Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Covid 19: Where Are We Then?

 What exactly is going on in the UK today? Having only 9 months experience of a new strain of a known branch of coronavirus, our scientific experts are still of the opinion that what we should do is hide. It didn't work before, but they assure us, that was because we didn't lockdown everyone hard enough and the public keep disobeying their masters. 

Evidence suggests the virus was receding before lockdown commenced in March, but science today seems to rely exclusively on predictions and ignores evidence. At the outset, when some science was involved, we knew we had to take care, but wait for herd immunity to do it's thing.

Then someone had a great idea; why don't we get some modelling done on the likely path of the disease. Why not get a known failure to work out what he thinks will happen. He can gather all the data we have on how infectious the virus is (none), any likely existing immunity (unknown), what the fatality rate is (unknown) and various similar parameters that were, at the time completely beyond us.

Using this almost total absence of data, a figure of 510,000 deaths if we don't lockdown was produced. Cue Boris Johnson panicking. 

In the early days, hospitals were the main source of infections and the staff some of the only people allowed to travel and work. To clear space in hospitals for the undeniable tsunami of Covid cases, medically trained people saw no issue with sending people who may, or may not have the disease we are terrified of, to care homes. (To help things along, care homes' PPE was diverted to hospitals).

Hospitals have, of course a terrible record for infection control and so it proved again, killing many of their own. Now, with our sophisticated approach to this disease, we know that we should shut pubs and restaurants, when as many as 5% of infections are thought to come from there. Hospitals remain uncriticised, even though recent figures for those hospitalised with Covid 19 included up to 24% who caught it there!

Students have returned to their universities, a time when we see all kinds of infections soar. But imagine our surprise when this included coronavirus! So, a cohort who are resolutely not ill with the virus leads to all kinds of renewed panic. More dire predictions and lamentation. Lockdowns follow.

Just what are we basing our continued pursuit of lockdown, with all its concomitant misery, economic destruction and unnecessary deaths, on?

Well, we are testing vastly more than previously, targeting where we expect to find it, like university towns and then even more so, the contacts of those testing positive. So we are finding loads. But we don't know if it's 'loads more' or not.

We know that the PCR tests are grossly inaccurate and do not tell us who among them are infectious, which is actually all that matters (it's probably around 10% of the total). Hospitalisation means a patient in hospital, with Covid 19 - but many didn't go into hospital with it. so it is not a representation of the public at large, being infected. 

Then the bizarre notion that we should include anyone who a doctor felt, not definitely knew (they could have tested positive, or had a cough) had coronavirus within the 28 days before they died. Even where the coronavirus had no role whatsoever in their death. And some who were going to die anyway.

Again, the 'died of' Covid will be very much lower than the government figure, which strangely they seem keen to inflate.

We are left with inaccurate tests, leading to unknown numbers of hospitalisations and an unknown number of deaths which causes our politicians and not least, their scientific (!) advisors to go into an absolute panic. There is no other way of describing it.

The other point is; we could be more accurate but we don't seem to want to. We could factor in the inaccuracies but we don't and the public are certainly not alerted to any of this (and the media, outrageously, don't ask).

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Exams U Turn

 Before going on to the recent turnaround in how grades have been awarded to A level students recently, let's just look at what we are considering. Due to the government panic over coronavirus, the exams were cancelled for this year and guesswork grades would be handed out, without the children having to do anything for them. 

A formula was arrived at between the teaching Unions and the education regulator, Ofqal as to how the grades should be arrived at. It was explained that some 'downgrading' was necessary as teachers had submitted unrealistically high assessments.

Once the 'results' were announced those with grades that didn't suit them, started objecting loudly, including little flowers telling the BBC, that they would have got A's or A*'s if they had taken the exams. The option exists to take the exam in the Autumn. No one seems to want to take that route and the BBC don't mention it.

Boris the Weak, as he left to holiday in Scotland seems to have instructed his Education Secretary to give in to the wailers and a 'U turn' as the media like to call these things, was performed. Now the outrage (from the BBC and Labour, who supported the formula strongly originally) is that Gavin Williamson hasn't been sacked and won't resign.

The BBC are slightly amazed that Williamson is blaming Ofqal on the weak basis they feel, that Ofqal are actually to blame. Labour think he should go because he chose a system that they agreed with, but now don't. Honestly, the BBC isn't a news outlet and the Labour party has no integrity left, whatsoever.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Me And My Shadow

 So, we have now long known what should have been blindingly obvious from the outset, that the charlatan Neil Ferguson's modelling was, once again, a million miles off track. 500,000 deaths without lockdown. So we shut our country down on his say so.

The test though was Sweden, who didn't lockdown and ran numbnuts programme for their country, producing a figure of 90,000 dead by the end of May. Slightly out Neil, slightly out. By which I mean parallel universe out.

Currently, something interesting is going on as the virus seems to not be as killy as it was. Hospitalisations are down over 96% since the peak and reducing. Deaths are running at 10 a day. But Boris the Weak is absolutely terrified because the massively increased testing is finding more infected souls. Which apparently, no one expected. 

The infected are not getting ill, but that doesn't matter any more! Wear face masks to show your loyalty to the regime. They are pointless as the scientists told us before, but now they are a symbol of those committed to being frightened of their shadow.

However, I hear nothing about what we think is happening with the virus, has it weakened? Have we virtually achieved herd immunity (all that would ever save us - hiding as we did guaranteed a 'second wave')/ If we have got that deplored and laughed at herd immunity, then even the second wave won't happen. 

After all, from the Swedish experience, we should be pretty much done with deaths. If you think we had too many deaths already, then you need to concentrate on the geniuses who decided to ship elderly people out of hospital, untested into care homes, so they could introduce the virus there and kill many. Another outstanding example of the leadership of our wonderful NHS.

Also, causing many more deaths from ignoring the sick, while waiting for the tsunami that never came. But the sloth with which it started return to it's usual role, whilst blaming people for not going to hospital if they were ill, tut!

What this virus has really done is shown up the weaknesses in our public sector and its supposed experts, the talent in the Civil Service for deflecting blame and the ineptitude of government and the mentality of politicians today, who concentrate on entitlement rather than service. Root and branch, Root and branch.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

NHS Perspective

Let's get this straight, so the absolutists are dealt with from the start; I think the NHS is a great idea. But the way it is run is typical of an uncontrolled bureaucracy; it is dysfunctional and too often not capable of fulfilling its primary role.

A graphic example of this was of course, the recent decision to send elderly patients, untested, to care homes (whilst simultaneously diverting PPE away from said homes). There is no way to view this as anything other than completely crazy.

Prior to 1948, more was done as a collective effort at local level, with well intentioned doctors. What often was the outcome was that local hospital you may dimly remember. The one that was closed by the bureaucrats to 'centralise' 'healthcare provision' in 'supercentres' that would be better able to provide a full range of services. Plus save money.

Well, that hospital was probably paid for by local subscription, by people keen to ensure they had medical assistance locally. And the NHS gladly received it, without paying anything for it, when the NHS was set up. Seemed a good deal at the time, bearing in mind the state would now provide and cover the costs.

Up until they don't. Then the hospital gets sold and the proceeds, for no discernible reason, went into the NHS coffers. Not back to the local community, who had more claim to the title.

Like many other successful projects of the Left, such as destroying education (except for an elite) and increasing the power of the bodies surrounding and controlling elected politicians, the NHS now has an almost perfect system, within the parameters of state control.

Set up specifically to treat sick people and make them well, hospitals have transmogrified into industrial warehouses. Naturally, some medical staff do stick to some of the traditional tenets, but it soon gets beaten out of them (or should they highlight medical negligence, with dismissal).

Under the auspices of a managerial class, hospitals are now concerned with output while talking about outcomes. Once a patient came into a hospital and the objective was to discern what ails them, to take them through restorative medical treatment, whether drug treatment or surgical, and once satisfied to allow them to return home.

Now the 'customer' is a number, a nuisance. Something to get out of the system as soon as possible - a successful outcome, for the system. A single discipline will consider the subject, for example, if a GP refers a patient believing the cause to be cancer, you go to oncology. If the condition is not cancer, they will not be passed on until every possible test has been done to prove cancer.

This may be detrimental to health of the 'customer' but it is clean for the system. Treatment, once decided on, will be monitored for cost control and the pressure is on the 'free up the bed'. Discharge will be effected as soon as possible and without reference to the suitability to the 'customer'.

An elderly person may be given the news that they can go home with great enthusiasm and not a little hurry up, at 2am on a Friday, when they have no money. Hospitals are keen to get people out before the weekend, when there will not be enough staff on to cope. Once again, all thought is on the effects on the system.

Once gone, a green tick is applied to the chart and the system clocks up another success. Now the bed is free for the next person who relapsed through having been discharged too early. There is no penalty for that and, while being an annoyance to the system, it still keeps it clean. (What do you mean, what about the patient?)

Hospitals are not about healthcare any more, they are about getting people through the system as quickly as possible. We are to be grateful they exist. But they are supposed to exist to treat the sick, that is their raison d'etre. But what is wrong with you when you come into contact is no longer, really, of interest. 

This is just a snippet to provoke thought on the subject, because it is extensive and constantly feeds bad practice and wrongly focussed effort. This bureaucratic maladministration is causing so much harm and is way beneath the talents and abilities of the British people. 

Consider how Grenfell happened and the pathetic response to it. Watch the reality programme about the ambulance service and have the sympathy for the pressure they are under evaporate, when having just heard they now have no ambulances available, but have sent two ambulances to a suspected heart attack, because that is 'protocol'.

The NHS is a great idea, but you know, instinctively, that no private company could survive operating as it does. It doesn't need to be privatised, it just needs to be run properly. 

Thursday, 23 July 2020


I thought I was OK with geography, generally. OK, so there has been a fad for renaming countries for unknown reasons, but you know, OK.

But I am really confused. You see, there have been a number of 'spikes' in cases of Covid infections and they have been in certain areas of Leicester, Bradford and Luton. Whilst the problem of carefully not identifying the cultural background of these communities (the BBC referred to the Luton outbreak as 'in the LU4 postcode'), it is clearly among those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage.

Nothing wrong with that, as such, but the propensity to not speak English doesn't help keep information flowing. But speaking to a Council representative, himself a Muslim he referred to the problem as being among 'South Asians'. Other commentators have made the same remark.

But, pretty much the only Asia North of Pakistan is Kazakhstan. Lord knows what Indonesia is. Possibly in these re-named days Southy McSouthface.

Or maybe there are way more Indonesians and Vietnamese living in the UK than I thought. In Leicester, Bradford and Luton.

Conservative Confusion

Well this is weird. I distinctly remember a Conservative victory at a General Election, but incompetent panicking has defined the government's reaction to the Covid pandemic. And these are primal Labour characteristics.

Obviously, there is way too much to cover in detail, but let's look at face masks. Originally, we were told these were unnecessary and possibly harmful, they would give people false confidence. We were told about the science behind the decision.

This was handy, because there was a desperate shortage of face masks at the time. But we looked and we saw that it was good. And calmness prevailed.

Then, to ease our way out of the now fairly recognised mistake of lockdown, but without admitting that, we were told we could go to shops again. Then, a while afterwards we needed to wear masks in shops. But not the shop staff. And you don't have to wear them in a restaurant or bar.

I'm assuming that the new update is that coronavirus has become very picky about who it will infect, not people enjoying themselves for instance, and that masks are suddenly efficacious because coronavirus has put a lot of weight on.

But we don't know for sure because we don't need to know the science any more. Just some panic activists and invested scientists saying, 'yeah, blimey you need to wear a mask, because we know it stops large amounts of the deadly big droplets'.

Yes, a mask will help catch a sneeze and smear it over your face, rather than over other people. If you have Covid 19, I'm not sure why you are wandering about, face mask or not, but there you go, that is what 'scientists' fear. If you sneeze, you could try putting your hand over your face, or go really old school and use a handkerchief.

Personally, I don't remember the last time someone fully sneezed over me without trying to stop or mitigate it at all, which is the scenario the 'scientists' present. Remember the government ads telling you that you would die if you hit a brick wall at 30mph, so slow down? Why would you drive into a brick wall at 30mph? If I lost control of a car and was heading at 30mph for a wall, I might press the brake pedal somewhat.

In 2010, the University of Alabama tested face mask efficacy, mainly aimed at pollution and dust. They tested a surgical face mask (one that fits over your nose, closely to the sides of your face and down the neck), a bandana, or piece of folded cloth and a dust mask from a DIY store.

The median particle size was 1.6 microns, which is pretty small. Unsurprisingly, the surgical mask did best stopping around 33% of particles. The 'dust mask' only managed 6.1%!

Coronaviruses however, tend to be 0.1 microns or smaller, so none of the masks would stop it.

So, the masks are useless, except against a sneezing, infected person who isn't quarantining themselves. And currently, your chance of meeting an infected person, assuming they all go out is about 1 in 2500. How many people do you meet a day? And with the rate of false positives in tests, it is reckoned that only around 44% of those listed as positive, actually are.

So yeah, face masks in shops. Great idea. Should see this problem virtually disappear overnight I should reckon.

Friday, 26 June 2020


I do surveys for Nectar points. I don't know who pays for these, but they obviously have money to burn. I get very annoyed about the quite lengthy ones who collect a lot of information and then drop you out as 'not suitable' or the survey has 'met its quota'. I may stop doing them because of that, as it wastes a lot of my time while they dodge 'paying'.

Today however, hilarious. It was about Next. Have I shopped there in the last 12 months. Yes. Rank the three main reasons you shop at Next (out of about 9). How much did you spend? £101-200. Did you spend more or less than before? Well, more. Will you spend more of less next time? Less.

What reason were you shopping? Pick answer from list, of which none were relevant.

In fact I detest Next. I went in there and bought quite a bit for our granddaughter, who is somewhat abused by her mother's family, poor soul. Being four, she quite liked the experience. We went into Next as we were in the shopping centre and it was the most likely place we could get what we wanted for her.

I never give the place a thought outside that and certainly have no plans to go back in there. I also seem to have found myself on a good number of email lists, but not theirs.