Closing down the country and its economy over an epidemic that kills fewer people than the flu is the height of folly. It indicates more than the overmedicalization of society, it is suggestive of health fascism gone mad.
99% of patients killed by Covid-19 in Italy had existing illnesses, a new study has found. Research into 355 deaths found that only three (0.8%) had no other illnesses. Nearly half of them – 48.5% – already had three or even more health conditions. Another 25.6% had two other diseases, while 25.1% had one other illness. The great majority of those who died after having been diagnosed with Covid-19 were nearing the end of their lives anyway and would probably have died from a pre-existing serious health condition within a few months, even if they had not contracted Covid-19.
As Peter Hitchens has pointed out, approximately 1,600 people die each day in the UK from all causes. A similar figure applies in Italy and a much larger one in China. The UK Covid-19 deaths, while regrettable, are not so numerous as to justify closing down transport and commerce, nor surrendering our civil liberty and human rights. We should remember that we all suffer a life threatening condition known as being alive. And there is only one known cure for it.
We are warned of supposedly devastating death rates. But at least one expert, John Ioannidis, is sceptical. He is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Population Health, Biomedical Data Science and Statistics at Stanford University, California. He says the data are utterly unreliable because so many cases are unreported.
He warns “This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4 per cent rate from the World Health Organisation, cause horror and are meaningless.” In only one place, aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, has an entire closed community been available to study. And the death rate there, just one per cent, is distorted because so many of those aboard were elderly. The real rate, adjusted for a wide age range, could be as low as 0.05 per cent or as high as one per cent.
As Prof Ioannidis says “That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05 per cent is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational.”
Biological doom has been predicted many times before and failed to materialize.
The former editor of the Times, Sir Simon Jenkins, recently listed these unfulfilled scares: bird flu did not kill the predicted millions in 1997. In 1999 it was Mad Cow Disease and its human variant, vCJD, which was predicted to kill half a million. Fewer than 200 in fact died from it in the UK.
The first SARS outbreak of 2003 was reported as having “a 25 per cent chance of killing tens of millions” and being “worse than Aids”. In 2006, another bout of bird flu was declared “the first pandemic of the 21st Century”.
There were similar warnings in 2009, that swine flu could kill 65,000. It did not. The Council of Europe described the hyping of the 2009 pandemic as “one of the great medical scandals of the century”.
We are told that we must emulate Italy, Spain, France and Germany but there is no evidence that the measures of continental despotism to which these countries so readily resort reduced the incidence of Covid-19. The most basic error in science is to assume that because B happens after A, that B was caused by A.
Many of the world’s, particularly the Third World’s, health services, including hospitals, are not up to much. But Germany, which has done a lot of testing for the disease (perhaps too much) had a health service that was better prepared than ours. The population-wide case fatality rate in Germany is officially 0.38 per cent, though the real rate is almost certainly much lower because of unreported cases.
The NHS was unprepared, having too few ITU beds and ventilators. At the beginning of the year, Germany had around four times the number of ITU beds that we had in the UK: approximately 20,000 to our 5,000. And ditto for ventilators. Yet Germany’s population is not four times larger than ours. This suggests Germany was better prepared than we were. The blame for this should be placed where it belongs, squarely at the door of successive Lib-Lab-Con governments, whose policy of encouraging mass immigration, variously described as “freedom of movement”, etc, has also contributed to the spread of the pandemic throughout the UK.
The population-wide case fatality rate, ie, the percentage of those who, having contracted the disease, go on to die from it, or from complications arising from it, could well be lower than that of seasonal flu. This would mean that lockdown is a dangerous overreaction, trashing the economy, causing more deaths, from suicide, for example and encroaching upon our civil and human rights, all unnecessarily. A good analogy to this political overreaction by the body politic is the reaction of a healthy human body to infection by the Covid-19 virus. What we are seeing from the Johnson government is a cytokine storm of ineffectual but dangerous measures.
Covid-19 may be nothing to sneeze at but it almost certainly is.
We must reconsider the folly of cutting off our head to cure a headache. Those who are paid to represent us in parliament do not seem to be capable so it is up to the people. While it may be comforting for some to believe that the government and the ‘experts’ upon whose advice they rely are competent and always acting in our best interests, this is a delusion.
Government, including parliament, is either too stupid to recognize that their response to the Covid-19 health emergency is grossly disproportionate and dangerous, or alternatively they are exploiting the phony crisis for their own nefarious ends. We should remember that government, in reality, consists of a number of individuals, each with their own personal agenda. And privileged individuals at that, who are careful to ensure that they personally do not suffer the consequences of their policies in the way that ordinary people suffer them.
In support of this contention I adduce two quotations. The first is from Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels: Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man, who hath thought of a good repartee when the discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.
The second quotation is from Axel Oxenstierna in a letter to his son Johan written in 1648 “Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?” in the original Latin “An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?”