‘We could open up again and forget the whole thing’

Epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski on the deadly consequences of lockdown.


Governments around the world say they are following ‘The Science’ with their draconian measures to stem the spread of the virus. But the science around Covid-19 is bitterly contested. Many experts have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the measures, and argue that our outsized fears of Covid-19 are not justified. Knut Wittkowski is one such expert who has long argued for a change of course. For 20 years, Wittkowski was the head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science. spiked spoke to him to find out more about the pandemic.

spiked: Is Covid-19 dangerous?

Knut Wittkowski: No, unless you have age-related severe comorbidities. So if you are in a nursing home because you cannot live by yourself anymore, then getting infected is dangerous.

We had the other extreme in Switzerland, which was hit pretty hard. There was one child that died. People believed that this child was born in 2011. In fact, it was born in 1911, and that was the only child that died. It was a mere coding error. Somebody with the age 108 was coded as aged eight.

spiked: How far along is the epidemic?

Wittkowski: It is over in China. It is over in South Korea. It is substantially down in most of Europe and down a bit everywhere, even in the UK. The UK and Belarus are latecomers, so you do not see exactly what you are seeing in continental Europe. But everywhere in Europe, the number of cases is substantially declining.

spiked: Have our interventions made much of an impact?

Wittkowski: When the whole thing started, there was one reason given for the lockdown and that was to prevent hospitals from becoming overloaded. There is no indication that hospitals could ever have become overloaded, irrespective of what we did. So we could open up again, and forget the whole thing.

I hope the intervention did not have too much of an impact because it most likely made the situation worse. The intervention was to ‘flatten the curve’. That means that there would be the same number of cases but spread out over a longer period of time, because otherwise the hospitals would not have enough capacity.

Now, as we know, children and young adults do not end up in hospitals. It is only those who are both elderly and have comorbidities that do. Therefore you have to protect the elderly and the nursing homes. The ideal approach would be to simply shut the door of the nursing homes and keep the personnel and the elderly locked in for a certain amount of time, and pay the staff overtime to stay there for 24 hours per day.

How long can you do that for? For three weeks, that is possible. For 18 months, it is not. The flattening of the curve, the prolongation of the epidemic, makes it more difficult to protect the elderly, who are at risk. More of the elderly people become infected, and we have more deaths.

spiked: What are the dangers of lockdown?

Wittkowski: Firstly, we have the direct consequences: suicides, domestic violence and other social consequences leading to death. And then we have people who are too scared to go to the hospitals for other problems like strokes or heart attacks. So people stay away from hospitals because of the Covid fear. And then they die.

spiked: Were hospitals likely to be overrun?

Wittkowski: Germany had 8,000 deaths in a population of 85million. They had 20,000 to 30,000 hospitalisations. In Germany, that is nothing. It does not even show up as a blip in the hospital statistics. In Britain, the highest hospital utilisation was about 60 per cent, if I am not mistaken.

In New York City, it was a bit higher. The Javits Congress Center was turned into a field hospital with 3,000 beds. It treated just 1,000 patients in all. The Navy ship sent to New York by President Trump had 179 patients but it was sent back because it was not needed. New York is the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, and even here at the epicenter, hospital utilisation was only up a bit. Nothing dramatic. Nothing out of the ordinary. That is what happens during the flu season. People have the flu, and then there are more patients in the hospitals than there otherwise would be.

spiked: Are we on the way to reaching herd immunity?

Wittkowski: All the studies that have been done have shown that we already have at least 25 per cent of the population who are immune. That gives us a nice cushion. If 25 per cent of the population are already immune, we are very quickly getting to the 50 per cent that we need to have what is called herd immunity. We will actually get a bit higher than that. So we have flattened what otherwise would have been a peak, and if we now let it run, even if the number of cases would increase a bit, it would not get as high as it was, because we already have enough immune people in the population. So it is not going to spread as fast as it could have spread in the beginning.

spiked: Should we worry about a second spike?

Wittkowski: This is an invention to justify a policy that politicians are afraid of reversing.

spiked: Should people practice social distancing?

Wittkowski: No.

spiked: Why not?

Wittkowski: Why? What is the justification for that? People need to ask the government for an explanation. The government is restricting freedom. You do not have to ask me for justification. There is no justification. It is the government that has to justify what it is doing. Sorry, but that is how it is.

spiked: How did we get this so wrong?

Wittkowski: Governments did not have an open discussion, including economists, biologists and epidemiologists, to hear different voices. In Britain, it was the voice of one person – Neil Ferguson – who has a history of coming up with projections that are a bit odd. The government did not convene a meeting with people who have different ideas, different projections, to discuss his projection. If it had done that, it could have seen where the fundamental flaw was in the so-called models used by Neil Ferguson. His paper was published eventually, in medRxiv. The assumption was that one per cent of all people who became infected would die. There is no justification anywhere for that.

Let us say the epidemic runs with a basic reproduction rate of around two. Eventually 80 per cent of the population will be immune, because they have been infected at some point in time. Eighty per cent of the British population would be something like 50million. One per cent of them dying is 500,000. That is where Ferguson’s number came from.

But we knew from the very beginning that neither in Wuhan nor in South Korea did one per cent of all people infected die. South Korea has 60million people. It is about the same size as the UK. How many deaths were in South Korea? Did they shut down? No. The South Korean government was extremely proud to have resisted pressure to drop the very basic concepts of democracy.

The epidemic in South Korea was over by March, the number of cases was down by 13 March. In Wuhan they also did not shut down the economy. Wuhan had restricted travel out of the city. They stopped train services and blocked the roads. They did not restrict anything social within the city until very late. We have seen, then, in Wuhan and South Korea, if you do not do anything, the epidemic is over in three weeks.

Knowing that the epidemic would be over in three weeks, and the number of people dying would be minor, just like a normal flu, the governments started shutting down in mid-March. Why? Because somebody pulled it out of his head that one per cent of all infected would die. One could argue that maybe one per cent of all cases would die. But one per cent of all people infected does not make any sense. And we had that evidence by mid-March.

spiked: Just to clarify, cases are different from people infected?

Wittkowski: Cases means people who have symptoms that are serious enough for them to go to a hospital or get treated. Most people have no symptoms at all. But waking up with a sore throat one day is not a case. A case means that someone showed up in a hospital.

spiked: The UK government was also heavily influenced by the situation in Italy. Why did that go so wrong?

Wittkowski: What we saw in Italy was that the virus was hitting those who were both old and had comorbidities, so lots of people died. But the median age of those who died in Italy was around 81 years. It is not that children or working people were dying. It was the elderly in nursing homes – not even the elderly living by themselves mostly. We saw lots of deaths and that scared people. But then, Italy did an illogical thing. It closed schools so that the schoolchildren were isolated and did not get infected and did not become immune. Instead, the virus spread almost exclusively among the old, causing more deaths and a higher utilisation of hospitals. And that is mind-boggling.

Very early on, we knew from China and we knew from South Korea that this is an epidemic that runs its course, and there was nothing special about it. But when it hit Italy, we stopped thinking about it as an age-stratified problem, and instead lumped everyone all together. The idea that if we did not shut down the schools the hospitals would have been overwhelmed does not make any sense. I frankly still cannot fully understand how our governments can be so stupid.

spiked: Governments say they are following the science. Is that really true?

Wittkowski: They have the scientists on their side that depend on government funding. One scientist in Germany just got $500million from the government, because he always says what the government wants to hear.

Scientists are in a very strange situation. They now depend on government funding, which is a trend that has developed over the past 40 years. Before that, when you were a professor at a university, you had your salary and you had your freedom. Now, the university gives you a desk and access to the library. And then you have to ask for government money and write grant applications. If you are known to criticise the government, what does that do to your chance of getting funded? It creates a huge conflict of interest. The people who are speaking out in Germany and Switzerland are all independent of government money because they are retired.

spiked: Did the Swedish scientists get it right?

Wittkowski: Sweden did the right thing. And they had to take a lot of heat for it. Now compare Sweden and the UK. The only difference is that Sweden did fine. They did have a problem. They had a relatively high number of deaths among the nursing homes.They decided to keep society open and they forgot to close nursing homes. Remarkably, the politicians acknowledged that it was a mistake to extend that open concept to nursing homes. The nursing homes should have been isolated to protect the elderly who are at high risk. But I think the Swedish government is doing well to even acknowledge that mistake.

The first death in the United States was in a nursing home in Seattle. And that was by the end of February. So everybody knew that we were expecting the same thing that we had seen in Italy – an epidemic that hits the elderly. But until just this week in New York State, the government told the nursing homes that if they did not take in patients from hospitals, they would lose their funding. So they would have to import the virus from the hospitals.

One third of all deaths in New York State were in nursing homes. One could have prevented 20,000 deaths in the United States by just isolating the nursing homes. After three or four weeks, they could have reopened and everybody would be happy.

That would have been a reasonable strategy. But shutting down schools, driving the economy against the wall – there was no reason for it. The only reason that this nonsense now goes on and on, and people are inventing things like this ‘second wave’, which is going to force us to change society and never live again, is that the politicians are afraid of admitting an error.

spiked: Is this easier to see in hindsight?

Wittkowski: What I am talking about is not hindsight. The epidemics in Wuhan and South Korea were over in mid-March. In March, I submitted a paper to medRxiv, summarising all of that. At least towards the end of March, the data was there, and everybody who wanted to learn from it could.

On 17 April, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, presented data at the coronavirus presidential briefing at the White House. And there was one plot that he presented. And I looked at it and asked why people were not jumping to their feet. Why were people not understanding what they were looking at? The plot was the data from the ILINet. For 15 years, hospitals have counted every person who shows up with an influenza-like illness – fever, coughing, whatever. There were three spikes in the 2019-2020 flu season. The first was in late December – influenza B. The next was in late January – an influenza A epidemic. And then there was one that had a peak in hospital visits around 8 March – Covid-19. For the peak to happen on that day, those patients have to go through a seven-day incubation period and then have symptoms. But they do not go to the hospital with the first symptoms. If it gets worse over three days, only then do they go to a hospital.

Four weeks later, on 8 April, the number of new infections was already down. In time for Easter, our governments should have acknowledged they were overly cautious. People would have accepted that. Two weeks’ shutdown would not have been the end of the world. We would not have what we have now – 30million people unemployed in the United States, for example. Companies do not go bankrupt over a two-week period. Two months is a very different story. If you have to pay rent for two months for a restaurant in New York with no income, you will go bankrupt. We see unemployment, we see bankruptcies, we see a lot of money wasted for economic-rescue packages – trillions of dollars in the United States. We see more deaths and illness than we would otherwise have had.

And it is going on and on and on, just because governments are afraid of admitting an error. They are trying to find excuses. They say they have to do things slowly, and that they have ‘avoided 500,000 deaths’ in the UK. But that was an absurd number that had no justification. The person presenting it pretended it was based on a model. It was not a model. It was the number of one per cent of all people infected dying. And nobody was questioning it. And that is the basic problem.

spiked: People will say that the interventions in South Korea – like contact tracing – were more effective.

Wittkowski: How many orders of magnitude, take us from 500,000 to 256, the number of deaths in South Korea? To have that kind of effect you would have to put everybody in the UK into a negative pressure room. It is totally unrealistic to even consider a reduction from 500,000 to 256.

Knut Wittkowski was talking to Fraser Myers.

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nick hunt

20th May 2020 at 1:03 pm

The problem is much deeper and more serious than ‘Ferguson’s mistake’. It is the problem of scientific illiteracy. Basically, government is treating science as a singular authority that determines and justifies decision-making. But science is a fallible, progressive enterprise full of disagreement, debate and diverse opinion. Scientific truth progresses, but only when its fallibility is fully embraced and practised. Only dogma is ‘infallible’ and so never progresses. Diverse, sceptical expert opinion must always be welcome and considered in policy-making. Had it been, Ferguson and many other ‘scientific advisors’ would have been challenged and made obsolete long ago. Politicians treating an expert advisor as unquestionable oracle fail to see that “science is belief in the ignorance of experts”, as Richard Feyman said. Such illiteracy also enables arrogant advisors like Ferguson to think they can determine policy in the first place. Without expert humility, scepticism and diversity of opinion, science becomes dogma, and there is our real problem. The same huge error underlies official views and policy on ‘climate crisis’ and CO2 and hydroxychloroquine treatment in the UK, to name just 2 key examples. And to think the UK was once the home of science and rational thinking! Anyone enjoying this way of thinking, more here:

Dave Jones

23rd May 2020 at 3:13 am

Well put.

I can only hope we don’t all die of overdoses from dihydrogen monoxide. Too much has been proven to kill, yet it’s consumed limitlessly on a daily basis by everyone. LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE!!

Brian Copeland

18th May 2020 at 9:40 pm

Are you suggesting that this is the man you wanted the country to follow? Because if you do it’s sure to be a disaster. Let’s explore what ‘ol Mr. Wittkowski has to say. What he says is either completely wrong or in the short space of this one interview he falls all over himself contradicting himself. Wittkowski says “… the South Korean government was extremely proud to have resisted pressure to drop the very basic concepts of democracy.” Uh…no. Here’s what the South Koreans did.
First, unlike the US they acted quickly and fast. Then they tested and tested and then tested some more. Third, they relied heavily on contact tracing and isolation of anyone the infected person came in contact with and finally, unlike don trump or evidently Dr. Wittkowski, the Koreans pushed hard on the enlistment of the public’s help. They strongly advocated wearing masks and electronic contact tracing. By and large the South Koreans have broadly accepted the loss of privacy as a necessary trade-off. From all of this they (South Korea) have had a very low death rate per captia.

The Wittkowski starts in on another ruse. Wittkowski say the number were never so great that NYC was inundated…so therefore the numbers of cases to be expected is wrong. That’s all very fine to try to make that argument and use NYC as an example….I’d say it’s still wrong but be that as it may. New York City, not only densely populated but densely populated with hospitals and medical infrastructure. Now, does his argument work as well when its not NYC but Linn or Blackhawk county in Iowa. You actually think some rural hospital has the capacity to handle multiple intubations? You’re dreaming if you do.

Then Wittkowski is asked if we should worry about a second spike. Amazingly he says no not at all….that a second spike is just “…an invention to justify a policy that politicians are afraid of reversing.” Well I’m sure we’ll find out for sure in the fall. I can only go on what history teaches. And history is a stern taskmaster when you look at the numbers produced in the second spike in 1918. Then WIttkowski is asked if we should “socially distance”. Poppycock…he says of course not. This he says is nothing more than government overreaching and restricting freedom. Well you know what really restricts freedom? Being intubated.

Wittkowski also goes on to say that every study says that we’re 25% infected as a nation….which for the USA is 75 million more or less? Oh really? Which study? Clearly he’s far too busy to point us to a study he’s using to prop up his theory. So….if herd immunity comes at about 60 percent then we’ve got another 80 to 85 million more infections to go and it’ll all be over? Even at .008 percent mortality out of a 85 million infected pool that get you oh …only about 680 thousand more dead people.

The USA can do better…..and we all can do better than to take the advice of Knut Wittkowski.

Pauline Farmer

19th May 2020 at 5:23 pm

But don’t you think he has a point? It’s baffling how Johnson & Co. followed Ferguson’s advice, when the latter’s track record shows him to be a serial failure. All his predictions have been wildly inaccurate, exaggerated and alarmist. Hardly a reliable source of advice.

Tomaz Slivnik

18th May 2020 at 3:48 pm

“We have seen, then, in Wuhan and South Korea, if you do not do anything, the epidemic is over in three weeks.”

“Very early on, we knew from China and we knew from South Korea that this is an epidemic that runs its course, and there was nothing special about it.”

I understand your point of view, but the above is surely hardly a true account. We all saw videos of people in Wuhan suspected of being infected being bolted inside their flats, drones and lorries spraying entire cities with disinfectant, people being forcibly removed from their homes, etc., the whole of Hubei was locked down. Absolutely crazy things were going on in China, the sort of brutal repressive response that could never be imposed in the West and which makes our lockdowns look like a walk in the park.

South Korea was different. They imposed a mandatory 14 day quarantine on travelers arriving in South Korea early on, then pursued a very aggressive, extensive and immediate test, track, trace and isolate policy right at the beginning while the epidemic was still containable and contained the outbreak. New Zealand and Australia did the same.

So yeah, if you react early and decisively, by imposing a quarantine on incoming travelers, and test, track, trace, isolate and contain aggressively early on, the epidemic goes away quickly.

Only that’s not what any of the Western governments – particularly the UK – has done. Is it?

I’m not aware of any country that has done nothing, and the epidemic just went away on its own in 3 weeks. Indeed, even in China and in South Korea (and anywhere it took hold) it took considerably longer than 3 weeks.

You would have done a lot more to persuade me to your point of view if you weren’t stating things which were so obviously over-egging the pudding in order to try to make your case. If the case stands on its own merits, why do that?

The first entity to tell us that this virus is nothing to worry about, that there is no human to human transmission, no sick medical staff, no need to do anything, was China. The very entity which unleashed this virus onto us, and which is making the most of our outbreak. So when someone parrots their line to me, and makes an argument full of holes, I just have to ask myself what and whose agenda they are promoting and what their links to China might be.

PS And yes, actually the country which has probably the most exemplary record by far of dealing with the epidemic is neither China nor South Korea. It is in fact Taiwan. I wonder why you avoided mentioning that country?

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brad majors

17th May 2020 at 8:23 pm

Bad journalism.

No mention of when or where this interview occurred. Please correct.

Gareth Edward KING

17th May 2020 at 6:12 pm

Wittkowski is spot on, Ferguson’s record is appalling, of course, he’s allowed to make mistakes but unfortunately his poor data (from an unpublished paper) is now responsible for turning a second-rate health crisis into something far worse. If people were so concerned about their health they’d never travel to the third world-ever. In fact, even visiting the West Country is technically a health risk if you want to avoid Lyme’s disease. Malaria used to be a serious problem in Lancashire but due to advances in disease control it was erradicated. India is one of the few countries which not only has Malaria to contend with but even dreadful ailments such as leprosy and bubonic plague in the NE. Currently, a developing country such as India has 100 million people who are at enormous risk having being sent back to their villages by central government. How are such people supposed to ‘self-isolate’?
In Spain, there’s every reason to suppose that given that this authoritarian government will not relinquish its hold on the country despite 27,000 deaths since February (pop. 46 million) (age cohort of 70+ = 82% of deaths) and with the current mortality rate at less than 200 nationwide, that it will plough ahead regardless with its plans to hold the country to ransom as it extends the ‘lockdown’ a further five weeks! It cannot be regarded as a health crisis any longer it’s a serious political crisis with uncalculable consequences. Protests have began in Madrid and are likely to get much worse as the less well-off areas of the capital take to the streets and are less inclined to be able to be contained as they have less to lose. The first semester saw the country’s GDP contract by 8% which only included the first two weeks of lockdown, not the last seven weeks! Tourism has been trashed which represents 12.3% of GDP, but one minister: Alberto Garzón (consumerism) had the gaul to say that ‘the sector gives no added value’ to the economy as jobs are so precarious in any case! The government does not care one ‘pepino’ about the consequences of its policies for ordinary people who they regard as ‘la España Cañí’ (bulls, sangría, ‘oppressive’ macho men and the like).

Vivian Darkbloom

17th May 2020 at 11:02 pm

Well said Gareth. As you say, this has turned from a health crisis to a political crisis. That’s the crux, and very few people are articulating this. My family are onboard but when I say this, most folk I talk to look at me as if I’m a ranting conspiracy loon even though I’m softly-spoken and present my case with rationality.

Today an old mate wanted to see me but suggested we meet in a park. Well no, come round to our flat for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. We’re not scared! We’ve seen the stats, we’ve looked at the data.We’ll greet you with a kiss and a nice Rioja and have a chat in the kitchen. Oh well.

Gordon Y Gopher

17th May 2020 at 3:51 pm

Being fairly anti-social I’m not really bothered about lockdown. I’d love to be furloughed and stay home and finish my album.

But why is the centre left MSM dressing up anti-lockdown as a right wing thing? Piers Corbyn was arrested yesterday and he’s a Marxist. They’re doing exactly the same with lockdown as they did with Brexit – making out it’s right wing so as to scare people off. Piers Corbyn used to be an activist for tenants rights so I imagine he’s on the side of poor working class who live in properties that don’t have gardens.

Once again the centre left proving they don’t have a flying fig about the working class and want to make them all out as right wing extremists.

Have Spiked looked at this? Over to you

Vivian Darkbloom

18th May 2020 at 10:02 pm

I’ve become very interested in this question. Here’s a rough précis:

Sir Mark Sedwill is in charge of surveillance (GCHQ), Internal Security (MI5), Overseas Intelligence (MI6 and Special Branch), and Germ Warfare (Biosecurity). In addition, he controls the entire information flow to the FCO (diplomacy), the Cabinet (Political Executive) and the Rapid Response Unit (77th Brigade, formed in 2015 – with Sedwill’s close involvement – to deal with large-scale emergencies).

And I nearly forgot….he’s Head of the Civil service. (Source: John Ward in The Slog)

Dr David Halpern is a British civil servant, heading the Behavioural Insights Team (unofficially known as the Nudge Unit) spun out from the Cabinet Office and since 2013, as a partially privatised venture. He is overseeing the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom as part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, focusing on behavioural changes such as increased handwashing. On 11 March 2020 he was responsible for introducing the idea of herd immunity into UK policy decisions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic during a broadcast shown by the BBC. [Source: Wikipedia]

There are two main areas of scientific ‘expertise’ which the Johnson régime relies upon to decide how it will deal with the Covid–19 ‘pandemic’. The first is the team at Imperial College led by Neil Ferguson, which claims to be able to use its computer models to forecast the spread and impact of the disease. The second is the army of behavioural ‘scientists’ who have been ‘nudging’ us at every opportunity into making decisions which favour the preferred options set by global policy makers.

In 2011, the UK Column published an exclusive report, British Cabinet Office Collaborates With French Brainwashing Guru To Change The Way We Think, which warned that the public is to be reframed or ‘nudged’ into politically acceptable ‘social norms’ including healthy eating, voluntary work and tax-gathering. During the current ‘pandemic’, the nudging of the public has gone into overdrive, fully facilitated by the mainstream press and media. [Source: UK Column]

a watson

19th May 2020 at 8:50 am

Yes. Anything the MSM/Establishment disagree with is rightwing/uneducated/working class/masculine misogyny and of course racist. Snobs rule.

a watson

19th May 2020 at 9:00 am

I forgot – also homophobic.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th May 2020 at 1:45 pm

WATCH: UK Chief Medic confirms (again) covid19 harmless to vast majority


Norman Baker

18th May 2020 at 4:31 pm

Not dying from something does not mean harmless. On top of that he said the “death rate is 1% maybe less overall” which makes 630,000 deaths in the UK and is more than the half million prediction the government freaked out about and used to justify locking down.

Now they seem to be saying 630,000 deaths is just the way it is and nothing to worry about while still retaining a partial lockdown, social distancing and playing whack-a-mole with testing and tracing to make those 630,000 deaths take longer (unless we get lucky with a vaccine).

Rob Newman

17th May 2020 at 11:07 am

Sure, he has a point. But there is a ridiculously one-sided flow in this discussion – no surprise with FM hosting it. I don’t see nurses and doctors dying from flu in the same numbers, and there was a relatively sizeable (still small of course) of people without co-morbidities suffering in hospitals with corona. You cannot simply ignore that.. He is seizing on any point that justifies his opinion and discarding any nuanced statistics that show the need for a more balanced view. Even one of the main opponents of the lockdown, Prof. Johan Giesecke (sensible chap) said that you can not suddenly break the lockdown, that you need to phase back in… And where the hell is Wittkowski getting his 25% already infected statistic, that is nowhere near being proven as yet.. For a very very long time, since mid march, the most perceptive virologists were stating some fatality percentage as a little below 0.5%. In Germany the best study for this shows a 0.38% fatality rate. That is not remotely close to the lower fatality rate in flu…..Yes the lockdown measures were too draconian, or too lengthy, or not clever enough. But yes, we would have had more deaths if we had taken the Swedish model…Don’t completely ignore the vastly different density in population either. between London and Stockholm.. ..It may prove that, even if there would have been more deaths, a slightly better type of Swedish model (lockdown care homes quicker) would have been the best option, given the post-lockdown issues we will have. I wish Spiked would be a tad more absorbent to nuanced views.As much as I value their dissent they seem to want to dress up only in their bias wardrobe. They have a strong point about lockdown, but when they stack ‘liberty’ and heavily one sided statistics on their plate, it doesn’t leave much room for anything to chew on that might help us to learn anything. And so, they only fuel this ghastly partisan war: In or out. Yes or no. Black or white. It’s very draining.

Glenn Bell

17th May 2020 at 6:54 am

One “expert” says one thing, another says the opposite, one says do, one says dont; the truth is nobody really knows, there have been incidents of covid19 flaring up for a second time in many places across the world, including Europe; younger, perfectly fit and well people have died from covid19, including infants; nobody really knows when, where, how or why covid19 originated, how many have died from it or how many more will die. If we listen to every “expert” or crackpot we might just as well toss a coin to decide how we proceed.

Jerry Owen

17th May 2020 at 10:30 am

The chances of a young person dying are statistically so low it doesn’t even register a percentage fraction.

Rob Newman

17th May 2020 at 1:37 pm

Yep. Balanced views. But nothing sexy of clickbait friendly about balanced views unfortunately, so we get yes or no – -all the frigging time, and yet we still don’t have clear answers about anything. It’s fine to say stop lockdown if they want, sure, but it’s not fine to say ‘they’ know the truth. No one does yet.

Vicki McKerrell

16th May 2020 at 11:50 pm

He is wrong about South Korea and Wuhan. They did shut down. People in Wuhan, especially, were confined to their homes for weeks. A quick google can confirm this. The two countries that were slower to implement social distancing measures were the UK and the US and their death rates reflect this. We can talk about underlying medical conditions and issues that impact the various statistics but at the end of the day there’s a massive number of people dying from a new disease. We obviously can’t shut down indefinitely, but the countries who have shut down have managed to slow the spread. They’re all now easing restrictions. Even Sweden has a measure of social distancing. And… if thinking from an economic perspective, there would have been economic impacts regardless, without a lockdown. Even now, here in Australia as restrictions are being eased, I’m hearing of people still wary of leaving the house!

If only we ‘could forget the whole thing’ Just not possible.

Highland Fleet Lute

16th May 2020 at 8:19 pm

I think the lockdown should have been voluntary, that way all these petty tyrants and authoritarian followers could have starved themselves to death and ruined their own personal economies without ruining everyone else’s.

Vicki McKerrell

16th May 2020 at 11:58 pm

That appears to be what Sweden did. The government made suggestions to the public, who were then free to exercise their own judgement and reason.

Charles Picerno

16th May 2020 at 8:13 pm

Well that’s NOT/NEVER Going to Happen. We are at DEATH’s Door. The DemocRATS have Sold U.S. out to China a long time ago. Donald Trump Screwed their EVIL PLAN Up…………………….Now we are going to be CRUSHED,OPPRESSED, and “CHIPPED” Into a New World Order………

Andrew Briggs

16th May 2020 at 7:10 pm

This Wittkowski guy is clearly a believer in herd immunity. This is nuts. You have to understand that not all epidemics are the same. Most are small and don’t cause huge damage, some are bad like 1957 & 1968 flu outbreaks and some are terrible like the Spanish Flu and some are catastrophic like the black death. In the early stages of a novel virus no one can truly forecast the outcome. Basically when facing an unknown virus there a good chance it won’t be damaging, a small chance it will be bad and smaller chance it will be terrible and tiny chance it will be catastrophic. So if every time you face a possible pandemic and your approach is ‘herd immunity’ the time its catastrophic you continue with going for herd immunity then boom you lose a huge chunk of your population and as bad as it is now the economic damage would be far greater.

This guy is correct that it is true if you let the virus run its course it will be over faster. However at the time the decision to lockdown was made no one could know for sure for would happen next. If your are the PM you look at the data and are seeing rapidly increasing numbers. It goes March 1st gives 13 new cases, March 8th gives 69 new cases, March 15th gives 251 new cases then March 22nd gives 665 new cases (its actually 1035 on 21st and 927 on 23rd). This virus is clearly moving and seeming increasing by a factor of 3 each week. If this continues we could see 3000 the next week (we did see on March 27th) then 9000 the week after then 27000 the week after. Would you feel confident that this is going to drop off? Can you predict when its going to peak? You need to understand that there is too much uncertainty in these events. Ferguson was wrong to create an exact forecast. You can only give a range and I’m sure the range at the given time is something like 20000-500000 deaths.
So two things could happen and the PM faces 2 choices
1. Impose a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus and POTENTIALLY save lives. You’ll never know that this worked.
2. Allow the virus to continue to spread on its course and RISK lives. I don’t say save the economy because the economy would be struggling anyway even without lockdown (Sweden is struggling) though the damage would have been less but who knows how much less.
If he chooses number 1 he gets lambasted by the anti-lockdown crowd. If he chooses 2 he should be put in prison. He made the correct decision in a moment of great uncertainty.
The mistake that was made was that lockdown in this country could have been averted if we had imposed strict 14 day quarantine on anyone entering the country from 23rd January from anywhere in the world. If course had been taken the economic damage would still of existed but would have been lower and 10000s of lives would have been saved.

Jim Denham

16th May 2020 at 7:54 pm

Your correct: this guy is a madman. Like Trump with a slightly more convincing “scientific” spiel.

Vivian Darkbloom

16th May 2020 at 10:39 pm

Jim, please expand on your far right comments. Let’s start with why the author is “a madman”? Should he then be simply locked up for the good of the nation or be subjected to your Aktion T4?

Over to you parteigenosse.

Vicki McKerrell

17th May 2020 at 12:11 am

Which is why Boris and Trump did such an abrupt halt on their herd immunity approach. This was a virus moving more rapidly than first thought and with so many asymptomatic cases, made it so much harder to contain the spread. People could be walking around not even knowing they have it, spreading it all over the place.

Glenn Bell

17th May 2020 at 10:13 pm

Johnston is on a hiding to nothing, what ever he decided or decides upon the media will lambast him, Labour will try and score cheap points, other “experts” will say “told you so” I dont know the answer to all this, does anybody?

Vivian Darkbloom

18th May 2020 at 6:46 pm

Glenn: look at the data, look at the stats, look at previous outbreaks. Then make your own mind up.

Those who are using this crisis to score political points should be largely ignored. Why? Because they’re acting in bad faith. They are hoping for more deaths and failure because it will make their political opponents look bad. Sure, point out the incompetence of the government but do not pretend that a different-flavoured administration would do anything much different. Again, why? Because the civil service infrastructure underlying the political actors would give the same advice. We need to look at those embedded in the ‘permanent government’ rather than the political celebrities who are rolled-out for public consumption every evening.

People like Sir Mark Sedwill, head of the Civil Service and so much more; Dr David Halpern, who runs the Behavioural Insights Team; General Sir Nick Carter, head of the British Army and responsible for the 77th Brigade.

Almost everything of substance the MSM reports flows from these people and the political front nod their heads, sign it all through, speak with authority – or not – on TV, and take the blame when things get too hot. Meanwhile the civil service and the advisors trundle on.

Richard de Lange

16th May 2020 at 6:59 pm

I might believe Witthowski if he didn’t misrepresent the facts. To take two examples:

Quote 1: ‘We have seen, then, in Wuhan and South Korea, if you do not do anything, the epidemic is over in three weeks.’

Reality, Wuhan had a cmplete lockdown with people being LOCKED in their homes in some cases and there was also an extensive campaign of testing and isolation. Similarly S Korea had an enormous programme of testing, tracing and isolation. It is a lie to say that they did not do anything.

Quote 2: ‘In Britain, it was the voice of one person – Neil Ferguson – who has a history of coming up with projections that are a bit odd.’

Reality. Odd or not, Ferguson heads a team where he works and then took their results to SAGE which contains members from many backgrounds. Not just one man.

Spike-online should have challenged his ‘facts’ and because these and others are not true, so also his conclusions and recommendations are wrong.

Highland Fleet Lute

16th May 2020 at 6:05 pm

Several arrests were made at an anti-lockdown protest in Hyde Park, London, this afternoon, inc Piers Corbyn…

Ivor Zoeftig

16th May 2020 at 2:15 pm

I woudl be interested to know what Mr Wittkowski has to say about vaccines.
Every piece of science that I have read says that you cannot vaccinate against a coronavirus. There is no need for universal vaccination for something that vanishes by itself but returns in a thousand different mutated forms.
There is something odd about SARS Covid-2 but what?
They have locked people up to create more cases, to sell more vaccines; to divide society to make people unwell, to sell more vaccines; to destroy economies, in order to boost the sales of more vaccines; to create a new “normal society” that is completely abnormal, to sell more vaccines…

David Abbott

16th May 2020 at 4:14 pm

Actually he says that flu vaccines (where he is also referring to COVID19 collectively) are about 30% effective. Interesting video here. Just taken down from Youtube of course. We are not allowed to see Doctors discussing the merits of different treatments. How scary is that?

Jolly Roger

15th May 2020 at 9:41 pm

Borris bottled it at the first hint of media and twitter pressure. He compounded that by not googling “Professor Neil Ferguson” – because that’s all it took for me in early March to find out about Fergusons frankly horrific track record of miscalculation, exageration and obsfuscation for every health challenge over the past 30 years or so. And at great cost to the UK every time, though this time, that cost is actually catastrophic.
Unfortunately, Boris has proved to be a cowardly idiot; not a good look. And not the man to lead anything, especially an entire nation at a time of national transition i.e. leaving the EU.
And the Cabinet? They are surely third rankers, the whole lot of them. None inpress, some are actually borderline loons – like Hancock. Most are just none entities like Jenrick and Raab. What a complete shower.

Maarten Debacker

15th May 2020 at 9:32 pm

” It is not that children or working people were dying. It was the elderly in nursing homes – not even the elderly living by themselves mostly. ”
Am I the only one who finds it deeply upsetting that the elderly are being sacrificed? I’m 31 by the way.
There used to be a thing called gerontocracy. Now, the elderly are disposed of; if not hidden from plain view in nursery homes, they are sacrificed to the corona virus.

Jolly Roger

15th May 2020 at 9:55 pm

No, you and other hysterics – and I’m getting old.
Old people are tens of times more susceptible to viruses and illness of all kinds than those under 70. That is fact. It is not a case of ‘sacrificing them’ it is a case of facing the actual facts of life. Abd most old people, admirably, do.
You and people like you are plotting a course for the future, of fear and paranoia and not just over this (not dangerous for most) virus, but cliamte change, identity poltiticking etc that your children will curse you for. A miserable, cowardly, frightened world of timid hysterics.

Maarten Debacker

15th May 2020 at 11:40 pm

I’m no climate activist, no leftie, no scared person either. Death does not scare me in the slightest, nor does seclusion or abstaining from social contact.
Old people die yes, but that they die by the numbers now is also a fact. Like the fact that nursery homes are a horror scene these past months.
I care about whatever life my elderly -whom are also a part of our people – have left. Even if it is only a difference of months.

I believe it is you who’s panicking. Obviously you can’t handle a bit of staying at home and not being able to visit pubs. What the pandemic shows most of all, is a profound lack of discipline.

Jim Lawrie

15th May 2020 at 10:35 pm

It is those over 75, with comorbidities, and who were infected. That has been mainly those in care homes. Care homes that were allowed to become infected by sending people from hospital to them, instead of temporarily increasing convalescing facilities. The chances of car homes becoming infected rose as the lockdown prolonged the window of opportunity.

Try reading the article. No one is being “sacrificed”.

Maarten Debacker

15th May 2020 at 11:45 pm

I have read it. The guy talks a lot of bullshit. Boris Johnson was tackled by the virus and took it seriously. I don’t wish the virus upon Wittkowski, but perhaps he’d change his mind if he also were struck by it.
All in all, I’m utterly disgusted at the lack of discipline in so many of us, whoseonly motives against the lockdown are their own fears of being contained at home.
Obviously it’s mentally draining, I feel that too. But Sweden has shown that without a lockdown, it would have been far more catastrophic (it has more than thrice the mortality of Denmark and Norway combined)

Jerry Owen

16th May 2020 at 12:22 pm

Why would Wittkowski change his mind ?
He is an expert and has come to expert conclusions.

Apocalyptic Reindeer

16th May 2020 at 6:02 pm


“I don’t wish the virus upon Wittkowski, but perhaps he’d change his mind if he also were struck by it.”

If you don’t wish it on him why say it? Everything before the “but” in any given statement is a lie.

Highland Fleet Lute

17th May 2020 at 8:31 am

It’s a characteristic of the pathological chekist types who support the lockdown, that they like to see people suffer.

That’s why they indulge in a perpetual Sim City game towards the end that “the many must suffer for the few”.

Maarten Debacker’s comments are a pretty good example of that.

Nevermind Me

16th May 2020 at 6:56 am

If we regularly went into lockdown for the flu season then your sacrificing the elderly argument might have merit. However since we don’t lockdown every winter then we have been effectively sacrificing the elderly for years by your reasoning.

James Conner

16th May 2020 at 7:13 am

“Am I the only one who finds it deeply upsetting that the elderly are being sacrificed? ”

You might be. I look at the sad collection of head-rocking, dribbling, demented coffin-dodgers inhabiting these depressing places and thank god that they are finally being spirited away. When you can’t even remember your own name and you have to have other people feed you and help you use the toilet, it’s time to go.


16th May 2020 at 7:44 am

Absolutely. I have been saying this whenever this hysteria over deaths in care homes is mentioned by the media. I’m a reasonably fit 74 year old but if I was bedridden being fed mush to keep me alive I would welcome Covid or anything else to get me out.

David Abbott

16th May 2020 at 4:19 pm

James, my father was one of the people you describe. His last year was miserable, for him, and everyone around him. Of course you don’t want him to die, but in his own words, he wasn’t living. Of course I was sad when he died, but it wasn’t a tragedy. It was the cycle of life.

James Conner

17th May 2020 at 10:49 am

Sorry to hear of your loss David. As you say, death is part of the cycle of life. My own view is that it is only death which makes life so precious. Death is what adds meaning to life for all of us. I’m 62 and in reasonable health. Maybe I’ll live to 72, maybe to 82 or even older. But for me the important thing is ‘quality’ of life, not ‘quantity’ of life, and in my twilight years being a burden on my close family and society as my mind and body begin to unravel is certainly not on my bucket list.


16th May 2020 at 8:08 am

Maarten, echoing some of the sentiments expressed by James Conner although I wouldn’t put it quite as brutally as he does.

There is every good reason to make the best provision that is practical for the elderly, but now that our society has got so far beyond the sort of ‘extended family in a village community’ sort of pattern it is extremely difficult to see how to do it satisfactorily. But my limited experience elderly people seem far more aware and accepting that they are going to have to die one day than all the media led hysteria would allow.

By way of explaining personal circumstances I mention I’m in my mid 60s. From day one it was my view that this ‘lockdown’ would do more harm than good, and my views have only hardened despite occasionally discussing the subject with some who think it a good thing. (And I mean discussing, not arguing vehemently using insulting language as is more or less standard practice on internet forums.)

I know of a care home where they’ve had cases and most of the infected residents have recovered, some have died it’s true but none of the residents had great life expectancies. Those who’ve recovered haven’t miraculously gained great life expectancies. I know a woman in her late 80s who – despite being prosperous and well provided for etc – is really anxious for this to end. Why? Because she knows it won’t be long before she either dies or loses the capability to enjoy life as fully as she can at present. She wants to go out for a pub meal, or visit a National Trust garden. And it’s obviously much worse for those who haven’t access to such good resources and support networks. There’s every reason to do everything possible to protect the vulnerable and care for the sick, but to close down huge swathes of human activity in an effort to somehow ‘manage a virus’ was, and is, a nonsense.

Adamsson 66

15th May 2020 at 9:05 pm

But we can’t release the lockdown because we would find out that it was all a catastrophic mistake and that would be embarrassing for Boris

Maarten Debacker

16th May 2020 at 12:01 am

Have a look at Sweden. They tried no lockdown and the mortality is over thrice Denmark and Norway’s combined… Moreover, the hospitals have to refuse people over a certain age due to lack of ICU beds. Cozy, right? Boris Johnson has done what a great PM should do: make the right choices, notwithstanding the opinions of the many…

James Conner

16th May 2020 at 8:43 am

Sweden’s relaxed approach to covid-19 has left it with a death rate of 361 per million population, while the UK with all of its lockdown measures now has a death rate of 501 per million. I reckon Sweden must be doing something right.

Lyn Keay

15th May 2020 at 6:53 pm

The strategy the guy proposes is right. But his ‘facts’ leave something to be desired. Most notably “All the studies that have been done have shown that we already have at least 25 per cent of the population who are immune.” Really? Cos most of the studies I’ve seen have said far less. What studies is he looking at & why has he ignored the others?

Steve Roberts

15th May 2020 at 5:42 pm

These opinions by Wittkowski have been widely available for many weeks, he is just one among many expert dissenters. He has not required hindsight neither have many others of us non experts who have dissented this utter madness from the outset.
The message was simple and clear, protect the genuinely vulnerable whatever the cost and resources needed, for the rest of us it is just another virus, an especially infectious one but otherwise not exceptional, go home, rest, it will pass. If necessary, which it has proved was not , then mobilise resources by the state to provide required health care facilities. That’s it, the virus will spread, herd immunity will be reached.
The most important part of this interview, the one that if initiated would stop this madness and destruction was in two letters, NO, when asked if social distancing should continue.
This is the kernel of the issue now, the lockdown is easing, that’s an economic necessity, that’s why it is happening nothing at all to do with the virus and it’s activity, the govt are lying, they are trying to avoid, at any cost, admitting they were simply wrong from the beginning and have caused this crisis and all that unfolds from it.
Until SD is entirely removed society cannot and will not be reopened, the crisis will continue, but worse it will further entrench panic and divisions among the population between those who have decided it is safe to return to work etc and those that genuinely fear it is not.
This is where the government is acting cowardly, it is allowing all the social unrest and doubt to fester, for the irrationality to continue simply because it will not admit its destructive errors.
It also needs saying this is a problem among critics of the government narrative too, few of them are prepared to take the step that Wittkowski does and demand that SD is stopped, they speak in convoluted terms of returning when it is “safe” to do so, to have a “staged” return etc, this itself is a weak and insufficient response, it does nothing to challenge and overcome the fear and division that has been created, that can only be done, as Wittkowski does, by denouncing the original narrative as irrational, unnecessary and destructive, they were wrong and we need to claim society back from them.End SD, protect the genuinely vulnerable, deal with those responsible for this crisis as and when we decide.

Jolly Roger

15th May 2020 at 9:49 pm

Spot on comment – there were plenty of expert dissenters back in early March. Stanford and Oxford were hotbeds or rationale, real scientific thought that was wilfully ignored by politicans and most of the media. The Telegraph aired some stories on expert dissent from the groupthink over C19, but they were always buried beneath their daily spoon feedig of human interest stories featuring the vanishingly rare cases of people under 50 coming a cropper with C19.
Boris bottled it, failed to interogate the numbers he was being given by Ferguson or even Fergusons own easilly researched credentials in ‘viral modelling’, failed to take the measires that might have helped like stopping flights for a few weeks and protecting the care homes and elderly and then going for a pointless lock-up.
Sda to say, we appear to be now living in a post reason age.

James Knight

15th May 2020 at 5:29 pm

It is like the war in Iraq. Driven by fear, no exit strategy and ultimately the collateral damage exceeds any benefits. But Blair is unlikely to admit he was wrong. Like Macbeth wading into blood, when you get in so deep there seems no point in turning back.

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 2:11 pm

I posted earlier on this thread and it disappeared… not uncommon.
This is a great article and i have forwarded it to other people, hopefully others here will as well.
Mr Wittkowski was rather generous to Ferguson it has to be said considering the damage the proven ‘covidiot’ has instructed the government to enact.


15th May 2020 at 1:53 pm

Unfortunately, the media is partly to blame. Remember how the herd immunity theory was blasted at the start of the panic. The politicians therefore become risk averse and follow each other in their decision making so as to have safety in numbers. Rather save a life now and tank the future economy rather than they die later and our economy remains robust. If I had to make the decision I would probably do the same even though it is the wrong decision for the long term.


15th May 2020 at 4:36 pm

I agree. I blame Boris Johnson for a lazy, knee-jerk, and idiotic act of self-interest; and Nigel Farage for saying the first thing that came into his head so as to attract some media attention.

I seem to remember, when herd immunity was being discussed by Boris and the Cabinet, Farage suggested it would be akin to murdering the old. Right or wrong, the next day, half a briefing later, herd immunity seemed to disappear from the table. Does this show that Boris is wary of a Farage resurgence (a second-wave maybe) and will do anything to keep Farage out of the public eye, away from the oxygen of publicity? It may just be the art of politics but it is disgusting; but what were our other options: Swinson, one of Bartley or Berry, Corbyn.Time to rethink of our democracy (or what is left of it).

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 1:22 pm

It’s welcome to have a different viewpoint but why should we believe this bloke more than anyone else? Let’s face it, it’s not just Ferguson who backs his idea. He just dismisses anyone who disagrees with him as doing it for the money, and has no argument for not social distancing. Perhaps he’s right but saying why is not much of an answer. The `other side` has at least come up with a reason.


15th May 2020 at 1:54 pm

No Eric, he may be wrong but that’s not the point. What is certain is that the ‘lockdown’ is doing immense damage across society, and any benefits that it may confer – and it’s not unlikely that there aren’t any at all – are likely to be disappearingly small.

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 2:48 pm

That might be right but if you believed that lockdown as the correct policy I’m not sure anything in this article would make you change your mind.


15th May 2020 at 4:16 pm

Probably it wouldn’t. But I turn again to J K Galbraith: ‘Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.’ Sometimes people do need to be led.

Given the scale of the present Conservative majority there seems to me no reason whatsoever that Johnson shouldn’t grow a pair – ride out the inevitable chorus of squealing from the media and every oppositionist who only wants to oppose for its own sake – and reverse course. His big problem is the public sector workers and other secure employees who enjoy being paid for doing next to nothing. But they should be made to bear the economic consequences. To date the cost is all being borne by the private sector, especially the self-employed, small businesses, those of zero hours contracts etc.

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 4:48 pm

One thing I agree with is that having gone down this road and so many people having suffered, politicians find it nigh on impossible to do a 180 degree turn. I respect the bravery of the authorities in Sweden who must be under intense pressure and I’m sure have sleepless nights.

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 2:07 pm

You clearly did a ‘hop skip and jump’ through this article.
Come on dismantle his thesis?

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 2:49 pm

No I read the whole article thanks.

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 5:04 pm

You have no counter argument then?
The onus is on the lockdown fanatics to prove their policy has worked. They can’t and you know it

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 5:38 pm

It’s hard to prove that lockdown has “worked” because we don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t implemented it. Somewhere like Sweden might give pointers. I don’t think we can fully evaluate until some months or a year after this is over when the longer-term ramifications of lockdown will have manifested themselves further. By that time it might well be that we will be suffering while Sweden will have bounced back much quicker (which one would expect).

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 10:01 pm

E Praline
Your last post seems to be at odds with your first post a tad.

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 11:35 pm

@Jerry Owen – how so? Are you a keyboard warrior or do you have the courage of your convictions? Do you socially distance or do you ignore all that?

Jerry Owen

16th May 2020 at 12:28 pm

Am I a keyboard warrior….do I have the courage of my convictions WTF are you rabbiting on about?


15th May 2020 at 12:38 pm

A Two part article by Vanessa Beeley in UKColumn joins up all the dots

steve moxon

15th May 2020 at 11:08 am

One possible upside to this cataclysmic fiasco: finally politicians might hear just how fed up folk are with the whole risk-averseness culture.

steve moxon

15th May 2020 at 10:10 am

Confirmed: ‘lockdown’ was the worst UK government decision for over a century.
£300 billion (and counting) for less than nothing.
Millions of self-employed livelihoods, small & medium sized businesses and PAYE jobs lost.

steve moxon

15th May 2020 at 10:08 am


Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 1:06 pm

I had a run where I was getting them posted now I’m having them moderated and one has disappeared.

Eric Praline

15th May 2020 at 1:22 pm

I don’t think Spiked gives a sh*t about comments. They’ve adopted the Guardian begging tactics when I already give them a few quid. Wish they’d get it together and prove their love of free speech.


15th May 2020 at 9:56 am

The government really are ignorant bas tards, aren’t they? They just like controlling people and making them jump around like frogs given periodic electric shocks. We need to resist the lockdown through civil disobedience. It is clear that the vast majority of people who die of coronavirus have comorbidities and would probably die within the year anyway.

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 12:43 pm

Fighting talk from ZP who is to scared to use her real name.. hilarious!


15th May 2020 at 4:44 pm

We have to protect ourselves from mentally deranged nutters like Jerry Owen.

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 5:06 pm

You are just a plain anonymous cowardly keyboard warrior who can’t even pen her name against her comments
Very sad and pathetic indeed.


15th May 2020 at 8:18 pm

JERRY OWEN — You saddo!

Jerry Owen

15th May 2020 at 10:03 pm

Is that your best?
If you are proud of your posts why not be proud of your name as well and who you are instead of hiding?
You know I’m right !


16th May 2020 at 4:55 pm

You’re still a saddo, Jerry. Even if I put a plausible name up there would be no way of determining its ultimate veracity. And you would still be a keyboard warrior saddo.

Jerry Owen

18th May 2020 at 12:01 am

An anonymous non entity.

Kathryn Barbara

15th May 2020 at 9:54 am

He is right. This is an infection that is predominantly age/co-morbidity related. The mortality statistics show that. The majority of people need not fear the infection as it will not be life limiting in their case.
We need to build immunity in this group of people. In that way our older population will benefit. Open all schools as normal.
Politicians were denied the benefit of the pro and against group of scientists. So much for Dominic Cummings much vaunted ability to “think outside the box”.


15th May 2020 at 9:53 am

Lockdown is the biggest act of self-harm in British history. The misery and suffering that will be caused by this over the next 10-20 years far outweigh the destructive capacity of the virus itself. Johnson is a coward and a fool to continue this.

steve moxon

15th May 2020 at 11:06 am

Yes indeed


15th May 2020 at 9:51 am

Superb article from Lionel Shriver in Spectator about the insanity of the lockdown. It makes no sense from a medical, let alone economic, point of view:

gestures of showy compliance, most of which will make no difference to who sickens and who dies, but which will nevertheless irretrievably deep-six this country’s economy and make our daily lives an unremitting misery.



15th May 2020 at 9:50 am

I predict that few of the tedious, costly, time-consuming measures about to be levied on the British public in the coming months will be based on science. We’ll be obliged to make loud

Superb article from Lionel Shriver in Spectator about the insanity of the lockdown. It makes no sense from a medical, let alone economic, point of view:

gestures of showy compliance, most of which will make no difference to who sickens and who dies, but which will nevertheless irretrievably deep-six this country’s economy and make our daily lives an unremitting misery.


Mark Houghton

15th May 2020 at 9:25 am

I’d love to get back to normal but my work involves visits to peoples homes and the government and their supine media have scared the shit out of everyone so that’s my business up shit creek. Meanwhile on a personal level I’d like to do lots of things – going away in my campervan, buying a new pair of walking boots in a shop, strolling round Wickes – none of which i can do. Witthowski is a voice in the wilderness sadly.

James Conner

15th May 2020 at 3:16 pm

“…Meanwhile on a personal level I’d like to do lots of things – going away in my campervan”

I sympathise. My wife and I planned to buy a campervan this year and have a great time travelling up and down the country. That idea hit the skids a few months ago, at about the same time our June holiday in Rhodes seemed in doubt.

Jane 70

15th May 2020 at 9:08 am

At last! Sanity and reason from an acknowledged expert. Will someone in our supine central and devolved administrations please read this!
Have the courage to acknowledge error and accept responsibility; it’s a sign of maturity and courage.

Linda Payne

15th May 2020 at 4:58 am

This is exactly the message that needs to get out there to stem the increasing fear of those reluctant to end lockdown, send their children to school or go back to work. The elusive ‘second wave’ is always used as some kind of precautionary principle; the problem is the public are being told the science says this or that but as this article shows not all scientists sing from the same hymn sheet so it is not THE science. We need to get back to normal now and start living because as Mr Wittthowski says the lockdown has its own risks and people are dying as a consequence of it

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