For those who missed the relevant blog post, my thoughts about what might transpire after the virus situation has ended can be read below:
Latest statistics: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
I am not of course a virologist, epidemiologist, neither am I any kind of medic (or scientist), but most of the experts have shown themselves to be as ignorant as ordinary members of the public in respct of Coronavirus and the path it might take.
Yesterday, I expressed the view, inter alia, that the “COVID-19” virus seems to be less lethal than we had feared. Either fewer people are infected than we feared might be, or more people are infected but are asymptomatic.
It has been suggested by a research group at Oxford University that about 50% or even 60% of the UK has been infected, starting in the early part of 2020, but that most of those showed and show no symptoms, so are completely unaware that they have been infected. The true death toll varies from country to country depending on how good their health services are, but seems to be, overall, including those who are asymptomatic or only slightly symptomatic and so are never diagnosed, to be well below 1% and possibly only a tenth of 1%.
Most people who do show symptoms are affected no more than they would be by seasonal flu (as witness Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Nadine Dorries, Prince Charles etc). Very few are dying. That may seem callous in view of the fact that hundreds in the UK alone have died (in the UK, so far, 1,228) but about 1,400 people die (from all causes) in England and Wales, daily, on average (pre-Coronavirus).
The sense of near-Armageddon is a product of the large numbers who now require hospital care (there is no treatment, as such), combined with the extreme “lockdown” policy which, though possibly justifiable, cannot be maintained for long, for a number of reasons.
Whether this government was right to institute such an extreme “lockdown”, closing almost all businesses, and putting the bulk of the population under a kind of house arrest, is uncertain. The economy may take such a hit that it will not recover in our lifetimes.
Civil rights have also taken a knock, on paper because of the Coronavirus Act but in practice because of the hectoring police tactics (which may well be unlawful). In fact some police forces are (not for the first time) behaving like a poundland KGB.
I expressed the view yesterday that the virus crisis may be plateau-ing across Europe. Today, the same scientist, one Ferguson, who was only a week or so ago predicting 250,000 deaths in the UK, says that a plateau may have already been reached both in Italy and in the UK. He now predicts as few as 5,700 deaths in the UK. In both the UK and Italy the number of cases reported and the number of deaths registered has fallen, in Italy for 2 and maybe by now 3 consecutive days.
The “lockdown” measures introduced in the UK may help, certainly, but the best weapon against the virus is good personal hygiene, and especially the frequent washing of hands with soapy water, as recommended by the authorities. Statistics show that in Italy, France and Spain, all hard hit, personal hygiene is relatively poor compared to the UK, Germany, much of Northern Europe, Turkey.
Coronavirus: last 24 hours in UK
“260 deaths on Saturday, 209 on Sunday and a further fall to 180 today” [BBC News online]
While fluctuations may occur in such statistics, it seems clear that there is at least a good likelihood that the situation in the UK has reached a plateau. It may even have reached a peak, though the authorities think not.
I noticed that none of the three TV news broadcasts which I just looked at (at 2200 hrs) actually mentioned that the death toll in the UK has fallen for the third consecutive day. It is as if they want the public’s fear (and so compliance with “orders”) to continue…
Guess how many people in the UK have died so far, per every million of the population? 21. Twenty-one.
In fact, total (confirmed) cases in the UK per million stand at only 326.
The authorities are obviously getting together a narrative which will go something like “our strict lockdown measures have saved the country from near-annihilation“, which of course will be, at best, only partly true.
On a more positive note, I have been impressed by a few things.
- Firstly, the invention or development of special breathing apparatus in only a week, by UCL and the Mercedes F1 team. Amazing.
- Secondly, though it may not be necessary or the right way to do things, the mere fact that hundreds of thousands have volunteered to help maintain parts of society.
- Thirdly (with the same caveats), the fact that several functioning emergency hospitals are being built to what seems a reasonable standard (looking at news broadcasts) within days.
Makes one realize what Britain could do in other respects, under the right leadership.
Did not go out except to run car (parked off-road) for 30 mins. Saw 2 cars pass on the local road, a teenage boy and girl walking with their dog, 1 lady walking alone. About a tenth of “normal” (vehicular) traffic, if that.
I recently encountered in Waitrose an Indian lady with whom I have spoken over the past several years. Her husband was in the Foreign Office. She told me (from six feet away!) that she has been reading about the astrological aspects (I did not ask whether Western or Indian astrology), and that Mars and Saturn (often called the “Great Malefics” in the Western tradition) are working together now and so on. Not sure whether she meant in conjunction, trine or opposition. Probably conjunction. According to her, the (UK) economy will tank until late 2021. It’s all in the stars…
More seriously, if few infected even have symptoms (as the recent Oxford study suggests), no-one would know that they had the virus. I am beginning to think that most people are in fact effectively immune (either actually immune or asymptomatic or showing very mild symptoms easily confused with other conditions). It may be that the true Coronavirus death rate is not 1 in 30 or 1 in 50, but 1 in 1000 or even 10,000. In the UK, so far, the actual death rate is 21 per 1 million of the whole population.
Music to make the hours roll away…