Lockdown did more harm than good

On October 5th the Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society debated the motion “Lockdown does/did more harm than good”.

Mike Swadling proposed the debate, and below is his speech delivered to the society.  As always with this friendly group the debate was good natured, very well opposed and drew out some great views from the audience.

‘Lockdown does/did more harm than good’ – Proposing the motion

Lockdown, all of the lockdowns, were a challenging time for all of us, I’m sure.  As we thankfully move out of them, we need to be careful not to look back with rose-tinted glasses, for the price of lockdown is a cost we now are all forced to bear. 

“We had a shared sacrifice through lockdown, we don’t like to think that was in vain, but we must avoid what economist call the ‘sunk cost fallacy’.”

What surprised you most about your lockdown?

What did you do / stop doing that surprised you?  I would like to tell you about the great skill I learnt, or hobby I engaged in, but for me and this may sound a little odd, it was that I used aftershave more.  Now to avoid confusion this was not eau de toilette, perfume, or eau de Cologne.  This was cheap aftershave. 

Going into an office since I was a teenager I would shave ever day, or at worst every other day.  In lockdown, suddenly shaving a was much less common event and I needed some cheap aftershave to somewhat painfully help my face recover after a weekly shave.

I don’t doubt you have better surprise experiences from lockdown, but whatever they are, we should avoid confusing the revelation from adversity with a positive experience.  We didn’t see our friends and families for a long time. Many lost their jobs, and their businesses in lockdown, many lost hope. 

We had a shared sacrifice through lockdown, we don’t like to think that was in vain, but we must avoid what economist call the ‘sunk cost fallacy’.  This being our tendency to follow through on an endeavor if we have already invested time, effort, or money into it, whether or not the current costs outweigh the benefits.

And Lockdowns costs, way outstripped Lockdowns benefits.

I want to for a moment separate lockdown from the pandemic and endemic problem of Covid.  Many people lost their lives to this terrible virus.  But the virus is quite separate from the actions we take to manage or deal with it.

We have seen around the globe a mixture of measures to handle Covid.  Some countries have in effect locked Covid out of their land, this has worked for Australia and until recently New Zealand, some have staid in almost permanent lockdowns, some taken a very limited response like Sweden, and some like the UK, US and Switzerland with more federal systems have adopted different approaches across their countries. 

All of these counties took different approaches, to fight the same virus.  I will argue we should have taken a very different approach to fight lockdowns, and that Lockdown did more harm than good.

The idea of a Lockdown was such an anathema.  Government ministers telling you how long you were allowed out of your home, and police forces flying drones to check who is visiting beauty spots. The burden must lie with on those in favor of lockdowns to prove they had an invaluable and undeniable contribution to make in fighting covid. 

If the last 18 months have taught us anything it’s that lockdowns didn’t stop the virus, didn’t control the virus, but did cause untold damage to our society.

For lockdowns to be justified they must in my opinion pass the following 3 tests:

  1. That comparted to the society being free, a lockdown stops or slows the spread of the virus in the community and saves lives.
  2. That the impact of the lockdown is sufficiently mild on the economy, and general functioning of society, that the ongoing costs as still outweighed by the original benefit.
  3. That in the free society the benefits of lockdown is so significant that it justifies a transfer of our freedom to government, and that the government proves it has the moral authority to exercise control over out lives.

I will demonstrate lockdowns have failed all 3.

Did “comparted to the society being free, a lockdown stop or slow the spread of the virus in the community and save lives”?

The original plan for dealing with a virus was messaging to increase hygiene, some voluntary social distancing, and protecting the most vulnerable until heard immunity had built up to protect them naturally.  Indeed you will remember that we originally ‘locked-down’ for just 3 weeks to ‘bend the curve’, to protect the NHS.  This would flatten the peak number needing medical treatment for Covid, and ensure hospitals didn’t run out of capacity.  It was never expected that the total number who would need hospitalization, or who would die would significantly change as a result of lockdown.

We have now had 18 month of those ‘3 weeks’ and we can compare those countries who followed their original plans more closely with those who undertook severe lockdowns.  The comparison suggests frankly as a result of lockdowns, not much changed.

Now I am going to talk about deaths.  Death has so far proved to be 100% unavoidable.  People will die, and will die at a higher rate when a new virus is doing the rounds.  An individuals death is tragic, but for policy purposes, we need to look at which policy saw the least deaths, and ideally the least years of a fulfilled life lost.

“What does all this data tell us, frankly not a lot.  Which does show, that whatever the ingredient was that lead to a higher or lower death rates from Covid, it certainly wasn’t lockdown”

The Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker, collects systematic information on policy measures that governments have taken to tackle COVID-19. The different policy responses are tracked since January 2020, cover more than 180 countries and are coded into 23 indicators, such as school closures, travel restrictions, and vaccination policy.  They rank countries on how strict their lockdown policy was from 0 to 100, with 100 being the strictest.

The UK sits at 80 out of 100, France at 88, Spain 82 and Italy 69.  Germany comes in at just 64 and all the Scandinavian countries are in the 60s, with Sweden the lowest at 65.  How does this compare to the Covid death rate?

At over 2000 per million, the UK and Italy had the most death, with France and Spain not far behind.  Germany and Sweden had similar numbers of deaths at about 1300 and 1450 per million respectively, and limited lockdown Norway and Finland we’re bottom with both less than 200 deaths per million.

Incidentally Bosnia at the high rate of 90 in severity of lockdown and Hungry at a lenient 66, were the two countries in with the highest death rates from Covid in Europe.  Iceland with the least lockdown, ranked at just 50 out of 100, and had the least deaths per million, with just 33 deaths in total.

What does all this data tell us, frankly not a lot.  Which does show, that whatever the ingredient was that lead to a higher or lower death rates from Covid, it certainly wasn’t lockdown.

If you don’t believe the data from Europe or have some reason to dismiss it.  Let’s look at the US, a society, where different legal jurisdictions are more comparable.

It’s been widely reported the New York and California have had serve lockdowns, and generally high compliance rates among the population, yet they come in 5th and 33rd among the 50 states for death rates.

Texas at 20th and Florida ranked 9th by death rate, have had some of the least restrictive and shortest lockdowns.  Arkansas 10th, Iowa 25th, Nebraska 42nd, North Dakota 23rd, South Dakota 12th, Utah 45th, and Wyoming 35th, by rates of deaths, are the only states that did not issue stay at home orders in early 2020.

The very scattered nature of death rates shows once again that whatever the ingredient was that lead to higher or lower death rates from Covid, it certainly wasn’t lockdown.

In the first lockdown rates were falling before the lockdown was brought in, in the autumn rates continued to rise as lockdown came in and death rates peaked in the middle of the winter lockdown.  As we have opened up society we’ve not seen any increase in death rates as pubs, stadiums, theater’s opened and schools returned.

There is simply no evidence that ‘comparted to our society being free, lockdowns stopped or slowed the spread of the virus in the community or saved lives’.

Now to address the second test. 

Was the impact of the lockdown sufficiently mild on the economy, and general functioning of society, that the ongoing costs are still outweighed by the original benefit?

Now I believe I have demonstrated there was no benefit from the original lockdown, but even if you believe there was, does it outweigh lockdowns undeniable costs? 

I have said this before to this grand society, but it bears repeating.  The Great Frost of 1709 was the coldest European winter during the past 500 years.  It caused widespread crop failure and economic devastation.  2020 was the worst economic contraction since 1709.  Let’s just put that into some perspective.

In the intervening years we have faced, Jacobite revolution, a global 7 Year war with Louis XV’s France, fought in and lost the Americas, seen off Napoleon, fought two World Wars against Germany, seen massive economic changes with agricultural and industrial revolutions, introduced and repealed The Corn Laws, seen global economic depression in the 1930’s, formed a Union with and given independence to Ireland.  Gained and lost the world’s largest ever Empire,  Yet none of these created as big a fall in GDP as we faced last year. 

To remind you, Lockdown caused more damage than the Luftwaffe.

“Put simply the richer a country is the longer people live.  We have in one year for no good reason, destroyed more wealth in the UK, than any other year for the past 300.  How can that not have serious ramifications?”

The UK has an average life expectancy of 81, Uganda 63.  Canada is 82, Chad 54.  France 82, Fiji 67.  Germans with their love for beer and bratwurst, outlive Gambians by 19 years. 

Having spent some time working in Belgium, a country of endless rain.  I know it’s almost not possible to eat a meal there without a large helping of potatoes, yet even they live 20 more years on average than the people of tropical Burkina Faso.  Singaporeans, live on average 11 more years than neighboring Malaysians.

What separates these countries?  One word, wealth.

Put simply the richer a country is the longer people live.  We have in one year for no good reason, destroyed more wealth in the UK, than any other year for the past 300.  How can that not have serious ramifications?

“during the year to July 31st, Barnardo’s saw a 36% increase in the number of children referred for foster care. We know the NHS saw a 28% rise in children being referred to mental health services in late 2020”

But it’s not just an economic cost, it’s a societal one. 

  • We know for instance that during the year to July 31st, Barnardo’s saw a 36% increase in the number of children referred for foster care.
  • We know the NHS saw a 28% rise in children being referred to mental health services in late 2020.
  • We know the number of children in need of urgent or emergency care, rose by 18%, compared with 2019.
  • We know in the decade preceding the pandemic, the mean IQ score for children aged between 3 months and 3 years of age hovered around 100, but for children born during the pandemic that number tumbled to 78.
  • We are taught to socialize puppies but for a year we didn’t socialize baby children, who were at basically no risk from Covid.
  • We know as of June, there were 10,000 fewer patients in England starting treatment for breast cancer, than in the year before.  Either we believe breast cancer has disappeared or this will have long term consequences to their health.
  • We know rates of depression in early 2021 were more than double those observed before lockdown.
  • We know studies of school pupils show a consistent impact of the first lockdown with pupils making around 2 months less progress than similar pupils in previous years.

We saw people die alone in care homes, and hospitals.  We have given out two years of frankly guessed GCSE and A Level results.  We have supply chain problems globally and we have printed money like it’s confetti and inflation is once again rearing its ugly head. 

All of this was for lockdowns, that we can see when compared to the countries that didn’t lockdown,  made not a blind bit of difference to the spread of the virus.  Do the ‘ongoing costs, outweigh any original benefit’.  Absolutely not. The third and final test I passionately believe is the most important. 

In the free society are the benefits of lockdown so significant that they justify a transfer of our freedom to government, and does the government prove it has the moral authority to exercise control over out lives?’

If I may again repeat my words from a previous debate.  The income tax was first introduced in the Napoleonic Wars as a temporary measure and is still with us today.  Blanket restrictions were applied to pub opening times during World War One, and left largely unchanged until 1988 and rationing stayed in place for 9 years after the end of the second world war.

“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program” to quote Milton Friedman.

Since 1215 with Magna Carta, through the 1689 Bill of Rights, to universal suffrage, freedoms have been hard won.  Those in power always want more, and by necessity will sacrifice your liberty to take it.  Any didn’t they just do that.

Lockdown broke articles 3, 5, 13, 18, 19, 20, 23 and 27, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

This is not a partisan point, as our supposed opposition parties were just as enthusiastic about granting politicians, civil servants, medical chiefs and the police ever more power over our lives.

Did the governing class justify this power grab?  Let’s look at a few cases.

  • Prof Neil Ferguson who’s alarmist and thoroughly disproven predictions sparked the first locked had to resign when it was reported that a woman he was said to be in a relationship with visited his home in lockdown.
  • At the time, then Health Secretary Matt Hancock, yes that Matt Hancock said it was that it was “just not possible” for Prof Ferguson to continue advising the government.
  • Matt Hancock of course was having a secret affair with his closest aide whilst couples, if living in separate households were not allowed to meet under rules his department was responsible for.  In his hypocritical case, ‘Hands. Face. Space’, were both health instructions and almost unbelievably a seductive technique!
  • The Welsh Tory leader resigned after he was seen drinking in the Senedd during a pub alcohol ban in Wales.
  • Scotland’s chief medical officer resigned after making two trips to her second home during their lockdown.
  • And of course Dominic Cummings drove 264 miles, and popped to Barnard Castle, whilst the rest of us were in lockdown.

Rules for thee and not for me, has been the mantra of those in power.

“Of course not everyone was unmasked, the staff, the people serving them, those not privileged to move in these lofty circus, needed to retain their muzzles when serving the great and good”

We saw earlier this year staged photos of world leaders in masks during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, next to photos of them all unmasked enjoying normal conversations.  Of course not everyone was unmasked, the staff, the people serving them, those not privileged to move in these lofty circus, needed to retain their muzzles when serving the great and good.

We saw the same at Wimbledon in the Royal Box, where only staff need to were a face covering, and again recently at the Met Gala in New York. 

Rules for thee and not for me, shows the moral bankruptcy of those who govern us, and show how ‘the government has proved it does not have the moral authority to exercise control over our lives’.

“The vaccines have protected many and saved a lot of lives, but in a free society people must be free to choose if they want them.  They must be free from the coercion of vaccine passports”

Freedoms are returning, lockdowns have in large part lifted.  But we must be ever vigilant.  The vaccines have protected many and saved a lot of lives, but in a free society people must be free to choose if they want them.  They must be free from the coercion of vaccine passports. 

We must free from the zero covid strategy being implemented in much of Australia which is seeing in, Melbourne of all cities Police use rubber bullets on people protesting lockdowns and coerced vaccination.

Lockdowns didn’t work, they did more hard than good, their harm is sadly enduring.  As frustrating as it is to know we wasted a good year in lockdown, we must acknowledge that due to their immense harm lockdowns must not be allowed to happen again.

Summary

I set 3 tests for Lockdown                

  1. That comparted to the society being free, a lockdown stops or slows the spread of the virus in the community and saves lives.
  2. That the impact of the lockdown is sufficiently mild on the economy, and general functioning of society, that the ongoing costs as still outweighed by the original benefit.
  3. That in the free society the benefits of lockdown is so significant that it justifies a transfer of our freedom to government, and that the government proves it has the moral authority to exercise control over out lives.

When we compare countries, who took different measures, lockdowns in no way demonstrate they worked stem the spread of Covid.

We know the impact of lockdown on the economy, on society, on children’s education, and on all our health in the long term.  In no case will it be good.

We have lost freedoms, that are proving slow to return.  The government and those more broadly in power have not demonstrated they are fit to govern, and take our freedoms.

Lockdown did more harm than good, and I urge you to support the motion.

Image from https://pixabay.com/illustrations/soil-health-mask-protection-corona-5935148/

To find out more about the Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CoulsdonPurleyDebatingSociety/ or email them at coulsdonpurleydebating@gmail.com.

Covid ‘passports’ – letter to the Prime Minister

Tim Duce writes an open letter to the Prime Minister about the dangerous precedent of vaccine passports.

Tim also shared this petition against vaccine passports –https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/569957

Dear Prime Minister,

Fact: Most politicians know very little about Medical Science and Technology.

Fact: Politicians consult committees of experts to advise them on any complex subject.

Fact: Most of the members of a committee set up to advise on Medical Science are representatives of pharmaceutical companies.

Question: Are they going to advance the agenda of people like you and me or their agenda and that of their shareholders?

Pharma reps have tried it on a few times before with SARS, Bird ‘flu and Swine ‘flu. They did a pretty good job of terrifying the Blair/Bown government with Swine ‘flu and managed to con them into buying £1.2 Billion pounds worth of pointless vaccine but it didn’t take long before the jig was up. The public began to see through it and an embarrassed government quietly swept it under the carpet.

But, learning from their mistakes, the Pharma reps have done a much better job with Corona Virus/Covid 19.

1. They avoided the word ”flu’ – far too familiar

2. They recommended complete lockdown – a masterstroke, making people desperate to get on with their businesses, their lives and, of course, their holidays!

3. And then there’s the statistics!

To get the statistics into proportion, let’s compare Covid-19 to pneumonia.

Most people on their deathbeds are either in the 70+ age group or have compromised health conditions. These people are usually pushed over the edge by pneumonia or influenza and that is written on the death certificate as cause of death.

Do we then conclude that there is a pneumonia pandemic? No. Instead of going into a blind panic, we see the figures for what they are.

With impressive sleight of hand, the rather similar Covid figures have been INTERPRETED DIFFERENTLY. In cases where Covid-19 has precipitated the deaths of dying people, it has been interpreted that there is a PANDEMIC.

But it gets worse. Having been instructed by our terrified politicians that the global pandemic is ‘a fact’, the usually dependable Office of National Statistics gets caught up in the panic too.

I consulted them for some figures and screenshot twp paragraphs.

When I saw the first paragraph, I thought that maybe I’d got it wrong but THEN I read the truly shocking second paragraph. It tells us that:

In most cases, these highly trained and experienced doctors diagnosed that the patients died of PNEUMONIA OR INFLUENZA  and NOT Covid 19! But then…

A civil servant at the ONS, who I am willing to bet good money was NOT present at any of those deaths, tells us that these doctors GOT IT WRONG!

He tells us that although influenza or pneumonia was entered on the death certificate as the cause of death, “COVID-19 was the UNDERLYINGcause of death…”

How could he possibly know this? He didn’t. This is a perfect TRIUMPH OF BELIEF OVER FACT.

Having ‘statistically proven’ that there is a pandemic, pharma companies have done their best to discredit the cheap, safe, tried and tested treatments which are outside of their licences, promoted new, expensive vaccines and laughed all the way to the bank.

The global economy has been shaken, innumerable people have lost their livelihoods and the pharmaceutical companies’ shareholders have never been happier.

And now vaccine passports? This will be a bonanza for tech companies but is a seriously dangerous precedent. It will be a loss of civil liberty which will increase over time. People will be forced into being vaccinated under threat of not being able to fly, work or socialise. It will be a GOVERNMENT SANCTION OF ASSAULT.

If people want to be vaccinated, let them.

But if they want not to be vaccinated, let them not.

Your hero, Winston Churchill ENDEDID. Cards after WW2. Please do not go down in history as the prime minister who not only brought them back but forced people to receive an incompletely tested vaccine against their will.

There must be no vaccine passports and no employer, airline or any other institution should be allowed to use non vaccination as a justification to refuse access.

Best regards,

Tim Duce

References:

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:O%C4%8Dkovac%C3%AD_certifik%C3%A1t_-_vzor.jpg
Description: Čeština: OckovaciCertifikat template-1
Date: 21 June 2021
Author: Juliettpapa97

Brexit Has Allowed Britain to Control its own Destiny – Sputnik Interview

Even the most ardent Remainers must be breathing a sigh of relief that the UK isn’t currently involved in the vaccine chaos engulfing Europe.

17 countries including Germany, France, Italy and Spain made the controversial decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccination in the wake of reports that the vaccine could cause serious blood clots.

Italy has admitted that the move to halt the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was political and sputnik spoke with Michael Swadling from the Croydon Constitutionalists to find out just how damaging this move could prove to be in the fight against the pandemic and why this has is evidence that Brexit has been good for Great Britain.it. But surely, surely, the job of a nation, of a government, is to protect their people’s health. And in this case, put their differences behind them, and actually copy what Great Britain has done and get this vaccine out to people”

“isn’t that they won’t achieve the goal. In the end, it isn’t that they won’t get people vaccinated. But that slowness of the vaccine is just a window of opportunity for the virus to kill more people”

“Local decisions throughout life are always better than decisions in a far away bureaucracy. The closer decisions are made to the person the more suited they are to their needs. Britain had that opportunity as a nation to say what’s best for our interests. And our interests might be different from France’s interest. They might be different from Germany’s interests”

Full article: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202103171082373566-brexit-has-allowed-britain-to-control-its-own-destiny-analyst-says/

‘Great Britain Used to be a Free Nation. This Government Has Changed That’ – Sputnik Interview

Boris Johnson hailed the plan as a “one-way road to freedom”

Sputnik spoke with Michael Swadling, from the Croydon Constitutionalists to hear his thoughts on Boris’s road map and what impact it will have on society.

“the government has done a great job in getting the vaccines out, you know, credit where credit’s due. Britain’s moving ahead of most countries, we really are getting people protected, but we’re not reaping the reward of that

“The government seems to think people are still listening to them, people are not, you see it all around you, that the following of the rules is scant at best”

“Who the hell is Matt Hancock, Boris, or anyone in Parliament to tell us we can’t see our family, to tell us we can’t go outside our own homes to a public square. To tell us we can’t run our own businesses”

Full article: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202102231082162797-great-britain-used-to-be-a-free-nation-this-government-has-changed-that-analyst-says/

Audio:

Lessons In The Covid World

What We Can Learn From Sweden, South Korea and Japan For Fighting Covid In 2021

Opinion Piece by Josh L. Ascough

It is now roughly 9 months into the Coronavirus pandemic, and the United Kingdom has been placed into another national lockdown.

It seems to be the case that Einstein was right with his definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results”; by that definition, it’s not just the UK to which insanity has overtaken; Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia and many other nations have taken the approach of trying to focus on cases, when this is a fool errand.

Due to the nature and the way in which Covid-19 spreads, everyone is going to get this virus at some point; just like how at some point, everyone is going to get the flu, a cold, chest infection, or any other form of virus that spreads person to person; but this does not mean everyone is at risk of dying from the virus, nor does it mean death from the virus is inevitable.

It is very similar to the boom/bust cycle and how the Keynesians wrongly view the bust as the problem, but ignore the boom; when it in fact is the artificial boom that should concern people, the bust is merely the inevitable effect; we’ve been trying to prevent the inevitable cases, to try and stop the preventable deaths; the way we should have been handling this virus, is to accept the inevitability of cases but have measures in place to prevent as many deaths as possible.

This does not mean people should actively seek to get the virus; unless they are not vulnerable and are looking to donate plasma, so further testing on anti-bodies can be done; but to not panic if cases rise or if you get this virus. Remember, we should be looking to reduce the preventable (deaths) not the inevitable (cases).

I want to address three countries in particular that have taken different approaches to fighting this virus compared to most “lockdown enthusiast” countries; namely Sweden (I can already hear the lockdown lovers screeching at that name), South Korea, and Japan. Before I get into that however, let us briefly go over what it is we, the United Kingdom did wrong.

“The NHS did neglect its patients; it neglected to allow cancer patients to choose whether they wanted to go through with their treatment, taking into consideration the risk of Covid; the choice was made for them, that Covid was more dangerous and more deadly than their cancer”

Covid – What We Did Wrong.

On the 23rd of March 2020, the United Kingdom went into a national lockdown. In hindsight it was a terrible choice, but considering the healthcare system we have, it is understandable to have seen it as the only option on the table at the time. The purpose of the lockdown was simple (though it appears forgotten): We have a lockdown to spread out the cases and deaths, so as to not overwhelm the NHS to the point we have to make the choice of who lives via treatment, and who dies by neglect.

The UK currently, at the time of writing this on the 10th November 2020, has 1.23 million cases, and 49,770 deaths related to Covid-19 (key word being related. This has been a problem since the pandemic first began, where if someone contracts Covid-19 then dies from a car crash, they are marked as a Covid “related” death; not from, related). With a population of over 68 million and an elderly population close to 12 million, the case rate amounts to 1.8% of the population so far being infected, and out of the UK population 0.07% have Covid-19 “related” deaths, and out of the percentage that have been infected 4.04% have died; again, “related” to Covid-19.

The lockdown was never meant to stop deaths or cases, merely to spread out cases so we didn’t have to neglect saving people. The problem is we did neglect people.

When the lockdown first came about, cancer treatments, diabetes treatments, and many others were cancelled to save room for Covid patients, so the idea of not neglecting people was a complete lie. The NHS did neglect its patients; it neglected to allow cancer patients to choose whether they wanted to go through with their treatment, taking into consideration the risk of Covid; the choice was made for them, that Covid was more dangerous and more deadly than their cancer. Sky News insultingly reported that roughly 1 million breast cancer screenings had been “missed” because of the pandemic. No, 1 million women didn’t “miss” their screenings because of the pandemic; as if there was a choice, 1 million women had their cancer screenings cancelled for them; not by them, because the government decided it had the authority to decide which conditions were worth treatment…so we could save lives.

It is very anecdotal, but I’ve had many conversations on this subject, and the response is always, “well my uncle’s friend has cancer and he was okay with his treatment being cancelled”. My response to this is always: okay, but what if they weren’t? What if they were more scared of their untreated cancer progressing and killing them? What about the people who aren’t okay with their treatment being cancelled; whether it’s cancer, diabetes, arthritis, or heart transplants?

The typical rhetoric against attempting to rationally consider the positions taken and use critical thinking skills is often the following:

“Well you just want people to die. You’re selfish.”

To that I say fine, we can play that game.

In the UK, there is likely to be at least as many if not more preventable Cancer deaths than Covid-19 deaths, because of the diversion of resources into Covid. Richard Sullivan, Professor of Cancer and Global Health at King’s College London and Director for its Institute For Cancer Policy stated that:

“The number of deaths due to the disruption of cancer services is likely to outweigh the number of deaths from the Coronavirus itself. The cessation and delay of cancer care will cause considerable, avoidable suffering. Cancer screening services have stopped, which means we will miss our chance to catch many cancers when they are treatable and curable such as cervical, bowel and breast. When we do restart normal service delivery after the lockdown is lifted, the backlog of cases will be a huge challenge to the healthcare system.”

On the 6th October Matt Hancock stated:

“Cancer Patients may only be guaranteed treatment if Covid-19 stays under control.”

Even though the NHS was never overwhelmed, millions of cancer screenings were cancelled to “Protect the NHS” and to “Save Lives”. If this is the crowd that claims to care about people’s lives, and proclaim that sceptics of lockdowns are “selfish” and “want people to die”; I think it may be safe to say that pro lockdown individuals have some form of mental deficiency.

Let us turn to the countries I mentioned at the beginning; what exactly can we learn from them?

“Sweden never had a lockdown, nor did it impose really any restrictions. The government took an advisory position for the elderly and other vulnerable people, with social and moral pressure for individual self-restraint and responsibility”

Let us first take a look at the now most hated country, Sweden.

Sweden holds a fairly small population of just over 10 million. Out of those 10 million, 162,000 have been infected with Covid-19, which equates at 1.6%, and out of the population 6057 have died, which is 0.05%; out of the percentage of people infected, 3.73% of those infected have died. This may still seem scary, but remember lockdowns only postpone current cases and don’t do anything to prevent deaths overall, and these are deaths and cases overall so far. But if we expand the perspective a bit and look at the rates and the directions they have been moving in, Sweden is doing pretty well for itself. Sweden hit its peak death rate on April 15th at 115 deaths in one day, and just recently hit its cases peak on November 5th at 4766. Yet since April 15th when it had its peak death rate, Sweden’s death rate has been drastically decreasing, and continues to do so, with its current death rate per day at the time of writing being 3, and it has been on low double digits to single digits; sometimes zero, since the 3rd July when it was at 8 deaths per day.

Sweden never had a lockdown, nor did it impose really any restrictions. The government took an advisory position for the elderly and other vulnerable people, with social and moral pressure for individual self-restraint and responsibility.

Japan is another success story.

Japan is home to a population of over 126 million people, and an elderly population of just over 36 million. Out of its population of 126 million, 110,000 people have been infected with Covid-19, which is 0.08%, and out of the population 1840 have died, equating to 0.001%; the percentage of people infected who have died is 1.6%.

Japan as well, never had a lockdown, though they took slightly stronger measures than Sweden did with regards to masks, and recommending shops close and vulnerable people isolate; these measures however apart from mandatory masks, were not legally punishable.

Japan hit its peak in cases back on the 3rd August when it reached 1,998 infections per day, and currently from the time of writing this, on the 10th November was at 899 infections per day. The death rate is equally impressive. Japan reached its peak death period on the 22nd April with 91 deaths per day; on the 10th November these deaths had dropped to 11 deaths, and has continued to stay at a stable, low double digit level since around mid-July.

The last success story to mention is South Korea, which is most probably the closest to home in terms of population size overall and in terms of elderly population.

South Korea is home to just over 51 million people, and holds an elderly population size of roughly just over 7.6 million.

Out of its population of 51 million; at the time of writing this on the 10th November, 27,799 have been infected, which is 0.05%, and out of the population 487 have died, equating to 0.0009%; the percentage of people infected who have died is 1.7%.

South Korea, like the others mentioned, never had a lockdown. The nation did however hold very local restrictions in terms of isolation if infected.

There are a few additional pieces of information to give context to South Korea. Due to the wounds from the SARS virus still in people’s minds, the general public was very cautious from the start of the pandemic. In addition South Korea has a predominantly private healthcare system, and so with the profit incentive being allowed to function, mass production of testing kits and ventilators were produced and sold; the market process quite literally saved lives.

South Korea hit its peak infection rate all the way back on the 1st March; where it was at 1062 cases per day. Since then it has seen a dramatic decrease in overall cases, where they dropped to double to single digits as early as April. It has since late August however seen a rise into triple digits, however this has been on a decline since the 1st September; the current case rate in South Korea; at the time of writing this, stands at 146 cases per day.

South Korea’s death rate has remained impressive. the nation reached its peak in deaths on the 23rd March at 9 deaths per day, and began to see a decrease in April; South Korea has never exceeded single digit deaths per day throughout the pandemic. The current death rate in South Korea from the time of writing this, on the 10th November, stands at 2 per day.

“These three nations; Sweden, South Korea and Japan have shown that it is not the case rate to be concerned with; it is the death rate. They have shown that lockdowns are ineffective and do nothing to curb overall deaths or cases”

So what can we learn from these countries, and what can we do differently towards the coming new year?

These three nations; Sweden, South Korea and Japan have shown that it is not the case rate to be concerned with; it is the death rate. They have shown that lockdowns are ineffective and do nothing to curb overall deaths or cases, and merely postpone cases to a future time frame.

I’m sure there will be some mad raving lockdown loony, who will try to say I don’t take the virus seriously; to which I say I do take it seriously. I live with a vulnerable person, and funnily enough I’ve made choices that aren’t part of government “guidelines” which better suit my life and my circumstances; most of the time while travelling before the 2nd lockdown I took a taxi everywhere because it would limit who I had to interact with during my journey, meaning I could have better control of my situation.

What measures could be suggested that we take via influence from Sweden, Japan and South Korea? I believe the following would be the most pragmatic if we were to focus solely on preventing deaths rather than inevitable cases:

  1. End the National Lockdown.
  2. Localise decision making to local councils in terms of what restrictions they are to have in place based on demographics of age, medical vulnerability in relation to infection rate. For example if a local area has few elderly residents, few individuals who are medically vulnerable and a double digit infection rate, the local councils could set low restrictions. It would be similar to the tier system but on a much more localised scale, allowing local governments themselves to decide their own restrictions; not on their behalf by Whitehall.
  3. Allow private establishments to choose whether to mandate mask wearing if they are capable of upholding social distancing.
  4. Allow individuals who are consenting with one another to meet for gatherings unless they contradict with local measures.
  5. Mandatory mask wearing in hospitals and care homes. These are vulnerable areas where people are seeking treatment.
  6. Allow for the expansion in private companies producing and selling testing kits and allow individuals to purchase these kits outside of the NHS for home use. Allow businesses such as Boots, local pharmacies and such to sell these testing kits and correlate positive tests back to local hospitals and GP practices.
  7. Allow for the expansion of businesses producing and selling ventilators and leave the decision of whether to purchase or not to local governments in correlation with hospitals within their region, with regards to their demographics of age, medical vulnerability and infection rate. This will ensure that we are not focussed on preventing cases but have the means in the local areas where they are needed to prevent as many deaths as possible.
  8. Do not imprison residence in care homes. If the residence and their families would feel safer leaving the care homes to live with family, allow them to do so; do not make the same mistake of imprisoning care home residence to simply wait for death. In addition do not imprison students at university; if the students feel safer in returning home or staying, the choice should be theirs to make with advice from the student bodies.
  9. Offer financial incentive to people who have tested positive to donate plasma so an expansion in testing on anti-bodies can occur; this should especially be encouraged among young adults.
  10.  Allow private establishments to decide the maximum capacity in one group they will allow, in relation to whether they can uphold social distancing .
  11.  Allow businesses and business owners themselves to decide whether to open or close. It is immoral for the government to decide who is essential and who is not; your livelihood is essential to you, it doesn’t matter if a politician thinks otherwise.
  12.  Allow patients to decide whether they want to take the risk of cancer and other treatments during the pandemic. It is completely abhorrent to allow the government to decide whether people should have treatment; that choice is to be made between patient and doctor alone.

The essence of these suggestions boils down to more decisions being made at the local level based on demographics, not one-size-fits-all approaches that may be needed in one location but are overboard in another. This approach allows individuals to make their own judgements of what is best for their circumstances, and what risks; if any, they are willing to make, while local governments who know their constituents better than the central government in Westminster to make the political choices and work with hospitals and the private sector for producing ventilators and testing kits. We’ve done the one size approach, and it has failed, we’re trying it a second time, and it is still failing; the nations that didn’t take a national lockdown approach; whether they took small measures of restrictions or no restrictions, they are showing success by having an ever declining death rate.

It is inevitable there will be people who say I’m being selfish for wanting to socialise with loved ones; but man is a social animal, and we know the mental and emotional effects prolonged isolation can have on people. If we are to believe that self-interest and selfishness are evil, what is more evil is believing everyone apart from yourself has to take responsibility for your health; the number one person responsible for your health, is you; not the man who decides to go drinking with friends, not the woman who wants to open up her small business to provide for herself, not the grandparents who nearing the end of their lives want to see their family and not be forced into isolation, and it is certainly not the responsibility of young people who have their whole lives ahead of them; who’s progress we have halted by force; it is your health, your responsibility.

“Life is about living, not simply existing and doing everything to remain “safe” so you can keep on simply existing. Yes, making choices to ensure you are safe from death is important; but the timeframe for living is very limited”

Life is about living, not simply existing and doing everything to remain “safe” so you can keep on simply existing. Yes, making choices to ensure you are safe from death is important; but the timeframe for living is very limited, and if you keep pushing that timeframe into a smaller and smaller margin, eventually it will expire, and sooner than you think.

– Sources –

Image: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/virus-covid-science-covid19-4937553/

‘People Are Starting to See What a Farce This Lockdown Has Been!’ – Sputnik Radio Interview

Could we be on course for a second lockdown? According to the Government’s leading scientist, Patrick Valance, the UK faces 50,000 new Covid cases a day by mid-October if the current infection rate is not halted. But just how can this be stopped? What measures are the government considering to slow the spread of infection? – Sputnik Radio spoke with Mike Swadling on the UK’s Coronavirus response.

“Because the entire focus seems to be on COVID not the plethora of things that people die of and need health treatment for normally, the government’s completely taken their eye off the ball for what’s in the national good!”

“the curve hasn’t changed when we introduce marks or indeed, when we opened up pubs and it’s just carried on and the government unfortunately feels poised to think that they can make one more change and do something I don’t know why they think that I see no evidence of that. It they feel to me like the the communist dictators of the old Eastern Bloc”

“People are starting to see what an absolute farce this has been. I fear they won’t, the government will try to impose more but I hope that people have the good sense to just get back to normal and ignore these people that want to control us”

Full Article: https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202009211080528924-people-are-starting-to-see-what-a-farce-this-lockdown-has-been/

Bans on Travel Not Right Approach and the SNP is ‘Playing Politics With People’s Lives’ – Sputnik Radio Interview

England has come under pressure to reconsider quarantine rules for Greece after Scotland and Wales introduced new restrictions for the country in a bid to slow a rise in coronavirus cases. Looking at this story in more detail, Sputnik spoke to the Analyst Michael Swadling from the Croydon Constitutionalists, in this interview.

The great risk to this country is that we are not acting in a normal manner and anything, be it holidays, schooling, work, travel, shopping… that gets us away from normal and continues to spread that fear and dread

“God knows, we need a break more than we would normally. Blanket bans destroy our travel industry, hurt those countries, hurt people who have saved hard and put away for a holiday and finally get that break their family needs. For what? For what risk? What’s the actual impact we’re seeing here?”

“If we had a government that had any courage, a government that was in any way ready to lead rather than just follow, Boris would do that but sadly, he’s really made a problem for himself because he’s never shown any signs of doing that certainly since this crisis began”

“we’ve now created an industry in government of dealing with the pandemic. The pandemic isn’t there in the same way anymore and they just need to find new things to do. Unfortunately, holidaymakers are the people being punished by that incessant need from government to find something else to do”

Full article – https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202009021080351196-bans-on-travel-not-right-approach-and-the-snp-is-playing-politics-with-peoples-lives-says-pundit/

Audio:

Podcast Episode 40 – Scotland Special with guest Alasdair Stewart

We are joined by Alasdair Stewart, the former Chairman of the Croydon Conservative Federation, for a discussion of Scottish politics. We discuss the SNP Government’s response to Covid, the Highers Results scandal, minimum drinks pricing and the new Scottish Hate Crime Bill. We then consider the new Scottish Tory leader, the demise of the Labour Party and the prospects for the 2021 Holyrood Elections and a potential IndyRef2.

Also see our article on the Scottish Libertarian Party http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/interview-with-tam-laird-leader-of-the-scottish-libertarian-party/

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