Re: The world has gone mad
'...minor infectious disease...'
'...blip in deaths - of the very old...'
'...people like you...'
'Yeah, because no one under 80 died from COVID, right? And all those 30-somethings, 20-somethings, children who died from it... they are fake news, didn't happen, right?.'
'...twats like you...'
'...spreading misinformation about the severity, infectiousness and mortality of this "minor" disease that enable it to continue spreading.'
'...without these [lockdowns] the death rates would have been way higher.'
'People with your attitude...'
'...twats are indeed spreading this crap.'
'...are the twats being used by somebody?'
'...real-world effects in that there are now reports that vaccine uptake is being affected by the nonsense* about the Oxford/A-Z vaccine...'
'That "blip in deaths" Is only as small as it is due to the extreme measures that were undertaken.'
'...idiots like you...'
'People like you...'
Frank Fisher has used emotional and dismissive language about a sensitive subject. The 'blip in deaths' is not small and does not exclusively occur among the elderly. Oh yes, and it's 'Cui bono?' not 'qui bono?'.
Various people have been triggered to respond with personal insults and have raised 'straw man' arguments against what they assume to be Frank Fisher's position. He did not, for example, mention vaccines.
The following is my opinion based on some facts which I believe to be true (if the facts which underpin my opinion are proved to be wrong then I will need to consider changing my opinion).
1) It's a nasty disease that has killed a large number of people. That is to say that a large number of people who are dead would have been alive now if they had not caught the disease. However, the published numbers are unreliable in the extreme. For example, Case Fatality Rates (so far) calculated from WorldOMeters are:
China = 5.1%
UK = 2.9%
New Zealand = 1.0%
Singapore = 0.05%
Of course, we can't trust foreigners - so it must be *our* number that's true. I think the least unreliable numbers are all-cause mortality. Dead is dead; what someone died of is often an opinion.
2) The argument that things would have been worse (Jimmy2Cows and DS999) if extreme measures had not been taken is more-or-less untestable. The corresponding argument that 'people like you' are responsible for the extreme measures not working as well as had been hoped for is divisive and completely circular. There has been at least one study which has attempted to measure the degree of compliance with lockdown and similar restrictions (for example by using Google's mobility data) and look for corresponding effects in the rates of hospital admissions and deaths - I understand it has found little, if any, correspondence. The study is under review, as indeed it should be. If it is flawed then it must be challenged, not suppressed.
Imperial College issued a statement to the effect that 'We can show that interventions have been effective because our earlier predictions didn't happen'. Brilliant.
At this point I would like to thank Prof Ferguson for ably demonstrating that there are more important things in his life than following the lockdown rules. I wish I'd had the courage to be a bit more rebellious than taking more than an hour to walk the dog.
3) I believe that much press coverage has over-hyped the disease. This is not that unusual - press coverage usually over-hypes whatever is being reported. I don't think many media outlets will carry a story headlined 'I caught Coronvirus and got better' unless the subject of the story had so many other things going wrong with them it was a miracle they survived those. Anecdote: My mid-80's mother-in-law had a very minor stroke and was admitted to hospital last year. She tested negative for the bug on admission and positive a few days later. She did not notice any of the diagnostic symptoms in herself and was discharged to complete her isolation at home. It's not too surprising she didn't make the headline news.
4) I believe that many recent death diagnoses in the UK are more flawed than in previous years. Changes to procedures in death registration in the UK make comparing data from before and after the change less reliable (see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877302/guidance-for-doctors-completing-medical-certificates-of-cause-of-death-covid-19.pdf). I do not know if there have been comparable changes in other parts of the world.
5) I believe annual 'flu vaccinations are not very useful. I have observed no beneficial change in annual all-cause mortality for any subset of the population in England and Wales since the introduction of the 'flu jab for over 65s in the year 2000. There may be other data available from other countries. There *has* been an apparent smoothing out of excess Winter mortality (apart from Winters 2014/15 and 2017/18) from year 2000 but whole-year figures do not seem to be affected. Spreading the deaths over the whole year instead of clustered around the Winter months may have benefits for the NHS. I believe many other vaccinations are or have been very beneficial to the world. Smallpox and polio vaccinations are good examples.
6) I do not believe that the Coronavirus vaccines will prove to be harmful. However, their approvals for use have undoubtedly been rushed through. I think none have completed phase III trials. Being somewhat elderly, I was offered the jab early and held an internal debate on whether to accept it (AstraZeneca as it turned out). I decided that if it did turn out to be harmful then the sooner 'they' found that out (before putting it in my children or grandchildren) the better. Yes, I can confirm that the jab itself was painless. I either developed mild fever-like side-effects (similar to 'flu vaccinations I've had in the past) or I caught something during the outing to the clinic - I got better. Yes, I'll take the follow-up jab when it's due if stocks are available.
7) As with pharmaceutical interventions, I believe non-pharmaceutical interventions should be assessed for effectiveness and potential for harm *before* being deployed. The UK and many parts of the world had developed a 'play-book' for epidemic/pandemic planning which they apparently threw out at the first challenge. As some of my ex-colleagues used to say 'a good plan survives first contact with the enemy' and 'PPPPPP' - proper planning prevents piss-poor performance. It does not surprise me (now) that Wuhan was locked-down - I do think it likely that lockdown was in China's epidemic/pandemic response plan.
8) I do not think that lockdown and other less severe restrictions ('tiers' etc) have been effective. I initially found this surprising. Given that they have not been effective it seems bizarre in the extreme to keep trying them.
9) I do *not* believe that Bill Gates is attempting World Domination (again), or that the vaccines are made from aborted foetuses or that the Illuminati are attempting to microchip the population or that this is the first step in an alien invasion.
10) I am not surprised that business leaders are looking at their expensive office space and wondering just how much of it they really need. It goes to show that a hell of a lot of paper shuffling can be done just as well from people's homes. Its a hell of a shock to the property markets, facilities management and lunch provision businesses though.