How do we best contain the virus?

The recent world figures for deaths from the virus show Belgium continuing to lead the grisly table with 1516 deaths per million people, followed by Peru at 1099, Italy at 1052 and Spain at 1005. All of these countries have followed World Health Organisation advice and had extensive lock downs. Sweden which did allow a little more freedom rests below average for advanced countries at 720. Germany has done much better than most at 247. Brazil at 840 is below the worst despite taking a more sceptical approach to the consensus.

Most of the Asian countries have done much better with very few deaths in Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan. Taiwan had to develop its own response early as it is not allowed by China to be a member of the WHO.It used its island position well to keep the virus at bay. Maybe the Asian SARS outbreak left better immune responses or maybe these societies were more disciplined over track and trace follow up.

I would like to see an explanation of why Belgium has suffered so much more, along with more understanding of the much better experiences of many Asian countries. It is possible the world tables are distorted by different definitions of what is a Covid death, and different levels of CV 19 testing. Clearly the U.K. and USA have found many more cases since they introduced Mass testing on a large scale. Sone other countries have not tested so much and may have attributed more elderly deaths to something other than Covid.

In the UK The devolved Administrations have from time to time varied their approach from the U.K. and English one. Wales thought that a so called circuit breaker of two weeks would do well, but it did not turn out that way. Scotland was talking about eradicating the virus in the summer by being a little bit tougher, but that did not work either. It has demonstrated there is no easy answer to controlling the spread.

I would be interested in your thoughts on what has worked best, and on why there are such big differences between most of Europe and most of Asia. We still have some months to go of containment, preferably without doing too much more damage to the economy.

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324 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Well it is very clear that we have a huge number of false positive from the CPR test and that now many non covid deaths are being labelled as Covid.

    Dr Claire Craig and Michael Yeadon are clearly right on this it is clear from the stats available. If a country had a bad flu season last year they clearly have more vulnerable patients to be hit by Covid. Asian countries perhaps had more existing immunity from similar viruses, less testing & false positives and younger populations.

    Our wonderful NHS (perhaps 1/3 as good as Germany’s) is also infecting huge numbers of people who go in for other conditions (about 20% of their cases) and now we have circa 2000 a week excess deaths mainly dying from cancellation of other treatments and patient reluctance to attend.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Let us hope some good things come out of Covid.

      1. A recognition that the NHS state monopoly is a dreadful way to organise health care it kills thousands and fails millions.
      2. That pandemic planning should not be done by complete and utter incompetents. Let us hope our defence planning is rather better I am not sure it is myself.
      3. A recognition that the Barrington Declaration was clearly broadly right as was fairly obvious to anyone sensible.
      4. Infecting people in hospitals with covid then dumping them untested into nursing homes to infect others is not a good plan.
      5. More money and expertise in healthcare and R&D for healthcare
      6. A recognition that lockdowns for Covid often do more harm than good, you always need to consider both positives and the negatives.

      Still no recognition that the vaccine priority order from the “experts” is wrong in failing to adjust for gender and other risks which will kill well over a hundred people (Assuming that is that the vaccine is safe and works that is). Also wasting vaccine in short supply on people who have had Covid is foolish. No one even pointing this out or asking questions on this very clear anti-male discrimination that will kill and put more pressure on the NHS.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        Defence planning is done better. The seconding of ‘military planners’ into OGDs for this crisis would only have improved things. Beyond that, the asignment of a major general, post-division or major joint command, as personal advisor to the PM would have added some discipline to No 10’s efforts. One certainty: Johnson wouldn’t then be skipping COBRA meetings.

        • Hope
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          JR, suggest you read and watch Ivor Cummings in Con Woman article by Cathy Gyngell. He uses WHO graphs and reports to explain the points you make.

          UK have failed to provide accurate figures and graphs for nine months.
          Failed to have a strategic plan. Great Barrington Declaration would work. Roll out of vaccination is based on it! Current aimless flip flop rubbish continues.
          Stupidly followed WHO rather than stop flights from China and hotspots.
          Failed and track and trace. UK system provides false outcomes.
          Separate in hospitals.
          Killed old people by moving from hospitals putting them in care homes. 40% of deaths.

        • rose
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          COBR meetings on health are chaired by the Health Secretary and the devolved health ministers also attend. This was the case under previous PMs.

          Yours is yet another example of gratuitous Boris bashing. Bash him for what he does wrong, then it will have more effect.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–You certainly like the words clear and clearly–to excess I suggest. On lockdowns I reckon that it all might well have been considerably worse without them.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          On what evidence?

          • bill brown
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Lynn Atkinson

            Evidence is Sweden and also now US just look it up

          • Hope
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            Presumably on the the current Govt’ criterion of finding anyone within 28 days who might possibly have had Chinese virus to bolster their figures to scare people witless.

            Small businesses closed or devastated by govt stupidity.

            WA and NIP having same effect by agreeing for N.Ireland to remain in the single market and customs union. ECJ and level playing field rules applying for any business across the U.K. who trades in N.Irleand! Our country that Johnson has annexed and give away to the EU!

            Last week Johnson caved in to EU demands to cancel internal market bill agreeing to vassalage in and through N.Ireland!

            EU will continue to drag this crap out to humiliate our country. Why has Johnson not walked away rather than agree a self harming never ending chit chat? Might it be that the EU views him as a weak pathetic invertebrate who always caves in?

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            Dear Lynn–No evidence–To tell you the truth I have not been impressed by “the evidence” on much to do with Covid. Even on eg hand washing I am not sure that there is much evidence. Maybe it is obvious just as I think it is obvious that Covid might have been worse possibly much worse without the lockdowns. The bad news with the lockdowns relates solely to the economy and I think little doubt that minimising contact and all the rest in lockdowns very likely indeed to keep the virus itself at bay.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          There is not the remotest shred of statistical evidence for what you suggest. Look at the figures (official, government ones) from all over the world and you’ll find that Lockdowns do NOT work

          • bill brown
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            Jiminyjim

            But not having lock downs does not work either , just look at the US and Sweden

          • NickC
            Posted December 14, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

            Bill, You’re just making things up as usual. Sweden has done better than most EU states, with far less economic and health damage for the majority. The USA, in most states, has had as harsh a lockdown as we have here, and still done better on all three counts – covid19 outcomes, the economy, and the health of the majority.

        • DaveK
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          You are however incorrect. The only possible effect of lockdown is to suppress a peak of patients. To “Save the NHS” They will still occur. In actual fact both the UK lockdowns came after the peaks had occured naturally (see article by Sir Matt Ridley). From the ONS data and graphs you can also see masks have had little to no effect. The government is hell bent on mass vaccination to be able to say they beat the virus. It’s trying to fool people with “Elephant deterrent”.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          The first one was justified I thing (though done two weeks too late). This just to give the NHS more time to prepare for the deluge. We have about 12,000 extra deaths in just one week. Though many of them did not get any hospital treatment or medical care at all.

          The second “wave” lockdowns are absurd and cause more harm than good.

          • Hope
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            LL,
            No it was not. The govt. figures showed the virus had peaked before lockdown. Secondly we were told three weeks to squash the sombrero not four months to wreck the economy!

            Vulnerable elderly moved from hospital to care homes. Govt. caused forty percent of overall deaths by their own policy! The govt own failing/ gross negligence helping it to scare people further to justify its stupidity!

            How come schools shut down then but not now? That is not science it is govt. scared unions will not allow it to reopen schools again when told by govt!

            Fake figures and graphs from outset until now. It is shameful there are no mathematical experts in our country able to produce accurate figures and graphs. The alleged modeling appalling. Following a left wing person with a track record of exaggerated model projection failings is even worse!

            Hancock changed criterion once to reduce the number slightly. It is the biggest public health policy failing in our history same for economic consequences, utterly disasterous.

            I am surprised LL after so many repeated comments about people with maths and physics backgrounds required in govt you could make such ill-informed comments.

          • No Longer Anonymous
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            They infected care homes.

            Quite the reverse of what should have been done.

            Dr John Campbell had already been reporting for weeks that the disease preyed on old men in particular.

            Focused Shielding could have been done at a fraction of the cost in lives and money and I was calling for it even then and it’s the right thing to do now.

            End lock down.

      • Frances Truscott
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        At the beginning no tests existed so that point is silly. Italy refused treatment to some. Also people died in care homes in Italy and in Sweden but only hospital deaths were counted.

      • Old Salt
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic
        4. Self contained hospital isolation wings would go some way to alleviating some of the current issues.

        • DaveK
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          We should’ve built some perhaps and used specialist medical cadres. Moving all the covid patients to their nearest one.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Indeed some hospitals infecting huge numbers of patients coming in for other problems.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      I can’t think that the scale of the problem you identify in your first sentence would account for the ca. 500 COVID deaths/day.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        What would you think if a nurse told you that she had been doing the paperwork while the man doing the messy probing in the dead bodies decided what he told her to write down as “cause of death” and when someone she KNEW had died of a heart attack, she was told COVID in no uncertain terms. She told him that she knew what he had died of. His reply was to basically threaten her with her job and then louder said COVID.

      • John Finn
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        There aren’t 500 Covid deaths a day.

        There might be 500 deaths reported but they cover a 2-3 week period.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      PCR (not CPR).

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        As people test positive WEEKS after they stop being infectious, why I fear this mania for mass Covid testing is a hugely expensive blunder

        DR TOM JEFFERSON FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

        • Sea_Warrior
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          It’s possible to test a country to the point of bankruptcy. I remain concerned that the government’s strategy is sub-optimal. Much of the LF testing currently being wasted on the healthy in cities might be better deployed at airports.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        PCR certainly not infallible but subject to poor admin technique and sloppy testing methods. Alarming false positives and disastrous false negatives!
        CPR not infallible either but if administered early and properly can allow saving of life.
        LFT – The lateral flow devices used in the community testing pilot in Liverpool only picked up half the covid-19 cases detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and missed three out of 10 cases with higher viral loads, according to the government’s own policy paper

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Asian countries appear to have lower obesity rates and fewer people kept alive on pills too.

      The NHS is very good at keeping people alive in very poor health.

      Many here will find themselves looking after a granny going on into her hundreds. No quality of life but they will keep going and going and going. Almost for the sake of it.

      I may sound callous but that’s not how I want to end up. I am seeing it close up and witnessed these lives that are just fear, misery and discomfort.

      Ever heard of a celebrity you thought had died decades ago but had in fact spent the last ten years in a care home barely a shadow of themselves being spoon fed soup ?

      This cannot go on. And now we are sacrificing all our futures because they won’t have the hard conversation about who is actually dying of CV-19 – and so the figures look horrific when most victims would be dead by Christmas anyway.

      • hefner
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        NLA, you might also want to consider the repeated refusal of MPs to even consider the arguments of terminally ill people and of charities like Dignity in Dying.

    • formula57
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      “…we have a huge number of false positive from the CPR test…”

      Exactly so. To have meaning, a PCR test result must reveal the Cycle Threshold (being the number of times a test sample is amplified). It seems a CT of c. 33 is optimal, a view supported by Dr. Fauci amongst many others.

      Alas, a typical CT is 40 under many testing regimes, providing an amplification of circa a trillion at which level any virus trace then detected is so weak it cannot even be grown in culture. This point is explained by in a recent video by Peak Prsperity’s Chris Martenson.

      • DaveK
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully with Sir Johns permission this slide from a report titled “Correlation Between 3790 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction–Positives Samples and Positive Cell Cultures, Including 1941 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Isolates” shows the relationship between Ct and actual cultures. Effectively Ct=35 <3% cultures. 36 and above 0% cultures.

        https://academic.oup.com/view-large/figure/210079450/ciaa1491_fig1.jpg

    • Peter
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Meanwhile, another so-called Brexit ‘deadline’ passes and talks continue. In Brussels.

      Johnson procrastinating even when there is peak media support for leaving on WTO terms.

      Boris just appears weak.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        It is surely obvious that, even if the new year arrives without a deal, and we are technically in a ‘No Deal’ situation, talks will continue until there is an agreement. That preparations for a No Deal, such as they are, are woefully inadequate, and given the ineptitude of the present government, one might be forgiven for wondering if the Conservative Party’s purpose is to thoroughly discredit the idea of UK independence. Yes, let’s give ‘Brexit’ a fair crack, see how it turns out, and conclude that, yes, it really was a terrible idea in the first place.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      LL, I think you are referring to the “Dry Tinder” (sad expression). UK and Sweden had two mild winter flu seasons, Germany had bad winter seasons this no doubt changes the number of susceptible, vulnerable people who would succumb to covid. There is some research showing that previous SARS patients still react to SARS even after 17 years and also to SARS 2.

  2. Ian Wilson
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Lockdowns and the tiers have apparently failed to contain the virus, although there must be doubt about figures supplied by PCR testing which may be flagging up cases and deaths from other causes as Covid. As present policies here and abroad have wreaked incalculable economic harm without seemingly controlling Covid, the government should look again at the Great Barrington Declaration which they so contemptuously dismissed and bring in a wider circle of advisers such as Sunetra Gupta, Carl Heneghan, Mike Yeadon and Clare Craig. The last two believe the virus is almost spent and most ‘cases’ are non-Covid Could they be right?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The people clearly are right it is fairly clear from the stats. Ivor Cummings has sound analysis on this too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        These people (not the people)

        • Hope
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          Spot on Ian. Johnson has not stopped to think SAGE might be advising him to follow a left wing socialist agenda to undermine his govt and country.

          SAGE personnel should have changed by now. Proven record of failure. Too many behaviour “scientists” not enough disease experts! Johnson was even slapped down on TV by JVD! Johnson stuttering and wobbly wobbly when JVD wanted masks to continue forever after He stated they made no difference in the first lock down several times! Why would you accept advice from JVD! No credibility. Same for Witty and Valance graphs! Failed miserably and protejections proved utter rubbish.

    • oldtimer
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      From the start we have been peddled dodgy data and misinformation – not least on the cause of death on death certificates. This dodgy data has been used to generate fear – the persuasion tool of choice for government. This is but the latest manifestation; the “evil effect” of CO2 is another long running example. It is how government seeks to impose its control on people.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Lockdown success – just look at Wales

    • David L
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Hancock brushed aside the GT Barrington Declaration saying that herd immunity is “impossible without a vaccine”. Were this to be true then humankind would have been wiped out by viruses thousands of years ago.
      I am most disturbed by the absence of scientific debate and the data that demonstrates that lockdowns and masks have had little or no effect on the spread of Covid19. 40,000 science and medical professionals signed the declaration yet our government and it’s advisors dismiss it so casually that I can only think they have something to hide.

  3. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    We all know that no one has flu this year. If you’ve had a positive test within 28 days the death certificate says Covid.
    This is of course total nonsense.
    So much damage has been done with lockdown that the government can’t release us as figures would show it’s all been in vain.
    People are now ignoring rules because they’re sensible enough to see that they are not working.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Yep ! Everything is getting back to (real) normal. The trains are beginning to fill up and there are more and more cars on the road. People are becoming desensitised the scaremongering. These little boys in government have cries wolf once too often. Sad thing is, they’ll be the last to know.

      • Andy
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        500+ dead yesterday. Similar everyday this week.

        You may have caught Covid already.

        Your symptoms won’t show until the middle of next week.

        You’ll be in hospital by Christmas Day. Merry Christmas by the way.

        And dead before New Year. Boo. You miss Brexit gunboats and traffic jams.

        Now, hopefully you don’t have Covid. But tens of thousands of people – some of them who think like you – do have it.

        They all expect to be alive at tbt end of this year. Some of them will be disappointed. Approximately 500 a day. Indeed, some of them will die on Christmas Day.

        Sad thing is, they’ll never know.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Hysterical nonsense.

          I know literally thousands of people. Not one of them seriously ill with CV-19 much less dead with it.

          As someone else points out. Where are all the flu deaths this year ?

          Are all respiratory deaths going down as CV-19 ?

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          500+ dead yesterday. Similar everyday this week.

          Meaningless number.

          12456 deaths in the week ending 27th November. 1779 per day. Where are you getting 500+ from? 500+ with covid on the death certificate? How many of they would have died anyway?

          Hysteria stalks the land.

        • NickC
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

          Sad, Andy? Well, it makes a change from you gloating about the deaths of elderly Leave voters.

          • No Longer Anonymous
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            Yup. They can die of hypothermia though – Andy likes the idea of £15,000 central heating systems !

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          As usual complete nonsense from Andy. Do you never look at facts? Obviously not. Many of those dying ‘of Covid’ are clearly dying ‘with Covid’ or with false positives. How do we know? How else to you explain a sizeable reduction in the official statistics deaths from normal causes over the last few months, at a time when our health system has if anything been helping fewer of those people? Clearly deaths are being incorrectly attributed to Covid

        • DaveK
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Sir John, why do you allow this constant idiotic drivel? Just allow his posts, but put “Usual Nonsense”.

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

            Dave, you are about to find out why Sir John allows Andy to post here freely, in the States anyone that doesn’t follow the new narrative will be silenced accused of being a conspiracy theorist, they could even lose their job. I for one welcome knowing what is on Andy’s mind, if you can’t form an argument against their opinion when you disagree then that goes against the spirit and purpose of a blog.

        • John Finn
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          500+ dead yesterday. Similar everyday this week.

          Not from Covid there wasn’t. We don’t yet know how many people who, after a positive PCR test, died yesterday. The highest figure for the past week was 330 on Tuesday.

          The daily reported numbers include deaths from 2 or 3 weeks previously.

          You may have caught Covid already.

          You may have already developed cancer. At least with Covid, you have 99% chance of surviving it – and a better chance of receiving prompt treatment.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Agree

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I see the BBC continues to report that the USA has more Covid deaths than any other country but fails to tell the viewers the rate per 100k.
      The States are about the 11th down the list with Belgium at the top spot and UK 9th.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        And the MSM recently declared that they didn’t report on Hunter Biden before so as “Not to bias the election.”

        Think about that.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          For the same reason that the UK media did not mention Mark Thatcher’s activities at politically sensitive times, perhaps?

          • a-tracy
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            Thats interesting Martin, its still sometimes surprising to see what you come on here to defend/redirect. Was Mark Thatcher accused in the run up to an election? Which year, did every newspaper in the UK suppress the story? Did the media go as far as say it wasn’t true and the information was supplied by the Russians? Was Thatcher’s opponent being whatever the equivalent of ‘truth seeking’ is over here for an investigation that was refused?

          • No Longer Anonymous
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            Two wrongs…

          • Fred H
            Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

            why not mention them now! Preferably out in the street with witnesses and tape recorders.

    • Tad Stone
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      A GP friend told me that doctors try to save relatives from autopsies and often look for other causes of death, and that Coronavirus will be used on death certificates by many GPs. He also said that death numbers shouldn’t be analysed until after the flu season since many older people will have died “prematurely” because of Coronavirus. Of course, I have no proof of this.
      Sadly politicians will not say directly that the reason for so many cases are because people, like Kay Burley and friends refuse to follow the rules.

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Tad, This time very few followed the rules. The roads were almost empty in April; they where as choked as normal in November. Most people know this – so when the government announces the second lockdown was a success, most people will know they’re making it up. Even ‘harsher-lockdowns-until-the-pips-squeak’ Andy and Martin will flip eventually – just watch.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      The NHS states that with Covid AND Flu they are almost overwhelmed.
      Strange that no deaths have been attributed to Flu!
      I’m overwhelmed too that nobody seems to challenge such nonsense.
      It is going to be a strange winter with possibly zero deaths caused by Flu.
      Stats from various sources put the winter deaths in UK as varying between 10,000 and 50,000 each year. Will that number be deducted from the Covid count at some stage?

    • Mark
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      I am puzzled why radio adverts are pushing flu shots. Is it that they are less controversial than the virus vaccine?

  4. Roger Phillips
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    It’s a virus and cannot be controlled by imposing lock-downs and rules upon it. Go for her immunity and end this economy wrecking nonsense now!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Much of the UK is already at or near herd immunity, why else would we have seen rapidly falling (real not false positive) cases in so many areas?

      • graham1946
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Have we? According to NHS Providers this morning, in September there were 500 people in hospital beds with Covid – today there are 30,000. What about that?

        • John Hatfield
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          That has to be nonsense Graham.

          • graham1946
            Posted December 14, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            Yes, it is. I have re-checked the interview on radio with Chris Hopson and I mis-heard. The figure quoted was 13,000 in hospital with Covid, not 30,000. Apologies to all, but it is still a large increase is it not? These are of course the most serious cases with many going to die.

        • NickC
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          And all whilst we were wearing masks and socially distancing and washing hands too! It looks like covid19 doesn’t obey curfews, or any other government policy, and is endemic and seasonal, like influenza.

        • DaveK
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          I do not believe that figure has risen from 12896 on the NHS report on 3rd December. Of them, there were 1094 of the total 3693 in Mechanically Ventilated beds. Not forgettiing that in September the Winter flu season hadn’t started. https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/
          Note – in my area, 37% of NHS staff are off due to covid related issues. Wonder how many are false positives.

        • Paul Cuthbertson
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Graham, News is not just what happens, it is what a certain small group of people decide is the news. Stop following the MSM and BBC and do your own research.

        • John Finn
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

          in September there were 500 people in hospital beds with Covid – today there are 30,000. What about that?

          Any idea where these numbers come from?

          They bear no relation to reported data.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          15,242 NHS providers reported in hospital with covid 10 Dec, where did you read 30,000?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      China, Aus, NZ, Taiwan, S. Korea, Vietnam, Senegal, Norway, Ireland and plenty of others seem to have managed OK, Roger.

      So they will move to vaccination with only a tiny fraction of UK deaths, and with life having gone on much as normal in between too.

      John may well compare this country with only the worst, rather than with the best.

      I wonder why he does this?

      • hat man
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Why? To see if lockdowns prevented the worst outcomes, Martin. From Sir John’s examples, they clearly didn’t.

        Your cherry-picked cases don’t tell us much. Ireland had twice the world average death rate per head. Norway with a lockdown had more Covid deaths than Tanzania and Belarus with no lockdowns. Japan, with no lockdown but voluntary distancing measures had fewer Covid deaths per head than locked-down Australia. And so on. As I think Peter Hitchens has shown, there’s no just correlation between lockdown measures and Covid mortality. Forget it.

        And as for saying ‘life has gone on much as normal’ in Aus and NZ, well that might come as a surprise to quite a lot of people down there!

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        And none of those, except Eire, are in the EU, Martin. And at 428 deaths per million population I would not rate Eire as having done “ok” anyway. But all those not in the EU “seem to have managed ok”. Surely not, how could they have possibly managed that?

      • Fred H
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Ever considered the rate of visitors by plane. boat, train might – just might have a bearing on it? Tourists, students, business traffic? Then there is the effort and discipline imposed by the authoritarian regimes?
        Lies, damn lies and statistics Martin!

    • Andy
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Except several countries have controlled it with lockdowns and none has controlled it with herd immunity. So you are literally wrong.

      • Jiminyjim
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        OK, sources please Andy. None? I thought so

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        But you did not want to control covid19 by locking down our borders, did you Andy?

      • Richard II
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        If you impose lockdowns, Andy, you obviously delay herd immunity. As of 2019, no country had a pandemic response plan featuring lockdowns.

        In case you missed it, the WHO is now saying lockdowns should not be the main response to a pandemic. It recognises the huge damage they cause to people’s livelihoods and thus to health and wellbeing, especially in poorer countries around the world. It’s time this brutal horror show was ended.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        literal again – you haven’t got the faintest understanding – you are literally wrong every time you use it – – ha ha.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      NHS now pushing out tv ad.
      “Flu kills thousands. Get your jabs.”
      What??

  5. Sea_Warrior
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Rather than answer the set questions, could I pose another? What does the start of mass vaccinations here mean for policy a month or two down the line? And, as a supplementary, do we think that the Cabinet, either whole or in committee, will have even got around to discussing that aspect of anti-COVID strategy?
    I’m currently reading ‘Blinded by Corona’, by John Ashton. The author clearly has an agenda, and the book received the support of Jon Snow, but it certainly rings true. If it is an accurate account of the workings of government this year then Johnson and Hancock should be replaced – and the sooner the better. I am thoroughly tired of Johnson’s extended Fred Scuttle impression.
    P.S. Sir John, if you’re uncomfortable with my second paragraph, please feel free to delete it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Dear Warrior–Was it or was it not deleted?

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        It wasn’t. My major point was the first paragraph. My thanks to our kind host.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Lol
      That is soooo good! I’d forgotten Fred!!

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Fred Scuttle !

      Why didn’t I see that before ?

  6. Mark B
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The virus is not the problem. It is people’s perception and attitude towards it. People do not have the same level of fear of the common cold or flu despite them both being potential killers if caught by a certain demographic of the population.

    You neither manage it, cure it, contain it or any other type of control. But it does seem in rather useful means of controlling the population through fear. The thinking goes thus :

    “We need to control the virus. People spread virus. Therefore we need to control the people.”

    A very handy thought process if your real intention is to control the people. Geddit 😉

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Agree.
      Also this “plague” is supposed to demonstrate that we are unready for the “emergency” of climate change ( weather).
      And the destruction of out lives and businesses is supposed to pave the way for “The Great Reset”.
      Over the centuries we have given up too many of our rights
      Stupid sheep.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      It really is as simple as this.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Yes.
      It begs the question why this time for 3% of overall deaths?
      Cigarettes are still on sale. Alcohol and sugar too. Burger bars. Deep fried food.

      Global group think.
      Somehow we followed more authoritarian societies down the rabbit hole.

      Now we have the established view of the awfulness of no deal on the back of the EU/MSM/ May types. What would our forefathers have called us?

    • piglet
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Bang on.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, You’re right. It is notable that this virus appeared first in China where the reaction to it was typically totalitarian. The pity is that subsequently most other governments and the WHO have, more or less, copied the same totalitarian methods.

  7. Sharon
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The way Covid deaths has been recorded has been wholly inaccurate from the start. Even now, if someone goes into hospital with one thing, tests positive for Covid – even with no symptoms – and then subsequently dies of their condition; it is registered as a Covid death.

    Still, far too many are picking up Covid in hospital because of seemingly sloppy hygiene management, mixing infected people with non-infected people.

    Independent scientists who have used the government’s own data, looking at all deaths as a whole, (those figures can’t be massaged, you’re either dead, or you’re not) show that apart from April: this year isn’t very different from the previous five years.

    Incompetence or deliberate massaging of figures in many countries? Either way, yes it is nasty, but not as widespread as we’re lead to believe. Testing magnifies the apparent numbers. NHS info is now suggesting asymptomatic people are probably not contagious, apart from 1-2 days before symptoms show.

    This pseudo-pandemic may have been pointed out and questioned sufficiently often; the government are quietly backing down?

    • Cynic
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The reaction to Covid has shown us how easy it is for the media and government to cause panic and irrational fear amongst the population. Also, how psuedo science can be used to bolster any desired agenda.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      You make the point – though not in so many words – that the figures are being manipulated. Is the manipulation inadvertent or intentional? I suspect that on the ground practices are being influenced by policy from the top; indivdual doctors, etc. are following guidelines designed to maximise the apparent threat of Covid, is my guess. At a micro level, these guidelines may seem innocuous, but the cumulative effect is a ‘pandemic’.

      You are of course right to say that the total death rate is a figure that cannot be massaged. But it can be misinterpreted. It is obvious that there will be (indeed, already have been) excess deaths as a result of government response to Covid. However, it seems inevitable that the government will interpret this rise as a result of Covid itself for as long as they can get away with it.

      It would be nice to believe the government might quietly back down (owning up to killing thousands of people is too much to expect). Maybe they will. But even if they did, they cannot be allowed to get away with what they have done, or they will kill more and more people going forward.

    • Old Salt
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Sharon
      second para – we should be preparing separate isolation hospitals in the new hospital build or at least self contained hospital wings with suitable air flow systems as this virus will probably not be the last. These facilities could be utilised for other needs which could be made available at short notice.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Sharon, I agree.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      A recent paper from China where a whole cities population were researched found zero evidence of assymptomatic transmission. Another bogeyman no longer under the bed.

  8. Enigma
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Well said the 2 Ians and Roger.
    End testing now.
    We can’t believe any of the numbers about Covid but we can believe the economic damage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      The testing of a asymptomatic people (other than in a few special circumstances) causes far more harm than good and is wasting £billions. Especially when they use a PCR test with so many false positive (or positives detected in people who have already recovered). The money could save far more lives if spent sensible elsewhere.

      Ed Milliband on Marr just now with his absurd line of “we cannot have no deal” (as this is essentially saying he would accept anything from the EU however appalling). But of course he will not say what he would concede to get a deal.

      I had hoped to hear no more from this repulsive man after his evil agenda on Ed’s Tomb Stone. In which proposed stealing assets off landlords to try to buy the election. Let us hope he never gets near to any power.

  9. Everhopeful
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Just stop trying and leave us alone!
    Stop testing…that’ll see the numbers drop.
    Unless like that Austrian MP you start testing glasses of cola.
    Or as in Tanzania goats and papayas.
    Testing is NOT a cure for anything

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      +1 !!!

  10. Frances Truscott
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I can see the logic of letting it rip amongst schoolchildren to let them get herd immunity but it’s mucking up the figures. It’s all happening in secondary age kids, their families and their teachers.
    So now we have a vaccine shut the schools for a bit and keep them home.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Some schools around Wokingham/Bracknell have closed already until well into the New Year due to a Staff member testing positive.
      Schools around Dulwich continue sending whole (form) classes home to isolate reducing some subjects (formed from several classes) to as low as 9 children.
      Some Heads promote mask wearing, others don’t suggest it.
      Education has become a mess.

  11. Sharon
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Ps There is a great article on The Mail Inline describing how people who have tested positive with the PCR test are still showing positive, weeks and weeks later, even if they’ve never had any symptoms!

    And each positive test result counts as a new case…

    Lockdown Sceptics have info on how the PCR test is kicking off legally in Germany with legal challenges being presented.

    This PCR test has been a huge contributor to much of our economic destruction and other miseries throughout the world!

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    AND if testing worked.
    If imprisonment worked.
    Then why are we facing yet MORE draconian restrictions?
    AND if masks worked and social distancing worked then why is there a need for BOTH simultaneously? (Unmasked in House of Commons. Rely on the restored ancient air con?)
    Actually it is all very magick isn’t it?
    Follow the spell or it will be your fault if you get ill.
    Highly abusive!

  13. Everhopeful
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    What should happen to monies collected by police in COVID fines?
    I mean where does it go?

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Most to the local ‘nick’ Christmas party (yes they will hold one).

  14. Everhopeful
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I am useless at maths.
    But is 1516 per million … 0.15 (ish) %?
    Is that REALLY grisly??
    Is that really business and life-wrecking grisly??

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Since fewer than ten percent of the population have actually had the virus, yes, it is pretty grisly.

      If we all had it then about one-in-sixty-six would be killed by it at that rate.

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Martin, How do you know that fewer than 10% of the population has had covid19? Magic? And if you do know that only such a small number has been infected does that not confound your frequent claims on here that the government has failed to stop the spread of covid19?

        Meanwhile back on planet Earth, a University of Manchester study (Independent, May 2020) stated that 29% were likely to have already had covid19. So you’re either wrong about your infection percentage claim, or wrong about castigating the government. You can’t have it both ways.

        • Fred H
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          I suspect they forgot to write 29% of the students they based research on!

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Several people have commented here that it is a biological weapon. It attacks Westerners in particular.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        We shut down because less than 10% of the population actually caught it?
        Bit of an overreaction then? 90% escaped it?
        Huge overreaction since we find ourselves “sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”…not to mention sans a living, a country and an economy.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Everhopeful, Yes 1516 per million is 0.15% deaths in the general population. But they are deaths “involving” (ONS word) covid19, not deaths from covid19. The disease is bad, but not bad enough to ruin the economy and ruin the health of the majority denied access to the NHS.

    • NigelE
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Your maths are good. As are your questions. Plus 0.15% is the HIGHEST death rate. AVERAGE rate would be considerably lower.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Quite right there, but when will sense re enter this debate?
      To stay ‘onside’ it appears that even the slightest honest deviation from ‘correct’ thinking has to be preceded by some grovelling apology.
      Also witness President Trump’s Middle East initiatives and how little coverage or credit accrues.

  15. beresford
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Great Barrington Declaration is the only sane way to go. The known vulnerable shelter or are vaccinated, the rest of us lead normal lives and develop herd immunity, thus encouraging the more benign strains of the virus to predominate. The alternative, where the entire population of the world shuffles off for vaccination four to six times a year while wearing facemasks inbetween times, does not bear thinking about. I note that the leading vaccine protagonists have avoided it themselves, conveniently ‘waiting their turn’.

    • Suzette Burtenshaw
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      There’s very little incentive to get vaccinated if, as JVT has suggested, we will all have to carry on wearing masks and socially distancing for ever. Johnson ummed and ahhed as per usual but didn’t firmly slap him down when he came out with that. The vaccine is being sold as our only way back to normal, so tell me, is it or isn’t it?

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Masks either work, or they don’t work, or they partly work.

        If they work then those who are vulnerable or frightened can wear them, and leave the rest of us alone.

        If they don’t work, why is anybody being forced to wear them?

        If they partly work then: a) the government should admit it, rather than giving the impression that masks are a panacea; and b) masks low effectiveness means the vulnerable or frightened should stay at home, and leave the rest of us alone.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          The recent Denmark test showed 5000 people – 2500 of them wearing masks.

          Around 50 got infected not wearing masks and 40 got infected wearing them.

          Use your common sense.

          Would you go out in an ebola pandemic in a cloth face covering with gaps all around it ?

          They are a totem. Were it not for masks we wouldn’t even think we were in a pandemic.

        • Suzette Burtenshaw
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

          I totally agree. Given the evidence re. mask wearing ie at first, they make no difference according to various government statements, WHO pronouncements, Fauci statements, etc., why the about face in July when COVID deaths had plummeted? It’s difficult to see masks as anything other than stage props in the COVID drama. I think you’re spot in saying those who are fearful should wear them, those that aren’t should be free to discard them. Trouble is, I can see those same stage props being reused in the upcoming new drama: Covid 2 – Vax Wars.

  16. Alan Jutson
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Different areas of the World population have different immunities.
    Population density per square mile is different in many Countries.
    Summer and Winter are at different times of the year in other parts of the World.
    Different Governments take different action.
    Different Countries peoples think differently about obeying Government rules.
    Different standards of medical care in different Countries.
    Different standards of reporting in Different Countries.

    No Wonder few can make sense of anything !!!

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Alan, Exactly so. Far too many differences to draw reliable conclusions between countries.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Well said Alan.

  17. Andy
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you could use gunboats on the virus too? The Little Englanders would be delighted.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely. Although we are an island nation, we have absolutely no right to the fish in the seas around our coast. That fish is there to be plundered by anyone who fancies it. If they overfish with massive ‘factory trawlers’ and destroy the fish stocks in the waters around OUR coast, that is none of our business. Indeed, we should welcome all fishing vessels from anywhere and everywhere in the world and take advantage of their prescence by welcoming them into port and supplying them with fuel and suchlike.

      We are so narrow minded and think of nobody but ourselves. In a fair world the virus would have wiped everyone in this country out. Including, of course, you and yours. You are part of this hateful nation.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we could have locked down our borders early on, as I suggested, Andy?

      • Andy
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Your mob are in government. Why didn’t they? Too busy moaning about dinghies?

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          A mob is BLM.

          Elected people are not a ‘mob’.

        • NickC
          Posted December 14, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          Andy, Does that mean you are coming round to the idea that border lockdowns work? My, my! Bit late, of course.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Total trolling allowed now Sir John?

  18. Philip P.
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    To say ‘Sweden has done a little better’ is an interesting way of putting it, Sir John. The Swedish government has not inflicted on its people the massive social, psychological and economic damage that Johnson’s government has on ours. Its GDP drop in 2020 is well below the UK’s, and the hit it has taken has been due to the slump in international trade, not so much in its domestic business activity. In Sweden people behave fairly normally, their excess mortality is normal for this year, and of course their hospitals are nowhere near overwhelmed (not that ours are either).

    Your final premise is wrong, I’m afraid: a coronavirus is never ‘contained’. It spreads, does what viruses unfortunately do to the most vulnerable, leaves almost everybody else without serious harm, and then subsides. What to do? I agree with Ian Wilson’s point about the Great Barrington Declaration. We should follow their proposed policy of focused protection, shielding those most at risk, so that the population can return to normal life.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Philip, Yes indeed.

  19. Pat
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    See the Great Barrington declaration.
    Accept that until herd immunity is reached Covid will be with us, and even after that as an infrequent occurrence. Point out that all cause fatalities are only slightly above normal, and publish figures for the more common causes of death to put things in perspective.
    Roll out the vaccine(s) to protect the vulnerable and hasten herd immunity.
    Stop testing, with all the false positives it’s doing more harm than good.

  20. Desolate
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’m desolate.
    I realised last week I’m severely allergic to eggs and gelatin.
    I wont be able to have the vaccine.

  21. Mike Durrans
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Sir,
    I think it is obvious, Chinese scientists engineered the virus to favour Asians and attack the western genes.
    It was an attack on the western world and no accident

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      How come all the western people in Australia and in New Zealand have been spared then?

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Border lockdowns (which you opposed), and sparse populations, and seasons opposite to ours (covid19 is clearly seasonal).

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Sealed borders. Their economies most certainly haven’t been spared though, and Australia is under attack from the CCP for daring to speak out of turn.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      hilarious.

  22. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the WHO got this very wrong as well as disrupting commerce, the food supply and dismantling the world economy. They are not even interested in considering the possibility of a plan-B.

    Some Asian countries did better because they used their knowledge of herbal remedies to actually win against the virus, with no side effects and no lingering ailments…. and most definitely no unwelcome DNA changes.
    These successful natural, and cheap, treatments are ignored by the western establishment because they know best, besides we are only allowed one way to handle the virus otherwise big pharma would be out of pocket.

    You are of course aware that there are different strains of this virus, active in different countries – that may be reflected in death numbers.

  23. Simeon
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    You ask for our thoughts on why some countries have done better than others. You mention some of the possible reasons. You also say, “It is possible the world table is distorted by different definitions of what is a Covid death, and different levels of CV 19 testing.” The truth is, as you seem to understand, that drawing sensible conclusions from such muddled data is impossible. All we can do is guess. And yet the economy has, and by extension people’s lives have, been vandalised as a result. Why this approach has been adopted is the real question.

  24. Jiminyjim
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    There is only one way to rid ourselves of lockdown – we must abandon PCR testing for all those who have no symptoms. Mass testing must stop. The vaccines will not stop the false positive ‘Casedemic’ and we will end up being locked down in one form or another indefinitely. Please, Sir John, use your influence to expose the idiocy of mass PCR testing, and the recording many ‘normal’ deaths as COVID deaths.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      +1

  25. BJC
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    All the while we have scientists who believe they’re God, a government in thrall of them and a compliant Parliament, we’ll remain stuck in a self-inflicted loop of destruction. With or without government intervention the virus will win, so there’s either something about the virus that’s not being disclosed, or we should plan for increased hospitalisations in isolation units, while the rest of us live unrestricted lives and are trusted to apply common sense.

    We’ve been patronised and treated like uneducated fools for too long, where even government adverts suggest it’s preferrable to catch pneumonia from an open window in order to let Covid “particles” (eh?) out, and another where (alleged) NHS staff complain about having to wash their hands. Well ya boo sucks, the last I heard it was the required standard for the job.

    In the real world I have a neighbour, redundant as a direct result of Covid restrictions, now housing Chinese students, while their family Christmas is threatened by the arrogant and power-crazed dangling their Tier 3 Sword of Damocles. No, me neither.

  26. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    In order to answer your question, you have to approach the problem the way a professional quality manager, tasked with reducing/eliminating the reject rate, would look at it. Firstly, gather the available data and analyse the problem. What has gone wrong? Secondly, implement corrective action to correct the problem and firefight the issue. And thirdly, once the dust has settled and the corrective action has been shown to work, put in place preventive action to reduce the likelihood of a repetition.

    In the spring, the public was frightened and stayed at home during the first lockdown. This was undeniably effective. By July the BBC website was recording less than 20 deaths per week – the corrective action worked. Unfortunately, after the first lockdown was relaxed, the preventive action (the £22 billion! Test and Trace Scheme) failed. Abjectly. This has allowed the Chinese plague virus to spread exponentially again and NHS management have now started to warn of a “third wave” after Xmas.

    In Scotland, they dealt with the virus differently and their devolved government did allow the inquiry that Johnson & co denied us here in England. A report has been submitted to the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) by members of the COG-UK Consortium. It’s worth reading.

    Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director commented on the report last week “around 300 different strains of Covid were introduced across Scotland at the start of the pandemic. Following the first lockdown, the majority of the virus strains that had been circulating were eliminated” The report found that the Scottish lockdown was highly effective and that the majority of strains associated with the second wave of the virus “are new introductions from outside of Scotland and many from outside of the UK”

    This is a long post, so I shall conclude by mentioning two countries not on your list above – Australia and New Zealand. Both eliminated the virus from their countries by closing their borders (as did Scotland), enforcing total lockdowns and quarantining people involved in breakouts. Had we done the same, 80,000 people might not have lost their lives and we would be looking forward to living as an independent country again with confidence.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks.

      And those here were screaming for our government to shut the borders. Yet the flights still came in, and continue to do so. And whilst that basic precautions does not get addressed, we shall continue to suffer and no amount of locking up people in their homes will work.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Sakara said: “In the spring, the public was frightened and stayed at home during the first lockdown. This was undeniably effective. By July the BBC website was recording less than 20 deaths per week – the corrective action worked.”

      No, the “corrective action” did not work, and was not “effective”. Look at the death toll graph – a smooth steep exponential rise, then a rollover on 10th April, followed by a slower, smooth exponential decay. There is no indication on the graph that the government policy of lockdown had any effect whatsoever.

      Essentially the exponential reduction in deaths was due to summer. The graph simply indicates covid19 is seasonal. And the rise again this autumn confirms that seasonality.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear, Sakara Gold. I really hope you’re not a ‘professional quality manager’ as you would have wreaked havoc in any of the global companies that I ran over several decades. There used to be a joke in industry about a scientist who pulled all the legs off a flea. He then shouted ‘Jump!’ at the flea. When it failed to jump, he informed his students that it was clearly because ‘when you pull off all the legs off a flea, it goes deaf’
      I suggest you stick to commenting on things you know and have studied. 80,000 deaths is just fake news – stick to official sources!

  27. DOM
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    A speciouis article indeed. It is the politically inspired and many believe the deliberate destruction of freedom and liberty that we need to address not invite opinions on clinical issues we know very little about.

    Let’s get to the point. Does any politician or leeching bureaucrat truly understand the nature of this disease? I suspect most are clueless.

    Suffice to say, I don’t give a rat’s backside about the virus. These types of clinical events will happen once in a generation. I am more concerned with the blatant and obvious abuse of this clinical event for political and socio-political ends

    Over the last 24 months, like most, I have watched how your laughably titled party working with Labour’s Marxist client state have systematically rolled out a Marxist agenda of social engineering using racial and gender politics, critical theory inspired to remodel this nation to one, attack history, freedom and identity of the majority population and two, to protect the two party State from all external threats

    People know when they’re under attack and the majority population is under attack by a form of racial and Marxist politics designed to destroy place, face and voice. We can see it and we are being immersed in it. Symbols, voices, faces, culture, all slowly removed and replaced by more culturally acceptable according to those who now have power and sinister intent

    Etc ed

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      It has been going on since 1997.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Christmas spent indoors battered by BBC propaganda and political correction. And they haven’t stopped. I can guarantee that when I turn the TV on there is a lecture on climate or race for me to see.

      They clearly think that this is their moment.

      The irony is that people then resort to the internet and are exposed to extremism in the other direction.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      + a great deal.

  28. J Bush
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The number of ‘cases’ are up because the government are insisting testing must continue to justify their ‘pandemic’. But overall deaths are still basically at a 5 year average.

    As others have mentioned, lumping those tested within 28 days of dying, along with flu deaths with any virus deaths is being used to justify this continued fear-mongering. Or is the government and its ‘experts’ trying to claim this virus has eradicated flu etc?

    Stop the testing and the ‘cases’ will drop like a stone.

    Remove the flu and 28 day clause from the death statistics.

    Hancock and his ‘experts’ need to be removed and Johnson too if necessary.

  29. glen cullen
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    What Virus – there’s only a covid-19 if you believe the government, its scientists and the media….out on the real street the story is different

    We don’t believe you

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      You didn’t believe your teachers either, did you, Glen?

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        I question everything

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Sometimes, no, Martin. I have had to correct teachers, and write essays that reflect the teacher’s prejudices rather than say the truth, on occasions.

        Having said that, covid19 is very real. I believe I had it in May, though the test was negative (apparently as many as 30% false negatives). The disease is dangerous to some, but the lockdowns are useless at containing covid19, whilst unnecessarily damaging the health of the majority, and the economy.

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed; there are pandemics and scamdemics…

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, and there must be many a ‘Medicine Man’, ‘Rain Maker’, Sagely Seer, and Shaman around the Third World who must be laughing their socks off at the tergiversations of our ‘enlightened’ First World versions, the shamming pseuds and snake oil peddlers of Government and Cabinet.
      The obvious has already hit us smack in the face!

  30. acorn
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It is worth reading how the State of Victoria got virus free despite the Federal governments mistakes. How a competent State government; a citizenry with a large measure of social cohesion; a citizenry with a large measure of self discipline; and, enough trust in its State government to obey its rules. All sadly lacking in the UK.

    Google: ‘He did not even glance at him’: The day Brett Sutton felt the inside of the Premier’s ‘freezer’ (Age + Sidney Morning Herald). It’s in two parts.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Population density seems to have an effect
      Victoria 25 people per square kilometer.
      London 5701 people per square kilometer

      • acorn
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Try comparing Cities with other Cities not States. Melbourne in this case, which has a population density twenty times greater than the state of Victoria. Your “strawman” replies need sharpening up somewhat.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          OK
          The I will compare the whole of the UK to Victoria
          Still a huge difference.

      • Fred H
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        and an enforced curfew in the mere handful of towns.

      • Mark B
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I stated this as a major cause of transmittal months ago. If we were to have lockdowns, they should have been in the cities and large towns with rural areas going unaffected.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, That included authoritarian police action such as breaking car windows to get at and arrest the occupants. That’s nothing to boast about.

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Consider these facts:
    1. the PCR test cannot diagnose CV19 but results are reported daily
    2. deaths are reported daily of anyone dying for any reason if they were ‘tested’ as having CV19 within the previous 28 days
    3. mathematical models and statistics manipulation have been used to create a climate of fear in the population directed by a team of behavioural scientists
    4. we have been bombarded incessantly with government propaganda via the media
    5. our personal liberty and freedom have been usurped by government
    6. measures, never seen before in peacetime, have been taken which have caused premature deaths, increased mental health issues and suicides, delayed diagnoses and treatment of other fatal illnesses, disrupted education, destroyed jobs and businesses, damaged the economy in ways that will take decades to recover.
    Considering these facts does anyone really still believe that this was about reacting to a virus?
    I have lived through Asian fly and Hong Kong flu in the 50s and 60s without such devastating action being taken. The ‘cure’ for this virus has been worse than the disease and those responsible must be held properly to account in a court of law for all the harm they have caused.

    • Simeon
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Quite right, and really quite simple to observe and understand. Yet there are no MPs willing to say so. The opposition are broadly happy with the policy (despite it having a disproportionate effect on those on lower incomes; more proof that Labour no longer represent ordinary working people), whilst Conservative MPs can’t bring themselves to denounce their government – more prood that in politics it is party before country.

  32. DOM
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    ‘We still have some months to go of containment’. Political code for Marxism

    ‘some months’? Meaningless, crappy waffle.

    ‘containment’? Marxist impositions upon our liberties and freedom and our identity

    In Kyne’s novel ‘They also serve’ we saw the term ‘full of p-ss and vinegar’. Well, that perfectly describes the bullshitters now running this hollowed out nation

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      +1

  33. J Bush
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    More and more people are questioning the direction of this government. Below is borrowed from another forum.

    “Why is that Covid-19 only seems to spread when we relax?
    I can get on public transport.
    I can go to work with hundreds of people.
    I can go shopping at a shopping centre with thousands of people.
    Why are the hospitals empty?
    Why are Covid-19 death numbers being deliberately inflated?

    We are being lied to and more people are beginning to realise this.

    Our government have gone rogue they have exceeded their mandate in every possible way.”

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      My guess is, ost people are in Christmas mode and just want to have a nice break with their family and get this year out the way. Once that is done then the mood of the people will shift. Why ? Because people like to take the opportunity on the 1st January to take stock and plan ahead eg holiday’s etc. And if they cannot do that, they are gonna be might peed at someone !

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      + several million plus.

  34. Stred
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The false positive rate of the PCR test, misunderstood by the Minister for Health, has now been confirmed by the mass testing using the lateral flow test and the reason for the overstated PCR test results explained by the greatly over amplified method, which the test designer has said should not be used for mass testing. The lack of hygienic procedures in British main labs and staffing by non medical or scientifically qualified operatives has been reported.

    The PCR testing is estimated to be producing around ten times as many false positive results as true positives. Not only does this distort the number of ‘cases’, most of which are asymptomatic, but because patients coming into hospital with delayed treatment for other diseases are testing positive ten times as often as is correct, the numbers of covid deaths is greatly exaggerated. This can be seen on the NHS chart showing the numbers of patients in ICU treatment with Covid and without. The proportion of patients classified as with Covid has increased since October.
    Also, the Lancet article on the Oxford vaccine shows that the results in Brazil are better than the results in the UK by a surprising %. If the sample depends on the PCR test in the UK and our labs are showing excessive positive results then the vaccine will be shown to be less effective. The 70% effectiveness with 30% not protected should perhaps be 97% with 3% not protected. The methods may obviously be more complicated but if they have been using poor testing then the results will be wrong.

    And now some doctors are questioning the ultra rapid approval of the American RNA vaccine and the high number of reactions in the testing. They are also questioning whether it is advisable to vaccinate healthy younger people, many of whom will have had the disease and been unaffected by it.

    The government of course has a motive to press on with vaccination and mass testing, otherwise it would follow the test and trace failure and others during the main epidemic. For the moonshot to be another massive waste of time and money would be the last straw.

  35. Caterpillar
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The reasons for the different death rates are multivariable e.g. Underlying immunity, health of population, vitamin d levels, lattitude, timely treatment etc.

    I suggest going to Youtube, searching Ivor Cummins and watching the video of December 7th (22mins 42 seconds). If you have access and time read some of the papers he flags up. I have not watched the more recent videos so cannot yet recommend them.

    (I would do this as early as possible given Youtube’s alleged increased active editorial policy against contrarian views and free debate).

    • Stred
      Posted December 15, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I have and also recommend Lockdown Sceptics and Conservative Woman for alternative views that are banned by OFCOM and censored on MSM.

  36. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister managed to survive Covid 19 but to do so politically he must take the bull by the horns today and decisively walk away from this grotesque saga of negotiations.

    Walk the talk or walk the plank! Do you wish to eat fish or feed them?

    This is literally your hero or zero moment in history.

  37. Julian
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    It is delusional to think a virus like this can be contained or beaten with government action, short perhaps of places that are geographically isolated that close their borders in time. If you look at outcomes around the world, there’s no correlation between government action and outcome.

    Comparing countries is probably close to pointless anyway as the measuring is so inconsistent.

    Asian countries – people are genetically different, possible prior immunity, healthier, less obese elderly, seasonal differences.

    “Sweden locked down a bit less” – Good grief, what nonsense. Sweden’s “lockdown” was almost 100% voluntary and its government did not declare war on its people, as our so-called Conservative government has here.

    ALL the measures adopted have weak or no evidence for them working and are experimental and none of them were in the WHO pandemic playbook until the Chinese went crazy in Wuhan. Any rational analysis of the money spent/lost/extra deaths and health problems caused vs. any notional benefit in lives saved finds that the cost outweighs the benefits enormously. It’s not even close, even without factoring in the cost of lost freedom and enjoyment of normal life which a true conservative would need to consider.

    In many countries, all-cause mortality is normal, and even in countries worst affected the fluctuation was brief and within a normal margin based on the last 25 years. This is NOT an exceptional public health emergency.

    • BeebTax
      Posted December 14, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      +1

  38. Pete
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it amazing that flu and pneumonia has disappeared? Apparently all we had to do to totally get rid of it was rebrand it and falsify death certificates en masse. Who knew? Trouble is we’ve got this terrifying new disease that apparently has all the same symptoms but for which we now have to destroy our futures, never see friends or relatives again and wear face nappies forever despite having to endure poinsonous cocktails of God knows what injected into us.
    Also isn’t it strange that all the old rules don’t now apply. You know like the NHS not putting DNR orders on us any time we go in for routine treatments- not that there are any routine treatments any more. And of course the old rule about new drugs or vaccines taking 10 years or more to be safely tested. Gone. How about the one where politicians pretend to help the economy but don’t entirely ruin it whilst making back room deals for huge public funds with their mates from the pub? That’s long gone of course.
    Now it’s just ruination for the proles, money from waterfalls for politicians and death for anyone unfortunate enough to get in the clutches of the NHS whilst being older than 50.

  39. Nordisch geo-climber
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    When most deaths after a dubious positive test are recorded as “covid on the death certificate”, it is obvious covid deaths are massively over-estimated and other deaths, including secondary and indirect deaths due to covid are massively under-estimated.

    The statistics, like lockdowns are not believable.

    Local anecdotal information confirms the NHS is spreading the virus, not pubs, but death rates in my area are 0.1%, survival rate 99.9%.

  40. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Their, know .. a few typos. Sorry.

  41. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to superimpose historical annual flu deaths over Covid attributed deaths in each country and see if there is any correlation.

    Temperature, mobility and hygiene must be contributory factors

  42. J Mitchell
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Different definitions and look at how bad the flu last flu seasons were. We had two very low flu seasons. Germany had a normal one. Result a lot of “dry tinder”.

  43. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Isolation (lockdown) should work. If there is limited contacts there should be limited spread.

    Therefore the lockdowns were not complete and so of little use while spread through households hospitals workplaces and those who did not adhere.

    It is a shame there is no control in each country to see how the spread differs in lockdown or out.

  44. Lifelogic
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Covid is in essence all but over now (vaccine or not). The real problem now is the dire (half shut down) NHS and the economy. Stop all this asymptomatic testing and use the money to sort out this:-

    About 2.4 million people in the UK are waiting for cancer screening, treatment or tests, as a result of disruption to the NHS during the past 10 weeks, according to Cancer Research UK.
    Year-long waits for surgery at highest level since 2008, says NHS England about 150,000 people waiting more than a year for an operation. Many clearly dying for lack of routine treatments and emergency treatments and consultations (as is clear from the NHS data available).

  45. gyges
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Use this blog post

    https://probabilityandlaw.blogspot.com/2020/11/latest-uk-covid-19-stats-roundup.html

    to see the massive shortfalls in the data required to track the disease.

    If you dig into it you’ll realise how poorly the scientific community (those without any vested interests) think the government is doing.

  46. formula57
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    It is well-established that effective pandemic control typically demands thorough tracing and testing and isolating: Singapore and South Korea seemed to do very well with their systems.

  47. Norman
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Whilst mass manipulation on a worldwide Public Health pretext was initially understandable, many are sceptical of the level of control freakery being imposed on us. This, together with all the hype on climate and other ‘celebrated causes’ ramped up by the left and those of a humanistic globalist tendency, leads many to suspect the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.
    Whilst economies have been disrupted to destruction, charity contacts abroad report that the poor are being denied their means of an already meagre living. Some are emaciated, others have died.
    Gradual herd immunity and sensible lifestyles, with plenty of fresh air and Vitamins C & D appear to be a better prospect than trusting in hastily ‘approved’ RNA vaccines , which could throw-up longer term issues.
    I don’t dismiss Covid as a health issue to be wisely and proportionately addressed: but what has happened has been a monumental disaster, largely as a result of an undue reverence and trust in the new ‘we know best’ sophistry, of ‘science falsely so-called’.

  48. alastair harris
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I don’t think you can contain a virus. And actually, given that this one is similar in impact to seasonal flu, you could argue that we have just learnt a very expensive lesson!
    But there are some obvious mistakes we should learn from.
    1. a lot of people who caught it, caught it in hospitals, or care facilities
    2. many people might be susceptible to government programming (masks, social distancing, hibernation), but it doesn’t reduce the flow of a virus
    3. the one thing that will offer hope is a healthy economy – such that we can afford to fund the research and testing. Current government policy takes that away

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Alistair, Succinct and true.

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      +1

  49. oldwulf
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The people of the Asian countries you mention are probably more disciplined than many of their European counterparts. They have previous experience of this sort of thing and maybe are more prepared to alter their behaviour accordingly, whether they are instructed or not.

    In the UK, the Government has lost control of the plebs who are increasingly less likely to pay attention to the “rules”. The Government should revisit the Barrington Declaration so that it doesn’t turn a pandemic into a catastrophe.

    As a separate matter, it’s unfortunate that China owns the WHO.

    • beresford
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      There is a suggestion that it is dietary, as those on traditional diets tend to have higher Vitamin D levels than Western people. In any case it provides an interesting problem for the mandatory vaccination lobby, will Japanese visiting the UK have to present a vacc certificate despite not needing it?

    • Mark
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      The “plebs” seem to include TV news readers holding outsize birthday parties after preaching to us about lockdowns, and then skidaddling off to go on safari while taking a six month paid sabbatical.

      • Oldwulf
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Mark
        Yep….. plebs also includes various footballers and other ‘celebrities’

  50. Jim Whitehead
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Nearly a year gone and all the measures taken or not taken yield similar results, ‘no significant difference’ if we ‘follow the science’.
    How many strictures, finger wagging, ‘more hygienic than thou’ remonstrances promoted by a worse than useless Conservative Government must we endure before the obvious is accepted and acted upon?
    Diamond Princess was many months ago but the understanding from it, the statistical breakdown, no better template has emerged since then.
    Time for a Normal normal.

  51. a-tracy
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Why can’t we all get the same therapeutics that Trump and Giuliani got these elderly men recovered in just three day! What were we told again ‘these medicines don’t work’.

    Has the UK even tried the combination of drugs on volunteers?

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Also I wonder how much £ does a double dose of the vaccine per person cost and how much would the treatment drug combination cost?

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      you need to know one works and then a second before you take a wild guess and combine them? Are you volunteering for the ‘do I feel lucky gamble?’

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        I think both are important, they can’t inoculate everyone quickly so therapeutics have got to be explored, Hancock doesn’t even discuss current treatments, the treatments as I’ve said elderly men in America got and recovered quickly or even tell us what treatments we are giving now in the UK don’t you think that is odd?

        There are going to be lots of people unable to take the vaccine because they have allergies would you consider them gamblers?

        • Fred H
          Posted December 14, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          oh dear. You seem to suggest combining vaccines prior to Approval! The Oxford one and the Russian, both ready for approval are going to be trialled in Russia, since they both were developed with a similar approach and may well meet a higher efficacy in combination.

    • anon
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Understand drugs given were.
      -remdesivir, an anti-inflamatory drug , then regeneron.

  52. Robert Mcdonald
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I am sure the main difference between the wests response to the pandemic and east Asian is all about previous experience. We have all seen how the Japanese and other east Asian nationals regularly wear masks, that’s all down to previous plus of course their culture of courtesy for authority. Sadly one reason we in the UK have had more spread of the virus is down to certain sectors of our society being determined to “enjoy themselves”. Plus of course we have a very significant transient sector of our society, more movement means more ready spread.

  53. Colin B
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic because it doesn’t point to any short or medium term solutions, but the quality and quantity of the UK’s housing stock is, arguably, one important explanation for our relatively poor Covid-19 response.

    Throughout the 1990s, well before the unprecedented immigration of later decades, the ONS was reporting that house building was not keeping pace with household formation. I recall evidence to one Examination in Public (EiP) which estimated that the speed of replacement of the existing housing stock would mean that each new house built would be needed to have a lifespan of over 1000 years!

    I suspect the evidence of housing shortage today would be much the same, or maybe a lot worse. The consequence is that, aside cultural reasons for large households, many households aspiring to live independently have been forced to live together in conditions unbefitting of the World’s 5th richest economy.

  54. Maylor
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I think we first need to establish the extent of the problem.

    Are the tests used to identify the virus, especially the PCR test, accurate ? Without a good degree of accuracy, how can we assess what we are dealing with and what is the best course of action ?

    Like many, I am concerned by reports that the PCR test is being incorrectly used to determine policies which are having such a devastating impact on the economy and on our way of life.

  55. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Belgium have always, right from the beginning, been consistently very liberal as to how they categorise a Covid death – I think it is wrong to single them out as having done “worse” than Spain (say) who had a different definition. I think it is clear that in terms of overall infection control all of the bigger EU countries have done about the same. Similarly in terms of deaths except for Germany which has done much better. Hard to escape the conclusion that the German health service is better than the NHS and/or they controlled transmission in care homes and hospitals better. In Hampshire 40% of Covid cases in one recent period were hospital acquired.

    As to the Far East comparison, there must be an existing immunity factor because countries like Thailand and Japan have done strikingly better although the latter had a weak shambolic lockdown and very limited testing. You can’t just look at the raw numbers and work out who did better or worse, see Martin in Cardiff’s comical suggestion at one point that we should follow Senegal’s example.

    I see that the lateral flow tests are now claimed to miss 50% of infections – how do they know ? – if it is a fact that lateral flow tests show 50% less positives than PCR tests then isn’t there another equally valid conclusion ?

    At this point our strategy should be to offer vaccination to anyone who wants it and start ramping down the restrictions in parallel with an aim of removing them entirely by end-March. We will be helped in this by the fact the virus seems strongly seasonal (look at recent big case spikes in the countries held up as shining examples like South Korea and Germany) so by end-February it should be in retreat anyway. I think the Government know this anyway as Sunak’s last set of financial support packages last until then. Then, next autumn, offer the Covid vaccine in the same way the flu one is offered but don’t introduce any other measures.

  56. None of the Above
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    A good summary Sir John.
    There are too many variables to ponder in order to form a definitive conclusion at the moment but I believe that we must assess this in two different studies.
    First and foremost, a study of the reaction of the human body to the virus and detailing how the responses vary by ethnicity, health condition and age.
    Secondly, a study of the different environmental factors such as climate, geographical location and dietary habits.
    The various factors in these two studies will obviously combine in ways which will take many months to rationalise and I have no doubt that many sharp minds are working on this already.
    In the meantime, we ordinary mortals must be satisfied with a vaccine.

    May I say also how disappointed I am in some of the comments in todays blog.
    My Daughter works in hospital and has performed a spell of duty in ITU and a family friend is a senior nurse currently working in ITU. Whatever people may claim about testing and the need of ‘lockdowns’, frontline health workers can attest to the number of patients in hospital who exhibit text book Covid 19 symptoms. When one considers the number of Covid patients suffering badly in hospital, it makes discussions about the accuracy of tests somewhat moot.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      wouldn’t efficient testing and timely results help to eliminate the cases needing hospital?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      May I say how disappointed I am for all the thousands of elderly patients who died as a result of the demented evacuation of hospitals and for all those (still) in desperate need of treatment for identifiable diseases who have been denied access to medical care.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      It is claimed that Asia “did better”in the pandemic because it is not nasty, entitled and decadent like the West.
      Apparently authoritarianism is considered to be key to the global battle against the virus!
      Huge investment in healthcare and respect for that authority is said to help too!
      The globalists have a poor opinion of us evidently.
      Don’t they think we have won the right to agree with Reagan?
      We have known poverty and toil and war.
      And at long last we understand the treachery of governments.
      Too late.

  57. beresford
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Off topic, less than three weeks before the end of the transition period another deadline comes and goes and we are to ‘carry on talking’. Remember when business was to have several months to prepare for WTO? How can there be an agreement bearing in mind the gap between the EU’s ridiculous demands and anything acceptable?

  58. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Years ago a certain Mr Blair wanted a nationwide DNA database. With this push towards total control the swabbing of every person satisfies this DNA database aim. Glad i’m old – hell is being deliberately organised and implemented.

  59. glen cullen
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Once a proud party now a complete joke

    I actually pity you Sir John

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      +1

      Gone and hidden by a Socialist Controlling Dictator

      • Fred H
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        after a posh-boy spoilt baby, then a deceitful joke ‘ of a safe pair of hands’ – now we have a would-be raffish bluffer with no substance relying on others, but gullible in the extreme. In other words Billshiter.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      I pity the fact that you are surrounded by people who can’t meet a deadline

      • steve
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        glen

        More the fact that their deadlines were LIES in the first place.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      +1

      Yeah. Sad isn’t it.

  60. Christine
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Have you watched Dr Pierre Kory speaking to the US Senate hearing about the fact that 100% of studies have shown Ivermectin has worked and how tech and pharma companies have banned the evidence from being shared as it has not been endorsed by the WHO? He is nearly in tears telling them how his patients could have been saved if this drug had been administered earlier. Why are people being censored in this way? It’s disgusting and needs someone in your position to highlight this travesty. Clips from the Senate hearing can be seen on Dr Chris Martenson’s latest YouTube video entitled – Censored. I suggest you watch it then ask the question WHY is the WHO allowing this to happen. My guess is there isn’t enough money to be made from cheap generic drugs.

    Reply I have called for any possible treatment to be investigated properly. This site does not presume to recommend medicines.

    • Christine
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: It is not the recommendation of a treatment but the reason for the censoring of the results of a vast number of positive clinical trials that is the concern.

    • rb
      Posted December 14, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Reply I have called for any possible treatment to be investigated properly. This site does not presume to recommend medicines.


      no, but we need free speech so alternative voices are heard. Science only progressed because of it.

  61. Christine
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Why are we guessing about whether a person died with COVID? Surely it would be a simple exercise to do a double swab test on the deceased to establish if they even had COVID and provide accurate figures.

  62. steve
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    OT, but serious.

    Breaking news Johnson is extending trade ‘negotiations’ beyond today.

    Dead liar walking, we warned.

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      The only point of further negotiations is to leave us subservient to the EU in some ways.

    • ian@Barkham
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Bad policies I can live with, but not an untrustworthy government

      People are going to remember this at the next election

  63. Nigl
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Extending the deadline again only means we will sell out. What’s the point of lying to us about deadlines

    • steve
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Nig1

      “What’s the point of lying to us about deadlines”

      =========

      Lying is what you expect of a LIAR.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Agree – this is beyond a joke – the markets will not like the indecision. Tomorrow morning billions will be wiped off the stock exchange

  64. steve
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    SACK JOHNSON NOW !

    • DavidJ
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • glen cullen
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Maybe when it actually comes to the crunch he just can’t make a decision

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I agree, who would you want to replace him ? It is an important question as, since 1990, they have not had anyone decent leading the party.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      +1

  65. Old Salt
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    We could have studied the countries that were more successful in keeping the numbers of fatalities down instead of being so pig-headed in following the so-called experts and ending up in the top five of major economies in the world of deaths per million.

  66. Rhoddas
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    South Korea appears to have the optimim mix of tools/techniques. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just adopt best practice T&T, without shutting the economy. Vaccinate those most at risk, improve therapeutics via the recent 5 genes identified.

    It’s now obvious the EU aim is to punish UK for Brexit, I would welcome a site discussion on what EU might well do after either outcome, to press home this punishment e.g. ‘influence’ their major companies to reshore auto assembly – I see risks to BMW Mini Midlands and PSA Ellesmere Port. Anticipating UK business taxation regime would be adapt to make their business cases to stay & EXPAND in the UK fantastic opportunities?

    Hoping this is a topic for future debate 🙂

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      The UK Tories never, ever accept that any country other than the US has anything whatsoever to teach them.

      The BBC – like most of the UK media – assist this by remaining pretty silent on what the rest of the world does about, say, education, public transport, and occupational pensions.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Ridiculous claim again Martin.
        Stop making stuff up.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        I see the complete opposite with Tory MPs only focus towards the EU

      • NickC
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        You want us to forfeit our independence, Martin, not me. If we have to be a subject nation, then clearly being a state in the USA is far preferable to being a colony of the EU (as Verhofstadt’s staffers boasted). Of course best of all is to be independent.

      • steve
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        MiC

        The Tories are dead.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          +1

    • Mark
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      I think that the government regards closure of such plants as a positive – Ham Hall makes ICE engines. Just as with ruining our exports of valuable oil and gas goods and services by refusing to provide any future export credit guarantees: wherever we have a skilled workforce earning well above average the aim seems to be to close it down in the name of the climate god. Meanwhile, the business will go elsewhere. In the case of oil and gas, it will mean that other countries will instead buy in help from Russian and China, and in the process fall into their influence. A truly crazy policy.

  67. DavidJ
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Two relevant points:

    Covid19 was downgraded in March 2020 to a lower level risk comparable to flu, yet government still continued with its planned lockdown.

    The death counts are not to be believed as those dying in care homes in particular were classed as Covid deaths when it might not have been the case. Odd how the death count from flu was less this year…

    Consider too the stated aims of the globalists to achieve a huge reduction in world population. What better way to kill us off than with a largely untested vaccine and pushing many into poverty?

  68. Lorna Ainsworth
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    How weird that you have to ask the reason for Taiwan’s success in controlling the virus
    It was actually a method which you and your anti lockdown supporters would have resisted
    Their monitoring was intrusive and way beyond anything that would have been considered acceptable
    Sweden had similar measures as U.k but their legal system did not allow it to be made compulsory .The Swedes acted responsibly in the first instance Criticism of the Chief Medical Officer wasfrowned upon so he was trusted
    The fact is that the virus spreads by contact ! Only breaches of the rules designed to,avoid contact between groups could stop the spread
    Belgium like U.k had major problems convincing the population to abide by rules for safety .Especially in heavily populated migrant neighborhoods
    The U.k would have had a better chance if lockdown sceptics had not vociferously criticized the Govts actions and made strict measures unenforceable
    The virus will not infect unless it comes into contact with you .So,work it out Sir John ! How do you avoid contact ?

    • rose
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      The main problem for the Government has come from the media trashing it every day. This doesn’t happen to the Welsh and Scottish devocrats. Quite the opposite.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Lorna, Complete tosh! The roads were empty in April, as the majority obeyed the first lockdown. In fact, one of the topics for debate has been how compliant the British public were.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Aerosols !

  69. ian@Barkham
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    From the BBC

    The UK and EU have agreed to carry on post-Brexit trade talks after a call between leaders earlier on Sunday.

    There are two key sticking points preventing a deal are the UK insistence on being and independent sovereign state and the EU’s insistence on ruling the UK, not only internally but internationally as well.

    4 plus years on and there is still no acceptance by the EU that we have the right to leave their jurisdiction.

    As a talking head stated yesterday the ‘Remainers’ in the HoC have given the EU hope that if they keep prevaricating the UK Government will give up and stay in the EU on their terms.

    Gove has already proved this intention of giving up by separating NI from the UK and handing it and its people over to the EU.

    • bill brown
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Ian@barkham

      Gove, has only given up what was not according to interenational law and treaty in teh first place, so no NI has not been given to teh EU

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        So there will not be EU personnel stationed in Northern Ireland?

  70. Derek
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    There are lies, damn lies and Statistics. So said PM Ben Disraeli in the 19th Century but his quote could stand today.
    There is no agreed International Standard for establishing the true numbers who died solely because of Covid 19. Only an individual Post Mortem examination can do that but that would have been an impossible task on a global scale.
    What should have been to basis of all these virus statistics was to utilise the Hierarchy of Scientific Evidence Scale at the Level 2 – which involves Random Controlled Trials (RCT) and tests. At present, the evidence presented to us by the “scientific” QUANGOs is at level 7 – the lowest, which means a result based upon only the OPINIONS of a group of advisers.
    No scientific testing is required at this level, which with today’s acute problems, deems it worthless, of course.
    How Parliament clears these new anti-Covid 19 policies is bewildering. Are there no real scientists on the back-benches? Or do none of the MPs seek alternative opinions from the real experts in this field, to challenge the Government with their clearly, economically damaging, orders of the day?

  71. RichardP
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Lockdowns don’t work. Your government has been terrified by its own propaganda and wave after wave of PCR Test false positives.
    The misery will continue until someone with common sense, and an understanding of science, takes control.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      +1

  72. L Jones
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    A virus can’t be ”contained”. They shouldn’t be spending money on that pointless exercise, and the ludicrous obsession with mass testing to prove it’s still around. We KNOW it’s still around AND people know how to protect themselves IF they consider they need to be protected. That money should have been spent on treating people who may be unfortunate enough to display symptoms AND become ill (very very much in the minority). As Dr Mike Yeadon says – trying to escape a virus is like trying to escape the weather. It’s still there when you come out.

    There should be more information disseminated about theraputics or prophylactics. But that wouldn’t be to the pharmaceutical firms’ advantage, would it? ”No money in it, guv.” And it might even result in the government losing its control over us. That wouldn’t do, would it?

  73. WorstLudditeEver
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Scotland could not afford to eradicate Covid-19, as Westminster budgeting tied their hands. With additional financial support at the time, and an ability to close the England Scotland border, we could have been much closer to the New Zealand situation, even with the initial delays in locking down.

    • rose
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      That could have worked for the South West but not Scotland or Wales.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Scotland has more money to spend per head of population. Your ministers are in charge. It was up to them. Indeed Sturgeon delighted in doing everything differently to England. Don’t blame Westminster.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I agree yes let’s close the border!

  74. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Firstly your government hasn’t a clue about covid – Hancock being the most hopeless.

    And I now hear that the Brexit talks are going to continue after all the bluster about today being decision day. (Of many)

    PATHETIC PATHETIC PATHETIC.

    Boris is a completely useless leader to whom Sir John to you swear your loyalty. You ought to be judged by the company you keep. Your credibilty is at an end too.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Prangwizard, This is a list of the capitulations so far:

      1. The WA – a Remain agreement, for which Theresa May and Ollie Robbins were mostly to blame, which will tie us to the EU for years even if we “leave” on 31-12-2020;

      2. Half a dozen or more deadlines – all Boris Johnson to blame;

      3. Agreeing a “regression” clause on the level playing field – we will not be able to change any current standard because the EU will call it a lowering of standards, whether it is or not – Boris.

      4. Northern Ireland to remain part of the EU – Boris.

      So, clearly, whatever we eventually get, it is already not Leave. We were promised that Leave meant exiting EU control, but we’re not going to get it. Failing to Leave cleanly is not just us losing out, but the whole country too.

    • steve
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Prangwizard

      Agree.

      However on the question of loyalty I suspect Sir Redwood could be the only MP who is loyal to us.

      I can only admire his dedication. Though I don’t think he should go down with that rat infested hull. Obviously not for me to judge, but I do think he’d gain even more public’s respect if he turned his back on that lot.

      JR – make no mistake it’s over for the Tories, I for one would be upset if they took you down with them. Greatest respect to you Sir.

    • steve
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      PATHETIC PATHETIC PATHETIC.

      I’d call it DISGUSTING DISGUSTING DISGUSTING.

      Still, Johnson has obviously weighed it up and decided his safety is better served by BETRAYING OUR COUNTRY. Big mistake.

      There WILL be merciless revenge !

  75. Mike Wilson
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The data, both here and elsewhere, is both inaccurate and not based on the same parameters. As such it is completely and utterly meaningless and any opinions expressed are pure conjecture.

    Personally, I think if the data was able to provide accurate comparisons, the UK would undoubtedly be ‘world beating’. Certainly a lot better than all the EU countries, particularly Germany whose figures are clearly massaged.

    • NickC
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Mike Wilson, It is very difficult to get from the ONS details of the criteria they use to add a death to their posted covid19 death toll. It’s absolutely basic, but pages and pages of verbiage cover almost everything except the principal point.

      You will not be surprised to learn the ONS uses software to extract cause of death from the MCCD (Medical certificate of cause of death). It appears that if covid19 is mentioned in parts 1a, 1b, or 1c on the death certificate, then the death is included in the covid19 death toll. Yet only part 1a is the principal cause of death.

      At least the ONS is careful to use the word “involving” – as in “involving covid19” – rather than “caused by covid19”, but the media and too many MPs seem to miss this distinction, and thereby add to the hysteria.

  76. Barbara
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    As has been pointed out before – with the inaccuracy of testing, the deliberate loosening of formerly very secure death certification regulations, and the dismissal of need for autopsy, we don’t actually *know* how many people have died from Covid. Top experts say the epidemic ended many months ago, but they are being ignored.

    Making sweeping policy on the back of inaccurate testing and deliberately bad record-keeping seems an unhelpful idea. It is like furthering the rot, instead of cutting it out.

  77. Charles Fuchter
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    We should have remembered Reagan’s wise words, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” The government should have done nothing but protect those who were vulnerable and allow the rest of society to carry on. Unfortunately governments always believe that their actions make things better. By the date of the first lockdown SARS Cov-2 had been downgraded and was no longer a serious infectious disease. We would by then have known that it was only a threat to the very old and those with serious illness. Instead a form of herd insanity and groupthink took over. In a real sense your question is premature. Until the devastating effects of the governments actions have been felt it is impossible to measure the damage done by lockdown policy. In view of the virtual closure of the health service to most people we can be sure that the loss of future lives through lack of medical treatment, to say nothing of the economic devastation we are facing and the unknown effects of an experimental vaccine which reduces symptoms without providing immunity, will dwarf any perceived harm caused by the virus. History will not look kindly upon our leaders for what they have done.

  78. NickC
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    JR, The covid19 death numbers are not reliable for policy making.

    A covid19 death is recorded by the ONS if the death certificate mentions covid19. PHE uses a recorded positive test as the criteria. So the numbers are different from the start. The ONS is careful to use the word “involving” covid19, precisely because the majority of patients have not died directly from only covid19. We do not even know whether the presence of covid19 accelerated any particular death, or not.

    The other method is to use “excess deaths”. But again this is unreliable because we have no means of knowing whether – without covid19 – we would have had excess deaths this year compared to say the average of the previous five years.

    What you can do is look at the recorded covid19 death toll graph which clearly shows no effects from the first lockdown. Given that infection to death (for those that died) was a mean of four weeks, the reactions on the graph are missing – firstly toward the end of April (4 weeks after lockdown started), and secondly from around mid June (after the lockdown was lifted in mid May).

    Neither the government, nor SAGE, have explained why there was a smooth continuous exponential decline in deaths (from c10 April) despite policy modifications. Instead they have segued seamlessly from deaths to “cases”, hoping we won’t notice. The recent upsurge in covid19, as we enter autumn and winter, indicates that covid19 is affected by the seasons rather than by government policy.

    Therefore the SARS-Cv-2 virus (causing covid19) cannot be “contained” – it is endemic and seasonal, like influenza. Ruining the economy, and ruining the health of the majority who can no longer access the NHS properly (4 million delayed operations!), demonstrably does not stop the virus, but causes immense economic, civil, and health damage.

    When the majority come to realise this, they will switch rapidly from supporting the lockdowns to blaming the government. That may be unfair, but such a switch happened over the Iraq war – from initial support to hostility within months when the damage became apparent.

  79. John Swannick
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I think what you see in these comments proves that confused and confusing communication allows any level of false information or interpretation to gain traction. Even the dear old BBC can find an epidemiologist or expert to fit any given line. I don’t believe the tiers and lockdown 2 have worked, perhaps unlike lockdown 1, because people have flouted, ignored or misinterpreted the rules. We will see the consequences of that over the coming weeks. It is also patently obvious to me that very few understand metric and that 2 metres is not 2 feet.

  80. Jack Falstaff
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    With respect to today’s further-protracted silly-shallying on trade arrangements with the EU by Mr Johnson, does he really expect UK businesses to be fully prepared for next year if they are only able to find out precisely where they stand at 11.59 pm on December 31?

    The Government keeps telling us to prepare for No Deal but we are as ready as we can be and find ourselves severely hampered by the uncertainty caused by this extremely harmful dithering and shortage of clarity.

    Mr Johnson must instruct to leave under No Deal now, given that the sands of negotiating time have run out in realistic terms. Anything else is harm in its purest form at this stage.

    • Jack Falstaff
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      “shilly-shallying”, sorry.

      As human beings we can look at what we’ve written a thousand times and not see our own mistakes, which is why sub-editors exist!

      Perhaps an option to self-correct might also be an idea?

      • SM
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I don’t know Jack, ‘silly-shallying’ seems quite appropriate under the circumstances!

      • Richard416
        Posted December 13, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        You were right first time.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Another day another dead line.

      All it needs is some simple questions to the EU

      Are you prepared to move your existing position at all, yes or no.

      If No, “then it would seem there is no point in dragging this out any more, but call us if you change your minds”.

      If yes, ” then what are you prepared to move on and when”

      Given both organisations are registered and trade under WTO terms then it would seem sensible that those are the ones to use for both sides.
      It has its own resolution procedures.already set up and over 94% of World trade is completed under those terms, if free trade deals are not in place.

  81. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Press release Joint Statement from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen: 13 December 2020
    “We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached.”

    Boris never could say no to a woman, but when will he stiffen his backbone and stop this indecision — He doesn’t even specify a new deadline so this could go on and on and on and…

    Clearly Boris is unwilling to have to confront the attacks from the remoaners if a deal isn’t signed. Somebody please give him a kick and tell him it’s our future he’s delaying.

    • rose
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      By running on and on, the eventual FTA avoids scrutiny from his friends. Sir John must make sure there is time left for that, otherwise it will look – and be – Mayish.

    • Multi-ID
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      without the EU we don’t have a future and that’s the absolute truth- but if I’m wrong then please explain to me where else are we going to get trade realations that will in any way match our trade with the EU Bloc – and don’t tell me Oz or NZ.. 10,000 miles away..Jeez

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 14, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        @Multi

        WE should ask how you come up with your sensationalist ideas – Why on Earth do we need to be tied into a degrading socialist system as the EU has become — Plenty of countries survive very well without being in the EU or having to pay to keep them afloat.

        Absolute truths, by the way, are unobtainable, but the relative truth is that Britain has a much better future outside the EU.

  82. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Belgium contains Brussels and as a result has more than its fair of the chattering classes, including politicians, visitors and media. It may be that this on its own is sufficient to account for a high rate of COVID-19 transmission. The solution is to shut down the European Commission for a few months.

    Both the UK and EU Governments have announced that they will continue with trying to negotiate a Deal. To what purpose?
    “And it’s one, two, three, four
    What are we negotiating for?”

    It seems that Swedes know how to behave responsibly without the Nanny State bossing them around. Rather than indulging in long term ’emergency’ measures, the UK might be best advised to publish how Swedes are behaving.

  83. Radar
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    PCR testing must stop immediately and the PCR kits removed from circulation. The Lateral Flow Test (LFT) is a far superior test with a low false positive rate. The LFT must replace the PCR test urgently and thus made available in every chemist, GP surgery and any medical setting (company or otherwise) etc. throughout the UK.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      absolute nonsense.

  84. Alpipp
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Simple, stop mass testing. SAGE needs to realise that people who are asymptomatic have low viral loads and unless they go about French kissing granny, are unlikely to pass COVID on.

    Also, report deaths that are COVID if the person died of pneumonia and had Covid. That would cut down the death rate.

    Also our hospitals should cope. If our hospitals can’t cope with COVID then how do they cope normally in cold & flu season. Our lives as a UK citizen are not for the purposes of keeping NHS hospitals empty and their staff happy. The NHS needs to change.

    • steve
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Alpipp

      “SAGE needs to realise that people who are asymptomatic ”

      =============

      SAGE need to be stopped in their tracks and tried by a people’s court to establish who exactly they answer to.

  85. Gordon
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I believe that earlier I saw a piece from Japan or S Korea showing a mist which was blown from a sort of “leaf blower” or a small robot vehicle which was supposed to kill the virus stone dead.

  86. rose
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Last time around, I understood Belgium’s high death rate to arise from the way she counted the deaths – much as we do but we have adjusted it a bit now.

    The Far East must surely have some immunity that we haven’t got. And yes, they are much more disciplined and formal, not always touching each other.

    Another possible explanation for the West is that those countries like Germany and Denmark which lost a lot of frail people in the winter ‘flu epidemic have lost fewer from this virus because so many frail people had already died, whereas we and Sweden – and presumably the Latin countries – did not lose so many people from ‘flu and then lost them form the Wuhan virus.

    We still can’t rule out that this was a bio weapon. That would explain the extraordinary response of all our governments. But it might also mean we don’t know how the virus is going to behave. Normally, these viruses go through the population and get weaker as they go, eventually dying out. This one hasn’t had a chance to do that in the normal way. And it might not be a normal virus.

  87. Paul Cuthbertson
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Simple. Open up the country now and let the people return to their normal lives as before.
    There is/was no need for a lockdown.

  88. cornishstu
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Sack Hancock and sage, stop testing people without symptoms, stop using the pcr test, end the lockdowns and compulsory masks. Start using antivirals, Ivermectin has been shown to be even better than HCQ as a prophylactic as well as minimising symptoms and also stops transmission. This should be compulsory viewing for all MPs before the next vote on the 16th, Ivor Cummins Ep103 – Reid Sheftall MD – Comprehensively Decoding the Viral Issue, Pt 1 of 2.

  89. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    As Dr Mike Yeadon says, Sir Patrick Valance should know better than to peddle the misinformation we are hearing from SAGE. He is a eminent scientist abd should know better. Stop mass testing. The results are not accurate so how can they predict what the virus will do? This virus is here to stay and will not do drastic harm to most of us. Even with vaccination some will still die. It’s a fact of life. Let’s just live our lives the way we see fit. Most have a degree of immunity now from other Corona viruses.

  90. Iain Moore
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I have said right from the off, detailed information on the local infection hotspots should be readily available to people , so people can take responsibility for their own health, for that is the best way as nobody purposely puts themselves at risk. Then the sate only intervening in problem areas , not regions, not counties, not cities, but streets or boroughs , locking them down and then blitzing the area with testing to find the infection problem.

  91. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    What the hell is going on? On Google news there is advise saying not to stockpile food in case of no deal, advise informing us that no deal is the most probable outcome and advise saying talks are going on for longer. Is it me that’s just confused? What a way to run a country. Nobody living here or any foreigner actually knows what the outcome will be for sure but Brexit it won’t be. How long is this fiasco going on for?

    • rb
      Posted December 14, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      What the hell is going on? On Google news there is advise saying not to stockpile food in case of no deal, advise informing us that no deal is the most probable outcome and advise saying talks are going on for longer. Is it me that’s just confused? What a way to run a country.

      ….
      govt strategy is to confuse. BIT.

  92. Iain Gill
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Japan did particularly well, because they have little immigration, a coherent society with common values, and actively stopped incoming flights from virus hotspots. Its not complicated. They already had significantly more healthy old people, witness the communal exercise they do in the parks etc, which we tend to laugh at but which in fact are probably exactly the correct thing to do. Diet high in fish and salad, a more sophisticated version of the “Mediterranean diet” which has spectacular health benefits, especially when you compensate for the smoking prevalent in the relevant populations. Didnt Taiwan do even better?

  93. steve
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    JR

    Boris Johnson has not only just lost your party the next election, but ensured it will never be elected again. We warned about this on Oct 15th.

    At least do one decent thing on the way out; sack him now

    It’s over.

    • Fred H
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      I think he cut the Party adrift about end of January, and never rowed back.

  94. forthurst
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    East Asians are intelligent people with authoritarian personalities so whether its the Chinese government or the voluntary action of the people, the result is the same: they co-operate to achieve what is perceived as the best outcome for society and deprecate the actions of those who fail to fall in line. They are also monocultures which means they do not have to contend with large numbers of those whose behaviours are under different genetic and cultural influences. We tend to regard libertarianism as a good; but is it if it means that outcome for society as a whole is worse? Interestingly, the Germans also tend to have authoritarian personalities although they also have been heavily enriched.

  95. ferdi
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    We know that the virus is transmitted between people very easily mainly by mouth but also by the nose. If people are close without a mask they are much more likely to catch it. So proximity and defence are the ruling issues. Where those two issues have been well handled – for a long time the number of cases has been low. But if those two precautions are relaxed nothing will sop the virus spreading. Those countries which locked down early are seeing rising rates because they have relaxed their efforts. In other words all you can do is delay the infection. Just like the common cold.

    • Peter
      Posted December 16, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Where do you think the breathe exhaled by someone wearing a mask goes??? The virus also gains entry through the eyes so a full face mask is needed for proper protection……..but if social distancing works why worry???

  96. glen cullen
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Does anybody know the new deadline date

    • steve
      Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      glen

      There doesn’t seem to be one. The issue now appears to be;

      ‘how can I betray the UK and dress it up like a victory so as I don’t get brought to justice by my own people ? ‘

      I also suspect Ursula has him around her little finger, pathetic, weak, useless man.

      Also incredibly stupid man, still thinks we live in the days when a PM could get away with not doing as we say. Those days are gone.

      • glen cullen
        Posted December 14, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Ursula even said ”go the extra mile” not ”kilometer”

  97. ChrisS
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Four years ago our son set up a Division of our marine business in Thailand. We now have a large workshop and sales facility on the island of Phuket, a busy holiday resort with around 600,000 inhabitants, a number which is greatly increased in normal times by tourists.

    Our son’s experience has been very different from ours. The bridge onto the island was closed very early on, other than for deliveries, as was the airport. Almost no visitors meant that the number of cases has remained small, nevertheless, while his house is was in the next sub-district from our premises, for many weeks he was not allowed to go there because, while local shopping etc continued unabated with compulsory mask-wearing, everyone was confined to the district in which they lived.

    Generally, obedience to the rules in Thailand has been much better than in the UK, as it has in most of the region, although the democracy protests centred around Bangkok have made things significantly worse there.

    While the tourist industry has been killed stone dead, other businesses, including ours have survived relatively unscathed, continuing to make a little profit, even though turnover is down. It seems that the very tight lockdown early on, combined with a ban on incoming flights, has been a success.

    I look forward to going back out there for the International boat show in February but, unlike the UK, on arrival, I will have to go through two weeks of strict quarantine in a government-selected hotel. During this time my movements within the complex will be monitored. However, I will not be going unless I am able to be vaccinated first. That will be touch and go as I am in group five.

  98. Utter Tyranny
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Lockdown fines are going to a limited company chaired by a chief constable.

  99. rb
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Lockdown fines are going directly to chief constables, not the public purse

  100. Freeborn John
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    One thing is clear ; the only thing that reduced the R below 1 was lockdown and even then it only came down to 0.85. The 3 Tiers don’t stop the acceleration. We will need another lockdown in the new year as the vaccination is unlikely to make much difference until April at the earliest.

    • villaking
      Posted December 14, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      You completely ignore the evidence that Sir John alludes to. Lockdowns don’t work

  101. AJAX
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Muddle through with temporary lock-downs until the vaccines take effect, & hope that this virus doesn’t do what the “Spanish Flu” did in 1919 – morph into a man-killing strain, that side-steps the vaccine barrier.
    After it’s over there needs to be an enquiry reporting as to why England has one of the worst death tolls in the world & what went wrong this time, with recommendations for the future, presumably involving the formal establishment of a national pandemic Plan based on the NHS, with permanent administrative infrastructure to be kept on file for use when the next one appears – whether that’s next year or several decades ahead. If this virus had been a real man-killing strain from the outset England would have been in an awful mess as it’s clear that the Government was caught completely flat-footed for the first few months of it & didn’t know what to do with national clinical policy to limit its spread, the swiftness & boldness of the fiscal action by the Government on the other hand was impressive. However clinically it’s still floundering to a degree after a year, still unsure of how to deal with it, fortunately the vaccines now offer an early way out. Such a lack of medical administrative preparedness in a 1st World power, given the profound threat that Pestilence offers to man, is somewhat disquieting. The fact that the threat is intermittent, with extended periods between, is no excuse for sloth & slumber, the next virus, whenever it appears on our shores, could be far worse.

    • rb
      Posted December 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Muddle through with temporary lock-downs until the vaccines take effect, & hope that this virus doesn’t do what the “Spanish Flu” did in 1919 – morph into a man-killing strain, that side-steps the vaccine barrier.


      which was caused by the vaccine.

  102. steve
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Back on topic

    Why on earth should anybody now believe what Johnson says, especially regarding covid.

    My two fingers to covid restrictions…….Johnson is a liar and I don’t believe a single word he says.

    EU stooge, con merchant, liar.

  103. Treacle
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    You can’t control a virus any more than you can control the weather. The same proportion of people will die whatever you will do. We should have ended all restrictions the moment “our NHS” found itself able to cope. Instead, the government destroyed the economy and the public finances to no purpose.

    • BeebTax
      Posted December 14, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      +1

  104. anon
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Target vacination & UVC air filtration & dilution etc at the infection risk areas and vulnerable.

    – NHS hospitals/Care homes – workers, residents and patients visitors.
    – Those going into hospitals should be considered for vacination prior to going for a scheduled stay.
    – Bring on the other vaccines , where safety is high or higher, but efficacy is less than 90% but distribution is easier 70%
    – Vacination sites and or mobile lorries for drive through service or walkup services.

  105. Frances Truscott
    Posted December 13, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Not long ago I read an article about how sick people in Japan couldnt find hospital treatment for Covid patients so one can only compare excess deaths from trustworthy countries counting in the same way,

  106. Ian
    Posted December 14, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    What Dose need sortingIs Brexit,
    How much longer will we push water up a hill.
    For Gods sake please stop this stupid nonsense.
    They will keep us in there web, because they will collapse without us, the hell with them

    W. T. O ASAP

  107. Stephen Reay
    Posted December 14, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    If we are leaving the single market and the customs union, then why is the EU saying that if Great Britain wants access to the single market they’ll have to follow the rules. Are we leaving the single market or not?

  108. DaveK
    Posted December 18, 2020 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I know this an old post Sir John, but even the WHO are quietly announcing that the PCR test is flawed and high Ct passes are false positives: https://www.who.int/news/item/14-12-2020-who-information-notice-for-ivd-users

  109. Tim Bidie
    Posted December 18, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Q: ‘I would be interested in your thoughts on what has worked best, and on why there are such big differences between most of Europe and most of Asia.’

    A: Apparently, since their educational standards are much higher than ours, the citizens of Asia are understandably much better at reading:

    ‘Advice on action to be taken by users:

    Please read carefully the IFU in its entirety.

    Contact your local representative if there is any aspect of the IFU that is unclear to you.

    Check the IFU for each incoming consignment to detect any changes to the IFU.

    Consider any positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) or negative results (SARS-CoV-2 not detected) in combination with specimen type, clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

    Provide the Ct value in the report to the requesting healthcare provider.’

    ‘As with any diagnostic procedure, the positive and negative predictive values for the product in a given testing population are important to note. As the positivity rate for SARS-CoV-2 decreases, the positive predictive value also decreases. This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as positivity rate decreases, irrespective of the assay specificity. Therefore, healthcare providers are encouraged to take into consideration testing results along with clinical signs and symptoms, confirmed status of any contacts, etc.

    Users of RT-PCR reagents should read the IFU carefully to determine if manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is necessary to account for any background noise which may lead to a specimen with a high cycle threshold (Ct) value result being interpreted as a positive result. The design principle of RT-PCR means that for patients with high levels of circulating virus (viral load), relatively few cycles will be needed to detect virus and so the Ct value will be low. Conversely, when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain. Thus, the IFU will state how to interpret specimens at or near the limit for PCR positivity. In some cases, the IFU will state that the cut-off should be manually adjusted to ensure that specimens with high Ct values are not incorrectly assigned SARS-CoV-2 detected due to background noise.’

    https://www.who.int/news/item/14-12-2020-who-information-notice-for-ivd-users

    • Tim Bidie
      Posted December 18, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      In summary:

      ‘The design principle of RT-PCR means that for patients with high levels of circulating virus (viral load), relatively few cycles will be needed to detect virus and so the Ct value will be low. Conversely, when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus.’ (Reference above)

      ‘….these high Ct values are mostly correlated with low viral loads. From our cohort, we now need to try to understand and define the duration and frequency of live virus shedding in patients on a case-by-case basis in the rare cases when the PCR is positive beyond 10 days, often at a Ct >30. In any cases, these rare cases should not impact public health decisions.’

      What Ct cut off threshold does NHS England use? 40

      ‘Any such positive result will be recorded as ‘confirmed’ for public health reporting purposes and will be notifiable under recent legislation.

      Results where:
      • the Ct value is ≥ 40 and/or
      • there is an abnormal assay curve and/or
      • the clinical context makes the positive result highly unexpected
      should be considered interim or held until reviewed by a laboratory clinician.’

      https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/guidance-and-sop-covid-19-virus-testing-in-nhs-laboratories-v1.pdf

      There, finally (apologies), is your answer.

  • 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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