Epidemic 2 – coming soon to an Island near you

This government certainly knows how to start a mass epidemic.

Scientists in Denmark have identified a new strain of Coronavirus which shows some degree of resistance to standard Coronavirus antibodies. Bad news for vaccine makers.

The new strain evolved on mink farms in Denmark. The virus apparently jumped from humans to mink and back again, mutating in the process. That will teach you to keep intelligent mammals in tiny cages to kill them for their fur we might say.

Anyway the UK government seems to be taking the matter seriously. They have demanded a sample of the new strain from Denmark. And they are setting in place special treatment arrangements for anyone returning from Denmark with suspected Covid. [1] According to the Telegraph people returning from Denmark must quarantine for 14 days along with their household. If true this is a variation in the standard rule which only requires the returning person to quarantine. I don’t know if it is true because at the time of writing there is nothing about this on the main government web page explaining the quarantine rules. [2] Maybe it hasn’t occurred to anyone to update it. After all it’s only a new strain which could potentially undermine all the vaccine efforts. Hey ho.

But let’s be clear. Even if these people are subject to a whole household quarantine requirement that is still a token gesture. They may travel from the airport to their home by public transport. They may breathe on the border guard who checks their passport at Heathrow. Let’s hope none of them are in the 82% of people who do not follow self-isolation rules. They may accidentally give it to the delivery guy or their neighbour whom they talk to over the fence. If this really is a new strain which does not respond to standard antibodies and – based on the article – this is precisely what the authorities think why on earth are these people not being kept at Heathrow in a controlled and secure quarantine environment? This is not draconian. “Liberal democracies” like New Zealand do this. Denmark is a small country; there can’t be that many Brits returning. This is sheer madness. As it is there is a token gesture and every chance that one of these people will seed this new strain of the virus into the UK.

According to the report in the Telegraph there are special regulations about how to treat these people in hospital, if they come down with Covid. And a memo has been sent to hospitals to the effect that their positive sample should be sent for genome analysis. That’s all fine. The scientists will get their sample and do their genome analysis. But, by then, it may well be too late.

The Telegraph writes: “The measures are similar to those taken in early March, when the Government tried to prevent Covid from spreading into the UK from China and mainland Europe.” Sadly the measures are indeed similar to those in early March when the government ‘tried’ to stop Covid spreading from Europe and China. They did nothing serious then and they are doing nothing serious now. As I say this is sheer fucking madness.

Oh – and this is reassuring: “The Department for Health and Social Care estimates that between 300 and 500 people have arrived in the UK from Denmark in the last 14 days.” Notice the “estimates”. There is supposed to be a ‘Passenger Locator Form’ system for anyone arriving in the UK. They should know precisely how many people have come in from Denmark. They should be rounding them up and corralling them in a managed quarantine facility. (Incidentally, the author of this site is not surprised they can only manage an ‘estimate’; he came back from Russia recently and despite having completed the required form it was not scanned into the system at Heathrow which, according to the Home Office, is how they log you as having arrived in the country. 6 months into the epidemic and they can’t even manage this).

I really feel like crying. To lose one handbag is a mistake. To lose two is carelessness.

Notes

  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/08/hospitals-ordered-keep-suspected-mink-covid-cases-isolation/
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk#:~:text=If%20you%20arrive%20in%20the%20UK%20with%20symptoms,14%20days%2C%20your%20isolation%20ends.

Smearing takes the place of political comment in the new style of political ‘journalism’

One tactic which the propagandists of the liberal-progressive world order use is damnation by association. Or, more commonly put, smear.

This is an example of the Guardian’s ‘Diplomatic Editor’ smearing Trump:

The president of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, is thought to be the first to have congratulated Biden, tweeting his welcome within 24 minutes of the US networks declaring Biden victorious. By contrast, Vladimir Putin, accused of collusion in Trump’s 2016 victory, and Xi Jinping kept their counsel.

It may be of course that these Presidents are waiting for all the results to be counted and the result to be officially announced, rather than responding to the election being called by the commercial US TV networks. But ok. Let’s accept for a moment that Putin is a bad guy. But has Trump done anything here? No – the actions of the bad guy (Putin) in relation to Trump are used to denounce Trump. This tactic of damning someone because they are supported by someone unsavoury is rife in the liberal news media. One would have expected better from people who claim to inherit the mantle of rationalism.

Continue reading “Smearing takes the place of political comment in the new style of political ‘journalism’”

The Coronavirus end-game

It seems likely that Coronavirus will be with us for some time. This post considers the situation purely in the UK.

There is promising news from the vaccine trials. But at the same time there is also evidence that the antibodies from a (live) coronavirus infection wear off within a matter of months. This is consistent with the known behaviour of other coronaviruses. (There is also some evidence that some residual immunity remains and a second infection may be less severe). [1] There is no particular reason to think that any vaccine will produce a more long-lasting immune response than the virus itself, (though apparently this is a theoretical possibility).

There are additional problems with a vaccine. It will be a huge logistical exercise to vaccinate an entire population. It will be an even bigger logistical exercise to do this every 6 months. In reality many people will not take the vaccine. This may be especially so for young people who know they are not really at risk from it (as a rule).

Continue reading “The Coronavirus end-game”

The truth behind lockdown 2 (3)

ONS data apparently confirms that current death rates in the UK are about normal for this time of year.

This Telegraph article makes the point that people are probably dying from Covid-19 who would otherwise die from flu. This idea is confirmed by the fact that flu deaths are, according to ONS data, less than usual compared to the 5 year average. [1] ” influenza and pneumonia deaths were below the five-year average (2015 to 2019) in every month.” [data range: January 20 – 31 August 20]

The key point is this:

Covid-19 plus influenza/pneumonia deaths are at 1,621 this week, while five-year average flu and pneumonia for this week is 1,600

Taking into account an expected year on year increase due to an increasingly aging population there is no (that is zero) higher rate of deaths this week than compared to the 5 year average. Without taking account of this factor there have been 21 more deaths.

Continue reading “The truth behind lockdown 2 (3)”