27th March 2020 at 5:31 pm

Can we call these snitchers “Busybullies” please, it has a ring to it?

The estimate of 200,000 deaths is now at 5,700 and falling fast , I doubt 1000 with actually have died of CV by the time this is over (in two weeks or so). Most of those listed were extremely elderly or infirm, and every day of every week of every year some perfectly ordinary and healthy individual dies of some innocuous disease. It is tragic for the families but death is part of life I’m afraid, sometimes people who should have many years ahead of them die.

Peter Baker

29th March 2020 at 12:57 pm

The government appears to be deliberately restricting testing and anyone who dies with anything, who is even suspected of having the virus is being counted as a Covid-19 death. This policy is going to massively overstate the lethality of this disease.

And no one appears to be asking why this is being done, although I can think of obvious reasons why, but if I state these reasons my comment will probably be moderated.

Peter Baker

27th March 2020 at 10:18 am

So called ‘experts’ seem to be rapidly backtracking in order to save their reputations, as they naturally do not want the blame when the 100’s of Billions bill hits the mat and people start asking who was responsible.

Politicians will blame the experts – so my advice to experts would be cover your own backsides rapidly.

In the Uk 20,000 – 50,000 excess deaths is just a normal winter.

In Spain or Italy it’s a national tragedy.

Perhaps they are right and we are wrong – perhaps we should lock down for 3 months every winter?

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27th March 2020 at 4:14 pm

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Dan Under

27th March 2020 at 9:57 pm

PB, you make an excellent point.
High transmission rates were identified very early on highlighting the likelihood a low incidence of mortality and morbidity (R.Li et al. 2020. Science). In the absence of widespread serological antibody testing of the healthy population a sound measure of the impact of the novel CCP Wuhan virus is unknown. Wild (modelled) figures have given way to more conservative (modelled) figures that now eclipse the tragically “usual” 40,000 excess winter UK deaths that no one comments about, least of all the UK Fake News MSM, so many due to the desperate choice over heat or eat, with hand wringing gratitude to deranged Green Death ideology, its decerebrate political useful idiots and last but not least, the associated punitive power prices.
Locked down in NZ by the minority Left wing gov. led by Princess Cindy virtue signaller extraordinaire, people are being urged not to use cash for fear of cross contamination, while at the same time they bring their filthy shopping bags into the supermarkets loaded with norovirus, colliform bacteria and likely, CCP Wuhan COVID-19. Not a good sign at all, and not a good sign of sound, reasoned thinking, which ran for the hills awhile ago. BO’N leading editorial last week was spot on.

Jill W

27th March 2020 at 10:01 am

It is a pity we have shut-down but, since we are in this situation, I doubt that the authorities respect the self-appointed amateur meddlers.
Busy- body mentality, seldom motivated by the greater good, has always been a gift to comedy. With today’s added tech toys, and highlighted by our current struggle, the damage caused saps any humour.
In literature, Jane Austin’s Mr Knightley chastising Emma, ‘It was badly done’, for her humiliation of family friend Miss Bates echoes some of today’s twitterati scoring intellectual points raising their profile at the expense of others.
Previously invisible people are managing difficult situations at home and in the community, responsibly and with care. And now the national response to volunteer lifts spirits. It is very few, I hope, who have nothing better to do than constantly tell tales and demonise.

steve moxon

27th March 2020 at 8:36 am

Here’s my message exchange with Derbyshire Police re the Boob report of cops harassing dog walkers in the remotest parts of the Peak District national park:
8:02 AM
Supt Steve Pont is nuts. Absolutely nuts. Walking the dog on your own in the middle of nowhere is in no sense not observing social distancing. Just how low in basic intelligence do you have to be to be a senior police officer these days? Steve Moxon S36 2QL
REPLY:
Thanks for contacting us, we are busy at the moment but we Will get back to you – May the Farce be with you.
MY REJOINDER:
It’s certainly with Derbyshire Police! … Or is this Police Farce in on the joke? It is almost April 1, after all.

Peter Baker

27th March 2020 at 10:21 am

Steve is that genuinely how they replied ?

steve moxon

27th March 2020 at 10:48 am

Yes indeed!

Peter Baker

27th March 2020 at 12:14 pm

So lets hope the police do think it is a farce and as they are independent from political control choose not to enforce these measures.

Sadly in my neck of the woods many people don’t have much faith in the police as they spent years ignoring industrial scale child sexual abuse whilst harassing anyone who tried to draw attention to the issue.

Charles Buonaventura

27th March 2020 at 7:59 am

I have to say I’d rather take my chances with the coronavirus than put up with the Facebook Mum Stasi and police drones flying over rural footpaths. The petty tyrants are having a field day, I’m reminded of that episode of Dad’s Army where Hodges bursts out that he’s never had more fun in his life.

Jerry Owen

27th March 2020 at 7:24 am

Apparently America no has the highest figures for covid 19.
In today’s DM two headlines ..
1. Trump says testing ‘explains’ figures.
2. Trump ‘blames’ testing for figures.
Neither are quotes.
Is this really the time for partisan propaganda?

Peter Gardner

27th March 2020 at 8:40 am

It is true that the more testing the more cases, so it looks bad in the stats of number of reported confirmed cases. I’ve just been looking at some graphs of confirmed cases per 100,000 population. UK and Germany followed exactly the same trajectory until Day 19 (since 100 confirmed cases). For Germany that was 20 March when its rate accelerated dramatically. What happened? I don’t know but if Ge increased testing then that would increase the number of cases. UK is now on day 21. We’ll see.
Germany and France both had Day 0 on 1 March. Germany now has 44 confirmed cases per 100,000, France 30. UK, is on Day 14 ( Day 0 was 6 March) with 20 cases per 100,000.

Peter Baker

27th March 2020 at 9:47 am

Tell you what Jerry – I think Trump should cancel the upcoming presidential elections – in fact he should do what our government has done and cancel all elections until further notice, shut down the senate and congress and impose a police state until the crisis is over. I think he would be entirely justified in doing this in order to ‘save lives’. There are plenty of idiots in this World – but Trump isn’t one of them.

Jerry Owen

27th March 2020 at 12:41 pm

Peter Baker
Whist our government is pussy footing about sorting out the self employed at the beginning of May … not for cash but to register for cash, Trump has thrown 2 trillion at the economy despite the Dems hindrance to try and keep it ticking over.
Trump just gets on with it.
I had to laugh a graph on Sky news last night, it showed both claims for employment benefit against employment rate in America, the graph was at an odd angle, but the more savvy would have noticed that from 2016 there was a linear line showing employment at a steady growth upwards. This is the growth that Obama, as also shown on the map was nowhere near. In fact Trump according to the graph has historically high rates of employment.
You can fool some of the people some of the time……

Gordon der Gopher

26th March 2020 at 8:21 pm

I’m such a covidiot. I got a bit confused about this clap for the NHS thing and I’ve just been out and given a nurse Gonorrhea.

Paul Winfield

26th March 2020 at 10:43 pm

LOL!!!!!!!!!

James Knight

26th March 2020 at 6:40 pm

Let me get this straight. They cut the tube services to curb covid19. Then the trains are packed out and people are called “morons”.

Who are the real morons here?

Chris Thorogood

27th March 2020 at 12:06 am

Worse still, a good proportion of the people photographed ramming into trains were Eastern Europeans. Yet the Brits are the ‘thick’ ones. Still no news on whether we can ride our E-scooters without getting run down by boy racers or stoned lorry drivers.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 5:58 pm

Great news for the first time in our history we are now officially a police state.

R.I.P British democracy

this is what the authoritarian globalist elites have wanted for years and we just handed it them on a plate.

Chris Thorogood

27th March 2020 at 12:09 am

Great timing too.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 3:20 pm

We are currently in lock down waiting for the death rate to rise dramatically.

What if the death rate never rises dramatically because the virus was already here and we already have a significant degree of herd immunity?

How many months are we going to spend destroying the economy before someone admits they got it wrong. And the longer it goes on the harder it will be for the government to get itself out of the hole without a catastrophic loss of face.

We are in a very dangerous situation and people need to speak out urgently IMHO.

Simon Cohen

26th March 2020 at 4:15 pm

Spot on Peter. The fact that the border has been open this whole time and we’ve all been in close proximity with other people for months suggests that all of this may well be for nothing. The economic fallout will already take a decade to fix, if not longer.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 5:09 pm

Last time I heard our local hospital had 4 cases. One guy from Liverpool who caught it when thousands of Madrid fans came over. Here is a link to the Health secretary dodging questions as to why this was allowed.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/health-secretary-dodges-question-over-17908615

The other 3 caught it in hospital when someone came back from abroad and infected 3 patients in 3 different wards. Don’t know if they were staff – but seems likely.

If we had closed our borders weeks ago we would probably have not even needed this lock down. And the borders are still open. Why ??????? And why are the MSM not pushing for the borders to be closed?

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 7:31 pm

What if the death rate never rises dramatically because the virus was already here and we already have a significant degree of herd immunity?

This has already happened:

/1/ This is a remarkable turn from Neil Ferguson, who led the @imperialcollege authors who warned of 500,000 UK deaths – and who has now himself tested positive for #COVID; https://www.newscientist.com/article/2238578-uk-has-enough-intensive-care-units-for-coronavirus-expert-predicts/ …//
//
//2/ He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. – more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case bc they were so old and sick.//
//
//3/ Essentially, what has happened is that estimates of the viruses transmissibility have increased – which implies that many more people have already gotten it than we realize – which in turn implies it is less dangerous.//
//
//4/ Ferguson now predicts that the epidemic in the U.K. will peak and subside within “two to three weeks” – last week’s paper said 18+ months of quarantine would be necessary. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/196477/j-ideas-neil-ferguson-tells-mps-lockdown/ …//
//
//5/ One last point here: Ferguson gives the lockdown credit, which is *interesting* – the UK only began ita lockdown 2 days ago, and the theory is that lockdowns take 2 weeks or more to work.//
//
//6/ Not surprisingly, this testimony has received no attention in the US – I found it only in UK papers. Team Apocalypse is not interested./

Paul Winfield

26th March 2020 at 10:50 pm

Here in Cyprus we went into lockdown at 6pm Tuesday, with a review date of Monday 13th April (3wks). 3 deaths so far, paperwork to carry with you when you go out (8 options for reason, restricted to 3hrs max), spot fine of 150euro if not cleared for going out / no ID, fine going up to 3000euro / 6mth jail next week if Govt get their way.

Norman Baker

27th March 2020 at 2:35 am

“who warned of 500,000 UK deaths”

A prediction based on the government and population doing almost nothing.

You neglected to mention he also says

“that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope”

He expects the NHS will be able to cope and the number of deaths vastly reduced because government took the actions you are moaning about. The transmission rate estimate having increased he takes as further justification for current social distancing policy.

Jonnie Henly

26th March 2020 at 7:34 pm

“What if the death rate never rises dramatically”

Then the lock down will have worked.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

26th March 2020 at 2:27 pm

This police surveillance video smacks of fascism. They are trying to stop people going for walks in the middle of nowhere where there are almost no people and next to zero chance of infecting anybody:

https://twitter.com/DerbysPolice/status/1243168931503882241

KATHLEEN CARR

26th March 2020 at 3:54 pm

Except that ‘the middle of nowhere’ usually belongs to someone. Townies generally think it is ok to drive out to the country and let their kids & dogs loose over farmer’s fields , leave gates open and leave all their rubbish-including soiled nappies behind. They even get belligerant if stopped-see Peak District farmer beaten up by walker. Please keep away until you are invited back.

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 6:02 pm

“… Please keep away until you are invited back….”

OK – so long as you stay out of the town shops until we let you back in… 🙂

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

26th March 2020 at 7:27 pm

The people in the Derbyshire police clip are clearly walking on a public footpath and are therefore not trespassing. Footpaths are legal rights of way. I do lots of walking in the country; I do not leave litter and I respect the privacy of the locals. If townies are to be barred from going to the countryside then rural types must also be prevented from entering towns.

KATHLEEN CARR

26th March 2020 at 7:59 pm

Most of the shops that haven’t gone bust have moved out of town-most of the shops left in towns are charity & fast food. The new city population seem to be students -families who used to live in towns and cities have moved out to the countryside-unfortunately putting the price of houses up and creating a sort of urban countryside . On-line shopping has made towns unnecessary for a lot of people.

KATHLEEN CARR

27th March 2020 at 3:26 pm

I’m not referring to National Parks and Nature Reserves, which Steve Moxon is talking about-I mean private property.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

26th March 2020 at 2:06 pm

More petty point-scoring and trying to be different for the sake of churning out another edgy article in order to justify one’s existence.

Hunter McDonald

26th March 2020 at 1:38 pm

Prince Charles is self-isolating in Scotland with Covid-19
Prince Andrew is self-isolating with Jennifer-14

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

26th March 2020 at 3:05 pm

The entire royal family should go into permanent self-isolation on Pitcairn Island.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 12:47 pm

Unless the data is being manipulated then the data does not lie.

And the data appears to be trending towards the public response being an overreaction which is likely to trash our economy and ruin millions of people’s lives and for what reason?

Because most people in the main stream media have a very overt political agenda and actually want to trash the economy and our politicians can see no other safe course of action than covering their own backsides regardless of the cost.

KATHLEEN CARR

26th March 2020 at 1:12 pm

Also if you went to the doctor with a pain in your cheek & he said I can fix it but it will mean cutting off your arms & legs-I think most of us would say-I’ll just stick with the pain thanks.

Daniel Webb

26th March 2020 at 12:37 pm

Confirmation bias – Seek and ye shall find.

Chester Minnit

26th March 2020 at 12:24 pm

I disagree. People ARE idiots. Selfish idiots who – by and large – think the law applies to everyone but them. I too saw the crowds on TV at the seafronts and the parks but they weren’t keeping a respectful distance, they were queuing to get doughnuts, or beers in pubs and cafes that should really have been closed.

We are in lock down now precisely because the same people who under-take on motorways, who throw litter out of their car window and who stack their shopping tollies high with tins and loo rolls think they’re above the law and more important than everyone else.

COVID-19 is showing the people of the world for who they really are and social media posts are really just highlighting to the world that they’re mostly hypocrites.

Hunter McDonald

26th March 2020 at 1:47 pm

Quite—and this journal is behaving irresponsibly with its exhortations to others to behave irresponsibly is criminal.

Jerry Owen

26th March 2020 at 3:45 pm

Your medical credentials on viruses are.. ?

Hunter McDonald

29th March 2020 at 9:58 pm

Jerry—–MD, FRCS(NS), FRCP.. DO tell us all yours.

Jerry Owen

26th March 2020 at 3:44 pm

The pubs and clubs were closed last Friday. You haven’t seen one one since.
The speed with which our country has been halted in its tracks is nothing short of a logistical success, for the panicked media / establishment classes.

Jimbob McGinty

26th March 2020 at 8:49 pm

slightly o/t, but ‘people who under-take on motorways’ are usually just passing a middle-lane hog

Matt Ryan

30th March 2020 at 5:05 pm

+1

harry briggs

26th March 2020 at 12:19 pm

Don’t forget the attempts to shame those who continue to work, the media continues to claim that only “essential” workers should be travelling to work, yet those are not the instructions from the Government.

Jerry Owen

26th March 2020 at 3:48 pm

Harry
I see pictures of crammed tubes every day, those people do not choose to be there, they have no choice, those that slag them off should crowd fund them if they are so concerned. Perhaps Chester Minnit above would like to set one up !!

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 12:03 pm

Daily deaths due to the virus yesterday were half the level of the previous day and about the same as the average for the previous 2 weeks.

Where are the screaming headlines ‘ coronavirus death rate halves’. Headlines are that the death toll continues to rise which is bleedin obvious.

If we have 500 deaths a day for 3 months it will still be less than the excess winter deaths in 2017/18 – nobody gave a damn then, so why are we in lock down now?

IMHO We are being manipulated and prepared for a new narrative which is probably that the country can no longer afford to BREXIT. Just wait for the onslaught in a few months time – it will be relentless and overwhelming and people will have been so crushed that no one will fight back.

The people cannot be allowed to win.

Iwan Hughes

26th March 2020 at 12:46 pm

Exactly. I have seen this blog https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/ elsewhere, which calls into question much of the hysterical reporting, and consequent ‘nudge’ moves by governments in the direction of severe lockdowns of society. While the author may have an axe to grind regarding official disinformation, the many references are worth reading.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for the link, I heard this information on a news report but didn’t know the source. I have referred to this data in a comment on another article. The Italian death rate is 9% compared to 0.3% in Germany and this explains why. However our media keep suggesting that the death rate here will match that in Italy – not Germany. It seems clear that the German figures are more representative but that they are also an overstatement. The actual death rate will probably turn out to be lower than seasonal flu but by the time this filters through to the MSM our economy will have been destroyed. If they didn’t have an agenda they would be doing proper journalism and finding the facts instead of fueling hysteria.

Jonnie Henly

26th March 2020 at 12:46 pm

There’s just one problem though – those figures were not for a full 24 hr period, thus they were not “daily deaths”.
Plus one day is not enough to draw conclusions on the average rate, is it?

Not everything can be neatly squeezed into your Brexit narrative.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 1:25 pm

An average is an average – add up deaths for the last 14 days and divide by 14. That will give you an average. If the latest figures are similar to the previous 14 days average then the death rate isn’t increasing dramatically. We could have 500 deaths a day for 3 months and total deaths would still be less than the excess winter deaths in 2017/18 and we weren’t locked down then.

If the figures were say 40,80,150,240,360,420,500 then the figures would be rising

If they are 33, 33,40,56,48,54,87,43 then they are not really increasing are they?

Many people understand this but because of the hysteria they are currently ‘keeping their heads down’.

Jonnie Henly

26th March 2020 at 7:32 pm

Well that didn’t take long did it?

Now we see over 100 deaths in a day for the first time.

So the death rate has not halved, has it? It’s continued to rise fairly steadily.

No, most people do not “understand” your thinking. They’re keeping their heads down because they understand otherwise, not because of hysteria.

Peter Baker

27th March 2020 at 9:55 am

Well official figures for our area are 31 cases in a population of 380,790 which is less than 1 in a 1000 and that is cases not deaths. I have been told there are currently 4 cases in our local hospital. 1 guy from Liverpool who caught it when the government allowed 3000+ Madrid fans to fly from lock down to Liverpool and spread the virus and 3 who caught it from someone who returned from abroad and affected people in 3 different wards, presumably an NHS worker. Otherwise 0 cases.

So why are we all currently under lock down and the airports still open?

KATHLEEN CARR

26th March 2020 at 4:55 pm

If in 2/3 weeks some areas have no cases of this virus (or virtually none) which must be true for a lot of villages and country regions surely there is nothing stopping the government letting them return to normal (ish) so long as there are no visitors or tourism? ( probably people will have to do without their holidays abroad or in this country this year )Then government resources can be focused on ‘hot spots’ , which seems to be London and other cities , and helping businesses which will lose out like B & B’s? Otherwise can the government afford to pay the wages for most of the population?

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 12:00 pm

I have put a comment out explaining that the threat from Covid-19 was initially assessed as high with no evidence, and is now being assessed as (much) lower as solid data starts to come in.

The comment has been held since I provided links to government sites but the gist is that the disease is of low lethality and the government have over-reacted. Anyone who wishes to look up the data on the European Mortality Monitor (an EU funded service) and Public Health England (a UK Government funded site) can do so.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 12:26 pm

My son is monitoring public health England daily death rates and they are currently below the 5 year average. Data is released each Monday for the previous week.

Won’t be surprised if these data are withheld if death rates do not suddenly start to rise.

If this plays out as the data is gradually suggesting then we are going to be lied to massively to cover up the fact that the economy was trashed for nothing.

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 2:48 pm

If the death rates rise, they will say that we are not doing enough, and put more restriction in.

if the death rates fall, they will say that the Government and the NHS has saved us.

Either way they get to keep their emergency powers…

Win-Win… for the bureaucrats

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 11:54 am

“…and a few are no doubt in denial that coronavirus is something to be taken seriously….”

I do not take mindless direction from government, Sp!ked – or, indeed, anybody.

I examine the situation, listen to the advice, and then make up my mind about what my actions should be.

In this case, we were initially warned that this was a dangerous and infective disease, with very little hard data supporting this statement. As time has passed, more firm data has been coming in, suggesting that the illness is less infective than influenza (which can be quite infective), and is less dangerous than influenza (which can be very dangerous to old people and those with respiratory conditions, but which is normally considered just a nuisance to healthy young people).

I note that the media are struggling to find hard evidence of ANY deaths to a previously healthy person where Covid-19 is the SOLE factor. I note that the European Mortality Monitor https://www.euromomo.eu/outputs/number.html is showing an exceptionally low number of deaths this winter. I note that Public Health England have now advised that the threat from Covid is lower than initially thought. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid This last government action is so important that I will enclose an excerpt here:

“…..The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID…..”

Note the statement about low mortality rates. In view of all of this, I do not treat this disease as a greater threat than, say, influenza (which I would avoid so long as it did not disrupt my daily activities). I suggest that other people look at the available data and make their own minds up. And also suggest that the government tries to think of an exit strategy from this over reaction which they can take without losing too much face…

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 3:03 pm

More excellent information. I have learned more reading these comments than watching the news for the last week. I hope SPIKED journalists are also reading these comments and links and will publish articles that expose the truth about this situation. Coronavirus is real and required a government response but what is actually being done is terrifying. I am 59 years old and have never seen anything like this in my entire life, we are going down a totalitarian rabbit hole with the MSM leading the charge.

Norman Baker

27th March 2020 at 2:17 am

“also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID”

Well that’s good news because there are only two hospitals in the country capable of treating HCIDs.

Banana Man

28th March 2020 at 4:10 pm

Really good stuff. Thanks for posting those links.

If I’m reading the graph correctly:-
https://www.euromomo.eu/outputs/number.html
In January 2017, in the over 65s, excess deaths peaked at around 20,000 PER WEEK (Data for 20 major European countries compared to the average year). I don’t remember us living in a police state then. I don’t even remember it making much of a stir in the news.

The last 12 years of austerity after the 8% drop in GDP as a result of the financial crisis will be a walk in the park compared to what we have in store. They need to encourage everyone back to work ASAP!

Prioritising 80-year-olds with underlying health conditions over the rest of the population with myriad other health issues is not fair.

Trialling economic suicide as an anti-viral is wrong headed. We need to get out and get herd immunity as soon as possible. Shield the high risk by all means but let the rest of us keep the show on the road.

fret slider

26th March 2020 at 11:54 am

Unfortunately, all assumptions appear to be well and truly flawed. Imperial College’s results cannot be reproduced. They rely on very questionable Chinese data. Don’t take my word for it…

“COVID-19: Updated data implies that UK modelling hugely overestimates the expected death rates from infection”

https://www.nicholaslewis.org/covid-19-updated-data-implies-that-uk-modelling-hugely-overestimates-the-expected-death-rates-from-infection/

Thank goodness for independent sceptical minds.

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 12:13 pm

Imperial College’s results CAN be reproduced. So long as you accept the wildly exaggerated mortality rates that they use – ones which have been disproven as better data comes in.

I have read the Imperial College Ferguson report. I have one point to make about it.

It is NOT a ‘scientific’ paper. It is a discussion paper, laying out policy proposals for addressing a pandemic, and recommending the various measures which the government are now enacting. I have worked for both HM Treasury and Cabinet Office in the past, and am well used to seeing such papers.

Typically they are used to provide justification (and hence remove responsibility) for administrative decisions which have already been made during discussions amongst senior personnel. As an example, if I want to paint a building green, I would write a paper considering the relative merits of painting it with whitewash, a polyurethane green paint or bitumen. I would then state that whitewash is an old technology and would need repainting regularly, while bitumen would be ugly and sticky in summer. Green polyurethane is therefore chosen. Now I have a justification in case anything goes wrong with the project.

I am waiting attentively to see what new paper they will write to get them out of the hole that they have dug for themselves…

fret slider

26th March 2020 at 12:22 pm

“laying out policy proposals”

Why bother trying to dress it up as scientific when its nothing more than politics? Money, of course.

“countries with malaria have virtually no COVID-19 cases, and those countries with many COVID-19 cases have little to no malaria.”

https://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/03/some-covid-19-vs-malaria-numbers-countries-with-malaria-have-virtually-no-coronavirus-cases-reported/

You only get nonsense and panic out of the NHS for political purposes.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 12:50 pm

Unfortunately they are also digging a hole for us and they have a ladder – we don’t.

Peter Baker

26th March 2020 at 12:35 pm

Thanks for the link – I will pass it on to my son.

The data is out there but public policy is not being driven by data, it is being driven by remainer elite, baby boomer hysteria, which will not let any opportunity to punish ordinary people pass unexploited.

The death rate in Germany is 0.3% and they are clearly not testing everyone, so even this figure is probably a gross overestimate. The true figure is probably on a par with or lower than seasonal flu.

If 50% of people don’t even get symptoms you can probably at least halve the German figure.

Dominic English

26th March 2020 at 11:53 am

It might help if, in addition to parks, gyms and the seaside, people were also instructed to stop congregating on Twitter.

CR Ave

26th March 2020 at 8:05 pm

That would be wonderful. I’ve become a junkie.

Constantine Sotiriou

26th March 2020 at 11:40 am

Indeed. It’s like we are all now being brought down to the level of the sad sacks on twitter that are too scared to leave the house at the best of times and they’re loving it. When I lost all of my work for the year when tours and gigs all got cancelled that was bad enough, at least I still had the gym to get me through for a bit then you could see the way it was going when channel 4 decided to go round gyms shaming people for trying to keep going, for some of us it’s the best way of just staying sane and would’ve stayed away if showing symptoms, low and behold twitter gets hold of it and now they are all now shut.

K Tojo

26th March 2020 at 11:13 am

If only high profile MSM windbags were subject to a limit on their time in “office”. There are time-serving TV news & current affairs presenters who are kept around until we get so used to them they are deemed “national treasures” [sez who?].

Now, with the COVID-19 outbreak, we are expected to listen reverently to the wit and wisdom of these over-paid, over-respected talking heads as they bellow: “more must be done you fools!”

That posh chappy on ITV’s Good Morning Britain is a particularly irritating specimen of the type.

Jerry Owen

26th March 2020 at 11:10 am

In Shepherds Bush where the coppers were telling people to disperse, I only saw a few there looking well spaced apart, the coppers doubled the crowd. But more importantly one of the jumped up little Adolph’s shouted out ‘this isn’t a holiday’. Where is his authority to shout that.. there is none we are only a few days in and power is being assumed by our public servants.
I also saw a photo in the DM online, it showed five people close together, but upon closer inspection the two furthest away were walking one way two closer were walking the other way and the one closest was stationary.
Fake news in this instance.

Christopher Tyson

26th March 2020 at 10:44 am

Spiked has a problem with people who say ‘I support free speech, but…’
I support free speech but are these journalists really key workers? If parliament itself can close down, why can’t Piers Morgan take some time off? I caught a few moments of Morgan’s show recently, he was in his familiar style calling on some persons to ‘suck it up’. It was about some people who had missed out on a skiing holiday. They’ve missed out, why be so gleeful about it? In recent years we have been prodded and nudged to ‘open up’, ‘it’s good to talk’, we have mental heath days where we are encouraged to sit down with tea and biscuits and off load our troubles. Suddenly stoicism is back in favour. If you’ve missed out on you holiday, lost your job, been deprived of your football or other sports or events, ‘suck it up’.
However annoying these reported and presenters are, without them I suppose we would have a single unmediated state broadcasting outlet. The answer would be for them to be proper journalists rather using their positions to push their own opinions, or behaving aa though they either do or should run the country.

Gareth Edward KING

26th March 2020 at 10:39 am

This one-metre rule is a lark. It’s so arbitrary, in Catalonia it’s a metre-and-a-half! Even if the pólice were able to keep an eye on everybody, which fortunately they can’t, it’s orwellianism in full swing! It’s even more ridiculous with people who are not in that age cohort who are most vulnerable to contagion i.e. the over 65s. If people of working age and their role in the spread of this virus, which is so little known about, were permitted to acquire immunity? but wasn’t this Johnson’s policy in the beginning? Repression makes one jot of difference to the rates of contagion. The whole of Italy is under curfew but more than 80% of cases are in but three northern regions: Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. In Sicily an island of 5 million people there are very few cases. In the Spanish congress yesterday, the criticisms coming from Sánchez’s handling of this crisis were from both ‘right’ and ‘left’ but were in the order of yet more repression (Gabriel Rufián; Esquerra Republicana): ‘total economic lockdown’, ‘or ‘we’ll have no country left!’ and Iñigo Erejón (Más Madrid) or absurdities coming from Pablo Casado (PP) about the need to erect a monument! Where are the voices of sanity and level-headedness?

James Conner

26th March 2020 at 10:18 am

I’ve been out a couple of times since the lockdown, and I see only responsible people obeying the rules.

Joyful Cynic

26th March 2020 at 9:57 am

I would like to highlight that there does again seem to be a divide between large towns/cities and smaller local towns. I am currently doing my part-time role as a photojournalist for a small local service and am out in my local towns looking for people breaking the rules – and not finding any. Locals report odd individuals getting stroppy in shops and very small groups of teenagers being a bit antisocial when police act to disperse but that is it. The vast majority of people in this country are behaving as they have been asked.

Jonnie Henly

26th March 2020 at 10:06 am

“Locals report odd individuals getting stroppy in shops and very small groups of teenagers being a bit antisocial when police act to disperse but that is it”

That’s not really very different to he situation in large towns and cities.

Jerry Owen

26th March 2020 at 11:01 am

Your’e looking for ‘people breaking the rules’. You must be a wild one at parties !

Dodgy Geezer

26th March 2020 at 12:16 pm

“…I am currently doing my part-time role as a photojournalist for a small local service and am out in my local towns looking for people breaking the rules ….”

As a journalist, why don’t you write stories indicating that this lockdown is a massive over-reaction?

Tony Benn

27th March 2020 at 5:32 pm

“I am currently doing my part-time role as a photojournalist for a small local service and am out in my local towns looking for people breaking the rules – and not finding any”

Apart from yourself and your non-essential travel 🙂

Little Black Sambo

27th March 2020 at 6:08 pm

“…out in my local towns looking for people breaking the rules …”
Gosh, that must be a fulfilling job.

NEIL DATSON

26th March 2020 at 9:54 am

Yes, perhaps the government should have run two recruitment campaigns. One for NHS/social service volunteers, the other for snitchers. If the second category was to be instructed to collect pictures and data that was to be fed into a massive national data bank and then, unbeknownst to them, ritually destroyed, it could just spare the rest of us their self-righteous humbug.

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