Lock downs (under various guises) spread like a virus across the United Kingdom
Although it’s still unclear what the figures are really telling us (numbers mean nothing unless they are unpicked and put into the context of a particular situation) the chances are that Britain might well be moving into a ‘second wave’ of the covid-19 pandemic.
The problem with the figures is it appears that if anyone dies with symptoms of covid-19 then they are part of the number used to frighten people into accepting all the (increasing) restrictions under which a significant proportion of the population now have to live. What is not being clarified (at least as far as I can discover) is how many of these fatalities would have been classified as caused by other causes in previous years.
How may people are dying of influenza or pneumonia? We don’t know as those figures seem to have totally disappeared from the statistics. At the beginning of the pandemic many people, who might well have died as a consequence of covid-19 weren’t counted as such in the statistics as no one was available to state the actual cause of death. This was especially the case in care homes were the numbers of deaths started to overwhelm the system and covid appeared on fewer death certificates than might have been the case if staffing levels had been able to cope.
Now there might be a situation where covid is blamed for all such respiratory causes of death. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) mentioned this in one of their reports just over a week ago but I haven’t seen anything since (see below).
So ‘second wave’ or not? Perhaps the jury is still out on that one.
At the same time the very actions of the Governments of the 4 nations of the United Kingdom (as well as in most countries of the world) will have contributed to the ‘second wave’ if it ever does arrive.
They are following the science – then they’re not. They are introducing a lock down – and then they’re not. They have an effective test, track and trace regime – and then they don’t. They clarify matters – but people are still confused. They talk about following a similar and coordinated policy – then they go their own way. They make policies – and then they make so many U-turns that we all become dizzy. They say they have a strategy – but they don’t. Still, seven months since they started doing ‘something’.
As ‘something’ is all they have been doing. Just reacting to events as they have failed to have a proper strategy which will lead to certain actions that will have a real effect on the course of the virus but also to actions that will take society back to some semblance of normality.
Governments throughout the world resemble chickens with their heads cut off running around aimlessly rather than the sophisticated, modern leaders they constantly portray themselves as being.
But if the British Government, with the Buffoon at its head, has been inconsistent in its approach to the pandemic they have remained steadfast when it comes to its attitude to the poorest in society.
The way many Tory ministers and others have flocked to support the Government’s official position (notwithstanding the opportunist stance of some Conservative Members of Parliament who had gained their seats in last Decembers General Election in what was considered Labour’s heartland) over the issue of free school meals shows the true colours of these staunch representatives of wealth, privilege and guardians of the capitalist system.
After providing unimaginable amounts to private industry in the last seven months (and for how long in the future at the moment it’s impossible to say) they fight like a dog with a bone to not provide mere pocket change to provide meals to children in those times when they are not actually in school.
It’s their attitude and the way they fight to maintain what they see as a ‘principle’ which demonstrates the sort of people they are.
‘Scum’ is not a strong enough word to describe them.
Preparedness for the pandemic
‘Government did not have exact measures‘ for tackling Covid crisis. And blames Cummins’s interference for it.
How the State controls us
Scapegoats to frighten the masses – whilst the rich and powerful are never held to account.
Test, track and trace
Covid ‘test-and-release’ system for airlines ‘in place by December’ – if you believe that you’ll believe anything.
Test and trace forced to bring in untrained workers as system is overwhelmed.
The effectiveness of contact tracing apps – not just in Britain.
The ‘world beating’ test, track and race system? Buffoon admits failings as England’s covid contact-tracing system hits new low.
We may be living in ‘unprecedented and challenging’ times but the Government should still be following the rules – although they would love people to forget them. This time it’s all about privacy and the retention of personal information.
Instead of ‘everyone working together’ to ensure the country has a testing regime that works (let alone be ‘world beating’, the cretinous Buffoon’s boast way back in June) capitalism always looks to make money out of a crisis. This time it’s a high street chemist chain. A snip at £120 a time!
Test and trace workers report new problems with troubled service.
Patients discharged from hospitals without covid test results. Considered one of the contributory factors in the deaths in care homes in the spring some people don’t seemed to have learnt from that experience.
They’ve been sitting there costing the State money – but doing nothing. Not even making sure they are prepared for a potential ‘second wave’.
Poverty in the UK
I can’t remember a time when so many people have been so concerned about ‘the poor’ in Britain. Barely a day goes by without someone – from millionaire footballers to Pantomime Dames – saying that the poor are suffering disproportionately due to the pandemic and they should be given assistance of one kind of another.
But the problem that underlies all of these concerned interventions is the acceptance that ‘the poor will always be with us’, as if it’s a natural phenomenon about which we can do nothing. This acceptance of a social ill is clearly displayed in the language and words used when discussing the poor – always in the third person as if what they want doesn’t really matter. (In fact, the main thing the poor want is not to be poor.)
The buzzword in Britain in the seven (long, long) months of the ineptly managed covid-19 pandemic has been ‘disadvantaged’. This also demonstrates the patronising attitude of those ‘comfortably well off’ when referring to those who work in insecure, low wage jobs, can’ pay their rent and have problems feeding, heating and clothing themselves and their children adequately.
They are not ‘disadvantaged’ as a specific group, they are just members of the working class who have been forced into a condition by the pressures of circumstance, not being able or wanting to organise to improve their condition collectively. Those other members of that same class, who (again by sheer luck in the main) have managed to secure a decent life for themselves have often forgotten about the less well off members of society and turn their back on what they fear might one day be their fate.
But it’s the very fate of the working class that however secure they might think they are, accepting the limitations of capitalism, everything can collapse at any time without warning. The uncertainty that accompanies the anarchy of capitalism means that any crisis can push those who were relatively content into conditions of extreme penury. The periodic crisis that are the corollary of capitalism have proven this time and time again.
But it’s not just the economic crises that can cause this drop from dizzy heights to the gutter. War, natural disasters and, as we see now, medical pandemics can also be the final push.
And this pandemic has opened the flood gates for do-gooders to spout their condescending and patronising claptrap. The most recent insult I have heard (although she is probably too stupid to realise it) is from Dame Louise Casey – with a background in ‘helping’ the poor in various organisations – who said (in an interview on Radio 4’s, World at One programme on the 20th October) she was concerned about ‘families at the bottom of the pile’. She was also concerned about ‘lone households, often women’ (you have to get your concerns for women in these debates to maintain credibility) without understanding that many in ‘lone households, often women’ work hard to provide for their children and manage (just) but don’t deserve to be talked down to.
The solution to poverty is not more stale crumbs from the rich man’s (and woman’s) table it is the poor getting off their knees and turning that pile up-side-down.
We should remember it’s not always the cream that rises to the top – the shit does as well.
There’s definitely nothing like a Dame.
Alternatives to unproven lock downs
It sticks in the craw to agree with a Tory Life Peer (and a Fund manager to boot) but one of that kind was interviewed on Radio 4’s World at One on 20th October (I’m sorry, yet another Dame and on the same day as the patronising one). Helena Morrissey was arguing that an endless cycle of lock downs (or whatever they may be called) hasn’t, isn’t and won’t really get us any closer to dealing with the covid-19 pandemic.
Using the argument of the Barrington Declaration (highlighted in a post a few weeks ago) she said we have to get used to living with the virus and that those, of all ages, who are classified as ‘vulnerable’ should be protected and the rest of us carry on in a slightly modified ‘normal’. Apart from her brown-nosing of the Buffoon there is little with which I disagree.
Now to wash my hands in pure lye after typing that.
Another establishment figure has a critical view of the use of restrictions on freedoms and the feeding of ‘mass hysteria’ by the Government to achieve its aims of control of the population. That can be seen in the growing idiocy about ‘Christmas being stolen’.
What do the statistics say?
‘No sign of second wave’ as ONS data shows normal level of deaths for time of year.
Most of the country’s major university towns are now past the peak of the virus.
Wales is living through a ‘fire break’ (another new term that has little meaning) at the moment but do the statistics of infections and deaths really warrant it?
A potential vaccine
The limits of vaccine trials – if we are after a vaccine to be the miracle about to happen.
‘The sooner we get a vaccine the sooner we can get back to normal’ is the mantra. But it may not be as easy as that.
Do you want the good news or the bad news?
The bad news, antibodies ‘fall rapidly after infection’ – although that sounds more problematic than it might be. A cold is a coronavirus and that keeps coming around all the time. Covid-19 is different as there hasn’t been enough time for society to build up much natural resistance. And even in this study they suggested that any second infection would normally be much milder than the first.
The good news?
New understanding of the neuropilin-1 protein could speed vaccine research. I don’t understand what it means either but I assume that someone involved in vaccine research does.
Why chase after the impossible? All countries seem to be aiming to eliminate the virus which is considered by virtually all scientists to be an impossibility – at least for many years. That means we will have to learn to live with the virus and adapt to its presence in society worldwide.
Care staff ordered to work in one home only. This might be easier said than done. As part of the cuts in funding to care home full time staff were reduced and most homes depend upon part time agency workers to fill busy times. That will not be easy to just switch off like a tap. In a way it could make the situation worse and not better.
Will care homes be ready to face the winter if the country gets hit by a so-called ‘second wave’? Not if early indications are anything to go by. If inspectors can’t get tests what chance anyone else?
If there’s a problem in one sector you can always trust the Tories to make matters worse. Nothing whatsoever has been learnt from mistakes from earlier in the year, with patients being sent from hospital to care homes without being tested negative first. It shows a total disrespect for people in general (as this risks spreading the infection in the community) – but especially the most vulnerable.
Is it corruption?
Somebody has to pay for all those empty trains we have been told not to use. What about the public? If the the State has to pick up the bills then that’s a nationalised industry to me. £50 million in just a weekend.
They might sound cheap but all the adverts from the last seven months haven’t come from a bargain basement. The pounds in their millions were being spent even before the first lock down.
The virus that sticks like glue
Coronavirus can survive on skin for nine hours.
If there isn’t enough confusion nationwide the Scottish Nationalist are now proposing to introduce a 5 tier system in Scotland – whilst there’s a 3 tier system in England. For no other reason than being different and ‘in control’.
But in Wales the ‘fire break’ was to protect Christmas – or at least the businesses.
The World at One on 23rd October gave a break down on what the Scottish ‘5 tier’ system was all about.
In the last post we looked at the situation of the annual vaccinations against influenza (flu jabs) in England. It’s not much better in Scotland. You and Yours, on Radio 4 on 23rd October, had a look at the issue.
Making money out of a crisis
We knew there would be abuses of the system where the Government was giving out money to companies hand over fist without any oversight – but that much? £2 billion in the hands of gangsters.
The Army gets involved for the first time
Supposedly only in a logistics role but the Army is starting to be deployed.
It’s been said may times here that the brunt of the effects of the pandemic – but more especially the manner in which it has been approached by the Buffoon and his Government (just as in other parts of the world) – will be felt by the young, those who are just about to start work as well as those who have been working for just a few years (and school children will be effected in ways we won’t understand for some time). However it does no harm to re-iterate the issue by reference to the unemployment figures.
The background to the deaths
There are many reasons for the high numbers of deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic. Decades of underfunding of the NHS and the general health of the population being just two. To the list can now be added air pollution.