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Nicholas Janni - 24 May 2020



I don't recall ever feeling so angry with a UK government

1) the unforgivably careless delay in the lockdown, costing arguably thousands of lives (see below) and making us the pariahs of Europe
2) The outrageous hypocrisy of not firing Dominic Cummings, revealing more nakedly than ever the sewer-level morality of 'one rule for us, one for the rest'
3) the unconscionable stupidity of the upcoming quarantine rules. Totally mistimed and unnecessary, designed to screw up life even more for people
4) While meanwhile, as if unnoticed, they lead us towards the horror of a no-deal Brexit

I hear that in Tel Aviv in the last weeks many restaurants stuck their finger up and opened, with, guess what, no rise in the infection or fatality rate.

Here in contrast, each day (though I can rarely tolerate more than a few minutes of watching), we supposedly 'follow the science' - a bunch of left-brain, robotic, half dead human beings with the vitality of an amoeba (actually less), men and women sadly, rolled out to create the utterly pathetic illusion of some kind of intelligence and reassurance....while the economic consequences are devastating millions of people's lives

If this leads ultimately to social unrest and riots, I will not be sorry. They already have blood on their hands.

Got that off my chest
Have a nice day


From The Sunday Times

Revealed: UK’s lockdown dithering led to worst death toll in Europe

Coronavirus infections across Britain rocketed from an estimated 200,000 to 1.5 million in the nine days before lockdown while the prime minister agonised over how and when to act.

An investigation has found that Boris Johnson’s delay in introducing measures to combat the virus in those pivotal nine days of March meant that the UK had more infections when it went into lockdown than Italy, Spain, Germany and France when they took the same drastic action.

The findings are likely to explain why Britain eventually suffered a greater death toll than other European countries — now standing at 36,675 — and why it is taking the UK longer to come out of lockdown than some of its neighbours.

While Johnson had been initially hostile to a lockdown, his advisers changed his mind at a crucial meeting in Downing Street on the morning of Saturday, March 14. The lockdown was delayed, however, until March 23 as the government deliberated about the timing and type of measures required.

A new study by Imperial College London’s pandemic modellers and Oxford University’s department of statistics has charted the spread of the virus at that time by backward-modelling the number of infections from current data on people who died. It calculates that the numbers of infections were doubling every three days, with the virus multiplying at a faster rate than the government realised.

Ministers had been warned three weeks before the lockdown that there were serious concerns about its “delay” strategy.

The policy was that a series of mitigation measures would be introduced over time to slow the spread of the virus. These would include home isolation for people with symptoms, social distancing and school closures.

Two of the government’s main pandemic modelling teams — the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Imperial College — informed the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) on March 3 that the strategy would lead to mass deaths. LSHTM predicted that more than 200,000 people would die and Imperial’s estimate was 250,000.

The government pressed on with the strategy throughout the opening week of March. Since their warnings appeared not to be heeded, the modelling teams took it upon themselves to show how many deaths could be saved if a lockdown was introduced.

Their modelling work found that repeated lockdowns would cut the projected death toll to tens of thousands.

The results were communicated to the government in the middle of the second week of March ahead of the Saturday morning meeting in Downing Street on March 14 when it is understood it was decided in principle that some kind of lockdown would be needed.

However, the government continued for another nine days with its initial strategy of phasing in mitigation measures.

The modellers’ calculations show that when the prime minister first attempted to get a grip on the crisis on Monday, March 2 by chairing his first meeting of the Cobra national emergency committee on the virus, there were estimated to be about 11,000 infections in the UK.

Infections had risen sharply to 200,000, according to the estimates, by the time of the Downing Street meeting on March 14. In the final nine days before lockdown there were more than a million estimated new infections, taking the total number of people struck by the virus to 1.5m when the UK finally went into lockdown on Monday, March 23.

Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the government’s Nervtag (new and emerging respiratory virus threats advisory group), said: “I think that critical period of delay made the big difference to the peak numbers, both of hospitalisations and of deaths. I think everyone would accept now in retrospect that if we’d gone for lockdown a couple of weeks earlier that would have greatly reduced the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths.”

Yesterday, Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the government, said the delay in bringing in a lockdown was “grossly negligent” especially when the government was so poorly prepared.

“The response of the government has not just been tardy. It has been totally disrespectful of British lives,” he said.

Last night, a government spokesman said: “Our strategy has been designed at all times to protect our NHS and save lives. Our response has ensured that the NHS can provide the best care possible for people who become ill, enabled hospitals to maintain essential services and ensured ongoing support for people ill in the community.

“It has been vital through this global pandemic to make interventions which the public can feasibly adopt in sufficient numbers over long periods.”


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