The spread of the virus and herd immunity

According to global figures 0.3% of the world population or some 20 million people have now had CV 19. Of these sadly 750,000 have died, a death rate of 4% of known cases. Given the shortage of tests in large countries like India and Mexico these figures may be an underestimate. In some other countries using the formula on death certificates of death with rather than death caused by CV19 there may be some compensatory overcounting.

The numbers do imply however that we are a long way off having the herd immunity some scientists talked about in the early days of the pandemic. The virus has not found as many superspreaders as feared so far. There is also medical and scientific doubt about whether someone who has had it is likely then to resist having it again. If it turned out to be more like flu or colds you could get it or a variant of it again.

If this is the case cautious scientists will continue to argue in favour of social distancing to limit further spread. The scientific community remains wedded to the idea of a vaccine, whilst accepting it could take a long time find a safe and successful one. How many readers here would not wish to take up the offer of vaccination if one were available?

Meanwhile the better medical news is Blood clot busters, steroids and anti viral drugs are all now being tested and some approved and mobilised to improve treatment and lower the death rate.

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  1. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    It’s turning out to be a con trick not to achieve herd immunity but to herd us about like cattle.
    £3200 for not wearing a mask, pubs open but theatres closed.
    No rhym or reason just control.
    4.00am OK, 4.05 quarantine. Enough John you’ve done enough damage, scrap social distancing as it’s nonesense.
    Keep an eye on the Brexit negotiations as I believe the virus will be used as an excuse too stich us up.

    • APL
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg: “£3200 for not wearing a mask, pubs open but theatres closed.”

      But it was worse than that, pubs open or schools closed. Which on it’s face is insane. The one thing we know of the mode of this virus attack, is that of all fractions of the economy, children need be the least concerned. To them, by an large, COVID-19 is like ‘water off a ducks back’. So why there is a trade off between pubs and schools is a mystery. Some sort of totalitarian fetish of our ruling class.

      Ian Wragg: “Enough John you’ve done enough damage, scrap social distancing as it’s nonesense.”

      Yes, the Tories have done enough damage => 20% of the economy destroyed needlessly. Tories, being advised by paid up members of the Communist party. The defacto nationalization of the whole economy, and ballooning government debt.

      And ‘Social Distancing’. I can’t think of a policy calculated to destroy social cohesion and literally ‘atomize’ the population, than that.

      • Lin Jones
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        ”I can’t think of a policy calculated to destroy social cohesion and literally ‘atomize’ the population, than that.”

        Obviously, neither can the government, APL. But I’m sure they’ll come up with something else, given time. I heard somewhere today that in September they are thinking of extending their heady covid powers for another two years. I hope this isn’t true.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Socialist distancing

        • Fred H
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          social destruction, educational destruction, mental wellbeing destruction or economic destruction that is what the Government is threatening. All off them?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink


      Do not agree.
      I think sensible social distancing and the wearing properly of a good quality mask when in enclosed spaces, are the very basics of trying to keep oneself safe, especially if you are in the at risk group.

      Clearly different people have different ideas on what they regard as a risk factor, and as such will not use establishments or businesses where they do not feel safe, if that is at all possible.

      Thus to a degree many will self police themselves and their actions.

      I have not been inside a supermarket for 4 months and will not be doing so for a few months yet, and will stay with click and collect, but I will pop into my well ventilated corner shop (wearing a mask) for the odd basics.

      We have theatre tickets for a show in London for September, we will not be going, no matter what the rules say, simples.

      I do agree that the complete lockdown has been an economic disaster.

      The problem is the government is dammed if it does anything, and dammed if it doesn’t, politics and the media has proven to be a very dirty business, and the blame game is almost a virus in itself.

      • NickC
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson, In the absence of a cure or a vaccine, the spread of such an infectious disease was inevitable (given that full isolation of each person is impractical). And that makes herd immunity the only way out, for now.

        Government policy has been hopelessly inconsistent. I was prepared to cut them some slack early on, but masks and border lockdowns (ie “quarantines”) now are ludicrous given the government did neither at the height of the pandemic (Feb – May).

        This has given those who think in political slogans, those prone to hysteria, and those wanting to stir up trouble, a field day. None of them seem to have given the economy, or the health of people with other diseases, a moment’s thought whilst clamouring for ever harsher lockdowns.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          If people had accepted the minor inconvenience of wearing masks in more situations, and done so carefully, then many aspects of lockdown need not have been imposed. It seems to have been very effective in Japan, etc.

          It would only have been right for the Government’s authorities to have supplied the public with these, but they couldn’t even get them for front-line clinical staff, hundreds of whom died.

          So the hysterical over-reaction by some sections of the public to the idea has let them off that hook to a degree,

          • Edward2
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

            Japan your new favourite now Martin?

      • Javelin
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Sounds to me like you have come up with the solution that should have been adopted. If you want to voluntarily lockdown then get a letter from your GP and lock yourself down. The rest of world will move on and perhaps pay a little extra in tax to help keep you in your home while you wait for a vaccine.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink


          Do not need a letter from the Doctor.
          Still purchasing all the things that we need, just either doing it differently, either on line, or click and collect where possible, still spending money on doing all the various jobs and projects planned in the house and garden, still employing tradesmen for all outside jobs, so still paying tax on all of those purchases, still paying tax on my pension and any investments.
          Still meeting friends and family, albeit at a distance and outside in gardens.
          Certainly spent less on fuel for the car, but then many outside places which I would have visited have been closed anyway (National Trust Gardens and the like) until recently.
          Likewise Holidays have been cancelled on us, and we have only recently, last month cancelled our usual holiday to France, due to uncertainty of both Governments future actions on Covid (decision proven correct)
          Only big cutback is perhaps eating out in restaurants, but they have been closed for months, but still purchase the odd takeaway.

          So we have not exactly locked ourselves away, but we are aware different people have different priorities and needs, and having had my own business before retirement, fully aware that many business owners and the self employed are in a terrible financial situation.
          Local charities are also suffering, as fundraising events for many is now non existent, our Lions Club has had to cancelled many Fundraising events this year due to lockdown and social distancing requirements, and unfortunately has only recently cancelled our Fireworks event, the largest fundraising event of the year due to uncertainty over many aspects of its possible compliance with new regulations, possible local lockdowns and the like.

          So we are not in hibernation with the World passing us by, we are just trying to use some common sense, whilst trying to keep ourselves and others as safe as sensibly possible.

        • Mark B
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink


        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink


        • NigelE
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          But, Javelin, how can anyone make a balanced decision whether to go into a personal lockdown unless we are given far better information on which to base our decision? Simply publishing the number of new CV19 cases and deaths is insufficient. We need to know new cases, new hospital admissions, new ICU admissions and new deaths (and only those resulting from CV19). And as a yardstick, publish the same data for flu.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

            They have stopped published new deaths, obviously are none.

      • Mark B
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Let us be clear on masks / muzzles. The government states that they must be face covering. That could be anything including a handkerchief. For a government to claim that it will be led by the science that seems pretty bonkers to me.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Correct – Its very confusing out there with no clarity from this government

      The info that this government is giving out is a mess, its all over the place – we need a single page on the govt website with a complete list of actions and whether its law or a suggestion and period of enforcement

      I can only conclude smoke & mirrors by drip feeding info on many platforms

      I’ve also noticed that people have stopped wearing face masks – ”we don’t believe you”

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        and until every POSITIVE postcode of the tested is put on a national search website – we are never going to get on top of the issues. World beating track and trace? Going nowhere.
        We are clobbering everything and everyone for a handful of positives that manage to often stupidly pass Covid on.
        Scientists get a grip – – sack PHE don’t rename the same incompetents. Disband SAGE and start again with accountable scientists who understand what balanced risk and advice looks like.

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink


        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          I.e scientists NOT dependent on the State!

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      This Government could not have got it worse even it planned to. Basic common sense and leadership was and is needed. VJ day yesterday puts the nonsense into perspective. If our dead parents and grandparents could see the masked herds in shops they would be bemused and disbelieving how wet we have become.

      The FA Cup Final in London between two London teams should have allowed say 20,000 season ticket holders into Wembley with their agreement to be later contacted for checks. Some real data a boffin could get his teeth into and some fun.

      80,000 died of flu in the UK in 1968, I do not remember any serious concern. 600,000 people die every year or about 1600 a day. The covid death stats are now regarded as being dubious as was always obvious to any one not over academic. The final collateral damage will be greater than true covid deaths.

      We keep the borders open when they should have been closed, now we are closing them for minimal reasons.

      The truth may be that the whole defensive exercise was to prevent the wholesale collapse of the NHS with far reaching political consequences. It is now in the double whammy of being shunned by patients and being unable to carry out regular work anyway.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        You wrote of 80k dying of the flu and 600k dying every year but these do not risk overwhelming the hospitals which are the biggest political football there is.

        No UK government of any colour could survive the NHS failing to cope (visibly with overflowing hospitals) with a pandemic.

        Therefore we locked down.

        If the NHS was not so sacrosanct we might have been more circumspect about lock down

        • Mark B
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          There was no NHS at the time if the Spainsh Flu. So how did they cope ?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          The NHS as a matter of course can’t cope. Yet all Governments survive that ongoing disaster. How? By singing it’s praise. The NHS is world-beating in the same way the British Track and Trace is work-beating.

    • a bad dream
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      £3200 for not wearing a mask, pubs open but theatres closed.
      No rhym or reason just control.

      we have puppets as MPs someone else is ruling us

    • Richard
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      The large & continuous decline in Covid hospital cases has followed it’s natural path:
      This is true even in areas where testing indicates a supposed ‘hotspot’:

      According to Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson, the standard PCR test is an unreliable diagnostic tool because of false positives:
      Similar arguments made here: Follow-up:
      And here is a robust denunciation of the PCR test by the Bulgarian Pathology Association:

  2. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    I will never have the vaccination.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Yes, you can drink from taps labelled “not drinking water” too Lynn.

      You show ’em.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink always seem very sensitive on the subject of “the vaccine”.
        Do you know something we don’t?
        Like that it is safe and successful?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          Lynn’s comment was absolute.

          It means that she will not have a vaccine whether it is extensively and thoroughly tested and proven safe over years.

          I was responding to that position.

          I have no idea whether any of those being developed would be either safe, effective, or both.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Not good news from New Zealand

        • NickC
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Czer, Martin’s list of countries that have “stamped out” covid19 has been dwindling ever since he started with it.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          No, New Zealand have another job to do, as I said that they would from time to time.

          However, they, like many other countries, are still able to live reasonably normally.

          You appear to be wishing with all of your hearts for these places to suffer mass fatalities like the UK has.

      • NickC
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Your comparison is the inverse of the truth. Refusing an unsafe vaccine is exactly the same as refusing unsafe drinking water, rather than drinking the unsafe water, as you make out.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          Lynn has refused ALL covid19 vaccines unconditionally by her use of the word “never”.

          So your point is yet another Straw Man.

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Martin I NEVER have the flu vaccination. It is always for last years version. Is is NEVER a vaccination for the current flu and there will NEVER be a vaccine for the current Covid. So in fact it’s impossible to have a currently valid vaccination and I am NEVER weakening my immune system fruitlessly by making my body deal with last years as well as the current.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        contrary, negative, always knows best, ready to pick a fight.

    • Sakara Gold
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Hancock may try and enforce compulsion over a mass vaccination campaign. If he does so, a campaign of civil disobedience will be necessary to prevent it. Once evidence of efficacy and safety is available, the public should be allowed to make their own decision. Good for you!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        He could offer free Doggie Treats and scratch cards.

        There would be an uncontrollable clamour for them.

      • Hope
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        How many people have the fake Tories now employed in recognition of minister failures? PPE lead, test and trace lead, now an immigration channel crossing lead! I know, how about the old fashioned idea to sack the ministers or civil srpents for not being up to the job?

        Why not bring back former Labour ministers like Cameron did?

    • Peter
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Britain has already bought 90 million doses of various, unproven covid vaccines.

      I am not sure why the government is so desperate to throw money away like that.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        It is just desperate to comply.
        With whom? One may well mumble that question from behind one’s mask.

        (Oh just thought…
        “They“ won’t be able to monitor waycist comments at football matches using cctv and lip reading any more…awwwww!).

        Anyway…why would the govt. care …it’s only taxpayers money. Fleece,rather.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        90 million was apparently only the last amount bought. A report a few days ago said this 90 made a total of 34o million of five different ones, for a population of ?? million.. Is the govt going to enforce we all have at least 4 different ones? The death toll from that should ensure there will be a lot of empty houses to put in the new arrivals.

      • Tamiflu
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Britain has already bought 90 million doses of various, unproven covid vaccines.

        mind-blowing what corrupt politicians can get away with

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          “Britain has already bought 90 million doses of various, unproven covid vaccines.”

          That’s just in case the World Class World Beating British vaccine boris has promise never comes to fruition.

          Also the population is currently 67 million, By the time we get the vaccine it will be 90 million.

    • BOF
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      I have not had a flu jab since about 1985 because it made me ill, not because I am anti.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        You are not the only person to associate flu vaccine with a subsequent illness, although the medical profession are in denial about this…

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        BOF all the Covid deaths in Australia were caused by the flu jab

      • NickC
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        BOF, I’ve had jabs for all sorts (mainly to travel) but not flu jabs which seem to cause illness.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      I certainly will so long as I am satisfied the benefits exceed the dangers. Which is my approach to almost everything in life.

      • Lin Jones
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        It surely depends on whether you still feel you can believe everything ‘they’ tell you about the vaccine, LL. We’ll just have to depend on the opinions of REAL professionals, do our own research, and not hang on the words of Imperial College wannabes.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          I would certainly try to make an informed judgement – but it is not easy with “new” & largely untested vaccines.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I’m with you on this one Lynn – the vaccination is only a protection to the uninfected and by the time they produce an effective vaccination the covid-19 will have run its course and died out (read report on spanish flu in america 1919)

  3. Mark B
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    All we are doing is dragging out the agony and making things worse further down the line.

    From Conservative Woman

    As per the ‘flatten the curve’ or ‘squash the sombrero’ approach that was initially widely adopted but then got lost somewhere in favour of the insane ‘wait for a vaccine’ approach, social distancing measures only buy time by spreading out the damage – they don’t reduce the final number of deaths.

    The clock is ticking. Companies cannot hang on to their staff if there is no work. The government, by its frankly draconian measure with regards to Muzzles, is looking increasingly desperate. As others have observed – It has boxed itself into a corner and cannot find a way out that will save it so, it will keep on pressing with more and more silly measures in the hope that something just might work. This is no way to run a country.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      +1. Spot on Mark B

      • Hope
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Again, another journalist, Douglas Murray, today questioning whether people voted Johnson and got Corbyn. He makes a comparative analysis of polices. Same as another recently comparing “Red Ed” policies which the Fake Tories introduced.

        Ian above is right to be concerned, watch out for the Brexit betrayal. Johnson broke his word several times over dead line dates, Mayhab’s dead deal, oven ready deal, Irish border down the sea etc.

        • APL
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          Hope: “Douglas Murray, today questioning whether people voted Johnson and got Corbyn. ”

          Well, SAGE, the government advisory body- has paid up members of the British Communist party among its membership.

          Thus, it doesn’t much matter if you voted Conservative, you’re getting Communist advice to implement totalitarian policies.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      I’d like to squash the sombrero right down on Boris’s head.

      I’m surprise we are not forced to wear sombreros to help with social distancing.

      • gregory martin
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t seem to have worked in Mexico. Perhaps its a matter of size.

        • APL
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

          “flattening the curve” was to ‘save the NHS”

          Never any mention that even though the curve may be flattened, the same number of people would die over a longer period of time than if they’d all died up front.

          Now, we’ve saved the NHS ( apparently – it’s not in the news anymore ) but we’re still being ordered around by vindictive little totalitarians.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      This government could proclaim as at 1st Sept lockdown is finished, all restrictions & rules ended, furlough ended ….everyone back to work

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Alas the second rate healthcare system in the UK and the idiotic pushing of infected patients from hospital into care homes meant that the UK death rate per infected patient was much higher over 12% – more that three times worse or about 40,000+ extra deaths overall.

    The good news is that this death rate even in the UK has now finally delined quite significantly.

    You say the numbers do imply however that we are a long way from having the herd immunity, but this is perhaps not correct. Some of the “herd” are probably not very suseptible to it anyway and never were. The huge deline in London suggests to me that they are already close to herd immunity (with about 12% testing as having has it I think just 6% in the UK overall).

    Since the young are so unlikely to die of it one might argue it is there moral duty for thouse under 40 to go out and mix and much as possible and get themselves inocculated directly in this way. So we reach herd immunity more quickly. In effect for the young the viruse is probably a good (and free) vaccine.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      Daily new tested positive cases in the UK running at about 1000 and deaths at about 15 so just 1.5% a huge improvement. The virus has probably mutated to become rather less deadly and the NHS has probably, rather belatedly, got rather more competent at dealing with patients. Excellent news indeed, get people back to work now please.

      • John E
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        There is no actual evidence that the virus has mutated to a less deadly form despite the claims from Italian doctors.

        It is possible that the most at risk people died first.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          The numbers and history of similar viruses suggest it is quite likely – but other explanations for the reduced reduced mortality are possible I agree.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          and they happened to close groups – skiers, care homes, hospitals, nightclubs, pubs, multigeneration family groups.

          And it arrived from China – directly or indirectly. And was allowed to continue arriving.
          If we had confined the people who might transfer we might have curtailed the pandemic.
          Instead we confined the elderly, the at risk ones in groups to wreak havoc.

          • NickC
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Fred H, Exactly so. The government failed to close our borders in February, or in March, yet is closing them now. Care workers were a significant vector in transmitting covid19 to the bunched together vulnerable in care homes.

      • Lin Jones
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        LL – I mistakenly read that at first to say ”mutated to become rather less deadly THAN the NHS”. Now there’s a thought.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        I gather that the Daily Mail placed the Department of Education HQ under surveillance last week and found that only 3% of the staff were going into work. It shows!

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          What percentage got full pay through lockdown and a pay rise after –

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Some free advice for our hapless Education Secretary and his department. This before the further and much larger fiasco of GCSE results hit him next week. Just give everyone a result that shows both the school’s predicted grade and any algorithm adjustments then merely allow the universities or other institutions to make their own judgement using all the information they have as to whom they take on or not and who they insist must sit a real exam. Also encourage some A level people to get a job for a year (perhaps with some government subsidy for the companies taking them on). Then some can resit in a year anyway to show how brilliant they are if they wish to. It would do lots of them a great deal of good to do some real work.

    Restore A/S levels for next year so this year’s GCSE exam people can get some real exam results to show (perhaps also make them take a real Maths and English GCSE at the same time).

    • Nigl
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      As usual nothing to do with the topic. Just an excuse to vent your own personal annoyances.

      At school did you complete a maths paper by writing an essay and correcting its punctuation?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Just trying to make helpful suggestions for the Education Secretary and his department.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          I think that is a useful suggestion for GCSE, two marks one the teacher’s assessment and the second the algorithm correction. Colleges and Employers can then make their mind up and offer zoom interviews or ad-hoc online topical tests if they want further checks.

      • NickC
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        It’s debatable whether LL’s comment was entirely off topic – the mess in education is due to the government imposed lockdown which was their response to the covid19 pandemic.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Indeed. That’s the obvious answer. Are these people too blinkered or thick to see it?

      Then just release to the Universities the mock exam papers/term work of any student which was made an offer and which the University subsequently turned down! It isn’t rocket science! Let the Unis judge on more evidence for those caught in no-man’s land.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        As you say, if they still get rejected on lack of evidence, clearly they do need to do some real work to prove themselves. 1 year even on a government sponsored scheme doing some work related to the country’s future needs then resit next summer. It’s just a gap year as many of us took way back.

        • Lin Jones
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Well said, Sir Joe! This sitting around whingeing that there are no job prospects is unforgivable when charities must be crying out for volunteers in these trying times. As you say, take a year out to do something worthwhile.
          But I doubt many of this entitled generation would think that WAS worthwhile.

  6. Adam
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Probably most people who accept conventional medicine on their balance of assessment that it is safe to take, or at least is as safe enough to be better than tolerating illness, would accept a vaccination as a preferred option to losing contact with other people.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Yes. I have had vaccinations for several diseases which I have not caught. Nor have I suffered any side effects from those vaccines. I would happily be vaccinated if the vaccine had passed all the usual tests and was effective.

      As there is no effective vaccine for the common cold I am not hopeful.

      • NickC
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders, I think that’s because the “common cold” coronaviruses mutate too rapidly, rather than it being technically impossible.

  7. Cynic
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Trying to eradicate a cold type virus is likely to prove impossible. All these lockdown measures should be rescinded. We cannot expect to go through life without getting colds and fku from time to time.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      A thousand a day plus were dying not long ago, and it would have been more if not for the actions taken.

      That would have been hundreds of thousands in just a year.

      It appears from generalised antibody testing that only about six percent of the UK population have had the virus, and yet there have been seventy thousand excess deaths – mostly likely because of it.

      You can do the arithmetic to work out what would have happened if sixty percent had been infected.

      • matthu
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        “It appears from generalised antibody testing that only about six percent of the UK population have had the virus”

        And this is the big flaw in all the calculations.

        What proportion of people have contracted Covid-19 and never developed antibodies because they have fought off the infecion with T-cells alone? Possibly as many as 80% of people who have contracted the virus have never developed antibodies. Increasingly, evidence on the importance of T cells is emerging. It’s significant. This isn’t just one rogue study, it’s being increasingly documented.

        These people are not being measured (or counted). And if we take this into account, then we are much nearer to herd immunity than SAGE would like us to believe.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          “Could be” is not good enough to risk hundreds of thousands of lives.

          • matthu
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            There was no “Could be” in my post.

          • NickC
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            Martin, T-cell immunity is well known (except by you of course).

          • Lynn Atkinson
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            ‘Could be’ was good enough to stop all treatment apart from CV19 and thereby definitely cause ‘hundreds of thousands of premature deaths’.

        • Martin C
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          There are other forms of immunity that cannot be counted by antibody tests for Covid 19.

          For instance, I understand that certain people have mucus membranes that the virus cannot penetrate, so they will not become ill and yet contribute to herd immunity.

          Some peoples’ immune system can innately take care of it, again, with no antibodies for the test to identify.

          T and T & B-cells will give immunity with no antibodies to identify. (From a recent paper 6 out of 10 people with known Covid 19 had no antibodies.)

          And lastly, false negatives from antibody testing also contribute to underestimating the spread of the disease.

          While the actual degree of herd immunity is unknown, the decline in the death rate around the world (in the northern and southern hemispheres) suggests, hopefully, that we are closer to herd immunity than antibody tests alone suggests.

          • NickC
            Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Martin C, Thank you, a thoughtful and useful contribution, unlike MiC’s usual didactic pronouncements.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        It’s rare – but I agree with your post. The NHS was on the point of collapse only a few months ago. And the COVID-deniers – of whom there are too many here – need to reflect on that fact. One useful avenue of study might be to determine if there’s a link between COVID-denial and sociopathy: I think that there is.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          3,000 U.K. deaths from CV19. Not ‘Covid denial’ rational assessment of the facts.

        • NickC
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Sea Warrior, I’m not sure what you meant by saying “the NHS was on the point of collapse only a few months ago”?

          My direct sources – from three different hospitals spread over hundreds of miles (all outside London) – say that the hospitals got nowhere near being overwhelmed, still less “collapsing”.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        what is it like to have such an outgoing, cheerful disposition? Just asking.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The second wave will be interesting. Has Covid claimed Britain’s low hanging fruit or will the healthy start to capitulate.

      The Reverend Malthus would be very interested.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        You do realise, that any immunity is quite likely to be temporary, and so if this virus becomes endemic, then it will continue to shorten many, many lives, as today’s young become the old and less robust?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          As I wrote Reverand Malthus would be interested.

          A world population getting towards 8 billion each of which seems entitled to their piece of consumerism. Maybe this is our world’s way of protecting itself.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

            Birth rates per couple are below two in most developed countries, and falling in developing ones.

            Global population will start to shrink before long.

            You could say the same thing about anything which kills people, and you’d probably be equally wrong.

        • NickC
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Martin, It is possible immunity could be temporary, not “quite likely”. Unless you know something the scientists don’t.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

            A probability of 0.1-0.5 is, IMO, “quite likely”.

            That has been put forward by virologists.

    • WAKE UP
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      the flu figures were always going to be used for a political hoax eventually

    • Mark B
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Correct. The virus will just mutate. That is why we will never find a cure for most illnesses.

  8. formula57
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    I would take a vaccine but would delay doing so to see if problems with it arose.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I would like to know more about the safety/side effects aspects of the testing. I have read somewhere that the companies developing these vaccines at speed, at governments’ requests, have been exempted from the normal public liability implications that normally accompany new drugs. The lengthy times (years not months) normally required to ensure safety by extensive testing and validation have been cast aside. If it goes wrong how is the public protected in law?

    I have also read that the several vaccines pre-purchased by the UK government each have taken a different approach to targeting, frustrating and preventing the Corona virus from making us I’ll. I would like to see and hear the chief scientific advisor and CMO describe the reasons for the selection of one solution over another. I understand that speed is of the essence. But so is safety and effectiveness.

    • oldtimer
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Ill not I’ll! Autocorrect strikes again.

  10. agricola
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    If a safe vaccination becomes available then have it in parallel with the annual flu vaccination. The key word is safe and that is a matter of trust. Incidentally is it not time that GP pracrices got back to normal but safe operation.

    • turboterrier
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Agricola. the only thing wrong with ‘trust’ is that there isn’t much of about where the government is concerned. We ‘trusted’ Boris to give us back a Conservative party and look what’s happened!

      • Jim Whitehead
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink


  11. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I would not want to be vaccinated.

    I fear the “offer” will be compulsory. Matt Hancock loves issuing his £100 fines.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Then I’ll pay the fine. Remember Thalidomide, safe as houses they said. Thousands deformed.
      I remember in the 60s when I was in the Navy. You could spend your leave at Porton Down as a guinea pig for a cold vaccine. Everyone knew they were testing for an antidote for radiation poisoning but the money was good.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Well that explains why I glow in the dark!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Interestingly it was discovered that Thalidomide is a chiral molecule and while the left-handed molecule was effective, the right-handed one was highly toxic. It seems the right handed one was not properly tested.

        It was only taken to deal with the rather trivial condition of morning sickness too. Having said that I hate being sea sick.

        • SM
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          This is one of the few times I feel like joining the sisterhood: ‘the rather trivial condition of morning sickness”…oh dear, you should try what it’s like, especially when it continues throughout pregnancy and doesn’t restrict itself to before noon, as some of us have experienced; trivial is definitely NOT the word.

          • NickC
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            SM, But more “trivial” than the bad side-effects of thalidomide, surely?

        • Fred H
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          for the expectant mums enduring endless, horrific sickness it certainly wasn’t trivial. Do find some compassion.

        • dixie
          Posted August 18, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          @LL – “Chiral”? “not properly tested”? in the 1950s?

          Are you claiming a background and qualification in degree level organic chemistry now?

          Most complex organic molecules, especially pharmaceuticals are chiral and it was the Thalidomide tragedy that highlighted the importance of understanding the stereochemistry of pharmaceuticals. Until then they did not fully realise the importance of stereochemical purity much less have standard test protocols to assess the products for that aspect in the 1950s.

          Why am I not surprised you mouth off about subjects you know so little about.

  12. Richard1
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    750k dead vs probably 100m from the Spanish flu which took place when the population was about 1/3 what it is now. When this all started we got confident predictions of millions of deaths. There would be 5m in the US said the left as mr Trump is so horrid. There have been 150k there, about the same death rate as most european countries.

    Treatments for those affected are also now improving with mortality rates in ICUs from covid halved. We should not go on being driven by ultra cautious public health officials whose understandable only priority is Covid deaths. It’s clear the U.K. and England specifically have exaggerated the number of deaths and that there has been huge collateral damage from lockdown, including to health. Back to normal ASAP, albeit with masks, hand sanitising etc. And get rid of fatuous policies like quarantine for holidaymakers.

    • NickC
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Richard1, Spot on, that sums up my views too.

  13. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Hancock bullseye – at last. Axes Public Health England. Well done!

    • Nigl
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Hopefully a precursor to the NHS being shaken to its bones.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      What of public health Wales, Scotland & NI ?

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        do they them?

        • Fred H
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          oops – highlight dropped:

          do they have (PHx) them?

    • BOF
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      A reshuffle of the pack, I fear Lynn, by the experts at deception, the Conservative party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink


      except that when government axes something they usually mean just “change the name of”. The same people and agenda with a new name.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        But they have acknowledged that ‘the pandemic was badly handled’. The Point conceded, the discussion now is – who is to blame?
        I vote for Boris!

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Do you think this will make the slightest difference? A new sign will be put above the doors but the same people will be employed. They will get new job titles but will operate in the same incompetent way.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Public Health England is dead.

      A new Quango/Phoenix has risen from the ashes.

      The new Quango will no doubt employ large numbers from Public Health England because of their expertise.

      The Quangrocracy will never end.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        How did governments cope before 1988 and the massive growth of Quangos

        I mean 2 world wars and an empire…how did they cope

  14. Andy
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    You mean we are a long way off the herd immunity Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson aimed for. And we have, what, 60,000 dead here so far?

    How could two such amazing creatures of virtue have got it so wrong?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Well, it would only take about half a million to a million fatalities to achieve that, it appears, Andy.

      The only problem that some people would have with that is in managing its reportage and consequent effects on public opinion and the polls, it appears though.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        No I think London is fairly close to herd immunity already looking at the figures. We need nothing like half a million deaths. More like 1 in 1000 based on London figures so about 100,000 tops. We have had about 70,000 deaths already.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

          It’s possible, yes, but there’s no firm evidence to that effect.

          People’s behaviour has changed remarkably, and London is a young city, peopled by generally switched-on types.

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Martin have you been to London during the Covid period. Young people switched on types!! LOL
            It is the young people who are breaching the rules and have been throughout, partying all night long together without masks, going on public transport without masks, on Sunday I stood right next to a TFL worker in a mask and gloves I expected her any minute to instruct the young men laughing and joking together in my proximity to put on their masks but oh no, she ignored this. She got on the train and still didn’t say anything even though they also breached the seating instructions and sat right next to other adults trying to protect themselves with masks on without a care continuing their loud conversations spittle flying.

            Don’t make me laugh!

      • NickC
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It is already known that the extent of immunity is greater than the anti-body tests indicate; thus there are more than 6%. And since the more vulnerable die first, the less vulnerable will not die in such numbers, by definition. So, on both counts, your 10x multiplier is wrong.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          Well, even if the factor were only two, are you content to face another seventy thousand dead?

          And my point is, that as today’s young age, they become tomorrow’s vulnerable.

          If humanity can do it, then it needs rid of this scourge, as has been done with others.

    • Nigl
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Valueless as usual. I suspect only the mirror listens.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        and it nods approval.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      At least 1/2 of those will be due to the lockdown you so loudly advocated.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink


        • Richard1
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Check out interviews with the distinguished medical prof Karol Sikora, and others.

        • APL
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff; “Evidence?”

          Firstly, the ‘lockdown’ was never put forward as a means to ‘save victims of COVID-19’, it was to save the NHS.

          ‘Flattening the curve’ was an euphemism to describe the process of reducing the maximum number of dying at a given point, but spread the duration of the deaths over a longer period of time.

          In short, ‘flattening the curve’ does not change the area under the curve ( the total mortality ) it does extend the period over which the deaths occur.

          1. Lockdown didn’t stop anyone from dying of COVID-19, and was never intended to stop people from dying of COVID-19.

          2. Additional people will have died as a result of the destruction of their life’s work ( their businesses ), the failure of the NHS to treat routine patients and the increasing suicide rate a result of social isolation and unnecessary financial stress.

          Andy: “How could two such amazing creatures of virtue have got it so wrong?”

          Because they took advice from avowed Communists*, I’d have thought you’d approve.

          Susan Michie, sits on the governments SAGE panel and is a paid up member of the British communist party.

        • NickC
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          Martin, The last time I looked at the ONS analysis there were 12,900 “excess” deaths not due to covid19 (and that’s before the figures were revised). So that’s some of the evidence.

    • formula57
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Being amazingly virtuous alas is no protection against listening to experts who were as assured as they were wrong.

    • MickN
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      60,000 dead? Do you just make all this rubbish up as you go along?

      • Andy
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        The ‘official’ death toll from Covid in the UK is around 41,500. And it’s still rising.

        But when you factor excess deaths – as the ONS has done – the figure surpasses 60,000.

        I appreciate your Tory government wants to downgrade the death toll – perhaps it used the same algorithm as it did to downgrade the A level results of students from state schools – but the fact is that more than 60,000 are dead because your government got it wrong.

        In February it was too busy dealing with your Brexit, fixing Boris Johnson’s ‘colourful’ personal life and saving Priti Patel’s career than it was in preparing for the pandemic.

        It’s not my fault that governing is hard and that guffawing in Latin is not a qualification to lead. You voted for him and 60,000 people are now dead. Cause and effect.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          ONS stat – 3,000 death FROM CV19. Lots of people died of other causes with CV19 but that may well not have killed them if they had not had their killer disease, just as it has not killed millions who have ‘had’ it.

          • APL
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

            Lynn Atkinson: “Lots of people died of other causes with CV19 ”

            Yes, and the BBC ( our domestic terror organization ) was at pains to highlight every highprofile case.

            “His family confirmed the news “with great sadness” on Facebook, saying he had been suffering with heart failure and contracted the virus in hospital.”

            Now I’m sorry for Eddie, but 1. he was 78, and 2. this was his second heart.

            But the BBC headlines the article: Eddie Large dies with COVID-19.

            NB: “he contracted the virus in hospital

        • NickC
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Andy, You were told here that your ever shriller demands for ever harsher lockdowns would have consequences. You were warned there would be extra non-covid19 related deaths; you were advised (even by the government) that schools should re-open after Easter; and you were told that the economy would tank. But you’re so incoherent with rage that you can’t think beyond the immediate problem to consequences obvious to the rest of us.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Based on excess deaths but clearly many of these people had many other factors involved in the death not just Covid but that caused the bulge.

    • Glenn Vaugahan
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink


      Your postings on this website not only fail to make any contribution to knowledge, they don’t even reach the level of ignorance.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        but can be so very funny. Unlike some of his mates’ which are beyond gloomy – – read by the general public Samaritans would be overwhelmed.

    • Christine
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Excess deaths this year against the 5-year average stands at 52,927 based on the ONS figures. Deaths have been below the average for the last 7 weeks. So it looks like COVID has accelerated the deaths of some people by a couple of months. Every country has experienced the same curve in COVID deaths no matter what measures they put in place. Evidence is emerging that some people have T-cell immunity and natural immunity. Many older people were immune to the Spanish flu because they had contracted a similar, less deadly, strain at the end of the 19th century. Maybe the same is true about COVID-19 and many of us are already immune.

      • NickC
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Christine, Well said. And we do not actually know that we would have had no extra deaths (cf the 5-year avg) if there had been no covid19 pandemic.

        • Christine
          Posted August 18, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          The average death rate must increase year on year because of the massive increase in the size of our population. Life expectancy is no longer increasing. The baby boomers are now reaching their end of life. So expect total deaths to increase in future.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      3,000 dead so far, from Covid.

  15. davews
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Firstly we are now just being told case numbers, as in positive test results, rather than how many are ill with the virus. The PCR test used is being questioned for its accuracy in particular its false positive rate when doing 200,000+ tests per day. If the evidence is that now most cases are asymptomatic why are we persisting the myth that it is like black plague.
    The evidence that cheap non-medical masks do anything whatsoever to reduce the spread remains weak. But we now have a nation diligently wearing them like scared zombies because they are told they are the ultimate protection. Masks must go, today or if not sooner, if we are to convince the masses that it is safe to go out. We all hate the things (but thankfully there are exemptions).

  16. Nigl
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Also good news if true about the demise of PHE changing to the German model. Given the normal glacial pace of change, impressive. Two pleas, we get someone truly dynamic to head it up not political and quota driven and the present incumbents are not given anything where they can do more damage nor a sinecure. A shake out of its management must be a priority just changing the structure will merely continue the fiascos.

    Where are with a quick test. I want them at airports, venues etc so I can assume a resemblance of normality. Vaccination, yes as often as needed.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      If PHE is to be re-organised then there had better be a thorough piece of supporting ‘staff-work’, that analyses PHE’s failures, looks at options and conceptualises a replacement body. Or is the decision, which will have resource implications, something cobbled-together by a PM, a Spad and someone monitoring news headlines? Johnson has failed to give us sound government, every day since he came into office. It’s time he started!

      • Caterpillar
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Sea Warrior,

        I agree this needs to be a thorough piece of work, at the moment it could be interpreted as scapegoating to allow Mr Hancock to protect himself.

        At the moment I wouldn’t expect any change brought about by Mr Johnson’s Govt to be serious. I first need a clear signal of the sacking of Mr Hancock and Mr Sunak, amongst others, (and to never return to Govt), before I would give any benefit of the doubt.

        • Sea Warrior
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          I’d agree that Hancock needs reshuffling. And Sunak is vastly overrated – being fulling onboard with Johnson’s profligacy. The OneWeb shambles wouldn’t have happened if the Treasury was doing its job properly. One other thing: with Parliament on holiday, the government really should be doing more of those 1700 press conferences.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      There will be no change to the German model unless the senior management is formed from distinguished scientists not undistinguished Arts graduates who are guaranteed to screw up everything they are ever put in charge of, but according to the report in the T, that is precisely what is going to happen.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      As they say the end result will be like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Will Mr Hancock really disband PHE or will we end up with the same old people… Just with different job titles…

  17. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Scientists did and do use the term Herd Immunity, to refer to the state that is reached when sufficient numbers have been immunised by vaccination to make the Reproduction Rate for the relevant virus less than unity within the population, and so any outbreak would dwindle away.

    However, it was certain politicians, who took the term and who claimed that this happy state could also be achieved by letting the infection spread through the population, with control only limited to making sure that mortuaries and crematoriums could cope with disposal of the victims.

    I am not aware of scientists using it in this sense.

    Reply The scientists did originate the whole idea of herd immunity.

    • Nigl
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed. I saw it taken up as an excuse to not continue with test and trace thus saving themselves from their own inefficiency.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      Thank you John.

      Yes, scientists did, in order to use it as a shorthand in relation to mass vaccination programmes, to indicate their success.

      My understanding is that it was for no other purpose.

      What politicians have used it for instead is as a euphemism for Survivor Immunity.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        And it turns out that the vast majority of people survive and those that are at risk can now be treated or shielded.

        Instead we’ve wrecked our own economies and thrown many workers in developing countries on the scrap heap.

        Yet again we are about to witness Leftists killing millions.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          +1. Human rights abuse? A trial to test that would be interesting.

      • forthurst
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        The term ‘herd immunity’ originated in the context of measles epidemics in the 1930s when it was observed to occur with reduced infection rates after a proportion of a population had recovered from the virus; this was well before a vaccine against measles had been developed.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Sir Patrick Vallance used the term on I think 16 March. I do not think the govt have handled the Wuhan virus crisis well. The minutes of SAGE however, clearly show that they have followed the advice of scientific officials pretty much to the letter.

      In any case the concept may turn out to be valid. It has been achieved reportedly in the Stockholm region in Sweden.

      • Andy
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        They’d reportedly reached that in Stockholm in April. But they hadn’t. And again in May. And they hadn’t again.

        Sage told ministers to lockdown in the middle of March. Johnson waited a week.

        That delay is estimated to have cost more than 20,000 lives. Will you send condolences?

        • Richard1
          Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          A nonsense conclusion. The peak came before the effect of lockdown could be felt. It was social distancing etc not lockdown which had an effect. There is no evidence lockdown has worked anywhere. Sage’s advice will be criticised when reports are written.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            You confuse evidence with utterly incontrovertible proof.

            There is plenty of the first, that lockdowns are effective, from China to Italy and from Taiwan to New Zealand.

            However, that does not remove all possible doubt, and nothing ever could.

            That is absolutely not proof that the opposite is true, but you don’t seem to do logic.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 18, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

          Actually Andy when Parliament closed I think there was a case for London based MPs (who were working in one of the most infected workplaces in the Country) staying in their second homes for a fortnight in quarantine before returning to North West bases and those in far flung constituencies and taking the virus with them, we had one seriously NW MP hospitalised and Rayner took to her bed for a week on her return home infecting goodness knows how many on her return journey.

          Those fleet of foot got out of London they were pre-warned the Wednesday before schools and restaurants and theatres were closed at midnight on Friday 20th March by Sturgeon. This virus had its run around the Country if you recall it was London and the SE highly infected at the time the rest of Country much lower infection figures.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        That is survivor immunity.

        • NickC
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Martin, The term “herd immunity” is applied when enough individual members of a herd are immune, thereby making it highly unlikely that the disease can be spread to those in the herd who are not immune. It is the benefit to those without immunity which is the crucial point.

          “Herd immunity” is equally applicable whether the much less than 100% immunity within the herd is based on a vaccine, or recovery from the disease, or a mix.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 18, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            But you won’t get what you call herd immunity until a large proportion, say 80% of the people – including those who will be killed by it – have been infected.

            Without more, four-out-of five of the vulnerable would pay with their lives for such an egregious policy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Indeed probably is valid unless we get an early vaccine. The lockdown delaying the infections (albeit rather too late) was justified to prevent NHS overload and has saved lives (as rather more are now surviving now than did earlier).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Both scientists and doubtless some politicians too have used it in that way and indeed that is quite correct (in both the senses you list).

      What is surely clear (given the decline in death rates per infection) is that the delay in the spread of the infection (that lockdown has certainly helped to achieve) will certainly have saved some lives. Had we locked down earlier and not insanely dumped the infection into care homes we could have saved many thousands more.

      But it is surely now time to get back to work.

      • Ed M
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:18 am | Permalink

        Well said. We need to focus on the economy as absolute priority. Whilst being ruthless getting people to be as safe as possible – with advertising / marketing reminders and £50 / £ 100 fines.

        We simply can’t afford the economy to slip more and more.

    • hefner
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: what a dishonest statement. The concept of herd immunity has been introduced by epidemiologists in the 1930s. So it is not surprising that when any new disease appears concerned people including scientists could look at what rate of infection given a population size and speed of propagation could give a so-called ‘herd immunity’. I would think twisting such a fact for what is clearly an attempt at shutting up a contributor is rather morally low.
      But what can one expect of politicians?

      • NickC
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, Maybe you misread JR’s reply? I understood JR to mean that the term “herd immunity” was originated by scientists (as indeed it was). He was, I think, trying to educate Martin who has persistently either said “there’s no such thing as herd immunity”, or has attempted to re-define the term.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


      I think the point was (and remains) that disease-induced herd immunity acts like a targeted vaccination, acting on those who have more contacts / are more likely to spread, so requiring a lower total number to be infected to prevent a second wave. Thus the argument to allow disease to spread whilst protecting the vulnerable (in no way do I disagree the U.K. failed to protect care homes, and as I have written several times I await to see data on in hospital transmission). The epidemiological models now receiving more public attention indicate that hard lockdowns have a greater chance of a second wave, whilst moderate lockdowns/behavioural changes do not. There may well be areas of the U.K. that were locked down too hard and too early.

  18. davews
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    re vaccines. I am not fundamentally against vaccines and do have the annual flu jab. But I do not wish to have one that has been rushed through development far too fast and with the side effects unknown for something I am fairly unlikely to catch. Making them ‘mandatory’ fills me with horror and must not be allowed to happen.

    • matthu
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Thank you.

      I also have the annual flu jab but I cannot exclude the idea that mandatory face masks and knee jerk, ludicrous quarantines are being used more for political rather than public health purposes.

      It is about time the government came out and admitted that our fears might have been over-sensationalized, that scientists might have been wrong after all.

      • Philip P.
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely right – no thank you to a rush-job vaccine that you and I would be a guinea-pig for.

        Johnson could probably still just about get away with admitting he took the wrong direction. But not for much longer.

        A U-turn can be more costly and more embarassing, the longer you put it off.

      • Philip P.
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely right – no thank you to a rush-job vaccine that you and I would be guinea-pigs for.

        Johnson could probably still just about get away with admitting he took the wrong direction with all this. But not for much longer.

        A U-turn can be more costly and more embarrassing, the longer you put it off.

    • Walt
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink


    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink


    • everyone knows
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      mandatory vaccines will prove the political class are corrupt and all must go

  19. Jim
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Rather curious use of the English language today Sir John. The sentences do not flow as nicely as usual. Then the curious and slightly discomforting ‘Blood clot busters’ and ‘Approved and mobilised’, why that particular capitalisation? Surely you have not been outsourcing Sir John.

    Personally I would accept a vaccine provided it had been well tried on my age cohort, the HoL perhaps.

    Seems to me that years back in pre-internet times governments would not have reacted so vigorously, they would have ‘let it rip’. Not because they were particularly callous but because information flows inward to government and outward to the public were much slower and dare I say more controlled.

    But today no government can get away with ‘let it rip’ despite the urgings of some of the media. An intriguing cleft stick for all governments and interesting to see how the various systems and cultures are coping or not coping. The political moves seem to be along the lines of ‘let it rip – a little bit’ mainly because the cost of controlling the spread is so high.

    Meanwhile we must wait patiently for the scientists to work steadily toward some sort of vaccine. With hindsight we might remember the old adage – ‘failing to plan == planning to fail’.

    Reply I wrote it on an iPad which puts its own capitals in randomly and sometimes does not allow me to correct it.

    • Zorro
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      The Swedes have done fine overall.


  20. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Having narrowly dodged the Thalidomide disaster many years ago, my appetite for being first in the queue for a vaccine rushed into production is precisely zero. I’ll stick with washing-up, distancing-up and masking-up – for now.
    This morning I heard, on R5, a very concerning account of post-infection life. The account was another example of how little we know about COVID-19. The NHS had better be prepared for a mass of demand for in/out-patient treatment of those suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19, even while it is trying to clear its backlog of steady-state work.
    Another concern: the throwing of half a million people into quarantine with little notice – and the effect of that decision on such things as food-delivery services. Yes, holiday-makers should have had an inkling of the risk. And yes, any sensible person will have had 2/3 weeks’ worth of food stashed away right now. But the government must work harder at improving the timeliness of its decision-making.

  21. Sakara Gold
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The Chinese plague virus is insidious in that there are large numbers of people with non-symptomatic infections, many of these appear to pass the virus on before becoming symptomatic – many do not become symptomatic at all. For currently indeterminate reasons a proportion of those infected do go on to develop symptoms; scientists and medics are very interested why. And of course a smaller number if those symptomatic go on to have real problems.

    The evidence in the UK does seem to show that there were large numbers of “superspreaders” here – this is the reason for the social distancing recommendations.

    So far there appears to be very little evidence of second infections among those who have recovered. There are one or two reports from China, however there seems to be doubt about the first infection. In the early stages many of the test kits in use gave numbers of false positives – here, some of our test kits gave a high proportion of false negatives, this greatly exacerbated the spread of the virus in our care homes and among our front-line NHS staff.

    It seems to me that what is really needed is mass testing with an accurate antibody test – which identifies those who have been infected – coupled with following up to see if this cohort catches it again. This could also confirm (or deny) the many anecdotal reports that the virus was circulating in the UK in late October and November last year and was being mis-diagnosed as seasonal flu or viral pneumonia.

    To be really effective a vaccine needs to be 90%+ at protecting those exposed. This will be determined by the many Phase III trials currently underway. One of the reasons why new drug trials take so long for approval is to establish side-effects and whether there are any long-term sequelae – if we rush into mass vaccination too soon there are obvious risks. The stock market reacts to every positive report regarding vaccines, maybe we should try it out first on the central bankers printing liquidity and those ramping the market ever higher, now inexplicably close to all time highs.

  22. Bob Dixon
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    My surgery will not test me for Covid antibodies. I believe back in February Covid caused blood pressure to 200 which set off two mini strokes.A & E could not discover any damage.
    I do suffer from acute fatigue, breathlessness and hot flushes.
    We need herd immunity.Lockdowns and quarantines are causing major damage to large parts of the economy.
    The current Cabinet is made up of MP’s who have spent the last 40 Years implementing orders from Brussels.The Civil Service likewise.
    Boris needs to appoint Cabinet Members and heads of the Civil Service who can take charge and end this madness.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      I thought that simply voting Leave was supposed to “end this madness”?

  23. Richard1
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Is it really true that Liz Truss has described the UK’s trade deficit in cheese as a “disgrace”? Can a cabinet minister have so little understanding of the basics of economics and trade to make such an absurd utterance? I suggest a teach-in for ministers by a group of sensible market economists. The objective of trade policy should be to enable U.K. consumers to buy whatever cheese they like at world market prices. Same with other goods and services. That’s what’s good about free trade. If U.K. producers can make cheese that people want to buy, great, if not let them do something else. We don’t need the government to ‘manage’ it.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      It seems the remark was made in 2014. Liz will have learnt a bit since then hopefully. But I would suggest signing a trade deal with japan and not worrying about the Japanese wanting to make Stilton a bit more expensive if that’s really important to them. What’s important is we can buy Japanese goods as cheaply as possible.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        We should only buy Japanese goods if a) we do not make them or b) they must be of similar or better quality to those made in UK and c) cheaper does not make them good enough.
        Learn the Chinese lesson for goodness sake!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

          I wish that I had bought a Japanese car, given what has happened with the one that I did buy.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


          • Zorro
            Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            What car was that?


    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I care for freedom, liberty and democracy. The issue of CV19 is quite evidently being used to reset the relationship between individual and the State in favour of the State. That is pernicious, deliberate and sinister.

    The speed with which the British State kicked into action following the CV19 outbreak suggests a degree of forethought, preparation and deliberation. It was almost as if they knew it was coming and then this freedom busting plan to limit the spread of CV19 to save us poor souls from harm was applied brutally.

    We need a vaccination from vile British politicians and their project to smash our voice as they embrace racial identity and victim politics to crush freedom of speech thereby allowing without opposition the cultural and ethnic reconstruction of the UK for party political gain

    I am epileptic. I will not accept any vaccine.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink


    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      I echo your desperate cry for what we thought was already well established in Great Britain.
      It’s a cry that seems to have very few listeners amongst the politicians.
      Where are the voices of debate in elected conservatives?
      I’ve never voted for socialism or for its diluted versions. I did not vote for Boris as I did not trust that the celebrity bluster was a cover for more serious qualities.
      Trust in any ‘quick fix’ vaccine is simply risible.
      I’m approaching 75, have only had the flu ‘shot’ once, so I’ve no idea of its efficacy.
      We are being dictated to by in unhearing government which is enacting restrictions on liberty of thought and of action far beyond anything that I’ve seen in my lifetime.
      Who’s voice can win back that trust?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink


    • Anonymous
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      On racial issues they deliberately ignore that there are two sides to every story.

      (There are several recent news stories that have been hidden by the BBC whilst non stories that suit their agenda are blown out of all proportion. )

      The Government go along with this criminalisation of the majority, make them feel guilty and worthless and thus can nullify their vote and say they are justified in breaking promises.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink


    • everyone knows
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I agree, the problem we never a virus it is the political class.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      As always +1

    • Ed M
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      A certain large % of the country will always be significantly concerned by catching the virus and passing on to family and friends and the vulnerable. A fear not helped by the media. You have to work within these restrictions however unappealing they are.

    • Original Chris
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Dominic.

  25. John E
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I’ll take a vaccine at the very first opportunity. This virus does seem to be easily controllable by vaccines. Yes there are risks with new vaccines but there are also huge risks with being over cautious. Our modern life is only possible through the work of previous vaccine discoverers.
    Amongst those who deliberately spread fear online about vaccines are our enemies. We see Russia already trying to take political advantage from their early stage vaccine work.

    Meanwhile the private sector is doing all it is allowed to carry on with business and the public sector in the U.K. has suffered a complete nervous collapse, especially in healthcare and education.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Because the Private Sector cannot survive without trade. The Public Sector is funded by the taxpayer regardless of what the market and the economy does. They therefore see no need to respond to change and the client / public needs.

      For us to get better Public Services the above must change.

      • anon
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        A bureaucracy will seek to grow, whether people want to buy it or not.

        Hence why the public sector & quango taxpayer funded types, see illegal immigrants as a way to grow
        Feasting on the misfortune of a few who make it here to serve themselves and where they cant find, try an import extra to help their cause.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      ‘ This virus does seem to be easily controllable by vaccines’ – as there is none yet how on earth do you know that?

  26. GilesB
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    PHE utterly failed. Distracted by diversity training and overseas activities.

    For the replacement, three fundamental priorities:
    1. Data. Without relevant, reliable, timely data evidence-based decisions are impossible. They have just been guessing. They need to agree definitions of health, and death, and put in place systems to collect the data.
    2. PPE and other materiel. They need adequate stockpiles, agreements in place for how additional supplies are obtained, and systems for tracking stores and for distribution. The Army logistics experts were horrified by the total incompetence in this area
    3. Testing and tracking. Obviously the testing depends on the specific disease. But the principles of test, trace and track are not. They shouldn’t be making it up as they go along.
    4. Education and Communication. Should be a clear protocol for how the situation is reported. PHE should have made clear that ‘following the science’ does not mean that SAGE makes the decisions, without any attention to economic, social and political considerations.

    Starting again from scratch is appropriate. Some institutions cannot be reformed. Like the EU. And the BBC.

    • GilesB
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I am count, the fourth point is a bonus and reinforces the other three

  27. jerry
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Our hosts second paragraph sums the problem up, for those who tout the idea of herd immunity, whilst also repeatedly claiming that Covid-19 is not a new (and deadly) virus but just common Flu – thus a natural Covid-19 herd immunity will never and can never be reached! Just what is their solution to that conundrum, it seems to basically accept an unknown number of younger people will die from or due to Covid-19, whilst placing anyone over the age of 55 (or with a known medical condition that leaves them vulnerable) under virtual house arrest.

    Would I accept a covid-19 vaccine, if it has gone through the full trials process, even if it has been condensed, yes, in the same way as most accept other vaccines. I might have more problems if the govt tries to include a Covid-19 vaccine in with others, say the annual flu vaccine.

    The bottom line, we might just have to get used to this new normal.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Get used to it ?


      I will forever mourn the life we once had.

      • jerry
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; Some, mostly on the right, really do seem to have problems when it comes to (enforced) change, their attitudes appear to be along the lines of;

        “You change if I says so, but I’m not for changing!”

  28. Mike Neumann
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    It’s possible that herd immunity is already prevalent in some communities. London could be one such case. Antibodies do not provide the complete picture to determine immunity or emasure case recoveries. T-cell immunity, genetic disposition, non serum antibodies in mucus in the throat and nasal passages all play a role. Some studies show that only one in five cases of COVID-19 infection generate the IgG antibody. Oxford University, ETH Zürich and academics from Stanford University have released papers discussing these phenomena. Stockholm could also be close.

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Look at this the other way round.

    Would you have given up your job and way of life to follow round and put money on a horse to win a race sometime between March and today at 330-1 if it winning once might be a life changer for you?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Me? I might put £1 on here or there, but not change my way of life for it.

  30. Will Jones
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    John have you taken into account the work of Professor Sunetra Gupta and others who have pointed out that herd immunity can be achieved at much lower antibody prevalence, say 10-20%, owing to widespread cross immunity from cold coronaviruses and other factors such as varying connectivity? Is this not why the virus has declined in Sweden, London, New York and so on? Herd immunity may already be close or reached in many places.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I’m sure that you’re right. The cruise ship, Diamond Princess, provided an early profile of such a development as do the places you cite. That profile template never seems to have its boundaries busted regardless of the degree of ‘control’ or lack of control.

    • Amanda
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Exactly. And I have also seen many papers now pointing out the longevity of T Cells that can recognise the virus and dampen its effects.

      Information, appears to be being used selectively. Any information that means prolonging the ‘fear measures’ of CV 19 is amplified; any information that shows the virus can be managed as part of normal life is downplayed.

      Plus, information is being used to ramp up fear – eg PHE overplaying the death statistics; the fact that cases are not infections, but can show virus fragments from recovered people.

      Meanwhile, the negative fallout from lockdown, physical health, mental health, suicides, economy, unemployment, education, social capital, law breaking, all continues to pile up. This is not a price worth paying !!!

      Sir John, please help put a stop to this nonsense now, what is the objective, what are we doing? We, the public, need sensible information on infection outbreaks by small area, we need balanced information on the latest findings abut CV 19 and treatments, we need to have guidance only concerning health measures we could take eg Vitamin D to strengthen immunity system – then we need to be left to make our own decisions, based on our own view of risk. If you want to wear a mask, wear one, but they don’t work and could be equally risky, so it should be a personal choice.

      The temporary laws on CV 19 and the enabling legislation needs to be revoked. We want our freedom back, we want democracy back. We want the schools open, we want our borders respected, we want law enforcement for crime strengthened, we want Brexit enacted. That is what a Conservative Government’s should stand for and was elected to do.

      I will make my own informed decision on vaccine – I do not want to see a mandatory vaccine for what appears to be the flu.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Before the Tory government got serious about Covid-19, the R rate was over 3. Consequently, Gupta’s hypothesis is most unlikely to be true.

      • Will Jones
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Deaths in London peaked on April 6. Clinical data suggests an average of 23 days between infection and death. That puts the London infection peak on March 14, 10 days before lockdown and at a time when mobility data suggests there was not yet much social distancing going on. How does that correspond to an R of 3? Far from growing exponentially, new infections were in decline well over a week before lockdown.

        • forthurst
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Deaths are irrelevant insofar as they reflect the shennigans in hospitals and care homes and the low hanging fruit available to the Grim Reaper. There was already a soft lockdown mid-March, so at that point normal reproduction rate ceased to apply.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          Exactly so. There is no answer to your point which means you really must be ‘cancelled’ – and we all pay the price for that idiocy.

  31. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I would oppose CV vaccinations on the basis of lack of trust.

    What I fear is going to happen – based on the dictatorial attitudes we have seen so far, is that those not agreeing to be vaccinated will be treated like lepers and denied access to services, perhaps even excluded from activities.

    A large well known company that sell windows already has a patent for a chip implant that will act as a health passport to keep track of everything an individual does, what he takes, what he doesn’t take — this could so easily be used against those sceptical of the whole CV shenanigans.

    The great fear is that governments will impose their will and force vaccinations that could potentially alter DNA and cause worse problems than CV on us, as well as a health passport chip.

    • Original Chris
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Teamed up with Mastercard, apparently. Worth a google.

  32. M Hopkins
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    No. I would not take up the offer of a vaccine. History tells us that vaccines take many years to develop and should not be rushed. They do not come without dangerous side-effects.
    It is time to stop spinning yarns and admit that this pandemic has turned out not to be what ‘the science’ predicted, and that ‘the science’ has been deeply flawed right from the outset. Not for the first time either.
    We cannot believe a word we are told. There have been no post-mortems so we do not know the accurate cause of death. The figures have been over-stated by more than 10%. The tests are inaccurate and can give up to 80% false positive results. The more tests are carried out the more ‘cases’ are found, but they tell us nothing. 80% of those who test positive are symptom-free and 95% experience at most moderate symptoms. We have successful preventatives and treatments. The current number of ‘cases’ and deaths as a % of the population is negligible. The evidence is showing us that lockdown and anti-social distancing does nothing to stop the spread of the virus, in fact it makes matters worse. We cannot defeat nature so let us learn to live with it.
    Time to move on from this now and return to normal before any more damage is done.
    Too many are suffering greatly from this evil manipulation of the truth.

    • Jacqui
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Very true, the average vaccine takes more than 10yrs to develop and has a 94% failure rate.
      There have been some disastrous side effects caused by vaccines such as the H1N1 Pandemrix vaccine that caused brain damage in some recipients. This vaccine was also rushed through on the prediction that it would kill many thousands but actually only killed a few hundred. We should be very concerned when Mr Johnson talks about mandatory vaccination for school children and it is intimated that life can only return to normal when everyone on the planet has had the vaccine, while at the same time the company supplying it demands indemnity from lawsuits if damaging side effects manifest.
      All this for a virus that has a survival rate of over 99%, makes you think doesn’t it when we’re warned that 1 in 2 of us will develop Cancer and Heart Disease kills hundreds of thousands every year and yet no such draconian measures are taken against those diseases, in the name of “for our own safety”.
      We interfere with nature, then have to develop solutions to deal with the effects of our interference. Once the vaccine is in your blood it cannot be removed so safety is paramount and if we scrutinise the governments response to this pandemic from the incorrect statistical data gathering, placing hospital patients in care homes and the ongoing closures of the NHS departments.. I think I’ll take my chances with my immune system.
      Stop this now it is making people anxious and their lives miserable, it is not right or fair.

    • Zorro
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Clear and true


  33. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I have seen a video of the testing of the Chinese vaccine in Abu Dhabi where hundreds of volunteers arrive ready for the injection. They are (deliberately) from all sorts os backgrounds and races). The Arabs are very excited…

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Very excited but not participating.

  34. formula57
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    For the time being, rather than opting for a vaccine I should prefer to rely upon receiving the drug “cocktail” (if the NHS will provide it!) referred to in a 12th. August open letter from physicians George C. Fareed, Michael M. Jacobs and Donald C. Pompan offering serious and persuasive challenge to the well-known Dr. Fauci’s views.

    They note that (in the USA) the current standard of care now is to send clinically stable symptomatic patients home, “with a wait and see” approach (!).

    Their preference, supported by ample evidence (multiple scholarly contributions to the literature), is to see early (critically in the first 5-7 days) ministration of the “cocktail” of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin (or doxycycline). The NHS ought to be made to provide this or show convincingly (if it can) why it should not.

    • M Davis
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

  35. Norman
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    ‘No’ to vaccines that –
    (1) Use cell lines from aborted human foetuses;
    (2) Contain genetic labelling;
    (3) Involve digital identification markers.
    Yes (possibly) if legally binding assurances given on all the above.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


    • M Davis
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink


    • Original Chris
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      I agree, Norman. I am not anti vaccination per se but there are indeed questions to be raised You have maybe seen Dr Judy Mikovits’s work exposing the apparently grave problems associated with the AIDS vaccine and Dr Fauci.

  36. Iain Gill
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    the NHS is letting significant numbers of people die from easily treatable conditions, patients that would have had many decades of happy lives ahead of them in any other developed country. so Covid is but a small part of the picture.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      correct. The daily average death rate for the year will probably be lower than the 5 year average so we’ve trashed the economy for nothing.

  37. Lifelogic
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The age profile perhaps a bit younger too.

  38. Newmania
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The best guess is a fatality rate of about 1% with a level of resistance present in about 60% of the “herd” for it to be immune. About 700,000 dead predominately among the old . That anyone could countenance that “cost” is hard to comprehend and yet this thinking clearly influenced the decision to delay lock down and has crept back into the light recently , usually with much talk of ” Sweden” . Toby Young and Daniel Hannan have both opined thusly in the last week
    The political facts driving this inhumanity are the same that persuaded John Redwood to abandon lifelong fiscal conservatism for wild gambling . Someone has to pay for Brexit next year .
    I need hardly say with what I think of these people . Sweden , like organic farming, can only work when everyone else ignores the cranks and eliminates the virus by the only scientifically supported means .Stay safe , make the best of it , and ignore politicians entirely

  39. Nivek
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The U.S. presidential election happens to be taking place in 2020, giving Americans the chance to pass judgment on the candidates’ respective positions with regard to the virus. England, meanwhile, will have had practically a full parliamentary term of Mr. Johnson’s “pandemic government”, even though the Conservative Party received its mandate before this extraordinary turn of events. I had hoped that, as a point of honour, Mr. Johnson would self-impose a term limit on his personal exercise of the power he has wielded this year, but that does not look like happening.

  40. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    My view of what we should do hasn’t changed since March – carry on with your life maintaining good hygiene. The way to tackle the virus is to go on the attack, not run away from it.
    Unfortunately there are still too many people who don’t bother to wash their hands and cough over everyone like they don’t care. For this reason it was a good idea to shut down mass gatherings, especially rock concerts, but this should have included passenger airports and public transport.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      But do you get a robust immune system like that?
      Eat a peck of dirt and all that.
      We will be poor, blanched creatures with pale, staring eyes and wasted limbs.
      And any one of the many, many novel Covid viruses they are constantly discovering will finish us off in a feeble heartbeat.
      Boris Build Back Better will have to do it on his own!

  41. Chris Dark
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I agree with those who have inferred above that a rushed vaccine is to be treated with considerable scepticism. I would certainly refuse such a rushed job; in other circumstances I am in favour of properly-prepared and trialled vaccines for genuinely vicious diseases…CV19 isn’t one of them. Let those who trumpet its effectiveness take the first shots, while the more sensible sit back and track the results. The whole thing is geared for mega-profits for the pharma companies and a certain well-known former software company owner. The wheels would come off this bus faster if only the sheeplike public could be roused from their mask-coma.

  42. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The problem with all of this is the lack of a large regular random general testing programme, in order to get a handle on how many in the population are really infected.

    In Wokingham we have an official recorded 631 people who have tested positive, and a recorded death rate of 151 from Corona Virus.

    That is nearly a 25% death rate.

    But because we have only tested those who have had known symptoms, the figures are somewhat screwed, because it is almost obvious and certain they have the virus, thus a test result is almost meaningless to use for statistics at that stage.

    If we had tested 100,000 people at random in Wokingham (or indeed anywhere else) we would really know truly how much the virus had spread, and have a much more accurate figure to work on with regards to the risk of cases and death rates.

    Aware the Government did some random sample tests (think it was 25,000) to get some sort of an idea of general infection rates, but from my information it was always the same people each time, (who perhaps behaved differently knowing they were being monitored) and little publicity was given to the results.

    Would I take a vaccine ?

    A cautious Yes, but only if manufactured in the UK or Europe, I certainly would not trust China or Russia.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Alan – can you be sure that 651 have been accurately tested, and that 151 got the virus separately – not in a care home with elderly together, or infected in a ward?
      Statistics presented might lead us to determine many outcomes.

  43. g wood
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I am very surprised that nobody has as yet referred to the known medical success
    of treating Covid 19 with hydroxychlorquine together with prescribed dosage of zinc which together have proved to be effective treatment.
    It is a relatively cheap antidote, already widely used and strongly recommended by many medical professionals including doctors comprising the Americas Frontline Doctors among others.
    The main criteria is that CXQ with zinc must be administered in the early stages of virus symptoms. For example:
    Zinc/HCQ/AZ: US physicians reported an 84% decrease in hospitalization rates, a 50% decrease in mortality rates among already hospitalized patients (if treated early), and an improvement in the condition of patients within 8 to 12 hours. Italian doctors reported a decrease in deaths of 66%.
    Why wait for a vaccine when a well tried antidote based on current clinical experience is available?

    Reply This treatment is not approved or proven to NHS satisfaction. This site does not offer medical advice.I have asked for all these treatments to be properly tested by the NHS and reported on.

    • Peter
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      “Reply This treatment is not approved or proven to NHS satisfaction. This site does not offer medical advice.I have asked for all these treatments to be properly tested by the NHS and reported on.”

      Yet the government has just bought 90 million doses of various unproven covid vaccines.

      At least g wood’s suggestion is cheap.

      Are we waiting for an American IT billionaire to market the definitive covid vaccine ?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Black tulips won’t come into it!

    • Christine
      Posted August 18, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Bill Gates has said HCQ has severe side effects. This drug has been in use for over 70 years with no reported severe side effects. How come an IT expert has suddenly become a medical expert? No wonder people are concerned about a vaccine he is associated with.

  44. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    As I understand it you can only get herd immunity when about 80% plus of the population have antibodies.

    Given we do not have a clue how many have had the virus, because we have not completed any large scale random testing, we will never know until we do.

    The above of course assumes you are immune if you have had the virus, and to the best of my limited knowledge that has not been proven to be the case so far.

    • matthu
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Not strictly true.

      Herd immunity occurs when the spread of the virus from person to person is unlikely because a high enough proportion of the community are unlikely to become infected and pass it on.

      You don’t need to develop antibodies for this to happen, since a significant proportion of the population already combat the virus without developing antibodies. And children, in particular, are already acknowledged to be extremely unlikely to pass the virus on others.

  45. turboterrier
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    So many of us feel the virus has weakened to an extent that we feel pretty safe doing normal things again. As for the vaccine? I’m not sure if I would have it or not or at least not until it has been proved safe and I can see that for myself rather than be told it’s safe by some quango. PHE to go but to be replaced with what? I wonder if it will be an excuse for the government to change the rules now that they have come to realise most measures are not necessary anymore.

  46. David Roberts
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Immediate use of low doses of hydroxychloroquine, zinc and azithromycin appear to prevent death. The misinformation about, and censoring of, this harmless treatment would be laughable were it not for the many lives that have and will be lost because of the treatments suppression.

  47. Keith
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    No way, no how, no chance of me taking the fake vaccine for the fake virus.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink


    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink


  48. LH
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    No vaccination for me thank you

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink


    • Polly
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Moi non plus !


  49. Christine
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    It was good to see the article “Why won’t these medical journals tell the truth about hydroxychloroquine?” by Edmund Fordham Published on Conservative Woman this week. It poses some serious questions about our institutions. These allegations need investigating and prosecutions made against the perpetrators. The truth about these cheap, readily available drugs which can help treat COVID-19 is being supressed by global powers. Those who try and get the message out are having their YouTube videos removed. Doctors who speak out are being sacked. What is going on?

    • Original Chris
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Quite right, Christine, they should be prosecuted. The decision to block HCQ was a political decision, and not one based on sound medical evidence and experience.

      The PTB apparently wanted us locked down and in fear/uncertainty until a vaccine (which potentially has all sorts of AI implications) is found. Huge profits for said companies, a tightly controlled and monitored population for governments, and hugely disrupted economies, enough to destroy P Trump and restore power to the globalist deep state.The last point was, I believe, the key goal.

      I don’t believe they will succeed bringing down P Trump, but the UK is a different matter. Our goverment seems to be in the hands of the globalists who effectively support Marxist doctrine.

      Sir John, I wonder if you have any idea of the anger amongst the population with Johnson at his non Conservative government and with the disastrous handling of Covid. We feel utterly betrayed, and vehemently reject the cementing of power and control over us by a government apparently of the Left.

  50. Pat
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    If someone who has had the disease doesn’t develop at least resistance, then neither will someone receiving a vaccine. All a vaccine does is stimulate the.immune system without causing symptoms, if the immune system can’t be stimulated to resist this disease then it can’t.
    As to herd immunity, we reached that before the death rate started to decline back in April. All we need do is wait for it to go away. Not completely of course, it is now endemic.worldwide. Just enough so it takes less lives than, say, summer flu- currently taking five times as many lives as Covid . Or maybe less than ordinarily die in falls, which is where we are. Or perhaps we wait until the all cause death rate is below the five year average, as it has been for seven weeks.
    I think we are actually waiting for drug and vaccine companies to be paid off, and for SAGE to get bored of the limelight.

  51. Polly
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I think it’s evident from the data that population immunity has pretty well been reached in the US and in the UK. This explains why hospitalizations are stable or reducing and there has been no increase in the death rate. More cases being identified as a result of more testing are irrelevant, they existed anyway and include individuals with immunity conferred by infection.

    This hypothesis is supported by new research here…………

    ”These findings have profound consequences for the governance of the current pandemic given that some populations may be close to achieving herd immunity despite being under more or less strict social distancing measures”.

    This has already been covered in the UK media………….

    It’s important to note the difference between population immunity conferred by natural infection and population immunity conferred by vaccination due to susceptibility. Consequently a population only requires approx 20% natural infection for immunity whereas the same immunity requires 60%-70% by vaccination. The difference is due to existing immunity as many naturally immune individuals cannot be infected and receive an unnecessary, for them, vaccination.

    ”The study led by Dr Gabriela Gomes, a mathematician at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Strathclyde, said: ‘In idealized scenarios of vaccines delivered at random and individuals mixing at random, herd immunity thresholds are given by a simple formula which, in the case of SARS-CoV-2, suggests that 60-70 per cent of the population would need be immunized to halt spread considering estimates of R0 between 2.5 and 3.

    ‘A crucial caveat in exporting these calculations to immunization by natural infection is that natural infection does not occur at random.

    ‘Individuals who are more susceptible or more exposed are more prone to be infected and become immune, which lowers the threshold.”


  52. RichardP
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    No fast-tracked vaccination for me thank you.
    I will stick with Vitamin D.

    • steve
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink


      “I will stick with Vitamin D.”

      I’ll stick with common sense and good standard of personal hygiene. You don’t need a Boris face nappy or dodgy vaccine for that.

  53. James Bertram
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Sir John – I pretty much disagree with everything you say today. I’ll try and tackle one point. You write:
    ‘According to global figures 0.3% of the world population or some 20 million people have now had CV 19. Of these sadly 750,000 have died, a death rate of 4% of known cases. Given the shortage of tests in large countries like India and Mexico these figures may be an underestimate. In some other countries using the formula on death certificates of death with rather than death caused by CV19 there may be some compensatory overcounting.
    The numbers do imply however that we are a long way off having the herd immunity some scientists talked about in the early days of the pandemic….’

    You have used Cases and Deaths from Worldometer to give you an alarmist 4% death rate. However, shortage of tests in India and Mexico do not give an underestimate of the death rate – they give a huge overestimate of death rate. [Deaths may be accurate as bodies are easy to count. ‘Cases’ I suspect only count those who have reported to a hospital (I’m not sure of Worldometer’s precise definition). Clearly, in countries with fairly non-existent health services, they will not be reporting to a hospital until seriously ill and near death, and they will not be testing the wider population as we do in wealthier countries. So, if ‘cases’ are 100 times greater in the wider population than stated, but deaths are accurately stated (as dead bodies are easy to count), then your death rate is 100 times less.

    Regards ‘ In some other countries using the formula on death certificates of death with rather than death caused by CV19 there may be some compensatory overcounting.’
    ‘some’ I suspect is a huge understatement – I would not be surprised if it has been 10 times overstated the number of deaths by using the method of dying ‘with’ rather than ‘of’ Covid. Clearly governments have been bumping up their death figures as much as possible so as to justify their insane interventions.

    I hope you can see from the above that your initial premise for a 4% Death Rate has such wide variables, that it is not possible to derive any working conclusion or policy from these Worldometer figures you quote, which are just too basic. Back to the drawing-board on that one.

    Note too: Will Jones, as ever, makes the point that herd immunity may be achievable at just 10-20% of population being infected due to existing immunities from similar infections.

    Reply I do not believe any of these figures as I made clear. Yes there may well have been many more cases of the disease, but there may also be many deaths in large countries with low tests rates from Cv 19 not recorded as such. I have always argued the U.K. figures overstate the number of deaths. I disagree strongly with your view that we have fairly accurate deAth figures.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps some misunderstanding?

      You wrote; ‘The numbers do imply however that we are a long way off having the herd immunity.’ If you ‘do not believe any of these figures’ then, and as I tried to show, as the variables are too wide to use for a 4% death rate from the virus, they are also too wide to ‘imply’ anything.

      Also I said it is easy to count bodies, and that is easier to count than ‘cases’, but I also suggested what those bodies died of is a different matter – so I am not by any means saying we have ‘fairly accurate death figures for Covid’. My view is that the Covid deaths have been grossly overstated in the West. I think your view is that the Covid deaths have been overstated in the UK, but have been vastly understated in Third World countries. I think what we both can agree is that global death figures attributed to Covid-19 are highly unreliable to be used as a bald fact without much further digging into the figures.

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 18, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        A further thought: If your view is that Covid deaths have been vastly understated in Third World countries then I think it would be necessary to first demonstrate that there had been an excess of overall deaths from all causes above the five year average in those countries. As they say: ‘the bodies would be piling up in the streets’ if so.

        But if overall deaths have been as per normal/average, then it is probably fair to say that they have died from what they normally are attributed of dying from, and there has been no vast increase in deaths from Covid in these countries.

        That leaves ‘cases of Covid’ vastly understated (as only hospitalised cases get reported), and I suspect ‘deaths from Covid’ heavily overstated in the West, bringing both your ‘4% death rate’ and ‘implications for herd immunity’ drastically below what you are stating/implying in your article.

  54. Everhopeful
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    You certainly will not catch* me “taking” the vaccine.
    Thalidomide….remember that “safe“ drug? And all the others?
    Movement of people causes pandemics…and we’ve had a lot of that haven’t we ? Grace à governments.
    Vaccinations ( and they have a very long history of do they work, don’t they? Do they kill?) take a LONG time to develop if they are to be in any way safe.

    *I use the word catch advisedly since I have no doubt it will come to that. Big nets…Marxists catching anti-vaxxers. Vaccinate or starve!

  55. David Roberts
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    John I have just read g wood’s comment above and your reply. The logic of the proposed HCQ treatment is: that it has been proved over 65 years to be harmless. So if it does not work, no harm is done, but if it does work, lives will be saved. I am bemused that this treatment advised by many doctors worldwide is so derided and ignored by our institutions. Other non proven treatments, for example acupuncture, are accepted by the NHS. Why not this one?

    Reply All I can do, as I have,is ask for proper evaluation by qualified people of these treatments

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      As far as I can see it is used routinely for rheumatoid arthritis.
      So like the other remedies the NHS won’t use they are fully conversant with the drug.
      But there again, I suppose the risk of the drug and subsequent legal action must be weighed against the severity of the complaint. They might administer it for Black Death, say?

    • anon
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      If all they say is the world is the centre of the universe what then?

      Perhaps unbiased qualified experts is what we are seeking, with full transparency on the all the science data not just what is publically released.

  56. Caterpillar
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    “The numbers do imply however that we are a long way off having the herd immunity some scientists talked about in the early days of the pandemic.”

    I think this may be untrue. The requirements for herd immunity that suggest high infection requirements are based on assumptions of random infection in the population as would be the case for a randomly administered vaccine. In reality there is heterogeneity in the population (e.g. due to any existing cross reactive immunity, behaviour and voluntary behaviour changes, work place etc.) and at the beginning of an epidemic those most likely to get infected do, and as the epidemic progresses there is a slowing. Allowing for such heterogeneity Gomes et al (Strathclyde University) suggest a rapid drop in infection rate would occur between 10% and 30% infected.

    To me it is surprising that when discussing ‘herd immunity’ that there is not so much open acknowledgement in parts of the medical and scientific community. Even in testing in England there has only been a partial recognition of heterogeneity; I presume it must be being modelled in any planned vaccination role out.

    It is of course politically correct to aim to test everyone (in which case pooled, rapid testing is needed) or to vaccinate everyone (in which case, quick, one shot, very safe vaccination is needed) but I suggest the reality is that we are in a situation where the heterogeneity should be recognised:-

    (i) W.r.t. infection:- heterogeneity implies protect those at hazard (elderly + known health indicators), identify contexts in which those not at high hazard, can carry on as usual (they’ll get over the infection).
    (ii) W.r.t. testing – systematic, stratified testing (i.e. target those at high hazard for early diagnosis and care), and those not at high hazard but ‘we’ don’t want spreading (e.g. health and care workers)
    (iii) W.r.t. vaccination – heterogeneity implies first vaccinate those at high hazard (if vaccine effective and safe) and those not at high hazard but ‘we’ don’t want spreading (e.g. health and care workers).

    However non-P.C. it is to recognise heterogeneity; behavioural (e.g. U.K. vs Sweden*), testing and vaccination strategies will be more efficient and effective if ‘we’ do.

    *In the U.K. vs Sweden case, both countries failed to protect care homes (and we need to see data in hospital transmission), but Sweden is in a position of ongoing manageable behavioural change the U.K. is trapped in the world of furlough because it knee jerked to lockdown, at a time when gradual changes to behaviour were already working.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Under * (U.K. vs. Sweden), I should have added that the lower disease-induced herd immunity thresholds rely on permanence of the heterogeneity of behaviour.

  57. Caterpillar
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    “Meanwhile the better medical news is Blood clot busters, steroids and anti viral drugs are all now being tested and some Approved and mobilised to improve treatment and lower the death rate.”

    It would be nice* to see the Govt issue clear statement of (implied) infection fatality rates (as a function of age) at the beginning of the epidemic and now, ideally with clarification of how much is due to natural fall off (due to some of the most at risk dying, and possibly changes to the virus), how much is due to early identification of infection / earlier hospitalisation and how much is due to improved treatment.

    * I actually think urgent to give more people more confidence.

  58. Edmund Hirst
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I do not trust this lot sufficiently to accept their vaccine. As with everything else that they have done the cure will probably be worse than the disease.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      I agree with that sentiment entirely!

      • Original Chris
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Absolutely agree, EH. It would be helpful if those people addressing those who do not want the Covid vaccine as “anti vaxxers” to be more careful. I am not going to accept a Covid vaccine, and for very good reasons, but I am not anti vaccination in principle.

        What I will not accept/support is a vaccine rushed through tests, and which is connected with prominent individuals whom I consider nefarious, and to have sinister motives connected with cementing power and control over ordinary people, their lives and their movements.

  59. James Bertram
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Good article on Lockdown Sceptis site today on this same subject. A Professor of Genetics makes the argument that Global Herd Immunity is likely to be reached in three months:
    ‘…Using this 10 day guestimate, and a steady prevalence of 3-4%, then this means that every 10 days another 3-4% of people are getting infected globally. There are many caveats to this – but these numbers would mean that to get to 30% infected (Carl H’s estimate of what is needed for herd immunity) will take only three months. Or if you want to go with the insanely high pantsdown requirement of 80%, then this will take one year globally. In the UK’s case, we were one of the first countries to see the virus spread widely – and it actually rose to >40% prevalence in both Pillar 1 and 2 datasets late March. So we definitely reach the CH level for herd immunity some time ago, and also the NF required level more recently or soon. This has to be why the virus has been fading away naturally.

    And one final line of argumentation for that… assuming a 0.26% IFR, and 41k deaths in the UK, indicates ~16M (41k/0.0026) have been infected, which is 24% of the UK population. Assume a 0.1% IFR and this goes to 61%. And these numbers are absolute minimum values, as the PCR assay has quite a high false negative rate!

    Government and the people need to know this, as they are all currently “scared to lose their fear”! Mass hysteria exists in extremis, and will not end until our ‘leaders’ and the people understand reality. ‘

  60. Anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    To all the anti vaccers here.

    Don’t you see that you will be excluded from all sorts of treatments and services if you don’t have a vaccination certificate ? Probably a low credit score too ?

    Personally I’ll have it – effectively it’s going to be forced on me. My life and reproductive task is done so I don’t really fear it.

    But for young people I think it’s awful. Who knows the long term effects on their bodies ?

    – we’ve wrecked their economic prospects to help the old live a few more years (sure to be miserable ones now)

    – we’ve wrecked their education to help the old live a few more years (sure to be miserable ones now)

    And now we expect a largely healthy and low risk population to be injected with a rushed vaccine in order to save a tiny fraction of the population who are at risk.

    This is a complete loss of perspective.

    Reading the Tory tabloids this morning they are all lining up against this PM and Government and the common theme is that they are not just delivering Leftism but ultra Leftism.

    • steve
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink


      I won’t be having it, if I’m threatened in any way. Government does not tell me what to do, their job is to do as I expect of them.

      I laugh at the thought of my credit score being adversely affected – since I don’t do credit, and my house is paid for.

      I also tend to be my own doctor, so I’m not bothered about being refused any NHS services. Besides these days a visit to Hospital usually means a head on collision with left wing political correctness, stupidity, and prioritisation of morbid obesity.

      I have no time for the crap and prefer to look after myself.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Who is we’ve ?

  61. matthu
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Would you accept a Russian vaccine? A Trump-touted U.S vaccine? A Ramaphosa-touted South African vaccine? A Trudeau-touted Canadian vaccine? A Macron-touted French vaccine? A UK government-touted UK vaccine?

    If you said “No” to any of the above, then you are probably accepting that this is not a straightforward medical decision but that political considerations come into this.

  62. john biggart
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    What a shame you are unaware of the evidence based science that suggests the UK is close to herd immunity, before you made misleading comments.
    The clue is in the tiny number of people needing ICU treatment for CV19 and the daily death curve (very similar in countries that both did and did not lockdown) being down near zero – its called herd immunity. Like King Canute could not hold back the tide our hapless government could not have stopped the spread of the virus. But they have been very successful at causing massive harm to our economy and killing many people the last few months (and many more into the future) by removing their hospital and health care.
    Some suggested catch up reading – written by a competent scientist :-

  63. Tim Bidie
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The minor common cold coronavirus epidemic has been over for some time in Britain, public panic only sustained by self serving data from public health England trying to cover up their incompetent overreaction to what was a complete false alarm.

    If the vast majority of those experiencing severe symptoms are in some way immunocompromised, as they are, then it follows, as night follows day, that most people are immune to it thro cross immunity or BCG vaccination

    UAE has demonstrated that BCG boosters work well against covid 19

    after a big study showed a significant correlation between countries with good coronavirus outcomes and BCG vaccination programs

    In any case, there are now several cures for covid 19:

    and hydroxychloroquine

  64. Original Chris
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    No vaccine for me.

  65. Mark
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The epidemiological concept of herd immunity depends on a large number of variables, which include the numbers who are naturally immune, or largely so in that they only get a mild or asymptomatic infection, variations in treatment that can reduce the infectiousness of those who are infected, changes in behaviour that materially alter the risk of passing on the virus, and the actual transmission behaviour. It seems highly probable that spread is particularly dependent on a few superspreaders, which changes the dynamic of spread and greatly lowers the target for herd immunity.

    It is particularly noticeable that surges in detected cases in various countries in Europe are not being matched by increases in hospitalisations, let alone ICU cases or deaths. They are the result of a more intensive testing regime that is not only throwing up false positives, but also detecting mild and asymptomatic cases that do not lead to hospitalisation. Almost by definition such people are carrying a much lower viral load than superspreaders and serious cases. It may well be that other than for the vulnerable they present little risk. I see no signs of suitable research into such issues.

  66. Barbara
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Great thread – lots of interesting and well-put points.

    I saw mention of a survey a few days ago, in which 50% said they would not take a Covid vaccine. I would be one of them.

  67. Original Chris
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    There is already a cure for Covid if taken earlier rather than later: the Hydroxychloroquine package of HCQ and zinc and azithromycin. Also very effective as a prophylactic. The suppression of this treatment, which would undoubtably have
    saved thousands of lives, is due to political forces, in my view.

    A few focused court challenges would soon put paid to this nonsense, along with education of the public. They have been fed a non stop diet of fear porn from the govt and advisors, and this should be halted immediately and those responsible held to account.

  68. Lin Jones
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    If, as the WHO figures state, over 99 per cent of cases have been ‘mild’ then presumably these people just put themselves to bed at home, or carried on regardless. The obsession with testing has shown that nearly all those showing a positive result are asymptomatic.
    So this figure of 20 million people having ‘had it’ means very little and can’t ‘imply’ that herd immunity hasn’t been reached.

    Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The socialist political animal that is the Labour controlled NHS now taking control of all areas of health provision, regulation and in time using healthcare provision as a political weapon to filter those and restrict access to healthcare for those who refuse to act according to the cultural Marxist paradigm

    Well done Johnson. Well done Hancock. Well done Tories.

    Is there no extreme left political issue you now DO NOT subscribe to borne from outright fear from the thugs of the activist left?

    I sometimes have to sit and comprehend with a speechless shock just how far the Tory party has betrayed the nation on every single issue imaginable. Even Brexit was delivered by Farage who came under intense threats from thugs of the Remain extremist

    I just hope the moral now silence majority thanks to Labour-Tory connivance take revenge and reject the two party authoritarian status quo that is dragging our nation through the Marxist gutter

    • margaret howard
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


      “I sometimes have to sit and comprehend with a speechless shock just how far the Tory party has betrayed the nation on every single issue imaginable.”

      I doubt they will agree with you as they have just won a landslide victory with over 80 extra seats. The nation seems to love liar Boris and his merry men.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Dominic we didn’t realise he would be as big a liar as May.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Well I did – he said he had become a Leaver after all (please!) but it was Hobson’s Choice because of the disgraceful Remain Parliamentary Party rigging the shortlist.

      • steve
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink


        “The nation seems to love liar Boris”

        Ms Howard while would share sentiment regarding Boris’s competence or perceived lack of, calling someone a liar is a very serious and always requires substantiation.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      A very depressed +1
      Nailed it as ever Dominic.
      So predictable, so awful.
      Will the kids go back to school? I would not bet on it.
      Still, we were warned …I just hoped that the things ( accurate) being said about Boris were untrue.
      They weren’t…they were all true!

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      I share the heartfelt shock and rage.
      Sir John ?

  70. Tim moore
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    No way a vaccine for me.
    What, then it becomes annual too?
    Awful state of affairs.
    This Tory Gov is a disgrace too. Johnson is dreadful. And I’m a staunch Tory.
    Freedom is the most precious of all.

  71. William Long
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    If vaccination was compulsory l certainly would not take it no matter what the fine. If voluntary I should certainly have it so long as it appeared, from the best information I could get, to be safe.
    Up to now I have had a great deal of sympathy with the Government in their tribulations in navigating a course through the totally uncharted waters of Covid 19, but the fiasco that is being played out over GCSE and A level grades seems to me to have been completely avoidable. Mr Williamson has known the problem would occur since schools shut in March and has had plenty of time to agree a solution with all stakeholders. He should resign or be sacked.

  72. Ignoramus
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    On 6 August BBC Newsnight described what it called a Casedemic. THere is a short interview with an NHS ICU consultant which explains in understandable language exactly where we are now.

    What is going on in Australia is really alarming where government reaction is out of control. The state of Victoria is in a mega lockdown, with police being allowed to tackle anyone not wearing a mask with violence if necessary. Australia also bans Australians from leaving the country because of the risk that they might return with Covid 19 caught abroad. All this for a country which has had far less Covid 19 than any European country.

    Could it happen here? Of course not….are we sure?

    • anon
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Given they were successful at jeeping the virus largely at bay, perhaps Yes. If a vaccine, which is safe but offers good immunity to most, is weeks a way then it may well be a logical move.

      Where as countries already partially herd immune via nature, may be able to relax restrictions quicker and offer vaccination to those at the most at risk first.

      The young can then do as they choose, as the older have a choice vaccination or take their chances in a shielded enviroment . We are supposed to embrace freedom so lets give it a go. Seem more than fair. Indeed i would not restrict the young except to warm about infecting the older and vulnerable,

      The government needs to facilitate the protection and shielding of the vulnerable in case they are still trying to figure it out.

      Designate an island say the IOM as a retirement island and quarantine the island for the vulnerable and use it.

      Meanwhile quarantine all dinghy people in another island until processing complete.

  73. Ignoramus
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    To be completely accurate it is 75% of Australians wanting to leave the country who are refused (see Sydney Morning Herald)

  74. John Clapperton
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Using data and terminology from dividing 761,018 deaths by 21,260,760 confirmed cases gives ~4%. However this is not a valid measure of death rate.

    Assuming no deaths are mis-attributed, which is a separate argument, every death is a confirmed case, ipso facto, but the number of unconfirmed, untested, cases is unknown.

    To get the death rate, either divide total deaths by total cases of infection (which is unknown) or divide deaths of positive test cases by the number of positive test cases.

    • John Clapperton
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      To get the death rate, either divide total deaths by total cases of infection (which is unknown) or divide deaths of asymptomatic (i.e. random) positive test cases by the number of asymptomatic positive test cases.

    • John Clapperton
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      “Based on testing results from 863 individuals, who were representative of Los Angeles County – about 4.1% of them tested positive. The [adult] population of Los Angeles County is about 8 million … [therefore] about 320,000 adults in Los Angeles County have had a Covid-19 infection before April 9th.

      Compared to the confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections in Los Angeles County … the number of true infections is 40 times larger than the number of confirmed cases.”
      Dr Neeraj Sood,
      University of Southern California

  75. Edwardm
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I would wish to take up the offer of a vaccine when available.
    Covid19 is waging not just a medical war, but an economic war too.
    An effective vaccine is the weapon we need in order to win on both fronts.

  76. Everhopeful
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Governments fear illness because they might lose manpower.
    That’s why the Tories wanted the NHS.
    When governments go to war they need woman power to man the factories.
    How very strange then to preempt illness and close everything down!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Yep! That’s the level – no sequential thinking at all.

  77. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    From Monday, there are going to be further relaxations of restrictions on economic and social activities, in spite of the number of new COVID-19 cases per day continuing to rise and now exceeding 1000. The Government has decided that if a COVID-19 patient doesn’t die within 28 days of diagnosis, then it isn’t a COVID-19 death. This has led to a dramatic drop in daily COVID-19 death statistics. Doesn’t the Government understand that if it keeps moving the goalposts, proper time series analysis is impossible? Perhaps that is their intention – knowledge is power so destroy other peoples’ knowledge.

    I want to know (and so do most people):
    – The demographics of each day’s new cases – sex, age profile, ethnicity
    – The location of each new case
    – The types of place where the disease is transferred

    I suspect that public transport is carrying a higher number of passengers than is safe. Surveys are suggesting that 40%+ is commonplace, whereas if one metre spacing (with face masks) is strictly adhered to, 30% must be the safe limit.

    I also suspect that religious gatherings at which singing, sermonising and ‘praise to the Lord’ evangelism take place, are a major source of new cases.

    But I shouldn’t have to guess. The Government has the information and should publish it daily. Sir John, would you please whisper in the Government’s ear?

  78. Alan Joyce
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I have no axe to grind about the choice of those who do not wish to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and I doubt that any UK Government would make it compulsory. I suppose one never really knows though; a government that permits the criminalization of its citizens for the shocking act of not having a TV licence might just!

    What I have sometimes wondered is what the reaction of anti-vaxxers might be if Covid-19, instead of having a fatality rate of say 1%-3% had a similar rate to that of other recent coronavirus outbreaks, e.g. SARS – circa 10% and MERS – about 34% ?

    At what point might their anti-vaccination convictions be overturned?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Alan Joyce,

      Yes it does appear that Covid19 anti-vaxxers take a rational balancing of risks. A low and decreasing implied infection fatality rate (which Govt does not transparently report) vs. a seemingly rushed vaccination development without clear data on effectiveness (yet). This set in a context of a Govt that did not balance the risks of lockdown vs Covid19. Like most, I have had many vaccinations in my life, but the current case is within the context of an obfuscating incompetent dictatorship. It is very different.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      With the vaccine we might easily achieve those sort of death stats!

  79. Polly
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    ”Reply You make some good points about public policy but know I will not publish things that attribute those policies to named individuals who are not in the governments making the decisions. Governments listen to all sorts of advisers and influencers. What matters is what they decide and how they defend them etc ed.”

    So who monitors corruption in the UK, who is uncorruptable and who asks the right questions?

    There is plenty of circumstantial evidence and a range of coincidences which I can see to suggest extremely serious corruption in all UK governments since 1997, and perhaps 1990, but nobody says a word. Except people who get censored for suggesting something might be wrong.

    How do you know valuable promises and exchanges of value are not being made at the highest level in return for policy and legislation?

    Do you never research these issues yourself?

    Do you just take everything on trust?


    Reply Government corruption is handled by the police and independent courts. Undue political influence for party advantage is handled by the party rows over why and how they were influenced. Any other party will usually pursue a case against a rival party where there is evidence. If anyone sent me evidence of corruption I would tell them to report it to the authorities. An MP is not a policeman or prosecuting lawyer. Pointing out some rich or powerful people in business agree with some government decisions and talk to those governments is not proof of corruption! It may be a shared view of the issue, thinking they are right. Even if it turns out to be a shared determination to be wrong, it is not corruption.

  80. Iain Gill
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    the tweets from the Home Office tonight in response to the Nigel Farage tweets are outrageous.

  81. TooleyStu
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Brave blog today, well done.

    Personally I would look at the death rate as follows.
    Dead = 771069.
    Population = 7,805,382,000
    Dead/pop = x 100 (percent) – 100 =
    99.99% ** SURVIVAL RATE **.

    Will I accept the vaccine?
    On those figures.. what is the point?
    1/ Will the Vax companies GUARANTEE a success rate of 99.99%
    2/ Will the Vax companies GUARANTEE that no adverse effect for 99.99% of takers?
    (current info says no.. and if they did.. UK Govt pays anyway.. which is.. err.. me)

    So, on current evidence.. I will not be accepting.

    And.. (big one).. under the Nuremburg/Unesco 2005 Statement on Bioethics and Human Rights, Article 6, Section 1…..
    a/. You can’t make me.
    b/. And I can’t be prejudiced against, because you could not make me.

    Best regards, as ever.
    Tooley Stu

    • APL
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Tooley Stu: “And.. (big one).. under the Nuremburg/Unesco 2005 Statement on Bioethics and Human Rights, Article 6, Section 1…..
      a/. You can’t make me.
      b/. And I can’t be prejudiced against, because you could not make me.”

      Thank you. I’ll remember than. But I expect they will find some way to suspend the convention because, you know, THERE IS A PANDEMIC! (sotto voce, that’s only affected .01% of the population.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 17, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        All that they will have to do is to offer free Turkey Twizzlers, Doggie Treats, and scratch cards as an inducement, and they will be overwhelmed by Leave voters wanting the jab.

        Eighty percent take up would probably do the trick anyway.

  82. RichardP
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Your straw poll here seems to show a Covid19 vaccination would be unpopular. Perhaps someone should tell Boris to stop ordering vaccine!

  83. Everhopeful
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    PP’s own constituency!!
    What on EARTH is the govt. playing at?
    Was the lockdown all about bringing in as many illegals as possible?

  84. beresford
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    With apologies for going off topic, apparently Priti Patel has said that the French attitude towards migrants is ‘racist’ and that they try to get to Britain because ‘they know they’ll be treated fairly’. What is the point of this statement, other than to attempt to present inaction and lack of resolve as ‘virtue’?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Doubtless some do think that and other come for other reasons friends relative here already or financial or language reasons perhaps.

  85. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I have been taking Zinc Vit D and Vit C for a long time , I also take ibuprofen occasionally , which is a good anti inflammatory and NSAID ( the advice is to avoid ibuprofen ) but it can reduce clotting. I wear masks and sometimes forget to . I have been in my own house since february with only a couple of visits from my family. I go to the practice and see a few patients now and again and wear appropriate cover. We can only do what we can and all need patience .

  86. David Williams
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    A cure for mass hysteria is needed more than a vaccine for C19.

    Start by putting the government on valium.

    Would I have the vaccine? No thanks, although I probably would if I was over 75 or had an underlying condition.

  87. Richard
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, There are reasons to believe numbers who have supposedly died of Covid may be oversestimated. For example:
    “Had the CDC used its industry standard, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting Revision 2003, as it has for all other causes of death for the last 17 years, the COVID-19 fatality count would be approximately 90.2% lower than it currently is.”
    H. Ealy, M. McEvoy, M. Sava, S. Gupta, D. Chong, D. White, J. Nowicki, P. Anderson

  88. Iain Gill
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I see the Environment Agency have tweeted that we are not allowed to canoe on rivers if we are not members of “British Canoeing”. Really this attempt at ever further police state regulating every single aspect of out life has got to stop. When was this ever in a manifesto? Were MP’s consulted?

    We are a free people in a free country and the mandarins need to start acting like it!

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Iain, I wonder, do they have the power to restrict people like this without explanation?

    • Fred H
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Trying to own the rivers and water that falls by rain into it? – – whatever next.

    • hefner
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      The license costs £45/year for 4,500 km of accessible waterways, and these are accessible because the money so collected is redistributed to the local associations that maintain these waterways in a navigable state (clearing of plants, branches, logs, signing, access points, …).
      For the bits of water not covered by the British Canoeing license, one is likely to have to pay £5/day. Do the maths, and grumble if you need/must.
      But maybe you’re the type of person not particularly affected by the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 19, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      We are a free people in a free country – so long as we always wear a face nappy and do not leave our homes for 14 days after travel that is!

  89. everyone knows
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    The virus is no more than any other seasonal coronavirus, the extra deaths were caused by the lockdown and related policies. This was a pre-planned event to push for the Great Reset and to restructure society and the economy. The EU had a summit in 2019 (Sept) in which they decided the entire world was going to get vaccinated they just needed a good reason, they even have a roadmap and yes it is connected to digital ID. Covid stands for Certificate Of Vaccination ID.

  90. NickW
    Posted August 21, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    My conclusion from reading the many replies is that the public is better informed than the Government.
    The Governments sources of information are narrow, limited and biased.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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