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Was much of our “economic suicide” lockdown unnecessary?

(Monday blog)

Could Trump be right and the BBC wrong?

Every day at the Downing Street briefing we’re shown a chart of Covid-19 plague deaths by country. (I realise this chart is fairly unreadable, but I’m sure you’ll recognise it):

(With previous versions of WordPress, you could click on the image and that would enlarge it. That no longer seems to be the case. One reader has helpfully suggested an incredibly complicated way I could possibly restore this function. But it’s far too complicated for me)

From this chart, it looks like Britain is following roughly the same path in deaths as France, Italy and Spain, whereas, under Donald Trump, the USA is a total disaster.

But when you redo the chart in deaths per million of population, the situation looks quite different:

Here’s the data in a more readable form:

A couple of things to notice:

  • Multi-culturally enriched Belgium is really the worst disaster zone – not the USA. The BBC never mentions Belgium’s Covid-19 mess as the EU is based in Brussels and the BBC never criticises anything connected with their beloved EU
  • The USA actually has fewer deaths per million of population than Sweden. Yet we’re constantly told by the BBC and C4 News how well Sweden is managing the Chinese plague and that President Trump is an idiot who has totally mismanaged his country’s response to the Chinese Covid-19 plague.

And yesterday evening the BBC were at it again – quoting the huge number of Covid-19 deaths in the USA and ridiculing Trump for talking about getting America back to work. Yet at the same time, the BBC is breathlessly and admiringly reporting how countries like Italy and Spain are easing their lockdowns. The BBC never mentions that both these countries have more than twice the number of deaths per million than the USA.

Vaccine venom – BBC attacks Trump (yet again and again)

On this morning’s BBC news, the lying BBC were at it again – ridiculing Trump. This time it was over Trump’s claim that a vaccine would be available by the end of the year. To discredit Trump the BBC claimed that White House medical experts had contradicted the president.

But while mocking Trump’s claim about a vaccine, the BBC seems to have forgotten its own gushing reports about a vaccine being developed in Oxford going into trials last week and possibly being ready by the end of the year.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, told the mainstream media last month she was “80 per cent confident” that the vaccine being developed by her team would work and could be ready by as soon as September. At that time, the BBC were grovellingly gushing with praise for her team’s efforts. But when the hated Trump makes the same claim, the BBC immediately attacks him and mocks him.

BBC – lying, biased, West-hating scum. It’s time to scrap the licence fee and let the BBC sink or swim.

Was the economic suicide necessary?

One key thing to notice from the deaths per million figures is that Sweden has fewer deaths per million than many other developed countries and yet has managed to avoid destroying its economy by imposing the kind of lockdown they have in the USA or we have in the UK. While large gatherings are banned in Sweden, schools, bars and restaurants have remained open. Of course, I realise there are many reasons for this – lower population density, more people already living alone, better healthcare system and so on.

But a cynic could start to wonder whether the drastic, economy-shattering, recession-causing lockdown we’ve had in the UK was really necessary. A cynic could even question whether the lockdown could have been much more targeted to avoid the massive life-destroying unemployment we’re about to experience. For example, maybe we could have focused Britain’s response at protecting the most vulnerable – the elderly and those with comorbidities – while doing everything possible to preserve normal functioning life for those at less risk? In particular, maybe we could have kept schools open allowing millions of parents to stay in work? After all, children are hardly affected by the Chinese Covid-19 plague.

Boris’s brown trousers moment

I absolutely understand that the sight of thousands dying in hospital corridors in Italy and Spain due to lack of space, medical staff and equipment panicked our Tory Government into possibly over-reacting. The Tories’ greatest political vulnerability is the perception that they are enemies of and have underfunded the NHS. Moreover, the Government had the recidivist doom-monger and habitually-wrong Professor Neil Ferguson at Imperial College predicting utter disaster – 250,000 or 500,000 deaths or whatever without a lockdown. Hence our Government had a major ‘brown-trousers without bicycle clips’ reaction and trashed the economy to avoid an Italy or Spain scenario.

Anyway, perhaps the lockdown in the UK was made necessary by the Government’s dithering and delay which allowed the Chinese plague to become widespread? Moreover, the Government’s desperate rush to empty hospitals by shunting many elderly patients off to care homes without doing any Covid-19 testing has turned out to be little short of catastrophic.

But here, providing another perspective to the mainstream media narrative, is the inimitable Tony Heller explaining that our rulers may have made rather a baddish sort of mistake by trashing our economies:

4 comments to Was much of our “economic suicide” lockdown unnecessary?

  • Hardcastle

    What comes next will provide some insight into the questions you so rightly ask.Is it dithering incompetence of politicians in thrall to a leftist controlled media or are they all in it together to re set a world in economic make believe.We shall find our soon enough.I was never one to believe in global conspiracy but I am now.By the way,I always believed it was a bit of a co incidence when the Foot and Mouth epidemic kicked off which saved T Bs government from the Countryside Alliance demo which was following on from the drivers protest.Ferguson was of course heavily involved in that also.

  • Stillreading

    I think the Government had no choice ultimately but to order the lockdown. We have now a working age population – particularly its younger members – so imbued with a sense of entitlement, so self-indulgent navel-gazing, so unaccustomed to gritting its collective teeth and facing up to adversity, so eager to apportion blame the first time circumstances do not meat its expectations, that failure to take every measure to protect, however impractical and idiotic, would have resulted in the political equivalent of a lynching by the left wing press and the nation’s favourite Auntie!
    Watching on TV the past two evenings’ film footage of VE day celebrations, I wondered how today’s working age population would cope with the psychological stress and the physical privations my parents endured for 6 years. (They rarely saw each other of course, since my father was in the Army.) As for “letting the old out last”, a recommendation made over a week ago by some “expert” on the plague and still under discussion, I and my peers find such a comment, consigning us as it does to the status of recalcitrant children or the badly-behaved family canine, profoundly insulting. Of course some of our peers have died since the advent of this visitation! We are old! People do actually die daily of old age allied to a variety of comorbidities! When the rest of the population is “let out” I certainly intend to liberate myself to do whatever I wish – see friends, visit my family – and cuddle my grandchildren! -, go to a garden centre and all the rest! I was a child during the War. I and my peers were educated in a hard school! Many of us recognise and can identify to this day the silhouettes of English and German fighters and bombers. We saw doodlebugs (V1s) going over and knew what it meant when “the red light went out”. You dived for the shelter! It’ll take more than a bit of Chinese plague to keep us down! And if it gets us – well, that’s a better way to go than withering away one’s final years in some ghastly mis-named “Care” Home, at a cost of £50K per annum!

  • Stillreading

    “meet” expectations of course, not “meat”!!! We was ejucated in my day, we was!!
    And yes David, more than time for abolition of the TV licence. Auntie should stand or fall based on her own product. Any pretext of political impartiality is far past being just a poor joke.

  • A Thorpe

    We need to know why the BBC and the rest of the media are distorting the statistics. We are told that the UK has the highest number of deaths in Europe. Your chart shows this is not the case. Perhaps they know they can get away with this because the UK is so badly educated they will not see the problem with the statistics. It is said that socialists spread fear with the state as the provider of safety, but I cannot see the state offering a solution, although the clapping in the streets indicates that many people think it can. There are other important issues being ignored. The deaths are not presented in relation to other epidemics or even seasonal flu, or in relation to deaths from all other causes. Most of the deaths are people who have more serious conditions and the virus has been a contributing factor, not the single cause of death. The media and the government seem to be taking us back to the times when superstition ruled our thinking. (Regarding your problem with images, you could try putting them in a public Cloud folder with a link to the image.)

    In relation to a vaccine, my concern is they will rush one out that has not been fully tested and it will either not work, or will cause health problems. If the virus mutates, which they all seem to do then it will not be much use.

    We are only going to get the necessary information about the deaths and infection rates in a year and then we compare them with other pandemics. The effect on the economy will also take time to assess, but we know that there are large numbers of jobs lost or under threat and companies in financial difficulty. Even if the lockdown is ended we do not know what the public response will be, such is the fear created.

    Regarding the scenes in hospitals, I question why the media were even allowed to be there because of the risks, but also, even if the ones in corridors had been in a private room they would have probably died anyway. It was just another way of spreading panic. The issue that needs to be addressed is why are so many people in a poor state of health and the answer to that is poor healthcare, and free healthcare that does not encourage people to care for their own health. I say protect us from the NHS.

    Stillreading makes an important point. We seem to have become incapable of dealing with risk and the comparison with WWII is relevant. In my view our ability to live with risk is why we are so successful as a species, perhaps not for much longer.

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