287.Guided by numbers


This is a long blog. Driven by world events. The figures I used are from the Worldometer website, which collates the official Covid-19 data from each country. It may not be precisely accurate, but is the most comprehensive global guide available. It can be found at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I started collecting sports statistics. It was my own nerdy world, where dark ink applied to white paper brought untold happiness. For cricket, I used primary school maths to work out batting and bowling averages in the English county championship; and kept these in a logbook, for easy guidance to who were the best players.

Similarly, for soccer, I added every goal that each First Division footballer scored to a running tally, so that I knew the leading scorers by my own work.  I recorded the attendances at games, and knew which clubs drew the biggest crowds. It was quiet, delightful self-sufficiency.

In my mid-20s, when I got into horse racing, and betting, the statistics available to punters were my headiest drug. I would get each daily fix using the times that horses ran, the distance and weights carried, the prize money and so on. Ingesting these statistics allowed me to form my own ideas about how races would pan out, rather than listening to tipsters and other ‘experts’.  Again, I kept logbooks of races, and how my bets worked out.

It brought no overall riches. However, it did help me to see more clearly that data and numbers underpin our physical world. When I became a journalist, I had developed the mindset to see that headlines required corroboration. What I have learned, almost three decades down the road, is to take nearly all news with an initial pinch of salt. Even if it is told frequently and loudly, facts need to bear out the narrative. Otherwise news swiftly becomes toilet paper.

toilet paper

One standout example from the current coronavirus situation is the “state of disaster” recently declared in Australia, by the state of Victoria and the city of Melbourne, after 671 new Covid-19 infections were recorded in a single day. Disasters are clearly awful. A “disaster”, for me, would be the recent explosion in Beirut that killed over 220 Lebanese and left over 200,000 homeless or living in homes with no windows or doors. A health “disaster” might be the 1918-20 Spanish Flu, which may have killed up to 50 million people.

Numbers are important. At the time of the “disaster” announcement in Victoria, the whole of Australia, comprising 25 million people, had experienced 247 deaths linked to Covid-19. The median age of those deaths was over 80 years old. Terribly sad and tragic for those involved and their families and friends, but in terms of fatalities, roughly 1 in every 100,000 Aussies, mostly people who had existing morbidities, had died from the virus. The real, encouraging and good news (that you didn’t hear or read) was that  99,999 in every 100,000 Aussies had survived.

And I’m still hunting high and low for the “disaster”. Where is it? What was it based on? It cannot be the 671 “cases” of infection, because they are based on PCR tests, which seem to produce huge numbers of false positives for Sars-Cov-2.

I looked on the Australian government’s Department of Health website. It said the following: “The reliability of COVID-19 tests is uncertain due to the limited evidence base.”

If you also take into account that a huge majority of “cases” are asymptomatic, then an infection “case” count for Sars-Cov-2 may be bordering on meaningless. The “disaster” is toilet paper news. Deceptive, alarmist. With no focus on hospitalisations or fatalities, the whole thing looks horribly like sleight of hand.

Even accepting that virus transmission in Victoria may have risen, the state’s most vulnerable – its unhealthier and its elders – could surely be isolated for their own protection. A common sense measure so that normal life would go on. But no. Based on a test that their own government has acknowledged as potentially unreliable, the state’s entire 6.3 million inhabitants, nearly 5 million in the city, are now forced to follow ‘lockdown’ and curfew restrictions.

And forced is no exaggeration. Victoria state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, said 500 military personnel would be deployed to enforce the self-isolation orders, with fines of nearly A$5,000 (£2,700), for those breaching the rules. Repeat offenders would face a fine of up to A$20,000, he said. In Melbourne, a group of birthday partygoers were slapped with an eye-watering fine of $26,000 (£14,360) after multiple KFC purchases triggered phone calls to police.

aussie police

I’m giving you numbers. But pictures can also tell amazing stories. There were some extraordinary shots from Melbourne of police smashing a car window and pulling a woman out, to make her comply with the lockdown restrictions. The astonishing thing was how Australian media actively defended the powers-that-be, by describing the police as somehow pushed into this aggressive behaviour, with absolutely no choice. All I could see was men in uniforms, the rampant righteous, treating a potentially innocent person like an animal. Law enforcers acting like thugs, while newsreaders talked about the woman as if she was a criminal. And I wondered. Was 1930s Germany like that?

And all this on account of a virus that, yes, is certainly more contagious than the norm, but no, poses no serious threat to most humans on the evidence to date.

Back in late April, while mainstream journalists were parroting the British government message that Covid-19 is the most serious crisis we have ever encountered, the true state of play was spelled out by Chris Witty, the Chief Medical Adviser to the UK Government, in a televised speech. From the horse’s mouth, it is worth repeating.

“The great majority of people will not die from this and I’ll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it’s worth reinforcing: Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.

Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens. Of those who get symptoms, the great majority, probably 80%, will have a mild or moderate disease. Might be bad enough for them to have to go to bed for a few days, not bad enough for them to have to go to the doctor. An unfortunate minority will have to go as far as hospital, but the majority of those will just need oxygen and will then leave hospital. And then a minority of those will end up having to go to severe end critical care and some of those sadly will die. But that’s a minority, it’s 1% or possibly even less than 1% overall. And even in the highest risk group this is significantly less than 20%, ie. the great majority of people, even the very highest groups, if they catch this virus, will not die. And I really wanted to make that point really clearly.”

chris witty

A public figure telling a simple truth about Covid-19.  Treasure that rare moment.

But I doubt that anyone paid much attention, given the unrelenting propaganda blitz that had already overwhelmed many Brits with deep primal fear. By the end of April, most of us were reeling, punch-drunk, from a wall-to-wall messaging flood about the “pandemic”. Hospitals were set to be over-run with patients and our struggling medical infrastructure was going to collapse under their weight. And locking down society was the only way to prevent this calamity, regardless of how much damage it did to livelihoods. News reports, ads, public service announcements, talk shows, newspaper articles and press conferences imploring us to ‘stay at home’, ‘flatten the curve’, ‘protect the NHS’, ‘save lives’, ‘wash your hands’, ‘stay alert’ and get the ‘R number’ below 1.

I believe most of us became so emotionally invested in the apparent urgency that we lost the ability to think critically. I tried to take the most sensible parts of the media blitz on board, as my father is 92, with weak lungs. My brother Neil and I decided that we would be the only people that he saw while the virus was at its most contagious. Five months on, we still shield him and social distance, to limit any chance that we transmit the virus.

Back to the numbers. What do they say? The global statistic as of 18 August was that 783, 430 humans have died around the world as a result of Covid-19, against a global population of 7.8 billion. That’s a global death rate of around one in 10,000. Pretty good odds, I would say. 99.99% of humans have not been killed by Covid-19. And so much better odds if you are relatively young, with no existing health problems. A Canadian scientific team has estimated the individual Covid-19 death rate for people under 65 as 6 per million, or 1 in 166,666: about the same as the annual chance of motor vehicle accident death. (Do you fret much about that risk?)

car crash

In the UK, as of 18 August, the total coronavirus death figure was 41,381, according to Public Health England. (It had been over 5,000 higher, until the Department of Health announced that thousands of people who may have recovered from the virus before they died were still counted in the headline number. Easy mistake to make).

For me, the standout statistic is that, by mid-July, only 1,388 of these deaths had been officially attributed purely to Covid-19, where the victim had no other illness or morbidity.

Just 1,388.

Numeric comparisons are useful tools for putting things in context. Let’s dive back now to 2017/18, when there were an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales from a nasty flu season. Over 50,000, more than the equivalent Covid-19 numbers. Yet no lockdown or masks or job losses were needed for us to come out on the other side. The vulnerable were advised to isolate, and the rest of us got on with it. There were no school closures nor sinister talk of ‘bio-security’. No stopping the UK economy, despite the greater number of excess deaths in 17/18. If ever I felt rough, as I acquired natural immunity, then I know that I would have taken heavy doses of garlic and ginger, lemon and vitamins, and topped this up with fresh air, sunlight and good nutrition. The common sense response.

Has something happened in the two years since 2018? What new knowledge did I miss?

What became of the accepted, traditional idea that immunity builds naturally across social groups, as the virus recedes from lack of hosts, leading to a safer environment for all? The miracle of the human immune system that has evolved over hundreds of centuries by taking in pathogens and building antibodies. Why is that now insufficient? Someone? Please?

immune system 

Back to the present, where, in New Zealand, plans were announced in mid-August (because of four new Covid-19 “cases”, not deaths) to take people who are infected with Covid-19 into “quarantine camps”. PM Jacinda Ardern was very clear. She said that “you either get your tests done and make sure you’re cleared or we will keep you in a facility longer.” To combat bubonic plague, that strategy might be warranted. But hardly apt (in my opinion) for a flu-like virus that mainly targets the old and sick, in a country that had not had a reported death since May. Due to a test that has recorded ‘positive’ on a papaya fruit.

To these eyes, both Australia and New Zealand have started to show dangerous signs of being prepared to strip people of their freedom, privacy and autonomy, for no good reason. A woman in Australia has just been imprisoned for 6 months for avoiding a 14-day quarantine period. Can that be anything but tyranny?

Not many people have the guts to resist coercion. France had a population of 41.7 million in 1939. I just found an estimate that only half a million of these offered resistance during the subsequent Nazi occupation. Resistance does require bravery. It is far easier to be told what you can wear, where you can go, when you can go there, and who you can touch, than it is to disobey. Feel free to disagree.

Another big trend as the Germans occupied Europe was “ratting out” disobedient neighbours to Hitler’s men. We have been getting pretty good at that in the UK, especially in Greater Manchester, where restrictions on socialising in indoor spaces have been increased, despite the UK mortality rate dipping below seasonal averages for the last two months. On one weekend in the first half of August, 1,106 Covid regulation breaches were phoned in to Manchester police, 25% more than the previous weekend. 540 of the calls involved reports of other people’s house gatherings and parties.


Whether you like it or not, I’m simply pointing out trends. Here is a potentially huge one. Tedros Adhanom, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said explicitly that we will not be going back to the ‘old normal’. Is Ted by some miracle clairvoyant? If not, then when did the WHO acquire any legitimate power over how ordinary lives should proceed?

The WHO accepts huge donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Could that be a clue?

This ‘new normal’ seems to involve a flood of ludicrous medical suggestions, each designed to make people increasingly fearful of their neighbours, family, human contact, and the very air that they breathe. A doctor (Amir Khan) appeared quite recently on the UK’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ TV programme, suggesting that men should take a contraceptive pill filled with oestrogen, on the grounds that this will boost the male immune system. Dr Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has suggested people in high-risk areas or multi-generational homes should consider wearing a mask at home.

The Guardian – that once-great bastion of liberty and free speech – ran an article entitled “You’re wearing a mask – now consider a face shield and goggles”. (Hmmm..The Guardian takes money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its ‘global development’ website). This echoed comments by the diminutive Dr Anthony Fauci, of the seemingly all-powerful WHO, which has U-turned on its April pronouncement that face masks were unnecessary. Fauci now claims that “perfect” virus protection would involve wearing visors or goggles over your eyes.

In May, Qatar announced a penalty of up to 3 years’ imprisonment for not wearing face masks in public. Not to be outdone, researchers at Harvard University said in June that to prevent transmitting COVID-19 from one person to another, sexual partners should be wearing a face mask while interlocked. I don’t think they meant gimp masks.

The study also advised against kissing. I guess the authors simply forgot that humans have evolved over millions of years to be social creatures, seeking intimate human companionship in our lives. Easy mistake. It suggested partners shower before and after doing the filthy, disgusting deed, and clean everything, the whole horrible mess, with alcohol wipes or soap.

hazmat sex

If you filmed this tepid, highly sanitised sex, it could be labelled as actual fear porn, to match the metaphorical stuff pumped out by our alarmist media. Which, for the record, includes stories claiming that cats can get Covid-19, and that they should now stay inside. Or the warning from string-puller Bill Gates himself, who is reported to have said that singing, laughing and even talking can spread Covid-19. Wouldn’t it be great if Bill stopped talking, once and for all? I would be so happy.

Even if you ignore this drivel, from people who should know better, the existing regulations in Britain seem designed to confuse and baffle. Masks are now mandatory in shops for customers, but not staff. In restaurants, it is the other way around. In the Manchester lockdown, you were prohibited from entering your lover’s home for sex; but could lawfully get it on in a hotel. Standing in a graduation line is a “safety hazard,” but lining up at huge stores is not. If masks are so critical, why were they not mandated immediately upon lockdown, rather than when infectiousness had subsided?

And why are national journalists rolling over so tamely, not tearing apart this utter crock of shit? A key job of the media is to hold power to account. The same goes for the political opposition, in this case Labour, which bends over tamely and pulls apart its cheeks for each new Tory government move.

Why are questions not asked about Japan? Despite the population of 126 million – 38 million people of these stacked together in Tokyo – there has been no lockdown. Yet Covid-19 has claimed just 1,088 Japanese victims. Does that not warrant huge press coverage, to see how another country is coping brilliantly? Could we not learn something? Or from Sweden, where life has continued uninterrupted, despite significant deaths linked to Covid-19.

One reason for the piss-poor national journalism is probably that the UK government has become one of the leading advertisers in newspapers. Nobody rubs up their advertisers the wrong way. So mainstream journalists let things go, failing to underline and highlight that we are being led up a garden path towards a creeping totalitarianism due to a virus that has as much chance of killing most of us as a car crash.

brave journalism

As medical martial law gradually seeps in, one outstanding exception to the press cowardice might be journalist Peter Hitchens, who seems to enjoy sticking his head over the parapet and pulling apart official hubris. Hitchens called face masks a “a soggy cloth muzzle, a face-nappy that turns its wearer from a normal human into a mumbling, mouthless submissive.”

I like the boldness of that. But, as a left-leaning voter, it is galling that the bravest journalist in Britain writes for the right-wing Daily Mail. Elsewhere in the private sector, YouTube now forbids content that contradicts the line taken by the WHO or local health authorities. Forget freedom of speech. Forget counter-opinion and evidence. Or even discussion and debate. The Nazis were happy to forget all of those. Remember them?

As if the above lunacy were not enough, a grimmer reality is the dismantling of people’s incomes across the planet. In India, there were a massive 122 million job losses officially reported in April from the lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. It is difficult to get my head around the impact of that huge figure.

In the European Union, the effects of lockdown were enough to trigger the biggest drop ever recorded in its employment figures in the second quarter of 2020. In the US, GDP dropped a record 32.9% during the same period, marking what economists called the greatest collapse in American history. British GDP declined by more than 20% in the second quarter, the worst economic hit from the coronavirus in Europe. All of this to combat a flu-like virus that mainly targets the old and sick. Disproportionate hardly seems a strong enough word.

The social consequences of this will almost certainly dwarf the medical impacts of Covid-19. UK government officials have already suggested that deaths due to lockdown, rather than coronavirus, could exceed 200,000, as a result of stress, alcohol, drugs, unemployment, poverty, domestic abuse, lack of medical care for other conditions, starvation, isolation and suicide. Economists in Britain have said the true underlying picture of the jobs market is much worse than official data indicates.

economy smashed

We had a clue ourselves last week. I said a big ‘thank you’ to the universe when our lad Rory managed to land a part-time job at Home Bargains store in Chelmsford. He was told that there had been over 200 applicants for the part-time job. In July, Mick Dore, who manages the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon, south-west London, said that 484 people sent in CVs for two £9-an-hour jobs at the pub. He would usually have expected around 12 replies.

Dropping the numbers for a minute, I think we’ve been gaslit. Sold a puppy. Our arms invisibly twisted, while we all tried to do the right thing, out of essential decency and the goodness of our hearts. So many of us worked at home, social distanced, Zoomed, TikTokked, volunteered, exercised, clapped key workers and watched Netflix: all to try and “save lives”. Hundreds of thousands of cancer patients have had operations put on hold. Children’s education has been inexplicably shelved. Hand on heart, I can say that nearly everybody I know has suffered from mental health problems at one stage or another during this period. All to “combat” a flu-like virus that kills 1 in 10,000.

How can that make sense or ring true? What have I missed? I’m genuinely open to a reasoned explanation.

An early clue, to me, that the health risks were less than we were being told, came from two of the key architects of the UK lockdown, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College, and Dominic Cummings, the Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister. Both flouted their own rules. That behaviour indicated (to me) that the lockdown might not be about health or safety. That it might, just might be a cover for bringing in much greater state control, while people became too isolated and demoralised to pay attention. Another huge clue had occurred earlier on March 19, hidden in plain sight, when Public Health England downgraded COVID-19 from its former status as a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID). The downgrade was announced several days before the British lockdown came into play.

Virtually every country in Europe is now reporting average, or below average mortality. On a personal level, I don’t know anyone who has died of the virus. Neither do most people I have spoken to over the past five months. Whereas, in a “pandemic”, you would imagine everyone would know someone that had died of Covid. Although I do know someone who has lost two acquaintances that had ‘death by Covid-19’ printed on their death certificates. Wrongly, having died of other causes.

Tellingly, the Nightingale hospitals, built quickly with the capacity to treat almost 10 000 Covid-19 cases, have been mothballed. To balance that, I know of people that have been very sick, for protracted periods. But again, that happens in any flu season.

Has anybody else noticed that, as Covid-19 fatalities have tailed off, the number of “cases” continues to be used as the stick to beat us with – probably until mortality rates from colds and flu begin their inevitable seasonal rise as winter approaches, and we can all be scared shitless again by new Covid headline numbers. Tell me I’m wrong. I hope I am.

Without becoming too conspiratorial, it is worth at least noting certain indicators that our situation may have been orchestrated behind the scenes. The World Bank staged a pandemic simulation in Washington DC in October 2019 to prepare for a major health crisis that was “only a matter of time”. You can check the details and participants at https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/.  It may also be worth checking the ‘Lockstep’ section of the white paper formulated by the Rockefeller Foundation in 2010. It starts on page 18 in the document at https://www.nommeraadio.ee/meedia/pdf/RRS/Rockefeller%20Foundation.pdf

Judge for yourself.

rockefeller foundation

One question begging to be asked is who will decide the terms on which lockdown finally ends. We all want our old lives back, but what if they have been stolen from under our noses? Traded in, without a fuss, for the illusion of “safe” new lives. Traded in for years of vaccines, surveillance, temperature checks and tracking controls, where obsessive attention to matters of health could come to dominate every aspect of life.

I really hope not. But, just as the Nazis crowed that they were waging a war against the “subhuman races”, the WHO and its government followers already appear to be set against anyone who “endangers the public health” or is a “risk to others”. The language is starting to feel semi-religious.

One zealot in the US has put forward a possible flavour of the future. Parker Crutchfield, Associate Professor of Medical Ethics, Humanities and Law at Western Michigan University, reckons that people who refuse to follow the medical guidance are “defectors” who need to be “morally enhanced”. Crutchfield has suggested medication to make people more “empathetic” and “co-operative”. This medication should be compulsory and/or administered secretly via the water supply, he believes. I can’t see a single argument of his that is not dystopian.

It feels like there are big choices coming up for some of us, as the talk of a ‘second wave’ ramps up. Those choices might feel like plucking up the courage to leave an abusive relationship. For sure is that while people keep complying with the swelling body of new rules, the government mandates are likely to become ever more intrusive, more authoritarian, and harder to roll back.

Here is a big question: is there any point at which you and I are going to stop doing what the government tells us to do? When might we say no? How far down the line? Will it be face masks in shops, or maybe further along, when the government decides that you now need to wear a face mask, gloves and goggles, not only in public spaces, but in your own home as well? Or if the government decides that you now need an “immunity passport”, or a microchip in your arm, in order to access public spaces? Look at Nazi history and you will see a series of freedom snatches, increment by increment. Tell me I’m wrong.

Thankfully, I do see signs of people brave enough to question the official narratives. There was a demonstration in Berlin on August 1 against the coronavirus restrictions. The numbers were interesting. The BBC (which receives money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) reported a turnout of 20,000. Alternative German media said the figure may have been over a million. What an interesting disparity in those figures.

berlin demo

Just as encouragingly, a group of 640 medical professionals, centred in Germany, Austria and Spain, has formed a group to challenge the Covid-19 narrative. 640 is a hefty number. They compare the Covid-19 risk to normal flu, and stress that there is no need for undue anxiety. They will all risk dismissal from their profession for challenging the WHO stance. YouTube has already taken down their video “for violating community guidelines”.

Again, in my opinion, our current obedience and our conformity will help construct a dreadful new reality – for us, our children and our grandchildren – unless this type of momentum keeps building. While millions of people across the West are being thrown out of work as their “furlough” periods end, the economic route among government and the biggest corporations will clearly be more ‘contracts for the boys’. Look at how the UK government brazenly handed out PPE contracts worth £155 million to its cronies, for equipment that may turn out to be useless. There is the future. Right there. While many people kid themselves that things will soon be back to normal.

Some of the world’s richest individuals, who hang out at the World Economic Forum (WEF), have quietly announced the so-called “Great Reset”. Handed down from on high, this marvellous plan – although with few firm details – is supposedly designed to beat Covid-19 and address climate change. Like the WHO, the WEF hasn’t bothered to consult anyone down here in the trenches. You can only hope that the plan includes generous Universal Basic Income (UBI) for everybody that lacks employment.

For the time being, for hundreds of millions of workers and small businesses across the world, the likelihood is a slide into an abyss of unemployment, bankruptcy, repossession, hunger, homelessness and premature deaths. 7,000 Marks & Spencer job cuts in Britain were announced on 19 August. That could be the tip of the iceberg. Management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company has estimated that 7.6 million UK jobs are at risk when the furlough schemes end in a couple of months, with nearly half of these in occupations earning less than £10 per hour.

I haven’t even talked about vaccines, because it should be clear to anyone with an enquiring mind that producing a safe vaccine takes over a decade of research. The current ‘operation warp speed’ to develop a wonder vaccine, urged on by Billy Boy Gates, can guarantee only a shed load of money for the pharmaceutical manufacturers, who will be indemnified against any potential legal action from recipients if things go pear-shaped. Good luck to anyone who wants that vaccine. I do mean that genuinely.

One element that bubbles away without much discussion is that we all die. Dad will die of something, eventually. It is sad but it’s not ‘tough shit’. Death isn’t a glitch. It happens to everyone. Whether we go of Covid-19, pneumonia, a heart attack, liver disease, diabetes, dementia or murder, we shuffle off this mortal coil. It is the most natural and predictable thing in life.

Good public discourse would include this reality. That life has always been crammed with risk, and chance. But the WHO and many government officials, backed by media, seem to envisage people living in permanent “bubbles”. A life with minimal friction and tone. Infantile existence where people can no longer make and act upon their own risk assessments.

I’m massively grateful to have enjoyed some kind, good, common sense company since the end of March. It has helped in getting through the weirdness. My wife has a sharp brain, my journalist friend Martin sees objectively through the media fog, and my next-door neighbour Dean provides me with more wisdom over the garden fence than any health “expert” or Member of Parliament.

Sometimes I try and imagine a saner world where Covid-19 had been treated as a straightforward flu-like virus. Clearly it would still be a terribly sad time for the deceased and their loved ones. Lots of people would get very sick. We might hear about it regularly, along with all the other news. But no hyperbole, no hysteria, no lockdown, no mandated masks. No controlled economic demolition. No bio-security. No interfering with educating children whose risk of Covid-19 fatality is almost zero. Obviously plenty of social distancing involving the vulnerable, so that they were shielded and isolated. As happens in Sweden. As has happened with my dad, whose vulnerability has rightly kept me at a distance from all but a few close others for almost five months.

But no “disaster”, because attention would have been paid to the numbers, which show quite clearly that most of us are safe, and able to get on with our lives.

That makes more sense to me than tearing apart our old world over what is, for a big majority, a car crash risk. It’s just my opinion, but I reckon the numbers offer strong support.


PS.  On August 26, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) updated its site with a co-morbidities section, where it admitted that only about 6% of the reported deaths by Covid in the US in 2020 were due to Covid alone, in the category of “died from the virus and no other causes.” The other 94% of deaths included an average of 2.6 other causes. This reduced the death-by-Covid-only number in the US from 185,000 to about 11,000 over an 8-month period. In the same period, about 30,000 people died in car wrecks.

But to hell with it…..let’s keep locking down the planet, destroying economies and untold numbers of lives in the process.

12 thoughts on “287.Guided by numbers

  1. Yeah, we’re fine. KNOCK ON WOOD! But according to your piece, the odds are pretty good we’ll remain fine, ha ha.
    Having just finished a book called “Vox” where leadership similar to what we have now in the US turns the country into another nightmarish version of Handmaid Tale where women can only speak 100 words a day, are removed from their jobs, must stay at home and take care of the kids, and underground resistance, men and women alike, are shot for their trouble.

    One doesn’t even want to imagine the so-called “goal” a potential scenario like this, an “overblown” virus and subsequent pandemic might lead to.

    Your line “people who refuse to follow the medical guidance are “defectors” who need to be “morally enhanced”.sounds eerily similar to what was going on in Vox. But the scary thought about THIS situation is that it’s not just happening in one country and it’s world-wide. The thought it really overwhelming. Things like this happen all the time in other countries, right? Where a minority lords it over the majority, fascism creeps in, democracy dies–if it was ever allowed at all. But not everywhere at once.

    My confusion lies with hearing nurses and doctors speaking. The majority of them are exhausted, some are angry, and they’re definitely depressed and despairing. I assume your numbers are saying the ones we see on TV ARE going through something devastating, but they’re unusual? Like it’s only a few hospitals here and there in “hot spots” where the virus managed to spread but it’s not a true picture of what’s going on everywhere? That sounds like 1984 in a nutshell, being force-fed video that is not telling the complete story and is only meant to create fear and control the masses, like the on-going, unwinnable war of the novel.

    I mean, overall, more people have died from this than generally die from the regular flu. Don’t you think, while the numbers might be over-represented, that this is a freaking weird disease, though? Have you seen the new data suggesting it’s a vascular disorder and not respiratory, as initially believed? Because of all the strange things that the virus does to people’s organs, especially the heart, and all the people who have heart attacks and strokes–something not associated with regular flu deaths. The tenacity is very strange too, how some seem to fight the fever for months. And then there’s the survivors whose bodies are damaged in a way that the flu never did. What’s all that about? And if it was biological warfare research, did it get out by accident or on purpose?

    Exhaustive research up above. I wish more people would read and there’d be more comments and thoughts.
    I find the contradictory mask orders VERY disturbing and strange and people told to stay away from their lovers’ place but not hotels. And, of course, Qatar adding jail time to the equation for offenders…how long before other countries decide to adopt this train of thought? Hopefully never! But the trend is troubling and the lack of consistency is confusing and maddening.

    And the thought of Tokyo…no lockdown….and just over 1,000 deaths from COVID. It makes no sense, and everything feels like it’s upside down. Everybody willfully destroying their own economies, though…. seems SO dumb. Like who would come up with such a stupid idea? That would truly be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make some great points Stace. I have a friend who lives in South London. His neighbours are consultants at a local hospital where (about 2 weeks ago) they had taken in no Covid-related admissions for 8 weeks. That’s in Britain’s biggest population centre. It does seem to vary hugely, country by country. Vietnam, for example – 27 deaths from a 97 million population. I have given up following the US story because most of the commentators make it political (ie what Trump says and does) rather than trying to fathom out what is going on. But the vascular angle is fascinating. I looked at that just now.
      I have no doubt that nurses and doctors in some areas have been under tremendous strain. They do a fantastic job, for which I’m grateful. But yes, it seems to be in ‘pockets’, as you say.
      As for deaths vs regular flu, it looks to be about neck and neck, so far. Under 1400 UK deaths from Covid where no other other morbidities were in place.
      I have a healthy disrepect for what anyone in authority says. Maybe it was because my dad tended not to pay attention to any form of authority. I think it has freed me to see some of the anomalies at play. In March/April, the WHO was stating quite definiteively that masks were unnecessary, and washing your hands repetitively was critical. Now masks are mandated. Hands less vital. And how did we even get to consider ‘lockdowns’? It looks like a concept dreamed up at a high level and handed down. It’s a prison paradigm, not mentally or economically healthy. It’s dispropoprtionate to the risk. Maybe it’s a compliance test, to see how malleable we are as a race. Maybe it’s a preparation for war. Maybe it has been decided that there are too many of us. I could speculate all day. Sometimes I do 😊. Luckily I have some friends and a wife who follow suit, which is a huge relief. I would feel very lonely entertaining these thoughts without backup.
      And I’m grateful that I have my dad to look after, as it keeps my feet on the ground. In fact that’s where I'[m heading now!
      Speak later.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, that’s some good musing on your part. Questions none of us really want to consider. On the other hand it would be kinda funny, in a very sad way, if it all turns out to be just a virus and an actual pandemic handled with complete incompetence by so many….
    Hope your dad’s doing well and the earth felt solid and warm beneath your feet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Appreciate that Moisy. We’ve had the TV news switched off for months. It’s poisonous. It’s interesting to go in the shop 80 yards from where my dad lives. Almost every shopper has stopped wearing masks, and the proprietor cares not a hoot. I know some people have been very ill – including one of our best friends – but there is no logic in stopping the world. I’m hoping that this mental illness will be overturned soon. Here is a recent video from your soon-to-be-home Ireland, where the doctor speaking is making a name for herself.



  4. I could not disagree more. I am so glad that most people have done their part to protect the vulnerable among us, one of whom is my wife. You simply can’t compare risk of a car crash to a contagious disease, other than to say that in both cases we should do what we can to mitigate the risk. In the case of Covid, that means doing things like wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, and erecting plexiglass barriers in stores, and locking down if an outbreak occurs that might overwhelm our hospitals. I would have thought everyone would be glad to participate in that endeavour, to save as many people as we can instead of seeing them as just a number. My wife is not just a number, and I suspect the same is true for the 834,000 and counting who have died from Covid so far this year.


    1. Appreciate your viewpoint Sean. My dad, also, is highly vulnerable. He is not a number either. As a result, my brother and I have minimised and distanced our contact with other people for the last five months while we look after him on alternate days. Neither of us have any qualms about that. My point is that once the vulnerable such as your wife and my father are quarantined and shielded, the rest of the world needs to go about its business, for its mental and economic well-being. We have immune systems designed for exactly these situations. ‘Locking down’ healthy people not only takes away civil liberties and (often) their income but prevents their immune systems from functioning as intended. We are primarily social creatures. We are on the verge of becoming something else under the ‘new normal’.


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