back to article Glastonbury hippy shop Hemp in Avalon rapped for spouting 'plandemic' pseudoscience

You'd think the new-age hippies behind a shop called "Hemp in Avalon" would be a bit more groovy about the state we find ourselves in – but no, ads run by the biz came straight outta unhinged conspiracyville. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints that a notice placed in The Oracle – a cosmic woo …

  1. Splurg The Barbarian

    Sums up the current state of things...

    "...It's strange that people will object to overwhelming evidence from the world's top health organisations, but have no qualms about lapping up pseudoscience or the spittle-flecked rantings of a bloke sitting in a truck on YouTube. "

    Sums up nicely current society. Years ago, when you had to go to a research library or write a letter for information to be posted back to you, people read and check facts. Now you can access almost anything online, read up on almost any subject, fact check in a matter seconds all from the comfort of your own house, yet utter bollocks & mental gymnastics of the highest order proliferate.

    By all means research, question, debate but base in facts. It's not too difficult these days.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Sums up the current state of things...

      yet utter bollocks & mental gymnastics of the highest order proliferate.

      Nothing really new, 200 years ago the people peddling the nonsense had no internet, so they promoted their wares from caravans at travelling shows, and the credulous bought pamphlets and phials from them.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Sums up the current state of things...

      fact check in a matter seconds all from the comfort of your own house, yet utter bollocks & mental gymnastics of the highest order proliferate

      Indeed. Sadly, most anti-mask (and anti-vax, -5G, -climate, etc) people that I've met sincerely believe that they have researched and fact-checked their positions.

      If I ask about how they vetted the credibility of sources or accuracy of the research that they cite, I get a lot of conspiracy mumbo jumbo about how any source that contradicts their preconceived view cannot be trusted because reasons (financial interest, global conspiracy, etc).

      If I ask about whether they are aware of confirmation bias, I get the head shake that indicates that they consider me completely in the thrall of the conspiracy or whatever, and thus irredeemable.

      And every single one of them is allowed to vote....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sums up the current state of things...

        > If I ask about whether they are aware of confirmation bias

        Isn't it funny that once you know about confirmation bias, you start seeing it everywhere?

      2. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: Sums up the current state of things...

        That is why in ages past, people were not allowed to vote.

        Look what befell Great Britain since Parliament got the upper hand on Royals...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sums up the current state of things...

          Like losing control over their colonies because the colonies weren't allowed to vote? "No Taxation Without Representation!"

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Sums up the current state of things...

      Much of this nonsense about the dangers of wearing a mask and "it's my choice" seem to be coming from here in the States and in particular a certain looney at the top. Certain memes seem to sum it up about "ignoring science, medicine, etc. and trust what some politician says."

    4. scrubber

      Re: Sums up the current state of things...

      Actually it's very difficult to have a sensible debate based on facts because governments are hiding one side of the debate. Try finding the expected 5 year impact of government policies enacted since March and compare and contrast with the expected impact of competing policies. You can't because the government will not release them, or never produced them.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This forum Sums up the current state of things...

      The reason the authorities took action here is that saying "masks bad Mkay" wrong is because the law says wearing a mask prevents those already infected from spreading it to others.

      Wearing a mask does not significantly act to prevent you getting infected merely it acts to reduce the chances of you infecting others, assuming you are wearing the right ones correctly.

      Those who did not believe organised science also include the current UK government at the start of the UK infection and it must be said there has indeed been evidence that some scientists have publicly lied to support political agendas.

      So whilst everyone jumps on the bandwagon about how stupid these people are for dismissing top scientists it is my opinion that those that are allowed to continue being scientists after using their position's authority to tell lies are to blaim and should have been struck off as scientists at a minimum.

      The integrity of scientic like math has been abused by liars for years to support political agendas and once it became tarnished by the misuse of liars then it become understandable for people not to take it at face value.

      Add in biased statistics and media promotion of panic and what you end up with is a clear campaign of intentional confusion, doubt and a crisis of faith that has allow all sorts of political abuse that took advantage of the removal of the right to protest.

      So before you all point fingers at the stupid hippies ask yourself exactly how you know your position is correct, if it because of your faith in somoene else's opinion or your own research. If the later then you are just as guilty as those that believe someone else.

      As always if there is no punishment for authority lying then those without integrity will ofc take advantage for their own betterment.

      In my opinion the current situation in the UK is intentionally setup to remove integrity across the board and specifically to remove the constrains on politians represented by those pesky people with morals and integrity who insist upon access to the facts and imparitial opinion.

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

        Evidence of scientists lying for political reasons? Oh and scientists cannot be "struck off".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

          If you are asking for evidence then I refer you to "british beef is safe to eat" and a number of scientists on either side of global warming debate to mention but two.

          Science had a good reprutation with people willing to listen and hence was a target for those that are willing to sell their "opinions" add in the current over production of "scientists" relative to jobs and you have people who have science degrees desperate for the recognition they require to get funding for research so as to progress and obtain employment other than serving fast food.

          As to being struck off, such as a medical doctor there is no equivilent punishment for corrupt scientists bringing the subject into disreprute and there in lies the problem.

          I love science and miss the time when their was a requirement for integrity as well as knowledge, now someone who is scientist on paper can leave burger king behind them and obtain a prestigious position simply for saying what he has been told to say.

          The UK is increasingly full of desperate whores in every field and pretending otherwise causes the mess we are talking about here.

          Without any punishment for corruption then who can you believe?

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

            "cientists on either side of global warming debate "

            Ah. Well technically you are correct - 98% of scientists agree that man made climate change is real. The others work for petrochemical companies or for Trump. It's not actually a debate though.

            You clearly have roughly zero idea of how "science" works. Any scientist who makes a claim without peer reviews and solid evidence to back it up is a charlatan. We have always had those, its not some modern phenomenon.

            1. Ghostman

              Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

              Ah. Well technically you are correct - 98% of scientists agree that man made climate change is real.

              Where did you get that figure from? I, and many others would not agree with that.

              1. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

                "Where did you get that figure from? I, and many others would not agree with that."

                Just about any publication other than the aforementioned petro chemical company puff pieces will tell you the same. You don't believe in climate change? I have a lovely property by the sea to sell you...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

        The standard of literacy in that post speaks for itself

      3. TheFifth

        Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

        The latest research seems to suggest that wearing a mask does actually afford the wearer a reasonable level of protection and that the relationship between spread control from those with Covid and protection for those without is likely complementary and could even be synergistic.

        From what I've read, previous research wasn't testing the protection afforded during a pandemic, when there is a massive amount of the virus circulating. Previous research looked at the additional protection given during a normal flu year, where the difference is tiny because the probability of getting the flu in the first place is far lower. So the 'masks don't protect the wearer' line is incorrect when there's a pandemic going on (that's my understanding of what I've read anyway).

        The CDC has a summary of the latest thinking here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

          Which research and by whom? CDC? no one listens to them hence what is happening in the US at the moment

          Anyone who uses the word "synergistic" looses any credibility they might have had otherwise, word is reserved for the use of professional BSers

          1. TheFifth

            Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

            In medicine "synergistic" has a very specific definition. It describes the interaction of two or more factors, that when combined, have an effect greater than the sum of the effect of each individually. So it is the correct term to use here and is what was used in some of the research. Sorry you find the use of the correct medical term so upsetting, but I think my credibility is intact.

            To answer which research and by whom, just follow the link. All references are supplied at the bottom of that page. There's 45 of them. As I said in my first post, the CDC article is a 'summary' of recent research. Given what is happening in the US, perhaps it would be better if people did listen to them?

            I'm sure you've done your own research though... Here's a little help getting started:

            https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/synergism

          2. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: This forum Sums up the current state of things...

            anyone who uses the word "looses" instead of "loses" needs to check their dictionary.

    6. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Sums up the current state of things...

      "Years ago, when you had to go to a research library or write a letter for information to be posted back to you, people read and check facts."

      No they didn't. Years ago, when you had to make some effort to get information, the vast majority of people simply didn't get any information. But when they happened to be provided with information somehow, they believed it or not depending entirely on how well it aligned with their existing views. Hence travelling snake oil salesmen, religion, and so on.

      The problem is not that society has changed and people no longer respect facts and experts, the problem is that society, and human nature, hasn't changed at all. The only thing that has changed is that modern communication methods make it more noticeable.

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    or the spittle-flecked rantings of a bloke sitting in a truck on YouTube.

    Or in the Oval Office, for that matter.

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      Or, let's be fair, in Downing Street.

      In the mean time who's up for a barbecue at Barnard Castle? Pangolin steaks are on me.

      1. First Light Silver badge

        And a certain ex-spad will bring humble pie.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          That is one thing I can guarantee will not happen.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And a certain ex-spad will bring humble pie.

          More likely it'll be professional psycho pie....

  3. HorseflySteve
    Alien

    Glastonbury

    After nearly 40 years of living within 20 miles of Glastonbury, I have come to the the conclusion that it has become a self-created open prison for the (mostly) harmless nutcases in the UK. They seem to accumulate there making it a kind of benign Broadmoor...

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Glastonbury

      Yup. I grew up on the outskirts of Wells and just within sight of the ever watchful gaze of the Tor before moving away. Earlier this year I took a motorbike trip back up through Somerset and was surprised that Glastonbury has become essentially the standard hellhole of close-knit housing estates and corporates with a few "enchanted isle" type idiots hanging around presumably pretending to remember how good it was "back in the day" whilst appearing to be doing nothing of great worth.

      I guess the town centre does still retain some level of aesthetic charm, but it's essentially still just trying to peddle mystically themed tat to gullible types.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Glastonbury

        I grew up in Street (next-door village) in the 80s/90s. "trying to peddle mystically themed tat to gullible types" perfectly describes what was going on then too.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Glastonbury

      It's a nexus of Ley lines, seemingly, they have the power to attract layabouts and loonies.

      Providing they don't infect anyone else, let them all get together and invoke Darwin.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Glastonbury

        "let them all get together and invoke Darwin."

        I think their belief in "free love" precludes them self-Darwining.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Glastonbury

      Pandering to the credulous seems to have been a local industry there since the middle ages and the monks ran short of cash. Arthur's tomb (alleged) came to the rescue.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Glastonbury

        Arthur's tomb (alleged) came to the rescue.

        I Ate'nt Dead!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Glastonbury

          How's Guinevere?

    4. GruntyMcPugh

      Re: Glastonbury

      A mate of mine used to work in Bristol, and live in in Congresbury, and one time I went to visit several years ago, we went for a walk around a nature reserve, then swerved bt Glastonbury for a look, as the last time we'd been there was 1986 I think,....the Market Cross was besieged by pseuds in brightly coloured clown outfits banging tambourines. I have no idea what you do if you live in Glastio, and need a bathplug or sink plunger, there didnt seem to be a hardware shop,... maybe you could learn a spell to unblock a drain,....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Glastonbury

        " if you live in Glastio[sic], and need a bathplug or sink plunger..."

        You go to the B+Q (just off the roundabout on the old Moorlands site), same as most places. Actual hardware shops are a rare species in towns in England these days.

        [comment about certain Glastonbury residents not being heavy bathplug users deleted.]

        I feel a bit bad being so rude about Glastonbury. I enjoy visiting the Abbey. Even when the weather's bad, the sight of the ruins looming out of the mist is beautiful.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Glastonbury

          I feel a bit bad being so rude about Glastonbury. I enjoy visiting the Abbey.

          At a tenner in to see a bunch of ruins, it's a bit steep though. If it was three quid, and I was going that way anyway, I'd consider it...

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Glastonbury

            You can go up the Tor for free, and it's a lovely view from the top (weather dependant).

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Glastonbury

      Why do you have to put people down for doing what they want when it hurts no one and brings money in for local retailers.

      Yes the whole things is a scam, yes all the stones were moved to where they are now by the then land owner, so what.

      Tourists have come to the UK and given us money for this scam and enjoyed the experience, there is no harm in it and to be frank if you live locally then the chances are you moved there knowing it was periodically fully of hippys.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Glastonbury

        Go back to the article. "Hurts nobody" might be a tad optimistic - people believe this garbage and reject sound advice because of it.

      2. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Glastonbury

        "Why do you have to put people down for doing what they want when it hurts no one and brings money in for local retailers"

        Because it's spreading well-known false information and is potentially dangerous to people's health?

  4. amacater

    If all of the isle were still under water ...

    Carbon dioxide would be a major problem - at depths, you can get the bends as it bubbles out. There's also the more dangerous di-hydrogen monoxide - safe in bulk (though you wouldn't want to expose bare flesh to it without suitable precautions - long exposure causes skin to swell, for example) but once warmed to body temperature and in gaseous form, who knows?

    Also CO2 - suitable for extracting hemp products, but poisonous in small doses to human life? [Note: prolonged exposure in a positive pressure respirator to nothing but CO2 is a subtly different matter.]

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: If all of the isle were still under water ...

      You would need a hell of a pressure change to make CO2 bubble out.

      The bends is caused by N2. CO2 is very soluble in water/blood so tends to stay there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If all of the isle were still under water ...

      Carbon dioxide would be a major problem - at depths, you can get the bends as it bubbles out

      If you've got carbon dioxide bubbling out then you've got something like lemonade for blood and the bends is going to be the least of your problems...

      1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: If all of the isle were still under water ...

        Sparkling blood?

        For a sparkling vampire?

        (my coat is the one with a stake firing gun in the pocket, and the Monster Hunter International logo on the sleeves)

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Knowing what you're talking about

    Sadly this has to be filed under the same heading as all the other crap. Mistrust of experts.

    i.e. "Don't trust them big heads who know stuff".

    Carefully fostered by a bunch of people who are terrified that the public will follow the lead of experts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Knowing what you're talking about

      > a bunch of people who are terrified that the public will follow the lead of experts.

      aka "Priests"

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Knowing what you're talking about

        No. "Priests" of varying versions, are also in that mix, arguably. Mostly though politicians and high end scammers who can make more money by misleading the public than by encouraging the truth.

        Think who'll do well out of Brexit.

    2. anonanonanonanonanon

      Re: Knowing what you're talking about

      But you don't understand, all these big heads who know stuff specifically created a system to discredit natural healers, things like science were engineered in such as way, with things like double blind drug trials, to put honest healers with natural remedies and simple charms out of business so big pharma can control the market, it's all corrupt you see.

      Or so I read in a comment somewhere, jews have something to do with it too.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Knowing what you're talking about

        Yep, we Jews are to blame. As always. Funny isn't it. We even control the media , so no one can say things like that the virus if fake, that we want to inject you with a microchip or that we control the media so that no one can say... ..

        Why's there no icon for recursion?

        Conspiracy theorists are weird people

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Knowing what you're talking about

          >we Jews are to blame.

          At least you kept the franchise

          Us catholics were 'preferred terrorists' for 400years before a few Muslims stole the gig

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Knowing what you're talking about

            As a Continental European reading "Father Brown" when I was younger was illuminating on that subject...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Knowing what you're talking about

        So if the experts knew what they are talking about at the start then why are we in the mess we are in at time moment? I would suggest because the people making the decisions for the public did not themselves belive the experts.

        What I have seen in the UK is intential chaos, bad stats and politicacal abuse of this issue so as to reduce public freedom and pass public funds to their mates.

        There has been a lot of terrified people shouting about how dangerous this infection is and yet the percentage deaths per known infected does not support this even where merely mentioning the infection on a death cert is recorded as dying from it. That an unrecorded number of people were infected without showing the "known" symptoms and that an unknown number of these never bothered to go to hospital says that the stats presented are misleading.

        I would have liked to see stats that took into account any underlying medical conditions that weakened the immunity of those that actually died from this infection but no one seems interested in this statistic which I find significant.

        What even the broken stats say is that the majority of people who contract the infection do not die, without seperating those with reduced immune responses from health individuals then things are clearly painted blacker than they really are.

        Hence the distrust of both those that failed to question the validity of the stats and those that have been abusing the crisis for tawdry person profit.

        I would say it is less a distrust of science but rather those scientists who publicly supporting the removal of freedoms without sufficent data to back up their claims.

  6. iron Silver badge

    > It's strange that people will object to overwhelming evidence from the world's top health organisations, but have no qualms about lapping up pseudoscience or the spittle-flecked rantings of a bloke sitting in a truck on YouTube.

    One of my friends believes the Bill Gates tracking chip vaccine conspiracy bollocks and another told me yesterday that Trump won the US election. WTF?!? These are usually intelligent people who I know have read history and philosophy yet they're buying into David Icke levels of bollocks.

    Turn off the lights, the human race is done.

    1. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
      Pint

      philosophy doesn't mean that people are sensible

      Sadly, being trained in critical thought doesn't seem to mean that people will apply it. I doubt that any engineers would subscribe to the chip in a vaccine but they may believe in the illuminati.

      I don't know what the solution is. Journals I respect have articles by sensible sounding people who say that you shouldn't try and confront believers in fruitloopery but gently give them pointers to find sensible information so they then discover it for themselves and then break the chains of believing them selves to be superior to the "sheeple". Does it work. I tried it when someone shared an anti vax video on a whatsapp group but everyone else piled in making the person feel stupid so ...

      Beer because I need one more often these days.

      1. TDog

        Re: philosophy doesn't mean that people are sensible

        But beer will adversely affect your vaccinations - well unless like me you have had a smallpox jab they are immunisations...

        Oh God I need a substantial meal - I wonder what could go with it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd suggest getting a facebook account for a few weeks, it's an excellent way to work out which of your friends are swivel eyed, racist morons.

  7. revenant

    "What?! You mean to say ..."

    "...there's no evidence that shoving a crystal up my bottom to realign my chakras will stop me getting ill?

    Of course there isn't. Though it might make for a more pleasant experience if you remember first to have the crystal shaped and polished to remove any edges and sharp points.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "What?! You mean to say ..."

      On the contrary, it'll prevent all kinds of illnesses. If shoved hard, fast, and far enough. Kind of like smoking enough cigarettes is a nearly surefire way of never getting Alzheimer's.

    2. HorseflySteve

      Re: "What?! You mean to say ..."

      Rest sssured you will be able to get a nice smooth crystal and a tube of lube in Glastonbury if you want to try the experiment....

      Please *don't* post pictures if you do!

    3. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: "What?! You mean to say ..."

      If you don't provide link to confirmed studies on that specific subject, why should we believe you?

  8. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Missed opportunities

    The shop should have just got with the program and made hemp face coverings. Choice of prints, that leaf, peace signs etc. Hand washable, organic, biodegradeable and sustainable. Good for you, others, and the environment!

    Then again, may cause irritation. But hemp's once of those multi-purpose plants. Hemp for Victory!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0xHCkOnn-A

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missed opportunities

      One of my local pubs - sorry, community shop and off licence - sells locally made masks in unbleached cotton in a variety of tasteful and psychedelic patterns.

      The town isn't full nutter like Glastonbury, but on Saturday a former mayor was knocking door to door imploring people not to get get immunised. He's on a high having had a 5G mast planning application turned down. They gave him a fine few weeks back for organising an anti-lockdown rally in the park. Before lockdown, anti 5G loonies had they stand out every weekend on the high street, but didn't keep any scientific evidence to back up their claims. Upon cross examination, they said they were using health fears about 5G as a way if blocking it, because really they were only concerned about 5G as a surveillance tool, and this tactic of theirs had worked in Glastonbury. (?!)

      The non conformists have been in town since the industrial revolution... but then so have the engineers. Drug rehab folk came more recently.

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Surgical teams?

    They must be freaking out about this news! They've been wearing masks for throughout their career! who knew it was so bad!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Surgical teams?

      That's why junior doctors fall asleep after a 96hour shift, it's the mask

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Surgical teams?

      Ever been in for an operation and had the entire surgical team drop dead of CO2 poisoning mod-surgery?

      Yep, me neither.

      Good enough for me.

      Mask on.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Surgical teams?

        "Ever been in for an operation and had the entire surgical team drop dead of CO2 poisoning mod-surgery?"

        No idea! I was asleep at the time, for all I know there was a pair of undertakers and stand by teams to take my tonsils out.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being stupid is not a crime

    It's just being stupid, <dumballs> anyone who thinks that they have never been stupid has probably been smoking too much. We see stupidity all the time, I regularly check my eyesight to make sure that I can see stupidity correctly. Maybe I'll return to politics and run for Prime Minister - that would solve it. </dumballs>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Being stupid is not a crime

      There's a difference between doing the occasional stupid thing and making a career out of it

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Being stupid is not a crime

        And foisting it upon others from a position of trust.

        Ads are checked and censured so that you can trust their claims are legitimate.

        (Yet politicians make stupid illegitimate claims daily for years, even after losing office. And their successors somehow inherit the stupidity. Ban all politics for being unsafe to the public?)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People turning to nonsense

    Is a result of the government imposed death of the nation by lockdown. Covid is only active after 18:00, or if you're drinking alcohol? But not if you're eating?

    When those in charge aren't paying attention to their own figures it's no wonder people believe alternative bollocks.

    If you're under 45 [well 43 actually] there's nothing to stop you living your life as you did before March, please look at the UK figures, your chance of death from C-19 is tiny. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending20november2020

    Separate shopping times for the elderly, not destroying the hospitality industry would be a start! And don't let little Jimmy visit granny. Let the down votes commence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People turning to nonsense

      I shouldn't feed the troll, but:

      "If you're under 45 [well 43 actually] there's nothing to stop you living your life..."

      Except your sense of responsibility towards those who are not. Those who are vulnerable, whether from another illness or through age. Those who care for people in this category.

      In the last year I have discovered that many more acquaintances than I would have ever expected live their lives with health conditions that mean their chance of dying if some prick in the queue in Sainsburys coughs over them is non-zero.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: People turning to nonsense

        Did you deliberately not read "Separate shopping times for the elderly,"?

        And if you're under 60 with underlying health conditions then you'd be pretty dumb to go to the pub, but why should everyone suffer?

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: People turning to nonsense

          Nice of you to state how people should live their lives, while complaining about the goverment deciding how people should live their lives.

          If separate shopping times for the elderly was actually enforced, policed, then maybe - maybe - you'd have a point. But the only thing enforcing that is most people's sense of decency. And the sort of twats who cough all over people in a queue at the shops don't give a shit about things like that.

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: People turning to nonsense

      > If you're under 45 [well 43 actually] there's nothing to stop you living your life...

      If only the two babies in my town that caught covid shortly after birth and died had known this.

      1. genghis_uk Silver badge

        Re: People turning to nonsense

        Not sure where you live but that goes against the stats and reporting (ok, this is from August)

        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/all-children-who-died-of-covid-19-were-already-seriously-ill-jlxr8mkxq I can't find any reports of babies dying from Covid without an underlying problem. 1 was uncertain...

        However, with 55+million of us there are likely to be out-lyers and the chances of a baby dying from Covid is still less than of someone dying by lightening strike. It is the risk level that never gets mentioned... Will you only accept a 0% chance of dying from Covid? We deal with risk every day but accept that there will be a non 0 chance of something happening.

        For months we have been presented with ever increasing figures for deaths and cases but no-on has been pushing the risk factor - largely because people will see very small numbers and are less likely to take the anti-spread measures seriously.

        P = Chance of getting the virus (very small) x Chance of getting a bad reaction (small) x Chance of dying (age related but extremely small for < 30's increasing to high for > 75's)

        Now we don't want the very small chance of getting it to increase too much but the OP is technically correct when they said under 43 you have a very low risk of dying. (Note not 0 but less than a lot of things). You still have a chance of passing it on but with 60's+ vaccinated, the younger population could continue largely unaffected. Some countries only allow OAPs out for a small number of hours a day - being a bit mercenary, you could say that isolating the elderly and letting the rest get on with it is a valid response. You may not agree with it or like it but it would undeniably keep the death rate down

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: People turning to nonsense

          "P = Chance of getting the virus (very small) x Chance of getting a bad reaction (small) x Chance of dying (age related but extremely small for < 30's increasing to high for > 75's)"

          What does this mean. You're conflating two outcomes, a bad reaction and dying. Yes, dying is a bad reaction but I think you're meaning a bad reaction short of death. These are two separate probabilities so you need a separate calculation for each.

          "You still have a chance of passing it on but with 60's+ vaccinated, the younger population could continue largely unaffected."

          There are a couple of issues with this sentence.

          Firstly, If we have a vaccine which is 90% effective (the initial value for Pfizer) that would mean that between myself and SWMBO there would be a 20% chance that at least one of us would not be effectively protected. I don't find that particularly reassuring. I don't even find it reassuring that it's now improved to a 10% chance. From the 30,000 feet point of view that government has to take that seems good. From the ground level, individual point of view, not so good.

          Secondly, although many of the younger generation would continue unaffected not all would be. Again, this might be a good thing unless you're one of those who finds themselves affected.

          AFAICS the most effective thing about vaccination from an individual point of view is not the probability that it protects directly but the lowering of the probability of being exposed to infection by lowering the total number of infected individuals in the population. For this to happen it not only needs to protect against developing symptoms (which is what the trials have largely measured) but also to protect against asymptomatic infections which I think was tested by Oxford/Astro-Zeneca but not by the others. It worries me that HMG seems to be only talking about vaccination vulnerable groups(in descending order of vulnerability and carers and front-line NHS workers despite having ordered more than enough for the whole population.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: People turning to nonsense

            @Doctor Syntax.

            It's one thing ordering it, it's another thing actually manufacturing and distributing it.

            Cheers… Ishy

        2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: People turning to nonsense

          > ...that goes against the stats...

          Now that will make their mothers happy.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: People turning to nonsense

          "out-lyers"

          *outliers.

          But then korrect speeling and grandma are always being pushed closer to the far edges of the bell curve.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: People turning to nonsense

      Let the down votes commence.

      The downvotes have indeed commenced. It's just that the reason why is almost certainly going to be beyond your comprehension. I'm sure you're enjoying the feeling of martyrdom far too much for that.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: beyond your comprehension

          ...says the man (presumably) who resorts to childish insults when his idiocy and selfishness is called out. A prime example of having intelligence but no actual brains.

    4. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: People turning to nonsense

      Its not just death, there's a lot of long term issues that many people seem to be having - - e.g. a relative of mine works for the NHS &caught it working on the wards in the early days of the pandemic (early March) then 2 weeks later ended up getting hospitalized himself with blood clots / vascular blockage issues a couple of weeks after first getting it, many months later he's nowhere back to full health (& although he was over your magic 43, he was only just over that age). Health services will be dealing with non fatal effects of COVID long after the vaccines have done their job & COVID is circulating only at low levels.

      1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

        Re: People turning to nonsense

        Similar, have fit, previously healthy young relative who now has diminished lung function after a fairly mild COVID infection, doctors can't tell him if he will ever fully recover or if there will be other long term effects.

        I've lost family to this, one in his 50s, in poor health already so the mask and vaccine deniers will try and tell me he should have died anyway (and they'll suffer immediate, short term physical effects if they say it to my face) and another who was a fit, healthy, regular sports player, gym goer in his mid 40s.

        There is simply no way to know how this will pan out, if we can vaccinate now and get the current strains of COVID out of the general population then more people will survive, it also reduces the opportunities for COVID to mutate into milder or nastier variants plus it gives our bodies a better chance of being able to react to those future variants.

        But the anti-vax, anti-mask, anti science, anti expert people out there trying to push the survival stats don't seem to understand that they can infect other people.

        1. Dave559 Silver badge

          Re: People turning to nonsense

          I obviously don't know you in real life, but I am so sorry to hear that you have lost not only one but two members of your family, and that another has suffered serious potentially lasting health effects. That's a particularly harsh blow that Covid has inflicted on you and your family, you have all my sympathies.

          I can only hope that anyone reading this, who somehow thinks that it is not a serious disease, or that it is unlikely to affect them or anyone they know, and who aren't following the safety measures, takes a long hard thought and thinks again, for the good of not only themself but for everyone in their community.

  12. Dr_N Silver badge

    "ongoing debate in the country about the efficacy of face masks"

    As opposed to crystals and homeopathy?

  13. David Nash

    "Making misleading claims"

    "lying", surely?

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: "Making misleading claims"

      I believe the current preferred phrase is "Reporting alternative facts".

    2. Jon 37 Silver badge

      Re: "Making misleading claims"

      "lying" implies they knew it was false. If they are such an idiot that they really believed what they said, they were not lying, despite spreading falsehoods.

  14. anonanonanonanonanon
  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    overwhelming evidence ?

    Back in March the WHO told us that masks were ineffective. I think "overwhelming evidence" is a bit strong, there's lots saying they are ineffective. Also, the home made ones that people just stick in their bag (and don't wash often / ever) could be even less effective.

    Not that I'm saying I agree with this shop, but I'm not "all in" with the current recommendations and it seems there's room for some discussion?

    Also, people tend to touch their faces more often when wearing a mask.

    Huge Danish study showing they don't do very much. Shadow banned by Google, as it goes against the current narrative.

    But no doubt I'll get lots of downvotes for this, as it seems very fashionable to be lockdown and mask zealots this year.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons, as I feel like I'm swimming against the tide here and don't feel I can safely express my views openly (since this year!)

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      I think you're touching on the actual issue here.

      The problem isn't people who doubt experts, it's the ones who trust them too much and don't get that sometimes they mislead you.

      In March there was a global shortage of masks. So a variety of people took it upon themselves to lie to the plebs, probably spontaneously. Now there is no shortage but some of the plebs still believe what those people said when there was.

      Having no faith in experts whatsoever, I masked up in March.

    2. Alistair
      Windows

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      "Back in March the WHO told us that masks were ineffective"

      One has to note when making this statement that WHO included the phrase "because non professionals will usually play with the mask, increasing their risk of exposure"

      You made this comment yourself, but chose to separate it from the WHO advise. I absolutely recall the WHO announcement.

      "Danish study showing they don't do much"

      Was based on an incredibly small, non professionally, non controlled study. Its crap science. THATS why its banned.

      I might be a mask zealot, but having two relatives who have been part of the medical community for over 50 years I know that they DO INDEED help. No mask will be perfect in our current situation, but *anything* that prevents your fetid exhalations from splattering someone around you will help slow down the spread of this disease.

      As to lockdowns, well, I think we're open to debate about how best to manage to reduce our social interactions when a substantial portion of the population (at least in my neck of the woods) can't seem to understand the idea that large pools of people indoors yelling, shouting and singing makes for uncontrolled outbreaks of the infection.

      Personally I'm thinking handcuffs and radiators, but I'm a prick that way.

      1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        Re: overwhelming evidence ?

        <<No mask will be perfect in our current situation, but *anything* that prevents your fetid exhalations from splattering someone around you will help slow down the spread of this disease>>

        I'm sure you are right with this statement - but by how much 10%, 20% or 0.01%. I have no idea and I haven't seen anything that would enlighten my ignorance.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Go

          Re: overwhelming evidence ?

          Since someone asked there is a truly wonderful episode of Die Sendung mit der Maus (a German kids tv show, think Blue Peter but with actual science education), that shows precisely what the difference between wearing different types of masks does. They basically show how far your breath travels when wearing different masks (and of course no mask). Its highly enlightening.

          You can find it on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F59fGJf7Xtw

          It's only 10 minutes long, although unfortunately in german, but I think even without speaking german, you can see the huge difference between the masks and how good an effect even a minimal mask achieves.

          Hope that helps you out...

        2. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

          Re: overwhelming evidence ?

          0.01%, 10%, 20% are all better than 0%.

          Maybe what we need to do is educate people how to use masks properly and effectively instead of casting doubt on the efficacy to make a case for not wearing them at all.

          You could compare it to using a condom during sex or a seatbelt while in a moving vehicle, neither are 100% guaranteed but are more safe than not, do you refuse those too?

          As for 'looking silly', would you rather look silly for a few months and possibly save a life or look like an inconsiderate dickhead and possibly spread a disease that might kill?

    3. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      Huge Danish study showing they don’t do very much. Shadow banned by Google, as it goes against the current narrative.

      If you’re referring to the Danish study that was published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine (see https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817), its findings were nowhere near as general as “[masks] don’t do very much [for anyone anywhere at any time]”. If no other part of the study is read, at least its last three paragraphs should be digested.

      1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: overwhelming evidence ?

        Thank you for an actual link. When someone wrote "Huge Danish study showing they don't do very much" it ought to be enclosed in href tags!!. Jeez, people, it's what the WWW was bloody-well invented for.

        Sorry about the spittle flecks, btw.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      > Back in March the WHO told us that masks were ineffective.

      Pretty much, but then they came under pressure from various governments to acknowledge that 'anything has to better than nothing' and they had to accept this probably was the case, no matter how little better than nothing that was.

      And then those government ran with claims that DIY face coverings were essential wear, protected others if not the wearer, and the CDC recently started asserting they also protect the wearer.

      I wear mine because it just keeps others happy but I'm not sure how much more effective they are than standing on a step ladder in the face of a tsunami.

      Seems to me "homemade face coverings" were deliberately conflated with medical "mask" and "respirator" for the political expediency of being seen to do something and their benefit has been rather inflated.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: overwhelming evidence ?

        "I wear mine because it just keeps others happy"

        Have you considered the possibility that it keeps others happy because it keeps them safe from you and gives them the impression, perhaps misleadingly, that you take protecting others seriously? It's the others wearing masks that contributes to keeping you safe.

      2. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: overwhelming evidence ?

        Look a few posts up, I've posted a link to a video on youtube from Die Sendung mit die Maus that shows the effect that various types of masks have. And yes, even cloth ones protect you and other people significantly comapred to not wearing a mask.

        Watch the video its 10 minutes long and aimed at children, which means its clear information thats easy to visualise. If that doesnt convince you, then pretty much nothing will...

    5. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      There's conclusive proof that masks work to reduce YOUR emissions. Videos, even.

      Now, even assuming wearing a mask reduces my chance of picking up coronavirus by 10%, the things aren't that hard to wear all day, so I'll take any advantage I can get.

      On the scale of things that bother me, the act of wearing a mask doesn't even move the meter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: overwhelming evidence ?

        Absolutely, I'll take that advantage.

        I live in a nice little bit of Cheshire, neighbour on one side is a medical professional who caught COVID and was laid low for a month or so, she takes masks very seriously but was exposed day in, day out and was a victim of the massive PPE shortages in the NHS.

        The neighbour on the other side is a raving lunatic who has been convinced by facebook that masks are dangerous and COVID is a conspiracy to cover up state genocide of people over 50.

        All being well, next summer's garden parties and barbecues are going to be awesome.

    6. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      It wasn't a observation made specifically about the efficacy of masks but people's tendencies to believe patently ridiculous things, of which there were many in the bloke's ads.

    7. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      Thank you for saying this for me. I'm still waiting to see all the "science" behind how the pandemic has been handled.

    8. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      I have no idea what you are citing in March but I bet it says something like "we have no evidence that masks work" which is not to say they don't, but that they have no evidence to say one way or the other at that point.

      But guess what... studies since that prove masks work. They cut down the risk of transmission and of receiving the virus. They also reduce the potential severity since people aren't getting a lungful of the virus and therefore the body has some extra time to develop an immune response.

      That doesn't stop idiots from using mined quotes and pseudo science to prop up their anti-vax, freemen of the land or some other brain damaged opposition to masks. Anyone who violates public health laws in a time of a pandemic should receive a heavy fine and if they are a business, a mandatory timeout period.

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: overwhelming evidence ?

        "WHO officials were careful to say that the agency does not criticise countries who advise wearing masks. But at the same time, the agency was quick to stress that masks are commonly misused, and as a result, won't offer the intended protections.

        For instance, wearing a mask can provide a false sense of security, say experts, leading some to become less vigilant in more important hygiene measures, such as hand washing. Additionally, removing a mask so it no longer covers your nose, or touching the outside of the mask can make it less effective."

        This is from March. The WHO recommendation on mask wearing has been updated several times since. Saying "WHO say masks dont work" is like saying "smoking is healthy" and never letting updated information sink in to your head.

    9. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: overwhelming evidence ?

      "it seems very fashionable to be lockdown and mask zealots this year."

      Isn't it odd though, that countries where they actually had effective lockdowns and strict mask wearing are now living a pretty much normal life? Maybe they had fewer morons going "its a conspiracy" Masks don't work! Government control!" ?

      South Korea - 35000 cases and 529 deaths

      New Zealand - 2000 cases and 25 deaths

      etc etc

      Or, we could just carry on letting idiots wreck everyone else's life.

  16. Len Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Not surpring

    I know it sounds attractive to divide the world into easy buckets, from nonsense such as "left" and "right" or "gammon" and "remoaner" to "boomer" and "millennial", things are usually not that simple black and white. The world is not a Disney film.

    It is well-documented that people who describe themselves as "spiritual" are more than average likely to follow the QAnon conspiracy too. You probably won't find many spiritual "gammon" or right wingers but that doesn't mean they can't believe in QAnon. The art of QAnon is that it is so broad that it covers things for many different people to latch on to. From child abuse conspiracies to anti-vax, from deep state to gold standard, from 5G to fluoride, from anti-Semitism to misogyny. All one needs is to tick one of those boxes and they may ignore all the other stuff they don't care about.

    It is well-documented that anti-vaxxers, for instance, are actually relatively educated people, usually definitely above average. It's just that having read media studies or history at Oxford doesn't prevent someone from denying biological sciences or physics.

    If you then have a cohort of people who believe in the healing power of crystals or homeopathy it should not be surprising that the jump to "the scientists don't know what they're talking about" is not that big.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not surpring

      I've found these two pieces useful to shine se light in QAnon for non tech friends who've come imto contact with it:

      https://www.wired.com/story/the-weird-dark-history-8chan/

      https://youtu.be/-4vb6UWhf3o

      The fact QAnon was spawned in 4/8chan and then accuses others of paedophila is deeply ironic.

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    Science.

    I blame Soshal Meejah. Not for the bullshit, but for the massive drop in the standards of the science on offer.

    Trouble is that many scientists want to get f1rst p0st on Tw@ter as much as the next ADD-afflicted toddler-alike. After all, the more drooling morons who like or share your post the more famous you are, right? As a result, a large amount of what's been published and reported is half-cocked or unverified.

    For a classic example, look up everything that's been written on the subject of post-infection immunity. First it was a Big Thing, then it was effectively nonexistent and now we have vaccines, which sort of relies on this to be effective, it's actually more of a thing than anyone ever guessed. The truth? Answers on a postcard please to...

    As for ...the world's top health organisations..., what doesn't help here is that one thing that does seem to have emerged is that the WHO is as bent as a nine-bob note and their actions did as much as anyone else's to ensure that there was a pandemic. Then again, they'd been crying wolf on the subject for so long that I can't help thinking that they really needed one...(!)

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Science.

      @TeeCee

      I was discussing the lack of lockdown for xmas but then its back on with family. The reason being sound that the government has no control and people will be meeting for xmas with or without government permission, but then they knew that back in March (prolonged lockdown wont work).

      The WHO seemed to have been playing politics instead of its job in health. PHE was more interested in dictating our diets than preparing for a pandemic. The advice and actions have been so badly disjointed it isnt a shock to see people having various views over what is and isnt real.

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Science.

        "PHE was more interested in dictating our diets than preparing for a pandemic."

        Exercise Cygnus? Buried by the government, so PHE had no opportunity to plan anything.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Science.

          @Mooseman

          PHE was too worried about how much sugar we were consuming. A real issue arrives and they dont know which way is up and fail miserably. They even insisted on running the testing themselves resulting in almost no testing capacity.

          If they focused on protecting the population instead of ruling them then PHE shouldnt have failed so badly.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Science.

      >>>crying wolf<<< Pointing out that a new (mutated) flu/cold virus can go very badly for millions of people isn't crying wolf, it's the same as saying russian roulette isn't safe.

      SARS/MERS > spin the chambers, pull trigger, click.

      Any Flu outbreak since 1968 > spin the chambers, pull trigger, click.

      CV19 > spin the chambers, pull trigger, Bang.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
        Joke

        Re: Science.

        Russian roulette is far safer than the Soviet roulette (played with a Tokarev)

  18. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Pro-hemp, anti idiocy

    Please don't let the odd idiot disgrace the whole hemp community.

    Back in March I didn't think there would be any vaccine - these are the first coronavirus vaccines in history, and they've been trying to develop them for the 'common cold' for decades. I know it's not a panacea, it'll need to be repeated and updated vaccinations, but it's an undeniable miracle to be celebrated.

    Now if only the government would follow the recommendations of their own scientific advisory committee and legalise cannabis.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Pro-hemp, anti idiocy

      They're the first *human* coronavirus vaccines, but there is already a vaccine for bovine coronvirus.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Pro-hemp, anti idiocy

        I bow to your better knowledge. I hadn't heard of Cowvid. I hope they've reached herd immunity.

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Boffin

    If someone you know

    is an anti-vaxxer conspiracy nut, then use the russell's teapot on them

    And remind them it is not our job to disprove their wild claims, it is their job to prove them (and that goes beyond the usual "my sisters father-in -law's best friend's 2nd cousin's daughter once felt better after waving a crystal over her head" proof offered)

    On 2nd thought.. just hit them with the teapot

  20. DS999 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Beware CO2 overdose

    Millions of mask wearing nurses and surgeons have dropped dead from this every year for as long as I've been alive, but this fact has been covered up by the Big Mask lobby. That's the real reason there is always a shortage of doctors and nurses!

  21. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Vehicular broadcasting

    It's strange that people will object to overwhelming evidence from the world's top health organisations, but have no qualms about lapping up pseudoscience or the spittle-flecked rantings of a bloke sitting in a truck on YouTube.

    Why are they always sitting in a vehicle?! Kleptocurrency kooks do it too.

  22. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Never trust a hippie

    Let all these people do their nonsense. Natural selection will sort the things out.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge

      Re: Never trust a hippie

      The first rule is: Never trust an Oracle advertisement.

      (especially about the cost of licences)

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    Well this is a shock

    So the Glastonbury shopkeepers who sell palmistry, crystal healing, tarot, homeopathic remedies and assorted other woo to unblock people's chakras might not be playing with a full deck?

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Well this is a shock

      But they have a better hand than their customers.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Well this is a shock

        Possibly if they're cynically selling all that shit knowing full well it doesn't do anything. I suspect that most are true believers.

  24. andy gibson

    Geraint of the family Christopher

    Here he is back in May:

    "Geraint Christopher, who said he should be known as Geraint of the family Christopher"

    https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/glastonbury-shopkeeper-charged-public-order-4144390

  25. Fading
    Holmes

    The official advice on Masks in the UK:

    "The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others."

    Compared with the official advice on wearing masks in Sweden:

    "We do not currently recommend face masks in public settings since the scientific evidence around the effectiveness of face masks in combatting the spread of infection is unclear. However, there may be situations where face masks can be useful despite the uncertain state of knowledge about the effects."

    Not exactly full on in the support of cloth mask wearing are they?

  26. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
    Joke

    Optional

    I fall back on my old sporting days when I used to partake in fencing - great COVID-19 sport.

    1. Masks

    2. Gloves

    3. If anyone gets closer than six feet to you, you stab them.

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