Category Archives: Medicine
Epidemiology is a complex and often counter-intuitive science, as I discovered on a correspondence on prostate cancer screening with the head of the UK screening service some years ago. In the wrong hands, that can make it dangerous: as someone said, “epidemiology was invented to make economists look good.”
This title is really clickbait for “All you need to know about COVID false positives,” which is possibly the biggest un-publicised problem of this whole pandemic. I’m writing about the UK, but much the same applies across the world.
Boris Johnson says that any further COVID lockdown will be a disaster for Britain, and that he will go “to any lengths” to prevent it. So far that seems to entail greater degrees of restriction working up to the planned disaster gradually. But I have a useful suggestion for him: Boris, if you will go to any lengths to prevent a disastrous lockdown, then why not go to the length of not imposing a lockdown? Problem solved at a non-stroke, and in accordance with the science that increasingly shows lockdowns have done no good whatsoever, and a whole heap of harm.
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.
Last month I did a piece comparing the insistence of critical race theory, and intersectionality in general, on accepting “lived experience” as definitive, with the liquidation of the kulaks in Soviet Russia. In both cases, I argued, lived experience could easily be conditioned by careful propaganda.
When the NHS was, in effect, closed down in March to make it a dedicated COVID-19 Health Service, it could be predicted (and was, even by me) to result in many excess deaths from other under-treated illnesses. There have already been official and academic reports on excess coronary disease and cancer deaths, as well as articles on the enormous waiting times in what, even before COVID, was an under-performing service.
Here’s an interesting extract from the official UK government website:
There has been surprisingly little mention in the news (ie none that I have seen) of the first major analysis of the world data from the COVID-19 pandemic, published in The Lancet on July 21st, before H.M. Government started to panic over increased positive PCR tests, executed local lockdowns, and threatened national ones if the “R-number” virtual canary begins to look green around the gills.
When Mrs G. and I were on our honeymoon in the West Country, a whole sapphire ago last month, we took a trip to the remote Doone Valley on Exmoor.
After the UK government halted the lifting of lockdown with a screech of brakes, because of an increased number of cases over the last month, I’ve taken a closer interest in the official stats. It’s better than reading endless e-mails about the exact meaning of the regulations on wearing facemasks in church, but leaves me equally bemused.