Always winter, never Christmas

Another round of draconian restrictions has been introduced in the UK, restricting all social gatherings to six people, with threats of dictatorship-style curfews in future. This causes mayhem to our newly re-introduced church services, if we have to gather in (socially distanced) groups of six. And it cancels the restart of my saxophone choir, my only musical activity to have survived lockdown. Christmas too, just as in Narnia under the wicked Queen, looks like being cancelled for the sake of … well, we’ll see.

The excuse for this is an escalating number of “cases” of COVID-19, or to be exact PCR test positives, magically paralleling the increase in testing, which has been blamed by HMG on young people flouting the guidelines. There is absolutely no scientific justification for this slur on the young, it being purely a speculation from the fact that most “cases” are occurring in that age group. The story is that all these reckless partying youngsters will eventually spread the the virus to their grannies, who will all die, just you wait and see. Astonishingly, Wednesday’s wildly aberrant death count of thirty was used to bolster the sense of crisis – a statistically crass thing to do, especially given the fact that Thursday’s and Friday’s deaths were back to the near-zero level. It turns out the spike was from late reporting, as isn’t reflected in the date of death curve.

In fact the whole official interpretation of the data is implausible (I’ll return to the more sensible interpretation later). Go down to our local holiday hot-spot, Lyme Regis, and the summer saw the beach and promenade packed cheek by jowl with people not wearing masks. Peer into the pubs and cafes, and it was the same. And, as you’d expect, those crowds consisted of teenagers, young families, and elderly folk all pleased to have escaped incarceration for a week or two. My B&B owning friend there said that her guests took no account of restrictions, and the bottle of hand sanitizer by the breakfast table remained almost full.

It is absolutely impossible that any lethal disease affecting young people would not have spread quickly to the elderly, and killed many of them. That the death rate has continued to fall over many weeks proves that there is no lethal virus about. Why not? I will link at the end to an excellent, and essential, update on the state of the science. This shows how the COVID-19 epidemic is following the seasonal pattern of every other Coronavirus infection in the past. This virus is highly seasonal, and we’re out of the season. What COVID-19 is circulating isn’t killing people because, as in every summer, human immunity is at its highest. Hence neither old nor young are showing any increase in morbidity or mortality.

The video also shows (and I was unaware of this before, my memory being as short as that of the government and SAGE, but with more excuse as I’m not making government policy) that there was a near-identical “casedemic” in 2009-10 when Avian H1N1 flu was the panic of the day. This is a vital comparison.

The difference is that, because widespread PCR testing didn’t come in until after the peak in 2009, the “second wave” linked to testing was more widely separated and obvious. But it still showed a peak of non-existent cases in the summer, and a second, massive peak in “cases” in the winter, which in this case, as the final stats show, was accompanied by an unusually low excess death rate that winter. The reason, of course, was that the actual avian flu virus had all but disappeared, and nearly all the thousands of positive tests were spurious. That is history in the data, and beyond dispute.

The “pandemic” shown by testing eventually died out the following summer when people got bored with testing healthy people, and bodies like the EU instead concentrated on producing reports exposing the fraud and corruption of the WHO in promoting the “pandemic” (like the present one one, only labelled as a pandemic by a timely redefinition of the word “pandemic” a few weeks before the 2009 one was declared, to make high death-rates unnecessary).

By then, billions had been spent across the world on WHO-mandated, but ineffective, Tamiflu, and on hastily-produced vaccines which saved nobody but did cause hundreds, or thousands, of cases of brain damage in children. “Vaccination is safe and effective!” – always remember that, children. And remember too that the WHO has undergone no substantial reform, but that governments too have invested heavily in commercial vaccine producers, and in turn have been extensively funded by the Gates Foundation and other interested parties. What could possibly go wrong?

Now, there is one difference this time round, which is only partly covered in the video. The hysteria over COVID means that PCR testing is occurring on an unprecedented scale. This inevitably means that the apparent peak in cases will be even bigger, and scarier to SAGE alarmists, than that of 2009. We are already seeing the panic measures resulting from that in the further curtailment of our liberties and the consequent trashing of the economy. And curfews, for goodness’ sake! The sole purpose of curfews is to control rebellious populations, not infections, which are not especially nocturnal. The fact that the latest measures were concluded between government and police chiefs wanting more easily enforced guidelines seems another way of saying that we now live in a police state.

But it’s worse. The increasing level of false positive “cases” we now have, and the fact that “Covid deaths” is taken as “deaths within 21 days of a positive PCR test,” means that it is inevitable that an increasing number of ordinary deaths will be attributed to COVID. Since the current daily number is only in single figures, and the government panicked over even one unusual day with thirty deaths, it will only take a handful of false COVID deaths, in a population of 70 million, to tell the government they were right all along.

They will be certain that the dreaded second wave of deaths has started. Add to that the usual winter surge in excess deaths (which will no more be analysed in comparison to previous years than the whole pandemic has been), and total lockdowns, compulsory masks in the street, and so on are virtually bound to be imposed over the winter. The official hints of “up to three weeks” of restriction are weasel words – there is no exit strategy that is likely to happen, because the methodology has guaranteed the outcome in advance. Goodbye Christmas. Add The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to 1984 and Brave New World on your list of fulfilled dystopian novels.

But it’s worse still. Remember that the Avian Flu casedemic petered out as unnecessary testing ceased. But Boris has boldly set a target of ten million PCR tests daily by the early New Year (just as genuine seasonal Coronavirus cases would be expected to start to decline). He touts it as a way to get Britain back to normal as quickly as possible, which is about as convincing as the promise of ID2020 to confer the “basic human right” of a digital identity by micro-chipping everybody in the world.

But let’s consider the government’s own artificially low (because plucked out of thin air) estimate of false positives for COVID-19 PCR testing. In fact, their prior best guess, based on data from other PCR tests, was a false positive rate of 2.5%, but as the total positive tests at the time was only 1.6% (and is still only 1.7%), this became their upper bound. They simply assumed, on no evidence whatsoever, that the false positive rate must be “far lower.” In fact, it is equally plausible, perhaps more so, that nearly all test results now are false positives, given the constant percentage of positives. Certainly for all the reliable information PCR tests can give under such conditions, they may as well not be done at all, because the error rate is unknown, and may even be larger than the result.

But we’ll accept the 0.4% figure for now. If 10 million tests were done each day, and there were no Coronavirus in the population whatsoever, that would give a daily “case” rate of 40,000! The feckless people will have failed us again, and by rights we should elect a new people. Your second wave is thereby fully guaranteed into next year, and indeed for as long as that level of testing continues. Government policy appears to depend on the impossible task of eradicating COVID-19 altogether, and the metric for that is PCR testing, which is incapable of demonstrating eradication. That is called “following the science,” but has more to do with following white rabbits down holes to Wonderland.

Fellow Brits, you are doomed by official innumeracy, accidental or intentional. And overseas readers, if your government is not Swedish, it would appear that you are too.

At this point it looks as though the only source of salvation, other than the return of the Lord, is the mass disobedience of the people, to one degree or another. If I didn’t think we’re heading to the Antipodean level of suppression of free speech, freedom of assembly and the right to peaceful protest, I’d suggest you join a demonstration near you. But I won’t, because if they’re arresting pregnant women for posting on social media about protests, then retired GPs will certainly not be safe on blogs either.

Finally, then, two videos. The first is the excellent overview I promised, from Ireland:

And the second is some additional information, especially on PCR testing, from a doctor in New Zealand stating some basic medical home truths.

The BBC and the mainstream press also produce some scientific information from the government and its advisers, which if you like apocalyptic Sci Fi is excellent fun.

Jon Garvey

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
This entry was posted in Medicine, Politics and sociology, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Always winter, never Christmas

  1. Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

    Another analysis of current status and policy, in the form of a paper, is here

  2. Peter Hickman says:

    Thanks for the post, Jon.

    Useful for me in dealing with my extended family (“You’re a doctor, Peter, what do you think … ?) and also my medical colleagues, some of whom are very exasperated with the ongoing debacle – a few have resigned/retired, and others press on whilst expressing increasing annoyance and incredulity.

    What puzzles me is why HMG scientific advisers are behaving as if they are not cognizant of the information disseminated these papers and videos. These are not secrets, are they? And surely the scientists talk to each other! What’s going on in SAGE? They can’t all be govt. lackeys …

    • Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

      Peter

      Mike Yeadon was interviewed on Talk Radio today, and has issued a challenge to the government and SAGE to cite the evidence they are using to predict a second wave. He says he has searched the literature thoroughly, and has found nothing.

      More worryingly, on the interview, he says that there is evidence from internal NHS literature that the government is so convinced there will be a second wave (because they are, astonishingly, still going with Fergusons’s crap modelling) that they have decided to keep the NHS in “COVID-only” mode through the winter, in full cognizance of the inevitable thousands of deaths from other conditions not being treated.

      There has to be some kind of penalty for trashing the economy and condemning tens of thousands to death on the basis of a pseudo-scientific prediction of what might happen at some future date.

      As for GPs, of course I’ve not been able to get close to mine for my annual treatment check. But I guess the days of independent contractors have been so replaced by being NHS functionaries that nobody dares simply to say, “Sod this – I’m going to open up the surgery properly and cure some people.”

  3. Jon Garvey Jon Garvey says:

    Over the last week a massive increase in positive PCR “cases.” But “coincidentally” the percentage of the total tests remains around the same at 1.5%, in fact a little lower than the beginning of the week (1.7%).

    If you get the same proportion of positive tests keeping exactly in step with your test numbers, you are not recording a real increase in disease. You may be sampling a constat rate – or you may be recording a constant false positive rate.

  4. Elizabeth B. says:

    Jon,

    I heard about this yesterday and thought to look in here to find out if it is true. I am crushed for you all over there. It chills me to think that our “leaders” over here may look to what is going on in the UK as an excuse to impose more strict measures here.

    How could freedom virtually vanish overnight? The country that brought us the Magna Carta has devolved to this?!

    And the mere suggestion of protest or revolt results in being hauled off to jail!!

    Well, I don’t think your God-forsaken leaders can haul me away, can they? Can they reach across the ocean and demand extradition for a citizen of a supposedly free country who would absolutely encourage the whole of the UK to take back your freedoms! Kick the power control freaks out of office and vote in real true humble representation. Some people did warn about Boris Johnson being all for himself. Looks like they were right. What a horrid creature!

    Truly, I cannot yet fathom why all of this has happened. Even after months of distrust of all authorities, I still cannot grasp what it is that these authoritarians stand to gain by impoverishing the very people upon whose backs they wish to build themselves up. Isn’t it better to rule over a healthy economy than to rule over a trashed one?

    If we don’t find a way to get out from other these tyrants now, they will only cement their power, making overthrowing them impossible.

    Looks like Orwell was a prophet. CS Lewis and Tolkien too.

    • Elizabeth B. says:

      Oh, if you and your family are up for a change, consider coming to the U.S. There is still some fight left in a good many of us. Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, the Dakotas, Montana, WyomingOklahoma… Florida has fight but is becoming way overcrowded. I’m sure I left off some deserving states. So many of our ancestors fled from Britain many years ago. Maybe it’s time for the next migration.

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