Josie Appleton on the pandemic restrictions

This is well worth a read, Josie Appleton’s essay on the pandemic restrictions.

She discusses how the state’s response to the pandemic (in the UK but also in other countries) has been to place restrictions on social life. It seems that a kind of shift in thinking has occurred. At one level the restrictions and pressurised whole population vaccination campaigns do have some scientific-medical basis. Vaccinations for example are a good idea, at least for the clinically vulnerable. But the state seems to have come to believe that the problem is social relations and supressing them has become and end in itself. Appleton gives some to-the-point examples; the well-publicised case (including by the police themselves) of Derbyshire police fining people for walking as a couple in the hills – probably the least likely way to spread the coronavirus one can imagine. Or again; the fact that restrictions focussed on parties in the home and clubs. Other venues such as hospitals, factories and supermarkets were not controlled even though transmission can be much greater in these places. And the mask; Appleton thinks the function of the mask is to restrict social interaction. She may be right though I have always thought its function is as a kind of sign like making everyone wear a lapel badge saying “we are in a pandemic”.

The essay is as Appleton acknowledges informed by Foucault’s work on how the modern state dealt with plague after the Middle Ages. It is the threat to social order that the state responds to rather than to the medical emergency. This explains why the response has been so disastrous if we evaluate it in medical terms.

An excellent piece and well worth a read.

The crisis of Covid is, to some extent, a crisis of NHS capacity and not a crisis of a deadly disease. Refusal to face this has led to avoidable deaths.

There is massive hype about Coronavirus. As this blog has already discussed there are many strange and undiscussed aspects to the Public Health response in the UK.

One of these is capacity. The main driver for lockdowns and all the other restrictions including mask-wearing (largely pointless from an individual medical point of view though with a small effect on a very large scale perhaps) has been “to protect the NHS”. Most members of the public reading the pronouncements of public health officials will believe that the hospitals are awash with thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of desperately ill otherwise healthy people. This image is deliberately created and used to drive the restrictions as well as other excesses including the risky and medically unjustifiable vaccination of healthy children. The image includes multiple ‘fakes’. As the above post points out; capacity in the NHS is in normal times almost full in Winter anyway. It only takes a few hundred people out of a population of 60 million to unexpectedly need intensive care and the system is in complete crisis. As we have discussed above there has been no attempt to increase capacity in the NHS. In fact finally, with the Omicron wave and nearly two years into the pandemic, that has just begun to happen with a plan (which may in fact never be implemented) to set up field hospitals in hospital car parks staffed by army medics and volunteers. Another cover-up recently came into the open; the figures cited for “people in hospital with Covid” that have been used again to maximise the image of a massive pandemic are hugely exaggerated. It varies but at the moment at least and concerning London half the people in hospital “with Covid” are in fact there being treated for other illnesses. They have been tested positive for Covid but that is not the problem; it is incidental Covid.

The fact is: for healthy people under 70 the mortality rate from Covid is comparable to flu. The majority of people in hospital with Covid are either overweight or have existing serious comorbidities or both. The average age of death from Covid in the UK is 86. The media love finding examples of people in their thirties and forties who are seriously ill with Covid. But the statistics don’t lie; these people (a tragedy in each of course) are relatively rare.

It is now accepted it seems that the Omicron variant causes less serious illness than previous variants. It is of course important at this point to note that a new variant could reverse this trend. Nonetheless, let’s look at how serious Omicron is. Let’s look at hospital admission data. This ONS data reports a current hospital admission rate of 19 per 100,000 people who are “Covid confirmed”, which I presume means have a positive test. As the ONS admits the hospital admissions will include all those who test positive for Covid even if they are being admitted for something else. Extrapolating our 50% incidental Covid figure (see above) this gives us a hospital admission rate of about 10 per 100,000. The same ONS data confirms the heavy tilt towards the elderly in hospital admissions. The data does not give figures for obesity and existing comorbidities because this aspect of the matter is being suppressed by the Public Health authorities in the UK. But we can be confident that of the 10 in 100,000 over half will be overweight (or obese). [1] A very high proportion will have comorbidities. (For example, this US study in a number of states reports than in more than 90% of Covid deaths comorbidities played a role). [2] So; 10 in 100,000 but the profile of these 10 is heavily skewed towards being old, overweight or having existing comorbidities, or some combination of these factors. This isn’t looking quite like the mass plague of the Public Health messaging.

But even this figure of 10 in 100,000 is likely to be inflated. The ONS data above (with its 19 in 100,000 including incidental Covid) is based on “confirmed Covid” which seems to mean a test. Of course the number with Covid but not tested (and reported) is much larger.

This US CDC data [3] gives a hospitalisation rate for flu for 2019-20 of 66 per 100,000.

Covid at least in its Omicron form is not an especially serious disease. It results in less hospitalisations than flu. (Of course here we are comparing US and UK data and there may be other factors in play; nonetheless it does appear that overall hospitalisations from Omicron are unlikely to be higher than from flu). Of course it is absolutely true that the vaccines have helped to mitigate the incidence of serious illness. So we should say that taking vaccination into account the Omicron form of Sars-Cov-2 is not an especially serious disease.

The reason hospitals are being overwhelmed is a) that there is very very little spare capacity and b) because this is a new and highly infectious virus with little built-in immunity in the population the overall numbers being infected and thus (proportionally) the overall numbers requiring hospitalisation are quite high – that is higher than the very limited spare capacity.

The real ‘crisis’ of the Omicron version of Sars-Cov-2 at least is not that of an especially serious disease but of a lack of capacity to handle the impact of a new virus affecting an entire population. But to deal with this problem rather than build new temporary capacity the Public Health response in the UK has been to create an image of a deadly disease in order to justify socially restrictive measures to try to reduce hospitalisations to levels which can be managed within existing hospital capacity.

This policy of not increasing capacity has without doubt led to unnecessary deaths including: i) when Covid was seeded into Care Homes by clearing Covid-infected elderly people out of hospitals, ii) deaths resulting from people not attending GPs and hospitals for non Covid-related issues either due to fear or to their operations being cancelled and iii) deaths from in-hospital infections caused by mixing Covid cases with non Covid cases. (In our previous article we give some of the estimated numbers of avoidable deaths). The policy of “Protect the NHS” which essentially meant respond to the pandemic without building any extra capacity, has led to avoidable deaths.

The recent scheme to add capacity by building field hospitals in hospital car parks staffed by army medics and transferred staff shows that it was at all times entirely possible to have increased capacity.

The policy response to the pandemic in the UK was run by Public Health officials whose primary goal was to preserve their estate in a pristine state.

Notes

  1. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/78-of-covid-19-patients-hospitalized-in-the-us-overweight-or-obese-cdc-finds.html
  2. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19latestinsights/hospitals
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/faq.htm

Rand Paul shines

Rand Paul as well as being on the button on the science of the pandemic is also someone to learn from when it comes to being clear and articulate and not giving way to anger or annoyance even when debating with evil.

Respect.

Another one:

Notice how Dr Fauci comes armed with a personal attack on Rand Paul (which backfires).

What is impressive about Rand Paul is that he is able to respond to this ambush that he is somehow responsible for some crazy wanting to kill Dr Fauci in a clear, calm and reasoned manner. I like the second part of this clip the most – Rand Paul calmly, and from a medical and scientific viewpoint, questions the absurd and dangerous policies of vaccinating children and of not recognizing natural immunity. He also puts into the public domain the fact that the existing vaccines barely work to stop transmission of Omicron (which makes mandating them for the healthy even more insane).

Children, vaccination and Fauci

We vaccinate children for a number of childhood diseases, where the mortality of those diseases is far less than the mortality and the morbidity of COVID-19 on children

https://news.yahoo.com/fauci-seriously-ill-unvaccinated-children-132100352.html

I wonder what childhood diseases Dr Fauci is talking about. Measles is a serious disease which can kill. 20% of unvaccinated people get hospitalised. 0.1 – 0.3% of children who get infected will die. [1] Polio is another serious childhood disease which we vaccinate against. It causes crippling permanent paralysis. Covid mortality rates in children are slight. For example; in England between 3/20 and 2/21 61 children died after a positive Covid test though in only 40% of these cases was Covid a contributory factor. Most of the children already had significant medical problems. The infection fatality rate was 0.005%. [NB. this appears to be based on those who tested positive – since millions more will have been infected and not taken a test the actual mortality rate is far, far, lower]. [2] I would imagine these figures extrapolate to the US situation. I don’t know what childhood diseases Fauci is talking about – but obviously Covid and measles and polio are in totally different categories. Possibly he is lying again and confusing mortality rates for measles and polio after vaccination? The logic of his position of course is that children should be vaccinated for flu.

The message from the science is that it might make sense to vaccinate your child against Covid if they have a serious underlying health condition. Otherwise, given that the vaccines carry small risks of adverse events in young people (e.g. Pfizer can cause heart inflammation in teenage boys) a rational decision might be to let them acquire natural immunity. A further point (not of course elucidated by Dr Fauci); if you go the vaccination route the logic of this is they will need to be vaccinated every three months for the rest of their lives (possibly with multiple vaccines against multiple strains).

Why is Fauci (and still much of the health bureaucracy on both sides of the Atlantic) continuing to push for mass, total, vaccination including of healthy people who are not at significant risk? It may be that he is on a backhander from the drug companies. But in fact he is getting such a good remuneration package anyway that it probably isn’t that – though general connections and cosiness between the pharmaceutical industry and the Health Bureaucracy undoubtedly play a part. There seem to be three further possible sub-explanations in general; 1) the power has simply gone to their heads. Ordering millions of children to take pointless vaccines even against their parents’ wishes just gives them a huge kick 2) they are locked into the idea of total vaccination which they developed at an early stage of the pandemic and simply lack the ability to think flexibly and realistically and 3) they are protecting adults from transmission from children but want to avoid the necessary ethical debate around vaccinating one population to protect another. At any event, as so often, Fauci is dissembling.

In the UK the line is that children should be vaccinated to protect them against disruption to their education. This is an extraordinary development – a medical vaccination is prescribed for an educational reason. There is not even a pretence it is for medical reasons (indeed the Committee which assessed the medical case for vaccination in children came out against it). The compliant media just lets this sinister and totally new development (medical vaccination of children for social purposes) pass without any challenge at all…

Notes

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/measles/symptoms/complications.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fmeasles%2Fabout%2Fcomplications.html
  2. https://www.ncmd.info/news/covid-deaths-children-rare/ (Note that the authors have had to rewrite their summary so as to be “on message” about the false information that Covid is a serious illness in healthy children). See also the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01578-1