‘There’s no direct evidence that the lockdowns are working’

Dr John A Lee on why we need to keep questioning the response to Covid-19.

spiked

The UK government has extended its lockdown for another three weeks. But could the shutdown of society be doing more harm than good? In fact, is there any evidence it is doing any good at all? Dr John A Lee, a recently retired professor of pathology and NHS consultant pathologist, has repeatedly called for a critical and dispassionate examination of the evidence in relation to Covid-19, raising questions about the government and its advisers’ interpretation of the data. spiked caught up with him to find out more.

spiked: You have been a relatively lone voice in questioning mainstream assumptions about coronavirus. Why have you found it important to speak out?

Dr John A Lee: As a doctor and a scientist my entire career, I believe that medicine and science have improved life immeasurably over the past 200 years, and especially over the last 50 years. But in the particular mix of science, medicine and politics that we are seeing now, I am not absolutely sure that is the case. I think it is more important than ever to try and look at this issue in a clear way in order to make sure that we are really doing the right thing on the basis of the right ideas. And it isn’t clear to me at the moment that we are.

spiked: What problems do you see in the way figures are currently being recorded and reported?

Lee: The figures are just so unreliable. It’s very difficult to understand when you are looking at figures from different countries, and figures in isolation about things like death, what they really mean. And obviously, if we can’t understand what the figures mean, it is quite difficult to then know what we should do about them.

These figures are then fed into models of the disease and the epidemic which are being used to influence and inform public policy. But those models are only as good as their input data and the assumptions they make. And there are so many unknowns which means the models’ outputs are really quite questionable. And given that we have now got ourselves into this situation, for a variety of reasons, getting ourselves out of it using the same models and predictions is even more questionable. So we are in a very difficult situation.

For example, we are currently in lockdown for two reasons. One is that the initial figures suggested that we were dealing with a very highly virulent disease. The World Health Organisation initially suggested that the case-fatality rate – the proportion of people diagnosed with the disease who die – would be 3.4 per cent. This is a very high number which would have caused a huge number of deaths. But as we have had gradually more and more data coming in, those percentages have been falling. In many examples, more complete data are now suggesting case-fatality rates of 0.4 per cent. My guess is that it will end up between 0.5 and 0.1 per cent, and probably nearer to the lower end of that. So if the disease isn’t as virulent as was originally thought, the number of deaths will be correspondingly lower.

The second reason that we were then put into lockdown is that it was assumed that this new virus was going to rip through the population, and a very high percentage of people were going to be infected quickly. This would cause a big surge or peak of cases which healthcare systems wouldn’t be able to deal with. The lockdown is supposed to reduce that peak, to enable health systems to cope with it. We had various pictures from Italy, Spain, New York and other places showing that health systems weren’t able to cope. But of course, in lots of other places, health systems have been able to cope with it.

The real point is that there isn’t any direct evidence that what we are doing is actually affecting the peak. It is possible to make arguments that sound reasonable that a lockdown should affect the peak. And yet other places which are doing different things seem to have similarly shaped graphs. It is only an assumption that the lockdown is having a big effect on the virus spread, but this is not a known scientific fact.

As far as I can see, Sweden, despite not having anywhere near as severe a lockdown as we have had, actually has a very similar curve to ours. And Sweden’s death rate per hundred thousand people is roughly half of ours at the moment. So it is not a given that what we are doing is either working or is having all the right effects.

spiked: Has the media given us an accurate picture of what might be going on?

Lee: I suppose that depends on what media you are looking at. It seems to me that there are two types of media: there is the investigative-journalism type media that tries to find out whether the facts and the interpretations of stories are really true. And then there is the less critical type of media which essentially illustrates a story that it thinks it already knows. And I think in the case of Covid-19, because of what originally came out of China and the pictures that were beamed around the world, people felt that they already knew that this was a highly virulent and dangerous disease. So pretty much the entire media coverage has illustrated this as a very dangerous disease.

Don’t get me wrong, it is clearly a nasty disease, but it is not as nasty as it was originally thought. Unfortunately, the media have tended to reinforce the initial ideas about what this disease was like which have not necessarily been borne out by the numbers since then.

I think that there has not been enough questioning of the story that has been placed out there by governments. Governments were placed in a difficult position. Because of the amount of fear and panic and apparent severity of this disease, they felt they had to do something. But of course, having done something, they are now in a position of having to justify their actions.

We can reasonably question the assumptions of the models, for example. The accuracy of the models, and their predictions of how many people will be infected and die, depend on things like the transmissibility of the virus. But that isn’t something we know very accurately at the moment. It also depends on population susceptibility. The UK models, as I understand it, said that 60 to 80 per cent of the population would be infected by the virus in a short period of time. Whereas in fact some of the evidence from enclosed populations, such as the Diamond Princess cruise ship, suggests that only 15 per cent of the population may be susceptible. Maybe that is because the virus spreads in a different way than we thought. Maybe some people actually have immunity based on other coronaviruses that are already out there in the population.

If you change those numbers, it makes a huge difference in the number of cases you would expect in a given time. Really, the case for lockdown depends on the number of cases coming through, which is very important for people to distinguish from the number of people who are going to die of this virus. The fact is, Pandora’s Box is now open. This virus is spreading in the population. There is no evidence whatsoever that we are going to be able to put it back in its box. So it is going to spread through the population at a certain speed. And after a year or two, the number of people who are going to have died from it is probably going to be similar either way – it is just a question of the speed at which those people are dying.

The real question, therefore, is what are the downsides of the treatment that we have chosen for this virus? Do lockdowns actually have side effects that could be even more severe than the virus we are trying to suppress? And I think there is clearly a serious worry that they could have.

spiked: Is the lockdown sustainable?

Lee: If you still believe that this virus is incredibly virulent and therefore is killing a high percentage of people that it infects, it might be reasonable to stay locked down. For example, in the plague that spread through Europe in the 14th century, it is reckoned that maybe one in three people died. Obviously, if we were facing something like that, it would be reasonable to take very extreme measures. But this is a disease that is maybe going to kill 0.3, 0.2 or 0.1 per cent of people that it infects. And it may only infect a relatively small proportion of the population. We just don’t know.

So we do have to ask what are the side effects of this treatment. And the fact is, they are clearly huge, but they have been largely unassessed. It seems incredible to me that we are not equally as interested in the effects of the lockdown on lives and livelihoods as we are in the actual virus itself. I think we are guilty at the moment of being a bit monomaniacal and focusing only on one thing, and really not focusing enough on the consequences that are coming out of what we have done to face this one thing.

spiked: Will governments find viable exit strategies?

Lee: I think it’s difficult because governments, having gone down this route, are stuck between two rather difficult places. One is the worry that any relaxation of the lockdown which causes an increase in the scorecard number of deaths will be criticised.

But also, the very fact that the lockdown was put in place, despite the huge set of side effects, means that the government has to justify having done it. In a way, that actually makes it harder to come out of a lockdown. If it subsequently becomes apparent that the lockdown – or at least the severity of the lockdown (I do agree with temporary, limited social distancing for vulnerable groups) – was overdone, then the government is going to come in for criticism from that angle, too.

I think personally that we should aim to relax the lockdown faster than some commentators are suggesting. The government’s reticence to talk about this is based on modelling assumptions of numbers which we know are fraught with uncertainty. It is equally possible to make a case that relaxing the lockdown more quickly than is currently being suggested will have beneficial effects overall, even if the number of viral deaths ticks up again. Time will tell, but they are going to have to try to do the right thing soon, which means not prolonging this unnecessarily.

Dr John A Lee was talking to Fraser Myers.

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Comments

Eric Nichols

26th April 2020 at 2:11 am

Where do they dig up these idiots? If I get cancer I’ll certainly stay away from Rotherham General Hospital where this genius is running things. He said above “It is only an assumption that the lockdown is having a big effect on the virus spread, but this is not a known scientific fact.” He’ll probably also say that it’s not a “known scientific fact” whether Trump’s plan of injecting people with Lysol or shining bright lights in their lungs is going to be helpful (spoiler alert: it’s not.)

He also admits that “We had various pictures from Italy, Spain, New York and other places showing that health systems weren’t able to cope.” But he’s not willing to try to slow the spread to help avoid these very situations elsewhere.

It’s “scientific” to question models, etc. But it’s not reasonable to just throw up your hands and say “we can’t know anything with 100% certainty, so let’s just do noting, let “Jesus Take the Wheel”, and see what happens. Guess what: exponential growth models work. I can teach this guy some remedial calculus if he forgot what the derivative of e^x is.

BTW I’m also a Ph.D. and have published work in computer models of disease transmission through community networks. I didn’t like the Imperial College model either, but there are indeed reasonable models, and the disease is running the course roughly as expected. Implement a lockdown, transmission rate is reduced. It’s not rocket science.

Marvin Jones

22nd April 2020 at 1:41 pm

Well Dr Lee, I wonder if you may have the opportunity like the so many thousands of victims of this horrible and dangerous virus, to find out. It would be rather unfortunate to be lying in a hospital bed, requiring Oxygen or a Ventilator to keep one alive, thinking, “I was wrong”.

Steven Harris

20th April 2020 at 9:54 pm

Infection rates me nothing because the testing is so uncertain. What we know is that Sweden has a very high COVID-19 death rate– higher than the US and far higher than its sister countries. So when we have a skeptic like this who says something “hasn’t been proven” the first thing we need to ask is what would he accept as proof? Or even good evidence? There are people who even now to not accept that smoking causes lung cancer or that HIV causes AIDS. They never will.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus-deaths-lockdown-social-distancing-denmark-finland-norway-a9470771.html

James Tracey

21st April 2020 at 11:45 am

If you don’t implement a lockdown your initial deaths will be higher, but longer term they will potentially be lower. of course it will spike in Sweden quicker. The likelihood is that the same people will die from this virus at some point, whether at the beginning or shortly afterwards, a lockdown buys you time but doesn’t do anything to save lives, with a virus out there, that’s a matter of time.

Norman Baker

22nd April 2020 at 1:46 pm

“a lockdown buys you time but doesn’t do anything to save lives”

A lockdown prevents overload of health services and will absolutely save the lives of those needing health care to survive. That is what flattening the curve means. That is why we are in lockdown.

Load on health services is the only important metric and the only one moderating the strictness of lockdown. IMO the lockdown has been too strict from the start.

Highland Fleet Lute

19th April 2020 at 11:21 pm

Just 19 patients treated at 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale hospital in London over Easter weekend
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/14/just-19-patients-treated-easter-weekend-4000-bed-nhs-nightingale/

Mor Vir

19th April 2020 at 3:36 pm

I must say that this headline on the FT website irked me.

> English councils handed £1.6bn to fight coronavirus

I can see the FT readers thinking, ‘that’s right, been handed it, haven’t they!’

And who does the FT think ‘hands’ money over to the fat cat stockholders? It is not them doing all the work. And when the workers, normal people, are in need in an pandemic, it is, ‘oh, they are being handed money now! They ought to think themselves lucky, the scroungers! Handed, that is what it is!’

What a cheek! How long are we going to put up this?

I call BS on the stock market and on capitalism. It is time that we took ownership of our own work and the fruits of our labour, and let these fat cats do their own work! Handed, indeed!

John Kemp

20th April 2020 at 1:42 pm

I call BS on socialism and all its shades. Globalism is not capitalism the two are often conflated. I think Globalism should be re-titles ‘Strip Mining’ sort of a more accurate description. Extremes of any kind are usually bad and socialism is certainly the ‘baddest’ we’ve ever had causing more untimely deaths than any pandemic ever has or likely will. [Stalin, the rest of the period of the USSR, Hitler, Mao and his successors, N Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, Cuba] these bozos, way out perform capitalism of any kind for killing folk, most often by war and starvation.
So puleease save your bleating about capitalism for the school kids who are much more susceptible to brainwashing than adults.

W 1V

20th April 2020 at 6:20 pm

You’re doing the same as the person you’re replying to: generalising. The ideology you’re condemning has as much to do with current problems as capitalism has. Indeed there is no problem with capitalism per se, just like there is no problem with socialism per se. There is good capitalism, with proper anti-trust regulation and a functional financial sector and the unhinged capitalism we’re currently living in since Thatcher. Equally there is decent socialism like in Scandinavia, and unhinged socialism like you described. Neither ideologies have a claim on authoritarianism given both have examples in history of real oppression.

So if you would like people to accept your valid argument that there is nothing wrong with capitalism, which is true, then it follows that you would accept the same argument for socialism, as these are merely a discussion on how much the state intervenes in the economy. Which in a crisis like this needs to be a lot, and if worse comes to worse we all might end up owning collectively a large part of the economy in order to save it.

William Houston

19th April 2020 at 3:14 pm

Work from your house for two to six hrs every day, and start getting averaging 1000-3000 bucks at the end of every week. Read more information here…………………. http://www.joinwork1.com

Walter Mitty

19th April 2020 at 11:52 am

No government, whether of the left or right, has ever reduced healthcare spending.

I find it insane that there is so much resistance to the conversation regarding the lockdown approach.

In the media there are few notable high profile figures who have used this virus crisis for an ongoing campaign of self-promotion and grandstanding. Notably Piers Morgan.

Yes government should be accountable but so should others. For example, the NHS/PHE as they employ many people who are responsible for these kind of things. We all know that getting a government minister on your TV program and screaming at them is about ratings and grandstanding. Why no grilling for the people at NHS/PHE whose full-time job involves crisis planning or the procurement of PPE? Screaming at the Work & Pensions minister is dumb but not as dumb as the people who are fooled by this performance art.

Jonathan Yonge

19th April 2020 at 7:31 pm

Mega upticks. Who are you ?

Walter Mitty

19th April 2020 at 8:13 pm

Just a regular citizen who is always skeptical about the mainstream media, detests groupthink, enjoys independent thinkers etc.

Who knows what the correct approach should with regards to this virus crisis (no way do I know) but dismissing debate is never the answer.

KATHLEEN CARR

19th April 2020 at 8:07 pm

As you say Matt Hancock doesn’t go to Amazon and personally order 50 million of something (with free delivery). However his job is to give clear , consistent , confident statements to the nation and he is not very good at that.

W 1V

19th April 2020 at 10:50 am

The population density of Sweden is 10 times lower.
Sure we don’t want a police state.
Then don’t have the Tories slash healthcare spending over a decade so enough medical staff are available to actually weather such a crisis.

Maturecheese x

19th April 2020 at 3:47 pm

Lord above! Firstly NHS spending hasn’t been cut, it has gone up every year and secondly, you are aware that we have a huge deficit to service and reduce and therefore don’t have the money to fund everything we would like to. This lockdown (debatable whether it was needed) is going to vastly exacerbate the economic woes we already have and so there will be cuts and huge tax rises in the future but no doubt it will be the ‘nasty Tories’ fault. If only they had Labours money tree to use.

W 1V

20th April 2020 at 1:45 pm

Yes i figured one smart cookie would point me to the fact i had omitted per capita after healthcare spending. I know it has gone up, if you care to know. Because of population growth and and an ageing society.

Anyone who defends the Tory healthcare policy since 2010 can burn in hell, for all i care.

Robert Adams

19th April 2020 at 8:59 am

It’s working in Australia and New Zealand. So much so that the virus might be eliminated in those countries. Yes, they are islands, which helps.

Jonathan Yonge

19th April 2020 at 9:36 am

How inconvenient…

John Kemp

20th April 2020 at 1:55 pm

…last I checked, Britain was an island. Much smaller perhaps than Oz with a much larger population. Perhaps density has something to do with it? Perhaps we should stop importing more folk too?

Peter Gardner

19th April 2020 at 3:49 am

poor old Dr John Lee still playing the same record. I am a scientist and a doctor, so I can say there is no evidence because i/we/nobody/ understands the data and Sweden is fine because i trust their data so we are wrong, so long as i ignore that data in UK.
Of course the graphs have a similar shape, idiot. What do you expect from the same disease when we have no cure and no vaccine?
And, talking of data aren’t you ignoring the fact that the population density of Sweden is 25 people/sq km, which is less than one tenth of UK’s at 281 people/sq km? Don’t you think that might have a bearing?
Here’s some data, not perfect, granted but not quite as selective as yours.

Sweden’s death rate is not half that of UK. It has 136 per million compared with UK’s 216.

Sweden has 113 cases per 100,000 on day 39 since total cases reached 100. The doubling period is about 17 days. It has 139 deaths/million, case fatality rate 10.6%, rising. 73% of closed cases have died. 7,400 tests per million population.
UK has 139 cases per 100,000 on day 40 since total cases reached 100. The doubling period is about 12 days. It has 216 deaths/million, CFR 13.4% rising. 98% of closed cases have died. 6,800 test per million popn.

Peter Gardner

19th April 2020 at 3:53 am

PS. I should add that there are some countries which have very different shaped graphs but not in Europe.

Highland Fleet Lute

19th April 2020 at 8:11 am

“I am a scientist and a doctor”.

In the current climate, the phrase “arsonist-who-has-joined-the-fire-brigade” springs to mind.

Jonathan Yonge

19th April 2020 at 9:37 am

“Failed doctor and scientist trying out clickbait journalism” ?

Munro Bagger

20th April 2020 at 8:26 am

Just proves what a disaster opening our borders to the third world and to cheap labour from eastern Europe has been.

Highland Fleet Lute

18th April 2020 at 9:41 pm

“American Surgeon General Jerome Powell’s recent announcement that America would begin using real data and real trends instead of the World Health Organization-Bill Gates driven ‘predictive models’ came as a breath of fresh air for many who were beginning to lose hope that reason had been banished from world policy. When compared with reality, the WHO/Gates-funded narrative justifying the total shutdown of global economies falls apart like a house of cards as outlined perfectly by the Swiss Propaganda Research Institute’s Facts of COVID-19.”

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

Peter Gardner

19th April 2020 at 4:01 am

And s ame paper says mortality of SARS-CoV-2 is up to four times higher than flu.

Highland Fleet Lute

19th April 2020 at 6:12 am

If your GPS told you to drive you and your family off the edge of a cliff at 200mph, would you do it?

After the Earth has been scorched, one of the only things worth looking forward to will be the sight of the stange fruit of thousands of pea-brained technocrats swinging upside down from lamp-posts in the breeze.

“Spain “authorizes” military planes to spray disinfectants over cities.”

Hell, why not go the whole hog and use napalm?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such in-the-red levels of suicidal asshole-ism from-all-quarters in my entire life + all of my past lives + all of your past lives, probably.

Over a bit of flu.

Harvey Binns

18th April 2020 at 8:41 pm

Right wingers world wide, very very very concerned about stock portfolios “we should ignore the experts and just try not doing what we are doing RN and just see if there are more deaths.”
They want to do a live experiment with poor peoples lives, cause god knows the rich people arent going to be crammed in a little room with a bunch of other workers and just see how many die. Because while the world is worried about the elderly and people with compromised health, no one is giving much thought to the stock portfolios of the rich.. and that is just sooooooooooo wrong, Love from the right wingers of the world.

Francis Miniter

18th April 2020 at 7:44 pm

There is evidence that social distancing works – scientific evidence, which some people are too lazy to research. Here are a few sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go
https://www.thelancet.com/j
https://www.thelancet.com/j

https://www.nydailynews.com
https://www.nationalacademi

I note that strict quarantine of a whole city has been used – and approved by the courts – since the 1840s: Smith v. Turner. 48 US (7 How) 283, 340-41 (1849).

jessica christon

18th April 2020 at 6:15 pm

The shutdown was never lead by science. For the most part it was lead by the same anti-Trump, pro-remain, Greta-worshipping, woke ID politics obsessed media who set the social agenda in everything that isn’t subject to a democratic vote. So the minute they made Covid-19 into their new stomping ground there was no chance that any view other than theirs no matter how evidence based would see the light of day, and so we are where we are.

Nothing will really change until the PM is back to work anyway, and when he does, he should eschew this rubbish and get the country running again. A sensible idea pranced around for about 10 seconds in the earlier days saying that only the over 70’s and those with underlying conditions should isolate. The PM should show some backbone and go back to that.

Harvey Binns

18th April 2020 at 8:43 pm

Yeah.. a virus that transmitted by contact .. of course these is zero science saying that limiting contect, would reduce its transmission. You must be one of the smart trump supporters huh. Everything is a global conspiracy to make your guy look bad, the fact he could actually be bad, just cant be considered by you.

jessica christon

18th April 2020 at 8:59 pm

TDS is real. If that’s really what you took from my post then you must be pretty um.. smart? Lol!

Jonathan Yonge

18th April 2020 at 4:10 pm

-Its just flu.
-Its all a conspiracy
-Boris’ trip to ICU was faked
-People will only die from something else so what’s the point
-Our freedom takes precendence over saving lives
-Don’t wreck the economy for a few old people

-Pink flashing lizards from Betelgeuse planted the virus

Did I leave anything out ?

KATHLEEN CARR

18th April 2020 at 4:51 pm

The niceness , the civility , the pleasantness of life in GB is all based on money . Maybe that money came from Empire or from slavery or whatever but it has meant that none of us has known famine or even hunger which exists in many parts of the world. That brings with it civil unrest and the breakdown of society-why do you think so many (middle-class) people from the third world want to come here-is it for our temperorate climate? Scientists admit they do not have to consider the social consequences of their advice and the possible death toll they thought at first obviously sounded scary. However we have gone from ,saving ourselves from the virus to being careful not to overwhelm the NHS-but the NHS is always being overwhelmed and running out of money -as it is badly managed-Lions led by Donkeys-their penny wise/pound foolish accountants and managers are never prepared for anything ,except to give themselves larger salaries.

Jonathan Yonge

18th April 2020 at 5:25 pm

I hadn’t thought of that….
‘Every cloud…’ etc so now that our economy has crashed people will no longer wnat to come here in their hordes.

To be honest, after we all reached a level of opulence that gave Tweeter, Smartphones etc I am quite happy to go back to the dark ages

roger white

18th April 2020 at 9:45 am

For anyone who hasn’t already a must listen is this interivew from unherd with Swedish epidemiologist adviser to the Swedish Government/WHO – former head of EU’s infectious disease unit.
#LockdownTV: Swedish epidemiologist Prof Johan Giesecke https://periscope.tv/unherd/1MYxNkyZLOQKw?t=1m46s

Jonathan Yonge

18th April 2020 at 10:57 am

Yes, yes !
Apprently when tests become widely available in all probability they will show 50% of us have already had it and are immune !
Except we have no data for that hypothesis
Except a smaller Dutch study showed only 3% of the population showed immunity.
Still. The Swedes are clever people, just look how well they are handling immigration with stability of their political parties.
Are you feeling lucky ?

Highland Fleet Lute

18th April 2020 at 11:46 am

Thanks for that link.

Highland Fleet Lute

18th April 2020 at 2:57 pm

Yeah, I saw that. Looks like they’ve got it all worked out….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TffC_aPLwU&t=1643s

Mor Vir

18th April 2020 at 8:30 am

“For example, in the plague that spread through Europe in the 14th century, it is reckoned that maybe one in three people died. Obviously, if we were facing something like that, it would be reasonable to take very extreme measures.”

Do not tell that to Sabine, the writer here on sp. According to her, “rights must be guaranteed, not granted – especially in a pandemic!” The Black Death is exactly when we need everyone out of the streets protesting for a constitution that guarantees us the right to do so.

‘Put the cops back in their boxes! No more of this illiberal nonsense! Black Death or no Black Death, we demand the absolute right to have a Glasto festival! That is what rights mean. They are guaranteed not granted!’

Mor Vir

18th April 2020 at 10:00 am

* “The Black Death is exactly when we need everyone out ON the streets protesting for a constitution that guarantees us the right to do so.”

And while we are at it:

“Death or the Black Death! We want our rights guaranteed now – not granted!”

Libertarian fundamentalism – putting the mental up the fundament.

LOL

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 10:25 am

You need help.

Mor Vir

18th April 2020 at 10:54 am

‘Helps’ are exactly what liberties are, tools that human societies use for human benefit. They are relative and conditional, they are not supposed to be absolute or impediments to human social adaptation to changing circumstances.

Otherwise you are as bad as JW’s with their god-given laws who rather let kids die than let them have a blood transfusion. Ethics are supposed to help us not to kill us. They are human creations and we are not ruled by them.

It is unsurprising to see Trump rallying the libertarian fundamentalists to break the lock downs. They are descendants of the religious lunatics that Britain got rid of 500 years ago. Agile, their brains are not.

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 12:20 pm

Your posts just ramble .. kids and blood transfusions.. Where are you at?

Mor Vir

18th April 2020 at 1:06 pm

Goodness, you must get kicked in the balls pretty often, which is likely why you have got nothing better to do than to spend all day being rude to complete strangers on the internet. A self-explanatory phenomenon, I dare say.

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 1:57 pm

Try talking some sense then !

alan smithee

18th April 2020 at 7:07 am

No lockdown and Covid 19 spreads like wildfire as been be seen already in the US, Italy, Spain, UK etc etc.

KATHLEEN CARR

18th April 2020 at 7:29 am

We aren’t in lockdown. Over a million people have been allowed to swan into country during last few months through the airports, private yachts etc (which other countries have stopped ) with no testing or contacting -straight into the population, I would imagine mostly London and other cities, & presumably quite a few are rich people escaping Covid 19 hit countries such as Iran so already have virus which causes re-infection & the government is quite relaxed about this , but allow the police to shout at disabled people for sitting on benches.This government are either totally dim or actually this virus to continue so that the economy is ruined.

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 10:29 am

Absolutely…. The government say the inbound flight numbers are so small they are insignificant…yet walk your dog in the Dale’s with your missus or husband and the drones film you and our feeble pathetic moronic police shame you!

James Knight

18th April 2020 at 12:31 pm

The same number of people get the virus regardless. There is currently no cure and it seems no effective treatment.

Richard Riewer

18th April 2020 at 12:10 am

‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. This fiasco might end up costing the globabl economy trillions of dollars, Euros, what have you.
I live in Montreal, in the province of Quebec. Quebec spends almost half of its annual budget on healthcare, (nearly $50 billion dollars a year for a population of 8.5 million people). That’s a lot of ounces for the feeble amount of cure they have provided us so far.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th April 2020 at 11:36 pm

British Police During Quarantine (shocking)….
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSfxg9LVmY0

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 11:27 pm

Jolly Roger

17th April 2020 at 10:10 pm

This s exactly the sort of critical analysis that you are never going to get from the BBC, ITN or Channel 4. Too obsessed with the latest ‘death count’ trumpeted in breathless fashion with absolutly, perish the thought, no context what so ever.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 5:01 pm

So let’s start a global campaign to boycott Chinese goods and services.

Gordon Le Gopher

17th April 2020 at 6:21 pm

Damn right. No more bat soup for me

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 6:59 pm

Monkey brains are OK. Bat soup is a bridge too far.

Jolly Roger

17th April 2020 at 10:12 pm

You’re exactly right. However, I reckon you might have a long wait. People are too fond of their cheap fashion etc. It’s an addiction.

Jolly Roger

17th April 2020 at 10:13 pm

You’re exactly right. However, I reckon you might have a long wait. People are too fond of their cheap fashion etc.

Peter Newt

17th April 2020 at 4:11 pm

The lockdown is a waste of time!, the only thing its doing now is trashing peoples lives! and the longer it goes on Trashing our Children’s lives and their children too when they are born, The govenement will have to hold its head in shame at some point and own up to this mistake.

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 5:53 pm

Do you consider your own life trashed or even trashable ?

Jolly Roger

17th April 2020 at 10:17 pm

He’s right, though. The human damage caused by this overeaction that the numbers do not support are about to start becoming apparent. There is a know and verified link to increased mortality rates and reduced GDP – that’s not even up for debate. It has been observed and verified at every economic shock and downturn. The 1929 depression killed millions globally.

James Conner

17th April 2020 at 3:33 pm

Maks don’t work if you’re just going shopping, but they do work if you are a health professional. Apparently the virus can detect when it’s about to infect a lay person in a shop as opposed to a nurse in a hospital ward.

Once there is a plentiful supply of masks in the UK stand by for Matt HandCock to suddenly announce that ‘following the science’ he is advocating widespread use of masks for everyone.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th April 2020 at 3:45 pm

Social Distancing and The Police.

The Police have not been tested for coronavirus and are not practising social distancing. Therefore, if you are approached by The Police, call The Police.

Then, when those cops show up, call the cops, because those cops haven’t been tested either and are not following social distancing recommendations. When all of the cops have been arrested by all of the other cops, they should be treated by “NHS Heroes”.

As none of The NHS Heroes have been tested and none of them are practising social distancing, they too should be arrested. When all of The Cops and all of The NHS Heroes have been arrested and incarcerated, we get to reach “herd immunity”, after which point all of them can be released (after having been charged, fined, and having their livelihoods taken away from them due to acquiring a criminal record).

Peter Newt

17th April 2020 at 4:07 pm

I think this how stupid the whole thing is. You would think at this point most of the Truck drivers, van drivers NHS staff and police and anyone else that is still working to be needing treatment by now or dead and then we can all take it in shifts, So that all the locked in our homes citizens will become the police and NHS so called Heros. Yet its not happening, Oh maybe the lockdown is a waste of time, Who would have thought the Government would balls it up! Shocker!

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 2:10 pm

People must be mad to donate to Sp!ked, there is plenty of free outrage-clickbait out there for the taking.
If you want free useful analysis try CapX
or if you are preapred to pay try The Speccie or Reaction

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 6:15 pm

I already pay for the speccie. I have had a look at Capx, seems there may be some fruits to pick there.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 7:00 pm

unherd.com is much better than BON’s personal ego vehicle.

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 8:43 pm

True. But he used to be good. What happened ?

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 11:19 pm

JONATHAN YONGE — Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even Mugabe was a good person once, at the beginning. BON has morphed into Old Mugabe – tyrant and madman!

James Knight

17th April 2020 at 1:58 pm

The whole point of a model is that it is a hypothesis to be tested. To quote a model as if it were The Truth is to turn the scientific method on it’s head.

Of course politicians have to make decisions on partial information and cannot wait for perfect information that may never arrive. But those decisions are more political than scientific. To call them scientific decisions is applying a patina to essentially political decisions.

James Knight

17th April 2020 at 1:06 pm

Trump’s election campaigners used to chant “lock her up!” at Clinton.

Now we have Owen Jones and others clamouring “Lock us up! Lock us up!”

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 2:26 pm

Owen Jones moaned about a police state and the irony of it being a Tory one, now a month later he wants to be banged up.
The boy likes being shafted I guess!

Gordon Le Gopher

17th April 2020 at 12:56 pm

I’d be interested to know the average wage of those designated at key workers compared to the average wage of those working from home, or even those who have been furloughed.

I’m a support worker in a young people’s hostel and get paid well under 80% of mean average earnings. I’m at a higher risk of infection because the young people at the hostel don’t stick to lockdown rules and also aren’t great with boundaries.

Id struggle with 80% of my own wage, but 80% of someone else’s who’s moaning about having to be at home will probably be a pay rise for me. So for anyone moaning about being at home; I’ll happily sit at home for 80% of your pay and you can do my job for 100% of mine. Good luck

Vadar’s Hate Child

17th April 2020 at 9:46 pm

80% of mean wages means you’re probably well paid, as the mean is above 50% of values in a non symmetrical distribution. It’s usual to describe things in terms of median wages for this reason. Is that what you meant?

Gordon Le Gopher

18th April 2020 at 3:42 am

Yes I did, thank you. I’m nowhere near mean average, closer to minimum wage.

jessica christon

18th April 2020 at 11:46 pm

I’m not complaining about working from home; it’s given me an extra £200 odd a month that I would have had to pay to TfL. Home working was an ongoing point of contention in my office; it was seen as a perk reserved for managers and their favourites while other staff had their requests refused for no good reason.

Gordon Le Gopher

19th April 2020 at 3:02 pm

Thanks Jessica it gets my goat seeing people moan about having to stay in. Every day I go to work feels like I’m playing Russian Roulette with my own life. My employers are saying next to nothing about staff safety. Well before lockdown I suggested networking the CCTV as contingency if we all became ill but heard nothing back. It’s not personal care so we could easily work from home, login from home, do support work over the phone, come in in emergencies etc but head office (which is closed btw – they’re all wfh) aren’t interested.

Jeez I’ve even given up smoking!

Marc Mincev

17th April 2020 at 12:42 pm

Well, sorry to be a party breaker, but current corona virus stats (as of 17/4/2020) for Sweden is:
Confirmed cases: 12,540
Confirmed deaths: 1333
Death percentage: 10.6%, which is the highest in the world so far.
Just facts, sorry…

William Tell

17th April 2020 at 12:52 pm

Yes indeed. Spiked seems determined to come to a conclusion before this pandemic concludes. They need to acquire some patience.

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 12:56 pm

Kära nån

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 2:06 pm

Actually Amelia he was comparing deaths out of confirmed cases.
But you would be right to say Sweden is not the highest % because Sweden is between Spain and Italy.

Still, I suppose you could say that Sweden didn’t trash their economy yet, but they did throw their oldies to the wolves it seems. Dead oldies don’t have many votes left in them anyway, do they ?

James Conner

17th April 2020 at 3:06 pm

“…they did throw their oldies to the wolves it seems.”

They were going to die anyway. There is and never will be a vaccine. We are all going to be infected with covid-19. Some will die, most will not.

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 12:28 pm

SM
Now I have one under mod!
As I say a truly dreadful comments section.

James Conner

17th April 2020 at 12:10 pm

“Stay at Home” – “Protect the NHS” – “Save Lives”

It’s time to drop that mantra.
Here’s a better one:

“Do as you’re told” – “Don’t go to work” – “Destroy the Economy”

George Orwell

17th April 2020 at 11:28 am

The concept of herd immunity once recognised that for every person showing signs of infection there were many more that received a slight exposure and started to create antibodies in response without ever acquiring an active infection. That seems to have been forgotten.
The significance of that process goes way beyond just infected symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
Those so exposed without significant infection grow their immunity incrementally over time as a result of repeated minor exposures.
Thus one can get herd immunity way beyond that which some have suggested can be calculated by simply considering the number infected with symptoms and the number infected but without symptoms.
That additional huge pool of immunity would imply that the similar pattern of growth and decline currently being observed in a number of nations is a natural consequence of increasing immunity in the broader population and not a consequence of lockdowns.
That is supported by the developing similarity of disease progression in nations with differing levels of lockdown.
There could well be a fundamental error at the heart of pandemic modelling which appears to consider only measurable infection and ignores exposure without a consequent infection.

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 12:02 pm

Indeed there ‘could’ be a fundamental error at the heart of Covid modelling.
But also, there might not be

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 12:05 pm

DT today has front page ‘New research deals a blow to hopes of herd immunity’
A Dutch study – if proved accurate – suggests just 3 percent of the population had acquired immunity when the pandemic was at its peak in the Netherlands.

George Orwell

17th April 2020 at 12:28 pm

That is the report I had in mind when commenting. It ignores the effect of widespread exposure that does not result in an infection.
I think that is a serious error.

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 4:00 pm

George Orwell has a clever new theory which goes something like this:
“There is a huge proportion of people who have been infected but show no symptoms and nor do they test positive for antibodies”
Brilliant ! Such a clever virus…. this confirms the conspiracy theory that the virus was planted by pink flashing lizards from Betelguese.
Well why ever not ?

George Orwell

17th April 2020 at 6:34 pm

Nothing new about it. That was the accepted wisdom a few decades ago but the current modellers haven’t built it into their systems.
That is how mammals have dealt with viruses since they emerged from the primordial ooze.
Exposure at levels too low to result in infection results in an immune system response and over time repeated low level infections incrementally increase immunity until the effect of the virus reduces to a level that is tolerable for continued existence.
That is how we deal with colds and influenza so what is so different about Covid-19 apart from the initial impact of its novelty ?
Have you not noticed the vastly greater proportion of those who experience no or minimal symptoms ?
A nasty and distressing disease but hardly apocalyptic.

George Orwell

17th April 2020 at 6:36 pm

They will test positive for antibodies but as yet there is no reliable test.

John Kemp

20th April 2020 at 1:51 pm

…it also ignores other reports from Denmark and bigger studies further into the disease timeline. Whereas in America the opposite is fielded again by the left, to reverse Trumpy’s intent to end lock down. So in summary, we have the left in the UK quoting small studies which are from early into the disease cycle, in order to stop Boris [supposedly right wing] from keeping the lockdown, and on the other side of the pond we have lefty Dumbocrats complaining of a percieved right wing Pres doing the opposite of Boris.
..I sense a contradiction there somewhere, as usual the left has its knickers twisted.

Jim Lawrie

17th April 2020 at 11:23 am

Why no mention of the difference in approach and outcome between net door neighbours and cousins Belgium and the Netherlands?

Gordon Le Gopher

17th April 2020 at 1:26 pm

Don’t know if this is what you mean but cousins in some US states are really going to struggle with social distancing 😉

Jim Lawrie

17th April 2020 at 6:31 pm

FwIW Gordon that made me laugh.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 7:03 pm

That’s a bit harsh on Rhode Island, Gordon.

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 10:47 am

That’s not fair on ZP.

fret slider

17th April 2020 at 10:59 am

“But could the shutdown of society be doing more harm than good?”

The strategy is something Fabius Cunctator would be proud of. In the end some won’t even notice the virus, some will die of it, and the vast majority will get over it.

They can’t – as of yet – change the result, they can only delay it by imprisoning everybody in their homes. The data gathering is atrocious and totally [scientifically] unreliable, nobody really has a clue and Ferguson’s wild claims don’t help.

The lockdown is nothing more than economic suicide.

Adamsson 66

17th April 2020 at 10:50 am

The MSM is very keen on graphs of casualties in countries with mask and no masks to prove that masks work but if you replaced the distinction with lockdowns and no lockdowns the results would be the same countries who haven’t introduced general lockdown have done massively better than those that have.
Of course correlation does not equal causation.

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 10:43 am

The media now seem to control much of government narrative these days. I am all for press freedom but we do have some issues to sort out clearly when they have such power as to affect government policy. I don’t remember voting for the Daily Mirror or the Daily Mail. This lockdown was wrong from the start. We should have isolated the old and the vulnerable and allow the rest of society to carry on, the logistics of protecting the old and vulnerable clearly much easier and cheaper to organize. As it is we have isolated everybody from everybody, truly bizarre, the only exceptions of course being the police who like to crowd isolated individuals in parks and the peaks!
I think the people who have done the best and have become well organized, far more organized than government are in fact the supermarkets, who are gradually removing restrictions as they see fit .. Morrison for PM !
If the supermarkets changed their policy in only having home deliveries for the over 65’s or the vulnerable I would give them 10/10 as opposed to 5/10 for HMG.
Hitchens writes at length on this regularly in his column ( I am no fan of his but he is concise) he can also be found on YT on Talk Radio.
Good article BTW

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 3:08 pm

‘If the supermarkets changed their policy in only having home deliveries for the over 65’s or the vulnerable I would give them 10/10 as opposed to 5/10 for HMG.’ —

Good point.

KATHLEEN CARR

17th April 2020 at 10:23 am

Its a shame writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Ray Bradbury wrote dystopian novels because it might seem that some people have used these writers ideas to create a world clique (scientific , justice , education ,arts etc ) who by infiltrating every area of public life and , using this pandemic as their excuse ,are trying to impose a world police state on us-with every dissent ruthlessly suppressed. Of course this is just nonsense.

Jonathan Yonge

17th April 2020 at 10:20 am

Sp!ked keeps strange bedfellows:
‘While most of the world has taken drastic action to fight the spread of coronavirus, four leaders stand apart for their continued denials of the threat the pandemic poses.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, Turkmenistan’s autocratic ruler Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega have all refused to take coronavirus seriously.’
– FT

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 11:23 pm

It’s like Kissinger facilitating the overthrow of Allende or Margaret Thatcher’s friendship with the dictator Pinochet. Excessive hatred of one’s enemy may lead one to enter into unfortunate alliances.

Korina Wood

17th April 2020 at 9:41 am

I think that Boris was trying to move down the same route as Sweden but he folded when the meia started their attack. They all wanted him to follow the other sheep, that way the experts could not be proved wrong. Those same experts will not allow him to change his approach because it will show that they were wrong from day 1. Now we are being told that we may need 10 separate waves in order to deal with it. We must reassess and look at the evidence, Sweden looks good to me and we must look not just at the short term but the long term. Will Boris grow a backbone…..

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 9:53 am

Exactly.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th April 2020 at 10:13 am

Indeed-o.

George Whale

17th April 2020 at 2:47 pm

Agree.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th April 2020 at 8:42 am

Prof Knut Wittkowski is a German-American researcher and professor of epidemiology. He worked for 15 years on the Epidemiology of HIV before heading for 20 years the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University, New York.

What he says:

“With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected, or they had very, very mild symptoms, especially if they are children. So, it’s very important to keep the schools open and kids mingling to spread the virus to get herd immunity as fast as possible.”

8 MORE Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic….
https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/17/8-more-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic/

Dominic Straiton

17th April 2020 at 8:31 am

I thought the lockdown was to save the NHS. Hospitals are empty except for a few china virus patients. Thats why NHS staff have the time on their hands to do tictoc videos. Agency staff have no work. Lets get back to work.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th April 2020 at 8:18 am

It’s how you tell ’em…

CNBC News….

“USA: Weekly jobless claims hit 5.245 million, raising monthly loss to 22 million due to coronavirus”

Should read….

“USA: Weekly jobless claims hit 5.245 million, raising monthly loss to 22 million due to lockdown”

Steve Roberts

17th April 2020 at 7:42 am

This is a FB post of mine from yesterday…We are now entering a period of organised deceit, a disregard of honesty when the experts and politicians address the nation. They vascillate between claiming this is all to protect the capacity of the NHS or to “defeat” the virus. Capacity was more than able to be dealt with by mobilisation and reorganisation of productive capacities if the will had been there, this is 2020 not 1820. How do they intend to convince us the virus can be “defeated”, having struck the fear as hard as possible into the nation that this was the equivalent of the black death, justifying their actions. They know they are incapable of giving us a guarantee the virus is defeated. To do that they would need mass testing of a significant majority of the population to know how many are pre, asymptomatic, infected or have been infected, without this the death rate cannot be ascertained either, they would be relying on broad assessments and historical data from previous viral management programmes which were available from the outset. The logic of the original justification for this madness and to reassure us all that this virus has indeed been defeated so we can begin to normalise life safely is to wait for mass testing and or a vaccine. Just imagine the consequences of that.Honesty now required, accountability for actions taken necessary at some point, responsible, rational judgements now needed , but not from a perspective of the path taken but from the more rational one that ought to have been taken as explained by many dissenting experts. To get out of this madness, lies will have to be spun by the govt, or some will have to be hung out to dry among those that took this path, none of it will seem logical after we were sent down this path, but we should take it, get out from under this mess. Deal with those that caused this afterwards, the problem is will they dig their heels in or be brave enough to be honest with the public and release the lockdown and salvage as much as we can, the longer they keep us held down the worse this will get.

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 9:12 am

You’re absolutely right.

Iwan Hughes

17th April 2020 at 1:19 pm

It occurred to me, reading about the recent publication of a set of comically illogical and unenforceable ‘guidelines’ for the police, that this could be the start of releasing the ‘lockdown’ (I hate ‘lockdown’ – it’s a ghastly media term) by the back door, sparing the government from making a big announcement they might later regret, or have to row back from, and which could be enforced, or not, depending on the circumstances.

Linda Payne

17th April 2020 at 2:41 am

With the exception of Spiked and maybe some other online outlets the British media have been absolutely despicable during this crisis, in fact I wouldn’t even call them journalists rather Government information outlets. We have basically shut down the whole economy, ruined people’s livlihoods and saddled the whole country with decades of debt for what? A virus that most of us will eventually get and recover from. Of course I am deeply sad for those who have died but how many (will we ever know) have been killed indirectly from this shutting down of society? Yesterday’s article reported on the deaths of people in the community, those who probably died because they were scared of going into hospital and catching the virus and/or those who did not call an ambulance because they did not want to overwhelm the NHS (which if reports are correct has wards that are half empty). All the media has done is scare people witless, patronise them, dictated to us and now we have three more weeks of this shit, when this is over I would like to see a in depth enquiry into how this was handled and a critique of the economic system we live under because we all deserve better than what is being dished out to us

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 7:13 pm

The spectator has had some good articles. Even articles critical of China!
Something lacking in spiked unfortunately.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 11:20 pm

BON and S pi ke d contributors are obsessed with attacking SJWs and ‘wokeists’, which are really easy targets. The true danger comes from China, Russia and some of the Arabs/Persians.

Bella Donna

18th April 2020 at 2:02 pm

Well said Linda. I really feel for people on their own and isolated from their families and friends or small businesses who are going bust. The problem with those in the public sector making these decisions is they are not the ones who are suffering or will suffer from loss of income or their homes. Back in the late 1990s when the economy took a downturn our next door neighbour whose business went bust killed himself. Public servants don’t have to suffer this mental anguish no matter how many fxxk ups they make they’ll still come up smelling of roses!

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 1:38 am

The people in charge as usual know little or no science or stats and have little ability to reason logically.
‘Lockdown’ is a disaster, and of no use when up to a third or a half of the UK population likely has or has already had the virus (acc to the LSoH&TP and Oxford Univ resp.), and the ONS reports that of the excess mortality over normal, half of it is not due to COVID-19, but presumably due to the NHS not doing its normal work and people not seeking help on this perception.
There was no exit strategy for ‘lockdown’ and still no sign of one with the Government still having no clue what is going on because Heath England / the NHS has spectacularly failed in every way on testing (as well as re protective kit), and with recording mortality all over the place with, OTOH, NHS instructions not to record COBID-19 on certificates (see news today), and, OTOH, hopeless lack of distinction between co-morbidities and the virus as to the actual cause.
Overall, a very large proportion of mortality will be those who in normal times the NHS would deem not to be worth treating in the basis of ‘QULY’ calculation, and could not be treated without ignoring ‘social distancing’ and by workers who could not be ‘locked down’ in any case.
Every part of government has failed here, most especially the Home Office in (as ever) totally failing to meet problem arrivals: here those flying in from Wuhan and, more recently, from northern Italy, when all arrivals should have been quarantined or sent back.
There is further fiasco over treatment: talk of a vaccine is irrelevant with the long time-scale; there should already be in place widely available anti-virals, given the ‘protein s-word’ is the same as HIV’s/ The now generic drugs used to prevent/reverse a high viral load of HIV should do the same re COVID-19. So where on earth are these drugs?
With these drugs available not only ‘lockdown’ of workers could be completely ended but even self-isolation of those ‘at risk’ could be relaxed.
This stupendous fiasco will be the subject of massive enquiry in years to come.
UK government and many institutions are unfit for purpose and need wholesale reform.

Jonathan Smith

17th April 2020 at 6:52 am

Three problems with this.

First it’s not established that anti-virals either ameliorate SARS Cov 2 or act as prophylaxis. Studies are still underway and initial results are inconclusive. The studies so far have been too small to base treatment decisions on.

Secondly, it’s true to say that the antiretrovirals in question have been well tolerated in people with HIV and in healthy individuals which has lead some commentators advocating doling them out willy-nilly. This is a bad idea. To begin with they have never been comprehensively tested in patients with SARS Cov 2. They have been tested in healthy patients and HIV+ve patients. For all we know they may cause harm in SARS Cov 2 patients. Furthermore, the very widespread use of these antiretrovirals would effectively reduce availability to people with HIV in whom we know they are extremely effective.

Thirdly, politicising the pandemic costs dearly in lives and money. We have already seen the clamour to manufacture ventilators may turn out to be an expensive red herring lead by anti-government hysterics intent on bending the crisis to their own purposes. The Owen Jones of the world spring to mind. The last thing we need is money and effort concentrated in areas where we have not established benefit.

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 9:10 am

Indeed the problem is that the work has not been done on anti-virals to test them and ramp up their production.
Why has it not been done?! That’s the question.
As soon as it became known that the ‘protein sp*ke’ on the virus is exactly the same as that of HIV, this obviously should have been the number one priority.
The response in this as re everything else has been woeful.

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 10:45 am

An electronics business near me employing around 300 people have converted at large expense presumably paid for by HMG (us) part of their factory to produce ventilators. New benches, scrubbed walls and ceilings new flooring etc… only to have no work as the parts needed to produce ventilators are not available!

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 1:37 am

Not a f**kin’ gen!
When is this website going to get sorted re inappropriate ‘moderation;?????!!!!!!

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 1:39 am

Ah, it was the word sp*ke, as in protein sp*ke on COVID-19.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 3:08 pm

You’re not allowed to criticise the w ebsit e.

Jim Lawrie

17th April 2020 at 6:34 pm

Zenobia I am beginning to think tha treasoned criticism of China is not allowed but backward and racist invective is. Or maybe they just don’t like someone who is better informed than them on the matter of the Chinese economy.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

17th April 2020 at 7:01 pm

JIM LAWRIE — China must be treated as the fasc ist state that it is.

Jim Lawrie

17th April 2020 at 10:40 am

I’m posting less because of it. Reading less. And soon to be donating less.

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 12:10 pm

Jim
I have one post every few days or so posted 90% go awol. I have just about given up and cancelled my subs.

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 12:12 pm

You donate to a bunch of ex-commies who can’t quite bring themselves to let go of the ideological millstone or admit that ‘identity politics’ is Left backlash in origin and all manifestation?

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 12:25 pm

Not now.
Wendy Kaminer was the decider.

Jerry Owen

17th April 2020 at 12:27 pm

Steve Moxon
I take that back . Kaminer is truly awful. But spiked comments engine is even worse, hence my cancellation.

steve moxon

17th April 2020 at 1:36 am

The people in charge as usual know little or no science or stats and have little ability to reason logically, and just play politics.
‘Lockdown’ is a disaster, and of no use when up to a third or a half of the UK population likely has or has already had the virus (acc to the LSoH&TP and Oxford Univ resp.), and the ONS reports that of the excess mortality over normal, half of it is not due to COVID-19, but presumably due to the NHS not doing its normal work and people not seeking help on this perception.
There was no exit strategy for ‘lockdown’ and still no sign of one with the Government still having no clue what is going on because Heath England / the NHS has spectacularly failed in every way on testing (as well as re protective kit), and with recording deaths all over the place with, OTOH, NHS instructions not to record COBID-19 on death certificates (see news today), and, OTOH, hopeless lack of distinction between co-morbidities and the virus as to the actual cause.
Overall, a very large proportion of mortality will be those who in normal times the NHS would deem not to be worth treating in the basis of ‘QULY’ calculation, and could not be treated without ignoring ‘social distancing’ and by workers who could not be ‘locked down’ in any case.
Every part of government has failed here, most especially the Home Office in (as ever) totally failing to meet problem arrivals: here those flying in from Wuhan and, more recently, from northern Italy, when all arrivals should have been quarantined or sent back.
There is further fiasco over treatment: talk of a vaccine is irrelevant with the long time-scale; there should already be in place widely available anti-virals, given the ‘protein spike’ is the same as HIV’s/ The now generic drugs used to prevent/reverse a high viral load of HIV should do the same re COVID-19. So where on earth are these drugs?
With these drugs available not only ‘lockdown’ of workers could be completely ended but even self-isolation of those ‘at risk’ could be relaxed.
This stupendous fiasco will be the subject of massive enquiry in years to come.
UK government and many institutions are unfit for purpose and need wholesale reform.

Jolly Roger

17th April 2020 at 10:21 pm

I agree with nerly everything you say here, but I feel like I’m in a tiny minority of sane people put on the naughty step at the asylum by the lunatics who have taken it over.
The BBC have not, to the best of my knoweldge, carried out a single critical analysis of the actual numbers regarding this virus. Neither have most of the rest of the broadcast news and the newspapers. Incredible and dispiriting. I have been weighing up just what alternatives there are for retirement to a country that has seemingly left reason in bin at the back door.

Jerry Owen

18th April 2020 at 10:48 am

The BBC. Doesn’t even have the word ‘Chinese’ in it’s vocabulary.

Norman Baker

22nd April 2020 at 1:54 pm

1/3 to 1/2 of the population having already had cv-19 is ridiculous drivel. Prior to lockdown everything observable about cv-19 was about doubling every 6 days and that tells you the infection rate. At that rate it would take about 21 weeks of non-lockdown to infect half the UK population.

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Deplorables — a spiked film