294. Dad’s gift, amid the maelstrom

Ignoring the war-like barrage of Covid-19 news that has decimated 2020, my year has been dominated by the need to look after my dad. Nearing his 93rd birthday, and taking a range of medications, he is vulnerable to the virus. No surprise that my brother and I have kept him far away from most situations where Covid transmission is a possibility. It is impossible to make his ‘bubble’ watertight (he very occasionally wanders to his local newsagent while we are absent), but we have done all we can.

He is also terribly frail. And increasingly impacted by dementia. So we have kept the house clean, cooked his meals, changed his sheets, cut his hair and shaved him, done the shopping, and generally acted as his arms, legs and brain.

The great reward is that I have come to know his softer side, once-hidden. He loves to chat, above all else. Although huge gaps blight his memory, he still talks very clearly and with great relish about his first two decades. Listening, I have come to understand how he became somebody that naturally sides with underdogs and takes a contrarian view. As his offspring, I’ve inherited that gift.

I’m not sure that Dad ever said to me that if you see 95 people walking one way, tag onto four heading in the other direction. But that was usually the gist. The older I get, the more disinclined I am to follow any crowd.

That genetic trait kicks in even while doing my best to keep his house and personal space Covid-free. The journalist in me sees a wider, starker picture, one where much of the world has handed over its collective mind, unquestioning, far too easily, to the coronavirus narrative.

My thinking goes this way. Brother Neil and I have taken responsibility for Dad. He is one of the vulnerable. So we distance ourselves from people, with a few close family exceptions. Have done for 9 months. We are especially careful with our hygiene. And he sees nobody else inside the house. None of this is rocket science.

Here’s the question. Why would we – or other carers – need businesses and schools and pubs and borders to close, or the healthy to quarantine themselves? Or ‘tiered’ social restrictions decided by a divided SAGE committee. How can any of that help the most at risk, who are already shielded? Isolation and atomisation is not how the healthy sections of a population build natural immunity to infectious diseases. (Remember immune systems? They are amazing, and you have one, whatever the newsreaders may try and tell us.)

To protect Dad from a virus whose fatality rate is slightly worse than a bad flu season, Neil and I do not need lonely people to be confined in their homes; nor the NHS to postpone its cancer operations. It does not matter if Covid transmission speed accelerates 70%, because it can come to him only through us, and we keep our worlds tightly limited.

End of. There is nothing complex or far-sighted in any of this opinion. It is common sense, traditional practice for disease control.

And yet every day, I watch our world being shaken upside down, to combat a clearly measurable foe. I was hesitant to call out insanity at the beginning, as the UK seemed to be in a unique, very frightening situation. Maybe the March lockdown was necessary so we could take stock. But in recent months a shedload of peer-reviewed studies have emerged showing that the downside of lockdowns far outweigh the benefits, including long-term fatality numbers.

The world economy has been torn to pieces by the lockdowns. Tens of millions of people’s livelihoods ruined. Poverty and mental illness rising steeply. Health and education services shrunken. Holidays and gatherings and socialising curtailed or gone.

And for what? Globally, there has been around a 1 in 4,000 fatality rate ‘with Covid-19’, and a much smaller death rate ‘from’ it.

Back in blog 287, I relayed how the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledged that only about 6% of the reported Covid deaths in the US by August 2020 were due to Covid alone, as in “died from the virus and no other causes.”

The other 94% – mostly elderly people – had prior medical conditions that were potentially lethal on their own, the CDC said. This sifting 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 US car wrecks. Them’s the official facts.

If you are healthy and not elderly, that is the strength of the risk in the world’s most afflicted country. Even if you add in the numbers of fatalities in the subsequent four months, there is clearly more chance of dying in a car crash. There sits the reality upon which our world has been collapsed.

In the UK, basic freedoms have been eliminated to be replaced by curfews, house imprisonment, border controls, travel restrictions, prohibition of worship, limited access to doctors, the army on the Liverpool streets, suppression of free speech, arrests of protesters, and neighbours encouraged to shop one another. All fed by a mainstream propaganda blitz worthy of wartime. Driven by people in lab coats. Strikes me as a bit, what’s that word…….Nazi? Too strong? How about disproportionate?

In a genuine pandemic, to complain about any of this would be daft. In reality, nobody (thankfully) has died from Covid-19 in my village of around 500 people, which has a greater than average number of retired people. Some individuals have become ill, as will happen with all major respiratory viruses. The sole fatality I have any connection to, anywhere, was my cousin’s father-in-law, who died in Sussex of a heart condition in a care home. But because he had showed positive on a test he was labelled as a ‘with Covid’ death. This enraged my cousin’s husband, who is a retired GP, and had observed his father’s medical situation until the end.

I spoke to a friend yesterday who knows many hundreds of people in the UK. He knew of one Covid-related fatality. “Where?” I asked. “Paris” he said.

The excess death statistics around the world at the end of the year will be fascinating, particularly if they match up with previous years. The money spent on furloughing people will be equally interesting. Imagine if it had all been spent on building new NHS wards and training fresh staff, to cope with some very serious capacity issues.

Best leave it there. The facts speak for themselves. If the fatality trends change, I will change my mind.

To round off, I’m wishing anyone reading this a seriously healthy and happy Christmas.

Thanks very much for looking in on the blogs. That helps keep me going.

PS. Does Matt Hancock resemble a British cousin of Agent Smith, from the Matrix?

15 thoughts on “294. Dad’s gift, amid the maelstrom

  1. Just a whirlwind of confusion and lack of clarity these days. And what could possibly lay beneath it is, is the ultimate question….?
    I hope you get some relaxation and cheer today and can put all the other creepy/unanswered/troublesome
    questions aside for a while. But I know the journalist in you might find that hard to do…lol.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It never really goes away Stace. The pharma companies have already made it clear that the risk of transmission is not addressed by the vaccines…..so we should prepare to be masked and distanced for a long time. But I do like the down time of Xmas hols 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In casual conversations I’ve said that Covid-19 is our generation’s Depression, the defining event that will shape the future for better or for worse. Reading your post here, Kev, it occurs to me that that is exactly why so many are embracing the whole bizarre exercise of masks and social distancing. Nothing unites the human herd like a disaster, and if we can’t have a genuine disaster well, enough people are happy to go along with a small disaster that’s been pumped up until it reaches the desired proportions.
    I recall the stock market crash of 1987. The fallout from that stretched out to about 1993. Here in Australia, the government’s actions did as much to bugger us worse as they did to correct the situation.
    I’m expecting more of the same again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In my humble opinion Kev, (I’m not a conspiracy theorist) the virus is arguably an experiment in controlling world population by simply inducing panic mode. And it’s bloody worked!! A family friend, Foxy Roxy, was the first person to alert me to the probability of fraudulent numbers of deaths. Her grandfather had been fighting cancer for a few years and passed away in May. Covid was recorded as cause of death on his death certificate. What gets me is the amount of people who shop in supermarkets and kids playing together in the playground but pubs and restaurants, populated by rational free thinking adults are closed to prevent close contact.
    One of the things that doesn’t make sense is the world governments have sacrificed the economy of their countries! Non of it adds up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Spot on John. It’s not a logical government response. Here, if the NHS was the key problem, then all the tens of billions spent on furlough money could have gone to building new wards and training fresh staff. That term ‘conspiracy theorist’ is redundant if you start pointing out actual conspiracy facts. Pharmaceutical companies reaping in huge new profits, Amazon sales going through the roof, ‘doctored’ death certificates, and the constant U-turns on state medical policy. As to your theory, if you were looking to see how easily populations can be controlled, this is the perfect experiment. It may also be an all-encompassing cover story for a new financial collapse. I don’t know. All you can say is that there is more going on than meets the eye. Anyway, hope you’re enjoying the break and looking forward to the new job matey.

      Like

      1. I’m definitely enjoying my break Kev, thanks. I remember when this virus first came into the spotlight on mainstream media. They attempted to drill it into the population that the virus didn’t pick and choose its victims, it was relentless and deadly to the majority of people. Yet the government insists that children’s education should not be interrupted, even though kids have no real concept of social distancing. Adults can’t be trusted to safely distance themselves at sporting venues, pubs and restaurants. Bloody ridiculous Kev. Mixed messages are a telltale sign of lies.
        Hope you, Maureen, your dad and family are well mate 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve provided much needed insight, and more importantly TRUTH. Thank you! We need to keep saying and discussing the topics you’ve addressed over and over, until control of our lives and decisions is wrest back. I’ve 1/2 joked on my blog life is ‘business as usual’ for me, and we have no lockdowns here. I do see lots of wary looks and too much scurrying away when drawing closer is what’s needed. I’m reminded of the 70s movie Network, where the protag says, “I’m mad as hell, and not taking it anymore.” Very lovely what you’re doing for your elderly dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jo – appreciate the feedback. It’s all about perspective. There is a nasty virus around, but you would think the world is somehow terminally threatened. Lots of people sadly due each year from respiratory illnesses. It is terribly sad, but the reaction to this one has been batshit insane.
      Where are you based? As for looking after Dad, it’s one of the few things I do that makes me feel positive about my life.

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  5. I love how you are willing to care for your dad like that Kevin! I have had this virus and it truly devastated my body, 7 months later I’m still fighting it and I had no other health problems that would affect Covid. It’s a terrible virus no doubt about that. However, I think there are things going on that we don’t know about. My brother, who died from cancer a few years ago, was in high finance and would meet with financial leaders from around the world at times. I can’t say what they talked about on your blog, too public, but just taking a look at what is going on in the world, it’s quite amazing. Countries are going into debt in ways they can’t handle, will our economies ever recover? Is it designed to cause a worldwide financial collapse? I don’t go in for conspiracy theories at all. But things are happening. In other ways too, but that would require a long comment, mine is already long! Have a great week Kevin!😀😺

    Liked by 1 person

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