I notice that Twitter catches up with me. Today, #WhenCoronavirusIsOver is “trending” in the Twitterati’s echo-chamber. I have been thinking for several days, and in fact longer, about blogging on that very topic.
The public health emergency itself
We all know that, certainly as a public health emergency, Coronavirus or “COVID-19” will end. When, we do not know. At first, the “experts” thought as late as next year, then it was “later in 2020”, now they seem to be saying sometime in the Summer. I myself do not know —just like the “experts”— but I am suspecting that this will not last beyond June at latest. Why?
First of all, we have seen the experience of Wuhan itself, where cases seem to have been around 3% of the population (3% of 11 million = about 330,000) but confirmed cases were only about 81,000 (which may seem enormous, but Wuhan is a city with more people than London, 19 million in the metro area around, compared to about 15 million in and around London, and has several times the population of the Paris area). Of the fewer than 82,000 confirmed cases in Wuhan, 3,300 have died. The outbreak has now either been contained or simply ceased (played itself out). The authorities are now easing the “lockdown” restrictions.
Overall, the death toll (per million population) in China as a whole has been…2. Two. Per million. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
That link, above, is worth perusing. It shows that, in Europe, the UK is actually far down the list of countries with Coronavirus (per million population). We see that some countries have had far more cases, adjusted by population, than the UK, but a lower death toll. Why? They have better healthcare.
Germany has had three times the number of Coronavirus cases as has had the UK, but only a third of the deaths. Why? Better healthcare.
The NHS is a very fine thing in principle, but in practice it is lagging behind many countries in terms of outcomes. It is a kind of religion in the UK, a sacred cow. It has also been both maladministered and starved of funds for many years.
In Germany, the healthcare system just dealt with the Coronavirus situation. Its political leaders did not overdose on the “we can do it” rhetoric, there was none of the fake “wartime spirit” that we have seen in the UK, with its “recruit a million volunteers” and “mass clap-in for the NHS” (which the Twitterati loved…oh, didn’t they love it! Virtue-signalling central…).
There is panic around. Example: special flights are today taking British tourists from Peru (which has virtually no Coronavirus) to the UK (which has). I am sure that the tourists are grateful. Or misinformed.
“Cokehead” Gove, the expenses-cheating little doormat for Israel, has now announced that the UK will possibly “have to have” even more strict “lockdown” measures. How will we even get food? This is madness.
The predictions for deaths in the UK were 250,000, even 800,000! Now one study says 5,700; another says about 20,000. Still bad, but nowhere near the apocalyptic numbers previously mooted. Already we see the alarming death toll stabilizing. The last day (28 March) was not quite so bad as that of the day before.
It is difficult to argue, as have such as the scribbler Peter Hitchens, that the very severe measures, “advised” and then mandated by the Boris-idiot government, were wrong or too strict. Having said that, that may indeed have been the case.
“The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month? Statistically, we would expect about 51,000 to die in Britain this month. At the time of writing, 422 deaths are linked to Covid-19 — so 0.8 per cent of that expected total. On a global basis, we’d expect 14 million to die over the first three months of the year. The world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 per cent of that total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu). Not figures that would, in and of themselves, cause drastic global reactions.“
“We may very well be comparing apples with oranges. Recording cases where there was a positive test for the virus is a very different thing to recording the virus as the main cause of death.“
“Early evidence from Iceland, a country with a very strong organisation for wide testing within the population, suggests that as many as 50 per cent of infections are almost completely asymptomatic. Most of the rest are relatively minor. In fact, Iceland’s figures, 648 cases and two attributed deaths, give a death rate of 0.3 per cent. As population testing becomes more widespread elsewhere in the world, we will find a greater and greater proportion of cases where infections have already occurred and caused only mild effects. In fact, as time goes on, this will become generally truer too, because most infections tend to decrease in virulence as an epidemic progresses.“
[Dr. John Lee, NHS consultant pathologist, in The Spectator]
He makes another very important point:
“The moral debate is not lives vs money. It is lives vs lives. It will take months, perhaps years, if ever, before we can assess the wider implications of what we are doing. The damage to children’s education, the excess suicides, the increase in mental health problems, the taking away of resources from other health problems that we were dealing with effectively. Those who need medical help now but won’t seek it, or might not be offered it.”
I dare say that the above, despite having been written by a NHS consultant pathologist, and indeed professor of pathology, will not be welcome to many engaged in groupthink on Twitter, in government, in the organs of the State such as the police, and NHS. Dissent from the “accepted” view is treated as a kind of social treason at present.
The primary way of stopping the Coronavirus is for everyone in the society to wash their hands frequently and carefully, using ordinary soap and water. The countries where personal hygiene is known to be poor, eg Italy and Spain, Netherlands (full of non-European immigrants), and France, have had the worst outcomes in this crisis: see https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-european-countries-that-wash-their-hands-least-after-going-to-the-toilet-a6757711.html
Simply washing hands is probably 90% of the answer. As for “social distancing”, “social isolation” etc, they help but are secondary or tertiary.
There has been a study from Oxford University suggesting that a high proportion, maybe 50% of the UK population, has been, since the beginning of 2020, infected with Coronavirus. Most people either show no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms. We have seen this at the heart of government. A number of MPs and ministers have been confirmed cases. So far not one has been seriously unwell, despite their ages (in their 40s, 50s, 60s).
The virus cannot live for long on a human being. A few weeks at maximum. After that, the carrier, if infected, is either
- asymptomatic and clear;
- diagnosed and then recovered and clear; or
- (a tiny minority, probably a small fraction of 1%) dead.
The virus likewise does not live long on surfaces. Hours, a few days (or even weeks, but only in exceptional cases).
Incidentally, the first confirmed case of Coronavirus in China was on 10 January 2020, the first in Italy 29 January, and the first in the UK 30 January. Fewer than three weeks after China. China is now easing restrictions, but the UK government is talking about keeping them until as long as September! Even tightening them (how?)…
We are now right at the end of March 2020. “April is the cruellest month”, as T.S. Eliot wrote. It will probably see the peak of the Coronavirus epidemic in the UK, if that has not already been reached. By May, the situation will probably look very different, and by June, very different again. I shall be surprised if we are not “back to normal” by July at the latest. But what is “normal”, now?
I suppose that the Government and the whole System will say that Coronavirus ruined the economy. In fact, it was “tanking” already. The retail sector in particular. Now, we have seen huge numbers of lay-offs, some partly subsidized by the new government “furlough” plan. Already there have been half a million registrations-as-unemployed and there will be millions more.
Vast numbers of small businesses have been hit, and many will close down, never to re-appear. I don’t mean the fake “businesses” that consist of one person doing the job of an employee but not, technically, being employed. I mean real very small businesses, which may employ only the principal, and maybe a handful of others. Small, but multiply those few people by a million and you see the problem.
The UK Government cannot pay a significant proportion of the population fairly substantial amounts indefinitely unless there is an economy still functioning. At present, the only parts of the enterprise economy still functioning are the retail banks, the supermarkets, the smaller food shops, the medical-pharmaceutical sector, some construction and engineering projects, some agriculture and horticulture.
The pound will eventually fall through the floor in a situation where other economies are or will resume functioning while the UK economy is still prevented by its own government from functioning. That will make imported goods very expensive. Britain imports most of its food.
We could be looking here at Britain’s final eclipse as a major economy.
British people are famously obsessed with the supposed value of their houses. A house where I spent many years on and off in Little Venice, London, was bought at a valuation of £100,000 in or about 1980. The lady owner sold it in 2005 for £1.4M, I believe. Its valuation in 2018 was around £3.5M and may even be £4M now. A 35x or even 40x increase in value in 40 years! Pay in the UK has increased (face value) by only about 2x or 4x in that period.
Even in the past two decades, and even outside London, property has leapt in value. I recall seeing little bungalows for sale in Seaton, Devon in 1998, while idly walking around. One was only £23,000! Others were £25,000 and £28,000. I should imagine that even those little places would be priced at something like £200,000. In fact, I have just now looked on a property website: cheapest similar house— £195,000. A nearly tenfold increase in 22 years.
The UK property market is a house of cards ready to collapse. The buy to let sector will be first. People who do not have jobs cannot rent houses, usually, because the housing benefit does not cover the full cost (even if the owner is willing to rent to the jobless— most are not).
Once the buy to let sector has collapsed, the rest of the market will suffer a catastrophic (for property-owners) fall. A 50% fall is by no means impossible.
As to commercial property, even before Coronavirus the sector was tanking. Jews control much of it, so to that extent I rub my hands. With businesses collapsing, the economy on the floor, there will be little or no demand for offices and shops. The Internet is in any case killing the retail sector inasmuch as it is in the High Streets and even malls.
Pick-up in the economy
After Coronavirus, some businesses will pick up quickly: barbers, hairdressers, people who fix computers etc. Others may never emerge from the depths. One thing is for sure: money will be in short supply for most people.
Unemployment will be huge. The misconceived and cruel “welfare” (social security) “reforms” started by the Labour Party (particularly the “Blairites” Alistair Darling and James Purnell) from about 2007 and made inestimably more harsh under the part-Japanese sadist Iain Dunce Duncan Smith have ruined the DWP both attitudinally and in terms of efficiency. The recent huge upsurge in demand has found the DWP (under deadhead minister Therese Coffey) unable to cope.
I predict that, in 2021-2022, and as the economy tanks, the pound collapses, house prices fall and unemployment surges, there will be a demand from the whole people for radical change. The tired “Conservative” Party cannot offer that, still less can the —all but irrelevant— Labour Party. This will be the moment for social nationalism to strike!
“You see, my son, here time turns into space!”
Update, 24 December 2020
Most of what I predicted in the above article has come to pass.
Superficially, I was wrong in saying that both “the virus” and the various measures supposedly to reduce its occurrence would finish long before the end of 2020. Well, here we are, and, on paper, the virus is still here. However, flu has all but disappeared as a cause of death, replaced by “Coronavirus” or “Covid-19”.
Vast numbers are being tested and so, ipso facto, numbers “infected” are also high, but few require any treatment. As I predicted, deaths peaked in April. I myself still know no-one who knows anyone who has or has had the virus.
The overall death toll in numbers in the UK is below that of some recent years. “The virus” is a serious public health situation but scarcely the Black Death. About 1 out of every 1,400 living in the UK has died from or with “the virus” (in the world generally, 1 in 8,000).
Meanwhile, the absurd over-reaction of “the authorities” has trashed civil rights, ruined much of the economy, and made life near-intolerable. Unnecessarily.