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How the howling media mob panicked our pathetic politicians?

(Wednesday/ Thursday blog)

You can’t expect Einsteinian insights from a 600- to 700-word blog (with pictures for the hard-of-understanding) written at 05.00 in the morning. But I think I’m beginning to understand how our rulers allowed our economy to be trashed by the Xi Pingpong’s Wuhan flu and what to do about it now.

That was then…..

If you go back to the start of the Chinese plague, you’ll remember the images of thousands dying in hospital corridors and makeshift wards in Italy and Spain as their health services were overwhelmed by a tsunami of Chinese flu sufferers:

And there were lots of dead people:

Our politicians clearly couldn’t allow this situation to happen in the UK. So, as our (possibly scientifically-challenged) media started howling about the need for more hospital beds and more ventilators, our politicians were panicked into splashing £500m+ on ventilators (that were never necessary) and billions more on the new Nightingale hospitals (that were never needed):

However, despite our panicking politicians doing everything the screaming media mob demanded, the UK’s Chinese plague deaths (62 per 100,000 of population) ended up being just slightly lower than Spain (67 per 100,000) and higher than those of countries like Italy (59 per 100,000) and France (48.5 per 100,000):

Clearly the measures taken by our panicked politicians to appease the mouth-frothing media mob were as much use as the proverbial chocolate teapot. If I remember correctly, two of the most vociferous members of  the slavering (but ludicrously ill-informed?) media mob were a certain Robert Peston from ITV and Beth Somebody from Sky News.

This is now…..

Since then we have learnt a lot. Though I also suspect the howling media mob have learnt nothing.

For example, we now know that over half of Kong Flu patients put on ventilators die. So, thousands of hastily-produced ventilators weren’t such a great idea after all. We are also beginning to understand which medications can reduce the severity of infections and thus dramatically reduce death rates. And perhaps most importantly, we now know which age groups (the elderly) and which groups of people (the obese and those with comorbidities) will be worst affected.

As schools and universities are opened and as we move into the winter flu season, it is to be expected that the number of Chinese flu infections will shoot up:

But, as these infections are mainly among the young, death rates have remained extremely low:

In fact, I suspect that death rates from Xi Pingpong’s Wuhan lab plague aren’t much higher than the usual seasonal respiratory disease death rates.

When the facts change…….

That brings us to Mr Keynes’s much quoted and misquoted:

The facts about Xi’s Chinese plague have now changed. We now know who will die from Xi’s plague:

We also know ventilators are virtually a death sentence and so fewer people are being put on them:

And we now know that the way forward is medication – preferably used as early as possible during infection as was done with Donald Trump:

Are we now ready for ‘herd immunity’?

So, while we knew little to nothing about Xi’s plague at the start, lockdowns were an understandable reaction by scientifically-challenged politicians terrified by the scenes of chaos in Spanish and Italian hospitals and by projections of half a million UK deaths by the world-famous bonking boffin from Imperial College.

But with our new level of knowledge, it is total madness to be closing down the economy again. Instead we should be opening it up as fast as possible to save jobs and livelihoods while protecting the vulnerable and allowing herd immunity to develop among those who will have few if any harmful consequences from Xi’s plague.

Here’s the inimitable Tony Heller. I think he’s too harsh on politicians when he criticises their original decisions to go for lockdowns. I explain why above – the sight of the chaos and huge numbers of deaths in overwhelmed hospitals in Italy and Spain. But I believe he’s absolutely right to claim that now we should be going for herd immunity rather than cowering in our homes in fear of something that (for 99% of us) won’t be any worse than a seasonal flu:

But I also think our politicians are trapped by their own need to prove they are infallible. If they now dared to tell us that the policy should be changed from lockdown to herd immunity (remember Mr Keynes talking about when facts change?), they’re terrified that they will be lambasted getting it wrong with their original lockdown strategy. And so they continue on the road to economic self-destruction.

12 comments to How the howling media mob panicked our pathetic politicians?

  • Hardcastle

    I think you are being too kind to our political class David or is your tongue ever so slightly in your cheek?
    It has been pretty obvious for some time that the virus is as you say no more lethal for the majority than the seasonal flu,but the response worldwide has been much the same as here in the UK.This is just too convenient for it to be anything but co ordinated and pre organised with a planned agenda for change.We have and are being conditioned for the “new normal” again a phrase that has appeared worldwide.What this new normal will be is as yet to be fully revealed,but you can bet it will involve a green agenda,already well underway,a financial re set,to “solve” the problem of world wide debt and insolvency.For this to happen requires the control of the population ,use of the media to create fear and panic and the promise of normality if you comply.All this is happening despite the exposure of he virus as nothing more than a mild flu.Conspiracy theorist?,it is the only logical conclusion for all the madness we have witnessed for he past year and more.

  • Stillreading

    Not sure about the conspiracy theory Hardcastle. I think it’s far more probable that for almost anyone under the age of about 80 in the developed world covid constitutes the first ever specific disease for which there is no known prevention or cure. The majority of the general public just cannot get their minds around it. I discount ebola, because it’s confined to Africa, so does not affect us, and seasonal ‘flu because it’s been with us for ever and in any case there exists each year a vaccine against the current strain which for most who receive it is at least partially effective. Nations seem to have been in competition with each other to see who can most effectively reduce covid infection and therefore potential deaths. This has been done at the cost of almost total destruction of previously successful, even flourishing, economies and unacceptable disruption of personal lives. As the blog states, we are learning all the time who is most severely affected, who will possiby die but also – crucially important – who will contract it, fight it off and come out the other side scarcely aware of having been ill. The allegedly “covid positive” students presently confined somewhat unhappily at “uni” and those people continuing to spend their evenings in pubs and flocking out at the 10 p.m. curfew, to continue their boozing in sizeable private gatherings, are thousands of such. They should be permitted to get on with it, the students to attend lectures (live ones!)and to congregate for booze and snogging and sex in student bars and halls of residence, as they have always previously done, and the pub goers to continue to contribute to the landlords’ livelihoods, all on the understanding that just perhaps a tiny percentage will become rather ill or even die. Caveat emptor, in short. They – we – should be permitted to choose whether or not to buy into what we as individuals regard as normal life and to do so at our own risk. I am well into my 80s, I seem to be in excellent health, I want to live a bit longer. I enjoy my life, I do not have to go to work, I don’t want to contract the plague. Normally I can neither afford nor do I wish to congregate in large crowds “having fun” (whatever that is!) so it’s no sacrifice to me to stay quietly in my pleasant small house. I don’t enjoy shopping as a recreational activity, I’ve plenty of good DVDs to watch at home and music on CD to enjoy and my piano to play. Since I loathe being suffocated in a mask, I am doing my essential grocery shopping on line. I do though wish to be free – my choice, my risk – to visit when I feel inclined my beloved children and grandchildren and enjoy the liberty of inviting them to my home. If my working children or my school age grandchildren give me the plague, so be it. Having lived as a young child through WW2 and observed and learned from my mother’s example how to confront with courage and optimisim a daily very real threat of imminent death, I find the reaction of politicians and whoever is responsible for dictating what the NHS can and cannot do extraordinary. The fact is that while GP surgeries have become in effect inaccessible, and hospitals are delaying treatment of KNOWN potentially terminal diseases such as cancer, steps which will undoubtedly result in thousands of unnecessary deaths in the coming months, the vast majority of the “positive covid” cases diagnosed each day will never progress beyond a bit of a temperature, a mild sore throat and perhaps a loss of taste for a while.(Looking at the ever-increasing obesity pandemic amongst the young and middle-aged in the developed world, this might not be such a bad thing!)

  • Jeffrey Palmer

    From the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been unable to understand why the emphasis from the Government’s senior medical and scientific advisors, and thus from the politicians themselves, has been focused entirely on the single effort of developing a vaccine, to the exclusion of everything else.

    Rather than on finding medication and treatment which can actually effect a cure for the unpleasant disease caused by the virus.

    Truly effective vaccines take a long time to develop, if they can be developed at all. Surely it would be far better to put a substantial proportion of the billions currently being thrown at Big Pharma in the search for a vaccine, into research to find medication to relieve the symptoms of WuFlu and to find a cure?

    Surely this would be a more compassionate approach, rather than effectively writing off all the already elderly and sick who are inevitably going to be infected in the short to medium term?

    And the ability to provide such treatment would surely then allow hospitals and doctors to safely perform their regular tasks of dealing with all the other medical conditions that they would normally treat. Instead of maintaining a lockdown of hospitals and GP’s surgeries, and abandoning tens of thousands of sick people to suffer and die in their own homes until a vaccine comes along at some time in the future.

    Or am I being naive, and there is already a vaccine in existence, ready to be bequeathed unto us by Big Pharma/Mr Gates/the Chinese empire, at staggering economic (and political) cost?

  • A Thorpe

    I agree that it is difficult to make sense of what is happening, even with the passage of time. I don’t believe there has been a conspiracy to create and release a virus, and then to shut down the world economy, or any variations around that theme. It could not have been kept a secret. The possibility of this happening has been known and discussed for years but there has been no magic bullet developed to deal with something unknown.

    I am convinced that herd immunity is the key and the actions prevented this happening because preventing deaths was driving the policy. I have no family so perhaps take a different view to most, but I cannot see any advantage to me of paying the price of preventing deaths. I feel I can say this because my death was prevented before the NHS was created and I have no idea how it was paid for, but more significantly, I cannot see what wider purpose it served, except for my family. It cannot be said by politicians and the media, but the deaths of a few elderly with serious health conditions who will be dead within a year is hardly going to matter. But these deaths could have been reduced if it had not been for the NHS releasing patients to care homes and the homes not being isolated. The same happened in New York. The error in the policy is locking down a health population and not concentrating on protecting the vulnerable, and, as said above, leaving the decision to us, and this policy still continues.

    In 1918 we did not have the understanding of flu that we have today and there was no vaccine but it illustrates how the same virus can appear to act differently. This caused the deaths of the young rather than the elderly. We should expect to see this widely explained and I only discovered recently through Prof Gupta, and I assume it is correct, and it seems to make sense. There had been no serious flu seasons for about 30 years before and so the young did not have herd immunity, but the elderly did. I have not seen this explanation from any other source, but it is vital to show how herd immunity works and that must be acquired by the young and healthy. Our politicians and health professionals have done exactly the opposite. Evolution gave us an immune system and we should trust it, not politicians.

    The world reaction has been to apply the precautionary principle and we know that it has never worked when it has been applied. The only explanation for this is that we elect power mad people as our “rulers”. How many time do we hear them say they entered politics to improve things. No they don’t they enter politics for the power and influence it gives them. They have no experience of normal life and they are incapable of seeing the mistakes they make. Sunak thinks we will be shocked to be told that we have to pay for his spending spree. The present government are idiots listening to people who can make money from our taxes. It reminds me of a Reagan comment – the most frightening words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help”.

    All we are seeing today is the slow march of socialism which through the illusion of democracy can only result in the destruction of civilised society by taking away our freedom of action and importantly free speech, and personal responsibility being taken over by state control of our lives. It can be reversed but not by any UK political leader and Trump is the only one who can prevent it happening in America, but when he goes, soon, or in 4 years, the socialists will be back.

  • Lionel

    Surely these Nightingale Hospitals could have been temporarily repurposed to service some chronic health need until actually required for the plague. A piles palliation production line perhaps or a parallel facility for wonky knees.

  • Lionel

    Further to my previous suggestion the Nightingale Hospitals could at least have been used as Nightingale Recovery Hospitals which would have eased the terrible effects of releasing patients back into the old folks homes.

  • A Thorpe

    I forgot to add a point about vaccines earlier. My understanding is that the virus itself does not cause death. It is other problems that it causes, one being pneumonia. So why don’t we have treatments for pneumonia? I have had a vaccine against bacterial pneumonia but I don’t know how long it lasts but I don’t think there is one for viral pneumonia.

    On a general point a YouTube video has just been released by the New Culture Forum – COVID19: The authoritarian social hygiene regime…… It isn’t very long and there is full text underneath. It questions why so many people in favour of having their civil liberties denied. This has been compared with human caused climate change but there is a huge difference which is that we have not been forced into any behaviour that shows we agree with human caused climate change. Unless of course we are a royal prince in which case we would be flying round the world adding to the problem, and standing in front of melting glaciers to show that we care and we are doing something, which only appears to be looking at a natural event with no understanding of why it is happening. In the case of Covid we have to wear a pointless mask and will be questioned, fined or arrested if we refuse.

    Why do so many accept both? Is it our ignorance, because the world is getting too complex? It is impossible for us to know everything and even the brainiest may only know 5% if that. It is collectively that we bring our knowledge together for our benefit. Why is is failing us with the climate and Covid? Are we really now at a stage where so many are prepared to be controlled by so few?

  • Stillreading

    In a collectively abysmally mathematically illiterate population, it’s easy enough to fool almost all of the people all of the time. I heard on the R4 programme “More or Less” this morning that the overall result of a questionnaire recently carried out in the UK was that 7% OF THE TOTAL UK POPULATION have DIED from covid! Of course, as the admirable presenters, true mathematicians and statisticians, pointed out, just a very small proportion of ridiculously erroneous estimates among a questionnaire population can skew the final result to a disproportionate degree. But people as a rule seem to prefer just to absorb as fact what they are told by the media and politicians rather than question and with such ignorance or sheer intellectual idleness rampant in the general population, it is scarcely surprising that so many are prepared to sacrifice personal autonomy for, apparently, the sake of just staying alive.

  • Stillreading

    I sense watching the news this evening, and also after spending time this morning with mild, normally very law-abiding older people, that we are all starting to have had enough and are no longer willing to be so compliant. The view increasingly seems to be that it’s up to each of us personally to decide how much risk we are willing to take and act accordingly. First time around, we were told to obey instructions in order to “save the NHS”. Well, we did and that no longer applies now. There are hundreds of unoccupied Nightingale beds and many District General Hospitals, my own included, have no covid patients. Let the young and those who just don’t care infect each other and create herd immunity. We oldies will probably choose to keep out of their way and “stay safe” – aren’t we all, though, more than a little fed up with hearing those two words? – or do otherwise, depending on what we individually consider an acceptable level of risk.

  • Brenda Blessed

    The liberal government and media are conning us by making out that just because there are more positive tests that the infection rate is rising sharply and so alarmingly that it is threatening a second lockdown.

    To calculate the rising or falling rate of infections requires the number of tests taken and the number of positive tests that they give rise to minus the likely level of false positives.

    They keep telling us that the number of tests is constantly rising hugely and that the number of positive results is also rising hugely, but without combining the two sets of data to determine if the infection rate is rising, falling or staying the same.

    With both a huge rise in tests and in positive tests (minus the likely number of false positive tests), the rate of infections could be rising, staying the same or even falling, depending on what those figures are.

    Therefore, in my opinion, what is taking place now is the greatest confidence trick in human history that is aimed at giving false grounds for a second lockdown, the purpose of which is to scare us into accepting being vaccinated en masses with vaccines that have legal indemnity against damages. No doubt because the damages stand a good chance of obliterating the billions of dollars of expected profits.

    Since there has never been a vaccine for a Covid-class disease – this one is number 19 – which includes the common cold, I surmise that the goal is getting the entire population vaccinated by using the threat that no one will be able to go to work, go to school, university, travel or even go shopping unless you have a vaccination passport of the kind proposed by William Henry Gates III.

    In other words, I am implying that the vaccines for Covid are nothing of the sort – that they are a high-tech tag of some sort that could engender genetic modifications that could include many possibilities, one of which could be making subject groups sterile in the same way as GM food plant seeds are sterile – don’t provide seeds that can be grown, forcing farmers to buy seeds every season from Monsanto, which owns all of the GM-food patents.

    That must be why there is so much effort being put into blocking the courageous scientists, epidemiologists, bioengineers, etc., who are trying their best to counter the official lines from having their say.

    The dissenters, who are usually very intelligent, very well-qualified people, are extremely courageous because they stand a very good chance of losing their jobs.

  • Hardcastle

    A conspiracy then Brenda?

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