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).

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