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They say it is only temporary; they always do.

The other day we started to see the administrative madness that follows in the wake of Covid 19 wash up on American shores.  California the most populous state in the union and the 5th economy in the world just shut down.  Entirely.  40 millions just like that. No schools no bars, no restaurants grief you cannot even go for a walk on the beach or in a park.  Watch as thick skulled politicians all over seek to close other states just so they too can be seen to be doing something.  Its just another bandwagon but an immensly damaging and unnecessary one.

Here California is just behind the curve.  The British already went into lockdown – no pubs, no restaurants, no libraries, no schools, no sport of any kind, no theatre, no cinema no nowt.  The public parks denied to the population, common ground closed to us.  Eeee it be true puritanism.  Well no you cannot even go to church…or weddings….or funerals.  We have been told not to excercise in the open air!  Businesses shutting down all over and the economy is in freefall.  Government advice?  We just told to stay at home for at least three months.

Italy is locked up, Spain is locked up, and in France the home of Liberty my old pal who retired to Normandy, now has a permit which he must carry at all times to allow him to leave his home so the dog can take a shit.

InkedInkedreinbolds dog shit chit_2_LI

Its a dog shit chit.

And all because scientists tell us that there may be a number of excess deaths due to this respiratory infection.  Unprecidented they say, not seen anything like it since the 1918 pandemic, they say.  But being a historian I can tell you we have, but never so exgregiously over played as this one.

1997   Bird Flu.  Remember that one?  Hardly the predicted millions of deaths then.  See my blog  H7 N2 = Y2K.

1999  Only two years later, and they were all off again with Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalophy) and its human sister vCJD.  That was due to wipe out easily half a million of us but actually only killed 200.

2003 And then we got SARS.  Here we were told there was a credible risk of deaths running into the tens of millions, but didnt.  See how their figures keep rising to scare you?

2006 More bird flu.  We didnt all die then either.  We didnt shut schools.

2009 saw Swine Flu which was predicted to kill oh say 65,000?  It didnt either.

The quiet suspicion that we are being treated like the frog boiled in the pot comes to mind.

So why the panic?  Well “Scientific Advice” might have something to do with it.  Advice always sounds better if it come from “a scientist”.  Of course “Scientists” were behind Britains last total disaster with endemics.  Then they advised the government over the brutally badly handled Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001 where they presided over the unnecessary destruction of millions of farm animals until they were forcably stopped.

In Britain (and probably USA too) the winter brings Influenza.  Every year people die of it at around 17,000, although in 2014/15 that reached 28,330.  No one seems to have batted an eyelid or bothered about either level.  Certainly they did not close factories and schools and shut all the pubs.  Every year in England and Wales some 4000 people die of TB.  Every year.  Which means that more people have died this year from TB in England and Wales than Coronavirus.  Yet we hav’nt shut the schools for that ever.

It’s because its new they say.  Well most flu is new.  It changes every year.  And no the vaccines do not always catch it.   Even their “evidence” is a bit thin.  Since no one knows the true infection rate, we cannot even guess the true kill rate.  But if people can get it and not show symptoms its a bit weak as a “deadly killer”, and the true rate for death is likely to be around 1%.  Maybe even less. 

Germany which tests, has a death rate of around 0.3%, the British who do not test 4.5%. The Germans are not better doctors they just have more information.

About the same as seasonal flu then.  And don’t take my word, many eminent scientists are sceptical about the models.  Such as John Ionnidis Professor of Medical Epidemiology at Stanford University.

The science comes from models. Models exist because there is not enough evidence yet. And there are a fair few about. There are two particular sets of models the British have decided to chose from – the Imperial College one the Govt is using which runs hot and one from Oxford University which is decidedly cooler. Oddly neither are peer reviewed the mark of “true” science. Who knows which is right, only that the science is far from settled. Some, like the WHO have said the scientific way is “Test, test, test”. Britain has not chosen that science. We first started with the “Herd Immunity” scheme, until they dropped that in favour of the “shut-the-place-down-and-give-the-economy-a heart-attack” route. This is insanity.

South Korea however went down the test option together with only a partial closure, and is achieving both a drop in cases and keeping its economy on track. Japan too did not lockdown. Intersestingly Sweden too is not following the “standard science” and is not suffering huge deaths or deep depression. Once we are all through this these countries South Korea, Japan and Sweden will provide the new models for pandemic management.

And to emphasis the dangers of the Lock Down idea Philip Thomas, Professor of Risk Management at Bristol University says “keeping the economy going in the next year is crucial otherwise lockdown measures would do more harm than good”.

So if the death rate (appalling as it must be for the families concerned) is not exceptional for a pandemic, why the extraordinary measures which look like crippling the economy for a year and causing untold damage to families and businesses. Why are we being put through this interesting excercise in compliance? Is it to see how little resistance to such measures exists in a society?

And what happens next?  If the disease does die back, and they release the controls before three months would people be willing to take them on again should the disease return in the autumn?  Will they lose public trust?

Do we really think the population will endure being stuck indoors for three months?  How long before people get stir crazy and suffer cabin fever? No pals round, no bevvy of a Friday night, no sport, no weddings or funerals.  What is the length of British (or anyother people’s) patience? What happens if they dare to go out and mingle? Will that be called civil disobediance and treated like a riot? Can supply chains hold up against that length of time.  Will the economy hold?  Will draconian force be used against citizens by the state in presuance of control?  I wonder if anyone has thought this through?

So why do it?

Copyright David Macadam 2020